I am not a nutritionist or a Bible expert by any means, but I want to hopefully inspire others and hold myself accountable for the three-week commitment that I’ve made to the Daniel Fast. I’m starting by including my meal plan for the upcoming week at the bottom of this post. I just wrote it this morning, and I’m going to try to make as much of it as possible ahead of time because I work, and I don’t want to be overly focused on the food aspects of the fast (the spiritual aspects are most important).
The basic idea of the Daniel Fast is that, in the Old Testament book of Daniel in the Bible, Daniel asked his captors to give him only water and “pulse” for ten days and then see if he looked healthier than the others around him. He felt led by God to eat those healthful foods. Generally, I have seen “pulse” defined as what grows out of the ground, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Some people might define pulse in different ways.
I’m guessing that many people will probably eat as little as possible on the Daniel Fast. That’s not necessarily what I feel led to do. A personal trainer told me that I need to eat between 1,500 and 1,800 calories each day to be in a healthy range. My meal plan comes in at 1,205 before the optional evening snack. I will see how I feel at the end of the day and adjust accordingly. Since it’s a “fast,” I would not want to go over 1,500. Some people who do spiritual fasting spend their entire time only drinking water and devoting themselves to prayer; I don’t think God is calling me to do that type of fast.
My meal plan that I made is very healthy. It has protein, some whole grains, and fruits and vegetables. It does not include dairy, meat, processed foods, or added sugars and salts. For me, the hardest part will probably be not having a cup of coffee with cream in the morning. I already like to eat fruits and vegetables, and I like to drink water; I rarely drink soda, so in those ways, this plan is going to go along with some of the ways that I already eat.
If you are interested in resources for the Daniel Fast, which is different from the Daniel Plan that allows meats and dairy (it also sounds wonderful and healthy, but it’s just not what I’m doing), you can visit this site. I am not affiliated with the site in any way, but it is where I did most of my research. I also sat in Books-a-Million one Sunday afternoon and flipped through a book about the Daniel Fast to get some information and inspiration.
The most important aspect of the Daniel Fast is not to become focused on the food itself; rather, it is to pray and show extra devotion to God. People who have participated in prayer and fasting, including this type of fasting, have spoken of incredible spiritual growth and blessings. Of course, the process itself will not necessarily be pleasant. When Jesus himself fasted, Satan picked that time to tempt him and try to make him stumble. He tempted Christ to turn rocks into bread at a time when he would have been very hungry. I plan to read the book of Daniel and pray each day of my fast.
My Three Goals
- Eat only foods allowed on the Daniel Fast
- Become more healthy over the next three weeks
- Pray and read the book of Daniel each day of the three weeks to grow spiritually.