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Through His Strength, By Improving Ours: Family

Through His Strength, By Improving Ours: Family

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Through His Strength, By Improving Ours: Family

185 pagine
2 ore
Feb 5, 2021


Coming up with creative ways to incorporate consistent exercise and sound nutrition habits into your family's lifestyle behaviors can be enough to send any parent into a proverbial downward spiral. Parents – y'all got it rough right now! The amount of information available in the world of exercise and nutrition makes it hard to tell what is correct. Even more than that - being a Christian – attempting to figure out what God says about exercise and nutrition lifestyle behaviors is mind-boggling. But I am cooking up some good news!


"Through His Strength, By Improving Ours: Family" is a faith-based book that will ignite a fire under your family's backside to make long-lasting lifestyle changes in nutrition and exercise. After all, through God's strength – oh, and this book - you can do just about anything, including improving your health! In this process:

  • In about 30 minutes, you will read about nutrition and exercise in easy-to-read chapters that combine scripture and science,
  • You will teach your children about what you learned through discussion questions suitable for all ages, and
  • Together, your family will complete fun, hands-on, and engaging practical applications in the comfort of your home.
Feb 5, 2021

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Through His Strength, By Improving Ours - Brittany Allman

Through His Strength, By Improving Ours: Family

Dr. Brittany R. Allman

Copyright © 2021


The publisher and author will not and does not take any responsibility of content for any third-party website.

Copyright © 2021 Dr. Brittany R. Allman

All Rights Reserved

This book may not be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed as in part or in its entirety in any type of format such as print or electronic format without the sole and written permission of the author and publisher.

This book was created and printed in the United States of America.


This study offers fitness and nutrition information, and it is exclusively for educational purposes. Information in this Bible study should be used to supplement, and not replace, any professional medical advice provided to you by your doctor. Please consult your physician or healthcare professional prior to taking on any exercise or nutritional changes to ensure that it is appropriate for you and your family’s needs. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should consult with your physician or healthcare professional. Stop exercising immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: faintness, dizziness, pain, or shortness of breath. Do not disregard, avoid, or delay getting medical treatment from your physician or healthcare professional because of something that you read in this guide.

Meet the Author

Dr. Brittany R. Allman is a passionate lover of Jesus, an exercise physiology and nutrition researcher, and a fitness and nutrition coach. Her main mission in life is to combine her love for Jesus, health, and learning in a fun way so that she can help people better serve God by improving the health of their bodily temple.

Brittany is a certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM EP-C), a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA CSCS), and a Certified Sports Nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN CISSN). She has been a group fitness instructor, a personal trainer, and a nutritional consultant for more than eleven years. Currently she coaches at OrangeTheory Fitness and teaches yoga.

Academically, Brittany has published several research articles in peer-reviewed journals, spanning topics of metabolism, exercise, nutrition, dietary supplements, and obesity in various populations. She has also co-authored a textbook chapter discussing the benefits of dietary protein throughout the lifecycle, and secured internal grant funding to support a project on the metabolic benefits of exercise during pregnancy. Check out Brittany’s published work here.

Currently, Brittany works as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center (ACNC) and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Department of Pediatrics. Her research focuses on the metabolic passing of obesity from one generation to the next, and how exercise and optimal nutrition can prevent this passing.

Brittany has two pups—Reginald (a.k.a. Reggie) and Truffles (a.k.a. Truffle Butta) and enjoys cooking and any physical activity that she can get her hands on.

Note from Brittany

To make any change in my life, I trust in only two things: God and research. And— of course— as the perfect, Bible-reading-every-day, fasting, Gospel-shouting Christian that you are, you ask, Uh. Research? Really?. And I would confidently say, YES! with zero hesitation, the Bible in my right hand and a research manuscript in my left.

I honestly believe that making any decision without both God and research in mind can be reckless. You do yourself a disservice if you make any decision about your health— or your family’s health— with one and not the other. First, if you trust only God, lackadaisically throwing in the white towel with every decision you make, and do not conduct your own research, you are failing to use one of the most amazing gifts that God has given you—free will. Second, if you trust only the research, fervently and consistently questioning the original gangsta, God, you are putting yourself and/or idols smack-dab in the center of your universe, where God should be. Either option will lead you to fail when attempting behavioral change such as making healthier decisions for your family.

Now, I say all of this with confidence because I am a researcher by trade, but a Jesus lover by nature and heart. Being a researcher with deep faith is tantamount to a body builder doing cardio— they just do not go together. It’s all about the gains, bro. Because as a researcher, you rely 100% on the numbers; you must see the result to believe the result (1 + 1 = 2). But as a believer, you rely 100% on something that you have never seen or heard; you do not have to see anything to believe in its power (1 + 1 = ...God?).

The research and faith combination makes this Bible study unique because there is power in providing not only Biblical context from scripture, but science application from published research. With the goal being that, when you have to make some of the biggest decisions for the health of your family, you have all the raw materials that you will need.

Jesus + science = ain’t no way you will fail.

Table of Contents

Questions before You Begin  

Chapter 1: Family Matters

Chapter 2: Current State of Your Family

Chapter 3: Nutrition Basics

Chapter 4: Physical Activity and Exercise Basics

Chapter 5: Okay – Now What? How Do We Get Started Together?

Chapter 6: It’s uh-Rainin’ Carbs, Hallelujah

Chapter 7: All the Protein

Chapter 8: Don’t Fear the Fat

Chapter 9: You Can Sub with This, or You Can Sub with That

Chapter 10: Take ‘Em Out to the Ball Game

Chapter 11: Getting’ that Ticker Right

Chapter 12: Do Your Even Lift?

Chapter 13: Namaste in this Stretch

Chapter 14: It’s a Wrap!

Question before You Begin and When You Finish

Take a night this week to get your family together and compile some Baseline Data (left column) that will be your gauge as you work through this book. A PDF version can be found at under the Books tab. After you and your family complete the book together, collect the same data and place it in the Post Data column on the right so you can see how far you’ve come! Add more family members, if needed.

Note: Waist and hip circumference can be measured with an apparel tape measure or a piece of string (then place it up against a ruler). Measure the waist at the level of the belly button and the hips at the widest part of the buttocks.

1 - Family Matters

The programming of your behaviors by the people around you is a real thing. Tons of science digs deep into how the people closest to you can affect your physiology, psychology, mental and emotional states, and so much more. You can think about the way with which other people have the ability to program your behaviors in the same way that a computer programmer creates a set of instructions telling a computer how to perform a task. The computer programmer had the knowledge and foresight to write code that then directly influenced how the computer functioned. In that same way, the people around you have a direct effect on your behaviors.

For instance, my favorite ice cream in the entire world is chocolate chip cookie dough, and I never knew why, except for the fact that it was delicious. One night while I was sharing a bowl of ice cream with my dad, he told me the funniest story. He said when my mom was pregnant with me—like full term pregnant and not just a she might have eaten too much pizza bump—she was home alone and decided she was going to have some chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. So, she did— in her own way.

When my dad came home later that night, he got a spoon and pulled the tub of ice cream from the freezer. After about two minutes of digging, he said there were... literally... no... cookie... dough... pieces. He brought the evidence to my mom and quickly came to find out that this was not, in fact, a manufacturer error. This was my mom’s calculated thawing of the ice cream and strategic picking out of the cookie dough to feed her growing baby daughter—not her, of course. My mom programmed my love for cookie dough ice cream.

This may be a silly and non-scientifically-backed example, but in the research world, as we will see in the next chapters, what mom does when she is pregnant has a direct influence on just about all characteristics of her baby. The reason this occurs is that they share a direct bond—they exchange nutrients, hormones, and fluids back-and-forth. In the same way that the baby can be influenced by the direct bond with mom, any other people that you are connected to, even though you aren’t physically connected by bodily tissues, can be influenced by the behaviors you display.


After a hearty chuckle thinking about my Dad’s story, the more I thought about it and the more I mulled over the science, I realized everything that I do now I learned from the people closest to me when I was a kid. I learned the importance of hard work from my Dad. For example, at some point during my adolescent years, he made me sign a contract on a yellow memo pad that stated:

I will play at least one instrument at all times

I will play at least one sport at all times

I will get straight As

I will practice my sports and instruments at least 30 minutes per day each

He still has the chicken-scratched signed copy. And, not to fluff my ego, but 50% of the time, I was successful all the time. In addition to learning hard work from my Dad, I learned kindness, hospitality, and compassion from my Mom, Sheila. Sheila had, and still has, a knack for inviting the entire neighborhood to our house for holiday parties— we would all be stuffed in the house like a can of sardines in the freezer. I always say that, on my wedding day—y’all better start praying now—I could wear a brown paper bag and she would say that I am the most beautiful bride in the world.

This list of things that I have learned from my family also includes healthy behaviors. I learned the importance of fitness from my Dad. We practiced sports together, and we didn’t come inside until the streetlights came on. He had me in three sports per year, one per season. My Dad also taught me the importance of mental, emotional, and spiritual health. He was a straight-up hippie—he still smells like patchouli oil, like by this point it’s probably in his blood—he valued the concept of taking breaks when needed, and constantly involved me in church, catechism, Bible school, community service, etc. I learned the importance of healthy eating from my Mom. Sheila cooked well-rounded meals every night, which included Hamburger Helper 50% of the time. No judgement zone! We were on a budget! And we always sat down for dinner as a family. We could only have a healthy snack before bed, which normally consisted of an apple with peanut butter or grapes— favs!

By now, you’re probably sitting there thinking of ways that you were programmed by the people around you or the ways that you are the driver of the programming. The crazy thing is, the things that can be programmed aren’t just restricted to behaviors. Like I mentioned above, mom and baby share a direct bond, and therefore, during pregnancy—in science, we call this phase in utero—many things are shared between mom and baby. The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis states that environmental influences, nutrition and exercise for example, during pregnancy and in early life can directly affect the health and risk of disease in offspring later in life. Further, these changes occur because genes (the things that are made of DNA and write your genetics) and gene expression (how your genes are written) are directly affected. That means that if mom smokes, or does drugs, or eats very large amounts of food and sugar, the baby is not only exposed to those things, but the baby’s genetic code can be altered—putting them at risk for disease. Further, if mom is not practicing healthy behaviors like relaxation, healthy eating, and being physically active during pregnancy, she is potentially depriving her baby of a whole slew of beneficial hormones and nutrients, and therefore also potentially missing out on improving the way with which the baby’s genes are written.

I also want to point out that three generations of family are directly affected by how Grandmom treats her body when she is pregnant. Yes, three generations! Grandmom, Mom, and Grandbaby. For instance, in the figure below, you see a pregnant woman. We will call her Grandmom. She is pregnant with a growing fetus that we will call Mom. So, you would think it’s a no-brainer: what Grandmom does impacts Mom. But what’s super interesting is that when Mom is a growing fetus, she is developing all of

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