Earlier this week Julianne and I took a trip to Louisville for a lecture and book signing by Joe Cross, the man featured in the world wide hit documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and a subsequent one “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2.” He has since become famous for his “Juice Reboot” program, which many around the world have done. Personally, I have not gone that far, but, as many of you know, Julianne and I have been juicing quite a bit over the past year and I know that it has helped in my weight loss and my energy levels. We can thank Joe Cross for this!We left Lexington earlly as we anticipated a rather large crowd at the Barnes and Noble store where Joe would appear. We got there early enough to get good seats, close up, and were ready for his lecture, not really knowing what to expect.
I went back to the book area and purchased his new book, entitled “Fully Charged” so that we could dig in a bit while waiting. Of course, we wanted a signed copy as well!
I was personally more excited about this book as it was not a “juice recipe” book, but was more of a self help book as Joe Cross presents his “7 Keys to Health and Happiness,” which I will outline below. I have already been inspired by another similar book, called “The Navy SEAL Art of War” by former Navy SEAL Rob Roy (see my review of his book) and this may actually become a companion book in guiding me to a healthier, longer life.
While purchasing the book, the most ironic, and even humorous thing occurred. I got my receipt, and with it, a coupon for the Barnes and Noble Cafe…for $10 off of a Cheesecake!! Say what? I come for a healthy, plant-based, vegan-style lecture on whole juices and I am offered a discount on Cheesecake? What was Barnes and Noble thinking?
Finally, Joe Cross arrived. His Aussie accent is endearing. I have a number of musician friends from Australia and have always loved their English accents. We learned early on that Joe is a very successful businessman (see his bio). As an entrepreneur and investor, he invests in early stage high potential growth companies. These include investments in the fashion, transportation, private equity finance, derivatives trading, early childhood education, structural steel distribution and health and wellness sectors. Most recently, Joe founded Reboot Media; a health and lifestyle brand that creates entertaining and actionable educational media for anyone that is sick and tired of being sick and fat.
His first point was that plants were here before us…if they weren’t here, neither would we be. We have a love affair with plants, essentially a “dance of breath.” We breath in oxygen and breath out CO2. Plants breath in CO2 and breath out oxygen. We see in color because of plants and plants advertise themselves through color so we will eat them.
I found it refreshing to listen to someone who doesn’t have a Dr. next to his name and who has experienced the challenges of weight loss and health improvement first hand. I am not knocking all of the great doctors (Essylsten, McDougall, Ornish, Barnard, Campbell, etc.) who have done extensive research. But this guy is at our level…the guy that has to make the efforts to lose.
As he spoke, he noted that we all know if we are broken. Only we know. And 70% of all disease is caused by our own choices…the big 6 include:
- No Exercise
- What we eat and drink
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of intimacy
- Stress management
Ultimately, due to his own choices, he felt that he needed to create a “fruit and vegetable prison” and live on only plant food to pay for his “physical crimes.” He set himself a two year commitment of no animal products to sort out the “sick” problem.
Then there was the “fat” problem. He was having too much pizza and watching too much TV. But, since he has dealt with this problem, he sees no fat people any longer. Rather, he sees someone with more energy…fat people have a storage system. The “body eats the bum before it eats the eyes.” HA!
He then went into a discussion of macronutrients and micronutrients. All food has energy, but only plants have the information. We can duplicate the nutrients of carrots, but they don’t do it like the actual carrots.
After 60 days of juice only, he felt like he was still not fixed. So, he spent another 90 days of fruits, veggies and juices. He continues to juice almost daily, but does occasionally have animal products.
After his introduction, he proceeded to talk about his new book. The concept of the book is to provide advice to those trying to lose weight and improve their health. It provides inspiration and encouragement, as well as practical tips for diet, exercise and mindfulness.
As noted above, Joe Cross is not a doctor. He is an individual that struggles with what he eats and how he lives. I sincerely appreciate the following from his introduction:
“…I’m not prefect. I struggle. I’m not the expert. I’m like most of you. Stress gets to me, I reach for my comfort foods, I don’t exercise like I should, I have trouble sleeping, my weight fluctuates. I’m the poster guy for eating your veggies, and it’s still hard for me. But that’s my challenge — to figure out how to keep on being healthy.”
Joe elucidated on his Seven Keys to Health and Happiness, which are as follows:
- Change Your Relationship to Food (Don’t Abuse Food)
- Change Your Diet (Eat the Right Stuff)
- Change Your Habits About Food (Find a New Groove)
- Embrace Community (Get a Little Help From Your Friends)
- Maintain the Machine (Follow the Upkeep Manual)
- Practice Mindfulness (Chill Out)
- Respect Yourself (Stop Beating Yourself Up)
Relationship to Food
We need to not be putting food into good or bad. Oreos are not the devil..they are macronutrients…fun food. Kale is both macro and micronutrients. One of the biggest problems we have is that we look at things as good or bad. Then we feel guilty. It’s all food…it’s all nutrients. There is essential information…we can enjoy it occasionally.
Change Your Diet
He suggested that we try to have 95% of the veggies and fruits and 5% of the fun stuff. We need to work out ways to get more plants.
Change Your Habits About Food
He told a story about data from a buffet restaurant. Some students did research on how people ate at a buffet restaurant…how they were on auto pilot. He also spoke of how people just had the habit of taking an escalator instead of the stairs. Careless and mindless eating and exercise.
This is a MAJOR point for me as I have seen the results myself. Having a community of support is important and helpful. But he also warns to be careful. Some people see your success and say
“come back and join us” and can throw you off course.
Maintain the Machine
We have all watched kids as they push the limits. One of the greatest causes of disease comes from NOT pushing the limits. Muscle memory is a real thing. We should always strive to build muscle and have flexibility. Exercise is about movement and getting rest.
This is a term we hear often nowadays. If you are under stress, you stop and breathe. When we have stress, we want the “fun food.” Sugar is sugar. Sugar from cookies is a macronutrient, but sugar from dates, orange and grapes also will have micronutrients.
Love yourself. Don’t be hard on yourself. Why are YOU your worst enemy? Start focusing on all of the positives.
Obviously, the book has some great anecdotal stories and ideas to help us renew our relationship with Mother Nature and nurture our relationships with ourselves.It was great meeting an ordinary average guy like Joe Cross who has taken control of his health and diet and gotten away from being fat, sick and nearly dead. It was an inspirational lecture and I cannot wait to dig into the book!