Tag: chef veronica

Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels: When Being Normal is Good

Monitoring your blood sugar? If you are pre-diabetic or suspect you are, monitoring your blood sugar levels is vital. But what levels should you shoot for and how do you test blood sugar? I explain and offer a few simple tips for helping keep blood sugar levels normal.

It’s so easy for someone like me, or anyone, really, to say, “avoid added sugars.” My Green Drink is one of the lowest sugar green drinks available. Check out the chart below and compare mine to the rest – the amount of sugar in the most popular “green juice” products is staggering.

You can think you are eating healthy and not realize your blood sugar is high. The only way to know for sure is to track it by using a meter.

Approximately 84 million American adults—more than 1 out of 3— have prediabetes, and more than 90% of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. (Center for Disease Control)

Therefore, if you want to reduce your chance of becoming type 2 diabetes (or reversing it if you already have it), avoid high sugar foods and start monitoring your blood sugar levels.

prediabetes chart

What do the Numbers Mean?

However, if you monitor your blood sugar levels and just get a reading, that’s like weighing yourself on a scale. When you weigh yourself on a scale, what’s staring back at you? Just a number, right? The number on the scale doesn’t divulge how much of your weight is body fat or lean muscle or water weight. (Unless it’s a really good scale.) Sure, you can tell if your pants are feeling tighter. And if so, then, you’re probably storing body fat. Likewise, if you feel sluggish, moody or foggy brained, you might be able to conclude that you’re consuming too much sugar.

The name of the game in preventing full-blown type 2 diabetes is learning what foods (and drinks) will provide you with steady energy throughout the day. Food should make you feel energetic. But not hyper. And, of course, the reverse is true as well. After a meal, you shouldn’t feel like you need a nap.

Monitoring blood sugar levels: what’s a normal range?

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or just want to make sure you don’t develop diabetes, I recommend frequently monitoring your blood sugar levels. But first, you need to know what normal blood glucose levels are.

Now here’s the thing about normal blood sugar levels…. You’ll often come across two different charts. One will be blood sugar levels for people who don’t have diabetes. The other will be for people with type 2 diabetes. (I will be focusing this post on those with type 2 diabetes. Obviously for those with type 1 diabetes, like Whitney (her photo is below) the focus is also on preventing blood sugar levels from precariously dipping too low.)

If you have type 2 diabetes, I want you to shoot for normal blood sugar levels. But not for someone with diabetes. Rather, I want you to shoot for normal blood sugar levels for someone without diabetes. That’s because when you’re able to get your blood glucose levels down to normal levels, you’ll likely avoid any complications caused by systemic inflammation (nerve pain, for example).

With simple lifestyle changes, it’ll totally be doable. And I’ll share some simple tips with you shortly.

But first, let’s review what normal blood sugar levels are. Actually, even before doing that, you should know that you’ll want to monitor your blood sugar more than once per day.

Whitney, diabetes monitor

Test Throughout the Day

By testing your blood sugar levels throughout the day, you will learn your body’s response to sugar. Blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day, in different ways for different people. Obviously, they can go up after eating. Blood glucose (the term “glucose” is interchangeable with “blood sugar”) can also lower after you exercise. Because of this, it’s a good idea to test your blood sugar levels after you take a walk after eating. That’s because you’ll get validation about how easy and simple it is to normalize your blood glucose. Just a 10-minute walk is all it takes!

Monitoring blood sugar levels: shoot for normal

As I say above, try to get your blood sugar levels down to that of someone without diabetes or pre-diabetes. According to this diabetes management website, your blood sugar level when you wake up before eating should be under 100 mg/dl. And before meals, normal levels are 70-99 mg/dl.

You’ll want to take your blood sugar levels two hours after a meal. And when you do test after a meal, blood glucose should be under 140 mg/dl.

Guidelines from the American Diabetes Association state that for those with type 2 diabetes, blood sugar 1-2 hours after a meal should be under 180 mg/dl (and from 80-130 mg/dl) before meals. But, again, to hammer the point home, I think if you have type 2 diabetes and are serious about reversing your condition, shoot for levels for normal blood sugar levels.

Over time, you’ll remember these numeric guidelines as easily as your own phone number. But if you’re new to monitoring blood sugar levels, make a note on your smartphone or use an app.

Another blood sugar range you should memorize is your A1c level. Your A1c level is more like a snapshot of your blood sugar levels over the last couple months. It’s more a longer-term overall picture of what your levels are. It’s a good idea to monitor both your everyday levels before and after meals, as well as your A1c level. But you don’t have to test A1c every day. Once a month is sufficient. Shoot for an A1c level of less than 7%.

comparing sugars in Green Drink and other juices

Monitoring blood sugar levels: Chef V’s easy tips for lowering blood sugar

Want to lower your blood sugar levels? I realize sometimes it’s really hard to make lifestyle changes. But I truly believe these following tricks to manage diabetes can produce noticeable results in a short time.

#1: After you wake up and monitor your blood sugar, drink 8-16 oz. of pure water. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice into the water.

#2: About a half hour after drinking water in the morning, have 16 oz. of Organic Green Drink. The seven green, leafy veggies in Green Drink are clinically proven to increase insulin sensitivity.

#3: Always have my Easy Trail Mix with Goji Berries with you. Whether at home, at school, at the office or in the car, if you feel hunger, tame it with my recipe. My version of trail mix has low-glycemic, delicious berries that are good for you and won’t spike your blood sugar.

#4: Eat healthy fats! I’m shocked how many people still think that eating dietary fat will make you fat. On the contrary, it’s sugar and starchy carbs that make you fat. Furthermore, dietary fat can help you actually burn body fat. So eat a moderate amount of nuts, avocado, wild salmon, olives and olive oil. These fats will also help you feel full so you won’t be tempted by sugary snacks.

#5: Take probiotics. You need more good bacteria in your gut to help fight yeast overgrowth and other harmful bacteria in your belly. When you have too much yeast or bad bacteria, you crave more sugary foods. That’s because the yeast like to feast on sugar. And when the yeast fungus is hungry, they send a signal to your brain for more sugar.

Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels: Keep your eye on the prize!

I’ll be offering more tips that hopefully you’ll find helpful in the near future. Until then, start monitoring blood sugar levels at least a few times a day. And shoot for normal, normal. Not diabetes, normal. Good luck! I know you can do it. With just a few weeks of constant monitoring and a daily Green Drink, you’ll likely see positive results!

Veronica drinking green drink in urban setting

Why Eating “Clean Foods” Has Never Been More Important

Why Eating “Clean Foods” Has Never Been More Important

 There’s a clean food and drink movement brewing. More and more people are becoming conscious of how their food is made. There’s never been a better time to pay attention to every single thing that you chew and sip. That’s because consuming foods with toxic ingredients suppresses the immune system. 

But before you go assuming that certain foods are safe, do your research. Food labels, unfortunately, don’t always tell the whole story…

Drink Clean Green Drink! 

That’s what I’m all about when it comes to the 7 leafy greens in Chef V Organic Green Drink. I know exactly where these high nutrient-density, health-supporting veggies come from: local organic farms. 

So next time you’re in a supermarket, think about what you’re putting in your shopping cart. Are you 100% sure that there are no contaminants like heavy metals in the plastic-wrapped produce or veggie juice? 

Unfortunately, lots of people are still deceived by store-bought veggie juices. Most of them trick consumers into thinking they are healthy when in reality they are barely healthier than soda!

Here’s why most brand name juices aren’t healthy:

  • They are high-heat pasteurized. High heat pasteurization kills the compounds in the veggies that don’t appear on nutrition labels, most notably prebiotic fiber, which is like food for the bacteria in your gut. CHEF V GREEN DRINK is raw, meaning all the friendly bacteria remain intact, which is good for your gut, which in turn is good for your immune system!
  • They aren’t organic. Even if a veggie juice is low in sugar (most aren’t), if it contains non-organic produce, it will contain pesticides. With Covid-19, you want to minimize as much environmental pollutants as possible.
  • They are preserved. Ever wonder why a bottle of juice can stay good in your fridge for a long time. Yes, the refrigeration has something to do with it. But it’s also because of preservatives. CHEF V Organic Green Drink is always fresh, made-to-order and contains zero preservatives.

If you have any questions about how Green Drink is made, contact me at veronica@chefv.com. I promise full transparency.

I’m happy that more people these days are willing to pay more for healthier food and drinks. That’s why you’ll always find me shopping at local farmer’s markets. And with Chef V Organic Green Drink, I’m passing the health (and savings) directly on to you.

Clean Foods: No Glyphosate!

Consider hummus, one of the most popular dips and spreads that most people would consider healthy. Made from chickpeas, hummus should be a nutritious plant-protein-filled snack. But according to a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), several brands of hummus contain unhealthy levels of glyphosate. If you’re not familiar with glyphosate, it’s the world’s best-selling pesticide and herbicide. It was invented by the notorious Monsanto Corporation. Glyphosate has been linked to certain rare cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

The report revealed that nine out of 27 varieties of non-organic hummus far exceeded the EWG’s recommended threshold of 160 parts-per-billion. And sadly, these days, government agencies that are supposed to regulate industries for our safety are run by former executives of toxic industries. I’m not going to veer on a political rant; that’s not my thing. But when it comes to clean food, I have to speak up from time to time. So allow me to vent real quick on this issue: How insane is it that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now headed by someone who was a coal industry lobbyist?

Is it any coincidence that EPA says glyphosate is safe, and instead of 160 parts-per-billion, the agency’s safe threshold is 30 times greater than EWG’s: 5,000 ppb. 

And if you think a brand like Whole Foods sells safer hummus, think again. It actually tested highest among all the brands EWG analyzed. Even Whole Foods’ organic hummus contained 2,000 ppm. (In general, organic hummus contains far less glyphosate than non-organic.) 

Is the lesson here to never eat hummus or chickpeas again. No. But you might want to think again about how much of it you eat per day. 

The same is true about oatmeal and anything else with oats including granola bars. Popular breakfast cereals like Cheerios also contain the controversial weed killer. (You shouldn’t eat cereal for breakfast anyway. Instead, sip 16 oz of Green Drink. Then have a plant-based protein shake.)

Drink Clean Wine and Clean Veggies

Thanks in large part to actress Cameron Diaz, clean wine is a growing consumer trend. Her wine label, Avaline,  uses organic grapes produced in biodynamic soil. No synthetic chemicals or fertilizers are used. (In the winemaking industry, glyphosate isn’t spread directly on grapes or the vines but is applied on vineyard weeds.) 

Diaz’s goal in making clean wine is to provide full transparency to the wine making process. 

Cooking At Home Makes You Healthier

home cooking

Cooking More At Home These Days Because of Corona? Here’s How To Make Meals Healthy 

Because of stay-at-home orders during the early stages of the pandemic, the continued closure of many restaurants nearly half a year later, combined with the apprehension of going out in public, more people are cooking at home these days. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing. 

I’ll explain the paradox and also provide some tips on quick, healthy meal creation.

What Restaurants won’t tell you: bad for you oils

Supporting local businesses has never been more important. And going to a restaurant, even if there’s the minor annoying inconvenience of having to wear a mask before you’re seated, is a pleasurable experience. 

But here’s the thing about eating out versus cooking at home. Even at a relatively healthy restaurant, you have no idea what ingredients the cooks are using. Whereas at home, you’re in complete control. 

For example, you may think that the veggie stir-fry dish at your fav Asian-fusion bistro is loaded with antioxidants and super good for you. But the dirty little secret that nearly every restaurant doesn’t want you to know about is that they use cheap cooking oil. 

The majority of restaurants use vegetable seed oils that they can purchase in bulk. The two most common offenders are soybean oil and canola oil. Now, the phrase, “vegetable oil” probably sounds healthier to you than “lard” or “saturated fatty oil.” But in reality, when it comes to coating the frying pan or skillet, it’s much healthier NOT to use vegetable oil. 

And here’s why: when exposed to heat, vegetable oils turn rancid very quickly; they oxidize. That’s because they lack the saturated fat necessary to remain chemically stable. 

What does that mean for your health when oils go rancid? It means a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other chronic health issues (as this study suggests). Using vegetable oils (with the exception of avocado and olive oils, which are technically fruit oils, not veggie oils) and consuming them often in restaurants hardens your arteries. 

Canola oil is no safer than soybean oil. In fact, a 2017 study links canola oil consumption with worsened memory, worsened learning ability and weight gain in mice. While it’s true that mice aren’t people, mice are often used in studies to model Alzheimer’s disease patterns. So if you don’t want your brain to turn into jelly, stop eating out so much and start cooking more at home without using vegetable-based seed oils. 

Even if you cook vegetable oils at a low temperature, or for a brief period of time like a saute, you’re not safe. That’s because veggie oils often become rancid even before they are used for cooking, for two reasons: the high temperatures during the transportation of the oils from manufacturer to the supermarket, and the bright light of the supermarkets, which easily penetrates the clear bottles of vegetable oil. The lesson here is that both heat and light spoil the oil! 

So when you’re cooking at home, I recommend using avocado oil, grass-fed butter or coconut oil for high-temperature cooking. (There is some risk of using coconut oil for people susceptible to high cholesterol; use it sparingly and with caution if you have high cholesterol.) At many supermarkets these days, you can find spray avocado oil, which I personally use and think is best for cooking healthy meals. 

Baking More At Home? Make Muffins Healthier By Doing This….

Covid-19 has led to a baking bonanza. With flour flying off of shelves, thousands of beginner bakers have transformed their kitchens into a baked-good paradise. While baking makes for a welcome distraction from depressing news about coronavirus, eating muffins, cookies and other baked goods has led to the phenomenon known as The Quarantine 15

But don’t despair. I’m not preaching that you should quit baking. What I’m saying is that just like cooking oil, there’s healthier flours to bake with. The two best flours to replace conventional flour, which is a major contributor to type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases, are almond and coconut flour. Almond flour is higher in protein, whereas coconut flour is higher in fat. (Again, if you have high triglycerides and other cholesterol markers, limit your intake of coconut oil.) 

Because almond flour is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than conventional flour, it doesn’t cause blood sugar fluctuations. 

So if you want to bake until your heart’s content (and your stomach), learn how to make yummy treats healthier with almond or coconut flour. 

Making Healthy Meals Fast

For those not used to cooking at home so much, the biggest inconvenience is the amount of time it takes to make meals. Yes, it’s true that cooking takes time if you want to avoid processed, microwaved meals. Here’s my suggestion for making healthy meals fast…

Take one day a week that you have the most free time to prepare two or three large amounts of healthy meals. For each meal, include three main staples in the following categories:

  • Low-starch grains: Quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, brown rice
  • Veggies: steamed broccoli, green beans, cauliflower
  • Lean protein: Fish, vegetarian sources such as legumes and peas

For my complete list of what to eat and what not to eat, click here or check out what I think the official food pyramid should look like: 

Although it may take an hour or so of your time to cook these meals, they will last you and your family at least a few days to a week. You can quickly reheat the meals in a microwave. 

And that my friends is how you make cooking at home healthy. Just make sure you avoid late-night snacking, and to lose weight, don’t eat a huge breakfast. Instead, flood your cells with the most nutrient-dense green, leafy veggies with Chef V Organic Green Drink.

To your health, Veronica

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.