THE MOMENT AT HAND

October 26, 2011Read: Philippians 1

“Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” –Philippians 1:12

You’ve no doubt seen the cartoon depicting a frog in the rain being swallowed by a pelican. Upon closer inspection, you may notice the frog choking the bird on the way down. I love it. The caption reads: “Never Give Up.” From the frog’s perspective, he had the pelican right where he wanted him.

Rain or shine, Paul kept a tight grip on the higher purpose of spreading the good news. Though deep in the belly of prison, Paul figured, “Good, a captive audience.” Can't you just picture him cracking his knuckles and clearing his throat? “Ahem, fellas…glad you’re here.

Turning circumstances into platforms, Paul saw the storms of life as mere downpours of holy water. Let’s find courage in his example today, physically and spiritually. Oh, you may not be in prison, but are you being tested in some way? Perhaps you're behind bars of doubt and discouragement. If so, let's remember Paul and never quit. I say we crack our knuckles, clear our throats and make the most of the moment at hand.

--J.P.

NUTRITION TIP: Smarter Soup

Soup is good comfort food. But it is also a terrific way to get more veggies, so load up your chowder with aromatics like celery, carrots, onions and leeks. To help thicken the soup, sprinkle the veggies with flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes before adding liquid. Starchy add-ins like potatoes, corn and beans will add texture, while their natural starches will also help thicken the soup.

If your favorite recipe calls for butter, swap half of it for canola or olive oil – you’ll still get the buttery flavor and a boost of the more heart-healthy kinds of fats. Shrink down the portion of bacon or make the switch to turkey bacon and you’ll shave off more calories from saturated fats.

Broth-based chowders have considerably less calories than ones made with cream. But if your moto is like mine -- “go creamy or go home” -- using half-and-half  instead of heavy cream will save 500 calories and 60 grams of fat per cup. Since lighter dairy products (like milk and half and half) don’t stand up to high heat as well as cream, it’s best to add them towards the end of cooking to prevent them from separating and making the soup grainy.

PrayFit contributing nutritionist 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.