The Real Food Challenge

Peanut Chicken and Rice 005 title Convenience is so important to our society, however that shouldn't mean relying on foods that aren't really foods at all.  Just doing a little research can be so beneficial to your mind and body.  I want to show you just how easy it can be to live a healthy life, and see the beauty in real food.

The Real Food Diet Challenge

If you're feeling tired, sluggish, unmotivated, trying to lose weight (or gain weight), have digestive issues or simply want to try something new, then consider the Real Food Diet Challenge.

I challenge you to create your own healthy meals for just one week, using only real foods, and see how you feel by the end of the week.  I guarantee you will feel like a million bucks and never want to stop.

Real foods can mean different things to different people, so let's just be easy and stick to only fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins and whole grains and be sure to add some exercise to your day whenever you can.

Not convinced real food will change your life?  Read on and learn why giving up the junk will be the best decision you'll ever make.

Rethink Your Food Choices

While I was at the grocery store trying to find a good bread to have with my eggs in the morning, I was absolutely shocked and appalled by what I was reading on some of these labels.

Do you find it scary that an entire novel list of ingredients needs to be in one loaf of bread?!

Below is an example of the ingredients list of Wonder Bread - do you know what any of that is?


Thankfully I found actual bakery bread, made right in the store, fresh everyday, with four ingredients.

Don't you wish all foods came with simple ingredients?



Unless you've lived in a cave for the last however many years, you probably already know that just about everything has been tampered with, and even those terms "natural" and "all natural" don't always mean that they are good.

The one thing I like to look for when buying my food:

I read the ingredients list - if I don't know what something is and it has an excruciatingly long name, I will put it back on the shelf and move on.  Not that everyone has to act like this, but now that I have become so aware of the things in my food and chose foods with little or no processing, I genuinely feel better.

Which leads me to yet another topic...

What's Healthier? Diet Foods or Real Foods?

citrus fish and orzo 001

Can you guess which one is correct?  I sure hope so.

When you walk through the grocery store and see all of those 100-calorie snack-packs or those "fat-free" granola bars, what you're really getting is a bunch of added junk that makes up for the lost flavor in taking the fat out.  Eating real fats, real proteins and healthy carbs such as fruits are what can completely change your diet.

I began eating as much organic, fresh foods as I could not too long ago, and already I feel so much better both in mind and body.  I have more energy, I'm more motivated to get things done and although I still haven't gotten rid of those last pesky five pounds, I feel better than ever.

Take the real fo0d diet challenge and see for yourself.

Processed Foods, How Did We Get to this Point?

I have never been one to preach my views on food to anyone, but I'm beginning to see the major benefits of a whole food, minimally processed diet, and I really wish the rest of the country would join in.

I say minimally processed because it seems like no matter what, you're bound to eat something that has been touched, and unless you can sustain yourself on your own farm with your own foods and nothing more...there is no escaping it.

The other day I was driving with Ryan and in his backseat was an empty container of chicken fingers from the grocery store.  Thinking nothing of it, I looked at the label to see what was in it.  I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that it wasn't just made with chicken, an egg wash, flour, salt and spices and some oil for frying, right?  No my friends, the chicken alone apparently needs to have four ingredients...why isn't it just chicken?  In all, the ingredients totaled over 20 things needed to make one chicken finger.

This is nothing new though.  Did you know that in a french fry from McDonalds, it takes 17 ingredients?  Why not just potatoes, salt and oil?! Many fast food chains "beef up" their foods with tons of ingredients, just read below for a few examples.


It's sort of humorous to think that there could be 200+ ingredients in a chicken pot pie from KFC, but all that lol'ing suddenly turns into horror when you think of how many of those pies they sell a day.

Plan Ahead, Make Better Choices, Eliminate Processed Foods

It seems like no matter what time of day it is, the drive-thru lines are packed.

Want to know why?

All of that salt and all of those chemicals are totally shocking your system, making your body not understand that what it's being given is something you are trying to convince it to think is food.  The salt and sugar immediately go to the brain, rewarding it with quick energy that breaks down in to fat, so that your body quickly decides it needs more.  This in turn makes you keep going back to that pesky drive-thru.

If you plan ahead by making a grocery list, preparing healthy snacks for the workday and keep your salt and sugar levels low, you'll be better able to make good food choices and slowly but surely eliminate processed foods for good.

Create a Healthy Grocery List for Delicious Food all Week

Since we all love to look at pictures, below are a few examples of what I purchased this week at the grocery store to create healthy, fresh meals every day.  There are a few things that won't be pictured, but you'll get the gist.

vegeatbles done right 020

vegeatbles done right 033

vegeatbles done right 044

vegeatbles done right 006

vegeatbles done right 007

vegeatbles done right 037

vegeatbles done right 016

parmesan shrimp and succotsh 001

parmesan shrimp and succotsh 008

fish tacos, black bean cakes, meal planning 037 See?  Real food is beautiful. not...

bad-food-header Take the Real Food Challenge and become a CD member!  By becoming a CD member, you will have access to tons of delicious recipes that use real ingredients without a lot of effort.  Feel great, look great...all with real foods.

Click here to become a member.


Lauren Collins

I'm a health coach and plant-based recipe creator from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In a few short words, I love to cook, eat, travel, play around with food photography and most of all, I love to help people live healthier and happier lives. A lot of the recipes you see here are adapted from my Mom, or from just throwing a few ingredients together until something magical happens.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply: