Chocolate Fitness Project

The theme for this month is “pierce my heart to give.” And I really had to ask myself what health and fitness had to do with giving. But I finally came up with an answer: time. All of you have heard of projects such as Habitat for Humanity and Big Brother/Big Sister, or their equivalents.

Spiritual Benefits

Being a Christian is more that going to church every week; it’s about living in a world of darkness but standing against it. I am not sure whether you have heard of this saying or not: we are to live in the world but not be part of it. It is a saying that I hear very often. Here is a verse that states this principle:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14–16).

Both the projects that I have mentioned above are ways of letting your light shine. You show your compassion and love for the world to the world. By doing something like this, you are letting your light shine, and sometimes that is enough to make someone curious. This is also an opportunity to lead someone to Christ.

Physical Benefits

Let’s move on to the physical part: EXERCISE. By participating in projects such as Habitat for Humanity, you are not only interacting with people, you are working––and while it may be fun, guess what it still is–– EXERCISE! And you thought that you were getting away without doing any. Have fun (with exercise) and show your light to the world at the same time. It also doesn’t have to be a big project like Habitat for Humanity––it could be as simple as helping clean the house or doing dishes for Mom or Dad (or someone else). I think this song by William M. Golden shows how we are to live:

1. Each day I’ll do a golden deed
By helping those who are in need;
My life on earth is but a span,
And so I’ll do the best I can.

Life’s evening sun is sinking low,
A few more days and I must go
To meet the deeds that I have done,
Where there will be no setting sun.

2. To be a child of God each day,
My light must shine along the way;
I’ll sing His praise while ages roll
And strive to help some troubled soul.


3. The only life that will endure,
Is one that’s kind and good and pure;
And so for God I’ll take my stand,
Each day I’ll lend a helping hand.


4. I’ll help someone in time of need,
And journey on with rapid speed;
I’ll help the sick and poor and weak,
And words of kindness to them speak.


5. While going down life’s weary road
I’ll try to lift some trav’ler’s load;
I’ll try to turn the night to day,
Make flowers bloom along the way.


Food of the Month: Chocolate (who knew?)

Chocolate is one of those things we don’t think of as having health benefits––I’m here to show you differently. Chocolate has many of the same benefits as dark vegetables (remember those?). DARK chocolate has been shown to have two heart-health benefits: it lowers blood pressure and it lowers cholesterol. Also:

It tastes good
It stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
It contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
It contains theobromine, or caffeine (mmmm, being in college, caffeine is what I practically live off of) and other substances which are stimulants

Here are some chocolate tips provided courtesy of Nutrition

Chocolate Tip 1 – Balance the Calories. Chocolate is high calorie! So cut some other sweets out of your diet to balance the calories, and remember you only need ~3.5 grams to get the benefits!

Chocolate Tip 2 – Taste the Chocolate. Take your time––enjoy it and let it melt in your mouth. It’s much more satisfying than eating it in two bites.

Chocolate Tip 3 – Go for Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants than milk chocolate or white chocolate. These other two chocolates cannot make any health claims. Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content.

Chocolate Tip 4 – Skip the Nougat. Avoid anything with caramel, nougat (think Snickers), or other fillings. These fillings are just adding sugar and fat, which erase many of the benefits you get from eating the chocolate.

Chocolate Tip 5 – Avoid Milk. It may taste good but some research shows that washing your chocolate down with a glass of milk could prevent the antioxidants from being absorbed or used by your body.

By Megan Skinner

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