The 100 Days of Real Food Challenge

27 Jul

Just as a disclaimer: I have no intention of embracing 100 days of totally unprocessed food! However, the 100 Days of Real Food website has a wealth of great information, including the guidelines for a 10-day Real Food Challenge. We have houseguests right now, but after their departure, I plan to try the 10-day challenge, just to shake up our habits a bit and give me the extra kick in the pants to look for alternatives to the few highly processed foods that we eat.

This challenge adheres to most of the nutritional ideas that I think are most important; it’s heavily based on the writings of Michael Pollan. Essentially, you eat what you can make yourself. If you buy convenience foods, you avoid the highly-processed ones and look for those that have few (and recognizable) ingredients. She emphasizes local foods, too, which I think is a nice ideal but not necessary for good health. If you can do it, great.

The best parts of the site, though, are the sections with recipes and meal plans and the list of “mini-pledges”–small steps you can take, either permanently or temporarily, to improve the healthfulness and sustainability of your diet. Check it out and get some ideas!

Finally, one last word about this: I think that it can be inspiring to read this kind of thing, but don’t get discouraged if it’s not totally for you. You don’t have to embrace the whole set of rules to make your diet better. I know that we’re very unlikely to give up flavored yogurt in this house, for example. It does have some sugar in it, but my kids love it and it’s high in protein. We just buy the healthiest kind we can find and limit it to a cup a day. If there are things in your life you’re not willing to give up, just find the ideas on the site that DO work for you.

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