Nutrition Nook – A Simple, Healthful Recipe for Chicken Nuggets 

Janet Thompson

By Janet Thompson 

I’m excited to introduce myself to Christian Living Magazine readers and to my new column, Nutrition Nook. My first career was as a registered dietitian. While I’m now a Christian author and speaker, once a dietitian always a dietitian! I love helping my family and friends eat healthy and take care of their God-given bodies. 

I muse that sometimes we take better care of our cars, which we hope will last a few years, than we care for our bodies, which we expect to last a lifetime. We would never fill up a gasoline engine car with diesel or vegetable oil, yet we often indiscriminately fill up our bodies with junk. 

“Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words.” (Isaiah 55:2, The Message) 

My plan is to make Nutrition Nook interesting, fun, motivational, and informative, along with sharing a recipe favorite with you each time. Since we’re now a couple months into the New Year, some of you might’ve started 2024 with goals to lose weight and get into better physical shape. Maybe you even joined a gym. I hope you’re still eating well and exercising, but you might not be as enthusiastic as you were back in January. 

My hubby and I live in the mountains of Idaho. Our winters are long, icy, and snowy. So we joined a local gym. We stay consistent by having a schedule. Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 4 p.m., you’ll usually find us at the gym. We like going in the late afternoon because my writing day is over and often we have the gym to ourselves. Others prefer starting their day with exercise. Whatever days, times, and form of exercise work best for you, develop a routine and schedule it on your calendar. An accountability workout partner helps too and is fun. When the weather improves, I like to take walks on the days we’re not at the gym. 

I’m reading the Bible in a year, or I should say listening to the Bible this year. I make my workouts enjoyable by listening to an audio Bible on my ear pods. If you, like many, have trouble finding time to sit down and read the Bible, listening to it helps your workout or exercise go faster while improving your spiritual health. 

Now to tackle what we eat! 

You’ve probably noticed this phenomenon on social media. A friend posts selfies looking fabulous after losing weight, as they joyously grin with their achieved success. Everyone congratulates her or him. “Oohs and ahhhs” fill the comments. But as suddenly as the pictures appeared, months go by with no pictures. Then you see a picture and your heart sinks … at least my dietitian’s heart sinks. They’ve gained all the weight back, and maybe more! 

Or we see celebrities go up and down in weight over the years as they try, or even endorse, different diet plans. 

What happened? Why wouldn’t everyone want to maintain his or her amazing weight loss? Why wouldn’t they want to stay trim and healthy? Why wouldn’t they want to enjoy wearing all those beautiful new smaller size clothes they bought? Maybe I’m talking to you. 

The answer is usually the same – they were on a weight loss regime they couldn’t possibly maintain for life. Fast and noticeable weight loss was the immediate goal, without a long-term maintenance plan to keep the weight off. 

Maybe they eliminated food groups, ate extremely low calories or ready-prepared boxed or frozen meals, drank shakes, endured shots, swallowed pills, or even underwent surgery. Does any of that sound familiar? Anxious for a quick fix, many resort to something drastic to get fast results, but they couldn’t eat like that for a lifetime. Once they reached the weight goal, or ran out of money for the costly shots or products, slowly, maybe quickly, the natural tendency is to return to familiar eating habits. 

Weight loss without a realistic lifetime eating plan is doomed to failure. God designed our body to operate best on the food He created, in the quantities that maintain optimal health. When we try to circumvent His plan for good nutrition by going on a crash diet … we crash too. 

I recently saw a friend who had lost weight and I commented how great she looked. She said her goal was to be thin for her high school reunion. Her main concern now was keeping the weight off for the next two months until the reunion. And with those words, I knew that once the reunion was over, she would regress to her past eating patterns and soon the lost weight would return. Unconsciously, she was acknowledging it wouldn’t just be difficult to maintain her weight for two months, but impossible beyond that. I commented that the first time I met her she was on a diet, and her reply was like so many, maybe even you, “I’m always on a diet.” 

The only successful “diet” is when the goal is healthy eating for a lifetime, not weight loss for the moment. Here’s the problem with all the fads, diets, programs, regimes … they’re meant for immediate gratification of experiencing dramatic change because that’s our world today. Slow and steady doesn’t give us the immediate satisfaction we crave. That’s why quick-fix “miracle” ads are so attractive. Have you tried any of these below? 

  • The 10-day Weight-Loss Program
  • How to Reach Your Desired Weight in a Month While Eating All You Want
  • Lose Up to 10 Pounds in a Week

Or here’s one I recently saw: “‘Secret Method to Getting Slim Fast.’ I’ve been drinking this miracle drink for 3 weeks now. My friends won’t stop asking how I became so thin in such a short amount of time. I’ve become half the size I once was!” 

Even though it’s human nature to want quick results, people who lose weight gradually and steadily – about 1 to 2 pounds per week – are more successful at keeping the weight off. Healthy weight loss isn’t a diet, program, or gimmick. It’s developing a doable lifestyle of healthy eating patterns and some form of exercise. 

Once you have achieved a desirable weight by relying on healthful eating and physical activity, you’re much more likely to be successful at keeping the weight off over the long term. 

Losing weight isn’t easy. It takes commitment, but it’s so achievable. That’s the good news! 

Here’s the secret revealed: There’s NO secret miracle way to get slim fast and keep it off. 

Everyone acknowledges, and few try to defy, how God created gravity – stepping off a cliff = downward plunge. But many have spent thousands of dollars trying to defy the way God created our bodies: calories in minus calories expended = our weight. It’s not a secret and it can’t be miraculously circumvented. But millions of people buy into a lie that it’s possible. 

The Way God Created Our Bodies 

Energy (calories) IN and energy OUT = maintained weight 

More IN than OUT = weight gain 

More OUT than IN = weight loss 

To lose weight, we have to use up more calories than we take in through metabolism and exercise. One pound equals 3,500 calories. Reduce caloric intake by 500-1,000 calories per day to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week. That safe weight loss won’t throw our body into shock or deprive us of necessary minerals and vitamins if we’re eating a balanced diet. 

Life-heart change is the only way to maintain weight change. 

“I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13) 


  1. Why you want to lose weight?
  2. Why you eat?
  3. When you eat?
  4. What are you eating now that’s contributing to your excess weight?

Then set realistic maintainable and healthy goals: 

  1. One- to two-pound loss a week
  2. Exercise 30 to 60 minutes most days
  3. Learn how to choose and prepare healthy food
  4. Reduce portion sizes and eat three meals a day
  5. Track what you’re eating

A balanced diet means eating a selection from five food groups in portion sizes that help lose or maintain weight without sacrificing health. The colorful website provides good information on how to determine your caloric requirement, food groups, portion sizes, and so much more for the whole family. 

To be successful at long-term weight loss, we must adopt a new lifestyle, just like when we became Christians and we put off the old way of life and put on the new. The new healthy you will make changes to adopt and embrace healthy eating habits, be more physically active, and learn how to change eating behaviors and habits. 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) 

Next column, we’ll talk about reading labels. 

Here’s a healthy, tasty recipe to kick off your new eating plan. It’s easy, yummy, and a good way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken. 


Chicken Nuggets 

12 oz. can chicken or rotisserie chicken chopped 

2 eggs beaten 

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese 

Lightly salt, pepper, seasoning of your choice 

Optional: add 1/3 cup chopped cooked broccoli, onions, chilies, or other veggie 

Mix and portion into a silicone tart or muffin pan or use olive oil spray lightly on regular pan if you don’t have silicone. Cook at 350° for 15 minutes in tart pan or 20 minutes in muffin pan. Makes 9 muffin size and 12 tart size. Serve with BBQ sauce, dipping sauce, or ranch dressing 


Janet Thompson, award-winning Christian speaker, freelance author, and author of 20 books, is also the founder, director, and God’s servant of Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry and About His Work Ministries. Her passion and focus is mentoring the next generation. Her tag line is, “Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness.” She has a BS in Food Administration, MBA, and Master of Arts in Christian Leadership. Check out her books and sign up for her free weekly online blog and monthly newsletter at Join her on, LinkedIn, Pinterest, X, and Instagram. 

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