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.