30 Days of Mindful Eating: Unprocessed

Write about how it made you feel to not eat anything non-perishable or processed yesterday. How did it feel to prepare all your own food with fresh ingredients? How did you physically feel? Was it too much work? What did you take away from it? 

Well, first, I didn’t eat completely unprocessed yesterday. As a vegetarian, I really struggle to eat minimally processed foods while still getting enough protein, satiation, and having time to do other things in my life. Having prepared high-protein products on hand is critical to me feeling full throughout the day without gorging on pounds and pounds of beans and tofu.

That said, I did focus more on unprocessed foods: from a hearty salad for lunch to a plate of rice and beans for dinner (and after a mentally challenging workout). While it did take slightly more time in the day, I had a good deal of prepared food on hand, which helped make these choices easier than if I had to whip them up on the spot in the middle of a work day.

Overall, I didn’t feel much difference – mostly because it’s not that different from how I eat on a regular basis. However, I do notice that when I focus on minimally processed foods, I tend to feel better. Less bloating, more energy, fewer cravings, more satiation. At the end of the day, I just feel good.

I’ve been learning quite a bit about nutrition lately and the more I read about micronutrients (after being so heavily focused on macronutrients for years), I realize how important it is to really focus on a wide variety of minimally processed foods. While it makes me happier to supplement with tasty fake meat products (Beyond Meat has my heart), it makes me feel healthier to build that around a more natural, whole diet. Taking the time to prep some healthy foods (rice, beans, vegetables) in the beginning of the week makes it easier to choose these options, especially in the middle of a work day. Which is exactly when I do want to feel my best.

Black Iron Nutrition is offering a 30 Day Mindful Eating Challenge that includes journal prompts and tasks to help bring more mindfulness to our relationships with food. And I’m in! This post is in response to today’s prompt to keep myself accountable and get the most out of my participation. If you’re interested in joining the free challenge, sign up at Black Iron Nutrition’s website here.

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