Fasting Together: Daniel Fast Basics

Fasting changes Me. We are posting every day in January for those that are beginning the New Year with fasting! You can read the previous posts here and here. I have a wonderful Daniel Fast approved recipe for those that are participating in that fast. Some have already begun the fast, others are starting later in the month. Some may be doing a different type of fast.

The more we know about fasting, the more we delve into the Word, the closer we will draw to Jesus Christ.

You will experience rewards from fasting! You will see chains broken, lives changed and prayers answered.

Most of all, in the days leading up to the fast, or the first few days of your fast, no matter when you start, (and it doesn’t matter when you start!), prepare your heart! Ask the Lord to show you things that need to be brought out into the open and dealt with, or done away with altogether. He will do just that because He loves you so much.

Your flesh is going to rebel during the fast, especially at the beginning. It is going to be a fight to stay away from the things that you normally put into your system every day. That is why it is so important to PRAY and FAST together! Keep focused on why you are doing what you are doing.

Always remember that God will honor your sacrifice. “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 KJV.

But it doesn’t have to be that way with fasting. The New Year is a great time to begin implementing spiritual disciplines. January is an ideal month to detox your body and your mind but don’t make it the ONLY time throughout the year that you fast unto the Lord. 

Some particulars for those on The Daniel Fast:

In the first chapter of the Book of Daniel we read that Daniel and his three friends were put into a Babylonian training program while in exile under King Nebuchadnezzar. They did not want to defile their bodies with the rich food brought in by the kings’ servants so they requested that they be given only vegetables and water for ten days. Their meat was also likely sacrificed to idols, a strict no-no for the Jewish people.

At the end of the ten days, they were not only well, but had also prospered physically and spiritually above all the others in the court! Daniel was appointed an advisor to the king and began to interpret his dreams.

Later on, in the tenth chapter, Daniel had a vision of a great war that caused him to mourn and fast for three weeks. This is where The Daniel Fast originated. Daniel ate only plant-based foods for three weeks. That is why you see so many people, and now so many churches, starting the first of the year on a three-week Daniel Fast. They typically go without meat, dairy, sugar, breads and no artificial or processed foods. Basically, they eat only fruits, vegetables and whole grains and drink only water. (And plenty of it!) We will explore this chapter more as we go along.

There is nothing in the Bible that commands God’s people to fast as Daniel fasted but it certainly brings many benefits when done in the right spirit and for the right reasons.

Also, because you are cleansing your body of unwanted toxins you will feel so much better during those weeks and even afterward.

Did I mention to be sure to study and meditate on the Word during the fast?

Set aside time every day to meet with the Lord. Pray, and then pray again. He desires to meet with you, so do your best to keep at it and make time for Him. While you are denying yourself things that you enjoy, such as sweets, colas, coffees, breads, etc., remember WHY you are doing it. Don’t just check off the days on the calendar. It would be such a shame to only complete 21 days of a vegan diet and not accomplish something in your spiritual walk.

You may even want to journal. If you have never been one to journal, maybe now would be a good time to write down your thoughts as you experience this unique time with God. You might be surprised how He communicates with you during your quiet time. Keep your heart, mind and Bible open.

Here is the food list for The Daniel Fast. There are no hard and set rules, but these are the given guidelines that most follow when on the Daniel Fast:

Foods included in your diet during the Daniel Fast:

All fruits. You may eat them fresh, frozen, dried, canned; anything without added sugar. Fruits include, but are not limited to: apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon.

All vegetables. These also can be fresh, frozen, canned or even juiced! Vegetables include, but are not limited to: artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, greens, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini.

All whole grains. Again, no added sugar. Be sure and read the labels. Whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.

All nuts and seeds. You can have sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame and any other member of the nut and seed family. Nut butters are allowed, including peanut butter (but only all natural, with no added sugar).

All legumes. These can be eaten either canned or dried. Dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, navy beans and white beans.

All good quality oils. These include: canola, grape seed, olive, peanut, sesame and vegetable.

Beverages. You basically only consume water and some juices on the Daniel Fast! Spring water, distilled water or other pure waters. Water is cleansing and will detox and purify your natural body; drink plenty of it! (You will be making some smoothies but these are usually meal replacements.)

Other: All herbs and spices are allowed, as are soy products, vinegar and tofu. (It is best to limit your salt intake.)

Foods NOT to EAT on the Daniel Fast:

All meat and animal products. This includes fish.

All dairy products.

All sweeteners. Sugar, raw sugar, syrups, molasses, and cane juice are not allowed on the Daniel Fast. (Some do consume raw honey; others consider it a pleasant food that Daniel would not have eaten.)

All leavened bread is excluded. This includes any Ezekiel Bread that contains yeast and baked goods.

All processed foods.  Artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives are forbidden.

All deep fried foods. Examples are potato chips, French fries, and of course any breaded, fried foods.

All solid fats. This consists of shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.

Beverages. Coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol are all prohibited on the Daniel Fast.

Again, not everyone does it exactly as it is written above. Some use honey as a sweetener or natural maple syrup. Others would strictly forbid it, which is just an example. Some use Ezekiel Bread, but it does have yeast in it, which is leaven, and would be forbidden on the normal Daniel Fast.

A good alternative would be whole grain flatbreads. Remember, WHOLE GRAINS. Regular wheat bread doesn’t count. If it contains wheat FLOUR, it is not a whole grain. If the ingredient list begins with whole wheat, rolled oats or whole corn as the first ingredient then it is likely a WHOLE GRAIN item. It cannot contain yeast, sugar, wheat flour, flour, high fructose corn syrup, etc.

You can find some good organic products at many health and organic specialty stores. They have many ready-to-eat foods that are acceptable, such as whole grain flatbreads and tortillas, which are great for making a veggie sandwich. Again, READ THE LABELS!

The Daniel Fast DevotionalSharing a recipe out of my book, The Daniel Fast Devotional. There are recipes after every devotion in the easy-to-read book. Have you ordered yours yet? Get it here on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback version. 

Tortilla Soup

1 carrot, chopped 1 celery stick, chopped 1 medium onion, diced fine 3 garlic cloves, pressed 2 Tablespoons olive oil 8 cups vegetable broth 4 cups water 1 can of black or kidney beans 16 oz. frozen corn 1 red tomato, chopped 1 yellow tomato, chopped ¼ cup chopped cilantro 2-3 teaspoons sea salt 1 lime 6 corn tortillas

Heat oil and sauté the first four ingredients until soft.  Add everything else except the tortillas.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Brush tortillas with olive oil and cut into strips. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes on 350 degrees. Top with tortilla strips, fresh chopped avocado and green onion to serve.

Blessings to you on your fast unto the Lord! Join us tomorrow for support and encouragement through the scripture!

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