Monday, 28 October 2013

Banana Island

Remember that time I tried to give up fruit temporarily?  Yeah, it wasn't too long ago and if you remember, I lasted 6 weeks out of the 8.
I don't deem it a failure, not at all, if anything, it taught me a lot about myself.  Maybe it was plainly obvious but hey, sometimes you just have to learn the hard way.
The plain truth is that I love fruit.  And perhaps like most things, it took given it up, if only momentarily, to bring me to the realisation that my body thrives on eating fruit.
How do I know this?  Well, throughout the 6 weeks that I wasn't eating it, I was eating other things, and although they were by most accounts, clean plant based foods, I wasn't feeling as good as I do when my main diet is made up of fruits and vegetables.
This got me to thinking about 801010 again, so I revisited the book by Dr. D. Graham and again, just like the first time, it made complete sense to me.  
So, since giving up on giving up fruit, I started to slowly cut out some of the things that the 801010 diet suggests.  First to go was salt, guess what, I lost two kilos, all of it retained fluid I'm sure.
Second to go was caffeine, guess what? I don't feel tired, I'm more alert and although I love the smell, I don't crave it.
I also went a step further.  Having failed my first attempt at 801010, I revisited the blogs and youtube channels of some of the individuals who are thriving on this lifestyle and took their advice and tips that they gave.  Guess what? It got easier.
So here is what I did:
After giving up salt and caffeine (including tea & raw cacao), I went on banana island.
Banana WHAT?! Is that like some tropical place somewhere off the coast of somewhere amazing?  Umm, well yes, it could be, it could also be somewhere rich Nigerians live (this is true, I googled it).  
But no, banana island as I'm referring to here is a common practice undertaken by low fat raw vegans (or 801010), where you eat mono meals for a chosen length of time.  In this case bananas.  It doesn't necessarily need to be bananas, it could be mangos (mango island), persimmons, melons, e.t.c.
You also consume tender greens like baby spinach and cos lettuce, and are allowed celery and cucumber as well as cinnamon and vanilla.

Wow, but isn't this type of restrictive eating bad for you?  
The short answer is yes, it totally could be bad for you if you chose to do it for the rest of your life but this isn't a rest of your life thing.  The point of a mono island is as a short term cleanse, where you allow your digestive system to take a break and allow your body to concentrate on other important things, like healing and recovery.

But all those bananas?  Won't you die from potassium poisoning?  
Apparently if you eat 487 bananas you could die, however, I only got to max 22 bananas a day.

But bananas are so full of sugar, that'll make you fat?
Yes, bananas are full of natural sugars and guess what, you need it.  Our bodies are meant to and thrive on carbs, they are after all, the primary source of energy that every cell in our bodies need to function.  Enough said.  What makes us fat is eating refined carbs like sugar, refined grains and flours and refined fats.
I've looked at a lot of individuals on this lifestyle and guess what? They are not fat, nor do they have issues with diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, e.t.c.

But hey, I'm not here to preach to you, you can believe what you want, and I encourage everyone not to take my word for it, go and research for yourself if you are wondering about it. 
I'm just here to tell you about my experience and how it made me feel.  
I know this may be a controversial topic for some people, and that is fine, I know that some people hold strong views about fruit eating, but all I am saying is to have an open mind :)

So, what benefits did I feel on banana island?
- alertness
- increase in energy levels
- improved digestion
- improved elimination (and may I add odourless, for real!)
- good sleep
- not hungry
- didn't feel restricted at all

Will I do it again?  Hell yeah!
I should mention, I also drank on average about 3 litres of water a day, and kept track of my calories on cronometer to make sure I was getting enough.  I aimed for at least 2000 calories a day.
It wasn't tedious  specially since all I was adding up was bananas, cucumbers, cos lettuce, carob, vanilla and celery!

So what the hell did you eat?
Well that's the beauty of having bananas, they are so versatile.
As you know, I always keep frozen bananas in my freezer so lots of smoothies and ice cream were always on the menu.
A typical day would go something like this:
Breakfast- 5 frozen bananas with cinnamon and water, about a litre.  
Lunch - 1 head of baby cos, 3 stalks of celery, 1 cucumber all chopped up + 5 bananas
Dinner - 4 or 5 banana ice cream with a large green salad like the one I had for lunch.
I still had lots of green smoothies and if I felt lazy, i'd just sit down with about 8 bananas, a head of cos lettuce, and wrap up my bananas in cos and eat that.  Easy and no time wasted preparing stuff.

Here's a few things that I had:

Banana & cinnamon 'rice' pudding

Carob & cinnamon banana split
Green salad with vanilla banana ice cream layered with carob coated bananas
So there you have it, my experience on Banana Island in a nut shell, or a banana peel!
If you are interested in doing banana island, I recommend that you first read 801010 by Dr. D. Graham, and also check out the YouTube videos of Freelee the banana girl and Fully Raw Kristina.  These girls have been living a fully raw high carb low fat vegan lifestyle for over 7 years and their stories are really inspiring.
Like with any new or old information, make up your own mind.  If it doesn't sound like something good to you, then leave it, and if it does, than explore it.  There are so many different views out there, it's just about getting information and choosing what works for you.
I also want to stress that this is NOT a weight loss diet, it is just meant to be used as a short term cleanse.  
Long term weight loss if that is what you are looking for, is a combination of things: a clean diet, exercise, plenty of sleep, and a positive mindset.  Everyone does it in their own time, the point is to find time and just do it.
Peas, love and mungbeans



  1. What a great post! thanks so much for sharing your experience being on banana island and for outlining the benefits. There is such a misconception out there that eating too many fruits is not healthy when really the opposite is true. enjoyed reading about your experience. thanks again. gratitude to you. xtif.

    1. Heya Tiffany, it really was the best fun & I wish everyone could do it so they could feel as good as I did & still do! Thanks for your feedback & support, really appreciate it. You'll have to do it with me next time!

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  3. Love this very informative! I am starting banana island today for the 2nd time.I will write about u on my blog and refer this post if you dont mind! Loved Ellens post too xx

    1. Yes, you will have the best time. Will check your blog to see how it went. Good luck lady! xx