Learning about a health-oriented approach to food doesn’t always have to be an intense exercise in studying. And, if you are like me, studying leads to worrying about understanding it all, and making the perfectly “right” decisions. When I start with a new "Cook-With" client (where we cook together, and I teach them the skills and tricks to healthy cooking), my first homework assignment for them is to hand over a list of movies to watch. (I promise it will make sense if you continue reading!) I like to explain that making changes is not always about making drastic proclamations and commitments all at once, but it's more like moving oneself along a continuum. The learning you get from a list of healthy-eating movies gives you exactly that! At one end of the continuum for why you eat is eating to survive. Next, along the continuum might be eating for comfort/emotional reasons. Then, there is eating for fuel/convenience. Also in the reasons for eating are eating for nutrition/health/conscience – sort of "food as medicine" or to support your values such as buying local. Building your knowledge and understanding of how diet choices impact your body and life provides a new, clear perspective on food choices. To make this concept into a practical perspective, let me share some examples. For instance, for a rice-loving client, we try to move from instant rice to real rice. Then, if they eat real rice, can we move to brown rice? If they eat brown rice, can we move to other whole grains like quinoa too? Each step in the continuum is an improvement in nutrition. Moving along a continuum on several fronts creates a gradual but significant improvement. Another example is if my client eats cheese, we try to move from processed cheese product to real cheese. Then, can we cut it in half? Can we go organic? Could we slowly move to goat cheese? Could we eventually let go of the dairy? Some of the time? Most of the time? All of the time? One of my favorite approaches to learning is to learn from many different sources. One major reason is so I can quiet down my skepticism and just listen with an open mind. The other reason is to truly find things that I can and will commit to changing. Movies are a great way to learn like this. Watching movies is an easy, fun and pleasantly passive way to learn. Sit down, watch a movie, and instead of pairing it with a glass of wine, a box of Sugar Daddy candy, bag of artificial butter-flavored popcorn or a bowl of ice cream, try the Chia Liver Love recipe below. Now that you have your snack, are you ready for the movie list?
- Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
- May I Be Frank?
- Hungry for Change
- Super Size Me!
- Food, Inc.
- Forks Over Knives
- Crazy Sexy Cancer
- Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
- Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr
- French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano
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