Nutritional

My Place for Nutrition

My Place for Nutrition

When I was first asked over two years ago by Vicki Heath to author the revision of the food plan, my emotions were all over the board. First, I felt extreme excitement!  I would get to do something for a ministry that changed my life, a program that I have loved for 23 years now….what an honor!  Then came the fear that I couldn’t possibly be “smart enough” for this task.  But God assured me “it would be OK”, He would help. After all, He had helped every single person who had this job since First Place began in 1981, and He wouldn’t stop when it was my turn!   Now, I am so thrilled to share My Place for Nutrition with you.  I was told before I began writing the book that I could do something new—I could write it in the “first person”, speaking to you from my heart and my own personal experiences, just like

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A Lifestyle of Healthy Eating

A Lifestyle of Healthy Eating

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. Check out the Beef Stir Fry on our website and in the September 2018 newsletter. 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.  Use fat sparingly. Fat serves

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Mix Up Your Menu

Mix Up Your Menu

It’s easy to get in a rut with our food choices.  We eat the same things week after week until it’s boring.  It’s smart to have some healthy go to’s that you can pull together easily, but boring can lead to unhealthy choices.  The same ole’ same ole’ doesn’t sound very good, so we reach for whatever is available.  To help you get out of that rut, here are a few easy recipes with tips for mixing up your ingredients. Eggs and Spinach in a Cup 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup diced onion Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 1 clove garlic 4 cups packed baby spinach Sea salt, to taste 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 4 large eggs Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and red pepper flakes and sauté until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. 

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Rotisserie Chicken Hacks

Rotisserie Chicken Hacks

As the weather heats up, the idea of having the oven on for an hour is daunting.  Grabbing a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store on the way home can be just what you need for a quick and easy dinner that won’t leave you sweating in the kitchen. Buy a rotisserie chicken and remove all chicken from bone and chop. Choose a recipe below for each day of the week (or until you run out of leftover chicken). BBQ CHICKENBURGER Mix chopped chicken with barbecue sauce and spread on a whole wheat bun. QUICK AND EASY TOSTADA Place shredded chicken on crispy tostada shell smeared with refried beans. Top with light cheddar cheese and bake in 350° F degree for five minutes (or until cheese is melted). Top with mixed greens and diced tomato. Serve with light sour cream and salsa or mix low-fat ranch with chopped cilantro and

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Lisa’s Favorite Healthy Hacks

Lisa's Favorite Healthy Hacks

Use a mug for your cereal or ice cream.  It’s a great way to stay within a healthy portion size. Making your own salsa with fresh ingredients is not as hard as you might think.  Begin with a finely chopped mix of onions, cilantro and jalapenos.  Add chopped tomatoes and a splash of lemon or lime juice.  Kick it up a level with chopped pineapple, mango or corn. Freshen up your limp kale or other vegetables by dropping them into ice water.  Plants wilt due to water loss.  Ice water restores their crispness. – USED Have a hard time getting your kids to try new foods?  Try the “No, Thank you” bite.  If they don’t want to try something, they take a “No, Thank you” bite and if they still don’t want it, no biggie.  Kids have to try things many times before they start to like them.

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Laid Back Spring

Laid Back Spring

With the days getting warmer, longer and more relaxed, here are a few laid-back ideas for a healthier Spring. Boost Your Berries Blackberries, blueberries or strawberries – Just one cup a day will load you up on antioxidants and fiber. Very Berry Fruit Salad 2 cups of strawberries 1 cup blueberries 1 cup blackberries 1/4 cup honey 1/4 cup lemon juice Whisk together honey and lemon and toss with fruit.  Serves 4 Pay Attention to Portion Sizes A tennis ball or baseball = about 1 cup (or use your clenched fist as a rough estimate). Use this measurement for sides like potato, pasta or bean salads.  Stick to one cup of the more starchy sides. Your cell phone = about 3 ounces meat. Use this measurement for meats like chicken, brisket or fish. Your thumb = about 1 tablespoon. Use this measurement for dressings or spreads.  Choose reduced fat varieties when you can.

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Celebrate Spring

Celebrate Spring

Spring is officially here! The days are getting longer, and more varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables are hitting the stores. With more sunlight-filled hours, spring months are full of activities and events. That shouldn’t prevent you from getting healthy, delicious dinners on your table. Spring is the ultimate season for fresh produce. These easy spring recipes feature fresh, seasonal produce and bright flavors that you will love. From a simple salad to a one-pan wonder to a colorful side, you will have these on the table in a jiffy. One Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup fat-free Italian dressing 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast 2 bunches broccoli (TIP:  Look for dark green, compact, heads.  Avoid them if they looked bruised,) 1 cup baby carrots 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder Preheat oven to 400

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Simple & Delicious

Simple & Delicious

Simple and delicious – that’s what we want.  We want to walk into our kitchen and throw a meal together with no stress or frustration.  A meal that uses fresh ingredients with tons of color and flavor.  We want shortcuts in time, but not shortcuts in nutrition and taste.  Is that too much to ask?  No!  It’s not too much to ask. The key is to combine convenience with fresh.  We don’t always have time to simmer for three hours.  We don’t have time to boil a batch of brown rice.  One of my favorite things in the world is to chop vegetables.  I get such satisfaction and peace from what some might consider a chore, but that is probably not you.  There is no shame in buying already chopped veggies.  You can even get them on the frozen food aisle and have them in your freezer whenever you need

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Best Meal Ever!

Best Meal Ever!

We know that fruits and vegetables are good for us; Twinkies and chips are not. That part is not complicated. But are you stocking your fridge and pantry with the right healthy foods—foods that give you optimum nutrition for your calorie buck in taste and nutrition?  Stock up on these foods so you can make the best meal ever!  A Bag of Greens Like Spinach or Kale – Throw together a kitchen sink salad with these greens as your base and whatever leftover veggies you have around.  Add a protein, like a can of beans or leftover chicken and your favorite dressing.  Or toss a few handsful of baby spinach or mixed greens on your pizza just before serving to add a fresh flair to the rich cheese and tomato.   Eggs – Eggs are the perfect go-to when you haven’t planned anything for a meal.  You can whip up omelets, frittatas or a simple

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Healthy HOLIDAY Hacks

Healthy HOLIDAY Hacks

Choose Your Splurges Wisely Instead of wasting calories on foods that you can have at any time of the year, pick items that are truly special and unique to the holiday, like your grandmother’s pecan pie or your sister-in-law’s potato casserole.  You can have cheese dip and crackers any time.  Plan in advance for these indulgences.  Make a simple switch to account for those calories – maybe skip that morning coffee-shop treat or go light on another meal. Holiday Recipe Swaps No One Will Notice We’re always looking for ways to make our favorite foods healthier without sacrificing flavor.  Here are a few you can use in your favorite holiday recipes that no one will even notice.  Substitute applesauce for oil, butter or sugar.  Not only does it add sweetness to recipes, but it does it with fewer calories than sugar. Without butter, you’re cutting the saturated-fat content of things

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