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Who Is Freelee The Banana Girl?

Updated on July 19, 2015

'Freelee the Banana Girl' is the YouTube channel name, and alias of, Australian woman Freelee who lives between Adelaide and the Gold Coast with her partner Harley Johnson (well known as Durianrider). Freelee is the creator and outspoken supporter of the Raw Till 4 food movement. This movement emphasises a diet comprised mostly of ripe fruit, but also accepts and encourages the inclusion of cooked starches after 4pm (as opposed to the more purist raw food diet which discourages any form of cooked food).

'Freelee the Banana Girl' channel on Youtube
'Freelee the Banana Girl' channel on Youtube

Have You Ever Heard of Freelee The Banana Girl?

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Freelee’s main outlet is YouTube where she makes videos five days a week and speaks about food, nutrition, exercise and health - from her perspective on what works. Her partner Durianrider has a Youtube channel with a similar message, and often the couple will appear in each others videos. The couple also has a few websites, the largest of which is the 30BananasaDay.com website that has a popular forum on it.

The site is also the location of Freelee’s ebook - Go FRUIT Yourself. Freelee and her partner are also the creators of the successful free 'Thai Raw Till 4 Festival' held for the first time in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2014.

Freelee the Banana Girl is all about the fruit
Freelee the Banana Girl is all about the fruit

Freelee’s message is considered hugely controversial by most people, as her claims fly in the face of the diet industry and common understanding of nutrition. Her views centre around the belief that a high carbohydrate diet is the most healthy, and ultimately the best for reaching your natural weight. She also believes the diet provides a high level of nutrition and energy compared to other more popular ways of eating.

She holds her lean physique up as an example of the results that can be attained. She herself has followed a very high carbohydrate diet for many years and has urged her followers to stick with it long enough to see the results. She constantly emphasises that the high carbohydrate lifestyle is not a quick fix for weight loss. It is more about healing the body and gaining health - after which weight loss follows naturally.

Freelee the Banana Girl - Creator of the Raw Till 4 Lifestyle?

You can't discuss Freelee the Banana Girl without mentioning the Raw Till 4 Lifestyle. It is her brainchild and has taken off in a big way. Almost as if the mix of flexibility and adherence to important principles was just the right combination of what people needed to jump on the high-fruit bandwagon. It's definitely a more approachable and attainable lifestyle for many than the sometimes highly elitist fully Raw Food Diet.

Essentially, the Raw Till 4 Lifestyle advocates the eating of high carbohydrate-rich raw fruits until 4 pm daily, after which you can start including cooked carbohydrate, low fat and meat and dairy free food.

An ideal dinner option on Raw Till 4 - corn pasta with low sodium, oil-free tomato sauce
An ideal dinner option on Raw Till 4 - corn pasta with low sodium, oil-free tomato sauce

Go Fruit - or Root - Yourself!

— Freelee The Banana Girl

Eating large volumes on this diet are essential for success, and while all fruit is permissible, the higher carbohydrate fruits like bananas, dates and mangoes are considered staples in this way of eating. Other fruit with higher water content - but less sugar and dietary fibre - are emphasised less.

Among the recommended cooked foods to be eaten after 4 pm are starches like sweet potatoes, potatoes and yams, as well as rice and corn pasta. Oil and salt are discouraged or at least kept to a minimum, and raw green salads with the evening meal are advised.

The message of eating raw food until 4 pm is less of a unbreakable rule than an important guideline. This guideline ensures that the majority of your daily intake is comprised of high carbohydrate raw wholefoods - which are considered the most beneficial foods for health, weight loss and having sustained energy.

Freelee advocates eating around 2500 calories minimum with followers encouraged to eat as much food as they care for - as long as they adhere to a ratio of at least 80% of calories from carbohydrates and no more than 10% from fat and 10% from protein.

Many followers have experienced immediate weight loss from following this plan, while others have experienced initial weight gain, followed by weight loss. But the proviso here, as Freelee is the first to state, is that you need to stay with the eating plan long-term to be ensured of the positive results.

While the raw food on this diet can be taken in any form, most raw foodists and Raw Till 4 followers find it easiest to blend a lot of their food into smoothies and raw fruit 'nice creams'. This assists with consuming the large volumes of fruit necessary for succeeding on this lifestyle - especially if you are new to this way of eating.

Banana abundance is what Freelee promotes in her high fruit lifestyle
Banana abundance is what Freelee promotes in her high fruit lifestyle

Is Freelee Bananas?

As a former raw vegan Freelee has spent close to a decade eating a high-fruit wholefoods diet. In this time she grew to believe in the value of a diet comprised mainly of fresh unprocessed plant food. Like anyone, she has admitted that she can't live a productive life eating only salads. But she is eager to point out that there is another way to have the maximum health benefits while maintaining enough energy to keep up your active lifestyle - by eating fruit.

And not only fruit, but a LOT of fruit. In many conventional diets, the bulk of calories come from fat or protein - especially in light of the emphasis in today's society on low-carb diets. Her take on it is that it should in fact be the reverse. Carbohydrates should be your number one source of calories, while fat and protein should be kept to a minimum. Afterall, it makes sense that one should eat very little fat if one doesn't want to become 'fat'.

This is way of eating is also recognised to have benefits in reducing a number of lifestyle diseases that are prevalent today including diabetes - in spite of the high sugar content in this diet. The various benefits are not only due to the reduction in unhealthy fats and excessive protein, but also because the intake of such large amounts of healthy carbohydrates allows one to consume infinitely more nutrients than would be possible on a high fat and protein diet.

Ripe spotty bananas are one of those fruits that Freelee has found to be particularly helpful at maintaining a lifestyle that relies on a high intake of carbohydrates - hence her name. Not only are bananas particularly nutritious and filling, but they contain a lot of energy and dietary fibre, which is good for bowel and heart health, weight loss and management, and control of blood sugar.

Freelee vows to continue spreading her message which is fuelled by her desire to enlighten and help people who she sees as being in the same predicament she was in before she discovered this way of eating. She has described having suffered from a number of conditions in the past including anorexia, digestive issues, overweight, chronic fatigue and depression. She also has a passion for animal rights, and a lot of her reason for being vegan is the ethics, as well as an environmental consciousness.

Freelee, on her YouTube channel, habitually speaks out against the ideal body type that people are expected to live up to - to while at the same time being encouraged to follow ineffectual diets. She also frequently speaks up about celebrities’ struggles with their weight and suggests the high carbohydrate approach as the more planet friendly - as well as the more healthy and sustainable - solution.

Both Freelee and Durianrider get a a lot of online hatred for their views and for speaking out and a there are even a minority of people who claim that their advice is dangerous. However, as Freelee herself says, she is merely sharing the means by which she improved her health and life and people can choose to follow her or not. It does remain clear, however, that her following is growing as more and more people appreciate and implement her high carbohydrate, mostly raw eating program - ‘Raw Till 4’ - and are reaping the health benefits.

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    • Rota profile image
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      Rota 2 years ago

      I follow this way of eating and the way to succeed is to eat lots of heavy fruit like mangoes, dates and bananas. Best of luck with it and thank you for your kind comment.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Nice and informative hub and thanks for introducing the Freelee-the banana girl. I would be checking out the information and the 'Raw till 4' does sound interesting. It would be probably difficult to follow but I may give it a try.

      Thanks for sharing the information and an interesting hub! Voted up!