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Juicing After a Heart Attack: Joe loses 50lbs, starts running and beats his cravings for fast food

When I was visiting Austin, Tx recently I had the opportunity to hear Joe’s story of juicing his way back to health following a massive heart attack. Our new friend Joe only had his heart attack 7 months ago and already he has turned his health around for good.

Joe says that his heart attack served as a wake up call and he decided he had to make some big changes! Joe did his homework and watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead…which introduced him to the idea of juicing fresh fruits and vegetables for optimal health and weight loss. Joe didn’t stop there he also started running! Read Joe’s inspiring story of how he started juicing and running after his heart attack and lost 50lbs! Take a look at his before pictures and learn the extremely powerful tool he used to beat his cravings for fast food.

7 moths after his heart attack, fully rebooted Joe meets Joe Cross of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

7 moths after his heart attack, (50lbs lighter) Joe meets Joe Cross of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Throughout your journey, what would you say has been the most  
challenging thing that you had to face? And, what did you do to help  
get you through it?

I would have to say the biggest challenge for me was getting over my fear of exercise and the change of lifestyle following my Heart Attack at the ripe old age of 45. I eventually convinced myself that I would be fine. I had the Heart Attack at 1:00 a.m. in my sleep. How much more relaxed can you get than that? If I am going to have another Heart Attack it won’t be because of poor diet or lack of exercise.

What made you decide to start juicing as part of your weight  
loss strategy? What have you found to be the biggest benefits you’ve  
experienced from doing this?

Some friends recommended that I watch “Forks over Knives”. After being shocked by all this nutritional information I started doing online research. I eventually came across “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. Hearing Joe’s story gave me the initiative to juice. I went out and bought a juicer and made a drive to the Farmer’s Market for lots of Vegetables and a few Fruits. Doing the Juice Fast for 30 days changed the way I saw food and allowed me to lose the craving’s I had for unhealthy foods. I developed a taste for raw Vegetables and Fruits. Something I never had before.

Has there been anything you’ve found to be troublesome or  
hindering while using the juicing strategy to lose weight? Or has it  
been relatively smooth sailing?

In the beginning I would have to say it was being exposed to the S.A.D. I saw and smelled what other people were eating and said to myself that just a little bit wouldn’t hurt. Then I would look at pictures of me lying in the Hospital from the Heart Attack and told myself that it would hurt. Eventually those same smells became a turn off. I now get sick to my stomach when I drive past a fast food place.

What is your favorite juicing recipe? Do you tend to juice the  
same fruits and vegetables daily or try and mix it up as time goes on?

Easy question. My favorite Juice is called a Red Hot. It’s 16 Tomatoes, 4 Red Bell Peppers, 4 Carrots, 8 Celery Sticks, and 2 Chili Peppers. I drink ALLOT of this juice. I usually stick to the same recipes and then throw in a new recipe once or twice a week.

What do you think has been the greatest contributor to your success?
HEART DISEASE and a very supportive partner

Here is Joe before his heart attack

Joe before his heart attack

 

When tempted by fast food, Joe would look at this picture of himself the day he had his heart attack. Soon he developed a very negative association to the smell of fast food, this is a powerful behavior change technique.

When tempted by fast food, Joe would look at this picture of himself the day he had his heart attack. Soon he developed a very negative association to the smell of fast food. This is a powerful behavior change technique. Joe reports he no longer craves fast food, in fact the smell of it makes him sick.

Has there been anything you’ve found to be troublesome or  
hindering while using the juicing strategy to lose weight? Or has it  
been relatively smooth sailing
?

In the beginning I would have to say it was being exposed to the S.A.D. I saw and smelled what other people were eating and said to myself that just a little bit wouldn’t hurt. Then I would look at pictures of me lying in the Hospital from the Heart Attack and told myself that it would hurt. Eventually those same smells became a turn off. I now get sick to my stomach when I drive past a fast food place.

For someone who is considering starting juicing to help with  
their own weight loss journey, what advice would you give them?

Clear out the bad foods. Get rid of all the processed stuff. If it’s in a box or can, you shouldn’t eat or drink it! If it’s created in a Lab, you shouldn’t eat or drink it. The Earth will provide us with what we are meant to consume. Mankind does a poor job of meeting ALL the requirements we need. What they do is concentrate on the Smells and Sights and Tastes that are meant to lure us in. Nutritionally speaking they can NOT compete with Natural and Organic Fruits and Vegetables. They lose hands down every time.
 How has being able to lose weight through juicing changed your
life? Do you find you’re more confident now? Has anything else changed
significantly since you were finally able to shed the weight?
Losing weight has given me more energy. My body feels like my body. I mean before my weight loss I felt like I was trapped in my own skin. I was miserable. Now I feel like moving. I feel liberated. I am much more confident about how I look. Before I would not expose my chest or my legs. Now it’s shorts. After all it is summertime!J
Do you think you’ll continue to juice as you move into a weight  
maintenance?
I admit I do not juice as often as I did. I mean there for 33 days I consumed over a gallon and a half of raw vegetable juice every day. I now try to drink at least 1 glass of juice a day. I have become a Vegetarian since I started juicing though. I consume a tremendous amount of vegetables and most of the time they are raw.
What role did exercise play in your weight loss results?  If  
you were exercising, what does a typical week look like for you?
Before and immediately after my heart attack I could not walk across the parking lot without losing my breath. Due to lack of exercise, poor diet, and a nasty smoking addiction I was a wreck. After my heart attack I took it slow. If I started the 1st day walking 100 steps a day, each week I would add another 100 steps.  Monday – Friday my schedule looks like this: Toe Touches 2(Sets) x 100(Reps), Squats 4(Sets) x 25(Reps), Pushups 10(Sets) x 25 (Reps), Weights (15lb dumbbells) 10(Sets) x 10(Reps), Resistance Training (15lb Strap) x 15 minutes and Stair Climbers 2(Sets) x 1000(Reps). I also Sit on my Imagination daily adding .01 second each day. At the moment I am up to 00:01:22 minutes. I also do a different challenge each month. This involves following a 3 day on and 1 day off schedule of certain exercises. The intensity of the exercises increase daily throughout the month. June’s Challenge is the Abs Challenge and I am at the moment on day 18. Next month will be the Squat Challenge.
What do you find to be most helpful about juicing that other diet  
methods you’ve tried in the past lacked? What was it about juicing  
that made you finally see weight loss success?
 Juicing was about stuff that I had heard all my life, and that I knew without a doubt was good for me. It all made perfect sense. It wasn’t strange and it seemed to be to be a good gateway into a healthy LIFESTYLE, not a quick fix solution that would be impossible to maintain. After the 3rd day of my Juice fast I had more energy and the headaches were gone. I did go through a rough patch about the 3rd week of my juice fast. I researched my back pain and found out that it was normal and would go away. Around that time the Kidneys and the Gallbladder start trying to shed toxins and unneeded material. After a few days the pain was gone and I was back on track. I went 33 days and would have gone longer but was told by my Nutrionalist that I needed to consume some solid Protein. This was due to the fact that my exercise routine had become a 2 ½ hour ordeal. My exercise routine had surpassed by nutritional intake and my body was starting to pay the toll after 33 days of no solid food. Along the way I did discover that Coconut Water works allot better than Sports Drinks.
What overall rate of weight loss did you see while using juicing?  
Were you losing weight faster when you first began or has it been  
relatively steady the entire way through?
I went from 230lbs-180lbs. This weight loss came in spurts. Some days more, some days less.
What has been the best part of the entire weight loss journey for  
you so far?
What have you enjoyed most about the process? I would have to say my energy level and my emotional wellbeing are greatly improved. I enjoyed the time I spent researching nutrition and learning about Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs, and Spices that I had never tried.
What does a typical day of eating/juicing look like for you? What  
is your meal/drink schedule?
I get up at 5 a.m. and drink a Carrot Juice or an Apple Juice usually. I then go running 5 miles. When I get back I fix me a bowl of oatmeal or a Slice of Wheat Toast with Honey. I drink 8oz of Apple Cider Vinegar Water and 8ozs of Lemon/Cayenne Pepper Water and 8ozs of Herbal Tea. I then pack a bag with my daily goodies. An Apple or an Orange, maybe a Lemon or 2 for Snacks, sometimes I will make up some Hummus to take with me with some Pita Bread. For Lunch a Large Salad. I will make my own dressing or take some Apple Cider Vinegar to sprinkle on top. At 5 p.m. I go home and cook a healthy Vegetarian Meal. Since I started losing weight I have developed a hobby of cooking healthy Ethnic Foods from around the world. I will cook them and then Post pictures of them on the web. Example? Well…..Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, Southwestern Copped Salad, Chickpea and Broccoli Burritos, Maifun Noodles with Toasted Sesame Ginger, 5 Layer Greek Dip….etc….you get the point. I would also like to add LOTS of WATER. I usually drink about a Gallon and a Half a day. That would be about 24 (8oz) glasses per day.  I’m not going to go into my water speech but let’s just say it is necessary for weight loss and overall health.
Have you used any additional supplements as you went through this  
process?
On my 33 day fast? No. But following my fast I take (CQ10, K-12,Glucosamine Chondroitin, and Fish Oil)
 What plans do you have now for the future with regards to your  
health/exercise/nutrition program? Have you set some new goals now  
that you’ve successfully lost weight?
 Good question. Well I have gotten my Cholesterol and Triglyceride numbers where I have wanted them. I am at a healthy weight. I guess I would have to say that my goal now is to #1 Maintain my diet #2 Maintain my weight #3 replace Fat with Muscle. There is a saying in boot camp among Drill Instructors that they have to tear you down to build you back up. I take this to heart in regards to my Heart Attack. I tore myself down by utilizing a Juice Fast and now I am concentrating on building myself back to my fullest potential.
Did you ever receive any negative feedback from your choice of  
juicing for weight loss from others? And if so, how did you handle this?
I had a Cardiologist, G.P. , and a Nutrionalist. The three could not agree on a proper diet. My G.P told me NOT to go on a Juice Fast. My Nutrionalist said the fast was fine as long as I kept her updated. I had other’s that told me there was no way I could survive that long. I told them as long as I felt ok that I would continue to stay on course with the fast. 
For those who have quite a significant amount of weight to lose,  
getting started can feel very intimidating. Many people are coming out  
of feelings of being hopeless about being able to lose weight  
effectively.  What advice do you have for these readers on how to get  
started?
 Like the song goes “Put one foot in front of the other.” That is my motto for any weight loss plan. A baby is not born into this world walking and running. It is a long process that starts with lifting themselves ups, sitting, pulling themselves upright, taking small steps, and eventually running through the house. It’s the same with anyone suffering from weight problems or health problems. Take one step if that’s all you can do. Take 2 steps tomorrow and continue like that. Eventually you will be running or at least walking for extended periods of time. That’s called Cardio and that makes you sweat. Sweat is Fat Cells crying. Keep it up! J

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