Fruit and Veggie Challenge Winners

pictured from from left, Amanda Marquis, Jackie Carey, Brent Marsolek, Graeme Chaple, Bill Tschida and Dave Wagner

Our employee story this month recognizes members of the winning Fruit and Veggie Challenge, the Vitameatavegamins! This team was made up of Water Department employees Dave Wagner, Amanda Marquis, Bill Tschida, Jacquelynn Carey, Graeme Chaple, and Brent Marsolek. While the recommended minimum servings of fruits and vegetables is five, this team was out to win the Challenge. The Vitameatavegamins averaged eight servings per day for the eight week challenge. We wanted to find out how they did this. Below is a summary of responses we received from Bill, Dave and Amanda.

First of all, we asked what motivated them to join the challenge. It was obvious this was a competitive group so the competition itself was part of the motivation. The gift card to the Farmers Market was motivation for Amanda though she and Dave both said they had been looking for more ways to incorporate new vegetables into their diets, and this seemed like it could be a fun way to do it.

They all admitted they were not eating this way before the challenge, and it was somewhat harder than they expected it would be (though remember, they were out to win the challenge and exceeded the minimum daily recommendation). They made sure to include fruit or veggies with each meal. Dave and Amanda got creative in adding vegetables to their breakfasts. A fruit smoothie was a more obvious choice for breakfast though Amanda found out that adding spinach and carrots to a frozen berry and banana smoothie was quite tasty. Lunch for all of them became a big veggie salad. Pretzels, crackers and cheese were replaced with apples, carrots or celery for snacks. Amanda’s dinner plate looked totally different than usual as she replaced some meat or other carbs with vegetables.

We asked them for tips to eating more fruits and veggies. Planning ahead was important to avoid settling for whatever was easy to grab. They would think about what fruits and veggies they would be adding to each meal. Amanda tried some new vegetable side dishes she will continue to make. Dave recommended stocking up the fridge and Bill suggests adding fruit whenever you can.

They all admitted that since the challenge ended, they are not eating as many servings of fruits and veggies. However, they do find themselves continuing to include more fruits and veggies than prior to the challenge. If we offer it again, they would recommend it to other employees and are glad they participated.