Tag: protein sources

Is It Time For A Social Media Detox?

Veronica reading a book

Detoxes aren’t just for resetting your digestive system after having too many In-N-Out burgers and margaritas. If you’re feeling a little insane in the membrane (like me with a pineapple on my head in the photo below), taking a social media break can be just what the mental health doctor ordered. Plus, Veronica Wheat, aka Chef V, has some tips to make social media, well, social and positive again…

salmon, nuts, beef, protein sources

We’ve all experienced it.

Checking our social media feed, we come across one post that for whatever reason stirs up feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and even loneliness. Which is crazy because it’s called social media. 

Maybe a friend from high school posted pics from an epic family vacation, staying at a 5-star resort. And meanwhile, you’ve been working your butt off and haven’t taken a vacation in years, let alone a glamorous one like your peers. Or maybe you come across a post where a bunch of your friends are out on the town seemingly having a blast but you didn’t get invited. 

Whatever the reason, there’s no denying the fact that social media fuels anxiety and depression. A lot of research has been done over the past few years that concludes that social media can stir up some toxic sh!t in us. And just like we need to do a dietary DETOX from time to time, it’s a good idea for us to take a break from social media every once in a while. And rather than being on social media to keep up with the Kardashians, we can actually use it for good. I’ll share some ideas about how to do just that so keep reading…

Why We Use Social Media 

If much of the news about social media is focusing on its bad effects on our mental health, then why do we continue scrolling? Why do we insist upon making ourselves feel potentially worse when we compare ourselves to other people? The simple answer is that we are social creatures and so social media, perhaps falsely, has led us to believe that connecting with our peer network has positive effects. But the paradox is that for many people, social media is an oxymoron, fueling even more disconnectedness. 

Another reason 7 out of 10 adults and 8 out of 10 teens use social media is that social media is addictive. To our brains, social media is no different than a gambler chasing a jackpot. Or a sad person drowning their sorrows in a pint of ice cream. Or a dope fiend hitting the crack pipe. 

When we scroll through our feeds, it feeds us a hit of dopamine. That’s the feel-good chemical that lights up the synapses in our brain’s reward center. The problem is that some people need more and more and more dopamine to stimulate this reward center. 

Like a casino pumping fresh oxygen into the room and fueling gamblers with free coffee so they never get tired, social media platforms are designed to keep us coming back. 

But why is that? 

If we feel jealous or insecure about seeing certain posts, why do we keep coming back for more punishment? Where is the reward in that? Well, we just never know when the next hilarious cat video will tickle our fancy. The point is that one session of social media scrolling is never the same as the next. Sure, there may always be foodie and vacation pics. 

But the experience is always different. And that’s what keeps us coming back for more.

Do You Like Likes? 

Despite the potential harm to mental health, some people use social media because they want to feel validated. They need people to acknowledge their accomplishments (or vacation and foodie pics). 

Although some platforms have removed likes (Instagram replaced likes with a heart emoji), that action does nothing to prevent comparing yourself to other people. And that includes comparing the number of, if not likes, then heart emojis your post received versus somebody else's. 

It’s all silly, really, the folly and whims of human nature. And the people who design social media platforms are Dr. Evil’s when it comes to exploiting human psychology. 

At the end of the day, we can’t help checking our feed to see if our post got any other likes (or hearts). This is part of the vicious cycle of chasing another hit of dopamine. And the first step to taking a social media detox is to realize you have a problem in the first place. 

Got Social Media FOMO?

Another reason it’s hard for some of us to stop checking our feed—even though we know that it may fuel anxiety or other negative emotions—is because of FOMO. We have a fear of missing out on seeing a photo from high school that half your graduating class has commented on. What if you miss out on that one? It stirs up feelings of being excluded from certain activities when we were kids or being picked last. 

Should You Detox From Social Media?

Look, if you know in your heart of hearts that scrolling is robbing you blind of joy then maybe it’s a good idea to take a break. Just like a Chef V CLEANSE has 1, 3 or 5 days options, you can start by dipping a pinkie toe in the deep end. Go one day without being on social media. See how that feels. 

If you really want to feel lighter mentally, then I recommend going longer. Don’t let FOMO trip you up. You’ll be fine not looking at all your friends’ baby pics. You’ll come out of the experience with greater awareness of what’s really important to you. And, you’ll discover what truly makes you feel connected to spirit. 

almond milk

Make Social Media Social Again

If you decide to stay on social media, set some boundaries. Don’t check your feed an hour before bed or first thing in the morning. Instead, establish a spiritual practice and stick to it. Do 10 minutes of yoga or meditation morning and night instead of scrolling. 

You can make social media social by inviting friends to join you for a yoga session in the park. Instead of following friends from high school that bring up feelings of inadequacy, follow thought leaders in the spiritual movement like Deepak Chopra. Organize a mini-meditation session with your “true friends” on social. Encourage everybody to comment about how they feel after meditating.

The bottom line is that if you’re going to check your feed for posts, it might as well feed your spirit. Follow others who you find to be inspiring, enlightening, and a positive for your mental health. 


The truth is that rates of stress, anxiety and depression are up for reasons other than social media. But numerous studies suggest social media is fanning the flames of mental disharmony. Instead of chasing dopamine rewards by constantly checking your feed, spend more time in nature. Do more yoga. Meditate more. This is what will fuel your spirit. 

Are You Eating The Perfect Amount Of Protein?

arms holding weights

Certified Nutritional Therapist, Veronica Wheat, founder of ChefV.com, has  surprising news about the protein intake for the average American. Find out if your protein consumption is supporting your health…

I couldn’t believe it when I came across a study that said that most Americans aren’t eating enough protein. 

Seriously? We’re the land of burgers. Steak. Wings. Chicken fingers. Bacon. Pork chops. Protein powders. And enough dairy products till the cows come home…

So how can most Americans be deficient in protein? Aren’t most Americans getting too much? Never mind that most Americans’ protein intake consists of factory-farmed meat and dairy. I’m not talking about protein quality here … just straight up grams of protein. 

Well, a study from the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging examined the food intake of nearly 12,000 participants. Based on the data, a third of the people were eating 30 grams of protein LESS than they should be. 

30 grams of protein is roughly half the amount of protein that an average woman should consume every day. That’s a huge amount of protein that the study participants were missing. 

salmon, nuts, beef, protein sources

How Much Protein Should You Eat Every Day?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams per day for women. This is not a one-size-fits-all recommendation. For example, if you lift weights or are pregnant (like yours truly; I need a minimum of 60 grams per day according to UCSF), you’ll need more. 

It seems really easy to eat 50-60 grams of protein per day. And again, I bet you, like me, think that most Americans are getting way more protein than that. I came across articles that suggest this. Like this one that says “Most Americans eat twice the protein they need.” 

But here’s the shocking truth. According to the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the average person consumes far less protein than they need. In fact, some estimates suggest that up to 80% of the population may be protein deficient.

What about you? Are you getting enough protein in your diet? Before we try and figure that out, let’s review why getting enough of this macronutrient is so essential for your health. 

Top Benefits of Protein In The Diet

Sinking your teeth into a morsel of protein not only tastes good and curbs hunger. 

(Sorry, I have to interject here that I’m a natural plant-based protein advocate. I recommend limiting animal protein to relatively clean, healthy sources like wild salmon.)

And here’s other reasons why you need to eat enough protein every day. 

  • Contains amino acids that support healthy skin
  • Boosts metabolism 
  • Prevents muscle loss and bone fractures
  • Repairs and builds lean muscle
  • Maintains strong nails and lustrous hair
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Supports the immune system

And last but not least, for women, eating enough protein has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. In fact, a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association says that PLANT-BASED protein lowers risk of premature death, heart disease and dementia. 

But here’s the thing about protein. You have to eat enough of it every day. That’s because our bodies don’t store excess protein to be used for repairing and supporting the body when needed. 

Nope, excess protein, unfortunately, just like carbs, gets stored as body fat. 

Why Are People Not Getting Enough Protein? 

With so many protein sources to choose from, what are the reasons many people are protein deficient? 

For starters, blame it on fast food culture. Most people in the U.S. do not lead a European lifestyle. We rush from one project and appointment to the next. We’re always on the go. We don’t take the time to make well-balanced, nourishing meals. 

Instead, many of us wolf down a sandwich for lunch. Then late at night, to make up for the lack of calories consumed during the day, many people snack on processed foods. But those chips, crackers and pretzels barely have any protein. Plus they’re loaded with cheap, rancid vegetable oils and excess sodium. 

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Another reason that some people don’t eat enough protein is they simply don’t realize they need more of it. Older people, especially, need more protein to prevent muscle wasting. 

The bottom line is that for many people, it’s feast or famine with protein. One day you’re eating a whole steak for dinner. And then the next, it’s back to toast and coffee for breakfast, a turkey sandwich for lunch and then spaghetti for dinner. That’s not enough protein. 

almond milk

How Can You Tell If You’re Protein Deficient

Here’s how you can tell if you need to up your protein intake:

  • You’re frequently tired and have low energy
  • You have cravings for snacky foods, especially anything with added sugars
  • You feel weak
  • You get sick often
  • You’re moody and irritable

You can easily keep track of your protein intake with apps, many of which are free or low cost. Remember, aim for a minimum of 50 grams a day. I think a little more is actually ideal, so shoot for 60 if you’re a female and 70 for men. The standard formula is 0.8 grams for every 2.2 pounds you weigh. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should eat 55 grams of protein a day. 

To determine how much of a food you need to eat, try this chart from cancerdietician.com.

Best Protein Sources

Here are my favorite protein sources:

  • Chef V’s Ultra Vegan Protein Shake (which comes with Chef V’s CLEANSE  programs). 
  • Lentils (make sure they are pre-soaked to avoid bloating)
  • Beans (same issue as lentils)
  • Non-processed soy (tempeh, edamame)
  • Nuts
  • Nut milks
  • Eggs (pasture-raised only)
  • Salmon and other sustainable wild-caught fish.

wild salmon in river

How Can You Get Enough Protein?

In our land of abundance, getting enough protein should not be hard. I recommend eating protein three times a day. Every morning, I begin my day with a 16 ounce serving of Organic Green Drink. About half an hour later, I’ll make a smoothie with vegan protein powder like brown rice or pea. I always include protein with lunch and dinner. And if you need some healthy meal creation ideas, check out my recipes here as well as my e-book, Making Cleansing Easier, which is included with all my CLEANSE and DETOX programs.  

Protein is a dish, best served hot or cold every day.

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.