#033 Reboot With Low FODMAP Juices Thanks To Joe Cross

Joe Cross, Founder of Reboot With Joe, and Dietitian Isabel Smith Explain How to Use Juices To Reboot Your Health Even If You Follow A Low FODMAP Diet.

  • Joe’s journey back to health with plant-based food and juicing.
  • Why did Joe decide to choose the 60-day juicing?
  • How easy is it to continue following a healthy diet after the juicing period?
  • How important is it to reset your microbiome?
  • What nutrients do we get from juicing?
  • What factors contribute to illness?
  • How safe is juicing for IBS sufferers and those following the low FODMAP diet?
  • How many days should you stay on a diet of juices or smoothies?
  • Juicing versus blending, what’s best for IBS sufferers?
  • How does fibre affect IBS sufferers?
  • What is Reboot with Joe all about?
  • What is the Fasting Mimicking Diet?
  • What is ProLon?
  • What are the six lifestyle choices that will prolong your life and make you healthier?
  • What is it 23andMe and what are the benefits?
  • And much more!


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Can’t listen to this episode right now? Read the transcript below!

Hi and welcome to the Low FODMAP Diet and IBS Podcast! I am so thrilled today about my guest. He is an Australian entrepreneur, filmmaker, author and wellness advocate.

He is also known in most parts of the world for his incredible health transformation, featured in his very successful film, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, which has been watched by over 25 million people around the world. He talks about his journey back to health by following a 60-day fresh juice fast, while travelling across the United States.

After the phenomenal success of his first movie, my guest created a health and lifestyle company to help other people with their health journey and he has also published several books about juicing, including a New York Times bestseller, and directed two more feature documentaries: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 and The Kids Menu.

I have the pleasure of introducing you to my guest, Joe Cross.

LARAH: Hi, Joe.

JOE: Hi, Larah. How are you?

LARAH: Very good. Thank you so much for accepting to be on the podcast. It is such a pleasure to have you here. Together with Joe, we also have registered dietitian, wellness expert and fitness coach, Isabel Smith. Isabel is also the Founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition and she is the Nutritionist at Reboot with Joe. Hi, Isabel.

ISABEL: Hi, Larah. Thank you so much for having me with Joe. It is such a treat.

LARAH: Thank you. You can’t imagine how much I appreciate your time, to come on my podcast and share some information with my listeners, I know you have a very busy schedule.

So, today I’m going to talk to Joe about his journey and his mission to spread the word about eating healthy, especially consuming more plant-based food. And we’ll also talk, specifically with Isabel, about juicing and how that applies to someone on a low FODMAP diet, because we know that a lot of fruits and vegetables are not suitable, if you suffer from IBS and you follow a low FODMAP diet. So that will be very, very interesting.

So, again, thank you so much Joe for accepting to be on my podcast, and I have to say that I am one of your many, many fans. I love your movies and I’m really excited to be talking to you today. And, also, we know that your story and movies have positively impacted people from all over the world. I have to say that you have become an inspiration, not just for a lot of people out there, but your journey has inspired me really a lot. By watching your movies, I felt I had to make the changes I needed to feel better.

Joe Cross and Larah talk healthy juices

Joe Cross & Larah

My listeners know a little bit of my story. Of course. I suffer from IBS. A year ago I was twenty kilos, which is about forty-four pounds, heavier than I am now, and I really struggled with my health. So, on top of IBS, I had the extra weight that caused me pain, especially in my knees, my hips, really bad acid reflux and very low self-esteem. So, I was forty-seven going on sixty-seven. Most of the time I felt tired, ill, not very attractive, and I knew it was time to do something. A lot of the things that I tried before, were never permanent. I made changes that were positive at the beginning, but then, I kind of reverted back into old habits. But after watching your documentary, Joe, I then decided to use juices and non-dairy smoothies, so not just juices like you did. That helped to get me back on track, and especially, to get rid of a very big sweet tooth that I have.

I knew I had to tackle the sugar craving before starting anything else, I did ten days of only juices and smoothies, and that gave me a really good head start. There was a physical change because I managed to lose the first three kilos and mentally, because I felt without the foggy brain due to food — and not necessarily always unhealthy food, but maybe too much food or the wrong food for me. By consuming only juices and smoothies, my brain was able to think clearer and I got so much better in just ten days. I found that drinking juices and smoothies was easy. If you’re hungry, you just have a juice. That’s the great thing about it.

I’d really like to thank you again for inspiring me, and also the many, many thousands of people that you have inspired and that have turned their lives around thanks to you. But for those who have not heard about your films and work, could you just explain what happened to you? You were around forty years old and realised that it was time to turn things around and do something about your diet, your lifestyle. Why at that point in time, Joe?

Fat Sick And nearly DeadJOE: Sure. Well, thank you very much again for your kind introduction.  I’m very glad that the work that I’ve been doing for the last ten years has had the positive impact on you and so many others. It’s a real blessing. The beautiful thing about movies is that they are stories, and if they’ve done properly, they can last a long time. Every day, somewhere around the world, we estimate 3,000 to 5,000 people somewhere on the Netflix screen, or computer screen, or TV screen, somewhere in the world watch one of my movies that I’m in or made. It’s an incredible medium to provide that kind of inspiration and information.

I guess that when you’re young, you sort of think that other people are the ones that get sick, other people get heart attacks, other people get cancer, other people get chronic diseases. I think it’s a human trait to sort of feel that you’re invincible and that it’s not going to happen to you. And, of course, you can’t ignore the biological laws of cause and effect. And if you do treat your body with disrespect, and if you do go against the nature and turn your back on nature. And what I mean by nature, I’m talking about eating more plant food. I’m talking about moving, and exercising, and sleeping, and talking about lots of factors, when I talk about nature. And when you do that, stuff starts to break, and we break. I broke at thirty-two years of age and I got a very debilitating illness which is a chronic disease. I was in a category of chronic illness and it is called chronic urticaria angioedema; it is the very fancy way of saying your body swells up gets lots of hives.

When I started taking medication, Larah, it was great. Medication got rid of the symptoms, but it didn’t really go to the cause. And for eight years I just focused on my monetary and financial life, I focused on really doing nothing to change the way I was living — more just taking medication. I was kind of outsourcing my health to somebody else.  On my fortieth birthday, I just felt like I’d got to middle age. At forty, statistically, in the US, half your life is over. In Australia,  eighty-one, or eighty-two is the average that someone dies, so forty-one is like half, but in America it’s around eighty, so forty is halfway through your life.

LARAH: Yeah.

JOE: And here I was, extremely overweight, carrying probably a hundred pounds or forty-five kilos more than I should on my frame and body. I was on medication for this illness plus I was pre-diabetic. I had high blood pressure, I had high cholesterol, I was a walking time bomb. And so, it was that moment that I just realised I needed to do something. I didn’t really know what to do expect, logically, go back to nature. I realised that I had pushed the boundaries of what was smart, of what was logical, of what seemed right, and I kind of just took a big deep dive, took a breath, smelled the roses — or smelled the celery so to speak — and said, okay, look, we all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us. We all know we need to eat more plant food and we all know we’ve got to move more. We all know these things, but why aren’t we doing it?  And I think it just takes a very concerted effort to really focus. It’s almost like you can’t just put it at the bottom of the To Do list. It can’t be fifth or sixth on the To Do List because how many of us get down to six or seven things and get them done? Many of us struggle to get the top one done or the second one done.


JOE: It has to go to the top of the list and so I made it a priority, I made it the single most important thing in my life. And so I made a commitment to myself that I would eat only plant food for the two years, and I would do this on the basis that if I just ate fruits and vegetables and nuts and beans and seeds and lived this way…it was very tough and it wasn’t easy because I loved my fast food. I loved my soda and beer and cigarettes and all of that. I just thought that I’ll give my body a chance to get well, and if it gets well, then I’ll know that I was the cause of my illness. You may remember in the movie I talk about 70% of all disease is caused by lifestyle choices.


JOE: And that was a big factor. And I wanted to see whether I was the reason I was causing my own disease or whether it was just bad luck from the genetics of my mum and dad that they gave me and I was going to blame them. It was going to be their fault, I needed to find out which group I was in. So, the journey began, and then, of course, people asked why did you do the juicing path? And when I looked at my life and I realised that I was carrying this extra person, basically, I realised that all this fat was actually just stored up energy and that I needed to…in the history of humanity we had this sort of fast and famine… I needed to create famine for me, to use up this energy. I needed to build my own sort of time travel, back 10,000 or 20,000 years, back to a time when we were in living in caves. Mother Nature didn’t rain and there were no plants growing, and there were no animals, and we had these things called famines. I wanted to create that. And so, in doing so, by drinking just the water filtered through plants, I was able to kick start my two year journey on plants, with sixty days of drinking nothing, but the beautiful liquid sunshine that’s trapped in all of these plants. And for those who’ve seen the movie, they realised that I didn’t really need to do two years. I got pretty thin, and I got fairly healthy fairly quickly. I mean, it took five months of this. It was two months of juicing, three months of eating plants and I was off all medication, I was a hundred pounds lighter. My cholesterol, my blood pressure, and all of my numbers were in the acceptable ranges. It was an incredible turnaround in such a short period of time. I’d spent twenty years really hammering myself and trashing myself from the age of twenty to forty. And it took just five months of a focused, concerted effort to be, I wouldn’t say as good as new,  but pretty damn close.

LARAH: Yeah, that’s absolutely an amazing transformation that you did. So, initially you had committed to two years of just plant food — so essentially becoming vegan.

JOE: Not even that. Stricter than vegan, because vegan food you can have processed.

LARAH: Okay.

JOE: Vegans still have a lot of processed food. I didn’t have that. I was very much living as though you were going out into the forests. You had hot water and fire.


JOE: … and you had fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans and seeds. You could put chickpeas in water and let them soften overnight and then have chickpeas in a salad. I was having 100% organic extra virgin olive oil because it was olives that were pressed and it wasn’t processed. That’s the kind of strict level I went to. For example…I didn’t have tofu…

LARAH: Yeah.

JOE: …and that’s processed.

LARAH: Yeah, that’s right.

JOE: I only had to do five months. I was going to do two years, but I didn’t need to, because I got well. So, after the five months, I started to introduce other foods into my diet and slowly, over time, I brought most things in.  But still, nine and a half years later, I haven’t brought in things like Coca Cola or Sprite. I haven’t brought in fast food. I don’t have processed meats. There are certain things that I just don’t allow back into my diet, if that makes sense.

LARAH: Yes, that’s completely right. When you go through that adjustment, it would be a real shame to go back to the old ways, after you sacrificed so much and you endured it. It’s just making a good choice every day, I guess.

JOE: Well, you’ve got to stay in the consciousness. And this is the problem with living in today’s world. It’s very easy for us to just coast along. It’s very easy for us to sit on the couch, use the remote control, order a pizza, put the feet up, consume thousands and thousands of calories, not expend any calories, use medications to help us sleep, use medications to help us get up, drink five or six cups of coffee to stay awake. I mean there are so many stimulants and so many downers that are available to us that it is very easy to get caught in the trap of just being a non-participant in life, if that makes sense, Larah.

LARAH: Yes, absolutely it makes sense.

JOE: And you really need to practice having this consciousness of what I’ve got to do today. What are the things that I need to do? For example, you don’t need to remind yourself to breathe. Breathing is not something you get up and go, “Oh. I’ve got to make sure I’ll take some breaths today. Every few seconds I’ve got to remind myself to breathe.” It’s natural; it’s normal, right?

LARAH: Yeah.

JOE: And you don’t need to remind yourself to drink water because thirst comes in. You don’t need to remind yourself to eat because you have a thing called hunger. So, what you’ve got to do is, you’ve almost got to live with habits. And it takes a little while to begin with, but then, over time, it becomes easier. And I know Isabel can relate to this, because Isabel is someone who works out every day, and Isabel is someone who eats probably 80% of her diet like straight out of the textbook — how the most healthiest human should eat today. And I know that if I took away from Isabel that healthy diet, and took away that exercise for a week or ten days from her, she would be climbing the walls and feeling like a caged animal. Would that be right Isabel?

ISABEL: Absolutely. And I think, just like you talk about all the time, Joe, and I talk about, it’s not about being perfect, but goodness gracious, do I notice when I don’t stick to lots of nutritious foods and juices and smoothies. I noticed it big time.

JOE: It really kicks into a habit. And so what that does is, by Isabel noticing that, and me noticing that, and, probably, Larah, you’re in that position now, is this the good news for the listeners out there that haven’t quite got to the level where they’re happy yet because they think it’s terribly difficult because they love the food that they’re eating now. They don’t want to say goodbye to the fast foods or the cakes and the sweets and the flour and the bread, and all of those things.


JOE: And I’m not saying you can’t have it ever, but for most people, that’s what they eat on a daily basis. That’s not what I eat on a daily basis, and that’s not what Isabel eats on a daily basis. Isabel and I, would have it on a every so often basis. And when you flip things around you’d be surprised that, just like the breathing, and the thirst and the hunger, the drive to get nutrient-dense food into your body; the desire to move and want to do things, your body will help you. It’s all about momentum. And this is the big thing that people need to understand, that at the beginning part of the journey — the first week, ten days, two weeks — is really tough. It’s really hard. But it’s not like that three months, or four months, or five months in.

LARAH: I have to say that, for me, I think the first two or maybe three days were hard, with headaches and really missing the food and the sugar, but then, the second part was not difficult at all. But I have to say that when I talked to my dietitian that I was going to do that, she did not agree with me doing juices or smoothies for ten days. She just wanted to make me choose good healthy food instead.

You’ve done it for sixty-days which I will say that most dietitians would think that’s really a long period. Why did you choose to do sixty days juicing, instead of just following a healthy balanced mainly plant-based diet?

JOE: That’s a very good question. I think there’s a couple of answers to that, because that’s a two part question, right?

LARAH:  Yeah.

JOE: What a nutritionist thinks and why did I do what I did? So, let’s take the second question first. I like to use the analogy of a swimming pool. When you go to the local swimming pool in the middle of summer, what do you notice about all of the people getting out of the swimming pool? You notice that they are wet, okay? Everyone who gets out of the swimming pool is wet. How did they get into the swimming pool? How did they get in? Did they walk in slowly, or did they jump in or dive in? How did they get in? I use the analogy of being wet is getting healthy. Some people need to jump and dive in and go all  extreme, and others like to walk in and go slowly.

I think there are two types of people in the world, when it comes to taking action, those that are very comfortable at moving at an average pace of increasing this and changing that, and tinkering here, and doing this. And others, who just have addictions and feel like their body is on fire. They’ve realised that they are in serious trouble and they just have to take drastic action.

I fell into the second category. I was in the state where I was eating a diet that was processed, processed, processed, no exercise, medication, medication, medication. And me just adding one green juice or switching out of this pizza/burger meal for some salad, I tried that and it never worked. I couldn’t stick to it. The food didn’t taste good. Every time I had one of my normal meals, the sugar, the fat, the salt that lit up the zone in my brain, where I would get this incredible excitement and high. So, to me, I needed to be drastic. I needed to go there, so that’s why I did that. And I did sixty days, purely as a random number. Given I was going to do two years of plants; given I was a hundred pounds heavier than I should be; given my research of the history of famines — famines could last thirty to forty days — I thought that was a realistic time to really put in a big effort.

Now your first question was about how a nutritionist and expert or someone don’t advise people to do it. And I understand that. You know why? Because most people are going to fail and I don’t think that health experts and health practitioners want to put people through something that they’re not going to be successful at, because they feel like they are not good enough. I also think that for some people, sixty days is not necessary, forty days is not necessary, thirty days is not necessary. But there are a lot of people out there that are in big problems and it could change their life. And I know this from a fact because we’ve had tens of thousands of people do it. So, I don’t want to argue with them; I don’t want to take on their philosophy. But I will say this, fasting is a huge part of the history of humanity. There is incredible science that’s coming out today, like science at the University of Southern California and with Dr. Valter Longo’s work, where it is now proven, and it is now considered in the top medical journals of the world, that when you fast for five days — it has to be a minimum of five days. It can’t be one day or two days, but when you do four to five days — to be safe we’ll call it five — your cells go into this magic protection mode for the healthiest and strongest cells. They survive. And the cells that are the weakest and not as fit, they get self-consumed. And so what happens is, it’s a natural selection of cleaning out your body’s strongest to weakest cells, and the strongest survive.

The second thing that happens is that when you do what’s called re-feeding — when you re-feed your body which is after a fast and you break the fast — there is now significant research to prove and show that stem cell regeneration occurs in our organs that has never been seen since we were infants. So, in terms of longevity; in terms of healing illnesses; in terms of providing this magic secret to bring you the energy of life back, fasting looks like it is the nirvana for these people seeking this kind of reaction in the body. So, I’m not the expert who can go into the studies. I could refer you to the studies and you can read them. They are now published and they are online, and the doctor’s name to Google search is Valter Longo.  He’s an Italian by the way, Larah.

LARAH: Okay.

JOE: And this is incredible research. So, how many nutritionists out there have read this work? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t be the majority. So, we have to look at things, as we are always learning. The world of technology and medical science and biology is all converging.  We need to keep our eyes and ears and hearts open.

LARAH: Yes, thank you. Thank you for that, Joe. And I have to say that I completely agree with you because even though I haven’t done sixty days or anywhere near that time, even just in the short ten days I could see a result.  I have no problem with just using juices to reset your system and start a good healthy lifestyle. But, yes, I’ll be putting those links into the show notes, so that people can go and look at the studies if they’re wondering if that is something they should start and do for themselves, if they need to.

JOE: Well, what’s interesting about that, Larah, is that this is not juice fasting. This was based on water fasting to begin with.

LARAH: Yeah.

JOE: …so, even without nutrients. They have now created a thing called an FMD which is a “Fasting Mimicking Diet”. And I think that the audience will be very interested in the next ten years because I think this is something that’s going to be a very big thing where people will take what’s called a fasting mimicking diet for five days, three or four times a year. It’s about a thousand calories a day. It’s all scientifically created food that doesn’t turn on any IGA receptors. I know I’m getting a little bit technical, but it basically imitates the reaction in your body as though you were drinking water for five days. So, it’s quite an interesting sort of technology. Anyone interested can Google ProLon and they can see all of that.

LARAH: Yeah that sounds interesting, I will surely have a look.

So, going back to your movie, one of the dietitians or health professionals, said that we don’t lack of ways to lose weight. It’s keeping the weight off that is usually the problem. So, what we really should do is correct our lifestyle for good and for a long-term benefit. Obviously, we know that it’s probably not sustainable to have a juice diet for a very long time, but of course, you did it successfully for sixty days. After those sixty days, how difficult was it to continue — or how easy, it might be — with following a healthy diet and keeping the weight off?

JOE: Well, I think it’s not as simple as saying do sixty days and then you’re fine. You’ve got to contain that and maintain that consciousness. And here I am nearly ten years later. In the mornings, I wake up and I’m like, “Okay. How am I going to get my plants into me today?”

So, it’s already morning here in Australia where I am right now. I’ve had a smoothie — just vegetables and a fruit-based smoothie. I’ve had a fruit salad — some five or six strawberries chopped up with some papaya — and it’s not a lot. It’s maybe a handful of fruit. But that was enough for me, having a little piece that I chew slowly while doing emails this morning on my computer. So, it’s like a focus. Every day there is a mission that I need to successfully complete, which is how do I get the most nutrient-dense meal into my body? And some days I’m really good at it, some days I’m not. But when you do a sixty-day reboot, or a thirty-day reboot, or a considered amount of time, the big benefit you get is a reset and a reboot in your taste buds. So, things that may have not tasted good before, taste much better now because you’ve eliminated some of those foods, that were really messing up the wiring system of what’s called the bliss point in your brain.

Another thing that happens is the microbiome, which is effectively the second brain in your gut, is an incredibly interesting area of research that really has got a lot of life in the last five years and it’s going to continue to be a big talking point. There’s a lot of thought and some research that shows that when you lead a juicing or a plant-based regime for a longer period of time, say for two weeks, to three weeks, to four weeks, you can really reset your microbiome.

I think there’s a lot of people out there that are carrying around ten pounds, ten kilos, whichever amount of random weight you want to select because their microbiome is completely messed about. And if they can reset their microbiome, they’re going to be able to keep weight off a lot easier. A lot of people have knocked their microbiome out, depending on their age group. I know that if you’re in your forties and fifties you might have grown up in time where antibiotics were handed out like candy, when you were a kid. Every doctor said, “I have a prescription of antibiotics,” but we didn’t know a lot about them back in the sixties and seventies and early eighties. So, a tremendous amount of people have had their gut fauna and their microbes were basically decimated by a continual use of antibiotics as a teenager, as an early adult, and this has led to major complications with respect to not only obesity, but many other chronic diseases.

That’s something that’s got nothing to do with food. That’s to do with types of medicines and medications that are being given to kids. So, we have to be very open minded that it’s not just about what you eat. There’s many, many other factors that go into this. And I think I mentioned earlier that the seventy percent of all disease is caused by lifestyle choices. If we map out those lifestyle choices, there’s smoking, there’s what you eat and drink, there’s exercise, there’s how you sleep, there is how you manage stress, and there is this connection to how connected you are to society. Are you lonely? Do you have a good support group? And these six factors are very important — extremely important.

And also, recent studies from 23 and Me, which I found quite interesting. I’m a member of 23 and Me, which tests your DNA against larger sample groups. You put in all your details and it gives you the way you see in the world of averages. It’s quite interesting that the biggest impact on people, who are the most thin or the most light, or the less amount of fat or weight on their body, the number one reason was the people who don’t eat fast food, had the biggest impact of being the lightest. But the next one, really surprised me, was those who get a good night’s sleep. That was actually above exercise. Exercise was third. The sleep one had a bigger impact on being thinner, than exercise. And I think that’s because if you can get seven to eight hours sleep in a night, you’re going to make better judgements. You’re going to feel better the next day. If you get five to six hours you’re going to be tired; you’re going to be less in your zone; you’re going to probably do less activity; you’re going to be more irritable and you’re going to look for quick fixes. It’s very much not just the one answer or a one solution Larah, it’s a holistic approach. But that makes sense because we do live in an environment where the Earth has so many factors that affect its health, and we’re no different. We’re just a species inhabiting this once beautiful place.

LARAH: Thank you, Joe, and I completely agree with you. For me, it was absolutely the same. It wasn’t just about trying to curb my eating habits, which weren’t horrendous. I wasn’t the type of person that went and had fast food every day or had cakes and biscuits every day, but, maybe, even a little bit too often than I should have. Once I tackled the food issue, then there were other things. Why am I eating this food? And I noticed it was due to stress. I had to manage the stress, so a lot of meditation, yoga, exercise. As you said, it’s a holistic view. It’s not just trying to tackle one thing, but just seeing all aspects of our lives and see where we need to make changes and to make those changes last — not just for a few months.

JOE:  Absolutely.

LARAH: So, going back, I heard you say that you call juices: water filter through plants. I really like that. But obviously, juices contain more than just water.  Could you explain what nutrition we get from juicing?

JOE: I can give the layman’s terms, and Isabel would be able to give a lot more of a scientific answer. But quite simply, what we have in plants is we have an enormous amount of nutrition and compounds that we need, elements that we need, to put into our system. Our cellular structure, which is the base unit of a human, needs that mitochondria. That centre of the cell is where you have this conversion of energy — and that’s the life force.  That’s what we call life. And you need certain things in order for those cells to function properly, and you need macronutrients, as a nice balance to enter into the actual species of humanity. You need carbohydrates, fat and protein from the macronutrient and  micronutrient, they are thousands and thousands to list. But top level, you need vitamins, you need minerals, you need phytochemicals, you need a certain types of fatty acids, omega 3… there are so many different things you need. We haven’t got enough time to list them all. But these micronutrients are predominantly found in plant food. There are some that exist in animal products, but the majority — I mean you can probably safely say that ninety-eight percent of what you need for your body, you can find in plant food.  So, if you have a diet, that is high in plant food, that you are eating lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, whole grains and foods that come from Mother Nature, that are not made by humans, then, you are giving yourself a great shot of getting these micronutrients in your system.

Now, when you take a cucumber, for example, or a celery or a carrot, when you put it through a juicer, you’re extracting out the liquid, the water that’s trapped, but it doesn’t come out clear. In the case of a carrot, if you’re using let’s say an orange carrot, it comes out orange. If you’re using a purple carrot, it comes out purple. That colour is the difference between the H2O and the micronutrients. So, if it was come out clear, then it would be water and have no nutrients in terms of our micronutrients. So, the colour really reflects what I just talked about.

The fibre. if you like, is kind of Mother Nature’s packaging of putting all this together. Fibre has a couple of very beneficial factors for us, it slows down the absorption of the sugars which is beneficial and it also helps with gut fauna and cleaning out the bowel. So, fibre does play a role, and I would never suggest to somebody to only have your plants without fibre. I wouldn’t suggest that at all, but what I would say is that a nice balance of juicing, of blending, of eating your plants is a great way to fight against the perils of fast food and processed food and lots of processed animal food out there that it is so readily available in the modern day.

LARAH:  Okay, so the fibre let’s say, they’re not essentially nutrition, they’re just the packaging that help us to become full and help us with our bodily functions, but apart from that the only nutrition that comes from just the juicing of or the extraction…

Joe Cross Juice Recipe APPJOE: What I mean by that is that, inside the plant, if you break down the plant, you have these micronutrients, and they are not a solid thing. They’re an element; they’re a compound; they’re an enzyme; and they’re amongst the water. And so, when you break the cellulose, if you were to microscopically go inside a celery stick and you break the cellulose, that cellulose is the fibre, and inside it, are these beautiful big drops of green water. And inside that water molecule, or next to that water molecule, might be a calcium molecule, or might be a phosphorus, or  Vitamin K or Vitamin C might be in  there. So, the way that chemistry works is that water is a phenomenal way to transport these, and we all know when you turn your taps on at home, you have fluoride in the water, right?
LARAH: Yeah.

JOE: And you can’t see it, but it’s there. And so this is the same way that nature works. And the colour, the green, the red, the purple, the yellow, the orange primary colours of Mother Nature — that is where all this nutrition shows its true identity. It’s the harnessed sunlight. It’s the energy of the sun, of the air, the atmosphere, what’s extracted from water, from the nutrients from the soil to create this magnificent gift for your  cells.

LARAH: Yes, and then, usually, it tastes delicious. And I noticed that when I do juicing at the beginning, I put a little bit more fruit, just to make a bit more sugar and more tasty..

JOE:  You can bring that in if you want to. But look, Isabel probably has a much better answer than I do that in terms of scientifically, because I’m more the storyteller, Larah.

LARAH:  Yeah, you’re a good storyteller, for sure.

ISABEL: Yeah, you guys were talking about experts and nutritionists, and a lot of them don’t recommend juicingDietitian Isabel Smith talks about low FODMAP juices or juice fasting, and I think a lot of it comes down to they just don’t really know or understand the benefits. And what we’ve traditionally been taught is that it’s bad, and it’s sort of like nobody has gone into detail about why it’s bad. And so I think the industry often comes at it, “It’s bad. All of it is bad.”

For Reboot with Joe, I coach juicing programs. I get a lot of doctors and nurses and dietitians to contact me, regarding the men and women who go through our program. I have the doctors contact me, because I want them to understand why it is so beneficial. And once I tell them sort of how it works and what we’re doing, most of them say, “Okay, great. Thank you.” But it’s just the lack of knowledge, I think. This is somewhat new in the medical world and there is so much benefit. The juice from the fruits and vegetables, it actually does contain some fibre. It contains soluble fibre, which is the fibre that is able to be dissolved in water, which makes sense since we are drinking the water of the fruits and vegetables. But what we’re missing, as Joe was talking about, is the insoluble, like the bulky fibre, and often, nutrients do get locked up and are unable to be accessed, when they are locked up in the fibrous stuff — the cellulose — that we can’t really digest. So, what we do is we sort of separate the two of them, the liquid from that fibre, and we can therefore access, hopefully, it’s hard to tell because everybody’s digestion and absorption are different, and that does have to do with the microbiome, and the bacteria and everything that you guys were talking about. But because the amount of fruit and vegetables we’re consuming when we have a juice, you can’t often sit down and eat all of that whole on one plate, right? We’re consuming so many more of them. We’re increasing the likelihood that we are going to be exposed to, of course, and then use more of those nutrients. So, we’ve got lots of vitamins and minerals; we’ve got some fibre; we’ve got anticancer, anti-inflammatory properties. There’s so much wonderful packed volume in the juice simply because of how much we put in every single juice.

LARAH: Yes, and it’s such an easy way to consume all those nutrients as well, so you can just have your few juices a day and they’re so packed.

So, while we’re talking about this, Isabel, I wanted to ask you, for people that are not like me, an IBS sufferer, it’s very well just eating a lot of plant-based food, and, of course, this sounds really healthy. But with IBS sufferers, unfortunately we get lots of our symptoms from eating healthy food, like plant-based foods. So, for instance, one of Joe’s favourite juices, I think, is the Mean Green which contains celery and apples, which have high FODMAP ingredients in there. In celery, for instance, there is mannitol, and apples, there is too much fructose and sorbitol. When I did my juices, I had to be careful of what kind of fruits and vegetables I put in it and making sure that there weren’t high FODMAP fruits and vegetables. If those juices are done with low FODMAP fruits and vegetables, do you think that drinking juices is safe for people following a low FODMAP diet and suffering from IBS?

ISABEL: Absolutely. So, a couple of things. One of the major causes of IBS, like chronic either IBS or IBD, is actually a bacterial imbalance that is really hard to detect, but almost always with more exposure to healthy bacteria and probiotics. And actually, in this case, fruits and vegetables, especially when they’re raw, do contain a lot of healthy bacteria that actually can help to kind of correct, over time, the imbalance in the gut. By juicing raw fruits and vegetables in general, we’re actually exposing our bodies to more because we can’t really get all of the dirt off from our fruits and vegetables. We try, but, some of it is good and that actually helps to correct some of the imbalance. So juicing actually can be very helpful from that perspective.

There are definitely ingredients that can be problematic across the board — like I usually find that raw kale is a problem for most everybody. But when it comes to FODMAPs, every single person it is so different in how they react. You might experience some different reactions. Actually, celery, at least on a couple of lists that I follow is actually, technically a low FODMAP…

LARAH: In small quantities.

ISABEL: Yeah, but for you, it doesn’t work, right? And I think that’s the most important piece of it because I find that FODMAP, in general, it is like there are so many foods on here and I think people get very overwhelmed like. “Oh, my gosh. I have to exclude all of these.” But instead it’s like, “Well, wait a minute, I can consume, let’s say for example tomatoes or sweet potatoes aren’t a problem for me, but it might be for Suzie next to me here.”

I think first and foremost, it’s really sort of trying to hone in on which ones do bother you, because otherwise it can really be very restrictive. But the beauty of having so many fruits and vegetables on these low and high and moderate FODMAP lists, is that you can totally substitute. So, if we know that celery does not work for you, Larah, then I might say, “Why don’t we get rid of most of that celery and replace it with cucumber?” Or kale?   “Yikes, there’s kale in that recipe. Why don’t we use like spinach chard or something that you know works better for you?”

So, I think what’s most helpful in trying to juice is noticing if it doesn’t work for you and then systematically sort of going through the ingredients and noticing where there are high FODMAP ingredients and swapping out for some lower FODMAP and see if it’s helpful.

LARAH: Yes, thank you Isabel. And I also wanted to ask you because I did some juices, but I also did smoothies. I used the fibre of those fruits and vegetables and sometimes even I put a scoop of almond meal just to make it a little bit richer in protein. Do you think it is okay to leave the fibres in for people suffering from IBS, or is it too much fibre, and therefore, because it’s insoluble, it could cause more problems?

ISABEL:  Yeah, I think it’s definitely again dependent on the person, and sort of like there are definitely ranges. I think fibre is super important because it does help to promote healthy bowel movements; and it is good for your heart; and it is good for so many things. But for a lot of people, it’s sort of a fine line in how much is acceptable, right? So if you’re somebody who knows that most fibre foods will give you a stomach ache, then you’re going to try and choose ones that are lower in fibre.

You can also cook your vegetables, for example, before putting them in a smoothie, which can often make them also a lot more tolerable if you have IBS. I wouldn’t recommend using in a smoothie in particular, but also, in any juices, cruciferous vegetables, like kale and Brussels sprouts and broccoli and cauliflower, because those are very gassy in general. But I think being mindful of how much fibre — if you’re going to make a smoothie that’s got kale and pear and chia seeds and hemp protein, that’s a lot of fibre. Pare it back a bit. Maybe you do a little bit of an almond butter; you do maybe a little coconut oil; you do half of a serving of protein. Maybe you do a little bit of a banana, and you’ve made a lower fibre smoothie that might be more acceptable to you.

LARAH: Yes, and I guess we find out how much we can tolerate during the elimination phase as well. We eliminate everything that we’re not supposed to have because it’s high FODMAP, then, eventually we’ll see how we feel and eventually reintroduce back some of the food. And then at that point in time, we should know what we can tolerate, to which amount more or less. There is always some tweaking here and there.

ISABEL: Totally.

LARAH: Yeah. Also, another issue for FODMAPs is that if we have a lot of low FODMAP fruits and vegetables, there is the problem of cumulation. In juicing, when we do a juice fasting for a period, it would be like four, five, or six low FODMAP juices, but could they be a little bit too much and possibly take us over the limit and create   symptoms?

ISABEL: It depends on the person. I have to say I find a lot less issue with juices then I do with smoothies, because their fibre is removed, right? And cumulation can be a problem for some, so if somebody starts a juice program and notices that it’s a problem, it’s adding up too much, what they could do, is start integrating juices a little bit more slowly instead of just adding all of it at once, right? So maybe they start with two juices a day and then they move up to three. There’s actually a phase of transitioning in that we like to do because that helps people move from full eating to full juice.  Something I would recommend this, instead of just jumping into all juice, what I would do is start integrating juices in, so you see how your system reacts and you can likely work up to it. You can also do some juices and some soups, or some juices and cooked  vegetable smoothies so you can sort of blend it up, to make it work best for you. But again, it’s very individual.

LARAH: Yes, yes. And what I notice now, I usually have at least one juice a day as a snack. Sometimes I’ll have it for breakfast, or other times I’ll have it as a mid-morning or a mid-afternoon snack, sometimes, both of them. And I think that, for me, it’s quite satisfying and I haven’t noticed any IBS symptoms being triggered by it. I kind of know my level and know what to put in.

ISABEL: Great, yeah, that’s a great.

LARAH: Yeah.

ISABEL: And using them to sort of supplement is the best way to go about it anyway, because I think we get a lot of benefit on a daily basis from including juice. I use it every day of my life mostly for exercise recovery or as a snack, but it’s always in the mix somewhere.

LARAH: Yes, that’s right, because we’ve always been told to consume five a day, which in some countries it’s like five between fruits and vegetables, I think Australia they’re saying five vegetables plus a couple of pieces of fruit. And it’s an easy way to consume some of that five a day in one goal, really.

ISABEL: Totally, totally.

LARAH: Thank you so much, Isabel. Now I’m going to go back to Joe, and I wanted to ask, obviously you’ve had an incredible success with your movies, and after your first film, you also founded the health and lifestyle brand called Reboot with Joe. Would you like to talk a little bit about that and how important it is for you to spread the message of eating healthy?

JOE: Sure, Larah. When you have movies, in today’s world it’s a bit of a three sixty degree and people want to be able to find you on social media. They want to be able to find you out there to find information, and it’s not just about putting a movie out there. So, we created RebootWithJoe.com to really enable people to be able to get much more information and be connected with people like Isabel. It’s really an online community and there’s lots of tools and helpful support and information, and that’s what it’s about. We’re excited, and it’s been nearly six years since we launched it, so it’s kicking along well. We have about eight employees based in New York and Australia, but mostly in New York. Yes, it is exciting, and I’m just really proud of what the team does. I think we have 1.1 million unique visitors to the website every months and it’s just really, really exciting to see the people’s interest in how they can drink more fruits and vegetables.

LARAH: Yes, thank you. That’s incredible that you’ve been able, through your own transformation, to transform so many other lives. I’ll bet that you must be really, really proud of what you’ve done, changing people’s lives for the better. That’s something to be proud of.

JOE: Very much, Larah.

LARAH: And, if I’m not mistaken, I think you’re also working on launching your own juicer at the moment. Is that right?

JOE: Yeah, well, look, it’s been something of a project for a few years now. It’s not an easy job, creating a juicer, and launching it, and there’s lot of logistics and it’s big money. But hopefully 2017 will be the year where I get that to happen. I can’t say it’s all in the can yet, and it’s all done yet, Larah, but I’m working hard on it, so hopefully 2017, and if not  2017, maybe 2018.

LARAH: Yes, thank you. I look forward to seeing the end product. For sure I will buy it, because I’ve had the same juicer that you use in your movies, the Breville one. Now I think it’s coming to the end of its life, so I’m looking forward to yours.

JOE: I am actually talking to them and they are helping me out, so it’s all good.

LARAH: That’s awesome, yeah. All right, great. Is there something else you would like to share?

JOE: The tip I like to leave people with, Larah, is that I think there are two things that are really important to your foundation of your health, and that is loving yourself and loving your plants. And I think that we all need to be a little bit easier on ourselves, love ourselves a bit more, build momentum in our actions, and if we fall off, don’t beat ourselves up. Just get back up, dust ourselves off, and just keep moving forward. Love yourself and love your plants. That’s what I’d like to leave you with.

LARAH: Yes, and that’s absolutely true. I didn’t love myself, although I did love the plants. But it was quite incredible when I saw your movies and you’re interviewing people and they say they never ate vegetables. That amazed me. That was the case that a lot of people still don’t eat any plant-based food, or hardly any.

JOE: Yeah, and there’s a lot of education and people know it, but when going to the market and in the fruits section of the local store, they get a bit lost. And so we still have a long way to go to get people comfortable and confident on how they can go home and prepare a really healthy, nutritious and tasty meal.

LARAH: Yes. And for me, it’s natural because growing up in Italy, fast food didn’t exist. I think the first McDonald’s came in my hometown when I was about twenty years old, so I grew up eating lots of healthy food and a lot of vegetables. I guess it’s only when I went to live in England that I started to introduce fast food in my diet and I kind of got addicted a little bit. But, yes, growing up and having a healthy diet, it was just normal, it is just normal for me to eat that kind of food. I love my plant-based food in every form and I will continue to do that. It’s just always trying to remember to make the right choices and not falling back into old habits of getting that fast food, just because it’s convenient more than anything else. Not much the taste. I’d rather have healthy vegetables than fast food. But, sometimes, it’s the convenience. It’s a matter of making that choice every single day and waking up and doing the right thing and starting the day well.

JOE:  I agree with that.

LARAH: All right. Would you like to share your website and any other links for the listeners that would like to come and find out a bit more about juicing, about your company?

JOE: Sure. Well, I’ll go first and then Isabel can chime in after me. We are at RebootWithJoe.com and I’m on Instagram at @Joethejuicer and Facebook @JoeCross and Twitter @Joethejuicer (links at the end of the interview).  We also have a mailing list when you go to RebootWithJoe.com and we send out a weekly email to help inspire people to consume more plants.

LARAH: Yeah, absolutely. And you also have an app?

JOE: Yeah, I have lots of things I didn’t want to go into the full sales pitch. We’ve got books; we’ve got movies, and it’s all there for people to see on the website.

LARAH: Yeah, that’s great. Yeah, thank you Joe.

ISABEL: You can also find me on RebootWithJoe.com, and at IsabelSmithNutrition.com as well as LifestylebyIsabel.com. My Instagram is @IsabelSmithRD and I also have a Facebook page Isabel Smith Nutrition.

LARAH: Yes, thank you, Isabel. And again, as I said, all the links I’m going to put on the show notes for this episode so you can just pop in o to my website and find all the links to Joe’s and Isabel’s from my website.

Well, I can’t thank you enough for being here today. I know it has been a long episode, but it was so packed with information and explanations. So, I thank you so much — both of you.

JOE: You’re welcome. And it’s great to have Isabel on board, so thank you, Isabel, for joining me.  And for everyone out there, I wish them all the best. And, of course, JUICE ON!

ISABEL: Thanks Larah. It was such a treat. And Joe, of course, it’s always such a treat to be on with you.

LARAH: Okay. I want to thank you again so much, and for the listeners, please go to my website and check out those links. There is a lot of work that has been put into Joe’s company and the message is just to eat healthy. And of course, for us IBS sufferers, eat healthy, but know what you can tolerate. Eat what you can tolerate. So, thanks again guys.

JOE: Thanks a lot, Larah.

ISABEL:  Thank you.

Well, what can I say? I had a great time chatting with my guests Joe Cross and Isabel Smith on today’s episode. Again, I have to say that I’m such a big fan of Joe Cross and this was a real treat for me to have him on my podcast. And talking about juices and smoothies, I was wondering if any of you have already started this week The 21-day low FODMAP Smoothie Challenge that me and my friend Claire have created to help you introduce healthy smoothies in your diet which are also FODMAP Friendly. So, if you want to check it out, go to my website under the challenge page and subscribe to the free challenge. You will receive all the information and the beautiful smoothie recipes that you would need to complete the challenge.

I really hope you have enjoyed this episode, and until next time, take good care. Keep safe and healthy, and if you celebrate Easter, which is coming very soon, well, you need to remember to go easy with the chocolate. The recommended amount is around 30 grams, or approximately five little squares of dark chocolate, or about 15 grams of milk or white chocolate. So, that’s the recommended serving size for people on the low FODMAP diet, but, of course, if you can tolerate a bit more, why not? It’s up to you.

So, again, I wish you all the best, and until next time, goodbye!

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Joe’s links and resources:

Joe’s Website
Joe’s Instagram Page
Joe’s Facebook Page
Joe’s Twitter Page


Isabel’s links and resources:

Isabel’s Nutrition Website
Isabel’s Lifestyle Website
Isabel Instagram Page
Isabel Facebook Page


About Larah

I have been suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome for many years, but it took a longtime to get a diagnosis, since then I have been following a low FODMAP diet, which has changed my life for the better. This is my story and experience with IBS and the low FODMAP diet.