Even though I have been a Christian all my life, I have never engaged in fasting before. I decided to take on the Daniel Fast after hearing about it from several people who attend my church. I found the book to be incredibly informative about what a fast is and the reasons behind the act of fasting. Susan Gregory offers several different approaches on how to implement the Daniel Fast and also has free online resources on her website.
In essence, the Daniel Fast is a vegan diet - no meat, animal by-products, processed foods, leavened breads, caffeine, etc. The only beverage allowed is water. The typical length of a Daniel Fast is 21 days, but can be shortened or extended. The “diet” is very restrictive and definitely takes discipline, but I found that completing the fast wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The recipes in the book were very good and fairly easy to make. Many of them made several servings and could be frozen, which meant that it was not necessary to “cook” every day. The hardest part for me was going without my morning coffee.
I was hoping to get a few things out of my fast. First, I was looking for a way to grow my prayer life. Prayer is not something that comes naturally to me and I knew that I would need to pray a lot to get through this experience. Secondly, I was looking for a way to detox my body and get back on track with my healthy eating and exercise goals. Overall, I accomplished my goals and experienced some great health benefits from fasting (namely a 10 pound weight loss!). The only thing that I wish was better developed was the daily devotionals in the book. I was hoping for more guided reflection.
If you are new to fasting, I would recommend this book as a good place to start.