October may be over, but it was really just the beginning

Unprocessed whole wheat pizza
Matty and I made this unprocessed pizza a few days ago. Here’s the recipe.
(Photo from my Instagram feed – follow me!)


Congratulations, you made it through the fifth annual October Unprocessed!

And you’re in some pretty good company: At last count, 22,113 people took the pledge! Wow. 


It’s staggering the number of people who came together and volunteered their time, expertise, and talents to help make this project happen. First and foremost, I want to thank all the guest authors, who shared 40 guest posts throughout the month! Their contributions were delectable, creative, beautiful, helpful, and inspiring. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The food blogging and wellness community is one of the finest groups of people I’ve ever been blessed to know and be a part of, and for that I am truly grateful.

I’d like to thank Ben and the team at Mode Media for the gorgeous Foodie Unprocessed edition of their recipe app, Bob’s Red Mill for the coupons, Harper Collins for the 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook giveaway, KitchenAid for the stand mixer & food processor giveaway, Mighty Nest for the kitchen tools & school donation giveaway, and Kombucha Kamp for their starter kit giveaway. I’d also like to thank everyone who helped spread the word about the challenge, in particular the awesome team at Eating Well magazine and the enthusiastic Sunday Supper crew. Every blog post, article, tweet, and share made a huge difference in getting the word out. Awesome.

Finally, a big “thank you” to everyone who took the challenge and participated in any way – including those folks who weren’t ready to sign the pledge, and just read along all month. This challenge is really all about all of you, and I hope it’s been a great experience.


October Unprocessed, at its core, is an awareness exercise. Although many people report feeling better (and losing weight!), the goal isn’t really to change your health in just one month. It’s to learn about and focus on what you’re putting in your body, and how it affects your health and well-being and the world around you. I hope you’ve learned a lot this month, and will take that with you moving forward from today. Even though October 2014 has come and gone, October Unprocessed doesn’t really end today – I hope you’ll take your new-found unprocessed knowledge and build on it, growing and learning for the rest of your lives. (And of course I’ll still be blogging here–though perhaps not quite daily!–and sharing on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest, of course.)

Each year our numbers have grown — and it gives me hope for the future. It means the pendulum is starting to swing back from ultra-processed foods to real food, and it’s gaining momentum. By continuing on this path, we will shift our world to what we want it to be. So please keep seeking out nutritious, delicious, unprocessed food. The more we demand it, the more the market will provide it, helping ensure everyone will soon have access to unprocessed, wholesome, affordable food.

Now, I’d love to know how the challenge went for you. What was your experience like? Did you have any revelations? Overcome a specific hurdle? Or did you only “make it” for part of the way? And most importantly: What will you take with you, moving forward?  Leave a comment and let us all know!

Thanks again,

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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November 2, 2015 9:44 am

I, too, learned much about processed and unprocessed food. The main thing I learned is that I already eat 90% unprocessed foods! I was so excited when I realized that. The reason I eat this way? Celiac Disease; life-threatening allergies to shellfish, strawberries, and chocolate; and adherence to the migraine preventive diet from the Diamond Headache Clinic (Chicago). I am avoiding corn and corn products, I’m weaning myself off oatmeal, and I’m working on what I call “freedom from sugars.” Thanks for all the help, Andrew.

calli elkins
November 4, 2014 11:15 am

I learned a TON I had never given thought to before! I know I will carry all of this new knowledge and awareness with me from here on out, and I will definitely be back for October 2015! Things that surprised me were how many things I already eat that I could continue eating, I actually saved $25-50/week on groceries, how much I enjoyed the extra kitchen time, how sweet/salty everything tastes after a month of nothing processed and how crappy I felt after a weekend of binge-processedness at the end, and how much planning was the key and that I will definitely continue!

November 3, 2014 9:31 am

Normally, I do mostly unprocessed on a regular basis. This was the month for car troubles, so I fell back on the pre-cooked hamburger patties I had in the freezer, which were purchased with coupon bundling. But I learned some new things, got some new recipes and ideas, glad for the challenge. This year, I have converted from tea bags to organic loose leaf tea, which I brew every morning. And this weekend, I made up a pot of beans, part of which will be frozen for later, my own version of processed food, but the healthier version. Most of the time, I cook up more than I need for a meal, or for a couple of meals and lunches, then freeze the extra and have it on hand for times when I don’t have the time or energy to cook. That’s something I didn’t see in the posts for… Read more »