Mary Transforms Life with Mean Green

Despite being a strict vegan for 30 years, Mary Elsener was grossly overweight. When she turned 61, she knew she had a choice to make: continue down the unhealthy path she’d been on for years and risk developing serious chronic conditions, or reclaim her health and enjoy the next phase of life without medications. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead convinced her to Reboot, and she slowly and systematically reduced her weight on several Reboots over 3 years.



  • I’m free of my bad vegan eating habits
  • Lost 120 pounds over 3 years*
  • Stopped taking acid reflux medication
  • No more digestive issues
  • No longer have junk food cravings
  • I am in control of my eating

Why I Rebooted: To lose weight and reclaim my health

I’ve been overweight since the age of five. For the past 30 years, I have been a strictly 100% observant vegan. Despite my diet, I’ve also been grossly overweight.

I turned 61 in 2014. Though I had no serious medical issues, I knew that being more than 100 pounds overweight wasn’t healthy for anyone at any age.

I was working 50 hours per week, and I didn’t have much time to exercise. And because I was substantially overweight, I really needed to lose some weight first in order to exercise effectively.

I was desperate, but determined, to conjure the willpower to transition onto what I knew was the highway to health — eating only plant-based whole foods.

Fat Sick & Nearly Dead was my guiding light

After seeing Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, I finally decided to investigate it just before my 61st birthday.

Joe Cross’s great documentary filled in all the missing parts for a lot of people. Along with an ace film crew and animators, he hired key medical authorities to support his quest to reduce his weight and regain his health.

The film not only verified that green juice is nutritionally sound, but substantiated that a plant-based, whole food diet is essential to not regaining the weight you lose through juicing.

In an interview I found online, Joe Cross confirmed that he had not been able to begin exercise until after his first 60 Day Reboot because all his time had been consumed in making the documentary. Which was great, because I did not have the time to exercise either.

I had found the perfect resource!

My ultimate goal: eat 100% plant food and lose half my body weight

I watched Fat Sick & Nearly Dead 3 times to absorb all the details, and I immediately bought a Breville Juicer on Craigslist as a birthday present to myself.

I set out to systematically lower my weight from 260 to 130, deciding on a course of juicing sessions that would take place over a 3-year stretch, with only 100% whole plant-based foods between sessions.

Changing my diet to 100% whole plant-based foods was an even more important objective for me than losing weight and getting off my medications. I knew that without THIS specific dietary change that I would have trouble maintaining the other two changes.

Joe’s Mean Green became my everyday juice

In the first few Reboots (I’ve done 6, of varying lengths), I varied Joe’s Mean Green Juice recipe by adding carrots, beets or tomatoes on occasion.

Ultimately, I discovered that the base Mean Green formula, filtered to remove most traces of pulp, tastes best and allows me to sustain a longer juicing session.

I did what I saw Joe Cross do in the film: I drank 23 oz of Mean Green 5-6 times daily, and in between, I drank water. Nothing more. The elemental Mean Green recipe was the formula I used in my longest session (97 days) July-Oct 2016.

But starting with what I knew would be the final 1-2 weeks of each session, if I got pooped out at work and wanted special treat when I got home, I’d make 8 oz of 100% apple juice.

Online resources helped me stay focused

I also read other juice recipes on the Joe Cross website and watched tons of YouTube juice demos. But I didn’t stray into other flavors, because Mean Green was a proven, balanced formula, and I wanted to give this effort my all.

I watched both of Joe’s movies, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 1 and Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2, repeatedly to help me stay focused and extend my enlightenment.

I also got inspiration from watching Forks Over Knives, PlantPure Nation, The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue, and by reading The China Study and Whole from T. Colin Campbell.

Myth busted: Women over 45 can’t lose weight

I have heard all my life that it is impossible for a woman over 45 to lose weight. As I discovered through my Reboot journey, this is patently not true.

I was thrilled to discover that regardless of a person’s age (or sex), juicing is an effective weight loss tool and paves the road to a plant-based whole food lifestyle.

Juicing helped me quell my emotional eating

I found out that Mean Green Juice can actually fill you up.

And for me, it did more than just satisfy hunger. It helped “turn off” that nagging voice in your head that incessantly asks for food to pacify psychological issues. I had never before experienced the feeling of having already had plenty, and never experienced having that voice turned off.

I’m nearly at my goal weight

This is year 3, and unlike ever before, I have been true to my goals and able to maintain all the changes made. I’ve done 3-4 juicing sessions each year since the summer of 2014. The longest uninterrupted juicing session spanned 97 days, July-October of 2016. My average sessions have typically run 40 days.

My bad vegan eating habits have been completely revamped. I currently weigh 146 lbs and am completely off the (very dangerous, long term) acid reflux med I once had to take daily.*

I plan to complete my saga and take my weight down to 130 this summer, when the organic cucumbers and celery are at their most affordable.

My husband has also improved his health with Mean Green

My husband (also 100% vegan for nearly 30 years) was also inspired by both of Joe’s Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead films.

In 1990, he had been diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 Diabetes. And since 1990, had successfully used a vegan diet to reduce the amount of his blood pressure and cholesterol meds and to avoid the need to take diabetes medications.

However, he wanted to get completely off his medications, to incorporate exercise into his daily regimen, and to learn how to personalize his diet for his medical vulnerabilities. After we watched Fat Sick & Nearly Dead in 2014, he did a two-week Reboot of Mean Green only and lost a significant amount of weight.

We stick with a whole-food plant-based diet now

My husband and I watched the same films about the benefits of a plant-based whole-food lifestyle. That led to his transition into plant-based whole-foods and a daily exercise regimen. These are the two tools he now uses to avoid having to take medications and to avoid blood test readings that fall into diabetic levels.

Relatives, friends, and co-workers have, of course, noticed and been impressed by my and my husband’s weight losses. And those with similar medical concerns have been attentive to my husband’s success in controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol, and diabetes.

Green juicing is key to maintaining great health

It’s clear to me that green juicing is essential for gaining health and maintaining weight loss. Joe said it in Fat Sick & Nearly Dead — the key is plant-based whole-foods.

We will ALL continue to take 4 steps forward/2 steps back, until we can bring ourselves to act in accordance with the two scientific facts repeatedly illustrated in Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead:

  1. Eating and/or drinking plant-based whole-foods creates health.
  2. Eating animal products quickly and unquestionably tears down health.

I owe my weight loss completely to Mean Green juicing, and the maintenance of it to a plant-based whole-foods lifestyle. I got the keys to both from Joe Cross. For these two life-changing tips, I owe Joe Cross a million thanks and repayment in kind.

You can do this, too

We have happily shared Mean Green samples and information about plant-based whole-foods, but ultimately, I know that people travel the road at their own pace.

People all over the world are not only physically and psychologically addicted to processed foods, but to convenience of any and all types. They have been systematically lied to and successfully befuddled about nutrition for almost a century. And this has created not only tremendous resistance to lifestyle change, but barriers to access. Joe’s own parents regarded his 60-day juicing session as a health risk.

I wouldn’t have believed that I could feel satisfied on juice. But now I realize that Mean Green can actually fill you up.

In fact, it does more than just satisfy hunger—it can actually turn off that nagging voice in your head that incessantly asks for food to pacify psychological issues.

Plus, juicers are available and affordable now. So, what are you waiting for?