Originally posted January 13, 2013
Edited September 10, 2013
This isn't your every day book review. I am writing this because I read The Virgin Diet, by J.J. Virgin and I am making some changes based what I learned from the book, my experience and research. I learned of J.J. Virgin from an hour presentation she did on PBS.
So, after two weeks of fast food and processed snacks; a month of reading and research, I have decided to follow The Virgin Diet for 21 days. I'm trying it because I still have symptoms of scleroderma and sarcoidosis that seem to get worse when my diet has more processed foods in it. Why not cut out processed foods? It's not that simple. Foods often identified with health are processed; like Whole grain cereal, tofu and more. I chose the Virgin Diet because the author offered an easy to read guide to making the 21 day transition, what foods to eliminate, and how to reintroduce them. I also like this approach because it's not vegetarian. I need my protein and I am thankful to all creatures for generously keeping me alive.
Another big change for me: I have been using Isagenix shakes since 2007. I have trouble absorbing food and I notice a remarkable difference in pain and inflammation when I am unable to get the nutrition I need if I don't start my day with a protein shake. I changed to the Virgin Diet Shakes from Isagenix.
One thing that always bothered me about Isagenix is the multi-level marketing approach they have. I believed in the product but I had a heard time endorsing it because I did not want to use my illnesses to market it. Yes, I may be my own worst enemy, but just because something works for me, doesn't mean it will work for everyone. I saw it as a conflict of interest. Sure I have scleroderma and sarcoidosis. Sure Isagenix helped me, but I could not bring myself to drag Isagenix into raising awareness of scleroderma and sarcoidosis. I don't want anything exchanged anything except information. Does that make me stupid? Maybe, but this is not a business model. Many others and I are in the fight of our lives. Scleroderma awareness and sarcoidosis awareness is every day for us. I am lucky enough to be able to write, go to my doctor's appointments and say whatever I want.
Right now, I am lucky to have my Veterans Benefits and Social Security. Many patients in my position are fighting to get Medicare and Social Security. I know my perspective is somewhat unique as a female veteran in the Veteran's Healthcare System for 18 years with rare conditions. I have had opportunities to join or start up non-profits and make a salary, but then my opinions are subject to those who write my paychecks. In April, I became a Votre Vu Brand Ambassador . I love good skin care and make up, so this will be my attempt at a part time job. The Mighty Turtle is not a business model. I like being free to say what is really on my mind. And I don't have to hide my Sexy Liberal-ness .
Back to the shakes: Another reason I switched shakes is that Isagenix uses whey protein. yes, there little to no lactose in it, but whey is dairy. Dairy is one of the items to cut out of my diet for 21 days. I want to know if dairy has any effect on me, so in order to do that, I need a shake with no dairy- plain and simple. I do think Isagenix tasted better initially, but Virgin Shakes have grown on me.
So, why not a soy shake? Soybeans are genetically modified. They grow into things nutritious like edamame and turned into tofu. Soy is talked about in detail in the book, The Virgin Diet. Those seeds are sold to growers from companies like Monsanto. (In fact, if you do the research, Monsanto is everywhere.) Remember Proposition 37 in California? Monsanto fought hard to stop labeling of foods grown with genetically modified organisms or GMO's. That was no coincidence. So, soy is off the menu for 21 days.
Why such drastic changes in my eating habits? Well, it doesn't seem so drastic once broken down. I have the discipline to do this for 21 days, I just need to use it. My diet/eating habits, although full of protein shakes, consists of almost no vegetables. When I looked at my eating habits in detail, I was getting almost all of my nutrition from dairy products. Why not tweek things a little and see what happens? What if I feel less stiff in the morning? What if I find I have more energy when I exercise? I'm not exactly in remission, but it couldn't hurt to tip the scales in the direction of even better health so that when I do get a flare; my body can handle it better.
I already know that processed food is not good for me. At my last infusion, I ate a Keebler "peanut butter and cheese" cracker snack. After, I had to sleep before I could drive home. Other than scleroderma, sarcoidosis and major damage to my hands, I am pretty stable in my symptoms and the progression has slowed down. It's a new year and I find myself in a new apartment with an empty refrigerator. I think it's a great start. So, I will post every now and then about my progress and then the eventual outcome. Until then, I will keep wishing my boxes to unpack themselves, and maybe post a few love letters to bread.
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