full story, comments, photos:
The Diet From God, by Olga Khazan, 11/26/2012
The Daniel fast is growing in popularity, often prompted by
Christians' desire for a deeper form of prayer. Many are reporting
lasting physical benefits, too.
"Daniel 1:8 states: "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would
not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the
wine which he drank..."
"Daniel said he and his friends would eat a diet of only vegetables
("pulse"). After 10 days, they grew healthier and stronger than the
Babylonians, and his diet became a small demonstration of his
opposition to the King's power.
"This passage is occasionally used to encourage Christians to resist
the corrupting influences of the outside world. But several years ago,
some Protestant churches began to take the "diet" aspect of Daniel's
"Motivated by both faith and fitness, today many protestant Christians
around the country are, like Daniel, occasionally limiting themselves
to fruits and vegetables for 21-day increments. Several such believers
told The Atlantic that while their intention for the initial fast was
simply to enter a period of Lent-like self-denial in deference to
their Lord, they have since found that the fast broke a life-long
pattern of unhealthy eating and seems to have set them on a course
toward better nutrition even after the 21 days ended. Now, a
longer-term version of the Daniel fast is being promoted by the
California-based Saddleback Church, the seventh-largest church in the
"In 2012, 48 percent of Americans described themselves as Protestant.
In 2005, 58 percent of the South and 44 percent of the Midwest
described themselves as born-again or evangelical. If the Daniel trend
takes root, it has the potential to reshape the eating habits of huge
swaths of the American Christian population, who some studies show are
more likely to become obese than their secular peers"