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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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306 comments to About

  • Wow! I’m only 11 year old I am doing the ten days thing. Well I hope this works well. Well kind of scared this is totally new to this but I will give it try alright!!!!

  • Sue Smith

    I HATE the way you do your comments – why is it so hard to read all of them at once, without clicking a million times? I assume you’re trying to expose me to as many advertisements as possible? From a reader perspective (and a new reader at that), it’s a horrible experience.

    • Hi Sue – We break comments up into different pages so that the site loads faster, which is important to readers and also to Google in terms of search engine ranking. I never thought about how many additional page views we would see as a result, but your question made me curious. I just checked…looks like page views from comments increased about 1% when we changed from 50 comments per page (which our web developer hated!) to 10 per page. – Jason

  • […] the 10-day pledge has impacted their lives. As you’ve probably noticed, this website is about our family taking the 100 Days of Real Food pledge. If all four of us did it for 100 days, I am convinced that […]

  • Hi Lisa! I love your blog; it has been one of the biggest factors in changing the way my family eats. I have gotten a ton of information here- and from your wonderful cookbook I got as a birthday present from my kids- thank you. I recently started my own blog with a health and fitness theme. Just wanted to let you know I referenced your blog twice in a post I wrote today about clean eating. Wanting to make sure I’m using proper etiquette as I get started, and wanted to let you know. Thanks for everything!

  • Ashley

    My sister and I hopped on the real food bandwagon shortly after our Mom passed away from cancer at age 49. We believe it might have had something to do with the artificial nature of some of the food she ate and beauty products used- diet soda, freezer meals, hair dye, nail polish, etc. Anyway, I re-did her butternut squash casserole recipe tonight that called for over a cup of white sugar by substituting maple syrup and it was delicious! I never would have thought of doing that if it weren’t for your site, which my sister and I read on a regular basis. My question for you is do you have a substitute for rice crispies? It’s part of the topping– rice crispies, pecans, butter and sugar. Tonight I just used rice crispies & pecans and it was quite tasty, didn’t need the sugar or butter, and was curious about the cereal substitute. Thank you for all that you do, I tell people about 100 days of real food as often as I can and have asked for your cookbook as a Christmas gift (my sister pre-ordered it).

  • Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

    Hi Ashley. You can find 100% whole grain puffed rice cereal. :)

  • […] this healthfulness that Lisa Leake writes about in her new cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food. I signed up to be one of her Cookbook […]

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