7 Day Real Food Challenge


I hear from a lot of people who are intrigued by the idea of a Whole30, but are intimidated about committing to the full month. I think there is tremendous value in tackling the full 30 days, but if that’s too much for you, I challenge you to just start with one week instead. You may not know it, but that’s how I started my love affair with paleo. I’d been grain free for about a year, when I started working with Melissa Hartwig of Whole9. She was developing the Whole30 and demanded suggested that I give up dairy. I hated that idea with a white-hot passion, and she made me an offer asked me a question I couldn’t refuse: Can you just try giving up dairy for a week to see what happens?

What happened was that my skin cleared up and my bloating went away. That was four years ago, and I’ve been eating 90% paleo ever since.

If you want to make the transition to eating real food with the paleo framework, but aren’t ready for a 30-day commitment, you could take the interim step of trying it for a week. And if you decide now is the time, beginning on April 21, you’ll have plenty of company.


Consider the “7 Day Real Food Challenge”

From April 21 through April 27, a whole slew of people — including me and at least 27 other real food bloggers — are committing to the 7 Day Real Food Challenge, hosted by Roxanne of Holistic Mama.

There are two ways you can participate in the challenge:

Option 1: FREE!

Join us and make the commitment to eat only real food for seven days starting on April 21 – April 27, 2013. You’ll get the “What is Real Food?” ebook and a chance to win one of the fabulous prizes listed below. The prizes below are awesome, and all you need to do to enter the drawing is commit to seven days of real food. It’s a win-win!

Click here to commit to the FREE version of the 7 Day Real Food Challenge.


Option 2: $29

If you feel like you need a little more support, this option might be better for you. As a paid member of the challenge, you’ll get:

  • The “What is Real Food?” ebook
  • A complete real food Paleo meal plan for 7 days – three meals a day and snacks
  • Recipes for all of the items in the meal plan (37 Delicious recipes, including one from Well Fed)
  • A shopping list to help you prepare for the challenge
  • Tips on how to prepare your kitchen for this event
  • Membership to a private Facebook group to reach out for help and ask questions
  • A chance to win one of the fabulous real food prizes – worth over $600+

PLUS these fabulous Bonuses (worth over $237+) for everyone who buys the package…

  • A copy of “Your Grocery Budget Toolbox eBook” ($7.99 value). This eBook is the perfect guide for anyone new to eating healthy, learn how to save time and money with a few simple strategies.
  • A copy of Health Coach Mike Lamitola’s music album “Fitting Out,” ($7.00 value). Mike’s music is inspired by real life experiences, dreams, and some very random thoughts.
  • A 20% discount to Natural Living Mama’s Product shop. Natural Living Mamma offers herbal body and skin care, salves, and teas made from only natural ingredients.
  • A copy of The Holistic Mama’s Audio Class,”How to Eat Real Food on a Budget” ($29.00 value)
  • A 15% discount to Blessed in Homemaking Etsy shop. Blessed In Homemaking offers organic and all natural body care products, gentle baby care products, herbal products, crocheted items, and more, for your healthy lifestyle.
  • A copy of “What to Eat and Why: Healthy Nutrition for Preconception, Pregnancy and Postpartum” audio program (Value $197.00)  by Nichi Kuechle from My Healthy Beginning.

Click here to join for $29 and get the plan, recipes, and support now!


And now a word from the sponsors…

Some pretty badass companies have offered up prizes for the participants who join the challenge so you not only get the benefit of a week of awesome nutrition, you could get some extra rewards, too. Take a lookie… You have the chance to win all of these prizes by joining the challenge with either Option 1 or Option 2 detailed above!

Ergo Chef Knife Company, makers of ergonomically-designed professional chef knives, is giving one participant of our challenge their Pro-Series 7” Santoku knife, Come Apart Kitchen Shears and a 9” & 12” Duo Tongs (Retail value $132) Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Taza Chocolate company, makers of traditional stone ground Mexican Chocolate, is giving one of our participants a package of their salted almond discs, their chipotle chili discs, a jar of chocolate covered hazelnuts and their 87% chocolate bar. Taza chocolate has a direct trade cacao program that cultivates face-to-face relationships with farmers. (Retail value $ 30.47) Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Kaya Foods, superfoods for delicious living, is giving one participant 5 bags of their delicious Kale and Veggie Chips, great for healthy snacking and a few $1.00 coupons (Retail value $ 10) Follow them on Facebook.
Yogi Tea, products inspired by Ayurveda is giving one participant of our challenge 4 boxes of a variety of our top selling teas and a Yogi tea mug. (Retail value $40)Yogi tea is committed to providing healthy, natural teas that are accessible to as many people as possible. Follow them on Facebook.
Applegate, Organic & Natural Meats, is giving away a gift pack of products. (Retail value $ 25) Applegate meats are free of anti-biotics, growth hormones, nitrates, artificial ingredients and fillers which makes them far surpass the quality of conventional sliced sandwich meats. When buying Applegate products you can be confident you are eating a high quality product. Follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
Trilight Health, makers of fast-acting, great tasting liquid herbal supplements, is giving one participant a $50 gift certificate to order products on their website! For over 20 years now, TriLight Health have supplied their customers nationwide with their high quality line of liquid herbal products. They specialize in great tasting, alcohol and sugar free, liquid herbal formulas for pregnancy, children, and the family. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Eco Lunch Gear, eco friendly reusable lunch gear, is giving one participant a a reusable sandwich wrap (Retail value $10.50). Eco Lunch Gear was started by a Mom who saw a need for an alternative to plastic and aluminum foil, her products can be washed and reused over and over to save money and our environment. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Erin Odom from The Humbled Homemaker and creator of Real Food, Real Easy the eBook is giving one participant a copy of her eBook to help you continue with your Real Food journey (Retail value $$9.95) Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Health Coach, Mike Lamitola, is giving one participant free entry to his Tele-seminar on Cravings. Do you have a sugar habit you’ve been trying to beat? In this tele-seminar, Mike will explain how. (Retail value $25.00) Follow Mike on Facebook and Twitter.
Alix from Blessed In Homemaking offers organic and all natural body care products, gentle baby care products, herbal products, crocheted items, and more, for your healthy lifestyle in her Etsy Shop. She is giving two participants a one ounce bag of loose chamomile tea (Retail value $8.00) Follow her on Facebook.
Stacy Karen from A Delightful Home is giving one participant of this challenge a copy of her eBook, Simple Scrubs to Make and Give. Start making your own scrubs at home for yourself and others (Retail value $3.99) Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Nina Nelson of Shalom Mama, is giving one participant of the challenge a healing balm and lavender mint lip balm from her etsy shop (Retail value $19.50) Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Melissa Joulwan from The Clothes Make the Girl, is giving one participant a copy of her Paleo eBook called Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Like to Eat (Retail value $14.95). This is a great resource for anyone interested in Paleo diet, whether you are just getting started or you are just looking for some new recipes to try. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Health Coach, Laura Prevost is giving 10 lucky participants one of her Dynamite Coaching sessions. If you are looking for some support around breaking a bad habit, or getting yourself motivated, Laura will work through it with you in this session (Retail value $20.00/session) Follow Laura on Facebook or Twitter.
Jami from Young Wife’s Guide, is giving one participant a copy of her eBook, Apartment Gardening, which is a great resource for getting started growing food in small spaces (Retail value $2.99) Follow Jami on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Jennifer from Hybrid Rasta Mama has also offered to give away two copies of her eBook, Cooking with Coconut Oil (Retail value $19.95). The 68 recipes in this eBook are all simple to make and the ingredients in the recipes are all readily available. This eBook is a great way to start getting more coconut oil in your diet to get all the amazing health benefits. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Ergo Chef Knife Company, makers of ergonomically-designed professional chef knives, is giving one participant of our challenge their Pro-Series 7” Santoku knife, Come Apart Kitchen Shears and a 9” & 12” Duo Tongs (Retail value $132) Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.


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    • Turbo says:

      I just signed up, but did not get an e-mail to start my subscription. The website said to look in my “bulk box”. It was not in my spam folder. What should I do? Really looking forward to jumping on this great energy!

    • Diana says:

      I signed up for the paid 7 day challenge yesterday but have not received anything in my email or spam. I use a different email for my paypal shouldn’t i have recived materials to email I signed up with? Looking forward to starting the challenge

  • I’m on Day 4 of the Whole30. Can I still join this? The reason I ask is it happens to fall into the dates that I think are going to be the most difficult for me to do – right after my husband deploys. I tend to not take care of myself on deployments bc I’m taking care of the house and the kids. Also – what does it mean to eat a 90% paleo diet?

    • Mel says:

      Sure, you can do double duty with Whole30 and this challenge — just stick with your Whole30 rules@

      When I say I eat 90% paleo, it means I follow the Whole30 guidelines all the time except for approx. 2 meals per week where I might have a treat: some tortilla chips, local grass-fed ice cream, etc. (2 meals is 10% of the 21 meals I eat each week… make sense?)

      • deb says:

        I’m glad she asked – I have been wondering what that means! I am so ready to do this. I did whole 30 in Jan & it was soooo “easy” – it felt right. It was what my body needed at the time – so it seemed easy. But somewhere along the lines in March – I slipped & had a “treat” and I’ve been struggling like crazy to gt back to it! And by struggling – I mean I’m about 30% paleo! I KNOW how awesome it is & need a push! Maybe I should start with 7 days! GO from there!

  • Sari says:

    You have no idea how perfect this is! I’ve been debating doing a whole 30 since the community-wide one in january and havent had the guts to commit. 7 days I think I can do. The one hitch… April 21 is my husband’s birthday, but he said he understands if we can’t cheat a little food-wise. We are having his party the next week anyway!

    • Mel says:

      Oh, YAY! Glad you think this will work for you. It’s a great way to give a try in a way that feels manageable. You can do it!

  • Robin says:

    I am so excited for this! I’ve tried doing a Whole30, but it was too overwhelming. This will be perfect!

  • Teresa says:

    What the hey…I love a good challenge. Interestingly, this starts the same day as our company walking challenge. They gave us fancy schmancy pedometers and everything!

    This would probably not be a big deal, except did I mention I’m an above-knee amputee? Hey, I might come in last…ok, I’ll PROBABLY come in last, but whatever. I’m doing it anyway. 🙂

  • Teresa says:

    Well poo. I have no interest in Facebook or Twitter so I’m out of luck for the giveaways. Oh well, I’m still in for the challenge!

  • AMY says:

    Just signed up just what I need to get back on track. Thanks!

  • amanda says:

    Mel, I LOVE this! I’m not paleo (yet) and have been wanting to try a whole30 but it just feels like I’d be setting myself up to fail. One week = doable! I’m in 🙂

  • Judy Peterson says:

    I haven’t signed up yet but am going to because of this site! Love the talk and quick reply’s from Mel! I’ve done the Advocare 24 day challange lost 25lbs and learned how to eat right! Now this is exciting!


  • Mel says:

    I’m so excited for all of you to take on the week of real food… yay! Whether this is your first try or you’re using the week as a way to get back on track, it’s going to be AWESOME!

  • Emily says:

    I’d doit,but my anniversary is that week, and we already made dinner reservations … And, sorry, but there WILL be wine drunk. Good luck to everyone!

  • deb says:

    BTW – LOVE LOVE well fed. I cannot wait for WF2!

  • Hannah says:

    Did you really put a picture of a sammich on your blog? Oh shame shame…

  • Freddy says:

    Just the motivation I need to clean up my diet Melissa – Thankyou.
    I have a freezer full of grass fed beef,lamb, bone stock and set-aside stews etc but have been eating grungy intensively reared bacon and half fat milk. I have just got a kilo of free ranged bacon to kick off the 7 days and will now drink green tea to be rid of the milk………got a question
    I had 2 Kilner jars of stock break in the freezer – what do others use to avoid BPAs?

  • Barbie Holt says:

    This looks interesting. I am excited to see how it goes.