The Real Food Challenge
WHAT is the REAL FOOD Challenge?
Give up ultra-processed food products and reduce moderately processed foods for one to seven days, while increasing the amounts of natural, whole foods in your diet.
WHY should I take the REAL FOOD Challenge?
The proliferation of highly processed, food-like products in the Standard American Diet (SAD) is literally killing us. Chronic diseases are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. and the majority of these conditions (e.g., heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes) are caused in part by what we put on our plates, so it’s safe to say we are enthusiastically digging our own graves with knives and forks.
By taking our REAL FOOD Challenge, it is our hope that you will:
- Raise your awareness on how little real food is actually in your diet and/or how much ultra-processed food-like products you are currently eating without even knowing it.
- Learn what to look for on nutrition labels and how to identify unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients, added sugars, preservatives and chemical additives.
- Educate yourself on how to eat for optimal wellness and good health. It’s quite remarkable that humans are the only animals who seem to have lost this instinctive skill.
In short, we believe you should take our REAL FOOD Challenge to motivate yourself to add years to your life and life to your years!
WHEN should I do it? NOW.
The sad truth about chronic disease in this country (and around the world) is that most of what’s killing us can be prevented by diet and lifestyle changes. And the best time to change what you eat is not after the medical diagnosis —although that’s usually part of the prescription— but way before that. Actually, today would be a good choice. Because no one goes to bed perfectly healthy and wakes up with heart disease, cancer or T2 diabetes the next morning. Make no mistake, what you are eating TODAY is what’s fueling your future quality of life.
HOW long should I do it?
For the rest of your life! Just kidding, well, actually…
As long as you can, with the goal being at least one week. For some, 24 hrs may be a challenge. If you can make it past one day, we suggest you shoot for 3 days, and then 5, and at 7 days you will hopefully see how much better you feel when you have been nourishing your body with foods that can help prevent disease, instead of fueling it.
Being reasonable people, after this challenge is completed we don’t think that anyone can – or should – remove ALL highly-processed foods from their diets forever. The occasional treat, cheat day or vacation binge will not make a whole lot of difference toward the end game. Our goal is that the REAL FOOD Challenge will open your eyes to how insidious highly processed foods have become in our daily lives and that you will gradually strive to remove as many of them from your normal routine as you can. The key is remembering that the further we stray from REAL food, the sicker we become.
WHO is the challenge for?
Whether you eat three meals a day out of a bag, box, or plastic carton – or if you already consider yourself a “healthy” eater – we think it will be surprising to most just how many stabilizers, flavor enhancers, dyes, preservatives, fake sugars, humectants, emulsifiers and chemical processing aids the large food corporations are surreptitiously adding to the products we put into our bodies.
Individuals can do it on their own, challenge their friends or decide to conquer it together as a family. The more the merrier and it’s a great way to teach children what REAL FOOD actually is by cooking and preparing delicious meals and snacks together!
Now, let’s get started….