This week’s Gluten Free School Podcast explores the connection between food sensitivities and weight gain. JJ Virgin, nutritionist and author of The Virgin Diet, explains why seven common foods are not only keeping you from feeling better (despite being gluten-free), but actually making you fat.
Many of us have more than one sensitivity to very common foods (like myself!) and, unless you’re willing to shell out big bucks, it’s often difficult to pinpoint what is causing the problem. JJ’s unique approach has helped thousands of people finally feel better and lose what feels like stubborn weight (but is really inflammation).
Connection between Food Sensitivities and Weight Gain with JJ Virgin
The following points were discussed:
00:00 — Jennifer introduces acclaimed author, JJ Virgin, to discuss how and why some gluten-free foods may cause problems in the body.
02:04 — How JJ got to be known as the ‘food intolerance queen.’
04:32 — Why calories have very little to do with weight loss.
06:08 — The most effective way to test for food intolerance and the 7 key foods that tend to cause problems.
09:34 — The cause for weight gain, even after following a gluten-free diet (and exercising).
15:33 — How to do an elimination diet (and why we crave foods that harm us).
18:35 — The million dollar question: Does a gluten-free label make a food healthy?
21:38 — Can a person with just a gluten sensitivity have a little bit of gluten?
23:13 — Is there room for a little cheating on an elimination diet?
24:43 — How much protein should women eat.
28:00 — Concluding comments, accessing JJ’s community and how to connect with JJ.
Then take a moment and leave a review on iTunes sharing what you’ve learned and why others would benefit from subscribing as well!
Jennifer: Welcome back to the Gluten Free School Podcast. I’m your host, Jennifer Fugo. Today, we’re going to talk about foods, foods that you think that are normally healthy. You’ve already avoided included and you figured, “Yeah, I got that. I figured out it’s gluten,” but what if it’s not just gluten? What if these other seemingly healthy foods are causing more problems in your body?
I’ve invited JJ Virgin to join me today on the podcast to talk about this. Now if you’re not familiar with JJ, she is incredible! She’s a New York Times bestselling author. I actually have followed JJ since I began my whole gluten-free journey back in 2008.
She has just been such a great resource and she now has these really great books out called The Virgin Diet Cookbook and she also has another great book, which you should definitely get, The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Lbs. in Just 7 Days. They’re both great. They’re bestselling non-fiction books on multiple lists.
She is an internationally recognized expert in overcoming weight loss, resistance. She has been on TV many times – on PBS, Access Hollywood, The Rachel Ray Show, The Doctors, The Today’s Show. She blogs everywhere. She’s got A-list clients in L.A. I could go on and on and on.
Thank you so much, JJ for joining us today. I really appreciate it.
JJ: Oh, it’s my pleasure. I was thinking as you were talking about this, it’s so funny how this topic has become my life and it all happened because it showed up in all of these testing I was doing for clients. It’s not like I set out to become the ‘food intolerance queen’, you know?
Jennifer: Well, how exactly did you end up getting interested in this field. You started out as a nutrition or was this something you sort of fell into? Where did you begin?
JJ: So I grew up in Berkeley, farm-to-table is just what you do. I’ve always been into nutrition and health and fitness since I was a little kid. Literally, from 12 years old, I remember I wouldn’t eat my mother’s casserole. She just was, “What are you doing?”
I get very into it, going to the health food stores. This was a long time ago. There were not that many health food stores.
But I went off to college. When I graduated, I started in graduate school in exercise science. I was of the first personal trainers in the country. I started as a trainer.
We were being taught in school that to lose weight, you had to eat less and exercise more and it should be all this long grueling endurance stuff. The average client was 35-55 and it was not working. I thought, “This is not going to work. People are not going to pay me to get worse I’m pretty sure.”
Jennifer: Probably not.
JJ: Probably not. I thought, “There has got to be something more to this clearly.” I’ve always prided myself, “I’m not insane, so I wasn’t going to just keep doing more of what I was being taught if it wasn’t working,” so I went, “What is it that can cause someone to gain weight or not be able to lose weight?”
And so our premises are wrong. We’re not bank account. If we were bank accounts, it’d be so simple. You’d say, “Cut this many calories and this will happen,” but any woman can tell you that don’t work.
JJ: So I started looking around and over time, I actually developed a course and I ran around the country teaching it to doctors. It was all these different things that can cause you, again, not to lose weight or even to gain weight.
One of them was using a food intolerance test. It just looks at one way we can become intolerant to food, which is a delayed food sensitivity through your immune system.
What I saw was the same foods would always show up. When we pulled them out, anything they were complaining about like headaches and gas and bloating and joint pain and skin problems and looking and feeling older, it went away in days, but they also lost weight fast. I thought, “Wow! The fastest way to really lose weight and feel better is to change your diet.”
We all know that. It’s not exercise. Exercise is good for the long-term. Short-term, diet makes the big needle mover changes.
So often, it’s not about the calories. It’s really about the impact that this is having on your body. Some of these foods that we’re eating every day because we’ve heard they were healthy or they’re low calorie or low fat or whatever ‘low’ thing we’re into the moment – it’s like ‘low’ ridiculous! I can’t wait until we have, “Well, it’s low fat, low protein, low carb!” I’m like, “Well, what is it, air?”
Jennifer: I was going to say air. It’s the air diet.
JJ: Now, the air diet. I don’t know! I started realizing that you could eat a little bit of calories and actually even really low and still be gaining weight because of the impact that the food is making on your body. A great example of that are artificial sweeteners that feed the bad gut bacteria and make you extract more calories from the food you eat.
And so I started to put that together, I went, “Wow!” If you can shift this, first of all, it’ll fix a lot of the other problems that are making people gain weight because it’s going to help with inflammation and hormone balance (inflammation being a big key here).
But also, we know that if you lose weight fast, you actually lose more weight and keep it off. It’s really motivating and inspiring and then you have more energy and then you exercise and then you sleep better – everything gets better quickly.
Jennifer: I do. I can vouch for that. That is very true.
JJ: Yes. And for so many people, they go on a diet, they expect to feel better, but they’re just creating a smaller version of their inflamed, tired self, right?
JJ: And it’s not going to last for long because you can’t keep up with calorie depravation for long.
Jennifer: For me, I found out that I was intolerant to gluten. That was sort of an easy thing. I pulled it out and it was like, “Whoa! I feel so different. It has only been three or four days and my life had changed,” but I still was having problems and had to go back and do these types of food allergies panels.
Now I have issues with other types of foods, but what other seven key foods that you’ve come to believe – you wrote a book around this, so you really feel strongly about these seven foods. What are they that people might want to consider are potentially causing problems?
JJ: First off, I think the very best way to find out if you’re intolerant to a food is actually to do your own testing by pulling it out and seeing how you feel. I believe that nearly everybody is intolerant to gluten really because of the type of gluten we have nowadays and how ubiquitous it is. I rarely find someone who pulls gluten out and doesn’t notice a significant difference. I think those people that don’t notice a significant difference didn’t realize that they didn’t really get it all out. That’s my opinion.
The issue too with gluten is the more gluten you eat, the more leaky your gut gets and the more intolerant you will get to other foods. So when you hear these seven (of which gluten is obviously one), you may not be reacting to all these foods, but these were the ones that I saw that were most common. You pull them out for three weeks, you see how you feel. At the end of those three weeks, you’d go back and you test each one. You go, “How do I feel when I eat this?”
As you know, both of us, we eat a little gluten, we feel like crap. The good news is that’s very different than saying, “I’m going to cheat a little bit” and thinking of things like calories. When you know you eat gluten and your finger swell or you have really bad cramps, why are you eating? It’s just not worth it.
So the foods are eggs, dairy, soy, corn, peanuts, gluten of course and then sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Mainly, sugar and artificial sweeteners is my next book. It’s not so much that we’re intolerant there. It can really become more hormonal issues there, which is one way of becoming intolerant, but it’s like you have to include that in there.
Jennifer: Yeah. And actually, can we just do a ‘yes or no’ to this? Everybody out there who might still be eating anything that’s considered an artificial sweetener, should they stop eating those artificial sweeteners?
JJ: Should artificial sweeteners be banned? I mean…
JJ: Are they just like the stupidest thing going? It’s stupid.
Jennifer: So everybody stop with the artificial sweeteners.
JJ: We eat artificial sweeteners because we think we can basically have our cake and eat it too, we can lose weight. What we know about artificial sweeteners is they can raise insulin (which makes you store fat), they feed bad gut bacteria (which makes you store fat) and they make you crave more sweet.
Because they’re so super sweet, you become desensitized to sweet and then you lose the ability to correlate the degree of sweetness with the calorie, so you overeat. It’s just like the trifecta of bad!
Jennifer: Oh, my gosh. That is the best explanation I have heard in a long time of why artificial sweeteners should be on the banned list. Thank you. That is great.
JJ: You’re welcome. Yeah, if we get nothing else…
Jennifer: We could wrap things up right now. But no, no, we have more territory to cover before we are done today.
So I’m curious. I think a lot of people suffer with more than gluten. And obviously, the seven foods that you’ve talked about, that’s more than gluten. There is this tendency and I don’t understand entirely why it is, but in the gluten-free world, people tend to forget (or maybe they just don’t realize it), there is the potential for other foods to cause problems.
You had mentioned weight gain is an issue. I know for myself, before I knew all of these problems, I had put on almost 20 lbs. despite the fact that I was exercising like a mad woman three to four days a week, going to the gym for four hours and trying to do as much spin and cardio and weight-lifting as I could do…
Jennifer: And yes, I acknowledge I overdid that on the exercise, but I couldn’t understand why I was gaining weight and it wasn’t going away.
So for somebody who is maybe taking gluten out now and they still can’t get the weight to start dropping, why is it that foods would cause weight gain like this?
JJ: Or they still feel low-grade kaka. That’s a medical term, by the way, ‘low-grade kaka’. It’s interesting because we accept low-grade kaka as normal like little headaches and joint pain and gas and bloating. You go to the store and you’ll get all the medications for low-grade kaka that’s accepted as normal and that’s not normal.
But one of the risk factors for weight gain is inflammation. So if you’re eating foods that don’t work for you, your body becomes inflamed. That actually impacts your hormones. It makes your body more resistant to your hormones, so you can’t hear them and it’s also very stressful, so you become more insulin-resistant.
If you’re more insulin-resistant, your body is going to pump out more insulin in response to food. If insulin is high, it’s basically locking the doors to your fat cells so you can’t hear them and so you can’t burn fat.
When you’re insulin-resistant, it goes along being leptin-resistant, which will then make you hungrier. Plus you can’t use stored fat for fuel, so your body is going to go, “Get me sugar. Get me sugar.”
And then also, when you’re eating foods that don’t work for you, it’s very stressful on your body, so then cortisol is going to come up. Cortisol, as it turns out, by the way, is going to make you insulin-resistant too because it’s going to raise blood sugar, which then raises insulin. So you’ve got that issue.
All that makes you store more fat around your waist. The fat around your waist is more prone to inflammatory hormone. So when you gain more fat, you become more inflamed. And when you’re more inflamed, you get more fat.
The whole thing becomes this big nightmare and you’re staring there going, “I’m not eating that much.” It’s like, “I’m not eating that much. I don’t understand it. I’m exercising like a fiend.”
Of course, when you over-exercise, you create a whole other host of problems because…
Jennifer: Yes, I know.
JJ: You know! That was my first world. I’ve been doing all these endurance exercises. It makes you fat, old and tired. It doesn’t do what you think it’s going to do – especially for women. The last thing we need to do is go tax our adrenals and burn up our muscle. That’s just silliness. So if you’re doing all that endurance training, stop it.
But the natural progression if you have been eating gluten and damaging your gut is through other food intolerances. I had a guy with Celiac who never felt before. He’d been off gluten for years, but he still didn’t feel good – and had a dairy intolerance. It’s so classic!
The next two classic ones, dairy and soy – very classic. And then a lot of people, of course, because they can’t eat gluten, they end up with soy-based products. Soy is its own nightmare.
My gosh! I had a gal I write about in the Virgin Diet. She’d become this very, very motivated soy vegetarian, soy for everything, the world of soy. She was a 100 lbs. overweight. She’s actually lost over a 100 lbs.
JJ: But you know what’s so interesting is we didn’t change her calories. We changed where they came from. She wasn’t eating that much. She was hypothyroid. She was estrogenic (like all the things that soy wack-a-doodle does to your body) and then of course you’ve got the genetic modification of soy that then impacts your gut bacteria. So you have all sorts of stuff going on.
But with a lot of these foods like eggs, for example – I think eggs are nature’s perfect food, but not after what we’ve done today because you are what you eat ate.
And the other challenge with eggs is so many people grab egg whites thinking they’re doing good for themselves. You don’t absorb as much of the protein from the egg when you eat just the white. The yoke has got all the good stuff. The white is the more reactive part of it.
And they’re buying cheap egg whites from those chickens that have been – yeah, we don’t need to go into the fast-eat pecking chicken situation.
But I find for a lot of people, once they do heal their gut, they pull the gluten, their gut wall starts to get less permeable, they pull these offending things, they’re reducing inflammation over time, they can usually incorporate pastured eggs back in.
Dairy, if you can get raw grass-fed dairy and culture it over time or goat cheese maybe – I can’t eat dairy. It just throws me under the bus, even the best dairy. Corn is just sugar, so just put that down. Corn, what do we feed cows and pigs?
Jennifer: Unfortunately, the ones that are not grass-fed or pasture-raised are eating corn.
JJ: And they’re eating corn because…?
Jennifer: …because it makes them fat.
JJ: It makes them fat.
Jennifer: I actually found out that they slaughter the cows that are corn-fed before they get sick and die. They actually have to slaughter them because they are so sick at that point that they need to get the meat to the market or else, the cows would be too far gone in order to be able to sell them, sell the meat. So that’s what corn is doing to our cattle, which is really alarming.
JJ: Yeah, and it makes pussy milk too, which is a really gross food. I hope no one is like having breakfast and…
Jennifer: …listening to this.
JJ: Pussy milk. Yeah, yum.
Jennifer: So for someone who wants to do this, say they want to give The Virgin Diet a try and take the seven foods out, are they doing this all at the same time or you’re just testing one food at a time?
JJ: You can’t do one food at a time. Here’s why. It’s like you’re sitting on seven tacks and you go, “Okay, that hurts” so you stand up, you take one tack away and you sit back down. It’s still going to hurt.
The challenge is you don’t know which of these seven are really creating a problem and my guess is at least four or five of them are. So you must pull all of it out.
What happens when you do that is you reduce inflammation so quickly, it is crazy! Crazy, crazy. You can lose 2-3 lbs. of fat a week. So you’re not dropping 7 lbs. in the first week. You’re dropping all that inflammation that’s just there, this intracellular inflammation that’s just prevalent. You know it because you’re tired and you’re achy and you’re all that.
So you have to pull them all out. You let your immune system cool down. You let your hormones come back into balance because now your insulin and leptin and cortisol are not being assaulted by these toxins. And then at the end of those three weeks, you go back and you try them one by one.
If you’re listening and you’re going, “Hey, okay, I’m so into this. I’m going to do it. I’ve already got the gluten done. I can do the corn. I can do the soy. I can do the peanuts. I know about the sugar. I will never touch artificial sweeteners. I’m okay on the eggs, but the dairy…” because this is what always happens, Jennifer, they’re like…
Jennifer: It’s the dairy.
JJ: It’s the cheese. It’s the cheese. They’re like, “I love this…” I will tell you that whatever food you’re going, “I can’t do that one out. I’m going to have to keep that one.” That’s your kryptonite, that’s the one that’s got to go. That’s the problem.
Jennifer: And I will say that my other two issues were dairy and eggs. Eggs is the highest intolerance of all the foods that I have. I used to eat gluten, dairy and eggs all the time and I could honestly not imagine living without them.
JJ: I know, I know! An egg omelet with goat cheese or Greek style yogurt. And you know, it’s so interesting, it doesn’t take much. Once you’re intolerant to something, it’s the littlest bit. But if you’re intolerant to it, you crave it because the way your immune system works, you have these little warriors that get out there, these antibodies to help protect you from the food that’s hurting you.
And so you eat the food, the antibodies grab it. They got out from your gut lining into general circulation where it should not be in your body. It’s like, “What is that that shouldn’t be here?”
It makes antibodies. It grabs it. It makes little immune complexes with the protein from the food and the antibodies and then boom! Those things hang out. They should be gone.
But if you’re eating the food even a little bit every day, you don’t have enough of the specific macrophage to eat those babies up. It’s like a little pac-man game.
So you override the system and these things build up and that’s where you get the headaches and the joint pain and the gas and bloating and everything else.
Jennifer: Oh, my gosh. Now I’m going to ask you this question because I ask everybody this question. I’m sort of on a little mission to prove that gluten-free refined products are not good for people…
JJ: …are junk food.
Jennifer: I kind of ask every expert that comes on here because I’ve gotten a lot of hate mail and a lot of nasty comments…
Jennifer: Oh, my gosh! People are like, “This is mean to write this. You’re wrong.”
JJ: That’s because they want their cupcakes.
Jennifer: I know. And so I’m asking you. Do you think that just because there’s a gluten-free label on it and it’s an alternative to the desserts or the pasta and the breads, does that make it healthy?
JJ: Zero chance of that. I mean, here’s the thing. The cupcake is a cupcake. It doesn’t matter if it’s gluten-free or not. Most of the time, I’d say, “Hey, you’re going to look for things that are gluten-free that don’t have to have gluten-free on it because a sweet potato doesn’t have to say ‘gluten-free’ or wild salmon doesn’t have to say ‘gluten-free’.” So ideally, it’s a non-issue because you’re not buying processed foods.
One of the greatest gifts going gluten-free does for someone is they don’t waste money and destroy their health buying processed foods.
I think there are a few gluten-free products I like, but I will say very few. So there’s a couple of things out there, but for the most part, the foods you’re eating, it really doesn’t need to say that because why would lentils have gluten in them?
Jennifer: Right. And I always try to encourage people to eat food that’s healthy that happens to be gluten-free. That way, you’re less fixated on looking for a label and you eat more natural foods.
JJ: Right. I can’t tell you how many times – it doesn’t happen anymore because the nice thing with the seven foods is now, when you pull those all out, you really can’t go eat a gluten-free cupcake because it’s going to have either sugar or soy or one of those evils in there.
But I cannot tell you how often in the past (before I was savvy about all these), I would tell people about pulling out of the gluten and all of a sudden, they’re eating things they never ate before. They weren’t eating cookies and cupcakes, but now they’re gluten-free. For some reason, it’s like these are acceptable. I’m like cookies and cupcakes are cookies and cupcakes.
JJ: They’re still a problem. And think about how refined those grains are. It’s like quinoa is one thing, but by the time you turn the quinoa into a cookie, it’s a whole different ball game.
Jennifer: And I think that it’s part of the issues of gluten. The label ‘gluten-free’ tends to make people feel very restricted in their food. For me, I felt like I was taking one for the team by trying every gluten-free cookie and gluten-free brownie that I happen in Whole Foods and saw. But in actuality, I was harming my healthy and I ended up with adrenal fatigue a year later. It partly was due to eating so much sugar and so many refined gluten-free carbs. I did it to myself.
JJ: Yikes! But you really did it as a research project for everybody.
JJ: And that’s so generous of you.
Jennifer: I donated my health to the greater good.
JJ: Yeah, yes.
Jennifer: But I’m curious, for people who are sensitive – I get this question a lot and you do talk about this. They always think, “Well, I don’t have Celiac disease. I don’t have that diagnosis. What if I just have a little bit of gluten. My friend is having a birthday party. Can I just have a little piece of the cake? It’s not going to hurt me that much.” What’s your take on that?
JJ: See, this is the thing I think is so important and so empowering. When you figure out, you really connect the dots between what you’re eating and how you feel, that conversation goes away because then you can be a big girl. You’re basically, “Okay, if I eat this, it’s not just a matter of, ‘Oh, I’m going to gain a little weight or whatever, I cheated’,” but you go, “You know, I’m going to feel hung over tomorrow. I’m going to have gas in an hour.” You start to connect the dots. Was the three bites of cake worth it? No, not worth it.
So it really changes the way you look at food and whether you want to have it or not. Now if gluten doesn’t bother you (which I don’t believe that’s really the case for anybody, but let’s say it didn’t) and you want to have three bites of something, great – if you can eat three bites of something and it doesn’t become a trigger.
I find for a lot of people especially with sugar – I don’t have a genetic sweet tooth, but for people that have a genetic sweet tooth, if you have three bites of it, it’s like you’re crack and you’re done and you’re going to go off the wall.
So I think it’s really about connecting those dots and then realizing what’s this going to do for me, if it’s like it’s not going to hurt you and have three bites and walk away fine. But I don’t know very many people like that.
Jennifer: No, don’t either. And if someone wants to do the Virgin Diet, they want to do this challenge of taking these seven foods out, can they “cheat” during that time or is this something they’ve got to really stick to?
JJ: No, you can’t cheat during it because if you cheat during it, then you are going to fire back up your immune system and release the antibodies again.
So what I tell people if they’re doing this is if something comes up during the time and you also got crap, dairy snuck in. You just wait longer until the dairy is done. You don’t go, “Oh, my gosh. I’m done,” but you can’t have little bits here and there during the three weeks.
I think that’s pretty telling if you can’t go three weeks without this stuff.
Jennifer: Absolutely. You should be able to. It’s actually not that difficult to be entirely honest – and especially with your book. You’ve got recipes in the book.
JJ: We’ve got swaps. Well, the biggest thing I have people do is swaps. I will tell you too that my challenge with people is not getting them to start the program, my challenge is getting them to do the deep second part where they go back and they connect the dots and they go, “How do I feel when I do gluten?”
Once they’ve gone off of all these foods and we get to the point of going, “Hey! We’re just going to challenge to see if you need to keep them at a hundred percent or if they could come in here,” they don’t want to do it.
That’s why we did the cookbook because we’re like, “Uh-oh, no one wants to do.” They go, “I can’t believe how great I feel. I don’t want to feel crappy again.”
Jennifer: Exactly. So I have one last question for you. This is a question I get a lot by many women. My audience is primarily women. They struggle with this idea of ‘how much is too much, how much is the right amount’ and I get the question about protein. How much protein should a woman eat?
You talk about doing good, healthy, lean protein on the Virgin Diet. Do you have any thoughts or guidelines for people, especially women, that would be helpful for them to know how much protein they should eat during the day?
JJ: I think most people are afraid of protein. They should be afraid of processed carbohydrates and damaged fats – not healthy fat. I eat a lot of fat.
For most women, it’s not that they’re eating too much protein. They’re not eating enough or they’re not digesting it well. The biggest concern because over the age of 30 or if you’re under any stress – and I don’t know anyone who’s not under stress. I’m still looking for that one person. Who’s the control on these studies?
If you’re under stress, the first thing that happens is your stomach acid goes down, so you don’t digest your protein as well, which then sets you for food intolerances because your gut also becomes more permeable from stress.
So one of the big things that I have people do is to try with digestive enzymes, but I actually think most of what I see out there is women not getting enough protein in and you need protein to have great hair, skin and nails and strong bones especially if in your teens and twenties (that’s when you’re setting your bones up). You’ve got people not getting enough protein.
And I’m sorry, I’m going to be a vegan or a vegetarian, I’m going to support you because Virgin Diet is agnostic, but you’re going to have to be really careful on how you get your protein.
I have anyone working directly with me supplement with amino acids so they really get what they need because really, you’re either going to get way too much fat or way too much protein on a vegan diet or way too much carbs.
So what I do with people – and it really depends on if they’re healing from a surgery (which massively increases your demands) or if they’re under a lot of stress or what they’re doing for exercise. But generally, 0.5-0.7 grams per pound of fat-free mass.
So you get on a body fat scale, you find out how much your body is not fat, you take that and you multiply that by 0.5 to 0.75 and that is your range of grams during the day and you divide that up between your meals.
Jennifer: That’s a great way to do it. That’s really simple and straightforward. I mean, I know that everybody says, “Use the palm of your hand to approximate how much protein you should be eating.”
JJ: Yeah, but that’s crap though because salmon is totally different than a chicken breast because salmon has got so much more fat. That’s the challenge.
Jennifer: And two, you get proteins in other things. If you have peas, there’s protein in peas. There’s protein in other things. So you have no idea more or less how much protein you’re consuming over the course of a day.
Thank you for that. That’s a really great, clear example of how to do that… and very simple. Most scales today that ability, to get some sort of body fat percentage.
JJ: Yes, they do. And then you use one of these online tracking things and throw your food in for a couple of days and you’ll see, “Oh, okay. This is where I’m at. Great!”
Jennifer: That is great. That is easy-peasy, I love it! Well, JJ, thank you so much. I really appreciate you sharing all these. Thank you for tackling the gluten-free products questions. I know that that’s something for me that I’m very passionate about. I do it in a loving way, but I recognize that people do need to hear that from other experts and see that it’s not just me saying this.
There are a whole host of us out there that are saying, “Stop eating processed and packaged products for all of your meals.” That’s no way to live. You’ve got to get back to real food.
JJ: Yeah! And it doesn’t take that long, by the way.
Jennifer: No, it really doesn’t. So everybody, please go and check out JJ. And she’s got the two books- The Virgin Diet Cookbook: 150 Delicious Recipes to Lose the Fat and Feel Better Fast and then The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 lbs., Just 7 Days.
Is there anything else that you’d love for everybody to go check out aside from…?
JJ: You can grab a community cookbook where – you know, one of the things I’m always doing is crowdsourcing. To me, the biggest proof is when your clients, those people using the program can make amazing recipes. So what we did was crowdsource.
We did a bunch of success stories last year. We’ve had incredible, incredible recipes that we’ve put together into a community cookbook.
By the way, we have so much free information. When you do that, you’ll get training videos. You’ll get more recipes. I put that out there because I do not want to have any excuse – and hear me because they’re excuses for someone not doing this.
Jennifer: And actually, the cookbook is beautiful. The training videos are great. I watched the whole series. I was like, “Wow! This is really informative and the recipes are very simple. They’re not complex or difficult to make.”
JJ: No. No! I’m a mom, man. I’ve got two teenage boys. I run two companies. I’ve got book deadlines. Are you kidding?
Jennifer: Right! You’re busy.
JJ: We’re all busy. Everybody’s busy.
Jennifer: If people go and sign up for the community cookbook and download that, that will put them on to your email list and they’ll receive your emails when they go out about what’s going on with you and your articles and such?
JJ: Our articles, ezines, videos. We’re just releasing new videos, all sorts of stuff. I’m always making new stuff and getting it out there.
JJ: …so you can stay educated. I know you are too. It’s awesome! Honestly, there are so amazing resources now. It’s just easy to do all these.
Jennifer: It really is. And it’s so easy to learn over the Internet. Thank goodness for the Internet. It connects us all.
So everybody, it’s really easy to stay in touch with JJ. Just go visit her at www.jjvirgin.com.
JJ, thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it.
JJ: Oh, thank you. My pleasure.
Jennifer: Alright, everybody. And hey, guess what? JJ is all over social media too. You can go find her on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+. I will have all the links below this podcast so you can go find her and follow her.
Again, I have followed her for years, so it’s a real honor for me to be able to interview JJ and I’m glad that I’m able to share her work with you.
If you love these podcasts, remember to go subscribe, rate and review these podcasts. And then head on over to Gluten Free School. Leave your questions and comments about what we talked about today on the podcast and I’ll definitely shoot you a response.
Thank you, guys so much for joining me. I look forward to seeing you guys the next time. Bye bye.
The Virgin Diet Book –> Get your copy HERE!!!
The Virgin Diet Cookbook — Get it here
JJ Virgin – www.jjvirgin.com
*The Virgin Diet book is free, but JJ asks that you cover the S&H to have the book shipped to you.