During the past three weeks I’ve answered your top questions about my Sugar Impact Diet, Virgin Diet All-in-One Shakes, and Virgin Diet Bars and other products in my store. This week I’m tackling your non-Sugar Impact Diet FAQs. As I’ve said before, I will be updating these FAQ blogs regularly, so keep those questions coming below or on my Facebook fan page.
How does Bulletproof Coffee work with The Virgin Diet or Sugar Impact Diet?
If you’ve seen my video with Dave Asprey, you know my love of Bulletproof Coffee. (If not, click on the link to see what all the hype is about!) Bulletproof Coffee is a blend of their signature coffee with MCT oil and grass-fed butter. If you’re doing cycles 1 or 2 of The Virgin Diet, you’ll want to substitute ghee for butter. Once you’re in cycle 3, most folks do fine with Kerrygold or other grass-fed (not conventional) butter. A little bit of casein (which causes most dairy intolerances) exists in butter, so if you’re dairy intolerant or otherwise want to avoid dairy, stick with ghee in cycle 3. If you’re doing Sugar Impact Diet, you can use butter unless you’re dairy intolerant, in which case you’ll want to stick with ghee.
Can Bulletproof Coffee replace one of my morning protein shakes?
No. If you are doing The Virgin Diet or Sugar Impact Diet, you will want to eat a protein-rich breakfast within an hour of waking up, and an All-in-One shake makes an ideal way to get that protein-rich breakfast.
Any strategies about doing Sugar Impact Diet without breaking the bank?
Check out this blog where I provide my top strategies to eat healthy without spending half your paycheck.
So thrilled I can eat chocolate on this diet! Do you recommend any specific brands?
You’re going to love me for this: I want you to eat chocolate every day. Even in Cycle 2, as long as it’s 100% dark chocolate with no added sugar. Yes, feel free to do the happy dance! Dark chocolate is another sweet way to satisfy your cravings and support your blood sugar.
To save you the hunt and the trouble of trying lots of brands that don’t measure up, I’m going to give a shout out to two brands I’ve found that are making 100% dark chocolate with no sugar. It’s been tough searching and taste testing for you (cough), but at long last I can suggest these amazing options. If you’re in the United States, check out ChocolaTree Organic Oasis, and if you’re in Canada, you have Aracana Soba chocolate. Both of these have no sugar whatsoever, and eating them is sort of like eating raw cacao, which I do every day. Otherwise, opt for a high-cacao brand with 5 grams or less of added sugar. Portion control here!
I’m interested in hiring one of your one-on-one coaches. Where can I get more information about them?
I am doing a ketogenic diet. Would your one-on-one coaches be able to work with me?
JJ’s coaches can only work with people complying with The Virgin Diet and The Sugar Impact Diet. They have been highly trained to help clients overcome obstacles and exceed their goals in these programs. Likewise, they cannot answer medical questions or questions about other diet/ nutrition plans.
I have a tree nut allergy and can’t use coconut or almond milk. Any other recommendations?
Most specialists agree coconut – which is actually a fruit, though it gets classified as a tree nut – is usually okay for people with tree nut allergies. I found this information very helpful to understand more about coconut milk and tree nut allergies. Remember that everyone reacts differently, so always confer with your allergist if you have any concerns.
I drank coconut milk recently and had awful stomach cramps. Is that normal?
Too much coconut milk at once can potentially cause stomach upset, especially if you are using canned (full or reduced fat) coconut milk. Make sure you are properly watering it down. It may take time to build a tolerance, and for a very small number of people, coconut milk might not settle well. For those people, I would recommend unsweetened almond or cashew milks.
I’m on day 5 and having trouble eliminating. What am I doing wrong?
Your first step would be to bump up your fiber intake. Gradually titrate up to 1 scoop of Extra Fiber in your Virgin Diet Shake. You may want to do 1 scoop of Extra Fiber 2 times a day to eliminate constipation. Flax and chia seeds in your shake are also good options.
Incorporate high-fiber foods into your shake. Smart options include legumes, nuts & seeds, leafy greens, berries (unless you’re in Cycle 2), and avocado. Your ultimate goal is to work up to 50 grams of fiber a day.
Magnesium can also help alleviate constipation. Take 2 capsules before bed and see if things aren’t “moving” the next morning.
Make sure you are staying well hydrated. And get moving: even a brisk walk around the block can decrease constipation.
Can you tell me approximately how many carbs, proteins, fat, and calories I should eat?
While I provide some sugar, fructose, and calories counts in Sugar Impact Diet, I want you to focus on quality, low-sugar impact foods and the counting will take care of itself. To get a better sense of how your meals should look:
- Fill about ¼ of your plate with clean lean protein.
- Fill another ¼ with healthy fats. Keep in mind most animal protein also contains good fat. Vegetarians and vegans should focus on avocado, coconut, olive oil, and nuts and seeds.
- Fill about 2/3 of your plate with non-starchy leafy and cruciferous vegetables.
- High-fiber, low-sugar impact foods should fill the rest of your plate.
For The Virgin Diet Shake, this might be:
- The Virgin Diet All-in-One-Powder (protein)
- Unsweetened coconut or almond milk and avocado (fat)
- Kale or other leafy greens (high-fiber veggies)
- Frozen raspberries (high-fiber, low-sugar impact foods). If you’re in Cycle 2, avocado would substitute for the berries
I have a 5-mile run this Saturday and I’m wondering what the best options for carb loading would be on the Sugar Impact Diet.
We are not fans of endurance training because studies show it can make you age faster, increase stress hormones, and break down muscle. To learn more and understand what exercise we do recommend, please see this article.
That said, if you insist on doing long-distance running or other endurance training, we suggest utilizing slow-release carbs like berries and other low-glycemic fruit, legumes, sweet potatoes, and replenish electrolytes with coconut water. We also suggest increasing your good fats, especially coconut oil and coconut milk, but also avocado, nuts and seeds, and omega 3s including wild-caught fish.
For more about what you should eat before and after your workout, see this blog. Finally, we encourage that you read Dr. Loren Cordain’s The Paleo Diet for Athletes.
I’ve read a lot about burst training lately, and I know you’re a fan. What are the benefits of this exercise?
I’ve read eating too many raw vegetables can create a problem due to their high oxalates content, so why do you recommend so many?
According to Dr. Jonny Bowden in his book The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth:
Swiss chard- like spinach, beets, rhubarb, and some other foods – does contain oxalates, which are not a concern for most people, but may be for those who have one type of kidney stones [calcium oxalate kidney stones]. Let me repeat that this is not a problem for 99 percent of people.
I actually need to gain weight. As muscle, of course, not fat. Is the Sugar Impact Diet for me?
Absolutely! When you eat clean lean protein, good fats, and high-fiber starches, you’re giving your body the right formula to build muscle, burn fat, and stay lean and healthy. You’ll still want to stick with all three cycles of the Sugar Impact Diet to gradually taper off high-sugar impact foods. A few things I recommend if you want to gain weight:
- Eat every 4 hours. This might mean you have 4 (as opposed to 3) meals every day.
- Bump up your Virgin Shakes with almond butter to boost calories and nutrients. You will probably also want to add more protein powder (maybe an extra scoop), and even do another protein shake as a late-morning or afternoon snack.
- Also step up your lean protein, good fats (such as avocado and coconut), and starchy carbs at your meals.
- Good snacks if you need them include raw nuts and seeds, nitrate-free jerky, apple slices with almond butter, and coconut yogurt with berries.
© 2014 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert JJ Virgin helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food intolerances and crush their sugar cravings. She is author of New York Times Bestsellers The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days, The Virgin Diet Cookbook: 150 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Lose Weight and Feel Better Fast and The Sugar Impact Diet: Drop 7 Hidden Sugars, Lose up to 10 Pounds, Just 2 Weeks. JJ is also a frequent blogger at Huffington Post, Mind Body Green, and other outlets as well as a popular guest on TV, radio, and in magazines. Learn more at www.jjvirgin.com.