The Daniel Plan: Complete!

Today I had a small piece of mint Oreo pie and immediately felt like I needed fruit to balance it out. Pete made the pie for me to celebrate the end of the Daniel Plan/Valentine’s Day, and it is scrumptious, but I think I have a lower tolerance for sweets now. (That doesn’t mean I won’t continue eating a little here and a little there.)

The plan ended Friday and I waited until the next afternoon to have my first non-Daniel Plan morsel: a square of dark chocolate with sea salt from World Market. I was happy to know that I still adore chocolate, but I admit it wasn’t the hallelujah moment I thought it would be.

Overall, I’m really glad I did the Daniel Plan. Here are some good things that came of it:

  • I feel calmer. Not all the time, but in general. I’ve been less stressed with house work and with things that typically annoy me. I think it’s a combination of eating well, trying to get more sleep, exercising and making a point to read the Bible every day. Any one of those things can affect mood, but I think taken altogether, they can really pack a punch.
  • I feel good about myself. I feel like I’m doing myself a favor by trying to take care of the one and only body I’ll ever have.
  • I’ve experienced new things. I’ve tried several new recipes since this thing started. I even bought flax seed for the first time last week to add to my smoothies. (It’s high in fiber and Omega-3’s.) You can use it as a substitute for eggs, butter and oil, too, but I haven’t tried that yet. I’ve also discovered a slew of free workout videos. Pete added the All Fitness TV app to our Roku and I tried one of them this morning.
  • I learned more about Daniel. Reading through the book of Daniel in the Bible was fun for me. A couple of my favorite stories are included in that book, and as a whole, it was a great lesson in courage and faithfulness.

Here are some things I could have done better:

  • I still haven’t finished The Daniel Plan book. My bad. I had every intention of finishing it by now, but that hasn’t happened. I’m still going to read it all, though. The parts I have read are chock full of good advice.
  • I wasn’t great at checking in with friends. One focus of the Daniel Plan is friends. You’re supposed to encourage each other and hold each other accountable. I did that more with one of my friends than the other because I see her more, but that’s not the greatest excuse.
  • Fewer date brownies. I had my fair share of “healthy brownies”—made with dates—while on the plan. (I referred to these in my Week 3 blog post.) While I don’t think that’s necessarily bad, it was a bit of a crutch. Dates are still sweet, and it probably would have benefited me to take a cleaner break from anything sweet. My sweet tooth still craves chocolate some afternoons, but I’m getting better at blocking the craving by focusing elsewhere or munching on fruit instead.

So what now? Stuff my face with bacon cheeseburgers and ice cream? Decide No. From here, my goal is to keep up some of the good eating/fitness/focusing habits. If I feel better doing those things, why give it up?

If you missed it: Read Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4 of The Daniel Plan blog posts.

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