Food Films I Want To See

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As I continue to educate myself about healthy eating, I’ve come across films (mostly documentaries) created by people so passionate about what they believe or so determined to discover the truth, that I want to see what they see through their cameras. There are also films about people who have made or are trying to make a difference for themselves, our country and the world, that I want to know more about.

Here I’ll keep a list of these films I want to see (in alpha order) and update when I’ve seen them. Perhaps I’ll share my reviews, but as that’s not a forté of mine, don’t expect too much insight or critical thinking. But who knows, I might surprise myself.

Food, Inc. (2008)
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. (description from Food, Inc. site)

The Hunger Games (2012)
I know, I know, not a food film! But a few of us in our household are anxiously awaiting this movie’s premiere. And just for the record, we read it before we even knew it was going to be a movie. God bless youth librarians!

Our Daily Bread (2005)
I think…although I don’t know if I can handle it. I watched the trailer and had to cover half the screen for most of it, I was so grossed out. If I read the reviews correctly, there is no narration, just images. The film’s website describes it as a wide-screen tableau of a feast which isn’t always easy to digest – and in which we all take part. A pure, meticulous and high-end film experience that enables the audience to form their own ideas.

The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2007)
I’m a fan of Independent Lens because I almost always happen on these films by accident, find them absolutely fascinating and end up learning about a subject I never cared about or knew about. This one I’m curious about because Farmer John seems to be quite a character, nothing like the Amish farmers I sometimes see hard at work with their horse-drawn plows, and yet is just as dedicated to his farming life.

Supersize Me (2003)
I realize this is an old one that’s very well-known and probably over-exposed, but I’ve never seen it.

The New Beauty Revolution Telesummit

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I just listened in on an interview with Raquel Reyna, the organizer of The New Beauty Revolution telesummit (Healthy Point). I don’t know very much about her having found the telesummit via Andrea Nakayama’s Replenish PDX newsletter (she’ll be speaking on March 29th – more about her in another post hopefully). From what I’ve read, she is an emotional eating expert and owner of EndTheDietWar.com, who works with women to help them lose weight.

The title of the talk was “Fulfill Your Cravings” and the description of it stated one could learn how to “Naturally lose your craving for food” and “Seed your craving for deeper meaning”. Putting the kids to bed, I logged in late to the call so I missed probably about 15 minutes of it. From what I heard, it didn’t seem to me that she specifically addressed these points, although again I could have missed. I’m still glad, though, that I listened.

Raquel Reyna has this very kind, calm, soothing way of speaking. She spoke of how weight loss and health has everything to do with how we think about ourselves and our bodies. Similarly, how we care for ourselves and our bodies affects how well we can love and live. And that loving our bodies is so powerful in making the changes we want and need.

She took some time to lead the listeners in experiencing what she called a “sacred moment”. Experiencing the now, paying attention to our bodies – both how they feel internally and externally. She led a short kind of guided imagery of being aware of what your body does in order to get up and get some water from the refrigerator.

She spoke of being in the moment, feeling our bodies and listening to them and being centered. She suggested thinking about where we might feel stuck in our lives – whether its a relationship, career, finances, spirituality — and then said to listen to our bodies and it will know where to go and what path to take, whether it’s cleaning the closet, paying a bill, giving up alcohol, changing a relationship.

The talk was inspiring especially because she is so passionate about what she believes, based on what she has experienced and what she knows can happen for others.

I look forward to listening to more talks. They run through March 30. If you’re interested in listening in, you can sign up here.

Quote to Ponder: Elbert Hubbard

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This quote came in an email newsletter this morning from Mercola.com:

If you have health, you probably will be happy,
and if you have health and happiness,
you have all the wealth you need,
even if it is not all you want.

Elbert Hubbard

Field Trip! to Lilley’s Farm

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In an effort to “eat seasonally, eat locally”, I checked out LocalHarvest.org to find my local farmer’s market. Most farmer’s markets are only open Spring through Fall. But, online I happened upon the nearby Lilley’s Farm which was holding a Winter Market Day this past Saturday. So, we piled the kids in the car and took the short trip. It was early afternoon on a beautiful day and most people had already made their trip to the farm. By the time we arrived pretty much the only thing left for sale was…KALE! I’m sensing a theme in my life. The kids were most unhappy.

There were actually three types of kale, which were grown in the farm’s unheated greenhouse. One was the kind normally found at a supermarket. The second was an Italian variety. I can’t remember the name of the third type. The very friendly owner offered that the latter two types have a stronger flavor, so I bought two bunches (Healthy Point) of the first type for $7.00. There were also fresh eggs at $4/dozen but the husband had just purchased a bunch of eggs at Sam’s Club, so I decided to pass.

We didn’t see much of the farm itself, but right next to the produce shed were chickens! Boy, are they noisy and if you’ve never heard a baby try to sound like a chicken, you’re missing out. It’s hilarious. The kids all got a kick out of seeing them but I had nudge the oldest a couple of times — I don’t think it’s proper etiquette to talk about eating chickens in front of chickens!!

Lilley’s Farm has another Winter Market Day on April 7. Not sure if we’ll make that one but we plan to return in the summer and hopefully find yummies that the kids will enjoy (other than chicken!).

On the way home, we stopped at a playground for some fresh air and fun. (Healthy Point) It was a good, healthy day. (Another Healthy Point!)

Another Kale Chips Recipe (from IIN)

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After I published my last post, I actually clicked on the recipe link in the email from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and laughed to discover it was a recipe for kale chips! The recipe title is Crispy “Cheesy” Kale Chips and you can find it here.

I was wondering how this could be “cheesy” since you’ll see the ingredients do not include cheese. But then I googled “nutritional yeast” since I know nothing about it and About.com (get it, get it? It was actually the second result – I rarely use wikipedia) tells me:

Yellow in color and with a nutty cheesy flavor, nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is a favorite amongst many vegans because of its unique flavor and similarity to cheese when added to foods.

Hmmm…I’ll have to investigate where I can get some nutritional yeast and how it tastes. I’ll update here if I try this recipe. Anyone wanna take bets on whether the kids will love it or hate it? Oooh! Maybe I’ll make a love it vs. hate it scoreboard!

Salty Food Cravings

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I had a banana for breakfast this morning (Healthy Point), although not much else. Hungry for something else naturally, I discovered the leftover sweet potato fries I made for dinner the other night (kids hated them, of course). And as I was eating them, I was thinking about the salty food cravings I’ve been having in the middle of the day. I’ve always been a fan of salty snacks much more than sweets. But it seems in the last couple of months that these salty cravings, particularly during the day, have increased (remember the bag of chips yesterday?).

Then, I opened an email today from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Why I get these emails is a subject for another day but I do enjoy these friendly emails from Emily (no, I don’t know her personally but she always sounds so perky!). The subject of the email is “Salty or Sweet? Two Tasty Recipes Inside!” (I told you she’s perky) and part of the email reads:

You’ll probably be surprised to learn that cravings for:

•    salty foods could be caused by mineral deficiency
•    bitter foods could be caused by digestive issues
•    spicy foods could be caused by poor circulation
•    creamy foods could be caused by a need for comfort
•    sweet foods could be caused by stress or a lack of energy

Curious.

Speaking of points…

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Okay, I’m just going to say it. I basically skipped breakfast – a couple of cherry tomatoes but that’s it. Not Healthy Point. Went to the dollar store for non-food items. Came out with two bags of tortilla chips – heck, they’re only a dollar each! Decided to have chips with melted cheese for breakfast/lunch. Had more. And more. And the bag is empty. (Although they’re not full-sized bags, they’re bigger than those lunchbox-size bags). Another Not Healthy Point.

To balance that out, though, I’m giving myself a Healthy Point because I made Italian bread pizza for dinner last night! And, it was my second night in a row making dinner…another Healthy Point. Hurray for me! And the score, conveniently, is tied.

The Scoreboard

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I’ve decided to add a scoreboard – you’ll see it to the right. Nothing fancy. The purpose? Simple. To keep score of how I’m doing. Here are some guidelines:

  • Points are completely subjective. I can add a point in either category for any reason.
  • Only one point given at a time. No adding a zillion points just because I’m having an awesome day!
  • When I give a point, I’ll note it in a post and tag that post “Scoreboard”.
  • Once I give a point, in either category, I will not take any points away for any reason. Say, for example, I decide what I did actually was healthy even though I marked it not healthy. I’m not going to take a point away from “not health” and put one in “healthy”.  That’ll just be too confusing. However,  I might just add an extra point to the healthy side to make up for it. My rules, right?
  • I welcome points from others! If you think I deserve a point in either category, feel free to comment and explain. I’ll try not to argue with you about it and add the point accordingly. But please be nice. I’m rather sensitive. And if it’s starts to become unfriendly or plain out mean, I won’t do it anymore.

That’s it!

Kale Chips

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A couple of weeks ago I read something about kale chips and how they’re good for you and easy to make. So, I thought I’d give it a shot. I found a recipe for Crispy Kale Chips on the Food Network and made them for dinner.

One thing I recommend is make sure the kale is very, very dry before you put them in the oven. Otherwise they don’t get crispy at all – sort of soggy as if they’ve just been steamed. The kids hated them although they forced them down. The husband thought they were pretty good as did I. I saved the leftovers and snacked on them the next day, which was good because I tend to have salty snack cravings during the day.

I made them again another day but waited too long after I bought the kale, so it was a little wilted. That, on top of the fact that I had less kale but still used the same amount of olive oil, it didn’t turn out so well. I still ate it and I’ll definitely make again. I have hopes that the kids might grow to like it. The husband and I also thought it would taste good crumbled on something, but we can’t figure out what. If anyone has any suggestions, please share!

Oh…and watch out cause it can get stuck in your teeth and you’ll end up giving someone a big toothy kale smile.