For the past 7 days I have been on a cleanse called banana island. I wasn’t sure why I was doing it, I just felt like it was necessary at the time.
Banana Island is a detox where you eat only bananas and greens for a set period of time.
I had been eating 20 bananas a day minimum, along with a head of romaine. I was also drinking a gallon or more of water (most days).
Around days 4-6 I experienced gas and bloating. I realized later this was due to a few reasons:
- The bananas weren’t full ripe. I couldn’t find brown spotty ones and settled for bright yellow. This caused constipation.
- I was not drinking enough water. Once I realized this and started drinking more water, all gas and bloating diminished.
- If you are to embark on banana island, prepare ahead of time with plenty of spotty brown bananas. If they aren’t ripe and spotted, the starches have not yet been converted to sugars and are much more difficult for the body to break down and use for energy.
- Always drink enough water. It is much more important than the food you are ingesting.
Overall my experience was very rewarding. I had more energy, I felt stronger and could go for longer while working out, and I was also much more peaceful. I typically have crashes midday and am easily susceptible to mood swings.
However, I did experience a drastic shift on day 7.
Day 7 I was already off as I was feeling a bit sleepy. Later on in the day a coworker started talking calories. Calories are never something I worry about. I am more of the “eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full” kind of person. I adopted this mindset after years of binge eating disorder followed by a physically and emotionally exhausting period of time where I… you guessed it: counted calories.
I won’t get into the details of the conversation, but basically I had already met my RDA of calories after lunch time.
My first instinct was to get angry. I had spent my whole life with an eating disorder I thought I was over and now I have someone telling me that scientifically speaking, it was the opposite case.
I was in disbelief. I became stubborn in my mind and let this fester for hours. I kept asking myself, “why am I so mad about this? If I know I am doing what is best for me and I have good intentions then why should it matter? All I am doing is listening to my body, I know what’s best. If I know what’s best then why am I so angry? Why can’t I let this go?” and so on…
When I was eating I never felt a definitive “full” feeling. I stopped once I was satisfied and ate again when I felt my tummy asking for more. Could I have been eating too much? Possibly. It could have also been what was causing constipation and I didn’t realize it. Yet, it still felt like something deeper….
Then, it dawned on me. It didn’t matter how much I was eating so much as it mattered why I was eating.
When I started this journey, I felt a bit lost. I felt like I hit a fork in the road, but both of the roads had a very dense fog on them. I had no clue what way to go. By the end of my journey, the fog began to lift and I realized it was the same road all along. The problem was that I was running.
Sometimes I can be a bit of an escapist. Two popular tools I abuse are my phone…and food. When there is something coming up that I am not quite ready to face I will avoid it at all costs. I can not yet answer why. I often envision the life I want for myself, the things I would love to create, manifest, and mold into reality. I can see it all perfectly. In all this daydreaming I easily lost sight of my passion. I forget to hold dear the drive that can get me to where I want to be. I love to think about what my life could be, but when it comes to putting in the work? Nah… forget about it… I’ll just eat/check instagram instead.
On Day 7 I was faced with a harsh reality check. When I arrived home from work with my last banana meal in the seat next to me, along with my keys and phone, God gave me a kick in the ass. I unlocked the passenger door before getting out of the car so I could pick up all my stuff. When I got out on the drivers side I subconsciously locked the car and shut the door.
Now all of my stuff was locked in the car. My last bundle of ripe bananas, my phone, keys, my highly perishable probiotic! Woe is me! Whatever will I do now?!
I walked to the lawn and laid down in the sun defeated. Okay lord, you win. I am done with my consumeristic ways from now on. I will face my reality and start living in line with my passions. You sent a sign and it has been heard.
This isn’t the first time something like this has come up for me. By this point it was becoming common knowledge to me that when I focus on creating and doing things I love, food and all other distractions become secondary. When I focus on painting, for example, hours could go by before food even crosses m mind. During the duration of this cleanse my main focus was all about food. “Do I have enough bananas? Am I hungry again or thirsty? Did I eat enough for the day?” I let my self and fall on the back burner. I forgot about my own desires and passions.
Thankfully, my brother was home to let me in the house (my mom wouldn’t be home for another 5 hours), so I could get a small start on loving myself again. I was able to change out of my work clothes, do yoga, clean my room, and watch The Matrix. I had never seen The Matrix until that moment; It was further testament that I need to start believing anything is possible, and I am capable of doing whatever I put my mind to.
Who knew that deciding to eat only bananas for a week would help me realize that I was subconsciously avoiding self-love and living in line with my passions? Who knew that by doing a cleanse, I was really avoiding myself? And how ironic that what really got cleansed out wasn’t necessarily physical toxins, but mental ones? Negative self-talk and depressive thinking.
It’s always a good idea to cleanse every once in awhile. Even if you’re the healthiest person alive, you may still find that there could be some benefit behind it. Just remember to stick it through and have faith in yourself. You can achieve anything you put your mind to.
P.s. be sure to drink enough water.