"BUT MOM...IT'S JESUS"

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." — Matthew 1:23

NativityOut walking with their parents on a recent winter evening, Prayfit VP Eric Velazquez's little Mya and Ella came upon a scene that they could not resist. It’s not often that you run into a nearly-life-size donkey and cow begging for you to hop on their backs, right? Passing on propriety, they sped by their parents, the wise men, jumped right into the large nativity, and made themselves at home. Faces full of delight...click! A moment is captured forever and in the next, cautiously put on Facebook for friends near and far to enjoy.

Their parents questioned the appropriateness -- Mya and Ella questioned their caution.

“But Mom, it’s Jesus!”

Where are we in this picture? In Matthew 8, Jesus says that unless we become like children we will never enter the kingdom of Heaven; a child’s faith -- so pure and trusting -- is necessary for a relationship with Him.  As adults, bogged down with day-to-day issues, it’s easy to lose the child-like ease that intimacy with the Father brings. Knowing God's character, I believe it was not only okay for Mya and Ella to make themselves at home with Jesus, He’s waiting for us to join them.

--Catrina Vargas-Cormell

An entrepreneur, Catrina Vargas-Cormell was one of the first members of the PrayFit community. Catrina is now a PrayFit executive committee member and PrayFit Group leader in El Paso, Texas. For more from Catrina, join her group, “Hungry!,” on Facebook or visit her PrayFit workout journal.

SHOP & STAY LEAN Don’t let holiday shopping  derail your healthy-living goals

“It’s the heart of the holiday shopping season: Malls are flooded, parking lots are jam-packed, and your inbox is overflowing with e-coupons,” says Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, PrayFit’s resident healthy-eating expert. “Whether you’re hitting up the food court or doing your shopping online, keep these tips in mind.”

Don’t…

…munch on free samples. The calories can add up fast.

…shop hungry. Eat a sensible meal before you head out to the store or sit at the computer.

…swig liquid calories. Large sodas and full-fat peppermint lattes can have as many calories as a meal.

…go overboard on holiday goodies. Just because you can buy a 10-pound bar of chocolate shaped like a Christmas tree doesn’t mean that you should.

Do…

…resist the wafting smells from the pretzel and cookie stands. Save those calories for holiday parties.

…pack power snacks. Granola bars, fresh fruit, peanut butter crackers, and trail mix are good options.

…keep your mouth occupied. If you find yourself mindlessly snacking, chew sugarless gum or sip on a  calorie-free drink.

…wash your hands before you eat, especially after a day of shopping.

>> For more healthy holiday tips, visit Dana’s Healthy Eats blog on the Food Network.

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.