This year was my 4th attempt at this October Unprocessed “real food” challenge. I certainly did not stick to this challenge 100% of the time, but I feel like I did better than my previous 3 attempts at the challenge and I learned more than ever this time around! I also participated in a few Clean Eating challenges throughout the month, so that helped me to stay on track. My weight did not change at all as a result of this challenge, but I didn’t expect it to and that wasn’t one of my goals, so that is completely fine with me.
I did find myself feeling exhausted a few weeks into the challenge because I was having to make 2 completely different meals much of the time – one for me and my husband, and then something completely different for the kids. The last few weeks of the challenge, I just decided to compromise and make something I knew the kids would eat, and then I would make a healthier version for me to eat (for example, when the kids had tacos in taco shells, I just had the taco meat over rice.) I let go of my need to have everything 100% unprocessed for simplicity (for example, the first time I made our favorite meatball recipe this month, I modified it to use oats instead of breadcrumbs. As a result, the kids didn’t like it. I didn’t feel it was worth the effort to make it 100% unprocessed and have the kids not eat it, so the next time I made it, I used the usual breadcrumbs, and I ate it.)
This year, my husband decided to join me in the beginning of the challenge, and that made it so much easier because he wasn’t bringing unhealthy foods into the house. I think the first step to clean eating begins in the grocery store. If you don’t buy it and you don’t bring it into the house, then you’re not going to eat it. If you can get other family members on board, then that is a huge help, but I am not a believer in forcing anyone to take the challenge with me, especially the kids. I believe they will learn by example and be more open to trying new foods the more they see me eating them.
This year, I’m in no rush to go back to eating junk food. I actually WANT to continue on with the challenge and continue to find some new, healthy recipes. Right now, I don’t even crave the Halloween candy that has filled my kitchen, and that is a big deal for me and my sweet tooth.
What Did I Learn?
I found some AMAZING new recipes this month, and I’m so excited to add them into our meal rotation and share those recipes in this post! Continue reading