Happy New Year! It's already January! 'Tis the season to think about resolutions, goals, dreams, etc. A few of you have asked me what the Daniel Fast business is all about, so I thought I'd quickly give some information on the Daniel Fast that Steve and I do each year.
The "Daniel Fast" is a partial fast, which means eliminating some common things (royal foods) from your daily diet. Daniel Fasting is based on the biblical prophet, Daniel, who made a personal decision not to eat the king’s food as an outward symbol of an inward commitment that he had made to God. (The king’s food was against dietary laws and the king’s food had been offered up to idols/demons.) Here are some verses:
But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king's food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. The head of the palace staff, by God's grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, "I'm afraid of what my master the king will do. He is the one who assigned this diet and if he sees that you are not as healthy as the rest, he'll have my head!"
But Daniel appealed to a steward who had been assigned by the head of the palace staff to be in charge: "Try us out for ten days on a simple diet of vegetables and water. Then compare us with the young men who eat from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see."
The steward agreed to do it and fed them vegetables and water for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked better and more robust than all the others who had been eating from the royal menu. So the steward continued to exempt them from the royal menu of food and drink and served them only vegetables.
I ate only plain and simple food, no seasoning or meat or wine…. until the three weeks were up.
The Daniel Fast is something that many churches do in January of each year. Our church invites everyone to participate in the fast for 21 days (January 11-31). The fast is a spiritual discipline designed to better connect us with God. We are fasting in order to deepen our relationship with God and to walk in step with His plan and purpose. The best way to do this is to redirect our food source. This is accomplished through substituting our regular food intake with Bible reading, praying and journaling. The overall goal is to experience a genuine hunger for spending time with God.
As far as what to eat and what not to eat, here are the guidlines that we use. Since there is no definitive list of foods for the Daniel Fast, it is truly the spirit of Daniel’s decision that we are imitating over the next 21 days.
Foods to Avoid:
Meat, Poultry, Eggs, Fish
Dairy (milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc)
Caffeine, Coffee, Non-herbal teas
Sugar – any refined sugar, sugar substitutes
All breads – products made with yeast or baking powder
White foods – white rice, potatoes, white flour
Anything containing preservatives or additives
Chocolate, sweets, desserts, etc.
Margarine, shortening, high fat products
Whole Grains: brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa, whole wheat, spelt, millet, etc.
Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, etc.
Seeds, nuts, sprouts
Honey, raw cane sugar
Extra-virgin olive oil
Liquids: water, all natural 100% fruit juices, unsweetened soy milk, herbal teas