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!

A photo of Andrew Wilder leaning into the frame and smiling, hovering over mixing bowls in the kitchen.

Welcome to Eating Rules!

Hi! My name is Andrew Wilder, and I think healthy eating doesn’t have to suck. With just three simple eating rules, we'll kickstart your journey into the delicious and vibrant world of unprocessed food.

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Michelle Cox
October 15, 2014 9:08 am

Eating unprocessed food has long been one of my goals, but always something I put off. This challenge has been a great motivator. The major insight I’ve had so far is that while I’ve always cooked a lot of food from scratch for meals, I relied on processed foods for snacks — snacks that sounded healthy, like granola bars, but don’t seem as healthy if you read the fine print. Eating healthy snacks has meant taking more time on the weekends to bake and prepare for the week, so quick snacks are available when needed. So, I’ve been making granola bars every weekend, based on this recipe: (I replace the chocolate chips with dried cranberries or more nuts).

Tracy Smith
October 15, 2014 8:57 am

After a season of hard training (marathon runner), eating unprocessed now has been so helpful to reduce the inflammation in my body. Each day, enjoy whole plant strong foods, I am getting rested and recovered. The recipes are fabulous, as well as the thoughtful posts. Food is medicine! I am loving, and living, the challenge! Thank you for the reboot in healthy eating.

October 15, 2014 8:56 am

I honestly can’t believe how easy this is. There have been just a few slip-ups so far this month (a mother-daughter tea that I had previously committed to and thoroughly enjoyed comes to mind), but I can truly see myself signing up for Unprocessed Forever. I have gotten a lot of good info from 100 Days of Real Food (thanks to your referral), including info about milling my own flour. (I’m strongly considering that.) How about TWO actionable morsels? 1. My family was all over this recipe that you shared: 2. It is possible to make your own pasta with good flour and have it taste better than anything storebought. This half-month has already been life changing for me, Andrew. I owe you (and Lisa L.) a HUGE thank you!

October 15, 2014 8:51 am

The one thing that I learned quickly the first week of the challenge was how addicted I was to processed sugar. Even though I’m not a big dessert person I didn’t realize how much processed sugar was hidden in the foods I was eating. My biggest addiction which Unprocessed October has finally allowed me to break was artificially flavored coffee creamer. I think I kept International delight in business over the years, but now I add a little turbinado sugar and some unsweetened almond milk and I’m content. That’s my biggest accomplishment so far this month and one I’m planning on sticking with.

October 15, 2014 8:50 am

I love to cook so I’m enjoying learning how to make new homemade things. After counting 27 ingredients (are you kidding me???!!!) on a package of store bought whole wheat tortillas I decided to make my own and they are delicious. Made some great sweet potato quesadillas :). My next conquest is going to be homemade whole wheat pasta.

October 15, 2014 8:34 am

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!

Kayla Rhoads
October 15, 2014 8:25 am

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

Mark Parsons
October 15, 2014 8:21 am

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
October 15, 2014 8:20 am

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!

Theresa D
October 15, 2014 8:07 am

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 »