What is real food?
Food is something that nourishes the body. It gives you energy and keeps you going. We often forget that food is the fuel for our bodies, the same way that gas powers our cars.
When I told people I was taking the real food challenge, people said, "What do you eat now? Isn't all food real?"
My reply was, "Like artificial food coloring? Because that even tells you it is not real."
If it has dye or preventives you can't pronounce then it may not be real. Red dye does not fuel your body. It is paint for food, and may cause ADHD.
That gets expensive! How can you afford to eat that?
You know what, that is the biggest misconception out there. True some things really add up but so many things are cheaper. I spend less now that I am eating better. Last night we made a full dinner for 5 people (two of them teen boys) for about $10. There was even leftover meat that my son took to school today. So I got two meals for him out of that $10.
Buy local and fresh. Sometimes you have to go to more than one store even. I buy my produce ever few days, so that it never gets old. If you have problems with stuff going bad in the crisper, you are buying too much. Buy less, more often. Buy local when you can. Support local growers. Grow your own. You can even regrow from scraps.
Milk can get expensive, and I am lucky that I have an Aldi near my house. It has hormone free milk at the cheapest price in town. It also has the cheapest eggs, cream, and butter. Learn to make things at home. Breads, yogurt, vinegar, and condiments can all made for pennies. It is easy to make butter at home even! It cost me less than 2 dollars to make a half gallon of yogurt! Once you have had these things homemade, you will never want store bought again.
Leaf lettuce cost 99cents a head where I live, and snack cakes cost $1.19.
What foods are Real Food?
Almost anything you need to prepare yourself. Be sure to read the ingredients. Avoid food colors, and anything that you have no idea what it is. You can always look up what those things are, sometimes it is a fancy name for sugar or something. If in doubt, don't buy it.
Once you start reading labels you will be shocked to see what goes into food. I found High Fructose Corn Syrup in olives. Saline in meat, and corn hidden in WAY more than I realized.
Some people do things different when it comes to real foods too. Some say no sugar, but I still use real cane sugar. (ONLY cane though, because others contain GMOs) Some people avoid gluten. I am on the fence about that. Some people still don't mind some GMOs but when I am doing this 100 day challenge I am saying no to all GMOs. It is important to educate yourself on what foods are safe.
I know some people do the paleo diet. That is not that different from the real food movement. I do not competently agree with some of that, but a lot of paleo are really good.
Stay away from Buzz words though. Do your own research, and see what your body needs. If you can go to a nutritionist that might be helpful, but I think it is more important to listen to your body. What foods make you feel better? What gives you energy? What makes you feel heavy and sluggish? Avoid the stuff that makes you feel bad, and eat what makes you feel good!
What is GMO?
Lots of people are talking about them, and it's often in the news. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. If they put that on the labels people would avoid them more. If something says modified, STAY AWAY! Learn what foods are always modified (like Corn).
Look for this logo:
If this logo is present it is safe.There are non GMOs that do not have this logo too so others foods may still safe
For more information on this: http://www.nongmoproject.org/
What is the 100 Days of Real Food Challenge?
Once you understand real food, you pretty much get the idea. For 100 days you only eat real foods. Most people may just keep the habit. For 100 days my oldest son and I will not cheat. After the 100 days it will be normal for us, and we may have a little bit of something not so real. I already miss my favorite Ice cream and he misses Sprite.
You don't have to do 100 days, you can pick any number you want. We chose to do the full 100 to help us with our own discipline as well.
http://www.100daysofrealfood.com This is the website that inspired me to do the challenge. It has tons of great ideas and information. There are other websites with real food information. It is always best to do your own research to find what works best with you. Also I found Pintrest is FULL of recipes, and recently I have become a BIG fan of a blog called Perry's Plate. She does Paleo recipes and I LOVE the ones I have tried.
Do you have a resource you like? Let mew know! I love recipes!!!!
Do you have more questions?
Feel free to ask! I might be able to help you!