Joe Cross: If you're feeling broken, juicing is the answer
After a dramatic weight-loss journey of his own, Joe Cross, the "Tony Robbins of juicing", is now on a mission to help others upgrade from "broken" to "Human 2.0".
Cross is most known for his documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, which followed him on a 60-day juicing fast to shed 45 kilograms.
He now returns with his latest book, New York Times best-seller The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet: Lose Weight, Get Healthy and Feel Amazing and a sequel documentary (Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2), with an accompanying world tour to promote both.
Originally from Australia, Cross now splits his time between New York where he lives, as well as Los Angeles, the UK and time on the road.
When he answers the phone, it's from his car as he's driving – evidently it's the only downtime he gets.
The motivational speaking kicks off immediately – his sentences are short, sharp and punchy, his voice clear and loud, and he never fails to bring his point back to juicing.
It's textbook. And he's damn good at it.
He's spent the last three or four years trying to figure out, and talking about, the secret to keeping weight off.
"Your relationship to food and your habits are key. Community and support are key. Obviously exercise, mindfulness; realising that sometimes we eat for the sake of it or without even thinking, and the last one is about respecting and loving yourself," says Cross.
LOVING YOURSELF IS KEY
"How many New Zealanders got out of bed today, looked in the mirror and said, 'oh my God, you're a disaster, you look terrible, you're ugly, you're fat'? They may not have said all those things out loud but they think it. So it's about preventing that inner voice."
And that, he says, starts with a plant-based diet – getting micronutrients (vitamins, minerals etc) into the body.
If people switch to a 100 per cent plant-food diet for a week or two, they will feel stronger, sleep better and lose weight, changing their perception of themselves along the way.
He calls it Human 2.0.
"You show me someone who's broken – someone who's got an illness or is really overweight – and I'll show you someone who has got a very good chance of having two broken relationships in their life – one is with Mother Nature and the other is with themselves."
According to Cross, 70 per cent of all disease in the western world is caused by our own choices, so if there's something wrong, there's a good chance you can blame yourself.
"All you've got to do is get yourself out of the way. The best way of doing that, depending on how broken you are, is to commit to having plants for a short period of time. Fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, seeds and whole grains. You could have miraculous effects. You may not. It's not going to work for everybody."
JUICING DIET UNCONVENTIONAL
But the juicing diet has been torn down by nutritionists since its inception – it gives people too much of the natural sugars in fruit and veggies and not enough of the fibre and protein we need for a balanced diet.
They say it's just not healthy, or sustainable. And Cross agrees.
"If you said to me, is it healthy to juice for the rest of your life? I'd say that's insane. That's so unhealthy it's not funny. However, if you go to sleep tonight and don't eat between 8am and 8pm is that dangerous? Are people screaming that you've gotta wake up at 2am and eat?
"There is not a single study ... they can point to in a scientific way that shows anything they're saying has any validity or facts. I also can't point to a study and say, here are all the benefits, so I find it quite interesting when reputable doctors and scientists come out and make statements that are unfounded."
Cross isn't suggesting people consume only juice for 60 days like he did. He's suggesting people give it a try for as long as they feel is sustainable, even if they just add juice to their daily food intake, rather than replace food.
He knows he's got some convincing to do, so he's coming to New Zealand to promote his new film and book by hosting a live, free public Q&A session.
He'll be at The Sapphire Room, Ponsonby Central, 4 Brown St, Auckland, on April 9, from 6.30pm to 8pm.
Cross' latest film will air on TV One, April 11 at 2pm.