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“Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants”

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Simple Arugula Salad — via @TheFoxandShe

On a particularly rainy day, I was browsing Netflix for a good movie & came across the documentary “In Defense of Food” and stopped. I’d heard the name somewhere, I think a friend had recommended it at some point. Since I’m interested in health I figured why not watch it, I had nothing better to do that day! The narrator and creator the documentary uses this quote, “Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants” as his motto and I really love it. It’s quick, easy to remember and makes navigating the diet world a heck of a lot easier.

All in all, I really enjoyed the documentary, and if you’re looking for a good, interesting watch, I highly recommend it. I learned a lot of new stuff, which, if you’re a nerd like me, will make you really love it too. I already knew breast milk was great for babies, but they dove into the why which was really interesting. Good timing too, right?!

A few I also learned that early signs of colon cancer can be reduced in just weeks, billions of dollars in healthcare could be saved if we took better care of ourselves and that we’re too focused on nutritionism, a term journalist uses throughout the documentary that basically means, we obsess over specific nutrients: fiber, calcium, omega-3s, etc. and forget about eating the foods that naturally contain those ingredients.

I also loved the part about he French Paradox. French are known for eating rich foods that are high in calories and fat, yet are thinner & healthier than us. Go figure. Turns out one of the main differences in their eating habits is the amount of time they spend eating. They treat it as an enjoyable, social experience. I’ve got to think that helps make our relationship with food a better and more positive one.

It was also a good reminder of a few things I did already know. We (Americans) consume far too much sugar & processed foods, we don’t get the right amount of daily fiber and while our government loves regulations, it seems the food industry could seriously use some cleaning up. We also rely too heavily on medication to fix our health when the answer can often be found on our plates.

This last one is something that’s always bothered me. I never understand why doctors don’t suggest or mandate a diet change in tandem with medication when it can be so beneficial. Case in point here is my dad. He decided on his own to go vegan when he had prostate cancer years ago and his doctors told him it wouldn’t help. Several months later, his scans were completely clear. We were all pretty convinced at that point that what we eat can truly make a world of difference!

Simple Arugula Salad — via @TheFoxandShe

One last thing I loved from this documentary was something else I already do, but wanted to share as it makes grocery shopping a heck of a lot easier and healthier! Stick to the perimeter of the store where fresh produce, meats & dairy are found. All of the processed stuff is in the middle of the store, so focus your shopping on the perimeter and you’ll end up with better stuff in your cart!

After I finished watching this documentary, Netflix recommended a few more, one of them being “What the Health“—have you seen it? Several friends warned me to not watch it because it was so extreme, but now I’m kind of curious! Personally, I subscribe more to the journalist’s diet plan of “Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants”. I like the idea of guidelines instead of strict rules because if it’s too strict, I know it won’t last! Well, for me at least! So, we eat lots of veggies, fruit, and whole grains, and as little processed food as possible. We eat meat, but mostly chicken & fish and limit or red meat intake. Though, I’ve had some steak cravings here and there! If I’m buying it to cook at home, I always try to get grass fed beef.

At the end of the day, I don’t think there’s any “right” or perfect diet. You have to figure out what works for your own body because everyone needs different things. Dairy makes me sick, but might not be an issue for you! Either way, I wanted to share this documentary for anyone who’s not really sure where to start. It doesn’t advocate any specific diet plan. Instead it promotes a very balanced, everything in moderation style of eating which I think anyone can accomplish.

Have you watched this documentary or any others I should check out? Do you follow a specific diet plan? If so, I’d love to hear about why and it’s benefits!

BTW, 6 healthy foods I eat everyday, and my healthy grocery list.