Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Challenge: Eat only whole foods for 10 days

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 12:06 PM

The challenge comes from a family in Charlotte who have actually challenged themselves to eat only whole foods for 100 days. A little past the midway mark, the Charlotte Observer reports, they feel great. Here's a peek at their story:

Just six months ago, the Matthews family ate white bread, took the kids to Chick-fil-A and rewarded the girls with candy. Lisa grew up eating Doritos and Kraft mac and cheese.

The 100-day diet has meant a huge attitude adjustment. Lisa spends hours in her kitchen whipping up dishes, reading food labels and doing Internet research. Jason and Lisa have become more sensitive to the environmental effects of Americanized food, opting for locally grown produce and grass-fed meats. The whole family has to be a team, working together in the garden and supporting each other when temptation strikes.

The Leakes admit the whole-foods lifestyle isn't easy, but it's one that more people are moving toward as the organic food market has grown, education has increased, and the economy has forced more people to eat at home, said Suzanne Havala Hobbs, a UNCChapel Hill associate professor who specializes in food, nutrition and health policy.

"It's just now becoming more mainstreamed," Hobbs said. "We've hit a critical mass that enough people are buying these products in volume. Products that used to be in health food stores are (now) in the big grocery chains."

The Leakes got on board after reading "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan, who assails the American diet for its processed foods. Horrified by the "junk" she was feeding her family, Lisa said she couldn't sleep at night. With an all-or-nothing personality, she plunged into the whole-foods movement.

"At first I was worried about what we would eat," Lisa said. "I went to all the grocery stores. I had to relearn how to shop and cook."

A budding blogger, Lisa launched The Food Illusion and sounded off about processed foods. She eliminated much of the processed food her family ate. In hopes of making a bigger impact on the public, the Leakes decided to go 100 days without processed foods and blog about it at www.100daysofrealfood.com. On the site, they challenge others to try it out for 10 days.

Read the rest of this article, by Jennifer Rothacker, here.

Here's a video with Michael Pollan, author of many books including, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, and The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. His books helped inspire the Leake's whole food challenge. He says, "The real food is not being advertised, and that's all you really need to know."

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