After Paul David Kennamer Jr.’s father had a heart attack, a stroke and triple-bypass surgery, he knew he could have the same fate as his father unless he made a significant change in his lifestyle. So when a doctor approached Kennamer and his team of filmmakers about trying out a healthy, plant-based way of eating, they all decided to jump onboard.
The team’s dramatic results inspired them to share their knowledge in the form of “Eating You Alive,” a documentary about the benefits of a plant-based diet. The film is being screened in Salt Lake City from March 19-23 at Megaplex Theaters at the Gateway.
“We all experienced such dramatic results that we knew this was a story we had to tell,” said Kennamer in a phone interview with the Deseret News.
According to Kennamer, most of the crew continued the diet, and he has since dropped 80 pounds with minimal exercise and was relieved various aches and pains.
“Eating You Alive” features several physicians across the country who have been turning to the whole foods diet before using traditional medicine and some of their patients’ success stories.
“It was important to us to show that this movement is growing, viable and credible. We wanted to show that this diet isn’t being used by a small handful of tree-hugging weirdos, but that it actually works,” said co-producer Merilee Jacobs.
“Eating You Alive” also includes patient testimonials, even from stars like James Cameron and Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson testifies to the long-term results of the healthy diet, while Cameron and his wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, explain how it also helps the environment by cutting down on meat production farms.
The film also features the story of Dr. Brooke Goldner, who shared that she was diagnosed with lupus at the age of 16 and was put on dialysis for two years. It wasn’t until she met her husband, who is a celebrity trainer, that she started to see real improvement. A few months before their wedding, Goldner said that she asked her husband to train her to look good for their big day.
“I was already a vegetarian, so with his help, I accidentally got put on the best diet possible for my metabolism,” Goldner said.
She said when she took blood tests before her wedding, the doctors discovered her lupus symptoms had all but disappeared.
“We didn’t believe it at first, and neither did the doctors," said Goldner, who is a physician. "They made me come back because before that, they thought that curing lupus entirely was medically impossible."
Within a year, Goldner was off all of her medications. Since then, she has had two children and has remained healthy despite her stressful lifestyle, which can often cause relapse in lupus patients. When she was diagnosed, Goldner said that she was told that pregnancy would kill her.
Now, Goldner said that she encourages all of her patients to adopt the plant-based diet because it is a universal healer.
“I don’t teach anything that won’t work for every single one of my patients,” Goldner said. “We are all made of cells, and our cells all need similar things. This diet gives your cells the tools they need to properly mend your body.”
Goldner, Kennamer and Jacobs said their main goal with the film was to educate people about the benefits of a healthy diet.
“People are dying because they are being given the wrong information," Goldner said. "Anything we can do to spread the word that there’s hope and that this works for everybody is something we want to take on.”
Jacobs said that the group aims to teach viewers that this diet works, that it is hearty, easy to accomplish, and that it can be adopted fairly inexpensively.
“Above all else, say it with me: Eat more plants,” Jacobs said.
The film is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. each day with a 3 p.m. showing on March 19. The filmmakers and Goldner will be available for questions after the screening next week. For information the diet and the film, see eatingyoualive.com. Goldner also shares information on her Facebook page at “Goodbye, Lupus.”