Why We Believe in The Power Of Nutrition (The Food Matters Story)
At Food Matters, we firmly believe that you are what you eat. We know this because we’ve seen it firsthand.
In 2003, my father, Roy, was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and anxiety. At the time, we didn’t realize how much this was going to impact our lives. We thought we could outsource treatment to the doctors and medical professionals then move on. How wrong we were….
For the next five years, Roy’s days were spent in bed, and his nights were often filled with sweaty panic attacks, the anticipated side effects of his medications. The vicious cycle continued as Roy was on two to three medications for his condition and another two to three medications to curb the side effects. He had gained more than 55 pounds and was increasingly lethargic.
Not one medical professional suggested he change his diet or eating habits or recommended different ways to handle stress. Their advice: take the pills, and we’ll see how it goes. Not surprisingly, Roy’s health began to deteriorate further. He continued to consult with his doctors, who prescribed more and more medications.
The more medications he took, the worse he became...
Laurentine and I knew we had to intervene. But every attempt to help was met with keen resistance. He would remind us that “These doctors have spent their entire lives training to help me. What makes you think you can do better?” As Roy’s health and spirit spiraled, Laurentine and I continued to look for answers.
We grabbed every book we could find and started researching. We soon learned that healthy food could be used to heal. We also discovered that our healthcare, food, and agricultural industries were not particularly concerned about our health. They were primarily interested in profits. We couldn’t believe what we uncovered.
At first, there were more questions than answers. Why didn't my father’s doctor know about the power of nutrition and natural therapies? And why were we not taught this in school? But slowly we started to see the bigger picture.
After studying nutrition online, we felt even more confident that we could help my father. We started sending him some of the books we had been studying. But motivating him to read 300 pages on natural healing was challenging. We needed a better way.
This is how Laurentine and I came up with the idea of creating the Food Matters film. If we couldn’t get my father to read about nutrition and natural health, we figured we could probably convince him to watch a film on the subject. We knew he needed to see natural health in a new light to help him truly understand Hippocrates’s famous saying, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.”
We invested our life’s savings into making Food Matters. We bought some film equipment and traveled around the world—from Holland, Laurentine’s home country, and England to the East and West Coasts of the United States, and then Australia—to interview all of the doctors, nutritionists, scientists, and wellness experts we had been studying throughout my father’s illness.
After our second month of filming, we took the raw footage to Roy, telling him we weren’t leaving until he got well. We were on a mission, and no one could stop us—not even Roy or his team of doctors. As a family, we watched the unedited interviews. Before long, Roy was hooked. What stood out, he told us later, was the story about one of his many medications and how it often caused suicidal thoughts. This was Roy’s worst fear. He couldn’t believe the pharmaceutical and medical industries would knowingly produce and sell a product that could potentially cause people to physically harm themselves. Not only was modern medicine’s approach not helping, it was making him worse. Almost immediately, he went from believing in the medical profession to believing in the age-old adage, “you are what you eat”.
Together, Laurentine and I conducted a “fridge audit.” We threw out any food that wasn’t real. This included all of the diet products, all of the processed foods and refined vegetable oils, and all of the factory-farmed meat and dairy. We then guided Roy through a detoxification program, adding in more and more healthy foods to his diet. At the same time, we helped wean him off his medications by putting him on a special—and closely monitored—natural supplement regimen. Roy agreed to our help against the wishes of his team of doctors. They tried to scare him and pushed for more medications. When he told them he wanted to stop, the doctors responded with horror stories about what would happen if he did, including all of the potential symptoms associated with withdrawal.
Within a few weeks, his energy started to return. He was out of bed, moving freely and energetically around the house. Within a month he was off all 6 of his medications, after 5 years of daily use, and experienced zero side effects or withdrawal symptoms. Within 3 months he lost 50 pounds (25kg) was no longer anxious or depressed, was sleeping through the night, and woke up each morning refreshed and ready for the day. He even started jogging again, something he hadn’t done in years. He was renewed.
A simple commitment to natural foods and an understanding of natural therapies freed him from an illness that had trapped and debilitated him for over five years. It was amazing to watch.
Laurentine and I knew we had to show our documentary to as many people as possible and explain where the food, agricultural, and pharmaceutical industries have gone wrong. Since its release in May 2008, Food Matters has been seen by millions of people online, in theaters, on television, on airlines, and even in hospitals and community centers around the world, from Connecticut to Cambodia, in nine different languages.
Reflecting on this watershed moment for our family two things become abundantly clear.
Firstly, studying nutrition online saved our family’s life and set Laurentine and me up with the knowledge to help keep our family healthy and free from disease in the medical system! Except for when Hugo slices his finger with a bush knife (thank you doctors for critical and emergency care!)
Secondly, it completely changed our careers and life. Helping us to align our passion for nutrition and healing with building a successful career and business. Since Food Matters was founded in 2008 we have employed over 100 people, produced 4 successful documentaries seen by millions (we have 1 more in production now), built the Netflix for health & wellness, and merged it with Gaia to create the world’s largest transformational streaming channel, funded multiple philanthropic projects through the Food Matters Foundation (including a nature school that we’re currently building in Vanuatu) and created a life and group of friends and colleagues I couldn't have even imagined possible.
Our biggest mission at Food Matters has always been, and always remains, “how can we help share this life-saving message with more people”...
We know that this knowledge and information has the power not only to help you and those you love but also help to heal the planet and change the future direction of humanity for generations to come.
We still can’t believe that this information is not more readily available. That it’s not taught in schools. And that most doctors still don't have much nutrition training as part of their degree.
This has inspired us to bring together over 14 years of research with some of the world’s greatest minds in nutrition and natural medicine to make studying nutrition online easier than ever before, no matter where they live in the world and start helping themselves and others straight away. Just like we did with my family and Food Matters.
So now we’re calling forth all changemakers and world-class teachers to help us collectively create a ripple effect of healing, positivity, and hope around the world through studying nutrition and sharing these principles in your family and communities to give people the knowledge and know-how needed to heal themselves safely and effectively.
At Food Matters, we are committed to helping you help yourself. We believe that your body is worthy of good care and that no one is more suitably qualified to care for it than you are. We believe that good health requires a holistic view; a full mind-body integrated approach to lifestyle change. It is based around wellness care, not just disease treatment. Now, we empower people to do exactly this with our Food Matters Nutrition Certification Program, which we can’t wait to share more of with you.