Yay! I’m half way through my October Unprocessed 2011 challenge! There have been a couple of flubs along the way, but I’m not worrying too much. Life is too short to beat yourself up with too much nitpicking.
In general, I think I am doing a great job with the challenge.
And a bonus! I weighed myself this AM, and I was shocked to find that I’m down to 135.6 pounds! I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not; I know I haven’t really been working out, so I hope it’s not just muscle loss. Or could it be from the challenge? I don’t think I was eating THAT poorly before, but maybe these past couple of weeks were “different” enough to cause a change.
What’s Been Happening?
- I have been back to baking bread completely with whole grains. No white flour at all, using whole wheat, rye, and corn flours. Bread has been delicious, and it’s renewed my love for wholesome bread again. I admit I was getting sloppy, adding up to half white flour to my bread dough.
- I’ve actually stopped eating dark chocolate bars. Not intensionally, it just kind of happened that way. I have a bar of Equal Exchange organic 80% chocolate in my cupboard, waiting for me if I feel the urge to have a bite, but I haven’t really felt the need yet. Equal Exchange is soy free, but does contain “organic raw cane sugar” which might or might not be an acceptable “unprocessed” ingredient according to some participants, but I decided ahead of time that I would make an exception for chocolate if necessary. PS I did make the “powerballs” and they are good, but they aren’t really the same.
- I’m still occasionally eating white pasta and white rice. I never considered those to be “evil” unprocessed choices. They aren’t something I eat every day, just maybe once a week or so.
- I renewed my love for yummy barley. It’s so inexpensive at the Whole Foods bulk isle and you only have to buy what you’ll need. I bought a small amount of pink lentils, and I’ll be trying millet soon too. The bulk isle is a great way to try out some grains without the commitment of a full bag, and in most cases, the per lb price is LESS than the pre-bagged version anyway!
- This challenge has made me soo much more aware of food and ingredients. While at Whole Foods, I usually spend time noshing on samples at the end of the isles, but now, I’m more aware. No more stopping for their “organic” cookies and chips. It actually feels good to pass them and not partake.
We went out to dinner last Saturday night, to the Lobster Tail, a local seafood restaurant. I had purchased a Groupon months ago, and it was set to expire. I ordered a grilled combo dinner of shrimp, scallops and haddock, and was so happy that all the seafood was US-caught! It was absolutely delicious! They also served a side salad (with balsamic dressing), fresh green beans and a wonderful rice, which seemed to be a spanish risotto. There was such flavor, I was thrilled!
And we topped it all off with dessert to go. There was so many devilish choices, but I went with the cheesecake.
It was a deliciously decadent meal and I don’t think I strayed too too far from the unprocessed rules, but if I did, it was worth it! haha!
PS. I did agree ahead of time that I would give myself one day a week to go out to eat, as long the restaurant was fairly unprocessed. Okay, the cheesecake probably strayed a bit too far, but again, I’m not going to nitpick!
Take out dinner last night at the local Asian restaurant: steamed chicken & veggies with Japanese vegetable fried rice. That was probably more in line with “unprocessed” than the cheesecake! LOL
One More Stray
And one last “stray” I want to confess. The other night, we had salads, and I did use Cindy’s dressing (with gums,etc). No, it’s not the worse thing I could have done, but probably not following the unprocessed rules.
The bottle has been open in the fridge before I knew I’d be doing the challenge. I could make the excuse saying that I didn’t want to waste it, but truth is, I just didn’t feel like balsamic vinegar on my salad that night. I wanted a buttermilk creamy dressing. I really need to learn how to make this myself someday!
I can’t promise that I’ll stay away from Cindy’s Dressings again this month. We’ll see.
Sixteen More Days Left
So, 16 more days left! I don’t foresee any problems, and I hope it’ll be as successful as the previous 15 days!
I’ve really REALLY enjoyed reading the daily guest posts over at Eating Rules. I’ve learned lots of wonderful information.
- What are gums?
- The Scoop on White Flour – this is probably my favorite post so far, written by Cassidy Stockton from Bob’s Red Mill. I had no idea that some whole wheat flours are not ground from a whole grain. Some sneaky flour manufacturers “separate all three parts of the wheat grain and re-combine them to produce whole wheat flour.” That doesn’t sound as healthy as grinding an actual whole grain. I have been meaning to contact King Arthur to find out what their grinding process is.
- Zombies & Advertising – a subject very close to my heart. It drives me crazy that Food companies are allowed to vastly stretch the truth in their advertising content and no one is stopping them! Long ago, I stopped purchasing most food products that are heavily advertised in media, and Big Food Corporations are not concerned with our health and well being, but only care about profits!
I can’t wait to read what’s coming in the next 16 days!