If you’ve ever done your church’s Daniel Fast, you probably had two thoughts at the same time:
- I feel so much better
- I can’t wait to get back to my normal way of eating
Why is this? The two thoughts are outright contradictory. If I feel better, why do I want to get back to my normal way of eating?
What’s the Focus of Your Church’s Daniel Fast?
This is a common experience: most people who have done their church’s Daniel Fast struggle with it. And it can be traced back to how and why one enters the Daniel Fast in the first place. Many people usually go into it with a 21-day or 30-day mindset. Plus the fast is usually centered around a collective church goal, such as starting the year off with prayer. Or you might enter the fast for a personal reason like a financial breakthrough. When we enter the fast for reasons like this, and with a set end-point, the result is that feeling better becomes the bonus side-effect. It was never the main benefit or reason for doing the fast in the first place.
That’s why the improvements in our mood, clarity, energy level, and sleep are often overshadowed by our focus on the main goal of fasting.
Even though many people will say they feel amazing and have lost weight, they’re focused on how the Daniel Fast answered prayers about the new year or their finances. Since a spiritual boon was all they expected from the fast, they abandon the “bonus” benefits by going right back to eating to the way they did before.
This is a missed opportunity. Yes, we celebrate that the fast has left spiritual gifts under the tree for us, but we don’t notice that big box there in the back: the fast was giving us back our physical health all along, too.
The other reason we didn’t notice? We focused on getting through a set number of days rather than the long-term health benefits this way of eating offers.
Don’t Forget the Daniel in the Daniel Fast
The truth of the matter is when Daniel denied the king’s diet for ten days, the physical benefits were undeniable. Daniel ate a clean diet devoid of animals sacrificed to idols but rich with food from the earth. Daniel shows the importance of guarding our health and not succumbing to a culture that went against a holy diet. The Bible says Daniel and his friends “looked better and healthier than all the young men who were eating the king’s food.” (Daniel 1:15)
Daniel put a plant-based diet to the test. I think it’s time to look at the life of the person who inspired the fast and ask the hard questions.
Daniel was a man of prayer who made it through the lion’s den and was inspired with prophecy that extended beyond his life.
Don’t overlook that Daniel’s good health helped him to carry out his calling with excellence. He lived the Daniel fast as a lifestyle; he ate foods that edified his body. And his acts proved how this gave him strength. Today, the health benefits of a plant-based diet are also proven by science.
So, Can the Side Hustle Be the Main Gig?
Many people are fighting a chronic health issue, or we love someone who is. So eating like Daniel is more crucial than ever. This is why Gigi and I developed the Daniel Fast: A Bridge to Healthy Living. It is not your church’s fast: it is a new thing! We flipped the script and placed the emphasis on Daniel’s lifestyle, which is what sparked the 4-day challenge. The idea is to use a familiar short-term improvement (the Daniel fast) as a bridge to a permanent lifestyle renewal.
This post started by talking about how the Daniel fast helps people feel great. Gigi and I start with a known method for people to feel better. But then we go on to teach you to use this method to overcome chronic health issues, lose weight, and continue to heal your body. Ultimately, plant-based eating becomes a lifestyle that spills over from the merely physical to every aspect of our lives: mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Do as Daniel Did
Here’s another way we differ from your church’s Daniel Fast: we provide factual nutritional education to help you understand why eating like Daniel is so powerful. We give you specific tools to make change—plus tips, recipes, and support so you can eat this way long-term. Students will learn the nutritional value of food, plant-based meal planning, and facts about supplementation, for example.
We also provide a spiritual paradigm shift, guiding you away from dysfunctional eating patterns and toward a God-centered vision for health. We help you connect faith to getting healthy, and connect health to your God-given purpose.
Daniel used his fast to escape an unGodly culture and strengthen himself for God’s mission. You can use the same fast to repair and avoid the chronic health issues that so many people are facing.
If you are curious about how you can make eating like Daniel a lifestyle, then join the 4-week interactive course. You will be stronger for it.