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?
irst, 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?
Can I eat food during the daylight hours?
How do you know what Daniel really ate?
Can I have (fill in the blank)?
What foods can I eat straight from the grocery store?
What if I want to do the Daniel Fast for dietary reasons and not spiritual purposes?
What about gum and breath mints?
Are marital relations allowed during the Daniel Fast?
What about bread on the Daniel Fast?
Only unleavened bread is allowed on the Daniel Fast. Flat breads are okay, but be sure to read the list of ingredients if you purchase it ready made. Be sure the flat bread is totally plant-based and has no chemicals or sweeteners. Also, be sure the the flat bread is made using whole grains.
If you make your own flat bread, you can use any whole grain flour including whole wheat, corn meal, spelt, or oats.
Can I go to gym while on the Daniel Fast?
Yes, you continue your exercise program while fasting, however you do want to make sure you are eating a balanced meals on your Daniel Fast. While the Daniel Fast is totally plant-based, it allows for adequate protein if you plan your meals appropriately. Make sure you consume plenty of beans, rice, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and other plant foods that are rich in protein.
If you are an extreme athlete, then use your wisdom to make sure you are nourishing your body with what it needs. Fasting should never cause harm to your body, so if you need to modify the fast to meet your special health needs, then do so.