Podcast Episode #127: JJ Virgin on Her New Cookbook, Money Fears, Self Empowerment & Motivation

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The Balanced Bites Podcast | Special Guest JJ Virgin: JJ Virgin on her new cookbook, money fears, self empowerment, and motivation Remember – If you’re enjoying these podcasts, please leave us a review in iTunes. Thanks!

1.  Updates [2:35] 2.  Our guest, J.J. Virgin [3:15] 3.  About The Virgin Diet Cookbook [7:14] 4.  How J.J. got started helping people find their passion [11:53] 5.  How to change your mindset [20:49] 6.  Words of wisdom to overcome mental barriers [30:43] 7.  Overcoming the mindset that money will ruin the passion [36:19] 8.  J.J.’s words as a parent [53:03]


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The Virgin Diet Cookbook

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Diane Sanfilippo: Hey everyone! Welcome to episode 127 of the Balanced Bites podcast. Diane here, and I have a very special guest here with me today, but before I introduce her, I want to remind everybody about our awesome sponsors. We have Chameleon Cold-Brew, which is our favorite smooth, organic, fair trade caffeinated beverage. It’s coffee. If you haven’t tried it yet, definitely check it out. You can find out where you can buy their coffee locally by checking out their website at Or, you can get an amazing discount on your online orders if you don’t have it in your local area, so just use the code BALANCEDBITES at checkout. We also have Paleo Treats, which, interestingly enough, go fantastically with your Chameleon Cold-Brew. So, if you are looking for some individually packaged paleo goodies, they are all sweetened with honey, paleo-friendly ingredients, all grain-free. You can grab a bunch of those and just have them ready to go whenever you want. Checkout their website at You will get 15% off your order when you use the code BALANCEDBITES at checkout over there. And then, finally, last but not least, Pete’s Paleo. Bringing fine dining to your cave. Pete’s Paleo makes it eating to have great food on the table fast for those nights when you get home from the gym, it’s too late to cook or you just want to get something heated up and down the hatch. so, check out You can use code BALANCEDBITESROCKS at checkout, and you will get a free pound of their amazing pastured bacon. You will be hooked for life, and you won’t want to eat any other bacon once you try it. So, check out

1. Updates [2:35]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, that’s it for our sponsors. Just to give you guys one update this week, which I think we introduced it on an episode previously, but Liz and I are hard at work at getting the online workshop produced, so that will be coming up in the coming months. You can check out the link on today’s show notes for how to sign up to find out when that’s available, and I’m sure we’ll have some kind of great offer for those of you who are kind of in the know and getting those updates ahead of time. So, make sure you sign up on that list to find out when the Balanced Bites online workshop is available. Ok, so without anything further, I just want to introduce.

2. Our guest, J.J. Virgin [3:15]

Diane Sanfilippo: Many of you know my guest today from previous episodes. I don’t remember if we did just one or two episodes with her, but it was definitely one of our favorites. J. J. Virgin is here. She is a New York Times’ bestselling author of The Virgin Diet, and she is a prominent fitness and nutrition expert, public speaker, media personality, and I’m glad to say as well, a friend of mine. Her newest book is actually called The Virgin Diet Cookbook, so if you don’t have her previous book, definitely check that out, The Virgin Diet. Drop 7 foods, lose 7 lbs, just 7 days, and then The Virgin Diet Cookbook is the companion to that. She is internationally recognized, and is an expert in overcoming weight loss resistance, which is a self-coined term she uses to describe people who do everything right and just can’t attain that weight loss. J. J. has helped thousands of people to lose weight fast by addressing their food allergies, food sensitivities, and other food intolerance issues. Clients feel better fast in losing their body fat when they drop 7 highly reactive foods. Now, let’s see, I think I want to get quickly to J. J’s credentials so we can get chatting today. She is a board certified nutrition specialist through the American College of Nutrition, and board certified in holistic nutrition, and is a certified nutrition and fitness specialist. She has completed 40 graduate and doctoral courses, and continues to learn every day to keep her audience informed of the latest science. Welcome, J. J.!

J.J. Virgin: Thank you! And I’ve got to tell you, it was so fun coming to your house and cooking with you.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: And I’m completely addicted to Pete’s bacon. The paleo bacon. I’m like, now, a little bacon addict.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s crazy.

J.J. Virgin: It’s so good, I can’t stand it!

Diane Sanfilippo: I know, it’s not like anything else.

J.J. Virgin: No!

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, it’s the real deal.

J.J. Virgin: No. I mean, you’ll never eat any other bacon than that.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: I mean, it’s like a daily thing now. I actually did spaghetti squash, and I had some leftover in the fridge. And can I tell you what, spaghetti squash with paleo bacon?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: Fabulous {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: I know we were talking, and I think you were saying bacon was your favorite food, or your favorite seasoning. It goes with everything.

J.J. Virgin: {laughs} Everything’s better with bacon! We have our war room right now, we have this house that we’ve been working on all of the book coming out, and so we have bulletproof coffee, and we have dark chocolate, and then we have paleo bacon. I walked in the other day, and there’s this plate of dark chocolate and bacon.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: I’m like, that’s what I’m talking about! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Dark chocolate, bacon, and

J.J. Virgin: And almond butter! Almond butter. It’s the perfect trifecta!

Diane Sanfilippo: And the coffee, I mean, forget it.

J.J. Virgin: I know.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s your superfoods right there.

J.J. Virgin: Exactly! What else do you need? I mean, maybe throw a little kale in there somewhere.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: And you’re all good {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. Well, I would love for you to just tell folks a little bit about the cookbook, and then what I wanted to do today, because our listeners are definitely kind of a special group. You know, we’ve got tons of folks who are just kind of learning about real food, and paleo, and food allergies, and all this stuff that you and I always talk about with what we’re teaching people in our books and our programs, but I really think that you have sort of a unique ability, as well, in this whole nutrition and fitness and health education world to help motivate and inspire people, which I know is a huge part of what you do and what you love to do to get out there and share their message in a way that will create a business around it. And so, I want to talk about the book, and the program, and all of that to start out, but I really do want to transition into that info on some of this career stuff, because one of the top 10 questions we get is really around making educating others into a career. So, let’s first talk about The Virgin Diet Cookbook. What do you want to tell folks about why you created the cookbook, and kind of what they can expect to find.

3. About The Virgin Diet Cookbook [7:14]

J.J. Virgin: Ok, I know you’re going to relate to this completely, Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: The two questions I got asked after I wrote The Virgin Diet, and what I tell people is The Virgin Diet, which is drop 7 foods, lose 7 pounds in 7 days, it’s all about food intolerance is agnostic. So, it doesn’t matter if someone is paleo all the way to vegan or anywhere in between. It works for them. But it really looks at food intolerance. The two biggest questions we got asked were, number one I want more recipes. I mean, recipes, recipes, recipes. I’m like ugh! You know?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: And then number 2, and I know you’re going to totally get this one is, sugar!! Right?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, totally.

J.J. Virgin: Those were the two freakouts! And so, I looked at this and when we looked at creating the cookbook, what was really cool about it was The Virgin Diet had been out for a year, all these people were knocking it off, so I was like, ok I’ve got to do something because all these people have written The Virgin Diet Cookbooks. I know you’ve struggled with this too.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

J.J. Virgin: I’m like, stop it! Stop it!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: You know? I’m the one with the last name, not you!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: So, you know, I thought, ok we’re going to do this, but what I wanted to do was make it really amplify where we’d gone with The Virgin Diet, so all these questions that had come up, we added in some new material that was upgraded from the first book, we added in the basic plan, and then we also took it, because again, we’d had people say, “I travel” “I’m paleo”, “I’ve got diabetes.” So we created meal plans specifically for each of those, and we created shopping lists for each of those. So it’s just this really, it reminds me, honestly, not to just blow some sunshine, but you know, Practical Paleo is like the best book on the planet.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: It is. It’s just, it’s so awesome, it’s so complete, I bow to you. Because I look at that and go, what a labor of love, oh my gosh. You know?

Diane Sanfilippo: Thank you.

J.J. Virgin: And it deserves; I mean, it should be on the New York Times’ forever. And it practically is, every time I look, I go yep, back up!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: But, I loved how user friendly that was. And that’s what I’ve really tried to do with The Virgin Diet Cookbook, is go, ok, this is going to give you the overview of the program, but also whatever your special interest in, you can just go, ok, here’s how I do it for that, that will totally work. So, that was the whole point of it. And then the challenge I had, especially after cooking with you, you kitchen goddess you.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: {laughs} you know, I was in there. By the way, we made that cooking video so awesome, so we’ll have to get that out.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t wait to see it!

J.J. Virgin: Yes. So, when I cook, I don’t really measure anything. So, the way I go into a kitchen, I see what’s in the refrigerator, and I think, what do I feel like, and then I just go for it. And so, you can imagine, as you’re trying to put recipes together how difficult that is to say, alright {laughing} handful of this, you know, etc.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can imagine completely. {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: Oh, it’s so brutal! Because you know, you can’t say, oh a teaspoon, tablespoon, half a cup, you know, whatever you feel like. That does not work in a recipe. So I actually hired rockstar chefs to work with me, and we went through and I go, these are all the things I love, and we had to work together to make all these things so that you could actually follow the recipe as opposed to getting in my head with me. So, that’s what we did. And I love this book. It’s huge, too! It’s way bigger than The Virgin Diet. Loads of recipes, cool photos, just awesome. It’s been a big labor of love, as you know these books are. {laughs} every time I write one, I’m like that’s it! Never again! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I know. It is, and writing recipes is

J.J. Virgin: Brutal.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s a whole other animal, because getting the info back from the editors and they tell you that you have not explained something clearly, and you’re like, well, this is all I have. This is all I know how to explain.

J.J. Virgin: Oh, I know! They go, ok, so is that chopped strawberries in the cup, or did you put them in whole and then chop them afterwards, and I’m like, seriously?

Diane Sanfilippo: I know.

J.J. Virgin: You know? Who would have thought. I’m like, really? Ugh. Horrible. {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s crazy. I think that that is another interesting thing, too. We feel like there are a million recipes out there, but I think the truth of the matter is, while people are in this stage of just learning and figuring it out, having that extra sort of hand-holding is really what helps them the most, and I think that’s what you’re doing with this cookbook, and the same kind of thing I’ve done with Practical Paleo and The Sugar Detox books, and all of that. You know, it’s one thing to have, ok here’s the program. But, extrapolating that out into what to do every day for people, I think it’s such a huge change for so many people, and I think we take that for granted. Right? Like, how many years into doing this thing.

J.J. Virgin: Yeah.

4. How J.J. got started helping people find their passion [11:53]

Diane Sanfilippo: Or, we’ve been eating “this way” for so long that we forget that at first, we want that list of, wait, can I eat this or not? You know, what about this special ingredient or this special food? So, I think that creating those additional resources is always valuable and it really does help people on their journey. I know that is what we set out to do with everything that we create with these programs for people, to just help people live better lives. That, at the end of the day, is the whole point of it. So, I want to kind of talk a little bit about your passion for helping people, even people like me, people who are not even doing this stuff as a career yet, because I think what a lot of people don’t know is that, at least the way I see your work, I think one of the most important things that you do right now is support and motivate people like me. And so, this is kind of behind the scenes at this stage, not a lot of folks know what’s going on, but you’ve created these mastermind groups of people, and that’s not an open public forum, but I see it as a huge valuable contribution to those of us who are really just getting out there and trying to spread our message. So, why is that something that you’re super passionate about, and how did you start to develop in that direction? Can you talk about that a little bit?

J.J. Virgin: {laughing} You know what’s interesting, is when something happens without you planning it, and, it takes off. And what happened was, I used to own a gym, gosh, forever ago. Like 15 years ago. I owned this gym, and we ran out of space for, we were going to have this office where I could do nutrition consults, but we ran out of space. So we ended up, this is really crazy, doing the nutrition consults back in the bathroom that had the shower.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: So we’d sit back in the bathroom with the shower, and then if someone needed to take a shower, they’d knock on the door and we had to go sit outside in the gym on balls. And so, what started to happen at my gym was, I was doing little lectures for the local community, and the doctors started coming. They started sending all their patients. And we started getting more patients of doctors, clients coming in for nutrition than anything else. It was like, we happened to have this gym there, and all these people coming in to have nutrition consults in the bathroom. I kid you not. I look back now, and I’m like…

Diane Sanfilippo: I believe it.

J.J. Virgin: Hilarious! Hilarious. And that’s what I tell people when they’re trying to make these beautiful offices, I go, listen. I did nutrition consults in the bathroom. And no one cared. At all. Next to the shower curtain! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: So, all of a sudden I went, you know, this is silly. I can teach these doctors how to do what I’m doing. They don’t need to send them over here. And, so I started doing that. And then I thought, well I’ve got to make this much more user friendly, and so I started giving them materials to use in their practice and developing little programs. And then I thought, as the online world started to explode, I thought, gosh if I could really learn this online thing, then I could help them be so much more productive with their patients. They wouldn’t have to learn all this stuff, they could just turn them on to it, and so it’s funny what happened was… I always did things, and I thought if I could do it then I could teach it. I never do anything that I haven’t done myself. I never teach anything I haven’t done myself. Like the Virgin diet.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

J.J. Virgin: I live this way. And I’m sure that you’re not out eating bagels.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} No.

J.J. Virgin: Just guessing. Right? We live what we teach. And so, I thought, alright. First I started doing a lot of TV. Dr. Phil, I had a reality show, I actually have had a couple of reality shows. So, I started to teach people how to get into the media. And then I started to teach people how to speak to groups. And then I started to teach people how to lead groups in their office, and how to do teleseminars. And so each thing I mastered, I started to teach. And then, I thought, alright, if I could do a book, a New York Times’ bestseller, I could teach that. So what happened was, I ended up with a group, 12 people, and I sat down with them and taught them what I knew, and then we masterminded about their businesses, and they go, we have to do this again. So we did it again, and we had 20 people. They go, we have to do this again! So we did it again, and people kept hearing, and I’ve never promoted it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: Didn’t have a website, nothing, right? Nothing, nothing.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know, I remember when I got the email, I was like, this seems sketchy, what is this?

J.J. Virgin: Yeah. And there’s no information, and guess what? If you’re not sure you want to come, then don’t come. {laughs} people are like what? I go, we’re going to be full anyway, so if you don’t think you want to come, then don’t come. So then, we end up with 60 people, then we end up with 80 people, the one you just had to miss. You better be there in August, missy.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: We had like 100-something people. It was insane. We did awards for the first time ever.

Diane Sanfilippo: I saw that.

J.J. Virgin: Which were awesome! They were so awesome. We had a gala, and then we launched mini-masterminds off of it, because people really wanted to sit and focus on their business. I never planned this one, all of a sudden I’m looking going, oh, now I have to have a conference director, an executive director, and news liaisons! But, here’s why I’m doing it. First of all, I love it so much, and I figure if I can figure out how to do something and create impact. I’ve helped over a million people with The Virgin Diet. I thought, if I know how to do that, and I can teach 20 other health experts how to do the same thing and they can hit a million people, now we just hit 20 million people. I look at what’s going on in our country, and it’s not our country, it’s the world. And we have such an epidemic of obesity, of toxicity, of hypertension, of autoimmune disease. I mean, the biggest autoimmune disease kills me, world-wide, biggest disease. Go paleo, fix it. Duh!

Diane Sanfilippo: Right!

J.J. Virgin: So, you look at all these things and you go, we can change all this by changing what’s on the end of our fork, and we don’t have enough of us out there! And that’s why I started to look, and health experts in general are taught to compete with each other, and I went this is ridiculous. There’s no competition here.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

J.J. Virgin: There aren’t enough of us to ever even begin to crack the surface of the challenges going on. There is strength in numbers, especially since we’re really going against Big Pharma, Big Food industry, all the traditional stuff out there. We need to be together, we need to band together, we need to share what’s work, we need to collaborate, and so that’s what I did. It’s like, all that really happened was, it’s an idea that needed to happen and I just happened to pull it together. You know, what I love the most of all, it makes me so happy, is seeing… I was more excited to see my girlfriend, Sara Gottfried, become a New York Times’ bestseller when she followed the system than for me.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

J.J. Virgin: Because I was like, it’s working.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

J.J. Virgin: And like another buddy of mine who, 7 years, this guy, I knew him for 7 years before he finally came on board, and I go, Tom, you’re the gluten doctor. Doesn’t that make you upset that you see Wheat Belly out there, that should have been you. Why aren’t you doing this? Why aren’t you doing this?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

J.J. Virgin: Then he finally jumps on board, leads the first ever gluten-free summit. A hundred thousand people join it, and I see that stuff and I go, we’re doing it. And that gives me the chills, because I know that if we can do this collectively and collaborate, we can massively impact health. And that’s what I want to do.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I want to go back to something you said a couple of minutes ago, because I always joke with you that, when you talk to me and when we first get on a call or whatever’s happening, you remind me of myself talking to my friends, because it’s like this whole list of ideas, and I call it rainbow string. It’s like, if somebody saw the thought bubble that’s going on in your head

J.J. Virgin: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s like this ball of rainbow string, and it’s ideas, and literally, I know that when you look at other people and what’s going on with them and their work, you see an unlimited… it’s limitless potential that you see in other people because of just your path and the way that your mind works, and I do that with other people too in a very similar way. I know that I literally end up having conversations with people, and they’re like, I don’t know what just happened to me, and I think she gave me some really good ideas, and now what? How do I make it work? But I think the big thing is that there are so many people, and the reason I wanted to talk about this, is we have tons of listeners who are coaches, they are nutrition students right now, they are coaches at the gym or they are trainers, they want to do this whole thing as a career, and I think that a lot of people don’t understand, and this is some of the stuff I know you and I talk about like, just sharing your message with the world, and finding out that we all have something to help somebody else with, and the interesting thing is that chances are, it’s not just one other person that needs help with whatever this thing is that we’ve learned and mastered, and now we just get to a point where we teach somebody else. I think it takes a certain personality to just jump, and say, oh, obviously I’m mastering this, now I want to teach someone else. I don’t think everybody understands that they have that potential.

J.J. Virgin: Right.

5. How to change your mindset [20:49]

Diane Sanfilippo: Or that what they have to say is valuable, or realizing that there are actually a lot of people in the world who want that expertise, no matter how narrow the scope may be. There is always a need. I’m kind of going on a tangent, but we have this whole internet thing, right? But people still want to learn from other people. We always have. We’ve always passed down things traditionally. We want to learn from people and their experiences, so what do you think is kind of the missing piece in the mindset. So, for our listeners who are like, how do I do this? How do I take myself to that level, whether it’s confidence or just action. To say, ok, I’m going to have something that’s important to share, and then get them to turn over to see it?

J.J. Virgin: You know, I’m going to share something that was my issue. Because I think it will help everybody, and I always like to just kind of… I don’t know if you’ve read or watched the YouTube video that Brene Brown did on vulnerability and the power of vulnerability; awesome! Everybody needs to watch that. She’s got a great book on it. Anyway, I used to have, and you know every once in a while it will pop up and I know now to smack it, but I used to have something called imposter syndrome. And I was actually in a mastermind group with some other people, and the leader brought it up, and talked about it, and I go, “other people feel this way?” And that’s why I’m bringing it up here.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ooh, what is this?

J.J. Virgin: {laughs} “Ooh, do I have this?” So, I know some of the people listening will go “ahhhh.” And it’s what will hold you back. I, honestly, when I hear about things holding people back it just breaks my heart, and I know this one has held me back in the past, and not anymore. So what Imposter syndrome is is this feeling that you are going to be found out, the “Who are you to do this.” And remember when I read to you at that last mastermind, and you took it home with you, Maryanne Williamson’s quote.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep.

J.J. Virgin: That says “who are you?” You know. Who are you to not step up into the light? You’re a child of God, you’re supposed to do this. And so, for so many of us, we’re like, well who am I to do this? I don’t have enough credentials? I don’t know enough? I’m not good enough, I’m not thin enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not. It’s the imposter syndrome. And that can stop you cold. And the bottom line is, you know, everyone I think ends up with a little bit of this. The bottom line is, once you know something, and you’ll know what it is, because it’s your unique ability. I have a really amazing coach I’m working with right now, and he says there’s 4 things we have. We have the things that we hate doing and we suck at; never do those things.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: {laughs} right?

Diane Sanfilippo: My bookkeeping!

J.J. Virgin: Yeah, like never. We should never do bookkeeping. Complete waste of our talent.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

J.J. Virgin: Number 2, there are things that you can get done, but it’s a struggle. You shouldn’t do those either. You know? Give them to someone else who loves to do them. Then you have things that you’re good at, you’re really good at, but you don’t draw energy from. And really, as soon as possible, you shouldn’t do those either. And then you have the thing you do whether you were paid to do it or not.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

J.J. Virgin: Which, for me, is what you saw me doing, and I do to you and you do to other people!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: We can’t help ourselves! I’m like, I’m doing it again. You know, and I’m sure some people are like, she’s coming, run away!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: But, you know, we all have that unique ability. We don’t realize it’s there, because it’s right under our nose, and it seems so easy for us that we don’t realize that it’s something special. And it is the thing that people will talk about you. They’ll so, oh yeah, she’s really good at “X”. Or they’ll always ask you the question about; that’s your unique ability. That’s your expert talent. That is what you share with the world. And you know what? You don’t need a PhD in it. You know? All you need to do, is have your framework around it. We all do. The other part is, well, I do it differently for everybody. Or there’s no real system. Well, what I did with The Virgin Diet, I think one of my unique abilities is to be able to take complicated things and, you know, if you look at the medical elimination diet, which basically the Virgin diet is a modified elimination diet, I made it fun and simple as opposed to boring and complicated. And so, I like putting frameworks in place. So you take that thing that everybody always asks you about, and that you’re recognized for, and that you poo-poo because it seems so easy, but it’s not easy for other people, and that’s your unique ability, and then I kind of feel like if you’re not doing this, and this is going to sound so woo-woo, and I’m such a science geek and so in my head, but actually.

Diane Sanfilippo: I like the woo-woo.

J.J. Virgin: {laughs} Ok, so you’ll dig this. This is really funny. I was at another mastermind group and I was going to quit. I actually have had one job in my life for 3 months, and I got fired. So, the idea that I was going to quit and go get a job is just sort of stupid, but I’m so not employable. But anyway, I was sitting there going, ok, I had my TLC show out, I’ve had a book come out, and I was broke, and nothing was working for me, and it just wasn’t clicking, and I thought, you know maybe I should go get a job. And my girlfriend Allie Brown brought this gal, Beth Davis, who is known as the palm pilot for the soul. She does hand analysis. And I’m like, oh, that is so stupid. Right?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: I’m like, that is so stupid. No way, I’m not listening to her, blah, blah, blah. Well, anyway, they decide that they’re going to read my hand in front of the whole group, and I’m like, fine. Ok. So, Beth does not know what’s going on in my head or all this stuff, and she’s sitting here telling me what my hand says, and she goes, you know. You’re supposed to be a celebrity. Because I always thought, well how arrogant, and who am I, and blah, blah, blah, you know? {laughs} When I was on Dr. Phil, I kept thinking, I’m going to walk up to my little dressing room, and my name is not going to be there. They will have found me out. So, she’s like, you’re supposed to do this. You can keep running away from it, and it will just keep chasing you, and you will be 70 finally stepping into it. You might as well just do it now.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: I’m like, ok. It just totally, I just went, alright. That’s it. And she taught me about the things that would be my demons, and she taught me about what I was supposed to be doing, and really what Allie said is, if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing, whatever you believe, God, Universe, spirit, whatever the heck it is, if you’re not doing it, you’re basically denying that. And I went, oh. That’s a mindset shift. And I just stepped into it. I just went, that’s it. This is what I’m doing. And it changed everything. And when that little, like, blah, blah, blah, you know, “who are you?” It’s like, slap it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

J.J. Virgin: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Well I think because I come from a line of teachers, I don’t think the imposter thing has ever really been a struggle for me, because I’ve seen along the way, I always joke that this is like my 5th career, so you know, I’ve done so many different things and I basically only do something that I wake up with a burning passion to do. So there’s a certain limit or amount of time that I can do this other thing, and then when I no longer wake up with a passion to do it, I have a finite amount of time that I can stand it until I just say, I’m done. Like literally one day I decided I needed to tell my boss I’m done at this job, and I can’t do it anymore. I just can’t come here because I wake up wanting to cook, or wanting to teach people about nutrition, or whatever it is. So, I don’t know. I want to go to learn what some of these other barriers are and see what all the little things, the stories that we tell ourselves, and all of that. But I think what you were touching on is really interesting. I was talking to someone recently about, she’s got a job that she is not passionate about. And the language in her head, so she’s interested in helping people learn about food, and you know, make amazing recipes and do all these things that are related to what you and I are doing, but in her mind, the story is, well I can’t quit my job because…whatever it is.

J.J. Virgin: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I said to her, I said, I really want you to tell yourself the situation a little differently, and it should be, I’m not ready right now because, or maybe now isn’t the time, but the “I can’t” is very limiting. It’s not true that you can’t. You can absolutely leave that job. It may not be the right time for you if you feel like what you need to do is create a plan to go to this other thing.

J.J. Virgin: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I said, you know, for those of us who’ve done this, and I’m sure in the point where you were broke and trying to figure out where to go, it’s not that from day 1 you are making tons of money and wildly successful. It’s a ton of work. People see the success, and a lot of people never see the struggle.

J.J. Virgin: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: And so I think we need to

J.J. Virgin: Share it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah!

J.J. Virgin: Share the struggle. Because it is.

Diane Sanfilippo: And help people recognize that it is, you know, if you’re listening, and you’re like, ok I want to do this. It takes hard work. It takes hard work, and it takes that mindset shift that you’ve got something to say, and I think that a lot of what you and I both teach, we’re not trying to tell people every possible thing about every possible way to heal their body or lose weight or whatever it is. It’s just, I know what I know, and I know these things to be true, I’m going to teach you what I know to be true and that’s the best that I have to offer. And, I’m not trying to expand it beyond what I know, and I have my limits. There are questions that I can’t answer, and I think that knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t know, and that part is a really big, I think that’s a really important lesson for people to have to understand that they have a message to share and an area of expertise. Like, I’ve got friends who are stay at home moms, they homeschool, and they do this whole paleo thing. And I’m like, do you realize how much you have to teach people about just how you do it? Just how you do all of that.

J.J. Virgin: Yeah.

6. Words of wisdom to overcome mental barriers [30:43]

Diane Sanfilippo: And people don’t know that there’s value there. So, if you’re thinking about folks who are maybe like me, but not…I’ve always joked that I’m not special, not from the perspective of people shouldn’t believe me, but from the perspective of, I’m just as special as you are, or anybody else. I just decided that this is what I’m going to do, and I don’t take no for an answer when I decide what I want. So, what is it that people can really start from if they’re thinking, ok, I want to go back to school, I want to learn about this stuff, but there are just all those mental and emotional barriers. What kind of words of advice or wisdom or motivation do you have?

J.J. Virgin: Oh, I’ve got like a pageful.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

J.J. Virgin: So, {laughs}. You know, you said something that I want to address, I think is so critical. Because mindset is everything. And I was very fortunate, as I’ve had a couple of major mentors in my life who really were mindset mentors. And you know, whenever you hear that question, like that gal asked, you can just put at the end of it, “so I don’t have to.” Everything in life is about asking the right questions. As you know, my son was left for dead in the street. When we went to the first hospital, they said we can’t do the surgery here, he’ll die here. And I said, well, can someone do the surgery the other way? Yes. If we hadn’t asked the right question, I would not have a son. Everything is about asking the right questions. That gal was saying, you know, I can’t leave my job. It’s like, what do I need to do…

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

J.J. Virgin: To be able to leave my job. That changes everything! I just had a guy come and work on me who is a therapist, massage therapist for Lleyton Hewitt and all the top tennis guys. And he runs around from place to place, staying at people’s houses, and he’s broke doing this amazing technique that no one does. And he’s sitting here working on me, and no one else can ever do this technique, and I go, well why don’t you teach it? And he goes, oh, massage therapists are not motivated.

Diane Sanfilippo: Uh-oh! Did he know who he was talking to?

J.J. Virgin: I know, I know! Oh no, it’s one of those. He’s one of them. And then I said, well, you don’t need to teach all the massage therapists. You need to just find a few who are motivated, and that will change everything. He goes, oh well. And then I go, you can also go to chiropractors. Oh, and I know you’ll laugh at this one. Oh you know chiropractors, all they care about is marketing and bringing in people so they can adjust them. I’m like, ok, well you know. I just thought…

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: Just let him work on you and shut it, J. J. I actually shut my mouth. Can you believe it? Are you impressed?

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: It is amazing because you’ll never get past your believe. And so part of it is, I think, getting into a community of people who are not like that person I just described. Like, I don’t hang out with people like that, so when it came up, I’m like, whoa! I haven’t heard anyone like this in a long time. What you read, what you listen to, who you hang out with is all focused on what’s possible. Amplifying your life, making changes out there so that you can continue to stretch, and then you set a goal that is a stretch goal, and you tie it back, and then you start working. You get people to help you work it. So if this gal wants to become a nutrition coach, because I can already hear it, you know. Oh, nutrition coaches don’t make any money. It’s like, really? Huh, I’m glad no one told me that. Or you that. Right? So, you know, they’ll never be able to support themselves. So you look at, go where someone’s gone before who is successful and do what they did. You know, I knew I wanted to be a New York Times’ bestselling author, so I went and got Brendon Burchard, and I did what he did. Because he had been very successful at it. And then I make sure that I’m around people who can absolutely support me to success and who feel the same way. And if they see me playing small, I mean my business coaches I’ve hired all along the way, because you don’t serve anybody by playing small. It’s not like there can only be one person up there at the top. We’re here for a purpose. We’re supposed to get that message out there, and playing small is a complete disservice on every level. It’s like, shame on you. Right? And so, you’ve got to put people around you that will totally nail you if you’re playing small, if you’re not doing, and I think I’ve done that to you. Not that you’re playing small, but every time I get on the phone with you, I’m like, oh my gosh! You know?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: I’m like, you’re one of those change agents for the world. I totally see it. Then I can’t stand myself, and I’m sure you feel like you have to take a nap when I leave, right? {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} But I like it because I do surround myself with people who are positive and motivating and all in that mindset, but I don’t have a lot of people around me who do what I do to other people who do it to me.

J.J. Virgin: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: So I appreciate it. I think you can’t be in a place where you’re constantly only surrounded by people who are kind of at a certain level with how they want to push and advance what they have to share with the world. One thing I think that holds a lot of people back, and you mentioned it to one side, where I think a lot of people are worried that they can’t make money doing something. Which, here we go again with limited thinking. I don’t know where people get this idea. I wasn’t raised with a lot of money. We took vacations on the Jersey Shore, we never left the country, I mean, literally we drove 3 hours to spend a week at the beach. That was extravagant.

J.J. Virgin: That’s what we did too! {laughs}

7. Overcoming the mindset that money will ruin the passion [36:19]

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah! We never wanted for anything, but we didn’t have a life that was extravagant. But I never felt like, if I needed money to do something there wasn’t a way to earn it. Like, lemonade stands, picking up sticks in the backyard. Everybody has skills that they can use to earn money and I think, you know, not everybody is an entrepreneur. At the end of the day, you and I want everyone to be an entrepreneur, but we also can appreciate that the folks who are on our teams are not necessarily an entrepreneur in the way that we are, although we want them to drive their business in their own way and all of that, and be motivated, but not everybody has it to that same degree. So we have two different things that we have going on, that I am getting to a point. One side is people who feel like they can’t earn money. Like, well if I go to do that, how am I going to make money at that? Which, I’m like, that’s the easy part. Figuring out how to make the money is the easy part. Figuring out what you’re passionate about sometimes is harder. But what about the people who are fearful that trying to live out a purpose and associate money with it turns it into a negative thing. That’s something that I’ve seen some limited thinking around, where people start to think that making money is somehow now dampening the fact that they were trying to fulfill their purpose. Have you seen that?

J.J. Virgin: Yeah, and you know what I say to those people? I say, you need to go get some help around money. And let me just share a story that just happened. So, my son, I brought him back at Christmastime to children’s hospital LA, the ward he was in during Christmas the year before for 2 months. And, we brought tons of presents. Everyone in there, we found out what they wanted, we got presents for all of them. We went in, and we sat down and Grant walked around, I call Grant “walking hope”, and he talked to every single family, and told them what had happened to him, and how they couldn’t give up, and blah, blah, blah. It was really, one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. And then, this one family, we were talking to them, and they were from Guam. And the hospital was paying, you know, they basically were a charity case from Guam, and I don’t mean that in a negative way, I mean the hospital was paying for them, and they were staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Their other son had died of leukemia a couple of months before; their 16-year-old was in Children’s Hospital with leukemia. I get chills telling this story. And they had 3 other kids at home in Guam. I didn’t even know where Guam was, Diane. I’m like, where is Guam? And so, I’m listening to this story, and they don’t have a checking account, they don’t have a car. The only money they have is anything that people do for fundraisers at home. I am literally emptying, because I’m like, let me write you a check. “we can’t cash a check”. I’m literally dumping all the money out of my wallet and giving them everything I had, and I had like a couple hundred bucks, I’m like, oh my gosh. Then I got home and got them a gift card, sent them more money. And I just decided I’m getting their kids there. And so I spent $5,000-plus, flew their family in, and I just got the pictures. And that is what having money allows you to do. Somewhere along the line, we twisted the phrase in the bible that money is the root of all evil. No it’s not. That’s not it. It’s the lack of money. And first of all, I give away 95% of what I do; I give away. And if someone wants more of my work, they can go deeper with us and purchase it. But, what that 5% that we sell allows me to do is go out and do things for people that can change the world. I mean, first off, when my son was in the hospital, it allowed me to be there with him. But since then, we just did, at the mindshare summit we just had with all the health experts, we raised $10,000 for Vitamin Angels, 30,000 children will see because of us. That’s what money can do. Money is so powerful when you use it correctly. And what a gift to be able to go out in the world, transform people’s lives, and with the money that you make, be able to take that money and create even more energy and transformation with it. So, when people say that, I don’t even… I don’t understand. I think they’re looking at Kim Kardashian, and thinking that’s what money does. Or Paris Hilton.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

J.J. Virgin: And you know what, I’m saying that, and maybe they are the most philanthropic people out there.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

J.J. Virgin: But you know what, their public image is really quite disgusting, so {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and I think the big part there, too, is you know, the phrase to whom much is given, much is expected? And, it doesn’t mean that if somebody is earning a lot of money, it’s given to them, but you’re given this responsibility with that, and I think that’s probably why so many movie stars and celebrities become very philanthropic because a person literally just doesn’t need beyond a certain amount of actual cash. You know? We don’t require much to live. Ok, it might take money to travel and do these things, but there’s a point at which anyone who has a certain amount of money, you have to realize that there’s something more to do with it than just spend it on things. Right?

J.J. Virgin: Right. There’s only so many shoes, and then it’s like, whoopie-do. And I’ve got to tell you, this thing that I just did for this family, the feeling. I mean, it blew any vacation I could have gone on. It’s something that is so impactful. I just shared it with my team, because I go, look what we were able to do.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

J.J. Virgin: You guys made this happen. I mean, one of our designers is like, I’m 300 pounds, I’m sitting here at the computer, I’m 6’4” with a beard and hairy, crying. {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s hilarious.

J.J. Virgin: I’m like, but it’s like, this is so amazing. And it does change everything. And you know what? It doesn’t really matter whether it’s money, or time, or whatever.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

J.J. Virgin: When you figure out your unique ability, that special gift, and you start sharing it, it’s life changing. But boy, if you can also make a living doing that? It breaks my heart to think of people going to work for money.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep.

J.J. Virgin: Rather than living in their unique ability, doing what they love, inspiring people, and yes, you’ll get paid for it, and then you can even do more of it. How awesome?

Diane Sanfilippo: My thing, too, is one of the things I’ve learned in the last year, because now I think I have, I don’t even know in total, I think it’s 8 or 9, people on my staff that I’m paying, and for me, being able to bring more people into the team and pay them to do what they love to do and be a part of the team, for me that’s where being able to create this mini-empire, or whatever it is.

J.J. Virgin: Yeah!

Diane Sanfilippo: With Balanced Bites, it’s like, well I get to now pay other people to do what they love to do, and it just becomes this whole big thing where it’s not about me. I don’t even, I could remove myself from a lot of this whole machine of it, and it’s really them doing this work and really helping to support it. Obviously, I have the message that I’m sharing and they’re really supporting in that whole effort, but I think it’s really important to recognize and recognize that’s also that point at which you realize you need to pay someone else to do something that you’re not best in the world at. And that’s part of something…

J.J. Virgin: Well, you support them, too.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, yeah.

J.J. Virgin: I mean, my team, is like, we have, you know sending out that thing today, I go, can I get everybody’s emails, because I don’t know all these people.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

J.J. Virgin: And I’m looking, going, these are people that get to my direct office manager, she works out of her house, she’s got a disabled husband, her mom is down the street now in a wheelchair. She’s able to take care of everybody, work from her home.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

J.J. Virgin: Right?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep.

J.J. Virgin: I mean, that’s what you allow people to do. So every time I hear about this economic crisis, it makes me upset.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know! {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: Because I am doing my part.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

J.J. Virgin: We’ve got 30 people that we are directly, you know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep.

J.J. Virgin: You know, we are supporting them, they are supporting me, and why don’t you support small businesses out there, government?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: Because we can change the world if you just support us. Not only are we doing amazing things for people’s health out there, but we’re also taking, we’re getting people and having them working on their unique ability and love what they are doing and employed. I mean, what a, it’s like a total win-win. It’s amazing.

Diane Sanfilippo: This has just become the stuff that at a certain point, talking about nutrition, and I’m getting feedback. Sorry. I’m trying to figure out how to move my microphone around here. Um, trying to figure out how to tell people what to eat, at a certain point, I am more passionate to try and help them figure out what is their passion. What is their unique ability, and kind of try to shine the light on that for different people, and I know I was talking to you about this before we started recording, that maybe 1 in 10 of the people who I, I don’t know what, I feel like we need to call it something. When we do this thing that we do to them, where when you come up to me.

J.J. Virgin: Rainbow bubble blitz.

Diane Sanfilippo: The rainbow string starts pouring out.

J.J. Virgin: It’s funny because Brendon has said to me, J. J. this is your next thing. And I go, I don’t know what the thing is though, you know? It’s that thing where you can help someone see their possibilities. Because once you have a glimpse into it, and see, I think diet actually start the whole thing, because people get in a rut in their life. They’re tired, they’re overweight… let’s face it, if you’re tired, and you’re overweight, and you hurt, and you can’t think straight, you’re not going to be going, wow, I would like to launch a new career.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

J.J. Virgin: No. You’re not thinking that way. So all of a sudden, you feel better about yourself, something that you thought was impossible, like losing weight, or getting rid of joint pain, or fixing your health problems is fixed, and all of a sudden you go, well, if I could fix that. You know, you start to see what’s possible, and you have more energy, and then you want to move to the next level. So it’s almost a natural progression. But then for us, just the fact that we’re helping people in their diet, and we’re showing them what’s possible there, we can’t help ourselves.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: It’s just a gateway into all of this, right? I mean, that’s why we both love to do what we do. We see that, and we see someone go, oh my gosh, if you just do this, this, and this you’re life is going to change. And then we’ll go to the next one, and the next one, and the next one! You know {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I know. It’s one of those crazy things, and I think it is something that among my list of projects and all the things I know you’ve kind of thrown at me. It’s like, Diane, you have to do this.

J.J. Virgin: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, you were the one who really pushed me to get the online seminar going. And so, for anybody who’s excited about that, you have J. J. to thank, because she was like, this is crazy that you don’t have this online already. Like, how do you not have that online already?

J.J. Virgin: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: There’s a certain format that I wanted to create, and it was just that little push of, this is ridiculous, you have to do this. I think it’s really important when somebody has the courage or the boldness to tell you that they see this thing in you, even if you’re not ready for it, just absorb it and take it, and kind of sit with it for a little while. Like I’ve said, I’ve had so many people I know I’ve had this interaction with, and I feel like maybe it’s been 1 in 10 or 2 in 10 who’ve then, it’s been a catalyst for them. They’ve quit the job, they’ve done the thing, they just go for it. And then, there are more for whom, I’m sure years later, they’ll come back and tell me, you know, this thing that you said at the seminar when I was there to learn about nutrition but you started talking about how you quit your job and did this and did that, that really stuck with me. And so, I think for people who are just trying to figure out, ok, I’m driving right now, you know, maybe you’re commuting to that job that you don’t love, and how do you get out of that? I think, J. J. what you said, asking a different question and creating something different. There are so many excuses and reasons why people can’t do things that I’m like, not interested in all of the reasons why we can’t.

J.J. Virgin: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because so often, I get the, well I have 3 kids, I have a family, a mortgage, all of this other stuff, and it’s easy for me to say, well, ok, well I don’t have 3 kids that’s a choice I’ve made at this point thus far, and you do. You have 2 kids. And so, you know…

J.J. Virgin: I have two kids. I launched a New York Times’ bestseller from the freaking ICU. I went to graduate school when my kids were babies, online. I’m sorry, you know, I have an ex-husband who pays not one bit of financial support to the family and never has. I do it all. And you know what, that made it even more motivating for me. There’s always two ways to look at every single thing, and honestly if you want it bad enough, you will make it happen. And again, I’ve got to tell you. Surrounding yourself with people who are possibility people helps so much.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

J.J. Virgin: Because, so many people don’t see that. I don’t understand how they don’t see it. You know? But you are going to be exactly where you expect to be. That’s the bottom line. So the minute someone around you; if someone is around you and they start to see bigger possibilities for you, hold onto them.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: Like, move in with them. Every single morning I get up, I have an intentioning journal, and every morning I write down what I want to have happen. And it happens so quickly now, it blows my mind. Now I’m kind of careful, because I’m like, whoa! You know? {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Be careful what you wish for, right.

J.J. Virgin: Be careful. Yes. I know, it’s like, ok, wow, ok. But, it’s incredibly powerful once you realize that. And again, that sounds woo, and I guess I’m more woo-woo than I thought I was, but you like it so we’ll go woo-woo. But it really does, it really does work. And it works so powerfully. And again, I’m so glad you brought up the whackadoodle money thing, because money is the greatest thing –you can possibly have out there, because there’s so many things you can decide to do with it. I just look, and I go, there are so many people that I want to be able to help and support and scholarship, you know. I’d love to bring 100 families in like the family from Guam, you know. Not just one.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

J.J. Virgin: So, you just look and go, what am I put here for? What’s my unique ability. If I can’t see it enough for myself, let me get some people around me who can help me think bigger and play bigger and support me. Get that group around you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I think the big message, too, and you can tell me if you agree with this. I think if you are not living a life that is true to who you are and what you want, you’re continuing to kind of go through the motions, and you have abilities that you are not tapping in to. You have maybe even, maybe it’s a hobby or something that you’re just really good at because you are afraid, because I think the biggest thing is just a fear that holds people back.

J.J. Virgin: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: They are afraid of not being able to provide for the family, afraid of so many things around that, and I don’t understand that. I get it, but I don’t understand it, if that makes sense. {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I get it, I see that there is reality to a mortgage, that’s there. However, the limited belief that you won’t ever be able to pay for it; I mean, I feel like I miss the fact that Oprah used to be on at 4 o’clock every day, and we would be able to see these stories on TV of people who literally took themselves from zero to some level of whatever success they feel is, you know.

J.J. Virgin: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: What they measure, and I’m like, I’m missing that, you know, on TV every day.

J.J. Virgin: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Because I want to shake people, and be like, it doesn’t have to be this way. You just get one life.

J.J. Virgin: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So if you’re waking up every day, and you’re wishing things were different, you have to do it. I don’t know if it’s just because the thing that I fear most is just dying before I’m done with doing whatever I need to do that I feel so much like every day is just a gift. We have to do this thing.

J.J. Virgin: Diane. You will die with stuff still left to do.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} Noooo!!

J.J. Virgin: You always do. But you know that thing, it’s like you don’t want to die with the music still inside you. It’s like, you’ll always have more things. Because we’re going to always have more things, that’s who we are. But, I think that at the end of it, you can go, I helped a ton of people. First my family, my loved ones, and then look at the impact I had. I mean, even if you had impact on one person, and look what happens. Then you know you had a life well lived, right.

8. J.J.’s words as a parent [53:03]

Diane Sanfilippo: And as a parent, you know, we can probably wrap up on some of these ideas, but as a parent, because I’m not a parent and I know that many of our listeners are, the thing that my mom and dad always said to me was just do what makes you happy. And sometimes it was dismissive, because they knew that I was just not going to take no for an answer or whatever, and it was just like, Diane, do whatever makes you happy because we know you’re going to anyway, and I think sometimes it was in the supportive, like, mom I think I need to quit this job, I can’t do it anymore. Diane, do what makes you happy, because it’s not worth it. Nothing’s worth it otherwise. I think a lot of times that parent’s are worried that A) that won’t send a message of hard work to their kids, like, I mean, my parents telling me to do what made me happy never meant don’t work hard.

J.J. Virgin: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: It never meant skip out on who knows what responsibility or what have you. But setting the example for your kids, because it’s not what you tell them to do, it’s how you live that they learn from. I mean, how are you feeling about, I mean obviously seeing what your kids are doing every day and kind of the moving lessons that they’re probably teaching you, what do you want to tell parents about that and exactly this idea of living in a certain way that really teaches them the best lesson.

J.J. Virgin: It’s been interesting because in life I think you have role models and anti-role models, and you know, I love my mom to pieces but she had the life I didn’t want to have. So I was going, ok, I want to make sure I don’t do that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

J.J. Virgin: Because that’s not how I want to live. And it was the life she wanted to have, and that’s fine. It just wasn’t mine. So, with my kids, again, I have an ex-husband who is a great dad, he’s just a rotten supporter, provider. Rotten. And, so I’ve tried to really emphasize with them, because I don’t want them to necessarily duplicate that piece of it, one of the things I really work with them on, I don’t push them. You know how a lot of parents have an idea of what they want their kid to be and they push the kid.

Diane Sanfilippo: My parents never did that.

J.J. Virgin: My parents didn’t, well, my parents sort of. They kind of sort of knew I wasn’t going to listen anyway, so I was going to go off and do what I was going to do.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: They just told me I had to go to college, had to go to college, had to go to college. But, with my kids, I’m like, you find the thing you love the most, and you focus on that, and you’ll figure out how to make a living doing that thing. And it’s funny with Grant, you know now Grant, left for dead in the street, 4.5 months in the hospital and ICU, in a coma, is now what we call Walking Hope. The next thing we’re going to do, he’s been on Sanjay Gupta, CNN, another national show featuring him. Dr. Mercola has a Skype interview coming up, I think maybe tomorrow on him, and he literally walks around and gives people hope, but he couldn’t see, he’s like I don’t know why I’m here. He’s cognitively, he’s still down about 20%, so he can’t go back to school and do math. We go, who cares if you ever do math? There’s calculators.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: Like, really, who cares? What if your unique ability is to walk around and inspire people to realize that they don’t have to believe what someone says? That they’ll never walk again, he was told that. That they’ll never be able to talk again, he was told that. That they’ll never wake up, he was told that. That they’ll never make it through the night. I go, what if that’s just your thing is to let people know it’s possible, and that’s all you do for your life, you’ve lived the biggest life out there. And so, you know, I think for kids, it’s really, if you can foster that self esteem and self confidence for them to step into who they are and never try to force them. I mean, nothing upsets me more than that over scheduled kid doing all the things that their parents always wanted and felt they should be doing, like they’re in 12,000 practices, and you know, having tutors because they are in too high of an academic class for them, and all that. You know, I don’t care. I want my kids to love what they’re doing, and if they love what they’re doing and their making a difference in the world, we all win. And that’s it. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. I think that’s a really good place to wrap up. I just wanted to have like a fun conversation with you, and I think the listeners who have been kind of looking for more of this information and insight will hopefully connect to the stuff that we’ve been talking about. It’s been on my mind, and I know our friend in common, Sean Croxton, he talked recently. He made a video where he was talking about getting away from some of the health information on his videos. He’ll still do podcasts, but really teaching people more about how he does what he’s doing. I think at a certain point, we get to this point where we’re just so passionate about people sharing their passion that we can’t help but keep motivating that and finding a way to do that. And so, that is something that over the years, I’ve helped my colleagues and friends and kind of taken them through some of that sort of business advice and sort of mindset advice and all of that and it’s something that I have in the back of my mind with my little rainbow string bubbles, or whatever you want to call it.

J.J. Virgin: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I want to put this thing together, put together a program that really does teach people how to take what they have and their ability and get it out there to people. And I won’t be the only one to do it, and that’s the thing I just kind of want to wrap up with is that I’m not the only one to write a book about paleo. You’re not the only one to write a book about food sensitivity. Neither of us will be the only to talk about sugar. You know? It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how many other people are out there. You said this before, we all have a different way of connecting with people, and a different take to our message, a different path and story to how we got to where we are that will connect with different people and the whole point of whatever it is we’re doing is that we serve others with whatever it is we have a passion for and can do. Whatever it is we can do. If you can feed people, if you can make clothes for them, if you can just help them change their mindset, whatever you can do, you have to get that out there and share it with people and that’s really the meaning of all of it. You know? {laughs} Just kind of sharing our love, in that way. I just want to offer those words of encouragement to whoever is feeling like they just don’t know what to do. Listen to this {laughs} podcast over and over again, and try and get out of your own way, is basically kind of the big message there.

J.J. Virgin: yes. And, you’re now going to get bombarded with people who want to be part of your coaching group, and I’m just warning you.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

J.J. Virgin: And {laughs} so get ready.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I’ll make sure I bring those handful of friends who’ve already done it, and they didn’t know that I was basically coaching them through this whole thing. I was doing it kind of on the sly {laughs}.

J.J. Virgin: Stealth coach.

Diane Sanfilippo: Crazy.

J.J. Virgin: But honestly, if all you do right now is start a monthly group where people can get on the phone and talk with each other, you’d be doing a big service because you’re probably doing it anyway, so there’s a little one more rainbow bubble.

Diane Sanfilippo: See.

J.J. Virgin: I couldn’t help it. I tried to put my hand over my mouth, but it wouldn’t, because I know people listening are going to go, ok we want to do it, and I’m going to say one more thing out there. The most powerful thing you can do is find someone you resonate well with, which obviously you resonate with Diane because you’re on this call, and then someone who thinks bigger, someone who will hold a bigger space for you, and then work with them and coach with them. That’s what I’ve done over and over for the last 7 years. I was negative $500,000 with no income with two kids and being the sole support. So, that’s when people say I don’t know, it’s like, trust me.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

J.J. Virgin: {laughing} Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I quit a job making 6 figures to make zero dollars and start myself from scratch. So, you know.

J.J. Virgin: It’s doable man, you can do it.

Diane Sanfilippo: People always see the end result, and they don’t always see the struggle along the way, and so I think it’s … yeah, everyone’s got theirs.

J.J. Virgin: You’ve got to share the struggle. But the nice thing is, once you’ve gone through it, you have a lot of things to help people get there a little bit faster. So, you know, it’s still a lot of work. I never want people to think, oh yeah, … no. But, it’s always good to go with someone who’s already done it and who can think bigger and hold a bigger space for you and work with them. That helps move the needle tremendously.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that.

J.J. Virgin: You’re one of those people, my dear. I’ve just got to put it out there.

Diane Sanfilippo: Thank you {laughs}. Thank you so much for taking an hour to chat with me.

J.J. Virgin: Always fun. You know I love hanging out with you, and I can’t wait to get our cooking video out to everybody, they will dig it, it’s so awesome.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t wait to see it. So everyone can find more information about J. J. at, obviously, Amazon has your books. Everywhere books are sold, but is there anything else you want to tell people about where to find you and more information?

J.J. Virgin: Well, for the cookbook, we’ve set up, and that’s where I have, I did all new training videos, new recipe downloads, all sorts of… again, we give out 95% of our stuff for free. So, has got all of that cool stuff there, too.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. Yeah. J. J.’s videos are amazing, definitely check all of that out. That’s it for this week. You can always find me at, and Liz, who we’re mixing up interviews and Q&A podcasts, so you can find Liz at Be sure to check out her new book, which by the time this episode airs, Eat the Yolks will be out in just about 5 days from today, so make sure you check that out. And that’s it. We’ll catch you next time. Thanks for listening.

Diane & Liz