Day 57 of the No Processed Foods and No Processed Sugar AKA the Real Food Challenge

Hello everyone!

So I wanted to give an update on how my food challenge was going and tell you that I have been seeing improvements.

My acne does significantly clear up when I follow this food intake plan religiously.  Yet, when I stray my acne just flares up and it takes it awhile for it to clear up again.  Right now, my skin is once again in its clearing up stage. 

I was so good and did not eat anything bad at a get together/party my boyfriend’s friend was having.  However, the next day (this last Monday) my boyfriend and I ended up eating out and I ordered a vegetable stir fry, kind of hoping (but not really believing) it would be a healthy stir fry.  It wasn’t.   It had a very salty sauce, white rice, and very salty vegetables.  It was a major letdown. 

And my skin has been paying for it.  It’s so interesting that now that I really focus on not eating anything bad or harmful (aka processed, or any type of sugar~ refined, artificial sweetners, etc.), I can see how sugar and processed foods really affect my skin.  But, it has been clearing up, so that’s good.

I also was not sure whether my skin was not having a reaction from the Tarte Smooth Operator Tinted Moisturizer that I’ve been using for a little less than a month.  So, I’ve stopped using it for a week now.  It does seem like I have less of the tiny bumps on my face, but I am going to give it another week to see if I really think it was partly the Tarte that was causing my breakouts.

I have also lost 12 lbs. in the almost two months that I’ve been cutting out processed foods and sugar.  I’m now at 144 lbs., compared to 156 lbs. two months ago.

Other than that one day that I ate out, I have been sticking to my no processed foods and no sugar plan very well.

My calve muscles also have not been cramping up badly at all recently.  I think I’ve found my balance of how much sodium I need in a day to make sure that the cramps do not happen.

I even feel like I’ve started to have a little bit more energy.  I am a little less stressed than what I have been recently, so I think because of the lower levels of stress I am finally able to see that my energy is higher because of what I’m eating, and what I’m not eating.  Or, maybe I just needed to be eating no processed foods or sugar for two months to finally start seeing my energy level rising.  Or, it could be a combination of the two.  Either way though, I am enjoying the little bit more energy that I am feeling.  I am hoping that as I continue to eat real foods that I will continue to see my energy level increase.

Overall, I have consciously made this a lifestyle change.  I no longer want to put anything that’s processed in my body, and I believe that is the main reason why I have overall really succeeded in keeping with this, despite having my weak moments. 

I believe that any of you can take this challenge to stop eating processed foods and sugar, and start eating real food (whole grains, raw fruits, raw vegetables, the correct portions of meat,etc.) too!  You just have to believe in yourself that you can do it, and truly want to change your food intake.  And the result will be changing your health for the better

“It is one thing to say you will make a change, one dayIt is an entirely different thing to start making that change today.” ~Kim Maurer

If you want to see my progress up to this point during this challenge, and for tips on how you can take this challenge too, please go to my No Processed Foods and No Sugar Challenge Category Page here: https://sunnymothernature.wordpress.com/category/no-sugar-and-no-processed-foods-challenge/

So, this challenge is almost over, but I am not giving up this change.  This is permanent for me, and I’m now in the stage of maintaining it.  I will continue to do updates on this even after the two months are up.

Are you ready to make this change?  Or do you have any questions, or comments?  Tell me in a comment below!

Have a sunny day! 🙂

~Kim

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dtay4123
    Feb 16, 2012 @ 17:59:59

    I just came across your blog in a google search. I am trying to eliminate processed foods from my diet, but so far it has been really hard. How do you do it? how do you maintain it and deal with cravings??

    • sunnymothernature
      Feb 16, 2012 @ 19:56:24

      Hi dtay4123!

      It’s so awesome to hear that you are trying to eliminate processed foods too! This is something that probably will not happen overnight unless you are at the final straw for something~ for example, for me, cutting out processed foods was my last attempt to get rid of my acne naturally.

      I also researched about it for probably a month and a half before actually committing to cutting processed foods out. This gave me some time to prepare myself for cutting them out. Basically in the middle of April I remember just being completely fed up with my acne and deciding that I was going to cut out processed foods. I gave myself three days~ I switched completely to no processed foods except I was eating up the rest of the sugary yogurts I had.

      However, acne is not a factor for some people. For some people, they find it better to just slowly cut out processed foods instead of cutting them all out at once. Even before starting this diet, I had begun to try to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from my diet, and I also in general no longer consumed sodas, or had too much sugar. These factors could have been part of the reason how I could dive into this diet head first. So, it’s ok if you feel that it would be better for you to just cut out a couple things at a time.

      It is hard some days for me as well, and I do cave in sometimes. I try not to feel guilty about it though. I just think that the next time I eat, I will get right back on track. I’ve noticed that the more I feel guilty about what I’m eating, the more likely I’m going to eat more processed food, than if I had just accepted that I had eaten one small processed food and moved on.

      As for maintaining my diet, one of the main factors for me is that by eliminating processed foods from my diet, my acne is essentially gone. It ONLY comes back when I’ve eaten something processed, or has sugar in it. Looking at ingredients is another way I am able to maintain it.

      I deal with cravings in two ways~ by looking at the ingredients of the said “food thing” I’m craving, or by substituting it with a healthy alternative.

      Looking at ingredients helps me kill most cravings (chocolate craving is not helped by this though). It just baffles my mind every single time I take up a box of so many different processed foods to see just what the food industry is calling “food.” Seeing propylene glycol, FD & C Lake dyes, hydrogenated oils, any words that I cannot pronounce and would never be able to identify as an actual food really help me keep focused on why I am cutting out processed foods. Also, watching Food, Inc. and reading about our food industry in general helped too.

      I don’t know how much research you’ve done on ingredients in processed foods, or how various processed foods are made, but I would definitely suggest you looking into it. That is another way that I cut cravings and am able to maintain this.

      The other way I deal with cravings is by substituting the processed food with a healthy alternative.

      For example, my major craving is chocolate. This is my major flaw to this diet. I LOVE chocolate. And all chocolate bars, chocolate candies, etc. bought in the store except a few have soy lechitin (I had to search extensively to find two bars of organic chocolate without it) and some type of processed sugar~ whether it’s cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup. And this craving has gotten to me several times since I’ve started this diet. Even this weekend I ended up eating processed chocolate candies. (I’m not beating myself up about it though. Remember~ the less you feel guilty about it, the easier it will be for you to get back on track with eating no processed foods)

      My secret weapon is making my own no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies. These cookies just have organic scottish oatmeal, some cocoa powder, honey for the sweetner, and maybe one other ingredient~ a tablespoon of butter? (I can’t remember off the top of my head). It tastes wonderful, and it contains no overly processed foods. It does not cause acne flare-ups, and my chocolate craving is satisfied.

      And you know what the best part is about these cookies? I feel NO guilt while eating them, or after eating them!

      So, taking up a no processed foods diet does involve some substitutions to make it enjoyable.

      What are your cravings? I could help you try to find healthy (or at least healthier) alternatives to them 🙂

      I am not going to tell you that cutting out processed food is easy, but it does get easier. After a while, I forgot what some of my favorite processed foods tasted like, or why I even liked them. I forgot my enjoyment of chicken nuggets (I used to love chicken nuggets)~ now, I look at them with disgust (they smell really bad to me now too). I liked fruits and vegetables before starting this diet, but since I’ve been cutting out processed foods, I’ve also started to notice that they have much stronger tastes~they’re more naturally sweet (in a good way). I’ve even started eating grapefruit without adding sugar on top (which was a necessity before this challenge).

      I hope this extremely long response helps you in some way cope with cutting out processed foods. If you have any other questions, or comments, please let me know! 🙂

      Have a sunny day!
      ~Kim

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