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.