My Amazon review of “The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast” by Kristen Feola…and some other stuff…=-)
If I could describe this book in one word, it would be WONDERFUL. Meaning, full of Wonder(s)…miracles on the plate, in my mouth, in my mind, and in my heart…
Could one buy this book just for the 21 days of devotions inside and be pleased? Yes.
Could one buy this book just for the amazing, natural, unprocessed and tasty recipes inside and be pleased? Yes.
However, with both resources at your fingertips, why would you only utilize one portion?!?
I will not go into the long story of how this book came into my hands, but trust me, that was a miracle in itself. I literally heard about it on a Saturday and won it on a radio show the next Wednesday…having only found out about the radio show the night before…but again, I’ll save you the details. Just know that it was evidence to me that I was indeed supposed to do this.
I am already a pretty healthy eater. I am a professional singer/dancer and a Christ-centered yoga teacher who promotes the ideas of whole foods, juicing, raw food, small lists of ingredients on labels, etc…but I do live in this world and indulge in the “other stuff” from time to time.
With all of that activity, you might expect me to look like one of those fitness cover models, but I don’t…in fact, over the last few years, I have accumulated and kept that “last 10 pounds” so many are plagued with…
I wanted this book so that I could really HEAR what God was trying to say to me about not only my habits, but perhaps my Christ-centered yoga business, my family, or anyone else that maybe I was needing to pray for! I did know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I needed to tune in.
I heard the author on the radio show and was touched about her description of fasting as an outward activity just as much or more so than inward. It’s not just some diet you go on, and it’s not just something you do as a method hoping to get some miracle or revelation from God…It is something you do as an act of Devotion, perhaps in order to bless others through intercessory prayer, or to really draw closer to God in your dependence on Him through this time…and then, yes, I would say it is not unusual for some kind of “breakthrough” to happen in your life! But rest assured, it is the kind of breakthrough you need, not just what you want…but the funny thing is, I would bet just about anything to say that by the time you receive “it”, you realize how much it is EXACTLY what you need AND want…(Funny how a loving Father likes to do that…)
But back to the book!
The pictures are beautiful; the devotions are RIGHT ON. During my 21 days, I did not have a single bad recipe. There is an optional meal plan provided, but there are so many recipes included in the book that you can switch things out for other things that look more appealing to you. There are even recipes never used in the meal plan…and one thinks, wow! I can’t wait to use those later, too!
The book is divided very well. The first section explains the different kinds of fasting there are, what kind this is (Partial food fast), and why one goes on a fast.
SIDEBAR: You will not go hungry on this fast. There is more than enough food, and it is satisfying. You are only fasting from certain types of foods, not food altogether.
The Second section is called “Focus” and contains the daily devotions, as well as sidebar testimonies of the experiences other Daniel fasters have had. Kristen Feola obviously seeks the Lord in her own life, is a human being with typical daily challenges, and allows God to change her with each one…and in the process, He has used her pen and paper to not only share her journey but encourage others who are also traveling His path! 1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that no temptations, trials, daily problems will we come across that are not “common to man”…meaning we all go through it and can encourage each other!
The Third section contains the recipes and meal plan.
Let’s talk about the food, shall we? Yum. Yum. Yum.
I honestly made so much food in the first week that I was able to extend the leftovers through the following weeks to a certain degree by putting half in the freezer. I have a daily habit of making green smoothies, so that was one full meal I did not need to make, but honestly, there is plenty of food here!
My all time favorite? The Baked Oatmeal…who would have thought a baked oatmeal square sweetened only with the dry fruit within could be so scrumptious?! I literally had my last serving in the freezer for a week, because I was putting off the bittersweet feeling of it being my last serving! Ha! Like I couldn’t make more!
The Tuscan Soup is very good, as is the Black Bean Chili Bake. My husband loves both soup and chili far more than I do, so I shared (though I like them a lot!). He couldn’t stop raving! They are hearty, filling, and yummy.
Of the Savory dishes, I really, really, really, really, really, loved the Asparagus-Mushroom saute’!!! Again, so yum…I confess, I was kind of glad my hubby is not a fan of Asparagus so that I could be a little selfish…(that has to sound funny as I draw closer to God, huh…)
The Mega Greek salad was such a great thing to have in the fridge and nosh on all week!!!
When I was beginning to miss “bread”, I made the Pineapple-Citrus muffins. They were awesome…I just ate my last one yesterday. I was admittedly “hoarding” it, again, silly fear of that “last one” feeling…and then I turn that over to God and say “Thank You for the great food and the opportunity to enjoy it again!” I did add a little salt to the muffins when I would eat them, as for my taste buds they seemed to need a little. (Not worried about that, as I have typically low blood pressure and my health care provider has given me the “all clear” on salt…)
The smoothies are Scrumptious. Snickerdoodle smoothie and Strawberry-Banana smoothie are in the book, but I have also tried Feola’s plum-good smoothie and sweet spinach smoothie from her website, and they are amazing! www.ultimatedanielfast.com
SIDEBAR: One of the reasons I wanted Feola’s book over others out there; she is soooo generous. Her website is chock full of these recipes! You can tell she is out there to help others, not just sell a book by holding out in the recipe department. The website also has her blog and lots of wonderful information…Go there, and be blessed by it! And then buy the book; you will be glad you did!
One day, I made the flatbread with cinnamon…it was so satisfying that I literally only ate that, while drinking some green juice I just made, for breakfast…and I was full and content! That is not like me. I typically want a “Capital B” breakfast…
Which leads me to the Nutty Fruit cereal. Again, total surprise at how full and satisfied I was. And also, soooo delicious.
I have just given my husband the grocery list of ingredients I need to make the Flatbread pizza tomorrow…I am very excited about that! I have been finished with the Daniel fast for over a week now, but I am still using the recipes..that is how good they are!
As for what I learned from God through this whole process, believe it or not, my “breakthrough” was a bunch of little things I had been hearing from Him all along, but not really plugging into…things that help me function in a more peaceful and productive manner (and it was like finally seeing the neon sign)…and prayers for very specific people.
And yes, I had some material breakthrough blessings as well! I am hoping to include my personal Daniel Fast notes and experiences on my blog in the next week or soooo…feel free to comment on my review if you would like to know where you can find that…=-)
One more thing, I do have to disagree with one reviewer: not all of the recipes are gluten-free, as some call for whole wheat flour. However, substitutions can be made…again, feel free to comment here if you would like suggestions on how.
Kristen Feola certainly has a heart for God and for His people, and I am so glad that she followed the call in her spirit to write the book and be used of God to help others. I do believe that God can and will speak to you through this book if you seek Him with your whole heart…He will be found; He promises!
To whomever is reading this review, I pray blessings and discernment about whether or not this book is for you…I can assure you, you will not regret its purchase! Allow yourself to hit the “re-set” button on your physical and spiritual life, and tune in to God and your body!
Have a blessed day!
So, I pasted those pix in here…obviously they are not on Amazon…and I was not allowed to type in the website there, either, but I can do it here! yay!
And truly, today I did prep to make the Flatbread pizza tomorrow… I have the dough resting in the fridge, and my Spinach-Artichoke dip is ready to be spread on the crust tomorrow when the time comes (and bonus! I won’t be using it all on the crust, so guess who gets to have some Spin-Art with her gluten-free rice crackers! Yesssss!)
Here is my fresh out of the oven Spin-Art:
Also, a sidebar!!! While I was prepping for the Spinach-Artichoke dip, I was using my garlic press from Pampered Chef. I love that thing! I was also using my Pampered Chef measuring cups AND my oil spritzer, which is hands-down my favorite of all P.C. products…I love that I can put a healthy cooking oil in it and spray it onto my cooking dishes. MUCH healthier than those store-bought things with propellants, etc. All of that to say, if you don’t have a Pampered Chef Consultant yet, and would like one, please consider my friend Kristin Cartwright. She has NO idea I am writing this, but I will probably send her a link right after!
Her website is WWW.PAMPEREDCHEF.BIZ/KRISTIN2010
Be blessed, today, ever’body! I have another blog in my head that has been ITCHING to come out since Monday, but it will just have to wait…soon!
(Been saying that to myself a lot lately, but you know what? Between doing 6 shows a week, exercising 5 times a week, doing my devotions, making healthy food, spending time with my husband, running a small-but-growing yoga business, and scheduling quiet time…well, you just have to make room for balance, you know?) 1 Peter 5:7…casting my cares on Him, and He will take care of me…
And He will do the same for you! Keep Looking Up!