Real Food, Real Food Allergies, Really good health?

I can’t quite remember how the Gods of the Internet directed me to this website 100 Days of Real Food, but it is incredibly intriguing and has hit some sort of fabulous nerve!  I’m quite inspired now.  The magic behind the Michael Pollen’s taking a life changing step to eating 100 days of ZERO processed foods began with Oprah (apparently midday TV watching can be a good thing) and Michael Pollen’s book, “In Defense of Food”.

 no processed food

They watched Michael on Orpah and were inspired to read his book.  The Leake family thought they were eating healthy when the reality came home: maybe not.  My father and son listened to “In Defense of Food” on tape during a road trip while I drove.  It was fascinating listening to their commentary.  My dad had his “they’re trying to kill us and rip us off” grumpy old man thing going on while my son was positive that the corporate America was orchestrating a conspiracy of greed and capitalism as they harmed our food.  They were a crack up in the car on this trip.  Nothing like watching  a 70 year age difference play into a discussion of our food system unfold on Highway 80.

In Defense of Food

Photo courtesy of

Anyway, the Leake family created a 100 Day Pledge and have motivated many to either take a 100 Day Pledge or a simple 10 Day Pledge of no processed foods, which is great for folks needing smaller bites (pun intended)!  They even upped their pledge to a 100 Day Pledge on a Budget while spending only $125 per week for a family of 4 (2 adults with two young children).  I’m intrigued that they were able to live 100 days without processed foods while on a budget!  It’s the budget part that really caught my attention.  Not stopping here, they also offer meal plans on their website to help support others take the pledge.

Meal plan from 100 days of Real Food

 photo courtesy of

I’m on a huge kick these days about how can I create a healthy lifestyle for my family while budgeting and not wasting money.  I’ve come to realize that buying anything in excess is not healthy for my wallet, the planet and simply everyone.  My husband and I have made a recent pact to try to see if we can create what we need first before buying it.  For example, our gazebo canopy tore, so he ordered a new one and then tried to cancel the order when he realized that he needed to try to sew the canvas back together–which he was able to do!  The new canopy arrived and we now need to return it to the local retail outlet in hopes of them accepting our reason: we fixed it ourselves.

sewing canvasphoto courtesy of

Pondering a 100 day Pledge while on budget and managing food allergies; my inner skeptic kept thinking that this is not possible.  Alas, the Gods of the internet came down again and presented me with a 100 Days of Real Food blog about Gluten Free living–also including food allergy recipes as I scoured 100 Days of Real Food’s website, plus a blog about Michael Pollan!

homemade Lara-Bars from 100 days of real foodphoto courtesy of

I love this family!  They no longer eat processed foods, read Sunbutter, admit to watching daytime TV, live on a decent food budget and have included our food allergy ways into their blog!


I’m now inspired to begin my official reduction of processed foods in my pantry.  I acknowledge that I will never achieve 100%  zero processed foods  nirvana since I keep a supply of Sunbutter and crackers in my pantry in case of emergency evacuations, but I am now very interested in seeing low can I go in reducing the amount of processed foods in our lives.  I especially like the challenge of seeing how I can replace recipes with safe foods and less processed ingredients too.  I’ve let my organic ways slip some!

thank you

Thank you 100 Days of Real Food for reminding me that safe food allergy eating also includes healthy safe food allergy eating!

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  1. judie says

    as someone who has lived on a very tight budget for the past 3 years, i think it’s very possible to feed a family of 4 for $125 or less AND without processed foods. we are conditioned to believe that we need food grown in factories, but we don’t. the hardest part of this challenge is the physiological & psychological cravings that set in a few days after giving up processed foods. food scientists are paid a great deal of money by food companies to create food that is addicting… and they do their jobs well!!

    • says

      Judie, I am now on Weight Watchers, where you eat according a point system where foods are given point values. Fruits and veggies are zero points, etc. You should see how homemade chicken compares to store bought or fast food chicken, the points literary double. For me to be successful on WW, I need to eat simple, not complex and not by opening a package. You are right, the job the food manufacturers is to make the food shelf stable and tasty. Tasty in our country means salty, sweet or fatty.

  2. Anna says

    Paleo ladies. NO processed foods, no sugar–Well and yes no dairy, legumes, pasta, rice and so forth but I do put cream in my coffee and/or tea, and a dollop of sour cream is used here and there. But if you have to open a box to eat it, then it probably shouldnt be eaten!!! $125/week is really good–hard to shop at whole foods on that budget but with carefull planning can be done.

    • judie says

      Caroline- Weight Watchers is covered by most insurance companies & one does NOT need to purchase the processed food with the same name in order to take advantage of their unique behavior modification system. food is more flavorful & nutritious when spices/herbs are added!!

      Anna-sugar is VERY important in our diets. fads don’t work & should not be promoted in this forum. unless there is a medical reason, NEVER eliminate entire food groups from your diet. avoid processed & refined sugars. eat plenty of whole grains -rice, legumes, pasta, etc. consume a large quantity of fruits & veggies daily. balance the protein you consume with the carbs you eat (carbs does NOT mean processed foods). drink lotsa water, learn to love your body type, & exercise with the family daily. diet is a noun… not a verb.

  3. Anna says

    Forgot to mention: another book about nutrition that’s pretty eye opening is T. Colin Campbell’s, The China Study

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