Tomorrow will be a week since I started my fast, although I officially started my Daniel Fast 3 days ago. I had already stopped drinking my morning coffee. After the first two days of withdrawals, I felt better immediately without the coffee. I had been having headaches when I drank coffee or when I ate chocolate. A nurse suggested that I stop using any type of stimulant. It was really hard at first--especially when its cold outside and I want to treat myself to Starbucks. But I have felt so much better without it. I don't feel jittery and I don't crash later. (And I don't sweat.)
As for the food, the first couple days of fasting I had a lot of doubts about doing it. I wondered if it really counted as a "fast" since I was eating food. The previous fasts I had done involved not eating at all. My first day I started with a "green smoothie" to cleanse my system. I drank something I never thought I would drink--a smoothie with vegetable in it. The vegetable was kale. I didn't even know what kale was. But the smoothie was pretty refreshing--and cleanse it did. That first day I ate only fruits and vegetables. I figured if I could survive that I could do this fast. Once I conquered that first day of cleansing, I started eating grains, beans, nuts, and nut butters along with fruits and vegetables. After a couple of days without bread I was on a hunt to find yeast-free and sugar-free bread. I discovered some awesome Daniel Fast bread at Mama Jean's called Manna Bread. Delicious!! I also discovered Larabars--the ones that only have fruits and nuts in them. They are delicious and my whole family likes them.
I started making Kristen Feola's recipes from her book, The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast. Date honey--delicious! My daughter loves it. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies--Wonderful! Black bean chili bake--ate it for days! Classic Tomato Sauce with Whole Wheat pasta. Delisioso! My husband said its the best spaghetti sauce I've ever made. Italian salad dressing. Very good! Kale potato chips. I made them too salty, but they were great. In fact my daughter asked me if I would make some more today. And tonight I made the Spinach Artichoke Pasta with Vegetables. Awesome! Can't wait for leftovers tomorrow. Not to mention I have found a new love of eating fresh vegetables and fruits. And smoothies--all fruit and delicious!
So I have really been enjoying the food. And this is while I'm making my family their favorites--pancakes with bacon, fried chicken, rolls, etc. and not taking any bites. In fact now that I can't, it makes me realize how often I take bites of stuff or eat the rest of my kids food. Occasionally I wish I could have some cheese or some yogurt or some other food I would normally eat, but God. Everytime I have been hungry or had a craving or doubted I've prayed and God has literally taken away my hunger and my doubts.
If I get nothing out of this fast except changing my eating habits, getting off of sugar and processed foods, and feeling better physically, I will be so glad. I will feel I've accomplished a goal I've had for some time to make these changes in my diet. Its also accomplishing a renewed commitment to spending time in the Word and prayer every morning before the kids wake up. I am praying throughout the day. I am praying more for others, interceding on their behalf. I'm seeing and confessing my sin. Even my praise and worship at church on Sunday morning was different. More than the lifestyle change in my eating and other habits and the benefits that come with those changes, I am overjoyed at what God is doing in my heart. Though I don't know all that He has for me spiritually through this fast, I am enjoying my time with Him daily--drawing near to Him and He drawing near to me. I praise Him for His faithfulness. More to come--!!