The (Upcoming) Week of Eating Real Food

January 25, 2013

Colorful Carrots

I recently decided that I would try a week where I eat only real food. I generally try to avoid highly refined foods, but a lot of my breakfast, lunch, and snack foods could be considered sort of borderline. Sure I eat organic cereal made with with whole wheat, but there are a few added chemicals for texture and preservation. Nuts are healthy, but do they really need the honey or maple coating that I am so fond of? And then there is my penchant for low-fat nachos. Guiltless Gourmet chips, Kraft Fat-Free Cheddar, Spicy Pico Guacamole and Salsa? The last two are acceptable, the chips would be okay once a month, but the fake chemical cheese? I am fully aware of how gross that is, and yet I still eat it. And even in the not-highly-refined category, dried fruit is hardly a horrible snack, but it generally has twice the calories per volume of fresh fruit. So I started feeling curious about what it would feel like to only eat real food.

I checked out what rules other people have established for their No Processed or Real Food diets, and here are the rules I decided I would follow:

  1. No refined grains like white flour or white rice (wheat items need to be WHOLE wheat)
  2. No refined sweeteners, which include sugar, corn syrup, cane juice, and artificial sweeteners like Splenda or Equal
  3. Nothing packaged (or bottled or canned) with more than 5 ingredients on the label
  4. Nothing with a bunch of mysterious chemicals in it (I’ll allow some preservatives I recognize on a case-by-case basis if needed)
  5. Prohibited items which pertain specifically to my weekly eating habits:
    • No nutritional bars,  granola bars or cereal bars
    • No fat-free cheese
    • No tortilla chips
    • No soda pop (sparkling water is ok)
  6. Special allowances:
    • Coffee (this I will not give up)
    • Stevia (for my coffee)
    • Dark chocolate (this is a necessity)
    • Salt (no excessive added sodium, ok for cooking)

I’m also not going to consider items such as mustard, vinegar, or other condiments as being disqualified because they’ve been processed – if it only has a few ingredients, and it’s been around for over a century, I’m going to allow it.

Here are the types of things I envision eating during the week:

  1. Boiled or roasted chicken
  2. Fish or seafood (wild caught if possible)
  3. Eggs
  4. Beans (home-cooked, not canned)
  5. Yogurt
  6. Cheese
  7. Milk
  8. Nuts (roasted is okay, coated with sugary stuff is not)
  9. Brown rice
  10. Quinoa
  11. 100% whole wheat bread
  12. Fresh fruit
  13. Fresh vegetables
  14. Homemade soup, sauces, salad dressing (from whole ingredients)
  15. Homemade bread or crackers with whole wheat flour and other whole ingredients
  16. Homemade granola (we’ll see if I have the energy to make this)

So I start on Monday – I can’t wait to see how it goes!

Heirloom and Cherry Tomatoes


3 Responses to “The (Upcoming) Week of Eating Real Food”

  1. pattyabr Says:

    happy week of cleansing :)

  2. Megan Says:

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

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