Past me was an opportunistic fruit eater, a person who would snack on grapes at a party or eat some slices of orange that my partner put in front of me. I would optimistically buy a bag of mandarins with the thought that my partner would eat some and maybe I would eat a few…but I was just that, the kind of person who would eat a couple mandarins and toss the remaining after they hardened and turned green.
With the help of Beeminder, I became the kind of person who, in a year, consumed:
- 120 avocados
- 79 cups of watermelon
- 77 apples
- 71 bananas
- and much more fruit…
… totaling to 730 servings of fruit in 2023. This was my most successful use of Beeminder ever (notably, I didn’t quit using Beeminder entirely after a few weeks, which I’ve periodically done since 2017). In case you’re curious, here’s the breakdown of my 2023 fruit consumption:
At the beginning of 2023, I read the United States Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines for eating fruit, and learned that a person in my demographic is recommended to eat between 1.5 and 2 servings of fruit per day. Around the same time, I learned that a neurodegenerative disease runs in my family, so I had new motivation to change my habits related to health. Thus was born, the fruit goal, which I cranked up to a rate of +2 servings/day by mid-January.
When making flashcards recently for conversational Chinese, the third sentence that my partner and I decided to add to my Anki deck was: 我今天还没完成我的水果目标 or “I haven’t done my fruit goal yet (today).” My partner told me I’ve said this sentence a thousand times this year. Doing my fruit goal has required a fair bit of planning (and grocery shopping), especially at the beginning while adapting to the life of a person who eats two servings of fruit per day.
My first derail happened the day I was maid of honor at my sister’s wedding, where I was also performing violin for the first time post-pandemic. Over the year, I learned to integrate fruit into breakfast (e.g. avocado bagels), lunch, and snacks. I started carrying dried fruit in my backpack and became willing to pay money for a banana on the road.
I learned that it was much more pleasant to snack on blueberries while I prepared dinner or to eat an apple on the way to the gym than to deal with a fruit beemergency at 11 PM. There were lots of fruit beemergencies, including the time I needed +0.025, but I already had brushed my teeth, so I swallowed two raisins whole. Another frequent phrase in my household is “FMFG”…
I’m now the kind of person who walks into the produce section and looks for roughly 14 servings of fruit for the week. Knowing that my purchase will match my average consumption has helped me feel more comfortable spending money on fruit I enjoy eating. These days I typically finish everything I buy. When I run out of fresh fruit, I start whittling down on my store of frozen or dried fruit, which feels good too.
Having the fruit goal nudged me to try new fruits. I learned that I love figs and persimmons. A fruit that seemed gross to me at first (prunes) was tolerable and became 1.8% of my total fruit consumption – that’s roughly 158 prunes! Bananas are a fruit I feel just okay about, and I ended up eating 71 of them!
Cheers to 730 servings of fruit in 2023, and continuing my fruit goal into 2024.