Don’t let McDonald’s and Coca-Cola Control your Menu or your Country

JJ drive thru

This is a guest post by my friend Ocean Robbins, founder and co-host (with best-selling author John Robbins) of the Food Revolution Network.   Let’s face it, we have a toxic food culture. Big companies are trying to contaminate your food with pesticides, hormones, GMOs and chemicals. They want to sell you a bunch of sugary junk, and their balance sheets don’t care if you wind up sick or obese so long as their profits are rising. The … [Read more...]

How Safe is Carrageenan?

JJ coconut milk

Nearly every day I receive reader questions asking about carrageenan, an ingredient in So Delicious coconut milk and other products. Carrageenan – pronounced “kar-uh-gee-nuhn,” if you want to throw it around at your next dinner party – comes from red edible seaweed and is often used in the food industry to thicken or stabilize food. For instance, carrageenan is used in coconut milk to keep it from separating and ensuring … [Read more...]

Candy Bars in Pretty Wrappers: The Awful Truth about Protein Bars

Fat Rat

This is a special guest blog from my friend Jini Cicero, a Los Angeles-based celebrity fitness expert. You can learn more about Jini at Be sure to like her Facebook fan page “This is nothing more than a nutrient-enriched candy bar,” I said to a coworker who happened to be in my crossfire, tossing the wretched bar on my desk. “I can’t believe they had the gall to ask our gym to sell this crap.” My nutrition and fitness … [Read more...]

My Top 10 Secrets for Accelerated Fat Loss

hips - losing weight series

“I need to lose it fast! Like, yesterday,” a reader recently declared. With an upcoming Wakiki vacation where – get this – her husband’s ex-wife will be staying nearby, she wanted a swimsuit-perfect body in just three weeks. I sent her to my recent Huffington Post blog where I discussed my 12 golden rules for fat loss. “Can you give me something a little, um, faster?” she replied. Here you go: My top 10 strategies for accelerated, safe fat … [Read more...]

When Can Sodium Become a Problem?

macaroni and cheese dinner

I noticed many of your recipes were relatively high in sodium. I work out almost 5 days a week at the gym and they said that when you look on the label, sodium should be less than 5%. What’s your take here? Several readers expressed concern about higher sodium levels in some Virgin Diet Cookbook recipes, so I wanted to address the sodium issue here. Sodium is an essential mineral, which (among other roles) helps your muscles contract and … [Read more...]

5 Strategies to Reduce Gas, Bloating & Other Post-Meal Misery

JJ gut pain

“It happened on my way back from the restaurant,” my friend embarrassingly recalled. “I’m pretty sure that seemingly innocuous chicken dish I ate contained gluten, and gas and cramping followed miserable bloating. Talk about inconvenient timing: I had to ask my friend to stop at a Starbucks as she was driving me home.” Gas and bloating aren’t very exciting or sexy subjects, but neither are they when they occur. You’ve probably experienced … [Read more...]

5 Things the FDA’s Proposed Label Changes Got Right

Gluten Free Starch Products

You probably read about the proposed US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changes to the Nutrition Facts Label, which it claims will “better help consumers make informed food choices and follow healthy dietary practices.” Keep in mind these changes – the first labeling changes since 1990 – are proposed and still can undergo modifications. Let’s get the purple elephant out of the room first: An over-emphasis on calories, highlighted by a … [Read more...]

Is Canola Oil a Healthy Oil?

JJ olive oil

Dear JJ, You approve canola oil in The Virgin Diet, yet I’ve read mixed reports about using this oil. Is it really my best cooking oil choice? I get this question a lot, so I want to address it here. Experts tout canola oil as a “heart healthy oil,” since a good bit of its fat – about 61%, to be specific – comes from monounsaturated fatty acids. “Conventional ‘wisdom’ is that canola oil is a wonderfully healthy oil that should be used as … [Read more...]

6 Habits Healthy Families Regularly Employ: My New Huffington Post Blog

Mother serving daughter soup in kitchen

"I've got a family of six, and two of my kids are super-picky eaters," began a recent inquiry. "I can understand how you can make The Virgin Diet work individually, but as a family? Help!" I know the feeling. Raising two teenage boys and running two businesses leave little time to create a healthy meal my kids will actually eat. Yet I knew families that seemingly effortlessly manage such responsibilities without starting civil war over steamed … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Balance Your Hormones Naturally… with Your Fork

JJ woman shopping

Special Guest Post by Dr. Sara Gottfried, M.D. You know that the food you eat affects your waistline and energy levels, but did you know that it can also mean the difference between being a total hormonal stress case vs. feeling happy, clear-headed and hormonally balanced? In other words, the best way to reset your hormones efficiently and permanently is with what you put on your fork. Why? Because the latest synthesis of nutragenomics, … [Read more...]

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