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We invite you to read along and hopefully join in as our family seeks out the real food in a processed food world. Our hope is since our family (that does not live on a farm, has two young children, and a husband that travels frequently) went 100 days without eating a single ounce of processed food or refined ingredients that you will consider taking our 10 Days of Real Food pledge. To make the boundaries clear we set some ground rules. If we did 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. If you would like to make some changes without going “cold turkey” also check out our 100 Days of Real Food Mini-Pledges, a 14-week guide for slowly cutting out processed food.

Our original 100 Days of Real Food pledge ended September 4, 2010 and boy was it a wild journey. You can start reading the blog from the beginning on “Day 1” if you’d like. During that pledge, one piece of feedback we heard often was…isn’t real food expensive? And the honest answer? Yes. So we decided to set out on yet another real food journey by taking a 100 Days of Real Food on a Budget pledge. This one began on October 4, 2010 and allowed us to spend only $125/week on food for the four of us. That is less money than a family would have on full food stamp benefits! You can read more about the rules for this second pledge by starting on “Budget Day 1.” Thanks for stopping by!

A little more about our family and why we are doing this…

At the beginning of 2010 our eating habits were just like those of any other average family. We thought we were making fairly healthy food choices, although we certainly weren’t following any special rules. Then came along the Oprah show “Food 101 with Michael Pollan”. After the show, Jason and I (Lisa) both decided to read Pollan’s book “In Defense of Food” which ended up being life changing for us. As it turned out, a lot of what we thought were “healthy” food choices were actually just highly processed and what the food industry was labeling as “healthy.”

Jason’s background is fairly different from mine. As a young child he lived with his parents and aunts and uncles on a hippie commune in Oregon. They grew and raised all of their own food. Jason and his parents have since become more industrialized when it comes to eating, but that doesn’t change their basic understanding of where our food comes from. On the other hand, as a child I had both Doritos and Kraft macaroni & cheese as staples in my diet, and I barely stepped foot on a farm. This shaped my views as an adult. As most other wives and moms can relate, I do most of the meal planning and food shopping, therefore I was (and still am) the biggest influence on our family’s food choices. And after reading “In Defense of Food” I decided it was time to make some big changes to those food choices.

So it wasn’t easy at first, but we slowly revamped everything from what we bought, to where we shopped, to how we cooked. It’s been such an eye opening experience for us that we didn’t want to keep all this exciting information to ourselves. So soon after we started making changes I launched a blog called The Food Illusion (which has now been moved over to this site) and began to build an audience. After a few months of blogging I decided it was time to do something big, something bold, and something that would get as many other people as we can to not only read about eating real foods, but to also make a commitment to this important change. Which is when the original 100 Days of Real Food pledge was born. You see, every time we food shop or eat a meal we are voting for either processed food-like substances or real food. If all of us make the right choices together then we can make a big impact, which will help change our country’s food system for the better.

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Family photos taken by Photography by Chanda: http://photographybychanda.com/pope/
Disclaimer: Lisa Leake is not a trained dietician, nutritionist, chef, or medical professional. The information on this blog is based on facts, research, and personal experiences. This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease. Never dismiss any advice your health physician gives. The author shall in no event be held liable for any loss or other damages including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or any other damages.

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298 comments to About

  • Crystal Levine

    I didn’t read through all of the past comments, so someone may have already mentioned this. But, I make whole wheat crepes all the time (minus the vanilla and honey) for my kids’ lunches. They like peanut butter and banana crepes or spinach and cheese. For pb&b, I have found it easiest just to spread peanut butter on the crepe and roll up a whole banana inside. They love it!

  • Hello, all is going fine here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s actually good, keep
    up writing.

  • Hi there,
    I LOVE everything about your site!! As a stay at home mom of 4 I created 2 products to make serving and storing healthy snacks easier.

    Squishy Snak Pak- a reusable food pouch for health homemade baby puree, applesauce, yogurt, smoothies and anything else little hands can squish. Fill it from the bottom and squish it out the top, then was it and reuse it over and over again.
    Squishy Snak Sak- a reusable ziplock bag for any snacks anywhere. It keeps dry food fresh and is ideal for fruits and veggies on the go.
    I would love to have my products included in one of your posts. I’d be happy to send samples and offer a give away to your audience.

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Michelle Zacharias

  • First, your blog (via fb) has changed the way our entire family eats since I joined about a year ago. THANK YOU! My question is this… I am reading your new cook book (yay!), and this caught my attention on page 29: “common ingredients derived from GMO risk crops: ASCORBOC ACID, VITAMIN C, etc. Ahhhh! When vitamin C or ascorbic acid are used as preservatives in ORGANIC products (apple sauce, apple slices, baby food, etc)…can they still be GMO? Is it just the apples themselves that aren’t GMO if they’re organic? Help!

  • Amy

    I have been following you for awhile now. I am on board, I have 100 pounds to lose before my 30’th class reunion in 2 years. I have never been to one! So praying the whole foods work:) Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge!

    • Sandy

      Hi Amy, just saw your post and thought I would tell you that I am also trying to lose 100 pounds and am thinking in terms of using “Real Food” to help me accomplish this. It is by far the most sane approach to healthy eating I think I’ve ever seen, all things considered like price and simplicity. I’m starting the fall meal plan this week. Good luck to you!

  • Erin

    I thought in case you and your readers don’t already know, that
    Annie’s Homegrown is selling out to General Mills for lots of $$$$. I am very sad about this and have sent an email expressing my plans to boycott this company too.

  • Jeanne

    I don’t have Facebook. How can I get the meal plans? Jeanne

    This may be a duplicate comment but I never got an answer.

  • […] impact that Lisa Leake and her website has had on my life has been […]

  • […] impact that Lisa Leake and her website has had on my life has been […]

  • Camden

    I heard a story about your challenge a little while back and thought, “Wow, good for them!” It was interesting timing because lately I’ve been thinking about my diet and how horrible it has been for the past 30 years. I’ve been addicted to fast food and salt since I was a teenager. I’ve tried dieting on and off to lose weight, but never really thought about nutrition and what I was putting in my body. It just kind of came to me one day that I wasn’t eating REAL food. I’d gotten so far away from a balanced diet that I find myself lost in the middle of the ocean with no sense of which was is up. I love food and love cooking when I’m not too tired. But changing my diet always scared me because I thought I wouldn’t love food anymore. I ran away from restrictions and rebelled against the very thing I had started, out of fear that life would be a little (lot!?) less fun if I couldn’t crave my way through eating. I’m just starting my scary journey towards healthier living (discipline!planning!physical work!), but when I stumbled on your website today as I was searching for “real food recipes”, I felt like I finally have a lighthouse. A place that is not overly technical, joyless, sterile and deflating in its ambitions. Then to read through the FAQs and find out that you are in Charlotte, like me, was icing on the cake. It makes it one step easier for me, as you’ve proven that not only is it possible, but there are local resources already documented that I can utilize. Thank you for documenting your journey and laying it out in a way that is accessible to those of us just starting out!

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