One of the most frequently asked questions I receive about the Daniel Fast concerns herbal tea. People have a hard time understanding why they can’t have it on the fast, especially if it’s caffeine-free and organic. The same question is asked about fruit and vegetable juice.
The answer is really quite simple and it’s found in Daniel 1:12 where the Prophet’s words are recorded:
“Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.”
This is the anchor text that says we drink only water on the Daniel Fast. Tea and juice aren’t off the list because they are bad for you. They are off the list because there is no room for juice or tea in “drink only water.”
I hope this helps solve some of the confusion as to why no other beverages are allowed on the Daniel Fast. When you think “beverage” during the Daniel Fast, you think “water.”
Now, let’s move to a little bit of a complicated matter, and that has to do with “juiced fruit and vegetables” that are allowed on the Daniel Fast. The reason they are listed is because many people have meals of juiced produce. It’s not a beverage . . . it’s a meal. One woman wrote to me today and told me she uses juiced meals when she’s traveling and at work. But she also accompanies the juiced meal with a beverage . . . which is filtered water. So if you are making meal replacements by juicing fruits and vegetables, then they would be acceptable. It’s a fine line. Juice as a beverage is not allowed . . . liquid meals like smoothies and other plant-based protein drinks are okay.
Water has many benefits . . . including thwarting hunger, helping with detox headaches and cleansing the body. The average adult should drink at least 1/2 gallon of filtered water every day. If this is a new practice for you, you will be very surprised by the benefits you experience.
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.
I had guests the other day and made this Mango and Black Bean Salad. Even though I am not fasting right now, I realized this would be a great recipe while on the Daniel Fast. The recipe was on a can of Bush’s Best Black Beans.
Mango and Black Bean Salad
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh mango, diced
1 cup sweet red bell pepper, diced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 seeded Jalapeno pepper, minced (or hot sauce to taste)
Salt to taste
Combine ingredients in a bowl. Toss and serve.
Originally developed in the late 1800’s by Swiss nutritionists, museli is a delightful cereal made of whole grains, dried fruits, nuts and seeds. It’s easy to make (1/2 cup museli with 1/2 cup water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 2-5 minutes).
I use Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Museli which is an Oregon company, so I am not sure if it available all over the country (I live in Washington State). But there are other companies that make museli if you can’t find Bob’s.
Museli is also great as a cold cereal with soy milk or applesaucse. I like mine cooked and plain, somtimes with a little soy milk.
Zoom, zoom, zoom! It’s a great hot cereal that’s been around for decades! Made by Krusteaz (the pancake folks), the cereal is 100% whole wheat. It’s the only ingredient and cooks in less than 2 minutes after the water boils!
I actually like this very inexpensive cereal. The box I just opened cost me $1.68 and contains 14 servings! That’s a pretty good deal in my book. After the cereal is cooked, I just scoop it into a bowl, add some raisins and sometimes a little soy milk. That’s it!
You could also sweeten the Zoom with chopped up sweet apple or apple juice, apple sauce or some other fruit. You might also want to add some cinnamon.