Think outside the {Nature} Box

This is not really a product review. So let’s call it a “product awareness”.

You have probably heard of “Wine of the Month” club or “Cheese of the Month” club or, my favorite, JustFab.com (monthly shoes for $39.95). Well, NatureBox is the health freak cousin of all those clubs.

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NatureBox is a company that wants YOU to make healthier changes to your life. According to their website, the average American eats almost 25% of their calories from snacking! Snacks are one of the first places you should look when you are trying to cut back or lose a few pounds. Snacking is the number one cause of childhood obesity, which puts a child at great risk for becoming obese as an adult.

So, I know you are asking, “Danae, this is awesome. But it is probably really expensive.” Actually…..

For $19.95 per month (w/ FREE shipping), NatureBox will send you a box of 5 of their healthy snack items (15-20 total servings per box, about 5-6 servings per bag). If I wasn’t as broke as  I am, I would definitely join this club! You can also set up a NatureBox delivery schedule for a loved one as a gift!

BUT THAT’S NOT THE BEST PART!

Each box will even contain snack items relative to whatever month you receive the box in. For example, in February, they will send you snack items that will indulge you, with out you indulging in that box of chocolate from Valentine’s Day candy. Or in October, since it starts to get chilly then, NatureBox will send items that will boost your immunity and keep you energized. This really is a cool concept!!

BUT THAT’S NOT THE BEST PART!

NatureBox boasts that their snacks contain (or more don’t contain):

  • No high fructose corn syrup
  • No hydrogenated oils
  • No trans fats
  • No artificial flavors and colorings
  • No artificial sweeteners

Plus, every item in your NatureBox has been nutritionist approved, so you know you aren’t getting a mislabeled product.

BUT THAT’S NOT THE BEST PART!

For every NatureBox that is delivered to any doorstep, NatureBox, in partnership with Feeding America will donate one box to help feed a hungry child. About 14 million children in America go hungry every year. Not only are you helping yourself by choose better quality snacks, but you are helping other Americans eat.

So, don’t waste your calories on empty calories, like soda and Ho-Hos. *In cheesy infomercial voice* Order your NatureBox today!! *Thumbs up, Big smile*

XOXO, Danae

BUT THAT’S NOT THE BEST PART!

Countdown to Graduation: 9 days! (SINGLE DIGITS)

Nutrition in the Movies: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

Here is a another review on a nutrition-related movie!

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead reminds me of Supersize Me, but the opposite. Instead of a somewhat healthy guy trashing his body with fast food, this is a story about  man who was unhealthy and didn’t take care of his body but then got back in shape with the help of changing his eating habits and up-ing the fitness.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, 2010

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, 2010

Joe is very open about his past. He was overweight, an avid steroid user, drank too much alcohol and has urticaria, a chronic rash similar to hives. He decided that he needed to make a change, or his life could be over after just one more cheeseburger! With a juicer and generator in tow, he travels over 3,000 miles over 60 days to get off his pills, lose weight and maintain a balanced life.

Fun Fact: The director and star of this movie, Joe Cross, was actually in the last movie I reviewed, Hungry for a Change.

This Australian man comes to America and plans to go on a juice fast for 60 days. Blending up fruits and vegetables in the back of his SUV in order to cleanse his body and get on the right track. The first month he spends in New York, and the rest of the trip is spent drive from East Coast to West Coast on a journey to better health. He is followed by a doctor and is required to get his blood drawn every 10 days.

When on the streets, Joe would often go up to pedestrians and ask them about diet or ask them what they thought fasting was and I had to laugh at some of these diets people went on. One man said for like four or five years, he only ate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Another guy said he just bought a diet plan for a diet where you can loose 12 lbs in 4 days. This is how he described the diet:

  • Day 1: Nine hotdogs and all the liquids and diet soda you wanted.
  • Day 2: Nine apples and other fruit.
  • Day 3: Nine or Ten hardboiled eggs.
  • Day 4: A mixture of the previous 3 days

There was one time when Joe walks into a pizza place and New York. I felt like I was watching a scary movie. I was yelling at my computer screen screaming, “NO! DON’T GO IN THERE!! IT’S A TRAP!!” But, he walks in there and just looks at the pizza and smells the aroma. He says that normally he would eat two whole pizzas. He manages to make it out without buying anything. Whew!

I liked in this movie how the did have a registered dietitian talking about juicing and fasting.  Juicing is great because you are getting a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals. Juice also hits the blood stream faster, so it gets to your body faster.

“61% of the american diet today is from processed foods. “

By Day 31 of his diet, Joe had lost 47 lbs and reduced his prednisone (a steroid for his skin rash, that also has the side effect of weight gain) by 2.5 mg.

One of the funniest things I heard in this documentary was a larger gentleman on the street was talking about his eating habits and he said he was a “meat and potatoes kind of guy” and the he eats fruits and vegetables in moderation. I thought it was interesting how backwards it was. meat is good because it contains iron and protein, but are we really in a world were people forgo the fruits and vegetables and they are seen as the “enemy”?

There was another girl that said she mainly eats “Pepsi, Mexican and Coke”. When Joe asks her if she ate fruits and vegetables, she said no. When he said “What if I told you eating fruits and vegetables would improve your health, would that change your outlook?” She said no and when he asked why, her answer was, “Because I’m 16.” I see a need in educating the youth on how what they eat when they are young can truly have an affect on them when they get older.

By Day 49, Joe’s total cholesterol went from 204 mg/dL to 135 mg/dL and his LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) went from 132 mg/dL to 86 mg/dL. And, at this point he has lost 20 more pounds since Day 31 and his medication is now at 3.5 mg per day as opposed to 10 mg a day when he started his fast.

This movie not only shows Joe’s path to  a healthier life, but it also sheds light on what people really think about the importance of good nutrition and the affects of healthy eating on lifespan. Joe interviewed several people who were overweight and asked them how long they expected to live if they followed their current diet path. Many said they expect to live to be about 55 years old. One man said 45..and he was a nurse! Many of them said they know they should change, but they mostly likely won’t, because its hard and they have no will power. I thought it was very sad that people are happy living to 60 years old, as long as they can eat their fried chicken and french fries.

By Day 61, Joe Cross had lost 82 pounds and reduced his prednisone prescription to 2.5 mg per day. I really enjoyed looking at his before and after photos. A picture is worth a thousand words, and his pictures truly show it. 2 months after he ended his juice fast, Joe went completely off his medication.

The last 45 minutes or so of the movie then focuses on how Joe helps a truck driver  named Phil, whom Joe met while on the road during his juice fast, get healthy with the help of a 10-day juice cleanse. Phil actually has the same disease that Joe does, plus he is extremely obese. Joe works with him to try and get healthier. It’s quite amazing the changes that happen with Phil, but you should watch this movie to find out for yourself!

I give it 3 out of 4 juices!

I give it 3 out of 4 juices!

Complaint: One of the doctors in the film said a blood pressure of 136/70 was a normal blood pressure. SURVEY SAYS NO! Blood pressure should be under 120/80 mmHg.

The movie does a good job at talking about the difference between macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) versus micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants). It also talks about what can happen if our body doesn’t get enough micronutrients and how that affects the development of diseases, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead can be found on Netflix and Hulu.

Watch the official trailer below! (Trailer is from Joe Cross. Credit goes to him)

Now I don’t suggest that anybody drink juice forever, because your body does need more that that, but this movie has gotten me interested in juicing and doing like a 10-day juice fast. I think it is a healthier way to reboot your body and cleanse you. Joe said in the movie that he actually had more energy by drinking juice and it got him excited to eat fruits and vegetables after his 60 days were up. I think this would be an exciting thing to try! Except for I don’t know how I would feel about giving up my coffee. Maybe I can make a documentary…in Australia  (This movie really makes me want to live in Australia. It looks beautiful!)

XOXO, Danae

Nutrition in the Movies: Hungry for a Change

I recently watched the movie Hungry for a Change, which I found on Netflix.

Hungry for Change, 2012

Hungry for Change, 2012

The basic premise of this documentary is it discusses secrets from all of these different industries (food, diet, weight-loss, advertising) that are used to keep consumers using their products and believing the lies they put into the media.

“As much as 2/3rds of individuals who are on a diet regain MORE weight than when they started.” -UCLA

The people that talk during this movie are not only health professionals, authors and doctors, but many of them have had a history of being overweight/obese, having poor eating habits or had bad perceptions of how or what to eat. These are real stories, not those fake weight loss stories you see on those quick weight loss products infomercials, like Zantrex.

The average American consumes 150+ pounds of sugar/sweeteners each year, according to the USDA. That is like some people eating their body weight in sugar annually!!

In the documentary  they talk about how when humans were in the stage of hunting and gathering, our bodies got used to putting on fat because there was a food shortage. Our bodies are  preparing for the winter months. But nowadays, we have an abundance of food in our society, yet our bodies still crave fat and sugar. We aren’t consuming the right fats and everything we eat is high in calories. They brought up the point that in countries where their main food sources are from homegrown produce and meat, they are getting better nutrition with lower calories, but in America where we have 50 different types of sugary cereal and an entire aisle dedicated to soda, we are in-taking more calories, but not the most nutritious calories. There is a great difference between calories and nutrition. You can be in-taking enough 2200 calories, which is a normal amount of a adults, but they are “empty” calories.

68% of American adults are either overweight or obese.” -The Journal of the American Medicine Association

Even though many Americans may not be starving, the cells and bodies could be starving because they are not consuming what nutrients the body really needs, like vitamins and minerals. All they consume is highly processed and fatty foods. Our bodies crave proper nutrients, but if a person keeps eating the wrong foods, they will continue to eat the wrong things because their body is looking for those vitamins. They will always be hungry. You might be getting fed, but your body isn’t.

Another point that was brought up was about how the manufacturer’s main goal isn’t always to give you a healthy product. They need to sell a product that looks appetizing and will be shelf stable so that way the stores and the manufacturer don’t lose money. If that means telling a few lies and not being truthful on their label, then so be it.

“It is not fat that makes you fat. It’s sugar that makes you fat” -Dr. Christiane Northrup (I agree with this, but fat isn’t totally guilt free either…..)

What I thought was really great about this movie was that they really harped on the fact that diets are temporary and they don’t work. Eating healthy is NOT a diet, it is a lifestyle. Don’t think of changing your eating habits as a diet. When changing your dietary habits, think of it as improving your quality of life and developing new habits.

In summation, this documentary covers a variety of different topics/areas like the psychology behind food, addiction, how America’s lifestyle is related to the rate of obesity, health related diseases, how the food manufacturers think, additives (listed and not listed) in foods, stress and food, the chemical alteration of foods, the affects of food marketing/advertising on consumers and foods that are appropriate for detoxing the body (and no, its not the Master Cleanse!).

If I had a dollar for every time someone made a comparison of food to some sort of drug (cocaine, smoking) or alcohol, I would have like 60 dollars!! But I think they are right. Food is right up there with becoming addiction alongside cocaine, alcohol and smoking. In our world, food is becoming a drug.

I also liked the fact that they interviewed people who have  higher education in nutrition, but was disappointed none had an RD, LDN behind their name.

I won’t give to much away, but you should really watch it for yourself, and maybe recommend it to a friend! I give in 3 1/2 out of 4 apples!

3.5 out of 4 apples!

3.5 out of 4 apples!

I liked the message behind the movie, but I also think that there needs to be a bigger change than just with ourselves. Food companies and marketing companies are just as much of the problem as our eating habits are to ourselves. We need a makeover.

Watch the official trailer below.

(Trailer is from Food Matters production. Credit goes to them)

Just a movie to get you thinkin’….

XOXO, Danae

P.S. Happy first official day of spring!!