It’s that time of year when churches across the globe dedicate the month of January to prayer and fasting and my church is no different. But the difference in 2016 is that I have decided to not only join in but to jump in with both feet! My church does not officially start its fast until 4 January, but as I’m adopting the ‘start as you mean to go on’ theme for my year, I have taken the bull by the proverbial horns and started my fast today. Due to health conditions abstaining from food totally would not be the wisest move for me so I have opted instead for a Daniel Fast, which has probably got you asking who the **** is Daniel?
Simply put Daniel is an old testament (Bible) prophet who whilst in prison asked to be excused from eating the food and wine ordered by the king. He asked permission not to eat nothing but vegetable with water to drink for ten days. Then asked for his appearance (and that of his friends) to be compared with that of the young men who eat the royal food. Read Daniel 1:8-14 for the full story. So, a Daniel fast is eating only fruits and vegetables for a certain amount of time and abstaining from meat products. Check out www.daniel–fast.com for more information about the fast itself.
For 21 days I will not eat (that statement is important for me to hear) chocolate, added sugars, processed foods, meat, dairy, eggs or anything white and furthermore I will not drink caffeine or alcohol. It’s amazing that when you make such a declaration you suddenly have a craving for those very things. I am doing 21 days because my birthday is on the 22 and I might just want to eat chocolate 🙂
I’m on a mission, so today I had warm water with lemon juice and Muesli Bircher topped with strawberries for breakfast. Don’t worry if you have no idea what that is I didn’t either until I started to explore the different options for my breakfast. Muesli Bircher is essentially an overnight oats, seeds and fruit medley. It is the creation of Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a Swiss doctor and nutritionist, who developed it for patients at his Zurich sanatorium at the turn of the last century as a way of getting them to include more raw fruit into their diets. There are many variations on ingredients but they all have soaked oats, a range of fruit, nuts and seeds.
It is a very filling and healthy breakfast and could keep you full and off the nibbles all the way to lunch time.
You can add whatever combination you like. Here is what I chose to add to my Bircher
- Cup of rolled oats
- Handful of almonds
- 1 tablespoon of flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon of seed mix – sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts
- A sprinkle of cinnamon
- Handful of raisins
- Almond milk
- 3 strawberries for decoration
Put all ingredients in a cereal bowl big enough so that the mixture lies flat rather than is stacked high and mix thoroughly. Poor enough almond milk to cover the ingredients then put cling film over the bowl and put it in the fridge over night.
The following morning when you take off the cling film, you will notice that the oats have expanded. Depending on the size of bowl you used you can choose to either eat it all or take a portion out. I had made enough for three servings so took a portion out added more milk and cut up three strawberries and arranged them on the top. I definitely recommend this dish, easy to make and yummy and just to prove it here is my empty bowl!
For the rest of the day I had a green smoothie, sparkling water and air dried pineapple and apple crisps.
Today’s green smoothie recipe
- Handful of spinach
- Slices of frozen mango
- 1/2 avocado
Put all ingreadients into your blended and blend till it’s a nice smooth consistency and then drink or sip during the day.
I’m feeling proud of myself today and my plan for tomorrow is more Bircher for breakfast and then sweet potato soup of lunch.
See you tomorrow!