Day 616: Seven-Day Daniel Fast

seven day daniel fast

Tomorrow I start another seven-day Daniel Fast! Several of you joined in for the Four-Day Daniel Fast and I know that it was as eye opening to a lot of you as it was to me. It was the first time that I had felt that freedom from food in months.

Honestly, I’m not sure why I don’t make mine a Rest-Of-My-Life Daniel Fast. Honestly, I think that God is working on me with that one with the whole “shoulda done a LIFEstyle change instead of a YEARlong change”. But hey… that’s why this is a journey, right?

Here is, admittedly, a copy-paste of the information from the Four-Day Daniel Fast

If you are still more curious about a Daniel Fast, here is a website that I used the first couple of times I did one. And danielplan.com is also a great resource if you click on Food and go to recipes! Now, I will say this: I think that there are different “levels” of Daniel Fasting.

- Daniel Fast: veggies, fruits, nuts, and water (I’m doing this one this week…. Oh, and I consider beans as veggies)
- Organic Daniel Fast: all of the above using organic produce
- Flexible Daniel Fast: all of the above and then add any or all of these items: breads, pastas, beans, rice, coffee, tea, cheese, eggs, fish (this is the one that I do usually)
- Specific Fast: if you are aware of your area of weakness (aka: addiction) then you can fast from only that, e.g. fast from sugar or fast from snackies like chips

Now one note: I don’t worry about salad dressings or sauces… I just include them and don’t worry about their ingredients. It’s already a big sacrifice for me to cut out rice, pasta, bread, cheese, and fish that I’m getting the spiritual message here without leaving out the sauces. Plus, like I said, I can still feed my family this way!

As far as menus go, I’m going to follow a lot of the same things from the four-day Daniel Fast and just mix it up a little bit. After all, it’s been almost two months since we did it and so I think that a lot of the recipes could easily be repeated again.

Day One

  • Breakfast: fruit smoothie: take any fruit you want and blend it using water as the liquifier. I usually combine a handful of frozen blueberries, six or seven strawberries, a frozen banana that’s already been sliced, four or five inch frozen mango slices, and four or five inch frozen pineapple slices. I use a Ninja… and it makes a yummy smoothie. If you don’t have frozen, then just incorporate some ice!
  • Lunch: salad with carrots, celery, tomatoes, red bell pepper, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds and dressing
  • Dinner: Caribbean Black Beans , fruit bowl, side salad
    • you can have these with rice if you are choosing to do a fast that includes grains
    • If you have someone in your family that is not fasting with you, then you can throw in some ham at the end after you’ve pulled out the ham-less version for yourself

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

  • Breakfast: Just found these! Almond Butter Bites (it’s on the first page of the link)
  • Lunch: Veggie Lettuce Wrap: Large “sheets” of romaine with avocado, shredded carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, diced red bell pepper, sunflower seeds,
  • Dinner: Black Bean Soup (this is, by far, one of my favorite recipes of all time!) We don’t eat anything else with it, but I’m sure any side that would be good with enchiladas would be great with this too!

Day Five

Day Six

  • Breakfast: Granola with Almond, Coconut, or Rice milk
  • Lunch: We really haven’t had too much salad so far, so let’s have one for lunch today! Here’s a bit of a guide for a super yummo salad! Build a Perfect Salad
  • Dinner: Mexican Baked Potatoes… these are really, really, really yummy! Even my hard-work-farming father-in-law is a fan!

Day Seven

  • Breakfast: Let’s have the rest of our Almond Butter Bites (it’s on the first page of the link)
  • Lunch: Easy Rice and Beans
  • Dinner: Veggie Tacos (I’m actually going to post this one tomorrow… but super easy, all you’ll need are tortillas, lettuce, avocados, mushrooms, bell peppers, and tomatoes… sour cream and cheese if you are eating dairy)

And, of course, it’s not about the food but about what your heart and mind are doing while you are not eating, while your are cooking, while you are eating, and when you have finished. We are focusing on the One.

Day 609: Keep Your Head Up

just keep swimming

You know, I’m not a huge fan of working out.

And by “not a huge fan”, I mean… I don’t like to work out.

Which sorta aggravated my hip condition because all of my hip muscles got super weak and so I’ve had to deal with some pretty hefty pain for the past two years. So, I learned my lesson: stretch and do some form of work out.

But of course, I learned that lesson, like, about a year ago… annnnnnd never got a gym membership to go work out. I did yoga at home (still love that) but I needed something to really get my heart pumping a bit more because I’m not at that point yet in yoga where I can do the cardio-type yoga.

Okay, I’m rambling.

So, I have recently started swimming at a local gym (thanks to my hubs, Mr. Chord Dice).

And I have already gotten a GOOD spiritual lesson out of it!

In swimming, just like the other sports, form can really help you get more out of the workout, and I had really been feeling sorta like something was wrong with my swim stroke. So I looked it up on what Jon Acuff calls “the internets” and found an article on Active.com that had some suggestions.

Number one tip: Keep your head up.

I totally figured that it would be something more akin to my arm position or how I kicked my legs, but no… keep your head up. The article says, “Look forward, with your hairline cresting the surface of the water in front of you” otherwise “if you bury your head into your chest, it will serve as a 25-pound form of resistance.”

Now, this post is not all about swimming position, but gosh… WHAT. A. PARALLEL. for all of us.

As I just skimmed through the water after reading that I was amazed at the different in my swim. And I think that our life is just like that. We, oftentimes, bury our face down into our SELVES and act as our own form of resistance.

I think that I’ve been doing that for MONTHS. Focusing on why I wasn’t losing weight, on what MY body looked like, how how MY clothes didn’t fit the same, on what I could or could not eat.

All of this focus was all on me. all on my weight. all on me. me. me.

I have been acting as my own form of resistance.

But when I lift my head up and focus on where I am going and Who I am following, then I practically skim through my days.

And one more parallel while we’re at it. There is also the line down the center of each swim lane. A big, thick, dark blue line that acts as a guide for me so that I don’t swim off course. Well, when I am looking straight down in the pool I just see a bit of this line and it makes the lane seem endlessssssssss… I would often think, “How LONG is this swim lane?!?!?!” But when I can look up, I see the end of the lane so much more clearly and it’s actually easier to stay on course.

Again… wow. When I look UP to Him instead of where I am at that very moment then it is easier to see that it’s not all about where I am at that very moment but where He and I are going.

Gosh, I don’t know if this will speak to anyone but it was just a huge reveleation, renewal, restart for me! I can say to myself over and over again throughout the trials and tribulations of the day, during the pull and temptation of food… Keep Your Head Up, January! Focus on Him and on where You are going! And it just… changes my persepctive. Doesn’t always change the fact that I’m only halfway down the “lane” and I’m exhausted, but it does make me remember that He is taking me somewhere… I have to, in the words of Dorrie, “just keep swimming.”

Day 604: Peace Out

peace and faith

I’ve talked about her before.

The woman who had been bleeding for twelve years.

I mean… the story has always grabbed me. It’s just so… me.

Although I haven’t been bleeding for twelve years… I’ve been EATING for 34 years.

And really, I started to write a whole new post about this, but then when I reread my post from Day Seventy-Eight, it was still just so… perfect for now, so I’m not sure if this is breaking some kind of “blogger rule” but I’m just going to copy paste it here…

Day Seventy-Eight: G.I.P.

My favorite miracle has always been the woman in Mark 5 who had been bleeding for years. She had suffered… for twelve. years.

And I know that some people have already heard this about her and the background around her, but just in case someone had missed it… not only had this woman been suffering physically, but she had also been suffering socially. A woman that was bleeding was considered “unclean” (for obvious reasons) and was not allowed into the community. For most women this would only last a week or so but this woman had not been allowed into her community, her church, possibly even her family for twelve years.

There are so many different lessons that this one woman can teach, but more than anything I just like to identify with this woman…

A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But he kept on looking around to see who had done it.

Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

I find a connection with her for two reasons:

1) The woman had tried all the ways of the world to be healed and had gotten worse. Not only was she suffering physically, socially, but now she was also suffering financially… and had gotten worse. I identify with this when I think of the money I spent on “good for you food” that wasn’t that good for you… on SlimFast (yeah, remember what a waste that was for me?)… on pills… teas… herbs… exercise equipment… you name it, I probably bought it. And yet, at the beginning of this covenant I was worse off than I had ever been… eating a mixing bowl full of cookie dough.

But I suppose that is what drove her to go to Jesus. She had nothing… literally, nothing… to lose. An unclean woman touching a rabbi could have gotten her in some big trouble. And she would have made Jesus unclean as well. But all she wanted was healing. All I wanted was healing. And I had nothing to lose by going this way with Jesus. By allowing Him to “clean me up”.

2) She was healed and her suffering was over. Even though I am already beginning to feel the relief of healing of my addiction, I’m sure that it doesn’t even compare to the relief that she must have felt. But to hear Jesus say the words, “Your suffering is over.”

Over. Done. Gone. Forgotten. Closed. Completed. Ended. Finished. Past.

And I like to imagine her as the crowd’s attention, and Jesus’s attention, was turned toward Jairus because his messengers arrived telling him that his daughter had died… I imagine her still on her knees. Watching as the crowd walked away. Watching as Jesus walked away. I imagine that it must have been like seeing the world for the first time in 12 years… seeing that it could be full of hope. full of beauty. full of peace. full of relief.

And then I see myself in such the same way. Jesus has ended my suffering. He has ended my slavery to this lust for food. And now, because I am healed. Because I am no longer suffering, then I can… Go. In. Peace.

 

Day 603: Hope Does Not Wear Feathers

emily dickinson hope is a thing with feathers

My friend Jennifer has told me time and time again over these past few months to “not beat myself up” whenever I’d make a mistake, or get beat down, or lose hope.

Honestly… I was always thinking, like, “What do you MEAN not beat myself up? How can I NOT beat myself up? I’m totally messing up, screwing up, ruining everything! It’s all going downhill… of COURSE, I’m going to beat myself up!”

And yes, that’s a lot of capitals… I save them for when I really need them.

But that’s how I was thinking.

No hope.

But just focusing on freedom yesterday, and then on hope today on facebook and twitter… well, it’s awesome how it has already begun to infuse… yep, hope into my every moment.

I found myself saying earlier today, “Wow… I’m, like… happy today!” But then the more that I thought about it I realized, “No, I’m hopeful. Things seem to be looking up… I can feel a change, a bright future, something new!” And it was just because of that changing my attitude from that of focusing on my sin and my failures to instead focusing on my freedom and my hope.

Because He IS my hope.

He is OUR hope!

And although my fav, Emily Dickinson, wrote a cool poem about hope (Hope is a thing with feathers)… when we find our hope in God, hope ISN’T just a thing with feathers. Hope is real. Hope is something you can take to the bank. Because our hope in Him… well, it’s got His Promise for freedom attached to it!

I would like to encourage you to be friends with me on facebook or on twitter… because I’m just trying to refocus us all toward freedom and hope… and who knows what it’ll be tomorrow, but I’m hopeful (hehe) that it’ll be just as uplifting and it’ll keep drawing us to Christ!

Day 602: Free To Be Free

 

if the son sets you free

Freedom.

I wrote a bunch of facebook posts and tweets about our freedom in Christ today.

I wrote them for you guys.

But gosh, they blessed me.

Cause I don’t know how many times I started to take a bite of something that was not AS good for me… only to stop because I was free to NOT do that. I could remember over and over again that I have been FREED from sin. I have been FREED from fear. I have been FREED from slavery to food.

It’s just nice to say something positive to yourself every once in a while when it comes to food.

You are free to have a handful of chocolate chips January, or you are free to have a handful of grapes. Really… it IS up to you. No one else is in control of your choice. God has given you the freedom to choose.

Gosh… there is just something powerful in what He has done for us. By letting me go to make my own choices, when I really, REALLY focused on my freedom to choose… well, it led me to chose what I really, truly wanted… Him.

To honor Him. To love Him. To glorify Him.

Sure is good to be free.

 

Side note: I’m officially on my own webpage and off of my freebie site, but that is just about it! Please don’t take ANY time to look at it because all we have done is migrate it over to here! I promise I’ll try to make it look more and more fancy as the weeks go by, but be patient with me! This is a whole new arena!