Docu Review: “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”

I decided to take a break from my normal sort of post. I’ve been trying to take in as much information as I can about clean living and getting healthy. At the recommendation of several people I have watched a couple of documentaries this week. First, I watched Food, Inc. which I thought was very informative (and DISTURBING) but the one that really spoke to me was Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I related so well to this movie. I actually watched it twice. It was much more relevant to me than I’d like. So here are my thoughts on it.

The film follows Joe, who also co-wrote/co-directed the film (and I think probably financed it). Joe was 310 lb. and had a terrible auto-immune skin disease that required he take a heavy dose of Prednisone, a really nasty steroid. It doesn’t really get into where he got the idea (or maybe I’ve forgotten), but he decides to go on a 60 day juice fast, in an effort to see if he can clean his body of not only fat but also disease. The movie chronicles those 60 days, (which he spends making juice from a juicer run by a generator in the trunk of his SUV) and interviewing strangers on the streets of New York City and then around the US. While on the road he interviews a lot of really fantastic, mostly unhealthy people, and convinces two people to join him in the fasting and document their progress.

One is a woman who does not appear to even be overweight let alone obese, but has health problems like migraines and sleeping issues, both with which I am all too familiar. She does not enjoy the fast but at the end of her 10 days, she is overjoyed with how great she feels. For her, the biggest challenge is balancing her lifestyle with a social life. Another thing I can relate to very well.

The other person who joins Joe is a man named Phil. Phil weighs about 430 pounds and is heartbreaking. He can’t walk for more than five or ten minutes at a time. He is obviously severely depressed. He is embarrassed to let anyone see him, including his kids. He is a 42 year old truck driver, which is not a very healthy lifestyle in the first place. Joe meets him on the road, and later on Phil calls him to say he needs a change and is ready to fast.

His transformation is incredible. I’m sorry to ruin the movie for everybody, but the end is really the point! Joe loses over 200 pounds, and starts a community-wide fast to get his whole Iowa town into shape. He honestly is a new person both in appearance and personality. I was so inspired.

The movie really made me think about the place I’m at right now, as opposed to who I’ve been in the past and who I want to be. It’s not always obvious in my day to day routine how much my physical state affects my mental one. I’ve always been friendly, out-going and up for a challenge, but looking at the past year or so, I probably haven’t been as lively as I imagine. My mind still feels pretty peppy, but in reality there are a lot of days where I don’t leave my house. (I work from home.) I feel better now than I did a month ago, but still. Looking at this movie showed me a lot about my own personal fears. I definitely don’t want to let things ever get any worse.

Unfortunately, my cleanse is on pause. Or maybe it’s over and I will start fresh in a couple of weeks. I think I mentioned in my last post that I sprained my wrist. Annoyingly, though, it is my right wrist, and of course I’m right-handed, so frankly it’s really a pain (literally!) to try to chop all my veggies. (I do it by hand.) So I’ve been eating a lot more convenience food than I like. Nothing too insane for the most part, but like, sushi or a prepared salad from the Fresh Market instead roasted salmon and veggies I cut up myself.

The film, however, really made me miss my standard breakfast juice, which I’d grown so fond of and accustomed to over the past couple of weeks. I was surprised, both of these men had physician approval to do the 60-day juice fast, where they lost an insane amount of weight. Far more than the standard 2 lb per week normally recommended. That is encouraging also. I’m not sure I want to do a pure juice fast, but maybe I will make sure to include as much as possible.

I did make a really good soup recently, which is the same as juice except warmer, really.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 3/4 Butternut Squash (4 cups chopped)
  • 1 Apple
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Garlic Cloves and a teaspoon minced Ginger
  • Cinnamon, Cloves and Nutmeg to Taste
  • And some water.
  • That’s it!! **

Then you just roast everything until it’s all pretty soft–maybe 25 mins– and then mix it together in a blender with some water. I used about 1 Cup I think. I just sort of added it in til I liked the consistency.

**I just checked the recipe which I got from the Whole Living Action Plan I’ve been following, and apparently you’re also supposed to add a whole onion, but I totally forgot it. It tasted fine without it. Made it sweeter.

I added some cinnamon mixed with a packet of Truvía on top. (This was kind of a cheat but def worth it!)

Here was the result:

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

It was great! It took a lot of time to prepare, I’m not gonna lie to you, but if you have a food processor or are better at chopping things than I am, it should go pretty fast.

And I definitely recommend watching “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” It’s on Netflix Instant. Also from the website it looks like they have a lot of associated materials, which I’m going to check out. Hopefully they have some juice and smoothie recipes I can add to my collection!

It’s a great movie to watch if you are just on the edge of thinking it’s time to really start making some changes, but since if you’re reading this you’re probably past that point, it’s also great for people like me. People who have been doing well with clean living and detoxing, but sometimes just need a motivational nudge when things get hard.

Wow this one was long. Hope you have a great weekend!


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Healthy recipes and all my thoughts about physical and mental health.

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