Chef V’s Yoga for Stress Relief During the Holidays

yoga for stress

Stressful times now with the holiday crazies. More than ever I depend on my yoga practice to settle my mind, re-energize, and reduce unhealthy stress.

When it all gets to be just too much, I use these two poses to find a calm, relaxed center – and I try to carry that feeling through the entire day.


Start by focusing the balance on the left foot. Lifting the right foot to the ankle, calf, above the knee or in lotus position (inside the hip joint), bring your arms to prayer position in front of your heart center. Straighten the back, tuck in the pelvis and breathe.

On an inhale, extend your arms over head into any hand mudra you desire; pinky to thumb, thumb to index finger or thumb to middle finger. Hold here for 5-10 inhale and exhale breaths.

Slowly bring your hands back to prayer in front of your chest and slowly release your right foot down. Refocus your attention to the right foot balance and bring your left leg up to the same place you did on your right.

Rebalance and bring your arms to heart center. Extend your arms overhead to a different hand mudra. Breathe 5-10 breaths and slowly release.

Benefits of tree pose: Improves balance and stability in the legs, works and strengthens the core, strengthens the tendons and ligaments in the feet, opens the pelvis and hip bones, also builds self-confidence and self esteem.

collard greens


Another pose that helps me center is Floor Bow Pose. My ribs open and allows deeper cleansing breath.

Start by laying flat with your stomach on the ground. Bend your knees and reach around grabbing your right ankle with your right hand and left ankle with left hand. Start to kick your feet so your arms are being pulled. You can begin to rock back and forth, breathing deeply. Make sure your knees are as close together as possible, hold and breathe for 5-10 inhale and exhale breaths and slowly release.

Benefits of bow pose: Opens the heart, hips, chest, and abdominal muscles. Improves balance, digestion, fatigue, anxiety, and menstrual discomfort.

However you decide to celebrate the holidays this year, do it with Cheer! Namaste!

Chef V, Coco and kale

DNA Testing For Weight Loss: Is This Growing Health Trend Worth It?

DNA Testing For Weight Loss: Is This Growing Health Trend Worth It?

DNA testing to discover your ancestry is fascinating. But beyond revealing what part of the world your ancestors come from, genetic testing may provide insight into what exercises, diet and supplements are best for our own unique biochemistry. Is DNA testing for weight loss worth it?….

I’m sure you already know about using CBD oil for weight loss. Same goes for Intermittent Fasting, which is probably one of the biggest health trends right now.

But here’s a weight loss phenomenon you may not have heard about: DNA testing.

Almost everybody knows that you can easily find out what your ethnicity is by taking a genetic test from companies like and, the latter of which is so-named because human cells contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, those proteins that provide specific instructions that make you, uniquely you. (The 23rd pair determine whether you’re male or female.)

Have you ever seen the TV series on PBS, Finding Your Roots? I love it. If you’ve never seen it, check it out. It’s hosted by Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who on each episode, sits down with celebrities and presents them with a “book of life,” which is basically a family tree prepared by professional genealogists.

Imagine the shock and horror that befell Seinfeld- and Curb Your Enthusiasm-creator Larry David when he learned that he has slave-owning Confederate ancestors who lived in Alabama!

Beyond learning about your ancestral history (and potentially discovering fascinating or even embarrassing secrets about your family tree), DNA testing may also reveal the best way for you to lose weight.

I recently read a couple different accounts of getting DNA testing done to learn what type of exercise, diet and supplements are best for weight loss. I’ll sum up for you what I think about this new health trend that’s certainly going to become just as popular as CBD oil, intermittent fasting, and golden milk

DNA Testing For Weight Loss

Genetic Testing for Weight Loss: How Does It Work?

When I was growing up, DNA testing for ancestry seemed like something out of a science fiction movie. But nowadays, it’s pretty commonplace. All it takes is a little bit of saliva and about $100 for the test.

In addition to genetic testing for ancestry, DNA tests can reveal potential disease markers that you’re carrying, such as sickle-cell anemia.

But genetic testing for weight loss? How is that even a thing?

Here’s how it works … at least in theory.

Just like your DNA can reveal which chromosomes you share with certain ethnic group, your genes can reveal, for example, what type of exercise will make you look better in jeans. Sprinting or long-distance running? Cardio or weight lifting? How do you know which is better for you, to help you lose weight?

This is the type of info that the first wave of “genetic fitness” companies are offering.

How do these genetic research companies know what type of exercise is better for you?

For starters, each person has a different composition of muscle fiber. Some people have more of what are called “fast-twitch muscle fibers” while other people have a greater amount of slow-twitch muscle fibers. For those with more fast-twitch muscle fibers, high-intensity interval training that involves sprints may be better for weight loss. On the other hand, slower-paced exercise would be better for someone with more slow-twitch muscle fibers.  

Think of it this way: there are different yoga styles. Someone who is out of shape and overweight probably shouldn’t try an Ashtanga class. And according to these first-0n-the-scene genetic fitness companies, exercise isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution….

DNA testing and muscle fibers

DNA Testing for Diet & Supplements

You may have heard of the Blood Type Diet, which, for example, suggests that if you’re let’s say a Type O blood type, you should eat a  high-protein diet, heavy on lean meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables, and light on grains, beans, and dairy.

It’s pretty easy to find out your blood type. Your doctor can order a test for you.

DNA and vitamins

And now, it’s almost as easy to find out what vitamins and minerals you may deficient in. The way it works is your regular doctor can submit your DNA tests to a company called PureGenomics, which will analyze your DNA and provide recommendations on what foods you should eat as well as supplements that may improve your overall health.

But let’s say you have an extra two- or three-hundred bucks to spend…. should you spend it on genetic testing in hopes that the recommendations you’ll receive will help you lose weight?

Sorry, but from the reports I’ve read on DNA testing for weight loss, the science behind it is very much still in the early phases; although it’s promising, it seems like it’s got a while to go before it’s accurate enough for it to be worth it.

So until then, I’m going to stick to what I know works for weight loss, for everybody:

  1. Green Drinks (very rare is the person who doesn’t benefit from getting more leafy greens in their diet)
  2. Avoid added sugars as much as possible
  3. Managing stress through meditation, yoga and mindfulness practices
  4. Intermittent Fasting and occasional Cleanses
  5. Being active almost every day of the year and getting enough sleep

The future of genetic testing for weight loss seems within grasp. But until the science evolves more, to me, it’s still the realm of science fiction….

Celery Juice Cleanse Experiment – What Happened

celery on side saying I drank celery juice for 3 weeks and here's what happened

I’m all about trying new things that can potentially contribute to health, even if celery stalks are my competition.

So for 3 weeks, I gave celery juice a try. In order to better notice any possible effects from drinking 16 oz. of celery juice, I didn’t have any Green Drink during the entire 21 days.

(Not familiar with my famous Green Drink? It’s a certified organic cold-blend of the following 7 leafy green veggies: Black Kale, Green Kale, Collard Greens, Green Leaf Lettuce, Curly Parsley, Green Chard, Dandelion Greens, sweetened with a little apple and apple juice.)

woman wearing Chef V t-shirt holding stomach

Sample Code

The Results

The results? Before I reveal how juicing celery stalks made me feel, let me say that if I had noticed great results, I would be recommending it whole-heartedly. I’d even consider adding it in my Green Drink recipe.

However, after 3 weeks the celery juice experiment, I only felt a couple key differences, neither of them good. First of all, immediately after drinking it, I had to pee. Truth be told, that’s also the case with my Green Drink. So that’s not a bad side effect; it means that there’s a detoxifying process.

Here’s what I didn’t like about my experimentation with juicing a small forest’s-worth of celery stalks…

One of the celery juice side effects I experienced was severe bloating the entire time. I also had a lot of gas. If I continued for another week, my husband, Brandon, would have made me sleep on the couch.

Within two days after stopping this celery juicing madness, I’ve already lost all the bloat and gas. Brandon couldn’t be happier.

The happiest part of my experiment being over was the dreadful cleaning of my juicer each morning. I really wanted the celery juice to do something magical, but for me it just didn’t have a noticeable positive effect. So back to my daily Green Drink—No shopping, washing, juicing, and worst of all cleaning up the damn juicer!

Green Drink vs Celery Juice

If your diet consists of lots of processed foods and sugar, I have no doubt that drinking celery juice will make you profoundly healthier. (Although keep reading because one expert, whose book I just finished, thinks drinking lots of celery juice is toxic.)

Here’s the nutritional data for a 16 oz. serving of celery juice, according to MyFitnessPal:

  • Carbs: 18 grams
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Sodium: 430 mg
  • Vitamin A: 54%
  • Vitamin C: 20%

Now let’s see how just an 8-ounce serving of Chef V’s Green Drink compares. (For optimal health, I recommend consuming 16 oz a day.)

  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 24 mg
  • Vitamin A: 76%
  • Vitamin C: 44%

As you can see, Chef V Green Drink is much lower in sugar and sodium and higher in vitamins A & C. Plus, my Green Drink also contains an incredible 263% daily recommended value of vitamin K.

If MyFitnessPal’s info is correct, to be honest, celery juice does have a decent amount of calcium, iron and fiber. But my Green Drink naturally contains these nutrients as well.

I agree with William, aka The Medical Medium, that there probably are micronutrients that have yet to be discovered. And even the ones that have been identified, we’re really not entirely sure how they contribute to health.

But if you’re comparing apples to oranges, the 7 leafy greens in my Green Drink are collectively more nutrient dense than celery stalks.

Plus, there’s no concern about toxicity with Green Drink, as there is with celery.

Speaking of which, let’s take a look at some of the unknown dangers of celery…

The Risk of Drinking Celery Juice

It goes without saying that there are a lot of people who think the Medical Medium is a quack. I’m not judging William. If juicing celery has helped improve the lives and health of his followers, all the better.

But there’s at least one person who has done the research on the potential dangers and side effects  of celery juice cleanses.

Asa Hershoff is a naturopathic doctor (ND) and expert herbalist, who founded the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1978. In the world of natural healing, Hershoff has been around the block several times.

At the same time I ordered William’s book, “Celery Juice,” I also came across Hershoff’s book, “The Dangers of Celery: The Toxicity & Risks of Excess Celery Juice Consumption,” and ordered it as well.

In the preface of Hershoff’s book, he claims that he has studied the plant family that celery is in (Umbelliferae) extensively; he didn’t just start researching celery recently because it’s hip.

Here are some warnings Hershoff lists about excess celery consumption:

  • It’s more of a medicine than a food. “It has powerful biological effects and using it in large doses as if it were a harmless everyday food is simply following bad advice.”
  • It can potentially cause headaches, insomnia, fetal abnormalities, seizures, miscarriage, allergies, heavy metal poisoning, and increased cancer risk.
  • In terms of nutrient density, it’s in the bottom tier of over 700 vegetables; green leafy veggies, such as those in Green Drink are 500 times more nutrient rich.
  • Contains small amounts of neurotoxins.
  • One of the world’s most allergenic plants and may cause deadly anaphylactic shock.
  • May cause premature aging of the skin, including wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity.

Hershoff goes on to list more dangers. Perhaps Hershoff’s clarion call to avoid juicing celery in large amounts sounds just as exaggerated as William’s claim that the pale green liquid can cure virtually anything that ails you. (Can you really die from drinking copious amounts of celery juice?)

But Hershoff’s warnings seem to be a necessary, balancing counterpoint to the Medical Medium’s gospel that celery juice can cure all.

With millions of people blindly following the advice of untrained medical professionals, it’s only natural that an expert on herbal medicine would seek to discredit William’s work.


I wake up every morning stoked that Chef V has made a positive difference in people’s lives. If a  celery juice cleanse has helped even just one person with their health, then hallelujah.

But hands down, getting a delivery of health-supporting nutrients in my Green Drink is way easier and more nutritious in comparison to the medicically-dubious and messy enterprise that is the celery juicing fad.

What do you think of celery juice? Shoot me an email at

Veronica Wheat, Chef V in urban street holding green drink

Top 5 Myths About Doing a Detox

new year same you but better

You know it’s time for a new you!

Perhaps you haven’t been eating healthy but you are ready to make a positive change. Is your belly is chronically bloated? Does it take you a couple cups of coffee in the morning to wake up from the dead? And when the caffeine eventually wears off, your mental clarity and energy are foggy and sluggish, respectively. Your skin is bumpy and dull, and your sleep patterns are erratic. Let's make the new year's you the same you but better!

But some people are intimidated by detox diets. While the thought of coming out the other side of a metabolic reboot sounds appealing, you don’t want to be miserable doing it. “Detoxes” can mean different things to different people. Herbal supplements, colon cleanses, infrared saunas, digestive enzymes, and of course, juice cleanses. 

If you’re thinking about doing a detox, here are the Top Five Myths About Doing a Detox.

Chef V in a field of kale

Detox Myth #1: It’s Too Hard – Not True!

To some people, the phrase “detox” is synonymous with starvation. But a detox shouldn’t be deficient in nutrients, and it certainly shouldn’t be a lengthy, strict fast. While following an intermittent fasting schedule is great for your health (I do it, and so does Brandon, my husband.), not eating anything for over 24 hours could do you more harm than good. 

With my 21 Day Detox, you choose between one, two or three intervals of a 3 day cleanse. During the 3, 6 or 9 days, you’re on a calorie restricted diet. But you’re getting all the nutrients you need to detoxify vital organs and lose weight—without feeling deprived. 

On these cleanse days, you drink 4 servings of my Organic Green Drink (16 oz. per serving), a smooth-as-silk cold-blend of 7 certified organic green leafy veggies. You also get 2 packets of my vegan-friendly protein shake (about 20 grams of muscle-building protein per shake) and one Detox Soup for dinner. 

Essentially, these cleanse days are a liquid diet. But there’s enough protein and fiber to help your energy levels remain steady and prevent cravings.

Chef V eating her detox carrot soup

Myth #2: You Can Only Have Juice Or Raw Kale – No, you can have delicious soups and protein shakes as well

Many people associate cleanse or detox diets with juice programs. If you ever come across a program that offers only juices, whether it’s a 3 day program or a longer one, then run. 

Here’s why: most juice programs, even if the drinks are low in sugar (unfortunately, most juice detoxes are very high in sugar), they are woefully deficient in protein and fiber. Pressed juices don’t contain the fiber from the fruit or veggie. And when you have no fiber, your blood sugar levels fluctuate. The result is nasty mood swings. You really need protein, fiber and even some healthy fat to keep you full and maintain your blood sugar at a steady level during your detox. 

(By the way, my Organic Green Drink contains only 6 grams of sugar per 16 oz serving, keeping your energy level rock-steady.) 

As for the non-cleanse days — either 18 days, 15 days or 12 days depending on how many 3 day cleanses you choose during the 21 Day Detox, you get to enjoy entrees like nachos, wild salmon, mac and cheese, and pesto lasagna, just to name a few. 

How can you mack on mac n’ cheese when you’re trying to detoxify your body? When you order my 21 Day Detox, you get access to my recipe book, “Making Healthier Easier,” a PDF download that teaches you how to make your favorite entrees healthy (I use nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute. 

I also provide you with an Eat This/Not That chart, and a Healthy Portions guide. When you’re eating dozens of delicious meals that you can take right from my book, and learn exactly what you should eat during a 21 Day Detox, 3 weeks goes by real quick.

refreshing smoothie

Myth #3: You Can Only Drink Water And Detox Drinks – No! How about a Watermelon Slush?

While I do recommend eliminating caffeine during a 21 Day Detox (for all 21 days), that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy other drinks. 

On your non-cleanse days (again, it’s either 18, 15 or 12 days, depending on how many 3-day cleanse periods you want to do), you can use my recipe book to easily create craft “mocktails.” How does Watermelon Slush sound? It’s perfect for hot days when you need something sweet and refreshing. Or how about Creamy Green Smoothie, a delicious, filling blend of avocado, spinach, kale, dates, lemon, chia seeds and cinnamon … doesn’t exactly sound like torture, does it? 

cheesecake with raspberry garnish

Myth #4: You Can’t Have Any Sugar Or Dessert

Ideally, starting from right now and everyday for the rest of your life, you will eat a low-sugar diet. But there’s a misconception that when you’re doing a detox, you can’t have any sugar. Technically, that’s not true. All veggies, even green leafy ones, contain a tiny bit of natural sugar. 

Sure, you shouldn’t eat anything with added sugars while you’re doing a 21 Day Detox. But even on the non-cleanse days, you still get to feast on sweet-tasting things like berries and even a date or two. 

And the best part of my 21 Day Detox is that on non-cleanse days, you can have your cake and eat it, too. That’s right. In my cookbook, you’ll find recipes for Triple Layer Cheesecake, Acai, Chia Seed Pudding, Chocolate Avocado Mousse, and Vanilla ‘Milk’ Shake. 

Again, it doesn’t sound exactly like torture, does it? The reason you get to eat like a King while eliminating toxins is that you’ll be swapping out high-inflammatory ingredients such as dairy, for ingredients that aid in the body’s detoxification process, and cause no inflammatory reaction.

Omega 3 rich foods

Myth #5: It’s Expensive – No.

It’s true that some Detox programs cost thousands of dollars. But with my 21 Day Detox, you can easily lose 30 pounds or more, starting at only $249. That’s less than $12 a day. Not bad for the following:

  • 4 Organic Green Drinks, 2 Protein Shakes and 1 Detox Soup every day during your 3 Day Cleanse interval
  • My Recipe E-Book, Making Healthier Easier, which includes a healthy food pyramid (not the ridiculous one the federal government uses); a list of cleanse approved foods; detox drinks and smoothies; healthy breakfasts; tasty snacks and apps; super soups; sensational salads; easy entrees and sides; sweets and treats
  • Healthy Portions Chart and other handy printouts
  • Unlimited email and phone support

If you’ve been thinking about going on a detox diet but you’re confused, scared, and don’t know how to get started, you’ve come to the right place. 

I’ll hold your hand every step of the way. I promise you will transform your body and mind (maybe even your spirit) when the 21 days are over. I also promise you won’t feel like you’re starving or miserable. It will take some dedication on your part. You must be willing to do some healthy meal prep and cooking on your own. But my recipes are real easy to follow and don’t take long to make. 

And if you’ve never done a 3-day calorie-restricted liquid diet cleanse, it might seem a little challenging to go that long without any solid food. But with the protein shakes and detox soup dinner, you’ll do just fine and you’ll be buzzing with natural energy after the 3 day interval.

Get Started. Experience the Chef V Transformation

Think how quickly the last 3 weeks or even the last 3 years of your life has flown by. You can do this. It’s not nearly as hard as you think. After the 21 days, not only will your clothes feel much looser, you’ll smile at your new slimmer physique when you look in the mirror, your skin will feel smoother, your thinking will be sharper … and overall, you’re going to feel like you’re living your best life. 

What do you say? Ready to get started. 

Click here to buy 21 Day Detox.

Essential Detox: 21 Days to Better Health

Veronica working from home

Happy hello! Whether it’s hot or cold, every day calls for care for your health. Weather changes and cleansing go together with my Chef V cleanses & detoxes.

My cleanses include delicious Carrot Ginger and Sweet Potato Curry soups, soothing and filling.  Doing an essential detox cleanse right now may protect you from nasty viruses. Plus, doing a detox is like giving your organs a much-needed tune-up. 

 When you’re sharing oxygen in a confined space, that’s when your body is more susceptible to catching colds and flu viruses. At work with lots of people in close proximity, the state of your immune system is a major factor in determining if you’re going to have to call in sick for work.

You might feel totally healthy now. But if you eat unhealthy fast food now that you are back at work  along with alcohol, ice cream and other inflammatory foods, your immune system might be weakened right now without you knowing it.

And if you don’t detox your system now, your immune system’s energy will be spent trying to get rid of the toxic load in your organs, instead of devoting all of its resources to fighting viruses.

Hey, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones and can feast on foods with refined carbohydrates. Perhaps you’re a genetic freak who never gets sick despite a diet rich in foods with white flour, sugar, and saturated fats.

But if you’re not a member of the dietary one-percent I have some advice for you on boosting your immune system right now with an essential detox….

green line

“During my detox I lost 19 lbs! My BMI went from 24.0 to 16.9!
I am super excited for when I do my next detox because I will be
doing the expert challenge! LOVE LOVE LOVE Chef V.” – Mackenzie

Below, my Black Bean Soup, a recipe from my cookbook. A cleanse-friendly recipe created to accompany my cleanses and detoxes.

black bean soup

Ditch Sugar Addiction & Reset Your Metabolism In Just 21 Days

In addition to eating unhealthy food, you might be more vulnerable to getting sick because of stress.

Recently, I wrote about staying healthy for the back to school season. But even if you don’t have kids, many of us feel stressed out. And when stress strikes, lots of people cope by snacking on sugary treats and other unhealthy food.

If you can relate to having felt stressed out or eat lots of unhealthy food, I suggest trying my 21 Day Detox.

My 21 Day Detox is 100% organic. Although you’ll very likely lose weight after doing a 21 Day Detox, my program is far more than just a weight loss solution. More than that, my 21 Day Detox will teach you how to adopt healthier eating habits. Not just for the 21 days but for weeks, months and even years after the detox is over.

How Does The 21 Day Essential Detox Work?

During the 21 Day Detox, you’ll have days when you follow my Cleanse protocol, which provides you with four servings of 16 oz Green Drinks, 2 Protein Shakes and a Detox Soup. Then, on other days, you’ll also have Green Drinks and Protein Shakes, plus my Healthy Routine, which allows you to choose your own lunch, snack and dinner from my Meal Planner. The Meal Planner contains delicious recipes, an approved foods list, a portion-size guide, and more helpful tips that will make completing a 21 Day Essential Detox a breeze.

Plus, when you order the 21 Day Detox, I email you a downloadable copy of my recipe book, Making Cleansing Easier.

A lot of people have no idea what to eat. But I take all the guess work out of meal planning. My recipes are filled with lots of low-starch veggies, healing herbs and spices and healthy, whole grains that don’t promote inflammation. I also include some fruit as part of my Healthy Eating routine (but not too much), as well as legumes, lean protein and moderate amounts of healthy oils such as olive oil.

Squashing VIruses With … Squash, Soup And Other Awesome Autumn Veggies

Introducing winter squash, sweet potato, carrot, beets and other hearty antioxidant-rich veggies this time of year is a good strategy for boosting your immune system and aiding your body in the detox process.

And when you do my 21 Day Detox, you’ll get one of two delicious Detox soups for dinner: Carrot Ginger Zing and Sweet Potato Curry. The carrot ginger soup also contains yam, onion, garlic, turmeric, and sea salt with a base of filtered water.

As for the sweet potato curry, it’s loaded with leeks, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and a gentle curry spice, flavored to taste with sea salt in a filtered water base.

Although the Detox Soups are relatively low in calories, they are very nutrient dense, so you won’t still be hungry and be tempted by empty carbs after having it for dinner.

Here’s what one Chef V customer, Mel H. of San Diego, has to say about the soup on Yelp:

The detox soup is DELICIOUS- I want to try the recipe on my own one of these days. After 3 days of cleansing I feel 100% better. I will absolutely do this cleanse again. Thanks Chef V. !

Mel didn’t jump into the 21 Day Detox. She dipped her toe in the shallow end by doing my shortest detox program, the 3 Day Cleanse. If the sound of a 21 Day Detox intimidates you, doing a 3 Day Cleanse (or 5 day or 7 day) is a good alternative.

Whether you choose the shorter cleanse or the 21 Day Detox, I’ll tell you exactly what foods to eat in the days leading up to the program and for the days that follow it after you successfully finish it.

So give your organs a tune-up now and get them in tip-top shape for the cold/flu season that’s right around the corner.

To your health,

Chef V

Veronica and Coco

Inflammation Fighters Your Doctor Won’t Tell You


When you hear the word, “inflammation” what comes to mind? You probably think it’s something bad. Well, I’m here to tell you inflammation is great! Wait … what? That’s right, you see, you need a little inflammation in your body.

The inflammation process helps get rid of nasty germs. It also heals injuries. Any time you burn your skin or have some other physical trauma, inflammation comes to the rescue. Your white blood cells, which kick in to fight infections are part of the inflammation process. So, you see, inflammation ain’t so bad….

When you’re healthy, inflammation does a delicate dance. It stays in control, out of sight and mind.

But if you party like a rock star, don’t exercise and eat like crap, here’s what happens….

Certain substances that are in the cells of your immune system and are involved in the inflammation process go crazy. That, of course, isn’t the official scientific explanation. But essentially what happens is, as with the case in autoimmune disease, the inflammation response becomes excessive.  And that’s where my two powerful inflammation fighters come into play: a 21 day Detox, and the use of CBD oil – and CBD oil is getting easier to find across the USA.

CBD oil by mouth

Symptoms of Inflammation

So how do you know if you have inflammation? And what can you do about it? Well, let’s answer the first question.

Beyond the obvious signs of inflammation such as swollen joints or red skin from an injury, here are some signs you may have excessive inflammation:

  • Constantly tired
  • Getting sick often
  • Gaining weight easily and having trouble losing it
  • Digestive issues
  • Skin breakouts
  • Trouble concentrating (brain fog)
  • Headaches

Can you relate to any of these issues? Let’s say you get headaches and acne breakouts from time to time. Sure, you could pop an over-the-counter pain-reliever and use an acne remedy. Problem solved, right? Well, for now, maybe. But putting a “band-aid” on inflammation (no pun intended) does not solve the root cause of inflammation.

But I’m about to share with you 2 things that will greatly reduce it and put your body back in balance….

Chef V 21 day detox contents

21 Day Detox

If you’ve legitimately eating healthy (by that I mean eating minimally-processed-at-most organic plant-based food 90% of the time), and you exercise, and don’t use harsh chemical cleaners at home yet you still have some signs of inflammation, I recommend seeing a functional medicine doctor.

But for most people, it is caused by lifestyle factors. Needless to say, diet is a big one.

And sometimes, it’s not just enough to say to people, “eat a healthy diet.”

Sometimes, you just need somebody to hold your hand.

That’s where I come in.

With a background as a certified nutritional therapist, I created the recipe for my Organic Green Drink. Since then, I’ve created recipes for a plant-based Protein Shake and Detox Soups. These 3 items form the core of my Cleanse and Detox programs.

Now, I’m not just trying to sell you on stuff I sell. My intention is to reset your body and provide you with the lifestyle education you need to keep eating healthy long after you’re done with my cleanse and detox program.

So if you’re ready to dramatically lower your body’s inflammation response, I suggest trying my 21 Day Detox.

The 21 Day Detox combines my 3 Day Cleanse and Healthy Eating recommendations. There’s 3 different plans to choose from: Starter, Classic, Obsessive. The Starter Detox features one 3-Day Cleanse. The Classic has two different stretches of doing the 3 Day Cleanse and the Obsessive has three. For each day during the 3 Day Cleanse phase, here’s what you’ll get in these powerful fighters:

  • Four 16-oz servings of Organic Green Drink
  • 2 packets of Chocolate Vegan Protein Shake
  • 1 container of Detox Soup (either Sweet Potato Curry or Ginger Carrot Zing)

For the rest of the time you’re doing the 21 day detox, you’ll get a 16oz Green Drink and Protein Shake each day. I recommend having those two for breakfast. Then, you have lunch and dinner. I provide you with a meal planner, as well as a Healthy Eating Guide, which includes a “Eat This, Not That” easy-to-follow chart, and a Healthy Portions chart.

We deliver the Green Drinks, Protein Shakes and Detox Soups right to your front door. And you’ll get my healthy eating advice emailed as soon as you order.

If you’re suffering from excessive inflammation, doing a 21 Day Detox could finally provide the relief you’re looking for.

And not only that, it will educate and inspire you to stick with healthy eating habits long after the 3 weeks are over.

Chef V 21 day detox

Chef V

Intermittent Fasting + Green Drink

Trying to lose weight and get those abs to poke out? Try intermittent fasting AND breaking your fast with my Chef V Green Drink. Even better: do an early-morning yoga routine, before your first meal of the day. It doesn’t have to be very long. Even 10 minutes will do wonders. That combo works great for me … and you should see what my husband looks like. (Wink)

I’m having a little bit of a dilemma. Maybe you can help by telling me what you think.

You see, Brandon, my husband (and CEO of my nationwide Green Drink and Cleanse delivery operation) is looking like one of those Greek God statues you see in a museum.

Whereas in the past when “six-pack” was synonymous for Brandon with beer, these days, six-pack refers to his absolutely chiseled abs. Actually, 8-pack is more like it.

Brandon is absolutely shredded, chiseled and lean. He hasn’t put an ounce of flab on even though we’ve been under a lot of stress lately opening up our new Chef V store in New Jersey (NYC metro area).

So where’s the problem, you might be wondering? After all, isn’t every lady’s dream to have a gorgeous, sexy partner?

The problem is … he’s starting to look leaner than me. That ain’t right! So should I tell him to stop doing what he’s doing?

Actually, here’s what I’ll do. I’m going to put aside my petty insecurities and rechannel that negativity into something positive. And that’s sharing with you these 3 super easy things that Brandon has been doing these past six months that have resulted in his mad sexy physique.

It seems so easy. And in fact, it is. I’ve actually been doing the three things he’s been doing, too. It’s just that my weight has stabilized and I’m not really looking to break a plateau or anything.

Without further ado here are the three things you can easily do to melt body fat….

intermittent fasting table 16:8 method

What Do Beyonce & Brandon Have In Common?

Besides a killer smile that seems to stop time, what Queen Bey and my hubby have in common is success with intermittent fasting.

Human beings have been intermittent fasting since prehistoric times. But as a diet, this is the one method that seems like it has the potential to kill the diet industry. In other words, it’s not a gimmick, like this:

Brandon, Bey, and thousands of other people, are experiencing very impressive intermittent fasting results.

And the reason why is simple. You’re not doing a crazy starvation diet like the Master Cleanse (fasting on lemon water for several days) or the hCG diet (500 calories a day plus an injection of a pregnancy hormone) or the baby food diet (no explanation needed).

Intermittent fasting restricts when you eat, not what you eat. There are a few different ways to do intermittent fasting (I.F.). Brandon prefers the 16/8 method. That’s when you eat only during an eight-hour window and fast for the other 16 hours.

Fasting for 16 hours is a form of mild stress. That might not sound good to you. After all, most people have too much stress to begin with. But the mild stress from intermittent fasting can actually help you live longer.

And there’s no doubt I.F. will make you leaner.

Making Cleansing Easier Cookbook

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Researchers are now just starting to discover why intermittent fasting can help make you live longer. (If you want to geek out on how it works, read this article published by Harvard University.)

But I.F. might take some getting used to. This is especially true if you’re prone to feeling “hangry,” you know, that combo of feeling hungry and angry at the same time.

A lot of times, though, you think you’re starving when you’re actually not. What’s more likely is that you’re used to eating a lot of starchy and sugary foods and your brain/belly axis of evil is saying, “Mmmm, give me more … now!”

If you can lower the amount of sugars and starches in your diet, those hangry feelings will likely fade away like your waistline.

And here’s why….

Unless you’re running an ultramarathon, a good chunk of your meal will be stored as sugar (glycogen) in your liver. However, after not eating anything for 16 hours, your sugar storage tank, so to speak, will be depleted.

So what does your hot bod do for energy if it doesn’t have any sugar to burn? It starts using fat for energy. Specifically, your fat cells release ketones (fatty acids). These ketones are converted in the liver as usable energy for your brain. Ketones also get released into your bloodstream to supply the rest of your body with energy.

My book, Making Cleansing Easier, is full of recipes for foods with low, healthy levels of sugars and starches. Use it to reset your appetite.

Kickstart Your Fat Loss With Chef V’s Intermittent Fasting Cleanse! Need someone to hold your hand getting started with Intermittent Fasting? Want to maximize your body fat burning potential? Let me help! Introducing Chef V’s Intermittent Fasting Cleanse, where on each day (you choose: 4, 7 or 14 days), you get 16 oz. of Green Drink, one packet of Chocolate Protein Shake and one Detox Soup (alternates between Carrot Ginger and Sweet Potato Curry). And that’s just for your “break-fast.” For lunch and dinner, you’ll be using my Healthy Eating Guidelines, which includes the following 3 easy to follow things: Eat This, Not That Chart (takes the guesswork out of what to eat) Healthy Portions Chart (takes the guesswork out of how much to eat) Download of my recipe book Making Cleansing Easier, with delicious healthy recipes for smoothies, snacks, soups, appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts. Recommendations for non-caloric drinks to keep your energy up during your fasting window (including my recipe for Electrolyte Cocktail). Intermittent Fasting isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle! And with Chef V’s IFC, you’ll quickly learn how to combine time-restricted feeding with healthy eating habits you can use for the rest of your life.

Survival Mode But Not Starvation Mode

Sorry, I seem to have gotten carried away and slightly geeked out. All you really need to know can be summed up in one sentence: By not eating for 16 hours your body goes in survival mode and burns fat for energy.

Try fasting for 12-14 hours for a week or two before working your way up to 16 hours. That’s what Brandon did. (I tried calling Bey to find out how she got started but she hasn’t returned my call … yet. haha)

Just to be clear, I.F. is not a starvation diet. True starvation is going for many days without food. But since we’re still wired like our prehistoric ancestors, our bodies go into survival mode. And to survive, our bodies shift from burning carbs for fuel to fat.

Is it making sense now why I.F. is so easy? And you don’t have to be crazy strict about sticking to 16 hours of fasting. If you go one day cutting it down to a 14 or 15 hour window, you’ll still see results.

Jill Ramirez testimonial

Breaking the Fast Without Breakfast

And if you follow this second tip for easy weight loss success, you’ll experience even more impressive results.

You might be tempted to break your 16-hour fast by pigging out with a large breakfast. But there’s two reasons why you shouldn’t do it. First of all, your stomach’s holding capacity will shrink after not eating for 16 hours. Thus, you simply won’t feel like or be physically able to eat a large stack of pancakes.

Secondly, you don’t want your first meal of the day to put you in a food coma. Instead, drink a couple glasses of water first thing when you wake up. And when it’s time to break your fast, have a Green Drink. The seven certified organic greens will help wake up your belly and gently cleanse your system.

There are other methods of doing I.F. such as the 5:2 method. This is when you take a couple days a week and eat only 500 calories.

Regardless of what I.F. method you choose, always break your fast with a Green Drink. Another benefit is you’ll be providing good bacteria in your gut with food (prebiotic fiber) that they need to multiply and keep your immune system strong.

The healthier you are, the better your fat burning potential.

Yoga Before Breaking the Fast

And if you really want to accelerate your weight loss, do some moderate exercise before your first meal of the day. I prefer doing yoga shortly after I wake up. Depending on when I finished the previous night’s meal, I might take a 16 oz bottle of Green Drink with me to stay hydrated during class.
Keep in mind that having a Green Drink will break your fast even though it’s not a meal. The simple reason why is that it has calories and will provide glucose (blood sugar) for your liver to burn.

However, let’s say I’m done dinner at 8 p.m. If I’m taking a 10 a.m. yoga class, I might sip on a bit of Green Drink throughout the class. I’m not super strict about always doing a 16-hour fast window; that’s more Brandon’s thing.

But the key takeaway here is that you should give exercising before breaking your fast a try. You’ll already be in fat-burning mode. And light exercise like these 3 detoxifying yoga poses may help accelerate your weight loss. Just make sure not to do any strenuous exercise when you’re first getting used to I.F.

So there you have it. Three simple strategies for long-term weight loss success: try eating only during a 8 hour window (work your way up to a 16-hour fast); break the fast with Green Drink and do some yoga in the morning before breaking the fast.

Kickstart Your Fat Loss With Chef V’s Intermittent Fasting Cleanse!

Need someone to hold your hand getting started with Intermittent Fasting? Want to maximize your body fat burning potential?

Let me help! Introducing Chef V’s Intermittent Fasting Cleanse, where on each day (you choose: 4, 7 or 14 days), you get 16 oz. of Green Drink, one packet of Chocolate Protein Shake and one Detox Soup (alternates between Carrot Ginger and Sweet Potato Curry). And that’s just for your “break-fast.”

For lunch and dinner, you’ll be using my Healthy Eating Guidelines, which includes the following 3 easy to follow things:

  • Eat This, Not That Chart (takes the guesswork out of what to eat)
  • Healthy Portions Chart (takes the guesswork out of how much to eat)
  • Download of my recipe book Making Cleansing Easier, with delicious healthy recipes for smoothies, snacks, soups, appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts.
  • Recommendations for non-caloric drinks to keep your energy up during your fasting window (including my recipe for Electrolyte Cocktail).

Intermittent Fasting isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle! And with Chef V’s IFC, you’ll quickly learn how to combine time-restricted feeding with healthy eating habits you can use for the rest of your life.

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load: Know the Facts!

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load: Know the Facts!

Glycemic index and Glycemic load: Know the Facts.  Understanding will help you choose the healthiest foods and avoid  the traps of false advertising. Chef V explains. Vital information for people with diabetes and those who want to avoid getting it.

image with permission

Just the facts/bottom line:
Pick foods with a Glycemic index under 60
and a Glycemic Load under 15.
Look for lower numbers.

I feel sorry for carrots. Watermelon, too. You see, these two healthy foods are often vilified by health extremists for supposedly having too much sugar. They argue that carrots and watermelon rank very high on the glycemic index.

Before I come to the defense of carrots and watermelon, let me explain what the glycemic index is….

What is it and can it help manage diabetes

Put simply, the glycemic index is a ranking of foods (and drinks) with carbs. A score of 70 or greater is high. And a score of 56-69 is medium on the glycemic index (GI). A low score is 55 or less. The higher the number, the more quickly the carbs in foods converts into sugar in your blood. Veggies like broccoli have a score of 0. Watermelon ranks 72. And raw carrots is almost at the top of the charts: 93. Considering that a croissant ranks 95, does that mean having a carrot is almost as bad as indulging in a French pastry?

No, it doesn’t. While the GI can be a useful tool for managing diabetes, it does have some shortcomings.

top 5 ways to use Green Drink #1

But it has Limitations

The Glycemic Index measures the potential effects of carbs on your blood sugar within a two-hour window after eating. What’s the problem with this? Well, if you have diabetes, eating carb-rich foods can affect your blood sugar levels for up to four hours.

Second, the GI often does not take into account the precise amount of carbs eaten at one time. When the GI was established in the early 1980s, the researchers created it to analyze the effect of carbs on blood sugar (glucose) like a bell curve. In other words, it’s not scientifically very accurate. And not just because it’s only a two-hour window. But also, because it measures the food following a 12-hour fast. Moreover, the amount of carbs that it tests to rank it on the GI scale is approximately 50 grams. Thus, depending on the food, even though it might rank high on the GI, it doesn’t mean it’s going to spike your blood sugar.

A more accurate measure to use is the glycemic load. The glycemic load takes into account how much carbohydrate is eaten in one sitting. That’s the biggest and most important difference between glycemic index and glycemic load.

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values for Selected Foods

Food GI
Serving Size Carbohydrate* per Serving (g) GL per Serving
Russet potato, baked
1 medium
Potato, white, boiled (average)
1 medium
Puffed rice cakes
3 cakes
1 cup
Jelly beans
1 oz
1 medium
1 cup
Soda crackers
4 crackers
Bread, white-wheat flour
1 large slice
6″ diameter
Rice, white, boiled
1 cup
Table sugar (sucrose)
2 tsp
Dates, dried
2 oz
Spaghetti, white, boiled (20 min)
1 cup
Honey, pure
1 Tbsp
Pineapple, raw
½ cup
Banana, raw
1 cup
Maple syrup, Canadian
1 Tbsp
Parsnips, peeled, boiled
½ cup
Rice, brown, boiled
1 cup
Spaghetti, white, boiled (average)
1 cup
Whole-grain pumpernickel bread
1 large slice
All-Bran™ cereal
1 cup
Spaghetti, whole-meal, boiled
1 cup
Orange, raw
1 medium
Apple, raw
1 medium
Pear, raw
1 medium
Skim milk
8 fl oz
Carrots, boiled
½ cup
Lentils, dried, boiled
1 cup
Kidney beans, dried, boiled
1 cup
Pearled barley, boiled
1 cup
1 oz
1 oz
*Amount of available carbohydrates in a food serving that excludes indigestible carbohydrates, i.e., dietary fiber.

Why the glycemic load is more accurate

You can consider the glycemic load as the glycemic index 2.0. And the three tiers of the glycemic load (GL) you should be familiar with are 0-10, which is low; 11-19, medium; and 20 and above which is high.

Unlike the glycemic index, If a certain food ranks high on the glycemic load scale, it’s safe to assume it’s not good for diabetes management. The GL is figured out by taking the amount of grams of carbs in a food and multiplying that by the food’s glycemic index score. Then, you take that number and divide by 100.

But you know what, don’t worry about potentially confusing diet math right now. What’s more important is understanding this biggest difference between glycemic index vs load. And let’s use as an example the one veggie and fruit that often get a bum rap. I’m referring of course to carrots and watermelon.

Remember, watermelon ranks high on the GI at 72. But it’s glycemic load is low, only 7. And carrots, despite having a potentially blood-sugar spiking score in the 90s only has a GL score of 1. Yes, that’s not a typo. In other words, according to the glycemic load score, carrots have little risk of converting into blood sugar.

How can this disparity exist? Isn’t it really confusing if you’re trying to manage your diabetes? The answer to the second question: yes, totally. I feel your pain. When I was studying for my certified nutrition therapy coursework, I was confused by the difference between the glycemic index vs load. But, again, the simple difference between the two is that the glycemic index does not take into account serving sizes. That means if you only eat one large raw carrot, that carrot may have a negligible effect on your blood sugar.

Carrots: Glycemic Index VS Load: Why the glycemic load is more accurate

More reasons why the index isn’t the holy grail of diabetes management

The reason why the glycemic load of watermelon and carrots is so low is that both of them contain no fat and protein. Foods that contain fat and protein have a lower glycemic index. Because theoretically, protein and especially dietary fat can reduce the effect of carbs converting into sugar. This is why peanut butter M&Ms have a relatively-low score on the GI: 33. Does that mean you should eat more peanut butter M&Ms and less watermelon and carrots? Of course not. This exemplifies how the glycemic index isn’t always a great tool for managing diabetes.

In addition, the glycemic index as well as the glycemic load do not take into account the cooking methods of a particular food. For example, did you know that al dente pasta has a lower glycemic load than soft, mushy noodles? That’s because your digestive system has to work harder to break down al dente pasta. Also, the indexes don’t account for how ripe or raw a food is. Take bananas, for example. Green-tipped bananas (eaten with nothing else) will cause less of an insulin response than a really ripe banana.

That’s why yet another index, the insulin index, might be an even better determinant of the effect of a food on your blood sugar level. According to the insulin index, pasta really isn’t that bad for you. That’s not to say if you have diabetes and you’re doing your best to reverse it, you should eat it. But one small serving of it, especially if you drizzle it with olive oil and have a lean, small portion of meat on the side, is relatively low on the insulin index. How can this be? Well, it takes longer than white bread and other starchy carbs for pasta to break down into sugar.

Insulin Index of Common Foods

Index VS Load: conclusion

As always, the emphasis on eating should focus on foods rich in fiber (which also slows down the conversion of carbs into glucose), especially leafy green and cruciferous veggies (such as those in Certified Organic Green Drinks). And if you’re trying to normalize your blood sugar levels, your meals should satisfy you enough so that you can go several hours in between meals without feeling hungry. That means you need enough dietary fat and protein to balance out the carbs.

And this is a topic for another blog post about diabetes management, but in general, you can safely eat a moderate amount of fruit without worrying about it skyrocketing your blood sugar. Try to eat a handful of nuts along with the fruit. The protein and fat in the nuts will further slow down any potential for the fruit sugar converting to sugar in your blood.

But also keep in mind that if you eat a huge portion of meat, some of that protein can be converted into blood sugar. This is another limitation of the glycemic index. According to the index, meat ranks 0. That’s because meat doesn’t have any carbs.

Another reason the glycemic index isn’t a panacea for weight loss and diabetes management is two completely different foods can rank the same on the GI. But one of those foods can produce an insulin response that skyrockets your blood sugar level whereas the other food can have a much lesser insulin response.

The Truth About the “Booch”

I recently hopped on the kombucha bandwagon and here’s what happened….

Now before I put the wagon before the horse, just in case you’re not exactly sure what kombucha is, here’s a crash course….

What is Kombucha? 

It’s fermented tea. That might not sound that appetizing, and the truth is that many kombuchas taste awful. And as I’ve come to find out, I wish all the ones I tried tasted awful because I would have spit them all out, and not experienced any negative side effects (more on this in a little bit.) 

The ones that do please the palate have a slightly bubbly mouthfeel and taste tarty. When it’s hot out and you don’t feel like drinking room-temperature water or hot tea, a glass of cold bubbly booch really hits the spot. 

And I thought by drinking a lot of it, I was being healthy. That’s because kombucha is supposedly loaded with probiotics. Because of the rise in consciousness with gut health, fermented foods and drinks have become mega popular. That’s why if you go to your local farmer’s market, you’ll see weird fermented drinks that weren’t around 5-10 years ago like beet kvass and, of course, kombucha.


How is it Made?

Traditionally, kombucha is made with either black or green tea. Lately, I’ve seen recipes featuring other tea varieties such as rooibos. I’ve also tried so-called high-alcohol kombucha, which is fermented for longer. All kombucha, because of the fermentation process, contains a little alcohol. 

So if you’re in recovery or trying to detox from alcohol, you might want to think twice about drinking a lot of it. People think it’s healthier to get buzzed on high-alcohol kombucha because it contains probiotics. 

But one truth about kombucha, at least the kind that can really get you buzzed is that there’s probably very little probiotics left—the alcohol kills it. And high-alcohol booch isn’t safer than drinking beer or wine. On the contrary, BoochCraft and other brands of alcoholic kombucha contain more alcohol per volume than beer and wine. 

The process of making regular kombucha is like a science experiment. First, you brew a high-sugar sweet tea. 

The high sugar should have been a red flag for me; I was oblivious to the potential dangers because of the hyped-up health claims.

After the sweet tea is brewed, a milky, cloudy, stringy yeast and bacteria starter culture called SCOBY is added. SCOBY stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Yum! The brew is refrigerated for 7-10 days.

No doubt the way kombucha was traditionally made, beginning over 2000 years ago in China, offered health benefits. But today’s booches surely aren’t the same as what was made during the Qin dynasty. 

One word of caution if you’re going to try to make kombucha on your own: if it’s not prepared properly, it can contain nasty bacteria or mold.

Chef V’s Kombucha Experiment Gone Wrong

I don’t think I drank any bad batches of booch. But the mistake I made was drinking it every day. I admit: I became addicted to it. And my addiction eventually caused problems. Mostly, I experienced bloating or an upset stomach. Feeling like I was tricked by kombucha, I did some digging and found out that I wasn’t the only one having problems…


Can Kombucha Cause Yeast Infections?

As I read more and more about the dark side of kombucha, I learned that it can cause adult acne. And if you’re concerned about getting a bacterial yeast infection, after reading this next thing, you just might hop off the booch bandwagon forever….

According to this food microbiology journal, after the 7th day of fermentation, candida is the most abundant yeast in kombucha. 

Now, don’t freak out entirely about candida. Everyone has a little bit of the yeast in their mouth and intestines (gross, right?). But if you already have an overgrowth of yeast because of a poor diet (too much sugar and starchy carbs), kombucha is the last thing you should be drinking; just stick with lots of water and low-sugar Green Drink!

If you’re struggling with energy; get recurrent UTIs or sinus infections; or have poor digestion and skin problems, these are tell-tale signs of candida overgrowth. If this is the case, go on a candida cleanse and just say no to kombucha! (First steps in a candida cleanse: probiotic supplements, low-carb diet, drink lots of water and Green Drink.) 

The Truth About Kombucha: Is It Good For the Gut?

The main selling point about kombucha is that because it’s fermented, it contains beneficial microbes that may help colonize the gut. Gut health is so important and I’m glad that the topic of gut health has gone mainstream. Gut health not only affects our digestion, it’s directly linked to our cognitive function, immune system, and mood.

But the truth about kombucha is we don’t know for sure if it’s even good for the gut. As this study from just last year, published in Nutrients points out, “[T]here are no studies of the effects of kombucha on gastrointestinal health and microbiota in humans.”

Another study, also from last year, reviewed 310 articles about kombucha. The researchers were unable to find even one random clinical trial (the gold-standard of research studies) that proves it can help gastrointestinal disorders, “including any of the functional bowel disorders.”

I realize that random clinical trials are super expensive to run. For the most part, only pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in running a clinical trial with lots of people. Your average kombucha new kid on the block isn’t going to have the millions to fund an RCT. But I think it’s pretty telling that in over 300 studies on kombucha, the researchers weren’t even able to find one study with, say, 10 people, that offers some proof about kombucha’s supposed health benefits on the digestive system.

But hey, if you love it and you think it works for you, then by all means continue to drink it. Personally, I think it’s overrated, especially the big brands sold in supermarkets.

making Kombucha

Is Kombucha Healthy? Conclusion

If you want to support your gut health, first of all, you need to limit your sugar intake and consume lots of veggies that contain indigestible prebiotic fiber. Prebiotic fiber feeds the good bacteria in your colon. (Score another point for Green Drink: the 7 leafy greens have the fiber your gut needs.)

And if you want to colonize your gut with even more beneficial microscopic bugs, eat other fermented foods that don’t have added sugar. Think: plain yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi (cabbage), and fermented soybean dishes like natto, miso soup, and tempeh. 

Is kombucha healthier than cola? Sure. But is it healthier than Organic Green Drink? No way. Is high-alcohol kombucha better for your health than a glass of wine because of the probiotics? I think not. Dry wines contain only 1 gram of residual sugar. Plus you get the anti-aging benefits of the chemical, resveratrol, which is abundant in grape skins. 

(Want a boozy drink without the alcohol? Try my low-sugar, high-nutrient-density mocktails.)

I’ve seen some brands of kombucha contain as much sugar as a glass of orange juice (over 20 grams per 8-ounce serving). Drinking that much sugar everyday is just asking for a yeast infection. Even lower-sugar varieties of kombucha, I’ve realized, have too much sugar for my system. (You can water down the booch by making a spritzer.) 

And that’s the truth about the booch. 

Celery Juice Part 1 – Miracle, Hype, or Both?

Chef V, Veronica Wheat

Quirky fads come. Quirky fads go. Remember shake weights? You see anybody doing that lately?

How about snail facials?

Yes, believe it or not, some people are willing to pay 250 bucks or so to have live snails applied to their face for younger-looking skin. Um, no thanks. I’ll stick with my chemical-free sunscreen and eating lots of green leafy veggies like the 7 different ones in my Organic Green Drink.

One health trend that doesn’t seem as outlandish as snail facials but nonetheless had me very intrigued to try is drinking celery juice.

In this article, I’ll tell you how the seemingly bland celery plant, has transformed from an underdog ants-on-a-log snack (celery, peanut butter and raisins) and soup and salad garnish, into one of the biggest health trends, praised by several celebrities.

In part 2 of this article, I shared with you my personal results after drinking celery juice every day for 3 weeks, and how it compares nutritiously to my Green Drink. In addition, I’ll tell you what one influential naturopathic doctor thinks about the drinking celery juice fad.

Lemon juice detox

What's Behind the Celery Juice Trend?

Suppose you have one or more health concerns, be it cosmetic such as acne, or a life-threatening condition such as cancer.

Would you seek advice and treatment from a doctor or other health professional?

Or, would you take advice from someone with absolutely no medical training at all, someone who charges $500 for a 30-minute phone consultation and who recommends across the board, regardless of symptoms, drinking 16 oz. of celery juice every morning on an empty stomach?

Although it sounds crazy, for thousands of people, the choice is the latter, thanks to Anthony William, aka “The Medical Medium,” and the person single-handedly responsible for the celery juice craze.

Who is the Medical Medium?

If you’ve never heard of William, here’s a brief bio on him. William claims to have innate healing intuition.  On his website, William says that when he was 4 years old, he announced to his family that his symptom-free grandmother had lung cancer, which medical tests later confirmed (or so he claims).

In William’s book, “Celery Juice: The Most Powerful Medicine Of Our Time, Healing Millions Worldwide,” he says, “The first time that God led me to recommend celery juice was in 1975, to bring down the inflammation of a family member’s back injury after she fell down a staircase.”

William says he also distinctly remembers in 1977 recommending celery juice it to a family friend who had a severe case of acid reflux. Later, when he was a teenager, working as a stock boy in the local supermarket, he persuaded his boss to buy a juicer and give people samples of celery juice. “By the time customers left the store, some of them would already feel relief from their various ailments,” William claims.

By the late 1990s, William says in his book that celery juice had helped thousands of people. “There wasn’t a symptom. Condition, illness, disorder, or disease that I didn’t see benefit from celery juice. It never disappointed.”

(Interestingly, if you Google, “How old is The Medical Medium,” Google answers that William is 29 years old, born in 1990, well after William claims to have first recommended celery juice as a panacea.)

What Conditions Does Celery Juice Help With?

It would be easier to list things it doesn’t help with, according to William, who to reiterate, has no medical training whatsoever and seems proud of this fact.

From acid reflux to Alzheimer’s and anxiety, to vertigo and vitiligo, the Medical Medium has convinced a significant number of people—he has over 1 million Instagram followers—that celery juice is an “unparalleled healing weapon.”

And he has an army of celebrities to back his claim. Just a sample of the A-listers that have glowingly endorsed William’s healing intuitive powers include: Robert De Niro; Sylvester Stallone; Liv Tyler; Novak Djokovic (the #1-ranked male tennis player in the world); Rashida Jones; Naomi Campell; Courtney Cox; and Gwyneth Paltrow.

In an age when many people take medical advice from celebrities instead of trained professionals, these endorsements are perhaps more influential than one from your own family doctor.

How Does Celery Juice Work?

At least in this regard, William admits, “there is not yet enough research about what consuming celery regularly can do for us to reveal all of its benefits…” William continues, “The world is still waiting for a rigorous, peer-reviewed study on the effects of drinking 16 ounces of fresh celery juice daily on an empty stomach.”

Until then, here’s the magic behind celery juice, according to William. Celery juice, he says, contain something called sodium cluster salts. Unlike regular table salt or even healthier salts like Celtic sea salt, the salt in celery juice removes crystallized toxic salts “that have been in your organs for years.”

Celery juice also contains “undiscovered” trace minerals that “help restore a dimension of hydrochloric acid [digestive acid in your stomach] that medical research and science haven’t yet realized is lacking.”

William says that acid in your gut that helps you digest food is actually a complex seven-acid blend. Celery juice, he says, helps bring acids back when they’ve diminished, doing so via micro trace minerals that rejuvenate stomach gland tissue.

Leptin function

How Many Stalks of Celery to Make 16 OZ of Juice?

William explains in more detail in his book how celery juice works. But enough with that. I’m ready to compare apples to oranges, or more accurately celery juice vs. Chef V Organic Green Drink.

If you want to give celery juice a try, don’t let me dissuade you. However, keep in mind that in order to drink 16 ounces of it, you’ll need to juice about 10-12 stalks.

As I learned over the course of 3 weeks giving it a try, it’s a giant pain in the behind to clean your juicer every morning.

So if you’re keeping score at home, with the ease of having nutrient-dense Green Drink delivered to your home, no messy clean-up required, so far it’s Chef V 1, Celery Juice 0.

In Part 2 – Chef V tries Celery Juice for 3 weeks

How To Make The Most Of Back To School

How To Make The Most Of Back To School

Think back to all those annoying Back To School ads in pre-pandemic years. They don’t  seem so bad nowadays, do they? 

And as if parents didn’t have enough stress juggling back to school shopping and schedule juggling, throw in the concern about the physiological and mental ramifications of their kids having to wear a mask all day. 

No matter where you stand on the masks-in-schools debate, one thing is certain for everybody: the back to school season of 2021 will be extra stressful for everybody involved. But I have some tips that I hope will help both you and your kiddos…

Deep Breathing Exercises With Kids

Regardless if your kid has to mask up in school, deep breathing exercises will support your child’s respiratory health. The first couple weeks of Back To School season is second only to the weeks of late fall and early winter for picking up a contagious virus. 

But if your child has to wear a mask, I feel it’s imperative that your child practice deep breathing exercises. Hopefully, your kids will get plenty of outdoor recreation time. But if the opportunity to get some fresh air is scant at school, try to get your kids to do some deep breathing exercises with you. 

So how can you practice deep breathing exercises with your kids? First of all, make it a habit to carve just 3-5 minutes in the morning dedicated to the practice, just as I have frequently advocated in many posts I’ve written about how important it is for my own sense of well-being to maintain a daily yoga practice. 

Deep breathing exercises can come in many forms. For instance, you can combine deep breathing with yoga. And the best part is that you can do it right in bed. The yogic practice known as “pranayama” involves breathing exercises such as “ujjayi” (say it like this: Ooo-Jah-Yuh or Ooo-Jah-Yee) breathwork. 

With this technique, you sit cross-legged and breathe in deeply with your mouth closed. Try to inflate both your belly and lungs. On the exhale, breathe out through your nose. Repeat this technique several times. Try to inhale for several seconds and exhale for 10 seconds. 

After a while, you may start tingling. If you get light-headed, take a brief pause.

Imagine how beneficial doing this deep breathing exercise will be for both you and your kids. And again, it only takes a few minutes. Try to repeat the routine when your kids get home—especially if they don’t have any play dates lined up or aren’t engaged in other physical activity after school. 

Try to make deep breathing fun for your kids. If they don’t want to listen to New Agey spiritual yoga music while doing deep breathing, tell them they can listen to their preferred style of music—provided that they do the exercises for at least a few minutes. 

If your kids enjoy the deep breathing exercises, you can lead them through a mini posture flow series such as Sun Salutations with downward dogs, upward dogs and warriors. Again, all it takes is a few minutes to get the good vibes going, and the fresh blood flow circulating in the respiratory system!

Say No To Juice, Yes To Green Drinks! 

Hopefully your kids’ school doesn’t have the same kind of vending machines that I had in school, filled with junk snacks and soda. But it amazes me how many parents still give their kids high-sugar juice boxes or pouches. 

One tiny serving of these juices can contain 25 grams or more of sugar. Now I realize that behavioral issues are multifactorial, but dosing kids with a high amount of sugar in a tiny serving of juice certainly doesn’t help lead to stable moods. 

Instead of giving your kid high-sugar juice, send them to school with Organic Tropical Green Drink. It’s got 7 certified-organic leafy greens with a wee bit of pineapple and mango juice for that perfect amount of sweetness (only 6 grams of sugar per 8-oz serving!). 

In any year, if your kids are eating lots of sugary snacks and drinking lots of things with tons of added sugar, it’s not going to bode well for their physical and behavioral wellness. The last thing you want to do is pour salt on the wound during a pandemic. 

I hope your kids have a safe and healthy back to school season!

Chef V

Better than Celery Juice for Headaches

headaches and celery juice

A More Affordable And Less Messy Alternative to Celery Juice For Headaches

Some health trends come and go. And some stick around. A couple years after writing about the celery juice bandwagon here and here, it seems like going to the store and stocking up on stalks of fresh celery and making an absolute mess in your kitchen juicing it, shows no signs of slowing down. 

The reason why the celery juice trend is evergreen (no pun intended) is thanks to Anthony William, aka “The Medical Medium,” who I detailed in my article, “Celery Juice Part 1 – Miracle, Hype, or Both?”

The more I’ve read in The Medical Medium’s books, the more I am convinced that he is some sort of natural health savant. And the reason why I wanted to revisit the topic of celery juice is that many people are using it as of late to prevent or cure headaches. And keeping your electrolytes in balance is a better way to keep headaches away.

celery juice and headaches

What Causes Headaches?

You’re not normal if you don’t ever get headaches or migraines. But there’s the thing about these nuisances, which can actually be so intense, they become debilitating conditions…

Headaches and migraines might be common, but they are not normal. If your body is functioning in a state of homeostasis (perfect balance), it’s impossible to get a headache.

The Medical Medium says that there are many causes of headaches. 

That analysis doesn’t exactly make him a genius; almost everybody knows that. 

But there are a few root causes that William offers that your doctor won’t tell you about. Even a functional medicine doctor or naturopathic/alternative/holistic health practitioner may not be familiar with William’s explanations. 

One of the root causes of headaches, according to William, is neurotoxins caused by the shingles virus. Or more accurately, viruses. William claims there are more than 30 types of shingles (who knew?), which itself is caused by inflammation of three nerves in the body: phrenic, vagus, and trigeminal. 

Another reason headaches are a frequent occurrence these days isn’t just because stress has gotten worse. 

William says the reason headaches are common stems from toxic heavy metals in brain cells. Mercury and aluminum impede the brain’s circuitry flow. This inefficient electrical impulse firing causes the brain to heat up, which requires you to use more energy to process information: “How do I use this damn TIVO? Frickin’ A … my head is killing me.” 

Yet another cause of headaches William alludes to is no shocking revelation: dehydration. A lack of oxygen from “dirty blood” causes the liver to become sluggish, William says. Despite the popularity of keto diets, William says that high-fat diets, coupled with a sluggish liver lowers oxygen levels in vital organs such as the brain. 

Can Celery Juice Cure Headaches?

The Medical Medium doesn’t outright say that celery juice is a cure for headaches. If he did say that on his website, he would likely get a warning letter from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). But William—or his attorneys—is expert at dancing around health claims. The Medical Medium website has a disclaimer that’s over 300 words long, or six times longer than the preamble of the U.S. Constitution. 

“Drinking celery juice daily in the way I recommend … is so important for these health problems and so many other chronic illnesses and symptoms for these undiscovered reasons and many more,” William says. Notice he doesn’t say that celery juice can cure headaches or chronic diseases. If he could, he would, but he can’t so he smartly tiptoes around the health claim. 

But you have to be careful drinking celery juice. People tend to go overboard with things, even when it’s something healthy. Drinking a lot of celery juice, some people report, actually may cause headaches. How much is too much celery juice? It’s hard to say, but let’s just say several stalks a day may not keep the doctor away. 

Blending For Headaches

If you’re not stoked about how expensive celery juice has gotten (thanks in big part to The Medical Medium) and how messy it is, there’s a far easier solution. 

The Chef V Organic Green Drink Plan delivers directly to your front door a weekly supply of cold-blended juice, consisting of 7 leafy greens.

Imagine getting your daily dose of antioxidants and not having to go to the supermarket every other day and worrying about using all your produce before it goes bad. And just picture all the time and energy you’ll save by not having to wash your veggies, chop them up, blend them and clean them. 

And don’t get me started about cleaning your juicer after juicing celery! That itself will cause a headache!

Many juice cleanses are just high-sugar fruit juices in disguise. All that fructose spikes your blood sugar. And when your blood sugar levels are all over the place, guess what happens? 

That’s right, you get a headache!

But my Green Drink contains only 3 grams of naturally-occurring sugar per 8 oz. serving. 

So save yourself the headache of juicing celery everyday. Instead of supporting your health with just one veggie, get 7 nutrient-dense greens per serving. 


Chef V and kale

Absolutely The Healthiest Foods To Eat In Winter


Strolling through the supermarket and loading up your cart with fruits and veggies might seem healthy. But eating certain produce this time of year can actually cause an imbalance in your well-being. In this post, Chef V uses ancient wisdom from the Far East to determine the healthiest foods to eat in winter.

It’s really amazing if you think about it. We have access to an amazing abundance and variety of all kinds of foods throughout the year. Blueberries in winter? No problem, thanks to it being summertime in Chile this time of year. Because of the global supply chain—a little sluggish at the moment but we won’t get into that—and hydroponics (growing produce without soil), we have at our disposal all kinds of produce and grains, no matter the season. 

While we definitely should count our blessings and feel gratitude for this abundance, we shouldn’t absent-mindedly toss just any food into our shopping carts. This is true any time of year but at no other time is this food-shopping philosophy more important than in winter. 

The stress of holiday shopping, low-UV sunlight that provides insufficient vitamin D, over-eating at holiday parties and the cold weather that drives us indoors zaps our immune system. 

To have a healthy, balanced immune system, eat foods that are in season. That means no blueberries, apricots and other summertime fruits. I’ll share my list of the best foods to eat in winter in just a bit. But first, in addition to eating seasonally, there’s another principle of healthy eating this time of year I’d like to share with you…


Supporting Kidney Function In Winter

I’m a big fan of applying ancient medicinal wisdom into modern diet advice. For instance, according to the 5,000 year old system of traditional Chinese medicine, there’s one organ that’s vital for a balanced immune system in the winter. 

Not to be confused with the organs you learned about in science class, traditional Chinese medicine organs involve more than the physical organ. They also include physical energy points (meridians) and directly impact emotional and spiritual well-being. 

In ancient Chinese medicine, every organ is associated with a season. Winter is the season of the kidneys. Take care of your kidneys and your kidneys will take care of you. The kidneys in traditional Chinese medicine act as the body’s pilot light. If this light diminishes because of stress and poor diet, your vitality and health will suffer.

root vegetables

Best Foods In Winter To Support Kidney Health

Ok, enough with the Chinese medicine lecture. Let’s cut to the chase. What are the best foods to eat this time of year? Which foods are in season, are warming to the body and keep your kidneys working in balance? 

Roots and Tubers

To stay grounded this time of year, we need food that’s pulled from the ground:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash
  • Yam
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Rutabaga
  • Parsnips
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Mushrooms


Are you a fruitarian? Could you live off of fruit all year long? If you want to have a balanced immune system, you’ll increase your chances of staying healthy by eating fruit that’s in season only in winter. The good news is there are a few on the list this time of year that are ripe for the picking: 

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Pomegranates
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Persimmons (eat in moderation; they’re high in fructose)
  • Clementines
  • Tangerines


Grains and Legumes

Unless you’re on a super strict low-carb diet (keto), you don’t have to say no to grains. Eating a couple handfuls of a grain with a lean protein like wild salmon and healthy fats like avocado will help keep you full. 

Here’s my list of the best low-starch grains and legumes (which also get a bum rap in the low-carb world) to eat in winter:

  • Quinoa
  • Rye
  • Oats (purchase non-GMO because oats are one of the most heavily-sprayed crops)
  • Wild rice
  • Barley
  • Kidney beans (makes perfect sense to support kidney health)
  • Lentils
  • Black beans (soak them overnight in water to make them easier to digest)


Herbs and Spices

When the weather is frightful outside, herbs and spices that “warm the blood” as the ancient Chinese philosophers would say, might not be able to replace a wood-burning fireplace. But sprinkling these on your food or in your tea may support the immune system and actually make you feel a tad bit warmer:

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Nutmeg
  • Clove
  • Cardamom
  • Garlic
  • Red chili pepper flakes


Best Wintertime Veggies
And last but certainly not least, no wintertime food shopping run is complete without these veggies not already mentioned above:

  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • These 7 dark leafy greens that you can conveniently drink and have delivered to your home almost anywhere in the USA.

These kidney-supporting foods are in prime season right now. Load up your cart with them and have a healthy winter!


Chef V

Veronica in field

Can CBD Oil Help You Lose Weight & Feel Great?

CBD oil

Move over, coconut. You, too, avocado and olive. The latest, greatest oil I’m making room for in my kitchen is CBD oil. It’s extracted from the marijuana plant, but don’t worry because it won’t get you high. That is, unless you experience the natural high you’ll feel from the relief of pain, insomnia, anxiety, and the other potential benefits CBD oil may offer. Just make sure it’s legal in your state!

A few weeks ago, I described the stress I was experiencing opening a new commercial kitchen in New Jersey.

But hey, it turns out New Jersey ain’t so bad. At least it’s one of the states where CBD oil is legal.

Too bad I didn’t get turned onto CBD oil last month. Brandon (my husband) and I could have really used a squirt of CBD oil in our Green Drinks to cope with the stress.

As a certified nutritional therapist, I could no longer ignore looking into the benefits of CBD oil. Now that we’ve had our grand opening for our new commercial kitchen, I’ve had the time to get back to one of my favorite extra curricular activities: geeking out on nutrition and natural health articles.

Sure, I’ve heard all the hype about CBD oil over the last couple years. But I wanted to see for myself if the glorified testimonials were legit.

Here’s what I found….

Sample Code

Limited Research But So Far Very Promising

If you’re not familiar with CBD, it’s one of over 100 chemical compounds in marijuana. THC is the compound in marijuana that makes you feel high. But CBD itself doesn’t have any psychoactive properties. In fact, it can counteract the effect of THC.

And that’s a good thing, considering that CBD seems to offer the most benefit when it’s combined with at least some THC. But here’s what we know about CBD oil thus far, although there’s a limited amount of research. It helps to:

  • Reduce the number of seizures caused by epilepsy
  • Fights inflammation
  • Lessen the severity of muscle spasms
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Ease anxiety
  • Normalize blood sugar
  • Help treat drug addiction
  • Aid in treating psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia

In addition, preliminary studies on CBD shows it possesses anti-tumor potential. One day, it might even be part of a regimen doctors use to fight Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Another thing that really intrigued me about the potential of CBD I read is its ability to regulate metabolism and body weight. In fact, in one study on mice, it even lowered the incidence of diabetes. Granted that study wasn’t on humans, but, and excuse me if this sounds creepy, the protein-coding regions (the area from which we inherit our characteristics) of the mouse and human genomes are 85 percent identical. So, squeak, squeak, y’all!

Adding CBD Oil to Green Drinks

All this research on CBD is relatively new. That’s because CBD itself wasn’t extracted from the cannabis sativa plant (aka, weed) until just a couple decades ago.

But what if the preliminary research proves to be legit … could CBD help people lose weight?

We already know that certain fats can actually help improve your metabolism. Many CBD oil products contain coconut oil. That’s because coconut oil is very high in fat and CBD is fat-soluble. That means in order for you to absorb it, you need to combine it with fat. Coconut oil contains MCT’s, which stands for medium-chain triglycerides. Perhaps you’ve heard of MCT oil? If you haven’t it’s become popular because it’s good for both your brain and your metabolism.

(Two important side notes: be careful not to eat too much coconut oil if you have very high cholesterol. Also, don’t buy hemp-based CBD products like hemp seed oil because hemp contains far less CBD than cannabis-based CBD extract.)

So this got me thinking….

What if people starting adding CBD oil tincture to Chef V Green Drinks? I really think that adding a little bit of this therapeutic oil has the potential to help you lose weight. Plus, the fat from the coconut oil will help you feel fuller for longer.

In fact, if you’re doing one of my cleanse programs  adding some CBD may even enhance your cleanse. How? For starters, it will help you relax. And also, other research shows CBD can stimulate genes that can help you breakdown fat; increase metabolism and slow down new fat cell generation.

medical cannabis

But is CBD legal where you live?

Truth be told, I’m not going to make CBD oil an ingredient in my Green Drink or feature it in my cleanse anytime soon. Primarily, it’s because according to federal law, CBD oil is still illegal.

But depending on the state in which you live, you might be able to buy CBD oil. I checked this source and here’s what I found….

If you live in these 6 states, where CBD in all forms is illegal, you’re out of luck: Idaho, South Dakota, West Virginia, Nebraska, Kansas, and Indiana.

As for these 16 states, you likely need a legit serious medical condition for buying and using it: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

However, in the rest of the states, you will likely be able to use CBD oil products with no problem. Currently, nine states allow recreational and medicinal marijuana. And 30 states have legalized medicinal pot.

Weed Wild Wild West

Just keep in mind that not all CBD products are created equal. And none are regulated by any federal guidelines (because it’s illegal).

Therefore, if you’re going to buy some CBD oil or any products with CBD (it’s even in lip balm these days), choose a brand that’s been 3rd-party tested for purity and strength. Lots of companies are trying to cash in on the cannabis craze. It really is a wild wild west green rush. And like the gold rush era of the mid 19th century, when lots of people got burned by speculators, lots of people are buying CBD products that contain very little CBD.

I should also mention that if you have a serious medical condition, of course, it’s always best to first check with your doctor or other health professional. And remember, the most therapeutic CBD seems to also include some THC. So go easy and start with a very low dose and scale up gradually.

To your health!


Chef V

Leptin function

Oatmeal Overrated For Breakfast – (4 Reasons Why)

Oatmeal Overrated For Breakfast - 4 Reasons

Oatmeal is regarded as one of the healthiest things to eat for breakfast. But Chef V doesn’t have much of an appetite for it. Learn why oatmeal might not be as healthy as you think…

What could be more healthy to eat in the morning than a bowl of oatmeal topped with chia seeds, sliced almonds, a handful of blueberries, and maybe a scoop of nut butter, all drizzled with honey?

Sounds super satisfying, right? 

For many people having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast is indeed the perfect meal for sustained energy and to prevent cravings until lunch time. 

If you’re an oatmeal lover I hate to crash your breakfast party but here’s some food for thought…

I have some reasons why you may want to think twice about eating it, or at least eating it every day.

glyphosates and oatmeal

Top Reason Oatmeal is Overrated: Glyphosate

The most heavily sprayed herbicide in the world is a chemical compound called glyphosate, which is lurking in your oatmeal. 

I wrote about glyphosate in detail here. In case you missed it or don’t remember what it was about, let me catch you up to speed…

In 2015, glyphosate was declared “probably carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to humans” by the main cancer research institute of the World Health Organization. 

Glyphosate is a toxic weed-killer and pesticide and the active ingredient in Roundup. Roundup has been the top-selling herbicide brand in the U.S. for many years. 

Heavily sprayed on crops like soy, corn and oats, glyphosate has been blamed in over 125,000 Roundup lawsuits for causing cancer. 

It’s sprayed on oats in order to dry the crop faster so it can be more quickly processed into things like oatmeal and oatmeal cookies. 

Now I don’t want you to freak out if you’ve been eating oatmeal every day for years. The people who have filed Roundup lawsuits have been mostly recreational gardeners that were directly exposed to glyphosate either through the skin or by inhaling the particles. 

But in order to take control of your health, it’s a good idea to limit your intake of foods that contain glyphosate residue. 

According to tests conducted by the Environmental Working Group, out of 45 oat-based products, only two did not contain glyphosate. 

More troubling, the 43 products that did have it contained levels several times higher than what the EWG considers safe.  

So think about that next time you have a bite of conventional oatmeal. And definitely consider these facts if you have kids who eat oatmeal or cereal bars. As the EWG declared, “harmful pesticides don’t belong in kids’ breakfast foods!” 

oatmeal high glycemic index

Oatmeal Overrated: High-Starch Carbs

If you want to get leaner, your biggest enemy is high-starch carbs. What are high-starch carbs? Think mashed potatoes, white bread, wheat bread, anything with white flour and the type of oatmeal most people consume. 

Most people are in a rush and don’t have the luxury of taking an hour to make old-fashioned steel-cut oats. So packets of instant oats it is. 

Microwaveable oatmeal has a high glycemic load. This means that instant oats can significantly raise your blood glucose level after eating it. 

And most people eat way too many starchy carbs to begin with. It’s one thing if you’re limiting your intake of carbs during the day to low-starch veggies and a moderate amount of fruit. 

But if you’re also eating rice, pasta and bread throughout the day, eating oatmeal is like pouring fuel on the fire. Or more accurately, adding more unburned energy (fat) to the body. 

Yeah, but isn’t oatmeal high in fiber? Yes, it is. But that doesn’t mean that your pancreas won’t release insulin in order to control the blood sugar response. 

While getting enough fiber in the diet is critical for healthy elimination, you’re better off getting your fiber from produce, quinoa and ancient grains like teff. 

oatmeal bloating

Antinutrients in Oatmeal

Over 60 million Americans are diagnosed with a digestive disorder, according to the GI Alliance. That’s a lot of bloated bellies and other unpleasant symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders. 

Oats are a type of grain. And grains contain compounds called “antinutrients” that may prevent absorption of vitamins and minerals. Therefore, some people who eat oatmeal may not tolerate it well. 

Most grains, before they are processed into food, contain two compounds that are considered anti-nutrients. 

The first one is phytic acid, which binds to minerals in the oats, preventing us from absorbing them very well. 

So even though you may see on the nutrition label on a box of oatmeal that there are many vitamins and minerals, keep in mind your body may not be up taking them very efficiently.  

Grains such as oats also have something called lectins, which prevent plants from being devoured by parasites and insects. Gluten is technically a type of lectin. But even if you’re not allergic to gluten, you can still experience bloating and other digestive upsets from eating foods with lectin. 

steel cut oats

What’s In Your Oatmeal?

Besides having to worry about glyphosate, antinutrients and the insulin response to oatmeal, here’s something else to consider. 

Oatmeal by itself tastes so bland that the only solution to making it taste appealing, for most people, is usually topping it with something super sweet like sugar or honey. 

Unlike high-starch foods, which convert into sugar, sweet toppings can instantly drive up our blood sugar level. 

And don’t get me started about all that sugar in instant oatmeal packets.

Can’t Quit Oatmeal? Follow This Advice

If you’re trying to get leaner, skip breakfast entirely. Instead, have a tall glass of water with some fresh-squeezed lemon. 

Then wait about half an hour and have 8 to 16 ounces of my Chef V Organic Green Drink. If you’re still hungry later in the morning, have a plant-based protein shake. Do this for a couple weeks and you’ll notice great results!

But if you absolutely love oatmeal, make sure to purchase a non-GMO, organic gluten-free variety. Oats do not naturally contain gluten. But many commercial brands of oatmeal are cross-contaminated with gluten.

And the more old-fashioned the oats are, like steel-cut or porridge, the longer it will take the starches to convert into sugar. And to reduce the antinutrients if your tummy is sensitive to them, try sprouted oats. 

While I may not be on the oatmeal breakfast bandwagon, I do love homemade oat milk. Naturally, I use certified organic, gluten-free oats. Here’s how I make it.


Oatmeal is hyped for lowering blood pressure, being rich in fiber and being good for cholesterol. But that’s not the whole story. 

Here’s to your health!  –  Chef V

Chef V

Lunch in a Hurry

Lunch in a Hurry

Lunch in a Hurry
I’ve built my little Green Drink and Cleanse/Detox empire over the last decade in part by telling people what to eat. A big reason why I created my Making Cleansing Easier E-Cookbook along with all the other Healthy Eating Resources you get when you’re on a Green Drink Plan  is because when I first started Chef V, I was asked the question so many times, “Hey Veronica, what should I eat?”

But I can’t believe that in all this time, I haven’t really addressed the more specific question, “What should I eat if I’m always in a hurry?”

I’ll provide you with some healthy on-the-go eating tips in a bit. First, though, let me start with the obvious….

Healthy Lunch For the Type A Corporate Go-Getter

I have dozens of healthy recipes in my cookbook, Making Cleansing Easier, which you get as a bonus when you purchase a Green Drink plan or do one of my Cleanses or 21 Day Detox.

But let me just give you some general guidelines for what I consider a healthy lunch. Before I give you some concrete ingredients, let’s cover the key elements of a healthy lunch. As a certified nutritional therapist, here’s what I consider essential criteria for a healthy lunch:

  • It’s nutrient dense
  • It keeps you full for hours (no snack needed in between lunch and dinner)
  • Fills your belly but doesn’t bloat it
  • Doesn’t make you feel tired after eating
  • Doesn’t make you crave carbs or a sugary snack after eating

In order to achieve all these goals, here are the 4 general things that you’ll need:

  1. A low-starch grain
  2. Low-starch vegetables
  3. Lean, high-quality protein (organic, grass-fed, wild)
  4. Healthy natural fat

Although everybody is different, most people do well when they have the following ratio of the above 4 components of a healthy lunch:

  • 2-3 fist-size scoops of healthy grains
  • Half a dinner-plate size of veggies
  • 1-2 fist-size portions of lean protein
  • 1-2 tablespoons of oil and/or a quarter of an avocado (the healthy fats)

Now then, let’s create a simple recipe:

  • Quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, 100% whole wheat couscous, millet, amaranth, buckwheat
  • Steamed or lightly stir-fried broccoli and/or any other low-starch veggies like asparagus, cauliflower, etc.
  • Organic chicken, wild salmon, free-range bison, etc.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Herbs and spices to taste

Check out my Super Food Power Salad from my book, below.

Lunch in a Hurry - super food power salad

Making Lunch Healthier & Easier

OK, so maybe by now you’re thinking, “But Chef V, ain’t nobody got time to make lunch like that every single day!” And you know what? You’re absolutely right. Hopefully, though, you have at least some free time just one day a week to make a huge serving of this healthy lunch.

Devote a certain time to cooking on the weekends, say Sunday afternoon. Listen to your favorite music, or a podcast, or get your Netflix on. It shouldn’t take you more than about a half hour to make this meal. Store it in a reusable container that you can take to work and quickly heat up.

In a perfect world, you’d eat your lunch slowly, concentrating on nothing but the repeated act of chewing, meditating on how each bite tastes. But again, ain’t nobody got time for that, right? Well, if that’s the case, it’s better to chow down for 5 minutes with this healthy lunch than it is to shove some PFAS-laden fast food down your throat.

The truth is that the answer to the question, “What should I eat for lunch if I’m in a hurry,” is the same as for the question, “What should I eat for lunch?”

In addition to my E-Recipe Book, I have tons of recipes for you on my blog.

To your health,

Founder, Chef V

Chef V

Traveling With Kids

Traveling With Kids

Traveling With Kids? These 5 Essentials Will Keep Your Kiddos (And You) Safe

Disclaimer: As the parent of a furry kid named Coconut, it might seem disingenuous for me to be writing about traveling with kids. However, a couple mommy friends of mine recently came back from overseas trips with their little ones (one family went to Ecuador, the other to Cancun). Unfortunately, in both families, the kiddos got sick. So it got me thinking, if I were a momma to a human kiddo, what would I do to protect them?

The answer: the same way I protect myself when I travel, regardless if I’m going away for a weekend or to the other side of the world. And the remedies and tricks I’m about to share with you are totally safe for kids.

If you’re traveling with kids, bring these essentials along….

Traveling With Kids


More and more people are aware of the importance of gut health. Your gut not only dictates the well-being of your digestion, it’s closely connected with your brain. In fact, the gut is often referred to as the second brain. If you have poor gut health, your won’t be as happy. That’s a fact!

Green leafy veggies, such as the 7 different kinds in my Organic Green Drink are great for feeding the good bacteria in the gut. However, the bad news is that there are so many different probiotic supplements, it’s hard to know which one to get.

So what does this fact have to do with traveling with kids? Here’s what….

Traveling With Kids

There is one particular kind of probiotic that’s an absolute must when you travel. You see, not any probiotic will do. Not even the one you use everyday that might be working great for you.

When you’re on a trip you need Saccharomyces Boulardii. Sounds like a mouthful, right? When you take a mouthful of this probiotic it’s the best thing to either prevent or treat diarrhea. As this article on a children’s hospital website says, “Saccharomyces boulardii is  effective in treating diarrhea in babies and children.”

A mainstream medical institution wouldn’t dare conclude that unless there was enough evidence to back it.

Any brand of S. Boulardii will do. It’s easy to take. You just take a couple capsules a day when you’re travelling. I like Jarrow formulas. Jarrow is a trusted brand.

S. Boulardii is the only probiotic that’s a yeast strain. All other probiotics are bacteria. This means that this special probiotic can help kill harmful fungi that your kids’ immune systems aren’t used to.

oregon grape root - Traveling With Kids

Oregon Grape Root

Sometimes you need to call in the big dogs (no offense to you, Coconut). If you’re Traveling With Kids to a developing country, S. Boulardii will protect you and your kids from travelers diarrhea. But if you develop something more serious like a stomach bug, Oregon grape root is the natural remedy you need. The medication, Cipro, is famous for treating stomach bugs. Oregon grape root is the natural equivalent.

Studies have shown that berberine, a compound in Oregon grape root, kills parasites like amoebae. It can also be used for treating giardia infections (which can be picked up by ingesting untreated water). OGP also kills harmful bacteria. And if you’re eating rich food that causes heartburn or indigestion, OGP can help with those conditions as well.

tea tree oil

Tea Tree Oil

Essential oils are Mother Nature’s first aid kit. There are lots of essential oils that have therapeutic benefits, but if I’m taking one specific oil with me that’s highly versatile, it’s gotta be tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is good to carry with you at all times when you’re traveling because God-forbid your kid gets a bad cut or wound, tea tree (also known as melaleuca) is great for wound healing.

The oil will help kill any harmful bacteria that may otherwise lead to an infection. There’s nothing wrong with taking regular antibiotics when you really need them. But you can also use tea tree oil for extra protection.

Plus, TTO is great for relieving itchiness from insect bites. Your kids will think you’re a hero for making them feel better!

sugar free lollipops

Traveling With Kids #5:
Sugar Free Lollipops

Besides being a somewhat healthy snack for kids while traveling, there’s a more specific benefit of carrying these with you.

Because kids have developing ear canals, they are more vulnerable for experiencing ear pain when flying. Especially when landing.

Licking on a lolly activates the muscles that open up the eustachian tubes in the middle ear. Another helpful thing for your kiddies when flying is earplugs. Filtered earplugs equalize the pressure against the eardrum when the plane lands (and during takeoff; usually, though, ear pain is more of a problem during the landing phase).

The company, EarPlanes, has plugs for both kids and adults.

And besides lollipops, you should stock up on healthy snacks before you go. Bring a carry-on suitcase full of them. You don’t know if where you are traveling will have healthy snacks for kids, especially if it’s a developing country.

I’m not including obvious essentials like a first aid kit, baby wipes, sippy cups and entertainment. I’m only including a few essentials here that aren’t common knowledge. But if you bring these with you, you’ll feel secure that should a bout of traveller’s belly or flying ear strikes you’ll be well prepared.

Happy, safe traveling!

P.S. My favorite TSA secret is that you can bring anything frozen through. So freeze your green drink overnight and bring it through TSA to your destination.

Chef V and kale

What’s Fueling The TikTok Chlorophyll Trend?


Drinking liquid chlorophyll is one of the hottest trends right now. And we have TikTok to thank for it.

The short form viral video app hosts dozens of videos showing people — mostly young women in their early 20s—sipping on green water, swearing that liquid chlorophyll cures all.

The majority of the liquid chlorophyll Tik Tok videos claim how the drops are amazing for the skin. Other TikTok users swear by it for weight loss, and pretty much every health concern under the sun.

In this post, I’ll explain what chlorophyll is, its benefits, and I’ll weigh in on whether or not I think it’s worth it to drink liquid chlorophyll…

First off, let me just say that it’s actually kind of refreshing to see young women fueling a health trend. While I’m not jumping on the liquid chlorophyll bandwagon just yet (I’ll explain why below), adding chlorophyll drops to your water is for sure waaaaay healthier than vaping, which is pretty much the only other trend I’m familiar with when it comes to late teens.

What Is Chlorophyll?

Remember learning about photosynthesis in school?

If not, no worries, I’ll catch you up to speed…

Photosynthesis is a chemical process. Plants use a green colored pigment—chlorophyll—to trap sunlight. Carbon dioxide and water are synthesized from sunlight to nourish the plants. In essence, photosynthesis is the transfer of energy from the sun to plants.

Chlorophyll helps plants create sugar molecules. Without chlorophyll, plants wouldn’t provide us with phytonutrient-rich, health-supporting food. It’s no wonder that some people refer to it as “plant blood.” In fact, chlorophyll, when viewed through a microscope, looks very similar to human red blood cells!

My sixth-grade chemistry teacher would probably give me a “C minus” at best for that clunky explanation. But that’s really all you need to know about chlorophyll. To sum up: it’s a pigment that gives plants their green color and abundant micronutrients.

If that’s the case then you should definitely stop reading this article right now and purchase liquid chlorophyll, right? Well, not exactly. I’ll explain why in a little bit.

avocados for brain health

Benefits of Chlorophyll

One plant that’s really rich in the green pigment is wheatgrass. Some people can’t stomach the taste of wheatgrass shots because, well, it tastes like grass. Chlorophyll makes up approximately 70% of the solid content of wheatgrass.

In lab studies, wheatgrass has been shown to reduce oxidative damage in cells. If there’s too much oxidation in your cells, you age prematurely. There have also been studies on people showing that wheatgrass helps reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

Wheatgrass has also been shown to lessen the severity of several chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. Chlorophyll-rich foods and drinks like wheatgrass may also help improve metabolic disorders like diabetes and obesity.

The problem with wheatgrass, besides the grassy taste, is that you need a wheatgrass juicer at home to use it on a consistent basis. Plus, you also need to have a steady supply of the grass.

And that brings us back to the TikTok sensation…

melted cheese

Benefits of Liquid Chlorophyll

Squirting a few drops from a bottle into a glass of water is far easier than the messy hassle of wheatgrass shots.

But are the liquid drops the same as the green pigment in its natural form?

No, liquid chlorophyll is not the same as chlorophyll naturally found in plants.

The liquid drops are synthetic. (Synthetic chlorophyll is called chlorophyllin.) But that doesn’t mean that all these TikTok users are wasting their money or even harming their health.

In fact, liquid chlorophyll, just like natural chlorophyll found in whole plants, may help activate enzymes that play a role in eliminating toxins.

So could it be that the skin benefits many TikTok users are experiencing are from liquid chlorophyll?

It could be. Put it this way. If your diet isn’t exactly wholesome to begin with, adding an alkalizing, anti-inflammatory substance that’s rich in vitamins A, C, E, K and magnesium to your diet could very well seem like a miracle.

Another benefit of liquid chlorophyll is that it builds red blood cells. If you’re going, say, on a ski trip or hiking adventure to a high-altitude destination, chlorophyll drops may come in handy.

But it takes a good 2-3 weeks to build red blood cells so make sure you start using it well in advance of your trip. The copper in liquid chlorophyll drops is highly-concentrated. You need copper (and iron) to form red blood cells. Eating a salad every day isn’t enough to combat the effects of high-altitude sickness.

When it comes to preparing for a high-altitude trip (in my book that’s 9,000 feet or higher), I might consider taking liquid chlorophyll drops.

Side Effects of Liquid Chlorophyll

If green poop grosses you out, lay off the liquid drops. Aside from discoloration of stool, overdoing it on the drops can lead to diarrhea. But the only other serious concern of chlorophyll supplements is that, just like any other health supplement, it’s hard to know how much of it your body is actually digesting and absorbing.

Is Liquid Chlorophyll Worth Buying?

Aside from preparing for a high-altitude trip, no, I don’t think liquid chlorophyll supplements are necessary. Not if you’re eating plenty of whole-food green leafy veggies or having a daily dose of organic Green Drinks.

Best Natural Sources of Chlorophyll

Edible seaweed and superfood powders are excellent natural chlorophyll sources. Superfood powders often contain spirulina, chlorella, or some other combination of blue-green algae. Edible seaweeds include nori (sushi roll wraps), wakame (in miso soup), kombu (found in ramen), dulse flakes and Irish moss.

But I prefer whole foods every time, and that means eating lots of veggies, especially green-leafy ones.

Kale is one of the best sources of chlorophyll. So is parsley, collard greens, chard, and dandelion greens. Organic Green Drink contains these chlorophyll-rich green leafy veggies. And the best part is you can have it delivered right to your home. No messy juicer needed!

So young TikTokers, good on ya for doing something healthy. But make sure you get plenty of whole-food fruits and veggies in your diet. Oh, listen to me, I sound like a mom!

Chef V and kale

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