Feedback from our “10 Days of Real Food” Pledges

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It dawned on me the other day that you guys might like to hear from someone other than me on occasion. :) So it’s been a little while since I’ve done this, but I wanted to share some of the feedback we’ve gotten from those who have completed our “10 Days of Real Food” pledge.  If we followed our real food rules for 100 days then anyone can do it for 10, right?!

Before I get into their feedback though, I just have to share this one comment that a reader left on a post a couple months ago:

“My 5 year old daughter has always been ‘difficult.’  Very sensitive to her world, her environment, prone to extreme meltdowns over trivial things. In September, it had gotten to the point where I was ready to take her to see a behavioral therapist. Sure enough, I started researching online regarding this type of behavior in children and came across Lisa’s blog as well as numerous articles about the American processed diet and how it relates to ADHD, etc. I thought, it’s worth a try. As soon as we started cutting out the processed foods, her behavior improved considerably. October and November was literally like living with a different child. I have been amazed at the difference in her. At first, my husband couldn’t believe that it could be the food we were eating, but now that he has seen the difference, he is totally on board with the lifestyle changes. It makes sense that a child that is sensitive in so many other ways would be sensitive to what goes into her body.”

Now back to the pledges. We asked them to share what they learned from their experience and also if they noticed any improvements in health:

“I’m more full without eating as much. I feel less bloated. I feel more energetic! I also committed to drinking 8+ cups of water a day (which I was terrible at doing before – It was all sodas and juices). I learned SO much just by cleaning out my cabinets. I had no idea. My friends thought it was ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ but once I got into the swing of things – I was unstoppable.”

“OMGosh!! I learned that I can survive without a ton of sugar everyday. I learned that I don’t need one or more Diet Cokes everyday. I learned that hey, if I eat real food that’s good for me, my stomach doesn’t hurt every night! I learned that if I say no to my usual row of chocolate chip cookies and handfuls of candy everyday, I feel GREAT! I learned that at 43 years old, I don’t need a nap every afternoon! I learned that I better adapt this real food living to my everyday living.”

“We realized how sweet everything actually is that you buy.  It’s amazing once your palette gets used to not having that sweetness added just how much you DON’T miss it!  We were really encouraged just overall by the process and what surprised me the most was how easily the kids adapted!  My daughter stopped complaining of a tummy ache she’s had for months!”

“My husband and I actually started this challange on the first of December. While all our family laughed at us starting a “diet” around the holidays, we stayed strong and are proud to say that this is no longer a “diet”, but a lifestyle change that we plan to follow permanently. I have lost 14 pounds, and my husband has lost 10. I’ve noticed that my tastes and cravings have completely changed- I’m finding things don’t need to be sweetened or salted, and that I actually do love fruits and veggies. We graze throughout the day and have taken a packed lunch to work everyday since we started; it’s amazing that we are actually saving money, and nothing goes to waste in our house anymore! Another unexpected benefit is how much fun my husband and I have with food now. We love to shop at Earthfare once a week and come up with fun new recipes to try. As a former junk food junkie ( I would eat fast food at least 6 times a week), I am so thankful for this program, it has changed my life!!”

“Our family has learned so much. We’ve learned how to feed our bodies in a natural and healthy way. We learned that eaing healthy can give you so much energy and our moods have lifted. My husband and I actually got along better. My three year old calmed down tremendously and our house was overall a happier place.”

“After completing the 10 day pledge, I learned that it really isn’t that hard to eat a meal made almost entirely out of real food ingredients. I also learned to meal plan better and if I made a few meals ahead then I can time manage my week better. I did notice more energy throughout the days during the challenge and my stomach didn’t get upset as often since I wasn’t consuming highly processed foods or taking the quick way out with fast food.”

“Wow–this was such an amazing experience.  I have eaten more vegetables and fruit than at any other point in my adult life–OH, and I enjoyed it. I lost 7 pounds, slept through the night for the first time in a couple of years, and just feel better.”

As I’ve said many times before it’s not all fun and games…so we also asked the pledges what their biggest challenges were and this is what they said:

“Preparing the foods in advance for the work week, a little time consuming but worth it.”

 “Eating out with friends and social activities. It’s difficult but can be done. Just trying to get over the “poor me” attitude when everyone else is eating stuff I think I want. I’m learning though that I don’t want it as much as I thought.”

“Getting my husband on board!”

“Eating out. (Which isn’t such a bad thing – It’s a money saver to eat at home/bring snacks… I ended up meeting up with people after they went out to dinner.) I will say, when I asked a question about a sauce at a restaurant and they had no idea what the ingredients were… I was taken aback.”

“The most challenging part was convincing my children to try new things and sticking to it.”

If you have any feedback of your own about making the switch to real food please share in the comments below.

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32 comments to Feedback from our “10 Days of Real Food” Pledges

  • Diggitt

    I have always marveled at what an easy child my daughter was. I begin to understand when I realize she never got processed food to eat.

    I don’t think I was some obnoxious, pious foodie. I had my rules and I stuck with them. The rules weren’t for her–they were just the way the household operated: home-baked whole wheat bread; fresh fruits and veggies, occasional organic meats. No snack food around, so soda ever. (The idea was that if it isn’t in the house, I won’t eat it and she wouldn’t think of it as a forbidden treat.) If it never enters the house, you don’t miss it!

    She didn’t whine and didn’t have tantrums. She DID get car-sick and have headaches, which seemed to be hereditary. I never felt the need to feed feed feed her–and yes, there were times when I would microwave frozen peas, one at a time (1 second each) to get her to eat SOMEthing! My own mother reminded me that no child ever deliberately starved herself to death. To this day (she’s 28) my daughter doesn’t drink soda, although don’t get between her and chocolate! But she’s a vegetarian, with regrets about bacon and roast duck, and slender, cavity-free, and bursting with health.

    Sometimes I hear stories about people’s awful kids and I marvel that they ever have sex again after producing such monsters! It’s no surprise to me, though, because these kids are basically on chemical benders, taking crap into their bodies that was never meant to be eaten.

    Pandering to kids is often an adult’s excuse for over-indulging. After all, if the food it out of the house, you can’t eat it either, right? If it IS in the house, you AND your child are the worse off for eating it.

  • Katie

    I just started your organic eating lifestyle challenge. I am loving the fact that I don’t have to try to figure it out on my own. That kind of planning is difficult for a full-time working Mom. The biggest challenge for me is that I cannot always find the suggested organic items in Mississippi. I can see why my state has such a problem with eating healthy…because even the grocery stores here aren’t on board or knowledgeable about eating healthy. I would like to start my own petition…for stores to stop putting the junk food at the check out station. I started the challenge because I have constant headaches, I have my Mother’s DNA when it comes to high cholesterol (even though I’m petite), and I want to feed my kids better. Thank you for all your hard work on providing this information on your website.

  • We just completed our 10 days. We started March 16th. What I did was adapted recipes we love. My biggest fear was for my 5 year old who is very “picky” about foods, textures, etc. She went to bed hungry many evenings, but after the first few days I did noticed less tempers in the child department. Her listening didn’t improve, but that could be a 5 yr old thing. :-) I am still struggling with her eating foods put in front of her….. We will be adapting our recipes to being better for us.

  • Shannon K.

    I’m looking forward to our 10 day pledge! Due to budget constraints, I’ve been waiting a week or so to finish a few things in our house (we simply just can’t afford to toss it and buy different right now). We should be ready to go shortly! I think the main culprit in my house are flour tortillas and some unbleached white flour. I HAVE talked to hubby about it, and he’s all for giving it a go. He even agreed to nix his soda habit!

  • DianeH

    I’ve been following your blog and Facebook posts for a while, but didn’t REALLY realize what we were eating until I watched Fed Up in mid-September. For a mom who THOUGHT I limited treats and tried to serve healthy foods, I was totally wrong. We immediately analyzed everything in our fridge, freezer and cupboards, and I was horrified. Since then, I’ve signed up for your recommended apps, watched Food Inc. and Food Matters and am cueing up other movies to watch.

    I donated tons of unopened food to a food bank and made room for the good stuff. I now have a similar shopping ritual (we don’t have Earth Fare so I do a combo of Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for whatever the Farmer’s Market doesn’t have.) I have Stop ‘N Shop items delivered (like paper products, a few pre-vetted foods and organic produce I couldn’t get elsewhere) as I have no interest in shopping there anymore.

    As a working mom, the slow cooker is definitely my friend. Our sitter prepares the quicker dinners according to the recipes I leave, and I always ensure the right ingredients are on hand.

    My daughter has constipation and stomach issues, and my son has food allergies and acid reflux – I am really hopeful this helps them out. They have been really good about the switch as they already ate tons of fruits and veggies and whole wheat everything (well, what passed for whole wheat at the time!) And we just ordered some dye-free candy in preparation for Halloween swaps (and yes, the Switch Witch is coming too!) My husband has been a tougher sell, but even he is horrified about the artificial dyes, carcinogens and hidden sugars in so much of our food. And as long as I’ve got (good) food he can heat up and eat quickly, he’s happy.

    Lastly, for myself, I wasn’t looking to lose weight (and I ate full fat real dairy products since forever already), but I shed 5 lbs in 3 weeks just by cutting out anything processed, refined and with added sugar.

    The hardest part is finding some of the organic produce I want, but I’m trying to be more seasonal and local and buy frozen, so it’s working well. The kids love smoothies (leftovers made into popsicles) and eat organic dried mangos like other kids eat candy.

    I went to school for my son’s birthday on 10/10 and read some books to the class during snacktime instead of bringing in more treats. They LOVED it. And while my son ate dried mango and popcorn, his classmates ate what I now look upon as poison.

    I hope to bring an awareness campaign to our (small) school and to the caterer who brings hot lunch (you have to order ahead – I just skip it.) If anyone’s done similar, let me know. I can come across as too preachy and judgy, so want to ensure it’s being received as good intentioned!

  • Katlin Stewardson

    Going to start our 10 day pledge November 1st. I’ve been pinning your recipes and plan to make a complete 10 day meal plan with all of them. Organic is hard to find in my small town, but I figure eliminating processed foods and eating conventional real foods is better than conventional processed foods. I will get organic when I can.

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