There has been a lot of buzz around the internet lately about the new film “Hungry for Change” and I’ve seen some relatively strong opinions on both sides. (Not to be confused with the Hunger Games, which I know much less about but which is getting a lot more attention…)
I watched the film when it was available to view for free online, and overall, I’d say it is worth the view. Though it had its flaws, the message was good and for most people, the changes they recommend would be beneficial.
- They majorly slam processed foods, sugars, artificial sweeteners, MSG and other preservatives. I agreed 100% with the info they provided on these points. They provided some good science to back up what these chemicals do to the body and were pretty convincing in their recommendation to avoid them.
- They definitely promote the veggies, and since most people are not getting near enough fresh veggies, this is great.
- Probably my favorite part was how they addressed the mental aspects of food and dieting. My favorite piece of advice from the movie was to not think of it as “I want that (food, drink, etc.) and can’t have it” but to reframe in your mind, take control if it and think “I could have that (food, drink, etc.) but I don’t want it.” Merely changing your mental attitude away from a scarcity mentality, which will make you crave it more, will help change the overall outlook on food.
- The movie also addresses the importance of letting go of feelings of guilt, shame, etc related to your body image and how you relate to food. This is vital for many people, because just the guilt/shame about needing to lose weight and not being able to it very difficult for many people and increases cortisol and stress hormones.
- There was a star studded list of speakers and while I disagreed with some of them, they all promoted their ideas kindly and in a coherent manner.
- Did I mention they came down hard on artificial ingredients and sweeteners 🙂 It would be worth watching for that alone.
The Not so Good
- There was definitely an underlying anti-meat message, and one instance where they specifically said that meat, especially grilled, was dangerous, without giving any science or reference to back it up. It also seemed like several times quotes from Dr. Mercola (who promotes eating quality meats) were cut off in the middle of a sentence or though, and it made me wonder if that is what had been edited out.
- In the same way, they fell a little short on their healthy fat recommendations. They suggested plant based fats like avocado, olive oil, etc. but didn’t mention coconut oil at all. They came close when they said “Even Salmon can be a good source of healthy fats” but failed to mention that grassfed meats and pastured chicken and eggs can be as well.
- There was a weird story line mixed into the whole thing about a woman who was struggling with her health. It wasn’t that the story line was bad, it just seemed like it was forced the way they wove it into the film.
- The whole thing was very pro-vegetable juicing. Certainly, there are worse things to be a proponent for, but I always recommend vegetable smoothies instead of juice (and suggest throwing in a little gelatin too).
- They talk about the importance of gelatinous foods like chia seeds and aloe, which is true, but don’t mention Gelatin, which is one of the best sources.
Although not perfect, Hungry for Change is a decent documentary that you might want check out if you’re in the mood.
Do you agree with my opinions? Disagree? Are you drinking a veggie smoothie as you type? Let me know below!
Discussion (35 Comments)
Katie, Could you explain more about why you recommend vegetable smoothies over juices? I didn’t see it specifically in the articles you linked to. Thank you so much for this and your other helpful articles! I usually agree with basically all of it, and love learning more!
I agree with what you said about the movie…it was great in that it was anti-processed foods, artificial sweeteners, etc. I was also perplexed and even fast-forwarded through the parts where the woman wanted to impress her coworker and lose weight. Whatevs. I also googled one of the contributing authors/speakers and came to realize she was pro-vegan, pro-juicing. I also was a bit confused because nobody mentioned grass-fed meat, pasture chicken, organic eggs, etc. I definitely left the movie thinking, “I need to eat more vegetables” but I’m still not pro-juicing or vegan. I also loved, how you mentioned, that dieting doesn’t work, that it’s a lifestyle and mindset. Knowing that you can eat whatever you want, but knowing how it will make you feel afterward and what it does to your body and mind is the key factor. Thanks for posting this…just saw it last night and glad I’m not the only one who had doubts and liked it at the same time.
I pretty much agree with everything stated here. One thing that I thought was interesting was the side story with the lady trying to lose weight. The catalyst for her to change her diet was when she was driving in the car and was listening to an interview with Harvey Diamond https://vpnutrition.com/products/pain-relief-special talk about nutrition.
This normally wouldn’t have caught my attention except for the fact that just recently my mother in law was telling me about a diet she was trying to do called “Fit For Life” which was written by Harvey Diamond. This is a strange diet that advocates food combining and what to eat depending on the time of day (i.e. fruits in the morning and grains/meat in the evening).
We agree. We did refer many family members to the film as it did have lots of good info in it (despite missing some key components like you so eloquently stated above). However, for a person 40 – 80 pounds overweight, the film would definitely get them on their way.
It’s fascinating, this fixation with weight and with the ‘optimal’ diet in our culture. From our perspective, there is no one diet that is optimal for every person on the planet. Just as our lives change, our diets morph and shift as a major tool to provide balance and optimal health. I think broad brush strokes of positive aspects to a healthy diet are required (quality fats, as much nutrition as you can possibly get through real foods in a day, severe limits on sugars, no fake foods/chemical food like substances, lots of vegetables).
The game (from my perspective) is to combine quality information we learn (our intellects) with listen to what the body wants (the body/heart). If we rigidly say, ‘I have to eat raw calf liver everyday’ (or any other rigid diet stance) we are setting our system up to become imbalanced. It’s very different if we say, ‘my system could benefit from more (blank)’ rather than ‘I am a vegetarian (or whatever ‘stance’ the mind takes as ‘right’). I don’t know if this rant is making sense or not. I just get amazed at how fixated we all have become around diets and food.
I think I hear a blog post brewing within me on the subject :). Maybe I’ll get to guest post it on the awesome Wellness Mama blog! 🙂
While some things were left out, it wasn’t pro-vegan as I thought it might be before I watched it. I thought that anyone watching it could come away with all kinds of great info on how to make positive changes in their diet (and their childrens diets!) and that can only be good.
Oh and one more thing. I thought the part about sugar in children’s food was by far the best section of the whole movie. More about the harms of sugar, preferably in mainstream media!
I liked the movie although I agree on you bad points (I am an omnivore believer, particularly as I believe in the GAPS message made by Natasha Campbell-Mcbride). Still, I think it was a piece of excellence when it comes to talking about the whole aspect of healthy eating. I later realized that some of the people that appeared were raw foodies, and that they were probably driving their agenda. However, during the movie I had the impression that they had choosen this strategy only to stay away from anything that could cause controversies because the point of the movie was to raise awareness of healthy eating. Eating veggies cannot be considered controversial. They never mentioned that you should not eat animal products (excepted for the grilled meat, but they are partly right on that, GRILLED is not maybe healthy, while cooked is much better).
I liked it. They did gloss over the meats/animal fats, but also didn’t go too pro-vegan. Two of the weight loss stories were from Atkins Style low carb.
Two points that I liked were “gelatinous foods,” which I thought was a great way of putting it, and “don’t focus on what you can’t have, focus on what you can, and the good stuff with drown out the bad.”
Thank you for posting your review, interesting, what I liked about the movie is that it pointed out how bad sugar and refined flours etc are for us, comparing them to cocaine. It made me sad the way the world has gone and how we are abusing our bodies and disrespecting them too. I hear you on the meat side, and good oils, I guess they couldn’t fit everything in this film!?
Yes, I agree with your assessment. As I first started watching it I thought WOW, this is great. but by the end I realized they missed some key components like lard, coconut oil, etc. Yet, the bottom line was clean eating. I don’t think it was overtly anti-meat, but it certainly wasn’t promoting it as a healthy option
I’m with you, Jen – and the Wellness Mama! 🙂 My body needs animal protein and healthy animal fat, and I’ve also been advised by doctors to eat more of the latter. Fatty fish like salmon is a staple mark in my diet.
However, Wellness Mama – there is, in fact, scientific evidence that shows how all the good bits in fish and meat disappears or even is reversed when the food is grilled and fried. Among them, a new study on Alzheimer’s found that eating fish at least twice a week dramatically reduced a person’s risk of developing the disease, but only if the fish was ovenbaked, not fried/grilled. Here’s a short excerpt from a PRO-grilling site (check out the link below):”Research suggests that grilled meat may increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Red meats, poultry and fish produce compounds called heterocyclic amines (known carcinogens) when cooked at high temperatures. Another type of carcinogen called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are formed when animal fat drips onto hot coals which then flame up and deposit the carcinogens on the meat.”
I’ve seen that too, and agree that it raises an interesting point, but I have to wonder… for hundreds of years, people have been cooking over open fires, and the cancer rates have been much lower or non-existant. I’d be curious to see the same study on exclusively grass fed meats just to see if there is a different. Definitely a point for more research though, thanks for sharing!
No I don’t agree with your assessment. No beef, eggs or chicken is a good source of “healthy” fat. Pig gelatin is a animal source and does not remove toxins from the colon. Pig gelatin in and of itself is a toxin.
C’mon it has duly been noted with scientific research that grilling with traditional charcoal poisons your food with all sorts of chemical residue plus kingsfords lighter fluid. My question is.. why do people advocate to remain unhealthy?