For the most part, I love my life. I've got a nice job, a nice house, loving friends and family. However, while nothing's ever perfect, I sometimes like to take a step back, and really appreciate how blessed I am to be in the current situation I am in. But that's only a part of the story.
Sometimes, work's stressful, I'm running out of money, and life takes one of those unavoidable nosedives which makes you question why you bother with the whole shebang in the first place. In those times, I want nothing more than to pack it all up, flee from civilisation and go to the jungle, where I can survive on coconuts or berries, building a toilet out of twigs and leaves that I won't have to share with anyone, ever.
Of course, I don't actually do that - I don't think I'd last very long in the jungle at all, rudimentary toilet or not - but the fantasy is always an attractive one. Which is why I can admire this vegan blogger, who left it all behind to live a life in the jungle, swapping the concrete jungle for an... actual jungle. Adopting the simple bare necessities of life and all that.
Meet Freelee the Banana Girl. While I certainly question whether that's her given name (it isn't - she came up with it 11 years ago after going through a water fast), what you can't dispute is her dedication to wellness and to her beliefs. An Australian blogger who publicly advocates for the raw vegan diet, the 37-year-old left behind her old life recently, moving with her new partner to the jungle, where she's abandoned all cosmetics, razors... and clothing.
Yup, Freelee is living the dream all right: hanging out in the jungle (where I assume there's fun and games), living off the fat off the land, and taking selfies where her naughty bits are covered by strategically-placed fruit. But why did she flee to the jungle?
"Am I going to be nude in every shot now? Yes, nude in the jungle. Free of clothes, labels, shoes, makeup, shaving. It just feels right," said Freelee in her Instagram. But she also revealed that she was going through a tough time back in civilisation, and said that moving out the jungle has had a profound effect on her mental health after appearing to go through a breakup.
"I left an unhealthy situation and felt the heart-crushing betrayal from the one I loved and trusted most. I was totally numb at one point, trying to understand my part in it all. I developed temporary health issues related to deep psychological stress. At the same time this profound strength was awakened within.
As dramatic as it sounds, I felt like I was being resuscitated and given a second chance at life. I was finally free. I realised it wasn't really love, it was codependency, and we were both better people apart. During this time I also experienced a joy I didn't know existed, with my new partner, my surroundings, my life direction."
So, what does this vegan-off-the-grid enjoy on her plate, now that she's got to live off the land? Well, for breakfast, she likes to enjoy some jackfruit that she grows herself, washing it down with some freshly-squeezed orange juice. She says it helps to boost her immune system and circulation.
For lunch, it's a 'chocolate mint milkshake', which consists of organic cacao powder, 20 pitted dates with a hint of peppermint oil, blended until smooth. Then, dinner sees her finally enjoy some cooked food, usually in the form of a spicy dahl, but in general, she likes to steer clear of the stuff. When you see how happy and healthy she is, you can't really blame her.