FREE Parenting Webinar: Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling

PPS-500x235As we soon head into the days without school, summer outings and get togethers can also be coupled with unkempt rooms and mentions of “I’m bored.” Instead of nagging, yelling or constantly reminding your kids of what to do, please know there are positive ways to keep everyone happy. This is why I am excited to once again offer to our readers the very popular and FREE parenting webinar led by Amy McCready with Positive Parenting Solutions. With three different sessions offered (morning and evening), you will not regret taking an hour to join us and learn how to use easy strategies to correct misbehavior and get your kids to listen. No one needs added stress or wants to constantly be nagging or yelling – especially during the summer months! So sign up below for a FREE 1-hour webinar led by parenting expert Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and regular TODAY Show contributor, if you’d like to learn about getting your “kids to listen without nagging, reminding or yelling.”

Free Parenting Webinar for our Readers

“Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling” led by parenting expert Amy McCready

Join us to learn easy to implement strategies to correct misbehavior and reclaim the calm voice you had before kids. Discover proven tools for your most frustrating discipline dilemmas including the 5 R’s of Fair & Effective Consequences. Tactics can be used for toddlers to teens.

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Recipe: Whole-Wheat Cheddar Garlic Drop Biscuits

Whole-Wheat Cheddar Garlic Drop Biscuits from 100 Days of Real FoodThese biscuits might be my family’s new obsession…they are so tasty good! They are almost like a much better (and better for you) version of those Red Lobster biscuits everyone has probably had at one time or another. And they are so quick and easy to make as well. What’s not to love!? :)

I also want to make sure you know about one of the newest “real food” cookbooks that just hit the shelves last week (pictured below). It’s from our meal planning sponsor – The Fresh 20! Their new book contains over 125 recipes that are organized into seasonal, weekly meal plans, and each week comes with it’s very own corresponding shopping list. Every recipe comes with a beautiful picture, and there are lots of prep-ahead tips throughout. Following wholesome and realistic meal plans like these can be a big time saver for busy parents. Has anyone made anything from the new The Fresh 20 cookbook yet? If so, please share the details below! Continue Reading »

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Food Babe Investigates Stevia: Good or Bad?

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

Sugar is one of the most dangerous ingredients on the market. It’s addictive, added to almost every processed food, and will make you overweight, depressed and sick if you eat too much. In fact, Americans eat close to 130 pounds of the stuff per person per year (4 times more than the recommended daily allowance), likely because it is so addictive. That’s why it’s exciting to know there are alternative sweeteners made in nature, like “stevia,” that don’t wreak havoc on your health – or do they? That’s what I went on a quest to find out. Here’s what happened…



What Is Stevia?

Stevia Plant

Stevia Plant

For those of you that are hearing about stevia for the first time, it is a plant that is typically grown in South America, and while its extract is 200 times sweeter than sugar, it does not raise blood insulin levels. That’s what makes it so popular. However in 1991 the FDA refused to approve this substance for use due to pressure from makers of artificial sweeteners like Sweet n’ Low and Equal (a one billion dollar industry). But in 2008, the FDA approved the use of rebaudioside compounds that were derived from the stevia plant by Coca-Cola (Cargill) and PepsiCo – hmmm doesn’t that sound suspicious? Not until a major food company got involved did stevia become legal, and only after it had been highly processed using a patentable chemical-laden process…so processed that Truvia (Coca-Cola’s branded product) goes through about 40 steps to process the extract from the leaf, relying on chemicals like acetone, methanol, ethanol, acetonitrile, and isopropanol. Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens (substances that cause cancer), and none of those ingredients sound like real food, do they? Continue Reading »

Real Food Tips: 10 Ways to Be Less Wasteful

It has been gradual, but over the last couple years we’ve been making small changes toward reducing waste – inspired by the Zero Waste Family and the fact that after an entire year they only produced one mason jar full of trash (if you can believe that!). I am the first to admit that we will likely never even come close to such an accomplishment, but I immediately recognized that we could do much better than a big trash bag full of garbage every few days.

We’ve all heard that we should Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, but my favorite “R” is actually one I just learned about recently and that is to REFUSE. Say “no, thank you” to the free pen at the trade show or hotel, stop entering those raffle contests, and don’t buy any more cheap plastic toys that you know your child will forget about in 2.4 seconds! Already being a type-A “purger” at heart, this motto has really hit home with me. I strive to have all our rooms and closets clean and neatly organized, but guess what – I would have to spend a lot less time doing that cleaning and organizing if we had less unnecessary stuff! So I am doing my best to stop those garbage bags full of unnecessary trash and Goodwill offerings before they even happen.

So in light of this new motto (and Earth Day today!) here are 10 ways we’re working to “reduce” our footprint that others can easily adopt:

  1. cloth napkinsCloth Napkins.
    Ditching paper napkins was something I considered for a long time before I actually did it. Then once we made the switch (and I realized how easy it was!), I couldn’t believe I had waited so long. The first step for me was to clear out a drawer in the kitchen to store our new cloth napkins (they take up a lot more room than a little stack of paper ones). So I finally dedicated a day to getting rid of more unnecessary stuff, ordered some attractive napkins that didn’t appear to hold too many wrinkles (because I knew ironing them was an unrealistic expectation), and came up with a new routine. We decided we didn’t need a “fresh” napkin every single meal so in-between uses we just hang our colorful new napkins on the back of our chairs. I also created a new spot in the laundry room for the dirty ones that I just add to a load of laundry as needed. Continue Reading »

How To Talk To Kids About Real Food

I have the pleasure of working with some great moms at our elementary school on an upcoming school assembly (for the students) that is all about real food! This is something we’ve never done before at our school, and it supports the initiatives for our new Healthy Child and Earth Committee. When we first started planning out the assembly we were honestly not sure where to start – I mean I talk to adults all day long about real food (you guys!), but a couple hundred kids? Some of which are brand new to the topic? So thankfully another local food blogger, Adri Warrick with The Whole Tulip, shared with us that she uses the red light/green light concept from a kids book called Eat Healthy, Feel Great when she talks to the kids at her school. That bit of information was exactly what we needed to get started, and today I want to share a version of our presentation with you that you can easily share with the kids in your life. :)

Sponsor Shoutout: Lunchbox Love

lunchbox loveSpeaking of kids, one of the ways I make my children’s real food lunches fun is by adding little notes from Lunchbox Love. Yes, I could probably write my own notes on my own paper, but let’s face it – they wouldn’t be nearly as cute or creative or fun and chances are at some point I would probably forget to keep doing it. Having the Lunchbox Love cards with our school lunch supplies is a great reminder for me, and not only do they have a heartfelt message (or a blank spot where you can write your own!), but the other side also has fun facts, jokes or other tidbits. I started sending these cards in my 2nd grader’s lunch at the beginning of the school year and she was so excited about them she said to me, “Mom, can you please buy me a frame to keep all these notes in?” We settled on a little box and sure enough she has quite the collection now that the school year is mostly over. And now that my kindergartener is learning to read we’ve been sending them in her lunch as well…just like big sis. :) So anyway, yes Lunchbox Love is one of sponsors, but I am here to tell you even if they weren’t I’d still be buying and sending these little notes with my girls (who in turn share them with their friends) so you’ll have to take a look at what they offer. Also be sure to check out their “grown up” notes as well that would be great to give with teacher gifts at the end of the year or to moms on Mother’s Day. Just like the name – we love these cards!


So back to the topic at hand – thanks to the team of moms I am working with on our school assembly, here is a kid-friendly transcript about eating “real food” that you can literally sit down and read together with your children:

How To Fuel Your Body

Race Car

Close your eyes and pretend that you are sitting in the coolest, fastest race car you can imagine. Maybe it’s a red race car or a green one or even a car with racing stripes or flames painted down the sides. Continue Reading »

Interview with Melanie Warner, Author of Pandora’s Lunchbox

This is a guest post from my husband, Jason Leake, and is part of his interview series for the blog. To learn more about Jason check out our team page.

Melanie_WarnerMelanie Warner wondered how a piece of individually wrapped cheese could retain its shape, color, and texture for years. She started running this and other “food experiments” in her home, including chicken nuggets that turned to liquid mush, while simultaneously conducting research that took her to food science departments, research labs and factories around the country. A mother and former New York Times business reporter, Melanie offers up a behind the scenes look at the processed food industry in her eye-opening new book, Pandora’s Lunchbox, which just so happens to contain an interview with one of our very own 10-Day Pledge graduates, Darcy Struckmeier and family! How cool is that?

Pandoras_LUNCHBOX_cover_230xAs I read Pandora’s Lunchbox in preparation for today’s interview, I was impressed not only by the information provided, but by the entertaining and easy style in which Melanie communicates. If you have friends or family members who “just don’t get” why anyone would avoid processed foods, this is the perfect read to pull back the curtain and to silently challenge them – in a non-confrontational way – to decide what they’ll do with their new found knowledge. Check out the excerpt after the interview to see what I’m talking about. Personally I’ve found the more I learn, the less I am swayed by the processed food industry’s (often disguised) marketing. On that note here are some points that are becoming very clear to me…

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