There are many reason why I call myself a Spiritual Entrepreneur. One of the main reasons is that there are no rules in Spirituality. Rules, regulations and restrictions that stifle evolution bore me. I follow my heart and my intuition, and I do what is right for me and the ones I love. If my intuition tells me that there is something amiss and incongruent in any situation, I listen and I act…or not. In spirituality, guilt and fear is gazumped by love, courage and empowerment. I walk my own path. I create my own stories. I set my own limits. I QUESTION EVERYTHING. And if it doesn’t work for me, I let it go. I encourage you to do the same. Question everything that you read in this blog. Question everything that you read in all of my blogs. If it doesn’t work for you, let it go. Don’t believe a word of it. Move on.
Spirituality is for those of us who want to experience a better way of being. Our conscious-self recognises that we are more than just our bodies. We are powerful souls with infinite potential. While we want to reach a higher level of conscious awareness, we also want to improve our physical beings and strengthen our mental clarity and fitness. Always levelling up.
Biohacking is another way that we search for the ‘next level.’ Biohacking is the experimentation of genetically influencing our biology, free from standard norms and limited expectations. It is the art and the science of changing the environment around us so that our biology will do what we want it to do. It doesn’t matter what we want, the idea is to have control. It’s control, not through willpower, but through conscious shifting of our internal ecology and our external environment. It’s about designing our reality and redesigning it and redesigning it and redesigning it. We accept that something can last for only a season, or it can last a lifetime.
I first met JJ Virgin in June 2016. I sat opposite her as we shared a communal lunch table at A-Fest. She looked beautiful and strong – a super fit goddess. Her radiance magnified under the Mykonos sun. We ate and chatted, overlooking the Aegean sea. Little did I know that what I would learn from her that day, would change the way I eat forever.
JJ Virgin is one of the world’s top health and nutrition experts and is a three-time New York Times bestselling author with the books Sugar Impact Diet, The Virgin Diet and The Virgin Diet Cookbook. JJ specialises in weight loss resistance related to food intolerance and has helped thousands of people lose weight in a holistic way.
I wasn’t interested in losing weight. I was interested in vibrancy and feeling more vital. I was interested in happiness and feeling more peaceful. I was interested in having more energy. I was interested in finding out what part of my diet and nutrition might be holding me back from living a longer and healthier life. Longevity is key.
My intention was to experiment with JJ’s teachings for only 3 weeks as she recommends. March 2017 marks almost a year since the start of this particular biohack experiment and I don’t see it ending. I now have a new paradigm for viewing the world and it works for me.
Rather than wait until our holiday in Greece was over to commence this part of the JJ Virgin diet, my friend Kevin and I decided to go cold turkey. Why not? Why wait like most people would? A decision was made. We decided. He too has a new paradigm for seeing the world and it too works for him. Never underestimate the power of a decision.
I am not detail oriented and so will not indulge you with the scientific minutiae of the diet. You can research it for yourself at JJVirgin.com. There is plenty of information also in her books Sugar Impact Diet, The Virgin Diet and The Virgin Diet Cookbook. I am action oriented. If I have to do the math and complicate things when I eat, I become uninspired. JJ’s instructions were simple. Experiment by cutting certain foods out and see how you feel. Simple.
The purpose of this blog is to share with you what I did, what I continue to do, as well as the results, so that you can go away, do your own research, experiment, and make up your own mind. I wanted to also acknowledge those who have followed my journey, tested it for themselves and have shared with me their feedback. Hack that shit!
The Virgin Diet came about when JJ was conducting sensitivity testing with doctors to find out why people would constantly suffer with pain and inflammation, headaches, fatigue, brain fog, auto-immune disease. What she discovered in looking at thousands of tests was that the same foods always showed up. When these same foods were pulled out, “crazy miraculous stuff happened and the side-effect was weight loss.” JJ says, “there are so many different ways we could be intolerant to food. It could be your hormones. It could be genetics. It could be your immune system. Really, the best test is your body. If you find something and if it makes you feel like crap, stop eating it. There is no one test that really looks at all the ways that we can react to foods, and these can change anytime due to stress.
So I figured out the top foods; gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, peanuts, and then sugar and artificial sweeteners, and I have people take them out for three weeks and I give you simple swaps. So if you’re doing the milk, you’re doing coconut milk. If you’re doing pasta, you’re doing quinoa pasta. If you’re doing popcorn, you’re doing kale chips. Simple swaps so you don’t miss the foods. And at the end of three weeks, we go back and this is what’s so powerful because it changes the whole conversation on food.”
And so I went cold turkey and cut out JJ’s list of highly toxic, reactionary and inflammatory foods. My exercise regime is now low impact, effective and efficient. Punishing exercise which kills the spirit, injures my vitality and lowers my vibration is no longer a part of my routine. Yoga, runs, walks and effective strength, movement and mobility training is what I prefer these days. Oh, and lots of meditation and lots of sex. Lots and lots of meditation and sex.
While weight loss was not my intention (that would just be too boring), it was always to optimise and maximise and become stronger, smarter and more efficient while being kinder to myself and others. The weight loss is merely a side result. My body fat shed rapidly in the first month and has now plateaued. While I lost only 5kg on the scales, I went down two dress and pant sizes and I feel AMAZING. Mental clarity, physical strength and productivity is through the roof. No more brain fog and cloudy mind. No more bloating and fatigue after eating. No more food cravings and moodiness. Now, I only need to eat small amounts every 4-6 hours. No more snacking or hunger pains. Less thirst. My skin looks amazing. There is a heightened sense of taste and smell. I have deeper meditations. I have so much more energy and can run for longer periods of time. Less sleep is needed.
More importantly my mindset, my heartset and my meditation practice are more powerful than ever. If I thought I was a bad ass manifester before, my vibration has reached next level.
Joy, Love, Happiness, Compassion, Peacefulness, Forgiveness emissions are elevated.
I am faster, stronger, clearer and kinder… and there was no starvation or punishing exercise required!
Massive acknowledgement must go to Mr Steve Shipley from the Hunter Valley and his wife for their commitment and contribution to this part of the JJ Virgin diet. Steve shared with me his journal.
“Dear Pauline; Day 5 and am feeling so much better, including joints and significant reduction in plantar fasciitis which had been bothering me for the last two years. Lost 2.5 kgs already, but most impressed with energy level and reduction of tight points of clothing. We cleaned out a lot from our pantry, freezer, fridge, etc. Made our first Zoodle (zuchinni) replacement for pasta noodles also. The only thing is we have cut everything out you have suggested except eggs. Still using eggs, but all bread, pasta, milk, dairy and sugar are gone. So big improvement!! Thanks again for being part of the inspiration! And for the first time in two years, I was back on the weights and feeling more like exercising again.”
“Just to let you know after one week: 3.5kg weight loss, reduced cravings, far less inflammation in joints with much more constant energy levels throughout day. We are heading off to the USA and were going to wait until after our two months in USA (as I used to always eat breakfast at my favourite pancake place) but decided to start early and am glad we did! Will still be having my favourite pancakes every now and then, but will substitute other things for in-between. I would continue this lifestyle forever (hopefully), but wanted to have a 3 – 4 week proof point instead of just one week, even though both my wife and I feel this is different in that we are not in anyway sacrificing the amount we eat or the flavours we ingest.”
“Just wanted to provide an update on our progress. We have been at new diet / nutrition for 3.5 weeks now and will be in USA for 62 days. We have been in USA for 5 days now, and have been following good diet principles instead of finding reasons to cheat and eat a lot of carbs. We have found a replacement for our regular breakfast place to be able to do paleo! We are not frequenting my ex-favourite pancake place. Just a couple of notes:
1. We do not have a scale so not wearing myself out during trip
2. I have lost 1.5 inches off waist
3. I bought new jeans which are 2 inches smaller than trip two years ago
4. My chronic pain from joint inflammation was about 7 – 8 out of 10 on a regular basis, and is now about 4 out of 10. I am hoping with some further tweaking to get it to 2 – 3 out of 10.
5. My energy levels are higher and more consistent
6. Cravings have significantly reduced, largely gone away
7. I am still eating relatively large portions and have not cut back, but rather just adjusted what I eat and now finding I like to eat different things.
Pauline, I will keep you posted and keep checking in as I believe it is useful to be accountable to a few people on this. Thanks again for being one of the people to really get me interested and started on a much better diet. I also forgot to mention that now that I do not do the corporate travel which was always business or first class, that this trip over to USA economy was far more comfortable due to less stiffness and more flexibility in my joints than the previous trips and I recovered from jet lag much more quickly. In general, no matter what I do, it is now easier to do it with far less pain! Good ‘food’ for thought. I have been attracted to the idea of fasting and eating less in general. I guess the point I wanted to make was I really have not had to sacrifice or restrict myself to see positive results, other than eliminating most bad food and eating more good food. And we are not anywhere close to extreme yet. Thanks again for being part of the inspiration!” (Steve Shipley)
Whether we realise it or not, our beliefs about health and food heavily influence our bodies and our minds. Our bodies are incredibly intelligent systems, but we often don’t seem to respect, or even understand, the complexity within them. When it comes to health and fitness, we often throw quick-fix ‘solutions’ at them, expecting the latest fad diet to fundamentally change the way our physical beings work. But what if losing weight and obtaining peak health and fitness didn’t lie in a doctor’s office… but instead was already programmed into the most intelligent and sophisticated ‘app’ out there — your body?
Us humans have the definition of the word ‘Diet’ all wrong. The correct definition of the word Diet means WAY OF LIFE. Dieting does not mean to jump onto the next food fad, starve ourselves, work out until we are about to collapse, all with the aim to squeeze into that little black dress or parade on the beach in a bikini in the summer.
I believe that to be able to withstand any adversity that life presents us, we must be able to look after ourselves. Our mental health and clarity, as well as our physical strength and fitness are necessities for optimum living.
When shit hits the fan, will you be ready?
Food is Information and the fastest way to change anything is to change your diet – change your way of life.
Thank you JJ Virgin.