When I was growing up, my parents subscribed to Prevention magazine. At some point, the magazine told them to eat a banana every day for optimum health and feel-goodness throughout the day. And they did. For years, they both ate a banana every day and swore by the health benefits they felt from it. It amazes me that I am their daughter. The only thing I manage to do every single day is wash my face and brush my teeth. All else is subject to the whim of the gods.
I often wonder how many healthy habits any given person really has room for. I’ve seen and experienced time and time again that there is a real and deep fatigue that can come from a prolonged need for self-care. Big injuries, surgeries, illnesses, etc. require a tremendous amount of time and energy – from the appointments themselves (and the time it takes to get to and from), to the at-home work required, to the research and decision-making around what therapy or approach is going to help the most, to fending off what everyone else thinks you should do to help yourself. At some point you just have to take a break, eat a deep fried donut with bacon and mayonnaise on top, and let the television lull you into a heartburn-fueled stupor of horror and delight.
But even outside of the “big” injuries and whatnot there is just the everyday taking-care-of-oneself that must be done. And we all seem to have different tolerances for it. Some of us stumble out of bed straight into our workout shoes like dutiful and semi-cheerful robots. Some of us stumble out of bed straight for the coffee pot and get around to thinking about maybe doing some sit-ups before we go to work. Some of us stumble out of bed for a green smoothie, and some of us for bacon, some of us for no sustenance at all. I’m sure it just all hangs on what you value. (That seems like a “duh” statement.)
But really, I know that I want my teeth when I’m 80 if at all possible and so I floss and brush like it’s my job – that is to say, whether I really want to or not. I exercise only because (and when) I thoroughly enjoy it. And I never look a gift donut in the mouth. I’m not sure where that puts me on the spectrum of the daily banana eaters from which I hail, but somewhere in there must be a happy medium of health and wellbeing, don’t you think?
- Isabel Spradlin is a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and abdominal adhesion specialist in Portland, OR. She specializes in educating people about manual treatment (massage) for abdominal pain and dysfunction, especially when it is adhesion related. Please see the "Programs" page to see her offerings.
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2 thoughts on “A Banana Every Day”
Am I the only one who got up and ate a banana in the middle of reading this post?
“I often wonder how many healthy habits any given person really has room for.” I wonder if other animals wonder this also, in their own way. Of course they are not going to think about it as I might with my heavy brain. But I wonder if a bird stops pulling on the worms and starts pecking at the seeds because of some internal compass of balance, the “happy medium of health and well-being.” And then I wonder if I have such a compass. Well, when donuts enter the picture, I’d like to think I don’t! More donuts please. All happy mediums are suddenly skewed! Thanks for bringing up such a wondering in such a wondering way.