Nutritional

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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January 2002

Happy New Year! January brings “new beginnings,” a fresh start for many First Place members. It is also a time to reflect. You may not have met all your goals for the year 2001, but I pray you made progress on your First Place journey. Even the lapses in our First Place journey can be beneficial. I have learned facts about myself during times of lapse that can help me get back on track in a shorter length of time. I have gone through periods when I am exercising faithfully and even enjoying it, slightly. Then, something out of my control happens and I find myself not exercising. In the beginning I would wait, falsely thinking that someday I would want to exercise; that I would suddenly “feel like exercising” again. What I learned about myself was that I better put the tennis shoes on and get started when I

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December 2001

Christmas is in the air! As a matter of fact, the sounds and sights of Christmas have been around for several weeks, but we are now in the actual countdown! I would like to suggest a couple of ways that might help each of us get through the holidays without gaining weight or losing the momentum of establishing that permanent healthy lifestyle. The key is to stay focused on the commitments. We often become stressed just thinking about the holiday challenges of decorating, shopping for just that perfect present and cooking and wrapping holiday goodies. When we find that we are short on time, the first thing we often give up is our quiet time have found that success in handling holiday stress depends on my time in God’s Word. If your class is not doing a Bible Study during the holidays, spend some time in Luke reading the Christmas

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Lutein: Not Just For Eyes

Score one more for green leafy vegetables. Lutein, a carotenoid that colors spinach, kale, collards, and their cousins, has had positive reviews in the news, lately. Research has shown that lutein may protect eyes from macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness in the elderly. Research has shown that lutein may also keep arteries from clogging. Popeye was getting more than that surge of energy when he ate his spinach and so will you. Eat more spinach! I love fresh lemon juice on mine. It has occurred to me that First Place members might eat more of the “free” vegetables (page 51, Member’s Guide) if they could count them as a vegetable on the Commitment Record (CR). I hear from several First Place members every week who tell me that if they are going to eat those “free veggies,” they want to count them. The free vegetables, when eaten raw,

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October 2001

As I watched the first tower of the World Trade Center crumble, my prayer was, “Oh, Lord let these people know you.” My very next thought was, “Am I doing everything I can to tell people about Jesus Christ?” I thank God for the opportunity I am given through First Place to share the plan of salvation. As I was writing this article, I received an e-mail from Peggy Follrod in Ohio, stating: “The commitment to sharing Christ and the First Place goals are so evident by every video, article, etc., the First Place staff releases. Thanks!” I believe evangelism is the key to why God has blessed this program for more than 20 years. Share His good news! The past few days have been shocking, but the words Jesus spoke in John have given me such comfort, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do

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