My Trip to Banana Island
Recently I decided to visit “banana island.” For those of you who don’t know what that means I will do my best to explain: essentially you eat nothing but bananas for an extended period of days. You eat 22-30+ bananas a day to ensure you are eating an adequate amount of calories
It is a considered a healthy detox. I did it for that exact reason- I had been eating a lot of “bad” foods recently and my stomach was certainly feeling the negative effects of it (you reap what you sow, right?). I wanted to cleanse my body of all the toxins I had been consuming. Detoxing has always fascinated me, but with my history with restrictive eating habits, I decided it was best to avoid them while I was trying to restore my metabolism. I am doing remarkably better now and I knew I was ready to try a detox again!
I first heard about mono fruit islands or banana islands a few months ago and I was BEYOND skeptical. Nothing but bananas?! That sounded like a terrible idea. All that sugar would make my skin breakout, right?! And all the starch in the bananas would back up my system, right?!
Well I was wrong as it turns out. After reading just about every blog and article on mono fruit islands/ banana islands and watching all the videos youtube had to offer- I learned that the pros outweighed the cons and I was ready to begin.
One of the key aspects of a banana island is ensuring that the bananas are ripe (ripe bananas are far less starchy and much easier to digest and according to a recent research study, ripe bananas with dark spots combats abnormal cells that cause cancer). I bought my case (that’s right case) of bananas last Friday in order to start my island on Sunday. I knew I wasn’t ready to do my banana island for more than 3-4 days, so I only bought one case of bananas (my bananas were nearly all green so I threw apples in the case with them to speed up the ripening process).
I knew I wanted to eat as I normally would (calorie-wise), so I ate about 5 bananas for breakfast. Some of them I ate whole and a few I ate in smoothie form. Then I went to do a lifting session and I admit, I felt very weak. I completed the lifting session, but wasn’t quite up for running after. By the late afternoon, I was craving anything but bananas! I was struggling because bananas (particularly ripe bananas) are far too sweet for my liking. I decided to try “nice cream” for dinner, so I froze a few bananas. I admit, I added unsweetened cocoa powder because the sweetness was getting to be too much for me. Nice cream made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable and I went to bed ready for day 2.
Day 2 was a lot easier. I had whole bananas for breakfast and my snacks and nice cream for lunch and dinner. I ran 5 miles at a fairly normal (quick) pace for me, but once again I felt a little bit weak.
Once again, day 3 passed normally. I was ready and prepared to run, but I was very exhausted from work and some personal stuff so I skipped my run to work on my thesis.
I decided to transition into other foods again because, frankly, I was kind of over the detox.
My opinions of the detox:
It did what I wanted it to, but not all that I expected it to. From all that I read, I expected more energy to keep up with my normal exercise routine, but I suppose I neglected to consider how intense my normal workouts are and I should have resorted to long walks and yoga (not heavy weights and speed runs). My stomach feels better, so the job was done.
I think I will do the detox again and it was definitely my favorite detox I have ever done. It is much more manageable than other detoxes and not restrictive. In fact, next time I hope to do it for a week!
Let me be clear, I DID NOT do this for weight loss and the only physical change I noticed as a result of the weight loss was significantly less bloat (especially noticeable in the stomach and joint areas).
If you want to complete a banana island:
DO your research.
DO NOT do it to lose weight.
DO plan ahead.
DO NOT under-eat while doing the banana island.
DO sleep plenty during your detox.
DO NOT try a banana island if you are in the early stages of recovery from an eating disorder. It could lead you to fall into restrictive habits or binge.
As always, I am sure I forgot plenty of things that I could talk about so please ask any questions you may have and I will do my best to answer them!