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Taking the October #Unprocessed 2012 challenge

25 Sep

Those who know me well know I like — even crave — fresh, unprocessed foods. In my line of work, however, I’m faced with far too many food demons (i.e. fatty foods, processed foods, foods fried in this and that). It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (sing it with me) every season. Loads of temptation.

I was doing some work with the folks at UCSD’s Center for Integrative Medicine who inspired me, just by being around them, to eat healthier. I’ve never been a glutton, but watching them subside on fresh veggies, whole grains and $20 a pop Japanese plums got me thinking and eating more clearly. So, when one of my PR clients/friends Trish Watlington, owner of The Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar, told me about an LA blogger’s food challenge (“eat unprocessed for 30 days and see how you feel”), I lit up. (Trish is going to label all completely unprocessed dishes on her menu by Oct. 1.)

I spoke with said blogger, Andrew Wilder of eatingRULES, this morning about October #Unprocessed 2012. He’s encouraging people to begin their journey October 1, but not to beat themselves over the head should they miss the start date. If not October, choose a 30-day chunk of time whenever you’d like, he says. This is his third year staging the challenge. Folks at LA Times and the people behind Food Inc. caught wind of this year’s challenge. Check out his Google+ Hangout with LA times writer Rene Lynch.

For the sake of simplicity — and ’cause I like it — let’s use his definition of processed food:

“If you pick up something with a label (if it doesn’t have a label, it’s probably unprocessed) and find an ingredient you’d never use in your kitchen and couldn’t possibly make yourself from the whole form, it’s processed.”

Don’t eat those. (I loathe the word don’t, but…)

As Michael Pollan says, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.


If you slip up, be gentle with yourself. You’re human — and wonderful.

Who’s with me? Will you take the challenge? Let Andrew know on his blog.