Category Archives: 40 Day Real Food Challenge

40 Day Real Food Challenge

On October 1st I started a 40 Day Real Food Fast (TM). What is a Real Food Fast?(TM)

A Real Food Fast (TM) is a diet void of anything that falls in the category of manufactured ingestible. A manufactured ingestible is something that is sold as food but is so processed that it is no longer alive or nutritious, and causes loss of health, excess weight and disease. (Processed foods are foods that have been compromised by the addition of hormones, additives, preservatives, unnatural genetic material or other chemical or heat treatments that alter or destroy the natural healthy enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.)

A simple way to think of a Real Food Fast (TM) would be a diet based on foods available for all of history, prior to 1900. After that time, manufactured, processed, shipped products (made with a view to shelf life, rather than nutritional value) began to enter the market. Shortly after that Americans began to exhibit high levels of disease and the numbers have become epidemic in our lifetime. A study of food trends in the US clearly shows a connection between our unnatural modern diet and diseases like Diabetes, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure and Stroke. Experts all agree that these diseases are preventable through diet and exercise.

What am I supposed to eat?

Recently I heard from a number of people who just have no idea what to eat if they don’t eat modern manufactured foods. When I decided to do a Real Foods Fast myself, I thought it would be a good opportunity to challenge others to do the same and give them some help with the question of “What am I supposed to eat?”

First, lets look at what you should not eat. Processed manufactured ingestibles include anything boxed or bagged, such as:

  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Chips
  • Cheese Puffs
  • Cake mixes
  • Cake frostings and decorations
  • Boxed pudding type deserts
  • Hamburger Helper type products
  • Boxed/Instant meals
  • Frozen Dinners
  • Frozen Pizza
  • Cooking Oils like: Soy, Corn, Canola, peanut
Other items include products that have additives, like “natural flavors or colors,” which are actually not natural, and any product that includes ingredients with long non food names like hydrolyzed, etc. Some of these include:
  • Salad Dressing
  • Canned soups
  • Boxed soups
  • Boxed dip mixes
  • Meal replacement bars
  • Packaged meats
  • Snacks
  • Instant Foods  
  • Non-dairy creamers
Pasteurized foods or drinks, which includes store bought:
  • Bottled or Frozen Concentrate Fruit Juice Drinks
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurts
  • Ice Cream
  • Kefir
Genetically modified foods:
  • Rapeseed – Resistance to certain pesticides and improved rapeseed cultivars to be free of erucic acid and glucosinolates. Gluconsinolates, which were found in rapeseed meal leftover from pressing, are toxic and had prevented the use of the meal in animal feed. In Canada, where “double-zero” rapeseed was developed, the crop was renamed “canola” (Canadian oil) to differentiate it from non-edible rapeseed.
  • Honey – Honey can be produced from GM crops. Some Canadian honey comes from bees collecting nectar from GM canola plants. This has shut down exports of Canadian honey to Europe. Make sure it is local and organic, if you can.
  • Cotton – Resistant to certain pesticides – considered a food because the oil can be consumed. The introduction of genetically engineered cotton plants has had an unexpectedly effect on Chinese agriculture. The so-called Bt cotton plants that produce a chemical that kills the cotton bollworm have not only reduced the incidence of the pest in cotton fields, but also in neighboring fields of corn, soybeans, and other crops.
  • Rice – Genetically modified to contain high amounts of Vitamin A. Rice containing human genes is to be grown in the US. Rather than end up on dinner plates, the rice will make human proteins useful for treating infant diarrhoea in the developing world.
  • Soybean – Genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides – Soy foods including, soy beverages, tofu, soy oil, soy flour, lecithin. Other products may include breads, pastries, snack foods, baked products, fried products, edible oil products and special purpose foods.
  • Sugar cane – Made resistant to certain pesticides. A large percentage of sweeteners used in processed food actually comes from corn, not sugar cane or beets. Genetically modified sugar cane is regarded so badly by consumers at the present time that it could not be marketed successfully.
  • Tomatoes – Made for a longer shelf life and to prevent a substance that causes tomatoes to rot and degrade.
  • Corn – Resistant to certain pesticides – Corn oil, flour, sugar or syrup. May include snack foods, baked goods, fried foods, edible oil products, confectionery, special purpose foods, and soft drinks.
  • Sweet corn – genetically modified to produces its own insecticide. Officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have said that  thousands of tonnes of genetically engineered sweetcorn have made their way into the human food supply chain, even though the produce has been approved only for use in animal feed. Recently Monsanto, a biotechnology food producer, said that about half of the USA’s sweetcorn acreage has been planted with genetically modified seed this year.
  • Canola – Canola oil. May include edible oil products, fried foods, and baked products, snack foods.
  • Potatoes – (Atlantic, Russett Burbank, Russet Norkatah, and Shepody) – May include snack foods, processed potato products and other processed foods containing potatoes.
  • Flax – More and more food products contain flax oil and seed because of their excellent nutritional properties. No genetically modified flax is currently grown. An herbicide-resistant GM flax was introduced in 2001, but was soon taken off the market because European importers refused to buy it.
  • Papaya – The first virus resistant papayas were commercially grown in Hawaii in 1999. Transgenic papayas now cover about one thousand hectares, or three quarters of the total Hawaiian papaya crop. Monsanto, donated technology to Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, for developing a papaya resistant to the ringspot virus in India.
  • Squash – (yellow crookneck) – Some zucchini and yellow crookneck squash are also GM but they are not popular with farmers.
  • Red-hearted chicory – (radicchio) – Chicory (Cichorium intybus var. foliosum) is popular in some regions as a salad green, especially in France and Belgium. Scientists developed a genetically modified line of chicory containing a gene that makes it male sterile, simply facilitating the production of hybrid cultivars. Today there is no genetically modified chicory on the market.
  • Cotton seed oil – Cottonseed oil and linters. Products may include blended vegetable oils, fried foods, baked foods, snack foods, edible oil products, and smallgoods casings.
  • Tobacco -The company Vector has a GMO tobacco being sold under the brand of Quest® cigarettes in the U.S. It is engineered to produce low or no nicotine.
  • Meat – Meat and dairy products usually come from animals that have eaten GM feed.
  • Peas – Genetically modified (GM) peas created immune responses in mice, suggesting that they may also create serious allergic reactions in people. The peas had been inserted with a gene from kidney beans, which creates a protein that acts as a pesticide.
  • Vegetable Oil – Most generic vegetable oils and margarines used in restaurants and in processed foods in North America are made from soy, corn, canola, or cottonseed. Unless these oils specifically say “Non-GMO” or “Organic,” it is probably genetically modified.
  • Sugarbeets – May include any processed foods containing sugar.
  • Dairy Products – About 22 percent of cows in the U.S. are injected with recombinant (genetically modified) bovine growth hormone (rbGH).
  • Vitamins – Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is often made from corn, vitamin E is usually made from soy. Vitamins A, B2, B6, and B12 may be derived from GMOs as well as vitamin D and vitamin K may have “carriers” derived from GM corn sources, such as starch, glucose, and maltodextrin.
  • For a more extensive list:
Artificial, Imitation, or altered sweeteners:
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Canderel)
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Neotame
  • Acesulfame K (Sunette, Sweet One, Sweet’n Safe-
  • Saccharin (Sweet‘N’Low, SugarTwin0
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS 55)
  • Cyclamate or sodium cyclamate (Banned is US but available overseas)
  • Potassium K

Read more:

Non-foods in general:
  • Carbonated Drinks
  • Imitation foods or foods containing imitation flavorings
  • Crisco
  • Margarine
  • Artificial seasonings, or seasonings that have some natural ingredients but also have flavor enhancers and artificial flavors.
Feedlot meats fed un-natural foods, antibiotics, hormones, etc.
I would also add plain White Sugar to the list of things to not eat. Sugar is more addictive than Heroine and does more damage to the body than Heroine. Most people are addicted to Sugar and it is a health destroyer.
What Can You EAT???
In response to this post I had several people say, “What can I eat?” We are so accustomed to manufactured foods that we don’t even know how to eat real food anymore. We actually think we won’t like it. In reality, once you do a real food fast you realize that real food is very satisfying and delicious and, really, gourmet food. It makes you feel rich to eat this way, instead of eating cheap, artificial, manufactured ingestibles/food. Once you have eaten real food you will find it hard to go back to the fake stuff.  Keep reading for more help on what you can eat.
What you can eat:
  • Non GMO Foods Be careful when reading this list because some of these foods fall in the over processed manufactured ingestibles list, being produced with shelf life in mind, rather than nutrition; Barbara’s baked goods, for instance.
  • Vegetables – Preferably Heirloom varieties
  • Fruits  – Preferably Heirloom varieties
  • Nuts (natural and lightly processed: no colored pistachios, for instance)
  • Seeds
  • Legumes: Beans
  • Grains (unless allergic) Rice, Buckwheat, Quinoa, Wheat, Barley, etc. and the things you can make from them such as: Bread, Pasta, Pastries, but not the overly processed ones found in most grocery stores.
  • Eggs
  • Grass fed, free range type meats, free of hormones, pesticides, and gm foods.
  • Fish  
  • Raw dairy
  • Fermented Foods and Drinks (Bubbies Pickles or Sauerkraut, other brands of KimChi, Kombucha, Wine, Raw Kefir, Raw Yoghurt) 
  • Natural, cold processed, low oxygen processed Oils (PEO’s)
  • Parent Essential Oils 
  • Organic, naturally processed Olive Oil
  • Coffee
  • Cocoa
  • Real spices – including Raw or Sea type Salt
  • Real herbs
  • Lard
  • Sprouted Foods
  • Pop corn if you can find non gmo corn
  • Pesto
  • Pasta if made from non gmo grains and whole grains
  • Organic “canned” (meaning bottled in glass like Gramma used to do) foods.
  • Nut Butters (Note: Peanuts are not nuts, they are beans and some health experts believe Peanut Butter to be detrimental to the digestive tract. If you are going to do Peanut Butter, choose an organic, non-hydrogenated, non-flavored, non-sweetened version. Otherwise, choose almond or cashew or filbert, etc.)
Natural Sweeteners
  • Maple Syrup: Two tablespoons of maple syrup contain 33 percent of the daily value of the mineral manganese and 6 percent of zinc. Additionally, one serving contains trace amounts of copper, magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium.
  • Raw Honey: One tablespoon of honey provides trace amounts of minerals which include copper, iron and manganese, in addition to the vitamin riboflavin. According to the website Organic Facts, honey may also improve athletic performance and aid in weight loss. Additionally, honey may possess both antibacterial and antifungal properties.
  • Raw Molasses: A byproduct when sugar cane is processed into table sugar, molasses has a deep, raisin-like flavor. Blackstrap molasses is a particularly nutritious variety. One tablespoon provides 10 percent of the daily value of vitamin B-6, and over 10 percent of the daily values for copper, iron, magnesium and manganese. In addtion, over 5 percent of the daily values of potassium and the mineral selenium can be found in a single serving of molasses. Taken from:
For those who cannot use these simple, fiber-free carbohydrates at all . . . you just have to do without because there are no natural substitutes that were available before 1900,
that I know of. If you do, please let me know and I will post them here. It is very likely, however, that a short time on a Real Food Fast (TM) would enable you to once again enjoy foods with natural sugars in them.
If you have no idea where to start in eating Real Foods, try a mediterranean recipe book and adjust according to the lists above. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is a great place to start also.
We will discuss this further on our audio blog on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm Pacific. If you miss the live broadcast, you can listen to the archived show.
To listen live or after the fact, go here: