Tag: green leafy vegetables

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 [email protected]

To your health and happiness, 

Veronica “V” Wheat
ChefV.com founder

a green drink a day can support your mood

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

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

Fastest Way to Get into Ketosis – Chef V Cleanse

Cleansing for ketosis

Following a ketogenic (“Keto”) diet puts your body in a state of ketosis. That means your body is burning its stored body fat instead of blood sugar for energy. But getting into ketosis can take up to several weeks if you’re not doing it right. One of the easiest ways to get into ketosis is by doing a Chef V Cleanse. It’s so easy, you won’t have to count carbs…

So you’ve flirted with keto for the last few years. You’re thinking about it but haven’t pulled the low-carb trigger. I get it. Ditching grains and even some of your favorite veggies and fruits is tough. For many people, it takes an extraordinary amount of willpower to eat an ultra low carb diet. 

How low should you go if you’re going Keto, you may ask? 

Well, everybody is unique. Some people may go into ketosis after consistently keeping net carbs to roughly grams per day. But for other people, it may require being even more stingy with the carbs to the tune of 25 net grams per day. 

(Net carbs equals total grams of carbs minus fiber and/or sugar alcohol. Example: one cup of cooked pasta contains 42 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber. So that’s 40 net grams of carbs — definitely way too much to get into or stay in ketosis!)

Maybe every year around the holidays or after a vacation, where you’ve put on a few pounds, you tell yourself this is going to be the year that you conquer Keto. 

But you don’t. 

Don’t blame yourself. Carbs not only taste great. They are literally addictive. In fact, according to Dr. William Davis, author of the best-selling book, “Wheat Belly” which was instrumental in launching gluten-free and Keto diets, “Wheat is addictive in the sense that, if you don’t have any for several hours, you start to get nervous, foggy, tremulous, and start desperately seeking out another ‘hit’ of crackers, bagels, or bread.”

So it’s not you, it’s the molecules.

keto

Easing Into Keto 

I’m not going to lie. Following the keto diet is really challenging at first. There’s the so-called dreaded “Keto flu.” 

That’s when your body basically has withdrawal symptoms and has to get used to burning fatty acids (ketone bodies) for its primary source of energy instead of all that circulating glucose. 

This phase can last a few days — just like a real flu virus.

It’s always a good idea to gradually phase into ketosis rather than quitting carbs cold turkey like smoking. Try to lower your net carb intake over a two-week period. This will help reduce Keto flu symptoms. 

Then, there's getting used to carb counting. But actually, with all the keto apps (not appetizers) these days, it’s easy to get used to. After a short while, you’ll learn the net carb counts of the foods you most often eat. 

Now, to be sure, even if you ditch gluten and everything else with tons of carbs, you can’t know if you’re in ketosis unless you test yourself. 

Many people use urine strips. But they’re not the most reliable. They are a good bellwether for people with diabetes. However, if you don’t have a blood sugar disorder, urine strips aren’t the best way to test. That’s because urine strips only measure excess ketones—not the level of fatty acids your body is using for fuel. 

Urine strips are cheap so it might not be a bad idea to start out with them. But the longer you stay in ketosis, the more your body will adapt. So you’ll need a more reliable way to test. Blood meters are the most accurate. They’re the most expensive way to test, but you get what you pay for. 

cleanse success

CHEF V’s CLEANSE: The Easy Way To Get Your Body Ready For Ketosis

A big reason why some people fail with Keto is they just don’t know how to get started. It’s too overwhelming. 

The easiest solution for taking all the guess work out is by doing one of my cleanses. The Chef V Cleanse home delivery program offers 1, 3 and 5 day options.  

On each day of the CLEANSE, you get:

  • 4 servings of Organic Green Drink
    7 Leafy Greens with only 5 net grams of carbs each
  • 2 Vegan Ultra Protein Shakes
    One Chocolate, One Vanilla; 2 grams net carbs each
  • Detox Soup
    1 high fiber soup for dinner; 2 flavors: Ginger Carrot (days 1, 3, 5) & Sweet Potato Curry (days 2 & 4)

Now, it would be misleading for me to say that the CHEF V CLEANSE is keto friendly. For some people, the net grams of carbs from the carrots or sweet potato in the DETOX SOUP, even though they are nutrient dense, would prevent ketosis. 

However, if you really want to try Keto, the CLEANSE is the best way to transition to a ketogenic diet. That’s because your net grams of carbs will still be under 100. Consider that the average American diet consists of over 300 grams of carbs per day. 

And you don’t have to be a certified nutritional therapist like myself to know that most Americans aren’t getting enough fiber. 

So let CHEF V do all the work for you. I’ll ship the cleanse right to your door and you won’t have to worry about counting carbs or figuring out what you should eat in order to transition into ketosis. 

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a green drink a day can support your mood

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