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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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321 comments to About

  • Paige Sellers

    I just started the process with the 14 week mini-pledges last week, and am loving it so far. I love the way it has changed the way I think about food. I am slowly replacing my not so healthy stuff with the “real” stuff.
    I did have a question. I am making the slow cooker refried beans and don’t have a potato masher – is there anything I can use instead (hand emersion, just mash by hand), or is there a particular product you recommend if I will need it for multiple recipes and can buy it?
    Thank you,
    Paige Sellers
    (I am Rachel Coley (Hallberg’s) old neighbor from Selwyn!)

  • Love your site!
    I am SO GRATEFUL to find this. I look forward to having more time with a cup of tea so I can sit back and really absorb all of the information you have shared. Thank you and good luck on your adventures.
    I too am a working Mom of three little boys, who I want to raise healthy and strong, and we too have a traveling hubby/Dad in the family. We also live downtown in Battery Park City in nyc, so farms are.. a slight challenge to come by :). This helps me in a huge way and I shared your list with friends. Be well!

  • Shelby

    You have changed my life. Thank you!

  • […] pledge to eat clean, whole foods for 100 straight days (and the revolution the pledge kicked off) here.  100 Days of Real Food featured a piece late last year about phasing out processed foods from your […]

  • Wow, I really love your site! My husband heard about you on the Pat Flynn Show and was inspired to make a go of a blog and website that our friends had been asking us to do for years. We have three children that I home school, and I work part time as an artist for a local interior designer. I do commissions for her clients. Needless to say, I don’t have much time for a blog. My family and I have many food allergies and have struggled with different chronic illness due to the gluten intolerance. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about health from my own research based on what we were experiencing. I also have come up with a lot of recipes to suit our needs. Our website is meant to encourage others on their journey with food allergies, mainly for those who are new to this lifestyle. It is very overwhelming at first. We offer a free gluten, dairy, soy and egg free meal plan, and I post my recipes. I also post health info and other resources that will guide people to what they need to look for. Over the holidays my husband created our site called “www.icanteatwhat.com”, because that is what I said when I was diagnosed with food allergies, “I can’t eat what?”. We are also in Charlotte, so we just wanted to make contact with you to say hello and see what you think of our site. If you know of anyone that has similar food allergies, please let them know about our site, as we are just getting started. Thanks for your time and many blessings on your continued success.

  • Randall Palmer

    Hello! I moderate on some food forums on reddit.com and I was wondering if you’s be interested in doing an AMA ( Ask Me Anything) with us. Here is a link to our AMA team and forum. We would be excited to host with you and allow your fans to touch base and discuss ideas, tips, guides and good times with you.


    forum is /r/eatcheapandhealthy


    IAMA forum with tips:


    I can direct you to the reddit director of communication if needed. Charlotte can explain it all in detail. I look forward to hearing from you either way. Thanks!

  • Linda

    Is peanut oil acceptable?

  • 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.

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