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The Daniel Plan Jumpstart Guide
The Daniel Plan
By Rick Warren D. Min, Daniel Amen, Mark Hyman
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2014 The Daniel Plan
All rights reserved.
The Five Essentials
Each of us is in a different place with our health, but the Essentials — Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends — will hold up your life, enliven your body, enrich your mind, and fill your heart.
Health comes from recognizing and using God's power in your life and treating your body and mind with the care that he intended. When you learn to rely on God's power, you have the key to lasting change. Spiritual health gives you a foundation for building habits and perspectives for health in any area.
You can actually eat anything based on one rule: Eat real, whole food. Eat a colorful variety of real, whole foods from real ingredients that you can make yourself — or that are made by another human nearby. If it was grown on a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, leave it on the shelf.
Simple, real, fresh, delicious, nutrient-packed foods that are easy to cook, foods that come from a farmer's field not a factory, foods that traveled the shortest distance from the field to your fork — that is what we should eat. A chicken, a vegetable, a bean, a nut, a grain, a fruit, an egg. Everything else is fake food that depletes energy and health. Real food heals and nourishes. So eat real, whole foods made by God.
Your body is designed to move and become Daniel Strong. What images come to mind when you think of the word strong? Do you think of the prophet Daniel? Daniel possessed strength that went well beyond the size of his muscles.
Daniel Strong = A pursuit of excellence in body, mind, and spirit for God's glory.
Before you even start a fitness plan, the key to success is to choose activities you enjoy doing.
Take the Daniel Strong Challenge to improve your fitness, combining prayerful movements, loosening breaks, active games and aerobic activity, and youthful strength training into your life, and watch what happens! We encourage you to do the fitness challenge for 40 days to change your fitness habits. To begin — even if you have never exercised regularly or haven't in a long time — go to chapter 9 in The Daniel Plan Book, where you will receive a "play of the day" and a plan that focuses on all the aspects of fitness you have just learned — in small, doable steps.
You can have solid faith, healthy food choices, and plenty of exercise and still sabotage your health. The potential saboteur? Your brain. When your brain works right, you tend to be happier, physically healthier, and more thoughtful, because you make better decisions.
Two of the most important parts of the Focus Essential are to know your motivation and renew your mind. This requires disciplining your mind to have accurate, honest thoughts and bringing your attention each day to those things each day for which you are grateful.
When it comes to your health, every body needs a buddy. We need each other. In fact, the New Testament says over and over to love one another, encourage one another, serve one another, support one another.
Research shows that people getting healthy together lose twice as much weight as those who do it alone. Friends are the secret sauce of the Daniel Plan.
1. Assess your health in each of the five Essentials before you start and again at the completion of the program. Go to danielplan.com/start and click on the link for "essentials survey."
2. Start reading The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life.
3. Begin The Daniel Plan 40-Day Fitness Challenge; see chapter 9 of The Daniel Plan book.CHAPTER 2
Know Your Motivation
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. (Psalm 37:5 NLT)
One of the most important parts of the Focus Essential is to know why you want to get healthy. Without a clear sense of motivation, it is harder to stay the course. But once you know why you care and must be healthy, your motivation fuels you to stay focused. Ask why you want to be healthy. Is it to live in God's will? To have mental clarity? or to be a great role model for someone you love?
Write down your motivation — and look at it daily. It's most effective if you approach it from two perspectives: To attain benefits and avoid consequences.
For example, participant Mandy Cameron told us, "My greatest motivation is to model the Lord for my grandchildren and to work with children.... I notice the responses of others when I look good and feel good; I even notice the nudgings of the Lord more clearly. Perhaps this relates to having a sense of contentment and well-being. I am more loving and more compassionate when my body temple is functioning closer to optimum operating level."
Write what you believe God wants for you and what you want for yourself in each of the Essentials. use the results from the essentials survey to guide you. Be positive and use the first person. Write your purpose with the expectation that with God's power it can happen. If you need to, work on it over several days. After you finish with the initial draft (you will frequently want to update it), place this list where you can see it every day, such as on your refrigerator, in your phone, or as your desktop wallpaper.
Fitness: Another important piece that will help you make progress is your health numbers. Find out and record your basics: height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, waist measurement, hips measurement, and activity level (sedentary, light, regular, active, vigorous). The Daniel Plan Journal includes pages to record these numbers, or you can star your free Health Profile online danielplan.com/start/.
1. Write down your motivation for better health. Post it where you can see it every day.
2. Know your health numbers.CHAPTER 3
Commit Your Plans to the Lord
Put God in charge of your work, then what you've planned will take place. (Proverbs 16:3 MSG)
Setting goals is a spiritual discipline. Goals stretch you and help you become all God wants you to be. setting goals will give a destination for your vision. Move forward toward health in all areas of life by creating sMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) in response to your results from the Five Essentials survey.
Specific goals are clear. tell your brain exactly what is expected and why it's important. A specific goal usually answers who, what, when, where, why.
Measurable emphasizes tangible benchmarks. If a goal is not measurable, it is not possible to know whether you are making progress. A measurable goal usually answers how much and by when.
Attainable means the goals need to be realistic, even though dreams can be big. Extreme goals usually invite failure and frustration.
Relevant means you choose goals that matter and answer yes to these questions: Does this seem worthwhile? Is this the right time? Does this match your other efforts/needs? Being relevant also means your goals are relevant to God and bring him glory. Any goal that brings you closer to him and makes you want to serve him and others is a goal that matters.
Time-bound emphasizes attaining the goal within a certain time frame. A deadline helps you focus on completion of the goal on or before the due date.
Once you've determined your SMART goals, share them with a friend. People getting healthy together lose twice as much weight as those who do it alone. That success dramatically increases when you are connected with others, receiving constant encouragement. Consider inviting some friends to do the six-week Daniel Plan study together. Visit danielplan.com/curriculum/.
1. Set SMART goals and share them with a friend.
2. Complete today's activity in the 40-Day Fitness Challenge, and schedule your exercise for the week.
3. Add real, whole foods to your meals.CHAPTER 4
Rely on God's Power, Not Willpower
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
When God puts his Spirit inside you, your body becomes a residence for his love. You are not the owner of your body, but a caretaker, or manager, of it. Are you making the most of what you've been given?
The truth is, change and good stewardship are much more sustainable when we focus on what we can have rather than what we can't. Often we subscribe to the misguided notion that change requires deprivation. We easily focus on what we can't have instead of the abundance of things we can enjoy.
If we focus on bringing in the good and enjoying God's abundance, our body, mind, and spirit will become stronger. We will begin to see that things such as walking in the morning or reading our Bible and praying are not things we "have to" do, but opportunities we "get to take hold of" because they rejuvenate and restore us. This is how the perspective shift begins. And it's a good principle to add to your motivation for health.
This perspective can help you cultivate a different relationship with food and fitness. You can start to see eating healthfully as a way to be kind to yourself, to lovingly care for your body. the beauty of adding food that heals, nourishes, and satisfies is that it will almost effortlessly shift your body and mind into a different state — a state where your cravings are gone, where your willpower is not needed because you naturally crave what makes you thrive and feel good. (Visit goo.gl/ZYjvN4 for a "Good Foods List" to get you started.)
As you exercise today, breathe deeply and thank God for the many blessings he has given you. ask him to shift your thinking to rely on his power to transform your health and your perspective. take a couple of stretch breaks throughout your day and repeat this thanksgiving and interaction with God. (see pages 166–69 in The Daniel Plan book for ideas.)
1. treat your body like God's temple.
2. Focus on adding good foods to your diet.
3. Thank God for good food and your body.
4. Add stretch breaks to your day.CHAPTER 5
Design Your Lifestyle
Prayer: God, where you guide me, I know that you will provide. What you call me to do, you will equip me to do. Please remind me of your unending power and resources to sustain and fulfill me every step of this journey.
Did you know that people who keep food journals lose twice as much weight as those who don't? Journaling is effective not only with food, but with all five Essentials.
Start using The Daniel Plan Journal or a journal of your own. Write down everything you eat: portion size, type of food, time, how you feel when eating it (stress, hunger, boredom, fatigue). Writing down what you eat does two things: It makes you conscious of what you really are eating, and it helps you shift and change your habits. What are you eating, and how does it make you feel?
In terms of fitness, think about one word to describe your motivation to help you reach your fitness goals. (If you need ideas, see page 155 of The Daniel Plan book.)jot it down. Then write down any games, activities, and/or sports you loved to play as a child. Use these ideas for your daily exercise routine. No matter how big or small, record your exercise accomplishments each day. If you move your body, it's an accomplishment.
One of the best ways to make steady progress is to track your progress. If you ever feel stuck, journal about the negative thoughts that are holding you back. Then head to God's Word to replace them with truth.
Share your journal with your friends, buddy, or small group. You will learn a lot about yourself, and as you do, you will be able to easily make changes that bring healing to your body and mind. What friends can you think of who have a positive influence on your health? Jot their names in your journal, and invite them to join you on this journey. If no one comes to mind, get connected at your local community center or try a new fitness class. Check out the many online resources or social media venues to connect you with people who are committed to living a healthy lifestyle.
Be sure to join our Daniel Plan Facebook page facebook.com/theDanielPlan, where we serve up daily inspiration and encouragement.
1. Start journaling about food and fitness. Consider journaling about faith and focus as well.
2. Track your progress.CHAPTER 6
Bring in the Good
Note: The next three days heavily focus on food education and awareness. For maximum long-term benefits, adopt all the principles we outline. If you decide you want to take the fast track, go to Day 9 to start the 10-Day Detox.
We don't count calories on The Daniel Plan, but focus on overall long-term health. When you consume lots of fresh vegetables and low-glycemic fruit, a moderate amount of lean protein, healthy whole grains and healthy fats, your palate will begin to change and you will be able to make better, satisfying food choices without the need to count every calorie. The Daniel Plan is rooted in a simple principle: Take the junk out, and invite the abundance in.
The Daniel Plan is a high-carb diet — but they are unrefined, unprocessed, low-glycemic carbs, otherwise known as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. (see pages 82–83 in The Daniel Plan book for information on the glycemic index.) the Daniel Plan plate is half non-starchy vegetables, one quarter lean protein, and one quarter whole grains or starchy vegetables.
Here are the main concepts to incorporate into your diet now:
Eat from the rainbow of colors in the plant world.
Add whole grains in moderation. Buy them in their original form, such as oats, wheat berries, and even popcorn.
Boost your fiber with whole grains, legumes (beans and peas), and vegetables.
Power up with protein in every meal.
Enjoy healthful fats. Fats from fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and extra virgin olive oil, and coconut butter. These healthy fats help to reduce diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and dementia; lower cholesterol and triglycerides; and make your food tasty and satisfying.
Your daily choices, with God's limitless power, done with a community of friends, can help you launch each day with intention and purpose. As you bring in the good with your food choices, look for ways to bring in the good in your fitness as well. Are you enjoying exercise that you love with people who support you? Try something new this week. Think simple and fun. Maybe a 20-minute walk with the dogs. (Don't have a dog? Borrow your neighbor's!)
Progress begins with a shift in perspective: focusing on the good and acknowledging the abundance.
1. Follow The Daniel Plan plate at every meal.
2. Add fiber, color, whole grains, protein, and good fats to your food choices.
3. Choose an exercise you enjoy.CHAPTER 7
Create Your Daniel Plan Kitchen
Prayer: Father, help me to accept that many man-made foods are addictive and cause harm to my body. Transform my mind to care for my body and embrace the truth that many foods are good for my body, mind, and spirit. Lord, through your power I know I can change and embrace the abundance you have provided.
Clean out your kitchen. Out with the old, and in with the new! The first step in creating a Daniel Plan pantry, fridge, and freezer is to clean out the stuff that is not serving you well. this means reading labels, checking expiration dates, and tossing the bad stuff, then refilling with healthy new items — which you have already been adding to your diet. simply getting rid of harmful foods from your eating life will make a tremendous difference in your health and eating habits. DO this with your dry pantry, where you store canned goods, whole grains, and nonperishables. then go through your refrigerator and freezer too.
Excerpted from The Daniel Plan Jumpstart Guide by Rick Warren D. Min, Daniel Amen, Mark Hyman. Copyright © 2014 The Daniel Plan. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
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