Vegan Documentaries

Vegan Documentaries

Vegan documentaries……. I love nothing more on a Sunday afternoon than turning on Netflix (other film providers are available), making some vegan treats and watching a good old vegan film that puts the world to rights. 

But for me, these films mean more than a bit of Sunday viewing pleasure. They help instruct and maintain historical records. They document aspects of modern life and reality that often get overlooked in the mainstream media. They inform. And they inspire people to make fundamental and lasting changes in their lives. 

If you are vegan, then you will know what I mean. We have all had that moment in life when the penny finally dropped. It was a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon in November. You have just been to the supermarket and are overdosing on sweets that are rotting your body and your mind. You are sat flicking through film options when a thumbnail catches your eye. You start watching and within 15 minutes your whole life has been turned upside-down. You have just realised you are living in the matrix. 

The reality for most is that once you know the truth there is no going back. Within days you have removed all animal products from your house. The freezer, the fridge and even your cleaning and toiletries are not safe. Your family thinks you are having a nervous breakdown. 

The documentary you watched on Saturday provoked such strong emotions that you were compelled to change your diet and lifestyle forever. A lifestyle that had remained largely unchanged since birth.

That is the power that well-made vegan documentaries can have over people. And these type of documentaries have probably done more for veganism in the last 15 years than anything else combined.

Below I have listed some of my personal favourites. Documentaries that have had profound and lasting impacts on my life. I hope you find the list useful, and if I have missed off any great choices then leave a comment in the comments section below and I will update the list regularly. 

Goji Man xxx

 

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1. Fork Over Knives 

This is the one that changed it all for me. 

Fork Over Knives is a documentary that examines the claim (or as I like to call it, TRUTH), that most, if not all of today’s degenerative diseases can be prevented, halted and even reversed by rejecting animal products and replacing them with plant based foods. The majority of the story is focussed around the work and research of two leading Dr’s. Dr Colin Campbell and Dr Caldwell Esselstyn. The film also discusses the findings of Dr Campbell’s 20-year China-Cornell-Oxford project that were laid out in Dr Campbell’s book, The China Study. The China Study shows how the majority of diseases in the western world (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, strokes and obesity etc) are a direct result of animal based foods and other processed foods in people’s diets. This is a must watch film for anyone who is concerned about their family’s health. 

 

 

2. Vegucated

Is one of the best vegan documentaries out there! The producers follow 3 New Yorkers for 6 weeks as they give up meat, dairy and eggs and adopt a vegan diet. The film documents (with hilarity at times) their journey as each of the participants discover how they can create a greener, kinder and cleaner world, one bite at a time. 

 

 

3. Earthlings

I am not going to lie; Earthlings is a very tough watch. It was made in 2005 and documents how humans have created a total reliance and dependence on animals purely for economic purposes and greed. The film is broken down into 5 elements: research, pets, food, clothing and entertainment. If you are easily upset, then I suggest you watch some of the other films on the list and avoid this one. 

 

 

4. Cowspiracy

Is one of the first vegan documentaries that was funded almost entirely through crowdfunding. And it has probably turned more people vegan than all the other films combined (slight exaggeration there!). The film chronicles the journey of Kip Anderson as he uncovers animal agriculture as the most destructive industry facing the planet today. You are taken on a journey where you learn that the meat and dairy industry is the number one cause of deforestation on the planet. The industry creates more pollution and greenhouse gases than all of the transportation industries combined. And many, many other mind-bending statistics are revealed. The story gets really interesting as Kip approaches leading environmental groups with his research only to find that there is an intentional refusal by these organisations to discuss the issues in hand. But why is this and what are the consequences for Kip’s personal safety? 

 

 

5. Crazy Sexy Cancer

This is the unbelievable journey of Kris Carr and her battle with cancer. She changes her diet, juices, takes up yoga and changes many other aspects of her life in order to beat the disease and obtain optimal health. The emotional fight is sprinkled with humour and even romance. A must watch for anyone who wants to understand the disease in greater detail. 

 

 

6. Speciesism: The Movie

This film uncovers what farms have been struggling to keep secret for years. The conditions that animals are kept in, as well as their treatment and diets are all exposed. This is one of the great vegan documentaries that takes viewers on a white-knuckle ride that crawls through bushes, flies in planes and hides in factories, all to come face-to-face with the farmers who are rearing animals in such poor conditions. A must see!

 

 

7. The Cove

The Cove was released in 2009 and is an Oscar-winning film. The film follows a group of brave and courageous animal activists as they expose a small Japanese town, that is home to an industry that slaughters dolphins for meat. The film also follows the story of a former dolphin trainer (from hit TV show, Flipper), as he tries to forgive himself for exploiting these intelligent creatures in his earlier days. A great all round watch!

 

 

8. Blackfish

I only saw this for the first time a few months back, but it quickly became a personal favourite of mine. Blackfish chronicles the story of a captive killer whale, that has taken the lives of several people. The film undercovers the poor conditions that these creatures are kept in and highlights problems within the sea-park industry that have been deliberately covered up for years. 

 

 

9. Live and Let Live

Is one of the lesser known vegan documentaries out there, but it’s still a great watch. This feature film documents the human relationship with animals. It also looks at the history of veganism and the reasons underpinning why people turn to veganism. The health reasons, the ethics and environmental reasons are all discussed. 

 

 

10. Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days

This is a great documentary that documents the journey of 6 Americans with diabetes as they switch to raw vegan diets in an attempt to reverse this disease. The participants give up meat, dairy, eggs, processed foods, nicotine, caffeine and all cooked foods for 30 days. The results are startling. A must watch for anyone who has diabetes or who has family members battling with the disease.

 

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Antioxidant Juice

Antioxidant Juice

Most people are aware of the wide ranging health benefits of antioxidants and why they are so important for staving off diseases such as cancer and heart disease. If you need to know what antioxidants are and what they do in the body then see my recent article: What You Need To Know About Antioxidants

 
Below is one of my favourite “go to” antioxidant juice recipes. It is crammed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will help prevent free radical damage in the body, help reduce your chances of developing chronic diseases and also make your skin glow.

 

Ingredients

 

• 1 large orange (peeled).
• 1 medium sized lemon (peeled).
• 3 large carrots
• A large segment of pineapple
• 1 small beetroot

 

Serving

 

Juice all the ingredients and serve over ice. Drink immediately to avoid oxidization and loss of nutrient content.

 

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Healthy Juice Drinks Recipes

Healthy Juice Drinks Recipes

We all know how important water is for the body, and if you don’t then see my recent article: Are You Getting Enough Water? Below are some of my favourite enhancers for water that help to give it a nutritional punch!

 

1. Add A Squeeze Of Lemon

 

Add some fresh lemon juice to your water in the morning and it will help kick-start the body, your organs and digestion. Fresh lemon also aids the body in removing unwanted toxins that can accumulate in the intestines and bowels. It also helps maintain a healthy immune system through its vitamin C content as well as helping to keep your breath nice and fresh.

 

2. Healthy Green Juices

 

For more information on juicing see my recent article: Is Juicing Healthy? Essentially, drinking a green juice provides your body with lots of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. The good thing about this is that juicing removes the fibre contained in the vegetables so the nutrients are easily absorbed. They go straight into the blood stream and to the cells where they are needed. Green juices  also enable the body to detoxify more efficiently. But remember, you want to add 4/5 vegetables for every piece of fruit you have so you don’t cause large sugar spikes (caused by the removal of the fibre). Some of the healthiest greens include: broccoli, spinach, swiss chard, celery and cucumber.

 

3. Herbal Teas

 

There are literally thousands of herbal teas on the market, so experiment. Herbal teas often contain super healthy compounds that are good for the immune system, have calming effects on the body or have antibacterial or antiviral properties. Herbal teas are often a good source of antioxidants that help remove free radicals from the body (the toxins that cause cancer). For more information see my recent article: What’s The Healthiest Herbal Tea?

 

4. Kombucha

 

Although Kombucha is essentially a herbal tea (a fermented one), I have singled it out as it also has the added benefit of being a very potent probiotic. By regularly drinking Kombucha you can help feed the good bacteria and fight off the unwanted bad bacteria. This makes it a very good drink to turn to if you have candida or have recently taken antibiotics. Kombucha is also great for maintaining a healthy digestive tract as well as improving low mood.

 

5. Coconut Water

 

Coconut water is a great rehydration drink. It’s a great isotonic drink (same salt concentration as cells and blood) and provides the body with essential electrolytes (minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge which are essential for muscle function etc) such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium. Coconut water is also packed with many essential nutrients such as selenium, iodine, zinc and boron. It is a great go to drink post workout.

 

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The Health Benefits Of Cucumbers

The Health Benefits Of Cucumbers

Cucumbers are one of those “go to” salad ingredients that everyone enjoys. They are refreshing to eat and will help rehydrate the body. They have good amounts of vitamin K, C, B, manganese, potassium and copper. Below I have put together a list of their main benefits and why you should eat them on a regular basis.

 

Pinky And The Brains

 

One of the main benefits of cucumbers is that they contain antioxidants called fisteins. Fisteins are vitally important for brain health as they prevent inflammation. It is also great for improving memory and preventing damage to nerves in the brain, one of the leading causes of degenerative diseases like alzheimer’s.

 

Further Antioxidants

 

As well as fisteins, cucumbers are packed full of other essential antioxidants incusing beta-carotene and vitamin C. Flavonoids are also abundant in the form of kaempferol, apigentin, luteolin and quercetin. Quercetin is great for people who have hay-fever and other allergies as it helps prevent histamine being released in the body, making it a great natural antihistamine. Kaempferol has been shown to protect you from the two leading causes of death (cancer and heart disease).

 

They Help Prevent Inflammation

 

A really cool thing about cucumbers is that they target enzymes that cause inflammation in the body after they have carried out their roles. This is particularly great if you are already suffering from inflammatory diseases, which most people are!

 

They Help Prevent Cancer

 

Cucumbers are packed with lignans, a type of polyphenol (or an antioxidant). Many leading studies have demonstrated that people who regularly consume foods that contain lignans had a much lower risk of developing prostate, breast and ovarian cancers. Cucumbers are also loaded with cucurbitacins, a chemical compound contained in plants that also helps ward of cancer growth.

 

Healthy Gut

 

To have a healthy gut you need to provide it with an abundant supply of fibre and water. Cucumbers provide a rich source of both. The water helps hydrate the digestive tract and the fibre adds bulk to your stools and speeds up transit times. They are also great for relieving the symptoms associated with IBS and acid reflux.

 

Avoid Dog Breath

 

If you are struggling with bad breath then it is probably caused by a poor diet. Having said that, some people are often afflicted with bad breath as a result of conditions such as tonsil stones. Cucumbers can help reduce the odours produced by bacteria. Simply place a slice of cucumber in your mouth and swish it around while it dissolves. By doing this it will help remove some of those unwanted odours!

 

Avoid The Stress

 

People who have low levels of certain B vitamins are generally more prone to mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress. Cucumbers contain a good amount of B1, B5 and B7 that will help reduce some of the symptoms associated with these conditions.

 

Maintain A Healthy Weight

 

There are basically no calories in cucumbers. But their fibre content will make you feel fuller for longer, making them a great snaking food throughout the day. Cucumbers also break down into a gel-like texture as the body digests them. This texture slows down the digestive process slightly, making your feel fuller for longer.

 

A Healthy Heart

 

To maintain a healthy heart function you need a diet rich in potassium. Potassium helps maintain a regular beat as well as maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Potassium is also an electrolyte and interacts and regulates sodium in the body. This process is essential for a healthy heart contractions and overall heart health.

 

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8 Reasons To Regularly Eat Or Drink Ginger

8 Reasons To Regularly Eat Or Drink Ginger

 

1. Lost your appetite recently? Eat some fresh ginger on an empty stomach before a meal and it will stir up your appetite. Particularly effective if you have recently been unwell and have a very poor appetite.
2. Ginger has been shown in many studies to assist the absorption of many essential nutrients.
3. It keeps the lymphatic system moving and prevents your glands becoming clogged.
4. Not a keen flier? Chew on a cube of ginger and it will take away some of that nausea.
5. Regular ginger consumption has been shown to improve the symptoms of IBS and flatulence.
6. Always have a gurgling stomach? Then chew on ginger!
7. Suffer with joint problems? Ginger is great as it has fairly potent anti-inflammatory properties. Eating lots of ginger will help reduce the inflammation as will adding ginger essential oil to your bath.
8. Feeling congested? Drink a cup of fresh ginger and honey tea to clear the nose and throat. Particularly good during those long winter months.

 

What health benefits do you normally get from ginger?

 

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