Welcome to the new Weekly Wellbeing Challenge

I’ve been doing lots of reading recently around the psychology of change; what it is that motivates us to do things differently. One thing that consistently comes up is competition.

I shared an article on a scientific study on this very subject this morning on the balance Facebook page. The authors of the study created an 11-week exercise programme and split the participants into either competitive or supported groups. Amazingly, those in the competition groups had a 90% higher attendance rate, a huge difference.

This got me thinking that maybe I could set you all some challenges each week where you could compete against yourself, or others if you wish. Here’s the first…

The Fruit & Veg Alphabet

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Below are 26 fruits and vegetables, starting with every letter of the alphabet (I’ve had to be inventive with certain letters).

Your challenge for the week ahead is simple; see how many of these you can eat:

Apple

Banana

Carrot

Dates

Eggplant (American name for an aubergine)

Fennel

Grapes

Haricot beans (baked beans are allowed)

Iceberg lettuce

Jerusalem artichoke

Kiwi fruit

Leek

Mushroom

Nuts (yes, they are actually fruits!)

Olives

Peas

Quince

Raisins

Satsuma

Tomato

Ugli fruit

Vine leaves

Watermelon

Xingzi (I’m cheating here but this is a Chinese word for the apricot)

Yams 

Zucchini (courgette)

Here’s how the scoring works:

0-7: There’s definitely room for improvement

8-14: You’re on the way to balance

15-20: You’ve balanced your week well

21 or more: You’re a master of balance

By getting as many of these fruits and vegetables into your diet as you can, you’re providing yourself with a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other brilliant nutrients. Hitting your 5-a-day might just reduce your risk of heart disease and strokes by as much as 20-25% compared to those eating less than 3 portions. That plus a review of the research into fruit and vegetable consumption found that those with higher intakes potentially decreased their risk of gut health problems, constipation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and free radical damage to the blood vessels, osteoporosis, blood sugar imbalances, eye damage, respiratory disease, mental health problems and weight gain…pretty good stuff then!

I’ll be sharing my progress on Facebook across the week so please do join in and let us know how you’re getting on and share any hints and tips you have to get more fruit and veg into your diet.

Good luck!

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