Fasting in 2011!

Okay, so it’s a new year and a NEW YOU! Like most of you many people bring in the NEW YEAR different ways because it gives everyone a chance to start over with a clear mind, clear conscience, and a clear spirit.

This year for the fourth year in a row I will be participating in the Daniel Fast. The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast a great way to bring in the NEW YEAR!

Here’s a quick breakdown of the Daniel Fast:

Answer: The concept of a Daniel fast comes from Daniel 1:8-14, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.’

Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, ‘Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’ So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.”

The background of the Daniel fast is that Daniel and his three friends had been deported to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians conquered Judah (2 Kings 24:13-14). Daniel and his three friends were put into the Babylonian court servant “training program.” Part of the program was learning Babylonian customs, beliefs, laws, and practices. The eating habits of the Babylonians were not in complete agreement with the Mosaic Law. As a result, Daniel asked if he and his three friends could be excused from eating the meat (which was likely sacrificed to Babylonian false gods and idols).

So, a Daniel fast is eating only fruits and vegetables for a certain amount of time and abstaining from meat products. Some people use a Daniel fast as a dieting method. Some people use a Daniel fast instead of fasting from food entirely. The Bible nowhere commands believers to observe a Daniel fast. As a result, it is a matter of Christian freedom whether to observe a Daniel fast

ALL FRUITS; these can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon

ALL VEGETABLES; these can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.

ALL whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.

ALL nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.

ALL legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.

ALL quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.

BEVERAGES: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.

Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.

Foods to AVOID on the Daniel Fast

ALL meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.

ALL dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.

ALL sweeteners including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.

ALL leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.

ALL refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.

ALL deep-fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.

ALL solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.

BEVERAGES including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.

Remember, READ THE LABELS!

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