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Daniel Fast – it’s so much more than the food!

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I am concerned about a trend that seems to be happening in the Daniel Fast genre. And it has to do with so much attention being put on recipes and cookbooks and what we can eat and what we can’t! The Daniel Fast is so much more than food! And when we keep our focus on the food, it seems it’s just another way to feed the flesh rather than denying it!

Don’t get me wrong, I know we need to have good recipes for the Daniel Fast. After all, this is a partial fast where some foods are restricted and other foods are allowed. But the Daniel Fast is not a plan to merely replace all the foods we enjoy eating all the time with a vegan variety!

With that said, I do believe God is using the Daniel Fast to bring more of His people into a healthy way of feeding the Temple of the Holy Spirit – a temple He has entrusted to our care. And with the health crisis in the United States and other countries in the world, it’s critical that we start eating good foods designed by the Creator for the bodies He created!

But I encourage all those who use the Daniel Fast as their method of fasting to examine your heart as you try to figure out ways to satisfy the flesh by going to great lengths to serve up some alternative.

Again, please don’t misunderstand me. I know we need good recipes. I know it’s okay for us to enjoy the food the Lord created for us. But I also know that we need to keep things in balance and not get our eyes so much on the food that we miss the purpose of fasting. It’s a spiritual experience where we put our whole beings under the submission of the Lord. And I do believe there is a danger in going too far in satisfying the flesh by focusing too much on food and missing out on the vital element of submission that a period of prayer and fasting employs.

104 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi Susan. I just thought I’d drop you a line to say thank you for your obedience to The Lord in setting up the Daniel fast. I was looking for a means of not only deepening my relationship with The Lord but also finding the strength to embark on and accomplish something which I knew He’s been wanting me to do for sometime. I ordered your book online a couple of moths ago and have now completed not a 21 but a 30 day fast which was one of the most amazing and exhilarating experiences of my life. I got so much out of it that I couldn’t possibly recount here but suffice it to say that I have started on the task that The Lord had been holding out to me and in the process experienced floods of His grace flow into my life. Though I am Ethiopian and this fast is almost identical to the fast that is regularly practised by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the focus and direction provided in your book gave new life to the entire experience. However, as an evangelical Christian I felt I wanted to do more than abstain from particular types of food only so I augmented the fast with my own twist where I actually abstained from all food during the daytime surviving only on copious amounts of filtered water – it was unbelievably refreshing. Thank you so much and may God continue to use you bring many more into a deeper relationship with Him – God bless you.

    April 3, 2014
  2. Catherine #

    I am 98% vegan and already eat pretty much according to the guidelines on the Daniel fast. I do drink coffee and the 2% of animal products I eat are primarily eggs, cheese, shrimp, rarely beef or pork. I eat some but not a great deal of processed foods and will on occasion have Tortilla chips with vegan tacos. I have fasted in the past and primarily drink juice (fresh) and vegan broth type soups or vegan soup that I have processed in a Vita Mix…the idea was to eat only liquids. I found this to be challenging. What suggestions do you have for me when fasting? Are there any other posts that address this issue?

    January 29, 2014
    • Daniel Fast Team #

      Hi Catherine,
      Yes we get this question pretty often. The Daniel Fast is like a “Vegetarian…..Plus More Restrictions” way of eating. There’s several things that a vegetarian and even a vegan can eat that are avoided while on the fast…Such as: no sweeteners of any kind, no leavening (and yes this even covers whole grain leavened breads), no caffeine – coffee/teas, no chemical food additives and preservatives, no processed foods, no deep fried foods. Then there’s the obvious: no animal products, no seafood, no dairy products. As well as, no breads with leavening (yeast, baking soda, or baking powder)… making certain that the grains you eat are only Whole Grains, whole grain flours, Whole grain tortillas/flat breads are allowed (with Daniel Fast friendly ingredients). No caffeine (coffee, tea etc.), Water is the Only drinking beverage.
      You can order a copy of the Daniel Fast Guidelines by going to http://www.daniel-fast.com and enter your email address, they will be emailed back to you. I hope this helps, Be BLESSED on your Journey!

      February 19, 2014
  3. Faith #

    Thank you for creating this post. I am on day 4, and I feel strongly that focusing so much on food is losing the intended purpose of the Daniel fast. I am a person who loves food (and it shows in good and bad ways), so I get complaints from my family that I love food too much and how I need to lose weight. Now that I’m on the fast, my family is still complaining, but this time, that I am not eating enough food and fasting doesn’t mean I should starve. I tried to explain to them that I’m fine. Sure I get some hunger pangs, but my hunger and desperate need for God outweighs more. It hurts me that they can’t understand this and they are focusing more on the fact that this fast will help me lose weight. Sure losing weight is a great benefit, but I tried to explain to them that weight loss is not my main focus for doing this fast. I wish I had more support from them, but I realize that sometimes when you stand for God, you’ll have to stand alone. Still, I feel that I have enough support already from this site and other resources, the amazing testimonies I’ve read, and its great to know that there are brothers and sisters unbeknownst to me that are doing this incredible fast too. I am encouraged and I feel that I learned so much already and I look forward to God revealing more to me and the breakthroughs I hope to experience during or after its conclusion.

    January 15, 2014
  4. TIna Farmer #

    I enjoyed your blog about getting the focus off food and on the reason of the fast which is God. This is the second time I have done the Daniel Fast. For this fasting I have branched out a little bit more in my food by trying eggplant. One step at a time, but I liked it.

    God is calling me to a healthier way of eating, but He is also wanting me to focus on Him not the food I put into my mouth. My addiction is food–sweets & carbs. Growing up we didn’t have these foods in the house. It was when I moved into a home with others these were introduced; and I loved them.

    We were created for Him and he established a way to eat in the garden. With sin entering the world our desires changed and our unwillingness to get back to te basics in life has brought so much destruction to our lives and bodies.

    I am using the Daniel Fast this time obviously to fast for a purpose–I was going to fast anyway–but God brought this back to myattention by a girlfriend at church. I felt God was reminding me of this fast and I wanted to be obedient. A ripple effect of using this fast is to get me started on a healthier way to eat to get me out of the addiction I recently admitted I have.

    God is good and faithful. He knows what we need when we need it even before we do. I want my desires to be His desires. I want to be and be where He wants. He is the desire of my heart. I am praying and fasting that will be so. In the end I know it will be because He is faithful.

    May GOd continue to bless your ministry of helping others through difficulties in their lives and showing them the Daniel Fast is not so far out they can’t do it. It does take the Lord’s strength for sure, but even that is not impossible if we are willing to be obedient.

    Blessings,

    Tina

    December 30, 2013
  5. Stella #

    Hi,
    I started my fast 3 days ago and am so encouraged, I have tweaked it a bit and am going nil by mouth (except for fluids) from 6 to 3. I am at work so I am also praying from 5h30 to 6h00, 10h00 for a little bit at 3h00 when i break and before bed. I watch a little TV in the evening but mostly try and get some spiritual reading in.

    Every time I feel like eating I pray instead. will be checking in from time to time and thank you everyone for the encouragement,I am grateful I found this site as I was having coffee and fruit juice so will stop that but also didn’t know you could have nut butter and some carbs.
    God bless you all and thank you for the site.

    Stella

    November 27, 2013
  6. I have just started reading your book, The Daniel Cure. I am not yet convinced that I should do this. Can I do the “Cure” without doing the “Fast”?

    I have been skimming the recipes and I am immediately turned off. I am a plain food type of gal. Anything with more than 5 ingredients is usually not going to get to the table. The most complicated thing I make is chicken and dumplings and/or pot roast (neither of which would be on the fast, of course).

    I guess I would really need to plan this out. For me, it has to be simple, quick, and easy. I don’t want to spend too much time preparing, and I don’t mind eating leftovers. (I could see pulling baked oatmeal out of the freezer).

    Is this an expensive endeavor?

    November 5, 2013
    • Daniel Fast Team #

      Hi SowingMercy,
      Yes you can; The Daniel Fast is restricting foods for a spiritual purpose. The Daniel Cure is using the scientific results of eating the Daniel Fast way for natural improvement of health. When the two are combined together it is a win/win.
      When I prepare for the fast I too lean toward the simpler recipes and cook in bulk (left over’s are the way to go). Then if I have time and ambition to hang out in the kitchen more I can, if not we’re still good.
      As far as expense goes, The Daniel Fast is a very healthy way to eat and can be cost effective. That does require more cooking and planning, but it needn’t be expensive compared to typical eating. However, if one is looking for “prepared Daniel Fast foods” then yes that would be expensive. However, the Daniel Fast is a very simple and inexpensive way to eat. Considering when you remove from the budget; prepared foods, sweetened foods, dairy, prepared breads and meats, you’ll find those funds are now available for beans, brown rice, whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables. But it really is a process, and does take a renewing of the mind which is something that takes place during your fast. I hope this helps, Be Blessed on your Journey!

      December 6, 2013
    • elba #

      Hi Sowing,

      I don’t know what book you read or the recipes you seen that turned you off but – Im on my day 7 today and I also like easy meals – and I found that making uncle bens whole grain brown rice mixed with veggies has really worked for me. I eat lots of fruit and whole wheat grains, nuts, popcorn and so on. – but then again the Daniel fast is much more than food its time with the Lord and focusing on him and feasting on him. – be encouraged you can do it. Just one day a time.

      December 8, 2013
      • I am thinking about doing it between Christmas and New Years. And see how that goes. I have a few more days off, and can concentrate and plan.

        December 9, 2013
  7. Lisa #

    Thank you so much for this post. I started the fast today and by the end of the day I’m feeling a little weak and I was a little discourage because I wanted to work out. But once I read this post, I instantly was reminded why I was doing this..not to lose weight but to take this time to have a more intimate relationship with my Savior. Thank you sooooo much :) and may God continue blessing you and so many others on this website

    July 1, 2013
    • Daniel Fast Team #

      Hi Lisa,
      Increase your water intake. Fatigue (feeling weak) is a very common symptom of detoxing (from caffeine, sugar and/or chemicals) and a normal side effect of a natural body cleanse through whole foods and water. So…Increase your water intake. These symptoms (headaches, fatigue, cramps, joint pain to name a few) will pass in a few days (3-7) or more. The more extreme the buildup of the toxins in your body, the more extreme your symptoms and length of time to complete your detox. Meanwhile, flushing your system with water will ease your discomfort and speed up the detox process. As a general guideline, your body needs half its body weight in ounces of water per day, ie: 160lbs = 80 oz. of water daily. Also, pay close attention to your protein intake and eat plenty of Protein Rich Foods: All Nuts and Peanut butter (any nut butters), Whole grains, Legumes and Leafy Dark Green Vegetables, to learn more go to: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/healthnutrition/tp/protein.htm And, for a quick pick me up snack on fresh fruit. I hope this helps, Be Blessed on your Fast!

      July 2, 2013
  8. Denise #

    U r soooo rite and that’s my main objective, is to get closer to God so i can walk a better path I’m just not sure how to do that.do i not watch tv for the whole time of fasting?, how much should i pray a day that would b acceptable in his eyes, I’m just not sure how to go about it

    May 23, 2013
    • Daniel Fast Team #

      Hi Denise,
      Any amount of time spent in seeking His presence is acceptable to Him. I do encourage you to increase your time spent in the Word and in Prayer, spending additional time with the Lord…. So, whatever is your normal routine add to it. Ask the Holy Spirit for his direction in how you should order your days. Be Blessed on your Journey!

      May 29, 2013
  9. when you say Chemical free, what should I look for?

    April 15, 2013
    • Daniel Fast Team #

      Man made chemical additives is what is to be avoided. There are too many additives to list here, but here is a great link as a start point for you http://altmedangel.com/additive.htm
      Also, when reading the Ingredients list on food packages and you find something you don’t know what it is, google it. Just type in “What is xyz”, and you will be amazed at how quickly you become educated. Warning though…print off your findings so you can have a running quick reference. Be Blessed!

      April 17, 2013
  10. Emmanuel #

    I believe the recepies are so we can plan our meals out before we start our fast. This way we can concentrate more on the spiritual side of this fast rather then food. Plan well before you start your fast.

    January 15, 2013
  11. Neyda #

    I very much appreciated reading this. I am currently doing the Daniel Fast for the second time and it has gained a lot of attention by my co-workers which is great. However I ran into a situation where a co-worker who was interested offered to pay me to customize the “diet” and do the cooking for her. I prayed about it and was almost instantly convicted by the Holy Spirit that a) the Daniel Fast is NOT a diet but a fast to draw ever closer to the Lord and b) to cheapen the value of the fast by turning it into a diet fad and moving away from the truth behind the fast would be like the money changers in front of the temple. God’s ways are always better and He deserves the utmost respect.

    January 14, 2013
    • Praise God that He speaks to us and answers our prayers.

      Be blessed!

      January 17, 2013
    • Margaret #

      I just started the Daniel Fast 4 days ago with what I felt like was prompting by the Holy Spirit. I have lost several pounds and I haven’t had headaches or been hungry. I have to admit that once I realized this, I was a bit excited. Who wouldn’t be? But i did and will most likely have to continue to remind myself, weight isn’t what this is about. For me, I feel like it is an obedience thing. And a way to keep my thoughts on God and not on things of this world. It has only been 4 days and I feel better, spiritually and physically. Seeing that I have lost a few pounds does help and gives me a bit of motivation to keep going. Is that a bad thing? I haven’t been tempted to break the fast, which HAS TO BE A GOD THING, b/c I LOVE junk food!!!

      March 3, 2013
      • Daniel Fast Team #

        Hi Margaret,
        You are learning to eat healthy through fasting, And you are drawing closer to the Lord at the same time, and the results are contagious. So no, this is not a bad thing, this is awesome! Keep on going, Be Blessed on your Journey!

        March 4, 2013
  12. Cheryl W. #

    My church is doing the 21 Fast and on Days I-3 I was concerned about the food! but now on day 6 food is not as important as waiting to hear from God and what he has for me to do. I am anxiously waiting for my breakthrough!

    January 11, 2013
    • Daniel Fast Team #

      Praise God! This is an exciting season you’re in, enjoy His sweet presence!

      January 15, 2013
  13. Brenda Waker-Bryant #

    I am always looking for was to transform myself spiritually. I fast often and have received my answered prayers in God’s timing. I am focusing on a sronger prayer life and an increase in every area of my life. In the meantime, I must eat and the recipes in the Daniel Fast are awesome.

    August 28, 2012
  14. kish #

    You are so right, i just prepared a meal of fish and califlower for my husband and i to have as our evening meal, we fasted all day. I guess its ok but i do feel a little guilty, i want the Lord to be pleased with my sacrifice and if am not pleased then he just might not be, so thanks for your post am gonna see how much more i can improve we are on day 2. Please
    Pray for us

    May 2, 2012
    • elba #

      My husband and I are actually going to begin a 7 Daniel fast – In December of last year we did a 21 day Daniel fast and we prayed regularly and we were very specific with our 3 weeks, we had a prayer request for each week and focused on those specific prayers and I want to tell you that GOD GLORIFIED himself – in such an awesome way – on the 3rd day of week one he responded and answered our request we needed confirmation for a decision we were about to make and needed him to ok it before to see if this was in fact HIS will, Fasting and prayer is EFFECTIVE I have never seen God move so fast – Be encouraged and also keep us in your prayers as we also fast.

      May 3, 2012
  15. Dawn #

    In our home, we are strictly gluten free because our daughter has Celiac disease, topped off by other dietary and nutritional issues and needs. I find having a variety of recipes and ideas makes it possible to include everyone in on the fast. Matter of fact, I did not think the fast would be good for a diabetic until I realized the combination in which the allowable foods are suggested to used in many of the recipes, (along with the fact that the grains must be whole), keeps blood sugar levels even.

    If I were to do this fast on my own or just with my husband, we would probably keep it simple…. Nuts, fruits, veggies, and water. However for a busy mom who is in charge of keeping house, home schooling and all the rest, I am finding that having the recipes gives me a “go to” at times where I am spending too much time focusing on what to serve next instead of in prayer.

    I guess you could say my boat rocks both ways on this topic. So you see sister, you don’t stand alone when it comes to this subject.

    May God bless you in Jesus name.
    Dawn

    March 7, 2012
  16. shannon #

    Thanks for getting my attention! I came on this web site to try to find a recepie for a dressing for my salad! Like everyone else me to is focusing on the food and not the real purpose.I will regroup and continue my fast, I’m on day 13 and I would like to have more dressing than the Newman’s OWN “OLIVE OIL & VINEGAR” Which is real good but want something else! THANKS AGAIN FOR OPENING MY EYES!

    January 29, 2012
  17. Rae K. #

    I went to church this morning and they’re starting a Daniel Fast. The message was entirely centered on the physical aspect of losing weight and what kind of food to eat. I was disappointed, but understand that people are at different places. On another note, I’m on day 9 of the fast and feel so privileged to be doing this. God’s voice is clearer and I feel closer to Him. Amen!

    January 15, 2012
  18. jessa #

    thank you so much for this post. This is my first time fasting and i pretty much focus on the food. I’m on day four and i realize that im not giving God his time with me. I do read your devotional and read book of daniel, but i feel like my mind is running and God is just sitting there going did you forget me? I now know where i need to focus and that its His time.
    thank you and God bless!!

    January 12, 2012
  19. Thank you for this word from the L-rd. I needed to hear this.

    We received excellent advice from your team about my husband being a Type 2 diabetic, recently discovered. Unfortunately the advice did not work and his sugar dropped drastically 2 times, we sought Holy Spirit and he is doing as He leads. My husband does not fit the profile for a diabetic as told to him by all nurses and the Dr., but we trust G-d and much good has already come from this situation. I said that to say this, if for some reason it does not work for a diabetic, please consult the ultimate Physician. The enemy wants to block your blessings. Do not allow it, we do have a choice. My husband is fasting as instructed and doing just fine now.

    I would like to share a G-d given revelation re: fast. Also mentioned in your article was about weight loss and Americans are not exactly in healthy condition. I too, would like to loose weight. G-d made it so clear and simple to me. “When I forgive you of your sins, you intentionally do not go on sinning or you are right back where you started, therefore; forgiveness is required once again. When we do the Daniel Fast for the right reasons, but experiencing a physical cleansing (detoxification) as well as weight loss. If we choose to resume negative food consumption after the fast, we too have lost ground physically and spiritually. My prayer is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” No dieting, but a complete change in eating habits. To all who desire change in this area of your lives we can do this with His help.

    Be encouraged and blessed.

    Susan Miller

    January 9, 2012
    • Thanks Susan for your encouraging remarks. My sisters and I are preparing mentally for a fast next week. I for one am planning to start with the Daniel fast. I recently had a physical and everything came out fine but I was also encouraged to drop a few pounds, which I know I need to do. I am hoping more so though to break down walls, spiritually through the fast and just grow closer in my own walk with God.

      August 3, 2012
  20. Meka #

    Thank you so much for this post! It truly blessed me and gave me extra motivation to stay focused on the purpose of the fast not the food! I want to encourage all who are on the fast to continue seeking God diligenty and with all!! That way we ARE SURE to find Him, because GOD PROMISES THAT so for that we can be confident!! May God continue to use you and bless you Daniel Fast Team!

    January 7, 2012
  21. elba #

    Thank you for those words of wisdom. My husband and I are on day 2 of Daniels fast – and my desire is to seek the Lord more seek his will for our lives, get closer to him and begin this year with a change in our diet.

    December 27, 2011
  22. Nicola #

    Thank you for you posting! I have been on the Daniel fast for 7 days now, and honestly I have been really focused on food more then the true purpose of the fast. Which is to get closer to GOD and just hear HIS voice. This article was a real eye opener. Thank you for being so honest and allowing GOD to use you in such a way,

    October 11, 2011
  23. claudette #

    Thank You for your post. My focus is so much on food right now due to health issue. I am even recording what i am eating & symptoms and bm etc for my narurapathic doctor then i neglect my spiritual life. i want to get back on track. iI feel led to do a Daniel fast.

    July 22, 2011
    • Daniel Fast Team #

      Hi Claudette,
      Fasting is a great way to “jump in to the deep end of the pool” in getting back on track in any area of your life! Be Blessed in your Journey!

      July 22, 2011
  24. Thank you for all your keen (applied) wisdom and insight in regards to doing a 21 day fast.  I would appreciate your feedback in regards to a 21 day fast I’m finally embarking on in obedience to the Lord’s leading.  

    This is something I know is absolutely critical and necessary for my intimacy with Christ to be where it should be.  I have done 21 day fasts before, but they were partial fasts where I ate the second half of the day.  This time I am feeling lead to take on more drastic measures and become a lot more serious in my pursuit of the Lord.  I don’t necessarily feel led to do a Daniel fast, but am wondering if it would be advised and okay for my health if I did a full fast with the exception to one piece of fruit with my two morning drinks: apple cider vinegar & cayenne pepper drink and green tea, and then do a meal replacement drink (Amazing Meal) in the latter part of the day?  I am btwn 30 & 40 yrs old, am 4’11” and weigh a little over 100 lbs.

    May 8, 2011
    • Daniel Fast Team #

      Hi savvyscribe7,
      Since I have no knowledge of the type of fast you are mentioning here I cannot advise yeah or nay. However, I encourage you to let the Holy Spirit lead you and guide you in the details of whatever fast you are emabarking on. He loves you, has good plans for you has promised to lead you into all truth, He is your Guide and Counselor! Be Blessed in your Journey!

      May 11, 2011
  25. jaw123456 #

    Great points. Thank you Susan.

    May 5, 2011
  26. Ricky #

    Thank you for your post Susan. I just started my Daniel Fast yesterday, after a weekend men’s retreat I felt inspired to seek a closer relationship to God. I feel He has been speaking to me about fasting for a few years now, but my flesh didn’t want to listen. I hope and pray that my focus can remain on the true purpose.

    May 3, 2011
  27. OgL #

    thanks for the focus – i was so afraid of doing something wrong the first time i feel free this time and purpose and focus driven

    May 2, 2011

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