Tag Archives: Food

Daniel Fast Recap…What I have learned

9 Jun

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During the past 21 days, I have diligently followed the guidelines of the fast originally undertaken by the prophet Daniel. I have had no meat, animal products (dairy), sugar or oils. Along the way, I have learned a lot about my spirituality, my body and health, and my life.

Health Lessons Learned: 

  1. I have one body during this lifetime and it is my responsibility to take care of it.
  2. There is no excuse for making poor food choices. A few minutes of planning can go a long way.
  3. No matter what anyone says, it is important to know where our food comes from and what is in it.
  4. It’s not rocket science: eating healthier makes us feel and live better.
  5. By eating healthier foods, I am setting a better example for my children and husband who were also motivated during my fast.
  6. Trying to meet our emotional and spiritual needs with food does not work.
  7. Controlling the food that we put in our mouth is a conscious decision and it makes making other conscious decisions a little bit easier.
  8. If I am fat, un-healthy or not as healthy as I could/should be, then it is no one’s fault but my own.

Spiritual Lessons Learned: 

  1. I am called to treat my body like a temple so that God can use me for service.
  2. A spiritual fast must be called by God if you want Him to give you strength.
  3. Little temptations can lead to bigger ones and usually lead to sin.
  4. Confession must come before supplication. In other words, if you want God’s help, confess and repent first.
  5. The more disciplined we become in our bodies, the more disciplined our spirit becomes too.
  6. If we aren’t careful, we can turn something good into something self-serving.
  7. God sometimes surprises those who are faithful.
  8. Fasting is not about food. It is about service to God. Not I Lord, but YOU.

 

 

Beginning next week, I am going to embark upon another journey. This one will be 30 days in length, and I am going to call it the “Great Clean-Up.” I am going to focus on the “possessions” portion of the book “7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.”  I will be focusing on reducing the “things” that clutter my life, my home and my mind by cleaning, organizing and donating. It is going to be an exciting journey, and I am super excited!

If you would like to join me on the “Great Clean-Up,” just leave a comment and we can begin together on Monday.

 

 

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Daniel Fast Day 3….Vegans May be on to Something

23 May

When I first began my journey through 7, my goal was to eliminate some of the abundance in my life in order to make more room for myself, other people and God. Today, on day 3 of my Daniel Fast, I have already noticed a change in the way I feel. I usually hit the snooze button 2 or 3 times, and then drag out of bed. This morning, I woke up and jumped out of bed straight into the shower before my alarm even went off. That was a nice change. Now that I have more energy, I want to use some of it to learn about the food that I eat, where it comes from and make conscious decisions about the food I put into my mouth. Where does it come from? What does God want me to be eating? Can the food choices I make affect the world and make it a better place.

Let me begin by saying that I live in the South. More specifically, I live in Texas. Growing up, one boy actually brought venison to show n’ tell. (That’s deer meat for those of y’all who don’t know.) One of my friends literally becomes a widow every hunting season because her husband lives to hunt animals. Miranda Lambert, another Texas Girl, is part of a band called Pistol Annies, and they have a song called The Hunter’s Wife which says, “I’m married to a shot-gun carrying, tobacco chewing, no good blue tick hound.” In other words, in Texas, we like our meat.

The Daniel Fast eliminates not only meat, but also animal products. No milk, no cheese, no eggs, nada. During my first grocery store trip, I had to pay special attention to labels. I noticed that on many food labels, especially of the organic or health food variety, that it would say specifically on the label. “Vegan,” and some foods were even ‘certified.’

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 Before I began the fast, the only thing I knew about Veganism was that people who practiced it were ‘extreme vegetarians.’ I had a notion that they were all crazy feminists, dying of malnutrition or the type of people who show up to political rallies holding “Save the Cows,” or something.

Today, I decided it was time to better educate myself about veganism, and I was surprised at what I learned.  I came across a documentary entitled, “Vegucated.” It follows a group of people as they learn about veganism and most importantly where the food that they eat comes from. The video shows some of the harsh treatment that animals are subjected to so that they can be mass-produced into food for us. Heart wrenching scenes were shown in the movie: A newborn calf being literally dragged away from its mother and then the mother cow being artificially inseminated so that she can have another calf, and another….so that we can have milk.  Newly hatched male chickens literally being tossed into the garbage because only the females lay eggs. Castrating and branding without any anesthesia.

I ‘knew’ in the back of my mind that sometimes animals are treated poorly so that we can have food. But, I reasoned, if I’m not the one doing it then how am I responsible? Besides, we all need to eat, right?

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While it is true that we do need to eat, I think that it is important that we do not eat mindlessly. We need to eat in way that respects the people, the environment and the animals that God created.  In the beginning, God commanded people to eat plant-based food:

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If God created that food for me to eat, then I should make an effort to make it a part of my diet. According to the film, only 4% of the American diet is currently unrefined plant-based food. If the amount of Dr.Pepper, fast food and junk that I put into my mouth everyday is any indication, then that number sounds about accurate.

But is living Vegan realistic? Is it possible amidst the hustle and bustle of modern America?

Apparently, there is a whole dimension of Vegan people living all around me, and  I had no idea. For instance, you can buy Vegan shoes…and some of them are even cute! Don’t believe me? Check out MooShoes. There are restaurants that offer only Vegan food or just partial Vegan menus. There are entire sections of the grocery store dedicated to it: the produce section anyone?

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So, after my Daniel Fast is over, will I continue veganism? Probably not. However, I will be more cognizant of what I eat, where the food I choose comes from and how I can work to make sure that my eating habits are making God’s planet a little bit better.

Day before the Daniel Fast…and I’m already hungry

19 May

I have a confession to make. I love queso. And ice cream. Preferably with Reese’s Peanutbutter cups. This is evidenced by my pants which are a little tighter than they were last year. Well, and the fact that they are a size larger (but shhh…don’t tell anyone). I have justified my poor eating habits by saying that I am busy, I work (a lot), I have had two kids, my hormones are crazy, I don’t have time to cook healthy…you get the idea. But the truth is, that when I think about it, I mean REALLY think about it, I feel God asking me how He can bless me when I don’t take care of the one thing that I have full control over-the food that enters my mouth. St. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians wrote,

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.1 Corinthians 6:19-20

As I began to prepare for my 7 journey, I wanted to make sure that I really am making a sacrifice. Limiting myself to just 7 foods as Jen does is not realistic for 2 reasons: first, sometimes I have to eat out for lunch at work and second, my hormones really are crazy and I want to make sure I am getting a good balance of foods. So, instead I have decided that during the food portion of my 7 journey, I will be doing the Daniel Fast.

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For the next 21 days, I will eat only: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, unleavened bread, beans, quality oils and seasonings. I will not eat meat, dairy products, sweeteners, leavened bread, refined/processed foods, deep fried foods, solid fats or beverages other than water.

I am also putting the scale on the top shelf of the closet. I do not want this to be another diet. If I lose weight, great. But I don’t want that to be the focus of my fast. I want to focus on elminating the unneccessary from my life and letting God fill those gaps.

Tonight, I eat my last Reese’s McFlurry. See ya later, queso. I will miss you.