Join the Unprocessed Food Movement in October

Within recent years, a new tradition is being seen during the month of October. Thousands of people across the country have decided to take what’s called the Unprocessed Challenge. It’s where you don’t eat processed foods for the entire month. Could you do it?

A man named Andrew Wilder started the challenge. In 2009 he decided it was time to change his lifestyle by eating better and becoming more active. It wasn’t long before he began losing the 20 pounds he had recently put on. It was at this time when he found his new passion and left his career as a lighting designer to start a blog called “Eating Rules” in hopes of helping others travel the health and fitness journey (he now earns a check as an Internet Consultant).

In 2010, 415 people took the pledge to join Wilder and not eat processed foods for an entire month. In 2011 that number grew to more than 3,000 people. As of today, that number’s already up to 5,568 for this year, and it’s not too late to sign up.

You might be wondering what the point of all this is. The deal is, processed foods contain things like added sugars, fats and salts, preservatives, flavorings, and artificial colors. Some of the benefits of getting rid of these things are feeling better physically, reducing cravings for salty snacks, being able to literally taste the foods better that you do eat, and, of course, losing weight and becoming healthier.

By agreeing to the challenge you eliminate all processed foods through October 31. Are you wondering how to pull it off? For starters, a lot of time and preparation will go in to a challenge like this. Reading all the labels to find out what’s processed and what’s not is what seems to be the most time consuming. Reading the ingredients will be key to success.

Wilder’s definition of unprocessed foods is, “Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skills in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients.” Any questions participants have can be answered on Wilder’s blog at EatingRules.com, which is also where anyone can sign up for the challenge.

Another great way to get the juicy details is to follow the challenge on Twitter at #Unprocessed. Those who have taken the plunge are tweeting things like unprocessed approved recipes, photos of their home-cooked meals, advice articles on how to successfully get through the month, and tweets of encouragement to help fellow challengers.

“It’s not easy, but it is simple,” Wilder has said.

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By Danielle Lagow for DietsInReview.com

53 comments

Rosa mc
Lydia Mcintyre4 years ago

Thanks. Great info.
I stay away from processed foods, white flour products, meat,and dairy and I feel so healthy.
I have a harder time keeping my family away from junk and processed foods.

jeffrey korn
jeffrey Korn4 years ago

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1990. In 2012, I am 62 and in June of 2012 I decided to change my diet to that f no Gluten. Although my disease is not cured, I do walk and talk better. My outlook is better for many reasons (I lost 30 lbs is 3 months), I have made more friends, and I urge all people to eat more cheaply and Vote for their benefits (Liberal-Democrats). The Republican mantra is for the governments to do nothing and for everyone to do for themselves with no governmental intervention. (this works for the healthy 20something age or very wealthy - but for everyone else HELP)

jeffrey korn
jeffrey Korn4 years ago

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1990. In 2012, I am 62 and in June of 2012 I decided to change my diet to that f no Gluten. Although my disease is not cured, I do walk and talk better. My outlook is better for many reasons (I lost 30 lbs is 3 months), I have made more friends, and I urge all people to eat more cheaply and Vote for their benefits (Liberal-Democrats). The Republican mantra is for the governments to do nothing and for everyone to do for themselves with no governmental intervention. (this works for the healthy 20something age or very wealthy - but for everyone else HELP)

jeffrey korn
jeffrey Korn4 years ago

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1990. In 2012, I am 62 and in June of 2012 I decided to change my diet to that f no Gluten. Although my disease is not cured, I do walk and talk better. My outlook is better for many reasons (I lost 30 lbs is 3 months), I have made more friends, and I urge all people to eat more cheaply and Vote for their benefits (Liberal-Democrats). The Republican mantra is for the governments to do nothing and for everyone to do for themselves with no governmental intervention. (this works for the healthy 20something age or very wealthy - but for everyone else HELP)

Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley4 years ago

I eat veggies and lots of rice, potatoes, etc--all fresh, slightly steamed, or, in the case of potatoes, baked.
I absolutely HATE to cook!
My downfall is, and will probably always be, sweets. The cake in the picture sure looks alot tastier than that apple--and I gave up eating chocolate (which I LOVED) months ago--but I'd take the cake without the chocolate!!

Mary S.
Mary S.4 years ago

The other advantage is that you can save a lot of money. Many home-made foods are actually cheaper than their store/factory processed counterparts. I did a lot of whole foods and from scratch when I was unemployed last winter and discovered the bag of stoneground flour could make a lot of food that most of us notmally buy. Pierogies, pasta, bread and pancakes for starters. Add a little meat/dairy and some veggies you can have a cheap healthy meal.

chris b.
chris b.4 years ago

i think it's a good idea. Get kids off the processed food for a while and cut out unnecessary salt and sugar. Nothing wrong with that. Hopefully they can last a month. No one has time to prepare fresh all the time, especially with kids. Good Luck!!

John B.
John B.4 years ago

Thanks Brandi for the challenge, will give it a try.

Jeanne Allie
Jeanne Allie4 years ago

Well, we don't eat processed foods at all, so guess I won't sign up, but am glad that people who usually don't eat this way will try for a little while. I'm wondering about how many of them find their eating habits changed for good, after eating so much healthier and deliciously for a short time. Once they have the needed skills, they won't even find eating homemade/raw/'slow' food more difficult than pre-prepared/fast food.

Kath R.
Kath P.4 years ago

I eat fresh as much as I can. I seldom use processed foods. I do however bake so some processed ingredients are necessary.