I’m excited to announce something I’ve never done before, and I think you’re gonna love it! I’ve created a free automated “100 Days of Real Food” Mini-Pledge Program that – starting in January – will email you a new challenge every single week until you (and your family) have completely cut out processed food. Now these are “mini” pledges because each email will present you with a completely doable and realistic challenge to change just one aspect of your diet the following week. Plus, all the resources you’ll need to succeed will be included and, let’s not forget, each mini-pledge only lasts a mere 7 days. Anyone can try something new for a week, right? :)
1/15/15 update: This program was closed to new participants on January 15th, 2015 (until next year). However, you can still access the basic info on my 100 Days of Mini-Pledges page, which is what this program was based on. You may also subscribe to our email newsletter to be notified when we open the program again.
What to expect from the “100 Days of Real Food” Mini-Pledge Program:
- Mini-pledges with the goal of helping you cut out highly processed food that will start in January and be broken into 14 different weekly challenges (as laid out below).
- Challenges that can be completed one at a time or built onto the previous weeks – your choice!
- After you sign up through the form below, you’ll receive a welcome message right away, and then your first week-long challenge will arrive on the very next Thursday morning. The idea is you’ll do your shopping over the weekend and actually start the pledge the following week (ideally on Monday). Note if you subscribe on a Thursday after 9:00 AM EST, you won’t receive your first challenge until the following Thursday.
- Each Thursday after that you’ll receive your next pledge until the 14 weeks are up – and your life is changed! :)
- You’ll also be accepted into the new private Facebook group I created for the pledges in this program to be able to communicate with each other and ask questions.
Now, we all know the best way to hold yourself accountable for something like this is to do it with a friend. So I strongly encourage you to invite someone to join you – even if it’s just for moral support! :) Also, in case you’re wondering, this program is an updated version of the same challenge I first launched a few years ago.
An overview of the program:
- Week 1: Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.
- Week 2: Beverages will be limited to coffee, tea, water, and milk (only naturally sweetened with a little honey or 100% pure maple syrup). One cup of juice will be allowed throughout the week, and wine will be allowed in moderation (an average of one drink per day).
- Week 3: All meat consumed this week will be locally raised (within 100-miles of your hometown). Meat consumption will also be limited to 3 – 4 servings this week, and when it is eaten meat will not be presented as the “focal point” of the meal. Instead meat will be treated as a side item or simply used to help flavor a dish.
- Week 4: No fast food or any foods that have been deep-fried in oil.
- Week 5: Try a minimum of two new whole foods that you’ve never had before.
- Week 6: Do not eat any food products that are labeled as “low-fat,” “lite,” “light,” “reduced fat,” or “nonfat.”
- Week 7: All grains consumed must be 100% whole-grain.
- Week 8: Listen to your internal cues and stop eating when you feel full.
- Week 9: No refined or artificial sweeteners including (but not limited to): white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, sucanat, splenda, stevia, agave, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and cane juice. Foods and beverages can only be sweetened with a moderate amount of honey or maple syrup.
- Week 10: No refined or hydrogenated oils including (but not limited to): vegetable oil, organic vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, organic canola oil, margarine, and grape seed oil.
- Week 11: Eat at least 1 locally grown or raised food at each meal. This includes, but is not limited to: fruits, vegetables, eggs, grains, nuts, meats, and sweeteners like honey.
- Week 12: Avoid all added sweeteners including, but not limited to: white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, honey, maple syrup, date sugar, maple sugar, sucanat, splenda, stevia, agave, fruit juice concentrate, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and cane juice.
- Week 13: Avoid all artificial ingredients including, but not limited to: sweeteners, flavors and colors.
- Week 14: Avoid any and all packaged food products that contain more than five ingredients no matter what ingredients.
My hope is that these mini-pledges will help you gain a new perspective and encourage you to make at least some positive long-term changes in the long run. No matter what though, I know these pledges will get you to start reading ingredient labels – the most important part of cutting out processed food!
I look forward to having you join us and wish you the best of luck!
1/15/15 update: This program was closed to new participants on January 15th (until next year). However, you can still access the basic info on my 100 Days of Mini-Pledges page, which is what this program was based on.