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Going a Year Without Processed Food


Food writer Megan Kimble not only imagined it, she actually did it! Appearing in the Huffington Post the article brought up a million questions with many of the answers in her book, “Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food.”

How She Did It

Megan defined ‘unprocessed’ as anything she could make or grow at home. She said the year took a ton of learning. She bumped into the social implications right away when she went out to eat with friends or work groups. As the year went on she learned to read every label, and cook big batches of unprocessed foods such as pots of beans.

She was appalled by the chemicals, sugars, shelf extenders and non-food additives in the cookies, soda and chips that she used to love. She also found she could eat richer whole foods without worrying about calories. When it was over she sipped a diet soda and found it bitter, unappealing and chemically. Along the way she completely lost her taste for all the processed chips and cookies.

Consider Trying It

As I read her impressions I compared it to the reactions I have had as I have weeded more and more processed foods out of my diet.

Dodging catsup, soda, commercial pastries, donuts, cookies and chips becomes more and more appealing when you also load up with fresh juicy pears, raspberries, ripe tomatoes, green onions and leafy lettuces. Then add peanuts, almonds and walnuts, buttered carrots, brussels sprouts and yams. Pour some fresh pineapple juice or sparkling water in place of soda or energy drinks. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. There are a million unprocessed options out there and once you start trying them, the whole processed field quickly loses a lot of its appeal.

Just steer away from the processed and frozen food aisles, watch what you eat when you dine out, and keep loading up on fresh whole fruits, vegetables and lean meats, fish and dairy.

To get started look for some new recipes on Epicurious and make a list of all of the fruits and vegetables you enjoy. Then plan a few special meals with black bean soups, shrimp tacos or barbecued salmon and corn on the cob. Follow up with fresh blueberry tarts or slices of watermelon.

I like to watch other people shop in the farmer’s market too. They always make choices that look great and tempt me to try them too.

Start wherever you are comfortable and let your tastes lead the way. For me the tastes just kept getting better.


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Yvonne Brettnich

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