Tag: Netflix

‘Netflix for Health’ is a Thing, and I NEED It

{Via FMTV}
{Via FMTV}

Another week, another want! I came across this little item in a random email from the people behind Wanderlust Festival, and I was pretty much immediately interested. Like, wildly interested. So interested, in fact, that I’m writing this very post about it. The obsession is real. What IS it? Food Matters TV–AKA “Netflix for health”. NEED. (more…)

8 Food, Health, & Wellness Documentaries to Stream on Netflix Now!

Start streaming!
Start streaming!

I’m a total documentary nerd. Even if it’s a topic I know nothing about or have only minimal interest in, the documentary’s particular combination of information and entertainment just speaks to my soul–I can’t get enough. A good documentary leaves me feeling informed, inspired, and motivated…Add food//nutrition//fitness//wellness into the mix, and I could easily post up in front of my TV for hours on a shameless content binge. You too? Then you HAVE to stream these documentaries on Netflix ASAP.

1. Fed Up

From Netflix: “This eye-opening documentary examines the underlying causes of childhood obesity, which has become an ever-more serious medical issue in America.”

The TSB Take: Narrated by Katie Couric, this must-watch 2014 documentary on obesity takes aim at the ever-changing food industry, primarily focusing on the evils of processed foods and SUGAR. {In case you hadn’t heard, sugar is currently public enemy #1.} There’s also a super interesting discussion about calories-in vs calories-out mentality, and the true impact that exercise has on weight. I’ve watched Fed Up literally four times already–it’s appropriate for all audiences and incredibly eye-opening, interesting, and provides ample motivation to clean up your diet.

2. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, & Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead 2

From Netflix: “Two men whose bodies have been trashed by steroids, obesity and illness, document their rigorous healing path in a bid to regain their health.”

The TSB Take: This is a documentary on juicing. Serious, hardcore, long-term juicing. Juicing, by a self-proclaimed “fat, sick, and nearly dead” MAN for health, healing, and vitality–not trendy cleansing or detoxing…though filmmaker Joe Cross DOES manage to lose 100lbs and discontinue use of his medication as he undertakes a doctor-supervised 60-day juice fast while traveling across the United States. You can also stream the movie’s 2014 sequel, which features interviews with health experts and follows up with many of the original individuals featured in the first film. The original {and in my opinion superior} Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead doc disappears from Netflix Instant on 7/1, so catch it while you can!

3. Bite Size

From Netflix: “Exploring the roots of America’s obesity epidemic, four kids make lifestyle changes that will set patterns for healthy living for years to come.”

The TSB Take: Added to Netflix less than a week ago, Bite Size is centered around the lives of four children struggling with their weight. Eating habits, activity levels, and family/societal responsibility and pressure are all discussed, and while the science behind obesity is touched on, the focus is more personal than informational…It’s like reality TV meets PBS. Entertaining and easy to understand, this is the perfect afternoon indulgence!

4. Food, Inc

From Netflix: “Director Robert Kenner’s provocative, Oscar-nominated documentary looks at the food industry’s harmful effects on human health and the environment.”

The TSB Take: Fun fact–I saw this 2008 documentary with my parents, in theaters, during my senior year of high school. While it’s a bit more info-centric and dry than some of the other films listed here, if you’re an information addict, you’ll probably really enjoy Food, Inc, which covers everything from genetically modified produce to pesticides to government involvement in the food industry. Keep in mind that “ew” factor is real here, especially when it comes to the depiction of the meat industry.

5. Vegucated

From Netflix: “This documentary follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks in an effort to get healthier.”

The TSB Take: Vegucated is “Supersize Me” meets “Married At First Sight”–social and cultural documentary meets psychological experiment extraordinaire. Primarily shot in reality TV format, it follows a cast of NY foodies who ditch their standard American diets for six weeks in favor of 100% vegan living. Sounds good, right? It is! Check out Vegucated even if you have no desire to try a vegan diet–it’s funny, engaging, and surprisingly inspirational…without being overly preachy.

6. Forks Over Knives

From Netflix: “According to the research of two food scientists, the popularity of processed foods has led to epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes and other diseases.”

The TSB Take: A science-y look at the food industry, Forks Over Knives advocates for a low-fat, whole-foods, plant-based diet for optimal health. More informational than entertaining, film relies heavily on scientific reports, findings, and professional interviews, and can feel almost clinical {not to mention evangelical} at times.

7. Forks Over Knives Presents: The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue

From Netflix: “Join Rip Esselstyn, author of The Engine 2 Diet, as he guides the White and Wally families and teaches them how to take control of their health.”

The TSB Take: A foodie firefighter makes house calls to introduce families struggling with health and weight concerns to a plant-based diet. Clocking in at under an hour, this short and sweet doc from the Forks Over Knives franchise features a collection of super-yummy recipes and packs a major motivational punch. I actually enjoyed The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue more than its predecessor, as it humanizes the dietary philosophies outlined in Forks Over Knives!

8. Hungry for Change

From Netflix: “This documentary exposes shocking secrets the diet, weight loss and food industries use to keep consumers coming back for more.”

The TSB Take: Hungry for Change is a scientifically-backed, interview-heavy takedown of the diet food industry, particularly processed foods, sugars, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives.  While interesting, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a definite bias toward a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, and that some of the findings and quotations mentioned in the movie have been taken out of context and/or manipulated to fit the Hungry for Change narrative. This being said, my favorite part of HfC isn’t about food at all, but is rather the discussion of the mental aspects of dieting, which focuses on positive thinking, body positivity, and ditching deprivation mentality. A valuable watch for any health or diet-minded individual.

What are your favorite healthy Netflix docs?! Have any to add that I missed?



5 MORE Lifetime Movies to Stream on Netflix Immediately


Into Lifetime movies? The Netflix gods have answered your prayers! The streaming service recently added even more of the network’s dramatic flicks to their catalog. Like, a lot of them. Some of them are worth a watch! If you’re wondering what you should skip vs what you should add to your queue, keep reading…We’re talking Lifetime flicks on Netflix. Déjà vu?! That’s what’s so great about blogging under the “lifestyle” umbrella–I can write about whatever I want to. And today, I want to write about Lifetime movies. Again{Regularly-scheduled fitness/wellness/healthy-living content will resume this week ;)}

1. The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story. This movie, along with Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret and Drew Peterson: Untouchable, is one of the Lifetime movies I have watched more than three times, and will probably {k, definitely} watch again. The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story is another one of those “ripped from the headlines” stories that follows a semi-current event…in this case, it’s a really, really awful one. In case you’d forgotten, pregnant Laci Peterson became the subject of a missing-person-turned-murder case in 2002. Her husband, Scott Peterson, was convicted of her murder years later. The story, in the movie, is told from the perspective of the couple’s friends. It’s a little Gone Girl-ish…in a true life meets made-for-TV kind of way.

2. Liz and Dick. This is the movie that was supposed to salvage Lindsay Lohan’s career! Spoiler alert: it didn’t. Critics and at-home viewers alike totally skewered Liz and Dick–especially LiLo’s performance. I’m not going to lie and say that this one is actually amazing {because yuck, it definitely isn’t} but it does have SOME value. First, Lindsay looks gorgeous and the costumes and jewelry she wears throughout the film are flawless. Second…well, that’s pretty much it. But! I feel like it’s one of those movies that you just need to see for pop-culture reasons. Watch it if you’re snowed in/have a fever/are cleaning your house/are running on the treadmill. And keep your expectations low, too.

3. Restless Virgins. For a movie about a prep school sex tape scandal, Restless Virgins is actually surprisingly tame. Supposedly based on an actual prep school sex scandal from 2005, the film is part Gossip Girl and part Mean Girls with a healthy dose of legitimate teen romance thrown in the mix. It’s not BAD by any means, but it’s also not as interesting as the Netflix description would have you believe. Degrassi is more juicy. This is controversy light.

4. Secrets of Eden. K, I’ll be real–the suspense-y, fake murder mysteries that Lifetime produces are nottt my favorite films. Secrets of Eden, though, stars John Stamos. Uncle Jesse! HAVE MERCY! Stamos aside, this movie is actually really dark–it’s about a small-town murder suicide, an orphaned child, abuse, and REVENGE. So Lifetime-y it hurts. But that’s what we’re into, right? Oh, and Stamos plays a minister, so there’s that.

5. The Gabby Douglas Story. Yay, a happy one! This movie chronicles the life, and rise to gymnastics fame, of Olympian Gabby Douglas. Gabby was the first African American to EVER win the title of Individual All-Around Champion in artistic gymnastics. Though extremely talented and dedicated, Gabby’s road to gold was actually a lot more complicated than one might think. Case in point: Gabby left her family and moved across the country to train with a legendary gymnastics coach in IOWA. Iowa! Like, where Prince Farming is from. So Gabs was 14, separated from her family and living with a host fam, training and competing at a professional level, and it ALL PAID OFF! If you want an uplifting story, this is the movie to watch.

Miss any of your faves?! Seen any of these? Make sure to check out part one of my must-watch list HERE.



The 5 Best Lifetime Movies that You Can Stream on Netflix Right Now


Confession: I love watching Lifetime movies. And not even in a guilty pleasure kind of way–in a shameless way. I love them. I just do. I’m basically a 25-year-old grandma in that regard. Did you guys know that Netflix recently added a bunch of made-for-TV movies that you can stream whenever/wherever? True story! You can peep the full list HERE. In the meantime, here are my top five made-for-TV picks to add to your instant queue.

1. The Pregnancy Project. Remember the cute little girl from the Spy Kids movies?! Alexa Vega?! She stars in “The Pregnancy Project“, which is about a social experiment/senior project on stereotyping wherein Alexa pretends to go all Teen Mom. Surprise! People are awful to her! Sound familiar? It should–the Pregnancy Project that inspired this movie made national headline news and was turned into a book.

2. Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret. I’ve watched this movie far more times than I’d like to admit. It is SO good. Over-the-top, ultra-dramatic, ripped-from-the-headlines goodness. The actress that Lifetime hired to play Jodi Arias does such a good job in her portrayal that it’s actually almost scary. Like, she’s way too good at acting insane. The {true} story is actually awful, of course, considering it’s about a crazy lady that murders her on-again-off-again boyfriend, but this is Lifetime movie GOLD. Like, it might be my favorite Lifetime movie ever.

3. Jodi Picoult’s Salem Falls. This has DAWSON in it, guys! James Van Der Beek! He plays a hot teacher. Based on the book by the same name, “Jodi Picoult’s Salem Falls” is about young love, pretty teen girls who pretend to be witches, and statutory rape. Things get a little uncomfortable and a lot weird. Not only is Jodi Picoult’s writing kind of amazing when translated to screen, {she’s also responsible for tearjerker “My Sister’s Keeper”,} but you can tell that this is going to be a good one just from the title. #witchhunt

4. Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial In Italy. Another Lifetime classic based on a true story, this movie stars cute little Hayden Panettiere as Amanda “Foxy” Knox. In case you’ve forgotten who that is, she’s an American exchange student who allegedly murdered her roommate, Meredith Kercher, while studying abroad in Italy in 2007. The highly-dramatized film spans three years, and focuses on the murder and the trial…where the Italian prosecutor and the press paint Knox as a wild, oversexed, cold-blooded killer. She ends up getting sentenced to 25+ years in jail. Scary good.

5. The Bling Ring. Not to be confused with the Coppola classic {which actually happens to be one of my faves} the Lifetime version of this tale stars Jennifer Grey, AKA “Baby” from Dirty Dancing. It’s also super weird and Lifetime-y, since the focus is more on the parental experience of the ‘ring members than on the actual bling ring debacle itself, regardless of what the film’s first half will have you believe. If you’ve seen the OTHER movie or have read Nancy Jo Sales’ book inspired by her famous Bling Ring interviews, you should probably watch this simply because it will make you more well-rounded, even if it IS kind of terrible. It’s actually really terrible. You should maybe skip this one.

What are your thoughts on Lifetime?! Make sure to check out part two of this list HERE!