Is 10 pieces of fruit and veg a day even possible?



A raw vegan attempts to eat 10 pieces of fruit & veg a day.

Not much of a challenge you might say.  But, if you, like me, eat a frozen-chocolate-peanut butter-banana smoothie here and a data and nut smooshed energy ball there, it’s very easy to be over 1,000 calories up and nowhere near the old 5 a-day tally, let alone the revised 10 a-day tally.

On my non ‘milk shake’ and date ball days, which at one stage were surprisingly few, I don’t think I struggled so much with the quantity part; I was eating 800g (10x80g) of fruit and veg a day but I was definitely lacking in variety.  I could have a banana or pineapple mono day with no difficulty.  Greens didn’t really feature except for occasional salty samphire or a hand full of spinach in a frozen banana smoothie.  My diet overall was very fruit heavy.

So I made a change.  I’d consciously try to eat 10 different portions of fruit and veg a day.

Here’s how I fared one random day this spring.




I’m not sure how many different portions that is. But it looks upwards of 7.

But I shouldn’t despair. It’s not an all or nothing situation. According to researchers eating as few as two pieces of fruit or veg a day confers benefits but the more you eat the lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer and premature death.

So five pieces good, 10 pieces better!

Here’s what the risk reductions are compared to eating no fruit and veg:


10 a -day  5 a-day
Heart Disease 24% 14%
Stroke 33% 26%
Cardiovascular Disease 28% 19%
Cancer 13% 12%
Premature death 31% 24%

The study is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

5 steps to detangle after mini braids


How to sort out dirty matted 3 month old mini braids 


112 days later and the optimal combination of motivation, time available, energy, and patience was finally there; I took out my mini braids. What can I say? Sometimes personal hygiene isn’t top of my agenda.

Nasty as this all sounds I’ve done these stretches a few times and I know a thing or two about the perfect post-take-down drill to avoid tangles and hair loss.

1. Don’t use shampoo
I know! The hair is as dirty as **** but trust me shampoo isn’t going to help your plight. Detangling is your priority after take down not getting your hair clean.
2. Don’t comb your hair
Again, counter intuitively perhaps, but combing and brushing the hair at this point isn’t going to help the detangling situation. The hair is dry and combing and brushing is only going to encourage breakage.
3. Reach for the oil
Olive oil in my case. Slather that oil all down the hair shaft. This coating is going to reduce the friction level exponentially when you try to move those hair strands past each other.
4. Reach for the conditioner
Get friendly with the Dimethicone. Pour it on and leave it on. I slept with L’Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Conditioner and rinsed it off about 12 hours later.  I followed it up with a silicone based leave-in; ORS Monoi Oil Anti-Breakage Leave-In Conditioning Cream.
5. Finger detangle
Now it’s time to detangle the hair. I pulled out the remaining shed hair, detangled and re-plaited the afro into 10 jumbo plaits.


Mini braids – 2 months in

A 64 plait braid out – 112 days later

The braid out from behind


The hair I shed

The hair that remains post detangling

The post detangled plaits with leave-in