“What would happen if I went for an entire month without eating any processed foods?
This question would have been laughable (rather, nonsensical) just a few decades ago. Nowadays, it seems that almost every food that comes with an ingredients list on it is likely to be laden with extra sugar, fat, and salt. And preservatives. And flavorings. And artificial colors.
I’m not okay with this.
Of course, this begs the question: How do we define “Processed?”
Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with readily available, whole-food ingredients.
I call it “The Kitchen Test.” If you pick up something with a label (and 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.” (Taken from Eating Rules)
I decided to try it! 31 DAYS WITHOUT PROCESSED FOOD (You can see my badge on the right side bar. Click on it. Check it out!)
Here is the breakdown so far~
DAY 1: We wake up on Saturday morning hung-over after a 2 day party for our friend’s Chris and Nikki’s wedding. Look at the two of them in all their wedded bliss—>It’s 0900am on Oct. 1st (The challenge has officially started.) We are in the middle of Nowhereville, WI and need food. Good food. Real food. We grabbed a banana and apple from the hotel lobby and started our Google search. I am already believing it is called a “challenge” for a reason! We found a coffee shop that made crepes and thought we may be able to find something on the menu that would fit the guidelines. We had a cappuccino (I am making a milk exception for the month.) and a whole wheat crepe with egg, spinach and tomatoes.
After a 2 1/2 hour drive back home to MN, it was time for lunch. Only problem here is that our fridge was pretty bare after 2 days out-of-town. I managed to pull together an egg scramble with basil and tomatoes and some kale chips on the side. It was pretty tasty 🙂
Then came dinner…with guests… I settled on this steak salad recipe AND these cookies for dessert AND all was good for DAY 1.
DAY 2: Breakfast is easy. No change from my normal Irish Oats, topped with sliced bananas, blueberries, cinnamon, and honey.
Lunch: Still no groceries in sight…same as yesterday.
Dinner: Grilled pork tenderloin, squash risotto, and asparagus. YUM!
Hardest challenge so far on the plan…snacks! Ryan and I eat every 2-3 hours. Our normal Greek yogurt and granola is out. I can replace it with plain Greek yogurt (Which I have tried to make the switch to already, but it is hard!)and homemade granola, but haven’t made the granola recipe yet. I may do this today, maybe. Nuts and unsweetened raisins are okay. Fresh fruit and veggies are okay. BUT no Odwalla bars, no sneaking a few Trader Joe’s PB filled pretzels, no crackers and Laughing Cow cheese!!!!! Thankfully Lara bars are golden. (Note to self~ stock up on Lara bars!)
Second hardest challenge…not eating a few bites of my kids food (if they aren’t eating what I am). Ryan and I are notorious for picking at our kids uneaten food. For example, last night I grilled them hamburgers and made them chips and guacamole as a side. Hit the breaks—>No chips! How do I scoop guacamole?! A spoon. A spoon will do 🙂 What do I do with that last bite of uneaten burger? Oh yeah, take it out of the bun.
Deep breath. I can do this!