“While my first thought was that everyone I baptized was overweight, my second thought was more personal and pointed: But I’m fat too! I’m as out of shape as everyone else is! In that moment of clarity, I realized the terrible example I was giving with my own health.” That is how, “The Daniel Plan,” by Rick Warren started. One of the reasons Rick Warren is so popular is because he’s just like you and me. When I started reading his latest book I was three chapters in before I realized how much I had read.
Unlike most health books you read faith is the first and most important of the five essentials that complete the Daniel Plan. The Daniel Plan essentials are Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends. Not only is faith the most important essential but the other essentials are simple! The information in each chapter might be things you have heard before but have you ever thought about what God thinks about those things as they relate to His kingdom? Probably not. I know I haven’t. The main reasons people want to be healthy is to look better, be skinnier, etc. We never think about how our health could impact God’s kingdom for His good.
Another wonderful aspect of the Daniel Plan is that everything is connected. Warren says, “It’s hard to be spiritually strong and mentally alert when you are emotionally stressed or physically fatigued. If you are spiritually and emotionally weak or ill, your body cannot perform at its peak.” It has taken me 33 years but I am living proof that everything has to be in sync. For example, my daughter has been sick on and off since Christmas and not sleeping through the night. Therefore, I’m not sleeping through the night, I wake up dragging, I can’t concentrate on my Bible reading, I’m ready for a nap by 2:00 everyday. It is a struggle for me to eat healthy on days like this. It is so much easier to revert back to my pre-Daniel Plan days and eat a candy bar and drink a soda. Some days I’m strong and eat my almond butter. Some days I drink half a can of Coca-Cola. But guess what? “God promises that He will fit everything–even your setbacks, relapses, and failures–into His plan and purpose for your life.”
Finally, you know I love a book with extras. This book is full of sample eating plans, recipes, and articles to keep encouraging you along the way.
Our house as been on the Daniel Plan for almost 40 days and we’re convinced this is the way to go. Once you get your plan down and read the book in its entirety you will truly benefit from what God wants to teach you about your health.
Thanks to NetGalley and Zondervan for the complementary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.