I saw Ms. Virgin hawking her diet on PBS the other week. Indeed, it's all about the seven "no" foods and not much discussion on what to eat instead (..perhaps the answer is "read my book"?). Yet she did talk about leaky gut, which is the first time I've heard of this on television. This can only be good news.
Of the seven forbidden foods I only eat two of them: nuts/seeds and eggs. Neither one seems to give me much of bother.
Otherwise I found Ms. Virgin's approach to be the usual: follow XYZ diet and lose weight NOW!!! She makes it sound like a fad diet, although I did get the impression the woman knows her stuff.
Late answer, but I have the book! She suggests eliminating the seven foods for a three week detox (my word, not hers) for the following reasons:
She advocates removing these foods from the diet for three weeks to reduce inflammation and allow the body to heal. Then, she recommends adding the foods back in, one by one, slowly and carefully, to see how your body reacts to them. The only foods she does not recommend bringing back in fully are peanuts, corn and sweeteners. She does promote other nuts, however. (Awesome, since I'm addicted to almond butter.)
Overall, it's pretty sensible. She recommends a protein smoothie for breakfast, and I was eating fresh-caught fish and vegetables stir fried in coconut oil with ginger and lemon juice for dinner most nights. It definitely changed the way I eat, and removing the gluten and dairy made me way more alert and clear-headed than I've ever been.
As a result, I feel more ready to transition to paleo than I was before.
I just googled it.. found a short video of her making a smoothie on the show?
She seems kind of infomercial-ish and her website doesn't give much info about the actual diet.. obviously she wants to sell books so she doesn't tell you what it is really about aside from the vague descriptions. I think she's probably on the right path to suggest eliminating certain foods but I think the problem with these "new" diets is that they are too specific to really work for everybody. I cant figure out why she suggests to eliminate eggs? I notice all the foods she recommends to eliminate are the ones people typically have allergies to.. like why does she say to eliminate peanuts but not other legumes? Is someone really going to see results in 7 days if they are loading their mouth full of lentils? Rice? Potatoes?
It seems the focus is on "what not to eat" rather than what you should eat. When I first started Paleo I was really excited about all the foods I could eat! I was excited to find so many amazing recipes and explore new food combinations I might not have otherwise had. I was thinking "yes I can do this I love meat and fish and eggs and veggies" A lot of people on diets get discouraged because they focus so much attention and negativity on the "can't haves" rather than being more optimistic and looking at all the great healthy things they really should eat.
As previously mentioned, Virgin's issue with eggs is that many people are allergic to them. Eliminating these items from your diet temporarily, and, then reintroducing them will allow you to see if this is an issue for you. I spent years feeling exhausted and congested before realizing I am allergic to eggs and dairy. I figured it out long before I had heard of JJ Virgin, but Thank Goodness I did. It's made a world of difference in my life. I miss eggs at times, but the benefits in quality of life I receive far outweigh a desire to eat eggs.
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