Truth is that I can write about this stuff all day every day, but until we choose to educate ourselves, then that is when real change will occur.
So enlighten yourself and get educated on nutrition, our “food system” and products that we consume or use. If you’re like most Americans who have a Netflix account, here are some films to watch or add to your queue:
1. Cowspiracy – Contrary to popular belief; cars, manufacturing plants, carbon footprints, etc. are not the ultimate cause of pollution in our country. The major source of pollution in America is the cow and our obsession with their milk, which humans literally have no business drinking, and their meat. Don’t believe me? Watch this documentary and tell me how you feel afterwards.
2. Fed Up – This film is an examination of America’s obesity epidemic and how the food industry is to blame. We are subconsciously trained from birth by watching at least 10 food ads per day or approximately 4,000 per year. This one will really open your eyes on the world of sugar and how it’s affecting us.
3. Food Matters – This film is one of the reasons that I’m so passionate about health and wellness. Food Matters takes a look at how the food we eat can help or hurt our health. Nutritionists, naturopaths, doctors, and journalists weigh in on topics of organic food, food safety, raw foodism, and nutritional therapy.
4. Hungry For Change – This is another one that got me all fired up and about health and nutrition. You will see some familiar faces from Food Matters as well. Difference is that Food Matters was released in 2008 and Hungry For Change in 2012. Hungry For Change exposes shocking secrets the diet, weight-loss and food industries don’t want you to know about. They use deceptive strategies to keep you coming back for more. Find out what’s keeping you from having the body and health you deserve.
5. Forks Over Knives – This documentary examines the claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. I’m a huge advocate for this and know that some will disagree. “We are either feeding disease or fighting it with the food that we eat.”
6. GMO OMG – “Today in the United States, by the simple acts of feeding ourselves, we are unwittingly participating in the largest experiment ever conducted on human beings. Each of us unknowingly consumes genetically engineered food on a daily basis. The risks and effects to our health and the environment are largely unknown. Yet more and more studies are being conducted around the world, which only provide even more reason for concern. We are the oblivious guinea pigs for wide-scale experimentation of modern biotechnology. GMO OMG tells the story of a fathers discovery of GMOs in relationship to his three young children and the world around him.” – IMDB
7. Food, Inc. – Like Food Matters and Hungry For Change, this one also led me to where I am currently in my career as a health and fitness professional. Food, Inc. is an unflattering look at America’s food industry that is controlled by corporations.
8. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead – “100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310 lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn’t end well – with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn’t far behind. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead is an inspiring film that chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health.” This one inspired me to go buy a NutriBullet and start including more veggies and nutrients in my smoothies. My favorite thing about the NutriBullet is that you don’t lose the pulp or the fiber that other juicers spit out.
9. The Human Experiment – This film will make you think twice about all the chemicals that we use in our daily lives, on our bodies and in our homes. The companies that make these chemicals could care less about the adverse or long-term effects as well. Pretty scary stuff.
10. Farmageddon – This documentary is a story of a mom whose son was healed from all allergies and asthma after consuming raw milk and real food from local farms. It also features people all over the country who formed food co-ops and private clubs to get these foods, but they were shut down by state and local governments.
11. Food Chains – We’ve spent a lot of time focusing on food, but what about the hands that pick it? “In the US, farm labor has always been one of the most difficult and poorly paid jobs that has relied on some of the nation’s most vulnerable people. While the legal restrictions which kept people bound to farms, like slavery, have been abolished, exploitation still exists, ranging from wage theft to modern-day slavery. These days, this exploitation is perpetuated by the corporations at the top of the food chain: supermarkets. Their buying power has kept wages pitifully low and has created a scenario where desperately poor people are willing to put up with anything to keep their jobs.”
12. PlantPure Nation – This film tells the story of three people on a mission to spread the message of one of the most important health breakthroughs of all time. I have yet to watch this one as it just became available on Netflix, but pretty stoked to see what it’s about and how it compares to the others.
13. Every Second Counts – People always want to know my opinion on Crossfit, truth is, if you want to train like a professional athlete, then Crossfit is for you. I borrow a lot of Crossfit moves and exercises for my own personal use and put clients through them as well. However, MOST folks are not ready for Crossfit. It is very hard on the body and takes time to work up to that. So my advice would be, find a Crossfit gym that will put you through the proper progressions, because everyone shouldn’t be dead-lifting or cleaning and pressing 300+ lbs. With that being said, this documentary features the humble beginnings of Crossfit and very cool to see how small it was only being a few years old.
14. Fittest on Earth – Fast forward a few years and Crossfit has now exploded and the Crossfit Games have become the Super Bowl of the fitness world. Crazy to see the physical transformations of the athletes as compared to “Every Second Counts,” and the transformation of the business side of Crossfit. Definitely a cool “behind the scenes” look at the Crossfit world and it follows some of the most popular Crossfit athletes. This documentary will definitely motivate you to get up and move!
15. Food Choices – This documentary is a little extreme in my opinion, because it features some very strict vegan/vegetarian views, but still a good film to watch. Very educational on food and the choices we make every time we eat. I would say watch this one with “extreme views” in mind, but also keep an open mind while watching. Or if you are vegan/vegetarian or considering it, then this could be the spark you need. Long story short, still a great story about food and our food systems in the world.
16. The Barkley Marathons – This film features the ultimate marathon. Actually, I’m not sure if you can call it a marathon, it’s more like an adventure that never ends! It puts all of those mud runs, color runs, etc. to shame. Shoot, it even broke some of the top Ironmen/Ironwomen triathletes, military men/women, marthon-ers, etc. Let’s just say a small percentage of people even finish this race and some are so physically and mentally tough, that they have won it multiple times. I highly recommend this one! Very cool story about a very quirky race that quickly became a tradition and a new fitness challenge for a lot of folks.
17. Minimalism: A Documentary – This story is more related to our personal belongings and our addiction to consuming physical goods. But, it can be related to all things in our lives, because its about being HAPPIER. As Americans, we are raised to subconsciously spend, spend, spend and consume, consume, consume. Whether it’s material possessions or even food, we do too much of it and keep thinking that things will make us happier. When in reality less truly is more. The less we have, the less stressed we are and the less debt we have. Anyways, give this film a watch. It’s new to Netflix and a cool story about two guys who are trying to spread this movement and a few others who helped start it without even realizing it. Ever heard of the 33 rule when it comes to your wardrobe?