The Netflix docuseries "You Are What You Eat" has sparked discussions and some confusion within the Flowly community, particularly among those managing chronic pain and its comorbidities like anxiety. Navigating dietary recommendations becomes a delicate and complex task for individuals facing these challenges.
Through this blog post, we hope to clarify some of the confusion that might’ve arisen from the docuseries and emphasize the uniqueness of each person’s journey and the need for a personalized approach to nutrition.
If you take away one thing from the docuseries, it should be this:
Listen to your Body
In exploring the intricacies of the documentary's content, the central theme remains steadfast: trust your instincts. You are perpetually your best advocate. While documentaries offer valuable insights, they should not supplant your own comprehension of your body's needs. In the words of Flowly Coach Nicole, INHC, "It's always important to have an open mind and to be open to learning new ideas, but at the end of the day, you get to decide what is best for you.”
Central to our exploration is the crucial aspect of listening to your body's signals. Each person's body is unique, and understanding what works for you is paramount. As Nicole wisely suggests, "Your body will always tell you what is or isn't working. You just have to listen." This becomes especially significant for those dealing with chronic conditions, where the impact of dietary choices can be profound.
What we appreciated about “You Are What You Eat”:
Pushing for “Cleaner” Food
Positive aspects include the documentary's focus on issues like factory farming, the impact of convenience and processed foods, the importance of food diversity, and the need to reduce hormones and chemicals in foods.
Those navigating chronic conditions are more affected by the food we put in our bodies, so the push for less processed food and giving our bodies the nourishment and the variety of nutrients we need is essential.
However, here are some reasons why “You Are What You Eat” can cause confusion:
Questioning Agendas and Conflicts of Interest
Asking questions about funding sources and potential conflicts of interest is essential. In the case of "You Are What You Eat," the Vogt Foundation, which is focused on ocean preservation, funded the documentary. Additionally, the majority of speakers had ties to plant-based industries. Recognizing their motives is vital to identify the docuseries’ shortcomings, such as the oversimplification of certain dietary recommendations, overlooking environmental concerns associated with a vegan lifestyle, and not adequately discussing the ingredients in many vegan options.
Watching “You Are What You Eat” without identifying these biases can trigger fear and anxiety, especially for those with complicated relationships with food or eating disorders.
Portraying Black and White Perspectives
Documentaries such as "You Are What You Eat" often present compelling narratives, but adopting a one-size-fits-all approach may not be suitable for everyone. Strong black-and-white stances can induce fear and stress and trigger fight-or-flight responses. It's crucial to remember that you are the expert on your body, and a four-episode documentary may not cover the nuanced aspects needed for informed decision-making.
Please be aware that the "You Are What You Eat" docuseries did not provide detailed health backgrounds for its participants. This omission adds complexity to interpreting the dietary recommendations showcased. Individual health factors, including age, hormones, existing conditions, and lifestyle elements, were not explored. Considering this limitation, it's advised to approach any dietary adjustments with a nuanced understanding of your unique health circumstances.
Our Final Words
In the complex landscape of dietary choices, especially for those managing chronic conditions, it's crucial to approach documentaries like "You Are What You Eat" with caution and an open mind. Acknowledge the diversity of individual experiences and recognize that your body's signals should guide your choices. Remember, you are the expert on your body. With this knowledge, navigate the world of food with confidence and self-trust.