Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thoughts On An Unprocessed October

Nini and I are taking the October Unprocessed Challenge!

October Unprocessed 2014

We officially will be trying to eliminate processed foods from our diet starting tomorrow October 1st!  At first I thought "this will be fine, I already eat healthy things".  The real trauma hit when I started taking note of how many things I eat that have a lot of "processed" things in it: the yogurt I eat for breakfast, my favorite cookies, the veggie chips I love.

This was starting to seem like a bad idea.

Last night I went grocery shopping to prepare for our unprocessed October and it was not as hard as I thought it would be.  The rules of the challenge are very simple and fair (check out the "rules" on Eating Rules) and I don't feel like I'm committing some huge crime if I do cheat a little.  I also found an amazing website to help me out called The Gracious Pantry.  It was a little expensive for the first trip but I did need some staples that I hopefully won't need to buy every time I go to the store.  As I put away my groceries I also did a little cleaning out of things that are processed.
These are some of the things currently in my kitchen that are "processed"
These are the things currently in my kitchen that are "unprocessed"
And these are questionable
I think the main thing to take away from this challenge is to recognize how many processed things we do eat and that it is possible to cut down.  I'm a firm believer in "everything in moderation" and I don't buy into extreme dieting of any kind.  There are some processed things that I have chosen to keep in my diet simply because I can't imagine going without (my fave chips and some cheeses) but I have chosen the most unprocessed types of those things that I can get my hands on.
These are some "unprocessed" things that I had to buy to fill up my kitchen

I'm hoping this challenge shows me that I do feel a physical difference when eating less processed foods and inspires me to keep doing this way beyond October.  Not 100% unprocessed, because I just don't think that's for me, let's call it "Less-Processed".  It is also entirely possible that I will lose my mind and binge on all the processed foods.  Only time will tell!

We will keep you updated!
Wishing you big waves and an artful day!


  1. Hmmm so what is your definition of processed foods? To me anything that comes in a box, can, bag, carton, or jar is processed, unless it's say a bag of fresh apples and that sort of thing. If a food has been altered in any way I consider it to processed, that's why I am wondering what your definition of processed is. Anyway, it sure looks like you two are off to a good start getting rid of the overly processed foods. I hope you stick with it and I will keep an eye on your progress. If you want an excellent book to read, then read "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Furhman. It's my bible of how we should be eating every day. I am not perfect myself, but I strive to eat the way Dr. Fuhrman says we should. I have been eating vegan for over 26 years, but like I said I am not perfect and do sometimes eat some processed vegan foods too. I wish I had the discipline to eat only fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans, but I do have a sweet tooth and find that even "healthier" sweets are hard to give up entirely. Hence the weight I gained 7 years ago and cannot shed *sigh*. I do eat super healthy except for the occasional sweetie. I wish you 2 a successful October to stick with it. Stay away from the Halloween candy!!!! LOL!!!!

    1. We're using the Eating Rules definition of processed foods which is: Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients. I call it “The Kitchen Test.” If you pick up something with a label (if it doesn’t have a label, it’s probably unprocessed), and find an ingredient you’d never use in your kitchen and couldn’t possibly make yourself from the whole form, it’s processed. It doesn’t mean you actually have to make it yourself, it just means that for it to be considered “unprocessed” that you could, in theory, do so.

      I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables too, just haven't taken the time to really notice the labels on all of the other foods I'm consuming. It has definitely already made me more aware. And I don't think I could go completely vegan, I do occasionally enjoy a steak. Again for me it's mainly everything in moderation. I will definitely check out the "eat to live" book, anything to keep me inspired! I know what you mean about the sweets, I'm sad to see the ice cream go but I'm excited to see how this makes me feel! Thanks for the support!

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  3. I mainly eat unprocessed because of food allergies (and no meat either because of similar problems). Seriously a pain in the beginning, but once you get used to it, it is really easy. And I feel like it is more flavorful because you can really have fun by adding herbs and spices to fresh items that you make. And I feel like it actually cut my food shopping bill since I really only walk the perimeter of the store and hit the pasta aisle. Plus I love to can as much as possible in the summer to keep unprocessed food around as long as possible.
    One of my favorite snacks to give you that yummy salty taste is pop your popcorn in a pan with a little olive oil and while still hot grate some fresh Parmesan cheese on top. So good!

  4. I think a big part of it for me is going to be preparation! I will need to have unprocessed snacks available and definitely need to have my lunch packed for work ahead of time. I'm glad to hear that it gets easier! I think my shopping bill will be lower, but I just needed those staples to get me started. I will definitely try the popcorn snack, I have all of those things in my apartment right now! Thanks for the tip!

  5. OK Girls! I will be giving this a attempt and good shot. If I am to reflect on the word PROCESSED and read labels, I will be better off more than I am now. I need to be more conscious--Thanks for this mission of discovery!