Today is the last day of my three-week-long Daniel Fast. You can read my longer post explaining it here, but basically the fast entails eating only vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts and drinking only water. No sweeteners are allowed on this fast. No yeast either, though I was a bit looser with that interpretation.
Giving up caffeine was not as difficult as I thought. Usually I drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day and most days I also have a can of Diet Coke. The only other beverage I usually drink is water. I went cold turkey on the caffeine - just stopped drinking it on Day 1. That day was fine. Day 2 I had a headache, though not debilitating. The rest of the 1st week, I suffered from some fatigue. But after that I was fine. I drank a lot of water during the fast and in the mornings when I normally would have had coffee, I replaced it with hot water with a lemon slice. I found that I missed having the warm mug to hand since it's so cold out. Probably in summer, I would have been fine without that.
What did I eat?
Breakfast every day was a piece of Ezekiel bread (sprouted whole grain) with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter (no sugar) and a tablespoon or so of natural fruit jam (again, no sugar). Ezekiel bread does have yeast, but this was pretty much the only yeast I consumed.
Lunch and dinner I ate something separate from the rest of the family. This took a lot of extra time for me because my kids usually make the meals and I didn't think it was really fair to ask them to make something separate for me.
Common meals for me were oven-fried sweet potato strips, soups (canned and homemade), whole grain pasta with spaghetti sauce (no sugar), brown rice with veggies and chili. A couple times I had corn tortillas with refried beans and salsa. I only had one stinker of a meal - some expensive wild rice/odd grains mix.
Some special situations included dining out a couple times, hanging out with friends, and book club.
Book Club is known for its deliciously abundant potluck, especially the desserts. I brought something I knew I could eat (vegetarian chili and a big fruit salad) and another friend mentioned she'd have something I could eat (couscous with veggies). I only ate one other thing there and it was a bit of a departure from the Daniel fast - whole wheat scones. They had no sugar, but I did eat lemon curd on them.
I took the kids to lunch one day at Wendy's when we were running errands. I had a boring lunch of plain baked potato and plain salad. If I had been a TEENSY bit more prepared, I could have brought along some salsa to adorn the potato. I never bothered to find any dressings that would work on the fast, though there are some. I just ate all my greens plain the whole time, with one exception.
Friends wanted to go out to dinner during the middle of the fast. They knew I was participating but I didn't want to miss out on a relationship-building time in order to stick to the fast strictly. We went for Thai food. I had vegetarian pineapple fried rice. Since I didn't cook it, I was not sure what was in it, but I asked for no eggs and no meat. The rice was white, which was again a bit of a departure, but it was so far from what I would normally order when dining out, that I thought it was a good compromise. I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Hanging out with friends one night to watch a movie presented another challenge. Usually these evenings involve chocolate! LOL They made kettle corn, which I declined. I brought grapes and natural potato chips, which were good munchies. I also brought hummus and some whole grain crackers (Kashi) but we didn't even need those.
Along with the fast I participated in the 30 Day Nissan Innovation for Endurance Challenge which included 3 strength training workouts and 3 cardio workouts each week.
And the weight loss report? I lost 11.6 lbs in 3 weeks!
I plan to go out to eat on Wednesday!! And have something TASTY with CHEESE! And a Diet Coke! And some COFFEE with FLAVORED CREAMER! :-) :-)