Forks Over Knives Review

This morning I headed to the gym for an impromptu strength workout. I used the Women’s Health Big Book and put together a work out for myself.

women's health big book

When I got home I contemplated French Toast, but decided on pancakes because I had pumpkin to use up – and because it’s Pancake Sunday! I pretty much always use some variation of my protein pancakes.

pancake Sunday

But this time I added caramelized banana. These naners were super ripe and I sprinkled them with a  bit of sugar before cooking them.

carmelized banana

I don’t know what made me happier – the warm, sweet banana or the melty chocolate PB. IMG_4191 (800x533)

Forks Over Knives Review / Thoughts

Last night Ben and I saw Forks Over Knives.

forks over knives image

Plot (from MoviePhone): Documentary filmmaker Lee Fulkerson explores the possibility that so-called “diseases of affluence” such as heart disease can be reversed by simply adjusting our diets to include less processed and animal-based foods.

My thoughts: The movie documents a few specific cases of people with heart disease and diabetes that lose weight and are able to stop taking medication after following a whole foods vegan diet for 12 weeks or more.

That is awesome.

But, I take it with a grain of salt because these people went from eating crap  (the patients reference eating donuts and fast food) – to eating mostly plants and plant proteins. I suspect they would have had equally impressive results eating whole foods and lean protein. As in, the main reason for their weight loss and health improvements is cutting out the processed snacks, a lot of meat and fast food. They don’t specify, but I’m sure their doctor supervised meal plan didn’t include a lot of convenience foods (vegan or not).

The movie basically explains The China Study – an amazing, but very dry book about how people in rural China are healthier than people who eat animals on a regular basis. I’ve read it so I already knew the “revelations” from the movie.the china study

If you are already aware of the importance of staying away from high fat, processed foods – you will not really learn anything or “be moved” by this film. It was still interesting and I wasn’t bored, but I didn’t walk out of there like, “Wow! I didn’t know that, I am going vegan tomorrow!”

BUT – Ben, who didn’t read the China Study was moved. Over dinner he expressed that he was interested in cutting out dairy from this diet (you don’t know how huge that is for “Whole Milk McGee” as I like to call him), and eating less meat.

The doctors in the movie make it appear that protein is not important. Personally, I think not getting enough protein and fat are main triggers for me to binge. I do think I can get enough protein eating a vegetarian diet, but am skeptical about getting enough while vegan (given my personal needs, tastes and desires to avoid being food obsessed).

That being said, Ben is interested in eating less meat and dairy and wants my help. We will be making efforts to eat more vegetarian foods and less processed foods.

Question: Seen the movie? Read the China Study? Think it’s all hippie dippie propaganda?


  1. Hannah says

    That is great that your husband wants to eat fewer animals! I have been about 99% vegetarian for the past 6 months (2nd time I’ve done this) and feel great. My live-in boyfriend is a little more skeptical about being vegetarian, but since I do almost all of the cooking, I think he hardly misses the meat. He usually will eat ham or turkey sandwiches for lunch, but otherwise our meals are all meatless. One of our favorite dishes is this bean and cheese enchilada recipe:

    NO man can miss the meat in something so tasty! Keep us updated on how your husband is doing :)

  2. says

    I agree with you about protein–I totally binge out if I don’t get enough. I know some people do fine with smaller amounts, but I am much better off when I have high protein meals, and yes, that means lean meat or fish most of the time. Avoiding processed foods is always a win though!

  3. alicia says

    i completely agree with you. i feel like a lot of people switch from eating processed foods to a totally vegan diet and then misinterpret the cause of their improved health. i, personally, have never experienced a change in the way i feel whether i am eating a vegetarian diet or not.

  4. says

    I’m vegan and I agree that it takes extra effort to get the protein amounts that keep me from binge eating. It’s not necessarily right for everyone. I’m not a militant vegan by any means, and I do agree that scaling back from fast food to whole foods would make an enormous difference for a lot of people in terms of health.

    Thanks for the review, I’m excited to see this movie.

  5. Ida says

    I totally agree that the subjects did so well b/c they went from eating crap to eating well. I think the same results could have been achieved with a non-vegan, healthy diet. However I do think Americans eat more animal products than necessary- more avocados and nut butter for all!

    • Ella says

      I completely agree! And appreciate Monica’s thoughts on this as well. (Although I should say that I haven’t seen the movie, ha)

  6. Kendra says

    I’m looking forward to seeing this movie but it’s not in Canada yet.

    I’ve been vegan/veg most of my life. The movie Food INC had a pretty big impact on my boyfriend and he’s gradually dropped meat. The other day a guy at the gym was asking him a million questions about how he trains. Then he asked what he eats (which I find oddly rude of a stranger) and the guy was speechless when he told him he eats a mostly vegetarian diet. I was so proud he showed that guy you can eat chickpeas and squat 400 pounds.

    • says

      I don’t have the routine with me, but will post it sometime this week :)

      I am team Teresa because Melissa seems a bit much (and that’s saying something considering the show!). I don’t think we really will ever know who started the fight since most of it is drama that is built up from the past and off camera.

      I do think the entire christening thing was ridiculous and inappropriate.

      What do you think?! I’m excited someone else cares about this :)

      • says

        I think T’s brother Joe acted inappropriately. Teresa should have just walked away.

        Just ghetto mafia madness. Sad that those men would behave that way in front of their children & father/FIL. Sad that the father was taking the SIL’s side. You could tell that both Teresa & her brother are in pain about their break in their relationship.

        I hope Teresa gets her comeuppance.
        Noun: A punishment or fate that someone deserves. !!!!

  7. says

    I really need to get my hands on that book. I’ve read “In the Defense of Food” and even though I’m about to get my RD, I feel like I learned so much and was introduced to a new perspective on nutrition. Wonder if the China Study would do the same…

  8. says

    Whoo, go Ben!! I think I’ve read some of the book a year ago but haven’t seen movie yet. Films like that (ex. Food Inc) cause me to start bawling so I think I should wait for DVD to come out. I’m just really passionate about this…I even cry during Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution lol. I think the movie Forks Over Knives, or at least the trailer, should be mandatory for Americans to watch.

  9. Heather says

    Eh, I think that the people in the movie would’ve had the same Results with just getting rid of the junky food and eating more veggies/healthy food in general. I can’t do a veggie based diet. I’ve tried it in the past and I was miserable. I need meat, and I love meat. I love protein in general, and I don’t consider beans/tofu/quinoa type foods to be an effective source of protein, so I just can’t do it. I’d definitely recommend watching Fathead. It’s awesome.

  10. says

    I always struggle with avoiding high-processed foods because to me they taste the best! I am trying to find healthy alternatives.

  11. Jill says

    I agree with your observation, that eliminating the junk food was the primary cause of the improvement in health. For some people, a vegetarian or vegan diet is the way to go. My personal preference is to include modest amounts of lean protein.
    Can you imagine the improvement in America’s health if the word ‘modest’ was applied to everything? All serving sizes would be what our digestive systems needed, rather than what our eyes coveted.

  12. says

    I thought it was widely known that processed and/or high fat foods aren’t good for your health. Guess not?

    I haven’t seen that study, but I’ve seen several that indicate that a vegetarian or vegan diet, or even a pseudo-vegetarian diet, can help with weight loss, dependence on medication, etc. Makes sense.

  13. says

    While becoming a vegetarian or vegan might not be the end all-be all for everyone, it’s certainly not an unhealthy way to live. And no death has to occur for me to fill my tummy :)

  14. says

    I really want to see that film. I have read the China Study, and personally went vegan for a month last year to see how my body ‘took’ to it.

    Needless to say, vegan wasn’t ideal for ME, but I do applaud people that make it work. I think healthy changes are the best, and I have dramatically reduced my intake of meat (totally eliminated chicken after watching FOOD INC last year) and have learned a lot more about healthy cooking and such.

    Thanks for this post. I don’t know how I JUST discovered your blog, but I am already a big fan.

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