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Posted by Jerelyn

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By Mark Hyman, MD

How much you eat matters, but the quality of the food we put into our bodies matters more because it drives our gene function, metabolism, and health.

 

Rather than subscribing to the antiquated calories in/calories out model for weight loss and good health, focus on powerful, gene-altering, whole, real, fresh food that you cook yourself can rapidly change your biology. You will lose weight by getting your systems in balance, not by starving yourself. 

 

Studies Show Quality Matters More

 

Let me share a remarkable study1 that shows how quickly and powerfully the quality of the food you eat affects your genes, independent of calories, carbs, protein, fat, or fiber.

 

This study divided people with pre-diabetes into two groups. Each group consumed the same amount of calories, with equivalent amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber, for 12 weeks.

 

The only difference was one group ate whole-kernel rye bread and rye pasta; whereas, the other group ate oats, wheat, and potatoes as its carbohydrate source.

 

After 12 weeks, the researchers performed a subcutaneous fat biopsy, looked at gene expression, and gave participants a glucose challenge to assess how their blood sugar and insulin were affected by these dietary changes.

 

Remarkably, people in the group that ate rye had smarter, smaller fat cells and were more insulin-sensitive. Information contained in the rye – a phytonutrient called lignans – switched on diabesity-reversing genes. These genes were switched on regardless of calories or grams of carbs eaten.

 

Equally amazing, dozens of genes that had made participants fat and diabetic were turned off, and dozens of genes that would help them become healthy and thin were turned on.

 

On the other hand, 62 genes that promote diabesity were turned on in the group that ate oats, wheat, and potatoes. That led to increased stress molecules, increased inflammation, and increased oxidative stress or free radicals.

 

Put another way, it didn’t matter how many calories or grams of carbs these groups ate; it was the kind of carbs that was important.

 

This study, among many similar ones, proves food is not just calories. Food is information. If you want to turn off the genes that lead to diabesity and turn on the genes that lead to health, focus on the quality and type of food you eat, not necessarily the number of calories you consume or the ratio of protein to fat to carbohydrate in your diet. 

 

Broccoli vs. Soda

 

To provide a practical illustration that disproves the calorie-is-a-calorie myth, let’s look at the hormone effects of 750 calories of soda versus 750 calories of broccoli.

 

We all intuitively know that equal caloric amounts of soda and broccoli can’t be the same nutritionally. In fact, the food interacts with your biology, a complex adaptive system that instantly transforms every bite.

 

First, let’s look at soda. A 7-Eleven’s Double Gulp has 750 calories, which is 100 percent sugar with 186 grams, or 46 teaspoons, of sugar.

 

Your gut quickly absorbs the fiber-free sugars in the soda as fructose and glucose. The glucose spikes your blood sugar, starting a domino effect of high insulin and a cascade of hormonal responses that kicks bad biochemistry into gear.

 

The high insulin increases storage of belly fat, increases inflammation, raises triglycerides and lowers HDL, and raises blood pressure.

 

In men, high insulin lowers testosterone. In women, high insulin and lack of fiber causes an oversupply of estrogens—often called estrogen dominance, which refers to abnormal recycling of estrogens in the body—and contributes to infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).Now we have high insulin and sex hormone imbalances.

 

Insulin’s effect on your brain chemistry increases your appetite. Insulin blocks leptin, your appetite-control hormone. You become more leptin resistant, so the brain never gets the “I’m full” signal. Instead, it thinks you are starving. Your pleasure-based reward center is triggered, driving you to consume more sugar and fueling your addiction.

 

Fructose makes things worse. It goes right to your liver, where it starts manufacturing fat, which triggers more insulin resistance and causes chronically elevated blood insulin levels, driving your body to store everything you eat as dangerous belly fat. You also get a fatty liver, which generates more inflammation. Chronic inflammation causes more weight gain and diabesity.

 

Stress worsens insulin’s vicious cycle. When you perceive a lot of stress in your life, you produce excess cortisol, which then makes you crave more sugar. Excess cortisol can slow down thyroid hormone function.

 

Additionally, soda contains no fiber, vitamins, minerals, or phytonutrients to help you process the calories you are consuming. These are “empty” calories devoid of any nutritional value.  Your body doesn’t register soda as food, so you eat more all day long. Plus, your taste buds get hijacked, so anything that is not super-sweet doesn’t taste very good to you.

 

Now let’s look at the 750 calories of broccoli. As with soda, these calories are made up primarily (although not entirely) of carbs. Let’s clarify just what that means, because the varying characteristics of carbs will factor significantly into the contrast I’m about to illustrate.

 

Carbs are plant-based compounds comprised of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. They come in many varieties, but they are all technically sugars or starches, which convert to sugar in the body.

 

The important difference is in how they affect your blood sugar. High-fiber, low-sugar carbs such as broccoli are slowly digested and don’t lead to blood sugar and insulin spikes, while table sugar and bread are quickly digested carbs that spike your blood sugar.

Therein lies the difference. Slow carbs like broccoli heal rather than harm.

 

Those 750 calories of broccoli make up 21 cups and contain 67 grams of fiber. The average American consumes only 10 to 15 grams of fiber a day. Remember that fiber helps you get rid of bad estrogens. Broccoli is 23 percent protein, 9 percent fat, and 68 percent carbs (or 510 calories from carbs). The “sugar” in 21 cups of broccoli is the equivalent of only 1.5 teaspoons; the rest of the carbs are the low-glycemic type found in all non-starchy vegetables, which are very slowly absorbed.

 

However, you wouldn’t be able to eat 21 cups of broccoli, because it wouldn’t fit in your stomach. Assuming you could, what would happen? A serving that large would contain so much fiber that very few of the calories would actually get absorbed. Those that did would get absorbed very slowly.

 

There’d be no blood sugar or insulin spike, no fatty liver, and no hormonal chaos. Your stomach would distend (which it doesn’t with soda; bloat from carbonation doesn’t count!), sending signals to your brain that you were full. There would be no triggering of the addiction reward center in the brain.

 

You’d also get many extra benefits that optimize metabolism, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and boost detoxification. The phytonutrients in broccoli (glucosinolates) boost your liver’s ability to detoxify environmental chemicals, and the flavonoid kaempferol is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

 

Broccoli also contains high levels of vitamin C and folate, which protect against cancer and heart disease. The glucosinolates and sulphorophanes in broccoli change the expression of your genes to help balance your sex hormones, reducing breast and other cancers.

 

My point is, all calories are NOT created equal. The same number of calories from different types of food can have very different biological effects. 

 

10 Strategies to Focus on Quality, not Quantity:

 

The most important thing you can do to heal your body is focus on food quality. Americans spend less than 10 percent of their income on food, while Europeans spend about 20 percent.

Quality matters. It is more important than quantity when it comes to calories. If you focus on quality, not quantity, you will feel satisfied while naturally avoiding cravings and attraction to food that won’t nourish you. Here are 10 ways to do that:

 

  1. Avoid highly processed, factory-manufactured Frankenfoods. Choose fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and lean animal protein such as fish, chicken, and eggs.
  2. Clean up your diet. Look for animal products that are pasture-raised, grass-fed, and antibiotic-, hormone-, and pesticide-free. Go on a low-mercury diet by sticking with small, wild, or sustainably farmed fish.
  3. Go organic. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers poison your metabolism, your thyroid, your sex hormones, and our planet. Buy as much organic food as your budget allows. Refer to the Dirty Dozen list for top offenders and the Clean 15 at ewg.org.
  4. Stay local. Seasonal, local foods you find at farmers’ markets or community-supported agriculture projects (CSAs) are healthier, taste better, are typically sustainably grown, and help you recognize the intimate relationship between the ecosystem of your body and the broader ecosystem in which we all live.
  5. Eat a low-glycemic load. Focus on more protein and fats, including nuts (not peanuts), seeds (flax, chia, hemp, sesame, pumpkin), coconut, avocados, sardines, and olive oil.
  6. Eat the right fats. Steer clear of vegetable oils, including soybean oil, which now comprises about 10 percent of our calories. Focus instead on omega 3 fats, nuts, coconut, avocados, and yes, even saturated fat from grass-fed or sustainably raised animals.
  7. Eat mostly plants. Plants should form 75 percent of your diet and your plate. I usually make two to three vegetable dishes per meal.
  8. Avoid dairy. Dairy is great for growing calves into cows, but not for humans. Try organic goat or sheep products, but only as a treat.
  9. Avoid gluten. Most is from Franken Wheat, so look for heirloom wheat (Einkorn). If you are not gluten sensitive, then consider it an occasional treat.
  10. Moderate alcohol and caffeine. Switch from coffee to green tea, and keep your alcohol intake to three glasses a week if you drink. 

Mark Hyman, MD believes that we all deserve a life of vitality—and that we have the potential to create it for ourselves. That’s why he is dedicated to tackling the root causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of Functional Medicine to transform healthcare. He is a practicing family physician, an eight-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field. He is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. He is also the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine and a medical editor of The Huffington Post.

Posted by Jerelyn

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By Shiela Mulrooney Eldred – Experience Life

 

Trying to weather the storm of nutrition advice? Seek out a rainbow of colorful produce, and you’ll find a big pot of phytonutrient gold.

 

Many of us dutifully eat our veggies, yet few of us fully understand why they’re so good for us. A lot of it comes down to phytonutrients, the powerful, plant-based chemicals found in veggies as well as fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, herbs, and spices.

 

Unlike macronutrients (such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), phytonutrients are not considered critical to our short-term survival. But, experts say, they are absolutely essential to warding off chronic diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, and brain disorders.

 

Most of us are familiar with the beta-carotene found in carrots or the rich stores of lycopene in tomatoes. We may even use resveratrol as an excuse to pour ourselves a glass of red wine. But what about the other 25,000 phytonutrients? Yes, there are that many.

 

The good news is, you don’t need to take a zillion supplements to get them all. Since many phytonutrients are responsible for the hues of the plants they’re found in, simply eating a wide spectrum of colorful, plant-based foods will ensure that you’re getting the diversity you need.

 

WHAT PHYTONUTRIENTS DO

 

Epidemiological studies have shown strong links between plant-based diets and health, but researchers are still trying to discern exactly how phytonutrients are involved. Because dozens of families of phytonutrients (including polyphenols, carotenoids, and saponoids) work in concert at both the cellular and genetic level, their biochemical functions can’t be easily teased out. (For a list of the major phytonutrients and their vital powers, see “Phyto Power“.)

 

What is known, according to nutritionist Deanna Minich, PhD, FACN, CNS, founder of the Food & Spirit nutrition program and a faculty member of the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), is that phytonutrients play three key roles:

  • They are protective antioxidants.
  • They can trigger positive gene expression (switching good genes “on” and bad ones “off”).
  • They support specific body structures and functions (lutein, for example, which is found in green veggies such as kale, spinach, and parsley, collects in the back of the eye and enhances visual health).

Overall, phytonutrients appear to have a protective, immune-supporting and anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body.

 

Recent studies show that people who developed stomach, lung, breast, and uterine cancer had lower phytosterol levels than those without cancer. (Phytosterols are a type of phytonutrient common in foods such as flaxseeds, almonds, pistachios, and broccoli.) Other research shows that high ingestion of phytosterols appears to reduce the growth of breast and prostate cancer in animals.

 

David E. Williams, PhD, environmental and molecular toxicology professor at the Linus Pauling Institute, studies the effects of phytonutrients in utero. He believes exposure to phytonutrients, starting even before birth, decreases our susceptibility to many chronic diseases, including cancer.

 

RICH PALETTE

 

For maximum health impact, experts suggest eating phytonutrients in combination. Some individual phytonutrients do localize in certain parts of the body; blueberry compounds, for example, find their way to the parts of the brain serving memory and learning. But it’s clear that gorging on one or two phytonutrients is unlikely to boost your health.

 

“You can’t just take one nutrient for one effect,” Minich says. “It’s best to focus on smaller amounts of many phytonutrients.”

 

As Kristi Hughes, ND, a Minnesota-based functional-medicine naturopathic physician and the IFM’s associate director of medical education, explains it, different ailments might call for different combinations of phytonutrients. For example, Hughes says she may combine curcumin with other phytonutrients to fight inflammation in a patient’s gastrointestinal tract.

 

For a person simply looking to enhance overall health, the best bet when it comes to phytonutrients, says Hughes, is to remember the two Ds — density and diversity.

 

To make sure you are getting a diversity of phytonutrients, focus on the rainbow. Start with a simple plate of raw veggies: red pepper, green peapods, yellow cherry tomatoes, orange carrots, and purple cauliflower.

 

Then, the next time you shop, go for even more diversity within one of the color groups, suggests Minich. Different foods within the same color family offer different phytonutrient benefits, so instead of blueberries, pick up marionberries, and instead of watermelon, buy tomatoes.

 

Start swapping out starchy white staples for more vibrant ones: Make purple mashed potatoes or cook up a pot of black and red rice. And, remember, healthy foods that are white, tan, and brown are included in the rainbow, too, such as cauliflower, fennel, garlic, ginger, tahini, unsweetened cocoa, and lentils.

 

For the most part, vegetables have a greater healthy impact than fruits, says Williams. The crucifer family — broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and others — is especially phyto-rich. While all the colors count, he says, you get the biggest bang for your nutritional buck by emphasizing green.

 

KITCHEN TIPS

 

There’s no single best way to prepare foods to reap their phytonutrients. Some are better for you raw (such as many fruits) and some are more nutritious when cooked (such as carrots, spinach, and mushrooms).

 

“Certain plant compounds can be destroyed during cooking and other heat processing,” explains Susanne Mertens-Talcott, PhD, a Texas A&M University researcher.

 

“For example, when cooking strawberries, some of the bioactive compounds may get destroyed, so it’s better to consume these raw and chew well. But it is difficult for your body to fully extract and absorb the beta-carotene and other compounds in raw carrots. And cooking them with oil improves absorption.”

 

A general rule of thumb, says Minich, is to apply the rainbow rule to food preparation: Cook food until it’s at its brightest. “When broccoli turns that brilliant jewel tone of green during sautéing, that’s the time to eat it,” she says.

 

Some research has shown that organic produce tends to be richer in phytonutrients — perhaps because plants develop their bioactive compounds to defend themselves against pests and other stressors. Overly protected, pesticide-laden conventional produce may not be called upon to develop its full phytonutrient potential.

 

For example, Mertens-Talcott explains, “Resveratrol is only created if a plant is stressed by heat or pathogens, so grapes from a shade- or herbicide-protected vineyard may have less resveratrol.”

If you are not able to reliably eat a diet rich in plants, Minich says you may be able to resort to supplements for some of what you’re missing. Pills will never provide everything in a whole food, she notes, but they can play a supportive role.

 

“When I’m undergoing more stress, or when I’m traveling and I know I’m not going to have access to good food, that’s when I’ll bring my bag of supplements,” she says.

 

If you do opt for phyto-supplements, she suggests, aim to follow nature’s example: “You don’t want a high amount of a single agent, but, rather, small amounts of many.”

 

Just remember, Minich advises, no capsule can do for you what real produce will: “A whole food carries much more complexity than the limited constituents of a pill.”

 

5 STEPS TO GETTING MORE PHYTONUTRIENTS

 

Consider these tips from the Institute for Functional Medicine:

 

1. Load Up On Produce - Aim for nine to 13 servings of vegetables and fruits daily. One serving equals a half-cup of cooked veggies, 1 cup of raw leafy veggies, or a medium-size piece of fruit. Think of it as three to four servings per meal. In addition to veggies and fruits, phytonutrients abound in whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and even herbs and spices.

 

2. Eat Color - Unless they have added colors, most processed foods come in tan, yellow, and white. Make it your goal to get the full spectrum — red, yellow, orange, green, blue/purple, white/tan — every day with a variety of  naturally colorful foods. (Sorry, Froot Loops and M&Ms don’t count.)

 

3. Be Adventurous - Try a new food every week, and you’ll get the colors of the rainbow from new and different sources.

 

4. Maximize Combinations - Try eating plant foods in combination for an enhanced benefit. For example, pairing turmeric with black pepper and olive oil (on cauliflower, for example) has a synergistic health effect.

 

5. Use Creative Substitutions - Ramp up your old standbys with more phytonutrient-dense versions. Make orange or purple cauliflower instead of white cauliflower. Try purple mashed potatoes — or even sweet potatoes — instead of the traditional white spuds. And swap out white rice for purple, black, or brown.

 

 

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BY RICK WARREN

“‘Test us for ten days,’ he said. ‘Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare us with the young men who are eating the food of the royal court, and base your decision on how we look.’ [The guard] agreed to let them try it for ten days. When the time was up, they looked healthier and stronger than all those who had been eating the royal food.”

(Daniel 1:12-15 TEV)

 

When Daniel refused to become unclean by eating the food of King Nebuchadnezzar’s court, he made a deal with the guard: “‘Test us for ten days,’ he said. ‘Give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare us with the young men who are eating the food of the royal court, and base your decision on how we look.’ [The guard] agreed to let them try it for ten days. When the time was up, they looked healthier and stronger than all those who had been eating the royal food” (Daniel 1:12-15 TEV).

 

Daniel didn’t just eat haphazardly, accepting whatever was placed in front of him. He was intentional about what he ate.

 

When you think clearly about what you eat, God empowers you to continue to make good choices. Clear thinking leads to self-control.

 

By thinking ahead of time, you can prepare so that you won’t have a “food emergency.” This enables you to eat healthful snacks that you packed ahead of time, and you won’t crash in the afternoon because you ate a greasy fast-food lunch.

 

Instead, you’ll be on top of your game, ready to do whatever it is that God calls you to do. Being mindful and conscious, thinking clearly, and exercising self-control, you can become Daniel Strong.

 

Talk It Over

  1. Share three things you can do to think clearly and prepare in order to avoid a food emergency.
  2. What time of day are you most likely to have a “food emergency”?
  3. How can you prepare for these times when you are vulnerable?
  4. What changes do you notice in yourself when you practice mindful and intentional eating?

 

Pastor Rick Warren's radio teaching and daily devotional, Daily Hope, is offered across America and designed for your daily quiet time.  Love, learn, and LIVE the Word everyday with Daily Hope!  Subscribe to the free Daily Hope Devotional or listen to today’s radio broadcast!

Julius’ life dramatically changed after he received “The Daniel Plan” book as a gift.  By learning to incorporate the five Essentials: Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends into his life, he experienced life-changing transformation. His story is an inspiration to all who feel stuck, controlled by old habits and an unhealthy lifestyle.

 

A Precious Gift

In January 2014, two friends who attend Saddleback Church gave me “The Daniel Plan” book. At the beginning of my journey, I weighed 240 pounds and was not concerned with eating a healthy diet or working out. I started reading the book and learning about the five Essentials of the program, which are Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus and Friends. I also visited Saddleback Church and listened to the “Transformed” message series Pastor Rick Warren was teaching. This series was based on Romans 12:2, which made a strong impression on my faith and me in God, was strengthened.

 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

 

I realized deep inside that I was abusing the sacred body that God had given me. It was time to make a change.

 

First Steps

In the spring, I joined an athletic club and started taking classes such as cycling and a cardio/weight training class. I was greatly encouraged and motivated by my trainers, who checked on my progress and gave me tips and advice. It was so important for me to surround myself with friends who held me accountable during my health journey. I also changed my diet. This was difficult in the beginning because of my cravings for junk food, rice and soda. However, this is where the Faith essential really helped me. When I prayed for strength or for temptations to be removed, my prayers were answered. I was also blessed to receive tremendous support in living a healthy lifestyle from my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Jonas.

 

New Lifestyle Embraced

Through God’s grace The Daniel Plan has positively impacted my life. The Daniel Plan has rekindled my faith in God. I am now strong and confident in the Lord and determined as a child of God to strive for excellence in all that I do.

 

I have an unwavering desire to live a healthy lifestyle, by eating healthy foods and staying active. I know this is a continuous journey, but I firmly believe that with God and the people God has placed in my life, I will be able to overcome any obstacles that may arise.

I have lost over 50 pounds so far!

As a 10-year cancer survivor, I am grateful for the second chance God has given me. I believe that God led me to read The Daniel Plan so that I would begin taking care of his health. I am grateful for the transformation that has occurred in my life. I plan to continue relying on the 5 Essentials of The Daniel Plan to help me balance my life and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

By Mareya Ibrahim

You get to work.  No time to leave for lunch.  Stomach starts to rumble.  Get distracted.  Feel incredibly lethargic all of a sudden.  Start to yawn.  Chug a bunch of coffee or energy drinks.  Rub your eyes.  Desperation hits.  Grab a bag of chips from the vending machine. Reach into your desk drawer and fish out a bag of year-old Halloween candy you pillaged from your kids and proceed to go into a caffeinated sugar and salt coma in the middle of your manager’s meeting, then fall face first into your co-worker’s lunch.  Or maybe, just bite his head off and chew slowly. 

The hunger beast emerges.

How does the vicious cycle begin?  The idea of three ‘square meals’ a day was engrained in us from day one.  Snacks were something that would sabotage your diet and consisted of a lot of fried, sugary stuff.  The real scenario plays out like this…you skip a meal, like, say breakfast or lunch, the snacking goes awry and your hunger dominoes like a pack of rabid wolves that will do anything for survival, including picking off of carcasses, donuts, fries and any other office meeting remnants or infinite shelf life, processed items that might present themselves from behind a vending window with lots of buttons. Willpower is not your wingman that shoulders you on to good health when a sugar-and-fried-food-fest feels a lot more like a party.

The body loves routine in what it eats and when.  It wants to know it will receive energy on a regular basis to operate, just like a car.  If you let the tank run dry and keep trying to drive, you’ll probably have to hitch a ride home no matter where you are.  It just won’t go anymore.  Plus, it takes a lot more energy to get it running in tip top shape again and don’t even think about giving it the cheap gas, unless you want to gunk up the engine.

White flour, refined sweeteners, chemical additives and processed foods are perfectly designed to gunk up your engine.  

So, here’s my secret. The key to staving off hunger and managing blood sugar is to eat better, more often.  Food affects our mood, energy level, how we handle stress, our ability to sleep, how we deal with relationships, and ultimately, governs our decisions.  Have you ever seen the shirt that says ‘I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry?’ 

Eating regularly seems like such an easy concept but one that’s not always given priority in our go, go, go lives.  As a health coach, I hear it all the time.  “I forgot to eat.” “I don’t always have time to go grocery shopping.”  “I’m on a diet, so I’m skipping lunch.”  The fact is, your body needs you to eat right, regularly.   Not eating right will come back to bite you in the derriere. You won’t just gain fat, you’ll also drag down your system, and just like that car, you will break down. 

You’re not only encouraged to eat often, choosing a combination of protein with slow burning carbohydrates and essential fatty acids can actually stoke your metabolic fire and help you burn more calories, even in your sleep.  Clean foods + smaller portions at regular intervals = higher metabolism.  If that doesn’t sound like a license to eat, I don’t know what more a fit foodie could ask for!

Quick meal ideas can help keep the hunger beast from rearing its ugly head.  Eat a few each day:

  • Nitrate-free turkey breast, arugula and tomato rolled in a whole grain tortilla
  • Oatmeal made with old fashioned oats, flax meal, fresh fruit and unsweetened nut milk
  • Sushi hand rolls made with toasted seaweed, vinegar-seasoned brown rice, avocado, seared tuna and cucumber

Smart snacks can also help you avoid a food emergency.  Eat a couple each day:

  • Protein shake made with high quality protein powder, spinach, coconut water and berries
  • Sprouted toast topped with almond butter and sliced apples
  • Homemade trail mix with unsalted cashews, dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips
  • Bell pepper, Jicama and cucumber sticks with avocado hummus
  • Crunchy chickpeas, baked with cumin (see recipe below)

A little bit of planning goes a long way.  Make sure you’ve got some meals prepped and snacks packed before heading into the week.  I like to keep a bag in my car that travels with me, full of transportable snacks like raw cashews, packs of wild-caught albacore tuna, coconut water, low sugar bars and apples with individual packets of nut butter so that I’m never seduced by the blinking lights of the fast food drive through.  I figure as long as I’m armed, I’ll never have to succumb to a food 911.

Try out this great, high protein snack that satiates your need to crunch.

Crunchy Cumin and Chili Chickpeas

Ingredients:

4 cups   garbanzo beans, canned, rinsed

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground Chili powder

1/2-teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.

2. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients until evenly coated.

3. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30 to 40 minutes.

4.  Package in individual portion sizes in paper bags to keep crunchy.

 

Mareya Ibrahim is one of The Daniel Plan Signature Chefs and is best know as The Fit Foodie.  She is an award-winning entrepreneur, television chef, author and inventor.  She is also the CEO and founder of Grow Green Industries, Inc. and co-creator of eatCleaner, the premier lifestyle destination for fit food information.  Her book “The Clean Eating Handbook” is touted as the ‘go-to’ guide for anyone looking to eat cleaner and get leaner.  She is a featured chef on ABC’s Emmy-nominated cooking show Recipe Rehab, eHow.com, Livestrong and the food expert for San Diego’s Channel 6 News.   She is also the creator of the Cleaner Plate Club – the only clean, balanced nutrition meal prep program that follows her proven formula for fat and weight loss.



 
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