Amy’s Road to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (+ Recipe)

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This is a guest post by our blog team member, Amy, who recently graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition! We are super proud of her accomplishment and thought others might be interested in her story (including what she plans to do with her brand new Holistic Health Coach certification). A big congrats to Amy!


Amy’s Story

I have had a fairly contentious relationship with food for much of my life. As a child I was overweight and ate a lot of standard American junk food. As a teenager, I would often hear, “You have such a pretty face” which only left me wondering what was so bad about the rest of me. I went on a “doctor” supervised diet my sophomore year in high school which led to rapid weight loss as well as to boyfriends, which I had never really had before. And so began a 15 year struggle with various eating disorders; anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive exercise, which culminated with a stay in a treatment center when I was 28. While there, I interacted with many young girls not far from death who had so much to offer this world, but all their energy, creativity, and life-force was going toward this one thing…as was mine. At that point, I knew that I needed to heal my relationship with food so I could one day help others heal theirs.

Taylor Family on 100 Days of #RealFoodIn my thirties, I finally realized that food was not the enemy, but I was focused very much on eating no or low fat. During this time, I also became a wife and a mom. I was now feeding a family, and convenience was “king.” Then came my forties when I began to really take notice that much of what I was eating was leaving me feeling listless, foggy, bloated, and nauseous, and my younger son had also developed a problem with eczema. I realized how terribly disconnected we had become from the food that we were eating everyday. I knew it was time to transform my family’s eating habits. Continue Reading »

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Kiran’s (Realistic) Quest to Cut Out Processed Foods

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By blog team member, Kiran. To learn more about Kiran, check out our team page!


Before you read this, I’m asking you to do me a favor: Please don’t judge.

I started working with Lisa two years ago, but I actually have known her for years. I watched her start this blog, kept up with the original 100-Day pledge, and prior to working with her, took in little bits and pieces of her input. But to be honest, I thought that I was pretty healthy already, and I thought she may have been taking this a little further than I would (again, I’m being totally honest). Flash forward to 2012 when I started to work with her at 100 Days of Real Food.

Two Years Ago

As I mentioned, I thought my family was already eating healthy. I cooked many nights of the week, and by that I don’t mean I was just opening a bag of chicken nuggets. But like many, I was using some processed foods such as store bought white tortillas, and I certainly wasn’t shredding my own cheese. I even (gasp!) had a can or two of cream of mushroom soup in my pantry.

Kiran's (Realistic) Quest to Cut Out Processed Foods at 100 Days of #RealFood

Kiran and Her Family

After getting better acclimated to Lisa’s real food rules, I did decide to start making some changes. This didn’t happen overnight, however. Now, jump back to today, two years after not only being a solid follower but a member of the team. Continue Reading »

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Why I Don’t Read Nutrition Facts Labels (with one exception)

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With the recent announcement about nutrition facts labels possibly getting their first major facelift in 20 years, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my thoughts on nutrition labels in general. First of all, I almost never read them. I used to read them though. In fact, it used to be the only thing I looked at on the back of the package, but these days I find MUCH more value in reading the ingredient label instead.

Reading the ingredient label is the number one way to know what’s in your packaged food and how processed it is.

I have never been one to count calories, fat grams and the like, and one of the reasons for that is – and hopefully we can all agree – not all calories or fat grams are created equal! Please don’t let anyone try to tell you an avocado is just as “bad for you” as a donut just because they both have 21 grams of fat.

Same goes for calories – a pack of Skittles has about the same number of calories as 2 cups of organic grapes. Clearly those two are not even close to being equivalent when it comes to eating whole foods for good health. I would also say that considering grams of naturally occurring sugars vs. added sugars falls into the same category as well. And these are all the “facts” pointed out to us on the Nutrition Facts Label!

All Fat Grams Not Created Equal from 100 Days of #RealFood Continue Reading »

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Your Body Cleanses Itself

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Juice Cleanses Are Not Necessary! from 100 Days of #RealFoodI understand my stance on “juice cleanses” may not be the popular one (especially this time of year), but let’s face it – your body cleanses itself. I almost *cringe* every time I hear someone’s practically starving themselves by not actually eating any regular food and only drinking green juices and the like. Maybe they think they’ll feel great and it will help them lose weight (even if it’s just water weight) – but, in my opinion, not eating (i.e. chewing) any food for a few days sounds pretty extreme and like the opposite of “fun” to me.

Extreme Diet Trends

Leave it to us Americans though to once again take the enjoyment out of food. We are one of the few countries that obsesses over counting this or limiting that or not pairing two particular foods together at a certain time of day (this last one I never really understood?). What happened to just eating a variety of whole foods – and simply stopping when you feel full or, better yet, satisfied – and actually taking pleasure in the whole process?? I am pretty sure that’s the way things were meant to be, and also, by default, it would help us to avoid some of those unwanted chemicals and additives (i.e. toxins found in highly processed food) in the first place. Continue Reading »

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!

Raising Our Kids on a Healthy Diet Is Not Going to Ruin Them

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In case you missed it there was a conundrum on my Facebook page yesterday – after I learned my daughter was buying items in the school cafeteria I was unaware of – that spawned more than 3,000 comments (on both posts in total). I don’t think I read every single one of the comments, but I did read most and noticed something very interesting.

We’ve all heard the warning, “If you are too restrictive with your kids’ food choices now, it will backfire later!”

There may be some truth to that and I do personally strive for a “healthy” (and guilt-free) balance when my own kids want to indulge, BUT what I did notice yesterday – that was different than usual and that I really liked – were many of the following comments that REALLY struck a chord with me.

It's important to teach healthy habits-

Continue Reading »

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!

Sodium is Essential (in the right quantity) – But Not All Salt is Created Equal

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Glass saltcellar with salt insulatedLet’s face it – sodium has gotten a pretty bad rap lately. But in light of all the advice suggesting we reduce our sodium it’s important to know that (the right amount of) salt is also an essential nutrient for our bodies. So while overdoing it can still be detrimental to your health, you actually don’t want to go down the path of cutting out salt all together.

The reason so many Americans struggle today with high blood pressure and other sodium-related health issues is because very little of our sodium intake actually comes out of a salt shaker. In fact, “Processed and restaurant foods account for more than three-quarters of all sodium,” according to a 1991 study says CSPI – which means we don’t even know when we are eating it.

On that note I want to share a little something about my own personal health journey today. I am not saying what happened to me will be the same for everyone living a real food lifestyle – but maybe this information can help some. In early 2010 we began our mission to cut out all highly processed food. We changed a lot of things fairly quickly (in a matter of weeks) and many other changes were more gradual. When we initially cut out all the boxed, packaged and canned foods – and also started eating at restaurants less frequently – we obviously in turn greatly reduced our sodium consumption. Which is a good thing – right? Well to a certain extent, but what I didn’t realize at that time is that some salt is actually an essential part of our diets – in the right quantities that is. Continue Reading »

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!