Two Challenges for October

Managing diabetes is, in itself, a challenge. Why would you want to add additional challenges, you ask? Well, the challenges given in this blog post are not additional obstacles to be overcome, but they are strategies and tactics to employ in order to reach the goals you have set for yourself.

I have begun a new section on the site called “Challenges.” The pages will be listed chronologically, by month, throughout the year. But any of them can be employed at any time! Each month’s challenges indicate which of The 8 Laws of Health are involved.

I am starting with October, since that is the current month. Both challenges (below) apply to Law of Health #1: Nutrition.

Unprocessed Food Challenge

Goal: To reduce or eliminate processed foods from your dietary protocol.

For one month, take this challenge. Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics recommends:

  • Make a list of what you eat that you would consider “processed foods.”
  • Determine which ones you could live without forever and remove them from your house (trash or donate, whatever works for you). And don’t buy them again.
  • Determine which foods you would like to have an alternative for and find acceptable alternatives for your personal dietary approach to managing diabetes. Examples:
    • Recipes “from scratch” instead of boxed mixes (cakes, puddings, etc.) and canned (soups, pie fillings, etc.).
    • Cold-pressed (expeller-pressed) oils (olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.) instead of high-heat processed oils (canola, corn, safflower, soy, sunflower).
    • Bake your own bread, rolls, muffins, etc. Can be high-carb grain flours or low-carb nut flours.
    • Rolled oats or steel-cut oats instead of instant oatmeal.
    • Homemade condiments (mayonnaise, ketchup, etc.)
    • Salad dressings, sauces, and gravies made from scratch instead of a packaged mix.
    • Cheese sauce made from real cheese instead of instant powder packets in a box.
    • Seasoning mixes made from your own herbs and spices instead of seasoning packets.
    • Coffee beans you grind at home instead of instant coffee.
    • Tea from tea leaves instead of instant tea.
    • Whole/full-fat dairy products instead of low-fat or non-fat. No powdered milk.
    • Fresh vegetables and fruits. Ideally, seasonally from local farmers’ markets.
    • Real potatoes instead of instant potatoes or boxed dinners.
    • Stevia (pure) instead of sugar. (Make sure the stevia you buy is not mixed with maltodextrin or any other form of sugar.)

If you are already eating totally unprocessed foods, take advantage of this time in October to explore new recipes that will enhance your chosen dietary lifestyle and approach to managing your diabetes. Plan to make whole meals of diabetic-friendly foods when entertaining during the upcoming holidays, both at home and when contributing to holiday events involving food.


By blogger Andrew Wilder. Sells his own Meal Plan Guide and promotes his website. Apparently collaborates with manufacturers and distributors of what he considers “unprocessed foods,” such as Bob’s Red Mill. He writes,

“Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients. I call it ‘The Kitchen Test.’ If you pick up something with a label (if it doesn’t have a label, it’s probably unprocessed), and find an ingredient you’d never use in your kitchen and couldn’t possibly make yourself from the whole form, it’s processed.”

Vegetarian Challenge

Goal: To explore the feasibility and sustainability (or not) of vegetarianism for you.

Whether or not you are vegetarian, try this challenge in the month of October. Do it all month or just for one day or one week. Here is a suggested strategy:

  • Total carnivores ==> only “clean” meats/fish
  • Adventist non-vegetarians ==> lacto-ovo vegetarian or pescatarian
  • Pescatarians ==> only lacto-ovo vegetarian
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians ==> vegan
  • Vegans ==> raw vegan
  • Raw vegan ==> raw vegan and low-carb

Continue your personal carbohydrate, fat, protein, and fiber goals. Just make sure your personal dietary approach to diabetes management fits into one of the challenge strategies listed above.


Non-vegetarians pledging to go meat-free during Vegetarian Awareness Month (October). Offers a contest to be entered in for prizes. Sponsored by the North American Vegetarian Society and is obvious email harvesting. If you don’t mind being on their email list, go ahead and enter your email address to participate in this “contest.”

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