Emily Wyckoff

100 Days of Real Food – could your family do it?

I recently came across an amazing blog – 100daysofrealfood.com – written by a woman who pledged to feed her family of four (her husband and two young kids) only “real food” for 100 days. “Real” food is basically non-processed foods, local and/or organic foods, and if you do get packaged foods, pass on any that have more than 5 ingredients listed on the package. After the first 100 days, she recognized it was pricey and did another round but this time 100 days of real food on a budget of $125 each week. Could your family do it? I think mine could, with the exception of no white sugar or flour – my baking would suffer, I am afraid. Here are some guidelines for the 100 days of real food from 100daysofrealfood.com:

What you CAN eat:

  1. Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
  2. Lots of fruits and vegetables (we recommend that you shop for these at your local farmers’ market)
  3. Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
  4. 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains (find a local bakery for approved sandwich bread)
  5. Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
  6. Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken (preferably in moderation)
  7. Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!
  8. Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
  9. All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
What you CANNOT eat:
  1. No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
  2. No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
  3. Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
  4. No deep fried foods
  5. No “fast foods”

13 Responses to “100 Days of Real Food – could your family do it?”

  1. Angela says:

    She has MANY, MANY great real food recipes on her web site as well. If you can’t commit to the real food challenge, try adding some of her real food recipes to your menu at home. Ever little bit counts! YUM!

  2. Sarah says:

    Some other blogs to help you along the path of following the smaller 10 day challenge or just eating mroe real food are Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Cheeseslave and Kitchen Stewardship. They all have lots of information, research, as well as recipes and ideas to make it all more frugal.

  3. Lisa says:

    Thanks for helping us spread the word about cutting out processed food! I love that you are asking your readers if they could take a “100 Days of Real Food” pledge, but I also want to share that we are challenging others to follow our same real food rules for only 10 days. I know you’re concerned about not being able to bake, but I have quite a few “real food” recipes on my blog (including whole-wheat banana bread, muffins, and zucchini bread) that might surprise you. It could be an interesting blog series for you to share your family’s “10 Days of Real Food” pledge with your readers! Just a thought :)

    All the best,
    Lisa Leake, 100 Days of Real Food

  4. Ginger says:

    Thrilled to see this blog getting the recognition it so deserves!!! Lisa is my hero. I found her researching the best diet for my ADD son. With the help of her recipes, tips, peeks into her pantry, my family went organic and hasn’t looked back!! So happy to see a local Charlottean helping raise awareness in the battle against all the processed crappy stuff that’s in our food and that our kids are eating, not to mention the genetically modified stuff that hardly anyone is aware they are eating. You go girl!!

  5. That looks hard, but I bet it would feel so good to accomplish it!

  6. JaniceT says:

    There are also weekly mini challenges to try. One week it was using only allowed sweeteners like honey and maple syrup instead of white and processed sugar. Another week it was buying and eating local foods and another week it was eating full fat foods, nothing “fat free”, “light” or “lite”. For one week I even gave up my International Delight coffee creamer for home made creamer. I honestly did not think I could do it, but I did!

    Each challenge opened my eyes to something new or helped me see that what I buy and how I buy it really does matter. It was so much fun talking to local farmers selling their goods at the Farmers Market on opening day for the season. I now set my alarm to wake up early every Saturday to get to the Farmers Market. I can’t wait to get there to see what is new in season and freshly picked that day!!

  7. Julie says:

    We did the 10-day challenge and have completely changed the way we eat now! We’re not 100%, but we’re working toward it. The website, recipes, and advice are amazing!

  8. Rebecca says:

    Our family has eaten mostly-real and as local as possible for the last couple years, since reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. Not only are we healthier, we enjoy the flavors of our meals better. And I’ve become a better cook, doing it mostly from scratch! I found this blog just a month or so ago, and we’ve started doing the weekly challenges. The recent “10 days of no sweetener” had been another revolution in our eating, and we feel much better physically. Great blog – both this and 100 Days of Real Food!

  9. Kari says:

    I encourage as many people as possible to take the pledge, my 4 year old son and I did it last year and it was the best thing I could have done for him. I already am a pretty healthy ‘real foods’ eater but it gave me an opportunity to incoporate my son into a challenge that was fun for him too! He has stuck to some of the things I’ve eaten as long as I can remember and introduced him to more things he likes. After all, it is healthy for all of our bodies and provides a natural energy that I certainly can use!
    As always Lisa, you are my inspiration! Congrats to your recognition, I don’t know anyone that deserves it more!

  10. Vesta says:

    I thought my baking would suffer too, but then I found this page about using whole can sugar: http://simpleorganic.net/whole-cane-sugar-a-better-way-to-sweeten/. It even includes a formula for creating a brown sugar substitute using whole cane sugar and pure maple syrup. It’s fabulous!

  11. HBohanan says:

    I would love to second (third?) the recommendation to Lisa’s website. I ran across it after desperately seeking ideas following a family quest to eat “real food”. We had just watched Food Inc. and all three teens came to me with the idea to change the way we eat. Who can argue with that?! Lisa’s website was a life saver, with great ideas of what we could/couldn’t eat, recipes and encouragement. Way to go Lisa! (oh, Rachael my family loves you too…and has been following you for years too!)

  12. I didnt know about this, thanks

  13. Summer says:

    So happy to see Lisa getting the recognition she has earned! I got her cookbook a few days ago and am making my 3rd recipe today. :). Tomorrow I will be making her chicken nuggets and meatballs with my 5 year old son so we can freeze them! Today he made the whole when biscuits almost entirely by himself. All weekend I have been dreaming of Lisa doing house calls (pantry clean out and grocery store education!) and doing her own cooking show. Rachel Ray needs to invite her on to cook!

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