A few weeks ago, I was offered the amazing privilege of getting to review Lindsay Bank’s new book, ‘The Food Dare.’ I was SO EXCITED, when she accepted me as a reviewer, and I perused the book over the past week, before I brought this review to you all. . .
I hope you get the book, immediately, following the conclusion of this review. (Shameless plug.)
For someone who struggled with eating issues, I was a bit leery about ‘The Food Dare.’ I’m pretty determined never to try a never fad, low-calorie diet again, because of the years I focused on those diets, only to watch them become my idols and destroy the way I looked at food and taking care of God’s temple, my body.
But, I was intrigued by the title and the synopsis of Lindsay’s book. It just didn’t sound like a ‘quick fix’ book or a ‘fad diet.’
What did it sound like?
The book sounded like a challenge, a challenge to examine your lifestyle and see if there were any holes or places where you just don’t have it right, and to make a few healthy, extremely doable tweaks to get the process rolling… It reminded me that I can’t pride myself on having the perfect lifestyle and food choices and that it’s okay to tweak here and there in order to better care for the temple that God has provided for me.
The Food Dare is not your typical complicated diet book that I’ve picked up off at the shelf at the library. What is the difference?
It’s simple. It’s straightforward. The steps taken towards a healthier lifestyle are not overwhelming or intimidating. Lindsay also doesn’t present it as a fad diet or a quick fix. The ‘Food Dare’ is a lifestyle change, a new way of living. In a lot of ways you could describe it as a new ‘diet’ that is life-long. And the book is broken down in order to make it extremely doable for even the most intimidated reader.
Lindsay starts the book by daring people to drink more water. That sounds pretty doable, right? Instead of OD’ing on calorie laden beverages, she challenges the readers to drink 64 oz of water for the first day.
Now, I’m not against a root bear float or a drink from Starbucks. In general, I wouldn’t feel very good if my liquids consisted of ‘only sugar laden beverages or even 40% sugary drinks. I do agree with Lindsey that it’s much more desirable to keep those drinks to a minimum and fill our bodies with more good, clean water than empty sugars.
Lindsay doesn’t make the dare a drudge. She quickly follows up the challenge to drink more water with ideas to make even water, yes, water taste good. If you’ve never tried lemon or lime infused water, you’re missing out, I promise! She makes it fun and easy, something that can’t be said for many diets.
I have personally seen people try diets that were all consuming and obsessive, but the ‘Food Dare’ is none of that.
I wouldn’t call this book a ‘diet’ book as pertains to losing ‘X’ amount of pounds or eating ‘X’ amount of calories. I would call it a ‘lifestyle change’ book. I was hooked by the fact that it focuses entirely on basic bodily needs like water, protein, fat, good whole foods that are close to the way God made them, de-stressing, and staying active. It got me thinking that I even need to drink more water, and I’m hoping to implement some of Lindsay’s challenges into my thinking and lifestyle in the next couple months and years.
The thing I absolutely love about the book is that Lindsay doesn’t make any of this obsessive. Instead she challenges the reader to think, to ask themselves questions about their everyday diets, to step out on a limb and try different things like eating an apple instead of a doughnut, drinking a glass of water instead of a glass of soda, and choosing to close the computer and read before bedtime in order to let the cares of the day drain away.
Of course, it’s not terrible to eat a doughnut. Yet, if your diet consisted of 100% white sugar and flour, Lindsay pokes and prods to get you to eat a few more vegetables, try some more colorful foods, drink more water, and shave the doughnut consumption down in favor of whole, relatively unprocessed foods.
The chapters don’t leave any of the basics out. They cover water, color, protein, and FAT!! Let me harp on this for a little bit, because fat has gotten such a bad nutritional rap in the past. Thankfully, many more studies, nutritionists, dietitians, and health professionals are getting on the bandwagon behind the idea that GOD made fat for our bodies. Our bodies need fat, and good fats from food like avocados, olive oil, and nuts. She doesn’t tell you that ‘Fat makes you fat.’ Instead she puts out the names of different healthy fat foods and encourages the reader to try them, if they haven’t already.
The book ends with a challenge to manage stress and get in those minutes of activity. The exercise isn’t for the sole purpose of building a beautiful body. Instead, you are spurred on to taking care of your body, so you can better function and live happier.
Why did I really like the book?
- It’s simple.
- It’s balanced.
- It gets you to think. It doesn’t prescribe a really strict dietary plan, but it dares you to take the steps yourself.
- It doesn’t force the point, but the argument for a healthy lifestyle that Lindsay presents is compelling and refreshing.
This was a good book for me to read, because after I started to really come back to a better relationship ultimately with my Heavenly Father, my perspective did change about food. However, I tended to still be reactionary when people would bring up the idea of restricting any sort of food whatsoever. Now I’m realizing that that isn’t a bad thing, as long as it doesn’t become an idol or an obsession. God made the original healthy fats. He made my body mostly water. That means I should be drinking more of it. He made my body to need sleep. He made me to not be anxious, but to trust in Him, and stress less. And Lindsay’s book reminded me that is completely possible to talk about those things without making them the center of my life.
What did the book motivate me to do?
It motivated me to think carefully, not obsessively, about the way I care for this body that God has fearfully and wonderfully made. I know that this world is not the end for me. It’s temporary, but while I am here, I desire to be a good steward and thoughtfully and carefully steward the resources God has given me, including my physical body, so I can better serve Him and build His kingdom. Ultimately, I do it to lay up treasures in heaven for Him, because He is a good and mighty God!
How do you do balanced eating?
Do you like this approach to a healthy lifestyle?