We Just Cannot Avoid Processed Food
Technically ALL food we consume is 'processed'. We process it when we pick an apple from a tree, mash it into apple sauce etc. We eat condiments like mustard, few eat raw mustard seeds and they don't do it for a good veggie burger. Slicing a tomato is processing, CHEWING IS PROCESSING.
Eating Whole Plant Foods as close to their natural state as possible is often the most nutritious way to consume them. But not too many of us prefer raw beans to cooked (preferably al dente) ones in soups, stews or in a burrito.
I frequently love to quote William Cowper: “Variety's the very spice of life, that gives it all it's flavour.” (sic). This, I believe is so very true in all things. Eating the Rainbow of Whole Plant foods usually provides all the nutrients a person need for health, wellness and natural longevity. Sure, there are exceptions but we are talking the 95% rule, not the exceptions that many will try to obfuscate the obvious truths that a Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle IS the best for the human species and always has been.
In many cases, eating the same food groups over and over will often deprive you of essential nutrients and may often over-load your body with toxic crap that will hasten your disease-ridden path to early death. “Doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.” Has been attributed to Albert Einstein. The same thing goes for eating the same thing, day in, day out and expecting your health to change; either better or worse.
I truly believe that variety and non-repetitive eating habits will provide an excellent nutrient balance over the long term of a lifetime. Not only an almost unlimited, variety of flavors, textures, nutrients, but a wondrous variety of cuisine that can never ever be fully experienced. There are millions of variations of foods, spices, flavors and textures that can be combined in an unlimited variety from the World over you can never exhaust. One of the most amazing things I’ve realized over the years is that you can combine almost ANY vegetable, spice, fruit, nut or seed into a delicious meal. My lovely wife does this on a regular basis, hardly ever duplicating a meal/flavor/texture in almost TEN (10) years of living our exclusive Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle; Even when I really WANT that duplication!
Living a Plant Based Lifestyle offers an unlimited variety of delicious meal selections; most of which are pretty simple, easy and inexpensive to prepare. After all, many of us have small gardens in the back yard, on our patio or both we can just walk out and pick, snip or pull out and add to our meals. If not, the grocery stores are usually stock full of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes/beans and more. We are blessed to live in the USA where we are Free to Experience the wonderful flavors that most of the Planet has to offer.
We ALL eat/consume some level of 'processed foods'. Just don't obsess about it; keep it as simple and as close to the Whole Plant Food as possible, limit the 'additives' if any. You just can't go crazy about this stuff but just do the best you can. We ALL will slip/slide a bit BUT if we focus on a diet that is Strictly ALL PLANT BASED, we should do pretty darn well; at least IMHO.