Participating in a Daniel Fast this year? Be sure to check out this Daniel Fast Foods List Printable- make shopping easier!
January is the time of year when everyone makes their goals or resolutions. What are you going to accomplish this year? How are you going to achieve those goals?
In addition, a lot of churches start a Daniel Fast in January. It’s a way of getting closer to God and seeing what He wants to do in your life. My church does one pretty much every year, and I’ve done it enough times to be pretty familiar with how things go.
But if you’re anything like I was during my first time in the Daniel Fast, you’re probably clueless about what to eat. What’s allowed, and what isn’t allowed? What can I make? Can I really not have coffee?
In this post, I’ll go into more detail on how to participate in a Daniel Fast and give you a Daniel Fast Food List. For the quick list download, you can click here to get your free copy. Otherwise, keep reading for more detailed explanations!
What is the Daniel Fast?
In the book of Daniel in the Bible, Daniel chooses not to eat the “choice” foods of the royal palace and instead eats a diet of vegetables and water. After 10 days, he and his companions were physically and mentally healthy, even after just consuming vegetables.
From this comes what we call the Daniel Fast. We set aside a certain amount of time and eat what is mainly a vegan diet, or plant-based diet, with some other restrictions. It’s not a full fast, where you consume nothing but water. It’s a partial fast, where you choose not to eat certain foods for a period of time.
Some will participate in the full fast. Others may only be able to abstain from certain foods, like sugar, due to medical reasons. In the end, it’s up to you and God how you decide to do it.
How long is the Daniel Fast?
A “standard” Daniel Fast is 21 days, or 3 full weeks. I’ve seen as low as 7 days, 10 days, or even 40 days for Lent.
My church has done the Daniel Fast for 21 days, and on occasion for 7 consecutive days. The important thing is to choose a time frame and stick to it.
Foods to eat
Here is a list of foods to eat on the Daniel Fast. This doesn’t include every single type of food, but will give you a good idea of what to buy.
All fruit is allowed on the Daniel Fast. Fresh fruits, frozen, canned, and dried. Just look at the ingredients list and make sure that fruit is the only ingredient, and doesn’t have any added sugars.
All vegetables are allowed. Fresh, frozen, and canned. This also includes the tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Like with the fruit, check the ingredients list, especially the frozen vegetables. Some of them contain sauces, like butter or cheese, that aren’t allowed on the fast.
These will be your main source of protein and are VERY important! When I did the Daniel Fast, I tried to include a serving of these for both lunch and dinner. They helped keep me full and keep my body strong.
Examples include: Black beans, kidney beans, white beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, split peas, lentils, peanuts.
Nuts and seeds will provide you with healthy fats, which are key to keeping you full longer. Fat also helps absorb nutrients properly.
Examples include: Almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pine nuts, nut butters like natural peanut butter and almond butter, olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil.
Again, look at the ingredients list. Some of them may have extra seasonings or added sugar that aren’t included in the fast.
This list is a little tricky and may have conflicting info based on what you’ve heard in the past.
Whole grains provide fiber, a bit of protein, and other nutrients to keep you healthy.
Here are some “safe” examples: Brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, barley, amaranth, rolled oats, bulgur, millet, corn tortillas.
Where it gets tricky for me is the whole wheat products. Yeast isn’t allowed so whole wheat bread and other leavened bread is out. But some people say that whole wheat tortillas, whole wheat pasta, and things made of whole wheat flour are okay, as well as ezekiel bread.
My church didn’t include those on the list of foods, so we never used them. This is where you get to decide what your convictions are. God won’t get mad if you decide to eat them or not; so use your best judgment on that one.
The main drink of choice for the Daniel Fast is water. Unsweetened non-dairy milks, like unsweetened almond milk and coconut milk, are okay. 100% fruit juice is also allowed, but I try to moderate that.
Other categories include herbs, spices, and seasonings. Chili powder, garlic powder, and cinnamon are examples. Soy products, like tofu and edamame, are okay to eat.
Vegetable broth can be okay too, but check the ingredient list for added things.
Foods to avoid
One way to think about this is to avoid the “junk foods”. The stuff we tend to eat day-to-day. French fries may be potatoes, but the ones at restaurants tend to have extra ingredients that aren’t allowed.
Food with refined grains
Most white bread, white rice, plain flour tortillas, white pasta, and foods made of white flour are some of the foods not included in the Daniel Fast. These don’t have the same nutritional value as the whole grain versions.
All animal products are to be avoided on the Daniel Fast. This means meat and dairy products, and also includes eggs, butter, and honey.
Any type of sugar, whether raw sugar, natural or artificial sweeteners, is on the Avoid list. This also includes maple syrup and agave, although I know some people that will use honey or maple syrup during the fast. Again, it’s all about your own convictions.
Caffeine and alcohol
This is the one that got me for the longest time. Coffee, and other forms of caffeine like tea and energy drinks, are not allowed on the Daniel Fast. Alcohol is the same.
I still struggle with this one, which probably means I need this fast more than I think!
Use your best judgment
Ultimately, this is between you and God. You don’t have to be perfect. We mess up all the time, and God still forgives us.
You have to decide how to do this for yourself, and then make it work for you and your family. It could be a 21-day Daniel Fast, or maybe even one week.
Want a printable list of the foods I mentioned above? Click here for the free download and save it for later!
Need a meal plan to get you started? Check out my 7-day Daniel Fast meal plan!
If you’re struggling to figure out how to do all this on a budget, be sure to read my post on Budgeting for a Daniel Fast!
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.