Review: “Hungry for Change” Documentary

by Stephanie on March 26, 2013 · 0 comments

in Food & Nutrition

I mentioned that last weekend I spend a bit of time watching some documentaries on Netflix.  I was going to review them in one post but once I got started it was really long so I am breaking it up.  Hungry for Change was the first documentary I watched because for some reason, despite the fact that I’ve never watched a documentary on Netflix in my life, this showed up in my suggestions.  I don’t pretend to understand!

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The basis of this documentary is that as our society moved towards living in cities and living a fast-paced life we’ve away from wholesome, nutritious foods.  The plethora of processed and “fast” foods that make up the typical American diet are high in calories and low on nutrition.  Though we may feel full, we are actually starving on a cellular level because our bodies are not getting the nutrients we need.  There were, of course, a lot of statistics about obesity and health factors.  There were also a few personal stories about people who were sick and unhealthy, such as one woman who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 31.

At least have of this 90 minute documentary was statistics and what has gone wrong.  This part wasn’t super interesting to me.  This could be because my interest in health topics means that I have heard  a lot of similar stories and statistics.  In truth, these statistics should be shocking.  Even after hearing them, we shouldn’t become complacent about them.  For me, I was just waiting for them to get to how to fix the problem.  The recommendations were the part of the documentary that really interested me.

The way to fix a diet that is high on calories and low on nutrition (and thus fix the problems that diet causes) is to switch to foods that are high in nutrition and low in calories.  This means primarily vegetables and fruit.  This documentary does not push a vegetarian or vegan diet.  In fact, that was one of the things I really liked about it.  It stressed that we should not focus on eliminating foods like so many diets do.  This leads to cravings, overeating, and a sense of failure.  What we should do is focus on adding in the good foods.  This is so simple.  By adding in more veggies and fruit, we automatically crowd out some of the other foods we are eating.

One of the ways to add in the good foods that they mentioned was “juicing” or essentially making a veggie/fruit smoothie for breakfast or a snack.  A lot of us “healthy living” bloggers or athletes currently make smoothies with fruit, protein powder, and spinach.  This recommendation is for a more green smoothie.  Here it is, in a nutshell:

  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Kale or spinach or another green leafy vegetable
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Fruit
  • Stevia (if you need it sweeter)
  • Chia or flax seeds

The idea behind these green items is that they are extremely high in nutrients and low in calories.  The fruit is meant to sweeten the smoothie.  Chia or flax seeds help detoxify your body by helping things move through your intestinal track more smoothly.  Essentially it is a super-smoothie that gives you more vegetable nutrition in a drink than you could probably eat, certainly in one meal!  I have no idea how good tasting this smoothie would be, but I definitely think I will try it!

As you start adding these foods into your diet, the concept is that you will notice changes in how you look and feel.  You will move from a diet of restriction to a mindset of “I can eat that but I don’t want to”.

Here are a few of the other good points from this documentary:

  • If you’re upset, don’t eat!

This is just good advice.  So many people (me included) struggle with emotional eating.  Who doesn’t turn to food when they are anxious, sad, or angry?       But we need to stop covering up our feelings with food and learn better ways to deal with them.  Which brings up the next point:

  • Sleep & Exercise = Stress Relief

These are probably the two best ways to relieve stress, avoid overeating, and generally make ourselves feel better and be healthier.

  • Visualization Works

Imagine the body you want.  Imagine the skin, the health, the energy, and lack of disease you want.  Visualization can help you change your eating habits and achieve the results you want.

 

Overall I thought the documentary had good information and though it wasn’t exactly riveting (to me, a person not all that fond of documentaries to begin with) I did think it was worthwhile.

Have you seen Hungry for Change?  What did you think?

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