This morning, Monday, January 11th, 2016, I began the Daniel 21 Day Fast. This is not a full fast to where all you can do is drink water, or consume a hand full of things. The main focus of the Fast for me is to give something up for God. To demonstrate I am willing to sacrifice something for Him, as His son sacrificed His life for me. The Fast also accomplishes many things. Not only am I willing to sacrifice or put off things that will set me apart as Daniel did, this particular Fast has very healthy benefits. Granted I will miss my Coke Zero, Coffee, and Chicken Wings, but the benefits of “detoxing” may be very measurable.
Basically in this fast I recognize that I will eliminate “processed foods, “artificial sweeteners”, “trans-fats”, most “bad carbohydrates”, animal meat, dairy, and most bread, and the list goes on. However, I will be nourishing my body with whole foods, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and spring water. It was identified in the book of Daniel that his appearance, mental alertness, and health was excellent and increased over eating, and praying in this manner. Even much healthier than others that did not.
So to me this fast will accomplish several things:
• I get to put off, and sacrifice something for my God
• I get to relate and identify with Daniel, and set myself separate of the world
• I obtain a detoxification
• I will lose weight
• I am confident I will feel better, rest better, and look better
• I get to prove to myself that I am capable of being disciplined, patient, and dedicated to something that will be a benefit to me and in serving Him.
• I get to fellowship with others upon a journey of fasting, praying, and growing closer to God.
Along these 21 days, I think I will dust off my “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, and read a devotion every morning. I believe it would be very helpful, and inspirational along this journey.
What is the Daniel Fast?
The Daniel Fast is based upon the prophet Daniel’s fasting experiences as recorded in the Bible. Scripture gives us some insight (such as in Dan. 10:3) into what he ate and didn’t eat; however, we don’t know his complete menu. What we do know is this: In Daniel 1, Daniel chose not to eat the royal food that he was being served and ate only vegetables and drank water. Another time (in Daniel 10:2-3) he deprived himself of choice food, meat, and wine as he sought the Lord in prayer. Most commentaries believe “choice food” would have been bread and sweets.
This is why, I believe, you will find some variation in the specific guidelines for the modern-day Daniel Fast, as far as what foods are included and which ones are restricted. The intention of today’s Daniel Fast is not to duplicate exactly what Daniel did but the spirit in which he did it. Daniel’s passion for the Lord caused him to hunger and thirst more for spiritual food than for physical food, which should be the desire of anyone choosing to participate in this type of fast.
The Daniel Fast Food List:
All fruit – fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned.
All vegetables – fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned.
All whole grains – amaranth, barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa, millet, and whole wheat.
All nuts & seeds – almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds; unsweetened almond milk. Nut butters are also included.
All legumes – canned or dried; black beans, black eyed peas, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, and split peas.
All quality oils – avocado, coconut, grapeseed, olive, peanut, sesame, and walnut.
Beverages – distilled water, filtered water, and spring water.
Other – unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, or soy milk; herbs, spices, salt, pepper, unsweetened coconut flakes, seasonings, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, soy products, and tofu.
Foods to Avoid on the Daniel Fast:
All meat & animal products – beef, buffalo, fish, lamb, poultry, and pork.
All dairy products – butter, cheese, cream, eggs, and milk.
All sweeteners – agave nectar, artificial sweeteners, cane juice, honey, molasses, raw sugar, syrups, stevia, and sugar.
All leavened bread & yeast – baked goods and Ezekiel bread (if it contains yeast and honey).
All refined & processed food products – artificial flavorings, chemicals, food additives, preservatives, white flour, and white rice.
All deep-fried foods – corn chips, French fries, and potato chips.
All solid fats – lard, margarine, and shortening.
Beverages – alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, energy drinks, herbal tea, and tea.
Daniel 1:12, which states, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables [pulses] to eat and water to drink.”
Daniel 10: 1-2, which says, “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”
I will share more, as time permits, along this journey. Stay tuned. Blessings ~ DW