Are you 'Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead'? Join us for our inspirational 'Guest of the Month', Joe Cross.
By Amy Crawford
Who isn't inspired by a transformational story, a before and after story that inspires you to take stock, check out the contents (or lack thereof) in the fridge vegetable crisper and reconsider the next round of prescriptions from the Dr. This is one of those stories and one that I am delighted to share with you all today.
On that note, a huge hearty welcome to Joe Cross, an Australian filmmaker, author and wellness advocate. You may know him best as the face behind the film 'Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead' (if you've not yet seen it, you really must).
In 2005, Joe Cross weighed 140 kg and was living with an autoimmune condition, chronic urticaria, for which he had been on medications for years. Traditional and non-traditional medicines alike didn't solve this illness and he unsuccessfully tried various diets to lose his excess weight. Joe tells us that his diet consisted of mainly processed foods.
Enter the 60 day juice fast, the theme behind the film series, that was to turn his life around.
Hi Joe, welcome to THI. Can you tell our readers a little about your history, and how you have come to found the health and lifestyle brand Reboot with Joe?
Believe me, for the first 40 years of my life I couldn't have been less concerned about diet or wellness – I was focused on created commercial success in my career in finance. When I wasn't working, I was living large, both figuratively and literally, with outsized consumption of processed food, alcohol, and cigarettes and absolutely no regard for exercise, rest or fruits and vegetables .
On the eve of my 40th birthday, I looked in the mirror and took a pretty sobering inventory of what was staring back at me. I was more than 100 pounds overweight and even more troublesome, I was managing a chronic autoimmune disease that first presented 8 years earlier by taking daily doses of powerful and debilitating steroids. As much as I wanted to see the fact that I was – in my words – fat, sick and nearly dead as someone or something else’s problem, I finally had to acknowledge that my own lifestyle and diet had created the situation. So I took radical action. I decided to reboot my system and see if by consuming nothing but the fresh juice of vegetables and fruits for 60 days, and then following it up with a period of purely plant-based eating, I could address the problem. Because I am sort of a crazy bloke, I made a film about my reboot, called Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead that chronicled my journey and those of other people I met along the way. I thought that if the experiment was a success, perhaps I could show it in schools around my native Australia to a few thousands students.
What followed was nothing short of shocking. My reboot was successful – I was able to get off my medication, reduce my weight to a healthy level and rediscover a vitality I hadn’t enjoyed since my teens. And the little film I made has now been seen by more than 20 million people around the world. Along the way, I created Reboot with Joe to provide information, tools, products and community to people who want to transform their lives like I did. We offer a tremendous amount of free information, including recipes, juicing and meal plans and most importantly, the support of a community.
What does the Reboot Juice Cleanse entail? What can I hope to experience and feel throughout and by the end of this cleanse? What have been the major benefits of your cleanse?
We don’t use the word “cleanse” because it has a lot of implications that are pretty extreme. I call it a “reboot” because I like the idea of resetting your system, which includes training your palate to appreciate the amazing flavors of fruits and vegetables.
Personally, the best benefit (out of many!) from my own initial Reboot was that I was able to reduce and ultimately eliminate the powerful steroids I was taking for my disease, and I have had no recurrence in the intervening 7 years.
Can you tell us, what are the potential downfalls of a juice re-boot?
No one should live on juice alone indefinitely – and we never advocate embarking on any reboot without the input of your physician. Assuming that he or she gives you the A-okay, there is no downside to amping up your vegetable and fruit intake. And if you add in one green juice a day and don’t change anything else, you will still see benefits.
How do you feel about the myriad of cold pressed juice cleanses on the market today?
I am always happy to see products available that make it easy for people to increase their vegetable and fruit intake. For some people – working parents, students, people who travel a lot, you name it – DIY juicing is hard. Making grab-and-go options more broadly available just increases the chances of people super charging their diets with micro-nutrient plant food.
Now obviously you don't subsist solely on juices, can you tell us about your diet as it stands today?
I try to consume as much plant food as I can. I still incorporate juice every day. I have added in lean, clean animal protein judiciously. And about 15-20% is average, processed food. That balance is pretty easy to maintain and I never feel deprived.
As health increasingly becomes prominent within the media and our awareness of good health practices as a society grows, what advice do you have for those who are coming to KNOW their nutrition needs work, but feel unable to ACT on their knowledge?
Start small. Don’t expect that a radical overhaul is easy. Plan ahead and begin by making a tiny daily change – say, adding in a green juice. Do that for a fortnight, and then introduce another small change. And if you backslide, don't beat yourself up – that is as toxic as a super-sized fast food meal!
The film Fat, Sick and Nearly dead highlights a segment of the population that may feel there is no hope, that it is too late to turn your diet and lifestyle around for a healthier future. What advice do you have on the contrary? Well, look at the success stories in the movie! There is a lot of persuasive evidence right there that no one should ever feel like it is too late to change, or that their situation is too hopeless.
If our readers want to know more about your program and Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2, where can they find you?
I’m active on social media (twitter @joethejuicer) and on the Reboot with Joe website, where there is always a list of upcoming live appearances.
I’ll be going across the US, Europe and Asia over the next 6 months as we debut Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 around the world. It will be available for rent or sale on November 18. I’m excited to share with the fans the stories of what happened after the first film, and the additional information I’ve gleaned from a lot of great experts.