(Sorry no pictures. Was having formatting issues. Thoughts are in list form because that's how I'm thinking right now.)
- The Holy Spirit used some posts on Facebook to prompt me to do this. I'm thankful I was obedient.
- I mentally prepared myself for about a week. (This might have been the hardest part.)
- Stocked up on produce at Costco. This was not necessary since I am just one person and even though I was eating exponentially more produce than normal, it did not justify buying grapefruits, grapes, strawberries, apples, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, peppers, lettuce and the mini oranges in bulk. I will remember this next time.
- The hardest part for me was drinking ONLY water. Prior to this, water would, 95% of the time, truly make me nauseous. Just never drank a lot of water. And I can get unlimited coffee, sweet tea, and lemonade at work for free. But, guess what? It IS possible to drink ONLY water. For me, I definitely needed the Lord's help the first few days.
- The first couple of days, I had crazy headaches and was super tired. Obviously, this came from going to coffee/tea drinker all day to no caffeine at all. Also, I had very limited protein at first. Went home from work and took loooooooong naps the first couple of days.
- Tried a lot of new foods. This is a big deal for me. New likes: quinoa and peppers. Other things I ate: PLAIN oatmeal (added cinnamon and raisins for texture), beans (once I realized these were a good source of protein), dried apples, dried strawberries, dried bananas, chips & salsa, mushrooms & onions sauteed with olive oil, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes, fruit smoothies.
- Survived eating out on the Daniel Fast: ordered side salads with no dressing/no cheese. Used oil & vinegar, salt & pepper to flavor. (Realized it IS possible to eat salads without Ranch dressing.) Also ordered sides of steamed veggies and a sweet potato without butter/brown sugar. Macaroni Grill for my Mom's birthday was a challenge. The yummy bread and cheesy pastas were very tempting. :)
- Survived baking a couple batches of chocolate chip cookies. (Did you know that it IS possible to bake cookies without eating one or two fresh from the oven?) :)
- Survived a road trip without coffee. This one is a neat testament to the Lord. I drove up to Columbia for a bridal shower for my sister. It was a cold, rainy day, and I usually get tired when driving for longer than 20 minutes. So, I had sorta already pre-meditated that I would get Starbucks in Columbia for the ride home. I had a gift card, and it was really for my safety (at least, that's how I justified it.) When it came time for me to go through the drive-thru, my car just didn't stop. It was almost like God whispered to me you can do it. That was a very special ride home. :)
- A major key to this being successful was having prayer partners. My special friends Shari and Ginger were praying with me throughout the fast. At times, I could honestly feel it. Even got some special texts with sweet encouragement.
- To be completely honest, I can't say that I got any major spiritual revelations. I definitely could have found more time for concentrated prayer. Did spend more time in the Word with more journaling than I've done in ages. But, next time, I will be more intentional with time in prayer.
- I am honestly still a little shocked and surprised that I actually did it. I learned that God has given me much more self-discipline than I thought. With Him, I truly can do more than I think I can. The only other time I've had an extended time of fasting was giving up chocolate for Lent in 2006.
- I don't think I lost weight. Though this wasn't the goal, I wouldn't have complained if it had been a side-effect. I was sorta expecting it because of the water thing and eating smaller meals throughout the day. Not disappointed, but just throwing it out there. I think a lot of people EXPECT to lost weight, so I will just go on record saying that I didn't.
- Several take-aways from this fast:
- Drink more water. Now that I know it's possible, I plan to drink some everyday.
- Eat more produce. Feels pretty good.
- Cheese, bread, chocolate are not necessary to survive. Remember this. :)
- God is bigger than cravings, and He has given me self-control as one of the fruits of His Spirit.
If you are interested in learning more about the Daniel Fast, you can visit this website. You can also listen to this webinar.
Has anyone else done it? Anyone have any questions?