14 Weeks of Real Food Challenges


As I stated in my previous post, one of the goals I have for myself this year is to eat a healthier diet by cutting down on processed foods and moving to more whole, real foods.  A recent tool that I have found to help me in my journey is the 100 Days of Real Food website.  I found 100daysofrealfood.com back in early November, and have really enjoyed the content.  I’ve been trying to learn more about the food industry and more about where my food comes from.  There are recipes and meal plans, and it’s a great source for parents looking for healthy ways to feed their children.  I recommend checking the site out if you are even a little interested in a commitment to eating real food.

Lisa (who created the site) and her family have taken on a couple 100 days of real food projects, and you can read about the unique challenges they experienced while attempting it.  The purpose was to show people that they too can eat healthy and completely cut out processed food, even if they have small children or have a tight budget.  The site encourages readers to take a 10-day pledge to follow their “real food rules” that have been largely influenced by Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food.  But they also realize that not everyone can do a “cold turkey” 10-day pledge, so in Spring of 2011 Lisa created 14 mini pledges to ease people into the concept.  Tim and I have decided to give the mini pledges a try.

Each week we will be attempting to tackle one of the 14 real food challenges.  I am going to do my best to stick to the challenge for all of my meals.  Tim will be following for dinner for sure, but lunch is provided to him by his work three out of five days, so he will play that by ear.  We’ve also decided that since our weekends are always so up in the air, we will commit to a five day week (M-F) and allow some leeway on the weekends when necessary.  Some of the challenges will be a lot easier than others.  Some will be down right (seemingly) impossible.  We are going to do our best.  My plan is to report back to you on how the weeks go for us and what specific challenges we faced as we tried to accomplish each task.  Then I’ll announce the next week’s challenge and start the process all over again.  The over-all goal of taking the mini pledges is to gain a new perspective from the experience and make at least some positive long-term changes.  Baby steps.  If you want to learn more about the mini pledges, click here for the master list with links to Lisa’s specific posts about each challenge.

So, that’s the plan.  We start today with the challenge for Week 1: Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.  The whole point of this particular challenge is for you to displace something else that you would normally eat (like chips or fries or even crackers) with some colorful produce.  I don’t think that this is going to be as big of a challenge for us as other weeks will be.  We’ve already been making a point to eat more fruits and veggies, so this challenge is just super sizing the effort we are already making.  I realize that it is really easy for me to say at the beginning of the week that this will be no problem.  Check back with me by Friday and it could be a whole other story, right?  But I really do think that we have this week under control.  I am optimistic about week 1.  I will let you know how it turns out.  Wish me luck.  🙂


7 responses

  1. Deborah Burchard | Reply

    That’s not too bad. Although I don’t eat breakfast I am going to try and start to. The book I am reading called Shred says “Don’t skip meals” I have heard that so many times. All I ever want in the morning is Coffee. Good luck with your challenge can’t wait to hear how things go.

    1. A simple way to get your fruits (or veggies) for breakfast is to make a smoothie. I like strawberry, pineapple, and banana myself. If you aren’t used to eating breakfast, don’t try to force a big meal down. Even simply grabbing yogurt and a piece of fruit in the morning is a good breakfast. The point is to get your blood sugar up and to stave off hunger so that you aren’t starving later and tempted to make bad choices.

      1. Deborah Burchard

        oh yeah smoothie is a good idea. Thnx

  2. Wow. That would be a serious challenge for me. I do not at all eat enough fruits & veggies. How’s it going so far?

  3. […] who are just joining me and don’t know what these Real Food challenges are, refer back to  this post where I outline what I’m doing and […]

  4. […] But first, just as a reminder or for those of you who are new to this blog, refer back to this post that explains what these Real Food Challenges are all about, and gives you links to the 100 Days of […]

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