I watched this documentary last night, and boy do I wish I hadn’t had to give my mom back her juicer.
Joe Cross is a successful business investor who lives in Australia. He loved junk food, and it was making him sick. He developed an auto-immune disorder that would cause spontaneous rashes to appear all over his body. He was overweight, on several medications, and just didn’t feel good. He decided to fly to the United States (land of junk food) to tackle his demons head on. He travels across the U.S., interview people along the way, and consumes nothing but water and fresh pressed juice along the way–for sixty days. At the end of his journey, he has dropped most of his excess weight and is significantly healthier: His illness has gone into remission, and all his stats are good.
The interviews he had with random people he met on the streets and elsewhere were rather depressing to me. The majority of people he talked to ate lots of junk food, and either they didn’t care if it made them die early, or they did care but lacked the willpower to change. This is so true for so many people in the United States and other fast food nations. While they all blamed themselves for not eating better, I really wouldn’t put full blame on them. Junk food is so addictive and so convenient that it often takes a monumental effort to move away from it all. And people have their jobs, school and children occupying their time, not to mention constant temptation.
I was beginning to wonder why this film had a 4.5 star rating on Netflix–I mean, while it was awesome to see one man heal himself with food, I didn’t think it was that amazing of a documentary–until Joe started to inspire other people, that is. One was a woman who suffered from severe migraine headaches. She decided to do a ten-day juice fast and then include juice in her daily diet. As soon as she started the juice fast, her headaches were gone (despite not having her coffee) and they never returned. But what really impressed me was the story of the truck driver, Phil.
Joe met Phil at a truck stop. As they were talking, Joe discovers that Phil has the same rare illness that he has. Only Phil seems to be even worse off than Joe was, and sadly had virtually no access to nourishing foods on the road, where he sat all day getting no exercise–even just walking to his truck was painful for him. He was clearly depressed, but I could see that Joe was having an effect on him.
After Joe was back in Australia, feeling great and working again, Phil calls and asks for help. Joe flies back to the U.S. and gets Phil set up on the road to health. At the beginning, Phil weighed in at 429 with a BMI of 58 (ideal for men is below 25), and he had very high blood pressure among other things. He was told he was on the road to diabetes and a heart attack.
Phil starts with a ten-day juice fast. After ten days, he wants to do 30. He ends up doing 60 days just like Joe did. It was amazing to watch him transform from depressed to full of life and confidence, inspiring others in his wake. I cheered when they showed him going for a jog. By the end of his fast, he had lost over 90 pounds, and he continued to lose weight until his belly was gone. But even before he had lost all that weight, his health had improved dramatically from drinking the juice. It didn’t take his body long at all to start regaining health. By the end, his disease had gone into remission, too.