When Lara Merriken founded LÄRABAR in 2003, she set out to combine real ingredients (fruits, nuts, and spices) through a simple process (blending them in a food processor) to create indulgent-tasting bars. The result was nothing short of magic – and to this day, we remain committed to using wholesome ingredients and minimal processing to create delicious products.
When it comes to feeding her family, Lisa Leake shares these same values – which is why we at LÄRABAR are thrilled to be sponsoring the 100 Days of Real Food summer road trip. Lisa is currently traveling the country in an RV, and we caught up with her from the road.
You’re about 2 weeks into the 100 Days of Real Food summer road trip – what’s it like living out of an RV with your husband and two girls?
So far, we are really enjoying the experience (it’s our first time in an RV)! We are learning that there is really no better way to see our beautiful country and all the National Parks it has to offer. Plus RV living means no “unpacking and repacking” as you travel from place to place and also travel around with your very own personal kitchen (and bathroom for that matter!). I can’t imagine a more convenient way to stick to real food on the road.
Your commitment to seeking out “real food in a processed food world” is inspiring. What are your tips for someone who may be just starting out on a similar journey?
If you are just starting out I would highly recommend to start small. I would hate for someone to get so overwhelmed they give up all together! Consider starting with just one meal of the day, like breakfast for example. Once breakfast is all cleaned up move on to snacks or lunch and then dinner. As you attempt go through this process it’s so important to remember that any changes toward cutting out processed food are better than none! Also, be sure to check out my blog, which I started for the sole reason of helping others go down this path.
What’s been the toughest part about cutting out processed foods – and what’s been surprisingly easy?
The toughest part for us has been when we leave home (except for when you’re in your own personal RV of course!). It’s amazing how we often feel like we are in the minority in our quest to only eat real food. Processed options are around every corner and practically at every social event so it can be hard to avoid!
I would say the easiest part has been truly beginning to love and prefer real food over the processed stuff. It’s hard to beat freshly prepared, wholesome, in-season, and organic meals. So as I’ve had to explain to friends – we don’t avoid the processed stuff because we have to, we do it because we want to!
You’re a wife and mom who runs your own business. How do you center yourself in the midst of a busy life?
Well, as any busy mom can attest to, this is often easier said than done! No matter how busy I am though I really try to listen to my kids when they have something they really want to tell me. Just giving them a few minutes of undivided attention here and there throughout a busy day can really go a long way – for all of us!
What is bringing you joy this summer?
I am really enjoying a break from our busy school schedule. With weekday mornings starting early at 6:25 AM and going strong through after school activities, dinner, lunch packing, and bedtime with plenty of work, house chores and errands all in-between – I am sooo happy to have some more freedom with our time during the summer months.