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Daniel Fast

THE DANIEL FAST

What is the Daniel Fast?

The Daniel Fast is a partial fast that is biblically based & is now used worldwide to help people, enter into the spiritual discipline of prayer and drawing close to the Lord.

It is on based principles from the Jewish traditional fast and on two scriptures Daniel 1:5, 8-16 & Daniel 10:2-3.

  1. In Daniel 1:5, 8-16  - He did not eat the delicacies/rich foods from the King’s table or drank the wine.  He ate only vegetables/pulses (that would have included fruits) and drank only water.

So from these scriptures we get two of the guidelines for the fast:

  • Only fruits and vegetables/pulses
  • Only water for beverage
  1. Then in Daniel 10:2-3 we read that the Prophet ate neither meat nor any pleasant breads and he drank no wine for 21 days.

So from this scripture, we get a third guideline:

  • No sweeteners and no breads

The forth guideline is taken from Jewish fasting principles, where no leaven is used during the fast.

  • No raising agents (yeast, baking powder etc)

All these principles were put together to create the Daniel Fast with the conclusion also that no artificial or processed foods or any chemicals are allowed on the Daniel Fast.

The Daniel Fast is basically a “vegan diet with a few more restrictions”

Be sure to read the ingredients on labels of prepared foods to make sure they only include Daniel Fast friendly ingredients.

Fasting as we know affects the whole (Body Soul & Spirit) and the Daniel Fast is no exception:

THE BODY

As we begin to deny our bodies of the things we usually eat and our diet changes it affects us all in different ways; for some not too much and for others in very dramatic ways.  Some will experience detoxing from caffeine, chemicals and sugar. The symptoms are most often headaches , leg cramps, fatigue, feeling   lethargic or some will feel unwell.

THE SOUL

The soul is the seat of our emotions, intellect, personality and will. It is in the “soulish realm” where we experience cravings, frustration, anger, happiness etc

During your Fast, your soul may very well rebel against the dramatic change in your diet. Experiencing and winning this battle over the flesh is often one of the most powerful lessons of the Daniel Fast.

THE SPIRIT

Our spirit is that born-again part of us that surrenders to God. The Holy Spirit communicates with our spirit  and helps us to overcome the cravings that we will have. During the Daniel Fast, we want to put our spirit in charge of the other two parts of us. When our flesh is acting out with a craving, we take control of it with our spirit (just as a parent takes control of a rebellious child).

Fasting is always coupled with a spiritual goal. So during this time of fasting, you will want to focus on prayer, study and meditation .

WHAT IF YOU HAVE HEALTH ISSUES?

The Daniel Fast is very good for people who are on medications and need to eat.  However, if you have concerns, be sure to consult your GP before going on the Daniel Fast or making any major dietary change.

The Daniel Fast is a very healthy way to eat and is supported by many health professionals, but they might suggest a few modifications if you have health issues that need special attention.  Eg. Pregnant and nursing mothers might get instructions to add fish, chicken and cheese into the Daniel Fast, but otherwise stay the course. Diabetics may need to add more carbohydrates or include chicken and fish. Also, those who are especially active either through sports, bodybuilding or vocation may need to slightly alter the eating plan.

By the way, being addicted to Snickers and Coke don’t count as a special need!

During your Daniel Fast you will have many times when you might want to “stretch the rules” a little bit. For example, even though the guidelines say we are to drink only water . . . you conclude that herbal teas are vegetables and water is water and therefore you will go ahead and drink herbal teas during the Daniel Fast.

But I encourage you to learn a powerful spiritual lesson by asking yourself (examining your heart) the question, “Why do you want the herbal teas?”

The Daniel Fast teaches us to deny our “selves” and instead put our spirit in control over our flesh. As you plan your meals and eat your food, keep in mind that the definition of a fast is to deny food for a spiritual purpose.   As a church we will be fasting with a purpose as all fasting should be – I am sure Pastor David will explain that in due course.

 

PREPARE FOR THE DANIEL FAST

You will experience a more successful fast if you spend some time preparing:

  1. Your food in advance
  2. Time of focused prayer – ie. Your Quiet Time: If you don’t already have an established daily quiet time with the Lord, then this is an excellent opportunity to do so. Starting your day with the God is a habit that will support your faith and growing intimacy with the Lord.
  3.  To study His Word.  You will find the Lord will speak to you more during your fast
  4. Prepare Your Body for the fast by easing off sugar, caffeine and chemicals before your first day of fasting and start to drink more water. Otherwise, you may experience physical detox symptoms of headaches, cramping.

HOW TO CONCLUDE YOUR DANIEL FAST

Just as you prepared to start your Daniel Fast, you will want to plan for the conclusion of your fast.

If you have been on an extended fast of 10 or more days, your physical body has enjoyed healthy and easily digestible foods.  Re-introduce caffeine, sugar, dairy products, deep fried foods and meat slowly to keep your body from rebelling and bring you discomfort. Small portions are better and adding no more than one type of food each day will give your body a chance to get used to the change.

FASTING IS ALWAYS ABOUT FOOD

You’ve probably heard people make a statement like this, “I’m not going to fast food, I’m going to fast television instead.”

The truth is that fasting is always about restricting food for a spiritual purpose. The Hebrew word for fast means “to cover the mouth.” And the Greek word for fast means “to abstain from food.” So fasting is always about restricting food and you cannot realize the supernatural benefits of fasting without restricting food.

Think about going to golf club and walking all 18 holes of the course, but you never hit a ball. Did you golf? No, you had a nice walk, but you were not golfing. Similarly, you can abstain from television, computer games or some other activity, but you were not fasting.

If you want to fulfill the ways of our faith by prayer and fasting, then you will need to restrict food from your body. Abstaining from other habits may be a good thing to do, but fasting is always about food.

For more info:

http://www.daniel-fast.com/aboutthefast/

Daniel Fast Approved Foods

image source: http://www.avegangoddess.com

I found a great list of foods on-line that is Daniel Fast friendly. You can print it out and take it with you when you go grocery shopping.

All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. However, you will fill much better physically if you consume fresh fruit. If you decide on canned fruit, make sure that no sweeteners of preservatives were used in the process. I also would suggest avoiding juiced fruit (if you juice at home), as the released sugars will spike your blood sugar levels too fast. By keeping the fiber you will still enjoy the fruit, while also keeping your body happy.

Fruits include but are not limited to:

apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon.

All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Same rule would apply to canned vegetables as to that of fruit.

Vegetables include but are not limited to:

all kinds of greens, artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini.

All whole grains, including but not limited to:

whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.

All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to:

sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also, additive free nut butters including peanut butter, although I highly recommend avoiding peanut butter, unless it is freshly made, as it might be highly processed and roasted oils (as found in roasted nuts) are harmful to our health.

All legumes. These can be canned or dried. If canned, make sure not preservatives or sugars were used.

Legumes include but are not limited to:

dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.

 Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.

Other: soy sauce, vinegar, seasonings, salt (sea or Himalayan salt preferred, see below for a detailed explanation), herbs and spices.

Salt

Table Salt is highly processed, and most of the times not vegan in nature, which means it has some sort of animal residue in it, due to processing. Oftentimes, to bleach salt it is processed through crushed animals bones. Not only that, but since it is highly processed it has NO nutritional value and is sure to raise your blood pressure.

As humans we need very little salt in our diet and we regularly consume way too much of it.  This fast will be an opportunity for you to retrain your body to eat healthier… and to feel better!  If you do decide to use salt, buy the kinds still have minerals in it, such as Sea or Himalayan salt.

Foods to Avoid on the Daniel Fast

All meat and animal products including but not limited to:

beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.

All dairy products including but not limited to:

milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.

All sweeteners including but not limited to:

 sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.

All sweet baked goods.

All refined and processed food products including but not:

limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.

All deep fried foods including but not limited to:

potato chips, French fries, corn chips.

All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.

Beverages including but not limited to:

coffee, tea, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.

Read Labels

image source: http://blog.coupons.com

I would strongly suggest not using any packaged (boxed), canned or bottled foods during the fast. However, if you do, please remember to READ THE LABELS! Foods should be sugar and chemical free. Using boxed whole wheat pasta products, as long as they contain basic ingredients, should be just fine.

Compiled by Christine Brown for LWCC on 25th November 2014


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