Awhile back, I stumbled onto this really great site called 100 Days of Real Food. I immediately fell in love with it and it’s on my list of non-deal sites that I actually make time to read each week. I mentioned to my husband that they had a 10 Day Real Food Challenge and would he be interested in taking it. He’s always been very supportive of me and he said he would if I wanted to try it. We were super busy at the time and I decided to wait until I could put 100% of my attention into it as I take challenges very seriously.
Last month, I worked on my Use It Don’t Waste It Challenge. I mentioned in my last update that for the final two weeks, we ate from the freezer/pantry trying to rid ourselves from the last of our processed food. Those two weeks were terrible for me. Prior to it, we had been eating a fairly healthy diet and after going back to the processed food, I started having headaches and getting tired a lot. It was like the food was weighing me down. It was then that I decided it was time to take that 10 Day Real Food Challenge.
I spent several days reading all the info involved and finding recipes and getting a plan in place for what we would eat. The challenge involves, in-part, not eating refined grains (white flour/white rice, etc.) refined sweeteners (sugar, corn syrup, cane juice, etc.), fried foods or fast foods. You really have to be on your toes with this challenge because if you don’t have a meal ready, you can’t just order carry-out. LOL.
I’m actually very fond of veggies and fruits so I figured this one wouldn’t be too hard for me. But then I started reading labels. Sugar is in everything. Sometimes it goes by it’s “real name” while other times it’s disguised by some clever alias to lead you to believe it’s not there. I was really surprised at how many of the “natural” or even Organic products that included it. One by one, foods became eliminated. But the longer the challenge went, the more I didn’t care because I felt *wonderful!* I could actually taste the food and not the sugary extras.
It was like a fog had lifted from my head. The things that had been weighing me down were gone and I found more energy. I was thinking clearer and I was getting more done. Which is a good thing because it took me longer to make our meals. This wasn’t because they were really all too time-consuming but it was like learning how to cook (and shop) all over again. It definitely became easier towards the end of the 10 days, though.
I had planned on starting some new exercise DVD but I decided to see how my body would react to just the change in food. We never went into this with any intentions of a “diet” or weight loss goal–we just wanted to try something new, to take on a fun challenge. And in the end? We did end up losing weight. It was a little extra bonus. This was shocking to me because my scale had been stable or only going up for a long time.
The 10 days is over. And now what? I tell you what folks, my eyes have been truly opened and I’m definitely changing my food lifestyle permanently. Now this doesn’t mean I’m giving up everything. But I’m definitely reading all my labels and getting as much real food into each day that I can, while avoiding a lot of the refined foods. I’m not ready to give up this wonderful feeling. I did find some new foods, snacks and recipes that I liked. I am now a big fan of their Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe. I even froze some and they work wonderfully heated back up. It’s already become part of our lunch meal rotation.
I just wanted to share our little journey in case it might help even one more person end up feeling better. I wish you all luck if you decide to take their 10 Day Real Food Challenge, too! I’d love to hear if you’ve tried something similar and what your results were?
DISCLAIMER: This is just me sharing our journey and results. Results will vary by individual. Always check with a Doctor before embarking on any new food or exercise regime.