Hi! Happy Hump-day! Hopefully this post will be your much-needed mid-week boost. I want to share a quick update on my week one of the Daniel Fast. Hopefully there will be some tips for you too, from what to eat to why it is important to do this with support rather than alone. Here goes…
Mind & Spirit – How have I grown mentally and in my walk with Christ?
Week One of the Daniel Fast has been incredibly challenging, but this unexpected level of difficulty has pushed me to rely on God even further. I am still dealing with a supremely hectic lifestyle; every week I say, next week will be quieter, and each week Monday begins with meetings, tutoring, extra work and contracts, and a little bit of me-time squeezed so tight I can hardly breathe or think!
I am praying and scheduling my diary in such a way that future weeks will provide me with more time for reflection, family (to visit my Gran more often, for example) and to work on projects I am passionate about, such as AMPLIFY which is constantly being pushed to the back-burner.
Body – What have I been eating?
On my first day, I consumed 1,450 calories and therefore had a calorie deficit despite eating 211g of carbohydrates, 40g of fat, 60g of protein and 68g of sugars. It is tough to remember what to cook, what is filling and what is not, and how much food will be enough for each day, but I am finally getting the hang of it again! It is particularly tough when eating out to find something deliciously satisfying! But, I’ve visited a few restaurants this past week with friends and on my work placement that get the thumbs up from me… (here and future posts)
On the second day, I consumed 1,835 calories, 228g carbs, 68g fat, 74g protein and 53g sugars.
I think this ability to rotate calories consumed based on amount of energy exerted during the day can really help you to maintain a healthy body weight and composition. ‘Carb-cycling’ is another name for this term if you, like me, count carbs/fats/proteins rather than calories. I purposely reduce the number of carbs or the type of carbs I eat dependent upon the level of intensity of each day. For example, on a low intensity day, I may choose to replace starchy veg and grains with more fibrous veg to reduce carb-intake, yet ensure I am still satiated because of the fibrous content of the veg. (If you would like a list of the various food type options and a full Daniel Fast meal-plan, click here.)
Protein – how much is enough?
Day three is an example of a lower-carb day (150g carbs & 1,450 calories). You will notice that my main challenge during the Daniel Fast is being able to get my usual amount of protein each day. Nutritionists suggest you should eat 1-2 x your body weight (kg) in protein (g) per day. Therefore, my target is 72-144g per day, but my realistic aim is between 70-100g of protein per day. You can achieve your target by supplementing your diet with 1-2 daily protein shakes using veg-protein such as pea-protein, soy-protein or hemp-protein. But generally, during these three weeks I am content to under-eat on protein because I did not suffer any adverse effects on previous occasions following this Fast.
Heart – Relationships
One wonderful aspect of the Daniel Fast is being a part of a family of believers engaging in the same thing at the same time. This year, I am alone on the Daniel Fast, but I am encouraged nonetheless by my friends who support me in it and also by the knowledge I am standing alongside my church in Phoenix, who first introduced this Fast to me in the first place!
How is your Daniel Fast going? Are you measuring your growth across the four key areas – body, heart, mind and spirit?