Tag: Veronica Wheat

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

Holiday Stress: How I Keep My Sh*! Together When I’m Stressed Out

cleansing juices and soups

Now that December's rolled around, I'm gift shopping, planning dinners with family and friends, and rejoicing in our baby, Kaden. The holidays really ramp up stress with all the extra work plus managing Chef V. Reducing stress can be challenging anytime, and during the holidays it is harder – and more important – than ever.

How do I keep my cool during the “season of cheer”? I treat myself – and you should treat yourself too, because it keeps you healthier, and that is super important right now.

Here’s how I keep my sh*! together….

To keep my stress levels down in this busy time, I’m focusing on the good things in my life: a beautiful baby, a thriving business, a handsome and devoted husband, a fit physique, cooking skills, the ability to turn any cocktail into a healthy mocktail, pickle ball(!) and, I have another love on the side–Coconut (my canine kid).

And we live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet: sunny, temperate San Diego, where I can go to the beach. Some people go their whole lifetime without ever seeing the ocean. But I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve taken an early-morning beach walk, watching the dolphins surf the waves (while sipping Green Drink, natch).

No matter what my stress level, I know I need three things to keep myself sane and centered. Meditation, yoga, and Green Drink.

Meditation, Yoga & Green Drink: The Holy Trinity of Stress Management

No matter what’s going in my life, three things are a constant every morning: meditation, yoga and Green Drink. Even now, when we are extra busy, you can follow my stress management steps.

As soon as I get up and take care of Kaden, I sit cross-legged and do some pranayama breathing. Pranayam is the foundation of any yoga practice. Even if I know that I’m going to have to face lots of frustration later in the day, these breathing exercises are so important. They’re like the equivalent of recharging your cell phone, only for your mind.

And no matter how exhausting the previous day was, I always find that practicing pranayama breathing is like a natural cup of coffee. Within a couple minutes, I notice a dramatic boost in my energy level, even if I didn’t sleep well. I feel the stress melting away. Even if my stress level will rise later in the day, this is the ultimate stress-management technique to do first thing in the morning.

There are a ton of YouTube videos you can follow along to. (Maybe I’ll create my own video after the new store is up and running on autopilot.)

Pranayama breathing warms your body and mind up for the asanas, (physical postures) of my yoga practice.

Despite 10-12 hour long days keeping the Chef V kitchen and delivery services running and lots of time with Kaden, I make sure I do a minimum of 10-15 minutes of yoga. It’s so easy to let stress get the best of you and say, “I’ve got no time today for yoga, I’ve got so much work to do….”

But I’m telling you the more stressful your day, the more you need to start your day off with yoga to manage your stress.

To those who know me, I might seem centered but without meditation and yoga, I might be a mess. And with the additional stress of a new baby, I’m keeping the time I spend on both.

apple cider vinegar

Keeping Your (Third) Eye on the Prize

Speaking of meditation, I finish my yoga practice with 5-10 minutes of silent meditation. If you don’t think you can sit in silence for even a minute, no worries. There are free guided meditation apps you can follow along to.

While I meditate I try to think of nothing other than my breathing. Then, after that, I take a few minutes and visualize what I want to achieve for the day. I think it’s really important to keep your eye on the prize and not stress out on annoying impediments get in the way of achieving your goals. I’m trying to focus on the good things in my life and in the ways I can make the lives of my employees and customers better.

Immediately after I’m done with my yoga and meditation practice, I nourish my body and keep my immune system healthy with 16 oz of Green Drink. I need the extra boost of fresh Green Drink energy and health more than ever right now.

Treating Yourself When You’re Stressed Out

When you feel like crap, try to resist eating that pint of Ben ‘N’ Jerry’s, no matter how strong a temptation that Chunky Monkey is.

Going for sugar snacks is a misfiring of the reward mechanism of the brain. It’s no different than alcoholism.

Your brain tells you that you’ll feel better about things if you allow yourself to indulge by eating a bunch of ice cream.

But in the long run, you feel lousier. The sugar from the ice cream, along with the highly inflammatory dairy, causes foggy brain and sluggish energy. You might feel blissed-out eating the ice cream for maybe 10 minutes or so. But an hour later, you’re going to feel like you’re dragging. Try my healthier alternative, my vanilla “Milk” shake and indulge yourself without bloating and weight gain.

So what can you do when your back is to the wall and you just feel like curling up in a ball? And you can’t leave the house?

Make room for play time with your children.

Book yourself a do-it-yourself mani-pedi.

Treat yourself to that ten step facial you never had time for.

Go through all your old makeup, throw out the old stuff and organize the rest.

Try out the recipes on my blog.

Stretch – see how much you can increase your flexibility. It’s critical that when you’re feeling stressed out, you need to do things to revitalize your health.

We are Figuring this out Together

Holiday times are busy and stressful but you are not in this alone. You, my customers and friends, are a blessing in my life and I am so grateful to you.  I thank you for your patronage and friendship.  – Veronica

Vitamin C For Skin: Grab A Green Drink & Ditch the Pricey Creams

Beauty creams, lotions and potions most often aren’t backed by research studies. So before you go spending your hard-earned cash on an expensive skin care product, keep in mind there’s a much cheaper option: vitamin C. Vitamin C for skin is backed by science and I’ve got an easy solution for how to get enough of it….

When I look in the mirror, I feel grateful that my skin still looks youthful. Sure, I practice what I preach and eat healthy. But in a way, I’m lucky….

I think back to all those toxic chemicals in household cleaning and hygiene products I used when I was younger. And the amount of time I spent in the sun without wearing sunscreen.

You can eat the best veggies for skin, hair and nails every day. But if the first couple decades of your life is filled with environmental stressors, your skin today might not look so youthful. That’s why I feel fortunate to have healthy-looking skin.

Just a couple years ago, out of all the supplements sold around the world–totalling $133 billion–a staggering 20 percent of this total was purchased for beauty.]

I’ve been duped by beauty products in the past; no doubt you have as well. Without doubt, some of them I swear by. But most of the time, beauty, especially skin-enhancing products sell because the brands that sell them appeal to your emotions and desires.

Moreover, lots of these beauty products are not backed by research studies.

So how do you know which products are legit? And safe! (I use the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep app to check out the safety of skin care products and more….)

Look, I’m not telling you to ditch your favorite facial toner. If it works great for you, keep using it.

But as a nutritional therapist, I believe that food should be your ultimate safeguard against premature aging. Yes, diet alone can enhance your beauty.

And I have the perfect, easy and cost-effective solution for your skin….

Vitamin C for Skin: proof it works

There’s not much research that proves a vitamin C topical solution for skin health works. However, there’s some solid evidence that dietary sources of C can prevent aging.

This study showed that women ages 40 to 70 who supplement with vitamin C have improved skin brightness and less dark circles, spots, and redness.

And in this experiment, 60 healthy non-smoker males and females, ages 40–65 years, all of whom present with clinical signs of skin aging, show improvement in skin elasticity, moisture and antioxidant capacity when taking a vitamin C supplement for 90 days.

Furthermore, this study suggests C improves red, patchy areas of skin, as well as hydration, radiance, and overall appearance. In addition, the benefits of vitamin C for skin is evident by a decrease in intensity of skin spots, UV spots, and brown spots, improved skin texture and appearance of pores.

This water-soluble antioxidant also boosts the two proteins–collagen and elastin–that provide structure to your skin.

And if you need more proof, here’s an exhaustive study on vitamin C and skin health in the journal, Nutrients. (I’ll summarize some of its key finding below for you.)

If you’re sold on science and not by hype, then there’s plenty of evidence that suggests getting loads of vitamin C in your diet, especially from green leafy veggies, benefits your skin.

And the easiest way to make sure you’re getting a solid daily supply of green leafy veggies is not by eating a salad, although that’s super healthy. Nope, it’s by having Organic Green Drink everyday.

Each serving of Green Drink supplies you with 44% of your suggested daily value of vitamin C.

Personally, I start off each morning with 16 oz. of Green Drink (88% daily value). It’s my breakfast. And my morning beauty regimen.

Vitamin C For Skin: Why It Works

You’ve probably heard of collagen powder. I talk about why people are freaking out about it on the Internet here.

Collagen, as I mention above, is one of the skin’s structural proteins. Think of your own skin’s collagen like it’s a network of sticky support beams of a skyscraper.

When you’re young, your skin collagen support beams are strong and erect. That’s why you don’t have wrinkles in your early 20s.

But as you hit age 30 and beyond, each year, you lose about a percent to two percent of your collagen; your skin’s building blocks and support structure degenerates.

Vitamin C for skin works wonders because it acts as a co-factor for the amino acids, proline and lysine. There are 20 amino acids. But these two especially provide stability for skin collagen molecules. Moreover, vitamin C also kick-starts collagen gene expression.

In someone with healthy-looking skin, the skin itself contains high concentrations of vitamin C.

And did you know consuming lots of this nutrient is critical in avoiding sunburn? Some studies show that excessive sun exposure leads to depleted C levels in the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin.)

Nutrition studies also show that the appearances of blemishes (hyperpigmentation) become less visible with higher fruit and vegetable intake.

Skin sagging also becomes diminished with high vitamin C intake.

Dry skin, scar formation, skin lesions, and wrinkles all improve following vitamin C supplementation.

But instead of spending money on a supplement, which you can’t be sure if it’s high-quality or not, you can spend as little as $5 a week for a daily 16 oz serving of Green Drink.

Vitamin C for Skin: Get It From Food Not From Pills Or Creams

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. It neutralizes environmental pollutants. Because researchers have determined that it plays an important role in the health of the epidermis, more nutrition research has focused recently on dietary vitamin C’s role in skin health and wound healing.

Isn’t it great to know that you can get great skin simply by drinking a delicious, organic Green Drink?

vitamin c

Warm Butternut Squash Salad

Warm butternut squash: this is a delicious holiday treat for those first cold days that signal the end of fall. It’s a hit at special dinners. It’s very filling and makes you feel warm inside even though it’s a salad. It’s also very healthy and vegan. – Veronica

DOWNLOAD PDF

warm butternut salad

TOTAL 30 minutes

Serving Size: 2-4 people

Ingredients

Warm butternut squash

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet or yellow onion
  • 1 small butternut squash,
seeded and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups wild greens (arugula, spinach, or mixed herbs)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions

Warm butternut squash: In a large non-stick pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and butternut squash. (The smaller the squash is diced the more quickly it will cook.) Sauté the squash and onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the squash is soft. Do not burn the squash or onions.

Add the garlic, nutmeg and thyme, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer the butternut squash to a bowl and stir in the cooked quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cool mixture in the refrigerator.

To serve, mix the dressing ingredients and drizzle over greens. Top with cooled butternut squash mix and garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serves 2-4.

Grilled Artichokes with Two Sauces

Grilled artichokes, precooked and finished at the picnic. They’ll love these on the barbecue. Serve with my two vegan sauces:  Raw Horseradish Mayonnaise, and  Vegan Herb Aioli.

grilled artichokes

Serving Size: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 1 large fresh artichoke
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Bring the 6 cups of water to a boil in a stockpot.

Trim the thorns from the artichoke leaves with scissors. Cut the artichoke in half vertically and remove the fuzzy center. To the boiling water, added the artichoke, garlic, and onion. Boil, covered, for 45 minutes – one hour, or until the leaves pull out easily. Transfer the artichoke halves to a paper towel cut side down or drain the water.

Heat a grill or grill pan. Place the artichokes cut side down on the hot grill or grill pan and char for 2 to 3 minutes, until you get good grill marks. This will add a nice smokiness. Plate the artichoke halves cut side up. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and vinegar, drizzle over the artichoke, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and serve with Vegan Herb Aioli or Raw Horseradish Mayo.

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.

Vegan Herb Aioli

Aioli, a traditional Mediterranean sauce, is just right for dipping veggies or drizzling over toasted baguette. It makes a delicious accompaniment to my Grilled Artichokes. – Veronica

vegan herb aioli

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, washed and drained (pre-soaked 1 hour)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon zest
  • ½ tsp. organic sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. raw coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic

Directions

Blend mayo ingredients together in a Vitamix or food processor.

White Sweet Potato Purée

Everyone loves mashed potatoes. But regular mashed potatoes are very starchy. That means the starch quickly converts into sugar. That’s more bad news for your gut. But this healthy recipe for mashed potatoes uses the nutritiously-superior white sweet potato. Instead of regular milk, I use almond or coconut milk.

I swear to you that my white sweet potato pureé will have the same starchy mouth-feel as regular mashed potatoes. But this version contains way more minerals and is lower in calories. – Veronica

sweet potato puree

TOTAL: 1 hour

Serving Size:2

Ingredients

  • 1 large white sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 cup Chef V’s Raw Almond Milk or coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Directions

Boil the sweet potato pieces in the 3 cups of water in a large pot for 15 minutes, or until soft. Transfer the pieces to a Vitamix and add the milk, sea salt, cayenne, and red pepper flakes, and process until smooth. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Raw Horseradish Mayonnaise

Sometimes you just need a luscious rich tasting spread – so I created this cashew-based mayo. Easy to prepare, you can use it in dressings, dips, on a sandwich, anywhere you want that mayonnaise experience – only healthier. Add raw horseradish to make a zippy dip for my Grilled Artichokes. – Veronica

raw horseradish mayonaise

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, washed and drained (pre-soaked 1 hour)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon zest
  • ½ tsp. organic sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. raw coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish

Directions

Blend mayo ingredients together in a Vitamix or food processor.

Beetox Smoothie

Cleansing and alkalizing the body in the morning helps repair and balance the gut from salty meats and high starchy foods. Having liquids in the morning really helps our gut repair from any holiday destruction. 

Using cold vegetables helps keep the drink fresh longer. Will keep 3-5 days refrigerated.

ginger apple berry smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1/4 large red beet or 1/2
    small beet including green beet tops
  • 1 1/2 cups cold filtered water
  • 1 small carrot , chopped, top removed.
  • 1 small celery stick
  • 2 slices cucumber
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. ginger
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 fuji or gala apple
  • optional:
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp fresh jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup ice while blending to keep cold

Directions

 Blend 1-2 minutes until the juice seems pulverized and not chunky. Make sure to add ice to keep cold while blending. Shake well before drinking. Best with a straw. 

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

Making Bone Broth

I’m not a strict vegetarian, but I rarely promote meat. One rare exception is bone broth because it contains collagen protein. The process of slow cooking bones for many hours releases collagen from the bones. By consuming the collagen from animal bones, you’re helping revitalize your own body’s collagen.

Chef V’s Mango Burrito Bowl w/ Fresh Wild Halibut

I love fish. Its high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and other nutrients. It also tastes great and go fit in easily tomost dishes. I love seasoning this and adding it to a burrito bowl. Its light, gluten-free, high protein and tons of nutrients.

Add 4-6 oz halibut to this burrito bowl. Serves 3.

burrito bowl with wild halibut

Ingredients

  • For the fish:
  • 1 lb halibut
  • 1tbps. olive or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • For the burrito bowl:

    2 cups organic mixed greens (arugula, spinach, red leaf, kale, chard, green leaf, or romaine, etc.)

  • 1 cup cooked organic quinoa or brown rice, cooled
  • 3⁄4 cup organic black beans, cooked and cooled
  • 1⁄2 mango skinned and cubed
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1⁄4 small red onion diced
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • 1⁄2 avocado, skinned, cubed
  • Optional: 4-6oz protein like grilled chicken or salmon.

Directions

For the fish:
Mix the seasoning together in a small bowl. cover the fish in oil. generously coat the fish in the seasoning. Grill on the grill on medium for 3 minutes each side (depending on the thickness of your fish. Cook longer if thicker). Remove from grill, cover in foil and let sit for 5 minutes to rest and continue cooking). Add to the mango burrito bowl for a nice refreshing take on this classic.

For the burrito bowl:
Fix two bowls with lettuce on the bottom. Top with plain quinoa (or rice) and beans. Mix mango, onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a small bowl. Add mango mixture to top of salad. Top with avocado, optional protein and serve. Bon Appétit!

Serves 2

Creamy Curry Pumpkin Soup

The only thing more comforting than a bowl of soup is a bowl of homemade soup that is both vegan and gluten-free. There’s something special about cooking comforting meals like this during the Fall that will warm you up and have your kitchen smelling festive.

Cozy up with someone you love and enjoy this delicious pumpkin soup on a cool fall night! – Veronica

vegan ambrosia salad

Serving Size:2

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup organic Crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp. gluten-free flour (we like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 2 cups Chef V’s Organic Pumpkin Puree (see recipe HERE)
  • ½ cup of canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp organic sea salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Directions

Bring oil to medium high heat and saute onion and mushrooms for 3 minutes or until onions are translucent.

Add garlic, curry powder and gluten-free flour to the pan to continue to cook for one more minute.

Slowly add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

Cook and stir for a couple of minutes until the soup starts to thicken.

Add the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Continue to stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Blend small batches of soup in a Vitamix or blender to a get a smooth texture and serve hot.

21 day Challenge + Green Drink Offer -2

Version 1 – Protection

Version 2- Clinically Proven Success

Your Decision To Do the Chef V Challenge
Is Now Supported By Clinical Research!

The Clinical Trial data speaks for itself. Following a Chef V 21 DAY DETOX with a daily ORGANIC GREEN DRINK subscription isn’t a quick weight loss fix. It’s a lifelong health transformation. 

And the best part is that after the 21 DAY DETOX, you can indulge in some of your favorite not-so-healthy treats from time to time.

Want to experience a safe, effective, and enjoyable health transformation? Learn more about the CLINICAL RESEARCH RESULTS. 

You Can Get the Same Positive Results!

Chef V Test Results On Day 28

“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 brings about positive changes in each of these biomarkers in just a 28-day period.

“The Chef V program led to many statistically significant improvements in biomarkers critical for overall health and well-being,” Citrus Labs researchers concluded.

You Can Get the Same Positive Results!

How it Works:

1. Start with the chef V 21 Day Challenge – This organic detox cleanse makes it easy to detox your body and lose weight with complete step-by-step instructions and support.

2. Sustain your gains with a daily organic green drink made with 7 organic Super Greens to help you detox your liver, fight inflammation, reduce cholesterol and much more!

Sustain Your Gains with a Daily Green Drink Subscription


CHECK OUT THE SUCCESS STORIES


21 day Challenge + Green Drink Offer

Version 1 – Protection

Version 2- Clinically Proven Success

Your Decision To Do the Chef V Challenge
Is Now Supported By Clinical Research!

The Clinical Trial data speaks for itself. Following a Chef V 21 DAY DETOX with a daily ORGANIC GREEN DRINK subscription isn’t a quick weight loss fix. It’s a lifelong health transformation. 

And the best part is that after the 21 DAY DETOX, you can indulge in some of your favorite not-so-healthy treats from time to time.

Want to experience a safe, effective, and enjoyable health transformation? Learn more about the CLINICAL RESEARCH RESULTS. 

Start Your Clinical Challenge with the 21 Day Detox

Chef V Test Results On Day 28

“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 brings about positive changes in each of these biomarkers in just a 28-day period.

“The Chef V program led to many statistically significant improvements in biomarkers critical for overall health and well-being,” Citrus Labs researchers concluded.

Start Your Clinical Challenge with the 21 Day Detox

You Can Get the Same Positive Results!

1. Start with the chef V 21 Day Challenge – This organic detox cleanse makes it easy to detox your body and lose weight with complete step-by-step instructions and support.

2. Sustain your gains with a daily organic green drink made with 7 organic Super Greens to help you detox your liver, fight inflammation, reduce cholesterol and much more!

Sustain Your Gains with a Daily Green Drink Subscription


CHECK OUT THE SUCCESS STORIES


Chef V’s BBQ Salmon

Get outside for the last enjoyable parts of summer!  Chef V founder Veronica Wheat created this BBQ salmon recipe as the main course of a special outdoor meal for her husband Brandon.

BBQ salmon

Serving Size: 2 People

Ingredients

  • 2 salmon fillets (6 oz.)
    (skin on preferred)

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp organic honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

Marinate the salmon in the sauce for 30 minutes on the counter. Then, slap the non-skin side down on a bbq grill heated to 375 degrees.

Cook for 3-5 minutes and flip to the skin side with a large spatula. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon and how much you like it done. I personally like it medium rare and under cooked. I can't stand dry over done salmon. You can always add it back to the grill if need be, but not the reverse.

Serve with a salad, rice, sweet potatoes, or any side you desire.

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21 day Challenge + Daily Green Drink

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CHECK OUT THE RESULTS

Average 8 lbs lighter
88% feel better
43.8% improvement in sleep
32% Improved ability to focus
49.6% more energy
23% less fat in blood

and
100% Finished the Challenge

You Can Get the Same Great Results!

–> alt option in green bar below “Take the Challenge, get the results”
 

1. Start with the chef V 21 Day Challenge – This organic detox cleanse makes it easy to detox your body and lose weight with complete step-by-step instructions and support.

2. Sustain your gains with a daily organic green drink made with 7 organic Super Greens to help you detox your liver, fight inflammation, reduce cholesterol and much more!

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LANDING 2

Brandon: 2/3 of website visitors view chefv.com on mobile devices so this landing page has both mobile and desktop versions of each block – I'd like to check purchasers, see if purchases are made on mobile or desktop.

The Chef V Program
21 day Challenge + Daily Green Drink

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CHECK OUT THE RESULTS!

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You Can Get the Same Great Results!

1. Start with the chef V 21 Day Challenge – This organic detox cleanse makes it easy to detox your body and lose weight with complete step-by-step instructions and support.

2. Sustain your gains with a daily organic green drink made with 7 organic Super Greens to help you detox your liver, fight inflammation, reduce cholesterol and much more!

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CHECK OUT THE SUCCESS STORIES 

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Holiday Rack of Lamb

When cooking for a special occasion you want meals that are hearty, healthy and memorable.  Chef V makes this delicious go-to recipe when she needs a dinner party main course.

When shopping for lamb, try to find local USDA-Certified Organic Lamb. More and more, farms offering organic meat are built around the well-being of the lamb. The animals are all born and raised on the same farm on a simple diet of grass and hay; free of steroids, antibiotics, and hormones.

manly lamb chops

REST TIME: 2 hours
COOKING TIME: 45 minutes
SERVES: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 rack of lamb (Frenched*, 7-8 ribs each, 1.5- 2 lbs. total)
  • 2 tsp. fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Directions

Rub the rack of lamb with rosemary, thyme, garlic, and pepper. Place in a gallon plastic bag with olive oil and coat the lamb in olive oil. Close the bag tightly and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Bring the lamb out 2 hours ahead of time so that it can rest at room temperature before cooking. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Make diagonal cuts or slivers along the fat on top about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover the exposed tip bones with foil to avoid burning. Cook for 10 minutes at 450 degrees then lower the temp to 300 degrees and cook for 10-15 minutes more. Lamb should be cooked to rare or medium rare and then be removed and covered with foil.

Let the lamb sit for 15 minutes and rest to finish cooking through. Slice the lamb in-between the bones, cutting away from the bone. Serve with rice, potatoes, or anything else your Man desires!

*Most stores already sell the rack of lamb Frenched. This means the skin, meat, and fat have been removed between the tips of the rib bone, to make it look nicer and easier to eat.

Vegan Gravy

There’s nothing better than homemade comfort food during the holiday season. Gatherings at home with friends and family sharing home cooked meals on these cold winter nights is one of our favorite things. .

Impress family and friends with my easy-to-make healthy gravy recipe as the finishing touch to your meal. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or simply a healthy eater, holiday meals don’t need to feel stressful. Instead, enjoy delicious meals without regret and be thankful you made the right decision! – Veronica

vegan gravy

TOTAL 1 hour

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 2 Person

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. cold pressed olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. gluten-free flour (I like Bob Red Mills brand)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups organic vegetable stock

Directions

Heat oil in a saucepan on medium-high. Add yellow onions and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they are translucent. Reduce the heat to low and mix in the gluten-free flour with the onions. Slowly add the vegetable broth and continue to stir until the gravy becomes thick. Add more flour to thicken and add more broth to thin. Serve over any of your favorite sides in place of regular gravy this year.

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Have you decided what you will bring to your family and friends soiree this holiday season?

How about our Green Bean Casserole made from scratch, vegan friendly and enjoyable for all?! While this side dish isn’t the main attraction it is definitely a crowd pleaser. The perfect combination of crunchy and creamy in a vegetable dish… what more could you ask for!

vegan ambrosia salad

TOTAL: 1 hour

Serving Size:4

Ingredients

Crunchy topping

  • 3 large shallots, sliced thin
  • 3 tbsp. gluten free flour (not corn flour, we like Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  • 1 tsp. organic seas salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. organic coconut oil

Casserole

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water (do this first and add to cream sauce later)
  • 1 lb. whole organic green beans, washed and trimmed
  • ½ lb. whole organic yellow beans, washed and trimmed
  • 3 tbsp. organic white mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-cup organic unsweetened almond milk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Topping

Cover the sliced shallots in flour, salt and pepper. Heat coconut oil to medium high and add the floured shallots. Fry for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from stove and place on a plate lined with paper towels and place the onions on top but do not dab with paper towel.

Casserole

Drain cashews and reserve ½ cup of the water. Place cashews and water in a Vitamix or blender and blend until they are a creamy consistency, set aside.

Bring 1 cup of water to boil and blanch the green beans for 3 minutes. Remove from boiling water and place in a 1 ½ quart baking dish.

Bring the coconut oil to medium-high in a saucepan. Add mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and continue for 1 minute. Turn off heat and add almond milk and cashew blend. Mix well and pour over the green beans in the baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven. Add Crunch topping and continue to bake 5 more minutes. Serve hot.

Do You Have a Parasite in Your Gut? How to Kill it

gut parasites

How To Kill Parasites In Your Gut The Natural Way

Got a freeloader living in your gut? If you have been diagnosed with parasites, is it possible to kill them off with natural ingredients? Keep reading to find out…

It’s got to be one of the most embarrassing and self-deflating situations: You’re shopping in the supermarket when all of a sudden a stranger asks, “How far along are you?” 

The problem is that you’re not pregnant. But your belly looks like you could be two or three months along in the prenatal journey. 

For some of the 60 million people(!) in the U.S. that, according to the CDC, are living with toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection, a chronically-bloated belly isn’t the only concern. 

gut parasite

Top Signs You May Have a Parasite

Parasites can also cause brain fog, skin problems, constant fatigue, muscle pain, an itchy anus, frequent hunger and a long laundry list of digestive issues. 

Another nearly 4 million people, says the CDC, have a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by another parasitic infection called trichomoniasis, or trich for short. And here’s another scary stat from the CDC: More than 14 percent of people in the U.S. are exposed to the roundworm parasite that lives in the intestines of dogs that causes toxocariasis.

Sorry, Coconut (my 4-year old four-legged furry pet child): I just don’t know if I can look at you the same way for the next couple days after learning that. But thank God for heartworm pills!

gut health - Coconut and roundworm

Parasites: Not Just A Problem in Poorer Countries

I admit that I thought parasites were mostly something people picked up by visiting a developing nation in the tropics, where hot, damp and humid conditions are rife for all kinds of creepy microorganisms. 

But clearly, there are many among us right here in the good ol’ USA who are walking buffets for parasites. Now, I’m not intentionally trying to scare you; lord knows we have enough things right now to worry about. The good news is that if you have a healthy immune system, your body will be able to prevent parasites from taking up residence in your intestines and stealing your vital nutrients. 

However, thousands of people each year succumb to parasites, mainly by eating or drinking contaminated food and beverages. 

And if that’s you, natural ingredients may help…

natural remedies dried herbs

Treat Parasites Without Medication?

Unfortunately, many symptoms of parasitic infection mirror those of digestive disorders. The only way to know for sure if you have a parasite is by getting your stool tested. Another bummer when it comes to parasitic infections is that stool samples don’t always detect parasites, even when there is one. Far and away, the best stool sample analysis for detecting parasites, says the CDC is the ‘Wheatley method trichrome staining technique.’

If you have a parasitic infection confirmed, your doctor will likely recommend taking a prescription medication for the specific parasite.

Taking medication probably is the quickest way to eradicate the infection. But they don’t always work. Parasites are notoriously difficult to completely wipe out. And if your immune system is compromised and your gut microbiome doesn’t have enough friendly bacteria, there’s a good chance the parasite could re-emerge bigger and badder than before.

Some people would rather go about treating parasites (and candida, which is an overgrowth of a yeast fungus; technically it’s not a parasite) with natural remedies. If that’s you, the best ingredients that are backed by at least some decent research include:

  • Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)
  • Aged garlic extract
  • Oregano oil
  • Black walnut
  • Clove oil

gut parasites remedies- grapefruit and garlic oils

There’s one more natural antiparasitic ingredient I’d like to mention. And that’s Pau D’Arco, which is the Portugese name for ‘lapacho,’ the bark from a tree found in South America, including the Amazonian rainforest. Pau D’Arco is actually a natural anti-bacterial.

If you have a parasite, your doctor may want you to also take an antibiotic just in case you also have a bacterial infection. But antibiotic medications wipe out all the good bugs in your gut. This weakens your immune system, making conditions more likely for the parasite to grow.

Pau D' Arco tree

Eat This, Not That … For Parasites

So what are the best foods to eat for killing parasites? Well, let’s start with the worst thing to consume if you have a parasitic infection: sugar. And I’m not just talking about the added grams that come from soda, snacks and the like. You also should avoid starchy foods that easily convert into sugar like white rice, white flour, wheat flour and high starch carbs like mashed potatoes.

According to Mount Sinai of New York, raw garlic, pumpkin seeds, pomegranates, beets, carrots and a mixture of honey and papaya seeds may be beneficial for killing parasites. And don’t forget to use herbal remedies such as wormwood, barberry, goldenseal, oregon grape, anise and garlic. Mount Sinai adds that homeopathic remedies may also help.

Make sure you also support your liver’s detoxification pathways. One great way to do that is with Chef V’s Cleanse or 21 Day Detox.

Conclusion

Well, I hope a parasite isn’t to blame for what’s bugging you. But if a lab test reveals that you indeed have one, don’t despair. You can kill it and come out the other side stronger than ever.

No B.S. If You have IBS: Try A Chef V Cleanse To Repair Your Gut

leaky gut

Having Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) means experiencing frequent bloating, cramping, diarrhea or constipation and other digestive disturbances. Thankfully, Chef V has one effective recommendation for improving your IBS, courtesy of a Facebook post testimonial. 

Unless you have IBS, it’s hard to empathize with someone who has it. It’s such a challenging condition not to mention a frustrating one. 

On one hand, it’s one of the most commonly-diagnosed gastrointestinal disorders, affecting up to 50 million people in the U.S. alone. At the very least, roughly 15% of adults in the U.S. have IBS, but only 5% of people have been officially diagnosed. 

Despite how pervasive IBS is, there is no single cure, root cause, or effective treatment. 

If you don’t have IBS, consider yourself lucky and imagine how harrowing it must be to be totally in the dark when IBS symptoms strike! What if you’re out in public and can’t get to a bathroom in time? 

IBS can severely impact your quality of life.

So let’s get to know this baffling condition…

irritable bowel

What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

As mentioned, IBS is one of the most common albeit underdiagnosed gastrointestinal disorders. Unlike Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), which is caused by a functional and structural problem of the bowels, with IBS there’s nothing going on under the hood, so to speak, that explains the symptoms. 

If there’s no noticeable abnormality in the gut, then what explains the frequent or chronic bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, gas and belching?

What Causes IBS?

Here’s a list of things that may cause IBS symptoms:

  • Gut dysbiosis (This means not having enough friendly bacteria in the large intestine and too many unfriendly bacteria.)
  • Poor gut-brain communication (The gut and brain should always be communicating effectively, just like in a healthy relationship.)
  • Poor motility (This means having abnormal muscle contractions in the bowels.)
  • Stress (Research studies like this one suggest a strong link between psychological stress and IBS. Stress is definitely a trigger.)
  • Food intolerances (Dairy and gluten are major triggers of IBS symptoms.)
  • Unresolved gut infections. (Did you travel to a developing country in the tropics? Maybe you picked up a parasite?)

Out of the 6 factors above, I think stress is the most prevalent because it can cause or exacerbate the other triggers. 

For example, stress negatively impacts gut-brain communication (the Gut-Brain Axis); causes gut dysbiosis; can lead to poor motility and leaky gut; and can worsen inflammation-associated food sensitivity.

leaky gut

How To Manage IBS

In light of the fact that psychological stress is one of the biggest triggers of IBS symptoms, it helps to have a daily stress-management practice. 

  • Yoga.
  • Meditation. 
  • Visualization exercises. 
  • Journaling. 
  • Immersing yourself in nature. 

Do at least one of these practices every single day. 

For IBS sufferers, the condition is frustrating and challenging because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment like there is for let’s say high cholesterol. (Not that I’m endorsing statin drugs for everybody!)

For a dietary intervention, a low FODMAP diet may help. I won’t go too deep here but FODMAPS are basically different types of sugars that are difficult for people with IBS to digest. 

I previously touched on FODMAPS here.

Basically, you’ll want to avoid foods that give most people gas. That means no:

  • Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies (especially raw!)
  • Beans and lentils
  • Asparagus
  • Apples
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Dairy
  • Cereal, bread, wheat products and other high-gluten foods

Drink Low FODMAP Leafy Greens 

A lot of veggies, even though they are considered healthy, can trigger IBS symptoms. Cauliflower and cabbage: I’m talking about you!

What’s even more frustrating is that there are at least 3 subtypes of IBS: IBS-C, IBS-D, IBS-M. IBS-C is constipation-dominant; D is diarrhea-dominant and M is mixed. 

What may trigger IBS symptoms in a person with IBS-D may not trigger symptoms in a person who is IBS-C dominant. 

So wanna know the best way to get your daily dose of antioxidants—without freaking out your digestive system?

Try drinking them. 

With Chef V Organic Green Drink, you’re getting the cleanest (no pesticides) low FODMAP leafy green veggies. 

In a way, they’re pre-digested for you through the processing method of cold-blending. 

As mentioned, IBS is caused in part by gut dysbiosis, meaning there’s not enough friendly bacteria in the gut. 

The Chef V Green Drink advantage over conventional juice brands is that it’s never high-heat pasteurized. 

That means that all the friendly bacteria is alive in the Green Drink. 

And when you drink Green Drink every morning, you will supply your gut with the friendly bacteria it needs to manage IBS symptoms.

Manage IBS Symptoms With A Chef V 5 DAY Cleanse

If you want to take your IBS management to the next level, check out Tina’s recommendation below. 

Tina has IBS and says that doing a 5 Day Cleanse (Chef V offers a 21 Day Detox which includes a cleanse period) has helped her get rid of gas and bloating. 

With the 5 Day Cleanse you get everything you need to reduce IBS symptoms—without feeling deprived:

  • 4 Green Drinks per day
  • 2 vegan, low FODMAP protein shakes per day
  • 1 DETOX SOUP for dinner per day
  • Health resources to keep the results going and unlimited email support.

Learn more about CHEF V CLEANSE options here

To your success in kicking IBS’ butt!

Love, 

Veronica “V” Kress

Founder, ChefV.com

Throw Out These Cancer Causing Products

pthalates in childrens toys

above, toys seized by US Customs for excessive levels of phthalates

No shocker here: diet plays a big part in avoiding symptoms that indicate that it’s time to detox

(I talked about these symptoms in my post about leaky gut.)

But there’s more to cleansing and detoxing the body than Organic Green Drinks, Detox Soups, and ultra clean vegan Protein Shakes

To give your liver a reset and help it more efficiently remove toxins and excess stored body fat, you need to make sure that the everyday household products you use don’t stress out your liver. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from a new customer that reaches out to tell me they previously did a cleanse but their symptoms came back shortly after. 

In response, I ask them what brand of cosmetics they use, and hair care products, lotions, laundry detergent, household cleaners, toothpaste and perfume. I also ask them if they use plug-in air fresheners and spray deodorizers. 

For the many people I hear from who are new to the concept of natural health, most of the brands these people use are not all-natural. And these common everyday household cleaners, beauty- and personal care products are making people sick. 

sanitary pads and tampons

The Dangerous Chemical In Tampons, Panty Liners & Pads

Phlatates (the “ph” is silent) are synthetic chemicals. These class of chemicals contain volatile compounds that make feminine-hygiene products and dozens of plastic products flexible and resilient against wear and tear. But phthalates have been linked to breast cancer and metabolic diseases. 

In case polyester ever comes back in style (fingers crossed it doesn’t), don’t jump back on the bandwagon. That’s because polyester is one type of phthalate. Another common phthalate is polypropylene. 

Of course, you would never eat a panty liner but the problem with phthalates is that by simply handling them or breathing them in can disrupt your hormone balance. 

The average woman applies sanitary pads during her menstrual cycle 1800 days over her lifetime. If you’re not using an organic brand of sanitary pad, that’s a lot of exposure to these dangerous chemicals. The genitals, unfortunately, are an area of the body that absorbs phthalates to a higher degree. 

To minimize your exposure to phthalates, avoid plastic products with the #3 recycling icon. 

dangerous recycling symbol

The Cancer-Causing Mineral In Cosmetics

In May of last year, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) dropped a bombshell. The consumer and pharmaceutical giant announced it would no longer sell talc baby powder in North America. 

J&J said it was because of declining sales. But that’s only telling half the story. Sales were declining because of health concerns over talcum (also called talc). Talc is a mineral. Talc is completely safe. But because of its next door natural neighbor in the Earth, when it gets crushed into a powder, it becomes contaminated with a cancer-causing ingredient: asbestos. 

Talc and asbestos are located right next to each other in rock quarries. But asbestos particles can cross over into talc mining operations. And there’s no safe limit for asbestos. Once it is inhaled or enters the body, it can become highly carcinogenic. 

And that’s why there have been over 25,000 lawsuits, the overwhelming majority of them filed by minority women who developed ovarian cancer after years of applying talc to their bodies. 

But asbestos isn’t limited to baby powder. A recent study revealed that 15% of cosmetics that were tested contained asbestos, exposure to which kills some 90,000 people worldwide every year. 

talc powder

Beauty Is Skin Deep

I could go on and on about the dangers of everyday household and beauty products. And even if they don’t cause chronic diseases in one person, they can still cause the liver to get clogged. Hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of hormone imbalance can also be caused by synthetic chemicals. 

If there’s one and one thing only that you learn from me it’s this…

If you’re unsure of whether or not a product is safe to use, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. It’s amazing. You simply enter the name of the brand or product and if it’s in the database, it will give you a score from 1-10; the lower the overall score, the safer the product it is. 

I’ve come to love the brands, Beauty Counter and Arbonne for safe, personal care and beauty products. There are many others. While they may cost more than their conventional counterparts, they may save you thousands in medical bills in the future. 

Conclusion

When it comes to cleansing your body, there’s more to it than eating clean. A holistic approach is necessary to unclog a sluggish liver. 

The Best Natural Probiotic (Hint: It’s Not Yogurt)

apple core

I recently talked about how important it is to have good gut health. Your gut plays such a huge role in your overall health. But in the article, what I didn’t really focus on was how to achieve a healthy gut. And we’re not talking about crunches so you can have chiseled, six-pack abs here. Rather, we’re talking about hosting a multitude of good bacteria and a diverse amount of different bacteria species inside your gastrointestinal tract (the microbiome). 

So what’s the easiest and best way to do that? In the article on gut health, I mentioned taking a probiotic. If you eat a low-fiber diet rich in processed (junk) food, then you should definitely be taking a high-quality probiotic. 

But there’s an even easier, and perhaps healthier way to achieve a healthier microbiome. It turns out that the best probiotic source is …. Wait for it … wait for it…..

Best natural source of probiotics

So, is the best way to get lots of friendly, diverse bacteria in your gut by eating lots of yogurt? How about kombucha? Or is the best source of probiotics some other fermented food like kimchi or sauerkraut or kvass? 

Turns out it’s none of these. 

An article in The Atlantic, which references a study in Frontiers of Microbiology, suggests that the single best natural source of probiotics is: an apple. 

The average apple, the study says, contains about 100 million bacteria. 

Now, after I read that fun fact, my first reaction, I’ll admit, was the following, “Big deal, my probiotic supplement contains 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units).” That’s right, my probiotic supplement, in just one tiny little capsule, contains almost 10,000% more bacteria than an apple. 

But here’s the thing. It turns out that eating the apple might be better for you than popping a pill. The reason why? For the same reason eating unprocessed whole foods (especially fruits and veggies) is better for you than vitamin supplements. 

Makes sense, right? After all, whole foods offer the whole puzzle of interlocking health pieces, from micronutrients, antioxidants, as well as fiber, which the good bacteria feed on. On the other hand, supplements, perhaps probiotic pills included, represent, only a few pieces of the total health puzzle. 

In other words, just like in many other aspects of life, it’s quality that usually matters, not quantity. The 100 million or so bacteria in the typical apple are comprised of a myriad of different types of bacteria. Compare that to the average probiotic supplement, which contains maybe a few different friendly microbe species.

Work On Your Core – Apple that is

Now, before you rush out to your local supermarket and stock up on apples, there is a catch. Approximately 90% of the bacteria in the apple is contained, not in the skin, or the juicy main part of the flesh, but in the core. 

If you’re like most people, you probably throw the core away. And when you do that, it’s like throwing away the world’s best probiotic pill down the toilet. 

So from now on, it’s all about the core. Eat the seeds, too. They actually contain a trace amount of the natural toxin, cyanide. But if you eat an apple or two a day, core included, it’ll still keep the doctor away. 

Do you struggle to get enough vegetables in your diet? If so, don’t feel bad. You’re in good company. Approximately 9 out of 10 people don’t eat enough veggies, especially green leafy ones, which most nutritionists (like myself) consider the healthiest kind. 

The good news is that if you’re not getting enough leafy greens in your diet or can’t stomach the thought of eating apple cores, I have an easy solution for you….

Organic Green Drinks (Core Included)

Chef V’s Organic Green Drink is the easiest way to get your full day supply–and then some–of dark, leafy greens veggies. Containing two kinds of kale; collard greens; green leaf lettuce; curly parsley; green chard, and dandelion greens, Organic Green Drink is raw and cold-blended. This means the fiber and micronutrients are preserved for optimal nutrition and, yes, gut health. Fresh produce, suggests The Atlantic article, might just be the best source of natural probiotics in general. (But that finding seems like a no-brainer in my opinion.)

And guess what else is in Chef V Organic Green Drink? That’s right … an apple! Core and all. 

For every 16 oz of Green Drink you consume, you’re gut benefits from hundreds of millions of good bacteria. And remember, it’s not just the quantity of good bacteria that matters, it’s the diversity. 

As Dr. James Hamblin, author of The Atlantic article on probiotics puts it, “Food is the main way that our gut biomes are populated throughout our lives, and microbe-rich foods [especially the 7 certified organic greens in my Green Drink] seem to be important to maintaining diversity.”

Best Source of Natural Good Bacteria: Conclusion

Remember, when it comes to eating apples, don’t think if you throw away the core that you’re still getting a decent amount of probiotics. In fact, it’s only by eating the core that you’ll get the same strains of bacteria that are sold in pricey probiotic pills.  

Eating a plethora of fresh produce every day supports the intricate interconnectedness of the immune and digestive systems. By eating a wide variety of fresh produce, we feed our gut microbes the fiber and sugars they need to support our health. We scratch the bugs’ back, they scratch ours. 

And whether you eat a huge fresh salad everyday or not, Chef V Organic Green Drink is the perfect way to gently wake up your digestive system in the morning, and gently cleanse your vital organs, and, of course, feed the friendly microbes in your gut.

Spicy Golden Pumpkin Hummus

This treat is so yummy you can eat it with gluten free crackers, veggies, on a veggie sandwich. For a party or everyday, I know you’ll enjoy it. – Veronica

sweet watermelon crunch salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups Chef V’s Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 cup organic lime juice
  • 1/4 cup organic tahini
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp organic sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp cold pressed olive oil

Directions

Blend all ingredients together in a Vitamix or food processor. Slowly add the olive oil while blending low. Continue to blend until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving and serve cold. Bon Appetit! – Veronica

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

Warm Pumpkin Salad

This is a delicious fall treat for those first cool days that signal the end of summer. It’s very filling and makes you feel full even though it’s a salad. It’s also very healthy and vegan. – Veronica

pumpkin quinoa salad

Serving Size: 2-4 people

Ingredients

Warm Pumpkin Salad

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet or yellow onion
  • 1 small pie pumpkin, skinned, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups wild greens (arugula, spinach, or mixed lettuces)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions

Warm the pumpkin: In a large non-stick pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and pumpkin. (The smaller the pumpkin is diced the more quickly it will cook.) Sauté the pumpkin and onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the squash is soft. Do not burn the pumpkin or onions.

Add the garlic, nutmeg and thyme, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer the pumpkin to a bowl and stir in the cooked quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cool mixture in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

To serve, mix the dressing ingredients and drizzle over greens. Top with cooled pumpkin mix and garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serves 2-4.

Acai Bowl

Chef V tip: Try an acai bowl for breakfast, too!

Acai is a berry-like fruit native to the rain forests of the Amazon. It has a bitter taste and a very short shelf life, so we don’t often find them fresh in the store. Acai berries contain antioxidants, fiber, and heart-healthy fats.

acai bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen unsweetened acai smoothie packet (I like Sambazon)
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries or blackberries
  • 1/2 cup Chef V’s Raw Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh seasonal fruit (blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, peaches) use your favs!
  • 1 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup crushed raw almonds, optional

Directions

In a Vitamix, process frozen acai juice, blueberries, raspberries, and almond milk on medium until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and top with your favorite fresh fruit, coconut, and almonds, if desired.

Raw Cucumber + Avocado Gazpacho

Cool and creamy, soups are a great way to start a meal, but are also awesome as a main course. You can easily double or triple my recipe and have delicious leftovers. The beauty of my veggie-rich recipe is that its high water and fiber content slows how fast you eat and fills you up quicker.

raw cucumber + avocado gazpacho

SERVES 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 cups filtered ice water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh chopped chives
  • Cucumber slices

Directions

Refrigerate all the ingredients overnight. Peel and seed the avocado and peel the cucumber and garlic.

Place all the cold ingredients in a Vitamix and process until smooth.

The colder the ingredients are, the less foam there will be. Serve cold and top with chopped tomatoes for a bright pop of flavor.

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!

White Sweet Potato Purée IBS Version

You just can’t have a special meal without mashed potatoes. But regular mashed potatoes are very starchy. That means the starch quickly converts into sugar. That’s more bad news for your gut. But this healthy recipe for mashed potatoes uses the nutritiously-superior white sweet potato. Instead of regular milk, I use almond or coconut milk. This recipe is designed for people with IBS who are following a low FODMAP diet.

I swear to you that my white sweet potato pureé will have the same starchy mouth-feel as regular mashed potatoes. But this version contains way more minerals and is lower in calories. – Veronica

sweet potato puree

TOTAL: 1 hour

Serving Size:2

Ingredients

  • 1 large white sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 cup Chef V’s Raw Almond Milk or coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Boil the sweet potato pieces in the 3 cups of water in a large pot for 15 minutes, or until soft. Transfer the pieces to a Vitamix and add the milk, and sea salt and process until smooth. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Banana Blue Smoothie

A smoothie recommended for the nursing mom!

This is our most popular smoothie and the smoothie my husband has every day: Banana Blue. I don’t typically share banana based smoothies since bananas are excluded from the Chef V cleanse because of their high starch and sugar content.

However, for nursing moms, banana and blueberries are great for healing the uterus and producing breast milk. I’ve added some nutritional super boosts too like chia seeds and almond butter.

And of course remember to use all organic!

banana blue smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Chef V's Almond Milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 loose cup of kale, spinach or other greens
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 tbsp. Chef V vanilla pea protein
  • 1 tsp. Chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Almond butter

Directions

Blend in high for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Enjoy! Serves 1.

Brain Health: Keeping Sharp With Chef V

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 32.3% improvement in their ability to focus. Here are Chef V's tips for better brain health.

Feeling foggy brained lately?  Did you forget where you put your phone — for the tenth time this week? Are you forgetting names more often? Now is the time to get serious about brain health.

Socially distanced, locked down people are finding themselves fuzzy brained and distracted. Learn how my Green Drinks and Cleanses can help you stay focused. And even if you’re sharp as a tack, here’ s how you can stay that way well into your 90s and beyond…. Plus, a vegetable with proven brain benefits – avocado.

Mom Was Right (And So Am I): Eat Your Veggies!

There are simple ways you can boost brain health and radically improve your thinking and reasoning skills.

First and foremost: exercise. Start a daily yoga practice. If you absolutely hate yoga or exercising at home, just walk in place for an hour at night while you’re watching TV. Just be active almost every single day for the rest of your life.

Just as important as exercising is diet. Now, I admit, when I came up with my Green Drink recipe several years ago, I didn’t realize it could play a big part in preventing dementia.

As it turns out, the seven certified-organic green-leafy veggies do just that. In fact, if you want to keep your brain younger than your chronological age, green leafy veggies are the best for doing that.

Don’t take my word for it. According to this CBS news article  adults who consume a cup and a half a day of leafy greens have lower risk of developing memory deficits associated with dementia. This is based on a study of almost 1000 people over the course of five years. Those people who ate the most leafy greens were 11 years younger in brain age compared to those who ate the least.

Isn’t that an amazing finding?

There’s no easier–and smarter–way of getting your daily dose of green, leafy veggies than drinking at least 16 oz. of Green Drink every day. Combining Green Drink with my soups and protein shakes, a detox has a profound positive effect on your health.

avocados for brain health

Having Trouble Concentrating & Focusing While Working at Home? Ditch the Sugar

Most juice cleanses are way too high in sugar. (Learn how Chef V compares to the competition.)

And it turns out that if you have high blood sugar levels, to the point that you develop pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, your brain health will suffer.

What’s the connection?

According to this article people with Type 2 diabetes have an increased risk for memory problems. Furthermore, older adults who have diabetes and high blood sugars perform worse on memory tests at the start of the study and show a greater decline in memory by the end of the study, in comparison to older adult without diabetes.

Can you see why it’s so important to not go overboard with your sugar intake? The good news is you don’t have to ditch dessert for the rest of your life. You just need to eat treats that are low in added sugars. Take my recipe for Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse for example.

melted cheese

Avocado: It’s Brain Food!

Speaking of avocado, it’s one of the healthiest foods for brain health. Along with blueberries, wild salmon, nuts and seeds, beans and some other superfoods, avocado has long been praised for its positive effect on gray matter.

Here’s how avocado is good for your brain….

Even though it’s high in fat, the fat it does contain a lot of is the monounsaturated kind. The Mediterranean Diet, one of the healthiest ways of eating on the planet, is rich in monounsaturated fats. These fats contribute to healthy blood flow and lower blood pressure. Having high blood pressure is a major risk factor for cognitive decline.

So eat up to half an avocado a day to boost brain power!

Getting Enough Sleep Prevents Brain Fog

One of the toxic proteins that contributes to foggy memory is amyloid plaque. There’s more and more research showing that consistent good sleep can help prevent memory loss. What does this have to do with bad plaque in the brain? Good sleep is like a diligent janitor. Sleep sweeps away the plaque.

If you’ve let your healthy routine go to sh*t, staying up until midnight or later and not getting at least 7 hours, you’re putting yourself at risk for forgetfulness.

Not getting enough sleep? Eating too much sugar? Just feeling heavy and groggy and dragging around the house?

Then it’s time to do a Chef V Detox.

My 21 Day Detox programs will help reset your taste buds so that you won’t be tempted by sugary and junk foods. Your organs will also be working in better shape to help your body detoxify, and your blood sugar levels will go down. You’ll have more focus and better energy throughout the day; you won’t need that late afternoon sugary pick-me-up. As a result, you’ll sleep like a baby.

Look, I can’t guarantee that if you exercise, follow my healthy eating guidelines and get enough sleep you’ll be 100% guaranteed to have a sharper brain.

But the odds will be much better in your favor….

To your health!

Love,

Chef V

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.

For additional protein, add my Almond Crusted Chicken to the dish.

V with Asian salad

Salad

Salad

  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 mandarins, cut into segments
  • 1 tbsp Asian dressing

Dressing

Asian Dressing

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar

Blend well.

Super Antioxidant Smoothie

Antioxidants are substances that may prevent cell damage. Berries, kale, and beets are great natural sources of antioxidants. Enjoy ihis super antioxidant smoothie in the morning after your 16 oz. of Organic Green Drink.

super smoothie

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Serving Size: 1 Person

Ingredients

  • ½ cup organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup organic raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup diced organic red beet, raw
  • 2 pieces of organic green kale
  • ½ cup ice
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • 1 serving of Chef V Ultra Shake protein powder or Powder of your choice

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend 1-2 minutes until smooth. Add ¼ cup filtered water if necessary. Bon Appétit!

Red White & Blue Smoothie Bowl

My Red White & Blue Breakfast Smoothie Bowl is delicious, good for you, and easy to make. Start off the holiday celebration with this yummy breakfast!

Use any smoothie as the base. Top with raspberries or strawberries, blueberries and coconut shreds.

My favorites smoothies to use as the base are:

red white blue smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups smoothie from my drinks recipes 
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, blueberries or other fresh organic berries

Optional: gluten free granola

Directions

Fill bowl with one of my favorite smoothies. Top with raspberries or strawberries and layer the coconut shreds and blueberries to make a patriotic treat.

Grilled Mango Salad

My Grilled Mango Salad makes any meal delicious. It combines the hearty flavor of black beans with the luscious richness of mangoes and avocado, all in a healthy salad, perfect before or after a Chef V Cleanse.

Chef V’s tip: Add grilled chicken or fish for more protein!   – Veronica

Serving Size: 4 People

grilled mango salad

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 mangos, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 4 cups mixed greens (use your fav!)
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled or 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup Chef V's Cilantro Lime Dressing

Directions

Preheat a grill or grill pan on a stove over medium-high heat. Place the mango sliced on the grill rack or pan and cook for 1 minute, or until grill marks appear. Transfer to a cutting board and cut the grilled mango into smaller chunks.

Plate the greens and top with grilled mango, red onion, and black beans. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Dressing

Chef V’s Tip: Most of my salads are delicious with my Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette or Creamy Avocado Dressing. Use these on any salads unless otherwise specified. Dressings serve 4-6. – Veronica

creamy avocado dressing

TOTAL TIME: 10 min

SERVES 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cold filtered water

Directions

For Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, process all ingredients in a Vitamix until smooth and well combined. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Shake well before each use.

Chef V’s Almond Flour Crusted Chicken

This is a new recipe I created recently that uses crushed almond flour crackers and is served with a honey mustard sauce. It makes a delicious main course, accompanied by my Mandarin Asian Salad.

chia seed pudding

Ingredients

2 chicken breast, boneless, skinless (pounded flat so they cook even)

Marinade

    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 2 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp. Chopped fresh herbs (oregano & thyme)
    • Pinch of salt and pepper

Breading

  • 2 cups Simple Mills almond flour crackers blended finely
  • Add 2 tsp fresh chopped oregano & 2tsp fresh chopped thyme

Honey Mustard

  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey

Directions

Mix all marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Use the sauce to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and dip in the breadcrumbs, coating the chicken on all sides.

Heat 3 tbsp. oil to medium high and add chicken to hot oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, carefully not to burn by reducing heat to medium as needed.

Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce. 

Sloppy Joes with Chef V BBQ Sauce

This Sloppy Joe recipe uses my tomato-less bbq sauce. Serve with my creamy coleslaw on a gluten-free bun.

Did you know the sandwich probably originated in Sioux City, Iowa in the 1930s. According to legend, the “loose meat sandwich” was created by a cook named Joe. My version is made with ground turkey and my tomato-less BBQ sauce.

sloppy joe sandwich

Ingredients

-2 tbsp water

– 1 lb organic ground turkey

– Chef V's BBQ sauce

Directions

Add 2 tbsp water to a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the ground Turkey and brown the turkey (about 5 minutes). Mix with the BBQ sauce on the stove. 

Continue to warm for 1-2 minutes and serve with your favorite gluten free bun and my coleslaw recipe.

Chef V’s BBQ Sauce

Nightshades tend to cause inflammation in the body. Tomatoes are in lots of yummy sauces like ketchup, BBQ sauce and marinara. These sauces can cause inflammation in the body and discomfort.

Try this tomato-less bbq sauce recipe as an alternative and see how much better you feel. You can use this sauce on anything that calls for BBQ sauce.

jackfruit

Ingredients

– ½ yellow onion
– 1 cup sweet potatoes cooked and mashed
– 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
– ½ cup coconut sugar
– 3 tablespoons coconut nectar 
– 1 tablespoon honey 
– ½ teaspoon smoked paprika 
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– ½ teaspoon chili powder 
– ½ teaspoon mustard powder 
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ½ cup water

Directions

– In a medium sized pot, boil water and your peeled and chopped sweet potatoes until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and mash lightly with a fork.

– In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients. Blend on medium speed for 1 minute or until the sauce is smooth.

– Transfer the sauce to a small pot and cook on low for 15 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

– Use sauce immediately or store in the fridge for 1 month.

Use this sauce with my Pulled Jackfruit, Shredded Chicken, and Sloppy Joes sandwiches.

Raw Coleslaw

This coleslaw recipe goes well with my BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich, my Shredded Chicken Sandwich, and my Sloppy Joe Sandwich.

coleslaw

Ingredients

-2 cups shredded green cabbage
-1/2 cup shredded carrot 
-1/2 cup shredded red cabbage 
-3/4 cup Chef V Raw Mayo 
-1 tbsp.  coconut sugar 
-Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions

Mix all ingredients. Serve on my Jackfruit, BBQ Chicken or Sloppy Joes sandwiches on your favorite gluten free bun.

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.

Immunity Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 piece kale
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp fresh turmeric
  • 1 dash black pepper

Directions

Mix all ingredients and enjoy!

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.