Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Daniel Fast

The Backstory:
I am teaching the new Beth Moore Bible study called Daniel. In the first session Beth puts out a challenge for us to give up meat during the first six weeks of the study. I didn't feel particularly called to participate so I just sort of skipped over it. A few weeks later, I was listening to Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church. He's starting off the year with a series called Larger Than Life and a challenge for a 21 day fast.

The Decision:
So when Michael came home from work that day, I asked him to listen to the sermon and tell me what he thought. Two fasting challenges within a few weeks of each other, both dealing with the life of Daniel seemed a bit impossibly coincidental to me. That kind of stuff usually means God is me. So after Michael listened to the sermon we talked it over and decided we should do it. Neither of us have ever fasted before so we decided to do it for shorter period of time. We chose 10 days because that is the amount of time Daniel asked the guard to test them.

Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping:
Ok, this was pretty close to a nightmare. Finding recipes that did not include butter, cheese, or eggs was very difficult. I quickly discovered that my recipe collection was not going to be much help. (Barefoot Contessa, Paula Deen, All about cookies...) So I turned to the internet and was able to eventually come with about 10 recipes that I thought we could turn into meals. Then came the grocery list. It was so long I ended up using Excel to keep track of everything we'd need! Several of the vegetables on the list were ones I've never had before. After the list was printed, we headed out to Ukrops. I didn't think we'd ever get out the produce section. We bought parsnips, thyme, tomatoes, celery, carrots, shallots, onions, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, garlic, was a cashier's nightmare of a basket- all those vegetable look-up codes! Finally we got it all home and put away. Even the 10 cans of vegetable broth!

First Night:
So tonight was the first night of the fast. We started after lunch because I had a breakfast outing planned and Michael was taking Brenna to a birthday party where they'd be having pizza. We decided to try Roasted Potato Salad with Shallots. I followed the recipe, absolutely certain that they would taste terrible and we'd have to go to bed hungry and questioning why we did this. Fortunately that didn't happen. They were delicious! We were so surprised! And not even a pat of butter! Wow. Furthermore, I discovered that I like shallots. I'd never had them before and really didn't even know what they were. (they are kind of like a cross between an onion and garlic) So we are off to a good start on this fast with full bellies and a little confidence boost toward trying new things.

Our Food List:

Foods to Eat

WHOLE GRAINS: Brown Rice, Oats, Barley

LEGUMES: Dried Beans, Pinto Beans, Split Peas, Lentils, Black Eyed Peas

FRUITS: Apples, Apricots, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Guava, Honeydew Melon, Kiwi, Lemons, Limes, Mangoes, Nectarines, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Pineapples, Plums, Prunes, Raisins, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangelos, Tangerines, Watermelon

VEGETABLES: Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chili Peppers, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger Root, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Potatoes, Radishes, Rutabagas, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Squashes, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini

Seeds, Nuts, Sprouts

LIQUIDS: Water (as much as possible), Unsweetened Soy Milk, Herbal (caffeine free) Tea, Natural Fruit Juice (no added sugar)

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (small quantities), Honey

Foods to Avoid

• Meat, Poultry, Fish
• White Rice
• Fried Foods
• Caffeine, Coffee, Tea (including decaf)
• Carbonated Beverages
• Foods Containing Preservatives or Additives
• Refined Sugar or Sugar Substitutes
• White Flour
• Margarine, Shortening, High Fat Products
• All Breads
• Dairy (milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc.)

(this list was copied from the Fellowship Church website)

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