Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Buddy and Me

Here is a summary of my Weight Watchers meeting on March 30, 2010.

Who makes an AWESOME BUDDY?

Anyone you feel comfortable making the Journey with! It could be a spouse, a child, a neighbor, a member in your meeting, a co-worker, a best friend or a complete stranger from

Many members found their buddies right in the meeting room-It is so much more than just a weekly meeting, so many beautiful friendships got started just because two people made their weekly meeting a priority!

It's our buddies that can pick us up when we fall, cheer for us when we have reached a goal, and are there for us no matter what the reason.

If you are still taking this journey alone I hope this weeks meeting showed the importance of a having a buddy!

If you missed the meeting or you are still unsure what it takes to be a buddy, and the benefits of having a buddy here is a brief list of what went on in all the meetings this week:

Someone for support & motivation
Someone to support & motivate
Someone to cheer you on & vice versa
Accountability to each other
Someone to inspire & be inspired by
Satisfaction of knowing you are helping each other succeed
A dose of healthy competition
Someone to enjoy the journey with

Someone with similar goals
Someone with a workable schedule
Someone with a similar level of commitment
Someone that has the ability to reinforce POSITIVE behavior and not be jealous of your success

It is hard to stay committed and motivated if your buddy is known to not stick with it!

As they say a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, make sure the links to your weight loss team are strong!

Find people you can share your goals with-come up with a goal each week to aim for, share that goal with your buddy or buddies-this will keep you motivated because you have all made yourself accountable!

Reward Yourself! Part of the joy of working as a TEAM is sharing success!

Research has shown that those that have a buddy not only have more fun on the journey but they lose more weight and keep it off!

Need a BUDDY???
You all have one buddy right here, just email or call me, I am here for YOU!

Buddy Up this week and watch your weight come DOWN!

Weight Watchers Contest

Last month I received an email from my Weight Watchers leader Amanda. She wanted to let me know about the annual Weight Watchers "Role Model of the Year Contest". She emailed me the details of the contest and encouraged me to apply. I read all the fine print of the contest details and decided that it would be incredible to win a contest like this.

Last week I finally had time to sit down and write my 400 word essay. It was very hard to boil down everything I have done for the last year and a half into 400 words. I wrote several drafts of my essay and had editing done by my co-worker, Anna. After all of that I was able to write, what I think, is a really great essay.

This morning as I write this my husband is mailing in my entry. It would be really awesome to win, but the best part is being able to look back over all that I have accomplished. At the beginning of this journey, I never thought that someone would think of me as a role model. I guess that just goes to show you just how much everything has changed.

Spicy Barbecue Meatballs

Spicy Barbecue Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey breast or 96% lean ground beef
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
2 egg whites
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed fresh garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 can (8 oz) unsalted tomato sauce
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons spicy mustard
1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce

Combine the meatball ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, and mix thoroughly.
Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Shape the meatball mixture into 60 (1") balls, and place meatballs on the baking sheet. Bake the meatballs at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked. Transfer the meatballs to a chafing dish or Crock-Pot heated casserole to keep warm.
Combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, and simmer over medium-low
heat just until hot. Pour the sauce over the meatballs, toss gently to mix, and serve.

Makes 60 Appetizers SERVING SIZE: 1 appetizer

PER SERVING: 24 Calories
0.2 Fiber
0.2 g Fat

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Orange Jello Salad

Orange Jello Salad
By, Vivian Bartholomew

3 oz Jello Sugar-Free Orange Package, dry
8 oz Cool Whip Free Whipped Topping, room temperature
4 oz fat-free sour cream
16 oz canned pineapple tidbits, drained
8 oz canned mandarin oranges, drained
Mix together Cool whip and sour cream. Then add the dry jello packet. Then mix in drained pineapples and mandarin oranges.

Chill - 3 hours
Servings 6; 4 PointsPlus per serving

Please note: My Mom always doubles this recipe.

For recipe review, click here

Monday, March 29, 2010

Get Active!

Here is the latest email from Dr. Jacobs.

Easy Ways to Get Active

Your street has no sidewalks, your office is on the highway, and the gym isn't a stop on the way. We hear you. Plenty of people like you don't have easy access to activity. So you have to make it yourself. (With physical activity having more health benefits than a celeb has paparazzi, we don't accept excuses!) Try these simple strategies:

• Move your stationary bike from your garage (or out from under the pile of clothes in the bedroom), and put it in front of your TV so you can get 60 minutes in during your favorite show.

• Fidget! Find an excuse to move wherever you are. Clear the dishes. Stand up and walk in circles while you're on the phone. Walk over and talk to coworkers instead of IM-ing them.

• Keep a set of dumbbells at work, and do an upper-body exercise for 30 seconds when the clock hits the hour. Or every time your boss says, "We need to control costs," drop and do 20 push-ups. Military style. Okay . . . after 2 months, do them military style. You'd be surprised how much you can do when you are persistent.

• Do this ab exercise while you work, ride the elevator, wait in line, and walk: Pretend the top of your head is being pulled by a string to the ceiling. Then, squeeze your butt and suck in your belly button - hold that position as long as you can.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Love Dare - Day 40

Love Is a Covenant "Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God." – Ruth 1:16

Congratulations. You’ve reached the end of the Love Dare – the book. But the experience and challenge of loving your mate is something that never comes to an end. It goes on for the rest of your life.

This book may end at Day 40. But who says your dare has to stop? And as you view your marriage relationship from this point on, we challenge you to consider it a covenant instead of a contract. These two words sound similar in meaning and intent but are in reality much different. Seeing marriage as a contract is like saying to your spouse, “I take you for me and we’ll see if this works out.” But realizing it as a covenant changes it to say, “I give myself to you and commit to this marriage for life.”

There are many other differences between covenants and contracts. A contract is usually a written agreement based on distrust, outlining the conditions and consequences if broken. A covenant is a verbal commitment based on trust, assuring someone that your promise is unconditional and good for life. It is spoken before God out of love for another.

A contract is self-serving and comes with limited liability. It establishes a time frame for certain deliverables to be met and accomplished. A covenant is for the benefit of others and comes with unlimited responsibility. It has no expiration date. It is “til death do us part.” A contract can be broken with mutual consent. A covenant is intended to be unbreakable.

The Bible contains several major covenants as part of the unfolding story of God’s people. God made a covenant with Noah, promising never to destroy all flesh with a worldwide flood (Genesis 9:12-17). He made a covenant with Abraham, promising that an entire nation of descendents would come from his family line (Genesis 17:1-8). He made a covenant with Moses, declaring that the people of Israel would be God’s permanent possession (Exodus 19:3-6). He made a covenant with David, promising that a ruler would sit on his throne forever (2 Samuel 7:7-16). Ultimately, He made a “new covenant” by the blood of Christ, establishing an unending, unchanging legacy of forgiven sins and eternal life for those who believe in Him (Hebrews 9:15). Never once has God broken any of these covenants.

And then there’s marriage – the strongest covenant on earth between two people, the pledge of a man and woman to establish a love that is unconditional and lasts a lifetime. In marriage, your wedding ring represents your covenant vows – not merely commitments you hoped to keep but premeditated promises, publicly spoken and witnessed by others.

As you’ve read numerous times in these pages, keeping this covenant is not something you can do in your own strength. There’s good reason why God was the One who initiated covenants with His people. He alone is able to fulfill the demands of His own promises. He alone is able to forgive the receivers of His covenant when they fail to uphold their part of the agreement. But the Spirit of God is within you by the virtue of your faith in His Son and the grace bestowed upon you in salvation. That means you now can exercise your role as covenant keeper, no matter what may arise to challenge your faithfulness to it.

Especially if your spouse is not in a place of receiving your love right now, the act of covenant keeping can grow more daunting with each passing day. But marriage is not a contract with escape clauses and exception wordings. Marriage is a covenant intended to cut off all avenues of retreat or withdrawal. There’s nothing in all the world that should sever what God has joined together. Your love is based on covenant.

Hundreds of years after the prophet Malachi recorded these words, people are still wondering why God withholds His hand of blessing at times from their homes and marriages. “You say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been witness between you and your wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant … For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel, and him who covers his garment with wrong, says the Lord of hosts. So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously” (Malachi 2:14, 16).

Every marriage is called to be an earthly picture of God’s heavenly covenant with His church. It is to reveal to the world the glory and beauty of God’s unconditional love for us. Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (John 15:9 NIV). Let His words inspire you to be a channel of God’s love to your spouse.

The time is now, man or woman of God, to renew your covenant of love in all sincerity and surrender. Love is too holy a treasure to trade in for another, and too powerful a bond to be broken without dire consequences. Fasten your love afresh on this one the Lord has given you to cherish, prize, and honor.

Your life together is before you. Dare to take hold of it and never let go.

We dare you.

Today’s Dare: Write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home. Perhaps if appropriate, you could make arrangements to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister and with family present. Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in God’s eyes and the high honor of being one with your mate.

"He has remembered His covenant forever." - Psalm 105:8

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cool Whip Cookies

Cool Whip Cookies
Source: sewzy1

1 egg
16 ounces Cool Whip Free
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 powdered sugar

Mix egg, Cool Whip Free, and dry yellow cake mix together.

Roll teaspoon size balls into powdered sugar and bake on cookie sheet at 375° for 10 minutes.

Serves: 36; 2 PointsPlus per serving/cookie

For recipe review, click here.  

Spicy Peanut Chicken

Spicy Peanut Chicken

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
2 1/2 pounds Chicken breast, skinless, boneless, cubed or pork loin
4 Tbsp or 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 oz canned tomato paste
28 oz canned tomatoes, diced
4 cups fat-free chicken broth
3/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
8 cups cooked brown rice

Heat oil in dutch oven over med heat
Add onions and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until tender
Add chicken and cook 4 minutes or until cooked
Stir in peanut butter through tomato paste and cook 1 minute
Add tomatoes and broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 30 minutes stirring occasionally
Serve with yogurt and rice

Serves 12

I also add diced zucchini and/or celery if I have it on hand. Cubed cauliflower is good too. I like to double everything except the meat so it's lower in "thingies" and still tastes just as good.

Recipe tastes better the next day. Freezes well (do not add yogurt before freezing)

The Love Dare - Day 39

Love Endures "Love never fails." – 1 Corinthians 13:8

Of all the things love dares to do, this the ultimate. Though threatened, it keeps pursuing. Though challenged, it keeps moving forward. Though mistreated and rejected, it refuses to give up.

Love never fails.

Many times when a marriage is in crisis, the spouse who is trying to make things work will go to the other, declaring in no uncertain terms that no matter what has happened in the past, he or she is committed to this marriage. Their love can be counted on to last. They promise. But not wanting to hear this yet, the other spouse holds their position. They still want out. They don’t see this marriage lasting long-term. Nor do they even want it to anymore.

The partner who has just laid his or her heart on the line, extending the olive branch, can’t handle the rejection. So they withdraw their statement. “Fine. If that’s the way you want it, that’s the way it’ll be.”

But if love is really love, it doesn’t waffle when it’s not received the way you want it to be. If love can be told to quit loving, then it’s not really love. Love that is from God is unending, unstoppable. If the object of its affection doesn’t choose to receive it, love keeps giving anyway.

Love never fails.


That’s what Jesus’ love is like. His disciples were nothing if not unpredictable. After their final Passover meal together, when Jesus told them they would all forsake Him before the night was over, Peter declared, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away … Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You” (Matthew 26:33, 35). All the other disciples echoed the very same promise.

But later that night, Jesus’ inner circle of followers – Peter, James, and John – would sleep through Christ’s agony in the garden. On the way to Christ’s crucifixion, Peter would deny Him three times in the courtyard. But at the precise moment, the Bible says Jesus “turned and looked” at him (Luke 22:61). His men had failed Him – again – within hours of their sworn promises. Yet He never stopped loving them, because He and His love are “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

When you have done everything within your power to obey God, your spouse may still forsake you and walk away – just as Jesus’ followers did to Him. But if your marriage fails, if your spouse walks away, let it not be because you gave up or stopped loving them.

Love never fails.

Of the nine “fruits of the Spirit” listed in Galatians 5, the first of all is love. And because the unchanging Holy Spirit is its source – the same Holy Spirit who dwells in the hearts of all believers – then the love He creates in you is unchanging as well. It is based on the will of God, the calling of God, and the Word of God – all unchanging things. The Bible declares them “irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away” (Luke 21:33).

Only a few days ago you were Love Dared to build your marriage on the Word of God. That’s because when all else fails, the truth of God will still be standing. Along the way you have also been dared to be patient, to be unselfish, to sacrifice for your mate’s needs.

These are not just loving ideas, existing in isolation. Each quality of love outlined in this book is based on the love of God, captured and expressed in the Word of God. The unchanging Word of God. No challenge or circumstance can occur that will ever put an expiration date on Him or His love. Therefore, your love – made of the same substance – bears the same, unchanging characteristics.

Love never fails.

So today your dare is to put your unfailing love into the most powerful, personal words you can. This is your chance to declare that no matter what imperfections exist – both in you and in your spouse – your love is greater still. No matter what they’ve done or how often they’ve done it, you choose to love them anyway. Though you’ve been far from steady in your treatment of them over the years, your days of being inconsistent in love are over. You accept this one man or woman as God’s special gift to you, and you promise to love them until death.

You’re saying to your spouse, “Even if you don’t like what you’re reading – even if you don’t like me – I choose to love you anyway. Forever.”

Because love never fails.

Today’s Dare: Spend time in personal prayer, then write a letter of commitment and resolve to your spouse. Include why you are committing to this marriage until death, and that you have purposed to love them no matter what. Leave it in a place that your mate will find it.

"He delights in unchanging love." - Micah 7:18

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Running Plan Link

Probably one of my most faithful blog readers just let me know that the running plan link did not work on my blog. So for those of you out there who have been unable to access that information I apologize. Everything should be fixed but if not please let me know.

17 weeks and counting

Last night, I weighed in at my Weight Watchers meeting like I always do. I have been weighing in every week since the October 2008, so everything has become very routine. I leave work right at 5pm so that I can beat the weigh in crowd. I arrive at my meeting, weigh in, find my seat, and talk to people for the next 30 minutes until the meeting starts. However, this week as I weighed in I was overcome with excitement and thankfulness, because I am still at my goal weight.

This morning when it came time to enter my current weight into Weight Watchers Plan Manager I became curious about how long I have been at Lifetime with Weight Watchers. I counted up the weeks and it turns out that I have been at Lifetime status with Weight Watchers for 17 weeks, that is 119 days or 2,856 hours or 171,360 minutes or 10,281,600 seconds!! I couldn’t believe it.

Just to recap: in the last 17 weeks I have maintained my weight through Thanksgiving, a wedding (not my own), my Anniversary, Christmas which included a road trip and vacation. I have made it through the New Year, Valentine’s Day, my Birthday, and some challenging circumstances that have come our way. I have continued to go to Weight Watchers meetings and weigh in weekly. I have not always made the best choices, but I have always gotten back on plan. I have continued to come despite the fact that I have struggled to maintain my weight.

Now let me tell you, just because I have reached Lifetime with Weight Watchers does not mean that I have somehow “arrived”. It’s just not true. I continue to go to meetings, because I won my battle with weight loss at Weight Watchers. I believe that my battle to maintain my weight is one that I will have to fight throughout the majority of my life. But as I look back over all that I have been able to accomplish and all that God has done in my life, I find the motivation to continue to fight. Praise the Lord for without Him none of this would have been possible!!

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
- 2 Timothy 4:7

Slipping up and still being a Success!

Here is a summary of my Weight Watchers meeting on March 23, 2010.

Learning from past experiences is a key skill for success, this week focus on what really works and learn from what doesn't.

What Works:
• TRACKING-This makes us more aware of the choices we are making!
• MEASURING/WEIGHING-In reference to food this helps us be better aware of our portion may be pleasantly surprised! One member measured everything this week and found that by eyeballing his portions he was actually giving himself a lot less than a true serving, he enjoyed more food for his points and over 4 pounds gone on the scale! Another member measured the parmesan cheese she normally sprinkles on pizza and found she was using 2 pts worth...she mentioned that in the future she will not be using parmesan the pizza is just as good without the extra points! Now in reference to YOU and your body....By taking your measurements monthly along with weekly weigh ins you are able to see progress that may not always show on the scale. So pull out those tape measures and get those measurements!
• ACTIVITY-We all know the benefits of adding activity to healthier eating habits, when we add activity we see and feel results! If this is new to you start out slow, 5 minutes is better than no minutes, so take a short walk, do some spring cleaning-it all adds up! By adding just a few more minutes to your normal activity can really shake things up.
• ATTENDING WEEKLY MEETINGS-This is where you can inspire and be inspired!
• A POSITIVE ATTITUDE-This can get us past any slip-up! Keep a positive attitude, remember one cookie even a bag of cookies or chips is not going to ruin all your hard work unless YOU allow it to! Did you enjoy those cookies or that bag of chips? Chances are you did, so once you realize OOOPS I just went over points, get right back on track-don't wait until the next day or the next weigh in and do NOT beat yourself up over it! You've come along way and you will reach your goals if you keep it positive!

What Doesn't Work:
• GIVING UP-giving up on tracking, activity, portions, attending your weekly meetings just DOESN'T Work! When you give up on those things that work you usually give up on yourself and old habits return, weight returns, and your attitude Changes!

Something to think about the next time you have a slip up and feel like giving up... Here are some slip-ups that WORKED!

Tasty Slip-ups: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Ice Cream Cones, Potato Chips, and Coca Cola

Toy Slip-ups: Frisbee, Slinky, and Silly Putty

Sticky but Useful Slip-ups: Post-it note, Super glue, Velcro, and Scotchgard

Remember failure is just success turned inside out!

Slow Cooker Meatballs in Peanut Chile Sauce Recipe

Slow Cooker Meatballs in Peanut Chile Sauce Recipe
Source, Stephanie O'Dea
Visit her blog at

40 already cooked meatballs (frozen or fresh)
2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1 cup canned coconunt milk (I used light, it was fine. If using regular, shake well and include the cream on top)
1 tablespoon red chile paste (jarred, in the Asian cooking aisle)
2 teaspoons fish sauce (in Asian cooking aisle, surprisingly inexpensive, although I bet you could substitute a gluten free soy sauce and not notice much of a taste difference)
1 1/2 tablespoons white granulated sugar

I used a 4 quart slow cooker. It's okay to use a 6 quart, but decrease cooking time by about an hour.

Put meatballs into slow cooker (frozen is fine). Add peanut butter and coconut milk. Drop in a gollop of red chile paste, then add fish sauce and sugar. Stir as well as you can to combine---it won't be perfect because the peanut butter will still be clumpy. No worries.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours, high for 2-4, or until peanut butter mixture is fully melted and the meatballs are heated throughout.

Serve as a hot appetizer, or over long grained basmati rice as a meal.

Serves 10

The Love Dare - Day 38

Love Fulfills Dreams "Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart." – Psalm 37:4

What is something your spouse would really, really love? And how often do you ask yourself that question?

Common sense tells us we can’t give our wife or husband everything they might like. Our budgets and account balances tell us we probably couldn’t afford it anyway. And even if we could, it might not be good for us. Or for them.

But perhaps you’ve let “no” become too quick a response. Perhaps you’ve let this negative default setting become too reasoned and rational, too automatic. What if instead of dismissing the thought, you did your best to honor it. What might happen if the one thing they said you’d never do for them became the next thing you did?

Love sometimes needs to be extravagant. To go all out. It sometimes needs to set aside the technicalities and just bless because it wants to.

Is that thinking too much like a teenager? Is love like this no longer on the menu after so many years of marriage? After all, with the way your relationship might be at the moment, wouldn’t it be less than genuine to indulge your spouse if your heart’s not in it?

Well, how about putting your heart in it. How about developing a new level of love that actually wants to fulfill every dream and desire you possibly can.

Hasn’t God’s love met needs in your heart that once seemed out of the question? You were living under such a load of sin and regret; you thought you’d never earn your way back into His good graces. But He looked at you with love and said you didn’t have to. He wanted you back. He wanted you to realize your need for Him, and that as you repented and turned to Him, He would love and forgive you. “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

You thought life was over when a certain setback took all the wind out of your sails. You broke down and cried out to Him. You prayed like you’d never prayed before. And though it wasn’t easy getting back up and walking on, you somehow survived. He met you with His promised peace “which surpasses all comprehension” (Philippians 4:7) and kept you on your feet.

It wasn’t when you were behaving like an angel that God chose to pour out His love on you. It wasn’t when you were behaving like an angel that God chose to pour out His love on you. It wasn’t because you were so deserving that He offered you His grace. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Chris died for us” (Romans 5:8).

He’s your model. He’s the One your love is designed to imitate. Though you weren’t a likely candidate for His love, He gave it anyway. He paid the price.

Not everything your spouse wants has a hefty price tag. Not everything he or she desires can be bought with money. Your wife may really want your time. She may really want your attention. She may really want to be treated like a lady, to know that her husband considers her his greatest treasure. She may really want to see in your eyes a love that chooses to be there no matter what.

Your husband may really want your respect. He may really want you to acknowledge him as the head of the house in front of the children. He may really want you to put your arms around his neck for no apparent reason, surprising him with a long kiss or a love note when there’s not even a birthday or anniversary to justify it. He may really need to know that you still think he’s strong and handsome, the way you used to.

· Dreams and desires come in all shapes and sizes. But love takes careful notice of each one.

· Love calls you to listen to what your mate is saying and hoping for.

· Love calls you to remember the things that are unique to your relationship, the pleasures and enjoyments that bring a smile to the other’s face.

· Love calls you to give when it would be a lot more convenient to wait.

· And love calls you to daydream about these opportunities so regularly that their desires become yours as well.

We dare you to think in terms of overwhelming your spouse with love. To surprise them by exceeding all their expectations with your kindness. It may or may not be a financial sacrifice, but it needs to reflect a heart that is willing to express itself with extravagance.

What is something your spouse would really, really love? It’s time you started living out the answer to that question.

Today’s Dare: Ask yourself what your mate would want if it was obtainable. Commit this to prayer, and start mapping out a plan for meeting some (if not all) of their desires, to whatever level you possibly can.

"God is able to make all grace abound to you." - 2 Corinthians 9:8

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chicken Thighs with Garlic and Lime

Chicken Thighs with Garlic and Lime

After the chicken is baked, it's removed from the pan, and the drippings are reduced on the stovetop to a slightly syrupy sauce that is then spooned over the thighs.

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
4 (6-ounce) chicken thighs, skinned
3 tablespoons fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 lime wedges

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon juice. Rub garlic mixture over chicken. Place chicken in a medium skillet.

Combine 1 tablespoon juice, chicken broth, and vinegar; pour over the chicken. Place over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Wrap handle of pan with foil. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 180°.

Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Place pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 3 minutes). Spoon over chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.

Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 2 thighs and 2 tablespoons sauce)

CALORIES 326 FAT 10.4g FIBER 0.5g

Cooking Light, MAY 2001

The Love Dare - Day 37

Love Agrees in Prayer "If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by May Father." – Matthew 18:19

If someone told you that by changing one thing about your marriage, you could guarantee with near 100 percent assurance that your life together would significantly improve, you would at least want to know what it was. And for many godly couples, that “one thing” is the daily practice of praying together.

To someone who tends to devalue spiritual matters, this sounds fairly ridiculous. And if told that shared prayer is a key ingredient in marital longevity and leads to a heightened sense of sexual intimacy, they would think you had really gone too far. But the unity that grows between a man and woman who regularly pray together forms an intense and powerful connection. Within the sanctuary of your marriage, praying together can work wonders on every level of your relationship.

When you were joined together as husband and wife, God gave you a wedding gift – a permanent prayer partner for life. When you need wisdom on a certain decision, you and your prayer partner can seek God together for the answer. When you’re struggling with your own fears and insecurities, your prayer partner can hold your hand and intercede on your behalf. When you and your spouse are not getting along and can’t get past a particular argument or sticking point, you can call a time out, drop your weapons, and go with your partner into emergency prayer. It should become your automatic reflex action when you don’t know what else to do.

It’s hard to stay angry long with someone for whom you’re praying. It’s hard not to back down when you’re hearing your mate humbly cry out to God and beg Him for mercy in the midst of your heated crisis. In prayer, two people remember that God has made them one. And in the grip of His uniting presence, disharmony blends into beauty.

Praying for your spouse leads your heart to care more deeply about them. But more importantly, God is pleased when He sees you both humbling yourselves and seeking His face together. His blessing falls on you when you agree in prayer.

The word Jesus used when He talked about “agreeing” in prayer has the idea of harmonic symphony. Two separate notes, played one at a time, sound different. They’re opposed to each other. But play them at the same time – in agreement – and they can create a pleasing sense of harmony. Together they give a fuller, more complete sound than either of them can make on its own.

Agreeing in prayer is like that – even in the midst of disagreeing. It pulls you both back toward your real center. It places you on common ground, face-to-face before the Father. It restores harmony in the midst of contention.

The church – which in Scripture has a marriage connotation with Christ – can sometimes be a place where conflict rules. The disharmony that can flare up over various matters can derail the church from its mission and disrupt the free flow of worship and unity. At times godly church leaders will see what is taking place, break off discussions, and call the people of God to prayer. Instead of continuing the discord and allowing more feelings to be hurt, they will seek unity by turning their hearts back to God and appealing to Him for help.

The same thing happens in our homes when there is an intervention of prayer, even at high points of disagreement. It stops the bleeding. It quiets the loud voices. It pauses you as you realize whose presence you’re in.

But prayer is for a lot more than breaking up fights. Prayer is a privilege to be enjoyed on a consistent, daily basis. When you know that prayer time awaits you before going to bed, it will change the way you spend your evening. Even if your prayers together are typically short and to the point, this will become a standing appointment that you can orbit your day around, keeping God in the middle of everything.

It’s true that beginning a habit like this can initially feel awkward and uncomfortable. Anything this powerful will surprise you with its weight and responsibility when you actually try doing it. But bear in mind that God wants you to engage with Him – invites you, in fact – and He will grow you as you take it seriously and push past those times when you don’t know what to say.

You’ll look back at this common thread that ran through everything from average Mondays to major decisions and be so thankful for this “one thing” that changed everything. This is one area where it’s imperative that you agree to agree.

Today’s Dare: Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together. Talk about the best time to do this -- whether it’s in the morning, your lunch hour, or before bedtime. Use this time to commit your concerns, disagreements, and needs before the Lord. Don’t forget to thank Him for His provision and blessing. Even if your spouse refuses to do this, resolve to spend this daily time in prayer yourself.

"In the morning my prayer comes before You." - Psalm 88:13

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.

Monday, March 22, 2010

4 Fewer Pounds

Here is the latest email from Dr. Jacobs.

What 4 Fewer Pounds Can Do for You
By RealAge

Haven't reached your ideal size yet? Hang in there. In fact, make a pact that you'll at least shave off 4 pounds.
Why? Because a new study showed that dropping a mere 4 pounds could cut hypertension risk by 8 percent in middle-aged people and by 11 percent in the 50-plus set.

More Is More
Of course, bigger weight loss had even better blood pressure benefits in the 8-year study. For example, losing 15 pounds reduced high blood pressure risk by 21 percent in the middle-aged folks. Better yet, people 50 to 65 who were 15 pounds thinner enjoyed an even more impressive 29 percent risk reduction. And isn't it great to know that a realistic mini goal of 4 pounds will still bring big health benefits on the road to 15? So start slimming down now.

Chipotle-Salsa Burger

Chipotle-Salsa Burger
Source: Scott Koeneman
visit his blog at

3/4 pound lean (93 or 95 percent lean) ground beef
1/4 cup Egg Beaters or other egg substitute
3 tablespoons Panko or other bread crumb
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 slices red onion
8 tablespoons salsa
4 Arnolds Rounds or other multi-grain bun

Combine first six ingredients in a large bowl, shape into four patties.

Heat a skillet sprayed with non-stick over medium-high heat. Cook burgers until done (160F internal temperature) about 5 minutes a side.

Top with cheese (if desired), one onion slice and two tablespoons salsa.

Makes 4 servings

The Love Dare - Day 36

Love is God’s Word "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." – Psalm 119:105

For some people, the Bible seems just too big to understand. It’s like an impossible challenge. They don’t know where or how to begin. But as a Christian, you’re not left alone to try grasping the major themes and deep meanings of the Bible. The Holy Spirit, who now lives in your heart by the way of salvation, is an illuminator of truth. “For the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). And because of His internal lamp, the Scriptures are now yours to read, absorb, comprehend, and live by.

But first, you’ve got to commit to do it.

Be in it. If this is not already a habit of yours, now is the time to begin reading a portion of the Bible every day. Ideally, read it together as husband and wife – in the morning, perhaps, or before bed. Be like the writer of Psalm 119, who could say, “With all my heart I have sought You … Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (Psalm 119:10-11).

Those who practice a consistent pattern of reading the Bible soon discover it to be “more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10).

Stay under it. You’re right; the Bible can be deep and challenging. That’s why it’s so important to be part of a church where the Word is faithfully taught and preached. By hearing it explained in sermons and Bible study classes, you’ll get a broader, more balanced view of what God is saying through His Word. You’ll also get to join with others who are on the same journey you are, wanting to be fed by the truths of Scripture. “Continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them” (2 Timothy 3:14).

Live it. Unlike most other books, which are only designed to be read and digested, the Bible is a living book. It lives because the Holy Spirit still resonates within its words. It lives because, unlike the ancient writings of other religions, its Author is still alive. And it lives because it becomes a part of who you are, how you think, and what you do. “Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers” (James 1:22).

Jesus talked about people who build their lives on sand – their own logic, their best guesses, the latest reasoning. When the storms of life begin to blow (which they always will), foundations of sand will only result in total disaster. Their houses may light up and look nice for a while, but they are tragedies waiting to happen. Ultimately they collapse.

But Jesus said, “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them may be compared to a wise man who builds on the rock. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25). When your home is founded on the rock of God’s unchanging Word, it is insured against destruction.

That’s because God has the right plan for everything, and He’s revealed these plans in His Word. They’re right there for anyone who will read it and apply it.

God has a plan for the way you handle your money. A plan for the way you raise your children. A plan for the way you treat your body. A plan for the way you spend your time. A plan for the way you handle conflict. Isn’t it just like your Maker to know exactly what you need?

If being a regular Bible reader is new for you, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll begin thinking differently and more eternally. And if you are serious about establishing strategies for life based on God’s way of doing things, He will guide you to make connections between what you’re reading and how it applies. It’s an enlightening journey with discoveries to be made all the time.

Every aspect of your life that you submit to, God’s principles will grow stronger and more long-lasting over time. But any part you withhold from Him, choosing instead to try your own hand at it, will weaken and eventually fail when the storms of life hit you. It may, in fact, be the one area that hastens the downfall of your home and marriage.

Wise couples build their houses on the rock of God’s Word. They’ve seen what sand can do. They know how it feels when their footing gets soft and the foundation gives way. That’s why must determine to build your life and marriage on the solid rock of the Bible, and then you can plan on a stronger future – no matter how bad the storms get.

Today’s Dare: Commit to reading the Bible every day. Find a devotional book or other resource that will give you some guidance. If your spouse is open to it, see if they will commit to daily Bible reading with you. Begin submitting each area of your life to its guidance and start building on the rock.

"Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction." - Romans 15:4

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Chipotle-Glazed Chicken Breasts

Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Chipotle-Glazed Chicken Breasts
Source: Scott Koeneman
visit his blog at

Broccoli Mac and Cheese

8 oz uncooked whole-wheat pasta
10 oz broccoli (I like to use fresh, but save time using frozen)
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
3/4 cup(s) shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
1/4 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cup(s) fat-free skim milk

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta for 4 minutes. Add frozen broccoli and continue cooking (if using fresh, wait and add the broccoli when you add the pasta to the cheese sauce), stirring occasionally, until the pasta and broccoli are just tender, 4 to 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 cups milk in another large pot over medium-high heat until just simmering. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl until combined. Add the flour mixture to the simmering milk; return to a simmer and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in Cheddar, Parmesan and mustard until the cheese is melted.

Drain the pasta and broccoli and add to the cheese sauce. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat, until heated through, about 1 minute.

Chipotle-Glazed Chicken Breasts

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 6oz chicken breasts, halved
2 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat, adding extra virgin olive oil. Sear chicken breasts until crispy brown on both sides, but not quite cooked through, about 3 minutes each side. Remove and set the chicken aside and add the chicken broth to the skillet, scraping all that nice brown stuff up into the broth. Add chipotle peppers (we make our own, if you're interested in how, just ask). Stir until it starts to cook down and put the chicken back into the skillet. Baste the chicken with the broth, turning regularly and giving the pan a good shake. Do this until the broth has totally cooked away and the chicken is coated.

Thinly slice the chicken and serve with or over the mac and cheese. Let's eat!

*Scott says, "For my Weight Watcher friends, one cup of the mac and cheese is 4 points and 3 oz of chicken breast is 3 points."

The Love Dare - Day 35

Love is Accountable "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." – Proverbs 15:22

Mighty sequoia trees tower hundreds of feet in the air and can withstand intense environmental pressures. Lightning can strike them, fierce winds can blow, and forest fires can rage around them. But the sequoia endures, standing firm, only growing stronger through the trials.

One of the secrets to the strength of this giant tree is what goes on below the surface. Unlike many trees, they reach out and interlock their roots with the sequoias around them. Each becomes empowered and reinforced by the strength of each others.

The secret to the sequoia is also the key to maintaining a strong, healthy marriage. A couple that faces problems alone is more likely to fall apart during rough times. However, the ones who interlock their lives in a network of other strong marriages radically increase their chances of surviving the fiercest of storms. It is crucial that a husband and wife pursue godly advice, healthy friendships, and experienced mentors.

Everyone needs wise counsel throughout life. Wise people constantly seek it and gladly receive it. Fools never ask for it and then ignore it when it’s given to them.

As the Bible so clearly explains, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel” (Proverbs 12:15).

Gaining wise counsel is like having a detailed road map and a personal guide while traveling on a long, challenging journey. It can be the difference between continual success or the destruction of another marriage. It is vital that you invite strong couples to share the wisdom they have gained through their own successes and failures.

Why waste years of your life learning painful lessons when you could discover those same truths during a few hours of wise counsel? Why not cross the bridges others have built? Wisdom is more valuable than gold. Not receiving it is like letting priceless coins pass through your fingers.

Good marriage mentors warn you before you make a bad decision. They encourage you when you are ready to give up. And they cheer you on as you reach new levels of intimacy in your marriage.

Do you have an older couple or a friend or a friend of the same gender you can turn to for good advice, for prayer support, and for regular accountability checkups? Do you have someone in your life who shoots straight with you?

You and your spouse need these types of friends and mentors on a consistent basis. The Bible says, “Encourage one another day after day … so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). Too often we can isolate ourselves from others. If we are not careful, we could push away the people who love us the most.

You must guard yourself against the wrong influencers. Everyone has an opinion and some people will encourage you to act selfishly and leave your mate in order to pursue your own happiness. Be careful about listening to advice from people who don’t have a good marriage themselves.

If your marriage is hanging by a thread or already heading for a divorce, then you need to stop everything and pursue solid counseling as quickly as possible. Call a pastor, a Bible-believing counselor, or a marriage ministry today. As awkward as it may initially be to open up your life to a stranger, your marriage is worth every second spent and every sacrifice you will make for it. Even if your marriage is fairly stable, you’re in no less need of honest, open mentors – people who can put wind in your sails and make your marriage even better.

How do you pick a good mentor? You look for a person who has the kind of marriage you want. You look for a person whose heart for Christ comes first before everything else. You look for someone who doesn’t live by his or her opinions but by the unchanging Word of God. And more times than not, this person will likely be delighted you asked for help. Start praying for God to send this person into your life. Then pick a time to meet and talk.

If this doesn’t sound too important to you, it would be a good idea to ask yourself why. Do you have something to hide? Are you afraid you will be embarrassed? Do you think your marriage is exempt from needing outside help? Does diving into a river of positive influence not appeal to you? Don’t be the captain of another Titanic divorce by ignoring the warning signs around you when you could have been helped.

Here’s an important reminder from Scripture: “Each one of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). This appointment is unbreakable. And though we’re all ultimately responsible for the way we approach it, we can surely stand as much help as others can give. It might just be the relational influence that takes your marriage from mediocre to amazing.

Today’s Dare: Find a marriage mentor – someone who is a strong Christian and who will be honest and loving with you. If you feel that counseling is needed, then take the first step to set up an appointment. During this process, ask God to direct your decisions and discernment.

"In abundance of counselors there is victory." - Proverbs 11:14

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hungry Girl's Best BBQ Chicken Pizza

Hungry Girl's Best BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 stick light string cheese
3 oz. cooked boneless skinless lean chicken breast, chopped
2 tbsp. your favorite BBQ sauce with about 45 calories per 2-tbsp. serving, divided
1 high-fiber or whole-wheat pita
1 1/2 tbsp. finely chopped red onion
1 tsp. chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Break string cheese into thirds, and place in a food processor or blender -- blend at high speed until cheese takes on a shredded or grated consistency. (Or just tear string cheese into pieces and roughly chop.) Set aside.

In a small dish, toss chopped chicken with 1 tbsp. BBQ sauce. Set aside.

Place pita on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Spread remaining 1 tbsp. BBQ sauce onto the exposed side of the pita, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge.

Sprinkle evenly with shredded/grated cheese. Scatter saucy chicken over the layer of cheese, and then sprinkle with onion.

Bake in the oven for 10 - 12 minutes, until pizza is hot. Top with cilantro, slice into quarters, and enjoy. YUMMMM!


Serving Size: 1 pizza (entire recipe)
Calories: 340
Fat: 5g
Sodium: 925mg
Carbs: 39g
Fiber: 6g
Sugars: 10g
Protein: 36.5g

The Love Dare - Day 34

Love Celebrates Godliness "[Love] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth." – 1 Corinthians 13:6

From the moment you close your Bible in the morning nearly everything else you’ll encounter throughout the day will be luring you away from its truths. The opinions of your coworkers, the news coverage on television, your typical Websites, the various temptations of the day – all of these and more will be working overtime to shape your perceptions of what’s true and most desirable in life.

They’ll say that having a knockout wife who dresses to get other men’s attention is a good thing. They say that bad language and immorality in the movies are fine for mature people. They’ll say that church isn’t important in a person’s life. They’ll say that we each must find God in our own way.

They’ll say a lot of things. And they’ll say them so loudly and frequently that if we’re not careful, we can start believing that what they say is the way things should be. We can begin valuing what everybody else values and thinking the way everybody else does.

But the meaning of “real life” changes dramatically when we understand that God’s Word is the ultimate expression of what real life is. The teachings it contains are not just good guesses at what should matter. They are principles that reflect the way things really are, the way God created life to be. His ideals and instructions are the only pathways to real blessing, and when we see people following them in obedience to the Lord; it should cause us to rejoice.

What makes you the proudest of your husband? Is it when he comes home with a trophy from the company golf tournament, or when he gathers the family before bedtime to pray together and read the Word?

What overjoys you the most in your wife? Is it seeing her try a new painting technique in the children’s bedrooms, or seeing her forgive the neighbor whose dog dug up her plants?

You are one of the most influential people in your spouse’s life. Have you been using your influence to lead them to honor God, or to dishonor Him?

Love rejoices most in the things that please God. When your mate is growing in Christian character, persevering in faith, seeking purity, and embracing roles of giving and service – becoming spiritually responsible in your home – the Bible says we should be celebrating it. The word “rejoices” in 1 Corinthians 13:6 carries the idea of being absolutely thrilled, excitedly cheering them on for what they’re allowing God to accomplish in their lives.

The apostle Paul, who helped establish and minister to many of the first-century churches, wrote in his letters how delighted he was to hear reports of the people’s faithfulness and growth in Jesus. “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure” (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4).

The apostle John, who had walked closely with Jesus and became one of the main leaders in the early church, once wrote to his flock, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 John 4).

That should be what energizes us when we see it happening in our mate. More than when they save money on the grocery bill. More than when they achieve success at work. Sometimes by accepting modern culture’s take on what to applaud in our spouse, we can even be guilty of encouraging them to sin – perhaps by feeding their vanity, or by letting boys be boys.

But “love does not rejoice in unrighteousness” – not in ourselves and not in our mate. Rather, love “rejoices with the truth,” the way Paul did when he said to the Roman church, “The report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil” (Romans 16:19). He knew that the pursuit of godliness, purity, and faithfulness was the only way for them to find joy and ultimate fulfillment. Being “wise” about holiness while being “innocent” about sin – remaining unjaded and uncompromising as we travel through life – is the way to win in God’s eyes.

And what more could we want for our wife or husband than for them to experience God’s best in life?

Be happy for any success your spouse enjoys. But save your heartiest congratulations for those times when they are honoring God with their worship and obedience.

Today’s Dare: Find a specific, recent example when your spouse demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way. Verbally commend them for this at some point today.

"I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart." - Psalm 101:2

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Teasing is NOT Just for Kids

My birthday was on Monday (that blog is coming soon). Part of my birthday present is that Jon would pay for me to get my haircut. For the last week I have look at hundreds of pictures: long, medium, and short hairstyles. All the while I have been in search of the perfect do for me.

I don't have a hairdresser in Texas, because I am way to picky and afraid to let Texas women go at my hair. I don't want to come out looking like Dolly Parton, no offense Dolly that hair is just not for me.

My co-worker Anna recommended that I go to her stylist at Salon Pink. She said that this woman would not make my hair big. So I made the appointment and went on my lunch break this afternoon.

I get to Salon Pink and meet Sara, who doesn't seem like she would make my hair huge. After the hair washing, cut, dry, straightening, and texturizing, I was so excited and almost home big hair yet. Until, Sara pulled out a teasing comb and began to tease my hair. No I had no idea what this comb was so for those of you who are like me I want you to know that below is a picture of a teasing comb.

Thankfully, I asked her what kind of comb that was and reminded her that I was not from Texas. She explained what it was and said that she would not do my hair as big as a normal Texas girl.

When she was finished I was pleasantly surprised. She didn't tease it very much, but what she had done was not that bad. I am so glad that I reminder her that I was from Oregon and that she didn't tease my hair anymore then she already had. Thanks Sara!! I just love my new haircut.

Gooey Pork Chops

Gooey Pork Chops

6 trimmed Bone-In Pork Chops (can substitute boneless)
1 tsp Ground black pepper
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Onion powder
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 10 oz. cans Campbell's Healthy Request Cream Mushroom Soup
1 packet Lipton dry onion soup mix

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.Line 9x13 baking dish with heavy duty foil leaving 3 inches overhang on each end of dish.

Combine garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper together. Use as rub to one side of each chop.

Place chops in baking dish (may be a tight fit).

Coat chops with worcestershire sauce.

Cover chops with Cream of Mushroom soup.

Sprinkle Dry onion soup mix over dish.

Cover with another piece of heavy duty foil, rolling edges of both pieces of foil together to seal chops totally.

Serves: 6

*** Jenny's notes:
May substitute boneless chops. I use trimmed chops and retrim at home. May also substitute chops with Pot Roast or Chicken. Depending on how thick you want the gravy, may want to use 2 cans of soup (I do). May place foil packet in crockpot rather than oven and adjust cook time to 8 hours on low. ***

 For Recipe Review, click here.

The Love Dare - Day 33

Love Completes Each Other "If two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?" -- Ecclesiastes 4:11

God creates marriage by taking a man and a woman and uniting them as one. And although love must be willing to act alone if necessary, it is always better when it is not just a solo performance. Love can function on its own if there is no other way, but there is a “more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31). And love dares not to stop loving before it gets there.

This “completing” aspect of love was revealed to mankind from the beginning. God originated the human race with male and a female – two similar but complementary designs meant to function in harmony.

Are bodies are made for each other. Our natures and temperaments provide balance, enabling us to more effectively complete the tasks at hand. Our oneness can produce children, and our teamwork can best raise them to health and maturity. When one is weak, the other is strong. When one needs building up, the other is equipped to enhance and encourage. We multiply one another’s joys and divide one another’s sorrows.

The scriptures say, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the other one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up”(Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10). It’s like your two hands, which don’t just coexist together but multiply the effectiveness of the other. In order to do what they do, neither is quite complete without the other.

Although our difference can frequently be the source of the misunderstanding and conflict, they have been created by God and can be ongoing blessings if we respect them.

One of you may be better at cooking, for instance, while the other is more thorough in cleaning the dishes. One may be more gentle and able to keep peace among family members, while the other handles discipline more directly and effectively. One may have a good business head but needs the other to help him remember to be generous.

When we learn to accept these distinctions in our mate, we can bypass criticism and go straight to helping and appreciating one another.

But some can’t seem to get past their partners differences. And they suffer many wasted opportunities as a result. They don’t take advantage of the uniqueness that makes each of them more effective when including the other.

One such example from the Bible is Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who presided over the trial of Jesus. Unaware of who Christ was and against his better judgment, he allowed the crowd to influence him into crucifying Jesus.

But the one person who was more sensitive to what was really happening was Pilate’s wife, who came to him at the height of the uproar and warned him he was making a mistake. “While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, ‘Have nothing to do with what righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him” (Matthew 27:19).

She was apparently a woman of keen discernment who grasped the magnitude of these events before her husband did. Certainly, God’s sovereignty was at work, and nothing would have kept His Son from marching obediently to the cross for us. But Pilate’s dismissal of his wife’s intuition reveals an unfortunate side to man’s nature that is often downplayed. God made wives to complete their husbands, and He gives them insight that in many cases is kept from their men. If this discernment is ignored, it is often to the detriment of the man making the decision.

The effectiveness of your marriage is dependent upon both of you working together. Do you have big decisions to make about your finances or retirement planning? Are you having a real problem with a coworker who’s getting harder and harder to deal with, and you are grappling with the appropriate action to take? Are you absolutely convinced that your educational choices for the children are right, no matter what your spouse thinks?

Don’t try doing all the analysis yourself. Don’t disqualify his or her right to voice an opinion on matters that affect both of you. Love realizes that God has put you together on purpose. And though you may wind up disagreeing with your spouse’s perspectives, you should still give their views respect and strong consideration. This honors God’s design for your relationship and guards the oneness He intends.

Joined together, you are greater than your independent parts. You need each other. You complete each other.

Today’s Dare: Recognize that your spouse is integral to your future success. Let them know today that you desire to include them in your upcoming decisions, and that you need their perspective and counsel. If you have ignored their input in the past, admit your oversight and ask them to forgive you.

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Recipe by Dani Spies

1 pound ground white meat chicken
1/2 small onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 tsp of smoked Paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup hot sauce (I use Wing-Time)

Garnishes:Blue Cheese Dressing
A couple of handfuls celery sticks
A couple of handfuls carrot sticks

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, onion, garlic, parsley, paprika and cayenne. Season with salt and black pepper.

Take about two tablespoons of meat mixture and roll between the palms of your hand to form a meatball about the size of a golf ball.

Place meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Pop them in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until they are cooked through.

While the meatballs are baking, heat the hot sauce in a large skillet. Toss the baked meatballs in the hot sauce to coat.

Serve the meatballs with celery and carrot sticks and some blue cheese dressing for dipping!! Enjoy!

Makes 16 meatballs.

Nutritional Analysis
Four Meatballs: Calories: 184; Total Fat: 6.5g; Saturated Fat: 0.5g; Cholesterol: 75mg; Sodium: 333mg; Carbohydrate: 5g; Dietary Fiber: 0.8g; Sugars: 1.4g; Protein: 29.2g

The Love Dare - Day 32

Love Meets Sexual Needs "The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband." – 1 Corinthians 7:3

Some people think the Bible has nothing good to say about sex, as though all God seems concerned about is telling us when not to do it and who not `and the blessing it can be for both husband and wife. Even its boundaries and restrictions are God’s ways of keeping our sexual experiences at a level far beyond any of those advertised on television or in the movies.

In Christian marriage, romance is meant to thrive and flourish. After all, it was created by God. It’s all part of celebrating what God has given, becoming one with our mate while simultaneously pursuing purity and holiness. He delights in us when this happens.

The Song of Solomon, for example, though frequently misunderstood as nothing more than an allegory about God’s passion for His people, is actually a beautiful love story. It describes sexual acts between a husband and wife in poetic detail, showing how each one responds to the other. It expresses how honesty and understanding in sexual matters lead to a life of confident love together.

It’s true that sex is only one aspect of marriage. But as time goes by, one of you will likely value its importance more highly than the other. As a result of this, the nature of your oneness as man and wife will feel threatened and endangered.

Again, the biblical foundations of marriage were originally expressed in the creation of Adam and Eve. She was made to be “a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). The unity of their relationship and physical bodies was so strong, they were said to become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

This same oneness is a hallmark of every marriage. In the act of romance, we join our hearts to each other an expression of love that no other form of communication can match. That’s why “the marriage bed is to be undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4). We are not to share this same experience with anyone else.

But we are weak. And when this legitimate need goes unmet – when it’s treated as being selfish and demanding by the other – our hearts are subject to being drawn away from marriage, tempted to fulfill this longing somewhere else, some other way.

To counteract this tendency, God established marriage with a “one flesh” mentality. “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does” (1 Corinthians 7:4).

Sex is not to be used as a bargaining chip. It is not something God allows us to withhold without consequence. Though there can be abuses to this divinely designed framework, the heart of marriage is one of giving ourselves to each other to meet the other’s needs.

Sex is one God-given opportunity to do that.

So “stop depriving one another,” the Bible warns, “except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of you lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:5).

You are the one person called and designated by God to meet your spouse’s sexual needs. If you allow distance to grow between you in this area, if you allow staleness to set in, you are taking something that rightly (and exclusively) belongs to your spouse. If you let your mate know – by words, actions, or inactions – that sex needn’t be any more than you want it to be, you rob from them a sense of honor and endearment that has been set in place by biblical mandate. You violate the “one flesh” unity of marriage.

So whether you perceive yourself as being on the deprived end, or you would admit that you are the one depriving the other, know that God’s plan for you is to meet in the middle and come to a place of agreement. But also know that the path to getting there will not be accomplished by sulking, arguing or demanding. Love is the only way to reestablish loving union between each other. All the things the Love Dare entails – patience, kindness, selflessness, thoughtfulness, protection, honor, forgiveness – will play a role in renewing your sexual intimacy. When the love of Christ is the foundation of your marriage, the strength of your friendship and sexual relationship can be enjoyed at a level this world can never know.

“You have been bought with a price,” God has declared (1 Corinthians 6:20). He set His affections on you and went to every length to draw you into desiring Him. Now it is your turn to pay the loving price to win the heart of your mate. When you do, you will enjoy the pure delight that flows when sex is done for all the right reasons. And as if that’s not enough, you will also have the opportunity to “glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20). How beautiful.

Today’s Dare: If at all possible, try to initiate sex with your husband or wife today. Do this in a way that honors what your spouse has told you (or implied to you) about what they need from you sexually. Ask God to make this enjoyable for both of you as well as a path to greater intimacy.

"How beautiful and delightful you are, my love." - Song of Solomon 7:6

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Portion Distortion

Here is a summary of my Weight Watchers meeting on March 16, 2010.

In the meeting room this week we talked about portion control and some of the most commonly “mis~portioned” foods. We are all guilty of not being entirely 100% honest with ourselves when it comes to tracking the correct portion sizes.
Some of the most common miscalculated foods are:
• Wine~serving size is ½ cup but compared to most wine glasses that looks like a tsp
• Peanut Butter~ it is so hard to level out those measuring spoons- without leveling most of us are doubling the measuring spoon with each scoop!
• Fruit~fruit these days tend to run extremely large and counting them as one point is usually not so accurate It might be a good idea to consider fruit as a set points value of 2 each time unless you are buying the extremely tiny hard to find 1 point fruit
• Salad dressing~ especially at restaurants and buffet lines when there is a ladle you might find you are using quite a bit more than 2 tbsp~ one of those ladles is ¼ of a cup~ also just because 2 tbsp is 0 points that doesn’t mean you should drench your entire plate of lettuce with it and count it as 0 points
• Coffee creamer~ what its low in points….but when you have 6 glasses of coffee a day that creamer can add up really quickly
• Cereal & milk~ let’s face it guys a single serving of these foods combined looks pitiful in that giant bowl we use so…little by little we add just a little bit more cereal…and then it needs more milk…and so on

Now then in the meeting we talked about some good techniques that we can use when measuring spoons and cups are not available to us.
For example:
• Your fist is about the same size as one cup of fruit or pasta
• Your thumb (tip to base) is the size of one ounce of meat or cheese
• Your palm (minus fingers) equals three ounces of meat, fish, or poultry
• Your cupped hand equals one to two ounces of nuts or pretzels

Here are some more good portion control techniques:
• Don't leave a half-eaten birthday cake sitting on your kitchen counter. Wrap up cake and cookies and send them home with your guests.
• Doggie-bag it at restaurants. Their portions can sometimes be extra large. Ask that half of your meal be wrapped up to take home. You can even share a meal! I love getting two meals for the price of one.
• Consider ordering kiddie-sized/senior meals at restaurants. These dinners offer "built-in" portion control. Some restaurants even have lunch portions available.
• Minimize bargain temptations. If you buy big tubs or bags of snack foods to save money, store them on a high shelf so they're not within arm's reach. Or, immediately divide them into single serve portions and stash them away in a hard-to-reach place.
• Learn to eyeball portion sizes, so it becomes second nature. Three ounces of chicken, for instance, equals the size of a deck of cards or your palm.
• Make your own "frozen" dinners. When recipes yield extra servings, store the leftovers in single serve containers for portion-controlled meals later on, or lunch at work.
• Retire your serving platters. If half a tray of lasagna stares you in the face while you eat dinner, you may be more likely to reach for seconds. Instead, serve yourself a portion and put the rest away. You can always go back for more, but this way, you may be less likely to.
• Stock up on smaller plates. A half-empty 10-inch dinner plate spells deprivation; a salad plate filled to the edge seems like a huge meal.
• Eat slowly! Research suggests that it takes approximately 20 minutes for your body to know that it's full. If you gobble down your food, seconds will be much more tempting.

This week focus on one of the foods that you feel you struggle with counting accurately and focus on what you need to do to make your tracker true to what you are eating.

March 27 Walking Event -- East Texas Trekkers

You're Invited To Stop, Smell & Walk Tyler's Beautiful Azalea Trail

During 5k and 11k Walks presented by the East Texas Trekkers and sanctioned by the American Volkssport Association (AVA),a member of the International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV)

WHEN: Saturday, March 27, 2010

WHERE: Starting point is the scout hut situated behind the First Presbyterian Church located at 230 W. Rusk Street in Tyler, Texas (75701)

WHO: This event is open to the public. Everyone is welcome; however, an adult must accompany children 12 and under at all times. All participants must sign a waiver of liability, carry a start card and return to the finish table upon completion of the walk.

REGISTRATION: Registration will be on the day of the event with no pre registrations nor refunds.

AWARD: "B" awards from previous walks

PROGRAMS: Walk qualifies for the American Gardens Special Program

TIME: Participants can start the walks anytime from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. but must be off the trails by 2:30 p.m.

RATINGS: Both walks are rated "1" (easy) They are primarily on city streets. Strollers will have some difficulties. The walks are not wheelchair friendly.

DISTANCES: Two walks are available, a 5k (3.1 mile) and a 11k (6.8 mile)

FEES: Participants will pay $3.00 for AVA credit. First-time walkers and children under 13 will pay nothing. "B" awards will be available for prices ranging $1.00 and up. AVA New Walker Packages will be available for $5.00 each.

RESTROOMS: Will be available at the Start/Finish Point and at Bergfeld Park along the walk route.

WATER: Available at the Start/Fish Point and at Bergfeld Park. Extra water to carry along the route is recommended.

LIABILITY: The East Texas Trekkers, First Presbyterian Church, City of Tyler or any other sponsors are not responsible for any accidents, theft or damage of any kind. Every reasonable effort will be made to insure a safe, enjoyable and memorable walk.

PETS: Are welcome on this walk; but must be leashed at all times. Cleanup is required. Pets are not allowed on private property or in the Scout Hut.

PATH: East Texas Trekkers have teamed up with Path, a non-profit organization in Tyler that helps those in need with food, utilities and housing. Your donation of canned good item(s) will help those less fortunate.

SPONSORS: Our sponsors include Trinity Mother Frances SportsCare.

WHO WE ARE: East Texas Trekkers is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1997 in Tyler, Texas. We are one of some 35 clubs in Texas affiliated with the American Volkssport Association. AVA has over 300 active affiliates throughout the United States. Our mission is to promote and stimulate personal fitness, health, relaxation, recreation, fun and fellowship through participation in and development of self-paced, non-competitive activities, primarily walking.

CONTACT: President David C. Porter, (903)534-1960,

Apricot Chicken in the Crockpot

Apricot Chicken in the Crockpot
Source: ConYeah

large jar of tostitos salsa
2/3 cups apricot preserves
1/2 cup orange juice
3 chicken breasts

Mix salsa, apricot preserves and oj together, and pour over breasts. Cook on low for 3 hrs.

The Love Dare - Day 31

Love and Marriage "A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." – Genesis 2:24

This verse is God’s original blueprint for how marriage is supposed to work. It involves a tearing away and a knitting together. It reconfigures existing relationships while establishing a brand new one. Marriage changes everything.

That’s why couples who don’t take this “leaving” and “cleaving” message to heart will reap the consequences down the line, when the problems are much harder to repair without hurting someone.

“Leaving” means that you are breaking a natural tie. Your parents step into the role of counselors to be respected, but can no longer tell you what to do. Sometimes the difficulty in doing this comes from the original source. A parent may not be ready to release you yet from their control and expectations. Whether through unhealthy dependence or inner struggles over the empty nest, parents don’t always take their share of this responsibility. In such cases, the grown child has to make “leaving” a courageous choice of his own. And far too often, this break is not made in the right way.

Are you and your spouse still living with unresolved issues because of a failure to cut the apron strings? Do either of your parents continue to create problems within your home – perhaps without their even knowing it? What needs to happen to put a stop to this before it creates too wide of a division in your marriage?

Unity is a marriage quality to be guarded at a great cost. The purpose of “leaving,” of course, is not to abandon all contact with the past but rather to preserve the unique oneness that marriage is designed to capture. Only in oneness can you become all that God means for you to be.

If you’re too tightly drawn to your parents, the singular identity of your marriage will not be able to come to flower. You will always be held back, and a root of division will continue to send up new shoots into your relationship. It won’t go away unless you do something about it. For without “leaving,” you cannot do the “cleaving” you need, the joining of your hearts that’s required to experience oneness.

“Cleaving” carries the idea of catching someone by pursuit, clinging to them as your new rock of refuge and safety. This man is now the spiritual leader of your new home, tasked with the responsibility of loving you “just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). This woman is now one in union with you, called to “see to it that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).

As a result of this essential process, you are now free to become everything God meant when He declared you “one flesh.”

· You are able to achieve oneness in your decision making, even when you begin from differing viewpoints.

· You are able to achieve oneness in your priorities, even through you’ve come together from backgrounds that could hardly be more different.

· You are able to achieve oneness in your sexual affections toward each other, even if either of both of you have memories of impurity in your pre-marital past.

God’s decision to make you “one flesh” in marriage can make anything possible.

If this is not how things are going in your home right now, you’re unfortunately in the majority. It’s not out of character for couples of all kinds – even Christian couples – to ignore God’s design for marriage, thinking they know better than He does. Genesis 2:24 may have sounded nice and noble when it was wrapped around the sharing of vows at the wedding. But as a fundamental principle to be put into place and practiced as a living fact – this just seems too difficult to do. But this is what you must make any sacrifice to reclaim.

It’s hard – extremely hard – when the pursuit of oneness is basically one-sided. Your spouse may not be interested at all in recapturing the unity you had at first. Even if there is some desire on his or her part, there may still be issues between you that are nowhere close to being resolved.

But if you’ll continue to keep a passion for oneness forefront in your mind and heart, your relationship over time will begin to reflect the inescapable “one flesh” design that is printed on its DNA. You don’t have to go looking for it. It’s already there. But you don’t have to live it, or there’s nothing else to expect than disunity.

Leave. And cleave. And dare to walk as one.

Today’s Dare: Is there a “leaving” issue you haven’t been brave enough to conquer yet? Confess it to your spouse today, and resolve to make it right. The oneness of your marriage is dependent upon it. Follow this with a commitment to your spouse and to God to make your marriage the top priority over every other human relationship.

"May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You." - John 17:21 HCSB

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tropical Chicken Pizza

Tropical Chicken Pizza
By, Monica King

1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pi
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup teriyaki sauce, thick variety
1 cup chopped deli rotisserie chicken (from 2-lb container)
8 oz Dole Canned Pineapple Tidbits in Juice, drained
2 cups Reduced-Fat Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1. Heat oven to 425F. Spray 15x12-inch cookie sheet with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.

2. Unroll pizza crust dough on cookie sheet; press dough to edges of cookie sheet. Brush with oil. Sprinkle with garlic, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro and 2 tablespoons of the coconut. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until crust is just beginning to brown.

3. Spread teriyaki sauce over partially baked crust to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top evenly with chicken, pineapple and cheeses. Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer or until cheeses are melted and crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons each cilantro and coconut.

Servings 8

The Love Dare - Day 30

Love Brings Unity "Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are." – John 17:11

One of the most impressive things about the Bible is the way it linked together, with consistent themes running throughout, from beginning to end. Though written over a span of 1,600 years and composed by more than forty writers of various backgrounds and skill levels, God sovereignty authored it with one united voice. And He continues to speak through it today without going message.

Unity. Togetherness. Oneness.

These are the unshakable hallmarks of our God.

From the very beginning of time, we see His unity at work through the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God the Father is there, creating the heavens and the earth. The Spirit is “moving over the surface of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). And the Son, who is “the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3), joins in speaking the world into existence. “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).

Us. Our.

All three are in perfect oneness of mind and purpose.

We later see Jesus rising from the waters of baptism, as the Spirit descends like a dove and the Father announces over this majestic scene, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

Jesus later says, “I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). His desire to answer His followers’ prayer is “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). He asks the Father to send the Holy Spirit, knowing that the Spirit will faithfully testify about the Son He loves, for “no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11 NIV).

Father, Son, and Spirit are in pristine unity. They serve each other, love each other, and honor each other. Though equal, they rejoice when the other is praised. Though distinct, they are one, indivisible.

And because this relationship is so special – so representative of the vastness and grandeur of God – He has chosen to let us experience an aspect of it. In the unique relationship of husband and wife, two distinct individuals are spiritually united into “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). And “what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Mark 10:9 NIV).

In fact, this mystery is so compelling – and the love between husband and wife so intertwined and complete – that God uses the imagery of marriage to explain His love for the church.

The church (the bride) is most honored when her Savior is worshiped and celebrated. Christ (the bridegroom), who has given Himself up for her, is most honored when He sees her “as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27 NIV). Both Christ and the church love and honor the other.

That’s the beauty of unity.

Husband – What would happen in your marriage if you devoted yourself to loving, honoring, and serving your wife in all things? What if you determined that the preservation of your oneness with this woman was worth every sacrifice and expression of love you could make? What would change in your home if you took that approach to your relationship on a daily basis?

Wife – What would happen if you made it your mission to do everything possible to promote togetherness of heart with your husband? What if every threat to your unity was treated as a poison, a cancer, an enemy to be eliminated by love, humility, and selflessness? What would your marriage become if you were never again willing to see your oneness torn apart?

The unity of the Trinity, as seen beyond the reaches of history past and continuing into the future, is evidence of the power of oneness. It is unbreakable. It is unending. And it is this same spiritual reality that disguises itself as your home and mailing address. Though painted in the colors of work schedules and doctor visits and trips to the grocery, oneness is the eternal thread that runs through the daily experience of what you call “your marriage,” giving it a purpose to be defended for life.

Therefore, love this one who is as much a part of your body as you are. Serve this one whose needs cannot be separated from your own. Honor this one who, when raised upon the pedestal of your love, raises you up too in the eyes of God, all at the same time.

Today’s Dare: Isolate one area of division in your marriage, and look on today as a fresh opportunity to pray about it. Ask the Lord to reveal anything in your own heart that is threatening oneness with your spouse. Pray that He would do the same for them. And if appropriate, discuss this matter openly, seeking God for unity.

"The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!" - Deuteronomy 6:4

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Don't Just Sit There!

Here is the latest email from Dr. Jacobs.

Lose Fat Just by Standing?
By RealAge

Your body might be able to break down fat better if you do this one simple thing: stand more.

A small study suggests that when people sit around too much, enzymes that help break down fat are practically turned off. Bad news not just for your waist but also for your heart and artery health. The solution? Fidget, pace, get up, get down. Do whatever you have to do to move those legs of yours. Often.

Couch-Potato Science
In a small animal study, cutting back on time spent puttering about had a big impact on lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that helps break down fat in the body. The enzyme's activity was slashed 94 percent by less than one day of inactivity. And researchers speculate that this dramatic drop means more fat retention for the body. But frequently engaging your large muscles could be a good way to counter it. That means more time puttering, less time lounging. Even if you already have an exercise routine.

The Daily Lowdown
Unfortunately, daily low-intensity activity -- everyday stuff like walking to the bus stop, pinning the laundry on the line, or pushing the lawn mower -- is going the way of poodle skirts and fuzzy dice, thanks to desk jobs, the Internet, and 500-channel TVs. But your body needs not only a formal workout routine but a high percentage of everyday movement, too. So get off your rump and get moving!

Better Than Sex Chocolate Cake

Better Than Sex Chocolate Cake

1 package dry mix chocolate cake, devil's food
10 fl oz Coca-Cola Diet Coke
1 egg white
6 oz fat-free caramel topping
7 oz Eagle Brand Fat Free Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup heath bar bits
8 oz Cool Whip Free Whipped Topping

Mix cake mix, egg white and diet soda. Bake as directed in a greased
9x13 pan. During the last few minutes of baking, put caramel and
condensed milk in a sauce pan and stir on medium low heat until smooth.
Take cake out of oven, and poke holes all over the top. Pour caramel
mixture over warm cake, filling in the holes. Sprinkle Heath bits over
the top, reserving some for the top. Cool completely. Cover with
container of FF cool whip and sprinkle with remaining heath bits. Put
in fridge until ready to serve.

Serves: 24; 5 PointsPlus


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