I heard Christmas music (as a joke) on my way to work this morning, so I am getting excited for the holidays! The extra daylight in the morning doesn't hurt my mood either (I LOVE more sunshine before work)!
Anyways, I spent this weekend away visiting a friend outside of D.C. and then my bro and sis-in-law at their vineyard. One of the great things that came out of this weekend (besides my butt becoming larger from a hike at Harper's Ferry) is that I left motivated to do what I had been contemplating (thanks in part to an awesome homemade pancake/bread tutorial from my brother)...stop eating processed food!
This does not limit my life at all, but instead expands my cooking and making of food, which I need to incorporate more into my daily life. So, for this month, I am challenging myself to eat only foods in their natural state. The rules of No-Processed November include (from an awesome blog you should read, 100 Days of Real Food):
What you CAN eat:
- Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
- Lots of fruits and vegetables
- Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese (I like coconut milk)
- 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains
- Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
- Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken
- Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!
- Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
- All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
What you CANNOT eat:
- No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
- No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
- Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
- No deep fried foods
Doesn't seem too bad, right? My only caveat is I am not really focusing on my drinks- I will still allow myself my daily crystal light with energy because it makes me happy and my pack-a-day gum habit because I don't swallow gum and still need to be a happy person!
To start off with this great event, I have made some awesome foods the past few days! Cooking has actually been fun:)
Friday night: Butternut Squash with Quinoa
Saturday night: Hobo's
Sunday snack: Banana Berry Smoothie
Sunday night: Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Alfredo
Monday breakfast: Overnight Oats - this is my new favorite breakfast!!!
My lunches are usually dinner leftovers or meat/veggies that I prep the night before. I also love eggs, nuts, cheese, almond/sunflower seed butter and dates as snacks or add-ons to meals. YUM.
Tonight I am becoming really ambitious and am making my own pizza- dough included! I got some tutorials this weekend at my brother's place and am excited to start making my own bread! Granola bars are on my list of things to make next week.
I bought a lot of general ingredients to prep for all this cooking- flour, baking soda, yeast, plain greek yogurt (Fage), coconut milk, vanilla, brown sugar, honey, and various spices. I try to be as organic as I can but sometimes my educator salary does not warrant the organic brand.
Obviously this is not a primal or low-carb plan, but my view on carbs is different now that I have a half marathon in two weeks AND I simply just like to eat them and think when you eliminate anything completely from your diet that it limits your ability to stick with it. Also, I believe that if I can only eat carbs that I make, I will naturally eat less and they won't have all the crap in them (i.e. store bought bread, cookies, cakes, ect). Balance!
Wish me luck! I know I won't be prefect, so I am hoping for an 80% success rate this month! Join me!