While on the road to food discovery, I devoted countless hours to find some of the best resources and information available. It can be difficult to sift through all of the information out there and determine what is true and accurate. I won’t pretend to be an expert on how to do this, but it seems that best way to find out if what you are hearing or reading is true, is to do a little further research for yourself. In my studies, I have found that it is crucial to know where the information originated. This includes knowing where the scientific study was performed; who funded it; finding out if it was published in a peer reviewed journal; and identifying what kinds of precautions were taken during the study to ensure accuracy. I believe the two most important on that list are: Who funded it? And, was it published in a peer reviewed journal? In many ways, those two questions take care of the rest.
As with any human tainted industry – there are a lot of people out there that are attempting to strike it rich by telling people that they have a magic solution to their health problems. If you go to any bookstore, you could stand in the health and nutrition aisle and get completely mixed messages, and therefore completely confused. I know I have fallen victim to this on many occasions. Now, I follow well respected experts in the field of health and nutrition. There are a group of fantastic doctors that have formed non-profit organizations specifically devoted to helping the public better understand the information out there. THESE are the experts I want to follow. They always provide legitimate citations for their information, they practice these principles in their own lives and medical practices, and they devote their lives to trying to fix the problems that we have made for ourselves surrounding food.
Here are some of my favorite resources on the subject of plant based nutrition. There are many great resources out there, so certainly this list isn’t everything, but these have been tremendously helpful for me, and I am confident that would be helpful for you as well.
Food Choices was one of the first documentaries I watched on this subject. It is very powerful, and many of the experts interviewed are giants in their field. I credit this documentary with sparking an interest in both myself as well as my husband, John.
After watching Food Choices, it prompted me to begin doing some more extensive research. One of the doctors interviewed during the film is Dr. Colin Campbell. He is a PhD and a Research Scientist that conducted a large study on health and nutrition in China during the 1990’s. He published his remarkable findings, and other supportive research regarding the negative effects of plant based products in his book entitled, The China Study. They were able to look at human bodies at a cellular level and learned that consuming animal products (of any kind) has severe consequences on our overall health.
The next film I watched on this subject was Forks Over Knives. This documentary digs deeper in the science around how animal products and processed foods are potentially causing some of our nations greatest killers such as heart disease, diabetes, and many types of cancer. It is a fantastic film, and has gone on to provide an entire website of resources including a cooking school, recipes, meal planners etc. It is a great introduction into plant based eating.
The next, and in my opinion the best resource of all is How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Greger. Dr. Greger has a remarkable story from his childhood about his grandmother that prompted him to go into medicine, and help others treat and prevent illness through food. His Grandmother was in her sixties and was suffering from severe heart disease. She already had bypass surgery and was told by her doctors that there was nothing else that could be done, and that she could potentially drop dead of a heart attack at any time. She didn’t accept this prognosis and wound up in a revolutionary, immersive clinic designed to transform patient’s lives through diet and nutrition. This clinic was founded by Nathan Pritikin- who argued even back in the 70’s that diet is both the cause and the cure for many of our countries ailments. Dr. Greger’s grandmother was wheeled into the facility and walked out. She went on to live until she was 95, and was able to watch her grandson graduate from medical school. Dr. Greger attributes this miraculous transformation to the diet and lifestyle changes she made while at the clinic, and he decided at a very young age to devote his life and medical practice to helping others through diet and nutrition. He founded a non-profit website where he posts short videos that explain (in layman’s terms), all of the latest discoveries regarding diet as it pertains to our health. His book, is a comprehensive look at hundreds (if not thousands) of studies regarding the links between our diet and what ails us. All of the profits from his book are put back into his website.
Finally, the film, What the Health, while controversial to some, is another great documentary that uncovers the truth about animal products and their connection to heart disease, diabetes, and many types of cancer. This film, in my opinion, has done a great job shaking things up and creating a conversation regarding the food we eat, how it is prepared, and how it affects our bodies. It also sheds some light on why these health messages aren’t getting more attention.
I believe that it is time that we took control and responsibility over our own health, and one of the best ways we can do that, is to be well informed. If you read or watch any resources, including the items on this page, and don’t believe them, dig in and do some more research. You will likely be the only true advocate for your health and the health of your family, which is why it is so important to start at the very beginning with diet. Many people will simply claim, “that isn’t true” because of something they were taught as a child, or they will say, “you can’t survive on just plants” without ever picking up a book on the subject. I promise, if you read the science, you will be shocked, and if you are like me, angry. I grew really angry after learning more about this information because it is very clear that we could prevent thousands, if not millions of deaths each year if more people learned about the incredible benefits to plant based eating. I have joined with the thousands of people who are working to spread the word, and together, I believe we can improve the future for our families, our country, and our world.