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, 2014 9:11 pm

Im so glad I took this challenge and I got my husband and daughter to try it too. I am going to continue to limit the procesed food in our house and keep trying new recipes. My family liked all the recipies I tried so far and look forward to finding many more. Thanks again for giving me this opportunity to change the way I buy and cook food.

Sam I am
November 2, 2014 3:41 pm

I did good the first half of the month…fell off the wagon in the last couple weeks. But I don’t have any boxed foods in my pantry or TV dinners in my freezer so I’d say it’s still an overall success.

November 1, 2014 9:41 pm

First of all, I want to thank Andrew for starting this awesome project! What I loved the most about this is all the informations, ideas and recipes that were shared. This truly is what makes this experience special. Going forward I now have a wealth of knowledge and many new recipes to add to my menu planning making it markedly easier to stick to an unprocessed life. Thanks again!

November 1, 2014 8:49 pm

two years ago I took the challenge and have never looked back…. Even though it tends to be a bit more work, I love knowing what is in my food and knowing I am feeding my family quality. We are healthy, have lost some extra weight and my 3 yr old can count the number of sick days he’s had in his whole life (he can only count to 10)!!

November 1, 2014 8:02 pm

The October Unprocessed Challenge was a very interesting exercise in changing my diet. Previously, I had been eating way too much fast food and junk food due to the fact that I have 3 jobs and am always eating on the run. I wondered / worried if I would be able to adhere to the rules, but found I did pretty well in the long run. I wasn’t perfect all the time, but throughout the month, I obtained an increased awareness of food labels that I feel will stay with me forever. I didn’t eat any junk food, fast food or candy for a month and therefore lost 6 pounds, which I am thrilled about! “Eating Clean” and perfecting my diet is a journey and I feel I have taken the first step in the right direction. I really enjoyed the motivational articles and recipes throughout the month. Thank you… Read more »

Debbie Porter
November 1, 2014 6:04 pm

I did fairly well with the October challenge, The first week was a little tricky, but then figured it out. lIked all the cool recipes people sent. Thank You.

I will keep doing it and will sign up again next year. Thanks for doing it.

November 1, 2014 4:04 pm

October unprocessed was a big change for me. It gave me a direction and focus that all the fad diets did not do. Eating Clean makes sense, and I lost 18lbs this month!! I plan to make this my lifestyle. No more chemicals, preservatives or additives for me!! At last! Thank you Andrew for showing me how to be healthy again

Tracy Smith
November 1, 2014 3:19 pm

THANK YOU! Feeling leaner and cleaner eating unprocessed. The recipes and resources this month are fabulous. I am committed to eating well and unprocessed, as well as cooking more for myself, my family and friends. This has been a great month of fun.

November 1, 2014 11:51 am

Well, this is an experience I will repeat again next year because I learned so much. After a whole month of no candy I ate a snickers bar and even though I felt a craving it was so sickeningly sweet it tasted awful to me. That’s when I realized how much a had reset my palette and that was one of my main goals for the challenge. I’ve been reminded how much I love to cook and making pasta and old fashioned food like my grandparents made is my new mission for the future.

Diane Rocha
November 1, 2014 11:25 am

I did it! 31 days! Never cheated; never wavered. And I haven’t felt this good in a long, long time. As an unexpected bonus, I lost 9 pounds, which,of course has made me very happy. From here, I will continue with the 100 day challenge from Lisa Leake. I will probably make a planned exception, though, for Thanksgiving and my big birthday bash two alters later, but then I will get right to it. Oh, and surprise of all surprises, not only did I not eat even one piece of candy during this Halloween season, and I am a teacher, so it was all around me, I wasn’t even tempted! I am shocked by that and very happy too. Candy is crack for me. One piece, and it’s all over, so I don’t even go there. Thank you, Andrew, and here I come, Lisa!