My Virgin Diet Experience, Part 6
My disclaimer is as follows… if you try to do the Virgin Diet using just my blog, it just won’t work. This blog is simply a record of my experiences and some tips in case you attempt this or another elimination diet. You should, instead, purchase or borrow the book and go through the details. J.J. does have a website and she does sell products but they are not necessary to be successful.
Admittedly, this is not a cure all. I recently received an Arthritis diagnosis in my knees. This diet can help relieve some of the inflammation but it won’t get rid of the Arthritis. Sorry to disappoint you but it just doesn’t work that way. However, if this can help keep me from popping anti-inflammatory pills, I’m all for it.
As a reminder, be all in. No cheating! You won’t have the same success unless you follow the process exactly as laid out in the book.
STEP ONE: Eliminate 7 Foods For 21 Days
Eliminate 7 foods for three weeks: gluten, dairy, eggs, sugar (and artificial sweeteners), corn, soy and peanuts. The easiest way for us to keep these foods out is to cook all our meals at home. Before beginning, purchase a small notebook or use a food log app and document what you eat. And I mean, everything that you eat.
Usually, I am not good about journaling but I find that when I feel sick or off and look back at the notebook, there’s a reason and it involves food. I depend on my notes to help me locate food culprits.
STEP TWO: Reintroduction
We don’t reintroduce all foods into the diet. Per J.J. Virgin, there some foods that should not be brought back into our diet at all.
Keep out the following: corn, peanuts and sugar and artificial sweeteners.
The only exceptions here are Stevia, Xylitol and Monk Fruit Extract as natural sugar alternatives. Also, rarely, local raw honey in very modest amounts. Thank goodness we have exceptions!
Over the next four weeks we reintroduce gluten, soy, eggs and dairy one at a time. The order is completely up to you. What I found is that I’d either order something with dairy which would force me to start my dairy week or I’d have some hidden gluten which would kick start my gluten week. The order doesn’t matter. What matters is that we journal and only introduce one ingredient at a time.
There is a max of three days of reintroduction then four days back on the original diet during step two.
STEP THREE: Maintenance
By step three hopefully we’ve figured out what foods should be kept out and what foods can be kept in to our diet. Keep in mind, if you have an insensitivity to one of the high inflammatory foods we can pull it out for a month, allow our gut to heal and then test it again later. You may be better able to tolerate the food once all foods that wreak havoc on your system have been removed for a period of time.
For me, corn was the absolute worst. I accidentally ate corn flour, hidden in gluten free pasta a few weeks ago. I didn’t have symptoms that day, but I sure did the next two days. I ate corn tacos as a few weeks later. That night, I felt like I slept on a bed of rocks and woke up with intense back pain. I would have never guessed if I hadn’t gone through this program.
Since shouting it from the rooftops doesn’t get the message very far, I’m blogging about it instead. If you have medical issues, pain and/or inflammation and you don’t know the cause, I highly recommend trying The Virgin Diet. If you are eating right, watching your calories but not losing weight, try it.
If I would have come across this program earlier in life, I don’t think I would have been open to it. I’m so glad that God brought this program to me. I haven’t felt this good in a very long time. If I hadn’t lost a pound I would still love this ‘diet’ for stopping the back pain that I have experienced every day for years.
You may be asking yourself, “Where does exercise fit into all this?” J.J. Virgin suggests not exercising during the program. I understand this because diet changes can make you feel out of sorts. I stuck to just two days a week working out.
Once we hit maintenance mode, we need to do weights three days a week and HIIT training four days a week. Don’t be intimidated by HIIT training. It’s basically just burst training. Go as hard as you can for a minute or two then slow down to bring down your heart rate. I’ve found some great HIIT training videos on YouTube that I exercise to. It doesn’t need to be advanced to be effective.