protein

Happy Birthday, PrayFit.com

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." --Philippians 1:6

Read: Philippians 1

IMG_0020For those who may not know the story, after graduate school I held some wonderful positions of leadership as well as some remarkable writing roles. Over the course of a few short years I was honored to contribute to some well-known celebrity books, with one of my co-author titles blessing me with a New York Times Bestseller credit. But as a Christian in the fitness industry, I knew then what I know now -- that life was not about the body.

And I knew that no matter how smart or how polished a fitness expert I was becoming, God was calling me to teach health as a means of praise -- to help people seek greater health with modesty and obedience. And so naturally I felt a strange hollowness and emptiness about my career. I think it was likely an appropriate response for someone doing one thing when he was clearly meant to be doing something else. Over the years, I'd pray for the Lord to show me the right doors, and well, He answered my prayer when He included me in a massive layoff at a popular magazine. He closed that door six years ago yesterday.

Six years ago today, we started PrayFit.com and never looked back. The message? Still the same. Money will burn and muscle will atrophy but the soul? The soul will last forever. Why do we ground this fitness ministry in grace and not measurements? Because Jesus in the life of a Christian consumes every aspect of our lives, including and most practically our bodies.

Was being healthy and fit a prerequisite of the disciples He chose? I'm not sure, but I know it was a byproduct. A byproduct they didn't earn and never boasted about. It was a byproduct they just simply used; role models. Wrap your heart around that phrase for a moment.

So, faithful reader, this one's for you. You're the reason we're here. It's your health and love for the Lord that drives us each and every day. It's our genuine hope that you're drawn closer to God and to better health by the devotions you read. All we ask is that you keep praying for us.

So with that...Happy Birthday, PrayFit. Thank you for the meaning that you've brought to my life and for becoming my life's work. May God bless you and help you rise in 2014. You've got a lot of people to serve.

–Jimmy Peña

 

Strong Community

"Simon answered, 'Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." --Luke 5:5

Read: Luke 5

Smelly. Dirty. Grimy. These are just a few of the ways to describe Peter and his buddies. After all, they spent their days baiting hooks and cleaning fish. I'm smiling as I picture Jesus the Recruiter walking up to this motley crew. Did He pause and grin, crouching down to watch and listen to them work? Maybe after a few minutes, He looked skyward with a smile as if to say, "I found them."

I'm not sure, but I like to wonder what happened in that moment just before the call. What we do know is that of all the fishermen that came off the water, this bunch caught God's attention. And not long after Christ borrowed Peter's boat, the two were catching fish in water too deep for the nets to reach; Peter's preview to the depths of His love.

Friends, remember. Like that little bird reminded us yesterday, you and I have God's attention. So as we start our cars, open our offices, enter our cubicles, prepare for housework or hit the exercise routine, let's do what Peter did and abandon control. Let's just imagine Him saying with a grin, "I found them," and this is that moment just before the call.

--Jimmy Peña

STRENGTH IN YOUR NUMBERS Pastor Randy Frazee of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio once wrote, “The experience of authentic community is one of the purposes God intends to be fulfilled by the church. The writings of Scripture lead one to conclude that God intends the church, not to be one more bolt on the wheel of activity in our lives, but the very hub at the center of one’s life…" Are you plugged into a good church community or small group?

PRAYFIT NEWS: Team PrayFit Gets Stronger From a Team PrayFit standpoint, we grew in strength yesterday. Details to come but we added to our team in a mighty way in terms of representation and management. We're so grateful to the Lord for allowing it. We'll unveil soon, but we're praising God for answered prayer. Join us!

EGGS FOR MUSCLE How did the incredible egg earn its nickname?

Many of you may think that eggs are just a simple breakfast food — something that’s been on your plate every morning since you can remember. But it is so much more, particularly if you’re looking to gain muscle, says Jim Stoppani co-author of “PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days”(Regal Books). Researchers found that subjects who ate three whole eggs per day gained twice as much muscle in 12 weeks as those who only had one egg per day.

EGG FACTS: One whole egg contains 72 calories, 6 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrate and 5 grams of fat. But don’t worry — about 80% of that fat is monounsaturated and saturated fat, which actually aids in the muscle-building process.

His Work

"But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." --Romans 5:20

Read: Romans 5 Jimmy-backDon't bend, twist or lift more than 10 pounds. Avoid slipping and falling. Those were my instructions 120 days ago. See, by sticking to those rules, the odds were in my favor for solid fusion between the new hardware and bones. Simply, the surgery needed to take. No pressure. The doctor did his thing, but now it was up to me. Stick to the rules, and I won't ruin his work.

I can't tell you how many times over the summer I wondered if I messed things up. Did I twist too much at the waist? Bend down too far? And yes, despite us rearranging the furniture, I stumbled a time or two. Oh the fear that set in. I wanted to go back to the surgery date and start over. This time with no mistakes, no tumbles, no wrong turns.

Have you ever wondered if grace took? After a mistake, a tumble, a stumble, have you ever thought, "Surely God can't forgive me again" or "When I got saved, did I mean it enough? Like, enough enough?" After my slip and fall, the first thing I imagined was that I ruined the doctor's work. He gave me a brand new chance and I blew it. But you know the good news by now. When the doctor looked inside, he saw fusion, healing, progress.

Aren't we glad that God gives us a brand new heart, His. And thankfully, gracefully, when God sees your life and mine, He doesn't see our sin, He sees the blood of His son. He doesn't see a heart held together by a very thin thread; as if one more fall would sever the relationship. No, when you and I accept Him as Lord, there is perfect, permanent fusion; based not on our ability to stick to the rules, but all because of what He did at Calvary. We try to avoid slipping and falling, yes. But there is peace in knowing that grace took. We can't ruin His work.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: I think the fact that our health is our responsibility is a healthy reminder that we can't earn grace. A show of hands of those who feel motivated to take better care of themselves physically because of what God did for you spiritually? Is there a better reason to take care of ourselves? I guarantee there isn't.

 

Loretta-gear

NEW GEAR!

Your health -- what you choose to eat, how often you choose to move -- tells a story. But sometimes, good old fashioned words will do the trick. Our newest offering of PrayFit apparel (as seen on Mrs. Loretta Peña following her recent Disney 1/2 Marathon) spells out, authoritatively, that your health doesn't just matter to you...it matters to Him. Browse the new selections here and pick up shirts, tanks and hats for you and your like-minded friends and family!

NUTRITION NEWS

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.

The Athlete

Where were we? Oh, yes. Under the light of the lamp; mid-letter. As we look over his shoulder, we find Paul telling the people of Corinth about the need for self-discipline. Not in order to earn salvation, but for the eternal rewards of reflecting the Lord in life. "I discipline my body like an athlete..."

In the book of Hebrews, Paul writes, "For they (earthly fathers) disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness." Paul knew that God wants us to live holy lives, and because we fall and fail, we need to be disciplined like children. And here, what we find Paul proclaiming -- and eventually carving into our hearts -- is a preemptive strike upon his own. As the sports-minded or health-conscious person may appreciate, Paul uses the analogy of an athlete who perseveres through training. He allowed the athlete's life of sacrifice to describe how he lives the sacrificial life of a Christ-follower.

At first glance, it's an incredible parallel drawn by the most influential man the world has ever known this side of Christ. But even more amazing when you consider that the man who wrote these words would be given 39 lashes five times, beaten with rods five times, pelted with stones, shipwrecked three times, and who would go without sleep, food and clothing; all because of his heart for churches, people and the message of Jesus.

In sports or fitness, it's tough for an athlete to go without food or sleep, but this most amazing man of God didn't seek to look like, win medals like, or get adored like an athlete. No, the man we find under the lamp trained his life like one. And when he finishes this sentence, we'll find out why.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: What is your definition of a Christian athlete?

____

Country Baked FrittataRECIPE OF THE WEEK: Country Baked Frittata

"I can't call this a true frittata or a true quiche," says PrayFit contributor Kimberly Fuller, NASM-CPT, CES. "It's a mish-mash of both -- the ingredients of a frittata, but baked like a quiche. You can call it whatever you want, I'll just call it good and healthy!"

>> Click here for the mouthwatering recipe!

Agreement Isn't Enough

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

Read: Exodus 3

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 (not to mention for yours and mine). But Moses didn't just agree there. He didn't concur with some sophisticated nod like he was looking at some priceless work of art. "Hmm, yes indeed." No, his body had to get him where his soul had to go. A simple agreement wasn't enough. And so with ash 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 your task? For me, my soul was called in the eighth grade, then again in 2007 to create PrayFit. 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. Like it was for Moses, agreement is just the opportunity to prove it. So go back with him. Get close to the flame. Hear it crackle. Rub your hands together and get warm. You have your own Pharaohs to face. Obesity? Heart disease? A better example for your kids? Perhaps for your congregation? Pharaohs all. And as you march through those doors, let the ash on your sandals be a reminder that agreement isn't enough.

--Jimmy Peña

NUTRITION: The Perfect Breakfast

There are a lot of strong options for your breakfast table in the morning. But when it comes to starting your day, you don’t want to tinker with anything that is less-than-effective at fueling you up right.

>> Click here for the perfect morning combo!

#nofilter

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." --John 13:35

Read: John 13

Have you ever taken a picture that was so good, so clear, so perfect that when you shared it, you needed everyone to know that you didn't use a filter? Why? Because you wanted others to know that you had nothing to do with it. It was that good. You were just happy to pull back the curtain. Speaking of pictures, I'm rather a novice at Instagram (@prayfit), but you'd be surprised at how good of a photographer I think I am after a few nifty filters. A shade here, a little darker there. Oh yeah. Now it's ready to be shared.

Curious, but have you ever wondered to yourself, "What kind of a filter am I for Christ?" The bible says in John 13, "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." I guess you could say that love is the bible's version of a filter. But we use our own, don't we? We gloss ourselves up. "Surely people will know that I'm a believer based on my physical and mental strength. I'm absolutely positive that the world needs to experience God through my charisma. And since I'm supposed to be strong and courageous -- in case you want to get run over -- I'm coming through in Jesus' name!" But really, the filter we should be using is a filter of love. Otherwise, we're just blocking the view.

Boy, aren't we so thankful that we wear Jesus on our hearts? Like we said last week, when God looks at us, we're seen filtered through the blood of Jesus Himself. And we had nothing to do with it. That's love. And it's all ready to be shared.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Are you delivering your message at work, school, social media, or in your community with love? Do this today: Before you press send, post, call or offer any advice to anyone, whisper, "Lord, is this your will? And am I showing your love with my words and deeds?"

RECIPE: Chicken or Tuna Salad Pockets

Selecting the proper protein to build a dinner around can be fun — unless you’re crunched for time. If you need a speedy solution that’s healthy and palate-pleasing, try this recipe from PrayFit contributing nutritionist Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD.

>> Click here for the recipe.

The Three Rs

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord." --Colossians 3:23-24

Read: Colossians 3

A few years back, I read a great story from Max Lucado about 'giving God our boat'. He talked about how Peter and the others caught nothing until they surrendered the boat to Jesus. They turned over their jobs to the Lord and great things happened.

But we need to see all aspects of life as a boat to surrender, our health being one of them. For that to happen, we need to agree that being  healthy is a matter of obedience and an opportunity to praise God. To accomplish this, we need to renew, recalibrate, respond.

Renew: See health and fitness differently each day. See it as a way to show thankfulness and praise. Recalibrate: Measure the day's events, working to make room for your responsibility of greater fitness. Respond: Commit. Get up and move, utilizing your God-given abilities and gifts to better serve him.

Do you see your health as merely a state of being? Or is your view out of balance -- more self-centered than God-centered? Maybe you're not training right now at all, and you easily excuse lack of activity against your busy schedule and responsibilities. And finally, perhaps you're simply ready to say, "Jesus, takeover my health. Renew my mind and help me respond each day with a commitment worthy of the gift of life you've given me."

Wherever you are in your health walk, remember, God formed us, gave us our bodies--how we take of them is our response.

--Jimmy Peña

FOOD TIP: Great Starts

People always talk about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It puts a halt to muscle-wasting, sets your blood sugar right, crushes food cravings and provides you energy for whatever the day holds in store for you. But what does a perfect breakfast look like?

>> Click here to find out!

What Do You Say?

"I thank you, Lord, with all my heart." --Psalm 138

Read: Psalm 138

Sitting in a waiting room recently, I filled out paperwork, answering questions, checking this box and that one. Circle where it hurts and on a scale from 1-10, rate this, gauge that. And just as I was about to turn in my clipboard, I watched a daughter taking care of her mother in a wheelchair. When a nurse brought the mother some juice, the daughter gently asked, "What do you say?" Then her elderly mom -- barely able to hold the bottle -- turned and weakly said to the nurse, "Thank you."

With a lump in my throat I thought to myself, "She knows how to say thank you. She's just thirsty." My heart broke on a couple of levels.

But the moment made me wonder if I know how to say thank you. Not sure about you, but I spend a lot of my time listing my life's aches and pains, inconveniences and delays. Much like that paperwork, my daily prayers often go straight to where it hurts, and what I need, and my worry and fear. Like you, I'm so grateful that in no particular order, I can go right to Him with all of it. But if I could, I'd erase my answers and start over. Rather than ask God to heal what hurts, I want to mention to Him the things that don't. I want to circle my blessings. And as I read my list, may I hear that gentle reminder, "What do you say?" And like that sweet women, I know how to say thank you.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: What are some ways you can thank the Lord for the blessings you have? If you could thank God right now, what would you list? You can share them with us if you'd like. I'm sure they'll be a blessing to others.

PROTEIN PLUS Is protein helping to decrease your blood pressure? Science says ‘yes’

In addition to the protein they consume from whole foods like chicken, beef and fish, many active individuals also choose to supplement their diets with protein powders. Doing so ensures more complete recovery from exercise, and works to blunt appetite and increase fat burning. And if you’re not using a protein powder to support your training, you may want to start.

>> Click here to figure out another crucial way protein is helping you keep healthy.

I'll Say, "No"

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." --Job 13:15

Read: Job 13

My wife is the runner in the family, so I typically don't read her magazine, but the cover blurb on her Runner's World caught my eye: "The Most Inspiring Runner You've Never Met." And I can tell you that if he's not, he's close. Hit by a car at the age of six, Bret Dunlap spent weeks in a coma. His first word when he woke up? "No." Seems he knew he had more life in him. And while he doesn't remember saying it, the 39 years after the accident simply prove that he meant it.

And while I won't give anything away, there was something his mom said to him that stuck with me. She said, "God never said anything about fair. He said you got a chance." This she said to a boy who suffered brain damage, paralysis, a colostomy, and who's face freezes, and who's mind forgets what he learns; just to name a few of his afflictions. But this she also said to boy who would teach himself several languages, give 12 gallons of blood over the years as a volunteer, play the piano left handed, hold the same job for over 18 years and eventually, run. Oh my friends, he may finish last, but he runs his race; one floppy foot over another. The rest of the story is miraculous, and sad, and gut-wrenching, and funny, and unbelievable and well, convicting.

Have you ever wallowed? Ever thought, "Why me?" or stomped your feet and said, "Not fair!" I know I have. I know I do. But it's stories like that of Bret that help give me perspective. And hope. And courage. And it's stories like that of Bret that always seem to remind me of grace and what Jesus did for me on the cross. Like our verse reminds us today, God's grace really is all I need and want, so whatever else I have in life is a gift. And when the enemy tries to convince me otherwise, when he tries to blind me to blessings, when he tries to discourage my personal calling, when he reminds me that my body is failing, I won't let it steal my joy. I'll just steal a line from Bret and say "No." What about you? What is your answer today?

--Jimmy Peña

Question: What are you doing to show the Lord and everyone around you how grateful you are for the gifts you been given? Is your life a statement that says, "Faith" or a question that wonders, "Why"?

It’s not just a tagline: Milk does do a body good. So do cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese. A new study showed that women who followed a regular exercise program on high-protein, high-dairy diets lost more total fat –- and more from their abdomen –- than those on adequate-protein, medium-dairy and adequate-protein, low-dairy diets.

>> For more detail on the study, click here.

Jimmy Peña's message of "Life is not about the body, but health is a means of praise" is being well-received by congregations around the country. His story-telling approach to how a healthy body can strengthen the body of Christ and inspire abundant living is a message you don't want to miss.

Bring Jimmy to your church this year! Contact us here: info@prayfit.com

The Body Forgives

"If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge that to my account." --Philemon 1:18

Read: Philemon 1 "Charge that to my account," Paul told his friend Philemon. In our reading today, Philemon had a slave who stole from him and ran away to Rome. When this slave met Paul, Paul showed him how to be saved. Then Paul wrote some amazing words to Philemon. He said that this man who was once "useless to you" is useful now. And upon the slave's return to Philemon, Paul wanted his slate clean; completely forgiven and welcomed home like a brother. From thief to saint, useless to useful.

Reading that story recently got me to thinking about how forgiving the body is. Imagine the rigors of the military or the pounding the body takes during sports; amazing how it recovers and bounces back. He sure knew what He was doing, amen? God knew all the situations we would get ourselves into, and He built us able.

You know what? The body forgives not only damage from effort, but damage from the lack of it. That's right. It doesn't take long for the body to respond to better choices of fitness or food. And when you consider that our health is only a tool -- a vessel to be useful in serving others -- an apologetic lifestyle may be the only response. To think, God nestled forgiveness deep within our bodies. Maybe as a picture of grace for us, maybe not. But aren't we glad that taking care of ourselves is only one way to thank the Lord for only seeing our hearts?

--Jimmy Peña

NUTRITION BASICS: Whey Protein

In your efforts to start living more healthfully, you may have paid a visit to your local supplement store. On the top of everyone's list for supplemental must-haves is whey protein, and for good reason -- it is crucial for muscle repair and recovery. But do you know how to make the most out of this wonder supp? Click here to learn!

>> For more tips like these, visit our new nutrition page by clicking here.

The Body Forgives

"If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge that to my account." --Philemon 1:18

Read: Philemon 1 "Charge that to my account," Paul told his friend Philemon. In our reading today, Philemon had a slave who stole from him and ran away to Rome. When this slave met Paul, Paul showed him how to be saved. Then Paul wrote some amazing words to Philemon. He said that this man who was once "useless to you" is useful now. And upon the slave's return to Philemon, Paul wanted his slate clean; completely forgiven and welcomed home like a brother. From thief to saint, useless to useful.

Reading that story recently got me to thinking about how forgiving the body is. Imagine the rigors of the military or the pounding the body takes during sports; amazing how it recovers and bounces back. He sure knew what He was doing, amen? God knew all the situations we would get ourselves into, and He built us able.

You know what? The body forgives not only damage from effort, but damage from the lack of it. That's right. It doesn't take long for the body to respond to better choices of fitness or food. And when you consider that our health is only a tool -- a vessel to be useful in serving others -- an apologetic lifestyle may be the only response. To think, God nestled forgiveness deep within our bodies. Maybe as a picture of grace for us, maybe not. But aren't we glad that taking care of ourselves is only one way to thank the Lord for only seeing our hearts?

--Jimmy Peña

NUTRITION BASICS: Whey Protein

In your efforts to start living more healthfully, you may have paid a visit to your local supplement store. On the top of everyone's list for supplemental must-haves is whey protein, and for good reason -- it is crucial for muscle repair and recovery. But do you know how to make the most out of this wonder supp? Click here to learn!

>> For more tips like these, visit our new nutrition page by clicking here.

A Thankful List

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." --1 Thessalonians 5:18

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5

Do you like lists? I love lists. My wife and I can be driving, and all I have to say to her is, "Give me your top three for dinner" and she knows I'm asking her to name me the three people she would love to have over for a meal. Without hesitation, Kate Winslet, Dr. Charles Stanley and Derek Jeter are scooting their chairs under our table. We've done things like that for years. And don't get me started about New Year's resolutions. We've saved every list of resolutions for 18 years. Not only that, we witness, sign and ratify them. (I wish I were kidding). What can I say? I love lists.

Do you have one? A list of things for which you're the most thankful this year? What better week than this to consider it. Could be a friend, or new job or maybe your health has improved. (That last one would make mine, FYI.) Take a minute to think of, or better yet, jot some things down. Use our comment section if you'd be so bold. What are you the most thankful for as you look back on this year? Give me your top three. And if you say Derek Jeter, I just might have you over for dinner.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. God has a list, and we're on it. You and I will be sitting at His table someday if we say yes. The invitation is open. It's up to us to accept it.

ASK THE NUTRITIONIST with Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD

[Q] I am looking to save calories where I can and I know that switching to lower-fat milk is an easy way to do that but I love whole milk! What's the best way to switch without going crazy?

[A] That's a great question. Milk is a great source of healthy protein and should be part of any healthy lifestyle but a lot of people do love the whole and find it hard to switch to lower-fat and therefore lower-calorie milk. If you have a hard time switching from higher-fat milk, try combining half of the higher-fat with half of the lower-fat, and gradually change the ratio so that the amount of lower-fat is increasing. This will help your taste buds to adjust and eventually, you will probably prefer the lower-fat! The same concept works for switching from regular to diet soda.

Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD is a registered dietitian and works at a Washington, D.C.-based independent, nonprofit science organization, where her work is currently focused on environmental and policy solutions to obesity prevention. She also speaks to groups about health and nutrition and provides nutrition education to patients at a free medical clinic that serves low-income, uninsured adults in the D.C. area. You can view more of Emily’s nutrition tips and updates by following her on Twitter, @EmilyAMillerRD.

Move With Your Life

"For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." --James 2:26

Read: James 2

How many times have we asked God to move in our lives? I wonder if it even comes close to the number of times He's asked us to move "with" our lives. Follow me through the day: The homeless beggar outside the supermarket. The lonely neighbor who will be alone again on Thanksgiving. The teacher everybody gossips about. How many times a day does God ask us to move with our lives?

Same goes with our bodies. You may find yourself asking the Lord for the strength to stick with better food choices or for motivation to begin an exercise plan. But friends, if you know Him, He's made His move. The real question is whether the miracle He's done in your heart has reached your feet.

--Jimmy Peña

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Mango-Almond Muesli

Protein for muscle repair and upkeep. Slow-digesting carbs for fuel. Cinnamon to regulate blood sugar levels. Calcium for bone health. Add a potent dose of Vitamin C and this shapes up to be pretty close to perfection when it comes to snack foods. This eight-serving recipe stores well and is ideal for a grab-and-go breakfast or a high-protein snack.

Ingredients: 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats 1 cup plain non-fat yogurt ½ cup chopped mango 12 almonds, chopped ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl or food storage container. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into 8 equal squares.

Nutrition Facts: 374 calories, 55g carbohydrate, 21g protein, 9g fat (1g saturated), 192mg sodium, 5mg cholesterol, 6g fiber. Also an excellent source of calcium and Vitamin C.

Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD is a registered dietitian and works at a Washington, D.C.-based independent, nonprofit science organization, where her work is currently focused on environmental and policy solutions to obesity prevention. She also speaks to groups about health and nutrition and provides nutrition education to patients at a free medical clinic that serves low-income, uninsured adults in the D.C. area. You can view more of Emily’s nutrition tips and updates by following her on Twitter, @EmilyAMillerRD.

I Am One Of Them

In the third century, St. Cyprian wrote to a friend named Donatus: "This seems a cheerful world, Donatus, when I view it from this fair garden under the shadow of these vines. But if I climbed some great mountain and looked out over the wide lands, you know very well what I would see; brigands on the high road, pirates on the seas, in the amphitheaters men murdered to please the applauding crowds, under all roofs misery and selfishness. It really is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. Yet, in the midst of it, I have found a quiet and holy people. They have discovered a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of this sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are the Christians...and I am one of them."

I paste that quote because the subject of being quiet and holy has been on my mind lately; quiet as it pertains to humility of health as well as service. In reading the books of Thessalonians and James this week, I've noticed some common themes, a few of which we're going to dive into next week. But make no mistake, our health can have an eternal impact. Not in the way it looks, but in how we use it to serve others. Paul urges us to "lead a quiet life, and to work with your own hands," while James says, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

Folks, we are in this place right now to put this body to use for God's kingdom. If we make too much of its reflection, we're vain. If we sit idle and don't put it to work, we waste it. But in a time where health is disregarded as a means of praise, there is a quiet and holy people. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians, and I am one of them.

--Jimmy Peña

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Green Herb Hummus

Ten minutes to tasty with this fresh, fiber- and protein-rich recipe from PrayFit contributing dietitian Dana Angelo White.

>> RECIPE - VIDEO

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. You can also visit her blog for more recipes at

http://www.foodnetwork.com/green-herb-hummus/video/index.html

Work Backwards

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you." --Matthew 6:33

Read: Matthew 6

Losing stuff is easy. It's finding it again that takes a little work. But what do we do? We work backwards. Be it car keys, a book, maybe a wallet -- we mentally retrace our steps until...ahh, the lost is found.

You know, I think that's the way God intended us to live. He said to Seek first His Kingdom, because He wants us to secure our future so we can sing "Blessed Assurance" for a reason. When you look at it that way, you and I are just working backwards. After all, why would He ensure our final step, only for us to be unsure of our next one?

So if you're facing tough times, do just that: work backwards. Misplaced your courage? Lost your will for a healthy life? Well, you'll find what you've lost and what you're looking for, so long as you retrace His steps: The view of the cross changes everything.

--Jimmy Peña

THE SECRET LIFE OF PROTEIN

Almost universally, higher-protein diets are associated with greater muscle mass. While it's true that hard-training individuals should consume more protein to maximize muscle recovery and growth, protein also helps you to stay lean. A recent study published by the American Society of Nutrition showed that dietary protein stimulated thermogenesis (fat-burning) and promoted satiety more than high carbohydrate meals. While casein and soy protein were found to be more filling, fat-burning was higher after consuming whey.

Researchers at Skidmore College also found that when subjects followed a high-protein diet for eight weeks they lost significantly more body fat, particularly abdominal fat, than those following a low-carb/high-fat diet.

Minimum recommended daily allowances for children range between 16-28 grams per day. Healthy male adults should aim for 45-63 grams per day, while females should strive for 46-50 grams. Pregnant? You may need 60 grams per day for your growing baby. Protein requirements vary, of course. If you workout regularly or at higher intensities, you may need more protein -- up to 1-1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight per day -- to help rebuild muscle and keep your lean body mass in healthy ranges.

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Nice To Meet You: Part 1

Driving home today, I decided to take a familiar route. This is a picture of the old Muscle & Fitness Magazine Headquarters. With it's palatial interior and athletes carved out of the walls along the rooftop facade, this building holds special memories for us. First of all, it's the reason my wife and I moved to Los Angeles when I took over the magazine's Fitness Director position in 2005; or so we thought it was the reason.

Days into my tenure, I happened to notice there was just something about one of my co-workers, far beyond his unbelievable writing skills and sense of humor. I knew he was smart -- smarter than me for sure. But something more. I remember the conversation. "You're a Christian," I said. And indeed he was. The weeks, months, and years serving readers together was an experience I'll cherish for a lifetime.

One late evening as we were both writing and editing fitness and nutrition content for our readers, I approached him and said, "Hey man, you got a second? I have an idea," And as he left my office, I think the last thing I said to him was, "I think I want to call it 'PrayFit.'" And the blessing of a best-selling book and DVD, a thriving website and an amazing future are byproducts of what we now know is the reason we moved to L.A. -- to meet Eric. And I'm glad you have, too.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. As we continue to serve, I know I speak for Eric when I say how thankful we are for the book's co-authors, Dr. Jim Stoppani and Jimmy Page, as well as our contributing nutritionist Dana White and our online contributing writers (and selfless crusaders) Allison EarnstCatrina Vargas-Cormell, and Emily Ann Miller MPH, RD. And mostly, we want to thank you, the faithful reader. Nice to meet you.

>> ABOUT US: Click here to learn more about the genesis of PrayFit. >> TEAM PRAYFIT: Get to know the faces (and stories) behind the daily entries here.

THE "OTHER" PROTEIN Why you should have casein in your cabinet in addition to whey

So much is made over the post-workout whey protein shake and its impact on muscle recovery. But there are other times of the day when protein consumption can payoff in a big way. New research published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that a casein shake consumed 30 minutes before bed immediately elevated (then sustained) circulating amino acid levels, increased whole-body protein synthesis and improved net protein balance. In other words, this “second tier” protein kept up muscle repair all night long. Since it clumps in the stomach, casein is absorbed by the digestive system at a much slower rate than whey, providing a steady trickle of muscle building blocks while you sleep.

About half hour before you snooze, try drinking 20-40 grams of casein mixed in water. Since it is thicker than whey, figure on adding a bit more water to achieve your desired consistency.

Waving Over Walls

"The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call on Him in truth." --Psalm 145:18

Read: Psalm 145

As a young boy, watching my dad leave for work was more than a habit or tradition -- it was a son's ritual. We'd say bye to him at the door, then I'd run to my room and watch for him from my window. I remember we had a big rock wall, over which I could barely see the top of his truck. As he drove down the street he'd wave goodbye out his window and I'd be waving from mine. And all was right with my world.

But boy oh boy, if I happened to miss his truck, you'd think the sky had fallen. I still remember the anxiety. "Did I miss him? Did I look down or turn away? As much as I wanted to watch him wave, I needed him to know I was there waving back. And if I thought he didn't see me,  I was a mess. Mom would get me on the phone with Dad once he got to work, and he'd calm me down. He'd assure me that he sees me waving, even if I can't see him.

I don't know when I grew out of that, but I didn't outgrow the need to see my dad.

God, we're at the window. We've run here to watch you go to work in our world. We're on our tiptoes, and our little eyes are looking for you over the walls of fear and doubt that we ourselves have built. But even if we look down or turn away, you're there. Lord we need you so much. You see us waving, even if we can't always see you.

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYER REQUESTS? God sees you and me in our physical struggles. Whether if it's to lose weight or if we're suffering from a chronic condition with no end in sight, He sees us. So keep waving at Him. And if we can be praying specifically for you, please let us know in the comment section. If not specifically, simply write "Unspoken Request" and we promise to pray.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: EZEKIEL STYLE Below is a recipe with one of our favorite healthy carb choices: Ezekiel bread. Great as a pre-workout food, Ezekiel bread will stay in your system longer, allowing you to get a lot of good energy from it. Ezekiel bread takes grains and legumes, mixing them together and making bread that contains no flour but is instead a mix of organic sprouted whole grains like wheat, millet, spelt and barley and legumes like lentils and soybeans. This makes the bread not only a source of very low GI carbs, but also a good source of complete protein.

Cinnamon-Apple Peanut Butter Toast 1 slice Ezekiel bread, toasted 2 tsp natural peanut butter 4 pieces thinly sliced apple Pinch ground cinnamon Spread peanut butter on toast, top with apple and cinnamon.

Calories: 159 | Protein: 6 grams | Carbohydrates: 19 grams | Fat: 6 grams

Alternative Recipe: Replace peanut butter with 2 Tbsp of low-fat cottage cheese.

 Calories: 109 | Protein: 8 grams | Carbohydrates: 18 grams | Fat: 1 gram

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Shepherds In Suits: Part I

"And even the very hairs on your head are numbered." --Matthew 10:30

Read: Matthew 10

Back in 2009, I wrote about a small group of soldiers-turned-bodyguards. Once brave on the battlefield for our country, these men now stand in the gap between danger and their client, with no regard for self. On watch and on guard, for the sake of their call.

As it so happens, I was asked to advise their client with training and nutrition as he prepared for a movie, so I had a rare, bird's eye view of their excellence.  And what I witnessed was nothing short of perfection. Selfless, stealthy. Shepherds in suits. I say shepherds because shepherds are fierce protectors; they can handle themselves, no problem. And yet shepherds are as caring for their sheep as nurses with newborns. And because I stayed close to the client, I shared his shield. I was safe, not because of who I was, but because of who he was. One call from the client, and you got the calvary.

So I suppose it's no wonder the bible refers to Jesus as the Great Shepherd. He watches over us night and day, and would go through hell to keep us safe. As a matter of fact, He did.

One call to Him? Calvary.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: How does knowing Jesus watches us so closely help you strive for better health or achieve modesty in how your portray yourself? Does it make a difference?

EGGS & CHOLESTEROL Are eggs bad for you? Hardly. Researchers have found that subjects who ate three whole eggs per day gained twice as much muscle in 12 weeks as those who only had one egg per day and that those who ate eggs at breakfast stayed fuller longer. And despite long-held beliefs, eggs really pose no danger to your heart when part of a balanced diet.

>> To read about how eggs affect cholesterol, click here. EGG FACTS: One whole egg contains 72 calories, 6 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrate and 5 grams of fat. But don’t worry — about 80% of that fat is monounsaturated and saturated fat, which actually aids in the muscle-building process.

Devotion Costs

"Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her." --Luke 10:41-42

Read: Luke 10

When I was 19 years old, my college buddies and I would base the week's success on how well we did in the squat rack. "Leg Day" was the focal point of our week, around which everything else rotated. Well one day, someone among us -- someone bigger and stronger -- put leg day on Sunday.

I'll never forget the feeling I had in our campus cafeteria. I sat there drenched in my old sweatshirt with traces of chalk from the gym still on my hands, when a group of students fresh from church joined us at our table. Having spent practically every Sunday in church since the 8th grade, I knew something was "off" for me. My legs might have been growing, but my heart wasn't. I determined at that point that if I didn't get my training done in six days, it wouldn't get done in seven. I couldn't help it. Someone bigger and stronger had set my schedule. And for the rest of my college days and for 20 years since, I haven't trained on Sunday.

Friends, I'm not suggesting you never train on Sundays, but I am saying to make sure that you rest. Renew your mind, your heart and your body. Let all three heal, repair and grow. It might mean a sacrifice. It might mean surrendering the dearest things in life. But He's honored by what we're willing to lay down.

--Jimmy Peña

RECOVERY, RELOADED Protein blend best for post-workout repair, study says

If you're not having some protein immediately post-workout, you should be. Providing your body with an influx of amino acids right after training helps you to optimally rebuild muscle to come back stronger for your next session. And while fast-digesting whey protein gets most of the attention, casein and soy are an important part of the recovery process.

Jim Stoppani, PhD, co-author of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Stronger Faith and Healthy Body in 28 Days" has long advocated a blend of the these three proteins post-workout and a new study is lending credence to that position.

At the Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego this week, Blake Rasmussen, PhD, of the University of Texas Medical Branch, presented findings that show a blend of protein sources — 50 percent casein, 25 percent whey, 25 percent soy — was superior to whey alone for prolonging muscle building and recovery after exercise.

“Whey protein has been given considerable notice as the gold standard ingredient after exercise to enhance muscle growth,” Rasmussen said. “The main problem with whey is it’s fast digesting—the anabolic response in muscle is only about an hour. We wanted to prolong the anabolic response with other protein sources. We found muscle protein synthesis is elevated for a longer amount of time with a protein blend versus whey protein.”

>> For the full story, click here.

A Dangerous Prayer

"Why did we ever leave Egypt?" --Numbers 11:20

Read: Numbers 11

Did you catch it? They actually missed prison. Not long after the Israelites met freedom, they actually longed for captivity. Behind bars they had no choices. As inmates, they had no responsibility. Even though they were trapped, they were warm, cozy, and full. Their prayer for freedom was a dangerous one. Nothing a generation in the desert couldn't answer.

What about us? When was the last time you and I prayed dangerously? About finances, a relationship...our health? See, once they were set free, the Israelites faced the need for obedience and responsibility; so do we. Folks, our bodies are merely tools, not finished products. Better fitness simply means better equipped. It's tough to visit the poor from the couch, and it's impossible to see the hurting in our own mirror. But we're warm, cozy, and full (even if of ourselves). (Note: this should speak to both the fit and the not-so-fit.)

If God allows us the opportunity for better health, what will we do with it? Will we sit? Focus on ourselves? Will we allow a generation to wander before we see health as a means of praise? If so, why did we ever leave Egypt?

--Jimmy Peña

STUDY: HIGHER PROTEIN DIETS BETTER FOR BODY COMPOSITION

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who consistently consume more calories than they burn each day will lose lean muscle and accumulate body fat more easily if their diets contain too little protein and too much fat and carbohydrates.

The results of the study suggest that the minimum protein intake federal health officials currently recommend -- 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams per day for men -- may not be enough to maintain muscle mass in some people. The study participants needed to consume at least 78 grams of protein per day to avoid losing muscle.

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

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