Welcome to 100 Days of Real Food

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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  • Comments

    1. |

      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.

      -Hope

    2. 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

    3. 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!!

      Val

    4. 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.

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        We are actually mainly eliminating highly processed foods including refined grains and sweeteners. We are absolutely still cooking our food and highly encourage others to do the same. We are also still eating some store bought items that are canned and packaged as long as they have 5 or less ingredients. Here is a list of the specific rules for more information: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/real-food-defined-a-k-a-the-rules/

    5. |

      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

    6. |

      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

    7. Catherine |

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

    8. 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.

      Susan

    9. Shelly |

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

      • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill) |

        Hi Shelly. I don’t have a detox I would recommend. Depending on your current diet, the elimination of processed food will be a “detox” in itself. You could always start with the mini-pledges (http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/100-days-of-mini-pledges/) if you are looking to ease into it and then just add on each week. Hope that helps. Jill

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