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My Amazon review of “The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast” by Kristen Feola…and some other stuff…=-)

The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast
Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Nourishing in every way! Heart, soul, mind, and body…=-),May 10, 2011
By
Happy Girl “Happy Girl”
This review is from: The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast (Paperback)

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…)

How could you not love something called Antipasto Pizza Pie! Nourishing, warm, satisfying.

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…)

Kristen Feola's beautiful picture of the Pineapple Citrus muffin

My last lil Pineapple Citrus muffin, having been in a ziploc bag in anticipation...

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!

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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:

I will not post the recipe here, but I will encourage you again to go to the website to get it, and have a look around!  It is amazing!!!  Be blessed by it, say Robyn sent ya, and go buy the book!

http://www.ultimatedanielfast.com/2009/09/day-5-last-night-feast.html

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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!

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My Amazon Review of Reshaping It All

(here is a cut-and-paste of my recent review…followed by a picture…=-p )
Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Loving encouragement, NOT a tell-all or lofty impossibility,May 6, 2011
By
Happy Girl “Happy Girl”
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness (Paperback)

I am really enjoying this book. To be honest, I hesitated to buy it after I read a bunch of the reviews. Some made me want it more; some made me cautious. I had heard Candace Cameron Bure’ speak and found her to be genuine and sincere, but that was over a year ago, and I wondered if I had missed something? Some of the reviews make this book sound as if it is centered on her and how amazing she is and that she serves a god of discipline. I find that NOT to be the case…more on that in a moment.

I actually had the opportunity to her hear speak again LAST FRIDAY and was taking a friend, based on my previous experience. Once again, I was delighted with how genuine she is, how much she loves her Lord and Savior, and how deeply she feels that need for everyone to know Him…and delight in Him…and give their whole selves to Him…

I had just begun following her and the co-author, Darlene Schacht (a darling woman of God), on twitter a short time before, and right after hearing her speak last week, I saw that there was a “65 days to Reshaping It all” challenge beginning in a few days. That did it. Having heard her speak so wonderfully again, having considered this purchase for awhile, and having various other confirmations that this was resource I was supposed to get, I ordered from Amazon the very next day.

I am not disappointed.

I don’t know what other reviewers were referring to when they mention the book jumping around or not being well-written…I have not found that to be the case at all!!! Granted I have only read 3 chapters, but honestly, I think a writing style would be prevalent by now, and those remarks do not characterize what I am seeing.
I am seeing warmth, open-ness, and loving encouragement. Is it a sordid tell-all? No. Doesn’t need to be. Candace openly acknowledges faults, quirks, what have you…issues that are just as the Word says, “common to man” which we all share, so guess what? We can all relate. (and by the way, having faults does not make one less of a Christian or ruin their witness…God has used many “fallen” folks along the way! and we ALL are! That’s why we needed Jesus! and still do…)

Is it rocket science? No. Many of us already know in our hearts what she is saying, and maybe just needed it confirmed this one last time. or next 30 times. As far as nutritional advice, again, nothing majorly new here, if you have read anything about nutrition…moderation, whole foods, eating when you are hungry and abstaining when you are not…but the focus is on how our relationship with God can change us from the inside out and give us the power to stand in these areas!

So, if you are looking for a new diet book, or celebrity tell-all, or magic method to weight loss…this isn’t really it…or maybe it is. Depends on your perspective…
If you are looking to be changed from the inside out (and have that change be reflected in your health–physical, mental and spiritual), you must seek God first…and this book just may have the encouraging words that help you get there, or affirm that you are normal, or point you back to the Best Book of all…
If you have a good friend or sister to whom you often listen for loving advice, you know how to hear that…THAT is what this book is like…pull up a chair, have a cup of coffee or tea, and sit down for a chat with sister/friend Candace…maybe her story will help you!

Ps–there are helpful things like recipes, scripture references, practical tips at the end of each chapter. Also, yes, she has included fan letters and her responses, as well. One reviewer thought these were repetitive. Perhaps they are; I have only read 3…but here’s the deal: Candace says that she wrote this book because she kept receiving sooo many e-mails and letters asking her these questions, so clearly that falls in line with the purpose of this book- not as a “look at me and how great I am”, but as a validation of why the book needed to be written. So many of us struggle with the same things! be validated, friend. You are not alone, and there are many with whom you can bond and rise up from your trial! God will lift you up!

Get the book and enjoy.

PPS–as for discipline…yes, one can get obsessive. That is something we need to go to God about to protect ourselves from going out of balance. But discipline is necessary. Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. ”

Go for a harvest of righteousness and peace!

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A picture of me and one of my “Besties” (who first coined that term?  It has grown on me), Alana, waiting to hear CCB speak at the Women’s Rally at James River Assemble in Ozark!

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