Fitness and nutrition expert JJ Virgin's new book The Virgin Diet (www.thevirgindiet.com) takes its name from the author - not from anything about the diet plan, sexual abstinence, or trying something new. Nonetheless, the theme of this book may be new to many readers who are unfamiliar with the role food intolerance plays in weight gain and health challenges.
Virgin, whose guidance has been featured on TV's Dr. Phil and The Learning Channel, outlines the process that occurs when we react to foods that our body can't handle properly - a process that includes immune reaction, inflammation, digestive distress, weight gain, and other symptoms. She provides the biological science as well as case histories that show how cutting out the most common intolerance triggering foods leads to weight loss and often a resolution of symptoms of health problems. The distinction between allergy and intolerance is made clear, as intolerance reactions are often more subtle and appear more slowly or gradually.
After educating the reader about the role of food intolerance in weight loss and health, she provides a detailed 3 step process for eliminating the foods that most often cause problems and then gradually seeing if those can later be tolerated to some extent once the body has healed and balanced itself. The 3 steps are "elimination, reintroduction, and Virgin diet for life." The book contains a lot of information about healthy, nourishing and healing foods - it's not just about eliminating the major intolerance triggers (wheat/gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, corn, sugar & artificial sweeteners). Once you realize there are so many healthy alternatives and such a variety of foods to explore you may not miss the items you're abstaining from. There is a recipes section, shopping list section, and guidance on how to successfully maintain this shift in your eating habits. Exercise, water consumption, meal times, and other factors are also examined. At the end of the book you will find a list of references and resources to further your education.
Virgin advises against processed foods, encourages using organics and foods prepared in traditional ways, and she says that for many people things like coffee and wine could be OK in moderation during later stages of her plan. Her plan promotes ongoing self-awareness and consciousness about how you are reacting to what you consume. This is not for lazy people, it's for those who have a true concern about and commitment toward their health. The book is full of valuable information and resources and has clear guidance about losing weight and reclaiming your health. The book comes with endorsements from other leading health writers such as Mark Hyman, M.D., Daniel Amen, M.D., Mike Dow, Ph.D., and Suzanne Somers. If you are looking to lose weight naturally and be healthy then The Virgin Diet (Harlequin, 2012) is a valuable guide.