Sunday, December 20, 2009

A New You in the New Year!

Lisa Morrone, PT

10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

As women, so many of our New Year's resolutions have to do with the care and maintenance of our bodies. We often vow to loss weight, to eat healthier, and to exercise more. And we start out with such good intentions - hey, even great intentions! Yet sometime before January has turned into February, the resolution we were so passionately pursuing at first has faded into the background of day-to-day life.

The reason our resolutions fail to become resolute is because we often begin our "health pursuit" at a great disadvantage. You see when we seek wellness solely for temporal reasons (to look great or feel better) we will usually get temporary results. But if we pursue our renewed health for spiritual gain, then long term success is more likely to be had. Here's how you and I can start off on the right foot:

The right motivation:

Your physical body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and a gift from God - similar to your finances, your children, and your talents. Honoring God by improving the care and maintenance of your temple is not only an act of good stewardship; it is also an act of worship as well (Mark 12:30). By pursuing a healthier you, you are pledging that as far as it depends upon you - you will obtain and maintain a body which allows you to live long and serve strong as God's hands and feet - well into your golden years.

The right information:

Before you begin your transformation or attempt your tune up, it is a good idea to know the present "health state" of your body - specifically your body mass index (BMI) and your waist circumference. Your BMI is a measurement calculation which takes into account your height and weight, and your waist circumference is easily measured with a tape measure run round your midsection at the height of your belly button. Together these two pieces of information can tell you what your present risk status is regarding diseases related to overweight or obesity, such as diabetes, heart disease, and breast cancer to name a few. To learn your BMI and your associated health risk status, simply visit my website: and click on the BMI Calculator, plug in a few numbers, and voilà - you will be in the know!

The right preparation:

In all honesty, the reason a New Year's resolution of this sort must be put into practice is because we have either abused or neglected the gift that is our body. I believe our first response to this acknowledgment should be to repent and ask God for forgiveness. Once we have done that, we need to get empowered for the road ahead. This comes from asking the Lord for His power for success (no more relying on Mr. Will Power - whoever he is!). The second part of preparation is to define a "ways and means" protocol that will move you towards where you want to be. In other words, be specific as to the method(s) you will use to achieve your goal. Get counsel if you lack wisdom. Plan ahead and you will be rightly prepared.

Lisa Morrone

The right dedication:

Health is a journey, not a destination. It is a life-long pursuit and practice. Better "practice" today than yesterday is a victory for you and for the Kingdom of God. Adopt changes, habits, and lifestyles that you can live with. Slow and steady wins the race (the one Scripture says is "marked out for us"). And when (not if) you backslide, repent quickly, forgive yourself, and continue on. Health is one good choice at a time, one day at a time.

The right communication:

In the book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon writes that "a three strand cord is not easily broken". In terms of renewing your health, those three strands are you, a support system, and Jesus. If you try to go it alone and keep your new pursuit to yourself, success will likely elude you. By staying in communication with your Savior and a supportive friend, family member, or even a group of people with similar goals, you will have both a cheerleading section and a renewable energy source - and that, my friend, is a winning combination!

New Year's resolutions can become New Life Resolutions - the difference is in the way you approach them. Let's you and I seek to age well so we can live long and serve strong!

Lisa Morrone, PT is passionate about three things: her Savior, her family, and her calling, "To equip the Body of Christ to age well, live long, and serve strong!" A physical therapist, professor, author, and speaker, Lisa began her company, Restoring Your Temple® in 2006 as an avenue to educate, heal, and empower the Church to do the work of Christ. Lisa is the author of three books including her latest, Overcoming Overeating: It's Not What You Eat, It's What's Eating You! She has been featured on the 700 Club, multiple national and international radio broadcasts, and the Proverbs 31 magazine. Visit her website:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Recipes for your Christmas Tea

Provided by Lisa Boalt Richardson

Basic Sweet Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or mixer until it looks crumbly. Add vanilla to cream and then pour into flour mixture and mix with hands until it forms a ball. Remove dough from bowl, place on a lightly floured surface, and roll out to about ½-inch thickness. Be careful not to overwork the dough or the scones will become tough. Cut with a 2-inch round cookie cutter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Makes approximately 12. (You may use different size cutters but be sure to adjust you cooking time if you do. The larger the size, the longer it needs to cook and vice versa. Serve with jam or lemon curd.

Easy Microwave Chocolate Truffles

A easy way to impress your guests and you palate. You may want to make more and give away as gifts!

½ cup heavy cream
3 T butter cut into chunks
2 T sugar
1 T vanilla
10 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate (60%) I like Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips. (If not using chips, break up chocolate into small pieces)
½ t salt

Cocoa Mixture
Mix 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa and 1/3 cup powder sugar together. For a saltier taste add 1/8 t salt.

Microwave cream, butter and sugar in 2 quart microwavable glass bowl on high for 1 ½ minutes. Stir well; heat an additional 1 minute longer or until mixture comes to full boil. Stir in vanilla and chocolate into cream mixture until chocolate is completely melted. Add salt and blend. Chill until firm enough to shape into balls about 3 hours. Shape into 1-inch balls. If desired roll truffles in Cocoa Mixture. Store covered in refrigerator. Makes about 2 dozen.

Lisa Boalt Richardson author of Tea with a Twist is one of the first 15 in the world to graduate from the Specialty Tea Institute with a "Certified Tea Specialist" title. She travels the country speaking at conferences and special events focusing on her culinary arts and specialty tea expertise. She resides in Atlanta with her husband and two children. For more information go to

Recipes used by permission and are a copyrighted by Lisa Boalt Richardson from “Tea with a Twist". Proverbs 31 Ministries is pleased to offer Lisa’s book “Tea with a Twist” for sale. All proceeds benefit the ministry. Click here to order.

Keeping the Weight Off During the Holidays

By Michelle M. Dillon, ND

It's that time of year again when everyone is rushing from store to store at the mall, getting stressed out about over-priced gifts for family and friends. Then we gather together in the homes of those same family and friends to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. These homes will often have beautiful platters overflowing with special treats lying in wait to tempt us into overindulging. When we give in (which is so easy to do) we end up packing on the pounds.

Keeping off those pounds is sometimes harder than finding just the right gift for Aunt Sally. Here are a few tips to help you navigate your way through eggnog, gingerbread, Christmas cookies, and sweet potato pie without expanding your waistline:

1. Never, Ever, Ever go to a dinner party or get-together when you are hungry enough to eat one of Santa's reindeer. The best thing to do is to eat a large apple and drink two glasses of water right before you leave for the party. Some people have the strategy that if they starve themselves all day long, they can gorge themselves later and be OK. This is faulty thinking. If a person does not eat all day their blood sugar will drop and their hunger will increase, often to ravenous proportions. When we are super hungry we tend to super-size what would have been a normal portion size. Extreme hunger from starving ourselves all day often leads us to the heavy, fat-laden foods, not the light snacks like celery, carrots, or fruit. So, make sure you do not starve yourself on the day of the party.

2. Start with vegetables and healthy snacks first. Research shows that when eating with a large group of people, we tend to eat more and for a longer duration of time. Therefore, we need to start with the good stuff, or should I say, the healthy foods like salad. Fill your plate with salad, skipping any creamy dressings, and vegetables first. Then add lean proteins like turkey, chicken or lean beef, followed by heavier foods like ham and the side dishes we all love so much. If you fill up on the healthy veggies... you won't be tempted to eat as much of those cheesy casseroles! Potatoes and bread should be avoided, as these are high in carbohydrates which pack on those pounds.

3. Use a smaller plate. Using a smaller plate keeps those portion sizes smaller, and therefore keeps your waist where you'd like it.

4. Be sure you are hydrated! If you are dehydrated your body may trick you into thinking that you are actually hungry. Each day we need to drink half our body weight in ounces of water. So, if a woman weighs 140 pounds she needs to drink 70 ounces of water each day to remain properly hydrated. If she has a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of wine, she must have an additional 8 ounces of water per cup or glass of each. Coffee, tea, and alcohol are all diuretics. Diuretics dehydrate. This means that the more of these beverages a person consumes, the more they will become dehydrated. The more dehydrated they are the more they are likely to eat - so beware and drink your water!

5. Get your rest and manage that stress! Studies show that those who do not get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, have a higher level of a stress hormone, called Cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone that regulates our bodies' energy, along with our blood sugar levels. If it is imbalanced due to lack of sleep or on-going stress, it can actually cause weight gain. The best way to keep Cortisol in balance is to get enough sleep and to manage our stress. Find ways to take a break during the day: pray, call a friend, take a walk, hit the gym, or just focus on breathing deeply and contemplating the blessings God has given over the last year.

Remember to keep focusing on the Reason for this Christmas Season. Be mindful of these few tips for enjoying the holiday and keep moderation as your key and it should make a healthy combination for a slimmer you come the New Year (and maybe you won't have to make that same New Years resolution on January 1st).

Be blessed and may Christ fill your heart with His love and hope this Holiday Season.

Michelle M. Dillon earned her doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. She specializes in women's health, using all natural alternatives to conditions like PCOS, infertility, and weight loss. A mom herself she understands the implications of what women put themselves through as mother's and how it plays a role in their health. She feels that her practice is God's calling for her life and feels blessed to be able to do so. Her private practice is in Charlotte, North Carolina where she lives with her husband and daughter. Visit her website at for more information.

More Everyday Life with the Staff of Proverbs 31 Ministries!

Ya’ll must have known that with so many women in the office we would need more room to share what’s on our hearts. We simply couldn’t get it all into our magazine article so here’s a bit more from the office staff. Some sweet… some silly… but all heart!

It’s amazing to hear what God is doing throughout the country at the speaking engagements I book. From small MOPS groups with limited budgets to elaborate cruise weekends to men’s groups hosting for the women in their church, the event ideas are limitless. And the testimonies of the work of the Lord through these speaking engagements are remarkable! (Barb Spencer)

Families always play practical jokes on each other – my family knows I eat fruit at my desk and this time the practical joke was on me. I left a small cluster of grapes on my computer overnight. When I came in the next morning all the grapes had turned to raisins – can you imagine that the heat of my computer made that miraculous transition that only God can make. Well that’s what I thought. But one of my sisters had actually meticulously taken every grape off and attached a raison to the end of each stem. All this to say that we do have fun but we also do work – last week we had orders for 700 Bibles to be sent out from a devotion that was written with a commitment to read through the Bible in a year with every person who ordered one – Now that’s the miraculous. (Teri Bucholtz)

As the Speaking Ministry Assistant, my main responsibility is drafting contracts for Proverbs 31 speaking events. Probably the best part of my job is working with Barb Spencer. We work as a team to coordinate the calls that come in to request a speaker and the contracts that need to go out to book the speaker. We have the pleasure of working with churches and wonderful women's ministry leaders from all across the country. It has been such a blessing to serve the ministry in this area, and if you want to book a speaker, please call and we will be happy to assist you. (Wendy Blight)

At the time I came to P31, I had just experienced a very shocking, traumatizing and devastating family experience. I was deeply hurt, very broken and barely functioning. God orchestrated my arrival at P31 and since being there, it has provided me a safe, healing environment to be right at the heartbeat of this great ministry that ministers healing to women all over the world. To work with women who are faithful, have a heart for God and true prayer warriors is an experience of a lifetime -- I don't know that many Christians get this kind of opportunity to work in such an environment! It is just what God knew I needed, and I am humbled to be a part of serving in this ministry as I continue my journey to wholeness and serving the Lord along side these beautiful, godly women! (Terri McCall)

And here are some fun tidbits of the day-to-day everyday life in the Proverbs 31 Ministries office:

Exercise balls serve as desk chairs for many of us. While it’s great to “work out” while working, these ‘chairs’ have their downside too. Every once in a while we hear a loud thud followed by, “I’m okay!” after one of our gals lose her balance and topple off her ball.

We’ll probably never be recruited for Broadway, but it should be known that we girls can sing and dance with the best of them! Sing one bar of a song and you’ll hear voices piping in from all over the office! Often times we take a break to dance to the tune as well! (Someone brought bamboo into the office last week which apparently required a rendition of “The Old Bamboo” from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!)
What’s in a name? Well, fun memories, shared work, and good times…over the years we’ve created some pretty unusual knicknames: Tarb (Barb filling in for Teri); Samdy (Samantha and Wendy’s favorite pizza: pepperoni, pineapple and ham in case you want to know); and the ever affectionate The Queen (LeAnn of course!).

We’re all well beyond school age, but we still have a lunch bell that rings each day. Her name is Wendy Pope and she’s the glue that binds us as we share so much more than a meal together. Concerns, family stories, real life and reminiscing (three of our girls went to the same high school but didn’t know each other!!) flow easily during this sweet time.

The weeks leading up to She Speaks create a flurry of activity: rushed jobs to the printer; runs across town for toner cartridge; piles of boxes from floor to ceiling, corner to corner; phone lines lit up; staffer’s kids coming and going as they volunteer to fold, stuff, lift and sort; loading U-Hauls…and lots and lots of prayer and excitement!

And finally, because a picture is worth a thousand words… we wanted to share a few photos of our office family with you.

Cover Shot "Blooper"

A Love Fest

From our “home” to yours, we wish you a joy-filled Christmas!

Aster providing "quality control"

Over 600 Bibles waiting for the UPS "dude"

Melissa praying with a caller

Wendy and Teri packing Bibles for shipping

Teri packing books for an event

Putting Things in Order Before the Holidays

By Glynnis Whitwer

Organizing experts say five minutes of planning can save 30 minutes of doing. I think that’s a pretty good trade off. Unfortunately, I tend to forget that truth and plow ahead with the doing. Inevitably, I end up duplicating efforts, retracing my steps and coming home from the store with nothing for dinner. Yet as we approach the end-of-the-year holidays, I don’t have time for being unorganized.

I want this time of the year to be special for my family and friends. I want to celebrate the birth of Christ in a variety of ways. I want to create margin in my schedule to allow for the unexpected opportunities. I don’t want the demands of everyday to overshadow the call of the divine.

For me, the only way for those goals to be achieved is for me to plan. Planning helps me take care of the extra requirements of the season, so I look upon them with joy instead of resentment.

The best place for me to start is with my home. If I can get my house in order, my time and energy can be freed up to focus on God’s best. I want to focus on things that bring joy, awe, inspiration, fellowship, and blessings to those I love … and myself.

To get organized, I identify my priorities, then plan to address those. Here are some areas of my “home” I’m working on.

· Clear the refrigerator, freezer and cupboards. I like to finish off any leftovers, food items that have been frozen for awhile, and partially full containers, to make room for all the holiday specialties. That means I’ll be intentional in my menu planning.
· Steam clean carpets.
· Washing windows.
· Touch up the front entrance. This will include painting the dinged spots, replacing flowering pots, hanging a new flag, and putting up a holiday wreath.

· Schedule a day to decorate the house and the tree with the family. Make it a party with hors d’oeuvres and music!

· Plan menus now for special meals.
· Then, watch for sales, using coupons to save money.
· Bake some items and freeze (breads, soups, casseroles)

· Review winter clothing supplies. Check and make sure everyone has a winter jackets, gloves, etc. I also check to make sure my children have the required outfits for school band and choir performances. Funny how they outgrow black shoes each year.

Spiritual Needs
· Purchase Advent calendar.
· Purchase or borrow a Christmas devotional to read with family.

Hospitality Needs
· Plan homemade gifts for neighbors/teachers/friends.
· Schedule two or three nights to invite friends over who don’t have family in town.
· Plan a cookie exchange party with girlfriends.
· Schedule a Progressive Dinner with small group.
· Plan a cookie decorating party for children in family and neighborhood. Share the Christmas story through cookies.

I think that’s a good start. But I’ll probably add to that list. Too often I regret what I forget. Hopefully, with some planning, I’ll create more opportunities to experience the presence of Jesus during His birthday season.

Glynnis Whitwer is on staff with Proverbs 31 Ministries, and the editor of the P31 Woman Magazine. She’s also the author of two books, and co-author of four Bible studies. You can review Glynnis’ books here. Glynnis and her husband Tod run two businesses from home, and are the proud parents of five children. To read more about Glynnis, visit her blog at