You can lose weight and feel better while doing it! If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, it’s very likely that food intolerance is one of the biggest reasons why. Nutrition and fitness expert, JJ Virgin, joins me to talk about how we can break through the weight loss resistance by investigating our food intolerances and improving our mindset.
Listen to the Episode
Try Removing These 7 Foods From Your Diet for 21 Days
- No Added Sugar
About JJ Virgin
JJ Virgin is a triple-board certified nutrition expert, Fitness Hall of Famer, podcaster, three-time Inc. 5000 founder, and four-time NY Times best-selling author of titles including The Virgin Diet, JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet, and their companion cookbooks. Her latest book is Warrior Mom: 7 Secrets to Bold, Brave Resilience.
JJ hosts the popular Ask the Health Expert podcast, with over 10 million downloads and growing. She also regularly writes for Rodale Wellness, Mind Body Green, and other major blogs and magazines.
JJ is also a business coach and founded the premier health entrepreneur event and community, The Mindshare Summit.
The Food Intolerance Endemic
More and more commonly, people struggle to lose weight. JJ Virgin calls this weight-loss resistance and explains how our society changed the way we eat food – and not necessarily for the better.
Food intolerance is also very prevalent in our society. Our reliance on foods such as gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, peanuts, and added sugar contributes to the growing number of people with food intolerance.
JJ explains how we can assess ourselves at home to see what foods we are intolerant to. First, she recommends cutting out the above list of foods for 21 days. Then, add them back in one at a time for three days, making note of any discomfort you feel in the process.
Adding to Your Diet and Mindset
But it’s not just about cutting these foods out. It’s also about adding cleaner, unprocessed foods back into your diet. JJ explains how we’ve forgotten one of the key premises of nutrition: eating seasonally. Our diets should be seasonal, eating those fruits and vegetables that are in season, and changing regularly.
JJ also dives a bit into how our mindset impacts our ability to improve our health. She says you need to believe that you are absolutely worth making these positive changes, that you’re capable of making them, and that you can be the person you are here to be.
Finally, we talk about the dangers of snacking and how it can impact your digestion process. We also get into the realities of healthy eating on a budget – is it possible? JJ says not only is it possible, but it can also be cheaper!
Do you think you have food intolerances? Are you up for going through JJ Virgin’s 7-day challenge? If you want some extra support during this process, call the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic today and schedule your first appointment at 319-363-0033.
“I believe that the single, quickest way to make a change, and that we need a quick win to get in the game and stay in the game, is to change what’s on the end of your fork.” [11:23]
“I’ve always felt like eggs are nature’s perfect food. You are what you eat and you are what you eat, ate. Eggs started out as nature’s perfect food but we have turned them into a nightmare with what we have done to chickens. With the chickens being jammed with hormones, being cooped up, put on antibiotics, and given GMO, soy, and corn feed, that’s what you’re getting, too.” [16:09]
“In the 19th century, we were eating 5 lbs of sugar, per person, per year. At the turn of the 20th century, it was 150 lbs of sugar, per person, per year. We have really done some major damage to our bodies.” [17:58]
“One of the key premises of nutrition that has gotten lost is that we should be eating seasonal, local, organic, and rotating our foods. We’re not supposed to be eating the same foods all the time.” [18:40]
“It is not everything in moderation, especially with food intolerance. With food intolerance, it is the little bit, every day, the moderation that creates the problem. If you knew something was creating inflammation, would you want a little bit of it every day? That moderation myth is a huge problem.” [40:50]
In This Episode
- What weight loss resistance is [6:45]
- What you need to know about food intolerance [11:15]
- The seven foods to remove from your diet [15:45]
- Why food intolerance is so prevalent in our society [17:17]
- Why we need to be eating more seasonal produce [18:30]
- How to assess yourself for food intolerances [21:00]
- How your mindset needs to change [36:55]
- The problem with snacking [43:00]
- The reality of eating healthy on a budget [45:30]
Links & Resources
JJ Virgin 0:02
I believe that the single quickest way to make a change to get in the game and stay in the game right is to change it to the end of your fork.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:12
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from JJ virgin, this is going to be a real treat. Today we're going to dive into why food intolerance is the real cause of weight gain. Let's get started.
Welcome to another episode of The your longevity blueprint podcast today. My guest is JJ virgin. She's a triple board certified nutrition expert fitness Hall of Famer podcaster three times Inc. 5000. Founder and four times New York Times bestselling author of titles including the Virgin diet, JJ virgin sugar impact diet and their companion cookbooks. Her latest book is warrior mom's seven secrets to bold, brave resilience. JJ hosts the popular ask the health expert podcast with over 10 million downloads and growing. She also regularly writes for Rodel wellness, MindBodyGreen, and other major blogs and magazines. JJ is also a business coach and founded the premier health entrepreneur event and community the mindshare Summit.
Welcome to the show, JJ. Glad to be here. So in my book, Your longevity blueprint, I'm comparing our homes and how we maintain them to our bodies. So in chapter one, I compare the foundation of the home to the gastrointestinal system and the body, you have to have a strong foundation upon which to build great health. And part of building get great gastrointestinal health involves removing inflammatory foods and gut infections. We've talked a little bit about that on the show. But today, we're going to dive into why food intolerance is the real cause of weight gain. We haven't made that connection yet to weight gain. So
JJ Virgin 1:52
let's make it let's make it now.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:55
So tell us JJ, how did you discover that tell us the story behind the Virgin diet book?
JJ Virgin 2:00
Yeah, it's funny, because I never would have guessed this one either. And what happened was, I was teaching this course for doctors and healthcare practitioners called overcoming weight loss resistance. And I was really obsessed with like, what are all the things that could get in the way of you losing weight and cause you to gain weight because it became very clear to me 30 plus years ago, that our body isn't a bank account. It's a chemistry lab, but I was having clients, you know, cut calories and exercise. And sometimes it worked great. And sometimes it didn't work at all. And once I got past the idea that they might be cheating and realize that no, there was something going on with their metabolism, then I started to dig into what that could be. And so fast forward, I was on the Dr. Phil Show, and he had a chapter in his book called weight loss resistance. And I thought, what is that? And so that's where it all started.
Now I'm teaching this course. And in this course, I was working with a lab company, and they had a food sensitivity test. So I was working with doctors using this test. And I had the opportunity to go into a lot of offices and do this test. And so here's what would happen, people would come into the office, and they would be complaining about headaches and joint pain and fatigue and skin problems and gas and bloating, you know, the typical things, right? And we would do this food sensitivity test. Now we were doing the food sensitivity test, because I found that when people saw what was written on it was really easy to get them to stick to a healthy diet. And so they'd walk in with those complaints. We do the food sensitivity test. And I would wait three weeks because that's how long would take for the test to come back. And then we'd see which foods weren't working for them. And I put them on that program. Well, after a couple months, I realized that the same foods kept showing up and that we were waiting three weeks, so I might as well just pull them out. And then when they come back in three weeks, I could fine tune it. So what happened during those three weeks is the average person lost seven pounds in the first week, which was just crazy. Yeah.
And back in the whole diet. Well, they're like, oh, that's water weight. I'm like it's inflammation. It's like your D inflaming quickly, right. But beyond them just losing that inflammation quickly. Joint pain was going away, headaches, were going away gas and bloating was going away. Their skin was clearing up. I remember one gal I had this famous singer, and I didn't know she was on the program. She was on the show the doctors and her co stars were talking about how she'd gone and gotten some work done. She goes No I didn't I just went on the Virgin diet. I'm like, you can't pay for that kind of publicity. Right? You know, but that's that's how quickly this works when you pull it out. Well, what happened was I kind of went, you know what, we actually don't need to do the tests at all you can take the most common foods because that's what I kept seeing over and over again, is that it was really six foods that were causing the problems. And then another one sort of as an outlier, which I'll explain.
And that was in 90% of all the cases it was at least a couple of the six foods of not all of them and so it is focused on that and stopped bothering with the testing, unless people didn't feel remarkably better within three weeks. And then I would have you go back and re challenge each food to really connect the dots to figure out which foods work for you which foods don't. And this is a key component that makes us different than, say, a diet. And in fact, when I wrote The Virgin diet, I didn't want to call it a diet, but my publishers are like, you have to call it a diet, because that's what people look for diets. And I'm like, okay, but it's really not a diet. It's a process of self discovery to figure out which foods work for you which foods don't in reality is that the opposite. It's an anti diet, it's helping you create an eating plan that will work for you.
So you don't have to diet as a hobby, right. So that's how this whole thing happened. And again, it all happened because I was doing this testing, you know, to work on these other symptoms, and the side effect was rapid weight loss, but weight loss that changed the whole way that you, you looked and felt and helped you really pinpoint which foods were the best foods for you, which is entirely different than how most people do things. And the key thing that's come out about weight loss, it's really interesting is that the studies show that people who lose weight quickly tend to lose more weight and keep it off.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 6:13
I read that in your book. Yeah. I didn't know that.
JJ Virgin 6:15
Yeah, I loved it when I saw that study, because it used to be that you had to lose weight really slowly. And I remember I was working with one doctor early on helping her with their online programs. And she said, you know, you have to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy. Well, I think you do both. I think you lose weight and get healthy. And I think you get healthy to lose weight, you heal your metabolism to lose weight. But you know, if it's so slow, people lose their motivation,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 6:39
and want to get to those foods that you had your clients take out of their diet. But first I want to go back to weight loss resistance. So what is weight loss resistance?
JJ Virgin 6:47
Weight loss resistance is one of my favorite terms that still to this day I've been talking about for 20 years. And I finally just thought, you know, maybe it's easier just to call this weight regain. It is those things that make it hard for you to lose weight, or you lose weight, and then bam, weight comes right back up again. And so plastically as I started to dig into this, and I went, Well, why aren't my clients losing weight? Who are doing seemingly doing everything? Right? They're eating healthy, they're exercising, and they're still stuck? What is it kind of going with that whole idea? Because first thing I thought is, well, what if it's not a mathematics equation, and I love things where I can go, Okay, if I take 500 calories off here, and we do it for a week, we lose a pound, which only works in a very metabolically healthy person. And nowadays with 75% of the population overweight or obese with so much stress, and so many sleep issues, and so many toxins, that's about no one, you know, I mean, they're very few metabolically Healthy People, right. So I started to dig into well, what if we're not a bank account model here? We're a chemistry lab? And what are all the things that would impact that chemistry lab? Well, gosh, when the biggest ones asleep, you know, just one quartz one night poor sleep, and you're going to be more insulin resistant.
So you can be better at storing fat worse and burning it off, you're going to crave more sugar, and you're going to be hungry, or you're gralen actually is elevated. So you're hungry craving sugar, and better at storing fat. That's like the trifecta of disaster right there. Right? And stress has a similar impact. And I mean, like, just like this last year, where I think we probably heard, like the average weight gain was 20 pounds plus, I mean, are you kidding? Yeah. And so you could say, oh, people were just at home eating all these terrible foods. And it's like, well, is that really what happened? Or was it the stress that then impacted their sleep, that impacted their gut that impacted their cravings, all of those different things. And I would argue it's probably way more of a stress impact than of course, insulin, blood sugar and insulin. You know, as I'm talking through these, you kind of go, oh, wait, they all go together, like poor sleeps makes you more insulin resistant, you're more insulin resistant, you're gonna have elevated blood sugar. But insulin resistance, of course, is a huge problem, because it basically means that you can't access stored fat for fuel.
So you know, it's like you're trying to lose weight, you want to lose fat, right? That's what you really want lose body fat. And then toxins. You know, it's interesting when they looked at the enhanced study, and they're trying to correlate obesity with diabetes, what they found was it wasn't the body fat that was increasing people's risk of diabetes, it was the toxins stored in the body fat, they're increasing the risk of diabetes. So you look at what toxins do, they can impair your thyroid function, they can impair or they can get you more Xeno estrogens that are going to make you better at storing fat as well increase your cancer risk, you know, they can push insulin. So toxins are a huge one, and then that pulls you over to thyroid. And, I mean, we have an epidemic of hypothyroidism. That's just crazy what's going on.
And then I mentioned you know, estrogens, you know, like, if you look at menopause, which now has become a disease in our country, which should be something that if you look at like the Okanagan One women who don't have all these words for menopause that we do and all the hot flashes, because they sail through it versus us going through it with all the Xeno estrogens and, and the stress, etc. We have major issues with sex hormone imbalances that started early on, like, you know, we shouldn't have infertility problems and heavy periods, we shouldn't have PMS. These are issues with hormone imbalances. So you look at all of those things, then you, Paul also pull in genetics, although when you really look at genetics, if at the turn of the 19th century, we had half percent of the population who was obese, and now it's over 43% of us are obese.
That's not genetics, because your genes, right 100 years, you know, so while there might be some genetic issues with say, insulin and vitamin D, and short sleeping, I always struggle with the genetics piece of it, because the last 100 years really tells the story. I mean, the big biggest shift in the last 100 years is massive toxins, lots of sugar, you know, all these electronic gadgets, lots of lights, all the things I just talked about, are created problems created weight loss resistance from the way we live.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 11:13
Wow, okay, well, let's go back to food intolerance. And if your belief is that that is one of the solutions to weight loss resistance, so tell us what is food intolerance,
JJ Virgin 11:22
I believe that the single quickest way to make a change, and that we need a quick win to get in the game and stay in the game, right, is to change it to the end of your fork. And what I discovered early on is that most of us are trying to eat healthy, but a lot of times those healthy foods are actually hurting us. And if you look at like what is being proposed to be healthy, which one of the things I'm talking about in my next book is the difference between a clean processed food and a dirty processed food because processed foods are here to stay, I mean, the black beans in the can were processed, right. But there's a big difference between a black bean and the can and a black bean chip.
You know, what makes it clean or dirty, processed. What I see with a lot of people's they're trying to eat healthy, but these are foods that are not working for them. And it all starts with something called leaky gut. And again, the way I started to see this was I would look at these food sensitivity tests. And really, it's a it's a delayed reaction to a food. And it's happening because your gut, which should be semi permeable membrane gets more permeable gets leaky, and it gets leaky because of things like stress. Stress is probably one of the biggest things, pain medications, do it toxins do it. So a lot of the processed foods can create problems for it, antibiotics, right, so you look at all of the things that can cause your gut to get leaky are one of the biggest ones, two of the biggest ones are fructose, and gluten. And when you look at processed foods, it's hard to find processed foods that don't have one, if not both of those things. And I say one, if not both, because now they have all that gluten free junk food.
So they'll pull the gluten out and they'll say oh, now with fructose as if it's a good thing. But those make your gut more permeable, as well. If your guts more permeable, and you're eating the same things all the time, which in our diet, we are, when you're eating a processed food diet, you're gonna end up with corn and soy and peanuts, and eggs, and dairy and gluten. And when you're eating those things on a regular basis, and they're getting out into circulation, where they don't belong, because your guts more permeable, and you're also not digesting your foods, the way you should be, you're not taking time at meals, you're drinking too many fluids with meals, your enzymes are lowered because of stress, or aging. And so now these particles get out your body goes What on earth is that doing here and launches an immune attack against it. And so you have these little particles, these little proteins that are out because it's the proteins that are wreaking havoc, your body launches some antibodies to grab ahold of them, they form a little complex. Now in the perfect world, you have very few of these to macrophages, little PacMan, eat them and get rid of them.
But when it's little bits all the time, like that little bit of dairy you put into your coffee, you know the little bit of cheese you put in your salad, when you're having a little bit over time, your body can't get rid of it, those complexes build up. And then you have the joint pain and headaches and the gas and bloating and what's the worst about all this is you start to crave the very foods that are hurting you. Because now your body is ready for this. It's got the antibody and if you're not eating it, your body's like hey, hey, hey, feed me that feed me that. So you actually start to crave the very foods that are hurting you and one things I tell people is it's a great sign when you pull these foods out the first couple days and you're craving the cheese you're craving the bread because that is a sign of having the food intolerance. Now the other food I mentioned six but I talked about drop seven foods lose seven pounds, just seven days and it's really actually not drop. It's dropped those seven foods swap them for healing foods, but it's seven not six because when I first started doing this program I did as an online program and I didn't have sugar in there. Now, I'm not a big sweet tooth person.
Genetically I don't have sweet tooth. I would much rather have salty over sweet. So I didn't think about it. I was like just trade your cow's milk dairy for some almond milk or your pasta for some rice pasta. This is easy. Like we'll just do this don't have the eggs for breakfast have a smoothie. What I didn't realize is him pulling those things out. They started putting more sugar in and the problem was sugar is it's going to again, the fructose can make your gut leakier. And of course, sugar feeds the bacteria, the bad bacteria in your gut microbiome. So it can disrupt your gut microbiome feeding the bacteria that actually can extract more calories from the food you eat and storm as fat so wreaks all kinds of havoc for me not saying hey, you need to pull it out. They're like cool, I can have more so so it became brought seven foods.
And while I say for the first six gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy peanuts, it has to be 100% What I say is no added sugar. And so you can have things like blueberries, right and tomato sauce that are going to have some natural sugars in them. But you're not going to be jamming in some sugar into the foods that you eat right, you're not gonna be adding it. And a big question I get Stephanie is about eggs. And, you know, I've always felt like eggs are like nature's perfect food. One thing we have to think about is you are what you eat, and you are what you eat ate. And while eggs started out as nature's perfect food, we have turned them into a nightmare with what we have done to these chickens. And so if a chickens being jammed with hormones, and cooped up and put on antibiotics, and given GMO soy, and corn feed, that's what you're getting to.
So right what I find with a lot of people is aches can be a trigger for autoimmune disease and for eczema and psoriasis, specifically, but for a lot of people, once we get their gut healed, they can go and eat clean eggs. And when I say clean eggs, it's really the best thing of all would be to have chickens in your backyard. I don't think my neighbors would dig that very much, though. But to find a local, a local chicken rancher and get clean eggs or to get the pastured eggs because that makes all the difference in the world.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 17:07
So how common Do you think these food intolerances are in your in your opinion?
JJ Virgin 17:10
I think almost everybody has them. Why? For a variety of reasons. Number one, because of all of the reasons that your gut gets more permeable stress. I mean, our kids shouldn't be stressed like a kid should never talk about being anxious. Why should the kid be anxious unless they're like worried about a test? You know, I mean, stress is a big one, of course, using agave and fructose sweeteners and using gluten in so many things to make foods taste better. So all the processed foods that have the gluten and corn gluten and fructose in them that's interrupting your gut, and then all the different pain medications that also impact your gut. So we've done a lot to really damage our gut. And then all the processed foods that have the same foods when you over and over and over gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy peanuts, with all the added sugars. Turns out 19th century we were eating by pounds of sugar per person per year, at the turn of the 20th century it was. So it's like the 1900s versus 2000. It was 150 pounds of sugar per person per year. So we have really done some major damage to our bodies.
And it starts at a young age. I mean, now I think one in five kids is obese. I remember growing up there was no obese kid in my school, there was one girl who was a little overweight. And everybody was like, you know, that was like a big thing. Everybody made fun of her, which is awful. But you know, think about now it's normal. So that's the first part is we've damaged our gut. And we're eating the same foods. One of the key premises and nutrition that has gotten lost is that we should be eating seasonal, local, organic and rotating our foods. We're not supposed to be eating the same stuff all the time. We're not supposed to be able to eat the same things because they got shipped in so we can get them all year all the time, right.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 19:00
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JJ Virgin 20:32
Yeah, that would be a really horrible book would knit, here's all the things wrong with you bye. The first thing that you do is of course, you pull those foods out. And before you even do that, what I like to do is assess your food intolerance level. So I always like to look at all of the symptoms of food intolerance, because I believe before we start to go do all the labs, let's use our let's be our own personal detective, let's use our own body. So let's look at all of the things that could be signs and symptoms of food intolerance and give you a score. So again, things like gas and bloating and joint pain and headaches, fatigue and autoimmune disease, inability to lose weight cravings. So that's where I start, then first thing is to pull out those foods 100% 100% on the gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy peanuts, and then you're not going to add sugar. And if you do eat something that is an acceptable clean process, there's no more than five grams of sweetener in there. And less is better. When I first started doing this, it was so much harder. There was oat milk was not a thing. You know, there's there were very few options. When
Dr. Stephanie Gray 21:38
was like 15 years ago, 10 year, I looked at the date on your book, which is at least 10 years ago. So when was
JJ Virgin 21:43
the book was published nine years ago. And I know that because we're going to do a new book, The Virgin antidote for its 10th year anniversary next year. Wow. But you know, I was doing this for years before that and re trying to get people just finding like gluten free pastas and gluten free tortillas, it was so hard and we would have to get coconut milk in the Asian section of the grocery store in a can. And you know, now it's exploded. So it is so much easier. But I say with a caveat like I'm going to walk through some simple swaps. You have to be careful that you did not just trade one thing for a junk food because it is really easy to go Alright, I'm going gluten free. And I remember this so well. Stephanie, I had a client who was probably 20 years ago, and she was a dancer and everyone thought she was anorexic.
She wasn't anorexic, she was undiagnosed celiac disease. And she was literally like, so skinny, and she was stuffing herself with gluten. And I remember I was like, you know, here's what we're gonna try first. Let's just give this a go. And she went from eating all the gluten free cupcakes and all that garbage to going I found gluten free cookies and cupcakes like Oh, that is not going to do that was not it missed it. So you know, you have to be really, really explicit. But there are so many great options and let's just take like dairy. Oh my gosh, like all the great dairy milks now that you can get. You want to make sure of course that they don't have added sugar in them. But you know, you've got oat milk and flax milk and almond milk and cashew milk and I don't like hemp milk, but you've got that so there's all those
Dr. Stephanie Gray 23:21
options. I bought one of those almond cows have you seen those they make like almond milk in a minute flat, you just push a button, you can make almond milk or oat milk.
JJ Virgin 23:28
Oh and see that's the best of all like, you know making like your cashew cheese at home making your own almond milk, then you really have it perfect and no funky weird additives because you really shouldn't have any additives. And then you look at just some of the cheese's like for Thanksgiving. Every year I make a pumpkin cheesecake with this Kite Hill ricotta, and Kite Hill cream cheese. It's just spectacular. Amazing. So, you know, there's so many options. Now you do need to read the labels because some of them have garbage oils in them and you don't want to load up on omega sixes. But there are a lot of clean options and the cleanest options of all of course are you know, make your own almond milk, make your own cashew cheese, it's actually really, really easy to do. And then you look at gluten, and first of all, we should be eating less carbs overall. Anyway, so that's step one.
Like I'd rather see you trade a burger bun for a lettuce wrap any day and trade pasta for spaghetti squash, but if you're not, I mean there's lentil pasta, there's rice pasta, there's so many options there. And you look at the tortillas now with like siet de and all of their cassava and almonds and coconut. I mean back when I first started this there was one company making these coconut tortillas and you had a special order and they were like six bucks for a tortilla. It was like crazy. You know so that's the easy part. There is gluten and dairy are really quite easy soy so many questionable issues with soy and if you're doing that for the phyto estrogens, there's better options out there. But for soy, coconut aminos are an easy one to do. And I find most people wants to get through that. They can, you know, use a little tomorrow here and there without gluten in it. It's just what you're doing on a regular basis. Corn is just not a health food. It's got its own source of gluten, and it's super high sugar impact. So I'm just not a fan of corn and most of time, it's corn chips and corn tortillas.
And for most people, even something's considered healthy. So you traded your corn chip for a CSA cassava chip, it's still a chip. And if you're eating the bag of chips, then you just turned a healthy food into a bad experience. Right? So I say that you also have to look at your trigger foods. Like for me, Stephanie. Salted crunchy almond butter is my kryptonite, I will stand in the fridge with a spoon. So it's like a Can I have that in the house. But you see how easy some of these things are to swap out. And for eggs. Most people are doing that for breakfast. I find with a lot of us doing intermittent fasting. We're pushing breakfast later anyway. But I have people to a loaded smoothie. So a clean protein powder and a nut milk and some avocado and some berries. And you're good to go.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 26:00
So walk us through this diet, which of course you walk through very well in the book, but you have those who want to try this take all the food that 100% At first, and then how do they walk us through how they reintroduce the foods.
JJ Virgin 26:12
And here's the thing, you're taking these things out for three weeks. This isn't a year. It's three weeks. That's it? That's all you have to do. What is the biggest challenge? I see Stephanie, when people do this, is they do the three weeks and then they're like, Okay, I don't want to stop. And I go well, I want you to do the next part because we really have to figure out which foods work for you and which foods don't. This is where this moves from being a diet to helping you discover really what is your best eating plan which foods work for you and which foods don't because most of us by now know, hey, if I drink a bottle of wine or feel really crappy tomorrow, unless it's dry farms, right? I'm not going to do it. I'm smarter than that. But you don't connect the dots between Oh, I ate the birthday cake last night today, my joints are swollen, you just don't do that. So that's what we're doing is after you've done that time where you detoxed, which when you really look at it, you know, detox can be all sorts of things.
And one of the most powerful detoxes is to detox off things that are hurting you and heal at the same time. So while we're detoxing off these foods that could be hurting us, we're also putting in healing foods, things that are like all the non starchy vegetables and all the bright colored berries that provide the antioxidants to help also reduce the inflammation. Things like apples that are good for gut healing. In the smoothies, we put in avocados that are great with glutathione, again, things that are going to help heal the gut and reduce inflammation. So we're doing we're getting we're detoxing from the things that are hurting us, we're healing the gut.
And when we get through that period, that's really a reset. Now we're going to go in, and we're going to test one by one, each of these foods to again, connect the dots. Does this work for me and or does it not? And so all throughout this plan, and one of the things that I do now with people every single day, it's not in the book, this will be in the next book. This was new information after the book, because I make sure people weigh in every single day. That's good. Yep. The studies are really clear on this, that people who weigh in daily are way better at maintaining their weight. Things don't get too out of hand, right? And then
Dr. Stephanie Gray 28:11
as they reach challenge foods, they can figure out if they're again. Yeah, well, because I had one
JJ Virgin 28:15
woman go, You know what, I feel totally fine. When I include totally fine, my weight went up five pounds. I go, that's not totally fine. Like weight doesn't go up five pounds you did not eat? What would that be my gosh, that would be 15,000 18,000 calories you would have had to eat you didn't need that. And that's as if your body's a bank account. So if all of a sudden your weight goes up, two to three pounds in a day, there's something weird going on, you've got now you've got an inflammatory response going on. Now you're retaining water. So we are going to watch as you're going through this process, we're going to watch your weight. We're going to watch your energy. We're going to watch your mood. We're going to watch headaches and fatigue and cravings, brain fog, gas and bloating, constipation diarrhea, right.
And so we watch all of those things. And the minute you start to notice something, you stop so I have people test food for three days. They stop the minute they notice something so for me like if I gluten, I will start to have stomach cramps, generally about two hours later, and my fingers will be swollen the next day. If I dairy I get is it so it's always a decision? Do I want that sit and I'm and I'm always mucousy so you just start to know oh, this happens is that piece of cheese really worth a zit on my face for the next four to five days? Probably not right? You know, is it worth being sounding mucousy now for the next couple of days. So you really start to connect the dots. So you know I have one client who when she ate eggs, it would just make her fall asleep. So she actually used it whenever she would fly on a plane. That was our was our sleeping belt. But you figure out which of these foods work and which don't. Some of them have an immediate response. Some of them have no a big response.
So for the most part, I think find gluten and dairy tend to be things that people don't do well with, you might find that corn doesn't really make you feel bad, you know, you're a little tired, but you don't feel bad and you go, you know what, so this this rotated into my diet here and there, if I'm out and it's in the salad, it's no big deal, I don't have to avoid it. Like I need to avoid gluten. So you go through the process, you stop eating it, at the point that you notice the symptom, you give yourself to wash out days to clear it all out. And then you go to the next food, you only do one food at a time, no other foods enter in at that time, otherwise, you don't know what the heck is going on. And by the end of testing all of these foods, not sugar, that's something different. But the first six foods now you have a roadmap. And I'm going to give you just example of mine gluten avoid at all, like all the time, do not eat gluten, don't eat dairy, corn, if it sneaks into a salad, fine. But I'm I'm going to try to avoid it because it doesn't make me feel good, but it doesn't really hurt me. So I can occasionally use tomorrow, but I have a thyroid condition, so I'm careful with it. So it might be once every two weeks. Eggs I do find was pastured, I rotate them in maybe once or twice a week.
I've an autoimmune condition. So I don't go crazy with them. And peanuts. You know, peanuts are interesting. They're just not a good food. Like they're just, you know, eat real nuts. They're a lagoon not a nut. They also contend to have a certain type of mold called aflatoxin that can build up. But you know, if peanuts got into something, everyone thought wouldn't be a big deal, but I don't make the point of eating them. So that's how you can then put together your roadmap of what do I absolutely avoid, what could rotate in in isn't really an issue. And then if none of these foods, so should become foods that you go back to eating every single day, because of all the foods and looking at these tests that had 300 Different foods on them. Those were the ones that showed up over and over and over again, they're the most classic. So if your gut starts to get permeable, again, which can happen at any point, you get stressed out your gut can get permeable, you can have a food intolerance again. So it's something that no matter what, they'd only ever be rotated into the diet.
Once I have someone go through that, then I lead them over to the sugar impact diet. And we really start to dig into sugar. I like to focus on one key concept at a time and really get that dialed in. So the first one is figure out that roadmap of those foods. And the next thing is then to go Alright, let's really get into sugar, what sugar it's doing, how much I can tolerate. And I say that, with this caveat of all carbohydrates except for fiber turn into sugar. It's just a matter of if you're mainlining it you know something like fruit juice or dried fruit, or a piece of cake or you're making it slowly from things like lentil soup. What I take people through on the sugar impact diet is very similar to the Virgin diet, but it's all around sugar and carbs, and identifying you know where on the sugar impact scale you live best to be able to have great energy, no belly fat, and easily maintain your weight and energy levels.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 32:54
You might not know this but building a healthy gut or gastrointestinal system is one of the most important things you should be working on to maintain your health and longevity. That's why actually in my book, Your longevity blueprint, I devote the entire first chapter to the gut. I like to compare the gut or gastrointestinal system to the foundation of your home, you have to have a strong gastrointestinal system upon which to build great health. So with that in mind, I want to share a few tips to help you do just that. The first step with improving your gut health is to clean up your diet, removing inflammatory foods, foods you may have sensitivities towards and treating gut infections. Like I mentioned, I get into this in a lot more depth in chapter one of my book. Once you've done that, however, there are also some amazing nutrients that exist to help you heal further.
Two of my favorite your longevity blueprint combination powder products for helping patients heal their guts are called gut shield and gi support. Gut shield contains several important ingredients including glutamine and zinc. Glutamine is the most important non essential amino acid for gut healing and zinc is a top mineral for gut healing as well. Got shield also contains an acetyl D glucosamine and aloe vera and acetyl D glucosamine is a mucin precursor that has been shown to increase the production of mucus within the GI tract. This is beneficial in coding the tract and protecting it. That shield also contains dickless rise licorice root extract, also known as DGL, a form of licorice root that does not contain close horizon which can raise blood pressure. Licorice has been known to treat and heal ulcers it works as a demulcent to sue the irritated tissue. It's anti spasmodic, anti inflammatory and anti allergenic.
Aloe vera has been used throughout history to promote a normal inflammatory response. You may have used it on your cuts, scrapes or burns as a child, studies have shown that aloe vera is also specifically beneficial to the gastric mucosa in part through its ability to balance stomach acid levels and promote healthy mucus production. All these gut healing nutrients are packed into one little scoop of powder that can be added to a beverage of your choice or mixed into a smoothie. I recommend patients consume this consistently for at least three months for gut healing. My second favorite product for gut healing is called gi support a gut healing protein powder containing glutamine as well. The difference here is that gi support is all So loaded with natural anti inflammatories like turmeric. It also contains arabinogalactan, which serve as prebiotic fiber. And it contains green tea extract, also known as EGCG. A potent antioxidant that further helps to reduce inflammation.
It's the Cadillac of gut healing patterns, because it has protein, the amino acid, glutamine, prebiotics, anti inflammatories, and antioxidants, all in one scoop. And yes, it can be combined with gut shield. Consider taking the synergistic one daily while focusing on cleaner eating. These products aren't needed forever, but they sure help expedite the healing process of your gut lining. Check out more product information on our website and use code, he'll gut for 10% off either product that's got shield or GI support at your longevity blueprint.com. Now let's get back to the show. love it love it. So ultimately, we should consider trying the Virgin diet. First,
JJ Virgin 35:55
everybody the way I've outlined it all. It was interesting. So the number one question that came up after I wrote the Virgin diet was about sugar. And so that's where the sugar impact diet came from. But the process is this, here's, here's like, in my perfect world, how things would work, the very first thing that you would do is really make that decision, make that commitment to yourself. And so who should do this, like every single person, everyone needs to know which foods work for them and which foods don't this is a great starting point. And as you talked about in your longevity blueprint, like the gut is like it starts there. Right?
And so but but even before you start this, you have to make that decision that you are worth it when I queried my group a couple years ago, and I said, if you're not where you want to be with your health and your weight, why not? And think that they say, Well, I'm not going to quit my cheese, you know, and they're like, I don't feel good enough, I don't feel worthy all this, like heartbreaking self talk. So the first piece of this is to say, you know, I'm worth this, and I'm going to do this because I've got a lot, you know, a lot to accomplish on this earth. So that's step one is that commitment that you're going to go through this process, and that you are worth it, and that you've got important things to do here. And then I like to before I even start anything else, because the first part of this is prepping and making sure you have what you need. Just before I start to look at taking those foods out, like the first look at Hey, are you getting enough water in? Can we add some non starchy vegetables?
You know, how can we start to add some of the things that you need to be eating clean protein, healthy fats, because when you're eating more of the things you should be eating, you're naturally going to crowd out some of the rest. So I like to add before I take away that sets the stage for that first part of the Virgin diet, which is really that elimination, detox, gut healing reset. So you're pulling those foods out, you're swapping them for better foods that help heal your gut, you're detoxing from the inflammation that they created, and you're healing your gut so that you're prepared for this next part of the journey where you're going to reach challenge. And that healing, you can accomplish a lot in three weeks, but it's only three weeks, so the process will go on after that. Then we go through and we figure out which foods work for you and which ones don't we create that now your personalized eating plan so you know what to focus on. You found all these new foods that you love, probably better.
So that's even better. And then after that, we do a little stabilization. Now you've gotten used to doing this, one of the things I teach you in the new virgin anti diet is how to do a limit fast cycles where you add in some intermittent fasting to accelerate gut healing. After that point, we move into the sugar impact diet, which is really breaking through any carbon tolerance setting yourself up. If you do want to do some keto cycling, I believe in cross training your diet, you know, it's I came from exercise physiology world where everybody cross trained. And it's so known in fitness that you cross train to keep your body progressing to avoid injury. But yet we don't do this in the diet world. And it's so obvious to me that this needs to happen in the diet world.
As you know, if we're eating the same calories and the same macros every single day our body's going to adapt to whatever that is. If we are moving it around and doing some you know feast and famine stuff, we are going to have a way better result. You know, if you just calorically downshift and keep it low, your body's going to calorically downshift to accommodate if you cycle that instead way better. And it's a key piece of being healthiest to be metabolically flexible is to be able to do a couple days where you're strictly plant based, say lower protein. Do a couple days where you are keto so that in one area you might be using more carbs for fuel in one area. You can go use keto ketones and fat for fuel and your body can naturally shift back and forth. No issues. Super key important. I know
Dr. Stephanie Gray 39:49
your answer to this but I'm still going to ask how would you respond to someone who says what about everything in moderation? How do you feel about moderation?
JJ Virgin 39:57
I was moderating a diet and Late last panel for a women's conference, and I was the Moderator. So I wasn't really allowed to comment, which was killing me. I mean, just killing me, right. And one of the people that had was one of the big commentators, she was an MD commentator on like, ABC or NBC, I forget which one and they asked for, you know, I called out and I said, All right, final words of advice for everybody in the audience. And this woman said, no, no, no. Everything in moderation, even moderation. I honestly wonder poker, you know, I was like, you just did such a disservice. Because do you truly believe artificial sweeteners and moderation are okay, I don't. I'm sorry. No way. You know, some of this processed crap with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils? A little bit as Okay, no, I'm sorry. I don't.
And so it is not everything in moderation, especially with food intolerance, because imprudent hearts, it's the little bit every day. It's the moderation that creates the problem. If you knew something, was creating inflammation in your body, would you want to have a little bit of it? Like every day that was making you hold on to five extra pounds? No, no, I mean, it's just crazy that moderation myth, this is a huge, huge problem. And there are certain things out there like some of these damaged, oxidized Omega six inflammatory oils, you know, some of these processed meats, some of this white bread, this is so far from health food, I just started working with a gal, we're going to do a little YouTube reality series. It was actually we're going over to new social content, and a reality show broke out. And it was funny because I walked in, I'm looking at her kitchen, and I could not stop myself. It just couldn't help myself. Because I'm looking at this and there was no food in her kitchen.
She had more crap in there of all this process stuff. And she's like, I need to give it away to someone. I go, would you like hate people? Why would you do that to someone like this stuff? There was nothing healthy for her to eat. She had like those cream powder, those weird creamers with the hydrogenated oil, corn syrup, and she had that ramen noodles with the Yeah, I mean, it just, it was like, it just kept getting worse and worse. And then she thought she was doing a great job. And this is what breaks my heart because I think most people are trying so hard. She thought she was doing great. she'd gotten the oatmeals. But she got the oatmeal with all that dried fruit and added sugar in them right that you add water to. So those are the things are so much stuff in the grocery store that should not even be called food. Mm hmm. Right.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 42:31
So speaking of food, how do you feel about snacking?
JJ Virgin 42:36
So I still remember I was teaching that overcoming weight loss resistance class. And when I first started teaching it, I was on Dr. Phil and on Dr. Phil's program, you had breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and then snack before bed. I mean, God forbid you go to bed hungry, right. So I just was teaching that. And I still remember when all the snacking happened, it happened because I was working in LA at the Pritikin center. And their whole goal was for your diet to be 10% calories from fat, no more than that, and ideally less. And it was basically a vegetarian diet. So I did that. And I was starving all the time. I mean, I basically would eat, go train a client eco training client eat like all day long. So I was eating very low fat, very high carb, which means your every time you eat, you're raising your blood sugar. If your blood sugar goes up your body, your pancreas has to pump out insulin to respond to bring blood sugar back down.
And if you're eating every couple hours that insulin never has time to come back down again. So you're just keeping it bumped up high. In fact, making a little bit higher. Your poor insulin receptors, you're just getting, you know, inundated so they can hardly hear the message anymore. At some point, you're just going to become diabetic, but in the interim, that insulins up and your body can't use stored fat for fuel. So those snacks you're having, and this is why we've got to get off of the bank account model. Because if it was just purely how much you were eating, and you just ate all throughout the day, hey, fine, but that's not the case at all. Because every time you're eating, you're raising blood sugar and insulin, you're keeping insulin up, you're locking the doors to fat cells, so you cannot burn stored fat for fuel, boom, you've got a big problem, you know, and then this becomes this terrible cycle because now you've got this elevated insulin that's not coming down anymore.
Your body can't access stored fat for fuel, you've got to rely on incoming glucose from the foods you're eating. And so now you're hungrier than you should be. You're like I just ate but now I'm hungry two hours later what the heck happens. It's interesting though, you can turn it around pretty darn quickly. You can start to restore insulin sensitivity and get off snacking pretty quick. By starting to get great sleep by doing resistance training. One of the fastest places you can restore insulin sensitivity is in the muscles by eating from the plate by making sure that each meal has clean protein, healthy fats and fiber from non starchy vegetables and slow low carbs and then just to get a lot of fluids in between meals, green tea, black coffee, Water, and start to just push that meal time and just push that meal time. Right? And so it's it can happen. And I usually usually barely quickly like, you can usually fix that in a week or two.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 45:12
Awesome. This has been so good. I have one more question for you. For those listeners who feel like, okay, I'm on a budget here, can I still do this? What do you have to say to them? Can they eat healthy on a budget? What if they travel, can they still abide by this diet? I shouldn't even say diet, but
JJ Virgin 45:28
I know it's so hard. You know, it's so crazy. Stephanie is we have this word diet. And it means what you eat every day. And then it means this therapeutic plan to get an effect. It means both things, and they're totally different things. That's the problem. Like to me a diet is something you do short term, to learn something about your body to cause an effect to have a therapeutic response. And then you have the way you eat, which we need a word for which I can't figure out what that word should be. So when I first started all of this, that was one of the biggest complaints that I got was I can't do this because I'm on a budget, right. And admittedly, back then wild fish and grass fed beef was so much more difficult 20 years ago to find right than it is now you can get it at Costco. But I went to the grocery store, I went to a typical grocery store, it was I think Avants in Palm Desert. So that would be like a Publix or a Kroger, or a Ralph's or Lucky's or a Safeway, right, one of the nationwide chains. And what I did was I bought everything that you would need to do the Virgin diet for a week for a family of four. And I put in my protein powders into that too. So I included that in the price.
And then I went and put together a cart of what a typical family trying thinking they were eating healthy, right. So it wasn't just buying all the total junk stuff. But hey, let's face it, they would buy things like the fruit roll ups and that kind of garbage. So trying to eat healthy. And I put those two carts up and I checked out. And I was hoping that my cart, my healthy cart, the virgin diet cart, would be about the same as the other one. That was my goal. And I figured even if it's a little bit more like hey, let's say that it cost you $20 more a week well, aren't you worth it and let's look at what you could cut out maybe stop going to the coffee everyday blah, blah blah. Crazy surprised was it was $36 less that when you really look at what things cost a lot of the stuff that we're paying for convenience and the process foods are the expensive stuff when you start to look at this and go hey, now there's farmers markets. And now we've got wild fish and grass fed beef at the big warehouse places it is so much easier to eat healthy just don't go in and buy all the processed packaged stuff. They've been prepared stuff that's where you're gonna spend all the money go home and make these foods yourself it's way cleaner.
And you can if you're saying I don't Okay, I've got the money but I don't have time we make dinner because we're so well prepared. We make dinner every night and like 15 minutes and then we just make extra protein so that we have for the next day so I mean super easy to do. Typical dinner for us would be some cauliflower, rice and wild rice together and then piece of wild salmon easy thing to do we just have a well stocked freezer well stocked fridge and well stocked pantry and easy enough to put together.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 48:30
Yeah, awesome. This has been great. So tell us where listeners can connect further with you.
JJ Virgin 48:35
So I put together my seven foods cheat sheet and again my whole goal is to make the superduper easy for you to take action on so to look at these seven foods and go okay this is three weeks I know I can do anything for three weeks and what's you know what can I swap these foods for so I put together my seven foods cheat sheet you can get it at JJ virgin comm forward slash seven foods and it's the number seven so seven foods and it will give you the easy way to get into this and my advice is you're excited about it right now so guess when you should do it now
Dr. Stephanie Gray 49:08
totally as a thank you so much great gift so as I wrap up this episode, I always ask my guests their top longevity tips. So what might yours be?
JJ Virgin 49:17
Oh boy, I'm actually wearing both of my top longevity tip so I've got on an aura ring and I've got on an Apple Watch. The reason being is what you measure and monitor you can improve and I'm absolutely a crazy person about my sleep. like a crazy person on my sleep. So me too. Yeah, like if you look at what can help you lose weight what can help you with blood sugar what can help you with anti aging what can help you with mood? I mean it's like if I had to start somewhere first with someone Sleep, sleep is the number one.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 49:46
I love it love it. Love it. Well thank you so much today this was great. Thank you for coming on the show and sharing with my audience what may be their hidden the cause of weight gain their food intolerances, and thank you for sharing that as you say in your book fat is not their fate and providing this possible discovery solution. This is great. Thank you. That was so good. I love how she mentioned that your body is not a bank account, it's a chemistry lab. In her book she expands to say that it's not a calorie meter either. You have to know how your body's responding to foods. Each bite you take sends a message in your body burn fat or store it, build muscle or lose it. So if you're struggling with weight loss resistance or any other of the food intolerance symptoms JJ mentioned today, I challenge you to download her seven food cheat sheet, read her book and start the discovery process.
You won't regret it you'll be less inflamed happier, and I can guarantee at a better weight. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the Course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you learn on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative as always, thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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