How long have you been smoking? How many times have you tried to quit? Nicotine is one of the most powerfully addictive substances in the world. It’s easy to get hooked and hard to quit. Never give up, though, because the health benefits of a cigarette-free lifestyle are worth the struggle. You can do it and bananas can help. Sound silly? Why not at least give it a try? It won’t hurt, and it might be the breakthrough you need.
First, make a trip to the store to pick up a pack of cigarettes… oh wait, no, get bananas instead. You can easily spend $5.00 a pack to continue killing yourself the slow way, or .50 cents a pound for immediate improvements in your health. Remind yourself that the ingredients in cigarettes include pesticides (nicotine and benzene), rat poison (arsenic), batteries (cadmium), cleaning products (ammonia) and the chemical for preserving dead bodies (formaldehyde). On the other hand, an average banana has only about 185 calories and is full of vitamin B6, B12, potassium, and magnesium, which all help your body heal itself from the damages of smoking.
Bring home the bananas and leave them out in an obvious area, such as your kitchen counter or dining room table. Their cheery yellow will be a constant visual reminder of your progress so far. When you are quitting smoking, sometimes every hour you don’t smoke is worth counting as progress. Any time you start to reach for the cigarettes (that you didn’t buy, right?), make a trip to the kitchen and strengthen your resolve.
At some point, the time has come, so go ahead and eat the first one. Don’t rush this important moment. You had enough time to smoke and you have enough time to eat a piece of fruit. Take time to sit at the table, peel the banana carefully, and eat it slowly and mindfully. Tidy up afterwards, and then get back to your day.
If you are alone, you might want to spend part of this time reading a book or magazine. A walk around the block is an even better idea. If you are with a group of friends, just take the banana out with you and enjoy your snack while visiting. There’s no need to make a big deal about it. If someone offers you a cigarette, you can simply say, “No, thanks, I don’t smoke.” It’s only five words. You can do it.
Now, continue with your life. Try to let as much time go by between breaks as you can while you keep busy. When the withdrawal symptoms become strong, return to the kitchen for a tasty snack that improves your mood (lots of tryptophan), keeps you thin (only 185 calories), and helps your blood pressure (only 1mg of sodium), and reduces your risk of kidney cancer (antioxidant phenolic compounds).
Using bananas to help yourself stop smoking has many real benefits. They can replace unhealthy rituals, provide excellent nutrition, and make visible to you the amount of money and time you are spending on smoking.
Instead of getting out the death sticks, tapping them down, striking the match or flipping the lighter and inhaling the noxious fumes into your delicate lungs, you can develop a new ritual of breaking off the next banana from the bunch, peeling or slicing it, and eating it slowly, bite by bite. Many people develop rituals about smoking, or fixing coffee, or any number of other habits, both good and bad. When you stop one bad habit, it will be easier if there’s another good habit to use instead, at least for awhile.
Bananas make your habit easier for you to see. Noticing a problem is the first step towards solving it. A pack of cigarettes tucked away in a pocket or sleeve is small and easy to overlook. Bananas, on the other hand, are not quite as portable, so each time you visit the kitchen, you’ll be reminded of how frequently you were smoking and of your progress towards better health.
Bananas are affordable. Cigarettes are expensive. A pack-a-day habit is common and costs about $1800 dollars a year, at today’s average prices. This is a high price to pay to purposefully injure yourself.
Bananas are good for you. Cigarettes are linked to nearly 500,000 deaths a year. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths and most cases are directly linked to smoking cigarettes. Bananas, on the other hand, have been shown to reduce the rate of kidney cancers by as much as 50 percent.
Never give up your quest to be free from the chokehold that cigarettes have on your life. Enjoy the many benefits that come with good health and the knowledge that you have accomplished a challenging goal. The only feeling more powerful and stronger than addiction is the pride from knowing that you beat it. Stay strong, focused and determined. You can do it!