Leading a healthy lifestyle can be hard in this day and age. With fast food so cheap and readily available and processed foods increasingly finding their way into people’s diets, it can be difficult to make healthy decisions.
That’s the motivation behind Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, a documentary that follows filmmaker Joe Cross as he makes the life-changing decision to confront being overweight and his failing health. In the film, Cross sheds his former habits of eating pretty much anything he pleased to a strict, juice-based diet, which leads to an incredible transformation.
The film will be shown as part of the first Earthsave Whistler Summer Movie Series on Sunday (June 17) at 7 p.m. at the Squamish Adventure Centre.
Mirroring Cross’s tale is that of Squamish-based nutritionist and author Adam Hart, who will also be at the screening to take part in a question-and-answer period after the film.
“I have a history of being very unhealthy — I was pre-diabetic, overweight and suffered from depression,” said Hart, who is originally from Toronto. “Then I discovered the mountains, moved out to be B.C. and got into rock climbing. So it was through training to become a mountain guide that I discovered food and my performance in the mountains and I began looking into nutrition.”
From there, Hart transformed his body and life and today runs The Power of Food, a local nutrition information company.
“I’ve reversed every ailment and disease I’ve had,” Hart said. “I used to have food allergies, high cholesterol and was diagnosed with attention deficit-hyper disorder and the amazing thing that happened is that it changed pretty quickly. When I got into nutrition my cholesterol dropped and the whole scare of being diabetic went away as a result.”
According to Hart, educating yourself on nutrition and then following through with healthy choices is perhaps the most important change a person can make when it comes to key life decisions.
“I think nutrition is the cornerstone to our ability to lead a happy existence, to wake up every single morning and feel abundantly healthy and happy,” Hart said. “Obviously quality sleep, hydration, exercise are also important factors, but without nutrition you won’t see nearly as many benefits.”
As for his own diet, Hart said his philosophy is based on trying to eat his food as alive as possible.
“So that consists mainly of plant-based foods… I talk in my book (e3 for Life) about how 80 per cent of my diet comes from living food and that’s the nuts and seeds, legumes and vegetables. And the other 20 per cent — I’m still able to go to the Longhorn and have chicken wings and a beer if I want to,” he said.
Hart said once people commit to a new lifestyle and begin seeing the benefits that come from healthy eating, the desire to eat processed and junk food tends to diminish.
“That’s the beauty of it. As you increase the amount of living foods in your diet, you don’t really want to have much to do with the bad anymore because you feel so good. So it’s just a process of eliminating those foods,” he said.
Hart said juicing is a method that may also work for those looking for quick results.
“(The film) is definitely an entertaining look at bringing plant-based food into your diet and you can see some amazing results pretty quickly,” Hart said. “Once you start juicing it makes you feel so good that you commit to doing it.”