Tag Archives: low calorie snacks

First Place 4 Health – for the four-sided person we are

This Saturday, I’m planning to participate (with three others from our community) in a statewide First Place 4 Health  leadership training seminar. This incredibly-successful program (www.firstplace4health.com ) focuses on the four components of a person’s life: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

The program materials  assume that those who consider taking part in the 12-week group sessions accept (or are open to) the fact that they are the creation of a loving God. With this knowledge, they can run the gamut from being passionate to just a bit curious about discovering how that truth plays out in their lives, and how to apply it to their weight-loss journey.

Make no mistake – First Place 4 Health (FP4H) is not just a Bible study. The nutrition plans are well-researched, thorough, sound and widely accepted as a healthy way to eat that one can live with the rest of his/her life. A member’s kit contains resources covering scores of topics (from time management to developing a healthy self-image to making wise choices with meal planning), DVDs (including one about emotional eating), and a hardback book chronicling FP4H from its beginning in 1981 to the present, and sharing numerous success stories of men and women. And another vital part of the program is the encouragement and support members receive from being part of a like-minded group.

Back to the four-sided person: the FP4H premise of looking at these four components recognizes that weight-loss success isn’t just about controlling the appetite. There is often emotional baggage one must deal with before habits can be permanently overcome and changed. Some may just not have the nutritional know-how to make wise choices. And others may come to realize a spiritual void in their lives, and journey toward wholeness in that area.

It’s easy to prioritize the physical aspects of weight management, but countless individuals have seen lasting success by focusing on the whole person. I hope you will consider the FP4H program in your healthy lifestyle quest!

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Filed under Bible study, Christian weight loss programs, decision-making, faith, First Place 4 Health, healthy weight loss, Jesus, making changes, priorities

Fruits…sweet and delicious…nature’s “candy”

God loves to give good gifts, and fruits are one of the edible kinds I enjoy most! (Photo by Ann Maniscalco)

Ahhh, summertime…don’t you just love the abundance of fresh fruits? There’s something about slicing into a ripe kiwi fruit or a juicy orange that reminds me of God’s creative genius. Fruits, the delectable sweets than could be referred to as “nature’s candy”, are part of the blessings God gives us to keep us healthy and well nourished.

 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Yes, our heavenly Father definitely “gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17), and when we consider the rich variety of fruits available for our selection, won’t you agree He outdid Himself in that area?

 Most of us don’t need any coaxing to bite into a ripe peach, top our cereal with slices of golden banana, or make a smoothie with our favorite berries. But have we considered why fruit is such a vital part of a healthy diet? Here’s some data gleaned from a site with a wealth of dietary information – www.mypyramid.gov:

 “Health benefits:

  • Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain cancers, such as mouth, stomach, and colon-rectum cancer.
  • Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Eating fruits and vegetables rich in potassium as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and may help to decrease bone loss.
  • Eating foods such as fruits that are low in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.”

 The site also points out that “people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.”

Thought for the day:

For more fiber, and staying power, “eat” your fruit instead of drinking it.

Question: What are you top three favorite fruits?


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Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, food, fruit, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, meal preparation, menu planning, snacks, summer meals

100-calorie (or less) filling snacks

When our stomach starts rumbling, and it’s not mealtime, a low-calorie snack can put those hunger pangs to rest. Here are some faves of mine that “weigh-in” at 100 calories or less: 


v     Healthy Choice® Soup (many of these are around 100 calories) 

v     A piece of low-fat string cheese 

v     Half-a-cup of 1% milk and half a graham cracker 

v     10 pieces of Quaker True Delights Multigrain Fiber Crisps (wild blueberry)® 

v     Half a shaved lean ham sandwich, spread with spicy mustard 

v     ¼ cup 1% milkfat cottage cheese topped with a bit of mandarin oranges 

v     Slice of cinnamon toast 

v     A medium banana 

v     Yoplait Light Smoothie® 

v     ½ cup of V-8 juice® with a couple of pieces of melba toast 


If we allow ourselves to become overly hungry, we’re likely to overeat when we sit down for our meal. These treats handily take the edge off my hunger. What are some of your favorite snacks that tide you over until mealtime or bedtime? 


Thought for the day:  

“The decisions we make today – wise or unwise – will be part of our tomorrows.” 


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Filed under calorie reduction, counting calories, food, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, snacks