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During the month of October, Eating Rules hosts an “eating unprocessed” challenge. For one month, participants are challenged to eat nothing that they couldn’t make from scratch in their own kitchen. So, pretty much all packaged food is out.
Think about that for a minute. How would that impact your life if you were to do this? It would pretty much wipe out all dairy (unless you’ve got a cow near by), all protein powders in my case (#idie), and most sauces or anything else that lives in the pantry or on the shelf door of the fridge would immediately go away.
So what would you eat?
In my own world, it would be easier to do now, then it would be in the past, but there would still be some tweaks.
Since we grind our own beans for coffee every morning, there’s no risk of missing that (thank gawd!). Given that I don’t live in a dairy farm, I guess I’d opt for a homemade non-dairy creamer which is something I love to make.
Most days for breakfast I have my protein pancakes, but if I’m forced to give up whey protein (the primary ingredient), then my fall back would be eggs and greens. I’ve been digging sautéed pea tendrils and kale lately.
I’ve been eating the same thing for lunch for about 3 years now. Ever since I’ve banished bread from my life, a Big Ass Salad is the midday meal of choice. It’s typically a toss up of greens, cherry tomatoes, olives, fermented veggies and a sprinkle of cheese with olive oil and balsamic. I guess those last three things would have to go and I’d use a cashew based dressing instead. I typically have a couple of hard boiled eggs at lunch – but i’m going to assume eggs are okay since they’re pretty much straight from the chicken’s neither region.
Dinner + Dessert, Unprocessed
Dinner at my house is typically a piece of fish and some veggies. I use butter, coconut oil or olive oil to cook with, so that would have to change. I guess I could still get away with coconut oil (I think), but I have no idea how to make butter or squeeze oils out of olives, so those would be out for sure.
OMG, I have no idea how this would impact my love for wine, but let’s just say it’s not going anywhere and nobody will get hurt, okay? Wine can be homemade. I don’t do it, but it can be done. Leave it at that.
As for my Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Almonds – those I’d have to pass on, but I do have homemade backups that are just as good.
Simple, Unprocessed Snack Ideas
You might think snacks would be tricky, but they’re not. As long as you keep it simple, there’s tons of options. Beyond just keeping leftovers on hand for hungry moments, there’s always:
- Raw Cashews
- Raw Almonds
- guacamole with chopped veggies
- Canned Tuna
- Chickpeas (roasted or boiled)
- Celery with nut butter
So overall, my food life is pretty unprocessed. It would be a minor alteration of little things – mostly condiments and sauces, but it wouldn’t be undoable. What about you?
Check out Eating Rules’ parameters for the challenge. How far would you have to go to alter your eating habits to become completely unprocessed? It’s a good barometer to measure the current quality of nutrition that you’re getting!
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, healthy recipes, home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.