Real Food Defined (The Rules)

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Below are the rules we followed during our original 100 Days of Real Food pledge. If you are taking the 10-Day pledge you will follow these same rules.

100 Days of Real Food Rules

What you CAN eat:

  1. Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
  2. Lots of fruits and vegetables (we recommend that you shop for these at your local farmers’ market)
  3. Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
  4. 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains (find a local bakery for approved sandwich bread and check the Understanding Grains post for more info)
  5. Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
  6. Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken (preferably in moderation)
  7. Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!
  8. Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
  9. All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
  10. Also check out the Recipes & Resources page for a more detailed list of meal options including links to recipes

What you CANNOT eat:

  1. No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
  2. No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
  3. Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
  4. No deep fried foods
  5. No “fast foods”

Please leave a reply below if you have any questions about what is okay to eat during your pledge.

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How to Avoid Processed Food in General

If you feel that you have the will, but not the skill to do the 10 Days of Real Food pledge then here are some general lifestyle changes to consider instead…

  1. Read the ingredients label before buying anything. For years, if I even looked at food labels, I was reviewing items such as fat grams, calorie count and sugar content. While this may be important to some, the best indicator of how highly processed a food is can actually be found in the list of ingredients. If what you are buying contains more than 5 ingredients and includes a lot of unfamiliar, unpronounceable items you may want to reconsider before buying.
  2. Increase your consumption of whole foods especially vegetables and fruits. I am sure you’ve heard similar advice a thousand times, and I hate to tell you that it couldn’t be more true. This will help to displace the processed foods in your diet, and will actually make your food selections in general very simple. No more counting calories, fat grams, or carbs when your only concern is selecting whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry.
  3. Buy your bread from a local bakery. I actually used to eat white bread, but what I bought for my husband from the grocery store was what I thought was whole-wheat bread. When we finally checked the ingredients and found 40 different items on the list, including white flour and sugar, we decided it was time for a change. Why would there be so many on the list if it only takes a handful of ingredients to make bread? We since started buying our bread from Great Harvest Bread Company. Not only do they grind their own wheat every morning, but their honey whole-wheat loaf only has five ingredients – whole-wheat flour, water, yeast, salt and honey.
  4. In addition to your bread choice, when selecting foods like pastas, cereals, rice, and crackers always go for the whole-grain option. And don’t just believe the health claims on the outside of the box.  Read the ingredients to make sure the product is truly made with only 100% whole grains – not a combination of whole grains and refined grains which is unfortunately how a lot of “whole grain” products are made. The white flour or other refined grain alternative is simply high in calories and low in nutrition.
  5. Avoid store-bought products containing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and those “that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) listed among the top three ingredients” according to Michael Pollan. Despite the mixed research on if HFCS is really worse for you than good ol’ white sugar, it just happens to be “a reliable marker for a food product that has been highly processed”.
  6. Don’t order off the kids’ menu. The next time your family is out to dinner try to avoid the kids menu. Those selections are most often things like pre-made chicken nuggets, fries, and pasta made with white flour, among other things. Instead try assembling some sort of side item plate (like baked potatoes and whatever else your kid will tolerate) and/or try sharing some of your meal.
  7. Visit your local farmers’ market the next time you need to restock your fridge. According to Michael Pollan not only will you find “food that is in season, which is usually when it is most nutritious”, but you will also find a selection of pesticide-free produce and properly fed meat products. It is also better for our environment to purchase locally grown products as opposed to the supermarket produce, which travels on average 1500 miles from the farm to your plate.
  8. Lastly, to once again quote Michael Pollan, he says to “eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.” If you had to peel, chop and deep fry potatoes every time you wanted French fries then you might not eat them very often. Only eating “junk food” such as cakes, sweets, and fried foods as often as you are willing to make them yourself will automatically ensure the frequency is appropriate.

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1,972 comments to Real Food Defined (The Rules)

  • Brandee

    I would love to begin the 10 Day Challenge, but there is one major hiccup: I am truly addicted (as in I get withdrawals) to soda. I usually can limit to one can a day, and have taken to drinking Pepsi “Throwback”. That one has real (but I assume processed) sugar vs. HFCS. Like I said, I would like to take the challenge but I know I do not have the willpower. Any thoughts?

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Have you ever tried to go without soda? I sort of have an addiction to chocolate (my body craves it badly after each meal) and I think with most addictions people can replace one addiction with another. I was able to find an alternative for my need for chocolate (that uses dried dates instead of sugar for sweetness) and I have a little bit of it as often as I would have had regular chocolate. It certainly isn’t easy giving up something you love so much so here are some thoughts that might help…
      - As I mentioned, think of another drink you can have (maybe cold tea mixed with some honey?) as a replacement rather than cutting out your special “drink” time all together.
      - Possibly reward yourself with something great (like a facial! or new outfit or something fun! or do something with the money that you would have spent on soda!) if you do get through 10 days without a soda.
      - Remember that if you do the full 10-day pledge it is only temporary and the first few days will be the absolute hardest (like the withdrawals you mentioned) if you give up the soda. I think it will get a little easier for you each day though.

      I personally don’t think there are any health benefits from drinking soda so my vote is for you to give it a shot! Let me know how it goes…

  • I was VERY excited to see your alternative to a sweetner for homemade mochas! I am seriously addicted to mochas & usually make my own with organic sugar & cocoa, but I will try using maple syrup instead. My hubby and I have been living healthy for the last couple of months…cutting out refined flours, eating smaller meat portions & more veggies/fruits. We have recently begun eating more organic foods (after watching “Food, Inc.”). Since we’ve cut back on portion sizes, the extra cost isn’t as much of a dent in our wallet as before. Thanks for sharing your blog!

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      So glad to be able to share with a fellow mocha lover! Not sure where you saw me mention it so I want to make sure I share exact recipe: 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup, 1 shot espresso, 3/4 cup hot milk….and voila! I have it almost every day now. It took me a while to get used to this over the old overly sweet version, but now I love it! Thanks for your comment!

  • Julie

    Regarding the anti-microwave comment above. Microwaves aren’t actually evil. In fact there is scientific evidence that veggies and meat cooked in the microwave retain their nutrients better than boiling or steaming. Who knew? Just learned this myself. I agree that microwaving popcorn, and veggies in plastic bags, etc, are no-no’ though.

  • chutneycarnival

    a general comment: there are a lot of foods that people believe they cannot live without, but that is most certainly not the case. in essence, most of our foods today are more for convenience than nutrition. live simply and eat simply. we are used to abundances of various sorts but let our love be for naturally occuring abundances and not the supermarket’s naturally occuring abundances.

    as to the questions about the 5 ingredients rule – the less that is in your food the more natural it is (hopefully). there are simple agrarian ways to make most comfort foods and a mountain of ingredients is not necessary.

    cheers and happy eating!

  • Amanda

    I personally love the flavor and smell of popping corn on the stove in oil, brings back memories of Grandma’s house. There is a way to microwave popcorn without using those icky bags from the grocery store. Found a recipe at this website:

    http://www.snack-girl.com/snack/homemade-microwave-popcorn/

    Basically you need a brown paper bag, about 1/4 cup popcorn, tape to close the top and about 3-5 minutes for it to pop.

  • [...] days without eating a single ounce of processed food or refined ingredients. We put together some rules that we followed (including no sugar or white flour!) and blogged about our real foodpledge on [...]

  • J Humphreys

    A friend just recommended your website, and I love it! I’ve been eating and shopping this way for almost a year now, but on a budget of $18 per person per week. One thing that helps me stay within that budget is my husband’s allergy to red meat — I never buy it. I also shop primarily at(sorry)Walmart, but I’ve found their produce is usually just fine, and I read that they’re beginning a new focus on locally grown fruits and veggies. We have a big garden, plus we catch a lot of fish. Thanks for all your suggestions.

  • Melissa Hass

    I just stumbled upon this article in my February edition of Eating Well. I am starting this immediately and sharing it with my friends and family. I bought an air popper at a garage sale this past summer for .50! It’s healthy, quick, fun and my kids love it!

    My biggest fear is sweetening my coffee…I currently use Truvia, Stevia or Sun Crystals. Do I have to give them up?

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Good for you by switching to real food! The most natural way to sweeten your coffee is with honey or maple syrup…you should try it for a week and see what you think.

  • Shelia

    I’ve been playing with eating cleaner for a while and found your website in Eating Well Mag. I have a question. I make all my breads at home and use whole wheat and unbleached flour amoung others. Would the unbleached flours be ok to use? What should I be looking for. Thanks I will probably have more questions as I plan for this new lifestyle.

  • Lyndsay

    I am on my 5th day of the pledge and I think I may be having refined foods withdrawl which I have read about. I woke up with the worst heartburn yesterday which I rarley get and I can’t seem to kick it. I also seem to be moodier than usual. Anyone else have any issues kicking the sugar and refined grains or is it all in my head? I’m sticking to this either way. If I am having withdrawl symtoms, it gives me even more incentive to make and stick with this lifestyle change.

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      I have heard of others who experienced some withdrawal symptoms (like headache) from cutting out the sugar. I hope you stuck it out…it will get better and be worth it!!!

  • That’s a great initiative; congrats, I’m sure you won’t regret it in the end. I was encouraged after reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, as well as Pollan’s and Bittman’s books to move away from processed foods. I have in fact moved out of the supermarket altogether, which made everything much easier.

  • Shelia

    We are 5 days in and the eating part has actually been easy. My kids have enjoyed the changes. The only problem we are having is drinking more water. We were use to soda on a everyday basis. Now I’m not sure what we can drink. We are juicing and having smoothies and water. We are trying tea for the first time and not having any luck. I first tried the tea unsweetened and that didn’t work so I started adding small amounts of honey and we are not liking that either. Any ideas for flavored drinks that would be ok? Thanks

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Good for you on day 5! I think with anything that you have on a regular basis (whether it is a flavored drink, chocolate candy, or sugar in your coffee) it is really hard at first to give it up. It seems so much easier to replace it with something else rather than giving it up all together. I went through the very same thing when I first had to stop eating chocolate (until I found an alternative). I hate to say that I haven’t really found too many great alternatives for flavored drinks though (we used to drink lemonade too!) b/c most drink recipes call for so much sugar! I have heard of blending red grapes with lemon for a lemonade type drink and I also use the chocolate sauce from this recipe (http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/07/17/recipe-chocolate-torte-with-whipped-cream-and-chocolate-sauce/) to make both cold and hot chocolate milk for my girls. Sorry I don’t have more to offer in the way of drinks…if you just push through I promise the craving will eventually go away, but don’t let that keep you from experimenting to find a suitable alternative!! Don’t give up!

  • mom2cuties

    Hi, I just started reading your website after seeing the article in the 2/11 Eating Well magazine. I am so inspired! Ironically, I have had a copy of Food Inc. in my house for almost a year and have not watched it yet. A few questions to clarify the rules: 1. Pasta is ok if it’s “whole wheat”, and brown rice is ok, right? 2. Is tofu ok or is this too processed? It has less than 5 ingredients. 3. Other than trying to get local chicken (which I have to investigate…we live in MI) is it necessary to buy organic? We currently use Amish chicken without hormones or antibiotics. Thank you!

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      You need to watch Food, Inc.! It is a very easy way to learn a lot in a short amount of time. To answer your questions…
      1. Any whole-wheat or whole grain pasta is okay (should only be 1 ingredient)
      2. Brown rice is also okay…any colored rice (other than white) is whole grain
      3. I honestly haven’t research tofu much b/c I am not a big fan. My personal opinion is that I don’t see the point of eating some imitation food when you could just eat the real thing! I think it is mainly made from soy beans though so it should technically be okay.
      4. You don’t HAVE to buy organic anything to take the pledge…we mostly buy organic just b/c we think it is the right thing to do. If you buy local you can always directly ask the farmer what they use to treat the animals (if anything) b/c a lot of times some farms are too small to go through the trouble of becoming certified organic even though they follow the same practices.

      Also, this grain article I posted awhile back might help in regards to your pasta/rice questions…http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/07/29/understanding-grains-corn-wheat-multi-grain-etc/

  • mom2cuties

    Thank you so much for responding! I’ve told a lot of my family members to check out your website and I’ve called some farms after looking at http://www.localharvest.com. Thank you for what you’re doing!

  • Shelia

    Still goin strong but I have more questions. I have a meat slicer so I try to buy roast and whole breast and slice them for sandwiches. What kind of meats would be good for sandwiches? We are tired of chicken and turkey and we don’t eat beef very often. My husband hunts so we have venison, also. I like to have meat in the frig already sliced and ready to eat. We do eat veges too just need more ideas. Any sandwich ideas? Thanks

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      We actually don’t eat meat on our sandwiches (just a personal preference), but I think pork would be a great alternative to chicken and turkey. For our sandwiches we usually eat peanut butter and jelly, hummus and cheese, egg salad, grilled cheese and we also love making wraps with whole-wheat tortillas. I feel like you can wrap up just about anything into one of those including veggies with feta or goat cheese or any kind of dinner leftovers. Also check out some other lunch alternatives (other than sandwiches) on the meal ideas page: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/real-food-resources/
      I hope that helps!

  • Shelia

    Hello, What types of cheese is ok? We eat block cheese. I normally grate or shred it myself. Is it ok if it is the block kind? What should I be buying? Thanks Shelia

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Hi there – Most cheeses are okay to eat. I also buy it in block form (and grate them myself if necessary). The pre-grated cheeses are mixed in with a cellulose powder to prevent caking so it is much better to do it yourself. The other thing I look for is coloring. Most cheeses are meant to be white (not orange) so I usually go for things like white cheddar myself. I hope that helps!

  • VERY Interested in doing this! It seems right in line with how my dream diet would be. I bounce between vegetarian and pescatarian a lot. For some reason it seems if I’m not into eating/killing cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs etc, then why is the eating/killing of fish okay? I saw (and was kind of overjoyed *guilty *) to see that Fish did indeed make the list of things that are okay to eat. Can you explain exactly why? I understand that farm raised is a no-no, but why fish at all? It’s flesh, it had die… any insight? It’s a conflict I have gone back and forth on and I would love to adopt this as my way of eating but this fish things always trips me up. Thanks! P.S. I’m new here, I’m off to work and when I get back I’m starting from the beginning and reading this whole blog can’t WAIT! :)

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Hi there and welcome! We are fans of both meat and fish, but we mainly eat meat in moderation because that is what is best for your body (and most cost effective!). Have you ever heard of a flexitarians? Well, that is us…. http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/05/19/becoming-a-%E2%80%9Cflexitarian%E2%80%9D/
      One of the key drivers of the way we eat is to embrace the way humans have eaten (and survived) for thousands and thousands of years. The highly processed and refined diet has only been around for the past 50 – 100 yrs (which is part of the reason for the recent rise in obesity, diabetes, etc.) so we tend to agree with just about anything people have eaten before that time period…which includes eating fish and meat!

  • Jenn

    I have read through a lot of your site and think what you guys are doing is great!!! After reading through several comments though, I still have one question, about butter. Isn’t it pretty processed and full of bad fats? I know most “clean” diets have you use a variety of natural oils as opposed to butter. Did you research this at all in your quest? I have not, so I was curious what your take on it is, since I see you include butter in a lot of your recipes.

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Thank you for the comment! The forms of cooking fat that society/government tell us are okay have been changing quite a bit over the last few decades. From butter to shortening to margarine (which is just imitation butter) back to real butter. Natural oils (like olive oil and coconut oil) are definitely great to use, but butter is okay as well since it is made from a natural milk product. Sure it is “processed” to some degree, but not what we would consider to be highly processed. Cooking is technically even a form of “processing” food. One key part of the eating real food is to eat what humans have survived on for centuries and centuries instead of what manufacturers have “invented” over the last 50 – 100 years (like margarine!). Butter has definitely been around and is considered to be okay. I hope that helps!

  • Nancy

    I love what you are doing. I do have 2 question I make our own homemade bread and I use White flour. I can’t seem to get it to work with whole wheat flour. So would that be okay if it was an organic white bread flour? And my 2nd question is I make my own homemade marshmallow (a spoon full of sugar helps my 19 mo. meds go down) and in my recipe it calls for corn syrup would that also be okay?

    Like I said I love what you are doing it might be a bit hard in northern mn not a ton of organic food hear to choose from :( but i get as much as I can.

  • GourmetOnADiet

    Is the fish you eat local? Also, can you use agave or raw sugar, or only honey, fruit juice or maple syrup? Thanks!

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      We try to eat local fish, but my highest priority is for it to be wild caught (as opposed to farm raised). If it is wild caught then that means they ate a traditional diet, which is best for any animal product that you are going to consume. These days they are feeding corn to cows (when they are meant to eat grass) and even corn to farm-raised fish (since it is so cheap) and we do not end up with healthy meats/seafood when that happens! In regards to the sweeteners…raw sugar is really only slightly better than regular sugar. I suppose raw agave would be okay, but the whole point of restricting sweeteners is so that you don’t buy anything from the store that is pre-sweetened. Factories tend to put way too much sweetener, salt, and oil in their products so if you are adding these items (including all natural sweeteners) yourself then you know it will be in moderation. I hope that helps!

  • holly

    totally on board with the spirit of this and have actually been eating this way for a while now. any tips on hitting the budget numbers while also eating gluten free and soy free? our grocery budget is a little out of control so i’m looking for ways to reduce the cost w/o compromising on the quality of the items we eat. (i order our meat from a local farm monthly and am pretty conservative on my orders.)

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Hi there! Sounds like you have an additional challenge by trying to eat real food AND gluten and soy free. I haven’t dealt with any food allergies personally, but I would think that making/baking things yourself (as opposed to buying the “gluten free” version) would help save money. Also, we eat local meat as well, but we cut back on consumption all together to help save money (and we cut back on “desserts” too which helped with the budget as well). Good luck!

  • Sarah Kathryn

    If cheese is ok…does that mean butter is ok too?

  • Casey D.

    Just heard about this site and love what you are doing/did. I do want to say about microwave popcorn, and I’ve been doing this since I first learned of it, that you can make popcorn in the microwave in a brown paper bag. Put 1/3 cup of popcorn in the brown lunch bag, fold down the top twice, and staple at either end of the fold. (WHat??? Staples in the microwave??? But, but, that’s METAL!!! My microwave will explode!!!) I learned this from Alton Brown, and the way he explained it was that the staples are shorter than the actual microwaves in the microwave, so it’s fine. (You wouldn’t want to put the staples right next to each other.) I haven’t blown up a microwave yet, not even so much as a spark. :) After it’s popped, I flick in some water and then salt and shake the bag. The salt sticks to the water and it tastes great!

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Someone else mentioned a homemade microwave popcorn bag to me too…I will have to try it! Thanks!

      • We pop our popcorn in brown bags almost every night!! We just fold and no staple though. It is SO easy and so much better for you. We put a 1/4 cup of popcorn and 1 tsp of Olive oil or Coconut oil and just use the popcorn button on the microwave to cook it. You actually don’t even have to add the oil if you want to cut that out as well. The popcorn cooks perfect. Add salt as desired :)

    • Bridget

      Of course that’s better than the store bought crap – but the microwave itself is bad!! It’s so easy to just make it on the stovetop, plus it tastes SOOOO much better that way! (and no throwing away a paper bag every single time you want popcorn!)

      • 100 Days of Real Food

        What source did you get the information from about the microwave being “bad?” Can you share? Thanks!

        • Bridget

          You can google “microwave dangers” & see what comes up – in general, most ‘alternative’ or natural health sources say it’s bad, & most conventional health sources say it’s fine; so it’s really a matter of choosing who you want to believe.

          But IMHO, everything that comes out of the microwave just plain tastes like crap – I’m amazed anyone uses them :)

          • 100 Days of Real Food

            Oh I thought you had heard it from a more reliable source not just the internet. Thanks for the info!

            • Bridget

              “The internet” is not a source to defined as reliable or not – the internet is full *of* sources, both reliable & un-reliable. As I said, it’s a matter of who you believe. A good question to ask anytime you read the results of a safety study is “who funded this research?”

              • 100 Days of Real Food

                Well, there is a lot of misinformation on the internet and especially when doing research for my blog I only trust a handful of extremely credible and reliable sources. So unless it came from somewhere like Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, CNN, etc. I would take the information with a grain of salt. I could find both positive and negative arguments for just about anything in our house if I were willing to spend time searching for it on the internet. And since I try to maintain a balance somewhere between what’s good for my family and keeping my sanity I just cannot believe everything I read or we will end up living in a tent in the woods to avoid all the “dangers.”

                • suzanne ballantyne

                  here are my 2 cents worth. i am also suspicious of microwaves and i just dont like the way things taste or the texture; so its not just ‘danger’ its preference. additionally i believe microwaves have added to the false pace of our existence; they just don’t fit into a slow food culture. there are lots of dangers for us to live with; choose your path wisely; be at peace with opyour own choices and should you feel defensive then perhaps you ought to reconsider your choices. in kindness to self and others, zan

                • Rebekah Gambrell

                  I follow Weston Price eating guidelines as much as possible and believe that they research what they recommend. If you go on their online page or look at any of their do’s and don’ts you will see that they say to stay away from Microwaves. They explain why and the studies behind it.

                • Lea

                  I just found this blog and am enjoying it, but sometimes your replies are downright snarky.

                  “Oh I thought you had heard it from a more reliable source not just the internet. Thanks for the info!”…………..talk about passive/aggressive. Should I not trust Michael Pollan just because he is on the internet?

                  I have read IN BOOKS not to use the microwave from Kevin Trudeau, Alicia Sliverstone’s The Kind Diet, Kristin Doyle – The Therapeutic Chef, and The Gerson Institute. I would not trust CNN with anything. I don’t trust any of these people 100%, because I don’t know them. And even if I did, who is right 100% of the time? When I keep reading the same info from different people and start to digest their reasonings, if it makes sense to me, I act on it.

                  It’s fine to have your opinion, but you don’t need to be rude to others. With the rate of our health declining so much, there are definitely environmental factors contributing to this. Microwaves have not been around that long. Because microwaves are questionable, I am choosing to err on the safe side with my family and not use them.

                  • 100 Days of Real Food

                    Lea –

                    I appreciate your comment, but I try to use reliable sources rather than just the “google” results when quoting facts. I could google just about any phrase and find articles to back it up, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a fact. And I apologize if my comment sounded “snarky” because it was certainly not my intention. The tone of emails/comments can unfortunately be misinterpreted since it is obviously just plain text, but please do understand I have quite a lot of emails to respond to so I often times just try to get to the point.

                    I hear what people are saying about not using their microwave, but I sometimes feel we need to go live in a tent in the woods to truly be “safe” from all the hazards in our home. If you were really looking you could find something wrong with just about anything in your house from the air conditioning system to the paint to the plastic to the bacteria growing on reusable grocery bags. In addition to trying to do what is best for my family I feel it is also important for us to maintain some sort of balance for our sanity. We don’t use our microwave very often so this is not a big concern for us at the moment. Things may change down the road, but that is where we stand today.

                    Thanks for your feedback.
                    Lisa

                    • I have been known to say that not only is “snarky” one of my favorite words, but a one of my predominate character traits.

                      I have just recently come upon your site and I adore it. As the wife of one, mom of four and full time professional, I was overwhelmed by this whole topic. I felt guilted, belittled, and incompetent by most “educators.” And honestly, buying Cap’n Crunch is just easier than the budget concerns or the full out revolt by the little people in my house. I mean, that’s how we grew up and we turned out ok, right?

                      But now that I have found this site (and a few others), I am encouraged. Thanks so much for taking the time to put all this information out there for folks like me.

                      I appreciate it – and the snark :)

    • Kyle

      I love my easy whirl pop! And my son loves seeing the lid bust open when it’s done popping!

  • This is really cool! I just found your site and Im very intrigued – husband and I have gotten a lot better about eating healthy and eating fewer processed foods but were definitely not at your level. I would love for us to try this – I cant wait to read more of your blog to see what changes I can make by following in your footsteps!

  • Kelly

    What about dairy substitutes, like almond or rice milk? I’m allergic to milk & can’t have it with cereal. Is almond milk ok?

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      Some milk alternatives are okay, but you still need to read the ingredients to find the best one. In regards to rice you want to look for “brown” rice milk, and be careful because a lot of them contain added sweeteners. I spent some time looking at milk substitutes once, and I believe the soy alternatives were the best choice (having 5 ingredients or less and no sweeteners).

    • You could try your hand at making your own almond milk, this is a favorite recipe I’ve tried: http://www.veganreader.com/2009/09/12/almond-milk-recipe-the-creamiest-of-them-all/

    • Jennifer

      I stay away from dairy because my daughter is allergic, so I generally prepare our foods without it. We use organic coconut milk and I’ve never had a problem substituting it in recipes. We love it! And, all of the ingredients are ones you can pronounce per Michael Pollan’s rules, hehe :o) Also, per some of his published stuff, he recommends to be really careful with soy. It’s one of the top genetically foods out there, plus he has quoted studies that show some of the scary effects soy can have our body (for some unknown reason the body reacts to it as though it’s estrogen and can cause some whacked out hormonal stuff). Thanks to him, I did a little more looking around and decided to stay away from soy alternatives with my daughter. Good luck!

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