If you’re not familiar with Freelee the Banana Girl, she is a self-proclaimed “health guru” who swears by a high carb, raw vegan lifestyle.
She’s written a book, has half-a-million followers on YouTube and at least another 350,000 on social media.
Despite her popularity she also has some serious detractors, many of whom question the wisdom of her extreme diet (not to mention her lack of qualifications).
Freelee, whose real name is Leanne Ratcliffe, hit out at her critics in an eight minute, expletive-ridden rant on her YouTube account this week.
You can watch it in full here. Post continues after video…
Essentially, the 35-year-old (), is tired of people accusing her of orthorexia — an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating.
“I’m just facepalming all over the place because it couldn’t be further from the truth, and it always comes from these people who don’t give a f*ck about what they put in their body,” she said.
“It is not about being obsessed with what you eat, it’s about actually giving a sh*t about what you put in your body.
“Actually caring about yourself, feeling good about how you feel and making that connection between the carbohydrates and the brain and body fuel.”
Orthorexia nervosa is not a clinically recognised eating disorder, but it’s a disorder recognised by nutritionists.
The line between “normal” healthy eating and orthorexia is a blurry one, but one way to define the condition is when maintaining causes significant distress or negative consequences in a person’s life, either mentally or physically.
It is a term occasionally associated with the lifestyle movements such as “raw”, “clean” and “paleo”.
Amidst a series of confusing metaphors, Ratcliffe goes on argue that her diet isn’t restrictive by showcasing a series of photos of the delicious things she can eat.
Dieting is highly individualised and Ratcliffe is correct in one sense, it’s not really acceptable to accuse someone of having an eating disorder.
That said, it is deeply unsafe to uncritically accept health advise from unqualified social media gurus.
When Ratcliffe lost her period after becoming a raw vegan she celebrated because “menstruation is toxicity leaving the body“.
In another controversial video she argues “chemo is killing us”.
However “healthy” she might be — I still wouldn’t be listening to her advice.