Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Lent - the Daniel Fast

Well, Lent is now upon us. 40 days of pre-Easter mind and body preparations. My husband and I decided that since we are currently trying to improve our physical AND spiritual health, we would do the Daniel Fast. I've been surprised at how many people haven't heard of this - but then again, I did grow up in a household where fasting and cleanses were fairly common. Thus, I will elaborate. If you have a Bible nearby Daniel 1:8-17 gives the more detailed version, but to sum up: Daniel and his buddies were in Babylon and the guards appointed over them were trying to give them the usual Babylonian cuisine of very rich food and wine. Daniel considered these foods to be defiling to his body and health, so he asked if he and his men could be given only vegetables and water to drink. The guard wanted to grant the request, but was concerned that it would cause this gang to become scrawny and weak, and he didn't want any trouble with the King. Daniel asked him to do a 10 day trial, and at the end of it they were much healthier and stronger than everyone else.

The Daniel Fast of today is not purely vegetables and water, but it does focus on whole unprocessed foods and avoids all meat and animal products, as well as sugars and bread. It's a pretty strict diet, so because Dave and I are also trying to exercise regularly we are making a few exceptions for the occasional chicken breast or salmon fillet, but we will do our best. We're also adding nightly devotions in the form of reading Lent-focused prayers and articles.

This all means that the recipes and concoctions I post here may not always LOOK tantalizing, but they will certainly be healthy, and I will never post something that I don't think is delicious. But on a brighter note, Sundays during Lent are considered mini-celebrations of Easter, therefore it is quite acceptable to break your fasts or 'cheat' a little on Sundays. You learn fairly quickly not to binge on Sundays - it can make for a Monday full of headaches and upset stomachs!

We're all in for a healthier 40 days!

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