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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

When I was sitting down to eat the same dinner I had eaten every day for the past week, I realized I needed to include some variety in my diet. Sure, my meals were healthy, but I knew that I was depriving myself of at least some essential vitamins and nutrients by opting for the same rotation of produce each day. I decided I needed to challenge myself, and made a plan to eat thirty five different fruits and vegetables in one week.

the challenge

Inspired by the 30 Plant Foods A Week challenge that includes legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, I challenged myself further to increase the quanity while excluding anything that wasn’t a fruit or vegetable. I justified this by the fact that I already follow a plant-based, vegan diet.

The challenge is simple. Incorporate a number of fruits and vegetables (or plant foods) into your diet. It doesn’t matter the amount of somehting you eat, just that it’s different!

Whether or not that sounds like an easy or daunting task to you, I knew it would take some planning in order to ensure I met my goal. I hit up two seperate grocery stores throughout the week and picked produce that was on sale in order to make the challenge a little easier on my wallet.


Monday began with a trip to Farm Boy after class in order to stock up on fruits and vegetables. I browsed the flyer the night before to see what was on sale. I picked up bananas, mangos, avocados, apples, pineapple, blackberries, cucumber, carrots, strawberries, bell peppers and yu choy.

Using the new groceries and groceries I already had, I was able to rack up seven varieties of produce in my meals that day. I had cherries, blackberries, strawberries, cucumber, yu choy, broccoli and garlic.


Tuesday brought me up to eleven with blueberries, raspberries, pineapple and bell peppers. Blueberries are an antioxidant and are so versatile in breakfast and baked goods!


Servings of cauliflower, lettuce, chilli peppers, white potatoes, parsley, turnips and mango raised my intake to eighteen varities of produce!


By Thursday, I was feeling confident in my ability to complete this challenge. I was now at twenty three fruits and vegetable by adding tomato, jalapeño, cilantro, lime and banana to my meals. I stopped at Metro to pick up some more groceries on this day, again choosing items that were one sale.


I wish I could say by now, the amount of nutrients flooding through me made me feel amazing, my skin was glowing and I was soaring through tests with flying colours but frankly, I didn’t notice any changes. But it did feel good to know I was eating the rainbow!

I muched on watermelon, cantaloupe, nectarine, sweet potato and japanese sweet potato (they ARE different!) which now had me at twenty eight.


Determined not to fail, I centered my lunch, dinner and snacks around produce I’d yet to eat this week. I had parsnips, carrots, snap peas, radish, apple, grapes and clementines. Which, if you’re counting…meant I had completed the challenge!


I ended my week by finishing all the leftover produce I had. Food waste is no joke!

Want to try the challenge?

Being cautious of food allergies and sensitivies while ensuring you’re meeting your own personal nutritional needs is important when considering changes to your diet. However, the plant food challenge by the World Cancer Research fund has resources and research readily available on their website for anyone considering adding plant food variety to their diet – even if you just want to take on a new cooking challenge for a week!

Grace Cowie

U Ottawa '24

Grace is the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at uOttawa. She oversees the entire club, acts as a liason between the chapter and the university, and provides final edits and feedback for all content posted on the site. Outside of her role at Her Campus, Grace is a 5th year student studying communications and sociology, with plans to enter the PR or marketing field upon graduation. She enjoys running, old movies, new music, baking, and reading, and spending time with the amazing HC at uO team!