Whenever I talk to people about food, the first thing I tell them is, “take anything you read about food and nutrition with a grain of salt!” You absolutely have to as there are a lot of “experts” out there claiming all sorts of things. Most of all, you should ask yourself, “does this make sense? is this logical?”
I recently watched a documentary called Hungry For Change. If you are already a Food Moment’s Facebook fan then you probably saw the link, if not you can watch the movie here.
My first impression of the movie was, “wow this is great! yes! someone is finally waking up! there is hope out there!” Only after a while I realized, “ok you got some good stuff there but you’re also promoting questionable practices!”
So let’s get to the bottom of this. I will list some of the “messages” they were sending throughout the movie. I won’t type them word for word (sorry I don’t feel like re-watching the movie again with a note pad! lol) but I will try to be as close as possible. Then I will write out my own thoughts.
1. Diets Don’t Work
I totally agree!!! Any time I hear someone say they are going on a “diet” I want to vomit. Yup, that’s how I feel about the whole, “I am starting a diet on Monday.” I want to literally walk up to that person and choke them and save them the pain and disappointment that will come with their failure. Diets do NOT work! This is because you suddenly try to change your eating habits in a DAY. You go from eating like a hog (excuse me here!) to three healthy meals and 3 healthy snacks, you hate every minute of it but you’re doing it because you’re on this diet and you will soon be the healthiest person ever. You last 3 days and before you know it, you’re chugging down a cup of lard because you cannot handle another fat free Greek yogurt with almonds. We have all been there. It doesn’t work! So on day 4, you are back to your old self feeling like a total loser. You then decide to wait till January 1st to make another attempt at dieting because New Year is new life!
2. One Small Change at a Time
In order to make a life long lifestyle change, you have got to commit to something permanently. Just like drinking soda right now might be a regular event for you, NOT drinking soda has to become a regular event for you in order for it to be a permanent change. The movie did not specifically say “one small change at a time,” however, I appreciate how they suggest ways on how to make changes. You don’t go to the grocery store on a Sunday and replace all contents of your fridge with “healthy stuff.” Their suggestion is to just do one thing at a time. So for instance, maybe you will start buying more fresh fruits and vegetables. To make this even less overwhelming, perhaps you will start with buying fresh cantaloupe every week. Then eventually you will buy some tomatoes. The next week you will get even more wild and get an avocado. They’re hoping that you will start getting used to these fresh, healthy foods and you will start pushing the junk away. Before you know it, you will be at a grocery store choosing bananas over Doritos. That is the idea here. This is likely going to be a success as you’ll change slowly. This slow change will sneak in your personality, your habits hence will become your permanent lifestyle.
3. Our Nation is Starving on a Cellular Level
I love, love, love this message and how well they explained this concept. It is so easy to eat about 4000 calories in a day and barely get any vitamins nor minerals. Some of these high calorie, nutritionally empty foods are: sugary drinks (sodas, juices, etc), pastries, refined breads, refined flours, other refined grains, candy, cookies, fast food meals, alcohol, chips, crackers, granola bars, etc etc. You fill up on calories and some protein but where are the vitamins? phytochemicals? fibers? calcium? antioxidants? Yikes! So while we are meeting , better yet exceeding out caloric needs, we are lacking in essential nutrients, starving our body.
4. Sugar = Addiction
Ya think?! This is the eye opening part in the movie. Food companies don’t care about your health. They care about making money! This means that they will go as far as putting anything in that food that they can get away with while leaving you wanting more. They have quickly learned what ingredients make foods addicting. The main three that I can think of are sugar, salt and fat. These three mixed together are a dangerous combination but an advantage to a food company.
5. Banning Grains From Diet = Weight Loss, Better Health?
This was mentioned by one of the speakers in the movie, from what I could tell she is a doctor. She stated that she lost weight over time after she stopped eating grains. OK. First of all, how do we jump from refined sugar to GRAINS? And what kind of grains are we speaking about? Whole grains are not REFINED SUGAR. Whole grains have complex carbohydrates and have been used for decades as staple foods in many parts of the world. Sure, through metabolism, they are broken down to glucose. Same glucose molecule that you also get from juicing fruits/vegetables which is encouraged by the speakers in the movie. Whole grains are also full of fiber and minerals. They even contain protein. Why in the world would anyone cut them out of their diet? I really hope she meant refined grains like white bread, etc.
6. Detox Great For Eliminating Toxins
Seriously?! So we need to juice fresh fruits and vegetables and eat chia seeds to cleanse our bodies and lose weight. How about leaving that to our kidneys, liver and colon since that’s what they do? And OF COURSE you will lose weight on a detox diet as you’re probably only consuming about 600 kcal or less a day. So if you’re burning about 1500 calories and consuming 600 calories, well, you do the math. Most of your weight loss will be water loss and once you get back to eating solid foods, you will regain the weight. There is NO EVIDENCE that detox diets/cleansing/juicing etc etc has any benefits to the body. And if there is no evidence, no one should be ever saying “you should do that.” This is purely a practice that some people just do as that is their personal choice and opinion. So leave those toxins for your liver to deal with, will ya? Here is a good article to read on webmd on this topic. PLEASE read it if you’re a detox find or if you are thinking about starting some kind of detox regimen.
7. Start Juicing!
I feel that it is definitely beneficial to supplement your diet with healthy smoothies and juices. This especially holds true if you don’t know what to do with most vegetables. So you buy a Vitamix or a juicer and you start blending/juicing spinach, beets, carrots, etc, etc. This makes sense. Fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and so on. Do I feel there is a need to detox our bodies from toxins? Not necessarily. You can incorporate vegetable/fruit smoothies into your current diet. Now remember, smoothies are full of sugars as well. These, however, are natural sugars but STILL sugars. You will still end up with GLUCOSE in your blood either way :)
Last but not least, practice moderation. This is it for now. If I can think of anything else then I will definitely create a post part II. Also, just because someone weighed 300 lbs then lost 100 lbs and their main method was juicing fruits does not make them an expert nor does it mean it will work for you. Do what is reasonable and logical. Eat a balanced diet. Don’t deprive yourself of anything, however, do try to improve your diet by avoiding processed, empty calories and eating more of the superfoods. Balance is key!