If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know that I have a “food thing.” In the past few years, I’ve become keenly aware of how and what I eat, for a variety of reasons. I had a kidney stone, a problem largely influenced by diet, and I never want to have another one. I hit my 30s, and that makes you realize you can’t just eat anything you want anymore, especially when your family has a history of illnesses that are diet related. And we moved to Oregon, where eating well is much more a part of the culture than it is in Tennessee.

Since becoming more concerned with all of this, I’ve come a long way in changing the way I eat. I consume far less meat than I used to, and I eat more vegetables and whole grains. But I still backslide quite a bit, and most of the health benefits I received from my vegetarian experiment have been erased for the most part.

Enter Unprocessed October, a chance to focus on my diet once more and make intentional choices about what I eat. Essentially, the goal here is to not eat anything processed, meaning anything you couldn’t make yourself in your kitchen. It’s an interesting challenge, and one that poses some new hurdles (no white sugar? I’m not even sure how to do this), but I’m excited to take it on. To make this a bit easier and more fun, I’ve recruited a few friends from work and we’re going to tackle this together. Taylor is already blogging about it, and Kelley and Emily are joining the fun as well.

I’m going to do my best to chronicle the process here. I’ll probably avoid the full-on food diary (we’ve been there, right?), but I’ll certainly talk about what I’m eating and post some recipes, or links to recipes as the case may be. I’m also going to use this opportunity to get back to a mostly vegetarian/vegan diet, but obviously that’s not required for the challenge. It’s just the diet choice that made me feel the best, so I’m going to go back to it.

If you’re reading this and would like to give this a go, let me know! I think the more of us that are involved the more enjoyable the month will be.