I finally saw Forks Over Knives this week. It's a movie about how eating the right foods can reverse disease and save your life.
The message is simple: You are not doomed to a life of disease, even if it runs in your family. You have the power over what you put into your body. And, if you choose the right foods, particularly by following a plant-based (or as firefighter Rip Esselstyn puts it, "plant-strong") diet, you can avoid and reverse many diseases.
As a physician, the part I found interesting was observing Dr. Matt Lederman of the Exsalus Wellness Center conselling patients. The Exsalus Wellness Center, based in Los Angeles, is run by Dr. Lederman and his wife Dr. Alona Pulde. Their approach to health includes a plant-based diet. I think the concept of a wellness center is pretty cool. From hearing Dr. Lederman speak, I understand that he spends two hours of time with a patient for a new consultation. And, the patients who come to Exsalus are in many ways self-motivated -- as Exsalus does not directly accept insurance, the patients who are there have directly sought out Drs. Pulde and Lederman.
I'm a bit envious of them -- I'd love to have two hours to spend with each new patient. And I'd love to have a patient population eager to soak up knowledge about a plant-based diet. But, perhaps that's part of the challenge of what I do. While many patients seek me out knowing my approach to patient care, many see me by default because they are sent to me by their primary care physician.
Nonetheless, I think that the message of self-determination can ring true in just about any patient. When given the option, "I can give you a pill for this, or we can try to reverse this with diet and exercise," most patients will choose the latter option. And, this is an opportunity to get across to patients that they CAN change their lives just by what they choose to eat.
Forks Over Knives is one powerful movie -- it can change your life. No joke.