For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. –Psalms 107:9
It’s that time of year again. New Year, New Me. I feel 2016 will be an interesting year. Yeah, that’s the word, “interesting”. I haven’t written any goals down as I usually do. I have memories of jotting a list of 10 resolutions down before the clock stuck 12. Then at the stroke of midnight we would all run around tearing the sheets up into bits and throw them like confetti out of our 4th floor window… while eating grapes – tradition! Well, not this year. I have the typical personal and business goals of a 30-somethings woman. However, It seems the older I become, the more I desire to grow spiritually. I yearn for a more simplistic life so that I can hear the Lord’s voice and be led by His spirit along my earthly journey.
In my social circle, making New Year’s resolutions go hand-in-hand with first of the year fasting season. I don’t normally talk about my fast while it’s underway. I consider fasting to be a personal commitment we make to God that should be kept private. However, I have only a few days left; and it has been quite the challenge to keep it secret while being a person about town in The Triangle. There have been an unusually large number of social functions lately all planned around food. Since being on my Daniel Fast, I have been invited to brunch 3 times, had 2 volunteer events, 3 dinners, a networking social, and a house warming party to attend. The first two days are always the hardest. By day 3, I no longer feel tempted while watching plates of fried chicken being passed around at venues like Soul Café 44.
For those of you that are wondering what is a Daniel fast? It is a period of time, typically 21 days, when one abstains from certain types of food in order to show your devotion to the Lord. To be very general, it’s abstinence from all alcohol, caffeine, meat and fish, sugar and other sweeteners, dairy, and any deep fried foods – also known as the typical American diet. The purpose of fasting is to strengthen your spiritual relationship with God by challenging the flesh. In this manner of self denial, you draw closer to Him through meditation, worship, and prayer asking for His strength when you are hungry or weary. God blesses those who seek His face. The Daniel Fast is both a spiritual and physical detox. If you are interested in learning more about the fast, my favorite, easy-to-read book is The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast by Kristen Feola.
Now do you see how socializing while Daniel fasting may present a challenge in keeping secrecy? Sometimes I have to skip an event when I know I will be setting myself up for temptation. This is what led me to scope out eateries in Raleigh. They are places that I can depend on to help me feel like I am indulging while not breaking my fast. Here are my top 10! I am new to the Raleigh area, so at the bottom I have included a few recommended places that I have yet to try.
- Freshii : Almost everything in here is delicious. I say almost because I’m stuck on my Pangoa Bowl. I order it with chicken, cilantro vinaigrette and quinoa instead of brown rice and spicy sauce. During the Daniel fast, I tell them to hold the cheese and chicken.
- B. Good : OMG. This place is a piece of heaven sent to North Hills. You can have a heaping bowl of delicious greens, protein and dressing or a whopping savory veggie burger that will leave you with no room or desire for mac and cheese. Everything is cooked fresh while you wait with produce and meat straight from local farms.
- Happy and Hale : Another OMG obsession of mine. This place also uses locally frown and raised food and they prepare it in front of you. I am hooked on the City of Oats smoothie and their artfully crafted Acai bowl. Neither has added sweeteners, but both taste like a dream and keep you satiated for hours.
- Panera Bread : Honestly, I did not expect to find anything Daniel fast-approved here, you know, with all the “bread”. Much to my surprise, Panera has amazing oatmeal options. They are loaded with nuts and cinnamon and granola. Don’t forget to ask them to cook it in almond or coconut milk!
When dining out with friends who are not fasting, these places have great tasting Veggie sides to appease.
- Rye Bar and Southern Kitchen: This sexy, restaurant/bar/lounge is the ultimate date spot. So if this is where you end up, just try the potatoes/sweet potatoes, cabbage slaw, or carrots. Your date can order the steak. Neither of you will be disappointed.
- Orchid Japanese : ask for the All-veggie hibachi meal with no rice. They do Hibachi right! So tasty!
Here are some healthy dining choices I’ve read about and can’t wait to try even after my fast is done.
Try these places out and let me know what you think! If you like this blog post let me know if the comments!
So I turned to the lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting. –Daniel 9:3