I had a chance to talk with juice craze starter, Joe Cross, of Fat Sick & Nearly Dead fame about the upcoming sequel to his original documentary - Fat Sick & Nearly Dead 2!
Listen to the full interview below!
Tracee Sloan Interviews Joe Cross about Fat Sick & Nearly Dead 2
Tracee: Hello I'm Tracee from JuiceRecipes.com and today we're talking to Joe Cross who made the documentary called, "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead." If you're not aware of it, millions have seen it and he's helped countless people all over the world.
So today we're hoping that he'll maybe tell us what he's done, what he's doing, and maybe a few things maybe no one's even heard before. Hello Joe!
Joe: Hi Tracee! Thanks for having me on the show. It's great to finally meet you and talk to you. I've heard so many great things about you so it's a real honor and pleasure.
Tracee: Thank you. So first of all I'm wondering...How did you hear about juicing? How did you get into it in the first place?
Joe: Well, I think that it's a very good question. It's a question that a lot of people have asked me in the past in terms of, you know, "Where did this come from." Did this just fall out of the sky? Did you pick up a book? Did someone tell you? Did it come to you in a dream? Like, what was the--what was the impetus behind it? It was actually quite natural. It was a very natural progression.
You know, when you are suffering from a chronic illness, and it's...You know, the definition of chronic illness is, you take meds, but the meds are only managing it. The meds aren't actually doing anything to repair it or make it go away. And that was a real shock to me, in my life--to actually go from someone who was always fairly fit and fairly healthy (or at least I thought I was). When I got the flu I'd take some antibiotics and the course would be over and I would be good again. If I had anything else to take I'd take some kind of med and I'd be good! You know? It wasn't like a med I needed to take every morning and every night. So once I got into that pattern and that routine of always going to the drug store, always trying to get prescriptions filled out, visiting doctors, and having bone density scans to make sure the prednisone I was taking wasn't sort of eating away at my bones. You know, after 2 or 3 years of just that "defeated" status, I started to really look at ways that maybe I was, maybe I was contributing, and maybe there were other ways and thoughts, and things, and maybe other alternatives.
It took some time...But eventually I landed on this idea that 70% of all disease is caused by lifestyle choices, and therefore I had a pretty good chance, (under those numbers) that my chronic illness was, had a 70% chance that I was causing it. So...The big 3 [lifestyle choices], when you look at that, are diet, exercise, and smoking. I was sort of "falling down" in all three. So, I immediately set a plan out to, "what can I do to alter those things?" because it's very difficult to do overnight. I needed some time to let this sink in to how I would approach it.
I started reading certain books and googling things, and talking to people, and...I did come across a book written by a Pontius Pilate that was about only eating fruits and vegetables. He called himself like a "fruitarian." I thought that was kind of interesting in some of the arguments he was making. I can't remember the name of the book but, I just remember reading it and thinking, there were some interesting arguments there and--I sort of started to think about this idea of looking at fruits and vegetables in a very different way to how I ever looked at them before (and that they were really made by mother nature). I never really stopped and smelled the roses and sort of connected fruits and vegetables with nature. It was just I was completely ignorant of, whether a cereal box or a banana, there was anything different about it. It was just food to me. It was all under the one category. And so, I slowly started to shift that way in my thinking, not in my actions yet, in my thinking, that I needed to head this direction.
And then the idea of juicing you know, sort of dawned on me after I started to think about famines and feast and the idea of why we consume so much, or why we save up so much energy on our body. Cause' it's really (really) unfair Tracee, when you think about it that, things that you love doing, like ordering 3 pizzas, 2 large bottles of coke, and a big tub of chocolate ice cream, and sit down to watch the ball game on a Sunday, you know?
Joe: That's like great fun! I used to love doing that! I mean I wouldn't say that's great fun now, I would actually not feel pretty good after?
Tracee: Ha-ha, right!
Joe: I actually wouldn't feel good at all. But, for 20 years of my life, that seemed like a great thing to do!
Joe: And it was really unfair that that thing you love to do would all of a sudden add you know, maybe 2 pounds, maybe 3 pounds to your waistline. And I'm like, how unfair is this?! So I started to think about why does it do that? What's the benefit in, what's the purpose, what's the real purpose of this sort of, idea of the body storing up the fat? And it dawned on me the feast and famine. The actual idea that, that what we have is this ability where we went through all this period of time where there was plenty around and we stored it up so that for lean times, we wouldn't actually need to hunt and gather (we have it on our bodies).
So that's where the juicing came in Tracee. Right at that moment, I started thinking, you know, what is juicing? It's really drinking the water that's filtered through plants. That's what it is. Whether you eat an orange, eat an apple, eat kale, eat cucumber, or juice it, the exact same effect, in terms of the nutrient delivery to the cell system, occurs. There is a difference with the absorption level, rates, etc. and there is a difference with the fiber and what that can do, and the benefits (and sometimes the negatives-depending on how much fiber is in your diet).
Rreally to me, the idea of juicing was just a derivative of a derivative. First of all it was like, all food is the same--that's not true, fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, and seeds are from nature...That's interesting. How should we get those into the body? Well we can eat them, we can blend them, or, we can juice them. So it was a progression. I know that's a long answer, but it's one of those questions that you just can't answer in like 30 seconds. It needs to have the progression because I just didn't--it wasn't just like someone told me to do it. It came from my own self-discovery.
Tracee: Right I mean, what people don't realize too is, I don't know about you, but I get questions about this all the time. "Well, what about the fiber?" And, what they don't realize is when you are sick, a lot of times you're not absorbing the nutrients from the food that you are taking in. So when you juice, your digestion can be poor, but you're just putting that nutrition (those minerals, those vitamins) right into your system, immediately, so that your body can use it.
Joe: Yeah I think, I think that the subject that you and I are passionate about is--it's a very difficult one to talk about when you talk about "in general" because "in general" juice can mean so many things to so many people. Juice can mean cranberry juice that you find at the middle of the supermarket. It can mean juice that's in a bottle that is at a gas station.
Joe: Juice to you and I means juice that has been extracted from a real live plant and live vegetable or fruit that hasn't been heated, or cooked, or pasteurized in any way other than by pressure. And so that, that for us, is the specific of when we talk about juicing. That's really important, to set the guideline. Then the next level of depth you need to do is to make sure that we're talking about juice as in a nice balance of the alkaline vs. acidic. So in other words, sugar vs. non-sugar, GI affected system on the range of plants.
If we went and just took 8 oranges, and we just juiced 8 oranges, and we put that all in a big jug, and then we just guzzled that down, in that instance, in that actual instance, we are going to (more than likely-depending on what the next step is, or what the next 20 minutes is going to look like) we're going to really spike insulin. That is not a productive, positive thing we want to do to our body. So, there needs to be a balance in terms of the type of plants we put through our juicer, to ensure that we're not getting carried away with too much of the sugar. And that's where the fiber (so you go and eat 8 oranges), is probably a better thing for us, than it would be to juice 8 oranges. But eating 8 cucumbers is going to be very difficult vs. juicing 8 cucumbers. You're not going to be able to eat 8 cucumbers. I mean that would be really (really) tough to do. Maybe they should switch that out for that hot dog competition. See how many cucumbers they can consume on July 4th. I don't think they'd be able to get up to too many at all, because all of that fiber is going to fill you up.
Tracee: Right and another thing is, celery contains a natural sodium, so if you have a vegetable juice and you want to sweeten it up, make it taste better with an apple or some carrot, the sodium in the celery will help balance out the sugar in the carrot.
Tracee: So that's something that's kind of good to know. Celery is great to juice anyway, it's considered the youth maintainer in the body. It helps keep everything moving and keeps your joints free. It's just an overall great thing to put in the juicer.
Joe: I love celery, and you think about how many chews you've got to do if you're going to chew an inch of celery. It's something like 70 to 80 chews. So if you have 5 sticks of celery, I mean you're going to probably burn 300 calories trying to get those 400 calories in with just your jaw movement. And little kids, if you think about it, a lot of the reasons why I think kids don't want to eat veggies is because it's a lot of hard work, a lot of chewing! It's a lot of effort! And so that's where juicing can really be a huge benefit, in that we are really outsourcing digestion to a machine. I like to think of juicing as you are outsourcing the mechanism of what's going on inside the gut to extract out the nutrients. And then with blending you're outsourcing the masticating (the chewing) to a machine. And then of course eating, you're not outsourcing anything, you're just doing it all how we've been doing it for millions of years.
Tracee: Yes! And often, just even a healthy person, loses 70% of the nutrients that are in the food that they're eating, just from the energy it takes to digest that food.
Joe: Sure. Well I think you would agree that this whole world of the micro biome and what is going on in the health of people's guts, is very exciting new areas of science and discovery that we are finding. The benefits of a probiotic, and all of these things to make the gut fauna a lot healthier, can really solve a lot of people's problems. And of course, I think you and I would agree, a lot of that discovery starts with adding more fruits and vegetables, and plant based items to your shopping cart, and getting them in your system, whether you eat, blend, or juice.
Tracee: Yes, and something else. You mentioned that and make me think about that gut and probiotics. Well you know, there's a lot of people out there who have spent a lot of money. They have been sick for a long time. They may have not been able to work. So, how can I do this inexpensively?
One way to get a good probiotic in is get a big bottle of raw apple cider vinegar, put a tablespoon into a glass of water (8-10oz), and then you've got yourself a good probiotic for a fraction of the cost.
Joe: Great tip, great tip.
Tracee: Oh! And that reminds me of something else! You know your first movie, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead?
Tracee: Well, we have a quite large newsletter, and of course people right to me all the time, and I encourage them, go and get that movie. Don't just watch it on Netflix (and I have nothing to gain from saying that). I am telling them this because...
Joe: I appreciate that.
Tracee: I love those extra scenes that are in the movie. There's as much time in extra scenes as there is in the actual documentary!
Joe: That's right, yeah we put out... We got 500 hours of footage when we shot ?Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.? We had so much content that it just seemed a shame to just leave it at what we had. And so, we had like an hour and half of extra features, and there's also a director's commentary. I don't know if you've listened to the director's commentary. You can actually watch the whole movie again by turning the sound down. And it's Kurt and I talking (my co-director). And we talk for an hour and a half about all the things that happened during the filming--and what happened there, and what this guy did, and what was funny, and a lot of people love the director's commentary.
Tracee: Oh, my goodness! I haven't even seen that part, well I'm going to have to go home and watch that. Well, I'll tell you this, there were a few things I wanted to bring up about those extra scenes. Even me, I've been doing this for 15 years (I've been juicing), and there have been times where I just, need that little extra kick! I need some extra motivation! Why am I doing this? I'll educate myself, or I'll just look around for things to keep me going.
I'll take those little clips and I'll just watch one of them. One that comes to mind is entitled, "God Made Me This Way." There's that cute little boy who's adorable, with the big smile. He's got this mother who is 27 years old, and you can tell she's just in such a bad state. She's so overweight, and it's all she's ever known, her whole entire life. So she can't even imagine anything any different. She's like, "I've always been this way; God made me this way." You started to question her and you discovered that she's--
Joe: I would just maybe set the scene for those that haven't seen it.
Tracee: Yes, yes!
Joe: I walked into a laundry mat to do my washing, and whatever I did on my journey across America; I had a camera with me because you never knew what gold you were going to get. And so, my disposition was to be, never preach, just ask questions, and share ideas, and when they say something, actually follow it up and ask them about what they just said.
Tracee: Love that.
Joe: So, not question her as in from a judgmental point of view, but really question to understand the logic and the thinking behind their point of view, and be open to it. Because at this stage remember, I didn't have any answers, and some would argue I still don't have any today. But I didn't have any answers then. I mean, I'm on the journey. I'm trying to heal myself. I'm still taking medication at this stage. I'm still sick. You know, just because of 60 days of juice, I was still on meds at the end of that journey. I had to do another 3 months of eating fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and seeds, and juicing, before I got of all medication.
So, I was in Guthrie Oklahoma, and I walked into this laundry mat to do my laundry. And to be honest, I didn't know how to work the machines, I had to get some tips from the owner...
Tracee: I heard that...Ha-ha yes.
Joe: How to put the quarters in, and buy the powder and all of that. They were all remote--coin operated ones. And there was a lady who was very (very) large. She would have been at the extreme obesity scale in the BMI. She had a very cute little boy, and they were sitting down while their laundry was being done. She was just sitting there with her son and she was reading a magazine, just minding her own business.
When I was doing mine, I came up and sat next to her and said, "Do you mind if we have a talk with the camera on?" She said, "No, no that's fine, not a problem," and the little kid was getting involved. And I just started telling her my story.
Now what you don't see (because the way I did the style of these things), would be me talking to her a lot about what I'm doing. And just being friendly by sharing [things like], "I'm from Australia. I've been traveling. Here's a photo of me when I started. Here I am now. This is what I'm doing. I don't know if this is a good idea or not. I'm giving it my best shot. I?ve been meeting lots of friendly people. You've got a great country. What I'd like to talk to you about are health things because I'm learning as I go." So that would be the preamble for her feel non-threatened, as opposed to just opening up about what she feels.
That?s how we get into those conversations. I started to ask her what it is that she eats, and what does she consume. I asked, "Is it alcohol?" or, "Is it soda?" She was, "No, no, no, no, no, no, no." I'm trying to get to the bottom of what it was that she was consuming that was obviously adding thousands of calories to her diet a day. We ended up landing on iced tea. She was having like the equivalent of 16, 17, 18 Snapple?s a day, of iced tea. As you and I both know, and the audience listening knows, is that is just a mammoth amount of sugar. So, the result of that punishment to her body for the 12-15 years that she'd been doing that, was that her back had gone, she was diabetic, she had all sorts of ailments that had her on, I think it was, I can't remember exactly, but I'm going to say 6 or 7, or even more medications.
Tracee: I thought she said 9. I just watched it.
Joe: You watched it more recently than I have. So she had 9 medications Tracee.
Tracee: At 27 years old!
Joe: She was 27, and she had 3 kids. So...When I was talking to her about her weight (before we got to the pills), I actually asked her about, "Do you think it's normal and natural for you to be this size? For you to be this way?" And she said, "Yes, because God made me this way." Now it's pretty hard to argue with that. If you are someone who deeply believes in God and religion, and you're a very religious person, and in the eyes of God you are all beautiful, and you're all the way that He made you...Who am I to argue with her and say, "well I'm not so sure about that." I said, "Okay, I can understand that."
Joe: So when we probed a bit more, and asked her questions about her health, and then she said she's on 9 medications, I then asked the question back at her, to challenge what she said earlier, by saying, "Do you think God made you that way, to be on 9 medications?" She paused, and it was probably the first time that anyone had ever cared enough to actually ask that question. It was like a nirvana moment for her that she realized that actually, no. He didn't. So then we started talking more about what possibly could be ways to change that and alter that. As you know, at the end of the conversation she said, "You know what, in the last half hour chat, I've learned more talking to you than I have in all my doctor visits combined." Now, that was pretty extraordinary.
Tracee: It was, it was. It was one of my favorite scenes from those outtakes. You really gave her something that day, in that moment. What you did is you just caused her to stop and think, and just realize something that she probably she knew all along.
Joe: Yeah, well I have a saying that you don't learn anything new, you just remember what you forgot.
Joe: And I believe that we have all the answers, but sometimes we just need to seek out people to help bring those answers to the surface.
Tracee: Uh huh, definitely. There was something else that I wanted to bring out about those little extra scenes. That was just because of the questions that I get all the time. I want people to know about this, and they're like, "I can't afford juicing. This is too expensive."
They justify that. Then in those extra scenes you did a shopping cart scene with Phil, where you guys went into the grocery store and you said, "okay Phil, here's your cart, you put in a week's worth of groceries into this cart, and tell me what you buy." He starts pulling out anything from cheesecake to sunny delight, to chocolate milk, and just a whole bunch of food that probably, we wouldn't really touch too much, maybe as a once in a while thing. He had a cart full of that, ice cream, and some real food too. Then you took the other cart and you said, "Okay, this is healthy for at least a week, it will probably last you even longer." I loved it when you got through you ran both of those carts through, paid the bill, and I'll let you tell the rest. I'm telling too much.
Joe: Yeah well it ended up being really close.
Tracee: 16 cents! Ha-ha.
Joe: You know, neck and neck. You know, I get this question a lot Tracee about, "it's expensive." Look, I understand that. And look, life's expensive.
Tracee: Uh huh. Right.
Joe: Forget juicing. Life is expensive. It's very tough out there. To make ends meet is very tough. These are battles that cause enormous stress to lots and lots of families and people that are on their own (day in and day out, across America, across the rest of the world). Just because I am worth a certain amount of money doesn't mean I have the same stress when it comes to paying bills. My bills are bigger. I'm having 21 employees in my company, but I've still got to make payroll every month. I can appreciate the stress of paying bills. I get it, believe you me. However, I think that what I try to do is I try to look at this in a bigger picture, knowing that what happened to me in the past when I didn't focus on my health, and I had it down at the bottom of the priority list, it actually affected everything and it made things worse.
I would argue that each of us had to, in some way, dig deep, and find little ways of other things that we might sacrifice. Things that we can shift into possibly a program with a CSA, or get together with a group of families to do a bulk buy at a farmer's market. Going to a supermarket where you're going to buy the produce, not in every instance, but in a lot of instances, you're going to pay a premium because someone else did all that work to get it there.
If you have 20 families in your neighborhood, and you find a farm nearby and you say, "hey, we've got 20 buyers that are going to buy produce from you every week for the rest of this year," that's good business for that farm. I'll gladly cut out the middle man and deal with you. And you're going to get better bang for your buck. There's lots of ways that you can grow yourself a small investment, in growing a lot of stuff in your back yard. If you have a garden, if you are in a building (from your rooftop), there's are lots and lots and lots of ways that it is possible to do this.
But first we need to have a real honest conversation with our self, and really make sure that (what we're saying is too hard is not paying the bills for the produce) we want to give up on the things that we love that cost us a lot more money than we think (whether that be alcohol, cigarettes, cookies, cakes, coffees--when we're on the run and we want to drive in and get a coffee made by somewhere else). All of these things add up into what I would call, "The discretionary spend" when it comes to health. I don't think that there's an argument to be had that you should put the produce to the back of the list if you are really serious about maintaining health. When it comes to your body and your family's bodies.
Tracee: Yes it's very true. The year I was diagnosed with 2 illnesses at the same time (and I was in the fight of my life), was also the same time that my health insurance rates went up so much that they cost more than my house payment. So, I had to think about what I was doing, what I was putting in my body, because everything I did I had to pay for. Regaining my health (even going to naturopathic type doctors), before I figured it out and realized, really, it's fairly inexpensive compared to the other options out there. But that year I spent over $15,000 just trying to figure out what to do, how to regain my health. Once I found it out that it was this simple, compared to losing your health, there's just no comparing them.
We have a 30 Day Challenge on the Juice Recipes website and we've really tried to take into account that there's people on tight budgets. They have little kids; they're trying to pay bills. So we made those recipes so that things would be inexpensive, and easy to find, like cucumbers, carrots, you know, things like that that you could get anywhere. It's about $25 a week to do 32oz a day of juice.
Joe: Yeah, that's like 2 cocktails when you go out on a Friday night.
Tracee: Right. Right! So when you think of it that way, it's an investment in your health that could benefit you for your whole lifetime, not just in years added your life, but life added to your years.
Tracee: The quality of life that you enjoy. I would never wish on anybody, being sick, and I'm sure you feel the same way, and that's why you do what you do. I want everyone to have this, or at least have the option.
Joe: I guess my approach, Tracee, is that it's almost like I'm very careful about trying to be an evangelist. I think that people don't respond well to that. I don't think people need me, or anyone, for that matter, to come into their lives and tell them what to do. I think people are sick of it. I think people are tired of it. I think what people are looking for, is that if they have a question, they can look to someone who may have an answer. If that person is walking the walk, if they're talking the talk, if they also struggle and they aren't perfect...I think that resonates more than it does if you're just up there on the stage saying, "go out, go forth, and do this." I think it might sound good and it might look good, but I don't think the results are there. I'm a big believer of (and I talk about this in my new movie) the "When Harry Met Sally Factor." Remember that great movie, When Harry Met Sally?
Tracee: Uh huh!
They're in the restaurant, and she does the orgasm scene, and the old lady looks over and says, "I'm having what she's having!"
Tracee: Ah?ha-ha-ha right!
Joe: Remember that?
Joe: Well I call what happens when people start getting really healthy, and they start getting on this path (as long as they're not preaching and they're just doing it), people notice the spring in their step. People notice the skin. People notice the eyes. People notice the happiness. People notice the energy, and it becomes quite contagious.
Tracee: Yes, definitely.
Joe: And so, people actually look and go, "I'm having what she's having. I actually want to be like her or him. I want some of that." Then the question is, "What are you doing?" When the answer comes back, "this is what I'm doing," that is far more powerful than that person going up to random people saying, "you should do this, you should do that."
Tracee: Uh huh, definitely! Definitely! Honestly I know you've talked before about the "fun side of town," and honestly I feel like this is the fun side of town now, for me. I just never realized how fun it can be to just get up and feel better, and be able to work out and move. When you lose that, you realize you've lost something priceless. Your health becomes just so valuable to you.
Joe: When I talk about the "fun part of town," (just to give the listeners an understanding of my logic there), I talk about when you go and visit the fun part of town, that's when you're going to have a lot of processed food. When you are in what I call the "essential part of town," that's when you're eating lots of plant food. I think animal product can be somewhere in the middle, depending on your views, or on your philosophy. I certainly enjoy visiting the fun part of town. I enjoy it. I love hanging out there, but my trick is, I don't hang out there too much. The more I hang out there, the less fun it becomes.
When I hang out in the essential part of town, for many people, it becomes the fun part of town. But I'm honest, and I'm not going to say that for me that's the case just yet. However, it is shifting and it is moving that way. There are certainly some smoothies and juices, and salads that I would now say belong in the essential part of town, but I would actually classify as fun.
I'm not going to go so far to say that, "Awe yeah I do cartwheels over a stick of celery. I just can't wait to wake up in the morning and have a stick of celery." I'm not going to go that far because they would be not true. If I'm faced with a block of dark chocolate and a stick of celery, I'm having the chocolate if I've got free reign on the choice. That's how I'm going to go. But, I think that if you give me say an almond milk, with dates, cacao, maca, chia seeds, and banana smoothie, verses a cow's milk, chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup thick shake (and I'm not joking here), I would honestly go with that smoothie because, not only is it going to taste better, about an hour better I'm actually going to feel much better.
So I don't view that chocolate thick shake anymore as the fun part of town because it really doesn't make me fun. But there are other things down there that I can certainly say, you know, I love a sandwich. I love bread. I love that. Toasted sandwiches in winter I love. There's nothing greater than having a toasted sandwich, but that's not something I do every day. I will do it rarely and that's the "fun part of town. So hopefully that explains to the listeners what I mean by those two things.
Tracee: Yes, definitely! Sometimes I forget that they haven't maybe watched your movie, or even watched the second one. I went to the premiere and I wanted to talk to you a little about that. That's coming up pretty soon.
Joe: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2, which is out November 18th around the world. We're very excited about it. What did you think?
Tracee: I loved it! I absolutely loved it!
Joe: That's nice to hear.
Tracee: It was so much fun! [It was] So much fun having you go back and revisit some of those little towns. Also, the biggest thing I took away from that movie was realizing that people are reaching out and they want someone. They don't want to feel alone in this. Phil, my heart just went out to him...
Joe: So, without doing too much of a spoiler to all the people that are going to listen to this, Tracee, or see the movie, I think what you're driving at is that it was a very difficult thing to continue a sequel to a documentary. I'm not going to say it hasn't been done ever, but it hasn't been done much.
We had to think long and hard about, "what is the story to tell here." I don't want this to appear like just a lap of honor of the success, and me running around getting pats on the back. I didn't want that. It's very important that we told a true story, and I went to the heart of what I was hearing from the community. That was that they're struggling. It's okay once you're on the juice, or once you're on the little diet program, or whatever the plan is that people are on. But after that, how do you maintain this?
Joe: What are tips? What are ways to do this and stay on track, so you're not yo-yoing and you're not going one moment feeling great about yourself, and the next moment feeling terrible. What we decided to do was to explore ways that people, who have been successful, what have they done? Let's talk to them. Let's speak to the experts about maintenance.
Some of the big tips we learned were just little things about what you keep in the cupboard, and what you keep in the house. I mean, it sounds simple, but they're just little tips that were making a big difference for people. They had their rules: No chips in the house because if they come in (one woman says), if her husband brings them in she'll eat them. If they are there, she'll eat them. She can't help herself. So why put yourself at that disadvantage and have them there. So, that was interesting.
I think the bigger thing was this disconnection is that you're not part of something and you feel disconnected, and you're not part of a community, so-to-speak. Whether that's your church, or that's your group of friends, or whether it's online. Whatever it is, it's harder, it's much harder, and it's not impossible, but it's harder. A lot of people need that physical connection. They need support. They need to be able to shout from the mountain tops when they've been good, because that helps them. Getting the people to rally around them and giving them a pat on the back. They need to be able to confess, and have people pick them up.
I've never met anyone who?s perfect Tracee, never, ever. When I look in the mirror everyday I'm reminded of that every day. The reality is, is that I think that we all can benefit from that honest conversation with our self, but not that conversation where it's putting ourselves down, but lifting ourselves up.
Joe: The conversation you have with other people, if you're in a community that's connected, generally you are not sending messages out to those people, putting them down; generally you are lifting them up. You get the reinforcement from others, and that can have a significant impact on your health, via your choices in food, how much you move, whether you sleep better, introducing healthy habits, all sorts of things related to love and intimacy, and just being able to stay the course. Life beats you up, pretty much. It's pretty tough out there, so why be the main person to beat yourself up. It just doesn't make sense. It's hard enough already.
Tracee: Very true. Very True. Well, I loved the second movie. I wondered, are you going to be able to pull this off? Is this going to be as great as the first one? I felt like it was just a tremendous compliment to the first one. It was almost like a continuing story. I really appreciate it. I do appreciate the honesty because my whole life up until I started doing this, I had to do it, or I wouldn't have done it. I was hooked on pop and sugar, and pizza, you name it. That was the hardest thing for me. To make that drastic change, I would say that it was the hardest thing was, to let go of my food and do something different. I had to do it. So I just really hand it to the people who aren't in that position, who are just smart enough to not be like me and wait until they had a crisis. So I love that people are doing that just on their own.
Joe: I have a great team that I work with, and it is very rewarding. I even got a Facebook message just a few hours ago from a chap who basically said, "I've wanted to say something since watching the movie premiere of "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2." I'm a major skeptic when it comes to things like this however, I wanted to thank you for being brutally honest in both films, and not just trying to sell a product. The honesty shows through as it has provided us all with valuable information." So when you get audience members that are very grateful for the honesty, as he used the pun, "not trying to sugar coat things." I think that resonates far more with an audience than anything else.
Joe: Showing that vulnerability, even though it's difficult to show, it's worth it. The payoff is there for the audience to realize that what they are seeing is real. I've got a saying that is, "Crowds are dumb, but people are smart."
Joe: When people watch a film, it's not a crowd watching a film. Films are personal. Films are watched by individuals, they're not watched by crowds. Crowds do stupid things in terms of following sound bites on cable news channels. That's what crowds do. When it comes to a film that's 85 minutes, where you are absorbed and focused, and watching something; it's individuals. You can't be dishonest. You can't take them down a path and say, "You know what, we'll just fudge these 10 minutes." They'll tell. People are smart. They can tell. I'm very fortunate. I've got a great team that helped me make these movies. We're looking forward to trying to keep the team together to do more in the future.
Tracee: Wonderful, wonderful. Well, I sure appreciate, and I'm sure I can speak on behalf of a lot of people in this country and across the world. I appreciate, and we appreciate what you've done to just make this mainstream. To help us be more aware and to help people take their lives back.
Joe: Well thank you Tracee. I am very grateful that I've been given the opportunity to be a small cog in the wheel of people who do that. I think that at the end of the day if you need to get off meds. If you want to give yourself a shot at trying to find out whether your illness has been caused by your lifestyle choices verses just genetics and it might just be bad luck. You've got the genetics or you've got the bad luck, and that's certainly possible for 30%. When you think about 70% of all these diseases that you can actually do something about, if you've got a chronic illness, what do you have to lose by giving it a shot, except your medications and regaining your health. I mean it's kind of like a win-win! You've got to try.
I'm just fortunate that I've been lucky enough to be in the position of having a platform where I can talk and share my views. People for some strange reason like to listen. I still shake my head about it because I just look at myself as a normal bloke trying to do my thing. I'm just trying to stay the course. The community helps me stay the course. If I didn't have the community, and I wasn't doing this, I don't know where I would be after my journey. Maybe I would have regressed. Maybe I'd be back. I don't know. But I do know that being conscious about this really helps me stay on track.
Tracee: Wow I appreciate that. The connection that you do make, it's because you're relatable. I can totally see your story and hear what you have to say, and I can see myself in your story. I think alot of other people can too.
Joe: Well thank you Tracee, I appreciate that very much.
Tracee: Keep up the great work!
Joe: We're doing our best! We're excited about the new movie, and we can't wait to get it out around the world, and see what the reaction is.
Joe: It's going to be fun!
Tracee: I know. I hope everybody loves it as much as I do. I'm sure they will.
Joe: Thank you Tracee for all of your support. It's great to see people like yourself taking up JuiceRecipes.com, making the headway that you're making, and seeing that the people rallying around this, and sharing, and inspiring each other, it's just wonderful to see.
Tracee: So Joe, where can people see the movie? How does this all happen?
Joe: So Tracee, on November 18th of this year, 2014, the movie will do what's called a "global release." [This will be] On every video on demand platform (ex. apple iTunes), where people can buy or rent the film. You'll be able to your cable provider. You'll be able to go to your pay-per-view in your home. You'll be able to go to places like Amazon and YouTube Premium, and Hulu Plus, and all of these places where you pay to watch. The video subscription on-demand, which predominantly are things like Netflix (the biggest player in that). That's not going to take place until some date in 2015. We don't know when that's going to be. It's most likely going to be (for most of the world) around March or April, somewhere around then in 2015. It will also be available on our website, FatSickandNearlyDead2.com, which people will be able to download from there. This is in case they don't have an iTunes account or they don't have cable. So, everybody in the world will be able to watch this movie on November 18th, no matter where they are. We are very excited about that.
Tracee: Wonderful! Thank you. It was great talking to you today!
Joe: You too Tracee! Juice on!
Tracee: Thanks! Okay, you too!