• Breah

Surviving 21 Days eating No Meat: The Daniel Fast, Our Way

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

Every new year, I generally participate in a fast with my mom and her church (which was my church once upon a time), the Daniel Fast. I've always gave up meat, or social media, something real slight that was challenging, but in the back of my mind I knew I could do it. So I thought to myself, what is the real sacrifice in that?

In 2019, I had A LOT of transitions. My husband was laid off in 2018. God blessed him to be able to find contract work at the latter part of 2018 and into the first month of 2019; which was also the month we welcomed our beautiful baby girl. When he was originally laid off, I was emotional for a bit, but honestly I was always optimistic about the process. There were times I cried and got frustrated, but God reminded me of His power every step of the way ("For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened"~Luke 11:10 NLT). I tell you, God has a miraculous way of shifting things in our lives and we often times can't see the blessing in the storm until the rain clears.

The short two months between me finding work and Dwain being laid off was the longest ever. Trusting God was hard. I was two months pregnant, with an infant, and we were also home owners. I applied for everything I thought I did or did not qualify for. Medicaid, food stamps, student loan forbearance, homeowners assistance, you name it. We were denied for almost EVERYTHING; food stamps because of my income (which wasn't much for where we lived and definitely not enough to comfortably pay bills AND eat). Our medicaid application took up to 60 days to process and I began working full-time before it was even processed. Let me just say, I applied for all of this out of fear, God had already carried us and we didn't actually use or need anything that I applied for. Fear will always be our worse enemy. I try my hardest to live a fearless, limitless, life of faith. In in moments such as this, you can not operate in fear. I was so frustrated with all of these processes, I surrendered; but I did not give up. Surrendering allows us to truly cast our cares before the Lord ("Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall". - Psalm 55:22 NLT). It involves a level of faith and intentionality. That is the difference between giving up and surrender. Once I surrendered and asked God for His hand, He gave it to me. He led me to apply for that position and it was Him who worked through me to secure the position.

I LOVED the district that I worked in. I went on maternity leave in mid-December and was blessed to be off of work for about 4 months (and received my full salary). Dwain had started and ended his contact work so it was a great 3 months of all of us home together. We grew a lot during that time. Dwain continued his job search and it was a testing and trying process. Without dragging this out, he was offered a position back in NC, we packed up (not even going to go into that headache) and moved across the country to our new home in NC.

That wasn't the end of our transitions. We had to get adjusted back to NC living, coming from the Bay Area, our kids needed time to get adjusted to a new environment, they were still getting to know each other as siblings, so much going on at once. When 2019 ended, I was truly at peace. A lot had happened for us in 2018 and 2019 and I just reflected on how we are still here and still a family. Only God did that.

To honor Him and to also activate a deeper level in our faith, we decided to take this journey on a season of sacrifice. 21 days of prayer and fasting, using the most traditional Daniel Fast (which ended up being a hybrid of the two fasts that are mentioned in the book of Daniel). I've included some information about the Daniel fast and walk you through our process and how we made it unique.

What is the Daniel Fast?

The Daniel Fast is based on two scriptures in the book of Daniel of The Holy Bible.

Daniel 1:6-21

In verse 12, Daniel asks the chief of staff to test himself, Hananiah, and Mishael for 10 days eating "nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink" (v.12). The chief of staff agreed and "At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food" (v.15). Verse 17 reads, "To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds" (v.17).

SPIRITUAL fasting must always have a spiritual purpose. The goal is to be disciplined by sacrificing something in your life, in order to draw closer to God. I chose to do the Daniel fast because I was entering a season in my life where I needed understanding and direction. As God gave Daniel dreams, I too wanted an understanding of God's will and what my purpose is on Earth to bring forth His will. We started our fast on January 13th. The first 10 days was a strict vegan diet. In the first 10 days, I leaned on God a lot. I had many cravings and when they would surface I would either pray or listen to one of my favorite gospel songs. One album that really held me down during this fast was Broken Record by Travis Greene.

Top 5 Songs from the

Broken Record Album

  1. Won't Let Go

  2. Respond

  3. Good And Loved

  4. The Breaker

  5. Loved by You

Daniel 10:2-3

The second half of the fast, we incorporated grains back into our diet. I mentioned we did a "hybrid" Daniel fast because in the book of Bible, Daniel engaged in two fasts. The second is based on Daniel 10: 2-3. In this passage it reads Daniel "ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over" (v.3). Choice foods fore me are simple: meat and JUNK food. I was tested many times. I went on a trip to Atlanta. Trips are always hard for me because I love eating at new restaurants. I was able to stick to my fast through constant prayer and feeding my spirit with positive music, and keeping positive energy around me. I can say this season of fasting has truly helped me draw nearer to God and has given me a level of discipline I have never had. Here are a few tips if you are considering starting a fast to draw nearer to God.

1. Create a morning routine.

Creating a morning routine will help you tremendously throughout the day. For me, it allowed me to center myself by spending some time in my Bible, reading and meditating on God's word. For this fast, I read the entire chapter of Daniel and after I concluded the last chapter of the book of Daniel, I asked God during my morning meditation time, to lead me to scripture passages that would give me a deeper understanding of my purpose for His will. You can also find some amazing devotionals on the Bible App. I also would have a balanced breakfast every morning and eat BEFORE waking my babies up. This gives you some alone time prior to the chaos of the day. Another good tool to have is a journal I didn't journal much on this fast due to the demand of being mom, but one of my goals this year is to be more intentional with my study of the bible through journaling and interpreting messages.

2. Remove anything AND anyone in your life that will cause you to stumble.

This can mean cleaning out our pantry or your contacts. Depending on your sacrifice to God, you must decide what can and cannot be in your space during this season. For me, I had to get rid of anything in my kitchen that was not a fruit or a vegetable. I also made sure I kept my conversation with certain folx in my life at a minimum. That person may mean no harm when they just want to vent to you about their day. However, in order to protect our spirit, we may have to excuse ourselves from the conversation. Sometimes, conversations drain me, which causes me unconsciously to eat junk for comfort. In order to make sure that did not happen, I would kindly change the subject when talking to some folx, or just end the conversation all together. Protect your peace, by any means.

3. Feed your soul: Exercise your mind and your body.

I know, I know. I'm always talking about feeding your soul, but it is SO important. There is no denying the science of exercise; it produces endorphins that make us feel better. Mix that with stimulating your mind, and you are on a natural high like none other. It's pure euphoria. Building habits like physical and mental exercise are important because they are tools that we can use when we are feeling stressed, sad, or depressed. When you are adjusting your eating or even making subtle (or abrupt) changes in your life, you can start developing feeling such as lethargy and sadness. Having those outlets combined with prayer will expand your tools to mange your emotions in a healthier way.


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