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 »

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“Let Food Be Thy Medicine”

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Earlier this month on Facebook I asked the following question:

Have any of you (or someone you know) been able to stop taking some prescription meds after making a change to your diet? If so, I’d love to hear about it!

I was definitely expecting to hear some great success stories, but was completely taken aback by almost 800 comments sharing amazing and – in some cases – truly unbelievable transformations. I just had to recap some of the really amazing feedback here in an effort to inspire and help others. But as I’ve stated on our Terms of Use page, “This information on this blog is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease. Never dismiss any advice your health physician gives. The authors shall in no event be held liable for any loss or other damages bla bla bla.” So now that our arses are covered please read these stories below and be inspired. And in all seriousness, it is advised that you not stop taking any of medications unless under the guidance of your doctor. If your doctor doesn’t believe that it’s possible to improve your health through a change in diet (instead of immediately resorting to pharmaceuticals) then – GET A SECOND OPINION! Just my two cents :)

let food be thy medicin - 100 Days of Real Food.jpg Continue Reading »

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Portion Size Matters

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I am not one to count calories, fat grams or anything of the like, but that’s because the one thing I do try to stay mindful of is portion size (and only eating enough to feel full). But in today’s “super-sized” society (i.e. the United States) it’s harder than ever to determine if your portion size is even on par or not. Check this out:

According to French Kids Eat Everything, there was “A scientific study in which two researchers (one French, one American) weighed servings of identical meals at McDonald’s restaurants in Paris and Philadelphia. The serving sizes were wildly different: a medium-size serving of fries at McDonald’s in Philadelphia was 72 percent bigger than at McDonald’s in Paris.”

Let’s hope they aren’t charging the same price, ha ha ha. All kidding aside though, what’s up with that? And there’s more:

According to the CDC, over the last 50 years right here in America “The size of a hamburger has tripled, a basket of fries more than doubled, and the average soda has grown from a modest 7 ounces to a jumbo 42 ounces.” And some wonder why “The average American is 26 pounds heavier than in 1950. [And] about one-third of us are overweight or obese and that number is projected to hit nearly 50% by 2030.”

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Continue Reading »

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Interview with Doctor: Food as Medicine

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This is a guest post from my husband, Jason Leake, and will be part of his new interview series for the blog. To learn more about Jason check out our team page or his post entitled “Real Food From a Man’s Perspective.”
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Recently at a family reunion in Ohio I found myself in a late-night conversation so captivating that I didn’t go to bed until 2:00 AM. I was chatting with Adam Yanke, M.D. and Rupel Dedhia, M.D. who both practice medicine in Chicago, IL. Adam is Lisa’s cousin and is in residency to become an orthopedic surgeon while his wife Rupel is a practicing General Internist (which is definitely not the same thing as an intern, by the way!)

These photos are from a trip to the Himalayas where they provided free medical care to local people. They travel extensively and Rupel’s parents are originally from India, so while the young couple is very much at home in Chicago and have been educated in the US, they also benefit from a world view.

Rupel Dedhia, M.D. and Adam Yanke, M.D. providing free medical care in the Himalayas

So why was I so excited to hear their perspectives? Continue Reading »

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Newsflash: We are not “just fine”

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If I could have a dollar every time someone said, “I grew up eating highly processed junk food, and I turned out just fine” then I would surely be rich. And another one I’ve been hearing an awful lot lately is, “Easter only happens once a year so my kids will be getting candy.” Before I dive into the dozens of facts that prove we are truly (and unfortunately) not “just fine” I must first get this holiday thing off my chest.

Yes, Easter is once a year, but so is…

  • Christmas and Halloween and several other candy-filled holidays
  • Every kid’s birthday in the class
  • The junky packaged snacks given to kids after soccer practice and church service
  • Candy-filled party favor bags
  • The “100th Day of School” celebration
  • Visits from the ice cream truck
  • The Box Top “cupcake party” at school Continue Reading »

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Feedback from our “10 Days of Real Food” Pledges

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It dawned on me the other day that you guys might like to hear from someone other than me on occasion. :) So it’s been a little while since I’ve done this, but I wanted to share some of the feedback we’ve gotten from those who have completed our “10 Days of Real Food” pledge.  If we followed our real food rules for 100 days then anyone can do it for 10, right?!

Before I get into their feedback though, I just have to share this one comment that a reader left on a post a couple months ago:

“My 5 year old daughter has always been ‘difficult.’  Very sensitive to her world, her environment, prone to extreme meltdowns over trivial things. In September, it had gotten to the point where I was ready to take her to see a behavioral therapist. Sure enough, I started researching online regarding this type of behavior in children and came across Lisa’s blog as well as numerous articles about the American processed diet and how it relates to ADHD, etc. I thought, it’s worth a try. As soon as we started cutting out the processed foods, her behavior improved considerably. October and November was literally like living with a different child. I have been amazed at the difference in her. At first, my husband couldn’t believe that it could be the food we were eating, but now that he has seen the difference, he is totally on board with the lifestyle changes. It makes sense that a child that is sensitive in so many other ways would be sensitive to what goes into her body.”

Now back to the pledges. We asked them to share what they learned from their experience and also if they noticed any improvements in health:

“I’m more full without eating as much. I feel less bloated. I feel more energetic! I also committed to drinking 8+ cups of water a day (which I was terrible at doing before – It was all sodas and juices). I learned SO much just by cleaning out my cabinets. I had no idea. My friends thought it was ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ but once I got into the swing of things – I was unstoppable.” 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!