Working out? Ehh.. maybe.
Fasting/changing the way you eat… I guess I can try that.
So, my friend Jacky and I tried this thing called the “Daniel Fast”, where you only eat whole grains, fruit and vegetables for a while. It was tough–I had to give up my routine of two chocolate bars every night, but I have one thing to say:
IT WAS SO WORTH IT!
Mixed greens with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Here are some of the things I noticed about my body after two weeks of fasting:
- More energy. I didn’t feel bogged down by extra calories, fat, sugar like I normally did. Who knew that living like a vegan felt so good?
- Less cravings. Okay, so the first week was the hardest. But after toughin it out, I lost my desire to eat fatty, high-calorie foods (and, yes, even chocolate)!
- Boosts creativity in the kitchen. While on the Daniel fast, you can’t eat A LOT of the foods that you normally eat in a day. A lot of “pop-em-in-the-microwave-and-you’re-good-to-go” meals don’t work. Ergo, you have to get creative. Pull out those cook books! Learn how to make a meal!
- Habit-forming. My fast ended on Wednesday, and I am finding that it is easier to eat smaller portions of better food! When we go out to burgers, I don’t want one. When we have chocolate lying around… well, it’s still a struggle, but not as bad as before! Getting yourself on a routine for a couple weeks helps your body slide into a better habit of eating–a healthier lifestyle!
- 21 days is the norm. Jacky and I did it for 2 weeks (we both work out quite a bit, so it was hard not too eat massive amounts of protein), but the actual fast requires you to do it for 21 days.
- Daniel from the Old Testament Bible. A lot of my Bible-junky friends will know good ol’ Daniel. He was a prophet in the olden days. The king asked him and his friends to eat for a king’s feast, but Daniel didn’t want to gorge himself on the royal delicacies. Instead, he asked the king if he could eat what HIS people eat for 21 days (anyone have a reference? Elder Ed?), and if he was still in good condition, if not BETTER condition than the royal court, than he would eat like this while living in the king’s palace. At the end of the 21 days, he was strong and healthy, and therefore able to eat like his people. Isn’t that touching? ;~;
- All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon
- All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.
- All whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.
- All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.
- All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.
- All quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.
- Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.
- Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.
- All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.
- All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.
- All sweeteners including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.
- All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.
- All refined and pr ocessed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
- All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.
- All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.
- Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.
- Go easy. If you can’t handle one of the rules, be flexible with yourself. For example, Jacky and I didn’t follow the “no leavened bread” rule–it was a little too difficult. Maybe someday we can try the EXTREME Daniel fast, but for now, just do what is comfortable!
- Replace desserts with fruits. Instead of ice cream or chocolate at night, I ate frozen blueberries. Now, I prefer them over junk food!
- Fast with a friend. Jacky and I kept each other accountable by sending pictures of our meals to each other. Not only does it keep you in check, it gives you ideas about what to eat for the next meal!