Mono Island diet

About three months ago, September 2016, I watched an entertaining book talk by Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller), which was my introduction to Mono Island. 

The idea is simple enough:
  • EAT ONE FOOD: Pick one of your favorite foods, which will make it easier to work with. Keep it basic, so no pre packaged stuff -- and alcohol is not a sensible option, and neither are things like candy, cake, spam, bacon, sausage, McNuggets, pizza, or ice cream, as they will not help you. If you pick a meat then you will find yourself on the Atkins diet, not Mono Island -- they're different things. Cooking should be minimal, undecorated, and essentially keeping the food boring. I think that this leaves fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and mushrooms on your table of options -- not no combining, just one.
  • ALL YOU CAN EAT: You can eat as much as you like! But you will get sick of eating pretty quickly, so you end up eating less by about day 2 as a consequence of eating just one thing.
  • JUST 2 WEEKS: Go to mono island for 2 weeks only, but no less, otherwise it will not work. The time period is a habit breaker, to break your bad eating habits. Bad habits include things like snacking, binging, and eating when you're not hungry. No alcohol, and especially no wine which is high in sugars and hence not helpful here -- incidentally, give your liver and brain a nice break away from alcohol.
  • WATER: Don't forget that you need to drink a good amount of it.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Be mindful of your Recommended Daily Intake of vitamins and minerals, but this depends of what food you choose -- you can pop a multivitamin pill for good measure. If you miss out on the correct amount of sodium and potassium something weird might happen.

I did a bit of research and also found Banana Girl. She's a youtube celebrity. Her schtick is bananas, no mystery there.

And so in the spirit of new year's resolutions I committed to trying Mono. After all, it's just two weeks. How hard can it be?

I picked Bananas because there is no cooking required, which is a convenient feature. Bananas have a reputation as being a super-food, and contain just about everything you need in one convenient wrapper, and are delicious. I  started on the second of January, on a Saturday, and lasted about 5 hours before cracking! What may have been unhelpful was that I got caught out with only 3 bananas on hand for a period of quite a few hours. Had I prepared better and stocked up with an all-you-can-eat amount available all day, this may have worked better. Damn.

Next on my list were potatoes. I love potatoes. I could live on beer and chips. About a week after the banana epic fail, I cleared my head and got ready for potatoes. This time I stocked up with a 2Kg bag for day one. This was a good day. I cooked servings of 3 to 4 spuds, in a bowl, for 10 minutes in the microwave -- simple. By day two, my intake dropped profoundly, from a whole bag the day before to only 4 potatoes! I was excited that this was working. But by day three the cracks were starting to show. I was sick of potatoes, having only a few bites here and there -- also we were approaching the prospect of an enjoyable and social weekend. By the end of the day I cracked and went to the store to get some wine, bread, etc. This was far short of the two week target, but three days on potatoes was certainly an improvement on five hours on bananas.

For now I'm quitting mono island. However can't help but wonder if I could do better with rice maybe?