Category Archives: October Unprocessed

October Unprocessed: Finish Strong!

fresh thyme - my sweet reveries[Photo Courtesy of My Sweet Reverie via Etsy]

Today marks the final day for October Unprocessed 2013! Regardless of how you’ve done, let’s make today great and finish it out strong.  And don’t let the end of October mark the end of healthy wholesome eating for you. Let it mark the beginning or continuing of this lifestyle, because eating healthy isn’t just a diet, it’s a way of life.

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How’s October Unprocessed Going?

peas - krystlereeves[Photo Courtesy of Krystle Reeves via Etsy]

My one month detox is officially over. Looking back, it really wasn’t as difficult as I expected, most of the time. What worked for me was to change my mindset from “I’m not allowed to eat certain things” to “I’m aiding in my health so I don’t want to eat those things.” I didn’t crave the fruits and sugars like I thought I would (only a little), it was the eggs and beans (did someone say hummus?) and coconut products that I seemed to miss the most. Also, it would have helped for me to stock up on more veggies since there were nights I went to bed hungry (not the end of the world, I know) because I’d had enough nuts (pretty sure I ate my weight in nuts) and we were low on veggies. I got grumpy a couple times (shameful). Now that it’s over, I’ve been good about rationing my sugars and fruits and I’m still not eating wheat, corn or dairy.

Overall, I do feel a bit better, but I think my detox downfall was eating too many nuts. Since I wasn’t supposed to be eating fruit, which used to be my breakfasts, snacks and desserts, I compensated by eating nuts since they’re so quick and easy. Learned that lesson the hard and painful way.

I’ve also learned some of the foods I was eating were affecting my health more than I thought.  The few times I cheated, I knew it. Bloating, stomach ache, headache and overall feeling crummy. But when I didn’t cheat (and didn’t eat too many nuts), I felt great.

Would I recommend a detox? Well, that depends.  I obviously cannot provide any medical advice, so please consult your physician (holistic or naturopath preferred), but what I can provide is my opinion. If you need a reset, by all means, eating more produce (mostly vegetables), more whole foods, and cutting out (or at least down on) sugars is a great place to start. Set yourself a goal, change your mindset and go for it.

Moving along, I really hope you haven’t forgotten about October Unprocessed. These past few weeks have been easy for me since I was on the detox anyway, but I don’t see me having any problems finishing out the month strong, unprocessed of course!

How have you been doing?

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Recipe: Whole Wheat Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

whole wheat vegan oatmeal cookies - tiffany lane

I’m no vegan, but I do appreciate plant based foods.  And not only are these babies vegan, they’re packed full of healthier whole foods like coconut oil, honey, coconut palm sugar, applesauce, whole wheat flour and oats.

You might be wondering why I’m posting a recipe with whole wheat when I’m trying to avoid it. Well, I made these cookies before my whole wheat detox and didn’t get a chance to share them with you. I’m sure I’ll make them again, wheat free, but in the mean time, those of you not avoiding wheat can try something yummy.

I originally made them over the holidays while visiting some vegan friends and again recently for game night.  Boy do they deliver! Trust me, these cookies are delicious and even approved by non-vegan folks!  If you don’t believe me and want to try your hand at a more traditional recipe, you can substitute equal parts butter for coconut oil and one egg for the applesauce.  But seriously, these are so good no one will bat an eye about what’s inside!

whole wheat vegan oatmeal cookies - tiffany lane

Whole Wheat Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Williams Sonoma, Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup honey
1 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

3 cups rolled oats

Optional Add-Ins

1 cup: chopped dried fruit (pictured with raisins), coconut flakes, chocolate chips (vegan if necessary), nuts

Preparation

In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil, then remove from heat.  Whisk in the honey and coconut palm sugar until blended, then add the applesauce and vanilla extract.

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together into a small bowl, then slowly stir this mixture into the wet ingredients until blended.  Add the rolled oats and mix again.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.  Drop batter by the tablespoon  onto the prepared pans, spacing the cookies at least 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.  Once removed from the oven, allow to set for a couple of minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

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Recipe: Arugula Pesto Pasta (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Arugula Pesto Pasta | Tiffany Lane

Mmm, mmm, good.

That’s how I feel about this pasta. It’s just that tasty and happens to be both October Unprocessed and detox approved. Score!

While this pasta is also gluten free, dairy free and vegan, if you love gluten, dairy and meat, you can by all means use wheat noodles (whole wheat preferable), Parmesan cheese and add chicken breast. But trust me, you won’t be missing them anyway, I just wanted you to feel better.

And like most, if not all, pasta recipes, adjust ingredient ratios and ingredients to your taste. Make it yours.

Arugula Pesto Pasta | Tiffany Lane

PESTO PASTA (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients
1 lb. brown rice noodles (bow tie or rotini preferred)
1 cup pesto (arugula cashew pesto recipe below)
1 cup fresh arugula, chopped
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped (if packed in oil, use less olive oil below)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cashew “cheese”
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

ARUGULA CASHEW PESTO

Makes Approx. 1 Cup

Ingredients
2 cups packed fresh arugula
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 cloves garlic
2/3 cup olive oil, divided
fresh lemon juice to taste

salt/pepper to taste

Preparation

In a large pot, boil  water for the pasta. Once boiling, add noodles and cook 6-8 minutes (for brown rice pasta or per package instructions), or until al dente, then strain and rinse with cool or lukewarm water. Return noodles to pot and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the pesto and cashew cheese.  For the pesto: combine arugula, cashews, garlic and half the olive oil in a blender or food processor. Once chopped, slowly add in remaining olive oil until combined then add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Simply add all pasta ingredients to the noodles and toss.  Can be served immediately or cooled.

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October Unprocessed Begins!

asparagus - BLinton Photography[Photo Courtesy of B.Linton Photography via Etsy]

This year October Unprocessed is going to look a little different for me.  About a week and a half ago I started a one month detox not only cutting out processed foods (which I pretty much do anyway), but detoxing from all foods/drinks except: vegetables (not produce – no fruits allowed), grass fed/pastured beef, wild salmon, raw nuts and nut butters, green tea and herbal teas, with occasional visits of buckwheat (really a seed) and brown rice.  It’s basically the paleo diet minus the fruits and eggs plus allowing for small amounts of brown rice.

Why the detox? As I mentioned before, per my naturopath’s advice, I drastically reduced my intake of corn, wheat and dairy recently for various reasons.  Some of what is going on includes a lot of inflammation, and inflammatory foods (like wheat, corn and dairy) are only adding to the problems.  On top of that, my fasting glucose level is on the high side, among other things, so I’ve been warned to drastically reduce my intake of sugar, natural or not.

If you’ve been here a little while, you’d know I have quite the sweet tooth and because I also believe in a healthy diet, I’ve been satisfying my sweet tooth with fruit instead of other junk.  While this is good and has probably kept me as healthy as I am thus far, my body simply can’t handle even small amounts of natural sugars, at least not right now.

Once my official detox is over, I’ll be able introduce other foods again, including fruit on an irregular basis. But for now, I need to reset my body in a sense and give it a chance to heal without the burden of excess sugars, inflammatory foods and instead provide it only with foods that will aid in the healing process.

Understandably, vegetables, wild salmon, raw nuts, and green and herbal teas are considered very healthy to most, but you might be wondering how grass fed/pastured beef is healthy since there is controversy surrounding the healthfulness of beef.  In my case, iron is something I need more of and there is quite a bit of iron (among other health benefits) in healthy (i.e. grass fed/pastured) beef. Not only that, grass fed/pastured beef doesn’t contain those nasty hormones, nor are the cows fed diets of grain (which they aren’t meant to eat) and possibly GMO corn or other ingredients. As the saying goes, you are what you eat eats.

You also might be questioning how someone who eats so healthy would start to have health issues that are dramatically affected by food.  First of all, anything you eat will always affect your health.  Food is fuel and directly correlates to health. But, not every body is the same, just as not everyone is the same.  Through my research I’ve discovered the term bio-diversity, basically meaning that people are different and different bodies require unique diets.  In my case, excess sugars and inflammatory foods are merely fueling the flame that’s deteriorating my health, while someone else may be able to healthfully consume dairy and fruits on a regular basis and be well. Even though I was eating healthfully, I wasn’t eating for my body. As the other saying goes, knowledge is power.

As I continue on my detox journey, I hope you’ll join me for at least a month of unprocessed foods, and no, I don’t expect you to go into full detox mode!

READER FEEDBACK: Have you ever completed a detox? If so, why and from what?

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October Unprocessed 2013

october-unprocessed-2013 (1)

It’s that time of year again.  October is almost here, so let’s pledge together to go an entire month without eating any processed foods!

As healthy and unprocessed as I eat daily, it is still difficult to go an entire month without eating any processed foods.  Life happens, things come up. You’re invited to a friend’s house for dinner or you eat out with family.  But even then, we can make healthier choices instead of giving in just because we’re there.

I’ve already made my pledge.  Are you with us?

To read up on October Unprocessed and how it works, check out Eating Rules here.

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October Unprocessed: How’d You do?

If you ask me, I’d love to say I didn’t break the rules once.  I’d love to score an A+ for my stellar efforts.  Unfortunately I can’t claim any of that.

It’s funny, there have definitely been periods where I know I’ve eaten clean for at least a month at a time without breaking the rules.  But there was something about that month that threw me.  I didn’t even start the month well.  To be honest, I completely forgot about the challenge for a first few days, and two of those first few days I just happened to get a little lenient on my own rules and indulge out of convenience.  Of course, most of the month I did really well, especially because the challenge isn’t any different than the standards I have for myself everyday.  But every once in a while, it’s just easier to give in instead of explaining yourself.  All in all, I know I could have done better, but it’s a process.

Enough about me, I want to know how you did!  Did awareness at least give you something to think about?  Did you do your own research on food topics and create any new rules for yourself?  Do you think you’ll start changing your eating habits to those of more clean origins?

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