Friday, September 20, 2013

VMofo: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

Moving into the third week of my "vegan stuff" themed posts for the Vegan Month of Food, I'm devoting today to sharing with you one of my favorite pro-vegan documentaries.

I love Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead for a number of reasons. This documentary is about juice fasting, not necessarily about being or becoming vegan. It begins by introducing us to the main subject of the film, Joe Cross, who is a successful businessman with a rare health condition. He relies on heavy doses of medication to function at close to normal and he isn't very happy with the side effects or the fact that no one has ever tried to alleviate the cause of his discomfort instead of just treating his symptoms.

Joe decides that he is going to experiment with juice fasting as a means of improving his health and vitality in the hope that he will ultimately be able to control his condition with a lot less medication. He chooses this route after advice from friends and acquaintances and from previous experience with minimal fasting periods in the past.

He does his experiment under the supervision of professionals, which is always recommended, and his check-ins and progress updates with a doctor only make his experiences more profound. You see, by the end of the film, we realize that Joe has not only gained drastically improved health after spending 60 days fasting followed by switching to a mostly plant-based diet, but he ultimately is able to go off of his medication.

In addition to Joe's story, we also meet a man named Phil suffering from the very same condition as Joe who is not only in pain but is also very overweight and extremely depressed. Ultimately, Joe assists Phil in his own juice fast with even more visibly profound results. Phil extends his juice fast, again under doctor supervision, loses a truly incredible amount of weight, and becomes a changed individual. Phil also takes what he learned during his experiences and begins teaching others in his hometown about the benefits of juicing and adopting a plant-based diet.

One of the reasons I enjoyed this film so much was that the viewer can see firsthand the transformation that real people go through when they change their diet to improve their health. Joe and Phil come across on screen just as they are, real people suffering from real problems that just aren't finding the help they need from traditional medicine.

Since I saw Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, I have been drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices at home several times a week. I have stopped drinking coffee and black tea and have more energy without these stimulants than I did with them. And I haven't gone broke buying produce to juice, either. My standard is really cheap- carrots with an orange and some ginger. I've ordered a few drinks from juice bars as well, which have included pineapple and beet based concoctions, too.

I highly recommend watching this film if you have not. It is not only inspiring but it is also a great examination of the power of a plant-based diet and how it can be used as a tool for health if you're trying to encourage someone you know to experiment. And you can watch it streaming on Netflix right now, too. If you aren't a Netflix subscriber (golly gee!) you can watch it on Amazon Prime for free, or rent it from them as a regular viewer for $2.99. Here's a trailer for you to watch if you're interested.

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