The concept of the Daniel Fast comes from the biblical account of the Old Testament prophet Daniel when he prayed and fasted to ask for spiritual guidance. There are two biblical scriptures concerning the Daniel Fast, from which we get different guidelines. Since there is no way to know exactly what Daniel ate, the modern-day Daniel Fast may be done two ways: strictly adhering to biblical accounts, or following more general guidelines according to your physical and spiritual needs.
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Daniel Fast Guidelines
Unlike other kinds of spiritual fasts where you abstain completely from eating or drinking, the Daniel Fast is a partial fast that provides limited nourishment for your body. It lasts anywhere from 10 to 21 days. The fast is purely for spiritual reasons and not for health benefits. According to Christ-web.com, which discusses the fast in detail, performing the Daniel Fast for health reasons or to lose weight makes it a diet, not a fast.
Foods to Eat on the Daniel Fast
According to biblical accounts, Daniel ate only foods grown from seeds and drank only water. If you follow a more modern-day Daniel Fast, you may eat all plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. You may also eat whole grains such as oats, wheat, barley and corn. Additionally, you may have liquids such as water and vegetable or fruit juices. According Christ-web.com, which follows more lenient guidelines to the Daniel Fast, you may have processed foods such as oatmeal and peanut butter since these are plant-based foods.
Foods to Avoid on the Daniel Fast
According to the Daniel Fast website, you should abstain from all animal and dairy products, sweeteners such as honey and sugar, bread, and leavening agents such as yeast and baking powder. Artificial and processed foods, chemicals and food additives are also not allowed. You should prepare all your meals by hand. The Daniel Fast website also states that you shouldn't have packaged foods, which include prepared oatmeal, or introduce artificial chemicals and food additives into the body.
Preparing Oatmeal on the Daniel Fast
Since oat comes from grains, it is one of the allowed foods on the Daniel Fast. However, if you want to follow the stricter guidelines, then you should prepare oatmeal at home instead of buying the packaged version. You may use oat bran or rolled oats, boiling the grain in water until it cooks. You may add fruits such as raisins, bananas, chopped or blended apples, peach or pear, to sweeten the oatmeal. You may also add spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg for flavor.