Tag: chef v

New Year, New You: Why You Should Add Green Drinks to Your Diet

At Chef V, we love green juice, in case you couldn’t tell. But, as crazy as it might sound, some people are scared of the delicious green stuff. They mainly associated it with long-term juice cleanses. However, you don’t have to be a detox juice cleanse master to enjoy fresh juice, regardless of what’s in it. There are plenty of ways to work some of that green drink into your everyday routine. You might even want to give a juice detox diet a try!

Benefits of green drink

If you’re new around here (if so, welcome!) your first question might not be what the benefits of green drink are. Instead, you’re likely wondering just what green drink is. 

Well… it’s green, for starters. Really, “green drink” isn’t a scientific term. It’s simply used to refer to all kinds of beverages that use leafy greens as their main ingredient. Our own Chef V green drink, for example, includes green kale, black kale, collard greens, curly parsley, and green chard among its ingredients. 

These kinds of leafy greens are packed full of essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin K, and iron. This means drinking juice filled with these greens is an excellent way to ensure you’re getting all the important nutrients you need. 

Beyond general nutritional goodness, there are a few more specific health benefits to green drinks. The leafy greens in these vegetable juices are great for fighting inflammation, reducing your risk of a whole host of health issues, including heart disease. 

These leafy greens are also great for helping you get your blood sugar under control, improving digestion, and helping you better control your weight. What’s not to love? 

Cleanses versus adding green drink to your diet

It’s important to note here that while green drinks are clearly a fantastic tool for healthy eating, you do have flexibility in how you use them. A lot of people associate green drinks with undertaking detox juice cleanses to lose weight. 

And yeah, green drinks are pretty great for this. The idea behind a juice cleanse is to cut down on the carbs and calories in your diet. Green drinks let you do this while ensuring you still get all the essential nutrients and minerals.

But don’t be afraid to just add some of the green stuff into your daily diet. It doesn’t need to be all about the juice fasts. The anti-inflammatory properties and benefits to your digestive system alone make adding in some leafy greens a worthwhile endeavor. 

Swapping for other drinks

If you don’t want to go for a whole detox juice cleanse, it can be a significantly healthy step to swap some of your other regular drinks for something fresh and green. Just switching out a caffeinated beverage every morning for a glass of green stuff can have a significant effect on your mood and energy. Or you can swap out those sugary drinks for a healthy option that’s got its own sweetness. If you’re going for the Chef V option, that includes apples

Chef V green drink delivery

If you’re interested in getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet, but are afraid of going for a full-on juice detox diet, we at Chef V have got you covered. Our green drink delivery brings the good stuff right to your doorstep. This ensures you’re getting only the freshest green drink, no processed foods or liquids anywhere near your juice. 

Chef V Warns: Don’t Drink Coffee First Thing In The AM On An Empty Stomach!

coffee t-shirts

Are you a first-thing-in-the-morning coffee drinker? After reading the advice of certified nutritional therapist and ChefV.com founder, Veronica Wheat, you may want to wait a little bit before having your first cup. 

“But first…COFFEE!”

“A day without coffee is like … just kidding I have no idea.”

“Coffee spelled backwards is EEFFOC. Just know that I don’t give EEFFOC until I’ve had my coffee.”

“Eat. Sleep. Coffee. Repeat.” 

Even though I don’t drink coffee, I can’t help but laugh at ironic coffee t-shirts. 

But let’s take a closer look at the “Eat. Sleep. Coffee. Repeat” slogan. 

A more accurate ironic slogan for many people would be, “Wake up. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.” That’s because most people race out the door on their way to work with a cup or two or three of coffee well before they eat anything. 

And I’m not talking about functional coffee drinks that contain coconut oil and mushroom powder. 

Nope, I’m referring to the straight black stuff some people wish they could inject directly into their veins in order to feel alive in the morning. 

If nothing can resurrect you in the morning except for coffee, I’m not going to try and convince you to give it up. (Unless you’re about to do a CLEANSE, which requires a coffee-free pre-cleanse phase.)

I am, however, going to ask you to reconsider drinking coffee on an empty stomach. 

woman with coffee in bed

But First…Cortisol!

You’re probably familiar with the term “cortisol.” But just in case you need a refresher, in plain English, cortisol is known as the body’s major stress hormone. 

Cortisol helps our body physically deal with stress, sending us into fight or flight or freeze mode. It’s a good thing that we have cortisol because it regulates our body’s stress response.

So when a distracted A-hole driver swerves into your lane and is heading right towards you, you can thank cortisol for giving you the superpower to be alert and steer your way to safety. 

But just like 10 cups of coffee or glasses of wine a day, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. And when we’re constantly stressed out, we can have too much cortisol coursing through our system. 

Having excess cortisol is no bueno! It can cause elevated blood sugar levels, even contributing to type 2 diabetes. It can also wreak havoc on your immune system. And ladies: too much cortisol can screw up your cycle and may cause an imbalance of other hormones. 

And if that’s not bad enough, having too much cortisol may lead to an increase of the most dangerous kind of fat: visceral fat. Visceral fat is the deep belly fat that surrounds the organs in your abdomen. 

Now, normally, levels of cortisol are naturally high in the morning. Why then do we need coffee if our body should be more alert? Why do we feel dead to the world without coffee if cortisol is supposed to be our natural alarm clock? 

—-> 3 Ways To Feel Unstoppable In The Morning Without Coffee 

It could be because you’re not getting enough sleep. Or maybe you’re drinking too much coffee, which can screw up normal cortisol fluctuations during the day. 

coffee mug in bed

How Drinking Coffee First Thing In The AM Affects Cortisol 

The important thing to understand is that drinking coffee first thing in the morning on an empty stomach might be harmful to your health for a couple reasons. 

First, drinking lots of coffee can itself cause excess cortisol, which can lead to having high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. 

And secondly, if you have GI problems like acid reflux, drinking coffee first thing in the morning can increase acid production, making your GI issues worse. 

Drinking Coffee & Brain Function

There’s actually plenty of research that supports moderate coffee consumption. To reiterate: my point of emphasis here is not that drinking coffee is bad … it’s that drinking it on an empty stomach may be for some people. 

People drink coffee to fire up their neurons so they can function at work. But what are the effects of having early-morning excess cortisol and brain function? Well, a  study published in Neurology that was summarized in Scientific American looked at the effects of early-morning high cortisol on brain performance in more than 2,000 people. 

Most of the participants were in their 40s. The study found that those with the highest levels of cortisol performed worse on tests of memory, organization, visual perception and attention.

To make matters worse, the brains of people with the highest levels of cortisol showed precursors to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. 

I’m not trying to scare the bejeezus out of you. I’m not suggesting that if you drink coffee first thing in the morning, your brain will deteriorate. Just think twice about drinking it on an empty stomach—especially black coffee. (Sorry, a splash of cream and a packet of sugar won’t help prevent a cortisol spike.)

Fonio grain

Here’s What To Do In The Morning Before Drinking Coffee

If you can’t wait to have coffee until noon or early afternoon, when cortisol levels are naturally lower, then I have a simple solution for you. It’s something I’ve been preaching for years but it works. 

Step 1: After you wake up, drink a tall glass of water with lemon juice. This will help you naturally detox your body before introducing any stimulants into your system. 

Step 2: Wait 20 minutes after drinking water and then have 8 ounces of Organic Green Drink

No, this is not just some promotional plug for my nationwide Green Drink delivery plan. My recommendation, I’ll have you know, is science-based. Minerals such as magnesium in green leafy veggies help regulate and lower cortisol, research (like this) shows. 

Step 3: About half an hour after having CHEF V GREEN DRINK, if you must, have your coffee. I also recommend doing some parasympathetic (relaxing) exercise like yoga in the morning to regulate your cortisol levels. 

Step 4 (optional): wear your ironic coffee t-shirt.

Beet-It Smoothie

Go red! Research has shown that red fruits and vegetables such as beets and raspberries are nutritional superheroes. So drink up! – Veronica

ginger apple berry smoothie

Ingredients

  • ½ cup organic blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup organic raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup diced organic red beet, raw & skinned
  • 1 piece organic red chard
  • ½ cup ice
  • 1 cup organic unsweetened almond milk
  • Optional 1 serving of vegan protein powder (hemp, pea, or brown rice)

Directions

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

We’ve Got The Beet! Why Beets Are Having Their Moment

boy with beets

Chef V is seeing red for Valentine’s Day in a good way with beets. If you’re not on the beet bandwagon then hop on board. Never tried beets? With Chef V’s beet recipes, you’ll eventually fall in love with them and you’ll be healthier for it…

“Beets are sexy.”
—Said nobody.

But maybe I should be the first to coin that phrase. That’s right, you heard it here first. I think beets are the perfect Valentine’s Day food and not just because of the bright red color. Although for sure that’s a part of their attractiveness. 

What makes beets the perfect food to eat around Valentine’s Day? Because it can get the blood flowing to parts of the body that need to operate in tip-top shape on Valentine’s Day. If you know what I’m sayin’…

And it’s not just men who benefit from beets. Ladies, eat some beets because this unsung root veggie boosts production of nitric oxide in the body. Every single cell in your body has nitric oxide, which is a gas. (Not to be confused with smelly toot gas.) 

hands peeling beets

Check out my Beet Based Recipes

Beets For Better Sex?

When you have sufficient nitric oxide, blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles is improved. For men, nitrous oxide means better blood flow to the penis. Millions of men take sexual performance supplements that are designed to boost nitric oxide in the body.

So for men, beets may improve erectile dysfunction. For the ladies, enhanced nitrous oxide production also means that blood vessels dilate, allowing for better circulation and blood flow. When erogenous zones get more blood flow you can get more aroused. 

Who would have ever thought that a beet smoothie could spark sexual arousal! 

Veronica, Brandon, and Coco drinking beet smoothies

Other Reasons To Just Beet It

Because beets improve nitric oxide levels in the body, they may enhance your athletic performance. So if you’re a competitive athlete looking for that extra edge, give one of my beet recipes a try. 

Check out my Beet Based Recipes

Here’s why else you should go bananas for beets…

Beet Benefits At A Glance:

  • High in minerals
  • Low in calories
  • High in fiber
  • Low in carbs
  • Lowers blood pressure and inflammation
  • Supports digestion and gut health
  • Supports cognitive health

Taking a deeper dive into beet nutrition facts here, so like most veggies, they’re a great source of minerals, especially potassium. This is yet another reason why athletes and active people should incorporate beets in their diet. You see, strenuous exercise depletes the body of minerals. If you don’t refuel your body with enough minerals, post-exercise, you’ll be lethargic and wear down your immune system. 

Beets are also great for people who have high blood pressure and inflammation. 

And remember how beets may kick your sex drive into high gear? Well, it turns out that nitric oxide also benefits brain health. In fact, a 2017 study showed that older adults who exercised and drank beet juice had brains that resembled much younger people. 

seniors playing golf

Making Beets Yummy Again

Now I’m not suggesting that you eat raw beets. That would be just as unappetizing as eating raw potatoes, unless you’re adding raw beet chunks to a smoothie. 

The key to cooking with beets is to learn how to balance the bitterness of the veggie. And you do that by adding a pinch of Himalayan sea salt, red-wine vinegar, ginger, garlic or other herbs and spices. 

Actually, before you even start cooking with beets, there’s a rookie mistake I have to warn you about!

Beets are like the permanent magic marker of the veggie world. They will leave stains that look like a horrible crime scene. I’m usually not a big fan of using anything plastic. But when it comes to cutting beets (for a salad or smoothie), a plastic cutting board is your best bet because it can be easily washed.  I still use my wooden cutting board but I make sure to wash it right away.

And don’t toss out the green part that’s attached to the beets! They are highly nutritious and you can easily add them to a veggie stir fry or a smoothie. Oh, and one more tip when it comes to cooking beets…

You don’t have to remove the skins. The skin will add bulk to your stool, helping you more easily poop if you need help in that department. But if you don’t want to eat the skin, wait until after you’ve cooked the veggie to do it. It’ll be much easier. 

Check out my Beet Based Recipes

beets on a counter

Beets: The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift?

It’ll be a long time before a box of beets will be on equal par with a box of chocolates as the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. So my gift to you this Feb. 14 is leaving you with these beet recipes. May they help enhance the love you feel on this special day. 

beets

Creamy Beet Soup

My Creamy Beet Soup is a healthy treat. Beets, including beet greens, contain an amazing array of antioxidants, other vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. They are also believed to support our body’s detox system as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.

(serves 4 and great for leftovers)

beet soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp. cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups fat-free organic chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegan)
  • 3 large beets, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 1 medium sweet potato, skinned and cubed
  • 2 cup full fat, canned coconut milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oil in a large pot, big enough to make the soup.

Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for one more minute or until onion
becomes translucent.

Add broth, beets, sweet potato, and bay leaf. Boil for 15 minutes or until beets and sweet potato become tender.

Add coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

Transfer small batches of soup into a blender and blend 3-4 batches until smooth. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

Bon Appétit! – Veronica

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oil in a large pot, big enough to make the soup.

Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for one more minute or until onion
becomes translucent.

Add broth, beets, sweet potato, and bay leaf. Boil for 15 minutes or until beets and sweet potato become tender.

Add coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

Transfer small batches of soup into a blender and blend 3-4 batches until smooth. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

Bon Appétit! – Veronica

5 Libido Spiking Ways To Spice Up The Romance On Valentine’s Day

What are you doing to make this Valentine’s Day special for your mate? A box of chocolates? Flowers? Yawn! While those V-Day traditional go-to’s will always be appreciated, these 5 activities will help resurrect your romantic life—even if you’ve been married for years. 

“I love never being spontaneous and having absolutely no romance in my life.” 

You know who said that? 

Nobody, ever. 

But stress in America is endemic. Wake up, race to get ready. Work your butt off. Race home to take care of the kids. Cook, clean and hopefully you’ll get an hour of peace and quiet to stream a favorite show. 

You and your spouse are like strangers passing in the night. You two have become functional roommates more than lovers. 

And then February 14 rolls around and you go through the motions. Maybe you will have a nice dinner. But deep down inside, as you’re enjoying a slice of tiramisu and drinking a glass of cab (even though you actually enjoy cooking and eating at home more than eating out), you know the thrill is gone. 

You and your partner may be partners for life—but in name only, not in romance. 

Well, this Valentine’s Day, don’t be ordinary. Do one or more of these 5 things to respark the romance and rekindle your libido.

couple hands yoga

Couples Massage

No, I’m not talking about both of you going to a 5-star spa and getting pampered. Although, that does sound just about what I need right now. If you get a massage from a spa, you’ll feel great but it won’t really do anything to get your romantic grooves back. 

What I mean by couples massage is this steamy scene…

Both partners are seated Buddah-style facing each other on comfy cushions. 

With shirts off and a high-quality CBD oil, coconut or jojoba oil (or another synthetic-free fave massage oil) in hand, each partner rubs the oil onto the other’s neck and shoulders. 

Stare into each other’s eyes for a few minutes and smile. Really take each other’s spirit in. Reconnect with why you fell in love with each other in the first place. Just say the reasons internally. 

For a few minutes, continue simultaneously rubbing each other’s neck and shoulders. Or see where the night takes you; perhaps to different places—wink wink. 

Then, rest your foreheads on each other and keep the romantic, healing vibes going. 

candle

Grateful Affirmations

After both of you have had your fill of couples massage, it’s time to externalize your appreciation of your partner and vice versa. 

You can stay seated in the lotus position facing each other. Or if you’re uncomfortable because you have tight hips, both of you can lie down on a warm, cozy rug or yoga mats while holding hands.

With romantic candles lit in the room—I should have mentioned candles in the couples massage part, haha—express your gratitude for your partner. 

“I feel blessed to have you as my partner because you are so kind and supportive of me.” 

Something along those lines. 

Think of everything that you appreciate about your partner. Valentine’s Day should be the annual rite of passage where you renew your partnership vows—instead of just flipping on the TV after coming back home from dinner. 

partner yoga

Partner Yoga

Can it get any more erotic than having your partner adjust you while you’re doing a downward dog? Sorry, my intention isn’t to be pervy; there are plenty of male yoga teachers who give adjustments without any ulterior motives. 

But when you’re doing partner yoga—or even just a regular yoga routine side by side—, it definitely has the ability to reignite libido. 

If you’re not sure what partner yoga is there are tons of videos online. Basically, one partner helps the other go deeper into a pose, albeit comfortably and safely.

With downward dog, your partner can lean back, facing up, on your back. Your weight supports your partner and vice versa. 

Another great partner yoga pose is spinal twists. 

Late Night Walk Or Hike

This one’s easy for me to recommend since I live in San Diego. But if you’ve never visited here, you might be surprised to learn that it can get down into the low 40s or even high 30s at night here. That may sound downright tropical to my Organic Green Drink delivery customers who live in Boston or Buffalo. 

But if the weather isn’t too brutal outside, instead of hopping in the car for dinner and then just driving right back home, having a quickie and then Netflix, go for a walk, even if it’s a short one. 

Make sure you’re holding hands. The frigid weather will be conducive to huddling together and walking arm in arm.

The key is that on this Valentine’s Day, do something out of the ordinary that will bring you and your partner closer together. Sure, it’s just one day out of the year, but if you do one of these fun things, the effects will carry on…

Green Drink Cocktails

And speaking of Green Drinks, if you want to enjoy a healthy adult beverage that’s out of the ordinary (that means no wine), just add a shot of vodka. Seven leafy greens and a strong distilled spirit. Life is all about balance. And for this Valentine’s Day, balance your love life by not doing something you wouldn’t do the other 364 days of the year. 

3 Ways To Feel Unstoppable In the Morning—Without Coffee

Do you feel like a slug in the morning? Is guzzling three cups of coffee the only thing that wakes you up from the dead? Chef V offers up 3 caffeine-free ways to help you conquer the day…

So … you’re addicted to coffee? Well, I’m not here to tell you to quit. But what I will say about caffeine is that because it’s a drug, you’re going to need more and more of it over time. Remember the good old days when one cup of coffee would make you feel invincible? But these days, there’s a good chance that if you’ve been a coffee drinker for years, just one cup is no longer going to do the trick.

The danger of drinking a lot of coffee is that it can mess with your cardiovascular system. Research shows that drinking coffee raises your blood pressure, heart rate and stimulates your sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is your body’s fight or flight response. If you’re trying to be more chill and less stressed-out, then activating your sympathetic nervous system is the last thing you want to do.

OK, so I’m done with my spiel about the evils of caffeine. Again, I’m not saying that you should quit. But what I am saying is that if you feel like that without it, you’d be a worthless lump of coal, then maybe it’s time to reconsider your morning routine. For instance, try doing one of these 3 things to wake your butt up.

#1: Cold Showers

I admit that on a frigid February day, taking a cold shower at 6 in the morning is the last thing on Earth I’d want to do. But if it’s energy you desire, taking a cold shower will jolt you awake more than a Jolt cola.

There’s even research to back this up. According to Healthline, cold water sends electrical impulses to your brain that … and here’s that word again … “jolt” your system to increase alertness, clarity, and energy levels. The so-called happy hormones known as endorphins are also released. So not only can taking a cold shower wake your butt up in the morning, it could also make you feel happier and more optimistic—at least after the shower is over and you’ve dried off.

Another possible benefit of taking a cold shower is that it may increase your metabolism. Researchers aren’t exactly sure how cold water plunges may help with weight loss. But hey, a replacement for coffee that may help you lose weight? I think it’s worth a try.

veronica and coco green drink

#2: Replace Breakfast With Green Drink 

If you’re somebody who eats a typical American breakfast of toast, cereal, orange juice and coffee before heading out the door to work, listen up. OK, so the first problem with this breakfast is that it’s pretty much all carbs.

Even if the coffee gives you an energy boost, here’s probably what’s going to happen within an hour of your breakfast. Your blood sugar levels are going to rise from the cereal, milk sugars, toast and orange juice. Later, your blood sugar levels will drop to a level that’s lower than what it was before you ate breakfast. So what’s going to happen is you’re going to feel tired and need a second or third cup of coffee.

To prevent this blood sugar spike and dip, ditch the regular breakfast and replace it with Organic Green Drink. The 7 dark leafy greens are sweetened with a tiny bit of apple. And with only three grams of sugar per serving, you won’t have an energy crash.

But will Organic Green Drink give you that pick-me-up that coffee does? Well, not in the same jittery way. However, the 7 dark leafy greens are so nutrient-dense that they will flood your cells with energy in a very short amount of time. And if you must have your coffee, drink it at least one hour after having a Green Drink.

#3: Exercise

If you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, just repeat this mantra: Get up, get up, get busy, do it. Get up and move that body. Anybody remember that song (from the one-hit wonder Techtronic way back in 1989.)

So I guarantee you that if you take a cold shower in the morning—even if it’s just for 30 seconds—and have a serving of Organic Green Drink, you’ll feel ready to conquer the world. And, if you can find time to do 10 minutes of exercise before you start your work day, you will feel absolutely bulletproof. Go for a walk, do a mini-yoga routine. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do, just do it.

Hopefully, having Green Drink in the morning plus taking a cold shower and/or exercising will wean you off caffeine.

Best Foods For Great S-E-X

Best Foods For Great S-E-X

Best foods for great S-E-X – Ladies: don’t feel like getting it on lately? Got no mojo, gentlemen? Here’s how certain foods and holistic health can improve your sex life.

A curious thing happened in the initial weeks of the pandemic. Couples who for the most part functioned as roommates prior to the pandemic suddenly rediscovered their intimate side. 

Despite the stress and fear in the early days of the pandemic, stay-at-home orders led to an initial increase in sex. After all, what else is there to do besides watch TV when you’re stuck at home all day and night? 

However, as stay-at-home orders eased (at least in the U.S.) and life’s other chronic stressors returned to the fold, our collective libido plummeted to pre-pandemic levels.

So if your libido is shot because of Covid-anxiety and life’s general grinding assault, I’ve got some tips for you about foods for great S-E-X…

Root Causes Of Low Libido

But before I share my tips for restoring your libido, including the best foods for great S-E-X, let’s explore some of the factors responsible for lowering sex drive.

Obviously, stress is a huge factor. But how exactly does stress affect libido? Chronic stress places a huge demand on two glands that rest on top of the kidneys called the suprarenal glands. You probably know these glands by their more familiar name, the adrenal glands.  

Your adrenal glands produce stress hormones such as cortisol. Cortisol plays several critical roles in the body, including normalizing inflammation levels; regulating blood pressure, and increasing blood sugar in order to deal with an emergency situation. 

The problem with chronic stress is that your body acts as if it’s always an emergency situation. And after a while, elevated or insufficient cortisol levels cause an imbalance of sex hormones. 

Imbalanced sex hormones can make sex torturous for women. For example, poor sex hormone balance can lead to vaginal dryness. 

Women who suffer from vaginal dryness often experience anxiety before intimacy because of the dilemma caused by the lack of enjoyment and the desire to please their partner. This pre-intimacy anxiety leads to a vicious cycle of more stress. And it’s not just women going through menopause that experience this. 

For men, excess cortisol results in poor sexual performance or a lack of desire to engage in sexual activity. 

Ancient Secrets To Enjoying Sex

Ancient Secrets To Enjoying Sex

No, I’m not going to rehash steamy scenes from the Kama Sutra here. But what I do want to share is the simple yet profound logic of traditional Chinese medicine that rules all aspects of life including getting it on between the sheets. 

You’ve probably heard of Yin and Yang. But can you define them? No, it’s not as simple as opposites. Rather, Yin and Yang are two halves of the same whole, constantly transforming but always striving to maintain harmony. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, every organ system strives for Yin/Yang balance, or as we would say in the West, homeostasis. 

When homeostasis is achieved, that is every single bodily system is running efficiently, a healthy libido will naturally arise (no pun intended). 

When your body is mostly humming perfectly along with Yin-Yang balance, blood vessels widen, circulation improves, the synapses that activate sensory organs fire more effectively and sex organs and sensual areas of the body receive enhanced blood flow. 

Ladies: don’t feel like getting it on lately? Got no mojo, gentlemen? Here’s how certain foods and holistic health can improve your sex life. A curious thing happened in the initial weeks of the pandemic. Couples who for the most part functioned as roommates prior to the pandemic suddenly rediscovered their intimate side. Despite the stress and fear in the early days of the pandemic, stay-at-home orders led to an initial increase in sex. After all, what else is there to do besides watch TV when you’re stuck at home all day and night? However, as stay-at-home orders eased (at least in the U.S.) and life’s other chronic stressors returned to the fold, our collective libido plummeted to pre-pandemic levels. So if your libido is shot because of Covid-anxiety and life’s general grinding assault, I’ve got some tips for you… Root Causes Of Low Libido But before I share my tips for restoring your libido, including the best foods to eat for a healthy sex life, let’s explore some of the factors responsible for lowering sex drive. Obviously, stress is a huge factor. But how exactly does stress affect libido? Chronic stress places a huge demand on two glands that rest on top of the kidneys called the suprarenal glands. You probably know these glands by their more familiar name, the adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands produce stress hormones such as cortisol. Cortisol plays several critical roles in the body, including normalizing inflammation levels; regulating blood pressure, and increasing blood sugar in order to deal with an emergency situation. The problem with chronic stress is that your body acts as if it’s always an emergency situation. And after a while, elevated or insufficient cortisol levels cause an imbalance of sex hormones. Imbalanced sex hormones can make sex torturous for women. For example, poor sex hormone balance can lead to vaginal dryness. Women who suffer from vaginal dryness often experience anxiety before intimacy because of the dilemma caused by the lack of enjoyment and the desire to please their partner. This pre-intimacy anxiety leads to a vicious cycle of more stress. And it’s not just women going through menopause that experience this. For men, excess cortisol results in poor sexual performance or a lack of desire to engage in sexual activity. Air Fryer Ancient Secrets To Enjoying Sex No, I’m not going to rehash steamy scenes from the Kama Sutra here. But what I do want to share is the simple yet profound logic of traditional Chinese medicine that rules all aspects of life including getting it on between the sheets. You’ve probably heard of Yin and Yang. But can you define them? No, it’s not as simple as opposites. Rather, Yin and Yang are two halves of the same whole, constantly transforming but always striving to maintain harmony. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, every organ system strives for Yin/Yang balance, or as we would say in the West, homeostasis. When homeostasis is achieved, that is every single bodily system is running efficiently, a healthy libido will naturally arise (no pun intended). When your body is mostly humming perfectly along with Yin-Yang balance, blood vessels widen, circulation improves, the synapses that activate sensory organs fire more effectively and sex organs and sensual areas of the body receive enhanced blood flow. air fryer and avocado oil How To Achieve Yin-Yang Balance For Great Sex

How To Achieve Yin-Yang Balance For Great Sex

The question then becomes, if you clearly lack Yin/Yang balance, how can you achieve it?

Well, diet of course is a huge factor and I’ll share my top foods for a great sex life below as well as a few supplements. But diet is only one piece of the holistic puzzle. Another critical lifestyle habit that will help you achieve homeostasis, and thus, a healthy sexual appetite is stress management.

If you’re waking up checking your news or social media feed and doing the same right before bed, you need a lifestyle change, stat! Replace staring at a screen in the morning and late at night with a healthy stress management technique such as yoga, meditation, a walk in the woods or neighborhood, etc.

Instead of confirming your biases or satisfying your gossipy nature, focus on getting your body back to a state of balance—if you want to have great sex!

Getting enough exercise is also important but some people actually deplete their adrenal glands even more by exercising too much. If you ask me, lowering your stress levels via meditation or going for a long walk is more important than doing high-intensity exercise. And of course, eating the best foods for great S-E-X.

Best Foods For Healthy Libido

Best foods for great S-E-X

As I mentioned, eating specific foods can help bring your body back into balance. Physiologically, certain nutrients are known to be effective vasodilators. This means that they open the blood vessels, which can help reignite libido. 

Here are my favorite foods to eat to support a healthy sex life: 

  • Dark leafy greens, like the seven different kinds in Organic Green Drink
  • Dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)
  • Beets
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Citrus 
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chickpeas/hummus
  • Avocados

These foods are great for a healthy libido because they contain nutrients that stimulate nitric oxide. Not to be confused with laughing gas (nitrous oxide), nitric oxide, or NO, relaxes the blood vessels. Every single cell in your body produces NO. But if you eat lots of processed food, your cells will do a poor job manufacturing NO. No NO means no sexy time!

As a vasodilator, NO increases blood flow by widening blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. While these benefits may be associated mainly with just men, the libido-stimulating effects apply to women as well. When women have increased levels of NO, it’s as if the nitric oxide itself acts as a signaling molecule to become sexually aroused, this study from Stanford University explains. 

Best Supplements For Sexual Arousal

In addition to eating plenty of foods on my best-for-sex list above, you may also benefit from taking a nutritional supplement. One that’s discussed in the Stanford study is L-arginine, an essential amino acid that increases NO in the cells. 

Zinc and B vitamins are also important nutrients that are often missing from the Standard American Diet. It’s best to get these nutrients from a whole-food plant-based diet. However, if your libido is running on empty, you may want to give your body the extra supplementation it needs to rediscover that magic spark. 

Here’s to your healthy sex life,

Chef V

Chef V

The New Normal: How I Keep My Sh*! Together When I’m Stressed Out

cleansing juices and soups

Covid is still is stressful, let’s face it. The Covid crisis has eased, and Brandon and I were fortunate to have our Chef V business to keep us busy during it. We are back to seeing our friends, going out to dinner, and especially the gym (!!).  But there’s still  the stress factor of “can I get Covid” in the back of my mind when I go into a crowded store or class or bus,Reducing stress can be challenging anytime, and right now it is harder – and more important – than ever.

How do I keep my cool during these times? I treat myself – and you should treat yourself too, because it keeps you healthier, and that is super important right now.

Here’s how I keep my sh*! together…. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Despite 14-16 hour long days keeping the Chef V kitchen and delivery services running, I make sure I do a minimum of 10-15 minutes of yoga. It’s so easy to let stress get the best of you and say, “I’ve got no time today for yoga, I’ve got so much work to do….”

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

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

apple cider vinegar

Keeping Your (Third) Eye on the Prize

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

While I meditate I try to think of nothing other than my breathing. Then, after that, I take a few minutes and visualize what I want to achieve for the day. Although dealing with the extra safety precautions involved in safely getting Green Drink to my customers makes me want to pull my hair out, I am so happy to be able to continue to deliver it to you.  I think it’s really important to keep your eye on the prize and not let annoying impediments get in the way of achieving your goals. I’m trying to focus on the good things in my life and in the ways I can make the lives of my employees and customers better.

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

Treating Yourself When You’re Stressed Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try out the recipes on my blog.

Buy gift cards from your favorite businesses to help them stay in business.

Stretch – see how much you can increase your flexibility.

For the guys – grow a coronavirus beard. No, not you, honey.

It’s critical that when you’re feeling stressed out, you need to do things to revitalize your health.

We are Figuring this out Together

Times are tough and scary but you are not in this alone. You, my customers and friends, are a blessing in my life and I am so grateful to you. Your health and safety are constantly in my thoughts and I thank you for your patronage and friendship. Know that you are not alone, we are all figuring this out together. – Veronica

12 Reasons Why Juice Cleanse Delivery is Amazing

There’s something plain magical about fresh food and drinks. Too many people across the country never get to experience the health benefits of fresh food, let alone the fantastic taste. Buying juice at the grocery store is one thing, but getting it delivered fresh is a whole different story. We got our start with juice cleanse delivery in San Diego, so we figure we know a thing or two about why juice cleanse delivery is amazing. We’ve made a list of some of our top reasons just for you!

#1 Appetite control

If there are any of our readers who haven’t had to deal with junk food cravings, they should count themselves lucky. For the rest of us, we know just how hard it can be to deal with the desire for sweet and fatty foods. 

These cravings are often caused by issues with blood sugar levels. Generally, as blood sugar levels drop from a lack of food, we tend to crave carb-heavy food. However, if we’re eating too many sugary foods daily, our body can stop accurately determining blood sugar level, and we tend to get blood sugar spikes and cravings. 

Getting a low sugar juice cleanse delivered right to your home is a great way to get blood sugar under control. This lets you get a fresh, low-sugar “reset” on your blood sugars, helping break the deadly junk-food cycle. We might not have the willpower to get low sugar options at the grocery store, so green drink delivery makes sure we get what we need. 

#2 Detox

Juice cleanses can be great for your liver health as well. Lowering the amount of sugar, fats, and carbs in your diet benefits the liver overall. A healthy and happy liver is going to do better at its job, which is detoxifying your body and flushing out the bad stuff. A juice cleanse is a great way to give your liver a well-needed break.  

#3 Digestion 

One of the most common reasons we hear people expressing interest in a blended juice cleanse is to help with gut health and digestion. If you have issues with bloating and an upset stomach,  a juice cleanse is just what the doctor ordered—or rather, just what you ordered, to your door. Not only will the juice cleanse plan help fight bloating and gas, but it can help the growth of healthy gut bacteria. 

#4 Energy

Feeling low on energy? So low on energy you can’t even get to the store? Well, if you are starting a 21 day liquid detox diet, you don’t need to go to the store. The fresh juice will come right to you! By getting your blood sugar under control, and developing healthy eating habits, this liquid diet can give you better alertness and consistent energy.

#5 Heart health

A good green juice recipe (such as Chef V’s very own) will be full of antioxidants and other anti-inflammatories. These are great for helping promote better heart health throughout your life, and you can get this long-term health investment in a super convenient method. 

#6 Hydration

We all know we’re supposed to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day. But how many of us actually hold ourselves to that ideal? If you’re getting a regular delivery of green drink filled with delicious fruits and vegetables, you’re more likely to at least get some of your daily hydration. 

#7 Immune-boosting

Green drink delivery means you’re  getting a daily dose of a powerful immune booster. A blended juice cleanse is an easy way to get the fruits and veggies that will help keep your immune system operating in tip-top shape. Chef V’s green drink even includes apples, and you know what they say about apples and doctors… 

#8 Organic 

Organic food is great. But it can often be hard to track down the best organic drinks, especially if you don’t live in a major city. With juice cleanse delivery, you don’t need to worry about hunting down the organics; they’ll come right to you! 

#9 Savings

Sometimes organic juices can be expensive. If you get it delivered, you can often get the juice cleanse plan in bulk. And buying in bulk is always a great way to get some deals and cut down on overall costs.  

#10 Support local businesses 

Buying locally has a ton of benefits all on its own. Just like with the goal of buying organic, however, this is often easier said than done. A delivered juice cleanse means you’re getting your product from relatively nearby, but without the hassle of having to hunt it down yourself. 

#11 Taste

Fresh is better. That’s just the way  it goes, especially when it comes to things like leafy greens. With juice cleanse delivery, you can make sure you’re getting only the freshest, best-tasting juices, right at your doorstep. The fresh difference needs to be tasted to be really understood. 

#12 Weight loss

Using juice cleanse delivery to get your appetite under control will certainly help with weight loss all on its own. But it’s also important to remember that a tasty green drink is a great low-carb snack. By helping you regulate both diet and sleep schedule, and giving you the energy to exercise, a little green drink can go a long way for your weight-loss goals. 

Get juice cleanse delivery with Chef V

From juice cleanse delivery in Orange County, to juice cleanse delivery in New Jersey, Chef V is getting Americans the best in green drink, coast to coast. By signing up with Chef V, you get an amazing green drink, detox soup, and detox smoothies delivered right to your door, hassle free. Just check out what Chef V has done for all these Americans across the country

Gluten-Free Toast + Avocado Smear

A special breakfast or a brunch treat, my recipe adds flavor to the avocado with a hint of vinegar’s tang and red pepper flakes.

avocado toast

Ingredients

1 slice gluten-free bread or 1/2 gluten free bagel

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • Pinch sea salt

Directions

Lightly toast the bread and spread the avocado on like butter. For extra pizzazz, add a dash of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, or sea salt, if desired.

Yoga + Green Drink to Stress Less, Feel Better

yoga and green drink

I’m finding it harder to stay centered. Are you stressed out too?

Stress can have a major influence upon mood, our sense of well-being, behavior, and health. Acute stress, especially if the threat is unremitting, can damage health.

To stay centered and calm, my go-to is yoga.  Yoga can reduce stress, shift your mindset, and help you feel better.

Before coronavirus,  I made sure to do a minimum of 10-15 minutes of yoga every day. Now, I’ve increased my practice and recommending that all my friends and clients fo the same. The more stressful your day, the more you need to start your day off with yoga. To those who know me, I might seem centered but without meditation and yoga, I might be a mess.

Here are some of my favorite yoga poses for reducing stress and getting back to center. Zen out in the comfort and safety of home.

Cheers to your very best health –  Veronica

yoga - downward dog

DOWNWARD DOG

Place your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart, and stretch your feet out behind you about 3 feet apart from one another with your hips high in the air. You should look like an upside down letter “V.” Because your heart is higher than your head, this pose causes blood to flow to your brain, which calms the nervous system, improves memory, enhances concentration and relieves stress. Downward Dog also gently tones your abdomen, which stimulates digestion.

tree pose - virksasana

TREE POSE (VIRKSASANA)

Start by focusing the balance on the left foot. Lifting the right foot to the ankle, calf, above the knee or in lotus position (inside the hip joint), bring your arms to prayer position in front of your heart center. Straighten the back, tuck in the pelvis and breathe.

On an inhale, extend your arms over head into any hand mudra you desire; pinky to thumb, thumb to index finger or thumb to middle finger. Hold here for 5-10 inhale and exhale breaths.

prayer pose

PRAYER TWIST

Stand with your feet about 3-4 feet apart. Look toward your right leg as you turn your torso and your hips towards your right leg.

Bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle, keeping your left leg straight so that you are in a low lunge. Bring your hands to prayer position in front of you.

Inhale and on an exhale, twist to your right, bringing your left elbow over your right knee. Look up and make sure your elbows are facing in opposite directions with your right elbow facing up at 12 o’clock and left facing down at 6 o’clock.

Hold this pose for 5-10 inhales and exhales. Slowly release, coming back to center. Repeat on the other side.

Look toward your left side, bend your left knee at a 90 degree angle and move into a lunge by keeping your right leg straight. Inhale and exhale to twist to the left, hooking your right elbow over your left knee. Breathe for 5-10 inhales and exhales.

The twisting of the torso in this move applies pressure to your muscles, increasing toning and detoxifying powers. Fresh oxygen rushes to the area once the twist is released, which helps flush toxins within the body and improve digestion. This pose is great for balance, energy and confidence – plus, it tones your legs, hips and butt.

supine spinal twist

SUPINE SPINAL TWIST

Lay on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your right knee, bringing it close to your chest.

Take your left hand and slowly guide your (bent) right leg over to the left side of your body. Look right and breathe 5-10 inhales and exhales.

Slowly come back to center with both legs stretched out on the ground. Reverse on the other side by bending your left knee toward your chest.

With your right hand, gently guide your left leg over to your right. This time, look to the left and breathe for another set of 5-10 inhales and exhales. This spinal twist will help to release lower back tension, open tight shoulders, improve digestion and elongate spinal muscles.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t come easy at first. Like all things, yoga takes time and practice to get right, but you will start feeling the detoxifying benefits right away. Just start with slow and steady breaths and the rest will follow!

Chef V and kale

Beat the Bloat—Which Habits and Foods Cause Bloating?

Bloating and gas are never fun. We know, really dropping the controversial statements here. The fact that bloating sucks is an obvious one. What’s somewhat less obvious is what is causing bloating. Diet choices can be a significant factor in how much bloating and gas you put up with during the day. If you’ve suffered from bloating, we might be able to help you pinpoint the causes in this blog. 

What causes bloating? 

The sensation of bloating can be caused by a few factors, but the most common is simply the accumulation of gas inside the stomach. This is pretty straightforward. If you’re filling your stomach up with air like a balloon, you’re not going to be having a good time. You’re also more likely to be gassy since, well, that air is going to want a way out. There’s no real polite way to put it.

But why the excess gas in your stomach? Generally, your stomach does create some gas during the digestive process as food breaks down. But there are a few reasons why this gas might be getting out of control.

Overeating

Putting too much food in your stomach is probably one of the most surefire ways to end up feeling bloated. If you have to adjust your belt buckle after meals, you likely need to cut back.

Eating too fast

Eating too fast is a path that leads right into overeating. By slowing down, you can let your body signal you are getting full. Eating fast doesn’t just put too much air into your stomach;  it also means you’re swallowing a lot of air into your stomach, which then means gas. 

Carbonated beverages

If you’ve ever drunk a carbonated beverage too quickly, you know exactly what we’re talking about. There’s nothing inherently wrong about carbonation (you should be worrying way more about the sugar content of these drinks), but if you drink too many of these kinds of beverages or guzzle them quickly, you can expect gas.

Smoking

Yeah, here’s another reason smoking is bad for you. It turns out that sucking in air all the time can lead to excess gas in the stomach. But if you care at all about your health, you shouldn’t be smoking anyways. 

Food intolerances

So we’re finally mentioning food as part of the bloating process. This is going to be a somewhat special section. While we’ll discuss foods that could bloat, for many people, the foods that bloat them are linked to specific intolerances. 

The best-known example of this is lactose intolerance, wherein certain people get bloated from consuming dairy products. In this case, dietary changes unique to the individual are recommended. For example, going vegan might be a good option for those who can’t break down lactose.

Fatty foods

Alright, let’s get into the meat of this issue. For many of us, the main culprit in causing bloating is the fat content of food. Why does fat content matter? Well, fat is one of the slowest digesting portions of food. That means food high in fat will be in your stomach longer, producing more gas. 

Foods high in fiber for the fiber un-initiated 

Hold up, fiber is good, right? Fiber is absolutely essential to a healthy digestive system. However, for those who don’t get enough fiber, making the transition to higher-fiber foods can sometimes cause bloating as our digestive systems adjust. 

Certain sugars and carbs 

Various kinds of sugars and carbs are found in the foods we regularly consume. Many of these sugars and carbs end up fermenting when being broken down, creating a release of gas that causes bloating

Examples of foods that cause bloating  

Beans and lentils: These kinds of foods are generally healthy for you. Beans do have a reputation for causing gassiness that we should address. For some, this is because they are a good source of fiber. Other people have difficulty breaking down the sugars and carbs in beans. If you wash and soak your beans, you can reduce the severity of this issue. Also, the more you eat them, the more your body will adapt, causing less bloat over time.

Cruciferous vegetables: Think broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. These foods have much the same nutritional profile as beans—lots of fiber, but also lots of sugars and carbs that ferment in your gut. You can cook them instead of eating them raw, or swap for other greens, such as spinach and swiss chard.

Dairy products: Mainly a concern for the lactose intolerant, some people just have a hard time breaking down dairy products. Trying out some vegan alternatives could help alleviate the issues. 

Whole grains: Think barley and rye. Just like dairy products cause issues for those with lactose intolerance, whole grains can cause problems for those with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. These grains also can give many digestive systems not used to it a fiber overload. 

Fight bloating with Chef V

We’re talking mainly about foods that cause bloating. But there are plenty of foods that can do the opposite. Fruits and vegetables high in water, potassium, or antioxidants tend to be fantastic for gut health. Berries, apples, and bananas are all great for those with gut issues.  

Sometimes the key is in the spice. We get so many questions about if turmeric makes you fart. In truth, both turmeric and ginger are great for combating bloating. Even better, these are two spices found in our signature detox soups. 

In fact, Chef V has plenty to help with bloating. Our detox juice cleanse includes a green drink with plenty of bloat-fighting foods, such as apples and spinach. Unlike other liquid cleanses, we make sure to include plenty of fiber as well, to avoid a gut meltdown. 

If you want to learn more about our 21 day juice cleanse recipes, then check out all the information here, including facts on ingredients and nutrition

Chef V’s Cooking with V – Quinoa Enchilada

Watch the enchilada video & read the recipe

Welcome to Chef V's Cooking School!

I'm Veronica, Certified Nutritional Therapist, author, and proud owner of Chef V. You might know me for my Green Drink and Cleanses, but I started Chef V as a personal chef. I'll be sharing some of my clients' favorite recipes with you.

This is my first ever cooking series and I welcome you to my kitchen. And of course I couldn't do my show without my trusty sidekick Brandon – Sous-Chef B. And our dog Coconut – Taste Tester. We're going to laugh, learn and cook – together.

We are starting with my famous Quinoa Enchilada – or “the whole enchilada” as my husband says. That's so cheesy – no pun intended. This recipe is Challenge approved for the purpose of cleansing as long as you substitute vegan cheese and omit the corn.

quinoa enchilada ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 jars enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 cup frozen organic corn
  • 3 cups organic cheese or vegan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. chopped green onions for garnish
  • 1lb. ground turkey or you can substitute chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. taco seasoning (optional)

quinoa enchilada ingredients

MY SECRET INGREDIENT

Trade Joe's Enchilada Sauce is my secret ingredient – you can use a different sauce but we think this one makes the difference.

quinoa enchilada ingredients

COOK QUINOA & TURKEY

Quinoa: Cook quinoa as directed on package or use these directions:

Cook quinoa on stovetop: 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 10-15 minutes or until done.

Turkey: sauté ground turkey or chopped mushrooms with taco seasoning.

mixing enchilada ingedients

MIX INGREDIENTS IN A BOWL

Add cooked quinoa, turkey (or sub), ¾ of the cheese, beans, corn, and 1 ½ bottles of enchilada sauce to the bowl and mix.

casserole assembly

ASSEMBLE CASSEROLE

Add contents of the bowl to the casserole dish.

Add the rest of cheese on top and drizzle a little sauce on top.

Top the casserole with the chopped green onions – you can add them before or after baking.

baked casserole

BAKE

Cook covered 20 minutes and uncovered 15 minutes at 350.

eating the casserole

ENJOY!

Customers who've tried this recipe say it is even better the second day. You can keep it in the refrigerator for several days, if it lasts that long! Brandon says this recipe taste as good or better than “real” enchiladas.

Cheers to your health – Veronica

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

leaky gut

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

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

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

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

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

IBS can severely impact your quality of life.

So let’s get to know this baffling condition…

irritable bowel

What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

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

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

What Causes IBS?

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

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

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

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

leaky gut

How To Manage IBS

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

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

Do at least one of these practices every single day. 

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

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

I previously touched on FODMAPS here.

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

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

Drink Low FODMAP Leafy Greens 

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

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

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

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

Try drinking them. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manage IBS Symptoms With A Chef V 5 DAY Cleanse

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

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

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

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

Learn more about CHEF V CLEANSE options here

To your success in kicking IBS’ butt!

Love, 

Veronica “V” Kress

Founder, ChefV.com

Not Ready To Go Gluten-Free? Eat These 5 Healthy Grains You’ve Never Heard Of…

gluten free grains

Should You Be Gluten Free?

“Hey Chef V, should I go gluten free?” 

It’s a question I get asked almost every day. 

So here’s my take on gluten…

I recommend people go gluten-free during the pre-cleanse phase of Chef V Cleanse (3, 5 & 7 days) and 21 Day Detox

That’s because most people aren’t eating the 5 healthy grains I’ll introduce in just a bit. Most people eat heavily-processed wheat products. Which can ruin your health in a few ways.

Most packaged foods contain wheat or wheat flour and are not organic. The wheat flour in processed food is heavily sprayed with pesticides like glyphosate. That’s bad news because glyphosate may be linked to several health problems including poor gut health (this study shows).

So it might not be the gluten you’re having a reaction to in wheat products. It could be the chemicals!

The wheat that’s in products sold in almost every supermarket aisle contains gluten that has been dramatically altered. 

ancient grains

Today’s gluten protein molecules in packaged foods are larger than the 5 healthy grains below. And that means your body might not recognize the modern wheat protein like it does ancient wheat. As a result, your body could start attacking the genetically-engineered wheat proteins. This in turn can lead to autoimmune reactions. 

The good news is that you don’t have to completely give up gluten. (Unless you have Celiac Disease.) There are several healthy grains with old-school gluten that may not cause gluten sensitivity after you eat them. 

(No, quinoa is not on this list because most people have heard of it by now.)

Jobs Tears

Healthy Grain #1: Job’s Tears 

I’ll explain the weird name in a bit. Job’s Tears taste like rice, corn and barley had a thrupple. The chewy grain has a texture like chickpeas and is about the same size as one. 

Also called coix seed, Chinese pearl barley, and Hato Mugi in Japanese, Job’s Tears are perfect for buddha bowls (huge healthy, hearty vegetarian salad). 

Ok, so now the trivia. So Job’s Tears are after the Biblical character whose faith was constantly tested by God. Personally, I’d have an anxiety attack if I went through all the stuff Job did. 

Anyway, legend has it that when Job cried because of his many sorrows, the tears produced this healthy grain that looks like gray teardrops. 

Fonio grain

Healthy Grain #2: Fonio

You can think of fonio as couscous’s cousin. A tiny grain originally from Africa, fonio doesn’t look all that appealing raw. In fact, it looks like grains of sand. But if you have a delicious sugar-free sauce, fonio will wonderfully absorb the flavors. 

You probably won’t be able to find fonio in most supermarkets. Not even Whole Foods. But like just about anything else, you can find it online. 

Super high in B-vitamins (with the exception of B12, which is only obtained from animal sources), fonio might be a grain you’ll be hearing more about in the future. 

Will it be as popular as quinoa one day? Probably not. But time will only tell. 

Healthy Grain #3: Einkorn

If you love the taste of commercial wheat just like it’s found in the supermarket, einkorn is for you. Only, einkorn is healthier than typical supermarket wheat-based products. 

That’s because it’s nature’s original wheat and it’s never been genetically messed with in the 12,000 years it’s been cultivated. 

I’ll get to the reason why it hasn’t been altered. But first, let’s review einkorn’s taste profile. Like most ancient grains, it’s got a nuttier flavor than commercial, modern wheat. People who love to bake but want to use healthier ingredients love einkorn as a substitute for commercial wheat. 

Next time you try baking banana bread or making pancakes, make them with einkorn flour instead of whole wheat flour. 

The superfood of the Egyptian pharaohs, einkorn was largely forgotten about for centuries. Early farmers discovered other grains that were easier to harvest. As gluten sensitivity has become more widespread, people have taken an interest in this long-forgotten unhybridized good gluten. 

Healthy Grain #4: Freekeh 

Get your freekeh on! Haha. What the frick is freekeh you may ask? It’s known as the King of Grains in the Middle East, the first breadbasket of civilization. 

Raw freekeh wheat does look freakish. It’s green. But after it’s cooked it emerges with a light smoky profile. I’ve heard it described as having a taste similar to fire-roasted cashews. 

As is the case with all 5 ancient grains, don’t eat them plain. Drizzle some olive oil or avocado oil on them. I also like Bragg’s liquid amino acids and a dash of Himalayan sea salt. 

Healthy Grain #5: Teff

OK, so what the “F” is teff? It’s actually the one healthy grain on this list that doesn’t have gluten. That’s right, teff is gluten free. That means that people with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity can party with teff.

Naturally rich in calcium and vitamin C, teff are tiny grains that act like a resistant starch. Resistant starches resist digestion in the small intestine. Instead, they ferment in the large intestine (colon). 

That may sound gross. But it’s actually super healthy. Your good bacteria digests these fermented teff sugars and creates short-chain fatty acids. Short chain fatty acids provide us with so many health benefits. But that’s the subject of another Chef V article. 

For now, try a couple of these ancient grains and tell us what you think on Chef V Life. 

Chef V’s ‘Chipotle’ Burrito Bowl

Here’s my Mango Avocado Burrito Bowl, a spin on Chipotle Mexican Grill’s awesome burrito bowls. Use my recipe as a starting point and add any of your favorite ingredients like grilled chicken or fish to make your own. You can also turn this into an easy wrap with gluten-free tortillas.  – Veronica

chia seed pudding

Ingredients

  • 2 cups organic mixed greens (arugula, spinach, red leaf, kale, chard, green leaf, or romaine, etc.)
  • 1 cup cooked organic quinoa or brown rice, cooled
  • 3⁄4 cup organic black beans, cooked and cooled
  • 1⁄2 mango skinned and cubed
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1⁄4 small red onion diced
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • 1⁄2 avocado, skinned, cubed
  • Optional: 4-6oz protein like grilled chicken or salmon.

Directions

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

Serves 2

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

gut parasites

How To Kill Parasites In Your Gut The Natural Way

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

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

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

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

gut parasite

Top Signs You May Have a Parasite

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

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

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

gut health - Coconut and roundworm

Parasites: Not Just A Problem in Poorer Countries

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

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

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

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

natural remedies dried herbs

Treat Parasites Without Medication?

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

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

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

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

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

gut parasites remedies- grapefruit and garlic oils

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

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

Pau D' Arco tree

Eat This, Not That … For Parasites

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

Shuteye for Weight Loss: The Link Between Sleep and Metabolism

Are you having difficulty with your health and weight-loss goals? Then sleep on it! No, really.  How and when you sleep can have significant effects on your overall health. In this blog, we’ll go over the surprising connections between sleep and metabolism, and how you can use sleep along with your juice cleanse detox for better digestive health.

The choices of the sleep deprived

There’s a lot of neat science coming up, we promise. But before we get to that, it’s important to understand how being generally sleep deprived can affect your overall relationship with food and health habits.

Generally, there’s a much larger chance that the sleepy version of yourself is going to be the one making the bad decisions. If you’re exhausted from getting too few hours of sleep, you’re probably not going to be getting enough exercise.

The bad news doesn’t stop there, of course. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain impulse control centers get dulled. Your brain simply knows it needs energy somehow, and you’ll start reaching for the sugary foods. Best case scenario is you develop a caffeine addiction by trying to treat your tiredness with coffee. 

Stressing out your gut bacteria 

One key aspect of how your digestion and metabolism work involves the bacteria found inside your gut. Keeping the good bacteria in your stomach and guts healthy is vital to help them break down the fiber in the food you eat. Not only does this keep you regular, but it also helps you better regulate your appetite and eating schedule.

When you don’t get enough sleep, you start releasing stress hormones. These stress hormones then proceed to mess with the functioning of your gut bacteria, preventing them from working correctly. This in turn can lead to intestinal distress, loss of appetite control, and weight gain. 

Timing, sleep, and metabolism 

As anyone who has ever seen intermittent fasting before and after pics, it’s clear that when you eat is nearly as important as what you eat. Your body is a more sophisticated machine than you give it credit for. It at least understands that when you’re sleeping, it should be burning fat, since you’re not going to be needing that for anything while you’re dozing, right? When you’re awake, your fat-burning rate slows down in case you need to expend energy during the day. 

This means that if you miss out on sleep, you are also missing out on prime-time fat burning. 

A lack of sleep can also mess with how your body reacts to insulin. If your body stops reacting to insulin, it stops properly processing sugar in the bloodstream, which is instead stored as fat. Long story short, if you cut back on sleep, you’re cutting back on one of the best times to lose weight. Even if you want to stay up all night waiting for your green drink delivery, the link between sleep and metabolism means it’s a better idea to get some shuteye. 

Get your best rest with Chef V

At Chef V, we can’t be there every night to steal your phone and force you to get some shuteye. What we can do is provide you the best in green drink delivery to promote better gut health, energy, and weight loss. With all the fruits and vegetables you need, we can help you feel refreshed in the morning, and relaxed enough

The Best Foods to Break Intermittent Fasting

The best weight-loss program is always the one that works best for you. So it’s great news that so many people have succeeded with their intermittent fasting programs. If you’re in the midst of an intermittent fast, or planning one, you have nothing but good vibes from us at Chef V. Plenty of customers have found great success with green juice intermittent fasting using Chef V green drinks. But with any organic cleanse, it’s essential to keep your eye not just on the finish line, but beyond it. 

You can’t just break an intermittent fast by getting right back into the hamburgers and donuts. Not only does that sabotage all your hard work from intermittent fasting, but it can potentially give you serious digestive issues as well. 

If you’re looking for the best foods to break intermittent fasting, then we’ve prepared a list, including some of our favorites here. Of course, remember that there’s also Chef V’s own great products as well. When it comes to the best smoothies to break intermittent fasting, you shouldn’t miss out on our own recipe included in our cleanse

Why finding the best foods to break intermittent fasting matters

We understand. You’re getting to the end of your intermittent fasting period. You’re starting to dream of big, juicy hamburgers, or giant buckets of ice cream. But there are a few things you need to consider.

Firstly, decide to undergo intermittent fasting not only to lose weight, but to control your eating habits better. By indulging in the foods you were trying to cut back on, you risk swinging the pendulum all the way into binge eating. 

But there are also more immediate reasons to be careful what you eat. The best foods to break intermittent fasting will be easy to digest, low on carbs, and low on sugar. Why does this matter? A major diet shift is going to cause some significant changes to your metabolism and digestive system. If you don’t find foods that meet those criteria, you’re likely to end up in serious digestive distress and with uncomfortable bloating. 

Our favorite examples of fast-breaking foods and beverages

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a beverage that is finally getting the buzz it deserves. We’ve always enjoyed using it as an ingredient in healthy pick-me-ups. However, apple cider vinegar is great  on its own, cut with water to make it go down easier. Even two tablespoons is going to be amazing for your gut health.

Avocado

Ah, is there anything that avocado can’t do? Some people have argued that the fat content of an avocado disqualifies it from being a good food for breaking fast. However, most of these are healthy fats. When you add on all the antioxidants, vitamins, and potassium, and the low calorie count, avocados start to look like a great food to break fast with. 

Broccoli

Don’t forget cauliflower either! These veggies, when cooked, tend to be easy on the stomach and easy to digest. They’re also full of tons of vitamins and minerals, just like many of the darker, leafy greens, but more on them later. 

Fermented foods

This is a broad category of foods, everything from yogurt to kimchi to sauerkraut. The reason they’re on this list is that they contain a lot of good gut bacteria, as well as compounds that promote the growth of those good gut bacteria. This helps you stay gut healthy even as you start to eat to break your fast with solid foods. 

Nuts

Nuts pack a ton of nutrients into a small package, and are a great way to start boosting vitamin intake after a fast. Some nuts are also high in protein, which will be good for giving you energy. Don’t forget seeds either—chia seeds are popular for fast breaking too. 

Smoothies 

Smoothies give you all the hydration of a drink or juice, but with some extra fiber and nutritional value as well. There’s a reason so many people love smoothies for breakfast. You can put in all the fruits and vegetables you love to make your own smoothie recipes. We certainly recommend a lot of berries and bananas if possible. 

Soups 

Like smoothies, soups are a perfect balance between solid and liquid foods. This makes them an easily digestible and suitable transition from a juice cleanse or fast back into a more solid diet. There’s also a ton of great soup recipes out there for you to try; find one that works best for your taste and nutritional needs. Fill them up with plenty of healthy vegetables. Bone broth is also popular among many non-vegans for breaking fasts. 

Spinach

Spinach is a real hard hitter when it comes to nutrition in food. However, you can put any of the dark leafy greens in this position, including kale and swiss chard. Dark leafy greens are loaded with vitamins A, B2, B6, C, E, and K. They also include plenty of calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. When it comes to the overall nutritional punch, the dark greens are hard to beat. They’ll also do wonders for your digestion, prevent constipation, and regulate blood sugar. If you cook them, they go down easily as well. 

Break your fast with Chef V

Chef V’s signature cleanse has everything you need to power through your intermittent fasting. Unlike other blended juice cleanses, Chef V provides detox soups and detox smoothies to give you everything nutritionally needed to meet your goals.

However, Chef V’s green drink is great on its own. Packed with vitamins and minerals, it’s a great companion to any fast-breaking food. Even at the end of your intermittent fasting, Chef V is there to back you up! 

Headaches and Other Negative Side Effects of Celery Juice

Chef V is often lauded by supporters as one of the best juice-cleansing products you can buy. Over the past few years, it’s exploded in popularity online as a potential “cure-all” for a variety of ailments. But is celery juice good for migraines and gut health like they say? Is a celery juice diet really going to make you lose weight and feel great? Since we take juice diets seriously, we consider it our duty to get you the celery information you never knew you needed.

What are the benefits of celery juice?

To understand what has people so excited about celery juice, it’s probably best to get right down to the basics. The nutritional basics, that is. According to the US Department of Agriculture,
1 cup of chopped celery includes the following: 

  • 40 mg calcium 
  • 14 calories
  • 2 grams fiber
  • 263 mg potassium 
  • 1 gram protein
  • 80 mg sodium
  • 453 IU of vitamin A
  • 3 mg of vitamin C  
  • 30 mcg of vitamin K 

For most of you, that’s just a bunch of numbers. So let’s highlight a few standouts. Most notably, celery has a ton of vitamin K, an essential vitamin for helping us repair our body from injuries. Celery also has decent showing in calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. 

But, overall, celery’s nutritional profile could be best described as “inoffensive.” It’s not packed with any particular vitamin or mineral, but its calorie count is also pretty low. This isn’t to say it isn’t healthy. Celery is undoubtedly a super healthy vegetable, and with its low-calorie count, it’s great for a snack. 

If you were to turn celery into juice, it would be an equally inoffensive juice. In an age with so many sugar-laden drinks, we can respect that. Getting more veggies in your life is never a bad thing, whether it comes from celery stalks or drinking juice. Lots of fruit and vegetable juices, celery included, feature antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. 

Problems with celery juice

What’s the main negative side effect of celery juice? Well, it’s got one obvious and dangerous side effect. Hype. Celery juice isn’t magically going to make all of your serious ailments suddenly vanish, no matter what your favorite celebrity tells you. It’s just a juice made from a single vegetable and a fairly innocuous vegetable at that.  

Of course, plenty of people want to focus on that tantalizingly low-calorie count and assume celery drinks are great for juice diets and fasting. Trying to go for a juice fast based on celery juice isn’t a great idea. Firstly, the juicing process tends to strip most of the fiber out of celery juice. This can give you tons of digestive issues if you’re relying on celery juice alone for nutrition. 

There’s also the fact that the low nutritional profile of celery juice means it’s just not sustainable for something as long as a 7 day cleanse, let alone a longer 21 day cleanse. The lack of serious nutritional value can lead to the infamous “celery juice headaches” as your body goes without what it needs. 

Beyond the digestive concerns and celery juice headaches, there are also some adverse side effects of celery juice that are concerning for specific people. If you have a celery allergy, you should obviously stay away from large amounts of the stuff. However, people on blood thinner medication may also want to avoid too much celery due to the abundance of clot-promoting vitamin K.

The verdict

In the end, celery juice is just juice. That’s about it. In reasonable doses, you’re fine drinking it. The negative side effects of celery juice only start to kick in when you try to lean on it for a juice cleanse. If you want a juice cleanse that works, make sure to cleanse with Chef V. Our green drinks, detox soups, and detox smoothies have all the essentials to get you through even the legendary 21 day detox, no problem. 

Why Apple Juice is a Key Part of the Chef V Cleanse

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. This old saying has a lot of truth to it. When we were looking for an ingredient to help add that little bit of sweetness to the Chef V cleanse, we settled on putting a little bit of apple juice in our green drink. But the addition of apples wasn’t just to make our fresh juice taste even better. There are actually a ton of health benefits that come from apples. Here’s a few for you to chew over! 

Blood sugar control

Apples have a reputation of being a fruit that can help stave off diabetes. While this might be an overgeneralization, apples are definitely a great food for helping get blood sugar levels under control. The soluble fiber (more on that in a bit) in apples helps regulate the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream. This helps prevent issues with energy and cravings that come with spiking blood sugar levels. 

There may still be something to the idea that apples can prevent diabetes, however. Studies have linked high levels of soluble fiber with a reduction in the chance that your body starts to build up insulin immunity. So some green drink with apples certainly couldn’t hurt! 

Digestion

Apple is noted for containing a decent amount of fiber, both the soluble and insoluble types. The soluble kind of fiber will regulate the speed of your digestion and help you feel full, while the insoluble fiber helps your intestines keep that food moving along at a regular pace. 

You have to be careful with apples and fiber, though. A lot of store-bought, processed apple juice will just throw away all the good stuff. With an organic blended juice cleanse, you’re getting all the benefits to your digestive system. 

Heart health

Apples are full of antioxidants. There’s a reason you’ve probably heard of these; the health benefits of antioxidants are big news. While there’s some potential connection between antioxidants and cancer prevention, their anti-inflammatory properties can help your heart. Anti-inflammatories can help lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure, both of which help lower the chance of serious heart complications. 

Immune booster

Not only do apples have plenty of antioxidants, but they contain a lot of vitamin C as well. Vitamin C does a lot in your body, but it most notably serves as an immune booster. Even a 7 day juice cleanse with some apples involved can go a long way toward fighting back against the sniffles and colds that come around this time of year. 

Weight loss

One of the major reasons people look for a juice detox diet is for helping prevent weight gain. The Chef V cleanse is no different, and apples are a key part of helping provide its weight loss benefits. The fiber and sweetness of apples help keep you feeling full, while the low calories of apples mean that you’re not gaining much weight. When it comes to appetite control, apples are some of the best choices out there. 

Get into drinking juice with Chef V

Whether apples or other fruits and veggies, we don’t often get enough of these kinds of foods in our diet. With Chef V, getting the good stuff like apples into your diet is easy. Our green drink comes packed with not just apple juice, but a nutrient-dense blend of leafy greens. It’s nutritious, delicious, and can be delivered right to your doorstep! 

Chef V’s Favorite Supplements For Improving Gut Health

Did you know there’s a non-stop party in your gut? It’s true. In your microbiome—the home of your trillions of bacteria, both the friendly and unfriendly kind—your gut bacteria are constantly eating our leftovers. If only we could claim them as tax dependents! So how can you make sure you’re feeding the good guys in your gut and not the bad? Chef V has one simple solution and offers her 3 favorite gut-supporting supplements…

It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie and it’s kind of creepy if you think about it…

In your gut, there’s a constant war going on. It’s a 365/24/7 battle between your good gut bacteria and your harmful bacteria. Your good bacteria craves things like green leafy veggies to your diet—whether you eat or drink them. That’s how they grow and multiply and crowd out the unfriendly bacteria. 

When we eat and drink unhealthy food, it’s the potentially-harmful bacteria that thrives in the gut. But never ever blame yourself for indulging. You see, it’s not you, it’s your unfriendly microbes—they have a huge impact on what you decide to eat. 

Besides sipping on Organic Green Drinks every morning instead of eating a big, typical breakfast, I have a few other ways for you to support your gut microbiome. I’m not usually one to be a big promoter of supplements. But having a healthy gut microbiome is so important. Because after all, health starts in the gut! 

So here are my top 3 gut health supporting supplements.

collagen

Collagen Protein

Who hasn’t heard of collagen by now? But I’m not talking about collagen implants for your gut. Nope, your lips are beautiful enough. And I’m not talking about collagen cream for wrinkles. The collagen I’m talking about for gut health comes in powder form that you can add to smoothies or even your morning Green Drink. 

But there’s something all collagen products have in common. They are formulated to help your own body make more collagen. And what is collagen? It’s the most abundant type of human protein in the body. What makes you, you is tens of thousands of proteins. There are different types of collagen but just know that collagen is king when it comes to your body. 

And here’s what collagen does. It’s basically the glue that holds all of your skin, muscles, organs and tissues together. Gut lining included. 

The problem is that after age 40, your levels of collagen start declining. And the collagen you do have gets weaker. So by taking collagen powder, we can support our gut health by strengthening the protective barrier of the gut so nothing leaks out of it that’s not supposed to. 

leafy greens

L-Glutamine

If you have frequent bloating, constipation or other digestive issues, L-glutamine is another powder that can help support your gut. While collagen is a protein, glutamine is a building block of protein (an amino acid). 

So you already know that collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Well, glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the protective barrier of your gut. Roughly one-third of your body’s glutamine goes to your gut. 

And if you have a lot of stress going on, that stress could gobble up a good amount of glutamine. In light of this, it might help to take an L-glutamine supplement. (L-glutamine is just glutamine in supplement form.)

Marshmallow Root

Another supplement that can be great for your gut microbiome is not the same kind of marshmallows you roast by a campfire. Back in the day, before modern food processing methods were invented, marshmallows were actually made with the root from the plant. 

Marshmallow root has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy for all kinds of things. And the cool thing is research studies support it for gut health. And here’s how it works. 

Marshmallow root soothes inflammation in the gut lining. Beyond that, it might help to build back up the sticky layer of mucus that surrounds the gut barrier. 

So if you want to improve your gut and, by extension, your overall health, try marshmallow—just not the candied kind. 

These are by no means all the supplements that may help support your gut microbiome. And you don’t have to take all three at once. I just love giving you a few options so you can achieve your health goals. 

Love, 

Chef V

Fasting with Green Powder Versus Green Drinks

There’s a lot to like about the idea behind green powders. They let you get the benefits of a green drink, but one you can store for your leisure. But how do green powders measure up head-to-head against fresh green drinks? Can a green powder supplement stand up in a juice detox diet? Let’s see how they compare when it comes to boosting your digestive system, improving energy levels, and promoting weight loss. 

What are green powders? 

Green powders are a form of dietary supplement that comes in the form of, well, a green powder. Green powders often feature highly nutritious leafy greens, such as spinach and spirulina, hence the color. 

The idea behind green powder is that the goodness of those same leafy greens can be stored for later, letting you get some essential fruits and vegetables regardless of your eating habits. It’s important to note that green powders can have a wide range of different ingredients. These ingredients are ground, pulped, or pressed, then dried out at low temperatures to retain their nutritional value. Afterward, binding and processing agents are added to ensure the product keeps its “powder” form.

Once you get the green powder at home, it’s up to you how you enjoy it. You can sprinkle it into drinks or on top of yogurt. You can even mix it directly into water to make an impromptu vegetable juice, though you may want to add some lemon or other flavor. Plenty of green powders don’t have the greatest taste when taken in a pure form. Ideally, green powders are a way to add some extra vitamins and minerals to your diet.

Green powders versus green drink

Let’s start off by saying there are certainly many benefits to greens powder. Getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet, no matter the form will always be a good thing in the long-term. The leafy greens often found in green powders are great for many health concerns, from lowering blood pressure to boosting the immune system. Another point in favor of green powders is that they tend to be extremely low in calories, even more than most juices. 

But once we put green powder supplements right in the ring against green drinks, we start to notice some issues with performance. Obviously, how seriously these issues matter will depend on the specific green powder, and how much it contains things like processed foods and added sugars. 

Actually, let’s stop there and talk about adding sugar. It’s an unfortunate fact, but a lot of green powders don’t taste that great. When it comes to green cocktails, fresh is best. This means a lot of consumers end up adding sweeteners back into the product to make it palatable. Sort of ruins the whole point, doesn’t it?

And that’s not all when it comes to additives. We touched on this before, but a lot of green powders aren’t as organic as they might appear to be at first glance. Plenty of green powder supplements are filled with gums or other additives to get the best consistency. Some of these additives could have unknown health consequences or even be allergenic. Allergens to watch out for when fasting with green powder include lecithin, pectin, and/or flax.

The balance of vitamins and minerals in green powder supplements can also often be tricky to get right. Even necessary vitamins can have nasty side effects if you cram too much of them into your diet. On the flip side, the process by which green powder supplements are made often involves losing out on a lot of things as well. For example, many green powder supplements tend not to have all the great fiber of their original vegetables, losing it during processing. 

Meet your weight-loss goals with Chef V

With Chef V’s green drink, you can be confident knowing you’re getting every last drop of goodness out of the fruits and vegetables going into your juice detox diet. Our green drink comes packed with the nutrients and minerals you need (including fiber!) to boost your every day routine, or help you through our famous juice detox diets. Just check out our success stories!

 

Spicy Golden Pumpkin Hummus

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

sweet watermelon crunch salad

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Green Goddess Hummus

I love hummus. Kids love hummus too! I eat hummus probably once a week. I like to make different flavors all the time. I love avocado hummus, bruschetta hummus, hummus with curry, and lots more. Your kids will love this healthy and delicious treat. – Veronica

This Green Goddess Hummus is amazing! It’s so full of flavor from the cilantro, chives, parsley, and lemon. It has the bright green festive coloring that kids love. Bring out the Green Goddess in you this holiday, or anytime.

This recipe is easy and it tastes delicious! Eat it with naan, veggies, gluten-free bread or pita chips. I love Stacy’s brand gluten free pita chips, they are the best. Enjoy!

skinny shamrock smoothie

TOTAL: 15 min

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 4 Person

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chives
  • 2 cups garbanzo beans or chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp. tahini paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup cold pressed olive oil

Directions

Blend all ingredients in Vitamix or food processor. Chill for 1 hour before serving. Serve with gluten free bread, carrots, cucumbers or anything else your little leprechaun desires.

What Is Leaky Gut & Do You Have It?

leaky gut

Leaky anything never sounds good: Pipes. Faucet. Radiator. Can you think of a situation where leaking is a good thing? I can’t think of one. The worst leak of all, one that affects millions of people’s health and happiness is leaky gut. 

How Do You Fix Leaky Gut?

Fixing a leaky gut isn’t easy and it takes time. Unlike calling a plumber, you can’t call a GI handyman to fix it fast. This is especially true if you’ve been experiencing the above symptoms for many years. 

The first step in conquering leaky gut is to stop it from leaking more. And to do that, you need to stop eating and drinking things that will continue to weaken it. For this, I recommend two options. The more accurate but more expensive way is to get a food sensitivity blood test. That takes the guesswork out. If you want to go the cheaper but longer route, follow an elimination diet. That’s where you avoid all potential allergenic foods like gluten for at least 4 weeks and then reintroduce them one by one to see if you have any allergy symptoms. 

There are certain foods like bone broth and collagen protein that may actually help repair the gut lining. But you can’t just sip a cup of bone broth and continue eating allergenic foods expecting miracles. 

As a certified nutrition therapist, I wish I could work one on one with you to help repair your gut. But one recommendation I have for you—besides replacing the typical American breakfast every day with my Organic Green Drink—is working with a functional medicine doctor or naturopathic doctor. Through diagnostic testing and supplement recommendations, these natural health experts can help you overcome leaky gut and get you living your best life. It’ll cost a pretty penny but isn’t looking and feeling your best worth it?

Gut: Not The Same As Belly

You’ve probably heard of leaky gut but aren’t quite sure what it means. In order to understand what leaky gut is, it’s important to first understand what the gut refers to. 

Many people think the gut is the stomach or abdomen. But your belly is just a small part of your gut. Your gut, or gastrointestinal (GI) tract actually begins in your mouth. Digestion begins even before you take the first bite of food. When you so much as look at or even smell what you’re about to eat or drink, saliva starts forming, ready to soften food for transit down the digestive tract. Eventually, what you eat is eliminated through your backside, which is where the gut ends. 

So now that you have a clear definition of what the gut is, let’s focus on a specific area of the gut that heavily influences your immune system, mood and overall health… 

Your intestines are home to trillions of bacteria. It’s also here that 80% of your immune cells reside. Some people believe that in order to have strong digestion, you need a strong stomach. But actually, the part of your body that has the most influence on your health is called the intestinal mucosal barrier. 

stomach mucosa - leaky gut

The Mucosal Barrier & Gut Health

Years ago, when I first heard the term mucosal barrier, I was kind of grossed out. When you hear the word mucus what do you think of? Disgusting runny noses, right? But it turns out that mucus is one of your best friends. Your intestines are lined with a mucosal barrier. This barrier protects you from potentially-disease-causing pathogens like harmful bacteria, viruses, fungus, etc. In addition, the barrier interacts with immune cells, absorb nutrients and is also responsible for directing waste out of the body. 

Your mucosal barrier is lined by epithelial cells. A healthy mucosal barrier has tight junctions between the cells. 

Leaky Gut Explained

So here’s where we get to leaky gut. Because of several reasons I’ll mention in just a sec, the tight junction can weaken over time. And when this thin intestinal mucosal wall leaks now you have a leaky gut. What exactly is leaked? Undigested food particles, toxins and microorganisms (bacteria, etc.). 

leaky gut

What Happens When You Have Leaky Gut?

Bad things. Autoimmune disorders can arise. A weak gut lining can cause rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other imbalances in which the body attacks itself. 

Why does the body attack itself? It’s because when these undigested food particles, toxins and bacteria flow unimpeded through the bloodstream, the immune system mounts a defense and tries to destroy them. This creates a high inflammation response in the body, leading to painful joints, skin and digestion problems and more…

Why Hasn’t My Doctor Told Me About Leaky Gut?

Because leaky gut isn’t an officially recognized medical disorder. The closest thing to it is “intestinal permeability.” But in order to get diagnosed with that, you need to undergo a biopsy, in which a slice of your intestinal tissue is removed. 

There is a bit of a chicken and egg scenario with leaky gut. Did the weakening of the mucosal barrier cause an autoimmune disease or is it the other way around? 

I’m convinced that because of various factors, leaky gut causes inflammatory conditions, not the other way around. 

probiotics

Symptoms of Leaky Gut

You don’t have to have an autoimmune disorder to have a leaky gut. Other signs that your intestinal wall has gotten weaker include:

  • Brain fog
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling cold
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Acne, eczema and rashes
  • Anxiety and depression

Causes Of Leaky Gut

If you have any of the above symptoms do you relate to any of the following causes? 

  • Frequent antibiotic use
  • Gut dysbiosis (not having enough friendly bacteria, having too many harmful bacteria)
  • Chronic stress 
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals like glyphosate
  • Excess alcohol
  • Consuming too much sugar
  • Eating foods to which you are allergic or sensitive, e.g. gluten, dairy. (This is also a chicken or egg question: are you allergic because of leaky gut or did leaky gut cause the allergy? Hmmm.)

There are other causes of leaky gut but these are by far the most common. 

5 Reasons Dark Leafy Greens Are Awesome For Gut Health

How many times have you heard “FOLLOW THE SCIENCE” over the last two years? Well, there’s no debating that dark, leafy green veggies are some of the most health-promoting nutrient dense-foods on Earth. In this article, certified nutritional therapist, Veronica Wheat Kress, aka Chef V, lists 5 research-backed ways that dark leafy greens improve gut health. All disease starts in the gut. So make sure you’re taking care of your digestive system by consuming dark, leafy greens every day. Not getting enough greens? (DO THIS.)

I’m probably not rocking your world by telling you this news: dark, leafy green veggies are the best and most affordable superfoods on the planet. But what you probably didn’t know about my fave greens are how they specifically help improve gut health. So let’s dive right in. 

gut health

#1: Contains Sulfoquinovose

Last year, a team of researchers in Austria were the first ones to discover how bacteria in the gut process a sugar found in dark, leafy greens called sulfoquinovose. Nutritional hipsters like myself call it “SQ.” 

SQ contains sulfur. But it’s not the same as the rotten-egg sulfur smell you’re probably thinking of. And even though it’s a sugar, SQ doesn’t act in the gut the same way sugar does. Sugar—I’m talking about the kind in white table sugar packets—feeds a large number of different kinds of bacteria in the gut. But SQ only feeds certain bacterial species that are found in healthy people. 

And when these healthy bacteria digest SQ, an energy source for other friendly bacteria is formed. Evidently, your harmful bacteria don’t want to have anything to do with dark, leafy greens. 

So the more dark, leafy greens you consume, the more SQ your gut produces. This causes the good guys in your gut to multiply while kicking out the bad party guests. 

leafy greens

#2: Produces Short-Chain Fatty Acids

This kind of relates to SQ, but I’m about to get a little gross here. You see, when you consume dark, leafy greens, your body can’t digest some of the fiber. But your friendly bacteria can in your colon. And when the bacteria eats the fiber, it produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

SCFAs are basically the poop of your gut bacteria. You thought probiotics were vital for great gut health? Well, they are. But it’s actually the SCFAs that provide us with so many health benefits.

For instance, SFCAs act like fertilizer for the cells that line the mucous lining of the small intestinal barrier. This prevents your food from leaking out into the bloodstream.  

It’s pretty creepy to think that the more bacterial poop you have in your gut, the better your health. But it’s true. SCFAs improve communication with your cells. And when your cells are more communicative, your immune function, mood and other systems improve.

sore stomach

#3: Decreases Methane

For people with digestive problems like gas and bloating, there is usually more methane-producing bacteria in the gut. So if good bacteria poops short-chain fatty acids, harmful bacteria has stinky methane gas. 

Most of us only associate methane gas with cows. (Climate change has brought that to our attention.) But eating unhealthy food also causes the release of methane albeit internally in your gut. 

#4: Lowers Inflammation

Dark leafy greens contain another sulfur compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane and other antioxidants like quercetin (which has received a lot of attention over the last couple years because of a certain worldwide virus) are inflammation fighters. 

People with gut dysbiosis—too many harmful bacteria, not enough friendly ones—often have chronic inflammation in the bowel or elsewhere in the digestive tract.

By eating more dark, leafy greens, your body may develop with a more normal inflammatory response—including in the gut. 

#5: Contains Cellulose 

Like the walls that keep your home warm and cozy, plants have cell walls. These walls are made of sugar called cellulose. Because your digestive system can’t fully digest cellulose, it’s considered a fiber. Cellulose helps fertilize your good bacteria. It does this by increasing the amount of starch that gets fermented in the colon. This increases the amount of short-chain fatty acids (bacterial poop) that your good bacteria produce. 

Dark, leafy greens aren’t just reservoirs of awesome nutrient density. Yes, they are chock full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. But you could also say they are Mother Nature’s most awesome food for gut health. 

And if you’re not eating enough of them, here’s the perfect solution

Kale Nutrition: This Superfood Ain’t Going Out Of Style Anytime Soon

kale

I’m not bragging, but I jumped on to the kale bandwagon long before the wagon rolled out of hipster neighborhoods and restaurants, serving kale chips and kale smoothies along the way. I may have jumped off other superfood bandwagons–mangosteen: that was fun while it lasted in the early 2000’s but açai berries won over my heart and tummy–but I plan on never abandoning you, kale, even if you do eventually lose hipster cred status.

Kale Nutrition: A Vitamin, Mineral & Antioxidant Powerhouse

If you’re wondering about what’s in kale that makes it so healthy, I’ll get to that in a second. First, though, if you’ve never visited my website, allow me to briefly introduce myself and tell you why my husband, Brandon, calls me the “Queen of Kale.” You see, years ago, I earned a certified nutritional therapist credential. I also became a private chef. Soon after launching my career as a chef, I created a recipe for an Organic Green Drink, featuring seven leafy green veggies with not one, but two varieties of kale.

My Green Drink became so popular that I created a business delivering organic green drinks with kale all over the country. This business–CHEF V–has evolved into a nationwide leader of shipped veggie juice and cleanse products. Sure, it took hard work to build what was once a small clientele into a customer list of thousands. But this success story isn’t about me; it’s all about kale playing a huge part in the amazing health transformations of thousands of CHEF V customers.

Here’s why I decided to use two varieties of kale in Green Drink:

  • Each cup of raw kale has 3 grams of proteins but only has 33 calories
  • Good source of fiber: 2.5 grams per cup, which is great for blood sugar levels and preventing cravings
  • Super rich in vitamins A, B, C and K
  • Good source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids
  • Rich in minerals such as calcium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium
  • Loaded with antioxidants

kale varieties

Kale: The Leafy Green That’s So Nice, I Added It Twice

As I mentioned above, my certified-organic Green Drink has two types of kale: black and green.

Black and green aren’t the only types of kale. In fact, there are three main types and within each type there’s different varieties. For instance, the green kale I use is commonly known as curly kale. As for the black kale, its leaves actually have more of a bluish-green tint. You may hear black kale referred to as either Tuscan, dinosaur, or Lacinato.

Green kale is the one you’ll most likely find at the supermarket. For CHEF V Green Drinks, I source all the kale for 100% organic certified local farms.

In addition to curly/green and black kale, there’s also some interesting heirloom varieties that you might come across at a farmer’s market:

  • Premier kale: can withstand cold temperatures
  • Kamome Red: extremely bitter
  • Siberian: even hardier than premier for surviving brutally cold weather
  • Redbor: has a captivating psychedelic purple tint
  • Red Russian: similar to Siberian; there’s also White Russian
  • Walking Stick: can be used literally (the stems are huge!)

But wait! There’s more kale to try. There’s also Gulag Stars, Dwarf Blue Vates, Red Nagoya, Chinese Kale, and Sea Kale. If variety is the spice of life, then go get your kale on and try different types.

Veronica and Coconut and kale

Why Is Kale So Good For You?

The reason why kale isn’t likely to fade away as a health trend anytime soon is because it’s not only super healthy, but it’s extremely versatile. That’s why you can make baked chips with it, along with soups, salads, smoothies and so much more. Sure, there’s tons of other superfoods and leafy green plants that deserve equal hipster cred pedestal status. (Cauliflower now seems to be enjoying its 15 minutes of fame.)

But let’s get back to focusing on the health benefits of kale. Why do so many medical experts consider it an important part of a healthy diet?

According to Dr. Drew Ramsey, someone whom I really admire for his work on treating depression, anxiety and emotional disorders through nutrition, kale offers some very impressive benefits:

  • Fights inflammation
  • Improves the liver’s detox ability
  • Protects brain cells from stress

I love what Dr. Ramsey says about kale: “It talks to your DNA and tells it to sing the sweet, slow song of health and happiness.”

You won’t find that conclusion in the New England Journal of Medicine, but lots of other health experts agree that kale is worth including in your diet pretty much every day. (With one major exception: don’t eat too much of it if you take blood-thinning medication; the vitamin K in kale can interfere with the medication and cause blood clotting.)

According to Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, green leafy veggies like kale have natural chemicals that act as a first-line defense for plants. These chemicals protect them from bugs and fungus. And it’s these same substances that may help protect us against certain types of cancer and heart disease. [SOURCE]

Vitamin K

What Can Kale Do For You?

Researchers are still learning more about the natural compounds in kale and other leafy greenies.

But what we already know is that a diet rich in plants, especially leafy greens is beneficial for health in many ways:

  • Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals boost your immunity and help prevent disease
  • Keep blood sugar levels under control (prevent or manage type 2 diabetes)
  • Fiber helps keep you full so you’re not tempted to eat empty-calorie snacks

I’ll admit though that eating raw kale everyday would be a drag. That’s why my mission of improving the health of thousands of people in the easiest way possible was born. My Green Drinks are cold-blended to preserve the fiber and nutrients. There’s no easier way of consuming leafy greens than by getting on a Green Drink subscription and having a serving each morning.

Don’t take my word for it though….

Kale Yeah! Green Drink Success Stories

Pashelle's green drink

“Thank you so much.  I work about 13-14 hrs a day in the wardrobe department of a television show. It is so easy to eat junk all day.  Me and the driver of my wardrobe trailer committed to the 3 day cleanse and we feel amazing.  Day 1, was the toughest day.  Day 2,  I saw the difference in my everything. And Day 3, was an introduction to my New Self. We Thank you Chef V!” — Pashelle

Heartwarming Success Story: K.I. Lynn

From bestselling author K. I. Lynn on Facebook:

LONG post ahead. I hope you’ll read.

I haven’t updated any of my weight loss because I wasn’t really seeing it, but today, I did. Plus, I hate people seeing me like this.

When I left my job it was not because my books had done so well I was going to write full time. In fact, I was just beginning to edit Breach. I left as just a pause, one that ended up being needed, because within a few weeks I hurt my knee and my beloved grandmother passed away. The next year, I released Breach and my hubs said “Ok, you don’t have to go back to work.” BTW, in that time I’d had to have surgery on the injured knee.

Between the surgery and writing full time something happened that I did not expect.

I gained weight.

It wasn’t a lot at first, but it did scare me when I passed the highest I’d ever been. Then I cried when I passed the number I said I never would.

Each year, I gained more weight. All the travel and stress and another surgery and needing something quick and easy started to add up, and in 4 short years, I’d put on around 100 lbs. That’s a lot of weight!!

I felt terrible about myself. I hated going to signings because I hated how I looked and felt. I didn’t FEEL good.

The biggest thing about weight loss that people don’t understand is that it’s not about WANTING to lose weight, it’s about having the MOTIVATION to lose weight. Wanting can lead to depression as you stare in the mirror, and you lose any desire to eat healthy.

Earlier this year I’d finally had enough. I didn’t have the motivation, but I was sick of it all. Olivia Kelley-Santos had told me about her green drink that she drank that made her feel good, so I went on and saw they had a 21 day detox and I said “That’s what I need. That’s the push.”

I needed to purge all the bad stuff from my body and start fresh. I already knew I want to do low carb. Low carb, not Keto. The box full of everything I needed came in mid-March, right in the middle of working on Welcome to the Cameo Hotel.

The detox did exactly what I needed it to do, and I lost about 20lbs in a few short week. It gave me my motivation, so when it was over, I continued on eating healthier.

I try and stick to a max of 40 net carbs a day. As many of you know, I am a cheese fanatic, and cheese is life and in about every meal. It’s what keeps me going and on a healthier way of living.

For weeks, I watched the scale go down, little by little. I saw a stall, but moved past it. I avoided temptation, and if I did fall, I had only a very small portion.

Then, in July, it happened – I hit my first milestone.

50lbs gone

Elena M. Reyes came to visit and there were some signings, but I managed not to gain any weight. For my birthday I splurged for almost a week eating anything I wanted, because for my birthday, that was all I wanted.

However, that splurge came with consequences. I had the taste for carbs and sugar again. I got back on my diet, but I found I was caving to cravings with little arm bending.

So here I am, doing a small 3 day cleanse with the green drink to get me back on track. I’m down 54lbs in total, and hope to be down quite a bit more by Wild and Windy.

I have goals, and one of them is to get this 100lbs off by the end of the year. I think I can do it. There are more goals after that, but for now, my eye is on the prize.

Just going to keep swimming.

Easy Hummus

This recipe is easy and it tastes delicious! Eat it with naan, veggies, gluten-free bread or pita chips. I love Stacy’s brand gluten free pita chips, they are the best. Enjoy!

hummus

skinny shamrock smoothie

TOTAL TIME: 15 min
SERVES: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can or 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, chilled
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon tahini paste
  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and sliced

Directions

Process all ingredients except cucumber in a Vitamix for 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of water if needed for better blending. Serve on cucumber slices, as a dip with your favorite veggies, or spread on a wrap or gluten-free toast. Sprinkle with paprika and sesame seeds.

The Health Benefits Of Drinking Breakfast

drinking breakfast

Genetics isn’t the only reason V maintains a slim figure. For years, a vital component of her weight-management and gut-health strategy has been breaking the daily fast with liquids. Replacing a conventional breakfast with liquids has many health benefits and V’s here to explain…

If you’ve been following me for years, you already know how important NOT eating breakfast is.

But if you’re new to this concept, maybe you’re thinking, “Wait. I thought breakfast was the most important meal of the day.”

Now, I don’t wanna suggest that your mom didn’t know what she was talking about when you were a kid. Without doubt, eating nutrient-dense foods like fruit and eggs is important for a developing brain and body.

However, now that you’re an adult, your metabolism might be starting to slow down. And one reason why might not have anything to do with your age. Rather, it’s the fact that your body has a high toxic load. In other words, your detoxification organs such as the liver can’t clear toxins out more quickly than they accumulate.

There are several reasons why toxic overload occurs. For example, heavy metals can accumulate in your body. There’s pesticides from the food supply and harsh chemicals in skin care products, hair care products and household cleaners.

So what does this have to do with not eating food for breakfast and instead only having liquids when it’s time to break your fast?

The answer is that by not eating food, you’re giving your body a longer time to detoxify.

lemon water

V’s Liquid Breakfast Routine

Actually, before I break my fast with Organic Green Drink, I have a tall glass of warm lemon water. Then I wait until I’m hungry to have a Green Drink.

Like naturally waking up with the morning light instead of being startled awake by a harsh alarm clock, a liquid breakfast gently wakes up your digestive system. And the water and Green Drink keeps the detoxification going. Your body naturally detoxifies every night. Or at least it tries to. But when you eat a standard breakfast first thing in the morning, your digestive and detoxification systems are hard at work again.

Now, in order to feel satisfied with a liquid breakfast, here’s what I do…

About half an hour after having my Green Drink, I’ll make a smoothie with fruit, veggies, vegan protein (pea protein is my fav) and healthy fats such as avocado, chia and flax seeds.

With my cookbook, Making Cleansing Easier (which you can get as a complementary download with a purchase of a CHEF V 21 DAY CHALLENGE), you’ll never get bored of smoothies.

In addition to my cookbook smoothie recipes, I have even more smoothie recipes on my blog.  My Tropitaya Smoothie, featuring super-easy-to-digest pea protein, is one of the most popular. I also like to add ginger and turmeric to it to support my metabolism and keep inflammation in check.

berry parfait

Benefits of Drinking Your Breakfast

In addition, I’ll add ingredients that support my gut health without bloating my belly, such as bio-k fermented vegan products. Unlike regular probiotic drinks that have dairy—one of the biggest triggers of inflammation in the body—the vegan probiotic drinks I use have fermented oat and pumpkin seed as a base.

Not only does a liquid breakfast make it easy for the digestive system to “wake up,” there are other benefits as well.

Of course, you could have a liquid breakfast consisting of coffee, orange juice and Red Bull to kickstart your day. Obviously, that ain’t healthy. But as long as you’re sticking to a routine of lemon water or herbal tea; Organic Green Drink followed by a smoothie with vegan protein and a small amount of fats, you’ll be supporting your health in many ways.

Healthy liquid breakfasts may help prevent overacidity in the gut enviroment (stimulates alkalinity) and help cleanse the colon of harmful bacteria.

But don’t just take my word for it. There’s plenty of research that supports this. For instance, a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, suggests that a liquid breakfast improved the blood sugar levels of 123 patients with type 2 diabetes.

Another study in the journal, Appetite, concluded that a plant-based liquid breakfast (made with plant protein) led to consuming less calories and was more satisfying to the subjects than eating a conventional breakfast.

In general, I believe that liquid breakfasts are awesome for improving digestion, boosting detoxification and sharpening mental focus.

Give it a try for a couple weeks and see how you feel. For me and my husband, Brandon, and for thousands of Chef V customers, making the switch from a conventional breakfast to a liquid one has been one of the simplest yet most profound things we’ve done to look and feel our best.

Love,

V

How To Save $4000 On Green Drink & Cleanses—And Feel Like A Million Bucks

Veronica “V” Kress, founder of ChefV.com, is paying it forward by reducing the yearly cost of a Green Drink plan and 2 Cleanses by $4000, to a select group of VIP customers. To be eligible for consideration, VIP customers must be fully committed to looking and feeling their best in 2023. 

How are those healthy New Year resolutions going so far? Hopefully you’re not one of the 25% of people who quit within the first week of setting their resolutions. 

The fact is that most people abandon their resolution before the end of January. And get this: less than 10% are successful in seeing their resolution through and achieving success.

Are you the rare person that not only wants to unleash your full potential in 2023, but will actually make it happen? Are you someone who wants to live life at the possible highest vibration this year

Do you want 2023 to be your healthiest year yet? Are you excited about the possibility of looking and feeling your best ever?

Then I have an invitation for you

But first I have to warn you about something…

Be A CHEF V VIP. Buy A New Wardrobe With Your Savings!

If you accept my invitation you’re going to get significantly leaner

You’ll finally achieve the body you’ve been dreaming about for years.

And that means there’s a good chance you might have to buy new clothes

But with all the money you’ll save, you’ll be able to buy a whole new wardrobe. 

Plus you’ll still have lots more money saved to go on a dream vacation

If this sounds too good to be true, there is a catch…

You need to be 100% fully committed to my plan. 

You see, recently, I told you that Chef V’s Green Drink Plan is the best $7 you’ll spend this year for your overall health and well-being. 

The same price as a coffee shop vanilla latte will help you lose weight, feel great and everything that comes along with that… 

Like better sleep, more youthful looking skin and a stronger immune system… 

The Chef V Green Drink Plan is a great place to start for looking and feeling your best in 2023. 

If you want to take it to the next level and save thousands of dollars, I invite you into my inner circle: the CHEF V VIP group. 

Here’s what you get when you join:

  • $4000 off the retail price for 12 months of Green Drink or Tropical Green Drink
  • Two (2) 3-DAY CLEANSES Included (accelerate your weight loss)
    • Private Health Consultation with Chef V, a certified nutritional therapist (30 minutes $250 value)
    • Hard copy of Chef V’s Cookbook, Making Cleansing Easier (a $47 value)
    • A Chef V Tumbler ($20 value)
  • Free samples of upcoming Chef V new products. 

Be A VIP For Less Than The Cost Of A Burrito 

My accountant is not very happy with me. You see, he thinks I’m not charging enough for my Green Drink Plan. And on top of that, I’m offering 2 free 3-DAY CLEANSES! 

I’m sure you’re all too aware of how much prices of everything have gone up. Why would I then offer a huge savings plus several freebies on top of that? 

Well, at the end of the day, CHEF V is a business, so I do have to turn a profit. But beyond being a business, CHEF V is a community. And I want to give back and help people achieve their health goals

This is why I created the VIP PLAN. By becoming a VIP, you are purchasing not only the freshest, most gut-friendly, lowest-sugar Green Drink, you’re also getting something you can’t put money on…

ACCOUNTABILITY.

By becoming a VIP, you are not only purchasing daily Green Drinks and 2 CLEANSES, you’re also investing in your future health and success. 

By prepaying for a VIP yearly plan, you are guaranteeing that you will stay motivated and committed to meeting your goals

In becoming a CHEF V VIP, you eliminate the chance of failure!  

You will be the rare person that sticks to their New Year health resolutions!

So what will all this cost? 

I believe in being fully transparent. No waiting until the checkout cart pops up to see what the total cost is…

Your upfront investment in your health and happiness for 2023 is $2199.

That comes out to $183 a month

That’s only $6.10 per day

Way less than the breakfast burrito I ate the other day. It was $15! 

Of course, I ate it at 1 p.m. because I do intermittent fasting and I break my fast with Green Drink every morning. Having Green Drink every day for your “break-fast” is the easiest way to lose weight and feel super-charged.

And with the VIP Plan, you’re guaranteed of securing the lowest possible price on Green Drink and sticking with it. No temptations to jump off the bandwagon and go back to your old ways of eating sausage, bacon, toast and bagels for breakfast. 

I can’t emphasize enough how Green Drink starts off your day in the healthiest way possible. 

—-> Read Chef V’s Health Benefits Of Green Drink For Breakfast

The point is, that gourmet burrito I had was delicious. But $15 on something that really isn’t supporting my health to the same degree as Green Drink? Delicious but ridiculous. 

Whereas $6 a day for Green Drink plus free 2 CLEANSES during the year to support your body’s detoxification organs

That’s far too much of a bargain, according to my accountant. 

Is Your Brain Health Worth $2K? 

The average person will think of a thousand excuses not to invest $2199 in their health. 

But you’re not average. You realize that flooding your cells every morning with the world’s most potent, health-supporting phytonutrients is priceless. 

And doing so affects your health in every possible way. 

For example, your brain health. 

But don’t just take my word for it. A study in the journal, Neurology, shows that just 1 serving a day of green leafy vegetables may help to slow age-associated cognitive decline. 

Plus there’s research that shows how daily green leafy veggies supports sleep quality, collagen production, blood sugar levels and so much more…

The VIP Green Drink plan is like buying the best premium fuel for your body at Costco prices. 

30 Day Challenge X 12 = Amazing Health Transformation

Every so often, we’ll do a 30 Day Green Drink Challenge on social media. Chef V customers who complete the challenge typically experience some amazing results. 10-20 pounds lost. More energy. Cravings for junk gone. Clearer skin. 

Unfortunately, some people lose their momentum and go back to their old ways. 

This is why becoming a VIP is the smartest thing you’ll do this year. 

Imagine the success of a 30-day challenge times 12!!!

On a VIP plan, the motivation will never fade! 

Make 2023 the year you finally see a health resolution through to the end of the year.

Upgrade to a VIP plan now.

To your health and success!

Love, Chef V

Chef V and kale

Vanilla “Milk” Shake

Vanilla milkshake recipe –  Too much dairy can be bad for digestion, especially for kids, which is why more people are choosing to limit their intake or eliminate it completely from their diets. Here’s a creamy and delicious mock milkshake recipe that will please your taste buds and your tummy! – Veronica

Vanilla Milk shake

  • 1 cup – Chef V's Raw Almond Milk or Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup – Cashews (soaked for one hour and drained)
  • 1 cup – Ice 1 tbsp – Raw Coconut Nectar (I use Coconut Secret)
  • 1 tsp – Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, scraped (optional)

Process all ingredients in Vitamix blender until smooth. Enjoy immediately.

Share a pic of your Vanilla “Milk” Shake with me! @chefvlife #chefvlife

Find this and other easy recipes in my new book, Making Cleansing Easier. Visit ChefV.com/book

Go With Your Gut: 3 Ways to keep your microbiome healthy

your microbiome

Scientists say that the state of our gut is vital to good health and influences our ability to lose weight. Each of us have a “microbiome” in our belly – our own set of bacteria. Staying mindful of the impact of what we eat on our gut and following a healthy diet  has a huge impact on how we feel. The good news is that most of the bugs in your gut are friendly. But when the bad ones start multiplying, that's when your skin and digestion can suffer. Here's 3 things you need to know about your microbiome.

It's kind of creepy when you think about the fact that there are about 100 trillion bugs (bacteria) in the human gut.

Imagine looking under a microscope and seeing all those critters swimming around in your belly, enjoying a buffet of the food that's in your gastrointestinal tract.

If you think you're human, think again. We're actually more bacteria than we are human. In fact, your body has at least 10 times more living organisms in your gut alone than your whole body has human cells.

your microbiome - bacteria

1. Your Gut controls your health – understand it.

Think about that. All the cells that make you, well, you, including skin cells, bone cells, and muscle cells, all over your body is tiny in comparison to the number of bacteria that's living inside of you. Scientists consider your gut so important that they call it your “second brain”.

The good news is that the majority of the bacteria in your gut is friendly. Friendly microbes play an important part of your immune system.

But because of several factors including genetics, antibiotic use and lifestyle choices (poor diet), you may have too many unfriendly bacteria.

Researchers just a relative blink of an eye ago have discovered that the bugs in your gut more than anything else including diet and exercise determine your health.

For example, we now know that obesity isn't just linked to eating too many calories and junk food. It's also a consequence of lacking certain beneficial bacteria. (Want to read more on this topic? Here's a good article.)

weight and your microbiome

image courtesy Custom Probiotics Inc

The Gut Health Overall Health Connection

In addition to the examples of the overall connection between bacteria in the gut and overall health, here's another one: joint pain.

It used to be assumed that joint pain was a result of simple wear and tear. But now, researchers believe that the bacteria in your gut can determine whether or not you develop osteoporosis and other joint disorders.

The bugs in your gut can also determine how healthy your blood vessels are and whether or not you'll develop hardening in your arteries.

Moreover, all kinds of inflammatory disorders such as autoimmune disease and cancers of the GI tract may be caused by poor gut health.

Your mood can also be directly related to your gut bacteria. Anxiety and depression may not only be the result of circumstantial, external factors, but also because of your internal environment.

As you can see, having a diverse amount of good bacteria is perhaps the biggest influencer of  overall health. Gut health can even determine skin health.

If you spend a lot of time and money on skin care products, perhaps you need to rethink your skin care regimen entirely. That's because poor skin, from excessive dryness to acne and other skin conditions can be traced to what's inside your gut.

skin health and your microbiome

2. Feed Your Gut Good Stuff – Probiotics & Green Drink

But if genetics is a major determining factor in your bacteria portfolio, is there anything that can be done to change what's inside your gut?

The good news is there are a few simple things you can do to boost the number of beneficial bacteria.

For starters, if you're not taking a probiotic supplement, buy one today and start taking it every day. It should contain at least 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs) per serving (usually one or two capsules).

Like any other supplement, not all probiotics are created equal. If you buy a cheap one from Rite Aid it might not be effective. Do some research before you buy.

Another easy thing you can do to improve your gut health is having 16 oz of my Green Drink every morning. Good bacteria love to feast on the seven certified organic green leafy veggies in my Green Drink. The veggies contain prebiotic fibers. You can think of prebiotics as food for probiotics (good bacteria).

You can take the most expensive probiotic supplement in the world, but if you're not feeding the good bacteria with prebiotics, they're not going to flourish and multiply and colonize your gut.

Which is why if you haven't been eating healthy lately, I also recommend doing a Chef V Cleanse. With a Chef V Cleanse, you get four Green Drinks per day plus a detox soup for dinner and two vegan protein shakes in between. The soup and shakes also are loaded with prebiotic fuel to stimulate beneficial bacteria in your gut.

probiotic

3. You can reset your Gut Health with a Detox

Diet is crucial for gut health. Even if you eat a large salad with organic veggies every day, if you're also drinking beer and eating bread and other foods that are rich in either white or wheat flour, your good bacteria won't flourish.

That's because drinking beer and eating baked goods causes yeast overgrowth in the gut. Too much yeast results in the good bacteria not being able to do its job effective of protecting your immune system and fighting inflammation.

Bloated belly, foggy brain, chronic congestion and indigestion … all these are symptoms of poor gut health. And yeast overgrowth (especially from the species, candida albicans) is often the culprit.

If you need a longer digestive system overhaul that will keep the yeast at bay, I recommend trying my 21 day detox challenge. It's easy to follow. I provide all the coaching and instruction you'll need to easily finish it through, and give your gut the fuel it needs to populate good bacteria.

After your 21 day detox is over, you won't be tempted by eating yeasty, sugary foods again. And I'll teach you what to eat after the detox is over to ensure that your success will carry over and your good gut bacteria will thrive.

In the meantime, to boost the friendly bacteria in the gut, you can also eat foods that are rich in probiotics. Drinking kombucha is an easy way to get some probiotics. So, too, is eating fermented foods  like kimchi (Korean cabbage), tempeh and sauerkraut. If you happen to live in a town with good farmers markets, look for stands that sell fermented foods and drinks.

Here's to your (gut) health….

Love,

Chef V

21 day detox from Chef V

Chef V’s 5 Easy Healthy Gut Makeover Tips

Have you ever heard the saying, “a healthy mind lives in a healthy body?” The way Chef V founder Veronica “V” Wheat sees it, a healthy mind exists because of a healthy gut. But it’s not just mental health that’s linked to gut health. The immune system, cardiovascular health, skin appearance, and, of course, how you look in a swimsuit is all controlled by the health of your gut. So V is here to offer 5 easy tips to boost gut health.

Healthy Gut Makeover Tip #1: Take It Easy On The Kombucha

When it comes to improving gut health, some people think all it takes is drinking some kombucha.

But as I mentioned here, many brands of kombucha are just glorified sugar water. The major selling point of kombucha is that it’s loaded with probiotics. Probiotics just so you know are clinically-proven strains of bacteria that may offer health benefits. (Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are two of the most common species of probiotics).

Forget the fact that the probiotic content in kombucha is hardly ever verified. So it’s hard to tell if you’re getting any of the friendly-bacteria boosting benefits of kombucha to begin with. Not to mention if you struggle with yeast infections, drinking kombucha is the last thing you want to do. That’s because chugging a whole bottle of it, as refreshingly bubbly as it may be, may cause harmful bacteria and yeast to grow in your gut.

So my first healthy gut makeover tip is don’t be fooled thinking that kombucha is a magical elixir. Instead, eat and drink other things that are fermented with beneficial bacteria that aren’t loaded with sugar like coconut yogurt, sauerkraut/kimchi, beet kvass, tempeh and miso.

#2: Probiotics

Popping probiotic pills might help improve gut health, then again it may not. Many brands of probiotics are low quality. So don’t buy the cheapest probiotic supplement you can find because you’ll just be throwing your money away.

The reason why is that in order to colonize in your large intestine (also called the colon), the friendly microorganisms have to travel through some dangerous territory: the stomach.

You can think of your stomach as a swimming pool filled with acid. Containing the lowest pH level in the digestive system, the stomach and its highly acidic juices help break the big bites of food you swallow into partially-digested morsels called chyme.

Chyme then passes into the small intestine where enzymes further break it down into amino acids and nutrients.

So the cards are stacked against probiotics surviving this harsh acidic environment. Only high-quality probiotics that are formulated to break down once they reach the relative safety of the intestines are worth paying for. But even if you splurge on a pricey probiotic, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to have the best gut makeover…

#3: No Added Sugar Diet

Taking a probiotic supplement and eating and drinking things with added sugars is like not flossing and expecting your dentist to tell you that your gums look great.

(By the way, you should be flossing every day because if you don’t, the unhealthy bacteria will take over in your mouth and possibly other organs—including your gut!)

Sure, taking a really good probiotic is better than not taking one and consuming lots of sugar. The problem is, you might think you’re not consuming that much added sugars because you don’t eat candy, drink soda or other typical junk foods. But food manufacturers are sneaky. They put added sugars into all kinds of things, from salad dressing to coffee creamer to salsa, pasta sauce, bread … you name it.

So start paying attention to food labels on every single item you purchase from a supermarket. This is especially true of anything that comes in a package or can.

Consuming sugar from natural sources like vegetables and fruit is fine. But added sugars are to your bad gut bacteria what gasoline is to a car. Excess sugar fuels the pathogenic, disease-causing invisible critters in your gut.

I’m a purist when it comes to this rule. If I even see that a product contains just one gram of added sugar, I won’t buy it.

#4: Take It Easy

Constantly being on the go is the American way. But that lifestyle is terrible for gut health. And remember, if it’s terrible for gut health, it’s bad for your overall health and wellness. There are a ton of research studies (like this one) that show a connection between excess bad stress and poor gut health. In order to have great gut health, your brain and gut need to have great communication, just like in a healthy marriage.

The problem with chronic stress is that it totally disrupts gut and central nervous system communication. And when that happens, your happy hormones and chemicals like serotonin won’t get activated.

Even if you have a super slammed schedule like yours truly, you must take the time to decompress from stress.

I like to take mini-meditation breaks. You can meditate even while you’re stuck in traffic. Instead of being annoyed that you didn’t make the light, take advantage of the situation by taking some slow deep breaths. Notice the plants and scenery around you. Don’t stare at the red light with nervous energy.

Do a 5-minute yoga routine a few times a day, take a walk during lunch. Knit, garden, do whatever it takes to chill out—in a healthy way.

#5: Sleep Like A Baby

Like the link between gut and brain communication, there’s been a lot of research lately on the association between sleep quality and gut health.

It’s easy to say get enough sleep but if you’re stuck in a vicious cycle of insomnia and poor sleep quality, what can be done?

I recommend meditating or doing deep, steady breathing at 9:00 at night for about 20 minutes. Then, take a warm bath with soothing, relaxing essential oils and bubble bath. You can also try drinking some chamomile tea and then get in bed with all electronics out of the room and your phone in airplane mode several feet away from you. If you’re still having trouble getting enough deep sleep after trying these tips, you may want to try a full-spectrum CBD oil or consult with a natural health professional.

Personally, I don’t think getting 8 hours of sleep is necessary. Not if you’re eating clean and drinking organic greens, managing your stress, getting plenty of movement activity during the day and having an attitude of gratitude.

I hope that these tips help you achieve a healthy gut makeover!

Love,

V

Gut Health Survival Guide: Chef V’s 5 Tips For Success

veronica eating soup

Good gut health – maybe you feel powerless on vacation and special occasions. With people getting out again and traveling,  you may run the risk of overwhelming your digestive system. So follow these 5 tips for a healthy gut.

Gut Health Survival Guide Tip #1: Eat one big meal a day

If you love to pig out during special occasions, I have great news for you. Feasting like a Roman gladiator is totally doable, if you know how to do it right. And here’s how. 

Step #1: When you wake up in the morning, don’t eat anything. Instead, first drink a tall glass of water. If you have electrolyte drops, add them to your water or sprinkle a teaspoon of sea salt and stir. The minerals in the salt or drops will help give your cells a zero-calorie energy boost. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon to give your liver a little helping hand in the detoxification process. 

Step #2: Roughly 30 minutes after you chug some water, break your fast with a low-calorie, low-sugar Organic Green Drink. If you’re not getting enough green leafy veggies in your diet, this is the easiest way to get ‘er done. There’s no excuse not to consume enough veggies when you get them delivered to your front door in cold-blended juice form!

Step #3: Eat a light meal or have a plant-based protein drink about an hour or so after Green Drink. 

Step #4: Eat one huge late lunch. At around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, eat whatever you want and as much as you want. Just make sure to avoid high-sugar junk. For dessert, treat yourself to some berries and a piece of dark chocolate. 

Step #5: You can have a very light snack no later than 7 p.m. A small portion of nuts, a piece of fruit or yogurt. Then don’t eat anything or drink anything with calories until 11 a.m. or later the following day. The beauty of combining one main meal a day and intermittent fasting is that you can eat as much turkey and stuffing as you want. Your digestive system will have plenty of time to work. For even better results, exercise in the morning before breaking your fast. 

digestive bacteria

Tip #2: Don’t Take An Antacid

If you have acid reflux because you ate way too much, taking an antacid may offer immediate relief, but it comes at a price. If you’re going to take an antacid once or twice a year, most likely that’s fine. 

But frequent use of antacid creates chronically-low stomach acid. If you don’t have enough stomach acid, you’ll have indigestion all the time; the very problem that antacids are supposed to eliminate. (And don’t get me started about Zantac, the most popular antacid of all time. It was pulled off the market because it contained a cancer-causing chemical.)

Tip #3: Take Digestive Enzymes

Instead of taking an antacid to help eliminate symptoms of indigestion, solve the root cause of indigestion. And what’s the root cause? You can blame it on sluggish digestive enzymes. 

Your body contains several kinds of digestive enzymes, starting with amylase. Before your food even enters your stomach, your eyes and nose spring digestive enzymes into action. Your sense of smell and sight sparks your salivary glands into action. Spit (saliva sounds so much nicer) contains amylase, an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates. 

There’s also lipase to break down dietary fat and pepsin for protein and several others. But if your digestion is sluggish, your digestive enzymes need outside help. Enter digestive enzyme supplements. Now, I’m not in the supplement business so I’m not going to recommend one brand. But I encourage you to do your research (read product reviews) and start taking digestive enzymes with every meal—especially the massive holiday ones. 

Chef v walking

Tip #4: Walk It Out

Been there, done that. Before I became a certified nutritional therapist, I would celebrate by overindulging. But then I read research studies that said walking right after a meal was a great way to control blood sugar and lose weight

It’s so easy not to do anything after a big meal. The furthest people want to walk after a big meal is from the dining room to the living room where the couch and TV are. 

But if you can just force yourself to go for a walk immediately after a meal, it’s really the simplest thing to do to prevent excess blood sugar from getting stored in the liver and eventually as body fat. See if you can get someone to join you. If not, listen to some good tunes or a podcast to make the time go by quicker. Even just 10 minutes will do your body and your gut some good. 

probiotics

Tip #5: Make Perfect Poop With These Helpers

In this article I wrote about preventing food poisoning while travelling, I mentioned a probiotic yeast that’s the best for preventing diarrhea. It’s called Saccharomyces Boulardii. Buy it and take it before you eat a huge meal. It’s always good to have on hand. 

This probiotic is the only one that’s a fungus. (Yeast is a fungus.) That may sound gross to take a fungus. But remember that edible mushrooms are the fruiting body of fungus and they are one of the best things to consume for immune support. Anyway, S. Boulardii is the best probiotic if your poops could use an image makeover. 

Tip #6: Have A Great Healthy life!

That about says it all!

The Most Important $7 You’ll Spend In 2023

green drink skin benefits

Chef V is an industry leader in helping people restore their health after the holidays with cleanse and detox programs. But those metabolic reboots are short-term. To keep the health benefits going every day in 2023, Veronica Wheat, the “V” in Chef V, has a simple, perfect plan

Think about all the frivolous stuff that you spend money on every day or several times a week. How many of those expenses are actually contributing to your overall health and happiness? 

Is the half-caf, extra-foam soy vanilla latte really necessary? What about all those meals at restaurants, where most of the time, your food is cooked in rancid canola oil? Have you counted how much you spend monthly on dining out?  

Hey, I get it. Life is short. Spend your money on things that make you happy. Go travel. Book a monthly spa day. Retail therapy shop once in a while. Just don’t neglect to invest in daily things that will support your total wellness

kale

The Best Daily Investment In Your Health For 2023

What a cluster— the last couple of years has been. Thankfully, for the most part, we have emerged from the fear- and anxiety-fueled dystopian reality of the pandemic. However, it seems that there’s no shortage of flus, viruses and other crazy current events that can lower your vibration. 

But what if I told you that for just $7 a day — way lower than the cost of eating out, and about the same for that latte with a tip for the barista — you can easily eliminate the physical and mental toxins we’re bombarded with on a daily basis and support your health in every way imaginable, including:

    • Having great, buzzing energy in the morning — no caffeine needed!
    • Feeling leaner and sexier 
    • Thinking more positively with no mood swings
    • Sleeping more soundly
    • Focusing more sharply
    • Superb antioxidant protection for your immune system 
    • Supporting your friendly gut bacteria 
    • Assisting your body’s Detoxification
    • Enjoying having more beautiful skin, strong nails and lustrous hair

Buying Juice From A Store Is Like Paying Someone To Poison Your Body

You decide: 3 grams of sugar per serving or over 50 grams of sugar per serving? 

It’s shocking how much sugar there is in big juice brands. I’m usually not one to name names. But this time I’ll make an exception: Naked, Odwalla, Suja, Evolution. I could go on and on. 

These corporate brands — Naked and Odwalla are both owned by Pepsi! — don’t care about your health; they care about their bottom line. That’s why they pump tons of blood-sugar-spiking fructose in their juices, even ones named Green Machine. (Naked Juice’s Green Machine has 53 grams of sugar per 15 ounce serving!) 

Store-bought juices trick customers into thinking that their products are good for them because the slick marketers give their products healthy-sounding names. But at the end of the day, these glorified fruit juices are only contributing to the obesity and diabetes twindemic. 

In comparison, with Chef V’s ultra low-sugar Organic Green Drink plan, you’ll  flood your 37 trillion cells with supreme nutrition every day. Think of your body as a high-performance sports car. Green Drink is the fuel your body needs to perform at peak levels every day!

Just $7 a day. Cheaper than the competition. Waaay easier than making your own.

Think about how much money the average person spends on dietary supplements and personal care products to receive all those benefits. It’s a lot more than $7 a day, I can guarantee you that!

All you have to do to FEEL YOUR BEST in 2023 is:

GET ON THE Chef V Organic Green Drink Plan

—->Learn more about the top 5 research-backed benefits of Green Drink.

green drink and digestion

Top Reasons You Need To Go Green in 2023

Oftentimes in life, we neglect the best things for us. For instance, we take our spouse or partner for granted and don’t tell them how much we appreciate them. We don’t spend enough time nurturing our soul in nature. The same could be said about a humble bottle of 7 certified organic leafy green vegetables

If you previously had a Green Drink Plan maybe you forgot how this simple solution supported your health and happiness day in and day out. Life happens. You get sidetracked and revert to old habits. 

I’m happy to set you back on the easiest and most affordable daily wellness plan. But don’t just take it from me. Check out the radical health transformation that customers like Michael, Pashelle, Carey, Gabrielle, and K.I. experienced from being on a Green Drink plan. 

Look, I realize you might be skeptical. “All these incredible health benefits can come from just a daily serving of Green Drink? Can’t I just buy some other veggie juice from the store once in a while or make my own at home?” you might be wondering? 

Totally valid questions. But here’s how Chef V is different than 99.9% of the juices out there:

    • Certified Organic (no pesticides) 
    • Delivered to your home (effortless health)
    • Made fresh every week
    • Less expensive per serving than most brand-name juices
    • No messy clean up, no prep work
    • No preservatives
    • Sourced from local farmers that Chef V has a personal relationship with
    • Feeds and supports your healthy gut bacteria because it’s raw and cold-blended
    • Never high pressure pasturized – that chills the nutrients
    • All store brands are produced with high pressure pasturization
    • Super low in natural sugar with zero added sugars

—-> See how Chef V Organic Green Drink Crushes Top Juice Brands

Support Your Total Wellness in 2023 Right Now

There’s a thousand and one excuses to not take advantage of this incredible deal of just $7 a day. 

But if you’re somebody who wants to live their best life in 2023 then take charge of your health right now and get on the plan

It’s the easiest, most convenient and most affordable way to support your health and happiness in every way possible. 

As a small business owner who literally gets her hands dirty in the kitchen, managing the Green Drink operations, I’m so excited for you to get back to feeling your best.

$7 a day. That’s all it takes to receive so many health benefits week after week.Your health and happiness is worth it. 

START (OR RENEW) YOUR PLAN NOW.

Chef V and kale

Is There Any Proof Green Drink Improves Sleep Quality?

A few Chef V customers recently posted how having a Green Drink first thing in the morning has improved their energy throughout the day and even their sleep quality. So I decided to look into the connection between how green leafy veggies affect sleep quality. I also provide a handful of tips on how to get restful zzzzz’s. 

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a thousand more times…

The easiest, healthiest thing you can do to start your day is to have 8-16 ounces of Organic Green Drink. It’s not a shameless sales pitch. Ask any of the thousands of Chef V customers who follow this daily piece of advice and they’ll tell you that it just sets you up for a great rest of the day. Your energy will be rock-steady. You’ll be slightly buzzing with a high vibration. Not jittery buzzing, but just an optimistic, pep-in-your-step great feeling.

But there’s a catch…

If you’re having a Green Drink in the morning, will the good vibes last well into the night? In other words, can consuming green leafy veggies actually support sleep quality?

Well, because my body was in desperate need of a rest from playing too much pickleball, I had some free time on my hands to geek out on research journals and here’s what I found.

Research on Green Veggies & Sleep Quality

According to a 2021 study in the Swiss journal, Antioxidants, green leaf lettuce (one of the 7 certified organic veggies in Green Drink) was shown to bind to GABA receptors. I’ll break it down in plain English.

So GABA is a neurotransmitter, which are chemical messengers in the brain. Having great communication is key to almost everything in life and it turns out that for sleep and overall health, it’s crucial.

And in order to have rejuvenating sleep and feel relaxed, your GABA neurotransmitters have to be able to get the message that they need to be activated. This is because GABA is like your brain’s natural valium—without the addictive side effects.

So what’s in lettuce that activates GABA and leads to better sleep quality? Well, the researchers believe that the antioxidant called quercetin plays a big role. You may have heard of quercetin. I know people who take quercetin supplements. I guess it can’t hurt to take a quercetin supplement but I always advocate getting the real thing from food.

V’s 3 Most Important Sleep Tips (Besides Green Drink)

In addition to eating (and drinking) lots of organic green, leafy veggies and other produce, here are 3 things that help me get better sleep:

  • Meditate 

With so many meditation apps to choose from, many of them free, you don’t have to be a Buddhist monk in order to achieve a more restful, relaxed state. My favorite app is the Calm app.

I listen to the daily Calm every morning for 10 mins and usually every night before I go to bed.
It also helps me if I wake up too early – I can do the daily mediation and usually get back to sleep.

Try to listen to a sleep or meditation app for 15 minutes before you try to fall asleep for the night. If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep, follow along to the app for another 10-15 minutes.

  • Feast at lunch, eat a light dinner

A lot of people are so busy during the day that they barely have time to eat lunch and when they do, it’s usually something not substantial enough and not well-balanced. Turkey sandwiches come to mind. Instead, try carving out time and eating a large lunch with a healthy grain like quinoa, a big portion of roasted/steamed veggies and a lean piece of protein like fish or tempeh. Then for dinner, have soup and salad.

  • Get Adequate Exercise

I notice that on days when I’m not as active as I’d like to be (hasn’t been happening that much lately because of my new pickleball obsession), I don’t sleep as well.

Make sure you move your body enough during the day. I know it’s tough for many people who work remotely on their laptop all day. But try to take a few mini-movement breaks during the day.

And don’t forget to start each day with Organic Green Drink! Here’s to getting plenty of restful zzzzz’s.

Leafy Greens in Green Drink Block Blue Light

I also came across a study in the curiously named journal, Cureus, which said that leafy greens contain micronutrients that can positively influence sleep:

  • Tryptophan
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Fiber
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Choline
  • Beta carotene

So let’s talk about some of these micronutrients that are in Organic Green Drink. For starters, the researchers of this study said that fiber “has been shown to be associated with deeper and more restorative sleep.”

So in case you’re wondering what the heck lutein and zeaxanthin are, they are the most important antioxidants for vision and eye health. And the cool thing about these two micronutrients that are also found in Green Drink is that they are natural filters of high-energy blue light. That helps support sleep because blue light, which is emitted from smartphones and other electronic devices, suppress your body’s production of the sleep hormone, melatonin.

And that’s the reason why you should always put your phone in airplane mode when you go to bed and turn off all other electronics in your room a good hour before you want to fall asleep. If you have a TV in your room, get rid of it; move it into another room and stop watching well before bedtime.

Look, I could go on and on with these research studies. If you want to check more out, here ya go.) Now I’m not saying if you struggle with really difficult insomnia that having a little Green Drink in the morning is the cure, or if you eat a salad for dinner you’ll sleep like a baby. But there is plenty of evidence that associates green leafy veggie consumption with better sleep quality.

How to Rock Your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions with Chef V Green Drink

Ever made a New Year’s Resolution for fitness that you ended up bailing on quickly? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Chef V is happy to see people reach their health goals, whether it be making it to the end of our 21 day cleanse, or hitting the gym more often in the new year. Since we’re all about promoting better health and fitness, we decided to put together a quick list of tips to make your fitness goals stick in the near year. 

Don’t make idle resolutions

Sometimes, the best option is to not make a resolution. Yeah, we know that doesn’t sound like a super piece of advice. But you need to stop and think about these things. You need to first answer the big question, “Why?” Why are you making these fitness goals? 

“Because it’s New Years” isn’t a good enough answer. What is going to motivate you? Is it reaching a healthier weight? Feeling better? Getting more energy? Pick your reason, and it will provide the drive you need to succeed. 

Make concrete goals

“I’m going to be healthier” isn’t a goal. You want to get down into the fitness and health specifics. Are you going to walk every day after work? Are you going to hit the gym a few days a week? Are you going to try a juice diet once a month?

Note that in the example goals above, we also put a time frame on it. Time is a vital component of goal setting. Saying you’ll lose twenty pounds is meaningless without a time frame. No one is going to drop all that overnight. Also, make sure you’re setting reasonable goals. You’re not going to go from being a couch potato to scaling Everest in a year. 

Track goals

Keep good records of when you need to take action on your goals, and if you did so. This isn’t just for holding yourself accountable. Tracking your goals, and checking them off, is great motivation. It’s actual proof you’re getting stuff done!

Work together

Holding yourself accountable by tracking goals works for some people. For others, it can help to get a buddy. Doing a 21 day cleanse with someone else is a lot more fun than doing it on your own. Ditto for taking on long-term fitness goals. A workout buddy is great for giving you that extra reason to keep going.

Have fun! 

Okay, talking about accountability is starting to seem serious. But keeping your goals doesn’t have to be a drag. Try to find fun ways to meet your fitness goals. Take up a sport or activity you’ve always wanted to try. Make it a group event with friends, if possible. If you’re having fun, you won’t view your fitness goals as chores; you’ll turn them into habits. 

Get Chef V green drink

Sometimes, it seems like the energy to complete your resolutions is never going to come. Or maybe it  seems like amid all the processed food options out there, it’s hard to get the vitamins and minerals you need to power through your fitness goals.

We’d be there to spot every one of you in the gym if we could. But we can offer the next best thing—our signature Chef V green drink. It’s great to get you going in the morning, or just whenever you get thirsty. Packed full of leafy greens, it’s a detox juice that has everything you need to smash your fitness goals. 

Party Mocktails

mocktails

Sample Code

Enjoy classic cocktails without the added alcohol calories? Take a break from sugar and try one of these refreshing mocktails. Treat your body to a  break and give these following recipes a try!

DOWNLOAD RECIPES PDF

Sample Code

Spicy Margarita (serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 8-12 oz.sparkling water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 tsp. organic sea salt
  • tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 lime slice for garnish

Directions

Pour the salt and cayenne in a shallow dish that will fit the cup rim. Rub the lime slice around the rim of your cup and dip the cup into the salt mix. Fill the cup with ice and sparkling water. Garnish with a lime slice on the rim.

Blackberry Mojito (serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 8-12 oz. sparkling water
  • 3-4 organic blackberries
  • 2 organic lime slices (save one for garnish)
  • 4-5 mint leaves
  • Half a glass of ice

Directions

In a glass of your choice, or in a cocktail mixer, muddle the blackberries, mint and 1 of the lime lime slices together. Fill the glass halfway with ice and add sparkling water. Garnish with lime slice or mint.

Sample Code

Sample Code

Moscow Mule (serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 8-12 oz. sparkling water
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 cup ice

Directions

Combine lime, lemon juice and ginger in your mug (copper is best). Add ice and sparkling water.

Cucumber Cooler (serves 4-6)

Ingredients

  • 1 organic cucumber, skinned and thinly sliced
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • Ice (per serving)

Directions

In a large pitcher, add cucumber slices, water, and lemon (you can also add mint or basil for extra flavors). Leave the pitcher in the refrigerator overnight (try to get at least 4 hours) to marinate. Add ice to cups and pour cucumber cooler in cups to serve. Garnish with sliced cucumber.

Vegan Herb Aioli

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

vegan herb aioli

TOTAL 10 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 2 People

Ingredients

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

Directions

Blend mayo ingredients together in a Vitamix or food processor.

Raw Veggies Vs. Cooked: Does It Matter For Gut Health?

what do I eat today liquids

We know that eating more veggies can boost the number of friendly bacteria in your gut. But what’s a mystery to most people is if how we prepare our veggies affects gut health in any way. “V” reveals if there’s a winner between raw veggies or cooked plant-based foods. 

If you’re a nutrition research geek like me, you’ve probably come across lots of studies on intermittent fasting, vegetarian diets, keto diets and other types of eating protocols. But if there’s one type of food study that’s as rare as finding a perfectly round pearl in an oyster, it’s this subject…

Is there a difference between eating raw plants versus cooked veggies? As I’m writing this, it’s August, or as I like to call this time of year, Rawgust! Because it’s so hot out, it’s the best time of year to consume a raw, plant-based diet. All I know is that when it’s 100 degrees outside, the last thing I want to do is slave over a hot stove, cooking up a huge slab of meat. Nope, this time of year, it’s all smoothies, mocktails and salads (and maybe a gazpacho or two).

So I like to go with my gut and listen to what my body is craving—as long as the craving is for something healthy. But beyond my intuition, is there any research to back up my craving for raw food? Will going raw any time of year support the trillions of friendly bacteria in my gut microbiome?

Well, it got me wondering? So I did my best nutritional Sherlock Holmes investigating. Unfortunately, the trail went cold. But I persisted and eventually found what is believed to be the first study to bring up this nutritional debate.

salad

Raw Vs Cooked Veggies For Gut Health

Before we get into the research, chew on this…

Horses don’t eat cooked food. Neither do chimps or gorillas. Yet they’re strong as bulls. In fact, humans are the only animals that cook their food. Many paleontologists believe our human ancestors developed bigger brains precisely when eating cooked food became the norm. In the hundreds of thousands of years since, our gut microbiomes have been influenced largely from cooking bones and meat.

It’s no wonder that there has hardly been any research looking into the effects of raw plants on the gut microbiome.

But finally, in 2019, researchers from Harvard University put that question to the test … at least in mice, not humans. And the results were not what I expected.

What the researchers discovered was that the mice who ate raw sweet potatoes essentially committed murder on several of their gut species.

But if there’s one thing that drives me a little nuts is when I hear people say that raw food is hard for the body to digest. That might be true if you’re trying to eat a raw, high-starch veggie like a potato or sweet potato. I’m definitely not suggesting eating raw potatoes.

Why the researchers didn’t give the mice lots of other raw veggies, like say, lettuce, I can’t explain. I also have no clue why more research hasn’t been done on the effects of raw veggies on the gut microbiome versus cooked veggies.

veronica and kale

Eating Raw in Rawgust: Benefits

Now let me ask you something. If you’ve been partying in June and July like it’s 1999 and your digestion, energy and skin need a reboot, what do you think is better for you: cooked meat or salad?

Of course a diet high in raw veggies is much easier on your system than cooked meat. Now I admit, there are a few veggies that you may have a harder time digesting raw rather than cooked. This is especially true of the nightshade veggies:

  • Peppers (it doesn’t matter what kind or what color)
  • Tomatoes
  • Egglplant
  • Potatoes (which we covered)

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of raw broccoli either. But when it comes to green, leafy veggies such as spinach, kale, collard greens, lettuce, parsley, chard and dandelion, the research doesn’t lie. There are so many health benefits of the 7 leafy greens that are featured in Organic Green Drink that I could write a book about it.

In fact, I sort of did: a cookbook, Making Cleansing Easier, which features an intro that talks about several of these health benefits.

The bottom line is that if you want a health makeover, let the sizzling summer months be the perfect time to boost your intake of raw veggies. Your gut microbiome will thank you for it.

Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate

What are some of the best memories around the holidays? Festive food and drinks are definitely mine!

Hot chocolate is a holiday treat but most of the time the ingredients are big NO-NO’s! Most hot chocolates you buy are instant powders pumped with chemicals or fake sweeteners. Most have dairy, cream or powdered milk (even worse!). Even if you go to a place serving hot chocolate, it’s rarely made in house with real ingredients. I created this delicious Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate recipe using peppermint tea, my home-made almond milk, raw cacao and coconut nectar to sweeten it slightly. It is so delicious and it is actually healthy for you.

In this process I heat the almond milk and steep the tea in the milk to infuse the natural peppermint flavor. GOODBYE artificial flavorings!!!

vegan hot chocolate

Ingredients

Directions

Heat almond milk over stove and steep tea while you bring the milk to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add cacao and stir well. Add coconut nectar and stir well. Pour hot chocolate into a coffee mug or cup of choice. You can top with my Coconut Whipped Cream. You can also add cacao nibs or crushed peppermint candies if entertaining or not cleansing.

Serves 2

Chef V’s Cooking with V – Chicken Pot Pie

Welcome to Chef V's Cooking School!

I'm Veronica, Certified Nutritional Therapist, author, and proud owner of Chef V. You might know me for my Green Drink and Cleanses, but I started Chef V as a personal chef. In my first video cooking series, I'll be sharing some of my clients' favorite recipes with you.

Using this blog and my YouTube channel, I welcome you to my kitchen. We're going to laugh, learn and cook – together.

This month we are making Chicken Pot Pie with my trusty sous chef and husband, Brandon.

CHICKEN POT PIE

Watch Veronica make the recipe in the video above and follow along with the directions, below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (separated)
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 1 Gluten Free pie crust
  • 1 lb. Organic Chicken, poached or use rotisserie chicken
  • ½ cup Fresh or frozen Peas
  • 1 Carrot, chopped
  • 1 Celery, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp. Gluten Free flour (separated)
  • 2 cups Chicken or vegetable stock.
  • ½ cup dairy free milk
  • 1 egg white to brush the top of pie crust.
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • dash of pepper

DIRECTIONS

shredding the chicken

PREPARE THE CHICKEN

You can poach the chicken or I like to use a rotisserie chicken, it’s easier and has more moisture. I like to shred the chicken instead of chop it.

chopping veg

cooking veg

PREPARE THE VEGGIES

Chop the carrot, onion, and celery.

Sauté the vegetables in a pan – heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and add onion, add carrot, then celery to the pan. Add salt and pepper. Sauté lightly for 2 minutes.

making the roux

MAKE THE ROUX (SAUCE) 

In another pan create the roux. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and add 1 tbsp. gluten free flour and stir until golden brown (about 2 minutes). Slowly add chicken or vegetable stock ½ cup at a time and stir until you have like a gravy. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low, add the dairy-free milk, and continue to stir.

boil water

PREPARE THE PIE

Add the gravy, the chicken, and cooked vegetables to a pie pan.

roll out dough

MAKE THE PIE CRUST

This recipe uses a purchased gluten-free dough. Or you can use my recipe for gluten-free pie crust. 

Roll out the gluten-free dough. Place 1 tbsp gluten-free flour on a surface and roll the dough into a circular shape, slightly larger than the pie pan, with a rolling pin.

adding egg white to pie crust

ASSEMBLE THE PIE

Place the crust over the pie pan and press the edges with a fork. Add some slits at the top for air and decor. Mix one egg white and brush the top of the pie.

making the sauce

BAKE AND SERVE

Bake in the oven uncovered for 30-45 minutes until the crust is a nice golden brown. Serve hot.

TASTING THE PIE

NOW THE BEST PART – THE TASTE TEST!

Brandon says “winner winner, chicken dinner.”

 

What Do I Eat Today – Menu with Chicken Pot Pie

what do I eat today chicken pot pie

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu starts with warm lemon water, then Green Drink. For breakfast, Warm Cinnamon Quinoa, a hearty treat.  For lunch, my Mediterranean Stew, and for dinner,  Chicken Pot Pie, a gluten-free recipe with a vegan option, demonstrated in this Chef V Cooking School video.

lemons

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I’m hungry to have my Green Drink.

warm cinnamon quinoa

For Breakfast – Warm Cinnamon Quinoa 

For breakfast, Warm Cinnamon Quinoa fills the belly and tastes so good. I use quinoa, my own recipe for raw almond milk, raw coconut nectar, and ground cinnamon. You can top it with berries and/or nuts.

Get the recipe here. 

For Lunch – Mediterranean Butternut Squash + Carrot Stew with Quinoa

For lunch you have my Mediterranean stew, made with mellow spices for a flavorful and healthy mid-day meal.

This stew can be prepared a day ahead. It’s great to take to work or enjoy for dinner the next day, or for a warm and healthy meal for the kids to come home to and easily reheat.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner – Chef V’s Chicken Pot Pie

For dinner, you are having my Chicken Pot Pie, made with healthier ingredients that will taste great and make you feel good. There is a vegan option as well!

This recipe is featured in my Cooking series on YouTube and you can watch me prepare the recipe here.

Veronica and GD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vitamin C for Skin: proof it works

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vitamin C For Skin: Why It Works

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skin sagging also becomes diminished with high vitamin C intake.

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

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

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

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

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

vitamin c

Chef V’s Cooking with V – Vegan Moussaka

Welcome to Chef V’s Cooking School!

I’m Veronica, Certified Nutritional Therapist, author, and proud owner of Chef V. You might know me for my Green Drink and Cleanses, but I started Chef V as a personal chef. In my first video cooking series, I’ll be sharing some of my clients’ favorite recipes with you.

Using this blog and my YouTube channel, I welcome you to my kitchen. We’re going to laugh, learn and cook – together.

In this special episode, we have a virtual guest. Michael lost over 200lbs with Chef V and implemented a healthy lifestyle. His story is so inspiring. We make a vegan version of moussaka using a dairy-free Béchamel sauce and mushrooms instead of meat.

Cooking with Chef V

Michael says:

“I’ve reached my goal weight in June, losing a total of 245 plus pounds over the last 22 months. Chef V has helped in this as my morning drink since I started my Green Drink Plan from you. Thank you.”

Vegan Moussaka
Step by Step

moussaka ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil, divided use
  • 1/4 cup sliced white onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 pound minced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup Chef V’s Raw Almond Milk
  • 3/4 cup vegan mozzarella shreds
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large (or 2 small) zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise like lasagna noodles

DIRECTIONS

dicing onion

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly coat a 6×6 inch baking dish with coconut spray.

PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS

ONION
Cut off both ends of the onion, remove the skin, give it diagonal cuts all the way across the cut end.  Slice across cut end for perfectly diced onion.

chop mushrooms

MUSHROOMS
Chop the mushrooms – I love the nice meaty texture they give to the dish.

sliced zucchini

ZUCCHINI
Cut off the ends so the end is flat. Slice lengthwise making pieces like a lasagna noodle.

saute onions

SAUTE THE ONION, MUSHROOMS & GARLIC

In a saucepan, saute onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for about one minute, until translucent. Add the garlic, then the mushrooms. Continue cooking for about 3 minutes more.

bechamel sauce in pan

MAKE THE BECHAMEL SAUCE

Add one tablespoon olive oil to a saucepan, add the flour into the oil, and stir. Slowly add the almond milk while stirring. Add 1/2 cup vegan cheese.

Once the cheese is melted add the spices – 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon rosemary.

The sauce will get creamy and thicken. Reduce the heat and simmer it. Add the broth and continue stirring.

assemble dish

ASSEMBLE THE DISH

In a 6 by 6-inch baking dish, assemble the moussaka. 

  • Cover the bottom with a layer of zucchini slices.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 the mozzarella shreds.
  • Top with mushroom mixture.
  • Sprinkle remaining mozzarella shreds.
  • Cover with a layer of zucchini slices.
  • Top with sauce.

moussake oven

BAKE THE DISH

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the sauce is golden brown.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

tasting

TASTE!

What Do I Eat Today – Menu with Chef V’s Moussaka

what do I eat today moussaka

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu starts with warm lemon water, then Green Drink. For breakfast, Easy Cereal with Chef V’s Almond Milk.  For lunch, my Creamy Sweet Potato Soup, and for dinner,  Vegan Moussaka, demonstrated in this month’s Chef V Cooking School video.

lemons

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I’m hungry to have my Green Drink.

warm cinnamon quinoa

For Breakfast – Easy Cereal with Chef V’s  raw Almond Milk

Chef V’s Tip: My Raw Almond Milk is easy to make and so versatile; I use it throughout my book. Or, an ice-cold glass of it is refreshing on a hot summer day.

Get the recipe here. 

This “What do I Eat today” lunch is Sweet Potato Leek Soup. Sweet potatoes are the uber tuber – packed with fiber and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and blood sugar regulating nutrients. The best ways to prepare them for maximum health benefits are boiling, steaming and stir frying.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner – Vegan Moussaka

For dinner, you are having my Vegan Moussaka, made with healthier ingredients that will taste great and make you feel good. My vegan version of moussaka uses a dairy-free Béchamel sauce and mushrooms instead of meat.

This recipe is featured in my Cooking series on YouTube and you can watch me prepare the recipe here.

Chia seed pudding

Dessert – Chia Seed Pudding

For dessert or snack we offer a recipe for Chia Seed Pudding. Chia seed pudding is great for breakfast, dessert, or anytime, and kids love this recipe.

Chia seeds are tiny superfood heroes. They come in either white or dark brown/black and have a huge nutritional profile. here.

Veronica pouring green drink

Turmeric & Ginger: Twin Gut-Healing, Inflammation-Fighting Powerhouses

“V” loves adding turmeric and ginger to her protein smoothies, which she always has about 30 minutes after breaking her fast with Organic Green Drink. Ginger and turmeric are powerful  anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammation fighters. But did you know that they’re also great for your gut microbiome? Here’s how…

If there’s one easy thing you can do to support your health starting now, it’s the simple act of sprinkling ginger and turmeric into your Green Drink or plant-based protein smoothie. But the catch is that unlike candy-tasting cinnamon, both ginger and turmeric have a very strong earthy and pungent taste.

One way to get both of these incredibly healthy spices is to follow my recipe for Golden Milk, a frothy, delicious blend of almond milk (or any plant-based milk), cinnamon (another healthy spice) and coconut sugar. Yum. You’re going to absolutely love it. And thanks to the cinnamon and coconut sugar, you won’t notice the sharp taste of ginger and turmeric.

Over time, you’ll probably learn to love the taste of ginger and turmeric without needing to sweeten it. And if you want to love your gut and have your gut love you back, there are several reasons why you should consume ginger and turmeric daily. In fact, they are 2 of the 6 spices that I frequently use not only to spice up my healthy meals but also to prevent belly bloating.

Ginger for Gut Health

Everybody knows that ginger helps with nausea. So it’s great to take some ginger chews with you before you go on an airplane, roller coaster, whale watching tour, or anything else that can make your stomach queasy. And if you’re a sushi lover like I am, you know how ginger pleasantly cleanses the palate between each roll.

But here’s why I use ginger practically every day to support my gut health. You see, not only does it prevent nausea, this study shows that it pretty much helps resolve every gastric discomfort like bloating, reflux, indigestion and constipation. It’s also been shown to help prevent gastric ulcers (although only in animal studies so far).

A little bit of ginger can also help prevent vomiting during pregnancy. Another way that ginger helps with gut health is by actually changing the composition of the gut microbiome, according to this study.

In other words, this spice has the power to introduce more friendly bacteria in the gut and reduce the number of potentially-harmful bacteria. So in a way, it’s like a food-based probiotic.

And wait, there’s more to ginger for gut health. If you’re someone who gets a bad case of gas every now and then, a study in Food Science & Nutrition says ginger can help as well as resolve belly cramping.

Want to boost your digestion? Then definitely start taking ginger on a regular basis. Research shows that it helps activate your body’s own digestive enzymes, making it easier for you to digest protein and fat.

I’ll leave you with one more possible ginger benefit for gut health. Many people who have taken lots of over-the-counter pain pills have really bad gut health. These OTC pills just destroy the gut microbiome. The good news is that spices like ginger have been shown to repair the damage to the gut lining. That’s sweet … even if ginger isn’t.

Turmeric For Digestion

Now let’s look at the power of turmeric to improve your gut. Turmeric’s gut-healing potential is mostly because of the compound curcumin.

OK, so like ginger, curcumin has been shown in research to act like a natural probiotic, helping the good guys in your gut flourish while killing off the bad dudes. In fact, in one study, turmeric/curcumin was shown to destroy 36 species of harmful bacteria in the gut.

Not only that, turmeric was shown to help with leaky gut by supporting the intestinal barrier. That barrier is everything because without a strong barrier, undigested food particles, viruses, toxins and bacteria will leak into your blood.

That’s bad news because then your own immune system will recognize those things and say, “Hey, that’s not supposed to be here,” and then it will tell chemicals in your body to activate so that it can mount a defense against them. This is what causes inflammation. And if you don’t repair your gut barrier, the inflammation will be chronic.

So turmeric is like an anti-inflammatory ingredient for your gut. Many people take curcumin supplements for the joints. But relatively few people realize just how powerful turmeric/curcumin can be for preventing inflammation in the gut and repairing the gut barrier.

Turmeric And Ginger Supplments

If you can’t stomach the taste of fresh turmeric or ginger, I encourage you to get them in supplement form. They are definitely among the two most healing natural ingredients I use every day.

But if you create some of my smoothie recipes that feature turmeric and ginger, there’s a great chance you’ll love the taste of these two amazing gut-healing spices.

Chef V’s Cooking with V – Organic Turkey Risotto

Welcome to Chef V's Cooking School!

I'm Veronica, Certified Nutritional Therapist, author, and proud owner of Chef V. You might know me for my Green Drink and Cleanses, but I started Chef V as a personal chef. In my first video cooking series, I'll be sharing some of my clients' favorite recipes with you.

Using this blog and my YouTube channel, I welcome you to my kitchen. We're going to laugh, learn and cook – together.

Cooking with Chef V

This super simple recipe has only 7 ingredients and is so easy to make. It has so much flavor, is so filling and balanced, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! “You don't even know do', it's the BEST Risotto!”

While most risottos have a lot of cream and butter, we're not going to use those. Using arborio rice, this risotto has a nice creamy texture that we'll make using vegan broth.

Organic Turkey Risotto- Dairy-Free & Gluten-free
Step by Step

turkey risotto ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 4 cups broth (may need more depending on absorbency)
  • Ground turkey 1 lb
  • Organic butternut squash cubed 2 cups
  • Green Kale 3 cups chopped
  • 3 tsp. dry sage, separated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

KALE
First chop the kale, rolling it into a little ball to finely chop. Set aside.

dicing onion

TURKEY
Season the turkey with 1 tsp sage, a pinch of salt and pepper. Add a little water to the pan before adding the meat. Add the meat to the pan.

Brown the turkey meat and slightly undercook. Let it rest and set aside.

add water to pan

salt and pepper meat

salt and pepper meat

BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Using a dutch oven or heavy pan, turn the heat on medium high. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the butternut squash (previously cut into 3/4 inch cubes) for 3 minutes. Add a tiny bit of salt and pepper. Add one tsp of sage.

Next, add the chopped kale to the pot, then the browned turkey.

sliced zucchini

RISOTTO

To the pan with the butternut squash, start adding the arborio rice. Add 2 cups of rice, sautéing the rice.

Stir well, then add 1 cup of broth to start and keep stirring. Slowly add more broth as it is absorbed – keep stirring. Add salt, pepper, and remaining sage to the risotto. Stir until nice and creamy and the rice is cooked al dente. If the mixture is a little thick, add another 1/2 cup of broth.

add kale

add 1/2 cup broth

tasting 2

Time to Taste!

time to taste

Serve it up.

time to taste

Sou chef Coco joins us!

Coco

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.