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Sam Tried for Ten: A Week in Review

The original idea? To try to eat ten servings of fruits and vegetables a day. See Sam tries for ten.

I was curious to see how I’d do with a positive eating goal and I thought I’d share my thoughts and results with you.

Short version: While initial enthusiasm helps, it might have been too ambitious a goal for a busy work week!

My report card:

Day 1: Tuesday

Vegetable stew: sweet potato, onions, peas; Side of mixed veggies: green beans, cauliflower, broccoli; banana, Bites of apple, zucchini noodles, asparagus, artichoke hearts

Score: 11/10

But it was Day 1!

Day 2: Wednesday

Orange juice, Eggplant, Okra , Zucchini noodles, Bok choy, banana

Score: 6/10

Day 3: Thursday

veggie burger, hummus, veggie ramen: mushrooms, peppers, Bok Choy

Score: 6/10

Day 4: Friday

Melon, strawberries, grapes, lettuce, beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, berries, arugula


Day 5: Saturday

Orange Juice, mango, orange

Score 3/10

Day 6: Sunday

Orange juice, veggie fresh rolls with broccoli slaw and carrot sticks

Score: 3/10

Day 7: Monday

Edamame, orange, carrot sticks, red peppers, tomatoes, kale, green onions

Score: 7/10

Lessons learned:

The first day of anything new thing is great. So much motivation!

Also, I don’t do that badly on my weekdays without much effort. Thanks GoodFood. I do the vegetarian prefab meal kits three nights a week and they’re loaded with vegetables.

But weekends will take work! The main take away is that that’s where I need to put some effort in if I want to get enough fruits and vegetables.

Do you track fruits and vegetables? Do you get ten servings a day?

Carrots and artichokes,
Photo by David Vázquez on Unsplash

11 thoughts on “Sam Tried for Ten: A Week in Review

  1. Some days for me it’s only “banana” and two measly carrot sticks. And other days it’s 16. It says a lot about the kind of lives we lead when we are always out and therefore rely on what we can find out in the world.

  2. I count 10 servings differently than 10 different fruits/vegetables. Actual servings are quite small, and I can easily get half of my daily servings with a single bowl of cooked vegetables. Ten different fruits and vegetables a day are much harder for me. I usually cook just for myself, and I’m an advocate of the 100 mile diet. In winter in Ontario, that means my choices are pretty limited. Luckily I like rutabaga and cabbage a lot!

  3. Yes, veggie-full diet is labor intensive, for sure. Over time, I found a few shortcuts, but I still do need to spend 2-3 hrs on the weekend if I want to serve meals dominated by veggies. Each time I feel stuck in the kitchen prepping my veggies for the week, I realize how liberating for family cooks (aka women) packaged foods are. One way of eating veggies and fruits, that is the easiest for me to follow, is the half-plate rule: whatever you eat, make sure vegs and fruits are half of your plate/bowl. Relatively doable and simple. For me it translates into adding apples or other fruits, cucumbers and carrots or whatever can be prepped in no time.

    1. Yes, I adhere to a weekend ritual of food preparation as well, and it makes a big difference in my healthy eating, including eating lots of produce! 2-3 hours is the sweet spot to have good food for breakfasts, lunches, and the first few dinners. It seems like a big time suck until I think about how little food prep I do the rest of the week as a result.

      My favorite shortcut is prewashed bags of spinach, broccoli “slaw” and/or salad mix. Throw in a few tomatoes or carrot shavings, and I have instant side salad!

  4. I find the whole “initial enthusiasm” phenomenon to be quite interesting and really wonder why it’s so hard to maintain motivation over time. Or is that after a day or two we actually forget what we’re aiming to do, so it’s not that we’re not motivated. It’s just not top of mind. I don’t know. But it’s a valiant effort! I also wonder whether juice should count based on the research that the calories we drink don’t satiate us in any way, and presumably one of the reasons to amp up the fruits and veg is that they are satisfy hunger and are good for us at the same time.

    1. I wonder–only a couple days into a new project, is it *motivation* that is flagging or simply that we didn’t break a goal down enough into doable, actionable steps and we’re bumping into the predictable (and unpredictable) roadblocks along the way? I’m concerned that the focus on motivation often leads to increased focus on how an individual (especially when it relates to women and food) rather than on the bigger picture–does our environment encourage us to meet our goals? Does our work/home/kitchen/neighborhood facilitate a positive change or hinder it? I would argue we’re pushing against hugely influential factors (usually against our best interests) that we must learn to navigate through, and it’s not reasonable to expect anyone to successfully implement a new strategy without encountering environmental/social/cultural roadblocks along the way.

      1. whoops. That’s “the focus on motivation often leads to increased focus on how an individual *performs,* etc. . .”

  5. Per the U.S. nutrition guidelines, juice does count as fruit. So do other packaged products. Hence the school lunch trend to serve juice, fruit cups etc. instead of fresh fruit: weight and caloric value are specified, whereas offering an apple or banana would be tricky as sizes of real produce are not uniform…

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