1 Corinthians 9

New Beginnings

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” --1 Corinthians 9:24

Read: 1 Corinthians 9

SunsetLast week I had the opportunity to travel, work and write. At one particular location, I had an ocean view, with a breathtaking sunrise on the water. I’d spend my early mornings on the sand, reading, writing and praying. Then I’d hit an ocean-side workout.

One day that week, I was jogging close to the water, where the sand is perfect for running. I gave myself a finish line about a quarter of a mile away, and I ran as fast as a 41-year-old with his share of health issues can run. When I got to my stopping point, I wanted to retrace my exact steps the opposite direction, in hopes to maintain that same stride and speed.

But as I looked along the shoreline, I realized the water had washed away all my steps, leaving me no way to see my footfalls. It hit me: Isn’t that what God allows each day to be for us? A brand new, clean-slate-of-a-path in which to run? And doesn’t knowing that give us energy to live each day to the fullest? The only way to beat yesterday’s effort is not by using yesterday’s steps as the standard, but by trusting the Lord to fuel every step toward today’s end.

So with that thought, welcome to another Monday at the beach. Close your eyes and listen to the ocean. Thank God for your salvation and praise Him for new beginnings. Now open your eyes, see the day ahead of you…and run.

–Jimmy Peña

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: More Defined Shoulders

This routine will fatigue your delts from every angle, upping the intensity with supersets. For best results, be sure to move as quickly as you can between the two exercises that make up each superset, and never rest more than 30 seconds between standard sets or supersets.

Exercise                                                               Sets     Reps Seated Overhead Press                                     3          10, 12, 15 superset with Dumbbell Lateral Raise                                     3          12, 12, 12

Standing Dumbbell Press                                  3          10, 12, 15 superset with Reverse Pec-Deck Flye                                       3          12, 12, 12

One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise                           3          12, 12, 12

>> YOUR CHURCH IN 2013: Talk to your church leaders and pastors and arrange for PrayFit to visit your congregation in 2013. Check out the video below and write us here for more info! Here's to five more years of fortifying faith and improving health, in Jesus' name.

Discipline Determines Destiny

I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should." --1 Corinthians 9:27

Read: 1 Corinthians 9

>> AUDIO: To hear this entry read by Jimmy Peña, click here. [audio:https://s3.amazonaws.com/PrayfitAudio/Discipline+Determines+Destiny.mp3]

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Charles Stanley with In Touch Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. He delivered a message entitled, "Discipline Determines Destiny." Of course, he made it clear that he wasn't talking about eternal destiny, but that he wanted to discuss our earthly effectiveness; how we handle our money, our time, our relationships and ohhhh yes, while I was at the edge of my seat, he said it..."how we handle our health."

None of the other topics received much of a reaction (perhaps because they were expected), but when he asked the question, "Who wants to live a long, healthy life?", there was a noticeable murmur. When it became quiet, Dr. Stanley simply asked his congregation how they expected to live abundantly when they're facing avoidable and preventable road blocks of health. Hearing it from me is one thing, but when Dr. Charles Stanley says it, it's another thing altogether.

As he preached, I scribbled. He used words and phrases like,

The value we place on our health will be evident in our diligence... Fulfilling, achieving, orderly, less stressful... Aimless and lethargic versus Godly and confident... Feeling good about yourself...  Nothing to do with age... He still has the best in mind for you... Positive impact on others...health can be a way to witness... Build better health and a better faith...

Folks, go ahead and quiet the murmur in your mind and settle your thoughts on this one: Your health is important to God. Any personal justification you've otherwise convinced yourself with, is false. The call to action this week is a call of discipline. And it doesn't matter what you decide to do.  Just decide and work within your means. Walk the block or the dog. Do some push-ups or lift some weights. Walk away from the dessert menu and step up to the plate of clean eating. Discipline determines destiny, and if you're reading this, yours is still unwritten.

--Jimmy Peña

STUDY: A SWEET RISK One of the most common obstacles that people cite in their quest for healthier living is an inability to shake their soda habit. While it's pretty widely known that having these sugar-laden drinks on a regular basis can lead to excess calorie consumption, huge swings in energy and cavities, new research is suggesting that such beverages can also be a danger to your heart health.

>> For the full story, click here.

33 DAYS WITH PRAYFIT

Have you tried the new PrayFit at-home workout DVD? The PrayFit 33-Day Body Toning System is a highly-challenging workout that can be done in your living room with some dumbbells and a workout mat and is guaranteed to provide a powerful stimulus for change. Whether you're looking to lose a few inches around the waist or simply shape-up specific bodyparts, this is the DVD for you. Click here to read more or to purchase one for yourself or a friend!

Gumption

"Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air."—1 Corinthians 9:26

Read: 1 Corinithans 9

I'm definitely old-fashioned, but who reading this remembers tryouts? I thought of it yesterday when I asked, "Who won?" to a young boy and his mom as they came back from his soccer game. They replied, "Oh, we don't keep score. In this league, we don't keep score and everybody plays." Hmm. I tried to hide my confusion, but had she replied in Yiddish it would have made as much sense.

You know, if Paul were in sports, I think he would have enjoyed keeping score. The way he talked of disciplining his body like an athlete, or how passionately he wrote of running the race. Something tells me, Paul would have understood the "thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." Of course, Paul would be the first person to teach us of grace and forgiveness, but a record of wrongs is not the issue at stake. The issue is more about the kind of fight we have in us for the faith, as well as for the body. Like Paul, it's time to follow our instincts.

Truth be told, if our health was required for Heaven, well, we'd be in bad shape. And if God kept score on our day's losses, we'd lose outright every time. But it's because of those things that we might as well toughen up. Who knows how effective we could be for the kingdom if we exercised a little more Godly gumption. Not in order to win favor, but because we have favor.

Oh, and I have to report, as my neighbor disappeared into her home, the little boy stuck his head out the front door, put his hand up to the side of his mouth as if to tell me a secret from across the street: "We won 11 to nothin'!" he yelled with a whisper. Atta boy, I thought. Gumption. He's a carrier. And so are you.

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Roasted Tomato Sauce

Makes 10 servings (1/2 cup each)

Ingredients:

6-8 large tomatoes cut into large chunks 1/2 large red onion, roughly chopped 1 red chili pepper, chopped 3 cloves garlic, whole 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon dried oregano Freshly ground black pepper 1 can (15 ounces) canned tomato sauce, no salt added 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1/2 cup red wine 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place tomatoes, onion, chili and garlic on a large sheet pan; add 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, oregano and pepper and toss to coat. Roast vegetables for 25-30 minutes or until tomatoes just begin to char; set aside to cool slightly. In a large pot, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then add the roasted tomato mixture, tomato sauce, tomato paste and wine. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add basil and parsley; season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Puree sauce using an immersion blender* until smooth.

*If you do not have an immersion blender, puree in a countertop blender in small batches. Make sure to hold the top of the blender closed with a dish towel while the machine is on.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories: 80 calories Total Fat: 3 grams Saturated Fat: 0 grams Total Carbohydrate: 11 grams Protein: 2 grams Sodium: 139 milligrams Cholesterol: 0 milligrams Fiber: 3 grams

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC is a registered dietitian and is currently a nutrition expert for the Food Network, and has worked as a media spokesperson for Cooking Light Magazine. She has appeared on Good Day Street Talk, Food Network.com, Access Hollywood and GMA Health. Visit her at Dana White Nutrition.

Pick A Food Fight

"And everyone who is striving, has self-control in all things." --1 Corinthians 9:25

Read: 1 Corinthians 9

At PrayFit, we place a great deal of emphasis on healthy eating habits in order that you might live more abundant lives. Of course, we believe that this life is vapor-quick and that no matter how many good foods we eat or bad foods we avoid, our days are numbered. Let's face it, food can't save us.

And many say, "Since life is so quick, why not eat up?" We say "Since life is so brief, why not stay the course?" Think about it: Where does God live? He lives inside of us. Our bodies are His dwelling place. How much respect are we showing if we have a willful disregard for what certain foods -- not to mention what certain amounts of foods -- can do to our bodies? Again, this won't translate into long-lasting change unless you see healthy eating as an act of obedience.

Now, we're not saying we can't enjoy food -- even the cheat kind -- but too many of our friends and siblings, parents and kids are struggling in a battle against food-related illness...A battle we were never meant to fight, and one we're sure to lose unless we:

--push away from the table sooner --shop smarter --teach our kids portion control --put up a fight

Besides, God didn't design us to be at the mercy of food. Let's bless His heart by taking care of ours.

--Jimmy Peña

DANA'S HEALTH FOOD QUIZ

PrayFit nutritional consultant Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, is the best in the business when it comes to helping people develop healthy eating habits. A stickler for education, Dana came up with this simple quiz to gauge just how much you know about the difference between processed foods and fresh foods.

1. Which typically contains the most additives and preservatives?

A. Frozen dinners B. Sugary cereals C. Canned tuna

2. Which is lowest in sodium?

A. Frozen pizza B. Frozen vegetables C. Canned soup

3. Which preservative is typically used to add color to hot dogs and lunch meats?

A. Xanthan Gum B. Sodium Nitrite C. Citric Acid

4. On food packaging, "natural" means...

A. Nothing B. The ingredients meet federal requirements C. The ingredients come from nature

RESULTS

Add up your score based on the following points system: 1. A: 5 points; B: 3 points; C: 1 point 2: A: 3 points; B: 5 points; C: 1 point 3: A: 1 point; B: 5 points: C: 3 points 4: A: 5 points; B: 3 points; C: 1 point

Your Score:

15-20 Points: All About Fresh You know better than to mess with frozen pizzas and breakfast sandwiches and instead opt for mostly fresh ingredients and the healthiest of processed foods like frozen veggies, canned tomatoes, dried fruit and whole grain crackers.

10-14 Points: On the Fresh Track While you may not always be making it to farmers’ market or produce aisle, your diet has a healthy balance of fresh and packaged foods.

4-9 Points: Packing in the Preservatives A quick lesson in fresh foods 101 would do you some good. Pay closer attention to those labels and tally up the sodium count, are you getting way more than you need?

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.

Make Believe

"So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing." --1 Corinthians 9:26

Read: 1 Corinthians 9

As I was leaving Gio's Boxing Gym in Burbank (Calif.), amid the familiar cadence of speed bags and jump ropes, something a cornerman yelled to his boxer caught my attention. "Stop trying to look like a fighter and be a fighter!" he said. I literally stopped in my tracks. What a powerful statement. Just how powerful, I'd realize just moments later.

Walking toward my truck, I came upon a film crew about to shoot a documentary -- a boxing documentary, no doubt. Lights, cameras and make-up. I stood for what seemed like years and watched a make-up artist applying shades of purple, black and blue to an actor's face and under his eyes. Boxing gloves? Check. Legitimate shorts? Those too. But he wasn't dressed for - nor returning from - a real battle. "Stop trying to look like a fighter and be a fighter," ironically echoed in my head.

I wonder about my faith. And maybe you wonder about yours. Am I a make-believer in life? Or do I help make believers with my life? Like the verse above, I don't want to shadowbox. I want purpose. Give me somethin' to hit.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: In what area of your life, spiritually or physically, do you need to stand to fight? How can the Prayfit community pray for you? List your battles below or simply list them as "unspoken request(s)".

REPORT: CHILDREN OBESITY SPILLING INTO MANUFACTURING

A CNN report recently called attention to the latest casualty in the childhood obesity epidemic: school furniture manufacturers. Because of the expanding waistlines of children -- a full 15 to 17% of all kids are over 95th percentile for obesity -- manufacturers are forced to develop desks that can accommodate them. Child car seat manufacturers are also having to adjust with new designs to keep heavier kids safe.

"Childhood obesity affects their safety in matters beyond child seats and ill-fitting school furniture," the report says. "Obese kids are more likely to get heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure and are more prone to diabetes, bone and joint problems. Their health problems are also more likely to follow into adulthood."

>> For the full report from CNN, click here.

ACTION PLAN: Let's be part of the solution. Today, take stock of how much activity your children are getting each day, taking physical education at school and organized sports into account as well. Discuss the importance of regular activity with your child and make today the first day of a scheduled family “workout,” where you spend 15-20 minutes exercising, walking or playing together.

GUMPTION

"Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air."— 1 Corinthians 9:26

I'm definitely old-fashioned, but who reading this remembers tryouts? I thought of it yesterday when I asked, "Who won?" to a young boy and his mom as they came back from his soccer game. They replied, "Oh, we don't keep score. In this league, we don't keep score and everybody plays." Hmm. I tried to hide my confusion, but had she replied in Yiddish it would have made as much sense.

You know, if Paul were in sports, I think he would have enjoyed keeping score. The way he talked of disciplining his body like an athlete, or how passionately he wrote of running the race. Something tells me, Paul would have understood the "thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." Of course, Paul would be the first person to teach us of grace and forgiveness, but a record of wrongs is not the issue at stake. The issue is more about the kind of fight we have in us for the faith, as well as for the body. Like Paul, it's time to follow our instincts.

Truth be told, if our health was required for Heaven, well, we'd be in bad shape. And if God kept score on our day's losses, we'd lose. But it's because of those things that we might as well toughen up. Who knows how effective we could be for the kingdom if we exercised a little more Godly gumption. Not in order to win favor, but because we have favor.

Oh, and I have to report, as my neighbor disappeared into her home, the little boy stuck his head out the front door, put his hand up to the side of his mouth as if to tell me a secret from across the street: "We won 11 to nothin'!" he yelled with a whisper. Atta boy, I thought. Gumption. He's a carrier. And so are you.

–Jimmy Peña

WEEK IN REVIEW Revisiting a week's worth of faith and fitness

Faith

>> READING LIPS: Showing the light in a world of darkness

>> NOW WHAT?: Abraham, Moses and Joshua asked. Shouldn't you?

>> WHEN HE KNOCKED: No need to clean up to take a bath

>> GOD WILL COME THROUGH: When in doubt, look up

Fitness

>> WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Push-ups and planks

>> MEMORY FOOD: What super fruit can boost your ability to remember stuff?

>> RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Sauteed kale

>> PORTION CONTROL: How to eat 22% less this holiday season

COMING SOON!: This week marked the official release of PrayFit’s first DVD, now available for order on Amazon and other retail websites. Reserve yours by clicking here or shop for friends.

SHOP: Looking for the best in non-DVD PrayFit products for the health-minded believers in your life? Click here to visit the PrayFit store.

MAKE BELIEVE

October 21, 2011Read: 1 Corinthians 9

"So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing." --1 Corinthians 9:26

As I was leaving Gio's Boxing Gym in Burbank (Calif.) yesterday, amid the familiar cadence of speed bags and jump ropes, something a cornerman yelled to his boxer caught my attention. "Stop trying to look like a fighter and be a fighter!" he said. I literally stopped in my tracks. What a powerful statement. Just how powerful, I'd realize moments later.

Walking toward my truck, I came upon a film crew about to shoot a documentary -- a boxing documentary, no doubt. Lights, cameras and make-up. I stood for what seemed like years and watched a make-up artist applying shades of purple, black and blue to an actor's face and under his eyes. Boxing gloves? Check. Legitimate shorts? He had those too. But he wasn't dressed for, nor returning from, a real battle. "Stop trying to look like a fighter and be a fighter," ironically echoed in my head.

I wonder about my faith. And maybe you wonder about yours. Am I a make-believer in life? Or do I help make believers with my life? Like the verse above, I don't want to shadowbox. I want purpose. Give me somethin' to hit.

--J.P.

Question: In what area of your life, spiritually or physically, do you need to stand to fight? How can the Prayfit community pray for you? List your battles below or simply list them as "unspoken request(s)".

PRAYFIT TO RELEASE FIRST DVD

On December 6, Lionsgate Entertainment will release PrayFit 33-Day Total Body Challenge to a global audience.  The DVD will feature a 33-minute, bodyweight-only program that boosts strength, stamina and flexibility. The program’s 33-day length is a nod to proven habit-forming behavior as well as the length of Jesus’s life. “He gave us 33 years,” says PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena, MS, CSCS. “Let’s give him 33 minutes for 33 days, honoring the one who made us.”

>> For the full story on the PrayFit 33-Day Total Body Challenge, click here. Or, to preorder immediately, visit Amazon.

DISCIPLINE DETERMINES DESTINY

August 15, 2011Read 1 Corinthians 9

"I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should." --1 Corinthians 9:27

Yesterday, Dr. Charles Stanley with In Touch Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia delivered a message entitled, "Discipline Determines Destiny." Of course, he made it clear that he wasn't talking about eternal destiny, but that he wanted to discuss our earthly effectiveness; how we handle our money, our time, our relationships and ohhhh yes, while I was at the edge of my seat, he said it..."how we handle our health."

None of the other topics received much of a reaction (perhaps because they were expected), but when he asked the question, "Who wants to live a long, healthy life?", there was a noticeable murmur. When it became quiet, Dr. Stanley simply asked his congregation how they expected to live abundantly when they're facing avoidable and preventable road blocks of health. Hearing it from me is one thing, but when Dr. Charles Stanley says it, it's another thing altogether.

As he preached, I scribbled. He used words and phrases like,

The value we place on our health will be evident in our diligence... Fulfilling, achieving, orderly, less stressful... Aimless and lethargic versus Godly and confident... Feeling good about yourself... Nothing to do with age...He still has the best in mind for you... Positive impact on others...health can be a way to witness... Build better health and a better faith...

Folks, go ahead and quiet the murmur in your mind and settle your thoughts on this one: Your health is important to God. Any personal justification you've otherwise convinced yourself with, is false. The call to action this week is a call of discipline. And it doesn't matter what you decide to do.  Just decide and work within your means. Walk the block or the dog. Do some push-ups or lift some weights. Walk away from the dessert menu and step up to the plate of clean eating. Discipline determines destiny, and if you're reading this, yours is still unwritten.

--J.P.

YOUR WORKOUT OF THE WEEK

This one is up to you. As we often say, the best type of exercise is the type that you will continue to do. Consistency in exercise, as with our faith, is key to making progress.

In fact, we want to know what it is. What was, or what will be your workout today or this week? Post it here and we'll use it for others to share in upcoming PrayFit entries. We'll give you the credit and God the glory.

>> THE PRAYFIT NETWORK: Engage with the rest of the PrayFit community on these social networking channels.

Facebook: Helpful links and useful chatter

Twitter: Your real-time connection to Team PrayFit

YouTube: PrayFit TV, messages from the founder, exercise demos

26.2...THE FINISH

July 19, 2011Read: 1 Corinthians 9

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." --1 Corinthians 9:24

Twenty-six miles. Well, 26.2 to be exact. Driving back from San Diego, Loretta checked the online results for her first marathon. The four hours and 14 minutes it took her to run a little over 26 miles represented the culmination of countless days and weeks of preparation and sacrifice. And for a non-runner like her husband, it represented four hours and 14 minutes of pride and excitement.

Finding my perfect place on the course, I hunkered down. With camera in hand, I anxiously awaited the love of my life to turn the corner and head for home. And as I waited, I took some notes. It just so happens that a marathon is to a fitness writer what a farmer's market is to a chef; plenty of ingredients from which to choose.

Oh, and yes, Loretta turned the corner indeed. Just like I knew she would. With a flushed face, she put one foot in front of the other and ran right to me. Well, she finished the race, of course, but I took her home. All things being equal, somehow I think God understands the marathon.

--J.P.

FIT FEEDBACK

This week we're going to talk about the marathon (inspired by a PrayFit member's encouraging e-mail today) and it sparks a good question: What is your sport of choice? What do you enjoy doing to stay in shape and, more importantly, what kinds of things would you like us to focus on here at PrayFit? Walking, running, lifting, swimming, diets, recipes? Tell us in the comments section below. We are here to help you get closer to the Lord and healthier in the process. And finally, we're scheduling church visits around the country beginning September. Please talk to your pastor about PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena speaking at your church or community center and have them contact us direct at info@prayfit.com. We'll look forward to hearing back from you!

NUTRITION HEADQUARTERS: Whether you're looking for recipes, diet advice or the latest nutrition news, this is the place for you. Visit our nutrition section to start eating better today!

>> Order your copy of “PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days” at Amazon today by clicking here.

THE VERY IDEA

July 18, 2011 Read 1 Corinthians 9

"No, I beat my body and make it my slave." --1 Corinthians 9:27

Last week I had the unique opportunity to be interviewed by The L.A Times on the subject of faith and fitness. Whether or not my input makes the article, I'm not sure, but it was an honor to be asked to participate. During the course of the conversation, the subject fell upon "why." Why the recent surge in the church toward taking care of the body? First the government, then schools and now the church. Together we named famous pastors that are now leading their congregations toward abundant health, and it dawned on me: We shouldn't even be having this conversation. Healthy living is not a new concept.

Long before PrayFit wrote its first devotion, and well before Rick Warren committed to losing weight, the very idea of taking care of the body that carries the soul was God's. It was His plan all along. We have no right, no stake to claim, and no sense of ownership to the idea that something so fearfully and wonderfully made deserves better attention and upkeep. Sure, Abe Lincoln might have been honest, but he didn't invent the truth. Mother Teresa gave to the poor, but she didn't design love. Our bodies were given to us so that we can serve God in all we do. The fact that the church is just now paying attention to the idea doesn't make us leaders, it makes us late.

--J.P.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: BOXING

You may not have any interest in the Sweet Science, but the fact remains that boxers are some of the best conditioned athletes on the planet. They have to be. The whole-body demand of jabbing, slipping, bobbing and weaving for any length of time, over time, makes them stronger, leaner and tougher than those who practice other sports. PrayFit partner and endorser Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero boasts a physique that is equal parts form and function from all of his years spent in the gym. But if you don't have the dough, or desire, to dive headlong into a franchise boxing gym membership, you can use this 12-minute, at-home solution to start building a pugilistic physique.

Why 12 minutes? Well, here, each minute will represent one "round" -- and high-profile, championship fights are always 12 rounds.

Straight punches - 1 min.

Crunches - 1 min.

Straight punches - 1 min.

Bicycle crunch - 1 min.

Straight punches - 1 min.

Plank - 1 min.

Using a stopwatch or timer (www.gymboss.com), go through this workout circuit-style, taking little to no rest between moves. After the final move, stand up and get right into the entire circuit once more, for a total of 12 rounds. Perform this workout three times per week for max results.

Straight punches: A series of jabs and crosses (lefts and rights) delivered at eye level at an imaginary target at arms length. Throw as many punches as you can with good form in the scheduled minute of work. For more detail on boxing punches, click here.

ADVANCED OPTION: Finish off your workout with three sets of push-ups (any style) to failure, resting no longer than a minute between sets. Tally your number and try to beat it next time out.

DID YOU KNOW?: High-intensity boxing workouts can burn 750-1000 calories in one hour. Find a gym near you at www.boxinggyms.com.

Robert Guerrero handling Michael Katsidis in his HBO Pay-Per-View televised bout back in April. Photo by Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions. (www.hoganphotos.com)

 

IN A FOOD FIGHT

January 19, 2011Read: 1 Corinthians 9 "And everyone who is striving, has self-control in all things." --1 Corinthians 9:25

At PrayFit, we place a great deal of emphasis on healthy eating habits in order that you might live more abundant lives. Now of course, we believe that this life is vapor-quick and that no matter how many good foods we eat or bad foods we avoid, our days are numbered. Let's face it, food can't save us.

And many say, "Since life is so quick, why not eat up?" We say "Since life is so brief, why not stay the course?" Think about it: Where does God live? He lives inside of us. Our bodies are his dwelling place, right? How much respect are we showing if we have a willful disregard for what certain foods, not to mention what certain amounts of foods, can do to our bodies? Again, this won't translate into long-lasting change unless you see healthy eating as an act of obedience.

Now, we're not saying we can't enjoy food -- even the cheat kind -- but too many of our friends and siblings, parents and kids are struggling in a battle against food-related illness. And we'll lose the fight unless we...

--push away from the table sooner --shop smarter --teach our kids portion control --put up a fight

Besides, God didn't design us to be at the mercy of food. Of everything He created, we're his top priority. Let's learn to eat in such a way that pleases Him.

--J.P.

DANA'S HEALTH FOOD QUIZ

PrayFit nutritional consultant Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, is the best in the business when it comes to helping people develop healthy eating habits. A stickler for education, Dana came up with this simple quiz to gauge just how much you know about the difference between processed foods and fresh foods.

1. Which typically contains the most additives and preservatives?

A. Frozen dinners B. Sugary cereals C. Canned tuna

2. Which is lowest in sodium?

A. Frozen pizza B. Frozenvegetables C. Canned soup

3. Which preservative is typically used to add color to hot dogs and lunch meats?

A. Xanthan Gum B. Sodium Nitrite C. Citric Acid

4. On food packaging, "natural" means...

A. Nothing B. The ingredients meet federal requirements C. The ingredients come from nature

RESULTS

Add up your score based on the following points system: 1. A: 5 points; B: 3 points; C: 1 point 2: A: 3 points; B: 5 points; C: 1 point 3: A: 1 point; B: 5 points: C: 3 points 4: A: 5 points; B: 3 points; C: 1 point

Your Score:

15-20 Points: All About Fresh You know better than to mess with frozen pizzas and breakfast sandwiches and instead opt for mostly fresh ingredients and the healthiest of processed foods like frozen veggies, canned tomatoes, dried fruit and whole grain crackers.

10-14 Points: On the Fresh Track While you may not always be making it to farmers’ market or produce aisle, your diet has a healthy balance of fresh and packaged foods.

4-9 Points: Packing in the Preservatives A quick lesson in fresh foods 101 would do you some good. Pay closer attention to those labels and tally up the sodium count, are you getting way more than you need?

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.

AN ATHLETE'S FAITH

January 10, 2010Read: 1 Corinthians 9

"All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.: --1 Corinthians 9:25

PRAYFIT QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"It doesn't take faith to be physically fit, but if we have faith, we should try to be." --Jimmy Pena

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Shoulders

Building stronger, better looking shoulders is a good goal whether you're a hardcore lap swimmer or a desk jockey. Anyone who has ever had a shoulder injury will attest to that. Because of how critical your shoulders are to any exercise or everyday life activity, it is important to train them to be fit and functional. This short workout works provides a dose of both.

If you have set of two-pound dumbbells, soup cans or other handheld object in that weight range, you can do this workout. But don't let the light weight nature of this routine fool you -- done right, a deeply effective burn awaits. By working without rest, you will stress both slow- and fast-twitch fibers to the point of complete exhaustion. Do as many rounds as you have time for, or as much as your shoulder can handle, performing each exercise to failure.

Bent-over lateral raise Lateral raise Front raise Overhead press Straight punches

TRAINER PLUS: For those who are curious, the order of exercises is strategic in that each move puts you in a position that is stronger than the previous. So when you fail at the bent-over lateral raises for example, when you stand up, you gain a mechanical advantage and are able to continue without rest. After the last exercise, rest anywhere from 30-60 seconds -- but no longer. This will add a cardio element to your workout, providing an extra dose of physique-friendly calorie burning.