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.

33 comments on “The 365 Apple Challenge

  1. Great challenge Nick! You are lucky to live in an area where you could pretty much have apples all the time. Up here, while they are a quick drive to the farm, they come in around the end of September. Nothing is better than local.

    If you all need, I have a post on how to buy a huge bag of apples, and how to store them so they are good through the winter, just for this challenge!
    http://welldonechef.com/apples-bushels-of-apples….

  2. I accept the challenge! I usually eat apples 4 or 5 days a week sooo….just need to focus on the other days as well.

    Good post. :)

  3. I love apples!! I already eat them (almost) every day. If you want to add some protein to your apple regimen, they sell peanut butter packaged in little cups- slice your apple up and dip the wedges in :)

  4. it is a well documented fact that spouses pick up the other spouses' healthy habits. no no it's true. this is good.

    i eat an apple every other day, only because the good apples are at whole foods which is an hour away. we have crappy grocery stores on the cape thus crappy produce.

  5. NICE. Glad to see there are some takers! I'm trying to get a little facebook group/page thing set-up for people to follow.

    1. Why stop at Facebook? Make this thing go viral–iPhone app for tracking your apple intake (along with descriptions of different types of apples; and of course some apple recipes; maybe some alcoholic drink recipes just to keep things interesting); a youtube campaign; and, after a while, the infomercial and book for "The Apple Diet / Lifestyle"

      This could be huge. (Seriously, marketers and content producers are trying to get more socially responsible about food: the cookie monster has been veggie-d, the bros are no longer able to ice bros (perhaps they should "core" them with an apple?), etc…)

  6. Okay, okay. I'll do it, but set up that FB page cause I'm going to need some support! I like apples, but do not love them. This challenge will definately be just that…a challenge. The reasons to do it are compelling so I'm up for it.

  7. I'll give this a try but I'm going to peel mine most of the time if you don't mind terribly. And pounds are one thing, but how many inches did you lose around your waist, or did you not – maybe a better indication of a 'healthier' bod.

  8. Great Idea Nick, but don't forget to keep it local! Apples aren't in season right now, but you can still get them from your local farmers market. Support the farms, help save the environment, and enjoy your great tasting LOCAL apple everyday!

    Just think, that's 365 apples that you didn't buy from 1000's of miles away!

  9. I love it! I used to eat apples every day just because they’re delicious. I’m definitely in.

  10. My daughter was living in sin?? Actually I think you moved in together 3 years ago…
    I’m like Betsy and like Pink Lady apples.

  11. One of the health magazines I read did a similar challenge a couple of years ago. I tried to see if the information was still online and couldn't find it. I think they sited studies that support pretty much support everything you said in your post. One thing I do remember was a suggestion to eat an apple as a snack 30 minutes before you plan to eat a big meal (like going out to lunch). The apple would fill you up ahead of time so that you wouldn't feel the need to pig out on less healthy food. I was doing that for awhile and it really helped me out. Thanks for reminding me about that trick.

  12. As long as I can have the Fuji or Braeburn , I will eat one a day. I love apples that have a little pucker power taste. All I need with my apples is a little salt to sprinkle on the slices

  13. I eat an apple a day for about 9-10 months a year. Then during summer, I bow out, usually for other fruits. But, I agree, there is nothing like an apple. For 80 calories, you get to chew and feel satisfied. During my apple months, I usually take my slices in a little baggie with me as my just in case food. I agree with this commitment, but I'm not sure I can swing with apples in July and August. Maybe.

  14. This just reminded me that there are apples in my fridge! Yummmm apples and peanut butter is my fave.

  15. I love this idea! I'm really good about making my kids eat apples several times a week but sometimes I don't do it too. I accept the challenge!!!

  16. Yay! I love apples and, when they're in season, tend to eat 2 or more a day. Count me in for the challenge!

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