chick pea cakes Welcome 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 # 12 Eating to Help Our Environment.
October is Vegetarian Awareness Month. Eating lacto-ovo (dairy and eggs) vegetarian was on our challenge list so this was a good time to do it. Bill doesn’t eat red meat and I rarely prepare it for myself. We eat fish, seafood, poultry, and beans for most of our protein sources. We don’t eat much cheese anymore (challenge #2) but we do eat yogurt. Normally we eat meatless two to three days a week. I don’t plan that, it just works out that way. We figured eating vegetarian for a week would be no problem. Out came the cookbooks, the recipes were selected, and off to the market we went.
In the meantime, I came across a news article that said meat prices are expected to rise 3.5% in 2015 and that is if we have normal weather conditions. This sent me to reading about the high cost of producing beef and the impact on the environment. Holy smokes! According to NPR to make a quarter pound hamburger it takes: 6.7 pounds of feed, 52.8 gallons of water for drinking and irrigating feed crops, 74.5 square feet of land for grazing and growing crops, and 1,036 BTUs of fossil fuel energy for feed production and transport. If you go to a restaurant and order a hamburger, it’s usually 8 ounces (or more). So double those numbers for your hamburger. I won’t even get into the amount of manure produced and the impact on our land and air quality.
What started out as a food challenge turned into a conservation challenge. We can save water and protect our land and air simply by reducing the amount of meat we eat. I’m not saying you have to give up meat, poultry, or fish entirely, but give meatless a try a couple of dinners a week.
Besides saving land and water, eating more beans and legumes has other benefits. They are economical sources of protein, high fiber, low sodium, and contain no saturated fat. You can cook dried beans or use canned beans. Beans work great in the slow cooker and at some time we all need dinner ready to go when we get home. Plus you’ll have leftovers and reheated bean dishes usually taste better the next day. (The photo is our homemade chick pea cakes with cucumber yogurt sauce. Yum!)
Vicki’s Observations:
• This was more difficult than I anticipated. I missed fish and tuna for easy meals.
• I felt so good the week before from following the anti-inflammatory diet that I continued not to eat the packaged salads or microwave meals for lunch. That meant more cooking for leftovers and it was worth the effort.
• I substituted vegetable broth in the recipes that called for chicken broth and didn’t notice much of a taste difference.
• I continued to keep my food record and because I was including dairy and eggs, my intake of cholesterol and saturated fat was much higher than the previous week when we followed the anti-inflammatory guidelines.
• We went out for lunch and found several items on the menu so this was no problem.
• I couldn’t eat vegan (no dairy or eggs) for any length of time.

Bill’s Observations:
• This challenge was fairly easy for me as I don’t eat red meat and it was not difficult to give up fish or chicken. I found it easier than the anti-inflammation diet challenge from last week.
• Vicki cooked some good vegetarian meals and they were quite tasty.
• I too would have a difficult time with eating strictly vegan, as I like my Sunday morning egg breakfast and my yogurt.
• It is much easier when you are cooking and preparing your own meals and not going out to eat. I had to travel a couple of days and it was tricky finding menu items since there were few restaurants to choose from. I ended up eating breakfast for dinner.

Next week we’ll switch it up and move out of our comfort (or stagnant) zones.
Eat Smarter…
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD

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.


Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian with Western Bariatric Institute (WBI) with over 25 years experience in weight management and 12 years in bariatric nutrition. Vicki works with both weight loss surgery patients and nonsurgical weight loss patients. Vicki received her master’s degree in nutrition from Montana State University and her Bachelor of Science degree in home economics from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

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