CAPTIVE AUDIENCE

February 2, 2011Read: Isaiah 40

"They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings as eagles." --Isaiah 40:31

For a couple weeks now, the Orange County Zoo has had a special guest come to visit. Every day, a wild bald eagle has been seen perched on a tree overlooking the eagle exhibit. And each time he draws near the enclosure, he can be heard vocalizing with the birds below. Imagine, a majestic bald eagle, free and able to go anywhere in the world, is most content near the captive. Why? Simple. He's in love. Experts say the wild eagle has an infatuation with a female eagle inside the enclosure, even though the two will likely never meet.

Makes me think...In all His majesty and freedom, nothing captures God's attention like you and me. He shows up in our days, loves to talk with us, and He never leaves our sides. Why? Simple. He's in love. The object of His affection? Us. And like it says in Isaiah, although at times we feel trapped, if we wait on Him, we'll do just like that eagle...and fly.

--J.P.

HEALTH, ON THE SIDE Side dishes are supposed to be an accompaniment, but many favorites can jam in more calories than you want for an entire meal. Lighten up your plate with these healthy (but still delicious) substitutions.

Instead of: French fries Choose: Oven-baked fries The Payoff: At least 30 percent less fat

Instead of: Mac and Cheese Choose: Rice Pilaf or 5-Ingredient Cheesy Rice The Payoff: A healthy reduction in fat, cholesterol and calories.

(If it’s mac and cheese or bust, try our tips for lightening up your favorite recipe.)

Instead of: Mashed potatoes Choose: A baked sweet potato or sweet potato oven fries The Payoff: Half the calories and piles of vitamin A

Instead of: Butter-drenched vegetables Choose: Roasted seasonal veggies The Payoff: Big flavor for a fraction of the fat and calories

Instead of: Creamy salad dressing Choose: Vinaigrette The Payoff: Healthier fats and 40 calories less per tablespoon

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.