5 Must-Watch Documentaries

  • By Jengyu Lai
  • 02 Jun, 2017

Written by the Rochester Clinic Team

If you have some downtime on a rainy day, or simply want to educate yourself on the many aspects of healthy living, we recommend checking out these five documentaries:
1.   Forks Over Knives // This thought-provoking documentary takes a deep look at the negatively profound impact of the average American diet. The video exclusively examines the claim that most, if not all, degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled and even reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. Clean eating as the answer to cancer prevention and obesity? Yes, such a simple concept but so overlooked in today’s society. Watch it to learn more about the scientific proof that plant-based diets work best for our bodies.

(Psst -- if you're interested in learning how going plant-based helps the planet, watch Cowspiracy. If you want to know more about how eating a vegan diet helps animals, check out Vegucated).
2.   That Sugar Film // In this unique film, Damon Gameau embarks on an experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body in which he consumes only foods that are commonly perceived (and disguised) as ‘healthy.’ Damon uncovers so much of the sweet stuff that lurks in a lot of our everyday foods we wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Let's just say this one will definitely make you think twice about what you're buying at the grocery store.
3.   Happy // 'Happy' focuses on happiness (surprise!), specifically, how to find happiness and what that concept means to various people all over the world. One large aspect of living a healthy, fulfilled life is being stress-free and finding one's passion. If you watch this documentary, you are guaranteed to finish it with a smile on your face and a renewed sense for finding joy in your life.
4.   Hungry for Change // Need some convincing that giving up processed foods will make a big of a difference when it comes to your health and weight? This is the documentary to watch. A lot of the content in this film you may have heard many times before, but will serve as a worthwhile reminder.
5. Plant Pure Nation // Similar to Forks Over Knives, this film reiterates the scientific evidence that a plant-based diet is best for long-term health. The documentary highlights how corporate lobbies have supported the dairy, beef and egg industries, despite evidence that consuming animal-based products is associated with America’s all-to-common common health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

News / Blogs

By Jengyu Lai 09 Dec, 2017

One of our recent CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) graduates, Joe, was kind enough to share his success story with us.

Since completing the 12-week course, Joe has a renewed vigor for life (and cooking, to boot!) He’s dropped excessed weight, dramatically reduced his cholesterol, and now has an abundance of energy he didn’t before.

Read about his personal journey:

Family history is cause for concern…

Prior to CHIP, I always had tried to minimize intake of red meats (opting for mostly poultry, pork, and fish), salts, sugars, butter, egg yolks, etc., and drinking only skim milk. Heart disease runs in my family. I lost my dad at age 57 after a quintuple bypass and a valve replacement. His four brothers all had open heart surgery or angioplasty with placement of stents in their 50’s/60’s. My own brother, who is quite active, had his first heart attack at age 55. I also have several cousins who have had heart attacks around 50 years of age.

I turned 50 in August of this year. I had been taking baby aspirin as a precautionary measure.

Wake up call…

I had a bit of an awakening in mid-July when a sore calf muscle ended up being the only symptom for a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in main vein in my leg) and bilateral pulmonary embolism (blood clots broke free from the leg, traveled through the heart, and lodged in both lungs). After the fact, I was told how lucky I was and that many people die from this.

Researching options…

On my way to a fishing trip in late July, I got a call from a good friend saying she was considering taking a class called “CHIP” and thought it might be a good match for me. She sent me the info, and also borrowed me a book titled “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.” I began reading the book and then attended the information session for the CHIP class.

Deciding to take the CHIP-plunge…

Ultimately, I signed up to take the CHIP class.

During my very first CHIP class, I received a call from my vascular specialist telling me that my arterial plaque build-up was not terrible, but that it was more than there should be for a male that is 50 years of age. He recommended that, although my blood cholesterol did not exceed 200, that I begin taking statins immediately. At that point, I countered his proposal.

I told him what I was going to attempt through whole food, plant-based eating and that I would like 3-4 months to drop 25lbs, and attempt to get my total blood cholesterol below 150.   He agreed that that was a great approach. Most people are reliant on the quick fix, i.e. the drugs, and don’t address the underlying cause.

Let the [CHIP] journey begin…

I completely threw the switch to no meat, no fish, no dairy, no processed grains or sugars… Within two weeks, I began to notice the loss of my excess weight, my energy level was increasing, and I was getting an increase in mental clarity. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of foods and the phenomenal taste. Initially I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to be so sick of beans.’ But here’s the kicker … the recipes fold in various ingredients where you’d least expect it… Caesar salad dressing, the best I’ve ever had, and yes, made with garbanzo beans! Chocolate chip cookie dough, the kind you don’t bake … again, made with garbanzo beans. The soups, the stews, the main dishes… crazy delicious! Turns out, I love to cook! Banana pancakes, waffles, nachos with cashew cheese, sweet potato black bean stew… all the fresh ingredients… Your taste buds change and begin to pick up on flavors that you never knew existed.

Each class begins with a meal prepared by volunteers who are helping to promote better health through whole food, plant-based eating. Each class has a theme -- heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, etc.  There are guest speakers, grocery store tours, food preparation demos, recipe sharing, interaction with the other “CHIPers,” plus more.  

The results are in…

Over the course of 12 weeks (18 sessions), not only do you note that you feel better, but everyone in the class shows physical signs of weight loss … faces slimming down, clothes fitting looser, people in general happier.

In the first six weeks, my total cholesterol dropped 10%, and I was down 12 pounds, despite eating like a horse. No calorie counting, no buying premade meals from some plan, almost everything from raw ingredients.

I can’t say enough about this class … best money I’ve spent, hands down. It will pay for itself in reduced health care bills, not to mention the reduction in food costs due to no longer eating out as much. Even better, rather than being on a slow health decline as we age, you actually have that energy to be interactive with kids, grandkids … living your best life possible, enjoying it rather than enduring it.

Spreading the word…

I share my newly acquired knowledge with everyone … family, friends, nurses where I get my blood tests done, random people at a music concert, my dentist and dental hygienist, co-workers … Many see my excitement and are planning to attend the next information session to learn more.

- - -

It’s your turn! Are you interested in having your own success story to share with others? Attend our next FREE informational session about CHIP on Monday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m, at Seventh Day Adventist Church in Rochester. Food sample provided!

You can also learn more about the program on our website at www.rochesterclinic.com/chip1

By Jengyu Lai 31 Aug, 2017

Healthcare costs in the U.S. are on the rise. It is estimated that 70-80% of healthcare costs are due to chronic disease, and the main reason for a trip to the doctor.

 

Exactly what is chronic disease and what can you do about it? Chronic diseases are conditions that cannot be prevented or cured by vaccinations or medications, nor do they go away on their own.

 

Common chronic diseases:

●    Elevated cholesterol

●    Type 2 diabetes

●    Hypertension

●    Obesity

●    Coronary heart disease

●    High blood pressure

●    Osteoporosis

●    Arthritis

●    Fatigue

 

However, living significantly longer and increasing quality of life is a reality, even for those with these chronic diseases. Modifications in lifestyle will lessen and potentially eliminate chronic conditions, and therefore increase quality of life and reduce medical expenses. You have the power to take charge of your health. This is lifestyle medicine.

 

Lifestyle modifications include:

●    Plant-based, whole food diet and nutrition

●    Physical activity

●    Stress reduction

●    Family/social support network

 

Through this evidence-based research, you can change the course of your health. With simple, fun, and flexible adaptations, the lifestyle medicine approach is a whole new way of living.

 

For more information on Rochester Clinic, the services and programs we offer, please give us a call at

507-218-3095, visit our website at www.RochesterClinic.com , or e-mail to Health@RochesterClinic.com .

 

We are happy to answer your questions and get you on your way to a healthy life!


By Jengyu Lai 03 Jul, 2017

Whether you’ve fully adopted a plant-based diet or are simply dipping your toes in the water, there’s no doubt that wholesome food is at the center of one’s wellbeing.

 

Here we’ve rounded up five of our favorite cookbooks that are chock full of nourishing recipes and nutrition tips that are sure to assist in your healthy eating goals:

 

1.         Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook

If you watched the Forks Over Knives documentary (read more about it here , along with the rest of our top documentary picks), you know what FOK is all about – the concept that degenerative diseases afflicting so much of the U.S. today can be controlled and even reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. This cookbook features 300+ plant-based recipes which place fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes in the lime light.

 

2.         The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes

This cookbook came to fruition thanks to The China Study; a book touting one of the most comprehensive nutrition studies ever conducted which reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health and can halt or even reverse many diseases. The China Study Cookbook shares 120+ plant-based, nutrient-dense recipes that promote optimal health.

 

3.         The PlantPure Nation Cookbook: The Official Companion Cookbook to the Breakthrough Film

PlantPure Nation, yet another noteworthy documentary created by the same producers as Forks Over Knives, provides this trusty companion cookbook boasting 150+ plant-centric recipes. It’s also filled with tips, tricks, and grocery lists for people interested in a whole food, plant-based diet.

 

4.         Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes

Inspire healthful, plant-based eating among the whole family with this must-have cookbook from Dreena Burton. From delicious school lunches to appetizing on-the-go snacks, this book supplies more than 100 kid-tested and approved recipes and serves as an excellent reference for parents raising young ones on a whole food, vegan diet.

 

5.         Crazy Sexy Kitchen

Don’t let the risqué title of this one deter you. Author and cancer survivor Kris Carr attributes her triumph over cancer to her lifestyle changes, most especially her diet. After embracing a diet made up of whole, plant-based foods, she soon discovered the transformative power of nutrition and felt better than she ever had. This cookbook offers 150+ recipes that includes everything from fresh-pressed juices to delectable desserts.

 

Also recommended: Oh She Glows, Minimalist Baker, But I Could Never Go Vegan

 

What are some of your favorite cookbooks? Share on our Facebook page !


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