So what are the rules? I'm going to be quite strict with myself on this. As I pointed out previously when I spoke about "5 a day" the "rules" don't just say fresh fruit and vegetables but permit you to count the following as a serving: 1 portion of fruit juice, 1 portion of pulses, tinned fruit or vegetables, frozen fruit or vegetables, dried fruit.
Now I have to say I think including fruit juice, tinned fruit and vegetables (for the most part) and dried fruit is not right. In what way is a tin of pineapple chunks equivalent to a pineapple? Or raisins equivalent to grapes? Logically they're not, it doesn't take research to tell me that. They have a place in the diet but will not contain the same levels of vitamins as fresh food. So my rules and my rules alone (because it's my challenge and so I makes the rules) are these are the items which will "count" in my 7 a day:
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh vegetables
- Frozen fruit
- Frozen vegetables
- Pulses (maximum 1 portion)
I'm keeping in frozen because logically in my mind, it's pretty close to fresh and I'm keeping in pulses because they have a great influence on gut bacteria, that said, only 1 portion a day would "count". For all that, my aim is to max out on the fresh as much as possible. I may blend some of the fruit and veg into smoothies or soups but these won't be from juices (or if they are the juice won't count).
A "portion" of fruit and vegetables according to the UK NHS "Change for life" website is about 80g for fresh fruit (it's less for dried but I'm not counting that anyway.) Where possible I will weigh this out. Where it's not possible, I will try and gauge it by it being an approximate handful for most things and a bowlful of salad leaves.
It has just dawned on me. To eat 7 portions a day, I'm going to be eating over half a kilo of fruit and vegetables every day. This will be challenging...
I will keep you updated throughout the week on what I'm eating, whether it's getting boring, what my plans are etc. Please feel free to comment to let me know what you're thinking, is this a good idea? Is it achievable? Do you eat 5 a day? What about 7?
If you'd like to read about my journey, please click on the links below:
Why am I eating 7 fruits and vegetables a day?
Day 1 of 7 a day
Day 2 of 7 a day
Day 3 of 7 a day
Day 4 of 7 a day
Day 5 of 7 a day
Day 6 of 7 a day
Day 7 of 7 a day
What did I learn by eating 7 a day for a week?
I've linked this up to the healthy, happy, green and natural party hop.