Who is Freelee the Banana Girl?
Freelee the Banana Girl, real name Leanne Ratcliffe, is an Australian vegan advocate who rose to fame online in 2014 after her 50-bananas-a-day diet went viral. This banana based diet is why Leanne is known as the banana girl. An often controversial figure, Freelee the Banana Girl has posted many videos on her YouTube channel that promote her raw vegan diets, unique lifestyle and commentary on celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Ariana Grande and famous YouTuber Jenna Marbles. The 38-year-old has garnered interest from people because her lifestyle arose after battling drug addiction and eating disorders, and her claims that her diet has helped her lose 20 kilos and overcome a myriad of health issues.
Freelee the Banana Girl has been at the centre of a number of controversial stories since she began posting videos nine years ago. Besides questions around the health impacts of her diet, some of these include serious accusations of bullying that led to her and ex-boyfriend, fellow radical vegan Durianrider (whose real name is Harley Johnstone and has had abuse allegations made against him) being sued by Kayla Itsines for defamation.
What diet does Freelee the Banana Girl follow and is it safe?
Freelee the Banana Girl is best known for her diet, which is mainly raw vegan, frugivorous and ‘mono meals’. A raw vegan diet consists of consuming fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and legumes completely raw or cooked at very low temperatures. Some say Freelee is a frugivore (a diet of eating only fruit) because of her viral banana only diet, but she has also documented her ‘mono meals’ which consist of only eating a single food item per meal (such as banana, mango, cooked potato etc.) and only eating cooked food in the afternoon/evening.
Over the years her diet restrictions have changed and Freelee herself now says on her website she follows a high carb vegan lifestyle with an abundance of fruit and no calorie-restriction or counting. This whole food plant based diet allows the eating of all fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes and foods with minimal processing. No animal products of any kind can be consumed.
Is Freelee the Banana Girl healthy though? It depends on which diet of hers you’re wondering about. Many dieticians have commented on the dangers of eliminating entire food groups and only eating fruit, especially eating excessive amounts of bananas which are high in potassium and can be harmful to the kidneys and the heart when eaten in large portions. Experts agree that only eating fruit doesn’t allow for the correct amount of essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium and B12, or fats needed for your body to function efficiently. The high amount of sugar and carbohydrates in this diet have led to it being condemned by the health community.
Freelee the Banana Girl’s current diet, a whole food plant based lifestyle, however has been shown to have health benefits. This diet is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and rich in antioxidants, fibre, minerals and vitamins. Dieticians have stressed that to get the most health benefits from this diet, food intake must be in correct portions to ensure protein, healthy fat and vitamin needs are being met.
Where does Freelee the Banana Girl live?
In 2018 Freelee the Banana Girl announced she was moving off the grid to live in the South American jungle. Despite semi-regular posting online and being accused of lying by some, she maintains she lives off the land amongst nature with no electricity or running water with her current boyfriend. Freelee regularly posts about their daily routine which includes swimming, harvesting fruits and vegetables, spending time in nature and going clothing free.
Freelee the Banana Girl books
Freelee the Banana Girl has written several books that include recipes and tips on her lifestyle. Titles include Raw till 4 and Go Fruit Yourself. The e-books can be purchased from her website.
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