Tag: Green Drink

Chef V’s Green Drink Quality Promise

What do you do when your recipe for veggie juice becomes in such high demand from friends, family and your private chef clients? If you’re Veronica Wheat, you throw caution to the wind, dive into the deep end of the entrepreneurial pool and create a mega-successful nationwide Green Drink delivery company.

Chef V's green drinks, made from organic and certified leafy greens and apple, have helped people nationwide. From dramatic health improvements to enhanced quality of life, Chef V's organic juice and cleanses have gained massive popularity for the right reasons. 

What makes Chef V's Green Drink Different?

If you're interested in losing weight, managing blood sugar, and improving your appearance, you've probably checked up on what a daily Green Drink can do. You might even be a Chef V convert. 

But if you're joining the Chef V family, what is the difference? What makes Chef V's Green Drink different from any other?

It comes down to the values Chef V holds. We define our products by these six qualities:

1 – Clinical Research backing for our Products

Chef V had a clinical research study conducted to establish the effectiveness of the Chef v products. The results are impressive.

The lab that conducted the study says: “Overall, participants saw a statistically significant improvement in total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, cholesterol/LDL cholesterol ratio, and HbA1C. These findings suggest that the Chef V protocol, as used in this trial, is effective at bringing about positive changes in each of these biomarkers in just a 28-day test period…”

2 – Low Sugar
Chef V's Green Drink is very low sugar, with only 3g of sugar per 8 oz serving.

You'd be shocked how many supposedly healthy juice cleanses are packed full of sugar. Maybe their creators just don't take green juices seriously. Or perhaps they have no faith in their own taste. But drinking Green Drink while taking in a ton of sugar is defeating the purpose. You're not going to shed weight as quickly, if you lose any weight at all! And you might start to get blood sugar mood swings.

3 – Certified Organic

Do you know what's in your Green Drink? 

One of the major reasons people search out healthy juice is to give themselves a respite period from all the junk that goes into our everyday food. From fattening and sugary taste additives to preservatives, food labels are getting ever more difficult to parse.

With Chef V, all you get is what’s on the organic ingredient list. Our entire facility is certified organic, non-gmo, vegan and gluten-free.

4 – Temperature Control

We have a proprietary cold-blending process where we maintain 40 degrees Fahrenheit while blending. This maintains the nutrients in the drink without destroying them with heat. We also temperature control all of our bottles from production to delivery.

5 – Triple Reverse Osmosis Water

We use an in-house triple reverse osmosis filtration system that uses a three-stage process. It first filters the water, then subjects it to reverse osmosis three times, and finally filters the water once more. This meticulous process results in water that is exceptionally purified and entirely free from toxins or impurities.

6 – Tasty

Sometimes it's not the lack of fiber that makes a Green Drink hard to finish. Sometimes it's the fact that you don't care for the ingredients in the green drink.  At Chef V, we want your daily Green Drink to be a good experience. That's why our juice includes things like a bit of apple juice. And we offer a Tropical Green Drink with pineapple juice in the blend.

Learn more about Chef V's Green Drink

New to the world of healthy living? Want to learn more about what Chef V can do for you? Then make sure to check out Chef V's book Making Cleansing Easier.  You can also check out our blog.  We're always happy to answer questions about our Green Drink and having a healthy lifestyles!

Avoiding the Side Effects of Cleansing

a green drink a day can support your mood

You’ve been eating like crap, drinking too much wine/champagne/Prosecco, not exercising enough and your pants are getting too tight. It’s time for an intervention. But if you’re considering doing a cleanse/detox, is the cure worse than the intervention? Before you splurge on a week’s worth of fancy juice or other detox product, take the time to learn about cleanse side effects. 

Chef V in kitchen with citrus logo

If you’ve come to this article because you’re researching “cleanse side effects,” allow me to introduce myself and help you steer clear of negative symptoms many people experience while trying to reboot their metabolism and give their detoxification system some TLC. 

My name is Veronica Wheat. 

I’m a certified nutritional therapist and founder of ChefV.com. I grew up in Palm Desert, CA and started my nutrition career in the San Diego area as a private chef. 

One thing I offered to my clients was a veggie juice with these 7 leafy green veggies: black kale, green kale, collard greens, green leaf lettuce, curly parsley, green chard, and dandelion, all sweetened with a tiny bit of organic green apple and apple juice. (You have to have a tiny bit of sweetness otherwise it tastes too much like grass clippings.)

Anyways, demand for this healthy juice steadily increased, not only with my clients but with their friends and their friends’ friends, and so on. Eventually (this was in 2012), there was enough demand for the juice that my husband, Brandon, convinced me to launch a business delivering this ORGANIC GREEN DRINK to people’s homes. Brandon quit his job to help me with my new business, ChefV.com.

Because of the soaring popularity of juice cleanses, I created my own cleanse and detox protocols. The reason I entered the highly competitive, overly-saturated juice cleanse market was because I saw a pressing need (pun definitely not intended, as my Green Drink is cold-blended not pressed to preserve the fiber). I realized that practically every fancy juice cleanse on the market was the same. The leading juice cleanses on the market all have the same flaws that cause side effects in many people. 

a green drink a day can support your mood

Why Juice Cleanses Lead to Side Effects

The problem with most juice cleanse or detox products: 

  • Lacking in Protein
  • Contain too much fructose 
  • Have no fiber
  • Made mostly with high-sugar tropical fruits, with very little veggies
  • High-heat pasteurized, which destroys the nutrients

Why are juice cleanses made this way? Because it’s cheaper to include sugary fruits than high-nutrient-dense green, leafy veggies. Also if someone isn’t trained in reading food labels and sees that the juice is green, they will automatically think it’s healthy. In other words, most juice companies place one green veggie in the bottle but the rest of the ingredients are tropical fruits. So the juice looks healthy but is actually loaded with blood-sugar-spiking fructose (fruit sugar). 

Many juice cleanse companies load their products with 30-50 grams of sugar per bottle! (Organic Green Drink contains just 3 grams of sugar per 8 oz serving.) How can they get away with this? Well, if their customers think it’s healthy because it’s green and get hooked on the taste because they’re already addicted to sugar, then let the buyer beware. 

woman sitting on bed holding stomach in pain

The Most Common Juice Cleanse Side Effects

So what do most people feel when they do a commercial juice cleanse? Without a doubt, they can lose weight pretty quickly. And isn’t that the point of doing a cleanse? If you’re invited to a wedding in Cabo in a few short weeks and you have to lose weight fast to fit in that new dress, isn’t the devil in the details? 

I’m here to tell you that there’s no point in losing weight quickly if it will make you feel miserable. There’s also no point in wasting your money if you’re quickly going to put the weight back on. The fact is that you can lose weight safely and steadily and keep it off without experiencing side effects. I’ll tell you how in just a moment. But first, here’s what consuming only (mostly) fruit juice for 3, 5, 7, 10 or more days will do to you:

  • Constipation
  • Blood sugar swings
  • Irritability/moodiness
  • Cravings
  • Energy crashes
  • Muscle wasting
  • Brittle nails
  • Thinning hair
  • Brain fog

And that’s just by day 3 usually. The longer you do one of those crazy juice cleanse or detox diets, the more likely it is you’ll experience more severe juice cleanse side effects such as heart arrhythmia (a rapid heart beat from a lack of electrolytes and trace minerals from solid, whole-food). 

woman with hair in towel, worried expression

How To Avoid Cleanse Side Effects

Whether doing a juice cleanse, a colon cleanse or taking detox supplements, here’s the best way to support your health and avoid side effects. 

Pre-Cleanse

Before starting any cleanse/detox protocol, it’s critical that you do a pre-cleanse. That means no immediate transition from eating mostly fast food and processed food to doing the cleanse. It also means no subsisting on caffeine and energy drinks and then quitting cold turkey. You need to gradually change your habits for a minimum of 3 days. Ideally, 7 days would be great but I realize many people want immediate results. However, I refuse to compromise about doing a minimum of a 3-day pre-cleanse to avoid any detoxification side effects. 

Now the question becomes what’s a pre-cleanse and how do you go about it? The answer is so simple yet I’ve never seen any other juice cleanse business educate customers about the pre-cleanse. That’s why I designed the ChefV.com 1-DAY, 3-DAY and 5-DAY cleanse with pre-cleanse (and post-cleanse) instructions. Basically, ChefV.com provides you with several practical resources such as an EAT THIS/NOT THAT guide, a HEALTHY PORTIONS guide and an e-cookbook I wrote with dozens of recipes, including healthy mocktails and smoothies. 

Avoid Juice Cleanse Side Effects By Having More than Juice

Most juice cleanses are just that, a menu that consists only of juice (to reiterate: mostly fruit juice with a tiny bit of green veg to trick ya into thinking it’s healthy). But to avoid the side effects I listed above, you have to consume more than just juice. Now I know what you may be thinking. How can I detox my liver and digestive system if I’m eating? 

Who said anything about eating? With the ChefV.com CLEANSE, I provide you with not only 4 Green Drinks per day but also 2 vegan Protein Shakes and 1 DETOX SOUP. 

The protein shakes provide ultra-absorbable pea protein to maintain your lean muscle mass and prevent brittle nails and hair. 

The Detox Soup accelerates the purging of toxins from the body and contains a tiny bit of healthy dietary fat to prevent cravings. 

Now ask yourself this: Have you ever seen a cleanse that offers protein shakes and detox soup? If you have, there’s a good chance they’re copying us, but hey, as they say, imitation is the best form of flattery.

Another thing to look for in a cleanse is to learn what to do immediately after the cleanse is over. That’s why I provide all my cleanse customers with instructions on how to keep the results going. 

Other Ways To Avoid Cleanse Side Effects

In addition to doing a ChefV.com cleanse, here are other things I recommend:

  • Stay super hydrated! – Yes, you’ll be peeing a lot. But drink lots of pure/RO water, herbal teas and other non-sugary drinks.

  • Eliminate toxins from your home – Stop using plug-in air fresheners, cosmetics with synthetic fragrances and soaps and hair-care products with petroleum-based products. Spend the extra money on organic household cleaners and personal care products. Your health is worth the extra money!

  • Get More Sleep – Obvious but worth mentioning. When your body releases trapped toxins, you’ll need the extra repair and restoration that comes with deep sleep.

  • Take prebiotics – You’ve heard of probiotics, but prebiotics? Prebiotics are like fertilizer for probiotics. The fiber you get from veggies, including the 7 leafy greens in Organic Green Drink contain indigestible plant fibers that your beneficial bacteria gobble up. And when the good bacteria eat this fiber in your gut, they release a healthy compound called short-chain fatty acids. Your body will be better able to detox as a result. 

Experience The Chef V Cleanse Difference

Thousands of satisfied ChefV.com customers can’t be wrong. If I staked my reputation entirely just on the number of pounds my customers lost, well, I’d be like McDonald’s (over 1 billion served). It’s not about the number on the scale. It’s about how the Chef V community feels. Awesome, rock-steady energy, no caffeine needed, healthy-looking skin, stable mood, high vibrations and yes, looser-fitting jeans. 

Got any questions about my cleanse and 21 Day Detox program? Feel free to email me at chefv@chefv.com

To your health and happiness, 

Veronica “V” Wheat
ChefV.com founder

a green drink a day can support your mood

Top 5 Research-Backed Benefits of Green Drink

Top 5 Research-Backed Benefits of Green Drink

Want to know the benefit of green drink?

Pretend that as you’re reading the following sentence, you’re 8 years old and I’m your mommy:

“Eat your vegetables!”

What did you think to yourself when your mom lectured you about eating your veggies?

“Yeah, yeah, whatever mom. I want pizza!” (And if you were a sassy kid, you said that to her out loud.)

Now that you’re older and smarter, you know mom was right. Unfortunately, very few people seem to have wisened up, at least when it comes to nutrition. Shockingly, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that only 1 out of 10 people in the USA eat enough servings of fruits and veggies.

Sipping on Green Drink is the easiest way to get your daily dose of health-boosting veggies. In fact, 16 ounces of Green Drink is the equivalent of 3 servings of fresh vegetables. Studies show that green, leafy veggies offer numerous positive outcomes for health. Here are my top 5 Green Drink health benefits:

green drink and losing weight

#1: Weight Loss & Metabolism

First benefits of green drink: The 7 certified organic green leafy veggies in my Green Drink are rich in calcium. Most people are familiar with calcium as a bone-building mineral. But calcium, especially from veggies, also helps with weight loss. That’s because calcium helps the body burn fat, rather than storing it.

Research shows that diets high in calcium-rich green, leafy veggies boost metabolism. And one study suggests that when you consume enough calcium, it stifles the desire to eat more.

The same study found that women who consumed diets poor in calcium had more body fat, bigger waistlines, and higher bad cholesterol levels than those who consumed moderate or large amounts of calcium.

Here’s another way my Green Drink leads to a slimmer waistline. Because it’s made using cold-blended processing, much of the fiber from the veggies are preserved.

Studies show that fiber intake is inversely associated with body weight and body fat. In other words, the more fiber you consume from veggies, the more likely you’ll be able to manage your weight.

And, of course, another way fiber helps you lose weight is because it helps keep your bowel movements regular.

I could go on and on about how green leafy veggies helps you lose weight. But let’s move on to the next benefit of Green Drink.

green drink and diabetes

#2: Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Second benefits of green drink: Research shows that because kale contains a significant amount of fiber, it prevents post-meal elevation of plasma (blood) glucose.

Researchers believe that kale lowers blood sugar because it increases intestinal viscosity in the gut. What’s intestinal viscosity? You see, in your gut, when you eat fiber, it interacts with water to create a gooey, gel-like substance. Although hearing that fact might be, well, unappetizing, this gel substance in your gut is great for normalizing blood sugar.

The gel also prevents you from feeling hungry, mainly by slowing down your digestion. Don’t confuse slow digestion with slow metabolism. Slow digestion is beneficial for weight loss and blood sugar. When your body burns up food too quickly, you get a hankering for junk carbs.

For this reason, kale is considered a superfood for people with type 2 diabetes. But you don’t have to eat raw kale to get the blood-sugar-lowering benefits. Just Green Drink it (as long as it’s cold-blended like my Green Drink)!

green drink and gut health

#3: Gut Health

Third benefits of green drink: Some people are focused with how their gut looks from the outside (6-pack abs). But the health of you gut on the inside is even more important. The bacteria in your gut controls all aspects of your health, from how effectively your body burns fat to your mood as well as the appearance of your skin.

If you drink my Green Drink everyday, you’re supplying your good bacteria with their favorite food. The 7 veggies contain prebiotic fibers. You can think of prebiotic fiber as energy dots that Ms. Pac Man gobbles up.

Again, don’t believe my hype alone. Let’s look at the science, too. In one study, a veggie-juice-based diet was shown to improve gut health. In the study, the participants consumed only a vegetable/fruit juice blend. By the fourth day, the researchers noticed less harmful strains of gut/stool bacteria and more beneficial bacteria. Having enough friendly critters in your gut, as creepy as it may sound, is necessary for sustained weight loss and other health benefits.

Chef V making green drink

#4: Detox

Fourth benefits of green drink: Diets rich in green leafy veggies improve liver function and fatty acid profiles, says a study. When your liver is functioning more optimally, toxins are better eliminated. This keeps you healthier and enhances weight loss.

Your liver has to be in optimal condition in order to properly detoxify and break down dietary fat. If you have a “sluggish” liver, you’ll have trouble losing weight.

The study concludes that green leafy veggies not only improves liver health but also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

Bonus points for Green Drinks! And all it takes as drinking one bottle a day. That’s one of the easiest, most affordable detox strategies you’ll ever find.

chefv and coconut with kale

#5: Mood, Energy, Skin, Sleep, Concentration, Stamina & More

Fifth benefits of green drink: There are so many ancillary benefits to consuming green leafy veggies everyday. From feeling happier and more energetic, to having healthier looking skin, to sleeping more soundly and not suffering from brain fog.

There are so many ways that Green Drink will transform your life. And all it takes is sipping a minimum of 16 oz. a day. You don’t have to shop, chop, blend, or clean up. Pretty easy, right?

Top Five Ways to Use Green Drink – Perfect Morning Detox

Top 5 Ways to Use Green Drink

Now that your Green Drink has arrived, what do you do with it? Here are the top five ways to use Green Drink.

Should you chug the whole thing in one sitting like you’re at a frat party? Or do you daintily sip it like Mary Poppins drinking a cuppa tea? Whether you chug or sip is totally up to you. More important is learning how to incorporate Green Drink into your everyday routine.

top 5 ways to use Green Drink #1

Top 5 ways to use Green Drink #1: Perfect Morning Detox

When you wake up in the morning, it’s the perfect opportunity to gently detox your liver. So here’s how to do it. After you wake up in the morning, drink at least 8 ounces of water. Optional: add a lemon wedge or some lemon juice. (Lemon juice helps assist the detox process.)

But don’t have your Green Drink just yet. Wait for about half an hour. Give your liver some time to do its purification thing. This is the one time of the day when your liver won’t have to process anything you’ve eaten.

OK, now it’s time to have some Green Drink. Drink at least 16-24 oz. in the morning. The 7 certified organic green veggies will quickly fuel your cells with the nutrients they need for energy and metabolism.

If you’re going to eat solid food in the morning, try to wait half an hour after consuming Green Drink. Again, this is the time of day when you want to give your liver the best chance to flush out trapped toxins.

Many people make the mistake of eating in the morning, before drinking water and Green Drink. When you eat food, your liver doesn’t get a chance to rest and detox. In fact, not eating breakfast is another way you can use Green Drink, which leads us to the next way to use it….

Top 5 ways to use Green Drink #2

Top 5 ways #2: Wait Until You’re Hungry

I actually wait until I FEEL hungry before having my first serving of daily Green Drink. It’s amazing … after two 8-ounce servings, my hunger instantly vanishes. And then, I’ll actually wait a little longer before I eat my first solid meal of the day.

If you want to accelerate your weight loss, do this before every meal. Wait until you’re hungry, then have some Green Drink. If you want to make your Green Drink last longer, you can do 8 oz. in the morning and then 4 oz. before both lunch and dinner.

top 5 ways to use Green Drink #3

Top 5 ways #3: Drink it All Day 

A Green Drink customer owns a yoga studio right down the street from where our East Coast Chef V Cafe is located. (If you’re ever in West Caldwell, NJ, stop by and say hi!). From time to time, random people will come into our cafe and say, “We saw this woman in great shape with your drink. She told us she gets a big jug of Green Drink in the morning and sips on it all day until dinner.”

Now, you don’t have to just eat one meal a day. But if you want to lose some weight quick, say, for a wedding, having Green Drink for breakfast and lunch (or breakfast and dinner) is an awesome way to shed the pounds, fast.

Intermittent Fasting

Top 5 ways #4: Intermittent Fasting

You’ve probably heard of intermittent fasting because it’s become very popular. My husband, Brandon, and I have actually been doing intermittent fasting long before it became a health trend. We feel great doing it. It’s not a diet, it’s more of a lifestyle!

In case you’re not familiar with it, here’s the skinny: When you go several hours between dinner and your first meal the following day without eating, your body burns its reserves of fat for energy, instead of sugar. Brandon and I usually fast for 16 hours.

Not only will fasting 16 hours help you get leaner, it offers other health benefits such as improved focus and concentration. Studies suggest it might even lengthen your life. But you don’t have to fast for 16 hours at first.

For the first week, try 12 hours. Push it to 14 hours the following week and then 16 if you’re feeling great. Sixteen hours has shown the most benefit. But even if you just fast for 12-14 hours, you’ll likely experience positive results. 

The most important thing is when you break your fast, break it with 16-24 oz of Green Drink. My body is so used to fasting that I’m never hungry in the morning. Come to think of it, that’s another way I use Green Drink….

For my complete Green Drink Intermittent Fasting Guide click here

smoothie

Top 5 ways #5: Make It Into A Smoothie

To make a smoothie: Add ½ cup ice and ½ cup unsweetened almond milk.

For Green Drink smoothie recipe ideas, I’ve included this handy download for you.

Upgrade to an Annual VIP Plan!

vip plan cleanse

UPGRADE TO AN ANNUAL VIP MEMBERSHIP

RETAIL TOTAL $5999 UPGRADE  – $2199
SAVE $4000

Chef V VIPS Receive:

2 x 64 oz Bottles Weekly
2 x 3 Day Cleanses
Private consultation with Chef V
Chef V’s Recipe Book
Tumbler
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In the plan:

Weekly Green Drink
or Tropical Green Drink for a year

Easiest, tastiest & most affordable way to boost your metabolism, lose weight, have younger looking skin, tons of energy, mental clarity and good vibes.

Green Drink has Certified Organic: Black Kale, Green Kale, Collard Greens, Green Leaf Lettuce, Curly Parsley, Green Chard, Dandelion Greens, and Apple with filtered water. Only 3 grams of sugar/serving.

Tropical Green Drink has a little extra sweetness from pineapple and mango without sacrificing your health. Only 6 grams of sugar/serving!

green drink

In the plan:

Two 3 Day Cleanses a year

Yes! It’s possible to cleanse your body and reboot your digestive system without feeling famished. Cleansing has never been easier and tastier.

  • Crank up your metabolism & gently get rid of toxins in as little as 1 day
  • No Cravings. No suffering. No energy crashes
  • Contains all the nutrients you need for natural energy all day
  • So Satisfying! Green Drinks, Protein Shakes & Detox Soups.

3 day cleanse

In the plan:

Private consultation with Chef V

You'll receive a 30 minute private consultation with Veronica Wheat, Chef V – an opportunity to ask your questions and learn from a certified nutritionist and successful entrepreneur.

Veronica says: “Most organic juice detox programs do not result in sustainable results. That’s because they aren’t satisfying enough. If you’re drinking nothing but juice, even if it’s organic juice, your body is likely not receiving the nutrition it needs to be satiated.

That’s why Chef V’s Organic Cleanse is the best cleanse. The green drinks, shakes and soups give you all the nutrition you need to stay satisfied.”

Chef v with Green Drink

Chef V’s 24-Hour Guide For Elevating Your Mood

girl holding chef v product at fair

More than 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience a mood disorder from stress at some point in their lives. If you suspect you may be suffering from any mental/mood disorder, seek professional help. If you’re looking for practical tips to elevate your mood, Veronica — the “V” in Chef V has some to offer.

When it comes to natural ways to boost mood, I have a bone to pick with Johns Hopkins University. JHU is one of the most preeminent higher educational institutions in the country, a de-facto Ivy League school on par with Stanford and MIT. But when I did a Google search for “boosting your mood,” this ridiculously short and worthless article of only 4 paragraphs was the second-highest-ranked. 

I wasn’t looking for advice that reads like a doctoral thesis. But considering millions of people are in desperate need of a mood makeover, JHU’s article reads more like a third-grade book report. Pathetic. 

So instead of relying on the so-called experts, I decided to draw upon my real-world experiences. The following are 12 things that I do every day to support my mood. And they work like magic. I’m not saying that every day I feel like a unicorn who poops 24-karat gold. But on way more days than not, my mood is stable and elevated. 

wake up sign on coffee shop window

Natural Ways To Boost Your Mood 

Tip #1: Wake Up Early & See The Light

If you like to sleep in and you’re thinking, ain’t no way I’m getting up before 8 — and just because I have to for work — just hear me out. Here are 5 reasons why waking up around sunrise will boost your mood:

Circadian Rhythm Reset

First of all, waking up at first light is like superfood for your circadian rhythm. It finetunes your body’s internal natural light-dark cycle and promotes a more harmonious sleep-wake pattern.

Melatonin Regulation

Not only should you wake up at dawn or by sunrise, I want you to look outside your window. If you have a panoramic view, all the better. You see, when you wake up early and are exposed to sunlight and a broad, sweeping vista, your body receives a signal to decrease melatonin production. Your brain gets the signal to wake up and be alert but with a calmness-inducing, mood-enhancing effect. 

Vitamin D Synthesis

Vitamin D isn’t just for bone health, it’s also helpful for mood. So before you start scaring at your screen all day for work, get outside and expose your eyes and skin to the sun to synthesize vitamin D. 

Serotonin Production

Getting outside and enjoying the early morning sun increases your serotonin levels, a feel-good chemical. Low levels of serotonin are linked with depression and other mood disorders. 

Sets You Up For A Successful Day

Rolling out of bed when it’s the last thing you wanna do sucks. But eventually, you’ll learn to love the routine of waking up with dawn’s early light. It establishes a routine that makes you feel good for the rest of the day—unless you’re hungover, which you should never be if you want to boost your mood.

veronica meditating

Boost Your Mood Tip #2: Meditation or Deep Breathing

After I wake up early and expose my eyes to a panoramic view with sunlight (even if it’s a cloudy day), the next thing I do is meditate or do some deep breathing exercises. If meditation is too weird or difficult for you, you don’t have to sit with your eyes closed for long with your mind free of thoughts (that’s not the point of meditation, plus it’s impossible). Just staring out your window for a few minutes is meditative. But if you only have time for meditation or deep breathing, I’d pick deep breathing because almost anybody can do it and instead of trying not to think, your mind is simply focused on breathing. I like this Wim-Hof dialogue-free guided video. The journal Neurological Sciences says “deep breathing can induce an effective improvement in mood and stress.”

Veronica and Coco walking in desert

Boost Your Mood, Naturally. Tip #3: Exercise Before Work

I realize that asking you to do the following 3 things before you have coffee is a big ask: 1) wake up early and stare out your window; 2) meditate or do deep breathing exercises, and 3) do a total-body exercise routine. Especially if you have a busy day. But keep in mind that when you wake up with the roosters, you’ll have plenty more time to do most, if not all, of these natural mood-enhancing activities. 

So before you start your work day, squeeze in a 30-minute walk or other exercise routine like yoga. Bonus if you can exercise outdoors. Going for a walk in a fasted state (before you eat) is not only good for your mood but also for your metabolism. 

Mood-Booster Tip #4: Journaling

OK, one more thing to do before it’s time to break your fast and that’s journaling for 10 minutes. Whatever’s on your mind, anything that you are anxious about, write it down on paper. You can even rip the paper up at the end of the day. Doesn’t matter. The most important thing is that you’re easing the anxiety triggers by putting pen to paper. It’s proven to be therapeutic. I prefer to journal in the morning because if I wait until nighttime, I’ll be too tired. 

green drink and glass

Boost Your Mood Tip #5: Green Leafy Veggies For “Break-Fast”

You don’t have to be a certified nutritional therapist like me to know that having donuts or cereal for breakfast: not healthy. Sure, devouring a maple frosted will give you a shot of dopamine. But this false sense of happiness is short-lived. Instead of a standard American breakfast, break your fast with green, leafy veggies. I’m not suggesting making a huge salad. There’s a far easier way to get your daily dose of green, leafies: drink them fresh, delivered to your home!

9 out of 10 Americans don’t consume enough veggies. Having an Organic Green Drink first thing in the morning kills 2 birds with one delicious bottle. It hydrates and gently detoxes your system and is proven to support mental health

fruit smoothie

Tip #6: Have A Protein-Rich Smoothie for 2nd Breakfast

Relatively few people have an extreme case of protein deficiency. But many people aren’t getting an optimum amount of protein in their diet. And most people who are eating a lot of protein are eating the wrong kind: factory-farmed meat. 

As Mental Health Connecticut beautifully explains it:

“The foods you eat impact the structure and function of your brain, playing a major role in emotional regulation and cognitive function. Foods rich in protein contain amino acids to help produce key neurotransmitters in preventing and treating depression and anxiety.”

And unlike carbs and dietary fat, we need to eat protein every single day because our body does not do a good job of storing it. 

So about 30 minutes after having a 16-ounce serving of Organic Green Drink, I’ll make a protein-rich smoothie with an easy-to-digest vegan protein like brown rice or pea powder. I add some dietary fat like sunflower seed butter and avocado to fill me up and keep me satisfied until it’s time for my first true meal of the day a few hours later…

My smoothie recipes

mandarin chicken salad

Tip #7: Have a Big Mediterranean-Style Lunch

By now, you’re feeling great and you’re brain is firing on all cylinders. You’re doing great work but now you’re tummy is rumbling. It’s time to eat a real meal, not a liquid lunch. Now here’s where many people go wrong. Instead of eating a big meal, they just have a sandwich or a salad. It’s quick and filling enough but not bloating. 

The problem with soup, a sandwich and a salad is that a couple of hours later, you’re hungry again and your energy crashes. You didn’t eat enough! 

That’s why I recommend eating a large lunch that consists of these 4 things:

  1. Whole grains – quinoa, brown rice, couscous, farro, millet, etc.
  2. Veggies – steamed, stir-fried, or baked 
  3. Lean protein – a double fist-sized portion of high-quality fish or chicken (beans or lentils if you’re vegan/vegetarian)
  4. Dietary fat – a small portion of avocado, nuts and/or seeds, or extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

Research shows that not getting enough of these ingredients, common in the Mediterranean Diet, may help prevent depression. Plus, when you eat an entree-sized portion of these ingredients, you’ll be satisfied, leading to a more stable mood for the afternoon. (You may not even need a cup of coffee in the afternoon.) 

cheesecake

Tip #8: Eat Dessert After Lunch Every Day!

Don’t stuff your face at lunch. Make sure you have room for a tiny portion of dessert. A healthy dessert of course. Have a couple of handfuls of berries and a couple of small pieces of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa). Dark chocolate contains several compounds that boost mood

Chef V's cheesecake recipe is delicious and healthy in small portions. Get it and all her dessert recipes here

Tip #9: Walk After Dinner

No joke … walking for just 2 minutes after dinner lowers your blood sugar levels. But what does blood glucose management or diabetes prevention have to do with boosting your mood? Research shows that high blood sugar levels have been shown to “closely mirror mental health symptoms, such as irritability, anxiety, and worry.” This should come as no surprise, says the University of Michigan School for Public Health, as the brain runs primarily on glucose.

Brandon, Veronica, Coco in bed

Tip #10: Cuddle Time

Whether it’s with a significant other or pet, cuddle up with a loved one. Even brief cuddle sessions have been shown to boost well-being. Don’t have a loved one, bipedal or furry? There are other ways to raise your oxytocin levels, the so-called cuddle hormone. Lie down, place one hand on your heart, the other on your belly and take several deep, slow breaths. 

Tip #11: Affirmation Meditation Before Bed

Finally, before you go to sleep (hopefully by no later than 11 p.m.), take 5 minutes to recite self-affirmations. (Here’s a simple one I like: “I am happy, healthy and wealthy.”) There are many free videos and apps you can follow. The Association for Psychological Science says, “Self-affirmation has been shown to have powerful effects … it can minimize anxiety, stress, and defensiveness.”

Tip #12: 28 Days To A Happier, Healthier You

The ChefV.com 21-DAY DETOX was recently the subject of a clinical trial by Citrus Labs. The 38 participants who completed the 21-DAY DETOX followed by a 7-day continuation of a GREEN DRINK plan reported a significant improvement in mood and several other wellness markers. 

Experience a mood-boosting transformation with organic green drinks, vegan protein shakes, detox soups and healthy meals. Learn more here

Here’s to a happier, healthier you!

Love,

Veronica “V” Wheat
ChefV.com founder

a green drink a day can support your mood

A Green Drink A Day Can Support Your Mood: Research Proves

a green drink a day can support your mood

Warning: stay away from me today. I got a late start to the day, skipped my daily morning yoga routine and didn’t have my Green Drink as early as I usually do. I’m having one of those days. Yes, dear hubby, Brandon, I still love you but watch out. Don’t get too close. I may bite!

 Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels off when skipping a wellness routine. A green drink a day can support your mood. My long-time, trusted graphic designer, Jean, the one responsible for making the Chef V newsletter look like a fancy glossy magazine, told me she feels “down in the dumps” if she goes a couple days in a row without having her Green Drink. 

Well, Jean, that’s exactly why I created my Green Drink Plan, to ensure you’ll never run out! But I get it, even if you get GD delivered to your home, life can get intense and overwhelming and you can just forget the things that help you live a high-vibration life. It happens, we’re only human. 

And Jean’s certainly not the only customer that feels off when skipping GD for a few days. But what is it about the 7 green leafy veggies that after you drink it, makes you feel like you’re going to conquer the day? Do the greens serve as a catalyst for cellular energy? 

No doubt that leafy greens are beneficial for cellular health and energy. But there’s also research that shows these highly-nutrient dense ingredients support a healthy mood. 

a green drink a day can support your mood

Green Leafy Veggies For Mood

According to World Journal of Psychiatry, 12 nutrients are critical to the prevention and treatment of depressive orders: Folate, iron, omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), magnesium, potassium, selenium, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and zinc. 

The highest scoring plant foods (those with the most of the dozen nutrients) are leafy greens and cruciferous veggies. Lettuce and peppers also made the list.

Co-authors of the World Journal of Psychiatry study analyzed several foods for “Antidepressant nutritional density.” The results were tabulated in a scoring system called the “Antidepressant Food Score” or AFS. 

“The AFS is based on a nutrient profiling system devised to identify foods with the highest nutrient density of nutrients with clinical evidence to support their role in depressive disorders,” the researchers explained in the article. 

Could it be that the reason many customers feel like they’re on their A-game when they make Green Drink part of their daily routine is that the 7 ingredients are at the top of the AFS scoring system? 

That’s food for thought. Er, drink for thought…

Lettuces like green leaf lettuce, an ingredient in Organic Green Drink, has an AFS score of 74% to 99%. 

Green chard, another staple of GD, scores 90%. Parsley: 75%. Kale and collard greens score 62% and dandelion greens 43%. 

Now that’s not to say that 43% is a low score. Remember, all these ingredients in Green Drink rank at the top of the list for the best foods on the planet for supporting positivity. Evidence that a green drink a day can support your mood.

“The nutrients considered have been shown in human studies to be beneficial with regards to treatment or prevention of depressive disorders,” concluded the researchers.

a green drink a day can support your mood

Are You Eating (Or Drinking) Enough Veggies? 

Unfortunately, many foods with a high AFS are not staples of the Standard American Diet. Most adults in the U.S. don’t meet the daily recommendations for vegetables. In fact, The Healthy People Initiative, launched by the Federal Government’s Department of Health and Human Services found that only 27.2 percent of adults ate three or more servings of vegetables per day. 

I get it. Life’s busy. And that’s why I created the Green Drink Plan so you can easily consume 7 leafy green veggies that are some of the best plant foods on the planet for supporting mental health.

Here’s to feeling good!

a green drink a day can support your mood

Chef V’s Guide to Healthy Postpartum Weight Loss

This article was written in September 2023.

Two short months after giving birth to almost 10-pound Kaden Samuel Kress, Veronica — the “V” in Chef V” — has lost 45 pounds of the 55 she gained. Just 10 more extra pregnancy pounds to shed and V will return to her pre-pregnancy shape. What’s her secret and tips for postpartum weight loss? 

pregnant Veronica and Brandon

I’m stoked! I just got clearance from my OBGYN to resume my pickleball obsession, hit the gym and practice yoga. I’m soooo ready to get back to my active lifestyle. It’s not like I was a total sedentary sloth after giving birth to baby Kaden. I made sure to move around a little here and there. But giving birth is not only a miracle, it’s exhausting! Rest and recovery are just what the doctor ordered. 

But going two months without engaging in my favorite physical activities was starting to drive me crazy. Being super active and then having to stop for weeks is like telling a tiger to ditch its stripes. 

Despite feeling shackled and prohibited from doing high-impact exercise, the post-partum speed bump in my belly has almost completely flattened. And most importantly, I feel amazing. I’ve lost 45 of the 55 pounds I gained during my pregnancy. How did I do it without spending hours on the pickleball court or running on the beach and completely abstaining from serious exercise? 

Green Drink under $7 a day

The Answer to V’s Post-Partum Weight Loss Success

Well, I’m not just the founder of ChefV.com, I’m also a client. And no B.S. here, I attribute my quick post-partum recovery to the foods I eat.

If you’re planning on giving birth soon or down the road and you want to know the secret to quick post-partum weight loss, I realize my answer might be disappointing. 

Maybe you were hoping I’d reveal a few tricks. But completely getting rid of the pregnancy pounds is not magic. It’s actually very simple. It always comes down to diet. Pure and simple. 


NOTE: 12/23 – Veronica lost all 55 pounds and tells you how she did it, what she learned about postpartum and gives you a meal plan for safely losing the baby bump. READ IT HERE


How Long Should It Take To Lose Pregnancy Weight?

Is it okay to take your time losing pregnancy weight? Nobody would blame you if you did. But you might not want to take too much time. That’s because according to a 2019 study published in the journal Nutrition, postpartum weight retention is both a short- and long-term risk factor for being overweight and obese. The researchers write, “Postpartum obesity has remained a clinical and public health challenge. The greater gestational weight gain is a strong predictor of higher postpartum weight retention.” In other words, the more weight you put on during pregnancy, the more weight you’ll have to lose after you give birth. 

Again, it’s not rocket science. 

But it’s not just how much you weigh after you give birth that’s at stake. It’s also your overall health. “The physiological and biological changes coupled with high-calorie intake and restricted physical activity may further augment the risk of higher postpartum weight retention, weight gain and related metabolic comorbidities later in life,” suggests a research study in an Indian OBGYN journal

So what’s a decent goal for losing pregnancy weight? That same journal suggests that postpartum women with normal body weight but substantial postpartum weight retention — at least 10 pounds — as compared to pre-pregnancy body weight “should be motivated to attain pre-pregnancy body weight over a period of 12 months after delivery.”

How Quickly Should You Resume Exercise After Giving Birth?

That study from India I mentioned? It says that postpartum women with uncomplicated delivery should be encouraged to gradually resume physical activity within four to six weeks post-delivery or as soon as they feel comfortable. 

Women with cesarean or complicated deliveries should gradually resume physical activity after their first postpartum check-up (i.e. six to eight weeks post-delivery). 

No matter what, postpartum women “must be encouraged to engage in low impact exercises such as walking and gradually include core muscle group strengthening exercises,” the researchers suggest. 

Shoot for building up to 5 days a week of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, including some muscle-strengthening activity. 

Eat This, Not That For Post Partum Weight Loss

I love giving back. It’s a research-backed way to feel awesome. And one way I want to pass it on is to offer a free download of my e-cookbook, Making Cleansing Easier. If you follow the recipes, diet resources and instructions to a “V” then you should have no trouble losing the pregnancy pounds. 

The appetizers, snacks, drinks, entrees and even desserts include powerful anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense ingredients.   

But look, everybody and post-partum body is different. Take it easy. Be kind to yourself. If it takes you 6-12 months to lose the baby weight, then so be it. In fact, it’s common for it to take that long. But your baby is a precious lifetime miracle, so focus more on that bundle of joy than the meaningless number on the scale. If you eat real food the overwhelming majority of the time, you’ll feel great and that’s what counts. 

To your health—and baby’s!

Love,

Veronica “V” Wheat
Founder, ChefV.com

Green Drink vs Greens Powder: Is There A Unanimous Winner?

When it comes to drinking your greens, which is better for your health …

Option 1: Make your own veggie juice or have GREEN DRINKS delivered.

Or, option 2, mixing a greens powder?

Powder? Backed by billions in venture capital funding, social media influencers, and slick marketing campaigns, it’s easy to see why greens powders may have a leg up in popularity. But how does dehydrated powder stack up to cold-blended veggie juice nutritionally? ChefV.com founder and certified nutritional therapist Veronica “V” Kress weighs in…

hand holding greens

I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted me to start with a disclaimer. 

Yes, my opinion on the fresh, cold-blended green drink vs. greens powder debate is biased. After all, ChefV.com, which I founded in the early 2010s, delivers the former and has no plans to sell the latter. I’ll explain why in just a bit…

But first, let’s go through each variable and see who comes out on top, green veggie juice (green drinks) or greens powder.

green powder

Convenience

I understand that one of the biggest selling points of greens powder is convenience. If you’re traveling out of the country, it’s easier to bring a tub of powder than a gallon carton of Green Drink. 

Advantage greens powder? Score: Greens Powder 1 Green Drink 0???

Not so fast.

ChefV.com’s Organic Green Drink home delivery plan offers a convenient way to consume your daily dose of green, leafy veggies. Both Green Drink home delivery and Greens Powders are far easier than the hassle of shopping for produce each day, chopping the veggies and cleaning up the juicer. 

So let’s consider the score a tie after the first frame. And I’m scoring generously here because I’ve tried several greens powders that did not disintegrate when I stirred, even after a full minute. Clumps and all, I’ll call it 0-0.

The bottom line is that 90% of Americans aren't eating the minimum daily requirement of vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In light of this, whatever way you find it easiest to get your daily dose of disease-fighting green, leafy veggies, go for it. 

But let me tell you why I have no plans on offering greens powder even if one of the VCs from Shark Tank called me offering to bankroll it. 

Nutrient Density

Again, if someone goes from eating fast food and drinking soda for the majority of their calories to using a greens powder, I’m all for it. But if we’re keeping score here when it comes to nutrient density, cold-blended raw Organic Green Drinks hits a grand slam. Greens Powder strikes out. Is my scoring a bit exaggerated? Mmm, maybe. But without a doubt, fresh green juice is superior for maintaining nutritional integrity.

You see, many brands of greens powders freeze-dry their ingredients. Besides killing the fresh right-out-of-the-ground taste that only farmer’s market produce has—Chef V sources all 7 certified organic green leafy veggies from local farmers—this freeze-dry process destroys some of the nutritional content. 

freeze dried and fresh kale

Are Greens Powders better for you than a Big Mac? Of course, but when comparing fresh green drinks to freeze-dried powders that can sit on the shelf for months, there’s no comparison when it comes to who wins the nutritional preservation contest.

Winner: Green Drinks

HEALTHY EATING RESOURCES

CHEF V RECIPE ARCHIVE

CHEF V’s COOKING SCHOOL (Free videos)

What Do I Eat Today? (Free recipes)

Making Cleansing Easier (Free e-cookbook)

Purity

“I love drinking juice that taste’s like grass clippings,” said nobody, not even people who love doing wheatgrass shots. To make a green veggie juice taste appealing, it needs to have something added. 

With Organic Green Drinks, my recipe contains a tiny bit of organic green apple and organic apple juice. Even with these two additions, the total sugar content for an 8-oz serving is 3 grams. (For those who have a sweet tooth and are weening off of added sugars, Chef V offers a Tropical Green Drink with mango, pineapple and pineapple juice, which adds only 3 more grams of sugar.)

What do some (not all) Greens Powder makers add to make it sweet? Sugar or fillers and additives that enhance texture. Not to mention that Greens Powders had a problematic history of being contaminated with heavy metals

apple and pineapple

On the other hand, cold blended leafy green vegetables are prepared using fresh produce. This ensures that the nutrients remain intact and that the flavors are preserved. While green powders might be convenient, the advantage of consuming fresh, organic, whole-food vegetables cannot be understated. 

In making Organic Green Drinks, Chef V takes no shortcuts. Every order of Green Drink is made to order fresh and contains 7 certified organic leafy greens for maximal nutrient density. 

Winner: Green Drinks

Below, Veronica takes you on a tour of the Chef V kitchen

Bioavailability

Bioavailability means how quickly and effectively your cells uptake (use) the nutrients. I admit that there are no studies (none that I found anyway, believe me, I looked high and low) directly comparing the nutrient absorption of green drinks versus greens powders. (If you’re a nutrition geek like me and come across a study like this, let me know!) 

In theory, the synergistic effects of various compounds in whole foods might contribute to better nutrient absorption than freeze-dried powders. But here’s what I’ll do since I can’t find a smoking gun, scientific comparison: I’ll call it a draw.

Winner: A Draw

Veronica and Brandon with product, kale, and blender

Truth In Advertising

With wellness influencers and well-funded marketing campaigns promoting greens powder brands, it’s very easy to be swayed and trust that what you see is what you get. 

But as ConsumerLab.com, an independent non-profit research organization points out, “Although many greens products contain a long list of ingredients, specific amounts for each ingredient are not always provided.” Even worse, some brands of greens powders make false claims about their health benefits, such as curing hangovers

In comparison, with ChefV.com Green Drinks, what you see is what you get. 7 certified organic green leafy veggies and a wee bit of apple added for some sweetness. There’s even clinical research that backs using Green Drinks for improving several health and wellness biomarkers. 

Winner: Organic Green Drink

Gut Health

Chef V Organic Green Drinks are raw, which means that the beneficial bacteria are retained in the cold-blending process. The same can’t be said about greens powders, many of which use high-heat pasteurization, which can kill many of the friendly microorganisms that feed your gut and create healthy compounds called short-chain fatty acids. 

Winner: Organic Green Drink

Above, take a tour of the Chef V kitchen with Veronica

Final Verdict: Organic Green Drinks Vs Greens Powders

Look, I didn’t intend to get into a pissing match with greens powders. But I felt like I had to defend the honor of my humble Green Drink. This is a David vs. Goliath nutritional showdown. Chef V is clearly the David in this picture. We haven’t reaped the benefits of multi-million-dollar checks from deep-pocketed Silicon Valley backers. The fruits of our labor and sweat equity have come at the expense of inflation, the soaring cost of goods and services, all the while doing our best to keep prices steady for our loyal customers. 

But I’ll take the easy way out and give the final parting slingshot to registered dietitian Jemma O'Hanlon, who told Huffington Post Australia, “I'm not a huge fan of green superfood powders, simply because they're a highly processed version of the real thing, and are not really a 'food' that we can cook up a meal with.” O’Hanlon added, “We don't have strong research to support … health benefits from consuming them, but we do have a huge body of evidence to support the consumption of 'real' fruits and vegetables. You know, the ones that you can pick off a tree and eat or pull out of the garden bed.” 

Increase your intake of organic, fresh, green, leafy veggies the easy way with Chef V’s Organic Green Drink delivery plan

Go Veg: Thicker Hair, Healthy Gut, Smooth Skin, and Strong Nails

Veronica hair loss improvement

 

The study Chef V commissioned from an independent laboratory concluded that when study participants completed the Chef V detox and continued to use the Chef V Green Drink plan, they experienced a 39.8% improvement in hair loss.

The best veggies for a healthy gut, skin, hair, and nails are the same as the ones in Chef V’s mega-popular Green Drink. And it’s no coincidence that these same veggies are also the best for helping you cleanse and detox. Chef V covers how each of the veggies benefits your beauty.

I created the recipe for Organic Green Drink several years ago back when I was a private chef. Over time, demand grew for my Green Drink and that’s really the catalyst for launching Chef V.

I did a ton of research for the Green Drink recipe. I wanted to select the best veggies that would not only taste amazing cold-blended, but that would also be the best for a 3 day cleanse or 21-day detox. And as it turns out, the seven veggies in Green Drink not only happen to be the best for cleansing and detoxing, they also happen to be the best veggies for skin, hair, and nails.

Now I admit, it would be a pain in the behind to have to chop green kale, black kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, green chard, curly parsley, and green leaf lettuce every day. And then have to juice it. Then clean up.

The main reason why I transitioned from being a private chef to launching Chef V: making healthier easier for people just like you. And it doesn’t get any easier than having a bottle of our certified organic Green Drink delivered to your home.

Not only can you lose weight, gain energy and sleep more soundly by having Green Drink every day, but there’s also a very good chance your skin, hair, and nails will look better.

So let’s take a look at how the ingredients in Green Drink are the healthiest veggies for skin, hair, and nails.

meditate

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Kale

Sure, there’s some excessive kale craziness these days. But for good reason. Kale is rich in vitamin K. And it’s really hard for most people who eat the average American diet to get enough K. Vitamin K actually helps minimize dark circles in your eyes. That’s why it’s one of the best veggies for skin.

In fact, kale can even help tighten your skin. How? Well, one of the reasons why your skin isn’t as tight when you get older is that the aging process weakens your collagen. Collagen is the body’s main structural protein. In fact, over one-third of the thousands and thousands of proteins in the body are collagen proteins. Collagen provides strength to your tendons, ligaments, teeth, nails, hair, bones, gut lining, and much more….

The vitamin C in kale along with the antioxidant, lutein, promotes collagen regrowth and production. In addition, the vitamin A in kale helps prevent damage to the skin. It also repairs and damage to the epidermis.

There’s a good reason why kale has been added to several beauty products. Because it’s such an efficient detoxifying nutrient, kale can help clean your pores. It’s even beneficial for your hair pores. Moreover, kale contains fatty acids such as omega-3s. These fatty acids provide moisture to your hair and skin.

There’s even a nail polish with kale extract. Supposedly, it can help stimulate keratin production. Keratin is the other main protein that’s in your nails.

These facts about kale make it one of the best veggies for skin, hair and nails. So drink your Green Drink and schedule that kale facial!

kale

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Dandelion

Another incredible detoxifying green veggie in our Green Drink is dandelion. Dandelion widens your pores. That’s how it helps your body get rid of toxins. And according to this article, dandelion shrinks wrinkles. It may also help whiten dark spots and reduce fine lines.

Like kale, dandelion also contains lots of beta carotene and vitamin C. It’s also rich in the B vitamins and vitamin E, which is a standard ingredient in many skin care products. Moreover, the minerals and trace minerals in dandelion may actually help regrow hair.

dandelion

Lettuce

One of the main reasons why lettuce is good for your skin is it contains the following three minerals: silica, sulfur and phosphorous. You don’t need a large quantity of these minerals from the foods you eat. That’s why they are called trace minerals. But these three trace minerals are vital for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. Without doubt, you’re not going to get many benefits by eating iceberg lettuce, which is devoid of nutrition. But green leafy lettuce can also protect your skin against harmful UV rays.

So now do you see why I selected these six veggies (7 really; Green Drink includes two different types of kale)? Not only are they the best-tasting and most detoxifying, they’re also the best for your skin, hair and nails.

Veronica in kitchen with blenders

Lettuce

One of the main reasons why lettuce is good for your skin is it contains the following three minerals: silica, sulfur and phosphorous. You don’t need a large quantity of these minerals from the foods you eat. That’s why they are called trace minerals. But these three trace minerals are vital for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. Without doubt, you’re not going to get many benefits by eating iceberg lettuce, which is devoid of nutrition. But green leafy lettuce can also protect your skin against harmful UV rays. So now do you see why I selected these six veggies (7 really; Green Drink includes two different types of kale)? Not only are they the best-tasting and most detoxifying, they’re also the best for your skin, hair and nails.

Is There Any Proof Green Drink Improves Sleep Quality?

Several Chef V customers recently posted how having a Green Drink first thing in the morning has improved their energy throughout the day and even their sleep quality. So I decided to look into the connection between how green leafy veggies affect sleep quality. I also provide a handful of tips on how to get restful zzzzz’s. 

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a thousand more times…

The easiest, healthiest thing you can do to start your day is to have 8-16 ounces of Organic Green Drink. It’s not a shameless sales pitch. Ask any of the thousands of Chef V customers who follow this daily piece of advice and they’ll tell you that it just sets you up for a great rest of the day. Your energy will be rock-steady. You’ll be slightly buzzing with a high vibration. Not jittery buzzing, but just an optimistic, pep-in-your-step great feeling.

But there’s a catch…

If you’re having a Green Drink in the morning, will the good vibes last well into the night? In other words, can consuming green leafy veggies actually support sleep quality? Yes – clinical research apparently proves the point.

In 2023, ChefV.com products were the focus of an independent clinical trial by Citrus Labs. The 38 participants who completed a 21 DAY DETOX and then continued on a GREEN DRINK plan for 7 days saw vast improvements in all areas of their life. This includes a 34% reduction in inflammation and an average weight loss of nearly 8 pounds, and a 44% improvement in sleep quality.

Research on Green Veggies & Sleep Quality

According to a 2021 study in the Swiss journal, Antioxidants, green leaf lettuce (one of the 7 certified organic veggies in Green Drink) was shown to bind to GABA receptors. I’ll break it down in plain English.

So GABA is a neurotransmitter, which are chemical messengers in the brain. Having great communication is key to almost everything in life and it turns out that for sleep and overall health, it’s crucial.

And in order to have rejuvenating sleep and feel relaxed, your GABA neurotransmitters have to be able to get the message that they need to be activated. This is because GABA is like your brain’s natural valium—without the addictive side effects.

So what’s in lettuce that activates GABA and leads to better sleep quality? Well, the researchers believe that the antioxidant called quercetin plays a big role. You may have heard of quercetin. I know people who take quercetin supplements. I guess it can’t hurt to take a quercetin supplement but I always advocate getting the real thing from food.

V’s 3 Most Important Sleep Tips (Besides Green Drink)

In addition to eating (and drinking) lots of organic green, leafy veggies and other produce, here are 3 things that help me get better sleep:

  • Meditate 

With so many meditation apps to choose from, many of them free, you don’t have to be a Buddhist monk in order to achieve a more restful, relaxed state. My favorite app is the Calm app.

I listen to the daily Calm every morning for 10 mins and usually every night before I go to bed.
It also helps me if I wake up too early – I can do the daily mediation and usually get back to sleep.

Try to listen to a sleep or meditation app for 15 minutes before you try to fall asleep for the night. If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep, follow along to the app for another 10-15 minutes.

  • Feast at lunch, eat a light dinner

A lot of people are so busy during the day that they barely have time to eat lunch and when they do, it’s usually something not substantial enough and not well-balanced. Turkey sandwiches come to mind. Instead, try carving out time and eating a large lunch with a healthy grain like quinoa, a big portion of roasted/steamed veggies and a lean piece of protein like fish or tempeh. Then for dinner, have soup and salad.

  • Get Adequate Exercise

I notice that on days when I’m not as active as I’d like to be (hasn’t been happening that much lately because of my new pickleball obsession), I don’t sleep as well.

Make sure you move your body enough during the day. I know it’s tough for many people who work remotely on their laptop all day. But try to take a few mini-movement breaks during the day.

And don’t forget to start each day with Organic Green Drink! Here’s to getting plenty of restful zzzzz’s.

Leafy Greens in Green Drink Block Blue Light

I also came across a study in the curiously named journal, Cureus, which said that leafy greens contain micronutrients that can positively influence sleep:

  • Tryptophan
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Fiber
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Choline
  • Beta carotene

So let’s talk about some of these micronutrients that are in Organic Green Drink. For starters, the researchers of this study said that fiber “has been shown to be associated with deeper and more restorative sleep.”

So in case you’re wondering what the heck lutein and zeaxanthin are, they are the most important antioxidants for vision and eye health. And the cool thing about these two micronutrients that are also found in Green Drink is that they are natural filters of high-energy blue light. That helps support sleep because blue light, which is emitted from smartphones and other electronic devices, suppress your body’s production of the sleep hormone, melatonin.

And that’s the reason why you should always put your phone in airplane mode when you go to bed and turn off all other electronics in your room a good hour before you want to fall asleep. If you have a TV in your room, get rid of it; move it into another room and stop watching well before bedtime.

Look, I could go on and on with these research studies. If you want to check more out, here ya go.) Now I’m not saying if you struggle with really difficult insomnia that having a little Green Drink in the morning is the cure, or if you eat a salad for dinner you’ll sleep like a baby. But there is plenty of evidence that associates green leafy veggie consumption with better sleep quality.

What I Ate to Lose 55 Pounds After Having a Baby

what do I eat today liquids

Hello, fellow new Moms and friends!  I'm here to share my experience with losing 55 pounds after having my baby, a journey with some dietary surprises and a lot of learning. Trust me, it's not your typical weight loss story!

Let's dive into the world of postpartum diets. Like many, I assumed that eating lots of salads and raw foods was the way to go. However, I quickly learned that postpartum nutrition requires a different approach.

Instead of my usual diet, I shifted to eating more warming foods. This included soups, bone broths, meat with bone, raw milk, and raw cheese. It was a significant change from my previous eating habits, but it was one that I found to be beneficial.

lemon water

During this time, I also delved into learning about the “fourth trimester.” This concept emphasizes the importance of healing your body postpartum through rest and proper nutrition. It was enlightening to understand how crucial this period is for new mothers. By listening to my body and adapting my diet, I was able to lose 55 pounds in less than four months.

Breastfeeding exclusively also played a role in my weight loss journey. Not only did it help me shed pounds, but it also supported my baby's nutrition. I learned that eating right and taking care of your body can positively impact your milk supply.

While I reduced my intake of salads and raw veggies, I didn't eliminate greens from my diet altogether. I continued to enjoy my daily green drink, which provided me with essential nutrients and kept my energy levels up throughout the day. This was a great way to maintain a balanced diet without relying too heavily on raw vegetables.

While you’re probably thinking that this isn’t the same diet I’ve recommended for cleansing. And that is correct.

Cleansing is a different journey than all together just losing weight. Cleansing can help you lose weight and detox your body so your gut is more able to digest certain foods and allow the rest of your body to function more properly.

Cleansing is great once in a while but it’s best to have the Green drink daily and continue on a whole food diet post cleansing.

I still recommend easing into and out of the cleansing process with my precleanse list approved foods but for moving forward in your day, an organic whole food diet is always the best thing for your body, gut and weightloss. 

berry parfait

Through this journey, I realized that losing weight after having a baby isn't just about the number on the scale. It's about making informed choices about your diet and listening to what your body needs. This approach not only helped me lose weight but also taught me the importance of nurturing my body during such a crucial time.

For anyone embarking on their postpartum weight loss journey, remember that it's about finding a balance that works for you. Every mother's experience is unique, and it's essential to focus on what makes you feel healthy and energized. Here's to a journey of health and self-care post-baby! 🌟💪👶

Books I recommend:

The FourthTrimester -Kimberly Johnson 
The First Forty Days – Heng Ou 
Real Food Pregnancy – Lily Nichols 

chai latté

What Do I Eat Today?
A One Day Menu
Typical of my Postpartum Diet

Breakfast: Green Drink and Chai Latte

First I have 16 ounces of my organic green drink. Twenty minutes later I have a Chai latte.

My postpartum chai latte is made with chai tea, wild local honey, cinnamon, and raw steamed milk.

RECIPE

Raw milk has many health benefits

Raw milk is often said to be high in essential nutrients like vitamins (A, B, D), minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus), enzymes, and beneficial fats. Some say that raw milk has probiotics that are good for gut health.

Raw milk may be easier to digest compared to pasteurized milk, possibly due to the presence of lactase-producing bacteria, which may help lactose-intolerant individuals.Some studies suggest that drinking raw milk during childhood could be associated with a lower risk of developing allergies and asthma. However, these studies do not prove the claims as further testing is needed.

Breakfast: Breakfast Taco

I like to make a big batch of these for the week so when I’m hungry after breastfeeding and playing pickleball I have a super nutritious meal To eat.

Of course I always chug my greens post workout but about 15 minutes after that my body is ready for food.

These tacos are so good and you can actually lose weight eating tacos! Who knew?!

RECIPE

Lunch: Tomato-less Chili

While I generally do not use a lot of nightshade vegetables, I do think fresh or dried jalapeño peppers in small quantities add a kick to dishes and have detoxifying powers. For more protein, swap the cannellini beans with 1 pound of cooked ground turkey, if desired.

RECIPE

Dinner: Chicken teriyaki, brown rice and broccoli (Can also use salmon or ground turkey.)

Made with:
  • 1 lb organic chicken 
  • Salt pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 lb organic broccoli chopped and steamed in water with dash of salt. 

RECIPE

What to Expect From Green Drink When Expecting

One of the most common questions we get here at Chef V is from women wondering if it’s alright to be drinking green juice during and after pregnancy. If you’re expecting (or expecting to be expecting), this blog will cover all the basics you need when it comes to pregnancy and green drinks. 

Can a pregnant woman enjoy a green drink?

Let's get right into the main question here. Can you enjoy green detox juice while you’re pregnant? The short answer is, as is so often the case, it depends. So what does it depend on?

First is context. It makes sense that you’d want to avoid a low-sugar juice cleanse while pregnant, for example. During your pregnancy, you’re eating and drinking for two, after all. It’s not a good idea to radically decrease your food intake during pregnancy.

Of course, drinking some of that cleansing juice alongside your regular meals is a different matter. However, this also raises some interesting questions and concerns regarding the kind of juice you are drinking. 

Pasteurized versus unpasteurized

Most juice you can pick up in a grocery store will be heavily processed to make it more suitable for the global food transportation business; it will be pasteurized and filled with various additives. 

This creates something of a conundrum for pregnant women. On the one hand, drinking unpasteurized drinks could be dangerous, as it increases the risk of infection from raw produce. On the other hand, additives and preservatives in food can be potentially very dangerous to pregnant women as well. 

In the end, our best recommendation is to go organic, while also making sure you’re emphasizing freshness. Refrigerate any green drinks you make, and ensure that you drink them as quickly as possible. This keeps you safe from additives, while also reducing the risk from unpasteurized beverages. 

If you buy your green drink instead of making it, ensure you’re getting green juice delivery right to your door. This cuts down on time between when it's made and when it reaches you. You don’t want to be guessing how long unpasteurized juice was sitting on a store shelf!

Why green drink is great for pregnancies

So we’ve discussed a bit about whether you can drink green juice while pregnant. But why is this such a big deal anyways? Why do we get all the questions about it? Part of the reason is that there are a ton of benefits to enjoying some green detox juice while you’re pregnant. These benefits naturally boost interest in green drinks.

Detox juice is perhaps best known for helping people lose weight, get blood sugar under control, and better manage their digestive systems. However, it also offers a lot of other nutritional benefits. The iron, vitamin C, and calcium in a green drink can help keep pregnant women healthy, as do its anti-inflammatory properties. These nutrients also help boost the immune system, which is essential to keeping mother and child healthy. 

Green the best green juice delivery with Chef V

At Chef V, we’re all about staying healthy, at all times of the year. While you might know us for our low-sugar juice cleanses, we also do delivery of our signature green drink right to your front door! This means you can get an incredibly healthy blend of leafy greens, while also getting a guarantee of absolute freshness. You can check right now to see if your green juice delivery covers your area. 

Detoxing for Headaches and Migraines

Headaches, and even worse, migraines, show up unannounced and ruin the day. The throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea can turn a perfectly good day into a nightmare. It’s like a perfect storm brewing in your brain, with blood vessels constricting and then suddenly dilating, causing that head-splitting pain.

But fear not, for there are ways to avoid them. In this article, we’ll explore the powerful combination of a diet rich in green leafy vegetables and unprocessed foods, plus using a 21 Day Detox or Cleanse to reset your system. Chef V’s Detox plus her healthy eating plan will help you steer clear of migraines and lead a happier, headache-free life.

Before diving into our migraine-fighting strategies, let's understand what causes these painful headaches. Migraines are usually triggered by a combination of factors. Common triggers include stress, hormones, and dehydration. Genetics and even certain foods or drinks can all play a role. Bright lights and loud noises can also contribute to the onset and intensity of migraines.

Now, let's get to the heart of the matter: how to avoid migraines through a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, healthy eating, and by using the Chef V 21 Day Detox Program and Chef V Green Drink.

All of the Chef V products are based on the fact that green leafy vegetables are nutritional powerhouses and can play a significant role in migraine prevention. 

Some of the main nutritional benefits include:

Magnesium: Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in magnesium, which has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Magnesium helps relax blood vessels and reduces inflammation, two key factors in migraine development.

Vitamin B2: Foods like spinach, collard greens, and broccoli are high in riboflavin, which may help prevent migraines by improving mitochondrial function and reducing oxidative stress.

Folate (Vitamin B9): Leafy greens are also abundant in folate, which supports healthy brain function and helps regulate neurotransmitters, potentially reducing the risk of migraines.

Detoxifying your body by cleansing with a Chef V 21 Day Detox can help prevent migraines.

Chef V’s 21 Day Detox helps you with menu plans and healthy substitutes for processed foods. Using an elimination diet can help you identify the food triggers and sensitivities that might be causing your migraines.

The Chef V Plan’s healthy eating days include recipes with detoxifying foods like beets, ginger, turmeric, and lemon to help your body remove toxins. For the biggest change to your system, stick to the mostly vegan & vegetarian recipes in Chef V’s cookbook “Making Cleansing Easier” and to her healthy eating guides while doing a detox.

A migraine-free life is within reach through a combination of  a healthy diet, a focus on dark green leafy greens, and a body reset with a Chef V 21 Day detox, followed by having a daily Green Drink every morning

By paying attention to your body's signals, avoiding trigger foods, and nourishing it with essential nutrients, you can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant dietary or lifestyle changes, especially if you have severe or chronic migraines. Here's to a headache-free future filled with vitality and well-being!

Adaptogens: The Medicinal Plant All-Stars That Help Conquer Stress And Fatigue

adaptogen examples

Out of tens of thousands of medicinal plants on Earth, only a tiny percentage have been classified as “adaptogens.” Over the last few years, adaptogenic herbs have become a huge health trend.

Certified nutritional therapist and ChefV.com founder Veronica “V” Kress explains what’s so special about adaptogens and managing stress.

mushrooms

Fungus is finally friendly! 

While adaptogens, also called adaptogenic herbs, have soared in popularity, relatively few people know exactly what makes an herb adaptogenic. So let’s get to know them… 

One of the top selling points for adaptogens is that they help regulate the amount of stress hormone, cortisol, released from the adrenal glands. In doing so, they help your body healthily adapt to stress.

It wasn’t long ago that mushrooms were just a squishy, flavorless topping for pizza or a second-tier ingredient in a stir-fry. Only eccentric people were fond of fungus for food. 

Now all of a sudden, mushrooms are all the rage. Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Chaga and other fruiting fungal bodies now enjoy A-list, red-carpet superfood status. Mushroom coffee? Unthinkable a decade ago. But these days, more and more people are breaking up with coffee and sipping functional fungal elixirs instead. These edible ‘shrooms, mostly in powder form, are examples of adaptogens.  

mushroom coffee

What Are Adaptogens?

They’re the cream of the crop of the medicinal plant world. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, 50,000 to 80,000 plants are used medicinally. Although there’s no exact number of adaptogenic herbs on the planet, the number of herbs classified as ‘adaptogenic’ doesn’t exceed a few hundred. Some plant medicine experts put the number far lower, at a few dozen. 

So what makes adaptogens the darling of the plant medicine world? Well, as the name implies, adaptogens help the body “adapt” to stress. Running an Organic Green Drink delivery company, doing everything in my power to keep costs low for my customers despite inflation and the soaring cost of goods and services, and nursing a newborn? Yup, I got some stress. 

That’s why I’ll typically add an adaptogenic powder to my protein smoothie, which I take about 30 minutes after fueling my cells with Organic Green Drink in the morning. I’ll tell you which adaptogens are my favorites below, and suggest some Smoothie recipes to add them to.

(I should also mention that I have reduced the frequency and dosage of adaptogens now that I’m breastfeeding. There’s no telling if baby Kaden will get a sudden burst of energy and skip naptime because the power of adaptogens came through my breastmilk!) 

To be classified as an adaptogen, herbalists and botanists generally agree on a few principles:

  • Non-Specific Action: Think about a prescription medicine you’ve taken. That drug was designed to have one specific action, like lowering blood pressure or blood sugar or inhibiting serotonin reuptake. In comparison, adaptogens don’t just have one action. Instead, they help the body adapt to any kind of stress in a non-specific way.
  • Promote homeostasis: Adaptogens restore balance to the body. They do this by regulating physiological processes. One of the top selling points for adaptogens is that they help regulate the amount of stress hormone, cortisol, released from the adrenal glands. In doing so, they help your body healthily adapt to stress.
  • Non-Toxic and Safe: Unlike pharmaceuticals and many non-adaptogenic herbs, adaptogens are generally considered safe and have a low risk of toxicity and side effects.
  • Biphasic: This means that adaptogens can have either an energizing or calming effect. For example, adaptogens can help the adrenal glands crank out more cortisol when needed or reduce the amount when the adrenals flood the bloodstream with cortisol like a burst dam. Adaptogens help energize an underperforming organ and reduce activity in a hyperactive one. 

ADD ADAPTOGENS
TO THESE SMOOTHIE RECIPES

Chef V's Smoothie Recipes

Chef V’s Immunity Smoothie

Piña Kale’oda Smoothie

Chef V Tropical Smoothie

Green Protein Smoothie with Kale

Adaptogens you might use are described below.

When Were Adaptogens First Discovered? 

No, Gwyneth Paltrow was not the first adaptogenic trailblazer (despite what the Goop blog may say). That credit goes to Soviet scientists in the 1940s like Dr. Nikolai Lazarev and later, to doctors Israel Brekhman and Alexander Panossian. 

Research on adaptogens in the mid-20th century was conducted when the Soviet Union was competing neck-for-neck with the USA for global superpower status. Russian scientists discovered that when soldiers, athletes and workers were given the adaptogenic herb, eleuthero (Siberian ginseng), they could perform at high levels under intense stress such as little sleep and extreme weather. 

But the history of adaptogenic herbs dates much further back than a century. These special medicinal herbs (and fungi) have been used since prehistoric times. And what’s really interesting about many of the most commonly used adaptogens is their own resiliency to stress. 

HEALTHY EATING RESOURCES

CHEF V RECIPE ARCHIVE

CHEF V’s COOKING SCHOOL (Free videos)

What Do I Eat Today? (Free recipes)

Making Cleansing Easier (Free e-cookbook)

Adaptogens Have Their Own Stress To Deal With

Adaptogens don’t have to worry about paying the bills. But many of them do have to survive under the harshest conditions. For example, I already mentioned Eleuthero. That grows in the harsh taiga of Siberia, where hardly any other plants can take root. 

Another adaptogen that survives freezing conditions is Rhodiola root, which grows in high-altitude Arctic regions. 

Maca root has developed a reputation as a libido enhancer and hormone balancer. If it can survive the harsh Peruvian Andes climate, with hurricane-force winds, blinding sunlight and miserable soil, maybe Maca can make miracles happen in the bedroom. (This study says Maca can help reverse sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women who took antidepressants.)

Another example of a fascinating tale of survival in the plant kingdom is the adaptogen known as holy basil (Tulsi). Native to the scorching-hot, arid Indian subcontinent, holy basil thrives even under desperate drought conditions. 

One more example is Ashwagandha. Like holy basil, this adaptogen thrives in arid, hot AF India as well as North Africa and the Middle East. 

Just as these adaptogenic herbs have not only survived but thrived in harsh climates, they can help us adapt to stress and support our own resilience and well-being, even in the face of adversity.

What Are The Benefits Of Adaptogens? 

Adaptogens might be the ultimate natural stress-busters. And in helping our bodies adapt to stress in a balanced, non-specific way, they may also help: 

  • Support immune function
  • Promote energy, vitality, stamina and endurance
  • Improve mental clarity 
  • Balance mood 
  • Calm the mind

What Are The Best Adaptogens? 

In addition to the adaptogens I mentioned, the following ones have shown promise in research studies:

  • Licorice root
  • Goji berry
  • Schisandra fruit
  • Astragalus
  • Angelica root
  • Acai berry
  • Shatavari

mushroom and medicine capsules

Do Adaptogens Really Work? 

Instead of asking me, let’s see what the research says. According to a review of several studies published in 2021, in the journal Nutrients, “adaptogens could provide a number of benefits in the treatment of chronic fatigue, cognitive impairment, and immune protection. In the future, there is great potential to register medicinal products that contain plant adaptogens for therapeutic purposes.”

Earlier this year, a study focusing on adaptogens and skin health concluded: 

“Adaptogens can repair the skin barrier and maintain skin homeostasis by … influencing the oxidative stress pathway to inhibit inflammation, and regulating the extracellular matrix (ECM) components to maintain a dynamic equilibrium, ultimately achieving the treatment of skin diseases and the maintenance of a healthy state.”

Drug companies can’t patent adaptogenic herbs and make huge profits. So there are no large human clinical trials on adaptogens. Considering they’ve been used for thousands of years and our way of life seems to only be getting more stressful, I highly recommend adaptogens.  But I’ll still pass on the mushroom pizza.

This content is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals.

Teryaki Chicken or Salmon

Instead of my usual diet, after giving birth I shifted to eating more warming foods. This included soups, bone broths, meat with bone, raw milk, and raw cheese. It was a significant change from my previous eating habits, but it was one that I found to be beneficial. This teryaki chicken recipe became a favorite.

green soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb organic chicken 
  • Salt pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 lb organic broccoli chopped and steamed in water with dash of salt. 

Directions

Make the sauce recipe and let sit and cool. 
 
Using 1 lb of organic pasture raised chicken cover in avocado oil and salt and pepper.
 
Grill the chicken for 4 minutes in each side or until done. Thinner chicken will take less time than thicker. I usually butterfly my breast so they are thinner and cook faster. 
 
Prepare brown rice or quinoa per directions on the bag or box. 
 
Plate rice, steamed broccoli and chicken. Drizzle in teriyaki sauce and enjoy! 

 

Teriyaki sauce

1 cup coconut aminos or tamari sauce
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp red chili flakes (optional)

Boil sauce ingredients, stir and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Use as a glaze for chicken, fish, any meat or veggies for teriyaki style.

Breakfast Taco

I like to make a big batch of these for the week so when I’m hungry after breastfeeding and playing pickleball I have a super nutritious meal to eat.

Of course I always chug my green drink post workout but about 15 minutes after that my body is ready for food.

These tacos are so good and you can actually lose weight eating tacos! Who knew?!

taco

Ingredients

Makes 6-8 tacos

    • 12 eggs
    • 1 pack siete cassava flour tortillas 
    • 1 tbsp avocado oil
    • 1/4 cup raw cheddar cheese
    • 1 pack organic bacon – no sugar added
    • Optional salsa, hot sauce and avocado

Directions

Cool the bacon on a parchment lined baking sheet. This is the absolute best way to cook bacon. It cooks completely even without ever having to turn it.
 
One trick I use is having the bacon room temperature before I add it to the sheet pan. Cook 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from oven and transfer cooked pieces on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up the excess oil. This will allow the bacon to cool and crisp.
 
Meanwhile cook the eggs. I use 1 tbsp avocado oil and then add the scrambled eggs to the pan to cook. Stirring continuously, add the raw cheese when the eggs are about 3/4 way done. Remove from heat. 
 
Heat the Siete tortilla on the stove in a small sauté pan. Just place the tortilla on the pan with no oil or anything. Warm each side for 30 seconds. Top with egg mix and crumble one piece of bacon on top. Optional to top with salsa and avocado  or hot sauce. 
 
Arrange and assemble the tacos in glass food storage for later use. I reheat one at a time in the microwave for one minute with a cover to help lock in the moisture. These keep all week. Enjoy! 

Turkey Chili

Chef V’s Tips: While I generally do not use a lot of nightshade vegetables, I do think fresh or dried jalapeño peppers in small quantities add a kick to dishes and have detoxifying powers. For more protein, swap the cannellini beans with 1 pound of cooked ground turkey, if desired.

green soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion,
  • diced 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 1 (15-ounce) can of each: kidney, cannellini, and black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce, or to taste (I like Trader Joe’s ® brand)
  • 1 lb ground turkey (optional)
  •  
  • OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
  • Sliced and seeded jalapeño pepper
  • ¼ cup Daiya ® cheddar shreds

Directions

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.

Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for about 3 minutes.

Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook for another 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, and add the vegetable broth, kidney beans, cannellini, black beans, and chili sauce.

Cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.

To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with sliced jalapeños or cheddar shreds, if desired.

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

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

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

PRAYER TWIST

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

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

What Do I Eat Today – Featuring Almond Flour Crusted Chicken

what do I eat today

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu starts with warm lemon water, then Green Drink. For breakfast, a new recipe for an Immunity Smoothie you are going to love.  For dinner,  my new recipe for Almond Flour Crusted chicken, served with my Mandarin Asian Salad.

lemons

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I'm hungry to have my Green Drink.

immunity smoothie

For Breakfast – Chef V's Immunity Smoothie

I've created this new Immunity Smoothie to start the day. Made with ginger, turmeric, kale and coconut water, it gives me extra drive as I start a busy day.

Get the recipe

For Lunch – Chef V's 'Chipotle' Mango Burrito Bowl

My “What do I Eat today” lunch is my Mango Avocado Burrito Bowl, a spin on Chipotle Mexican Grill’s awesome burrito bowls. Use my recipe as a starting point and add any of your favorite ingredients like grilled chicken or fish to make your own. You can also turn this into an easy wrap with gluten-free tortillas.  – Veronica

Get the recipe

Almond Flour Crusted Chicken, Mandarin Asian Salad

Dinner – Almond Flour Crusted Chicken

A new recipe that uses crushed almond flour crackers and a honey mustard sauce. It makes a delicious main course, accompanied by my Mandarin Asian Salad.

Get the recipe

Dinner – Mandarin Asian Salad

You can use lots of different greens to make this Asian inspired salad but I always include cabbage. If you are cleansing, just skip the mandarin oranges to keep it cleanse friendly.

Get the recipe

For Living Your Best Life, Eat This Not That Guide

 

You probably don’t need me to tell you to lay off the soda, donuts and Twinkies.

But because of conflicting diet advice, certain foods that aren’t clearly junk seem to straddle the fence. Maybe it’s healthy. Maybe it’s not.

Take eggs and butter, for instance. In years past, both these foods have been vilified by cardiologists. But in more recent years, as the link between saturated fat and heart disease has become not so evident, eggs and butter are no longer necessarily bad for you.

As a certified nutritional therapist, my mission is to help people reach their health goals as quickly as possible. And it’s for that reason, I still think butter and eggs, along with all dairy and most, animal products should be avoided.

Not forever, mind you. But at least when you’re embarking on a new health goal, you should avoid certain foods. This is especially true if your goals are to lose weight, increase metabolism, and cleanse your vital organs.

Now, if you want to skip the rest of this article and download my Eat This Not That guide, no worries. Just click and download it. But if you want to understand my rationale for advocating for certain foods while bashing the others, keep reading…

 

Should I Eat Dairy? 

The short answer is no. Not if you want to reach your health goals as quickly as possible. Here’s why you should avoid all dairy. Excluding the obvious reasons for avoiding dairy, such as lactose intolerance and dairy sensitivity, one of the biggest things that dairy can do to your body is cause inflammation. I’d even avoid organic dairy in the beginning of your health transformation.

Inflammation can manifest in several different ways. It can cause belly bloating, acne, joint stiffness/pain and gas. But don’t just take it from me. According to the Arthritis Foundation, a diet high in saturated fats – which are plentiful in cheese and full-fat dairy products – can increase inflammation. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2015 found that eating dairy foods increased low-grade inflammation in German adults.

Can you see why I’m not down with dairy? But if you love dairy, there are several substitutes I list in my Eat This Not That guide.

 

What About Animal Protein? 

Even when you do one of my cleanse programs, I make sure you’re getting adequate protein intake. Consuming sufficient protein is vital for preserving lean muscle mass, and for maintaining healthy hair and nails. Unlike carbs and fat, which your body can use for energy, your body only burns its own protein in a desperate last resort.

So, yes, protein is super important to eat—every single day (with the exception being an occasional 24-hour fast). But perhaps no other category of food can be super healthy and totally egregious to your health at the same time.

Take for instance wild salmon. It’s a superfood. On the flip side, there’s bacon. Both come from the flesh of animals. But the former is heart-healthy while the latter may contribute to cancer. Certain animal protein can help you reach your health goals while others will make it more difficult to notice positive results. See the chart below to find out which animal proteins I recommend.

Keep in mind you don’t need a ton of protein. In general, I recommend limiting intake of animal protein to once per day, with a portion about the size of your fist.

 


Can I Eat Grains? 

If you love grains, the good news is you don’t have to totally avoid them to reach your health goals. In fact, you can have brown rice, quinoa and several other types of healthy grains. See the chart below for more ideas.

But there are certain grains, such as white rice, which are lower in nutrients and tend to be digested very rapidly. You want to avoid carbs (grains are carbs) that are digested rapidly. That’s because when you eat something that burns up quickly, your stomach will send a signal to your brain that you’re hungry again.

And most often, that false hunger results in cravings not for healthy food like steamed broccoli, but for more empty carbs.

 

Print It Out!

Print 3 copies of the Eat This Not That guide. Hang one on the fridge. Bring one to work. And keep one in the car so that if you go to a restaurant or get invited to dinner, you’ll know exactly what to eat and what to avoid.

Try your best to stick to this list until you reach your health goals. Then, you can celebrate by introducing one or two foods on the right side of the list.

But there’s a good chance that after you reach your goals, your taste buds will be totally reset—you won’t even want to eat the “Not That” foods on the list.

Eat as much as you need to of the foods on the Eat This side of the list so that your belly is three-quarters full.

You’ll notice I suggest in the list to avoid certain fruits that are high in sugar. That being said, you can use some common-sense moderation. If you are craving something sweet and you don’t have any blueberries handy, eating a few grapes won’t knock you down a step.

So without further ado, download the guide: Eat This Not That

 

Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend

This pumpkin pie spice blend recipe is easy to make on your own, especially if you have a lot of spices in your cupboard. The recipe below is much better but you can always buy this one pre-made too.

  • 2 1/2 tbsp ground organic cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground organic ginger
  • 2 tsp ground organic nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground organic cloves

DIRECTIONS
Mix spices together and use for your pumpkin pie recipes this year.

How I Tamed my Gut – Gut Disruptors to Avoid

Certified nutritional therapist and founder of ChefV.com, Veronica Wheat has a warning if you’re trying to improve digestion and overall wellness: Avoid gut health disruptors! Veronica has avoided them for years with great success and now she’s dedicated to shielding her newborn from them. You’ll be surprised what’s on this gut-microbiome-wrecking list!

Antibiotics. Junk food. Stress. Nearly everybody knows they are major gut health disruptors. Gut disruptors destroy friendly bacteria and encourage the growth of harmful bacteria. 

Before my son was born, I  decided to inventory my family’s diet and remove the gut disruptors from our lives. I never suspected  that some of the things I found can make a mess of your gut!

Here’s what I discovered…

Veronica and Kaden

Why Are Gut Disruptors Bad?

These gut health destroyers don’t just lead to chronic digestive problems. They negatively impact your well-being in every way. Here’s what can happen when gut disruptors significantly alter the ecosystem in your gut microbiome:

  • Weak immunity (infections and illnesses)
  • Chronic inflammation (allergies, autoimmune disorders)
  • Mood disorders (anxiety and depression caused by poor neurotransmitter activity)
  • Poor metabolism and weight gain (insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes)
  • Skin problems (Inflammatory skin breakouts like acne, eczema, psoriasis)
  • Cardiovascular stress (high blood pressure, hardening of arteries)
  • Sleep quality (lower melatonin production)
  • Hormonal imbalances (worsening of PMS or menopausal symptoms) 
woman cleaning window frame

When you have too many harmful bacteria and not enough friendly ones in your gut, the medical term for this is gut dysbiosis. Think of your gut health like a house party. Everyone’s having a great time because all the guests are mellow, funny and enjoying stimulating conversation. This is the equivalent of great gut health.

But then a group of rowdy party crashers shows up and spoils the fun for everybody. This is what gut dysbiosis is like. Except with party crashers, the problem is resolved when the party crashers finally leave. But in your gut, harmful bacteria can stick around for a long time. And that can cause all the problems above. 

kids in a field

Common Gut Disruptors

Skip ahead to the next section if you already know about the leading gut disruptors. Because not everybody knows about the connection between gut health and overall wellness and the things that can easily destroy gut health, here’s a recap:

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are necessary—and potentially life-saving—if you have a bacterial infection. But if you have a history of popping them like they’re Pez candy whenever you had the sniffles, your gut microbiome has likely taken a beating. 

“Antibiotic use can have several negative effects on the gut microbiota, including reduced species diversity, altered metabolic activity, and the selection of antibiotic-resistant organisms, which in turn can lead to antibiotic-associated diarrhea and recurrent C. difficile infections.” Environment International

If you have recently taken antibiotics, I recommend taking a high-quality probiotic supplement to repopulate the good bacteria in your gut.

junk food

Highly-processed, low-nutrient-density food (Junk Food)

“Foods and beverages provide nutrients and alter the gut microbiota, resulting in eubiosis or dysbiosis,” says the study I reference below. In other words, every bite and sip you take impacts your gut health. What you eat at your next meal will drive you further into a state of eubiosis (a healthier gut microbiome) or dysbiosis (you’ll have more unfriendly bacteria crashing the party in your gut). 

“Chronic consumption of a diet that is high in saturated or trans fats, meat proteins, sugars, and salt and low in fiber induces dysbiosis.”

Annual Review of Food Science and Technology

—-> Want the easiest way to get more green leafy veggies in your life? Drink them fresh and unpasteurized, which is great for your gut microbiome! Get on the Chef V Organic Green Drink Plan.

man with postits over body

Stress

Got stress? Of course you do. Everybody does. Chronic stress can lead to junk food binging, which obviously disrupts your gut health. But never mind the consequences of negative behavior from dealing with stress like eating unhealthy or giving in to addictive behaviors. The inflammation caused by mental stress is itself a gut disruptor. In a study of frontline health workers during the pandemic, the researchers concluded:

“Stressful events … disrupted the gut microbiome; gut dysbiosis persisted for at least half a year.” 

Journal of Affective Disorders

I’ll also add insomnia here because chronic stress severely impacts sleep quality. 

“Accumulating evidence suggests that gut microbiota dysbiosis is associated with sleep-deprivation-induced human diseases.”

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

So learn to manage your stress by meditating, doing yoga, gardening, journaling, breathing, or taking a big whiff of Rescue Remedy

people running

Lack of Exercise—And Too Much Exercise

Studies show that exercise has a beneficial impact on your gut microbiome, which is the trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi in your GI tract. That’s why it’s important to move your body every day. (One reason why I love pickleball and yoga.)

But you don’t have to do crazy CrossFit workouts to support gut eubiosis. In fact, working out too hard can lead to gut dysbiosis. 

“Exercise is associated with increased biodiversity and a beneficial metabolic function, while exhaustive exercise training might be associated with dysbiosis of the gut microbiota, promoting negative metabolic effects and inflammation.”

World Journal of Gastroenterology

12 Uncommon Gut Disruptors Chef V Avoids (And Baby Kaden, Too)

So now that we’ve covered these obvious gut disruptors let’s now take a look at some that you may least expect. I’ve avoided these for most of my adult life and plan to keep baby Kaden away from them. Hey, call me a helicopter parent, I don’t care. When it comes to my baby’s health, I’ll go all grizzly mama. After all, as the study I reference above about antibiotics says, “Early childhood exposure to antibiotics can lead to several gastrointestinal, immunologic, and neurocognitive conditions.” 

And I bet the same goes for early exposure to junk food. 

OK, so here we go. Ready to have your mind blown by these gut disruptors? 

chewing gum

Chewing Gum

You’re not only what you eat, you’re what you chew. Pretty much the only time I’ll chew gum is when I’m on an airplane to prevent my ears from popping. Other than that, here’s why I avoid it:

For starters, sugarless gum is made with artificial sweeteners. Research (like this study) shows that artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, sorbitol, and sucralose are major gut disruptors. 

In addition, chewing gum not only disrupts your gut microbiome, it negatively impacts your oral microbiome. Your mouth, of course, is also a breeding ground for bacteria, both good and bad. Chewing gum is an oral disruptor. It prevents the growth of bacteria in your saliva. 

That may seem like a good thing if you have bad breath. But you need enough good bacteria to prevent infections of the mouth—and dank breath. Also, your oral microbiome (and the “feminine microbiome”) directly impacts the health of your gut microbiome. (And vice versa.)

Now let’s move on to the next uncommon gut disruptor…

Mouthwash

Just like chewing gum, gargling with conventional mouthwash brands can be a huge oral health disruptor. 

One common ingredient in major brands of mouthwash is chlorhexidine or CHX. CHX, says this study in Scientific Reports is “associated with a major shift in the salivary microbiome, leading to more acidic conditions and lower nitrite availability in healthy individuals.”

Now here’s why “nitrate availability” is important. Your mouth has bacteria that convert nitrate into beneficial compounds like nitric oxide (NO), which helps to open up your blood vessels, allowing for better circulation. 

So what do I do after I eat healthy garlic bread (with cassava flour) and my breath is kicking? I use organic or natural mouthwash. It may cost a few bucks extra. But the health of my oral and gut microbiomes is worth it. 

teflon pan

Next up seems like a random list:

Non-Stick Cookware
Microwave Popcorn Bags
Fast-food and Take-Out Wrappers
Stain-Resistant Carpet and Fabrics
Waterproofing Sprays

Why am I lumping these uncommon gut disruptors together? 

They all contain “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances” or PFAS for short. PFAS substances are known as “forever chemicals” because, if not literally forever, they take a really long time to decompose. Like hundreds or thousands of years. Not only are PFAS chemicals terrible for the environment, they are deadly for your gut microbiome and health. 

PFAS chemicals are added to products to make them fireproof, and resistant to grease. However, studies show that PFAS chemicals are major gut disruptors. I found one study from 2023 that especially hits home for me. It researches the effects of PFAS on a group of moms and their babies. PFAS compounds were shown to increase a specific type of unfriendly bacteria in the mommy’s stool and to a lesser extent (thank goodness), the babies’ poop. 

man with chemical testing

Preservatives & Additives

I’m gonna revisit junk food. Besides the loads of sugar and salt, another reason highly processed food is horrible for the gut microbiome is that it contains preservatives and additives. One example of an additive is polysorbate 80. It’s an emulsifier. Emulsifiers mix ingredients together that don’t normally blend well. Like oil and water for instance.

Studies suggest polysorbate 80 causes low-grade inflammation in the colon (large intestine). It’s in the colon where the majority of your gut bacteria colonize. They live here rent-free in exchange for helping you digest your food and produce byproducts that contribute to health like short-chain fatty acids. 

If you buy organic food, you don’t have to worry about ingredients like polysorbate 80. No need to panic if it’s not organic. But you should really start reading nutrition labels. 

So what are some examples of foods that include gut disruptors like polysorbate 80?

  • Salad dressings 
  • Processed cheese 
  • Ice cream
  • Sauces
  • Baked goods
  • Non-dairy milk
  • Candy

Want to learn to make your own healthy version of these foods? Then check out my recipe archives!

Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers

Got a minor headache? Does your tummy feel a bit off? Is your boo-boo throbbing? When those things happen to me, I try to toughen it out instead of taking OTC pain-relief medicines. That’s because non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can destroy your gut lining when taken in excess. And when your gut lining erodes, harmful bacteria can move into your colon, acting like gut party crashers. 

So take it easy on the ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin (Bayer) and naproxen (Aleve). Instead, use herbs, homeopathic remedies or essential oils to manage pain and swelling. Don’t worry, baby Kaden, I’ve got Rescue Remedy with me at all times. 

clean water

Tap Water

If your home doesn’t have a whole house water filtration system, consider installing filters on your shower head and kitchen tap. That’s because chlorine is added to tap water as a disinfectant. You wouldn’t drink water from a swimming pool. So why drink water from the tap or let your skin be exposed to chlorine in the shower? 

“Given the importance of the microbiome in health, persistent exposure to low levels of chlorine may be a hitherto unrecognized risk factor for gut dysbiosis, which has now been linked to virtually every chronic non-communicable disease of the modern era.”

Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

cleaning products in arms

Household Cleaners and Personal Care Products

If you’re still using mainstream brands of hair care products, skincare products, laundry detergent, dryer sheets and household cleaners, I beg you to stop. And so does your gut microbiome. 

Personal care and laundry products are severely unregulated and contain synthetic chemicals that can cause cancer and disrupt hormonal balance. 

Take, for example, formaldehyde in hair relaxers, which are used primarily by African-American women. Formaldehyde was classified as a carcinogen in 2004 but because of a lack of regulations for cosmetic products, it’s one of the main chemicals in hair straighteners. 

Thankfully, the FDA is considering banning dangerous gut-disrupting, cancer-causing chemicals like formaldehyde. And not a moment too soon after thousands of women, most of them African-American, have developed or are in danger of developing ovarian cancer and other reproductive cancers. 

I’m not in the habit of calling out brands that use harmful chemicals. But stroll through any supermarket aisle and pretty much every single brand of shampoo, conditioner, hair straightener, cosmetics and laundry contains deadly gut disruptors!

And that’s not an exaggeration. 

Bisphenols, phthalates, volatile organic compounds (fragrance), and not to mention heavy metals and pesticides literally kill your friendly bacteria.

Again, it may cost more to buy an organic or natural brand. But your gut health—which is your overall health—is worth it. Slash unnecessary spending so you can afford healthy brands. Research the toxicity levels of the cosmetics you use on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.

Veronica with pickleball

The Benefits of Avoiding Gut Disruptors 

It’s pretty easy to avoid most of these gut disruptors by:

  • Eating real food at least 90% of the time. (Organic, non-GMO preferably.)
  • Drinking and using purified water. (That includes cooking.)
  • Using organic or natural oral health, household and beauty products. 
  • Managing your stress.
  • Doing a periodic CLEANSE to reboot your digestive system.
  • Try Pickleball! (I love pickleball.) Or other regular exercise.

When you avoid gut disruptors and do other things to support your gut microbiome like having a GREEN DRINK every morning, good things happen. Here are the health benefits I’ve been enjoying for years. 

  • Strong immune function (Knock on wood.)
  • Iron stomach digestion (Even when I’m on vacation in another country. Again, knock on wood haha.)
  • Balanced mood (Hubby, Brandon, may disagree with me on that one!)
  • Weight management and metabolism (Great gut health is way more than having a flat tummy, although that doesn’t hurt.)
  • Looking Great and Feeling Great (‘nuff said.)

These benefits, I hope, will be passed on to baby Kaden. I’m breastfeeding him and gave birth to him vaginally. So he’s got a great gut microbiome head start. Let’s hope he doesn’t turn into a rebellious teenager and use these gut disruptors…

To great gut health.

Love, 

Veronica Wheat
ChefV.com Founder

Healthy Alternatives to Toxic Household Chemicals

There are four main pillars of wellness:

1) eating healthy,

2) exercising regularly,

3) managing stress and

4) minimizing exposure to toxic chemicals.

With the average person exposed to more than 100 toxic chemicals at home every day, certified nutritional therapist and ChefV.com founder Veronica Wheat focuses here on the fourth pillar.

“V” will show you how to reduce your toxic load by switching to natural alternatives for haircare and skincare products, household cleaners, and more. 

I've always been careful about what I bring into my home, and now that baby Kaden is here, I'm re-evaluating everything.

How might toxic chemicals effect my family? Does this sound like you? You’re getting healthier by starting each morning with Organic Green Drink. You’re physically active, maybe doing a mini yoga routine a couple of times a day, and you meditate for 5-10 minutes before bed and in the morning. But you still don’t feel your best. You still have brain fog and you can’t get your ish together without coffee

Could it be that the synthetic chemicals in the products you use to clean your home, wash your hair, use on your skin, and brush your teeth are the culprit?

woman cleaning window frame

The Dangers of Toxic Chemicals Found in Most American Homes

Chemicals could very well be to blame. You see, more than 100 types of common consumer products contain at least one, and often multiple, chemicals linked to cancer or reproductive and developmental problems, says research published May 2023 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology

Everyday items including soap, lotion, perfume, nail polish, laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid, and especially all-purpose cleaners are rife with this toxic brew of harsh chemicals. 

If you’re thinking, “How can these products be sold if they have such dangerous chemicals?” that’s a great question. Unfortunately, most of these chemicals are 

“mostly untested [for safety] and largely unregulated, with even known carcinogenic and endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals still found in some formulations,” explains Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health

And if you’re wondering why rates of certain chronic diseases seem to be soaring, studies show that exposure to synthetic chemicals has been linked to, among other diseases: 

  • Breast cancer
  • Autism
  • Asthma
  • Infertility and reproductive cancers

Why Your Cosmetics Aren’t Tested For Safety

Over 84,000 synthetic chemicals are used in the marketplace. But only 1% of them have been tested for safety, says Brigham Young University. Why is that? It’s because of a law that was written nearly 100 years ago. In 1938, Congress passed the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This legislation brought cosmetics, under the authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

So you’d think that cosmetics and other household products would be safe with the backing of federal law and an agency overseeing it. But the thing is that the FDA hasn’t done nearly enough to ensure the health of “We the People.”  While it is against the law for a company to sell harmful products, the ingredients in cosmetics do not have to be approved before they reach the marketplace or undergo an FDA safety review, explains PBS News Hour.

This law really has not changed since 1938. In 2022, the law was finally “modernized”. But there are more loopholes in it than there are holes in a donut factory. And with the average people using 6 to 12 cosmetic products daily—makeup, nail polish, shaving cream, face and body cleansers, moisturizers, etc.—that’s why you need to take your health into your own hands. And I’ll show you how to do that right now.

Synthetic Chemicals To Avoid

But first, I want you to go through your home and check to see if any of the products you frequently use contain these chemical compounds that have been linked to health problems. Also, do the same when you’re shopping. Start reading ingredient labels! Here is the list of chemicals you should avoid:

  • Phthalates
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) 
  • Parabens
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, like DMDM hydantoin and quaternium-15
  • Triclosan
  • Fragrance
  • PEG compounds (Polyethylene Glycols) and related chemicals (examples: Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol 1,4-Dioxane)
  • Toluene

I realize that it’s difficult to memorize this list. So there are two things you can do. First, print out this list or take a picture. Second, use an awesome website I’ll tell you about shortly. 

Air Fresheners: Plug-ins And Sprays Release Toxic Chemicals Into The Air

Problem chemicals in them: Too many to name

Does your home (or a home you’re visiting) have an overwhelming artificial scent that causes your eyes to water or your throat to close up? Blame it on the harsh chemicals in plug-in air fresheners and aerosol sprays. A study from the University of Washington shows that plug-in air fresheners contain more than 20 compounds associated with health problems. What’s more shocking is that seven of these chemicals are regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws. 

A while ago, I wrote about how toxic commercial name-brand laundry detergents are. Like detergents and dryer sheets, air fresheners do not have to list the chemical compounds on their product. Air fresheners contain volatile chemicals that you should avoid just to be safe. (Why take the chance on your health?)

Alternative: Let in fresh air into your home. Use an essential oil diffuser. Sage your home or use all-natural Palo Santo spray.

woman and skin images

The Dirty Dozen Chemicals in Skin Care Products

“No category of consumer products is subject to less government oversight than cosmetics and other personal care products.”
—Environmental Working Group (EWG)

The EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database currently contains over 97,000 products from over 3,400 brands. I highly encourage you to check out the skincare products you use to how the product or ingredient scores on the hazard range (1-10, with 10 being worst). 

EWG reports that “Since 2009, 595 cosmetics manufacturers have reported using 88 chemicals that have been linked to cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm in more than 73,000 products.”

On its website, the EWG includes a list of the most toxic ingredients in cosmetics. These include:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Phthalate (Dibutyl-, Diethylhexyl-)
  • Mercury
  • Paraben (Isobutyl-, Isopropyl-, Butyl-, Propyl-)
  • Lead

Many chemicals in skin care products are derived from petroleum. You probably know that the gas that goes in your car is made with petroleum, too. But would you try to minimize and smooth your fine lines and wrinkles by rubbing your face with gasoline? 

Of course not. But petroleum is prevalent in the everyday skin care products you’ve been using perhaps for decades. 

These toxic chemicals, even at low doses, are scientifically proven to disrupt hormone levels. Chemicals like phthalates and phosphates are “xenoestrogens.” Xenoestrogens are synthetic hormones that disrupt the body’s natural hormone-control mechanism: the endocrine system. Xenoestrogens alter your hormone levels by mimicking natural estrogen. 

Consequently, this can give rise to a condition known as estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance can result in certain hormonal-related cancers such as breast and ovarian. 

Safe Alternative: Replace your toxic cosmetics with one of the over 2,000 products listed as EWG-verified on the Skin Deep database. 

Toxic Talc

Problem chemical: asbestos

Another product I want you to avoid even if you don’t use it often is talcum powder. Talc is a mineral that is located in close proximity in the earth to asbestos, a carcinogenic mineral. When you squeeze a bottle of talc powder, tiny asbestos crystals can be inhaled and lodge in your lungs. Some people have developed mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs, allegedly because of talc powder. Using talc powder to keep things fresh below the belt may also cause ovarian cancer because the asbestos particles can migrate in the vaginal tract. In fact, nearly 40,000 people have filed talc cancer lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson (J&J). In 2018, 22 women with ovarian cancer, some of whom have passed away because of their cancer since then, were awarded over $4 billion by a jury because of their exposure to J&J’s talc powder. 

Safe Alternative: J&J stopped selling products with talc powder because of the lawsuits and negative publicity. But many people still have talc powder in their homes. J&J replaced talc with cornstarch, which is a safer alternative. 

Household Cleaners Make Things Spic ‘N’ Span, But At What Cost?

Problem chemicals: VOCs, ammonia and several others

According to the American Lung Association, all-purpose household cleaners can irritate the eyes or throat and cause headaches, among other problems. Many mainstream cleaning products release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which vaporize at room temperature. When you purchase one of these products, they often contain “natural fragrances” such as citrus. But citrus fragrance is anything but natural. It’s actually a VOC that pollutes your indoor air! 

Cleaning toilets is no fun. But inhaling toxic chemicals from harsh cleaners might be worse than seeing a dirty commode. The same goes for window cleaners, which contain harsh ammonia, Isopropyl Alcohol, Ethylene Glycol or Methylene Chloride. 

Safe Alternative: Expose your rooms to fresh air and sunlight, use essential oils with vinegar and water with baking soda for a truly “natural” clean home. For windows, mix equal parts water and white vinegar or combine water with a small amount of castile soap. For added scent or cleaning power, add a few drops of essential oils. 

woman with essential oils

Bug Spray: How To Avoid “Skeeters” Without Chemicals

Problem chemical: DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide)

If I were on a multi-day backpacking trip deep in the Borneo jungle, I admit that I would consider using DEET because it’s an effective insect repellent. But DEET can also be toxic. That’s why for repelling mosquitoes, I use one of these:

Safer alternatives: Lemongrass, Neem Oil, and other essential oils. Lemon eucalyptus oil contains a natural repellent called p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), which has been found to be effective against mosquitoes. Studies show PMD reduced biting by 90–95% for up to 6-8 hours, which is similar to how well DEET works. 

Laundry Detergents and Dishwashing Liquid

Problem chemicals: VOCs (surfactants) and more

If you want to know how crazy bad most laundry detergents and dryer sheets are, read this.

Dishwashing cleaners have a type of VOC called a surfactant, which makes the liquid foamy. The problem with surfactants is that they have “contaminated all surface water bodies such as lakes, rivers and the sea,” says a study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology

Safe Alternative: Instead of using toxic laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid, use natural brands like Seventh Generation or soft non-toxic pods that are free of plastic. 

Dirty Antibacterial Soap

Problem chemical: Triclosan (also found in mouthwash, facial cleansers, and many other products)

Triclosan was banned in 2016. But only in antibacterial soaps. It might still be lurking in other products in your home. In fact, research says 75% of the US population is likely exposed to this readily-absorbable toxic chemical. Despite the FDA banning it from hand soap, the agency rule doesn’t apply to hand sanitizers, antibacterial wipes or antibacterial products used in health care settings. 

Safer alternative: Don’t ruin your gut microbiome by using antibacterial cleaners. Use Castille soap or organic hand sanitizers. (Learn how to make your own with essential oils.)

Sweating the Chemicals in Antiperspirants/Deodorants

Problem chemical: aluminum 

According to researcher Lucija Tomljenovic, a Ph.D in biochemistry and senior research fellow at the University of British Columbia School of Medicine in Vancouver, BC, aluminum is the most abundant neurotoxic metal on earth. To paraphrase her article in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Tomljenovic basically states that other research showing that aluminum cannot enter the brain in sufficient amounts to cause damage and be efficiently excreted from the body is basically a big load of B.S. 

“The hypothesis that aluminum significantly contributes to Alzheimer’s Disease is built upon very solid experimental evidence and should not be dismissed,” Tomljenovic says, verbatim. 

Safer alternative: Aluminum-free deodorant/antiperspirants 

Nice Nails and Hair Without The Toxicity

Problem chemical: Toluene

Toulene, not to be confused with Tulane, the university in New Orleans, is found in nail polish and hair dyes. Exposure has been associated with neurological and developmental issues. Especially concerning is that pregnant women have been affected by these health problems. 

As for hairspray, they contain those VOCs I mentioned earlier (especially butane, propane, and isobutane as well as compounds like PVP and PVA. Not only are PVP and PVA bad for the environment, they can also damage your hair follicles. 

Safe alternatives: Do your research and purchase non-toxic shampoos and conditioners. Make your own natural hair spray with water, aloe vera gel, and essential oils. You can add natural holding agents like gum arabic or other plant-based resins. Choose non-toxic nail polish brands. (Check with EWG’s Skin Deep database.)

You Don’t Have To Stink Without Toxic Perfume

Problem chemicals: Fragrance

Have you ever walked by someone wearing a bit too much perfume or cologne? Don’t those people realize they’re laying it on a bit too thick? Well, if they aren’t conscious about what they’re putting on their body in the first place, maybe they don’t realize they’re using too much of it. 

Body odor might not be the scent that’s taking the cosmetics industry by storm. But I’d rather have strong B.O. than expose my body to the dozens of chemicals in perfume. In fact, according to the awesome researchers at EWG, over 3,000 ingredients hide behind the word ‘fragrance.’ 25 of those chemicals ranked 10—the highest hazard score on EWG’s Skin Deep database. 

Safer alternative: Don’t use perfume. Read labels. Avoid any product with fragrance. Use EWG’s Cosmetics Database. Make your own perfume with essential oils and carrier oils like coconut or jojoba. 

Hey, if you have any DIY tips for making your own cosmetics or household cleaners, share them on the Chef V Life Facebook page

To a happy, healthy, non-toxic life!

Love,

Veronica Wheat
ChefV.com Founder

Is Your Laundry Detergent Ruining Your Health?

“I love when my clothes smell neutral and still have stains on them after I do the laundry.”

—Said nobody, ever. 

We all love that aromatic, fresh-scent experience when our clothes come out of the dryer. But when it comes to doing your laundry, there are a shocking number of highly-toxic substances in standard detergents.

And it’s not just the clothes we wear that are exposing us to these harsh chemicals. It’s the sheets we sleep in, clinging to our body for several hours a night. And it’s the towels that we press deeply into our skin when drying off.

But if you want to reduce your toxic load (no pun intended), there’s a problem with going natural with laundry detergent…

Many brands of eco-friendly laundry cleaners just don’t work very well. They don’t remove stains effectively and they don’t really smell that good. Thankfully, there are some toxic-free laundry detergent brands that actually can get Green Drink and red wine stains out and have a pleasing scent. I’ll share with you one brand that has caught my eye, but first…

What’s In Your Laundry Detergent?

In 2021, Americans spent almost $6 billion on laundry detergent. Although sales of eco-friendly detergents are increasing, they still amount to a drop in the laundry basket. Mainstream brands like Tide still dominate. But if you’ve never given thought to what’s in your laundry detergent, it’s my hope that reading this will make you more aware of the chemicals you’re exposing yourself to.

It’s shocking how the government allows toxic chemicals in everyday household goods like laundry detergent. Consider this study in Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health. It concludes that scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets “contain carcinogens that waft through vents, potentially raising cancer risk.”

The researchers tested several brands of laundry detergent and dryer sheets. What they found was that there are more than 25 toxic chemicals released into the air by scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets. A couple of these chemicals are acetaldehyde and benzene, both of which are associated with higher cancer risks.

So it’s not just the risk of using conventional laundry detergent on your skin that poses a risk. It’s the breathing in of the chemicals, too. If you have kids, hopefully reading this will make you realize how important it is to limit synthetic chemical exposure in your home.

There was another study I came across published in Environmental Health Perspectives. It said that out of six best-selling laundry products, five of them polluted the air with at least one cancer-causing chemical.

folded clothing

No Safety Oversight In Laundry Detergent

Check out the irony here. When it comes to protecting our interests and welfare as consumers, the agency tasked with that job is the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Yet the Commission doesn’t require companies like Procter & Gamble (maker of Tide) to list all their ingredients that may cause cancer.

Sure, you might see an ingredient labeled as “fragrance.” But what the label doesn’t tell you is exactly what’s in that fragrance. The label would be much longer because “fragrance” can mean a toxic cauldron of a dozen or more synthetic chemicals. What’s even more troubling about fragrance is that the vast majority of them have not been  properly tested for their effects on human health.

One “mystery” chemical in fragrance are phthalates. These are chemicals used to make fragrances last longer and to make plastic products more durable. Even mainstream WebMD says that daily contact with phthalates may lead to the early deaths of about 100,000 older Americans a year.

Commercial Detergent: Bad For The Lungs

Remember, when you do your laundry, the chemicals aren’t just making contact with your skin when you put your clothes on, dry off after showering and when you sleep. Your lungs are also being exposed.

In fact, according to a study in an allergy journal, even a full 24 hours after washing your clothes, the residue from your detergent can weaken the protective barrier in your lungs. This damage puts you at higher risk of developing asthma and allergic symptoms.

Laundry Sauce: Eco-Friendly Pods That Work

A friend of mine started a company called Laundry Sauce. Instead of liquid detergent, Laundry Sauce uses pods that are free of toxic chemicals. But does it work? Yes! Thanks to natural essential oils.

My friend and his collaborators say they were bored by the “mundane scents in the detergent aisle,” and that’s why Laundry Sauce was launched. For many people, the problem isn’t just that the scents of commercial detergents are mundane. It’s the fact that they are toxic.

Some people are so sensitive to these chemicals that they can’t even walk down the detergent aisle because the synthetic fragrance is overwhelming and triggers allergies.

Another reason I like Laundry Sauce is because they don’t use any artificial dyes. And instead of using harsh, abrasive stain removers, the company uses natural enzymes.

I don’t receive any financial compensation for endorsing this brand by the way. I just want to give them some props for making a safer laundry detergent. Give them a try.

Chef V’s Favorite Supplements For Improving Gut Health

Did you know there’s a non-stop party in your gut? It’s true. In your microbiome—the home of your trillions of bacteria, both the friendly and unfriendly kind—your gut bacteria are constantly eating our leftovers. If only we could claim them as tax dependents! So how can you make sure you’re feeding the good guys in your gut and not the bad? Chef V has one simple solution and offers her 3 favorite gut-supporting supplements…

It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie and it’s kind of creepy if you think about it…

In your gut, there’s a constant war going on. It’s a 365/24/7 battle between your good gut bacteria and your harmful bacteria. Your good bacteria craves things like green leafy veggies to your diet—whether you eat or drink them. That’s how they grow and multiply and crowd out the unfriendly bacteria. 

When we eat and drink unhealthy food, it’s the potentially-harmful bacteria that thrives in the gut. But never ever blame yourself for indulging. You see, it’s not you, it’s your unfriendly microbes—they have a huge impact on what you decide to eat. 

Besides sipping on Organic Green Drinks every morning instead of eating a big, typical breakfast, I have a few other ways for you to support your gut microbiome. I’m not usually one to be a big promoter of supplements. But having a healthy gut microbiome is so important. Because after all, health starts in the gut! 

So here are my top 3 gut health supporting supplements.

collagen

Collagen Protein

Who hasn’t heard of collagen by now? But I’m not talking about collagen implants for your gut. Nope, your lips are beautiful enough. And I’m not talking about collagen cream for wrinkles. The collagen I’m talking about for gut health comes in powder form that you can add to smoothies or even your morning Green Drink. 

But there’s something all collagen products have in common. They are formulated to help your own body make more collagen. And what is collagen? It’s the most abundant type of human protein in the body. What makes you, you is tens of thousands of proteins. There are different types of collagen but just know that collagen is king when it comes to your body. 

And here’s what collagen does. It’s basically the glue that holds all of your skin, muscles, organs and tissues together. Gut lining included. 

The problem is that after age 40, your levels of collagen start declining. And the collagen you do have gets weaker. So by taking collagen powder, we can support our gut health by strengthening the protective barrier of the gut so nothing leaks out of it that’s not supposed to. 

leafy greens

L-Glutamine

If you have frequent bloating, constipation or other digestive issues, L-glutamine is another powder that can help support your gut. While collagen is a protein, glutamine is a building block of protein (an amino acid). 

So you already know that collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Well, glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the protective barrier of your gut. Roughly one-third of your body’s glutamine goes to your gut. 

And if you have a lot of stress going on, that stress could gobble up a good amount of glutamine. In light of this, it might help to take an L-glutamine supplement. (L-glutamine is just glutamine in supplement form.)

Marshmallow Root

Another supplement that can be great for your gut microbiome is not the same kind of marshmallows you roast by a campfire. Back in the day, before modern food processing methods were invented, marshmallows were actually made with the root from the plant. 

Marshmallow root has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy for all kinds of things. And the cool thing is research studies support it for gut health. And here’s how it works. 

Marshmallow root soothes inflammation in the gut lining. Beyond that, it might help to build back up the sticky layer of mucus that surrounds the gut barrier. 

So if you want to improve your gut and, by extension, your overall health, try marshmallow—just not the candied kind. 

These are by no means all the supplements that may help support your gut microbiome. And you don’t have to take all three at once. I just love giving you a few options so you can achieve your health goals. 

Love, 

Chef V

Chef V’s Perfect “Prescription” For Eating Healthy While Taking Ozempic

ozempic and nutrition

Ozempic has been called a wonder drug for people with type 2 diabetes. But there’s a dark side to it: The drug eradicates appetite. The downside? Being starved of vital nutrients. Certified nutritional therapist and CHEFV.com founder, Veronica Wheat offers solutions for staying healthy while taking Ozempic. 

When it comes to Ozempic, let me get something off my chest. 

I’m not going to be talking about celebrities and TikTok influencers who are unethically using the drug and potentially creating a shortage of it for people with type 2 diabetes just to quickly drop 10 pounds. 

Instead, I will focus on the biggest risk of taking Ozempic for those with type 2 diabetes.  

Before I get to that, in case you don’t know about Ozempic, some quick facts…

For managing blood sugar levels, Ozempic is super convenient for people with type 2 diabetes. Instead of injecting insulin every day like other diabetes meds, Ozempic is a once-weekly injection. It works by increasing the hormone, insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels when blood sugar gets too high. 

In addition, Ozempic reduces glucagon, the hormone that raises blood sugar levels—a double dose of blood glucose regulation. 

So far so good, right? Another way Ozempic works is by dramatically curbing appetite by cutting off the brain’s hunger signals. Not only that, but Ozempic also delays stomach emptying, which makes you feel full for several hours. This also might sound like a godsend of a drug if you have type 2 diabetes and are overweight. 

OZEMPIC NUTRITION RESOURCES

CHEF V’s COOKING SCHOOL (Free videos)

What Do I Eat Today? (Free recipes)

Making Cleansing Easier (Free e-cookbook)

21 DAY LOW-SUGAR DETOX 

The Dark Side Of Using Ozempic: Malnutrition

Many Ozempic users report that after taking a few bites of food, they are totally full, or even repulsed by the idea of food. This is a great recipe for losing weight but a disaster for overall health. That’s because the tendency is that when Ozempic users eat, they usually grab a few bites of whatever’s easily in reach. And most often it’s something unhealthy. 

If you use Ozempic, you will definitely lose weight. But even with the little appetite you may have, you have to consume nutritious food. Otherwise, you’ll deprive yourself of vital nutrients. In other words, you will suffer from malnutrition. You’ll have no energy and your immune system can weaken. 

So how can Ozempic users manage blood sugar and stay healthy? 

Staying Healthy On Ozempic With Green Drink

Having Organic GREEN DRINK first thing in the morning is the easiest thing Ozempic users with type 2 diabetes can do to prevent malnutrition. 

With 7 certified organic leafy green veggies, GREEN DRINK contains the antioxidants and phytonutrients your trillions of cells need to keep you healthy on a low-calorie diet.

And with only 26 calories per serving, GREEN DRINK won’t make your tummy painfully full or bloated if you’re taking Ozempic.

But drinking juice? Isn’t that bad if you have type 2 diabetes? 

It’s true that most commercial juices cause an immediate surge of insulin and are loaded with sugar. Even green-colored juices trick shoppers into thinking it must be a healthy juice because green is the color of some of the healthiest veggies on the planet. 

But don’t let store-bought juices fool you. They’re loaded with fructose (fruit sugar) and barely contain any vegetables. They should be totally avoided if you have high blood sugar. If you have type 2 diabetes, you shouldn’t have more than 25 grams of sugar per day. Did you know that most green juices sold in stores have up to 50 grams of sugar? 

—-> See how CHEFV.com compares to the competition

GREEN DRINK: Safe for Ozempic Uses & Proven to Reduce A1C

But there are three reasons why GREEN DRINK is perfectly safe for type 2 diabetes. 

  1. There are only 3 grams of naturally-occurring sugar per serving. So there’s no insulin surge after drinking GREEN DRINK as you get with most commercial juices.
  2. GREEN DRINK is blended, not juiced. That means that the fiber and nutrients from the leafy green veggies in GREEN DRINK are preserved and feed your healthy gut bacteria. With commercial juices, you’re just drinking the sugars, not the nutrients! And all that sugar goes directly into your bloodstream, spiking your insulin and driving up blood sugar.
     
  3. GREEN DRINK is clinically proven to lower A1C levels. In an independent clinical study of 38 participants (without type 2 diabetes), a CHEF V 21 Day DETOX followed up by 7 days of GREEN DRINK consumption reduced A1C levels by 1.7%. 

Watch CHEF V's Infamous Green Drink and Diabetes

So if you’re taking Ozempic for diabetes, make sure you’re fueling your body with supreme nutrition, even if you have a very low appetite. 

Learn more about GREEN DRINK.

Nutrition Hint from an Ozempic user:
“Keep a healthy food at your desk, in your tote, anywhere that is super easy to grab. Then set a reminder on your phone and when it goes off, eat a little. I use Green Drink, cut up fruit or nuts.”

below, Chef V working one of our kitchens

“GREEN DRINK has been invaluable for me to get the right mix of nutrients every day even when you’re not motivated to eat. Having a Green Drink in the morning kicks starts a healthy beginning to my day.”  —Type 2 diabetic Ozempic user and CHEF V customer, Jean Y.

Making Healthy Meals On Ozempic Even If You’re Not Hungry

But what about the rest of the day? Sure, Green Drink is a great way to flood your cells with vital nutrition in the morning. But when you don’t feel like eating much, what else can you do to stay healthy? 

I recommend taking one day a week to cook mini healthy meals. Even if you nibble just a few bites here and there, that’s ok. But it’s so important that you’re not just subsisting on high-carb foods while taking Ozempic. 

If you have any questions about using CHEF V with diabetes, we are always here for you.  

Here’s to having healthy blood sugar levels and optimizing your nutrition! 

Love,

Veronica Wheat

Founder, ChefV.com 

Chef V Clinically Proven To Lower A1C Blood Sugar Levels

diabetes A1C

An independent clinical trial shows that Chef V’s 21 Detox followed by 7 days of continuing with a Green Drink plan significantly lowered HbA1C levels, one of the most important markers of health and longevity. 

According to Citruslabs, after the 28 day study was completed, “…there was a significant reduction in HbA1C. HbA1C is a marker of glucose levels in the blood, and lower levels are preferred to higher levels. The significant reduction in HbA1C demonstrates a healthy glucose response by the body after using Chef V products.” 

Maybe you’ve heard of “A1C” and know it has something to do with blood sugar levels. That’s a good start. But your A1C levels don’t only reveal whether you have diabetes or prediabetes. Your A1C level also has a profound effect on skin health and the aging process. And considering that your A1C level is one of the most important health biomarkers, let’s dive deeper. 

It's important to understand that lowering your A1C levels is a gradual (slow) process. Unlike a blood glucose test, A1C measures your average blood sugar over a period of 2 to 3 months. This means, it can take up to 3 months to notice significant changes in your A1C.

What is an “A1C” Blood Sugar Test?

Been a while since you’ve had lab work done? If so, I highly recommend that you get a Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP) that includes A1C. Getting a CMP and A1C provides a snapshot of your liver and kidney health, electrolyte balance, metabolism, and blood. 

Just as you take your car to a mechanic for optimal engine performance, you should get these diagnostic tests to ensure your body’s “engine” is running smoothly. 

The hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test (A1C for short) is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. That’s the simple explanation. 

More specifically, the A1C test measures the amount of glycated hemoglobin in the blood. 

So let’s break down what “glycated hemoglobin” is in two parts. First, hemoglobin is an oxygen-carrying protein in your red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. 

What does this have to do with blood sugar? 

That brings us to “glycation.” When you eat anything with sugar or carbohydrates that break down into sugar, some of that sugar sticks to hemoglobin. This is called glycation. The A1C test measures the levels of these sticky, sugary molecules as a percentage. The higher the percentage of red blood cells with sticky hemoglobin, the higher your blood sugar levels. 

blood and fat

What is the A1C Test Used For?

Because red blood cells live for about three months, an A1C test provides a sneak peek of how much sugar is hanging out in the bloodstream over that three-month period of time.

The A1C test is used to diagnose diabetes, assess how well people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels and diagnose prediabetes.  

According to the Diabetes Research Institute, 37.3 million Americans or 11.3% of the population have diabetes, and nearly 100 million Americans have prediabetes, including nearly 50% of people 65 and older. 

taking blood pressure

Why Glycation Matters

Obviously, diabetes is a major health concern. Research from the Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry explains that glycation—the underlying mechanism behind type 2 diabetes—leads to “a variety of irreversible dehydration and rearrangement reactions that lead to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).”

When you eat blackened, barbecued meat or breathe in polluted air, this causes AGEs. AGEs lead to premature aging, including “a loss of protein function and impaired elasticity of tissues such as blood vessels, skin, and tendons … and diabetic complications.”

So can’t you just take some supplements to overcome glycation and AGEs? 

Not so fast, suggests the research. 

“Because there are no enzymes to remove glycated products from the human body, the glycation process matches well with the theory that the accumulation of metabolic waste promotes aging.”

A1C Levels & Skin Health

For some people, including those with diabetes, having high blood sugar levels is an abstract health problem. In other words, the link between having high blood sugar levels and serious health problems isn’t considered before it’s too late. 

For instance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common diabetes health complications include heart disease, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage, and other problems with feet, oral health, vision, hearing, and mental health.

Although it seems shallow in comparison, let’s face it, people do care about how they look. And another thing that relatively few people give much thought to is how A1C levels affect the skin. Sugar not only sticks to red blood cells, it also sticks to collagen and elastin, the two primary types of structural protein in the skin. 

When there’s too much sugar on collagen and elastin, those advanced glycation end products I mentioned damage collagen and elastin, leading to wrinkles and inflamed, dry, and itchy skin. 

The bad news is that it’s difficult to reverse AGEs-related skin damage. But there’s a simple, research-proven method to manage A1C levels and prevent further harm to the body…

Chef V Green Drink Put To The Test for A1C Levels

Fast forward to early 2023 when Brandon and I decided to put the 7 certified organic green leafy veggies to the test. We invested in a clinical trial conducted by Citrus Labs, a Santa Monica-based independent research organization. Citrus Labs analyzed the effects of a Chef V 21 DAY DETOX followed by a 7-day continuation of a Green Drink Plan

(Read more about the research study here.)

It’s important to mention that none of the study participants had diabetes or high blood sugar levels. Before day 1 of the 28-day study, the average A1C level of the 38 participants was 5.4. On day 28, the participants’ A1C levels were 5.31—a reduction of 1.7%. 

That might not seem like a big reduction. But it is. Just like the difference between a 5.0 and 6.0 earthquake is monumental in terms of power and potential destruction, a reduction of 1.7% in A1C levels is impressive, especially for a population that didn’t have a high blood sugar level to begin with. But don’t just take my word for it.

“The significant reduction in HbA1C demonstrates a healthy glucose response by the body after using Chef V products.”

—Citrus Labs analysis

Going Green For Healthier A1C Levels

One of the simplest ways to lower blood sugar levels is by consuming more green leafy veggies. Several studies prove this. For instance, a study of 417 type-2 diabetic patients 65 years or older in Japan showed that eating 1 cup or more a day of green leafy veggies led to significant decreases in HbA1c, triglycerides (fat in the blood), and waist circumference.

As a certified nutritional therapist, I’ve always believed in the therapeutic potential of green leafy veggies. That’s why I created a recipe for an organic low-sugar blended juice with 7 different types of leafy greens. 

At the time I created the recipe, I was a personal chef. But the response was so overwhelming that about a decade ago, my husband, Brandon, convinced me to start a business delivering this Green Drink. Within a short time, Chef V was delivering Green Drinks nationwide. 

What Are Healthy A1C Levels?

A value of 6.5% or higher indicates diabetes, while a value below 5.7% is considered normal. If you have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends an A1C level of less than 7% to reduce the risk of complications.

I’m not suggesting that having a serving of Green Drink is all you need to do to manage A1C levels. After all, lowering your A1C levels requires regular exercise and following a healthy overall diet, which I teach how to do with the 21 DAY DETOX.

But if you’re not a huge fan of veggies or don’t have time to make huge salads, having a daily serving of Organic Green Drink—only 3 grams of natural sugar per 8 ounces—is one of the easiest ways to get your daily dose of A1C-lowering ingredients into your diet.

Is Chef V Detox Safe For Diabetes?

With millions of people using Ozempic for diabetes and weight loss, is doing a Chef V 21 DAY DETOX and continuing with a Green Drink plan safe? And is it generally safe for people with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that accounts for roughly just 5% of all diabetes diagnoses? 

As Citrus Labs concluded, Chef V Detox and Green Drink work because you don’t have to skip meals, which can be dangerous if you have diabetes. “Chef V supplies the nutrition needed for optimal health outcomes,” the lab report concluded.

However, if you have diabetes, you should consult with a registered dietician or other medical professional before beginning any new dietary intervention. 

Read more about how Chef V’s Detox & Green Drink has been clinically proven to improve health outcomes such as:

Semaglutide: Disrupting The Weight Loss Industry

gila monster

Some of my most loyal customers are taking charge of their health despite having chronic metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes. Organic Green Drinks are awesome for cleansing the system and starting the day off right. But some people need an extra assist. Enter the drug, semaglutide. If you’ve never heard of it, trust me, it’s going to blow up. By next year, I predict it’s going to be one of the hottest weight loss remedies for those who constantly struggle with weight management. 

In June of last year, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had approved the anti-diabetic medication, Ozempic for weight management under the name Wegovy. Also known as semaglutide, the drug has a lot of potential customers in the U.S., where two-thirds of all adults are either obese or overweight. While Ozempic is meant to to be used longer term for control of diabetic's blood glucose levels (A1C), Wegovy is being used as a short term weight loss tool.

Because it’s easy to use and it seems to have mild side effects, hopefully semaglutide will be the magic pill that makes a huge dent in the obesity-diabetes epidemic. And you’ll never believe where the active ingredient of the drug comes from. 

But first, let me tell you why semaglutide hits home for me. You see, my immensely talented graphic designer, Jean, was involved in the clinical trial for its effects on diabetes. Jean has used the drug for 7 years and swears by it. So when Jean told me about this wonder drug, I was determined to look into it and so far the results are promising. And for me to sing the praises of a pharmaceutical remedy is saying something because normally, I’m Miss Mother Nature. 

gila monster

Semaglutide: Sourced From A Monster

I admit that when Jean told me where the idea of semaglutide was first hatched, I didn’t believe her. So I verified her claim and now I owe her an apology. But you would be skeptical if you heard that the way the drug can change sugar metabolism is because of the venom of the Gila monster. 

Gila monsters aren’t actually that scary looking. They’re really just small lizards that weigh 5 pounds at most. But in the reptile’s venom—not deadly to us but it wouldn’t tickle if you got bit—are hormones that regulate blood sugar. 

OK, so semaglutide isn’t actually synthesized from Gila monster venom but rather from a synthetic analogue of a hormone in Gila monster venom called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1). 

Glucagon is like the unpopular step-sister of insulin. Almost everybody knows that insulin is the hormone that controls blood sugar. But it’s not the only one that does so. Glucagon actually raises blood sugar when blood sugar levels are too low. 

According to Vox.com, doctors noticed that people who took semaglutide were not only better able to manage their blood sugar levels, they also lost weight. Obesity researchers got very excited over the results. 

injector pen, glucose monitor

Semaglutide Drugs For Weight Loss

Semaglutide is the hormone molecule that goes by a few different brand names. Besides Ozempic (low-dose), there’s Wegovy, which is a once-a-week injectable, higher-dose weight-loss medication. And if you’re deathly afraid of needles, there’s an oral version called Rybelsus (did Big Pharma marketers run out of clever names?). 

Harvard Health doesn’t come right out and say it but for best weight loss results, if you read between the lines, it seems that Wegovy works best for weight management. 

Again, I want to stress that if your doctor puts you on a semaglutide drug, you’re not injecting Gila monster venom. What you’re injecting is a synthetic hormone that naturally is found in the digestive tract. Real GLP-1 that’s in your gut signals the pancreas to release more insulin, delays the emptying of the stomach which helps you feel full for longer, and signals the brain that hunger has been satisfied. 

(To trick my brain into feeling satisfied, I don’t eat a regular breakfast. Instead, I drink water first thing in the morning, wait about 20 minutes then have 8-16 oz of Green Drink. To complete my “breakfast” I’ll have a plant-based protein shake an hour or two later. Hunger solved.)

Does Semaglutide Work?

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine from March of this year shows really promising results. Those that were randomly assigned the drug had an average weight reduction of nearly 15% after about 16 months. That’s impressive weight loss. A 300-pound individual would have lost about 45 pounds with those results. Not too shabby!

In even more recent trials, more than 50 percent of trial participants have lost 15 percent of their bodyweight and up to 40 percent of participants have slimmed down by 20 percent, according to the University of Alabama at Birmingham

Why Semaglutide Will Be A Weight Loss Success Story

Weight-loss and obesity medications are notoriously fraught with dangerous side effects. Considering the relatively mild side effects and efficacy of semaglutide, it’s easy to see why nutrition therapists (like yours truly), registered dieticians and doctors are excited about semaglutide. 

Unfortunately, many health insurers and Medicare typically don’t pay for obesity medications. But to date, there’s never been a weight-loss drug that has shown such impressive results with so few side effects. Here’s hoping that those who have been struggling for years to get their weight down will finally have that magic pill they’ve been praying for. 

Obesity isn’t simply a lifestyle disease. Several factors come into play such as gut dysbiosis* and genetics. People living with obesity should not be punished for their condition. In my humble opinion, semaglutide should be available—and affordable—for all. If you’re interested in semaglutide, talk to your doctor. 

*dysbiosis: disruption of the composition and diversity of the microbiome

Chef V

Turmeric & Ginger: Twin Gut-Healing, Inflammation-Fighting Powerhouses

“V” loves adding turmeric and ginger to her protein smoothies, which she always has about 30 minutes after breaking her fast with Organic Green Drink. Ginger and turmeric are powerful  anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammation fighters. But did you know that they’re also great for your gut microbiome? Here’s how…

If there’s one easy thing you can do to support your health starting now, it’s the simple act of sprinkling ginger and turmeric into your Green Drink or plant-based protein smoothie. But the catch is that unlike candy-tasting cinnamon, both ginger and turmeric have a very strong earthy and pungent taste.

One way to get both of these incredibly healthy spices is to follow my recipe for Golden Milk, a frothy, delicious blend of almond milk (or any plant-based milk), cinnamon (another healthy spice) and coconut sugar. Yum. You’re going to absolutely love it. And thanks to the cinnamon and coconut sugar, you won’t notice the sharp taste of ginger and turmeric.

Over time, you’ll probably learn to love the taste of ginger and turmeric without needing to sweeten it. And if you want to love your gut and have your gut love you back, there are several reasons why you should consume ginger and turmeric daily. In fact, they are 2 of the 6 spices that I frequently use not only to spice up my healthy meals but also to prevent belly bloating.

Ginger for Gut Health

Everybody knows that ginger helps with nausea. So it’s great to take some ginger chews with you before you go on an airplane, roller coaster, whale watching tour, or anything else that can make your stomach queasy. And if you’re a sushi lover like I am, you know how ginger pleasantly cleanses the palate between each roll.

But here’s why I use ginger practically every day to support my gut health. You see, not only does it prevent nausea, this study shows that it pretty much helps resolve every gastric discomfort like bloating, reflux, indigestion and constipation. It’s also been shown to help prevent gastric ulcers (although only in animal studies so far).

A little bit of ginger can also help prevent vomiting during pregnancy. Another way that ginger helps with gut health is by actually changing the composition of the gut microbiome, according to this study.

In other words, this spice has the power to introduce more friendly bacteria in the gut and reduce the number of potentially-harmful bacteria. So in a way, it’s like a food-based probiotic.

And wait, there’s more to ginger for gut health. If you’re someone who gets a bad case of gas every now and then, a study in Food Science & Nutrition says ginger can help as well as resolve belly cramping.

Want to boost your digestion? Then definitely start taking ginger on a regular basis. Research shows that it helps activate your body’s own digestive enzymes, making it easier for you to digest protein and fat.

I’ll leave you with one more possible ginger benefit for gut health. Many people who have taken lots of over-the-counter pain pills have really bad gut health. These OTC pills just destroy the gut microbiome. The good news is that spices like ginger have been shown to repair the damage to the gut lining. That’s sweet … even if ginger isn’t.

Turmeric For Digestion

Now let’s look at the power of turmeric to improve your gut. Turmeric’s gut-healing potential is mostly because of the compound curcumin.

OK, so like ginger, curcumin has been shown in research to act like a natural probiotic, helping the good guys in your gut flourish while killing off the bad dudes. In fact, in one study, turmeric/curcumin was shown to destroy 36 species of harmful bacteria in the gut.

Not only that, turmeric was shown to help with leaky gut by supporting the intestinal barrier. That barrier is everything because without a strong barrier, undigested food particles, viruses, toxins and bacteria will leak into your blood.

That’s bad news because then your own immune system will recognize those things and say, “Hey, that’s not supposed to be here,” and then it will tell chemicals in your body to activate so that it can mount a defense against them. This is what causes inflammation. And if you don’t repair your gut barrier, the inflammation will be chronic.

So turmeric is like an anti-inflammatory ingredient for your gut. Many people take curcumin supplements for the joints. But relatively few people realize just how powerful turmeric/curcumin can be for preventing inflammation in the gut and repairing the gut barrier.

Does Turmeric have Side Effects?

There is no concrete evidence of any side effects to eating or drinking turmeric.

Anecdotally speaking, some people new to turmeric have reported small amounts of indigestion after consuming large amounts of the ingredient. However, this is often a reported side effect of many new spices and ingredients and may just be a sign of your body getting used to it.

Perhaps the most preposterous myth about turmeric is that it causes pregnant women to go into labor early. There is zero evidence of this. In fact, pregnant women may very well benefit from including more turmeric in their diet.

Turmeric And Ginger Supplments

If you can’t stomach the taste of fresh turmeric or ginger, I encourage you to get them in supplement form. They are definitely among the two most healing natural ingredients I use every day.

But if you create some of my smoothie recipes that feature turmeric and ginger, there’s a great chance you’ll love the taste of these two amazing gut-healing spices.

Coconut Sugar: Is It Healthier Sweet Stuff?

Coconut Sugar

Coconut Sugar?  What do you get when you cross my 7-year-old, four-legged furry kid with sweetener? 

You get my very own sweet sugar baby – my dog Coconut!

Sorry for being corny—again. 

But in all seriousness, one of the most common questions I get asked as a certified nutritional therapist and creator of The Chef V Organic Cleanse is this: Is coconut sugar healthier than regular sugar?

Let’s dive in and find out what the research says…

Coconut Sugar: Is It Healthier Sweet Stuff?

What Is It?

Actually, before we follow the science on coconut sugar, let’s cover some basic facts on the natural alternative sweetener. 

It does not come from the meaty white flesh of the nuts. It’s also not produced from the husky shell. And it’s not made from the liquid within the nut (coconut water). 

So what is it made from? It’s made by dehydrating the sap contained in the flower bud of the stem of coconut palm trees. You could say that the sap is the circulating life force or the blood of the tree. And just like the blood circulating through your veins contains minerals and trace minerals that are vital for energy, coconut sap is rich in minerals. But we’ll get to that in a bit…

Coconut blossom sugar, is all-natural. Although it comes from the coconut palm tree, do not confuse it with palm sugar. Regular palm sugar is sourced from a different type of tree than coconut sugar. 

True coconut sugar resembles granulated raw brown sugar. And if you’re an animal lover or vegan, there’s one big plus about using it instead of regular table sugar. 

According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), table sugar is sometimes whitened with bone char. What’s bone char, you ask? It’s charred cattle bones. Think about that next time you sweeten your coffee at your favorite diner. And according to PETA, brown sugar can also be processed with bone char. Brown sugar, which is not healthier than table sugar (it’s just as refined) is colored with molasses, so don’t get fooled by regular brown sugar. 

But coconut sweetener is a healthier brown sugar that is not refined and therefore does not get processed with bone char.

coconut plant

Benefits

I found an interesting study published in Food Science & Nutrition, co-authored by researchers from Malaysia, a country thought to be the first to commercialize it for the U.S. market. 

The researchers concluded “Coconut sap could be served as a potential healthier sugar source compared with sugar palm and sugarcane as it carries more minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.”

Another reason the researchers think it is a healthier alternative to refined sugar is that it has a lower glycemic index. The GI ranks the rise in blood glucose after the consumption of carbohydrates on a scale from 0–100.  A food with low GI raises blood glucose less than that of the food with high GI. 

Coconut sugar’s GI ranks about 35, which is only 10 points higher than fructose from whole fruits. In comparison, refined sugar has a GI that’s almost twice as high as coconut sugar. 

For this reason, the researchers suggest that coconut palm nectar (another way to say coconut sugar) can be part of the solution in curtailing the diabetes and obesity epidemic. 

Vitamins & Minerals

The researchers detected vitamin C, B1, B3, B4, B2, and B10 in samples. Of those, vitamin C, B3, B4, B2, and B10 in coconut nectar were significantly higher than in table sugar. In addition, coconut sugar contained higher levels of three important electrolytes: potassium, sodium and magnesium. Many Americans are deficient in magnesium, a mineral that’s important for helping to relax muscles. 

By the way, you can also get the benefits of these minerals from coconut water, which is why I use both coconut sugar and coconut water in several of my recipes. 

And in comparison to regular sugar, coconut nectar is relatively high in other minerals such as zinc, calcium and iron. 

Coconut Water

For Gut Health?

Another reason to swap regular table sugar for coconut is that it contains a type of fiber called inulin. This special fiber acts like fertilizer for a type of friendly bacteria in your gut called bifidobacteria, which is a common live culture added to yogurt. 

Inulin is considered a post-biotic fiber. Postbiotics are the healthy short-chain fatty acids released by probiotics. Probiotics are essential for a healthy gut and immune system, but it’s actually the postbiotics that make the magic happen!

Is It Healthier: Chef V’s Verdict

Now don’t get me wrong … even though I think it is healthier than regular table sugar, I don’t rely on it to get my daily dose of essential minerals and trace minerals. The dark leafy greens in Organic Green Drink provide me with an excellent low-sugar source of minerals without spiking my blood sugar. 

If you have type 2 diabetes, don’t get fooled into thinking that it is a miracle sweetener. It may have a lower glycemic index than regular sugar but that doesn’t mean it gives you a free pass to go crazy with it. 

So don’t use it as a multivitamin, antioxidant supplement or probiotic. Instead, just like all other sweeteners, use it sparingly. But when I do use the sweet stuff, I reach for COCONUT and a little coconut sugar. 

Veronica and Coconut

How to Tell if You Have Inflammation in Your Body

Inflammation has become something of a scary word these days, but not without reason. Having acute inflammation in your body is often the precursor to a variety of rather serious health concerns. Of course, it's one thing to simply say that inflation is bad. But how do you know if you’re suffering from it? 

Obviously, the first stop for any of your health concerns should be a medical practitioner. But if you’re wondering how to tell if you have inflammation, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to tell here. Often, customers are interested in our 21 day cleanse to deal with inflammation issues, so it makes sense that we’d try and help you ID the condition! 

What is inflammation?

Most of us generally understand what inflammation is as a concept. If we’ve been injured, we’ve often seen injuries become red and aggravated. But that’s just the outside story. Inside our body, we can often suffer from unseen inflammation, affecting important organs and systems.

Technically, inflammation is a good thing—it’s a sign your immune system is reacting to an issue. But as anyone who has had a fever can tell you, your immune system is often prone to overreacting. In some cases, your immune system could even be reacting where there’s no real issue. 

Often inflammation is divided into two types, acute and chronic. This is just a division based on severity. Acute inflammation should clear up within two weeks or so, and is generally linked to a specific injury or illness. Chronic inflammation sticks around longer, and isn’t often linked to a single issue, being more an indicator of poor health and stress.

Detecting inflammation

Identifying inflammation outside the body is easy—you just look for visible swelling and redness. If you have chronic inflammation inside your body, it might be less obvious that inflammation is the source of your problem. This is further complicated by the fact that not all inflammation is the same. 

Chronic inflammation can be caused by a variety of conditions (including some severe medical conditions), and can crop up nearly anywhere in your body. Naturally, you can expect that inflammation in your brain will have a different effect than inflammation in your bowels. Following is a list of some of the more common symptoms of an inflammatory problem. 

Body pain

This is by far one of the most common symptoms of inflammation out there. A whole array of nasty types of pain can come with inflammation. From throbbing to pinching, if you have chronic pain in your body, but can’t link it to a specific injury or illness, it could be a sign of chronic inflammation.

Brain fog

“Brain fog” refers to a condition where you suffer from chronic confusion, memory loss, and lack of focus. We increasingly realize that brain fog, rather than just being a sign of exhaustion or aging, can be linked to a variety of conditions—think about all the concerns over the connections between COVID-19 and brain fog. Turns out that inflammation could be a potential cause of brain fog as well. 

Depression and anxiety

It’s not just general “brain fog” that’s associated with inflammation. There have been studies linking inflammation to more severe mood disorders. Of course, this gets into a bit of a complex topic. If you’re living an unhealthy lifestyle, depression and inflammation might arise independently. That’s all the more reason to stay active and maintain a healthy diet and eating habits!

Dizziness 

While not a common symptom of inflammation, there have been cases recorded where inflammation of nerves or inner ear leads to dizziness. In some cases, this can be so severe it affects balance. 

Fatigue and insomnia

If you have difficulty sleeping, it could potentially be connected to fatigue caused by inflammation. Of course, as with some of the other symptoms, fatigue is a common result from many health issues relating to blood sugar levels or being overweight. It’s likely if you have some of these problems, you could have bodily inflammation as well.

Gastrointestinal issues

When it comes to inflammation in your guts, there’s no good ending here. Acid reflux, constipation, and diarrhea are all the result of chronic inflammation affecting your intestinal systems. This is one of the types of inflammation-related illnesses that we tend to hear about the most at Chef V. There’s a reason our 21-day cleanse is so popular! 

Heart troubles

One of the most frightening symptoms of inflammation is the emergence of heart issues. This could be because of inflammation in important arteries or because of inflammation in the heart itself. This inflammation can manifest in coronary diseases or even heart failure. 

Insulin issues

For many people, getting control of their blood sugar levels is difficult enough as is. And that’s before you throw in the complications of insulin resistance. Our bodies need insulin to help manage blood sugar levels. Inflammation, however, has been connected with triggering insulin production in your body to the point that your systems become resistant. And after that, say goodbye to your ability to manage your blood sugar levels. You’ll need to get the best in a low sugar juice cleanse to give you even a chance. 

Weight gain

Perhaps one of the most currently discussed effects of inflammation in the body is its relation to weight gain. Exactly how this relationship works is still debated. But high levels of inflammation in the body seem to be linked to higher chances of obesity, and vice versa.  

Handling inflammation

If there’s one takeaway from this blog, it’s that inflammation isn’t a simple condition. Very often, it’s tied closely to other issues. If you’re overweight, have blood sugar issues, and inflammation, it might be a moot point as to which came first.

Dealing with inflammation requires a holistic approach. You need to do everything to help your body recover. This means getting more exercise, more sleep, and cutting back on stress. It also means reevaluating your diet. You want to cut out foods that cause inflammation, such as foods high in trans fats. Replace these with anti-inflammatory foods, such as more berries, leafy greens, and spices high in antioxidants—think garlic, ginger, and turmeric

You’ll also want to do your best to bring your blood sugar levels under control. Thankfully, Chef V’s 21 day cleanse is one of the best low sugar juice cleanses out there. Whether you get a short cleanse, or follow the full Chef V 21 day cleanse schedule, you can get your blood sugar under control, and strike back against inflammation. 

Don’t Be Scared Of Pumpkin—Put ’em On Your Face & Eat ‘Em!

Chef V bat-mask-pumpkin

When you think of pumpkin and autumn the first thing that probably comes to mind is jack o’ lanterns. But Chef V suggests using this “gourdeous” fruit in other ways this time of year. 

Fall is finally here and for many people that means one thing: it’s pumpkin spice latte season! Oh yeah, Halloween will soon be upon us. But there’s far more to Cucurbita Pepo (pumpkins) than carved decorative gourds and coffee drinks that instantly turn you into a pre-diabetic with an insulin-spiking rush of 50 grams of sugar. 

Raw pumpkin fruit (canned), seeds and seed oils are superfoods in my book. This time around, I want to cover some more interesting uses about pumpkins and their health benefits….

pumpkin skin mask

Pumpkins: Face Masks: For Beauty, Not Trick Or Treat

Having a pumpkin on your head makes sense if you’re celebrating Halloween. But it also can help your skin look more beautiful. Of course I’m talking about face masks. Pumpkin face masks aren’t going to be the hottest beauty trend of 2021. They’ve already been a trend for a few years but not everybody has heard of applying it to the skin. 

Now before you rush out to your closest supermarket to buy canned pumpkin and apply it to your skin, that’s not the type used in beauty face masks. 

Many beauty brands claim that pumpkin extract helps rejuvenate the skin. And there’s some evidence to back up the claim. 

In a research study from last year, the scientists concluded that the extract could have potential in treating contact dermatitis (CD) because of its antioxidant activity. 

A more recent study from earlier this year noted that depression is often associated with CD because the skin disease is caused by chronic stress. The researchers found that pumpkin extract, when applied orally and topically can lessen the severity of both CD and depression. 

Pumpkins have a high amount of oleic acid, an Omega-9 fatty acid, that is believed to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antidepressant activities. 

Advertisements I’ve seen claim that pumpkin face masks clean pores, hydrates, cleanses, plumps the skin, stimulates collagen production, remove dead and dull skin cells and more. Who needs a dermatologist when you can just use a pumpkin face mask!

pumpkin seed nutritional facts

Pumpkins For Pooping!

One thing I forgot to mention in my article about nutrition facts is that it’s an excellent source of fiber. In fact, in just one serving of canned pumpkin (buy organic), there are seven grams of fiber. Fiber helps keep you regular, satisfies your appetite, removes excess cholesterol from the body, and controls blood sugar spikes. So when you’re craving a regular punkin' spice latte, just add some canned pumpkin to it. Just kidding, don’t do that. But do eat canned for the fiber content. 

Pumpkins – Seed Oil For Prostate Health

Another thing I didn’t mention in my original ode to pumpkins benefits is that for men, it could be a life saver. Roughly 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Although prostate cancer is thankfully a highly survivable disease these days, the American Cancer Society estimates that over 34,000 men in the U.S. will die from prostate cancer in 2021. 

The oil from pumpkin seeds have been shown in many research studies to prevent the growth of the prostate gland, which may be a contributing factor in developing prostate cancer. 

Many men as they age develop a non-cancerous growth in their prostate called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH. BPH can make it painful and difficult for older men to urinate. 

(Hubby, Brandon: Are you reading this? I’m buying you pumpkin seed oil for your birthday!) 

pumpkin seeds

Pass On The Pumpkin Pie

This time of year, besides pumpkin spice lattes and halloween decorations, most people associate the with pie. 

Yes, I’m a certified nutritional therapist and innovator behind nationwide delivery of organic Green Drink, but I’m not going to be the food police and tell you never to eat pumpkin pie again. But if you are going to eat it, do so sparingly because too many added sugars can weaken your immune system. And you don’t need me to remind you why that’s a problem these days. 

If you’re going to indulge in pie use a zero-calorie sweetener like stevia. It may not taste as good as the real thing but it will allow you to celebrate the season without the guilt. 

Have a happy, healthy autumn!

Chef V

CRP: The One Blood Test You Should Beg Your Doctor To Take

CRP: The One Blood Test You Should Beg Your Doctor To Take

CRP is the one blood test you should beg your Doctor to take. Virtually every disease is caused by inflammation. Inflammation manifests in many different ways, from auto-immune disorders to cancer and diabetes, and even weight gain. But how do you know if your body has inflammation? After all, sometimes, inflammation has no symptoms–until a heart attack or stroke strikes.

Thankfully, there’s a simple blood test you can get from your doctor. It’s called the “C-Reactive Protein” (CRP) blood test. Next time you go for your checkup, ask your doctor to test your CRP levels. If you are diagnosed with high levels of CRP, then you can make some lifestyle changes before serious symptoms or disease occurs….

What is C-Reactive Protein?

So what do my Organic Green Drinks and Cleanses have to do with a protein called CRP that’s created by the liver when the body’s inflammatory response kicks in?

They have everything to do with C-Reactive Protein, that’s what. You see, one of the best ways to stay healthy and avoid disease is to have as little CRP as possible. CRP isn’t inherently bad. You actually need some of it to fight infections. But when levels of this protein are high, it’s an indication that there’s too much inflammation in the body. This is why its important to know what can raise your CRP levels, and how to reduce CRP levels.

CRP and inflammation

As I mention above, all disease is triggered by inflammation. Even diseases that are passed down by your ancestors are at greater risk for being expressed if you have more inflammation in your body. In other words, if you eat healthy, just because you may inherit a disease potential does not mean the genes for that disease will express. However, if you eat a diet that’s full of refined carbs like bread and baked goods and lots of added sugar, you’re at more risk for those genetic switches being turned on.

That’s where my Green Drinks, Detox Soups and Vegan Protein Shakes come into play. The antioxidants and other nutrients are a great way how to reduce RP levels, which means your body will have less inflammation.

Whether your goal is to stay healthy and prevent disease or to lose weight (or both), the 7-certified organic green leafy veggies in my Organic Green Drinks can play a big part in preventing inflammation.

But how do you know how much CRP you have?

CRP Blood test

Take a C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Blood Test 

Recently, I wrote about a new health trend you’ll be hearing much more about in the near future: DNA testing for weight loss.

Basically, I said that until the science catches up, getting your DNA tested to find out the best form of exercise and supplements to take is probably a waste of money.

But there is one test I’m all in favor of you getting: the C-Reactive Protein Blood Test, or CRP Blood Test. It’s easy to do and your health insurance plan (if you have one) likely covers it in a normal panel blood test (along with A1C blood sugar and cholesterol markers).

Your body has dozens of inflammatory markers. CRP is the easiest one to test and it seems to provide good insight into your inflammation levels. (Don’t get a test done while your sick, especially if you’re fighting an infection because your body’s CRP levels will be inflated and won’t give an accurate reading of the levels when you’re healthy.)

Why is CRP so important? Because it’s a good predictor of heart attacks and strokes. It can also reveal if you’re at risk for developing diabetes and arthritis. In fact, according to WebMD, a Harvard Women’s Health Study revealed that in healthy postmenopausal women, those with the highest CRP levels were more than four times as likely to have died from heart disease or suffer a non-fatal attack or stroke, compared with those with the lowest levels.

See why CRP is so important?

CRP test and inflammation

How to Reduce CRP Levels

Look, I realize that CRP might not be a super sexy health topic. It’s not as celeb-gossip worthy as Intermittent Fasting or Keto. But as a certified nutritional therapist, I feel it’s my duty (and honor) to share with you simple yet important wellness advice. It’s easy to fall prey to food, drinks and other lifestyle choices that can cause serious inflammation in your body.

But it’s just as easy to avoid it.

Start off each morning by lowering your CRP levels with 16 ounces of my Organic Green Drink.

CRP and green drink

If you have time before you go to work, do a little yoga routine at home or go take a class (or do yoga any other time of day). Think I’m biased because I love yoga myself? Well, I do love yoga. But I bet you didn’t know that yoga is clinically proven to reduce CRP levels. Don’t believe me? Check out this research. And as you might expect, mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises, and moving meditation exercises such as Tai Chi, can also reduce CRP levels. (So, too, can sex! Again, don’t take my word for it; look at the research.)

A few more simple ways to keep your inflammation level down is by taking a quality fish oil supplement and probiotic and getting 7 or more hours of restful sleep every night. And remember to keep your added sugar intake to a minimum and exercise almost every day.

Eating the right foods makes a difference in your CRP levels. Try healthy wild salmon, real olive oil, cruciferous veggies, and nuts and seeds.

If you’re feeling great and doing most of these things already, then no worries. But if you are concerned about the level of inflammation in your body, it’s really easy to get a CRP blood test (unless you’re like me and deathly afraid of needles; sorry can’t help you with that phobia!

To your health (and low levels of CRP),

Veronica “Chef V” Kress

Chef V

SIBO: The Number One Reason You Shouldn’t Snack All Day

SIBO - snacking

How many times a day do you do it? 

You’re not really hungry but you stroll into the kitchen and open the fridge or pantry…

It’s not like new food has magically materialized. 

Yet you find something to snack on. 

But even when you’re done eating the last crumb, you’re already thinking about the next snack. 

And all day long, it doesn’t stop. Popcorn on the couch at 11:00 at night while you’re binge-watching your favorite show. 

Nothing wrong with unwinding after a hard day’s work with some mindless show. 

But because I know about SIBO and how it can cause terrible bloating, constipation, gas, and skin problems, I avoid snacking almost entirely—especially after dinner. 

gastritis from SIBO

What is SIBO? 

SIBO stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. 

Because of the popularity of probiotics, lots of people know about the importance of having a healthy gut microbiome. 

Not sure what a gut microbiome is? 

It’s everything in your gut that’s not you, like bacteria and fungus. 

It’s important to have enough of these invisible friendly freeloaders in your gut. That’s because they help metabolize food and release byproducts that keep you healthy. 

In other words, if you take care of these microscopic critters, they will take care of you. 

Many people know it’s important to have enough friendly bacteria in the gut to keep the potentially disease-causing bacteria and yeast from overwhelming the immune system. 

But what few people are aware of is exactly where the good stuff should be. 

Yes, in the gut … but where exactly? 

The answer is your colon. 

And, no, the colon is not the same as the rectum, where poop comes out of; the colon is another term for the five-foot long large intestine.

Gut bacteria should predominantly be present in the large intestine. But when you snack a lot, it can cause an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine or SIBO. 

colon

What Causes SIBO?

There are other root causes besides snacking. But not giving your digestion enough of a break is one of the biggest culprits. 

Chronic stress, medication, serious illness, surgery, hormonal imbalance (excess estrogen) … these are some of the other contributing SIBO factors. 

But I want to focus on snacking here because almost everybody can relate to it and it’s really easy to correct. 

So here’s why snacking can cause SIBO…

The bacteria in your small intestine normally gets literally swept down into the large intestine several times a day by a process called the migrating motor complex or MMC. 

Not to geek out on this highly complex function of human physiology but the basics of the MMC are important to understand. 

If the majority of your bacteria sits in your small intestine, you will not be able to absorb nutrients very well. 

Malabsorption of nutrients can cause autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, mood disorders and lots of other health concerns. 

So you really need the bacteria to migrate from the small intestine to the large intestine. Otherwise, the friendly bacteria (probiotics) can’t digest their favorite food—prebiotic fiber—that eventually create short-chain fatty acids. 

Short-chain fatty acids improve gut-brain communication. And basically every factor of health such as immunity is determined by gut-brain communication. 

intermittent fasting

Why Snacking Causes SIBO

But it can take up to 4 hours in between meals for most of the bacteria to be swept into the colon. 

You probably already know that frequent snacking is bad for managing blood sugar levels and keeping insulin levels low. 

Now that you know about the MMC, add it to the list of why you really should never snack in between meals—unless you have a medical condition such as type 1 diabetes that necessitates eating frequent small meals. 

SIBO is another good reason to give intermittent fasting a try. I like the routine of finishing my dinner by 8 p.m. and then breaking my fast 16 hours later with Organic Green Drink. 

Doing a 16 hour fast will help your body not only sweep all the excess bacteria down into the large intestine, it will also help your body get back in balance. Digestion requires an enormous amount of energy and resources. When you deprive your body of food short-term, it can focus on other tasks like self-repair. 

 (Fasting for 12-14 hours will also yield positive results but build up your temporary daily fast to 16 hours eventually.)

How To Get Tested For SIBO and Fix It

You have to get diagnosed for it by a medical doctor. You can also find a functional health practitioner who can run some diagnostic tests and assess your gut health. 

Fixing SIBO requires dietary adjustments, probiotics and prebiotic fiber, for starters. You may have to eliminate all added sugars, gluten, processed soy, white flour, and wheat flour for the time being. Eat a plant-based diet consisting of real food (nothing packaged or processed) and stop snacking. And stop walking past the fridge and pantry so much! 

Chef V and kale

Is there a Safe Detox for Diabetics? Diabetes and Juice Cleanses

Diabetes management tools

Maintaining blood sugar levels is important for everyone, but especially pressing for those with diabetes. Blended juice cleanses can help you get your blood sugar levels back under control, and cut sugar cravings as well – this makes them an incredibly useful tool for both preventing diabetes, and alleviating its symptoms.

Individuals with diabetes do need to be very careful with changes in their blood sugar levels, and with what they eat in general. This means that diabetic cleanses need to be approached with a little bit more care and thought. We’ll cover some of these considerations right here.

Juicing to Prevent Diabetes

In an odd twist,  juice is both one of the main causes of diabetes, and one of the main ways to prevent it. How does that work, you might ask?

The risk of Type 2 Diabetes can be increased significantly by the consumption of sugar (overall diet, lifestyle and genetics also play a role). A lot of the juice products you can buy in the grocery store tend to be filled with sugar, often artificially added in order to create a sweeter flavor. Since we tend to think of juice as “healthy”, we might gulp down a lot of sugar without realizing it.

However, there are also a lot of healthier juice options out there. The green drink in our blended juice cleanses, for example, is filled with only the healthiest fruits and vegetables, and has low overall sugar content  – an 8oz serving has 26 calories and 6 g of sugar. 

Blended juice cleanses can be a great way to help regulate the dangerous sugar levels that might lead to the development of diabetes. They’re also a great way to help regular sugar cravings. This doesn’t only promote weight loss, but it helps you better stick to a healthy diet that can be used to manage diabetes risk factors. While reading the labels on blended juice cleanses, check for the amount of sugar – some have up to 100 g of sugar! 

Glucometer surrounded by candy

Juicing and Diabetes Concerns

So, a blended juice cleanse can be a great way to help prevent the high blood glucose levels that can be a risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes. But should people with Type 2 Diabetes be taking part in blended juice cleanses? Can it do anything for diabetes after it has developed?

If you are considering the possibility of a safe detox for diabetics, there are a few things to consider. Blood sugar levels for those with diabetes are much more difficult to control. This means that if you go all out on a hardcore diabetic cleanse to lose weight, you could possibly drop your blood sugar down to levels that are potentially unsafe.

If you have diabetes and aren’t sure about participating in a juice cleanse just yet, it doesn’t mean that you have to abandon the good stuff in a blended juice cleanse entirely – far from it. It does mean that you should try to set more limited and realistic blended juice cleanse goals for healthy living.

Cutting out sugary drinks is still important, as are managing sugar cravings. This is why incorporating green drinks into your regular diet can be a great way to help you achieve weight loss goals, and blood sugar level goals, even if you do have diabetes. By losing weight and cutting sugar cravings, you can help better manage your diabetes overall. With Chef V, you can get a green drink plan developed just for you, delivering the exact amount of the healthiest green drinks out there for your own health needs.

So while undergoing long cleanses may not be the best idea for those with diabetes, blended juice cleanse products can still play an important role in maintaining good health.

Recently Chef V had a clinical research study of its detox and green drink products completed. It shows that a 21 day Chef V detox plus a week of Chef V organic green drink lower A1C blood sugar levels. 

How To Save $4000 On Green Drink & Cleanses—And Feel Like A Million Bucks

Veronica “V” Kress, founder of ChefV.com, is paying it forward by reducing the yearly cost of a Green Drink plan and 2 Cleanses by $4000, to a select group of VIP customers. To be eligible for consideration, VIP customers must be fully committed to looking and feeling their best in 2023. 

How are those healthy New Year resolutions going so far? Hopefully you’re not one of the 25% of people who quit within the first week of setting their resolutions. 

The fact is that most people abandon their resolution before the end of January. And get this: less than 10% are successful in seeing their resolution through and achieving success.

Are you the rare person that not only wants to unleash your full potential in 2023, but will actually make it happen? Are you someone who wants to live life at the possible highest vibration this year

Do you want 2023 to be your healthiest year yet? Are you excited about the possibility of looking and feeling your best ever?

Then I have an invitation for you

But first I have to warn you about something…

Be A CHEF V VIP. Buy A New Wardrobe With Your Savings!

If you accept my invitation you’re going to get significantly leaner

You’ll finally achieve the body you’ve been dreaming about for years.

And that means there’s a good chance you might have to buy new clothes

But with all the money you’ll save, you’ll be able to buy a whole new wardrobe. 

Plus you’ll still have lots more money saved to go on a dream vacation

If this sounds too good to be true, there is a catch…

You need to be 100% fully committed to my plan. 

You see, recently, I told you that Chef V’s Green Drink Plan is the best $7 you’ll spend this year for your overall health and well-being. 

The same price as a coffee shop vanilla latte will help you lose weight, feel great and everything that comes along with that… 

Like better sleep, more youthful looking skin and a stronger immune system… 

The Chef V Green Drink Plan is a great place to start for looking and feeling your best in 2023. 

If you want to take it to the next level and save thousands of dollars, I invite you into my inner circle: the CHEF V VIP group. 

Here’s what you get when you join:

  • $4000 off the retail price for 12 months of Green Drink or Tropical Green Drink
  • Two (2) 3-DAY CLEANSES Included (accelerate your weight loss)
    • Private Health Consultation with Chef V, a certified nutritional therapist (30 minutes $250 value)
    • Hard copy of Chef V’s Cookbook, Making Cleansing Easier (a $47 value)
    • A Chef V Tumbler ($20 value)
  • Free samples of upcoming Chef V new products. 

Be A VIP For Less Than The Cost Of A Burrito 

My accountant is not very happy with me. You see, he thinks I’m not charging enough for my Green Drink Plan. And on top of that, I’m offering 2 free 3-DAY CLEANSES! 

I’m sure you’re all too aware of how much prices of everything have gone up. Why would I then offer a huge savings plus several freebies on top of that? 

Well, at the end of the day, CHEF V is a business, so I do have to turn a profit. But beyond being a business, CHEF V is a community. And I want to give back and help people achieve their health goals

This is why I created the VIP PLAN. By becoming a VIP, you are purchasing not only the freshest, most gut-friendly, lowest-sugar Green Drink, you’re also getting something you can’t put money on…

ACCOUNTABILITY.

By becoming a VIP, you are not only purchasing daily Green Drinks and 2 CLEANSES, you’re also investing in your future health and success. 

By prepaying for a VIP yearly plan, you are guaranteeing that you will stay motivated and committed to meeting your goals

In becoming a CHEF V VIP, you eliminate the chance of failure!  

You will be the rare person that sticks to their New Year health resolutions!

So what will all this cost? 

I believe in being fully transparent. No waiting until the checkout cart pops up to see what the total cost is…

Your upfront investment in your health and happiness for 2023 is $2199.

That comes out to $183 a month

That’s only $6.10 per day

Way less than the breakfast burrito I ate the other day. It was $15! 

Of course, I ate it at 1 p.m. because I do intermittent fasting and I break my fast with Green Drink every morning. Having Green Drink every day for your “break-fast” is the easiest way to lose weight and feel super-charged.

And with the VIP Plan, you’re guaranteed of securing the lowest possible price on Green Drink and sticking with it. No temptations to jump off the bandwagon and go back to your old ways of eating sausage, bacon, toast and bagels for breakfast. 

I can’t emphasize enough how Green Drink starts off your day in the healthiest way possible. 

—-> Read Chef V’s Health Benefits Of Green Drink For Breakfast

The point is, that gourmet burrito I had was delicious. But $15 on something that really isn’t supporting my health to the same degree as Green Drink? Delicious but ridiculous. 

Whereas $6 a day for Green Drink plus free 2 CLEANSES during the year to support your body’s detoxification organs

That’s far too much of a bargain, according to my accountant. 

Is Your Brain Health Worth $2K? 

The average person will think of a thousand excuses not to invest $2199 in their health. 

But you’re not average. You realize that flooding your cells every morning with the world’s most potent, health-supporting phytonutrients is priceless. 

And doing so affects your health in every possible way. 

For example, your brain health. 

But don’t just take my word for it. A study in the journal, Neurology, shows that just 1 serving a day of green leafy vegetables may help to slow age-associated cognitive decline. 

Plus there’s research that shows how daily green leafy veggies supports sleep quality, collagen production, blood sugar levels and so much more…

The VIP Green Drink plan is like buying the best premium fuel for your body at Costco prices. 

30 Day Challenge X 12 = Amazing Health Transformation

Every so often, we’ll do a 30 Day Green Drink Challenge on social media. Chef V customers who complete the challenge typically experience some amazing results. 10-20 pounds lost. More energy. Cravings for junk gone. Clearer skin. 

Unfortunately, some people lose their momentum and go back to their old ways. 

This is why becoming a VIP is the smartest thing you’ll do this year. 

Imagine the success of a 30-day challenge times 12!!!

On a VIP plan, the motivation will never fade! 

Make 2023 the year you finally see a health resolution through to the end of the year.

Upgrade to a VIP plan now.

To your health and success!

Love, Chef V

Chef V and kale

What Do I Eat Today – Menu with Chef V’s Moussaka

what do I eat today moussaka

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu starts with warm lemon water, then Green Drink. For breakfast, Easy Cereal with Chef V's Almond Milk.  For lunch, my Creamy Sweet Potato Soup, and for dinner,  Vegan Moussaka, demonstrated in this month's Chef V Cooking School video. Dessert is a creamy Chia Seed Pudding with fruit.

lemons

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I'm hungry to have my Green Drink.

warm cinnamon quinoa

For Breakfast – Easy Cereal with Chef V's  raw Almond Milk

Chef V’s Tip: My Raw Almond Milk is easy to make and so versatile; I use it throughout my book. Or, an ice-cold glass of it is refreshing on a hot summer day.

Get the recipe here. 

This “What do I Eat today” lunch is Sweet Potato Leek Soup. Sweet potatoes are the uber tuber – packed with fiber and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and blood sugar regulating nutrients. The best ways to prepare them for maximum health benefits are boiling, steaming and stir frying.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner – Vegan Moussaka

For dinner, you are having my Vegan Moussaka, made with healthier ingredients that will taste great and make you feel good. My vegan version of moussaka uses a dairy-free Béchamel sauce and mushrooms instead of meat.

This recipe is featured in my Cooking series on YouTube and you can watch me prepare the recipe here.

Chia seed pudding

Dessert – Chia Seed Pudding

For dessert or snack we offer a recipe for Chia Seed Pudding. Chia seed pudding is great for breakfast, dessert, or anytime, and kids love this recipe.

Get the recipe here.

Chia seeds are tiny superfood heroes. They come in either white or dark brown/black and have a huge nutritional profile. 

Veronica pouring green drink

Chef V’s Cooking with V – Vegan Moussaka

Welcome to Chef V's Cooking School!

I'm Veronica, Certified Nutritional Therapist, author, and proud owner of Chef V. You might know me for my Green Drink and Cleanses, but I started Chef V as a personal chef. In my first video cooking series, I'll be sharing some of my clients' favorite recipes with you.

Using this blog and my YouTube channel, I welcome you to my kitchen. We're going to laugh, learn and cook – together.

In this special episode, we have a virtual guest. Michael lost over 200lbs with Chef V and implemented a healthy lifestyle. His story is so inspiring. We make a vegan version of moussaka using a dairy-free Béchamel sauce and mushrooms instead of meat.

Cooking with Chef V

Michael says:

“I’ve reached my goal weight in June, losing a total of 245 plus pounds over the last 22 months. Chef V has helped in this as my morning drink since I started my Green Drink Plan from you. Thank you.”

Vegan Moussaka
Step by Step

moussaka ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil, divided use
  • 1/4 cup sliced white onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 pound minced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup Chef V's Raw Almond Milk
  • 3/4 cup vegan mozzarella shreds
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large (or 2 small) zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise like lasagna noodles

DIRECTIONS

dicing onion

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly coat a 6×6 inch baking dish with coconut spray.

PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS

ONION
Cut off both ends of the onion, remove the skin, give it diagonal cuts all the way across the cut end.  Slice across cut end for perfectly diced onion.

chop mushrooms

MUSHROOMS
Chop the mushrooms – I love the nice meaty texture they give to the dish.

sliced zucchini

ZUCCHINI
Cut off the ends so the end is flat. Slice lengthwise making pieces like a lasagna noodle.

saute onions

SAUTE THE ONION, MUSHROOMS & GARLIC

In a saucepan, saute onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for about one minute, until translucent. Add the garlic, then the mushrooms. Continue cooking for about 3 minutes more.

bechamel sauce in pan

MAKE THE BECHAMEL SAUCE

Add one tablespoon olive oil to a saucepan, add the flour into the oil, and stir. Slowly add the almond milk while stirring. Add 1/2 cup vegan cheese.

Once the cheese is melted add the spices – 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon rosemary.

The sauce will get creamy and thicken. Reduce the heat and simmer it. Add the broth and continue stirring.

assemble dish

ASSEMBLE THE DISH

In a 6 by 6-inch baking dish, assemble the moussaka. 

  • Cover the bottom with a layer of zucchini slices.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 the mozzarella shreds.
  • Top with mushroom mixture.
  • Sprinkle remaining mozzarella shreds.
  • Cover with a layer of zucchini slices.
  • Top with sauce.

moussake oven

BAKE THE DISH

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the sauce is golden brown.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

tasting

TASTE!

Is Cleansing While Pregnant Or Nursing Safe?

Chef V pregnant -1

Veronica (the “V” in Chef V) is now a mommy to one big beautiful baby. Kaden Samuel Kress was born weighing almost 10 pounds! Baby, momma and daddy (Brandon) are all doing great. Now that Baby Kaden is here, can V get back to her pre-pregnancy weight by doing a brief cleanse? V reveals whether it’s safe, and provides pregnant and breastfeeding moms with other practical nutrition facts. 

As I write this right after the July 4th holiday, I feel grateful to live in the USA. But after having just given birth, I’m dreaming of being a Scandinavian. You see, in Denmark, moms get 4 weeks of leave directly before the due date and then 14 weeks of leave after birth. 

But when you’re running a mini Organic Green Drink delivery empire, ain’t nobody got time for that much maternity leave. 

Speaking of Green Drinks, they are the cornerstone of ChefV.com cleanses (4 of them per day, available in 1-DAY, 3-DAY, and 5-DAY options), and now that my Baby Kaden is here, I thought I’d write about whether it’s safe for new moms to do a brief cleanse to get back to the weight they were before they had a watermelon in their belly. 

mother holding baby up in air

Cleansing For Expecting & New Moms

To answer whether it’s safe to cleanse while breastfeeding or pregnant, I’m not gonna leave you with a cliffhanger. I’ll cut right to the chase. I don’t recommend cleansing while breastfeeding or pregnant. That’s because when you’re doing a cleanse, it accelerates the liver’s detoxification pathways. 

Totally a good thing when you’ve been eating lots of bacon double cheeseburgers and don’t have a tiny human in your belly. But when the liver’s detoxification pathways are accelerated, trapped toxins get released into the bloodstream. Not good for a fetus or a nursing baby!

Are Green Drinks OK For New Moms? 

Does that mean that pregnant and nursing moms shouldn’t have Organic Green Drink? Actually, having a Green Drink every day as a supplement to your diet is safe. I had one every day during my pregnancy. But don’t take that as medical advice. You should consult with your doctor or OBGYN. 

So why is it safe to have a Green Drink while pregnant or nursing if it’s the cornerstone of the Chef V cleanse? Because the 7 green leafy veggies are nutrient dense. And you’re not doing a cleanse, you’re just having one daily green drink and eating a normal diet.

Another reason it’s not a good idea to do a cleanse, even a 1-DAY cleanse is because you’re consuming fewer calories. Although the Chef V cleanse is one of the only detox programs that supplies all the essential macronutrients (protein, fat and low-sugar carbs), it does not provide enough calories and nutrients for a developing baby.

Are Raw Juices Safe For Pregnancy?

Better For Mom & Baby’s Gut 

ChefV.com prides itself on being the only company that delivers low-sugar, unpasteurized (raw) cold-blended Green Drinks made fresh. The advantage of raw and cold-blended is it’s better for your gut microbiome

Less Harmful Bacteria Than Store Produce

Another advantage of drinking your greens from ChefV.com is that all our produce comes direct from farms. That means hardly any hands have touched the 7 certified organic green leafy veggies. In comparison, think about how many people handle or touch the produce sold at grocery stores: distributors, employees and customers. Supermarket-bought produce carries far more bacteria!

No Bugs, Literally!

Another reason Chef V Green Drinks are safe is that after we receive the produce directly from our farm suppliers, we wash it with a certified organic solution. The produce soaks in this solution and is then power-washed with cold water and inspected for bugs. This process reduces bacteria that could potentially harm your baby. 

Finally, just a quick word of caution about consuming raw drinks and foods: make sure it’s from a brand or local farm that you know and trust!

baby with fruits and vegetables

Does Eating Veggies Affect Your Baby’s Future Diet? 

Obviously, eating a diet high in fruits and veggies is not only great for mom’s health, but for developing baby’s as well. But a 2020 study in Public Health Nutrition posed an interesting question: Does a mom’s diet while breastfeeding affect what the baby will eat later in life? In other words, if mom eats lots of fresh fruits and veggies, will it “train” baby’s taste buds to like them too? 

According to the study authors, children breastfed during infancy consume more fruits and vegetables than formula-fed children. “This pattern is likely due, in part, to infants learning from flavors of the mother's diet transmitted through breast milk.” 

And out of nearly 1400 b mom-baby combinations, the study authors concluded that longer breastfeeding duration was associated with a higher rate of fruit and vegetable consumption when the child reached one year. 

Even better, the study conclusion was the same when the children reached 6 years of age. Exposure to vegetable flavors through breast milk promotes later child vegetable consumption, the authors concluded.

baby breast feeding

Take It Easy On The Garlic & Onions

Garlic and onions are great for stir-fry dishes but alliums, the family that garlic and onions are in, are not good for babies. In fact, alliums can make a colicky baby cry like a banshee even more. 

A randomized clinical trial (the gold standard of research) from 2018 (published here) was conducted because “therapeutic diets for infantile colic lack evidence.” 

So the study authors examined the effects of a low-FODMAP diet. FODMAPS stands for “Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols,” which are types of sugars. Alliums like garlic and onions are fructans, which are oligosaccharides. 

The study examined breastfed infants at least 9 weeks old with colic. One group of moms went on a 10-day low-FODMAP diet while the other group ate a typical Western diet. The low-FODMAP diet was associated with a 32% reduction in “crying-fussing durations of infants with colic.” 

You know how garlic and onions can make you burp? Remember that those alliums travel through the breast milk and make babies cranky! 

garlic and onions

Do Breastfeeding Moms Need Nutritional Supplements? 

The University of California San Francisco recommends that breastfeeding mothers take a daily multivitamin that contains 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). If taking a prenatal vitamin, you can continue to take it, but you’ll likely be consuming too much iron, which may cause constipation or indigestion.  

A research article from a Spanish pediatric journal suggests that moms should pay special attention to getting enough thiamine (vitamin B1) and vitamins A and D, because these 3 nutrients are the ones most likely to be the most deficient in breastmilk if mom isn’t getting enough of it through the diet. The researchers also say that moms should consume at least 1800 calories a day.

All this writing about postnatal nutrition is making me hungry. I’m off to go eat and feed baby Kaden. I hope this article is useful if you’re expecting or nursing. 

To your health — and baby’s too!

Love, 
Veronica 

Founder, ChefV.com

Chef V Life Before & After Success Stories

chefvlife success stories

Above, Chef V clients' before/after photos

Check out these Chef V experiences!

These customers have amazing before and after stories to tell about Chef V's  Green Drink and Cleanses. Many have lost weight and feel “amazing!”.

Chef V customers might start with a Chef V Cleanse, but they continue to drink it daily for its continuing health benefits. Plus, at only $7 a day, it is much more affordable than grocery store brands.

As you can see from these success stories, our customers are happy to tell their friends, family, and us their success stories.

Pashelle's Success

Pashelle success

Pashelle says: “Thank you so much. I work about 13-14 hours a day in the wardrobe department of a television show. It is so easy to eat junk food allday. Me and the driver of my wardrobe trailer committed to the 3 day cleanse and we feel amazing. Day 1 was the toughtest day Day 2, I saw the difference. And day 3 was an introduction to my New Self. Thank you Chef V.”

Makenzie's Story

Mackenzie success

“During my 21 day 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.”

Michael's Dramatic Weight Loss

Michael

“I’ve reached my goal weight in June, losing a total of 245 plus pounds over the last 22 months. Chef V has helped in this as my morning drink since I started my Green Drink Plan from you. Thank you.”

“I’ve reached my goal weight in June, losing a total of 245 plus pounds over the last 22 months. Chef V has helped in this as my morning drink since I started my Green Drink Plan from you. Thank you.”

Rick's Story

Rick

“Wow!… have I been excited to write this review! (READ WITH CONFIDENCE) This is not the first time I have done a cleanse, so I have others to compare it to as well. In a nut shell: CHEF V ROCKS! That’s the simple version. The long version is that the 21 Day Detox is worth every penny, it is a challenge, and it is positively altering! From day 1 to day 21 of the challenge, I lost a total of 22lbs ….and I continue to lose weight. This cleanse has aftershocks. (BOOOOOOOM!) THANK YOU Chef V; for all the countless hours of study you have done to deliver a detox that gives noticeable results and restoration! Thank you, Chef V!”

How Does “V” Reboot Her Mind & Body? Cleansing Lessons From ChefV.com’s Founder

Through her email newsletters and blog posts, Chef V has helped thousands of customers by providing useful tips and tricks on how to prepare for a cleanse and what to do during before and after the cleanse to maximize success and long-term healthy habits. Now it’s time to turn the tables and find out how “V” (Veronica) cleanses…

You might assume that someone who literally wrote the book on Making Cleansing Easier frequently does a cleanse. But Veronica Kress, the “V” in Chef V, admits to only doing a full-blown cleanse about twice a year.

Why only twice a year?

Well, when you practice what you preach and do a mini cleanse every day, you don’t need to purify yourself that often. Having an Organic Green Drink every morning on an empty stomach is a daily religious rite of passage for V. “Each one of us naturally cleanses every night while we’re sleeping,” V explains, adding, “And when I have a Green Drink for breakfast after drinking some pure water, I’m prolonging the process.

But on the rare occasions, she feels she’s in a rut and experiencing cravings for junk, it’s time for V to get her cleanse on!

How Does V Know When To Do A Cleanse? 

“I know when I need to do a full cleanse if I’m at a party and have a couple Doritos and then suddenly I’m craving the whole bag and other junk food.”

V reveals an intimate detail about why she did a cleanse in the summer of 2021. The reason why she chose to do it? In the hopes of getting pregnant. “I’ve had several customers tell me that after they did a Chef V cleanse, they became pregnant so I thought I might as well try too,” V laughs. (She is now the proud Mom of baby Kaden!)

But there was another reason that V does a full cleanse that doesn’t have anything to do with procreation. “People may think I’m this perfect saint of nutrition but I’m not. Before that last cleanse, I had family in town and we did a lot of wine tasting,” V explains.

What is V’s Motivation For Doing A Cleanse?

Most people do a cleanse with the singular goal of losing weight. V says that even though weight loss isn’t her primary goal, she will lose 3-5 pounds after doing a 3 day cleanse. But the primary reason V does a cleanse—besides purging the urge to eat junk—is to sharpen her mental clarity.

“If you’re frequently craving unhealthy foods, brain fog usually accompanies the cravings,” V says.

In addition, V is motivated to do a cleanse because she realizes the plethora of benefits that accompany it, including improved sleep quality and clearer skin.

V emphasizes the amazing power that a brief cleanse has in resetting the taste buds. If you’re frequently craving starchy carbs and chemicals even a short cleanse has the potential to restore the appreciation for the natural sweetness of fruit. “When you stop eating foods with synthetic chemicals and added sugars, berries will taste amazing and then you won’t crave the bad stuff,” she says.

V’s Favorite Cleanse

In choosing between ChefV.com’s cleanse options, V says she’s partial to the 3 day cleanse because it’s the most doable.

But a 3 day cleanse isn’t really just a 3 day cleanse, V explains. That’s because the pre-cleanse phase is crucial. V says that the number of days she does a pre-cleanse depends on how her diet has been. If she’s done more wine tasting than usual or indulged in her favorite other vice—french fries—V will pre-cleanse for at least 3 days.

V’s pre-cleanse instructions are crystal clear with the 1-day, 3-day and 5-day options. Basically, V provides a list of foods to eat and to avoid before the cleanse, which is more calorie-restricted, begins.

How V Preps For A Cleanse

There’s no point in doing a cleanse if you’re not going to pre-cleanse in order to properly prepare your body, V says. “Why spend all this time and money if you’re not going to do it right?” she asks.

And while some of the “Don’t Eat This” foods on the pre-cleanse list may seem obvious, V avoids certain seemingly healthy foods leading up to the start of the official cleanse. For example, bananas are a no-no because of the high amount of sugar. Grapefruit contains an enzyme that actually slows phase 1 detoxification in the liver.

V also avoids strawberries, even organic ones, because they may contain a high amount of pesticides. Same deal goes for grapes and then there’s tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers, all of which are in the nightshade family. V avoids nightshades leading up to the cleanse because they may promote inflammation, especially if there’s already excessive inflammation in the body.

But the most important foods V avoids in the days leading up to her cleanse—and the immediate days after the cleanse is over—are anything with gluten; dairy products, red meat, caffeine and alcohol.

V says she decided to make caffeine a no-no on the pre-cleanse list because it takes a lot of energy for the body to detoxify from caffeine. But the good news is that she has helped thousands of people overcome their caffeine addiction. “They feel amazing afterwards,” she says.

below, click image to download pdf of includes and excludes

Why V Created The Pre-Cleanse Phase

So how did V come up with the idea of a pre-cleanse phase in the first place? Was it the certified nutritional therapy course she took? Nope. She was inspired to create it when a few customers walked into her former commercial kitchen in San Diego and said, “We’re going to Burger King for our last meal before the cleanse!”

V emphasizes that lots of people still don’t realize the importance of the pre-cleanse phase. If you go from filling up your car’s gas tank with sugar and then all of a sudden fill it up with the proper fuel, your car will still run like crap.

So later that night after the Burger King fiasco, V researched everything she could find about gut healing and cleansing, including what foods to eat and not to eat. The pre-cleanse instructional materials that are provided to every ChefV.com cleanse customer was soon after completed!

In addition to properly preparing your body for the cleanse, the pre-cleanse phase, V says, helps her customers typically lose 5 pounds. “The pre-cleanse phase can be just as successful as the cleanse phase.”

What V Does If She Has Cravings During A Cleanse

V doesn’t like to use the word “cheating” when it comes to experiencing cravings during a cleanse. It’s too much of a negative connotation. V likes positive reinforcements instead. Which is why V employs the concept of “intuitive eating” when her brain tells her that she’s hungry during the cleanse phase.

Instead of giving in to cravings for unhealthy snacks, V says that she’ll have a tiny bit of healthy fats like a teaspoon of coconut oil and a slice of avocado added to her Detox soup.

“The tiny amount of avocado felt so indulgent. I admit that I did feel like I was cheating a little bit, but I was making a wise decision by listening to my body.”

V also says that during the cleanse phase, one way to satisfy a craving without ruining the benefits is to puree or blend an extra veggie juice. Eating lots of cooked food, even healthy foods like low-starch veggies takes a lot of energy for the body to digest. For this reason, V says to eat a liquid lunch or dinner—if your body is really telling you that it’s hungry. Having a handful of nuts, berries, and a few carrot sticks and hummus won’t sabotage your success either.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself during the cleanse phase,” V says.

Veronica and Brandon in Hawaii

The Health Benefits Of Drinking Breakfast

drinking breakfast

Genetics isn’t the only reason V maintains a slim figure. For years, a vital component of her weight-management and gut-health strategy has been breaking the daily fast with liquids. Replacing a conventional breakfast with liquids has many health benefits and V’s here to explain…

If you’ve been following me for years, you already know how important NOT eating breakfast is.

But if you’re new to this concept, maybe you’re thinking, “Wait. I thought breakfast was the most important meal of the day.”

Now, I don’t wanna suggest that your mom didn’t know what she was talking about when you were a kid. Without doubt, eating nutrient-dense foods like fruit and eggs is important for a developing brain and body.

However, now that you’re an adult, your metabolism might be starting to slow down. And one reason why might not have anything to do with your age. Rather, it’s the fact that your body has a high toxic load. In other words, your detoxification organs such as the liver can’t clear toxins out more quickly than they accumulate.

There are several reasons why toxic overload occurs. For example, heavy metals can accumulate in your body. There’s pesticides from the food supply and harsh chemicals in skin care products, hair care products and household cleaners.

So what does this have to do with not eating food for breakfast and instead only having liquids when it’s time to break your fast?

The answer is that by not eating food, you’re giving your body a longer time to detoxify.

lemon water

V’s Liquid Breakfast Routine

Actually, before I break my fast with Organic Green Drink, I have a tall glass of warm lemon water. Then I wait until I'm hungry to have a Green Drink.

Like naturally waking up with the morning light instead of being startled awake by a harsh alarm clock, a liquid breakfast gently wakes up your digestive system. And the water and Green Drink keeps the detoxification going. Your body naturally detoxifies every night. Or at least it tries to. But when you eat a standard breakfast first thing in the morning, your digestive and detoxification systems are hard at work again.

Now, in order to feel satisfied with a liquid breakfast, here’s what I do…

About half an hour after having my Green Drink, I’ll make a smoothie with fruit, veggies, vegan protein (pea protein is my fav) and healthy fats such as avocado, chia and flax seeds.

With my cookbook, Making Cleansing Easier (which you can get as a complementary download with a purchase of a CHEF V 21 DAY CHALLENGE), you’ll never get bored of smoothies.

In addition to my cookbook smoothie recipes, I have even more smoothie recipes on my blog.  My Tropitaya Smoothie, featuring super-easy-to-digest pea protein, is one of the most popular. I also like to add ginger and turmeric to it to support my metabolism and keep inflammation in check.

berry parfait

Benefits of Drinking Your Breakfast

In addition, I’ll add ingredients that support my gut health without bloating my belly, such as bio-k fermented vegan products. Unlike regular probiotic drinks that have dairy—one of the biggest triggers of inflammation in the body—the vegan probiotic drinks I use have fermented oat and pumpkin seed as a base.

Not only does a liquid breakfast make it easy for the digestive system to “wake up,” there are other benefits as well.

Of course, you could have a liquid breakfast consisting of coffee, orange juice and Red Bull to kickstart your day. Obviously, that ain’t healthy. But as long as you’re sticking to a routine of lemon water or herbal tea; Organic Green Drink followed by a smoothie with vegan protein and a small amount of fats, you’ll be supporting your health in many ways.

Healthy liquid breakfasts may help prevent overacidity in the gut enviroment (stimulates alkalinity) and help cleanse the colon of harmful bacteria.

But don’t just take my word for it. There’s plenty of research that supports this. For instance, a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, suggests that a liquid breakfast improved the blood sugar levels of 123 patients with type 2 diabetes.

Another study in the journal, Appetite, concluded that a plant-based liquid breakfast (made with plant protein) led to consuming less calories and was more satisfying to the subjects than eating a conventional breakfast.

In general, I believe that liquid breakfasts are awesome for improving digestion, boosting detoxification and sharpening mental focus.

Give it a try for a couple weeks and see how you feel. For me and my husband, Brandon, and for thousands of Chef V customers, making the switch from a conventional breakfast to a liquid one has been one of the simplest yet most profound things we’ve done to look and feel our best.

Love,

V

Chef V Tropical Smoothie

Chef V’s tip: Mangos contain tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid, which help maintain the alkaline balance of our bodies. Use my Tropical Green Drink as the base for this recipe for a cool, refreshing smoothie.

For a variation on this recipe, add fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, and vanilla pea protein powder.

pumpkin puree

TOTAL: 10 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen mango pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple pieces
  • 2 large kale leaves
  • 2 cups Chef V Tropical Smoothie Green Drink
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla pea protein (optional)

Superfood boosts:

  • 1 tsp. Fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. Fresh turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Bee pollen

Directions

Process all ingredients in a Vitamix for 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth. Will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated.

Bon Appétit!

Common Side Effects of Juice Cleanses: If You Should Worry and How To Deal With Them

Participating in a blended juice cleanse is a significant undertaking. You’re doing a hard reset on your body and naturally flushing toxins. Whether you’ve opted for a 3 day cleanse or a 21 day cleanse, you can expect to see and feel dramatic results.

I'm going to explain some common reactions people have to juice cleanses. I will cover which are normal and which are concerning, and why my Chef V cleanse is the safest and more achievable cleanse for you. 

Understanding Different Juice Cleanses

Before discussing the side effects of juice cleanses, you need to understand the different kinds of juice cleanses. So how exactly do you define a juice cleanse? At its most basic, a juice cleanse is a temporary diet that looks to replace, in part or whole, your regular food with juiced fruits and vegetables. The goal of a juice cleanse can be to lose weight, boost the immune system, detox the body, get more nutrients, remove sugar cravings, or just feel great.

Of course, every juice cleanse out there has a different set of ingredients to it. When browsing recipes you might look for maximum nutritional value, or for the taste you prefer. Some juice cleanses are very basic, such as those based around only celery juice. Other juice cleanses are more involved, with many different ingredients.

Many juice cleanses go beyond the juice. It’s not uncommon to see juice cleanses that add in detox smoothies and detox shakes. These allow a juice cleanse to offer you more protein and fiber, meaning that you can stay healthy for longer during your juice cleanse.

Lastly, juice cleanses can differ depending on how long they last. Generally, the shortest kinds of juice cleanse are the 3-day juice cleanses. The longest kind of juice cleanse would be the 21-day juice cleanses.

Common Juice Cleanse Side Effects

Ideally, a juice cleanse should leave you feeling amazing. Yet, many report side effects while taking on a juice cleanse. Here we’ll go over some of the most common, as well as explain what might cause them – and if you should do anything about them.

Headaches

Headaches aren’t uncommon during many juice cleanses. But this doesn’t mean that they are good either. One of the major causes of headaches is from getting a lack of all the nutrients you need. Many juice cleanses don’t provide you with everything you need to get through a juice cleanse. This is particularly true of the very “basic” ones like celery juice cleanses.

Celery juice side effects often include the infamous celery juice headaches. While eating celery is certainly healthy, you can’t just live off of celery stalks! You must research your juice cleanses beforehand and make sure that they have all the proper nutrients you need. In particular, try to make sure you are getting enough protein out of your juice cleanse.

Dizziness

Dizziness during juice cleanses isn’t uncommon either. Dizziness during a juice cleanse normally happens because of a drop in blood sugar levels.

A little bit of dizziness is to be expected then, as your blood sugar levels start to stabilize. If you are experiencing prolonged dizziness, your juice cleanse isn’t providing you with enough carbs and natural sugars. Like the celery juice headache, you may want to look for a more sustainable cleanse, or try a shorter one.

It should also be noted that sometimes dizziness can be caused by a lack of iron, or dehydration. Make sure you are doing a juice cleanse that includes plenty of dark greens for iron, and always drink plenty of water.

Fatigue

If you are experiencing prolonged fatigue during your juice cleanse, it might be that you aren’t getting enough iron or protein. Like with the previous side effects, it’s a good idea to make sure you are getting a nutritionally comprehensive juice cleanse. This is especially important if you are aiming for a long-term weight loss goal like the 21-day juice cleanse.

Fatigue can also be caused during a juice cleanse by getting too much or too little physical activity. Remaining active during a juice cleanse is important, but you will want to try and keep it to mainly light exercise.

Bowel Issues

Getting on a juice cleanse does represent a fairly significant change to your diet, it’s true. So some digestive issues to start aren’t uncommon. If you find yourself running to the toilet, you might want to look into a juice cleanse that contains more fiber. A lack of fiber in your cleanse is often the most common reason for bowel issues. (In particular, celery juice side effects often include bowel trouble). It’s a good idea to go for a blended juice cleanse that comes with detox soups. This way you don’t have to deal with the results of putting too much juice in an empty stomach without fiber.

Get A Sustainable Juice Cleanse

The best kind of blended juice cleanse is the kind that you can finish. Undergoing even a 3-day juice cleanse or 7-day juice cleanse is a big undertaking. If you want to go for a 21-day juice cleanse, you are going to want a cleanse that works with you, not against you.

Thankfully, our 21-day juice cleanse comes with the extra detox smoothies and detox shakes you need to be able to make it all the way through. Our green drink juice recipes are also jam-packed with all the most nutritious fruits and vegetables we can find.

Just as important as our recipes is our support. Chef V wants to help you succeed, and will be with you for every step of your juice cleanse. As long as you listen to your body and take note of side effects, you’ll be able to finish your blended juice cleanse like a champ.

A 21-day juice cleanse should leave you feeling great, not suffering from things like celery juice headaches.

Nurturing a Healthy Feminine Microbiome

uterus image with cutout flowers

If you want to avoid yeast infections, minimize PMS symptoms and maintain great gynecological health, ChefV.com founder and nutritional therapist Veronica Wheat has some sage advice. 

Weight. Gut health. Digestion. Elimination. 

These are the things we most often think about when it comes to our food choices. But ladies, when it comes to our overall diet, we should also keep our vaginal microbiome and menstrual cycle in mind.

You see, we not only have an invisible world of trillions of bacteria in our large intestine, comprising most of the Gut microbiome. Women also have a vaginal microbiome. In fact, a study of 110 women of reproductive age revealed that the vagina contains anywhere from 10 billion to 100 billion bacteria. 

And just like the gut microbiome, the vaginal microbiome is home to mostly friendly bacteria. But poor food choices and other factors I’ll highlight below can throw off the balance quickly, leading to yeast infections and irregular or painful cycles. 

Similar to the relationship in the gut microbiome, in the vaginal microbiome, there’s a symbiotic relationship between the host (you) and the bacteria. Us ladies provide a humid, nutritious and warm environment for the microbes. And in return, what do we get? 

In exchange for being able to live rent-free in our warm and cozy ‘ginas, the microbes provide “a first line of defense against nonindigenous microorganisms.” In other words, the friendly vaginal bacteria act like an army and immune system, protecting us from pathogenic invaders that don’t belong down there. 

Causes of Vaginal Dysbiosis

But just as a neglected house attracts nasty critters, the internal environment of the vagina can result in vaginal dysbiosis; the unfriendly bacteria take over and wreak havoc. 

Out of all the factors that can cause vaginal dysbiosis, I’ll focus mostly on diet. But before I do, I just want to mention other internal and external factors that can disrupt the vaginal microbiome. 

  • Hormone imbalance: Changes in estrogen and/or progesterone levels, that occur because of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause can alter the vaginal pH and increase the likelihood of infections. 
  • Contraceptives: This is related to hormone imbalance
  • Immune system weakness
  • Heavy antibiotic usage
  • Sexually-transmitted infections

It’s important to maintain a healthy ecosystem in the vagina because dysbiosis  can lead to, among other things:

  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Candidiasis (a yeast infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans)
  • Adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

woman holding downturned smily face by hip

Maintain Optimal Gynecological Health By Going Green

In addition to hygiene, regular exercise, managing stress, and eating a healthy diet are key to maintaining an optimal vaginal pH and microbiome. And for this article, I’m going to focus on nutrition. 

People assume I’m the equivalent of a Catholic nun when it comes to nutrition. But I’m not always strict. Sometimes, I “take the habit off” and indulge in my favorite junk food habit: french fries. But the most important lesson I can impart is to eat super healthy like 85% of the time. If you do this, you’ll most likely provide your vaginal microbiome with a healthy environment to thrive in, and you’ll be less likely to experience yeast infections or a difficult menstrual cycle. 

Am I just saying this because I’m in the business of delivering Organic Green Drinks to people’s homes across the country (the Green Drink Plan)? Well, yeah!

But low-sugar green leafy veggies (7 of them in Green Drink, all certified USDA Organic!) are clinically proven to support health in many ways. 

In fact, Chef V’s 21-Day Detox and Green Drink was the focus of an independent research study. However, one health metric that wasn’t analyzed by Citrus Labs, the Santa Monica research company that conducted the analysis was vaginal health. 

So I dug up some research of my own and here’s a couple of examples of how consuming green veggies can support a healthy vaginal microbiome.

What The Research Says About Vaginal Health & Diet

A study published in BMC Women’s Health says dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation with abdominal cramps) is one of the most prevalent gynecological disorders, experienced by approximately 60%-70% of young women during menstruation. 

The biological reason why painful periods occur is the increased release of something called prostaglandins into the uterine tissue once menstruation begins. Your body makes prostaglandins (which are hormone-like lipids) at sites of tissue damage or infection. 

When high levels of prostaglandins respond to tissue damage, the blood vessels constrict. In addition, you also get more contractions of the muscular layer of the uterus (the myometrium). But the fun is only just beginning. What also ends up happening is blood flow to the uterus is choked off, causing pain. 

HEALTHY EATING RESOURCES

CHEF V RECIPE ARCHIVE

CHEF V’s COOKING SCHOOL (Free videos)

What Do I Eat Today? (Free recipes)

Making Cleansing Easier (Free e-cookbook)

Is this simply a physiological curse of being female? 

Well, yes, if you indulge in “sugars, salty snacks, sweets and desserts, tea and coffee, salt, fruit juices and added fat (labeled as “snacks” pattern),” according to the research study in BMC Women’s Health.

So how protective are green leafy veggies for gynecological health? Well, a 2017 observational study in the British Journal of Cancer said that “a higher intake of green leafy vegetables was inversely associated with mortality from ovarian cancer.” Because it was an observational study, we can’t conclude that there is direct causation, but the correlation is very strong.

“Just finished my 3 day cleanse & I’m about to start my post cleanse. It was so much easier than I expected. I wasn’t hungry until the end of day 3 & the cleanse was actually very tasty. I lost 5.1 pounds & I feel great. I’m expecting to gain some of that weight back when I start eating solid foods again today but it’s a great kick start & great motivator to continue to eat healthy. Thanks Chef V!” – Sally

Why Do Green Leafy Veggies Support Vaginal Health?

Green leafies like kale, collard greens, lettuce, parsley, and chard (all of which are in Organic Green Drink) contain antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative stress, which prevents cellular damage. These nutrient-dense veggies also keep inflammation in check, which plays a big role in hormone balance. 

In addition, green, leafy vegetables contain phytoestrogens. These plant compounds mimic the action of estrogen in the body. If your estrogen levels are low because of perimenopause or menopause, consuming more green leafy veggies may help balance your hormones, which leads to a healthier vaginal microbiome. 

And let’s not forget how important it is to eat healthy while pregnant! As a new mom, I’m living proof! No gestational diabetes for me, thank you. You see, green leafies are abundant in essential vitamins and minerals for healthy fetal development. And after your baby is born and you’re back to having periods, the vitamin K in green leafies helps prevent excessive bleeding and encourages healthy blood clotting. 

How To Get More Leafy Greens In Your Diet For Vaginal Health

Look, I could go on and on about the benefits of green leafies, but I think by now you get the idea. They’re not just important for maintaining a healthy weight and managing blood sugar. Green leafies are absolutely necessary for an optimal vaginal microbiome!

So here’s how you can incorporate more of them into your diet:

  • Salads – Chef V Salads Recipes
  • Stir frys 
  • Sauté or steam (add healthy fats like almond slices and avocado/olive oil)
  • Frozen (I’m not a huge fan of frozen but if organic, they are convenient and just as nutritious as fresh veggies.)
  • CSA: Get your organic fresh veggies from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. 
  • Drink organic green leafy veggies, cold-blended and raw

Check out my entree recipes from my cookbook  here.

And don’t forget to minimize your intake of added sugars. Your vaginal microbiome will thank you for it.

To your (vaginal) health!

Love, 

Veronica “V” Wheat

Founder, ChefV.com

 

Vegan vs. Vegetarian

Choosing a healthy lifestyle is always the best choice. But it's important to be mindful of the diet you opt for because it needs to be compatible with your lifestyle, sync with your weight goals, and meet nutritional requirements. 

Some of you may think of going meat-free or giving up dairy products, which often motivates people to turn vegan or vegetarian. Please note that these lifestyles are different from each other; both may include giving up meat, but vegetarians consume dairy and other animal products in their diets whereas vegans don’t. 

Curious to know which one's best for you? Should you turn vegan or still enjoy your cheese and take the vegetarian route? At Chef V, you'll get all your answers as we briefly discuss vegan vs. vegetarian with their benefits and downsides. 

Vegan vs. vegetarian – What’s the difference? 

Let's take a look at the difference between vegan and vegetarian.

Choosing a healthy lifestyle is always the best choice. But it's important to be mindful of the diet you opt for because it needs to be compatible with your lifestyle, sync with your weight goals, and meet nutritional requirements. 

Some of you may think of going meat-free or giving up dairy products, which often motivates people to turn vegan or vegetarian. Please note that these lifestyles are different from each other; both may include giving up meat, but vegetarians consume dairy and other animal products in their diets whereas vegans don’t. 

Curious to know which one's best for you? Should you turn vegan or still enjoy your cheese and take the vegetarian route? At Chef V, you'll get all your answers as we briefly discuss vegan vs. vegetarian with their benefits and downsides. 

Vegan vs. vegetarian – What’s the difference? 

Let's take a look at the difference between vegan and vegetarian.

Veganism

Veganism is a lifestyle that encourages you to give up all animal products, ranging from clothes to food items, in an attempt to save the climate and limit the exploitation of animals. It’s a lifestyle that motivates individuals to consume plant-based and dairy-free products, including whole fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, beans, and vegetables.

More than for social reasons, people are opting for veganism or a vegan diet because of its varied health and wellness benefits. According to a 2022 report, Americans are turning vegan six times faster in 2022 than they did in 2014.  

As more and more people move toward veganism, the market is experiencing a change. Due to the increasing demand for vegan products, the global market for plant-based products is likely to grow by 12.95%. 

There are many vegan food options and alternatives that won't let you miss your usual meat-based diet. There are vegan smoothies and burgers; you can also go for an organic juice cleanse diet and bake with plant-based ingredients, such as coconut milk and vegan meat.

Downsides of a vegan or vegetarian diet 

  • Most people following a vegan or vegetarian diet need to take vitamin B12 supplements to fulfill their daily vitamin B12 needs. The most significant source of B12 is seafood, including fish, sardines, and clams, but since vegetarians and vegans don't consume animal flesh, they take medications or other substitutes to meet health requirements. 
  • The limited option for complete proteins is also a significant downside of a vegetarian diet. Complete proteins contain nine amino acids, which are rare in plant-based diets. You may need to add a variety of different proteins, such as legumes, lentils, and nuts to meet daily protein needs. 
  • Believe it or not, a vegan diet can also result in weight gain because you tend to eat more to meet your daily nutritional requirements, which is why you should always include a juice cleanse diet or intermittent fasting in your lifestyle while turning vegetarian or vegan. 
  • Going vegan is challenging; be aware of whether the food item is vegan or not before putting it on your grocery list. It requires a complete behavioral and consumer change, especially when new to the diet and philosophy. 

What works best for you? 

This mainly depends on your lifestyle, weight goals, and health requirements. The journey will be tough if you eat meat and want to give it up to become vegan or vegetarian. Plan things accordingly to deal with cravings, find substitutes for favorite dishes and how you can accommodate the change in lifestyle. 

Both vegan vs. vegetarian are lifestyle choices, and both do wonders for your health by encouraging you to eat healthily and focus on your overall well-being. You can always move back to your standard diet if things don't go according to plan or expectation. You just need to take that one step toward a healthy lifestyle.

Learn more about this on Chef V, a platform that helps you achieve your body goals. We offer multiple juice cleanses, ranging from one day to 21-day detox challenges to take you a step closer to a healthy lifestyle. 

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.