Frequently Asked Questions
Question: "The official fasting method observed by Triumph Church is the Daniel Fast. What is a Daniel Fast?"
Answer: The concept of a Daniel fast comes from Daniel 1:8-14, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.’
Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, ‘Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’ So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.”
The background of the Daniel fast is that Daniel and his three friends had been deported to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians conquered Judah (2 Kings 24:13-14). Daniel and his three friends were put into the Babylonian court servant “training program.” Part of the program was learning Babylonian customs, beliefs, laws, and practices. The eating habits of the Babylonians were not in complete agreement with the Mosaic Law. As a result, Daniel asked if he and his three friends could be excused from eating the meat (which was likely sacrificed to Babylonian false gods and idols).
So, a Daniel fast is eating only fruits and vegetables for a certain amount of time and abstaining from meat products. Some people use a Daniel fast as a dieting method. Some people use a Daniel fast instead of fasting from food entirely. The Bible nowhere commands believers to observe a Daniel fast. As a result, it is a matter of Christian freedom whether to observe a Daniel fast.
Question: "Is the Daniel Fast good for weight loss?"
Answer: No fast is good for permanent weight loss. However, some folks experience weight loss with the Daniel Fast! On the other hand, Daniel 1:15 says that it made Daniel and his fasting friends fatter!
Daniel 1:15 And at the end of ten days their faces looked fairer and fatter in flesh than all the boys who had eaten the king's food.
Question: "Are you allowed to use splenda? if not, is brown sugar ok?"
Answer: The avoid list warns against refined sugar and chemical sugar substitutes. You should avoid Splenda, aspartame, saccharin and all other artificial sweeteners. Molasses, raw honey, Stevia, and Maple syrup are possible allowed sweeteners. http://www.stevia.net/ has more information about stevia, a natural herb. Stevia might be cheaper at Amazon.com.
Question: "Are you supposed to eat 3 times a day?"
Answer: There is no mention about how often to eat in the Daniel Fast. Health experts advise six or so small healthy snacks a day. It helps kill any appetite before it starts. It helps to include protein in my snacks, such as natural peanut butter as a topping with bananas or apple slices.
Question: "How can I identify whole grain products?"
Answer: Whole grain products can be identified by the ingredient list. 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. Many breads are colored brown (often with molasses) and made to look like whole grain, but are not. Additionally, some food manufacturers make foods with whole grain ingredients, but because whole grain ingredients are not the dominant ingredient, they are not whole grain products.
Question: "Is it okay to take multivitamins and/or drink supplements? The multivitamins are natural and the drink supplement is a natural whole food supplement powder that can be mixed with water or juice (Goji, Noni, Acai, Mangosteen, and Blueberry fruit extracts, Morenga Oleifera, Rycenol (Rice Bran), GARN complex)."
Answer: Those sound like good supplements to take during your Daniel Fast. You may want to take protein supplements as well. Avoid the chocolate flavors since they have caffeine and supplements with milk by-products like whey.
Question: "Can I eat a salad with salad dressing?"
Answer: You should look for light or low-fat products. Olive oil and lemon are a healthy and tasty option. My wife just uses a little salt.
Question: "Is popcorn okay to eat on the fast?"
Answer: Popcorn is a very healthy food. Corn is listed in the vegetables to eat list. If you don't have an air popper, try popping your popcorn in olive oil or colza, which are safer oils for your health. Some have recommended using a Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper.
Question" "Are there any types of bread you can eat? What about wheat free or pita bread or naan bread?"
Answer. Since the Jewish dietary laws allow bread, you may decide to allow bread in your Daniel Fast. But try to avoid white breads. Look for breads made from Whole Grains.
Question: "What about curry powders, potatoes and basmati rice?"
Answer. Spices are not mentioned. Decide for yourself if you want to avoid some spices. Potatoes are in the vegetables to eat list. Basmati rice should be avoided, if it isn't brown rice.
Question: "Are different teas allowed even with caffeine?"
Answer. Many teas are very good for you. You should avoid teas with caffeine.
Question: "Am I allowed to have Green Tea with Honey?"
Answer. Decaf Green Tea with natural raw sugar/honey is OK! Green tea does have some caffeine, so if you decide to avoid caffeine, you might want to avoid it or get some decaf green tea.
Question: "I am pregnant. Can I still engage in the Daniel Fast?"
Answer: First, you will want to contact your doctor and explain that the Daniel Fast is a vegan diet with additional restrictions (leavened breads, caffeine, alcohol, sweeteners and chemicals).
Generally, pregnant and nursing mothers follow the Daniel Fast guidelines, but add enough chicken or fish to meet the additional protein demands.
Question: What about marital relations during the Daniel Fast?
Answer: The Bible does speak of husbands and wives abstaining from sexual relations during fasts. However, this is to be a mutual agreement by both the husband and wife. Many couples do refrain from sex while fasting and find their relationship strengthened as they intentionally express love for one another in other ways.
So, abstaining from sex during the Daniel Fast is not required, however it is an opportunity to experience growth in your marriage and in your relationship with the Lord.
Question: Are there ever situations when I should "pause" from the fast?
Answer: Yes, there are times when it would be appropriate to briefly pause from the fast, but do so after consulting with the Holy Spirit.
Question: Can I eat food during the daylight hours?
Answer: Many fasts begin at sunrise and end at sunset. However, the Daniel Fast does not require this modification to our eating patterns. If you choose to add this step to your fast, then that would still be okay, but it is not a required step for the Daniel Fast.
Question: How do you know what Daniel really ate?
Answer: None of us were there! That's why the fast is based on the fasting experiences recorded in Daniel 1 and Daniel 10. If you want to "eat as Daniel ate," then I encourage to research what that could have been. But my guess is that you will soon realize that you can't be sure. That's why the fast is only based and modeled after Daniel 1, Daniel 10 and typical fasting principles.
Question: Can I have (fill in the blank)?
Answer: You can have all foods that include ingredients that comply with the Daniel Fast approved food lists. READ THE LABEL on any prepared or packaged foods to make sure all of the ingredients comply. Even foods marked as "natural" my still contain sweetener or other foods that are not allowed on the fast.
Question: What foods can I eat straight from the grocery store?
Answer: You will quickly learn that most of the prepared foods found in grocery stores include sweeteners, chemicals or other ingredients that are not allowed on Daniel Fast. That's why most meals are made from scratch
Question: What if I want to do the Daniel Fast for dietary reasons and not spiritual purposes?
Answer: The definition of fasting is to restrict food for a spiritual purpose. Using the Daniel Fast eating plan for strictly health purposes would be a Daniel Diet rather than a fast. Many people do use the Daniel Fast eating plan to improve their health and for weight loss.