Posted: September 6th, 2013






            Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is a documentary that entails the health life of Australian filmmaker Joe Cross. His story is about his overweight state, which is later corrected by consistency in fresh juice solely in 60 days. He aborts steroids and pharmaceuticals, which only worsen his health, putting him on the brink of death. Joe manages to toss 100 pounds from 310 pounds in only two months surviving with nothing but fresh juice. Therefore, in the documentary, Joe Cross seeks to advice the audience on how to take control of their health status by choosing the right things to eat, being physically fit and overcoming obesity without dependency on steroids and other drugs. Joe classifies foods into two categories namely, macronutrients and micronutrients. Fruits and vegetables are micronutrients while macronutrients are the other types of foods, which cause unhealthiness.

At the beginning, Joe buys green leafy vegetables from the produce vendor. The vegetables are celery, onions and tomatoes. Joe uses these vegetables to make mean green juice that he purposes is vital for a natural cutback in weight. The components of the mean green juice as brewed by Joe are a higher percentage of dark green leafy vegetables with additives of other vegetables and fruits. These vegetables are rich in vitamins and nutrients necessary for the body system. Plant based foods are healthier than animal products or processed foods. Joe traveled to the United States because he wanted to venture into a fruit and vegetable fast for sixty days. The road trip only featured a juicer and a generator in his car. This period was documented by his camera crew, which tagged along and each step he made can be clearly viewed on the film. Joe had a serious autoimmune disease intensified the negative impact. The disease caused an overproduction of histamine in Joe’s body leaving it itchy and irritated with inflammations.

For the first 30 days, Joe heads to New York City and travels across America for the rest of the days. He says he had been focusing on his wealth rather than his health before he embarked on the juice fast. Thus, his area of importance then was his affluent lifestyle Histamines protect the body from foreign infections and keep it healthy. When it is overproduced, it causes allergies. After graduating high school became a young Australian businessperson with flourishing businesses and this lavish life made him enjoy his life by exposing himself to an unadvisable diet that saw his health status diminish with a dilated weight. This posed a serious threat to his life.

Fasting is the act of going without of few for a period so juice fasting is inclusive of natural juices. He deprived himself of anything other than the natural juice, justifying the term juice fast. The American diet that is processed food is 95%. Joe was required by his doctor to take blood tests every 10 days to ensure he was still healthy. The blood tests show that he is improving gradually. He finds out that he no longer needs his medication. One has to keep in check with the doctor to understand the progress just as Joe’s doctor, Dr.Joel Fruhman advises him.

After Joe completes his 60-day, juice fast, his weight loss is 82 pounds and this shows great improvement. While on his adventure, Joe comes across other people with the same problem he had before his realization and one of these obese people is Phil Staples. At the time, Joe was interviewing people concerning their eating habits while at the same time proposing his juice fast. Some of the people approved his health strategy while others, mostly the young ones were reluctant to adopt it.

After Joe completes his 60 days juice fast and heads back to Australia, Phil decides to emulate the health icon and gives him a call. Following the call, Joe travels back to the States to help Phil on the Juice fast as a way for his body to heal naturally. Joe first met Phil at a truck stop. In the movie, Phil is overweight with and his poor diet gradually pushes him towards a heart attack as the doctor said. Phil was among those who attempt to follow Joe’s healthy lifestyle. Phil’s situation appears to be identical to Joe’s before he embarked on the juice fast because Phil also suffers from the autoimmune disease. The juice fasting undertaken by Joe Cross proves to be a detoxification therapy as his doctor sees no more use of medication in his life.

Inspired by Joe’s story, Phil has the urge to overcome his 429 pounds with the help of his health icon. Phil quits being a truck driver for the juice fasting experience and is able to lose a large amount of weight towards the end of the movie as depicted by him running around and playing with the son. He also cuts down on his medication and this shows the positive effects of the mean green juice on an individual’s body system. He sponsors a community juice fast and is no longer depressed. His work changed towards a direction of healthy living standards. In his family, Phil helps his brother who is in an even worse state of obesity than he is. He is more dedicated to his job at the YMCA.

The parts of the movie, which I liked, are the remarkable transformation of Joe to a healthier person and the impact he had on obese people such as Phil Staples who could barely pass through the truck stop. Another interesting aspect is the rare similarity in unhealthy conditions of both persons. However, I did not like the idea of the mean green juice because it seems bitter and it takes a lot of courage to decide on taking it solely for a number of days to lower the calories in the body. Such a transformation would be difficult to fathom if one comes from a background of eating a lot of processed foods and animal products. Nevertheless, the idea holds water towards the end of the movie when we see the lives of two men change dramatically to a better and healthy body system.

The advantages to this type of diet are that it does not have bad side effects as those of obese medication, It is also feasible and not life threatening since we can identify Joe Cross as a strong person at the end of the film and his efforts remolding Phil’s health. As proven by Joe and Phil’s chronicle, the medication on obesity and the autoimmune disease was not efficient as compared to the juice fast. On the other hand, the disadvantage with this type of diet is that it takes a long time and one has to be patient and daring to take it. A person may fall into temptation, go back to the unhealthy foods, and consume them with double effect, leading to more calories. Buying too much organic foods can be costly and overdoing the juice fast can lead to diabetic problems.


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