Recently, a group of my friends had a lot of success losing weight on The Daniel Plan. This is not a diet, but a whole new way of eating, based on the example of Daniel in the Bible, and the scripture Corinthians 10:31 that says, "So whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." It is essentially a whole foods lifestyle the way God intended.

My weight is a constant struggle. I've tried South Beach, Atkins, Adipex, Weight Watchers, counting calories, joining a gym, etc... I am just not one of those people that is ever going to weigh 100 pounds. So please believe me when I say that this really is not a diet. It may feel like that at first, but soon it becomes just 2nd nature. I lost 10 pounds in the first month and I ate all the time. I just ate the right things. 

Here are my keys to success on this plan. 

1. Visit the Daniel Plan website and learn how to clean out your pantry. Basically, you're going to get rid of anything with a bunch of ingredients you can't pronounce, anything with high fructose corn syrup, and all hydrogenated oils. 

2. Go shopping! The DP website has a downloadable shopping list of approved foods. I mostly shop at Publix, but I also went to Whole Paycheck Foods and found some alternatives to some pantry staples. But I am very budget conscious. If I can buy organic black beans for $.89 at Whole Foods or regular black beans at Publix for the same price, I'm stocking up at WF. 

3. Go slowly and "pick your battles". I'm trying to change the eating habits of my entire family, but I started with myself first. And I haven't gotten rid of all of the "bad foods" in our house, but we're much better off than we were. Take baby steps. Find a new peanut butter. Next week, make pancakes with half wheat/half white flour until you enjoy whole wheat pancakes. Work on changing one meal at a time. 

4. Planning, especially at the beginning. If you don't have any good food in the house when you come home from work, the temptation to order a pizza or hit the McDonald's drive-thru is going to be too great for mere mortals to overcome. This is especially annoying if you're been "good" all day long! That is where I found my secret weapon. My crock-pot! 

This is the page where I will list my favorite recipes, with links to the recipes we're using and any changes/notes I have to make them more healthy or family-friendly. These recipes will:
  • be fairly "normal" recipes (i.e. no veggie tuna burgers or haddock with warm frisee & mushroom salad) 
  • generally not require 62 ingredients
  • require minimal pre-time. Many will be freezer meals that you can make weeks ahead of time, then pop in your crock-pot. :)




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