Joe Cross Interview
The Star of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
I interview Joe Cross, the star of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. We talk about motivation, how to resist peer pressure and the need for a community. Watch the trailer for his movie and read the interview below.
1. Hey Joe! Your movie, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is empowering people to make radical changes in their lives with juicing. You juice-fast for 60 days, which is a considerable feat of self-discipline. What was the “kicker” that got you started on your journey towards health – did you see yourself in the mirror in a new light or did someone say something that got you thinking? What did it for you?
There wasn’t one particular incident that led me to say “that’s it.” It’s a process really – of committing to change. I didn’t get to be 100 pounds overweight in one day and I didn’t wake up one day and say “right, now it’s time to change.”
I was a yo-yo dieter for years. I put weight on, I lost it and I put it on again. I had been on juice fasts before. They were successful for me and I noticed a real positive impact in terms of nutritional intake and energy when I was on them.
What really was the motivator for me this time around was getting off prescription medicines and finding relief for my rare and painful autoimmune disease that was brought on and made worse by the excess weight. For me, it was about getting healthy, living without pain and getting off prescription medicines. I knew if I filmed my 60 reboot, the cameras would keep me honest and on track.
2. I remember when I had my first juice. It was a mixture of green veggies and a few apples, and after a few hours, I couldn’t believe how amazing I felt. After that, juicing was easy – I got hooked on feeling good. Did you experience anything similar or did you look to losing weight and other more “measurable” targets as motivation to keep going?
When I drink juice, I definitely feel the impact of those micro-nutrients hitting my system with full force. I feel more energetic, more mobile and more alive. The more you juice, the more you crave juicing. Your body begins to like being spoiled and receiving the type of nutrients Mother Nature intended it to. The good feelings, the weight loss, the reduction of pain and flare ups related to my autoimmune disease were all motivators for me.
3. What difficulties did you experience while fasting? Any weakness, nausea, etc? How did you overcome those difficulties?
The first three days of a reboot can be brutal as your body transitions from a routine of processed eating. But once you get to the other side, you start to feel alive in an entirely new way. During my first couple of Reboots, I experienced headaches and general fatigue the first few days but now when I reboot, it’s not really an issue because I juice all the time and eat a heavily plant-based diet – even when I am not rebooting.
4. In terms of taste, what’s your favorite juicing recipe?
I am a big fan of juices that include pineapple, watermelon, grapefruit or apple. I try to start every morning off with a fresh fruit juice whether I am on a reboot or not.
5. How about in terms of the health benefits of juicing?
For me, I would say the green veggie based juices pack the most powerful punch when it comes to health benefits. I tend to use a lot of kale, Swiss collard, spinach, parsley and ginger in my juices. A favorite juice from Reboot Your Life is Reboot Recipe Juice #1 (a.k.a. “the mean green”). It’s simple: 6 kale leaves, 1 cucumber, 4 celery stalks, 2 green apples, ½ lemon and 1 piece of ginger.
6. What juice do you find yourself making most often?
The mean green, for sure.
7. What is your advice for social situations? For example, if someone were to go out with friends to relax at a bar, what should they eat and drink? Also, how can they deflect the pressure friends put on them (“come on…one burger/drink won’t kill ya!”)?
You just need to be confident in your choice. Peer pressure only works if you let it. Sit back and do your thing. Bring a green juice to the bar. Enjoy yourself and hey you can even turn the tables on your mates and let them know a green juice wouldn’t kill them either.
8. What do you see as the future of juicing and the collective human diet? Is it essential that people switch to a plant-based diet or will we survive eating the current Standard Western Diet?
Moderation is really the key to life. Currently fruits and vegetables only make up 5% of the American diet. I think if we upped that to 10% we’d see dramatic benefits in terms of health, nutrition and weight control. I am not saying you can’t have dessert or eat meats. You just need to do so in moderation and you also have to be consistent about ensuring you get the veggies and fruits your body needs.
9. What do you see as the biggest problems with typical Western attitudes to health, fitness and nutrition?
The biggest challenge is that we live in a “Now” culture. We want quick fixes that don’t require us to change long-term or inconvenience ourselves. But to be healthy we need to eat healthy consistently. We need to make a lifetime commitment to it.
10. What’s the best advice you could give to someone who is new to juicing?
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your juices. Make this fun and not a chore, and drink lots of water.
11. Any current or upcoming projects that you are totally excited about and would love to tell our readers about?
Right now, my focus is on growing my business Reboot Your Life. The business really came as a result of me filming my reboot. During the making of Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, I talked to hundreds of Americans about issues of weight, diet and wellness; and during advance screenings of the film I have spoken to hundreds more.
On my journey, the people I met made up MY community of support that made change possible. What I have heard over and over again from them was a desire for easily accessible information and real support that could help THEM lead healthier lifestyles.
Knowing community is key, led me to create Reboot Your Life, a company centered around an online community network. Our meeting place is www.jointhereboot.com, an inclusive, non-judgment making place where every day people can learn how to juice and how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet. Ours is a mission of wellness, not necessarily a mission for weight loss, but sometimes these things come hand-in-hand.
At this site, anyone can sign up and get step-by-step instructions on how to do a customized Reboot juice program. It is supported by a nutritionist, a library of recipes, daily meal plans, research and community tools that allow you to share your stories and Reboot experiences. I needed community to change. Most people do. Reboot Your Life and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead are my ways of paying it forward.