Earlier today, one of my friends, Aileen, sent me a link entitled, eatingRules. I was automatically hooked. As I mentioned on my “All About Food” page, I love food. Andrew and I have been working to eat more healthily and to eat whole unprocessed foods and this article was just awesome. It was started by a guy named Andrew Wilder from Santa Monica, CA. He had the idea to try and go a month straight eating only unprocessed foods. He was able to get a whole host of followers and is now doing it again for the month of October. I think this a great idea and after running it by Andrew (my Andrew not Andrew Wilder haha), he agreed. So we decided to try this challenge beginning next Tuesday (we will be away this weekend and want to start fresh). So from 10-11-11 to 11-11-11, we will attempt to stick to eating only unprocessed foods.
An important question to ask is, what does unprocessed mean?
Taken from the eatingRules page, unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with readily available, whole-food ingredients. It is sometimes affectionately called, “the kitchen test.”
1. If it doesn’t have a label, chances are it’s a whole food (veggies, fruit)
2. If it has a label, look at the ingredients. If any of the ingredients are things that you would not
have in your kitchen or things that you could never actually make, then it is a processed food.
Livestrong.com shares the following health benefits of eating unprocessed foods:
“An unprocessed food diet helps you avoid added sugars, refined flours, excess sodium, preservatives, colorings and other additives that can cause weight gain, bloating and sluggishness. The American Heart Association reported in the journal “Circulation” in August 2009 that Americans eat 22.2 teaspoons of added sugar daily, amounting to a nonnutritious 355 extra calories. An unprocessed food diet helps you trim some of these calories. The “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in a January 20, 2010, issue published a meta-review of studies maintaining that limiting intake of refined carbohydrates can actually reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Several additives in processed foods are possible carcinogens, such as butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene, which are used to extend shelf life, reports the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Many processed foods contain trans fats, which are man-made and should be kept to less than 1 percent of daily calories.”
I have to admit that perhaps a selfish thought I had is, if an unprocessed food diet has all of these great benefits, perhaps it would also have a positive impact on my ankylosing spondylitis? Maybe? The only real connections that I’ve read about between AS and diets so far has been some people claiming that limiting starches tends to help but it’s not proven and it seems to work no more than 50% of the time. So, we’ll start here and see how it goes. Maybe I’ll try to limit starches down the line? Or maybe if my doctor says to try it next week?