It’s the 2nd of October – have you joined the October Unprocessed challenge yet? If you’re having trouble, here are some tips and tricks to help you get started.
1. Figure out what to look for & what things mean.
Most breads have bleached flour & sugar. Both are totally processed. Look for these and immediately put it down. Also, “enriched” flour is a no-go, so keep an eye out for that.
Once you start noticing a few of the ingredients that are red flags, make sure to put down the processed item.
If you simply don’t know what it means, look it up. You can make a decision only once you have the knowledge to do so. And you can always ask the unprocessed community.
2. Find your go-to pre-made unprocessed favorites.
No way are we are giving up bread and pasta. Last year we even made our own of both. It was difficult, the food came out denser than desired, and I got very hangry.
So – I kept my eye out for unprocessed bread and pasta.
We’ve found two breads that are completely unprocessed and our favorite pasta comes from Trader Joe’s. It has 3 ingredients in it – three types of whole wheat flour.
We will probably try to make bread again – but at least we have a couple of options to stave of the hanger.
3. Find a few good recipes
I am already cooking clean and bookmarking recipes left and right. I don’t cook, but if I plan to try 3 new recipes this week, maybe i’ll make at least one. I have already found a cookie recipe that I love, but I want to find another. I need variety. Plus – we really stocked up on whole wheat flour, oats, dark chocolate, and honey – so we’re set!
I’ve been following some pretty amazing instagrams. And yes it burns that they’re all 19 in “Uni” (University) and have so much time on their hands to look great and eat right. But I swallow my pride so that I can soon swallow the deliciousness that comes from their recipes.
And usually it’s super simple, like their version of ice cream aka “nice cream” or “nana ice cream” is really just blended frozen banana with some cacao nibs or some other fruit, nut, or cacao powder. My favorite is banana, cacao powder, and honey. yum. How simple is that?!
Once we find a recipe, like amazing 3 ingredient pizza dough that the boyfriend makes, we make it once a week. It gets so easy and common that you forget it’s completely unprocessed.
4. Cheat (a bit)
There are just some things that I can’t give up. Chocolate being one of them. If I tried to give it up, I would end up sitting alone in the dark, face covered in chocolate cake. mmm…cake.
In fact, I would but special equipment just to be able to make each ingredient in my kitchen. I don’t have the time or money for that. So the next best thing is to get as unprocessed as possible. I know chocolate, the way we know it, can never be sugar-free. So I try to get a certain amount of pure cacao – there’s a 73% from trader joe’s that I love. I have made it a rule to get over 70% cacao so that there’s little room for sugar and additives.
Though I have made my own chocolate with powder (ground cacao) honey & coconut oil sans special equipment (does a mini food processor count?), I still need the real stuff.
I cheat a bit on the weekends. My favorite Mexican joint one night, a wedding cake another night, and maybe a $5 organic donut from our local cafe. But, the very next day we’re back at it and finding a clean donut recipe to help our health…and our wallets.
5. Don’t give up
Ok there was free lunch in the conference room today. And though I stuck to eating my unprocessed bread, cheese & grapes – I still grabbed some salad. The dressing was delicious, but I assume there was sugar in it. (There’s sugar in most condiments)
That doesn’t mean I’m done for the day. “Welp, I messed up, let’s eat a bag of cheetos…” No. Not going to happen. I’m going to just do my best at every instance. And if you do end up eating a bag cheetos, enjoy it, really savor that bright orange, fake, processed “cheese” product. Because tomorrow, you won’t be eating it.
So head over to eatingrules.com and get signed up! It’s never too late.