Talk about inspiring. Many of you participated in our Fruit and Veggie Challenge, and your stories read like a resounding WOW.
You guys felt amazing! Many of you were more energized, less bloated, experienced fewer food comas, had better digestion, and even saw a perceptible difference in the quality of your skin tone (that famous veggie glow!).
Some of you were already on the fruit-and-veggie tip but still seemed to appreciate the extra kick. Excitingly though, not all of you started out as big plant-based food fans, so it was especially cool to hear about the changes you noticed and how much you enjoyed the challenge.
She told us that one of her favorites is Enlightened Eating by Caroline Dupont, so our intern Sylvie got ahold of Caroline who was kind enough to donate the book along with her DVD to our lucky winner.
And the winner is…
Sydney Skillen, of Middlebury, Indiana.
We didn’t pick out of a hat this time, but actually chose Sydney because she told us this was a tough challenge for her, but she noticed positive changes and wants to keep it up. So as a new convert to a heavily plant-based diet, we thought this would be good encouragement. Sydney, we will email you with more details!
As for the rest of you, thank you so much for participating. We currently have a big challenge in the works and we’re hoping that this one will actually have a prize for everyone… Because we’re all going to Australia!! Just kidding. But it’s going to be really awesome.
Happy Meatless Monday!
We know that many of you are seasoned vegetable eaters and all but this challenge is about sneaking in MORE fruits and veggies: like ten servings. That can be a lot even by our crunchy standards.
So, since we’re all in this together, let’s share our best tips. And while you’re at it, tell us how the challenge is going for you (and tell the truth!). Recipes are always welcome, of course.
If you’re having trouble staying motivated, remember the Japanese farmers (!), and also this sort-of-silly-but-also-awesome “study” of how vegetables actually make you look glowy and tanned.
Here are a few ways I’ve been upping my number of servings, and a few other ways I plan to in the coming days (and weeks and months, because the point of these challenges is to help create better habits, right? Right.) Nothing groundbreaking here, and a few things we’ve harped on before, but voila:
- Salads: This is a total duh but I often make pretty simple green salads. You can get five fruits and veggies into a salad in a blink, watch: cucumber, tomato, avocado, grated carrot, artichoke hearts. Done.
- Smoothies: Another no-brainer, but if you really don’t enjoy eating fruits and/or vegetables this is the easiest way to slam a bunch down in one sitting. Spinach, berries, weird stuff from your CSA box, not much can’t be blended into smoothie submission.
- Soups: A.k.a. winter’s smoothies, especially for this girl who can’t stomach too much raw food in the colder months. Even if you’re all thumbs in the kitchen, you can throw some spinach, cauliflower, broccoli (or all!) into a pre-made tomato soup and call it four servings.
- Omelettes: Onions, spinach, red peppers, zucchinis and any veggies that don’t necessarily sing on their own, can be julienned into an omelette for guaranteed deliciousness.
- Snacks: Precut veggies—especially good when dipped in Dijon—are an easy way to veggie-load. Carrots are delicious right now, and so are radishes and broccoli. When it comes to fruit, don’t forget your old schoolyard friends: apples and oranges. As an adult I’m always surprised by how delicious these are when I think to eat them (not often).
That’s all I got! Now, how are you guys getting more of nature’s treats in your tummies?
Here’s a thing we’d like to do: Challenge you guys—again—but this time it’s going to be all about food. We’re bringing back an early idea we launched here but never initiated as a formal challenge because this blog was just a baby then, and we hadn’t started our Challenge series yet.
Get excited: This is one is fun, easy, and rewards you with glowing skin.
A while back, a friend mentioned a study he’d seen showing that Japanese farmers who ate on average 20 fruits and vegetables a day were in significantly better health than those who ate just 10, even when controlling for other factors. They lived longer, had fewer health events and felt better. We’d wager they looked pretty good too.
Intuitively this makes sense, and it’s partly why we devoted two chapters in the book to food and lifestyle. We’re big believers in the idea that you can’t just slather on products and expect to look your best. You also need to eat avocados, drink plenty of water, sleep a lot, have sex, have fun, exercise and commit to relaxation in some form or another (preferably the sober kind, at least some of the time).
And we’re making it easy. A bite of anything that contains a fruit of vegetable, even if somewhat adulterated, counts for one point.
Half an apple counts, and so does the garlic you crushed into your pasta sauce*. And, like, if you eat a greek yogurt with the gooey raspberries at the bottom, well, ew, but that counts! Even better would be yogurt with whole raspberries, but that’s the thing with this challenge: You can fake it to make it. Cool? Great.
Now who’s in?
Some rules: Don’t cheat.
Instructions: For seven consecutive days, consume at least 10 different fruits or vegetables per day. Ten total: You decide how many of those you want to be fruits and vegetables. Then write us an email at nomoredirtylooks (at) gmail (dot) com with NOMNOM in the subject line, and include your first name and location, written thusly “Siobhan, Brooklyn, NY” and a brief description of how you felt at the end of your seven days. Send this to us by the end of the day Wednesday, January 18th.
Prize: We’re still working on a prize, but it’ll be awesome as always. Stay tuned. We’ll post when we have it locked and loaded.
The reason for the challenge: See above. It’s healthy. You’ll glow. And you’ll feel better. Also, when you turn life into a summer camp challenge, and you do it with other people, it’s way more fun.
Good luck! Share your clever veggie- and fruit-loading tips in the comments. Ten is a lot, but it’s not that hard. Bon appetit!
* Yes, we know there’s some debate about whether or not garlic is actually a vegetable, but we’re not sticklers here…and it’s good for you!