Vegan Journey: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

When I ran into my recently-turned-vegan friend, Patrick, about six weeks ago at a conference, he encouraged me to watch two movies.

The first one, “Forks over Knives,” I have written about several times. Read my previous posts here and here.

It has now been five weeks since I started eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, so I thought it was time to watch his second recommendation, “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead,” which I watched this weekend.

The documentary was made by Australian entrepreneur, Joe Cross, who weighed 310 pounds and had been dealing with a debilitating auto-immune disease which caused dozens of extremely painful spots on his body. He attributed his obesity and disease to the typical American fast-food diet, so he decided to drastically change his eating habits.

The movie is about Joe’s 60-day driving trip across America where he consumes only juices made of fresh fruits and vegetables and the hundreds of people he meets along the way. He actually has a portable juicer in the back of his car and he stops at stores and farmers markets to purchase fresh produce!

His goal was to get to a healthy weight, feel good and be off all medicines. What touched me most was the story of Phil Staples, a truck driver Joe met at an Arizona truck stop. Coincidentally, it turned out Phil had the exact same disease Joe has. Except Phil weighed over 400 pounds. The last 30 minutes of the movie is how Joe inspires Phil to stop eating junk food and consume only fresh juices for a short time. And then, the most amazing thing happens: Phil inspires an entire town to start having community juicings.

I have two friends who periodically do juice fasts. My friend, Marc, who lives in Europe, does one every January. I always thought he was a little nutty, but he has told me time and time again that it provides real clarity for him. My other friend, Gillian, was doing a 10-day juice fast when I visited her last year in Chicago. She told me once in a while, she just needs to get all those toxins out of her body. After watching the movie and seeing the physical changes of the people featured, I started to think, what would I do to improve my health?

All I can say is that two months ago, I never would have dreamed of giving up steak, chicken, eggs and cheese. But I have, and I feel fantastic! Now I am seriously looking at getting a juicer, so I can juice and see how it affects me and my body.

Needless to say, I think it’s worth it for you to watch “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” By the way, at the end of the movie, Joe gets off all of his medicines, and no longer has the symptoms or pain of his auto-immune disease. He is able to run on the beach regularly and has a pretty fit looking body!

Check it out!