Aug 12, 2013

My Results From Not Eating Processed Foods for a Month

I made it one month without eating any processed foods!!!! I have to say that I cannot believe that I made it through the month; there were many moments when I wanted to cave and eat candy or potato chips. But I made it! I'm really proud of myself and I know the number one thing that kept me motivated to stay strong.

Brett cheated on the third day and ate a piece of candy. He claims that it was unintentional since its habit to grab a peppermint from the receptionist's desk in the morning. I still called it cheating! And there is no way I was going to cheat too and let him win! Well maybe in hell, but not here on Earth!

We aren't competitive at all!

After a month of clean eating I am also happy to report that my blood pressure has gone from the pre-hypertension range to far into the normal range. My blood pressure has been high for 6 months and I've blamed it on the move, but I think it was really my diet. I can't hide from those numbers anymore! I also lost 8 1/2 inches over my body, and that is mostly without exercising. I didn't join the gym until the third week into the challenge. Two inches from my belly - can you say bloated?

My grocery bill also went down. In a month we spent $55 less on groceries and we were eating healthier than ever! I always hear people say that eating healthy is expensive and I've never believed that. I can now tell you that it's a big fat lie. Eating conveniently is expensive, it takes work to make everything yourself but it is cheaper.

Now I'd love to tell you that I'll never eat another piece of processed foods ever again, but that would be a lie. I had candy and popcorn at the movies with my kids this weekend and I used canned pizza crust too. But I am going to cut way back and make some permanent changes to my diet since I've learned a few things this month.

  1. The deli counter was killing my health and my budget. I'm lazy and sandwiches are my go to for lunch everyday. That meat is expensive!!!! I am not going back to lunch meat anytime soon, and when I do it will be occasionally.
  2. Your slow cooker is a clean eating family's best friend. I made my own refried beans, marinara sauce, spicy beans, and the best pulled pork I've ever made. I loved using my slow cooker when I was just flat out sick of cooking! I will never buy canned refried beans again, it's just too easy to make them yourself and they taste so much better. Not sold on the idea yet? I can make the equivalent of 3 cans for the price of 1 can when I make them myself.                                                                                                                                                    

  3. Exercise wakes me up better than any other caffeinated beverage! I'm waiting until its cold to go back to coffee. Let's face it there is nothing better than a hot cup of coffee when it's cold. 
  4. Freeze and Bake cookies just might be the best idea EVER! A homemade cookie anytime I get the craving for something sweet kept me on track. 
  5. Meal planning is a must! And not just for dinner, I had to plan breakfast and lunch too. This was hard for me but I was able to figure it out. BTW crustless quiche is my second favorite breakfast on this diet. I would make one at night and pop it in the microwave in the morning. I made a different one each week, but I used my spinach feta cheese quiche recipe as a jumping point. EASY! My favorite breakfast? Fruit and veggie smoothie and if you give some to your kids you can sneak some spinach into their diet.

  6. I have so much more energy eating real food and not drinking caffeine. Normally I crash around 4pm every day. Not anymore friends and I'm sleeping better too!
  7. Leftovers for lunch became my new best friend. You have to plan for leftovers with my family. Not only do you have to cook extra food, but it needs to be put away before you eat dinner. Mark and Brett will keep eating until there is no food left. 
I will say that avoiding eating anything processed is very difficult and easy at the same time. I know that is a contradiction but that's the way it is for me! It was hard avoiding my cravings and cooking all our meals is not something I'm used to doing. Don't get me wrong, I cook most of our meals but not every one for a whole month! I did have Brett grill a few nights so I could get a night off. This challenge would have been much easier if my husband cooked. 

I've really enjoyed challenging myself this past month. I've decided to give myself another challenge starting in September. Brett says he's on board too, but he wasn't exactly excited about it like the food challenge. I'm going to exercise every day for at least 10 minutes for the month of September. I know I'll hurt myself if I go all out and do it every day. But even 10 minutes a day can make a difference to your energy level. And I would like to get back to my pre-moving weight before the holidays are here. It sucks how fast weight can sneak up on you! And moving is far more stressful that I originally thought. 

Anyone want to join my challenge? It will be worth it come October! 


  1. You've done amazing! I so need to get on this! It's hard though when you have lack of time and you just need to throw something together quickly.

  2. That's awesome! I'm not only a big fan of my crockpot but also crockpot freezer meals. They are awesome for nights you don't want to cook but want home cooked food. I have a pin board here but there are four million recipes out there too.

    Another tip I have is to cook a whole turkey (they are really no more work than anything else- just takes longer) and then pick the meat and place in freezer bags. I also cook two or three bags of brown rice at one time (again...really no more effort than cooking one cup...just takes a bit longer). Once cooled, I place the rice in zip bags too. Press flat and freeze. The turkey and rice can turn into any meal. Add a bag of mixed veggies and a few scrambled eggs and you have a mock but tasty fried rice. Add to anything really. It's a lot of effort at one time but saves me from ordering pizza so many nights.

    Hope that helps. Please share some of your favorite recipes! I'm always looking for new ones.


    1. Thanks for sharing your pinterest board with me. I'm always looking for new Crock Pot recipes. I've never tried a freezer Crock Pot meal before, I need to try one. I have many meals that I triple so I can freeze them for later. That saves me from ordering take out too.

  3. Allison, thanks for stopping by Thrift DIving to leave me a comment! Now I just HAD to come back and see what you were talking about not eating processed food for a whole month! WOW! I'm so impressed! I think you may have just given me a challenge for MY family!!!! I'm totally serious! I may have to blog about this on my other blog, Get Your LIfe Straight ( This is awesome! Way to go!

    Thrift Diving

  4. We eat generally healthy in my family. However, I am not 100% against processed foods. In moderation, processed foods can be part of an overall healthy diet.

  5. That is amazing! And honestly, even if you just end up cutting down and not eliminating processed stuff altogether, that will make a big difference too. That's where I'm at--I'm totally going to buy a candy bar once in a while, but it's not like back in the day when I would have one with my lunch on a regular basis. :)

    1. A life without candy would just be too hard! Especially after my kids go trick or treating! But I agree, just cutting back will make a huge difference. I wanted to go a month without eating anything processed so I could kick some of my bad habits. And it worked since I've mostly kept to my no processed food ways.

  6. That is a HUGE accomplishment to not eat processed foods for a whole month! Congrats, Mama. Well done :)

  7. I would love to cut back on processed foods. I'm really impressed to read all of the results, and I think there is so much incentive to do it.

    Stopping by from SITS.

  8. This fantastic and I think you deserve a great big congratulations.

  9. I am officially inspired! Thanks for sharing!

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