Special Deal: Branch Basics Non-Toxic All-Purpose Cleaner

If you still haven’t found a good natural replacement for all of those toxic household cleaners – and one that actually works – then this is for you. I’ll never forget when a friend once said to me, “Most people think of harsh chemical cleaners as smelling clean, but I only think of them as smelling like cancer.” She was obviously being very dramatic, but not long after that conversation I decided to clean out everything that was under my kitchen sink. And man, she was right, I owned a plethora of conventional very smelly cleaners. My collection included everything from toilet bowl solution to glass cleaner to bleach…all products that could inflict harm just from their fumes alone, and can you imagine if some was accidentally ingested? (Heathers anyone?) So, right then and there I decided I was done and honestly gave everything to the very same neighbor who willingly accepted all my processed food not too many months before – no hard feelings attached! What can I say, she wanted it and I hated to waste anything.

Then I went through a period of staring at all the different “natural” cleaners for sale at Target. Who doesn’t love the selection at Target? BUT I was at a loss because I could not decipher this stuff like I can food. Even if I tried to read the ingredient labels none of the long names made any sense to me. So here I was trying bottle after bottle (at $4 or $5 a pop I might add) thinking I don’t even know if this stuff is really any better than what I just tossed.

So that’s why I am thrilled to share with you today a natural, non-toxic cleaner from one of our affiliate partners that IS better. Branch Basics is what our family has been using for about a year now and not only is it better, but it has many uses as a household cleaner (carpet cleaning and stain removal included) as well as a personal care product for everything from burns to cold sores to insect repellent to make-up remover to head lice. What?!? I hope I never have to test that claim out, but it’s hard to imagine something safe enough for all these things can also safely and effectively clean your home. In summary, this one formula basically cleans just about anything washable (even your dog!), which is pretty amazing. Continue Reading »

Egg Labels: What To Look For

I’ll never forget my first hunt to find “real” eggs back when we initially made our switch to real food. I’d read in Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food, that “pastured” was the optimal egg label to look for yet when I visited three different grocery stores in our area – including health food stores – everyone basically looked at me like I had three heads. Those early days were fun. So, I went back to my research just to make sure I wasn’t confusing the word “pastured” with “pasteurized” (two similar sounding terms with very different meanings!), and I was momentarily at a loss.

Eventually I figured out that the “good” eggs are the local ones found at the farmers’ market (that come in all different colored shells by the way, including white). I learned that in most cases pastured chickens not only roam free, but roam on a green, grassy field – or should we call it – a pasture! Unlike cows, chickens do well solely on grains, BUT they are much healthier animals if they eat some greens as well. And as I’ve shared before, “The diet of the animals we eat strongly influences the nutritional quality, and healthfulness of the food we get from them, whether it is meat or milk or eggs.*”

Healthier chickens
(defined by diet and living conditions)
= more nutritious eggs!

So, for a couple years now we’ve been almost exclusively buying our eggs from our local grower’s only farmers’ market. And what I’ve noticed is that – no matter what type of grocery store eggs we compare them to – you can see the difference. The color of the yolks from truly pastured eggs are a vibrant orange versus the pale yellow you typically find. And when farmers’ market shopping there is no need to understand the different egg labels since you basically “shake the hand that feeds you” and can simply ask the farmer about the living conditions and diet of their chickens as well as the use (or lack) of antibiotics.

Farmer's Market Egg vs. Organic Egg - 100 Days of Real Food

Continue Reading »

Misleading Food Product Roundup II: Don’t Be Fooled

Today I am once again posting a “roundup” of the misleading food products I frequently share on Facebook…just in case you missed some of these or need a friendly reminder (or simply don’t use Facebook). Please don’t let the food industry fool you with these products!

First though, if you are trying to make the switch to real food then you’ll definitely want to know about our sponsor, Tribe Wellness. They provide virtual one-on-one “real food” consultations that can be customized to your family’s specific needs (budget, food allergies, etc.). And they are currently offering all new email subscribers a FREE “Shop Healthy Guide” that’s 9 pages full of tips on how to make healthy choices at the grocery store. Their motto at Tribe Wellness is “Eating Healthy Shouldn’t Be So Hard”, and they are so right! So if you need some extra help in figuring out how to painlessly switch your family to real food then visit their website.


GoGurt - Misleading Food Products II on 100 Days of Real Food

Yogurt seems like a pretty innocent snack, right? Well, take a closer look (at the ingredient list) and you’ll see that these “Strawberry Milkshake” and “Banana Split” flavored yogurt tubes don’t actually contain any strawberries or bananas at all! The flavors come from refined sugar and artificial flavors/dyes. Did you know that artificial dyes are derived from petroleum and require a warning label in some countries stating they “have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children?”

Real Food Alternative: Why not make your own yogurt tubes by filling reusable silicone molds with homemade smoothies, plain organic yogurt (that you flavor yourself), or even applesauce? My kids love the homemade versions! Continue Reading »

Recipes: From Your Freezer to Your Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes on 100 Days of Real FoodA couple months ago I shared a fellow blogger’s From Your Freezer To Your Family: Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes eCookbook and I am not going to lie…many of you went a little crazy over this book! In reality, the concept behind this e-cookbook is a great idea. You spend one afternoon chopping, assembling and freezing “meal packs,” and then on any given day you pop one into your slow cooker and voila! – dinner is done.

Many of you had questions about how this method of cooking works exactly, so today I invited the author, Stephanie, to share all of the details with us so you can create your own “Freezer to Slow Cooker” recipes at home. Or better yet you could just pick up a copy of her book if you’d rather someone else do all the work for you!

Guest post by Stephanie Brandt Cornais

Hiya! My name is Stephanie and I am the Founder of MamaAndBabyLove.com. I am dedicated to helping women heal, nourish and love themselves so they can nourish and love their families and live their best life.

I have been on a personal journey to learn how to be healthy and cook for over ten years now, and it’s been a loooong and arduous process. I used to watch The Food Network and get inspired to get off the couch and try a recipe, but the end result was usually something my dog wouldn’t even eat. Then about six years ago I bought a slow cooker and it changed. my. life.

Later when my daughter was born, time was of the essence so I therefore needed a really efficient way to make lots of slow cooker meals at one time. So I combined my old love of slow cooking and my new love of freezer cooking into something that was incredibly time saving, manageable and most importantly, healthy.

In about 2 hours or less, I chop all my meat and vegetables and put them in Ziploc freezer bags. Then I add my spice combinations and mix it up a bit. I get all the air out of the bag and lay it flat like a brick so that it doesn’t take up a lot of space in my freezer. Then the morning I want a home cooked, healthy meal, I take a bag out of my freezer and dump it into my slow cooker, totally frozen. By dinner time I have a real, healthy and nourishing meal awaiting my family and me. Continue Reading »

Feedback from our Real Food Pledges

Feedback from our 100 Days of Real Food pledges

A pledge receiving one of our free wristbands in Argentina!

Lots of readers have signed up to take our “10 Days of Real Food” pledge in the New Year, and this is what some of them say they have learned from the experience…

“Doing this has made me realize how horribly we were eating, with all of the ‘time crunches’ we place on ourselves. This has caused us to slow down, eat and prepare food together and has improved family dynamic as well as over all health.” – Port Orchard, WA

“I learned coffee creamer has no cream! That my children are willing to try new things, especially if presented in a fun way. I used to use way more processed foods than I realized. I also learned I love spaghetti squash!” – Auburndale, FL

“I learned a great deal about food additives – we were already what I considered ‘healthy,’ but upon closer examination of our food choices, I realized that there were a host of contaminants in our meals, and subsequently in our bodies. As we traded in our breakfast cereal for green smoothies, I saw changes. Moods lightened, bowels began behaving, and cravings even started changing. The crunch of an apple is as addictive as that of a potato chip.” – Old Hickory, TN

“After a few days of withdrawal and brain fog, I started feeling great. I now have less fatigue during the day and just feel good about what we’re eating.” – Des Allemands, LA Continue Reading »

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Food Babe Investigates: How Food Companies Exploit Americans with Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

Vani Hari (a.k.a. The Food Babe) is a regular contributor on 100 Days of Real Food. To learn more about Vani check her out on “Our Team” page.

Thoughts of outrage, unfairness, disbelief, and ultimately grief consumed me while I was doing this investigation. A list of ingredients that are banned across the globe but still allowed for use here in the American food supply recently made news. While I have written about some of those ingredients before, this list inspired me to look a little deeper and find out how pervasive this issue is for us. Could these banned ingredients be contributing to the higher mortality and disease rates here in the U.S.?

The health of Americans is downright grim according to a report just released by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. It declares “Americans are sicker and die younger than other people in wealthy nations.” The United States spends 2.5 times more on health care than any other nation, however, when compared with 16 other nations we come in dead last in terms of health and life expectancy for men and near the bottom for women.

Here is the breakdown for you:

  • More than two thirds of United States citizens are overweight – 33% being obese.
  • 32% of children are either obese or overweight.
  • 43% of Americans are projected to be obese in 10 years.
  • After smoking, obesity is America’s biggest cause of premature death and is linked to 70% of heart disease and 80% of diabetes cases.
  • And 41% of Americans are projected to get cancer in their lifetime!

These reports and statistics scream the word HELP! Continue Reading »