Before paleo, I’d be the first to order up a baked potato or french fries. As a child, mashed potatoes were practically a daily dish. After all, potatoes are definitely on a list of comfort foods for millions. Yukon Gold, Fingerling, Russet, and Red are all favorites but they’re not in my diet anymore. Why? Potatoes fall into the nightshade vegetable family. You can find all the scientific reasons why these vegetables are categorized together, online. This is a group of vegetables that have properties that are, for the most part, affect mammals. Did you know eggplant is high in nicotine? They all need to be cooked to neutralize the high lectins found in these vegetables. So, why eat something that’s higher in lectins if you can be eating something else? Another reason I avoid potatoes is because of their high carbohydrate level. Potatoes are generally served in large portions because they are inexpensive and easy to cook and serve. A serving of potato should be about 3 ounces, but most serving sizes are triple that. It’s safe to eat a carb to protein ratio of 1:1 but most meals these days are 5:1. Eating a high carb diet can cause all kinds of problems. It’s best to start your own awareness check on the carbs. My favorite potato substitute is the parsnip. It’s a sweet, earthy, white root vegetable that looks just like a carrot. My favorite preparation is to peel, cut, and boil in chicken stock, then use a blender to puree. Season with salt and pepper. You can even add grass fed ghee or butter to richen. Carrots can be prepared in the same manner. Try these substitutes for your starchy sides. They are much lower in carbs, and higher in vitamins and minerals.