NUTRITION

3 Best Food Documentaries on Netflix

sugar documentary

Getting burnt out from reality tv and mindless television? Looking for deep, rich informative content that will feed your mind, body and soul? And, most importantly help you reach optimal health?!

Over the last decade, the number of food and health documentaries has exploded and the information available to us now is shedding light on rather taboo subjects the food industry might not want us to see. And the best part is,  the stories are fun, compelling and in most cases unforgettable.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration to help clean up your diet, eating habits or interested in learning more about food politics, arm yourself with the information you need to make the best nutrition and lifestyle decisions. Watching a food documentary is a great place to start and fun for the whole family!

Here are my top 3 picks for the best food documentaries you must see on Netflix:

 

Food Matters

This documentary discusses how many health issues and conditions can simply be treated through healthy diet and nutrition. A compelling and informative film, and  a great place to start.

 

That Sugar Film

This documentary drives awareness of the hidden sugar in most of our diets, and how this white powder is slowly but surely wreaking havoc on our health, our bodies and overall wellness. You would be surprised how much it's hidden in proclaimed "healthy" foods!  If you’re trying to kick the sugar habit, this one is a must see.

 

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead

One of the most memorable and compelling documentaries I’ve ever seen and the title always lingers in my mind when speaking with clients who are seeking a major change in their health and well-being.  This documentary follows Joe Cross an Australian businessman through his radical health transformation as he travels across the country and makes conscious changes in his diet and lifestyle. Joe is also an avid juicer and has some great tips, inspiration and recipes on his site here. Check it out! http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/

 

 

 

 

 

LIV Berry Oatmeal with Coconut and Cinnamon | Healthy Breakfast Recipe

A delicious, easy, healthy breakfast that is one of my staples. Especially when you’re trying to detox, this is great to have after your morning smoothie or juice to give your digestive system a rest from heavy fats and proteins. This recipe is also extremely versatile – experiment with different fruits, nuts and milks for different flavors and textures.  My husband also likes to add cacao nibs which gives him a extra boost of energy and antioxidants in the morning. Packed with healthy carbohydrates, fiber, and B vitamins, this is a breakfast you won’t want to miss.

Ingredients:

·       1 cup rolled or steel cut oats

·       1 tablespoon coconut oil

·       2 cups full fat coconut milk or almond milk

·       1/4 cup of blueberries

·       ¼ cup of raspberries or blackberries

·       1 banana sliced

·       1 teaspoon of cinnamon

·       1 tablespoon of coconut oil

·       2 tablespoons of maple syrup

·       2 tsp chopped walnuts or almonds

·       1 tsp cacao nibs (optional)

 

Directions:

1.     Place a small sauce or soup pot over medium heat.

2.     Add water and oats to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat, stir occasionally, and cook for 5-7 minutes until oats reach your desired consistency.

3.     Take oats off heat and spoon into to a medium sized bowl.

4.     Add your coconut oil, and swirl in while still hot. Then add maple syrup, fruit, nuts, cacao nibs, milk and finish with cinnamon on top.  Serve while still piping hot and enjoy!

Children's Nutrition: Grow Super Kids! | Top 5 Tips for a Healthy Diet

Some folks in the health industry call kids the achilles heel of health and wellness. Or in other words, children are the most vulnerable and most easily malleable by outside influences to adopt health and wellness best practices.  And chances are, what they learn as children, usually stays with them for life.

In our country, obesity is a national crisis.  Over the past 30 years, physical activity has gone down and processed food consumption has gone up. It is estimated that a staggering 70% of Americans are obese, and over 40% of children are (Source: The biology of Food Addiction, Mark Hyman MD).

One of the largest reasons for this is because of how our country has been operating over the last 30 years.  Marion Nestle wrote a great book, Food Politics where she explains that back in the 80’s farmers received subsides from the government to produce more food. As a result, we were seeing mountains of corn in Iowa, wheat in Kansas, sugar cane in Georgia.  In addition, there was a deregulation of Wall street, and corporations had to grow their profit to stay competitive – this includes Pepsi, Campbells, Fritolay, Mcdonalds to name a few.  As a result, children became victims of more and more advertising for these unhealthy processed foods. Families began eating outside the home more often, and in larger quantities.  In addition, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the proliferation of electronic devices has the average child consuming over 7 ½ hours of all screen media (TV, videos, DVD’s, computer and video games). Because of all of these factors, our countries’ obesity rate has tripled since the 1980s. 

The good news is that in the 21st century, there have been powerful figures like Michelle Obama and Dr Oz advocating change on how we feed our kids and teach them healthy living habits. School lunch programs have radically changed for the better, which is extremely promising. We need to maintain this momentum and take back our health for our immediate children, and in our direct circle of influence.

Below are my top five tips you can do today to help the important children in your life be healthier, happier and more fulfilled.

Smaller Portions

As I mentioned above, portion sizes began to increase in the 1980s and have been growing ever since. Especially in America, we’ve been trained to go for the XXL iced tea or the Venti Frappaccino, because in America bigger is better, right? Wrong. Bigger portions are taxing our kid’s digestive systems, adding to their waistlines, fueling the dangerous sugar addiction, and making them more prone to higher blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes when they are older. When feeding your children, a good guideline for portion control is to think about the concept of Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s MyPlate, which is divided plate into four sections. Vegetables and whole grains fill the slightly larger sections, while fruits and proteins fill the other sections, and fresh filtered water and healthy fats/oils help supplement every meal. Be mindful that the foods in each section should not overlap or be piled high.  This will help you keep portions in check and serve more balanced and nutritious meals to your family.

Grow your Own Food

Growing your own garden can be a fun way to teach children about farming and where food comes from.  Plus, if they helped grow it, they are far more likely to try it when it hits the dinner table. No space for a garden at home?  No problem, window boxes can be just as effective.  I also love these guys - Green City Growers located in Somerville, MA (if you’re local in Massachusetts). They bring the garden to you, and convert unused residential space into flourishing gardens that produce seasonal fruits and veggies of your choice anywhere the sun shines.

Cook at Home and Eat Together

In today’s modern family, parents and kids have busy schedules, which as led to the decline of the “family dinner.” Eating dinner together every night helps the family to bond, facilitates the exchanging of ideas, and teaches valuable social skills.  We need to bring family dinners back in house, and cooking together is an easy way to ensure that.  Plus, children are more likely to become adventurous eaters if they know how to cook. I always urge my clients to “eat the rainbow.” How fun is that? Try to be creative with all of the vibrant colors in fruits and vegetables, so that your kids get all of the important phytonutrients their little bodies need. My minimum recommendation is to try cooking at home and making it fun at least 1-2 days a week. Whether it’s “Taco Tuesdays” or “Meatless Monday’s,”  make sure its fun and an idea kids can remember and look forward to every week.

Buy Local, Sustainable Food, and Cook for the Seasons

If you can’t grow your own veggies at home, try your best to buy local, sustainable produce. Buying local ensures you are eating foods indigenous to where you live, which is according to the Macrobiotic dietary theory is best for your health. And, chances are it’s more likely to be fresher, less expensive, and you are reducing our planet’s carbon footprint because the food did not have to travel far to reach you. Sustainable produce in the simplest terms is the production of food, fiber or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities and animal welfare (Source: ww.sustainable.org).  Organic produce, grass fed beef free from hormones, free range chickens, recyclable packaging… these are all healthy sustainable options that are supporting this cause. Lastly, my dad and brothers always urged me to cook for the seasons. And what I mean by that is really being mindful of what is growing and ripening at the time you are cooking it. In the Northeast, we look for peas and asparagus in the spring, fresh heirloom tomatoes and peaches in the summer, root vegetables and brussel sprouts in the fall. Being mindful of these seasonal peak produce will help you get the freshest and best produce available to you, while fueling your body with the nutrients you need at the right time of the year.

Boost Physical Activity

Exercise is crucial for kids. Kids who are active have stronger muscles and bones, leaner bodies with less body fat, less of a risk of developing type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, and a better outlook on life and overall wellbeing. In addition, they sleep better and are able to handle physical and emotional challenges more effectively if they are rested. Exercise also helps to strengthen their hearts, and help pump oxygenated blood to every cell in their body.   As a general guideline, try to urge your child to have 60 or more minutes of physical activity each day (i.e. running, walking, active games with other kids, sports).  Part of that 60 minutes a day, try to include muscle strengthening activities 3 days a week (i.e. pushups, crunches, gymnastics), and bone strengthening activities at least three days a week (i.e. running, jump roping).

Grocery Store Nutrition Shopping Tips | How to Makeover Your Pantry

90% of Americans shop in supermarkets, and since 1980, child obesity has tripled. Usually it’s the stuff in the middle of the store, the processed junk we’ve been marketed to all of our lives. Of course we crave that because we’ve been subconsciously brainwashed into thinking that’s what we need. Wrong. Chances are you were raised on this diet and it’s been wreaking havoc on your body ever since.

I’m not sure about you but in my family, when we started incorporating natural foods, fruits, vegetables, we became more aware, our head, heart and mind opened. We had more energy, higher cognition, better performance, we were happier.  Our bodies thanked us over and over again. I want this for you too, that’s why I’m giving you my top tips on how to shop for optimal nutrition. Here they are:

Shop on Periphery of Store

In a typical grocery store, all the fresh stuff is usually on the periphery on the store. I always urge my clients to "eat the rainbow." Look for colorful enzyme-rich fruits & veggies, lean proteins, low carbohydrate foods, good starches (think brown rice, sweet potato, quinoa), healthy fats (raw nuts, avocado, olive oil).

Avoid processed junk

In nutrition school, we were taught not to buy foods with a nutrition label. An apple or a peach doesn’t have a label, because these are whole foods that are good for our bodies. My general rule of thumb is to be wary of any product that contains large amounts of added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sodium, trans fat (hydrogenated vegetable oils), added chemicals that you cant read, commercial dairy, and anything GMO. The good news is that after intense consumer lobbying, most food packages will be required to carry a symbol or label indicating whether the food contains genetically modified ingredients (passed by President Obama July 2016).  Start to become aware of these ingredients, and add less of them to your cart.

Go with a List and Don’t Go Shopping Hungry

This will help you stay focused, structure meals, get a good balance of nutrition, and stay organized for the next week. Plus you wont be throwing unnecessary items in your cart – hint, the processed stuff!

Shop with a Smaller Cart

A smaller cart will help you to be hyper focused and re-think purchasing decisions. In addition, you won’t be overbuying perishable items. (Tip - the longer produce is stored in your fridge, the more nutrient loss occurs).

Buy Local

I cant say enough great things about buying local. Look for seasonal farmer's markets in your town and the "local section" of your primary grocery store. You’re getting the freshest possible produce, it’s less expensive, you are reducing your carbon footprint, and you are eating foods that are energetically indigenous to your are, which is what your body intuitively craves. This is a winning combination.