Customer Reviews: The Daniel Plan Cookbook: Healthy Eating for Life
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The Daniel Plan is different that diets that ask you to exclude so many foods, you lose weight because you simply can't find enough things to eat that are permitted. This isn't really even a diet--it's a plan to eat healthy foods in a healthy way--excluding processed, overly-sugared foods and enjoying the best nature has to offer with friends and family. It's about positive motivation to live a healthy and enjoyable life, not being deprived.

Since I like breakfast, I went right to the breakfast chapter to see the lay of the land. There were several great recipes that I went to right away--a gluten free pumpkin waffle and an avocado and fruit breakfast. I like waffles now and then as a treat, but I find they make me feel sluggish afterward. I actually use a gluten free waffle mix already and adding pumpkin puree adds fiber and vitamins and makes them really delicious. On the same theme, there is a blueberry French toast with whole grain bread. So this is not a "no-wheat" "no-grain" plan, in case you wondered.

There are also recipes for alternative "milks" including chia seed, hemp seed and almond.

The "American Classics" chapter is equally appealing. There are a number of turkey recipes (turkey burgers, turkey sloppy joes.) We're fortunate to have local, no-antibiotic raised turkey here and the poultry growers sell dark-meat only turkey. If you have a source of local turkey, I suggest you try dark meat turkey for these recipes. It makes a different--and since they exclude the skin, you are not getting a lot of fat and you are getting Omega-3. If you have no source of fresh ground turkey, I really recommend you get boneless turkey thighs, or bone them yourself (it's not THAT difficult) and grind them in a food processor. It takes less time than you think and the result is amazing. I stopped eating beef pretty much after I tried ground dark meat turkey. It cuts a tremendous amount of saturated fat out of your diet.

There are also veggie burgers (lentil-quinoa, high in protein) and lasagna (using zucchini noodles--they are really good) and best of all, mac & cheese. I love mac & cheese but don't let myself eat it very often. This recipe uses brown rice macaroni. I've used this before and this kind of non-wheat pasta actually tastes best when baked--in fact, a bit better than wheat pasta when baked. The cheese portion has real cheese, but it's lightened up with cottage cheese and some cauliflower, which provides the thickness and creaminess with far less fat.

What's interesting about this book is that no food is actually excluded; there is wheat but many recipes use gluten-free breadcrumbs or flours or pastas instead. There is meat--but there are alternatives like turkey instead of beef and legumes instead. There are desserts--ice creams, a coconut-chocolate pudding, even brownies. But the twist is that they are made with the healthiest, freshest foods and even though they are classic American fare, they full of nutritious choices.

The book also emphasizes enjoying family time at meals and in the kitchen, encouraging mindful eating, being aware of what you eat and enjoying every mouthful. (Or as Warren Zevon put it, enjoy every sandwich.) Rather than mindlessless chomping as you are doing something else, The Daniel Plan advises people to make mealtime a time for family fellowship or friends to share together.

What I love about this book is that it is not extreme, it doesn't deprive you, but it gives you so many alternatives for healthy choices, you can adapt how you eat to suit your personal needs. For example, if you DO want to limit wheat, there are pages of gluten free pizzas, all of them delectable. If you don't want to eat beef, there are recipes with turkey and chicken. If you want to limit animal foods, there are plenty of legume alternatives.

What this book doesn't have is a totally vegan or even vegetarian outlook. If you want no grain, no animal sourced foods, this isn't the book for your. If you do want a system of healthy eating that lets you and your family enjoy American style classics but with a healthier version, I highly recommend it.
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on March 23, 2014
I never bought into different diets out there because I ate my fruits and veggies and that was enough, so I thought. I never had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. The only reason I agreed to start this plan at the request of my best friend was because I could still eat chicken, fish and beef. I started the 10-day detox plan from the "The Daniel Plan" book with a group of folks from our church. This cookbook was released during the time following our detox period and when we started meeting in small group DVD study. It is currently the ONLY cookbook I am using. For someone new like me to the whole foods eating plan, the front section of the book is especially informative and helpful describing the differences in oils, sweeteners, how to stock your panty, etc. Eating organic I am finding to be a lot of reading labels and not necessarily budget friendly, but I'm learning to eat better and hoping the cost to eat healthier will be adjusted when more produce comes into season; or my husband will need to adjust our grocery budget! The Turkey Bean Chili, Mongolian Beef and Bittersweet Chocolate Cranberry Chews are just a few of my favorites from this book. I will say emphatically that this is the first time in about 20 years or so that I have physically felt really well.
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on April 18, 2014
I fully agree with the ideas in the Daniel Plan! Getting flour & sugar out of your diet will change your life. However...

The first third of the cookbook is information found in the Daniel Plan book, which you probably already have or are buying, plus another third of the book is full page photos, so don't think you're getting 279 pages of recipes! Though the recipes are for good things, a lot of them seem to have been written by people who like food, not by people who cook. There's just a lot of "common cooking sense" left out, but if you already enjoy cooking, you won't have many problems.

If you don't live in a metropolitan area, finding a lot of the ingredients is tough, but there's room for creativity. (Examples: There is no such thing as fresh fish in Nebraska, it's an hour drive to buy organic corn flakes and organic or vegan mayo is $9 a jar.) If you're flexible and creative, this cookbook is a great resource for getting you going in the Daniel Plan.
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on March 17, 2014
My husband and I have been on the Daniel Plan for several weeks. We both feel so wonderful and whole. We plan to keep this healthy eating a part of our lives until God calls us home. We have lost a combination of 40 pounds. Our goal is to lose another combined 30. Losing weight is just one of the benefits of eating healthy. We clearly see that we are responsible to God for our bodies and how we care for it. The cookbook has made it easier to adjust and all the recipes are awesome.
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on February 19, 2014
Wow! This is an excellent cookbook.
I am so impressed with everything in regard to this book.
I never purchase cookbooks but this is a keeper.
Colorful well thought out pages. Simple recipes.
Great for a family or A SINGLE PERSON.
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on February 25, 2014
This book is amazing!!! For someone like myself, who doesn't like cooking... I have had a blast making these meals. The pictures, the fresh ingredients and the simplicity make it exciting. My kids have loved every meal so far :)
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on February 23, 2014
This is a good cook book with lots of healthy, enjoyable recipes.

Thats the good stuff, the not so good stuff is that around 1/3 of the book is taken up with the same information that you can already find in the Daniel plan. The recipes themselves have also been taken from other cookbooks as well, so there is nothing really new in there.
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on March 25, 2014
I have followed both Dr Amen and Dr Hymen on other programs and found their food plans work great for autoimmune diseases. This book is meant to help get people on the right tract. If followed as a lifestyle plan and not a diet, the weight will stay off.
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on September 13, 2015
My wife and I have been on the Daniel Plan for four weeks now. I have personally lost 15 pounds and 4 inches off my waist, and trust me, I'm not going hungry. We did the "detox" as outlined in the Daniel Plan book for 10 days and we are now using this cookbook on a regular basis. It has some great recipes that you would have no idea they are "good for you". I will warn you, if you're used to eating boxed meals or highly processed foods, this will be a major shift for your palette. I would recommend reading the book first before you jump in here unless you're used to whole, natural foods. It has lots of dairy and gluten free recipes if you have any problems with those types of foods. If you're looking for a way to begin a healthier lifestyle of eating, then this is the way to go. I was skeptical at first, but even after just four weeks, I don't want to go back to my old eating habits.
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on April 12, 2014
As a participant on the Daniel Plan started by a California pastor and two doctors, I began adhering to the "real" food campaign and physical activity for several reasons. I have lost weight, but my blood pressure has dropped, I have more energy and most important I can't return to my ways of unhealthy eating filled with sugar and fat. The recipe book is my "go-to" place now when I am tempted to eat something not healthy for me. I cannot thank Pastor Rick Warren, the two doctors who collaborated with him and our fabulous people in my church who began advocating this program and this fantastic cookbook.
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