I Didn't Eat Anything From a Package for a Week—Here's How My Body Reacted

After trying my hand at Bella Hadid's diet, a three-day "anti-detox," veganism, and Kaia Gerber's "yolo" diet—it's safe to say I've run the gamut of popular eating plans. Now, more so than anything, I'm interested in keeping things simple. Fresh, nutrient-dense, real foods make up my new meal plan, regardless of fad diets and outdated advice. Instead, I'm keeping to one rule—no packaged foods (that means, no chips, low-cal snacks, and processed foods—packages like yogurt containers and coconut oil jars are allowed).

This idea came up in one of my many conversations with Farah Fahad, MS, RD, a dietitian and founder of The Farah Effect. "The majority of packaged foods can be high in chemicals and preservatives," she warns. "So read labels to make sure what you're buying has minimal ingredients. You should be able to recognize and pronounce every ingredient on that list." Instead, I decided to forgo packaged foods altogether (for a week, at least) to see what it did to my body and how I felt throughout the process.

This mindset favors nutrient-dense, full-fat foods over the familiar low-fat "diet foods" with the belief that they're ultimately better for your body because they don't come in a "low-cal" marked package. "In the '80s and '90s, 'fat-free' and 'low-fat' were popular claims to make in regard to food," says Siggi's in-house RDN, Abigail Kinnear. "However, in the past decade, there has been an increase in the popularity of items that contain fat, as consumers seek less processed foods." In other words, real foods are finally at the forefront of diet and wellness trends, while low-fat packages with artificial sugars are on the decline.

Below, I describe how my week without packaged foods went and include my five favorite recipes I used to do it.