Foods to Include:
All fruits: These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. (Examples: apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, and watermelon.)
All vegetables: These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. (Examples: artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, radishes, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, yams, zucchini, and veggie burgers.)
All wholegrains: Wholewheat,brownrice,millet,quinoa,oats,barley,grits,wholewheatpasta,wholewheattortillas,rice cakes, and popcorn. All nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, and sesame. Also, nut butters, e.g. peanut butter and almond butter.
All legumes: These can be canned or dried. (Examples: pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, and white beans.)
All quality oils: Including olive, canola, grape seed, peanut and sesame.
Beverages: Spring water, distilled water, or other pure waters.
Other: Tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.
Foods to Avoid:
All meat and animal products: beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.
All dairy products: milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.
All sweeteners: sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses and cane juice.
All leavened bread: all breads containing yeast (includes Ezekiel Bread) and baked goods.
All refined and processed food products: artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
All deep fried foods: including chips and French fries.
All solid fats: shortening, margarine, lard, and foods high in fat.
Beverages: Coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.
You will probably need to cook a vast majority of your meals “from scratch.” That’s because so many of the prepared foods include sugar and chemicals, which are both no-no’s on the Daniel Fast.
READ THE LABELS. You will be amazed and maybe even a bit discouraged as you try to find prepared foods that are sugar-free and chemical-free. But make sure you read the labels.
USE FROZEN VEGETABLES. Obviously, you will eat more vegetables on the Daniel Fast. The good news is that the vegetables found in the frozen food cases are often cheaper and even more nutritious than many vegetables found in the produce section.
The Daniel Fast is a great time to find new recipes and try new foods that may become family favorites. Keep in mind, this fast became a way of life for Daniel. May the Lord inspire you to maintain some of the healthier disciplines as a lifestyle of purity, well-being and self-control long after the 21 days are completed.
SAMPLE MENU 1: FRUITS & VEGETABLES FAST
Fruit smoothie with protein powder
Fresh fruit or fresh vegetables
Raw vegetable salad with light dressing* and vegetable broth soup
Fresh fruit or fresh vegetables
Fresh salad with light dressing* and steamed or grilled vegetables
SAMPLE MENU 2: LIQUIDS ONLY
Fruit smoothie with protein powder
Herbal tea or vegetable broth soup
Raw juiced vegetables
Fresh fruit juice or fruit smoothie with protein
Vegetable juice or vegetable broth soup
SAMPLE MENU 3: MODIFIED DANIEL FAST
1-2 servings whole grains with fresh fruit juice
Fresh fruit or fresh chopped vegetables
1-2 servings whole grains; fresh salad with legumes and light dressing*
Fresh fruit juice or fruit smoothie with protein
1-2 servings whole grains; fresh salad with legumes and light dressing
* Suggestions for light dressing ingredients: extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, fresh or dried herbs, salt, pepper. No preservatives.
4-DURING YOUR FAST
To Eat or Not To Eat is Not The Question
As you continue to fast, you will realize that you don’t experience hunger pains as often as you thought you would. Without a preoccupation with food, you will be surprised at your ability to be sustained for a number of days without eating food and how you will take advantage of your time to seek Jesus more diligently. There is no magic in simply missing meals in the name of spirituality. The important thing to remember is to hear God speak and obey what you hear.
Prayer Life During the Fast
There is a question you will need to answer. When you are fasting, will you seek Him, give Him a listening ear and the quality time He deserves? He will constantly separate you from dependence on the world. Consequently, your time alone with Him may become more frequent than you originally planned, and needless to say, your prayer life will greatly improve.
How appropriate that Jesus and Moses spent extensive time in the desert alone with God. It is ironic that the Hebrew name for desert is “madbar,” meaning “to speak.” You will hear His voice throughout the day in a powerful way. Wisdom will cry out to you in the streets. As the stars in heaven declare the glory of God, so every corner will reveal to your willing soul the mysteries of His Kingdom that have been withheld from the rulers of this age (Proverbs 8:1-3, Psalm 19, and 1 Corinthians 2:7). You will hear Him when you are driving, talking on the phone, or counseling a friend. Expect to hear Him loud and clear.
Fighting Doubt and Fighting the Good Fight
During your fast, one of your biggest enemies will be your mind and your memory. Your mind and emotions will constantly work together to bring order to your world, order according to what you have been taught order to be. Eating at certain times each day has been part of your life training. Fasting will make no sense to your mind.
In Matthew 14:22-32, when Peter was walking on the water, he found himself in the middle of a miracle, something that did not make sense to his mind. When Peter’s mind revealed to him the supernatural nature of what he was doing, it convinced him that it was impossible, based on what his mind knew to be normal. Consequently, Peter sank, believing logically what his mind told him, rather than what the Spirit convinced him to believe by faith.
There will be times that your mind will realize how far out on a limb your faith has taken you and you will be faced with a decision: Do you give up or keep moving forward? Galatians 5:24 tells us that the flesh is at war against the Spirit. It cannot be trained or negotiated with. The flesh must die. It must be crucified. Always remember, faith goes all the way. God has not given you the Spirit of fear but one of Sonship, by which we call Abba Father (Romans 8:15).
When you feel as though you want to give up, you must ask yourself a few questions. Is the pain you are experiencing worth the prize you are pursuing? If you do give up, where and what will you go back to? In John 6:66-68, the disciples were asked by Jesus if they wanted to go back to their old lifestyle. Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of life.”
WHAT SHOULD I TELL FAMILY AND FRIENDS?
A frequently asked question about fasting is: “Should I tell people that I am fasting?” Since fasting is a discipline of self-denial and consecration unto the Lord, constant discussion about it will be a distraction. People will bombard you with countless questions about your health, offer you suggestions about your diet, and tell you horror stories about the dangers of fasting. This type of input during your fast will be a major distraction.
For maximum benefit, it would be best for you not to tell anyone about your fast. Jesus was against the religious leaders drawing attention to themselves by giving people the impression they were suffering for the Lord (Matthew 6:16-18). The religious leaders did this in an attempt to puff themselves up and obviously defeated the purpose of their fasting.
If your fast lasts only one to seven days, it will be easy to conceal it. As time goes by and you begin to lose weight, it will become difficult to avoid questions about your appearance. Do your best to avoid looking dehydrated and keep yourself well groomed.
Eventually there will be those who find out that you are fasting, but you can turn this situation into an edifying one. There is a balance between drawing attention to yourself and giving glory to God. You have to decide when and how to discuss it, because your testimony can be used to encourage others to fast. You should “...be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15).
5 AFTER YOUR FAST
Ending your fast properly is just as important as beginning your fast properly. Just as you prepared yourself to begin a fast, you must prepare yourself to stop or break your fast.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself as you end your fast:
What are the key lessons learned?
What new habits or disciplines do you want to keep?
What new dietary rules will you follow?
What foods will you begin eating or not eat anymore?
What dreams and visions have you seen pertaining to your personal walk with the Lord or your ministry?
Get in the “Fast Lane"
Before you end your fast and establish a regular eating schedule, it will be important to set aside time to get in the “Fast Lane” on a regular basis. This is vital if you are going to apply and live out the lessons learned during your fast.
Fasting regularly will help you maintain a level of discipline and spirituality that is necessary to hold the ground attacked by Satan.
Regular fasts will keep the flesh in submission and serve as a reminder as to Who is in charge of your life. Choose a regular fasting schedule to follow. There are those who have chosen to fast one twenty-four hour period per week. Others fast sunrise to sunset, one day per week. You must pray and design a format that you feel God wants for you, a system that you can be faithful to and consistent with.
Controlling your eating habits when you end your fast will be important. After you fast, you will feel good about yourself, that you deserve a break today, tomorrow, and the next day. Remember, the abuse of food, not food itself, is the root of many evils. If you allow food to take its place back on the throne of your heart, you are allowing bad habits to take root and push God farther from the center of your heart than He was before you began your fast.
Satan will be working to take back the ground he has surrendered over to the Lord and he will use your emotional vulnerability to accomplish his goals. It could be an intense time of discouragement leading to depression. Re- member to be mindful of this and to eat wisely once you break your fast.
In 1 Kings chapters 18-19, when Elijah is challenged by the 450 prophets of Baal who all followed Jezebel in a most vile and immoral religion, God confronts and defeats them through one man, Elijah. But after this great spir- itual victory, Elijah finds himself running for his life from one woman, Jezebel. She had threatened his life and he felt alone. He became incredibly discouraged and asked God to end his life. Elijah experienced a supernatural and spiritual high, followed by an emotional low. You very well could experience this same type of roller coaster ride.
Expect Results Spiritually
As you enter this time of heightened spiritual devotion, be aware that Satan will do everything he can to pull you away from your prayer and Bible reading time. When you feel the enemy trying to discourage you, immedi- ately go to God in prayer and ask Him to strengthen your resolve in the face of temptations.
The enemy makes you a target because he knows that fasting is the most powerful of all Christian disciplines and that God may have something very special to show you as you wait upon Him and seek His face. Satan does not want you to grow in your faith and will do anything from making you hungry and grumpy to bringing up trouble in your family or at work to stop you. Make prayer your shield against such attacks.
Isaiah 58:6; 8-9: 6 No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. 8Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. 9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ He will quickly reply.
Results of Fasting:
Healing (Marriage, relationships, emotions, physical)
Holiness (Not perfection, but that your life goes back on the right path)