Last Sunday I attended a free viewing of the food documentary “Forks Over Knives“, at the Leichtag Foundation, a local center in Encinitas, CA. After the movie we separated into smaller groups and it was both enjoyable and interesting listening to everybody’s take on the information presented in the movie. The movie is about a whole foods plant-based diet and features Dr. Collin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselton. The film follows their research around the globe. While both were raised on a diet rich in meat and dairy, their research of diets around the world eventually led them to trade beef for beets and milk for milkweed. They found that a diet rich in fiber and nutrition from plants can stop degenerative and chronic diseases. Now this is not a claim that vegetables are a silver bullet. Not every sickness can be cured with a change in diet, but the healthier our bodies and the higher immunities we possess the easier our bodies can fight illnesses.
In addition to the research of Drs. Campbell and Esselton, the film follows several people who switched over to a plant-based diet and cured or reduced many of their health ailments such as diabetes, blood pressure, fatigue, and While only one of the people claimed the diet cured her cancer, that is a main focus in the film. Cancer starts as abnormal cells that are triggered by something and then multiply quickly. Studies show diets rich in animal proteins, processed foods, and refined sugars can cause cancer cells to grow. A toxic environment also plays a part in growing and spreading cancer cells.
Like breaking any habit, it’s difficult to change your diet, but it can be done. From personal experience I know that switching to a vegetarian diet 4 years ago has helped my health. I don’t get sick as often, feel better overall, and have more energy. Also when my mom was given a cancer diagnosis of 4 months to live her use of a whole food plant-based diet via the Gerson Therapy improved her health and extended her life another 2 years of living.
One point made during the film that really stood out to me, was how sugar, caffeine, and energy drinks mask fatigue as opposed to helping our bodies. One of the major concerns over our current healthcare system is the prescription of drugs and the prevalence of over the counter medication that makes us feel good, but doesn’t get to the root of illnesses. It’s important to ask yourself what you are feeding your body. Can you reduce the amount of meat and dairy you consume or can you cut it out completely? Do you really want to put more artificial flavors and colors in your body? Is all that sugar and caffeine helping you in the long run or has it become an addiction that only temporarily lifts you up? Now is the time to self reflect and critically think about your health choices. The choice is up to you.
After the movie we separated into smaller groups and shared our take on the information presented in the movie. Much of the audience were vegetarians, vegans and people who had already reduced the amount of meat they consumed. The community center has gardens on site and will continue hosting movies on food justice each month. The next community movie and discussion is “The Garden“, about the fight to protect a 13 acre community garden in Los Angeles, on September 14th from 5-7:30pm. Delicious vegan refreshments are provided. If you are or will be in North San Diego county on the 14th, I hope to see you there. I really enjoyed being able to chat with locals about our food choices and hope to see more movie nights that include discussions become a popular past time around the world. Sharing knowledge is how we will empower everyone to live a healthy life.
Empower yourself and do your own research, here are some started links related to diet and illness.
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