Part I: James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch
From the producers of the documentary films “Food Matters” James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch say that everyone on a diet ought to get “Hungry for Change” instead. Their first film, “Food Matters” has been seen by millions who have rediscovered their health with the core message of the film: you are what you eat. On the heels of that success, the couple began receiving scores of messages from people eager for them to turn their attention to weight loss. A prescriptive companion to the DVD, the book HUNGRY FOR CHANGE: The How-to Guide for Breaking Free from the Diet Trap combines the expertise of top medical doctors and nutritionists with proven strategies to prevent and reverse disease, and more than 100 recipes to lose weight simply by adding better food to your diet and avoiding harmful ones.
Here is a VIDEO of James and Laurentine discussing HUNGRY FOR CHANGE.
Caryn: Hello everybody I’m Caryn Hartglass and you are listening to It’s All About Food and I am so glad to be here. We’ve taken a break for a couple of weeks thanks to Hurricane Sandy and I am so glad to be back. And I wanted to really put out some big thanks to Progressive Radio Network, they really were wonderful during this hurricane time offering studio space to WBAI radio network that I’ve been listening to for very long time. And as a result we were not able to broadcast. But now we are back and I just want to mention how important community is and different organizations helping each other, that what it’s all about sharing the love and being a community and that leads me to what I want to underline in this next program today about community. There are a lot of people in the alternative health movement this food movement, this healthy food drive that’s going on all around the world. It’s one of the reasons why I founded my nonprofit Responsible Eating And Living R-E -A-L, real because I want to help be a part of this sharing of information of truth and tools for healthy eating, wellness and green living there so many different ways to do it and that’s what we need so many people doing it so that we can create a snowball, something that just gets bigger and bigger so more people can get it, more people can get healthy we can make this world a better place.
I want to bring on my first guest James Colquhoun, who is the co-author of the new book, Hungry For Change he is also the co-author and coproducer along with Laurentine ten Bosch of the documentary film Food Matters. They say that everyone on a diet ought to get “Hungry For Change.” Their first film, Food Matters had been seen by millions who have rediscovered their help with core message of the film “you are what you eat.” On the heels of that success the couple began receiving scores of messages from people eager for them to turn their attention weight loss, a prescriptive companion to the DVD, the book Hungry For Change, the how-to guide for breaking free from the diet trap combines the expertise of top medical doctors and nutritionists with proven strategies to prevent and reverse disease and more than 100 recipes to lose weight simply by adding better food to your diet and avoiding very harmful ones.
Welcome, James to It’s All About Food.
James: Thank you, Caryn, It’s great to be on the air with you.
Caryn: Yeah, so what I was just talking about the importance of so many different people bringing this message out because it’s a really challenging job that we all have. Somehow in the last 100 years we went in the totally wrong direction with our food.
James: Absolutely and I think that it’s really important that we come together in communities around this message. And I’m really passionate about film because I believe that film has the ability to impact people on a deep level, and you can go from very little nutrition knowledge or even if you know quite a bit, and you can watch some films in this space and go deeper into your understanding in a very quick period of time. I think that film has an enormous capacity to bring communities together to bring groups together. It’s also a great way to share this message of better health through nutrition and “let thy food be thy medicine” and “you are what you eat” with the disbelieving uncles and aunties and grandparents that we all have in our families, that we want on board with this message with us.
Caryn: The last 200 years or the last 50 years so many things have happened in industry and with industrial food. I think some of the older community, especially, really believe that all of those things that were happening that were new and were progressive were good for them. That makes it especially hard to change.
James: I know. What’s happened in our society is we’ve become addicted to convenience, we’ve become addicted to instant gratification. And that’s brought about a lot of changes that we are seeing in our medical industries, in our food industries, in the diet and weight loss industry. We really want this instant gratification and it’s not really the fault of these companies or organizations that are providing these products because we’ve asked for them. The problem is serve us best. And we know specifically talking about “Hungry For Change” fin and book, we’re spending $60 billion a year in the US on diet and weight loss products. UCLA Berkley showed that up to two thirds of people who go on a diet fail. So what that means to me is that there’s $40 billion a year of wasted money on diet. So we address these topics and we want to help people navigate the confusion around food. And it’s not just our message. It’s bringing together some of threading experts in this space and sharing an area where we all agree upon some really core foundational concepts for nutrition, weight-loss, detoxification. Things that have enema around longer than our modern food culture.
Caryn: This idea of spending a lot of money on something that doesn’t work is something that we are going through today not just with obesity and food, we’re seeing it all over. We just thought in the elections in the United States where people through so much money on advertising. And for some people it didn’t work. But with the case of genetically modified food unfortunately it did work. Where corporations threw $45 million, against those that wanted GMO labeling only put in under 10. You just can’t fight that.
James: That’s so true. I think that as I have been involved in this space, producing our first film, Food Matters, which really tackles the economics behind the pharmaceutical industry and agricultural industry and really explains on that level why we’re becoming sicker and sicker and what we can do about it. Now looking at the diet industry what really became evident to me as a filmmaker, is the we’re really talking about a question of economics here. And the more we understand that, the more that we can pull ourselves out of that system and really start to, I guess, vote with a new set of guidelines. Vote with our support of local agriculture, our support of sustainable foods, our support of foods that support our bodies. And when we do that we can shift the entire landscape of commerce, healthy and nutrition and even especially our own bodies and start from there.
Caryn: I want to say that the work that you’re doing is really important, the films, Food Matters, Hungry For Change, your new book Hungry For Change. All of these things are very important in this grass roots equation of making change. But you’re right about the economy and it’s really an economic fight as well. Unfortunately there are many people who either don’t have this information, or maybe have the information but are so overwhelmed in their lives that they don’t know how to make the change or some of them just can’t get out of the economic situation that they are in where they can see a way to make change.
James: That is such a great question. I get asked that quite a bit. I totally sympathize with that because we are in a really difficult times. I think the best thing people can do, is that, one of the great things we do at the fin company is certain times of the year we offer a film for free for a limited time online so that anybody that doesn’t have access to iTunes, or Netflix, or can buy a DVD, we put it up for free. We’ve got a Food Matters free screening event happening on this November 21st to 30th. And last time in March we had a free screening of Hungry For Change. We want to make sure that information gets out. That is our primary mission. But I think also for people who are trying to get started on this, especially if you have income challenges, one of the greatest things we can do is just start by adding one thing into our daily routine. And it can be as simple as buying some, sprouting some, making some sprouts at home. Making a homemade sauerkraut. Or if you’ve got a juicer, make a green juice, bypassing the supermarkets and going to direct to farmers’ markets, getting green vegetables at a lower cost. You can start introducing even one of the things, either the fermented foods, or the sprouts or a fresh green vegetable juice. If you add just one of those things once a day, and we’re not talking a big cost here. Just that one thing will begin to transform your health radically. And you continue adding from there as you feel better and as you spend less of your money on things that really don’t support your health. You’ll start to break out of that diet trap and into more healthier areas.
Caryn: That makes a lot of sense. It’s not as overwhelming where people could just do one thing and maybe make that more of a habit and then they can add to that.
James: Exactly. This is one of the biggest things we’ve discovered when we were doing the research for Hungry For Change. We interviewed all these experts, medical doctors, scientific researchers, people who have transformed their own health, and what we found was that when you say that diets don’t work, what actually discovered was most diets out there are based on restriction. Either it’s a restriction of calorie intake, or it’s a manipulation of the ratios with which we consume protein, carbohydrates or fats.
Caryn: I believe in eating for a lifestyle and not being on a diet. I just want to say I’ve been as eating a plant-based diet for a very. very long time. I love my food. I never feel restricted. I eat what I want, when I want. And it works. My weight’s been the same for decades. I wear the same clothes for decades. (That may not be a good thing!) The point is, I love my food. I don’t feel restricted. When I am hungry I eat. It’s because I’m making all the right choices.
James: Exactly. And that is the key point. The key point is we want to release any of this neurosis around food. We want to release that energy and make it about freedom, excitement and fun. Because as soon as you put restrictions on food, you go into this diet trap, this diet mentality – I ca’t have this, I can’t have that. We want to move away from that. This is the secret to creating lasting change in your diet, which is what we talk about in the Hungry For Change book and the film. It’s about adding. If we keep the focus on adding, and we don’t change anything. This is what I’ve said before, from people who are really looking, who might have tried before, the South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet, whatever it is, they’ve come and gone. But what we’ve know works and what our research is showing, if you focus on, adding, one thing in a time, and it might be the green juice, it might be the sprouts, it might be the fermented foods, it might just be a salad with every lunch, before you have whatever you have for lunch just start with a big green leafy salad. As you start to do this you start to feel better incrementally. You want to keep going with it, and you get motivated to keep going. That’s is one of the most effective ways we found that people can really take this on board and see the remarkable transformation in their health.
Caryn: I love that. I’m a big proponent of green foods. I know it saved my life. I juice every day. I love the fact that, I love how forgiving the body can be. Number one, it’s amazing how long we can live fueling ourselves with crap. It’s just amazing.
James; It’s unbelievable. I am shocked sometimes how we can defy the odds and live through the junk food culture that we’ve created. We have been the creators of that, we’ve demanded that. We shouldn’t blame these corporations, although they are the ones that supplying it. We have at some level demanded that convenience.
Caryn: They are part of the equation but we all need, as individuals, to take responsibility.
James: I couldn’t agree more. Can i just add a little bit to the story here? Because it was really interesting how we started out.
Caryn: That’s what I wanted to talk about.
James: Great. Because when we first started with this, Laurentine and I, who made the first Food Matters film and now Hungry For Change, were studying nutrition and were learning so much about the importance of nutrition and natural medicines and herbology. At the same time we could see that my father’s health was deteriorating, quite seriously. He was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, and also depression and he had severe anxiety attacks as well. It was so severe that he spent five years of his life bedridden. He had to sell his business. My mother became the primary caregiver and was looking after him full time. This is a huge disruption to his life and is basically typical burned out, middle age, professional syndrome. He was prescribed 5 to 6 different types of medications. He was really, really suffering from a lot of the side effects of those medications and health was deteriorating. He was gaining a lot of weight. As we were researching nutrition we could see, wow, there was so ouch that we were uncovering that could really help my father. But I’m sure a lot of the listeners can sympathize with me, is that when I tried to tell my father about the importance of green food and detoxification and cleansing and juicing and having more plants in your diet, he was really quite aggressively opposed to it, because it didn’t really fit with his model of what he believed the medical profession to be. We had to come up with a way that we could really help convince him properly that this was a great path for him to be considering. When we went and interviewed these medical doctors and experts, put them into a film, and had them explain to him the dangers of these types of medications, the dangers of these SSRI or MALA antidepressant medications and how important and effective it can be to use nutrition, detoxification, supplementation. Once we have that put into a film it was such a powerful tool that as soon as he watched it, he stopped going on all his medication. (Now I am not recommending people to do this, check with their doctor.) He started out a supplement regime to balance out his body and brain biochemistry. Cleansing of his diet, he was having sprouts for breakfast, juices for lunch. He lost 50 pound of weight. Completely turned his health around and it was just a remarkable transformation. He went from five years bedridden and offered no help from medical profession, to within the first 2-3 months complete turnaround, off all his medications. It became such a mission of mine and Laurentine as well to help get this message to people and to families were going through similar situations and sharing this message so people can know that they can live without this pain. And know that nutrition can be a great avenue for them to access that healing power, and take their health back.
Caryn: This is really important that it’s something that a lot of us are doing in many different ways. I know I’ve been promoting the power of nutritious plant foods for decades. Sometimes it’s amusing when I’m reading something and think, yeah, I’ve been talking about this for a very long time. And then the question that people might ask, the same questions over and over and over. But then I have to remind myself that it is new to so many people. And the information, it’s not rocket science, it’s not hard information, it’s just – people need it. I’m heartbroken sometimes because – your dad was really lucky -and there are so many people we want to get the information to, they are so resistant. Your father was lucky because he had you and many people don’t have people to come in and put the information in front of them and help them.
James: Exactly. It is a big challenge we are facing and I really love how you started this with acknowledging community because I think that it’s going to be a community of like-minded people in this nutrition and natural healing and health space that have to set the intention and hold that vibrational level and go – we’re going to represent real food in this world. I really encourage everybody that’s listening to this radio show today, who is on board with this message, who really believes in his message whether they’ve transformed their own life, they’ve studied it personally or it’s something they know they believe in their heart. We need to step up. We need to get all the films that are out there the bps that are out there, that will drown it and share it with family and friends. It is our responsibility to be the antithesis of the food and drug industries. To be the antithesis of the chemical and agricultural industry. We need to be the opposite energy for that. I honestly believe films is a powerful one. It doesn’t have to be our film, any film, there are great films out there. Each film is a medium to help influence people to positively take health into their own hands. I just think it is such a critical thing that we need to be focusing on.
Caryn: This idea of community I want to talk a bit more about it because I really think it’s important. I’m a vegan, I’ve been a vegan a long time. When I talk to is people I promote my philosophy. I share my philosophy – it’s something that’s important to me – healthy food and also the issues of animal agriculture’s impact on the environment and the cruelty that goes on. These are very passionate issues with me. But I like to talk to everyone who is in this alternative food movement, this movement to bring back real food. Whether people are promoting a vegan diet or not, I think we can all align as a community on some very, very crucial issues. There is more power when we all come together to make the change. We need organic food, we need it, least GMO labeling, if not just getting rid of genetically modified food. We need to get all of the chemicals, well not all the chemicals, because there are good chemicals and bad chemicals, but synthesized things, the manufactured food, the things in the boxes that are not food. This needs to change. It needs to change in the schools, in the hospitals. We all need to get together and align ourselves on the same issues – locally grown, fresh, nutritious, organic, real food.
James: Absolutely, I could not agree with you more. I really believe that filming and community around film is so great. One of the community engagement programs that we run, is that every few months we say we encourage both of our films, the Food Matters and Hunger For Change, we allow them to be screened publicly for free. Very few other filmmakers do this.
Caryn: How do people do this? How do they find out about it.
James: Both of our websites, our Food Matters film is foodmatters.tv and our Hungry For Change film is hungryforchange.tv, but on both of those websites you can watch the trailer, you can also put in your name and e-mail address to watch the first 20 or 40 minutes, depending on the film. And then there’s a screening tab there. You click on the screening’s tab and host a local event in your area, and you can screen it at your house and have a healthy house party with a few people around or you can take it to a community hall or a church or anywhere. You can play the film, and we allow you to screen it for free. It’s our primary mission to get the message out there and often times every few months, our team will run a with social media campaign, and it will be like, if you follow us on Facebook and say if you want to host a screening in your area, the next 15 people who register a screening we ship them a free copy of the DVD. And part of my direction with this company, this conscious media, conscious film company that we’re building, one of our core staff members, Carina, she’s fabulous, I direct her to send out, for free, 300 to 500 copies of our film every month. Conferences, health care clinics, free community screening events – and it is sort of our way of giving this message back to the community and allowing community groups to come around this film together and support their own health individually and encourage other people in their communities to support their health. I feel it is such an important thing in this time and day.
Caryn: Okay, let’s just talk a little bit about this book Hungry For Change. I have not seen the film and I’m going to have to do that very soon. I have seen Food Matters and it’s excellent. You profile a number of different people who have struggled with weight. I think people find this very compelling when they hear individual stories. We can throw out numbers and you threw out a few in the book, and in the promos about all the money that spent on medication and obesity and diet books but people really relate to the stories. And you have a few in the book that are really powerful.
James: I really believe in that too. So many people when they hear my father’s story, they’re really like go, wow, I want to do that or I know somebody who has that. Specifically in Hungry For Change, the book and the film, we profile a few core individuals. One I like to highlight is John Gabriel. He’s an incredible man and his story which we capture in the film is so unbelievable. And over 7 year period he lost 200 pounds and he has never regained that wight. The thing was, before he lost those pounds, he was yo-yo dieting: lose 10 pounds gain 20, you lose 10 pounds gain 20. Lieut. He work face-to-face with Atkins, he went to the Pritikin Center, he’d been on all the m sot populate diets. And nothing to did it for him until he actually really addressed the real reason his body wanted to be fat. Once he understood that message and started applying it in his life, he completely transformed his health. This is a huge transformation – 200 pounds.
Caryn: When you look at his pictures he is stunning right now.
James: It’s unbelievable, you can hardly believe it. And the guy is such an angel. We are catching up in Los Angeles next weekend and I am really excited that he is going to be here. It’s just such a powerful story. John is just the perfect epitome of somebody who has broken free of this diet cycle and this diet trap and really taken control of him health. Some of his core messages which I’ve echoed just a little bit earlier in this conversation which I’ll bring up again is don’t turn it into a diet. Keep the focus on adding, that’s one of his most important things. The second thing is that when you’re focusing on adding, those foods that you are adding into your diet need to be nutrient rich foods. One of the biggest things that our body is craving for is nutrients. And if we are eating processed food, devoid of nutrients, we are going to keep eating and eating and eating. Our body is sending signals to our brain saying although you’ve eaten 5000 calories today, I still haven’t gotten any nutrients. I am going to keep sending that hunger signal to you. When we have hunger, when we have cravings it’s mostly because our body is craving nutrients. If we are not giving it the specific nutrients it needs it i going to keep sending these hunger signals to our brain. Nutrient dense foods is a really important thing for him. Another aspect of Hunger For Change that I know you are just going to love, it’s focused on the mind-body aspect. It’s really talking a lot about using tools such as visualization, affirmations and really culturing a sense of respect and love and reverence for yourself. A lot of the people who we talk to who have transformed their health, and John was one of them, but also, Joe Cross, from Fat, Sick And Nearly Dead, and we also profiled Frank Ferrante from the movie May I Be Frank, and Kris Carr who is a beautiful woman, a cancer thriver. She’s unbelievable.
Caryn: I am actually going to her book signing later today at Whole Foods Tribeca in NYC.
James; Say hello from James at Food Matters and Hunger For Change. She’s amazing. What these people have in common is that they said that one of the most important things for them in being able to maintain a long-lasting health, is love for themselves and love for others. It was really interesting for me to hear. I’m from a nutritional background, I was hoping it was going to be wheatgrass, or like barley grass some nutritional produce. It wasn’t. It was actually really about their connection with themselves because how many of us wake up, look in the mirror, and go, you are 30 pounds overweight, you know you’re single, you beat yourself up, you berate yourself. You start your day with internal this internal dial. That subconsciously leads to poorer food decisions, poorer decisions in relation to our health and well-being. When you change that dialog and change that communication to a respect and reverence and using affirmations and even doing visualization and meditation where you are visualizing the body and health you actually deserve and desire, you actually start to shift your decisions and your food choices in a subtle, subconscious level. That is such an important thing that we introduced in the film and book. I really believe it has the power to create a lot of lasting change for people.
Caryn: You are right I did love that. I know that that’s my favorite part. I’m really passionate about food and I really believe in the power food but our mind is so much bigger and we really need to love, love ourselves, love, share the love – it kind of sounds a little woo woo wah wah, a gooey whatever but it is so important, and it is so true when we feel so much better.
James: I actually thought it sounded like that. I was more of a research nutrition background. But when I had Dr. Christine Northrup, one of the foremost leaders in women’s health – she wrote Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdoms, she’s an incredible woman, since interviewing her I have such a deep respect for her and her work. She is sitting there in the interview and she is saying love is the single most important thing to improve one’s health. I was really shocked by this. I really looked deeply into her research and the work she’s done and there have been lots of studies done, like the adverse childhood experiences’s study where children experience less love and connection during their upbringing and they tend to have more weight when they’re older, they have more problems keeping that weight off. Weight is really, and fat accumulation in the body, is a protection mechanism. A lot of the time it’s protecting us against emotions, and it’s also protecting us against toxicity in the body. In order to remove that we need to address the emotional aspects and we need to address the toxicity aspects. That’s a nutrition approach and a mind-body approach. I really just feel so strongly about this is such an important aspect. If you look at most common diets that are out there not one of them talk about connection or reverence or love or visualization or affirmations. And that is one of the most important key ingredients which we talk about in depth in the film and book.
Caryn: I love it. Thank you James for everything you have been doing. Thanks for joining me today on It’s All About Food.
James: You are welcome, great speaking with you and say hi to Kris Carr for me.
Caryn: Oh I absolutely will. Thank you so much.
James: You’re welcome. Have a great day.
Caryn: I’m Caryn Hartglass, you are listening to It’s All About Food, and were going to take a quick break and when we come back we are going to be talking about water. The importance of pure, clean water. We’ll be right back.