Daniel is an old testament prophet most known for being thrown into the lion’s den and coming out unscathed. There are two fasts mentioned in his book offering specifics about what was and what was not eaten. These are often resorted to when a person is in desperate need of an answer or direction. The first fast was to avoid eating foods offered to idols, because Daniel was residing in the King’s house in Babylon. The second fast was a time of prayer when he mourned for the condition of his people, Israel, and desired direction.

Daniel’s Diet in the King’s House

FilA Mignon

The first fast was for Daniel and his companions to eat their meals with a clean conscience. The first chapter of Daniel, verse eight, describes his refusal to defile himself with wine or meat, and his request to be fed only water and pulse. Pulse means anything sown in the ground such as herbs, fruits, rice, lentils, and root vegetables.

The Outcome of the First Fast

Milk Bottle, Glass of Milk, Cheese, Butter and a Spoon

Practicing Jews and Christians are allowed to eat meat and consume wine, but not food they are aware is sacrificed to idols. Although boring, pulse is basically vegan. Daniel and his companions were unaffected by having eaten no meat, wine, or dairy for ten days, and rather appeared more healthy than those who ate the rich foods supplied to residents of the King’s palace.

Daniel’s Fast for Deliverance and Direction

Loaf of bread

This fast was a time of mourning for three full weeks, chronicled in the tenth chapter of the book of Daniel. The foods not eaten are notable in this fast. Daniel states that he ate no pleasant bread, no flesh or wine and he did not anoint himself with oil. Daniel’s prayer in the ninth chapter gives an overview of what he was asking.

What Daniel’s Fast for Deliverance Consisted Of

close-up of an array of fresh vegetables and fruit

Anyone wanting to do this fast should be prepared to eat this way for three weeks and should understand from the first fast that anything sown in the ground is okay to eat. Vegetables, potatoes, organic brown and wild rice--read the label, nothing processed is allowed. Wheat barley, is allowed, all spices, and fresh lemon and lime juice. Organic coffee under this rule is allowed and unpasteurized honey. Pure soybean products could be included, since soybeans grow in the ground.

What Not to Eat on the Daniel Fast

Variety of bread in basket, high angle view

Avoid bread of all kinds, nothing fermented or processed, no refined foods, or sugars. Daniel said no wine, which includes all alcohol and no vinegar or soy sauce--use lemon or lime instead. No dairy, is allowed because it does not come from seed.

Tips for Fasting

olive oil

To get the most nutrition out of the foods allowed, roast the vegetables with pure extra virgin olive oil, lemon, honey, and various fresh spices (read the label, no MSG or other additives, keep it simple). Keep the rice cooked and on hand because you will feel hungry since vegetables and fruit digest and leave your system quickly. If a juicer is available, go to the local fruit and vegetable stand early in the day, buy the marked down tomatoes, celery, carrots, and old fruit, and make your own health drinks.

Fasting without praying is called a diet. Don't expect to lose much weight on this fast. The purpose for fasting is to move the heart of the God of Israel by denying the body of things that are desirable in this world, and drawing closer to Him. Prayer is a key component and accompanies every known fast in God’s word. The result of this fast was, Daniel encountered God Himself, who gave revelation of future events.