Welcome to 100 Days of Real Food

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We invite you to read along and hopefully join in by taking the 10-day pledge as our family of four begins our 100 Days of Real Food journey. Our hope is that if we – a family that does not live on a farm, has two young children, and a husband that travels frequently – can go 100 long days without eating a single ounce of processed food then you will consider taking our 10 Days of Real Food pledge. To make our boundaries clear we have set some ground rules. If we can do it for 100 days, then I am absolutely convinced that anyone can do it for only 10 days! And in case you need some more convincing, check out our list of 10 reasons to cut out processed food.

Even though we first began our personal mission to cut out processed foods a few months ago, I estimate that we only went about 85 or 90% of the way. This initial change was an extremely big transition for us, and I imagine that going the extra 10 to 15% of the way is not going to be easy either. The biggest challenge of all may very well be getting our 3 and 5-yr-old children (who will be faced with day camps, playdates and birthday parties this summer) to go all the way without having any slip-ups! Hopefully it will help that we plan to reward them with a fun day at Carowinds Amusement park when the 100-day pledge is over. But before we get started, I would like to reminisce for a moment about what each of us will miss the most…

  • Me: Let’s see, how many things am I allowed to list? First and foremost – chocolate! I have a big sweet tooth and during our initial transition I cut back a lot on my chocolate consumption, but I do slightly fear going without it completely. I also originally decided that anything in moderation is okay (and I still pretty much feel that way), therefore I kept my once-a-day highly processed white chocolate mocha, which I will miss too. In addition, I did switch to some much better, organic condiment alternatives, but due to the number of ingredients on the list we will all have to go 100 days without store-bought ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard! Agggghhhh!
  • My husband: Since he travels several times a month for work he says he will miss the convenience of easily eating out for meals while traveling.
  • My 5-year-old: She said she will miss the once-a-day treat she was allowed to eat after dinner. Both girls will still be allowed to eat a “treat” after dinner if it doesn’t break any of our rules. So this just means that mommy must get creative even beyond fruit juice popsicles.
  • My 3-year-old: I can’t say that my youngest fully understands what is about to happen, but when I asked her what she will miss she answered my multiple choice question by saying chocolate. She is a mommy’s girl after all.

I will add new posts almost daily (subscribe to receive an email) to discuss the challenges and hurdles we face during our journey. And this is officially day 1…so let the games begin!

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31 comments to Welcome to 100 Days of Real Food

  • I am excited about this! I will certainly do the 10 day real food pledge! Good luck and I am excited to see how it all goes.


  • Maggie Sanders

    ok I eat pretty healthy too already but alas chocolate is a huge sacrifice but I will do it…but we are going on vacation next week and sorry it will have to start when i return…so I make the 10 pledge to start when I return….good luck and especially with the kids…this will be a huge challenge! maggie

  • Valerie

    L -

    We just got back from the beach. I will definitely sign up for the 10 day pledge – I just need to check my calendar!!


  • Harry Kier

    I’m all for healthy eating, but eliminating processed foods strikes me as just crazy. The most basic food processing technique is cooking. Cooking preserves food, eliminates bacteria and parasites, improves palatability and digestibility. Have you really given up this most basic of food processing techniques? Then there all the other traditional food processing methods; fermentation (bread & cheese), drying, salting, sugaring, smoking, pickling, and canning. All of these, while often reducing the nutritional content of food, have benefited mankind greatly, preventing starvation by allowing food to be stored and transported. We need to examine each of these though the lens of modern science to ensure that they do not introduce an unacceptable level of toxins or carcinogens, but to throw out all of these techniques is just silly.

  • [...] daughters–on the journey of our lives. Beginning in May 2010, our family took a pledge to go 100 days without eating a single ounce of highly processed food or refined ingredients. We devised some [...]

  • [...] over a year ago, our family made a bold move by pledging to follow strict “real food” rules for 100 long days. A few of these rules included no white flour, no sugar, and nothing out of a package with more [...]

  • [...] over a year ago, our family made a bold move by pledging to follow strict “real food” rules for 100 long days. A few of these rules included no white flour, no sugar, and nothing out of a package with more [...]

  • [...] own a television and don’t have as much time to read as I’d like, I just learned of the 100 Days of Real Food blog that Lisa Leake and her husband started about a year ago.  The concept is straight-forward [...]

  • Speaking as a fairly novice canner, ketchup isnt too hard to make from fresh vegies and spices. Homemade salsas are a good substitute, too. Mayo is also an easy, easy thing to make, especially with a food processor, and keeps in the fridge for quite a while. Mustard can also be fairly easily duplicated. I don’t see a really good reason to go without those. :) Good on you for the efforts. We are paring down our “junk” intake. hard with reluctant teens. -sara j

  • THANK YOU! My family is vegan, non-gmo, and we are spending way too much money on specialty foods which we really need to eliminate. I bought them for convenience and to help the kids feel like they were eating similarly to classmates. My 6-year old with Downs had a dramatic improvement in health and cognition when we stopped eating dairy and flesh. I love your menus. I graduated from Anne Wigmore Living Foods Institute in Rincon PR and learned a lot on the culinary art of dehydration, we already grew and juiced wheatgrass, which we love and spinach smoothies before school. Breakfast and Lunch at school are free, but I pack my kids lunch and snacks everyday and we’ve been doing this 2 years. My 8 year old daughter is occasionally tempted by cheese pizza, but I make a homemade pesto with just nuts and greens that she loves so we put it on an organic crust with a romaine lettuce salad on top and she’s happy. There are a slew of other great food documentaries out there on Netflix. Thank you again for giving us tips for getting off the pricey vegan options. Sharyl Mueller in Thomson GA

  • Catherine

    The link to the Rules in the blog text seems to be broken.

  • [...] include processed foods like animal crackers and dry cereal.  I’ve been inspired by the blog, 100 Days of Read Food, to take a pledge to eat only real food for 10 days.  Click here to see the rules as presented by [...]

  • Susan

    The links in this article don’t seem to work. I really want to learn more about the ground rules and how you accomplished this. I keep starting and then reverting back to processed food.


  • Shelly

    I am excited about getting started but would like to start with a detox. What do you recommend?

  • Morgan Griffin

    Today is the first day of the real foods challenge. I’m so excited to see how my body with adapt to this new way of eating, after all my body deserves it!

  • Shannon

    I found your page looking for a spelt bread or roll recipe. I have to say I am impressed and very happy to see so many people interested in eating less processed food. I personally have been placed on a diet due to becoming ill from eating too much processed food over my life; it’s a shame some of us wait until we are sick. Thank you for your page as it puts a more human touch on how hard it is to live in this society and actually care about our bodies and what we put in them. I have not been able to get my daughter and husband to commit to any extent; but maybe if they see me living better that might change. Thanks.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Shannon. We are glad you are enjoying the blog and that it’s been helpful. We hope that the change in diet has allowed you to feel better. Best of luck to you. Jill

  • Terri

    I have to start by saying that we are a family of “Southern Eaters” We love down home comfort food, but my husband and I decided that we needed to clean up our diet. So we just started the 10 day challenge. I am so excited. The meal plans and grocery list that you provided made it so easy. We started out today with the banana pancakes and everyone loved them. I love knowing that I have everything I need for the entire week. My family just looks at the planner and sees what we are having for the day. It has made “Eating Better” something that seems more attainable. I am praying that when we finish the first 10 days we will continue for the 100 day challenge. Thanks for making it so easy on us and proving so much support.

  • Candice

    We are on day 15 of our 100 days! It has been both easier and harder than I thought. Easier because I don’t crave sweets like I have in the past when I have just gone “sugar-free”, harder because I spend a lot more time cooking! My husband absolutely loves how he feels and our children (ages 11,10,5,3) are being good sports. Though I must say the parties, both at school and with friends are the hardest part for them. Thank you SO MUCH for all the resources on this site! All of the research that has gone into this is making my life so much easier!

  • Arlene

    I am really new to this and am starting tomorrow morning. Do I follow the meal menues for the 7 days?
    Or do you have a schedule for someone to start up with, the website has so much info I am a bit confused where to begin.
    please advise. thanks so much

  • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi Arlene. You can use the menus any way you choose. If you find one in particular that works best for you, start that way. Did you comb through the entire “Start Here” page: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/start-here/? Also, the FAQ pages are very handy. Best of luck! ~Amy

  • [...] to a real food diet, but now it is our new normal. And one of my most favorite outcomes from our 100 Days of Real Food adventure is that I completely rid my house of all junk food. I actually put it away in the guest [...]

  • [...] of the reasons I started this blog about our real food journey was to share with others all the invaluable information I’ve learned from hours and hours of [...]

  • [...] I first got a hold of this list last year my eyes just about bugged out of my head. Fresh off our original “100 Days of Real Food” pledge, I felt compelled to sit down and count how many snack suggestions I would consider to be [...]

  • [...] it off with artificially colored icing. Even though we made a lot of drastic changes during our 100-day pledge I guess some things are still evolving around here. So this holiday season was my chance to figure [...]

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