“Joe the Juicer” is more than just a nickname. Filmmaker Joe Cross is living proof that juicing can transform your life. Born in Australia, a place he regards as: “one of the best places to live,” he had always been active, fit, and full of energy, but he did not watch his diet. On the eve of his 40th birthday, Cross looked in the mirror and realized something needed to change. Throughout his 20’s and 30’s, Joe lived a life of fast cars, fast food, and weighed in at 141kilos/309lbs at his heaviest. He was massively overweight and began suffering from an excruciatingly painful autoimmune disease called urticaria.

Contemplating how he got to this state, he knew deep down it was the junk food, booze, late nights and partying, but just how just how was he going to change all that?

Then the saying “you are what you eat” dawned on him. Joe set his mind on healing his body and regaining his health the best way he knew how. This meant consuming the plant-based foods our bodies are designed to ingest. He bid farewell to the burgers and junk food and said HELLO to only the freshest juice from fruits and vegetables. He would consume these juice meals for 60 days and gradually start re-introducing food into his diet (of a healthy nature of course). 
He created the moving documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead to highlight his journey with the aim to help and encourage other people with similar problems.

We were so inspired by Joe’s story we had to find out more about his remarkable transformation. What does it entail? Can anyone accomplish this transformation?

Tell us all, exactly what is a reboot? Is it a fixed amount of days? Can anyone do it? We are excited to learn from you.

A Reboot is a period of time – 3, 5, 10, 15, 30 days (the length of your Reboot depends on your personal goals and how far you have to go to reach them) – you commit to consuming only fruit and vegetable juices to ultimately help you break a cycle of an unhealthy lifestyle and enhance the quality of your diet by increasing your intake of micronutrients. Drinking fruits and veggies is like drinking liquid sunshine – it gives you heaps of natural energy and plant-powered nutrients. When you consume only juice, your system is flooded with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that help your body stay strong and vibrant. It provides a way to access digestive enzymes typically locked away in the fiber matrix of whole fruits and vegetables. Almost everyone can attempt a reboot, with the exception of any ladies who are pregnant or nursing. If someone decides to Reboot longer than 15 days, I encourage them to check with their doctor first.

Do you create your own recipes and do you have a favorite?

In the beginning I was creating a lot of my own recipes because I wanted to find juices I enjoyed. If I was going to be doing this for 60 days and then continue to juice in addition to a healthy diet, I wanted to like what I was putting into my body! Now we have hundreds of recipes on Rebootwithjoe.com. Some I created and others are from my team, but they are all excellent juices. I also have my 101 Juice Recipes book and iPhone app that are great resources for access to juice recipes that were handpicked and selected by me and my team – so I can assure you, they taste good! My favorite combination is my Mean Green Juice. It’s the juice that got me through my 60 Day Reboot. It’s 1 cucumber, 4 celery stalks, 2 apples, 6-8 kale leaves, ½ lemon and a 2.5 cm. piece of ginger. It’s still my favorite juice to this day.

What was the hardest time for you during your 60 day juice fast? Some of those early days looked challenging?

Days 2 and 3 were really tough. I was lethargic, my head was pounding and I was questioning myself. What had I gotten myself into? All I wanted to do was stay in bed. Knowing what is transpiring physically during a juice cleanse, it makes complete sense that when you are going to feel the whole thing is very isolating. It’s extremely physically and psychologically challenging when you first start out. When you embark on a juice Reboot, you are super-charging your body’s healing process, which is initially one of the toughest things about it. Sometimes this will show up in the form of headaches, cold, or flu-like symptoms, coughing, bloating, fatigue, skin irritations or breakouts, etc. I experienced everything on the list.

What is the average cost per day to someone starting a juice fast?

This is a tough one because it varies greatly on a number of circumstances. Are you buying organic? Are you at the grocery store or a farmers market? Are you buying fruits and veggies that are out of season? All of these factors can result in a big difference in your bill. On average, I believe you will spend anywhere from $25 – $40 in one day.

How did you go about introducing food back into your diet following your juice fast?

Continuing to consume juices on a regular basis will help sustain the amazing benefits you’ve just rewarded your body after a Reboot. You’ll notice that your body will start to crave juice because it feels energized and powered by all the liquid sunshine you’ve just consumed for a period of time. When you reintroduce food back into your body, do it slowly. Stick to only fruits and veggies the first few days and then gradually start to add in more whole foods like nuts, beans, and seeds, and eventually add in the foods your body enjoys eating. You’ll notice you may not want to eat that burger and fries and if you do, you might feel like rubbish. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I continued to drink a ton of juice not only because that’s what I had been used to for the past 60 days, but because that’s what my body was craving. For me personally, I was determined to completely go off my prednisone. For another 3 months, I only ate and drank fruits and vegetables because that was what I needed to get to 0g of Prednisone, and it worked.

What does an average meal plan for the day, including juice, look like for you?

I drink juice every day, I eat tons of fruits and vegetables, and I eat mostly plant-based foods. For dinner, I’ll enjoy grass-fed beef on occasion or wild fish and I always load my plate with lots of vegetables. I’m not perfect, I still enjoy my favorite chocolate ice cream and a burger here and there, but 80% of the time, I eat a well-balanced, high-nutrient diet.

What are the best ingredients for a balanced diet whilst juicing?

My theory is pretty simple I reckon. You don’t need to label how you eat – vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, paleo, etc., just eat and drink more fruits and vegetables, consume lots of nuts, beans, and seeds. If you decide to eat animal products like I do, make sure it’s grass-fed, free-range, organic, and/or wild, and enjoy those in moderation.

You look amazing; you are living proof that juicing has had a positive effect on both your weight and health issues. Have there been any other benefits i.e. mentally or emotionally, what was the biggest change of all for you?

Thank you! The end of my 60 day juice-only Reboot was just the beginning for me. Once I made it through the first few days, my mind became astonishingly clearer and I began to plan how I would move forward from there. The Reboot returned me to the driver’s seat in control of my lifestyle. It made me the CEO, the VP and the president of my own health, and it has changed my life forever. I still juice every single day, I’m able to make much better food choices and I have a smaller physique that doesn’t have people asking me when the twins are due. I enjoy exercise, I’m no longer taking any medications, my mind is clearer, and I’m overall a happier, healthier person.

Do you have any tips or words of inspiration for our readers on rebooting and making juicing a part of their lives?

Consuming vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and seeds can have a radically positive effect on your health and well-being. The typical American plate is only 5% fruit and veggies. I encourage people to move the dial and increase their consumption of vegetables and fruits. I reckon that juicing is a great way to supercharge your body with the incredible nutrients found in whole plant foods and the volume you’re able to take in when juicing is far more than you would be able to eat. It’s a great way to move that dial, and as that happens, your body starts to return to its natural healthy state. You actually begin to crave the good stuff and stop hankering after processed foods. The minute you start to feel sincerely well – not like the momentary euphoria you might experience as a junk food high – it gets easier and easier to choose whole, natural foods.

Now that said, I do believe in moderation, and I know that a lot of life’s great moments involve foods that aren’t whole plant foods. I reckon that life is to be enjoyed – and I think sometimes that means a piece of wedding cake, or a Thanksgiving dinner with the trimmings, or a glass of champagne at New Year’s. But if your daily life includes lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and seeds, you can enjoy those occasional indulgences and still maintain your health and vitality.

What is next on the list for Joe Cross and what are your future goals?

I’m super excited about 2014. This January and February my new book, The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet, is available for purchase. It’s already available in the UK and Australia and will be available in the US and Canada in the first week of February. The book is filled with tons of information about juicing, reboot plans with detailed shopping lists, my favorite recipes, and everything to help you feel and look amazing. That will be keeping me busy because I’m traveling the world to meet more people, sign books and answer questions during a book tour. Towards the middle of the year we’ll be releasing our second movie. Lots to look forward to so stay tuned!

Where can our readers follow you:

Facebook: /FatSickandNearlyDead 
& /joethejuicer
Instagram: JoetheJuicer
YouTube: /FatSickandNearlyDead


Photos: Richard Lohr

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