The Virgin Diet – JJ Virgin – Fruit Juice

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JJ Virgin is a fitness and nutrition expert, a speaker and media personality. She has over 25 years experience and is the author of The NY Times bestseller The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days.

The Virgin Diet has also been a bestseller in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, and numerous other media outlets. JJ is also the author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, published by Simon & Schuster Gallery, and co-starred on the TLC reality series, “Freaky Eaters”.

In this Show, You’ll learn:

  • The Impact of Food Allergies
  • Eating Equals Feelings
  • Sugar Addiction
  • Spinal Alignment

Links & References from the Show

Got questions?


Yoga students, if you love to learn about yoga, health and wellness, plant-based nutrition, flexibility and mind/body biohacking, you have come to the right place, my friend. Welcome to the Yoga Talk Show with Lucas Rockwood, where my goal is to make your yoga practice just that much easier. Find us online at YogaBodyNaturals.com. We’re also on Facebook and YouTube. Check us out. Now let’s get on with the show.

So hello and welcome, everyone, Lucas Rockwood here with the Yoga Talk Show. I have a very special guest today. I’m joined by J.J. Virgin. She’s a fitness and nutrition expert, she’s a speaker and a media personality. She has over 25 years of experience, and she’s also the author of a book you’ve probably heard about. It’s a New York Times bestseller, it’s called The Virgin Diet, how to drop 7 foods, lose 7 pounds in just 7 days. The Virgin Diet has been a bestseller also on the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune, and you’ve seen it all over the internet, I’m sure. J.J.’s also the author of 6 Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, which was published by Simon and Schuster.

So J.J., thanks so much for joining us.


Oh, my pleasure.


I’ve got a bunch of questions here in front of me, but before we jump into those maybe you can just give people a little bit of a brief introduction about what you’re all about, a little bit about your background and your core message.


(01:24) So I have been working in the weight loss field forever. Honestly, it feels like forever but I think I started as a hobby with myself as a teen, like a lot of teenage girls. By the way, weight loss really shouldn’t be your hobby. And then I was paying my way through graduate school as a personal trainer. There was two of us in LA, if this dates me, me and Body by Jake.

And it became very clear what I was being taught in graduate school, which is your body is a bank account and if you want to lose more weight eat less, exercise more, it would work for some people but it wouldn’t work for everybody. So I knew there had to be something else going on, and I started looking for those answer.

(02:03) Really, my overarching health philosophy came from that, of your body isn’t a bank account it’s a chemistry lab and you’ve got to consider all of these other factors that can either help you have great energy or become very tired, burn fat or store it, be able to think straight or not. And at the core of all that is food. It’s really the first place to start.


Awesome. So for people listening, when you do a calorie experiment in like a high school chemistry class, usually somebody takes a Cheetos, a crisp or a chip and they burn it with a lighter. And what you said is just so important for people to understand, is that our bodies are chemical and electrical. They’re not combustion engines. It’s not a piggy bank where it’s calories in, calories out. That just, like you said, just doesn’t work for a lot of people.

So I want to jump into one of these topics that I know is a hot button for you, and this is something that very few people think about. When they’re thinking about weight loss they’re usually thinking about sugar or they’re thinking about fat grams and they’re thinking about the treadmill or the stair climber or the elliptical machine, and these are not necessarily wrong things to think about. There’s a bunch of very important things that I think a lot of people overlook.

So my first question is about food allergies and food sensitivities. I know you talk and write and speak about this. (03:24) And so what is the impact of these food allergies, these sensitivities on peoples’ ability — how does this affect our ability to lose weight?


So early on, I started to see, hey this wasn’t working. The calories in, calories out model would work if someone had a perfect metabolism and those people, especially nowadays, are rare. And so I was looking for all these factors, and I’ve discovered a bunch of different things. I started teaching a course to doctors called Overcoming Weight Loss Resistance, and I also started putting testing into their offices.

(03:58) And one of the tests I used in their offices, because of that I got to look at a lot of test results, was a food sensitivity test. This is different than an outright food allergy, which are rare but becoming more common and that’s the person with the peanut allergy and their throat closes up. These are due to something called leaky gut, where your small intestine becomes more permeable due to factors like gluten and stress and genetically modified foods and pain medications. And it allows partially digested particles of food, which we don’t digest well because we’re not chewing well, taking time to eat, we lack digestive enzymes, we’re under stress. So it allows these into circulation and your body goes, this should not be here, sees it as a foreign invader and launches an attack.

(04:40) So I started looking at the results of these tests, and we were really doing the tests because people were walking in tired and achy and cranky and with skin problems and gas and bloating, all these things we’re taught to think are normal or us. And what we discovered was, first of all, the same foods always showed up and when we pulled these foods out, those symptoms I just mentioned that people, again, think are just normal, “Oh, that’s just normal for you, it’s just normal aging,” they go away quickly, but also people would drop weight quickly because we were reducing the inflammatory effect of food. And because so often one of the key signs of a food intolerance is a craving for the very food is hurting you, which then is keeping you eating things that are making you inflamed, that make you more insulin resistant, that make you store more fat, that creates just this vicious cycle.

(05:31) So I saw how quickly this could turn around, and what was really exciting about that is if you really start to look at the research behind weight loss, which I’m a complete geek on the whole weight loss world, one of the things that you see is that people who lose weight fast tend to lose more weight and keep it off, which when I first read those studies it so flew in the face of everything I’d always thought.

But in this program you lose weight fast. I had one woman very upset because she lost I think nine pounds the first week and only four the next and she was mad, and she hadn’t been able to lose weight for years. I’m going, “Are you kidding me? It’s not drop 7 foods, lose 7 pounds every week. There’d be nothing left of you.” So yes it’s going to slow down, and not everybody loses 7 pounds the first week, some lose 2, some lose 12, but it does break this vicious cycle of cravings and intolerance and inflammation that make you hold onto weight and keep you trapped.


Yeah, it’s amazing. With food allergies and sensitivities. Just 20 years ago peanuts were on every flight anywhere in the world, and now more and more they’re getting pulled. And it brings up the question what’s happening. Is it our foods that are getting more aflatoxin, molds and mycotoxins? Is it our bodies that are less tolerant? What’s going on? It’s probably a combination of both, but regardless, these food allergies and food sensitivities is not just going to give you gas and bloating or upset stomach or a food reaction. Everything in our body is holistic, and I think the exciting things that I read and learn about in medicine, functional medicine, is kind of looking at the whole person and all these systems integrating. And if you have any kind of allergic reaction from food you’re eating on a regular basis, which unfortunately things like milk and dairy and grains, it tends to be the staple foods of our diet, it’s going to create systemic problems and I think it’s easy to overlook that, because these allergenic and problematic foods are so ubiquitous. They’re absolutely everywhere, and so it can be a big challenge.

So good, so let’s jump into another subject where people get stuck. Immediately when people want to lose weight they join a gym. We do stuff with yoga, people join the yoga studio, “Oh, I want to lose 10 pounds for this wedding,” or it’s after the new year which is coming up here, people always want to lose weight after the holidays. Whenever they talk about exercise, people immediately come right back to your piggy bank analogy, they come right back to the calories and they want to know how many calories per minute, per hour and I know you have a unique approach to exercise, it’s different, it flies in the face of traditional long, slow cardio. It’s a different approach.

(08:18) So tell us about your beliefs about fitness and the results that you’ve seen and how this might be a paradigm shift for people.


(08:25) Yes, I don’t believe in endurance training at all. A lot of people then just freak out and I go, just hear me out on this. First off, if you want to lose weight exercise is really not effective for weight loss. Exercise is critical for long-term weight management and for your health, but for initial weight loss exercise is not the focus. So I don’t even have people focus on it when they first start the Virgin Diet, because I want them just to get that part nailed, and if you try to do too many things at once you’re setting yourself up to fail. A confused mind says no.

(09:00) Now, once you’ve really nailed that part, you’ve nailed your eating, you’ve connected the dots between what you eat and how you feel and what you weigh and really designed a diet that works for you for the long haul, then you can start to move into exercise, and there’s a couple key components of exercise. First off, we should all be moving more, but that’s part of your everyday life. We should be walking, we should be doing more activities of daily living. A simple way to accomplish that is with a pedometer, but I don’t count any of that as exercise. That’s just what we were put on this earth as part of our daily habits, we’re supposed to go and move around.

(09:38) What you need to do to count something as exercise is you should get hot, sweaty and it should hurt a bit, and I’m going to show you where I throw yoga into all of this. Obviously there’s going to be two different pieces to that. But the first piece I really love is burst-style training. You can look this up as high-intensity interval training or burst training, and it is where you go all out, full-body movements like sprinting, cycling, stair climbing for 30 to 60 seconds, you don’t pace yourself, the fast you burn out the better and then you recover actively for twice as long and you buffer the lactic acid back. And you repeat this to accumulate 4 to 8 total minutes of bursting. You don’t go longer than a minute at a time of bursting. If you do, I know you didn’t burst hard enough. And if you can go over 8 minutes you probably aren’t bursting hard enough either.

Now, the reason I love burst training is because it is going to help your body handle stress better, it’s going to give you all the cardiovascular benefits without creating more oxidative stress like you get with endurance training and dumping your immune system like you get with endurance training, and it raises the anabolic hormones, testosterone and growth hormone.

The other piece of the puzzle that I love is any kind of resistance training. Of course, yoga can fit in here depending on the type, but one of the things that you want to look at is teaching your body. Like with burst training, you’re going to help stimulate fat-burning enzymes and you’re going to help suck sugar into your working muscles to be used as glycogen. We know the more sugar you burn during exercise the more fat you burn after exercise.

With resistance training where you’re holding onto or building lean muscle it’s really all about teaching your body to become more insulin sensitive so that when you do eat carbohydrates and you raise blood sugar, insulin can respond, your body can hear that message and you don’t keep insulin high and up and around for longer, which creates inflammation and also makes you better at storing fat more, so burning it off.

(11:38) When yoga can come into play, depending on the style of yoga, is in two places. One of course would be in resistance training, and the other one is in helping your body handle stress better and lowering stress hormones. So restorative yoga, amazing for helping your body lower stress hormones, much better than say a glass of wine. I don’t know which names you’re going to use, but I’ll just say a power type of yoga would be good for resistance training.

So that’s the equation that I look at. I’m looking at exercise as yes move more, but don’t count that as exercise, do burst-style training to help your body get better at using fat for fuel and train your sympathetic nervous system to work better and to raise growth hormone and then do resistance training to improve insulin sensitivity, and then do calming exercises to lower stress hormones. So it’s all about the metabolic affect of these.


For people listening, they’re thinking, “Well can’t I just go run a 10k or can’t I just go spend 45 minutes on the treadmill?” And there are certainly people who get results from that and it’s not to dismiss anybody’s workout routine if it’s working for you, but the whole point of this food discussion, of this exercise discussion is to really look at your body chemically, instead of trying to reduce your body to some kind of combustion equation, calories thing. Take a look at what’s happening biochemically, take a look at what’s happening hormonally and focus on that, because that’s where the big leverage is. That’s where the big impact is.

If you want to see the results of endurance training, which I love and if my body would tolerate it I’d probably do it despite the fact that I know it’s bad for me, but the reality is if you go to any of these events, my parents are both marathon runners, if you go to any of these events you see people premature aging. Their bodies look 18, and their faces look 20 years-plus because the oxidative stress is just through the roof and the gastrointestinal problems, the hormonal dysfunction, fertility problems, all kinds of things are just rampant. And it’s no secret. They’ll be the first to tell you. The triathlete who has a full head of hair is really rare. They’re losing their hair, all kinds of things are happening.

And the biochemical discussion, we can geek out really quickly, but the really simple version is when I think about food, when I think about exercise, when I think about yoga, when I think about meditation, let me just think about my biochemistry and let me think about my hormones and what’s going on, because my hormones are going to determine how hungry I am. My hormones are going to determine my interest in activity. My hormones are going to determine my sex drive, my sleep cycles and all these different things, and lots of different things are affecting your hormones on a daily basis and a lot of them we’re not paying any attention to. So somebody can go burn themselves out on a treadmill for two and-a-half hours and it’s a big so what. The question is what’s happening internally, and if they’ve just increased their cortisol and their stress levels, they’re not going to be able to sleep well and their testosterone is through the roof. Did they really accomplish anything? It depends on what their goals are, but probably not.


I love what you just said. Here’s the thing. If someone really loves going to the gym and doing the treadmill, what I tell them to do is just start on it, easy walks, sprints, walk or jog it off, sprint, just test this out. Just test it, because what I find when people do that is they’re blown away by what happens.


It’s definitely true. What’s interesting as well is I’ve never learned more about nutrition and fitness than I have with my children, because you see somebody who hasn’t been indoctrinated into diet and fitness stuff like I have, like you have, like all of us have, and their reactions are really primal and really natural. You try to get a kid to run, to go for a jog or something and it’s just hell. That’s the last thing they want to do.

But I can get my kids to do high-intensity workout with me. We take four minutes, we put a Tabata timer on and we jump all around and we do squats and we do push-ups, and they go nuts for it. They ask me to do it. They’re in a sweaty ball on the floor and they love it. And the same with when you start eating metabolically, responsible, hormonally responsible foods, it takes kids, just like adults, a little while to make the shift but once they do they go crazy for it. Their bodies react so primaly and so naturally to these movements, and these things which we’ve lost due to this crazy diet world that we’re all in where we just get these crazy ideas stuffed down our throat.


(16:13) Yeah, and it just becomes completely effortless. You look at kids, there’s no five year old that’s just going to go out onto the playground and do a jog. I’ve got 30 minutes, I think I’ll jog. No, you’re going to chase the boys, you’re going to climb a tree, you know? And they’ll smile while doing it, which is the even bigger part of it.


Yeah, exactly. Big smile on their face, mouth hanging open, completely exhausted. So let’s talk about sugar. Everybody knows that sugar is bad for them. Everybody is talking about sugar, whether it’s fructose or whatever it is, everybody knows that sugar causes weight gain. I don’t think anybody really argues much about this.

(16:52) But I guess my question for you is, if everybody knows that why are we eating so much sugar? Are there just forms of sugar people aren’t realizing are sugar? Is it just that we’re addicted, weak will-powered animals? What is your take on this whole sugar problem?


This is my next book. It’s so hard not to just blurt out everything. When I wrote The Virgin Diet, two things came up. Number one, people are like, “Okay, what do I eat?” so that’s why we’re coming out with the cookbook, and the second one was, “All this stuff about sugar, oh my gosh. Who knew this was such a massive issue?”

(17:31) First of all, I think part of the massive issue is sugar is a drug and it’s so addictive. We have some people with genetics, I don’t have the sweet tooth genetics but there are people with sweet tooth genetics who are already set up to want it, but then also even if you don’t have the sweet tooth genetics my nickname growing up was poppy, because I was raised on Pop-Tarts, Captain Crunch and sweet rolls. So even though I don’t have a sweet tooth, the more sweet you eat the more sweet you want. I lived on sugar for years. And even when I tried to make better choices, thinking I was being healthy switching from the chocolate to the frozen yogurt, I was still eating loads of sugar. The bran muffins, all this stuff.

(18:12) One of the challenges is manufacturers want us to buy their foods, so you think you’re doing healthy by having the bran muffin with the agave or in it or the gluten-free cupcake or the soy milk and all these things, in order to make them taste good and make you want to buy them again, have sugar in them. And it’s in the places you just would never friggen think, and what’s incredible is you look at a lot of these products and they say no sugar added but they’ve used things like fruit juice concentrate, which what do you think that is?

So it’s created a world of addicts, and then we’ve got sugar tossed into places you’d never expect. And the more you eat sweet the more you want sweet. So that is the thing I’m taking on, and I think when we look at sugar we’ve got to really look beyond the obvious of the table sugar or honey or agave, and it’s yes fructose is the most problematic, no question, but everything turns into sugar when you get down to it, except for fat and some protein. But all the carbohydrates are going to start shifting into sugar, so you’ve got to really look at the impact of those and what’s going to go to sugar fastest and which things can you eat and which things should you not eat or should you really limit.


It’s an interesting thing. It’s a funny time. I always call it top grading, and everybody wants to top grade their sweeteners. And there’s some validity to that, but everybody’s always emailing me and asking me, “Don’t worry, I never eat white sugar I only eat brown sugar or I only eat maple syrup or I only eat honey.” It’s like, well yeah that’s better but it’s sort of like putting a ribbon on a turd. It still stinks.


But you know what? I don’t think it’s better because the reason is, there’s a challenge when you think something — it’s the Snackwell’s Effect, when we came out with everything low fat. We’re in the nightmare we’re in here in the states because of Ancel Keys. I’m going to throw him under the bus. That guy screwed it up for all of us. John Yudkin should be set out as a hero. But Ancel Keys, when he came up with that whole idea that fat is what’s making us have heart disease and discredited John Yudkin who discovered it was really the sugar, stupid, and we pulled all the fat out of foods and started putting sugar in its place and then all of a sudden people are going, “I can eat these cookies because there’s no fat.”

Well, we haven’t gotten a whole lot better when all of a sudden we’re saying, “Oh, but it’s got raw honey,” it’s got this, it’s got that. The bottom line is, there’s still sugars and I think when you think they’re healthy for you, you have a tendency to over eat them and have that halo effect. So I think we’ve really got down to coconut sugar, is it better than refined table sugar? Yes. Should you be eating it? Not really.


I agree, I agree, and the whole thing is, everybody I talk to they’re looking to make macro changes in their life. They want to wake up every day with energy, or they want to lose 20 pounds. It’s like, if you’re looking to make macro changes, why are you looking at top grading — why are you looking at this micro changes in your diet, going from white bread to whole wheat bread, it’s like come on.


Dump sugar. Just come on, big changes. Big changes that are really big needle movers, and I think what the issue really is there is how do we take a big change that will freak you out because you go, “But wait, every day I have my Ezekiel bread for breakfast.” Well, you’ve got to give someone a shift, an option, a swap so that they have something to replace that with. And the first couple days they’re going to miss it, but after that you’re just replacing a habit and they’ll be fine.


Great. So one last question for you, J.J. Whenever people think about weight loss, and almost everybody at some point in their life ends up thinking about weight loss, most people think about two things: Starving yourself and then extreme exercise. They want to do P90X or they want to do Insanity, and they do the Dukan Diet here or they’re doing South Beach or they’re doing something where they’re starving themselves.

(22:17) So the two questions are: Are starvation and extreme exercise, in your experience, all of your work, is that necessary, is that helpful for weight loss?


(22:26) I think it’s one of the most detrimental things that you can do. Starvation is just going to shut your metabolism down. It’s going to make you lose muscle, which is the last thing on earth you want to lose, and raise stress hormones and ultimately make you better at storing fat. So starvation is absolutely, completely no way.

I love high-intensity training, but it’s a dose response thing. The higher the intensity, the less you need to do of it. So I love things like P90X and Insanity and Cross Fit. They should be 15-minute workouts. And by the way, if you could go longer it wasn’t hard enough. So work out really hard for a short amount of time, then we wipe out that whole, “I don’t have time,” is out the window.


It’s great. I think one of the biggest challenges people run into with health, and I guess the truth is you could apply this to most things in life, is everything’s paradoxical. The things that are sold in the health food store, 90% of them are not healthy. The foods that are marked fat-free are the ones that are the most fattening. It’s really, really challenging for people to try to navigate through the world, when paradoxes abound and things are not just missing the mark, it’s actually counterproductive.

And so I know a lot of people listening to this are feeling this push back inside and they’re saying, “Hey, when I was in high school I learned about burning 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat,” and it’s a tough thing if you’re at that place. But if you’re at that place I’d encourage you to rewind this, pause, think about what’s going on, take a look at the people who are really getting results and reevaluate some of those things we’ve all been taught and indoctrinated with, because they’re just not working and there’s a much, much more simple approach that I’ve seen and J.J.’s seen and people all over the world are seeing, people get fantastic results with.


What I’d say to round that out, I love what you just said, is it’s just a question of whether we’re insane or not. You look at this last year in the United States and we actually went up another percentage point in obesity. And that’s because we keep trying to do the same thing and expecting different results. I hear people say, “But I’ve done this my whole life,” and I go, but it’s never worked. You know?

So what I would say is, for my program it’s three weeks. For going to the gym and trying out burst training, the same thing, give everything somewhere in three to four weeks to let your metabolism kick in. What the heck? Three to four weeks is going to pass anyway. What do you have to lose, especially if what you’ve been doing is not getting you to where you want to go? Doing more of it, amplifying it certainly isn’t going to have the impact. So you owe it to yourself to just give it a go, because you’ve really got nothing — you’ve got everything to lose but nothing to lose and everything to gain.


Great. So for people who want to learn more about your work, if they want to find your books and your upcoming new books in the new year, tell us about your website and where to go where people can learn more.


(25:37) The global website is JJVirgin.com, from there you can get to The Virgin Diet and a bunch of the other things. In the new year we always launch our books with free book giveaways, so if you go to JJVirgin.com you can get my free training videos on The Virgin Diet, you can get my food intolerance quiz and then when we do get ready to launch The Virgin Diet cookbook and we take usually three days and give away free copies, so it’s a total chaotic free-for-all. You’ll be on the list for it. So yes, JJVirgin.com.


Perfect. Well thanks so much for joining us, thanks for sharing your knowledge and I know I’ve learned a lot and I know our listeners have as well, so I appreciate your time and I hope to talk to you very soon.


Thank you, appreciate it.

You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers. Welcome to the FAQ round. If you’ve got something that you want to ask, send your questions to [email protected]. And now, let’s hear what’s going on with our listeners.

Jenny asks:

(26:41) Is the yoga trapeze good for spinal alignment? How does it work? Is it similar to floating yoga?

Jenny, I’ve never heard of floating yoga before, but if it’s an inverted yoga practice with an inversion swing, inversion sling, it’s probably very similar. There’s a lot of different devices. Some people even use basic straps and belts, like old school Iyengar wall work, which is very similar to the things we do on the yoga trapeze. Is it good for spinal alignment? I don’t really know what you mean by that. It’s great for your spinal health, it’s really good for building core muscles, it’s good for getting traction on your spine, which is where you allow gravity to lengthen your spine and relieve tension on vertebrae. And so in that case it can be very, very helpful.

We have clients use it for a couple different things. One of the most popular things is to use the yoga trapeze purely for traction. So literally you just hang upside down, and we usually recommend seven minutes, and you hang from your hips and you have natural traction on your spine, it feels amazing. We do lots of fun things as well, like passive backbends, like a full wheel pose in *** (27:46) passively. You can go very deep. You can do core work, you can do inverted dips, you can do pull-ups, all kinds of different things. Hope that’s helpful.

Peg asks:

(27:56) I’ve had a recent onset of tinnitus, which has become unbearable. (I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing that right. This is the ring in your ears. I’ve actually had this before but I don’t actually know how to pronounce it.) I practice hot yoga and Pilates. Would you have any suggestions for relief? I can’t sleep and I’m hardly able to function. I’ve basically been a very healthy person until the past three weeks. Going crazy. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it.

Peg, antibiotics can cause ringing in the ears temporarily. This is not that common — well actually it’s quite common, but it’s not that everyone will get it but it’s like 1% to 5% or something like that. It’s happened to me when I was taking, I can’t remember what it was, Amoxicillin or Cipro, one of the two. These antibiotics, people tend to think they have no side effects. Aside from hurting your gut flora and things like that, they have all kinds of other weird things that can happen, and that really freaked me out when it happened to me. So it could be some medication that you’re on. In a lot of cases it passes. What that means is, if medication could cause something like that, there’s probably other things that could cause something like that, meaning bacteria or a virus or food intolerances or something like that. So without knowing more I’m not sure, but I would take a look, especially if you’re taking some kind of antibiotic.

Foriba asks:

(29:15) What do you think about burning fat for weight loss?

I think it’s good. Go for it. Burn fat. I don’t know what you mean, Foriba. I think you’re saying how do you burn fat for weight loss, and there’s a couple of different ways. The one way is exercising like crazy. It’s not a very good strategy. It doesn’t work that well. Even if you exercise all the time you don’t really burn that much fat. Exercising done right is really great for changing your metabolism, from a sugar-burning metabolism to more of a fat-burning metabolism. The right kind of exercise will make your body more sensitive and responsive to fat hormones, insulin and leptin, and so in that case it’s very good.

Most important really is when it comes down to food. Food is really, really important for putting your body into a fat-burning state. A higher in fat and higher in protein diet, for most people is going to make you tend to burn more fat and feel better. Need to eat fat to burn fat is kind of how the saying goes. It tends to be very true. It’s kind a loaded answer there, which I apologize for, but your question was kind of open so I’m not sure.

(30:27) Do you have omega-3 D supplements?

This is a timely question. We’re just sourcing a plant-based vegan source of vitamin D3. Omega-3, we sell chia seeds. I like chia seeds better than flaxseeds, but flaxseeds are a good source as well. Both of these are really complex. Omega-3s and vitamin D are both very, very important but they’re very important, but they’re very hard to get pure and because they come from animal sources. So in the case of omega-3s, you get them generally from small and coldwater fish, and for vitamin D you get it from some animal foods, but they tend to be lacking these days, and the best thing is from sunshine.

The supplements are made from lanolin, which is a byproduct of the wool industry. The wool industry is not a very nice industry, and lanolin is kind of a nasty product, and there’s chemical traces and it’s kind of a gross product. Vitamin D3 is all over the place. It’s very, very well researched in terms of its health benefits. Most people are vitamin D deficient. Most people would rather not take lamb skin juice, which is basically lanolin.

In any case, there’s a new form of D3 which comes from lichen, which is kind of a form of forest moss, like in the Hobbit, this kind of stuff that grows on the forest. It gets a lot of sunshine has vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is available in a lot of different plants. It’s just not that effective for raising your D levels. A lot of people are really deficient, and they need to get their D levels up much, much quicker than vitamin D2 can, and vitamin D2 has proven just ineffective for some people as well. Vitamin D3 is more bioavailable.

There’s probably a lot more complexity to it than we understand, but at least on a very simple level that’s what we’re looking at. Big long answer again, Foriba, but we’re working on a vitamin D3, that lichen-based nutritional supplement. We are still in development, but by early 2014 we should have something, and I’ll share more with you. For now most of the stuff that’s out there is lanolin based, and I have and do take that. I find it disgusting, I don’t like taking it but like a lot of people, my vitamin D levels were on the low side and there weren’t really alternatives. The good side of that is taking these disgusting, lanolin-based D3 supplements has motivated me to find a good plant-based supplier, and I think I’ve done it.

Julia asks:

(32:50) I’ve been trying to improve my straddle, but I’m hitting a roadblock. I see every time I try this pose I feel stuck, not because of the actual straddle area but because when I try to get keep in it I feel a twinge in my right knee, so it feels like I’m actually stretching the inner thighs. Now this sensation in my knees is not pain exactly, just sort of becomes aware of it. Am I doing something wrong here? Any suggestions? Do you know of anything that helps? I also get the sensation when I point/flex ballet style.

Saddle pose, straddle pose, I’m not actually sure what pose you’re referring to when you say the straddle. I think you’re referring to a pose that people also call the frog. The frog is when you kind of lay down on your bell, but instead of putting your legs straight back behind you, you bring your knees out to the side. It’s kind of like a side splits but with your knees bent, so like going to the splits to the side with your knees bent. I think that’s what you’re talking about, Julia.

I’m not a fan of that pose. It’s called the frog a lot. I don’t know if it has an official name. I’m not a fan of it. I’ve never been able to really feel a stretch. I feel the same thing as you. I just feel pain in my knees. My knees just kind of grind into the floor. I think it’s a weird pose. Maybe I just haven’t figured it out, but for me it doesn’t really work. I prefer to practice the full side splits. If you need support, add a block or a bolster or just a bunch of pillows from your bed work really well to help you, and my knees feel a lot better. So I’d suggest that. I’m sorry if I’m off point there. If I’m talking about the wrong pose send me another email and I’ll get back to you.

Lane asks:

(34:17) I do halasana (that’s a plow pose, plow pose is like standing on your shoulders but bring your feet to the ground so your body looks kind of like an upside down letter J) without props lately and started doing shoulder stands. I don’t know how, but my left hand is starting to go numb when I’m in a certain position. What do you think is going on? Do you have anything to remedy this? What could cause this?

Okay, so I’m not a huge fan of props in any shoulder-standing poses. The only prop you should be using is perhaps a blanket under your shoulders, which is like a traditional Iyenger-style way to prop and it relieves a little bit of the tension on your neck. Shoulder stand is a pretty safe pose, as is halasana. By pretty safe I mean most people can do it, as long as they don’t have neck issues, very safely without any propping. I tend to avoid props, because sometimes, especially in those kind of poses, people can get into trouble with too many props.

In any case, numbness, tingling, limbs going to sleep, totally normal, normal stuff. When you’re in halasana your shoulders, for example, are usually drawn up very close together. It’s possible you just have a pinched nerve. Now that sounds extreme, but I mean a pinched nerve, we could also call it a pressed nerve. It doesn’t necessarily need to be anything that should be of concern. The way you know if something nervous system is going on is after you come out of the pose if that tingling and numbness doesn’t go away within a minute or two, that’s a good sign that you’re pushing something too far. But limbs falling asleep, very, very common, happens to all of us, all kinds of different poses. Full lotus pose is the most common one. Peoples’ limbs just fall asleep randomly. So I wouldn’t worry too much about it, again, unless that tingling doesn’t go away.

Hope that’s helpful. Thanks for tuning in. If you too have questions, email them to [email protected],and we’ll hope to hear from you in the future.

The food you eat affects your body and mind every day. Welcome to the nutritional tip of the week, where we explore plant-based diets, super food nutrition, edible insects and new tropics. The goal here is mind/body biohacking for a better you and a better planet. So hey, let’s talk nutrition.

(36:31) Today’s nutritional tip is about fruit juice. Fruit juice has become really, really popular, specifically because there’s a few people on the internet or even more so on infomercials, who are promoting juicers. There’s the Juice Master and there’s the Reboot Juice and all these kinds of things. Fruit juice is a challenging one. Maybe 100 years ago fruit juice would have been a more healthful food, but these days fruit juice is very, very sweet and it’s very high in fructose.

(37:00) What a lot of people don’t realize about fructose is it’s one of the more lipogenic foods on the planet, and what that means is it goes straight to your liver and it’s transformed into abdominal fat very, very quickly. It’s something you want to avoid. We want to minimize fructose in our diet. When you’re eating whole fruit people tend not to over eat fructose. To eat five apples in one sitting is very rare. Most of us would get a really bad belly ache. But to drink five apples worth of apple juice, sugar, is very, very easy. You could drink 10 or 12 without much notice, and it’s very lipogenic.

(37:25) The challenge that I see is a lot of people are drinking fruit juice to try to lose weight. So they’re having orange juice in the morning, a big, giant 16 ounce apple juice, maybe adding a little bit of kale in there in the afternoon, and this is not going to help. It’s really, really not going to help. It’s a huge problem. It’s too much sugar. The best kind of juices are green juices. You want to focus on that. If you’re using fruit juice you need to make sure it’s diluted. I like to use, when we do juice cleansing, we’ll do a 4:1 ratio with water to juice, if you’re using fruit juice. Even better is just to avoid fruit juice all together. Eat your fruit, drink your vegetables when you’re talking about juicing, is a good thing to think about.

(38:20) So why juice at all? Well the reason to juice is because a lot of people are really looking for more minerals, specifically. Vitamins are fairly abundant in both fruits and vegetables, and in our everyday world. But the minerals specifically are very, very hard to get, and you’ve got to eat a lot of vegetables to get them because our soils are depleted. And so soils are depleted, vegetables are depleted, you’ve got to eat more to get the same amount. Juicing greens is a great way to get minerals. So juicing your vegetables makes a lot of sense, juicing your fruits not so much. Use fruit as a little bit of a way to sweeten up your juices, but focus primarily on green vegetable juices. Celery and cucumber as your base, spinach is a great staple, then if you get hardcore start adding in things like shard and mustard greens, and parsley is a very neutral but very mineral-dense green to add, and any other green that you like.

Hope that’s helpful. We’ll talk to you soon. You’ve been listening to the Yoga Talk Show with Lucas Rockwood. If you like this show, I always appreciate reviews and ratings on the iTunes Store. It helps other listeners find out about what we’re doing, and it keeps me motivated to dig around and find new and diverse topics to share with you. For complete show notes, links to everything discussed in the show, along with a ton of other free yoga videos and online resources, please head over to YogaBodyNaturals.com. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll talk to you very soon.