Hippocrates once said

Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. The relevance this phrase has is stronger than ever because nutrition is an underlying theme for just about every health concern one may experience today. An account of two nutritional doctors, many farm animals, and a multitude of human illnesses, Lee Fulkerson’s “Forks Over Knives” makes a convincing case for eliminating dairy and meat from the dinner table. With care and devotion, while it may be possible to obtain adequate nutrition on a vegetarian diet and decrease chronic illnesses, when it comes to a healthy diet, balance is the key to getting it right.
Fulkerson denounces of a few of the many problems that humanity is undergoing including, “Two out of every three of American’s are overweight, cases of diabetes are exploding, especially amongst our younger population, and millions suffer from a host of other degenerative diseases.” The question posed is: Could it be that there is one single solution to all of these problems we are facing? In this dense documentary, we are informed that the majority of America’s major health issues — including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer — can be prevented, and even in some cases reversed, by following a whole food, plant-based diet. Forks over Knives shows experiments conducted by Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn that have led to the diet that they encourage. These two men concluded through their studies that nutrients from animal nutrition promoted cancer growth, while nutrients from plant nutrition decreased cancer growth. In addition, the film documents the journey of five regular people who were diagnosed with various chronic diseases and follows their personal accounts of how powerful certain food is and victories after altering their eating habits to a whole food, plant-based diet. In the end, the results were certainly shocking. The participants have experienced astonishing benefits from losing weight and reversing their diseases, to even getting off their medication which most were told they would be on for life.
As the daughter of a doctor and nutritionist, eating healthy foods has been instilled in me from a young age. My father believes that the best time to instill lifelong habits are when children are young, so they develop into adults who have an affinity towards healthy eating. I can remember staring for what seemed like hours into the pantry looking for something with more than 6 grams of sugar, or anticipating dinner at a friend’s house where they might just order KFC. Didn’t my dad realize how much junk food meant to a growing teenager? He refers to himself as a “flexitarian” meaning he does not condone to any one way of eating, he simply chooses the best possible nutrients for himself and my family. When it comes to a healthy diet, balance is the strategy. A balanced diet is vital because your tissues and organs need proper nutrition to work effectively. Without good nutrition, your body is more prone to sickness, exhaustion, and poor performance. A balanced diet means eating a wide assortment of foods in the correct quantities, and consuming the amount of drink and food to attain and maintain a healthy body weight.
Participating in a whole food, plant-based diet means consuming foods that come primarily from whole, minimally refined plants such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains. It means avoiding animal based foods such as dairy, eggs, meat, as well as processed foods like oil, refined sugar, and bleached flower. The downside of this diet told by the Director of Nutrition at Washington University, Connie Diekmon says, that when you eliminate animal foods from your eating plan, you run the risk of lacking protein content. Animal proteins provide all of the amino acids that our bodies need for cell growth, tissue repair, and overall health (Fulkerson). There are lots of different ways to eat to improve your health. A plant based diet is just one approach. Be sure to talk to your doctor and a dietitian about the pros and cons of your current eating plan. Work together to determine what would be best for you. What is ultimately important is the overall message: it is time to begin to be more mindful of how, why, and what you are eating for your health and well-being.
Whether you agree or totally disagree with the message of this movie, it may get you to start thinking critically about what you eat and how it impacts your health. I would like others to know that you do not need to eat kale or drink green juice for days to feel your best self. I want to inspire others to eat the foods that they feel nourish their bodies and make them feel energized and amazing. This surprisingly can even include cookies or chocolate.