Last month I found out that a friend of mine was in need of both a liver and heart transplant; sadly, I knew he wasn’t likely to survive this diagnosis, and unfortunately he passed away a couple weeks ago. When I learned of his fate, I contacted a mutual friend of ours who still lives in NYC (where my friend lived) and was in touch with him after the news broke. We chatted about our friend, and our lives, and spent some time catching up. It turns out that we both are suffering from some auto-immune issues, and he suggested I watch 2 films that he had recently seen and felt would be both insightful and inspiring for me.
The first was called Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. The second was Forks Over Knives.
I remember how important he felt these were for me to watch, so I downloaded them from Netflix the next day, grabbed my laptop and curled up on the couch to watch them. I figured I would half pay attention and do some writing while the documentaries played in the background; boy was I wrong! To be honest, I was so riveted by what I was watching that I only picked up my laptop to IM him to tell him that I was so glad he suggested I watch them.
This uplifting and inspiring story follows a man named Joe Cross while on a cross-country road trip where he vows to do a juice fast for 60 days (consuming only fruits and vegetables in liquid form). He embarked on his journey when he realized that he was overweight, and facing a lifetime of medications due to his weight and auto-immune disease. His hope was to cleanse his body and enact a sort of ‘reboot’ if you will. Along the way, he chronicles his journey as he meets (and inspires) others who are in similar situations. Joe meets many Americans that are eating the way many people consider Americans to eat; junk food, fast food, greasy diner food. They are overweight, of poor health, and many are teaching their kids the same way of life. It was hard to watch some of the interviews; I was acutely aware that many of these children will grow up to mirror their overweight, and often diabetic, sick parents.
On his transformative journey, Joe meets and inspires Phil Staples – a 420 pound truck driver from Iowa – to do the same. As we watch Joe lose more than 100 pounds, and wean himself all his medications, we follow Phil and his inspiring attempt to change his life too.
Phil was a truck driver who has little access to healthy food while on the road. I hadn’t considered that the only places that are convenient for them to stop while on the road are typical truck stops filled with greasy, fatty, fast foods. After years of eating burgers, pizzas and sodas, he was over 400 pounds, and sick with the same rare auto-immune disease as Joe. He too wanted to lose weight, gain his health back and ensure he could see his children grow up. I found myself not wanting the movie to end so that I could follow Phil’s journey further and make sure he kept up with his new-found healthy lifestyle!
In all, I was touched and inspired by their journeys, and in awe of how many vegetables and fruits you can consume when doing a juice fast. I love fruits and veggies, but I guarantee you I could never eat as many fruits and vegs in a sitting as you can while juicing. There’s something about the process of juicing that beaks down the food to a portion which you can more easily consume, while still maintaining all the nutrients typically lost in the cooking process.
You can watch the Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead – Official Trailer from Team Reboot on Vimeo. And remember, you can download it streaming from Netflix and watch it right away. If you don’t have a Netflix account you can register for a free trial and then watch it that same day.
Note: if you choose to try a juice reboot, please consult your physician first to be sure you are cleared to do so.
I will follow up this blog with my review of Forks Over Knives soon.
Wishing you good health and happiness!