We did it! We successfully completed the 10 day pledge from 100 Days of Real Food. Here are some reflections about how it went.
Neil felt that he was eating more frequently because the food he was eating burned off faster. He felt like the first few days he had more energy, but then as the pledge progressed he felt as he normally did. Most of the recipes on the blog were great, but let’s be honest, there is no substitute for real baked goods. With real sugar. One switch he didn’t mind at all was using whole wheat flour to bread fish- as far as taste goes, there was really no difference than using white flour. We both really liked the whole wheat pizza crust and white gazpacho, too.
I feel like we have a much better understanding of how much food we consume is processed. Also, we were amazed by how much false advertising there is. “All Natural” and “Made with Whole Grain” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s made with 100% whole grain. You really have to read the ingredients to learn what in the product you’re eating. I enjoyed learning about the differences in oils and grains. I didn’t lose five pounds, but I did lose a few. I think this is partly because I was eating so much cheese and flour (even though it was whole wheat flour) than usual. What we were eating wasn’t bad, but still, the calories in the peanut butter, cheese, fruit, etc. all added up.
Overall, the pledge was pretty easy to follow. We made simple changes to what we were eating to make it real food. Sugar was replaced with honey, and we didn’t miss the sugar in our morning coffee. White flour was switched to whole wheat flour, and we made all our own snacks and sweets. Actually, we ended up cooking even more than we usually do. We can both see how this pledge would be hard to successfully complete if super busy with work or school. You really need to have time to cook, plan meals ahead, and taking the time to look at ingredient lists. We both felt that we had more energy and were benefiting long term from these simple changes.
Here are some questions we had for Lisa, the creator of the pledge:
Why is five the magic number when considering how many ingredients are in a product? If a product has six natural ingredients, is it still not considered real food?
Wild fish is recommended, however, many markets are now encourage buying farmed fish in order to promote sustainability. And would farm fish near to your home make it local? And more desirable?
On a similar topic, why can you eat seafood from miles away but not organic beef from miles away?
Our future plans: Incorporate more whole grain. Substitute honey for white sugar when possible. Read labels. If there are a million ingredients we can’t pronounce on the back, don’t buy it, even if you can get the product free with your excellent couponing skills. It was an eye opening pledge, and we’re excited to shift our thinking and our eating to a more healthy lifestyle.