Thirty bananas a day? You’ll die if you eat that many bananas!
These were the words issued to me in a clarion call by a medical professional at a potluck at Arnold’s Way in 2012. This woman’s words pierced through all the chatter during a momentary lapse in the guest speaker’s presentation at the Lansdale, Pennsylvania, raw food café.
Based on her knowledge, this nurse, I believe, said I would suffer from a potassium overdose, stopping my heart.
Well, it’s been more than three years since I was given this warning, and I’m still alive—better, thriving! In fact, come the close of this year, I will have consumed about 40,000 bananas dating back to January 2012, a few weeks before I went wholly raw. This is an average of 10,000 bananas a year, or a bit more than 27 bananas a day. In 2012 alone, when I ate a whopping 46 nanners one day, I ate about 12,000 of this incredible fruit. After eating 10,000 in 2013 and 8,000 last year, I’m having another 10,000 in 2015.
Bananas, let me tell you, make for a wonderful lunch! I even fairly frequently go two or three days in a row eating nothing but bananas, lettuce and celery. I usually blend bananas in making green smoothies. For the past year, I blend these smoothies with Daily Green Boost barley grass juice powder for extra nutrient boost.
Potassium overdose, I think not. I just got a blood test, my second as a raw vegan and first since spring 2013. My potassium level sits at 4.2 mmol/L, just about smack-dab in the middle of the range, which extends from 3.5 to 5.2.
I bring up my King Kong-level banana consumption because I know there are many who begin exploring a fruit-based raw vegan diet every single day and might not yet have learned whether it’s safe to eat so much fruit. There are also many others struggling in their raw food transitions because they simply don’t trust that we can indeed consume mountains of fruit. It’s not too much sugar; it’s what our bodies crave for fuel to power us, especially at an increasingly busy time.
Why do I and lots of other raw fooders eat so many bananas? They’re rich in calories, versatile, widely available and very affordable.
I admit I had my own “Can we really eat 30 bananas a day?” moment in July 2011, when Harley “Durianrider” Johnstone and Freelee visited Arnold’s Way in advance of the first Woodstock Fruit Festival. Just a few months earlier, I discovered their website, 30BananasADay.com, and chuckled over the name. I asked Freelee in a quiet moment whether we can stuff down this many with no harm, and she assured me we could. “The body takes what it needs and excretes the rest,” she told me.
Of course, it’s not bananas all the time for me. I enjoy orange-based fruit smoothies, grapes, mangos, watermelon and many other fruits along with a heaping amount of the tender greens lettuce and celery plus a healthful amount of fat in the form of avocados, nuts and seeds.
If you’re just getting going on a raw food diet and wish to dive right in rather than transition over weeks, months or even years, I highly recommend going bananas! Go ahead and throw down some of these golden, spotted fruits—eat them whole or pop four, six, eight, 10 or more into a blender and enjoy until satisfied and charged to go for a few hours. Your belly will expand to fit more fruit in time. Once you go bananas and feel a difference in energy, mental clarity and focus, and overall health, you won’t want to go back to your old way of eating!