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30 Bananas a Day
Savoring the Simple Life Under the Sun

by Harley Johnstone

Over the past few years I’ve travelled the world on my bicycle as a 100% raw vegan. On my excursions in South East Asia I’ve gathere the seeds of durian and other fruits, including the fabled Red Prawn durian, one of my favorite varieties. I have won two durian speed eating championships held in Chantaburi, Thailand.

I spend many months of the year sleeping on beaches, in jungles, in cardboard boxes or other basic accomodation in order to track down the best fruits in the world. I find bicycling essential, as I can easily go up any farm road or isolated market known only by the locals. Anyone traveling with me will agree that the best fruits are out on a limb and you’ve gotta get out of your comfort zone to find them!

While previously I had chronic fatigue and blood sugar issues, I now have endless stamina on the bike if I keep the fruit and water coming. I won the South Australian 24-hour solo mountain bike championship last year, totally dominating the field. I did it on just water and fruit-no stimulants, energy drinks, etc. Eating sufficient sweet fruits has been enough to get me up the ranks. I no longer “bomb” out of fuel. Rather, I drop the “banana bomb” on my competition after 17 hours of racing.

I recently rode with Lance Armstrong when he was racing in my home town of Adelaide. I kept up easily. Having spent a week with 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro, I was in fine form. When you train with guys who are on space-age performance-enhancing substances, you’re guaranteed a solid workout!

As I am an ultra-endurance athlete eating up to 70 bananas a day, people often ask me how I can afford such quantity. I reply: “When we really want something in life, we find a way; when we dont, we find excuses.” Yesterday I got 45 pounds of certified organic bananas for $17 (US). Ask any of my non-raw friends and they will tell you that would cost $120 (US) at current banana prices here in south Australia.

My partner Freelea and I have created a mentoring system on our website, We don’t charge a set rate; rather, we operate on a donation-only basis, because we feel that health creation is a birthright for every person on the planet and we want to reach as many as possible, regardless of their financial position. We can only do this because we live such frugal lifestyles and we have low overheads.

We take cold showers, wear second-hand clothing, ride bicycles, do lots of foraging and help local organic farmers pick fruit. I truly believe that when we are living our life purpose, we will always be provided for. My life purpose is to show the world that raw plant food is all we need. My health, positivity and vitality enable me to perform massive feats of endurance on my bicycle.  

My racing bicycle is made from bamboo. My tires are from the disposal bin of a bicycle shop. It’s amazing to discover discarded items in good and usable condition. I’ve sold, donated and used up all my material possessions; everything I own weighs less than my bodyweight. Freelea is the same. It’s great that my partner shares the same goals, visions, morals and ethics. I wrote down a list of what I needed in a partner and then I wrote down a list of the characteristics I needed to be in order to attract that kind of person and bingo-what we think about, comes about!

People say to me, “Oh your life must be boring, eating just fruits and vegetables, don't you get cravings?” I reply: “Cravings? Yeah, I get massive cravings! I crave morning melon after a morning workout with my love; I crave durian atop mountain views in Malaysia; I crave greens in the garden; I crave sweet and juicy fruits after running a marathon or riding to the fruit shop; I crave a world where fruits and veggiers are organic by default and are free for every human being; I crave a society where people can make a living doing what they love; I crave a world where our animal friends no longer live in fear of us;  I crave a world where a health and fitness lifestyle is commonplace rather than the exception. That’s what I crave!”

Today I had some akee from a friend’s organic farm in sunny Mareeba in northern Queensland. He has planted Australia's  largest and most diverse certified organic farm. It has a granite-lined creek, superb wild life and thousands of young fruit trees with the best avocado and lychees in the country in one of its sunniest areas. Freelea and I will soon hold raw retreats there. The program will include: simple food prep 80/10/10-style; lessons in how to store and pick ripe fruit; 80/10/10 nutrition education basics; keys to emotional well-being; fasting to those who we deem are ready; mono-fruit diet cleanses; fitness training camp; simple living workshops; and coaching. Please follow our news at and drop us a line.



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