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Opinions on Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead/Joe Cross



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So I've been making my way through the various plant-based docs on Netflix (favorite is Forks Over Knives, least favorite is What the Health although it wasn't terrible) and I came across one called Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead. The filmmaker is Joe Cross, who I saw in another documentary as a plant-based person, so I looked him up and found the film.

To give a short summary he decides to undertake a 60-day juice fast (with medical supervision) so basically eating exclusively fruits and vegetables in juice form - I can't recall if he said whether he added any of the pulp/fiber back in or if it was exclusively juice. Then after his fast he gives the impression that he went on a plant-based diet. He lost about 90 lbs in less than a year, doing a "reboot" juice fast every so often, and started traveling to promote this way of living.

Now I'm personally not into juicing especially if the Fiber is left out. So I didn't decide to do juicing or follow his journey or anything. However, I thought it was a decent documentary and promoted fruit & veggies so I was like, "Cool," and moved on with my life.

Then Netflix recommended the sequel film, Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead 2. So I started watching it. Well... he stated that at the end of his juice fast he had lost 90 pounds to be about 220. He's 6'2 so that's a BMI of 28. Not bad for coming from being 310 lbs. However then he said he has gone up to 240 and fluctuates between 240 and 250. That's a BMI of 30.8 to 32.1 so basically he is obese now. He said 40% of his calories come from fruit and vegetables which I thought was kinda low, but maybe he eats a lot of grains or whatever.... and then he hit me with the big one that he eats animal Protein for dinner every night!

To my mind this is kind of crazy to call yourself plant-based and then eat meat not just occasionally but every night for supper. I feel like he is kind of riding the trend of plant-based/veganism while sort of hiding the fact that he's still eating meat. I mean I definitely left the first documentary with the impression he was fully plant-based/vegan. And it really got me wondering if this is why his weight is still so high and he has to constantly be going on these "reboot" juice fasts to lose weight again. I wonder what would happen if he just cut out the meat and ate plant-based all the time, if his weight would go back down and he wouldn't have to reboot.

I know he travels a lot which can do crazy things to your body, sleep, Water retention, etc. But Dr. Greger also travels all over the place doing talks, etc. And Dr. Greger admits his diet when traveling isn't always ideal - he said sometimes when traveling he only hits 25% of the daily dozen recommendation - but he does eat only plant-based and stays healthy despite a crazy travel schedule.

So what do you think? Have you seen this movie or the sequel? Do you think if you eat meat every night you are still plant-based? (This doesn't count vegetarianism because this forum is also for vegetarians, not just vegans, so I am referring only to meat here.) Would you rather eat meat and have to juice fast, or just cut the meat and eat mostly plant-based all the time for the same results?

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What, I didn't realize Joe Cross still eats meat! Wth dude, there's no good excuse for that. My husband has been camping alone in rural Texas for the last two weeks and has no problem staying vegan. There is literally NO excuse for that guy. He just wants to feel pleasure in his mouth.

I personally love juice fasting, but I'm also vegan. So I'm going to choose being vegan AND juice fasting!

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Yep, sad but true. He keeps it pretty vague (I scoured his website and twitter lol) and besides the reference in FSND2, this is the only article I could find where he flat-out states he is not vegan:

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16203/why-im-not-having-a-vegan-thanksgiving.html

Quote

As was well documented in my first film, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, I went to 100% plants for five months starting with 60 days of consuming only fresh juice, followed by another three months of also eating plants. It took a few years to reintroduce animal Proteins and I did it slowly first with fish, then chicken and very rarely red meat. I listened to my body and did what felt right.

The same went for introducing dairy and processed food. In today's world, living the lives we live, I think it is extremely difficult to abstain from all processed food so I do my best to limit the amount of packaged foods I consume, especially the ones high in chemicals and other additives. I'm a firm believer in the 90%/10% rule – try your best to follow a healthy lifestyle 90% of the time and allow yourself leeway the other 10% of the time to have some cake, enjoy a glass of wine or, like what I do, have a bowl of chocolate ice cream while watching a movie on the couch. And remember, this is just a guideline, don't beat yourself up if you're running at a 70%/30% ratio, just do your best.

So he eats fish & chicken, and occasionally red meat, and dairy as well. And I do agree that lowering the amount of meat you eat will make you healthier even if you don't go vegan, so the 70/30 thing isn't that bad, but if you are going to call yourself plant-based and build a business on being a fruit & veg diet guru, you should not be eating up to 30% of your diet from animal protein! Smh!!!

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Ay yi yi..,I did not know he ate meat either. His gaining weight back has everything to do with not living a sustainable healthy lifestyle. And we all know the healthiest one is a plant based one. 😉

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My diet is plant based. I eat the animals that eat the plants. :lol:

I will never to subscribe to any one diet being superior to another. Find what works for you and makes you happy. Want to be a vegan? Great. It simply doesn't make you better than everyone else. Nor does going carb free, or gluten free, of whatever else. If the guy was selling himself as being vegan that's one thing, but you can argue that his diet is plant based if the majority of his diet is fruits & veggies. Just because it does include meats doesn't negate the other 80-90% of his diet being plant based.

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Plant-based was invented because people didn't like the implications the word vegan has (caring about animals=not eating them). Additionally, veganism is a lifestyle, not just a diet. We will try our hardest to avoid the exploitation of animals in any way, whether that be using their flesh for a snack or burning their eyeballs out while testing household products.

Saying plant-based means you eat plants only. But seeing as there is no dictionary definition for the term (as there is for vegan), he can say whatever he wants and make it "true." It does seem pretty deceptive of him though.

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On 2/1/2018 at 6:39 AM, orionburn said:

any one diet being superior to another

I don’t think anyone here in this thread thinks this. It’s preference and lifestyle we choose just as all others choose theirs.

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On 2/1/2018 at 7:39 AM, orionburn said:

My diet is plant based. I eat the animals that eat the plants. :lol:

I will never to subscribe to any one diet being superior to another. Find what works for you and makes you happy. Want to be a vegan? Great. It simply doesn't make you better than everyone else. Nor does going carb free, or gluten free, of whatever else. If the guy was selling himself as being vegan that's one thing, but you can argue that his diet is plant based if the majority of his diet is fruits & veggies. Just because it does include meats doesn't negate the other 80-90% of his diet being plant based.

@orionburn I'm on my pre-op liquid diet and I'm not the one. I will be as kind as possible in my response.

You're in the vegan & vegetarian forum so do not come in here and laugh about eating animals. It's not funny or cute, and it's very disrespectful. I leave my veganism out of the main diet forums so you can leave your meat-eater jokes out of the vegan/vegetarian forum. Thanks!

The evidence is overwhelming that a plant-based vegan diet absolutely is superior to other diets. (Evidence produced by real studies done by real researchers in real medical journals, not some fringe blogger types.) You're welcome to access the numerous resources in this forum to learn about this evidence if you're open-minded enough to do so. The fact that this way of eating is superior obviously does not mean WE are superior. Nobody in this forum claims to be better than anyone else. :rolleyes:

My beef with Joe Cross is that he is clearly riding the wave of interest in veganism/plant-based eating without making it crystal clear that he includes animal Protein in his diet not just occasionally but every single day. That's deceptive. I think it's probable that a large swath of his followers and supporters are buying his books and products thinking they are supporting a vegan lifestyle - meaning they wouldn't be buying if they knew he's eating animals everyday. To me, that's just wrong.

I'll weigh in with a different perspective from @fruitandveggies on the term "plant-based." While I do agree it's often being used as a softer way to say vegan without saying vegan, it also distinguishes a healthy whole foods diet from a vegan junk food diet. Soda and candy and all kinds of highly processed meat/cheese substitutes are vegan but they are excluded from a plant-based diet. The term "whole foods plant-based" is a mouthful so people just say plant-based, or sometimes they just say vegan for the sake of recognition. I started off not liking the term vegan but have come to embrace it so sometimes I say plant-based and sometimes I say vegan. It doesn't matter, they mean 85% the same thing and both completely exclude animal products.

Edited by Little Green

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Sorry, I hit send too soon.

I love how you felt free to dismiss the entire conversation that we had in a few sentences when you clearly have literally no idea what you're talking about. You don't know who Joe Cross is, you haven't watched his stuff, you didn't even know what plant-based meant. That would be like if I commented on a crossfit post when I know almost nothing about it. In fact, though, I feel certain I know more about crossfit than you know about plant-based diets. So pardon me if I didn't find your argument particularly persuasive.

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5 hours ago, Little Green said:

@orionburn I'm on my pre-op liquid diet and I'm not the one. I will be as kind as possible in my response.

You're in the vegan & vegetarian forum so do not come in here and laugh about eating animals. It's not funny or cute, and it's very disrespectful. I leave my veganism out of the main diet forums so you can leave your meat-eater jokes out of the vegan/vegetarian forum. Thanks!

The evidence is overwhelming that a plant-based vegan diet absolutely is superior to other diets. (Evidence produced by real studies done by real researchers in real medical journals, not some fringe blogger types.) You're welcome to access the numerous resources in this forum to learn about this evidence if you're open-minded enough to do so. The fact that this way of eating is superior obviously does not mean WE are superior. Nobody in this forum claims to be better than anyone else. :rolleyes:

My beef with Joe Cross is that he is clearly riding the wave of interest in veganism/plant-based eating without making it crystal clear that he includes animal Protein in his diet not just occasionally but every single day. That's deceptive. I think it's probable that a large swath of his followers and supporters are buying his books and products thinking they are supporting a vegan lifestyle - meaning they wouldn't be buying if they knew he's eating animals everyday. To me, that's just wrong.

I'll weigh in with a different perspective from @fruitandveggies on the term "plant-based." While I do agree it's often being used as a softer way to say vegan without saying vegan, it also distinguishes a healthy whole foods diet from a vegan junk food diet. Soda and candy and all kinds of highly processed meat/cheese substitutes are vegan but they are excluded from a plant-based diet. The term "whole foods plant-based" is a mouthful so people just say plant-based, or sometimes they just say vegan for the sake of recognition. I started off not liking the term vegan but have come to embrace it so sometimes I say plant-based and sometimes I say vegan. It doesn't matter, they mean 85% the same thing and both completely exclude animal products.

I usually only check out recent posts and rarely pay attention to the forum it falls in. Didn't mean any harm to anyone, so sorry if somebody's feels got hurt.

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8 hours ago, Little Green said:

it also distinguishes a healthy whole foods diet from a vegan junk food diet.

Very true! I think this is a distinction Dr. Greger makes and boy does it make a world of difference. I was a junk food, binge-eating vegan for nearly 15 years and, well, I had to get surgery to lose weight!

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I am super happy that Joe Cross has reached his health goals. I also think it's fantastic that he had the financing to make a documentary about that journey and inspire people - but like many people in the 'diet industry' it is in my opinion that perhaps his initial goal in regards to his website/film has changed from educational/community building to one for profit.

I don't hate, and he isn't the only person to do so. I have never been under the impression that he was vegan. Nor am I vegan myself. I believe like most of you all are saying that it goes well beyond what one puts in their body. One is not a vegan for two months imo.

I know none of these people will ever publicly admit that their work is just a business, but it is a bit sad when someone who knows how hard it is to lose weight and keep it off chooses to profit off of people's hopes and desires — people who are in the EXACT situation that they were once in - just with less money.

I have done one of his programs - paid for it, and there wasn't very much support for obese people at all. It was geared towards people with hypothyroidism.

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