During our last family gathering my daughter proposed thirty days of real food for our entire family. I’m sure you’ve seen and heard plenty of people talk about the Thirty days of eating clean and possibly even thought, that’s not for me. My viewpoint was, ‘I already eat relatively clean. Well, guess what? Relatively doesn’t cut it when you go all the way clean. I’m talking no sugar, no refined grains, no processed foods. That means no pre-packaged foods, no microwave popcorn, no cinnamon rolls, even though ironically my cinnamon rolls are featured in the upcoming February-March edition of Living Without’s Gluten Free & More magazine.

Gluten-free Gooey Cinnamon Rolls
I felt honored to be featured in the Feb-March edition of Gluten-free & More’s magazine.

The excuses were flying when the announcement was made that everyone would eat thirty days of real food for the month of January. ‘People bring in too many goodies to work, my will power is not strong enough’, ‘I can’t live without Frosted Flakes in the morning for breakfast’ to ‘You might as well just take my money now because I’m never going to make it’. We decided everyone must put $50 in the ‘pot’ and if you make it to the end of thirty days eating 100% clean, you get your money back, if not, it’s divided among the winners. Sounds easy in theory, unless you’re like my husband who is addicted to diet coke. I’ve tried for years to get him off the nasty stuff, but the addiction has a stronghold. Maybe in the end it will be his daughter encouraging him that will prevail. If you are a cola addict as well, you might consider reading this article on what soda does to your body; it just might extend your life. A recent study from the Redox Biology Journal specifically states that aspartame (found in diet drinks) alters and deteriorates the brain!

We were in Seattle this past week visiting our family for Christmas. We stopped by Whole Foods and picked up a few bottles of Kombucha Live cola for a replacement beverage. They produce six flavors- cola, root beer, pure doctor, lemon-lime, sparkling ginger, and dreamy orange. They are all naturally flavored and sweetened with stevia and each kombucha contains over 3 billion live probiotic organisms that are so good for your gut! You can find them at Target, Whole Foods, Fred Meyer, and several other locations listed on their website. Here is a quote from Trevor Ross, who created Kombucha Live:

“Give it a try. My dad did, and he’s been soda-free ever since. Mission accomplished! I’m proud to be making a difference one LIVE Soda at a time. Cheers to wellness!”

If Trevor Ross can switch his self-proclaimed soda addicted father than possibly there is hope for my hubs and maybe some of you!

So, does this differ from the Whole 30 program that is out there? YES. The Whole thirty is similar, but cuts out all legumes, sugars, grains, alcohol, and dairy. You can check out the whole 30 program and see if that is better suited for you, but we will be adding in legumes and possibly a glass of wine every now and then. Our goal is to eat clean and completely eliminate processed foods.

For the next thirty days I will post 100% clean recipes on my blog. There will be no sugar, white rice, or processed foods of any sort used in my recipes. I promise they will be delicious, healthy, and tasty though! And who knows, maybe in the end this will become a lifestyle change. I’m sure of one thing, my body will thank me. I’m posting this a few days before starting on January 1, so you might wrap your head around it all and possibly join in the challenge, check back often for healthy recipes and encouraging updates. 

Vitamin-Rich Veggies
Vibrant vitamin-packed veggies ready for chopping.

I’ve decided that shopping on the outer rim of the grocery store will be vital. Do you ever notice that is where all the ‘farmer-grown’ foods are found and the pre-packaged processed foods are in the middle section? It will take a little more concentrated effort in terms of meal planning. No more grabbing a gluten-free pizza on the way home from work. Here are three of my favorite websites that have eating real food down pretty well:

1.)  100 days of real food

2.)  Elana’s Pantry

3.)  Real Food Forager

Real Food
Real food is so vibrant in color!

I know, I know, another New Year’s resolution you say. But this isn’t a diet, and it’s not meant for losing weight, although that just might happen. This is a get back to eating like our grandparents ate, or at least mine. My grandmother lived to be 95 and only ate whole real foods all her life. She gardened, canned, made her own sauerkraut and ate grass-fed beef. A correlation? I think so. Ready or not, New Year’s Day is only 4 days away and I will be ready. Besides, I have $50 I don’t want to lose! If you don’t want to miss a post just fill in your email address in the subscribe box in the upper right-hand area of my blog. I’d love to have you join me!

This post was shared on the following blogs: vegetarianmamma.com

22 comments on “Thirty Days of Real Food”

  1. I would love to try this! My husband and kids eat any and everything except 1, so that wouldn’t be a problem but I’m so picky. I need to suck it up bc I need to eat better! This sounds great!

  2. I would never be able to cut out legumes, beans are such a huge part of my diet and are so healthy, which is why I’ve never done whole 30. You’ve piqued my interest though, as I really don’t eat much processed food, but bread is my kryptonite!

    • Have you tried Dave’s Bread? It is 100% non-processed grains, no preservatives, and only 60 calories per slice. I am allergic to it because I can’t eat gluten, but my husband loves it! They sell it at Costco and most grocery stores.

  3. Sounds really motivational, I will check back to see your recipes! I really struggle with understanding what I should and shouldn’t be putting in my body sometimes, what seems healthy often isn’t, and a lack of time and inspiration on recipes means we order takeout more than we should.

  4. I may have to check out this book and really strong up for clean eating. We also eat “relatively clean” but I know we can for sure do better!! Thanks!!

    • If that could be your number one goal this year, to rid soda from your diet, it would be one of the greatest gifts you could give yourself. But I know how hard and addictive it is!

  5. I am so excited to follow along! Eating less processed foods is a goal of mine for this year! I feel like every meal we make comes from a box! I’m jumping on the excuses train with your family but if I can swap out a few gross meals a week for some real food, i will feel very successful!

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