Forks Over Knives

Jason and I went to see Forks Over Knives last night. If you haven’t seen it, the whole premise of the movie is that we can control our health with what we eat. Forks over knives (medical knives, like scalpels). It’s based on the separate research of two doctors – Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esslestyn, both of whom came to separate conclusions that a plant-based (aka vegan) diet can stop and, in some cases, reverse a whole slew of medical problems.

I’m not a nutritionist or a doctor. I just have an interest in food and health. I’ve read a bunch of articles on this and I’ve read Dr. Campbell’s book, The China Study. (Just a side note that I thought the book was totally boring because it was a scientific study. I’m a girl with a degree in art and english, not science!) I’m familiar with their claims and I didn’t really learn anything that surprising in the movie. Although, it was pretty interesting to see actual examples of people who had changed their lives through their diet, it wasn’t shocking to me.

However, I really think Jason got a wake-up call. He eats the Standard American Diet. While he likes and eats vegetables and healthy stuff, his diet consists of a lot of processed food, fast food and meat. At 30 years old, I think he’s starting to realize that he’s not invincible and the choices that he makes will have an impact in regards to his health.

I agreed with lots of the points in the movie but I do wonder whether or not it’s the animal protein in the Standard American Diet (SAD) or the combination of animal protein plus processed and refined foods in the SAD that’s causing so many medical issues. Is it actually the meat itself or the general diet? That said, although I’m not a vegetarian (I eat fish), I’m a total proponent of the vegetarian diet and I think it’s hugely beneficial.

When the credits started rolling, I looked at Jason staring at the screen and said, “You were either totally affected by that movie or you want to eat a burger!” Guess which one it was?

We went to a Thai restaurant next to theater for dinner and shared two vegetarian entrees! While Jason eats my vegetarian meals at home, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen him order a vegetarian entree at a restaurant where meat was available.


While I was running this morning (5 miles, most I’ve done in like a month!), I was thinking about something. Like I said, I’m not a vegetarian; I eat fish and seafood. Why? Really the sole reason (is sole a type of fish? No pun intended!) is that going out to eat is a huge part of my social life. I want to try new restaurants and not feel like I can’t go places because there is nothing on the menu for me. So I eat fish because then I know there will always be something I can eat. Sometimes I feel guilty about it. I’m not vegetarian simply because it’s easier not to be. But, as I came to realize on today’s run, I’m still doing something. Just because I’m not 100% whatever label doesn’t mean that I’m not making a difference in my own health. Something is better than nothing.

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13 Responses to Forks Over Knives

  1. I think that eating any way that works for you is the best way to eat. :) I do think though that most of Americans subside on the SAD because they maybe don’t realize that there are tasty ways to eat meatless meals, and that cutting back on meat consumption makes a huge impact on health & the environment.

  2. I’m excited to see Forks over Knives. Its definitely telling that Jason ordered a vegetarian meal after. I totally agree with your assessment that doing something is better than nothing – its hardly ever an all or nothing situation. :)

  3. I want to see Forks over Knives. I read and watch anything I can on the subject of food and diet. I’m actually one of those strange vegetarians that thinks we were meant to eat meat. I just can’t do it for my own personal reasons. I think we are supposed to eat it responsibly and in a humane way. I think mass farming and eating as much meat as you can on a daily basis is wrong and not the way we were intended to eat. My boys all eat meat, but they eat vegetarian most of the time. We need to vary our diets and I do (as do the boys) feel better since vegetables are the basis of our diets.

  4. You’re absolutely doing something good for you body and for the environment. It certainly doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation :)

    I eat in a very similar way although I do eat other meat occasionally. It’s partially because like you I really enjoy the social aspect of eating out and with friends and I want to be able to join in. Another reason is that I have tried a vegan diet in the past and I just didn’t feel well. I do believe that vegan and vegetarian diets can work for many people, however, my health and happiness are highest when I ‘m eating a bit of animal products now and then :)

    It’s so great that Jason was inspired to think more about his diet. My husband actually started to change the way he eats because he read the China Study. I agree that it’s a bit to scientific for the general public. My favorite book on the subject that is really approachable (and Jason may like) is Food Matters by Mark Bittman. He’s awesome :)

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend and kudos on your run! :)

  5. Great review! I can’t wait to see this one. It may be my Monday activity!

    How was the Thai place? If it’s the one I thinking of, I’ve been by it 1000 times and never tried it out.

  6. I agree with your thoughts. I think if you eat the RIGHT meats prepared the RIGHT way, the proteins and vitamins you get from meat can be very beneficial. I was a vegetarian for quite a while. When I got pregnant, I started back eating shellfish and chicken/turkey a few times a week. To be honest, I feel better than I did eating a full veg diet. I buy organic meats and prepare them at home (for the most part) or I get them baked/grilled out at restaurants. The dinner looks very yummy

  7. “Something is better than nothing.” INDEED!

  8. Great post, Lee! I want to see this movie and am wondering if it’ll have a similar effect on my boyfriend (who still eats meat). I recently started eating fish again because the pure-vegetarian thing was affecting my energy levels, my hair was thinning more than usual, etc. and like you, I occasionally feel guilty about it. But you’re right- it doesn’t need to be all or nothing. I also try to avoid processed foods, but the marketed-as-“healthy” ones are pretty tempting.

    • If Jason really wants to become vegetarian, I’m all for it, however, I’d rather him eat a whole foods diet that includes some meat than a junk food vegetarian diet.

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