Ten Documentary Films you Need to Watch this Year

documentary

Who doesn’t love a good documentary? They can really make you think and often raise important questions. Here are ten of the best I’ve watched to date. Consider this Volume 1.

Ten Documentary Films Worth Watching:

1. Earthlings

Earthlings is one of those documentaries that will change the way you look at the world. Made back in 2005, it was and remains truly groundbreaking. It is not the easiest to watch as it exposes some major cruelty that goes on right under our noses. Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix (yes, I had to Google that for spelling!), Earthlings will inspire you to make changes that can benefit your health and the planet. You will find it on Youtube for free.

2. A Plastic Ocean

I recently watched A Plastic Ocean on Netflix. It exposes the shocking truth about the waste being pumped into our oceans on a daily basis and the impact it is having on our sea life. This documentary will certainly make you think twice about every piece of plastic you use and throw away. It doesn’t just disappear.

3. What the Health

Probably one of the most controversial documentaries of 2017, What the Health exposes some serious inconsistencies and misinformation pontificated to us from our health industry. Cancer, diabetes and heart disease organisations are challenged about the advice they give versus the research available. Some shocking conflicts of interest are uncovered. A serious eye-opener. This one is available on Netflix.

4. Cowspiracy

A sister documentary to What the Health, Cowpiracy, executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, deals with the conflicting advice from our Environmental Agencies and the true changes we need to make in order to stop Climate Change and protect the planet. Find it on Netflix.

5. No Impact Man

I love No Impact Man. In this documentary we see Colin Beavan and his wife and daughter spend one year of their lives living with zero impact on the environment.  Watch this Manhattan family gradually give up their T.V., transport, cosmetics, fridge, take-away and packaged foods and much more. See the impact this has on their lives in this inspiring documentary. Colin also wrote a book of the same title about the experience. While an extreme decision, this documentary will show you how easy it is to take smaller steps towards sustainability and how those steps might actually benefit you more than you think. Find it for free on Dailymotion.com.

6. Vegucated

Vegucated is a fun documentary that follows three New Yorkers as they take on a challenge to go vegan for six weeks. We see them go through ups and downs as they thoroughly change their diets and learn to navigate the world as a vegan. Will they make a lasting change? Find it on Netflix.

7. Black Fish 

Black Fish is a documentary that will truly have you on the edge of your seat. Before I watched it I had heard so many people rave about it but I really didn’t think it would be my cup of tea. Turns out I was wrong. This one will bring you on a rollercoaster of emotions and change your perspective on the captivity of our sea life. Available on Netflix.

8. Food Inc.

Food Inc is a great documentary that will open your eyes to the reality of the food industry. Learn about where are food really comes from and what impact it is having in this educational documentary. Available on Netflix.

9. Minimalism

I first watched this documentary almost a year ago. It is truly inspiring. Taking a look at the important things, Minimalism delves beyond our material possessions to a life with less stuff and more meaning. Available on Netflix.

10. The Zeitgeist Trilogy

The documentaries that made me love documentaries! Its quite a while since I watched the Zeitgeist movies. I first saw them back in 2012 when they were available for free on Youtube (the still are). Now you will also find them on Netflix. Undoubtably the first of the three is lower budget and less sleek but still worth a watch. The second and third movies are fantastic so don’t give up if you don’t enjoy the first! These three movies will seriously shake up your view point.

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Yes, that does bring it to approximately 12 movies. You might say that’s one for every month of the year! Grab your popcorn and get started! Let me know what you think of them, I’d love to hear your thoughts on which ones you like most.

Happy Viewing!

The Clean Coconut x

Ten Top Tips for Veganuary and the Vegan Transition

veganuary
Taking on a vegan challenge is probably the very best way to dip your toes into plant based eating and find out what effect it might have on you. I started out by taking The Vegan Society’s 30 Day Vegan Challenge back in July 2017 and I haven’t looked back. If you’ve decided to get stuck into Veganuary this month, here is my best advice to see you through it. Go to veganuary.com to sign up or learn more!

Ten Tips for Veganuary

 

1. Watch Some Vegan Documentaries

Staying in touch with the reasons you are doing Veganuary can help prevent your motivation from wavering. Whether it be for the animals, the environment or your own health, there are plenty of documentaries out there to whet your appetite. Three of my favourites are Earthlings, What the Health and Cowspiracy. There are countless others.

2. Check out Some Vegan Youtubers

If you don’t have the time to sit down and watch a one or two hour long documentary then simply turn to Youtube where you will find plenty of shorter informative videos to keep you on track. Some of my favourite channels for vegan inspiration are Earthling Ed, James Aspey, Bite Size Vegan and NutritionFacts.org. If you’re eager for some longer Youtube documentaries check out The Land of Hope and Glory and Gary Yourofsky’s The Best Speech you will Ever Hear.

3. Read Books

Take a look at The China Study and Dr. Greger’s How Not to Die to learn more about the health benefits of a vegan diet. Other books on veganism that I have on my own reading list include Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and Dead Zone by Philip Lymbery.

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4. Get The Happy Cow App

No matter where you are in the world, The Happy Cow app can help you locate the nearest restaurants, cafés and shops serving vegan food. It even includes user reviews to help you whittle down the recommendations to the ones that will suit you best. If you aren’t going to a place listed on the app I suggest checking out menus online and calling ahead to let the chef know you will need a vegan option.

5. Supplement B12

I like the Better You B12 Spray. Whilst B12 deficiency is not confined to plant based eaters, it is a recommended supplement for those on a vegan diet. B12 comes from bacteria and is supplemented to the animals we eat. In our sanitised world it can be hard to get b12 from plant-based sources so I suggest you do like the cows do and supplement it!


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6. Click into Barnivore.com

Did you know that not all alcohol is vegan? Searching the Barnivore website will help you figure out whether your favourite tipple fits the bill. Thankfully, more often than not it will be vegan.

7. Use the Vegan Calculator

The Vegan Calculator is a great way to see the difference you are making with each day you spend eating a plant based diet. The cumulative effect is incredible.

8. Try New Recipes

Borrow some vegan cookbooks from your local library. I love The Happy Pear cookbooks as well as the (hilarious) Thug Kitchen books. The Vegan Before Six book also has some great plant based recipes although it also includes animal-based recipes too. Borrowing a few from the library will help you discover what ones you like before investing in the best ones. Check out Bosh on Facebook too for easy to follow video recipes. I have a few vegan recipes on the blog which I often make including chocolate chia pudding, chocolate chip cookiesbutternut squash soup, vegan tacos and Indian dahl.

9. Join Vegan Communities on Facebook

The best way to stay on track is to become part of a support network. Maybe you are lucky enough to already have some vegan family or friends. Fortunately there are countless vegan groups on Facebook and I’m sure you’d even find online communities taking part in Veganuary specifically. Simply search vegan groups on Facebook and the most relevant ones will appear. Your own city or town may even have a dedicated group.

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10. Don’t Give Up

Drastically changing your diet over night may not be easy and it may take time for your body to adjust. Check out Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen app to make sure you are getting all the daily nutrition you need and be sure to drink plenty of water to help your body with the change. When you reach the end of Veganuary you will be in a much better position to determine what specific benefits it has had for you! Whilst I obviously prefer a whole-food plant based vegan diet in the long run, there are plenty of vegan “junk foods” to try out during Veganuary. Eating what is familiar may make it easier for you to stick to the challenge. So, if you want a Hob Nob, an Oreo or a packet of King crisps don’t worry! They’re all vegan! Most importantly, remember it will only get easier.

I’m happy to support you on your Veganuary journey so feel free to send on any questions you may have!

Good Luck!

The Clean Coconut x

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Five Books You Should Read in 2018

Books

Welcome to the New Year!

If you’ve resolved to do some more reading in 2018 I have a helping hand to lend.  I read most of these books over the course of 2017 and found them insightful, inspiring and very educational. Here are my top picks for the books you should read in 2018!

1. How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger

This book has probably taught me more about nutrition than any other book I’ve read. In the first half of his book, Dr. Greger takes us, chapter by chapter, through the 15 leading causes of death and discusses the top evidence based research on preventing them. With chapters on heart disease, diabetes, various cancers, liver disease and hypertension, this book is a must read. The second half of the book discusses the ideal diet for preventing a myriad of diseases. And said diet is a lot simpler than you might expect. I first borrowed this book from my local library but soon purchased a hard copy to keep for reference! All of the proceeds from Dr. Greger’s books go straight to charity. A great read and a great gift for those you care about.

2.  Everything that Remains by The Minimalists 

If you’re looking to simplify your life this year, this story might just be the inspiration you need. Going from the self-described “suit and tie corporate guys” to a life of minimalism inspired The Minimalists‘ memoir “Everything that Remains”. It is an easy read that you will swallow up in two or three days, this was one of my favourite books of the year.

3. The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II

The China Study details what has been called the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted. The findings of this twenty year study across China are eye opening. It will undoubtably change the way you eat forever.

4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo 

I was probably a little late to the game in embracing this best-seller, having only gotten round to reading it in 2017. The ultimate spring-cleaning book, this will motivate you beyond belief to get rid of your junk and simplify your space. I think I’ll re-read it myself!

5. The Good Gut by Justin and Erica Sonnenburg

If you’re interested in learning more about whats been dubbed our “second brain” then this is the book for you. Justin and Erica Sonnenburg’s cutting edge research into our microbiome is incredible. While such research is only in its infancy, the discoveries outlined in their book are well worth knowing about. Not only do they take the reader through the leading research conducted at Stanford University’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, they also discuss the implications of their discoveries for our own gut microbiota. They share their advice on how to eat to feed your microbiota and even include some gut-friendly recipes at the back.

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I highly suggest you join your local library this January and make the most of it this year. I’d love to hear your suggestions for books to read in 2018 or your thoughts on any of the above if you have read them!

Happy New Year,

The Clean Coconut x

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