The Daniel Fast is a 21-day partial fast we do together as a church-body with a biblical background tied directly to the prophet Daniel.
This years fast starts on Sunday, January 8th – Sunday, January 29th.
“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.” Daniel 1:8 (ESV)
Daniel felt that the king’s foods were not in accord with the Mosaic law, and not only that, but also that the king’s foods were offered up to false gods and idols. Thus Daniel asked the guard to allow he and his three friends, Hananiah (also known as Shadrach), Mishael (also know as Meshach), and Azariah (also known as Abednego), to only have vegetables (which included fruits) to eat, and water to drink.
Because the chief eunuch was commanded to bring servants (Dan. 3,4 ESV) “of good appearance” to stand in the palace in order to be taught the literature and language of the Chaldeans, the guard assigned to Daniel was reluctant to honor his request for a change in diet. Daniel asked the guard to give them the diet for ten days and then compare he and his three friends health to the other young men who eat the king’s foods. The guard obliged, and at the end of ten days saw that Daniel and his friends appearance was much better than that of the other men and allowed them to continue the diet.
In Daniel 10:2,3 (ESV) the prophet states:
In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.”
The prophet Daniel’s fast was not only good spiritually, but it also had significant health benefits. Daniel knew the importance of consecrating himself and being holy before God. The purpose of participating in the Daniel’s Fast today is not to do exactly as Daniel did, but more importantly, to do it in the spirit in which he did.
See the list of food guidelines for the Daniel’s Fast below.
Foods to Eat on the Daniel Fast
- All fruit – fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned.
- All vegetables – fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned.
- All whole grains – amaranth, barley, brown rice, oats, quinoa, millet, and whole wheat.
- All nuts & seeds – almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds; unsweetened almond milk. Nut butters are also included.
- All legumes – canned or dried; black beans, black eyed peas, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, and split peas.
- All quality oils – canola, coconut, grapeseed, olive, peanut, and sesame.
- Beverages – distilled water, filtered water, and spring water.
- Other – unsweetened almond milk, rice milk, or soy milk; herbs, spices, salt, pepper, seasonings, soy products, and tofu.
Foods to Avoid on the Daniel Fast
- All meat & animal products – beef, buffalo, fish, lamb, poultry, and pork.
- All dairy products – butter, cheese, cream, eggs, and milk.
- All sweeteners – agave nectar, artificial sweeteners, cane juice, honey, molasses, raw sugar, syrups, stevia, and sugar.
- All leavened bread & yeast – baked goods and Ezekiel bread (if it contains yeast and honey).
- All refined & processed food products – artificial flavorings, chemicals, food additives, preservatives, white flour, and white rice.
- All deep-fried foods – corn chips, French fries, and potato chips.
- All solid fats – lard, margarine, and shortening.
- Beverages – alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, energy drinks, herbal tea, and tea.
The Purpose Of The Fast
Is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the poor who are outcasts into your house? When you see the naked, to cover him and not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth as the morning, and your healing shall spring forth quickly, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your reward. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord shall answer; you shall cry, and He shall say, Here I am. If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall rise in obscurity, and your darkness shall become as the noonday. 11 And the Lord shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 Those from among you shall rebuild the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Paths in which to Dwell. – Isaiah 58:6-12 (Modern English Version)