Feeding Your Spirit,
Strengthening your body
Daniel fast, 2014
“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” Daniel 10:2, 3
Fasting Period: The fast will start on Sunday, January 5th at 6pm, and end on Sunday, January 26th at 1pm.
Church Focus of the Fast: New Beginning Christian Church’s focus is intentionally designed to be focused on the total man; both the Spiritual and the Physical. 3 John 1:2, states beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. There is no better way to reset our spiritual compass and bring refreshing in every area of our lives than through prayer and fasting. Each member is encouraged to focus on feeding your spirit through daily prayer and devotions, while strengthening your body through proper diet and exercise.
Individual Focus of the Fast: Beyond the church focus, each person must decide their focus for the fast. This is an excellent opportunity to seek God concerning the challenges you may be facing right now. Write it down! Determine how you will conduct the fast and the things you want God to do in your life. You are encouraged to find two or three believers to touch and agree with you for your individual focus. Share weekly concerning your challenges and successes. As an added incentive, I encourage those who want an extra emphasis on physical wellness, keep track of their weight loss and record it at the end of the fast, we will recognize the biggest male and female weight losers.
Special Note: If you have health issues, please be sure to contact your health professional for advice before committing to the Daniel Fast. If you would like a list of the foods included and excluded in the Daniel Fast to show your doctor, just copy the contents of this page. I understand that some of you are fasting for the very first time and others of you are experienced in the spiritual discipline of fasting. If this is your first time, don’t be tempted to do less than your best.
The Daniel Fast: One of the great things about the Daniel Fast is that you are not limited to any specific amount of food, but rather to the kinds of food you can eat. The Daniel Fast is limited to vegetables (includes fruits) and water.
There are two anchoring scriptures for the Daniel Fast. In Daniel 1 the Prophet ate only vegetables (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, and only water for a beverage.
Then in Daniel 10 we read that the Prophet ate no meat nor any precious breads or foods and he drank no wine for 21 days. So from this scripture, we get a third guideline; no sweeteners and no breads.
Another important guideline is drawn from Jewish fasting principles, where no leaven is used during the fast. So that's why yeast, baking powder and the like are not allowed on the Daniel Fast
Physical Preparation: Be sure to begin preparing for the fast this week.
- Start by clearing out all foods that will not be part of your fast; if it is still in the kitchen, you are more likely to eat it by habit.
- Detoxify, drink plenty of filtered water (home filtering is fine) and natural juices without added sugar. This is a great time to use that juicer you have stored in the garage.
- Taper off caffeine, sugar and processed foods.
- Cut down; begin by eating smaller meals before you abstain altogether.
- Adjust your schedule to allow your body time to adjust.
- Resist the urge to have that "last big feast" before the fast.
- If married; couples should discuss and agree upon the limited time period that they will abstain from sexual intimacy during the fast, 1 Corinthians 7:5.
Expect the following physical symptoms:
- During the first few days of course you will feel hungry, this will decrease in about 3 days.
- Initially you may also feel tired and irritable; “be quick to hear and slow to speak, slow to anger... James 1:19.”
- A white-coated tongue at the beginning of a fast may be a part of the body's pattern of throwing off toxins.
- Headaches or stomachaches may be a result of salt, sugar, or caffeine withdrawal.
- Coldness, bad breath, heightened body odor, changes in elimination (constipation or diarrhea), light-headedness, changes in sleeping and dreaming patterns, aches and pains.
- Expect to go to the restroom often (you will be drinking lots of water!)
- Fasting ought to include prayer, intercession, reading of God’s word. Without spending time with God you are simply dieting.
- Center your total being on Christ, your attitudes, your actions, your motives, desires, and words. “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things, Colossians 3:2.”
- A suggestion is to use the 21 Day Fast Devotional that has been attached to this letter and read every morning during the fast.
- Do not be disappointed if you do not have a "mountaintop experience," as some do. Many times the benefits are realized months later.
- Understand that God honors your commitment; your motive in fasting must be to glorify God, not to have an emotional experience.
- 1 Cor 10:31, whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
- Be prepared to ask yourself some hard questions. Did I do what I said I would do, how I said I would do it, and when I said I would do it?
Foods to include in your diet during the Daniel Fast
All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. 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. Vegetables include but are not limited to 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. Veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.
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 nut butters including peanut butter.
All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannelloni beans, white beans.
All quality oils including but not limited to 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 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 leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and 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, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.
Finally, with all the above puzzle pieces, we conclude that no artificial or processed foods or any chemicals are allowed on the Daniel Fast. The Daniel fast is kind of like a "vegan diet with even more restrictions."
Please make sure to READ THE LABEL when purchasing packaged, canned or bottled foods. They should be sugar-free and chemical-free. Keep this in mind as you review this list of acceptable foods.