F A S T I N G
The goal of fasting is to draw nearer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives. Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, your options, and, most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.
T Y P E S O F F A S T S
This fast calls for drinking only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.
This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, or bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.
This fast is sometimes called the Jewish Fast and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.
This fast is common for those who do not have much experience fasting food, who have health issues that prevent them from fasting food, or who wish to refocus certain areas of their life that are out of balance. For instance, someone might select to abstain from using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast, and then choose to carefully bring that element back into their life in an orderly fashion at the conclusion of the fast.
G E T T I N G S T A R T E D
Having a successful fast starts with the right preparation. It is important to choose ahead of time what type of fast, or what combination you will pursue. Not only will this help with making the necessary preparations to implement your plan, but as you commit to a specific fast ahead of time and know how you’re going to do it, you position yourself to finish strong.
1) Set Your Objective
Begin by deciding why you are fasting. Is it for spiritual renewal, for healing, for wisdom in a particular area, or the resolution of a specific issue? Pick the top 1-3 prayer requests or things you would like to seek God on. Don’t overwhelm yourself and make a laundry list of items. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead in deciding and clarifying your goals for fasting.
2) Choose Your Plan
We are all at different places in our walk with God. Likewise our jobs, daily schedules, and health conditions are all different and place various levels of demand on our energy. So most importantly, whether you’ve fasted before, or this will be your first time, prayerfully consider what your fast will look like. Your personal fast should have a high level of challenge to it, but it’s very important to know your own body, know your options, and most importantly, seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Remember, the goal of fasting is not just to do without food. The goal is draw nearer to God.
3) Fasting Schedule
Our fasting schedule begins both in January and August of each year. We encourage you to join us during our 21 days of fasting and prayer. Please check out our bulletin for more details!
4) Begin and Break the Fast Well
Depending on the type of fast you choose, it is very important to prepare your body ahead of time before beginning the fast. Take a week or so to transition into your fast; otherwise, you could get sick. For example, if you would like to go on fruits and vegetables or juice fast, start eliminating meat, white grains, and refined sugars from your diet the week before. Also start to cut back quite a bit on dairy products and some of your caffeine intake.
This same principle applies to breaking your fast. When your fast is over, add foods back very gradually. Your body will be so cleansed and detoxified. You will most likely get sick if you add too much rich foods, etc. all at once.
There are also several websites that offer additional resources for spiritual growth, recipes and nutritional information to help you along the way. Here are a few that we recommend.
R E C I P E S
Garlic Kale Chips
1 bunch fresh kale
Salt and pepper
Olive oilPreheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chop kale up into 1-inch size pieces. Spread evenly across cookie sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Let cool and enjoy!
Coconut Date Bars
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup flaked coconut
10 pitted dates, or to taste
1/4 cup cashews, or to taste
1 tsp. coconut oil
Blend almonds and coconut in a food processor; add dates and pulse until combined. Add cashews and coconut oil; pulse until mixture is thick and sticks together. Transfer to a sheet of waxed paper; form into a square, folding sides of waxed paper over the top. Refrigerate until solid, at least 30 minutes.
Healthy White Bean Dip
1 can (15-oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1⁄8-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. water
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and serve alongside crackers, veggie chips or vegetable sticks. Enjoy!
3-Bean Vegetarian Chili
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped onions
2 (16 oz.) cans dark red kidney beans
1 (16 oz.) can navy beans
1 (16 oz.) can black beans
2 (16 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 package of chili seasoning
In a large pot, sauté chopped garlic and onions in olive oil until tender. Drain cans of beans and add into pot. Add in both cans of diced tomatoes (do not drain.) Add in package of chili seasoning, stir and let simmer on low for 1-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
Once chili has reached desired consistency, remove from heat and enjoy.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
2 heads cauliflower, broken into florets
Olive oil cooking spray
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups water
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
Place the cauliflower florets into a large bowl of lightly salted water; allow to stand for 20 minutes. Drain well, and arrange on a sheet of heavy aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Spray the olive oil cooking spray evenly on the cauliflower.
Preheat the oven’s broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
Broil the cauliflower until browned, 20 to 30 minutes.Meanwhile,heat olive oil in a large soup pot,and cook the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes; stir in the garlic and roasted cauliflower. Pour in the water, season with salt and black pepper, and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Blend the soup in the pot with an immersion hand blender until creamy and smooth.
Winter Vegetable Soup
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 leeks, white parts only, chopped
1 sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into half-inch dice
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 (14 oz.) cans whole tomatoes
2 sprigs thyme
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, packed
Juice from half a lemon
In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic and onion and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and butternut squash and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring to keep vegetables from sticking to bottom of pot.
Pour in broth and bring soup to a boil. Add tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, oregano, pepper and salt.
Turn heat down to low and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in fresh spinach and lemon juice. Serve hot.
Vegan Black Bean Soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 pinch black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
4 (15 oz.) cans black beans
1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn
1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, celery, carrots and garlic for 5 minutes. Season with chili powder, cumin, and black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Stir in vegetable broth, 2 cans of beans, and corn. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, process remaining 2 cans beans and tomatoes until smooth. Stir into boiling soup mixture, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
5 ears corn, husk removed, brush with olive oil and grilled, remove corn with sharp knife
2 avocados, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
2 cups Tomatoes, red and yellow cherry variety or equivalent
1 small red onion, finely diced
3⁄4 cup feta, crumbled
1 1⁄2 cup English cucumber, skin on and chopped small dice
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the quinoa:
2 cups uncooked quinoa
4 cups water
2 cans (15 oz.) black beans, drained
1 bag (12 to 16 oz.) frozen white corn
2 whole orange bell peppers
2 whole red bell peppers
1 bunch chopped cilantro
For the dressing:
1 1⁄2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄3 cup fresh lime juice
1⁄3 cup olive oil
Cook quinoa and water in a covered saucepan over medium for about 12-15 minutes. (Cook just as you would rice and follow the directions on whichever quinoa box or bag you choose to use.) Allow quinoa to cool.
While quinoa is cooking, drain black beans in a strainer and give them a quick rinse under the faucet. Shake dry and put into a large bowl. Pat them with a paper towel to dry them out further if they are still really wet.
Add thawed corn,finely chopped bell peppers, and chopped cilantro (about a handful or desired amount) to bowl. Again, pat dry with a paper towel if everything is too damp.
In a second bowl whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour onto quinoa and toss. I always like to taste and add more salt/pepper and lime juice. Enjoy!
Note: You can choose whichever color peppers you prefer.
6 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Sherry vinegar
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
1⁄2 tsp. salt
10 grinds of fresh ground pepper
Add all ingredients in a small glass jar with a lid. Shake really well. Taste and adjust seasoning and ratios of oil and vinegar as desired. When ready to serve salad, add dressing and gently toss.
Mango and Black Bean Salad
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh mango, diced
1 cup sweet red bell pepper, diced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 seeded Jalapeno pepper, minced (or hot sauce, to taste)
Salt, to taste
Combine ingredients in a bowl. Toss and serve.
Grilled Veggie Salad
Chopped leaf lettuce
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 sweet onion
1 Tbsp. grape seed oil
2 Tbsp. lime juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Fresh salsa of your choice
Mix lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin, chili powder, jalapeno and cilantro together. Chop bell peppers and onions into thin strips and place into marinade. Marinade for 30 minutes or more.
In a cast iron skillet, heat grape seed oil on high heat for one to two minutes. Place veggies into pan evenly and cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes. This will brown the veggies. Flip veggies to other side and repeat until desired darkness.
Place veggies onto a bed of chopped leaf lettuce and top with fresh salsa of your choice. Serve immediately and enjoy!
2 large (32 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes (no sugar added)
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves fresh garlic (chopped)
1 cup chopped onions
1 package mushrooms
1 green pepper
2-3 yellow squash
1 spaghetti squash
Cut spaghetti squash in half length-wise. Place flat side up on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast at 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes (depending on the size of the squash.)
In a large pan, sauté the chopped garlic and onions in the olive oil until tender. Add the cans of crushed tomatoes. Next, chop the green pepper, zucchini and squash to desired size and add, along with the mushrooms, into the sauce.
Let sauce simmer until all of the veggies are cooked thoroughly. Remove spaghetti squash from the oven. To ensure it is fully cooked make sure you can shred the squash with a fork. Scoop out the seeds and finish shredding the squash with a fork (which looks like spaghetti.) Pour the sauce over the spaghetti squash and enjoy.
Healthy Black Bean Burgers
1 (26.5 oz.) can of black beans, rinsed well and drained
1/4 red onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 red pepper, chopped small
Large handful of fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (add more or less, as desired)
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
Vegan mayonnaise (for binding, if needed)
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
Rinse and drain black beans and then mash with a fork. You’ll want the majority of the beans broken up completely. Add all other ingredients except Coconut Oil and mix well. If the mixture isn’t moldable, add a large teaspoon of vegan mayo just so it binds all the ingredients together.
Form the mix into individual patties. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes (or up to an hour.) On medium heat, place 2 tablespoons coconut oil in pan. Add the patties (they can touch, but not overlay.) Sauté for about 3-5 minutes per side until crisp and browned. Work in batches. Serve immediately.
Vegan Black Bean Quesadillas
1 (15 oz.) can great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
Salt to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil, or as needed
8 whole grain tortillas
Blend great Northern beans, 3/4 cup tomatoes, and garlic in a food processor until smooth; add nutritional yeast, cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper and blend again.
Transfer bean mixture to a bowl. Stir black beans and 1/4 cup tomatoes into bean mixture.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place a tortilla in the hot oil. Spread about 1/4 cup filling onto the tortilla.
Place another tortilla on top of the filling; cook until filling is warmed, about 10 minutes.
Spray the top tortilla with cooking spray and flip quesadilla to cook the second side until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
Ginger Veggie Stir-Fry
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. chopped fresh ginger root, divided
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup snow peas
3/4 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup halved green beans
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 1/2 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 Tbsp. salt
In a large bowl, blend cornstarch, garlic, 1 teaspoon ginger, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until cornstarch is dissolved. Mix in broccoli, snow peas, carrots, and green beans, tossing to lightly coat.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Cook vegetables in oil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Stir in soy sauce and water. Mix in onion, salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon ginger. Cook until vegetables are tender but still crisp.
Recipe Notes: Place stir-fry atop brown rice to complete this delicious meal.
Berry Green Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 handfuls fresh spinach (or about 1 cup frozen)
1⁄2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
1⁄2 bananaAdd ice or more almond milk as desired.
Place all items in a blender and blend until smooth.
Coffee Banana Smoothie
1 cup regular brewed coffee
1 large banana
1 Tbsp. almond butter
1 cup almond or regular milk
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. honey (optional)
Pour coffee into ice cube tray. Freeze for two hours or overnight. Place frozen coffee ice cubes andthe rest of the ingredients into a blender. Pulse until smooth and frothy. Pour into cup and Enjoy!
Yield: 2 servings
5 Ingredient Fruit Smoothie
1 scoop gluten free whey vanilla protein powder
1 cup ice
1 cup frozen mixed fruit of choice
1 cup all natural apple juice (no sugar added)
Combine all ingredients into blender. Blend until desired consistency. Enjoy!
Almond Date Shake
4 frozen bananas
8 pitted Medjool dates
1/2 cup all natural creamy peanut or almond butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups almond milk
7 cubes of ice (more or less, as desired)
Blend bananas, dates, nut butter, vanilla and milk. When thoroughly combined, add ice a few cubes at a time until you reach a shake-like consistency. Enjoy!
Yield: 4 servings