“That Sugar Film”

that sugar filmIt probably wasn’t the best idea to watch this documentary just a few days before one of the most sugar-laden holidays of the year.

On the other hand, I will definitely be more conscious about how much sugar I eat and will hopefully avoid a huge sugar hangover—that slightly sick, tired, yucky feeling I get after eating too many sweet foods.

That Sugar Film is one of several sugar documentaries that have come out recently that attempt to show us just how bad sugar is for our health.

Related story from Time: Sugar is definitely toxic, a new study saysContinue reading

Hospice and Palliative Care Month

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month!

I am a huge supporter of hospice and palliative care, but I think it’s underutilized in our health care system.

So to help inform and increase awareness, here are some of my favorite books and DVDs on the topic.

Ken Burns films “Emperor of All Maladies”

I read a lot of medical and nursing history, and I loved the Pulitzer-prize winning book “Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD.

And I love the PBS films by Ken Burns, such as The Civil War and Baseball.

So I was excited to find out that Ken Burns has produced a new PBS documentary based on the book. The six-hour special, Emperor of All Maladies, will air in three, two-hour parts on March 30. March 31, and April 1.

For more about the book, here’s the … Continue reading

Death with Dignity – “How to Die in Oregon”

death with dignity Facing end-of-life choices

There have been a lot of news stories in recent weeks about a young woman, Brittany Maynard, and her choice to end her life with support from Oregon’s Death with Dignity law.

Diagnosed with advanced brain cancer, Ms. Maynard actually moved with her husband to Oregon so she could establish residency and take advantage of the law.

She originally planned her death for last Saturday, November 1. Last I heard she was thinking of rescheduling, because she was still finding joy in living. I don’t know if she ended her life or not on Saturday, but when … Continue reading

“American Addict”

american addictA uniquely American public health crisis

Last weekend I finally watched a film that has been sitting in my Netflix queue for some time. American Addict, produced by a physician, Gregory Smith, MD, is a well-made, informative and compelling documentary about America’s drug culture.

I don’t mean dope and crack and methamphetamine. I’m talking about the overuse and abuse of prescription drugs—pain pills, sleeping pills, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and stimulants.

It’s a public health crisis that is costing this country billions of dollars in health care costs, health insurance fraud, criminal activity, local and federal drug enforcement, loss of employment … Continue reading

Yoga DVDs for beginners

yoga dvds for beginnersStay healthy – Yoga for flexibility and strength

I believe yoga is a great form of exercise to fend off the loss of strength and flexibility we all experience with age.

When the muscles of our legs, arms and back are strong and flexible, our joints are stronger, too, and less prone to injury.

Related post: Yoga for knee injuries

I’ve tried different yoga classes and styles, but I’m not really interested in yoga fads (hot yoga, anyone?) or mastering a particular style. I just want the basics.

For the last few years I’ve relied on my DVD of Barbara … Continue reading

Nutrition is key: “Food, Inc.”

nutrition is keySupermarkets can be scary

Today is Halloween, and I just watched the most terrifying movie!  😯

No, it wasn’t Carrie or Paranormal Activity 4. It was Food, Inc., an exposé of America’s food industry—the multinational, fast-food and junk-food-supporting, animal-abusing, politically-subsidized conglomerations that produce the majority of our food products.

The film maker, Robert Kenner, points out that the average supermarket contains 47,000 items, but most are made by just a handful of giant corporations, such as Coca Cola, Tyson or Proctor & Gamble.

These megacompanies keep hidden some pretty nauseating industry practices. Perhaps they think we are too ignorant … Continue reading

“Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”

dvd fat sick nearly deadSometimes drastic change is required

Last night I watched a truly inspiring documentary, a testament to the power of a healthy diet.

Fat Sick & Nearly Dead chronicles Australian filmmaker Joe Cross’s journey to health. Fat, fortyish, and suffering from an autoimmune disease, Joe spends 60 days traversing America. But no fast food stops for Joe—his mission is to drink only fresh fruit and vegetable juice (he travels with his own juicer) for the entire 60 days. Joe believes fasting on juice will allow his body to heal from the inside out.

We all know the typical American diet (and … Continue reading

Got a craving?

In another bit of good news this week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that Americans are actually eating less fast food. Since 2006, an American adult’s total daily calories from fast food has dropped from 12.8% to 11.3%.

This number, although small, surprised me. It is no secret that America is in an obesity epidemic; more than one-third of adults meet the definition of obesity with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. In children, the obesity rate is about 15%.

Obesity is tied to all sorts of chronic health problems such as heart disease, … Continue reading