Reflections on Eating 730 Servings of Fruit in 2023

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. :apple: :avocado: :banana: :watermelon:


This is so cool…!
Inspired to start a fruit goal too :smiley:
Will you start again this year?
Did this fruit goal make you feel better?


Well done!

I think it would be very beneficial to this community if more people shared their stories, stats etc. It is very interesting to read.


Yay, that’s awesome!

I’m currently continuing the same Beeminder at a rate of +2 servings/day, but I’m not planning to make it a cumulative goal for 2024. The reason is that my derails (and use of the seven day buffer) put me behind in 2023, and there were many beemergencies where I needed to eat ~2.3 or ~2.4 servings of fruit in a day. This felt like quite a lot to eat compared to two servings per day, reasons being: it was often more convenient to eat 2.5 or 3 servings, or I would often have the 0.3 or 0.4 left to eat near my bedtime.

In terms of feeling better…I didn’t notice any physical changes that were very significant. I wasn’t expecting any noticeable health outcomes because, except for lack of fruit, my diet was “healthy” to begin with and included lots of vegetables. Significantly, in the past year, fruit usually was an addition to my daily diet rather than a replacement of something else, since there aren’t many processed snacks that I enjoy.

On the other hand, maybe this falls under feeling better and is worth mentioning: fruit before/after strength workouts noticeably helped my energy levels, especially when I would have done a workout otherwise hungry. While I’m unsure if fruit is a good pre- or post-workout food for everyone, it was for me since I found it more palatable and convenient than other options. For me, it was something rather than nothing or waiting for my next meal.

And, while this is maybe not what you meant by “feeling better”, I’ll add: I frequently felt very positive about the cumulative graph and my daily accomplishments of adding data. I intrinsically enjoyed shopping for fruit at various places and trying new fruits. I also grew to intrinsically enjoy eating many types of fruit. I felt positive sharing about my fruit goal with other people. (One friend, whenever I visit, asks me how much I have left for my fruit goal and then preps the appropriate amount for us to share :slightly_smiling_face:.) I made fruit trays for parties and shared fruit with friends and family, and felt positive about that. My partner noticeably eats more fruit now too. The goal made me extremely committed to Beeminder and the integrity of my data, which inspired me to make other, more ambitious goals that have also improved my life. So overall, in terms of feelings about myself and daily life, optimism for the future, et cetera: very positive.