My Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead Review



Almost two weeks ago I hopped on a plane to vacation with three of my very best friends from grad school for a long weekend in Sedona, Arizona. Of course, amidst hiking in the red rocks, wine tasting in the vineyards, and browsing the shops in town, we talked nutrition. Of course we talk nutrition. So when we decided to spend our last night relaxing in our pjs while watching a movie, we settled on Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (FSND), a movie I’ve seen buzz over in the Twitterverse, and a movie I knew I’d want to discuss afterwards with my three nutrition nerds. All I knew about FSND before I watched it was that everyone who has seen it suddenly obsesses over the need to own a juicer, and make juicing a regular part of their newfound healthy lifestyle. I already have my own opinions on juicers, but was open to having my mind changed.

fat sick and nearly dead


The premise of the movie focuses on Joe, who had an autoimmune condition that caused a body rash for which he took a myriad of medications. He also ate horribly and did not exercise. He decided to make a drastic change, and went on a 60 day juice cleanse, which helped him lose something like 90 pounds, clear up his condition, and give him a new lease on life. Joe met a trucker who was in a similar situation and clocked in at over 400 pounds. I can’t remember the trucker’s name, but he asked Joe to help him kick-start his journey to better health, through juicing (and thankfully exercise) and as a result dropped half of his body weight. Doctors monitored both men closely, and all of their lab values improved and detrimental health conditions disappeared. The aspect of the documentary I liked was watching these two men transform their health from fast food, sedentary lifestyles to active, produce eating (er, drinking) men. I always like a good health epiphany story. I also liked that well known plant-based promoting doc, Dr. Joel Fuhrman monitored and helped Joe in his progress. One of my favorite quotes of the movie was his, and he said something like “If you want life long results, you need to make life long changes.” Truth. I also liked that there was a Boston-based registered dietitian, Stacy Kennedy, used in the film, and she focused on a healthy diet to make health improvements.

But the part I didn’t like was all that juice! I get why people think juicing is so beneficial: you take massive amounts of kale, parsley, apples, carrots, beets, ginger, and any other piece of produce you can get your hands on, churn it through the juicer, and get “all the benefits” of that produce in a glass. And who could POSSIBLY eat ALL that produce? I’ll tell you who: people who focus on eating plant-based diets. I’m not saying you have to be vegan to get all that produce in. But getting ample amounts of produce in your diet is a cinch if you truly make an effort to eat it at every meal and snack and fill your plate with plant-based foods, including things like whole grains, beans and nuts. The thing I like the least about juicing is that you separate the pulp from the juice in the fruits and veggies, leaving all that filling, heart-healthy fiber behind. So how on earth does juicing retain “all the benefits of whole produce” when you’re leaving behind one of the most health-boosting aspects? A glass of orange juice is not nearly as filling as eating a whole orange (which is higher in fiber at about half the calories as the glass of juice) and our body doesn’t recognize satiety in the same way from liquid calories (drinks) versus solid calories (food). Yes you’re getting beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals, but that’s not the whole package.



Another part of the documentary I didn’t like was his differentiation between “macronutrient foods” and “micronutrient foods.” Let me give you some Nutrition 101: Macronutrients are carbs, fat, and protein. We need them in large amounts in our diet. They provide energy and calories. Micronutrients are needed in much smaller amounts but they’re no less important. They’re vitamins and minerals. Joe kept calling fruits and veggies micronutrients, and said to eat only micronutrients. And he referred to things like bread and meat as macronutrients, and to nix them from the diet. But Joe failed to note that fruits and veggies are carbohydrate-packed, making them foods that contain both macronutrients and micronutrients. They also have small amounts of protein if you want to get technical. And it’s totally wrong to label foods as macronutrients or micronutrients since most foods contain a combination of both.

And what really ruffled my feathers the most was the omission of a healthy diet. I know a healthy diet is not sexy, and drastic, life-altering diets sell. I do appreciate that juicing kick–started healthy behaviors in those featured in the film, but I can’t help but wonder why they didn’t think to just quit their disgusting processed, fast food diets and swap it for a plant-focused diet rich in whole foods. I can guarantee with 100% certainty that if the 400+ pound guy started walking or swimming 10 minutes per day and eating more whole foods, he would have felt better, lost weight, and eliminated most if not all of his obesity-related conditions. Why did they jump right to juicing? And why not smoothing? I just made that word up, but what I mean is why not smoothies instead of juice? With smoothies, you’re blending the food and keeping the fiber containing pulp in the mix while getting all the benefits of those whole foods. I’ve made fruit and veggie smoothies jam-packed with berries, dark leafy greens, fresh herbs, and more…including the fiber. With all that fiber in our diets, we’re fuller, more satisfied, and more likely to eat fewer calories. Hooray!

What about you? Did you see the documentary? Are you a diehard juicer? Or do you stick to smoothies? Do you think eating the amount of fruits and veggies featured in the film is unreasonable? Or do you, like me, love eating fresh produce far too much to ever pulverize it into a juiced form?  


  1. Posted November 3, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Just found your blog and love it! I see your point about the juicing in this film being kind of extreme, but I took it more as a simplified jumping off point for the people in the film. Somewhere to start, see results and feel better, and then transition to a more balanced, whole-foods-based way of eating.

    I’m a big fan of juicing, but I don’t use it as a meal replacement. I simply like the way it tastes and makes me feel, especially after I’ve eaten too much sugar and my energy is low. I go through phases where I’ll juice 5 days a week and then not at all for the following week. For me, it’s a nice change from smoothies and something I incorporate whenever the craving strikes. 🙂

  2. Janel
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Hi Amanda – I see what you’re saying about a jumping off point. I really just wish the film stressed more about overall healthy eating!

  3. Posted November 3, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I really loved FSND, and we even had Joe Cross on our radio show…

    I did run out and get a juicer, and I fell in love. Because I’m a plant-based eater, I agree that I already get in a lot of produce as it is. But having juice to start my day gave me lots of energy (especially because I wasn’t drinking coffee) and made me feel good about my decisions.

  4. Posted November 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi Janel – While I haven’t seen the movie yet (or maybe I won’t at all after reading this review) I appreciate your great review of the movie. This is another example of someone who is not an expert in anything trying to find a fast fix to dieting and trying to inform the public about nutrition without really knowing anything. It’s becoming ridiculous!

  5. Janel
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Erin! It was a great story about these people who made big healthy changes, but it just missed the boat entirely when it comes to healthy eating.

  6. Posted November 3, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t seen FSND yet, but it comes up on my netflix recommendations all the time thanks to all the other food/nutrition documentaries I watch and I’ll eventually get to it. I totally agree on the smoothie with fiber vs juice thing though. I know I’m lucky to own a Vita-mix, but I love that I can throw whole fruits and veggies in there and if I really want juice rather than a smoothie, I can just blend the fruits/veggies with lots of water to achieve the consistency I want while still getting all the fiber. I’d love to try a week-long juice detox just to see how my body responds, but a month? That’s NUTS! Have you seen Forks Over Knives and Food Matters yet? Those are two of my faves. 🙂

  7. Janel
    Posted November 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen FOK but not Food Matters, though I want to! I think FSND is good to see, but its not exactly breaking research. It’s a juicing documentary.

  8. Posted November 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t seen this documentary but I’ll have to keep an eye out for it. I always find them so interesting.
    I completely agree with you on the juicing! Like you said, what about all that fiber that is being left behind!?!

  9. Posted November 10, 2011 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your sharing your review of this documentary and taking the time to read mine. Very detailed indeed! You were on point with your Macronutrient versus Micronutrient explanation. That was definitely one of the more frustrating parts of that film! I couldn’t help but think: Does this guy even know what micronutrients are?! He just kept repeating the word without fully understanding it. And yes, if you’re going to make a documentary about it? You should probably check yourself before you wreck yourself in a world full of RDs!

    P.S. SEDONA! Thanks for sharing that…I was trying to plan a trip with my girlfriends and that was one of the locations that popped up!

  10. Posted November 10, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I don’t deny that people would feel good eating this way especially if they mainly eat a processed diet. I also propose that people who eat mostly a plant-centered diet would feel good too. The placebo effect is very strong. People begin juicing with the belief that they are doing something better for themselves. This is all that is needed to suport a placebo effect. The mind is powerful (more so than juicing!)

  11. Cat
    Posted November 11, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I would be very interested in hearing your review of the Reboot program, as opposed to just the movie. The movie was a start for Joe and Phil, but not the ending. It has turned into a movement, and includes many healthy, whole-food recipes.


  12. Janel
    Posted November 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi Cat – thanks for your comment. I think the reboot movement has some valid points, and I do like the guidelines they provide when not “rebooting,” which mimic what I believe are overall healthy guidelines, though I would have liked to see something on whole grains in there too. However, I still don’t feel it is necessary to “reboot” our diets with juice. If someone is looking to overhaul an unhealthy diet, they can do so by swapping out the less nutritious ones for the whole, unprocessed foods (as recommended in the reboot guidelines) without having to juice and eliminate entire food groups.

  13. Cat
    Posted November 12, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your reply, Janel. I’m assuming that you went to the website? All of the Reboot plans include food and juicing. It’s not the juice part that is the “reboot” then foods, it’s both. Then, after the Reboot, you add in the other foods, including whole grains. The bottom line for me is that juicing has worked wonders for me, personally, and for many, many people that I interact with online about it everyday. Diseases lessened and cured, aches and pains removed, energy level increased. I know you are right about suggesting that a person would experience similar effects by switching to only whole, unprocessed foods, but the fact is that THEY DON’T. I do not agree that Joe and the Reboot team are “missing the boat entirely” by offering up juicing as an option. It quickly shows people the possible benefits of a healthy eating lifestyle, and gives them tangible results to hang their hats on. This keeps them interested, involved, and leads them right to the door of the plant-based food movement. I think of this movie as a “gateway drug” to better health! I condone your even handed review of the film/program, but wanted to make sure you knew that many, many people are benefiting from it, and ask that you not throw the baby out with the bathwater when discussing it, especially with people who have seen it who are eagerly searching for better health. Thanks.

  14. Janel
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Hi Cat – Thanks for your great feedback. I completely understand and appreciate that people are finding success and improved health with the Reboot, juicing, or any other dietary change that leads to eating more fruits, veggies, and whole, unprocessed foods. My original post was focused on the fact that I found the documentary to be over sensationalized in regards to juicing, while overlooking the benefits of a healthy diet. And for me, the main reason I don’t like juicing is that it strips the fruit from the fiber, and I completely disagree with that, as I said.

    I agree that the juicing and/or Reboot program can give people the nudge they need to make healthy changes but cannot believe how often a healthy diet change is overlooked – not just in this movie, but in so many instances when people are looking to improve their health and lose weight. Was the Reboot program mentioned at all in the documentary? I know Joe is affiliated with it, but don’t recall ever hearing about it until you brought it up. I don’t disagree with what you are saying, and thank you for your insight.

  15. Cat
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jenel, I think it’s problematic to review a movie about a diet plan because a movie has to answer to it’s own rules (time and budget constraints, the necessary “entertainment” value to hold the viewer, etc) and thus can short-change the viewer on the details of the plan. Plus, the movie started out to be just about Joe and 10 people across the nation chosen at random. Phil came along after the film was almost completed and was a complete “game changer.” The movie was shot in 2007, but was only released to any wide viewing this past July. A lot happened for Joe and his team between that time period – they learned more, got inspired, met people, etc., and the “Reboot” plan was born. Info about it is given in the closing credits but not in the movie itself (since it didn’t exist then), and Joe now works to tell people about the whole plan whenever he talks about the movie. For me, the bottom line is that the movie gets people excited about taking control of their diet, health and life – and that pushes them toward the website, which helps make it a lasting change to a healthy EATING lifestyle. Hopefully, it will help bring people to your door so that you can help them build upon the info learned from FSND.

  16. Margo
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I see both sides! I saw the doc and bought the juicer. way at the end of that movie I saw the website, gave some info, and was recommended a 15 day fruit and veggie diet with 3 juices a day along with meals.I am in my 5th day, but started wondering about throwing away all the fiber. so now I’m kind of stuck in the middle. And as always I go to the web for THE answer. which if course there is none. After 15 days I will surely eat healthier, but may only juice when I am thirsty and need something other than water. I’m glad for the doc and the kindness joe shows, it inspired me a lot, and jump started a new life for me.

  17. Janel
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your comment! Is there a way you can still use that fiber? Perhaps mix it into a yogurt parfait or muffin mix? Or would you make smoothies instead of juice with all of that produce? This way you’ll benefit from the whole fruit, and not just the juice!

  18. Posted November 15, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m wondering if anyone out there has used the pulp from juicing to make veggie broth?!

  19. Cat
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    There are lots of good recipes out there for using the pulp, including veggie broth. Many folks freeze and use it after they are done with fasting. Some give it to their animals/pets. If you google “pulp recipes” you’ll get a lot of hits. Personally, I share mine with a community garden for their compost pile. In return, they give me produce – win-win!


  20. Sue
    Posted November 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Janel, I agree with you about juicing wasting the filling and necessary fiber of the foods. I think it’s a waste. As you said, if you eat a plant-based diet, you are already getting all the healthy vitamins and minerals you need. That’s what I do.

  21. Samantha
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    I found your blog through a search, in the hopes of finding someone else who echoed my concerns regarding this movie and the messages it was putting out there. Each point you addressed was one I had while watching the movie, yet I also agreed with what you noted as some of the movie’s strong points. I’m finishing up the last few weeks of my BS in Nutrition right now, so it’s so important to me, and makes me so happy, to see people fighting the misinformation!

  22. Janel
    Posted January 25, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Hi Samantha,
    Thanks for your comment! And good luck with finishing up your nutrition degree!

  23. Jeralynne
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I’m just wondering if any of you nutrition experts have ever had a substantial amount of weight to lose. Most advice I hear is what you are saying: Change out processed foods for whole foods and add exercise and voila you will be healthy, etc.

    The problem: These are slow methodical changes that yield slow methodical results. When you are told you could die from something related to being out of shape and/or overweight the last thing you want is to see results over the next year. You want results NOW!

    Another problem: A pound or two per week is NOT motivating – it’s frustrating. When the scale doesn’t show any result for all your effort, guess what – you stop putting in the effort.

    I am not debating anything you are saying. I’m sure that since you are the experts you all know a lot more than I do about nutrition. But take it from an expert on being overweight – you don’t seem to know anything about motivating someone to make a lifestyle change.

    I don’t juice, and I never have. I probably never will. But I have done a different “extreme” lifestyle change-motivating system. I’m sure you would have PLENTY to say about how unhealthy it was, too. However, I lost 80 pounds in four months because of it. Also, I was highly motivated to keep it off by switching to a whole food diet and adding exercise. So which is more healthy? Quitting because of frustration with not seeing results right away? Or temporarily following a more healthful, but not ideal, diet to see results that encourage a healthy lifestyle change in the long run.

    Your advice is great for people who are normal size or have only 10-20 pounds to lose, but judging by the size of the rest of the country – your advice is terribly misguided when it comes to the rest of us.

  24. Janel
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your comment and input, and congratulations on your weight loss success. You mention wanting results NOW when it comes to weight loss, and I can both sympathize and empathize. However, rapid weight loss, whether it be from restricting, juicing, detoxing, or any other form of fad diet, is neither healthy nor safe. That doesn’t mean it does not work. I do not support it because it can be dangerous for your body. It takes many months and years to gain weight, so we should not expect the weight to come off instantly. It should be a gradual, healthy weight loss pattern that can be sustained.

    Most people are not like you in that they use an “extreme” diet for only a short period of time before switching to a whole food diet with exercise. Many people yo-yo diet going from one extreme to the next because these extreme diets can not be sustained.

    I’m sorry you feel my advice is misguided. I’ve been fortunate to work with hundreds of clients who have had substantial amounts of weight to lose and who have found success with small, sustained, healthy changes that lead to long term weight management and success.

  25. Andres
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink


    I found your review very useful and insightful.
    Congratulations on your blog, I stumbled with it by accident when I was trying to get reviews on the movie.
    I see you are a registered dietitian so here are some questions:
    1. Is there any science behind the so called benefits of green juicing and cancer?
    2. If you don’t like vegetables (salads), you don’t eat enough or you are tired of them, do you think juicing is a good alternative when used in a balanced diet to improve health and or maintain/lose weight?
    3. For example used as snacks between balanced meals?
    4. How about juicing to replace the “Green” portion of a meal if you don’t have time, assuming the other two meals have enough fiber off course?
    I understand where Jeralynne is coming from, I have been overwheight for some time and I started making serious changes 18 months ago. For some of us it’s going to take some time until we change our eating habits with regards to salads and vegetables. For most people who are 100+ lbs overweight the reality of losing 2 to 3 lbs is very discouraging, but we understand that good things in life take time and dedication.
    Just as we are winning the battle against smoking, we are going to tackle the obesity problem.

  26. Janel
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi Andres,

    Thanks for your comment! Hope I can provide you with some helpful responses:
    1) If there is science behind juicing, I don’t know it! Kris Carr is big on juicing – you might want to google her and check out her books for more info on that. However, there is plenty of science behind eating more fruits and veggies for better health, and the role of antioxidants in cancer prevention.
    2) If you don’t like ALL vegetables, or just salad? What about cooked veggies? Or vegetables in a soup or stew or casserole? I still don’t think juicing is a necessary alternative to eating veggies, because you’re still juicing out their beneficial fiber. I’d suggest smoothies (which keeps the fiber/pulp in the drink) – I’ve done fruit smoothies but add kale, spinach, carrots, etc. to get more veggies in, and get the benefits of fiber as well. But vegetables are SO versatile, so even if you don’t like salads, try adding them to sandwiches, soups, pizza toppings, breakfast scrambles, etc.
    3) Remember juice is much higher in calories than fruit (it’d take several apples to make a cup of apple juice, but one fresh, whole apple is only about 60 calories and you’re more satisfied from the fiber). Juice leaves me hungry in the same way that water does. Meaning, it might “fill me up” for about 3 minutes before I’m hungry for protein/fiber filled food. I prefer snacking on fruits and veggies instead, like veggies with hummus or fruit with peanut butter.
    4) I guess I just don’t see the benefit of juicing, nor do I think it’d actually save any time. It takes seconds to sautee some greens or pop frozen vegetables in the microwave.

    Congratulations on your health and diet changes! You’re absolutely right – it takes time, and weight loss can be so discouraging when it is slow and steady, but the results are worthwhile when you’re making healthy life-long changes that stick. I hope my responses helped!

  27. Andres
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Hello Janel

    I see your point, and as much as I don’t like it, every book, every website and scientific document I come across focuses on the fact that fiber is key to a healthier lifestyle, and the need to consume fruits and vegetables whole. I guess it’s a way to cut corners for all of us who need to make the change from the ground up.

    I continue to take culinary courses so I can learn to cook better tasting and healthy choices. I’ve always been passionate about food, wine and…you know what I mean.

    Once you are committed and you’ve lost a significant amount of pounds it’s easy to continue losing weight, but in my experience the hard part has been to teach my palate new tricks! I guess that is the real challenge…for me at least.

    Thank you!

  28. Janel
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    You rock for taking the cooking classes! Once I learned how to cook more, my palate opened up and I learned about all these new foods I loved that I had never really tried! keep up the GREAT work!

  29. George Vermillion
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Fiber is important part of daily life, but Juice fasting is not daily life. It is a rather short term change that can redirect your life. It is doing that to mine at this time. I only wish I had known this twenty years ago.

    During a juice fast the digestive tract doesn’t have to work as hard pushing all the solid food through so it goes dormant. The juice provides all the nutrition you need very quickly and easily. By coincidence I had had only smoothies two days prior to seeing the movie and I got a juicer the next day and went directly to juicing, but have kept smoothies for breakfast. On the third day I had a solid meal and that pushed everything through and really cleaned me out. I don’t want to get graphic but I was full of S&%t, knowhutimean? I think the smoothies helped my transition as I didn’t have any of the side effects of detoxing as shown in the movie.

    I am amazed that I don’t feel hungry, I also don’t feel full after juicing. I just don’t think about food that much. My considerable cravings have stopped. I admit occasionally I have craved a garden salad. I was thinking about my favorite Ribeye at a great local stakhouse that I would be a medium-rare treat for me, but then I realized, I don’t think I could finish one today.
    I have continued having light solid meals every three days until I see my doctor but I have seen so many changes already. I am type 2 diabetic with high blood pressure. My numbers have improved dramatically, my morning blood sugar has gone down from 230 to 140 in two weeks.

    I was having trouble walking 4 blocks to work from the parking lot because my legs hurt so much, now I am back up to speed and feel like moving. Before exercise was very painful, now I feel like moving.

    I have a friend who was down on juicing, because he tried it and gained weight. He would have his normal heavy breakfast followed by a large carrot juice and he gained weight. He is starting again with a new perspective and is reporting some success.

    I have been fasting for only two weeks and have lost 15 pounds, I feel great and when I return to the eating world I’ll do what you all are doing.

    George Vermillion

  30. Janel
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Hi George,
    Thanks for your comment. I’m glad things are going well for you in your quest for a healthier lifestyle. Oftentimes when we cut out foods like refined carbs, junk foods and meat, which contain no fiber, we realize we are more regular and our digestive tract works more properly. Fiber is essential for pushing that stuff through, so naturally by eliminating those “blocking” foods from our diet, you’re going to feel things are moving the way they should be.

    You also mention juice “provides all the nutrition you need very quickly and easily.” What about protein? Fiber? Healthy fats? Juice cannot provide those, and they are necessary nutrients. Even for a short term “detox” I do not think it is healthy nor safe to eliminate these nutrients from our diet.

    I hope you report back once you “return to the eating world” and let us know how you’re doing!

  31. George Vermillion
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Hi Janet,
    Thanks for your response.

    I’m not done yet, but I have continued to have incredible results and I have made some mistakes, and have learned from them.
    When I started on this journey, I weighed 326 lbs. At six ft tall, I was firmly, morbidly obese. Last week i found a BMI calculator and found that I am merely obese. I couldn’t exercise now I am exited to ride my bike or go swimming, because it is no longer painful.
    Last Friday, my girlfriend took me to an incredible second-hand store. I didn’t want to invest a lot in clothes, since they would be temporary. I had already retired my 50’s and my 48s were getting too loose. In the changing room, I had a strangely emotional moment. When I looked at the tag, size 46, I remembered the horror I had seeing that the first time I needed to buy 46s. That was 19 years ago. It was so different seeing it fron the other direction. I Knew I was on my way back. The scene in the movie where Phil was going out for a pass from his son flashed through my mind and I realized what is happening to ne is real. Joe Cross and Phil Staples are literally saving my life!
    By day 31, I had lost 36 lbs. I realized that nuts and seeds were allowed and I embraced that fact a little too much, and ate well over the 1 oz per day. So I’ve only lost one pound in the past ten days, but that is easy to fix. Another change I am making is I’ve found an alternative to ranch dressing, it is olive oil and balsamic glaze, which is reduced balsamic vinegar. The glaze is thicker, it tastes great and a little goes a long way.
    I am reading Joel Fuhrman’s book and am learning about nutrition. His diet would have seemed overly restrictive five weeks ago, sounds great to me now. I intend to use it as a transition to a post-fast diet. I realize that if I return to my old ways, the weight will quickly return. Dr Fuhrman has a chapter on protein in his book, ”Eat to Live”.
    I can see from your pictures that you and your friends are all very healthy and the movie is a godsend for someone like me, to get to where you are. I realize that Juice fasting is not nearly as extreme as it sounds.
    At the end of the movie, Joe said something that was very profound. “When I started this,I thought it was all about the diet, What I learned is that it’s really about adopting a healthy lifestyle”

  32. Janel
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Keep up the great work George! So glad you’re on your way to better health every day.

  33. Jimmy Vargas
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    One big infomercial for Breville.

    I wonder if Joe got shares in Breville just before the movie was released?

  34. Janel
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Haha I wonder.

  35. Broadway Dave
    Posted July 15, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the informative review of FSND, and your views on juicing, which sound very reasonable. I can skip the movie now. My wife and I went vegan early this year after seeing Chow Down, her doctor recommending Neal Barnard’s website Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and reading books by McDougall and Esselstyn. Now I’m wondering how I can help to spread the good news to all the people who need it.

  36. Posted September 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I am about to embark on a juice fast inspired by this man. I am just like the big trucker guy and i hope to achieve the same results. At 405 pounds I have to do something…….i’m killing myself. I plan to buy a nuribullet and get to juicing for a change. Ya’ll wish me luck

  37. Janel
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Best of luck with your health goals!

  38. Bri
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Great analysis of the movie! I really appreciate when people question what they hear, or in this case, watch! I think this is an opportunity for you to do some more research on juicing! With the pulp removed, the nutrients are literally predigested, and can enter almost immediately into the bloodstream. Thus, the nutrients reach the cellular level in a matter of minutes. Anyone who is interested in exploring the tremendous health benefits of juicing should realize that a Vita-Mix is not a juicer. A Vita-Mix is a very good blender, but it does not make juice, because it does not separate the juice from the pulp. The Vita-Mix blends food into a mushy mix, similar to the texture of hummus. Water must be added to this mixture if you want to drink it. This does not produce the same benefits as drinking fresh juice from a masticating juicer.Even after the fruit or vegetable has been blended, and mixed by a vitamix, the pulp is still in it, and therefor it still must go through the digestive system. This requires much more energy and time, and many of the nutrients will be lost during the digestive process. This defeats the prime purpose of juicing, which is to get large amounts of nutrition to the cellular level quickly, without going through the process of digestion.  Like you said in one of your posts your still hungry after juicing, while I don’t experience this, this would then leave you time to cook a nutritious meal;-) The reason your still hungry is due to the juice being absorbed through the walls of the stomach/small intestine so quickly. That’s why it’s best to juice on an empty stomach:-) Blending obviously  has the fiber in it so it takes much longer to digest. As far as volume goes with juicing vs blending, don’t you think that you would be able to squeeze more juice (which holds all the nutrition) in a glass, vs a glass of the same size, with the fiber included? I believe  that this movie was intended to direct a mass amount of people into a more health conscious lifestyle. It states over, and over, in the movie that this should no be done with out medical supervision. I personally was already eating a whole foods diet, and juicing by the time I watched the movie. Of course I could pick apart the movie as well, however, the intention behind the movie is what our nation needs! More health conscious people! I disagree with the fact that they are using a centrifugal juicer,which you can not extract juice from many of the green leafy veggies that we would get the most benefit out of. Also the centrifigal juicer they are using in the movie doesnt have sufficient means of breaking open the cell wall  to extract vital nutrients into the juice, unlike say using a press or masticating juicer. Because fewer nutrients are provided in the juice from a centrifugal juicer, it does not produce the same results. With the pulp removed when using the proper juicer, the nutrients are literally predigested, therefore can enter almost immediately into the bloodstream. As I stated before the nutrients reach the cellular level in a matter of minutes instead of hours as with a blended. The movie was filmed at the beginning of their journey to health! We are all on our own journey to health, and I am thankful they shared theirs! I still have strong feelings that a  Vita-Mix is not a juicer. A Vita-Mix is a very good blender/ food processor, but that is all. It does not make juice,  because it does not separate the juice from the pulp. The Vita-Mix blends food into a sludge. Water is added to this mixture to drink it. Even after the vegetables have been blended, and mixed by this machine the fiber is still in tact as you stated and, it still  goes through the digestive system.  The only reason I see for a vita mix is for the occasional smoothie, or salad dressing, or if I was to have jaw surgery and needed to blend my meals:-) 

    I would never try to reason you out of a position you obviously reasoned yourself into, with your available beliefs, and knowledge. I would just like some more research done before forming such a harsh perspective. I came across this review almost immediately when searching the movie title. I think it is unfair, to have such hasty review. 

  39. Janel
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much for your comment. What is so wrong with digesting food? It is a natural body process that we’re supposed to do when food enters our digestive system.

  40. My Two Cents
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    My two cents…

    What about the woman from Iowa? She did a short fast with juicing and no longer has migraines. She does not keep juicing but does periodically. Point being, her change was juicing with her healthy life style. Not until she juiced did she rid herself of migraines! Then there was Phil’s brother (Bear?) who didn’t agree with it for himself but for his brother Phil it was fine! Then Bear had an heart attack, THEN he wanted to try healthier eating… After showing all the meds Bear was on, he started juicing. Regularly? No, WHY because Phil told him he had a condition, he had to be careful on HOW , Bear did his juicing WITH his dr.s guidance! This movie is simply about a man’s journey, what he chose to do and how his influence affectted others. IN A POSITIVE WAY! What is so wrong about that? Nothing. They did not advertise as an “informercial” about blenders, it was hardly even shown (the name of the juicer) Which by the way .. So what? .. Weight watchers is a very good recommended Diet, I have seen many ads toward that company!!

    Let me see, keep eating an unhealthy way? Or be inspired to TRY a different healthy reboot lifestyle? This movie recommendded juicing as a source to START a healthier way of life, not to keep juicing for the rest of your life! Did you see Joe eat a Granny Smith Apple at the end of his fast? Yep, he learned something didn’t he?

    My two cents..

  41. Janel
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for your two cents! One of the main points I made in my post was that I don’t believe we need juicing as a magic bullet to inspire healthy eating habits. It just takes healthy eating habits! We’re constantly looking for something easier and faster than a healthy diet and exercise to lose weight and restore our health.

  42. Essie
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Hi Janel. I have to say I LOVE FSND; however, not for the reasons most people think. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis last year. And those suffering (and I do mean suffering) with this wretched disease have the unfortunate dilemma of figuring out how to eat healthy in a way that doesn’t upset our bowels. When flaring we CAN NOT eat the fiber a plant based diet affords. This is not a “willpower” issue, it’s a pain issue. When flaring I ate ONE spoonful of cole slaw and within 30 minutes my 5 hour pain-a-thon began. Pain is a great teacher. That coupled with steroids lead to a 50lbs weight gain in 2 months time. What FSND did was give me a low fiber way of reintroducing/including veggies into my diet, and a way to, hopefully, get off steroids. It took a year but now I can eat salad, broccoli, and most of the veggies I love again in a normal way. Still having a hell of a time losing my steroid weight. But I’m lucky enough to work with a bariatric surgeon, dedicated to a thinner society, who’s dietician team is willing to help me with my weight loss in a NON-SURGICAL, healthy way. Sure, I’m signing up to be a guinea pig but my BMI (not high enough)& my Ulcerative Colitis are contraindications for surgical intervention. Hopefully I’ll help someone else with extenuating medical issues deal with weight loss in a better way.

  43. Janel
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Hi Essie,

    I’m really glad you commented. I never would have thought juicing would have helped so much for someone suffering with UC, and I’m SO glad it is what helped you get back on track. Thanks for your input!


  44. Collin
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Joe’s movie completely changed my life, honestly. I started juicing back on July 16, 2012, and today, here on October 25, 2012, have lost 115 pounds, and I didn’t even fully follow his juicing fast. I would juice for breakfast and dinner, and eat a healthy lunch in between. After 5 minutes or so after drinking a juice, I instantly felt more awake, more alert, and healthier than before, as well as completely full and without appetite. The juice is so easy to bring along to work and it completely nixed my desire to eat pizza, which has always been a huge temptation as I work at a pizza restaurant. Honestly, no other diet has ever worked for me like juicing has. I’ve always been overweight. I currently weigh in at the lowest I ever have as an adult, and I thank juicing for that.

  45. Posted November 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink


    I just recently went on the smoothie bandwagon rather than the juicing bandwagon. On the fiber itself is some of it is digestible and some of it not? I’m wondering if the people in the movie you mentioned lost so much weight because the juice had no fiber, thus less calories. Also by eliminating a lot of protein, they probably were burning some of their own muscle.

    Here’s another benefit to keeping the fiber, you can save money because you don’t have to buy as many veggies 🙂 plus the super blenders like the blendtec and vitamix can do other stuff besides smoothies 🙂 in general it’s a better purchase for the money IMO.

    What are your thoughts?

  46. Janel
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Hi David,

    I think the weight loss from juicing comes from the significant decrease in calories. Not only is the fiber missing, but also many other nutrients (things like protein, calcium, etc.). Fiber also keeps you fuller, which is why it’s so important to include with any weight loss efforts. Most Americans aren’t getting nearly enough each day!

    I love using my Vitamix to make smoothies instead of juice. They’re more filling (fiber!) and I’m basically eating the whole fruit, in a different form. But yes the really powerful blenders are great at other things like hummus, nut butters, soups, etc. I love mine! Throwing out all that fibrous pulp would make me so sad!

  47. Posted January 17, 2013 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    Just came across this blog. I’ve done a 3 day juicing detox a few times in the past as a way to ‘get back on track’. Saw FSND recently and it was definitely inspiring (as was a thread on MTBR). I decided to due a juice only diet as a kick-off to a vegetarian month…all to help rid myself of bad habits, then on to a healthier lifestyle. To prepare I experimented with recipes for a few days (three juices only during the day), then ate a reasonable meal. After a few days I was already loosing weight, so I decided to stick with it; juice during the day, reasonable meal for dinner. All I can say is Wow! I have lost over 13 lbs in a month and I don’t feel hungry, or any loss of energy (and I exercise frequently and go on big mtb rides). So now it is part of my routine as I continue to get down to my goal of the low 160’s (starting in the high 180’s). I now snack on Almonds and veggies, and even throw in a yogurt (or Kefir) here and there, but juicing will remain part of my ‘healthy’ routine. No better proof needed (for me) than my personal experience. 🙂

  48. ewjanel
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad you’ve found success with your new, health-boosting habits. Congrats!

  49. LongOfTooth
    Posted September 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m wondering if a person is getting an unhealthy amount of oxalic acid if they’re juicing things like spinach and kale?

    I’ve been unable to find anything on the internet about this so I’m hoping……

  50. Suzanne
    Posted February 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    We watched this last night, and I could have written exactly this review. I share all of your concerns. My husband is determined to start this next week, but if history is any guide, he’ll last maybe 3 days, then it will be back to his old, bad eating (and drinking) habits. He is, like so many, looking for that magic formula that will allow him to shed the pounds in a few days without making any substantial changes to his actual diet. He has lost weight in the past, and likely will on this, only to re-gain it when he returns to his usual habits. We actually eat a fairly healthy diet; he’s not crazy about fruit and veg, but will eat it if I put it in front of him. His problems are portion control (I can’t make enough for four, planning to use the leftovers for lunch, because he’ll eat at least half of it) and beer — and apparently he’s been buying the processed snack foods that I refuse to keep in the house from the machines at work. We joined a gym, but now I pretty much go alone, and juicing isn’t going to change that, either.

  51. ewjanel
    Posted February 22, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I totally get your frustration! From my experience as a dietitian, people are only willing to change when THEY’RE ready to change for good. Will he try smoothies to get more fruit/veg in instead of juice?

  52. Rick
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    I watched FSND the other day at the request of my friend and I am inspired to try juicing to kick start a healthier lifestyle. I eat too many processed foods and foods with far too many preservatives now. I don’t think I could stand to do more than a few days to a week of strictly juice and then introduce the fruits and vegetables more into my diet. I don’t need to lose a bunch of weight, about 30 pounds or so. I am more concerned with inches lost than pounds and would like to get back into size 36 or dare I say 34. I do have a question though about eating after the reboot and a healthier diet. Do I ever get to eat steak, hot wings, hamburgers or drink a beer or any other alcoholic drink again? It’s not like I would do this every day, of course, but I would like to be able to enjoy the occasional cookout or a night out with the guys without the fear that I may have stomach pains or any other repercussions. My goal is to have a healthy balanced diet that isn’t so constricting that I have to completely give up all the things I enjoy.

  53. ewjanel
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    As you may have gathered from my post, I’m about eating whole, real foods and not turning to juicing or a “reboot program” to help take the weight off, so I can’t really speak to that. But healthy eating is a lifestyle change, so I hope you are able to adopt one that allows you to enjoy those foods you do love every once in a while! I’d encourage you to find a Registered Dietitian in your area ( then click “find a dietitian”) who can help you get on a healthy eating lifestyle path that works to meet YOUR needs. Good luck!

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