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I’ve heard a rumour that Japan recommends 17 servings of fruit and vegetables every day – 13 portions of veggies and 4 portions of fruit. As I don’t always reach the UK’s recommended target of 5-a-day, I now feel a little pathetic on hearing their goal. So, I’ve challenged myself to up my fruit and veg intake and here’s how I’m getting on…

My experience of eating 17-a-day

Poo
Who needs Pootea when you’re eating this much fruit and veg! TMI – I’ve never been so regular! However, the initial increase was maybe a bit of a shock to my system and I did have a slight stomach ache after a few days – thankfully the discomfort didn’t last too long. Note to all, increase portions gradually.

Energy
I’ve felt so much better for eating more fruit and veg. I’ve always known they’re good for you, but the difference as been pretty incredible (after having a few weeks of not consuming as many as I would normally). I’m sure my skin has improved already, too.

Creative cooking
Given a target so high has made me more creative with how I prepare my portions of fruit and veg. Before my challenge I’d have an apple, banana and veg sticks. Now, I’m including more fruit and veg at every meal. Breakfast in particular has been a tasty eye-opener – I’ve enjoyed a mash up of onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and some kind of green veg, piled on top of a slice of toast with eggs. Lunch and dinnertime meals have been more filling with the addition of extra cooked veg and fruit has been great to snack on or treat as a ‘pudding’, thanks to the natural sugar in the stuff.

More full and less sugar
The increase has left me feeling more satisfied after my meals and less prone to snacking and craving sweet things. I’m not saying my sweet tooth has disappeared but come the evening I’ve realised I’ve gone all day without reaching for my usual chocolate fix. I then eat some chocolate!

Let’s go Japanese!
Whatever the number, there’s no doubting that fruit and veg in your diet is a positive thing for good health and weight loss – if that’s your goal. I’ve enjoyed the self-challenge to eat more of the stuff and will let you know on what the scales reveal next week!

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