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Can You Eat "Real" Food for 100 Days?

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Author, her latest: 100 Days of Real Food, HarperCollins 2016

Blogger, 3.5 millions monthly page views and 1.6 million Facebook fans

Married; 2 daughters

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In 2010, Lisa watched a segment on the problems with the Standard American diet on Oprah. “I thought the foods we were eating were healthy,” says Lisa.  Once she saw the Oprah segment, Lisa knew she needed to make some serious changes as to what she was feeding her family, but had no idea where to begin.  “I literally lost sleep over what to feed my kids if goldfish and fruit snacks were no longer options,” says Lisa.  At the time her children were 3 and 5 years old.  She took the family to different grocery stores and stood in the aisles asking, “What foods can we eat in this aisle?” After extensive research and experimentation, Lisa finally started to learn how to food shop and cook for her family.  The changes were obvious and it was hard for her to keep it all to herself.  “I started filling in family and friends whenever I had the chance – secretly wishing they could jump on board with us!” she says.  Then one night she got the idea: what if her family took a pledge to go 100 straight days without eating any processed foods at all?  Her hope was that their family experiment would draw attention to how dependent Americans had become on processed food, show that a typical suburban family could survive and even thrive on real food, and convince as many other people as possible to join them.

Lisa shared their family pledge online with plenty of real-food recipes and tips.  “Little did I know how life-changing it would be,” says Lisa.  Slowly her blog grew from 50 readers to millions around the globe.  In 2014 she released her first cookbook which quickly became a national bestseller.  “My wish to spread this important message came true,” says Lisa.  

Lisa says people are looking for fast, easy ways to integrate real food into their lives.  “It doesn’t have to be complicated,” she says.  Their family’s transition from processed to real foods was difficult because there weren’t any resources for Lisa to use as a guide.  So in her cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food, Lisa incorporates 100 quick and easy recipes which she created with busy families in mind.  She also included cheat sheets, shopping lists and staples to include in every pantry.  Eating real foods, she says, is simply avoiding anything highly processed.  “In our new way of life, we aim to eat the traditional foods our ancestors survived on for centuries before us,” says Lisa.  “This isn’t a trendy diet; it’s our new normal.” It’s important to read food labels.  “I like to aim for five or fewer whole ingredients,” says Lisa.  Her 100 Days of Real Food includes only 100% whole grain, no refined sugar or artificial sweetners (only honey and maple syrup), nothing out of a package that contains more than five ingredients, no factory-farmed meat (only locally raised meat products), no deep-fried foods, no fast food and only water, milk, occasionally all-natural juices, and naturally sweetened coffee and tea. “I overhauled our diets because I thought it was the right thing to do,” says Lisa. “But I was delighted when we experienced unexpected changes in our health as a result.”  These included: improvement in asthma symptoms, fewer illnesses, less picky eating, and constipation was gone.  For the adults: weight loss, increase in HDL (good) cholesterol and more energy.

Lisa will share:

  1. Easy Fish Taco, page 218 with Lime and Cilantro Cole Slaw page 132
  2. Easy Show Cooker Steak Chili page 199 with Skillet Cornbread page 148 and Simple Salad Mix page 125
  3. Lamb Burgers page 215 with Couscous and Tomato Salad page 97 and Citrus Salad with Crispy Quinoa page 108
  4. Simple Roasted Pork Tenderloin page 228 with “Rice” Pilaf page 135 and Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Apple Juice page 140
  5. White Chicken Chili page 188
  6. Cinnamon-Glazed Bananas page 247
Guest Name / Person Interviewed or Featured in Article or Video: 
Lisa Leake
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