When I embarked on my search for truth in everything, I thought a good place to begin was with what I put in my mouth. Yeah, yeah, heard that one before, jackass. My cholesterol was high. My heart began to do strange things. And I was beginning to look like I was pregnant with a “food baby.” Not a good look for anyone. Before I committed to a lifelong date with statins, I decided I was going to see if there was another way to get healthy instead of masking my symptoms.
That research changed my life. My cholesterol is down. My heart is behaving. And I delivered my food baby through my ass. It’s not there any longer. My physician was blown away. Of course she was – medical school all but ignores nutrition, despite Hippocrates’ famous quote: Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
Like me, you might have a difficult time starting out in your research. I mean, come on – we’re Americans. It’s not cool to sit in a library or write research papers, right? A great place to begin is on your fat ass, on your comfy couch, armed with a remote control and the cheapest Netflix account you can afford. See them in this order if you have a choice.
1. Supersize Me (2004, Morgan Spurlock)
Oscar-nominated Morgan Spurlock endeavors to use his own body as a human guinea pig in a dangerous game of supersizing. Supersize Me follows a 30-day period from during which he ate only McDonald’s food. The film documents this lifestyle’s drastic effect on Spurlock’s physical and psychological well-being, and explores the fast food industry’s corporate influence, including how it encourages poor nutrition for its own profit. As a result, the then-32-year-old Spurlock gained 24 pounds; increased his cholesterol to 230 mg/dL; and experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and fat accumulation in his liver. It took Spurlock fourteen months to lose the weight gained from his experiment using a vegan diet supervised by his then-girlfriend, a chef who specializes in gourmet vegan dishes. This is a terrific place to begin your own journey to healthy living. It’s what got me started.
2. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (2010, Joe Cross)
100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310 pound man with one foot already in the grave. With doctors and conventional medicines unable to help long-term, Joe turns to the only option left, the body’s ability to heal itself. He trades in the junk food and hits the road with juicer and generator in tow, vowing only to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for the next 60 days. Across 3,000 miles Joe has one goal in mind: To get off his pills and achieve a balanced lifestyle. At a truck stop in Arizona, Joe meets a truck driver who suffers from the same rare condition. Phil Staples is morbidly obese weighing in at 429 lbs. As Joe is recovering his health, Phil begins his own epic journey to get well. This is step two towards believing food is the cure.
3. Food, Inc. (2008, Robert Kenner)
This documentary addresses the issue of corporate farming in America—and as you’ll find out, it’s a very big problem to tackle. TThe film’s first segment examines the industrial production of meat (chicken, beef, and pork), calling it inhumane and economically and environmentally unsustainable. The second looks at the industrial production of grains and vegetables, again labeling this economically and environmentally unsustainable. The film’s final segment is about the economic and legal power, such as food labeling regulations, the heavy use of petroleum-based chemicals in pesticides and fertilizers, and the promotion of unhealthy food consumption habits by the American public. This film will begin to introduce you to the American food business game.
4. Forks Over Knives (2011, Lee Fulkerson)
What has happened to us? Despite the most advanced medical technology in the world, we are sicker than ever by nearly every measure. 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. Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. A top surgeon and head of the Breast Cancer Task Force at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, found that many of the diseases he routinely treated were virtually unknown in parts of the world where animal-based foods were rarely consumed. You’ll begin to see that we are what we eat.
5. Food Matters (2008, James Colquhoun)
Food Matters is a 2008 film about nutrition. The filmmakers interviewed several world leaders in nutrition and natural healing who claim that not only are we harming our bodies with improper nutrition, but that the right kind of foods, supplements and detoxification can be used to treat chronic illnesses as fatal as terminally diagnosed cancer. It tends to label the medical industry as a “sickness industry,” which profits more from treating the symptoms of illness than curing.
This is just the beginning. There are many more documentaries that all seem to spread the same message. Makes you wonder. Made me healthier.