What is the Daniel Fast?
It’s a biblically based partial fast based on two accounts of the Prophet Daniel’s fasting experiences (seed Daniel 1 and 10) and typical Jewish fasting principles. The Daniel Fast eating plan is similar to a vegan diet with additional restrictions. See the Daniel Fast Food List for a more complete outline of foods to include and foods to avoid.
Why are fruits and grains allowed when the Bible says Daniel ate only vegetables and drank water?
The early translations (including KJV) use the word pulse instead of vegetables. That word is rightly translated as “foods grown from seed.” Therefore, the Daniel Fast includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Can I take medications during the Daniel Fast?
If you have health issues, you should always talk with your health professional before starting the Daniel Fast or any other major change in your diet. Fasting should never bring harm to the body, so medications should be continued.
Are supplements okay to take during the Daniel Fast?
Yes, but read the label to make sure they are of good quality and that the ingredients comply with the Daniel Fast Guidelines.
Why can’t I have herbal tea on the Daniel Fast?
This is a common question! The reason that no tea is allowed is because the only beverage on the Daniel Fast is water (see Daniel 1). This is based on the prophet’s fasting practice in Daniel 1 where he and his companions ate only pulse (food grown from seed) and drank only water. Tea is not water and therefore is not allowed on the Daniel Fast.
Can I have honey on the Daniel Fast? How about date honey?
No sweeteners are allowed on the Daniel Fast. This is based on Daniel’s fast recorded in Daniel 10 where he ate no meat and consumed no precious foods. So even though honey and date honey are natural and free of chemicals, they would be considered a “precious food” and therefore not allowed during the Daniel Fast.
No sweeteners, when added as in ingredient, are allowed on the Daniel Fast. This includes honey, syrups, date sugar or date honey, natural sweeteners (stevia or agave nectar) and any other sweeteners. As you make decisions when you create recipes or choose menu items, keep the Daniel Fast Guidelines in mind. Seek the counsel and guidance of the Holy Spirit and make good choices that aligned with the boundaries of the fast.
With that said, these sweeteners are excellent alternatives to sugar and should be considered after the fast.
I am pregnant. Can I still engage in the Daniel Fast?
First, you will want to contact your doctor and explain that the Daniel Fast is a vegan diet with additional restrictions (leavened breads, caffeine, alcohol, sweeteners and chemicals).
Generally, pregnant and nursing mothers follow the Daniel Fast guidelines, but add enough chicken or fish to meet the additional protein demands.
Are there ever situations when I should “pause” from the fast?
Yes, there are times when it would be appropriate to briefly pause from the fast, but do so after consulting with the Holy Spirit. For example, last year when I was fasting I visited my son and his wife who live about 120 miles from me. My son is adopted from Ethiopia and three years ago he returned to Ethiopia and while there married a lovely woman. They now live in Seattle.
During my visit, she had prepared a very special Ethiopian meal for me (parents are very honored in Ethiopia) with lamb. I quickly consulted the Holy Spirit who showed me the way of love for her would be for me to pause my fast. She followed the meal with an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, again an act of honor toward me. I felt the freedom to engage in both the meal and coffee ceremony and then returned to my fast the next day. It was the loving thing to do .
How much food can I have on the Daniel Fast?
The Scriptures don’t really state an amount of food that can be consumed. However, I do encourage people to keep in mind that this is a fast (restricting food for a spiritual purpose). With that in mind, eating no more than three moderate meals and two small snacks would be appropriate.
Can I eat food during the daylight hours?
Many fasts begin at sunrise and end at sunset. However, the Daniel Fast does not require this modification to our eating patterns. If you choose to add this step to your fast, then that would still be okay, but it is not a required step for the Daniel Fast.
How do you know what Daniel really ate?
I don’t! That’s why the fast is based on the fasting experiences recorded in Daniel 1 and Daniel 10. If you want to “eat as Daniel ate,” then I encourage to research what that could have been. But my guess is that you will soon realize that you can’t be sure. That’s why the fast is only based and modeled after Daniel 1, Daniel 10 and typical Jewish fasting principles.
Can I have (fill in the blank)?
You can have all foods that include ingredients that comply with the Daniel Fast approved food lists. READ THE LABEL on any prepared or packaged foods to make sure all of the ingredients comply. Even foods marked as “natural” my still contain sweetener or other foods that are not allowed on the fast.
What foods can I eat straight from the grocery store?
You will quickly learn that most of the prepared foods found in grocery stores include sweeteners, chemicals or other ingredients that are not allowed on Daniel Fast. That’s why most meals are made from scratch and the reason I’ve written two eCookbooks and included a cookbook in the new paperback edition.
What if I want to do the Daniel Fast for dietary reasons and not spiritual purposes?
The definition of fasting is to restrict food for a spiritual purpose. Using the Daniel Fast eating plan for strictly health purposes would be a Daniel Diet rather than a fast. Many people do use the Daniel Fast eating plan to improve their health and for weight loss.
What about gum and breath mints?
I have yet to find either gum or breath mints that don’t have sweeteners or chemicals included in the ingredients. So alternatives like mint leaves, parsley, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks can be used. Also, adding lemon slices to your water will freshen your mouth. You will also find that eating a plant-based diet produces a “sweeter” breath than eating meats and animal products.