The Proof is in the Platter

Last night Mumbles and I went to our first small group meeting of the New Year which, after a series of events changing our small group’s plan for our next study, was also our first meeting about the new Daniel Plan at Saddleback Church.  A brief explanation is that internationally renowned medical experts Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mehmet Oz (of Oprah fame) have partnered with Saddleback to create a free healthy lifestyle program including a six-week small group study, a website with tools to help track progress, monthly Webcasts with Pastor Rick Warren interviewing leading health experts, an optional healthy choice menu, and new outdoor fitness equipment set-up on the Lake Forest campus. The goal is for everyone to feel better, be stronger, think sharper, and look better a year from today.  After hearing that statistics show a staggering 76 percent of Americans are overweight this sounds like pretty good stuff to be striving toward, yes?  I think so.

The intro to this program was really illuminating for me – I’m specifically interested in the physical fitness aspects as I don’t go to the gym or exercise nearly as often as I should and despite the fact that I’m skinny I could really use more energy to be more productive.  I could also drink more water.  And not sit at my desk for 11 hours straight per day.  On another note, I have a vested interest in this from a professional standpoint because not only am I employed in the health & wellness industry, I’m also working on a special project at one of our spas — a weight loss/healthy lifestyle pilot program.  From what I know about both of these programs, they are extremely similar in that they aren’t flashy, glamorous “get slim quick” tricks – they are truly about all-around wellbeing, making lifelong, sustainable decisions for better health prompted by a physician-developed and supervised program and supported by peer group meetings, nutrition and fitness coaching, healthy lifestyle tips, recipes, and more.  

So now that my work life is crossing into my personal life even more than before, I’d also like to tell a little story.  First I have to start by sharing the verse that was presented at the start of the Daniel Plan:

I constantly pray for you, that our God . . . by his power may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.
2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NIV)
Proof of this verse and that God puts the right people in our lives to help us succeed: My husband and I walked in the door to our first Daniel Plan small group meeting last night with french fries in hand, having just scarfed down
In-N-Out for dinner and our group hosts had fresh fruit and veggie platters out for us to snack on. God’s perfect timing at it again. ha!  And to take it a step further in calling us out on our love for In-N-Out, when I got home and checked out The Daniel Plan website I found this poem by Pastor Rick:

Lord, grant me the strength that i may not fall
into the clutches of cholesterol

At polyunsaturates i’ll never matter
for the road to hell is paved with butter

Whip cream is cursed and jelly is awful
yes, satan is hiding in every waffle

He appears to me as a cinnamon roll
Eager to fatten and clog my soul

So teach me the evils of hollandaise
Of ribs and pasta and mayonnaise

May I have the presence to realize
that evil lurks in in and out fries

And crispy fried chicken from the south
Lord if you love me, shut my mouth

–Rick Warren

So there it is. 
The proof of God’s love and care for us is in the fruit platter.
Things happen for a reason. 
Life is full of “coincidences” that are planned (just not by you). 

If you’d like more information on The Daniel Plan, visit Saddleback’s website here; it’s full of free resources to help motivate and get you healthy!

To your health & happiness – cheers!

P.S.   Dr. Amen. That’s funny. (How qualified for this church program is that guy – perfect name!)