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JJ Virgin LEANzine

Volume 4, Number 6 | Subscribe


Note From JJ

Hi %$firstname$%,

Hope you had a fabulous 4th of July filled with lots of fun and friends.  If you are feeling a bit "full" try doing two shakes and a double workout for the next few days and crank up that iced green tea between meals! 

I am writing this from home - I will have been here a whole week when this ezine comes out, seems like a record for the past crazy 6 months! Today I am heading out to San Diego to meet up with some of my pals who are attending the IDEA (International Dance Exercise Association) conference.  I am getting the opportunity to connect up some of my favorite people on Friday night which should be a blast!  Saturday I head out to Marina Del Rey to hang out with my pal Ali Brown and do some Stand Up Paddleboarding. 

This past week has been a big writing week...I am working on my script for my PBS taping that I am doing in Tampa August 11th. If you are in that area and would like to attend please let know, we would love to have you there!  I have also been working hard on our upcoming 7 Celebrity Docs in 7 Days Telesummit.  I am really excited about this - I have been so fortunate to be able to meet and spend time with some of the most amazing health care practitioners and now I get to share them with you!

We have been getting prepared for the interviews and I can sincerely tell you that this will be a transformational event. And it is FREE and I have all of them gifting incredible information to you as well. So cool, jump in and grab your seat at  

Make it a great week :)


Feature Article

Don’t Worry About Cholesterol!

by Jonny Bowden, PhD
featured expert in the upcoming telesummit 7 Days with 7 Celebrity Docs

I’m going to tell you a secret-- something that the smartest, most cutting edge health professionals all know and have been talking about amongst themselves for a very long time. This information isn’t widely known or accepted yet, but it will be—at which point we will all be shaking our heads looking back on this period in medical history and saying “What were we thinking?”

Get ready to be shocked.

High cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease.

Yes, you read that right, and before you recover completely, consider this: Fully half the people with heart disease have “normal” cholesterol and fully half the people with elevated cholesterol are healthy as a horse.

Yet talk to people about living longer and living free from heart disease (or any of the other conditions that rob us of life and vitality) and you’ll invariably hear someone say, “Yup, gotta do something about my cholesterol”.

Why are we so darn worried about cholesterol when it has practically nothing to do with living long and living well?

Well, for one thing it’s easy to measure. For another, lowering it is an extraordinarily profitable business. Zocor and Lipitor, two cholesterol-lowering drugs, remain in the top ten of every Forbes list of best-selling drugs, and bring in over 20 billion a year for their makers.

And for a third, the idea that high cholesterol causes heart disease is so embedded in our national consciousness that to dislodge it, even with the considerable amount of emerging scientific evidence that the cholesterol hypothesis is simply wrong, would be a massive undertaking. Heck, we’re still buying “low-fat” cookies and margarine based on information that’s been out of date for 10 years.

So, if not cholesterol, what should we be paying attention to if we want to live longer and live healthier?

I’ve identified four major things that age the body and rob us of vitality. They are so insidious and so systemic that I’ve named them “The Four Horsemen of Aging.” They are:

  1. Inflammation
  2. Oxidation
  3. Sugar
  4. Stress

Inflammation, oxidation, sugar and stress will kill you. Cholesterol won’t.

Inflammation is a silent killer, a contributor to every major degenerative disease from Alzheimer’s to diabetes, from heart disease to cancer. It comes in two flavors- chronic and acute. Acute inflammation is the one we’re all familiar with—it’s what you feel when you stub your toe, get a toothache, pull a muscle or have an allergy attack.

But chronic inflammation is the killer and it flies beneath the radar. It’s your body’s response to small but continuous insults like exposure to toxins, bad diet, stress, cigarettes and the like, and it causes damage to your vascular system. In fact the body uses cholesterol to try to patch up that damage—so blaming cholesterol for the damage is like blaming a St. Bernard for an avalanche!

We can do a great deal to fight inflammation by eating anti-inflammatory foods (fruits and vegetables abound with natural anti-inflammatories like quercetin and other flavonoids and by taking anti-inflammatory supplements (top of the list: fish oil!)

Oxidation is another process that ages us. Oxidation is what you see when apple slices left in the air turn brown; that happens inside our bodies every day, the result of attacks on our cells and DNA by rogue molecules called free radicals. Diets high in antioxidants go a long way towards fixing the damage.

Sugar- a risk factor for almost everything you don’t want to have—causes something called glycation. which happens when excess sugar in the bloodstream “gums up the works.”  Sugar gloms on to protein in the blood, making it too sticky to pass through small capillaries. It’s one reason why diabetics often have amputations in the extremities like toes and feet and problems in areas like the eyes and the kidneys which are served by small, narrow blood vessels.  High blood sugar is far more damaging to the body and to life than cholesterol. And it’s relatively easy to “fix”.

Finally, stress is one of the biggest killers on the planet, and, like sugar, far more of a danger to us than cholesterol ever was. Stress hormones age (and shrink) an important area of the brain called the hippocampus which is involved in memory and thinking.

Stress can exacerbate nearly any disease, not to mention that it can slow (or even prevent) recovery. And stress actually makes you fat- the major stress hormone, cortisol, causes the body to store weight around the middle.

In the “Blue Zones”- areas around the globe where people routinely live to 100 in extraordinary health with all their faculties intact- no one worries about their cholesterol or their saturated fat intake. They don’t have to.

Their lives have built in stress-reducers like extended families and community events; they eat natural whole food diets filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. And their sugar intake is naturally low, so they don’t have to worry about it gumming up the works and destroying their health.

Aging may be inevitable, but unhealthy aging is not. If you know what to do you truly can have an extraordinary life well into your 9th and 10th decade, filled with vitality, joy and purpose.

Best of all, it’s not all that hard to do.

The payoff is worth it.

Just ask the people in the Blue Zones.

Jonny Bowden is a board-certified nutritionist and the author of 12 books including the best-sellers “Living Low Carb” and “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth”. His latest book, “The Great Cholesterol Myth” will be published by FairWinds Press in November. Visit him at and follow him @jonnybowden

JJ Recommends

I’m hosting an amazing event starting July 18 and I hope you’ll join me!

I’ve gathered an all-star cast of my colleagues – seven of the most famous doctors and health experts in the country – and asked them to share their very best secrets on achieving vibrant health, sustained energy, and gorgeous beauty from the inside out.

These are the docs you’ve seen on TV, heard on the radio, and whose books you’ve read. They’re the go-to media health experts and I have to say, this kind of access to them is unprecedented. In fact, I’ve never heard of an event like it before.

Over the course of 7 days, this “dream team” of celebrity health experts will share their ultimate tips and strategies for:

* Boosting and sustaining your energy

* Losing weight easily (no crazy diets!)

* Staying young and aging beautifully

* Improving your memory and focus

* Building an unbeatable immune system

* Rekindling your sex drive (oh la la!)

* Reversing heart disease

* Preventing diabetes

* And much, much more

Curious to know who these incredible speakers are?

Get the full scoop here and reserve your spot today!

P.S. I almost forgot to mention - this event is 100% FREE and I’ve even got some goodies for you just for registering, including a coupon for Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics, a coupon for So Delicious non-dairy products, and a 4X4 Workout from me! Check it all out here:



Where's JJ?

July 7 IDEA World Fitness Convention, San Diego, CA

July 19-22 Thorne Research, Sandpoint, Idaho

July 24-27 NBJ Summit Dana Point, CA

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JJ's Book

Six Week sto Sleeveless and Sexy book

Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy

Reader Testimonial:

"JJ, I just want to thank you! A total stranger commented on my arms and wanted to know how I got them! I told her Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy. She is buying your book!!!! Thanks and have a fabulous week!"

- Lynn D.

  Ready for your own results?

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© 2012 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc.
Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert JJ Virgin helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food allergies.  She is the bestselling author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, a Huffington Post blogger, creator of the 4X4 Burst Training Workout & co-star of TLC's Freaky Eaters. Visit her at to take the quiz & find out if Your "Healthy" Habits are Making You Tired, Bloated & Age Faster?