I received a copy of 100 Days of Real Food for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. As always, this review is in my own words and reflects my honest opinion.

100 Days of Real Food cookbook

100 Days of Real Food Cookbook Review

It has been around three years since I started blogging, and I still remember one of the most influential websites I ran across.  It was 100 Days of Real Food.  The site’s author, Lisa, set on a challenge to feed her family only “real” food for 100 days. 

I was still new to learning about this “real food” business, so I was very interested in her motivation in eating real food.  And perhaps, a little more interested in learning what is real food.  

Lisa has an unintimadating definition of real food, which is perhaps why I was so drawn to her website at the beginning of my food-awakening.  You can see her rules here, but I remember thinking in particular, that I liked that she was willing to buy some boxed foods (so long as they have 5 ingredients or less) and that she thought of beer as real food.   

I believe her approach is easy enough for a family on the Standard American Diet, to transition smoothly to a real food diet, and enjoy the health benefits that go along with it.   Because, believe it or not, food is vital for our health.  We are not meant to live on a diet of McDonalds french fries and Chef Boyardee.  Processed foods lack the nutrients that is essential for our bodies to function.  And for what processed foods lack in nutrients, they make up in chemicals and artificial ingredients.  Processed foods are making us fat.  They are causing an array of health problems, both physically and mentally.  They are not good.  

This is why I love what Lisa is doing.  Her message is helping families (like mine) think about what they’re eating, then she shows families how to eat better. 

Leake family at farmers market

100 Days of Real Food has great information and a ton of delicious recipes in it.  If you want to really get your hands on the whole big pictures of real food eating, to make a plan of action, learn how to read food labels, and get the 411 on how to eat “real food”, she has compiled this cookbook that has everything you need.

The first half of the cookbook is called The Plan. It will tell you everything you need to know about: 

  • What is Real Food? 
  • Shopping for Real Food 
  • Making Changes: Don’t Overthink, Just Start! 
  • Getting Your Family on Board 
  • Food Budget Tips and Meal Plans

This isn’t just a few bullet points, it is over 100 pages of useful tips that you can incorporate into your life.  Lisa hits all of the crucial points of real food, from why she doesn’t use food dyes, to explaining why whole grains are a better choice.  She addresses GMOs and organic food, and even analyzes some packaged “health” foods, and explains why they aren’t so healthy after all. 

I absolutely loved the section on meal planning, since I believe it is vital to the success of any real food diet.  If you fill your home with good food, you will eat good food.  Lisa has included meal plans for all four seasons, including a corresponding shopping list and set of recipes to make it easy on you to get started.   If you want to get organized and start meal planning, this is a great resource! 

The second half of the cookbook is filled with Recipes. It includes: 

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Snacks and Appetizers 
  • Salads and Sides 
  • Simple Dinners 
  • Special Treats 
  • Homemade Staples

The recipes are approachable, quick to make, and don’t require you to be an experienced chef.  They also happen to be very kid-friendly. I know it can be a big challenge for many parents (including myself) to get their children to eat healthy.  Each recipe has a corresponding beautiful photo, so you know what the final product will look like. 

All of her food looks so vibrant, colorful and fresh… I am inspired to cook my way through the entire book (and I very well may do just that).  

I had a friend, who is a working mom with four children under the age of five, ask me what I thought of the cookbook.  Are the meals quick?  Easy?  Something her kids were going to like?  

The answer is yes, to all of those things.  Yet, the recipes are balanced and seasoned enough that the adults in the family aren’t going to feel like they’re eating off the kids menu.   When you try her recipe for Risotto, you’re going to be celebrating real food, and wondering why on earth you’ve ever eaten fast food! 

Veggie Corn Chowder2

To give you a taste of what her recipes are like, I am sharing Lisa’s recipe for Veggie Corn Chowder.  I always enjoy a delicious soup, whether it’s winter or summer.  They’re quick to whip up, and there is usually enough leftover to have for lunch throughout the week!  

Veggie Corn Chowder recipe

Try out her recipe.  Check out her website.  Buy her new cookbook (it’s super cheap on Amazon right now, but they’re almost sold out!).  There is no better time than today to start a real food lifestyle.  I have never met anyone who regretted their decision to eat healthier… but I have had tons of friends and family members who have felt better, looked healthier, and lived happier lives because of it.   

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