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.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!


  1. Linda |

    Is peanut oil acceptable?

  2. |

    Hi. I am publishing a website. It is a date/recipe/gym/charity site. I have reviewed your greens smoothies and would like to add a link on my page to your website. And also add a small review.

    • |

      It’s called lifesfruit.org and is under construction at the moment

  3. Sandra |

    Hi Lisa and team,
    I have been using your book to make recipes and I love it! Thank you!
    I have a question that is not related to food.
    What type of facewash do you use?
    I shop at whole foods, but I did not want to buy a facewash until I asked you about it.


    • |

      Hi there – So glad you are enjoying my book! I actually just use Dr. Bronners soap on my face in the shower (in the mornings). Most people think I’m crazy that I go to bed without washing my face, but I’ve tried and it gets dried out when I do that (even with moisturizer added). The shampoo co. I like (Yes, to carrots) does offer a face wash as well (called Yes, to cucumbers). I hope that helps :)

  4. Suzanne Lane |

    Hi Lisa,

    My name is Suzanne and I am the mom of 3 beautiful children under 6. I know you focus on food but since you’re a mom I thought you might be interested in my product. Most children do not get enough sleep and when my oldest was about to turn 3 bedtime became very challenging and was more like a nightmare. Daylight savings time and the changing of the seasons added to the frustration. Children can’t tell time and use the sun to determine night and day. The sun can be out until after 10 pm in the summer which is not an ok bedtime at our house. Before I knew it I had developed a product that not only teaches your child their bedtime schedule but also reinforces it with positive reinforcement. I worked with the best companies in the toy business, over the last 3 years, and created the ultimate bedtime solution for children. My Bedtime Friend – Makes Bedtime Fun & Easy! Please check it out on Kickstarter.com by clicking on the link below. Our video is Fresh Prince of Bel-Air parody. Thank you for your time. I would love your feedback!


    Suzanne Lane

  5. |

    Excellent work Lisa. Kids are our taste test lab!

    keep going girl

    mike starks

  6. Tori |

    Hi Lisa and company!

    Just wanted to tell you that I love your mission, your message, your website and your cookbook. I am trying to do much better for my family (although not near as healthyas you) by doing more whole wheat; organic meat; eggs and milk, and some organic fruits and veggies.

    I have totally gotten into cooking over the past few months while I have been recovering from my kidney transplant. I have made the whole wheat lemon-raspberry muffins and the whole wheat applesauce carrot muffins a couple of times, and the mini-pita pizzas. Looking forward to trying many more recipes.

    Thanks for your great info!!! It is helping my family.

    Blessings to you.

  7. Lindsay Jackson |

    I love your blog. How about a challenge for working moms/dads where supper and next day’s lunch are both prepared within an hour each night? We are just getting started with natural eating and it seems like it may be impossible with our schedule. We are used to shopping twice a month when we get paid. With work, Girl Scouts, swimming lessons, piano lessons, Beach Club, and life it can be hard to dedicate time to plan meals, got to three or four different stores a week to get the right food, and prep and prepare the meals every night. My family of 4 budgets $250 twice a month for all household expenses (food, laundry, cleaning, paper products, etc.). I pack my daughter’s lunch for school and mine and my husband’s lunch everyday. Next school year I will be packing lunch for all four of us. There is no more money or time. I would be interested in seeing what advice you could offer.

    We are in Frankfort, KY where the grocery stores are limited to Kroger, Walmart, and Save-A-Lot. To go to a Whole Food’s, Fresh Market, or Earth Fare we have to travel an hour away to Louisville or Lexington. We are trying to put out a garden this year and we have a pretty decent Farmer’s Market.

  8. brett |

    Hello! I understand a lot of protein bars/shakes are not truly healthy for you but I’d really like to know your thoughts on healthy protein bars on the market, if any. Thank you so much!!

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