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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October 15, 2014 10:30 am

I’ve realized that as long as I have eggs in the house I have no need to fix something processed in a quick fix. An omelet does the trick for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!! I’ve had a few little hiccups but it’s going very well!!!!

October 15, 2014 10:24 am

we usually eat clean, that said, we love the chicken and tomato soup recipe! I had roasted some chicken pieces so we could eat better during a busy week, so used some of that in the recipe. Delicious!

October 15, 2014 10:15 am

I’ve been amazed at how much better I feel when I don’t eat processed sugar. I can’t seem to avoid it or cut down on it. Only cutting it out completely has worked which is why I’m thankful for this challenge. I’ve also learned, though, not to challenge myself with too many things at once. I was already avoiding wheat products and other things high in FODMAPS (in hopes it would help with my IBS), as well as trying to do a blogging challenge about unprocessed eating. The overwhelm that came from all of this at once resulted in a total breakdown of all three goals in the past week as I’ve attended two conferences (worked at one of them) and gone camping with my family. I couldn’t bear to burden other people with all my restrictions, and I simply didn’t have the time and extra cash to prepare to… Read more »

Lisa Sullivan
October 15, 2014 10:08 am

I have really enjoyed Unprocessed October so far! This has definitely been a life changing experience for me and already just thinking about all the chemicals and additives in processed foods makes me feel sick. I plan to continue this beyond October, but probably with a few exceptions now and then. I have always been addicted to chocolate and used to eat it every day, since October started the closest thing I have had has been whole wheat dark chocolate brownies sweetened with honey or maple syrup and made with unsweetened cocoa powder and I’m really starting to enjoy them 🙂 Thanks for all the support and resources to help along the way! I also have already had a few days when I just don’t feel like cooking and so stocking the freezer with homemade unprocessed foods has been a huge help!

October 15, 2014 10:05 am

If you can’t do it all, then focus on one thing to which you will really pay attention. For instance, I have just started trying to do away with added sugar in food and I have used this challenge to keep focused on doing that and an eye on what types of sugar are added to my foods. With that said, it is amazing how much salt and sugar are added to foods (including organic and natural foods). So just because something is organic, does not mean it is necessarily healthy: Some organic foods contain more salt and/or sugar (which I try to avoid) than non organic/natural labeled foods. So a third thing I’ve learned is that many of the timesavers that we use in the kitchen (shredded cheese, canned goods) tend to be processed. . . As I generally end up working 6 — 7 days a week, this… Read more »

October 15, 2014 9:24 am

I think the best thing I’ve learned is to be thoughtful about how I nourish my body. Just seeing all the “ingredients” that shouldn’t be in our food is amazing. It’s made me appreciate cooking even more. My action for this weekend will be making the avocado chocolate breakfast bars. They sound wonderful. We also have a Non-GMO labeling initiative on our ballot in November and I encourage everyone who signed up for October Unprocessed to educate themselves on this subject.

October 15, 2014 9:24 am

It is crazy that we’re already halfway through the month! I set out on my fourth year of participating in October Unprocessed with the goal of doing much better than last year. I was lucky enough to able to go 90% unprocessed last year. This year though has proven a lot more difficult than last, and I won’t lie, it’s been a bit frustrating. I think part of the reason is that work is extremely busy right now. I’ve had to spend a lot of late nights at work, and consequently don’t have much energy to prepare my meals. The weekends have been busy as well. I’ve found myself relying on packaged items half the time, but I do make sure that each ingredient still passes the kitchen test. I know I should be doing more, so last night I cooked, and was proud of myself for doing so. There’s… Read more »

October 15, 2014 9:16 am

I’ve been eating clean for a while but what this month challenged me to do was stay away from the little things that I made exceptions for that were causing me to be uncomfortable (a treat of white bread or custard here and there). Sugar and white flour do a number on my stomach!
Staying true to eating unprocessed has given me a clarity in mind and body; I feel lighter and my mind is clearer.
I will continue eating this way after October as I don’t want to go back to the way I felt before.
Thanks for the invitation and motivation to “clean up” my little mess so that I can continue on the path of healthy eating!

October 15, 2014 9:14 am

I have been eating very little processed food for a couple of years now, so when I signed up for OU I was pretty sure nothing would be different. Amazing how a little awareness will suddenly shine lights on things. My main problem seems to be making sure I am prepared for times when scheduling gets away from me. I generally “cook big” on the weekends and eat through the week on all the stuff we made, but when the weekends get full, suddenly I find myself without good food to eat by about Wednesday! So easy to grab something at the campus cafeteria, but not so easy to find something whole and real. Well, awareness is the first step, isn’t it? Onward…

October 15, 2014 9:13 am

It’s been more difficult than expected. We already eat relatively healthy at home, we eat vegan at home but don’t necessarily keep to that if we go out. Eating out has definitely been the most difficult challenge, but we make exceptions or try our best to follow the challenge. I did have a horrible headache for a few days at the beginning but can’t with 100% certainty link it to any change in our diet. I have found we don’t eat as much only because it requires more planning than we are used to. What I have learned is how many things, like simple mustard, have “natural flavors” added. Even butter has it! I will change some of our habits because of Unprocessed October, and I am very glad for that! My actionable morsel is to make simple home made cookies to fulfill that sweet craving that fruit just doesn’t… Read more »