What is the Daniel Fast?
Fasting has been a popular topic in the health and wellness world for some time now. Many studies have also concluded that fasting has many health benefits.
Last spring, at the beginning of the pandemic, I participated in the partial fast known as the Daniel fast. This particular fast is a religious tradition practiced by many evangelical Christians that consists of 21 or more days of eating only whole inclusive foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts seeds, and oils. Essentially, any comfort Foods that contain sweet flavors are off-limits. This ultimately resembles a vegan or plant-based diet with rigorous restrictions and foods that contain little to no preservatives or saturated fats. The sole purpose of the fast is to connect with the spiritual part of your life, however, the physical and personal benefits are hard to overlook.
The detoxification process is not easy but attainable. The first three days into the fast, my body began experiencing a state of shock as a result of abruptly eliminating processed and unhealthy foods from my regular diet. I began having sugar withdrawals, headaches, fatigue and felt extremely hungry, but to my surprise after the first week, my body felt revitalized and less bloated.
By the end of 40 days, after intaking nothing but organic foods, vegetables, fruits, and only drinking water, I noticed a metabolic boost and an insane amount of energy. In addition, I had
- deeper (REM) sleep
- clearer and hydrated skin that glowed
- healthy hair and nail growth
- weight loss
Overall, I lost over twelve pounds and felt incredibly healthy.
Disciplining the Mind
The mind is a powerful tool but you need to discipline it in order to take control of your wants, this being, desired foods. Through this process, I learned that when you can control your food intake you have the willpower to take control in many other areas of your life. Setting limitations is not always an easy task because it takes self-control, sacrifice, discipline, and determination to complete this fast.
There is mental clarity and consciousness you practice in the process of reserving this time to eat organic plant-based foods and focus on other aspects life has to offer. At this time, the mind is in training mode acknowledging that giving in will not be an option for a long duration. This is a great time to meditate, find peace, and get your mind in a positive place to make changes for the betterment of your overall health. The key here is to plan ahead, meal prep, and be mindful of your decisions.
Finding your Soul
The soul essentially is you, your spirit, the essence of who you are. Many religions use fasting as a tool to connect with spiritual matters. There have been many experiences with which many people can contest they feel more in tune with their spiritual side. This is a great opportunity to develop and grow in your personal life by meditating on things that really matter. During my time, I craved all kinds of comfort foods, but I began to reflect on my relationship with food and started to recognize my dependence as an emotional tie. During my particular time of fasting, I felt calm, and at peace, and nothing could ruin my day because I was constantly conscious of my inner person. I would find a quiet place, take deep breaths, and learned to stay in the present focusing on the good and also painful past experiences that I was able to overcome and thrive from. When the soul is healthy, you are healthy as a whole.
Forty days was an extensive period but it was the best I had ever felt. After my fast, I did have some delicious foods and desserts, but I learned to integrate organic and healthy eating into my everyday diet. These habits are still helping me to this day. Maybe you can’t make a drastic change like this but incorporating a little at a time will help you get to your goal.
*Medical Disclaimer: Please consult your medical physician before doing any fast or diet plan. This information is merely my experience.