The Daniel Plan, 40 Days to a Healthier Life : Book Review

The Daniel Plan
Yes, it’s the new year and many make resolutions.   I gave up making those years ago because the thought of it is overwhelming to me. However, prayerful consideration of where and how change needs to happen, I can do.  It doesn’t necessarily have to take place at the New Year, but it’s as good a time as any.   Nothing better helps with that sort of reflection than getting away from routine.

My hubs and I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the beautiful island of Maui.


Thirty nine years ago we opted out of taking a honeymoon.  Since then, we’ve had several businesses, raised 4 awesome kids, college graduations, weddings, and now have 7 delightful grand children.  We figured it was time!  So we slipped away for 2 weeks.  YAY!  (Perhaps you’ve noticed there have been no posts during the last 2 weeks.  It’s not that I didn’t try, but my new iPad and I are at the early stages of a relationship and we’re working out some kinks.)

Swimsuits and books packed, we set off for our get away.  We had an awesome time together as a couple and individually.  We returned refreshed, renewed and inspired.

The Daniel Plan was one of three books I brought along to read.  And I’m so glad I did.  It has proven to be  so encouraging, inspirational and motivating!

You might be asking yourself,  ” Why, with all of the health and fitness books on the market did I pick up this one?”  Good question.

We were whole food enthusiasts in the mid 70’s when we first started our spiritual journey with Christ and were attending a thriving church. Well, you know those church potlucks full of white pasta dishes and brightly hued jello?  We would bring our homemade crackers and homemade hummus but people eyed my wholesome offerings suspiciously.  Unlike today, that was a strange lifestyle. Back then. people referred to us as “health nuts”.

 Fast forward four decades and here is a faith-based health and fitness book written by a well-known and respected Christian author.  I couldn’t be more excited!  My curiosity was too great and  I couldn’t wait to read it.  It became my poolside and beach side companion in Maui.  Each chapter became better than the one before.  I couldn’t put it down.  Lots of new information for this whole foods veteran and it was encouraging to get confirmation of beliefs I’ve held to for years.

Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life) was inspired to write this book after an exhausting day of baptizing 827 adults.  It’s a very physical process, done by dunking them under the water and then lifting them back up.  His fatigue got him to thinking… he lifted over 145,000 pounds that day and everyone was overweight!  No wonder he was tired!

That day he literally felt the weight of the average American and it was a day that marked radical change for him. He was moved  to consider his own weight and health more seriously.  He humbly admits, and I quote  ” I’m fat too!  I’m as out of shape as everyone else!”  He began to ask himself some questions, like,  “What does God say about our bodies?”  and “How can I be a better steward of the body God has given me?”  A week later, with authentic vulnerability, he announced to his church his need to get healthy and asked them to join him.   To his surprise 12,000 got on board!  And so, this project of The Daniel Plan, 40 days to a Healthier Life was born.  Over the first year, his Saddleback church members lost collectively over 250,000 pounds!!!

Co authoring with him are Dr. Daniel Amen, a physician, double board certified psychiatrist, teacher and eight time New York Times best-selling author. He is the founder and medical director of Amen Clinics in five different locations all around the country. His clinics have the world’s largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior, totaling more than 80,000 scans on patients from 90 countries.

Also, Dr. Mark Hyman who has dedicated his career to identifying and addressing the root causes of chronic illness through a ground breaking, whole-systems approach known as functional medicine. A family physician and six-time #1 New York Times best-selling author, he is an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field.

The Daniel Plan is a faith-based guide to a healthier life.  It’s complete holistic approach is based on the five essentials of faith, food, fitness, focus and friends.  It’s a practical tool for launching change, inside and out.  No matter where you are in the process of getting healthy, whether it’s spiritual, physical, or mental, this book meets you where you are.   It challenges us to face the truth about ourselves, our relationship to God, to food, to our purpose in life, and to other people.  This is not a quick fix!  But is an effective tool in building an authentically healthy life based on the truth of God, yourself, and a few trusted friends.  A refreshing difference from the flood of self-help books on the health and fitness market.

Can you see why I returned home so inspired?  This will be a resource I reach for over and over because it’s so informative.  While I have been a fitness and whole foods proponent for forty years, the book encourages me to keep on, keeping on… and challenges and motivates me in the inward disciplines of bible reading, prayer and attitude.  (the chapter on Focus is powerful!)

Whether you made New Year’s resolutions, or prayerful considerations for change, this is an excellent resource for healthy change.  It’s convicting, not condemning, motivating and most of all DO – ABLE!!

Check out their website for more resources at

Here’s to having the Healthiest New Year yet,


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