A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Documentary Film Review: Vegucated

Vegucated is a short documentary film that came out in 2011 directed by Marisa Miller Wolfson.  Marisa moved to New York City and became a vegan.  She decided to make this film and interviewed a bunch of people to participate in a 6 week study.  She selected three people, all dedicated meat, cheese and milk consumers, to go vegan for the entire 6 weeks.  The film starts out very funny and playful as Marisa gets to know these three people.  She visits them in their homes and checks out what kinds of foods they have in their refrigerators.  She takes them to visit Dr. Joel Fuhrman (who wrote the books Eat To Live and The End Of Diabetes) where they get a physical done and blood tests.  She takes them to see several people who are very knowledgeable about practicing the vegan diet.

After several weeks of trying the diet and testing out the foods, Marisa takes them to see a film about what goes on in slaughter houses with cows, chickens, pigs and fish.  This was a pivotal part of the documentary for me because I had never seen anything like it.  It was horrifying to discover what is going on on a daily basis in this country.  I had to avert my eyes on a number of occasions because I couldn't take looking at the examples of what people actually do to these creatures.  It is very hard to look at, but very important to look at, too.  I knew right then and there that I could not go on eating animal products.

The three people in this film became more and more committed to becoming vegetarian or vegan by the end of the film.  They, too, were horrified by the practices in the slaughterhouses.  Though it wasn't always easy to eat a totally vegan diet, all of them managed to do so.  At the end of the six weeks they returned to Dr. Fuhrman's office to get another physical and do another series of blood tests.  Bad cholesterol went way down along with blood pressure and one woman lost 10 pounds on the diet.

This documentary is well worth watching.  It is only an hour and 16 minutes and it truly is an education.

I've been on a mostly vegan diet for two weeks and have lost about 5 pounds.  I have been using two cookbooks, the Eat To Live recipe book and the Plantpure Nation recipe book.  I believe Dr. Fuhrman's Eat To Live recipe book is the better one for losing weight, but the Plantpure Nation book has some tastier recipes because the author uses more pasta, bread, sweeteners and salt.  Both are good starts.  I've been doing a lot of cooking lately.  Last night I prepared a chili to slow cook in my croc pot and also prepared a hearty oatmeal for the following morning.  My kitchen and refrigerator is stocked with fruits and vegetables which is a pleasing sight to wake up to in the morning.

I have yet to do a blood test to establish a baseline.  This coming week I will see a nurse practitioner and will start the process.  I'm hoping that 3-4 weeks of eating vegan will have dropped my bad cholesterol, reduced my blood pressure and dropped my weight even more.  The more I study and practice this diet, the more I think it is the right choice.
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