Now this entire diatribe is a mea culpa, so hear me out. I have now, unequivocally, become the type of person who used to irritate me. I am in no way proud of this admission, but it is how I once felt when acquaintances announced they had special-needs dining.
I admit to skepticism and even at times annoyance when non-family members or mere acquaintances (because I love my family and friends I often extend much more grace to them) would confess in my presence to food no-nos. I’m not saying this is right. It’s not the correct thing to do to dole out grace in a subjective manner. I’m just telling the unvarnished truth. I used to be impatient especially if the picky food preferences were made simply by choice and I was the chef.
Really? I would think to myself. This isn’t “have it your way.” How dare they not at least try one of my (in my own opinion) delectable temptations.
The exception to this rule would be if someone told me they had a food allergy. This is not something to toy with or to doubt nor is it something I hold against someone.
Food preferences or in the case of the Virgin Diet, food “intolerance” is something altogether different. Or so I used to believe.
Now if we had guests and a guest were to say they were watching their weight, no problem for me. I get that, got that, been there, done that, always doing that, have numerous T-shirts.
However, if someone told me they were a vegetarian for example, I would struggle with their revelation. God put animals on this planet for us to use humanely, eat and enjoy as our pets. I would rarely take for granted the fact I’m eating what was once a living creature. I sit down with a wonderful plate of roast beef and thank God for the animal that died for my dining pleasure. Then dig in. With gusto.
So it is with humble trepidation I come before you in a Meg Ryanesque manner (Netflix “When Harry Met Sally”). I am now one of those people at restaurants who keeps the waiter or waitress occupied with my…well for lack of a better word…demands. Oh I do so politely and even a little sheepishly, but I’m one of those people now and this has taken me far and away out of my comfort zone.
Which brings me to The Virgin Diet. What a hokey name eh? To be fair, PhD J.J. Virgin is naming the diet after herself. The fact that I don’t ever entertain the thought of something labeled “diet” says something about my discovery of The Virgin Diet. I call it a “God-story.”
There I was, getting ready to ask my doctor for the fifth MethylPREDNISolone Dose Pack in four months. That’s a boatload of steroids taken for a short interval. My symptoms were legion but suffice to say, this super anti-inflammatory medication made me feel better while I was taking it so I was about to beg my doctor for more.
My symptoms – and this is the short list: abdominal cramping, acne, arthritis, asthma, brain fog, chronic mucus/stuffy nose, fatigue, headaches, inability to lose weight (unless I worked out like Richard Simmons times ten), joint pain, muscle pain, chronic sinusitis, skin rashes, throat clearing.
I repeat, that’s the short list.
The muscle and joint pain became so severe I didn’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning. Extra Strength Excedrin was my best friend. I took it as much as my stomach would allow. Then I clicked on a link that said “The Virgin Diet,” amongst about one billion links and ads that crop up every webpage after the holidays. I almost immediately eliminated these seven foods that according to The Virgin Diet that are the most common food intolerances:
Sugar and ALL Artificial Sweeteners
I know what someone reading this might be thinking. “So what the heck else is there to eat then?! Water?!”
You are talking to (or reading about more precisely) a bona fide sugar addict here. I eat to have dessert and that’s the plain truth of it. Take heart, xylitol and pure stevia are our allies.
I will say clearly, this diet isn’t for everyone. Let me also make clear, I am not a medical person, nor am I a nutritionist. Consult with your doctor first as I have no expertise whatsoever in this field. I am however, an expert about myself and how I feel. That is what I relate here.
Most people experience a loss of (at least) seven pounds in one week on this diet. That wasn’t my personal experience but I immediately lost inches (I measured myself) and inside of two weeks fit back into my size four and size six pants. With only moderate exercise!
All of the symptoms above, every single one, gone. G.O.N.E. gone! It didn’t even take the full 21 days Dr. Virgin tells you to keep these seven foods out of your system, for me to feel the fantastic results. In 48 hours the aches became mild. The headaches began to subside, my allergy symptoms, asthma, yes asthma symptoms have disappeared. No more as I call them, “puffers.” By day three the brain fog that was my constant companion lo these many years was lifting (it had gotten to the point I was going to go get tested for Alzheimer’s).
I could almost feel the physical removal of this tarp over my brain. I’m energetic and I feel healthy for the first time in forever! Food intolerance is responsible for so many terrible things that can happen to a body and for me, I don’t even miss the foods I have now eliminated because of the new me. According to Dr. Virgin, you don’t need to eliminate these foods forever. There are several phases to this diet and I’m already in phase two which is reintroduction. I already know I’m not going to ever go back to some foods, but that’s for another blog.
I get nothing from the Virgin Diet people for writing this. I am not in any way affiliated when I say if you suffer from any of the symptoms I listed (and there are more) at least get her book and see if this diet might be the answer for you. I figured what have I got to lose except maybe some weight? I’ve lost some weight and gained my life back!
Next time, I’ll write more about what you can eat. I’ll provide more details about the results, how my grocery shopping habits have changed dramatically and share particulars about my first experience in the health food grocery store with the fruits nuts and berries on the shelves as well as the ones walking around the aisles...
That’s my piece for today.