Monthly archive for August 2013

Starting First Place 4 Health Right in the Kitchen

Adjusting to a lifestyle of light eating is really a matter of using smart cooking techniques and substituting low-fat ingredients for the high-fat ones. Apply these techniques to your own favorite recipes so that you still can enjoy them, but in a lighter style. When sautéing or stir-frying, you need a lot less fat than you think. Use a non-stick skillet or wok, then a small amount of margarine or, better yet, non-stick spray coating. If you prefer to use oil, olive oil is a good choice because it appears to have a cholesterol-lowering effect. Opt for grilling or broiling tender cuts of meat (cuts that contain loin in the name), rather than sautéing or pan-frying. Use cooking techniques that require little or no added fat, such as broiling, grilling, poaching, steaming, or baking. l Use fat sparingly. Fat serves to prevent foods from drying out, particularly during baking or

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The Secret to Success is Getting Started

The Secret to Success is Getting Started

I am ready—I am way past ready! I am ready to see those group members who bless me each week. I am ready to meet some new friends. I am ready and armed with my wellness plan for getting started back. Some of you may be starting back. Some of you may be just getting started or maybe even starting over. It does not matter your circumstances. What does matter is that you have decided. Making up our minds to start is just the beginning of the process for change. The secret to success is getting started. This is my jump-start, quick-start, power-start START! START is a wonderful word. The English Dictionary definition: “start (verb) 1. Begin-to begin doing something or begin something 2. To begin happening, or make something happen.”  If you are reading this article, you are probably motivated towards a lifestyle of healthy living.  First question:  are you thinking about getting healthy, or are you getting healthy? Thinking about

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What’s Your Motivation

What's Your Motivation

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. — 1 Corinthians 10:31 After a weight loss of 60 pounds, I just stopped exercising, and my weight loss came to a standstill. I prayed, cried and even tried kicking and screaming a few times, but nothing worked. I felt as if my passion and power to make good choices and continue toward my 100-pound weight-loss goal was slipping out of my hands. I wanted to do it, but I just couldn’t get myself going! When I started First Place for Health, my motivation was to lose weight and be healthy. Although that did happen, somewhere along the way God replaced my desire to look good with the desire to be good and to know and please Him—through His power, of course. My motivation turned away from me and toward glorifying Him.

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A Little Above Average

A Little Above Average

“Average” is the top of the bottom, the best of the worst, the bottom of the top, the worst of the best.” ~John C. Maxwell It was October 1984, and I remember the event like it was yesterday.  My sister-in-law Donna had talked me into attending a women’s retreat at a hotel in Houston.  The speaker was Florence Littauer and the theme of the weekend was It Takes So Little To Be Above Average, which is a title of one of Florence’s books. That weekend was memorable in so many ways.  We were eating dinner in the lobby of the hotel on Friday before the conference began and this strikingly-beautiful woman walks up and says, “Hi, I’m Florence Littauer,” and proceeds to meet every one of us at the table.  I was more than a little impressed because she had just modeled for me what it looks like to be “a little above average.” Over the twenty-five

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How to Keep Your Cool When It Gets Hot

If you can’t stand the heat, then you can’t. . .  live in Texas  be a parent  be a Christian STRATEGY IDEAS: React slower. Don’t trust your immediate feelings related to the event, but realize that your feelings may be at a higher level than the current situation deserves. It may take more than sincerity to be honest with yourself; it may take some painful reflection to get to the truth. You may have “leftover pain” from similar events in the past. These “feel like” past hurts are added to current hurts. [Remember—a child with a sunburned neck responds to a slap on the back with more pain than one that has not been burned.] Perhaps, add an encouraging or calming Bible verse to your strategy of reacting: i.e. Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus and other verses. You

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What is God’s Purpose for You

Do you ever wonder what God’s plan is for your life? As a new season begins (back to school, launch of new church year, new FP4H classes, etc.), are you asking where God wants to use you? How He will grow you up into the person He is calling you to be? Are you looking at your fall calendar and seeking to write down events and commitments that are a priority for your health, family, work, and spiritual growth? If so, this might be the perfect time to work through God’s Purpose for You, one of the Bible Studies I wrote for First Place 4 Health.  The first step in any new endeavor is to take stock of where you are now. Right now I’m wrapping up a fairly quiet summer focused on rest, renewal and writing. The past year had been quite full of family events (both daughters got married), lots

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What’s New in Fitness: Base Training

What's New in Fitness: Base Training

When I was young, I loved gymnastics. I wasn’t the best on my team, but my coach said I was the bravest! How I wish I had that kind of balance and stability back in my body today! in our youth, our muscles, brain, inner ear and sight all contribute to good balance, which is the reason the average age for an Olympic gymnast is 15. As we age, these skills start to decline.  If we choose to be inactive, the process is accelerated at an alarming rate. Have you noticed that you may need to use the handrail on the stairs more often? Are you having trouble with things that were at one time simple, such as coming to a stop on your bike or getting out of the bathtub? John 21:18 says, Truly, truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressedyourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch

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A Thankfulness Journal

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. –Psalm 136:1 “Obedience is the cost of success” read the sign board in front of a local church, a poignant reminder that joyful obedience is the key that opens the storehouse of God’s blessing. Now, if obedience were limited to my outer actions, I could pretend that I am living a life God can bless. However, God doesn’t just look at the outer things—God sees my heart. He knows that cultivating a thankful heart is a continual challenge for me and that I often fall short of thankfulness. Yes, I can recite all the Bible verses that tell me to give thanks. Certainly my head knows that in order to reap God’s richest blessings—and repel the wiles of the enemy—I need to live a life characterized by thanks and praise. I can talk about being thankful; I

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