Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday-- Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

No, I'm not describing myself. But that is the title of a documentary I watched just recently. It was so inspiring, I went 5 days without eating. Yep, that's right. 

A whole work week with no food.

Well, really, it was a juice fast. But before I tell about that experience, let me tell about the documentary.
"Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" is the story of a man named Joe Cross, a forty-something, successful, Australian man. But he has a problem. His doctor has told him that he is morbidly obese, he has developed an auto-immune disorder (a miserable chronic rash) which requires he take 15 mg of Prednisone and he is unhappy. He has done the research and knows that proper nutrition should help his body to heal itself. So, he heads over here, to America, to impart on an incredible journey to health.
He means to do a sixty day fast!

He spends his first thirty days in New York City (apparently he likes the place) and the second part travelling across the country. As the days tick off, we watch him literally melt away, and yet he doesn't get sick or look unhealthy. He actually looks vibrant and energetic! Plus, his rash outbreaks slow down and stop happening.

Throughout his travels, he stops to talk to people about their health and shares juice with them. Along the way, he meets a trucker with the same rash disorder he has. And he is morbidly obese. And they are the same age. Joe offers to help Phil help his body heal. Gives Phil his contact info.

Joe breaks his fast with an apple after 60 days and heads home to Australia, a different man.
Then he gets a phone call. From Phil. He is asking for help.

Joe flys back to the states to get Phil started. He goes and gets an okay from the doctor to do a 10-day fast, Joe shows him how to juice, tells him to exercise, gets him settled in a cabin by a lake, and says goodbye.

This is the most inspiring part. Phil completes the 10 days and decides to go for more! He ends up doing a total of 30 days. At the beginning, he could only handle a 10 minute walk. After his juice fast, he is jogging! In the snow! He looks like a totally different person, physically and emotionally. His brother, Bear, even gets on board after having a heart attack. 

Essentially, this juice fast is a reboot. A way to cleanse out the old toxic stuff and make way for better things to come.  After Joe completed his fast, he was then going on to 6 months of strictly a plant based diet. Fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds and nuts. After that he didn't spell out what he would do, but he most likely would not be frequenting any fast food joints or having meat pie for dinner every night.

So why did I want to do a juice fast? Because I wanted to renew my commitment to eating better foods. I had slid down the slippery slope of sugar, butter and breads and needed a way to *reboot*. This was perfect.  Plus, my mom had already planned on doing one. Now we would have support! But because I wasn't as sick or overweight as the people on the documentary, I didn't do 60 or even 10 days. 5 days felt like the right number. And that wasn't even very easy.

So. we started each morning with some mixture of fruit juices. The fruit encourages the cleansing process. Our favorite was Pineapple, Pomegranate and Parsley. The three P's. It was so delicious, all you tasted was the sweet/sour pineapple. It was pretty too. The pomegranate seeds made it pink.

The rest of the day we had mostly vegetable juices. Pretty much whatever we had in the fridge. Kale, carrots, cucumber, peppers, lettuce, turnip roots, tomato, etc. Mom would add a half a lemon to each batch to keep it fresher and it helped the flavor too. 

So whenever we got hungry, we just went to the fridge and poured a glass of juice. I didn't get terribly hungry. My problem was breaking habits. 3:30-4:00 is snack time. Then there's a delicious home-cooked dinner. And we finish the evening with a little popcorn or something. I missed that! Plus, mom and I still had to prepare food for the rest of the family. Boy, it was hard to cook without tasting!

So, yeah it was hard. But there were benefits. 
I realized how much I look to food as entertainment. 
I started to crave healthy things, like apples and sweet potatoes and avocado. 
I lost 10 pounds. 
I was able to break my coffee habit. I was able to break my sugar habit. 
My mood was better (when I wasn't hungry) and my head was clearer.

And now, I see how that fast has prepared me to want to eat the good-for-me foods. It's like I've cleaned house and I don't want to dirty it up again. But, I sure am looking forward to some seafood this Spring. And when we get home from the beach, mom and I plan to do another 5-day fast and I don't dread it. Instead, I kinda look forward to it.

I encourage you to check this documentary out. It might just inspire you!


  1. Wow! I would be dead the first day :O
    Haha what prompted this?


  2. Sorry only the first line of you post showed before I posted my last comment.

    That's pretty fascinating.


  3. I read your post a few days ago with a sleeping baby in my arms, so I couldn't type a comment right away!

    I ordered this movie from the Library since reading this post! I can't wait to watch it with my mom!

    We have fasted as a family a few times and I have been praying about when to fast next. Juicing sounds like a wonderful option!

    Again, thank you for sharing! Your posts are so encouraging and I look forward to many more! ~Jordan