Nutritional

Eat Right

Eat Right

You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV) The human body is an amazing and complex creation. God created us, breathed life into us and our bodies are the temple for the Holy Spirit. We have a responsibility to properly care for God’s temple until we take our very last breath. As Dr. Dick Couey says in the First Place 4 Health DVD, Why Should a Christian Be Physically Fit, we want to be strong enough to serve God as long and as best as we can. But eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few simple tips to get you started: EAT THINGS YOU CAN GROW. An apple comes from a tree. A potato comes from the ground. Where does a Twinkie come from? Unprocessed, whole foods will

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Where’s Your Focus?

Where's Your Focus?

I was recently convicted about something that I thought was no longer a big issue or challenge for me. “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12) comes to mind, right?  Anyway, I will confess that I allowed a few too many calories to pass through my lips, along with a little less exercise, than I needed over the Christmas holidays.  I was still in my healthy weight range, but not exactly where I knew I needed to be—for me.  So, I made a concentrated effort to cut my calories back a little from my usual maintenance level of 1600-1800 and was following the 1300-1400 calorie level on the FP4H Live-it chart.  I was SO CAREFUL….but after a couple of weeks with still no change, I was getting a little upset.  Old thoughts started popping into my mind—the same ones I battled over 20 years ago

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Spring Cleaning Your Pantry

Spring Cleaning Your Pantry

As we head into spring, our thoughts turn to cleaning out closets and garages, but there’s another place you might want to consider in your spring cleaning plan—your pantry.  Here are some tips to get you started. Before heading to the store, “shop” your pantry to find ingredients you already have for easy, tasty recipes. Homemade soup is a great way to use a mixture of pantry ingredients such as pasta, dried beans, canned vegetables, spices and grains.  You can find a great recipe later in this newsletter. Designate items for donations that you know you won’t use. It’s easy to find a local food bank with Feeding America’s food bank locator – http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx. Place older foods first on each shelf and newer foods behind them so that the older foods get used up first. Place frequently-used items on shelves that are easy to reach. Label each item with the dateit was purchased,

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Seven Reasons to Keep Tracking

Seven Reasons to Keep Tracking

Of all the habits I’ve formed in the last eleven years of my wellness journey, completing my Live It Tracker has never changed.  If I track, I succeed. If I stop tracking, my weight rises. My tracker guides me and doesn’t condemn me. If I have a higher calorie meal or snack, I’m able to compensate during the next meal or the next day. When I fill out a tracker honestly and completely, it’s a great day. My tracker sheds light on the hidden calories.  If I can’t figure out how to track it, it probably has hidden calories.  I look at the nutritional information and determine how to track. If I can’t figure out how to track it, I’ll make a different choice. My tracker gives me greater success when I eat out.  At a restaurant, I ask the server questions and then do a quick Internet search for

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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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