Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Daniel Plan

Ok, so I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz around different diet and wellness plans, but I’ve latched hold of this one as a tool to help me in my pursuit of fitness, weight loss, and overall health goals.  I included a video from one of the physicians who shares some basic information for why a healthy lifestyle is important.

The plan was initiated by Rick Warren and the congregation of Saddleback Church in an effort for Rick to lose 90 lbs in a healthy way, and encourage people of faith to pursue a healthier lifestyle.  The plan has three top notch physicians (Daniel Amen, Mark Hyman, and Mehmet Oz) sharing their wisdom and encouraging participants toward a healthy lifestyle.

So what exactly is the Daniel Plan?  It’s a fifty two week lifestyle change that starts with six weeks involvement in a small group ton encourage the continuation of the plan.  The plan consists of exercise, relaxation, rest, and eating natural whole foods.  The exercise so far hasn’t been that intense--walking 30 minutes a day, like you are going somewhere, and like you are late.  The relaxation and rest?  Taking a few seconds at the start or end of the day, to just breathe deeply and do nothing.  Personally, I’ve incorporated these deep breaths into my prayer time.  I’ve also been diligent to be in bed before 11PM (sometimes even earlier).  I try to get up early in the morning, stretch and get some weight training in (as a supplement to the base of the plan).

The big thing is food though.  But the food portion of the plan doesn’t feel all that gimmicky.  It involves eating whole, natural foods.  Here are some of the basic rules of the Daniel Plan.

Don’t drink your calories (no soft-drinks or juice).
Don’t use canola or soy oil to cook (or shortening).
No high fructose corn-syrup.
No hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Stop eating sugar (and splenda, and aspartame, etc).  [the reason behind this is pretty fascinating].
If it’s got more than five ingredients on the box, then don’t eat it.
If it contains ingredients that your grandparents wouldn’t recognize as food growing up, then don’t eat it.

So what can you eat?  Fruits & vegetables, fish, chicken, whole foods, nuts, and much much more.  Here’s a great list of foods to eat.  Think about eating foods that are located around the edge of the supermarket. Jamie and I have been changing our eating habits, and we can both tell a major difference in how we feel.  We have more energy, more focus, and we have lost weight—at a fairly reasonable pace. 

I just thought I’d write a little bit about it, because I’m very impressed with the videos and information that Saddleback Church has been sharing with the world so everyone can improve their health!

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