I followed a Daniel Fast for the first 21 days of Lent. Here’s a link to my other posts about the fast.
Yesterday was the last day of my Daniel Fast, and I’m excited to share some of my final reflections on it.
Meal planning for the Daniel Fast was great! I ended up with lots of new recipes that will stay in my recipe binder–although I have to admit that I’ll be taking a break from them for now!
There really aren’t any convenience foods on this fast. This meant spending more time preparing and cooking, but it also meant everything was healthy. I felt great during the fast–no allergies, no headaches, no indigestion. I also slept really well. It’s definitely made me rethink some of the snacks I usually eat because they’re quick and easy. Fruit, veggies and hummus, and a reheated cup of vegetable soup are just as quick and easy, and they’re so much healthier.
The fast also forced me to slow down with what I eat for breakfast. Instead of rushing through that meal, I spent time over the weekend planning what to eat and cooking the potato and green onion frittata, and it was nice to have breakfast as a true part of my meal plan.
I’m sensitive to caffeine, so I’ve always limited my intake of it. I usually have one cup of breakfast tea in the morning. Sometimes I’ll have a very small cup of cafe’ au lait on Saturday or Sunday, and I do love the occasional Coca-Cola (the original one, preferably in a glass bottle).
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m going to cut caffeine on weekdays. Crazy, right?
When I would have breakfast tea in the morning, I would also have that mid-afternoon crash. If I had more caffeine to fight the crash, I’d have trouble falling asleep that night. If I didn’t have more caffeine, I would be a bit sluggish for the rest of the day.
Cutting caffeine meant no crash! And I was pleasantly surprised at how much energy I had, probably from all the healthy food and getting a good night’s sleep every night.
But the best part about cutting caffeine? I had much less anxiety during the day. I found that I was able to deal with little inconveniences and even big worries with much less anxiety. I never felt jumpy or irritated. Okay, I occasionally felt irritated, but that’s because I teach high school, and teenagers–as much as I love and adore them–can be irritating sometimes. ; )
I’m not a heavy drinker, but I do have a glass of wine with dinner pretty often. I think I’ll cut alcohol on weekdays, though. I slept better and was more likely to do my whole bedtime routine–including eye cream and retainers, I’ll have you know–if I skipped the glass of wine.
This will help me focus on enjoying the wine I have on weekends, too. It’ll be more of a treat to look forward to than an everyday beverage.
An Unexpected Lesson
As I said in an earlier post, I’m limiting my fast-related blogging to providing resources for people who may be considering a fast rather than blogging about the my personal spiritual experience with fasting. I do feel comfortable sharing this spiritual-related lesson, though.
Really. Just slow down. We have been given a beautiful life here on this Earth, and while it may be temporary and nothing compared to what is to come, it still offers beauty and fun and happiness and hope.
I started this blog to hold myself accountable for finding happiness and cultivating gratitude, and this fast helped me with those same goals. The lack of convenience foods, the absence of caffeine-induced frenzy, and the focus on fresh, delicious produce did mean slowing down a bit, but it was worth it. I have a newfound appreciation of what I eat and drink and how it affects how I feel, and I love it.
Well, there you have it! What questions do you have for me? Any other resources you’d like to share? Please do! I highly, highly recommend the Daniel Fast and would love to hear about others’ experiences.