Monday, January 16, 2012

Daniel Fast

So for some reason I felt like I needed to do something drastic this month with my eating. December consisted of feast after feast. And the scale reflected it. The book I've been reading on prayer has made me think more and more about my faith as a living breathing way to relate to God. But I don't want to give you the wrong impression. I'm doing this fast to be healthier. The spiritual benefits are present, but this is incidental.

A cleanse was my first thought, but I've never done it and didn't really know where to start or if it would do what I wanted. I'd heard about the Daniel fast and it just felt like the right thing to do.

Basically it's eating like Daniel did in Babylonian captivity when he didn't want to eat the foods from the king's table. I assume the foods were mostly non-kosher. But he said he and the other Hebrew boys would eat vegetables and water and be healthier than the rest of the captives. The word used for vegetables evidently means foods grown from seed, which would include all fruits, all vegetables and all grains.

So that's basically the limits of the Daniel fast - fruits, veggies, whole grains, and only water to drink. No sweeteners, no meat, no dairy, no eggs, no added chemicals. NO CAFFEINE. lol 

I have followed it rather closely. The main exception is that I've included some yeast that is not allowed in the strictest interpretation of the Daniel Fast. I also have done my best to read labels but I don't want it to become A Huge Thing.

I'm anticipating a few questions, so here are my answers to those. If you have other questions, let me know.

So what have I been eating? 
For breakfast every day, I have 1 slice of toasted Ezekiel bread with natural peanut butter and all-fruit jam.
My other meals are mostly soups or rice and beans or whole grain pasta with tomato sauce. I make a big batch of whatever it is and eat it until it's gone. I only had one unpalatable meal thus far. I eat several fruits every day and a couple veggies at each meal. Also sweet potatoes! YUM!

I found a few snacks that have worked well for me - a certain rice crisp chip I found at Meijer that has no sugar (most snacks have sugar! even when you wouldn't expect it), popcorn made with olive oil and sea salt, rice crackers. I like to have crunchy snacks. When I need something sweet, I go for fruit. I've treated myself to some fruits I don't often buy out of season, like blueberries. And for some reason, Meijer has had blackberries (in pints?) 2 for $1 for a couple months.

Am I hungry all the time? 
No. Believe it or not, that's a NO! In fact tonight, I worked through dinner and I wasn't starving. I just skipped it. I never skipped meals before.

How hard was it to go off caffeine?
The first day was no problem. The next several days were harder - headache and fatigue. But now I'm good. I drink hot water with lemon in the AM because I like having the warm mug. I am not sleeping any more than I was before either - still about 6 hours a night during the week.

And I've already lost almost 8 pounds in the 12 days I've been doing the fast! Admittedly, I have also upped my exercise. I'm following the Nissan Innovation for Endurance 30 Day Challenge - 3 strength training sessions and 3 cardio sessions per week.

I plan to fast for 21 days total, so I will finish on January 24th. Just 9 more days.

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