Questions and Answers about the Daniel Fast/Diet

Many questions can be answered with the cliché, WWJE. What Would Jesus Eat? You might ask what Daniel or even Denise Austin would eat. You can get answers from experts like Denise Austin, related to fitness by searching our website. Use our search box at the top of this page.

You can find additional questions answered at our Daniel Fast Diet Blog

Quick links to questions by theme

Q. What about whole wheat pasta?

A. You should avoid white rice, white bread, hominy and pasta. If you can find pasta that is true whole grain, then it is acceptable. You could make your own pasta with whole grains with a pasta machine.

Q. My friend and I are joining a corporate 21 day fast and we have chosen to the Daniel fast. We are both addicted to cigarettes which is one of the reason we are fasting. We are being realistic that we will probably smoke during the fast. I believe God honors all sacrafices but do you think we will still be rewarded with the spiritual and supernatural blessing of a fast or will the smoking block blessing due to the sinful nature of it? I ask this question for all people who have addiction (alcohol, drugs, cigs.) who want to fast but don't feel worthy. Michelle

A. Thanks for your honesty Michelle. Your question is, Will sinful smoking block blessing? Since God has convinced you that smoking is a sin, then the answer is yes. All sinful activity blocks blessing. You are also correct that God will honor your sacrifice and fast.

I know from experience how hard it is to stop smoking. I smoked for 8 years before I quit for good. How did I do it? I wasn't a Christian at the time. I asked my mother what I could give her for Christmas. She said to quit smoking cigarettes. I told her that would be a gift for me, not for her. I had tried many times to quit. She insisted that to quit smoking would be the best gift I could give her. She also pointed out that it would not be possible to take my Christmas gift back from her! So on Dec. 24, 1974, I gave the rest of my pack of Kools to a friend, telling him I wouldn't ever need them again.

Q. Is it possible to do the 21 day fast while breast feeding our baby or would it be better to embark on a different fast?

A. How exciting to have a baby! It's been a few years for us. Joshua is 9 now. John is almost 22.

It is best to ask your pediatrician about doing a Daniel Fast/Diet while breast feeding. You should present it to your doctor as a 21 day vegetarian diet. If your doctor advises you that you should still eat some meat like chicken, then modify your Daniel Diet/Fast to include chicken. Just make sure you cook it in an appropriate Daniel Diet/Fast method, i.e. low quantity of healthy fat. When not doing the Daniel Fast/Diet, we cook our chicken in either colza or olive oil, but not so hot as to burn the oil.

Q. I will be starting my 40 day fast during Lent. Since the 40 days does not include Sundays, does this mean I can eat what I want on Sundays and resume back to the fasting foods Monday - Saturday?

A. Good question! The best thing for you to do is to pray about it and make your decision before the Lord. Then stick with your decision. On the other hand, if you are fasting with your church, it is best to do whatever your leaders have decided.

I have also done the Daniel Fast during Lent. My practice has been to fast the whole duration without a break. However, it is a wonderful old tradition not to fast on Sundays, because that is our day of celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. So you would have a great reason not to fast on Sundays.


Dairy products

Q. What about dairy products?

A. Most of us should not allow them. Pray about it and decide with the Lord's direction before you start your fast. Non-fat yogurt and non-fat milk might be acceptable.

Q. Am I allowed to have Feta Cheese?

A. You should also avoid all cheese if you decide to avoid all dairy products.

Q. Can I eat yogurt or frozen yogurt??

A. If you decide to allow dairy products, but look for the non-fat, non-sugar natural yogurt!


Q. The Daniel fast has lots and lots of vegetables on the list, but I noticed that green beans was not one of them. Are greenbeans and green peas allowed? Your website is very helpful for the guidelines and your question and answer section is wonderful. Thank you and God bless you for your help. Sincerely, Sandra

A. Thanks Sandra! I just added them to the foods to eat list under legumes, so people don't have to wonder about them. All legumes and vegetables are allowed. Some others may be missing from the list as well.

Q. Has anyone made a cookbook for a Daniel Fast so people can have a nice variety of foods to eat?

A. Great idea! Send us your recipes. We'll post them at our website! Most vegan vegetarian recipes are OK for the Daniel Fast. Try these cookbooks at our Amazon Daniel Fast store

Q. If the Word stated that all they ate was vegetables and drank only water how is that we have a list of so many other foods to eat?

A. The easy answer:
Buy the book, Fasting For Spiritual Breakthrough by Elmer L. Towns. to know how Rev. Towns answers your question. I think the Daniel Fast is a great way to focus on the Lord and grow in prayer and your faith in God.


Weight loss

Q. Is the Daniel Fast good for weight loss?

A. No fast is good for permanent weight loss. However, some folks experience weight loss with the Daniel Fast! On the other hand, Daniel 1:15 says that it made Daniel and his fasting friends fatter!

Daniel 1:15 And at the end of ten days their faces looked fairer and fatter in flesh than all the boys who had eaten the king's food.

Medications

Q. I want to do a 10 day daniel fast. Is it kosher to take medicine for fybramyagia while fasting?

A. Fasting can create problems for people with medical conditions and/or taking medicine. They need to consult their doctors and/or pharmacist about their medication while fasting.


Sweeteners

Q. Are you allowed to use splenda? if not, is brown sugar ok?

A. The avoid list warns against refined sugar and chemical sugar substitutes. You should avoid Splenda, aspartame, saccharin and all other artificial sweeteners. Molasses, raw honey, Stevia, and Maple syrup are possible allowed sweeteners. http://www.stevia.net/ has more information about stevia, a natural herb. Stevia might be cheaper at Amazon.com. My advice is to pray if you should sweeten your foods at all. Our family quits using all sweeteners, including honey.


Q. Are you supposed to eat 3 times a day?

A. There is no mention about how often to eat in the Daniel Fast. Health experts advise six or so small healthy snacks a day. I've been doing that for a number of years. It really kills any appetite before it starts. I make sure to include protein in my snacks. Check out our Fitness Blog for more on this issue.

My favorite snack is my natural peanut butter mix on bananas. I usually only eat a half a banana with a teaspoon of my mix for each snack. I mix together a large jar of natural peanut butter with a half cup each of chopped peanuts, chopped almonds, sunflower seed kernels, pumpkin seed kernels, bran cereal, ground flax, and rolled oats to put on my bananas or apple slices. If I'm not doing the Daniel Fast, I also include cocoa powder.


Fish and poultry

Q. I would like to know if fish is acceptable for the daneil fast; that is baked, boiled, grilled or steamed?

A. It's best to avoid all meats. However, if God is telling you to eat fish during one of your Daniel Fasts, then obey God and call it a modified Daniel Fast!

Q. What about fish or poultry, i.e. tuna, chicken, turkey, etc.?

A. Meat is normally avoided. Pray first and ask the Lord if you should allow fish and poultry products. Definitely avoid fried foods.

Q. Are eggs permissible on this fast?

A. Most of us avoid eggs. Unless you personally decide to allow them, I would think eggs are to be avoided.


Whole Grain Products

Q. How can I identify whole grain products?

A. How to identify Whole Grain Products

Whole grain products can be identified by the ingredient list. Typically if the ingredient lists "whole wheat", "rolled oats", or "whole corn" as the first ingredient, the product is a whole grain food item. Another way to identify whole grains in the foods you eat is to look in the nutritional facts information and check if the food item contains dietary fiber. If it contains a significant amount, it most likely contains whole grains. "Wheat flour" is not a whole grain and therefore does not indicate a whole grain product. Many breads are colored brown (often with molasses) and made to look like whole grain, but are not. Additionally, some food manufacturers make foods with whole grain ingredients, but because whole grain ingredients are not the dominant ingredient, they are not whole grain products.

Whole grains are often more expensive than refined grains, because their higher oil content is susceptible to rancidification, complicating processing, storage, and transport.

From AACC (American Association of Cereal Chemist) definition: "Whole grains shall consist of the intact, ground, cracked or flaked caryopsis, whose principal anatomical components - the starchy endosperm, germ and bran - are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact caryopsis. Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_grains

We are sure our foods are made with whole grain, because we grind our grain ourselves.

You can make your own pasta or noodles out of whole grains with a pasta machine.


Supplements and Multi-Vitamins

Q. Is it okay to take multi-vitamins and/or drink supplements? The multi-vitamins are natural and the drink supplement is a natural whole food supplement powder that can be mixed with water or juice (Goji, Noni, Acai, Mangosteen, and Bluberry fruit extracts, Morenga Oleifera, Rycenol (Rice Bran), GARN complex). Thanks.

A. Those sound like good supplements to take during your Daniel Fast. You may want to take protein supplements as well. Avoid the chocolate flavors since they have caffeine. If you've decided not to eat dairy products, then don't take supplements with milk by-products like whey.

Q. I am presently on the Daniel fast I want to do it for two weeks to get rid of unforgiveness in my heart and to let the situation go to God. This is my second day and I have realized that this unforgiveness that this unforgiveness that I have is also testing my faith in God. I have done some venting in my fast and I told God that I do not have much faith in Him but I am still seeking it. Is this a wrong approach in my fast?

A. You're doing the right thing, going to God about your need to forgive others. Instead of thinking about the foods you can't eat or drink, meditate on God's Word. Maybe it would be helpful for you to memorize some verses about forgiving others.

Q. Can I eat a salad with salad dressing? from Peggy

A. You should look for light or low-fat products. Olive oil and lemon are a healthy and tasty option. My wife just uses a little salt.

Q. Is popcorn okay to eat on the fast?

A. Popcorn is a very healthy food. Corn is listed in the vegetables to eat list. We don't have an air popper here in Abidjan, so we pop our popcorn in olive oil or colza, which are safer oils for your health. Friends tell us that the best way to make popcorn is to use a Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper.

Q. Are there any types of bread you can eat? What about wheat free or pita bread or naan bread?

A. Since the Jewish dietary laws allow bread, you may decide to allow bread in your Daniel Fast. But try to avoid white breads. Look for breads made from Whole Grains


Q. What about curry powders, potatoes and basmati rice?

A. Spices are not mentioned. Decide for yourself if you want to avoid some spices. Potatoes are in the vegetables to eat list. Basmati rice should be avoided, if it isn't brown rice.

Q. What about mayonnaise?

A. Do your best to avoid high fat products. You might find a low fat mayonnaise.

Q. Neither food list mentions spices, salt, zero calorie butter spray, peanut butter, dairy (skim milk, cheese, yogurt) or decaf coffee. Are they all okay to have?

A. I would think all those items are OK. They follow the advice to avoid high fat items and to eat nuts, i.e. peanut butter. You need to decide before you start if you should avoid all or some dairy products.

Length of your Daniel Fast

Q. I am wondering how often and long we should fast. Should we fast until we have a break through? Even if it takes months or years do you know of or have heard of any one that fasted for a great length of time until they received their breakthrough?

A. The Daniel Fast is a good fast to do for many days, many years or a life-time. It is a good idea to fast until you receive your breakthrough. I personally fasted for my parent's salvation for many years. For more than 7 years, I did a 24 hour total fast once a week, drinking only water from Sunday evening until Monday evening. My mother came to the Lord on her death bed at the hospital. I don't know if my father ever trusted in the Lord.

Q. What is significant about a 21 day fast? I noticed a lot of people do 21 days. Why not 22 or 23? What is the meaning behind 21 days?

A. It seems to be an emphasis that some churches are making this year. It is three weeks. They begin on Sunday and therefore have four Sundays of messages that probably go along with the fast. Daniel also had a 21 day fast in Daniel 10:2-3.

Daniel 10:2-3

2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Personally, I have used the Daniel fast for 40 days, during Lent. Since Lebanese Muslims are used to the Lebanese Catholics fasting during this period, they expect us Evangelicals to fast then too. I understand that the Daniel Fast has been practiced by Middle East Christians for centuries, on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Q. For how long realistically, am I to do this diet?

A. You should decide before you start how long you will do the diet/fast. Then go for the whole duration, for example, 10, 20, 30, or 40 days. I prefer to do the Daniel Fast during the 40 days of Lent.

Caffeine; coffee, tea, etc.

Q. Currently, I drink about 6 cups of coffee a day. Do I transition into the diet or dive right in, cutting caffeine cold turkey (my head is already hurting thinking about it :-)) ?

A. I did have about two weeks of fatigue and headaches from the lack of caffeine. I didn't think that was going to happen, because I had already started cutting back on my Caffeine by mixing my decaf 50% into my regular coffee for over a month in advance.

On the other hand, in June of 2005, my wife started making my coffee for me. When she ran out of regular coffee, she just used 100% decaf, without telling me. I never had a headache. I did have some fatigue for a couple of weeks, but blamed it on the extreme heat in Dakar, Senegal. So after a month without Caffeine, I decided to continue avoiding Caffeine.

So you need to decide how you are going to diet/fast. The Daniel Diet is not a weight loss diet. It is a lifestyle, though it may help you to lose weight. It is a spiritual discipline. So if you want to drop 20% or 25% off your Caffeine intake each week, you might have a smoother transition to no Caffeine.

Q. Are different teas allowed even with caffeine?

A. Many teas are very good for you. You should avoid teas with caffeine.

Q. Am I allowed to have Green Tea with Honey?

A. Decaf Green Tea with natural raw honey or Stevia sound healthy to me! Green tea does have some caffeine, so if you decide to avoid caffeine, you might want to avoid it or get some decaf green tea.

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