Last night, after one of the longest days of my life, I had the pleasure of attending a screening of the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (at The Chip Factory) with Moms, as well as a Q&A afterward with the movie’s producer and star by default, Joe Cross!
Don’t be fooled by my exhausted face- I was SUPER excited!
WOW. First of all, what a nice guy! After the showing of the movie, he got up and spoke a bit about his journey to health and his philosophy on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. His approach was so accessible and inclusive, which I think is a huge part of his film’s success. He doesn’t make people feel “wrong” or alienate them for their choices, rather encouraging them to strive to maintain healthy habits at their own pace, in a way that works for them.
One of the things that I found most insightful was his idea of personal “numbers-” as in, the percent of physically wholesome vs. not-so-wholesome foods (and raw vs. cooked) that should make up a person’s “diet” (hate that word). What Joe acknowledged was that every person has a different ratio. For him, he said it was about 50/50. For, say, Brad (owner of The Chip Factory), it’s more like 80/20. I put myself at about a 70/30. Joe’s ultimate point was that we can’t always live in the fun part of town, because then it’s not fun anymore. His suggestion was to figure out how much “fun” is too much when it comes to food and health, and use that to guide you to where you need to be in terms of maintaining your health and wellness.
Although he wasn’t accusatory or condescending, he did identify another key point: we have the control. He brought his hand to his mouth and explained that that small gesture was actually an expression of something we have total control over- what we eat. I thought he made an excellent point when he acknowledged employers and CEO’s of major food companies that produce unhealthy products, and explained that the medical issues in America relating to weight and nutrition aren’t their fault– those companies are merely responding to a demand.
“When you buy a box of Oreos, that machine rings them up, and it sends a message to the store and to the company: ‘Make more Oreos.’ You are telling the Oreo manufacturers that by producing Oreos, they are satisfying a demand.” -Joe Cross
The companies that produce these unhealthy foods are doing so because people are buying them. The best way to counteract that is to stop spending our money on products that are harmful to ourselves, to our environment, and to our local economy. Voting with your dollars is a powerful statement, and the more people begin to spend money on nutritionally beneficial foods, the more those products will pop up on grocery store shelves.
“If three million people walked into McDonalds tomorrow and asked for green juice, and the next day three million people walked in again and asked for green juice, McDonalds would be selling green juice.” -Joe Cross
The responsibility lies with the individual. Each one of us controls what we put into our bodies, and so the effects we reap from what we eat are our responsibility. When we get sick because we aren’t taking care of ourselves, we are to blame. And although this knowledge may be depressing or dispiriting for some people, Joe’s message was hopeful: it is never too late to turn your life around, and, if you choose it, today can be your first step on your journey to wellness.
He had a very non-judgmental, encouraging approach, and has inspired millions of people to “reboot their lives” and work toward living healthy lifestyles through his Reboot Your Life website. It was such a pleasure to hear him speak- especially since these are topics that I am so passionate about. I felt like I was completely submerged in my element, something I haven’t felt for a long time.
After the Q&A, everyone mingled out in the front room where they had set up tables with t-shirts, fresh juice, Brad’s products, the Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead DVD, and some books about raw and plant-based lifestyles. I love Brad’s products, and have been a fan for many years, but actually getting to eat them is a real treat. Simply put, the money just isn’t in our budget to buy those kinds of things on a regular basis right now, so an event like this was doubly special since I was able to enjoy some of my favorite foods as well. They were actually doing giveaways throughout the evening, and Moms ended up winning her pick of two Brad’s products! So fun!
I snacked freely on the chips and kale, and snagged a t-shirt to add to my collection- I seem to be accumulating kale-themed t-shirts at an alarming rate.
I also bought some juice- beet, apple, carrot, lemon, ginger. I totally forgot to take a picture before I chugged it this morning, but let that be a sign that it was delicious! I had an opportunity to speak to Joe personally and ask him some questions before we left, as well as snap a picture and get an autograph.
Juice on, indeed. This was such a special event for me, since I don’t often get out to things like this. It pretty much embodied everything that I love about healthy living, and it was fun getting together with like-minded people. Living well can actually be really alienating at times, since I do live my life so differently from a lot of the people around me, but as I work my way into a comfortable niche, I am finding myself surrounded by supportive and nourishing people. It’s incredible, and I am so glad to be a part of it.
If you get the opportunity, I recommend that you check out Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. It’s an inspiring story, and a wonderful documentation of one man’s journey that inspired millions to take control of their lives and start their journey to a healthier lifestyle. It inspired me to buy my juicer (also known as my third child) and try a 14-day reboot, and it was one of the best things I ever did in terms of personal wellness. If you have ever even turned the idea over in your mind, I encourage you to dive in and go for a swim. It will change your life.