Day 100: We Did It!!

I cannot believe day 100 is here! And at the same time I am so glad it is finally here. It’s not that I plan to do things much differently going forward, but I very much welcome the ability to make exceptions as I see fit. This new ability comes with a small price though…lots of difficult decision making! Rather than all the processed stuff just being “against the rules” we will now have to weigh the pros and cons for every situation like…

  • Letting our daughters have the same cupcake as everyone else during birthday celebrations at school (I am thinking we will let them)
  • Deciding what to do with all of the candy we get trick or treating this Halloween (we are thinking we might keep a few coveted pieces and give away the rest)
  • Telling the dance studio that they can stop giving my 3-year-old a sticker while all the other kids get candy at the end of class (I am actually thinking I will not make this change…she hasn’t complained about only getting a sticker so what is the point in switching?)
  • Ordering directly off the menu the next time we go out to eat (I think we can only make this decision on a case by case basis)
  • Allowing any of us to eat white bread or anything made with refined flour the next time it presents itself (I don’t know what will happen with this one)
  • Continuing to let our old “treat basket” remain empty rather than allowing it to fill up with the same junk again (At the beginning of our pledge I saved everything that came out of the basket, but had a change of heart a few weeks ago and actually got rid of all the sweets!)
  • Deciding what food we should travel with the next time we go out of town (I am to the point where I can’t imagine not bringing any of our wholesome goodies along)

In addition to thinking about all of the difficult decisions that we have ahead of us, we are also looking back at the things we ate during our pledge that broke the rules (by accident of course)…

  • Grits – we only had it once, but now understand that grits are not considered to be “whole grain”
  • Locally raised sausage and proscuitto – both contained sugar which we overlooked since we were so focused on actually finding local meat products
  • Peanut butter with sugar in it that was added to a PB&J smoothie at Earth Fare – we had one smoothie this way before we figured out that we had to ask for them to use different peanut butter for us
  • Sushi with brown rice from Earth Fare that had sugar mixed into the rice! – I just learned about this the other day only because I asked (it is not listed on the label) and I plan to discuss this with the store
  • Baking powder that contains corn starch (which is refined) – when we discovered this we searched for an alternative to no avail so we had to keep using it (in very small quantities of course)
  • Our 3-year who didn’t exactly get what we were doing ate some bites of cracker at a friend’s house, a few chips at a party, and a bite of her grandmother’s non-locally raised hamburger
  • Oh and let’s not forget about the whole-wheat “blend” pasta (which contained some refined flour) that we had a couple of bites of at my parents house

All together though these items probably wouldn’t even fill a plate…not bad for a family of four over 100 days! We will of course finish out the rest of our final day by continuing to follow the rules, but once tomorrow gets here this is what’s on our minds to do first…

  • Me: I want to buy some store-bought mayonnaise and ketchup! I have mentioned this many times before so it should be no surprise. I especially want to make egg salad again with the mayo because it is something both of my girls love (and I do consider it to be pretty healthy!). I also want to deep-fry some homemade sweet potato fries and eat some locally raised sausage even though it has some sugar in it!
  • Jason: He struggled at first to give me an answer, but once he thought of something he kept giving me more and more items to add to the list. At the top is dark chocolate, corn chips (for guacamole or salsa), store-bought ketchup as well, and most of all he is looking forward to the ability to eat in a more convenient manner when out or at a friend’s house.
  • Sydney: It didn’t take her long to come up with her answer…a donut! I guess she still has some love for what used to be one of her most favorite treats. I asked her if she wanted to make homemade donuts, and she said no she wants to buy one from the store with frosting and sprinkles on top. I admit it may be hard for me to watch her eat that after what we’ve accomplished over the last few months!
  • Sienna: My innocent little 3-year-old who may only partially “get” all of this said the first thing she wants is candy. I was impressed that she had a somewhat intelligent answer, but then I asked her what kind of candy and she said “whole-wheat” candy! Too funny.

No matter how we decide to move forward I truly am proud of us, and especially proud of our kids for sticking to our 100 Days of Real Food! Here we are right before our “Charlotte Today” show segment the other day…you can check out the video on their website if you missed it. We had lots of fun being able to further spread the word about what we are doing, and all in all our pledge was just such an invaluable learning experience for all of us. I am especially thankful for the new perspective we’ve gained and for the change in palate we’ve experienced (read about more of our health benefits here). I am a little anxious to see what something as sugary as a donut with sprinkles would even taste like after the adjustments our taste buds have made.

Even though we are done with our pledge we are still very passionate about this important topic and plan to continue to spread the word (and recruit pledges)! I will continue to update this blog so subscribe (at the top right) if you haven’t already!

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  • Comments

    1. |


    2. nicky |

      Congratulations! That is really something to celebrate.
      Question for you…what do you think of the sweeteners out now that are made with the Stevia plant? (Sun Crystals, Truvia, etc.)
      I’ve really enjoyed and learned a lot from your blog. We’ve made a few of your recipes, too! Thanks for sharing all of your knowledge!

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        Stevia is at least slightly more processed than maple syrup or honey (which are processed in nature), but no matter what the sweetener is they are all pretty much high in calories and low in nutrients. Check out this post for more info….

    3. Mari |

      Way to go! We eat (pretty much) by these rules at home and only break them on occasion, so I can tell you from experience that that sugary donut will not taste nearly as good as it did 100 days ago! I am finding that all of my favorite “treats” that I grew up on are just not very good anymore since starting to eat “real” food 2-3 years ago. That is interesting to learn about the sushi at EF – I really enjoy it and actually liked that it had nothing bad in it. Oh well – it won’t stop me from eating it :) About the grits – the kind I buy are milled locally and still contain 100% of the germ. I assume that since it doesn’t have the bran it wouldn’t be considered whole, but those are still a much better alternative to store-bought grits, right?

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        Thank you! I agree that what you buy sounds like a better alternative to the store-bought grits (we buy ours from Anson Mills in S.C. so it sounds similar to what you get), but now that we understand they aren’t “whole grain” we will just save them for special occasions!

        • Mari |

          Anson Mills is also where we get our grits :) My husband actually decided the other day that he wants to start eating quinoa as a grits substitute since with a little butter and a little salt the taste is pretty similar.

          • 100 Days of Real Food |

            That’s a great idea! I bought some quinoa for us to try, but we just haven’t done it yet. Maybe this week!

    4. |

      Yay! Congratulations to you and your family! We did the 10-Day challenge and it wasn’t too bad. I was astounded to find just how many items we eat on a regular basis are either processed or contain sugar. This is a great eye-opener and we have changed the foods we buy significantly. I read all labels and am much more aware of what I’m eating. Thanks for doing the hard work and passing the knowledge on to us!

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        Thank you!! And I just love hearing those positive outcomes from taking the 10-day pledge! :)

    5. Jenniffer |

      Congratulations, you are such an inspiration! I look forward to future posts, and recipes:) Best wishes to you and your family as you sort out your decision making from here on:)

    6. Sara |

      Congrats!!! You all did a great job! :)

    7. |

      This is fantastic! Congratulations on your commitment to your project! You always know you can do it again. I feel like life is a pendulem, moving towards good behavior and then towards bad. You know now that when you drift too far in the ‘bad’ direction you can just pull it back.

      About some of the things that you said you wanted. I found that Kettle brand has a whole grain organic corn chip that includes corn, oil and salt. My kids love them, and they’ll have a few and don’t abuse them which is nice.
      I also recently switched to a better brand of mayo. It has more than 5 ingredients, but Hain brand mayo makes a very good mayo that is made with safflower oil, and all food ingredients with one exception-tocopherols, which is the same vitamin E that is in your daily multi vitamin (BTW-I love New Chapter vitamins which have alot of their vitamins from whole food sources, they never made me sick during pregnancy). Anyway back to mayo-the mayo does have cane juice and the tocopherols, those are the only offensive ingredients. Every other one in my grocery store was made with soybean oil.

      Congrats, this is a huge accomplishment!! You will find a balance with the kids. Maybe they can splurge one day a week? When you set boundaries they will just follow you!

    8. Patti |

      Congrats to you and your family! What a great accomplishment =). We were proud of our 10 day pledge…when I told my husband that your 100 days were over he replied “let’s do 100 days!”. We’ll see what happens =).

    9. Jennifer |

      Congratulations! I have loved reading your blog and following you all on this journey. I look forward to the posts in the future. My family is half-way through our 10-day pledge and have been enjoying it!

    10. Heidi |

      Congratulations! How inspiring! If your family can do that for 100 days, then we can all make small changes in our day to day life. Thank you for sharing with us. I hope you continue to post meal ideas and recipes, it’s very helpful :)

      • 100 Days of Real Food |

        Thank you and that is exactly what we were trying to prove!! I will definitely be keeping up with regular posts on so subscribe there if you haven’t already! :)

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