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Guidelines & Exercising for the Daniel Fast

By Lisa Johnson

The Daniel fast is a biblically based 21-day partial fast based upon the prophet Daniel and his desire to consecrate his body to God and be closer to Him during this time. In Daniel chapters 1 and 10, Daniel’s fast included for him to eat fruits, vegetables, water, whole grains and unleavened bread. Being Jewish, he fasted according to the Jewish fasting principles of that day. Today, many Christians all over the world use this fast as a period to enter into prayer and hearing from God. Many will start at the beginning of the New Year or during the period of Lent.

Types of Foods Allowed

The Daniel fast is similar to a vegan diet with other restrictions. Anything that is grown from a seed may be eaten. This includes all fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. Quality oils may be used, including canola, olive, peanut and sesame. Other foods allowed are tofu, soy, seasonings and spices. For drinking, only water may be consumed with meals or between meals. You can eat as often as you like throughout the day.


Preparing for the 21-day fast is important not only physically but spiritually. Since artificial sweeteners, sugars and additives are not permitted on the Daniel fast, you may want to begin to eliminate those gradually from your meals five to seven days before beginning the fast. Begin to check the labels for foods in your household that may have preservatives, additives and other manmade chemicals in them. Know that these foods will not be allowed on the Daniel fast. Begin to drink more water and less sodas, juices and teas. Many Christians increase their prayer time and spend more time reading the Bible.

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Foods Not Allowed

Because the Daniel fast is a purifying type of fast, many of the foods you may now eat in your meals would not be allowed on the fast. All meat and animal products, including dairy, are not allowed. Refined sugars and processed sugar additives in foods should be eliminated during the fast as well as leavened bread and sweeteners. Since only water is allowed for drinking, carbonated beverages, coffee and teas are not permitted during the fast.


Exercise is allowed during the fast and is highly recommended by the author of "The Daniel Fast," Susan Gregory. If you exercise, include nuts, nut butter, soy-based foods, legumes and green leafy vegetables for the protein you will need. Because most people experience an improvement in their health as a benefit of the Daniel fast, exercise is recommended during and as a continual part of health maintenance. Drink plenty of pure water before, during and after exercise.

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