The Hubs & I have some big decisions coming up for 2014, so we decided it would be a good time to do a fast and spend some time in the Word and really focusing on God’s will.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of fasting, spiritually it’s an opportunity to cleanse both the body & soul. Many think it’s a period of deprivation, or of drinking only water, but there’s a wide variety of “fast plans” out there. I think of it as an opportunity to simplify our diet so we can focus on things more important than cuisine, because spiritual fasting is done in tandem with prayer and devotionals.
Many of the members of our church do The Daniel Fast over Lent; however a) we didn’t want to wait until then, since we felt compelled to complete it during this season of our life, and b) we REALLY didn’t want to do it for 40 days, since who knows how hectic our lives will be around Easter.
So what is the Daniel Fast? At two points in the book of Daniel, Daniel fasts; once for ten days with a plant-based diet as a test to show the King’s followers that he would be in better health after those ten days than the followers who ate the “king’s food and drank the king’s wine”, and then again for three weeks during a period of mourning. “I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.” (Daniel 10:3)
The original Hebrew uses the word “pulse” in place “vegetables” in the former reference, which translates as “foods grown from seed”, which can include whole grains and oils from plants. Variations of the Daniel Fast include “natural” sweeteners like cane sugar and honey; however we opted to not include sugars other than fruit.
What things do you abstain from?
- Heavily processed or artificial foods
- Any drinks other than water
For the spiritual portion of our fast, we’ll be starting the “21 Day Fast” Reading Plan on the Bible App, and found this journal from another church for chronicling the experience. I’m planning to complete my journal on this blog, along with sharing any tasty recipes that we try out.
So: Day O – Prep!
We went to the store and stocked up on produce, oatmeal, bottled water, whole grain flatbread/wraps, sugar-free all-natural peanut butter, sunflower seeds, beans, vegetable broth, hummus, quinoa, etc. Had LOTS of fun reading all the labels making sure we didn’t have any sugars or artificial gunk in anything. And yes…that’s a bag of Lay’s in there. Potatoes, corn oil, salt: it meets the criteria. :)
Then, in order to simplify meal planning for the next three weeks (and to avoid temptation), we bagged up all the non-compliant food from our pantry & stowed it away in our guest bedroom.
Bye bye, ketchup…see you in three weeks, Reese’s Puffs…
Our pantry, post-purge.
I’m expecting the loss of my morning coffee to be the worst part for the first week. But I’m really looking forward to taking this journey with my husband & hopefully finding some clarity.
…in the meantime, we’re enjoying our last day of gluttony with our Life Group…and many many tasty things. And a football game, reportedly. :)