Friday, November 16, 2012


This past weekend I had the pleasure of speaking to and catering for a women’s retreat.  The ladies who attended this retreat ranged in age from young mothers to grandmothers.  They are all members of the same church and came together for a weekend of communion and restoration.  The theme of their retreat was hospitality.  I was thrilled when I heard this idea as being hospitable to one’s self is the heart of what I do. 

I was so grateful that these ladies invited me to be a part of their incredible weekend.  I spoke to them during a cocktail party on Friday night while they enjoyed hors devours I provided.  I also did a special program and provided lunch on Saturday.  Not only did I get an amazing response from the ladies, I felt rejuvenated just by sharing their weekend with them.  As a result, I wanted to share some of the highlights from last weekend – as we can all afford to show ourselves more hospitality, especially during this holiday season. 

Friday night was very casual as people came in from the end of a long busy week.  So, I provided a fun spread and an open conversation about health and wellness.  Below is the menu from Friday night. 
Hors Devours
Salmon cakes – With creamy sweet & sour dipping sauce
Tomato, basil, mozzarella skewers – With olive oil & balsamic vinegar
Gluten Free
Salad cups – With honeycrisp apples, cranberries, walnuts, feta cheese & vinaigrette dressing
Corn tortilla cups are Gluten Free
Cups without cheese are Vegan

Clockwise from top left: Salmon Cakes, Salad Cups, Bellinis, Mini Sweet Potato Pies
Fruit & dips Grapes, granny smith apples, red pears, & bananas
With yogurt dips & coconut, gingersnap, & walnut toppings
Coconut yogurt dip is Vegan
Coconut & walnut toppings are Gluten Free
Mini sweet potato pies – With gingersnap crust & coconut, gingersnap, & walnut toppings
Crustless pies are Gluten Free
Bellini – Champagne or sparkling grape juice with blueberry pomegranate juice
Blueberry garnish

On Saturday, I spoke to the ladies about providing hospitality to themselves and to their loved ones.  Women are good at being hospitable to family & friends.  They give so much – give to, give in, give up, and usually give out before they give back to themselves.  For anything to be a strong foundation for hospitality, it must first take care of itself.  Even the Bible reminds us of this – Psalm 119:73 – “You made me; you created me.  Now give me the sense to follow your commands”.  For proper nutrition, the Bible encourages us to eat a balanced diet.  Our bodies were made to live off of what grows out of the earth or roams around on it.  God made our body to use a certain combination of foods as its energy source.  Eating right will help give us the energy we need to live life to the fullest.  We must also take care of our bodies which were made for activity.  In biblical times they didn't have to exercise – people walked everywhere and they did physical work.  But evolution has not caught up with today’s lifestyle and our metabolism has to be helped through physical activity.  Since we spend most of our time sitting on our rear-ends rather than plowing our fields or hunting animals, we need to exercise regularly.  And finally, we all must take time to rest.  Women are typically the first ones up in the morning and the last to go to bed at night.  Tasks, stress, and to-do lists always take priority over rest.  According to Psalm 127:2, “It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death; for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest.” This is very important for our bodies to replenish and strengthen and our brains to restore. 

In addition to the program on Saturday, I provided a lunch from the hospitality capital of the world – New Orleans.  Below is the menu from Saturday’s lunch. 
Taste of New Orleans Lunch
Gumbo – With chicken sausage
Gluten Free
Vegan Gumbo – With tofurkey sausage
Muffaletta sandwiches – With turkey, pepperoni, garlic bologna, & provolone cheese
And olive tapenade & creamy mustard
Cajun Spiced Dippers – Baked corn tortillas
Vegan & Gluten Free
Dark chocolate brownie bites – With dark cocoa powder & dark chocolate chunks
Cranberry lime sodas – Homemade soda with cranberry juice & lime simple syrup
Fresh lime garnish

After lunch, the ladies and I went through several exercises and stretches that they can do any time of day and fit into any hectic lifestyle.  I was proud of all the ladies for going through this with me and for trying new moves.  I even gave them ideas they could do while brushing their teeth or talking on the phone at work. 

I am so appreciative and blessed to have been a part of this ladies’ retreat.  They reminded me why I do what I do and that we can all take time to improve our health.  I hope they learned from me that they deserve self-hospitality and how they can be hospitable to themselves every day.  We all deserve self-hospitality, and I will help you realize that.  Go to to see all the ways I can help you and those you love.  Obesity is 100% preventable and self-hospitality is 100% achievable!