Best-selling author, nutrition expert, and all-around Bulletproof babe, JJ Virgin comes on the podcast to talk about her top performing diet program and bestselling book, The Virgin Diet and why it makes you better. JJ is highly regarded in the health and wellness industries working with top CEOs and A-list celebrities from around the world, including Gene Simmons, Ben Stiller, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tracie Thoms, Janeane Garofalo, just for starters. On this episode of Bulletproof Radio you will learn about 7 foods to stop eating now, how JJ used food and supplements to bring her son back from the brink of death, and why JJ is against intermittent fasting for women. Also hear Dave challenge JJ to an arm wrestle and so much more! JJ is all kinds of charming and incredibly knowledgeable. Please enjoy the show!
JJ Virgin is one of the nation’s foremost fitness and nutrition experts, an accomplished public speaker and media personality. Her 25 years in the health and fitness industry and in holistic nutrition and functional medicine has allowed her the opportunity to work with high performance athletes, CEO’s, and A-list celebrities from around the world. JJ is author of NY Times bestseller The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days and the new Virgin Diet Cookbook, she has a show airing on PBS, Drop 7 Foods, Feel Better Fast!, she was a regular on Dr. Phil for 2 years and the co-host of TLC’s Freaky Eaters and has appeared all over the media including the Today Show, Rachel Ray, The Doctors and Access Hollywood. JJ is a member of Mensa, a UCLA graduate and chronic student having taken 40 graduate courses (and counting).
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What You’ll Hear
- 0:00 – Cool Fact of the Day!
- 1:55 – Welcome JJ Virgin
- 6:00 – JJ Virgin arms are the envy of Michele Obama
- 9:00 – How to recover from surgery rapidly
- 16:00 – The Virgin Diet
- 22:00 – Joint pain
- 25:00 – All about eggs
- 30:00 – Carbs and starch
- 34:20 – Women and intermittent fasting
- 37:00 – How to make your skin glow
- 41:00 – JJ Virgin is a Bulletproof Babe
- 43:40 – JJ’s top 3 recommendations to kick more ass and be Bulletproof
- 46:24 – Dave talks about Glutathione Force
Dave: Today’s cool fact of the day is about music. The song “Coconut,” you know the one – “She put the lime in the coconut, she drank them both up” – has only one chord in the entire song. It’s the only song without any chord changes that reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In fact, it reached number eight in 1972. The problem is that even though the song is really simple, it misrepresents the coconut entirely. We found that coconuts are wildly beneficial to your health. The coconut water from a fresh coconut – not the bottled stuff, necessarily – has naturally sterile electrolytes in it which are good for feeding your ph and your muscle function. There’s a little bit of fructose which I’m not a fan of, but not that much.
Coconuts also have a high fiber content which can definitely make you feel full. Regular coconut oil is rich in lauric acid and lauric acid is one of the fats that you want to have in your body. However, the real amazing stuff in coconuts comes from the medium chain triglycerides that make up 62 percent of the oil in a coconut. The only problem is that to eat enough coconut oil or enough coconuts to get the real benefits that come from those medium chain triglycerides, you need to eat as much as 18 times more coconut oil to get the full benefits of Brain Cctane oil. Simple songs about coconuts are not telling us about all the different types of fatty acids in coconut, and if I wrote that song it would be a biohacking song about the different uses and types and rarities of different facets of coconut oil because when you’re on Upgraded MCT or Brain Octane, everything sounds better.
Hey everyone, it’s Dave Asprey with Bulletproof Executive Radio. Today we’ve got JJ Virgin, a friend and a thirty week straight New York Times bestselling author with the Virgin Diet on the show. JJ, welcome; happy to have you here.
JJ: Thank you, I’m a big fan, fueled by Bulletproof.
Dave: Thank you. I love that. I know that you’re a fan of Bulletproof Coffee and I’m a fan of the things that you’ve written as well where you really pay attention to food quality and food sensitivities and things like that. Thought it would be really cool this episode if I got a chance to ask you about the Virgin Diet instead of talking incessantly about the Bulletproof Diet. I think your book is definitely worth a read and that people ought to know about what you’ve been doing. Not that most of them don’t already given your massive media footprint and the fact that you’re all over the place in the media. You got there after what, about 25 years working in holistic nutrition and functional medicine and all these celebrity people and what not. Kind of give me the JJ story. How did you get to be such a diet expert?
JJ: I’m a woman; we’re all diet experts.
Dave: I noticed.
JJ: At age 12 I was very athletic and I was actually in ballet. I was in point ballet which is stupid as a 6 foot tall woman. Because of that, I got very into nutrition and really how to use nutrition to optimize. I was running track and doing point ballet and working out with the football team. It was everything I could do with nutrition because it’s pretty clear that exercise without nutrition is not going to get you anywhere and when you put the two together it’s such an amplification.
I started paying my way through graduate school as a personal trainer. In graduate school, I was falling prey – I admit it – to, okay, the way you lose weight is you eat less and exercise more. I was diligently … My poor first clients, my apologies to you. I am so sorry. I was just doing what I was told for once in my life. We were taught they’ve got to eat less, they’ve got to exercise more, you got to create this caloric deficit. I’m doing that and most of my clients were 45 to 55 year old women. These are the women that are going to struggle the most because their hormones are starting to go whacky and they’re starting to raise their cortisol so now their insulin’s up. Just the worse hormonal milieu for losing weight.
Clearly making them over-exercise and then eat less is the single worst thing I could have done, and it wasn’t working. Dave, I like to say I’m not insane. I sat there and went, “All right, it’s not working.” I went back to UCLA where I got my undergrad and I went into the biomed stacks and I started going, “Let’s find out why.” I thought, “Why is all this stuff I’m being taught in school not what is in the literature from 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago?” We’re taught when we do graduate work to disregard. “You got to have current studies!” I’m like, “Why, did our body change?” Seriously, if we found out that 30 years ago that the Eastern Europeans had it nailed with the right type of exercise … That was when it was clear to me, “Why are we doing all this long endurance training?” It’s so clearly not the way to go.
I started putting all this stuff together and honestly way back then to say that calories don’t count – they count but where they come from counts so much more – and that you shouldn’t be doing endurance training. I’m surprised I wasn’t stoned to death because everything was about aerobics and eating fat free. I did all those things at the time and I was always overweight and always broken out and just a mess. I was like, “I’m going to figure this out. I’m going to crack this code.” It took me years and along the way I started teaching this course to doctors called Overcoming Weight Loss Resistance and it looked at sex hormones and insulin leptin and thyroid and all the different GI issues, and toxicity.
It really occurred to me that food was the big needle mover. You had to start with food first. Then how do we make this simple, because the course was so hard that the doctors kept coming back. I’d have people go, “This is the fifth time I’ve come through it.” I’m like, “If you can’t get it five times through then how are you going to apply it to your patients?” How do we do this to simplify down, drill it down, so you can get some fast results and get in the game? That’s really where this all came from.
Dave: JJ, a lot of people are driving right now listening to Bulletproof Executive Radio on their commute – it’s a standard thing twice a week – so they can’t see your video. Is it actually true that Michelle Obama is jealous of your arms?
JJ: That is so funny. Here, woo woo woo!
Dave: Seriously, you’re ripped. You look awesome and it’s amazing.
JJ: Not bad for a 50 year old. It’s funny, so now I’m a 50 year old with a total knee replacement from that point ballet when I was a teenager. Some snarky person on Facebook said, “Well maybe if you didn’t exercise so much.” I went, “I blew out my knee when I was 17 and I held it together for 33 years.” Then, finally, I was like, “This is ridiculous.” It’s interesting because people will look at me and they go, “Well you must spend forever in the gym.” I go, “No, really actually I probably spend less time in the gym than you guys are commuting right now.” It’s all about high intensity interval training and then the right nutrients to do so.
By the way, I want to tell you, as I was healing from my knee surgery; I had a total knee replacement. I found out ten minutes before I had it that I was going to have it; I thought I was going to have a partial – which is the best time to find out, by the way. Then I start hammering supplements. The minute I’m in my own room and the nurse walks out, it’s like “Give me my bag.” I have all this stuff with me. I used your glutathione, I used the Upgraded Collagen. I had this thing nailed. The only upsetting thing was that no one could bring me Bulletproof in the hospital. I’m like, “Where the hell’s the coffee? Get me out of here.” I used a walker for two minutes; I never used it again. I was back at the gym. I started moving it that day. I was back at the gym ten days later doing lunges and squats and step-ups and plies and everything. In high shoes two weeks later.
Dave: You were in high shoes at age 50 two weeks after knee surgery? You’re pushing NFL recovery limits after knee surgery; it’s no joke.
JJ: I trained for the surgery and the nutrient hit that I took after surgery, I was like, “All right, let’s go.” It’s funny because someone’s like, “Gosh, you’re supposed to get so catabolic after surgery. You didn’t lose a thing.” I go, “Hi, I know what I’m doing.”
Dave: You went ahead, right.
JJ: I planned ahead, yes.
Dave: Did you use l-glutamine as well?
JJ: Oh heck yeah. Absolutely.
Dave: Post-surgery or post-injury you just have to pound that stuff. How much did you take?
JJ: Ten grams is my favorite dose for people, is three heaping teaspoons or a big tablespoon. I used vitamin C, phosphoserine, I use a special amino acid blend. I used this stuff I hate from Donna Gates – cocobiotic. They trash your gut. I’m like, “All right, I’m going to hammer myself back with priobiotics and prebiotics and fermented foods.” Lots of protein, lots of fish oil. I went straight high dose fish oil. I was going to say the pharmaceutical; my supplement big thing, I couldn’t even keep it on the table next to my bed. I had a big bag next to the table with everything, and then multiple shakes throughout the day. It’s been four weeks now and I just recorded videos for ten hours the other day – standing.
Dave: Most people who are 50 who undergo joint replacement surgery have brain fog – serious brain fog for months afterwards.
JJ: I know.
Dave: You’re back to your normal … You are actually a biohacker. You just did it.
JJ: I was working that night. This is the sad part: I brought my partner into the pre-op because I wanted to get all this stuff done before surgery. I knew we’d have like 30 minutes to an hour. I’m like, “Why waste time?” We’re doing, working, all this stuff. They’re trying to give me things to like … and we’re working. I get out of surgery and I want to keep doing this but I can’t remember because I’ve just come out of anesthesia but I’m hitting myself with GPC immediately. I hit myself with GPC right pre-surgery and then immediately-
Dave: When you say GPC, just for people listening, that’s glycerol phosphocholine?
JJ: Glycerol Phosphocoline. I did that with my son who was left for dead in the street and basically died, and now he’s running. They’re like “He’ll never walk,” and he’s sprinting down the soccer fields. His last two surgeries, we just hammered him with GPC right before surgery. He woke up and he’s like, “Let’s go home!”
Dave: You’re doing this, and GPC is essentially something that makes acetycholine, the neuro-transmitter, and it’s something that helps you create myelin, the insulated lining of your nerves. When you’re injured, your requirements for this go up dramatically. How much of this are you taking? I’m sure some people listening to this are like, “I’m going to have going to have surgery. What do I do?”
JJ: I [inaudible 11:01] that. I would tell people kind of a maintenance dose of GPC is 2,000 mics a day. I do pre-surgery I will do it three times a day, 2,000 micrograms. I just bring it and I do it right before surgery and then I have my little stash of stuff so the minute people leave the room like “Bring the bag!” I had all sorts of stuff with me that night next to my bed so the nurses go in and out and I’ve got all my things. It makes a big difference because it protects your brain from anesthesia. That’s the thing, that I can’t lose my brain right now. Forever, but especially right now because I’ve got a book deadline.
Dave: Did you do any of the smart drugs like piracetam or aniracetam before or after surgery?
JJ: Unh uh.
Dave: This is another trick that, should you ever have to go under the knife again, and other people listening might be interested in. It turns out that piracetam or aniracetam protects your brain from low oxygen states. About five percent of people get a microstroke during general anesthesia so little bits of your brain just don’t work the way they did before. If you’re on piracetam or aniracetam, it will let your brain last much longer without oxygen. It’s protective.
JJ: That should be standard course. You look at people that come out of, especially all the different heart surgeries, and they’re trashed for months. There’s no reason for any of this to happen. Literally, I had the surgery; at midnight that night I was up working in my hotel room. It felt like a hotel; it was actually a very nice place. I had book edits to do. I was fine. It can be that way.
Dave: You’ve engineered some pretty massive resilience there. Most people get huge cortisol problems, adrenal issues – it’s a big hit. Were you taking adrenal hormone?
JJ: I had some at home to take but I actually … I can feel mine if I need it. I’m so dialed in with my … I trashed my adrenals so many times, I now know just what it feels like. I can draw my rhythm out. It’s just like when my son got hit and he was in the ICU. I had someone cruise in and bring me the bag of adrenal supplements. I just did a ton of phosphoserine and vitamin C and fish oil and I was fine. I felt it. I had it at home if I needed it and I was like, “I don’t need it. I’m totally cool.” It felt great.
Dave: You weren’t concerned about bleeding? Because fish oil makes your blood more thin and they advise you not take it.
JJ: By the way, it doesn’t. I got in such a big argument with them. Grant just had two surgeries on 20 grams of fish oil a day. When my son was hit by a car – he was the subject of a hit and run for people who don’t know the story. He was left for dead in the street at 17 – he was 16 at the time. The doctor at their local hospital said, “Just let him go. He’d be so brain damaged if he does wake up. He’ll probably not wake up but if you talk him anywhere else, he’d die on the way.” Blah, blah, just mister doom and gloom. We started him on the 20 grams of fish oil and in fact, CNN Sanjay Gupta’s doing a story on this.
Dave: Oh lovely.
JJ: Yeah, this is great. This and progesterone. They wouldn’t let me do it at the first hospital because “Oh, he’s going to bleed.” I started working with Barry Sears and Barry Sears says there’s not one study to show that fish oil increases bleeding, increases pro-time. Actually, I kept bringing him up behind their backs at the first hospital; I got him up to 7 grams. No change, because we were monitoring his pro-time. Zero, his IRTs. No change whatsoever; his blood wasn’t any thinner. I stopped being worried about that. He was at the other hospital on 20 grams doing surgeries no problem. That is an urban legend that needs to die. My anesthesiologist goes, “Okay, you’re not on fish oils are you?” I’m like, “Unh uh!” because it’s not even worth it. It’s just the urban legend that won’t die and there really is nothing out there to substantiate it. Nothing.
Dave: That’s actually news. I did not know … I know that low-dose fish oil is not a big deal during surgery but I didn’t realize that you could do 20 grams without even creating more inflammation, but it does have a metabolic lowering effect for a short period of time. Maybe that’s what you want right in the middle of a surgery so not have your inflammatory responses going crazy.
JJ: All I know, now we’re at a point where we’re now monitoring fatty acids because Grant was on it so long. Brains take a long time to heal when you bang them against the ground going 40 miles an hour.
Dave: Wow, I didn’t even expect that we’d talk about rapid recovery from surgery but I never know what we’ll talk about, JJ, because you’re a fountain of knowledge. Let’s go into the Virgin Diet a little bit because, of course, this is your book. Tell me about what you focus on with calories, carbs, fat grams, food intolerance. What’s the deal, give me the-
JJ: Oh calories, god. See, if you’re eating right, you don’t have to think about calories because you won’t be hungry and craving and all trashed. The reason people have to count calories is because they’re eating these drug foods like gluten and dairy and sugar, and so they’re hungry all the time and craving them. The whole basis of the Virgin Diet, my whole thing is your body’s not a bank account, it’s a chemistry lab, and that you must consider the hormonal messages, the chemical messages, of everything that you eat, think, and do, whether it’s the way you exercise, your stress, your sleep, your food. It all starts with your fork; what you put at the end of your fork is your fastest needle mover.
This all happened, I was going this testing in doctor’s offices – food sensitivity testing. We were doing it really because we noticed that when we tested people they were more compliant on their diet. I was just trying to get them to stay on the freaking diet. The cool thing was, we’d test them and they always would show up with a dairy problem. They’d always show up with a gluten program. I hate soy, so they couldn’t have soy anyway and I got on such a soap box about it. They were like, “All right!”
The same foods always showed up and what was interesting is they’d come into the office and they’d be bloated and they’d be tired and their joints would hurt and their skin looked like crap. They felt old and looked old and they were moody and they couldn’t think straight. That’s what the problems were; that’s what they were complaining about. Most of them were like, “Forget even losing weight at this point. I give up.” They were those issues.
If you look at why most people go to the doctor, it’s because they’re tired or they hurt. We would do the test; the same foods always showed up. We’d pull the foods out; the symptoms would go away in a matter of days. After a couple of years – I wish I could say a couple of weeks – but after a couple of years I go, “You know, maybe we don’t need to test.” Also, we weren’t able to do one test because we had to look at gluten both from a delayed food sensitivity way, an immune way, but also we had to look at it through genetics and really you should look at it through hormones.
When you look at different foods, you’ve got to think of the intolerance that could be created both through your immune system, whether it’s immediate or delayed – which is far more common – through your hormonal system, and through your genetics. There’s not one test – the test. I don’t believe even if we put all the tests we know now together, we’d have all the answers on it. Then we have all that weird extraneous crap like GMOs and weird colorings and stuff.
Dave: You don’t know what’s in your food when you go to a restaurant, anyway. Right?
JJ: No, it’s a total crap shoot. How scary is that? It’s like, “What’s really in that chicken?” Chicken’s one of the scariest ones going at this point.
Dave: I wouldn’t eat that stuff.
JJ: You’re so much better with grass-finished beef than chicken. Try to find some chicken that hasn’t been fed GMO corn and soy. Good freaking luck on that one. Anyway, I noticed that so I thought, “I’m really all about messages that can change the most people in the shortest amount of time.” One of the things I see in functional medicine and the kind of world I like to play in is that people like to take on really complicated people and do all these intense little tweaking. I’m like, “Well, what if I could put you on something that’s going to make a big change in a matter of days and you’re going to feel 80 to 90 percent better?” Let’s do that.
What the Virgin Diet is, is you drop these seven foods: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, peanuts. Sugar and artificial sweeteners – whole ‘nother story. You pull them out. Sugar, of course, you’re not going to pull out 100 percent because some of the foods naturally have sugar but you’re not eating high sugar impact foods. You pull them out for three weeks because you got to let your immune system cool off; you’re letting your hormones come back in balance. During those first couple days, you have crazy cravings for the foods that are hurting you, which is such great information. That’s how I reframe it: I go, “If you’re craving that cheese, good, because that means you’re going to have amazing results, right?”
You got to give people a reframe. It’s like how we’re raising our kids. I remember the first time my kid got hurt and was bleeding and I’m like, “Ahhhh!!!,” and the kids like “Ahhh!!” I went, “Well, that’s stupid.” Now your kid gets hurt – and especially now after what happened with Grant – they come and they’re bleeding and I’m like, “Big deal. You’re walking and talking, it’s fine. Get over it.” You got to teach people what they should expect.
The other thing is, if I just told people, “Hey, we’re going to pull these seven foods out. Good luck, go deal with it.” What I do is instead is I give them easy swaps. If they’re pulling out cow’s milk, they’re going to put in coconut milk. If they’re pulling out pasta, they do quinoa pasta or better yet, spaghetti squash. We just give them simple swaps that they can do so that they just don’t have to think about it and they don’t have a vacuum. I’ve always found that if you tell people, “Hey, you can’t have this,” they’re going to put something worse in its place. We do those swaps; we do it for three weeks. I have them do a food intolerance assessment at the beginning on all those symptoms I talked about.
At the end of three weeks – and this I think is what is so powerful. It’s the ability for you to use your body as a chemistry lab and connect the dots between what you’re eating and how you feel and what you weigh. That’s such a different conversation than, “Oh, I was bad yesterday. I ate a cupcake.” That just drives me crazy because this is not a bad or good. This is did this help your hurt you? When you all of a sudden now you eat the pizza and the muffin and you go, “You know what, my joints are killing when I do this.” Then it’s a different conversation. You’re like. “No. Hell no, I’m not having that. That made my fingers swell. That made my knee hurt. That made my face break out.”
Then you know which foods really work for you because these symptoms are so low grade and they have also become so accepted and acceptable. For some reason, go the store and it’s like there’s a gazillion headache medications. There’s tons of 5-Hour Energy. There’s all of these things for diarrhea and constipation and gas and bloating. I’m like, “What if it’s just the food you’re eating and you don’t really need all that crap?” and you could change it in a matter of days.
Dave: You mentioned a few of the things that I track in myself. You mentioned joint pain, but you also mentioned knee vs. fingers hurting, and acne, and rashes. All those things are signs that something’s off in your biology. What’s the difference between knee pain in a knee joint and finger pain in a finger joint? Does that tell you something different?
JJ: It’s interesting for me because I’ve had this … I should have had a full knee replacement probably 20 years ago. I’ve lived with toothache pain in my knee for so long but it was really pretty low grade because I did all these things. I probably should have stopped doing all … It’s like I did so many things to make it okay, that I lived with it. They’re like, “How the hell are you walking?” I go, “Well, I do this and this and this.”
For me, it’s the difference between something, say, where you going to have more typical osteoarthritis, like knee joint pain. It’s interesting because my finger’s never swollen but if I eat gluten, I’m like, “What the heck is that?” I don’t have arthritis in my fingers; that’s just a whacky thing that shouldn’t happen at all. You expect it more in joints where you know that you’ve done some trashing over the years and you’ve worn some things away. It’s not like I’ve overwritten; I don’t even like to write. Oops, don’t say anything about that. I’m a bother.
Dave: It’s really funny but different parts of the body hurt from different foods. I can tell you what a potato will do to me vs. what gluten will do vs. even specific types of mold, because I’m extra sensitive to it. It’s amazing.
JJ: Yeah, so the nightshades would hit your arthritic joints and gluten … gluten I find, again, for a lot of people is fingers. I’m not sure why. Man, dairy just destroys my skin. Destroys it.
Dave: Especially cheese, right?
JJ: Especially cheese.
Dave: You can spot a cheese eater. Just look at the skin on their face, like eww.
JJ: Can’t you? I’m like, “You, you’re a cheese eater.” We should have a t-shirt of that one. That’s hilarious. Yeah, it’s all about connecting those dots and these symptoms that we have that people never think, “That’s just normal. I’m getting older.” No, it’s not; it’s not normal. You made such an important point; our body has no way to send us an email, right? We shouldn’t be getting sick. You shouldn’t have low energy. You shouldn’t be gassy and bloated. This is not supposed to happen. If it’s happening, there’s a reason. Figure it out.
Dave: Shocking. That whole “there’s a reason” is liberating. I think a lot of people think, oh, it’s just happening.
JJ: It’s magic.
Dave: You’re in control of all of the stuff and when you figure out what all of the different variables, you kind of think it’s big. Your diet does a great job of saying “Let’s pick the most likely candidates.” Honestly, we think very similarly that way. There’s a question I’ve been wanting to ask you on camera. What’s up with no eggs? You allow nuts which are common triggers, but you say no eggs?
JJ: Like what the hell?
Dave: Egg whites, they’re so good.
JJ: Here’s the thing. This was all because I was doing all this testing. I was doing something called IGG testing; for the audience, delayed food sensitivity testing. It really is a marker of how healthy your small intestinal wall is. It should be semi-permeable, but under stress, gluten, fructose, medications, GMO foods, toxins, the tight junctions starts to loosen and then food gets out where it shouldn’t be and your body goes, “What the hell?” and launches an immune attack and creates immune complexes that start to create all those symptoms. What I discovered in doing this testing is, I rarely ever saw nuts or citrus or berries – the ones you hear of as the common allergenic triggers. Hardly ever saw them. Maybe somewhere in less than 5 percent. The top two were dairy and eggs, hands down.
Dave: Ahead of wheat?
JJ: Gluten is a different way. You would look at wheat and IGG and yeah, ahead of wheat there. Gluten you look at through transglutaminase and some other different tests. This was tracking straight wheat but eggs and dairy were top: 70 percent or more of the people. Then corn, peanuts, soy, wheat. It was so clear. I hated it because eggs to me are nature’s perfect food; they are like perfection. Not now, we have completely f’ed up our eggs
but If you get pastured eggs, they’re perfect. Here’s what I see with a lot of people. You are what you eat and you are what you eat ate, so if you’re now eating these factory chickens shoved in those pens, jacked up with hormones, fed GMO corn and soy, and you’re eating the yolk which is going to concentrate all of that crap … The yolk is the best part of the egg; you and I agree on this. It’s funny because people eat, “I just want the protein.” You absorb more of the protein from the egg if you eat the yolk with the white. You’ll excrete more nitrogen if you just do the whites.
I’m all for eggs but first off, you got to let your whole body, you got to let your immune system cool off from those crappy eggs you were eating and also I think part of the problem was a lot of us were vaccinated and we were vaccinated with vaccines cured with egg protein so we’re reactive there. I found with most people that over time when they heal their gut, glutamine being key there, in a month, three months, in six months, they can bring back in high quality pastured eggs. It took me six months to be able to bring eggs back in.
The first time I took eggs back in, I did it in a very stupid way. When you these foods, you do one at a time; you do it in a very safe environment. You don’t do it in Las Vegas. I rechallenged eggs not thinking. I had this little piece of some sushi sashimi thing and it had a little sauce – it was a mayonnaise sauce. It wasn’t even a thimble; it was a pinky. It was not a thimble; it was teensy. That’s thing the thing with food intolerance is moderation is a myth. It’s the little bit that creates this wildfire of issues and once you’ve let your immune system cool off, it is co clear when you rechallenge. You’re like, “Oh, that makes this happen.” Some things it may not be an issue but you’ll be very clear on which are and which aren’t.
Dave: Are you back on eggs now?
JJ: Yes, now I can eat eggs. It is hard to find good pastured ones out here. We have a Whole Foods coming. Hurry up, Whole Foods. I kind of have to make my little schlep on them. That’s the thing, I think for a lot of people they’re out and they’re like, “Oh, this is good. It’s cheap.” I’m like, “You’re getting cheap, crap eggs. Eat the pastured ones.”
Dave: It’s interesting talking about eggs. I definitely recommend eggs for people as long as they’re not sensitive and use … IGG is the gold standard or you can use even the little food sensitivity iPhone app that will tell you if your heart rate goes up dramatically when you eat eggs, then you shouldn’t eat eggs. In my case, I do IGG panels every couple of years just to see if I’ve got something new. I found out about nine months ago that my three month zero carbohydrate experiment – I tried to eat like an Eskimo – gave me a bunch of new food allergies including-
Dave: Oh yeah.
JJ: What a trip. What did you get?
Dave: Eggs and chicken and almonds and honey. Oh, and sweet potatoes. Several of those are super-bulletproof foods and what do you know, it’s because I had so few carbs. I was eating one serving broccoli a day trying to do just fat and meat like an Eskimo. What happened there, is I didn’t have enough mucus lining of my stomach to actually protect the junctions there the way it should. I also got really dry eyes, dry sinuses, and that whole thing that you don’t need any carbohydrates ever, that actually messed me up. I’ve been scrupulously avoiding eggs and I had a bite of sushi that had mayonnaise in it that I didn’t know about and sure enough, I get a rash around my mouth.
JJ: Isn’t it a trip?
Dave: Like ahhh.
JJ: I see a lot of skin stuff with eggs. If you’ve got eczema, psoriases, definitely do an egg-free trial. I will tell you, too, I’ve tried to do total no carb or extreme low carb – I can’t do it.
Dave: Especially for women, I think it’s harmful. You need a base line amount both for fermentation in the gut and also because it might be to make possible bare minimum carbohydrates out of protein. It’s not metabolically good for you to do that.
JJ: It’s not; it’s so inefficient. For women, we need our protein. It’s definitely one that I think is critical. You mentioned an important one: it does feed the good bacteria in the gut and that is to me the most exciting area of all this stuff. It’s the book I’d love to write but I’m like, “I can’t see the New York Times bestseller The Virgin Microbiota.” It’s not going to happen. It is such a key important thing and good carbohydrates are going to feed the good gut bacteria and a lot of them act as prebiotics and feed the gut bacteria, and you’re not going to be getting that from your chicken. There you have it.
Dave: Are you up to speed on the whole resistant starch debate about whether you should be eating a non-digestible starch vs. just vegetables?
JJ: What do you think? I’d love to hear what you think on it.
Dave: I’m pretty open-minded. I’m a biohacker so I went out after I had read some of the research that Richard Nikoley posted on resistant starch. I’m highly skeptical because I think that it depends on what’s growing in your gut, whether you want to feed it.
JJ: Exactly, you feed the bad guys, too.
Dave: One of the more famous guys there has some kind of gut bacteria … not really gut bacteria. It’s from avalanches or from icebergs or something – some strange kind of bacteria. He’s like, “Oh look, I have a lot of this.” I’m not sure that’s good. Histamine forming bacteria is a major issue, so what did I do. I went out and I bought some potato starch, which causes, funny enough, nightshade problems because I know I’m nightshade sensitive – ditch that. Plantain starch: my children for the first time ever learned that daddy can fart and fart, and it’s awful and it clears the room. That is not a problem on the Bulletproof Diet or on the Virgin Diet as far as I can tell. I’m like, “Well, I can stick with it for a while.” Then I got hives and I’m like, you know what?
JJ: I don’t think it’s working.
Dave: No, it’s not working.
JJ: It just made me bloat so I bought whatever there is. You know that product-
Dave: The corn ones?
JJ: I don’t know what it is. One of my buddies like-
JJ: Yeah, yacon. I tried it for a couple days; I’m going, “I’m bloated.” That’s it. Enough.
Dave: Yacon doesn’t bloat me at all.
JJ: It totally bloats me so I’m like, “No way.”
Dave: I don’t know if you can see my arm in your video there but I think I actually put on a bit more muscle mass from the yacon stuff.
JJ: You’re arm wrestling when I see you. That’s it.
Dave: I what?
JJ: You’re arm wrestling.
Dave: Oh, you’ll take me down, JJ.
JJ: That’s it. I’ve issued a challenge. The Eskimo diet vs. the Virgin Diet.
Dave: Exactly. I think there might be something to the yacon stuff because you can stay in ketosis when you’re on it. This is a very specific engineered kind of resistant starch, different than a lot of what people are talking about. Whenever I get someone who really knows what they’re talking about on the podcast, I like to ask that question because I’m on the skeptical side.
JJ: I played around with it and I’m like, mmm. I just didn’t feel good on it so then I ditched it. I didn’t go for it.
Dave: I think I’m in that same camp. I gave it a really fair shot and my kids are still saying, “That was gross.” They’re four and six so it was also funny.
JJ: But if they’re boys, I was going to say my kids would have been so impressed. “Mommy, you did that?”
Dave: That’s hilarious. What about intermittent fasting in women?
JJ: I’m not a fan of intermittent fasting in women.
Dave: Okay, good, me either. I wrote about this last year and it was a really popular post.
JJ: Oh, did you?
Dave: I said “Intermittent fasting: dangerous for women?” Or something like that.
JJ: Think back to caveman times. You guys are supposed to be able to just hang with bad stuff going on and be able to take care of us and go out and kill tigers and lions. We were supposed to be back there with our food nursing and taking care of kids and having a steady food supply. That’s it. We have got a much more intricate hormonal system and when you miss meals, it trashes your adrenals. That’s it. The research shows it; it shows infertility, adrenal problems, gaining weight not losing it. This whole thing when they say, “So skip breakfast.” I’m like, “First of all, if you’re going to skip a meal, don’t skip breakfast. Skip dinner.”
Dave: You know my first whole book is about women’s fertility and pregnancy and all that. I think skipping meals for women, unless they’re at a point in life where they have a ton of time and energy for recovery, it’s a nice hormetic stressor just like an intense workout to skip a morning meal, but to do it everyday doesn’t work. That’s one of the reasons that if you use fat in the morning, fat is what makes the hormone system work and this is why the whole bulletproof approach to intermittent fasting says during the fast you eat fat, but no sugar and no protein so you get that autophagy.
JJ: If I could have my Bulletproof Coffee I could probably pull it off, because I’d be okay.
Dave: That’s what I found with so many women clients and women on the blog, is they’re saying “Intermittent fasting, I tried it and I got really tired. My sleep went away. I didn’t do so well.” Then they add the fat back in and they do better.
JJ: You have to tell the women that anyway because they’re still out there, and women, do not be fat-phobic. I eat so much fat. Fat is the biggest part of my diet, as it should be. Eat your clean, lean protein; eat your healthy fats; eat non-starchy vegetables. That’s the focus, and then some really little bit of slow-low carbs. Slow, low sugar impact carbs. That’s it. It’s easy peasy.
Dave: You sound like Tim Ferriss now.
JJ: I do? Am I channeling Tim?
Dave: You said slow carb and easy peasy. I’m pretty sure that-
JJ: Did he steal that from me, Tim? Did you steal that from me? I’ve been in this longer than he has.
Dave: Fair point, plus I think you’ve got better arms than Tim Ferriss too, JJ. Is this true? I have no idea; I’ve never seen Tim’s arms up close. Let’s talk about collagen. A lot of women use collagen cream and you have the most amazing skin; I’d swear you were not 50. What are you doing for your skin here? Are you smearing collagen masks on or are you eating it or what’s the deal?
JJ: I take your Upgraded Collagen, by the way.
Dave: Oh, you’re actually officially using it? I know I sent you some a while back to try it but- Oh wow.
JJ: I’m officially using it. When you sent it I’m like, “This is what I need for surgery.” Then I’m like, “Why would I just take this for surgery? Duh.” I also take this BioCell Collagen because they sent me it and I’m like, “Sure. Why not?” I will tell you that is not what’s done it for my skin. I think what’s done it for my skin is I’m a big sleep fan. If I had to pick one thing, it’s get rid of the food intolerances because they destroy your skin. They destroy your skin; your skin’s your major detoxifying organ. Food that doesn’t work for you is toxic and then your body has to deal with it. Make sure you’re getting really good antioxidants in. By the way, hat glutathione stuff is … uhh ahhh.
Dave: You have the new stuff though in a syringe, right?
Dave: It’s better than the old stuff.
JJ: I’m like, “I can do this!” I’m slamming down cocobiotic with it. I’m like, “God, this better work, Dave.”
Dave: But it does, doesn’t it?
JJ: Yes. I would say for skin, I am the skin product major whacko aficionado but in reality the number one thing that changed my skin was getting dairy out.
Dave: Except butter. You still like butter.
JJ: I eat grass beef. I get dairy out and then I eat lots of healthy fats. That’s huge. I do a lot of plants but a lot of non-starchy vegetables. I actually don’t even eat fruit anymore.
Dave: I don’t either.
JJ: Because I’ve been doing all the research on my sugar book and I’m like, “Fruits … they’re … anyway.”
Dave: Fruit makes you fat, makes you age.
JJ: A lot of fructose, on a fructose thing. I’m really not glycating; I’m really not trying to glycate. That’s what you’re seeing on my face but I’ll also do use from our buddy Dr. Susanne Bennett, she’s got the these collagen masks from Korea called Puragenix and I use those. I was going to use one last night just for you; I actually didn’t. This is me without the collagen mask but I try to do those once or twice a week. I’m just not so good at that. I’m really much better about eating correctly and I think that makes the biggest difference of all.
I believe you should have sun; I don’t wear sunscreen. I do use mineral stuff on my face that probably blocks some of it and I don’t lay out in the sun – but I live in Palm Springs. That’s probably it, man. Those big things. Oh, and I have this crazy biochemist friend and I will be honest with you, I don’t know what it’s in it, because he won’t tell me, but I use this special spray on my face whatever the heck it is. All I know is I used it on my knee for my knee surgery and the scar – I’ll show it to you when I see you. Scars are the new hot thing, by the way. Forget tattoos; scars are the new hot.
Dave: Oh, like ritualistic scarring stuff. Yeah.
JJ: Well, maybe not. My scar on my knee is so awesome and you can hardly see it and it’s four weeks and I believe it’s the spray.
Dave: Are you taking serrapeptidase as well?
JJ: No, I’m not taking that. I did natto-
Dave: Oh, natto’s similar, okay. That’s part of my recommendations for post-surgery to reduce scarring, is you take massive doses of either natto or serrapeptidase, or both mixed.
JJ: I did natto and bromelain. I started-
Dave: Good, so you’re on it.
JJ: Okay, good. I was like, “Oh no!” [inaudible 40:40]
Dave: It’s a question do you want silkworms or like soy boogers. Neither one is very attractive in terms of where they come from, but they both do that same scar digestion thing and I’m constantly amazed at how fast we can heal when we’re doing that.
JJ: It’s incredible. I also did soft tissue work starting the next day.
Dave: How about lasers? Did you do any infrared light or laser?
JJ: I didn’t. I’m going to do some laser on the scar if I need to but I don’t think I need to.
Dave: Do you want me to bring my laser with me when we meet in Tampa?
JJ: Oh hell yes.
Dave: All right, I’ll bring you my medical grade laser.
JJ: I also have been doing the vibra- what’s the thing called? Vibraderm? I always think it’s-
Dave: The Bulletproof Vibe, yeah. You’re on-
JJ: The Bulletproof Vibe. To me, it’s sounds like a vibrator.
Dave: Is that a bad thing?
JJ: Not at all; I just keep looking at it going, “But how does it work?” It’s so big. God, people that can’t see it are like “What are they talking about?” This is a large vibrating platform so talk about a great thing to help you with knee recovery and proprioception. I’ve been using that as well, and the [exciser 41:43]. I’ve been like a fiend with this.
Dave: I did not realize you were doing all these Bulletproof things, JJ. Thank you.
JJ: Yes, I’m a Bulletproof babe.
Dave: We totally didn’t-
JJ: That should be that t-shirt. You need the Bulletproof babe t-shirt.
Dave: Oh my god, I’m taking a note on that one.
JJ: Oh my god, marketing. Yes, thank you.
Dave: People really should know that we don’t sit ahead of time going, “Ooh, let’s talk about each other’s products.”
JJ: No, we didn’t talk about any of this. I am your best marketing person. I swear, everywhere I go-
Dave: You rock.
JJ: In fact, my entire team as we get ready for our book launch, everyone is unlimited Bulletproof. They all know it; it’s like “I’m out of Bulletproof!” I’m like “Oh no!” We’re all on it.
Dave: We’ll keep you guys well stocked for sure. I find the same thing in my team; everyone who works for me gets a monthly supply of the coffee and the brain octane and the other stuff because how could I not do that?
JJ: Brand consistent. I must share with the listeners. We do this really fun event with a bunch of health care experts twice a year and we have maybe 60 or 80 of them and we ran out of Bulletproof. It was like a freaking crisis. I couldn’t believe it. I’m like, “Guys, seriously, just go to the coffee shop.” “Nooo!!” It was like whatever you do, Dave, do not run out of Bulletproof at this event.
Dave: I’ll be there personally in a few weeks making the coffee for people. We brought a lot of coffee this time and everything else-
JJ: Boy, who knew that they could drink that much. I was like, “Wow.”
Dave: When you’re doing a conference, too, your conferences aren’t boring but the average conference you’re at a hotel, you’re indoors all day, and you get kind of groggy. I like to serve it at the events that I do because people they get all that crazy mental energy so they’re more engaged, which I think is part of it. People just don’t want to feel blah when they’re sitting there.
JJ: They don’t have to worry about that at my events.
Dave: No, you keep things going, that’s for sure.
Dave: Well, JJ. There’s a question that I ask everyone who’s been on the show towards the end of the show. That is, given everything you know – not just about diet or nutrition but your whole life story – the three most important pieces of advice you’d offer for people who want to kick more ass. People want to perform well for any reason, any way, what should they know? What can you tell them?
JJ: Number one: you are never better than when you’re challenged. When what happened with my son happened, I had about 24 hours of an incredible pity party and then I slapped myself and went, “All right, this is going to be the best thing that ever happened to him and to me, and to our family. What do we need to do to make him recover 110 percent?” You don’t necessarily need that kind of challenge but we’re never better than when we have that thing to aspire to, and so get it. Make it scary. When I know I’ve gotten to the place where I’m not scared, I know that I’ve got to go push a lot bigger goal out there. That’s the first thing.
The second thing is damn it, make time for sleep. The most important thing you can possibly do for your health is sleep. Sleep is it. 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep; figure out what your perfect time is for that and then make that one happen, because it’s huge. I think one of the fastest ways you can change your health; I think the fastest way you can really change your health is by changing what’s on the end of the fork. I think you really owe it to yourself to figure out which foods work you and which don’t. Quit blaming your symptoms on stupid stuff like your genetics or getting older. Your body’s screaming at you – listen.
Dave: Thank you for that awesome advice. I’m really thankful you’re on the show. You’ve got a lot to offer people and your focus on figuring out intolerances is so totally bulletproof. Those are the things that hold you back that you don’t know about. I certainly have probably a longer list than the average person because of my health history but for me, figuring those out allowed me to go out and do a lot of the things that I wanted to do. Your advice and the way you’ve written it up in the Virgin Diet is very legitimate and very worth paying attention to. Thank you for doing that work.
JJ: Thank you and thank you for making me coffee.
Dave: Anytime. Can’t wait to see you.
JJ: And all of your awesome stuff which I do. I’m like a total … I use it all. I’m the Bulletproof babe; that’s it.
Dave: It’s totally true; in fact, we’re going to have to have a special t-shirt made for you, JJ. I can’t wait to have you on the show again, maybe in about six months, but it’s always fun to share knowledge with you. Thanks.
JJ: Thank you.
Dave: One of the things you can do to make your brain work really, really well, is you can remove toxins from your body. One of the most important antioxidants and toxin-binding substances in the body is called glutathione. Glutathione has been available as a nutritional supplement for a long time; the only problem is that when you take it, it gets broken down in the stomach and you don’t get the benefits of it. About ten years ago, we started making something called liposomal glutathione which allows this precious molecule to pass through the lining of the gut, and it works.
The only problem is that you have to have very, very small liposomes for it to work and there’s varying results from using different liposomal forms. That’s why I created Upgraded Glutathione Force. This is a radical innovation in the glutathione world, small as it may be. We use a patented technology that binds another molecule onto a liposome. It’s liposomal but it absorbs, in studies, using this form of molecule, up to eight times better than normal liposomes that don’t contain the added boost. That’s why it’s called Glutathione Force, because it literally forces the glutathion past the gut and into your blood where it can do the most benefit.
If you look at the comments on the forums or on the product page, you’ll find that a lot of people use it because it makes their brain feel crisper and clearer, not to mention the other benefits to your immunity and other systems in the body, which always run better when your liver is able to detoxify substances really well. That’s not even talking about what it can do to help you reduce the impacts of drinking too much alcohol. You’ll feel better the next morning if your glutathione levels are high enough before and after you drink. Check it out: Upgraded Glutathione Force on upgradedself.com