October Unprocessed Update

October Unprocessed 2012

I’m sure you’re dying to know how we succeed with our October Unprocessed week.  Truth be told—much better than I expected. My plans were not perfect, and we did have to make some adjustments, but for the most part we were totally unprocessed for the week.  Some of the changes we had to make:

  • We didn’t use homemade mayonnaise in our tuna salad (I ran out of time to make it!) So the mayonnaise was processed.
  • Bretton made foccacia bread and didn’t know white flour was forbidden, so the foccacia was only half wheat.
  • We ate tons of eggs!  Cheap, easy, real food: eggs.  We ate them fried, scrambled with veggies and on sandwiches.  Not only were they real food, they were organic from local chickens, so I felt like they were a healthy substitute for a few of the meals requiring more effort on my list.

Some things we learned:

  • In this guest post from the October Unprocessed website, I really agreed with the author’s viewpoint that if October Unprocessed helps us change just one unhealthy food habit, it has been worth participating.  Last year, Shandy completely stopped using nondairy creamer in his coffee, and has since weaned himself from whipping cream (expensive) to milk in his daily coffee.  That was a great change!  This year, I looked for a similar change we could make.  I decided that I would only have sugar (honey during October Unprocessed) in one cup of tea each day, and drink any others without sugar.  Not a huge change, but one I’m trying to make.  Eventually, I would like to stop using sugar in tea altogether.
  • We used nearly five pounds of honey during the challenge, which seemed astronomical.  During the week following the challenge, I kept meticulous track of the sugar we used, measuring a combined five pounds of brown, white and powdered sugar.  Since I make about 95 percent of our food at home, I figured that if we only use five pounds of sugar each week as a family, we would come in at about half the average sugar consumption for Americans (which is about 140 pounds per year.) Although we were gone for 2 days during the weekend, we didn’t even eat our five pounds!  Yay for us!  This was much better than I had expected. I am hoping to further reduce our sugar usage, but since doing this measurement, now feel it is not as critical as I thought.
  • We still are unable to find a good whole wheat bread recipe.  I made whole wheat hamburger buns during the challenge which were okay but not razzle-dazzle, and Eden made whole wheat sourdough rolls, also okay but not our favorite.  One guest post on the October Unprocessed website suggested making an exception for adding vital wheat gluten to whole wheat bread, but since we do have a local source for white flour, I will probably continuing adding about 1/3 white flour to our bread recipes unless we find a whole wheat recipe we like.

This was a fun assignment this year, and I think maybe next year, we will make the commitment for the month . . . depending on our sugar addiction!
Have you tried to do October Unprocessed?  How is your month going? Please leave me a comment.

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