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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Two Books To Strengthen My Marriage 2012-Part 4 - Purposeful Living





These posts are written by Todd (Amy's husband) designed to model a system of purposeful living.  At least once a month, I spend time setting meaningful goals around one of seventeen core priorities. 

If you missed it, consider reading the foundation post - Purposeful Living #1.

Correct Priority
Priority #4 – Social Health – Immediate Family–Spouse (Social & Emotional Health)

Goal Setting & Reflection Date
Sunday, February 26

Goal
Invest in the social and emotional health of my wife and strengthen my marriage by reading and discussing two books with Amy in 2012.  The first book must be a mutually agreed upon marriage book.  The second book may be any book of Amy’s choice.  Specific goals include:
·         Mutually choose a marriage book.
·         Amy chooses a book of her choice.
·         Decide how often to read and discuss each book.
·         Develop a plan to ensure relevant discussion and dialogue.

Goal Status
Partially Completed

Thoughts
Instead of a book, Amy asked if we could watch two documentaries that were important to her. I wrote about the watching the first documentary, here, in Part 3. On the second Saturday of May Amy and I ordered in food and watched and discussed the 2nd documentary Forks Over Knives.  I got Chinese food from the mall which, unfortunately, wasn’t all that great.  Amy picked up some salmon, asparagus, rice pilaf & greens for herself from Granite City.   

Project Reflection
My thoughts on the film are below, but most important are my thoughts on my relationship with Amy and why we watched this film together. 

Putting myself in Amy’s shoes with her cancer history, this film would give me a lot of hope and confidence that I was on the right path regarding diet.  There were stories in the film, but mostly this documentary provided lots of research and data to back up its dietary claims.   

As I mentioned in Part 3 of this series, I am proud of Amy for the research she has done in identifying the most healthy diet for her in her fight against cancer recurrence.   This film presents some pretty compelling evidence in support of a plant-based diet.

I enjoyed watching and discussing the film with Amy. 


Film Summary
Forks Over Knives is a 2011 documentary which examines the claim that most degenerative disease can be prevented, controlled, or even reversed by rejecting the traditional American diet of animal-based and processed foods and embracing a primarily plant-based diet. 

Film Ideas & Statistics That Stood Out To Me
The casein study done with rats was fascinating. Dr. Colin Campbell wrote The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health, in which they studies the affects of casein on rats.  Casein is a milk protein that turned cancer on and off in rats.  Rats on a 20% casein diet developed cancer almost immediately.  Rats on a 5% casein diet did not develop cancer.  Rats that did develop cancer saw it reverse in many cases when put on a 5% casein diet.


Reviewing dietary guidelines from the FDA over the past sixty years it is remarkable how much poor guidance it has given. 

The healthiest countries in the world do not consume a western based diet.  Instead these countries consume primarily plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes. 

Processed foods are calorie-dense (which makes them taste good), but lack healthy nutrients which prevent us from feeling full.  Hence we keep eating and eating well beyond what we need.  This is a partial cause of rampant obesity in America.

Processed foods release the same chemicals in our bodies and brains as drugs do.  In a sense, as a country we are addicted processed foods.  This is one reason why it is so hard for people to change their diet and eat more healthy. 

The 20-year “China Study” found 9000 direct correlations between diet and disease. 

Film Reflection
I am betting most people would not enjoy this documentary very much.  It was pretty dry and lacked personality or warmth.

But I really enjoyed it.  I am a facts and figures guy.  I am less interested in your opinion and more interested in the evidence backing your opinion.

And this film is chalk full of interesting and compelling evidence backing up the health benefits of plant-based foods.

Overall, I agreed with most of the claims of the film. 

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