Saturday, September 21, 2013

Do's and Don'ts of October Unprocessed -- Choosy Moms Choose Jif No More

In last weeks introductory post, Kellie introduced us to October Unprocessed. If it can be made in a home kitchen with whole food ingredients, it's considered unprocessed. Simple enough, but the more I thought about it, the more questions I had, so I've been digging through the Eating Rules website and this is what I've learned. 
Can you guess which one is the Jif?

  • Flours and Grains -- Eat whole grains like oats (steel cut or rolled), quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat flour. Bread should be labeled "whole wheat flour" NOT "wheat flour." You only need whole wheat flour, water, salt and yeast to make bread, so look for bread with just those ingredients. Bob's Red Mill is sponsoring October Unprocessed this year. When you sign the pledge on the Eating Rules site, you'll be able to print some great coupons. 
  • Sugar -- you can use honey, real maple syrup, coconut sugar and if you're somewhat liberal with your definition turbinado, muscovado and demerara raw sugars. Kellie said the coconut sugar is actually really good, so I ordered Navitas Naturals Coconut Palm Sugar from Amazon to try. She said it's also available at Roots and Whole Foods. I already have turbinado sugar from Trader Joes. Obviously, all the fake sweeteners in little colored packets are uber processed. 
  • Baking soda and baking powder are ok, just make sure they don't have corn starch in them. 
  • Chocolate is ok if it doesn't have other junk in it. Usually cocoa powder is ok. I read Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs are good. Usually the darker chocolate bars have fewer added ingredients. I'm headed to Whole Foods later to read labels. 
  • Cooking oil -- Of course, olive oil is fine and most of us switched to it earlier this year in during our Mediterranean Lifestyle Challenge. Here's a chart of oils if you want to delve into this. 
  • Salt is ok, but a lot of regular table salt has other junk in it so, again, read the labels. 
  • Dairy -- eggs are fine, butter is fine if it doesn't have added ingredients, yogurt fine if it doesn't have junk in it, real cheese, real ice cream and sorbet. But, I suspect most store bought ice cream and sorbet is full of refined sugar. Read the labels or better yet, make your own. (I know sorbet isn't dairy, but it fits with ice cream.) 
  • Meat -- you even have to read the labels on meat. Some have added crap. And, watch out for deli meats, most of those have junk in them. Obviously, hot dogs and sausage are out. 
  • Fruits and Veggies are good -- frozen or fresh. Most canned stuff has other crap in it so read the labels before you but those. 
  • Beverages -- coffee, tea, beer and wine are fine. Even other booze is ok if doesn't have added stuff in it. Real juice is ok, but again, read labels or squeeze your own. Obviously, no pop. (You guys know I'm from Pittsburgh, right?) I guess most milk is heavily processed, so watch what you buy there too. I'm a big fan of South Mountain Creamery. They deliver milk in old fashion glass jars along with other dairy and meat and they're reasonably priced.
  • Condiments -- read the labels, most have added crap. I highly recommend making your own salad dressing anyway, it only takes a few minutes and they taste so much better. The fresh almond butter from Whole Foods is delicious and they have peanut butter too. I hear you can grind your own, but that sounds like too much trouble to me. I will try my making my Aunt Lissa's hot mustard with coconut sugar and I'll let you know what happens. 
  • Avoid these things -- high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, natural and artificial flavors, soy lecithin (which is in most chocolate), carageenan, corn starch, food dyes, preservatives 
Everything you'd want to know and more is on the Eating Rules website They recommend establishing any deliberate exceptions on the front end which I like. This could be that you'll drink Gatorade on runs over 6 miles or that you'll indulge in a piece of chocolate cake on your son's birthday. 

They also talk about the 80/20 rule. You know that one, try to stick to it 80 or more percent of the time and don't worry about the rest. I really don't think it will be very difficult. What do you think? Are you in?



Planning to try October Unprocessed with you family? Check out 100 Days of Real Food for additional resources. 

1 comment:

String bean said...

When reading ingredients, if you can't seem to find an unprocessed version of what you are looking for, I followed the rule that it had to have five ingredients or fewer to semi-qualify. This may also fall under the 80/20 rule, but it got me out of some difficult choices.