so a few weeks ago, my parents put me on a 'diet budget' - $40 per week.
I dunno about elsewhere, but in central WI, in late April, that's not a lot. So, I was eating a lot of bananas.
Like, maybe 15ish bananas a day?
I know that FreeLee can eat this many in, like, a meal - so maybe by this communities standards it's not a lot - but it was for me! Haha.
Anyhow, I was fine for maybe a week and a half - and then I started to just abhor bananas. They were all I had in the house to eat, and I would chose to just not eat at all and be hungry, rather than forcing myself to eat another banana. I was worried, I knew I wasn't getting enough calories - but honestly, in comparison with eating bananas I didnt care.
Also, a few days later, I got sicker than I have been in over 2 years. I was congested, my skin was really sensitive, my throat hurt, I was really tired, and I felt like I was going to throw up. I slept for 17 hours, woke up and felt good for a day, then woke up the next feeling like crap again.
I have been really enjoying and wanting greens recently, so daddy thinks I may have suffered some sort of toxicity or whatever from the bananas? (As greens are naturally very detoxing)
I have been fruitarian for a little over half a year now, too. - I've just been working on eating monomials & trying to get higher carbs.
I'm 16, 5'2, 103lbs, by the way (if that's important, idk)
I don't have an extremely active lifestyle, but I do yoga for a little over an hour every day, and I walk 20+ mins per day.
I know people have gone one 'banana island' and eaten nothing but bananas for a month+ ...so what did I do wrong? What happened here? Any ideas?
Thank you so much, in advance, for your responses!
I have the same problem eating lot's of bananas. I am working on too.
I think the symptoms you are describing are detox. I went through the same thing when I started. I slept like crazy! I am 5 months into this lifestyle, yippee! and now I am having trouble sleeping. I think I am under carbed but I am still building the stomach and appetite for large mono fruit meals.
No such thing as toxicity from bananas, so no worries there. Some silly ideas like that float around from time to time, usually to do with potassium, but they're all baseless.
In terms of what you experienced, it's hard to say if the bananas were related directly to the sickness, or if other factors were at play (which is, imho, most likely). One thing to check is if your bananas are ripe enough. Unripe bananas can wreak havoc on our system. See here for how your bananas should look.
Aside from that, many variables would need to be considered to be able to figure out what caused the sickness, so if you're wanting to delve deep and find the answers, try to share with us a few things:
1. daily consumption (average cals/day) (particularly through that time). If you're tracking your cals through cronometer or another program, that'll help you be more accurate on your totals
2. how much sleep you've been getting
3. were you hydrated (i.e. was your pee clear during that time)?
4. exercise during that time (you touched on it above, but was there anything else around then?)
5. what else, besides the bananas, were you eating/drinking?
Just off the top of my head, from what you describe above, I'd bet that because you got tired of bananas you, like you said, chose to go hungry instead, which means you undercarbed and perhaps you wore yourself down which led to your sickness. But again, I'd want more info to be more confident in that.
If you're cravings greens, definitely go for it. Just make sure to get enough cals from fruit during the day, since the greens are so low in calories (but high in the nutrients you need).
About your 'diet budget': there are lots of good tricks to eat well (and with variety) on a low budget. Mainly; get to know the produce managers at the store - just ask to talk to them one day when you're there, and ask them if they sell in bulk, if they have an 'over ripe' sale bag or if they give away unwanted fruit (quite often if they have blemishes they'll get pulled from the bin, even if they're still good).
Lastly: excellent blog! I'm just going through your blogspot posts and they're really good. I imagine your teachers have told you already, but I'll say it anyway: you're a wonderful writer! Descriptive, creative, near perfect grammar and above all, intelligent! I look forward to scouring through the rest of your posts :)
Wow, thank you for your detailed response!
I am pretty sure my bananas are ripe - they had lots of brown spots, never had green on the stem, had thin skin, and were very sweet, so I don't believe that was the issue.
1. I was probably eating 2,000 cals per day, tops... (again, at least until I decided I'd rather die than eat more bananas.. hah) though I just did most of the calculations in my head, rather than with an online logging system - so I could be a couple hundred or so off. I'm sort of conflicted as to how many calories I should be eating - I am really very small, so I don't know whether that's enough or not? If I was not getting enough carbs, which of my symptoms do you think this would have contributed to?
2. Actually, I was pretty stressed with homework that week... and I just took an AP, college credit test, so I was staying up crazy hours studying... I think I was lucky to get 6 hours of sleep that week. I think that definately might have contributed to getting sick. Anything else?
3. Yeah, I was definately hydrated. 3L a day, not an oz less. I was really pissing my teachers off peeing every half hour... lol. Could I have been over-hydrating, based on my size, I wonder? Is that possible?
4. Umm, I had cheer practice maybe once or twice, and prom - so that was about 4 hours of dancing, late into the night, once. And I played a little bit of light volleyball recreationally on a few occassions, but that was it.
5. Besides bananas... I had greens probably every other day. Oranges. Strawberries. A few pineapple. Watermelon. Tomatoes. Dates. Raisins. Cucumbers. Cilantro. &That's all that comes to mind. ...Though all of them were in very small proportion to bananas.
I think that you may definately be right about what happened. Do you have any tips on not getting tired of a certain fruit? Do you know why this might have happened? Thanks!
Yes, that was what I thought about the greens, too. I have been eating lots - probably about a head a night, maybe a little under, the past few days.
I have been trying to include lots of fruit in my diet too... though it's been sort of hard in my post-banana episode, I have little desire to eat many at all, so I feel like I can't even afford the all calories I should be getting at this point... Your ideas about affordable fruits definately sound like gems! It's kinda of funny, some of the people who stock the produce section have started to recognize me and greet me when they see me... we have conversations sometimes so asking them about extra produce shouldn't be hard! Thank you!
Finally, aww, thanks so much! I'm flattered! It's nice to get feedback haha... I've really been enjoying blogging recently, lol. (:
If I was not getting enough carbs, which of my symptoms do you think this would have contributed to?
1. So, even for your size, 2000 is a bit low. Our recommended 2500 minimum for women seems to work well, even for our tiniest ones :) (more on that later)
It's always difficult to trace symptoms to a cause, particularly online, but the main concerns with being undercarbed are long-term deficiencies in nutrients and lack of overall energy (which includes the energy for all your bodily processes). Thus, the lack of energy/fuel for your body can, over time, compromise your immune system - even if not readily noticeable, this allows colds and flu and such to 'get a foothold'.
2. Actually, I was pretty stressed with homework that week
That would definitely impact you, and is likely one of the causal factors of your getting sick. Stress is a powerful factor in most illness. Break down the word disease (dis-ease) and we see why. ;)
3. Could I have been over-hydrating, based on my size, I wonder? Is that possible?
Great that your staying hydrated. I wouldn't worry about over-hydrating. While it is technically possible to drink too much water, the amount is extreme and would only really happen if you were trying to make it happen.
4. That all sounds fine. The late night does have an impact, but hey, you're young and your body should be capable of handling a late night here and there :). My philosophy on exercise (which is shared by some, but not all here) is that it's really about just moving your body - doesn't have to be extreme, so long as you are regularly moving around, walking, playing games, etc.. So, I think you're fine on that count. On days when you have more exercise, just remember that you'll need more cals as well - fuel up to thrive :)
5. Those all sound like great foods!
Do you have any tips on not getting tired of a certain fruit? Do you know why this might have happened?
In terms of getting tired of a certain fruit, I'm all for changing things up. I'll go a few days on almost solid bananas, then I'll go on a watermelon feast for a few days, then I'll go hard on the dates, then will crave bananas again, etc.. Seems to work out fine over the long-term. My other trick is making smoothies - lots of variety and flavor mixtures to explore!
As far as the 'why' of your experience. Main thing is not getting enough overall calories, which leads to low carbs, low protein (not that we need a lot, but we do need some), nutrient deficiencies over time, low energy, etc., and the secondary causes would be the lack of sleep and stress of that period. I would work on two things:
a) getting enough grams of carbs per day. Aim for 10 grams per kilogram of body weight as a minimum. You're about 47 kilograms (103lbs), which would mean a minimum of about 470 grams of carbs per day. I'd aim for an even 500. So, at an 80/10/10 calorie ratio, that would work out to approx. 2400 cals/day. So you can see that our 2500 minimum is applicable to even you 'little ones' ;). Aim higher than this amount simply to provide more energy and vitality to your life.
And like I mentioned, you might wanna give smoothies a try. I swear by them. They really help in not getting sick of a particular fruit, because you can just switch it up and combine whatever you want. See the bottom of My Page for tips on this and for a chart of proper fruit combining practices.
b) Try to get into a decent sleep schedule. It does wonders. If you're in a good sleeping pattern, your body finds it easier to be in homeostasis (full relaxation/balance), which makes everything easier. If you're in a good pattern, you can have a day or two with little sleep and be able to manage it better. 8-10 hours per night, instead of 6, should make a difference.
Getting in the greens is a really good thing. Overall, I think you're definitely on the right track. What you're looking at now is to tweak things a little here and there as you continue to move towards optimal health. Also, the things you need to tweak are the most common things on this lifestyle: total cals, sleep, stress, etc.
Definitely keep up the blogs! The vegan and animal-rights community needs more voices, particularly in your generation. :)
WOW I didn't realize I was supposed to eat that much! I just figured out my day so far and I am around 670 calories. We are really supposed to eat that much??? I am just back on my raw path after a serious hiatus. Where can I find more info to do this right? I am searching and reading but still need more.
Hi Jill. Yep, this is the thing that shocks most people in the beginning. We definitely need to eat that much if we want to thrive! Doug Graham has a good calculation for figuring out the bare-minimum calories we need (just for survival) - see the 80/10/10 book. The 10 grams per kilo of body weight has been developed over time as a good basis, drawn from lots of experience. It makes for a good guideline. We've set minimum recommendations here at 2500 for women and 3000 for men, with good results - though many go well beyond these minimums (even some of our tiny women eat 3000+ per day, while staying fit and bubbling with energy).
For more info:
Our Banana Welcome Wagon has loads of great information for starting out.
Also check out our FAQ section for tonnes of links to further info.
Then just set about searching through 30BaD, as there have been hundreds of amazing discussions over the years all about how much we need to eat and why, what kinds of foods are optimal and why, how and why our bodies respond differently to raw fruits and veggies versus cooked and processed foods, etc., etc.. There are also many great testimonials from people to read through (check out the blog section).
And, if after doing some reading you have more questions or are looking for details, post in the forum and we'll do our best to help :)
Thank you! I somehow missed that. I actually saw Dr. Graham at a talk many years ago. Very good talk but ahem... very long ago now.....
I wouldn't blame the bananas, it definitely sounds like you were detoxing.
Perhaps however, I have already been fruitarian for 6+ months, and haven't experienced any adverse effects up till now; Do you know of any reasons that perhaps detox would have been delayed?
Well... infants begin life on a higher fat percentage diet, from mother's milk, and as children are growing (toddler years and up to, say 10) the ratio of fats should fall steadily from what mother's milk was, down to the 10% level or under. By the age of 16 we're completely fine and capable of eating the 811 ratio, which is our ideal by that stage of development, imho. I don't see why she'd need to add more, or what benefits she'd hope to gain from doing so. The increased cals she'd gain from higher fat intake would surely be offset by the negative effect of increased dietary fat in her system (coating cells, etc.).
I'll tell you straight up, if you think you're going to survive on 15 bananas a day because you only have $5 a day for food and then not eat at all when you don't feel like eating any more bananas you are bound for failure, very quickly. If that's the best you can do on 80/10/10 you better just let it go for now and get on the McDougle plan. I don't know if you can even afford that on $5 a day.
I spend about $90-$100 a week, and I get my bananas very cheap, and most of my calories come from bananas. I hope to bring that down a little during the summer when I'll have stuff from my garden. You should figure out how much money the rest of your family is spending on their food. $40 is a dinner bill for 2 with drinks. But if this $40 is firm, and you really want to succeed, you've gotta get a job. Mow lawns, babysit, something. Find out your parents least favorite chores, and get them to pay you in food. Forty bucks is not enough.
On the banana issue... Bananas make me gag after eating more than 3 of them straight. I eat them in smoothies. I LOVE banana smoothies.