I am excited to introduce the fabulous team behind this blog! For the first year and a half I completely ran the whole thing by myself, and at times I felt like I was just flying by the seat of my pants. But after experiencing my fair share of technical difficulties as well as some serious blog growth, I quickly realized I could no longer do this on my own. So I am excited to share all the names and faces that make this blog what it is today. There is no way everything would keep running smoothly without their invaluable help! Also almost everyone on this list either has or will be publishing guest posts so look for their names as they join the conversation here on the blog.
Lisa Leake, Blog Creator
I am a wife, mother, foodie, and blogger who started this site to (hopefully) inspire others to cut out highly processed food. Prior to my unexpected and “almost didn’t happen” blogging stint I absolutely loved both food and cooking, but never wrote anything a day in my life (other than thank you notes and term papers!). I actually worked for Bank of America mostly doing corporate event planning up until my older daughter was 4-years-old…so as you can see quite a contrast from food writing. I am glad I overcame my “lack of writing skills” concern though and went down this path anyway because as it turns out, combining a deep passion with determination and hard work can take you to some pretty unexpected and exciting places!
Sometimes it feels like I don’t have much of a life outside of this blog (and the cooking that comes with it), but I do have other interests! They include traveling, gardening, sewing, craft projects with my girls, entertaining friends, throwing an occasional party, running or biking for exercise, and both decorating and organizing our home. Yep, I am your classic type-A busy body…even though I sometimes try I never actually sit still for very long!
To learn more about how this blog got started check out our “about” page.
Jason Leake, My Husband
Jason is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to professional experience, skills, and blog responsibilities. He has a mechanical engineering background and has worked as a product engineer, application engineer, real estate sales agent and investor, and sales executive. But in August of 2012, Jason had the opportunity to leave corporate America and begin working on the blog full time. Hooray! Jason’s primary blog roles are editor, ad network manager, and accountant (ugh!). He is also involved behind the scenes with most every other aspect of the blog including strategic development, grocery go-getting, first tier tech support, and emotional support.
Outside of work, Jason is a very involved dad and husband. He loves adventure, mountain biking, camping/backpacking, live music, international and domestic travel, home improvement projects, truthful people, and of course real food. He also enjoys rock climbing, running, and meditation (but is a novice at all three). One day he’ll get back into whitewater kayaking, and he has a dream of renovating an Airstream trailer and traveling cross-country with the family visiting national parks. Jason and Lisa both currently reside in Charlotte, NC with their two daughters ages (almost) 6 and 8.
Amy Taylor, Team Assistant
A bit more than four years ago, on a whim, Amy and her family decided to leave their Ohio home to go live on the beach in Florida. While there, Amy was finally able to fully turn her attention to what she believed she should be focusing on: the health and well-being of her family. Thus began her nutrition education as well as honing in on our American food system and how very out of touch we’ve become with what we eat. It has become Amy’s mission to feed her family in the healthiest ways possible and to educate others along the way.
Interacting with our readers is a high priority, and that’s where Amy comes in. By answering the comments on the blog Amy helps our readers find the information they need. She also ensures that certain blog pages (like the recipe index) are up-to-date and sends out the “10 Days of Real Food” wristbands to our real food graduates.
Amy is an amateur yogi, herb and vegetable gardener, Ted Talk addict, and nature lover! Her educational background is in child development. Amy is now a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and looks forward to adding some punch to her new found passions! Amy currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband and 2 young boys.
Shawn Keller, Facebook and Email Moderator
Shawn was born and raised in Northern California. When she was 18, she moved to Florida and it’s a good thing she did because that’s where she met her husband! After 7 years in the Sunshine State, they decided it was time for change. They packed up their stuff, put their finger on the map, and ended up landing in Charlotte, NC. Shawn has always had an interest in health and fitness, but it was when she became pregnant with her first child that she really started to feel passionate about eating real food.
Shawn is the newest member of our team and her main responsibility is answering reader questions on our Facebook wall. Just like with the blog comments and emails it got to the point where FB questions would start going unanswered if I didn’t get some help! And it’s important to me that everyone gets the responses they need. Shawn also helps Jill manage incoming emails when the volume is high.
Shawn stays busy with three kids (a 6 year old boy, a 4 year old girl and a very busy 2 year old boy), a dog, and last, but not least, a husband. Her weekends are usually filled with running the kids to their various sporting events. When she does have free time, she loves to bike and hike. Really, anything outside makes her happy Shawn also loves to cook and bake, so you can often find her in the kitchen.
Kiran Dodeja Smith, Sales Manager
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Kiran was a Junior in college when she realized that the accounting degree she was pursuing was not the field she wanted to work in for the rest of her life. So instead, she continued on and completed an MBA program with a focus in marketing. Upon graduation, she moved to Charlotte, NC with her (now) husband. After working for 3.5 years with a regional bridal publication, she started her own business, a regional magazine targeting parents. She successfully ran the publication for 8 years, during which she expanded her family to include four children. In November 2011, it was time for a change.
Kiran handles all of our sponsorship partners and advertising sales including giveaways and discounts for our readers. If advertising your company or website on 100 Days of Real Food might be a good fit then Kiran is your girl! Kiran brings a strong understanding of advertising, marketing and promotion as well as skills gained from running a small business and can assist you in finding the best way to promote your business to our targeted demographic. In addition to working with sponsors, Kiran will also be writing some product review posts for the blog. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband and four children.
Vani Hari (a.k.a. Food Babe), Contributing Writer
Vani is a management consultant turned food activist writer. She has made it her mission to spread information about what is in your food, how you can make the right purchasing decisions at the grocery store, and how to live an organic lifestyle. Her insights can be found on her blog FoodBabe.com and here on 100 days of Real Food in her column “Food Babe Investigates.”
Vani is incredibly passionate about nutrition, travel, politics and the environment, being an inspiring and energetic speaker at health and wellness events. The success of her writing and investigative work can be seen in the way food companies react to her uncanny ability to find and expose the truth. Major food companies like Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Kraft Foods, Whole Foods, Coca-Cola and McDonalds respond to her writings. Vani has been profiled in newspapers like The New York Times and USA Today, and is regularly featured as a food expert on TV programs like Inside Edition, Dr. Oz, and CNN.
Andrew Wilder, Tech Support
Andrew Wilder has been a “foodie” for as long as he can remember, but it wasn’t until his “a-ha!” moment in 2009 that he decided to make healthful living and eating a primary focus in his life. Shortly thereafter, he started his blog, Eating Rules, to help others find the same joy in real food.
Andrew can also be found working on related projects such as Blog Tutor, which is internet consulting and web design for food bloggers, and Healthy Ads, an online advertising network connecting ethical companies with health bloggers and their audiences. It’s all thanks to Andrew that when you visit our blog things run quickly and smoothly!