617 of 643 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2013
As many readers are aware, the food intolerance and elimination diet ideas have been around for a very long time. This book is a decent synthesis of that tradition, but the author's many statements of certainty leave me cold.
I am a physiologist working in the field of adult metabolic dysfunction, and I agree with her that diet is the cause of pretty much all the ills we experience. I read and generally follow the authors that she lists in her recommended reading as well as seriously read the medical literature, personally eat aligned with Weston Price, and think the GAPS diet is superior for healing a leaky gut. I do agree that there is mounting evidence that leaky gut is at the root of many autoimmune problems, and I define autoimmune in a very general way that includes anything that causes inflammation (that is to say, much more general than establishment medicine uses the terms for a limited set of specific illnesses).
But, in my opinion, she kind of mashes up a number of suspected metabolic derangements into the "IT!!" of food intolerance in order to sell her newest best thing, which oversimplifies the issue and sets people up to think that their weight and their cravings are all about their exposure to food antigens. To begin, of course people are going to lose weight when they clean up their diets, and how much of her claimed results are the result of folks giving this 3-week protocol a whirl and eating a clean and portion-controlled diet? Secondly, many of the foods on her list are well-known players in the insulin problem. How do we know that her results are not actually related to positive impacts on insulin and the resulting decrease in inflammation and cravings that accompany better regulation of it? She does talk about insulin effects, but again, it's sort of mashed in there with her primary goal of making everything about FI.
So, for example, while I agree with her that gluten is a huge problem for a lot of people, many folks will switch to non-gluten foods like high quality oats or rice, and still not be able to lose weight because those foods still cause a problematic insulin response for them. She also claims that cravings are about circulating IgG immune complexes on the hunt for their partner food particle (an idea I could find zero evidence for in the scientific literature), whereas in our work with disordered eating patients we found cravings and bingeing were related to not eating a breakfast that included protein, and suggest that it's actually more of a blood sugar issue. In fact, the Sweetness Trap chapter is mostly about sugar's effect on insulin drive and blood sugar. A food can be extremely problematic hormonally and have little or no impact on your immune system's response to it (which is what defines a food intolerance).
There's also that whole IgG thing; lots of blow back in the medical literature about what IgG really indicates and if it's bad or protective, and also significant discussion about the lack of sensitivity and validity of the IgG tests that are on the market. I had an IgG panel done and it did not flag foods that I have definite problems with. Clinicians who use the test (mostly naturopaths) have reported similar problems with it. She touts the test with certainty on her PBS show as a certain way to find out if you have a food intolerance to something, and knows that she's got a problem with eggs because she had the test.
Finally, I have problems with the whole dairy thing. Firstly, I think we need to really describe two separate types of dairy foods: pastured and raw vs. pasturized. These are really two different food groups. She does a whole chapter on how problematic dairy is, and then in fact makes the statement that pastured and raw dairy are something else entirely, and invites her readers to check that food out. Pastured dairy is becoming more easy to find (heck, you can find Kerrygold Irish butter and cheese in most supermarkets in the NYC area). I'm lucky in that I live across the river from PA where raw pastured dairy is a legally sold staple. However, if you have lactose intolerance, you'll know it and no amount of pastured or organic or raw will help you probably. But if you don't, then pastured and raw dairy may be a great food for you. Some animal studies have found a relationship between the milk protein cassein and cancer incidence, and there is human study evidence to show autoimmune reaction to cassein in Type 1 diabetics with celiac disease - which is a very specific and limited case, but my personal opinion is that this is an area of knowledge in human nutrition still to be figured out. I believe our diets should be as diverse and nutrition dense as possible, and eliminating so many foods can be a nightmare. If you have autoimmune symptoms, then eliminate it for a couple of weeks and see what happens. If not, or if eliminating it doesn't clear up your health problems, then raw dairy can be a great source of nutrition.
There are folks in the paleo community (for example, Robb Wolf and his mentor Loren Cordain and now Terry Wahls, MD of the Wahls Protocol) who are extremely respected and who believe that dairy is a no-no. They base their opinions on a few studies that concluded that while dairy does not have a big impact on your blood sugar, it still causes a rise in your insulin. This is one of the points that JJ Virgin makes in her chapter on dairy, which would be based on these studies. I read all of those studies, and I have problems with them. For example, the yogurt food used in the study most cited, which increased insulin very significantly, was actually yogurt with a fruit preserve it in. Whey increased insulin, even in a "combination" meal, but that combination was with white bread. How much would whey protein impact your insulin response if it was combined in a shake with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil? That result would likely be much different. I am most miffed in that chapter, however, by her blatant misuse of the scientific literature in her statement that dairy makes you fat. She makes that statement as a bold section heading on page 96, and supports that statement with a study that didn't find that at all!!! (Barr, 2003). That review found that in 9 studies that looked at *increasing* dairy (not just eating dairy, but increasing it), 7 found no difference in weight to controls and 2 found an increase in weight in an elderly population for which they could not "accurately determine the extent of dietary compensation for the increment in energy intake provided by the added dairy products"; that is, they couldn't determine that the weight gain was due to the dairy itself or the increased calories. She maneuvers around this by saying in the text "if you drink *more* milk you gain weight". That's just dirty pool, and if she's got nothing more than that weak study (which the study authors even say was statistically weak), and she has to play word games with it to make the point, then there is no point.
So might many folks who have weight problems or inflammatory problems or mood problems also have food intolerances? Probably. But is FI the REAL cause of weight gain as her book states on the cover in no uncertain terms? Maybe not so much. I absolutely think humans should avoid modern grains, industrial seed oils, sugar, HFCS, GMOs, pasturized dairy and feedlot meat, but I'm not at all certain like she is that every thing is caused by a food intolerance.
629 of 679 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
Most of the people I know could lose a little weight. I know I'm among the "most people." We want to, we know the traditional ways that we "SHOULD" eat and exercise, BUT... something gets in the way. So we carry that weight, a little more each year. Another promise made - and broken - each year.
And then, I heard JJ Virgin talk about the 7 foods that cause inflammation. She talked about the body being more like a chemistry lab than a bank account. It's not always about calories in and calories burned. Sometimes it's about what the body does with the "fuel" it's given.
I decided to give JJ's plan a try. She gathered evidence from thousands of people she had seen in hospitals and in her practice. Not only had she done her research, but she got results over and over again. I will say that in eating differently and by dropping seven foods out of my diet, I've lost 19 pounds in the last five weeks. I've experimented with different foods and putting some back in at this point just to see what my chemistry lab of a body would do. I'm now pretty clear about what works for me and what doesn't.
JJ's plan is simple, easy to understand, and easy to do.
It's funny to write a book review and to say that as a result of this information, I need new clothes!
You'll be saying the same. I hope you try it and that you, too, need a new belt soon!
995 of 1,094 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2013
The 7 things she lists to avoid are
5.Sugar and artificial sweeteners
And then she says to do this for 3 weeks and then add the food in one by one and see what you are sensitive to. She also stresses you to buy her products. I have told you the entire book in just these few words. Do NOT waste your money. I am sorry that I did. I wish I would have just looked up the 7 foods to drop.
Now about losing weight, if you drop those foods and are sensitive to them...you will drop the weight. However, if you are not sensitive to them you will stay the same. Good luck! Don't waste your money!
502 of 566 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2013
I am giving 4 stars to the concept...and not so much JJ in particular. I don't believe all of her research is solid--I don't think oils (though at least they are olive and palm fruit oils) and animal products are particularly 'healthy'(check out, 'The China Study' and Dr McDougall's work)...though I think eliminating the top 7 foods (corn, soy, dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts and sugar) that people often (and unknowingly) have sensitivities to is something everyone should try. This 'diet' is not just about weight loss, it's about feeling amazing by getting rid of all those little symptoms you thought were how you normally felt(like feeling foggy, tired, achy, regular headaches, etc).
I think JJ puts too much emphasis on protein (too much protein is hard on your kidneys-the average american already gets too much) and vitamins for everyone(I think that food is the best way to get your nutrition--not a bunch of powdered pills hoping to replicate the real thing while making someone a bunch of money). She also scorns some fruits and veggies (like white potatoes and bananas--high glycemic ones), which I don't agree with. I think that whole natural foods are as good as you can get in all varieties. I also don't agree that you have to eat meat to be healthy. She does have a plan for vegans but it's with a whole bunch of supplements and a warning that you aren't going to have optimal health.
Eating whole organic/free range foods sure beats the standard American diet however.
As far as people saying it's difficult to eat this way.
I don't agree....though I'm sure it's a huge change for most people.
It is difficult if you want a bunch of packaged food (but hey people--we are here to achieve good health and you aren't going to do it that way). So plan on making your own meals, sauces, dressings, etc...because most packaged food contains either wheat, soy or dairy, it's everywhere. It can be a very simple way to eat---or as complicated as you want it to be.
I will say it's a bit difficult to eat out--I just am not comfortable saying my food must be free of the list of 7 things...but that's me. Sauces are awfully tricky and then there is the whole issue of cross contamination. I just order the basics, though I eat out rarely.
As far as the comments from people saying this is extreme. I don't think it's 'extreme'...there are lots of foods you can still eat.
Is it strict?
You have to give up these foods 100% or the whole thing is pointless. If you eat something with whey in the ingredient list on day 14...you are going to have to start back over at square one. It takes 3 weeks of 'clean' eating to see if you have a sensitivity or not. No moderation, no cheating, no room for error. After those 3 weeks you get to start introducing foods back in to see if they make you feel bad. But that is a 4 week process that is also regimented. There is no way around it, it's the chemistry of it all.
If you are unwilling to make a 7 week commitment to pursue optimal health (or at least 3 weeks to even see if you have a sensitivity) then there is no point in even buying the book.
That said, this isn't about deprivation, there are so many wonderful foods that you can eat on this plan you may even discover things you'd never have tried otherwise.
I think this is a great book for anyone wanting to feel their best and a great way to find out if the foods you are eating are actually making you sick.
I will update my results as I go.
Week one I followed the diet per JJ's rules. I lost 3 lbs in the first 3 days and then gained them back...so, after a week I weighed the same.
However, I am at a healthy weight already and am doing this for the sake of feeling better (more energy, clearer thinking, etc) and seeing if I have a sensitivity to a certain food.
After week one I started including all fruits and veggies (frozen bananas in my smoothies---oh so much better that way) though I am still avoiding the 7 foods you are supposed to. I feel good. More energy, clearer, no cravings.
I do need to add once you go to JJ's webpage to get more information you must sign in with your email and then get annoying emails everyday. They are repetitive and trying to get you to buy more stuff.
I also ordered her shakes on a special deal to try (I am currently using PerfectFit Protein Powder--which is not something I think you need..but wanted to follow the diet exactly for at least the first week) and despite the promise of being shipped out in 2-4 days with 3 day shipping I still do not have them....I find that quite annoying because they are very expensive. When I do get them I will comment on their quality and taste as well.
I did not end up having any sensitivities to any of the 7 foods. Though, it's good to know b/c I always wondered with so many people that do.
The vanilla--kinda a cross between birthday cake batter and milk gone sour.
Overall I like it. It's much smoother than the other chalky brands.
Chai-okay...chai-ish. Not as good combined with fruit...better with a banana, almond butter and flax or maybe a coffee version if you're into that.
Chocolate-not great...but drinkable.
69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
I have been a health enthusiast for a long time now, having studied and gone through many phases of health and wellness eating and living. One of the things that I have found to be extremely effective is the anti fungal approach to eating as Doug Kaufmann seems to have gotten the jump on for quite some time now. I prefer a more raw foods approach than he has, but still the principles are solid.
The Virgin Diet seems to be a spin off of many of the things that I like about the anti fungal approach from Know the Cause, but there are some things about it that bother me.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK:
1. I like the idea that you are honing in on 7 foods that are most likely to cause fat retention or bloating, etc. It is basic and not too overwhelming to think about.
2. I like that there is a basic core of information you can absorb and then do your own thing to stick with it for 21 days until you have purged your body of whatever it is that frustrates you. It does take time and devotion though- not easily done in all situations.
3. I like that there is an emphasis on things which do not feed fungi (which is a problem so many people don't realize they have) so that I know that this way of eating is bound to work well.
4. I like the shopping list in the back. It makes it easy to copy and print if you should desire an easy way to get through this 21 day test.
5. Every chapter has clear and easy to follow information about why you can or can not eat certain things and what the consequences might be.
WHAT I DON'T LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK
1. There is mention in the book by the author that says that it is important to have a forum of support to help you make it through the first few days when you whine and get cranky from the adjustments. Then she says, that you just imagine her saying things to you, etc. Yet in the testimonials, people talk of having the forum of people to rely on which helps so much.
Ooooo Forum? GREAT- yeah, right, just try to go find it. No such thing. I am not too good at making pretend people talk to me when I am hungry and crabby, sorry.
2. If you want any kind of support on this diet, you can count on paying plenty for it. You can have coaching and group support, but then you have to come up with more money.
3. Most of the things are relatively easy to get to eat, but one of the vital ingredients in this diet is a pea/rice protein powder. Granted you can buy it at the store if you are lucky to find it, but you can go to her site and pay a pretty penny for it if you like- Another thing that makes me feel merchandized.
4. The layout of the book is not overly easy to follow for me, and I KNOW much of what is in this book already with a few exceptions I have to refer back to. That means that when I am on the first phase when I am trying to clean out, I am cranky and irritable and need help to find something to eat RIGHT NOW. To have to go through the book in a rage just to find something to eat so I don't go nuts, is not very helpful. I am dedicated, but not too many people will be able to spend this kind of time trying to figure out what the heck they can eat right now. I see this as a potential failure point, especially if someone is dealing with work schedules and other things which don't allow for heavy reading constantly.
5. There seems to be some confusion about this diet for me. Such as, in stage 1 you eat on week 1, two virgin shakes and 1 meal. Really? That is it? What kind of a meal? Which one? Does it matter? Then after that you get to eat 1 shake and two meals for two weeks. Later in the book there are recipes- a few not too many, so I just grab at one of them and hope for the best. But then there is that ONE FALSE MOVE AND BAM YOU HAVE TO START OVER routine. That was a little frustrating for me. Just one tiny bite can set you back in the 21 days? That makes it seem almost too stressful if you think about it. 21 days is a LONG time if you have a lot of places to be and people to be around who have no idea what you are doing.
THE BOTTOM LINE
When you eat store bought eggs and milk, you will get a lot of problems because of the way things are raised and the way they are changed through processing (ie pasteurization), even organic milk. Those are two things which are targets to get rid of on the Virgin Diet or at least test for reactions to.
One thing I would like to point out is that on the anti fungal eating program, one important thing is that corn is fed to most animals and is one of the highest sources for fungi of any food source (as are peanuts). It is passed down in the milk and meat, hence why the problems bloating up. That could mean you are not at all reacting to dairy or eggs, but what is coming through them.
Okay, so then what? Soy is tested for, and gluten, and also corn, peanuts, sweeteners, (in addition to dairy and eggs).
You can eat grass fed beef, salmon, and other animal proteins if they are from clean sources. On false move in the 21 days when you start and BAM you are back at square one again.
So, you get rid of those seven ingredients for 21 days.
Is it hard? YES.
Will you lose weight? ABSOLUTELY.
Will you feel better? MOST LIKELY.
Do you need this book and special protein powder to do it? NOT REALLY.
WHO WOULD LIKE THIS BOOK?
Anyone who is desperate to have a weight loss and health breakthrough would most likely like this diet. If you are not too aware of what to do or what might be causing your difficulties, it is a great place to start. Anyone who is struggling with diets that don't work, will find help with this. Anyone who is over 30 especially over 45 will find help with this book. If you want to just feel better in general, you might find this book helpful at the beginning, but maybe not for life, unless you are a really experienced cook who adapts easily.
WHO MIGHT NOT LIKE THIS BOOK?
Anyone who likes to play games with themselves will not like this book. If you regularly cheat and make excuses why a little bit of variation won't hurt to whatever diet you attempt- don't waste your time with this. If you are the type of person who wants everything to be spelled out for you in charts and graphs, and don't really read carefully about things before you try them, don't bother with this book. You will need to spend some serious study time before you begin this diet.
I lost about five pounds the first week on this diet, but with all of the stuff I had to cut out to do it, that would have happened anyway. I did not have the protein powder, can not find it locally.
I just had a good reason to try eating more focused again, and I am thankful for the book. It was much needed motivation to return to a more strict way of eating. I do feel healthier with it and recommend this book with caution- again you have to force yourself to do this alone and to really read up on it before you try as the first week, there will be no one there holding your hand, and you will most likely get CRANKY. That is not a good time to have to rifle through the book to find some help or direction.
477 of 546 people found the following review helpful
I admit, I have not followed this diet, and here's why.
I have been reading so much contradictory information about nutrition this year that I hardly know what to eat any more. Whether it's proponents of vegan diets, paleo diets, or anything in between, they all claim remarkable results, they all cite scientific research, they all offer encouraging testimonials from people who have had success. But for me, with a lot of weight to lose, I had to find something simple. I had lost a lot of weight on Weight Watchers in the past, but that was when I was younger did not mind a diet based on fairly severe portion control. I wanted a diet that allowed me to eat a comfortable amount of food, that was nutritionally sound, and simple to follow, in order to be successful. So, when I saw "Drop 7 foods, lose 7 pounds, just 7 days" I was intrigued, especially when the diet purported to be based on sound nutrition, not a gimmick.
The book begins by telling you that all you have to eliminate are corn, eggs, peanuts, dairy, gluten, soy, and sugar (including artificial sweeteners.) That sounds simple enough. I would have a hard time giving up bread because I enjoy English muffins, wrap sandwiches, etc. But I could work around that.
The first problem is, these 7 ingredients are hidden in so many foods that this "simple" plan becomes a matter of becoming a food detective. This is a very time-consuming process and one which is potentially expensive.
The second problem is, there are actually many more elements to the diet than giving up the seven foods. For example, one is supposed to buy organic vegetables, grass-fed meats, wild fish, free range chicken, etc. These are expensive ingredients and can be complicated to obtain. To supplement one's protein, pea-based shakes are recommended which, from what I read in other reviews, are less than palatable. Alcohol is forbidden the first two weeks. One is required to use special oils. And so on.
The whole beauty of this diet plan-- its apparent simplicity-- faded away when I began to read the book and realized how extremely complicated it really is. And that is the main point of my review. others claim to have gotten excellent results on the diet, though I must say, I have read many reviews in which someone lost a lot the first week or two and then very little after that. Its long-term effectiveness does not seem to have been demonstrated yet. The book seems to imply that people who follow the diet have all kinds of symptoms which disappear when those foods are eliminated, which implies a sensitivity to those foods. I don't have those symptoms, so I'm not sure that the book's premise-- that I am fat because I am sensitive to some or all of these foods-- is accurate.
My last issue with the book has been mentioned by others: it is extremely repetitive. It reads like a sales pitch. There are also examples of poor, even illogical, writing. For example, on the bottom of page XXI in the Introduction: "By eliminating all the wrong foods for 3 weeks, you can drop up to 7 pounds and look years younger by next week."
Again, my main problem with the book-- and the reason I cannot follow this diet-- is that, under the guise of simplicity, it is every bit as complicated as many other diets out there, so for me, no matter how effective it might be, I can't follow it. If you have the time in your schedule, and the money for special foods, to completely re-work your eating the way this diet really requires, maybe it will work for you.
248 of 289 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2012
I bought the Kindle edition and didn't have the issues that the other reviewer did, but I also didn't spend a huge amount of time going through the recipes.
I'm on Day 6 of cycle one. I've lost 2 lbs. I have PCOS so I tend to have a hard time losing weight even with very strict calorie and carb restriction, so the "7 pounds in 7 days!" gimmick was never my expectation. I DO feel better than normal. If nothing else, this diet does give you energy and I've noticed that my skin is a little glow-ier than it was a week ago. So, yay!
It was interesting reading through the author's reasoning of which foods can be damaging and why, and I think that the nutritional information that JJ is presenting is valid and a lot of facts (about GMO foods, peanuts, etc) was new information to me. However, I purchased this primarily to help me lose weight and not to learn about nutrition. My problem is that this diet is near impossible unless you have a lot of time and money, and i have neither.
I'm a mom to 10-month old twins and I work full time. I have a modest grocery budget for my family and typically go to a normal super market when I can, and buy normal food for us including lots of non-perishable (i.e. processed) items because it's hard to find time to go to the store. This week I have made time to go to my nearest whole foods to get fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats from happy chickens who were fed organic bok choy and given lots of hugs, and expensive-yet-gross pea-rice protein shake mix... TWICE. In a week. I've spent a ton of money this week on this stuff, and the time it takes to shop for and prepare this stuff has been hard. Making a smoothie in the morning and then washing out the blender when I need to be changing diapers and leaving the house is hard. The cravings haven't been bad but the money and effort has really hurt. I don't think I can keep up these habits in the long-term. I need a diet for people who eat normal/sad chicken who were sadly corn-fed and rely on processed food after a few days. I intend to keep this up for as long as I can because I feel good, but for me this diet isn't practical.
In addition, a lot of the tools recommended in the book, such as the online forum/website, aren't functional. These would have been helpful.
208 of 242 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
After so many diets not working for me, this one is. I am sleeping better, have more energy, and finally a diet I can actually stick to. I'm down 5 pounds so far (didn't make the 7 lbs in 7 days but still satisfied).
This is the first time I am eating 3 meals a day, no snacks and no midnight binges.
I was already off dairy and most soy products, and consumed very little peanuts and corn before I even started so I was a little skeptical. But getting rid of gluten, eggs and sugar has really made the difference for me. My cravings have disappeared. I'm never hungry on this diet.
Eating just 3 meals a day is kind of novel for me. Conventional wisdom always said eat lots of little meals to keep your metabolism going and so I was just snacking all the time. Clearly that wasn't working well. Now my body has a rhythm, knows when to expect food, and I don't think really think about food when it's not mealtime. That has been the biggest accomplishment of all.
Look forward to continuing on this great plan. Thanks JJ!
141 of 163 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2012
I am a vegan and while I disagree with JJ about her assertion that people must eat animal flesh to be healthy, I absolutely 1000% agree about the 7 intolerant foods to eliminate. I have done so and as of the 6th day doing this, I have more results than I can even list, but bare with me, I'll try to get them all in: no more hair loss. Was losing a lot in the shower. It stopped. Could not lose weight no matter how hard I worked out and I was eating plant based, and LOTS of soy...duh. As of day 6 I've gone from a tight size 8/10 to a 6. I am not kidding. I would not have believed it if I didn't experience it myself. ALso a woman said I looked too young to have kids, I must've been 12 when I had them. When I told her I had my 19 year old when I was 29 she about gasped. wow. This is fun. All cravings for sugar and crap are GONE. Blood sugar totally stable. can eat a small meal and go at least 6 hours without being hungry again. Before I felt like I was shoveling food (healthy whole VEGAN foods filled with soy, corn and gluten) down a bottomless pit. I coudn't eat enough. and what started me on this was abdominal pain and constipation so bad for two months I was getting ready to schedule a colonoscopy because I thought I had colon cancer. This, plus the bloating, was GONE AFTER ONE MEAL. I am also juicing everyday and started doing yoga everyday and I do not eat animal flesh, which I really believe is the healthiest way to go, but thats me. Its only week one. I believe at this rate, I will be down to a size 4 in two more weeks. I haven't been that size since before kids. Thats 20 years ago. Never thought Id get there. I would love to see all children on this diet. So many of their issues would be healed to. This diet is going to transform the world. and healthcare. I'm convinced of it. JUST DO IT!!!!!
185 of 217 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2012
Three years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes. My energy went down, my weight went UP, my hunger sky-rocketed and my moods were all over the place. My doctor signed me up for a diabtetes workshop given by our hospital. I did learn a lot but nothing improved. I went from always being slim and petite to being round and petite. I'm now on day 14 of following JJ's rules, to the letter. All the way -- no moderation but rather ELIMINATION of the 7 foods she talks about. First thing I noticed my hunger decreased. Instead of needing to eat/snack every 1-2 hours I was able to make it to lunch without eating a snack, then I could make it to dinner with just a small apple and 1 Tbsp of almond butter mid afternoon. Then MOST amazing I did not need to eat anything after dinner. WOW!!!! My pot belly that I had all my life began to flatten. I feel better, more energy and I'm losing weight. I appreciate good doctors and thank them all for being there when we need them but they have it all wrong about diabetes. I think I'll give my doctor a copy of JJ Virgin's book for Christmas. Thank you JJ -- you are changing my life.