EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES

Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber needed for a healthy diet. Enjoy these easy ways to add them to your meals! BREAKFAST Try a smoothie with low-fat milk, yogurt and fruit. Stuff an omelet with vegetables and add your favorite low-fat cheese. Top waffles or pancakes with your favorite fruits. LUNCH Try […]

How to Cook Locally in Winter

When markets are full of heirloom tomatoes or fresh peaches, cooking locally is easy. But winter cooking can be a challenge. Here are some tips for adjusting your cooking to the season. Embrace Winter’s Bounty Root vegetables harvested in the early winter store well for winter eating, and many hearty greens and cruciferous vegetables actually […]

Fresh Food for Thought

Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are essential foods in every diet. Did you know certain fruits and vegetables could be healthier for you depending on if they are organic or grown locally? Here are some facts about local and organic foods and tips on how you can make sure you’re eating the freshest foods. […]

Make a Healthy Grocery List

The best way to set yourself up for healthy eating is to be a smart and savvy shopper. One way to steer clear of those tempting treats at the checkout counter is to come to the grocery store with an organized list. Use the flyer below to help you organize your list according to healthiest foods. […]

Recipe

One-Ingredient Homemade Ice Cream

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Nothing says summer like a gooey, drippy, ice cream cone in the hot sun. But for those who are vegan, dairy-free, gluten intolerant or simply on a no-sugar-added diet, good ice cream can be hard to come by. Luckily, nature provides, and a few frozen bananas thrown into a blender or food processor makes a […]

How to eat like a toddler

by Sheila Harrell

Nutritionist Nicolette Pace says that babies have a natural rhythm when it comes to eating. When babies are hungry, they make sure to let you know. They do not wait until they are empty, weak and lightheaded. The same is true with when babies feel full. They don’t eat past the point where they feel […]

Recipe

Guacamole Dip

A healthy snack for your church meeting

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

When planning a Bible study, ministry team meeting, or movie screening, remember to keep your congregation healthy and well-fed by introducing a rotation of easy-to-prepare and healthy snacks. Ingredients 3 avocados, peeled and diced 1 cup tomatoes, seeded and diced 1/2 cup white onion, finely minced 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 2 limes, juiced 1/2 teaspoon […]

Fair Trade Food and Goods

Food choices for community well-being

Creation justice is not necessarily a new movement, but one that recently has been put in the spotlight due to climate change and the politics that go with it. While climate change is very much something that concerns the governing bodies of the world, it is equally pertinent to each community, particularly those of faith, […]

A Healthy Church Starts With Healthy Seminarians

How one seminary takes a preemptive strike on unhealthy clergy trends

by Mary Boland

At Columbia Theological Seminary, there’s a new health kick. “Kick the Can … and other Sugary Foods” challenges participating seminarians to reduce their sugar intake throughout the Lenten season. The program was developed by The Healthy Seminarians–Healthy Church Initiative (HSHC) which was started by Karen and Travis Webster to address the growing issue of unhealthy […]

Recipe

Splashy Summer “Mocktails”

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

It’s summer, and time for sabbath from sugar! Ditch the sugar and pre-made powders and enjoy these healthy, delicious drinks. Cucumber Cooler Not only is this a refreshing option on a hot day, but it’s also high in calcium, dietary fiber and iron. Serves 6 Ingredients: ½ Cucumber, washed and cut into thin slices 1 […]

Paying It Forward

New kitchen models are changing the way we pay

by Mary Boland

Pay-it-forward kitchens and restaurants utilize the gift economy concept, which is built on charity. Instead of a bill at the end of their meal, guests are encouraged to pay-it-forward and provide for someone else’s meal. In a way, the gift economy is the church economy; we are taught to give not because we’re expecting something […]

Gather Around the Table Coloring Page

Share the joy of gathering around the table. Photocopy this coloring sheet for your children or children at your church!  Download here >> Gather Around the Table

Recipe

Whole Wheat Ginger Bread Loaf

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Baking is a great way to celebrate the holidays with children. This healthy recipe uses fun ingredients and provides plenty of opportunities for measuring, stirring and discussing healthy food. The welcoming smell of gingerbread will warm the soul and the taste will please little ones’ tummies. Pair a slice of this loaf with warm apple […]

Setting a New Table

by Butch Odom

But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. – Luke 14:14  This chapter in Luke opens with Jesus preparing to have a Sabbath feast at the home of a leading Pharisee. In the midst of these prominent leaders, a man suffering from dropsy appears in front of Jesus. […]

Recipe

Calzone-style Hand Pies

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

This recipe is courtesy of the folks at Shobi’s Table, a food truck ministry in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ingredients: Italian Filling (serves 8) 1 cup sauce 1 pound sausage 8 ounces shredded cheese 1/2 an onion 1 tablespoon garlic 1 tablespoon olive oil Dough (serves 10) 286 grams flour 7 1/4 grams yeast 28 1/2 grams […]

Faith, Fellowship and a Food Truck

Shobi's Table in St. Paul, Minnesota

by Margaret Kelly

People frequently say that Shobi’s Table is a “new” thing. I would argue that a food truck church is about as back to basics as you can get.  We cook food together, we feed people together, we read Scripture together and we pray together. I’m pretty sure Jesus spent a lot of time doing several […]

Healthy Picnic Ideas

by Mary Boland

Substitute heavy, high calorie picnic staples like potato salad, creamy sauces, and hot dogs and hamburgers with tasty alternatives. Fun with Fruit Instead of a grabbing a bag of potato chips, grab a skewer! You can stick all your favorite summer fruits on a skewer, such as chunks of watermelon, strawberries, kiwi, and pineapple. The […]

In Remembrance of Me

Invisible Disabilities and Radical Welcome

by Joanna Hipp

On November 28, 2013, I boarded a plane from Busan, Korea, bound for the United States. Ten hours into the flight I started to feel funny. My jaw began to hurt, and I felt light-headed. I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror: my lips were blue, my face and chest were red. […]

Recipe

Honey Soy Salmon

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Makes 4 servings Serving Size: 1 fillet salmon Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories: 148; Total Fat: 5.1 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Sodium: 307 mg; Carbohydrate: 5.8 grams; Fiber: 0.25 grams; Protein: 19 grams Ingredients: 1 scallion, minced 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon rice vinegar […]

Recipe

Curried Black-Eyed Pea Salad

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

This side is the best combination of hot and cold, combining a spicy curry taste with a cool, refreshing salad. Be sure to take to your local farmer’s market this summer to find some fresh black-eyed peas, and explore different curry flavors to make this side your own. Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 60 […]

Review

The Food and Feasts of Jesus

The Original Mediterranean Diet, with Menus and Recipes

reviewed by Mary Boland

Have you ever wondered at the way Jesus lived? What was a typical day like? With whom did he have his meals, and what did he eat? Wonder no more, for Douglas Neel and Joel Pugh answer these and many other questions in their book, The Food and Feasts of Jesus. The authors state that […]

Recipe

Warm Winter Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

The deep flavors of roasted vegetables are the perfect complement to the freshness of this Mediterranean-inspired dressing. A parsnip resembles a white carrot and you can cook it the same way. It has a spicier flavor and can be boiled, roasted or grilled. Prep time: 15 minutes Total time: 40 minutes Makes 6 servings Serving […]

Feeding the Whole Person

by Barbara Wheeler-Bride

The social hall in the basement of the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew, United Methodist, in New York City is crowded with families. It’s not the church’s Sunday coffee hour or a potluck dinner. The families are waiting to see counselors at the West Side Campaign Against Hunger and receive needed social services […]

Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

by John Shorb

Early on a Friday morning, the line outside Holy Apostles Episcopal Church in New York City is already forming. People are waiting to get into the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen which began at the church in 1982. They serve more than 1,000 meals every weekday, even holidays. It is the largest soup kitchen in New York […]

Ministry for the Bees (and us)

by Ashley Goff

By June of 2011, forty-thousand honeybees called Church of the Pilgrims’ (PCUSA) urban garden home, pollinating our urban garden and the 1,700 acres of our neighboring forest oasis Rock Creek Park. It was in February of 2011 that one of our members, Erin Littlestar, a sustainable agriculture advocate, suggested honeybee hives at Pilgrims to enhance […]

Book Review

Making Peace with the Land

God’s Call to Reconcile with Creation

reviewed by Noah Campbell

Sometimes we become forgetful. We’re so busy keeping up with chores and calendars, we forfeit simple joys. We sleep, but we do not rest. We rush to keep up with demands of work, school, and sports. Our friendships suffer. Our family suffers. Our health suffers. Maybe, deep down, we worry. This doesn’t feel right. Worse […]

Book Review

Eating & Drinking

Book Review

reviewed by Joel R. Soza

In Eating and Drinking, Elizabeth T. Groppe writes about food and drink in relation to three themes: routine practices in North American society, Christian understandings of these practices, and reflective and constructive restatements of these practices. The book is a part of the Compass Series: Christian Explorations of Daily Living. In the first of her […]

Book Review

Organic Prayer

A Spiritual Gardening Companion

reviewed by Brianna Wagner

Nancy Roth provides just the right blend of practical organic gardening advice and prayerful guidance in her spiritual gardening companion, Organic Prayer. She speaks from years of experience as a gardener, a woman of faith, and a mother as she steers burgeoning planters past many obstacles, both within and without, that they will face. Organic […]

The Good Earth of Good Friday

by Stacy Smith

My grandfather used to always say that you should plant your garden on Good Friday. An intensely practical man, he shunned such frivolities as flowers and squash—a vegetable he regarded as inedible—but planted rows and rows of butter beans, tomatoes, peas and green beans in the dark soil of his north Georgia garden. As a […]

Recipe

Sweet Potato with Warm Black Bean Salsa

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Our first full day of Lent can be intimidating or even scary. We have many days ahead of us and much work to do. Today we will prepare this easy recipe as a way of introducing ourselves to the physical and spiritual disciplines of Lent. Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes Makes 4 servings Serving […]

Book Review

To Thank and Bless

Prayers at Meals

reviewed by Shelby Ussery

A family gathered around a table to share a leisurely evening meal is a fading trend in our fast paced and fast food centric world. Taking a moment to give thanks before a meal is an even more rare occurrence. With this in mind, Dietrich Reinhart and Michael Kwatera present readers with scripturally based and […]

Gluttony

by Kendra Hotz & Matthew Mathews

We often think of gluttony as simply eating too much, but the Christian tradition has used the term to name many ways in which our relationship with food is distorted. How we relate to food, to one another, and to God is so intimately connected that the Christian tradition has named gluttony, the distortion of […]

Interview

Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.

5 Questions for Michael Pollan

by Stacy Smith

Michael Pollan is a renowned journalist and author of four New York Times bestsellers on food. His new book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, tracks his efforts to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements: earth, air, fire and water. Church Health Reader grabbed a quick bite with Pollan to […]

Growing an International Garden

They have come from Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and other countries all over the world, but they are all growing in Texas. That is, they are growing mustard, cilantro, peppers and yard-long beans, while also growing connections to each other and their new home. With their refugee neighbors, St. Francis Episcopal Church is growing in relationship […]

Ezekial Bread

by Mary Boland

“But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days.” —Ezekiel 4:9, New American Standard Bible Ezekiel Bread is […]

Recipe

Ezekiel Bread

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Prep Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes (up to 13 hours with sitting time) Total Time: 3 hours (up to 16 hours with sitting time) Makes: Each loaf makes 28 servings; Serving Size: 1 slice Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories: 106; Total Fat: 23 g; Saturated Fat: 0; Sodium: 98 mg; Carbohydrate: 18.3 g; Fiber: […]

Recipe

Warm Chicken and Snow Pea Salad

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

This hearty dish features protein, healthy fats and a delectable combination of seasonings to tempt any palate. The simple measurements are a great way to include family members of all ages in preparing a meal together. Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes Makes: 4 servings Serving Size: 1 ¼ cups Nutrition Facts (per […]

Recipe

Pumpkin Quesadillas with Cranberry Orange Salsa

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Enjoy the flavors of Fall with this nutritious and delicious take on a Tex-Mex staple. This recipe is a great way to use leftovers after carving your pumpkin or enjoying your Thanksgiving meal. If you divide the servings in half, it makes a good after-school snack for children, and they can help too! Prep Time: […]

A Dinner Church Grows in Brooklyn

by Heather Young

When was the last time you dined with a stranger, someone with whom you had no mutual friends? For folks who worship at St. Lydia’s, a dinner church in Brooklyn, the answer is usually “last Sunday.” Over the last four years, our little church has grown from an Advent experiment held in a downtown Manhattan […]

Recipe

Fish Tacos with Strawberry Mango Salsa

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Enjoy the summer flavors of the Mexican coast with fresh tilapia and homemade salsa. Avocados, mangos and strawberries create the perfect complement to the lemon pepper tilapia. Consider grilling or baking your tortillas for a minute to warm them. This fresh meal is sure to become one of your summer staples! Prep Time: 15 minutes […]

What is Healthy Eating?

by L. Shannon Jung

Eating often seems so prosaic, so everyday, so trivial, that we are tempted to forget that eating is a spiritual and moral act. The question of what constitutes healthy eating is one that we in the church often leave to the nutritionists as though food were only a fuel and we only calorie-burners. I want to demonstrate here […]

Interview

Serving One Another with Grace Before Meals

Q & A with Father Leo Patalinghug

by Sarah Ranson

Along with his work as a parish priest at Our Lady of the Fields in Millersville, Maryland, Father Leo Patalinghug is also the host and founder of Grace Before Meals, a movement to strengthen families and communities around the dinner table. Father Leo contributes a monthly food column in Baltimore’s The Catholic Review called “Catholic […]

Book Review

In the Beginning was the Meal: Social Experimentation & Early Christian Identity

Book Review

reviewed by John Shorb

In the Beginning was the Meal: Social Experimentation & Early Christian Identity by Hal Taussig Hal Taussig provides a practical application for modern day Christian worship by delivering a scholarly analysis of Christian identity and origins placed in the context of 1st and 2nd century Greco-Roman meal gatherings. He demonstrates how the first Christians used these […]

Offer a Gluten-Free Communion

by Church Health Reader Editors

Traditional communion is off-limits for Christians with Celiac disease, gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity. In order to offer communion to all, consider a gluten-free option so that food allergies or intolerances are not an obstacle to the sacrament of communion. Important things to remember: Publicize Print a note in your bulletin, post flyers on the […]

Now Entering the ‘Fry-Free Zone’

How pastors and lay advocates are helping congregations improve diets, prepare healthy food and develop exercise habits

by Michelle J. Barrett

For ten Syracuse, New York area inner-city churches, the traditional menu for church-sponsored events has undergone significant and deliberate revamping. For decades, picnics and year-round fellowship programs offered fried chicken, potato salad, white bread, pastries and soda. Now church kitchens are serving baked chicken, tossed salad, whole-wheat bread, fruit, one-percent milk, water, coffee and tea. […]

Interview

Mindful Eating: Changing Congregational Food Practices

Q & A with Noah Campbell

by Sarah Ranson

Noah Campbell is the executive director of the Memphis Center for Food and Faith (MCFF). The Center, part theological institute and part community development ministry, asks the simple question: Are we loving God and our neighbor with our food choices? Church Health Reader spoke with Noah about the Center’s work in engaging Memphis clergy and […]

Recipe

Quinoa Salad with Cranberries

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Parsley, lemon juice and cranberries make for a light but flavorful salad! Don’t be tricked by the low amount of calories—this dish is very filling! Pair it with baked fish for dinner or eat it as your main course for a healthful lunch. Quinoa is a perfect protein and is gluten free, so it’s a […]

Church Meals Lead the Way

First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Seattle, WA

by Church Health Reader Editors

“Alot of eating goes on at church,” says Rita Howard, president of faith and health ministries at First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME) in Seattle, Washington. “ A church is a central community hub that brings people together to eat and meet, so it’s the perfect place to start impacting people’s diets in a positive, […]