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are you ready to feel better?
"I've struggled with weight issues all my life," said Patty, a soft-spoken woman in her mid-forties. "I'm one of those who have tried every diet available, but nothing ever worked for me. That's why I was so surprised when I started losing weight on the Daniel Fast. It was so easy for me. Plus, my cholesterol counts got into a healthy range ... and I felt better than I've felt in years!"
Patty is like many men and women who start out using the Daniel Fast primarily for spiritual reasons but experience significant improvement in their physical health as well. Within a few days, most people sense an increase in their energy level. Many who have been suffering with joint pain can move more freely with little or no pain. Many with elevated cholesterol and blood pressure note a dramatic decrease—one that places their values within the "normal range." Those with diabetes can regulate their blood-sugar levels using food rather than increased medication. It might seem hard to believe that a plan that is so simple could have such dramatic benefits—and that positive changes start to happen within days! But this is a common experience for Daniel Fast participants.
So, how might something like this happen for you? Here's one possibility. Imagine that you feel chronically sluggish and most days you have a hard time pulling yourself out of bed. You start the Daniel Fast, a biblically based partial fast that restricts some foods. For the first time in your life, you eat a variety of meatless meals and drink only water. Within a few days, you begin to feel better. In fact, you feel years younger and have more energy than you've had in a very long time.
Or imagine that you're diagnosed with high cholesterol. The doctor could prescribe medication to lower your cholesterol. Or you could treat your high cholesterol with a healthy food plan and possibly no medication. This appeals to you. Not only would your cholesterol levels improve but you could experience other health benefits, including weight loss and an increase in energy. You'd also reduce significantly your risk for a variety of lifestyle diseases. You might even feel more balanced emotionally and stronger spiritually. These are all possible simply by giving your body the food it was designed to use.
That's why so many, after using the Daniel Fast for a mere twenty-one days, describe their experience as life-changing. Although the fast is fairly simple, the results are amazing. even those of us who routinely practice the Daniel Fast and teach about it continue to be impressed by the results people experience —which is why we don't want you to limit yourself to just twenty-one days of feeling better.
After you complete the Daniel Fast, you can build on the momentum of that experience by making permanent changes in the way you eat and how you care for your body. We call this lifestyle approach the Daniel Cure—a plan with the potential to heal many common and serious ailments. Think of the fast as a jumpstart and the Daniel Cure as a simple and sustainable way to practice healthy living. This is a principles-based approach for eating that you can customize to meet your needs and preferences. Treat this approach as your personalized health-care system—one with widespread physical and supernatural benefits. With this uncomplicated eating plan, you can toss out all your diet books and step into a powerful way of living as you take charge of your health with nutritious eating. All along, the One who created you—spirit, soul, and body—is your guide. every step of the way, God is directing, motivating, and encouraging you as you open your heart and your health to his care. (See "Be Ready" on page 6.)
WHY YOU MIGHT NOT FEEL SO GREAT
Human beings have an exceptional capacity to keep trying to improve. We try to fix who we are and how we live our lives. Take a stroll through a bookstore and notice the shelves of self-help books on just about every topic imaginable. We all want a rewarding and fulfilling existence. We want to get better. We want to move to the next level. And as followers of Christ, we want love, joy, peace, and health in good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over! But there seems to be a huge gap between the reality of our everyday lives and our dreams for what we want. Our wishing and hoping and thinking and praying doesn't seem to be getting us the results we desire.
Spiritual and Emotional Malnutrition
The sad truth is that millions of people exist in a state of severe spiritual and emotional hunger. Some experts even describe it as a kind of malnutrition. Men, women, and children who are hungry for love and significance feel a painful emptiness, and many will battle this pain throughout their lives.
What do hungry people do? They eat. People who are spiritually and emotionally malnourished often feed themselves with the temporary "nourishment" of self-defeating behaviors—overspending, substance abuse, sexual immorality, excessive use of social media and video games or other digital entertainment. And then there's food—overeating, poor eating, eating disorders, and more. Of course, these things never satisfy the hunger for what these spiritually and emotionally hungry men, women, and children really need. In the words of the old country-western song, these hungry hearts are "lookin' for love in all the wrong places."
The love that they're looking for is found only in God. Until we feast on God's love and grace, the peace that surpasses all understanding (see Philippians 4:7) will elude us. We will continue our fruitless search and will remain unsatisfied.
As you reflect on how people in general respond to spiritual and emotional hunger, what comes to mind about your own life? Take a few minutes to reflect on this important issue.
Are there any behavior patterns you tend to rely on for temporary nourishment?
In what area of your life are you most aware of feeling spiritually hungry? emotionally hungry?
On a scale of 1–10 (with 1 being severely malnourished and 10 being well nourished), what number would you say best describes your spiritual life right now? How about your emotional life?
Four terms summarize the painful truth about the typical North American lifestyle: stressed, sleep deprived, sedentary, and malnourished.
Stressed. We're busier, more distracted, and more stressed than ever.
· Sleep deprived. Chronic lack of adequate rest is so pervasive that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now considers sleep deprivation a public health epidemic.
Sedentary. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American adult sits in front of a television screen for almost three hours every day.
Malnourished. Did you know it's possible to be simultaneously overweight and malnourished? That's what happens to the person who eats too many "empty" calories—foods high in sugar and fat but low in nutrients.
And what do all of these lifestyle trends add up to? Staggering consequences —physically, financially, and emotionally. It's estimated that 42 percent of the US population will be obese by 20303 and that the incidence of chronic disease will continue to skyrocket. According to CDC reports, there is a direct correlation between being clinically overweight, or obese, and the increased risk for the following conditions:
hypertension (high blood pressure)
dyslipidemia (high "bad" cholesterol and/or triglycerides, low "good" cholesterol)
type 2 diabetes
cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
liver and gallbladder disease
sleep apnea and respiratory problems
gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
In addition to compromising health and quality of life, these health problems exact a huge financial toll. The Bipartisan Policy Center's Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative (NPAI) puts it this way:
In short, obesity is the most urgent public health problem in America today. It is a primary reason why life expectancy in large parts of the United States is already several years lower than in other advanced countries around the world. For millions of Americans, it means many more years—even decades—of sharply reduced quality of life. More broadly, the costs of obesity and chronic disease have become a major drag on our economy. escalating health care costs are the main driver of our spiraling national debt, and obesity-related illness comprises an increasingly large share of our massive health costs. The obesity crisis is therefore not just a health crisis, but a major contributor to our fiscal crisis.
The center's recent comprehensive study cites widespread obesity as the leading offender:
Fully two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. One-third of American children are overweight or obese. And among children under the age of six, nearly one in five is overweight or obese. Obese people are far more likely to develop chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, heart disease and cancer. Obese children are more likely to have one or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease, to be pre-diabetic (i.e., at high risk for developing diabetes), and to suffer from bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. They are also very likely to become obese adults. In short, obesity is the most urgent public health problem in America today.
More difficult to measure is the cost of the effect obesity has on emotional well-being and overall quality of life. It's no secret that obesity is often associated with poor self-esteem, depression, and social isolation. Individuals who are obese may lack the energy to meet workplace demands or even the routine pleasures of family life, such as playing with young children or enjoying physical intimacy with a spouse.
As you think about your own physical health, what comes to mind about the way you care for your body? Ask yourself:
Are there any eating patterns you know are not good for your health?
On a scale of 1–10 (with 1 being very unhealthy and 10 being very healthy), what number would you say best describes your lifestyle choices right now? What about the condition of your overall health?
What hopes do you have for your lifestyle and overall health?
HOW YOU CAN BEGIN TO FEEL BETTER
These lifestyle concerns are not just for the nameless masses, but are ones we all need to take seriously. The increasing rates of heart disease and type 2 diabetes are not empty threats. Strokes and cancer diagnoses are not reserved solely for other people. These are very real perils facing every man and woman who routinely makes risky lifestyle choices—including everything from not getting enough sleep or exercise to substance abuse and poor eating habits. But here's the almost-too-good-to-be-true news: You don't have to be one of the statistics. No matter where you are, you can take steps toward greater health and vitality. If you want to be healthier, if you want to have more energy, if you want to experience the life God created you for, please hear this: You can. Yes, it will require making lifestyle changes, but the rewards are more than worth it.
As you take that first step on a new path—the Daniel Cure—your journey begins with a twenty-one-day Daniel Fast. This partial fast was inspired by the prophet Daniel. For three weeks, you'll eat a variety of plant-based foods, cleansing your body of additives, preservatives, flavorings, processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol. Although the types of foods you'll eat are restricted, the quantity is not. You can eat as much food as you wish. But food should not be the focus of your fast. Rather, as you begin to learn the principles of healthy eating, your focus is on God. each day, through prayer and Bible study, you develop your relationship with him and seek his guidance and motivation.
After the twenty-one-day Daniel Fast, you can use the Daniel Cure principles (see chapter 10) to develop a personalized healthy eating plan that is realistic and sustainable for you. This customized plan is your ticket off the road that leads to deteriorating health and chronic diseases. And the ticket is free ... the only "cost" being your willingness to say, "Yes, God, I want to be healthy."
The Daniel Cure principles are based on both the irrevocable truth of God's Word and the rich resources of contemporary science. As you learn more about healthy eating and the stunning and intricate ways the human body works, our hope is that you will gain a greater appreciation for your body and for your Creator. And we trust you will see that one of the best ways to honor the Lord and the life he gave you is to take very good care of yourself —spirit, soul, and body.
We hope you decide to accept the invitation to take full responsibility for caring for the body God has entrusted to your care.* And we pray you will gain a deeper and more profound understanding about the spiritual being you are—a one-of-a-kind masterpiece created by the most awesome Artist of all. He created you so you could be a holy instrument and a sacred temple—a dwelling place for the most high God.
I (Susan) can promise you that the rewards of the Daniel Fast far outweigh the challenges. And this is no empty or theoretical promise. Since 2007, I have taught people all over the world about the Daniel Fast and interacted with tens of thousands who have used the fast to seek God. I've witnessed the positive changes they experience through fasting, including stunning answers to prayer. I've read the joyful notes from those who have been surprised at the amazing health benefits they experienced in just twenty-one days of eating "clean" plant-based meals. And everything I have learned from people about the impact of the Daniel Fast on health has now been scientifically documented and affirmed in multiple clinical trials conducted by Rick and his team. (See "The Science behind the Daniel Fast" on page 281.) The Daniel Fast will change you. That's a promise.
This book is designed to help you reclaim the ancient tradition of prayer and fasting. You'll make wise decisions based on scientific research and take steps to truly care for your body—the wonderful gift God has entrusted to you alone.
TURN YOUR THOUGHTS INTO ACTIONS
1 Think about your spiritual life using metaphors of food, such as nutrition, hunger, and starved. What three to five words, images, or phrases would you use to describe your spiritual life? You might consider your spiritual "diet," degree of nourishment or malnourishment, and the intensity of your hunger for God. For example, I feed myself only once a week when I go to church. I am spiritually malnourished. I'm not sure I even feel hungry for God right now.
2 In what ways do you hope the Daniel Fast might help you to experience greater physical health and vitality? Write down three to five changes you hope to experience. For example, I hope to have more energy to play with my toddler. I want to reduce my risk factors for developing diabetes. I want to lose weight.
3 Identify a spiritual activity you would like to include as part of your daily life. For example, you might want to have a daily prayer time, or daily Bible reading and study, or a quiet time with the Lord to simply listen for his direction in your life. Think about a discipline you can adopt and start doing it today. Set it up as an appointment with your Creator and keep it just as you would an appointment with a doctor or a friend.
Excerpted from The Daniel Cure by Susan Gregory, Richard J. Bloomer. Copyright © 2013 Susan Gregory and Richard J. Bloomer. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
PART 1 about the daniel cure....................
1. Are You Ready to Feel Better?.................... 3
2. The Power and Mystery of Fasting.................... 11
3. What Is the Daniel Fast?.................... 18
PART 2 taking control of your health....................
4. Your Body Matters.................... 33
5. Losing Weight and Preventing Obesity.................... 42
6. Preventing and Overcoming Type 2 Diabetes.................... 54
7. Preventing and Treating Cardiovascular Disease.................... 66
8. Fighting Inflammation and Associated Diseases.................... 80
PART 3 getting started....................
9. Preparing for the Daniel Cure.................... 89
10. Making the Daniel Cure a Way of Life.................... 101
11. Nutrition for Life.................... 114
PART 4 meal planning and recipes....................
12. Meal Planning and Preparation.................... 145
13. Meal-Replacement Shakes.................... 156
14. Breakfast.................... 167
15. Main Dishes.................... 172
16. Soups and Stews.................... 185
17. Salads and Dressings.................... 195
18. Rice and Grains.................... 204
19. Side Dishes.................... 214
20. Gravies, Sauces, and Dips.................... 224
21. Desserts and Snacks.................... 229
22. Sample Menus.................... 236
PART 5 twenty-one-day devotional....................
23. Food for the Soul.................... 249
PART 6 conclusion and resources....................
APPENDIX 1: The Daniel Cure Meal-Planning Worksheet.................... 273
APPENDIX 2: The Daniel Cure Health File.................... 274
APPENDIX 3: The Daniel Cure Pledge.................... 276
APPENDIX 4: Daniel Fast Benefits: How Does It Happen and Why Is It
APPENDIX 5: The Science behind the Daniel Fast.................... 281
About the Authors.................... 303
General Index.................... 305
Recipe Index.................... 315
Posted October 22, 2013
I preordered this book for my Nook...only to find it's not available! Very upset!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 13, 2013
Honestly when I first began to read this and got deeper into the book, I just felt like this was just another book on losing weight and selling books. I do see some good points in the book do not get me wrong. For instance, we should all eat right if we do not want to put weight on and we want to be healthier of course. My favorite part of the book was the recipes, the biggest problem I have is I am not a cook. I do not like to cook, if I can take it from the oven to the table I am doing great. Now I use to like to cook but as I have gotten older, I just do not care much for it.
Therefore, my way of cooking is the Weight Watcher meals, but then I get bored with that and start my bad habits all over again. Therefore, for me this book would be a very good guideline as to the good things I can eat that do not take much as far as cooking. I am the type of person who loves fruit and vegetables. I can sit down with an apple and some peanut butter in the evening and have that for supper. Now if I would just add a vegetable to it I would be set. Now this is just my way of thinking, I know I do not eat right, so this would be a good guide so that I would know what is not good for me I suppose.
I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson part of the Booksneeze review bloggers program, for my honest and un-biased opinion.
2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 12, 2013
Great for overcoming food addictions, feeling better FAST, and jump starting weight loss, to be on a permanent heathy path to great health--HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT1!!1
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.