Does everything need to made from scratch?
-Nope. Check out my post about the spectrum of Cookuary here.
Does a pre-made salad or sandwich from a grocery store count?
-Nope. I would still consider this eating out as you are not preparing this dish on your own. If you bought those same exact ingredients and made the dish at home, that would count. It may sound arbitrary and it probably is, but at least at home you get to see the exact ingredients you are putting in your body for that meal.
Are juicing and blending OK? What about protein shakes?
-Yes! As long as you are buying the ingredients from a grocery store or farmer's market, go for it. However, I would try not to make this a large portion of your meal or a meal replacement. If you continue to blend or juice your meals, this may start to defeat the purpose of the cooking challenge. For adding protein into your shakes/juices, I would recommend protein powders that have minimal ingredients and sweeteners. If you are choosing whey protein, I would recommend trying to find a grass-fed variety.
Are snack/protein bars OK?
-Yes. As long as they do not make up a large portion of your meal.
If I eat out, but only eat whole foods, does that count?
-Nope. Still considered eating out.