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Hi, my name is Lisa, and I’m so glad you’re here because that means you have an interest in real food!

Whether you’re brand new to cutting out processed food or you’re a real food veteran, I hope you’ll find some value in the resources on this blog. In the beginning of 2010 I had never before read an ingredient label, never bought anything that was organic (at least not on purpose), nor had I ever stepped foot in a farmers’ market. I am certainly not proud of those things, but that was reality for the first 32 or so years of my life and the most disturbing part is that I had no idea I was doing anything wrong.

After reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan I got the wake up call of my life and felt like our eating habits needed a serious overhaul. Making such drastic changes was not easy at first (it has thankfully become our “new normal” since then), and at the time I struggled to find resources to help me understand exactly how I could apply Pollan’s principals to our everyday lives. So shortly thereafter my real food blog was born. What better way to convince others to cut out processed food with us than to give them everything they need to successfully make it happen!

Here are some of the resources you’ll find on the blog:

If you’re brand spanking new you might also want to check out:

I add new content to the blog weekly so be sure to subscribe via email (below) or follow us on facebook or twitter to be informed of new posts. I am very active on my facebook page so it’s a great place to post a question or join in on the discussion.

Wishing you the best of luck on your real food journey!

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532 comments to Start Here

  • Christy

    Hi, awesome site! Question, my family are vegetarian(I’m dairy free due to allergy)…what’s the rule on tofu and meat/dairy alternatives?

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Christy. I don’t really know a lot about tofu and dairy substitutes. I would just read the labels carefully in deciding which products to use. Jill

  • [...] 100 Days of Real Food – A family started out with a pledge to eat real food (nothing processed) for 100 days – and this is a blog with lots of resources and meals, recipes, etc Nerd Fitness – Specifically some of his opinions/examples of Paleo Diet got me thinking about the way we eat Michael Pollan – He has several books about the change in our diets over the past century, and promotes eating real food. I’m thinking of reading a few of his books, starting with: In Defense Of Food Eating Rules: Funny enough I actually found his site before a friend told me about 100 Days of Real Food – turns out the guy who writes Eating Rules is actually on the blog team at 100 Days. Small world! 40 Day Clean Eating Challenge – This is a challenge that one of the blogs I follow is doing currently. Very cool! Food, Inc – This is a documentary I plan to watch this week. It’s available on instant stream with Netflix if you subscribe! [...]

  • Joelle

    My fiance and I are doing this right now. To those who say they can’t just throw out all the processed foods in their kitchens, and that they have to wait until they use up those foods, I have some advice. Just do it. Get rid of everything and start fresh. If you don’t go cold turkey, you never will. We are on a very strict food budget. I packed up everything processed that was un-opened and donated it to my local Salvation Army. Everything else was tossed. I was merciless, and actually got rid of things that I discovered later we were allowed to have. I have no regrets. It was difficult the first two weeks because I couldn’t afford to stock everything we needed all at once. But we got through it. We are on our 3rd week of whole foods and we both feel so much better! I also recommend looking into Dr. Mark Hyman’s Metagenics program and his Blood Sugar Solution program. He has websites with recipes and advice. This is the best thing that anyone can do for themselves.

  • Kimbalie

    I started on this process with Superfoods RX because my grandmother was diagnosed with osteoporosis when she turned forty. They told her to take meds and she said no. She found this book and not until she was 94 did she ever experience a symptom. The doctor’s say she’s a medical miracle and she tells them no about that too. Today she will be 102 in September and doesn’t miss a lick.
    By any chance do you have a menu and shopping plan for a single person? I plan to times yours by 4 as best i can.
    Thank you so very much for this website to help me further along this road of wholeness.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Wow – congratulations to your Grandmother! On the meal plans, we don’t have ones for a single person, but, you could always freeze your leftovers or use them for lunch the next day. Best of luck and glad you are enjoying the blog. Jill

  • Kimbalie

    i mean divide by 4 :)

  • Leigh

    I am new to your blog and maybe you’ve addressed this, but here is what I am dealing with:
    I am the mom to two preschoolers. Everywhere we go, I feel judged for feeding my kids healthy foods. No one else eats the way that we do. (Well, I have ONE friend who does.) “No, I don’t want to stop at McD’s.” Do you know how judged a parent feels when I tell them that I’m not feeding MY children the food they are feeding THEIR children? I don’t know how to deal with this. I’d love to see you deal with this in a blog post.

  • Lyndsey

    I plan on starting your 10 day challenge, however I’m a vegetarian and not sure if you had any ideas on what I could have instead of meat. I know that the most of my meat substitutes are processed and have more than 5 ingredients. Thanks for your blog I have enjoyed reading and look forward to the challenge.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Lyndsey. Depending on the recipe, you could just leave out the meat (if it’s not the main part of the meal) or you could always use something like beans. Obviously, it will depend on the recipe. Glad you are enjoying the blog and good luck with the challenge. Jill

  • Darla

    I have just started to switch my family of four to this way of eating. I am super exciting and baking different items from your meal plans, so far so good. However, my husband mentioned that all of the desserts/snacks seem to be spongy. I was wondering if the “sponginess” is a result of something I might be doing or is that normal. Any tips on what I can do to correct it? Thanks so much!

    • Lisa

      Darla – That doesn’t sound right. I am not sure, which recipes you’ve made so far but are you following the directions exactly? Are all of your ingredients fresh (i.e. whole-wheat flour needs to be kept in fridge or freezer)?

  • I just wanted to say, “thank you.” I stumbled upon your Facebook page about a month ago, after seeing that a co-worker had “liked” your page. I am a nurse in a children’s ICU and have been out of work since mid June after I broke a bone in my right foot. Needless to say after being stuck home and unable to drive these past weeks, I have been going stir-crazy. Your blog has given me an outlet. I look at your posts, look up new recipes to try, and have been inspired. When my two little girls were just starting to eat, I made all of their baby food using all organic ingredients. As they’ve gotten old enough to eat what we are eating, I kind of lost that zeal to continue to make wholesome all organic food. I am still passionate about eating well, and we eat fairly healthy, but we consume our fair amount of “junk” as well. You bring up a lot of alternative medicine practices as well, and I find a conflict with those beliefs and the medicine that I push when I’m at work. There is definitely a place and a time for medicine, however, I have been more inspired to find a way to incorporate my love of food and nutrition, and alternative medicine, into my nursing career. How I will do that, I have no idea, but having found your site, I’ve become inspired to look for ways to make this way of life my career…if you have any ideas let me know… : )The best part, in my mind, is sharing the knowledge and the passion that goes along with it. Again, I just really wanted to say, “thank you” for inspiring me and giving me a purpose while I am stuck at home. I really appreciate it.

  • Sara

    Hi Lisa! I have a question about soy. I recently have cut out all cows milk from diet in hopes to help my colicky baby. I thought soy milk was a good alternative but I have heard its not so good. What are your thoughts? Sorry to ask this in comments, I don’t have Facebook so this is the only way to contact you.

    • Lisa

      Sara – We drink cows milk, but from what I understand both coconut milk and almond milk are two of the better choices when it comes to milk alternatives. Soy is in so many packaged foods (in the form of additives) and a little overdone because of that so I would choose another option if you can. I hope that helps!

    • Adam

      Be advised with Almond milk and coconut milk. These could cause allergic reactions if introduced to early. Best thing is breastmilk. (Source: my BS in nutritional sciences)

  • Tricia Williams

    Help! I am so interested in doing this for my family! My husband and I are big into eating healthy and more nutrious for ourselves. But my kids are SO picky!!! I can’t get them to eat anything good for them, I know I am the problem, because I provide the food for them that isn’t good. But I don’t know how to get them to try new things? Please help with suggestions, or good books to read.


  • Meisha

    I was wondering if you were aware of any sort of online support community that existed to help answer some of those day to day questions or get advice from others tackling the challenge of switching to real food while still managing the relationships with people around them.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Meisha. I am not aware of anything in particular, but, many readers post comments on the blog that might be helpful to you. Jill

  • Molly

    I come from a family of deer hunters. I grew up hunting deer and now I am with a man who also deer hunts so we do this together. We very much enjoy it and love to eat the venison. We do all of our own processing of the meat so we know that it is done in a sanitary manner. What is your opinion on venison? I do not buy any ground beef, anything I would make with ground meat I use venison. We also make roasts frequently with the larger cuts of meat we keep. I was just wondering what your opinion on this would be? Thanks!

    • Lisa

      Meat from wild animals is an excellent choice because they are eating their natural diets in their natural environment (as opposed to being factory farmed) so their products are very nutritious for you.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Molly. I don’t really have an opinion on venison (I have never personally had it). I think the fact that you know where the meat is coming from and how it is being handled/processed is good. Sorry I can’t be of further help. Jill

  • Molly

    I posted a message about your opinion on venison yesterday. Was my message deleted? I hope not, as it would be a real shame that someone so into healthy lifestyles would be judgemental about hunters

    • Lisa

      I see 3 comments from you in the system…2 of which appear to be your original question. Going to hop over there now to give you an answer.

  • Elsie

    Hello! I have been looking for a healthy eating plan for my family of 3. I have some questions and in need of help but don’t want to post all public information. Can I write you to a specific email? Thank you so much!

  • Matt Wood

    Hi Lisa, Love the blog, we have made several of your menu items! :) One question, I am trying to cut out all processed sugar. ……. Not easy in regard to a really sweet tooth I have! But I am trying to form a nutrition plan for an Ironman triathlon, but all the snacks and stuff have sugar in them! Any ideas on a really simple high energy source that my body could use under extreme circumstances but that would be better for me? Thanks, really appreciate the site! :)

  • natalie

    Do you know if raw almonds have to be organic? We are following the dirty dozen rule for produce, but what about nuts? Thank you!

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Natalie. I really don’t have a definitive answer for you. The research I read argues that many nuts have an outer layer that you don’t consume so that it’s not really “necessary” to buy organic. Apparently, peanuts are different however as they are grown differently and some might suggest consuming organic peanuts. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Jill

  • Jessica

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for writing this blog. I found it a few weeks ago via pinterest and now I am on every day. I have begun to switch mine and my boyfriend’s eating habits drastically and let me tell you we feel amazing. I have already made a few of your recipes including: the enchilidas, banana pancakes, egg salad and more – from scratch with organic ingredients. I have never been more excited to cook or even eat what I have cooked in my entire life!!! My boyfriend even said to me last night, ” I did some research, we are only buying organic from now on!” All I could think of was SCORE!! Thanks again so much for all the research you have done, without this blog as insperation, I probably would never have started.

  • Tammy

    I just discovered your website a couple of days ago. I’ve spent several hours look at it. I agree that real foods are the way to go. My husband hunts and we eat venison regularly. We also just had several chickens dressed and they are yummy. However my husband is a serious meat and potatoes man. He enjoys junkfood. I want to do the 14 week plan but don’t know how to get him on board. He also doesn’t eat many veg and fruits. My pantry is full of processed foods. For my I do Weight Watchers and that is points system. I have in all lost 31 pounds in 6 months but worry that some of the full fat foods will put me over my points for the day and/or week. Weight Watchers endorses low fat and non-fat foods.

  • [...] Lisa Leake provides her personal ‘checklist’ of things she looks for when it comes to purchasing cheese, sour cream and yogurt. This list is a great guideline to keep in mind when purchasing your dairy. I, for one, have been buying the blocks of cheese mainly because it’s cheaper than shredded cheese, but now knowing that shredded cheese has an extra additive to keep it from sticking together (a not-awesome piece of knowledge that is new and disturbing to me) is definitely another great reason to stick to the block. [...]

  • Dawnetta

    Wow, what a great blog! Thanks for all the great meal ideas! I had been doing Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat for Life for myself, but I really struggled applying it to my kids and I “fell off the wagon”! All of this is going to help me so much!

    • Lindsey


      I am also following Dr. Fuhrman and trying to include my son (4 YO). I am surprised this is the first I have heard of Dr. Fuhrman on this site. I also find this site does help more with the kids. It could be our transition into Dr. Fuhrman’s diet! Good luck on your journey!

  • Cindi

    What an incredible website you have created! We recently began overhauling our eating habits and I was online looking for some resources and found you! Thank you for creating this!!! You have given me great ideas for my daughter’s lunches since she enters school this fall and I was at a loss of what to feed her daily! Thank you for the recipes and personal stories. I will continue coming back for more tips and help. Thanks!

  • Larena

    I’ve been following this site for a while now and the rewards from eating real food is amazing! I’ve dropped 32 pounds and my husband has dropped 20. (The weight loss was a nice bonus!) We have become “regulars” at the local farmer’s market. We are to the point that new foods are being introduced more often and with much less resistance by my 15 and 13 year old stepsons. Our biggest hurdle is that they are with us every other week (at their mothers the rest of the time). While they aren’t with us, the amount of processed food they are consuming is staggering. They have made suggestions to their mom about what they now would like but those suggestions aren’t always received well. They come back to us frustrated and starving for real food! Any ideas that would help them?

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Larena. It sounds like they are maybe old enough to let their mom know what type of food they want to eat when they’re there? It sounds like they do that but perhaps she will understand in time, especially if she sees that they are not eating the processed food she is offering them. Best of luck to you. Jill

  • Karthy

    Lisa, I love your site….I haven’t even begun to read it all yet. We eat fairly well, lots of organics, but not as much whole foods as we should…hope you can rub off on me. That being said, we also follow the Feindgold diet (if you don’t know, it is a diet that elimiates food dyes, artifical flavors and preservatives. We are instructed to follow the food book as near 100% as possible for optimal results…many of the foods on this “diet” are processed, but don’t have the above “junk”. I am guessing that by doing the whole foods thing, that would fall under no dyes, artifical flavors or preservatives quite nicely…so I am excited to give you and your challenge a try. I just hope I can get my kids on board. Thanks for a great blog…looking forward to reading more of it.

  • Great blog! I am so excited to read more about clean eating and your approach to it!

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