Wednesday, May 8, 2013

An unprocessed month: goal assessment

  1. Completely eliminate our demon foods: candy for me, pop and chips for hubby. SUCCESS!
  2. Cut down or eliminate snacking and desserts (especially the unhealthy ones). SUCCESS! Much less snacking, many fewer desserts, and all of them have been unprocessed: popcorn, homemade crackers, 100% whole wheat cookies.
  3. Bake all of our bread products (buns, loaves, crackers, pizza crusts, etc.). Of course! :-)
  4. Switch back to lean meats; attempt to buy some from the farmer's market. (Although, I know we'll probably still use mostly grocery store meats, even with their added ingredients.) --> Sort of. A lot more chicken, no sausage or bacon.
  5. Focus more on fruits and veggies; more salads. --> Pretty much.
  6. Make all cookies, crackers, etc, from scratch with real ingredients. SUCCESS!
  7. Use more whole grains (sub brown rice for white; whole wheat flour for white flour). Super big SUCCESS! Maybe the one I'm most proud of.....
  8. Grate cheeses ourselves to avoid stablizers added to shredded cheeses. YES!
  9. Cut back on eating out (not that we do that much anyway); be more conscious and careful when we eat out. YES! I think we ate out maybe two or three times. I stuck to salads; hubby cheated a bit. Events at the kids' school were the hardest, where the only options are pizza and (very processed) popcorn.
  10. Cut back on our reliance on meat; one vegetarian dinner per week? --> Sort of. Veggie burritos, cannelloni
  1. We'd initially talked about doing only two weeks, but after reflecting, we realized that it needs to be longer to actually have a chance of changing our patterns. So we're going to do a month. --> Four weeks, Sunday to Sunday
  2. We wanted to wait until after the Easter candy was out of the house, and I know you're not supposed to start changing things on a Monday, so we agreed to start on April 7. --> Yep!
  3. I am willing to cut back, but not totally eliminate sugars. --> Yep!
  4. I am going to attempt to make all of our sauces: ketchup, mustard, salad dressings, mayo, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't have time. If we have to purchase, I will read the labels carefully and select the most unprocessed I can find. --> Made mayo and dressings; used purchased "simple" ketchup
  5. I will attempt to make all pasta from scratch, but if necessary, will buy the most unprocessed I can. --> BIG SUCCESS! NO store-bought pasta!
  6. I did not realize the extent of added ingredients to our canned beans and tomatoes; I will try to start using more dried beans and frozen veggies. --> Yes, dried beans and frozen veggies; still used canned tomatoes
  7. I would love to go back to making my own yogurt, but I'm not sure I'll have the time. If I don't, my usual plain yogurt already fits the kitchen test. --> Didn't have time; just used plain yogurt
  8. For the most part, our cheeses, butters, milk, cream, peanut butter, maple syrup, and honey already pass the kitchen test. --> Yep, still true
  9. We will continue to use/cook with vital wheat gluten, wine, table salt, olive oil, safflower oil, corn starch, and some seasonings (sriacha, soy sauce, etc.). --> Yep, although we did start choosing our oils more carefully, and I did manage to stay away from corn starch and bottled seasonings; I did use regular chocolate chips in one recipe


  1. Abby - I've been meaning to comment on one of these posts. I have to say that I am incredibly impressed by your dedication and success with this! It's probably sad that it is such a huge challenge in this day and age. I think the biggest thing holding me back from doing something similar is the amount of time and planning and I don't even work full time like you do! It has given me a lot to think about, though and some ideas for things that we can change now. I really enjoyed these posts - thanks so much for sharing your experience!

  2. Wow, you did such a great job of this!! I am so impressed with all you managed in a short amount of time. I cannot believe that a month has passed already. Keep up the good is really a big plus to do it when the kids are young and don't fight you on it as much. Keep it has to be a great thing!

  3. Wow, I am so impressed! I can't imagine doing all this with how busy you are. Motivates me to try in the next month while the dining-hall is closed.