Nutritional

Seven Healthy Snacks

Seven Healthy Snacks

A snack should be small—something to give you energy and prevent you from getting too hungry before your next meal.  It’s important to have a balanced snack with a little protein and some carbs, so that you stay fueled and focused on your day.  Here are seven healthy snacks that fit the bill: Cut an apple into bite-sized pieces and add them to one-half cup low-fat cottage cheese. Sprinkle one tablespoon chopped walnuts or pecans (and a little honey if you like it a little sweeter). Slice a whole grain pita into wedges and serve with hummus and a handful of fresh berries on the side. Combine one cup plain low-fat yogurt with one-half cup berries, and one-quarter cup chopped nuts. Add honey, if desired. Serve olives and marinated red peppers with a piece of warm whole grain bread. Sliced tomato with a sprinkle of feta and olive oil. Peanut

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Set Yourself Up for Success

Set Yourself Up for Success

Are you sabotaging your efforts or setting yourself up for success?  Behaviors that are related to weight loss and weight management range from preparing dinner at home most nights of the week to cutting your food in half at restaurants and packing up half of it to go. Some behaviors will be easier to adopt than others. But all of these suggestions will make your physical and social settings, as well as your personal attitudes and beliefs, conducive to whatever behaviors you need to adopt. Clear Out “Toxic” Foods from Your Immediate Physical Environment.  Clean out your refrigerator, your pantry, your desk drawer, your closet, your car—wherever you find the wrong edibles! Don’t wait for the food to disappear later in the week—clear out the junk today. This includes high-fat, high-calorie and nutritionally empty foods and beverages. Eating some of these in moderation is one thing, but a food environment

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Jump Start the New Year

These simple steps will kick start your weight loss.  Do all eight for 14 days and you’ll find yourself back on track.  We can do anything for 14 days!  If you are just beginning your journey with First Place 4 Health, this is an easy way to begin as you familiarize yourself with all aspects of First Place 4 Health. Pray before you eat anything.  Ask God to help you make healthy choices.  You can’t do it alone and you don’t have to. Weigh yourself.   Weigh now—and again at the same time each week.  Only weigh once per week.  Weighing more often can lead to discouragement when you don’t see a change quickly. Write down everything you eat.   Don’t worry about counting it on your FP4H Tracker.  Just get it on paper. Don’t eat any fried foods.  None.  Zero.  No excuses. Eat only low-fat dairy and meat products.  Reduced-fat cheeses are easy to find and

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Healthy Hacks

Healthy Hacks

We’re all looking for tricks and tips to eat, cook and serve healthy meals.  Try these five Healthy Hacks for the kitchen, for the table and for the grocery store. Portion Size Healthy Hack.  The bigger the plate the more you eat.  Invest in smaller plates and bowls, or serve dinner on salad plates and use a mug for your cereal or ice cream. Another trick:  Spread food, rather than mound it.  It looks like a lot when it’s not.  Vegetable Prep Healthy Hack.  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. Grocery Bag Healthy Hack.  In a recent study, researchers found that 64 percent of the 25 used reusable grocery bags tested were contaminated with bacteria.  Make sure to wash your cloth bags weekly and use single-use bags (e.g., plastic) for raw meat,

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Organic on a Budget

Organic on a Budget

With the higher costs of organic foods, you may be wondering if the organic bananas you’ve been putting in your cart are worth the extra money.  There are a few reasons that some organic foods are worth the cash. They Have More Nutrients:  Reports of organic food not being better for you are outdated. A brand new analysis of about 100 studies, including more than 40 published in the past 7 years, found that the average levels of nearly a dozen nutrients are 25% higher in organic produce. They May Help you Lose Weight:  Research in rats found that those fed an all-organic diet (versus conventional food) had lower weights, less body fat, and stronger immune systems. Plus, the “clean diet” animals were calmer and slept better. You Consume Fewer Toxins:  Eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables exposes you to about 14 pesticides a day. A study supported by the EPA

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Easy Ways to Eat More Veggies

Easy Ways to Eat More Veggies

In soups, salads, pastas, sandwiches, pizzas, and casseroles, most recipes call for a certain amount of vegetables. You’re already slicing and dicing, so with a little extra chopping, you can up your veggie totals. Stir into soups. Don’t be afraid to go off the recipe.  In soups, an extra handful or two of veggies will not ruin the recipe. Pile on pizza. Don’t hold back on the veggies!  Add extra veggies to a frozen pizza, order double veggies from delivery, or create your own. Stir into casseroles. Cooking up a Mexican casserole? Add some extra peppers, mushrooms, and squash.  Making Lasagna?  Add some chopped broccoli or spinach to the marinara layer.  Chicken Pot Pie? Double those peas and carrots. Be creative! Shred it.  Shred or grate fruits and vegetables and add to your favorite recipes.  It can work in marinara, meatballs, meatloaf and others. Lisa Lewis, author of Healthy Happy Cooking,

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How to Build a Salad Like a Boss

How to Build a Salad Like a Boss

When you think salad, your first thought may not be “mmmmm—yummy!”  Salad gets a bad rap for being plain or boring.  Many associate it with “dieting” or as something you shouldeat.  Well, I’m here to tell you that a salad can be delicious, filling and downright yummy.  Did you roll your eyes?  I’m serious!  So, are you ready to build a salad like a boss!  It’s easy if you stock up with a few of your favorite ingredients from five different categories.  You can even make these at the beginning of the week for an easy grab and go lunch (details below). BUILD YOUR SALAD  First – Choose Your Greens.   Your greens are your base.  Mix it up and try different greens.  You might choose Romaine, Spinach, Red Leaf Lettuce or even Kale.  Kale is very chewy and I recommend chopping it well. Layer One – Fruits & Veggies.  It’s all about color! 

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Healthy Nutrition Training

Healthy Nutrition Training

Hebrews 12:11:  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way with regards to your eating habits, but I think we can all identify with how training our minds and bodies to be stronger (literally and figuratively) can be tedious, in the least! However, God works everything for His children’s good and has a perfect plan to prosper us and not harm us (Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11 respectively). Notice the benefits of training listed in Hebrews 12:11—righteousness and peace. How many of us are searching for just a little peace with regards to our eating habits? Wouldn’t we all love to finally see righteousness flow out from this area of our lives? Becoming more like Christ in everything requires consistent effort

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Five Superfoods You Need in Your Kitchen

Although there is no set criteria for determining what is and what is not a “superfood”, they have a common characteristic—they are nutritionally dense.  Here are five super foods that would be a super addition to your meals. TOMATO.  This fruit/vegetable is the exemplification of a cancer-fighting superfood. Not only do tomatoes contain lycopene, the antioxidant phytochemical that also helps prevent heart disease, but they’re a good source of vitamins A, C, and E — all enemies of cancer-friendly free radicals. GARLIC.  This super food has been used to treat conditions ranging from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and heart attack to certain types of cancer.  Add a few cloves to almost any savory sauce recipe, or create a meat rub before tossing steaks on the grill. Garlic is also an easy add-in for cooked greens and other veggies, and its flavor boost makes it easier to cut

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“Lord, Help Me Want to Track!”

“Lord, Help Me Want to Track!”

Over the past ten years, I learned to admire and respect my Live It Tracker.  Now old friends, I realized when I am honest with my tracking, I lose weight more consistently.  The road has been rocky.  At one point we broke up, when I tired of the constant need to fill in the blanks or update my App. After reaching my healthy goal, I convinced myself I no longer needed the accountability.  The weight on the scale told a different story.  Without the tracker, I gained weight creeping slowly away from my healthy goal.  For long lasting success, I need the honest feedback my tracker reveals. I ask my group members to fill out a paper Live It Tracker for a minimum of two weeks in their first session.  The paper tracker is a great tool for teaching people the Live It plan.  I need accountability too as a

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