30 Bananas a Day!

Orange and Cucumber 10 Day Challenge! A dynamic Duo!

I've read about the positive experiences that people have had eating only one type of fruit for an extended period of time.  I haven't ever tried it myself, and now feel I want to give it a shot. 

Over the last 5 weeks I've been running a lot less than usual.  I had to cut back on my running for a few reasons:

I came down with a bad virus after running 296 miles in 8 days and sleeping very little.  This side tracked me for almost 2 weeks. 

Then I got kinda lazy getting back into my regular running routine to be honest (yea, it can happen!) 

Hence I've put on about 4-5lbs of fat over my peak running weight.    I want to get back in top form to run a few more marathons and ultra marathons before the end of this year. So it's time to try this 'duo diet' for a while. 

I am a big fan of high water content fruits.  I've experience my best running and physical performances when I am eating primarily citrus (oranges mainly).  I never really get sick of oranges - especially the Valencia's that I am getting now.  So I figured my fruit of choice would be fantastic organic Valencia oranges. 

But I also want to have a 2ndary option for the times when I just can't eat another orange, which I'm sure will happen many times over a 10 day period. 

I thought about the option of celery, but I feel it's a bit harder to digest and too 'tough' if I was going to be eating a ton of it.  I also considered Asian pears, as they are extremely juicy and 'light'.  Watermelon was another thought.  But I've decided that pealed cucumbers and then taking out the seeds and just eating the crunchy part would be ideal in my mind. 

So I'm starting Friday October 22nd, and having the goal of 10 days, just eating oranges and cucumbers.  (The reason I'm starting October 22nd is because I have to eat all the other food in my house!)

I will continue to do my regular run training.  I have no plans of changing my lifestyle at all during this time.  I expect to eat at least a case of oranges and 10-15lbs of cucumbers per day.  I also expect to drop about 1/4 to 1/2 a lb a day of fat (I'm currently at about 124 and expect to get to 118 which is my ideal race weight).

I will not be counting calories and have no plans to focus on eating less, rather I plan to eat an insane amount of oranges as my primary calories.  Yet I know from experience that I will drop body fat for sure no matter how many citrus calories I take in.

Anyone interested in joining in?  We can keep each other motivated and see what it's like to try something new!

***If you plan on joining in on this 10 day adventure with me please post below. If you're not on board please refrain from commenting so we can keep the thread communications and experiences only for the people on board.  Yet, if you have done a challenge like this and want to offer some supportive comments/experience then please do post. 

Thank you.


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why were your gums bleeding? do you brush & floss?
Here are my supportive comments. ;)

#Eating 10-15lbs of cucumbers a day? Did I read right? If I did, that would provide volume in the absence of calories. I cant think when this is EVER a good idea as it leads to burn out for athletes and blow out for non athletes.

#Taking the seeds out of the cucumbers? Mike can you imagine being on a podium and getting second and you say over the microphone 'Hey folks, I would have won today but I got lazy with removing the seeds from my cucumbers this week and it cost me first place..'

#Youve put on 4/5lbs of 'fat'? How can we objectify this? Using a vague variable scale like a tanita? I can vary 10% in a day with one of those things. Underwater weighing or dexa scan stats only before we jump to conclusions and make dietary/lifestyle changes. If we have blubber to burn we need to live more vs eat less cos living more = fun and eating less = sucks.

#You just got out of hospital from pushing yourself too far and you want to push even further only a few weeks later? Thats like smashing a window from playing tennis inside and now you want to play baseball inside..and Sabathia is going to be the pitcher.. Fruitarian Anne ended up in hospital after trying to do too much on too little calories. Doesnt matter if we are eating the best food on the planet, our immune system will eventually crash us out.

#What is peak body composition? What we 'think' it is or what we allow ourselves to feel good about. I know plenty of people that say 'Im not lean enough yet so I cant race as fast as I should' but in reality they will run faster when they allow themselves too. I remember when I was 15 we gave a mate an 'acid trip' but it was nothing more than a square of paper. He laughed a lot and we laughed even louder which caused him to laugh even louder and we all learned a lot that day regarding the 'power of the mind'..

#Your way leaner than Michael Shelley but he runs faster. Leaner doesnt equate to faster.

#My tip for you would be to measure your calories so you know what is working and what doesnt. Otherwise you may as well throw out your Garmin and just listen to your body. Next marathon just close your eyes at the mile markers and 'listen to your body'. Next time at the gas station just put some fuel in the tank and cross your fingers you got the right amount. Sure you have massive experience in fruit eating and elite marathoning but even champions like you still perform better with tools that help keep our performances consistent. When we are objective, we take out the guess work. When we listen to our body, we are often influenced by outside influences. Its like the start of yesterdays marathon, I didnt listen to my body, I listened to my garmin cos if I listened to my body I would have led the race for the first half and then totally blew up and been walking home vs starting out smart and finishing strong for 6th place with the help of my garmin to pace me. I was running behind Kelvin Marshall for around 41km of the 42.2km race. When I caught him my mind said 'Kelvin is one of the best ultra runners in Australia, you shouldnt be running with him, slow down!' But I checked my Garmin and said to myself 'Kelvin is a smart runner and he is running at a pace that you can sustain, just stick with him and keep positive' and for my smart running I got rewarded.

Thats just what I think anyways.. :)
Harley, hey man what's up with the knocks man! ;)
#1: the cucumbers are all water, 15lbs a day equates to almost all water cleansing wrapped up in some fiber. The cucumbers are refreshing and break up the constant orange intake which is the primary source of cals, I am not suggesting that cucumbers is a good long term diet, not sure where you got that idea?
I'll be eating 5000-6000 cals a day coming from oranges, I don't think that is calorie restrictive at all.

#2: The 'podium' comment: Hey, I actually know what it's like to be on the podium ;) So bro, easy on the jokes! This is a test of your sense of humor!
I got some experience in this diet now, and don't think what I'm doing for 10 days is going to hurt my chances of achieving peak fitness going into the end of the year.

#3 I have put on 4-5lbs of fat in the last 5 weeks. It sure isn't muscle! It's very VERY possible to gain a 1lb of fat per week when you suddenly change your exercise volume as I did. I am positive of this. I don't know why some people are stating bf % is so hard to determine? If you are weighing yourself in the morning on an empty stomach, and not dehydrated or hyperhydrated, the Tanita scales are generally very good 2-3% margin of error in most cases. I'll let you guys do the research to confirm that. Picking out one rouge study saying the results of Tanita scales were unreliable isn't what I think is good research, do some real comparison testings with hydrostatic weighing (which also has flaws etc) vs. Tanita scales, it's all real close when controls are in place as suggested.

I hate to knock bananas or dates, but 5000 cals of bananas/dates a day vs 5000 cals of oranges a day create different results in retained body fat. Anyone who is on this 10 day challenge with me will figure that out as fact real fast...

Bananas are the best transition food ever in my opinion, but I find them a bit less refreshing over other options that I've grown to like more over the years. I think if bananas weren't as readily available and if they cost a lot, people wouldn't be talking them up so much. The banana cartels did a good job of getting them everywhere and at low prices, but I personally like other fruits more when I have the choice. Yet I still tell anyone trying LFRV to become best friends with them!

Oranges make me feel like a Jedi Master though, you get an altered state of consciousness when eating mostly oranges as I've experienced before. I always ran my best times when eating mostly oranges.

I am not suggesting this 10 day orange/cucumber thing as a sustainable way to eat, it's something I want to do so I can get back to stealth body fat levels which will massively improve my running performances. I'd love for you to join us, hey man don't knock it till you try it!

#4 My hospital visit was due to having an insane high fever for almost 2 days. This resulted in catching a really bad virus after I severely lowered my immune system from running 296 miles in 8 days! yea, try to wrap your head around that kind of distance in running - that's almost 500kms man! That's a great bike week! My diet had nothing to do with me catching a bad virus, it was my lack of sleep that was the cause (or the 296 miles! lol).
Thanks for your concern about taking it easy, but this episode was over 5 weeks ago now and I'm already well over 100 miles a week again in running and ok now. All the oranges will boost my immune system, I'm sure of that.

#5 Running fast is all about math mainly. Gravity is a constant in the sport and learning how to deal with it properly helps a lot in learning to run faster for a long period of time. Not only is fat dead weight which does nothing but slow you down and create more stress on the muscles, but it also keeps you from cooling well.
Fat is dead weight, get rid of it, run faster and with less risk of injury.
I also tell people to get rid of other dead weight if they want to run/exercise and feel their best, examples being:
Shoes, run in super light weight shoes.
Never get your shoes/socks wet.
If your feet are heavy it will make a massive difference in effort to keep those things moving fast!

I also never eat any solid food 15 hours before a maximal effort in running, weight in your gut is as dead weight as excess fat on your hips. I've been at 3% body fat and not able to run fast at all because I had 6 lbs of food in my gut and it just slows you down big time!

On your suggestion that mental/physiological power is a factor in performance - I agree, and when I'm eating mostly oranges I find my mind to be razor sharp! When I eat tons of bananas I kinda want to take a nap! :0) Don't kill me for these comments bro!

"underfat' is almost non-existent in humans, even in top level athletes.
I think you should seriously consider trying this out with us, I bet you'll have a serious 6 pack in the end and run damn fast!
Shelley is a fat ass! LOL, I'm half joking, b/c he seriously needs to drop some subcutaneous fat, he's got no upper body muscle, which is great for long distance runners, but he still has a bit too much fat if you want to do eagle eye analysis at Olympic type levels of critique
Without wanting to take your thread off course I will just add that I have spoken to various exercise physiologists and dexascan 'operators' and they all seem to agree that the Tanita body fat scales are highly inaccurate because they send an electrical impulse up one leg that bounces off the bladder and goes down the other leg, only measuring the body fat in the legs and even then not accurately. Gotta get you a scan Michael, they only take about 6mins ;) It would be interesting to compare the result with the Tanita.
Talking to a 'dexascan' operator is like talking to a nutritionist that works for McDonalds...com'on, Tanita is not some joke technology, the stuff is very accurate when used under controlled conditions. I should know, I used to use one when I was also working in a lab where we did hydrostatic weighing on athletes, and they are very close results. But I think it doesn't matter what I say, some people willl never take much of what I say as reliable unless I have a lab coat on and have a Phd, yet I'm one of the best ultra runners in the United States, been a health enthusiast and competitive athlete for over 20 years and seem to have my diet pretty well dialed in ;) , Tanita is pretty darn good for a $100. scale.
Talking to a 'dexascan' operator is like talking to a nutritionist that works for McDonalds...com'on

lol haha are you serious?! That's like saying 'talking to a Cardiologist about about cholesterol and heart health is useless!' ;-D Com'on Just because they aren't raw vegan doesn't mean they aren't experts on body composition. When it comes to learning about body fat %'s and body composition these guys know their stuff. They are qualified exercise physiologist's and often times they have a PHD in Sports Science and human movement . The guy I saw Dr. Jarrod D. Meerkin Ph.D., M.Sc. (Hons), B.App.Sc. Is an Exercise Physiologist yes with a Ph.D (doesn't make him a bad person) a Masters degree (with honours) and a Bachelor of Applied Science. Dr Meerkin is an expert in dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan technology. I think it's safe to say he knows a thing or two about body composition, he doesn't need to know the first thing about nutrition in this case, it's not related to determining accurate body fat levels. Before I put my faith in a pair of scales that were designed by 'Mens health Magazine' (juuust kidding ;-P) I would be trusting his expertise. A dexascan measures fat tissue, muscle tissue, bone density and water weight.

Hey and that's fine I know you are an awesome high achiever when it comes to running, no doubt about it! You are my inspiration!
I feel it's quite fair enough to question the efficiency of certain fat testing modalities that has been proven to be inaccurate by the experts in the field. It has nothing to do with 'wearing a white coat' and everything to do with science and being as objective as we can be, some people DO just know more than we do on certain topics. There is a reason technology has advanced from the Tanita Scales or they would be still using them in top level research facilities as a reliable measurement of body fat.

Buuuut anyways I've said my piece on it and I look forward to being able to make objective comparisons in the future.

Tanita can be useful to those wanting a rough estimation sure.

Carry on duo dieters :-))
yes. love the idea and loving oranges a lot for the past couple of weeks now. i am in!
Can't wait to start! Oranges are so good right now. It's a great way to celebrate the new season of fruit. Thanks for the motivation.
just got back from a foraging mission at an organic grape grower down the road. i have about 100kg of the most amazing black muscat grapes. they are about 5 euro a kg in the shop. looks like ill be on grape island for a while. sorry no oranges :)
I'd be willing to give "citrus island" a try when tangerines and navels start arriving.

I'll be curious to know how you guys like cutting up/ peeling citrus. For me, it's the biggest pain in the ass. First you cut them into quarters, then you cut out the seeds, then you peel off the skin. I guess compared to cooking it still isn't bad, but it takes so long compared to splitting open a melon.

Last winter I was doing 1-2 meals of citrus a day and felt great, but the prep time was bugging me.

Clementines, on the other hand, are delicious, seedless, and the skins come right off. Hard to find them in big boxes, though.
I plan to juice about 1/2 of my oranges a day with this:

I find most Valencia oranges very easy to peel, the skin comes off really fast like Clementine's. I was getting fantastic Valencia's in California in late August, I'm sure they are still around - check into them, they are the best ever!

You can also turn all the cucumbers into 'cucumber pasta' if you want to spend more time on food prep and get an extra benefit from a fun texture in the food. I'm sure I'll be going mad at times eating only these 2 things over 10 days! lol But I'm gonna run fast and get ripped!



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