Book Review: The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Mark Hyman

The Daniel Plan

The Daniel Plan “is a lifestyle program based on biblical principles and five essential components: Food, Fitness, Focus, Faith, and Friends.” (p. 16)

The book’s namesake is Daniel of the Bible. Daniel and the boys of Judah were away from home when their mettle got tested. But they resolved to follow the dietary guidelines given to every Jewish boy, according to the Law of Moses. An example of perseverance, Daniel provides the basis of the diet, and the authors add exercise, meal plans and lifestyle to the mix. They especially highlight the importance of doing any kind of health changes within the context of a loving, supportive community.

This book makes me MAD! The Daniel Plan reports ways our food industry has hijacked our eating habits, and our health is only one of the ways we suffer. I appreciated the forthrightness of the authors, in exposing food changes in today’s society. The book tackles poor food choices by suggesting the means to a healthier lifestyle and character strengthening models. It provides charts, recipes and exercises to augment the regimen suggested. But, is it just another fad diet? The authors would say, “No, the motivation is different than a diet when you see the unconditional love of God (instead of guilt) as the foundation.” (See p. 17)

One of the frustrating things about the menu included, is the use of ingredients that aren’t readily available. The authors claim “real food” is anything our great-grandmothers would recognize, but I’ve never heard of some of the ingredients in the recipes listed (wheat-free tamari?).

I choose to read this book, because I fall into the same category of seven in ten Americans who are overweight. (p. 15) The book takes a different angle than I expected, as it spends a great deal of time talking about types of foods to skip and to eat. But I would still recommend the book, as the authors suggest the biggest reason for following the plan will lead to “strength of character, confidence, and courage forged by God.” (p. 150)

No matter where you land on a “diet,” make sure it is balanced with good common sense. The authors bring plenty of both to this work, and the reminder to start with one thing, one change that can make a life-long difference.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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