Take 10-Day Pledge

Cut processed food out of your life by signing up for our free 10 Days of Real Food pledge! For a week and a half you’ll follow the same real food rules we followed during our 100-day pledge in 2010. If our family of four did it for 100 days, I am convinced anyone can do it for only 10 days! And what harm is there in trying?

Thousands of people all the way from Austin to Australia have signed up – to see how much the 10-day pledge has impacted their lives you can read some of their feedback here.

So get ready for a true wake up call on just how pervasive processed foods are in everyday life! We promise your new-found perspective will be worth the effort.

Benefits of Taking the 10-Day Pledge

Upon completing your goal we predict you will gain the following:

  • A first-hand, eye opening experience of how to identify the real food in our processed food world.
  • At least one improved health benefit such as having more energy, losing weight, improving regularity, or just feeling healthier overall.
  • The realization that some of those pre-packaged processed “food-like substances” don’t even taste that good compared to real food.
  • The opportunity to teach your children (if you have them), by example, the healthiest way to eat and enjoy the food mother nature has given us.
  • The ability to continue on with your life however you chose, but with the new knowledge of how and why to avoid processed foods. Hopefully your 10-day experience will convince you to consider making at least a few changes for life.

How to Take the 10-Day Pledge

  1. Review the rules that you must follow for the full 10 days. In case you need some more convincing you may also want to review 10 reasons to cut out processed food.
  2. Take note of the important resources on our Start Here page.
  3. Complete the form below including your start date. We recommend that you take at least a few days or longer to plan and prepare your kitchen with whole foods so you have enough to eat once your mission starts. Also, consider boxing away the stuff that might tempt you to break the rules – we want you to succeed!
  4. We also recommend that you spend a few moments reviewing our concise list of real food meal ideas on the Recipes and Resources page to help you plan what you’ll eat during your pledge.
  5. Don’t forget to update your facebook or twitter status to let your friends know that you are starting the 10 Days of Real Food pledge so they can provide you with support and accountability!
  6. Once you have completed your 10-day pledge visit the Real Food Graduates page to tell us about your experience.  We want to know how it went and keep track of how many people have come this far.

586 thoughts on “Take 10-Day Pledge”

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  1. I am preparing my kitchen for the challenge and was wondering about cooking oils. Currently, I use Grapeseed Oil a lot but know that there are far more than 5 ingredients to that. What do you recommend using or is that something that is simply no longer used at all.
    Thanks! ~Lindsay

  2. Hi, When you count the 5 ingredient on the back of a package do you include water and spices in the 5 ingredients or less?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Aarin. Technically, any ingredient listed counts. It simply is a rule of thumb for how processed or pre-prepared a product is. Outside of the pledge, I look the other way on spices, H20, and if it is a longer list of whole food ingredients. ;) ~Amy

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi K-Lee. The pledge form should follow at the end of this post. It does not work from a mobile device. ~Amy

  3. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi. Lisa has several picky eater posts but they are not geared toward ASD. You can take a look at them and see if there is anything that might be helpful. Here are a couple: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/09/09/real-food-tips-12-ways-to-deal-with-a-picky-eater/ and https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/12/07/picky-eater-vs-problem-feeder/. You should consult with your doctor or OT to help you with his sensory issues: http://www.iidc.indiana.edu/?pageId=476. In the meantime, make the adjustments that work for your family in order to stick to the pledge. Best of luck. ~Amy

  4. Hi… I have a question/concern about eating real foods. I know that sounds crazy but my son Autism Spectrum Disorder and he doesn’t like much food that hasn’t been processed. He will raw veggies: carrots, tomatoes, sweet peas, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, recently celery with peanut butter and raisins but after that our choices slip down to about nothing. Chicken nuggets, burgers, fish sticks, grilled cheese sandwiches, and PBJ, quesadillas, man n cheese but ONLY THE KRAFT kind oh and Paneras is ok too. My daughter, his twin, will try at least most things and enjoy many of the things she tries. They are both six years old. We have been living a life of frozen, processed convenience food for too long. I need to change this but I’m worried with my son’s sensory issues and having been coddled for 6 years there will be war in this house. Right now Mom and Dad are on a15 day juice fast to detox our bodies. Once we are done with that, we are going to use your 100 Day meal plan to have something we can stick to that already prepared for us. Any tips on how to handle my son and his sensory issues with food? Thanks so much for your time!!!

  5. Have you heard about the 10-Day Celebrity Transformation?
    It uses nutrient-dense superfoods, slow-burning carbs and highly digestible protein. All vegan. All Natural.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Daniel. The Leakes do not do supplements and weight loss is not the 100 Days focus, whole/real food is. :) ~Amy

  6. What is your take on Shakeology? I am currently using it. I’m certain it has more than 5 ingredients in it, but it is supposed to be good for you — and do you allow Shakeology during the 10 days challenge?

  7. This is my fourth day of the 10 day challenge and I am loving it. Basically I have been cooking like my mom and grandma used to. I have been really having fun with the recipes and following the meal plans. I have been off of work with snow days, which has made it easy to prepare my meals in advance. I plan to continue with this as a lifestyle change.

  8. So excited to join the challenge! My family of four have started eating organic about 4 months ago. We, however , have not completely cut everything and hope to. I think this challenge will help immensely.I love your site and Facebook page. It helps tremendously with meal planning for my babes. (2.5 and 1.5 boys) For some reason I camt see the form to complete to start the challenge. Is their an email copy I can get?

  9. Hi Lisa,
    I seen on one of your posts that you are ok with sugar free gum for you and your children. And I also read your “artificial sweetner” and “toxic sugar” articles. I have pretty much cut out all aspartame for the last year – 1 1/2 yrs and I can only find a couple flavors of chewing gum that do not have it in them. Since reading your article I am now re-thinking that the suculose is just as bad and the only gum that I have found without aspartame has the suculose. I cannot seem to find any gum that does not have any artificial sweetners, I did finally find one Dentine Classic that has High Fructose Corn Syrup and Sugar but does not last long :( I really like chewing gum and I am probably being way too picky but I have cut it out of everything else and feel like I do not want to have it in that either. Doesanyone have any sugessions?

  10. On New Years Day I opened my fridge and saw a full fridge if nothingness! I saw restaurant leftovers, take-out and expired items. Sad….I’m a busy Mom of two teenage girls and a NURSE!! Since that day, I have been trying to eat “clean”….it has actually just been cleaner than I had been. I am starting the 10 day pledge starting today!!

  11. Hi Lisa, my girlfriend and I are very interested in taking this pledge. We did a test run-through at the super market and found many ingredients that we are not sure are healthy or not.

    I looked them all up online and made some guesses. I’m sorry for the very scientific question, but do you happen to know if any of these are healthy or not? (I left my guesses below.)

    Beans
    Antioxidant: ascorbic acid – ok

    Nuts
    Cottonseed oil – ok
    Modified food starch – bad

    Olives
    Lactic acid – ?
    Sodium alginate – ?

    Beef stock
    Hydrolyzed protein – okay?
    Caramel color – ?
    Xanthan gum – bad?

    Veg stock
    Evaporated cane juice – okay?
    Organic flavoring – ?

    Baked Beans
    Modified corn starch – bad?

    Pickles
    Calcium chloride – bad?

    Jerky
    Sodium nitrate – ok?

    Frozen Fruit Smoothie
    Corn Starch – ok?
    Xanthan – bad?
    Pectin – ok?
    Carrageenan – ok?
    Sucralose – bad?
    Fructose – ok (but we get too much?)
    Phosphate – ?

    Sorbet
    Dextrose – ok
    Carob gum – conflicting data?

    Misc
    Sunflower oil – ok
    Malic acid – ok
    Cane juice – ok
    Citric acid – ok
    Natural Flavor – bad

    And if a package doesn’t list ingredients what does that mean?

    Thanks for an help you can provide. Looking forward to starting my pledge soon.

    -LT

  12. Is the 100 day pledge no longer available? We signed up for the 10 day pledge but wanted to formally commit to the 100 day pledge :) Happy New Year!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hello Meredith. The 100 Day Pledge is always available. :) We just don’t have a formal sign up for it. Go for it and keep us up to date on your progress! ~Amy

  13. Excited to give this a try, I even borrowed my mom’s bread machine to try the bread recipe since my hubs can’t survive without a sandwich. Depending on how we do, we extend our time frame. I’m hoping that this will have an impact on my step daughter when she is with us. While she is a great eater who is always up to trying new things I think her diet is very very heavily processed when she is at her mothers.

  14. I am not quite at the stage where I am willing to cut out all processed food but I’m working on it. I went to great harvest bread the other day and got a loaf of the honey wheat. It was so much heavier than the bread I buy. You were right in that I only needed one slice not two like normal. I just had one slice with some peanut butter and a hard-boiled egg and I was fine even when lunch was late by an hour. I will try the same tomorrow plus a pear for a morning at the gym. I will bring a box of raisins just in case I need them(I’m diabetic.)Breakfast is mostly real food compliant now. I sometimes use a slim fast shake as the base for a smoothie. Next step: lunch in the new year.

  15. Hi! I would love to take the 10 Day Pledge, but I don’t live in the USA, so can’t submit the Pledge form. We’re preparing to take the 100 Day Pledge, and decided to start now with the 10 Day Pledge :) Even if I can’t submit the Pledge form, we’re still going ahead.

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes! You’re an inspiration – keep up the good work!

    Good Health and Good Cheer to you and your family in the New Year!

    Nikkii

  16. I have a question the meal plans on Facebook say family of four for the shopping list. If it is just for two people should I cut the quanity of each item in half

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Chris. If you plan on cutting the recipes in half, too, then that would work. Keep in mind that cooking and freezing leftovers can help reduce the amount of time you need to spend in the kitchen. ~Amy

  17. Hi,
    So excited, my youngest daughter (17) and I started this morning. Yesterday I premade several of our meals and put our meal plan on the refrigerator so we there was no questions about our week ahead. This morning we had the whole wheat banana pancakes which we loved and to my surprise my husband had them with us and he also loved them. My daughter has plans today and asked me to packed her lunch and her snack. This challenge is just what I was looking for and didn’t even realize it.
    Thank you for sharing this challenge with everyone.
    April

  18. Hi There,

    I came across your website and im interested in taking the pleadge, thing is your registration area only shows states in America. I am in South Africa! Please advise….

    Keen One

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Bonnie. You should be able to register regardless of where you live. Try again. If you have trouble send us an email and we’ll be sure you are signed up! :) ~Amy

  19. What are the thoughts on foods, such as cheese, that contain rennet? Also, are citric acid and sulfure dioxide ok? I noticed my raisins contain sulfur dioxide.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Renee. Most American made cheeses have been made with some sort of rennet, usually vegetable rennet. It is hard to avoid. One tip, if you buy kosher cheese you know it is not animal sourced rennet that is used. As for the other ingredients, as a rule, if we don’t keep it in our pantry, we try to avoid it in our foods. ~Amy

  20. Excited to get started! Going to take a week to plan and mentally prepare. I’ve been super unhealthy for two years and have gained about 35lbs and same terrible food addictions I.e. SUGAR! Taking the pledge to get my health and happiness back! Also, hope to encourage others to join this journey with me. Hoping the end result will be a 100 day pledge. Wish me luck! And good luck to all you!

  21. Kristine McAllister

    I think i tried to sign up once before but there is no form showing. Just a big blank where i think the form is supposed to be. My family of 3 (me, hubby and special-needs 23 yr old daughter) will start the 10 day challenge on December 1, 2013. Hopefully we can go longer. This is when we get paid and i do all my shopping so i think its a good time to start!

  22. I have been living color free for 9 months! I found out that I was allergic to food coloring early in March of this year. The first few months were extremely difficult. I was very sick for an entire year before we figured it out; then to go without eating it ever again was really hard for me. But honestly, I don’t have the urge to eat the foods that I once did. I grew to love organic foods and I feel so much healthier because of this. So in a way, I’m happy to have this allergy. I strongly recommend anyone to at least go a week color free. The health benefits are worth it!

  23. We are taking this week to plan and prepare. I know my teen will be resistant but my husband is supportive! I was pleased to know we have already adapted some of the rules. The others will be challenging but I look forward to the results. After the ten days, we want to try the 100 days. Breaking the sugar habit will be tough!

  24. I just finished the 10 day challenge, and as expected I feel great! Planning was certainly key. I made a list of foods that were acceptable, unacceptable and meal ideas right off the bat so I could easily know what I could have and what I couldn’t. I also did a cupboard clean to get rid of things like seasonings I had on hand with a ton of nasty ingredients, that I’m sure I can make at home! It does take some time to make a salad dressing vs just reach for that bottled one, but in the end its so worth it. I also lost 3lbs without really stepping up my exercise routine and was finally able to kick the sweets habit I had developed over the last year! Thanks for your guidance.

  25. Planned al our meals and we are starting the 10 days today!! but i cant find where to sign up its not showing on my page.

  26. The last two years I have focused on getting healthy. I have made MANY changes but I am ready to make a commitment, learn new recipes (still tend to eat on the run sometimes), and just really work hard to do make everything fresh. Just time to change things up a bit….

  27. Good morning!

    My family is starting the 10 day challenge today. My husband and I will be following all of the program rules with a few modifications/exceptions for our children (9 and almost 4). We’ve got all of our meals and snacks for this week planned out, grocery shopping done, and have cleaned the processed junk from our cabinets and fridge. Ready to get started and make some positive changes!

  28. Hi to everyone!
    So excited to start this challenge… I planned my meals already and have started today!!! I am somewhat nervous because I don’t have a lot of time and tend to eat processed food because it’s faster and easier than cooking… But going to give this a try; wish me luck!

  29. Hello, I am taking the 10-day Pledge!!!! I am so excited to see a website that can help me have a structured Healthy lifestyle..For Real People without pills and the word ‘Diet’ attached!!! I am nervous about starting because I am a Binge Eater. My husband is in full support of my pledge and anything I can do to help both of us become healthier. My 20 year old son is living with us and works as a famous coffee shop, he is gaining weight from eating the pastries and sugar drinks. I fear he and I are both going to end up with Diabetes 2 if we continue on this unhealthy eating path. I want to begin the plan today but not sure if I have enough food to cover all of my cravings without turning to processed food. What keeps you mentally/physically full to help you not to go buy junk food to satisfy the cravings and binges?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Brenda. You should make sure you are well prepared for your 10 days, so you aren’t tempted to stray. Have your groceries ready and meals planned, within reason, along with snacks. Keep fruits and veggies handy to satisfy munchies, along with nuts and seeds and other healthy snacks. You can do it. It makes it much easier if you are fully prepared. ~Amy