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FAITH JOURNAL

May 25, 2010Read: Romans 15

"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." --Romans 15:4

If you're a believer, you can probably recall plenty of "progress" moments in your walk. The time you shared your faith with a trusted friend on a road trip. The first time you went to church and "felt" the Lord's presence. That time you helped your roommate connect with Jesus on a personal level. These benchmark moments are significant in your growth as a Christian, but how many of us have an actual written account of these growth opportunities?

Instead of pausing for a response, we'll offer an answer: not many of us. Don't worry, you won't get marked down for your lack of diligence in keeping a faith journal, but think about how many other things we chart in this life. We dutifully keep our checkbooks balanced, we note sets and reps in our workout journals and carefully monitor our expenses for tax time. But your record of steps on the road to eternity are not likely to be found in your important docs box.

Despite the existence of a scribed, notary-stamped account of each of our faith-fortifying moments, they are still well documented. Our lives are the most positive witness we can lend others and each of these instances help to pen the narrative of who we are. So don't worry. Our faith journals, though unwritten, are still read daily by -- and reflective of -- Jesus.

--E.V.

PRAYFIT NUTRITION: First Steps Here are 3 ways you can start losing weight today

One of the most frequent questions that gets lobbed our way at PrayFit is "Where do I start?" Like so many others, you may have forgotten how you were once able to stay slim. The task may now seem so overwhelming that starting a new get-fit quest is too daunting to start. This, friends, is where you need not fear. Recapturing -- or earning for the first time -- your best shape ever is simply a matter of a few simple adjustments and it all starts in the kitchen. Make these three simple changes to your nutrition plan and you'll be ready to tackle more advanced approaches down the road, likely with a few less pounds weighing you down.

1 EAT LESS, MORE OFTEN You read it right. We want you to eat more often. Eating smaller meals more frequently -- 5-7 times per day -- is an easy way to keep your metabolism revved all day long. Every small meal offers some satiety and keeps your body working to digest food, which means fewer cravings and more calories burned. An easy way to think of it is to have three balanced meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) but have a healthy snack in between meals.

2 NEVER MISS BREAKFAST We can't overstate the importance of having breakfast. A complete breakfast should include a mix of protein (eggs or a whey protein shake), complex carbohydrates (oatmeal, whole grain cereal, fruit) and some healthy fat (peanut butter, avocado, nuts). While you should still be careful not to overdo it, this large meal a) helps your body from eating away at muscle b) jump starts your metabolism and c) stabilizes blood sugar to ward off cravings. A healthy breakfast at home will keep you out of the donut box in the office work room.

3 RETHINK CARBS Carbs are not the enemy. Carbs are your body's preferred fuel source -- they keep you mentally sharp and help you power through your long list of daily tasks. But about 80% of the carbs you take in should be of the healthy variety -- this means whole grains, oatmeal, whole wheat tortillas, fruits and veggies. These carbs digest more slowly and therefore don't affect your blood sugar in the same way as some of their more sugary, processed counterparts. Get rid of sugary sodas, sugar in your coffee, white bread and tortillas. Switch to sugar-free alternatives and you'll be amazed at how your body responds.