Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Take the Challenge...I Dare You!

October Unprocessed 2012

If you've been paying attention for any length of time you may remember that I did a fast back in June to kick start a new approach to eating and health.  As I shared previously it was a great success.  I have continued on to lose nearly 25 pounds, which I am thrilled about.  It's especially noteworthy for me, as I did not slip back into old habits despite tremendous stress over the past couple of months.  There were times when I did allow myself to sway from my plan of no wheat and no sugar.  Fortunately, the times were few and far between, and one time of eating a sandwich on wheat bread instead of lettuce did not result in me throwing the baby out with the bathwater and just diving back into consuming bread on a regular basis.  I was able to have a sandwich, be okay with it, and continue on my journey.  If you know me at all you know this is totally awesome since my normal M.O. is to completely disregard diet in times of extreme stress and pressure.  I guess I must be serious since it didn't happen this time.  I'm attributing most of my success to my constant pleas to God to help me stay on track and keep me focused on the end goal; a healthy lifestyle.

The other day I was tooling around online and happened upon this challenge.  Apparently the challenge began back in 2009 with an idea.  It has grown in success, participation, and coverage over the past couple years.  I read through the website, and thought to myself, "Why not?  I've already made such drastic changes in my diet.  How hard could it be?"  Well, I guess we'll find out.  I signed up for the challenge yesterday.  The commitment is to eat no processed foods for the entire month of October.  What is unprocessed food, you might ask.  Well, the simple definition from Eating Rules is this:

"Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person 
with reasonable skill in a home kitchen 
with readily available, whole-food ingredients"

If you'd like a more elaborate example of what exactly is considered 'readily available' or 'whole-food' then you can read about it in much greater detail on their website under Defining Unprocessed.  To me it seems quite simple.  If it doesn't come in a package with a label full of unrecognizable ingredients than odds are its suitable for a month of eating only unprocessed foods.  In my line of thinking a bag of frozen corn would work, as would a container of fresh peanut butter that only contains ground peanuts or a jar of pure honey.  If there are flavorings or additives on the ingredient list, then it's a no go.  So, I guess there will be some label reading going on if anything other than fresh produce is to be consumed.

So?  What do you think?  Are you up for the challenge?

Saturday, September 08, 2012

It's Just Weird

Those of you that have big families know that there are certain things that are just unique to being a large family.  Since our family has been steadily downsizing I have been noticing things changing, and it is just weird.

It's weird that...

...I am actually considering not renewing my Sam's Club and Costco memberships.

...I have to keep all produce in the refrigerator so it keeps fresh long enough for us to eat it.

...I have room to keep all of my produce, including fruit, in my refrigerator.

...there are often TWO spare seats in our vehicle when we travel somewhere.

...we can all go somewhere in ONE normal sized vehicle. is quiet in my home way more often than it is noisy. costs just as much to feed our family of three as it did when we were a family of nine.

...there are leftovers when I make an 8 x 8 pan of lasagna.

...I can feed my entire family with just one 8 x 8 pan of anything! for three is more challenging than cooking for nine.

...there are NO teenagers living in my house.

...we now have two extra phones and no land line.

...paper lunch sacks have officially disappeared from my cupboards.

...we create as many dirty dishes in a week as we used to in a day.

...I can go two or three days without doing dishes at all, and it's no big deal.

...not having a dishwasher doesn't even matter.

...a package of 100 paper plates lasts over a month.

...there are several extra chairs at the dinner table.

...I officially have more grandchildren than I do children.

...we have five bedrooms and one child.

...there is actually a shortage of bed linens.  What happened to all that bedding, anyway?

...sometimes it is cheaper to eat out than it is to eat in.

...I actually have to throw food in the freezer to prevent it from spoiling because we don't eat it quickly enough.

...the same amount of animals live in our home as people.

...toiletries last forever, and I do not have to purchase industrial sizes of anything!

...we have one son in the Navy, one at Wayne State, and one in diapers.

I am sure there are plenty more things to add to this list, but these are the things I've noticed so far.  More and more differences between then and now become apparent as time presses on.

I really is just weird.



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