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Take a “Real Food” Challenge

Learn how author and blogger Lisa Leake managed to feed her entire family for 100 days with no processed food…and stay on budget. Read Transcript


- Lisa Leake took on achallenge to eliminate

processed foods from her family's diet.

When naysayers said itwould break the bank,

she set out to prove them wrong.

Take a look at this.

- [Narrator] Lisa Leakeis a popular blogger,

wife, and busy mom of two.

Eight years ago, Lisagot a huge wake up call

when she learned the truthabout processed foods.

She made simple changes and started

using real foods without overspending.

In her cookbook, 100 Daysof Real Food on a Budget,

Lisa shares cost saving tips and recipes

for making tasty dishes withlocal, whole ingredients.

- Well joining me now is theauthor of 100 Days of Real Food

on a Budget, it's such a great cookbook.

Lisa Leake, it's great tohave you with us today.

- Thank you so much for having me.

- Tell me, what was itthat set you on a journey

to try to not eat processed foods?

- Well back in 2010, I actuallyhad a huge wake up call

where I realized a lot ofwhat I thought was healthy

and what I was feeding my family

was actually highly processedso I just felt compelled

to completely overhaul our diet.

- Wow, did you, in thebeginning, were you concerned

about the, did you think you could do it

and keep the price down?

- Oh, I lost sleep at nightwondering how I was gonna

do this, I mean, I really hadto relearn how to food shop

and cook for our familyso doing it on a budget

kind of came after I figured out.

- [Terry] So first the unprocessed foods,

then how do I do thison a reasonable budget.

So what are some tips that you can give

us for staying on budget?

- Well, planning ahead is so important.

I mean, not only doesit help you save money

but it's gonna help you cutout processed foods as well.

And I also think it's importantto utilize those budget

ingredients and being creative with them.

So bananas, beans, watermelon,there's a lot of really

budget friendly real foodingredients out there.

- Yeah, I love the fact thatyou've done the homework

for us and that because I'm,I don't really have time

to explore those things andso if they're kind of iffy

in my own mind, I justdon't ever get to them,

but when someone likeyou comes along and says,

I did this and it's tasty,I'm willing to go there.

You talk also in the bookabout the nice to haves

versus the good to have.

What are some good to have things on hand?

- Yes, so, well, I reallythink it's important to reduce

the nice to haves, so youknow, meat, for example,

is a big ticket item andyou don't have to have that

every day of the week or everymeal and if you can reduce

how often you have it,that will help save money.

I also think sweet treatsfalls in that category--

- [Terry] Sadly.

- I know, I know, and sodo flavored beverages.

Those are three areaswhere it's really easy

to reduce the cost.

- Because flavored beveragesare really a big deal

right now and it's reallykind of flavor water.

- I know, and I actually havesome recipes in this book

to make your own flavoredbeverages for little to nothing

so you can save and not buyall those canned things.

- Some of us, and I'm oneof them, I just admit,

grew up with, you know, youhave meat, you have a starch

of some kind, you have avegetable, a salad if you're

really going great guns for the evening.

Did you have to breakyour own thinking mold

to serve a meal without meat as the main?

- Yes, absolutely.

As I said, I had to relearnhow to food shop and cook

so this book actually hasa lot of meat free meals

that are hearty enough you don't feel

like you're missing anything.

I have a spinach lasagnadish, for example,

and just being creative andcoming up with those meals

where you don't feel likesomething is missing took time.

- Now, I know that this is a work of love

and you've been doing itfor some time but you know,

a lot of people hearing whatwe're talking about today

would say well I might dothat but my family wouldn't.

Did you have to convince your family?

- Well, I think because Iwas the one sort of making

all the decisions and buyingall the food and cooking

all of it for the most part, that helped.

But I also think explainingto them the why behind this,

I think, you know, especiallywith your spouse or older kids

they want to be healthyand do the right thing

and so it's important to getthem on board and not just

force them along the way.

- So what are some thingsyou think your family learned

from eating on a budget,eating good food on a budget?

- Well we learned so much.

I think that I learned thatfood waste is a huge issue.

I mean, all the foodthat you're throwing out

at the end of the week, thefresh vegetables that you had

good intentions and didn'teat, that is throwing money

down the drain and I alsolearned how much money

you can save by growingyour own herbs, for example,

rather than spendingthree dollars every time

you needed a fresh herb for a recipe,

you could just pick off your own plant.

And I also think, again, as we mentioned,

planning ahead, I can notemphasize that enough.

That is key.

- You know, I think formost women, more than men,

because of the most part, Iknow there are more and more

men who cook today, or preparemeals, but for the most part,

it's women and I thinkeverybody would like to be able

to help their family bea little bit healthier

in what they're doing.

What would you say is thebiggest thing that keeps us

from doing that, is it really the cost

or is it the planning?

- Well, I honestly thinkit's making the change.

I think any big change in your life,

whether you're moving to a new city,

starting a new job, it canfeel kind of overwhelming

until you really justdive in and I do think

it can eventually become your new normal

once you get over thathump and it is so worth it.

- So kind of dive in,let yourself acclimate.

- Don't overthink it, just get started.

And don't get so overwhelmedthat you want to give up.

Remember that any smallchange is better than none.

- Absolutely.

You know, you won't have to overthink it

because Lisa's thought of it all for you.

It's all in he new book, 100Days of Real Food on a Budget.

I don't know about you, Ilike to just read cookbooks

and this one is so awesome,everything is done for you.

Beautiful pictures, by the way.

It's so nicely done.

If you collect cookbooks like I do,

you're gonna wanna addthis to your collection.

But if you'd like yourfamily to eat healthy

and be able to afford it, it's available

in stores nationwide.

Lisa, thank you so much for being with us.

- Thank you for having me.

- [Terry] You alwaysbring such good wisdom.

I'm gonna apply it.

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