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A FALL IN THE DARK

May 4, 2011Read: Genesis 3

"When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it." --Genesis 3:6

It's not unusual to hear various levels of mischief in my daughter's room after lights out. Possessing the requisite toddler appetite for adventure -- and an apparent immunity to my sweet lullabies -- we sometimes hear her shuffling about in the dark of her room. Normally this isn't cause for alarm but a few months ago, on one of my routine parental patrols, I opened her door.

My eyes still adjusting from the brightness of the hallway, I caught a glimpse of Mya's silhouette across the room. Standing precariously on the three-inch wide, five-foot high edge of her toddler bed, she reached for the highest of the new glow-in-the-dark stars that I had just placed on her wall. Time froze. My chest tight with anxiety, my first instinct was to shout at her to stay still. Fearing that this would cause the very fall that I was afraid of, I quietly strode toward her with outstretched arms. Noticing me in the room, she turned.

"Hi, daddy," she said, caught.

Taking hold of her, I placed her back in bed and calmly explained the danger of playing nighttime gymnast on her bed rail. She knew that the stars were off limits, for her own good -- daddy's orders. She didn't understand it but by reaching for them from such a precipitous position, she was setting herself up for a fall in the dark. Sometimes, the most alluring things in this world are the ones that place us in the most peril.

This incident holds parallel for us all, doesn't it? As our childlike curiosity urges us to reach higher and farther, it's important to remember that our Father always knows best, that He will always be there to help us down from dangerous heights and, when we fall, He'll be at our side an instant to help us up.

--E.V.

SHAKE WEIGHT Which type of protein is best after a tough workout?

You just finished a tough leg workout. (One based on the almighty lunge, perhaps?) Time to replenish damaged muscles with the building blocks they need to come back stronger next time. The strategy is to consume some fast-digesting protein within 30-60 minutes of your last rep, which is why protein powder is ideal. For a long time, it was thought that whey protein -- which digests rapidly in your body -- was the bar-none choice for your post-workout shake but newer research is making the case for casein.

Casein is a very slow-digesting form of protein because it "clumps" in your digestive tract, therefore breaking down at a significantly slower rate. This is good because it provides your body with a sustained trickle of muscle building amino acids, the building blocks of muscle.

"Research has also found that when casein is taken after training, it boosts protein synthesis (muscle making) well as whey does," says Jim Stoppani, PhD, co-author of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days."  "In addition, Baylor University (Waco, Texas) researchers reported that when trained lifters added casein protein to their postworkout whey shakes for 10 weeks, they gained significantly more muscle mass than study subjects who didn’t get casein after training."

So don't throw out your whey but it may be time to invest in some casein powder. In your post-workout shake, mix the two in a roughly 2:1 ratio. Hard training individuals should be getting 30-40 grams of protein after a hard workout, with men being on the higher end of that recommendation.  That equates to around 20-30 grams of whey and around 10-20 grams of casein.

Source: Jim Stoppani, PhD

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