Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Daniel Cure - Mixed Reactions

I am tasked with writing a 200 - 300 word review. I'll post my full review here - I've posted a 500 word review on Amazon and Christian Books  - which I figure is good as some of it is quotes from the publisher. LOL  You may want to wait a few days and read the shorter version.....
In Chapter One of Susan Gregory and Richard Bloomer's, The Daniel Cure: The Daniel Fast Way to Vibrant Health,  the authors share: "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. ....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 ..."pg 27 of the provided eBook  YES.

From the publisher's description: "The Daniel Fast is a partial fast, in which certain foods are restricted and others are consumed. This fast is similar to a 'purified' vegan diet; in addition to the exclusion of all animal products, no additives, preservatives, sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol, white flour, or processed foods are allowed. With the Daniel Fast people can eat as much Daniel-Fast-friendly food as they would like.
The Daniel Cure will help readers take the next step by focusing on the health benefits of the Daniel Fast. By following the advice in this book, readers will convert the Daniel Fast from a once-a-year spiritual discipline into a new way of life that can begin any time of the year. In a nation suffering an epidemic of obesity and its resulting ills, The Daniel Cure may be just what the Great Physician ordered.

The Daniel Cure includes a 21-Day Daniel Cure Devotional, four chapters detailing the lifestyle diseases of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation, chapters of recipes and meal planning advice, a recipe index, complete nutritional guidance, and an appendix detailing 'The Science behind the Daniel Fast.'"
The Daniel Cure allows consumption of minimally processed animal products, and coffee/tea. It also has a couple of built in "cheat" meals. Richard's  results from his research studies were interesting and mirror the results from studies by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (Eat to Live). Overall, I believe this is a GREAT approach to gaining a healthy lifestyle. I was pleased to read something from the Christian community which went beyond "fast" to "lifestyle."  There is no doubt the Daniel Cure is both doable and highly successful. The Daniel Cure may be most beneficial to those consuming the Standard American Diet, or those who are suffering from one of the health issues of our times: obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, hypertension...For those currently eating a pure vegan or nutritarian diet, you may find the Christian world view, coupled with the spiritual aspects of fasting an encouragement. I did.
I am currently leading a study on the Biblical book of Daniel. God used a Daniel Fast to radically impact my life three years ago. Spiritually, He began to show me how to break the cycle of long-standing food addiction. Physically, my cholesterol levels drastically dropped,  my blood pressure dropped,  I lost 28 lbs in those six weeks, and my migraines disappeared. As the fast neared its end, I began to feel I was to continue this eating plan.  At an appointment with my doctor, where my labs were discussed, he commented I should, "Keep eating this way."  I have. He recommended the addition of an occasional meal of beef and fish once or twice a week - if I felt the need for meat. I haven't. My labs have been checked yearly. After three years of a plant-based diet all levels have been fine - with the exception of Vitamin D (and that was improved with a move to CA). Including my protein levels. I share this background as it impacts my reaction to the book.
I expected to love it. I had mixed reactions.
One, Susan Gregory, contrary to comments read on the internet and in book reviews, did NOT create the Daniel Fast.  It's been around much longer than she. She cannot be faulted for the hype currently surrounding the Daniel Fast, this is just an observation.
Two,  Daniel Chapter One does not describe a FAST. This was a lifestyle for the four Israelites mentioned.  They ate this way for a minimum of three years. Daniel 10 does mention a "fast" and the implication may be somewhere between Daniel 1  and Daniel 10 he began to eat a bit kosher meat and choice foods. My observation is Daniel did not ping pong between eating plans. What we call a "fast" was his eating plan.
Three, the word translated  vegetables  literally means "scattered or sown seeds." Daniel ate vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains and bread made from those grains. He drank water. This is what we're told Daniel ate.  I understand why Susan recommends avoiding yeast.  However, comments such as herbs are allowable in cold water but not in hot water,  meal replacement shakes aren't beverages but juices are, cooking with dates or applesauce are substitutions and not allowed but eating applesauce and dates are fine .....It all hit me as unneeded legalism. I'm quite sure the Holy Spirit will help individuals sort this out in their personal fasts. And yet, I understand others ask for food lists etc.
Four - many of these "Daniel" books written for the Christian market simply don't eat what Daniel ate - they tell you this. That bothers me.
Five, Richard Bloomer really likes protein. Blanket statements are made that animal products are required for long term health. He did not touch on any of the other studies which have shown a varied plant based diet is sustainable and provides many health benefits -  TheChina Study and  any work by Dr. Fuhrman come to mind.  More proof should have been provided in  a book which focus' on the benefits of a plant based fast, and  then recommends adding animal products to the lifestyle.  This may have taken away the big "huh?" I had while reading this book.   In an appendix he does mention findings which show HDL is lowered on a strictly vegan diet which is why he feels the need to add animal products.
Six, I LOVE the focus on progress over perfection. This leads the authors to encourage "cheat meals." As one who struggles with food addictions, I've learned "cheat meals" often reawaken cravings which make staying on a healthy eating plan very hard. For some cheat meals will be a blessing, for some abstinence will be the bigger blessing.  Again, I believe the Holy Spirit will guide each to the right balance for themselves - if asked.
Overall, I highly recommend The Daniel Cure by Susan Gregory and Richard Bloomer, PhD.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

2 comments:

Holly M said...

Interesting. I looked into the Daniel Fast and was not happy with it because of the legalism -- Yogurt was and is a staple in the middle east, dates were not treats, etc -- I found it to mix both the "fasts" in Daniel which are two separate things in my readings, the lack of understanding of Middle Eastern eating habits put me off and as you said the legalism.
I do have issues with the China Study as well as I have read several articles on it and people who stick to it strictly long term having several health issues.
Thanks for the review! :)

DeEtta @ Choosing Joy said...

I've also heard about long term problems with a purely vegan diet - however, after three years my numbers continue to be just fine. LOL I'm about to relax on all the labs each year. LOL I figure God will clue me in if/when I need to change something.....I found the other book on the Daniel Fast by Kristin F.....something to be less legalistic.....and she had great recipes.