Cambridge Foodie: The battle of the numbers

Cambridge food tourThis month our Cambridge Foodie columnist Gerla de Boer tackles the big questions surrounding how many vegetables we should be eating daily…

How many on your plate? It’s one of the hottest topics at the moment. We need to eat more fruit and veg. If you thought, that five a day was the way to live a healthy lifestyle, then you’re mistaken. The new guidelines suggest we should increase our intake to 10 a day.

The discussions in the media, Facebook and at home are endless. How on earth can you fit so much into your daily plan? These new guidelines are actually not a new invention at all. Both the Asian and Mediterranean diet are considered as a healthy eating plan and their cuisine is loaded with plant based food and low on red meat. In Asia, animal protein is used as a flavouring and not as the main component.

One of my favourite restaurants in the Netherlands is following the 80/20 rule. Not to confused with the 80/20 diet. The 80/20 rule includes 80% fruit/veg on your plate and although based on similar principles the 80/20 diet is about living a balanced life, which I fully embrace.

How easy or difficult is it to get 10 a day into your daily routine? For me, it is not a problem at all as I shutterstock_67879747have always been a big lover of fruit and vegetables. My day starts with a vegetable juice of five ingredients. Breakfast is most of the time fruit or vegetable based and home made banana bread is my favourite snack. For the rest of the meals, I follow the 80/20 rule and use meat, cheese and fish as flavourings. Except of course those delicious roasts from the Big Green Egg.


The inspiration I get from Ottolenghi, Amelia Frear and food I have eaten on my travels. My suggestion is to expand your repertoire. Look out for interesting recipes. You’ll be surprised how many different preparations you can find of cauliflower and celeriac. One of my favourite staples at the moment is Celeriac humous of Ottolenghi!

And do you feel better? I certainly do! A plate loaded with colourful fruit and vegetables is a lot more inviting to eat. Extra bonus is that it has so many benefits. If you’re not convinced yet, I suggest to check out James Wong. I can assure you, that a whole new world will open!

The best places in Cambridge for vegetarian meals

  • The Petersfield
  • Novi Cambridge
  • The Espresso library
  • Stem and Glory
  • Bridges
  • Cambridge Cookery School Cafe
  • Co Fifteen
  • Wandering Yak
  • Mediterrean Falafel on the market

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