A Guide to the Daniel Fast
Every year we do our 7 Day Fasting & Prayer to kick off the New Year and we tend to get the same questions surrounding the Daniel Fast. We just thought people would do some research on it and come prepared so we wouldn’t need to write about it. However, there are still many questions so we decided to write our own post which is your ultimate guide the the Daniel Fast.
What is the Daniel Fast?
It is a spiritual fast. This is not a diet even though for some it may have the effects of dieting and detoxing. Please read the entire Daniel Chapter 1. We are only sharing some of the verses below…
Daniel 1 (NKJV)
4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. 6 Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. 10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”
11 So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.
15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16 Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.
Here are the highlights:
- Daniel entered the King’s palace eating this way, which tells me God gave him the wisdom to do that
- His way of eating aided him in interpreting dreams and visions
- It also gave him wisdom, revelation and understanding
Different fasts have different purposes, when you go on a Daniel Fast you do this for the purpose of gaining revelation, understanding and wisdom.
How else do you think we are able to interpret that many dreams and visions during the 7 day fast in such a short time frame? Mental clarity and a sharpness in spiritual gifts. Also, when we send the interpretations back to you because you are also clear you can see what needs to be done and action it quickly. This works!
Believe it or not it has been scientifically proven that dairy and processed foods along with many others can actually causes brain fog and cloudiness in our thinking.
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were basically vegan when they entered the King’s palace. I’m not telling you to become a vegan but I want to point out that other foods actually affect your mental acuity.
We already know that the NKJV version of the bible said vegetables and water. That is pretty restrictive…it doesn’t even say fruits. I know some of you are strict KJV people and think every other version is not of God but we want to share some of the others that have a variation of this.
Other versions of the bible
Daniel 1:12 The Voice (VOICE) “Daniel (to the guard): 12 Please, do us a favor. Put us, your servants, to the test for the next 10 days. Give us a vegetarian diet and water.”
Vegetarian – vegetables, fruits, gains & dairy products
Daniel 1:12 BRG Bible (BRG) “12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.”
Pulse – Plants, seeds – lentils, chick pea, beans
Daniel 1:12 Wycliffe Bible (WYC) “12 I beseech, assay thou us thy servants by ten days, and pottages be given to us to eat, and water to drink; (I beseech thee, assay thou us thy servants for ten days, and let vegetables be given to us to eat, and water to drink;)”
Pottage – soup, stew, lentil soup, polenta, porridge – oatmeal, cornmeal porridge
Majority of the versions stick with vegetable and water but there are others that add other items.
Which one should you follow?
That is completely and totally up to you. Whatever violates your conscience is a sin (Romans 14:23) so if in your heart you feel like certain foods are not allowed then you shouldn’t be having it. At the same time you can’t judge someone else for not being as restrictive as you are. For some of you, if you have a diet that has heavy processed food and meats, fruits a vegetable is really a fast for you. Some people use salad dressing on their salads, others think you’re not allowed to do that. Ezekiel bread is made from seeds and grains so some people have that, others think this is not allowed. Some people season their food, others think you shouldn’t do anything else but salt and pepper. Some people have dates, raisins and figs, others think those are too delicious to be included in a fast.
The Hebrew root word for delicacies is pathbag (Strong’s 06598) which means a portion of meat. So one thing you know for sure – no meat!
If you are vegan, you also have to put some restrictions in place since you already eat this way. So maybe you want to consider doing only vegetables and water. Or maybe you need to raw. The bottom line is, if you don’t feel like you’re giving up something then you’re not fasting.
Some other things to consider while on this fast
In this age of over saturation with TV, newspaper, social media and cell phones, is it wise to be on a fast where your brain is now clearer to then fill it with garbage from reading your Facebook feed and watching YouTube? Probably not. This is why we highly recommend you cut back from the social media as you are waiting on the Lord during the fast. They didn’t have these problems in the days of Daniel, so you have to use wisdom in how much you let in to your eye and ear gate during this time.
What can you drink?
Water. We know for sure you can’t have any alcoholic beverages. I often get the question can I have tea or coffee? If you do, I’m thinking you have to go with almond milk or coconut milk and skip the dairy. Some people still have juice because that’s from fruit. Again, what violates your conscience? No judging here.
What about the timing of the fast?
That’s up to you as well. Remember it is scientifically proven that these some foods make your brain cloudy…why would you do a Daniel Fast from 6am – 6pm and then eat cheese, drink wine and have meat after that to go back on the next morning with 6am – 6pm? You would be unclogging your brain to clog it up again to start over the next day? Makes no sense. You are undoing your progress. You need to stick with it 24/7 for the duration of your fast – 3 day, 7 day, 21 days. Whatever it may be you need to stay with this way of eating for the entire duration of the fast. You are still eating your 3 meals a day or more. I would think if you are vegan then doing 1 meal a day would feel more like fasting for you. Just think about it and use your own judgement.
Daniel, I don’t believe, didn’t plan on doing a 21 day fast. He just needed to stay on it until he got a breakthrough. (Read Daniel 10) So you may start off with 3 days and realize you need to go with 10 days instead or even longer. You stay on it until you get your answers.
Also, please note Daniel said “test us for 10 days” so there has to be something to the 10 days, right?
Now let’s talk about the 21 Day Fast which we see in Daniel Chapter 10
Daniel 10:3 (Voice) “Daniel: When I received this vision, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three weeks. 3 I had eaten very little, no meat and no rich foods at all. I had not enjoyed the taste of wine, nor had I used any oils to bathe or groom myself. I continued this way throughout the three full weeks.”
He didn’t shower or groom himself for 21 days! Probably didn’t even brush his teeth! Eeww! LOL
Daniel 10:2-3 (NLT) “2 When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks. 3 All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed.”
Interesting that he said he had no meat or wine or rich foods. So, I always thought Daniel was vegan but this appears not to be the case. He did that to get into the palace and then once he was in place it appears that he went back to eating meat. Am I wrong for thinking this? Please say in the comments below.
Daniel 10:2-3 Names of God Bible (NOG) “2 During those days I, Daniel, mourned for three whole weeks. 3 I didn’t eat any good-tasting food. No meat or wine entered my mouth. I didn’t wash myself until the entire three weeks were over.”
Nothing good tasting – interesting!
Now the Message version of the bible also said vegetables and water earlier but look at the difference when they talk about this in Daniel 10…
Daniel 10:2-3 The Message (MSG) “2-3 “During those days, I, Daniel, went into mourning over Jerusalem for three weeks. I ate only plain and simple food, no seasoning or meat or wine. I neither bathed nor shaved until the three weeks were up.”
What I am getting from all of this is that Daniel took it a step further when he did the 21 day fast. It wasn’t the same as the initial 10 day “test us” period. Just something to keep in mind.
Let’s talk about the Daniel Fast Food List
Now again, please know that we’re all at different levels so some of these may not seem acceptable to you but to others it is actually a fast for them. We are giving you a list and if any of these violate your conscience, don’t do it. It’s that simple.
This list is not exhaustive and I know you are all in different countries and have access to different kinds of fruits and vegetables that are not on this list.
Getting through a 7 Day Daniel Fast is hard but doable but when we do extended fasts for 21 days or even 40 days the food can become quite tedious and we run out of ideas of what to eat or how to make it. So here are some recipes.
Here are some Daniel Fast Recipe Ideas
- Fruit Smoothie – Just blend whatever fruits you have together or just eat any fruit you have available
- Vegan Breakfast Hash
- Oatmeal with cinnamon add berries
- Chick Pea Scramble with Zucchini and Thyme
- Southwest Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash
- Salad – cucumber, tomatoes, onion, avocado, salt to taste, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar. Optional – Add chick pea or kidney beans for protein
- Corn and Black Bean stuffed Sweet Potato
- Harissa Portobello Mushroom Tacos
- Vegetable Soup – Chop up whatever vegetables you have and put them in a soup season it with salt, pepper, garlic and onion.
- Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup
- Zucchanoush you can each this with raw vegetables
- BBQ & Cauliflower Flatbread with Avocado Mash – you can put this on a lettuce leaf instead of using the flatbread
- Roasted Vegetables – brussel sprouts, carrots, potatoes chopped add olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper roast for 40 minutes (depending on how small you chopped them) 400 degrees. Eat this with spinach, kale, collard greens sauteed in olive oil with garlic
- Black Beans and Brown Rice
- You can take any kind of bean and make soup with it adding garlic, onion, salt and pepper for taste
- A piece of Fruit
- Hummus with vegetables Sundried Tomato Hummus
- This can be either snack, lunch or dinner – lettuce leaf filled with hummus, carrots, tomatoes, peppers
- Sweet Potato Chips or you could slice the sweet potatoes or potatoes like french fries put some olive oil and bake and eat this with hummus. Or season them and eat alone.
If you are wondering about the restaurants where you can eat when you are on a Daniel Fast all you need to do is check the menu and ask them to show you all the vegan options, then you can go from there. Side dishes are usual quite safe unless they are cooked in butter or cream.
Praying during the Daniel Fast
Remember that this is a spiritual fast so you need to have your list of items for prayer. What do you need wisdom, revelation and understanding on? You should be praying over these everyday. And reading your bible every night. If you get dreams, ask God for the interpretation. Since you will be very clear during this fast you will be able to quickly discern. And, if not?! God will give you another dream that will clearly explain the first one. He knows that you are doing this for revelation so He is going to make sure you get it.
Here’s another prayer that will help you during your fast as well Jeremiah 33:3 Prayer for Revelation of Hidden Things
In our last Daniel Fast, we had a participant that thought they needed to drop out of the fast because they didn’t have any more fruits and vegetables and no money to buy any. We know that every one here is from different cultural, ethnic and economic background so…do you best. It is your heart that is more important. Give up something, that is what the fast is about. God knows your heart.
We hope this has helped you. If you have any tips you can share about Daniel fast or any meals, recipe ideas, please share them in the comments below. You will be helping others. Also, let us know if you have more questions.