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(RNS) The Daniel Fast diet is gaining popularity during Lent, when participants will eat only food from seeds, drink only water and practice daily devotions. Proponents say it gives new meaning to Jesus' sacrifice -- and can be good for a nation that could afford to shed a few pounds.

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  1. [...] Religion News Service: Fasting like an Old Testament prophet gains followers during Lent Amy Lester has followed Jesus for decades, but her keen appreciation for his sacrifice on the cross came only recently when she started eating like the prophet Daniel. During Lent, which starts Wednesday (Feb. 13), the 40-year-old mother of two keeps a type of Daniel Fast, which involves eating only food from seeds (vegetables, fruits, unleavened grains), drinking only water and practicing daily devotions. Devotees say the Daniel Fast brings them closer to God by enhancing self-control, purging bad habits and improving health. It bears echoes of ancient tradition. Forgoing meat, dairy and sweeteners for a season makes the Daniel Fast resemble Orthodox Lent, which restricts consumption of meat, dairy, and oils in the run-up to Easter. [...]

  2. [...] Another option for Lent is the Daniel Fast, named for Daniel in the Old Testament, who for three weeks ate only fruit and vegetables and drank only water. Daniel Fasters today eliminate meat, dairy, and sweeteners from their diet. Apparently it is growing in popularity in Methodist churches. [...]

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