Health And Family

Joe Cross: From fat and nearly dead to fit and drop-dead dashing

CONSUMERLINE - Ching M. Alano - The Philippine Star

Cross my heart and hope to diet, you’ll be immensely inspired by the documentary film Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead that recounts one man’s gargantuan victory over the bulge.

Joe Cross was a 310-pound man who piled on the calories and loaded up on steroids. Bigger and rounder than a beach ball, he was described as, yes, fat, sick, and nearly dead.

He was a heavyweight in business — he managed a diverse portfolio of assets in telecommunications, media, technology, and financial services for Queensland Press Ltd in Australia — but health-wise, you can describe him as pitifully bankrupt because of his unhealthy lifestyle —  a humongous diet of processed food, excessive smoking and drinking. So by age 40, he was a roly-poly 300-pounder suffering from an autoimmune disease. Read his tragic story: “Physical pressure was his greatest enemy — a mere handshake, sitting on a chair or lying in bed would cause his body to break out into hives, red blotches, and swelling in the joints, resulting in excruciating pain. Doing normal things like carrying a shopping bag, holding a baby or walking long distances didn’t seem normal anymore. He felt nearly dead.”

One day, Joe struggled to get out of bed and decided to take charge of his health. And he thought of sharing his long journey to health with everyone by making it into a movie. For the first 60 days of this journey, Joe drank only freshly juiced vegetables and fruits. He left his home in Sydney and set out for New York on a country expedition, juicing his way across America. He traveled in a truck with only a cameraman and a sound guy — and yes, a juicer and a generator — for company.

For two long months, Joe survived on nothing but juices, with not a single morsel of solid food.

Joe spread his gospel of good health among Americans he met along the way. They talked about what they ate — and what they didn’t eat. It was amazing how they opened up to him, sharing their own painful personal battles with the bulge. For instance, there’s the story of truck driver Phil Staples who was morbidly obese at 429 lbs. Friends described him as a cheeseburger away from a heart attack.

After 60 days of taking only vegetable and fruit juices, followed by nearly three months of eating just fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and seeds, Joe was 100 pounds lighter — and a hundredfold happier.

After 20 days on the road, the once big fat Joe looked so trim and fit even he couldn’t recognize himself.

And now, Joe has founded Reboot Your Life, a lifestyle brand that provides information and encourages people to consume more fruits and vegetables to improve their health and vitality (but please don’t attempt rebooting if you’re pregnant or nursing, under 18 years old or have a severe medical condition. Check  with your doctor first).

Here are Joe’s top rebooting tips:

• Get a plan. Plans range from three to 15 days. There’s a 30 Day Guided Reboot coached by nutritionists.

•  Get a juicer (if you don’t have one yet). But with so many juicers out there, which one to buy?  Joe has created a Juicer Buying Guide to help you find the best juicer.

• Juice like a pro. Joe shares his tips on how to get the most out of your juicer. Should you peel the lemon, throw in the whole apple, etc.? Read Joe’s A – Z Produce Prep Guide.

• Get inspired (and juicing) in the kitchen. Perfect for before, during, and after your reboot, Reboot with Joe recipe book features over 70 of Joe’s favorite reboot-friendly recipes — some of the healthiest juices, smoothies, salads, soups, snacks, veggie dishes, and more.

• Get moving. Just because you are on a reboot doesn’t mean that you have to stop your regular exercise routine. Fitness is an important ingredient to a healthy brew of a happy and vibrant life, and the key to helping you maintain your weight loss. So, fill up on those fruits and veggies, get off the couch, get your heart rate up, and get moving! Check out Joe’s fitness plans.

Joe gushed that he was lucky to have spent his 47th birthday in Manila where he recently launched his Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead film. He was flown in by Breville, a world leader in culinary appliances including food processors, blenders, and juicers.  He said he learned a lot while being here, and one of the most exciting things he found out was how much Pinoys love juicing!

Joe usually makes his favorite Mean Green Juice when he travels to different countries, but because in the Philippines we don’t have the same fruits and veggies as in other parts of the world, Joe thoughtfully came up with a Mean Green “Philippine Style” Juice using  camote tops and malunggay! Here, try it, and let’s drink to our health!


Joe’s mean green ‘Philippine style’ juice


2-3 handfuls of camote tops

2-3 handfuls of malunggay

1 cucumber

2 celery stalks

1 green apple

1/2 lemon, peeled

Small piece of ginger root (1”/2.5cm), peeled



  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with