If you’re thinking of embarking on a 21-day Daniel Fast, you’ll need to make sure that your pantry and refrigerator are stocked with the right items – and that doesn’t mean deprivation. With this comprehensive list, you will have everything you need to start off your fast with success.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of the Daniel Fast diet, so make sure to have plenty on hand. Choose the freshest produce you can find, such as apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, pears, avocado, carrots, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, and spinach. To get your 21-day Daniel Fast off to a healthy start stock up on these nutrient-rich snack food items.
The Daniel Fast is often a vegan diet, so make sure that any legumes, nuts, and grains are 100% vegan. While legumes, such as kidney beans and lentils, should play a big role in your diet when on the fast, you should also consider adding some other plant-based sources of protein to keep your energy levels up. Things like tofu and tempeh are both versatile and loaded with essential amino acids to help boost your energy during the fast. As for nuts and seeds, things like almonds, walnuts, pecans, and chia seeds can add a nice crunch to salads or smoothies.
Whole Grains, Legumes, Seeds, and Nuts
Be sure to incorporate plenty of legumes, whole grains, seeds, and nuts into your diet; these are nutrient-rich, complex carbohydrates that provide energy and are very filling. Common grains include quinoa, brown rice, oats, barley and millet. For added vitamins and minerals try incorporating walnuts, hazelnuts sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Legumes can also be added to soups, salads, or stews; popular choices are kidney beans, lima beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), lentils and black-eyed peas. For vegan proteins opt for edamame or tofu.
Get creative with the combinations and don’t forget to pair with healthy sources of fat such as avocado, olives, and nuts & seeds that are rich in healthy omega 3s. Finally, for additional nutrition and tenderness opt for whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat couscous which also offer more dietary fiber.
Herbs and Spices
To make sure that your meals are full of flavor during your fast, stock up on a variety of herbs and spices. These not only provide flavor to your dishes, but several studies show that common spices can help reduce inflammation and lower the risk for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Common herbs to add are rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, and cilantro. Try paprika (digestive aid) bay leaves (antioxidant), cinnamon (cancer-fighting) or ginger (inflammation fighter). The list goes on! Experiment with different blends and seasonings to find what you like best!
For example, Black Pepper is an anti-carcinogenic, turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory spice, and ginger has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Using herbs and spices in your cooking can make eating during the fast much more exciting and delicious! Not to mention that adding them can help provide essential nutrients for maintaining health as you fast. Try different combinations of seasonings like herbs, spices, sea salt, vinegar, or even hot sauce – anything to keep classic recipes from becoming boring. Have fun with it and enjoy the flavors!
Healthy Oils (Olive Oil, Flaxseed Oil)
While your body requires healthy fats to stay nourished, it’s often hard to find cooking oils without added sugars or preservatives. But the good news is that you can add flavor and nutrition to your Daniel Fast with a few select choices. Olive oil is considered to be one of the healthiest cooking oils, filled with vitamins and antioxidants. Sub in olive oil for any recipe as a healthier alternative. Flaxseed oil, too, is great for baking due to its slightly nutty taste and salty aroma. Add it to salad dressings for an extra Omega 3 punch!
Not only are these healthy oils a welcome addition to any recipe, but they can also help you make sure that you get all the proper nutrition your body needs during your Daniel Fast. The monounsaturated fatty acids in olive oil help keep cholesterol levels low, while flaxseed oil is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Use about a tablespoon of either oil per serving size to ensure that your recipes come out perfectly seasoned — and with an extra helping of healthy fats.
Specialty Items (Dried Beans or Lentils)
While many of the items on the staple shopping list for your Daniel Fast will be found in most groceries, there are some specialty items that may need to be sought out from special stores. Buy a variety of dried beans — such as peas, garbanzo, and pinto — to use in meals throughout your fast. Additionally, lentils can be added to many recipes for extra protein, vitamins, and minerals. Be creative with these ingredients and slowly incorporate them into your diet to get used to their flavor and texture.
According to the Bible, when Daniel and his friends were fasting, they ate vegetables and legumes, so dried beans and lentils ate great items to have on your kitchen shelf during a Daniel Fast. Beans are high in fiber as well as minerals like iron; lentils offer manganese for cell protection, zinc for growth and repair, and B vitamins which help your body fight off infections. Incorporate these into soups, stews, salads, or rice dishes for added flavor; choose low-sodium canned beans if you don’t have time to cook from scratch.