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.