LR 35-350Welcome to our healthy lifestyle challenge lead by our program dietitian Vicki Bovee and her husband, Bill. Because we can always do better to live a healthier lifestyle Vicki and Bill decided to work on a weekly challenge together to provide support and accountability for each other and hopefully inspire you to make healthy changes. Follow along with them as they tackle a variety of challenges to eat better, eat more mindfully, and improve physical health and emotional well-being. Vicki and Bill invite you to participate and accept the challenges to improve your lifestyle too. Some of them may be difficult and please feel free to modify the challenges to accommodate your dietary needs and physical abilities.


Challenge #35 35/350
A couple of years ago I read about a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that involved eating no breakfast or a test breakfast. It was a small study with 20 overweight or obese women, ages 18 to 20. They were divided into three groups: no breakfast, a breakfast with 13 grams protein, and one with 35 grams of protein. Both breakfast meals were 350 calories and had the same fiber, fat, and sugar content. The 35 gram protein breakfast has 40 per cent of the total calories from protein.

After seven days the women completed written surveys, provided blood samples, and had an MRI before dinner on the final day. The 35 gram protein breakfast eaters reported an increased feeling of fullness all day. Their MRIs showed a reduction in brain activity that is responsible for food cravings. The breakfast also reduced evening snacking on high-fat foods when compared the breakfast skippers. They had decreased ghrelin, the “I’m hungry” hormone, and increased peptide YY, the satiety hormone.

The article didn’t provide the details of the test breakfast so we had to make up our own. We were both in the kitchen with paper and pencil, scouring food labels, and doing the math. Bill came up with his test shake and decided to just drink that every morning to make it easy. The grandsons were spending a night with us and I decided to eat breakfast with them and drink my test shake the rest of the week.

I started with my usual shake that I have been drinking for years and it wasn’t too far off the 35/350. I usually add flax and I calculated the fiber in my shake because fiber is also filling. I just added some fruit and I hit the target. It was easy to meet the 35/350 by using the meal replacements we have in our WBI Health Store. You can download our 35.350 shake recipes here. We made our protein shakes with the new Fairlife milk that is higher in protein than regular milk.

For breakfast with the boys I made us Kodiak Power Pancakes, a high protein and whole grain pancake mix. By adding a cup of the high protein hot chocolate from our store I hit the target even with a little bit of butter and syrup on my pancakes. Bill chose not eat the pancake breakfast. He would have been significantly over the 350 calories since he is heavy handed with the maple syrup. He decided no pancakes were better than cutting back on the syrup.

Vicki’s observations:
• This worked! I drank my shake at about 7:15 AM and it took me a while to drink the whole shake. Between the protein and the fiber I had no hunger in the morning and didn’t eat my usual yogurt snack.
• I did feel full most of the day. I ate less at lunch and I wasn’t hungry in the afternoon either. In fact, my usual level of hunger didn’t show up until about 5 PM.
• For myself, I wouldn’t be able to meet 35/350 without the protein supplements. I could eat 350 calories for breakfast but it would be tough for me to get the 35 grams of protein in there with regular food. Today I had an Amy’s bean & rice burrito for breakfast. It had 310 calories and 11 grams protein. It would be impossible to get in another 24 grams of protein in 40 calories.
• You could come up with breakfasts incorporating protein foods like eggs, chicken, or fish but it would take some time to figure it all out and prepare the meal. For me, I shake is easy and out the door I go with shake in hand.

Bill’s observations:
• I found this challenge very easy. It was easy to make my shake once I figured out the math on a few main ingredients.
• It really worked. I was not hungry right after breakfast like I usually am. If I eat my cereal in the morning with a banana on top I am hungry within the next hour or two and then I am nibbling all morning.
• I like making the shakes in the morning with all that good protein, berries, and yogurt. It is easy to make, tastes good and you won’t have those hunger pangs like you normally experience an hour after you eat your regular breakfast meal.

If you struggle with the snack munchies you might want to give this a try since it decreases physical hunger. It can help cut down on the grazing and snacking but if it’s boredom eating, you will still be bored because that is head hunger.

Next week we look forward to having a super week.

Eat Smarter…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD

Want to catch up on what you’ve missed?
The road to success is always under construction
Challenge #1 Eat everything sitting down.
Challenge #2 Eliminate cheese as an ingredient.
Challenge #3 Walk sideways in your home.
Challenge #4 Include a fresh herb in your daily meal plan.
Challenge #5 If there is food in your mouth there should be nothing in your hand.
Challenge #6 Eat the MyPlate recommendations for fruits and vegetables.
Challenge #7  Stand (and walk if possible) while talking on the phone.
Challenge # 8 Don’t eat out of the package. Put your food on a plate or in a bowl.
Challenge # 9 Keep a food record.
Challenge # 10 Power down while eating.
Challenge # 11 Eating to reduce inflammation.
Challenge # 12 Eating to help our environment.
Challenge # 13 Switch it up.
Challenge # 14 The road to success is still under construction.
Challenge # 15 Little bites.
Challenge # 16 Drink your water.
Challenge # 17 Count your chews.
Challenge # 18 The 100 Bite Diet.
Challenge # 19 Start your day right.
Challenge # 20 Holiday moves.
Challenge # 21 Limit TV time.
Challenge # 22 The Paleo Diet: Eat Like a Caveman.
Challenge # 23 Sweet dreams.
Challenge # 24 What color is your plate?
Challenge # 25 Six month reflections
Challenge # 26 Retro-walking.
Challenge # 27 Gimme a high fiber
Challenge # 28 The Half Plate Rule
Challenge #29 Feel Good Week
Challenge #30 Try one new healthy food a day
Challenge #31 It’s a stretch
Challenge #32 TLC for heart health
Challenge #33 The sounds of silence
Challenge #34 10,000 steps a day

WBI blueVicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, “Health and Lifestyle Program.”

Contact Vicki at