For two years in a row, my family and I participated in the Daniel Fast through our respective churches. If you’re not familiar with the fast, you essentially abstain from certain foods for 21 days and reflect on God, Jesus, and life in general during this time. Said food includes anything with a leavening agent (no bread for you), added sugar (and no, you’re raw sugar doesn’t count), animal products, drinks that aren’t water and fruit or vegetable juice, and anything fried.
In other words, a lot of good stuff and abstaining from Starbucks. But hey, I’ve learned a few things from participating in the fast:
- All I do is plan, plan, plan! I’m not saying you need a detailed list, but you should have an idea of what you want to do for each day.
- You’re limited, but not that limited in food choice. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard is that all they can have is beans and rice. This was confusing to me because all it takes is expanding one’s mind to see all that you can do. You would think with globalization we would be more creative with what we can eat.
- If all else fails, faux it up with faux meat. My mom and I experimented with a variety of meat alternatives including veggie dogs, veggie Italian sausage, and patties. Of the ones we’ve had, the veggie dog tasted like a real hot dog while the others seemed to keep their vegetable and grain tastes with some seasoning. Either way, it was all good and it allowed us a bit more wiggle room.
- It does limit your social outings. You never realize how much food is at the center of social gatherings until you’ve restricted yourself from 85% (a guess) of restaurants. Now you’re saying I could just attend and sip on some water, but there’s nothing less fun than watching people eat food you want to eat.
- Joining the food label bookclub. Because I had to check to make sure there were no animal products or added sugar in the food we bought, I’m now looking on the back of every item.
- #NoRegrets. And in spite of missing cheese and staring forlornly as I pass by Starbucks, I have no regrets doing the Fast. I feel good, got closer to God, and realizing that it’s time to cut back on the meat.
I would definitely recommend trying this at least once in your life. It’s a good start to a new year and a good way to explore different foods.