What Makes a Great Fruits and Veggies Monday Post? {Contest "Cheat" Sheet 😉}

Happy Sunday my friends! I hope everyone is doing well wherever you are in your day. First off I want to remind everyone who joins in on #fruitsandveggiesmonday that the contest post will come from the @vegansofsteemit page when I share it for this next round of plant-based fun! Since we have had lots of new people join in lately, I thought this would also be a great time to create a post with some more in-depth information on how to craft a memorable post to share for the contest. Being on @pennsif's Game Show spurred the idea, so perhaps some of these tips can help you in other contests on Steemit, as well!

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My dear friend @lenasveganliving created such a wonderful contest, so I feel it is my duty to keep it going and honor the work she has done as we continue to try to grow and attract even more people. In the same vein, as many of you have seen, many of the big curators watch the contest entries, as well. So by entering high quality posts, you not only enhance the contest integrity itself and have a greater chance of being selected for prizes, but also have a better chance of being curated and receiving some good rewards for your efforts. Of course there is no guarantee on that, but there is a good history of it when you look back through the weeks of contest entries. Once again thank you to curation groups like @curie, @c-squared, @ocd, and probably many others I'm missing! Rewards aren't everything, but I know they certainly play a role in feeling that someone is paying attention to your hard work.

Above all else, one topic to address for this particular contest is perhaps a clear definition of what is vegan. Though we absolutely do not require you to be vegan to enter the contest (we encourage any food enthusiast to join!), all entries for #fruitsandveggiesmonday must be free of any animal products. Veganism is more a way of life based on ethical treatment of all beings, but one of the most prominent components is the dietary aspects of choosing only plant-based foods. Just so everyone is clear for the contest purposes your post should not include any (strike-through to emphasize this is the NO list😉) :

Meat, including fish
Eggs
Dairy (cheese,milk,cream,butter,etc.)
Products derived from animals (gelatin, collagen,certain food coloring and preservatives)
Honey

If you have any questions about why any of those items are excluded, please feel free to reach out and ask! I am always happy to open up dialogue about the choices of this lifestyle. There is no shame on either side of the coin, I just want to have consistency and clarity in contest entries. This leaves a whole slew of things you can include in your posts:

  • Fruits and Vegetables (obviously, haha!)
  • Beans & Legumes
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Grains
  • Plant-based alternatives for traditional dairy (coconut milk, vegan butter, veggie burgers, etc.)

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That clears up some of the basics of what you can include, well now how about putting it all together? Of course a great way to get an idea of quality posts is to go back through the weeks and see which entries have taken prizes. You can see folks like @proanima, @gguy773 and @birdsinparadise always bring their A-game to the contest. @lizelle has just recently joined, but she often took prizes in the @cookwithus contests for her detailed posts. @puravidaville brings a fantastic sense of humor to all of her entries, and @amy-goodrich tickles our taste buds with some of the healthiest-yet-delicious offerings. As someone who hasn't traveled much outside of the USA, I also always love seeing some of the regional offerings like what our latest winner @cicisaja brings to the table. And of course, few can beat the magical photographs of our creator @lenasveganliving.

To break it down, here are some ideas that make great entries. Take note as many of these ideas just lend themselves to solid posts in general, so I always try to remember them when I am working on a quality post to share with you all:

  1. Good Photographs--you don't have to take perfectly staged photos every time (though they are striking and have great value), but try to think about clarity, composition and lighting when you are taking your photographs.
  2. Originality--this can come in many forms. Sometimes it is in a unique recipe or presentation, or it could be in how you format your posts. Though it can be helpful to look to others to inspire you, find your unique approach and stick with it.
  3. The Human Element--add in a personal anecdote on what the recipe means to you, share a funny story, include family history. A good post can be elevated to a great post with that extra personal touch that brings people in and encourages interaction.
  4. Research-Based Facts--if you are sharing some food, why not add some facts on what makes it so healthy? It can take a little extra time to do some research and reference your sources, but that adds major value and credibility to posts.
  5. Pay Homage to Others--I'm not saying you need to tag everyone in every post, but remember to give shout-outs to those who might have inspired you to write and share your entry. Community is so key to enjoying this platform, and life in general so remember to do your best to foster that!

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This picture was from apple picking--I have done a few entries about local fruit picking in the past!

As another note, I find it respectful that if you enter a contest try to make sure to stop by at least some of the other entries, as well! You may not be able to hit them all, but comment on at least a few others. That's part of why #fruitsandveggiesmonday has succeeded for so long--we are a family, not just a contest. I have met some of my best online buddies through going around the posts and enjoying the interaction. It was especially helpful to do that when I first joined the platform, but it continues to be a great way to find new people who share amazing things! Even when post rewards are completely in the toilet, it has always been the people that keep me here. 😉

I hope this helps everyone a bit--both in creating entries and on the judging end of things if your turn comes around! Feel free to leave any of your personal tips in the comment section if I missed anything! This contest and community has become so dear to me, so anything I can do to honor Lena's creation and also help you all create great content brings me joy. As always, thank you especially to @barbara-orenya for those fantastic wonkies that make me smile every time I see them, and to @donkeypong for being such a gracious sponsor to keep this little challenge going forward. Also thanks to @evecab (the founder of @vegansofsteemit), for letting us transition the contest to the community page.

From the contest veterans, to those who only join in a time or two, know you all have my heart! I enjoy each and every entry week after week, and am grateful to be a small part of your lives. As many have remarked before, @lenasveganliving has made a case of the Mondays the best thing to have! See you all soon for the contest post...

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Oh, yes! My favorite Vegan Contest! I always love to see what you two are up to over here! It is nice to have the rules spelled out because there are always new people joining! This contest has come a long way, baby from the beginning to when Lena took it up a notch!

So glad you were able to pass the torch for a while, Katie. You and Lena think very much alike, with different touches. She has changed forever how I look at food with her stunning photographs! Thank you! Thank you!

Upped and Steemed! Let's spread the word!

Much appreciated my dear friend! It's a beautiful thing to see how the contest has grown and persevered despite all the ups and downs on here. All due to Lena's persistence and love for the Monday family! I'm happy to help take some of the load from her shoulders to keep the tradition alive. Cheers to many more weeks of delicious vegan food inspo!

Amen! I love what you are doing here!

It's great to see this post! I do follow most of the entries but as you know I wasn't able to join for such a long time. I'm thinking about tomorrow but I have nothing photographed from the week so it would mean doing something tomorrow and I need to see how lazy I'll be :)

You have shared some great tips that will definitely be helpful to any newcomers in the contest. And I like that contest is open for anyone (even though seeing an entry from someone who would post something about meat the next day would be a little bit strange but I hope this wouldn't happen :))

Have a lovely Sunday, Katie!

Haha, well if you decide not to be too lazy, you know we'd love to see you join! 😉

I think the great thing about having the contest open to everyone is that we can help expose more people to the joys of plant-based cuisine. Whether it just gets people to eat more whole foods in their daily diet or actually try a fully vegan meal or full meatless day of the week, then I consider it a good result! Every little bit helps. 💚

It's a bit rainy here today, but I've got beet and potato stew on the stove for dinner and a new book ready to be started! I hope you had a good weekend my friend!

What wonderful encouragement & tips @plantstoplanks, I'm so very glad to have joined here! It's great seeing food from around the world and meeting the people who make vegan food so diverse, thank you to all of you!

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I'm glad you joined, as well! It really is so inspiring to see the myriad of ways you can utilize delicious fruits and veggies!

I'm definetely happy to tead this "cheat sheets" @plantstoplanks 😊 this really help me out to understand the rules. This encouragement post will be my guide to do my job tomorrow😊 and I will send you my judgement sheet too... I 💖 you!

Oh good, glad everyone seems to be finding value in it! I'm sure you will make as proud as a great judge and pass the baton off to a deserving entry. 🤗

Ooo nice, cheat sheet, I like it. I have something on the go but pictures slightly fuzzy cause I hit my phone with a wrench 🛠 at work, talk about throwing a spanner in the works hey.

Oh no! Bummer about the phone. Hopefully it's not messed up too badly. You usually put forth such great posts that you don't need any cheats, but I think it helps in the judging, as well. Everyone knows what to look for and submit! 😃

Very impressive Katie, you are much better in writing announcements/blogs than I am, lol. It is so easy to follow, yet it covers everything perfectly. I hope everybody will read it! Thank you so much my Dear; I know the contest is in excellent care 🥑😍🍓

Aww, well the words come easy when I am passionate about something. You are the queen of beautiful presentation, so we make a good team!

I just posted the latest contest post on the @vegansofsteemit page! I had @dksart help me with a cover photo, so I hope you like what we put together. 😊

Lovely read! #fruitsandveggies is so dear to me. Thank you so much @plantstoplanks.for this continuation of this wonderful challenge. I feel so honored and blessed to join this lovely family.

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We are blessed to have you in the family, as well! The food is wonderful, but it's the people that make it truly great. 🤗

This is helpful to many. I've been missing for the last few months today that's going to change. I've started a new lifestyle, I'm training again and planning to participate pretty regularly in this amazing contest again. I have a good recipe for today which is going to be posted later on.
I'm glad to see you involved in the project. I've missed a few details, still have the catch up but here I am, activ again in this area.
Good luck to you and see you in the contest 😊

I was thinking about you yesterday when I was talking with someone how I love when gardening season really hits and we get to see more entries with garden updates! I'm happy to see you back. Now I need to go check out that yummy entry...

Yay, I'm so glad to hear you still remember me 😀
Yes, gardening season is about to start, seeds are planted in this period although it's still a bit cold.
I'm going to post gardening reports regularly because I think it's interesting, educational and helpful as well. Can't wait to have those tasty tomatoes 🍅 again.

Haha, of course I remember you! You always have me drooling over your garden goodies. I am excited for all the vibrant produce that's just a few months away from coming back! Trying to be patient, haha!

Well, the real gardening season starts in two or three weeks for me, onions will be planted but till then, seeds are planted so I guess in a month or so I'm going to have my first report. 😀

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Thank you very much Kartie for this insightful and interesting information and a big thank you to Lena for this great "fruitsandveggiesmonday"!

I love this montage, because I always discover great new people and interesting recipes.

Thanks a lot for this!

I've had a few more questions about things lately, so I figured it would be a good time to have a more extensive post to clarify some of those. That way we are all on the same page and everyone has an equal shot at the prizes! :)

Thanks for clarification on veganism. I am wondering if yoghurt is a dairy products too?

No problem! Regular yoghurt is usually made from cow's milk, so it would not be vegan. However there are lots of options at most stores now for non-dairy versions made with soy, cashew, coconut or almond milk!

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I have a question. At what time ends the contest? I remember there was an hour specified and Canadian time but can't remember the time.

10 AM on Tuesday morning. I'm Eastern Time, so anything in that range works!

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Yes Ma'am! I'm going to show up this week for the parade with another odd recipe 😀

Going to give it a shot, thanks for the tips!

$trdo!