The past seven days of No Processed Foods July has been quite an enjoyable journey. Instead of messing around with such silly diets as my Super Chia Pet Seed, Super Water Challenge, or the Master Cleanse, the no processed food challenge is much more of a lifestyle change that works in the long run.
Once I moved all the boxes, bags, and cans of food to the garage pantry, the family went to Trader Joe’s for all the snacks, side dishes, breakfast items, and wine that we needed for the month. Breads and meats were purchased at Lowes Foods & a week’s worth of fruits and vegetables were found at the Gastonia Farmer’s Market (which were cheaper and fresher than at the grocery store). Seasonings were picked right from the pizza garden out back. Any extra expenses on these items were saved when we made a pact to pack our lunches and limit dinners out to once per week.
The results: I’ve lost 2.5 pounds, made some killer shrimp veggie whole wheat pasta, helped the local agriculture economy, watched the documentary Forks Over Knives, kept the 4th of July cookout consumption under control, and only cheated one time (on delicious Simonetti’s meatball pizza).
What you CAN eat:
- Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
- Lots of fruits and vegetables(we recommend that you shop for these at your local farmers’ market)
- Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
- 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains (find a local bakery for approved sandwich bread and check the Understanding Grains post for more info)
- Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
- Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken (preferably in moderation)
- Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!
- Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
- All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
- Also check out the Recipes & Resources page for a more detailed list of meal options including links to recipes
What you CANNOT eat:
- No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
- No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
- Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
- No deep fried foods
- No “fast foods”