artificial sweetener

AGREEMENT ISN'T ENOUGH

October 4, 2011Read: Exodus 3

"But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" --Exodus 3:11

I wonder if Moses ever went back to the place of the burning bush. Oh, I know it's doubtful, but for one of the pillars of our faith, that spot was a pivotal point in his life, and for yours and mine. But he didn't just agree there. He didn't concur with a sophisticated nod like he was looking at some priceless work of art. No, his body had to get him where his soul had to go. A simple agreement wasn't enough. And so with ashes still on his sandals, he marched through Pharaoh's front door to prove it.

What about you? Do you remember when you were called to task? For me, my soul was called in the 8th grade, then again in 2007 to blend faith with fitness. For you, maybe it was 10 years ago, or maybe even 10 minutes. But regardless, agreement isn't enough, especially when it comes to our health. Agreement is just the opportunity to prove it. So go back with Moses. Get close to the flame. Rub your hands together and get warm. You have your own Pharaohs to face. And when you do, imagine God as He nods, looking at you like a priceless work of art...because you are.

--J.P.

NUTRITION Q&A Addressing reader questions from the PrayFit inbox

Q: I noticed that on page 225 of the book "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days," there is a note to "add artificial sweetener if desired." Isn't that contrary to good health as artificial sweetener's are relatively "poison" and is a contributor to the obesity crisis?  Shouldn't you be recommending honey or stevia?

--Mo, via e-mail

A: Honey provides fructose, which is fine is small amounts but honey is known to cause numerous health problems. Stevia is a pretty good alternative for sweeteners, but it too has research showing some concerns over its safety. The research on artificial sweeteners concludes that they are safe when used in moderation. My personal stance is to avoid these chemicals. However, we realize that some people do need a "sweet treat" every once in a while and we wanted to make the diet tolerable for them. If a diet is too limited in the foods you can eat most people will not stay on the diet. The PrayFit nutrition plan we developed was designed to help people create a lifestyle out of healthy eating, rather than giving a quick fix solution.

--Jim Stoppani, PhD, co-author of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days"

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>> WATCH: Click on the player below for a peek at the official trailer for the PrayFit 33-Day Total Body Challenge by Lionsgate, due out December 6!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3k7_WPk5LU

IN THE SAME BOAT

October 19, 2010Read: Luke 8

"The disciples went and woke him saying, 'Master, Master, we're going to drown.' He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided and all was calm." --Luke 8:24

I wonder if the disciples were the ones who coined the phrase, "We're in the same boat." I'm curious because theirs wasn't the only ship on the raging sea that night. All the other vessels battled the same wind and the same waves, but the difference was the boat's manifest.

So maybe it was an epiphany? "Hey, wait a minute, we're in the same boat as God!" Or maybe it was disbelief at the storms audacity. "Surely the storm should spare us since we're in the same boat with the Lord."

Either way, without Him the disciples stood no chance. So they woke the only one who could put the sea to sleep, which makes me think: maybe it was Jesus who first said it. When the sun peaked through the clouds and began warming faces on a glassy sea, maybe Jesus said, "Don't be afraid. We're in the same boat."

--J.P.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Is drinking diet drinks a smart idea? First of all, we're of the mindset that diet drinks are so full of all things artificial that they'll do as much harm as good ol' sugar, if not more. Secondly, diet drinks tend to give a false sense of hope. Recent studies have shown that people who drink diet sodas have a higher occurrence of being overweight compared to those who don't drink them. One of the causes determined by the research suggests that when people drink diet soda, they feel it gives them license to eat poorly in other areas and times during the day. Drink them if you must but next time you're thirsty, you might want to reach for some H2O instead!

>> WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Whatever your inclination for zero calorie drinks, you need to be working out to lose weight. Use our "get lean" Workout of the Week to start losing inches and pounds in minutes a day!