Why Cut Processed Food

  1. Processed foods are an illusion, often appearing to be healthy (with claims like low fat, low carb, vitamin fortified, no trans fat, contains omega-3s, etc.) when these foods are in fact the very thing making a lot of Americans unhealthy, sick, and fat.
  2. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer – four of the top ten chronic diseases that kill most of us – “can be traced directly to the industrialization of our food” according to Michael Pollan.
  3. Making smarter (and sometimes more expensive) food choices now may reduce your healthcare costs later in life.
  4. Why would one want to eat a processed food-like substance that is scientifically designed to never rot?
  5. The food industry has proven that it is not very good at seasoning our foods by adding way too much salt, sugar, and/or oil to almost everything.
  6. When you eat white bread and other foods made with white flour (which is a highly processed version of wheat) you are basically consuming empty calories with far less nutrition than the whole-wheat or whole grain alternatives.
  7. It is estimated that up to 90% of processed foods* in the supermarket contain either a corn or soy ingredient in the form of an additive under a variety of different names. Now how is that for eating variety?
  8. Cutting out processed foods could lead you to experience a variety of personal health benefits such as having more energy, losing weight, improving regularity, or just feeling healthier overall.
  9. Rather than counting calories, watching fat grams, or reducing carbs for “healthy eating,” simply eat whole foods that, as Michael Pollan puts it, are more the product of nature than “the product of industry.” It certainly is less complicated.
  10. It just makes plain old sense to fully understand what you are eating, be able to pronounce everything on the list of ingredients (if there is a list), and know exactly where that food comes from…don’t you think?

*Statistic courtesy of a food scientist interviewed on the documentary “Food, Inc”

458 thoughts on “Why Cut Processed Food”

  1. I have printed out the meal plans and I like what I see. However, until I begin working, (which is provng hard seeing how I’ve been a stay at home mom for 13+ years with no formal education) our grocery budget is $400 a month for a family of 5. (My husband is our sole provider)Food tax here in Oklahoma is 8.375%.
    My question is, where do I begin with eating whole foods without going over budget? We have been doing this as best we can for about 5 months but we end up running out of food about 2 days before its time for me to gocery shop again. No, I don’t starve my family. I end up running to the store and buying something thats easy and unheathly. We are planting our very frist garden this year–scary–so that will help. We LOVE frutis and veggies. My husband and kids love me. I on the otherhand can do without. Any advice?

    Thanks,
    Angel

  2. Can you tell me if Stevia is considered off limits if one is eating real food.
    And what should I drink at lunch to replace the caffeine boost I get from Diet Dr. Pepper (i have drunk one a day for lunch for years)

    What about Ezekiel bread? Is that ‘okay’

    Thanks! My daughter-in-law recommended your site.

    One other Q – can you direct me to any posts about adults and decreasing constipation problems after following this plan.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Maria. Stevia is off limits for the pledge. Outside of the pledge, this post might help: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/04/25/stevia-food-babe-investigates/. Coffee or tea is my recommendation for an afternoon pick me up if you want to get that in the form of caffeine. :) Ezekial bread is a good choice among store bought breads, for sure. Regarding constipation, we do not have posts on that subject but I can recommend drinking plenty of water throughout the day as well as adding fiber rich fruits and veggies to your meals and snacks. It should take care of itself. ~Amy

  3. Hi guys! I remember a few months back, Lisa had posted a query to see what types of medical issues etc. had been helped or turned around by people eating real food. Do you happen to know what I’m talking about? If so, could you please please please post the link? I think it would be helpful to a Mom group on Facebook that I belong to and would LOVE to share it!!!
    Thanks!

  4. Hi, I’m wondering if you consider pasteurized almond milk acceptable for the pledge? I would like to do this, but cannot eat cow’s milk.

    Thank you

  5. I have celiac disease, so cannot use wheat and certain other grains. Have you addressed this issue with other subscribers? I am eating healthier these days and am wanting to take the pledge, but feel a bit overwhelmed to deal with this issue and still comply with the rules.

    Thanks,

    Linda

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Linda. We definitely have lots of readers who have issues with gluten, myself included. It may be necessary to adjust the rules slightly to make it work for you. Many of Lisa’s recipes do contain gluten and we have not have adapted recipes but you are welcome to experiment. These posts will be helpful: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/06/28/food-allergies/ and https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/08/07/gluten-free-multi-grain-and-organic-junk-food/. Also, check out http://deliciouslyorganic.net/ for a great place to find gluten free recipes that are also real. Hope that helps. ~Amy

  6. My family and I have been discussing doing something like this and I have just found your website today. We don’t participate in facebook but would like more information on the menus. We have just begun to look through your site. The biggest problem that I am having is on where to start our family at in order to make this change. We have 5 homeschooled children and know that this will be a great move for their education and overall lives, as well as ours.

    Any assistance is appreciated.

    Regards,
    Don

  7. I just read your 109 days of real food on a budget posts and I loved it! But I have one question. Why don’t you bake your own bread to save money?

  8. I recently found green bean chips at whole foods and my daughter loves them. At first I thought it was a good snack instead of just regular chips, but as I searched the web looking for a recipe to make them myself I read that bean chips are really just deep fried. Is that true even for the whole foods brand? I looked at the ingredients and all it says is the beans, salt, and dextrin. Which I also have a question about that. Is dextrin ok? is it natural? is it what it’s giving the beans that sweet taste?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Isabel. Sorry, but I am not at all familiar with the chips and I can’t find a good reference to point you toward. In general, however, we avoid processed snacks which are fried, as well as those with additives and preservatives. When looking at questionable ingredients such as dextrin, ask your self; “Is it something that would be in a whole foods pantry?” ~Amy

  9. I really like this article and agree with all your points. I only wish you had better sources. Links to specific stats and articles; harder facts would go along way in convincing my husband!

    1. Get your husband to watch the movies “Food Inc” or “Supersize Me.” The book “In Defense of Food” is full of research and “Food Rules” is basically a condensed version of those findings.

  10. Does Pollan have a citation for this claim? I’ve read many of his books, and usually the things he says are just assertions, and not backed by science.

      1. “Coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer” and directly related to the industrialization of our food. The hyperlink just leads me to Pollans book on amazon.

      2. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

        Hi again, Stephanie. I have the book in front of me now and there are plenty of citations throughout which support Pollan’s philosophy. I don’t think he claims to be a scientist, rather a crusader against the ills of the industrialized food system and the negative effect that food is having on the health of a nation. ~Amy

  11. Hi. It’s been almost a year since I changed the way my family eats. I have four boys 14-7. I started a blog called farfromperfecteating.blogspot.com talking about my journey how I made the change to healthier eating for my family. I noticed a HUGE change in behavior with my boys. Especially the two younger ones. I am struggling with my 14 year old. At times I feel like he is on board with eating healthy and it’s ok with him. But then there are times when he wants doritos and he gets mad at me and says why can’t you buy good junk food? Why do you have to change everything? It was fine the way it was. Then we get in an argument because he knows more than me. How do I get him to listen to me? I know I am doing the right thing for him. He just can’t see it now. I won’t back down and I told him that if he wants to eat that stuff, he will have to ride his bike to the store and buy it with his own money. The chances of him doing that are slim since he is a typical lazy teenager. I told him I will not buy that stuff knowing what processed foods does to your body. So I am wondering if you have any advice how to talk to your teenager about processed foods and how it affects your body without lecturing him?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Becca. I have found documentaries to be especially effective with older kids and teens. Food Inc. is a good one but there are a whole list (Google food documentaries). You should screen them yourself first, so you can assess what is appropriate for your guys. Jamie Oliver’s Ted Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html is really effective as a broad brush look at what the Standard American Diet and many school lunch programs are doing to our kids and why it must change. Also, for the younger guys, this is a presentation we do within our elementary schools: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/04/19/how-to-talk-kids-about-real-food/. Hope those help. ~Amy

  12. After over a year of reading your webpage and thinking to myself wow that makes sense…. This new year I finally decided to make the commitment to Real Food – I admit I’ve committed one of your cardinal sins in not getting rid of the processed food that is in my house (with how tight our budget is I just can’t justify throwing it away) however, I refuse to buy any new stuff. I’ve told everyone I know (to keep me honest in this endeavor) that I’ve made a lifestyle change (not a resolution – resolutions get broken, lifestyle changes are permanent). Even though my life is hectic right now (new baby, working, and a grad student) believe it or not I’m actually finding that meals are going smoother since my commitment to real food. Each evening while my husband spends some quality snuggle time with the baby I get in the kitchen roll up my sleeves and cook something (might be muffins to have for breakfast, or buffalo chicken in the crockpot for sandwiches and salads later in the week, or just pre-chopping veggies and freezing them for later in the week). I’m finding that I love the chance to just zen out while I cook, prep or bake – but more than that I’m finding that the food tastes better and my mornings are smoother. With all the fresh veggies and fruits in my house, it’s easy and fun to make my lunches for the next day (and with all the muffins I’ve baked breakfast is a snap too). So I just wanted to send out a truly heartfelt thank you from me, my husband (who is thankful he finally gets a break from cooking since he did it all while I was pregnant and for the first two months post baby), and the little man who’s benefiting from all those natural vitamins and minerals through my breast milk!

  13. My daughter just turned 4, and she is lactose intolerant so she has drank lactaid milk since beginning cow’s milk. She eats a pretty clean, healthy diet in general. Any thoughts or info on lactaid milk?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hello Bea. I don’t know the particular details of Lactaid. There are certainly adaptations that have to be made for allergies and various sensitivities. I do think organic, when possible, is especially important for dairy in order to avoid added hormones and antibiotics. ~Amy

  14. It’s been my goal to eat real for the next year. I am starting slow, but I feel like it’s important to incorporate the little things first; wheat flour and pastas, no boxed foods, and no high fructose corn syrup. It’s sad to me, how hard it is to stay away from these things. I can’t believe how many things are “dead”, as my mother-in-law would say! Thanks for all your help with this process. I have really been inspired by you. Both my paternal grandparents have Parkinson’s disease and I am convinced that me or my children will inherit it and that with the help of real food, we can at least keep it from happening early on in life. my grandparents are, and have always been, real food eaters without even realizing it; living off the land and steering clear of boxed goods. I think that’s what’s kept them living well into their late 70s and 80s, despite their illness!

    Thanks, again!

  15. Just took a look at your website today because i am completely switching to “real” foods as i like to say. I’m 23 and my moms boyfriend is a dairy farmer who raises beef cows, lamb, chicken etc. I’ve been drinking raw milk and consuming meats from these animals for months now and i feel better than ever. I just wanted to say that e-coli does not concern me nearly as much as the fact that we are pretty much embalming ourselves alive with all these preservatives we consume. I dont think we should be concerned with the possibility of getting sick from raw foods, instead we should be looking at the long term affects of prossesed items causing cancers, heart problems etc. Dont listen to media half the time they are lying to you. Thanks for listening :]

  16. My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different web page and
    thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following
    you. Look forward to checking out your web page for a second time.

  17. It’s interesting these comments on raw milk. I agree with the reviewer who stated about knowing your source (farmer). I know there is ALOT of controversy about raw milk. We’ve come a long way in our food handling over the years, including dairy. Much of the generation now raising young children and teens have only known the industrialized version of food. Going back to the era where things were much more simple and the distance between food from farm to table was much less, they were less concerned about the risk (if they even considered it a risk), they were more concerned about keeping food on the table to feed their families.

    And yes, I own part of a herd of cows, I’m relatively new to having raw milk, meat and eggs directly from a farm. I know my farmer and trust his standards. For those that are completely opposed to raw milk there are dairies who pasteurize the milk at the lowest temperature possible to preserve nutrients. And I was excited to have found those dairy products prior to having access to raw milk.

  18. I found your site yesterday when searching healthy foods on Pinterest, and I love it, VERY well done. I have been trying to move to real food for a few months now without any real direction, other than reading the labels and choosing those with 3-5 real ingredients. ( real as in I know what’s in there) I sent your link to my daughters. I am going to start a 100 day plan asap, to undo my 50 years of mindless eating and reverse the High Blood Pressure & CRAZY high Triglycerides.
    Nancy H.

  19. I recently learned from my endocrinologist that the FDA does not require labels to list trans fat if it is .5 mg or less. However, that can add up over a day and amount to health risks as trans fat is a leading cause of heart disease. Trans fat is more commonly found in processed food as well.

  20. I really like your website. It is really interesting to learn about processed foods. I hope everyone who reads your website will try and change their diets

  21. I love this website. As a Registered Dietitian, it is great to see people advocating healthy lifestyles. I teach my clients to eat whole fresh foods. Processed foods are unhealthy and we need to prepare healthier foods on our own. Managing your time is the key! If someone does not know how to cook, they should take a cooking class. It hard for people to remove processed foods when they can’t cook. Most of my clients have no idea how to cook. We recently have been lucky enough to use a local kitchen to teach clients once a month how to prepare healthy meals. Our first Menu is Balsamic glazed chicken wiht smashed sweet potatoes. Baby Spinach Strawberry Salad with slivered almonds with homemade Lemon Honey Vinaigrette. With a roasted sweet red pepper soup.

  22. Katrina, your reference to raw milk and car seats is like comparing apples to oranges…not the same at all. And to say raw milk is a real and present danger is being dramatic. Go to a farmer that is well known, has a nice clean dairy and healthy cows. That’s real healthy milk!! Enjoy!!!

    1. Orchid,
      Yes, some people feel that whole wheat products have an odd texture (crunchie if you will). I happen to be one of them. We are trying to incorporate more whole food products as much as we can and some are slower than others to accept. So, not that bizarre.

  23. Why do people who insist on writing about food feel that scare tactics are the way to go. Wheat is a grain. Flour is a product of milling the wheat, it is not a version of wheat. If you follow that logic, then “less refined” flour (aka whole wheat flour) is a version of wheat as well. This is continually pushed on people, however, some people really don’t like the texture of whole grain products (something about having crunchies in their food).

    I am not against anything in this list, and feel it should be presented early in life to create a healthy lifestyle, what I am against is the manner and methods of which the information is put out there, which is often times as misleading as that is being reported on.

  24. I agree with the message, but I really don’t understand why author Michael Pollan is the only person touted as the authority on this. This stuff is not news by any means, and the knowledge was around long before Pollan ever wrote a book.

    1. Why does it matter who is touted as the authority. As long as the information is getting more mainstream, in my opinion. Michael writes in a way that speaks to the general population and gets them to act, therefore it is the only recognizable reference with any clout! It is from there that people learn about other great references such as the Weston A. Price.

    2. LEA you know, NO ONE is stopping you from going out and writing about it on your OWN blog. stop the critical/criticizing stuff, if she chose to put that in there its her blog and she is free to do so. She didn’t force this on you. Complainers need to go write their own blogs and leave others alone.

      1. Perhaps I should have worded it differently. My comment certainly didn’t warrant the hate mail you just spat at me (are you projecting?). I felt this blog post read like a Michael Pollan advertisement. If you disagree you can simply say so without being rude. There are far more prominent and respected whole foods advocates that I and many others would be more likely to give credence to. I’m entitled to voice my opinion wherever I please, and Lisa Leake has always replied very respectfully and constructively.

    1. To Dan…I drank raw milk from the time I was a baby…still alive at 60+ years and never get sick…let alone campywhatever nor ecoli!
      Farmer’s daughter, joann

      1. Joann…just because you never experienced any side effects (that you know of) doesn’t mean that it’s not a real and present danger. That’s like people saying that they never sat in a car seat as a child and they’re just fine.

    2. You know you can get diseases like that from raw vegetables too, so should we cook everything? Cigarettes and alcohol are legal but raw milk is not, it’s insane. So don’t bash those who say raw milk is not bad for you.

    3. My sons had got campylobactar and it dang near killed a couple of them. It is mostly found in chicken. Something like 45% sold in stores contain it. I have never heard of it coming from cow milk but could be possible. When we lived in mexico for a time, and even when growing up on a farm, we would boil the milk we got straight from the cow. Also, a friend of mine has a dairy and cant sell organic raw milk from their cows because of laws. What they did was have people that wanted that milk sign a paper that they own part of that cow and when they want milk pay a “fee” for its upkeep each time.

    4. People drank raw milk for thousands of years prior to the milk industry commercializing and adulterating it for profit. Can you imagine how crippling it would be to the industry if the masses found out the real benefits of drinking raw milk?

  25. Is there a website that lists easy food swaps? There’s no way we can change it all overnight but with little swaps here & there we could in the long term. I’d like to know better alternatives to everyday family products such as margarine for instance. I have no idea which one is better for us, I thought Canola based was a good choice (Til I saw something about Canola) & some taste like plastic which could be the ones you end up recommending & therefore we wouldn’t use it, but if there was a site that could list the item, than rank some alternatives, that would be helpful & easy to look up & make choices from. Milk is another one. After changing to Permeate free thinking it was better, then reading about the loss of nutrition, I went back to regular. Who knows? Not sure if it’s just marketing. Thanks. Not all families can make radical changes so I’d appreciate some simple everyday alternatives.

  26. I have shared your site with SO many people and make the Whole Wheat bread weekly for the kids lunches. Although I am not 100% “real” (more like 80%) our healthier habits this past eight months have really made a difference. And when I reach for those Ranch Doritos I remember how ill they made me feel, then I go home and slice my own potatoes for homemade “chips.” Thanks!!

  27. I experienced daily migraines before swititching to a whole foods diet. Thanks to my dietary changes, I am now migraine free!

  28. As a Registered Dietitian, I wholeheartedly support eliminating processed foods from our diets. However, I urge people to research the dangers of consuming raw milk. It contains dangerous bacteria and can make you very sick. In addition, coconut milk is very high in saturated fat and there is limited research to show there are positive health benefits. Fads come and go; don’t believe in the hype and make sure you check the facts from legitimate nutrition sites.

    1. Hi Carla,

      I have been consuming raw milk for two years now. For years I thought I was “lactose intolerant”, now I know it was the store bought, processed, nutrient deficient milk that made me sick. My five year old drinks several cups of raw milk a day, he loves it! Especially in the summertime when it’s ice cold, straight out the fridge. I also use it to make my baby’s formula since he was a month old; he is VERY healthy and has NEVER been sick (not a fever, not a cold, nothing). In my experience raw milk is one of the healthiest changes I’ve made to my diet. My family and I have never been sick from consuming raw milk.

    2. As a young person growing up, I drank raw milk any time my parents were able to get it. I remember as a teen going down the to neighbors to pick up our milk and watching her pour fresh milk that just came in from the barn through a strainer into our milk jug and I took it home still warm. It was wonderful. Never been sick once! For years I’ve tried to find a source and finally over a year ago, I found a source and it is wonderful! I hope I never have to go back to the store stuff!

  29. My teen has been having frequent, and severe migraines lasting days at a time and recurring every few days for months. No meds are helping. A nutritionist suggested we try eliminating foods for a test, so we are starting with gluten. I have fibro and another teen chronic fatigue. I am completely overwhelmed as we try to go gluten free to support our teen, and as a test to see if eating this way can help our other symptoms. What a relief to find your blog today! Thank you for all this effort

    1. Since being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s I was having migraines 5 days a week and regular headaches the other 2 days. As soon as I cut out SOY, which is in EVERYTHING basically hidden with words like flavoring, my migraines and headaches stopped. I found a brand of soy free whole grain organic bread and English muffins and read labels very carefully now. Research to find out all the words they use to hide soy in foods, My Thanksgiving turkey gave me a migraine because of the “flavoring” aka soy only safe turkey and meat is kosher/organic.

    2. You probably found a solution by now, but my best friend in high school (I’m 23) discovered he was getting crippling migraines from nitrates (found in processed meats like cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs etc). When he stopped eating them, the migraines stopped completely. Just wanted to let you know — hope you find the cause!

  30. http://www.foodandnutritionresearch.net/index.php/fnr/article/view/5144

    For those of you interested in why going on a ‘no-processed’ diet (despite our cultural beliefs on skim and diet stuff!) actually may help to reduce weight. This journal is free access.
    As a woman and regular active human being, I love the feeling of well-being that I get from clean eating (and yes, I consume milk and cheese, just not any crappy stuff). As a molecular biologist, I personally like to know why I’m getting these benefits and have thus gone through the systematic review process of the scientific evidence available. It’s amazing how overwhelmingly compelling it is!

  31. I’ve been following your page for a year now & I love it! Good quality content with lots of beneficial information. I recently got asked to be on the local school’s Health & Wellness Committee. I would love to see the school make a change from cutting out processed foods to fixing meals from scratch with real ingredients. They are already on the right path with implementing a salad bar. But more work needs to be done. I was wondering if you had any good resources I could use, or if you have done anything with your local schools that you could share.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Natalie. There is a lot out there right now to aid in the fight for more nutritious/whole food school lunches. One of our favorite resources is: http://www.foodday.org/ which educates kids, teachers, parents, and administrators on the importance of eating whole foods and reminds everyone where our food SHOULD come from. Jamie Oliver’s award winning Ted Talk is a great resource as is: http://angrymoms.org/. Hope those are helpful. ~Amy

  32. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi Shawn. Lots of our readers can and it is a great way to save money and preserve produce for year round use. When you control the ingredients and the canning vessels, you know you aren’t getting harmful additives, preservatives, and other chemicals from can liners! Here are a couple of Lisa’s adventures in canning and preserving: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/05/10/how-to-can-some-jam-a-simple-method-without-pectin/, https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/06/22/recipe-no-sugar-green-tomato-relish-can-freeze/, https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/06/01/preserving-seasonal-foods-berries/, and https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/07/13/preserving-seasonal-foods-bell-peppers/. ~Amy

    1. You are so right. I’ve been canning since 1974. The items I can each year may be different but one basic is tomatoes. I use them in soups, stews, spaghetti, etc. Tomatoes are easy to grow and easy to can. About five years ago I bought a Molly (or food grinder) it makes canning tomatoes ten times easier. Only wish I would have had one 40 years ago!

  33. Hi,
    I was wondering about home canned food? Does it have the same effects. When I can I use barely any salt, half the sugar when canning Jelly. We freeze most of our harvest but I have a family of 7 and canning is just easier for space. What

  34. I stumbled upon your site and I’m loving it! My husband and I cut out all processed foods entirely about ten months ago and it’s certainly been a journey! I started chronicling our journey with out diet changes on my blog thirtyeightfive.com. Thank you for your ideas on how to eat healthier as a family!

  35. I have been eating clean for almost a year. It is small steps or it is too overwhelming. Read labels! My nearest grocery store that sells organic is over an hour away so I still panic when I run out of something I use alot of. I also still feel betrayed when I shop that people actually sell food that is so bad for you and pass it off as healthy. My husband eats what I fix but adds in his junk like sugar free chocolate, diet soda, chips and tons of other processed foods. Try to notice what parents are letting their kids eat. Sad.I did it to my kids. My daughter figured it out and has switched her family but my son and his family think we are on a health kick and will eventually come to our senses. Don’t wait to start! It takes a while but food does taste better, you have to get the toxins out of your body.

  36. Many indigenous island people groups never drank cows milk. They drank the island juices available and had some of the world’s highest longevity records – UNTIL – they adopted our diet. Now they are seeing records in diabetes and heart disease. Coconut and other nut milks fed these people for millenia without disease. Sounds like a winner to me. The only other milk of the world with these records is goat (fed a non gmo diet) and a certain yak in the middle east, the milk of which is not available to us here.

    1. The Scandinavian indigenous villages consumed copious amounts of (raw, grass-fed) dairy and were completely without disease or dental decay until the roads were built to bring in outside foods.
      And Polynesian tribes were completely without dairy, but heavily based on fish meats and organs (definitely not vegetarian). Other early cultures were completely lacto or ovo-vegetarian, and then even some ate no dairy but all meat and veggies and no fruit.
      The common denominator in declining health is processed foods and non-naturally occurring vegetable oils (corn, canola, soybean, etc).

      http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-foods/heart-of-darkness-lipid-hydroperoxides

  37. So if someone is a bit of a newbie to all this… how to start? Small town living, not great grocery store choices (45-ish minutes away), and not too smart about what processed foods even are exactly. Is there a good list/resource/book you recommend? Or are there blog posts mixed in that might be a good help?

    1. All the ads say you need milk for Vitamin D, but the reality is that you can get more Vitamin D from eating certain vegetables and of a better quality. After breast milk, there is no need for milk; it is built in to all of our genetics. Goats milk seems to be a good alternative if you really want to drink milk. I believe most of us are vegetable deficient, eat too much low quality & fatty meat and too many processed foods.

      I feel better when i leave out all whole grains, dairy and processed foods. It is very hard to find whole grains that have not been processed in some way, shape or form today. It makes sense that when we eat foods out bodies were not genetically made to eat (dairy, processed foods, etc) we get sick, we get diseases, and we just feel bad.

      Thanks so much for creating a great website!

    2. Read Robb Wolf’s book on the Paleo Diet. You can find E-Books on my website. You don’t have to be 100% “Paleo” to see the benefits. Start a little at a time, cutting out different items from your pantry. If you do it all at once, i’ve found you are less likely to change the way you eat. Feel free to reach out to me and contact me through my website. Happy to help!

    3. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Larry. I would have given you the same link that Tonya did. Just go through that page and you will have all the info you need to get started. It can fell like a lot. Just take it one bit at a time. ~Amy

  38. I try to cut out as much processed food as possible. It’s not easy for my husband who has been eating processed food his whole life. I can embrace the change, but some things are harder to do. I grew up on skim milk. It’s hard to break that habit. I do enjoy almond milk. Especially chocolate almond milk. I like a lot of organic foods from local farms. I drink those Bolt House Farms juices. I still count calories because it’s what works for me. We all have to do what is right for us even if it doesn’t conform with society.

  39. We have been vegans 4 years, I was vegetarian 8 years before that, my husband vegetarian 34 years before that. He is nearly 60 and doesn’t look it. I pass for 30s often. The benefits outweigh any inconveniences of eating healthy! Your taste buds change too. For example, I recently had a coconut milk based “turtle ice cream” and almost passed out from all the sugar it was way too sweet. I’d rather have my home made frozen banana/fruit ice cream any day! We buy in bulk for organic staples and make simple to gourmet meals, it just depends on what we want.

    There is a little planning involved (I don’t do menu plans, but develop my menu based on our garden and CSA farm output). I make my own sauces and salad dressings (something I avoided for years, not complicated at all!) and the most processed food in our house is an organic granola bar (yes, my next progressive step to take, I have made them but not enough to know which ones I like and I don’t like the freezer kind for travel).

    My hubby is a full time student (late bloomer) and his friends rave about the lunches he brings with him. I have to make extra hummus to keep the students from starvation lol. It saves us a lot of money to make our own meals and we really like having real food EVERYDAY!

  40. I would love to get info on thebest and easiest ways to start eating a real food diet. How do i begin, where do i begin, etc…

    1. Lisa has posted some great tips for getting started. You can search this site for “mini pledges” or “baby steps” to find it.

  41. Married 23 years. 3 kids. We are 52 and 47. Have been embracing the real food concept. Read labels all day – we spent the day grocery shopping. We went to stock up on food for school lunches. Shocked and dismayed. There was only one juice we could bring home to our kids. That is where we are starting. Thankfully, we both like to cook – making real food for our kids for school lunches! Wow. What an eye-opener.

    1. It will get easier. It’s a steep learning curve if you jump right in, but it’ll come together soon and be much easier

  42. For all of you who think dairy is not good…well…It honestly depends on the form you consume. If you have dairy that is organic grass fed…raw milk out of happy cows…and you ferment your milk with kefir grains…you get a great tasting, super pro-biotic punch of a very healthy beverage,much like a smoothie..add a little fresh fruit or juice, sweetened with a little honey, maple syrup or stevia and even the kids will love it…Just full of beneficial bacteria…

    1. What are kefir grains?
      Does fermenting mean making yoghurt,and does this remove any risk (if any)
      from consuming raw milk?

      1. Kefir grains are a culture similar to yogurt culture used to ferment milk, kefir is enriched during fermentation with good bacteria, B group vitamins and folic acid. that’s why people now lack these vitamins because they do not eat fermented food. Fermentation removes the risk of bad bacteria because food become acidic and bad bacteria does not survive in acid. So eat fermented food which you make yourself like sauerkraut or any other veggies like bits or carrots, kefir and kombucha. Also, you probably do not know that milk will ferment on its own and become a sour milk without anything added to it, that’s what people did for thousands of years, the only difference is that they drank a raw unpasterised milk for thousands of years as opposite to the pasterised which we eat for only last 50 years, which is killing us and makes everyone lactose intolerant. You need bacteria to digest food – if the bacteria is killed in milk through pasterisation it becomes a undigestable poison making you lactose intolerant. so drink raw milk and you will not be lactose intolerant.
        Find more info at http://www.foodattitude.org

    2. thank you Sugarbranch. I get tired of people trying to convince everybody that cow’s milk is horrible-horrible stuff.

  43. Since cutting out processed foods and eating a clean diet with some safe quality tested supplements to fill in the occasional gaps, I have lost 30lbs.. I have increased energy, I’m a better Mother and my family love what we eat. It was a lifestyle change, we aren’t perfect, but we certainly don’t crave or intentionally eat crap.
    I am grateful for your blog and page to give me new ideas and to remind me that I am making the right choices..when it’s so easy sometimes you doubt it can be right!

  44. Wow someone at work was telling me about how they process even whole milk and it’s just plain scary. Even scarier is that they’ve passed laws to prevent the selling of unprocessed cows milk.

    I’m thinking dairy free is sounding like my next step.

    1. Try buying non homoginized milk. its basically the same as milk from the cow cept they kill the bactieria in it by pasturizing it. iv only found it in goat milk form. dad says it tastes just like butter milk. So add some salt and pepper to taste?

    2. Try raw milk straight from the farmer collecting it. It is natural, safe and supports the dairy directly with no middleman, which is extremely fair trade.
      We have been on raw dairy for 2+ years now and 2 of us a re lactose intolerant. We enjoy the milk every day with no complications. Even make our own ice cream with it (but NEVER heat it). ;-)

      Use this link to find a dairy near you.

      http://www.localharvest.org/raw-milk.jsp

    3. Raw, unpasturized milk is NOT illegal in most states :-) You kust have to go straight to the dairy farm in some places.

    1. Cow’s milk.products were not designed to be eaten by humans. It is not properly digested and leaves an acidic residue in your body.

      1. Kimberly Robbins

        I would say that pasteurized milk was not meant to be consumed by humans. However, milk in its raw state is completely different. The bible even lists many accounts of milk being drank or curds being eaten. So it was not a forbidden food by God. Of course, now, we have food in such plenty that we probably drink (even raw) much more than what we should and rarely drink the water that our bodies need for hydration.

      2. OK people, I am not pushing my opinion on anybody. Everybody does what they think is good for them. But some of you are such extremists, did any of you actually do the research or are you just repeating what you read in a magazine about the cow’s milk? Maybe you are right we drink too much of it. But not everybody is lactose intolerant. I am just trying to say, share your opinions, don’t try to push them on somebody.

  45. Just found your page today and loving it! Been juicing for almost a year and have been learning the art of label reading for much longer!

  46. Although I understand that much standard processed food can be bad for you, I don’t like to throw out “low fat, low carb, vitamin fortified, no trans fat, contains omega-3s, etc.” foods from my diet on a purely philosophical basis. What scientifically is wrong with processed foods that are low-fat, low sugar, low-sodium, no trans fat, etc.? For an example of why I don’t mix nutrition and philosophy, organic food looks healthier on paper, but dozens of studies have found no health benefit by eating organic.

    1. Cody – Many processed foods tout one health benefit to mask the other, less desirable traits of the food product. If a whole food happens to be low fat, such as spinach, it doesn’t mean that food is “bad.” Lisa was referring to processed foods making health claims, not food in general. I recommend reading the books “Salt Sugar Fat” and “Pandora’s Lunchbox.” They go into more detail and provide examples as well as a behind the scenes look at how processed foods are made.

      Regarding organic foods, I’d love to see a list of dozens of reputable studies finding no health benefit in eating organic. One study recently received a lot of publicity claiming that the nutritional value of organic foods was not much different than their conventional counterparts, but we personally choose organic when possible mainly to avoid pesticides.

  47. One thing I don’t understand is why so much emphasis is put on Michael Pollan when his education consists of a B.A. in English from Bennington College and an M.A. in English from Columbia University….what do those have do with knowing about real food??? Granted, he may have been the one who inspired you and he certainly has the right idea, but he’s not really qualified to have such prominence as a primary reference…nor will he help in convincing those who are already skeptical :( That being said, I still think you and him have the right idea – I just hope you can come up with better resources (i.e. those with medical degrees or at least a background in nutrition, etc).

  48. Hi Christina, I love to ‘eat healthy’, but really want to do better and need to get more information on what that truly means, especially for my children. We try to avoid processed foods, usually have 1 item a week. Is there a book you could recommend on what our food supply is doing to us, especially our children? I really want to know how healthy/unhealthy the items we eat are. and something with practical meal plans? Since I didn’t grow up on a lot of the things our there now, I worry what it could be doing to my little kids and baby.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Elizabeth. Have you read the Robyn O’Brien posts? They also contain a link to her book: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/01/25/interview-robyn-obrien-the-unhealthy-truth/ and https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/02/01/interview-robyn-obrien-the-unhealthy-truth-part-ii/. And, definitely check out In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen. You’ll find it here: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/01/05/real-food-tips-10-common-misconceptions/. A far as meal plans are concerned, go here: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/our-free-meal-plans/. ;) ~Amy

  49. Dear Lisa,

    You are truly an inspiration!
    In this hectic world you found the time to develop such an educational blog and raise the awareness of healthy & nutritious eating.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your devotion in educating the public on healthy eating!

    I look forward to learning & growing in knowledge together!

    Love,
    Camelia

  50. I was suggested this web site via my cousin. I am now not certain whether this put up is written by way
    of him as nobody else recognize such specific approximately my difficulty.
    You’re amazing! Thank you!

  51. Do you have any tips on getting over the cravings when making the switch to real food? How long does this craving period last? Having a difficult time making the switch for this reason despite having all this new knowledge. Cravings are winning over the knowledge.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Brandy. A good rule of thumb for creating a habit and losing old cravings is to stick with it for 21 days. When first giving up sugar, I noticed a big drop in my craving after only 10days. Once you get over that initial hump, you won’t want to go back. :) Good luck. Amy

  52. Four months ago I went on a plant based diet. Within days the joint pain was gone and I had a ton more energy. I am off my high BP medication with my doctor’s blessing. My blood work numbers are all trending downward and the doc said he was “impressed”. He even quoted Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine.” I will always eat this way and even when I try to eat a fast food burger, it tastes like sawdust with a salty pickle on top. I love my life and am so very happy I am eating correctly again.

  53. After decades battling weight and chronic inflammation, I started an anti-inflammatory/anti-processed food plan three weeks ago. To date am 24 lbs lighter. Joints do not constantly ache. Fasting glucose went from over 200 to 148. Seriously! In just three weeks. Thank you for getting the message out there, Lisa.

    1. Hi Christina. Can you point me in the direction of the diet you are following. My husband has a lot of problems with chronic inflammation and we are looking for a change in our eating to help… Would love any suggestions!

      Thanks!

      1. Happy to, Laurin. I’ve yo-yo dieted for years but even losing 30 lbs on Weight Watchers didn’t make me feel any better. Still in constant pain. My chiropractor recommended doing some anti-inflammatory research (regular doc just recommended Mediterranean diet). I dove in and purchased a bunch of books on Amazon. You get a lot of mixed information so you have to just give it a try. Who knew that pineapples were naturally anti-inflammatory and that nightshades produce (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers) can cause inflammation in those with a particular sensitivity. I used to eat tomatoes daily thinking I was making a healthy choice. Now not a one. The book I culled the most information from that was user-friendly enough for me to apply to my daily life is called Meals that Heal Inflammation by Julie Daniluk. I highly recommend just adding anti-inflammatory recipe books to your bookshelf and building a go-to arsenal.

    2. hello i liked your post and wanted to ask just what kind of eating you do now, you see i am 54 diabetic had a quadrouple bypass, toe amputation and generally feel crappy all the time i weigh 192 but i want to get down to 160 and no matter what i can not seem to do it i know i have a little or alot..lol of belly fat and i do not exercise much any more but i would like some help thanks you so much..greg

      1. Greg —
        First sorry this is so long. As I said above, I’ve just been learning a lot from anti-inflammatory cookbooks. I seldom eat processed foods. I’m kind of a creature of habit so my breaksfasts and lunches are pretty routine. Breakfast I alternate between a coconut milk smoothie (add a scoop of Amazing Greens, some frozen fruit–usually pineapple/strawberry/mango, anti-inflammatory spices–ginger & cinnamon, yogurt, and chia seed to keep me full) and oatmeal (from Trader Joes, topped with ground flax seed, a teaspoon of maple syrup, some fruit–usually raspberries), and nuts–almonds or walnuts. I eat the same thing almost every weekday for lunch. Mixed greens salad (usually something with arugula), grilled or baked chicken, grapes, walnuts, olive oil & balsamic vinegar dressing. Snack of string cheese and pineapple (also anti-inflammatory) in the later afternoon. Dinner is a bit more challenging because I was a fast food junkie before. Now we eat lots of beans, chicken, broccoli. Sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. No corn. No tomatoes. Not processed “white stuff” like bread or pasta. We try one new recipe a week. And I’ve discovered a love of avocado. And I spice up everything. We’ve become huge fans of cumin & coriander. Seldom use salt. I allow myself one piece of dark chocolate a day. And that’s all for sweets. Don’t know if this will help. If I would have read this a month ago I would have thought “blech” but something just finally clicked for me. When the inflammatory pain started to subside (rather quickly, I might add), the rest just sort of fell into place. I’m down 29 lbs now in just over a month and able to get out an walk every day. Something I haven’t done in years. Good luck in whatever you endeavor.

      2. Greg, I hope you have been having success since april. I have a diabetic uncle who had blackening toes and has seen a return of colour and feeling to them as well as drastic improvement in energy levels by doing the Budwig diet (http://www.budwigcenter.com/anti-cancer-diet.php). I hope you can find healing through food as well.

  54. Not only do 90% of processed foods contain soy and wheat which doesn’t give you much variety – but more importantly, unless they are organic soy and corn have been GENETICALLY MODIFIED. This only began in the 90’s and we are just beginning to see the results of experimenting with nature and using humans as a lab experiment. If you want to learn more, watch the movie “Genetic Roulette”. It is fascinating and shocking what has happened to our food supply.

  55. Thank you for your time and efforts to educating the public. Real, whole foods take some time to learn to how to prepare, but easy once you get the hang of it and are delicious. Great site, and keep up the inpiring and educational work.

  56. Great job Lisa! A slight confusion of what one considers whole food. all non; coldpressed oils could be contaiminated with hexane extracted GMO sourced oils. Perhaps an food approach to eliminate these And pizza type foods altogether from the diet…see Ted Broer & John Macarther sites for science reasons for health. As a Maple Producer antioxidants are helping to inform our customers.. a look at Nivindra Seerams research also enlightening. We grow a large portion of our vegies in own organic Garden, again the health benefits are huge…but one has to facter in the costs in soil amendments seeds and compost time & exercise costs & benifits in fitness. To shop Farmers Markets another (weapon) in the fight against industrial AG & its monsanto toxins the real reson to get off the fast food kick. Hurray for slow sustainable foods.

  57. I love your blog. I watched Fork Over Knives and Food Matters last year and went to a plant based diet for myself. My family still eats meat and other products but I’m working on getting away from processed foods too. Processed foods are a lot of times easier to make and give to the family but it’s not good for your kids! I applaud you for taking a stand to make a different in the health of your family.

  58. #7 is the reason I found your blog! My oldest daughter (going to be five later this month) is allergic to CORN and as she has gotten older, the reactions are more severe and more frequent. We had thought we were doing such a great job avoiding corn and corn derivatives, but it has basically come down to her not being able to eat anything that is packaged or pre-made. We started a complete elimination diet yesterday and have already used 3 of your recipes in under 24 hours!

  59. Check out Dee McCaffery’s books – Plan D and the Science of Skinny explain why processed sugar, flour,and refined foods are bad for us. And give real answers about how to live process free – this system helped me lose 30 lbs and keep it off.

  60. What are your thoughts on organic cereals? Cascadian Farms, for example. My kids LOVE CF cereals (me too) and we have it probably 5 days a week! Ahhh!!!! This is NOT okay!

  61. Hi! We are in the “planning” stage hoping to start the 10-day pledge on January 7!! We have 2 teenage sons (15 & 13) who LOVE milk…what milk would you recommend? We were even thinking of getting our milk delivered from Lakeview Dairy in Ft. Mill…your thoughts? I am so glad I found your blog!

  62. My daughter was recently diagnosed with high cholesterol, will eating foods that are not highly processed help her? Or should we follow what the Dr’s are saying which is pretty much low fat/non fat foods?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Samantha. Unfortunately, we are not qualified to provide a medical opinion, I would suggest discussing both non-processed food and the diet they are recommending with your doctor. Best of luck to you. Jill

    2. I just wanted to do an update…my daughter was diagnosed with high cholesterol last June (right after school got out). I decided to pull her out of public school because of some concerns I had (one of those being her health). She had a cholesterol level of 217 much higher than a child and higher than an adults should be. We have been following the Real Foods plan ever since she got that diagnosis, about 90% of everything I cook/bake is made from scratch and only using real foods/spices. The only thing I did change was we do not eat any red meat. She just recently got tested again ( about a month ago) and her doctor was surprised because my daughters cholesterol levels dropped 50 points!! She wanted to know what we were doing differently and I told her that the first thing we did was pull her out of public school and the second thing we did was start eating and cooking our food a lot differently than we used to. Thanks to this site and a few others that I follow my daughter is healthier than she has been and we are all a lot more aware of what we are putting into our bodies, this has been a seriously life changing experience for us and I am very grateful for it.

      1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

        Hi Samantha. Thank you so much for updating us!!!!!! We love to hear such great news – WOW! Great job too mom! We’re so glad you are enjoying the blog – thank you for reading! Jill

  63. I am lactose intolerant and drink Almond Breeze unsweetened, original milk. I chose that particular brand because there are no GEI and it is still affordable. But it says there’s “natural flavors”. What does this mean? Everything I’ve read is so inconsistent!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Brianne. I agree, natural flavors is a bit confusing, not to mention misleading. Both artificial and natural flavors are made by “flavorists” in a laboratory by blending either “natural” chemicals or “synthetic” chemicals to create flavorings. Some even say that the artificial flavorings are safer because only safety tested components are used. My husband drinks almond milk as well and we try to make our own as much as possible…you can check out this recipe here…https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/08/31/food-allergies-dairy/. Jill

      1. I just read the book ‘The Science of Skinny’ by Dee McCaffrey, organic chemist and nutritionist, after hearing her interview on NPR. That book has scared me away from eating anything processed or genetically modified. I just wanted to let you know that on page#139 she touches on “natural flavors” and says that they are safe and the term is used interchangably with extract, but she says the term “natural flavorings” refers to substances made in a laboratory and that they should be avoided.

  64. I found out earlier this year that I was gluten intolerant. This forced me to cut out all forms of wheat, a lot of sugar, and basically anything processed. I couldn’t even eat tinned food. It was hard in the beginning, but now that we’ve grown our own vegetable garden outside and started experimenting with spices, it’s become a lot easier and more fun. I have more energy and I feel great! Thanks for the info, enjoyed your post!

  65. I know you’ve touched on this before, but could you revisit how to go unprocessed/non-GMO when you’re at other people’s houses? I have such a hard time with this, especially with two little kids. My husband’s family does not buy into the organic/non-GMO/unprocessed way of life. We were just there for a party and there were no good options, and everything is at child’s level. There are butter crackers with a huge ingredient list, Tostito chips (with GMO corn), non-organic baby carrots (don’t taste like carrots and soaked in chlorine), generic cheese squares (with added growth hormone and food dye), a taco dip (most likely with MSG), a container of veggie dip with a long list of ingredients, shrimp with a ketchup dip, and little pieces of extra salty sausage (with who knows what kind of meat)…not to mention cake that’s processed and dyed… I feel like I just don’t know what to do with this. I obviously can’t keep my kids from having any, and don’t want to be rude either, so we let them have a minimum, reminding our oldest how her tummy hurt the last time she ate a lot of food at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Is it rude to bring your own snacks? My husband commented on how people will bring whatever kind of wine they like to drink, so why not bring whatever kind of snack your kids should eat/plus like to eat. Is it also crazy not to know what to ask people to bring to your house for a party because you don’t want to sound like you don’t want their help, but you know that it won’t be the kind of quality ingredients that you want your family to eat? I know it’s easy to say, “well this is a special occasion, so it’s ok…” but it’s not ok, there are too many special occasions and I just don’t approve of feeding my family garbage. What are your suggestions?

    1. Truth-feed the kids before heading out
      Lie-tell the family your kids have specific food allergies and can’t eat processed foods.
      I always felt like the bad or rude person for pushing healthy foods for my kids. Why should anyone else overpower YOU, their mom into what YOUR children should eat. I know too many people with this same issue. And there are too many occasions to keep making exceptions.

      1. Please don’t lie to people about food allergies. A: people don’t believe you, because they’ve seen the kids eat those things before, or they will someday. B: it makes life harder for those of us who actually do deal with food allergies, because it makes us all look like liars. This can actually have an impact on peoples’ lives–allergy sufferers’ stories are peppered with attempts by family and friends purposely, secretly feeding them allergens, either to test them or to “show them that they are wrong”–causing a range of reactions. Since death is a possible reaction to food allergens, this is a potentially dangerous situation.

      2. Do not lie about food allergies. My son has true life threatening food allergies. When people lie instead of being honest they give those who have real food allergies a bad name. Be honest with your family or bring your own food. My youngest has no food allergies and when we go places he eats as my oldest does.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Amber. I believe La Croix contains natural flavor. The information I have read on natural flavors is that they are no better (and in fact may be worse) than artificial flavor. They are still “manufactured”, it’s just that natural ingredients are used in that process. Hope that helps. Jill

      1. The words “natural flavors” scare me….if they have to give it a code phase, not sure I want it. I learned recently on a website I follow that “natural raspberry flavoring” comes from the anal gland of a beaver. YUCK! All that “natural” means is that it’s origins are from nature, it doesn’t mean it was something we are meant to eat. (And how did someone discover that tasted like raspberry anyways?!)

  66. I’ve just come across this video about sugar – The Real Bears.

    http://cognovant.com/the-real-bears-new-video-confronts-dangers-of-soda/

    “Soda isn’t just bad for you—the cumulative effects of prolonged soda consumption can lead to health effects that are downright scary. A new video produced by the Center for Science in the Public Interest hopes to spread the word about the harmful effects of soda. Although reports showed that U.S. soda consumption is on the decline, a 2011 Gallup poll revealed that nearly half of Americans drink soda on a daily basis—and of those, the average intake is 2.6 glasses per day.”

  67. I am planning to take the 10 day pledge and I’m in the process of convincing my dear husband. He is on board but he is an ex smoker and chews nicotine gum and also drink 2 beers per day. I’ve asked him to give up both of these for the 10 days and he seems adamant that he isn’t willing to do so. Will this be a deal breaker in completing the 10 day pledge?

    Thanks!

    1. Tara, I don’t think there’s any hard and fast rules about this. The point is to try and improve your health by improving your diet. If hubby’s not on board with giving up his nicotine gum and his beer, it sounds like he’s on board with the rest of it, and that’s great! You seem ready and willing to forgo ALL ultra-processed food, and so I think you’ll be sticking to both the spirit and the letter of the pledge. And it sounds like hubby’s willing to stick to the spirit of it, at least. There are some boutique-style beers that are crafted in the old way, which I would certainly consider to be acceptable with the pledge. And if his body still needs that nicotine, then it’s best not to mess with that.

  68. As an aspiring Holistic Nutritionist, you and I see eye to eye on cutting out processed food, Lisa! Here is a quick and easy home made coconut flour tortilla recipe in line with the core principals of your philosophy. (www.4321Texas.com) My family LOVES them! I thought yours might too… Thanks for your blog. I thoroughly enjoy it!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Barbara. According to Wikipedia, maltodextrin is produced by cooking down the starch from rice, corn or potato starch. It sounds to me like the process of making it would indicate that it is not a natural substance. It is a common food additive in many processed foods. I would avoid it. Jill

    1. Go to trader joes and get a more natural version of nutella, there are almond and cocoa spreads with more natural ingredients than the processed garbage nutella gives us. Processed sugar and preservatives are present in Nutella and these are things that our health would benefit from staying away from.

    2. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Shannon. Nutella’s ingredients include palm oil, skim milk and artificial flavor (amongst others) according to their website, so, I would not consider it a real food. Jill

    3. There is a website that has a clean version of Nutella that you can make at home. I’m not sure if we are allowed to mention other websites/food blogs on here, so I won’t say the name, but if you google it, I think you can find it.

  69. Isn’t cheese still a processed food even if it’s organic in nature? I’m just asking out of curiosity of your thoughts on the subject.

    1. I was wondering that too, and some cheeses have color added. I think that with dairy, organic is definitely a must, just because of the diet and meds. they give cows, but it is still processed. I know people that make their own cheeses and butter. I think I will just stick to organic, and let someone else do the milking and churning. ;)

    2. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Todd. Yes, cheese does still undergo some form of processing. But, if you think about it, cooking is also a form of processing. I think the point is to avoid “highly processed” foods. Jill

  70. Plus, we just found out that my husband is severely allergic to soy. It’s kind of forced me to not be so lazy and start making everything from scratch!!! God has been kind to us, even though it doesn’t seem like it when my husband ingests soy and gets the equivalent of a 24-hour “flu”!!!

  71. I was very pleased to find this website. I was just diagnosed with hypoglycemia and have been used to eating processed foods in large quantities. This makes the adjustment easier and I appreciate it. More protein, very limited sugar and no processed foods… bring it on! :)

  72. We’ve been on the Feingold Diet for about 6 months for my son’s ADHD. Cutting out all dyes and additives/preservatives has made an amazing difference in him and has helped me with anxiety issues I was having. I thought I’d take try to take it a step further which is how I came across your blog. Thanks for all the great information! Wish us luck! :)

  73. Great article. It’s very unfortunate that over the last ten years, the travel industry has already been able to to fight terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, influenza, swine flu, and the first ever real global economic downturn. Through all this the industry has proven to be effective, resilient as well as dynamic, finding new approaches to deal with hardship. There are often fresh complications and opportunity to which the industry must once more adapt and respond.

  74. At 45 I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired. In desperation I cut out all processed foods, all sugar, all preservatives and began eating organic veggies and fruits. Within weeks my thyroid was working again, my migraines have vanished, I am sleeping like a baby (no more insomnia) – the list goes on and on. Amazing how our bodies simply heal when given the right nutrients – and absolutely disgusting what passes as “food”. Thanks for doing what you do.

  75. I am going to start by taking the Ten Days of Real Food Challenge, starting on the 7th. I do have a question though. It’s recommended to eat a certain amount of calories a day and not to go over or you’ll gain weight. why is it that when you’re eating “real food” you don’t have to count anything?

  76. Hi all,
    I  am completely in agreement with the importance of eating real food. I find myself very overwhelmed by the task of making everything my family (of 5) eats from scratch. I would appreciate any suggestions on how to accomplish feeding my family good, healthy meals while working full-time. 

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Jen. It is definitely challenging cooking it all from scratch, but, I find that it’s more doable if I plan ahead. If possible, try and make stuff on the weekends to use during the week. Try and cook enough so that you can have a night “off” and use leftovers. Perhaps involve your kids to aid in teaching them more about healthy eating/cooking. I also find that if I schedule my meals out at the beginning of the week it helps me not feel so unprepared. Hope that helps and best of luck. Jill

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