Hey, guys! It’s wellness week on my blog, so that means five straight days of blog content focused on health, nutrition, and overall wellness. Blog posts will be up every day, Monday through Friday, at 8am EST. I hope you can stick around and as always, please leave feedback! Now onto your regularly scheduled blog post….
As someone who truly loves health, wellness, exercising and eating healthy when I heard the buzz about the Netflix documentary What The Health, I was quite excited. I thought, “Finally, much of America, and possibly the world, was taking an interest in what interests me,” and ultimately what can change each and everyone’s life for the better. Then I actually watched the documentary, and to say the least, I wasn’t impressed. Here’s why….
Truly, I am waiting for the film that promotes balance, not an exclusion of food groups.
As someone whose guilty pleasure is watching Netflix health related documentaries, I’ve seen it all: Hungry For Change, Fed Up, Cowspiracy, Super Size Me, Forks Over Knives, Sugar Coated, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, the list goes on.
While not every film is the same or has the same message, many of them demonize different food group. But this is not to say they are completely in the wrong for this. In some cases it’s justified, for example, sugar is toxic, animal products aren’t the best, the world would definitely be a much more sustainable place if we were all vegan, etc. But in most cases, the films don’t give practical ways to make these changes to our diets, and therefore, they actually aren’t as helpful to our health as we think.
After watching health films it’s not uncommon to feel inspired to make dietary changes. I actually hope you do. But I also hope that you continue to educate yourself on what is best for your body and do not take every documentary at face value.
I think it’s safe to say that America’s food and drug industries are slowly killing us all, but there are ways to set yourself up for nutritional success despite their shady marketing.
- You can avoid refined and processed foods.
- You can eat fewer, or no, animal products.
- You can establish a plant based diet.
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A NUTRITIONIST. I AM NOT CERTIFIED. THESE ARE SIMPLY MY HUMBLE OPINIONS.
A personal example of not continuing to research after watching these health documentaries is when I decided to go vegan without having the knowledge of what might be suitable for a healthy vegan diet. How this came about was, I had gone on a health documentary binge/marathon and at the end decided that going vegan was best for my health. The next day I cut all animal products out of my diet and felt pretty accomplished. But what I didn’t do was better understand the difference between a healthy vegan and an unhealthy one.
Just because you stop eating animal products doesn’t make you healthy. It’s about what you are still eating even after you take those products out. For example, Oreos are vegan, but are they healthy? No.
Now, I didn’t go around munching on Oreos all day, but I also didn’t make plants the base of my diet. I relied heavily on processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and very little on my leafy greens. Once I began to realize that my body wasn’t responding well to this new lifestyle change, I was confused.
“But I’m vegan,” I said. “I should be super healthy.”
If only the documentaries I had watched told me what to substitute my animal based products for maybe then I would have been better prepared. Or what if I did my own research before making the leap? Then that diet/lifestyle change would have lasted longer.
Again, not all documentaries are created equal. I actually would highly recommend Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, as a must watch because it does a great job of establishing the importance of plants in your diet over what should not be in your diet.
With that said, this is a good segway into the main point of my post. No matter what your diet, lifestyle change, or whatever you want to call it, we can all stand to eat more fruits and veggies. If you truly pay attention, that is what most diets are tiring to tell people get people anyway. That’s why fruits and veggies for weight watchers are nearly no points, and every diet, or almost every diet, has suggested you incorporate them into every meal.
But even the best of us fall short. On average we should all be getting between 7-13 servings of fruits and veggies each day and for athletes, even more. Now I don’t know about you but I definitely don’t get that every day, even on my best days, so I supplement with a product called Juice Plus.
Disclaimer: This is not an excuse to not eat your fruits and veggies, it simply fills in the gaps.
In a world where everyone is attempting to sell us supplements to mask our nutrient deficient diets, Juice Plus isn’t a supplement. It is whole food nutrition in capsule form and helps to bridge the gap between the nutrients you are actually consuming versus what you should be getting.
Recently, I have transitioned into a plant based diet (I still consume animal products but very little) and have been taking Juice Plus for roughly a year now. My health has improved tremendously and I just thought I’d share what’s been working for me with you. If Juice Plus interests you at all or you would like more information on it, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to tell you more!
So with all of this said, while What The Health, didn’t inspire me as much as it did others, I am extremely happy that it has sparked a conversation about nutrition and health across America, and could possibly be the catalyst for major changes in the lives of many. But what I will say is I hope you all continue to do your research on health, nutrition and what works best for you. For some, a vegan diet is what’s best, but for others, they might like eating Paleo based or being strictly vegetarian. Whatever floats your boat, I’m glad you’re taking the time to explore the possibilities. Just make sure you focus first on what’s never going out of style, fruits, and veggies.
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Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.