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Fat Sick and Nearly Dead - Joe Cross before and afterWhilst juicers still remain a niche kitchen appliance, sales in the US are surging, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. In a new article about juicing, the WSJ says sales of juicer hit $215 million for the year ended in November 2012, up by 71% over the year before!

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

US retailers are crediting the 2010 documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” for the US juicing boom. The film chronicles the 60-day juice fast of Australian filmmaker, Joe Cross, who traveled around the U.S. consuming mountains of produce that he put through a juicer in the back of his car. The film shows how he lost 82 pounds and put his autoimmune disease into remission.

“People are sick and tired of being sick and tired”

Joe Cross, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”

For me, the real star of “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and the biggest inspiration in the film is actually not Joe (sorry, Joe), but Phil Staples, a morbidly obese truck driver who Joe meets during his travels. When Phil Staples first featured in the film he weighed in at 429 lbs (30 Stone 9 lbs); a cheeseburger away from a heart-attack. In “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” Phil Staples went on a juice fast. I personally started juicing back in 2010 and have many debates since then with people concerned that juicing is dangerous or unhealthy. So what happened to Phil Staples as a result of his juice fast?

After just 30 days:

  • Phil Staples lost 61 pounds in weight (over 4 stone!)
  • Phil Staples’ blood pressure went from 160 over 84 (high blood pressure) to 136 over 70 (normal blood pressure)
  • Phil Staples’ triglycerides, which measure fats in the body went from 216 to 161. 161 is almost in the normal range.
  • Phil Staples also was able to lower the medication he was taking for urticaria, a skin rash notable for pale red, raised, itchy bumps.

Phil Staples continued his juice fast for 60 days, after which Phil has mainly eaten a plant based diet with the occasional treat. Phil Staples’ urticaria is in remission and he’s no longer taking any medication for it. After just 10 months, Phil Staples had lost 202 lbs and was down to a much healthier weight of 227 lbs (16 Stone 3 lbs). Remember, before Phil Staples started the juice fast, he weighed 429 lbs (30 Stone 9 lbs).

I published a blog post last year that compared Phil Staples’ results with Morgan Spurlock’s film, “Super Size Me”, in which Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonalds for 30 days to understand the impact this would have on his body. You can read more here: Knowledge Can Be The Difference Between Life and Death – A comparison between Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Supersize Me.

“Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” had limited distribution in US cinemas, but appliance retailers say it has been hard to keep up with demand for juicers since it hit Netflix, in July 2011. “After the film there was a groundswell,” says Jack Schwefel, chief executive of retailer Sur La Table, which expects 2013 juicer sales to rise a further 60%. Click here to buy “Fat Sick & Nearly Dead” on DVD at

10 Lessons from Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Here are the Huffington Posts “10 things we learned from Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, which will hopefully inspire you to see the film.

1. While most people have a hard time doing the three days most juice cleanses recommend, Joe did 60 days of all green juice, so next time you think three is impossible…

2. You don’t need to drive yourself crazy scheduling gym time, you can radically improve your health for the better simply by altering your diet.

3. Changes in diet can have way more of an impact than pills when it comes to treating a host of diseases.

4. Many health problems can be reversed with dietary changes.

5. The key is to make sustainable changes.

6. Juice cleansing can be a useful tool to reset your taste palette.

7. Make sure to consult a doctor if you have any medical conditions before going on a juice cleanse — especially if you plan on doing it for more than one day.

8. In 60 days Cross managed to shed 90 pounds and alleviate the effects of an autoimmune disease… just 60 days!

9. Cross makes it a point to shop at local food markets, which we love because many people, sadly, can simply not afford to eat as many healthy foods as they wish because of price. If you buy locally and in-season prices drop dramatically.

10. What we loved most about this documentary is that it shows that when push comes to shove, the only person who can get you to change is you. Luckily if you’re willing to do the work, miracles are truly possible.

Inspired enough to want to try making your own fresh juices and smoothies but need to buy a juicer? Click here to get a 5% discount at Juice Master! – Note: discount is applied at check out.

2013 miles in 2013

Having completed a year without all alcohol in 2012, my self imposed challenge this year is to complete 2013 self powered miles by the end of 2013. My rules are quite simple:

  1. All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
  2. I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment

To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered methods along the way.

I need to average just over 5.5 miles (9 km) per day to hit my target. I ran just over 670 miles in 6 and a half months in 2012, so this is a big step up. It is not going to be easy, but hey, it wouldn’t be a challenge if it was!

As part of this challenge I am planning a few races and have already signed up for 2 half marathons in March, a full 26.2 miles marathon in May and a return trip to the Great South Run.

I will be doing this challenge in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and so will keep my existing Just Giving page going for another year. I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.

To donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust please click here to visit my just giving page or donate by text – send AYWB55 and the amount to 70070. For example, texting “AYWB55 £5″ will donate £5.