It’s been quite a week of movie watching in my house — Lucas says if I’m not careful, we’ll end up hiding in our house eating (juicing?) organic kale and nothing else.
He has a point. There are a lot of movies and books out there about healthy living, and I want to watch and read them all. From Food Inc. and Food Matters to Eating Animals and Skinny Bitch, I’m more educated than most about organic food, health conditions, animal welfare and more. But is it good for me?
(To see all of my reviews, head to my Races/Reviews page!)
I think that we’re all smart to get educated about the things that we eat and what is in our environments — as long as we keep a critical mindset, because it could be easy to be enticed into jumping into an all-vegan diet, or cut out certain food groups. Each of us needs to decide what works best for our own lives.
Having said that, I’m more convinced than ever that for me, the phrase “Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet” is the best fit for my body. And that’s the premise of the movie Forks Over Knives, which took over the healthy living world earlier this year and is now available for free as a streaming Netflix movie.
The movie is not outwardly about a vegan diet, because that really isn’t the point. You can be a junk food vegan, eating foods that are free of animal products but still processed and loaded up with crap. The doctors who are the stars of this movie — T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselsytn — are convinced that eating foods that are minimally processed, grown organically ad free of animal products can do everything from lower cholesterol to cure (or at least minimize) diabetes to put cancer in remission.
Two out of every three of us are overweight. Cases of diabetes are exploding, especially amongst our younger population. About half of us are taking at least one prescription drug. Major medical operations have become routine, helping to drive health care costs to astronomical levels. Heart disease, cancer and stroke are the country’s three leading causes of death, even though billions are spent each year to “battle” these very conditions. Millions suffer from a host of other degenerative diseases.
Could it be there’s a single solution to all of these problems? A solution so comprehensive but so straightforward, that it’s mind-boggling that more of us haven’t taken it seriously?
They’re doctors, so they have studies. Big ones. Have you heard of The China Study? That’s Dr. Campbell and a team from China. Dr. Esselstyn helped save patients whose own doctors had told them they were out of treatment options.
A read a review that calls Forks Over Knives a movie that “picks up where Food, Inc. leaves off,” and I think that’s an accurate point. It’s more advanced, and medical and health focused, where Food, Inc. was a bit more entry-level for consumers. But it’s a great watch, certainly made me think about what food does to our bodies and what choices I can make to help stay healthy for a long time.
So, what does it all mean? Well, I’m doing my best not to label my diet. I’m not vegan, and I still like to eat some foods that may not be completely “clean.” But I do strive to eat a diet that is mostly whole foods, plant-based and as clean as possible. I know that I feel better when I’m not weighed down by processed crap. I leave myself a lot of room for deviation, and never feel guilty about the things I eat (sometimes the portions, but that’s my own demon).