Guest Post: Stephanie Kile is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for helping people break the barriers of fear they may have around food and body image. She is also a member of Liquid Church's Middlesex County Campus, has been attending since 2009 and in that time has served on various Dream Teams: from Guest Connections, to leading a Small Group, and now as a part of the Prayer Team. She is a mom of 2 boys, a coffee lover to the max, and loves to bake and cook in her free time.
Hey Liquid Church! Whether this is your first time going through 21-Days of Prayer & Fasting, or you've tried a Daniel Fast in the past, we want to help you make it through the whole 21-days while still properly fueling your body. The truth is, accepting the challenge to do a Daniel Fast is going to take a bit of planning, meal prepping, and probably a longer trip to the grocery store the first time around. While 21 days may not sound like a lot, if you're not fueling your body properly, you could still feel like you're going into a "fog" - less energy, always hungry, and barely making it through the fast. But, if you take this time to make sure you are equipped and well stocked, you will be more likely to have a successful fast experience!
PREP FOR THE DANIEL FAST
So, how do you prepare? Let's first talk about how to plan a complete meal and snack. Then, we will discuss tips for meal planning and grocery shopping.
A complete meal would hit all three necessary nutrients and energy sources that you need daily: Carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Making a meal and snack to include the below nutrients will help fuel and fill you throughout the day.
- Carbohydrates: Found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Proteins: Found in legumes (beans), nuts, and seeds.
- Fats: Found in oils used for cooking, nuts and seeds, and butters made from nuts and seeds.
As you go through the Daniel Fast, you'll want to use food from each of these three nutrient groups to compose a meal and a snack. Carbohydrates provide fiber, which will help keep you full. Consuming adequate protein will help make sure you do not lose any muscle during the 21-day fast. Also, fats will help your hormones continue working properly.
Sometimes a food will count as two of these main nutrients. For example, peanut butter counts as a fat and some protein, so having a snack of apples (which is a carbohydrate) with peanut butter (a fat and protein) would be a great choice.
MEAL PLANNING WHILE FASTING
Next up, meal planning is a great tool that will help you take the guess work out of your next meal or what you have on hand for dinner. Think about it as setting yourself up for success to focus more on the purpose of this fast: Think about it as setting yourself up for success to focus more on the purpose of this fast: Keeping in mind what you are praying for or about! So, think about the meals you will be making. Maybe try cooking off a bunch of vegetables to use for the week all at once, or cut up all the produce once so you can have it ready for cooking time. You could even cook up a batch of rice or grains ahead of time, prep overnight oats for breakfast, or try making a big batch of hummus to use for snacks during the week. It will take time out of one day, but will be totally worth it during the week when you are hungry and just want to eat without all the mess and prep of cooking a big meal.
As you meal prep, you may want to pick out some easy recipes when planning your week. For breakfast, try oatmeal bakes, overnight oats, or even smoothies that you prep into individual bags. Lunches and dinners can range from grain bowls, taco salads, soups, chili, stir fries, or homemade bean burgers. Remember, herbs and spices are going to be your friend when trying to add some flavor to the veggies you will be eating every day. Also, consider trying new veggies you may not have tried before. For example, spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta if you miss your weekly pasta night. Haven’t tried the cauliflower trend yet? Now is your chance!
INGREDIENTS TO HAVE ON HAND
Last but certainly not least, here are a few pantry items that will be great to keep on hand throughout your 21-day fast. Nutritional yeast is a great “cheesy” flavoring to add to your spaghetti squash, on a taco salad or in a soup. Beyond the "cheesy" flavor, it provides some necessary Vitamin B12 that you won’t be getting when not eating meat. Jackfruit is an exotic fruit that mimics the texture and look of pulled pork when cooked with a barbeque sauce. Hemp seeds, chia seeds and flaxmeal are great pantry items to have for added protein, omegas, and fiber to mix into smoothies, oatmeal, or even for making homemade bean burgers. Mixed nuts, canned beans, nut butters, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, farro, oats, and brown rice are also helpful nourishment to keep on hand.
We want to help you experience a sense of renewal in your life as we kick-off the new year. At the end of the 21-Days of Prayer & Fasting, we believe we will hear amazing stories of the many ways that God has worked in us and through us in this season of faithfulness to Him! For additional resources, check out the links below:
- RECIPES: To check out some of Stephanie's favorite Daniel Fast meal recipes, click here.
- DEVOTIONAL: For a 21-day devotional to help guide your prayers during the fast, click here.
- MODIFIED FAST: Not going for a strict Daniel Fast this January? There are options to help you modify your fast and chose a meaningful sacrifice that makes sense for you. Click here to learn more.