And I want to talk about getting systems involved. So, I was working on my new show. And while I was working on my show, I went to church.
And my wife said she’d drop Chloe off, our seven-year-old, at children’s church, and I would go save us seats. And, it’s at a very large church nearby, and it’s not Saddleback.
And as I walked into church, I passed 500 donuts for sale. And I was just irritated.
And then I walked by bacon and sausage cooking on the grill. And I’m furious.
And right before I go into the sanctuary, they’re cooking hundreds of hot dogs for something after church.
And as I sat down in the sanctuary, the minister started talking about the ice cream festival they had the night before. And, I’m nearly psychotic at this point.
And when my wife found me, I was typing on my phone, which she hates. And she gave me that look that only your wife can give you, that said, “Why the hell are you on this thing in church?”
And I showed her what I was writing: “Go to church, get donuts, sausage, bacon, hot dogs, ice cream. They have no idea. They’re sending people to heaven early!” It’s like, not the plan.
And I have no idea what the minister said the rest of that service. I just sat there, praying that God would use me to change churches. Because this isn’t the plan.
No lie, two weeks later, Rick Warren calls me. He said, “Dr. Amen, we’re doing this program called Decade of Destiny in the next ten years at Saddleback. I want to get the congregation and myself healthy. Will you help me?”
I’m like, “Oh my God, God was paying attention.”
Often in my life I don’t feel like that, but I’m so excited. And so we have put together a program called The Daniel Plan: God’s Prescription for your Health, for the 30,000 members at Saddleback. And we give them the opportunity to sign up for the research part of the program.
We now have nearly 15,000 people in our research study. Saddleback, as we developed the Daniel Plan, is connected to 400,000 churches around the world.
Next year, after we’ve beta tested this year, we’re going to export it. I couldn’t be more excited about this. And we deliver the content through small groups.
Why? Because people get well in groups. They get well as families, they get well in support groups.
And after three months, the church has already lost 160,000 pounds. People report improved energy, focus, creativity, sleep, mood, reductions in asthma, stress, blood pressure, blood sugars, and many medications.
We have our own Daniel Plan menu, and I have my challenges. I am still trying to get them to kill the donuts at church. You might pray for me.
I couldn’t be more excited to be part of what has the potential to change the world from the church up.
But you know, it also needs to happen from the school up. The food they serve your children is a scandal, and research suggests that it actually increases attentional and behavior problems.
There’s three studies now in the journal The Lancet that said, “put kids on elimination diet,” which basically means eliminate all the crap in their diet.
And within three months, 73% of them show greater than a 50% reduction in their symptoms. This isn’t hard.
We need to change our society, though. From businesses up, from hospitals up. I went and visited my aunt in the hospital, I said, “I have to get you out of here, the food is going to kill you.”
Brain health and innovation are intimately connected. Please help me create a brain healthy world.