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September 08, 2015

100 Days of Real Food

100 Days of Real Food100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love

By: Lisa Leake

I found myself intrigued and challenged by Lisa Leake’s cookbook 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love!  Not just recipes, this book contains a great introduction to the whole foods/clean eating movement from the perspective of an average American mom.  Leake’s journey from under-informed consumer to real food proponent is highly relatable.  She lays out the real food challenge she and her family undertook, as well as the reasons she was led to such a decision, and she encourages readers to take on the challenge, even if only for 10 days.  Using examples of people’s comments about their experience from her blog, she provides some compelling results that should compel any reader to consider making some changes in their diet.  The tips for shopping as well as the recipes that follow seemed helpful and doable.

The main change called for in the switch to real food is avoidance of all highly processed foods, particularly those with additives and more than five ingredients.  Leake references Michael Pollan’s books as a guide for her, but I was left wondering “why?” on several occasions, especially to the five-ingredient rule, as I have not read his books myself.  She also pushes for switching to organic foods but without addressing some of the issues involved, particularly the lack of evidence as to its being any healthier than conventional foods.  However, her analysis of just what to look for in ingredients and labels to interpret the marketing of food products should prove very helpful to shoppers who wish to be informed.  Overall, I would highly recommend this book for clean eaters and newbies in the whole foods movement alike.  Parents especially will find motivation and practical suggestions for helping their family switch to nutritious, no-gimmicks food.

Review By: Alison Orpurt