Self Experiment. No Processed Food for Two Weeks.

Not eating any processed foods for two weeks completely blew me away and I highly suggest you try it. 

When you scroll social media you see so many influencers just talking about macros, as long as anything and everything fits into your macros/calorie bank you’re good to go.  

You see desserts made out of protein powder and sweeteners of all kinds, cottage cheese and sucralose concoctions and microwaved protein bars, tiramisu chia seed pudding – you see it all. 

Many years ago I followed the Whole 30 protocol, look it up it is amazing! It was one of the hardest things. You realise you cannot recreate anything using “healthier’ ingredients.  It is just whole foods. 

Melissa the founder actually calls it sex with your pants on when you make protein powder pancakes and the likes or any desserts pretending to be the real deal. This just often makes you crave more of these types of sweet treats – while occasionally I think it’s great to make healthier versions of everything it is worth resetting your taste buds and focusing on eating just real whole foods in their natural state. 

What does this look like? Let’s first explore what processed vs ultra-processed foods mean.

Processed foods vs. ultra-processed foods  

Let’s define what “no processed foods” actually means. Essentially, they’re foods that have been altered in some way before consumption—frozen, roasted, spiced, bagged, canned, etc. 

The amount of processing exists on a spectrum, ranging from simply prepared, minimally processed foods , to ready-to-eat processed foods , to ultra-processed foods (think chips, ice cream, and even some plant-based milks). 

Processed foods aren’t all bad – even just cooking a food involves some kind of processing. There are many whole foods like say hummus that are processed from whole chickpeas, what I am referring to are ultra-processed foods with ingredients you cannot pronounce, laden with chemicals and artificial sweeteners, binders, fillers, hydrogenated fats and the like. They are fake foods with poor nutrient value, lacking in essential vitamins and minerals and other compounds. 

Nature is truly unmatched. When you eat a whole apple vs drink apple juice the nutritional profile changes, with the juice the fibre is removed, certain nutrients lost, it spikes your blood sugar and has no satiety value. When you eat the whole fruit it is totally different.  That’s how you need to view eating as close to nature as possible. 

So what did I remove?

I completely avoided all ultra-processed varieties of food during my experiment. 

I removed dark chocolate which is my best, almond butter, all nut butters, nut milks, all dairy and grains, smoothies, protein powders and even honey.  

I did use olive oil which is technically processed but not something I feel is an issue. I don’t drink alcohol so that wasn’t a thing for me.

This is typical of what I had in a day. 


I would have boiled eggs, rocket, avocado and cooked spinach with a black coffee

or Papaya/blueberries or apple and Pumpkin seeds or almonds.


Large Salad with avocado, celery, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, butternut  with protein (organic chicken, sardines, mackerel, grass fed meat) and often a date after lunch.


The same as lunch but lots of cooked veg, sometimes frozen berries after dinner or apple and cinnamon. 

This will likely come as no shock, but sticking to whole, natural foods really did make a difference to my skin health, not to mention my energy levels and overall digestion. 

I never snack so that wasn’t a thing for me but I did miss my protein powder, honey and dark chocolate and almond milk and homemade desserts. I realised how these are such a big part of my day and sweet fix. My electrolyte drink sachet has sweetener and a lime flavour, all artificial as did my magnesium sachet.

How did I feel

  • Better digestion
  • My skin looked amazing – super glowy and hydrated
  • I definitely felt less inflamed
  • Lighter overall
  • Better sleep
  • Better mood
  • More energy in the day
  • Less need for coffee too
  • Taste bud alterations

After two weeks I had chocolate and protein powder and it was overpowering that I can no longer have my superfood concoctions.

Pea protein definitely doesn’t agree with me nor does whey. I cannot have my usual flavoured electrolytes

Honey was super sweet too. 

My Takeaway

Nothing beats whole real food. Occasional treats are awesome too but once you do this reset you will find the taste of fresh fruit truly amazing!



  • Lynne Lynne
    Posted at 11:35h, 05 March

    Well done although it is intense for me…… id have to try it for a 2-3 days as a start

    • Carol Olive
      Posted at 11:42h, 05 March

      Let me know how it goes for you. A couple of days as start is a good place to begin, but you may need a few days to feel the benefits. You may not feel that great in those first few days, it depends on your biochemistry.

  • Michelle Kruger
    Posted at 11:43h, 05 March

    Oh wow Vanessa . Interesting read . I’m going to try this out. I have alot of inflammation . Skin irritations . Gut issues to. I am addicted to ice cream def need to cut this out.

    Thanks for the great blog

    • Carol Olive
      Posted at 15:02h, 05 March

      Thank you for your feedback and all the best. You can do this!