Recently on an international plane trip, I watched a documentary that changed the way I think about food.
Like any long haul flight, I had watched my fair share of movies and my attention span was waning. I wasn’t tired enough to sleep, but didn’t have the concentration span for a full-length movie…
Browsing through the documentary list, I found a film on food (what else) that caught my interest. It was called Forks Over Knives.
I expected to watch part of the film, lose interest and then flick over to something else. Instead I watched the whole way through and was captivated by the message.
It had such an impact on me that I wanted to write about it here on the blog.
Forks Over Knives – The Documentary
Forks Over Knives is a film showcasing the knowledge and research of American nutrition professors, Dr T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn.
Here is a 2 minute trailer of Forks Over Knives:
I would really encourage anyone with an interest in food and health to watch the full-length film. It’s incredibly powerful.
Are our diets killing us?
The film presents a bold belief that:
diseases like cancer and diabetes can be controlled or potentially reversed by switching to a whole food, plant based diet
poor diet is responsible for the declining health of the western population
We are consuming more meat, dairy and sugar than the generations before us, and at the same time, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer affect more of us with each year that passes.
Doctors Campbell and Esselstyn, along with a growing number of medical practitioners are treating patients using whole food, plant based diets. In so many cases, these patients have been able to dramatically reduce, if not eliminate their traditional medications.
Their approach is to combat disease with food as medicine (“forks”), over medical procedures and surgery (“knives”).
The plant-based nutrition movement is seriously gathering momentum. There is even a Certificate in Plant Nutrition you can study online via eCornell University, based on Dr. Campbell’s 40 years of research and discovery.
Testimonials from patients include:
Improved sleep quality
Incredible weight loss
Lowering of blood pressure
Reduction (and in many cases elimination) of medication
Read their incredible stories at: http://www.forksoverknives.com/category/testimonials/
Celebrity testimonials include:
Russel Brand – Actor
“I’m now vegan, goodbye eggs, hello Ellen.”
Dr. Oz – T.V. Personality
“I saw it, I loved it, and I need all of you to see it too. This could be the Hail Mary of medicine.”
Jason Mraz – Singer / Songwriter
“For those curious or concerned about a plant-based diet, check out the film Forks Over Knives. It’s a life changer.”
Oprah Winfrey – Talk Show Host
“Forks Over Knives is a provocative documentary that explores the idea of using food as medicine.”
Evan Rachel Wood – Actress
“Do yourself a favour. Watch Forks Over Knives. It sticks with you. Phew!”
The Plant Strong Diet:
The Forks Over Knives diet contains:
Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and plants
No meat of any kind
No dairy products
Are you still with me?
The documentary really did ‘stick with me’, so much that I watched it for a second time on the return flight home. This time I made my husband “Mr Beef” watch it too!
To put this in perspective, Mr Beef grew up on a beef farm that his family still run today, so meat is a dietary staple! After watching the first 20 minutes of the film, he threw his hands up in the air and proclaimed “So what – are you gonna make me turn vegan then!?!?” to which I smirked and replied “just maybe buddy”.
Not one for detail, he now refers to the diet as “Man versus Plants”…
So what can I do?
After returning home, the documentary was still on my mind.
I ordered the Forks Over Knives official book AND the cookbook containing over 300 recipes.
…plus another book by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s son, Rip Esselstyn.
Rip is a professional triathlete-turned firefighter, who has achieved amazing results improving the health of other firefighters.
Watch part of their story here…
Inspired by the plant-based challenge, I’ve been considering how I can apply these principles to my own diet. What changes could I make to improve my diet and my health in general?
Taking stock, here’s where I’m at right now:
Eh hem…I could definitely exercise a whole lot more…
Let’s not mention my addiction to fries, which by this stage in my life I know is incurable
Over the years I’ve tried as many diets as the next woman – shakes, low carb, high protein and who knows what
Right now I’m in a place where my diet contains more vegetables and less refined carbs than ever before. I’ve always aimed to eat healthily most of the time, but there is always room for improvement.
Could I really be meat free?
I’m not so attached to dairy foods, but could I really give up meat completely and adopt a 100% plant based diet?
I don’t think so. I can’t imagine giving up chicken, fish, prawns, lamb, or pork for good.
But I think I could certainly reduce my intake of these foods.
Being a real foodie, there are so many delicious social occasions that revolve around food, and on these occasions good intentions honestly march side-by-side out the door.
What I think I can do:
Take on inspiration from Forks Over Knives to inspire a ‘health check’ of my diet
Reduce animal based products in my diet
Increase plant based meal occasions
Try new ingredients, combinations and recipes
What should you expect?
Realistically I figure I can experiment with plant based meals at breakfast & lunch occasions.
And what better place to explore these new meal options than right here on the blog. Maybe I can inspire some of you too.
So watch out for plant based recipe inspiration coming up. I’ve even considered making a Lunchbox Rescue – Plant Style e-book for readers of this blog.
In the meantime, check out the the full-length film. It sticks with you!
Here’s the 2 minute trailer again:
Or check out Forks Over Knives at their website, Facebook Page, YouTube Channel or Twitter feed:
The views in this post are purely my own opinion and experience. I am not a medical practitioner, nor have I been paid for any promotion of the Forks Over Knives documentary or books.
Main image courtesy of http://www.thisdishisvegetarian.com.
All other images are courtesy of the Forks Over Knives Press Kit.
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