30 Days of Unprocessed Food- Recap


For those of you who may not have been following us closely through this challenge, let me fill you in. My husband, myself, and our 3 year old daughter decided to give up ALL processed foods for these past 30 days. Our decision to do this was not an easy one. I knew that in doing so, we would face obstacles along the way, and some days would be harder than others. Our biggest motivation in choosing to do the 30 days, was that we wanted to show through our meal plans that eating unprocessed food is not boring or tasteless. I will be posting the meal plans onto the blog for those of you who may want to use them as a guideline for your own healthy eating.

Today marks day 31! My husband Joked that he wanted to wake up early and run to the nearest fast food joint and order everything on the menu. I think he was kidding, but I'm not quite sure....  We actually ate very healthy today with the exception of a last minute trip to get some fro yo. James has been craving frozen yogurt, so we decided it was time to indulge. Frozen yogurt is such a great treat for Sophia because I can control how large her serving is, and I can load it up with fruit.  Unfortunately, I chose strawberry flavor for her, not even thinking that it is probably loaded with artificial dyes.  I went ahead and looked up the ingredients list because I am nerdy like that.
 Here it is:Non-Fat Milk, Premium Pure Cane Sugar, Dextrose, Maltodextrin, Dairy Blend (Whey, Nonfat dry milk, and Lactose). Yogurt Powder (Milk solids-Nonfat, Lactic, and Cultures), Citric Acid, Natural Strawberry Flavor, Guar Gum, FD&C Red #40. Strawberry Concentrate, Malic Acid, Potassium Sorbate. Contains Milk.
It's a good thing her serving was very small! Don't allow yourself to be fooled into thinking frozen yogurt is healthy:) Just like any other dessert, it is an occasional treat, and really no better than any ice cream shoppe.

James' and my serving was approx 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt.  Sophia's was close to 1/4 cup.
I decided that the best way for me to recap these 30 days, was to simply make a pros and cons list. Unfortunately, there are just as many cons as there were pros.


Pros:
  • Being forced to make meal plans and grocery lists each week has cut a significant amount of money off of our grocery costs because we were diligent to only buy what was on the list.
  • Great conversation starter with friends and family as well as opportunity to teach people a little something.
  • Overall feeling of healthiness. I think this was mostly in my head. I don't necessarily feel like I have more energy, I just "feel" really healthy and I have a satisfaction in knowing that I am truly nourishing my body. 
  • Getting my readers excited about eating healthy foods. I am not sure if I have been successful in this regard, but it has been so rewarding when people ask questions and want to be educated. I love to educate people about why we eat the way we do. The more questions the better.
 Cons:
  • Trying to go out on the weekends was near impossible. Family BBQs and outings with friends felt awkward. I felt like I was constantly saying, "no thank you" when someone offered me food, as well as saying, "Oh Sophia can't have that. Its processed". This was by far the hardest part for me. I felt like the bad guy. I felt like there was a barrier between us and everyone close to us.
  • A select few people who we encountered were not only unsupportive, but actually thought that we were being ridiculous and "mean" for depriving Sophia of Standard American Food. This was disappointing to me. I expected everyone to give us a high five and be excited about the challenge. Knowing that a few people thought we were crazy was very upsetting to me. 
  • Dealing with food cravings. It wasn't until the middle of the third week that I really began to crave processed food. The only thing that I craved this entire challenge, was refined grains. It is so hard to eat entirely whole grain for 30 days and it is nearly impossible to eat at a restaurant. Even restaurants that claim to have whole grain bread, pasta, pita, is not truly 100% whole grain. I am definitely looking forward to indulging in the occasional refined bread and pasta.  
  How Will We Eat From Here on out?
It was never my intention to give up processed foods 100% 7 days a week. The harsh reality is that living in America makes this nearly impossible. My goal is to eat entirely unprocessed, local, organic foods at home so that when we do find ourselves going out to eat with family, or celebrating a birthday party, we can indulge a little bit without feeling any guilt. If we eat this way six days a week, and then we are invited to a birthday party on Sunday, I see no harm in having a slice of pizza and a sliver of birthday cake. It is one of my greatest goals to raise my children to understand the importance of nourishing foods. I want my daughter to understand why we eat the way we do as well as to know that there are certain foods that should be saved for special occasions. I never want her to feel deprived or different from her peers and I most certainly do not want her to have any disordered eating patterns because we limit her choices too much. There is a fine balance between being too lenient with what your family eats, as well as being too strict. I try to strike a good balance. I think that by allowing her "fun foods" when the occasion calls for it, she will learn the importance of balance and moderation.

Thank you to those of you who have been following us on this journey. In the future, I hope to have more challenges similar to this. If any of you should choose to embark on your own whole foods challenge, please let us know how it goes! Stay tuned for my husband's recap of these past 30 days!





Kellie  – (June 7, 2012 at 10:42 AM)  

Thanks for sharing your pros and cons! It's amazing how some people react to healthy eating sometimes! The habits you are instilling in your daughter are priceless! Jason and I have really worked on cutting out the breads, pastas, and rice (a variation of Paleo - we still eat dairy, although limited). What I have noticed is that when we have our cheat days, I get full faster. So when I am indulging in pizza or a sandwich, I do not eat as much as I used to. My body has become more accustomed to meat, veggies and fruit and does not feel as satisfied. But, who am I kidding...I could never turn down pizza! ;) I did find a great recipe for pizza crust made with cauliflower, almonds and eggs...it was pretty yummy!

Delia  – (June 8, 2012 at 9:32 AM)  

Kellie, I completely agree with you about getting fuller faster when you are eating grains. I don't necessarily think Paleo is for everyone, but I do think as a nation we are eating way too many grains, especially wheat. I have tried the cauliflower pizza crust and it is delicious! Probably very very high in fat because there is cheese in the crust, but it is good nonetheless!

Kellie  – (June 10, 2012 at 8:36 PM)  

I found a cauliflower pizza crust recipe that did not have cheese! It's 2 cups cauliflower, 1/2 cup of almond meal and two eggs...it was really tasty and had more of a pizza crust consistency. It was pretty yummy! I think I googled cauliflower pizza crust paleo"

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