October Unprocessed, The first weekend and beyond…
I am getting more used to the unprocessed lifestyle. I am finding that there are things about it that I like, and things that take some getting used to. Planning ahead is vital, you can’t just call up the closest take out restaurant and order. Eating out is possible though, you just have to choose carefully. At one of my dietitian jobs at a doctor’s office, we typically order out for lunch. I ordered an omelette with veggies and cheese with a side of whole fruit, I also picked up a salad at Subway with egg whites and veggies and Swiss cheese, and had an apple for dessert. Granted the eggs aren’t organic, and I’m not 100% sure the cheese is unprocessed, but for the most part I did pretty well sticking by my plan. The unprocessed challenge has encouraged me to eat more at home, which is a good thing. I have located several recipes for my “must have” items that are generally processed (bread, chocolate desserts, flavored creamer, etc). Thank goodness my husband hunts (I never thought I would say that), so we have unprocessed, grass-fed and lean venison in the freezer. Eventually I will have to locate a supplier for grass fed meats, but for now at least we have something.
Everyone in my house has been sick at one time or another during the past week (with a cold that just hangs on… ugh!) Easy recipes have been our savior. We made a black bean chili that with minimal adjustments was “unprocessed”. Luckily it made enough to last for a few days, because no one wanted to cook! The bread recipe that I posted in my last blog is a big hit, and it makes two loaves – so I freeze the second loaf until we need it. That makes life easier! Popcorn, almonds, pistachios, and apples are my favorites for snacking right now. All natural peanut butter on homemade whole wheat bread serves as a super quick meal on the go when needed.
Stumbling blocks are bound to happen… we had a cookout last weekend, and I stuck with it even though most of the food was processed. There was a lot of goodies that looked good, but I figured I made a commitment. I found some things that I could eat, and brought apples to make sure there was something if I was starving. Luckily someone brought a veggie platter. My mom made these cupcakes that are to die for (chocolate with cream cheese and chocolate chips), and although I didn’t have one the day of the cookout, I did the following day (they were at my house, what can I say, I gave in). Well if that’s the worst that happens, it was pretty mild.
I cannot say at this point if I feel better, mostly because I have been sick with a cold. I am hoping once this sickness passes I will really be able to assess how my body is feeling off the processed stuff. As I said before, this is not a significant change for me, I ate pretty healthy before. But it has forced me to take the next step to unprocessed food, and really scrutinize ALL the ingredients on a food label! Some others who have taken the challenge have reported some weight loss (a few reported losing 5-10# this month already), I have maybe lost a pound or two, but for me that is not the point of this challenge. It’s about getting the crap out of the food I put into my body (and my daughter’s body). So I will keep chugging along with this… I love to cook so I will be working to remake some of our favorite recipes in the future weeks!
Tracey is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Plattsburgh, NY. She enjoys cooking healthy recipes for her family, and loves involving her daughter in the process. On her blog, she shares meal prep ideas, healthy recipes, nutrition tips and even gardening tips (to help you eat more whole foods). Check out her social media sites for more great tips.