So, when my good buddy sent me a link to 100 Days of Real Food, I felt in my heart that little jump of excitement and knew immediately I would be participating in the 10 Day Pledge. I have been slowly making changes in our family's eating habits over the last 6 months or so and am happy how we have been sticking to the changes. This pledge will be a wonderful way to knock out those last bit of pesky 'bad food habits' and allow us to immerse ourselves in the real food experience.
I was especially motivated after reading Lisa Leake's (creator of the 10 challenge) 10 reasons to cut our processed foods. I will cut and paste the rules here so I can refer back to them without having to reference so many links:
10 Reasons to Cut Out Processed Food
1. Processed foods are an illusion, often appearing to be healthy (with claims like low fat, low carb, vitamin fortified, no trans fat, contains omega-3s, etc.) when these foods are in fact the very thing making a lot of Americans unhealthy, sick, and fat.
2. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer – four of the top ten chronic diseases that kill most of us – “can be traced directly to the industrialization of our food” according to Michael Pollan.
3. Making smarter (and sometimes more expensive) food choices now may reduce your healthcare costs later in life.
4. Why would one want to eat a processed food-like substance that is scientifically designed to never rot?
5. The food industry has proven that it is not very good at seasoning our foods by adding way too much salt, sugar, and/or oil to almost everything.
6. When you eat white bread and other foods made with white flour (which is a highly processed version of wheat) you are basically consuming empty calories with far less nutrition than the whole-wheat or whole grain alternatives.
7. It is estimated that up to 90% of processed foods* in the supermarket contain either a corn or soy ingredient in the form of an additive under a variety of different names. Now how is that for eating variety?
8. Cutting out processed foods could lead you to experience a variety of personal health benefits such as having more energy, losing weight, improving regularity, or just feeling healthier overall.
9. Rather than counting calories, watching fat grams, or reducing carbs for “healthy eating”, simply eat whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry. It certainly is less complicated.
10. It just makes plain old sense to fully understand what you are eating, be able to pronounce everything on the list of ingredients (if there is a list), and know exactly where that food comes from…don’t you think?
*Statistic courtesy of a food scientist interviewed on the documentary “Food, Inc”
I even went so far as to create a start date for the challenge.
August 5, 2010! And, of course, you can expect to hear all about it right here.