Welcome to October!pumpkin-clipart-clipart-cliparts-for-you-3

Crazy to think that it is already October….. I am not sure where this year has gone. I feel like it just began and now it is almost over. 🙁
I am trying something new this month. I am trying to be more health conscious and participating in the October Unprocessed challenge. This challenge was brought to my attention by my small group personal trainer. She is always looking for ways to help motivate her clients to make healthier choices. This month she asked us to join the unprocessed challenge……… I read over the eating rules and thought there is no way on earth that I am going to be able to do this. I love cheese, chocolate, bread, candy, mac & cheese, and the list of terrible food continues. How could anyone do this for a whole month! That is just insane!
As I thought about this challenge, I felt a little ashamed that I wasn’t even willing to try to change in the slightest bit. I do love to cook and to try new recipes, what could this challenge really hurt? I revisited the email that my trainer had sent me containing the October Unprocessed link. I read through the article again and came across a section under the “Let’s Do It” heading, this section talked about how a month may be too cumbersome of a commitment, but maybe you could narrow your goal down to one week, one day, or even down to a meal time.
After reading those few sentences, I decided that twice a week for supper, I would make an unprocessed meal and I signed the pledge. In the itty bitty print below in the picture you can see where I signed the pledge. If you still don’t believe me, you can head to the website and check it out for yourself.  I only chose two meals a week, because I did not want to set an unobtainable goal. Many people set unobtainable goals….. fail……. and give up trying to reach their goals all together. I am starting out with baby steps and if in the event that I find this challenge to be easier than anticipated I will increase my goal to more unprocessed meals in a week.capture
The biggest part of the October Unprocessed challenge that scared me the most was that I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t what was considered processed and wasn’t processed. Of course there your not brainers chips, candy, essentially anything with food dyes in them, and so on, but what about noodles, homemade spaghetti sauce, and other canned home goods.
The writer shared their classification of unprocessed food in one simple quote, that I have included below
Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients. – Andrew Wilder
After reading this quote, the idea of eating unprocessed meals became a little less scary. Once you sign up for the challenge you are presented with the option to purchase a meal plan guide to help you get through the month. I chose to purchase this meal plan guide. When I signed up, you were able to choose your price of the guide as a portion of the cost is donated. I chose to only spend $10.00. In my eyes it was worthy cause and now I have a bunch of meals that I can prepare to help me reach my goal.
They also provide you with a handy meal planning shopping list.  In addition to the meal plan guide and shopping list, there are new posts everyday with different recipes that are not in the guide book. Today’s post was a recipe for roasted red cabbage wedges with harissa sauce. I am not sure what harissa is, but I do like red cabbage and I am interested in making this recipe.
Flipping through the meal plan guide, it has unprocessed options for every meal/snack throughout the day! I am solely going to focus on supper time. I am trying to make healthier choices for myself, but also for my boyfriend (who sometimes still eats like he’s a teenager).  At times, I am just as guilt as he is, so we both need a little help. My boyfriend is not exactly thrilled with this idea, but he is willing to give it a try  and tough it out.
So what am I cooking for my two unprocessed nights this week you ask?!?!
I am cooking Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Risotto, I thought how awesome would this be since it is fall after all and my parents have sugar pumpkins in their garden. (I should get bonus points for helping grow my own produce! 🙂 )
I am also making Savory Tomato Basil Dutch Baby.
Next week I’ll let you know how these turned out and what my boyfriend had to say about them!
Stay tuned!