The last time I ate plant-based I spent a lot of time watching vegan and plant-based documentaries and youtube videos. It was my main connection to other plant-based eaters, since no one I know is plant-based. After a while I stopped watching, having absorbed about as much information as I needed.
But it’s been awhile so I started again. The first documentary I saw was called The Marshall Plan. The whole movie is free on youtube. It’s a documentary about the town of Marshall, TX that embraced plant-based after its mayor had success using this way of eating to treat his prostate cancer. It’s an amazing story. But not necessarily a great documentary.
A lot of “documentaries” are really sales pitches, rather than unbiased, unvarnished examinations of the dietary evidence. One of the things that irked me about The Marshall Plan was the splicing of Rich Roll interview clips among clips of Marshall residents, which made it seem he was a resident as well. Rich Roll is a well-known podcaster and plant-based speaker. Maybe he’s been to Marshall, TX, since they often invite speakers. But he’s not a resident, he’s from Los Angeles, and he started his plant-based diet well before the mayor’s plant-based initiatives. But if you don’t mind the fact that it’s a little amateurish and not unbiased, The Marshall Plan tells an interesting story.
I also watched a speech on youtube by Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller) that he gave to Google. He wrote a book about his 110 lb weight loss by adopting a version of plant-based diet. He talked about how moderation and portion-control don’t work for most people. I completely agree. In fact, about 10 years ago I lost weight following a portion-control plan from Walter Willett of Harvard Medical. I lost weight but was hungry every minute of every day. I don’t think any weight loss plan can be successful if you need to constantly battle your own body. In fact, portion-control is such a terrible way to live that it makes me wonder if those that recommend it are serious, or are just trying to induce people to give up the attempt to get thin.
Penn also said that people who lose weight fast tend to keep it off longer. My personal experience is that whenever I dieted I lost weight fast. I also gained it back fast when I stopped. Maybe it’s true for other people, but the speed of weight loss hasn’t had any effect on whether I stick to the plan.
He also said that it’s easier for people to make a major change in their diet than a small one. I completely agree with that. One of the objections my family had originally was that the plant-based way of eating was too radical. But that was what allowed me to completely break from the unhealthy diet I’d been on. Going back to it now is like slipping on an old coat that fits me perfectly. There is nothing “radical” about it to me now, but only because I spent 2.5 years doing it before.
When Penn did the video he’d been 17 months on the plan and said he still felt great. I remember feeling the same way. I quickly got used to being thin with no health issues. But it took a long time to get used to feeling good.
Looking forward to it again. Hopefully only another few months away.