Recently my pastor talked about the “Daniel Fast” as a way to draw closer to God.
Wondering what the Daniel Fast was, I searched for answers and learned some surprising things. To “fast” merely means to abstain from eating all or certain foods. With the Daniel Fast, you basically are not eating certain foods for a period of time. And it so happens that most of the foods you give up are foods that are not very good for you: these include sweets, processed foods and foods with chemicals added.
You also avoid some foods that are controversial in our world today as to their health benefits. This includes meat, dairy, and wine, or any alcoholic beverage. What you choose to eat and to avoid is really up to you since the purpose of the fast is to help you have a better relationship with God.
Daniel, a Bible prophet, observed two fasts that are mentioned in the Book of Daniel. One was a 10-day fast and the other, 21 days. The 10-day fast is described in Chapter 1. Here Daniel and his 3 friends refused to eat the king’s delicacies or to drink the king’s wine for 10 days. Their diet was composed of vegetables and water. At the end of the 10 days, the countenance of each of them was shown to be much better that that of those on the king’s diet. In the second fast, Daniel abstained from meat and wine for 21 days. He ate vegetables, fruit and the only liquid he drank was water.
What foods are included in the Daniel Fast and what should be avoided? While our modern-day versions may differ slightly from one another, here are the basics. You may include all fruits, all vegetables, all whole grains, all nuts and seeds, all legumes, all quality oils and purified or distilled water. Foods to avoid are all meat & animal products, all dairy products, all sweeteners, all leavened bread, all refined and processed food products, all deep fried foods, all solid fats and beverages such as coffee, tea, carbonated drinks and alcohol.
The Book of Daniel was written around 600 B.C. Daniel and his friends knew what to eat to look good, to feel good and to be in good health.
Are you on a diet? Need to be healthier or to lose weight? You might want to consider Daniel’s eating plan and see what happens. It will save you money and you could realize outstanding health benefits, too. When grocery shopping, you will need to read those ingredient labels pretty closely. The Daniel Fast has certainly caused me to look more closely at ingredients. It has been nice to discover that there really are plenty of foods out there one can choose for tremendous health benefits and they actually taste delicious.
While it may not be practical in today’s world to go 100% with Daniel’s way of eating, a person --- in my opinion --- would be wise to consume mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, etc. and to supplement this with a good quality vitamin-mineral product. That way you should be able to provide your body with the nutrients it needs, to not get sick, to have more energy and to feel great!
By Judy Thompson M.A. Health and Physical Education
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