October Unprocessed is coming to a close. All in all, I’m happy with my personal results (well, once the birthday festivities were over). I managed to totally overhaul my eating plan. Technically it was more a jump start than an actual overhaul since overhauling implies that there was an eating plan in place to begin with. Regardless, I have a lot of healthy, fresh food in the house. I’m cooking and I’m eating three to five small meals a day.
True to the pledge, I concentrated on as getting as much processed food out of my diet as possible. The main exceptions were some canned food (tomatoes, salmon and pumpkin) and soy milk. Seriously, why did I not think to check the label on my soy milk until this morning? Gotta rethink the whole smoothie thing now.
Even though I got a late start, I’m not going to beat myself up for picking and choosing the rules that I followed. My benchmark for processed food is typically anything that comes in a box or from a can with more than one ingredient. Canned tomatoes, while probably not meeting the unprocessed challenge, certainly don’t compare with cream of mushroom soup which is so far off the real food band wagon it probably doesn’t even have any real mushrooms in it.
I took on soaking and cooking my own beans but drew the line at roasting my own pumpkin. While I may consider the extra effort in the future, I see the move to more and more natural foods as a building process.
Just making a commitment to cook (again) was big. Putting a food plan in place was big. Starting to exercise was big. The last three weeks of October represent a vast improvement over the last 3 months or then some.
The thing is, I actually enjoyed it. I took the pledge on my terms and in the process I expanded my culinary boundaries. Among the food projects I tackled:
- Ricotta in the microwave from scratch
- Slow roasted tomatoes in the oven
- Black beans, white beans and chick peas from a bag
- Lots of barley
- Roasted winter vegetable chili
- Making fresh sausage from scratch (this was someone else’s project; I was just along for the ride)
I’m pretty pleased with myself. I plan on continuing my new eating habits at least through the end of November. There is Thanksgiving to consider and an upcoming company event in Chicago the first weekend of December. I may not always be in control of what I’m eating so I choose to control what I can, when I can.