Vegging out

Posted on 08 Jan 2016 at 6:15am

Gay celebrity fitness expert Jorge Cruise on the perfect healthy diet (that you can maintain), fatherhood and his upcoming nuptials

Jorge Cruise is all about changing one’s life for the better… even if it took him a while to find his own best self.

The Mexico City-born celebrity fitness trainer and New York Times bestselling author of more than 20 lifestyle and diet books (including The Belly Fat Cure series), Cruise made a major self-improvement adjustment of his own five years ago: He came out of the closet. Today, the San Diego-based 44-year-old is happily engaged to boyfriend Sam Ayers (they met in 2014 and will tie the knot in Capri, Italy on July 2), co-parenting two sons from a previous (heterosexual) marriage, and launching a brand new tome and lifestyle strategy, Tiny And Full: Discover Why Eating A Vegan Breakfast Will Keep You Tiny And Full For The Rest of Your Life (BenBella Books).

A regular guest on TV programs like The Dr. Oz Show, here Cruise discusses his vegan-in-the-morning diet program, healthy eating tips, gay parenting and his soon-to-be hubby… and their 20-year age difference.

— Lawrence Ferber

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Jorge Cruise

Dallas Voice: How did you discover this vegan breakfast diet?  Jorge Cruise: Well, as many of us know, the vegan diet has taken the world by storm. Beyonce has tried it, President Clinton has, and many of my clients have. But it’s hard and not always fun. Most people cannot commit to this type of lifestyle long-term because you have to completely eliminate any animal products — meat, cheese, eggs, even honey. However, the vegan way of eating is very good for you and has a lot of health benefits. So, with Tiny and Full, I’ve come up with a way to be a part-time vegan to reap the benefits without the 24/7 commitment. You only have to eat a vegan breakfast, then you’re set free to eat animal-based foods [the rest of the day]. I still encourage you to regard meat as a condiment and fill your plate with lots of plant-based foods like leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits, but incorporating animal-based foods is important. In fact, it’s vital not to be a full-time vegan because you miss out on nutrients like B12 that are only found in animal-based foods and help maintain energy throughout the day.

What about egg addicts? Is there any sort of egg replacement on the market now or coming up?  You can eat eggs on my plan as long as they’re not for breakfast. If you find that you need to start your day off with protein, I recommend using pea protein, a very new type of protein that is 100 percent vegan. It’s also my best-kept secret for feeling full until lunch. It provides you with all the benefits of protein — staying full for longer, reducing the drive to eat all day long — without all the problems that come with other protein powders. Plus, it’s delicious, affordable and available anywhere protein powders are sold. [His own brand is available at TinyandFull.com.]

It’s been five years since you came out; has it made any difference in your career?  I honestly don’t see any differences in my career. I feel that the health and fitness industry has continued to embrace me and my methods. All the books I did, the media for whatever reason, everyone I worked with has been incredibly supportive. And women especially, they realized a gay male fitness trainer is not going to really intimidate them, not going to judge them by butts or boobs. It brought me closer.

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You have two sons: Parker (11) and Owen (9). Do you let them eat “bad” foods? What are their dietary habits like?  Parker is a total health enthusiast and Owen is right on his tail. I always say that the secret is being the change you want to see. If you want your kids to eat healthier, then you have to eat healthier as well. Kids will always follow by example, and since my sons were born they’ve always seen me eat healthy foods.

What is the craziest thing you’ve heard your kids say lately?  The other day my oldest son asked me, “Is this pepperoni nitrate-free?” It was a bit shocking to hear an 11-year-old asking about processed meat. I’m pretty sure he saw on the news or heard me talking to [my fiancé] Sam about these new studies on how processed meat is being linked to cancer. I told you, my Parker is a total health enthusiast.

What are a few tips for gay couples considering children?  My advice to any couple, straight or gay, is that being a parent is the greatest gift in life, but also the most challenging. Being a parent is the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had. I’d encourage those who are thinking of having kids to start spending time with other couples with kids and even babysitting them.

Tell me a bit about your fiancé, Sam.  Sam really holds down the home base for us as a family. He’s the one who helps balance everything in our life and I couldn’t do it without him. You might not know this, but Sam [is 20 years younger than I am], which to some is a huge shock, but I truly believe that age is just a number. I’d encourage your readers to not let an age difference stop a couple from making it work.

Name three Jorge Cruise books that are must-reads for newcomers.  There’s only one book that is a must, and that’s Tiny and Full. It is the most profound, life-altering book I’ve ever written. I’ve devised this book to be the only lifestyle plan you will ever have to follow. No crash diets, no starvation, no weird ingredients. You will become the best you. It is not a “diet” book, it truly is a lifestyle makeover. You will be healthier, confident, inspired, not to mention have abs of steel.

Is there one “villain” food that is actually OK?  One villain food is chocolate-covered bananas. Many of my celebrity clients like to add some chocolate to their diet, and I think that’s totally fine in moderation. I always recommend my go-to, which is carob-chocolate bananas, which is basically just dipping bananas into melted carob chips and almond milk. This gives you that sweet and savory feeling, but doesn’t throw your entire diet off course.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 8, 2016.

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