Real Food Challenge Rules

The Rules

What can't you eat? 
  1. Deep fried food.
  2. "Fast" food - this includes the drive-thru, ready to eat microwavable meals and snacks and most convenience foods
  3. Packaged (boxed, bagged, canned, bottled) food with more than FIVE ingredients listed on the label. 
  4. Refined Grains - no white rice or white breads. Look for the word "whole wheat" when choosing your bread products.  
  5. No refined sweeteners including sugar, cane syrup, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Equal, etc)

What can you eat? 

  1. Whole foods - think to yourself, "Is this a product of nature, (animal, fruit, vegetable, grain)? Or is this a product of the food industry, (made by a machine, or in a facory)?"
  2. Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, cheeses, etc
  3. 100% Whole-wheat and whole-grain products
  4. Seafood (preferably wild-caught but doesn't have to be)
  5. Meats preferably organic and locally raised if you can find and afford it.  In moderation. Whole cuts  of meat, unprocessed. No packaging that you cannot SEE the meat through.  
  6. Drinks are limited to water, milk, 100% juices, unsweetened or naturally sweetened teas and coffee, wine, beer (Stay away from "wine coolers" or artificially flavored alcoholic beverages)
  7. Fruits and vegetables from the produce department, a local stand or farmer's market or straight from the garden! 
  8. All-natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. In moderation.  
Remember, this is not a diet.  We are not looking for low-fat, no-fat, carb free, etc.  What we are looking for are WHOLE foods that have not been processed or have been minimally processed.  We are trying to eat foods that are as close to their NATURAL state as possible.  
My top tips for avoiding processed food:

  • Read the ingredients on the label.  Focus on the ingredient list rather than the nutritional information.  This is your biggest clue to figuring out whether or not something has been processed.  Look for foods with five or less ingredients listed FIRST, then if you have other dietary requirements, look at the nutrition info.

  • Fill up on your favorite whole foods that you already eat. Fruits, raisins, nuts, vegetables, etc.  

  • When choosing boxed food such as cereal, pasta, crackers, etc - choose the ones that say WHOLE GRAIN or WHOLE WHEAT.  These are your best options.  Check the ingredient list looking for those five or less ingredients and make sure it actually contains whole grain or whole wheat.

  • Just because the labels says "organic" or "non gmo" or "all natural" does not always mean it is good for you.  Those words can mean many things.  Don't be tricked.

  • Avoid ANYTHING with high fructose corn syrup.  This ingredient is a HUGE red flag when it comes to deciding whether a food is highly processed or not.  


For a more in-depth look at real food check out THIS blog.  Or read THIS Kindle book for more ideas.  To dig even deeper read THIS book by Michael Pollan.  

Join us in Natural Losers to take part on our 10 Day Real Food Challenge beginning September 1st!

Blog post by Angela Perkinson - The Naturals team member and admin 8/21/2019