If I’m going to have any chance at meeting this unprocessed challenge, I know I will have to plan ahead. In fact, I think that’s the biggest key to success here. I don’t think I’ll be especially tempted to eat processed foods, but if I don’t plan ahead, I’ll likely find myself in a situation where the choices are eat processed or go hungry. And Matt Thackston doesn’t go hungry.

That means intentional eating, which I predict will be the best thing to come out of this challenge. Simply thinking about everything you eat is a powerful motivator for changing your habits. With that in mind, I’m already mentally inventorying all of the recipes I love that are not processed. Here are some of the things I think I’m bound to eat in the next month:

Breakfast – This is a difficult one for me, to be honest. I commute an hour each way three days per week, and on those days, I’m often eating in the car. That means a granola bar more often than not, and guess what? Most of those are processed. That means either finding a non-processed alternative, or getting up a little earlier. When I’m working from home, I go with steel cut oats, and they are a great choice. I have no recipe for this (it’s basically oatmeal, just takes longer to cook), but the great thing about these is that you can make up a batch on Sunday and eat them all week. They taste the same left over as they do when you first make them. I usually add dried fruit of some sort and brown sugar. This morning, I subbed in honey instead, because I’m not sure if brown sugar is processed or not. I know honey isn’t, so I’m going with that.

Lunches/Dinners – Lunch and dinner run together for me, because we often cook enough so that I can take leftovers for lunch the next day. Luckily, this is where my vegetarian experiment comes in very handy, because there are tons of unprocessed vegetarian meals. Here are some of my recent (and not so recent) favorites:

Eh, that’s a pretty good start. I’m excited to see what the other folks that are doing this with me come up with as well! I hope to pick up some new ideas in addition to the old ones I already have floating around in my head.