If you’re not familiar with Lisa Leake and her blog, 100 Days of Real Food, it’s time to remedy that! She’s been a major voice in reeducating Americans about what’s in our food and how to approach it from a healthier perspective.
While I don’t personally follow all her principles to the letter, her blog was the catalyst for me to start learning more on my own and transforming my family’s kitchen. She has tons of tips and recipes on her blog, but a couple years ago, she ventured into writing cookbooks. Her first one quickly became a NY Times bestseller.
Her second cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous, releases tomorrow (October 25th), and I jumped on the chance to get an early copy. What I received didn’t disappoint. In fact, I opened it right away and read it front to back in two hours!
Today I’m sharing the top 8 things I love about this book (but there are many more beyond this list). 🙂
1. It includes real-food principles and guidelines, including foods to look for vs. foods to avoid.
Even if you choose to not follow all of Lisa’s personal parameters, this section is a goldmine to educate yourself about how to view food differently, especially nutrition labels.
2. It shares valuable grocery shopping tips, including common claims we see at the supermarket and what they REALLY mean.
There are so many marketing tactics that mislead us at the store. I love how this section calls them out and gives clear explanation for what they really mean. I learned a couple new ones myself!
3. It provides sample meal plans for every season of the year + grocery shopping lists for each.
I love how Lisa doesn’t just tell you the importance of cutting out processed food; she provides practical tools and helps to get you started. You may not follow these examples to a T, but they demonstrate how to build a healthy, workable meal plan for your family.
4. It’s full of gorgeous photos!
I know this isn’t the only reason to buy a cookbook, but I’m a visual person, so I love seeing what I’ll be making before I start. Every single recipe has a photo with it. Here are a couple examples…
5. All the recipes have quick prep times.
So many people resist eating healthy because of the misconception that it’s too time-consuming. Lisa dispels the myth with this book! Although some of the recipes include longer cook times, most of the cooking time is hands-free (slow cooker recipes, etc.). All the active prep times are under 20 minutes, with many of them only 5-10 minutes.
6. Nearly all the recipes are made with ingredients I already have on hand or can easily find at the store.
A lot of cookbooks I’ve read — especially healthy ones — seem to be full of ingredients I’ve never heard of or that require a trip to a specialty store to find. Almost all the recipes in this book are made with easily accessible ingredients. (There may be some give and take in regards to Lisa’s personal standards on eating organic. This might depend on where you live and the stores/markets available to you, but at the least you can find their non-organic counterparts.)
7. It includes real-food versions of my favorite comfort foods.
I literally got giddy when I turned the page to discover a remake of Cracker Barrel’s hash brown casserole. Lots of other comfort foods and childhood favorites are included: Homemade applesauce, Creamy mac and peas, Homemade fish sticks, Real-food snow cones, and Homemade fudge pops, to name a few.
8. It shares recipes for kitchen staples.
Since Lisa recommends buying as little processed food as possible, I love that she doesn’t leave you hanging to figure out what to eat instead. She has an entire section solely for recipes of food staples, like croutons, ranch dressing, marinara sauce, DIY oatmeal packets, and more. And all of the recipes in this section have a prep time under 15 minutes!
Whether you decide to go all-in with Lisa’s approach to food or not, I can’t recommend this book enough. It will help you navigate the store aisles with greater confidence and give you a library of easy, quick meals and snacks to have on hand.
ONE SIMPLE STEP: If you’re new to the real food concept, try creating a meal plan with at least half of your dinners being “real food meals.” Use Lisa’s blog for recipes to get you started, and layer in more real-food meals to your plan as you’re ready.
ONE STEP FURTHER: Invest in this cookbook! 🙂 You won’t be disappointed, and it will inspire you with new tools and ideas to add variety to mealtime AND snack time. Here’s the link to get your copy. (Note that pre-ordering guarantees getting the lowest price, so you have one more day to get in early!)