by Sally Matheny
|The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast|
by Kristen Feola
When I first opened The Ultimate Guide I thought the book pertained to the Daniel Plan. The Daniel Plan focuses on the wholesome foods Daniel (of the Bible’s Old Testament) ate and why.
The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast is not the Daniel Plan. Same Daniel. Different agenda. Author and nutritional consultant, Kristen Feola presents an appetizing book for “everyone who is hungry to know the Lord in a deeper way.”
The book includes three parts: The Fast (17 pages), The Focus (27 pages), and The Food (140 pages).
After a brief introduction to what the fast is, Feola shares her own personal experiences resulting from the fast as well as the testimonies of countless others. Reading how God worked through the fasting of his people was one of my favorite parts of the book.
Feola also assists the reader during the 21-day fast by providing 21 daily devotionals. Scripture verses are included (most are NIV) as well as more references for additional reading.
Then you get to the food part—that ironically takes over half the book. But, I liked that because of what Feola offers here. At first glance, I wasn’t so sure the recipes would be to my liking. While I don’t fry foods, I’m as southern a gal as they come. My family is typical meat-and-potato eaters. Since they were not participating in the fast, my challenge was to cook something tasty for them without sabotaging my fast. Even my picky-eater enjoyed many recipes!
A list of foods to eat and foods to avoid are listed prior to some suggested meal plans. I don’t want to give away the whole content of the book so I’ll just share a few from each list. Three of the items on the “Foods to Eat” list are fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Three items off the “Foods to Avoid” list are refined and processed food, sweeteners, and meat.
There are over 100 recipes, many with full color photos. I haven’t tried them all yet, but I plan to refer to this book often because all the ones I have tried were delicious! Many of the ingredients were new to my cooking. I soon discovered how easy it is to grind oat flour and flaxseed and use them in recipes.
Recipe categories include: Breakfast, Appetizers & Snacks, Salads, Soups, Vegetables, Main Dishes, and Juices. The most surprising recipe for me was the “Date Honey.” Not the prettiest fruit to work with, but the easy recipe produced a yummy food that could be used alone or in many of the other recipes.
Nutritional stats are not listed, such as calorie and fat counts but I think perhaps that was intentional because that isn't what the fast is about.
This book is delightful and I will continue using it. The devotionals and recipes helped me, especially through the initial difficult days of the fast.
I can’t forecast what the fast will do for you. That’s an individual heart issue between you and God. I know what it did for me. There were specific areas of focused prayer during that time where I drew closer to God and received great blessings. Also, after the initial headaches from sugar and caffeine withdrawal, my body felt more energized, less sluggish. Brain fog lifted and a clearer focus settled in. Because of Feola’s tasty and filling recipes, I almost felt guilty, as if I had not suffered enough for it to be considered a fast.
"Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled."