The 365 Apple Challenge
I was very tempted to start this post by reciting the old adage that involves apples and days and keeping the doctor away (I basically just did), but I’ve never really liked that saying.
For some reason that saying always reminds me of how garlic keeps vampires away. I can just imagine dozens of school children getting onto the bus with strings of apples around their neck. It’s keeps the Evil Doctor away!
Of course, you would get zero benefit (as far as I know) from carrying apples around your neck on a string all day. You have to actually EAT the darn things to get the benefits.
An Apple Routine. When I moved in with Betsy two years ago (we were living in sin!) I noticed that she literally ate an apple every day. I mean… I liked apples, but I wasn’t quite ready to take it that far. But then something strange happened. Over the next year or two, I began eating them. Every day.
It wasn’t really a conscious decision on my part, but I found myself grabbing one and going or snacking on one in the afternoon. If I was planning a late dinner one night, I might have one to hold off hunger. I always had some around because Betsy had to have them and so I also ate them.
Only recently did I look at my weekly grocery list and realize the amount of apples we go through in a week: almost exactly 14. Sometimes more!
Without even thinking about it, I became an apple a day eater!
I figure that I’ve been eating about an apple a day now for almost a year now. After I realized this, I started thinking about some other notable things that have happened to me in the last year:
- I’ve lost 10 pounds (about 5.5% of my body weight)
- I have more energy than I used to have (hard to quantify)
- I just received a very clean bill of health at my annual physical and dental checkup.
- I’ve been working out on a regular schedule.
A Student of Logic might easily counter all of these things with the rule that relation does not mean causation. Just because I ate an apple a day for a year and got married in April doesn’t mean that Betsy married me because I was eating an apple a day (but then again, maybe it does)!
But I think, and this is just my opinion, that there’s something to this apple thing. Let’s do a quick review of the apple and then I’ll get to the challenge!
The Humble Apple. It’s pretty easy to argue that the apple is maybe the most perfect single food you can eat. Here’s a few of my favorite apple stats:
- It has low calories naturally (most people need to reduce their calorie intake). One apple clocks in at about 65 calories.
- It has 12% of your daily recommended fiber.
- It has a huge list of vitamins and minerals. For the complete list check out the Full Nutritional Facts.
- Apples are naturally sweet so if you have a sweet tooth, they can curb some of sugar needs.
- They’re portable! You can take them anywhere and eat them on the go.
The Routine of It All. While those are some pretty hard facts about what the apple can give you, I think there’s something to be said for the routine of eating an apple a day. Each day it’s a very small action, but over the course of the year the routine of it can build some very positive habits.
If you’re eating an apple a day, you’ll be…
- Buying a lot of apples which will put you smack dab where you want to be in the store or market: Near other fresh produce. As any food marketer will tell you, proximity equals SALES, so by forcing yourself to wonder through the produce aisle every week you’re going to buy more fresh produce. It’s unavoidable.
- Snacking. Snacking can be a good thing! Most people I know that eat a lot of apples (Betsy, myself, my boss) don’t do so with a meal. It’s easier to eat it as a snack. Adding a good healthy snack to your day will mean you won’t be as hungry when it’s meal time.
- Cleaning your teeth. Apples naturally clean your teeth and freshen your breath. But you have to eat them regularly to get this benefit.
The Challenge! Now that I’ve made the case for apples (like it needed to be made), here’s the challenge:
I challenge you, YES YOU, to eat an apple a day for one year.
There’s no cheating in this challenge. Apple sauce doesn’t count. Apple juice doesn’t count. Apple pie definitely doesn’t count. You have to eat a real apple every day (unless you are physically incapable of chewing apples).
You really have nothing to lose by trying it except maybe a few pounds off your waist and points off your cholesterol.
So. Leave a comment. Are you up for the challenge?!
I set up a Facebook Page also so you can share the challenge with others!
Photo by Krug6.