Real Food Defined (The Rules)

Real food basically means anything not highly processed (like artificial additives) and containing only five or fewer whole ingredients. It means mostly avoiding ingredients you would not cook with at home.

Here are the seven rules we followed during our original 100 Days of Real Food pledge:

  1. No refined grains (such as white flour or white rice); only 100 percent whole grain. Items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat” by itself.
  2. No refined or artificial sweeteners (such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda); only honey and pure maple syrup in moderation.
  3. Nothing out of a package that contains more than five ingredients.
  4. No factory-farmed meat; only locally raised meat products.
  5. No deep-fried foods.
  6. No fast food.
  7. Beverages to include only water, milk, occasional all-natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee and tea, and (to help the adults keep their sanity) wine and beer in moderation!

I promise, there’s still food left after eliminating everything mentioned in our rules!

What you CAN eat:

  • Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
  • Lots of fruits and vegetables (we recommend that you shop for these at your local farmers’ market)
  • Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
  • 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains (find a local bakery for approved sandwich bread and check the Understanding Grains post for more info)
  • Seafood (wild-caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
  • Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken (preferably in moderation)
  • Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
  • Also, check out the Recipes & Resources page for a more detailed list of meal options including links to recipes

2,523 thoughts on “Real Food Defined (The Rules)”

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  1. I have recently been diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer at a relatively young age. I have had surgery and I am presently on chemotherapy which makes me very sick and nauseated most of the time.
    I have always eaten nutritiously but now, more than ever, I am trying to eat only clean, whole foods. Do you have any suggestions for someone in my situation?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hello Janine. I’m so sorry to hear about your health challenge. We are unable to dispense that type of advice and have to refer you to your doctors. Have you considered seeing a doctor that practices integrative medicine? They typically have a much more solid nutrition background and incorporate it as well as tradition medicine into their treatments. On a personal note, I highly recommend Kris Carr’s books, Crazy Sexy Cancer and Crazy Sexy Kitchen: http://kriscarr.com/. Wishing you only the best of everything.

  2. Hi there! My family just started this challenge, but we were wondering about the cereal Grape-Nuts. I was wondering if the cereal qualifies as real food? In the ingredients list it lists malted barley flour. Is that considered whole grain? And do the vitamins and minerals count as ingredients? Thanks for your help.

  3. I have just found this thread after spending a few weeks wondering what life would be like just using natural ingredients for cooking rather than anything processed. It started when I couldn’t sleep one night and was trying to imagine supermarkets with no processed food (I was bored). I have become extremely bored with food recently and need to find a way to enjoy it again. I’m also trying to get fit and eat more healthily. I think I’m going to spend a long time researching this site to find the inspiration I need.
    Many thanks
    Ali

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Jessica. Lisa doesn’t typically use evaporated milk. If you do, use one that is organic and be sure it doesn’t have carrageenan.

  4. I was wondering how best to handle restaurant situations. My family likes to go out to eat once a week and I can’t really read labels on restaurant food.

    Thanks,
    Beth

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Beth. Lisa looks for farm to table restaurants, restaurants that serve local foods, and is not afraid to ask specifically about ingredients used. As a general rule, the Leakes are pretty picky about where they eat out. :)

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Barbara. Use the 5 ingredient rule as well as the 100% whole grain rule to determine what crackers will work. Lisa buys 100% whole wheat matzo, or Ak Mak, and sometimes the original Crunch Master cracker. Mary’s Gone Crackers is another brand with a good ingredient list.

  5. hi, and thank you for your hard and pleasant work. i am 76old male with dibeties taken insulin need to watch carbs. and everything else. how many carbs will be ok. a day. to get off isulin. i need help. thank you danny

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Danny. While real food is absolutely great for your health, we can only advise on how to leave processed food behind. ;) Consult with your doctor on how you can make “going unprocessed” work best for your needs.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. Lisa uses Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips and King Arthur whole wheat flour. Some readers like to use whole wheat pastry flour.

  6. I am wondering why white rice is a no no when I have met folks from all over the world at my job where rice is a staple? Just curious or is it just for us Americans because we have a obesity issue?

  7. Hello all! I’m giving this a try. I’m 46 and have recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure, I’m 30lbs over weight, and now may also need a hysterectomy :-(
    Needless to say, I have to change some of my habits. I’ve been reading a lot about what we put into our bodies and I’m just sad. How can food, our life source, be such a problem? Processed foods are everywhere, tastes yummy, but unfortunately, so bad.

    Good luck all!

  8. Would you please clarify for me – I was shopping at Whole Foods last night & reading labels like a demon! I saw some pretzel sticks called “organic” – all the ingredients were whole grain, approved, no sugar, etc, etc but there were about 10 of them. Does the 5 ingredient rule supercede other rules, or was it an OK food because ingredients were within the rules? I didn’t buy them! LOL. We’ve only been doing this a couple of months and still learning. Thank you for your help!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. The 5 ingredient rule is the line in the sand we draw for choosing the great majority of any processed foods we would buy. That is not to say that there are no items in our pantry that have more. If the ingredient list includes a longer list of whole grains, nut seeds, spices, etc., that might be an example of an exception to the rule. You do not have to be 100% – 100% of the time. :)

  9. Mike weixlmann

    Hi, we ( my wife and I ) have cut out all sugar and prosessed foods about two months ago and any bad oils , we have both losses 15 pounds am 6 foot and now weigh 170 what a difference , I started by seeing a foodbabe website my wife had breast cancel but now she is cancer free it is hard to find things made without soy , which us well your friend mike and Joan

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. You can use any combination of seasonings just be sure they don’t have preservatives added.

  10. Hello. I went to my family doctor today and he said I have to eliminate from my diet white flour, breads, potatoes, cakes, cookies, sweets, sugars, pasta and corn. I can have greens, vegetables, fruit, salmon, and chicken. I receive a monthly distribution of canned goods, spaghetti, and frozen chicken from the local Food bank. I don’t have any other options. What can I do to get healthy? All Blessings to you! -Patricia

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Patricia. Are you saying you have no budget for food outside of what the food bank provides?

      1. Hi Amy,
        Yes, I have no food budget. Fortunately I do receive a monthly box of canned (dead) or boxed foods from the food bank. This usually comes with frozen quartered chicken. Since I have to eliminate so many foods now and I don’t receive fresh foods I’m not sure what to do. Thank you for help.
        All Blessings to You.
        -Patricia

      2. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

        Hi again. Can you speak with the food bank directly about your food needs per your doctor? I am assuming this is about diabetes? I know food banks might not have a ton of flexibility but a little communication can go a long way. You have to be your No. 1 advocate. You might find that you also have access to other resources and hunger organizations. Also, have checked into SNAP benefits? It is okay to ask for help.

  11. My husband and I just watched “Fed Up” (how scary!) and are going shopping today to start this new lifestyle! We have an 11 month old and, this sounds crazy, but I’m more concerned about how to get his meals prepped and fell lost about this process. Any recommendations? Thanks

    1. Hi Jessica

      Your child will follow your lead. Offer and eat lots of fruits and vegetables and don’t worry if he/she doesn’t eat it right away, keep offering and eating. My 2 year old son’s favorite saying right now at meal time is “I don’t like it” before he has even put it in his mouth. We have a “no thank you bite” rule in our house…you have to put it in your mouth and chew before you can say no thank you. Sometimes he spits it out and sometimes he will say, this is good! :) I try not to get to excited about his choices…keep offering the good stuff and you and your child will be fine!

  12. I am excited to start this challenge with my husband! I have a question about the “five ingredients or less” rule: Do separate herb/spices count as individual ingredients? For example, if a product lists “onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, dried oregano” does those count as four of the five ingredients allowed? Thanks!

  13. The only thing I’m really concerned about is locally-raised meats. Would organic, grass-fed meat be an acceptable alternative?

  14. I love this site! All the resources, links, and tools makes all this manageable and possible! You just have one teeny thing to fix: eggs are not dairy! You keep listing eggs under the dairy section and they just are not. Dairy is a product of the memory glands of mammals. They are not even from a milk-producing animal.

  15. I am going to do this starting…tomorrow. Really, tomorrow! What about oils though? ps I eat plant based-any one else have any ideas on how to live without earth balance?

  16. My question is, what about seasoning? I know whole and natural foods are best but I’m a seasoning kind of person, if it don’t have flavor I’m not eating. So are seasonings ok or are they not? And which ones can we use? Thank you.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Lacey. Herbs and spices fresh and dried are all good. Just be careful with labels as some spices, especially blends, will have unwanted additives.

  17. When you say sweeteners in Moderation, meat in moderation, how many times per week/or grams (or oz) per meal would “moderation” be?

    Thanks!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. The RDA on sugar is no more than 6 teaspoons per day. With meats, one of the ways to think about it is that they should be a compliment to a meal and not the focus of it.

  18. I have been drinking unsweetened organic soy milk instead of cows milk. Are there any reasons I should reconsider?

    1. I eat gluten free as well. There are a number of GF flours out there that work fairly well. My favorite is GF Mama’s coconut and rice blend. When you try to substitute GF flour for other flours substitute ounce for ounce not cup for cup. America’s Test Kitchen has a GF cookbook out that gives you a wealth of information about cooking GF as well as some delicious recipies. Just keep trying different ones and you will find you own favorite.

  19. I have allergies to dairy products and going to stick with my rice milk and unsweetened almond milk for now if that is allowed

  20. A question about the point regarding the use of sweeteners. The acceptable sources listed aren’t useful for someone with diabetes. (Agave, honey, maple syrup, etc ALL raise blood sugar levels.) Any other suggestions for sweetening up my morning coffee without the splash of artificial stuff I’m currently using? Thank you!

    1. Wendy,
      I have found xylitol is low on the gylcemic index and a GREAT tasting, natural sweetener (no aftertaste like stevia). However, it is not safe for dogs to consume, so be aware of that!!!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Candy. We understand that the rules have to be adjusted for allergies and sensitivities. Look for gluten free pasta and breads made with whole grains.

  21. My daughter may suffer ADHA/ADD will find out more in few days but people have suggested to change her diet and i was wondering if fallowing the 100 day food plain might help with some of this any info is helpful

    1. no junk food
      no tv
      no cellphone, tablet

      go outside and play
      take up art – drawing, painting
      learn to listen to and play music
      read books
      go for long walks

    2. This diet would help because processed food can cause add/add and it’s just healthier. However the Feindgold diet worked wonderful for my child. It is an elimination diet. We found out my child it was fresh oranges causing behavior problems! I thought I was doing the right thing by giving her fresh fruits. Some fruits have salicytes that are found to increase add/adhd.

    3. I can say from experience that yes she would likely benefit from this type of diet. Also teaching her better eating and dietary habit now will help her to continue with them as she grows older. The worse place for your child to eat is in their own cafeteria.

  22. I just found some Earth Balance vegan popcorn with expeller sunflower oil, popcorn and salt. Is this ok to eat?

  23. Hello. I am amazed by your page. I have a blog about health, home remedies etc. I would like to share my articles on your page. If you are interested in cooperation please let me know. I am willing to pay.
    All the best, Bojan

  24. Hi I was researching and read King Arthur’s organic white whole wheat flour is just as healthy as the whole wheat. Is that right?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Emily. Yes, it is just lighter in texture and color but still 100% whole wheat.

  25. Hi, please help my wife and I settle a debate regarding the “No more than 5 ingredients” rule. Say you have a bag of trail mix or granola. Everything in there meets all the other criteria (no refined grains or sweeteners, nothing fried), but there are more than five actual things in the mix. It feels like this bag would be fair game, since all the individual elements meet the rules you’ve laid out, there just happens to be more than 5 of them.

  26. Is there a list of pantry staples that would help us begin our whole food journey? I have given away or thrown away all sugar except for coconut sugar, honey and pure maple syrup. I also have whole wheat flour and coconut flour. Just wondering if there are any other things that would be good to have on hand so that I don’t succumb to the false idea of ‘something fast is easier’. :) Also, in New Zealand we source Manuka honey from a family friend who is a local bee keeper. Is this kind of honey the kind we should be using? It comes in more of a solid state that runny but nothing is added to it. Thanks and sorry about all of the questions!

  27. Let your daughter learn to cook with whole foods. There is and will be a great need for whole food bakers. She could experiment and find ways to make wonderful desserts, breads, etc with whole foods. It would be a great niche for her.

  28. I am so intrigued with this. I would love to start my family on a whole food lifestyle, I am just a bit overwhelmed on how and where.

    In addition, no sugar isn’t something I’m afraid of, however, my daughter wants to be a baker and train in France, thoughts on how to nurture that dream and not squash it because of the sugar issue. I know there are recipes out there, but I want them to be fun and look fun as she continues to bake, she is 11.

    Thoughts on either comment?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Jenny. Be sure to see Melanie’s comment below. Also, make your way through the start here page: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/start-here/ and that is sure to get you on the right track. Most of Lisa’s baking recipes use honey or maple syrup as the sweetener. There is an ever-growing market for bakery goods that do not call for refined sugars. It is a whole new world. :)

  29. Thanks everyone for your comments i will certainly try all your ideas and suggestions at some point. I will let you know how i get on
    thanks
    Sharon

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Janice. Yes but they will not typically work substituted 1:1. You’ll have to make adjustments to the recipes in many cases.

  30. Oops! Forgot to mention that if you use a liquid sweetener, you need to decrease the liquid in your recipe. Palm sugar is in granular form, but I’m not sure if it fits the “real food” criteria

  31. Sharon, you should use whole wheat pastry flour instead of the cake flour in your cakes. The liquid may need adjusting up or down because whole wheat flour tends to absorb the moisture in the atmosphere. If you are substituting in a recipe, keep notes so you can adjust the next time around if it doesn’t turn out quite right. Or you can look for recipes that are written for whole grain. King Arthur Flour has a book that is dedicated to baking with whole grains and there are tons of recipes on the Internet For biscuits, traditional whole wheat is fine, but you may need to increase your leavening (baking powder or soda). If you use honey as a sweetener, you need to watch your oven carefully as honey will burn if left in the oven just a little long. Good luck!

  32. can i use regular corn flour for thickening casseroles etc? what can i use instead of regular plain flour for making cakes and biscuits in UK, i know to substitute sugar for honey is that right? or is there some other granulated alternative to make weighing easier

    thank you

  33. I have eaten this way for years and highly recommend it. It is so freeing to kick the sugars habit and really taste the delicious flavors found in “real” food. Very glad you have the challenge out there to help others see a better way to eat. Keep up this great life style change. And if I may, I’ d like to challenge others to make it a life style change for keeps. It is worth it.

  34. My daughter has Celiac disease. I am interested in switching to real foods, but a large portion of our diet consists of white flours/rices since we can’t have any wheat. Do you have any suggestions for how to pull off a real food diet that’s also gluten free? I appreciate ALL suggestions – figuring all of this out can get overwhelming :-)

  35. What would you suggest for someone like me that lives in a tiny town wit no access to anything organic? I clean the fruits and vegetables that I get from the store but I still worry about the pesticides, because I know there are so many, it’s just dreadful.

  36. I have a question about teas. Many brands include sweeteners like stevia or brewers malt in their organic teas. Permissible?

  37. I was thinking I would take the challenge, but we already eat like this! I do keep a couple of boxes of organic, whole grain crackers in our pantry, and they have more ingredients than I would like.

    They also don’t taste as good as homemade, but I have yet to find a cracker recipe–or to develop one–that we love enough to make the labor worthwhile.

    Any suggestions?

      1. Thank you. I checked out both recipes and I will give them each a try. They look good! In fact, I’m featuring the Easy Cheesy Crackers as Recipe of the Day later this week on a Facebook page I curate called Cooking with Whole Grains & Whole Foods.

        Not surprisingly, quite a few recipes from 100 Days of Real Food end up as recipes of the day there.

  38. I’ve been gearing up for this way of life and inching towards it for the past 2 days…my question is for sweetners..agave and organic coconut palm sugar allowed? Also, I made a cheesecake out of honey and the coconut sugar the other day which is Awesome!!!

  39. I have been reading your book and share your dilemma about mayonnaise. I have just found a mayonnaise that pretty well fits your criteria called “Just Mayo” from Hampton Creek. (hamptoncreek.com) Check it out!All organic ingredients. I also cut it 1/2-1/2 with organic yogurt, often made at home with my raw milk.

  40. Hi I am a personal trainer and heating and plumbing engineer. I try to live the life I ask my clients to live, in the respects to diet and healthy living. It’s hard in Uk as we don’t have great choice in the supermarkets and when you go down the organic route it’s often very expensive. Health is all about the balance of good and bad. Like the see saw effect. I love making my own dinners for my family but it’s a time allocation that mucks it up and it’s easy the grab something out the fridge and put it in the oven. All good food but it’s processed to make it frozen. My kids are really healthy and fit, they often have too much energy. They have the odd sweet and fizzy drink none of the low sugar type only full fat. They often waste it and it gets poured down the plug hole. This is on a treat and not a common thing in our household. We are always giving them water to drink or the odd small glass of Apple juice not from concentrate. All I am trying to say it’s all about balance. I lost my Aunty and uncle over the last few years both under 61 years old, they lived very healthy lives and didn’t even drink alcohol or smoke yet they both died of cancer. They even keep there own bees and goat .

  41. LISA — Read this letter which a doctor wrote to his patients regarding milk.

    http://www.notmilk.com/kradjian.html

    When they pasturize milk, it destroys the proteins which contributes to the large number of people who are allergic to milk. These broken proteins get into the blood stream and activate the body’s immune system — this weakens the immune system. Organic milk is ultra-pasturized, which does even more harm to the proteins and makes the milk a dead product which doesn’t even need to be refrigerated because it is no longer a “food”. Read this

    http://draxe.com/pasteurization-homogenization-raw-milk/

    We grew up thinking that milk was healthy, but it is full of hormones, antibiotics, and yucky things like PUSS! Nearly all cancers are hormone dependent, and milk provides those hormones – this is reason enough for me to give up milk. Coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, water, coconut water are all good substitutes. I make a great homemade icecream usin coconut milk and fresh fruit, sweeten with organic RAW honey.

  42. I heard about this plan from a co-worker. He says it’s a lot of work but all worth it. I am going to try this. I have to do the shopping first then start the cooking.. I am excited because I have hypothyroidism and I have been looking for ways to eat better. He goes nothing.

    1. Tara, for pasta I have been eating Brown Rice Pasta usually found in the organic aisle. It has 3 ingredients – Whole Grain Brown Rice, Rice Bran and Water. At first it has a slightly different taste, but not even noticeable after a few times.

  43. I LOVE that last nugget of wisdom-#8 I have been saying that for years. Anecdotally I have heard that the French never had any problems with the super morbidly obesity (BMI of 50+) until fast food come to their country. Convenience is the most dangerous element of food and eating. I don’t go for the Paleo diet fad or any fad diet. Bread is the staff of life. Jesus ate bread. But I firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with processed food, eating out or even fast food except for the convenience factor. Any diet works if it slows you down. If you couldn’t eat any food that was green, white or yellow you would lose weight and probably make healthier choices. Making all your own food and processing your own food slows you down like nothing else and it makes you think and gives you accountability. I cook for my palette, but I would NEVER put the amount of grease that a restaurant will add, which they do to mask poor technique and less than optimal ingredients. Even if you did make your own French fries every single day the work i.e. buying potatoes, peeling, soaking and carefully frying them and then the HUGE clean up of the mess (figuring out how to store or dump the oil) helps you burn the calories and slows you down. Ordering those fries siting in a car and having them handed to you out a window is the abomination. At the very least park and go inside to get them.

    1. Never re-use oil — cooked oil creates free radicals and the more the oil is cooked the more free radicals – these free radicals attack healthy cells in your body. To make good fries safely, cut up the potatoes, put in a bowl and add a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil, toss and toss until the potatoes are coated evenly, lay out on a cookie sheet and bake in a hot oven for a few minutes, then turn over, and brown the other side, continue until the potatoes are cooked. These are good and healthy.

  44. Actually, you should slowly try to drink your coffee without sugar. It is an acquired taste, so use 3/4 of the sugar (honey) the next week, then 1/2, then 1/4, etc.

    1. organic, RAW wildflower honey — yum. Very healthy, not at all processed, never heated – has lots of health benefits

    2. I use orange peel if I want to avoid sugar in my coffee. Just make sure that it is only the zest (the orange part of the peel) not the white bitter portion. Also, if possible, it should be organic. You don’t need a lot and you can wash it and reuse at least once.

  45. Can you please help me find a healthy rice product. My family eats rice almost everyday and we would like to continue to do so. thank you

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Naffie. Can you be a little more specific? Are you looking for a brand, a type, etc. The healthiest rice type is somewhat controversial these days because of arsenic contamination.

  46. Hi. I just found out about your website and I have long ways to go. But I have a quick question about bread: does it matter if I make my own but with unbleached flower? Or is it better just to use whole wheat flower?
    Thank you.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Sierra. Lisa hasn’t set up rules for wine and beer but you can definitely find organic varieties of each.

  47. For people wanting to know more about eating healthy I recommend FMTV. I have no connection with them other than being a member of the site. There is a membership to join. There are hundreds of videos,recipes for healthy cooking, how to make smoothies and stories of individual success in changing their diet. they have a 10 day free trialI found they answered a number of question I had and help to keep me on track as it is not easy to give up sweets, use the right oils and is often overwhelming to know what to eat. I am also happy to find your blog about packing school lunches

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Tammy. For pledge purposes, we stick with honey and maple syrup. Outside of the pledge rules, coconut sugar can be a better option. I use it in my morning coffee. And, yes, plain frozen veggies are just fine.

    1. Depends on the almond milk, some almonds are Gmo, and sometimes alternative milks have added ingredients, but In general, yes.

  48. Please can anyone confirm about fruit teas and green teas, are we allowed these in our daily intake? I feel that for me this would be the easiest way to avoid fruit syrup drinks as I don’t add sugar.
    Thank you in advance :)

  49. This is great! I especially love #8 under “How to avoid processed food in general.” So true- I do not want to waste my time baking cakes and frying foods just to satisfy a snack attack, lol. I have been trying to educate myself a lot lately on the food my family eats, watching some documentaries, reading, etc. We’ve made a few small changes but I really think it’s time to step it up. I am taking the pledge today! What a great resource your site is!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Cindy. I am not familiar with that particular product. You can generally find plastics that are BPA free. Freezing is less of a concern with plastic wraps than heating. You should never heat something in plastic.

  50. Thank you for sharing what kind of bread you buy. We just moved to Omaha and there is a Great Harvest Bread Co just down the street which I haven’t tried yet. So excited to try them out. I also got your cookbook for Christmas and signed your mini pledge. We don’t eat a ton of processed but I know we can do even more. Thanks for all you do. Happy New Year!

    1. What I’ve seen recommended is organic butter, and only cold pressed oils: Olive, avocado, walnut and coconut. I am trying to cut out processed foods for my husband, who has Alzheimer’s. Best side effect? I’ve lost 12 pounds.

      1. Thank you
        Are you doing the whe challenge or have you lost the lbs just by changing the oils you use?

      2. I am doing the whole challenge. I have my husband on an experimental Alzheimer’s diet: no simple carbohydrates, no processed food, among other things like exercise and supplements. So no sugar as well, only cold-pressed oils, free range chicken and eggs, grass-fed, organic beef, and wild-caught fish…he does drink milk, as he doesn’t like water or tea or coffee. I’ve switched to tea and water. No gluten, which may be our biggest challenge (except for the hidden sugar in EVERYTHING). We don’t always succeed with everything, but I thought the challenge might help me!!

      3. Well I hope that your husband’s and your hard work go well rewarded. Good luck with your journey.
        I am doing the challenge for weight loss and energy gain. I feel excited.
        I wish you all the best x

      1. Thank you for that.
        I live in the uk do will start to go my research on these oils as I don’t believe I’ve ever seen coconut oil in the shops here.

  51. What should you do if you are celiac (and I am) for baking like bread and muffins ect.? Most of the flours (coconut, rice) are white. And when buying gluten free bread, it’s always white and has more ingredients than normal.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Jessica. You will have to adapt “the rules” a bit if you are gluten free. Coconut and almond flour are really good options. You can also find blends that are made with more whole ingredients. Bob’s Red Mill has a whole grain option as does King Arthur. Here is a recipe for making your own whole grain gf flour to have on hand: http://glutenfreegirl.com/2013/02/how-to-make-a-gluten-free-whole-grain-flour-mix/ and a favorite gf bread recipe: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2011/05/whole-grain-gluten-free-bread_17.html. It is a little more complicated but becomes easy over time. :)

  52. Love the value in this post and your site is so pretty. My family and I just started eating a vegan diet and its been a little tough we have always eaten organically but I must say I am missing my meat ;b

    I will be sure to share and subscribe. Pop in on my site there is something interesting and a real breakthrough in redoxing.

    Vincent

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Andrew. We like the 100% whole grain aspect of brown rice. The issue you are likely referring to is the level of arsenic that brown rice retains compared to white rice. Cooking brown rice in extra water and then draining it helps reduce it. I have depended far less on rice, in general because of this. The least likely contaminated type of rice seems to be Basmati rice and the most is rice which is grown in the southern US.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Sarah. For pledge purposes, we stick with honey or maple syrup. Outside of the pledge, coconut sugar is my coffee sweetener of choice. ~Amy

  53. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

    hi Annika. While we’ve not provided gluten free adaptations, I do adapt them for my gluten free needs all the time. You have to experiment a bit to figure out what subs work for you. ~Amy