Healthy Recipes & Happy Habits for Real Life
Refreshingly Simple + Incredibly Doable
Welcome to Real Food Whole Life, your go-to website for time-saving, quick & easy recipes + daily happy habits. I’m here to help you find more joy & ease in the kitchen with my simple yet effective habits-based approach.
Recipes So Simple, They’re Like Magic
Hi, I’m Robyn Conley Downs, and I’m here to help you find more joy & ease in the kitchen.
That’s why all Real Food Whole Life’s recipes fall into the time-saving category of “can something this simple really be this easy?”
Plus, as a habits expert, all of my recipes are uniquely organized by cooking method, recipe type, and level of ease — making things so easy, it’s basically magic! 🪄
But don’t just take my word for it! Here’s what RFWL readers are saying:
“Your recipes are like a mystery to me. They’re like 4 ingredients and every time I’m like….suuuuurrreee this is gonna be good. There’s no way 4 ingredients can turn into a meal… But every single time you’re right! It’s amazing. Needs no additions, it’s like a magic trick!” — RFWL Reader Steph G.
About Real Food Whole Life: My Story
If you’re anything like me, you want to eat well, feel good, and do it in a way that leaves plenty of time for the things in life that really matter.
Um, easier said than done, right?
Just take for example the daily grind of getting dinner on the table, which can be absolutely relentless – so many decisions, so much time, so much mental energy!
Trust me, I get it.
I spent most of my professional career researching human behavior and habits.
Heck, I even taught habit courses at university.
And then? I quit it all.
To become a food blogger.
I quit my research job because I wanted to take everything I knew about habits, health, and happiness and apply it to living well in real life.
So I set out to put all my hard-earned knowledge and apply it to helping people establish small habit shifts that create big change.
I literally wrote the book on feeling good, The Feel Good Effect, in an effort to distill the small, science-backed, needle-moving tools and strategies that will help you feel good.
And because the science says that establishing small habits (not relying on willpower alone) is key to living a happy, healthy life, I’m here to help you do just that.
Really, it’s simpler than you think.
Together I’ll help you find those life-changing quick wins to help you feel good in real life, all without working harder, doing more, or adding more “shoulds” to your list.
The Real Food Whole Life Recipe Testing Process
How do you make cooking a habit? Start by removing the barriers and making it as easy and rewarding as possible. As a habit expert with the goal of saving you time and effort in the kitchen, each Real Food Whole Life recipe is run through a rigorous testing process. You can filter recipes using our handy habit key, or explore, below.
Does it seem like most healthy recipes require dozens of hard-to-find ingredients? Well not here! I test each recipe to include as few ingredients as possible, while still maintaining taste and flavor, all to help you make healthy eating a habit you’ll stick to.
Make cooking a habit by preparing meals ahead of time. To help you, I test all my recipes using a make-ahead option, and then provide notes on how to make ahead, store, and freeze (when applicable). I also let you know if it’s a recipe that’s better made fresh.
Prep time is one of the biggest barriers when it comes to making cooking a habit. I test all my recipes to cut down on prep time, and share these small tweaks to save you time so the cooking habit is easier to stick to.
Short on time? I’ve got you! I create and test recipes so that they are as fast as possible to prepare from start-to-finish, as well as offering helpful tips and shortcuts so you can do the same.
Recipes created with ease of clean up in mind? That’s exactly what you’ll find here! I know clean-up can be a barrier when it comes to developing a cooking habit, so as a recipe developer I consider how many pans, dishes, bowls and other prep items are used in a recipe and keep it to the smallest number possible.
Fill Your Cup + Empty Your To-Do List
Download a free printable PDF guide to create healthy, happy habits everyday!
Capsule Meal Plan
Capsule Grocery List
Self-Care Routines Guide
Robyn Conley Downs: Short Bio
Robyn Conley Downs, MEd is on a mission to help people find more joy & ease in the kitchen and in life with her simple yet effective habits-based approach. Founder & Editor in Chief of Real Food Whole Life, author of The Feel Good Effect, host of The Feel Good Effect Podcast, and founder & director of The Feel Good Effect Coaching Certification, she believes in filling her cup before emptying her to-do list, and lives by the motto: gentle is the new perfect.
Robyn Conley Downs: Professional Credentials & Education
- BS, Political Science and Education, University of Oregon
- MEd, Education, emphasis Behavior Change, Central Washington University
- 4 years, Public Affairs and Policy PhD program, Portland State University
- Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200 hours)
- Nutrition Certification, Cornell University
- Author, The Feel Good Effect
- Host, The Feel Good Effect Podcast over 2M downloads
- Founder, Co-Director, The Feel Good Effect Habits Coaching Certification
- CEO, Editor in Chief, Recipe Developer, Real Food Whole Life
The Good Stuff
- Married to her “one and only” Dr. Andrew Downs for 20+ years
- Mom to the girl with strawberry blonde hair who goes by Elle
- Frequent spiller of drinks, making parties particularly awkward
Start a New Happy Habit
- How to DIY Your Own Peloton Bike
- An easy self-care Morning Routine
- Essential go-to Self-Care Habits
- 10 Simple Habits for a Happier Life
- 25 Things I Don’t Do Every Day
Become a Certified Habits Coach
Build a life-changing business grounded in helping others achieve more calm, clarity & joy through our proven habits & mindset framework. Learn more.