Today I am starting something called the Daniel Fast. This is a fast I’ve done twice before and just felt led to do it again. The fast traditionally lasts for 21 days and you eat only things from the earth basically- all fruits and vegetables, nuts, and unprocessed grains. You can have spices but not sugar or any sweeteners like honey. The fast is modeled after the one that Daniel (from the Bible) did. Daniel did this fast when he was taken into the Babylonian king’s palace:
“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 place staff, by God’s grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, ‘I’m afraid of what my master the king would 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 the steward…’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.’ ” And at the end of the 10 days, they were healthier and better nourished than the other men.
It’s a challenging fast to do because it’s a totally different way of eating and it’s hard to do when you’re eating with people not on the fast. I’m the only one in my family doing it but that’s fine with me :) I’m actually excited to experiment with making Daniel Fast meals. So here are my reasons for doing the fast:
1. Spiritual. Fasting has a way of re-focusing you and you can grow closer and more in tune with God. When you stop focusing on food, you have more time to devote to God and you remember to talk to Him.
2. I have a bad relationship with food. Even though it’s gotten better this past year, I still hate how stressed eating can make me feel. Sometimes I eat way too much because I’m upset or I don’t eat because I feel guilty. I don’t feel guilty when I eat on this fast mainly because it’s healthy. Especially since I’ve been back from Haiti, I hate that I have this horrible relationship with food because I am so blessed to have access to basically as much food as I could want. I hope that this fast will help me relax when it comes to eating.
3. It’s healthy. Eating like this is seriously so good for you. Your body detoxes and gets rid of all the chemicals and crap that’s in the food you usually eat. When I’ve done this fast before, I’ve had a ton of energy and felt really good! So I’m looking forward to that.
4. I’m going to see if it helps my migraines at all. I don’t really think it’s going to…but I might as well try!
Here’s another verse I think of when fasting. “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.” -Matthew 6:16. I think this verse is so important. Fasting can be a great experience but not if you do it for the wrong reasons. I think to get attention or to be admired are wrong reasons. To fast because other people are doing it is a bad reason. To do it to lose weight is a bad reason. I think your #1 reason for fasting has to be God, to focus on Him and get your strength from Him.
I’ll be updating how the fast is going for the next few weeks :) and posting Daniel fast approved recipes!