The word “vegetables” from verse 12 is from the Hebrew word “zeroa”. “Zeroa’s” primitive root is zara which means to plant seed, seed sown, bear, and yield. As such, vegetation and water were his diet. Because of this, modern diets and fasts surrounding Daniel’s diet are based upon the principle of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and legumes (peas, beans, lupines, etc.). I found SO much regarding the health benefits of being on a diet like this. For some, it was what they needed to gain weight, while others LOST weight!
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. Daniel 1:8-16
So, my research on meals and how to eat on a regular basis on this diet came into play. I decided to try it for 14 days and during those two weeks I gained 3lbs. It wasn’t a lot, but seeing as I could eat anything or nothing and not have it effect my weight at all while off the diet, I saw the potential that this diet had on my health.
As such, I’ve felt led by the Holy Spirit to return to this diet. I began to consider 40 days before the resurrection day of Jesus Christ and realized just now, that it would start tomorrow! haha So, although the diet is modified to enable me to be successful in it as well as have a variety of options to consume the necessary foods, the plan is to stick to it as closely as possible starting tomorrow!
Along with diet, my goal towards a healthier lifestyle includes exercise. I’ll be starting off with 20 minutes a day as well as walking regularly outside to take in the benefits of the outdoors. Seeing as I’ve not exercised in two years, I figured this was a safe and low pressure start to my exercise plan – especially since I’m pregnant also. Start small and go from there!
Foods included in my diet during the Daniel Fast
All fruits These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon
All vegetables These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, 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, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy
All whole grains including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn
All nuts and seeds including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.
All legumes These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.
All quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.
Beverages spring water, distilled water or other pure waters, and Red Raspberry Leaf tea*.
Other tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices, and honey*.
Foods I’ll be avoiding on the Daniel Fast
All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.
All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, yogurt*, cream, butter, and eggs*.
All sweeteners including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey*, syrups, molasses, and cane juice
All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread* (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.
All refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips
All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.
Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea*, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.
*Normally, one on the fast would also avoid sweeteners, teas, leavened bread, and eggs but I’ll be including raw honey, Red Raspberry Leaf tea (for reproductive health), Ezekiel bread, yogurt and juice (for smoothies), eggs, and a small serving of dessert in the evenings during my fast.