Here at My City Church, we are kicking off our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting!
Some may choose to fast certain mealtimes, foods, or others may decide to fast food altogether and stick to liquids. One option to consider is the Daniel Fast, which chooses nutritious and plant-based foods by avoiding meat, dairy, added sugar, and other processed foods. The Daniel Fast originated from this verse:
“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.” Daniel 10:2-3
The intention of the Daniel Fast is not to get too caught up in the foods to consume or not consume, but rather to have the same spirit that David did.
The simplicity of his choice led him to hunger and thirst for spiritual food rather than physical food. This is not a diet, so the goal is not to lose weight- although that may happen for some as they choose healthier options. Rather, the goal is to sacrifice physically so that we may draw closer spiritually in prayer to God.
You may look at this list and think that avoiding animal products and processed foods leaves nothing to eat, but your friendly neighborhood vegan is here to assure you- you will not starve! In fact, your body will thank you for all of the nourishing goodies you will consume and all the unwanted ingredients you will avoid.
Here are some options to inspire you to a simple and delicious plant-based 21 days!
It is important to start off your day with a nutritious breakfast. And since you will have to skip the coffee for three weeks, nourishing your body with plenty of good stuff right away will make sure you have a positive morning mood all day long. Whole grains, nuts, and fruit are my morning go-to’s!
–Oatmeal. Made with water or unsweetened non-dairy milk. Add cinnamon, blueberries, and/or chopped almonds.
–Fruit smoothie. Frozen strawberries, blueberries, mango, and banana (or any you choose), spinach, unsweetened non-dairy milk. Optional vegan protein powder.
–Potato hash. Roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes (with olive or avocado oil), chopped and sautéed with onions, garlic, bell peppers, black beans, mushrooms, spinach or kale. Add salt and pepper, chili powder, and cumin.
–Tofu scramble. If you miss your morning scrambled eggs, try a tofu scramble. Be sure to be heavy-handed with the spices. Here is a recipe I love!
I most often use leftover dinners as my lunches, but it can be fun and efficient to make a big batch of lunches and prep them out for the week.
–Soups. Throw together some veggies, beans, and brown rice or lentils. Add in your clean vegetable stock (make your own, or go with a store-bought like Kitchen Basics Unsalted Vegetable Stock), and you have a delicious soup! Check out the vegan soup recipes in my last blog for more options.
–Salads. Leafy greens are an incredibly valuable part of a healthy diet, and salads are a great way to get your daily servings in. The dressing will be the hardest part to keep within the Daniel Fast, especially if your go-to is ranch (why wouldn’t it be, we live in Nebraska!). Here’s a clean Italian dressing which can compliment almost any salad. Your best bet if you need to go store-bought would be to check out Primal Kitchens brand. Many are clean and vegan, but some contain egg or added sugar, so be sure to check the ingredients.
For easy and delicious main meals, I focus on three things: beans, grains, and veggies. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.
–Roasted veggie bowls. Brussel sprouts, onions, grape tomatoes, carrots, and chickpeas on a sheet pan with olive or avocado oil. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder and roast until brussels are cooked. Serve on top a bowl of brown rice or quinoa. Swap out any veggies for whatever you have on hand- squash, asparagus, sweet potatoes, get crazy with it!
–Curries. Make any veggies shine by cooking them into a big pot of curry and serving over brown rice, quinoa, or rice ramen. Check out this recipe!
–Veggie burgers. Although some store-bought vegan burgers are more nutritious than others, making your own is the best way to know your burger is healthy and tasty. This recipe takes a little time and patience, but make a big batch and throw them in the freezer so they are ready whenever you are!
–Quinoa stuffed peppers. This recipe is SO easy, so it is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. Just be sure to check the ingredients on your salsa so that it is Daniel Fast approved!
–Apple and nut butter. Either make the nut butter yourself, or be sure to check the label on store-bought for those clean ingredients.
–SkinnyPop popcorn. Be sure to get the original to avoid any butter or added sugar.
–Veggies & dip. Carrots, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers dipped in homemade hummus or smashed avocado.
–Trail mix. Skip the one with M&M’s and choose a cleaner mix packed with nuts and seeds!
–Crispy roasted chickpeas. Dress up with olive or avocado oil and whatever spice you want, and then roast until crispy. I like garlic powder and chili!
–Polenta fries. This is my most recent obsession and a great side to some delicious veggie burgers. My mom showed me how to make them, but this recipe is super similar!
All of these recipes and ideas are delicious and exciting, but don’t lose sight of the reason for your fast. The simplicity of your food choices should grow in you a deeper hunger for the presence of God, for His Word, and for fervent prayer in your everyday life. And if you choose a little more veganism after your fast, well, that’s just a bonus! So prepare yourself now practically, physically, and spiritually for the next 21 days. Whatever the Lord is asking of you, be obedient. It will be challenging at times, but let those difficult moments of weakness lead you closer to the Father. Who knows?
Maybe this simple act of obedience could lead to your greatest breakthrough.
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