Just over a week ago my Church Pastor announced that he would be doing the Daniel fast for 21 days and asked the congregation to wave their hands if we would like to join. I decided that I would like to do the fast as I think it is an opportunity to deepen my spiritual journey, focus my mind and control what I put into my body; together with like-minded people.
The Daniel Fast is described as a powerful spiritual experience to help followers of Jesus Christ develop a more intimate relationship with their Lord, seek answers to prayer, and grow in the love and knowledge of the Saviour.
It is a partial fast, meaning that you do not abstain from food, you eat a restricted diet where all meat, fish, sugars, dairy, animal products, fried and processed foods are eliminated from your diet. You are only allowed to eat fresh vegetables, fruit, legumes, oats, wholemeal rice and pasta and minimal amounts of oil.
I did some research on the fast and found that many health benefits have been recorded. A few of them have been listed below:
- Bloating (intestinal) – gone
- Body- detoxified
- Blood Pressure – improved
- Concentration – enhanced
- Cholesterol – lowered
- Cravings (sugar, refined carbohydrates & savory) – overcome
- Depression – lessened
- Diabetes – improved
- Energy levesl – better
- Excessive night-time urination – disappeared
- Fertility – increased
- Fluid retention – gone
- Food allergies and addictions – recognised and overcome
- Good health – renewed and maintained
- Hair and nail strength – improved
- Headaches – disappeared
- Hot flushes – disappeared
- Immunity to recurring illness – strengthened
- Insomnia – disappeared
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome and stomach complaints -disappeared
- Menstrual problems and PMS – disappeared
- Mind – clearer and sharper
After the fast my main aim is to keep processed food out of my diet along with sugar and white flour. On the odd occasion I will have desserts or things that I fancy but I am not going to return to having the levels of sugar and chemicals that I was unconsciously consuming before.
As I am vegetarian and I also do not eat any dairy productsI was expecting the most challenging thing in the fast to be that I could not have sugar and also that I would not be able to eat bread but surprisingly I have not been tempted to have either. I do not miss chocolate and sweets which has been a real eye opener.
I think this may be due to the fact that fruit contains natural sugars which satisfy my sweet tooth and the whole wheat rice and pasta is very filling. I am enjoying this 3 week journey and embracing each day. When the 3 weeks is over I am definitely going to continue some elements as I have been wanting to eliminate processed foods for sometime, but without taking small steps it can seem daunting.
The Daniel fast has certainly made me more conscious of my food choices when shopping and when preparing meals. Although many of my meals are cooked from scratch it has highlighted the fact that I also opt for quite a few sugar laden sauces. I have had to change my usual repertoire of recipes and look around for inspiration using natural ingredients.
Over the next few days I am going to share some of the recipes that I found really tasty with you so that you can give them a try.
If this level of clean eating is something that you fancy giving a try maybe set yourself the task of trying it for 3 days, and then when the 3 days are over you may want to push it to 5 and so on. Sometimes it is best just to start and think about each day as it comes rather than setting goals that we will not achieve. My reasons for this fast are religious but I have shared the details with you as I know that there are many of you would welcome the health benefits. If you decide to give it a go I would love to hear from you.