Interviewed by Lisa Griffin, volunteer

Since starting The Daniel Plan, Gabrielle Clark has lost weight, lowered her blood pressure and improved her blood work-related numbers, using her fork and getting more active. Below she shares her progress and motivation for creating a healthier lifestyle with The Daniel Plan.

How are you doing with The Daniel Plan?

I’m down about 12 lbs. since beginning The Daniel Plan in January. When I started, I weighed 192 lbs and now I weigh 180 lbs. My biggest health concern was my blood pressure. I had my blood work checked and my doctor was amazed at the numbers and how they’ve come down from the previous visit. The cholesterol and triglyceride are still a little high, but it’s within a range that’s decent.

What do you hope to accomplish?

A change of lifestyle. And how I think about food, and how I see food. I was impacted by the statement by Dr. Hyman–the greatest weapon for your health–is your FORK. I’m excited about the potential benefits of eating healthy, which are losing weight and to feel healthier, which I already do.

Why is this important to you?

Recently we put my dad in a nursing home because he was in the hospital and he’s gotten to be very frail. He suffers from dementia. And I’m seeing how his lifestyle over the years is affecting him now. My mother at the same time is doing amazingly well, as she struggles with emphysema and lung cancer, also due to lifestyle choices and bad decisions she’s made in regards to smoking.

I just think there are a lot of environmental things in my life as well, the choices I made and I smoked for a number of years, and quit 2001. I’d like to be healthy in my old age so I can fulfill the vision God has given me to take Celebrate Recovery and His word all over the world.

What specific changes have you made?

This is totally God, if I could have done this before I would have. I’m completely off sugar, gluten, or any white flour. And I’m pretty much off of most dairy products.

What are you struggling with? In terms of changing habits (if any).

Being motivated to start doing my weight bearing exercises. I’m doing well with my walking but I’m not my weights, I really need to get back to doing that. In terms of food, I struggle with being prepared, to get lunches and snacks ready to go.

What has been the most significant thing you’ve learned?

I think learning how the body works as a system. Through the doctors and the Daniel Plan sessions, I’m learning a lot on the website.

Any favorite new healthy foods, recipes?

My husband and I bought a Vita-Mix machine. We’re making smoothies for breakfast. All kinds of vegetables and fruits can go in this machine. It’s like a blender. It’s not a juicer. You throw everything in there, spinach, avocado, tomatoes, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries. It’s amazing.

What kind of exercise are you doing?

A lot of walking. We have a five story building at work and I’ve got on my Outlook calendar scheduled for my morning and afternoon break—it tells me to walk. Walk the stairs. A friend at work and I also walk 2-3 miles on our lunch break when we can.

How is your small group doing?

Small group on Tuesday night…we’re doing really well. I also initiated a workplace Daniel Plan small group and about 12 people show up every week!

Do you have a favorite Bible verse that has encouraged you while on The Daniel Plan?

About a month before the Daniel Plan, God put it on my heart to memorize Romans 12 and verses 1-3. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Those verses resonate with me now daily.