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Day One of Real Food

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Here's a summary of our first day without processed food in the 10 Days of Real Food challenge. We survived Day One of Real Food!

I’m excited to be starting this adventure!

Going into these 10 days, I wanted to have a clear plan of what we would be eating before we started. I don’t have everything worked out yet, but I do have a plan for most dinners and breakfasts, as well as a list of ideas for lunches and snacks. Between menu planning, shopping, and cooking, it does take some work to get real food on the table. But I think it’s well worth the effort. It’s frustrating to realize how pervasive processed food has become, and how counter-cultural it is to make a commitment to eating real food.

I’d like to say that our menu went off without a hitch today, but there was one minor snafu. For breakfast we made whole wheat pancakes for the kids and my husband, and they were delicious. I made a separate batch of pancakes for myself with gluten-free flour because I have a mild gluten intolerance. When I have a lot of gluten in my diet, I tend to get colds, sinus infections, and other pesky ailments. Without gluten in my diet, my immune system is much stronger and I don’t get sick.

I typically bake with a combination of white rice flour, tapioca flour, and potato starch. With the real food pledge, white rice flour is out of the picture, so I made an experimental batch of brown rice pancakes. They were atrocious. I did manage to eat two of them thanks to the lovely berry sauce. I don’t think I’ll be able to handle the other 10 pancakes that were in the batch, though, so they’ll be turning into bread crumbs shortly.

The kids each had a challenging situation where they had to resist a processed food temptation. My daughter’s dance teacher was giving out candy at the end of class today, but fortunately she had told the parents ahead of time. I told my daughter that if she wanted to stick to the pledge, she could either not take the candy or take it and save it for day 11. We’re being clear with the kids that they have a choice in this matter.

My daughter decided to take the candy and save it, and she didn’t complain about it. Meanwhile, during dance class my son and I stopped at a local market to pick up the scallions I forgot for tonight’s dinner. This market always has a bag of pretzel sticks on the counter, and kids are allowed to take one for free. As we approached the counter, he started to reach for a pretzel. I whispered to him, “No pretzel,” and he whispered back, “Why?” I said, “Processed flour,” and he said, “Oh, yeah.” No complaints from him either. I hope this attitude lasts!

And on a side note, who knew you could get mandarin oranges that weren’t packaged in a plastic cup or metal can? Thanks, Trader Joe’s!

Menu for Day One of Real Food

Breakfast: whole grain pancakes with berry sauce

Morning snack: brown rice cakes with peanut butter, apple pie bread, carrot sticks, Triscuits

Lunch: cheese sandwich on honey whole wheat bread from Great Harvest, fruit salad (kids); leftover lentil sweet potato dish (adults)

Afternoon snack: popcorn, fresh organic mandarin oranges from Trader Joe’s, cranberry orange muffin, more apple pie bread

Dinner:  chicken pineapple stir fry with brown rice


  1. Wow, good job. Have you tried coconut flour pancakes? That might be a yummy replacement.

    I’m proud of your kids. They sound like real troopers. And there are plenty of “real food junk foods” that you can incorporate that will make this easier.

    I pop organic popcorn on the stove in coconut oil and sea salt, or real butter if you prefer.
    I make homemade deep dish pizzas
    I love homemade raw fudge and coconut hot cocoa.

    Those types of foods help a real food transition go smoothly.

    1. Thank you for the suggestions and the encouragement! I will have to make some coconut flour and try that for my next batch of pancakes. I also have a raw fudge recipe that I’m planning to try this weekend. I can only go so many days without a good chocolate treat!

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