Two Weeks. Unprocessed. - Overview & Day 1

Sometimes cooking for two people is hard. You know what I mean, right? When you're only cooking for one or two, it's hard to get the motivation to make something healthy in a small portion.

Sometimes cooking for two people is so hard, that I don't cook at all. Needless to say, my digestive system is taking a beating because I'm not cooking or eating like I usually do when we're cooking from scratch. Add the catered lunches I had last week for a work training, and you have a hot mess up in here.

*sigh*

But you know what this also means? This is the perfect time to experiment with a healthy eating challenge that will refocus my efforts to cook from scratch, get nourishment from good food, and 'vote with my dollar' by purchasing local, unprocessed food.



I am going to challenge myself to eating 100% real, whole foods that have no commercial processing. I am going to challenge myself to cook meals from scratch daily for 14 days, where the only 'processing' is the cooking that I do in my own kitchen.


1. I am going to grocery shop with great intention before starting this challenge. Tomorrow I will share my grocery list with you. I usually share my meal plan for the week on Monday, but I'm including that below, for your convenience.

2. I am going to shop at New Pioneer Food Co-op and Aldi. New Pioneer makes shopping easy and Aldi has a fantastic selection of unprocessed, organic food items that are affordable.

3. I am going to meal plan everything and share it with you. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Snacks.

4. I'll write posts about every other day, sharing recipes and recapping my thoughts.

Without further ado, here's this week's meal plan, which is organized like my BFF (blogging friend forever) Michelle - -

Breakfasts will be a rotation of: 
Side Note: Here's a great reason why I'm not eating cereal, and some additional unprocessed breakfast items from Homestead Wishing. 

Lunches will include the following, mostly made from leftovers: 
  • This simple country omelet, from Better Hens and Gardens. 
  • Baked potato with crumbled bacon, sour cream, and cheese
  • Spinach or leafy green salad with onions, peppers, croutons, and leftover protein (like chicken)
  • Hardboiled eggs, cheese stick, and handful of nuts
  • French toast made from homemade bread, topped with maple syrup
  • Leftover meatballs
  • Leftover homemade pizza
Side Note: Here are some lovely unprocessed lunch ideas if you have lunch on-the-go, or another option if you have a bit of time to cook at home; both from Green Eggs and Goats.

Dinners will include: 
  • Oven-roasted chicken hindquarters and a spinach salad with veggies
  • Homemade pizza on homemade whole wheat crust with home canned marinara sauce, onions, peppers, mushrooms, cheese, and family-raised ground pork
  • Family-raised pork chop (glazed with homemade peach jam) and a spinach salad with veggies
  • Meatballs with family-raised beef over mashed taters with pan gravy
  • Apple butter meatloaf with family-raised beef and pork and a spinach salad with veggies
  • Grilled cheese sandwich and a piece of fruit
  • A dinner out with family or friends, where I'll try to order unprocessed off of a menu! 
Snacks will be a rotation of: 
Could you last two weeks eating unprocessed? What do you think would be the hardest part? 



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44 comments:

  1. I live three blocks from New Pi - I'm there at least 3 times a week. Unprocessed? yes! I have severe allergies to many preservatives, and I must cook from raw and natural.

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    1. We have raw energy bars. All the ingredients are raw. We also make Bumble Bars with nuts and local honey. I guess it depends on how you define processed. The local honey in the bars is lightly pasteurized. Nothing we sell has artificial ingredients or artificial colors, or artificial preservatives. At the CR store, we sell 'Go Raw' and 'Two Moms in the Raw' raw protein bars. They are made in a factory, but, they are all raw. Let me know if you have other questions: gmaybanks@newpi.coop I'm happy to help! ~genie

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  2. My favorite item at New Pi is the peanut butter machine. I love knowing that it's just peanuts going into the final product. The only thing better is sometimes being able to find a machine at Whole Foods that's stocked with honey roasted peanuts!

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  3. I love stocking up on my favorite supplements there!

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    1. I need to explore their probiotic section more. Any suggestions?

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    2. Kelli-- the Mega Flora are on sale until tomorrow. They are my favorite. I can feel the difference they make. Justin says that a chewable line is going on sale on Wednesday and they are really good. There is always locally brewed Shaktea Kombucha and Bubbie's Sauerkraut. The fermented foods have more probiotics in a TBSP than any pill on the market (so I am told!). Good luck! ~genie

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  4. I'm so excited to have New Pi in Cedar Rapids. It's a great place for local, healthy options.

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    1. Thanks, Kacie! ~genie

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  5. Sweetened creamer would be toughest for me. The challenge would give me a chance to tweak a homemade version.

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  6. I love New Pi! Great giveaway, Kelli. You know we mostly eat unprocessed foods, so the hardest thing is just finding the time to cook from scratch. And that's why I love filling my freezer with meal components so the cooking is easier and faster. <3

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    1. The time - totally my biggest obstacle right now!

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    2. Michelle- Everything our culinary team makes from the soup to the excellent prepared foods are made with the same products we well on our shelves: Same cage-free local chicken, same eggs, same organic veggies. We have all kinds of yummy stuff available in the prepared foods area. The hot food is made by Chef Stiegerwald's team (he owned the Lincoln Cafe in Mt Vernon!) and it is amazing. If you aren;t hard & fast on cooking, we can cook for you & its nutritious and clean. :) ~g

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  7. Does new pi have unprocessed protein bars?

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    1. I'm not sure. They have a huge selection, but I haven't done any label reading. I do know that they have all of the ingredients to make your own (unprocessed) bars - so maybe start with a little DIY project?!

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    2. We sell protein bars from "Go Raw" and "Two Mom's in the Raw." Both are made with raw ingredients. We also make our own bumble bars with local honey, but the honey is lightly pasteurized. So, I guess you have to think about how strict you are on what "Processed" means. Good Luck! ~Genie at New Pi

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  8. Excited to see the New Pioneer! Fun giveaway!

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    1. Lindsay-- We're excited to see you! ~genie

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  9. I think I could go two weeks without processed foods, if I was prepared. But, I would miss Tostitos; they are my addiction!

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    1. I'm going to miss salad dressings…heaven help me!

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  10. My husband loves that they Capana coffee.

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    1. ambre, Capana has great roasters and great art on their labels! Happy to hear you are enjoying it! Locally produced stuff is often the best. :) ~genie at New Pi

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  11. I would love to go 2 weeks unprocessed! I better start with 2 days though! Baby steps!

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  12. I love New-Pi. I'd love some dough to spend there!

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    1. Jenny-- Very Punny! ~Genie at New Pi

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  13. I just joined NewPi in CR so this GC would be great.

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    1. Katie, glad to have you as an owner! ~Genie at New Pi

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  14. I finally found MSG-free fried chicken at New Pi. I was sooooo happy!

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    1. Hi Leah! Thanks for adding this. No MSG in our store anywhere. We have a strict product policy. You can read about it here: http://www.newpi.coop/product_item_post/quality-standards/ ~Genie at New Pi

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  15. I just visited NewPi in CR, and am sooooo excited to shop there more often! :)

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    1. Hi Sarah-- Glad to hear it! ~Genie at New Pi

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  16. Excited to have NewPi in CR!

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    1. Lisa-- Thanks for saying so. We're excited to help you! ~Genie at New Pi

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  17. I did Freshstart21 from simplegreensmoothies.com. It was a lot of work, but I felt SO GOOD. unprocessed, vegan, gluten free. And the food was SO GOOD.

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  18. We live near the CR NewPi and have eating from there almost exclusively since the beginning of this new year. We get soup for lunch daily and shop for dinner ingredients daily too. What I notice most is that I have NO cravings. Before I was always craving this or that, those cravings are gone. It's so much more peaceful to eat with intention and not at the whim of my cravings.

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    1. Jenn, this is so wonderful to read! What a wonderful endorsement. The thought behind this is the food you are eating may be meeting your nutrition and vitamin & mineral needs. So, your body is craving stuff. It is great to hear it is meeting your needs. (And tastes good!) ~Genie at New Pi

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  19. We have friends in Iowa City - this would be perfect!

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  20. We'd love to win! Great giveaway, Kelli!

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  21. It's great to have NewPi in CR, especially as a source for fresh organic veggies during these winter months when I can't grow my own.

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  22. I love New Pi! I make sure to visit their every time I visit my sister.

    Also, I love this challenge idea! I'll have to see if we can give it a try.

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  23. I feel like I would do fairly well with this, as we don't eat a lot of processed stuff now. But the one thing that would be a problem is chocolate... I have a pretty severe chocolate problem, and it all comes from "eating my feelings". Something to strive for!!

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  24. I love having New Pi here in Cedar Rapids! Location is great. I can walk to New Pi and back on the McLoud Run trail.

    Cool challenge! I already cook mostly from scratch but have a weakness for Cheerios.

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  25. I am excited to see how this goes for y'all. I have been interested in trying to eat clean like that, but find the idea of menu planning scary. So I will be happy to watch you be the guinea pig for the next couple weeks and see if it's something that would be doable for my family and myself. Good Luck!

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