Wednesday, September 25, 2013

October #Unprocessed - Take the Pledge! (And the post with lots of links to other stuff)

I stumbled upon this today. Since I am kind of obsessed with Bob's Red Mill, I follow them through social media and this popped up on my news feed. A whole month without processed foods, taking a pledge and doing it for the entire month of October. And at the end, feeling better and (hopefully lighter.) This year sponsored by one of my favorite West Coast places to visit (and eat!), Bob's Red Mill so of course I was sucked in from the minute I clicked on the link.

I am generally pretty good with no processed foods but there are those few things that really get me. One being popcorn. And not air popped popcorn, but the yummy fluffy, white cheddar flavored kind...maybe after a month without I can cut the habit for good.

The whole idea of October #Unprocessed was started by a guy named Andrew in 2009 when he wanted to see what would happen if he went a whole month without processed foods. It was his quest to get healthy and feel better. He started a blog to help keep himself accountable and to influence others. Since then it has grown to having over 3,000 people take the pledge. Some pretty cool stuff. (And it doesn't hurt that he has read all the books I have including those by Michael Pollan.)

So what I have decided to do is to start a group. We will all pledge to take the October #Unprocessed challenge. We will post and share recipes. And encourage each other (plus I may need someone who is fairly close to come pry the cheese popcorn from my hands.)

Here are the rules --

Eat only foods that pass "The Kitchen Test" 

 I may have to "steal" this term. It is kind of awesome. There are so many definitions out there for clean eating and many of them are personal. This, however, is one of the best definitions I have seen yet. According to Andrew, "Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients."  I told you it was a pretty awesome way to distinguish processed from unprocessed. 

Eat only whole grains

So this means eating only 100% whole wheat flour or grains. Un-enriched and unbleached because you couldn't do this in your kitchen. For more info on whole grains check out this post

No High Fructose Corn Syrup

I would extend this to cover refined sugar (more info on sugar here ) and artificial sweeteners besides stevia extract (which you can do at home if you have a stevia plant-- so it totally passes the kitchen test. For info on this check out this post 

No Trans Fats

Why no trans fats? Because it is pretty well decided that they are not good for us to consume and are often added to processed foods because they extend the shelf life. (Here is a brief explanation on trans fats )  Fats like grapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, and fats from plant based foods like avocados, nuts, seeds and coconuts are considered good fats.  There is a lot of contradictory advice that comes with talking about saturated fat. My best advice is to research dietary fat and come to your own conclusions. 

What about my Shakeology?

It is no secret that I love Shakeology. I love how I feel, the energy I have and I really miss it if I don't have it as part of my daily diet. The beauty is that the majority of ingredients are from whole food sources (for more info check this out“whole-food-ingredients”%2f-bioavailability ). The ingredients aren't chemically extracted, the foods are dried and powdered and then combined to make shakeology. If I had the formula and fancy dehydrating machines could I make it in my kitchen (aka does it pass the kitchen test?) Umm....maybe? Provided I could even find all the ingredients. (I mean can one buy yacon root at Giant Eagle?) Provided there are no chemicals, I am still going to continue to use Shakeology. Again, I feel that this falls in the personal realm of what is considered processed and what allowances are going to be made. 

So those are the rules for October #Unprocessed. Do you think you can hang? I am going to start a support group on Facebook so if you are interested in joining me please send me a message or an email to and I will add you to the group. 

Please visit for more information and to sign the pledge!

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