Before you begin...
If you are on a standard american diet or you are not on a low fat vegan diet, I suggest reducing the amount of fat and processed foods in your diet at least 3 days before you begin your mono diet. This will decrease the amount of uncomfortable detox that you experience throughout your cleanse. Focus on plant based whole foods.
Before you begin a mono island, you must first decide what fruit you will consume. If you are new to a plant or fruit based lifestyle, I suggest bananas because they are easy to find, easy to ripen, satisfying, and cheap. If you have some experience with a fruit based diet and would like a deeper cleanse you can go with a juicier fruit like mango or melons.
Once you have chosen your fruit, it's time to go shopping. To figure out how much you will eat, calculate the amount of calories you normally consume in a day and assume that you will need that same amount of calories from your mono fruit. If you chose bananas, be sure to get some that are more ripe and others that are less ripe. That way they won't all be ripe on the same day.
There is no need to decide how long you will go before you begin. When you begin, I suggest having enough fruit to complete at least 3 days. Mono diets are safe to do for a month or more. In order to get the minerals our bodies need, I suggest also including green veggies like cucumbers, lettuce, and celery each day. You can eat these veggies whole or blend them with your fruit.
During your mono island...
Now that you have your fruit, you are ready to begin. Each morning, after you wake up, be sure to drink at least 1 quart of water to begin the cleansing process and prepare your body for digestion. Throughout the day, simply eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. If you feel that you can't eat enough of the whole fruit to feel satisfied, it helps to blend them up. For bananas and mangoes you can add a little water for a thinner consistency or you can make a thicker pudding consistency without water.
During this time, you may notice that your emotions are a little stronger than normal. Don't worry, this is completely normal. This occurs because we are no longer using food to numb our emotions and feelings. If you find this to be uncomfortable at times, take the time to sit, take a few deep breaths and relax into whatever sensations you feel. Allow yourself to fully experience the feeling without analyzing or judging it. Most of the time, this allows the feeling to pass through us.
Energy levels during your cleanse may be variable. Some people have plenty of energy all the way through while others are tired the whole time. Personally, I feel energetic at times and tired at other times. Everyone's body is different and deals with situations in different ways. If you feel tired, do your best to honor your body's request for rest. If you have energy, it is perfectly safe to go about your normal routine of work, play, exercise, etc.
One of the best times to heal is during sleep. Do your absolute best to get to bed by 10 pm and allow yourself to wake up naturally if you have the opportunity. Even if you can't fall asleep right away, your body will benefit from you lying in bed with your eyes closed and relaxing.
What to expect...
The most noticeable thing I always experience when I do a mono island is the mental space and clarity that is created. I feel like there are many more hours in a day than normal and my thinking is much clearer than normal.
There are so many more benefits you may experience including:
- Smoother digestion
- Less bloating
- Clearer and smoother skin
- Decreased water retention
- Mental clarity
- Weight loss
- Improved mood
- Greater sense of happiness and well being
- Deeper connection to yourself and others
- A profound sense of appreciation of gratitude for life and the beings and things around you
- More energy
After your mono island...
When you feel you are ready to end your mono island, I suggest first eating another fruit of your choice. It is best, for at least one day after your mono island to consume nothing but other fresh fruits and veggies. After this day you can begin to incorporate other foods into your diet. If you'd like to sustain the benefits you received during your mono island and continue to heal, stick to a plant based diet abundant in fresh fruits and veggies.
You can also continue to receive these benefits by incorporating mono meals into your diet once you finish your mono island. A mono meal is one meal that consists of only 1 fruit. Just like a mono diet, mono meals are optimal for digestion. Maybe for breakfast you choose to just have bananas or just have melons. And then you go about the rest of your meals as usual. Even one mono meal a day will benefit you greatly.
For healthy recipes to incorporate into your diet after your mono island, check out my two recipe books, Fruitfully Raw Recipes and 21 Days Raw, here.
If you are interested in seeing my experience on melon island, you can check out my daily vlogs here.
If you have more questions regarding mono islands, please feel free to ask. I'm happy to help!