Daniel Fast

Secondary Title

The Daniel Fast is a spiritual discipline designed to better connect us with God. It is a partial fast, which means that you eliminate some common things from your daily diet, but you still have generous options available. Generally, you focus on eating fruits and vegetables that are pure and simple. It comes from the Old Testament book of Daniel. There are many ways to do the fast. This is, in part, due to the lack of clarity as to exactly what Daniel did during his fast. 

To help, we are providing a list of appropriate foods. It's meant to be a suggestion. You don't want to get legalistic about your lists. That might very well defeat the whole purpose. Make sure your heart is in the right place, but don't go easy on yourself either.

Foods to Include

Secondary Title

All fruits: These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned (watch for added sugar).

Apples, Apricots, Avocados, Bananas, Berries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Breadfruit, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Coconuts, Cranberries, Dates, Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Grenadine, Guava, Honeydew, Melons, Kiwi, Limes, Mangoes, Melons, Mulberry, Nectarines, Oats, Olives, Oranges, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Pineapples, Plums, Prunes, Raisins, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangelos, Tangerines, Watermelon, Sprouts, Squashes, Sweet potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini, Lemons

Vegetables: These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned (watch salt content).

Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chili peppers, Collard greens, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger root, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Peppers, Potatoes, Radishes, Rutabagas, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Squashes, Sweet potatoes, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini

Legumes: Dried beans, Black beans, Cannellini, Pinto beans, Split peas, Lentils, Black eyed peas, Green beans, Green peas, Kidney beans, Peanuts (includes natural peanut butter), Beans, Lentils, Lupines, White, Peas

Seeds: All nuts (raw, unsalted), Sprouts, Ground flax, Cashews, Walnuts, Sunflower, Sesame, Almonds, Natural Almond Butter

Whole Grains: Whole wheat, Brown rice, Millet, Quinoa, Oats, Rolled Oats, Plain Oatmeal- not instant, Barley, Grits (no butter), Whole wheat pasta, Whole wheat tortillas, Plain Rice cakes, Popcorn

Liquids: Water (spring, distilled, filtered), Unsweetened Soy Milk, Herbal (caffeine free) Tea, 100% Fruit/Vegetable Juice (no added sugar)

Other: Tofu, Soy products, Herbs, Small amounts of Honey, Small amounts of Sea Salt, Small amounts of Ezekiel Bread, Small amounts of Olive Oil, Spices (read the label to be sure there are no preservatives)

Foods to avoid

Secondary Title

All animal products including all meat, poultry, fish...

White rice, White bread, All deep fried foods, Caffeine, Coffee (including decaf b/c contains small amount of caffeine), Carbonated beverages, Energy drinks, Foods containing preservatives and additives, Refined foods, Processed foods, Food additives, Refined sugar, Sugar substitutes, Raw sugar, Syrups, Molasses, Cane juice, White flour, Margarine, Shortening, High fat products, Butter All, leavened breads, Baked goods, All dairy, Milk, Cheese, Yogurt, Cream, Eggs, Alcohol, Mayonnaise


Secondary Title

What about prepared foods? 

Read the labels of all prepared foods. Remember the Daniel Fast is sugar-free and chemical-free. So, if you use any canned fruits, vegetables, packaged foods, or prepared sauces you should read the label to be aware about just what is in there.

What about pasta? 

Make sure the label says whole grain pasta with no additives (watch for sugar). Whole grain pasta offers 7 grams of protein per serving (3/4 cup of dried pasta).

I know it says raw, unsalted nuts, but what about roasted nuts? 

The goal would be to stick to raw, unsalted nuts. But these are harder to find so in a pinch just make sure you get plain roasted, unsalted nuts with no preservatives.

How do I get enough protein in my diet while on the fast? 

The following are protein-rich foods that are allowed on the Daniel Fast... almonds, sunflower seeds, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, split peas, whole grains, and tofu.

What kind of peanut butter is allowed? 

A natural peanut butter with no additives...watch for sugars including molasses. Smucker’s creamy natural peanut butter has nothing but peanuts in it.

How can I identify whole grain foods? 

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.

What about salad dressing? 

Olive oil and lemon or lime are an option.

Do I need to eat organic foods while on the fast? 

No, but it is suggested because organic foods are produced without the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin and without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.

Where can I go out to eat? 

Well, you can go anywhere and order cautiously, asking lots of questions to the wait staff, knowing ahead of time that you may be ordering a salad with olive oil and a baked potato with no extras.

What about bread? 

You can eat Ezekiel bread found in the freezer section of your grocery/health food store.  Also, look for breads made from "whole grains" as described above.

How much can I eat? 

As long as they are the appropriate foods, we are recommending eating until satisfied with no limits.