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Posts from the ‘Foods and Menus’ Category

Tips for Getting Your Mind Off the Food and onto the Lord

woman-tired-cookThe Daniel Fast requires some unique balancing moves. It’s not like a “normal fast” when you drink only water and that’s it. And it’s not like a “juice fast” when your choices are clearly defined.

On the Daniel Fast, which is a “partial fast,” some foods are eaten and others are allowed. And the choices are wide and many. So you will need to spend some time thinking about food and food choice for meals. But you don’t want food to become your focus . . . and you don’t want the Daniel Fast to become another way to satisfy the desires of the flesh by concocting “yummy, delicious, scrumptious” meals.

Does that mean your meals shouldn’t taste good? No. But it does mean that you want to keep the first thing the first thing. Jesus says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” We want to keep Jesus and our growing relationship with Him as the foundation of the fast . . . and not the food!

So how can you still eat according to the Daniel Fast Guidelines and not get carried away? Here are a few simple steps you can take so you are sure to keep Jesus first.

Decide to eat more simply for this period of prayer and fasting. Prayerfully consider the purpose of fasting and how it can be a powerful time for putting the flesh under the authority of the Spirit. Don’t make the Daniel Fast more complicated than it needs to be or should be! Humble meals. Simple dishes. Flavorful and pleasing is fine . . . but in balance for the purpose of fasting, which is to restrict food for a spiritual purpose.

Plan a few simple meals. I like to tell the people I coach about the fast to plan just 3 breakfast menus, 4-5 lunch menus (using leftovers from dinners is great), 5-6 dinner menus and then about 3 different snacks. Then you can rotate these menus and get good at preparing them and making sure you have the ingredients on hand. Keep your meals uncomplicated and undemanding. Then you won’t have to be so consumed about meal preparation and about satisfying the flesh! Instead you can focus on God, study and prayer.

Prepare several meals at one time. For example, make a double recipe of Vegetarian Chili and freeze one and eat the other for dinner and lunches. Using this pot of flavorful and nutritious chili as the center of your menu makes it easy to add a simple green salad and flatbread for a nutritious and satisfying meal. I like using Saturday as my meal prep day. I plan and prepare five or six meals and I use the time to pray, listen to worship music, memorize scripture or listen to a teachings. The time flies by and meanwhile my spirit is fed and I experience the joy of the Lord during my labors.

Using these simple approaches will do two things. First, when you plan and prepare ahead you will be ready and have the primary parts of your meals on hand! You won’t have to worry about, “What’s for dinner?” You’ll know and it will be simple and easy for you to finish up the meal and stay on the fast.

Second, you won’t be anxious! I hear from many people who end up quitting the fast because of one of two reasons: 1) they felt preparing all the meals each day took too much time and energy; 2) the meals were too complicated and too expensive.  You can avoid both these issues by keeping your meals simple and preparing them ahead of time.

But the most important benefit about all of this is that you won’t be centered on the food. I’ve had people write to me and say, “Susan, I spent too much time trying to make all these special meals and new recipes each day. I realized I was really on nothing more than a diet . . . and I totally missed the blessing of the fast.” The good news is that you can make sure you don’t miss out. Keep your meals simple. Plan only a few menus that you like and can rotate them over and over again. And prepare ahead so you have the food on hand and available so you don’t have to think about food too much  . . . and so it won’t take up too much of your time!

Be blessed as you grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus during your fast.

What About the Daniel Diet?

Daniel Diet or Daniel Fast?

I’ve been teaching and writing about the Daniel Fast since 2007. And you can see by this blog and my website at http://daniel-fast.com that literally millions of men and women from all over the world are learning about this method of spiritual fasting. Many have asked about the Daniel Diet as they see health gurus turn to the prophets way of eating as a good alternative for healthy weight loss.

So here is my take on the Daniel Diet.

First, let me say that biblical fasting is always about restricting food for a spiritual purpose. That’s how the word is defined in both the Hebrew and the Greek. There is always a spiritual component – in fact, it’s the most important element of a fast. However, many people find that the eating plan on the Daniel Fast is very healthy and helpful to their bodies.

If you want to follow an eating plan (without the spiritual life) that is the same as the Daniel Fast program, then that would be a Daniel Diet. There is nothing wrong with that, but be clear that you would not be on a spiritual fast.

I often counsel people who are preparing for the Daniel Fast to be sure to not let their spiritual life be overshadowed by the food restrictions. Fasting is a spiritual discipline. We are entering into a time of prayer and fasting – both linked together in definition.

So if you want to use the Daniel Fast eating plan for health benefits, then technically you would be on The Daniel Diet. You would be following the practices of the prophet by eating in the way that he and his companions did and if you follow the plan as I’ve outlined in on this blog and in my books, you will experience the great benefits of a healthy way of eating.

Homemade Dijon Mustard for the Daniel Fast

dijon_mustardAs you probably have discovered, most prepared Dijon mustard includes sugar or another sweetener in its ingredients, deeming it unusable on the Daniel Fast. However, since most of us eat a lot more salads than usual, we want good flavors . . . and adding Dijon mustard to our salad dressing recipes provides a wonderful, full flavor. So here is a recipe for Homemade Dijon Mustard! You can make a batch of it and store it for use during the Daniel Fast. If you want, you can add a little honey to the recipe AFTER the fast, but meanwhile, be blessed with this modified recipe.

Ingredients:
2 cups dry white wine vinegar
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 ounces dry mustard
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
Few drops Tabasco

Directions: Combine vinegar, onion and garlic. Heat to boiling and simmer for five minutes. Pour into medium bowl to cool cool. Add dry mustard to a small sauce pan. Now pour the vinegar mixture through a strainer into the saucepan, whisking until very smooth. Sir in the salt and Tabasco. Heat slowly, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Allow to cool and then pour into non-metallic covered container. For best results, chill at last two days before using. This mixture will stay fresh in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Daniel Fast Breakfast Ideas

Daniel Fast Breakfast Ideas

Daniel Fast Breakfast Ideas

I receive a lot of questions about the Daniel Fast and breakfast ideas! When we’re not fasting we’re so used to having dairy products (not allowed on the Daniel Fast), eggs and other animal proteins. So this is a good time to be creative!

Here are some of my favorites . . . you can find many recipes in the Daniel Fast books and cookbooks available at http://daniel-fast.com/store.html

Also, if you have Daniel Fast breakfast ideas . . . please post them here!

  1. Muesli with unsweetened soy milk
  2. Rice cakes (made with brown rice) with peanut butter and raisins
  3. Fruit smoothies with unsweetened soy milk
  4. Sautéed apples in coconut oil with brown rice
  5. Oatmeal with dried fruit and unsweetened soy milk
  6. Homemade tortillas with stir-fried veggies

These are just a few of my Daniel Fast Breakfast Ideas! Please add your favorites and be blessed on your fast!

The Daniel Fast – is it Really Hard on the Budget?

I am eager to hear from men and women about the cost of the Daniel Fast eating plan. I read posts from men and women saying they can’t afford to go on the Daniel Fast because it’s too expensive.

Please leave your thoughts about this so I can address if from a place of more specific information. What is too expensive? And what are the comparisons?

My food bill goes down during the Daniel Fast. So that’s why I am curious about this claim that, “the Daniel Fast is too expensive and so I can’t fast.”

Thanks for your help! I am eager to hear from people who will give specific information and not just generalities, which have already been supplied.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Another good reason for no MSG on the Daniel Fast

I just read an article from Johns Hopkins University that cited a new study about MSG. You can find it at MSG STUDY. It’s worth reading, especially when you wonder why you feel so good while on the Daniel Fast.

The article is also very convincing as to why most men and women lose weight while on the Daniel Fast. Here’s an overview:

The study finds that MSG causes the human body to gain weight three times more than those who don’t use the chemical! Here’s an excerpt:

“The study focused on 750 Chinese men and women, ages 40-59, living in 3 rural villages in north and south China. Most of the study subjects prepared their meals at home without commercially processed foods and roughly 82 percent used MSG. Those participants who used the highest amounts of MSG had nearly 3 times the incidence of overweight as those who did not use MSG, even when physical activity, total caloric intake, and other possible explanations for body mass differences were accounted for. The positive correlation between MSG and higher weight confirmed what animal studies have been suggesting for years.”

Most people think MSG (monsodium glutamate) is found only in prepared Chinese food or the food you get in Chinese restaurants. But the truth is that more and more food manufactures are adding MSG to their products because the chemical is a flavor enhancer.

Here is what is really amazing: in 1950 Americans consumed about 1 million pounds of MSG a year. Now that consumption has increased by 300 percent! That’s right, American consume more than 3 million pounds of MSG each year! And we wonder why we have a weight problem!

The best way to avoid MSG is to make you own meals from scratch. When that it’s possible, then - here we go again - READ THE LABEL on the foods you purchase to see what the ingredients include. One problem is that the law only requires ingredients to be listed if they represent a certain percent of all the ingredients. So if what seems like only a small amount of MSG is added, then it will not appear on the list.

I hope that most of those on the Daniel Fast are making most of your meals from fresh products and using packaged products that you can be sure don’t include chemicals. One thing I know is that many men and women continue to eat a more healthy diet with pure foods after they complete the fast because they realize good food is so good for them.

Please take a few minutes and read the article about THE MSG STUDY. You owe it to yourself and to your body!

Daniel Fast – Organic or Not?

Most of us increase the amount of fresh produce in our diets during the Daniel Fast. That’s good in some respects, but we also want to be wise about the foods we are buying. More and more consumers are buying “organic” produce because of all the pesticides used in large commercial farms. The cost of organic produce is usually higher, although I’ve found some sales on organic foods recently and there were less expensive than the commercial grades.

 

A useful source for information about food safety is the Environmental Working Group. Its Web site lists 44 fruits and vegetables ranked by the amount of pesticide residue each contains. By knowing which fruits and vegetables usually carry the most pesticides and which are cleanest, you can decide when it would be wisest to buy organic.

 

The Dirty Dozen

peaches

apples

sweet bell peppers

celery

nectarines

strawberries

cherries

lettuce

grapes (imported)

pears

spinach

potatoes

 

The Cleanest Dozen

onions

avocados

sweet corn (frozen)

pineapples

mangos

sweet peas (frozen)

asparagus

kiwis

bananas

cabbage

broccoli

eggplants

Daniel Fast and chips – not a very good combination :-)

We all have foods that we miss a lot when we are in the Daniel Fast. Mine is coffee. Just about every thing else is tolerable. But I really miss coffee. But there is no getting around it, coffee and any kind of substitute is out on the Daniel Fast.

Others seem to miss chips the most. They serve as a great delivery system for both salsa and salt, so I understand the challenge. The good news is that it’s easier to find a suitable substitute for chips.

If you miss being able to “crunch” on something, then rice cakes are a great way to go. I use the ones made from brown rice and I keep them around all the time for snacks and a quick breakfast by adding peanut butter, raisins and nuts.

But if you need something for your salsa, consider cut or finely sliced vegetables including carrots, celery, jicama or lettuce leaves. Not exactly the same, but healthier and Daniel Fast friendly!

Search the health food stores for baked chips that might fit the demand. You’ll need to read the label and make sure the chips are not deep fried. Also, keep your eye out for any kind of leavening. I have learned that there are some flat breads being made now using a modified Ezekiel Bread ingredients.

Finally, you could always bite the bullet and just go without like I have to with the coffee! It’s a tough road, but I know you can make it! Just think of how good that first chip will taste when you’ve completed your successful fast!

No Animal Products on the Daniel Fast

I just read another question asking if chicken broth is allowed on the Daniel Fast.

The answer is easily, “No.” The bottom line is that no animal products are allowed on the Daniel Fast. This is drawn from both accounts of Daniel’s fasting as described in Chapter 1 and in Chapter 10. On these two “partial fasts,” Daniel ate no meat and only fruits and vegetables.

So as long as any product has an origin from an animal of any type, it is not allowed on the Daniel Fast. This goes for all dairy products, cheese, eggs, etc.

Cane juice is still sugar . . .

By now you are probably very good at reading labels. I have a pair of reader glasses at the ready whenever I’m strolling the grocery aisles. That type can be SO small for these “mature” eyes.

A newer ingredient used in a lot of natural foods is “cane juice.” It might be called something a little different, but if you see the word “cane” it’s still sugar. I asked about the ingredient and it was explained to me that cane juice is what comes before sugar is granulated. The content is the same, however, so it’s still sugar!

Sorry! It’s in a lot of prepared foods that would otherwise be perfect for the Daniel Fast. But the reality is, it’s still sugar and we want to be sugar free.

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