Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist + Challenge

Hey! Are you trying to figure out what’s so special about Dr. Greger’s daily dozen?

I’m here to show you all about it! It’s not only a tool to help you stave off serious diseases and illnesses, but it’s also a tool that can help make eating healthy fun and enjoyable.

Here’s what you’ll find in this article:
Who is Dr. Greger?
Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist
Daily Dozen Challenge
Daily Dozen App
Daily Dozen Meal Plan
Daily Dozen Recipes
Daily Dozen Weight Loss
Daily Dozen Tips

Who is Dr. Greger?

Credit: NutritionFacts.org

I call Dr. Greger “my main man Dr. G.”

Dr. Greger is a physician, speaker and New York Times, bestselling author.

He also was a witness for Oprah Winfrey when she got sued by the meat industry! Spoiler alert: she won. No one messes with Oprah.

Most importantly, he runs NutritionFacts.org, a non-profit organization focused on bringing life-saving nutritional information in front of people.

With all the conflicting medical and nutritional advice out there, it’s nice to have a one-stop-shop focused on scientific studies and facts.

Credit: NutritionFacts.org

Dr. Greger is the face of Nutrition Facts and over the years has made over 1,000 nutrition videos.

He then went on to author How Not to Die, a book filled with information to help prevent, reverse and sometimes cure America’s 15 leading killers. 

We’re talking about reversing heart disease, curing diabetes, preventing cancers and Alzheimer’s and even using food to reducing your risk of suicide.

And I can’t wait for December 10, 2019, because his new book, How Not to Diet, comes out! Another textbook full of science about losing weight healthily.

In How Not to Die, Dr. Greger shows us the checklist. The Daily Dozen checklist.

I’ll show you what it is!

Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist

How Not to Die is full of amazing information to help save yo life. But it is a textbook. Almost 700 pages! So all the information can be confusing. How can we incorporate what we just learned?

That’s where the Daily Dozen Checklist comes in. A checklist to help you get the foods that will help prevent the 15 leading killers into your system every day.

Daily Dozen List

Here is the Daily Dozen Checklist along with the number of servings:

Beans. 3 servings. Servings sizes are usually ½ cup of beans.

Berries. 1 serving. Serving size is at least ½ cup of berries.

Other Fruits. 3 servings. Serving size is a medium fruit.

Greens. 2 servings. Serving sizes are usually 1 cup raw greens and ½ cup cooked.

Cruciferous Vegetables. 1 serving. Serving size is ½ cup of cruciferous veggies.

Other Vegetables. 2 servings. Serving sizes are usually ½ cup of vegetables.

Flaxseed. 1 serving. 1tbsp a day for this one!

Nuts / Seeds. 1 serving. Serving size for nuts and seeds is ¼ cup.

Turmeric / Other Spices. 1 serving. The serving size is ¼ tsp.

Whole Grains. 3 servings. Serving sizes are usually ½ cup of whole grains.

Beverages.  5 servings. Serving size is 12oz.

Exercise. 1 serving. Dr. G recommends 40 minutes of intense exercise or 1.5 hours of low-moderate exercise a day.

What the Daily Dozen is Not

The daily dozen is a checklist of foods you should include in your diet every day. It is not a diet. It is the MINIMUM of what you should eat each day.

Once you check all the boxes, you can totally eat more if you’re hungry. In the daily dozen, serving size matters only to check a box. In the daily dozen, calories don’t matter.

So eat until you’re full, but try to get in all the servings to help boost your health.

Daily Dozen Challenge

Does the daily dozen checklist sound fun?!

Great! We can now kick the fun into high gear with a challenge!

The daily dozen challenge is to show people that eating healthy and checking all the boxes is actually EASY.

The challenge is simple: plan one day to complete the whole daily dozen, track it in the app (more about that below) and then challenge your friends!

You can join in with the community by posting your progress on social media. The official hashtags are #HowNotToDie and #DailyDozenChallenge.

If your friends are not up for the challenge, you can challenge them to donate to Nutrition Facts instead.

And it’s that easy! Pick a day and start meal planning (some ideas below). On the day, get in all your servings and then BOOM! Challenge accepted and completed.

Let me know if you’re taking the challenge so I can cheer you on. Tag greenasathistle!

Daily Dozen App

The daily dozen app is a fun place to keep track of your daily nutrition. You can check off your servings throughout the day and see how many full days you can complete.

The app is so helpful in giving you ideas on how to complete each section with serving size information and a list of foods.

For example, in the beans category it lists all the beans you can think of plus it lists other legumes that count as a bean serving.

Beans are ½ cup per serving, but hummus is also listed for ¼ cup and it counts!

Your possibilities are endless to get in nutrition.

Another good thing is that in the list of foods, you can find links to videos on Nutrition Facts. So you can see exactly why that particular food is good for us based on scientific studies.

The app is available for android and iPhones.

Click below to get it now! 

The app also lets you track what days you take vitamins like B12 which is very handy. 

Daily Dozen Meal Plan

Having trouble thinking of a meal plan that will check your boxes? I’m here to help!

Starting out can be daunting, but luckily the daily dozen checklist can be completed quickly.

Start simple. Looking at the checklist, you can see the most servings fall on beans, grains, and vegetables. So include these with every meal if possible. Make a lot of buddha bowls!

Check out Nutrition Facts. Nutrition Facts has a healthkit that is very helpful! Not only does it give you more information about plant-based eating and the daily dozen checklist, but it provides you with two complete meal plans to help you out!

See this website for ideas. This website is a real-life example of someone going day by day trying to complete the checklist.

Sample Daily Dozen Meal Plan


1 cup oatmeal with some seeds and ½ cup berries. 1 smoothie with spinach/kale, fruits, and flaxseeds.


A handful of nuts. More fruit. Other vegan snacks can be found here.


Budda bowl of rice, beans, and vegetables.


Vegetable soup (include broccoli, spinach, and beans). Add plenty of spices!

You can get creative and have fun.

Daily Dozen Recipes

If you’re looking for recipes to help you check the boxes, look no further!

Dr. Greger has a cookbook out called The How Not to Die Cookbook. In the book, are recipes and each recipe shows what boxes to check for the daily dozen.

But you don’t need the cookbook, there are a million plant-based recipes online that will check off the boxes.

You can start with the recipe section of the Nutrition Facts website. And then you can venture off. 

Great recipes websites for plant-based eating are listed below:

Forks over Knives: https://www.forksoverknives.com/

Dr. Fuhrman: https://www.drfuhrman.com/recipes


Daily Dozen Smoothie

And if you are a big smoothie fan, here’s my recipe to check off 8 boxes at once!

2 cups water (1 beverage box)
½ cup berries (1 berries box)
2 cups other fruit (2 fruit boxes)
2 cups kale/spinach (2 greens boxes)
1tbsp flaxseed (1 flaxseed box)
1/4tsp turmeric (1 spices box)

It doesn’t matter what type of berries or fruit you use. I use what I have on hand. The berries are usually blueberries or strawberries. The other fruit is usually pineapple. You can try different combinations between berries, fruits and if you put kale or spinach.

And if you can squeeze in an extra ½ cup of kale then you can check off a cruciferous vegetable.

Daily Dozen Weight Loss

You may be wondering if the daily dozen can help you lose weight. Yes… and no. Remember, the daily dozen isn’t a diet, but it will make most of your diet plant-based. And plant-based foods are known to fill you up while helping you lose weight.

So focusing on completing the checklist every day can lead to weight loss. But it’s not a guarantee!

Once you check off all the boxes, you are free to eat whatever else you want. Nothing is stopping you from eating junk food. The checklist is the minimum of what you should eat. But after those boxes, it’s on you.

The good things though, the daily dozen is a lot of food. So by the time you finish the boxes you’re almost done for the day. This may help you eat less of other unhealthy foods.

Daily Dozen Tips

To help you out, I thought I’d add in some more tips about the daily dozen.

Use it as a Shopping List

I always refer back to my daily dozen checklist when I am making a shopping list. When you know what foods you want to be eating, it’s easier to grocery shop. It’s handy to go down the list and see if you need to pick up more beans or greens.

Or skip the planning and just use it as your shopping list. Just go down the line and pick up a little bit of each item. Pick up some oil-free sauces, and you’re ready to complete this thing.

Use it as a Meal Planner

You can also use the checklist to help you plan out meals. When you’re determined to check all the boxes, don’t meal plan and then check off what you can. Plan to check off everything during your meal plan!

That way you will know for sure that you’ll be checking off everything. The app is really helpful in providing all the list of foods that make up each category. All you have to do it come up with meals.

The easiest meals are smoothies, oatmeal, soups, salads, and bowls full of random foods.

Use it to Track Supplements

A neat part of the app is the mini vitamin section at the bottom. These boxes don’t count towards your daily dozen, but it may be helpful to track your B12 so you see that you’re getting enough.

Sometimes it’s very important to track these items. For instance, becoming deficient in B12 can lead to nasty things. You do not want this kind of fate. Trust me.

Keep Eating Good 😉

There you have it! Everything you wanted and needed to know about Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen.

To summarize, Dr. Greger started the non-profit charity, Nutrition Facts, where they make daily bite-sized nutrition videos based on scientific studies.

He came out with a book called How Not to Die to help people prevent our 15 leading killers with food. In the book he features the daily dozen checklist as a tool to help you get in the foods he recommended throughout the book.

And the daily dozen checklist is such a fun tool. You can take the daily dozen challenge, and download the app to track your days. You can use the app to help with making a grocery list, with meal planning, and with tracking B12.

If you need some inspiration on what to eat, check out the above sections on meal plans and recipes. But remember, it is not a diet. It’s a minimum recommendation. So eat more than the checklist. Eat until you are full and satisfied.

I hope you enjoy the daily dozen, let me know if you’re taking the challenge and if you’re excited for How Not to Diet to come out!