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The Juice in the Life of Joe Cross

A charming smile. Sparkling eyes. A confident, magnetic personality. Joe Cross is, indeed, a picture of perfect health. But several years back, he was FAT, SICK...AND NEARLY DEAD.

At a recent “working birthday” photo shoot, it’s easy to see how Cross’s inner glow could make people stop and look twice, even thrice, at this towering (to average-height Filipinos, at least) hunk of a man. Though he recently turned 47, Cross easily looks 10 years younger and is probably one of the few who could gulp down a deep green concoction and make it look like he’s guzzling the world’s sweetest nectar.

Well, now that we mention it, he has in fact been consuming only the purest, healthiest “liquid sunshine” for several years now. Known the world over as a man who remarkably turned his unfit lifestyle to a state of wellbeing in just 60 days, Cross is a leading proponent of juicing fresh fruits and vegetables.

“I’m here to share my story about how fruits and vegetables, by eating and juicing them, saved my life. I’m not here to preach or to force people to juice; I’m simply here because I discovered something good that could also save other people’s lives,” Cross, who hails from Australia, says thoughtfully.

Simply put, Cross is a staunch advocate of giving the body a “reboot,” or a few days’ break from all the animal and processed food that wreak havoc on one’s system, and supercharging the body’s micronutrient intake by the highly efficient juicing process.

By juicing the five colors of the fruit and vegetable rainbow—green, purple, red, orange and yellow—trillions of cells, says Cross, will be fed by the “harnessed energy from the sun” resulting in a healthier you.

Cross’s healthy formula for juicing is about 70-percent vegetables and 30-percent fruits. A “rebooter” is licensed to get creative by juicing either conventional or organic produce like malunggay (moringa), camote tops, kale, green and red apples, lemons and oranges, cucumbers, carrots, celery, ginger, pineapples and so much more. Why, one can even throw a slice or two of bitter gourd in there if they’re really adventurous.

“We used to live for millions of years with just two choices of energy to get into our bodies—plants and animals. But in the last 70 years or so, we’ve invented a third ‘energy,’ which is the processed food. Cheap and convenient, it was a necessity. While processed food still has nutrients, it doesn’t have phytochemicals so our cells end up suffering and starving nonetheless,” says Cross.

It doesn’t mean that Cross doesn’t enjoy a pizza or a burger every now and then. Life, he believes, is about having fun and having those processed treats is fun. “It’s just not what I eat all the time,” quips Cross. For him, it’s not about a case of processed food being bad for humans, but it’s about choosing that kind of food over the nutrient-dense plant food, which enables the body’s 3 trillion cells to function fully.

“The world is heading down the path of malnutrition. We are loading up our bodies with so much energy from animal and processed foods but very few nutrients that we are starving ourselves at the same time by getting obese,” Cross says, noting the irony of the modern man’s diet, his included.                               Almost a decade ago, Cross was in a “livin’ la vida loca” mode, the “bad” kind, that is. He was at the top of his career as a businessman, juggling several high-profile investments since the late 1990s. He had a rich and famous lifestyle filled with booze, smoking and highly processed food diet that was quite evident in his Homer Simpson-ish paunch. And to top it off, he was popping pills after pills to treat a rare auto-immune disease called urticaria. A regular bout with this ailment meant large, red, swollen skin welts that could restrict breathing and suggested a more serious, underlying disease.

Overweight at more than 300 pounds and feeling numb and miserable, Cross couldn’t take the heavy burden anymore and started out on a quest toward self-healing. Armed only with two Breville juicers (a brand that he recognized from his sandwich-making days) that he bought from a store at the last minute and loads of fresh produce of fruits and vegetables, he drove cross-country in the United States consuming nothing but his green juices for two months. This personal journey resulted in the highly-acclaimed documentary film titled Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.

“It wasn’t easy going up to someone and holding up your glass of green juice and saying, ‘Drink this and it will change your life.’ Most people thought here’s a crazy Australian guy in the streets bent on poisoning them,” says Cross, recalling the thousands of rejections he got on the road.

Perhaps due to the film’s popularity and mankind’s tendency to misinterpret things, one of the greatest misconceptions that Cross tries to correct at every opportunity is that people think he consumes nothing but juice. “That’s not a proper, healthy way to live,” adds Cross.

His radical 60-day juice diet was merely to jump-start his system. Depending on the body’s condition, people can decide what kind of rebooting system to take in juicing. Cross recommends a five-day reboot if you have the following concerns: sluggish and overweight, tired and irritable, suffering from a chronic illness, and more.

“Drink two-and-a-half to three one-liter glasses of juice a day and nothing else. The first three days are the hardest as you’ll feel light-headed and get headaches, but days four and five, you start to enjoy and feel the difference,” he says.

If done on a regular basis, these reboots can result in glowing and clear skin, shiny hair, disappearance of chronic ailments and weight loss, to name a few.

He reiterates that he’s not an expert. Instead, he refers to himself as “an average Joe trying to work out how to stay and live as happy and healthy” for as long as he possibly can. For a man who wears many hats—as a businessman, a filmmaker, an author, as well as a juicing advocate—he definitely needs to be healthy if he is to successfully spread the good word about juicing.

As the founder and CEO of Rebootwithjoe.com, his goal is to build a company that “inspires, educates and entertains people to lead a longer, healthier life.” His advocacy is to make people understand that “little decisions can lead to big results.” A success story for Cross is when he is able to make people experience the amazing feelings that come after rebooting with fruits and vegetables, and which he calls the When Harry Met Sally moment—“I want what he/she is having!”

“You feel amazing after five or 10 days of just eating and drinking plants. You become sharper mentally, more focused, more agile, and you sleep better. People will make comments about how good your skin looks and you start to feel better about yourself,” says Cross, adding that it’s all about breaking a habit.

Cross’s own juicing experience resulted in his gaining back his ideal weight, losing the beer gut, and stopping his medications and saying good-bye to his chronic illness.

Thanks to juicing, Cross now works long hours but in a very efficient manner unlike before. “I am very focused at work. People who work with me would say I’m a very fair boss. Still, I expect them to show initiative. I don’t tolerate people asleep at the wheel. I’m prepared to take risks, I’m passionate about what I do, I work very hard and I work long hours,” he says. On top of this, he also tries his best to answer the thousands of messages he gets online.

This is why, he explains, when at play, he completely relaxes and usually loves sleeping in. “I love going for a walk, listening to music, having phone chats with friends, or just doing nothing for hours.”

If not, Cross would be watching TV series on his iPad, including series like Game of Thrones, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, because it allows him to switch off the noise from the outside world.

What he envisions is, perhaps in four years’ time, living on a farm and explore other healthful ways to live. While he’s keen on trying out various diets, such as raw food, he’s not keen on putting a label on things, like being a vegan or a raw-food advocate, for instance.

In the meantime, he’s happy that the people he loves dearly and are close to are following in his footsteps. His parents, younger brother and brother-in-law, for instance, have come to love juicing. His staff has joined in, as well.

“The editor that worked on my film, Kurt who’s from Detroit, said no way was he going to juice. But he introduced juicing to his breakfast and 18 months later, he lost 45 pounds,” says Cross.

For Cross, it is important for people to realize that when they’re juicing, they are in fact eating. “When you juice, you’re actually eating and getting incredible energy,” he adds.

For the naysayers that keep on harping about how “unscientific” all this juicing is, Cross assures that he is constantly working with his Reboot medical advisory board that consists of four medical doctors. The next 12 months will see this board doing tests on juicing, the results of which will be published.

Cross’s future plans include a juicing launch in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Chile and more. He is working on a new movie that will tackle about life after juicing. Cross is also involved in negotiations with media companies in the US about some TV idea. Last but not the least, he is working on a new book that will be launched in early 2014.

Knowing the value of transparency, Cross welcomes people to visit either his web site or his Facebook page to learn more about success stories, and perhaps share their own.

“I am not selling any product. I’m not saying buy these pills. I am saying that you go down to your market, find a local farmer, or grow produce in your own backyard if you can. Get more of the fruit, vegetable, nut, bean and seed energy into your body than solely consuming animal or processed food. It really is as simple as that,” he says.

In Cross’s experience, it really is easy “being green” because he does it in a fun, creative way. Don’t worry if one day, you meet Cross and see he’s chugging on a ginger ale or giving in to his sweet tooth. He’s just having some fun and his boyish, mischievous grin is proof of that.

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