I love a good detox. There are many different ways to detoxify, however the ‘banana island cleanse’ was something I never tried before. A lot of people might know The Bananagirl/Freelee on Youtube. However, here in the Netherlands this is rather unknown. Time to introduce the bananas! For seven days I was a fruitarian. Only monomeals (meals consisting of one type of fruit). In my case of course, bananas.
Thank you for all the positive comments and encouragements on my social media. So here it is, by popular demand my article with tips on my week on banana island.
What is Banana Island?
The idea is to eat monomeals to give your digestion a rest. Monomeals could also be just eating mango’s, however bananas are unique. They contain a lot of energy, are easy to carry around and easy to eat (just peel). They are also everywhere available and inexpensive. As an average woman you would want to eat 20 bananas a day and more if you exercise. Men eat an average of five bananas more per day than women. In addition, you can add some green lettuce, cucumber or celery. You can also add some cinnamon or vanilla extract in your smoothie or banana ice cream.
How does a day on Banana Island look like?
I always start my day with oil pulling and lukewarm lemon water. This was no different on banana island. After that I would make about 2 liters of banana milk/smoothie with water, 9 bananas, cinnamon and / or vanilla drops. I would drink this through the day until 2.00 pm. I divided it into three bottles. In between I would eat as many bananas in solid form as I wanted. In the evening it’s time for a banana ice-cream (blend frozen bananas) or salad with banana and cucumber. Depending on what I feel like eating. The idea is of course to make a salad with no oil or salt, only plain lettuce. Really like monkeys do. They also wrap their bananas in green leaves and then eat it as wraps. This is the whole idea of green smoothies. You mix green and make it sweet with fruit.
In between you drink as much water as possible. No tea, coffee or other juices. Water only. I found it very nice to drink lukewarm water. At least 2 liters of water is the best.
What is the nutritional value of bananas?
10 bananas will provide you with the following:
• 1050 calories
• 4 mg of fat
• 12 mg of sodium
• 4.220 mg of potassium
• 270 grams of carbohydrate (of which 31 fibers and 144 sugar)
• 103 mg of vitamin C
• 30 mg of iron
• also vitamins A, B6, proteins and magnesium
Yes, even proteins are covered on banana island. And of course, even more if you add your greens.
How was it?
The first day I was tired and I had some mild headaches. The second day the headache was gone, but I started getting really cold. These are all (mild) detoxifying symptoms. What I noticed on the second day was that all puffiness /liquids were gone . My stomach seemed much slimmer than before and muscles were much more visible. I lost almost 4,5 pounds , but that is part of a detox. I also noticed a deep glow in my skin. I always thought my skin was ok (read: no pimples ), but a glow? Ok, I can get used to that. Cravings bothered me the most in the evening of day 2. A good vegan Thai soup? Yum! But I stayed on the island! The longer I was on the island the more easier it seemed to be. During the first few days I slept deep and long. I also noticed it was nice to have some more time on my hands in the evening. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook but I also have a lot of work to do and this week I had a chance to catch up.
Will I still be able to poo?
When you make sure you are hydrated and only eat ripe bananas there is absolutely nothing to worry about.
Will I not get too much potassium?
No! Do not be afraid of that. An average woman would need to eat about 318 bananas within 30 seconds to get a lethal dose of potassium. That will not happen. Anything that will take longer than 30 seconds will be solved by your kidneys. So nothing to worry about. There are people who eat 30 or 50 bananas per day … Just saying.
Will I not eat too much sugar?
Of course I wouldn’t advise high doses of fruit sugars to someone who has diabetes or may not handle fruit sugars very well (react for example with skin problems ). This cleanse is also not recommended if you are chronically ill. Don’t worry , there are many other great ways to detoxify in such cases. But if you are healthy, you shouldn’t be afraid for the sugars. Many people still confuse natural fruit sugars with artificial white sugars. Our body needs the natural sugar though. Without glucose we get tired, hungry, depressed and we can’t think clear. Every cell in our body needs glucose. It’s fresh ripe fruit ! Since when is that unhealthy?
Fruit is also the easiest source of sugars/carbs to digest. Your digestion will love it! Fruit is also easy to process for your whole body (not just your digestion). Fruit gives you the safest and healthiest way of energy. A true instant boost. Most people who say that fruit is bad confuse artificial white sugar with sugar from nature.
Of course it’s important to get some exercise as well, but with so much energy you will be only pleased to do so!
I’m not an advocate of an existence as a fruitarian, but consuming a lot of fresh fruit will benefit many people. This banana island is just a cleanse of only a certain period of time (perhaps 7 or even 30 days). You give your body a break from all the fat and salt we normally eat.
Why is Banana Island so much fun?
- You give your body (digestion) a rest of all the crap you normally eat. Although I eat healthy there are days when I eat too much or eat too much fat. Perhaps you wonder why it’s so important to give your digestion a rest. The body spends most energy to digest food. If it gets some rest it can focus on healing the body itself. Heal! Indeed, that’s’ s right. So much energy that the body will need to digest instead of heal.
- It’s an easy cleanse . Expensive devices are not required. Just a cheap blender or mixer will do. You will not need to worry about complicated juice recipes. You can go anywhere (travel), because everywhere they sell bananas. And you don’t even need to wash them.
- It’s cheap! For a week of food I spent 35 euros.
- It’s a cleanse without hunger. I was never really hungry. I only had cravings in the first few days.
- The very best of banana island is the mental part. You will make a distinction between emotional eating and real hunger. Because if you’re really hungry, you wouldn’t mind eating a banana. Are you hungry? Here a banana. No? Why not? So are you really hungry then? You go into a discussion with yourself. If you get to the core reason, you’ll figure out why you want to eat something. For me that was in the evening , the cozy feeling. This includes a date or a piece of raw dark chocolate. That is not the purpose of eating . You eat on banana island not to be hungry. After three days all my cravings were gone and I had to force myself to eat enough bananas. Food mentally did nothing to me.
- Because I slept like a baby, I had a lot of energy . Also bananas provided the well known happy feeling. This was my first detox without being cranky for one day.
- The fibers will make you feel full all day.
- You can eat ice cream every day (and that during a detox! )
- If you eat enough bananas and drink plenty of water, working out is not a problem.
What I didn’t like
- The first few days I was so extremely cold. Only on day four this disappeared and I could literally swap my ski sweater for a thin long sleave. Very odd.
- You will need a lot of bananas. If you live in a small place and you can’t stand the smell of ripe bananas, it could be tricky.
- I started to miss cooking after day four.
- After four days you are getting fed up with bananas.
- I would not consider this as a diet to lose weight. Banana island might be a way to lose weight (not for all) like any other detox, but you will also gain weight when you start eating normal again.
Banana island is perfect to give your healthy habits (what and how much you eat ) a kick start or to move to a (more) vegan or raw diet.
- This cleanse is perfect if you’re busy and have no time or if you’re travelling a lot.
- Buy all the bananas on the market and negotiate about the price.
- Do not buy too far ahead.
- Freeze the bananas when they are ripe and place them in the fridge when they are nearly ripe. Ripe them at room temperature.
- Make smoothie’s in the morning for the entire day.
- Count on 20 bananas a day or more ( when you exercise ).
- Drink plenty of water.
- Add some green in the evening for some crisp and variation.
- Eat plenty of bananas. Don’t eat much less as you’ll start to feel weak .
- Switching directly to a lot of cooked foods after banana island may leave you with a headache the next day.
- If you need motivation or want to know more about banana island or this lifestyle (raw with lots of fruit) you can watch below video or read The 80/10/10 diet by Douglas Graham
I wanted to give my body a cleanse and give my digestive a rest. It’s difficult to say if my body is detoxified, besides the fact that my skin has this glow and I look much more lean. However, I did noticed that my digestion got a rest. If you’re busy, can’t handle hunger, if you want to keep your energy and care about convenience then banana island is a good detox for you.
I will probably eat more than my average of five bananas a day though (I want to keep that glow!).