“October Unprocessed 2014”

October Unprocessed 2014

After fifteen years of being gluten intolerant, and ten years of having lupus nephritis, I’ve gotten accustomed to eating low-salt, gluten-free foods.  For the most part, I eat pretty well.  (Except for chocolate.)  But it’s easy to let a few not-so-good foods sneak in there.  I’m too tired to cook.  I’m too hungry to cook.  I have no other food in the house.  It’s easier to throw a can of root beer in my backpack than to mix up a glass of tea and carry that to work.

I’m using October Unprocessed as a chance to get back on track.  My intention: to eat as much unprocessed food as possible, as close to the source as I can get. That means eating nothing whose ingredients list things with chemical names. I’ll be reading labels much more closely. So far, I’ve found some ingredients I expected and some I didn’t. The following are things I won’t be eating.

Starting with breakfast, the big surprise was Cream of Rice cereal. The cream of buckwheat is fine (buckwheat and flaxseed), there are grits that are just grits, and steel-cut oats are great if I cook my own. But cream of rice is crammed full of all sorts of weird stuff. So that’s out.

Lunch and dinner are the pretty much the same, with one usually being leftovers from the other. I cook almost every meal, but the storebought gluten-free bread I love won’t be making it to my plate. If I want bread or muffins, I’ll have to make those, too, or I can go Paleo and skip the grains altogether.

We rarely have desserts, although I almost always have some sort of chocolate around. Hershey bars, kisses, Reese’s peanut butter cups… I don’t think any of those will be acceptable. Looks like if I get a craving, I’ll have to make some brownies or homemade hot chocolate.

I always take a snack to work. Often it’s a jar of trail mix (nuts and seeds), which is fine. I’ll have to check on the mixes with dried fruit. But I’ll have to lose the root beer. I’ll be taking water or mixing up a glass of tea to take with me.

My deliberate exceptions will be the M&Ms in my trail mix (because they’re already there and because they’re chocolate) and probably whatever form of butter I choose. I can drink tea without sweetener, but I’m sure once those M&Ms are gone from my trail mix, I’ll be jonesing for chocolate sometime before the end of the month. Then I’ll have to choose acceptable cocoa powder and sweetener and make some unprocessed goodies. With the help of eatingrules.com, I can figure it out. They’ve got information and recipes to help out.

Yep, I can do this thing. I need to do this thing. My tummy is still unhappy about that pizza we had last Saturday, and that’s not a nice way to live. My only question now is, except for the trail mix, how long I can go without chocolate?


  1. #1 by Libby Block on October 9, 2014 - 8:15 pm

    So far I’ve been trying to keep to the plan, but I’ve had abdominal pains for over a week, and it’s no fun. Gluten causes me ‘severe intestinal distress’. So do beets, for that matter. But I haven’t been eating either one, so it must be something else. What?
    Since beginning this challenge, I have removed things from my diet: root beer, artificial sweeteners, commercially-made gluten-free bread, granola bars with preservatives, etc. It doesn’t seem like removing things would cause stomach discomfort. The only thing I have added that I wasn’t eating before is butter. Plain old butter. Ingredients: cream, salt. Dairy has caused me some minor problems in the past, but could simply switching from using that artificial yellow stuff that’s squirted into tubs to using a stick of hard, cold butter be causing me such trouble?
    Doesn’t sound logical. But since butter is the only thing I’ve added, I decided to un-add it, switch back to the artificial stuff, and see if it helps. After a day and a half, the tummy ache is almost completely gone. Could it be butter? Or is it just lupus chewing on my innards again? I can’t say. I don’t want to start eating butter again just to see. So I’m back to using fake stuff or going without. Maybe my body has grown accustomed to the pretend butter?

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