Healthy Living on October 18, 2010 by

October Unprocessed: Update

Soup saved me on so many levels on our trip- usually it was vegetarian and homemade.

We’re halfway through October and I thought I would give you a quick update on my unprocessed challenge. To say I blew it in Scotland and the Netherlands is to put it mildly. I had no notion of how difficult eating pure, whole foods would be once I left the states.

I started off really well- we packed lots of wholesome snacks- but fell apart once we started having to eat out for every meal. Our trip over was long and grueling and after about 15 hours of travel I had a hard time turning down the perfect little brownie that had an ingredient list almost as long as the brownie itself. I was tired and there were no veggie options for dinner (my fault for not making my needs clear). So I took what I could get- which was a pretty lousy salad minus dressing, a roll and a chemical-laden brownie.

Once we reached our first destination, I was just sure that I was navigating my options really well. Later I discovered that some of the items I had been eating were straight from a box/can. What can you do when something that seems so perfectly homemade and wonderful appears on your plate? You eat it and then, when you discover it’s not, you pass it by.

I love Scotland, but I had a lot of trouble determining what was made from real foods and what just came out of a can. I suppose that can be an issue no matter where you choose to eat- unless you find the top tier restaurants that proclaim their use of whole food ingredients. Let’s just say that the movement is not as well established in Great Britain as it is here in Portland, Oregon.

It was a bit easier once we crossed over into the Netherlands, where we found endless cafes offering homemade soup and sandwiches, as well as several nice little specialty markets where we picked up loaves of bread and freshly made salads.

A typical Scottish breakfast (minus the haggis for me) contains canned beans, canned mushrooms and a potato scone (delicious, but definitely processed). Courtesy of

Our last day of travel back to the states was a total nightmare and eating was a ‘take what you can get’ situation. Admittedly, I could have planned better. I could have gone out the day before and bought some snacks that were wholesome, but as it was we’d spent almost every last Euro and were so exhausted that we had to force ourselves out of our room for dinner. Our layovers were eaten up by long customs and security lines, so there wasn’t a chance to grab a bite at any restaurants- this was the first time I had to actually buy food on the plane just so we weren’t starving.

So I blew it all over the board, but I did it consciously, knowing that sometimes you have to sacrifice your ideals to keep your blood sugar in check. Now that we’re back, though, we’re determined to make the rest of the month unprocessed with zeal. I hope everyone else is having better luck than I am. Each day is a new day to start fresh.

Photo of Scottish Breakfast:

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