Using the Power of Film to Change the Definition of Medicine
Each and every one of us in the healing diet community is part of a grassroots movement, changing the way we treat chronic illness. When we see the connection between the choices we make and how we feel, we’re no longer victims to our illness but rather partners in our healing. This documentary is sharing this information with the masses.
Lenore and Mark Eklund both have careers in film and actually met working at FOX animation. When Lenore found that her Crohn’s disease medication made her feel worse instead of better, her husband encouraged her to try the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). The results were so dramatic that it inspired this film. However, the documentary isn’t about her personal journey. Instead, it follows the lives of three people just beginning to embark on a healing diet. One tries the paleo autoimmune protocol, one tries SCD, and another tries 80/20 paleo. We see the dramatic positive impact these dietary changes have, but also the great challenges they face as they try to eat healthily in today’s food culture. As we all know, it’s not easy.
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- Intro (0:00)
- Thank You to our Podcast Sponsor – Paleo on the Go (1:35)
- A frozen meal delivery service, they have a large menu of items for the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP).
- Use the code PHOENIX for 10% off your first order.
- Meet the Director, Lenore Eklund (2:36)
- Lenore is a professional film director, and her husband is a professional producer and sound editor. They met working at an animation studio in LA, and have been creating documentaries together since 2011.
- Lenore was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2000. She was put on a number of medications, including high-dose steroids, and unfortunately ended up feeling worse instead of better. Seven years later, she decided to stop all medication, and she continue to have intermittent flares. In 2013, she was flaring but had to wait 6 months to get a colonoscopy. Her husband talked her into trying the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The results were so dramatic that by the time she saw the doctor, her colonoscopy showed a healthy colon. Through the reintroduction process, Lenore has learned the grains, sugar and nightshades are her biggest triggers; as long as she avoids them, she feels well.
- Meet the Stars of the Documentary (8:37)
- Amanda is a young, single woman with rheumatoid arthritis who tried the paleo autoimmune protocol at the start of the documentary and was experimenting with veganism at the end. Her greatest challenge was integrating the AIP into her social life.
- Sabina is a working mother with ulcerative colitis. She tried the Specific Carbohydrate Diet at the beginning of the documentary and had transitioned to strict paleo (no dairy) by the end. Her biggest challenge was the time commitment of cooking every meal.
- Adam works a high-stress 50+ hours/week job. He suffers from many of the health problems of modern life: obesity, pre-diabetes, hypertension, heart palpitations, and acid reflux. His goal was an 80/20 paleo diet. The biggest challenge for him was sticking to it, when convenience foods are so much easier.
- Lenore intentionally chose people just starting out, to show the struggles alongside the successes. She wanted to show “real life” on a healing diet.
- The Importance of Support (15:29)
- Why the Paleo Label is Avoided in the Documentary (21:34)
- This documentary is aimed at mainstream American. For a lot of people, simply increasing their fresh vegetable intake is a radical notion. Lenore sees healing through food as a personal journey, with many steps. She didn’t want to intimidate or exclude people by prescribing one diet for everyone. Instead, she let the real food message show through scenes of farmers markets, home cooking, shopping expeditions, reading labels, interviews with experts, and showing the health benefits possible.
- A Grassroots Movement to Change Food Culture (24:51)
- The Food As Medicine documentary clearly shows the challenges of modern food culture, where unhealthy foods are abundant, convenient and cheap.
- The hope lies in new businesses and social programs, trying to change this. Some of the ones featured in the documentary are: Dick’s Kitchen, Brooklyn House Restaurant, My Street Grocery, and Adelante Mujares. If you want to keep track of this movement, follow Food As Medicine on Facebook, where she routinely shares inspiring food programs worldwide.
- Education by Health Experts (35:07)
- The documentary also educates on everything from nutrient-density, to the microbiome, to epigenetics, helping people understand why and how our food choices impact our health.
- It includes interviews with Terry Wahls, Sarah Ballantyne, Kent Thornberg, and many other educators, nutritionists and healthcare professionals.
- Behind the Scenes – Making a Documentary (39:45)
- Step 1 – Create a general outline for the film.
- Step 2 – Find your stars.
- Step 3 – Start filming and see where the movie takes you.
- Step 4 – 800 hours of film footage, edited down to 87 minutes for the actual movie.
- Step 5 – Screening the film for focus groups to help choose the “final cut”.
- Step 6 – Kickstarter campaign, to help fund the finished product.
- Lenore was the director and visionary.
- Her husband Mark was the producer and sound editor.
- Jennifer Beaudoin was the associate producer.
- They hired a composer and animator for the final product.
- Where Can You See the Film? (47:23)
- Update 2/8/17: It’s now available through Amazon.com streaming video. You can watch free with Amazon Prime, or simply rent or buy a copy if you aren’t a Prime member.
- Online through FMTV
- They’re also working on other distribution channels. Follow their website for updates: Foodasmedicinethemovie.com
- Announcement (53:20)
- Outro (53:46)
- You can follow Lenore through her website: Food As Medicine The Movie. She’s also active on Facebook.
- Eileen (your podcast host) is the author of multiple books, written to help people thrive with autoimmune disease. Learn more on the Books Page.
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- Check out the entire archive of podcast episodes.
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