Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead: How Fruits & Vegetables Changed My Life Paperback – 2011
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Joe Cross found himself, at age 40, weighing a whopping 300 plus pounds, and on a daily diet of the steroid Prednisone to manage the painful autoimmune condition that was making his life miserable. He decided to make a major change, so he did something radical: he decided to embark on a sixty-day "Reboot" to give his body a chance to detoxify and heal itself. For two straight months, he drank only fresh fruit and vegetable juices - no solid food of any kind, no soda, no coffee, no alcohol. He decided to turn his Reboot into a journey across the U.S. and bring a film crew along to capture him talking with the people he met along the way, sharing his experience (and his juice). He made a hugely inspirational film about the experience, also called Fat Sick & Nearly Dead. This book details his journey. Includes foreward by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. and afterword by Dean Ornish, M.D.
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I thought immediately, that's for me! Yeah, I have >50 lbs to lose, but more importantly, I have my point of view to change. I want to change the way I view the world, because right now, that view SUCKS! Anyway, just like my heroes in this documentary, I am going to document myself as well! I started a blog (new! come cheer me on at flabbysoul!), bought my juicer (new!), bought some juicing books and read them (new! new!), visited my doctor to get an ok of the plan (not new, but wise!), and am now on day 3 of removing all food from my diet and adding juices as I go. I have watched the video a few more times to renew my enthusiasm, but I am only more determined than ever. REBOOT! It's my new catch phrase...
REVIEW OF THE BOOK: Decent companion to the movie, but I would highly recommend the movie over the book if you are looking for just one. Both, if you can.
REVIEW OF THE DOCUMENTARY: SPOILERS!! SPOILERS!! First, the style is exceedingly watchable. Voice over with some interactions - man on the street type of thing. Before we even see the truck driver, we are cheering this fat, rich, exec on. His no nonsense "I decided to do this and here I am doing it" is what you would expect from an entrepreneur who made of himself everything he is - good and bad. When he meets the truck driver, who just seems like another person he is preaching juicing to, you kind of forget about him. And when the exec returns to Australia, you think the movie is over. NOT! Enter the late night cry of desperation from the truck drive! I am paraphrasing here - "If you remember me and your offer to help is still good, please let me know. I really need your help. Please help me." I almost cried. And what does our exec do? He boards a plane and rushes to the rescue! He gets our truck driver settled, with a doctor, and stuck in a hotel for 10 days to do a ten day fast. By this time, we are in love with the truck driver a little bit and are cheering him on madly. Go go go!! And what does he decide to do after the ten days are up? He does another ten days! And another! And another! He does a full 60, and by the time he is done, he has lost huge amount of weight, but more importantly, you can see that he also views the world and how he fits into it differently as well. Awesomely inspirational. I can only hope my journey ends half as well!
Dr. Joel Furhman's books are much more detailed about the actual processes one would use to cleanse or fight a particular illness. Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead simply chronicles the author's life as his goes through the process of juicing and losing weight. When I first ordered the book, I was looking for help to start juicing and losing weight, but felt frustrated at the lack of details in how he did it and how he decided on what to juice for his illness. However, those details are not the purpose of this documentary. Although it's not very detailed in helping you learn about nutrition, it's an enjoyable read, and it's motivating. This book is simply a first step to finding your path into nutrition, juicing, and healing illness through diet.