Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

As the proud owner of a new juicer (as of May 28th!) and a fan of health documentaries, I couldn't wait to check out Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead. I received my copy of the DVD last week and finally watched it tonight. LOVED IT!

We follow 41 year old, 310 lb Australian Joe Cross as he embarks on a 60-day juice fast and witness his miraculous transformation. We see how he inspires 420 lb Iowa truck driver, Phil Staples, to take control of his life and do the same.

By nourishing their bodies with the nutrients they need and by conquering their addiction to the foods that were killing them, both men lost a tremendous amount of weight and successfully got off of (or reduced) their prescription medications for the same rare autoimmune disease they were suffering from. Even better, their quality of life was significantly improved, as was their mental outlook, energy levels, and overall sense of well-being.

Watch the Trailer:

Joe starts his journey in New York and drives across the country, meeting and interviewing different folks about all sorts of things, from how long they think they'll live (I was shocked at the number of people who said 45, 50, 55 years old) to whether or not they'd partake in a juice fast (some version of "No way" and "You're crazy" was the overwhelming response).

[Bonus: I was pleasantly surprised to see Dr. Joel Fuhrman, the author of one of my favorite books Eat to Live and one of few medical doctors who considers natural treatments over prescription medications, featured in this film.]

According to the movie, the average Americans eats the following percentage of calories:

  • 60% Processed Foods
  • 30% Meat
  • 5% Whole Grains and White Potatoes
  • 5% Fruits and Vegetables

No wonder we have one of the sickest nations in the country! The secret to radiant health is in fruits and veggies!

Anyways, I highly recommend this movie and would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below if you've seen it.

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How to Live Forever

This weekend, my friends and I went to the theatre to see How to Live Forever, an uplifting documentary that explores aging and searches for the secret to living a long life.

The director of the movie, Mark Wexler, interviews folks in their 70s, 80s, 90s, and 100s and asks them what they've done all these years to live a long life. I definitely found myself laughing and crying throughout and left the theatre with a greater appreciation of life.

The message of the movie was open to interpretation, but what I got out of it was that living a long, happy, and healthy life is more than just about staying active and eating a healthy diet (which is the theme of the majority of the documentaries I watch). It's about SO much more than that.

Living a long, happy, and healthy life is about attitude. It's about being positive, not sweating the small stuff, surrounding yourself with people who bring you joy and fill you with love, expressing gratitude, smiling & laughing often, slowing down and enjoying life. That was my interpretation anyways.

Another MUST-SEE! It's currently playing in theatres across the country.

Click Here for showtimes and to see if it's playing near you. I definitely recommend that you check it out.

Watch the Trailer:

Have you seen "How to Live Forever"? What did you think? Share in the Comments section below!

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This Movie "Cuts thru the Meat" of Our Growing Health Crisis

Yesterday I attended the San Diego premiere of the documentary, Forks Over Knives with some friends and what a great night we had!

For less than the price of a typical $12 movie ticket, we got a vegan dinner catered by Whole Foods, a goodie bag, got to watch the movie, and attend an informative Q&A panel discussion afterward. I was thrilled to see that the theater was completely sold out in less than just one week after tickets went on sale. 

Despite the fact that my friends and I watched the entire movie from the second row, I still loved it and look forward to adding the DVD to my library once it goes on sale...or at least watching it again in the theater from a seat in the back :-)

Check Out the Trailer of "Forks Over Knives":

I definitely encourage everyone to watch this documentary.

The focus is on the benefits of adopting a vegan diet as well as the science behind it, but I hope that doesn't discourage people from wanting to go see it. I know some of you tend to run in the other direction when you hear the word "vegan", but please give this movie a chance. You don't have to become vegan as soon as you step out of the theater.

The message I want people to get is that the foods that we eat have a profound and direct effect on our health. The foods that we eat can prevent, treat, and reverse health conditions that most people rely on prescription medication for.  If you think that you are destined to get heart disease, cancer, or Type II diabetes because it runs in your family, this movie has your name written all over it. While we might be genetically predisposed to get certain diseases, we can actually change the expression of our genes by adopting a healthier, "plant strong" diet and in doing so, we can completely avoid getting these diseases in the first place.

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."

~Thomas A. Edison

As I've mentioned on this blog, I personally do not adhere to any one "diet" nor do I recommend any one "diet" to everyone.

I've tried and enjoyed many different ways of eating, including a high raw and 100% vegan diet, but I believe that we are all unique and there is no "one size fits all" way of eating for everyone. 

I am not arguing against the compelling evidence supporting the benefits of a vegan diet, but I do know many people whose health have actually improved with the addition of some animal fat and animal protein.

I am a proponent of a whole foods diet, particularly rich in organically grown, seasonal, local fruits and vegetables of every color of the rainbow but I also believe that a diet consisting of a small amount of organic, grass-fed beef, for instance, is healthier than a diet which is vegan but consists of white bread and junk food.

What I think both healthy, plant-based vegans and healthy carnivores can agree on is that the two biggest culprits in the modern western diet are:

1. PROCESSED FOODS: Namely the foods located in the middle aisles of the super market or in convenience stores. Many of these products contain high fructose corn syrup and have with a list of ingredients so long that the product doesn't even deserve to be called "food" (check out the the documentary King Corn for more on this)

2. FAST FOOD: Particularly poor quality, grain-fed meat, foods void of nutrients (e.g. french fries, hamburger buns), and soft drinks

These foods are making us sick and our society is so dependent on prescription medication for fixing just about everything that it's costing us not just an absurd amount of money each year, but our health as well. Doctors even prescribe medication to treat the symptoms caused by the side effects from our other prescription medications! We take whatever our doctors tell us to take without considering more natural and less costly alternatives.

We would rather rely on a quick fix than address the root cause of the issue and take responsibility for doing something about it.

How did we get to a place where having our bodies sliced open to fix our health issues is more commonly accepted in our society and is considered a less "extreme" alternative than cutting out meat from our diet? 

It's about time we make a shift in our way of thinking and watching Forks Over Knives is a great first step. Click on the links below for showtimes in your city:

Even Roger Ebert gave Forks Over Knives a pretty good review. Read it Here.

Did you watch Forks Over Knives? What did you think? Share in the Comments below!

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A "Corny" Documentary

After my 10 mile training run on Saturday, I treated myself to some glorrrrious downtime. I had a very busy and more-stressful-than-usual start to 2011, so these last couple of months I have been taking advantage of any downtime I can get my hands on and enjoying every second of it :-) I was excited to use my first ever post-run-icing-of-the-legs as an excuse to plop down on my comfy couch and watch a movie I've been wanting to watch for quite some time now: King Corn.

I enjoyed it! Any documentary that addresses the alarming rate of obesity and diabetes in our country, while emphasizing how our food choices have a direct affect on our health immediately piques my interest. This movie was a bit different from others I had seen, focusing on corn in particular as two best friends plant an acre of corn and try to follow it into our food system.

It's pretty upsetting to see just how many foods contain corn, everything from most hamburgers to unsuspecting food products like spaghetti sauce.  With the prevalence of high fructose corn syrup in most convenience foods out there (just walk down any aisle of 7-Eleven to see for yourself), it's no wonder most of us are made of corn! [Side Note: Check out this article I came across today by Dr. Mark Hyman today that addresses the dangers of HFCS...yikes! Read your food labels and stay far away from any foods that contain HFCS.]

Check out the trailer for King Corn:

Tonight I'm going to the San Diego premiere of Forks Over Knives and will definitely share my thoughts with you this week!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on either movie in the Comments below!

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