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Posts from the ‘Health & Healing’ Category

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.

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!

The Daniel Fast to Lower Cholesterol

First, I want to make it clear that the purpose of fasting and of the Daniel Fast is not all about health. Remember, the definition of fasting is “to restrict food for a spiritual purpose.” So seeking a deeper relationship with God is the primary purpose of fasting.

With that said, there are some powerful benefits to Daniel Fast. One of those is that many people find their cholesterol lowers after they have been on the Daniel Fast for 21 or more consecutive days.

So why is the Daniel Fast so good at lowering cholesterol? The main reason is that the eating plan includes so much fiber (a.k.a. roughage). Fiber is a powerful part of food and sadly, most western diets contain very little of it these days. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and beans are all packed with fiber. And the great benefit of it is that it helps in the digestive process!

Now here is the little known fact of why that it so important to hour health and why eating adequate fiber lowers cholesterol. During digestion, our body created bile to help digest the food. However, undigested bile is what increases cholesterol. When we eat enough fiber, it kind of scrubs our intestines, absorbs the left-over bile, and then eliminates it from our body!

That’s a good thing! If the bile builds up it goes into the blood stream, turns into cholesterol and then the build-up starts.

The Daniel Fast is totally plant based with lost of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans. So when you eat these fiber rich foods for an extended period of time, your body starts the cleaning process with the help of the fiber scrub brushes and your cholesterol count goes down.

Very cool in my opinion! To make things even better, fiber also contributes to preventing cancer and also aids in slower sugar absorption which is good for those with diabetes. Plus, fiber makes us feel fuller and thus reduces the appetite.

So, if you have high cholesterol, then the Daniel Fast is a sure prescription for helping you toward better health!

You can learn more about fiber at this site: Benefits of Fiber

How to End a Daniel Fast

Many men and women will complete their 21-day Daniel Fast over the weekend. And so I wanted to post some advice about ending your fast. Even if you are not concluding your fast, please keep this information in mind. It is important.

  • Ease back into your “typical diet.” This is especially true with caffeine, sugar, fatty foods, meat and dairy products. Small portions are wise and go slow, perhaps just one or two foods per day.
  • For caffeine beverages, drink one small cup or glass and then see how your body reacts. Don’t be surprised if you get the “jitters.” Consider starting with de-caf (I realize that’s almost criminal for those of us who love the java). :-)
  • Don’t be surprised if you feel tired after you start eating the “typical foods.” Your body has been detoxed over the 21-day Daniel Fast and it might scoff at what it has to digest!
  • Continue to drink lots of filtered water, at least 1/2 gallon a day.

Also, consider the lessons you’ve learned and the good habits you’ve adopted on the Daniel Fast. Don’t leave them behind, but let them become a regular part of your life. This includes your prayer and study time with the Lord as well as improved eating habits.

Finally, while you may always fast at the New Year, consider fasting at other times of the year. Many parents pray and then fast from dawn to dusk on their children’s birthdays. If you have pressing issues or circumstances facing you, consider a time of consecrated prayer and fasting. Last year I fasted during Pentecost seeking the Lord’s direction for some personal business matters.

The Daniel Fast is an excellent method for a partial fast. It beats John the Baptist’s fast — honey and locust!

Be blessed!

Is the Daniel Fast a Cure for Cancer?

I just watched an inspirational video about a woman who was diagnosed by four doctors with terminal cancer. They all told her she had less than a year to live.

Through prayer, the Lord led her to the Daniel Fast. This is an inspiring story and again shows the wisdom of God and how prayer and fasting can have powerful effects on our body, soul and spirit. Notice the discipline and devotion Jeannie activated . . . consistency and faith are powerful partners.

Oprah’s 21-Day Detox – Woman’s World Magazine

I just did a little grocery shopping and while at the check out stand I saw this weeks issue of Women’s World magazine (Marked August 25, 2008, but they always have them on the stands way before the marked date).

So, who was on the cover? Oprah Winfrey. And what what the headline? Lose 7 pounds a week on Oprah’s 21-Day Detox!

The truth is, this is the exact same eating plan as The Daniel Fast, however they might not be so strict about no sweeteners and no chemicals. I knew of this 21-Day Detox from when Oprah first introduced it several months ago on her program. She was interviewing the author of Quantum Wellness, Kath Freston, who promotes this eating plan.

The Women’s World Magazine article points out that those following Oprah’s 21-Day Detox lose about seven pounds each week and their health improves dramatically. Of course, we already knew that! The health benefits to the Daniel Fast are great!

The article includes five recipes, but clearly one needs more than that to follow the 21-Day Detox. Thankfully, for those of us on the Daniel Fast, the Daniel Fast Cookbook (an ebook available on this site) provided enough recipes and meal plans for at least 21 days of fasting.

I did notice that they use some foods that we would not have on the Daniel Fast, but that’s only because their plan allows for gluten-free bread and pastas. In the Daniel Fast, we are not allowed any leavening and we also don’t use any processed flours, but rather only whole grain flours.

Still, I thought it was interesting! The magazine will probabaly sell lots of copies with Oprah donning the front page. But waht some readers will think is a new and treny diet, we know is the way the prophet Daniel ate while he was fasting thousands of years ago!

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 Weight Loss

Okay, for the last couple days I’ve noticed the old jeans are getting a little tight! Argh! I hate that! The truth is that I gained about five unwanted pounds over the last few weeks. You know how those annoying ounces turn into pound and pretty soon the pounds start raising havoc! And then without warning, you have to yank to get the jeans pulled up instead of “slipping” into them!

So, I am going to turn to the Daniel Fast for the next ten days and try to shed some of the extra pounds. Now, let me be clear . . . I am now shifting to the Daniel Diet . . . because my goal is to lose weight. I am not fasting, which is to restrict food for spiritual purposes. So I am using the powerful health benefits of the Daniel Fast style of eating to return my body to its healthier weight.

I think it’s important that we keep things straight about the Daniel Fast. Fasting is for spiritual purposes, and when using the Daniel Fast you will benefit physically along with the benefits to your soul and spirit.

Dieting on the other hand is first about the body – the physical body. So I am going to start a diet . . . using the Daniel Fast way of eating . . . and hopefully shed the unwanted pounds.

I receive messages from many people on the Daniel Fast who lose anywhere between 3 and 40 pounds during their 21-Day Daniel Fast. My typical weight loss is around 10 pounds. That’s why I say the Daniel Fast is a whole body experience. It’s good to put your spirit in control of your soul (the place where cravings, emotions, intellect, feelings and the like reside) and your physical body by restricting foods. The Daniel Fast is so healthy and the time of concentration on the Lord through focused prayer so powerful, that many are healed during their fasting experience.

With all that said, I just wanted to be clear. I am going to follow the Daniel Fast guidelines for health purposes. I will fast later, and then it will be strictly for spiritual purposes. But for now, I want to get into my jeans without having to call for help! :-)

The Daniel Fast Lesson My Chickens Taught Me

I live in a small farm in a rural community. It’s a simple life and slow life!

Every morning I feed my flock of chickens. And there is a valuable lesson about taking care of the physical body that I learned from them.

When I first enter their pen in the morning, if the chicken food feeder is empty and the water fountain is empty . . . when both are filled, the chickens ALWAYS prefer the water over the chicken feed!

I figure my chickens and their preference makes a valuable statement about what is more important for our bodies, also. I’m not sure what the water content is in the chicken, but I do know that the human body is more than 70 percent water. I needs good quality water to stay healthy and working properly.

The formula for how much water to drink daily is body weight ÷ 2 = ounces of water to consume. So if you weigh 120 pounds, you should drink 60 ounces of water every day.

Ever since I’ve paid more attention to making sure my body is well-hydrated, I’ve noted that my skin looks healthier, I’m not as hungry, and I have more energy. By the way, sometimes when the human body wants water, our minds confuse the message as a hunger pang. Instead, if we drink a nice tall glass of water and wait just 20 minutes, the hunger pangs will often disappear!

So, life on the farm has many lessons, including those taught by my chickens! Drink water! It’s good for us.

Water During the Daniel Fast

During his times of fasting, the only liquid Daniel consumed was water. That’s why the Daniel Fast Guidelines restrict us from any other beverages, except pure vegetable and fruit juices since they are merely a combination.

Water is an excellent cleanser for the body and flushing your organs and cells with good and pure water will wash it of many of the impurities.

You want to make sure the water you drink is pure, filtered water free of all chemicals and additives. This is hard to find these days since recently it was uncovered that much of the bottled water is merely municipal water sold in plastic bottles.

In my case, I have the great privilege of pure well water on my little four acre farm in Central Washington. I save hundreds of dollars every year no having to purchase drinking water! You may want to purchase your water from a health food store or make sure your drinking water is acceptable.

One caution about fruit juices! They are very high in calories. An eight ounce glass of apple juice (no sugar added) is 117 calories. Orange juice is about the same. So if drink a lot of juice you will want to be aware of the increased calories.

There is a lot of debate about the amount of water we actually need to drink. Our bodies are made up of 2/3 water, so it needs to be replenished. We get a lot of water when eating fresh foods, but so many diets are deplete of fresh foods that increased water intake is important. The other reason to drink adequate water is that it helps with appetite control and body cleansing.

How much water do you need? The simple formula is to take your body weight, divide it by 2 and that is the number of ounces of water to drink throughout the day. To make this easy for me, I have a favorite glass that holds 16 ounces. So I just make sure I drink four glasses of water from my favorite glass each day.

Increasing your water intake can also help when when you’re eliminating caffeine and suffering from headaches. I like to drink hot water with a slice of lemon at times when I would normally drink coffee.

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