Food intolerance is a big factor and something I look at with all my clients. Other than weight gain it can cause a host of other issues ranging from inflammation to aches and pains to fatigue and even anxiety and depression. In fact, over 80% of my anxious clients do better mood-wise on a gluten-free diet.
I’m a little behind the times because JJ Virgin wrote this NY Times bestseller book late in 2012: The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days (Why Food Intolerance is the Real Cause of Weight Gain).
With her new recipe book coming out I decided it’s time to do a review!
These are the 7 foods JJ wants you to drop: corn, eggs, peanuts, dairy, gluten, soy, and sugar (including artificial sweeteners).
I have to admit I was skeptical about eggs because they are such a wonderful protein source, such a great start to the day and so handy for a snack. I used to eat a lot of eggs until I recently discovered that I have an egg intolerance! I’m hoping it’s going to be a short-term problem and that I can eventually reintroduce them because I LOVE my soft-boiled pastured eggs. [UPDATE 2015: I am now able to eat eggs again!] The message is this: even a healthy food like eggs may be an issue for you.
You eliminate the above 7 foods and see how you do and then add them back and see how they affect you (sugar and artificial sweeteners stay out for good, and possibly gluten too). There are 3 cycles that the book walks you through:
- Cycle 1: Elimination
- Cycle 2: Reintroduction
- Cycle 3: The Virgin Diet for Life
The book goes into a great more detail about the following:
- what food intolerances are
- insulin resistance – a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it effectively leading to weight-gain and blood sugar issues
- leptin resistance – leptin is the hormone that signals satiety or fullness and when you have resistance you feel hungrier and have more cravings
- zonulin – a protein that is affected by gluten and loosens the tight junctions in the gut contributing to leaky gut and more food intolerances
- the dangers of GMOs and soy
- the autoimmune connection – and much more
The book has great sections on healthy proteins and fats, quality produce, sugar and artificial sweeteners, exercising, meal planning, eating out and recipes. I’m looking forward to her follow-up book which launches on Feb 18th – her recipe book The Virgin Diet Cookbook: 150 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Lose Weight and Feel Better Fast
We do have a few differences of opinion. 🙂
- I’m not a big fan of coffee and JJ admits that she fights her fellow-nutritionists on this one!
- I find that my clients with adrenal issues need to eat more frequently than every 4 to 6 hours
- Pea-rice protein is the protein powder recommended and would not be suitable if you need to eat grain free or have issues with peas so adjust accordingly
- I’m not terribly fond of the 3-bite rule where you get to splurge on desserts. JJ has a great sense of humor and says “share your dessert with someone who has a faster fork!” But I think you can get to the point where you no longer have a sweet tooth.
I’d also like to add that these 7 food intolerances are obviously not the only factor when it comes to weight-loss resistance – it’s one of many factors, including thyroid health, environmental toxins, dysbiosis, brain chemical imbalances, poor eating choices, stress (this is a big one!), lack of sleep and not exercising enough or incorrectly. JJ is the pro when it comes to exercise and she is a big proponent of restorative sleep. There are also many other foods that could potentially be an issue for you.
I do love that this book has brought the concept of food intolerances to the masses, bringing awareness of something that had not even been considered before. I commend JJ for this and her big mission to help millions of people lose weight and get healthy! So many people have had such incredible results with her program!
PS. In preparation of the new book launch JJ is hosting a webinar on what you need to know about The Virgin Diet. You can sign up here to get the most up-to-date information. Sign up and get to hear her share her words of wisdom.