Time on the Daniel Fast just flew by! We broke fast at sundown on Good Friday. What’s harder to believe is it’s already been 11 days since then. Between Easter and camping with friends this past weekend, I’m just now getting around to updating you guys on how things went while fasting. I’m in awe of how much my husband, family and I have grown during our time on the fast (our teen joined us because she wanted to and the other two girls just ate healthier with all the produce in the house). God has shown us so much during the fast, and we’ve bonded even closer than before. When you tune out the distractions of the world, and focus on what’s most important….each other, then it stands to reason we’d get along much better.
We both lost weight these past 3 weeks (Hubby almost 15 pounds and I lost 8 pounds)….not hard to do when you cut out processed food, sugar, all refined flour, dairy, meat, eggs, fried foods, caffeine, etc and eat a largely plant based diet. Did you know that at least 60% of our daily intake of food should be RAW? And a huge benefit was that we also lost cravings for sugar. After the first few days, it became very easy. I’m sure the spiritual aspect played a large part of that. We were doing without for Him. And filling ourselves up with Him. Eating fell into it’s rightful place of sustaining and fueling ourselves instead of being a the focal point of our day. It was freeing!
That’s not to say I didn’t miss certain things. As I’ve been learning more about my body and food intolerances this past year, I’m learning what agrees with me and what doesn’t. I know everyone is different but I can absolutely say my body doesn’t like certain grains or beans, and that I have no issues with eggs or meat. Because of that, I didn’t eat many grains or beans while on the Daniel Fast. That certainly limited me which made me look all the more forward to when I could have eggs for breakfast again or meat with my dinner. Meat and eggs made it back into my diet now that the fast is officially over, but I’m not ready to give up another BIG benefit of the fast…..INCREASED ENERGY!! Eating mostly vegetables and fruit, and cutting out all that sugar, most grains and caffeine has given me so much energy and mental clarity that I literally feel 10 to 15 years younger. Wow!! Can’t buy that in a store….and you can imagine I’m not keen on giving that up. 😉
We also received answers in a key area I had been praying about during the fast….my husband’s health. Over the past 20 years we’ve been together, my hubby has had some big health concerns. For one…he’s quite addicted to diet soda (as in you’d be in disbelief how many he consumes a day) and two, he HATES vegetables. Let me clarify….he literally gags at the thought of eating them. He only eats lettuce, corn and potatoes. Nothing GREEN ever!! EVER!
So you can imagine it was a very BIG deal when we started drinking GREEN smoothies back in 2006. I was shocked I was actually getting spinach into his system. Of course we’re talking 1 large handful of organic baby spinach leaves blended with an abundance of fruit (3 frozen bananas, 2 cups frozen pineapples, mango, strawberries), but it was a start. If he happened to be watching me though…he’d pull out some of the spinach out if it looked to be too much. It was crazy….if you’ve ever tried a green smoothie you know you can’t taste spinach.
During the fast (on March 16th) we started watching some healthy living documentaries on Netflix instant stream. It was great to see him learning more about the horrors of the standard american diet, and also my two older girls were hanging out soaking it all in too. When he was taking my middle daughter to Praise team practice at church, my teen and I put on the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” We’d all seen it last year, but wanted to watch it again. Hubby came home while it was on and got immediately drawn in. He was saying, “ooh, this is a good one.” And this time he was watching it during the fast, and he was incredulous at how much weight Joe Cross lost and how much health he gained on his juice fast. He started wondering about juicing.
Fast forward a few weeks, and juicing has become one of the healthy living habits in our home. I can’t wait to share in an upcoming post about hubby’s breakthrough with green vegetables, and all about our new juicing lifestyle. It’s a great story, and one I can’t wait to share! If you’ve followed along on Instagram then you’ve seen pictures of our new adventure in juicing. I’ll also be dispelling misconceptions I’d had about juicing in the past. Let’s just say one thing I wasn’t aware of is juicing is primarily made of vegetables not fruit (unlike the green smoothies I’d been making).
And how are my eating habits now that the Daniel Fast is over? I’m proud to say that I’m still SUGAR-FREE! Even over the weekend camping. One other time before I had daughter #3 I’d gone 9 months without sugar but I was still using natural sugar like honey and maple syrup. This time the only sugar I’m consuming is produced naturally in foods. Will I stay off sugar forever? Of course not. It’s not practical and life is too short to not enjoy sweets or chocolate in moderation. But what I will say based on my prior experiences is, that I’m gonna ride this train as long as it lasts. The longer I’m off sugar, even natural ones….the better. I’m at the top of my 5 pound weight range goal and I want to hit the bottom of it. That means losing 5 more pounds. But more importantly to me is the ENERGY and MENTAL CLARITY I gained while off sugar and caffeine. My diet today is mainly plant based (or plant strong) with some eggs and meat added back in. I’m still off dairy and grains. And thankfully my stomach hasn’t had any issues which is another answered prayer.
In future posts I’ll be sharing about hubby’s green veg adventure, some new juicing recipes we’ve concocted, and new green smoothie recipes. I can’t wait to show off our new shiny juicer! I also have many more real food recipes to share with you, and even though I’m off dairy and grain for now (and sugar)…I have regular recipes to share incorporating those food groups. I’ll also be sharing, exploring and posting recipes that meet my new lifestyle. This blog, like my life, will continue to evolve, but will always maintain it’s focus on real whole foods, healthy living and cooking from scratch. I hope you’ll keep coming back for more….you guys make all the work maintaining this site worthwhile. Thanks for sharing in my kitchen adventures! 😉