Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Daniel Fast - Is It God's Perfect Eating Plan?

The Daniel Fast is gaining in popularity with Christian believers and fans of Rick Warren.

Currently I am reading/praying/meditating through the Transformation series by Warren, and see that the Daniel Fast is mentioned in week 2. It is being highly recommended as the next small group focus. I am always skeptical of diets - South Beach, Paleo, WW, you name it...and now, the Daniel Plan is brought to my attention.

Three years ago I asked God to direct me in regaining my health, which I did, having lost 80 lbs and maintained, and reversed a number of health concerns. My goal was to restore the Temple of the Spirit, and honor God with my body and choices as a steward of His property. I called it the "Temple Restoration Project", and was successful - becasue God was with me on the journey. It was He who helped me resist temptation. It was He who filled my head with knowledge, helping me to discern fads from long term healthy living choices. It is He who I am able to please, with my own heatlh restored, as I serve others who struggle and sincerely desire to restore their earthly temple for the Indwelling.

 During my journey, which has been continual since 2010, I have read a lot on cancer prevention and foods to avoid, which was just as important as weight loss for me. My husband has also joined me on my health journey. We are  a Rx and OTC free household now, and have been for years - using God's medicines - which is whole food nutrition based on plants. Because of our health we save a lot of money on what we previously may have spent on Rx, OTC, doctor visits - it pays off to shop the perimeter of the grocery store and also compare prices. It may require sacrifice - fewer DVDs purchased or movies. Ask yourself, what is your health priority?

I have NO DOUBT that people will lose weight in their 30 day challenges, or diet plans - because one is making a conscience effort to restrict their diet, caloric intake, thereby losing weight. With or without special supplements, you are going to lose weight.  The BIG question is...will you keep it off? Is the plan you are incorporating a plan that can become a lifestyle ...a habit?

Can you eat Paleo for the rest of your life and live healthily? I question those that incorporate a lot of meat into their daily consumption. Even organic, animal foods are acidic based.  Sure, you will lose weight, have muscle mass...but what is going on in your body on a cellular level? Iron toxicity is real, and builds up in the body...and studies are linking iron toxicity to breast cancer. A primarily meat-eating diet may not manifest until you are in your 60s.  At least Paleons promote organic choices, which is wise.

In reviewing the Daniel Fast....on line recipes, the second one I looked at, contained canola oil, which is a red flag for me. It is not only processed, but genetically modified.  We did not have GMO foods back in the days of Daniel. Whole wheat is listed in a flat bread recipe? Organic? It would be better to list Spelt, a wheat that can be traced back to biblical times - prior to the GMO introduction into our food chain in 1983.

Several foods on the Daniel approved list concern me - in particular soy, whole grains containing gluten, which can cause sensitivities and contribute to health issues and often do not manifest as full blown allergies.
Canola oil, an unhealthy oil (it has been hyped as healthy to create a market for the crop), is listed in a recipe. Canola is an Omega 6 (our ratio of heart healthy O3 to O6 is greatly skewed in this country), it is a heavily genetically modified crop, and the process to make canola oil is far from healthy. Using canola oil does not avoid the chemicals in the food, and avoiding chemicals is a part of the Daniel plan.

We utilize only organic coconut oil and EVOO in our kitchen. If we do use sesame or seed/nut oils they should be freshly ground to avoid free radicals from developing.

Organic fermented soy should be limited to twice weekly as it is naturally high in glutamates, and contributes to thyroid issues and hormonal imbalances. It is also being linked to having an affect on memory as one ages, due to glutamates which build up  as an "excitotoxiin" in the brain, per Dr. Russell Blaylock..

Corn - another major GMO food. Our son is an example of the difference non-GMO can make. We eat pretty clean - and he is 16. Sixteen year old boys eat a lot - so corn chips are gluten free and relatively inexpensive. His acne was prevalent however. I read about the effects of GMO on the skin. We switch to ogranic corn chips and the his skin cleared up dramatically. If teh store runs out of organic (which they do) - the acne worsens.

Canned vegetables are also in Daniel Fast recipes - which may contain aluminum - especially acidic vegetables. I highly recommend buying  canned foods in glass jars whenever possible, tomatoes in particular.

I see that the list is being edited, and I would encourage Daniel Fast writers to look into these concerns and consider altering the approved food list.

For those who need a quality vegan protein powder during the Daniel Fast - I use one that is completely balanced and pure, ie free of trace metals. Because it is cold processed - it is also NOT exposed to the harsh chemicals that protein isolates are usually subjected to in the manufacturing process.  It is gluten, dairy, soy free, AND low glycemic. Quality exists, but it is hard to find. If you click on the orange 5 box" at upper right of my blog it will take you to the site from which we order our vegan protein powder. Feel free to ask questions...a comparison to other proteins (both cost and ingredients is available) and most people choose to shop at discounts. I may consider sending a sample if asked.

There is no doubt in my mind, that the Daniel Fast is a fast of discipline and obedience to the Lord. In that regard - it is a faith based, grounded plan.  Having the Lord join me in my own journey made all the difference in the world between success and failure. Pray earnestly, ask Satan to get behind you when tempted... allow the Spirit to work in you and give you discernment for healthy choices so that you can restore His temple.

All the best to everyone participating in the Daniel Fast - even though I would alter the plan for my personal concerns - any step you make towards incorporating an alkaline based diet will go a long ways to reducing body inflammation and helpiing you become more healthy so you can have the energy to carry out God's purpose in your life.

To your health,
Rita S.

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