30 day real food and no tv challenge – the results

Monday marked day 30 of our real food challenge and no tv challenge.  Those 30 days passed so quickly!  We originally agreed to give it a try for 30 days (rather than a full 100 day challenge) and then re-evaluate at the end.  So here we are at the end, and it’s time to re-evalute.

But first, here are a few things that we ate during week 4 that I wanted to share with you (if you want to get some other meal ideas, check out weeks 1, 2, and 3).

tomato basil pasta – a little complicated and time consuming to make, but totally yummy and worth it

whole wheat blueberry muffins – oh my, these are yum yum yum (and easy, too!)

an afternoon snack: Ak Mak crackers with cream cheese, a peach, and some blackberries

lemon poppyseed pancakes – I adapted the recipe by leaving out the sugar and using whole milk instead of buttermilk (because I didn’t have any buttermilk) and they turned out great served with a little pure maple syrup

Thanks to all the wonderful produce available this time of year, we’ve been eating lots of veggie plates recently.  This meal consisted of rosemary potato wedges, squash and zucchini, green beans, tomato, and watermelon.

Alrighty, now on to results.

First, during the past 30 days I have not once craved chocolate, or sugar of any kind for that matter.  That is huge for me!  In fact, I haven’t really longed for anything non-real at all.

We stuck to eating all real food almost 100%.  We had dinner with friends one night and they so thoughtfully fixed us a real food meal (salad, salmon, quinoa, squash, zucchini, and bread) so that we were able to stick to our challenge.  I also ate out once at Cheddars and tried to make good choices (grilled salmon, rice, green beans, and broccoli).  But like we said in our original rules, friends and family first – although we try to make healthy choices, we will not be so strict about sticking to the rules that we can’t eat with our family and friends.

I’ve noticed that I don’t have to eat as often.  Since I’m filling my body with good, natural nutrients it doesn’t feel deprived and beg for more every few hours.  I used to snack all day long, but since starting this challenge I’ve been able to go more hours without eating.  Very rarely do I need a morning snack anymore and I used to always eat one.  After school starts back in two weeks that may change since I will be getting up earlier, eating breakfast earlier, and thus having to wait a longer time until lunch.  But it may not.

Along those lines, I’ve been trying to work really hard to 1) stop eating when I’m full rather than when my plate is empty and 2) eat only when I’m hungry (not because I’m bored).  I’m getting better but still not perfect.  I find that I get full quicker now and don’t have to eat as much food as I used to.

The good news: from day 1 to day 30 I lost 7 pounds.  I don’t know how much of that was water weight (from starting right after church camp) and how much was actual fat, but some is better than none, right?

The bad news: I went to the doctor yesterday to get a physical for my new job and my blood work showed that I have high cholesterol.  Higher than the first time we realized this was a problem, in fact.  Since I didn’t have my cholesterol tested before starting the 30 day challenge, I don’t know if eating this way has elevated or lowered it, I just know that it is high.  Obviously I’m disappointed.  At this time, my doctor isn’t too concerned but he wants me to lose 25 pounds then come back and get tested again.

So that’s pretty much the low-down.

We both loved the real foods challenge.  We have decided to do the full 100 day challenge, which will end on September 17.  However, we are really making this a lifestyle and will not quit eating this way as soon as September 17 rolls around.  So we will not revert back to our old eating habits then, but we might be a bit more relaxed with our food choices.

There aren’t really any results that go along with the no tv challenge, but I can say that I really haven’t missed watching tv at all.  We’ve been so busy with VBS, house hunting, and camp that there hasn’t really been time for tv.  I’ve also read a lot more books than I would have if we were watching tv every night.

Even though we allowed two hours of tv a week, we didn’t use a single bit of it.  Other than the tv being on while I was babysitting on day (and I wasn’t really watching it), neither of us have watched any tv in the past month!  I’m floored that I was able to do that!

We decided to continue our no tv challenge for 100 days along with our real food challenge, which means no tv until September 17.  Then after that (which will be right around the time all the fall shows crank up again) we are going to start watching some of our shows again, but we’re going to cut back a lot on what we used to watch.

 So there you have it!  I wasn’t sure we’d like eating non-processed, all organic and/or local food and not watching tv, but in fact we love it!  You never know until you try :).



  1. Will you continue your 2 hr/wk tv allowance? Or are you nixing that for the remaining 70 days, considering that you haven’t used it yet?

  2. What a great idea and follow-through! I’m definitely inspired. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Surely your real food choices have helped your health overall! Is it possible the cholesterol issue is hereditary? It does run in families. Your doctor can advise. I’ve been very inspired by your challenge and appreciate the recipes.

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