Gay fitness expert Jorge Cruise on his new “vegan breakfast” diet book, coming out late in life, and his upcoming marriage to a man 20 years his junior.
By Lawrence Ferber
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 over 20 lifestyle and diet books, including The Belly Fat Cure series) made a major self-improvement move five years ago when 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, in July), co-parenting two sons from a previous (heterosexual) marriage, and is launching a brand-new “lifestyle makeover” tome, 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, Cruise recently spoke with OutSmart about 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: 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. Beyoncé 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 and 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. Incorporating animal-based foods is important—in fact, it’s vital not to be a full-time vegan because you’d miss out on nutrients like B-12 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 and my best-kept secret for feeling full until lunch. It provides you with all the benefits of protein—staying full longer and 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. I even have my own pea protein available at tinyandfull.com.
After five years, has coming out 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. For whatever reason—[maybe because of] all the books I did—the media and everyone I work with have been incredibly supportive. And women, especially, realize that a gay male fitness trainer is not going to really intimidate them or judge them by butts or boobs. It brought me closer!
Do you let your kids eat “bad” foods? What are their dietary habits like?
I have two sons, Parker (11) and Owen (9). 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 two 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 Sam) about these new studies on how processed meat is being linked to cancer. I told you, my Parker is a total health enthusiast!
Could you share 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]. To some, that’s 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
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, and not to mention have abs of steel.
Is there one “villain” food that is actually okay?
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—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.
Tiny and Full was released December 29. See jorgecruise.com for more information.