Health involves learning by watching

Health and wellness presentations and documentaries are something I am always looking for to improve my knowledge around health topics. In my opinion, one of the best ways to really understand a topic related to health and wellness is to listen to someone’s presentation or watch a great documentary. Listening to talks on these subjects, at least for me, gives a little wider understanding than from reading technical textbooks or lengthy articles.

Having spent hundreds of hours over the last eight years reading in the evenings and on weekends, it is refreshing to put the books down once in a while and attend or watch great health-related presentations or videos.

In the last three years, I myself have started presenting to small groups and large conferences around our area on the many aspects of health and wellness in an effort to pass on helpful information in person. I am truly passionate about sharing health and wellness information with people, knowing that someone may get great benefit from my knowledge.

As mentioned, I do watch a fair number of documentaries and “TED Talks” to keep myself well informed. Listening to health, wellness and fitness professionals a few times a month discussing what’s new, best practices and new, cutting-edge ways to approach specific health-related information is a must for me.

The change that is happening in these categories seems to be happening at light speed, so keeping up can be daunting.

I would like to recommend a few very good health and wellness documentaries that I have found very valuable. There is something for everyone in this small offering that covers common-sense insight which will certainly be thought-provoking with regard to your own health, wellness and fitness. This short list is just a small sample of what is available online or through video streaming from Netflix’s and the like.

1. I know many of you have seen “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” This documentary features Australian Joe Cross who was obese and dealing with a long-term autoimmune disease when he decided to change his life through lifestyle changes and juicing. This is a very good video to wrap your head around nutrition, inflammation and the healing properties of juicing.

2. “Sweet Misery” is an exceptional documentary and takes a hard look at the dangerous artificial sweetener Aspartame. The producers, Cori Brackett &JT Waldrondo, do a very good job of showing the toxic effects that Aspartame has on our bodies. This video puts a very real spotlight on the dangers of artificial sweeteners. If you do not read food labels, you will after watching this documentary.

3. “Fed Up” is another really powerful documentary that shouts the message of what is the root cause for our growing poor health epidemic. “Fed Up” is a must-watch and produced very well by Katie Couric and Laurie David. If you’re stuck in a mindset that everything is good about our food supply, this video may shift your view permanently.

4. I really like “May I Be Frank” which is a documentary that follows’s Frank Ferrante, a 54-year-old Italian from New York on his journey from being obese, out-of-shape and unhealthy to being healthy, physically fit and at the top of his game again. What is great about this video is how Frank deals with the very real aspect that comes into play with relationships, family, and interactions with people when you move from unhealthy to healthy. This documentary delivers a strong message on how fat to fit affects your life.

5. “TED Talks” covers a range of experts and fields with short 20-minute talks on so many topics, it’s hard not to find something of interest. With regard to health, wellness and fitness, you will find very specific topics on new discoveries with cancer, cardiac and diabetes research, mind-bending ideas on mental wellness, new ideas around nutrition and sustainable foods and so forth. Many of you watch “TED Talks” often, but I am always amazed at how many people I know that have never heard of “TED Talks.” You can find “TED Talks” online, on Netflix, and even their own channel service on Fire, Apple TV, and other streaming devices.

There are so many other very good health and wellness documentaries like “Food Inc,” “Forks Over Knives” and “Food Matters” that I could write about, but I have limits to the size of my column. I just hit on a few that I think are interesting and helpful. Please keep in mind that understanding the issues around being healthy and staying healthy comes through staying knowledgeable on what is happening in health.


Judd Jones is a certified primal health coach and fitness consultant based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He can be reached at and


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