Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead...the movie.

Wifey and I were searching through the NetFlix previews late one evening and came across an unusually titled movie: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  It had a SuperSize Me feel to it and whether it was a good movie or not mattered little to me, I'd surely be nodding off in no time.

Turns out the movie is based on an Australian named Joe Cross.  At age 36, Joe had become the typical overweight, junk food junkie that so many people worldwide have become.  He had visited several physicians, acupuncturists, natural healers and the like to no avail.  He was on several medications and suffered from a skin disease called Urticaria (similar to a rash).

I'm not quite sure where he got the idea but Joe decided that his drastic health condition called for drastic action on his behalf.  He loaded up his luggage and headed for America to do the unthinkable.  Joe embarked on a 60 day juice fast.  For 60 days, Joe used a Breville BJE510XL Ikon 900-Watt Variable-Speed Juice Extractor to create a drinkable meal made solely from fruits and vegetables.  No meats, no dairy...for 60 days.

Joe Cross before and after 60 day juice Reboot.
Joe not only lost 100 pounds but completely got rid of his high blood pressure medication as well as his skin disease meds.  He utilized a physician to track his progress and had routine blood tests every couple of weeks to make sure he wasn't deficient in any category.

What made Joe's movie enjoyable was his choice in animations woven throughout the show and his man-on-the-street type interviews with average Americans.  Many people concured with Joe that we are what we eat and that we know we eat poorly.  The solution to the world's obesity problem lies in confronting our love for junk food.  Joe's travel across America on his 60 day juice fast, or Reboot, as he calls it inspired dozens of people. 

Joe was the inspiration for this truck driver.
 A small side story of the movie revolves around a truck driver Joe met who was severely obese and shared the same skin disease as Joe.  Since Joe always offers to share his knowledge of juicing with everyone he meets, it was only a matter of time before someone called him out.  The truck driver Joe had met called him after the Reboot was completed.  He contacted Joe in Australia and asked for Joe's help in starting his own Reboot.  You'll have to watch the movie to see how the truck driver's juice diet turns out but rest assured, the truck driver is now inspiring people all over his state.

Overall it was the type of movie that left me and Wifey smiling.  And for full disclosure, I'll go ahead and admit it:  Within a week, we bought a juicer.  We've talked about juicing for years but never could afford it.  Well, things are little better for us these days and Walmart had a Jack LaLlane juicer for $99.  We haven't attempted a Reboot ourselves but in all honesty, we're REALLY digging this juice stuff. I can now eat vegetables (drink rather) that prior to juicing, I couldn't stand no matter how you cooked it.

So, thanks Joe...if you're out there.  I now get a daily dose of broccoli, bok choy, and kale. Juiced with apples, strawberries and peaches, you wouldn't even know there was yucky stuff in that drink...except for the color!

As a side note, this turned out to be a great way to enjoy the fruits of my labor...literally.  I'm a new gardening fanatic (second season just finished) and I have mostly grown things that I knew I would enjoy like carrots, potatoes, corn and watermelon.  But Wifey and I also grew some things I wasn't too sure about, like cucumbers (she loves 'em, I can't stand 'em).  But with juicing, you can mix and match the good with the bad and still come out with a delicious beverage.

Here's the juicer used in the movie:
. .             .

Either one will work just fine.  If you like the "best of the best" then get the one for $299.  For me, you can't convince me that the difference between 900 watts and 1000 watts is THAT big of a deal.  At least, not big enough to merit an extra $100.

I've begun a juicing journal with pictures and recipes on a dedicated page here.

Have you ever tried juicing? Have you seen the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead yet?



  1. Haven't seen the movie. Enjoy juices. If you have a blender try to blend the ingredients instead. Similar thing but you get the fibre too. An interesting one is apple, cucumber, spinach, mint and a squeeze of lemon juice.
    Fruit smoothies are excellent, blend with yoghurt instead of ice cream. You can freeze normal yoghurt in ice cube trays to make it even colder - excellent if your yoghurt is just about to go off. I also cut and freeze any fruit that is going bad for smoothies.


  2. @Amanda You know what? I seem to be getting some fiber anyway judging by my increase in...well...let's just say I'm making more pit stops that I used to.

    I notice that when I'm done juicing into the attached catching cup, I pour it into a tall glass filled with ice. It always seems pretty thick, like somewhere between foamy and liquid. I'm guessing a descent amount of fiber is still coming through although I do have quite a bit of pulp left in the disposable side. I'm thinking about using it in the composter.

    Thanks for the commenting!

  3. Any idea how many calories a day Joe was consuming in juice?

  4. I haven't seen this movie and I've never tried juicing. I would probably enjoy both, though I don't think I could do the Reboot. I might have to see if I can find that movie and learn more about it.

  5. That's essentially what my sister is doing to combat stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The Gerson diet is mostly juices made from organic produce. So far she's doing better than the doctors were expecting. They gave her 6 months to live and that was the day after Valentine's day. She's still zipping around and still working!!!!! (She was denied SS.. btw.)

    Toss the pulp in the compost.. although there are some recipes that use that too.

    You get a lot more vitamins & antioxidants this way vs cooked veggies. Broccoli in particular is one that easily loses it's health benefits to heat.

  6. I saw this movie in late July 2011 on netflix and it moved me. The story of the trucker, Phil was an inspiration and I thought I had to try it. I immediately went out and got some juicing foods. First I just blended the stuff with my VitaMix Blender, then after a few days found a good Breville juicer. I actually decided I liked my juice best first blending the fruits and veggies in the VitaMix, and then essentially straining it out in the Breville. I started as a 6'1" guy at 297 lbs. After 20 days, I was down to around 261 lbs... Unfortunately, I got struck with a case of hubris and stopped following the regime and started binging at all you can eat restaurants again. I started backsliding on the weight cause I wasn't faithfull to the regime and now I’m at 270lbs. But I’m committing today to start over and go for the full 60 days.


  7. Great post! I typically use a blender but a juicer works just fine. It's healthy and delicious!

  8. Ben, I'd sure like to hear how it went...if you're still out there.


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