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Pastor Warren recruited three nationally known doctors—Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Mark Hyman, and Dr. Mehmet Oz—to coach him in getting healthy and help him design The Daniel Plan to be used at Saddleback C...
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“Chew your food!” Do you remember your mom telling you that while you were eating? Mom knew what she was talking about. Here’s why -­- Chewing your food (or the technical term is mastication) is so important! It’s one of the first steps of the digesting process....
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No matter where you live, summer can be a bittersweet time of year. For most, summertime means a relaxed lifestyle filled with longer days, warmer weather, and time off from school and work to enjoy the outdoors and hopefully some vacation time.

Along with the warmer weather and outdoor activities comes the pressure (both internal and external) to get your body “beach ready.” This leads us to worry about sticking to our diets
despite the abundance of treats – ice cream, burgers on the grill, and s’mores. Here are some tips to eating a healthy diet, exercising, and enjoying a healthy summer.

Eat smaller, nutrient-­-dense meals every 3-­-4 hours and make sure to include the right mix of carbohydrates. Eating small meals more frequently and including protein with each meal helps to control blood sugars more easily. Clearly, keeping insulin down and controlling blood sugars are keys to a healthy diet and lifestyle.    But how do you figure out your ideal range of calories from carbs?  As I always say, there are no one-­-size fits all approach in Functional Medicine, which is why I always invite readers to experiment with the ideal combination of fat, protein, and carbs that works best for their individual biological needs.

Get to know YOU! Learn what is going on beneath the surface in your body and you will be better able to feed yourself properly and achieve your ideal weight, ward off cravings, and cool off the inflammation that is making you sick, tired, and fat. You need to think about your entire body as an ecosystem – each part dependent upon the whole to thrive. While conventional medicine typically breaks the body into separate parts (such as skin vs. gut vs. thyroid), Functional Medicine looks at how each of these systems impacts the other to determine our final health outcomes.

I suggest you take the self-­-assessment quiz (in The Daniel Plan book) to learn how your specific symptoms impact your total health and understand how to properly nourish yourself.  Remember, there are several triggers for a single condition, which means that the reason you may require a certain diet might be completely different from the reason why someone else needs that same exact diet!

Fast track your exercise routine with interval training. If exercise were a pill, it would be the biggest blockbuster drug of all time. Not only is exercise beneficial for your bones but also studies show it enhances mood, increases energy levels, helps combat chronic disease by raising HDL, manages weight, and leads to healthier sleep patterns. Knowing this is one thing; acting on it is another.

I always say make exercise fun by weaving it into your summer plans. Play Frisbee at the beach, ride bikes at the park, walk to the farmer’s market, hike to a beautiful destination before napping under a shady tree, or rent a kayak for date night instead of heading to your favorite restaurant. As important as it is to have fun, ensuring you exercise smarter, not harder, is critical to making the most of your exercise routine.

Use interval training to help maximize your time while relaxing with friends, not logging hours at the gym! Interval training relies on bursts of activity that elevate your heart rate to its max, followed by a brief cooling down activity before you begin the next interval cycle of high intensity aerobic activity. Whether you swim, walk, run, dance, hike, or bike, switch up the intensity and it will help to achieve better results.

Make this summer one where you smile a lot! Experiment with the following to invite more relaxation, well-­-being, and joy:

  • - Get more rest – take a 20 minute nap, read a book, watch a funny movie, get a massage, or sit quietly journaling
  • - Stay hydrated – drink lots of water; switch it up by adding fresh lemon or lime or blending in fresh watermelon with mint – not only does this make a delicious, refreshing thirst quencher, it also adds important electrolytes back into your diet
  • - Eat your sunscreen – antioxidants naturally project your body’s skin cells from the inside out; eat more brightly colored vegetables and fruits like blueberries, watermelon and cherries
  • - Shop locally and eat fresh – check out local harvest for your nearest farmer’s market
  • - Connect – hang out with your friends and family more and definitely stay connected to the Daniel Plan community.

Mark Hyman, MD is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine, and founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center. He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, The 10-Day Detox Cookbook, The Blood Sugar Solution, The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook, UltraMetabolism, The UltraMind Solution, and The Ultrasimple Diet, and coauthor of The Daniel Plan.

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“We plan the way we want tolive, but only GOD makes usable to live it.” Proverbs 16:9 (MSG)

You get to plan the way you want to live, but only God gives you the power and energy to actually make the transformation. Why? Because God provides the three things you must have to reach your goal and change your life

You need God’s Spirit to empower you to make changes you can’t make on your own. It’s not based on willpower; it’s based on God power. It’s not based on trying; it’s based on trusting.
Zechariah 4:6 says, “‘You will not succeed by your own strength or by your own power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD All-­-Powerful” (NCV).

You need God’s Word to guide you.

The Bible is the owner’s manual for life. The more you read it, study it, memorize it, and meditate on it, the more successful and fulfilled you’re going to be in life.

When Joshua was given the great dream of taking over the Promised Land — a goal that was going to take him the rest of his life — God had these words to say to him: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Joshua 1:8 NASB).

You need God’s people to support you.

You will not be able to reach your goals on your own. It takes a team to fulfill a dream!
A crowd can’t support you, but a small group can. They know when you’re sick, when you’re having a tough time, when you need a break. You can share your goals and your successes and failures, and they will rejoice with you and encourage you to keep going. You’re going to need that when you make the right kind of goals and pursue them wholeheartedly.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-­-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped” (MSG).

Talk It Over

  • - Why is it difficult for you to trust God’s Spirit to work in your life?
  • - What do you need to do to make God’s Word a part of your daily life so that you can leverage its instruction and wisdom?
  • - Who are the people around you, including your small group, on whom you can rely for support as you pursue your goals?


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!

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I'm going to tell you about something today that's a secret. It's a powerful tool that you have with you all the time, every moment of every day that you might not know about - and it can change your life. It's called your breath!

We all breathe and we don't really think about it, we just do it. But, conscious breathing, using your breath as a doorway to relaxation is a very powerful tool that helps reset your nervous system to deal with stress and helps your body heal. I've created a simple breathing method called "Take Five." You don't need a lot of time and nobody even needs to know you're doing it, it's not like you need to go hide in a closet and do this.                   

Relaxation is not something that happens automatically. It's something that we have to do, actively. It's just as important as exercising or eating right. Each of us has to find a way to actively relax and we also have to find a way to be intentional about bringing meaning, purpose, peace and serenity into our lives. It has to be done in a deliberate way, in an active way.             

You don't have to worry about finding stress. Stress will find you, I promise, but relaxation is a little more elusive.  Now, there are many ways to relax but often the simplest is the best. 

One of my favorite techniques is what we call Soft Belly Breathing.  Sit up straight; try to relax your body. Put your hand on your belly and just let your belly loosen up and relax. Close your eyes and soften your focus or look at the floor a few feet in front of you.

Now I want you to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. The idea is to breathe deeply into your belly and then feel it expand, pushing out like you have a pop-belly, while counting to five, allowing your body to release the tension.

Then breath out to the count of five, letting your belly relax. Now stop for a minute. Notice how you feel and that was just a few seconds. If you're anything like me just taking that one breath makes you feel a lot more relaxed.

I suggest that you incorporate soft-bellied breathing to help you relax throughout the day. In fact, I strongly encourage you to take this "Take Five" method of breathing and use it five times a day. Inhale and exhale to a count of five, do this five times in a row. Five in, five out.  Five breaths. Repeat this process five times a day - do it when you wake up, do it before every meal, and before bed. That way you'll always remember to Take Five. 

If you practice this every day your body will start to shift, your nervous system will start to shift, your mind will start to relax, and you'll have all sorts of unintended benefits that you'll see from helping your body get in that state of relaxation. The breath is there for you all the time. All you have to do is take advantage of its power and change your life for the better.          

By just using the "Take Five" method every day you're going to change your life for the better.

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Posted by Jerelyn

Picture yourself when you were a fifth grader, probably nine or ten years old. Do you remember … Looking into the sky watching clouds morph into zoo animals and cartoon characters? Running with outstretched arms like Superman or Wonder Woman, saving the entire city? Playing tag, getting caught, and laughing so hard you couldn’t breathe? Climbing trees? Running and jumping into a pile of leaves? Not worrying about how much you weighed, what you looked like, what clothes you wore, or how much money you had? Skipping, hiding, seeking, shooting, chasing, swimming, dancing, and catching?...
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Clear thinking, moist skin, healthy kidneys, and bountiful energy — they all depend on an adequate daily intake of water. Are you getting enough liquids? And if you work out, are you getting the right kind? Find out why you should look before you gulp....
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“These instructions are not empty words — they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life …” (Deuteronomy 32:47 NLT) Many people think the Bible is only filled with commands labeled “Thou shalt not …” They assume the Bible is all about restrictions and making you lead a boring life....
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Posted by Jerelyn

(from The Daniel Plan – 40 Days to a Healthier Life...
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Knowing full well we are short on time and often money, fast food manufacturers and grocers lure us into convenient, heavily processed meals that take a toll on our waistline, our overall health, and believe it or not, our budget....
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