There are many reasons why people partake in a “fast”: spiritual closeness to God, toxin removal and/or medical reasons, such as before a cholesterol test.
Fasting is the willing abstinence of all or particular foods for a specified period of time. The benefits of fasting include weight loss and overall health improvement due to the body going through a cleansing process.
Today, I want to share with you the Daniel Fast, which serves as a cleansing and balancing process. Its high-fiber fruits, vegetables and grains help aid digestion, which cleanses the body. Since this fast includes cutting out processed foods, foods with added sugar and high fatty foods, you will notice a lowering of cholesterol levels, balancing of blood-sugar levels, and weight loss. It is a win-win situation!
This fast only last 10 days. The fast comes from the book of Daniel in the Bible. Daniel 1:12-13 states, “Test us for 10 days on a diet of vegetables and water. At the end of the 10 days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s rich food. Then you can decide whether or not to let us continue eating our diet.”
Daniel 1:15 states: “At the end of the 10 days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king.”
Daniel and his men ate only fruits and vegetables and drank only water. During this fast, you are not allowed to eat any precious breads (un-leaven bread, no yeast, baking powder and the like), added sweeteners, meat, wine, processed foods or chemically modified foods.
Susan Gregory, the author of the Daniel Fast book, states, “It is basically a vegan diet with even more restrictions.” Here is sample list of the foods you can eat during the fast:
This category can include fresh, frozen, juiced, dried or canned fruits. Fruits include, but are not limited to, bananas, blackberries, apples, apricots, cantaloupe, blueberries, figs, cherries, honeydew melon, raspberries, cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, lemons, limes, pears, mangoes, oranges, peaches, nectarines, pineapples, raisins, plums, prunes, watermelon, strawberries and tangerines
This category can include fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned vegetables. Vegetables include, but are not limited to, broccoli, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, beets, asparagus, sweet potatoes, collard greens, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, celery, corn, potatoes, eggplant, garlic, kale, mushrooms, okra, onions, radishes, spinach, squashes, tomatoes and zucchini. If you are not allergic to soy, veggie burgers also are options.
This can include millet, whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole-wheat pasta, barley, rice cakes, grits, whole-wheat tortillas and popcorn.
This category can include canned or dried legumes. Legumes include, but are not limited to, split peas, dried beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils and black-eyed peas.
Nuts and seeds
This list includes cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame and peanuts. You also can enjoy nut butters, such as peanut or almond butter.
This includes olive, peanut, canola, grape seed and sesame.
Limited to only water, including spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.
Vinegar, tofu, seasonings, soy products, salt, herbs and spices.
The following are the foods you should avoid during the fast:
Meat and animal products
All meant and animal products including beef, pork, lamb, poultry and fish, as well as others.
All milk, butter, cheese, cream and eggs.
All sugar, honey, raw sugar, molasses, syrups and cane juice.
Including Ezekiel Bread because it contains yeast and honey, and baked goods.
Refined and processed food
Including artificial flavorings, white flour, white rice, food additives, chemicals and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
Deep fried foods
Including, but not limited to, french fries, potato chips and corn chips.
All shortening, lard, margarine, and foods high in fat.
Including but not limited to tea, coffee, herbal teas, energy drinks, carbonated beverages, and alcohol.
For a complete Daniel Fast food list, go to newhealthguide.org/Daniel-Fast-Food-List.html
For great Daniel Fast recipes, go to www.daniel-fast.com
Please consult your physician before participating in any type of diet or fast, especially if you are under current care.
Ward is a personal fitness trainer and nutrition counselor in Richmond Hill. For specific advice, call 478-542-0454.