I guess as far as fads go, the Daniel Fast isn’t so bad. I mean, it isn’t nearly as bad as the cabbage soup diet, or the Atkins diet. We won’t even talk about Sensa, Alli, or HcG. Those deserve their own posts, but I will encourage you to google “dangers of xyz” before you “order now so you can get the two for one deal.”It seems like the New Year is the time for everybody to jump on board the Daniel Fast train… even if is an amended version. Some of the things I am hearing sound more like “lent” than a Daniel Fast…. I mean really – to say I am giving up red meat or fried foods doesn’t compare to the diet Daniel chose when his peers were eating “high on the hog” (pun intended.)
Here is the passage that the idea of a Daniel Fast comes from:
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.
5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.
8 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. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] 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.”
11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 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.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.
15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.
(note that the continuation of the “fast” really lasted for 3 years!)
According to the origin, the Daniel Fast is actually not so far from the cabbage soup diet! Daniel and his friends ate only vegetables and drank only water for three solid years. Wow! No wonder most folks are only committing to 21 days. Now, according to the descriptions I have heard/read there is more to this Fast than just vegetables and water. So I went on a quest to see what others think defines the Daniel Fast. This site was interesting. Really, it looks more like the Maker’s Diet which consists of eating according to Old Testament principles. The modern day Daniel Fast is a little more restrictive than the Maker’s Diet, but far more lenient than the vegetable only diet we see in scripture. Basically give up meat, dairy, eggs, and sweeteners and you are good to go.
Please understand, I don’t think eating this way is at all bad. In fact, I would recommend the Maker’s Diet over anything else out there if someone wanted a guideline for healthy food choices. I don’t particularly think we are bound to Old Testament laws of any sort, especially the ceremonial laws and the laws that delineate what is considered clean or unclean. I do, however, think choosing to eat things because they are healthier is wise. Eliminating “unclean” meat will go a long way towards helping you be healthier. And though I am not anti-dairy, if you don’t have a clean raw source of goat milk, you’d be better off doing without. Watch for a future blog post on why cow milk should be avoided. Sweeteners also deserve their own entry, but suffice it to say that we consume way too much. Personally I’d rather see people cut back throughout the year than go completely without for 21 days.
Only implementing a change for 21 days is no different than the myriad of diets that don’t work. 21 days of eating healthy leaves 344 days of NOT eating healthy. Will 21 days really matter (aside from the ego stroking that goes on when people succeed in sticking with it for the entire time)? Not really… in fact, if there isn’t a dedication to carrying over some of the healthy changes, then they might have been better off to not give up their normal foods for a few weeks. You see, the mind is a powerful foe, and often the end result of deprivation is binge eating.
If you’d like to flip that and turn your brain into your best ally, I’d love to share some tips with you. Call 478-508-2678 now to schedule a free consultation.