The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life (Anglais) Relié – 3 décembre 2013
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Who knew, for example, that MSG, which many people avoid on general principle, could masquerade under so many different names and products? And who would have guessed that stevia, the “natural” artificial sweetener, actually may come in a processed form that renders it “bad”? What teenager or parent would likely know that “One can of soda a day increases a kid’s risk of obesity by 60 percent and women’s chance of getting diabetes by more than 80 percent”? Or that “One pound of factory-farmed meat requires 2,000 gallons of water and produces 53 times as much greenhouse gases as a pound of vegetables”?
Those statistics are not the main thrust of The Daniel Plan, however. They’re educational background, making readers want to change their ways of living to a healthier style. Nor is this book primarily about dieting to lose weight. It’s about wellness--eating right and living right to feel good. The weight loss is a side effect, caused by proper diet, exercise, and good thought patterns.
“The Daniel Plan” has five main emphases: faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends. Group support by friends and family is very important to achieving success. So is having a good mental attitude--and the authors will tell you how to achieve that. (Even such simple mind-habits as gratitude play a big role in overall fitness, they say.)
I highly recommend this book, and I look forward to trying it out as a way of life.
Faith - "If you don't trust God to help you get healthy, all you are left with is willpower--and you know from experience that willpower doesn't usually last very long. You get tired of doing what's right and you give up."
Food - "Food has the power to heal us. It is the most potent tool we have to help prevent and treat many of our chronic diseases--including diabetes and obesity. Truly, what you put on your fork dictates whether you are sick or well, slim or fat, depleted or energized."
Fitness - "[H]e walked her through these steps that make fitness doable in The Daniel Plan: dreaming big, discovering what moves you, setting and recording goals, mixing it up, and finding a buddy."
Focus - "[I]t is the loss of focus that causes may people to cycle through hopeful starts and many failed stops as other things vie for their attention. We will help you optimize your brain health, renew your mind, increase your focus, and live with a purpose-driven mind-set. All of the information in this book is designed to help you win the war between the thoughtful part of your brain that knows what you should do and your pleasure centers that always want gratification now."
Friends - "When you have friends to go with you on the journey toward better health, you are more likely to succeed. Life change happens in small groups."
I had heard much about The Daniel Plan, but this is the first time I've looked into it in any depth. In fact, a friend had mentioned it just a day or two before I saw it on the list of books available for review. That's why I decided to go for it.
I was a bit disappointed to see that the first endorsement on the back cover is from Dr. Mehmet Oz. I'll say that I'm not a fan and leave it at that.
Still, I was hopeful as I started reading. This is what I wrote to a friend about two weeks ago, when I'd read about a third of the book:
I've been reading The Daniel Plan, and I think I like the plan better than the book itself. I keep getting annoyed at the writers for a condescending tone, a reliance on the same handful of familiar Bible verses over and over, an emphasis on saving the environment through what we eat, and the assumption that we can get locally sourced foods all year. (Sure, Rick Warren lives in California. Most of us don't.) Other than that, I'm loving the book. :)
Those annoyances seemed to fade as the book progressed. By the end of the book I had mixed opinions about it.
I completely agree with the Faith essential. I've tried to diet and have had no long-term success. I believe that by trusting God instead of my own willpower, I would do much better.
I like the concepts mentioned in the above quote about Food. Some aspects of the plan make sense--things like filling your plate with 50% non-starchy vegetables, 25% whole grains or starchy vegetables, and 25% lean proteins. Keeping healthy snacks on hand so we don't reach for junk food makes sense. Don't drink liquid sugar calories: that's logical. Giving up artificial sweeteners, which confuse our brains and make us crave sweets, sounds like a good strategy.
However, I thought that the black-and-white rules about what to avoid, especially, were extreme. "Cut out sugar and white flour. Go cold turkey." No oils except extra-virgin olive oil, extra-virgin coconut oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, and sesame oil (for flavoring). In my opinion, these absolute rules and lists of "bad foods" and "good foods" tend to make us feel guilty when we fail.
The diet plan is very specific, particularly in the Detox phase. Menu plans for three meals and two snacks per day are spelled out, and they include foods that my family would never touch: chia coconut brown rice breakfast bowl, quinoa breakfast bake, shrimp curry with snap peas and water chestnuts. The Core meal plan is a little better and it offers options to swap out meals and snacks. Still, it's pretty specific, and I seriously, seriously doubt that my family would be on board with this.
The Fitness essential, on the other hand, I like. The plan offers options for fun exercises, like dancing, hula hooping, pogo stick, table tennis, tag, unicycling ... you get the idea. It also meets you where you are: someone new to exercise isn't expected to start with a 20-minute run. It combines aerobic, stretching, and strength exercises. I would adopt this part of the plan even if I didn't use the rest.
The chapters on Focus address three strategies--brain envy (you have to passionately care about your brain), avoiding anything that hurts it, and engaging in habits that boost its health. Specifics include getting enough sleep, reducing stress, praying, and laughing more. The section also talks about failure and how to turn it into a learning experience. I liked this quote: "Failure can also be motivational. A lot of times we change, not when we see the light, but when we feel the heat."
I can't argue with the Friends essential. Have an exercise buddy and a friend (or friends) to keep you accountable. I can see myself in a support group to talk about progress and strategies, but I don't think I could say, "I weigh xxx pounds."
So ... I know this is long, but I hope I've given you enough information to make your own decision about The Daniel Plan.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions I've shared are my own.
Once I began the journey of eating (and living) according to The Daniel Plan, my entire health life changed. I had suffered from depression and anxiety my entire adult life and had been taking two anti-depressant prescription drugs for over 20 years. I was also on two prescription drugs for high blood pressure and one for high cholesterol for 13 years. I wore an estrogen patch for menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, brain fog, etc.) for four years, and took prescription strength doses of ibuprofen (NSAID) for generalized muscular aches and pains due to an auto-immune disease and spinal problems. I had not been able to drink milk for 35 years due to lactose intolerance, suffered from chronic hyponatremia (low salt levels in my blood), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and low vitamin D levels.
I have slowed down the pace of my life CONSIDERABLY, making my relationship with God first and foremost. Every morning when I first get up, I spend time reading devotionals and talking to The Lord about my life and what he wants me to do to live for him and for others. I have developed the habit of journaling and writing my prayers, which helps to organize my thoughts. I'm now serving in a few ministries, caring for other people. I am careful to get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, beans and other lean proteins. I am in a small group of women who meet weekly to study the Bible and DO LIFE together. The focus of my life has shifted from struggling to make a living, to having a life, in Christ. I care for my mind, body and spirit to give me strength to care for others. My joy has increased immensely and I have no anxiety anymore, because I learned to simply trust God.
Since starting the Daniel Plan, I have lost 15 pounds (I wasn't very overweight to begin with), but more importantly, I have eliminated ALL medications. My blood pressure, cholesterol levels, sodium and vitamin D levels have all normalized WITHOUT DRUGS. Only real food, moderate exercise, plenty of sleep, lots of water, and staying close to Jesus through reading the Bible. I no longer have lactose intolerance either. I enjoy a gallon of milk every week without any problems. I am healthier now than I have ever been in my entire life. What a blessing!
To change your life for the better, and be the best YOU you can be, I highly recommend this book. You won't regret it!
-This plan addresses the person as a whole. This is not a quick fix solution to being healthy, this book is about adopting a lifestyle centering on the fact that our bodies were created by God in part as a temple of worship to Him.
-Every thing is plant based when discussing protein powders, and there are no limits. The saying surrounding food is a great one: "If it was grown on a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, leave it on the shelf!" How simple of a philosophy is that!
-The recipes in the back are well balanced, filling and have ingredients that are easy to find. The recipes in this book are not just vegetarian, lean meats of many varieties are discussed. If you are a vegetarian you will still find these menus to be easy enough to adapt for your lifestyle.
-This plan incorporates at 10 day goal, 40 day goal, and life goal which meets you where you currently are at, and brings you to a level of health you can maintain your whole life!
-This plan offers the individual well rounded support and encouragement in the form of an online community, phone app and book. It's well thought out and physician supported.
Here is what I didn't love:
-although this book does a great job of giving ideas on how to grocery shop with this plan inexpensively, depending on where you live it will be a bit costly to find all the ingredients
my suggestion would be to purchase some groceries ahead of time in preparation for the initial 10 day plan.