Category: Health & Wellness

It’s Not As Hard As You Think: Top 5 Myths About Doing a Detox

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You know it’s time for a detox.  You haven’t been eating healthy. Your belly is chronically bloated. It takes you a couple cups of coffee in the morning to wake up from the dead. And when the caffeine eventually wears off, your mental clarity and energy are foggy and sluggish, respectively. Your skin is bumpy and dull, and your sleep patterns are erratic. 

But some people are intimidated by detox diets. While the thought of coming out the other side of a metabolic reboot sounds appealing, you don’t want to be miserable doing it. “Detoxes” can mean different things to different people. Herbal supplements, colon cleanses, infrared saunas, digestive enzymes, and of course, juice cleanses. 

If you’re thinking about doing a detox, here are some common misconceptions. 

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Detox Myth #1: It’s Too Hard

To some people, the phrase “detox” is synonymous with starvation. But a detox shouldn’t be deficient in nutrients, and it certainly shouldn’t be a lengthy, strict fast. While following an intermittent fasting schedule is great for your health (I do it, and so does Brandon, my husband.), not eating anything for over 24 hours could do you more harm than good. 

With my 21 Day Detox, you choose between one, two or three intervals of a 3 day cleanse. During the 3, 6 or 9 days, you’re on a calorie restricted diet. But you’re getting all the nutrients you need to detoxify vital organs and lose weight—without feeling deprived. 

On these cleanse days, you drink 4 servings of my Organic Green Drink (16 oz. per serving), a smooth-as-silk cold-blend of 7 certified organic green leafy veggies. You also get 2 packets of my vegan-friendly protein shake (about 20 grams of muscle-building protein per shake) and one Detox Soup for dinner. 

Essentially, these cleanse days are a liquid diet. But there’s enough protein and fiber to help your energy levels remain steady and prevent cravings.

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best foods to cleanse your liver
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Myth #2: You Can Only Have Juice Or Raw Kale

Many people associate cleanse or detox diets with juice programs. If you ever come across a program that offers only juices, whether it’s a 3 day program or a longer one, then run. 

Here’s why: most juice programs, even if the drinks are low in sugar (unfortunately, most juice detoxes are very high in sugar), they are woefully deficient in protein and fiber. Pressed juices don’t contain the fiber from the fruit or veggie. And when you have no fiber, your blood sugar levels fluctuate. The result is nasty mood swings. You really need protein, fiber and even some healthy fat to keep you full and maintain your blood sugar at a steady level during your detox. 

(By the way, my Organic Green Drink contains only 6 grams of sugar per 16 oz serving, keeping your energy level rock-steady.) 

As for the non-cleanse days — either 18 days, 15 days or 12 days depending on how many 3 day cleanses you choose during the 21 Day Detox, you get to enjoy entrees like nachos, wild salmon, mac and cheese, and pesto lasagna, just to name a few. 

How can you mack on mac n’ cheese when you’re trying to detoxify your body? When you order my 21 Day Detox, you get access to my recipe book, “Making Healthier Easier,” a PDF download that teaches you how to make your favorite entrees healthy (I use nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute. 

I also provide you with an Eat This/Not That chart, and a Healthy Portions guide. When you’re eating dozens of delicious meals that you can take right from my book, and learn exactly what you should eat during a 21 Day Detox, 3 weeks goes by real quick.

Myth #3: You Can Only Drink Water And Detox Drinks

While I do recommend eliminating caffeine during a 21 Day Detox (for all 21 days), that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy other drinks. 

On your non-cleanse days (again, it’s either 18, 15 or 12 days, depending on how many 3-day cleanse periods you want to do), you can use my recipe book to easily create craft “mocktails.” How does Watermelon Slush sound? It’s perfect for hot days when you need something sweet and refreshing. Or how about Creamy Green Smoothie, a delicious, filling blend of avocado, spinach, kale, dates, lemon, chia seeds and cinnamon … doesn’t exactly sound like torture, does it? 

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antioxidant vegetables
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Myth #4: You Can’t Have Any Sugar Or Dessert

Ideally, starting from right now and everyday for the rest of your life, you will eat a low-sugar diet. But there’s a misconception that when you’re doing a detox, you can’t have any sugar. Technically, that’s not true. All veggies, even green leafy ones, contain a tiny bit of natural sugar. 

Sure, you shouldn’t eat anything with added sugars while you’re doing a 21 Day Detox. But even on the non-cleanse days, you still get to feast on sweet-tasting things like berries and even a date or two. 

And the best part of my 21 Day Detox is that on non-cleanse days, you can have your cake and eat it, too. That’s right. In my cookbook, you’ll find recipes for Triple Layer Cheesecake, Acai, Chia Seed Pudding, Chocolate Avocado Mousse, and Vanilla ‘Milk’ Shake. 

Again, it doesn’t sound exactly like torture, does it? The reason you get to eat like a King while eliminating toxins is that you’ll be swapping out high-inflammatory ingredients such as dairy, for ingredients that aid in the body’s detoxification process, and cause no inflammatory reaction.

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Omega 3 rich foods
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Myth #5: It’s Expensive

It’s true that some Detox programs cost thousands of dollars. But with my 21 Day Detox, you can easily lose 30 pounds or more, starting at only $249. That’s less than $12 a day. Not bad for the following:

  • 4 Organic Green Drinks, 2 Protein Shakes and 1 Detox Soup every day during your 3 Day Cleanse interval
  • My Recipe E-Book, Making Healthier Easier, which includes a healthy food pyramid (not the ridiculous one the federal government uses); a list of cleanse approved foods; detox drinks and smoothies; healthy breakfasts; tasty snacks and apps; super soups; sensational salads; easy entrees and sides; sweets and treats
  • Healthy Portions Chart and other handy printouts
  • Unlimited email and phone support

If you’ve been thinking about going on a detox diet but you’re confused, scared, and don’t know how to get started, you’ve come to the right place. 

I’ll hold your hand every step of the way. I promise you will transform your body and mind (maybe even your spirit) when the 21 days are over. I also promise you won’t feel like you’re starving or miserable. It will take some dedication on your part. You must be willing to do some healthy meal prep and cooking on your own. But my recipes are real easy to follow and don’t take long to make. 

And if you’ve never done a 3-day calorie-restricted liquid diet cleanse, it might seem a little challenging to go that long without any solid food. But with the protein shakes and detox soup dinner, you’ll do just fine and you’ll be buzzing with natural energy after the 3 day interval.

Get Started. Experience the Chef V Transformation

Think how quickly the last 3 weeks or even the last 3 years of your life has flown by. You can do this. It’s not nearly as hard as you think. After the 21 days, not only will your clothes feel much looser, you’ll smile at your new slimmer physique when you look in the mirror, your skin will feel smoother, your thinking will be sharper … and overall, you’re going to feel like you’re living your best life. 

What do you say? Ready to get started. 

Click here to buy 21 Day Detox.

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It’s Not As Hard As You Think: Top 5 Myths About Doing a Detox

You know it’s time for a detox.  You haven’t been eating healthy. Your belly is chronically bloated. It takes you a couple cups of coffee in the morning to wake up from the dead. And when the caffeine eventually wears off, your mental clarity and energy are foggy and sluggish, respectively. Your skin is bumpy and dull, and your sleep patterns are erratic.  But some people are intimidated by detox diets. While the thought of coming out the other side of a metabolic reboot sounds appealing, you don’t want to be miserable doing it. “Detoxes” can mean different things to different people. Herbal supplements, colon cleanses, infrared saunas, digestive enzymes, and of course, juice cleanses.  If you’re thinking about doing a detox, here are some common misconceptions. 

Detox Myth #1: It’s Too Hard

To some people, the phrase “detox” is synonymous with starvation. But a detox shouldn’t be deficient in nutrients, and it certainly shouldn’t be a lengthy, strict fast. While following an intermittent fasting schedule is great for your health (I do it, and so does Brandon, my husband.), not eating anything for over 24 hours could do you more harm than good.  With my 21 Day Detox, you choose between one, two or three intervals of a 3 day cleanse. During the 3, 6 or 9 days, you’re on a calorie restricted diet. But you’re getting all the nutrients you need to detoxify vital organs and lose weight—without feeling deprived.  On these cleanse days, you drink 4 servings of my Organic Green Drink (16 oz. per serving), a smooth-as-silk cold-blend of 7 certified organic green leafy veggies. You also get 2 packets of my vegan-friendly protein shake (about 20 grams of muscle-building protein per shake) and one Detox Soup for dinner.  Essentially, these cleanse days are a liquid diet. But there’s enough protein and fiber to help your energy levels remain steady and prevent cravings. 

 

Myth #2: You Can Only Have Juice Or Raw Kale

Many people associate cleanse or detox diets with juice programs. If you ever come across a program that offers only juices, whether it’s a 3 day program or a longer one, then run.  Here’s why: most juice programs, even if the drinks are low in sugar (unfortunately, most juice detoxes are very high in sugar), they are woefully deficient in protein and fiber. Pressed juices don’t contain the fiber from the fruit or veggie. And when you have no fiber, your blood sugar levels fluctuate. The result is nasty mood swings. You really need protein, fiber and even some healthy fat to keep you full and maintain your blood sugar at a steady level during your detox.  (By the way, my Organic Green Drink contains only 6 grams of sugar per 16 oz serving, keeping your energy level rock-steady.)  As for the non-cleanse days — either 18 days, 15 days or 12 days depending on how many 3 day cleanses you choose during the 21 Day Detox, you get to enjoy entrees like nachos, wild salmon, mac and cheese, and pesto lasagna, just to name a few.  How can you mack on mac n’ cheese when you’re trying to detoxify your body? When you order my 21 Day Detox, you get access to my recipe book, “Making Healthier Easier,” a PDF download that teaches you how to make your favorite entrees healthy (I use nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute.  I also provide you with an Eat This/Not That chart, and a Healthy Portions guide. When you’re eating dozens of delicious meals that you can take right from my book, and learn exactly what you should eat during a 21 Day Detox, 3 weeks goes by real quick. 

Myth #3: You Can Only Drink Water And Detox Drinks

While I do recommend eliminating caffeine during a 21 Day Detox (for all 21 days), that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy other drinks.  On your non-cleanse days (again, it’s either 18, 15 or 12 days, depending on how many 3-day cleanse periods you want to do), you can use my recipe book to easily create craft “mocktails.” How does Watermelon Slush sound? It’s perfect for hot days when you need something sweet and refreshing. Or how about Creamy Green Smoothie, a delicious, filling blend of avocado, spinach, kale, dates, lemon, chia seeds and cinnamon … doesn’t exactly sound like torture, does it? 

Myth #4: You Can’t Have Any Sugar Or Dessert

Ideally, starting from right now and everyday for the rest of your life, you will eat a low-sugar diet. But there’s a misconception that when you’re doing a detox, you can’t have any sugar. Technically, that’s not true. All veggies, even green leafy ones, contain a tiny bit of natural sugar.  Sure, you shouldn’t eat anything with added sugars while you’re doing a 21 Day Detox. But even on the non-cleanse days, you still get to feast on sweet-tasting things like berries and even a date or two.  And the best part of my 21 Day Detox is that on non-cleanse days, you can have your cake and eat it, too. That’s right. In my cookbook, you’ll find recipes for Triple Layer Cheesecake, Acai, Chia Seed Pudding, Chocolate Avocado Mousse, and Vanilla ‘Milk’ Shake.  Again, it doesn’t sound exactly like torture, does it? The reason you get to eat like a King while eliminating toxins is that you’ll be swapping out high-inflammatory ingredients such as dairy, for ingredients that aid in the body’s detoxification process, and cause no inflammatory reaction.

Myth #5: It’s Expensive

It’s true that some Detox programs cost thousands of dollars. But with my 21 Day Detox, you can easily lose 30 pounds or more, starting at only $249. That’s less than $12 a day. Not bad for the following:

  • 4 Organic Green Drinks, 2 Protein Shakes and 1 Detox Soup every day during your 3 Day Cleanse interval
  • My Recipe E-Book, Making Healthier Easier, which includes a healthy food pyramid (not the ridiculous one the federal government uses); a list of cleanse approved foods; detox drinks and smoothies; healthy breakfasts; tasty snacks and apps; super soups; sensational salads; easy entrees and sides; sweets and treats
  • Healthy Portions Chart and other handy printouts
  • Unlimited email and phone support

If you’ve been thinking about going on a detox diet but you’re confused, scared, and don’t know how to get started, you’ve come to the right place.  I’ll hold your hand every step of the way. I promise you will transform your body and mind (maybe even your spirit) when the 21 days are over. I also promise you won’t feel like you’re starving or miserable. It will take some dedication on your part. You must be willing to do some healthy meal prep and cooking on your own. But my recipes are real easy to follow and don’t take long to make.  And if you’ve never done a 3-day calorie-restricted liquid diet cleanse, it might seem a little challenging to go that long without any solid food. But with the protein shakes and detox soup dinner, you’ll do just fine and you’ll be buzzing with natural energy after the 3 day interval. 

Get Started. Experience the Chef V Transformation

Think how quickly the last 3 weeks or even the last 3 years of your life has flown by. You can do this. It’s not nearly as hard as you think. After the 21 days, not only will your clothes feel much looser, you’ll smile at your new slimmer physique when you look in the mirror, your skin will feel smoother, your thinking will be sharper … and overall, you’re going to feel like you’re living your best life.  What do you say? Ready to get started.  Click here to buy 21 Day Detox.

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

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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…..

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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.

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Work On Your Core

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….

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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.”

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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.

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Interview with Veronica Wheat, Chef V

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Veronica Wheat founded Chef V in 2010, providing private wellness chef services to clients in the San Diego area. Today, Chef V is a national player in the organic food delivery industry. Veronica is a passionate chef, a certified nutritional therapist, member of the board of the California  Certified Organic Foundation (CCOF) and a volunteer for Southern California charities.

What got you started as a Chef?

In 2010 I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology but I have worked in the restaurant industry since I was a kid. I am a self taught chef and have learned my trade in the school of “hard knocks”.

I was just a little kid when I started my journey to being Chef V. When I was 12, I worked at a café helping to make sandwiches, soups, and drinks and to scoop gelato for guests. It was my friend’s Mom’s shop and I got paid in sandwiches and ice tea.  At 15 I got my first real job working at a vegetarian restaurant called Veggie & Tea House. I was an aspiring vegetarian and working there convinced me that there were so many foods to eat and still be healthy.

After Veggie & Tea, I worked in over 15 different restaurants throughout high school and college including Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Fine Dining, To-Go, Bistro style, and Bar. I worked every job you can do in a restaurant: front of house, back of house, on the line, on the floor, prepping food, cleaning dishes, bartending, etc. It was the best experience I could imagine, as it completely shaped my style into my own original vision of healthy and delicious food.

By the time I finished college, I was in love with food and nutrition but didn’t want to work in a restaurant any longer. I was on to the next step in my path to Chef V.

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So you became a Private Chef.

Ready to move on from working in restaurants and having graduated from college, in 2010 I started a business in San Diego offering private chef services. My business’s cuisine style was healthy comfort food using organic seasonal meats and produce. The company started to keep me very busy, both as an in-home private chef and with frequent catering jobs including weddings, showers, birthdays, office parties and more.

In 2011,  I started a meal delivery for the clients I met at events I catered.  I had several dozen clients and made breakfast, lunch and dinner for them, plus I delivered twice a week, myself! The business grew and grew.

One of my trademark recipes was my Green Drink. I would have my clients drink my famous Green Drink before each meal. This way they were always getting a little bit of healthy greens with each meal. I made them drink it before eating their meals and wait 15 minutes before eating their food for proper absorption.

Green Drink was a hit. My Clients started sharing their Private Chef’s Green Drink with their friends and family. And before I knew it I had 100 green drink only clients in San Diego. I concluded my private chef services in November 2012 and focused on keeping up with the increasing demand for my certified Organic Green Drink and Cleanses.

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What led you to make your own Green Drink and Cleanse products?

Why not just encourage my clients to buy a green drink or cleanse from the store? Because as a nutritional therapist I saw how bad the sugar latent drinks and cleanses on the market were. Many contain around 200g of sugar a day and I was appalled. It is not recommended to consume more than 40g of sugar in one day.

So I created a real Cleanse that incorporates my Green Drink, plus two vegan protein shakes each day and a tasty soup at night.  My clients started my new Cleanse product and were losing up to 15 lbs in 3 days and up to 25 lbs in 7 days.

My Chef V Cleanse became so popular, I expanded my deliveries to Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Bay Area in 2013 and in 2014 I moved to New York City to start my East coast production facility. Chef V now services the entire country (minus Hawaii and Alaska, sorry friends). We are family owned and operated. My husband and I run all aspects of the business. And our dog child Mr. CocoNut is the mascot.

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Are you vegan?

I’m not a vegan I just veg a lot! In fact I’m not even Vegetarian, wholeheartedly.

You might say “WHAT?! Chef V all you do is advocate veganism and plant based?” And yes that is true. I like to say I’m plant based with some organic protein in my diet. I do have some grains but mostly sweet potato or cauliflower instead of rice grains these days. I do still have organic animal proteins in my diet. Not with every meal but usually a little once a day. I only eat chicken or turkey that I cook myself and is certified organic.I don’t trust other places. I do also have wild fish and shellfish a couple times a week. But my main diet is plant based.

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I think it is important to weigh your values and how your body does the best and with which foods. For me, I’ve tried cutting animal protein out of my diet and the result is a craving for bad processed carbs like bread and pasta. Which are animal-free so my mind and body go there. When I have a little organic protein in my diet I feel the best and don’t crave those processed carbohydrates. Again, I think it is important to do what works for you.

For the purpose of cleansing your body, I do think you should stick to a plant based diet but I also think having some pure, organic protein is ok and is still beneficial.

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Being that your business is cleansing and yummy health food, what is your favorite healthy food?

I love my Green Drink. I have one every morning for breakfast. I also love salads. I have a big salad every day for lunch. I try to not eat meat during the day and have some sort of lean protein for dinner. Sometimes I have salmon sashimi for lunch.

Below, I am in the Chef V kitchen. The blenders behind me are filled with seven different organic greens, a little apple, and purified water. I’m getting ready to make my Green Drink. 

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Do you take Cooking Classes?

Since i was 25, I have traveled the world taking cooking classes.  In fact, I just got back from one in Mexico last week. I learned to make fresh corn tortillas! They were the best I’ve ever had in the world! I also learned roasted salsa, grilled pineapple salsa and a rosemary guacamole I can’t wait to make and share with you!

I’ve also had classes in Tokyo, Italy, Cuba, Bali, Thailand, Croatia, and many more around the USA.

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 You have so many enthusiastic loyal fans of your products.  What do you attribute this to?

Having honest products that work. And staying true to my brand. It’s my mission to Make Healthier Easier and having a green drink a day with no added sugars or extra fruits to sweeten it up really will change your life. It can change your life in as little as 3-7 days with a cleanse, thousands of our customers have attested to it. It will change your life and increase your longevity if you invest in having a green drink every day forever.

If someone is not happy with our products or services, we always try to make it right. We have a 100% money back guarantee for your first week of green drink if it is not right for you. This way you can make sure you like it before diving into a more expensive cleanse.

To order my book, click on the picture below.

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You even have your own cookbook!  What was that like to write?

It was a long process. But I learned so much!

When I moved to NYC I didn’t have much of a social life. I Worked at the kitchen all day making green drink and training my staff.  Then came home, cooked and worked on social media. I get bored super easily so to keep myself busy I bought a camera and started documenting all my recipes.

The cookbook theme, the title and the recipes changed maybe 50 times. I compiled all the recipes for 7 months. By the time I was done with it it was January 2015.

I met with a local publisher who published Top Chef contestant Brian Malarkey’s book. I loved the book and images so much, we started working together and got everything done by June 2015, all the editing, formatting, and photos (they redid the photos because mine were not very professional).

In June 2015 we started going through a re-branding. Our logo and materials were so dated and created by my husband and myself. Plus I started as a chef and now was moved to more juice delivery, so we needed to re-brand with a more solid logo and message. So, because of this, my book was on hold for 6 months until we finished the re-brand. Once this was finished we had to go back through the book and add the new logos, change the title AGAIN, and changed the cover photo to a photo shoot we did at a local farm we do business with.

So, I always tell people, however long you think it is going to take to write a book, triple it and that is probably more accurate. I am proud to say that I sold 2,000 books and just reordered by second order of 2,000 books! Volume 2!

To order my book, click on the picture below.

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What’s next for you?

I would love to start some other ventures. I have some other food brands I’d like to bring to life without diluting Chef V and that purpose. I also want to write more cook books. I have a holiday one in mind next.  Another goal of mine is to be a judge on a cooking show.

Lastly I really want to start a women’s entrepreneur group. I know so many women that want to do something or start their own business but aren’t sure how. I feel I would be a great coach for women who want to get started and create a great environment with like minded women to support and help each other grow!

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Essential Autumn Detox: 21 Days to better health

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Happy autumn! Cooler, brisk fall days call for warmer comfort foods. Comfort foods and cleansing go together with my Chef V cleanses. My cleanses include delicious Carrot Ginger and Sweet Potato Curry soups, soothing and filling on a cold fall evening.  Doing a detox cleanse right now may protect you from colds and getting the flu in the next few months. Plus, doing a detox is like giving your organs a much-needed tune-up for the colder months ahead. 

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Well that was fast. Summer flew by, didn’t it?

The nights aren’t quite chilly yet. But they will be soon. And viruses thrive in cold weather. Within a couple months, you’ll likely find yourself spending much more time indoors. When you’re sharing oxygen in a confined space, that’s when your body is more susceptible to catching colds and flu viruses.

The state of your immune system right now will be a major factor in determining if you’re going to have to call in sick for work a lot later in the fall and winter.

You might feel totally healthy now. But if you ate a lot of barbecues over the summer along with alcohol, ice cream and other inflammatory foods, your immune system might be weakened right now without you knowing it.

And if you don’t detox your system now, your immune system’s energy will be spent trying to get rid of the toxic load in your organs, instead of devoting all of its resources to fighting viruses.

Hey, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones and can spend an entire summer feasting on foods with refined carbohydrates. Perhaps you’re a genetic freak who never gets sick despite a diet rich in foods with white flour, sugar, and saturated fats.

But if you’re not a member of the dietary one-percent I have some advice for you on boosting your immune system right now….

Below, my Black Bean Soup, a recipe from my cookbook. A cleanse-friendly recipe created to accompany my cleanses and detoxes.

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Ditch Sugar Addiction & Reset Your Metabolism In Just 21 Days

In addition to eating unhealthy food in the summer, another reason you might be more vulnerable to getting sick during cold/flu season is stress.

Recently, I wrote about staying healthy for the back to school season. But even if you don’t have kids the hectic holiday season is only a couple months away. Many of us feel stressed out around the holidays. And when stress strikes, lots of people cope by snacking on sugary treats and other unhealthy food.

If you can relate to feeling stressed out during the winter holidays or ate lots of unhealthy food this past summer, I suggest trying my 21 Day Detox.

My 21 Day Detox is 100% organic. Although you’ll very likely lose weight after doing a 21 Day Detox, my program is far more than just a weight loss solution. More than that, my 21 Day Detox will teach you how to adopt healthier eating habits. Not just for the 21 days but for weeks, months and even years after the detox is over.

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How Does The 21 Day Detox Work?

During the 21 Day Detox, you’ll have days when you follow my Cleanse protocol, which provides you with four servings of 16 oz Green Drinks, 2 Protein Shakes and a Detox Soup. Then, on other days, you’ll also have Green Drinks and Protein Shakes, plus my Healthy Routine, which allows you to choose your own lunch, snack and dinner from my Meal Planner. The Meal Planner contains delicious recipes, an approved foods list, a portion-size guide, and more helpful tips that will make completing a 21 Day Detox a breeze.

Plus, when you order the 21 Day Detox, I email you a downloadable copy of my recipe book, Making Cleansing Easier.

A lot of people have no idea what to eat. But I take all the guess work out of meal planning. My recipes are filled with lots of low-starch veggies, healing herbs and spices and healthy, whole grains that don’t promote inflammation. I also include some fruit as part of my Healthy Eating routine (but not too much), as well as legumes, lean protein and moderate amounts of healthy oils such as olive oil.

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Squashing Colds With … Squash, Soup And Other Awesome Autumn Veggies

Introducing winter squash, sweet potato, carrot, beets and other hearty antioxidant-rich veggies this time of year is a good strategy for boosting your immune system and aiding your body in the detox process.

And when you do my 21 Day Detox, you’ll get one of two delicious Detox soups for dinner: Carrot Ginger Zing and Sweet Potato Curry. The carrot ginger soup also contains yam, onion, garlic, turmeric, and sea salt with a base of filtered water.

As for the sweet potato curry, it’s loaded with leeks, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and a gentle curry spice, flavored to taste with sea salt in a filtered water base.

Although the Detox Soups are relatively low in calories, they are very nutrient dense, so you won’t still be hungry and be tempted by empty carbs after having it for dinner.

Here’s what one Chef V customer, Mel H. of San Diego, has to say about the soup on Yelp:

The detox soup is DELICIOUS- I want to try the recipe on my own one of these days. After 3 days of cleansing I feel 100% better. I will absolutely do this cleanse again. Thanks Chef V. !

Mel didn’t jump into the 21 Day Detox. She dipped her toe in the shallow end by doing my shortest detox program, the 3 Day Cleanse. If the sound of a 21 Day Detox intimidates you, doing a 3 Day Cleanse (or 5 day or 7 day) is a good alternative.

Whether you choose the shorter cleanse or the 21 Day Detox, I’ll tell you exactly what foods to eat in the days leading up to the program and for the days that follow it after you successfully finish it.

So give your organs a tune-up now and get them in tip-top shape for the cold/flu season that’s right around the corner.

To your health,

Chef V

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Chef V: Cleansing from the Expert, Veronica Wheat

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Doing a cleanse should be fun, easy and affordable. But many cleanses feel like torture. Sure, you might lose weight doing any cleanse on the market. But what happens shortly after the cleanse is over most of the time? That’s right … the weight you lost goes right back on. But doing a Chef V cleanse is different. And here to talk about how it’s different is none other than Veronica Wheat, Chef V herself. 

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Question: Veronica, how is a Chef V Cleanse Different Than Others on The Market?

Veronica: My Chef V cleanse is different from other cleanses in four ways:

#1: It’s certified organic.
#2: It’s very low in sugar and contains mostly all green veggies
#3: It contains adequate protein
#4: It teaches you both how to prepare for a cleanse and how to stay healthy long after the cleanse is over

As for the first point, we are one of the only cleanse programs that is a certified organic brand. This is something I am very proud of. Not only do my kitchen and production processes exceed the rigorous National Organic Program, everything we produce is made using locally grown organic produce and organic ingredients.

It is hard to cleanse your body if the produce you’re consuming contains pesticides. That’s why it is super important to me that the 7 green leafy veggies in our Green Drinks be certified organic. It is just better for your health. Also, as a nutritional therapist, I am always looking for ways to educate people about healthy living and the role that organics should play in our lives. To illustrate the importance of organics as the basis of a healthy diet, I developed my own organic food pyramid, detailing from top to bottom which organic foods we should eat and how much of each we should consume each day.

I strongly believe that we need to put the best organic foods into our bodies in order to get the best out of ourselves. And the fact that we’re a National Organic Program means our entire operation is protecting natural resources, maintaining biodiversity, and using the safest approved, non-genetically modified (non-GMO) ingredients.

Here’s what’s in my cleanse – watch the video:

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Question: What do you mean by “low sugar”?

Veronica: Most cleanses on the market are simply juice cleanses. And many juice cleanses contain mostly fruit. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not bashing on fruit here. As a nutritional therapist, I absolutely recommend consuming fruit every day. But 99% of the time, the only fruit you should be consuming is one serving of a whole fruit. Say a medium size apple. Or a handful or two of blueberries. That’s it. The problem with most juice cleanses is they contain far too much fruit sugar. Take the difference between a whole apple and apple juice, for example. A whole apple will contain less sugar and more fiber than apple juice.

But with a 3, 5, or 7-day Chef V Cleanse you get four 16-oz. servings a day of Green Drink, containing 7 Certified Organic green leafy veggies and just a tiny bit of apple for sweetness.

Consumer Reports recently published a report on green juices and my Green Drink exceeds the Consumer Reports expectations. READ MORE.

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Question: Why are the veggies in the Organic Green Drink so important for cleansing?

Veronica: Dark leafy green vegetables — including collards, dandelion greens, parsley, chard, green leaf lettuce, and kale — are nutritional powerhouses for many reasons. They contain an abundance of phytonutrients and carotenoids. These are antioxidants that protect cells and play a key role in fighting and preventing diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

They also have high levels of iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other important vitamins and minerals. Dark leafy greens are great for achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight thanks to being high in fiber, which keeps you feeling full and helps keep your blood sugar levels from spiking, leading to a more controlled appetite.

Doing a Chef V cleanse is a super easy way for my people to get more greens in their diets every day.

And I should also mention that the juices in most cleanses are pasteurized using high pressure and heat. This processing kills some of the nutritional properties of the veggies. But the 4 daily Green Drinks our Cleanse customers drink are raw and made in small batches from the freshest locally sourced organic greens. Plus, the Green Drinks are cold-blended. Cold-blending preserves the fiber and other nutrients in the green leafy veggies.

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Question: So is cleansing as easy as drinking Green Drinks?

Veronica: Just as important as adding fresh greens to your life is ridding your body of all the bad stuff you’ve been pumping into it —particularly those highly processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and pollutants. Manufacturers have added so many artificial substances, and so much sodium, fat, and sugar to their pre-packaged and canned foods to try to make them palatable, but in the end, these things just harm our bodies. Many doctors believe, as do I, that there is a cancer-sugar connection, and it really is in your body’s best interest to really restrict the amount of added sugars in your diet.

And let me point back to third way that my cleanse is different … the fact that it has more than enough protein. You see, doing a cleanse becomes a challenge when the only nutrient is carbohydrates. Remember the fact that most cleanses are just juice, juice, and more juice? Well, juice, even if it’s 99% organic veggie juice is mostly all carbohydrate. If you go a few days or more denying your body protein, you may notice that your skin, hair and nails will become more brittle. You’ll also likely have energy fluctuations and as a result, you’ll become cranky. But my Cleanse also includes vegan-friendly Protein Shakes and Detox Soups, which provide more than enough protein to support your metabolism and muscles.

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Question: What’s the best way to start a cleanse? Should you dive in the deep end?

Veronica: Not everyone should dive head first into one. I’ve had clients who’ve said: “I’m going to the drive-thru tonight, and then I’m starting my cleanse tomorrow.” But that’s a recipe for failure. People who start this way often wind up feeling sick during the cleanse and may even give up on it. Their bodies are full of toxins, so of course they feel bad.

What I’ve learned is that you should pre-cleanse first so that you can ease your body into the detoxification process and begin to open up your channels of elimination, especially the liver and colon. This is achieved through a period of healthful eating, and to make it easier for you, I have compiled a chart of cleanse-approved foods. You should stick to these foods for at least two days before you begin my organic cleanse. If you’re used to having a lot of sugar, coffee, or alcohol, you may need to take three to five days. For continued success, stick to these cleanse-approved foods for two days or more after your cleanse.

Check out Heather H.’s experience with diving into a 21 Day Detox, including three Cleanses:

 

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Question: Are most people that do your cleanse able to keep off the weight?

Veronica: I can honestly say that of all the cleanses on the market, most people that have completed my cleanse are able to keep the weight off and feel great. With other cleanses, because they deprive you instead of helping you thrive, once they’re over, someone may think it’s time to jump right back into old routines and pig out. That’s what happens when a cleanse doesn’t contain enough protein or healthy dinner options like my Detox Soup. So that’s undoing all the hard work you’ve just done, and it’s tough on your body. But with my cleanse, I teach people how to transition out of the cleanse and to maximize its benefits.

Plus, I really think that my cleanse helps reset your appetite, so you won’t crave unhealthy foods again. I also have dozens of recipes and other resources on ChefV.com that help create a new healthy normal. You certainly don’t have to eat perfectly healthy 100% of the time. But a cleanse and post-cleansing should be easy and not feel like you’re being deprived. If anything, you should feel like you’re indulging. And that to me is the greatest difference between my cleanse program and others on the market.

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Question: Do you practice what you preach?

Veronica: Absolutely. I start off each morning with 16 oz of Green Drink. And because I travel a lot, I don’t eat healthy 100% of the time. [Learn how to eat healthy while travelling.] So a couple times a year at least I myself will do a cleanse.

But on any given average day, I probably drink close to a half gallon of Green Drink a day. Whenever my body is craving something, I give it my organic green drink first, then listen to my body and see what it really wants. Sometimes when I think I’m hungry, I have a little green drink and voilà! I wasn’t really hungry, I just needed some greens.

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Question: Anything else you’d like to add about your cleanse?

Veronica: I know consumers have a ton of choices and sifting through all the information can be a challenge. If you’re serious about doing a cleanse, and not only that, but having it be a health transformation, I encourage you to do as much research as you can. But I strongly believe that reading other people’s experiences about cleansing helps cut through the clutter and the bull…. So I invite anybody who is curious about doing my cleanse to read some of the reviews on Yelp. And also, if you have any questions whatsoever, do not hesitate to contact my super knowledgeable staff.

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Chef Duffy interview with Veronica Wheat, Chef V

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Chef Brian Duffy is a celebrity chef most recognized from his abundant television appearances on the wildly popular Spike TV series Bar Rescue, where he tours the country (sometimes on his Harley Davidson) reforming failing bars and restaurants with his “tell it like it is” style. He recently interviewed Chef V founder and nutrition and health expert Veronica Wheat on his radio show/podcast, Duffified Live”.

Duffy asked Veronica for advice before starting his second Chef V Cleanse and detox. It’s a new year so Chef Duffy is getting ready to “clean out that body!”

In this interview, Veronica helps Duffy understand what cleansing is really about (not just weight loss) and sets him straight on how to prepare for and stay healthy after a cleanse.

You can listen to the entire interview by clicking the arrow above, or read an excerpt below.

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CHEF DUFFY: “I’m going to start the cleanse tomorrow, and wanted to do a radio show about it. I’m a fan of goals not resolutions. My goal for this year is to be healthier. It is hard because of the crazy travel schedule that I have — hey I’m a chef, I’m a short fat guy, I have a lot of fun with that. And oddly enough I eat clean unless I am on the road, then there’s a lot of drinking, a lot happening in and out of bars. I’m a big fan of cleansing. So what is a cleanse, Veronica?

CHEF V:  I have a background in nutritional therapy. Cleansing is not just weight loss, that’s a benefit of cleansing but the purpose of a cleanse is to prolong the cleansing that happens when we are sleeping and not digesting food. When you do the liquid cleanse I’ve developed, your digestive tract doesn’t have to work as hard to break all that food down, it can get right to getting rid of toxins, getting rid of stored fat, other things you’ve been holding on to. I have heard so many stories where people have been on autoimmune medicines or have just no energy or bad skin and they cleanse and great things happen.  I am not saying that my products have those results, but I’ve heard so many positive stories from my customers about what they have experienced when they detoxed with a cleanse and healthy eating.

CHEF DUFFY:  The last time I did your detox, I got super energetic during the cleanse. You have great soups, really cool shakes – and the cinnamon shake is really awesome. Shake’em up and suck’em back and they’re cool. I didn’t eat all the soup because I was full at the end of the day. That really surprised me. For me I try to see the end result – it wasn’t about losing weight for me it was about cleaning things out, I wanted to feel better. We feel like shit after Thanksgiving and the holidays. To be able to clean everything out after is kind of nice.

One of the things that was great is that there was an email that came from Chef V at day 3 to see how everything was doing. I appreciated the support and you checking in on me.

So what about detoxing? There’s a detoxification process, right? There’s only so much stuff I can eat today because I’m starting the cleanse tomorrow – I’ve got to be very aware if what I’m doing so my body doesn’t go into shock when I start the detox. What is the detox process and why do I have to prepare for it?

CHEF V: When I first started my business people would come by the kitchen and grab their cleanse –and tell me they were heading to the drivethrough for their last unhealthy meal before they started their detox the next day. And I’d say “No – you can’t do it that way!”  You can’t go out drinking and have burgers and fries and just jump into a cleanse. One, its not going to work as effectively, and two, you’re going to feel like crap.

Cleansing is like peeling layers – just like if you ate a big huge burger right before you went to bed your body wouldn’t cleanse as effectively as if you stopped earlier. I really try to set people up for success, so I really make sure people pre-cleanse –  take 2-3 days before or even 3-5 days before if you have a bad sugar or food addiction.

There are five major bad things to avoid during your pre-cleanse: no red meat or pork, no dairy, no alcohol, no caffeine, no gluten. And of those the hardest is caffeine withdrawal. People I talk to who have headaches, are dizzy or nauseous wean themselves off of caffeine a few days to get the very best benefit from the cleanse. By cutting those things out ahead of time you are setting yourself up for success.

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Special Offer for my readers!

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Is Dairy Necessary For Calcium And Healthy Bones?

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Here’s an email I received the other day from one of our customers.  

Dear Chef V,

What’s with you constantly dissing dairy? How’s a proud cheese-head, Wisconsin-born-and-raised, cow-worshipping lady supposed to get her bone-building calcium? My doctor said it’s very important for me to get enough calcium in the diet and dairy is one of the best sources. Am I missing something? If not dairy, then how do I keep my bones strong? 

–Margie W., Appleton, WI

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Thanks for the great question, Margie. You probably stumbled upon my post about Dairy Free Recipes. Look, I don’t want you or anybody else to think that I’m a fanatic anti-dairy crusader. I have no problem with eating a little ice cream here and there, a little piece of cake made with cream here and there, a slice of pizza here and there, and making eggs with butter here and there, etc.

The problem with the typical American diet is that there are a lot of here’s and a lot of there’s. If you can indeed keep dairy to an occasional indulgence, dairy, is probably just fine, assuming you’re not lactose-intolerant (which I believe if you are, will get you kicked out of Wisconsin; just kidding.)

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Why Dairy Isn’t Good For Your Bones

But what you definitely don’t want to do is eat lots of dairy every day. Back in the 1980s, the American Dairy Association launched one of the most successful marketing campaigns that still resonates today. “Milk … it does a body good!” Remember that ad? Thanks to celebrities sporting milk mustaches, it made drinking milk look fun. Just 4  glasses of milk a day is all it takes to get your daily dose of bone-building calcium, or so we were told.

And many people still believe the hype that dairy products from cows are essential for strong, healthy bones.

But how then do you explain this nutritional paradox (as I touched on in my post about dairy free recipes): the countries that consume the most calcium, including the USA  (“We’re #1, we’re #1” … in calcium consumption) have the highest rates of osteoporosis, the disease marked by greatly reduced bone density and fractures.

Think about that for a second. Countries that consume the most cow’s milk experience the most hip fractures. If dairy is so good for our bones, why are more and more seniors experiencing hip fractures? It would be easy to say that people are just living longer and that’s the reason for higher rates of bone breaks.

But as the author of a study published in the Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry explains, when you drink cow’s milk, the calcium from your bones leaches out.

“Consumed in large quantities, the high phosphorus content of cow milk intended for calves along with calcium’s poor bioavailability in humans has the potential to upset the serum calcium–phosphorus balance in humans, triggering parathyroid hormone to release calcium from bone.”

So, does milk really do a body good after all? Not according to that study….

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More Reasons Not To Drink Milk And Limit Dairy

As the author of the research study alluded to, milk doesn’t really get absorbed well by the human body. As a result, dairy can cause systemic inflammation in the body. How do you know if you have inflammation in the body? Here’s what large dairy consumption can do to your body:

  • Chronic runny nose
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Coughing up phlegm

Still think milk does a body good?

It’s hard to pinpoint the root cause of a chronic disease. But as a certified nutritional therapist, I strongly believe that limiting dairy and added sugars is a good strategy to reduce your risk.

Of course, the quality of the dairy you consume (should you choose to eat and drink dairy) matters. For brevity’s sake, I won’t get too much into that, but what I’ll briefly say about it is that occasional raw, unpasteurized dairy as well as cultured dairy (plain yogurt, kefir) may actually benefit your health because of the probiotics and improve your gut health. Also, dairy from animals other than cows (goats, sheep, camel, bison) may be easier to absorb and digest.

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Best Sources of Calcium That Don’t Come From A Cow

Oh my, listen to me … I’ve droned on and on. My apologies. Let’s circle back to Margie’s question from the beginning: where should I get my calcium from if not dairy?

My preferred number one source of calcium are green leafy veggies. Although the amount of calcium in green leafy veggies aren’t mind-blowing, ounce for ounce, green leafy veggies such as the 7 in my recipe for Chef V Organic Green Drink.

I’m not convinced that you really need a ton of calcium. In fact, the inverse of the calcium paradox I mentioned above is true: the countries with the lowest rate of hip fractures and osteoporosis consume the least amount of calcium. While there is no doubt that calcium is a building block of bone matrix, there are other minerals that don’t get the attention they deserve when it comes to bone health. Silica is one that immediately comes to mind.

So if you’re looking for a bone health supplement, take silica, don’t take calcium supplements. Actually, if you consume too much calcium, it can lead to heart disease. 

In addition to green leafy veggies (Chef V Green Drink is the easiest way to get your daily dose of disease-fighting antioxidants and belly-slimming nutrients), here are some non-dairy, vegan-friendly foods that are good sources of calcium: chia seeds; almonds; broccoli; sunflower and sesame seeds; edamame.

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Dairy and Calcium: Conclusion

The takeaway here is that calcium is not the only nutrient that’s important for bone health. Too much calcium, despite what the most influential minds on Madison Avenue tell us, is actually very bad for your health. Several minerals play an important part in bone health. If you eat a well-rounded, mostly plant-based diet, you’re probably getting all the calcium you need.

That being said, Margie, go ahead and root for your Packers with pride. Just keep the cheese on top of your head more than inside your belly. Moo!

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Plant-Based Meats: New and Delicious

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If your idea of a veggie burger is a tasteless, crumbly mess that tastes nothing like a real burger, it’s time to meet the new plant-based meats. As more consumers are switching to plant-based proteins, or eating less meat, the quality of meat substitutes has radically improved. I’ll share with you a few of my favorite brands as well as a couple you should avoid….

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A New “Morning” For Plant-Based Protein

Almost everybody’s first introduction to a meat substitute is a veggie burger. And almost everybody’s first experience with a veggie burger is either one of two brands: Morningstar Farms (owned by Kellog’s) and Boca Burger (owned by Kraft).

If you’ve never had a veggie burger, imitation chicken nuggets or faux-sausage patties, don’t let your first experience be either of these brands. I’ll explain why in a sec….

But first let me say, as a certified nutritional therapist, I’m all in favor of everybody reducing their meat intake. Studies (like this one) show that consuming red meat is probably cancer-causing. And processed-meats is definitely cancer-causing. Meat, especially factory-farmed meat is not environmentally-sustainable.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think a little bit of wild/grass-fed/pasture-raised animal protein like Alaskan wild salmon can contribute to your health.

In fact, in my opinion, you’re better off eating salmon, organic chicken and grass-fed beef instead of Morningstar Farms and Boca Burger.

Here’s why….

Both these popular brands are loaded with highly-processed soy, wheat and gluten. Boca Burger’s Original Vegan Burger contains MSG, which some people are very sensitive to and may contribute to weight gain. I give credit to Morningstar for at least trying to improve by offering a black bean burger, a Mediterranean-style chickpea burger and a quinoa burger. But these offerings also contain cheap vegetable oil and processed soy. In short, I consider both these iconic veggie brands to be of low quality.

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Meet the New Meat Alternatives On the Block

Instead of soy protein, which most often is heavily-processed, look for a meat substitute with non-GMO pea protein. Pea protein is very easy to digest. This is another reason why I avoid soy protein unless it’s fermented (miso, tempeh, natto). Soy can cause gas and bloating.

But pass me the peas, please! Pea-based burgers are all the rage these days. And no, the best veggie burgers on the market do not taste like peas. On the contrary, the look, texture, mouthfeel and even color mirror a real juicy, even slightly bloody burger.

If you’re looking for the most authentic burger experience that’s vegan- and vegetarian-friendly, look no further than the brand Beyond Meat.

You can find Beyond Meat in most supermarkets. And get this … it’s located in the meat section. Why? Because the company wants to convert more carnivores to the plant-based protein bandwagon. Thus far, the brand seems to be successfully proselytizing. And to mimic the true look of a beef patty, Beyond Burger uses beet extract and annato seeds to give their faux-burgers a natural red tint.

Beyond Meat also sells ground meat-style “Crumbles” and plant-powered sausage and chicken strips. The brand’s Beyond Burger contains 20 grams of plant-powered protein and provides 35% daily value of iron. Beyond Meat’s products are soy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO.

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Mycoprotein: The Plant Protein of the Future is Here….

Another brand that I’m intrigued by but haven’t yet tried is Quorn. The reason I’m Quorn-curious is the brand’s protein is not from peas but rather something called “mycoprotein.”

Mycoprotein is fungus that grows in soil. Now I admit, that doesn’t sound appetizing. But do you think a company would take the risk of launching a business if it tasted truly horrendous? So before you pass judgement on this fungus that’s among us, at least learn a little more about mycoprotein….

Mycoprotein is a biomass. Biomass is simply put, organic matter that’s used for fuel. Mycoprotein as a food source is a recent invention. But that doesn’t mean it’s an industrial “Frankenscience” food. Created in the 1980s by scientists concerned about potential global food shortages, “myco” is fermented by sugar in big vats. The finished product is a high-protein and high-fiber meaty texture.

Ready to give Quorn a try? I am. I think it takes a lot of guts to launch a brand with the intention of helping the planet. Mycoprotein requires less land and water than animal protein. According to the company, mycoprotein has a 90% lower carbon footprint.

Some of Quorn’s products are vegan-friendly while its non-vegan meat substitute products contain egg whites.

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Eat Well With Plants & Hillary

Hillary’s Eat Well brand is another plant-powered protein meat sub I love. Like Beyond Meat and Quorn, Hillary’s is soy-free and contains nutrient-dense plants and grains in their meatless options. For instance, its Spicy Veggie Sausage contains millet, lentils and dates. Dates are high in sugar but there’s only two grams of sugar per sausage patty. I also like that they use coconut oil instead of cheap corn oil or soybean oil. Another bonus is that instead of regular table salt, which contains no minerals other than sodium chloride, Hillary’s uses Redmond’s Real Salt, which is rich in trace minerals.

Several of the ingredients in Hillary’s products are organic. But how does it taste you’re wondering? Really frickin’ good! Hillary’s uses savory spices such as fennel, sage, thyme, rosemary, paprika, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Ever had a veggie burger with spices like that?

Still, if you’re a “flexitarian” (meaning you go both ways: plant and meat) and you want the most authentic-looking, tasting and mouthfeel of a real beef burger, give Beyond Meat first dibs.

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Plant-Based Meats: Chef V’s Conclusion

I think it’s great that even McDonalds is giving meatless burgers a try. In case you haven’t heard the news, the company’s flagship restaurant in Chicago recently launched a vegan sandwich called the McAloo Tikki.

Say what, you ask? The name comes from McDonalds veggie patty that’s made in some of its restaurants (if you can call it that) in India. It’s made with potatoes, peas, fresh red onions, tomato slices, and an eggless tomato mayo.

McDonalds also introduced a vegan burger in Sweden and Finland in 2017 and plans to do the same in the U.K. soon. Is it only a matter of time before “Mickey D’s” has plant-based meat burgers throughout the U.S.? It’s hard to say, but the future is looking very green….

More and more neighborhood restaurants are offering plant-based burgers. Before you order one though, ask the server for the full list of ingredients. If the server isn’t sure, stick with a salad and steamed veggies.

And when you’re shopping for plant-based protein meat alternatives at the store, remember to carefully analyze the ingredients. The new plant-based “meats” are soy-free, gluten-free, corn-free, and contain no vegetable oils. That means that despite my love for Trader Joe’s its Meatless Breakfast Patties doesn’t fit my criteria for being a healthy meat substitute.

I’m very excited about the evolution of plant-powered protein. I can’t wait to try more of the new faux meats on the block and share with you more of my own meatless recipes….

Love,

Chef V

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Warning: Sunscreen May Be Doing Your Body More Harm Than Good!

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I hope you are having a relaxing summer, healthy and serene. As I write this, I’m experiencing my first summer in the NYC-metro area, where temperatures have hit some record highs and the through-the-roof UV index rays of sun are sizzling. And as they do, millions of people are slathering sunscreen, thinking that they are protecting themselves.

Sunscreen may indeed protect you from getting sunburn. But most people don’t realize there are a few harmful and dangerous consequences of using conventional sunscreen.

After reading this, my hope is you’ll think twice about using most sunscreens that are sold in stores….

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Reason #1 NOT to use Sunscreen: No Protection Against Skin Cancer

Wait, what? Doesn’t sunscreen protect you against skin cancer, not to mention sunburn?

Yes, sunscreen can protect you from getting sunburn. But I’ll share with you in a little bit a couple better ways to avoid sunburn.

As for skin cancer, the shocking truth is that sunscreen isn’t protecting you against it like you think it is. In fact, check out this review from the European Journal of Dermatology. (If you don’t feel like it, I’ll summarize the key deets for you….)

The review looked at 29 studies involving over 300,000 participants (not mice or rats; actual people). Here’s what the researchers concluded: “The use of sunscreen is a key component of public health campaigns for skin cancer prevention, but studies have raised doubts on its effectiveness in the general population.”

The review of all the studies, said the researchers, did not show a significant association between skin cancer and sunscreen use. Using sunscreen, at least for the over 300,000 people did not offer protection against melanoma (malignant skin cancer) or non-melanoma skin cancer. “This review does not confirm the expected protective benefits of sunscreen against skin cancer in the general population,” concluded the researchers.

Nonetheless, millions of Americans spray themselves silly with sunscreens that contain chemicals that are toxic to your health.

Which brings me to the second reason to think twice before you slather or spray sunscreen on your bod….

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Reason #2 NOT to use Sunscreen: Bad for Your Hormones

Almost every mainstream medical organization recommends using sunscreen to protect against skin cancer. But what do these health experts and institutions such as the American Cancer Society have to say about the synthetic chemicals in sunscreen? Can they actually be doing more harm than good?

I checked out the American Cancer Society’s website. Here’s what they say about the safety of sunscreens:

“The FDA checks that active ingredients in sunscreens do not cause serious problems including cancer, reproductive harm, or endocrine effects. But the FDA does not test sunscreen products themselves….”

[Chef V’s takeaway: Great, so how do we really know they are safe. The answer: we don’t!]

“In Europe, there are different requirements for regulating and marketing sunscreen products. The FDA says it is working on ways to recognize some of these other ingredients as safe and effective.”

[Chef V’s takeaway: Great, so how do we really know they are safe. The answer: we don’t!]

Oxybenzone is one of the common active ingredients in sunscreens that are sold in the US. The FDA says it is safe. But some environmental and health groups single out oxybenzone as potentially unsafe for some people and the environment. This is because some studies have shown oxybenzone can cause skin allergies. In addition, studies in animals and in human cells in laboratories show that oxybenzone can interfere with how some hormones work.”

[Chef V’s takeaway: Dear FDA, so how is that if your organization has yet “to recognize these ingredients as safe and effective,” can you conclude oxybenzone is safe? In my opinion, the health of millions is at risk and oxybenzone should not be callously regarded as safe.]

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Sunscreen: Bad For The Environment?

Here’s another reason not to use sunscreen; at least one that contains oxybenzone: The American Cancer Society on its website points to evidence  that the chemical damages coral reefs. (Which is why starting in 2021, Hawaii will be the first U.S. state to ban the use of sunscreens containing the toxic ingredient.)

Now, I’m not going to go as far as other blog articles I’ve read that claim using conventional (non-organic) sunscreen can actually cause cancer. But I will conclude this section on the health risks of using them by referencing the Environmental Working Group. (Check out the EWG’s Skin Deep research database to see if the sunscreen you use is considered safe.)

Here’s what EWG says: “The FDA has put the entire sunscreen industry on alert by proposing that in just two instances do we have enough safety information about ingredients to determine whether they’re safe and effective: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. For 12 other ingredients [including oxybenzoate] the FDA has said there isn’t enough data to determine whether they’re safe.”

[Chef V’s takeaway: if you’re going to use sunscreen, use a mineral-based one with zinc or titanium.]

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Before You Apply, Fry (Not Really, But It’s A Nice Rhyme)

Let’s say that there’s absolutely no way you can avoid having your body be exposed to the sun for a long time. I get it, I used to like frying in the sun. But as I’m getting (just a tad) older, I don’t like baking in the sun like I used to. However, if I do use sunscreen (of course, it’s organic and mineral-based), I let most of my skin get exposed to the sun for at least 10-15 minutes.

If you use sunscreen before you even step outside, your body will not be able to synthesize vitamin D from the sun.

And as much as I went off above about the FDA saying sunscreens are totally safe when there’s absolutely no proof of that and even evidence to the contrary, not getting enough vitamin D might even be worse for your health.

In fact, there’s no doubt that lack of vitamin D increases the risk of certain cancers, not to mention bone fractures and diseases. 

Vitamin D also is a precursor to your sex hormones (the 3 estrogens as well as testosterone, which women also need an adequate amount of to stave off excess belly fat). The sunshine vitamin also helps form healthy cholesterol, which provides structure to your trillions of cells.

I could go on and on about how important vitamin D is for your health. But let me just conclude by strongly advising you to let your skin feel the rays of the sun, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Try to expose about 70% of your body, such as your arms, legs and back.

If you’re concerned about age spots on your face and hands, then go ahead and apply your mineral-based organic sunscreen. Just make sure the rest of you gets some sun. If you’re really fair-skinned and fry easily, try to get sun exposure even if it’s only 5 minutes. You may also want to think about taking a vitamin D supplement if you spend much of the day indoors, especially during the late fall, winter and early spring.

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Easiest Ways To Avoid Sunburn

If you’re deathly afraid of the sun because of sunburn risk, here are a few easy things you can do that may prevent frying:

Eat tomato paste

That’s right, canned tomato paste (make sure it’s organic; what else would you expect me to say 🙂 ) can help prevent sunburn. The antioxidant in tomato paste, lycopene, is what gives tomatoes their red pigment and also help protect the veggies from the sun. It turns out that lycopene also protects humans from sunburn. Just a spoonful a day of tomato paste may help keep the doctor away.

Wear long sleeves

This might seem like a “duh” recommendation. But I’m amazed at how many people walk around in the summer totally exposed to the sun with visible sunburn, wearing hardly anything. If you’re going to stay outside and even if you do apply sunscreen, I think it’s best to completely cover up after a while. So what if it’s super hot out? Today’s moisture-wicking synthetic materials are so lightweight; you hardly notice them. Personally, I love wearing sarongs. (I fell in love with them while on vacation in Bali.)

Keep cool in the shade

Another piece of “totally obvs” advice. But it’s one worth remembering; in the summer we want to spend time outdoors. Get a few minutes of direct sun exposure and then chill with a good book under a tree.

Green Leafy Veggies

If I were a shameless self-promoter, I would have included my last recommendation to you at the very top of this article. And that is: have 16 oz. of my Organic Green Drink every day!

What do the 7-certified organic green, leafy veggies in my Green Drink have to do with preventing sunburn, not to mention skin cancer? I’m glad you asked.

The answer is: the antioxidants such as retinol, vitamin C, and vitamin E, in green leafy veggies, protect against the damaging effects of solar radiation on the skin. In fact, there’s at least a 20 percent reduced risk of melanoma if you get enough retinol in your diet. And Chef V can easily deliver fresh, organic Green Drinks right to your front door this summer.

The takeaway: ditch the conventional, non-mineral sunscreen. Expose a good chunk of your skin to the sun’s rays for about 10 minutes before you apply sunscreen. Drink Green Drink. Every day.

Here’s to a fun and healthy summer!

Love,

Chef V

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