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Take the 1-Week Challenge: Eat More Plants


This post is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Read full disclaimer.

You already know that fruits, veggies, and greens are good for you. But in the hectic pace of life you often prioritize things other than healthy eating.

So, if you are one of the 91% of U.S. adults who doesn’t get the recommended number of servings per day of fruit, vegetables, and leafy greens per day, this challenge is for you.**

This is a simple 1-week challenge to get yourself to eat more plants - by taking some baby steps that are accessible to pretty much everyone. (Read BeBurnoutProof's philosophy on healthy eating.)

It’s about adding more fruits, veggies, and greens to your diet. Not taking away the other foods you are normally eating. (Maybe you’ll end up doing that, but it isn’t the goal.)

The Challenge


At anytime during the day, eat a piece of fruit (or ½ cup serving of chopped fruit). That’s it. Maybe you want to wait until you are hungry, maybe you want to schedule it so it gets done.


At anytime during the day, eat ½ cup of fresh veggies. That’s it. Maybe you want to wait until you are hungry, maybe you want to schedule it so it gets done.

Maybe you need to dip your veggies in something to make them palatable. If that’s where you are, that’s okay. If you can, choose something like hummus or a vinaigrette. For some, this will be a non-starter without a ranch or sour cream dip. Be where you are and focus on eating the veggies.


Add a 1-cup side salad to your normal lunch or dinner every day. Whatever you were going to eat, eat the salad first. You could also do the salad as a snack, but that typically requires a change in your mindset to even think about a salad that way.

Try a simple vinaigrette as the dressing or use what you have in the fridge already. If you need to drown it in dressing to choke it down at first, then be where you are.

Bonus points if you include some veggies, fruits, nuts, or seeds in your side salad.

If you complete the challenge, and turn it into a habit, you’ll have added 3 servings of fruits, veggies, and greens to your daily diet.

What You'll Need

  • 7 apples, bananas, oranges, pears, or other whole fruits of your preference (if you are doing berries or chopped fruit, aim for about 3.5 cups); You could even do a pre-packaged fruit cup (but look for ones packed in juice/water without added sweeteners).
  • 3.5 cups total of baby carrots, sugar snap peas, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, or other fresh veggies of your preference
  • 7 cups of fresh leafy greens (loosely packed); Whatever greens you want to do are fine. Typically, the darker the greens the more nutrient dense but start with iceberg if that’s where you are.
  • Salad dressing of your choice (preferably no dairy, no eggs, and not highly processed, but start where you are).


You might want to portion out your veggies in advance into snack-size containers so you can grab and go. Same thing with the greens. Maybe your fruits need slicing/prepping and maybe they don’t (e.g., bananas versus berries).

There is nothing wrong with cooking veggies or greens and having them as part of a meal. However, this challenge is meant to be simple so it focuses on the raw version.

If you want to eat the day’s fruit, veggies, and greens all at once, that’s fine. There isn’t really any optimization to be done here on exactly when you eat what. The only real rule is that the veggies, fruits, and greens you eat are in addition to the normal amount of veggies, fruits, and greens that you eat on a daily basis.

Please do not eat all 21 servings on a single day. That is missing the point and I think you know it. But if you miss one on Tuesday, making it up on Wednesday is fine.


Think about how you will track your challenge. What do you need for accountability?

  • Some people like to announce on social media and post photos as they go. Others utilize a habit tracker app or journal.
  • Maybe tell a friend or coworker who will follow up and ask you about it next week.
  • Do you want to award yourself points for every serving you consume? Or give yourself a demerit for missing one?
  • Do you want to designate a reward if you hit all 21 servings?

Reflection Prompts

Before you start: Why are you doing this? What obstacles might you face and how will you navigate them?

At the end of each day: How did today go? What would you like to try the same/differently tomorrow?

At the end of the week: How did the week go? What did you learn? What will you carry forward to next week?

Let me know how it’s going.

**There's a lot of confusing nutrition information out there so if you want information on recommended servings, etc., I recommend this free resource. It comes from a nonprofit organization whose mission is to read nutrition research and break it down in terms that regular people can understand.

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