I’m normally a nutrition label reader, but I’ve always paid attention to sodium, fat, calories, fiber, and sugars. This month, I’m taking my food awareness to another level by taking the October #Unprocessed Challenge by eating rules. I love Andrew’s spirit of bringing awareness to processed foods, additives, and chemicals in the everyday foods we eat. As hard as I try to be healthy, preparing for the challenge is already getting me to re-think some of my kitchen staples, including cheese, milk, yogurt, cereal, even chicken stock. Reading the labels on these items, I’m noticing the stabilizers, colorings, and other additives in so many of the ingredients I keep on hand.
This all said, I’m trying to be realistic about the challenge. I have several days of travel planned in October, I’m planning to run the Baltimore Marathon, and I have several work-related events to attend. These events make it hard, and even unrealistic for me to keep the challenge for a full 30 days, so I’m modifying the challenge to a 5 day a week challenge. This gives me 2 days in each week to cheat if I need to, allowing me the flexibility to stick with the challenge for the entire month—or so I hope!
Taking on the challenge requires more meal planning than usual, and as a result, I’m also using this month to try out the Plan to Eat meal planner. I’ll do a separate write up and review of Plan to Eat as I get more familiar with it, but so far, the website is very user friendly. I just wish there was an easier way to share my plan with friends and readers! My menu plan for week 1 of the challenge is here:
October 1-8 Unprocessed Meal Plan
I’m still on the hunt for recipes that are friendly to the challenge, but here some of the recipes I’m planning for week 1:
Some of these recipes have 1-2 ingredients that might not meet the requirements of the challenge, but I intend to omit those ingredients, or find substitutes that do meet the requirements. I’d love to have you join me in the challenge, or at the very least, share your recipes and tips to help me stay on track! I’ll be reporting back on how it’s going!