Saturday, October 01, 2011

No Unprocessed: Day 1

 I've decided to participate in a little food challenge called October Unprocessed, where I spend one month not eating anything processed.  Cool, I thought, as I signed up for the challenge.  Now it's day 1, and while I don't think it's going to be that difficult for me, I realized I didn't think all the way through what "unprocessed" would be.

The sponsoring blog, Eating Rules, uses the "kitchen test" rule to determine processed from unprocessed.  The idea would be if I could reasonably make it in my own home, it doesn't count. (So, my cans of tomatoes are cool, but boxed mac and cheese not so much.  Or really any boxed pasta or anything that has weird ingredients or ingredients I couldn't use at home).

So, for one, no white flour or white sugar.  These foodstuffs are typically processed within an inch of their lives, nowhere near their whole form.  Luckily, I can find bread and stuff that's made with whole wheat flour (which I can, theoretically, grind at home because we have an awesome food grinder), and if Lance bakes some bread, I'll probably eat that if it is mostly whole grain.  He told me that rolled oats are cool, though, because they are simply rolled--no craziness (and you theoretically can roll them at home).  I'll probably go for more of the steel cut oats, though.

The muffin I ate at my favorite bakery this morning in my pre-coffee haze was definitely a violation, though.  But now I'm aware.

Mostly, I want to see how hard it'll be to avoid processed stuff.  Most people who know how I eat know that I generally eat healthy with little junkfood, but I sometimes let it sneak in when I'm bombarded by stuff at school.  I want to see how much I let that stuff sneak into my diet--probably a little more than I realized, given the muffin I ate this morning--and how difficult it might be to prepare and cook food for myself while maintaining a crazy-busy schedule (luckily, Lance is a HUGE help with dinner cooking).

I also plan to blog through it and share recipes, so here's my first as a replacement for my morning granola bars: Banana Oatmeal Bars!

Banana Oatmeal Bars
(adapted slightly from

  • 2 large or 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 1-3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried dates
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • cinnamon
In a bowl, mash the banana.  Add the rest of the ingredients, stir.  Press the batter into into a lightly greased 9x9 pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Cut up and eat!

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