30 Bananas a Day!

Ok, so here I go.  I am taking control of my life, my health, and therefore my future.  I am not healthy.  If you see me in person, you may think that I am healthy because I look thin.  Well underneath my clothing, things have changed.  In the past 6 months, I have gained 15 plus pounds and have continued to feel less “alive.”  I have read numerous raw, vegan books and follow closely people living the low fat, high carb, raw vegan diet, aka: 80/10/10 .  I fully believe and trust in this lifestyle and am now more convinced than ever, it is what I need in order to change my life and become healthier.
Below are reasons that I am changing my lifestyle and the health conditions I want to improve upon.
Digestion issues:
I have progressively had more and more digestive issues.  I have cramping, bloating, and nausea on an almost daily basis.  I am never consistent in bowel movements – I am either constipated or having diarrhea.  Probiotics/yogurt, etc do NOT help.  I have daily heartburn and acid reflux which is my main annoyance and problem in this area. 
Allergies / Sinus Congestion / Asthma:
I have an insane amount of allergies.  I’m allergic to basically all animals, and tons of indoor and outdoor allergens.  I have gotten allergy desensitization shots in the past but stopped those when I became ill in March 2012.  My job does not help me stay away from my allergens, I work as a Registered Veterinary Technician and am around my allergies almost daily (but I can’t help doing what I love).  My asthma has gotten increasingly worse over the last few months and my inhaler use is also very much increased.
Acne / Dark Circles:
My acne is persistent and I have breakouts on my chest and back also daily.  I also have 2 areas of persistent redness next to either side of my nose that don’t go away.  Note the pictures were from a recent breakout and the areas of redness I noted.  I have persistent dark circles under my eyes.  People tell me all the time I look tired or sick because of my dark circles.  It sucks.
Weight Gain:
I am 5’2” and currently 121 pounds.  This 15 plus pound weight gain has happened all within the past 6 months.  I cannot find out a reason for this weight gain.  My thyroid levels have been normal and my diet has not changed dramatically (maybe slightly more fast food stops than before).  I have stretch marks on my buttocks (I believe from such a fast increase of fat) and rolls of fat under my bra line.  I cannot bend forward as easily as before because my stomach gets away.  I need pull myself out of my car by grabbing onto the top of the car and getting in, I basically plop in.  I was 102# consistently from the time I was 17 to about July 2011 when I went up to 105# until I started gaining fast in March 2012.  I went from a jean size 1 to a jean size 4, which is difficult to stomach and expensive also to buy basically a new wardrobe.  So my goal is 102# and size 1 jean again.  Granted, my BMI right now is within the normal weight range and if I got down to 102#, I could be in the underweight category, however, I am very small boned and this much weight does not feel good on my body.  I feel very heavy and unable to move freely.  I feel like it’s hindering my movement and that, I don’t believe is healthy.
Energy / Motivation / Endurance / Current Diet:
I have no energy.  I wake up tired and go to sleep exhausted. Plus, I don’t ever sleep well.  My work is physically demanding and tiresome.  I’m on my feet and moving all day.  When I come home from work, I have no more energy left so I basically just sit down on my bed and watch TV until it’s time to sleep.  On my weekends off, I just sit on my bed all day and watch TV because I simply have no energy.  I am absolutely an emotional and boredom eater.  If I don’t have anything to do or am sitting watching TV, I wander to the kitchen and eat.  I’m also a major junk food eater – love all types of fast foods.  LOVE candy, cake, etc.  I have not eaten beef or pork since May 2005 after I did a report for school on slaughterhouses.  I just haven’t been able to quit eating chicken/turkey even though I absolutely want to…
Endometriosis / Uterine Fibroids:
October 2012 I had surgery to remove a uterine fibroid and a diagnostic laprascopy to check for endometriosis, which they did confirm I had…  This was a devastating diagnosis for me because I’m only 26 and not dating anyone and am told that basically if I’m planning on BEGINNING to think about getting pregnant in 5 years, that I should move that timing up.  Endometriosis is a progressive disease with no cure and will only get worse with time.  Basically, the Dr. told me that my biological clock is ticking now.  I immediately felt old, even older than I’ve already been feeling in terms of my energy level as a 26 year old.  I’m not sure that this lifestyle will help with my pain symptoms of this disease, but I have read some reports that it has helped the pain.  We’ll see.
Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia (IST) / Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS):
Back in March/April 2012, I was laid out for almost a month from a condition, which to this day, has not been diagnosed.  I basically had an undiagnosed movement disorder – I couldn’t sit up straight or walk without bobbing and keeping my head still.  Well, during that time, if I stood up too fast or even just standing in the shower or walking around the house, I would have episodes where either my vision would go black and I’d get lightheaded or my heartrate would race out of control until I would sit back down.  The highest rate I recorded was 164 beats per minute with normal being 80-100 beats per minute.  My primary care referred me to a cardiologist who did a stress echocardiogram and made me wear a 48 hour holter monitor which shows them the electrical activity (EKG) of my heart over those 48 hours.  He found that my heart was structurally sound but beated fast in situations where it normally shouldn’t.  He said this was called Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia and was going to treat me as someone with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome as they are in the same class of conditions.  He basically told me to eat a ton more salt and drink a ton more water which would both increase my blood/circulating volume which would increase my blood pressure and therefore not put as much stress on my heart and allow it to slow down.  I can say I’m not following that prescription to a “T” so I still have symptoms, especially mainly after eating a large, high calorie, high fat meal.
No Control Over Body Temperature / Sweating:
I seem to not be able to control my body temperature well (either being really cold all the time or really hot and sweaty often).  Some of this is a symptom of my IST/POTS though.
Greasy Hair:
My hair gets greasy even after 1 day.
Dry Skin / Weak Nails:
My skin is really dry everywhere almost all the time.  My nails are weak and thin and tend to curl over the tips of my fingers if they get too long, which isn’t often because they break a lot.
My cholesterol was 206 in October 2011, with it most likely being even higher now because my diet has gotten worse – more fast food fries.
I realized that my first drawer of my nightstand is basically my medication drawer.  For my digestive issues, I have pepto bismol, Xantac, gas relief pills, tums and fiber chews.  For my allergies and sinus problems, I have 2 different types of antihistamines and a nasal decongestant (along with my prescription nasal spray and inhaler).
Here are some before (ie. current) pictures.

Here is my fruit stash I got for the beginning of my journey.  All this food plus watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, raspberries, lemons, lettuce and apples which are in the fridge.  I know this may not be enough food to last me a week, but I'm new to this and am fully aware I'm going to be going grocery shopping again throughout the week.  Still need to figure out bulk/wholesale routes.
I know already it will be a fight with my cravings.  I’m planning on going for walks or bike rides instead of watching TV and trying to not become bored which usually leads to eating.  I know this lifestyle will be difficult for people to respect and believe in so I’m sure I will have some negative comments.  This is going to be a complete 180 from how I live/eat right now.
I will begin my journey on October 29, 2012.  I have this day off work and plan on doing banana island that day at least and if it’s going well, continuing for a few more days to a week, then all raw.  I need support.  I need comments.  I need to keep myself accountable. I need encouragement.

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Comment by Ray on October 30, 2012 at 3:09pm

how it go?

Comment by Ray on October 29, 2012 at 3:38pm

I think you have to have a loose plan in the beginning, in order for this to work for you.  Since you bought a bunch of fruit already, it makes sense to me to plan it based on what you have that is ripe.  I didn't know you had other fruit and veggies in the fridge, so for me, that would change a lot.  For example, you're berries are most likely yummy but super low carb.  To carb up, I'd throw them in a banana date smoothie without the cinnamon.  

I can't help but group my food together, when I see it all laid out like that.  I used to just eat whatever, and my stomach was a hot mess.  I learned how to food combine and now see my food as somewhat of a logic game.  My rules include figuring out (1) what is ripe first (2) how can I get the most carbs in to keep cravings away (3) what can I carry with me so I don't ever get hungry - hence the dates.  

I generally don't have to plan anything, I just look and my mind tells me what I'm likely to do.  I shelf everything in groups and take it from there.  I never go without dates, because I'm a law student and can only carry so much - these books weigh more than my 60lb dog.  If you're lifestyle allows you to sit down and eat everything without making smoothies or juice, I say go for it. Otherwise, I say eat the heavy stuff at home and pack the other stuff to go.  I never pack bananas because they bruise in my bag, and don't fit neatly into my tupperwear.  Iv'e also found that I get cravings if I don't eat at least 10 - 12 dates a day + a certain volume of fruit.  The calories for me aren't as important as the volume - but after a few months, I can eye ball that.  

The salads I try to keep simple.  I add a lot of herbs to my salad instead of dressing but very few veggies with my lettuce.  I.e a cucumber and pear on spinach.  I don't like raw tomatoes, but if I did, I'd do a lettuce, tomato, basil lemon or something like that.  I don't like eating celery but need the salt in my juice, so I juice it.  For you, if you like it, I'd chop it up and add it to a salad.  The main idea is just to dress your greens anyway that helps you get them down.  Hope that helps.

Comment by Lisa P. on October 29, 2012 at 2:50pm

Ray - Yeah definitely waiting on those bananas.  I was going to do banana island tomorrow but I think I'll go with my pears which are pretty much perfect ripeness right now and then my 2 lb strawberries/raspberries for lunch.  I have a lot of romaine lettuce in the fridge along with a 7lb watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, lemons, and apples in the fridge that I didn't want to get out for the picture so I've got some other options.  Thanks soooo much for your input on the weekly planner!!  You had stuff I wouldn't have even thought about!!  Do you seem to plan out your meals that like in advance?  I think in the beginning it would maybe help me in order to make sure I'm getting the fullest use I can out of what I buy so I don't forget about things... I'm curious about your cucumber, celery and tomato salads - what is in included in those?

Comment by Ray on October 29, 2012 at 2:04pm

Looks Good!  It will take you a minute to figure out how to approach your food, but I'd wait til those bananas had spots and that pineapple smelled sweet. That looks like enough fruit but where are your greens lady?  My recommendation would be to put those bananas in a brown bag to speed up ripening.   A 7 day plan on this for me would look like this: Breakfast (B) Lunch (L) Snack (S) Dinner (D) 

1) B: 3-4 pears L: 10 dates 4 peaches S: persimmons D: OJ then hr later Cucumber salad

2) B: Papaya L: 10 dates and dragon fruit (if green is mostly dry) S: 2 mangos D: Celery salad

3) B: 4 peaches L: 10 dates and remaining mangos S: 2 bananas if they are ready D: Tomato salad

4) B: Pineapple (1/2) Orange juice (3)  L: 10 dates 2 bananas S: pineapple D: Salad 

5) B: Banana smoothie w/ 5 bananas, two dates and tbs fresh cinnamon L: 3/4 pineapple S: 1/4 pineapple D: Salad

6) B: Pineapple (1/2) Orange juice (3) L: Banana smoothie w/ dates and cinnamon S: Tomato and celery D: Salad of choice

7)  B: 5 Bananas and 1 frozen pear blende w/ 2 dates L: 10 dates + remaining pears or and mangoes S: remaining tomato or more bananas and dates.  S: remaining oranges D: salad 

I'd mix em around depending true ripeness - but this is what I'd do based on look.  Also, if you have a juicer, I'd scrub down that pineapple and juice the rind - save the soft juicy parts for mono-meals! Good luck - you stay up on your water then you really look set.  Just need to take your butt back to the store for leafy greens! 

PS.  True, those dates aren't the highest quality, but do better next time - don't waste them.  Looks to me that you are well on your way to better health. 

Comment by ednshell on October 29, 2012 at 1:58pm

Oh wow, I didn't even look beyond the logo.  Well no oils then so that's good but ya pitted are heated.  Any non-pitted dates from the store are raw.  You can test them by adding a bit to hydrogen peroxide and if it bubbles it is raw.  BTW khadrawy are the sweetest and my favorite.  You might want to get a sample box and try them all, it is amazing how different they taste.

Comment by Lisa P. on October 29, 2012 at 1:12pm

Thanks guys for the comments!!

Ednshell - Those are dates in that package which are know probably aren't "raw" but I figured they'd hold me over until I could make a bulk purchase from a date farm (And still deciding if I like medjool or deglet noors better... decisions, decisions!!)  I've had pretty good luck with pineapples in the past - probably going to freeze it to add chunks to smoothies or combine with orange juice.

Comment by ednshell on October 29, 2012 at 12:42pm

Congratulations!  :D

Well I have a couple of tips, those bananas in the pic are about 4 days out from being ripe, not sure how old the pic is but just be sure they have spots on 'em before eating.  Those raisins have actually been heated and are covered lightly in oil, I would return them.  Pineapple is hard to get ripe unless you live where it's grown and it will not ripen once picked and if eaten unripe hurt your teeth and rest of your digestive system so I'd return those too.  Be careful with the oranges too, if the first one you open is not super sweet, no sourness, I would return the rest.  Everything else looks beautiful! :)

It's great you took before pics, it'll be so neat to see you progress in pics!!! :D


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