When I wrapped up my first film, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead a few years ago, I was pretty exhilarated. I had spent sixty days doing nothing but rebooting my body by consuming only the fresh juice of fruits and vegetables, and then another few months eating only plant food plus moderate amount of nuts, beans and seeds. As a result, I was 100 lbs. lighter and off the medication I had been taking for years to manage a chronic autoimmune disease. Plus, I had managed to film a movie — which is a lot harder and more expensive than I had ever understood. I felt like I had won a big battle. Little did I know how many fights were still ahead of me, lurking in the most seemingly innocuous places.
Some things went extremely well from that point forward. The film was released and rather improbably became a huge success. To date, it’s been seen by almost 21 million people around the world. I started to tour the globe supporting it, and the “Rebooting” movement we created encouraged me to enlist a robust online community (www.rebootwithjoe.com), author a book The Reboot With Joe Juice Diet and bring together “Rebooters” for live events. All of those things seem like they should have been really hard, but in truth they unfolded organically.
So what was so hard, you ask? It was figuring out how to stay healthy in an unhealthy world. There were days that felt like there were demons lurking around every corner waiting to sabotage my success.
You would think my choices would have been crystal clear, now that my eyes were open to what a difference my own behavior could have on my health. But it wasn’t so easy to stay the course when there are seductive messages in broad daylight, in virtually every city or town in the developed world, on the Internet, on television and in every magazine to indulge in the behaviors that yes, would offer me a short term “hit” of comfort or satisfaction. It was pretty hard to stay on the straight and narrow. And I was a guy who had access to great resources and experts. I started to imagine how tough it must be for folks who didn’t have those advantages, and yet were choosing to swim against the current of popular culture in order to live what I call life “fully charged.” I set out on another journey and started filming a second documentary, innovatively named Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2, and put together a new book (essentially the follow-up) to help people address that very issue: life after weight loss, what now?
Now, because I’m a bloke who likes to keep things simple, I decided to pull together the information I was getting from doctors, practitioners, health and life coaches and experts around the world and distill it down into 7 keys to wellbeing which would make it easier for people to put the ideas into practice. Because even people who have joined the “Reboot” community and feel much better—with more energy, less weight, fewer illnesses, and increased positivity about life—can still slip and slide, sometimes all the way back. I wanted to give them the 7 keys to unlock the kingdom to a healthier life, every day.
The Seven Keys to Living Your Life Fully Charged
- Change Your Relationship to Food
Yes, we are all in a relationship with food – and often it is a toxic one! That needs to change. If you’re like me, you often use food for the wrong reasons—stress relief, emotional comfort, but we need to avoid using food for emotional support. That’s simply not what it’s for.
We’ve also got to stop demonizing food as good or bad. It has nutritional content, but not moral content! Believing it is demonic or virtuous gives it power. It’s just food.
Eating mindlessly isn’t helping either. Be aware of what you’re eating as you eat it.
And finally, your true relationship to food is between you and Mother Nature. Love her!
- Change Your Diet
Start by understanding that there are three types of food: plant, animal & processed. Then understand the difference between Macro and Micro nutrition. Don’t feel stupid if you don’t understand the difference, head over to my website (www.rebootwithjoe.com). Knowledge is your ally. Got it? Now avoid or dramatically reduce your consumption of all processed foods. They contain no micronutrients.
Replace them with plants and get them into your system any way you can. I’m a guy in a hurry, so juicing has always worked for me, but they can be liquid or solid, cooked or raw. Experiment and find what works for you.
- Change Your Food Habits
We are all free to make our own dietary choices. I’ve often said that what we eat it the final frontier or “the last two feet of freedom.” But often we’ve developed habits that subtly start dictating how we use that freedom. Many different industries – food, beverage, tobacco, restaurants, etc. – create triggers that affect our behavior. Stop acting on autopilot and instead, learn your triggers and change them. It is a fact that you will eat more from a box of cereal that is left out on the counter versus one that is in the cupboard. So put it in the cupboard! Shake things up a bit by eating with your non-dominant hand, sitting in a different seat, eating at a different time every day. And slow it down – both by eating more slowly, and changing your behavior slowly so you don’t face too many challenges at once.
- Embrace Community
We live in a “connected” world that is plagued by loneliness. Don’t give in to it – get out, mix, mingle and forge relationships. Groups provide powerful support – and they can come in any shape or size. Friends, family, co-workers, or an online community. If you are trying to change, supportive and like-minded people can be the difference between success and failure.
- Maintain the Machine
Your body is a machine that needs maintenance. The same way you wouldn’t turn on, say, a hairdryer and leave it running for 20 hours straight, your body can’t keep going without proper rest. So sleep in critical. Plus, if you don’t sleep, you’ll likely eat to stay awake!
Exercise (let’s just think of it as moving) is also a must. That doesn’t have to mean the gym. It can mean taking stairs, parking farther away, walking the dog for an extra 20 minutes, standing up from your desk periodically and walking over to a colleague, whatever you can manage. And if you can, make it fast and furious: intensity trumps endurance.
We are literally awash in stress. It is the great silent killer of our days. It doesn’t matter if it is financial, emotional, or time stress. It’s just terribly unhealthy to be stressed all the time. Mindfulness is a great tool for reducing stress. When I refer to “mindfulness,” I mean being in the present moment and letting stress go. For some of us that could be prayer, or meditation. For others, it could be deep breathing or a walk in nature. Try to turn off all of your devices and give yourself 10 minutes per day to just be still. You will be amazed by the results.
- Respect Yourself
Almost all of us have an inner voice that can be far harsher on us than we would EVER be on a loved one. Words like “loser” or “failure” often reverberate in our head. Now, maybe that voice was planted there and is an echo of a disapproving parent, or someone else who wasn’t kind during a formative time in your life. Well, you simply have to banish it. Nothing good comes from berating or shaming yourself. When you make a mistake (and we all do – it is actually “when” and not “if”), just stop, acknowledge it and change course. As my good friend Dr. Carrie Ciulis says in Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2, “pizza happens.” Forgive yourself and you can avoid the negative spiral.
With these 7 keys, it gets much easier to navigate the challenges you’ll encounter in a world that will constantly be tempting you to behave in ways that are not in line with what you want out of life. But remember that there will always be new challenges and sometimes, “pizza happens.” When it does, enjoy it fully, put it behind you and recommit to living your life Fully Charged!
>Learn more at Rebootwithjoe.com
Watch the trailer for Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2: