When I think of bananas, three things come to mind:
1. The “bananaaaaaa!” cheer that you can send to an athlete during a race if you’re using our friends’ race-tracking app RaceJoy. I mean, what runner or triathlete doesn’t want to think about bananas while they’re racing? 🙂
2. The fact that as a kidney donor, I can’t eat too many bananas at a time.
3. The banana stretch that chiropractor and physical therapist John Michie prescribed for me.
Allow me to elaborate on these… The first banana: RaceJoy is a super-fun and useful app for athletes and their supporters. It tracks you while you’re racing and shows your spectators where you are on the course in real-time. It also allows them to send you cheers during the race, and helps you all meet up afterward. Our friends left their corporate jobs to start this company… just two people working day and night… and they made it happen. I’m so proud of them. They embody “start-up” in every way. Plus, they’re just good people and they deserve to be wildly successful!!!!
The second banana: Ok, this is all about how I shouldn’t really have a second banana. A kidney donor’s ideal diet is sort of askew from the latest dietary trends. You don’t want to eat super-concentrated protein, and while you don’t need to cut out anything completely, you should also watch your sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. So, as healthy as things like protein, bananas, broccoli, oranges, milk, and beans are… you shouldn’t binge on them. Don’t get me wrong, I still have protein after a workout to help my muscles recover. I just don’t have *concentrated protein*. This also means I try to limit myself to one banana a day. (I haven’t always been good about this, but I’m trying to be better.) It can be tricky if you like to have smoothies, because bananas make smoothies so good! The reason I thought I’d write about this is because one of my fellow kidney-donor-friends recently asked me about creatinine levels and how diet can affect them. I’m not a medical professional; so I can’t really advise anyone. But I did find this helpful article for people with concerns about high creatinine levels. I’ve been fortunate – in that my creatinine level has gone down steadily since my donation. Year on year, it has dropped from 1.1 in 2012, to 1.04 in 2013, and it was 0.91 at the end of 2014. I was once a vegetarian, though. So, I think that makes it easier for me to avoid tons of protein. On the other hand, I also tend to be anemic, and that is a drag when it means they turn me away from donating blood, which happened to me recently. Time to buy some more Floradix iron supplement!
Finally, to the best banana of them all… the Banana Stretch! I mentioned in this post that I ended up with some minor nerve damage after my kidney donation surgery. Well, the good news is that I no longer notice that pain along the side of my left thigh. But I do continue to have a tightness in my left-lower back that I only started noticing after I donated. It gets worse when I do long bike rides or bike-run bricks. If you are a cyclist/triathlete who has this issue – or maybe if you are a kidney donor and your body reacted to the surgery by tightening up on that side – perhaps this stretch will help you as well. You do the stretch on a medicine ball, and it stretches out the entire side of your body. It’s called the banana stretch because you make a banana shape with your body. I was always thinking I needed to stretch forwards, to stretch my lower back. But it turns out that I need to stretch sideways. Dr. Michie prescribed this stretch for me last year, and it is simply amazing! So worth the money I paid for that appointment! Here is an article that describes the stretch. I hope someone else finds this helpful!
Well, that does it for this banana mash-up. It’s been a while since I shared a playlist, so I’ll include one below. Enjoy!
- Do You – Spoon
- Long Night – Guster
- Breaking it Down – Ben’s Bones
- Let Go – Frou Frou
- Bait and Switch – The Shins
- Endlessly – Guster
- Circles – Dan Haas
- Little Red Light – Fountains of Wayne
- Apology – SafetySuit
- Make You Better – The Decemberists
- Black Sun – Death Cab for Cutie
- Waiting All Night – Phish
- I Don’t Believe It’s Through – Greg Laswell
- Fool for Love – Lord Huron