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3 Movies That Changed My Life

Movies That Inspire Change

An invitation to family and friends.

You’re all invited to my house for a movie night!

You bring the snacks and I’ll bring the movies.

When I think about movies that have inspired me or even going as far as saying movies that were life changing it's not fitness that comes to mind. It's food. It's nutrition, health care and a plant based diet. In late 2011 and early 2012 I watched 3 movies and I never looked at nutrition, food, health care and the food industry the same way again. Knowledge is power, right? Click the image to watch the trailers.

Movies that inspire [cue the Rocky theme song]. Wait, not that kind of movie.

When I think about movies that have inspired me or even going as far as saying movies that were life changing it’s not fitness that comes to mind. It’s food. It’s nutrition, health care and a plant based diet.

In late 2011 and early 2012 I watched 3 movies and I never looked at nutrition, food, health care and the food industry the same way again.

Knowledge is power, right?

How did the movies change my life?

  • I was empowered to make educated and informed decisions about nutrition.
  • I had more knowledge about food production and the food industry.
  • I began to question why my doctor never discussed nutrition as part of treatment.
  • I changed my diet and reaped the benefits physically (aka no migraines that often ended in a trip to the emergency room).
  • I challenged and changed my old way of thinking about food.
  • I realized how enormous the role of food is on how we look, feel and perform.
  • I questioned why doctors are so quick to write a prescription.

Food, Inc.

This powerful film changed the way millions of Americans eat.

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead

An inspiring film that chronicles Joe Cross’ personal mission to regain his health. 100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn’t end well— with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn’t far behind.

Forks Over Knives

A thought provoking movie that examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.

Everyone should watch these movies!

Not so much to become a vegetarian, or take on any other label for that matter, but to be informed and to be open to the possibility that your current way of thinking may be challenged.

I would love to chat:

Have you ever watched a movie that was literally life changing? Have you ever watched a movie that changed your thinking? What is the most inspiring movie you’ve ever watched?

Looking for movies that inspire fitness? Watch:

Unbreakable The Western Sates 100 (watch the trailer)

Feature-length film by JourneyFilm’s JB Benna that details the 2010 race between ultrarunning greats, Hal Koerner, Geoff Roes, Tony Krupicka, and Kilian Jornet as well as race founder Gordy Ainsleigh.

UltraMarathon Man: 50 Marathons, 50 States, 50 Days (watch the trailer)

The inspirational documentary about Dean Karnazes’, UltraMarathon Man, quest to run 50 marathons in 50 States in 50 Days.

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111 Comments

  1. I love this post and I am going to have to watch Food INc when I get a minute as it looked real informative. I made the switched about 5 months ago now & am eating clean – no processed food, no eating out, etc & it has been the best decision i ever made – I feel so much better so I know this kid of info is legit 😉

  2. Many of my friends tell me about the food inc one and how much it’s changed their lives. I must watch them to see what I think – would love a blogger movie night though!

  3. I haven’t seen any of these but I need to check them out. I think they’d be important to share with teens

  4. I haven’t seen these movies, but I believe they changed many people’s life. There’re certain movies in a certain way and level change people’s life, either physical or spiritual.

  5. You’ve certainly piqued my curiosity about these three films. I think I am going to have to watch them for myself and see what all the hype is about.

  6. I became a vegetarian after watching Food, Inc. in 2010. Great post. I agree that everyone should watch these movies. I also think everyone should read Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food.”

  7. My husband and I watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. It certainly was a game changer for us. We have seen lots of other mini documentaries and have decided to take control of our food; raising chickens, edible landscaping (apples, pears, grapes, blueberries, pomegranates, lemons) and Tower Gardens to produce our vegetables. Our health has never been better. I’m going to suggest he and I watch the other two films too. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I saw Fed Up which I gather is pretty similar to these. It’s amazing really when you think about how most people have not idea at all what they are putting into their bodies and feeding their children.

  9. I’ve seen Food, Inc. but not the other two. I’ll have to check those out soon as Food, Inc. was eye opening!

  10. I’ve only heard about the first one. It’s amazing how, if done right, a documentary can be used to share an important message.

  11. I can’t wait to watch McFarland, heard it’s rally good. Oh and Unbroken is on my to-watch list as well.

    1. Hi Christine! Unbroken is such a good movie. It will make you want to run and keep running. Let me know if you watch it 🙂

  12. Forks over Knives was a fascinating movie. I haven’t seen the others, though, but they’re on my list. It’s so scary to think the US is just getting fatter and sicker. Recently the Theory of Everything was inspiring to me. Stephen Hawking is incredible.

    1. Hi Whitney, after watching the movies it’s no wonder why we’re such an unhealthy country.

      Theory of Everything is on my to watch soon list.

  13. I agree. Those movies are life changers. I need to watch them again to REMIND me of those emotions/feelings. 🙂

    1. That’s one of the great things about the movies Rachel, they come with a myriad of feelings and emotions!

  14. I really want to see all three of these, but I’ve been so hesitant! I already eat a plant based diet for ethical reasons, I know those movies will reinforce my beliefs, but I fear they will also make me really, really sad!

    1. The movies come with a myriad of emotions. Sad, scary, disbelief, anger and inspiration all rolled into one. Let me know if you decide to watch any or all of them. Fat Sick and Nearly Dead might be the safest emotionally.

    1. Hi Sue, if you’re a Dean Karnazes fan you’ll love 50-50-50. Let me know if you watch it and what you think. I would be a great treadmill movie.

  15. for me it was definitely SUPER SIZE ME back in the day.

    1. That seems to be a favorite for many! I haven’t eaten fast food in years (unless you count Chipotle) but I’m now convinced I need to watch Supersize Me. My kids would live on fast food if I let them. Maybe we should make it a family Super Size movie night.

  16. These are fantastic movies! I teach health and physical education and I show some of the parts of these movies to my students and I feel like they hit home better than any other educational video or training tool. This is a great post! Thanks for reminding me!

  17. These are all great for making people really think about what they are eating. I also enjoyed Super Size me. They really give you something to think about while your watching them and after.

    1. Hi Renee. I haven’t eaten fast food in years (unless you count Chipotle) but I’m now convinced I need to watch Supersize Me. My kids would live on fast food if I let them. Maybe we should make it a family Super Size movie night.

  18. I love Food Inc and Forks over Knives. They made me more aware of the food industry and do my research before supporting certain food products/companies.

    1. The food industry and the affects on the country that people aren’t even aware of fascinate (and anger) me. Most people would be so surprised if they only knew.

  19. i don’t think i’ve watched a movie that has profoundly changed my life but i’ve read a ton of books that have. michael pollan’s “the omnivore’s dilemma”, malcolm x, to kill a mockingbird. all life changing and educating in different ways! i love this post!

    1. Thanks so much Courtney! I challenge you to watch the movies and NOT have it affect the way you eat and how you think about nutrition 🙂

  20. I’ve wanted to see these movies for a long time, alas I never have. Maybe this weekend.

    1. Happy to share Michele. Let me know if you decide to watch any of them. I’d love to hear what you think.

  21. I tend to be more of a book person than a movie person, but if it doesn’t warm up here soon, I’m going to need to hit a treadmill and watch some movies! I definitely want to see Forks over Knives.

    1. Unbroken is a perfect treadmill movie! Let me know if you decide to watch any of the movies.

  22. I’ve seen both Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Food Inc. Both were very eye opening. I will have to check the other one out as it is always good to know about the food we are eating and how we can improve our diets.

    1. Hi Sharon, let me know if you decide to watch Forks Over Knives. I’d love to know what you think.

  23. I haven’t seen any of these. Actually, I should have watched Unbroken this morning while I spent just over 4 hours on the treadmill – I keep forgetting!!

    1. 4 hours! Yikes! Unbroken is an awesome movie. It makes you want to run and just keep running. An ultimate test of endurance and elite performance.

  24. Food, Inc is a really powerful movie – great pick! It definitely opened my eyes to the way food is produced, and it changed my way of thinking about what I choose to eat.

    I’ve never heard of Forks Over Knives, but it looks great. I have to add it to my list of movies to see soon. I do agree that there is a relationship between animal-based/processed foods and diseases. I’m looking forward to checking this movie out! =)

    1. Hi Shannon, let me know if you watch Forks Over Knives. I’d love to hear what you think.

  25. Food Inc. was so good. It really changed how I looked at the food I eat

    1. Hi Heather. Let me know if you decide to watch any of the others. I’d love to know what you think.

  26. I’ve heard of all of these but just haven’t watched them yet. Perhaps this weekend I will! I’m kind of scared at the same time though lol but the more educated we are the better.

    1. It is a little scary Patty to realize what you’re watching is happening. Let me know if you decide to watch them.

  27. I think one of the movies that really was life changing for me was “Stand and Deliver”. Although not fitness or health related it changed the way I saw myself as it related to my chosen career of teaching. As a teacher I have the power to influence the future and change how a young person sees themselves and the world around them. That movie did that for me!

    1. I haven’t seen that movie Stephanie but it sounds like a good one. I’m a psychologist that contracts with a school district and I have the utmost respect for good teachers. It takes a special person to teach kids.

  28. i’ve only seen “fat, sick and nearly dead” I really liked it. I do need to watch the other two at some point…and probably SuperSize me. haven’t seen that yet either.

  29. OOoo, Jill. I didn’t even think about movies about nutrition for today’s post. I’ve seen these movies and LOVE them. All have definitely shaped my thinking when it comes to nutrition!

    1. Hi Jen, do you have any recommendations for others? I’ve watched many similar movies but those 3 stood out for me.

  30. I always think of fitness movies but nutrition based movies are defnitely mind changers!! I watched Supersize Me and it definitely pulled me away from fast food chains.

    1. Nutrition came to mind first! Supersize Me is a favorite of many! I need to watch it. I haven’t eaten fast food in years (unless you count Chipotle) but my kids would live on it if I let them. Maybe we should make it a family Super Size movie night.

  31. Hi Jill! This post comes at the RIGHT time for me, as I’ve seen very few documentaries and would love to learn more about the food industry and how we are affected by what we eat. I will absolutely be looking for these on Netflix soon. Let’s see if I can get my husband to watch too … 🙂

    1. Hi Ashley, I’d love to know what you think if you decide to watch any of the movies. Hubs watched them with me and he was surprised by how much it affected him. He made big changes too!

  32. That’s interesting to hear how changing your diet affected your health in so many different ways. I’ve been suffering from migraines too, so I’m definitely interested in this. Do you know what changes you made helped cure your migraines?

    1. Hi Tricia. It may have been a combination of things that eliminated the migraines but the biggest change was when I started eating clean and the less processed the better. No preservatives or artificial ingredients added. There is nothing I want to eat that is worth having migraines again.

  33. I’ve watched all of these movies on Netflix recently as I run on the treadmill. I loved them all and they were so eye opening to me! I especially loved watching Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead and seeing his transformation and how he influenced so many others!

    1. Good morning Melanie. Fat Sick and Nearly Dead is an amazing story! I’ve juiced almost daily ever since. The hubs too 🙂

  34. I have watched most of Food Inc and Forks Over Knives and loved them both. They both definitely changed my perspective on food and gave me a lot more knowledge to be more informed about the decisions I make. I completely am with you on how concerned it makes me that my doctor never uses nutrition as a treatment for some issues. I have brought up going dairy-free to my dermatologist to clear up my skin and she completely discredited it, when I truly think there is something behind it. Very interesting!

    1. Hi Brie. Why can’t treatment include nutrition changes. What do they have to lose by trying. Oh wait. I know. Money! I’m sure in some way it comes down to money.

  35. Haven’t seen or heard of any of those movies, but I will have to look them up! I know someone personally who changed their diet and beat cancer by doing so, so that’s kind of a special issue to me. Some people just give up because there’s nothing they “think” they can do if the doctors don’t have the answer, when 9 out of 10 times, something can be improved or fixed by changing their diet.

    1. Singing to the choir Montana! I think part of the problem is people want a quick and easy fix. AKA take a pill. Drives me crazy. If people only knew and we can’t rely on docs to educate them. Off my soapbox now 🙂

  36. I’ve seen Food Inc but I haven’t seen they other two, I will have to check them out!

    1. Let me know if you decide to watch the others Betsy. I’d love to hear what you think of them.

  37. LOVED this! I completely agree that so many health problems can be alleviated with diet. I have seen some of these movies, and many others, showing how people’s health issues have fallen away once they started eating better! And yes, most people just turn to pills, it’s frustrating. Pills are so easy, but they are just a bandaid, they don’t actually change your body, and help it take care of itself. AMEN, sistah! And, why didn’t I know there was a Karnazes documentary?! I have read his books. Oooh, can’t wait! Thanks JILL!

    1. You have to watch Dean’s movie! I’ve read his books too.

      I think part of the problem is people want a quick fix aka take a pill. Ugh! I could write for hours about that one subject.

  38. I have heard of all the movies you mentioned but only say Fat, Sick and Nearly dead, which was pretty great. I also like Super Size ME because it was more than just a man eating McDonalds for 30 days, it was about how eating a unhealthy diet adversely effects the entire country!

    1. Hi Toni, Supersize Me is a favorite of many! I need to watch it. I haven’t eaten fast food in years (unless you count Chipotle) but my kids would live on it if I let them. Maybe we should make it a family Super Size movie night. And, how the food industry affects the country fascinates (and scares) me.

  39. I saw Food, Inc. years ago and it cemented a lot of the beliefs I already held. I tried to get my husband to watch it but…
    I’ve never heard of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead but just watched that entire trailer and WOW. I may need to download that one for the plane ride.
    Three great choices here!!!

    1. Hi Allie, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead is an amazing story! Let me know if you decide to watch it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

  40. One film that completely changed my way of thinking is The Secret. It’s a documentary about how positive thinking and desire can bring you what you want in life. It’s a philosophy I live by: If you stay positive and want something badly enough, it will come.

    1. I’ve heard of The Secret but haven’t seen it. Maybe I can find time to watch it this weekend. Thanks Nicole!

  41. The biggest life changing movie I’ve ever seen was Super Size Me. While I knew about the obvious effects of eating solely fast food prior to seeing the movie, seeing the reality play out for one person was just horrific! I don’t think I even considered eating at McDonald’s for at least a couple of months after seeing it!

    1. Hi Kathyrn, Supersize Me is a favorite of many! I need to watch it. I haven’t eaten fast food in years (unless you count Chipotle) but my kids would live on it if I let them. Maybe we should make it a family Super Size movie night.

    1. Forks Over Knives will definitely make you think! Let me know if you decide to watch it. I’d love to know what you thought about it.

  42. Forks over Knives had a huge impact on me and my husband. I already eat a plant based diet, but it really opened his eyes. I still remember watching it, in my old Seattle apartment. It was very powerful.

    1. Good morning Pragati. The movies had the same affect on my husband. Maybe not to the extent they did on me but they were life changing for him in different ways.

  43. The movie Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price is up there on my list of movies that changes me- that one particularly sticks out in my mind, along with the ones you have listed. It’s funny what influence a movie will have on you and what you will take from it and remember years after watching it!

    1. I remember these movies as if I watched them yesterday. Not a big fan of Sam Walton. I can only imagine what Walmart movie would be about. I’ll check it out!

  44. I haven’t seen these movies, but from what you wrote I totally embrace what they stand for. Eating better can dramatically change your life!

    1. Hi Julie, I have a feeling you would feel the same way about the movies that I do. It really is amazing how much nutrition can affect your life, good and bad. Have an awesome Wednesday!

  45. I haven’t seen all of these movies, but I definitely understand how they can change your viewpoints on food. I watched one on McDonalds- can’t think of it.. supersize me, maybe? It made me sick and I couldn’t tell you the last time I had any fast food! I just don’t enjoy it.

    1. Super Size Me is a favorite of many. I’m convinced I need to watch it. I haven’t eaten fast food in years unless you count Chipotle as fast food 🙂

    1. Check it out and let me know what you think! It will give you so much to think about.

  46. I’ve watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Food Inc. and they’re definitely two of my favourites! Thanks for sharing, I love this post!

  47. I haven’t seen any of these! :[ I’m definitely going to have to check them out though! I saw Supersize Me in my journalism class back in high school, and that one’s always really stuck with me!

    1. Farrah I love that your high school showed Super Size Me! What did the class think of it? I’d be curious to hear the conversation after the movie.

      1. I already wasn’t eating fast food by that point, but I’m fairly certain that it got most everyone to quit fast food, at least for a couple months. Our adviser was using that film as an example of an investigative report, so we did a writeup on it afterward and later had to choose some kind of topic to investigate! :]

  48. I enjoyed all 3 movies as well. Very educational. The next one on my list is Vegucation and Fed Up with Katie Couric. Have you watched those? What did you think?

    1. Hi Diatta. I’ve seen Vegucated. Is that different from Vegucation? Vegucated was interesting but it was kind of slow and not very engaging. I also saw Fed Up. Another gives you a lot to think about movie.

  49. I will admit I have never heard of these films. I think there are a lot of films out there like that that I have never seen. Thanks for sharing the trailers. You are right it in interesting that doctors rarely ask about your diet when you present with ailments, it gives you a lot to think about!

    1. Hi Mary Beth. Let me know if you decide to watch any of them. I would love to know what you think.

  50. These are great flicks, and I’ve even shown parts of them in my Health classes. “Weight of the Nation” was a FANTASTIC doc series. But the one that was seriously life-changing for me was “Super Size Me”. Forreal. 🙂 I’m going to be the best me today!

    1. I need to watch Super Size Me. It’s a favorite of many. I’m going to be the best me today too. The alternative isn’t much fun 🙂

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