I took on the challenge to eat 10 a day for 1 week after seeing the talks about the new recommendations. Last week I asked my husband to take pictures of every single thing we had and I made collages for each day. It was a very interesting challenge to take. I was sure I would struggle to eat 10 portions of fruit/veggies every single day because I was sure I’m not always having 5. I discovered in the first day that I was wrong, I do have 5 portions daily without even realizing.
A portion can be:
– 80g of fruit or vegetable (not potatoes)
– 30g of dried fruit
– 150ml juice, if you drink more it will count as 1 a day regardless of how much you have
– 4 sundried tomatoes
– 1/2 of avocado
– pulses, the same as the juice, it will count as 1 a day regardless of the quantity
The fruit and vegetables can be fresh, raw or cooked. They also can be canned, pickled and frozen. Because I wanted to make sure I get the 10 a day, I weighted in everything on the scale. Funnily, this is what made me realize that I do have those 5 a day, as I counted a veggie as 1 when in fact it was 1.2 or even 2 portions.
All the pictures are for my and my husband’s meals, but he has a few more things beside this, that I didn’t photograph.
Monday – 11 portions
meal 1 – 2 sandwiches, bean sprouts salad, smoothie ( juice + banana), 1 apple – 4 portions
meal 2 – parsnip soup; 1 sausage, roasted potatoes, 200g sauerkraut salad with pepper – 3.5 portions
meal 3 – omelette with veggies, cheese on top – 3.5 portions
meal 4 – 200ml kefir
For breakfast I had 2 sandwiches with bean sprouts salad. I had those in the fridge, they were a little less than 80g, but the apple was more than 80g, so it compensated. While juice counts as 1 a day, adding the banana and blend it to make a smoothie, added another portion of fruit.
For lunch the soup was shop bought, half of can counts as 1 a day. For dinner, I made an omelette with mushrooms, 1 pepper, a small onion and 300g tomatoes. This means 3.5 portions in a small dish; that was so filling. I used to love this omelette as a child.
Tuesday – 10 portions
meal 1 – 2 crepes with Oyster mushrooms, minestrone soup, 1 crepe with jam – 4 portions
meal 2 – Nachos with cheddar, guacamole and tomato sauce, orange juice and 240g pomelo – 6 portions
meal 3 – Polenta, 1 egg, sour cream, cheddar
meal 4 – 2 alcohol chocolates and Amaretto
Last Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday, so we had pancakes, or more precisely crepes. In the morning we had 2 savoury crepes each, one filled with Oyster mushrooms and Silton, the other one filled with cheese, mushrooms and tomato sauce. As the mushroom loose a lot of their moisture when cooking, they added up to 3 portions of veggies. Crepes and soup got us to 4 portions before 9 am.
For lunch we had Nachos and pomelo for dessert. It might sound like a lot of fruit and veggies for one meal, but as you can see in the picture, it’s not that much. I think we had 7 portions, as we did eat a lot of tomato sauce, but I didn’t weight that in, so I assumed it’s only 1 portion and not 2.
The tomato sauce is very easy to make. I use 1 can of chopped tomatoes and 1 small can of tomato paste. I mix them in a saucepan over medium heat and add the spices I want. It takes a few minutes to make and it’s so much better than shop-bought ketchup.
For full disclosure, I have a picture of the Amaretto and the chocolates.
Wednesday – 13.5 portions
meal 1 – Pizza-sandwich with tomato sauce, olives & Edam, tomato salad with Nigella seeds, olive oil and hemp seeds; kefir, 1 crepe with homemade jam – 3 portions
meal 2 – 300g pomelo, 2 alcohol chocolates – 3.5 portions
meal 3 – pasta with 250g squash and 4 pieces of sundried tomatoes – 4 portions
meal 4 – 1 smoothie (juice + 1 banana) – 2 portions
meal 5 – omelete with fried potatoes, salad cheese, cheddar, cucumber – 1 portions
For breakfast I made pizza-type of sandwiches with a bit of left over tomato sauce I had from the day before. For lunch I made pasta with frozen squash that I put in the oven for 25 minutes. When the squash was done, I added the boiled pasta, the chopped sundried tomatoes and a bit of oil and heated up stirring. It was delicious and it only shows how a dish of pasta can have 4 portions of veggies. My husband and I prefer the pasta like this, with sundried tomatoes, oil and a type of veggie.
Thursday – 10 portions
meal 1 – 1 sandwich and a half, 180g tomato and 80g cucumber salad, 1 apple – 4 portions
meal 2 – 1 Nakd bar – 1 portions
meal 3 – lentil and leek soup, 1 slice of soda bread with butter – 2 portions
meal 4 – Suede and Pak Choi stir fry with white and black sesame seeds and soy sauce, baked avocado with egg yolk – 3 portions
It was a busy day. We had a big breakfast, as we do every morning, then we had a bar each. The lentil and leek soup was made by my husband, while I made the soda bread. He made a big batch, so we had soup on Thursday and Friday and I’ve frozen 4 more servings for this week. I counted the soup as 2 because we had a big bowl.
For dinner, I had no idea what to make, when I realized I had some Pak Choi, bought a couple of days before and I wanted to make that. So a stir-fry with some frozen chopped suede and soy sauce was the easiet and fastest way to prepare it. I sprinkled some sesame seeds and it was a lovely side dish for the baked avocado.
Friday – 10 portions
meal 1 – Baked beans with toast, Edam, 120g mushrooms, smoothie, 1 slice of homemade roulade – 4.5 portions
meal 2 – Lentil and leek soup, Nachos with cheddar and olives, guacamole and tomato sauce, grilled spicy peppers, 1 slice of roulade – 4 portions
meal 3 – Egg whites omelette, roasted peppers (1.5 portions), 1 vegan sausage – 1.5 portions
Friday we had shop-bough baked beans (the low salt and low sugar version) with added spices while is heating, Edam cheese, fried mushrooms and a smoothie made from 1 banana and 200ml grape juice. With the remaining egg whites from the roulade, we made an omelette in the evening.
Saturday – 12.5 portions
meal 1 – Houmous with sundried tomatoes, Oyster mushrooms (250g) and 1 slice of bread, 1/2 mango (120g) – 6.5 portions
meal 2 – smoothie (200ml grape juice + 1 banana) – 2 portions
meal 3 – pizza with tomato sauce, cheese, sausages, mixed peppers – 2 portions
meal 4 – lentil snacks
meal 5 – mushy peas, cheese, tomato juice – 2 portions
Saturday morning I made houmous and I’ve added 8 sundried tomatoes, so half of it had 2 portions. We both love mushrooms, so Oyster mushrooms were on the menu again.
On Saturday we had lentil snacks, the Poppadoms. They are similar to the Poppadoms-bread, very tasty. In the evening we were a little hungry, so we decided to have some mushy peas and cheese. When I was platting up, my husband saw the tomato juice in the fridge and said we should have a glass of that too. So, another 2 portions without a lot of hassle.
Sunday – 9.5 portions
meal 1 – 1 slice of toast, 1 egg, cheese, 120g tomatoes with 1/2 avocado salad and mustard, smoothie (grape juice, banana) – 4.5 portions
meal 2 – granola cheesecake with figs
meal 3 – roasted potatoes, 1 sausage, cheese, 160g white and red cabbage salad – 2 portions
meal 4 – Aubergine, tomato sauce and cheese boats – 3 portions
Yesterday it looks like we didn’t get our 10 portions, but I think we did. The avocado was a little bigger than usual and we also had figs in the cheesecake. Because it’s a cheesecake, it’s not exactly the picture of healthy eating, but I used tropical granola for the base (with bits of dried fruits) and fig jam in the cheesecake mix and on top. The fig jam was made only from figs, no added sugar. I think we got half of portion from that.
This was my week. I think it’s easy to get those 5 a day only, add a salad, a small glass of juice, make tomato sauce at home. It takes only a few minutes or less and it’s very cheap. For 10 a day it can be a bit of a struggle, but it can be done and it can be done without having to make veggie stew or curry every day. We had pasta, pizza, nachos, desserts and still managed to get our 10 a day.
Now it’s 10 and I already had 4 servings of fruit and veggies for breakfast. I will continue to eat as many fruits and veggies as I can.