How I changed the way I think about food PERMANENTLY!

This June, during Ramadan, I decided to take a closer look at myself holistically.  Everyone around me was fasting, so I thought it would be the perfect time for me to do so as well. I made a commitment to complete the Daniel’s Fast, a 21 day Christian based fast. Although I have done this fast before, I wanted to approach it in a different way. I wanted the spiritual benefits AND the health benefits. So I did a little research and found the strictest version that I could follow.  The one that would lead me the most beneficial results.

Not a big salad girl but sometimes I experiement with making different kinds of salads! Food is fun!

Daniel’s Fast Outline

The Daniel’s Fast is a biblically based partial fast referenced in the Bible. It is a partial fast because you can eat throughout the day, but what you eat is restricted. The fast is generally done for 21 days. Along with the fast, you should have extended prayer time and restrict some normal activities. Let’s talk about what you eat or what you don’t eat!

I think it’s easier to list the things that I DID allow myself to eat. Let’s take a look….

  • All fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables ( No dried or canned)

  • Brown rice, quinoa and oats (No whole wheat, pastas,etc.)

  • All nuts and seeds

  • All dried legumes

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Water

  • Seasonings, herbs, spices and SEA salt

I eliminated all meat and meat products, deep fried foods, dairy, sweeteners, bread, processed foods, solid fats, hearbal teas, carbonated beverages, and alcohol.

The Process

So, during this fast I increased my prayer time and decreased social interactions both physically and electronically. This was a time to grow spiritually and focus on my health and well being. 1 year ago I became a minimalist and I recently started researching the Danish “Hygge” lifestyle. So I used this time to reflect on that as well. I will tell you more about the both of those in another blog.

One thing I did different during this fast is experiement with different receipes! I wanted to find dishes that I could enjoy and have fun preparing. I wanted to make sure I didn’t become bored with eating because that would make it easier to cheat! I wanted to change the way I thought about food permanently.

I was a BEAST! I have to pat myself on the back for sticking to this like my life depended on it! Wait, it kinda did! Ha! Here are a few tips I used to get me through this like a champ!

1.) I NEVER ate out. Not one time in 21 days. I had to know exactly what was going in my food and how it was being prepared.

2.) I ALWAYS thought about what I was going to eat at least one to two days ahead. Most times, 1 week in advance. This included snacks.

3.) I used fruit to kill my sweet tooth! I love sweets! Especially after I eat a meal. Fruit was my savior and I also ate a handful of raisins sometimes.

I had a very successful 21 days. I lost 20 pounds. 10-15 in the first 10 days. I was sharp. I had a lot of energy. I slept better. I heard from God much clearer. I was more patient. I was more disciplined. I was definitely a better version of myself. YAY ME!

How I have changed

I’m no stranger to clean eating. Before I left the states, about 50% of the meals I cooked at home were vegeterian. I shopped at my local farmer’s markets and I even started growing a few of my own vegetables and herbs. I discovered this book by Alicia Silver stone called The Kind Diet . This book changed my life! She does a wonderful job breaking down the clean eating lifestyle. She doesn’t condemn but instead gives you FACTS on the reality of food choices. She also offers support and sugggestions for the different levels each person is at in this journey. It is beautifully written and has lots of amazing receipes!  I would reccomend this book to anyone serious about changing the way you eat. It will give you many things to consider and offer help along the way. She also has a blog called  The Kind Life . Another wonderful resource! Please check her out!

I love the feeling of eating clean and I enjoy shopping for beautiful fruits and vegetables. The thing I have become to realize is that many of the foods I was choosing to eat made me feel like crap and made me look like crap. Yet, I still chose to eat them. Why? Instant gratification. That feeling of satisfaction in the moment. What’s sad is, it doesn’t make sense to continue to choose what doesn’t make me feel good in the future. I want to live a healthy and guilt free life. Now and Later! (lol) So I found that I can still have some of the things I really enjoy that may not be the best for me. I just greatly reduce them. (Portions and frequency)  I can also substitute non-healthy ingredients for healthy ingredients and still enjoy the same dishes.  Here is a list of things I do differently now!

This is one of my favorite breakfast meals. It can also be used as a dessert! It’s delicious. I split a banana, then topped it with peanut butter granola and frozen mixed berries. I drizzle a little honey and chia seeds for extra protein on top! Yum!

1.) I only cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. No exceptions. That’s right folks NO BUTTER! There are other good quality oils you can use. Do a little research to find what best suits you.

2.) Condiments are a pure luxury and almost always get eliminated. This also keeps me from eating foods that are not favorable.

3.) I don’t buy canned and processed foods. Now, I might have a cookie or something of that sort but it’s not something I buy a package of and keep at home.

4.) My breakfast looks like my lunch and dinner! I eat vegetables, brown rice, potatoes, etc. It’s delicious and I’m more satisified.

5.) Cheese and bread are rare. I have just found dairy and bread to be terrible. Especially when it comes to fighting belly fat. Make no mistake, I LOVE these two things. So yes, I still have them. I just greatly reduce them.

6.) I stay away from most beverages outside of water and tea.

7.) I am up to about 75% meatless meals! Not sure if I will eliminate meat all together but I certainly don’t want to eat it every meal or even everyday. I love the way I feel when I don’t eat it.

All in all I am just more aware of what I eat. I think about everything I put in my mouth and how it will affect my body. I want to have a good quality of life while I am here. Do what works for you! This is no competition but the application of knowledge is power. So whatever you choose, commit to it. Know the facts and enjoy life!



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