Category: September 20 2022

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

Yoga + Green Drink to Stress Less, Feel Better

yoga and green drink

I’m finding it harder to stay centered. Are you stressed out too?

Stress can have a major influence upon mood, our sense of well-being, behavior, and health. Acute stress, especially if the threat is unremitting, can damage health.

To stay centered and calm, my go-to is yoga.  Yoga can reduce stress, shift your mindset, and help you feel better.

Before coronavirus,  I made sure to do a minimum of 10-15 minutes of yoga every day. Now, I’ve increased my practice and recommending that all my friends and clients fo the same. The more stressful your day, the more you need to start your day off with yoga. To those who know me, I might seem centered but without meditation and yoga, I might be a mess.

Here are some of my favorite yoga poses for reducing stress and getting back to center. Zen out in the comfort and safety of home.

Cheers to your very best health –  Veronica

yoga - downward dog


Place your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart, and stretch your feet out behind you about 3 feet apart from one another with your hips high in the air. You should look like an upside down letter “V.” Because your heart is higher than your head, this pose causes blood to flow to your brain, which calms the nervous system, improves memory, enhances concentration and relieves stress. Downward Dog also gently tones your abdomen, which stimulates digestion.

tree pose - virksasana


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.

prayer pose


Stand with your feet about 3-4 feet apart. Look toward your right leg as you turn your torso and your hips towards your right leg.

Bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle, keeping your left leg straight so that you are in a low lunge. Bring your hands to prayer position in front of you.

Inhale and on an exhale, twist to your right, bringing your left elbow over your right knee. Look up and make sure your elbows are facing in opposite directions with your right elbow facing up at 12 o’clock and left facing down at 6 o’clock.

Hold this pose for 5-10 inhales and exhales. Slowly release, coming back to center. Repeat on the other side.

Look toward your left side, bend your left knee at a 90 degree angle and move into a lunge by keeping your right leg straight. Inhale and exhale to twist to the left, hooking your right elbow over your left knee. Breathe for 5-10 inhales and exhales.

The twisting of the torso in this move applies pressure to your muscles, increasing toning and detoxifying powers. Fresh oxygen rushes to the area once the twist is released, which helps flush toxins within the body and improve digestion. This pose is great for balance, energy and confidence – plus, it tones your legs, hips and butt.

supine spinal twist


Lay on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your right knee, bringing it close to your chest.

Take your left hand and slowly guide your (bent) right leg over to the left side of your body. Look right and breathe 5-10 inhales and exhales.

Slowly come back to center with both legs stretched out on the ground. Reverse on the other side by bending your left knee toward your chest.

With your right hand, gently guide your left leg over to your right. This time, look to the left and breathe for another set of 5-10 inhales and exhales. This spinal twist will help to release lower back tension, open tight shoulders, improve digestion and elongate spinal muscles.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t come easy at first. Like all things, yoga takes time and practice to get right, but you will start feeling the detoxifying benefits right away. Just start with slow and steady breaths and the rest will follow!

Chef V and kale

Pickleball: V’s Newest Obsession

what do I eat today liquids

It’s never too late in life to get a new hobby. For “V” (Veronica, the “V” in Chef V), her new hobby is more like an obsession. And she’s not the only one who is mad about pickleball, the fastest growing sport in America.

You’d figure that an unbearable late summer humid heat wave lasting several days with temperatures approaching triple digits would deter V from pursuing her latest passion: pickleball, which if you don’t know is an exciting game that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis.

It would be one thing if V were playing pickleball indoors. But nope, she’s been playing pickleball al fresco, with not a care in the world that rivulets of sweat are pouring down her face. After all, the entrepreneur behind Organic Green Drink home delivery is a devotee of hot yoga.

Pickleball: Serious Business

So why has V become so obsessed with playing pickleball, often testing her skills in matches six days a week for the past several months? Well, for starters she’s not alone. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, pickleball participation has grown nearly 40% of the past two years. Currently, there are nearly an estimated 5 million people who regularly play pickleball, making the sport the fastest growing in the U.S. for the second year in a row.

And if V continues to improve her game, watch out, because who knows, it’s never too late for another professional side hustle. In fact, pickleball is such a hot sport that there’s Major League Pickleball (MLP)… who knew? And MLP is no joke. We’re not talking about beer pong prize money here. The winning team from a recent tournament in Newport Beach, CA walked away with a prize of $100,000. Even former NFL quarterback Drew Brees owns a team in the MLP.

Pickleball is clearly not in the same league as beer-guzzling “sports” like darts, horseshoes and cornhole; it’s serious business. Don’t bother showing up unless you plan on bringing your A-game! (Or at least learn how to play with serious intent.)

berry parfait

Stay Out of The Kitchen

But let’s get back to V and why she was called to the activity, nay, sport, nay, way of life and obsession. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s an area of the pickleball court called the kitchen. And if you’ve been following V’s recipes over the years, you know she loves being in the kitchen. Although to be sure, in pickleball, it’s a no-no to volley the ball in the kitchen. Perhaps this is the rare time that V likes to be out of the kitchen.

creamy carrot soup

Immediately Hooked

Actually, V started playing on a more social level. So she and hubby, Brandon, went to a “learn how to play” pickleball lesson and subsequently went on to win 4 matches to advance to the championship game. And before she knew it, she was hooked.

“From the very first day I loved it and my goal was to immediately learn how to get really good and get to the next level,” says V.

While V hasn’t specifically mentioned an aspiration of making it to the majors (MLP), she does plan on dominating her “Chickleball” league, a pickleball competitive group for ladies in the region of San Diego where she lives. And how cute is this … wait for it … V personally named her team the Volley Llamas. (Get it?) An appropriate pickleball pun for someone who places as much emphasis on spiritual development as physical and business.

Photo by Frankie Lopez on Unsplash

A Vehicle For New Customers

And of course it wouldn’t be V unless she quenched her thirst on the court with Organic Green Drink. V brings plenty of Green Drink with her, not only for herself and Brandon but for other pickleball players who have never experienced the crisp, refreshing taste. (So much more satisfying than water, especially in this recent heat wave.)

“The Green Drink has been a big social hit,” says V, adding, “When it’s hot and you need nutrients back in your system fast, it’s the perfect beverage.” And just as V has become obsessed, some of her new pickleball friends have become obsessed with Green Drink.

Yoga – Q&A with Veronica Wheat

Chef V yoga pose

Chef V, Veronica Wheat, answers questions about her yoga practice and gives recommendations for your practice. She suggests supplmenting Intermittent Fasting with yoga, and breaking your fast with her Green Drink.

5 Insights to Loving Yoga

1. How did you first get into yoga and what does it mean to you now?

I first joined a gym when I was 15 years old and saw others taking  classes. A year later, and after much speculation, I decided to join the class. I thought it was alright but I didn’t really get into it until two years later. I played a lot of sports when I was in high school so when I graduated, I was trying to get back into working out and decided to give yoga one more try. My body felt so good – I was surprised by how tight my muscles had been after years of competitive sports. I started going once or twice a week and soon I was hooked! I’ve been practicing religiously for almost 10 years now and completed my yoga teacher training in 2012 at Yoga Tropics at their Encinitas, CA and Pacific Beach, CA locations.

I try to practice almost every day. I don’t necessarily go to class every day but I try to do some form of yoga daily, even at home or at the gym in a space by myself. I ALWAYS practice first thing in the AM, 60-minute classes two or three times a week and then three times on my own. You will rarely see me working out afternoon or evening, I like to workout in the mornings on an empty stomach to burn stored fat and calories, plus morning workouts energizes me for the rest of the day.

I love how yoga makes me feel in mind, body and spirit. If you’ve never tried a class before, I highly recommend you do – it’s all about finding the class and instructor that’s right for you.

2. What do you look for in a yoga instructor and how have you found the ones you’ve liked best?

I really like calm teachers who have nothing to prove. Ones that help guide you along your journey. Everyone’s body is different and even if you practice all the time, every day and every practice is different. I love when a teacher comes over and adjusts me or puts me into a more challenging pose.

3. What is the best way to fuel your body before and after a session?

I prefer to go to yoga in the morning, on an empty stomach. Although, I drink lots and lots of water to make sure that I am hydrated before class begins. Sometimes I might have a little Green Drink an hour or two before class but typically just water.

After yoga is the most important time to nourish your body. I always have lots of water and a Green Drink after class. Sometimes I’ll have a kombucha or a protein smoothie that I make at home after finishing the Green Drink. It’s super important to stay hydrated before and after yoga. Drinking fluids helps flush out the toxins from your body and release them. And yoga plus an intermittent fast, plus my Green Drink maximizes fat burning, making you leaner than ever before.

4. What are some of your favorite yoga essentials? (clothing brands, mats, accessories, etc.)

I live in Lululemon pants and sports bras. I have found them to be the comfiest and most reliable. My lightweight Manduka® mat is my favorite mat, this brand makes great mats that seem to last forever.

5. What tips would you give to new or aspiring yogis?

Take it slow. Don’t be so serious, it’s just yoga. Try different classes and different instructors, not all yoga or yogis are the same. There are a variety of yoga classes for all different levels including hot, flow, fusion, sculpt and many more. Also, remember to always breathe – it’s the most important part of your yoga practice. I’ve been practicing a long time and the worst thing I see is people trying to get fancy in a pose but forgetting to breathe. Your breath is the practice, so if you lose your breath, you lose the point of the practice. Once you master your breath for one hour then you are a true yogi who can conquer any pose!

To get inspired take a look at our Pinterest Board with poses and other workouts we love.

Chef V’s Mason Jar Salads

mason jar salad

Mason jars are my favorite accessory. I use them every chance we get – filling the empty jars with fresh cut flowers, refreshing drinks or a variety of veggies for delicious salads on the go.

Below I share with you my foolproof guide for creating the best and most nutritious mason jar salads that you – and your kiddos – will love, as well as three of my go-to mason jar summer salad recipes. – Veronica

added sugars

How to Build the Perfect Mason Jar Salad

  1. The Dressing. Add about 2 tbsp or less
  2. The Veggies. Select ones that won’t absorb the dressing (i.e. onions, carrots, beans, snap peas, etc.)
  3. The Fruit (or more veggies). Another layer of your favorite fruit or veggie
  4. The Grains. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cooked and cooled quinoa or rice
  5. The Greens. Add about a cup of your favorite leafy greens
  6. The Protein. Top it off with your choice of protein – nuts, cheese or meat

Layer all ingredients from bottom to top. Start with the dressing on the bottom. If using chicken or other meat, add it to the jar the morning you want to eat it.

mason jar salad

Chef V’s Garden Salad

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup garbanzo beans or kidney beans
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chopped apple (i.e. Fuji, honey crisp or gala)
  • 2 thinly sliced radish
  • 1 cup lettuce (spinach, mixed greens, kale, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup grilled chicken (optional)

Directions: Layer all ingredients from bottom to top. Start with the dressing on the bottom. If using chicken or other meat, add it to the jar the morning you want to eat it.

nutrition facts label

Chef V’s Mexican Salad

  • 1 tbsp Chef V’s Spicy Cilantro Dressing (see below)
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped mango
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup cooked and cooled brown rice
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh arugula or spinach
  • 2 tsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup grilled chicken (optional)

Directions: Layer all ingredients from bottom to top. Start with the dressing on the bottom. If using chicken or other meat, add it to the jar the morning you want to eat it.

Spicy Cilantro Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 small jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup filtered water

Directions: blend ingredients together in a Vitamix or blender for 1-2 minutes until well blended.

Chef V’s Thai-Noodle Salad

  • 1 tbsp Chef V’s Spicy Cilantro Dressing (see above)
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp shredded carrot
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cucumber
  • 1/2 cup cooked and cooled brown rice noodles
  • 1/2 cup green cabbage
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup grilled chicken (optional)

Directions: Layer all ingredients from bottom to top. Start with the dressing on the bottom. If using chicken or other meat, add it to the jar the morning you want to eat it.

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.