Starting the Real Food Challenge & a Real Food Sunday Surf

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI’m joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!

For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.

Happy Surfing!

It takes some work to make changes in your lifestyle. While I don’t think these changes will be huge I had some cookies I had to hide before starting the 10 day Real Food Challenge. I have been watching labels and learning a lot about foods I regularly purchase. Mostly I’m surprised how sugar is sneaking itself into everything  from my beets to my tomato sauce. I’m looking forward to making changes in our diet and kicking that sugar out the door.
I’ve been working on a grocery list of items to have on hand during the challenge. I don’t want anyone to go hungry or to complain about the lack of snacks, etc. I’m hoping to make the switch with my family without much fuss. Today was our first day and we started with a delicious breakfast of Creamed Kale and Eggs  (you can find this and other recipes on my Pinterest Real Food Challenge board). We’ve stocked up on some Lara bars and Funky Monkey fruit snacks when we need snacks on the run.
I’ve also gone through my cookbooks and  I think The Art of Simple Food as well as the Nourishing Traditions cookbooks will be a great inspiration this week. I picked up my holds from the library. I’m excited to browse through them and find some new recipes to make. I picked up Deliciously Organic, Almost Meatless and Super Natural Every Day.
Talking with the kids is an important step in making this challenge be a success. My three-year-old understands terms like ‘this is yucky’ and  ‘it has bad stuff in it’. However, my soon to be 10-year-old can understand the importance of real food on a different level. She raises her own chickens and she has helped me make our own cheese, yogurt and bread. Of course, she’ll still gobble down a bright red lollipop with no hesitation. It takes baby steps I guess. Here is an excellent article about the main reason kids eat processed food is because parents give it to them. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
I’m excited to see my friends and family talking about real food. We’re sharing ideas and brainstorming where we could catch a healthy meal about town. I hope you’ll help spread the word. I’ll be posting all of the bloggers that are participating. You can follow me on Facebook for more daily updates including what we’re eating on a daily basis.

Here is a list of bloggers that have already posted about joining the 10 Day Real Food Challenge:
Also, many of my fellow bloggers from the Natural Parents Network will be participating, here’s a partial list:

If you have a recipe, website or cookbook that you would like to share, please let me know in the comments.


10 Days of Real Food Challenge

I love Michael Pollan’s books and documentaries such as Food, Inc and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead were right up my alley. I don’t think that it should be so difficult to eat real food. It is a priority in our life to find the best food for our family including local milk, cheeses, and veggies. It makes me especially sad to see children bombarded with artificial colors, flavors, and truckloads of sugar. This standard American diet (SAD) is wreaking havoc on the health of our families.
Recently I was introduced to a website called 100 Days of Real Food. The website originally chronicled Lisa Leake and her family’s adventures of eating 100 Days of Real Food. She was a mom that didn’t read food labels, never bought organic and used processed food on a daily basis. After getting a wake-up call, she changed their diet and now helps families everywhere to make these positive changes for their family. I just learned that she grew up here in the Knoxville area and she is very excited to have us take part in her 10-day challenge.
I personally love challenging myself on the road to self-improvement. I read about the 10 Day Challenge on Lisa’s website and thought my family can do that. I feel we basically eat a healthy diet,  probably about 80 percent of the time. We eat whole grains, get our milk locally, support our farmers markets, eat lots of fruits and veggies. However, I know there is room for improvement in our diet.
I personally don’t feel that sugar is evil in moderation. I do feel eliminating sugar from our diet will be the hardest part of the challenge. I do bake often with maple syrup and honey, but I do have a habit of having a piece of dark chocolate every day. While I don’t necessarily think that is bad, I do think I need to cut down on my family’s sugar intake.  I think my children will be the ones that will benefit the most from the challenge. It’s amazing that no matter where we go people are offering artificially colored lollipops to my children.
So would you like to join us on our 10 Days of Real Food Challenge? The Rules are pretty simple. You eat whole foods, whole grains, whole milk, nothing skim or low fat. So you load up on your fruits, veggies and enjoy your local meats and seafood in moderation. I think the hardest aspect is no refined sugar, only maple syrup, and honey as natural sweeteners. Some packaged food is allowed if it doesn’t have more than 5 ingredients and they follow all the whole food rules.  Please visit here to see all the rules in  more detail and to have any questions answered.
I really think my area, Knoxville, has some great local food resources. I’ve already discovered a great bakery that grinds their own grains and has a fantastic whole grain bread with under 5 ingredients. I will be exploring all that Knoxville has to offer for real food resources including farms, grocery stores and restaurants. I”m looking forward to finding more in my community. Many other bloggers will be joining me, I’ll be linking up with them throughout the 10 days.
I have created a board on Pinterest with some delicious food ideas to use on this 10 Day challenge. I’ll be posting daily our food choices successes and struggles on Facebook. I hope you’ll join us one way or another. Please share your favorite real food resources, recipes and ideas.

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday and Real FoodWednesday. These are fantastic sources for Real Food inspiration!