Joe Cross, Star of Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, Talks Shit, Literally, at Whole Foods South Beach

Guess who was at the South Beach Whole Foods yesterday? The fat, slobby, autoimmune-diseased, party-hardy Aussie who vowed to consume nothing but organic vegetable and fruit juice for 60 days, emerging slim, trim, and completely healthy on the other side, that's who.

That long-winded description summarizes the recent life and work of Joe Cross, creator and star of the hit documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. At 310 pounds, Cross was an overfed, hard-drinking, cigarette-smoking businessman suffering from a rare skin disease called chronic urticaria. He took steroids and other pills to keep the disease's characteristic red hives from flaring up all over his face and body. When doctors told him (again) that he was on a path to an early and unglamorous death, he decided to change his life through a prolonged juice fast. He filmed his 60-day fast, during which he lost 80 pounds. By the end of the fast, he was also able to toss his meds in the trash; his weight loss and nutrient-dense diet were enough to keep his illness in check.

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Camille Lamb Guzman is a journalist who writes on wellness, travel, and culture. She is also finishing a book of creative nonfiction.