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By - Zonya Foco, RD, CHFI, CSP
If there was ever a two-word objective that people desperately want (after “winning lotto”), it’s the secret to “staying motivated.” Sure, we start off the year on fire to reach our food and fitness goals, but where is that spark come February? Or March?... or heck, this Friday? Those of us who struggle with consistency may wonder if it’s even possible to meet our long-term health goals.
In my travels I run into people who indeed meet and maintain their health goals. This means they are consistent with eating smart and exercising, have done so over several years’ time, and now can say this is WHO THEY ARE! Wow. What a dream! Here is one of their surprising tactics:
Watch a health documentary. Yup! A good old movie that’s educational (and often riveting) regarding health. It’s surprising to me how many health “super stars” have indeed watched not just one, but several documentaries, and who often re-view the same one numerous times so that the knowledge is imparted into their “DNA” so to speak. They will say things like, “Watching that was a turning point for me and my family...even my husband who I deemed impossible to change.” And while one documentary usually sticks in their minds the most, upon further questioning, I find they have often watched well over six different health documentaries, including the decade old Super-Size Me.>
If watching these food documentaries has helped so many, and you are content to sit, watch and be entertained, then what are you waiting for? With internet streaming, to include Amazon Prime, Google Play and Netflix, these movies are very easy to find, either for free or for a nominal single view charge. (Or, check with your local library’s DVD collection!) What documentaries am I talking about? Here’s a list to get you started, with a brief review of the content of each.
Forks over Knives
I have personally met people who have reversed their diabetes, heart disease and obesity after seeing this movie. Many excellent studies are referenced in this film, which advocates for a 100% whole foods, plant-based diet. While not everyone will be convinced to shun all animal products after watching this movie, there is a convincing argument to at least reduce meat, chicken, fish and dairy to “condiment” like servings. Adopting veganism as a way of reversing disease is indeed a solution that you may not hear about anywhere else.
This documentary precisely uncovers the amount of sugar our nation consumes and provides arguments for what needs to be done about it. Narrated by Katie Couric, the film follows a group of families battling to lead healthier lives and reveals why the conventional wisdom of “eat right and exercise” is not ringing true for millions of people struggling with diabetes, childhood obesity and other serious conditions. Read a much more extensive REVIEW by Krista, my EatRealAmerica.com partner.
Have you ever wondered just what the difference is between organic and conventionally grown, to include meats and dairy? Well this movie will not only show you, but will also stir your heart to “vote with your dollar” to protect our planet, while at the same time improving your family’s health.
Why do doctors recommend medications before asking you to change what you eat? What would happen if they truly believed “food matters”? You will see amazing accounts of people who end their battles with the likes of cancer and depression by tossing their medications for a healthy diet.
In Defense of Food
This is one of the newest documentaries, featuring a favorite best-selling author of mine, Michael Pollan (author of Food Rules and The Botany of Desire). In answer to the question, “What should I eat to be healthy?” Pollan argues the point that we just need to eat REAL food, instead of processed food-like substances. Included in the film is a riveting segment on why breastfeeding is so miraculous and ingenious.
That Vitamin Movie
At issue in this movie is whether our dependence on medications is actually causing harm. Many-times, according to this documentary, a simple, low-cost vitamin supplement can cure what ails us, but doctors are simply not aware of the option because pharmaceutical sales are what drive our nation’s profits.
A delightful film that really illuminates what the small farm and truly “fresh” food are all about.
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
If I tell you what this is about, you might not watch it. And I really want you to watch it! So just do it! And then realize that while the method featured was extreme, the point is to make vegetables and fruit the foundation to your diet and you will see your fat and chronic diseases melt away!
Super Size Me
This is a classic film that is still excellent, even if it’s twelve years old. Director Morgan Spurlock subjects himself to eating only McDonald’s food for thirty days. What happened to his health in just one week, and ultimately one month, is what is currently happening to many Americans, just at a slower rate. It really makes you rethink eating the very food that many people reach for out of convenience every day. Fresh, wholesome REAL food like fresh vegetables, fruit and whole grains, which are not part of the best-selling McDonald’s fare, is the antidote.
Overall, watching these documentaries will deepen your inner “conviction” for kicking overly processed food to the curb, and finding an unwavering love for wholesome REAL FOOD.
Happy viewing as you watch your way to becoming a “health super-star.” And don’t forget the air popped popcorn!