An Apple A Day: Not Just a Cliche

Challenge yourself to adopt this healthful habit

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a red apple
Photo by an_vision on Unsplash

I started my apple-a-day habit in November 2017 a few weeks after starting a new job. Its location required a hellish commute – 45 minutes in the very early morning with no traffic and 60 to 75 minutes in the afternoon starting at 2 p.m. Without fail, the middle portion of my route was a painful creep at 5 mph for about 20 minutes*. By the time I got home I was hungry and cranky.

It’s not rocket science to conclude I needed to pack a snack for my drive home. Enter the apple. I started packing one a day in my purse and whenever I hit the slowdown/gridlock, I got it out and ate it. There was something calming about the routine of it. And I’d arrive home in an even mood.

Why did I choose an apple as my snack? At the time I was also studying to be a nutritionist so increasing my consumption of fruits, vegetables, greens, grains, and legumes was on my mind.  And literally the CDC had just released a report saying that only about 1 in 10 Americans was eating the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  

You might be surprised to learn I think apples are mediocre tasting. But they have a lot going for them in terms of convenience. They keep for a long time, are portable, aren’t messy to eat, and are consistently ripe and ready for snacking. Apples are, in a word, easy.

These days since I work from home, I eat my apple in the 30 minutes between yoga and a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class in the evenings. When I travel, I pack an apple for every afternoon that I’ll be away from home.

Challenge

My challenge to you is to try on an apple-a-day habit and see what it does for you.** While afternoons or early evenings work for me, another event trigger or time may work better for you. Experiment with:

  • first thing in the morning or as part of breakfast
  • 20 minutes before a meal (some people eat less at a meal if they pre-load on nutritive calories with fiber)
  • snack time whether mid-morning, afternoon, or evening
  • before/after a workout
  • before bed

Procure yourself 14 apples and give this a whirl for two weeks.

*If you are curious, it was Denver’s I-225 Northbound junction with I-70 Westbound to the first few miles of I-270 Westbound.

**If you really dislike apples, have an allergy, or have dental limitations, of course choose another fruit or vegetable.  

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