Holiday Nutrition Strategies

10 Tips for the Season

The fall months roll into “the holidays.” For many people, extra pounds roll on along with the favorite holiday foods and treats. Here are 10 tips to enjoy healthy nutrition and maintain your weight through the holiday season. Eat breakfast. Studies show people who eat breakfast take in fewer calories during the day. Plate it. […]

Meal Planning and Prepping Tips

Be ready to cook healthy meals

The key to cooking consistently healthy food on a smart budget is planning and preparation. Instead of worrying about every day’s exact menu down to the serving size, meal planning can simply be a way to ensure that you’ve got pantry, fridge, and freezer staples on hand to whip up healthy, well-balanced meals. Saving yourself […]


Lenten Food and Fasting

Mindful of the seasons

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

In the Christian tradition, the season of Lent brings two traditions related to food: eating meatless meals and fasting. Lent is a time when we practice sacrifice as a way of remembering Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. In eating simply, we honor Christ and the fundamental connection between bodies and spirits. Refraining from eating meat—or […]

How to Prep Your Pumpkin

Pumpkins grow in a large range of sizes, colors, and textures. They are all edible, though some are tastier than others. The smaller ones, often called pie pumpkins, are most commonly used in cooking because they are easier to handle and more flavorful than larger pumpkins. One pie pumpkin yields about 4 cups of edible […]

Eating Healthy with Diabetes

Your body’s cells need sugar for energy. Some of the food you eat breaks down into sugar (glucose) and travels in your blood to all your cells. Insulin from your pancreas helps the sugar move. When you have diabetes, your pancreas makes too little insulin or none at all, or your body prevents the insulin […]

Sweetening Summer with Peppers

Colorful add-ins with flavor

Eating healthy can get mired in foods to eliminate or avoid. Reduce sugar and salt; don’t drink soda; avoid fatty and fried foods. Summer makes it easy to add to what you eat—colorful and flavorful fruits and vegetables. Sweet and hot peppers offer an inexpensive range of colors and flavors to enjoy raw or cooked […]

Sacred Space of Community and Worship

Black Church Food Security Network

by Lauren Hales

At Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, III, pastors a congregation that serves as the flagship garden and impetus for the Black Church Food Security Network (BCFSN). The BCFSN provides start-up funds and garden expertise for African American congregations to begin growing healthy food on church land. Rev. Brown explains, […]


Green Bean Casserole

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Consider substituting this healthier version of the Thanksgiving classic for your family or dinner group. Total Time: 60 minutes; Makes: 8 servings; Serving Size: 1/8th of casserole Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories: 203; Total Fat: 9.5 grams; Saturated Fat: 3.9 grams; Sodium: 412 mg; Carbohydrates: 19 grams; Fiber: 3.1 grams; Protein: 11 grams Ingredients: Cooking […]


Kale Chips

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Swap out potato chips for these nutritious kale ones! Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 20 minutes; Serves 6 Serving size: about ½ cup Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories 37; Fat 3 g; Sodium 208 mg; Carbohydrates 3 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 1 g *Nutrition facts are based on 1 bunch of kale, 1 […]


Shrimp Étouffée

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

This day has many names: Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Carnival, Mardi Gras. It is traditionally the last day before the discipline and restraint of Lent, so naturally it tends to be a day when we let loose. Yet we can enjoy the traditional foods of this day without sacrificing our health. Today we will prepare […]


Deliciously Simple Pizza Crust

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

This pizza crust freezes really well. Make 1 large or 4 mini pizzas. Be creative! Coat the crust with pizza sauce, pesto or even just olive oil. Add healthy toppings like peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and onions. Use moderation when adding cheese and use low-fat cheeses. If you do not have a pizza peel, put the […]

Save That Recipe

Rescue unhealthy family favorites with simple ingredient switches

Instead of throwing out all of your family’s favorite recipes that might be deemed “unhealthy,” find inspiration with the following tips and tricks that will help you reduce unnecessary sodium, calories, and unhealthy fats in the foods you already love. By making simple ingredient switches, such as low-fat yogurt for mayonnaise, your own popular dishes […]

Sharing Meals, Sharing Health

Shared meals in a congregation are often a consistent part of the Wednesday night gatherings or following Saturday and Sunday services. Making changes for the better, however, whether that is including a vegetarian option, reducing unnecessary sodium, or even incorporating local produce into the menu, can seem a daunting task. Perhaps start with substituting hummus […]


Healthy Holiday Drinks

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Mix up healthy holiday drinks, like sparkling water mixed with a little cranberry juice, garnish with a spring of rosemary or slice of orange. Or try this Healthy Holiday Nog: four bananas 1½ cups skim or soy milk 1½ cups plain nonfat yogurt ¼ teaspoon rum extract. Puree all ingredients until smooth. Top with a […]


Spinach Dip

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Prep time: 15 minutes Total time: 40 minutes Makes 10 servings Serving Size: ¼ cup Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories: 139; Total Fat: 3 g; Sodium: 246 mg; Carbohydrate: 11 g; Fiber: 1 g; Protein: 5 g Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 teaspoon all-purpose flour 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry […]


Apple Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Prep time: 10 minutes Total time: 30 minutes Makes 4 servings Serving Size: 1 pancake, about 4 mini cinnamon rolls Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories: 325; Total Fat: 13 g; Sodium: 397 mg; Carbohydrate: 45 g; Fiber: 6 g; Protein: 11 g Ingredients: Pancake: ¾ cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup whole-wheat flour 2 teaspoons baking […]


The Best Chili

developed by Church Health Center Wellness

Prep time: 15 minutes Total time: 50 minutes Makes 10 servings Serving Size: 1 cup Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories: 209; Total Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Sodium: 260 mg; Carbohydrate: 25 g; Fiber: 8 g; Protein: 15 g Ingredients: 1 pound ground turkey 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 yellow onion, chopped 1 green […]


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. […]


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 […]


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, […]

Wild Yeast

The benefits of homemade sourdough bread bread

Homemade bread has been a staple in the human diet for thousands of years. What probably began as an accident involving a forgotten bowl of flour and water has grown into a massive industry. Wheat is one of the most grown grains on the planet, with 726.94 million metric tons produced in 2015 ( Along […]

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 […]


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. Print this coloring sheet for your children or children at your church!   Download here >> Gather Around the Table


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. […]


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. […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]