Possibly the most horrific title for a film I have come across. I do cringe whenever I say it, and I am saying it a lot at the moment. Every now and then I download a "health film" to inspire myself and my family into eating a bit better. Last week I rented FAT SICK AND NEARLY DEAD through itunes.
The film is about an over-weight ozzie called Joe Cross. He also has an auto-immune illness he suspects is lifestyle related. His lifestyle means lots of fast food, little exercise and a bit of over indulging. He doesn't look outrageously huge to me, about the size of my three brothers. Ok, overweight, but what I would call "the new normal". He decides to live off the extra weight his body is carrying, basically to use up his fat stores. The auto immune illness and general overweight symptoms require medications he would like not to rely on. His plan is to do what is known as a juice fast under medical supervision. He has great success, meets a guy who needs help and helps him to tear jerking affect, he in turn begins to help others. The film is a good watch, very inspiring and feels like the beginning of an altruistic movement for the unhealthy/unhappy camp or at the very least the obese.
Juice fasts are nothing new, they are used in quite a few new age circles for detoxing the body. There is plenty of positive anecdotal evidence on the web and also some nutritionists who of course are against them. See this recent fairfax media article for a balanced review. It was the film-makers description of the fast as a system reboot that made me prick up my ears and think it might be worth a try.
Since our daughter arrived 5 months ago I have developed strange food allergies whereas before pregnancy I was fine. Trying to avoid a long list of foods makes eating really annoying and socially quite painful. Due to all of this I have been experimenting in the raw food world (encouraged by the delicious inspiration of little bird organics). By the end of the film I had decided to step it up a notch and go from raw to juiced.
My ever supportive husband and I are on day 4 of a 7 day fast. We have had minor detox pay-back; mild headaches, a bit of nausea but it has all passed now. Today I feel fantastic, invigorated and full of beans. One of the things I like most about the juice fast is that it is only juice. This means I haven't cheated with any solid food. If I were on a food based detox I would be more tempted by other foods, too similar, too easy to just pop something in the mouth. It is much simpler to just say, "oh no thanks, I'm not eating", than it is to say, no thanks I'm not eating; pork, hazelnuts, wheat, oats, rye, soy, tomatoes, potatoes, capsicums.... well you get the picture.
Surprisingly this seems like a very expensive way to survive, so far we have spent about $200 on organic vegetables, even though we have a garden and an apple tree. Still it is cheaper than medical bills and if a juice fast really will reboot my system it will make life easier too. On the plus side all the wastage from the juicer is going into the compost bin and worm farm where it will eventually return to nourish the garden.
To go with the film there are the websites and facebook pages expected. This is quite handy when looking for ideas, here are some juice combos recommended by the Reboot with Joe website.
Below are a couple of juice combinations we have discovered and enjoyed.
Creamy Pumpkin and Beetroot
1/2 bunch celery
1 C torn Kale leaves
3 C cubed pumpkin
2 small beetroot, with leaves
a few spinach leaves
2 cm fresh ginger root
Serve over ice.
Serve over crushed ice