Featured Post

Books by Julie L Spencer

                       

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Write a Book Review of The Cove on Amazon!



Here's a link to go directly to the Amazon page to post a Book Review of The Cove on Amazon!

Read excerpts from my other novels here!
All of my novels fall into the New Adult Contemporary Christian genre. What is that? Click here!

Want to purchase my first novel, The Cove?The Cove?




Friday, December 5, 2014

Book Review of From the Ashes by Julie Coulter Bellon



From the Ashes was a great little Novella. I liked that it was romance from start to finish. I love a good clean romance and I loved getting to know Julie’s characters a little better. Sophia and Colby are characters in Julie’s book Ashes, Ashes in her Hostage Negotiation series. I’ve read most of the series and love it. This just takes the story a little further and explores what happens ‘after’ the end of Ashes, Ashes. I highly recommend the whole Hostage Negotiation series. Another hit from Julie Coulter Bellon, who has become one of my favorite authors. Have you read From the Ashes? What’s your opinion? –Julie L. Spencer

Read Julie Coulter Bellon's other novels:



Read my book review of Pocket Full of Posies by Julie Coulter Bellon



Read my book review of All Fall Down by Julie Coulter Bellon



Read my book review of Ring Around the Rosie by Julie Coulter Bellon



Read my book review of Ribbon of Darkness by Julie Coulter Bellon











Sunday, November 30, 2014

Book Review of The Moroni Code by Jack Lyon



I just finished reading The Moroni Code by Jack Lyon, and I liked it quite a bit. I liked it that the story was right up front about the similarity to The Davinci Code by making a tongue-in-cheek reference that searching for the clues to the mysterious code they were deciphering reminded them of the popular novel by Dan Brown. I’ve always loved Dan Brown novels, but I’m kind of glad that although The Moroni Code had a similar feel, it was quite different. It didn’t feel like Jack Lyon was trying to create a replica of The Davinci Code. The Moroni Code was a quick read and much less complicated than anything Dan Brown has ever written. I liked it that it had a bit of romance and quite a bit of history. I liked the writing style and the storyline and it was well-written. Overall a good book. Have you read The Moroni Code by Jack Lyon? What’s your opinion? –Julie L. Spencer

Check out The Davinci Code also:



I recently lost 42 pounds on the Take Shape for Life program! Want to check out my weight loss transition? Click here! -Julie L. Spencer

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Book Review of Behind the Mask by Elizabeth D. Michaels



I just finished reading Behind the Mask (Horstberg Saga Book One) by Elizabeth D. Michaels and I loved it! It was the perfect balance of romance, intrigue & mystery, and spiritual enlightenment. There were so many characters at the beginning of the novel whose lives were all interrelated and connected, that I had to go back are re-read the beginning half way through the novel. Now that I’ve finished it, and know all of the big twists & turns in the storyline, I want to start over and read the whole thing again! I won’t give away the secrets, but here is the basic storyline: The main female character, Abbi first meets the main male character, Cameron in a dream. She is drawn to him because it feels as if they were meant to be together. But he is a bitter, cruel man who is hiding from his past and has been framed for murder. He is hesitant to even tell her his name because he knows that the secrets he holds could get both of them in serious trouble. After falling and injuring her ankle, Abbi is stranded with Cameron in a remote cabin and snowed in for an entire winter. She slowly breaks down his walls, forces him to face his past, and he agrees to return to civilization to face the future and the promise it once again holds. But it’s not that easy. Once Abbi goes home in the Spring, Cameron still has to avoid being caught while attempting to prove his innocence and get his life back. But Cameron has one very big secret that he can’t tell Abbi lest he put her life at risk as well. While waiting for the man of her dreams to return to her, Abbi is pursued by several powerful men, including the tyrannical Duke and his Captain of the Guard, both of whom wish to make her his wife. She is forced to lead them on as a distraction to allow Cameron to position himself to be able to once again reclaim all that he has lost. The resolution of this main conflict is only half the story! I can’t even tell you the rest or I’ll spoil the surprises! I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to read the rest of the series! Have you read Behind the Mask by Elizabeth D. Michaels? What’s your opinion? –Julie L. Spencer

Can't wait to read A Matter of Honor (Horstberg Saga Book Two


Looking forward to reading For Love and Country (Horstberg Saga Book Three)


I recently lost 42 pounds on the Take Shape for Life program! Want to check out my weight loss transition? Click here! -Julie L. Spencer

Weight Loss with Take Shape for Life

I recently lost 42 pounds with the Take Shape for Life program! Want to check out my weight loss transition? Click here!

I had a thyroid disorder a few years back and gained a ton of weight in just a couple of months. The doctors fixed the problem, but I was never able to take that weight off. It was really frustrating because I was just so busy and didn't have time to exercise. My blood pressure was also very high and I just felt fat and hopeless. After a holiday I saw a picture that someone had snapped of me and it was like I was looking at a stranger - I knew that wasn't me and that I had to do something.

I discovered the Take Shape for Life program and everything changed! After about four months, I'd lost 35 pounds! Even better, my blood pressure medications had been reduced because of my weight loss! I can't tell you how happy that made me. People began stopping me to tell me how healthy I looked, which made me feel so good after all I had struggled with.

Now, I’m coming up on one year of having been on the program and I’m down 43 pounds! I didn’t even know that I needed to lose that much weight! I’m now wearing a size four jeans, and they’re a little big on me! I’m completely off blood pressure medicine and even my tastes have changed - I don't crave all the junk I used to eat. I know I'm never going back to the way I was.

I've done so well with this program that they invited me to become a Health Coach! I’m now able to help others do what I did. I have so many friends who are in the same position I was a year ago, and I want to be of assistance to them. If you are one of those friends, and would like help losing weight, please let me know. My service to you as your Health Coach is complimentary, and the food is cost-neutral (Click here to learn more about the food). I’ve even saved money on this program because I’m no longer eating fast food. My new version of fast food is always having one of our protein bars in my purse. We have so many choices that are portable that I never feel the need to swing through a drive through (unless it’s to buy a Diet Coke!)

Please pass my name along to anyone looking to reduce weight and/or get healthy. I LOVE helping people with this! -Julie

Check out my profile on the Take Shape for Life website!

Check out my Blog Posts about Medifast Recipes!

Check out my Blog Post about the Secrets to My Success with Take Shape for Life!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book Review of Ring Around the Rosie by Julie Coulter Bellon



I just finished reading Ring Around the Rosie by Julie Coulter Bellon. I love Julie’s writing style and how she weaves the story around the character’s relationships rather than telling a story that happens to contain people. The story is about the people. This is the fourth book in the Hostage Negotiation Series and each book takes a different member of the hostage negotiation team and highlights that person’s story. She also does a nice job of drawing in some of the characters from her other books, although I would have liked to have even more details about those other characters. They felt a little tertiary and it would have been nice to get to know them a little better and draw in more details about what happened in past books. I grew to love the characters in the other books and would like to see more of them. It was good to see some romance! It’s one of the things I like about Julie’s stories; they incorporate just enough romance to make it interesting, but not so much that you feel like you’re reading a romance novel. This one also contained a good deal of suspense, although the whole first half of the book all took place in one room. It got a little slow for a few pages. The second half of the book definitely picked up the pace, maybe even too much in some parts. Some things almost felt rushed and hurried from one scene to the next. It made me want it to slow back down a little so I could know more about what was happening all around the characters. All in all, I love all of Julie’s books and they never disappoint. Definitely recommend this one! Have you read Ring Around the Rosie by Julie Coulter Bellon? What's your opinion? –Julie L. Spencer

Read the whole Hostage Negotiation Series Here:





Read my Book Review of All Fall Down here!





Read my Book Review of Pocket Full of Posies here!

Other Books by Julie Coulter Bellon:



Read my Book Review of Ribbon of Darkness here!











I recently lost 42 pounds on the Take Shape for Life program! Want to check out my weight loss transition? Click here! -Julie L. Spencer

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Book Review of Ribbon of Darkness by Julie Coulter Bellon



Julie continues to take me on adventures to far-off lands where I’ve never been and will probably never go! Every one of her books whisks me away to some dangerous and exotic location to help save the world! Ribbon of Darkness was a nail-biter from start to finish. It never let up from the tension and danger that surrounds the two main characters, Ethan and Kennedy. The story never really let on what Ethan’s real ‘job’ was, nor did it explain his complicated past and how he got to this odd stage in his life where he ignores the advice of the man who seems to be his boss and walks straight into danger in a third-world country in order to avenge his father’s death. Maybe I need to re-read the first couple of chapters in order to more fully understand him. That happens to me sometimes; I get so caught up in the story that I miss certain important tidbits of character development. Luckily, this book was good enough that I would be willing to read it again just because I liked it so well. Kennedy was developed much more clearly in my opinion and Julie explained quite well why Kennedy feels compelled to live amongst refugees in Afghanistan to share their story with the world. She’s a strong, stubborn woman who won’t allow men to see her vulnerability even when her situation seems hopeless. The story is a bit predictable, but most stories are. It takes a really big plot twist to throw me off. I love Julie’s writing style and her ability to draw me in to a story in such a way that I want to rush home from work to read some more. Have you read Ribbon of Darkness by Julie Coulter Bellon? What’s your opinion? –Julie Spencer

Other books by Julie Coulter Bellon:



Read my book review of Pocket Full of Posies by Julie Coulter Bellon here!



Read my book review of All Fall Down by Julie Coulter Bellon here!



















I recently lost 42 pounds on the Take Shape for Life program! Want to check out my weight loss transition? Click here! -Julie L. Spencer

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Medifast Recipe Using Oatmeal: No-bake Cookies

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

2 Tbsp. Real Butter
2 Tbsp. Milk
2 Packets Stevia
2 tsp. Unsweetened Cocoa
1/8 tsp. Real Vanilla Extract
1 Packet Medifast Oatmeal

Melt butter in small saucepan and add milk, Stevia, & cocoa. Bring to a light boil, stirring constantly, but be careful not to burn. Add vanilla extract and then oatmeal and stir quickly for less than 30 seconds. It will all clump together very quickly and be ready to dump onto a plate or wax paper. Immediately separate it into about four pieces so that it cools more quickly. It does not need to cool all the way and the cookies will not harden like regular no-bakes, but they taste amazing! Enjoy! –Julie

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

God Speaks to Us through Others!

My friend Shawn shared this story today and I just had to pass it along!

Just yesterday, I had an old woman, probably around 85 or so, grab my arm and said she wanted to tell me of an experience. I didn't know this woman at all and she didn't know me. But she told me about two years ago, she was living in Joplin, Missouri. She was woken up suddenly at 6:00 a.m. one morning and felt a strong impression that she should call each of her children and tell them to have a priesthood blessing on each of their homes. She said just a few days later a massive tornado came through and destroyed the entire town, but each of her children's homes were completely unharmed in the midst of all the destruction. Then she said that God speaks to people. That time it was very loud, but normally, it's very soft. She said He speaks to us everyday if we can listen. Then she asked me to share that story with someone else too because we all need to know He is there and He is speaking.

This experience couldn't have happened at a better time for me and I am so grateful for her willingness to share this experience, because it's what I needed to hear. So, I hope it also helps someone who reads this post, to know that God does speak. He hears and answers our prayers even when we feel all hope is lost. We only need to believe, listen, and obey. -Shawn Carl Watkins, 28 May 2014

Doesn't that just give you chills?? What's your opinion? -Julie L. Spencer

I recently lost 42 pounds on the Take Shape for Life program! Want to check out my weight loss transition? Click here! -Julie L. Spencer

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Medifast Recipe Using Chocolate Pudding and Chocolate Mint Crunch Bar: Mint Chip Frosty

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

1 Packet Medifast Chocolate Pudding
½ Cup Water
1 Cup of Ice
1 Medifast Chocolate Mint Crunch Bar

Blend all ingredients in blender. Pour into two cups. Makes two meals.

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Brownie Softbake and Chocolate Crunch Bar: Chocolate Crunch Cookies

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

1 Packet Medifast Brownie Softbake
3 Tbsp Cold Water
1 Chocolate Crunch Bar

Heat crunch bar in microwave for 30 seconds. Add cold water to brownie mix as directed on packet and add softened crunch bar into the batter. Stir until well mixed. Dollop onto plate and microwave for two minutes. Freeze until desired firmness (about 30 minutes).

Makes Two Meals

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Brownie Softbake and Chocolate Mint Crunch Bar: Chocolate Mint Cookies

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

1 Packet Medifast Brownie Softbake
3 Tbsp Cold Water
1 Chocolate Mint Crunch Bar

Heat crunch bar in microwave for 30 seconds. Add cold water to brownie mix as directed on packet and add softened crunch bar into the batter. Stir until well mixed. Dollop onto plate and microwave for two minutes. Freeze until desired firmness (about 30 minutes).

Makes Two Meals

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Pancake Mix and Brownie Mix Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Filling

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

1 Packet Medifast Original Pancake Mix
1 Packet Brownie Softbake Mix
1/3 cup water

Mix ingredients together and put ¼ of the batter in the bottom of each of two Softbake trays.

For Peanut Butter Filling:

2 Tbsp All Natural Peanut Butter
1 Packet Stevia

Mix together and put ½ of the peanut butter mixture in the middle of each tray. Divide remaining brownie/pancake batter on top of the peanut butter in each tray. Bake in microwave for 1 minute 50 seconds.

Each Softbake tray = One Meal

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Hot Cocoa: Peanut Butter Cup

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Chocolate Layer:
1 packet Medifast Hot Cocoa
1 tsp Hersey’s Unsweetened Cocoa
1 packet Stevia
3 Tbsp cold water

Mix ingredients together and pour ½ of the mixture into bottom of small bowl. Set aside.

Peanut Butter Layer:
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
3 packets Stevia

Mix peanut butter & Stevia well and dollop onto prepared chocolate later. Pour remaining chocolate on top and freeze until set (approximately 2 hours)

P.S. This recipe does not taste all that good when the ingredients are warm. It is only after it is frozen that it tastes like a peanut butter cup. It is also very rich and I can usually only eat about half of it at a time.

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Pudding: Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

1 package Medifast Chocolate Pudding
½ cup water
1 Tbsp peanut butter

Whisk Medifast Chocolate Pudding with water then gently whisk in the peanut butter. Freeze for one hour.

P.S. the longer you are able to leave it in the freezer, the more it will resemble ice cream and the less it will resemble pudding, but good luck! It’s hard not to eat sooner rather than later!

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Pancake Mix: Cinnamon Roll

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

1 Medifast Pancake Mix
2 Tbsp Water
1/8 tsp Cinnamon
1 Packet Stevia
1 Tbsp Melted Butter

Combine all ingredients and put in small microwaveable bowl for 30 seconds. Do not over-bake or it will get dry.

Icing:
2 Tbs Low Fat Cream Cheese (softened)
1 Packet Stevia

In the same bowl you used to create the pancake batter, mix the cream cheese and the Stevia. Spread on warm Cinnamon Roll.

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Shake Mix: Shake Cake

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Mix together:

1 Medifast Shake mix
2 Tbsp Egg Beaters (or one egg white)
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Vanilla Extract (a few drops)
A tablespoon or two of water (just enough to make a batter)

Microwave for one & a half minutes (start short and you can always add time)

For Frosting:
Mix one packet of Stevia and one tablespoon of fat free cream cheese.
Spread on warm cake.

Enjoy!

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Blueberry Oatmeal and Pancake Mix: Blueberry Muffins

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Preheat oven to 400º
Brush four muffin cups with melted butter. Do not use muffin papers. The batter will stick to them!

Mix together:

1 package Blueberry Oatmeal
1 package Pancake Mix
2 packets of Stevia
½ tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp Egg Beaters
½ Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp water

Divide evenly between four buttered muffin cups and bake at 400º for 9 minutes. Let stand in muffin cup for one minute, then remove to cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Two muffins = One Medifast meal

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Blueberry Oatmeal: Blueberry Muffins

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Preheat oven to 350º
Brush two muffin cups with melted butter. Do not use muffin papers. The batter will stick to them!

Mix together:

1 package Blueberry Oatmeal
1 packet of Stevia
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp Egg Beaters
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup water

Divide evenly between two buttered muffin cups and bake at 350º for 12-15 minutes. Let stand in muffin cup for one minute, then remove to cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Two muffins = One Medifast meal

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Softbakes: Cookie Shake/Brownie Shake

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Mix together:

1 package Medifast Softbake Mix (either use Brownie mix or Chocolate Chip Cookie mix
1 Tbsp low-fat cream cheese
1 cup of water
½ cup of ice

Blend in blender. Really yummy recipe!

Enjoy!

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Softbakes and Pancake Mix: Chocolate Chip Cakes

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Preheat oven to 350º

Mix together:
1 packet Medifast Chocolate Chip Softbake or Brownie Softbake
1 packet Medifast Pancake Mix
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup water

Divide batter into two Softbake trays or muffin cups brushed with oil and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Each cake = 1 meal

Enjoy!

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Pancake Mix: Sausage Biscuit with Egg Whites

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

To make muffin:

Mix together:
1 Medifast Pancake Mix
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup water

Pour biscuit mixture into a microwavable bowl brushed with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and microwave for 1.5 minutes. Remove from bowl onto plate and slice in half lengthwise.

To make egg:
Wipe microwave bowl out with paper towel and brush with a little more olive oil if desired then pour ¼ cup of egg whites into it and microwave for 1 minute. Turn cooked egg out onto biscuit and top with Colby jack or Cheddar cheese.

Serve with one Morning Star Farms Veggie Sausage Patties cooked in microwave for 45 seconds.

Enjoy!

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Shake Mix: Butter Fudge

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Mix together:

1 package Medifast Chocolate Shake Mix
1 packet of Stevia
¼ tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp cold water

Spread on a plate or bottom of a bowl and refrigerate or freeze for at least one hour.

Enjoy!

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Medifast Recipe Using Pancake Mix and Oatmeal: Crumb Cake

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Preheat oven to 350º

For Cake:

1 Medifast Pancake Mix
¼ teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Liquid Egg Whites
¼ cup Water

Add pancake mix and baking powder to shaker jar, add egg whites, vanilla and water, cover and shake five times (do not stir or over-shake). Pour into an oven-proof, non-stick pan that has been lightly oiled with a bit of olive oil or non-stick spray.

For Crumb Mix:

1 Medifast Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal Mix
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
1 packet Stevia
2 Tablespoons Real Butter, softened

Cut in dry ingredients into the butter until it resembles crumbs. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the cake batter and bake at 350 degrees for 11-12 minutes. Crumbs will fall down slightly into the cake batter and will probably not ‘brown up’ like a usual crumb cake. This recipe makes two Medifast meals.

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Sixth Love Language: How We Share Love by Sharing Food

I would love your input, insight, stories, thoughts! I'm compiling a collection of stories and recipes that may eventually become a little book. I'm still messing around with the title. Something like: The Sixth Love Language: How We Share Love by Sharing Food (or something like that!). I'd like stories & recipes of comforting times where food has positively affected your life and/or the lives of the ones you love. For example: when someone has a baby, we show up with food. If someone passes away, we show up with food. If we're getting together for a celebration (holiday, wedding, graduation, etc.) it always involves food! In so many ways, we speak love with food! I've been tossing this idea around for years after I heard a story about a woman who's grandmother had moved here from 'the old country' and couldn't speak a word of English. She couldn't communicate with words with her grand kids, but she would always make them something special to eat. She communicated (and showed love) through the food she shared. I'm sure we could come up with hundreds of similar examples. Special events in your lives, something that happened that made a difference in some positive way. The stories will be compiled in a similar fashion as one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books (no pun intended, it's just that type of book). It will be positive and uplifting, maybe a few tears here and there but in a good way. Does anyone have any stories they'd be willing to share? You could email them to me if you don't want to share them on this message thread (or if they're too long!) I'd also love to have any recipes that go along with the stories. Thanks, Julie L. Spencer

I can be reached by email at juliespencer1998@gmail.com

If you're not familiar with The Five Love Languages by Gary D. Chapman, check out this amazing book!



Also, check out Chicken Soup of the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen



I recently lost 42 pounds on the Take Shape for Life program! Want to check out my weight loss transition? Click here! -Julie L. Spencer

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What Have We Done to America? They're already here

The current events in Ukraine have got me thinking about what’s happening in America. In the past few weeks, Russians have infiltrated over ten key cities in Ukraine, quietly stepped up to the government administration buildings and took them over at gun point. They now occupy them. Not a shot has been fired and Russia hasn’t had to invade Ukraine with their armies, and yet they have now taken over. Shift your focus a few thousand miles to the west and you have the same thing happening in America. In the name of political correctness and immigration reform, we have allowed anybody and everybody to cross our borders both legally and illegally. They’re here. I’m not talking about any one nationality or ethnicity, so don’t call me racist or prejudice or whatever. And they’re not here to pick lettuce or build a better life for themselves! I’m talking about extremists who are here because they hate America. They are in the shadows and hiding there, biding their time! They have plenty of money and are well-funded from whatever terrorist group is supporting them, so they don’t have to find jobs. They just wait. Until one day they’ll be done waiting and it will be too late for us. They’ll step out of shadows all at the same time, and take over. Is it already too late? What’s your opinion? –Julie L. Spencer

I recently lost 42 pounds on the Take Shape for Life program! Want to check out my weight loss transition? Click here! -Julie L. Spencer

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Found a Treasure Trove on my Dining Room Table!

Sat down at my dining room table this afternoon and found a treasure trove! C.j. had asked me if he had a basketball game next Friday so I sat down to get out my day planner and find out. No, his game is on Thursday in case anyone wants to come! Right next to me sat the stack of mail which included the new February issues of our church magazines. The magazine called The New Era is designed for teenagers and we’ve had it delivered to our house for years (our oldest is now 21 but our youngest is 13, so we’ll have it for awhile longer yet!). The cover is catchy with an obvious ‘dating’ theme, appropriate for February – the month of Valentines Day! But what drew my attention was a little purple circle in the bottom right corner (purple naturally draws my attention anyway – everything should be purple!) that read “Support for Sunday Lessons”. Hmm…I teach Sunday school to the teenagers at out congregation. Is the Church trying to get my attention? Or the teenagers’ attention? So I started flipping through the book to find these ‘support’ topics. An hour later when I finally got up from the table, I realized the answer is ‘both’. The little bits of information sprinkled in sidebars throughout the book ask the kids to think about how this article relates to our Sunday school topic for this month, which is ‘The Plan of Salvation’. But it didn’t stop there! It talked about other things you might want to do including going online at lds.org/youth and sharing your experiences with others. Well, of course I had to go there to find out what it is! Not only is there a treasure trove of cool topics & links, but there is an online community where you can log in with a user name & password and post comments and stuff. That’s where I stopped. I’m not a teenager. The kids don’t want me on their online community. And I have work to do to get ready for my Sunday school lesson! I can’t wait for tomorrow to share some of the things I found with the youth in my Sunday school class. The magazine itself, The New Era was the first treasure trove I found today, the website and online community were the second treasure trove I uncovered, but the real treasure trove is the Gospel itself and the way the Church has provided so many ways for us to connect with Christ’s message and plan for our lives! God lives! And He wants us to be happy! He wants us to follow the teachings of His Son, Jesus Christ. And He has provided a way (okay, a lot of ways) for us to explore those teachings. We’re no longer limited to crinkly pages in a delicate little book that sits beside our bed waiting for us to remember it’s there. His teachings are everywhere we look! For youth, a great place to start is lds.org/youth. For the rest of us, mormon.org offers us adults our very own online community! I still need to create my Online Profile, so no need to search for my profile yet. I’ll have to come back later to let you know where to find me! For now, have a wonderful Saturday afternoon! See you at church tomorrow! Have you gone on lds.org or mormon.org? What’s your opinion? –Julie L. Spencer

I recently lost 42 pounds on the Take Shape for Life program! Want to check out my weight loss transition? Click here! -Julie L. Spencer

Monday, January 20, 2014

Medifast Recipes

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.

Note: these recipes are not necessarily Medifast-friendly, nor endorsed by Medifast! They just happen to utilize Medifast meals and/or supply ways to incorporate everyday food modifications into our Lean & Green meals. Most of these would be more suitable for the transition or maintenance stages of our new lifestyle, rather than the fat burn stage. They have mostly been modified from recipes I’ve borrowed from others and I’m thankful to those who have paved the way! Bon Appetite! –Julie




Medifast Pancake Mix Cinnamon Roll:

One Pancake Mix
2 Tbsp Water
1/8 tsp Cinnamon
1 Packet Stevia

Combine all ingredients and put in small microwaveable bowl for 45 seconds. Do not over-bake or it will get dry.

Icing:
2 Tbs Low Fat Cream Cheese (softened)
1 Packet Stevia

In the same bowl you used to create the pancake batter, mix the cream cheese and the Stevia. Spread on warm Cinnamon Roll.


Revolution Rolls:

Ingredients:

3 eggs at room temp
3 tablespoons light cream cheese at room temp
A pinch or 1/16 tsp cream of tartar (you can use white vinegar or lemon juice as a substitute)
1 packet Splenda (or Stevia)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Separate egg whites from egg yolks, putting whites in one bowl and yolks in another bowl.
Add cream of tartar (or vinegar or lemon juice) to whites.
Beat whites on high until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Add cream cheese (can warm slightly in the microwave first) to yolks
Add Splenda to yolks.
Whisk yolk mixture until blended.
Gently fold yolk mixture into whites being careful to not over mix and make the whites fall.
On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, make six equal sized blobs, not touching.

Bake at 350 for 22-28 minutes.
They should be nicely browned.


Medifast Shake Cake:

Mix together:

1 Medifast Shake mix
2 Tbsp Egg Beaters (or one egg white)
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Vanilla Extract (a few drops)
A tablespoon or two of water (just enough to make a batter)

Microwave for one & a half minutes (start short and you can always add time)

For Frosting:
Mix one packet of Stevia and one tablespoon of fat free cream cheese.
Spread on warm cake.

Enjoy!


Medifast Pudding Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream:

1 package Medifast Chocolate Pudding
½ cup water
1 Tbsp peanut butter

Whisk Medifast Chocolate Pudding with water then whisk in the peanut butter. Freeze for ½ hour.

Chocolate Syrup:

½ cup water
1 Tbsp Hersey’s Unsweetened Cocoa
3 packets Stevia

Heat water for one minute in microwave then whisk in Cocoa and Stevia. Microwave for 20 more seconds. Pour warm syrup over ice cream or keep fresh in the refrigerator for a few days.

After letting the ice cream set in the freezer for ½ hour, whisk the syrup to prevent settling and spoon it over ice cream. Use a fork to poke holes in the ice cream and push the syrup down into the ice cream. Put back in the freezer for ten minutes. Enjoy!

P.S. the longer you are able to leave it in the freezer, the more it will resemble ice cream and the less it will resemble pudding, but good luck! It’s hard not to eat sooner rather than later!

For more information about Medifast and the Take Shape for Life program, click here.