100 Days Of Real Food
One of the most popular websites in America for encouraging families to eat real food and get into the kitchen is “100 Days Of Real Food”. It gets 4 million page views a month and has 1.5 million Facebook followers. 100 Days Of Real Food is an idea Lisa Leake had when she set out to see if her family could live without processed food for 100 days. Lisa was inspired by Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto when watching Oprah. She decided there and then that she would overhaul her families way of eating, so started on a real food journey with her husband and 2 girls. Her incredibly successful blog captured her 100 Days Of Real Food where she shared her families story. I am fortunate to have been asked by Lisa to be one of her cookbook ambassadors, and have been sent a copy of her new 100 Days of Real Food cookbook to review. Lisa has now reached number 2. on the New York Times bestseller list.
I thought I was making healthy choices for my family, but as it turns out so much of our food was actually packaged and highly processed. More a product of industry than a product of nature …
Her real food pledge was to remove all processed food from their diet and eat wholesome, natural food. She includes whole grains, fruit, vegetables, seafood, local meats, natural juices, dried fruit, seeds, popcorn and honey. Whilst personally I no longer eat any grains or sugars, whole, natural or otherwise, Lisa’s approach to encourage Americans to eat an unrefined diet is to be commended. She is encouraging families to get back into the kitchen, prepare their own meals, and learn where food comes from. Eating real food and cooking our own meals is the basis of all good nutrition.
100 Days Of real Food
- 100 recipes. Simple, family friendly with easy instructions and beautiful photographs
- Cost conscious recipes using familiar ingredients
- 10 day mini-starter programme
- Recipes such as homemade tomato sauce, pulled pork in the slow cooker, teriyaki steak salad, zucchini with almonds and parmesan, shortcut caesar salad, homemade chicken nuggets
- School lunch packing chart
- Meal plans and shopping lists
Real Food Defined
- Whole foods – in their most natural state
- Fruit and vegetables – local and/or organic are recommended
- Dairy products – organic, whole, unsweetened and pasture raised
- 100% wholewheat & whole grains – made with a handful of wholesome ingredients
- Seafood – preferably wild caught
- Local meats – humanely raised and eaten in moderation
- Natural sweeteners – honey and maple syrup in moderation
- Snacks – dried fruit, seeds, nuts, popcorn, organic unsweetened and raw when applicable
- Beverages – milk, water, natural juices, coffee, tea, wine and beer. Naturally sweetened in moderation (except water).
- What is real food? Including how food impacts on our health, how to decipher ingredient labels, the 5 ingredient rule, whole grains, the problem with sugar, food dyes, artificial ingredients, and low fat products are not real food.
- Shopping for real food – Lisa navigates through the supermarket and farmers markets explaining exactly how to select real food, the essentials for your fridge, freezer and pantry.
- Making changes: Don’t overthink, just start – 14 weeks of mini pledges.
- Getting your family on board – 12 tips for picky eaters, age appropriate chores, packing wholesome school lunches, reluctant spouses, dining with others, and how not to offend loved ones.
- Food budget tips and meal plans – the importance of meal planning, budget tracking, meal plan template and a shopping list template.
100 Quick and Easy Recipes
Breakfast, lunch, lunchbox, snacks, salads/sides, simple dinners, special treats, and homemade staples (sauces). Many of these could be converted into low carb meals, as you can with any recipe. Two examples are ‘Taco Night’ , where you could use lettuce wraps instead of tortillas, or ‘Jason’s Grass Fed Burgers’, by removing the bread bun and using large mushrooms, lettuce wraps or on top of a salad.
I do find the recipes are heavily based on whole grains, pasta, or bread. Grains are high in carbs and will raise your blood sugar levels. By removing grains, bread and pasta from your diet, you end up eating more of the nutritious element of the meal. I see bread and pasta as the vehicle that nutritious food goes on, and it took me a while to understand this. There is very little nutrition in grains and in fact grains cause leaky gut (symptoms may or may not be obvious, I didn’t have any). Instead of pasta, make vegetable pasta – a double win, no grains and double the vegetables. Instead of bread, roll up your filling in the meat slices, again, a double win, no bread but more nutrition. Take a look at my school lunches which are all bread free, grain free, sugar free and real food.
While I personally don’t use whole wheat , juices, dried fruit and natural sugars (natural sugars are still sugar), I feel Lisa has a good balance for her family and the millions of Americans who are trying to overhaul their diet. In 1900, 2 percent of meals were eaten outside the home. In 2010, 50 percent were eaten away from home and one in five breakfasts is from McDonald’s. Lisa has produced an incredibly well written book with everything you need to overhaul your families diet. 100 Days Of Real Food offers all the support, encouragement, and guidance you’ll need to make these incredibly and timely life changes.