Kiss the Coffee Good-bye for Your Daniel Fast

By January 2, 2017Daniel Fast 2017

For most people who use the Daniel Fast for their method of fasting, giving up caffeine is the greatest challenge. The only beverage on the Daniel Fast is water (see Daniel 1:12). And since our bodies can become addicted to caffeine, not consuming it can cause painful and bothersome withdrawals.

Starbucks Coffee original store location, Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington

I admit, this is my biggest “sacrifice” during the fast. I’m a Seattle-girl, the home of Starbucks. It’s almost our civic duty to consume mass quantities of coffee while we’re reading our books (we also are the home of Amazon) to keep the local economy going! So giving up coffee is a big one for me. But I do it . . . and tapering off the substance to avoid the withdrawals is a must. 

The withdrawals can last up to seven days and actually can be debilitating. To avoid them, I strongly encourage you to taper off all forms of caffeine before you begin the Daniel Fast. 

It’s best to take these steps over a week prior to your fast. Start by cutting back on caffeinated beverages and adding more decaf to your cup. Begin with 75 percent caffeinated and 25% decaf. Keep adding more and more decaf until you finally are only drinking decaf coffee, tea, or energy drinks. 

At the same time, increase the amount of water you’re drinking, which will help you flush your system and aid the withdrawals. You want to get to the point that you’re drinking no tea, no coffee, no energy drinks, or consuming any caffeinated substances (i.e. chocolate). By the first day of your fast, you’re totally off the caffeine and you’ve avoided the debilitating headaches, leg cramps, fatigue, and other symptoms. 

I like to drink a lot of hot water with lemon to start my day while I’m fasting. It’s a hot beverage for the cold days (tomorrow our low is 1 degree!) where I now live (about 100 miles east of Seattle). 

So do yourself a favor! Taper of caffeine. Flush your system. And prepare your body for the Daniel Fast. You will be very happy you did! 

80 Comments

  • brendetta says:

    Good MORNING! Praise God hallelujah!!!I put my flesh under my feet_took authority through my inner man.I had so much energy upon doing the fast I went to 8ameBay service had my zoom cereal with unsweetened almond vanilla milk.they were serving coffe different flavors,cookies but prAise God I didnt take or drink a ounce. Its god living inside me I’m determined to do this it was freezing foggy I sure wanted a cup of coffee but no pray I continue to stay strong!

  • Ken says:

    Hi, is whole wheat pasta allowed

  • Grace Claire says:

    This Daniel Fast for me is to overcome strong holds in my life. I am seeking growth in my spiritual walk with God by the power of the Holy Spirit in prayer and fasting one specific strong hold will be no more. I do appreciate the Lessons and will follow through meditating on them.

    • Judy says:

      Grace,

      Thank you for sharing this. I am also seeing to grow near the Lord. I struggle with control issues in my life, my purpose is to surrender this to the Lord and give Him total control. May you be blessed.

  • rbryant says:

    Hi, this is my second time on the Daniel Fast. The first time was with my church. Salt was not permitted on the fast. I noticed in one of your replies that iodized salt and seasoning blends are allowed. I want to make sure that I am understanding correctly. My purpose for the fast is to have a closer walk with God, and understand the plans he has for me, in the time that I have left on earth so I can truly please Him and glorify Him.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, you can have salt. There is a lot of information “out there” about the Daniel Fast that is not based on research. I have been teaching about the fast since 2007 and spent countless hours researching the scriptures and studying the teachings of Jewish and Christian scholars. Sadly, so many people think that whatever is on the Internet is okay. And even more heartbreaking is that so many of the Daniel Fast sites and books available focus on the food rather than the profound spiritual blessing this discipline can be to the faithful. I hope this helps.

      Be blessed on your fast.

  • Lindiwe Moyo says:

    Hi Susan Ihave started today for the first time the. Daniel fast Thank you for encouragement Thank you for all the information

  • Uvita says:

    Susan, I take a women’s Vitamin + OsCal with my morning prescription medication for blood pressure and hormone replacement. I also take Metformin, ASA and Cinnamon in the evening. These meds have been cleared with my physician. Is it okay to continue all the medications as prescribed? Our group with the fast at sunrise in the morning! Thanks for all the information you send in your emails! BNKurged (be encouraged), Uvita

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, always follow the instructions of your early physician while praying to your Great Physician for complete healing and health.

      Be blessed!

  • Noemi Duque says:

    GM, this is the first time trying this 21 day fast with my church in NYC. . I drink 2-3 mugs of coffee a day can’t imagine not it but will try decaf coffee today and let’s see what happens the next few days when I seriously try to stop. Every year I begin the fast and can’t follow through bec of my coffee. Any suggestions for breakfast meals. No oatmeal?

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Be blessed as you battle the flesh and choose to submit more of who you are the the Lord who loves and blesses you!

      My three favorite breakfast on the Daniel Fast are muesli with fresh fruit and unsweetened soy milk; brown rice cakes with peanut butter and raisins along with fresh fruit on the side; or a berry smoothie with added nuts for protein. All easy. All nutritious. All filling.

      I hope this helps!

      Be blessed!

      • Karen Thode says:

        Natural peanut butter, right?

        • Susan Gregory says:

          It all depends on the list of ingredients (not the nutritional analysis) on the food label. If the ingredients of any packaged food you consider are all plant-based and free of chemicals, sweeteners, and anything artificial, then you’re good to go.

  • Sherry-Ann Lee says:

    Hello Susan and fellow Daniel Fasters,

    This is the 3rd year I’ve been following the Daniel Fast, this year is going to be easier for me because I didn’t overdo for the Christmas season, ate in moderation and hence have no left overs to try and eat before my Church here in Trinidad begin our fast on the 10th for 21 days. My biggest challenge is always coffee as this is my staple first things on morning, but I only consume 1 cup per day.
    Thank you for all the tips and exciting recipes Susan, blessings to you and everyone as we embark on Strengthening our Spirits, Mind and Body.
    Sherry-Ann

  • Ed says:

    Hi, I have several questions. I usually take cholesterol-lowering drinks or yoghurt? Are these allowed on the fast? Secondly as well as lemon with water, I drink NATURAL herb tea. (Not tea with herb as I dislike tea), can I use these teas (fresh peppermint in water) etc., during the fast?

  • Renee says:

    Hello Susan,

    This is my first time. Can I still use Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. What about Protein Mixed with no Sugar to use with my fruit and veggie smoothie.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, Bragg’s is good. The protein mix depends on the ingredients. If it’s plant-based and free of sweeteners and chemicals then it should be good. You can also use raw nuts for protein in your smoothies.

      Be blessed.

  • Tori S says:

    Love this article! Unfortunately, I’m late seeing it. lol Does anyone have suggestions for cutting caffeine within 3 days?

    Thanks!

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Pray; start drinking mostly decaf over the next few days; eat potassium-rich foods; and drink lots of water.

      Be blessed on your fast.

  • Michelle G Shines says:

    Hi Susan,
    I started my Daniel Fast on 1/2 but I have been drinking coffee. Should I start over or just stop drinking coffee.

    Thank you very much

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Now that you know better, stop drinking coffee. Depending on how much you consume, don’t do it cold-turkey if you want to avoid the withdrawals.

      Also, make sure you’re following the guidelines for the fast. The only beverage is water . . . I just want to make sure you’re following it in a healthful manner.

      Be blessed.

  • Cindy says:

    Beginning the fast for the first time on January 8th for my church’s 21 days of prayer and fasting. I’m still just a few days away, but I’m ashamed to admit that I had not thought about weaning myself from caffeine! Thank you so much for this, Susan! I won’t have a week, but I think even a few days weaning will help with the withdrawals.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Glad you found the post, Cindy. I receive many messages from people suffering because they didn’t wean themselves from caffeine.

      Drink lots of water; switch over to decaf; and eat foods rich in potassium.

      Be blessed.

  • Kim says:

    Hi this is my first time participating in this fast as I started on January 2nd, 2017 and have found since subscribing to your website that I did a few things incorrectly this far as far as the diet. Alng with eating my fruits, vegetables and water I also have been drinking juice from the fruits and vegetables (juicing). I have no problem with water as I drink alot of water anyway.

    My thoughts are after reading your website and daily messages I should stop the juicing? Correct?

  • Ioana says:

    Is the Ezekiel Bread allowed in the fast? It contains fresh yeast.

  • Jeannie Todd says:

    This thought came to me. In God speaking to me to do this fast, the first thought in our flesh is to find ways that we can prepare the allowed foods so that it is not so hard to do. But I had to think about what fasting is. It is a sacrifice we are making for God to move in our lives. So then the understanding came to me that in doing this fast, keep it as simple as possible. If I try to make it as much the same as normal as I can then is it really a sacrifice? Just the thought that came to me. Something I felt to share in reading through these other questions and thoughts. Be blessed and be a blessing. 🙂

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, Jeanine, simple is the way! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      You might want to read a post I just published: Is the Daniel Fast Being Hijacked. It speaks of the very issue you raised.

      Be blessed on your fast!

      • Melanie says:

        Our church is starting the Daniel fast 1/8 for 21 days. Can we have decaf coffee and tea ?

        • Susan Gregory says:

          No, the only beverage on the Daniel Fast is water.

          Be blessed

          • Tina says:

            Hi Susan thank you for the blessing of the Daniel Fast . My question I have never been a coffee drinker but is there a beverage that I do drink it is called “Dandy Blend” a non caffeine beverage. Is this a good beverage to drink during the fast, you can look it up at dandyblend.com

          • Susan Gregory says:

            No, the only beverage on the fast is water. If it’s not water, then it’s not allowed on the fast. 🙂

    • Ioana says:

      Hello Jeannine, I think fasting is a process. The first time I did the Daniel Fast, it was all about the food, it was more like a Daniel’s Feast! I did it together with 16 other friends, and we would have prayer/potlock meetings. I can tell you that God was still faithful and answered many prayers. I’ve done the fast 4 or 5 times by now, and each time it became less about the food and more about prayer and drawing close to God.

    • Tori S says:

      Hi Jeannie! This is definitely a good point! I know I was making it complicated by obsessing over food at first. This isn’t because of anything on this website. It was just my first reaction. LOL. However, during New Year’s Day my pastor reminded everyone about the purpose of fasting. If we aren’t committed to prayer and the word of God during this time of consecration, then we’re just starving ourselves or making sacrifices without purpose. So, for me, I’m keeping it simple. If I’m unsure, I’m going to question why and I want to eat that specific food and also consider Daniel 10:3.

      God bless everyone!

  • EUGENIA HARDEN says:

    I FIND THAT THE MORE WATER INTAKE, THE MORE SUCCESSFUL THE FAST. MY CHURCH HAS BEGAN THE DANIEL FAST FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY. I WILL KEEP YOU IN TOUCH ON HOW WE DO. THANKS FOR THIS SITE. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE RECIPES THAT I HAVE COPIED.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Praise God! Yes, keep us posted. We love testimonies!

      • Hi Susan,
        I started the Daniel 21 day fast last week. I’m a huge coffee drinker and went cold turkey last Monday. Oh my gosh, I thought I was going to the hospital. I couldn’t hold my head up, it was terrible, so still being on the plan, I incorporated coffee back in. So I have 2 weeks left. Did I totally blow the fast by doing this? Otherwise I feel great!
        Thank you,
        Kim

        • Susan Gregory says:

          Seems your body is very addicted to coffee. I encourage you wean now . . . even though you are in the middle of the fast. And the next time, be sure to wean from caffeine before you begin.

          Be blessed.

  • Heather Woods says:

    Hi! This is my first fast. Our church is calling a corporate fast 1/8-1/28. I have visited your site several times,signed up for your emails and followed your advice to prepare for this fast. Thank you! My question is: Can we use any of the silk brand almond milk on our oatmeal? Also can we use the whole wheat flour to make fried potato pancakes and things like that? I’m also confused on seasoning. I have read we can use any seasonings but I’ve also read NO iodized salt.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Heather! Glad you’re with us!

      You can use any unsweetened plant-based milk that is free of chemicals. Whole wheat flour is okay. Keep in mind that no leavening is allowed on the fast, so if your pancakes require it then you’ll need to adapt or pass. Seasonings and herbs are allowed on the fast. However, you will want to make sure seasoning blends are free of chemicals and sweeteners. Iodized salt is allowed.

      Hope this helps! Be blessed on your fast.

  • Kristina Diem says:

    I was wondering if you can have balsamic vinaigrette. This is my first year trying the Daniel fast.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yes, but be sure to read the list of ingredients on the food label to make sure it’s free of sweeteners and chemicals.

      Be blessed!

  • Rhonda says:

    I have been on a “new Lifestyle Journey” since April of 2016. I have lost 40 pounds and am very excited about that. However I have been speaking with a nutritionist online and she does not appear to be a big fan of the fast. I explained that it is a fast for the Lord, and I am not worried about it having a negative effect on my health simply due to it being for the Lord. So I guess my question is, what all is considered protein, and what all is considered fat on the fast? She is telling me I need to have protein and good fat with each meal.. (I am not paying for this) so my advice is limited. Also I am guessing she is not a spiritual person, so really may not understand fasting for the Lord. My husband and I started the fast on 01/02/17, so I have a ways to go and I would like to accomplish both the fast and my weight loss, so any advice is appreciated.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Rhonda,

      Your doctor may not understand how very healthy the Daniel Fast is when people follow the guidelines. Have you seen the book I wrote with Dr. Richard J. Bloomer about the Daniel Fast? It’s called, The Daniel Cure. Check it out . . . and show it to your doctor. She will see that it’s a great way to eat and to nourish your body.

      Have you seen the book I wrote last year titled, The Daniel Fast for Weight Loss? It’s not a diet book! Instead, you will learn about honoring your body, not as your own, but as the temple of God’s Holy Spirit.

      You will also learn many practical tips that you can incorporate into your life. The focus is developing a lifestyle of health by caring for our bodies and nourishing them in the way God intended when He created us.

  • Wanda Williams says:

    Hi

    I understand you can have a fruit like an orange but if you juice it, it becomes a beverage and is not allowed, is that correct?

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Exactly right, Wanda. The only beverage on the Daniel Fast is water.

      • Paulette Johnson says:

        Hello,

        I’m going over the list of fruits/veggies included in the fast and it says they can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned….so it seems that juicing an orange should be okay. Am I incorrect?

  • Tamara Thomas says:

    I ordered the book today, and I’m excited to see how God speaks during the fast.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      So glad you’re joining us. Great ready for an amazing experience! And make sure you make the fast about faith and not about food! You will be blessed!

  • Francheska says:

    Thank you for this. I wish I thought about weening myself off of coffee which I LOVE. I’m a little sluggish, irritable and have just a slight (barely there) headache – more like a discomfort but I’m looking forward to growing closer to the lord in these next few weeks and hoping the spiritual growth will continue long after the fast is over. Thank you so much for sharing and God bless you!

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Be blessed . . . and drink lots of water to help flush the caffeine out of your system. You will get over the withdrawals.

    • Linda says:

      We are going to start sunday and i have to give up the coffee for the first time in my life. I dont know how that will go but i pray jesus will help me through it.

      • Susan Gregory says:

        Drink lots of water; start switching to decaf; eat foods rich in potassium. This will help with the physical withdrawals.

        Be blessed!

  • Chantel says:

    Hi Susan,

    This information is great! It is so helpful as I prepare for out upcoming fast.

    In looking at vegan recipes, many call for nutritional yeast, which is inactive, and appears to be used as a seasoning. Is this type of yeast permitted? Thanks!

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Hi Chantel,

      Yes, nutritional yeast is allowed since it’s not a leaven. It’s primarily used for it’s protein value.

  • Hi Susan!
    what about decaffeinated green tea?

  • Pamela Reed says:

    This is my 3rd year doing the fast….the hot lemon water really does work. I drink in the morning instead of coffee. Prayer also works wonders.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      It’s my go-to beverage on the Daniel Fast. It’s also very good for our health.

      Be blessed.

      • Jeannie Todd says:

        Wouldn’t using lemon in your water be juicing and be the same as juicing any other fruit?

        • Susan Gregory says:

          No, not a slice of lemon. Think of going to a restaurant and they serve water with a slice of lemon. You see it as water, not juice. Same reasoning with using a slice of lemon in water during the Daniel Fast. The fine line is if you can honestly call the beverage water, rather than tea or juice, then it’s okay.

  • Yuniar says:

    Thanks Susan. This somehow encouraging me. Been trying this fast for several times, but never succeded to reach 21 days. One of the biggest challeng is beverages. And looks like i have to cut off my social media time too.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Yuniar,

      You have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead inside of you! Activate that power by submitting to your God and allowing Him to lead and direct you. Coffee? Easy to overcome when you rely on God.

      Be blessed.

  • Theresa says:

    Can we drink vitamin water zero lemonade. It only has a plant based extract

  • Char says:

    Are the naked drinks okay as a food supplant. Like a smoothie for breakfast? The ingredients says only fruit or veggies.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Are they really a meal or a beverage. That’s the distinction factor.

    • Jenni says:

      I am pretty sure the only drink you are to take is water. Which would mean no smoothies or juice right? Gonna do this with my daughter and when I realized no smoothies it became a lil more daunting 😯☺

      • Susan Gregory says:

        Yes, the only beverage is water. And that’s right, no juice on the fast.

        However, in today’s culture smoothies are considered a “liquid meal” rather than a beverage. So they are allowed on the Daniel Fast.

  • Tammy Ruffin says:

    Hi, this is my first time participating in the fast, although my church has been doing it for several years. Looking forward to it. Thank you for this site. I’m sure I will visit it many times over the next 21 days. God Bless, Tammy

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