Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Practicing unprocessed

Even though our official start date isn't until this weekend, I have started making a few changes in the past week or so. Separate from our other motivations, I have felt pretty crappy lately, and I know that one of the main things to blame is my eating habits. Way too much candy, too much snacking, too many "Oh, what the heck; what's one more?"s.

To be truly unprocessed, you need to eliminate sugars, both white and brown. I looooooove sugar. My favorite breakfast is oatmeal ~ either with white sugar, banana, almonds, and plain yogurt, or with brown sugar, apples, raisins, and milk. I was nervous about losing my sugar, but a few days ago, I took a deep breath and tried maple syrup, one of the unprocessed sugars (pure maple syrup, of course). And guess what? I loved it!

I've also been checking our dinners each night, to see how they'd do against unprocessed expectations. (In part just to reassure myself that this is possible and won't be that challenging.)

Here, we have this slow cooker honey chicken via Tracey's site (processed ingredients: sriracha, corn starch, canned tomato paste) over brown rice, roasted asparagus with this recipe from Cooking Light, and grapes. I remember trying brown rice some time years ago, and we thought it was really gross, so I was nervous about trying it again. But I know how much healthier it is and that we need to give up white rice, so I tried it in this recipe where I knew it would be buried under flavorful chicken. And it was delicious! I'm not sure what I did wrong last time, but no one could tell the difference; the little girl who loves white rice more than just about anything gobbled up her plateful just as quickly as usual. What a relief!

Last night, we had homemade chicken noodle soup (ingredients: safflower oil, chicken breasts and thighs, onions, celery, carrots, peas, corn, thyme, salt, and pepper; processed ingredient: egg noodles), homemade breadsticks (an ATK roll recipe with white whole wheat flour), grapes, pear, homemade applesauce (ingredients: apples, water, cinnamon; processed ingredient: sprinkling of white sugar), and cheddar cheese.

All of the processed ingredients from these meals are things we probably won't be giving up anyway, although I'll probably try to make my own noodles and I may try subbing in honey for the sugar in the applesauce. I've got a notebook with a lot of notes, and I've started recording meal and snack ideas. Both of these dinners will go on the list.


  1. Oh, this is fun! I am learning a lot from this...thanks so much for sharing the journey. You are indeed an educator!! :-)

  2. Terrific start. Your trial meals sound delicious! Brown rice is so good... I have a sugar problem, too. For the last four months, I've moved away from processed sugar (white and brown) nearly completely - I'm using honey, maple syrup, and rice syrup. You're off to such a great start. This is going to be so yummy....

  3. Oh, I meant to ask... is there an unprocessed substitute for corn starch? Are all the starches (rice, potato, etc.) processed? I guess I need to do some reading...