Mini-Pledge Week 1: Fruits and Vegetables

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The first “real food” mini-pledge is here, and we are just thrilled with all the positive feedback that we’ve gotten about these little challenges so far! And just to make sure we start things off on a good note we are not going to ask you to give something up during this first week, but instead ask that you add something to your diet. So here’s your first real food “mini” challenge, which will start on Monday…

Week 1: March 14 – March 20 – Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.

To be honest this would even be a challenge for us, which is why my family is going to do this first pledge along with you. I always try to have at least one fruit or vegetable with every meal, but having two doesn’t happen quite as often. I know there are also plenty of people out there who eat meals without any fruits or vegetables at all. And the reason we ask that you buy organic produce is because it is more nutritious (due to the fact it is grown in a more nutritious soil), and you won’t be consuming chemical pesticides and fertilizers along with it (which is absorbed by conventional produce). This first week is also a perfect opportunity to involve others in your household…especially your children! But before you get started make sure you stock up this weekend on a big bowl of fresh organic fruit so everyone can easily grab it even when they are on the go.

The whole point of this particular challenge is for you to displace something else that you would normally eat (like chips or fries or even crackers) with some colorful produce. So for those that are worried about the extra expense of organic fruits and vegetables try buying more produce INSTEAD of something else that you would normally buy. And also consider buying frozen organic produce, which is a wonderful alternative to fresh and usually much cheaper (although it is unfortunately not always as tasty). Please be aware though that there are two things that do not count for this particular challenge: dried fruit (like raisins) and fruit juice – sorry about that!

So with that being said, here are some tips and meal ideas to help you survive the week…

  • For breakfast
    • Put some small bits of fruit in your cereal or oatmeal (like frozen blueberries or bananas), and also have some fruit (like apples or pear) on the side
    • Mash up some bananas to go inside your pancake batter and offer a second fruit like grapefruit on the side
    • Make an omelet with chopped bell peppers inside and have some fruit to go along with it as well
    • Have a smoothie with your breakfast especially if you have to run out the door…you can easily throw in a lot of different fruits (and even veggies like spinach)
  • For lunch
    • Try making a sandwich or wrap with a veggie inside (like cucumber or lettuce or avocado) and also have some fruit on the side
    • Cut up some raw veggies that you can dip into something like hummus
    • Soups are often packed with veggies and would be easy to heat up (or take to work) if you had some leftover from dinner the night before
    • If you are going out to lunch consider bringing a banana or apple with you (or eat it beforehand) to supplement your meal…restaurants don’t usually offer very many fruit items on their menu
  • For dinner
    • Have a salad with your dinner as well as a side of veggies
    • Make a one-dish meal like pasta, stir fry, or quesadillas where you can easily mix in a variety of vegetables
    • Eat two vegetable sides instead of a starch like rice
    • Consider adding fruit to your dinner…I always think of dinner as a time to have veggies, but fruit would often be a good addition as well
  • Recipes that incorporate two or more veggies/fruit
  1. Fruit Smoothie or PB&J Smoothie
  2. Farmer’s Market Stir Fry
  3. Caprese salad
  4. Sweet Potato and Apple Side
  5. Fajitas
  6. Tomato Corn and Black Bean Side Salad
  7. BLT Sandwich
  8. Jambalaya
  9. Quiche (with two diced veggies mixed into the egg)
  10. Salad with a Twist

The key with produce is to go for variety and color, and you might even want to try something new. For each new mini-pledge (including this one) it will be up to you to decide if you want to sign up for just one meal, one day, or for the entire week. Some of the upcoming pledges will truly be a challenge for only one meal, but (just being honest here) I don’t think this is one of them. So I highly encourage you to take on this pledge for the entire week, which again will start on Monday, March 14 and end on Sunday, March 20.

To take the Week 1 Mini-Pledge: Please leave a comment below with the number of adults and children in your household that will take this on, and also share if you will do it for one meal, one day, or the entire week. There is just something about putting it in writing that makes it official!

We wish you luck!

 

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486 comments to Mini-Pledge Week 1: Fruits and Vegetables

  • Kristin

    I’m getting a late start on this since it is Sunday night, the kids go back to school tomorrow, and I haven’t been to the grocery store! But an empty fridge is my opportunity to start fresh after the holidays by filling it with healthy food while the kids are at school tomorrow. Our family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids) will have to play a little catch-up, but we will spend the rest of the week having more fruits and veggies and plan to continue on the 14-week challenge.

  • Lea Masangcay

    Me and my boyfriend (hopefully) will start the 14 week challenges! Week 1 is perfect since I really need to increase my fruit and veggies consumption. Good job, Real Food for starting something like this! :)

  • Dawn

    My family and I will start the mini pledges next week by adding fruits and veggies to each meal during the week. I already eat fruit/veggies with each meal so I am working on my husband and 12year old daughter. What do you recommend for a child with celiac disease?

    • Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Dawn. Can you tell me specifically what you’d like to know? Some adaptation to the rules is perfectly fine for individuals with various medical conditions and food allergies. You will need to weed out all sources of gluten and make adaptations to recipes to accommodate her needs. Lisa does use wheat, barley, etc. in many recipes. I typically am successful replacing it with gluten free whole grain flour blends and gluten free grains.

  • Melisa

    Our family of 6 (2 adults and 4 kids) is going through our yearly after the holidays detox of sugar and processed foods, so this will be perfect for us. I always include 1 good vegetable with a meal, but adding another is a great filling way to get more in. They already eat more fruit than I can keep stocked.

  • Steph

    Do homemade fruit jams count as fruit? And what about beans?

  • Cassandra

    Greetings,
    I am so glad that I symbled on to this because I just told my husband that I was giving up processed foods for lent which begins February 18- April 2. However, I will not wait until then, I will begin Monday, January 19, 2015.

  • Anna

    We already eat this way somewhat, but I tend to do a better job of offering the kids 2 fruits and vegetables and don’t do it myself. We are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 children. I’m planning on committing to the entire week. ☺️ Looking forward to the challenge.

  • Shannon

    We have 7 children, ranging in age from 17 to a 9 month old. Our 14-year old daughter did your 100 day challenge last year and has maintained that lifestyle ever since. She is an amazing help and inspiration in our family. She’s helped us to do better (because we KNOW better) and now, finally, we’re trying to do the pledge as a family. Because I have 17 and 16 year old boys, I find it challenging to fill them up every meal with all real food but we are sure trying! And I’m trying to have all the right foods cooked and available but they have to reach in the fridge and heat up what’s there. I’ll just say that I think the challenge will be harder for them than the rest of us! :) By the way, we’ve purchased your cookbook and bought it for two friends/family that were inspired by my daughter and your challenge. I highly recommend the book even though everything is online.

  • Carrie

    I would like to thank you for the vast amount of information and resources that you provide on your website!. It is rare to find a site that freely allows viewing of so much information without paid membership!!! My family and I do eat mostly real food, but we can always do better. I am so glad that I found your website with all the amazing recipes for making junk food into real food. I have forbidden pop tarts, sweet cereals, and other highly processed crackers and snack foods. It is great to have recipes to make those popular things into real food!!!!
    Thank you VERY much for all your hard work. Please keep it up!

  • Karen

    Sorry I missed the group challenge but will start Week 1 tomorrow and will do all 14 weeks and post more comments each week. Thanks for providing such a wonderful outline…I appreciate all the work you put into such a wonderful site!

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