vicki week 10Welcome 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. 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 # 10 Power Down While Eating.
The seed for this challenge came from Darolyn Skelton, our marketing director. Darolyn suggested we turn off our cell phones at lunch. How many of us practice deskside dining? It’s not just the cell phone. We are eating and connected to our computers or iPads while eating at home, at work, or dining out. It wasn’t that many years ago all these options weren’t available. When it’s time to eat and our heads are bent over technological gadgets instead of bent over our food.
Some 70% of Americans eat at their desk several times a week. This can lead to poor food choices and overeating. When you are multitasking you aren’t focused on your food and the satiety cues your stomach is trying to send to your brain. But did you ever stop to think how dirty your desk is? According to Charles Gerba, PhD, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, “The desk, in terms of bacteria, is 400 times more dirty than your toilet,” says Gerba. He states that “People turn their desks into bacteria cafeterias because they eat at them, but they never clean them. The phone is the dirtiest, the desktop is next, and the mouse and the computer follow.”

Vicki’s Observations:
• This was much easier at home than work. My only problem at home was my breakfast on workdays. I continue working on eating while sitting down (challenge #1) and was drinking my shake while I checked emails. Before challenge #1, I was drinking my shake while getting ready for work. Now I couldn’t do either. Sadly, I did more of the eating while standing up.
• This challenge at work was a challenge. I have my morning snack in between patients while I am in and out of my office and typing up chart notes. Instead, I looked out the window while I ate my snack.
• I am guilty of eating my lunch at my desk most days. This challenge reintroduced me to the break room and socializing with others in the office (who weren’t on their cell phones). This non work-related conversational break was a nice change of pace.

Bill’s Observations:
• Well, since this didn’t include the TV, I ate in front of the TV instead of my computer.
• I did catch myself walking multiple times over to the computer with food in my hand, so I turned around and went outside to eat so I wouldn’t be tempted.
• It was hard not to eat with my iPad because I am addicted to the iPad.
• Not multitasking seems like a waste of time. I can eat and read at the same time.
• I learned this problem was worse than I thought because I can nibble way too much without realizing it.
• If you do this challenge along with #9 of keeping a food record you will be successful and know everything you eat.

We all need breaks from technology to recharge and refocus our thoughts. And we may also spend more time talking to each other rather than texting and emailing. Your challenge this week, should you choose to accept it, is turn off your computers, laptops, tablets, iPads, Smartphones, and Smartwatches while eating at home, at work, or at a restaurant. Power down and focus on the food.
Next week we are working on reducing our aches and pains. We won’t be running any races but hopefully we will have less discomfort with our daily activities.

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.