Nutritional

An “Overload” on Understanding Love

An “Overload” on Understanding Love

An unexpected blessing that I have received from First Place is becoming aware of the tremendous love God has for me. I don’t think I will ever fully understand it any more than I understand how He made all those stars, but I believe it. When I joined, I did not love myself; therefore, it was very hard to accept love. I hated the way I looked, the way I felt and what I thought. I hated my own body and was mad at God for what he had given me. Recently, I received a testimony from a new friend in First Place that could have been my own words. Kathleen wrote; “In January 2000, I watched from my living room window and I could see Ray and the girls playing football outside. I visualized them better off without me. Crabby, fat, sad and miserable was how I saw myself,

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Goals for a Healthier Family

It’s that time of year when we all think about a new beginning and setting new goals. I want to be honest with you. When I joined First Place 19 years ago, my thoughts were not on health, just losing weight. One of the miracles that God has done in my life is to completely change my thought life about why I continue in First Place. I am what you would call a First Place “lifer.” As I consider new goals for 2003, my concerns are as much about health as they are about weight loss. What a blessing we receive through our faithfulness to the commitments in First Place in the area of “good health.” The basic information we learn and apply improves our chances of avoiding cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. Of course, there is no guarantee that we won’t contract a major illness; however, we are doing

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December 2002

Christmas, my very favorite time of the year! I love buying gifts; I love receiving gifts, and I love giving gifts! Yes, I just love gifts! It is truly a gift for me just to walk into any store during this season and see the beauty of holiday decorations and hear the holiday music. It seems like the hearts of all around me are just a little sweeter. I was reading the evaluations from FOCUS Week and one really caught my attention. The participant said, “It has been a gift!” This person went on to say, “The Lord spoke to me throughout the time here, and the Lord has told me to share some of the truths when opportunity arises; to honor Him by being a hearer AND a doer of the Word!” One other evaluation stated, “My health evaluation was a wake-up call—it proved that I MUST get daily

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Whole Grains and Flaxseed

Whole grains can equal whole “gains” in our health! We all know the importance of getting proper amounts of fiber. Health officials are suggesting at least 25 to 35 grams a day. I just read about a study that pointed out yet another great benefit of eating whole grain. Switching from refined to whole grains can lower high insulin level, lowering the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Researchers fed overweight people with high insulin levels a diet with six to ten servings daily of food made from whole grains. All the volunteers’ insulin levels were lowered during a six-week study. Researchers aren’t sure yet if it’s the extra fiber, magnesium, or assorted phytochemicals in the whole grains that made the difference. Whole–grain breads, cereals, muffins, rice, pasta, cookies and pizza dough were used in this study. The volunteers actually preferred the whole-grain products. Another great way to increase fiber

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Pregnancy and Nursing Moms

Happy autumn to each of you! This is a beautiful time of the year, even in Texas where we do not have an extended season of “changing of the leaves.” It is also an exciting time for First Place. So many groups begin after Labor Day and I hear daily from new leaders saying, “This is the first time I have taught. Do you really think I can do this? Please take time to say a prayer for all the First Place leaders and co-leaders. God has called them to a very special ministry. Another question I am asked several times a week is, “What adjustments do I need to make for a member in my class who has just found out she is pregnant?” First Place views pregnancy and nursing as a medical condition. We ask each member with any type of medical condition to take their Member’s Guide

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June 2002

A common question asked of me is how to determine the exchanges of a new recipe or a family favorite that a member has converted to a First Place recipe. Summer is here and many First Place members may have more time to develop new recipes. I pray this article will encourage you to learn this process. It may seem a little complicated at first, but the more you use this chart the simpler it becomes. We all have family favorites that can easily be converted to a First Place recipe. All you may need to do is remove excess amounts of sugar and fat from the recipe. An artificial sweetener of your choice or unsweetened applesauce can often replace sugar. The amount of fat can also be reduced or removed by using applesauce, yogurt, or buttermilk. I start with equal amounts of the replacement and will sometimes need to

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Understanding the Food Exchanges

One of the most frequent requests I receive from First Place Leaders and members is, “Please help me understand the food exchange plan, especially how to count packaged foods.” I received two e-mails this past week within an hour requesting this information. I would like to share those e-mails with you and then give some steps that will help those of you who are struggling in this area. The first e-mail is from Vicki Mobley who is leading a small group in her home, and plans to start a program at her church after the initial 13 weeks. She writes…     “We have bought all the First Place materials, yet we are having a hard time understanding the exchanges and nutritional panels. We are all losing weight; the exercise and discipline are fantastic! Having a quiet time in the morning has made such a huge difference in our lives! Is

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April 2002

Back in the mid-1990’s, most Americans became aware of trans fats. Reports began to surface that margarine, often touted as healthy, contains these sinister fats and might not be preferable to butter after all. Manufacturers partially hydrogenate-that is, add hydrogen to-corn, soybean, and other highly unsaturated oils to make them more solid and stable. The result: some of the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids in the oils become more saturated. Hydrogenation gives margarines, shortening, and puddings a creamy consistency, and prolongs the shelf life of crackers, cakes, cookies, chips, popcorn, chocolate candy, and other foods that contain the semi-solid oils. Because they are less likely to turn rancid, hydrogenated oils are also greatly used in restaurants. As First Place members, we have protected ourselves to a point, by eliminating many of these food choices listed above from our daily consumption. Understanding trans fats can help us make better choices when

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Congrats to Those Reaching Lifetime Weight Goals

Please join the First Place Staff and me in congratulating eight of our First Place family members that have recently reached their lifetime First Place weight goal. CONGRATULATIONS! * Laurie Adornetto from Clarence Center, New York, lost 13 pounds in 3 months. * Roberta Caringer from Springfield, Missouri, lost 30 pounds in 10 months. * Valerie Ellegood from Decatur, Illinois, lost 73 pounds in 16 months. * Barbara McCartney from Nelson, Nebraska, lost 26 pounds in 6 months. * Amy Nieson from Forest Grove, Oregon, lost 17 pounds in 4 months. * Judy Powell from Decatur, Illinois, lost 24 pounds in 4 months. * Becky Wistwater from Decatur, Illinois lost 65 pounds in 15 months. * Missy Zessin from Florala, Alabama, lost 10 pounds in 3 months. Praise God! Each of these members has received a gift from First Place. May He receive the glory for the success they experienced.

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It’s OK to go Bananas over Bananas!

Well… we can go bananas as long as we properly measure that banana! I have heard and been involved in some pretty hilarious First Place discussions over the appropriate serving size of a banana. For example, if you choose a very small banana, it is usually smaller around, so shouldn’t it be a little longer than 1/2 of a medium banana, which is obviously bigger around? The fact is most of us did not get overweight by eating too much fruit, so if you do go over a little on exchanges, fruit is a good choice. Nutritionally, the banana is best known for its potassium content (about 450 milligrams) in a serving. It also provides a bonanza of B6 (more than 30 percent of daily value) and more than 2 grams of fiber, plus vitamin C. Bananas qualify for eight of the 11 government health claims that link foods to

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