A Banana Island is simple: only eat bananas. I decided to “visit” Banana Island for seven days.
Life (as it normally goes) had been busy of late; I wanted to simplify things. I also wanted to experience a level of intimacy with a single fruit unlike anything I had ever experienced before. And finally, I was curious to see if a week of mono-eating produced any weight loss.
The week went by smoothly, although I did stop a day early, as I ran out of ripe bananas and did not see the point of eating starchy or frozen bananas just for the sake of completing the week.
During the first day I experienced a heightened awareness. Since my body was efficiently digesting only a single food I had heaps and bounds of additional energy—energy that was not spent on the digestion of food. This is the appeal of a fruit-based diet and something I experience regularly, however, it was heightened on Banana Island.
I loved the simplicity; not once did I ever have to decide what to have for dinner, as the answer was always the same: bananas! My productivity increased and I had more time for other things such as reading or spending time with my family.
The only hiccup I had on Banana Island was at midnight on day two. I awoke feeling lightheaded, hot, and thirsty. At first I thought I had low levels of sodium. I had some celery (sorry, I cheated), which tasted poorly, which is my indication that I was not low on sodium. I followed the celery with some bananas and a stout glass of water. My symptoms evaporated and I went back to sleep. Turns out I was just hungry.
Other than that, Banana Island was flawless and I would do it again. During the week I lived as I normally would: I ran everyday, lifted weights, and went to work. Banana Island is not a way to survive but a way to thrive. Although I would not suggest permanent residency on Banana Island, I would, however, suggest a visit. The power of fruit may just surprise you.
6 Tips for a successful Banana Island
1. Eat as many bananas as you care for. During the week the amount of bananas I ate daily increased. On day one I ate 26; on day six I ate over 40. My body was telling me to eat so I listened.
2. Buy lots. Buy more bananas than you think necessary. I ate over 200 bananas (which is about two cases worth) in six days. In the end, I ran out. So buy lots. The worse case scenario is you put some ripe bananas in the fridge or freezer.
3. Go ripe. Eating starchy bananas is like eating crunchy rice: it sucks. So wait to visit Banana Island until you have a sufficient amount of ripe bananas. You may be surprised, once you start, how quickly your ripe bananas disappear.
4. Drink lots of water. Bananas, compared to other fruits and vegetables, are lower in water content. I found by drinking water before my bananas that my digestion improved.
5. Mix it up! You can have bananas in more than one way besides the standard “peel-n-chew.” I enjoyed banana smoothies, mashed bananas, and (my favourite) banana ice cream.
6. The Romaine Game
If you are new to a fruit-based lifestyle and want to attempt a Banana Island I’d suggest incorporating romaine lettuce. Romaine lettuce is higher in sodium than bananas. If you are craving salty foods then you need to eat more greens.