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Recipe of the Week

Teriyaki Salmon with Glazed Vegetable Salad
Servings Per Recipe 4

  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium teriyaki sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar (all natural)
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 bunch (1-1/2 pounds) broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 4 filets (about 4 ounces each) salmon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

In small bowl, blend honey, teriyaki, vinegar, scallions and garlic; divide in half and set aside.
Adjust top oven rack so that it is 6 inches from heating element and heat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; toast almonds for 6 minutes. Remove almonds; carefully wipe out skillet.
Place 1/2 cup water in skillet; reduce heat to medium-low. Add broccoli and cook, covered, for 7 to 8 minutes or until bright green and tender.
Place salmon on prepared baking sheet; brush with teriyaki mixture. Broil salmon 5 to 8 minutes or until top is browned and the interior temperature registers 120 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
Stir cornstarch into remaining reserved teriyaki mixture and pour into skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until sauce has reduced to a thick glaze. Stir in almonds. Drizzle sauce over vegetables and serve alongside salmon.

Per Serving:
Calories – 287
Fat – 15.5g
Sodium – 281.75mg

Recipe of the Week

Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 6 servings
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
2 pounds brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 slices bacon, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together honey and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar; set aside.
Place brussels sprouts in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add remaining 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, olive oil, bacon and garlic. Gently toss to combine.
Place into oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until tender. Stir in honey mixture.
Serve immediately.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories – 157
Fat – 9.33g
Sodium – 144.11mg

A Healthy Twist on a Holiday Desert

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap-Walnut Crust

Makes: 12 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours

  • 4 ounces gluten-free gingersnap cookies (18-20 1 3/4-inch cookies)
  • 1 ½ cup walnut halves, (divided ½ cup crust and 1 cup candied)
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tablespoon gluten-free vanilla extract (see Tip)
  • 1 16-ounce container nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1 15-ounce can unseasoned pumpkin puree

Ingredients for Candied Walnuts

    • gluten-free cooking spray or oil
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Remaining 1 cup walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Tightly wrap the outside of the pan bottom and sides with heavy-duty foil to help keep the water bath from leaking into the cake. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath.
  2. Grind cookies and 1/2 cup walnuts to a fine meal in a food processor. Drizzle in oil and process, scraping the sides as needed, until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Place the pan in a roasting pan and set aside. Clean the food processor.
  3. Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until the spice is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until completely smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides occasionally. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Process cottage cheese in the food processor until completely smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides once. Gradually beat the cottage cheese and pumpkin puree into the cream cheese mixture on medium speed. Scrape down the sides and beat a final time to make sure no streaks remain. Pour the batter into the crust.
  5. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come 1 inch up the side of the springform pan to create a hot water bath for the cake. Carefully transfer the roasting pan to the oven. Bake the cheesecake in the center of the oven until its set around the edges but the center still jiggles slightly, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.
  6. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Let the cake cool in the water bath until the water is room temperature. Coarsely chop the remaining 2/3 cup walnuts. Toast them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the water bath. Remove the foil. Refrigerate, uncovered, until very cold, at least 4 hours. Wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight if desired.
  7. To serve, remove the sides of the pan and place the nuts decoratively around the edge of the cheesecake just before serving.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

To make Candied Walnuts: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil; coat with gluten-free cooking spray or oil. Combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon water and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large heavy skillet. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture turns golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2/3 cup walnut halves, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes more. Turn the mixture out on the prepared baking sheet, spreading in an even layer. When completely cooled, break into clusters.
Nutrition: Per Serving: 353 Calories, 19 g Fat, 247 mg Sodium

Thank-You Thursday

Thank you so much for changing my life! You have completely changed my perspective and outlook on my life. The gratitude for what you have done not only for me, but others, is beyond words.

I hope someday to help you with this camp and be a counselor so I can make other kids feel as welcomed and loved as I did when I first came here. You are my heroes. I cannot express that enough.


Lemon-Garlic Roast Turkey & White-Wine Gravy

The zesty lemon-garlic rub for this turkey gives it amazing flavor. Instead of using a conventional supermarket turkey that’s been “enhanced” with added sodium solution, here we brine a natural or organic turkey to keep the meat extra juicy without a lot of extra sodium.

Makes: 12 servings, 3 ounces turkey & 2-3 tablespoons gravy each, plus leftovers
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes (plus 24 hours brining time)

FN_Ina Garten Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken.tif

FN_Ina Garten Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken.tif

  • 10 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup salt substitute
  • 1 12-pound natural or organic turkey (see shopping tip)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, or dry vermouth
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth


  1. Crush 6 cloves garlic and add to a very large stockpot (or clean bucket). Stir in lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt and 4 quarts cold water.
  2. Remove giblets from turkey (if included) and trim excess skin. Submerge the turkey in the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours. If the turkey is not fully submerged, turn it every 8 hours.
  3. Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse well and pat dry. Discard the brine.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Place the remaining 4 cloves garlic, lemon zest, oregano, parsley, sage, thyme, oil, pepper and 2 tablespoons water in a food processor and pulse until it becomes a paste. (Alternatively, chop garlic, lemon zest and oregano on a cutting board until finely minced, then place in a small bowl and stir in oil, pepper and water.) Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat. Rub the paste all over the turkey, under the skin onto the breast meat and leg meat and a little inside the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the turkey breast-side down in a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan.
  6. Roast the turkey for 1 hour. Turn it breast-side up on the rack, add 1 cup water to the pan, and continue roasting 1 hour more. Baste the turkey with pan drippings, tent with foil and continue roasting, basting every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 30 to 45 minutes more.
  7. Transfer the turkey to a large cutting board; let rest for 20 minutes before removing the string and carving.
  8. Meanwhile, pour any pan juices and fat into a large glass measuring cup and place in the freezer until the fat rises to the top, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, pour the pan juices and fat into a fat separator then pour the defatted juices into a large measuring cup.) Whisk flour with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl.
  9. Set the roasting pan over two burners on medium heat. Add wine (or vermouth); bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Continue cooking until reduced, about 3 minutes.
  10. 10. Remove the pan juices from the freezer, skim off the fat with a spoon and discard. Add the defatted juices and broth to the roasting pan; return to a simmer, whisking often. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the flour mixture and simmer until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the gravy through a fine-mesh sieve and serve with the turkey.

Tips & Notes

  • Shopping tip: Look for turkey labeled “natural” or “organic” in natural-foods stores or well-stocked supermarkets. Turkeys labeled “heritage” are also typically “natural.” If you can’t find one, don’t overlook this recipe. It works with conventional turkey, too; just skip the brining (Steps 1-2) and start with Step 3.

Per serving: 128 calories; 4 g fat ; 180.3 mg sodium

Changing Lifestyles… Saving Lives Together


This place has changed the lives of all of us in some way.  I want to say thank you for having me come here.  If I had stayed home for the last month I would have gained weight. Instead I have lost 34.1 pounds.


I felt like I could not fit in anywhere I went, but I found my place here at Camp Jump Start.  I may not have done my best every day, but I did try.



The one quote I love the best is “when you want to be healthy, there is no SOME day—there is only TODAY and the days after.  There are seven days in a week—and someday is not one of them!


For me to find my place and make many new friends while losing weight is good enough for me.  I love it here!  This is like a home away from home.  I will miss everyone.  I will hopefully continue this lifestyle until I die.  I want to teach it until everyone is healthy.  I will always remember how you helped me accomplish my goals.  Thank you for everything that you have done for me.



Thanksgiving Recipe

Prosciutto, Pear & Hazelnut Stuffing
Makes: 12 servings, 1/2 cup each
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 1/4 hours

  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced, cut into ribbons
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 8 cups stale baguette, preferably multi-grain, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 pears, ripe but firm, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon lite salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto; cook, stirring, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel.
  3. Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and shallot and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add sage, thyme and rosemary and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Transfer everything to a large bowl and gently stir in bread, pears, parsley, hazelnuts and the prosciutto. Add broth; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the stuffing into the prepared baking dish; cover with foil.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes; remove the foil and bake until the top is beginning to crisp, 25 to 30 minutes more.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3 and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • Note: If you don’t have stale bread ready to use, spread the baguette cubes on a baking sheet and toast at 250°F until crisped and dry, about 15 minutes.
  • Tip: To toast chopped nuts & seeds: Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Per serving: 188 calories, 4.45 g fat, 269mg sodium

Healthy Fall Recipe for the Family

Healthy Fall Recipe for the Family

Slow Cooked Cranberry Barbecue Chicken
6 chicken thighs, skin removed (about 2 1/4 lb. total)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (14 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup Multi-Grain cereal (crushed to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard
  • 3 cups hot cooked brown rice
  • 1 medium onion, sliced


  1. Place chicken thighs on rack of broiler pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil 4- to 5-inches from heat for 10 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once.
  2. In 5- to 6-quart crock pot place onion and chicken. In small bowl stir together cranberry sauce, Cereal, pineapple, barbecue sauce and mustard. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
  3. Place rice on serving plate. Top with chicken. Stir sauce. Serve over chicken


460 calories per serving
6 servings

Nick’s Story

Nick’s mom was a pediatric endocrinologist where I worked. She heard about our camp
from a nurse whose son attended. This nurse raved about their family’s experience and
tried to persuade this doctor to send her son to camp. The doctor stated that “those camps
do not work!”
As time went on this doctor spoke of the frustrations she had with her own son. She
counseled other families about the prevention and treatment of obesity and stated that
she went home mortified that her own family had a secret. Eventually the doctor was
desperate and sent her son to camp. The hardest part of parenthood is coming to realize
that you cannot “fix” your own child. This is human nature.
Nick was pretty miserable when we first met. Being fat takes the fun out of childhood.
At camp he found hope for a better life. He thrived on the challenges and he also enjoyed
the girls’ attention! He saw the advantages of a healthy lifestyle and was determined to
hang on to this new identity.
His success continued at home because of his internal motivation and the support from
his family. He became interested in sports and was now able to make the team.
It has been 7 years since Nick’s first camp experience. He is a normal sized young man.
He is almost 18 years of age. Now he is a 3 sport player! He is a 3rd time wrestling
varsity starter—he was second city champ and second at regionals and he is a rugby
varsity starter. Their rugby team came in 2nd at State (Illinois) last year. If this was not
enough—he led the football team in sacks last year.
Nick is a success because his family embraced the needed changes and supported him.
It really was Nick that took full responsibility for his life choices. He understands
consequences and chooses wisely more often than not. He also enjoys the lifestyle
Nick’s story can be viewed on our website in his own words.
He and his mom are on video and then there is a follow-up showing him at a reunion
camp. He is willing to do another video, so I will try to get there in the near future.

Life With Purpose

Being a nurse and teacher for 20 years I was on the frontline when the childhood obesity epidemic emerged. I worked with students in a major medical center. The children’s hospital on campus began to see 5 year olds with cirrhosis of the liver, 8 year olds having strokes, and 20 year olds having heart attacks. We even had to change the name of Juvenile diabetes to type 1 diabetes because kids had begun to develop adult onset diabetes now called type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is absolutely preventable and no child should have it! This is the diabetes of my grandparent’s generation. From experience we know that in 10-15 years after diagnosis we will see the complications from type 2 diabetes which are heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and amputations to name a few. Type 2 diabetes is an unforgiving disease which will not discriminate for age.

My entire life has been dedicated to health and education which I consider to be basic human rights. I truly believe that when people know better then they can do better. I also believe that when you lose your health—nothing else will ever matter quite the same again.

Some will say I am the hardest working woman that you will ever meet. I say that I have never worked a day in my life! What I do is who I am. I am a nurse and teacher. It is all consuming. One cannot leave work behind in either profession… must always be “on” when needed.

My mid-life crisis occurred when I was 40 years old. I saw a catastrophic event emerging and I began looking for solutions. I went to work at what looked to be the best weight loss camp for kids in the nation. On the internet it appeared to be perfect. Oh my—nothing could have been further from the truth. It was at that camp my rose-colored glasses were shattered. It was all about BIG business weight loss hype, repeat customers and money. I did not consider it safe for kids or employees. Profit was their driving force. I came home from that camp and said to my husband “Honey, give me all your money because someone who cares about kids needs to do this. I know what works and I know what is missing. And we have enough love to share to help kids heal and become successful.” The man said yes and we have been saving lives ever since.

Our camp has been built on love. It has taken great personal sacrifice in an effort to “save this generation of kids”. We sold personal possessions like grandmother’s crystal and we both worked other jobs to pay for the things to start camp. We did not receive salaries most of these years and we work every day of the year, we sold our home so that we could pay staff in the recession and moved to a dilapidated cabin at camp. We did not have hot and cold water in our bathroom for 2 years because we had to fix the other cabins for campers first.

I slept in my office at the hospital from Monday through Friday so that the money I saved on gas could be used to buy paint, etc for camp improvements. I knew where to get a gurney from the emergency room in the evening and what patient floor had extra sheets and pillows that I could use. I knew which public restroom had a lock so that I could brush my teeth and get a “bath by sink” before day shift came to work. I took brown bag meals and work from camp to keep my busy through the week.

These were the easy sacrifices. The hard ones have been the realization that we cannot get back the time that we have given up with our own families. Special moments like our 25th and 30th wedding anniversaries were spent celebrating with our 80 camp kids instead of our own family. Both sets of our parents are elderly and we know that we are missing out on time with them. This is perhaps the hardest sacrifice. Yet we know that our life experience has come together for this one purpose. We truly believe that children are our future and we actually are doing something about it.

The motto was “whatever it takes” and it took a lot for a new nonprofit without funders to survive during this recession. It has been a long 10 years, but we along with our exceptional staff have saved more lives here than I ever did in a traditional nursing role

For my husband and me, this is our encore career. We created a “LivingWellVillage” to address this crisis in our society with a program that works. This is not the “retirement” we worked to achieve but living a life with purpose is a life that matters. We are in search of an army of like-minded people to help us re-direct the lives of a nation. Our mission is essential to the future of our nation’s being!