How’s it going?

October Unprocessed Check-in

I like carrots.

October is flying by – I can hardly believe we’re already halfway through the month!

Incredibly, more than 19,600 people have joined in for October Unprocessed so far! If you found out about the challenge after October 1st, it’s not too late. (It’s never too late!) Please sign the pledge, and join us for the rest of the month (or for 30 days starting today).

I’d like to give a huge thanks to all the guest authors so far, and to the ones still to come. Please be sure to visit their websites, show your appreciation in the comments, and friend them on Facebook and Twitter. If you’ve missed any of the guest posts, I’ve set up an index page of all them so far, and it will automatically update as new posts are published.

Okay, so now it’s time for a check-in. How has your experience been so far?  Easy?  Hard?  What’s the most exciting thing you’ve learned or discovered?

In the spirit of supporting each other, I’m hoping you will share one “actionable” morsel that you’ve learned so far this month. Leave a comment on this post and share some of your new-found unprocessed wisdom with everyone. Or maybe it’s simply a link to a recipe that you want to share. Or something else that folks may find useful or helpful. (Or, if you’re just downright frustrated, let us know that, too — and maybe we can help.)

Okay, ready?  Go!


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58 Comments on "How’s it going?"

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Saxy Pants

I feel amazing! Went a solid 11 days struggling to get back on track but I know how much better I feel when I eat right… Not to mention I lost 4 lbs in 11 days all in the tummy area which is my hardest spot. Thank you all for your support and posts! I’ve even spread the unprocessed love to my husbands and child’s lunch boxes, it’s a whole new way of thinking about food and I love it!! Thank you thank you!!


My favorite discovery during this is how easy it is to make tortillas from scratch, and how much better tasting they are.

it’s been really hard to curb my sweet tooth, but now that i’ve made it through the worst of the sugar withdrawals, i’m finding that my cravings are mainly mental-based.

in a moment of weakness, i tried to eat half a bagel, but i just didn’t want it. i never thought in a million years that could happen.

Great! I started with a slow start in late September by eating up processed food in my cabinets, learning to bake my own bread, reading labels, etc. so that I was ready to go on October 1st. I, too,have lost weight (4.5 lbs.) and am eating all kinds of yummy food – even sweets made with honey or maple syrup. Feeling bloated was constant for me before going unprocessed. I am thinking of taking a day or two and just going with fruits, veggies and protein (chicken or turkey) – no bread or grains. This is something I would have never tried in the past but now I know that I can get a day or two in with just pure, unprocessed food. My 14 year old son keeps saying, “we have so much good food in the house now”!! He isn’t talking about all his processed snacks that he… Read more »
Natalie Wiser-Orozco
Oh man, I’m finding that I’m eating more salads these days with home-made dressings, and feel absolutely wonderful! I have slipped up a couple times, but never lose the drive to pick myself back up again. One thing that I’m really discovering is just how awesome home-made almond milk is. (Speaking of – I’ve got to pick up some more almonds on the way home from work tonight!) I don’t drink too much of it, but I always need it for my coffee in the morning. One thing I discovered last year, is that the 1 cup almonds to 4 cup water ratio is too thin for me. What makes my almond milk perfect for coffee creamer is one cup almonds to 2 3/4 cup water, and throw in about 5 dates at blending time. It produces the perfect creaminess and sweetness for coffee creamer!!
Kristen Paige
I shared my story on the OU Facebook group too, but I will reiterate how much of a change I’ve felt with what I’m attributing to the lack of added sugars. I was (am still, perhaps) a sugar addict, and I just never thought it would be realistic for me to say I could quit added sugar. Well, I have this month, and I feel great!! Aside from a few deliberate exceptions, I have cut out ALL refined sugar completely. It’s really true that the craving subside dramatically after 1-2 days. My actionable advice would be to garner all your willpower to get you through at least 2 days without added/refined sugar, because I promise you the cravings change. For once I feel in control when I’m around sweets. Now I do have about a serving (a tablespoon or maybe two) of raw honey each day, so I’m not completely… Read more »

This is my third year signing up for the challenge. After trying to complete this challenge and failing miserably (mostly due to those crazy soccer tournaments!)…I have reevaluated the challenge and my approach. What I finally discovered this year, in order to eat unprocessed, I have to “unprocess” my whole life, slow down, think about what matters, and stop stressing about every moment. I am dropping to part time work in a much less stressful environment at the end of this month, and am hoping to extend my personal October unprocessed into November and beyond.
Thank you, it was this month and looking at the challenge that finally made me realize what I need as a whole to be healthy…

Kim Gordon

Initially it was a struggle. For the past two weeks, I’ve been cooking my meals and avoiding fast food and junk food. I’ve tried a few new things and plan on trying more. This challenge has helped me to not only expand my eating choices but helped me lose some weight too. I plan to continue the unprocessed for a while.


I’ve discovered that going unprocessed has really sunk into my brain. Last night, I threw together, all on my own, a completely unprocessed and vegan chili, without even thinking about it! My boyfriend pre-soaked the dry beans, I made it with fresh tomatoes and produce, and some tasty seasonings. It was easy and delicious and second-nature.

Learning what’s in our food, and what isn’t, really has become commonplace to me now. Just takes practice!


This is my third year. I’m doing well and am thrilled to have a friend who has joined the challenge this year. I am frustrated about. eating out though. There seems to be no way to really know what’s going on with your food. My family, friends and co-workers have all been very supportive, but I can’t help feeling I’m dampening some mutual enjoyment. I also have a baby shower to attend this weekend and am not sure the best way to handle it and if I should mention it to the hostesses in advance. Loving getting some new recipes and spending time in the kitchen. Thank you Andrew!

Theresa D
Andrew, I’d posted over the weekend, but I wanted to reiterate how glad I am to have accepted the challenge. I have to admit the first few days were rough; I missed my lunch time Coke Zero, my almond M&m’s, regular pretzels, etc. once I got over the hump (Larabars have been a godsend!) and realized how good I felt, it’s been easier and more intuitive. Even though 75% of my diet has been clean, I wanted and needed to find a way to get to that close to 100% “unprocessed” as possible. That meant reading labels and not focusing just on the nutritional facts, but really reading what is “in” that product – I was pretty shocked. Eating whole foods, in their most natural state just feels good and I am learning that as I go along. I am re-discovering my kitchen (cleaning many more dishes) and have made… Read more »
Kayla Rhoads

Going great! I am about 95%-98% unprocessed:) (A couple things like siracha sauce that isnt quite clean, a little bit of white pasta that was still in my house that I will finish off and then buy better afterwards because of money) I am happy to say that I found I like my own homemade creamer or just halfandhalf and maple syrup just as much or more than the International delight creamers I was using every day! That was my biggest hangup in eating unprocessed!

Mark Parsons

In this, my fourth challenge, I am finding it less arduous and more ‘normal’ to eliminate and avoid processed foods. I’ve actually eliminated a great deal of any foods that have additives from my diet as a result of Andrew’s inspiration. One thing I have gained is my awareness of how many people around me consume copious amounts of ‘bad’ food daily with little or no thought to that consumption.
It is my hope that as I continue to grow as a more thoughtful consumer that I will encourage more around me to be aware and thoughtful with their choices.

Kayla Rhoads

I have also found that I have so much more energy now which was a huge bonus:)


I was kind of twitchy without white sugar for the first week or so, and then something miraculous happened. Fruit began to taste amazing! I believe that my body had become desensitized to sweetness because of the sugar in my diet. It feels great to appreciate naturally sweet food again!