Film-maker spills the juice on juice

Imagine losing 45kg in 60 days.

That's a feat Joe Cross, 48, claims he achieved - by surviving on juice alone for two months.

Juice cleanses or diets have been all the rage recently, promising health benefits like weight loss and detoxification.

The Australian film-maker and entrepreneur said he embarked on his juice journey eight years ago, not only because he was extremely overweight (about 140kg), but also to remedy his poor health.

After consulting noted US doctor Joel Fuhrman, he embarked on a 60-day journey across the US, consuming nothing but fresh vegetable juice.

His feat was captured in the 2010 documentary film Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, which kick-started the juicing movement and raised awareness of having more fruits and vegetables in one's diet.

Raising that awareness, said Cross from London in a phone interview with M, has always been the objective.

"It's never about weight loss. We simply want to bring an awareness of the benefits of staying healthy to an unhealthy world." For the record, he's managed to keep the weight he lost at bay.

Cross hopes to bring more attention to the fruit and vegetable industry, the way famed US documentarian Morgan Spurlock did with the fast food industry through his film, Super Size Me (2004).

He will be in town next week for the premiere of Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2.

The sequel will no longer focus on him, Cross explained, but on people in the US, UK, Australia and Kenya who are trying to maintain a plant-based lifestyle after being inspired by the first film.

"The new film can offer insights and tools that we can use to navigate the difficulties in the modern day world, such as work stress and long office hours," he said.

Cross, who travels around the world as a juicing advocate for his website (, believes that "people are just not getting enough of produce, real food, in their diet".

Juicing, Cross clarified, isn't a diet fad but an easier way to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. "Our main and fundamental problem has always been that we're creatures of habit.

"We developed habits that contributed to the decline of our health, such as adding that little bit of sugar into our cereal." He added: "Little things have detrimental effects. Likewise, little changes can lead to positive changes in our health." START SMALL Cross advises those interested in rebooting their diet with juice over a period of three, five or 10 days to start small.

"Try a few different recipes to get a variety of tastes," he shared, adding that there are many resources available on the Internet.

"Most people would have tasted orange, pineapple or mango juice, so it's not that crazy to add a vegetable into the juice."

He warned that anyone attempting a juice fast will naturally face hunger issues.

"But trust me, after you get over the fourth or fifth day, the hunger goes away as your body adjusts to the new diet, and will use the reserves in the body."

He added: "You'll discover that you will feel stronger and more energetic."

Despite the widely-touted health benefits of juicing, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) warns against consuming too much fruit juice.

Fruit juices generally contain much higher sugar levels than sweetened drinks, pointed out director of HPB's Obesity Prevention Division Dr Annie Ling in a report in The Straits Times two weeks ago.

Acidic fruits like apples and berries, especially, contain relatively higher sugar levels compared to other fruits.

WHAT: Fat, Sick And Nearly Dead 2 movie premiere
WHERE: GV Vivo Max, VivoCity
WHEN: Dec 3, 7pm
TICKETS: $49 from
Each ticket allows you to redeem a gift bag worth $50.

This article was first published on Nov 26, 2014.
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