A few weeks ago, we heard that the recommendations for a healthy daily intake of fruit and veg had now been revised to SEVEN portions. Eating 7 portions of fresh fruit and veg a day has been linked to a 42% lower risk of death from causes such as heart disease, strokes and cancer but the reality is that whilst the majority of people KNOW they should be eating 5 a day, only 25% manage to do that many. I think of myself as having a pretty healthy diet, but I doubt I get 5 portions without really thinking about it. So when I was set the challenge of doing a week of 7 a day, I was intrigued to see how I got on.

As parts of the challenge I was supplied with a box of fruit and veg from one of the lovely fruit and veg places in Shepperton High Street for myself and Mr C to do the challenge together. The contents had been carefully calculated to ensure the contents was exactly 7 a day each. I was struck by how much there was! I was also warned that potatoes do NOT count!

My box included a huge variety including strawberries, avocado, bananas, salad, courgette, baby corn, sweet potato, kale and cauliflower (and LOTS more!) The idea to fit into shopping habits is to buy in for a week, so the suggestion was to eat the perishable stuff like soft fruit, salad and soft veg (tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers) first, as the veg is likely to last longer.

People who ate seven or more portions a day had a 33% reduced risk of death compared with people who ate less than one portion. People who ate seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables were 42 percent less likely to die from any cause over a nearly eight-year period, compared with those who ate less than one serving a day.

One Bowl Apple Cake

This cake is so moist and rich and just perfect for this time of year. (and easy to make!)


2 eggs
  • 3/4 cups sugar
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup oil
6 medium Gala or Fuji or Honey Crisp apples
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, cinnamon and oil.
  • Peel and slice the apples and add to mixture in bowl (coating as you go to keep apples from turning brown.)
  • Mix together the baking soda and flour and add to the ingredients in the bowl.
  • Mix well (best with a fork) until all of the flour is absorbed by the wet ingredients.
  • Pour mixture into a greased one 9×13 or two 9″ round pans.
  • Bake for approximately 55 minutes.