What’s Your Absolute Worst Regular Meal?

I know Andrew wants us to go wholly October Unprocessed, but I’m guessing that even for many regular readers that’s a loftier goal than we’re ready, willing, or able to meet. Well I’d like to take my guest posting opportunity and offer you an easily doable, no-excuses way out.

What I I want you to do is take a few minutes and consider what I like to call your “Foodscape” – That would be all of the meals that make the regular culinary rotation of your life (meals you have at least a few times a month) and what I want you to identify is your very “worst” meal, where “worst” refers to that meal which is the most diametrically opposed to your understanding of nutrition in the context of your health and life goals. For some of you that may mean crazily high in calories. For others it may be more about sodium, and for others still it may be about being basically pre-chewed, in that it’s as instant and processed as a food can be.

I’m guessing you know what I want you to do next.

I want you to commit to not only booting it from your October rotation, but committing to an unprocessed alternative. One that you’ve cooked from as many scratch, whole, unadulterated ingredients as you can manage. Some of you may manage more ingredients than others (for instance some of you may bake your own bread and make sauces from scratch whereas others will find that to be too daunting), but don’t worry about that – you know your own limits better than anyone.

What I’m trying to say here is that your October Unprocessed best doesn’t need to be perfect to represent a step forward and perhaps it’s a step you might take in the context of a longer journey. Perhaps you could drop that one “worst” meal from your rotation altogether, and who knows, maybe each month for the coming year you could repeat the exercise so that by the time next October Unprocessed rolls around you’ll actually feel confident that you can do the full monty.

Ultimately I’d hate to see a person not try because the chasm seemed too wide, and flying leaps do have a tendency to land people on their faces. So if October Unprocessed’s leap seems too far, why not commit to taking just one tiny unprocessed step a month? Can’t think of anything you’ve got to lose, and clearly, there’s plenty to gain.

Photo © 2011 BoyGoku, used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

About the Author

The Diet Fix by Yoni FreedhoffYoni Freedhoff, MD, is an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa, where he’s the founder and medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute—dedicated to non-surgical weight management since 2004. Dr. Freedhoff is the author of the groundbreaking book, The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work He sounds off daily on his award-winning blog, Weighty Matters, and is also easily reachable on Twitter and Facebook.

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 7, 2012 11:55 am

Progress not perfection means a lot to me now. I’m touched by your blog Ann – we’re all spread a long a wide path but all of us are learning and changing. Baby steps with diaper padded falls eventually lead to marathons. My grandson has just started walking without his fists raised in the air for balance. It’s been wonderful watching him grow in confidence with this ‘walking’ thing. After years of the same weight I’ve lost 50 lbs and kept it off. Because I love myself now enough to take care of myself. Eating right, chemical, GMO free is all part of that. Am grateful for the suggestions here from those who have been eating like this for a long time. Very helpful to a newbie like me.

Ann #1515
October 7, 2012 10:54 am

SUCCESS: Baby Step – NO PIZZA/NO DONUTS/ NO COOKIES Hello: I am so grateful to find a reasonable, baby steps, non shaming way to handle food. I have lost 40 pounds at least 10 times. Last year, I regained the weight I lost due to the divorce from someone I loved almost as much as life. I want to take baby steps. Baby steps lead me to success. MY WORSE MEAL IS ONE WHOLE CAESAR PIZZA WITH PEPPERONI AND I EAT IT WITHIN 20 MINUTES AND I WANT TO BUY ANOTHER. I have high blood pressure and cholesterol. I used to work out 2 hours per day. Eating pizza, flour, oil and pork will give me a stroke or kill me. I would rather just die than have a stroke. What am I willing to change? Yesterday, I went to the store where they have baked chicken and a salad… Read more »

Reply to  Ann #1515
September 29, 2013 5:15 pm

AWESOME!!! Way to take baby steps and give yourself a chance to make the small changes in a way that will make you proud and happy about them! Keep on going! I do so love those baked chickens 🙂

October 4, 2012 9:51 pm

Oh, I love this. For clients I call them their “default meals,” and we start with one upgrade per dish. So if it’s spaghetti with jarred sauce, we start mixing in part whole-grain pasta and add in shredded zucchini or a few handfuls of spinach to start.

October 4, 2012 7:12 am

This is great. It’s so important to take small, sustainable steps, more so than massive live overhauls that won’t last more than a month. I haven’t actually had a true risotto in a long time, but that would be my weakness. A pumpkin risotto. That sounds delicious and warming! It won’t be in my October that’s for sure!