50 Bananas a Day?

Have you heard of “Freelee the Banana girl”?  She is an Australian YouTuber and blogger who promotes vegan/fruitarian diet. Her real name is Leanne Ratcliffe and her channel accumulated over 780 thousand subscribers and 330 million views. She follows a frugivorous/vegan diet, which usually consists of “mono meals”, made up of a single fruit, such as two entire pineapples or five mangoes. Freelee first rose to internet popularity after claiming to eat 51 bananas a day in 2014.  Also, since she changed her diet, she claims her hair is softer, she has lost 18 kg (around 40lbs), has overcome hypothyroidism, doesn’t have eczema anymore. However, many dieticians have commented on the dangers of eliminating entire food groups and eating only 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.  

Do you think Freelee’s diet is unhealthy?  

“Mono Meal” or “Mono eating” is not a new fad diet. Some advocates claim that it is the most traditional, conservative way of eating on the planet. Many raw vegans say that eating mono meals is the absolute best for optimal digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients. The way most people eat combines starches, proteins, fats and sugars in one meal, which can create a burden on our digestive system.  This can lead to discomfort, indigestion, nausea, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and other digestive issues.

I couldn’t find any scientific research on Mono Meal or Mono Eating, but there is tons of research on the high intake of fruits, which lowers risks of chronic diseases and can even heal chronic disease.   Interestingly, Anthony Williams, the celery juice inventor and author of the Medical Medium book series, actually talks about the benefits of Mono eating. He definitely does not recommend that you choose any food out there to eat that exclusively. Williams provides mono eating options, which are  

Banana (with optional lettuce) 

Papaya (with optional lettuce) 

Banana + Papaya (with optional lettuce) 

Steamed potatoes (with optional lettuce) 

Steamed peas (with optional lettuce) 

Steamed winter squash + steamed green beans, brussels sprouts, or asparagus (with optional lettuce) 

You can not eat all of them.  You have to choose one of them and continue to eat the same meal for at least 1 week. If you want, you can continue mono eating for a couple of months, or a year or two depending on the condition you have. You need to start off with lemon or lime water and celery juice before consuming any mono meal. Williams says that (his method of ) mono eating is “soothing to the digestive tract, starves the pathogens behind so many chronic conditions, and allows your body to enter a gentle detox state.” When it comes to nutrition, he explains that “By eating them individually in larger quantities, you’re getting more nutrition than ever. All of these benefits combined reduce deficiencies. “There are many fruitarians who go on mono meals of oranges, grapes, apples, or mangoes, and they declare that their health is improved. This might be because they have no serious chronic health issues to begin with.  Williams does not suggest any other foods than listed above since other fruits such as cranberries, blueberries, and grapes may cause someone to experience discomfort and upset their system if they have a weakened digestion and irritated digestive tract linings.   

If you research each one of the vegetables and fruits listed as Mono eating options, there are a number of research documents about the positive influences on our body. So, eating them is definitely not going to harm you. Many conventional doctors and nutritionists believe that mono meal will lead you to malnourished and muscle loss, and that muscle loss will translate into a slower metabolism. The mono eating Williams suggests is for cleansing, so certainly this type of eating doesn’t give you malnourishment.  Not only Freelee, but many of mono meal raw vegan praise about their energy and physiques. In fact, there are many fruitarian athletes such as Michael Arnstein.  

As we are all unique individuals, our health is also different from one another. What works for one of us may not work for another.  So I do not believe that a mono-diet is the ‘right’ diet for everyone.  However, if you want to try a cleansing regime whilst maintaining your energy, the mono-diet may help you achieve that.  if you are interested in mono eating cleansing, please read in more detail in “Cleanse to Heal” by Anthony Williams.  

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