Going from Someone Who KNOWS to Someone Who DOES

If I never got sick, who knows, I may never have slowed down, then had a heart attack and died.

These cautionary words, spoken by Australian entrepreneur Joe Cross, open his award-winning documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, a chronicle of his transformative 60-day juice fast as he dives across America.

Joe begins his trek 100 pounds overweight and taking steroids for chronic urticaria, a rare condition that produces severe hives and rashes. He hopes to give his health a major jump-start and inspire others to join him along the way.

Joe describes his intentions to the people he meets and they respond with every possible reason for avoiding healthy dietary changes. Then he runs into Phil, a morbidly obese truck driver with the same skin condition, and things gets really interesting.

Despite the obvious product placement of Joe’s juicer, I prefer this film to others that promote a healthy, plant-based lifestyle because Joe

Leads by example
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead does not preach but instead makes a real-life case for the concentrated goodness of freshly juiced vegetables and fruits that are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.

Like it or not, we simply cannot be at our healthiest without prodigious amounts of vegetables. As a junk food junkie in recovery, I struggled with this fact for a long time and occasionally still do. Joe’s results encourage me as I continue my green smoothie detox for quick and and tasty blasts of nutrients that have undeniable benefits.

Uses common sense
He explains how intermittent fasting was part of our Paleolithic ancestors’ lifestyle. This is an important reminder to people jumping on the Paleo bandwagon. Mind you, I am a fan of Paleo as a basic template for most people. It is free of allergens that commonly cause inflammation and promotes a whole-foods, low-glycemic diet. But it is important to remember that our ancestors did not have freezers and grocery stores. They had to work very hard to get their meat.

Stays focused
Unlike many other “plant-based” movies, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead does not push the meat-is-evil argument but instead encourages juice fasting as a “reboot”; a way to detox and break food addictions. Juice fasting sets the tone for a healthy, active, and balanced lifestyle that is high in greens and other plants but not necessarily vegan.

“We go on vacation, we take our car in for service, but we never give our body a rest,” says Joe. A great point. Digesting food uses up to 30 percent of our energy supply. Imagine how you might feel with 30 percent more energy.

As spring unfolds, consider doing a cleanse or a detox. The warming weather prompts our natural desire to “shed the winter coat” that may have grown around your midsection.

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead may encourage you to dust off your juicer or buy one. Perhaps not coincidentally, Joe’s web site sells the very juicer he uses in the film.

Conscious capitalism at its best? You decide.

—Dr. Teray

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