Every documentary and/or book I’ve linked on the sidebar should be watched or read by every American. These movies are an eye-opener into how some of our everyday conveniences are produced, marketed, and worst, accepted. I’ve now seen each of these twice, with exception to Super Size Me – which wrapped up my past week “food supply” documentary-binge.

You Are What You Eat was one of the first during my evolution into dairy-free breastfeeding. I had long been reading health and exercise magazines – especially Runner’s World, having then completed six marathons. So diet, exercise and nutritional education wasn’t a new topic for me; however, eating healthy, and eating well, was. For many years the goal was probably more along the lines of determining how big my pasta dinner could be given the number of miles run that day.

But having been witness to the drastic change in skin and stomach issues in my newborn by simply removing milk from my diet was what finally prompted me to give healthy food a new attitude. I’ve long had a huge sweet-tooth, enjoyed carbs, alcohol, etc…and was embarrassingly avoidant of vegetables. And it’s a little like the obvious elephant in the room when you realize the old mantra of “you are what you eat”…really means just that.

What’s worse is that for many people, they might think “well, duh”….however, for so many more, I believe, truly do not. Super Size Me clearly illustrates how the giant food corporations of today have utilized child-focused marketing to not only lure kids into wanting their food but to also give parents a false sense of safety in eating their “food”. To further that, the size and prevalence of the existence of these companies on every main street in nearly every American town only adds to that false perception of “safety”.

I also watched each of the bonus sections of the listed DVDs and have to admit, I was completely surprised and utterly disgusted at the condition of the french fries at the end of 8 weeks (see bonus to Super Size Me) – they were perfectly intact, appearing as if they had just been bought. Preservatives. Probably the most prevalent, yet least noticeable, agent affecting our health – and the very same reason you may have heard to “shop around the edges of your grocery store” (i.e., to evade processed foods in the center aisles). Never mind the empty calories and gobs of sugar dumped into processed foods – but what about the preservatives? If they can maintain french fries for eight weeks at room temperature, what are they doing to the cells in your body?

This is why “Never Fear Cancer Again” makes my list. The title itself makes one think of something they might see on the cover of The National Enquirer – a piece of fiction used only to make money – because after all, why would we need so much cancer research, chemotherapy, and huge research hospitals and clinics if such a “super cure” really existed? But this book bridges the gap between understanding which foods to buy and why to buy them. At the root of this book is cell health and it helps you understand things such as the gap between regenerative farming practices and not just healthy foods – but healthy foods which still contain the essential nutrients to actually have an impact on your health – even to the point, according to it’s author – to cure and prevent cancer. Prevention being the key idea.

So as a start, learning which foods are best is invaluable. But as you travel down the path of holistic health you’ll start to see why broccoli from the grocery store is far different than broccoli from a farmer’s market – and if you take it the next step – you’ll see how each level in the process – from choosing the food to farming, harvesting, storing, and cooking all have an impact on your overall health.

Ironically, I was surprised at the hesitance of some of the doctors in “Super Size Me” to believe that dietary modifications were going to have such an impact on the filmmaker’s overall health (which they did). Similar to how I was unable to find “dietary modifications” as the best first option in improving my crying baby. But as he states in the movie, we really need to move from a “Sick Care” mentality to a “Health Care” mentality…and it is up to each of us as individuals to be our own care provider.

I should probably break down this post because many of the topics here deserve their own space….

  • Changing the mentality/perspective on health care.
  • Changing the mentality/perspective on exercise.
  • Changing the mentality/perspective on the food we consume – as in, is cereal (for example) really good for us, or our kids? Or is it just the packaging and old thought processes that keep us consuming these types of products?
  • Examine other countries’ cultures, food habits, etc…in comparison (e.g., many countries in Europe have GMO labeling yet we do not?)
  • Offering up solutions for everyday mom’s and dad’s who want to fit this into their lifestyle and budget – IMHO this also requires a drastic change in mentality about how much we really need to eat, and what it is that constitutes a “good meal”. This is  tough one because our culture places a lot of emphasis on eating, and doing so with others, and as a group…so something to think about. Why not go for tea, rather than lunch? Etc. CA I know has raw food restaurants…something we don’t see much of in the Midwest….
  • Actually making the conversion. Having just spent a couple years with too much time on the road, and far too many gas station “entrees”….I completely understand about convenience. And sometimes something warm is just what is needed when temps drop below zero (especially here in the North). Not to mention, those McDonald’s french fries really do taste good. Ugh.

In any event, I’m hoping my movie-binge will help me jump-start the conversion I’ve been longing to make. I’m not sure I know anyone who isn’t concerned – whether its about weight or health or money it seems like there’s always talk about what we’re eating.


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