Monday, April 21, 2014

The Daniel Fast

I've never in my life fasted, but I admired those who did for reasons much greater than vanity. While watching the Cesar Chavez film I was reminded of the symbolism of fasting. I read up on possible fasts and I knew one thing for certain: I wanted my mind, body and soul to feel better for it.

I knew someone from Instagram who had recently completed the Daniel Fast. I researched it and found it was based on a simple passage in the bible. The idea was that Daniel wanted to eat only vegetables and drink only water instead of indulging in food that was provided by the King such as wine and meats.

The fast can last 10-21 days and includes drinking only water while eating only whole grains, plant based oils, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, herbs and spices. It's basically a vegan diet only tougher (no meat products, dairy, fried foods, breads, sugars, caffeine or drinks other than water allowed).

I began fasting and never felt better. This time was one of reflection and mediation. It was a time to test my willpower and focus on restricting what the bible refers to as "precious foods." During times of temptation, I silently prayed and meditated. I found the fast to be quite simple and I kept the experience private. No one ever really notices when you're eating out of your regular routine.

This fast turned out to coincide with the final 10 days of lent and became a perfect way to pay tribute to my faith. As it turned out, it also prepared me for a tough and unexpected  journey abroad to visit my ailing father. Somehow I was being preparing spiritually while unwittingly gearing up for the unknown twists and turns brought on by life. 

Ironically, I ate all day long during this fast. I simply ate plenty of the best foods. I read countless food labels and became so conscious of the health benefits of foods I could enjoy. Moreover, mealtime became much more meaningful and food seemed to taste better than ever before. It's almost as if mealtime lead me to feel more present, focused and aware.

Below are a sampling of the yummy food alternatives I indulged in during this very simple fast (meals included everything from "fast food" options to grocery essentials and vegan cuisines from local restaurants)...

Honestly, my taste buds were happy! Treating my body to all natural foods turned out to be truly fulfilling. For the first time in years I was caffeine-free and indulging in more fruits and vegetables than ever before. My husband (only person who knew I was fasting) joined me the last five days. It became a team effort. In the end, I found that this was a lifestyle I'd like to adopt permanently with a few tweaks and exceptions here and there. Truth is, I couldn't live too long without bread, regular pastas and rice ;) 

Have you ever fasted? Would you consider temporarily trading in your current food routine for the sake of reflection and meditating? 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! God knows your heart and is pleased with your effort. I am thinking of you and your trip to Mexico.

    9 For God is pleased with you when, for the sake of your conscience, you patiently endure unfair treatment. 20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing right and are patient beneath the blows, God is pleased with you. 21 This suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps. 22 He never sinned, and he never deceived anyone. 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted. When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. 24 He personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by his wounds! 25 Once you were wandering like lost sheep. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.1 Peter 19-25


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