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Clean(ish) with Gin Stephens | Ep. 430

Embracing your own healthy living evolution towards lowering your toxic burden

When it comes to healthy living, aiming for perfection is a near-impossible feat.

There's only so much we can control when it comes to the products that we buy. However, when armed with the right knowledge, we're able to make more informed and educated choices to work towards a cleaner lifestyle.

In this conversation with Intermittent Fasting Expert and New York Times bestselling author of Fast. Feast. Repeat., Gin Stephens shares her wisdom from her new book, Clean(ish) about how to eat (mostly) clean and live (mainly) clean as you unlock your body’s natural ability to self-clean.

You'll learn all about greenwashing, how easy it can be to get duped by seemingly healthy product labels, and how falling for such clever marketing can be contributing to your toxic load and derailing your health goals. Gin also shares how the intermittent fasting diet allows your body to clean, rest, and repair itself during your daily fasting time to help lower your body's toxic load.

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to the food we eat and the products we use on our bodies and in our homes. Tune in to the enlightening conversation to cut through the confusion and get started on the path to becoming clean(ish).

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Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 430_Gin Stephens
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] I am super excited to have my buddy Gin Stephens back with me. I had her on before to talk about her New York times bestseller fast feast, repeat. You probably have heard of her. She got this Facebook group of, I think, half a million people now, all intermittent fasting. All through her own journey when she lost 80 pounds after trying everything through intermittent fasting.
So she has now come out with another book, which is really interesting that we'll be digging into today called Cleanish eat mostly clean live, mainly clean and unlock your body's natural ability to self clean. So we're going to be talking about that. We're going to be talking about her whole intermittent fasting journey, what she's learned along the way and how it can.
You with getting healthier too? Alright. So stick with me. We will be right back.[00:01:00]
All right, Jen. It is so good to have you back with your new book. Cleanish welcome.
Gin Stephens: Thank you. I'm so glad to be
JJ Virgin: here. Well, for those who don't know, you, I'd love to kind of go back and start with how the heck did you go from. You know, being in education to now being a massive trusted authority in intermittent fasting.
How did this happen?
Gin Stephens: Well, you know, I, I did something that got people's attention. I lost over 80 pounds and. My friends and colleagues and everyone, I knew they were super excited and wanted to know how to do it. So I started a tiny little Facebook group, you know, did you know JJ? You can't start a Facebook group by yourself.
So I had to put my husband in it. He wasn't even
JJ Virgin: here, you can't start a Facebook group by yourself,
Gin Stephens: just you. It has to be two people to be a group. Got it. It can't be just bought you. Can't be the only person in it. So I [00:02:00] started the group with me and had to put my husband in it, but then, you know, I added some friends that wanted to know about intermittent fasting and to make a long story short.
This was in 2015, that those, that first group grew to be several groups with almost half a million combined members. And how,
JJ Virgin: like how long did it go from you and your husband being a group right to half a million people?
Gin Stephens: Well, see from 2015 is when I started that very first group. And, you know, after the first week I had about 30 people that felt a little better.
And I took Chad right out of the group because he was not even doing intermittent fasting at that time, but people kept bringing their friends wandering in because it had intermittent fasting and the name of it. So suddenly people started wandering and I'm like, who are they? Why are they here? But okay, come on in.
You know, I will say my elementary teacher background prepared me for running groups. Like all the things, you know, that, remember that book, everything I [00:03:00] learned, I learned in kindergarten. Yes. Well, everything I learned about managing adults, I learned in the elementary classroom, because the same things you have people want to feel heard, they want to feel valued.
But, you know, you, you have high expectations from them. So our groups were very positive places that people wanted to be a part of. And so more people came and more people came and just go, that's
JJ Virgin: so crazy. Let's go back a little further because you just kind of threw out there oh, I lost 80 pounds. All right.
Well, how did you come across intermittent fasting? And what did you do to make this work for you?
Gin Stephens: You know, I was one of those people that was struggling, you know, I have a doctorate and gifted education and I was obese and I was trying everything under the sun to figure out, you know, how, how can.
Lose this weight and keep it off. I did some yo yo things, some crazy things up and down, up and down. What's the
JJ Virgin: craziest thing you ever did?
Gin Stephens: Well, it might be the HCG [00:04:00] diet where you go to the doctor's office and you get shots of, of pregnancy hormone, and you eat 500 calories a day for 42 days. Yep.
JJ Virgin: I remember that I was a personal trainer in Beverly Hills at the time.
And that was the thing. It was the thing. It was like, oh my
Gin Stephens: gosh, it was nuts. Well, I was, I was struggling. And so I would go like, I'd be sitting there and I'd be bored. So I'd go to my computer and I'd go to Amazon and I'd go to the weight loss category and I'd look at the books. I'd say what's number one.
Doing well, and I would start looking at the books and I would be like, well, let me try that one. Let me try that. I was like the biggest diet shopper in the world. So of course I came across intermittent fasting, but I didn't understand because really nobody was talking about it as a lifestyle back then.
This is like between 2009 to 2014 when I was still in those struggle years. And so I would dabble here and dabble there. And one thing about intermittent fasting is you can't dabble because you have to, you know, train your body to be metabolically flexible. Those words were not even out there. Nobody knew what that [00:05:00] meant getting adapted.
So I would do it for a couple of days, then I would not do it. And then, so I was basically living in the hard part, but because we didn't really understand what all had to go on. You know, nobody knew to tell me, Hey, you gotta be more consistent. Here's why. So finally, in 2014, I was the biggest I'd ever been.
I went on a family vacation. I looked at the photos. I was like, oh no, I've got to do something that was when I was 210 pounds. So
JJ Virgin: you're like a bitty thing.
Gin Stephens: I'm five, five,
JJ Virgin: so, well I'm six feet. So
Gin Stephens: to me, you know, I actually, when I got off that cruise ship, I'm like, it's going to have to be HCG again. So I actually went straight to HCG and then I told this whole story Delay Don't Deny.
And then it was like, And it was terrible. I was white knuckling it. I was like, I can't do this. So I cut that out early and I'm like, you know what? I'm just going to just do Keto. Science makes such good sense. I'm going to [00:06:00] do it. So that was the summer of 2014. I did keto the entire summer and lost zero pounds and was starving.
Holy smokes.
I thought he didn't love it. And so finally, by the end of the summer, I was like, you know, cause I was in all these groups and they were like, just keto harder or adjust your macros. So I was like, I just can't do this anymore. And I was starving all the time. And so I was like remembering intermittent fasting.
I'm like, I'm just going to go back to that. And so I did and this time I didn't quit for the first time ever now I will say, I think I was fat adapted from. That might've been the secret sauce. I mean, I didn't even know what was going on. I didn't understand any of the science behind it, but I feel like being fat-adapted from keto helped me cause I had
JJ Virgin: already fat adapted means.
Gin Stephens: right. We're meant to be metabolically flexible as humans. We're supposed to be able to switch fuel sources as needed when we eat, we're supposed to be able to use whatever we're eating as a fuel, but then when we are [00:07:00] not eating. Supposed to be able to flip use our stored fat. That's why it's there make ketones out of the storage fat, give us great energy in our brains.
We feel amazing, but in the modern world, we've lost that ability that we're born with. And so, you know, the advice we've all been given to. Frequent small meals all the time. You know, we're eating the hundred calorie snack packs didn't work at all, but that trains us to be sugar burners instead of fat burners.
And so the reason someone who's following that conventional advice is starving when they eat their little tiny, low calorie, whatever. And then an hour later you're starving and hangry it's because your body cannot tap into your fat stores. At at that point. And so you feed, you have to keep feeding yourself.
And so keto allowed me to become metabolically flexible, even though it didn't lead to weight loss, I didn't feel great. And it wasn't because I didn't keto hard enough. I promise, but I switched to intermittent fasting and immediately started losing weight. [00:08:00] And I started losing at the rate of about a pound a
JJ Virgin: week.
And what, when you say that, what like, cause you know, there's so many different intermittent fasting models now, what exactly were you doing?
Gin Stephens: I was doing a five hour eating window. That was it. I was following the teachings of Dr. Burt hearing one of the very early people who wrote about intermittent fasting.
He had, it was called the fast five diet and lifestyle. That was the name of it. And it was just easy. I have a five-hour eating window and move it around. However you need to. Do that go. That was the book. And so that's what I did. And I can't remember where I got the advice. It might've been in his book or it could have been somewhere else that I read it, but I suddenly was weighing daily and once a week, calculating my weekly average, because I was one of those people, you know, if you ever did something crazy, like HCG, where you dropped the weight, like
an insane, quick, quick weight drop, which is not really fat loss. It's not a normal [00:09:00] rate of loss, but I was having these unrealistic expectations. So if intermittent fasting didn't give me rapid weight loss. I was like quitting, but this time I had a strategy for looking at my overall trend. So I weighed daily and once a week on notebook paper, I would calculate my weekly average and only compare the weekly averages.
And for the first time ever, I saw that I was losing weight week to week from my weekly average. My trend was going down, even if my Friday weight was higher than the Friday before my weekly average was down. So it encouraged me to not quit looking at the trend, really kept me going. So I was losing at the rate of about a pound a week.
I just kept losing and I kept with it and I didn't quit. And then eventually went on to lose over 80 pounds. And again, like I said, people, you know, when they see that you've done. They want to hear how. And so that led to me, of course, with the groups. Then in 2016, I self published a book called delay
don't deny. That was my very first book. [00:10:00] And I didn't know what I was doing, but, you know, I was like, there needs to be a resource that has all the best advice in one place, and I'm just going to write it and direct people that are coming into my. To that resource. And that was my motivation for writing it.
I was so excited that first, the first few months I was selling like 17 copies a day and I was so
JJ Virgin: excited. Hey, here's the thing, that's huge. You realize that? I think it's something like the average author is lucky. If they ever sell a hundred books. So, I mean, the fact that you're doing that back then, like it's crazy.
Well, I was so excited and the title, did you come up with the title, the title? I
Gin Stephens: thank you. All your titles are awesome. Titling is my gift. My editor is
JJ Virgin: Ninja strategy.
Gin Stephens: It's fantastic. You know, and all of them are actionable delay don't deny fast feast, repeat and with Cleanish the subtitle, you know, fast, mostly clean live, mainly clean it's it's all of what you're going to
JJ Virgin: do.
Yeah. Love it. Okay. So, [00:11:00] so you did that, you wrote that book, you had 17 people a day buying the book. You didn't know, but you weren't doing anything. It just, it just was happening, which is just crazy. When you think about it, it just shows when you've got something that's working out there, like it can just take off and
Gin Stephens: 24 7 in those groups.
So it didn't just happen by, you were working full
JJ Virgin: time as a, as a teacher. Weren't you?
Gin Stephens: Okay. Here. I'm so glad I'm retired. And if anybody hears this, that I used to work for too late, too bad. So I was the gifted teacher and, you know, Maria Montessori has a great quote about early childhood education and she says, The sign of a great teacher is that the children are all working as if you're not.
So I trained my children, what to do and how to do things that they're all working. And I'm just kinda sitting there getting them the stapler and helping them print things. And they're doing these amazing projects and you were doing your Facebook group and I'm like secretly over there. Okay. So [00:12:00] sorry. Yes, that's what I was doing.
Sometimes I would have to get up and teach them how to do something and I would do that and then, you know, go back to it. But anyway, statute of limitations, I'm retired right now, but you know, I, and when they would go to. Class. I had some time. So I would check in throughout the school day, even though I definitely was not supposed to be doing that.
JJ Virgin: Oh my gosh. And then what, when did you do the next book? Well,
Gin Stephens: the, the next book happened because. Delay don't deny became a lot more successful than 17 copies a day. I can remember the first month I sold a thousand copies and then I was like, I think I'm going to be able to afford to retire. Then in the summer of 2018, I got knocked off by some book pirates.
But the way that they do it is they, they, they re typed the whole book and had a pirated copy of it, but they were having third-party sellers. Sell it on Amazon right there in the buy box. Cause they had the lowest price. It wasn't an authentic beautiful. Maybe it was ridiculous, but all of a sudden I was.[00:13:00]
One book every two days or something like that. Like all of a sudden they like fell off a cliff of book sales and I knew something was wrong, but I didn't know what, cause I didn't know. You could do all that side
JJ Virgin: who would ever know this stuff. I mean, now we know like the minute your book comes out, You've got all these knock-offs it's crazy.
I want everyone to hear that because like the minute the Virgin diet came out, someone published my Virgin diet. Someone published the seven day Virgin diet, someone published my seven day Virgin diet cookbook. And I'm like, what the heck? How can you, how can you even call it that? Like, it's my name? You know?
So this. Buyer beware on all this stuff and make sure you're supporting your authors. It
Gin Stephens: wasn't even that they were accidentally buying a fake one through a different listing. It was, they were going to the real listing for delayed on tonight, the real one. And when they clicked add to cart, they were getting the counterfeit because right.
Third party seller was in the buy box because the way Amazon works, whoever sells something for the least gets in the buy box and it wasn't them. It was the third party seller. [00:14:00] And so finally we figured out what was happening and the Amazon refunded a bunch of money to my people because I was able to prove it.
And it was, it was hard, but I was like, I got to get with a real publisher who can protect me. And so that's how. I ended up with a fabulous literary agent who you also know and love the best in the business. I'm so grateful to be a part of or have her on my team or be in her stable. However you wanted to say it, but I'm so grateful to have ended up there.
And at first we thought we would, we would. Try to traditionally publish delay don't deny. But then I realized I wanted to write a new book because we had learned a lot between, you know, 2016 when I wrote the first book and all those years of doing the Facebook support groups. I now knew every single question everyone could ask about intermittent fasting.
So I wanted to write a more comprehensive book and that's how we ended up with fast feast repeat, which went on to be a New York times bestseller. And that was very
JJ Virgin: exciting. I know it's super exciting. Becoming a New York times. Bestseller is no easy feat. It's a big, big, [00:15:00] big deal. And so then you wrote Cleanish and what I love, first of all, like, love the title, say the whole title and the line after it
Gin Stephens: again.
Okay. Cleanish eat mostly clean live, mainly clean and unlock your body's natural ability to self-clean. And the thing about that book is it is not an intermittent fasting book, you know, after my first book did so well, the first traditionally published, they were like, now what's going to be your next intermittent fasting book.
And I'm like, it's not going to be about intermittent fasting. And they're like, what?
JJ Virgin: Just write it 50 different
Gin Stephens: ways. I'm like, you know, I've already gotten my people. They wrote, they bought my first book and then I got them to buy another book. And I don't want to say now here's another way to do intermittent fasting because that fast feast repeat was the comprehensive, intermittent fasting book that I wanted to write.
And it's still, I mean, it's selling great. Right, right now, every single day. You know, exponentially going up and that's very exciting, cause it's [00:16:00] been gosh, a year and a half since it came out almost two years now, but I wanted to write something because one thing that we find in the intermittent fasting world is people come to it wherever they are.
I started eating the standard American diet when I was doing it. You know, I had been doing keto, but when I started intermittent fasting, I'm like, I'm now going to just eat all the things that I've been missing. Jen,
JJ Virgin: I don't know if you're like when I published I think it was the sugar impact diet.
They had me on. The today show and they did a double segment with me and David Zinczenko and David Zinczenko had just written the 8 hour diet, the 8 hour diet, right. For those of you don't don't know he was known for eat this, not that, but the eight hour diet was basically no, go ahead and eat that. Just not during this just only in this time.
And I go, how can you say, don't eat the stuff, but now you're saying, eat the stuff in this window. And that used to be the thing with intermittent fasting. They go, you can eat whatever you want, as long as it's in this
Gin Stephens: window. Absolutely still can. I like to distinguish, eat [00:17:00] whatever you want. It's the way you emphasize.
You can eat whatever you want emphasis on you, but it's not eat whatever you want. That is not a weight loss strategy. And when I was, I tried the eight hour diet back then, and I gained weight because you tell me, eat whatever I want in eight hours buddy. I'm I can do it. So that didn't work for me, but the five hour eating window later in the day, but that was enough of a bumpers for me to even with eating, you know, quote, whatever I wanted.
And over time though, what we find in the intermittent fasting community is. People start to tune into their body signals and you realize you don't feel great with what you're eating and you start all of a sudden, eyeing the brussel sprouts and you're you realize that you want your food to be window worthy, then you notice.
So it's a natural progression that we find in the community that we don't tell you. Here's how you're going to have to eat. But people start wanting to eat better. So that was the whole point of Cleanish when you're ready to take it to the next level, but you don't have to be an intermittent faster [00:18:00] to read.
Cleanish it's not an intermittent fasting book, although there's one chapter about intermittent fasting, because I think that's one of your most powerful, if not the most powerful self-cleaning mechanisms, intermittent fasting helps our bodies, you know, clean rest and repair during the daily fasting
JJ Virgin: time.
Don't gloss over that. That's a really important concept, it is really important. Well, before we talk about that one, I'm going to cliff hang. So we're going to come back and talk about self-cleaning. Cause there's so much about detoxes and cleanses and all that. So hang with us. We'll be right back for that.
So let's get into your self-cleaning. Cause I saw you were about to go onto the next thing I'm like, hold on, Jen, stop.
Gin Stephens: Stop. All right. So in 2016, the whole. Intermittent fasting community was really excited when the Nobel prize for medicine was awarded based on research into autophagy. And unless you were a high-level scientist, no one had ever heard that word [00:19:00] before for like what?
But it's basically our bodies. Self-cleaning recycling upcycling that goes on and certain things that we're supposed to be able to have autophagy going on as needed in our bodies. But as we get older, we lose down-regulates in our bodies and eating all the time. Actually is one of the reasons that it does become to be downregulated in our bodies.
A lot of things promote increased autophagy, such as exercise, coffee, also fasting. So that's where the fasting comes in because when, when nothing is coming into the body, and you're fasting, All of a sudden your body's got time to clean things up. They're like, all right, nothing's coming in. What's around here.
What can I, you know, make do with it's kinda like, you know, the upcycling teachers are great at that. You know, we get a bunch of old junk and turn it into something new. That's what your body does during fasting. And so it can break down old junky, damaged proteins and build new [00:20:00] body parts out of them. It can break down any kind of garbage that's just laying around.
So autophagy is huge and having. Increased autophagy actually helps us age. And then just keeps us young. Yay. Well, we all want more of that.
JJ Virgin: Yes. So then walk us through what someone's, someone's going to get Cleanish because they want this as part of their success library. And we're going to also tell you some other cool things that you've got to support that, but someone's doing this.
Walk us through like what they're going to be, be doing. Like, is it, is it a cleanse? Is it what things they should be eating? Like what is
Gin Stephens: it? Well, that's, that's the beauty of everything that I write is I'm not going to tell you exactly what to do, which also some people are like, I just want you to tell me exactly what to do, but that's not how.
So with Cleanish we start off by learning about the extent of the problem. You know, we've probably all heard the phrase better living through chemistry, and that was the promise of the chemical industry and they were going to make everything [00:21:00] great. We're all going to have Tang, like the astronauts were going to be, you know, drink having our dehydrated ice cream, whatever bug sprays…I did love that Tang back then.
Well, my grandmother always had Tang. It had all those vitamins in there. It was so much better for us. Not really. And it's actually just chemical garbage, but, you know, we didn't really realize the effects all these chemicals were having on us. So first we start with the root of the problem. It's affected our health in so many ways.
We are, we can clearly see that society is not. You know, from children, I taught school for 28 years. I started in 1990. The longer I taught that the sicker our kids have gotten and you know, why is it? Well, of course also they're not eating real food. The chemicals are all around us. So we're starting with the root of the problem and it is, it's what we eat.
It's what we put on our skin. It's what we inhale. It's everything around us, keeping us in this constant state of inflammation. And so. Work your way through the book. This [00:22:00] is not a book that you're going to get, and you're going to read at one sitting or you're going to listen to, you know, you're just going to listen to it on audible and then it all sinks in, this is a book where you, at the end of every chapter, you're going to take a pause and you're going to reflect and take action on something.
And you're going to take stock of where you are, where do you need to improve? Where do you want to improve? And you work your way through the book. And then at the end, you create your own definition of what it means to eat mostly clean to you. What does it mean to live mainly clean? We're all in a different place in the journey.
Like if you're somebody. Eating the standard American diet and using conventional products for beauty products that you buy at the drug store, because that's what you've always done. Or the cleaning products that have the commercials on TV, because that's what your mom used with all the scents and everything.
Then you are starting at a different place and you're going to make the changes slowly as it feels right to you. But you might be someone like me. I thought before I started writing Cleanish I thought I was doing pretty. [00:23:00] The more I learned, I started really digging into like what I was using to clean my counters.
And I was a victim of greenwashing. I thought I was making a healthy choice, but when I learned how to really research and I'm going to teach you all that in Cleanish how to really check to see if your products are safe or not, or, or are you like me, a victim of greenwashing. And so even if you think you're doing a great job, you might be really, really surprised.
JJ Virgin: Well, I didn't know. They did that on like cleaning supplies. You see it in food all the time. Like food, here's the one that gets me the most crazy. Cause just, just like you. When I was writing sugar impact diet, I was. Wow. I had no idea how much they snuck sugar into things. Like I had no clue, like how dare you?
Gin Stephens: Yeah. Like there's a story that I told in Cleanish and it's the, what I was using for dish soap and for handsoap, I use, whatever dish soap. I wash my hands with it too, but it was like one of those greenwashed brands. Why should
JJ Virgin: there be a different hand soap and dish? It's like, [00:24:00] you know, all these different shoes, cross trainers runners, and
Gin Stephens: right.
I just use the same soap to wash my hands that I wash my dishes with. But anyway, I looked at it, it was one of those brands that did a great job of convincing us. They were better. And I have a tool that I found called. Probably a lot of your listeners use it already. The environmental working group has an app and you can look stuff up.
So I'm like, you know, writing about this topic and I'm like, let me look my stuff up. So I look up this dish soap and it was rated very, very poorly. And like, so I sorted the category of dish soaps from best to worst. I mean that blue dishwashing liquid that we all have seen the commercials where they're cleaning the birds rated higher than what I'd been using.
Which was nuts. I mean, I would never have chosen that and thought that was a good choice, but it was better than what I'd been using. So I was able to pick something that was rated a lot higher than the blue stuff. You know what I mean? And, and it's just, you just make that switch one time and it's so
JJ Virgin: easy.
Yeah. And you know, what's great now is like, [00:25:00] these things are not expensive. No I've been using my buddy Stephen Ezell have you heard of my green fills I think so, is that laundry it's laundry and what's so super cool about it is. You know, one of the biggest wastes are all these containers. So you get the container and then he sends you the stuff to put in it.
So you save a bunch of money. Cause you're not, rebuying a container every single time. That's what I do
Gin Stephens: with all my cleaning products. Have you ever used branch basics? Obsessed. They have a concentrate and you get the concentrate and you can buy either. Plastic bottles from them or glass bottles, which is of course I like the glass bottles.
And then it has like lines on there and it's like, this is how much concentrate you put in. And here's how much water you put in. So they're not like shipping you water and it doesn't have anything in it. That's dangerous. It's the same concentrate for laundry. For cleaning your counter for cleaning your bathroom.
It just, the proportion is different, super easy. And I add some essential oils to mind to give them that fresh, clean scent. I use peppermint for my kitchen cleaner, and I use [00:26:00] like tea tree oil for my bathroom cleaner, but the glass cleaner is just mostly water with like a drop or two of the concentrate.
And I'm like, well, that's not gonna work. That's ridiculous. It got my stainless steel refrigerator cleaner than anything I'd ever used on it before. Mostly water, two drops of the, the concentrate, but it's, it's saving me money and it works great. I mean, you don't have to use that brand. There's a ton of different brands out there to choose from, and it feels like it's going to be hard and expensive and it's not going to work, but I found
JJ Virgin: the opposite to be tru.
It's just shifting what you do, you do it once. And then, you know, it's, it's the, it's just identifying the new thing. But I will like back over to the sugar thing, cause I know you talk food in here too. Here's the one that makes me so nuts when you go to the store. And I think of that, like, there should be a little parody of the unsuccess, you know, the unsuspecting mom, right in the store, you know, trying to get the best things for her kids.
And she sees the little label that says with real fruit, no sugar added. [00:27:00] You know, and thinking, you know, there's a little halo over her head and she's looking at it. And the reality is they've got apple juice concentrate, which has got more fructose in it than high fructose corn syrup. It's a total lie.
It's probably got more sugar in it than a soda and she's buying it for her kids.
Gin Stephens: Can I tell you a really embarrassing story? My oldest son just turned 24 day before yesterday. So when they were little guys though, I gave them Yoo Hoo in their sippy cups, because it was fortified with vitamins and minerals and it had so many vitamins and minerals.
Wasn't I a good mom. You have come such a long way. I mean, I had no idea. Again, we were taught in school about nutrition. You need vitamins. That's what you want, get your vitamins and minerals. You also need like, you know, whatever the fiber. And so I was like, well, all I need to do is take a vitamin. Then I'll take a Flintstones vitamins
JJ Virgin: and we got them covered.
That's what, holy smokes. I remember going into a [00:28:00] nursery school with my kids and some, a mama dropped off her kid and he was eating a YooHoo and I forget what else? Some, some horrible. That at granola bar or something. And I'm like, what? You know, I never dawned on me that she'd gotten sold to that.
This was like a great, I, I assumed everyone would know you don't do Yoo Hoo's.
Gin Stephens: No, I thought it was healthier. I mean, and people are probably now thinking, well then why should I buy her book? She's a dummy. It's because I have learned a lot, again, I've read everything and I have a doctorate I'm able to research.
And so I know how to like, And the more I learned though, really the matter I got because, you know, I remember one time when I was in high school, I was, I worked at long John silvers and I remember standing there, you know, it was, somebody was, there was a mom and her kids and they're ordering their meal.
And I even, I knew this, even in high school, I knew this wasn't true, but the, the kid, I was like, what would you like to drink? And the kid said, I'd like a Coke. And the mom [00:29:00] said, no, get orange soda. It's better for. She thought that I'm not making fun of that mom, because she thought that was a better choice.
I knew it wasn't even in high school, but, but it just goes to show we're not taught. Right.
JJ Virgin: The right thing. You know, I laughed about that, but the reality is the manufacturing companies. Everything in their power to create that, to create new thinking you who's great because of the vitamins and minerals to create my mom, giving me pop tarts most mornings, because you know, it was the great way to start the day I had pop tarts or captain crunch or cocoa puffs.
And if
Gin Stephens: you look at the label it's full of vitamins and minerals and nutrients, it looks like, I mean, it's not, you know, real food has stuff in it that you can't, we don't even know what it all is. That's why real food is so powerful. We do. We just don't really understand it.
JJ Virgin: I have this thing back when I used to see a lot of people one-on-one I would always have them come in.
I'd have them just, I go just, all I want you to do to start is just [00:30:00] bring in, write down what you eat for a couple of days. Just don't edit. You will not shock me. Nothing you could possibly do is going to be something bigger than what I. And although a couple of times they will admit I was shocked, but, and then, because what I wanted to do was see where they are now.
And if they were getting a D I wasn't going to make them into an, a overnight, like I was going to go, let's go to a C like, let's just add, I love to add before you take away, like, let's just add some. Green vegetables in here.
Gin Stephens: Right. It's crowding out and crowding out because you're putting good things in and then you have less room for those other things.
And then eventually you find you've crowded them out more and more because you can't change everything at once,
JJ Virgin: right? No, you can't that I love the book. I think it's Gary Keller. The one thing it's like, if you just focus on one thing, get, get that thing nailed, then you can go to the next. Yes. So if you a place, you were looking at someone right now and they're going to get started.
What's the one thing you would have someone focus on [00:31:00] first?
Gin Stephens: Let's see. Now that's, I don't have a first at the back when they're, when they get to part three and they're implementing it, they get to pick the one that resonates with them. So it's
JJ Virgin: kind of where they're at,
Gin Stephens: where the biggest opportunities is. It kind of like choose your own adventure.
You know, remember those books that were out, I mean, it was like the eighties, like choose your own adventure. It's very much like that. It's like, here are the adventures you get to choose from. Where do you want to start first? And someone might say, I'm not ready for food yet. I want to start with my cleaning products or I'm going to start with my personal care items.
And, or I want, I do want to start with food or it's just, people decide what they want to start with and go there. And then it's one at a time as you feel ready, because if you feel like you're like all these things I have to change, it's overwhelming. And you're like, I'm not going to do anything. Then this goes on your shelf.
I do not want this to be a book that someone buys and puts on their shelf. I want it to be something that guides them and empowers them to make healthier choices every day and to understand. How to do that and why to do that, and that you're in charge at all times. [00:32:00] And that, you know, the deodorant police are not going to come over.
If it's a hundred degrees and you put on standard deodorant one day, right. You know, you're, we're, Cleanish, we're making choices where we can and you just have to choose. What's important to you. I use. Beauty, clean makeup every single day, but if it's really, really hot, I might put on some standard deodorant and it's all about figuring out
JJ Virgin: crystal doesn't
Gin Stephens: do a thing.
Oh, I'm on the constant search for finding one that works really well. Not easy. Well,
JJ Virgin: my buddy Kara golden of hint has made a great deodorant. So give that one to try
Gin Stephens: yet. Yes.
JJ Virgin: Yes, her sunscreen is so delicious
Gin Stephens: smelling. Do you love the sunscreen
JJ Virgin: sunscreen? So, yes, she came out with deodorant too, and that is very exciting.
Cause I remember when I first got that crystal deodorant and I'm like this first of all hurts. A putting a crystal in your underarm. And second of all, don't drop it. Cause it breaks and third, it doesn't work. So,
Gin Stephens: and then the deodorant starts to smell like like, I'm not kidding. Like you [00:33:00] take the lid off.
I'm like, does my deodorant smell like be, oh yes. If the deodorant itself smell probably any, you know what I mean? If you've tried one that isn't effective, eventually you rub it on your underarm enough, the deodorant itself starts to stink. You don't even need to put it on. Save yourself a step.
JJ Virgin: So it makes a ton of sense now why you've created this action guide because, and I love this thing where you are empowering someone to really see where they are now, where they want to be.
And then, you know, what's the first step. What's the next step. So you have an action guide that you've got with the book that you're going to be able to download, and it's going to be at jjvirgin.com/Cleanish go figure is mark. Now of course, you're going to want to grab the book with it because they go together, but this is, this is free.
And this is so that people will actually be able to implement
Gin Stephens: because that's the most important part, you know? And the very beginning I say, we don't make change by [00:34:00] the reading. We make change by the doing so you're going to have to do well. I am a teacher. I'm sorry. I can't help it. The most person who's most annoyed by that is my husband.
But, oh, well,
JJ Virgin: Hey, and speaking of that, so I remember at the beginning, you said, and I know we talked about this before that your husband, at first wasn't on the intermittent fasting train, right? See now.
Gin Stephens: Absolutely. And he has a PhD in medicinal chemistry. He studied drug design and he, you know, has a health focus and he's never needed to lose weight.
He's always been, he's like one of those annoying people that wears the same size pants that he wore at our wedding. When we got married in 1991 and, you know, Just told me, just eat less and move more and that's all you need to do. I'm like, thank you. Thank you, sweetie. You know, I've never heard that before.
Wow. Anyway, but he, he watched me lose the weight and saw me get so much healthier to the point. Like I no longer have seasonal allergies for example, and I no longer have to go to the doctor and get antibiotics. Cause I'm not catching everything that comes along. Like I [00:35:00] used to. And so he's like, tell me a little bit more about this.
And so he started it just for the health benefits and you know, he. No longer eats breakfast. He opens his eating window with lunch. He has dinner every night thoroughly enjoys his food, but he feels way better than he used to when he started with breakfast. I think this is
JJ Virgin: really important because again, you know, and I really feel like we're making a shift in the world right now where it used to be like, you change your eating because you wanted to lose weight instead of.
Changing your diet, changing your lifestyle habits, changing all of that because you want to be healthier because what do we know? We know that if you want to be healthy, that if you get healthy, you'll lose weight that you actually can't lose weight to get healthy. You have to lose, you can't lose weight to get healthy.
You have to get healthy to lose weight. And so there's the benefits, the benefits. First of all, of getting out. Toxic things out of your diet and out of your [00:36:00] house. Like just, just some of these dirty processed foods and the seed oils make me crazy.
Gin Stephens: And we were told to use those. We were told they were heart healthy
JJ Virgin: oils, corn oil and canola oil safflower and soybean oil.
Gosh. So inflammatory they're just nightmare. So, you know, whatever this is for, that's the cool thing. You look at a lot of these things like, you know, all right, let's improve your food quality. Let's shorten your window, your eating window. Let's get these toxins out. And they seem to correct everything.
That's kind of going off like, is it allergies? You know, it's a joint pain, right? It's like,
Gin Stephens: oh, it's whatever you've got going on. Is your, your symptom of your unhealthy lifestyle. And so, I mean, we've heard, you know, I've been doing this now for a lot of years and managing big communities and I have a podcast and I've recorded, you know, You have a couple podcasts, I have three podcasts, but you know, I, I talked to a lot of [00:37:00] people who do intermittent fasting and some of the things that they talk about that have resolved would be unbelievable if you didn't hear it from so many people, like crazy.
Their gray hair is now no longer gray. I mean, that didn't happen for me. I'm not promising that's going to happen, but I've heard that from so many people like old scars, disappearing, ridiculous kind of stuff that you're like that can't be real, but you hear it. 2 3, 4, 5, 10 people. You're like, well, there's gotta be something to it.
It's just so many things in our bodies can be corrected by intermittent
JJ Virgin: fasting. Here's the thing. I remember having this amazing nutrition mentor early on Robert cran, and he said it is not normal to get sick. Like every year I would get this horrific either cold or flu. And by the way, I got it every year.
End of January and I thought it was from the season well no, I was a weight loss person, guess what? January killed myself. Right. And so I kind of went, oh, wait a minute. And then he said, you know, when [00:38:00] you're sick, it's a sign that something's not right. And I was like, oh, I thought that you just get sick a couple times a year.
It's normal. Right. And so I stopped the habits that were doing that. All the overworking stressed out craziness. And I don't get sick in January anymore.
Gin Stephens: I haven't been to the doctor for an illness since 2015. Like, which is astonishing. I was the person getting ear infections left and right. And, and no more. I haven't haven't needed an antibiotic since then, so.
JJ Virgin: Yay. Well, you fixed your gut microbiome. That's another thing intermittent fast. I mean, there's like the benefits of intermittent fasting and then the benefits of getting these toxins out of your house and then out of your body, which is a whole other conversation, right? I mean our chest, they go on and on and on.
And I love the way. Of course a teacher would put this together. Well, that's
Gin Stephens: me. I can't help it. That's the whole point is, you know, knowledge is power. And the flip side of that ignorance is bliss. Not really. You might [00:39:00] think that everything's fine, but ignorance is bliss is really sending you down a bad health path.
Knowledge is power, even if it's scary knowledge.
JJ Virgin: Yeah, cause catch it early. Do something about it. Go to Amazon, go to Gin Stephens, get all the books. Make sure you get Cleanish then go to JJvirgin.com/Cleanish. So you can get the action guide that goes with it so that you can just work through all of this stuff.
Cause I think we tend to get all gung ho believe we can do too much in a week, but if you do a little bit in a week and a little bit more the the next week, and look like you look over a year and just like you, you lost 80 pounds, your whole health transformed and everything changed, and you had a new business and you quit your job.
Gin Stephens: Absolutely. And now I can work from anywhere.
JJ Virgin: I know that was always my biggest, my biggest goal in life. Was that I wanted to have back then there was no laptop. So I couldn't call it a laptop life, but I knew I wanted to work from anywhere. That was what I wanted to be able to do. And
Gin Stephens: yeah, we are living living that dream and helping people to improve their lives.
There's no [00:40:00] better feeling there. Isn't
JJ Virgin: so thank you again, my friend. So glad to have you
Gin Stephens: here. Thank you.
JJ Virgin: Hey there. Hope you love that interview. As much as I loved interviewing my buddy, Jen, it's been fun to get to be friends with her over the last year. And I'm super excited to hear your results from getting Cleanish. And again, remember to get the action guide at jjvirgin.com/Cleanish. And then let me know how it's going for you and be sure to subscribe.
So you don't miss what's coming up next on the show.


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