Joe Cross, Star of Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, Talks Shit, Literally, at Whole Foods South Beach
That long-winded description summarizes the recent life and work of Joe Cross, creator and star of the hit documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. At 310 pounds, Cross was an overfed, hard-drinking, cigarette-smoking businessman suffering from a rare skin disease called chronic urticaria. He took steroids and other pills to keep the disease's characteristic red hives from flaring up all over his face and body. When doctors told him (again) that he was on a path to an early and unglamorous death, he decided to change his life through a prolonged juice fast. He filmed his 60-day fast, during which he lost 80 pounds. By the end of the fast, he was also able to toss his meds in the trash; his weight loss and nutrient-dense diet were enough to keep his illness in check.
|Joe Cross speaks with attendees of his talk at the South Beach Whole Foods|
He went over the basic principles behind fasting and juice fasting: that a cessation of digestion saves the body energy, which it can then redirect toward healing processes and repairs that had previously gone unaddressed. "When a horse is sick, it doesn't eat. When a 5-year-old child is sick, it doesn't eat. We're programmed not to eat when we're sick so the body has energy to heal."
He added that juice fasting simultaneously eliminates the need for digestion and saturates the body with micronutrients, giving it the microscopic tools it needs to efficiently make the aforementioned repairs. This is why many people turn to juicing as part of cancer treatment or the treatment of other serious or chronic illnesses.
Cross also said that weight loss should not be the goal of a fast. Instead, people on a reboot should focus on improving health. "You'll never stick to it if your goal is just to lose weight," Cross said.