But protein is a funny thing. There are "complete" proteins, and there are "incomplete" proteins. When a protein isn't complete (and thereby more nutritious really), it needs other vitamins, etc. to help the body absorb it, and complete it.
In the case of nuts and their proteins, vitamin C is the thing that helps them be complete and easier for the body to absorb. Because of this, a handful of almonds and a cup of orange juice is a GREAT snack. You can pick your nut really and your 100% juice variety. The cream of the crop though is the almond and orange juice.
A while back I wanted to lose some weight and even though I started exercising 4 or 5 times a week, I really didn't change my diet. At all. I lost 3 pounds in five weeks. While every little bit helps, my results were not terribly impressive.
Fast forward a year to when that workout plan had long since been forgotten. I was ready to attack that weight loss monster again, but this time had no energy for exercise. I did alter my diet though and lost about two pounds in a week. That wasn't too bad, but I knew it could have been better.
So the following week I worked out AND watched what I ate.
I lost ~ count em! ~ SIX pounds.
Needless to say it was a boost to what I was trying to accomplish, but it was also a great lesson. Just like nuts are good on their own and juice is good on it's own, and eating well on it's own is good and exercise on it's own is good, combining these two things respectively produce greater results than any one thing could ever accomplish on its own.
Now lets switch gears a minute, keeping in mind the increased goodness combining both nuts and juice and then diet and exercise brings.
Spiritually speaking, there is great strength to be found in having regular prayer. We are encouraged to pray "in [our] closets, and [our] secret places, and in [our] wilderness." (Alma 34:26). Starting our day with prayer and ending it that way means we are most likely better in tune with what the Lord needs us to accomplish that day. There is great strength in making prayer a regular part of each day.
Scripture study is also something that brings great spiritual strength. The sweet and simple truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is found within the pages of the scriptures. They truly are the word of God.
These two things on their own provide great spiritual nourishment. But just like the examples of the nuts and juice and then diet and exercise, there is SO much more power to be given and strength to be gained when we combine the two, prayer AND scripture study, together.
In some ways, this seems like a no-brainer. If you're doing one, you are probably doing the other. But someone I look up to recently mentioned how they'd make a small change in their morning routine to have their prayer BEFORE they read their scriptures, and what a difference that made.
She is right!
The chance to call down the power of heaven to open the scriptures to us, to help us better understand the principles of the gospel, is found in prayer. It is a gift that is ours for the taking, but the Lord won't just hand it out ~ we have to ask. But if we do ask, he will deliver.
In my own life, just like with learning about the benefits of "completing" my proteins, and coupling diet AND exercise, I know that combining prayer and scripture study brings great strength and peace and direction. Doing both means the Lord can better help us in our struggles, direct our decisions and organize our priorities.
How grateful I am for the gifts of prayer and scripture study!