WHAT I EAT IN A DAY, AS A PALEO-VEGAN

WHAT I EAT IN A DAY, AS A PALEO-VEGAN

My journey from eating disorder, to high-carb-low-fat, to paleo vegan below unfolds for you below:

At the time, I truly believed that my new diet was the way to recover from years of under-eating, in a healthy way. In hindsight, any diet that celebrates table sugar and eating pounds of fruit probably isn't a smart idea. In November 2017, I tested positive for hormonal imbalances, had extreme fatigue, and developed Perioral Dermatitis on my face. Obviously, something wasn't working.

     Instead of trying to tackle my diet on my own again, I decided to seek the help of an Institute of Functional Medicine Certified Herbalist and Nutritionist. With their guidance, I have been eating a plant-based Paleo type diet, that avoids excess sugars and increases my daily fat intake. (phew!) It appears that high-carb, low-fat vegan was actually making me sick, and the key for me is balance! I truly hope that this new diet helps me achieve sustainable health, and is also sustainable for the planet. Only time will tell.

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THE BEST DOCUMENTARIES TO WATCH NOW (2017)

     Ranging from climate change and environmental issues; diets and health; social justice and inequality; and spirituality; I hope you enjoy my selection of the top documentaries to watch in 2017.


13TH

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"An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality."

"The film begins with the idea that 25 percent of the people in the world who are incarcerated are incarcerated in the U.S. Although the U.S. has just 5% of the world's population. "13th" charts the explosive growth in America's prison population; in 1970, there were about 200,000 prisoners; today, the prison population is more than 2 million. The documentary touches on chattel slavery; D. W. Griffith's film "The Birth of a Nation"; Emmett Till; the civil rights movement; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Richard M. Nixon; and Ronald Reagan's declaration of the war on drugs and much more." - Ulf Kjell Gür

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BEFORE THE FLOOD

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"If you could know the truth about the threat of climate change — would you want to know? Before the Flood, features Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand.

Before the Flood presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent the disruption of life on our planet. Beyond the steps we can take as individuals, the film urges viewers to push their elected officials in supporting the use of alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power." -Before the Flood

“This documentary shows how interconnected the fate of all humanity is — but also the power we all possess as individuals to build a better future for our planet.” -Leonardo DiCaprio

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CHASING CORAL

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 An eyeopening look at the devastation that climate change is having on our oceans due to ocean acidification. "Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world."- Chasing Coral.com

"Whether you have spent vacation time snorkeling, watched the National Geographic channel, or even paid a bit of attention during high school science class, you likely have some level of understanding of what a vital ecosystem coral reefs are to Ocean life. Director Jeff Orlowski has a track record of important environmental documentaries with his 2012 Chasing Ice. The film does an excellent job of defining and explaining the importance of coral, and once Zach Rago is introduced, the energy and passion jump significantly. " -Imbd.com

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A PLASTIC OCEAN

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"A Plastic Ocean begins when journalist Craig Leeson, searching for the elusive blue whale, discovers plastic waste in what should be a pristine ocean. In this adventure documentary, Craig teams up with free diver Tanya Streeter and an international team of scientists and researchers, and they travel to twenty locations around the world over the next four years to explore the fragile state of our oceans, uncover alarming truths about plastic pollution, and reveal working solutions that can be put into immediate effect." -Imbd.com

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REQUIEM FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM

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"Requiem For The American Dream is the definitive discourse with Noam Chomsky, on the defining characteristic of our time - the deliberate concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a select few. Through interviews filmed over four years, Chomsky unpacks the principles that have brought us to the crossroads of historically unprecedented inequality - tracing a half century of policies designed to favor the most wealthy at the expense of the majority - while also looking back on his own life of activism and political participation.

Profoundly personal and thought provoking, Chomsky provides penetrating insight into what may well be the lasting legacy of our time - the death of the middle class, and swan song of functioning democracy. A potent reminder that power ultimately rests in the hands of the governed, REQUIEM is required viewing for all who maintain hope in a shared stake in the future." -Imbd.com

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RIVER BLUE

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"Following international river conservationist, Mark Angelo, River Blue spans the globe to infiltrate one of the world’s most pollutive industries, fashion. Narrated by clean water supporter Jason Priestley, this groundbreaking documentary examines the destruction of our rivers, its effect on humanity, and the solutions that inspire hope for a sustainable future.

Through harsh chemical manufacturing processes and the irresponsible disposal of toxic chemical waste, one of our favorite iconic products has destroyed rivers and impacted the lives of people who count on these waterways for their survival. River Blue brings awareness to the destruction of a some of the world’s most vital rivers through the manufacturing of our clothing, but will also act as a demand for significant change in the textile industry from the top fashion brands that can make a difference. " - RiverBlue.com

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THE SPACE IN BETWEEN

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"Marina Abramovic travels through Brazil, in search of personal healing and artistic inspiration, experiencing sacred rituals and revealing, for the first time, her creative process. The route is comprised of poignant encounters with healers and sages from the Brazilian countryside, exploring the limits between art, immateriality and consciousness.

This external trip triggers in Marina a profound introspective journey through memories, pains and past experiences. A mixture between road movie, direct cinema, recorded performances and spiritual thriller, the documentary brings an unprecedented approach of the intimate creative process of one of the most important artists of our time." - Casa Redonda

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TERRA

 Terra is a thought provoking and visually stunning documentary about Earth. It is "an ode to humanity" and a spectacular portrayal of the beauty of life. It also brings to light the struggles that we face as we stray further and further from the natural. Watching it evokes a visceral sense awe and gives pause for reflection on the interconnectedness of us all.

"Over barely 10,000 years, life on Earth has been profoundly affected by the incredible development of humanity. But mankind is now increasingly isolated. How have our relations with other living beings changed so much? What do we still see, or notice, of the living world around us? Terra is a journey through the history of life forms, a quest for true humanity. By proposing that we once again treat wildlife with the respect it deserves, Terra shows its credentials as a humanist and deliberately positive film, openly advocating that humanity is still capable of 'getting back to basics'.” -Terra.com

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UNLOCKING THE CAGE

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"Unlocking the Cage follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. After thirty years of struggling with ineffective animal welfare laws, Steve and his legal team are making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal from a thing with no rights to a person with legal protections.

Supported by affidavits from primatologists around the world, Steve maintains that, based on scientific evidence, cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins, and elephants have the capacity for limited personhood rights (such as bodily liberty) that would protect them from physical abuse.  Using writs of habeas corpus (historically used to free humans from unlawful imprisonment), Wise argues on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State.

Unlocking the Cage captures a monumental shift in our culture, as the public and judicial system show increasing receptiveness to Steve’s impassioned arguments. It is an intimate look at a lawsuit that could forever transform our legal system, and one man’s lifelong quest to protect 'nonhuman' animals."
-UnlockingTheCage.com

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WHAT THE HEALTH

"What the Health is the groundbreaking follow-up film from the creators of the award winning documentary Cowspiracy. The film follows intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the secret to preventing and even reversing chronic diseases – and investigates why the nation’s leading health organizations don’t want us to know about it. With heart disease and cancer the leading causes of death in America, and diabetes at an all-time high, the film reveals possibly the largest health cover-up of our time. With the help of medical doctors, researchers, and consumer advocates, What the Health exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick.

What The Health is a surprising, and at times hilarious, investigative documentary that will be an eye-opener for everyone concerned about our nation’s health and how big business influences it." -WTHFILM.com

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      I hope you are as moved by these documentaries as I have been. Do you have a recent documentary favorite that you think should be added to the list? Let me know in the comments below, and as always thanks for reading.

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Renee Peters

Renee Peters is a NYC-based model, blogger, and advocate of mindful, sustainable living. She strives to be a role model by using her platform for positive change. Through her blog, Model4GreenLiving, Peters seeks to reshape the way people think about environmental issues and provide practical tips and everyday actions for readers.  Peters uses social media to promote that same message, as well as one of self-love and body-positivity. She also volunteers, is an environmental activist, and is an avid learner of anything relating to the planet and its health. For booking inquires visit Muse Models NYC or Nomad Management Miami.

FALL IN LOVE WITH THE SUPER FOODS OF FALL (PART II)

Ginger

Fresh Ginger_Model4greenliving

     Known to aid in digestion, relieve symptoms of nausea, treat severe menstrual pain, and reduce inflammation, ginger is an amazing food to incorporate in your diet year round.

     Ginger contains both phenols and gingerols. The phenolic compounds in ginger help relieve irritation in the stomach and intestines, and aid in digestion by stimulating saliva and bile production. Chewing raw ginger or drinking ginger tea helps treat nausea naturally, and is commonly used by pregnant women experiencing morning sickness. Gingerols, naturally occurring oils in ginger, are potent anti-inflammatories, and fresh ginger has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation. Recent studies have shown that ginger may help treat more serious inflammatory conditions such as Cancer, although further research is necessary. For women experiencing severe pain with menstruation, ground ginger taken in the form of capsules has been shown reduce the pain's severity.

     Ginger root is typically harvested in then fall and winter months. Freshly cut ginger is a perfect addition to tea, and as temperatures begin to drop hot beverages are more and more appealing.  Lemon-ginger Green Tea is one of my favorite nutrition-packed beverages for fall, and can help boost our immune systems for the "cold and flu season" ahead. 

Kale

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     Kale is one of my favorite dark, leafy greens. Commonly harvested in the fall, it provides a wide variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Incorporating kale into your diet can aid in digestion, improve issues associated with diabetes, help protect again bone fractures, and maintain healthy skin and hair. 

     The high amount of fiber in kale ( g per serving), along with its high water content, helps promote digestive health and prevent constipation. High fiber diets have been proven to reduce blood-glucose levels, and may even improve the lives of Type 2 diabetics by stabilizing blood sugar, insulin, and lipid levels. Kale also contains the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid, which has been found to lower glucose levels while also increasing insulin sensitivity. The high amount of vitamin K found in kale (550 micrograms: 680% of our daily requirements) improves calcium absorption and strengthens bone matrix proteins, helping protect against bone fractures. Our skin and hair benefit from eating kale as well. Collagen levels are maintained best when vitamin C is readily available from sources such as kale. Having adequate collagen helps skin stay supple and hair remain strong. Skin also benefits from kale, because it contains high amounts of vitamin A and iron. 

    Eaten cooked (in soups, stews, or stir-fry) or raw (in salads or as a taco-topper), kale incorporated into your diet can benefit health year-round.

Mushrooms

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     Mushrooms aren’t plants so they don’t contain the phytonutrients (nutrients specific to plants such as beta-carotene) associated with my other “Superfoods of Fall”. They do however provide immense nutritional value from the vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients they contain.

     Mushrooms have a higher level of antioxidants than many plants, including green peppers and zucchinis, due to their high levels of polyphenols.  One powerful micronutrient found in high concentrations in mushrooms is the antioxidant ergothioneine. Cooking actually releases this powerful nutrient from the mushroom cells, and increases its anti-inflammatory effects. Mushrooms are a common part of homeopathic medicine and have been used in natural remedies for centuries. Certain compounds in mushrooms are now being studied scientifically by researchers to determine their anti-inflammatory effects. A few of the bioactive compounds discovered include polysaccharides, phenolic compounds, steroids, and lectins. 

     Along with the antioxidants listen above, mushrooms are also a good source of B vitamins (niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin) and contain the minerals iron, and selenium. Mushrooms contain no fat, are low in carbohydrates, and high in fiber. They are a definite “superfood” to include in your diet this Fall.

Rutabagas

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     Rutabaga, first discovered growing wild in Sweden, are cruciferous vegetables related to broccoli, cabbage and kale. They are a root vegetable harvested in the fall and have a similartaste to turnips. They are a great source of potassium and phosphorus, vitamin C and iron, and also the cancer-fighting substance glucosinolate. Rutabaga is wonderful cooked and served warm like mashed potatoes, cooked in soups and stews, or eaten raw as a salad topper to add a bit of crunch.

     Potassium found in rutabaga (8% RDA in one cooked-cup) aids in protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and helps maintain proper fluid balance in the body. Rutabaga also contain 10% of your daily recommendation for phosphorous. Phosphorus aids in the metabolism and synthesis of proteins, and is an important mineral to maintain strong bones. Proper neurotransmitter function and collagen production both require adequate levels of vitamin C. 20-30% of your daily vitamin C requirements can come from eating just one serving of this “super food”. The vitamin C in rutabaga also allows for greater absorption of iron. One rutabaga contains about 5% of your daily needs. 

     Rutabaga has proven beneficial in protecting against cancer-causing carcinogens, and even aids in the reduction of colon and prostate cancers. Cruciferous vegetables, such as rutabagas, are excellent sources of sulfur-containing substances called glucosinolates. These compounds are responsible for the bitter taste and pungent aroma of cruciferous vegetables. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, glucosinolates may help eliminate carcinogens before they can damage DNA or alter certain cell-signaling pathways. In turn, normal cells aren't transformed into cancerous cells.

     Mild and sweet, rutabaga is a great comfort food for fall.

 
Comment

Renee Peters

Renee Peters is a NYC-based model, blogger, and advocate of mindful, sustainable living. She strives to be a role model by using her platform for positive change. Through her blog, Model4GreenLiving, Peters seeks to reshape the way people think about environmental issues and provide practical tips and everyday actions for readers.  Peters uses social media to promote that same message, as well as one of self-love and body-positivity. She also volunteers, is an environmental activist, and is an avid learner of anything relating to the planet and its health. For booking inquires visit Muse Models NYC or Nomad Management Miami.

WHAT IS THE MACROBIOTIC DIET?

HISTORY OF MACROBIOTIC:

      The Macrobiotic diet goes all the way back to the late 16th century. It was first mentioned in Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland's book The Art of Prolonging Human Life (1797).  It was  expanded in the late 19th century by doctor Sagen Ishizuka. He conducted clinical trials on thousands of Japanese patients and eventually used these overwhelmingly successsful results to help found his association, "Shokuyo" in 1907.

BASIC PRINCIPLES:

      "Japanese macrobiotics emphasizes locally grown whole grain cereals, legumes, vegetables, seaweed, fermented soy and other vegetables, as well as fruits." It is based on the idea of yin and yang. Certain foods are considered more Yin: "expansive, light and cold", and others are considered more Yang: "compact, dense, heavy, and hot" (wikipedia).
 
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     The Macrobiotic diet seeks to maintain optimum balance in the body by combining the foods we eat so that there is an equal amount of yin and yang in every meal. It also recognizes that the body needs different types of foods at different times of the year. This is why there is a high emphasis on eating seasonally and locally.

 

THE GUIDELINES TO MACROBIOTIC:

 

PRINCIPLE FOODS

-Whole Grians 30%

-Vegetables 35%

-Beans and Tempeh 10% 

Secondary foods:

-Fruits 10%

-Oils, Nuts, and Seeds 10%

Other foods/beverages:

(herbal teas, vegetable juices, and lots of water, Fermented foods (kim chee, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, etc) and Seaweed) 5%

YIN/YANG and BALANCED FOODS Chart:

*Aim to eat as close to the middle of the chart shown above as possible  (under Mininal Yang and Minimal Ying columns).

FOOD TO AVOID:

     -Dairy (milk, cheese, cream, ghee, whey, yogurt, and ice cream) -   Animal proteins (meat, eggs, gelatin) -White/ brown sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup, and other refined sweeteners -Processed fruit juices from concentrate -Refined oils -Alcohol -White Rice -White Flour -Artificial Chemicals, preservatives, and dyes.

 

SEASONAL MEAL EXAMPLES:

Winter Meal

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VEGAN BROWN RICE RISOTTO WITH STEAMED ASPARAGUS

Summer Meal

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RAW VEGAN SPINACH SALAD WITH ALFALFA SPROUTS, CUCUMBER, CARROT, AND TOMATO

THE TAKEAWAY

     Choose most of your food based up the "Slight Yang" and "Slight Yin" columns (80%). The other colums "Moderate Yang" and "Moderate Yin" should compromise the rest of your diet (20%).

     As a vegan I choose to abstain from the foods in the "Extreme Yang" or "Very Yang" Column as well as the cheese, cream, yogurt, and butter from the "Very Yin" column.The only thing from the "Extreme Yin" column that have chosen to include in my diet is caffeine.

     Thank you for reading,

 

Comment

Renee Peters

Renee Peters is a NYC-based model, blogger, and advocate of mindful, sustainable living. She strives to be a role model by using her platform for positive change. Through her blog, Model4GreenLiving, Peters seeks to reshape the way people think about environmental issues and provide practical tips and everyday actions for readers.  Peters uses social media to promote that same message, as well as one of self-love and body-positivity. She also volunteers, is an environmental activist, and is an avid learner of anything relating to the planet and its health. For booking inquires visit Muse Models NYC or Nomad Management Miami.

THE BEST DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY AND HEALTHY LIVING

     Living sustainably and eating a healthy vegan diet were not inherent parts of my life growing up. As a child of America in the 90s, I was first and foremost a consumer. A consumer of fast fashion, fast food, and meat... lots of meat.  The journey to where I am now has been a long one: A journey filled with personal change and progress... a journey of ups and downs... But ultimately a journey to a healthier, happier, and "more sustainable" me.

     The person who I am today has been fueled not only by my travels and the people I have met, but also in large part by my constant seeking of knowledge. I started at first by reading books such as The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan; Eating Animals by Johnathan Safran Foer; Eat Right For Your Type by Dr. Peter D'Adamo; The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; and many more. These books made references to documentaries, peaking my interest to explore further. I have since watched hundreds of documentary films on a wide array of subjects surrounding sustainable living.

     Ranging from diet and health; environmental protection and sustainability; living with less; the fast fashion industry; the way we interact with one another; to the awe and beauty of the world we live in.

Here are my Top Documentaries that Inspire Sustainable, Healthy Living:


Forks Over Knives

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 A film explaining why a plant-based diet, free of processed foods is necessary for optimal health. It focuses on the ethical principles of veganism, but more so on the scientific proof that plant-based diets work best for our bodies. "Examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods." - Brian L. Wendel


That Sugar Film

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"One man's journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as 'healthy'. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves"- Madman Entertainmen


Cowspiracy: the Sustainability Secret

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"The World's largest environmental organizations are failing to address the single most destructive force facing the planet today. Follow the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist, as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability." -Imbd.com


 Racing Extinction 

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"Utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, Oscar-winner Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) assembles a team of artists and activists intent on showing the world never-before-seen images that expose issues of endangered species and mass extinction. Whether infiltrating notorious black markets with guerrilla-style tactics or exploring the scientific causes affecting changes to the environment, RACING EXTINCTION will change the way we see the world and our role within it." -Imbd.com


Dirt! The Movie

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 "DIRT! The Movie brings to life the environmental, economic, social, and political impact that the soil has. It shares the stories of experts from all over the world who study and harness the beauty and power of a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with soil. ...DIRT! The Movie is a call to action. 'The only remedy for disconnecting people from the natural world is connecting them to it again.' What we've destroyed, we can heal." - Common Ground Media, Inc.


Mission Blue

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"Legendary oceanographer and TED prize winner Dr. Sylvia Earle is on a mission to save our oceans. Mission Blue is part action-adventure, part expose of an Eco-disaster. More than 100 scientists, philanthropists and activists gather in the Galapagos Islands to help fulfill Dr. Earle's lifelong wish: build a global network of marine protected areas, like underwater national parks, to protect the natural systems that keep humans alive. As the expedition ends, Sylvia and an environmental dream team race around the world trying to defend her 'Hope Spots'." -imbd.com


True Cost

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"This is a story about clothing. It's about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?" -Michael Ross


We the Tiny House People

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"TV producer and Internet-video personality Kirsten Dirksen invites us on her journey into the tiny homes of people searching for simplicity, self-sufficiency, minimalism and happiness by creating shelter in tiny spaces." -Imbd.com


Unity 

Unity Film_model4greenliving

 "Despite the advent of science, literature, technology, philosophy, religion, and so on -- none of these has assuaged humankind from killing one another, the animals, and nature. UNITY is a film about why we can't seem to get along, even after thousands and thousands of years." -Nation Earth


Samsara 

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"Filmed over nearly five years in twenty-five countries on five continents, and shot on seventy-millimetre film, Samsara transports us to the varied worlds of sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial complexes, and natural wonders." -Imbd.com


I hope you are as moved by these documentaries as I have been. And as always thanks for reading.