Just how bad was going vegan for twenty-one days? As someone who eats primarily Paleo, it was more than just a learning experience. I didn’t know if I could honestly get through it. But I did. I even learned that Paleo people are kind of annoying. Find out what else I learned.
What I Learned By Fasting Like Daniel For 21 Days
For those of you who have been coming to this blog for a while, you probably don’t know it but I am a practicing Christian. Within the Christian faith, fasting was done every so often as a way to surrender oneself to God and build a better relationship with Him through prayer. Fasting is depicted many times throughout the Bible but this specific fast is known as the Daniel Fast. You might recall Daniel as the guy in the Bible who wrestled with lions. More pertinent to this post, Daniel fasted a couple times. This specific fast involves, abstaining from “foods of royalty” for twenty-one days while Daniel spent time mourning.
“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” Daniel 10: 2-3.
The modern day version of the fast is essentially a Vegan diet. It’s limited to foods that are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and oils. The Daniel fast omits all animal products, dairy, flour and other refined and processed foods, alcohol, and caffeine, and all forms of sugars and sweeteners. The intent of the fast is to relinquish the savory and delicious food that we’re used to, increase prayer time, and build on the relationship with God. Instead of turning towards food and indulgence, the focus of that hunger is focused and directed towards God. For those who have done fasts in the past, you probably know exactly what I mean. For those who are spiritual and haven’t traveled down this road, I highly recommend it. In any case, here are some things I’ve learned along the course of three weeks while fasting…
What I Learned About Food From The Daniel Fast
1. Paleo People Are Kind Of Annoying About Food
Let’s be real, anyone who constantly pushes any sort of agenda can be annoying – veganists included. But man, tuning out to an entire community of people who eat meat and push meat, was kind of awesome. It was awesome not hearing how grains are horrible and how horrible legumes are and blah, blah, blah. I enjoy learning about the nutritional elements of food as much as the next obsessive nutrition person, but man, unplugging from the Paleo blogs was a
good great time.
2. I Worried Way Too Much About Food
I cared way too much about protein in the animal form. I was literally so obsessed that I would add up the grams of protein to ensure I was getting enough protein to fit my daily needs. I had to have an animal product with literally every meal. Eggs for breakfast, chicken salad for lunch, some other source of animal for dinner. If there was ever a situation that would arise that involved a meal without an animal source for protein I would get anxious. Even worse, it would drive my wife crazy! Skipping out on animal parts is NOT A BIG DEAL. And if you think it is, you need to get over it.
3. It’s Hard To Dine Out Being Vegan
Vegans, I commend your efforts. Depriving myself of animals only made me think of eating animals. For three weeks I never looked at restaurant menus the same way. Vegans, you don’t have many options while eating out. Even less options if you’re opting for anything that has to be whole grain and gluten-free.
4. I Can Get By Without Eating As Much Food
Again, I was obsessed with eating food. I was always so worried about how many calories that I was eating. I had to eat just enough to maintain my weight! By shifting my focus away from food and onto God, I actually ate less, I felt less hungry, I still had energy, and I stopped caring so much about food.
For those who have never fasted before, I strongly recommend it. There’s a lot of you out there who say, “I would never do such a thing,” or “what does food have to do with God?” Well, stop eating the foods that are in your comfort zone and find out.