Well, it’s been ten days, and we’ve done pretty well at avoiding processed foods. I have succumbed to sandwich bread and some white rice, and we’ve eaten some meals out, so I can’t be sure every single thing in them was unprocessed, but we’ve chosen as smartly as we can both in terms of where we eat and what we eat when we get there. It’s been an eye opening experience in a lot of ways so far, but I have to admit, I do have one major problem with this entire concept.

I don’t like the name.

Unprocessed is a vague word, and even worse, I don’t even think it describes the point of this exercise. Unless you’re eating fruit you picked off of a tree or raw vegetables, EVERYTHING is processed. If you chop something up, it’s technically processed. Cooking is a process, as is canning or freezing. Fermenting is definitely a process. Refining is a process. None of these processes means that the food is bad for you, and indeed, there are plenty of foods that fall into each of those categories that are accepted under the rules of this challenge. It’s a misnomer, and it’s really starting to bug me.

If we’re really getting to the point, this should be called “Only Food in Your Food October,” or “No Preservatives October,” or “Whole Foods October.” All of those titles are more accurate, but admittedly less catchy. I appreciate the need for a catchy name, but I also appreciate an accurate name, and Unprocessed October does not qualify. I think the real crux of this month is focused (for me, at least) around Michael Pollan’s overall food philosophy: Eat food, mostly plants, not too much. If you really follow that philosophy, diet really won’t be an issue for you.

Despite my grumpiness with the naming convention, this month has produced some nice results for me so far. I had a physical not long before I started this, and my blood work showed slightly elevated sugar levels and slightly high cholesterol. I can’t believe I’m having to think about this stuff already, but here it is. Anyway, my doctor wants me to lose 10 pounds and come back in six weeks. That was about 3 weeks ago, and I’ve already lost five of those pounds.I obviously won’t know about those numbers until I go back to the doctor, but I feel pretty good about it. Also, Celine says my snoring has stopped (NOT THAT I EVER SNORED TO BEGIN WITH).

Not going to list all of my meals, but breakfasts have been Lara Bars and/or fruit and/or steel cut oats. Other meal highlights have included roasted veggies with cous cous, peanut butter toast and popcorn with butter (because our oil in a spray can is processed – how is butter better?). I’ll continue to follow this diet because I like it, but I’ll continue to hate the name.

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