It’s a Wrap

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By Betty Thomason Owens

January’s been fun here at Writing Prompts. Before I sat down to write this, I tucked some dark-leaf lettuce and lean roasted pork into a whole wheat tortilla, sprinkled it with sunflower seeds and grated cheese then rolled it into a wrap. It’s delicious. I’m scrolling through the various posts we’ve uploaded for January’s Healthy Eating theme and reading while I eat.

I especially loved John’s and Dicky To’s posts, because both confessed a love of eating. There’s nothing wrong with that. The key so often is what I led off with: Listen to your body. Know when to quit. Lay down your fork. Push away from the table. Stuff half your dinner in a take-home box. Have I championed this key? No. But I’m better at it than I used to be.

When there are health problems involved, you have to be more diligent. Christina’s post addresses several important health issues like gluten, GMOs, and sugar. The key here: do your homework. Find out what’s available and many times, as Ginger’s family does, grow your own. Last year, I planted tomatoes and peppers in my flower beds. They did very well. We even had extra to can. But if you can’t grow your own, and funds are limited, learn what your choices are, and be smart about it. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.

Jennifer’s helpful post asked some very important questions, including: Is chocolate bad for you? Need to check that out, with February’s approach. Another important reminder from her article: “Over the centuries, the answer has changed.” We all know this to be true. Someone’s always doing a new study, supplying new answers to old questions. Again, be smart. Prayerfully consider any changes you need to make.

Perhaps my favorite among the posts is our guest, Janalyn Voigt’s encouraging us to eat healthy, even in our rush-rush world. Advance planning, smart shopping, providing healthy snacks, and drinking more water. These belong on everyone’s to-do list. Pass along good eating habits to your children and grandchildren.

Exercise. Hit the gym. Don’t neglect this, it’s too important. Especially if you tend to be sedentary during the day. If you’re a writer, this can be a problem. Get outside whenever possible, even in winter. Not only does this promote good health, when you feel better, you tend to make smarter food choices. And sunshine, even through cloud cover, really does boost vitamin D3. So if you can’t get to a gym, put on a good pair of shoes and go for a walk.

The armchair athlete – With the Winter Olympics and the Superbowl just days away, we need to plan ahead. Heading out to a Superbowl party, or hosting your own? Jennifer’s latest post provides one good alternative food–Chicken Burgers!  Of course, you can always take a veggie platter and include a lower fat version of the usual dips. Just don’t tell anyone it’s lower fat. If it tastes yummy, who’ll know?

Thanks for joining us this month. I can hardly believe February is almost here. Where I live, it’s been a frigid, snowy winter so far, but probably not as cold as Sochi, Russia, where the Winter Olympics are due to start on February 7th. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to some of these events. The skaters are among my favorites and not just the sometimes jaw-dropping antics of the figure skaters, but the high speed skaters get my heart pumping. We’ll be talking Winter Olympics here at Writing Prompts throughout February. We’ll drop a few writing prompts into the mix and hopefully stir up some great ideas in those talented minds of yours.

Today’s writing prompt: Tamara scanned the competition as she settled into her position. Only time for one deep, cleansing breath before the starting gun’s blast. Then the air around her sparkled with energy and ice crystals.

Lillian Duncan

lillianToday we welcome Lillian Duncan, author and speech pathologist, to 3 Questions Wednesday.

(1) What is your favorite book? [Bible excluded] 

Lillian: So many to choose from, but I certainly would put Gone With The Wind at the top of my list along with several others.

(2) If you could walk into any book, what literary character would you want to be?

Lillian: Well, I would never want to be Scarlett O’Hara even if Gone With The Wind is one of my favorites. She was way too self-absorbed and didn’t learn from her experiences until it was too late. So, who would I want to be? I’d love to be Miss Marple, going around solving crimes.

(3) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Lillian: I’ve been fortunate to travel quite a bit in my life, but I still need to add Africa, Asia, and Antarctica to my list. So any of those would be wonderful. I’d love to see the Great Wall of China! In Antarctica, you can walk around the world! How cool would that be!

Thank you, Lillian, for joining us on 3 Questions Wednesday!

Betrayed_h11347_300To celebrate the release of BETRAYED, Lillian is giving away a virtual gift basket at Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com. The virtual gift basket includes a copy of her books, SERENITY SPRINGS, OHIO, DARK ALLEYS, and GEESE MATE FOR LIFE. Along with the books, a $25 Amazon gift card is included plus a few books from some writer friends. To enter the contest, simply hop on over to Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at  www.lillian-duncan.com; leave a comment on the post titled CELEBRATION! Winner will be chosen and announced on February 14th.

Back Cover of BETRAYED

Witness Protection Program claims they can keep anyone safe if only they follow the rules so Maria follows the rules–every rule. She’s given up everything–her friends, her family, her past, even her name to ensure her daughter has a future. Reborn as Veronica Minor in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio, she struggles to rebuild their life amid the beauty of her flower shop. A life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood. A life where her daughter will never know that her father was a monster.When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past, but what if she’s wrong? Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one…and that’s her first mistake.

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net. She also has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com

Who won “Terror on Tybee Island?

winner2tissakay! Congratulations. You’ve won Deborah Malone’s latest book, Terror on Tybee Island.

Make sure and join us Wednesday as we welcome Lillian Duncan to the Writing Prompts blog.

The month of February we’ll dedicate our posts to the Sochi Winter Olympics. So join us and gather new ideas for your latest work-in-progress!

Easy Chicken Burger-Perfect for the Super Bowl

sb dessertThis month, we’re talking healthy eating and with the Super Bowl fast approaching, we need healthy alternatives to the junk food we tend to eat that day. I’m sharing a recipe from my friend, Lyndsay, at Milk-Free Mom. Check out her website for more yummy recipes!

Barbecue Chicken Burgers

1 pound ground chicken (you could also use turkey)

1/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce (plus more for garnish)

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 onion, sliced (optional for garnish)

milk free sandwich thins, or any other favorite milk free bun you prefer

about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil

Heat a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. While the pan is heating, mix the chicken with barbecue sauce, onion powder, and garlic powder and form into patties (I made my munchkin’s patty super thin so he would be able to bite into it easily). Patties will be super sticky, but don’t worry!  Add the oil to the pan and spread evenly throughout. Place two patties in the pan at a time, and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side, depending on their thickness. While the patties are cooking, you can caramelize  the onions to top your burgers (I left this off my little man’s burger, but mom and dad gobbled them up).

When your burgers are done, place on your bun, and garnish away! We topped ours with a squirt of barbecue sauce, and caramelized  onions. You can also melt on a slice of dairy free cheese if you like, or for anyone wanting real cheese, Swiss works great.

That’s it. So simple, yet so good. Do you have a similar dairy free burger recipe? Please share!

A DOZEN APOLOGIES FINAL FRONT medAnd speaking of chicken, don’t miss A Dozen Apologies, releasing on Valentine’s Day 2014. Mara stumbles her way through several jobs such as poultry farming, dog nanny, and turkey mascot on the road to forgiveness and love.

In college, Mara and her sorority sisters played an ugly game. They’d date men considered geeks, win their confidence, and then dump them publicly. The tables turn after college when Mara loses her job and boyfriend. Mara’s heart is pierced by her actions toward the twelve men she’d wronged in college, and she sets out to apologize to each of them. Mara stumbles, bumbles, and humbles her way toward possible reconciliation with the twelve men to find that God truly does look upon the heart and that He has chosen the heart of one of the men for her to have and to hold.

A Dozen Apologies. 12 heroes. Only one winner. Please read each chapter [http://www.writeintegrity.com] then vote for your favorite hero. February 5th through 8th at http://writeintegrity.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-dozen-apologies-choose-hero-for-mara.html.