Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Unprocessed Begins

Today I started the challenge of removing all processed foods from my diet for a month. I have also committed to doing the Whole Life Wellness Cleanse  during the month of October. I don't eat that much processed food to begin with, but there are little things I have already noticed that are going to be a challenge for me.

For one thing, I woke up a little groggy this morning and wanted nothing more than a hot cup of coffee. I struggled for a few minutes with my will power, then chose a chai green tea with raw honey instead. I try to stay away from caffeine while cleansing, but a small amount of green tea is allowed in the preparation phase, so I felt this was a good compromise.

Breakfast is usually a light meal for me, so in addition to a big glass of water and my tea I shared a fresh grapefruit, orange and banana with my son. I felt refreshed and energized after breakfast and we headed out to the farmers market.

We enjoyed browsing all the fall pumpkins, corn stalks and crafts before stopping at our favorite chemical-free vegetable farm stand and picking up some salad mix, carrots, onion, a big bunch of beets with greens and some beautiful rainbow kale. Then we headed home for lunch.

I couldn't wait to get home and sauté the beet greens, which are my favorite. Check out my simple recipe for Beet Greens with Garlic and Butter.  I served the tender greens over quinoa with some organic cottage cheese, which could be considered a processed food, but I didn't want it to go to waste sitting in my fridge.

After lunch we were invited to a local farm, Produce With Purpose owned by Rick Slager and family, who is committed to using natural and organic practices. Rick was kind enough to show us around his farm and show off his innovative design for affordable hoop green houses. I was particularly impressed with Rick's work on the Rural Empowerment Initiative, which is working to teach West Africans sustainable agriculture practices.  After talking with Rick about his farm and initiative, I am excited to get involved with his mission and get my hands dirty, literally, as he is always looking for volunteers to help with planting, harvesting and daily farm work.

When we arrived back home this afternoon, I was feeling pretty tired and could feel a slight headache nagging behind my eyes.  I am all too familiar with my "detox headache" which often happens when I cleanse or fast.  I was surprised it happened so fast this time, on the first day.  I had some rose hips and raspberry leaf tea and a few cashews to help pick me up and then made chicken strips for dinner with a big green salad.  I made a simple salad dressing, and added fresh grated ginger for added flavor and cleansing power.  During dinner my son asked me what the red onions in the salad were.  I explained that onions are good for our bodies and help keep us healthy.  He immediately picked one up and popped it in his mouth.  I waited on eggshells, expecting him to spit it out and make a yucky face, but he just smiled and said "Oh, that's good!"  I laughed when he then flexed his arm and said "Now I'm gonna be big and strong!"
I said, "Yes, you are!"

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