JJ Virgin, Calorie Myths, Fad Diets, and More!
Jonathan Bailor: Hey, everyone. Jonathan Bailor back. In today’s session when thinking about food quality and digging deeper than just this calorie myth we’ve been told and this idea that our body is a balance scale, I’ve got a sister that I never really knew about because I’m out here saying the body’s not a balance scale, and she’s out there saying your body’s not a bank account, it’s a chemistry lab. And in fact, she’s made an awesome career out of helping people to understand how the quality of food, not necessarily the quantity, but the quality of foods, and specific foods, may be at the root of not only weight gain, but all kinds of health issues and she’s done that all around the world. She’s a freaking member of Mensa. I didn’t know that and she’s a pretty smart lady. She’s awesome. She’s also a New York Times best-selling author of The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7Pounds, in Just 7 Days, and as you would assume from the title of her book, we’ve got JJ Virgin with us today. What’s up, JJ?
JJ Virgin: Hey, how are you?
Jonathan Bailor: I’m good. Well, JJ, when talking about this topic of not resorting to theories and calorie math that we were told in the 50s but modern metabolic science, obviously your name pops up to the top of the list. You are all about food quality. Can you tell us what gets you so excited about quality rather than quantity when it comes to food?
JJ Virgin: Let’s see, what gets me excited is I can eat more. You know, early on, and it just makes me crazy that this myth still persists and you still hear it on these big TV shows, oh it’s just calories and calories. I just want to smack those people when I hear it because it sets people up to fail and it takes their hope away. And when we start to look at food as information and really look at the quality of what we’re eating and realizing that yes, your body reacts very differently to a candy bar versus a piece of wild salmon. And guess what? You can actually train your body to like these foods better.
You know, one of the challenges you see with food with poor quality is that it’s got such addictive qualities to it, too, that people get so trapped into it, and then they want to believe the myth of they can eat these things, but in small amounts. And as, you know, we have been on this path together and it was so great to find you because I was getting my butt kicked out there saying that calories, well calories count. Where they come fromcounts. And people are like, you’re wrong and I’m like, no I’m not. I’ve proven it with thousands of people. I know this is, you know, let’s look at the science. So it’s so great to have this information out there, and for people to move past this like this silly bank account balance-scale model into this idea of food is information and quality counts.
Jonathan Bailor: And JJ, you’ve really honed in on a concrete example of where quality counts that’s hard to argue with, and I love that, and that’s food intolerances. Because any mother or father who has a child with a peanut allergy knows it’s not the calories in the peanuts that will cause their child to go into anaphylactic shock. So can you talkabout–we hear food intolerance thrown around. What does that actually mean biologically to be intolerant of a food?
JJ Virgin: So I made up my own thing here. I took some poetic license because food intolerance I think used to mean something very different. It was more of a genetic condition, like geneticgluten intolerance. When I think of food intolerance, I really put it out there as umbrella term where it can relate to both genetic issues, like fructose malabsorption or fructose intolerance, fructose malabsorption, gluten intolerance, or celiac disease, or lactose intolerance, so that’s one piece of it. The other piece of it are all the immunological issues. Everything from what you mentioned first which is this immediate allergic response, like a peanut allergy and IGE response, which used to be rare and now are getting more common. But then the UBER common food sensitivities, the IgG delayed food responses that, honestly, 70 percent or more of us have. I was doing testing and I was coming up with about 70 percent in that area alone. I believe 90 percent of us are hit with food intolerances, maybe 100, could I be so bold. You know, it’s hard to say 100 with anything.
But the food sensitivities are such a big deal because the symptoms, the foods that these are caused by are ubiquitous, and the symptoms are things that we’ve been trained to believe are normal for us like gas and bloating, and joint pain, and headaches, and skin problems, and you can’t lose weight. You know, things that you’re just like, oh, you’re just getting older which just makes me crazy. And then all of course all the hormonal issues like insulin and Leptin resistance, cortisol resistance, ghrelin issues, and all those things that actually these foods can perturb your body’s ability to hear hormones so that you are hungry even when you’ve just eaten.
And so food intolerance to me is this big umbrella of all those things and it’s created because we have so messed up our food supply and gotten so far from whole food. And every single time we do a tweak, whether it’s genetically engineering or genetically modifying something as in the case with genetically engineering gluten to change its whole chromosomal numbers and structure, or genetically modifying things to put in like tomatoes, tomatoes into salmon like stop it, you know. Or if it’s just a matter of processing food so that you totally take the nutrients out, and then make it something you eat every day all day long which we were never meant to do. So all of those things are creating this umbrella of food intolerance, and there is no one way to look at this because there’s so many different factors at play. The best way to look at it is to keep culprits out of your diet and give your body a rest, give your body a chance to get your hormones in balance, your immune systemcalmed down, get the fire calmed down, and then really evaluate. And that’s where, again, we start to look at food quality and evaluate which foods work and which foods don’t.
Jonathan Bailor: Is it fair to say food intolerance or tolerance is… There’s calorie quantity, and both you and I know it’s not as if calories don’t exist. They’re not unicorns, they matter. It’s just that they’re just irrelevant once we get the quality of our food correct because our body is brilliant and will take care of the rest. But when we say food intolerance, is this essentially an umbrella term which while the quality, let’s say eggs for example, while an egg may be tolerated by one person, again tolerance has nothing to do with calories. It means what’s the immunological response — what’s the mood response, what’s the gut response, what’s the bathroom response, what’s the energy response, the mental response, everything other than calories — another person may not tolerate eggs. So that’s where there’s also this confusion about well, this is healthy. No, actually it’s not. It varies by individual. I just said a lot, but what do you think about that?
JJ Virgin: I was like and the question is. No, it really comes down to we’re all biochemically unique. There’s some basic foundational things. As I was doing testing through doctors’ offices looking at basic food sensitivities and genetic issues, I saw the most common needle movers, doesn’t mean there won’t be outliers there, and that’s what I really picked up on. But the deal is, we’re all different. You may be able to handle eggs just fine, they may be hurting me. It’s really does it hurt or does it hurt you. When I looked at my top seven needle mover foods, they were the ones that I classically saw the most. It doesn’t mean that all seven are going to be an issue for someone, but I have yet to see where at least one or two, and usually four, or more create an issue. And it also doesn’t mean that they’re an issue forever because quite often these foods are creating the problem, either because we’re picking a low quality source of them — there’s a huge difference between a pastured egg and a factory-raised egg, as we know. It’s not just that you are what you eat, it’s you are what you eat ate. So there’s that piece of it, too.
But also if you’ve got some gut issues, you know, leaky gut where you’ve changed the permeability of your gut wall either due to stress or gluten or pain medications — there’s so many things that start to loosen the tight junctions in the gut — and you couple that with poor digestion, speed-eating, stress-eating, lots of fluids while you’re eating, aging so your stomach acids lower. Now you’ve got proteins that have not been broken down well going into the small intestine and getting out in circulation. Your body freaking out going this should not be here and launching an attack, and it’s when you’re doing the same foods everyday even if it’s just a little bit, that’s why the moderation makes me crazy too, that your body starts to create a problem with so you may find that… Like for me, I had an issue with eggs at first, and then over time I healed my gut and I’m able to tolerate high-quality eggs now and then. I think one of the reasons eggs are an issue, though, is because of us. We’re of that generation where we didn’t know better, and we were getting like massive vaccinations all at once when our immune system wasn’t ready. It’s like poof, you know. And those were cured with egg protein, and so I think that’s part of the issue, too. It’s like an early-on like this is bad problem.
Jonathan Bailor: You gave a wonderful analogy in there, JJ, which made it seem and is this fair, or is this taking it too far, that when you are intolerant of a food and you eat it, it’s almost as if you’ve ingested a virus that your body will then attack and it’s like this little mini disease state your body enters into. Is that fair?
JJ Virgin: I think that’s a great way to put it. I’m probably going to steal that, Jonathan.
Jonathan Bailor: As long as you attribute my name.
JJ Virgin: I like to think of it as, you know, we are suffering so much from a massive toxic load. Our bodies were never meant to handle the things that we, you know, our immune systems and our detox systems weren’t put together to handle what we are now faced with, and when you’re eating foods that don’t work for you, it is like it’s a virus or toxin. And if you look at every disease state, every disease state is coupled with an inflammatory response. So that’s what you see when you eat these foods that your body can’t handle is you get this big inflammatory response which starts a massive bad cascade.So it’s a great way to explain it. You know, you look at inflammation, and we know that the more inflamed you are, the more obese you become, and the more obese you become, the more inflamed you are. We know the more inflamed you are, the more insulin resistant; the more insulin resistant, the more inflamed. So all these things start to create this terrible downward spiral that it’s hard to dig out of.
Jonathan Bailor: And, JJ, just to really, really help people understand. Calories, a calorie doesn’t cause inflammation. It’s everything other than calories that cause inflammation. Is that accurate?
JJ Virgin: It’s what the calories are made up ofthat create the inflammation, and if those calories don’t work for your own chemistry lab. Now, there’s some ubiquitous ones we know will create problems. Genetically modified corn and soy, they’re going to be problematic. Gluten, I think, is problematic for everybody. Can I go out on a limb and say that? Now, I’m not talking about you’re over in Europe eating old einkorn wheat, that’s different. But we’re not getting that thereand it’s been fermented and we’ve lowered the lectins and the plicates. But here in America, where we’re eating this genetically engineered,dwarf gluten that’s so condensed and so high in super starches, it’s a different deal. You know, I think some of the issues are some people may handle grass-fed dairy that’s been fermented just fine. Some people can do pastured eggs. But it really comes down to seeing what works for your chemistry lab. Again, I know artificial sweeteners and sugar unwrapped. I’m going to say unwrapped sugar, sugar out of its natural habitat or too much in its own habitat, you know, fruit is not a free food. I guess it’s somewhere, Jonathan, where they’re like and that person’s a fruitarian. I go, people are still doing that? Unbelievable.
So I’m going to go out on a limb and say gluten and corn and soy, anything genetically modified, artificial sweeteners and unwrapped sugar don’t have a place in a healthy diet for anybody, anywhere. Pastured eggs, once you check to see how your body handles them. And again, the single best way to really find out if you’re food intolerant is not one test. I mean, you’d have to do a load of testing, and I don’t believe it would be conclusive because we don’t know all the different ways you can react to food at this point. So the single best test is to treat your body like a chemistry lab, not a balance scale or bank account, pull these foods out, give your body a cooling off time at least three weeks. During that three weeks, it’s an amazing time because you realize in the first couple of days how addicted you are to things. It’s unbelievable, and even if you’re eating a healthy diet, you know. So and then after that time to just go back and challenge these foods, even if you know you’ll never eat it again. I have people, you know, do a little gluten so they go wow, I had no idea that it made my fingers swell or made me double over in stomach cramps.
Because that’s a very different conversation. Now you’ve really moved it off of calories and into quality because you’ve just connected the dots between what you’re eating, and how you feel, and what you weigh. And you’re like this is an empowering situation because you won’t look at something and go, oh, I’m just going to have a little bit and be bad today because you’re like I really don’t want to have diarrhea, be doubled over, and, you know, I think I’ll pass on that. Right?
Jonathan Bailor: Yeah. And I love that you said empowering, JJ, because it seems like once we understand what we tolerate, we can rely on our internal intelligence and I don’t mean that in like a woo-woo way. I mean our hypothalamus and our gut bacteria and our hormones to tell us when we’re full and when we’re satisfied. And we can eat these foods that we tolerate until… like whenever we’re hungry, until we’re full, and then we stop, and we live our life, and we stop worrying about it. Or is that too optimistic?
JJ Virgin: That is not optimistic at all. That’s actually what happens. Now, it’s a tough sell to tell people that because they’re like (inaudible 00:14:45made a noise), okay? And then the butterflies will fly around youand the dust will come down. I mean, it’s sound too good to be true, but in reality we know that the drug-like effects of gluten and dairy and the fructose impact totally destroy your appetite control center. And when you reclaim that and get rid of the cravings, which can happen so quickly, you do get to this point where you’re just not hungry.And you don’t have this thing where, I mean, I used to be governed — full disclosure — I used to be governed during the day by when I was going get a loaf of sourdough bread.Because I was eating fat-free, you see, so I could have as much sourdough bread. And when I was going to get my frozen yogurt, again fat-free, and when I was going to have my diet sodas. And in my days back when I was a personal trainer and I would just like jump through, that was great fast snack food, and I snacked all day long, too, because I was starving all the time and craving. And what a nightmare to be governed by food addiction like that. And our food supply is set up to create these problems for us. It’s set up to make us need to eat every two to three hours. We don’t need to eat every two to three hours. That’s just silly. If your body’s working correctly and you’ve eaten food in a balanced way so that your body is now able to access stored food for energy, you should not have to eat every two to three hours. If you do and you are, you’ve got some damage in your metabolism or you just did a booboo with what you ate. You did not eat a hormonal winner as I would say.
Jonathan Bailor: A brilliant point, JJ, and one that I want to celebrate for a second because it’s seemingly obvious when we make it explicit, but our culture hasn’t. And that is, if we’re storing extra fat on our body and we’re perpetually hungry that seems to indicate that there’s an underlying problem because couldn’t our body just eat some food off on our hips rather than food that went through our lips?
JJ Virgin: Right. Not if you’re fat stores are locked. And if you’re eating a higher carbohydrate, pro-inflammatory diet all throughout the day, that means insulin’s staying up, you’ve perturbed your insulin metabolism. Remember if insulin’s up, the message to your body is hey, incoming. We’ve got all we need, we don’t need to access stored fat for fuel because we’re cool here. So it’s such a nightmare to be hungry and over fat and know that you’ve just eaten and wondering why, you know, what’s going on. Fructose is the biggest problem for that. I mean, we know fructose –it’s so funny because you read the story of fructose, they go it’s great for diabetics, it doesn’t raise insulin. I’m like, oh my gosh, it’s great for diabetics because it bypasses the normal signalingsystem and just goes straight to the liver and says make fat. Is this great? That doesn’t sound great to me.
So, you know, fructose is the worse because our body adapts to higher and higher levels of fructose and as it adapts it just completely destroys the appetite messaging center so you can’t hear insulin, leptin, and ghrelin, which means that you’re having that fruit juice they just said it was fine for you to have. I just heard a big famous diet doctor on a national show say, “A glass of juice is fine.” I’m like, fine? I can’t think of any situation where I think a glass of juice is fine. Honestly. I honestly can’t. I would never say that’s fine. To me that’s like a soda. If you look at something at apple juice which is a higher fructose to glucose ratio, apple juice is worse than a Coke. Okay? So, you know, you look at those things and your body is adapting now to that so it’s just getting better and better and better at storing fat. This is not what we want to teach our bodies to be good at.
Jonathan Bailor: Brilliant, no brilliant. And you’ve touched on a subject here, JJ that I want to dig into and I think you’re uniquely qualified to talk about and that is this moderation myth, as both you and I call it. And the reason I want to talk with you about it is I know in addition to being just brilliant in the public eye and also just brilliant from a scientific perspective, you are also a proprietor of a family. And you’ve got to take care of kids, and there’s all these complicating factors, and is this actually realistic for someone to do, and are you saying I can never trick or treat or have a birthday party. So how does this myth of moderation work in the real world?
JJ Virgin: You know what’s so great about all of this is the healthier you eat, the worse the bad stuff tastes, and the more it hurts you. So, one cool thing about having kids is that they don’t go to the store. So, if it’s in the house, they eat it, and if it’s not there, they don’t. Now granted, they do go to school, but again, for the part that I have control over, they’re eating really healthy, and they tend to make healthier choices. Now, the whole moderation issue falls apart when you blow up the calorie idea. Because in the calorie idea, moderation would be fine because you’re having just a little bit. But when you start to look beyond that food intolerance, and you realize that it’s the little bit that can create the huge response that creates the inflammatory response. Case in point, I was addicted to, and it’s tough for me because I don’t have the addiction gene which is this DRD2 gene. I’ve done all my genetic testing, I’m not an addictive person. We can all become addicted. Foods are designed to be addictive. So, I want to throw out to you because if you’re trapped in this, this is not your fault. It is now because now you know better.Prior to this, you were really a victim of the food companies and what they’ve created to keep you buying food. And so I was totally hooked on Americanos with the foamy milk on top and I was having just a little bit, but every day I had to beeline to get this and if I didn’t have it I was destroyed. I was so frustrated. It was funny, I did a food sensitivity test and I showed a sky high reaction of +5 to diary, and I’m having literally (inaudible 00:20:57 tape cut off) twice a day. So I’m having maybe a fourth of a cup and that’s what’s creating it. Now isn’t that a moderate amount? But it’s the little bit that you’re having that’s having a big impact.
So moderation doesn’t work and it really doesn’t work in foods that have an addictive property like gluten, like dairy, all the processed foods, sugar, because that little bit just keeps you wanting more and more and more. And as we know in food intolerance, the immune response actually creates its own addictive set of properties. So a great takeaway for all of that is if there’s a food as I’m talking that you’re going all right, JJ, so I’ll cool it on the corn, like who cares. Soy, no problem. What’s one of the other ones, peanut butter, okay, I’ll switch to almond butter because we do all these healthy swaps. I’m willing to leave out the eggs for a while, maybe do some smoothies. But the cheese, you know, if there’s you’re going, or the bread or the pasta, if you’re thinking that, that’s your kryptonite, that’s your issue, that’s the one that’s got to go. And again, it’s only for three weeks. This allows your immune system to cool off so you can connect the dots and see this. But what’s so exciting about that is that you can feel entirely different in three weeks, and actually in seven days, and that’s why we say drop seven foods and seven pounds just seven pounds.
When you pull out foods that you’re intolerant to, the results are so fast and so dramatic it’s crazy. Because your body, again, the first couple of days you’re going to crave the very foods that hurt you, but then after that it’s like boom. The inflammation has gone down, your focus is better, your skin clears up, your joints stop hurting, you’re not bloated and gassy, you’re dropping weight, but you’re free from those cravings that have been governing your life, and you’re actually starting to get your appetite to resume again. You know, it takes about three days for you to start to shift that whole fructose issue, you know, so as you’re dropping your fructose load down, and you’re starting to have your body buildhear your appetite again. The same with getting the gluten down. All these things that perturb your whole appetite-signaling centers.
Jonathan Bailor: It seems like quelling that inflammatory response. One, it’s exciting because I can see how that can be done so much more quickly. If you have a loud noise blaring in your ear, as soon as you turn it off, it’s done. It’s not like now your ear has to do something, it’s quick, and it’s fast. Whereas burning fat, of course, is going to take time.Have you found that this immediate food quality switch enables people to then… it gives them that boost and that positive reinforcement they need to keep it up?
JJ Virgin: So, what’s so critical, and it was a big mindset shift for me. I was working with a doctor for years, Dr. Diane Schwartz Bynum, and her whole gig was you have to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy, and that it might take you three to six months while you’re healing your adrenals and getting rid of the insulin resistance before you lose any weight. That’s a tough sell. And I know from the research. You know, try telling that to someone. They’ll go well, I think I’ll just go to Jenny Craig and lose five pounds this week instead, you know. People we know from the research really need to see a fast result to get in the game to get the nose of the camel in the tent before the whole camel comes in. So what I love about this is that you do see results so quickly. Now, the results are going to vary. I’ve seen people lose 2 pounds, and I’ve seen people lose 12 pounds in the first week, and it really has to do with what’s going on with you metabolically. Because as we know in weight loss resistance, which is my field, there are other areas that can be, you know, create problems here. Everything from insulin resistance to thyroid issues to sex hormone imbalances to other gut issues like candida and small intestinal bacteria overgrowth and an extreme toxic burden.But it’s interesting because a lot of those start to correct while you correct your food. So some of the adrenal stress issues, well I mean eating the wrong food creates stress in the body, eating the wrong food creates insulin issues. The stress feeds back on your thyroid, so you get a lot of stuff happening quickly which is why I see this as a great foundation. And then you can look and kind of go where am I now? Do I need to now go work with a functional doctor on, you know, hormone balance, on more advanced detox strategies?
But this to me is the first line of defense for starting any health program. And really, when you look at medical elimination diets have been around how long?I love someone who’s like, this is a fad. I go medical elimination diets have been around for decades. All I did was package this in a user-friendly way because as we know from our wonderful doctor pals, they tend to make things complicated and boring and I just made it fun and easy to do. That’s all.
Jonathan Bailor: And when it comes to user-friendly, JJ, you mentioned some substitutions. So for some of these key inflammatory foods, like let’s say pasta for example or like a bread. Are there substitutions we can make or is it just nothing like pasta ever again?
JJ Virgin: Yeah, wouldn’t that work well? Never have that again. I realize it’s your favorite food, no. So I mean first off, it’s just three weeks because after three weeks you’re going to connect the dots and find out where this food fits into your diet. Is it something you can have occasionally, you need to avoid altogether. You’ll be empowered and you’ll make that decision and customize the diet for your health for the long term. But one of the key things here, and I know you’ve probably seen this too. I discovered that if you tell people what to take out and you don’t tell them what to put in, some of things they put in were worse than the first thing. Right?
Jonathan Bailor: Yeah.
JJ Virgin: Besides it’s just me. So I looked at every single thing I was having people pull out and I give simple swaps for all of those things. Now, pasta’s such an easy one. I got to tell you, don’t you love quinoa pasta?
Jonathan Bailor: Well, I don’t eat quinoa pasta, but…
JJ Virgin: Oh, I think quinoa pasta is… It’s better than regular pasta.
Jonathan Bailor: Yeah.
JJ Virgin: Now, I’m not, I’m sort of a Paleo plus gal so theonly thing I eat in the slow low carbs are legumes, but I have put some in my new cookbook and I mean it’s amazing tasting because we made the other day. I’m like, this is really good. So quinoa pasta taste better than regular pasta, for those of you who like it. And I love that because it’s a seed, it’s got more protein. I got to tell you, I haven’t found, I know there’s Paleo breads and all these, I’m not a fan of the gluten-free breads. I think they’re just icky. So the same with pizza crust. I’m like, there are just certain things that just don’t work well, but why not just use a lettuce wraphonestly. It’s so easy. So, I mean we do a lettuce wrap. If you’re doing dairy, you can actually make an amazing cheese out of cashews.
Jonathan Bailor: Oh, wow.
JJ Virgin: It’s incredible. We have a salt and pepper cashew cheese, rock cashew cheese that’s just phenomenal. As far as eggs go, I have people start the day with a smoothie. That’s easy.
Jonathan Bailor: Yeah.
JJ Virgin: You know, if they’re using butter they can just use avocado. If they’re using peanuts, the tree nuts are better. So we give simple swaps all the way through, but what’s interesting there is we’re creatures of habit. We all are. We all have our things we eat all of the time, and when you switch people and show them these different things, the number one issue I have with this plan is not what people would think it is. Like once someone makes the decision, they get their hope back. So I think for so many people they just lost hope. They tried all these silly things like eating six times a day and finishing the night. Because there is one popular diet out there says you can have chocolate-covered pretzels as a snack and that a diet soda is fine, it’s the habits around it that are the problem. I kid you not. I won’t name names, but that upset me. But, you know, once you… I go on this terror, andI’m like what was I even talking about with this? Do you remember because I don’t?
Jonathan Bailor: How empowering it can be and once you make this transition…
JJ Virgin: Oh, thank you. Okay. So once you get your hope back, you realize wow this is entirely different than anything I’ve ever heard. Like, I’m so excited for your book to come out for people to go okay. It’s all about the food quality. It’s while calories count, once you shift what you’re eating, it’s a non-issue because you just eat, you’re full. You don’t overeat because these foods are set up to make you overeat, quality foods aren’t. So, once you get into this and break into this whole thing. The issue I have with people is after they go on three weeks, and they’re now supposed to challenge back these foods, they like the swaps so much better because again we’re just changing habits. Right? All of a sudden they’re doing coconut milk instead of soy milk, and they’re like well this taste better. The challenge I have is they don’t want to then go into that phase where they’re going to test and see how they do with the top high tolerance foods because they’re just like I just want to stay here, I like it, you know. And honestly, I think we’d all be better if we didn’t eat gluten, if we didn’t eat corn, if we didn’t eat soy. I don’t know why you bother with peanuts that waste. You know, if you ever touched artificial sweetener, if you really kept unwrapped sugar out of your diet, and you saw really if dairy worked for you, and if it does it’s grass fed and it’s fermented. And if eggs worked they’re pastured. I think we’re better off there.But I do want you to connect those dots, so I do want you to know. Like I know that if I eat gluten, my fingers are swollen. I know it, you know. If I eat dairy, my face breaks out. This is great information for people to have because then they don’t look at food and say, you know, I come from the diet world, Jonathan. I was good today, I was bad today. I was like stop, stop. Worse is going oh you know what, I’m going to skip that because I know what it does to me, it hurts me.That’s a whole different thing.
And plus then all those diet sabotagers out there who really don’t want to eat the cake without seeing you eat it, too. Whenyou say, you know, I wish I could eat that, but I will wake up tomorrow morning, I won’t be able to walk. My knees will be swollen. People pester you to like things, too.
Jonathan Bailor: JJ, that… No, okay you can borrow my virus analogy if I can use that example. Because that’s the number one thing I’ve seen people struggle with is if you say you’re a vegan or a vegetarian and you pass on something, no one judges you or thinks less of you. But if you just say… someone brought a birthday cake into the office or into the classroom and you just say no I’m not going to have any people are like oh wellexcuse me, you’re better than me, okay. But it sounds like you, just say it again because that’s brilliant. So I’m in a situation where I’m avoiding foods that I’m intolerant of. Give us some talking points to make people not give us a hard time.
JJ Virgin: And I love that. I love that analogy because no one goes to a vegan, you just eat this chicken right now missy.
Jonathan Bailor: What you think you’re better than me, exactly right.
JJ Virgin: You are. You know. You Paleo person, eat the bread. You know, like no one does that. But here’s the thing, we don’t mess with people who have medical conditions. So when you say, you know, I wish I could eat that, but I’m intolerant to it, and if I do it’s going to make my joints get inflamed, and then I can’t walk tomorrow. They’re not going to say oh just have a piece of cake anyway. Right? Well my mother does, but she’s different. My mother was so distraught that I could not eat dairy. And I go, mom I struggled with acne for 30 years, you know this. And I fixed it in a week when I finally got the dots connected with the dairy thing. Oh, honey just a little bit, food is the best pleasure in life. I’m like mom, you know, I’m not, you know, but it was just because she wanted to. My mom is one of those people that wants the dessert, so here’s another pearl, she wants the dessert, she wants to eat the whole dessert, but she doesn’t want it to seem like she’s eating the whole dessert, so she always wants to share the dessert. So if you just say, hey, you know, let’s get it and she’ll go well I’m only going to eat half of it. And I go, well you can eat half of it and leave it. Oh no, that’s a waste of money, maybe they’ll only bring me half. I’m like, well have them bring you half and charge you for the whole thing. But so I just say, oh let’s get it, we’ll share it and, you know, the thing is she never notices that I didn’t eat it anyway right because she’s too busy gobbling it all down.
So the other thing I would say there is if you don’t make a big deal of it, they won’t make a big deal of it. If you know that you’ve got a known obnoxious food pusher who’s not going to leave you alone take the cake, set it down somewhere, yak away, and don’t make an issue of it.You know, it’s just like if you’re at a party and you’re the one not drinking, everyone’s drinking, if you make a big issue of it, oh my God, they’re going to be like spiking your punch. But if you make no issue of it and you’re holding on to a drink and, you know, it’s sparkling mineral water with a lime, they don’t know what it is and you shut up, no one will bug you. So it’s really about explaining that it’s really hurting youand damaging your health as the first key. And then also not becoming an obnoxious–as much as I love people to pay it forward and share the information — you also don’t want to be an obnoxious evangelist. Right?A better than thou one…
Jonathan Bailor: And that’s just brilliant here, JJ, because when you say I have a medical condition no one can say, oh well, I feel bad about myself because I’m not doing that to you. You take it off the level of…
JJ Virgin: I’m better.
Jonathan Bailor: …discipline. Exactly.
Jonathan Bailor: It’s more like I wish I could eat bread, I wish I could, but I can’t and good for you for being able to. Almost. I mean obviously we would never say that, but that’s the mental image the person will get.
JJ Virgin: Yes.
Jonathan Bailor: JJ, you mentioned a cashew cheese which is spectacular and that led me to ask what’s next for you? What are you formulating next in your arsenal of helping people to overcome food intolerance?
JJ Virgin: Can you tell that I’m working on a cookbook (inaudible 00:34:53) all the steps. So the biggest… There are two things that came out of The Virgin Diet, and so these are my next two books. Because I think the easiest thing that you do is just give people what they ask for, right? So they wereasking for all these recipes. Now, my idea of cooking is like cook a chicken, get some salad greens, put it on top, and add some avocado, and lather, rinse, repeat, right? But, I actually came from the culinary world. When I was graduating from college, I was either going to go to graduate school and exercise science or the culinary institute because I catered my way through college. And I’ve had food businesses all along the way. So I worked with a team of amazing chefs because the way I cook I’m like just throwing stuff in, and they’re like no you actually have to write down amounts. Okay. So we have the most amazing cookbook, and what I did that I think is fun and unique is The Virgin Diet. You know, I’m kind of a Paleo plus gal, but The Virgin Diet is agnostic. We embrace vegans all the way to Paleos, you can dash on it, you know, whatever one’s your plan,and we embrace you. And so we made this so that it fits with anybody’s diet religion, and then we created meal plans for the Paleo, for the family on a budget, on the go, vegans, diabetic. So that you can then take all the different things and fit them in and know how to work it for what works for you.
And then I also–it’s fun writing a cookbook because it’s sort of a hybrid. It’s sort of not just cookbook. What I did was everything that had come up since The Virgin Diet, all the big questions, which I thought I had already nailed from all the times I’d done this online but I didn’t. The difference from a couple of thousand people doing your program to hundreds of thousands of people doing your program is you get a couple of more questions. So the book, we really took all those questions and then just, the book’s got chapters of new information and then 150 incredible recipes and loads of meal plans and great resources. And so that comes out in February. The other book that comes out in, I was dying, my nose was itching. I’m like just don’t itch it, you’re on video. This is real life baby. So next year right after Halloween, we’re also coming out with The Sugar Virginbecause the other question people asked about was sugar, but you have to wait on that. The big first hit is going to be the cookbook, and we’re launching a series of great cooking videos so it’s going to be all about cooking for the next couple of months.
Jonathan Bailor: Actually, I’m assuming that will also be available for pre-order hopefully. I know…
JJ Virgin: …it will now…
Jonathan Bailor: Now, I love it, I love it.
JJ Virgin: And can I give a little shout out on that? So it’s available now for pre-order. There are a few people who’ve decided that they’d like to ride my brand, and so if you see other things out there that are not by me, they’re not mine. I didn’t endorse them. In fact, I looked at a couple of them and they’ve put some things in that don’t really follow The Virgin Dietdespite using the name. I love this my virgin diet, my 7-day virgin diet, I’m like those are not mine. So, you know, The Virgin Dietand The Virgin Diet Cookbook by JJ Virgin, those are mine. The other ones not mine so buyer beware on that because I did a little review. And I’m like, okay, so you plagiarized my stuff here and then you don’t do the right… and then you throw in some stuff that’s wrong and that just… I don’t want people misled in doing things that won’t work for them. So that’s a little frustrating. So grab the, you can pre-order that. We will doing be a lot of fun stuff with that so you’ll get some cool bonuses and things as we get closer to the launch, too. So stay up on the website because I’m going to be shooting out… we’re already shooting out recipes for the cookbook now so you can get started because who wants to wait. I’m not good with delaying gratification.
Jonathan Bailor: And, JJ, where are people going to get updated on all these things, subscribed, get that info?
JJ Virgin: You know, the best place to go is just to the Virgin–I’m thinking to The Virgin Diet. No, it’s not, Jonathan, jjvirgin.com. We have now got… I was like what are we going to do with all these websites. If you go to jjvirgin.com then you’ll see The Virgin Dietand The Virgin Diet Cookbook,so you’ll get everything, and you’ll get on the list where we send out all of our previews and cool bonuses.
One of the things that I really made a point of doing this past year was trying to get as much free training, free recipes, and free exercise out there so that there was no objection to getting started, you know. So you couldn’t tell me, oh I couldn’t buy the book. I’m like, well first off the book is like what $20 on Amazon. I think it’s $15. But I want people to be able to get started immediately, and I want to get as much information out there. And just like your information is awesome, one of my favorites, and I think it’s really critical for us just to keep feeding people information and letting them hear it, and hear it, and hear it. And also hearing, you know, I always try to support everybody because sometimes they’ll hear me say it and when they hear you say it, you just put that little tweak and they go okay got it.
Jonathan Bailor: And I love that. JJ, I love that. You’re celebrating everyone’s similarities, and you’re supporting because this is really what we’re talking about here is enabling people to live better, and to be happier, and to contribute more fully, and to be a better version of themselves. And why bring any negativity into that at all. Like anyone with that goal seems like they should be celebrated, and if we want to go negative, why not go negative against the people who are producing these edible products that are causing the problem in the first place.
JJ Virgin: Well, that’s why we do all need to band together and get the information out there. I feel like the Internet’s been the great equalizer where now we finally have a voice and share such great information and people are smart, and they want the information, and they’re not falling prey to it anymore. And that’s my biggest message that I want to leave everybody with is, you know, if you’ve been feeling like I’m just stuck and trapped, and I was doing everything right, hopefully what you’ve heard here is that, you know, there’s a different way out there that you may not have heard if you’re listening to more to say some of the more popular media that’s governed a lot by these companies. I always have to modify things when I’m on TV. You know, I’m not out there saying yes eat your whole grains, but I do always have to temper my message a little bit because the food companies control the advertising. That’s why I love my PBS show because I can say what I think, and there’s no advertisers, you know, holding it over on you. But we do have an ability to get this information out. My biggest goal with people listening is that they get their hope back, and they go okay, this sounds like something I can embrace. All those things you were describing from gas and bloating to joint pain to feeling older to poor focus to not being able to lose weight, it’s like check the box. And so I’m going to take the time and get these things out. Swapping healthy foods, let my body cool off, and really connect the dots, and focus on food quality and just free yourself from the calorie prison. Right?
Jonathan Bailor: Boom. I love it. I’m excited, I am excited. Well folks, this has been just brilliant. JJ, thank you so much. I know you a million things going on, so thank you so much for sharing your time with us today. It’s been absolutely fabulous.
JJ Virgin: Oh, thank you. Always a pleasure.
Jonathan Bailor: Well viewers, this is JJ Virgin, the electrifying woman we’ve been joined, had–I’m so excited I don’t even know what I’m saying–who’s joined us today for the past 40 minutes. You can learn more about her at jjvirgin.com. Her first book is The Virgin Dietand her upcoming book,The Virgin Diet Cookbook, sounds like it will be epic. Check it out jjvirgin.com. And remember this week and every week after eat smarter, exercise smarter, and live better. Chat with you soon.