How Juice Saved My Life

Discover the remarkable story of a sick, overweight Aussie bloke who went on a 60-day juice cleansing diet across America and radically transformed his own life - as well as thousands of others. And learn how you can join the reboot.

“The film is my story – the story of how by the age of 40 I found myself professionally successful but physically bankrupt: fat, sick and nearly dead.

Let me break that down for you, in case you think I’m exaggerating: FAT- I tipped the scales at over 140 kgs. I wore size 44 jeans and only tucked my shirt if I was wearing a jacket (you learn these tips when you’re a big man). SICK - I had an autoimmune disease that no doctor could trace back to a root cause, and took copious prescription medication for eight years, night and day. I would swell up and break out into hives on any part of my body that was subject to pressure, from a hand shake or sitting on a chair or lying in a bed. Anything could cause red blotches and swelling in the joints with crippling pain, and even gravity was my enemy. Normal things like carrying a shopping bag, holding a baby, sex and walking long distances all had an impact. If I dialed up the dosage of medications, I could participate in life more, but the long term effects of a higher dosage spelled a bleak future of ebbing strength and a shortened life-span. So apart from the walking time bomb I had turned my body into thanks to the extra 100 lbs. I was carrying, I was NEARLY DEAD.

When I turned 40, I realised that I had been all talk and no action for years, saying that someday I would change my life and do something to reclaim the robust health I had enjoyed as a younger man. It was a sobering realization -- I had focused my capacity for action, determination and discipline on nothing but creating wealth. It was time to harness those skills to create health.

It occurred to me that I was not alone. Yes, my disease was very rare -- but lots of people are sick. And you certainly don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that most of us in the developed world are unhealthily fat. Like lots of people, I had been outsourcing my health problems to doctors, but no one had been able to fix what ailed me. What if I could take control of the problem, and my own role in creating the situation? What if I could document the experiment and share it with people? That’s when I decided to make a movie about my journey . . . and yes, selfishly, I knew it would keep me honest and focused on “doing” and not just “saying”. Because let’s face it – it’s a lot harder to cheat when there are 3 guys filming you falling off the Big Mac wagon.

A drastic problem requires a drastic solution. My steady diet of processed food in enormous quantities was clearly a problem. I had turned my back on Mother Nature. What would happen if I turned toward her at full steam?? What if I “rebooted” my life?
I committed to eat only food that was grown on trees or dug out of the ground, foods made by the sun, water and the earth. Because I’m an impatient man, I wanted quick results so I decided to only drink these foods for the first 60 days.

Not blend . . . drink. That means extracting the juice, and separating the fibre from the plant. So with medical supervision (thank you, Dr. Joel Fuhrman) I started on a 60-day personal journey that gave me the basis for a movie. Andsince I always liked road trip movies, I decided to leave my native Sydney and juice my way across America. I bought a truck, a juice extractor and a generator to operate it. I loaded up the truck with a cameraman and a sound guy and for two months, I juiced my way across the USA. (Yes, the crew did eat and yes, I spent a lot of time in restaurant parking lots, waiting).

Along the way, I spoke to more than 300 Americans, from all walks of life, about what they ate, and (more importantly) what they didn’t eat. I found a nation full of honest, hard working, friendly and caring people. My conversations would sometimes last 10 minutes, sometimes 2 hours. I heard the pain behind their stories and tried to be as honest about my own feelings as possible. I was amazed by their capacity to be candid and forthright with a complete stranger, to tell their stories and to listen to my own. I saw people who were desperate for a solution -- as desperate as I had been, and as ready to take action as I was.

Along the way, a number of curious, adventurous individuals joined me in their own Reboot – Phil Staples in particular had a story that was so inspiring, we doubled the shooting time of the film and followed his transformation as well.

Phil Staples Before & After Photos: Daniel Marracino

Making this movie changed my life, opened my eyes and re-focused my mission on something that is startling simple and utterly effective: helping people reclaim their health and vitality as I did by consuming more fruits and vegetables.

The Western world is facing some big challenges right now, and perhaps the biggest challenge is the health of our populations. This monumental challenge doesnʼt have one quick fix or a single magic bullet. It requires each and every one of us on a personal level to make changes. And although itʼs fair to expect that government and big corporations can play a part in solving this (or at the very least, not thwart us in our pursuit of a solution) at the end of the day, the responsibility rests with each of us. My small role is to try to lead by example and inspire others to follow. Hopefully, FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD will move the audience not by telling, but by showing.

It is amazing what can happen. I can vouch for this by first-hand experience. After 60 days of juice and another 70 days of eating just fruit, vegetables, nuts, beans and seeds I was 45 kgs lighter and off all medication. I’ve been that way ever since.”

By Joe Cross, Director/Executive Producer, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is available nationally at Woolworths or online at

Recipe for Mean Green Juice

1 bunch kale
4 stalks celery
1 cucumber
2 granny smith apples
1/2 lemon
1 thumb-sized piece ginger

Want more? We thought you might like this video.

Like this artice? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.

Please login to comment
Posted by Report
Hi. I watched your programme early last year (SBS if I remember?) I found it very interesting and inspirational, so much so, the next weekend I went out and purchased a "breville juice fountain". I have juiced everyday since! When I am away from home I substitute my breville juicer with the good old manual citris juicer and make sure I have freshly squeezed orange juice or orange and lemon combo. But I juice DAILY! In my case, I was not overweight but wanted to see if any benefit resulted.......almost a year on, my skin looks a lot healthier but the most important change I have noticed is my memory!My memory has become a lot sharper.Whilst I tend to lean towards more fruit based juicing I do not waste anything! Cabbage, lettuce ...anything that you probably would normally throw now gets juiced and mixed with whatever.

David ....

Have a good weekend
Posted by Report
have just started my 60 day juice joy, 3 days so far i have lost 3kg, i dont feel hungry, i am loving the mixes one can make up with the fruit and the veges, amazding, Jane
Posted by Report
G'day! I want to follow your health diet.