Hard to believe our week in Florida visiting family is nearly over, time has flown by! After lots of eating out, I kept it simple for dinner tonight with baked tofu, acorn squash, and a salad while the rest of the family had BBQ. I tossed the tofu chunks with BBQ sauce and baked at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flipped, and baked for another 20 minutes.
Since the chunks were a little dry, I dipped them in more BBQ sauce.
It made a simple vegan main dish I could throw together and cook with the rest of the meal, but I need to perfect making it less dry or just saute the tofu stove top next time.
After watching the movie, I wasn’t sure it’s what I expected from the trailer.
The movie only documents the first 42 days of Frank’s journey, his physical transformation isn’t as apparent as the before and after pictures on the DVD box and website which were taken later in his transformation. But it focuses on his journey to confront buried emotional issues from his past – relationship problems with his daughter, failed marriage, sexual frustrations, family problems, etc. When Frank stepped into the San Francisco location of Cafe Gratitude, he was morbidly obese, pre-diabetic, and dealing with hepatitis-C at the young age of 54. He was not following a raw vegan diet at the time, but got talked into adopting the diet as well as a transforming lifestyle for a 42-day documented journey, eating raw vegan meals at Cafe Gratitude, getting colon cleanses, health checkups, and addressing his emotional issues in therapy.
Early in the movie, I sort of fell in love with Frank. He’s funny, sweet, caring, and passionate about a lot of things in life, not just food and drinking. There’s a lot more to Frank than his unhealthy exterior and he has a great laid back sense of humor with doctors, Cafe Gratitude staff, and just about anyone he came in contact with making what would normally be slow scenes very entertaining.
The movie is raw, lots of swearing, a little nudity (as in Frank dancing down a hallway after a colonic), and not the best sound and video editing. But it’s real and not mainstream Hollywood, the characters are real and raw discussing uncensored issues and emotions that some may consider uncomfortable. It embraces bringing all emotional issues out and facing them head on instead of burying them to the point they surface negatively in other areas of life. In one scene, Frank is discussing his bowel movements in great detail to the camera humorously after a colonic noting it’s something he wouldn’t think of mentioning to his closest friends not that long ago.
Since becoming a somewhat health nut on a journey adopt a high raw, whole foods vegan diet, I sometimes struggle to not judge people who seem to have a certain level of disregard for their health, animal cruelty, and the environment when it comes to making dietary choices. It sounds bad, but I view it as a strong desire to inspire people to be healthier and happier even if their definition of that doesn’t match mine. This movie sends a very strong message to accept and embrace everyone and to have faith in them. A group of guys at Cafe Gratitude did exactly that with Frank when he expressed unhappiness with himself and a desire to find happiness. They gambled a lot of time and effort on Frank with faith that it would pay off and it did!
Even though some might be off-put by the raw emotions of this movie, it’s an entertaining and heartfelt journey targeted towards a mature audience. I’m glad I picked up the DVD and will be passing it around my family. Consider picking it up for yourself or a gift and support a great project and passion.