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Category Archive: Film, TV, & Video

Here are all the SuperVegan blog posts categorized under Film, TV, & Video. XML

  1. Chef AJ wants you to stop eating junk! The chef and cooking instructor battled her own body, and the food she was putting in it, until illness finally forced her to take her health into her own hands. In addition to teaching Los Angelenos how to prepare healthy food, she puts out weekly recipe videos with Julieanna Hever, called The Chef and the Dietitian. Chef AJ took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to give me the skinny on her cookbook, Unprocessed.

    Chef AJ, health-wise, you’ve had more than your fair share of challenges: You were overweight, then anorexic, then obese; you developed adult onset asthma; your spine was crushed in an accident and you were paralyzed and in a body cast for a year; you contracted a life-threatening lung and liver infection on your honeymoon; you suffered from panic disorder and agoraphobia and didn’t leave the house for over a year; you had several miscarriages, and the first pregnancy resulted in complications that required surgery; and you had several large, bleeding colon polyps. You were a hot mess! But you turned it all around by changing your diet. How difficult was it to go from having 32 oz. Coke Slurpees with eight pumps of vanilla for breakfast and 48 oz. Big Gulp Dr. Peppers for lunch to eating unprocessed, whole, plant-based foods?

    While it was difficult initially, I’m quite sure that if I’d let the polyps progress into full-blown cancer, it would have been far more difficult. Also, I had help. I went to the Optimum Health Institute [in San Diego], where I was able to detox without having the pressure of being at work at the same time. So while I did go through some withdrawal, I was in an environment where I was actively learning about what foods caused disease and being nourished with the foods that could reverse the disease.

    How did you find the Optimum Health Institute?

    I had a magazine of discount vacations, and it was the cheapest place I could find to go ($875 for a whole week). I had no idea it was a healing center and that I would have to put wheatgrass up my butt!!

    Sounds like fun!

    You say you’d rather see people eat 90% vegan and 90% unprocessed than 100% vegan and 10% unprocessed. Living in New York, it’s easy to be a junk food vegan; there are so many restaurants, bakeries and other goodies at our fingertips. What do you think poses the biggest challenge for people, eating plant-based or eating unprocessed? Continue Reading…

  2. Gettin' Vegucated!

    Gettin’ Vegucated!

    What are you doing Thursday night? Attending the glittering U.S. premiere of the new documentary VegUcated, right?

    Vegucated is a feature-length documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. After years of filming and working on this project, filmmaker Marisa Miller Wolfson is launching the film right here in her home town of New York with special guests and scrumptious food.

    Says Marisa, “I promise more laughs than tears to people coming out to the premiere, and we’ll have some of the best eats that NYC chefs have to offer. Without the support of the awesome NYC veg community, we would have no film. I hope people come out to celebrate and see what they helped bring into the world!”

    There’s a red carpet reception at 6:45 for folks with special tickets, film at 8, and after party till 11 with cast and crew. Tickets range from $15-$150. Details and ticket levels here.

    When: Thursday, Oct. 13th
    What: Red carpet reception at 6:45; film at 8:00; after party till 11:00
    Where: SVA Theatre, 333 W. 23rd Street, btn 8 & 9 Aves
    How much? $15-$150
    More info.

    Go Marisa! Congratulations. Let’s get Vegucated, New York!

  3. “The Whale” is a wonderful documentary screening at Cinema Village now until September 29th. The directors, Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit, are attending question and answer sessions after screenings.

    Amiably narrated by actor Ryan Reynolds, “The Whale” tells the story of Luna, a young orca who found himself abandoned in the remote coastal waters of British Columbia. In need of family, this intrepid two year-old killer whale adopted the people of a tiny town in Nootka Sound. He was pretty aggressive at first. To get attention, Luna would dance upside-down with his tail flapping in the air, he’d bump against the side of boats then present his nose for petting, eye-balling friends with open curiosity.

    Mostly, the locals fell in love and warmly responded to Luna’s demands. People would seek him out to offer pets and adoration, and the occasional throw-the-floatie-thingy-while-Luna-tosses-it-back game. Continue Reading…

  4. We just got an e-mail from Michael Greger, M.D., indefatiguable advocate for animal-friendly, evidence-based education and awareness on issues of nutrition and public health. He’s one of those people who seems to work more hours than there are in a day, and all of his work is good.

    He wrote to tell us about his new website, NutritionFacts.org. Already preloaded with 288 videos excised from his Latest in Clinical Nutrition DVD series, starting on Monday, August 22nd, he’ll be adding a new video every day for at least one year. And he’s not taking weekends off. (Keep in mind that he’s doing this on top of his day job as Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at HSUS.)

    Here’s the intro video for the project:

    In addition to starting from a pro-animal baseline, Dr. Greger is unfailingly pro-science and pro-evidence–links to the original research cited accompany each video. He’ll undoubtably piss off many folks who are more faith-based in matters of medicine and nutrition, and I’m A-OK with that. I totally love it when Dr. Greger dispenses such truisms as “never believe anything you read in health food stores” (in a video about the harmfulness of kombucha) and dismisses homeopathy as useless. His “snake oil” category is totally great.

    Now, Dr Greger also has lots of positive things to say, and it’s great when they’re about things I already like–say peanut butter or vinegar.

    Putting well-indexed information on the internet is one of the best, most responsible things anyone can do in our day and age. This site sure beats the old format of hiding all this material away in DVDs. And whether you love tagclouds or hate ‘em, there’s no question that NutritionFacts.org’s is awe-inspiring. There’s a lot of stuff here, and there will be lots more.

    I’m not much of a video guy myself–I’d prefer to read these as text, with relevant charts and figures included. But I know that a lot of folks do like videos, so, OK. For what it’s worth, most of the videos posted thus far seem to consist of Dr Greger narrating over images of the documents cited. So it seems pretty safe to listen without watching.

    The site is totally noncommercial, funded by the Jesse & Julie Rasch Foundation, a Canadian “venture philanthropy” organization I’d never heard of before.

    Dr Greger says he’ll “take research requests, respond to comments, and answer any questions anyone has.” My topic request? Cleanses. I’d love to hear his take on whether regimens like the Master Cleanse healthy, harmless, or harmful.

    Anyways, go check out NutritionFacts.org. It’s awesome!

  5. Sure, go with her if you must, but I can think of so many better ways...

    Sure, go with her if you must, but I can think of so many better ways…

    Ellen DeGeneres (the brand, if not the woman) recently launched a Going Vegan with Ellen site, to acclaim from such varied vegan media outlets as Vegan.com and VegNews. Those folks may like it, but I don’t!

    The site probably will help some people be vegan (or closer to vegan), and may in the ultimate balance save some animals. But it’s still a squandered opportunity when you think how much of an effect it could have if it wasn’t so terrible. Ellen’s got a big audience. Imagine how much better the world could be if she gave them a great website instead of this mess.

    First problem, it seems to equate “going vegan” with adopting a vegan diet. If you can find any mention of non-dietary aspects of veganism on there, please let me know. You know–leather, ingredients in non-food products, avoiding products tested on animals (like, ahem, Cover Girl), etc.

    And it’s a godawful website. The visual design is clunky and unbalanced. The interface is atrocious, breaking what little content the site has is into numerous pieces, requiring dozens of clicks to see information that would make more sense on one page. But, hey, clicks are what you sell ads against!

    They manage to cram in some really intrusive ads, too, via tactics like putting them in place of slides in slideshows. And to crown all other sins, they use Tynt, the copy/paste jerks, and Kontera, the useless mouseover popup jerks. And I have a special prize for anyone who can find me someone who likes the fucking Meebo Bar as an end-user. Any visitor with the slightest bit of self respect will run away screaming before they get to any meaningful content.

    It doesn’t seem like much of a site for fans of Ellen, either. I couldn’t find any content by Ellen, quoting Ellen, or directly relating to Ellen’s own experiences as a vegan. The Getting Started page would be a great place to hear from Ellen about how she got started on her vegan diet, or at least a few peppy quotes. Instead, we’re mired in a longish and vague chunk of text offering such expertly copyedited advice as “Go to your grocery store and load up on granola (read the labels to make sure they’re vegan) granola…” Sigh.

    If Ellen’s goal is to make the maximum number of people go vegan, or even adopt a vegan diet, this site is a poor effort for someone with her resources. She would have done better to just make one page with links to already existing quality vegan websites. I wouldn’t pick on an individual or a mom & pop site for the design issues, but AOL and/or Time Warner know exactly what they’re doing. And I think they’re jerks for it. And good luck finding the infernal thing via Ellen’s main site.

    Also, this is the most useless recipe ever. (And I promise I’m not just saying that because it’s attributed to Kathy Freston.)

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