Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Goal #13 - The Daniel Diet

Devin was kind enough to participate in Goal #13 with me (voluntarily might I add), which made it much easy to get through: Go on the “Daniel Diet” – eat only fresh fruits, vegetables and water for 10 days.

(This is what is pretty much what our diet consisted of for ten days)

This diet, or fast, is based around the following verses:

"The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king's choice food and from the wine which he drank... But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself....Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 'Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink.'" - Daniel 1:5, 8, 11-13

Upon further (albeit limited) research, it seems that back in the big O.T. days, "vegetables" would have included fruit. And, according to the version of the diet we did, Daniel would have likely eaten other natural, Jewish kosher foods such as whole grains, seeds and nuts. The big kicker was however, that we couldn't have salt, butter, dairy, sugar, meat, caffeine (!) or any preservatives. Heaven help my I-drink-milk-for-ever-meal, butter-and-salt-lovin' soul!

Here was one of the first meals we had:

(brown rice, pinto beans, onion, tomatoes, garlic, spinach and green peppers)

This fast was an interesting experience for me. One, because I don't eat fruits and veggies regularly and am unfortunately a very picky eater when it comes to vegetables in particular. And two, because I did not grow up in a church that practiced or spoke much of the spiritual discipline of fasting. I have never fasted before and wasn't sure how to do it or what to expect.

What I was NOT expecting was an intense spiritual, emotional and mental attack the night before the fasting started. Coincidence? I think not.

Devin and I wanted to do this fast together in order to seek direction during the turning-point season of life we find ourselves in right now. I also wanted some extra focus-my-heart-on-God time in preparation for the Radical Read Along. While I can't really say that I felt "more spiritual" or "closer to God" because of the fast, it certainly was an interesting 10-days in which I had three crazy-hard bouts with my depression, which did cause me to draw closer to God in desperation.

When I was tempted (and when I gave into that temptation) to grumble about eating the same insipid foods every day, I found myself thinking a lot about Nabakoza and the other million+ people who are starving to death while I turn up my nose at some bland brown rice. It was a good experience for me and I even learned to like some new foods.

Brand new foods which I bravely set aside my childish, picky-eater ways to try for the first time or re-try after deciding at some point in the past that I hated them:

  • Newly-Discovered-Yumminess: Spinach, plums, raisins
  • Okay-So-This-Isn't-That-Bad: Beets, green and red peppers, mangoes, Romain lettuce
  • Gag-a-lious: Raw tomatoes of many (any) shapes and sizes

Also, you know that verse about how Christians are the salt of the earth? I have a new appreciation for that passage after ten days without salt to flavor my food - it makes a HUGE difference and I really noticed when it wasn't there. Yes, spiritual analogizes can be found in salt. Way to go Jesus. 

We broke our fast with this:

Whole wheat pancakes with walnuts and blueberries (we didn't want to shock our systems)... but then I figured, "What the hey!" and smothered my pancake in peanut butter, syrup and whipped cream. 

And it was glorious.

P.S. I am ever so grateful for the following contributors of flavor: Garlic, Onion, Basil, Oregano. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


  1. totally with you on raw tomatoes! yuck! I'm going to try this diet, hopefully hubby will go along - but doubtful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I realized, after posting that comment, that it may sound like I'm trying this as a "diet" instead of doing the Daniel fast- I should have thought about that longer before posting. Certainly not looking to use it as weightloss, but as a means to gain appreciation for the beautiful bounty God has given us to eat and to gain discipline and hopefully insight.

  3. Eating tomato pie as I type. Sure you don't want any. YUM.


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