This Shit Is Bananas (Seriously)

Gather ’round, kids. It’s story time.

About a year ago, I was in great shape. I was doing my half marathon training, had a personal trainer, did my first Whole Life Challenge, and was doing a ton of research on how to eat clean. Recipes, benefits, and raw food meals. I felt amazing and was accountable every day. My fitness journey was going so well!

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In doing research on the raw food lifestyle, I noticed that these people were eating so many bananas! I was never a big banana eater myself. Don’t know why, just preferred apples I suppose. But seeing these incredibly fit people eat upwards of ten bananas a day created an interest.

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Not only were bananas a basic calorie source, they were easy to have around, perfect for before a run, and you can make ANYTHING with bananas. I mean anything. Chop, freeze, and blend them for banana ice cream. Add a little almond butter or some mint extract for variety. Banana milkshakes with some almond milk. Green smoothies. Mash them with oats, bake at 350 and you’ve got cookies. The list of simple, amazingly delicious treats goes on.

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I end up eating at least a banana a day, typically in a breakfast shake, for a few months. Then, I start getting sick. Starts off as a little intestinal discomfort, but within a week I thought something was seriously wrong. I went through bouts of extreme physical exhaustion to the point where I would need to clutch my fiancé’s arm to make it from the car to our front door. Violent heartburn and stomach cramps. Constipation AND diarrhea at the same time. Vomiting. Migraines. It would all come on so suddenly, and the next day I would be fine again. I cut out dairy completely. Didn’t help. Cut out gluten. Nothing.

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One day, I made a banana shake to take to work thinking “bananas are so simple. It’s a basic food. There’s no way I will get sick if I just have this.” I made it to 10am at work and had to go home. I slept four hours that day and about 10 that night. I went to the doctor the next day, had all of my fluids sampled, and waited for the results. UTI. I was confused, but continued to just eat plain brown rice for five days while I took the antibiotics. I felt better but was very suspicious. It had been over a week since my last sick day, so I began varying my food intake again.

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Ten minutes after the first banana, I was sick again. Apparently I had developed a banana intolerance. This fruit that had been such a staple in my diet had turned against me. Eliminating them from my diet wasn’t hard once I discovered that was the cause of my sickness. I mean really, I thought I was dying for about two months. But the fact that such a simple fruit could just destroy me is still perplexing.

Does anyone else have a similar story? I’d love to hear that I’m not alone in this one.

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