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Who says you can’t eat ice cream?  Typically ice cream is filled with sugar and heavy cream, but here is a nutritious version that’s easy, quick and tasty! The original version of this ice cream appeared in The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook by Mark Hyman, M.D.

3 servings

6 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 large frozen strawberries

1. Chill the freezer bowl of an ice cream maker in the freezer for at least 2 hours before making the ice cream.
2. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed until the strawberries are fully broken down and the mixture is creamy, about 1–2 minutes.
3. Transfer to the chilled ice cream bowl, and start the machine. When churned, place the ice cream in the freezer until firm, about 2–3 hours.

Based on The Daniel Plan book, The Daniel Plan Cookbook: 40 Days to a Healthier Life is a beautiful four-color cookbook filled with more than 100 delicious, Daniel Plan-approved recipes that offer an abundance of options to bring nutritious cooking into your kitchen to help transform your health in the best way imaginable—from the inside out.

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What if everything you ever learned about weight loss was wrong? What if losing weight has nothing to do with calories—counting them or cutting them out by sheer willpower? What if, in fact, most health professionals (including doctors and dietitians), our own government and especially the food industry are giving us weight loss advice guaranteed to make us fat?

Here’s their mantra: “Eat less and exercise more. The secret to weight loss is energy balance. There are no good or bad calories. It’s all about moderation.”

If you doubt that this advice could be wrong, just look around. We have tripled our obesity rates since 1960, and in the last decade, cases of type 2 diabetes in children have increased by over 30 percent. In 1980, there were no children with type 2 diabetes (formerly known as adult onset diabetes), and now, there are over 50,000. Seven out of ten Americans are overweight. The advice is not working. Could it be the wrong advice?

Nobody wakes up in the morning saying, “Hey, I want to gain weight today. I am going to overeat. I want to be fat.”

Rather, we have a $60 billion weight loss industry. It specializes in helping people count calories, eat less and exercise more. When are we going to realize that that our approach—as a scientific community and as policy makers—is failing miserably at stemming the tsunami of obesity and related health, social and economic costs?

Could it be we have it all wrong? Could it be the world is round, not flat, even though it looks flat, just as it seems that if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight?

The answer is yes. Our focus on calories has missed the mark entirely. Even if you held the Guinness world record for calorie counting, you could easily be off by 100 calories a day. Do that for 30 years, and you will be 20 to 30 pounds overweight.

The End of Counting Calories

David Ludwig and Mark Epstein published the most important scientific paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association since the Watson and Cricks paper on DNA in 1953, which changed our whole way of thinking about genes. They also explained their findings in the New York Times piece, “Always Hungry? Here’s Why.”

It’s not that Isaac Newton and his first law of thermodynamics was wrong. It’s right—energy is conserved in a system. This is the whole foundation of our calories in/calories out, energy balance concept of weight loss. Just eat less and exercise more, and all the pounds will melt off.

But there is one fatal flaw in that thinking. The law states that energy is conserved in a “system.” It is true that, in a vacuum, all calories are the same. A thousand calories of Coke and a thousand calories of broccoli burned in a laboratory will release the same amount of energy.

But all bets are off when you eat the Coke or the broccoli. These foods have to be processed by your metabolism (not a closed system). Coke and broccoli trigger very different biochemical responses in the body—different hormones, neurotransmitters and immune messengers.

The Coke will spike blood sugar and insulin and disrupt neurotransmitters, leading to increased hunger and fat storage, while the thousand calories of broccoli will balance blood sugar and make you feel full, cut your appetite and increase fat burning.

Same calories—profoundly different effects on your body.

Is Your Fat Hungry?

Dr. Ludwig, for the first time, explains why. It’s not overeating that makes you fat. It’s being fat that makes you overeat. Once you start to consume refined carbs, such as bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and any form of sugar, you start making a certain kind of fat cells called VAT or visceral adipose tissue.

This is no ordinary fat. It is super fat. Hungry fat. Dangerous fat. This fat starts an inexorable cascade that leads to obesity. It’s like falling down an icy slope where it’s almost impossible to stop yourself. You need a big ice axe and crampons. We ordinary mortals are no match for this hungry fat.

Here’s what happens.

Those hungry fat cells suck up all the available fuel in your blood stream (glucose, fats, ketones). Your body then thinks, “Oh my, I am starving. I better eat more and slow my metabolism, so I don’t die.” The problem is, anything you eat gets sucked up into those fat cells around your belly, leading to a vicious cycle of hunger, overeating, fat storage and a slowing down of your metabolism.

No wonder we gain weight and can’t lose it.

The key trigger for all this is a simple common hormone that we all need (but not too much of).

If we make too much insulin, it drives the fuel in our blood into our fat cells. Too much insulin also does a lot of other bad things like cause heart attacks, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, cancer and dementia.

When it comes to causing spikes of insulin that start this miserable chain reaction, not all calories are created equally. Sugar and refined carb calories are the culprits. Americans eat, on average, about 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour a year (almost a pound of sugar and flour per person per day!). These are actually pharmacologic doses of sugar and flour!

Eat More Calories, Weigh Less?

There are many studies showing just how different sugar and fat calories are. Most scientists still hold on to the dogma that fat makes you fat, that fat causes high cholesterol and that low fat is the way to go to live a long healthy life. Plenty of evidence proves otherwise. What if the fact that this conventional wisdom is completely wrong is what has actually caused our obesity epidemic?

Dr. Ludwig points to studies in which all calories are held to be equal, but those participants kept on a low sugar and refined carb diet burned 325 more calories a day than those eating a low fat diet. Bottom line: Eating a high carb, low fat diet slows down your metabolism.

Most striking was an animal study (and yes, we are not animals but the results are still very impressive). The study found that animals eating a low fat diet put on 70 percent more body fat even while eating fewer calories than animals eating a low carb diet.

Let me say this again. Animals eating a low fat diet and fewer calories got fatter than those eating more calories and a low sugar and carb diet—70 percent fatter.

If you restrict your calories, you will end up triggering very ancient biological adaptions that protect us from starvation. You will slow your metabolism and get a lot hungrier.

You can’t voluntarily control your weight over the long term. Willpower is no match for these ancient programmed hormones that make sure you don’t starve to death.

The Key to Automatic Weight Loss

Dr. Ludwig proposes a novel, radical but scientifically true way to solve the obesity epidemic once and for all.

Don’t worry about how much you eat, because you will never be able to control that. Rather, focus on what you eat, the quality of the food you eat, the composition of the food you eat (high in fiber, good quality protein and fat, low in starch and sugar). Then, you won’t be hungry and will shift from fat storage to fat burning. And you will prevent most chronic disease including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and dementia.

10 Take Home Lessons: Forget the Calories, Focus on the Quality of Your Diet

Here are the take home lessons from Dr. Ludwig’s paper:

  •   - Overeating doesn’t make you fat. Your fat cells make you overeat.
  •   - You make hungry fats cells by eating sugar and refined carbs.
  •   - Restricting your calories will slow your metabolism, make you hungry and guarantee that your weight loss attempts will fail.
  •   - Eating a higher fat, higher protein, lower sugar and refined carb diet will speed up your metabolism and cut your hunger.
  •   - Controlling what you eat is much easier than controlling how much you eat.
  •   - Forget calorie counting. It’s not about the calories but about diet quality and dietary composition. Just try eating 1,000 calories of broccoli.
  •   - End our scientifically outdated position that all calories are equal and weight loss is simply a matter of eating fewer calories than you burn.
  •   - Lower insulin by a sugar detox, and watch your body lose weight effortlessly without hunger or cravings.

Stop blaming yourself for lack of willpower, and start empowering yourself by eating real, whole, fresh food that’s low in sugar and starch.

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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Everyone who trusts Christ to save them receives his Holy Spirit in their lives, but few people experience the power of the Holy Spirit because they still depend on their own power instead. Learning to depend on God’s Spirit to guide you, strengthen you, empower you, and use you is the second habit you must develop for spiritual strength.

Jesus gives a beautiful illustration of this in John 15. He compares our spiritual life to a grapevine and its branches. Jesus said, “I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me” (John 15:5 CEV).

No grape branch can produce fruit without staying connected to the main vine, and you cannot produce spiritual fruit while disconnected from God’s Spirit. The fruitfulness of your life will depend on how dependent you are on the Holy Spirit. Attempting to bear fruit (and making positive changes) on your own power is as foolish as tying apples on the branches of a dead apple tree. From a distance, it might look as if the tree is alive and fruitful, but on closer inspection, people would realize the fruitfulness is fake.

Many “religious” people try to fake fruitfulness. They tie on all kinds of good activities—such as attending church services, helping the poor, and being polite and generous to others—but there really is no spiritual life or power inside them, because they are not connected to God. All their “spiritual” activities are just for show. When you get close to them, you can see that they don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus.

So how do you develop a vibrant, life-giving relationship to God? The same way you develop any other relationship! It takes time, it takes talking, and it takes trust. To develop a friendship with God, you have to be in continual conversation with him, listening to him through his Word and talking with him in prayer. If you are not talking to God throughout your day, you certainly aren’t depending on him. Prayer is far more than a once-a-day quiet time or a memorized blessing before each meal. God wants to have a running conversation with you!

Text Box: My Daily Conversation “As I work through my day, I often find myself praying after each task, ‘What’s next Lord?’ And before I walk into any room for a meeting, I always say a silent prayer, asking God to give me wisdom for that meeting. Prayer is the key to staying connected to God, and staying connected is the key to God’s power and effectiveness. I recently tweeted this: ‘Much prayer—much power. Little prayer—little power. No prayer—no power.’ If I am not quietly talking to God as I do my work, I am not depending on him at that moment. And if I don’t talk to God about what I’m doing, it shows that I’m doing it on my own power.” —Pastor Warren

What should you pray about? Everything! Here’s a simple rule: If it’s worth worrying about, then it is worth praying about. If you prayed as much as you worry, you would have a whole lot less to worry about.

For more, check out The Daniel Plan – 40 Days to a Healthier Life.  The Daniel Plan is an innovative approach to achieving a healthy lifestyle where people get better together by optimizing their health in the key areas of faith, food, fitness, focus and friends. Here’s the secret sauce: The Daniel Plan is designed to be done in a supportive community relying on God’s instruction for living. Our research has revealed that people getting healthy together lose twice as much weight as those who do it alone.
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You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11 NLT)

It’s quite a privilege to have a quiet time. We get to have an audience with the king of the universe, the creator of everything.

What makes our quiet times such a privilege that we wouldn’t want to consider missing it? Here are four miraculous things that happen when we spend time with God.

1. You get to give God your devotion. “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you” (Revelation 3:20, MSG). He’s your creator, redeemer, provider, sustainer, counselor, and comforter. God deserves our worship. We’d have nothing without God. Better yet, God wants your devotion, too! He wants to spend time with you.

2. God gives you direction. “Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:4-5 NIV). You and I need direction on a daily basis. God wants to give that direction to you, but to get the direction you must spend time with him. Your quiet time gives you an opportunity to get a daily mid-course correction in your life.

3. You gain delight in God. “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11 NLT). Spending time with God will actually make you happier. Your quiet time is when you enjoy God. Knowing God is the secret to joy.

4. You grow to be more like God. The more time you spend with God, the godlier you become. Spend time watching television, and your character will be shaped by the people you’re watching. Spend time studying God’s Word and with him in prayer, and your character will be shaped by the character of Christ.

Are you spending time with God every day? Do it, and it will be the best decision you’ve ever made.

Talk About It
-In what area will you ask God for direction today?
-Have you noticed that your day goes differently if you start it in the Word and in a quiet time with God?

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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Posted by Mark Hyman, MD
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Everyone is looking for quick, easy ways to shed those extra pounds around the middle, and the weight loss market is often too willing to oblige with endless fad diets and weight loss gimmicks. Often these work for a short time, but they usually fail in the long run, and more often than not, those who try them gain back everything they’ve lost and more....
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Posted by Jerelyn
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Enjoy all the perks — and avoid the pitfalls — of exercising outdoors this summer. Summer is finally here, and with it come countless opportunities to get moving in the great outdoors....
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Posted by Jerelyn
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For years now, researchers and health professionals have demonstrated that physical activity and exercise have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. We were designed to move. In fact, God created each of us to move. Think about the countless activities you perform throughout your busy day—from getting out of bed to putting your clothes on, from driving to work to working all day, and [you name it]. ...
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“But what happens when we live God's way? .... We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way.” (Galatians 5:22-23 MSG)...
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This ubiquitous nut offers a happy combination of versatility and nutrition.
The almond is no ordinary nut. And thanks to its flavor, nutritional power, and culinary flexibility, appreciation for almonds may be at an all-time high.

Once confined to hors d’oeuvre trays and trail mixes, almonds are now available in many forms, including almond flour, butter, and milk. The result? An array of delectable edibles brimming with health benefits.
Due to California’s drought, almonds are currently a bit pricey. So we’ve come up with a variety of recipes that use almonds judiciously and won’t break the bank.


Nuts:  When possible, choose whole almonds over chopped or sliced (more exposed surface area makes for a shorter shelf life).  For a deep, nutty flavor, try roasting raw nuts alone or with some olive oil and herbs.
Flour:  Also called almond meal, almond flour is ground from whole almonds. Traditionally used in baked goods, it is also perfect for thickening savory sauces or as a substitute for bread crumbs.
Butter:  A creamy paste made from ground nuts, almond butter can be used just like peanut butter. You can grind your own at many natural-food markets or purchase convenient no-stir versions at most stores.
Oil: When pressed, almonds make a smooth, vitamin-rich oil that’s as good for moisturizing your skin as it is for high-heat cooking — its smoke point is 420 degrees F.
Milk: Made from finely ground almonds and water, almond milk has a mild taste and a creamy texture, making it a nice substitute for cow’s milk. Looking to avoid the additives in commercial almond milk? Try making your own at home. (For a recipe, see below).
Cheese: Almonds make a slightly grainy, clean-tasting cheese that’s similar to ricotta. When fermented, almond cheese has a tangy flavor akin to feta.


  1. Thanks to their rich stores of magnesium and vitamins B and E, almonds are strong immune-system boosters.

  2. Like avocados and extra-virgin olive oil, almonds are an abundant source of mono-unsaturated fat.

  3. The phytonutrients in almond skins double the antioxidant power of the vitamin E in the meat of the nut.

  4. Like all nuts and seeds, almonds contain phytic acids, which can limit your body’s ability to digest proteins and break down starch into sugar. Since most of the phytic acid is found in the skin of almonds, some experts recommend removing the skins if you are having digestive difficulties (although remember that you’ll be removing key phytonutrients as well).

  5. Almonds naturally have enzyme inhibitors that can strain your digestive system. Soaking almonds in water for at least 18 hours decreases these enzyme inhibitors, making the nuts easier to digest and encouraging the production of other beneficial enzymes that help with nutrient absorption. The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends purchasing nut butters and flours made only from nuts that have been soaked.

Use seasoned almond flour instead of breadcrumbs to crust fish or chicken. Make a large batch of any of these seasoned flours and store in the refrigerator. 

Makes two servings
Preparation time: 10 to 20 minutes

½ cup seasoned almond crumbs (see variations below)
2 tilapia fillets

Italian Almond Crumbs
Makes ½ cup

½ cup almond flour
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried rosemary
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. salt

Cajun Almond Crumbs 
Makes ½ cup

½ cup almond flour
1 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Lemon-Pepper Almond Crumbs
Makes ½ cup

½ cup almond flour
Zest of 1 lemon
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Curry Almond Crumbs
Makes 3/4 cup

  • - ½ cup almond flour

  • - 1 tbs. curry powder

  • - 1/4 cup grated unsweetened coconut

  • - ½ tsp. salt

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Mix the almond-crumb ingredients together in a pie plate or a large shallow dish. Press the fish into the seasoning, turning it over to coat both sides. Bake the tilapia for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Alternatively, sauté the fillets in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, cooking them for about two to three minutes on each side, or until cooked through.


This creamy, comforting gratin is a cinch to make. If crème fraîche is not available, sub heavy whipping cream or sour cream.

Makes four to six servings
Preparation time: 60 to 70 minutes

  • - 1 large head of cauliflower, about 1½ pounds, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • - 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

  • - Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • - 1 8-ounce container of crème fraîche

  • - 1/4 cup chopped green onions or chives

  • - 1 cup finely grated Manchego cheese, about 2 ounces

  • - 3/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In an 8-x-8-inch baking pan, toss the cauliflower with the oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the cauliflower for about 20 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Meanwhile, mix together the crème fraîche, green onions, and cheese. When the cauliflower is finished roasting, stir in the crème-fraîche mixture. Sprinkle with the almonds, and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the gratin is golden brown and bubbly.


Almond butter lends this hearty autumnal soup a velvety, creamy texture. Add chicken, lamb, beef, or pork, if you like. Or, for a vegan soup, use vegetable stock as a base.

Makes four to six servings
Preparation time: 50 minutes

  • - 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

  • - 1 cup diced yellow onion, about 1 medium onion

  • - ½ cup diced celery, about 2 stalks

  • - 1 cup diced carrot, about 1 large carrot

  • - 1 cup diced red bell pepper, about 1 pepper

  • - 4 cups cubed pumpkin

  • - 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • - 1 tbs. ground cumin

  • - 1 tsp. ground turmeric

  • - ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

  • - 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

  • - 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • - Salt to taste

  • - ½ cup almond butter

  • - 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

  • - Chopped fresh cilantro (optional garnish)

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions until they are slightly caramelized, about five minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and seasonings, and sauté for about 10 minutes until the vegetables begin to brown. Stir in the almond butter and stock until the mixture is smooth. Cover and allow the soup to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste and top the soup, if desired, with the cilantro.


  • - Unshelled almonds have the longest shelf life. Look for shells that are firm and have no signs of mold, stains, or splitting.

  • - Shelled almonds should be stored whole in a tightly sealed container in a cool place, such as the refrigerator or freezer.

  • - Almonds, which naturally contain high amounts of oil, should smell slightly sweet. If the nuts have a scent that is sharp or bitter, it means the oils within have turned rancid and the nuts must be discarded.

  • - When purchasing roasted almonds, choose “dry roasted” — which means they weren’t cooked in oil. This will help you avoid industrial vegetable oils and preservatives.

  • - Need to chop whole almonds? Use a chef’s knife or a food processor (a few pulses should do it — more than that, and you might end up with almond butter).

Not a fan of almond skins? Simply blanch the nuts in boiling water for one minute, rinse under cold water, and squeeze the almonds out of their newly shriveled skin.

Experience Life is an award-winning, whole-life health and fitness magazine that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks, and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit ExperienceLife.com to learn more.

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Posted by Mark Hyman, MD
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Eating outside the home comes at a high price. We spend our hard-earned dollars upfront only to pay more at a later date due to hidden healthcare costs not seen on the menu! ...
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