Are you looking for a weight management program with lasting results? Then the "Your Journey" program may be for you.

The six-week class, created and led by registered dietician Penny Dickerson, teaches participants proper nutrition and weight loss techniques from a Biblical perspective.

"'Your Journey' teaches the participant how to tap into our biggest resource, God, to help us with everyday problems, such as weight management," Penny said. "This program empowers us to allow God to take an active role in every area of our life, including our diet and lifestyle."

According to Penny, the program explores the Biblical truths of healthy living by combining basic nutrition principles with God's word.

The class debuted Feb. 6 at First United Methodist Church with 18 participants meeting for weekly 1 1/2-hour sessions. Each received a 40-day devotion/journal along with a binder full of weekly worksheets, handouts and healthy recipes.

Among the topics covered included modifying recipes to make them healthier as well as other sound nutritional advice.

The average weight loss during the six weeks was 6 to 12 pounds per participant.

"This is right on target with the program goals for participants to lose one to two pounds per week," she said.

But as Penny points out, "Your Journey" is not a get-slim quick fad diet and participants will only get out of it as much as they put into it.

"It's not magic, it's not a pill, it's not a supplement or a strenuous diet regiment that makes this program a success. It is a program, which promotes spiritual growth and gradual, lasting changes in lifestyle to lead to weight management for a lifetime."

Penny will begin another six-week class on April 2 at Good Hope Baptist Church. For price information or to sign up contact her at 601-656-9870 or 601-416-9870.

The First United Methodist group celebrated the completion of the course with a potluck dinner, each bringing a favorite healthy dish. Some of the recipes have been shared with the readers below.

Rannie's Strawberry Parfait

1 gallon fat free frozen vanilla yogurt

1 can frozen strawberry daiquiri mix

1 package low fat Cool Whip

Fresh strawberries

1 package low-fat graham crackers

Crush graham crackers into tiny pieces and pour into the bottom of eight ice cream dishes or cups.

Mixed slightly thawed ice cream and thawed daiquiri mix in a separate bowl

Freeze for 2 hours.

Scoop yogurt/strawberry daiquiri mixture into the cups. Top with Cool Whip and sliced fresh berries.

Oriental Slaw

In a bowl mix:

6 cups slaw mix

4 breen onions, chopped

1/2 cup sunflower seeds or walnuts

1/2 cup almonds

In a jar mix:

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt (if desired)

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons Splenda or Equal

1 seasoning packet from a package of chicken ramen noodles (Set noodles aside for later)

Shake thoroughly to mix then pour over slaw mixture and toss.

Prior to serving crumble the ramen noodles over slaw mixture and toss.

Low-Fat Gravy

For Chicken, Beef or Deer Steak

1 to 2 cans low fat, low sodium cream of mushroom soup

1 can of low sodium beef broth

Sautee seasoned meat in a skillet, then drain on a paper towel

Pour excess grease from skillet

Pour soups into the skillet.

Stir with a wire wisk until well mixed, bring to boil then simmer until thick.

Pour over sautéed chicken, lean beef or deer steak in a dutch oven or casserole dish,

Cover and Cook at 275 degrees for 2 to 3 hours.

Low-Fat Banana Pudding

5 bananas

1 box fat-free, sugar-free vanilla instant pudding

8 ounces fat-free vanilla yogurt

1 box low-fat vanilla wafers

8 ounces fat-free or light Cool Whip

3 cups skim milk

Slice bananas.

Mix topping: pudding, yogurt and milk. Add Cool Whip and mix well.

Crush vanilla wafers.

Layer dish with the pudding mixture, bananas and crushed wafers.

End with the pudding mixture for the topping. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fresh Fruit Cobbler

1 cup half/half sugar

1 cup plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup skim milk

3 cups fresh blueberries or other fruit

1/2 stick of light margarine

Melt butter in baking dish. Mix together the first five ingredients and pour in a buttered casserole dish.

Put fruit on top, sprinkle with a cup of sugar or sweetner and 1/2 cup water. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

Low-Fat Baked Macaroni and Cheese

8 ounces fat-free cottage cheese

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1/2 cup evaporated skim milk

4 cups cooked elbow macaroni

Pepper to taste

Non-fat cooking spray

12 ounces fat-free sour cream

2 cups fat-free cheese, grated

2 Egg Beaters (or egg whites)

Paprika to taste

1/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a blender, mix together sour cream and cottage cheese until smooth. Combine blended mixture with cooked macaroni cheese, milk, chopped onion and eggbeaters. Mix well and add pepper to taste. Pour into prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and paprika. Spray top with cooking spray. Baked covered for 35 minutes, uncover and baked

5 minutes more.

Low Fat Hot Fries

4-6 potatoes

Non-fat butter flavored cooking spray

Salt-free Mrs. Dash Seasoning (to taste)

Lemon Pepper (to taste)

Paprika and pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and cut potatoes into lengthwise wedges. Spray cookie sheet and spray potatoes with cooking spray. Sprinkle with seasonings. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until potatoes are browned. Turn potatoes occasionally with a spatula.