focus

Let the King be King

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." --2 Corinthians 4:18

Read: 2 Corinthians 4

Venturing into my 4-year-old son’s room to make up his bed, I had to giggle at what I saw. He had, in his bed: his favorite giant shark stuffed animal, his Christmas elf (two months early), a NERF football, a stuffed penguin and his beloved Nintendo DSI game. As I began moving things around, I realized that he was buried in there as well, sleeping with all of his favorite things. When he went to bed at night, he did not want to let any of them out of his sight for a second. If this meant rolling over in the middle of the night on top of a football or shifting positions to avoid the hard case of his video game, well that was okay. Uncomfortable sleep or not, he was holding onto those precious possessions at all costs.

Sometimes in our own lives we refuse to let go of things that we love. We live in a world where "stuff" is king. We want the best homes, cars and toys and many times those things can interrupt our focus on God and on others. We don't need such a tight grip on those material things around us. Instead, shouldn't we tighten the grip on the One who has provided every ounce of what we have?

I love the concept that we don’t really "own" anything in this life, rather we are simply managers. We cannot take our stuffed sharks and our NERF footballs to heaven and we won't need video games in eternity. We have the greatest gift of all pursuing us every day so that we can live a life of fullness. So, let’s agree to not let our "stuff" be king, but let the King be king.

--Allison Earnst

PrayFit's contributing writer, Allison Earnst, is a fitness expert, motivator, competitor and mother of three. She's been featured in numerous magazines including FitParent, Natural Muscle and Oxygen magazine. She has shared her fitness story on Good Morning America, Extra TV and Lifetime's "The Balancing Act." You can visit her blog by clicking here.

PRAYFIT RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bars

You don't need to pour your life savings into mass-produced energy bars. This tasty recipe from PrayFit contributing nutritionist Dana Angelo White (www.danawhitenutrition.com) gives you plenty of body-friendly fuel for your day -- and without the fancy wrapper.

Ingredients: Cooking Spray 1/2 cup honey 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 tablespoon canola oil 1/4 cup light brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups rolled oats 2 cups crisp brown rice cereal 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots 1/2 cup chopped dried figs 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions: Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine honey, peanut butter, maple syrup, canola oil, brown sugar, cinnamon. Stir and cook until mixture just begins to bubble, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. In a large bowl, combine oats, rice cereal, wheat germ, peanuts, apricots, figs and salt. Pour peanut butter mixture over oatmeal mixture and stir gently with a spatula until well combined. Transfer to baking dish, cover with parchment paper and press firmly into dish. Allow to cool completely (mix will cool faster in the refrigerator). Cut into squares or bars and serve.

Calories: 240 | Total fat: 10g | Saturated fat: 1.5g | Carbohydrate: 30g | Protein: 6g | Sodium: 70mg

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC is the nutrition expert for Food Network.com and the Healthy Eats blog. She is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

STAYING ON TARGET

July 8, 2011Read: Hebrews 12

"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." --Hebrews 12:1-2

If you've ever been to a firing range, you've likely seen overzealous newbies eyeballing their targets at a distance with every shot. But gifted marksmen will tell you that before releasing a shot, they're not looking at their target -- they're looking at their sights. The sights allow shooters to line up for an accurate shot. After identifying the ring that they want to hit on the paper silhouette, their focus comes back to the sights. The target literally blurs in the distance as they steady their aim and check their breathing. Distractions fade in a long, slow exhale -- the shooters in the adjacent lanes are suddenly mute. Then, the deafening report of the weapon and a perfectly placed shot in the 10-ring -- center mass, they say.

None of us is worthy of Heaven -- not by a long shot. And even though it is our aim, we'd be well served to take our eyes off what lies down range and return them to our sight picture -- the calming image of the Savior that steadies our aim and keeps us on target, no matter what's going on around us.

--E.V.

PROTEIN FOR FAT LOSS

While most people choose to focus on carbohydrates in their weight loss programs, it's important not to lose sight of protein intake. Protein, which comes in at only 4 calories per gram, is helpful in shedding unwanted pounds. Research has shown that high-protein diets are great for enhancing satiety, elevating metabolism, building muscle and burning fat. The good news is that the type of protein you choose to build your diet around may not matter all that much. A new study conducted by scientists at Laval University in Canada seems to indicate that both plant- and animal-based proteins are equally effective at aiding in weight loss.

>> Get the full story from NutraIngredients by clicking here.

FAT FACT: The World Health Organization estimates that by 2015, there will be more than 1.5 billion overweight consumers, incurring health costs beyond $117 billion per year in the U.S. alone.

PRAYFIT GEAR: Looking for ways to advertise your commitment to faith and fitness? Newly-upgraded PrayFit tees for guys and girls are now available at the PrayFit store. While you're there, take advantage of our new color options for hats, pick up a book or take advantage of our freshly-discounted summer items.

STRONG FOR THE WEEK

February 18, 2011Read: Ecclesiastes 7

“Finishing is better than starting.”Ecclesiastes 7:8

So here we are. The end of another week. Fridays are always a good time to look back and survey the efforts of the previous few days. Instinctively, we focus on things that we’ve done or tasks that we’ve completed, marking them off one by one like to-do items on some kind of mental Post-It note. But for each item we “cross off” the list, our brains, gearing up for the weekend, may start drifting into reward mode which is why Friday can sometimes be the least productive day of the week.

On Fridays, our focus on the things that matter most – including our faith and our fitness – can become obscured.

We may marginalize our time spent on our knees so that we can run full speed into the weekend. Or we might shrug off the day’s workout and wander from our healthy eating habits knowing Monday's workout is right around the corner.

Let's face it, no one is immune to the occasional case of the “Fridays,” but we’d be wise to remember that how we finish the week is just as important as how we start it – not just for us, but for those who would learn from our example.

--E.V.

START TO FINISH

Since we are waxing philosophical about strong finishes, it’s probably a good time to remember where you started. What brought you to PrayFit in the first place? Click here for a video refresher of what PrayFit is all about.

VIDEO: WELCOME TO PRAYFIT

>> Visit our newly updated fitness and nutrition pages for even more workouts, exercise tips, and recipes!

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