Daniel Fast 101 — How To Do The Daniel Fast

Are you still discerning how exactly you'll fast during our 21-day prayer and fasting journey?

The Daniel Fast is probably the most popular fast. The Daniel Fast is based upon the prophet Daniel’s experiences as recorded in the Bible.  Scripture gives us some insight (such as in Dan. 10:3) into what he ate and didn’t eat; however, we don’t know his complete menu. What we do know is this: In Daniel 1, Daniel chose not to eat the royal food that he was being served and ate only vegetables and drank water. Another time (in Daniel 10:2-3) he deprived himself of choice food, meat, and wine as he sought the Lord in prayer. Most commentaries believe “choice food” would have been bread and sweets.

While there is much variation in the specific guidelines for the modern-day Daniel Fast, as far as what foods are included and which ones are restricted, the following food guidelines are the ones most commonly observed in a Daniel Fast. The intention of today’s Daniel Fast is not to duplicate exactly what Daniel did but the spirit in which he did it. Daniel’s passion for the Lord caused him to hunger and thirst more for spiritual food than for physical food, which should be the desire of anyone choosing to participate in this type of fast.

Try not to get too hung up on what you should and shouldn’t eat. The most important part of the Daniel Fast is that you deny yourself physically so that you may seek the Lord in prayer and grow closer to Him. Your fast may look a little different than someone else’s, and that’s fine. Some people may need to be stricter than others in their food choices so that their fast is a sacrifice for them. These food guidelines are meant to be just that – a guide. They are given to help you create boundaries for your fast.

What you can eat.

ALL FRUITS
These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon

ALL VEGETABLES
These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.

ALL WHOLE GRAINS
Including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.

ALL NUTS AND SEEDS
Including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.

ALL LEGUMES
 These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.

ALL QUALITY OILS, SEASONINGS HERBS & SPICES
Including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, coconut, and sesame. Also included: vinegar, natural seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.

BEVERAGES
Spring water, distilled water or other pure waters. Fresh fruit juices & smoothies (no sugar added). 

OTHER
Tofu & soy products okay to eat as meat substitute.

Foods to Avoid. 

ALL MEAT AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS
Including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.

ALL DAIRY PRODUCTS
Including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.

ALL SWEETENERS
Including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.

ALL LEAVENED BREAD
Including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.

ALL REFINED AND PROCESSED FOOD PRODUCTS
Including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.

ALL DEEP FRIED FOODS
including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.

ALL SOLID FATS
Including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.

BEVERAGES
Including but not limited to carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.

Remember to read the labels and choose fresh organic produce when available.