20-year Fruit Embargo Ends


I have always liked the taste of oranges, but the smell is another story altogether. If the orange was already pealed or cut, I had no problem partaking in the citrus, but if I were the person who had to peel or cut said piece of fruit, I just wouldn’t do it. I didn’t like the fruit THAT much. For this reason, it was about 20 years since I really ate oranges with any regularity. I remember distinctly sitting in grade school after peeling an orange for breakfast (and washing my hands twice) that I could still smell the orangey smell on my skin. Ick. It seems that no matter how much I washed my hands, I could still smell it, and it grossed me out.

Bananas and I have a different history. I have always loved bananas, but the year I turned 25, bananas didn’t return the affection. I started getting the worst stomach cramps I had ever experienced after eating just one banana. Since I was in Ukraine when this started happening, I assumed it was the Ukrainian bananas. I was wrong. After returning state-side, bananas were still off the table, literally. I would be doubled over for an entire afternoon after eating just 1 banana. No one could explain it, so I gave up even trying to eat them, despite wanting to.

Many people thought my animosity toward oranges and bananas were ill-founded and just bizarre. I get it. Most people love the smell of oranges and can eat bananas without health concern. I couldn’t.

In 2013, I decided to tackle my relationship with these two pieces of fruit. For oranges, it stemmed from fruit diversity in the winter – I couldn’t face eating just apples every day. I decided to give oranges a try (again). After all of these years, I still love the taste and I can still smell it on my skin. Instead of avoiding oranges, I have just decided to get obsessive with scrubbing my hands post-peeling. (Peel, scrub, scrub, sniff, scrub, scrub, sniff, scrub, scrub, scrub). It seems to be working. For bananas, I bought 1 banana and I cut it into thirds. I blended the third with my morning smoothie, and so far so good. It seems I can handle small amounts of bananas blended. I have not yet graduated to just eating a third of banana – I want to give it time.

I am pretty happy with the overall outcome of ending the fruit embargo. I am sure once spring and summer fruits make an appearance, I will once again drop these two fruits, but for now, reintroducing them is working quite well.


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