Monday, 9 January 2017

Daniel Fast - Food List

The Daniel Fast is an amazing way to draw closer to God, whilst intensifying your pursuit for excellence.

Below is a list of allowed/disallowed foods to be consumed during the fast, as well as links to recipes and food information sites.

Foods Allowed

All Fruits

These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned (preserved in fruit juice). Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon.

All Vegetables

These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini.

All Whole Grains

Including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas.

All Nuts and Seeds

Including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame (unsweetened & unsalted).  Also nut butters including peanut butter (100% peanuts).

All Legumes

These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.

All Quality Oils

Including but not limited to olive, canola, rapeseed, peanut, and sesame.

Plantain, Sugar-cane, Unleavened Bread.

Sea Salt (you can get this from Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsburys, ASDA, ALDI, LIDL and other superstores).
Herbs – Thyme, Parsley, Bay Leaf, Mint, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon, Lime.

Spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.

Herbal/Fruit Teas, Freshly Squeezed Juice (ideally Apple or Cranberry).

Foods Not Allowed

No Meats
Including but not limited to beef, chicken, pork, fish, lamb, goat, turkey, other seafood.

No Dairy/Animal Products
Including but not limited to milk, cheese, eggs, and yoghurts.

No Processed Sugar
Including white/brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, sweeteners, chocolates, sweets, desserts.

No Iodised (Table) Salt
Including Processed Spices or MSG-based products e.g. Maggi

No Hydrogenated Fats
Including but not limited to Palm Oil and Margarine.

No Deep-fried Foods
Shallow-fry food in quality oils such as vegetable (rapeseed) oil, olive oil etc.

No Flour*, White Bread, White Rice, White Pasta

*Whole wheat or oat flour is fine.

*Eba (Cassava Flour) is fine.

*Semolina (ground durum wheat) is fine.

*Sadza (ground corn/maize) is fine.

No Caffeine, Hot Chocolate or Concentrate-Based Juices

Meal Plans

(Good website for breakfasts, lunches & dinners)

Good link for starter ideas on African/Caribbean dishes, such as:
- Boiled plantain and Mixed steamed vegetables
- Beans and Plantain Pottage
- Beans and Corn
- Potatoes and Mixed vegetables Pottage
- Fruit salad for breakfast, and fruits as a snack
- Green Salads with beans nuts or fruits
(A good site that outlines the endemic danger in some foods we habitually eat, such as white bread; also provides 6 alternative grains)

Monday, 7 May 2012

What do you have?

A lot of times, we moan about what we don't have. We then take it one step further and moan that if only we had what we don't have, we'll be happy, or there'll be a greater chance of achieving our dreams.

A more sensible way to work through life, would be to focus on what we do have, and making the most of it. I love the way this is illustrated by the most Intelligent Man in the Universe - Jesus Christ. On an occasion, Jesus has the task of feeding a multitude of people; there's only one young man with a picnic basket, and Jesus' disciples even suggest going away to buy some food, but I love the question Jesus asks before, which is, 'What do you have?', and that's the same question I will ask you today, 'What do you have?'.

There's no use complaining and grumbling about what you don't have, instead, as the common saying goes, 'Use what you have to get what you want.' One common theme in the Bible is how miracles occur with what's already there. God hardly looks for anything extraneous, He simply uses what's already in place to do something supernatural.

So I challenge you today, take stock of what you currently have, your achievements, your natural abilities, your contacts, your interests, and begin to think of ways to maximise what's in your picnic basket.

P.S. - A good place to start will be to take what you have to your Designer; all the spare parts, all the broken pieces, all the nuts and bolts, take it to Him. He's very good at creating masterpieces from the scraps and spare parts of our lives (Romans 8:28).

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Calm is Cool

             In this world, people will annoy you, things will irritate you, situations will aggravate you, but, as the Bible advises in the book of Proverbs: 'A Calm mind is the life and health of the body'.

             Most situations can be overcome by the force of calmness. Calmness must be rooted in something though; My calmness is rooted in Jesus. Knowing that 'The steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord', and 'He that watches over me neither rests nor sleeps', and 'All things work together for good to them that love the Lord', why should I fret?

             Sometimes, we have to be calm with people. You know, we live in a fallen world, and sometimes, those we love the most (or those constantly in our immediate vicinity) wind us up the most; we need to be calm in the face of irritations, aggravations and annoyances. They are like waves that crash and recede - let us be the rocks that stand and remain, for 'It is the glory of a man to overlook an offence'.

                                                                 Be Calm, it looks good.

Monday, 26 December 2011

The Power of Patience

           Hey, Happy Christmas. Hope it was a good day. I received some lovely gifts from dad and wife, spent the day with friends in our community - a very fruitful day. I woke up this morning and the house was in a mess from the previous night, I began to tidy up and came to a huge heap of clothes that needed folding. As I began to quietly fold the clothes, a thought zapped across my mind about the need for patience in the tasks we do.

           Albert Einstein made a statement, that he didn't really consider himself to be that smart, he just stayed with problems longer than everyone else. I believe the same can be said for any field or any task we encounter; patience makes a big difference. In an age of speed, where everything is available in quick time, it's worth remembering the value of patience, and it's role in fulfilling long-term, meaningful goals.

           Specifically, STAY WITH IT. A task might seem long and overwhelming, but START. Work within your limits, if you need a break, take a break, but come back - that is patience. Keep chiseling away, PLAN, identify the times you work best, and how long you concentrate really well for, I'm a believer of 'little and often is best', if you're a student, cut up study times into 20 minute blocks, if you're a business professional, cut up your day into 30 minute 'task slots', if you're an athlete, split up your routine e.g. 10 reps, rest, 10 reps, rest etc. Don't let a bad day put you off, re-group, re-plan, and re-start. That is patience, and patience is power.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Infectious Emotions

           I came home in a subdued mood today. 'Just Chilled' is what I'd say I felt like. To cut a long story short, I began to listen to some tracks on my phone, and I was was amazed by the way my mood began to change. Now Music is a very powerful force, I'll discuss lyrics some other time, but what was causing this alteration in my emotions was the passion  of the vocalist I was listening to. It felt like she was singing from the very depths of her soul, and that beagn to do something to me - it was infectious. She was singing about happiness, and each time she emitted the words 'Happiness' it felt like they were produced by every living cell in her body.
           Passion is infectious, and even though we might not always be perfect, we can always choose to be passionate - to give everything, specifically, to channel our emotions into what we do. You see, I don't believe we need to fight fear or fight anxiety or fight this emotion or that emotion; I believe all our emotions form active ingredients for the explosive force that constitutes action. A measure of fear, a measure of excitement, a measure of anger or frustration, all equate to passion; I could feel it in that voice I heard today - this lady had managed to channel all her emotions - positive and negative - into one passionate action, and its effect was infectious.

         Romans 12:21 - Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by doing good.

Monday, 19 December 2011


A lot of times, people don't even start things because they're scared of 'failure'. I don't mean failure in the general sense this time, but a failure to reach unrealistic standards we set ourselves. When God made man, he was perfect, flawless; but man sinned, and thus became a fallen creature, i.e. flawed, imperfect. This is not the end of the story, God has made a way for us to get back on the path of perfection; that Way is Jesus Christ. The sad story is that a lot of us seek perfection outside of Jesus Christ - we aim to be perfect at school, we aim to be perfect at our jobs, we aim to be perfect husbands, fathers etc. Aiming to be perfect without acknowledging that we are human beings that make mistakes, get tired, lose motivation, lose focus is bound to end in frustration, resentment and depression. Yes, there is a desire to return to what we once were - perfect, but (i) True perfection cannot be attained outside Jesus Christ, (ii) Please don't beat up yourself when you fail to reach your goals; get up and keep going! (iii) DO WHAT YOU CAN. Have that mentality;"I am going to give everything to this project, this assignment, this task; yes, I might get tired along the way, yes I might lose motivation sometimes, but that's the package that comes with being a human in a fallen world; I will start again, I will go back to the drawing board, I will fight my emotions, I will relentlessly pursue my goals, I will try different angles, I will try different techniques, I might fail today, but I will win someday, I will win. The battle belongs not to the quickest finishers in life, but to the ones who fell, got up and kept going, fell, got up and kept going...DO WHAT YOU CAN TODAY.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

At the Speed of Time

Time Flies. And the older you get, the quicker time flies. I've just returned from visting a cousin at Basingstoke, other family members came down, and I was just struck by the way people have changed, grown, matured, etc. My cousin is now a mum, another cousin that came down is at Uni, another one had a fullly grown beard...I remember when we were all so young and little, care-free and feeling that we knew more about the World than our parents.

So what's my point? Life waits for no-one. Let's focus on the things that matter, two of which are building a relationship with God and building relationships with people. No great thing has ever been accomplished in isolation, the pianist has to play an instrument made by someone else, the singer needs a producer, the actor needs a director, the theatre artist needs an audience, the teacher needs a classroom, the student needs a teacher, or a book written by someone else. Reach out to God, reach out to someone, today.

                                       Above is a pic taken with a few of my cousins years ago
 Above is a pic taken with 2 of the cousins (can you tell who's who?) from the previous pic ('s now a mum! Time Flies.)

P.S. They might not be perfect, but please love and appreciate family. Oh what a joy it was to just observe and take pleasure in the company of my family today (at Basingstoke), I was so thankful to God for His preservation of our lives, I was so thankful for this reunion, for the feeling of being connected to, and part of a larger unit, the jokes, the stories, and another beautiful memory etched in my mind.