Tag: bone broth

How To Effortlessly Boost Collagen Levels For Beautiful Skin


You’ve heard of collagen and know that it’s good for your skin. But let’s take a deeper dive with Veronica Wheat, the “V” in Chef V and find out exactly what collagen is and how to boost levels of it in your body so that your skin looks more youthful. And let’s improve our skin in healthy ways.

Have you ever seen a skyscraper under construction? Ever wonder how they build these monstrosities? With scaffolding just like this:

scaffolding

What does scaffolding and skyscrapers have to do with your skin?

Well, in order to understand collagen, you first have to imagine that your skin and bones also have a matrix (obviously on a much smaller scale, like invisible small).

Collagen Basics For Skin

The stretchy connective tissue that makes up your skin requires a strong, structural framework, just like skyscraper scaffolding. The framework that prevents your skin from completely sagging to the floor is called the extracellular matrix.

And there’s something that needs to provide structural integrity to this extracellular matrix. And that something is collagen—the most important protein in connective tissue (skin), not to mention your bones.

Out of thousands of proteins in the human body, collagen is by far the most abundant. Roughly 30% of all protein in the human body is one type of collagen or another.

There are 28 different collagen types, but when it comes to youthful-looking skin, we’re only concerned with collagen type I & III.

How Aging Affects Collagen

The aging process can be cruel to the skin. And what’s going on under the hood of our skin, so to speak, is that by the time you’re 25, your collagen levels in your body are already on the decline.

In fact, starting around age 30, 2% of our collagen stores will be depleted. By age 40, we have lost roughly 15% of the collagen we had when we were born. (But don’t let that depress you if you’re celebrating your 40th soon!). Then, once we turn 60, say goodbye to roughly 50% of your original collagen.

Going through menopause is especially a collagen killer. That’s because when you go through menopause, your estrogen levels plummet. Estrogen is vital for collagen production.

“Estrogen appears to aid in the prevention of skin aging in several ways. [It] prevents a decrease in skin collagen in postmenopausal women; topical and systemic estrogen therapy can increase the skin collagen content and therefore maintain skin thickness.” —The American Journal of Dermatology


How To Defy The Aging Process & Support Collagen Through Food

So there’s good news and bad news with collagen. I’ll start with the bad. While our bodies can make new collagen, as we age, we lose more of it than our body can rebuild and repair. And not only that, the collagen protein fibers that we do have start getting weaker. That’s why wrinkles develop.

The good news is that there are simple nutritional interventions that can help our collagen build back better.

Chicken Bone Broth



I’m not a strict vegetarian but I rarely promote meat. One rare exception is bone broth because it contains collagen. Bone broth contains collagen protein because the process of slow cooking bones for many hours releases collagen from the bones. So by consuming the collagen from animal bones, you’re helping revitalize your own body’s collagen.
In addition, bone broth contains other nutrients that help with collagen growth and repair such as:

Hyaluronic acid



According to the Cleveland Clinic, it helps skin stretch and flex and reduces skin wrinkles and lines; also reduces visible scars.

Chondroitin



This compound plays a major role in connective tissue and is essential for normal skin health and regeneration.

Glycosaminoglycans

Known as GAGs, these complex sugars—not the unhealthy kind you might think of in junk food—hold nearly 1,000 times their own weight. Translation: a moisturizing weapon for your skin you’ve never heard of. GAGs also support collagen and elastin, another important skin structural protein.

In addition, bone broth contains a great balance of minerals that support collagen production. But what if you’re a vegetarian? Thankfully, there are non-meat, collagen-building foods…

Green Leafy Veggies

Nearly everybody knows that green leafy veggies are among the healthiest foods on Earth. (Can’t stand eating them? Then drink them!)

But what you may not know is that green leafy veggies are a great source of a vitamin that hardly gets any attention: vitamin K. And it turns out that vitamin K is really effective at building that skin-and-bone scaffolding matrix I was talking about earlier, research shows.

Citrus Fruits & Berries

Citrus and berries contain good amounts of vitamin C. And vitamin C is a precursor (building block) of collagen. So make sure you’re getting both citrus and berries in your diet everyday.

Collagen Powder

Very few people like sipping on a piping hot mug of bone broth in the summer. And many people don’t like the meaty, savory taste of bone broth everyday. But you can get the benefits of collagen without broth simply by adding a scoop of collagen powder to a smoothie (or even your Green Drink!).

More and more non-meat-sourced collagen powders have become available, including marine collagen powder (derived from fish) and even plant-based collagen powders.

Botox For Collagen

And finally, no article about more youthful skin would be complete without mentioning botox. OK, so you can’t eat botox. That would be bad, and it’s the reason why babies can’t eat honey for the first year of life. (Both botox and honey have a toxin called botulinum.)

Obviously, people can go overboard with the botox treatments. But if you’re in need of major wrinkle reduction, there’s no doubt that Botox helps the skin build collagen. But don’t think that by getting a Botox injection, it gives you a free pass to eat like crap! You need to eat a high antioxidant diet every day otherwise the effects of Botox may be short-lived.

Bottom line, there aren’t enough long term studies on the effects of botox injections. We recommend getting as much collagen as you can in your diet, limiting your exposure to botox and trying a more natural route.

Cleansing In A Winter Wonderland

Veronica, Brandon, Coco on beach

It’s easy to do a cleanse in August, or RAWGUST, as Chef V calls it. When it’s warm, eating lots of light, raw foods like salad seems so satisfying and appropriate for the season. But in mid-winter, what are you supposed to do if you’re looking to give your digestive system and liver a fresh start? Chef V dishes out the tips for winter cleansing…

It will probably come to you as no surprise that most of my customers begin a CHEF V CLEANSE or 21 DAY DETOX in the summer. When it’s so hot you don’t even feel like eating and certainly not cranking up the oven to 425 degrees, it’s simple to go raw. 

But how can you give your digestive system a reboot and stay warm in the winter? This is the time of year when we crave starchy carbs like mashed potatoes, pasta and bread. 

For carnivores, the dilemma gets even more complicated. Freezing cold weather leads to cravings for red meat. But if your elimination is sluggish, eating a steak is like throwing more toilet paper into a backed-up toilet. 

The good news is that you can gently detox your digestive system with these smart winter cleansing hacks…

detox tea

Winter Detox Tip #1: Warm Yourself Up From The Inside Out

When you’re following a cleanse program like this one, it’s a good idea not to exercise too hard. That’s because you’re going to be consuming less calories than you ordinarily would. So it’s best to take it easy whether you’re just doing a 1 day cleanse or a 3-day or 5-day one. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t crank up your internal thermostat without hardcore exercise. 

One of the easiest ways to quickly go from frozen to toasty warm without moving your body all that much is through kundalini breath of fire exercises. Just do a search for kundalini breath of fire for beginners on YouTube and you’ll come across several free videos. 

These breathing exercises involve short and powerful inhalations and exhalations and as a bonus, your abs get a workout. Practicing the breath of fire pattern for a few minutes will heat your body up and you might even feel tingly all over. 

You can also do a light yoga posture flow going from cat/cow to downward dog or full sun salutations for 5-10 minutes. 

Another simple tip for staying warm while doing a cleanse/detox in the winter is sipping hot beverages throughout the day. Duh, right? But not just any plain hot tea or water will do. To generate internal warmth, add a dash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, cayenne pepper and ginger to herbal tea or water. 

And what to do about sipping on Organic GREEN DRINK? After all, on a CHEF V CLEANSE, you drink four of these refrigerated drinks on each day that you’re cleansing. If you’re lucky enough to have central heating in your home, maybe it’s not a problem to drink cold GREEN DRINK. 

But even if your cozy comfy home is set to 72 degrees, just knowing that it’s frigid outside might not put you in the mood for a GREEN DRINK straight from the refrigerator. 

So here’s what I do. In the morning after I wake up, one of the first things I do is pour myself a glass of green drink. I pour it in a mason jar and seal it with a lid to reduce oxidation. I let the jar of GREEN DRINK sit at room temperature for about an hour so it’s not so cold. 

Important side note: Make sure you put the bottle of GREEN DRINK you’re not using back in the fridge right away. Each GREEN DRINK is made fresh and because it’s raw to preserve all the phytonutrients, it has a shelf life of 7 days unlike dead, pasteurized commercial juice that never goes bad.

red beet hummus

Winter Detox Tip #2: We’ve Got The Beet

Beet juice is not a staple in a CHEF V CLEANSE. (You get 4 Green Drinks, 2 vegan protein shakes and 1 Detox Soup with your juice cleanse.) But I feature beets in many of my recipes including red beet hummus. For my customers who want a longer program to reset their metabolism, my 21 Day Detox features some of these recipes with beets. 

So why are beets one of the best winter cleansing foods? The answer is that because of the winter holidays, many people overindulge in added sugars. The excess sugar gets stored as body fat by the liver. If the liver is already overworked, this is bad news. Beets are a cleansing superhero because they protect the liver (this study shows). 

Sure, you can eat beets any time of year. You can add them to summer salads. But in winter, you can add them to a veggie soup.

Tip #3: Sip On Bone Broth

Now, with my guided cleanses, I recommend going meat-free for the duration of the 1, 3 or 5 day cleanse and the 21 Day Detox. But if you’re following all my other instructions to the “V” I think it’s perfectly ok to add some chicken bone broth that you can sip on during the day to stay warm. 

If you want to learn how to make your own chicken bone broth, check out my video recipe here

Tip #4: Drink Your Greens & Cook Your Greens

In order to support my digestive system, I make ORGANIC GREEN DRINK a part of my daily routine 365 days a year. Even when I travel, I take GREEN DRINKS with me. But in the winter, I also make sure to eat a ton of cooked leafy greens. I sautee the leafy greens in a cast iron skillet with avocado oil. To feel full, I’ll add a scoop or two of healthy grains like quinoa or wild rice. 

Again, the CHEF V CLEANSE includes 4 Green Drinks, 2 vegan Protein Shakes and 1 Detox Soup per day. But you don’t have to do an official Chef V cleanse to give your digestive system some cleaner fuel. 

(But if you do want the quickest transformation then follow a CHEF V CLEANSE…) 

Eat a few servings of cooked leafy or cruciferous greens every single day in the winter. The healthy fats in the avocado oil and the clean-burning carbs from the quinoa, brown rice or quinoa will keep your tummy satisfied and give your digestive system a break from all those Christmas cookies and eggnog. 

To your health, 

Chef V

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4 Tools for a Summer Slimdown (without hardcore exercise)

summer weight loss

Oh my what months of social distancing has done. Summer clothes show all – especially the Covid-10 pound weight gain. The beaches are open (with precautions) and feeling and looking good means taking off the flab.

The good news is you don’t have to do high-intensity, American Ninja Warrior-type exercise to have a hot summer bod. All you need is a reboot of your digestive system. Here are my 4 top tips for improving digestion and getting lean for summer….

#1: Apple Cider Vinegar

Can your “mother” help you achieve a summer slim down?

And by “mother” I mean the cloudy film that rests on top of a bottle of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar (ACV)….

Raw ACV bottles such as those sold by the brand, Bragg (the same company that sells liquid amino acids, a soy sauce alternative) prominently advertise “with the mother” on the product label. As well they should. That’s because the mother is tiny bits and pieces of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria.

ACV helps increase stomach acid production. And because of the friendly bacteria it contains, it also acts like a probiotic.

Honestly, I tried to find some research on humans that shows ACV can help with weight loss. I hit a brick wall, but I did find some research on animals (rats and mice) that support using it for the following: reducing fat storage; lowering blood sugar; improves metabolism and suppressing appetite.

The only downside to ACV is it tastes really harsh. But you can add it to a Green Drink to mask the taste.

ACV is also good for skin. In fact, many people use ACV to treat skin conditions. Drinking a little bit every day can help clear your skin from the inside-out. And because of its beneficial bacteria and enzymes, it can help cleanse your body.

apple cider vinegar

#2: Bone Broth/Collagen Powder

Pretty soon, it’ll be too hot to sip bone broth.

But collagen protein powders have become very popular. And you can easily add a scoop of it in your blender with almond milk and my Organic Protein Shake if you’re doing a Chef V Cleanse.

If you don’t know the difference between the two: Bone broth is animal bones with herbs and spices cooked in water for 24 hours in a slow cooker. The long-simmering process of bone broth releases collagen protein from the bones.

I admit that there’s a lot of hype surrounding bone broth and collagen protein. There are claims that it can cure just about everything.

There is research, however, that shows supplementing with collagen protein can help repair your gut. Gut health is crucial for burning fat. It’s not easy to get ready for a summer slimdown if you don’t have a healthy gut.

In fact, some people have a condition that’s known in the alternative medicine field as “leaky gut.” Leaky gut is when the tiny junctions of your gut lining tear, allowing undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. When this happens, your detoxification system  slows down. Not only that, leaky gut can also cause an autoimmune disease.

Sipping on some fresh bone broth every day can help repair your gut and improve your body’s detox system. I do not believe in store bought bone broth, it is like trying to get your vitamins from Hi-C. Store bought bone broth is not real bone broth and does not have the same benefits. The only way to get the full benefits of bone broth is fresh made or fresh bought. It should expire in a week.  An alternative to bone broth is to take a collagen protein powder supplement.

probiotic flora

#3: Probiotics

I’ve mentioned probiotics at least a couple times recently, including the best one to bring with you if you’re travelling.

I’ll just quickly rehash here why probiotics are so important for getting or staying lean. The healthier your gut microbiome (the trillions of bacteria, etc.), that is the more friendly bacteria you have in your gut, the easier it will be to digest your food. And the easier it is to digest your food, the less likely it will be that you’ll have difficulty getting rid of unwanted body fat.

There are a few problems with probiotics….

First is that many people forget to take them everyday. Set yourself a daily reminder on your smartphone to take them in the morning or before bed.

Second, some people don’t buy a strong enough probiotic. Look for a supplement that has several different strains of bacteria and has a minimum count of 10 billion colony forming units (CFU) per capsule. The reason you need a high count is that a lot of the bacteria won’t survive the harsh trip through the digestive system.

And third, not all brands of probiotics are of good quality. Do your research before you buy. My favorite is Bio-K – they have a dairy or non-dairy version and it is fresh.

#4:  A Chef V Detox with my Green Drink, Detox Soups, and Protein Shakes

So this last tip for a summer slimdown isn’t exactly a supplement. But it’s a great way to to make sure you’re looking and feeling great when you’re ready to take your first dip in the ocean or pool….

If you do my 21 Day Detox, you’ll be amazed by the transformation your body will undergo, (not to mention your skin, mood and energy levels).

Here’s how it works: you alternate between following my Healthy Routine and doing a 3 day cleanse. During the 3 day cleanse, you get 4 servings of my Green Drink plus 2- 16 oz. Protein Shakes and 1 detox soup for dinner. And during the Healthy Routine phase, you’ll get a 16-ounce Green Drink and 1- 16 oz. Protein Shake for breakfast. Then for lunch and dinner, you’ll use my healthy eating and meal planner guides, which contains delicious recipes for soups, salads, appetizers, and entrees.

The best part is I deliver the Green Drinks, Protein Shakes and Detox Soups to your front door (Well not personally, but my company does.)

Doing a 21-Day Detox is the easiest, most affordable, and safest way to lose 30 pounds or more.

You can also try a 3, 5 or 7-day Cleanse if you just want to dip your pinky toe in the shallow end.

Good luck with your summer slimdown. Even if you don’t want to spend any money on supplements, rebooting your digestive system by doing a Chef V Cleanse or Detox will get you bikini ready!

Love,

Veronica (Chef V)

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.