End Time Picture Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces
Seventh-day Adventists No Longer Have the Monopoly on Preaching Daniel 1 Healthy Diet
Rick Warren's celebrity health plan draws thousands
By Erika I Ritchie
The Orange County Register
LAKE FOREST – A healthy lifestyle equals a smarter brain – that's what Scott Arnott took away as a key message Saturday during the kick-off to Saddleback Church's yearlong health fitness campaign.
"One of the most interesting things is that the brain functions better when you're in a healthy lifestyle and not carrying excess weight," said Arnott, 43, from Mission Viejo. "There are smart people that are out there that are heavy but they'll be even more intelligent when they lose weight. That clicked with me."
Arnott, who wants to lose 25 pounds and improve his physical fitness, was among 6,000 people who swarmed the main campus of Saddleback Church. Thousands more watched at the mega-church's other campuses and online.
The event hosted by Pastor Rick Warren, who vowed to lose 90 pounds in 2011, included appearances by three health experts – Dr. Mark Hyman, an expert in metabolism, and best-selling author Dr. Daniel Amen, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and human behavior at UC Irvine, and a video appearance by Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiac surgeon and host of the Dr. Oz Show.
"My heart is with you and this project," Oz said." We believe you can become a national model for other congregations. Go lose those pounds!"
The church-wide campaign is called "The Daniel Plan" – based on Daniel 1, in which the prophet Daniel opts for vegetables and water rather than "defile himself with the royal food and wine."
The effort is part of Saddleback's Decade of Destiny – a 10-year plan to expand the ministry. The plan includes an element of personal growth meant to equip parishioners to succeed in seven areas: spiritual, physical, financial, relational, vocational, emotional, and mental. The plan includes a 52-week customized program, a curriculum for small groups, an interactive website with a meal menu, exercise and shopping tips. There will also be monthly conference calls for encouragement.
Citing high rates of childhood obesity and statistics that show 76 percent of Americans are overweight, Warren said he could only ask his membership to get healthy if he focused on his own health and fitness. Over the past 30 years, he said, he has gained three pounds each year.
"I put myself under the best care and asked these three men to develop a program for me to lose weight and get healthy," Warren said. "Nowhere else in America would you get one of these doctors to be your personal consultant – much less get all three to monitor your progress for an entire year."
Amen, of Newport Beach, talked about brain health and how eating in America is skewed.
"We're going the wrong way in this country," Amen said. "There are foot-long hot dogs, huge meals and you're asked to supersize everything for less money. If you want to have a healthy lifestyle you have to know your motivation or food will control you. Alzheimer's is expected to triple and it starts 30 years before you have symptoms. As weight goes up the physical size of the brain goes down. And when it comes to the brain, size matters."
Dr. Mark Hyman talked about chronic diseases and their relationship to a healthy lifestyle.
"Depression is not a Prozac deficiency, cholesterol is not a Lipitor deficiency," Hyman said. "We are being told we need drugs to fight the symptoms that are being caused by other issues. Diseases don't' exist. Their symptoms are related to effects. The current approach to chronic diseases is not working. We're not solving problems. The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results. The Daniel Plan is about getting our life back into balance."
Hyman told the group to stay away from foods with labels, from cereal that turns milk a weird color and from ingredients that are unknown.
He also warned that the average person's life expectancy is going down.
"We are raising the first generations of Americans who will live sicker and die earlier than their parents," he said.