So I started a diet on December 7, 2012. Yes, before the Christmas holidays, known for tons of cookies, fudge, and other temptations everywhere you turn. Overindulgence is expected. So why did I start during the holidays? I decided that it couldn’t wait. If it was important to do, it should be done now.
I heard about JJ Virgin’s new book The Virgin Diet back in October, the release date for the book was about a month away. I watched JJ’s videos and took her quiz, and did a lot of background reading on her site. I was impressed and wanted to get my hands on the book.
I pre-ordered the book from her site then and when the pre-order delivery didn’t come as quickly as I’d like, I got the Kindle version so I could start reading right away.
I finished the part that covered the first 21 days (the elimination cycle) and decided to start. The first 3 weeks you completely drop 7 foods and by drop, I mean you don’t have them in any shape or form, hidden or otherwise.
The 7 foods are:
- Wheat (gluten)
- Sugar & artificial sweeteners
Yeah, sounds that’s like almost everything, only it turns out, it isn’t.
So I set about eliminating these foods. I read tons of labels and it was crazy to find how many of those things hide in processed or packaged foods in some form or another. They are practically everywhere, including places you’d never think to look. This was eye opening to say the least. This completely changed how I was eating.
Another thing the diet promotes is doing breakfast every day and using a shake based on pea/rice protein with berries, unsweetened coconut milk, etc. So I ordered some of the Thorne Research Vegalite in chocolate to try. (JJ has since come out with her own brand of shake mix, which is manufactured by Thorne Research)
I decided I would start when the protein powder arrived. It came on a Thursday, so I started on Friday, December 7. My first test was a Saturday birthday party at the local pizza place. I decided to also do a shake for lunch that day, then I could nibble on the salad bar but skip the pizza, bread and cake. It was a little weird, since I had just started and had no idea if it would actually work for me.
I did shakes for breakfast and lunch quite a few days the first 3 weeks, when I don’t do a shake for lunch I’ll eat leftovers from dinner or make a wrap with lettuce like a sandwich.
So you’re probably wondering what results did I see at the end of the 3 weeks?
I lost 1.5 inches from my waist, 3.25 inches from my hips and 12 pounds in the first 3 weeks. That’s pretty substantial, and needless to say I was motivated to continue. (I can’t say exactly what I lost in the first 7 days – I didn’t start taking measurements til about a week later.)
The holidays were a challenge though – I didn’t have any of the traditional cookies, fudge, or other Christmas staples. I adapted by bringing dishes I could eat to one family gathering, that way I was guaranteed good choices, and the other things that fit were bonuses. At another I roasted sweet potatoes next to the candied ones – to go with my turkey dinner (sans dressing). Remember, that by Christmas, I was already seeing looser clothes – that makes it so much easier to say no. My family was supportive and understanding, so that helped tremendously too.
After you spend 3 weeks cleaning up your diet and avoiding the 7 foods, you re-challenge wheat, soy, eggs and dairy over the next 4 weeks, one item per week. JJ has suggested meals and items to challenge, so it’s pretty easy to work them in.
It’s not an invite to gorge or pig out on the things you’ve ignored the last 3 weeks either. It’s an opportunity to see how your body reacts to those foods so you can customize this diet to your body right now.
I think it will be interesting to see how things go as I challenge the different foods over the next few weeks. It’s going to be weird to have a sandwich on wheat bread. (Part Two about the Challenge weeks or Cycle 2 is here)