Tag: chefv

Better than Celery Juice for Headaches

headaches and celery juice

A More Affordable And Less Messy Alternative to Celery Juice For Headaches

Some health trends come and go. And some stick around. A couple years after writing about the celery juice bandwagon here and here, it seems like going to the store and stocking up on stalks of fresh celery and making an absolute mess in your kitchen juicing it, shows no signs of slowing down. 

The reason why the celery juice trend is evergreen (no pun intended) is thanks to Anthony William, aka “The Medical Medium,” who I detailed in my article, “Celery Juice Part 1 – Miracle, Hype, or Both?”

The more I’ve read in The Medical Medium’s books, the more I am convinced that he is some sort of natural health savant. And the reason why I wanted to revisit the topic of celery juice is that many people are using it as of late to prevent or cure headaches. 

celery juice and headaches

What Causes Headaches?

You’re not normal if you don’t ever get headaches or migraines. But there’s the thing about these nuisances, which can actually be so intense, they become debilitating conditions…

Headaches and migraines might be common, but they are not normal. If your body is functioning in a state of homeostasis (perfect balance), it’s impossible to get a headache. 

The Medical Medium says that there are many causes of headaches. 

That analysis doesn’t exactly make him a genius; almost everybody knows that. 

But there are a few root causes that William offers that your doctor won’t tell you about. Even a functional medicine doctor or naturopathic/alternative/holistic health practitioner may not be familiar with William’s explanations. 

One of the root causes of headaches, according to William, is neurotoxins caused by the shingles virus. Or more accurately, viruses. William claims there are more than 30 types of shingles (who knew?), which itself is caused by inflammation of three nerves in the body: phrenic, vagus, and trigeminal. 

Another reason headaches are a frequent occurrence these days isn’t just because stress has gotten worse. 

William says the reason headaches are common stems from toxic heavy metals in brain cells. Mercury and aluminum impede the brain’s circuitry flow. This inefficient electrical impulse firing causes the brain to heat up, which requires you to use more energy to process information: “How do I use this damn TIVO? Frickin’ A … my head is killing me.” 

Yet another cause of headaches William alludes to is no shocking revelation: dehydration. A lack of oxygen from “dirty blood” causes the liver to become sluggish, William says. Despite the popularity of keto diets, William says that high-fat diets, coupled with a sluggish liver lowers oxygen levels in vital organs such as the brain. 

Can Celery Juice Cure Headaches?

The Medical Medium doesn’t outright say that celery juice is a cure for headaches. If he did say that on his website, he would likely get a warning letter from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). But William—or his attorneys—is expert at dancing around health claims. The Medical Medium website has a disclaimer that’s over 300 words long, or six times longer than the preamble of the U.S. Constitution. 

“Drinking celery juice daily in the way I recommend … is so important for these health problems and so many other chronic illnesses and symptoms for these undiscovered reasons and many more,” William says. Notice he doesn’t say that celery juice can cure headaches or chronic diseases. If he could, he would, but he can’t so he smartly tiptoes around the health claim. 

But you have to be careful drinking celery juice. People tend to go overboard with things, even when it’s something healthy. Drinking a lot of celery juice, some people report, actually may cause headaches. How much is too much celery juice? It’s hard to say, but let’s just say several stalks a day may not keep the doctor away. 

Juicing For Headaches

If you’re not stoked about how expensive celery juice has gotten (thanks in big part to The Medical Medium) and how messy it is, there’s a far easier solution. 

The Chef V Organic Green Drink Plan delivers directly to your front door a weekly supply of cold-blended juice, consisting of 7 leafy greens.

Imagine getting your daily dose of antioxidants and not having to go to the supermarket every other day and worrying about using all your produce before it goes bad. And just picture all the time and energy you’ll save by not having to wash your veggies, chop them up, blend them and clean them. 

And don’t get me started about cleaning your juicer after juicing celery! That itself will cause a headache!

Many juice cleanses are just high-sugar fruit juices in disguise. All that fructose spikes your blood sugar. And when your blood sugar levels are all over the place, guess what happens? 

That’s right, you get a headache!

But my Green Drink contains only 3 grams of naturally-occurring sugar per 8 oz. serving. 

So save yourself the headache of juicing celery everyday. Instead of supporting your health with just one veggie, get 7 nutrient-dense greens per serving. 

LEARN MORE

Chef V and kale

It’s RAWGUST! Summer is the Best Time for Raw Food

raw food for summer

Thinking about doing a cleanse? Going raw vegan in summer is easy and can help detoxify your body before, during and after the cleanse.

There’s a misconception about me….

Some people describe me as a vegan chef.

Maybe it’s because another Chef Veronica out there. But she’s a low fat vegan chef. Personally, as a certified nutritional therapist, I don’t think low fat diets are very healthy.

Or, maybe because my first job, at age 15, was working at a vegetarian restaurant.

But I’m not vegan nor 100% vegetarian. 

However, I do love and advocate the vegan diet.

Going raw and vegan in summer (or anytime of year, really) is like pouring fuel cleaner into your car.

Meat, especially non-organic meat, gunks up your transmission; it’s much harder on your digestive system. Consequently, when you eat lots of meat, it can slow down your liver’s natural detoxification abilities.

So you can use my recipes for giving your system a cleanse while feeling like your indulging.

Especially now because as I write this, it’s the heart of summer: the best time to do a cleanse.

One of the keys to successfully doing a cleanse—anytime of the year—is to not feel like you’re missing out.

raw veggies

Going Raw Vegan in Summer

And when you learn to make raw vegan recipes that taste just as good as their non-vegan cooked alternatives, you definitely won’t feel like you’re punishing yourself doing a cleanse.

Eating raw makes you feel lighter. Which helps if you’ve fallen off the wagon as of late, like I did during my three-week trip to Europe eating decadent meals.

Here’s another plus of going raw in summer: cutting down on electric bills. The last thing you want to do when it’s really hot outside is turning on the oven to 425 degrees to bake, say, a salmon fillet.

Sure, you might have air conditioning. But where I live, in San Diego, many people don’t have it. Especially those people who live near the coast. Even if you do have A/C, though, you’ll save money by not using your oven.

What is Raw Food?

Technically, raw food is prepared at a temperature that won’t destroy naturally-occurring compounds and enzymes. There’s some debate as to what that magic number is.

But most raw foodists consider 104 degrees (fahrenheit) to be the maximum cooking temperature.

Therefore, if you like broccoli but not when it’s completely raw, you can lightly cook it.

You can also buy a food dehydrator to make raw food snacks such as dried fruit. However, here’s where the raw food temperature debate comes into play.

Dehydrated raw food still qualifies as raw by some people even though the dehydration temperature is usually between 105 and 115.

And don’t get me started about raw almonds. That’s for a whole other blog topic.

(Raw almonds really aren’t raw; they are pasteurized.)

Don’t get caught up in the technicality of what is and isn’t raw food.

If it’s something that comes directly from the ground or a tree, and is, at worst, very minimally processed, then I consider it a raw food.

In other words, if it’s a fruit or vegetable or nut or seed, it’s raw. Or, if it’s a byproduct of any of these, cooked at an ultra low temperature, it’s also raw to me.

raw vegan greens

Going Raw Vegan in Summer: Isn’t Going Raw Enough?

Most raw food is very easy for your belly to digest, with maybe the exception of nightshade veggies like peppers, tomatoes and eggplant.

That’s why introducing plenty of raw vegan foods into your diet when you are cleansing is smart.

But isn’t going raw enough? Why also vegan? Can’t I eat raw cheese during a cleanse?

Great questions! Glad you asked 🙂

Yes, raw dairy is an option. But like raw almonds, raw dairy really isn’t raw, according to raw foodie purists.

The more important point is that dairy, even if it’s raw is not ideal for cleansing. In fact, I suggest you completely avoid dairy for at least 3-7 days before you start a cleanse.

Dairy gums up the works. If your liver is sluggish, eating cheese certainly isn’t going to help it release toxins faster.

Going Raw Vegan in Summer: Here’s What I’m Eating Now

Hardly anybody wants to eat hot soup in summer. Or drink scalding bone broth.

But a light yet satisfying cold soup is just what Mother Nature calls for this time of year.

That’s why I love gazpacho in summer.

And here’s one of my favorites: Raw Cucumber Cilantro Avocado Gazpacho. I know, sounds like a mouthful, right? Well, it’s got a huge taste.

For a main course, how about some pasta. Pasta … That’s not raw, is it? And it’s not vegan if it’s got ricotta in it.

But my Raw Pesto Lasagna with Macadamia Ricotta contains zoodles, not noodles. Check out the recipe to see how I make a raw vegan ricotta!

Finally, it’s time for dessert. I’m a sucker for cheesecake. But obviously, regular cheesecake is a no-no when you’re cleansing.

To get my healthy dessert on, I’m making this Raw Caramel Cheesecake.

Yes, it’s possible to enjoy a decadent-tasting dessert while doing your own cleanse?

Now, I feel I have to clarify something important here. If you’re doing one of my 3, 5 or 7 day cleanses, you’re sticking to Organic Green Drinks, Vegan Protein Shakes and Detox Soups.

But before and after the official cleanse is over, treat yourself with one of these delicious raw vegan desserts.

Follow these recipes to a T, or, pardon the corny pun, to a V, and you’ll have no problem going raw vegan in summer!

Chef V, Coco and kale

The Power of Pea Protein: Why You Will Cleanse So Hap-pea-ly

peas for protein

Pea protein is one of the most popular vegan proteins with no signs of slowing down, and for good reason. It’s super easy to digest, contains all 9 essential amino acids and doesn’t cause nasty belly bloating. That’s why Chef V is excited to introduce Vanilla Ultra Shake with pea protein for cleanse customers. 

peas in pod

Puny plant-powered peas? Hardly! Here’s Why Pea Protein Rocks…

It wasn’t that long ago that if you would have told someone at the gym that you use pea protein, they would have likely responded, oooo, gross! 

After all, peas were something that only babies eat. And maybe grown-ups who ate the occasional split pea soup. But pea protein powder? That was something relatively unheard of a generation ago, much less 5-10 years ago. Peas have proven to shatter the myth of the puny vegan. 

No longer is it far left field for bodybuilders to heal the microscopic muscle-fiber tears after a lifting session with pea protein. In fact, some of the most accomplished bodybuilders are vegan and support their lean muscle tissue with plant-powered protein powders, especially pea.  

The total value of the worldwide pea protein market was worth about $380 million in 2017. By 2027, guess what the market is forecast to be worth…?

Over $1 billion. 

That’s a lot of “pass the peas, please!” 

Pea protein powder is not a fly-by-night fad. Thanks to the growing consciousness of the health benefits of eating a natural plant-based diet, plant-powered protein powders are becoming the norm, not the exception. (I say “natural plant-based” because you can be a vegan and still be unhealthy, eating lots of processed junk.)

But if you’re thinking about doing a juice cleanse, do you really need pea protein? 

Spoiler alert: YES!

And here’s why…

The #1 Mistake With Doing a Juice Cleanse: Not Enough Protein

After doing a juice cleanse for a couple days, you might feel elated. Especially if prior to doing the cleanse you were not eating a clean diet, consisting mostly of organic produce and unrefined grains. 

But with most juice cleanses, by day 3, if not before, many people start feeling like complete $h!*. 

That’s because most cleanses on the market do not contain enough protein. In fact, most of them contain only the trace amounts of protein that are naturally occurring in fruit and vegetables. 

Speaking of fruit, that’s another problem with doing a cleanse. If you’re just drinking juice that’s primarily fruit-based, the lack of fiber and protein may cause dramatic blood-sugar fluctuations. 

You’ll become moody, irritable and you’ll eventually be so hungry, you’ll be dreaming and salivating about eating a bacon cheeseburger. Oh, and the not-so-sweet cherry on top of most cleanses is that the lack of fiber and protein will make you miserably constipated. 

So keep in mind that even if you’re doing a juice cleanse, you need to consume an adequate amount of protein, much more than one or two grams you would get per day from fruits and vegetables. 

doing a cleanse

Why Is Pea Protein Necessary When Doing A Cleanse? 

When most people think of protein powder, workout recovery and meal replacement are probably the two top things that come to mind. 

But if you want to reboot your metabolism to unclog your congested liver, then “cleansing” should be front and center of your mind when it comes to protein powder. 

And hands-down, pea protein powder is the best for a cleanse. That’s because pea protein powder is:

  • Hypoallergenic (it won’t trigger food allergies; with rare exceptions)
  • Highly-absorbable 
  • Easy to digest (won’t cause gas or bloating)
  • A complete protein (contains all 9 essential amino acids; no food combining necessary)
  • Non-inflammatory
  • High in iron 
  • Good for the cardiovascular system
  • Supports healthy skin, hair and nails

I want to briefly talk about this last benefit. I’ve been in this business for a very long time, first as a certified nutritional therapist and personal chef and now as the curator of the nation’s best home delivery Green Drink plan and Cleanse/Detox program. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen first-hand the brittle nails, pale skin and dull hair caused by an unhealthy cleanse program. 

When you go 7, 14 or 21 days or longer doing a juice fast and don’t get enough protein, you are literally starving your lean muscle tissue. Isn’t the whole point of doing a cleanse to feel better and sexier—no matter what your body type is? 

Well, I can personally guarantee you that if you don’t get enough protein while you’re cleansing, you will not look and feel your best. 

Just Say No To Animal Protein While Cleansing?

If protein is so important while doing a cleanse, why not eat a tiny bit of grass-fed beef or supplement with egg white protein powder? 

The reason why is because if you need to cleanse because of a sluggish metabolism, animal protein is extremely difficult to process. 

That’s because your liver produces bile, the greenish, detergent-like liquid that metabolizes dietary fat. 

If your liver is underperforming, you need to temporarily minimize your intake of dietary fat; I recommend completely avoiding animal fat while you’re cleansing and in the immediate days after your cleanse is done. 

New To Chef V’s Cleanse: Vanilla Ultra Shake With Pea Protein

The number one concern most people have about doing a cleanse is, “Will I starve?” The good news is that with a Chef V Cleanse, not only will you not starve, your belly will be hap-pea-ly nourished thanks to 4 Green Juices per day, 2 Vanilla Ultra Protein Shakes with pea protein per day, and 1 delicious DETOX SOUP for dinner. 

You can choose between a 5 Day, 3 Day or 1 Day Cleanse. 

Learn more here

Here’s to feeling “hap-pea” on your cleanse!

Love,  Chef V

Chef V, Coco and kale

This 4th of July, Think About The Freedom To Eat Healthy

veronica in field

The beginning of summer presents us with two holidays that reflect on freedom: Juneteenth, the federal holiday on June 19th that celebrates the emancipation of slaves in the US, and of course, the 4th of July. 

Although our nation is far from perfect, we are afforded freedoms that billions of people around the world don’t have. Unfortunately, part of living in a free society means that our choices of what we put in our bodies is heavily dictated by the marketplace. And the marketplace is overwhelmingly filled with highly-processed food, or in other words, junk. 

When only a handful of mega corporations control 99% of the food supply, it can be challenging for some people to find farm-to-fork food that’s grown without potentially-harmful pesticides, herbicides and other synthetic chemicals. 

But you do have the freedom to eat healthy. 

farmers market

You have the freedom to consume organic, green-leafy veggies. If you don’t feel like buying them from the store and chopping them up, you even have the freedom to have organic greens cold-blended and delivered to you in juice form. Out of the 195 countries in the world, you could probably count on one hand the number of countries that offer that kind of freedom and convenience. 

The consolidation of food has led to less choice when it comes to buying the most popular staples like bread and dairy. And in order to maximize profits, giant food conglomerates increase the output of crops, often at the expense of our health. 

Consider the use of the weed killer, glyphosate, which the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer labelled “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015. 

Six years later, however, the Environmental Protection Agency still allows the sale and use of glyphosate for crop production. 

The good news is that you have the freedom to eat organic, non-GMO, gluten-free products. 

Every single day, you should maintain a practice of gratitude, especially for having the freedom to eat whatever you want to and how much you want to. Nearly 9 percent of the world’s population is food insecure. That’s roughly 690 million people. And it’s not getting better; worldwide, hunger is on the rise.

But having the freedom to eat whatever you want, whenever you want can of course backfire, with serious health consequences. 

On this 4th of July, think about having the freedom not to eat whatever you want and whenever you want, but having the freedom to eat for gut health. 

A key factor in eating for gut health involves eating sparingly, no more than three times a day. Frequent snacking is a freedom. One that the government shouldn’t try to eliminate. But frequent snacking in my opinion isn’t a freedom, it’s an unnecessary indulgence that can cause a long laundry list of health problems such as SIBO

Thankfully, as of 2018, with passage of the Hemp Farm Act, you now have the freedom in all 50 states to consume cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating chemical in the hemp plant. Long overdue, the Hemp Farm Act removed CBD from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of schedule 1 controlled substances, the same class as LSD, ecstasy and marijuana. 

But did you know you have the freedom to eat foods that activate the body’s internal cannabinoid system? That’s the same system that’s activated by cannabinoids like CBD and THC, the main chemical in marijuana? The internal (or endo-) cannabinoid system helps the body get back to balance. 

smoothie table

All over the world, even in the most repressed societies, people enjoy a stiff adult beverage from time to time. Unfortunately, alcoholism is a worldwide concern, with over 3 million deaths worldwide attributed to alcohol abuse. That’s over 5 percent of all deaths caused by alcohol! But you have the freedom to mocktails instead of cocktails. Just as delicious without the potential for abuse. 

You also have the freedom to drink low-sugar smoothies and shakes

As the saying goes, freedom’s never free. While you may have to pay a little more for healthier food, in the long run, having the freedom to eat healthy is far less expensive than paying out of pocket for medical bills caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices. 

Chef V and kale

Easiest Way To Be Eco Friendly: Power Yourself by Plants!

vegtable protein sources

Even if you drive a gas-guzzling car, crank up the A/C in the summer and heat in the winter, you can still do your part to tread more lightly on the Earth. Learn how easy it is to be more eco friendly….

Power Yourself with Plants: Plant Powered Proteins

The easiest thing you can do to tread more lightly on the Earth is eat less meat.

Did you know that over 30% of the Earth’s landmass is being used livestock (meat- and dairy-producing animals.) Nothing wrong with enjoying a piece of meat every now and then if it’s grass-fed, organic and humanely-raised.

However, for me, that’s a rare treat. Especially knowing that almost 10 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere is because of feeding and caring for livestock.

Ten percent might not sound high, but here’s the problem: Livestock accounts for a shockingly-high amount of harmful greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are chiefly responsible for global warming. Feeding and taking care of domesticated animals that eventually turn up on our dinner plate generates about 65 percent of nitrous oxide (N20). What’s the difference between N20 and CO2?

cattle in stockyard

Nitrous oxide has the potential to warm up the planet 300 more times than CO2.

Also, all those animals grazing and pooping uses a lot of water and takes up land that could otherwise be used for public open spaces.

My intention isn’t to freak you out about global warming nor is it to convert you to vegetarianism.

Rather, my intention is to let you know how easy it is to be more eco friendly simply by eating less meat. Do you eat meat three times a day? Cut down to twice a day. If you eat meat three times a week, see how you do eating it just once or twice a week.

protein burger

And now that there are so many delicious plant-based meat alternatives it’s really easy to have less of a carbon footprint. In fact, if you’re already vegetarian or vegan, let your friends and family know about the delicious brands of plant protein burgers. Bring a package of Beyond Meat’s “Beyond Burger” to the next barbecue you go to.

While it’s true that Beyond Burger is a little on the pricey side, it’s a fraction of the cost of what you’ll have to pay should you God-forbid develop a chronic illness.

That’s not to say that vegetarians don’t develop chronic disease, but there’s no denying the fact that eating lots of meat puts you at more risk for developing certain cancers like colorectal. (This is especially true if you’re eating lots of red, processed meat like bacon, as well as deli meats with nitrites and nitrates.)

In addition to yummy pea protein burgers, you can also boost your plant-protein intake with hemp protein, which is one of the plant-powered proteins for my Organic Protein Shake recipe, which you get when you do one of my Cleanses.

Chef V protein shake

Reduce Water and Plastic Usage

Reducing the amount of water you use is another way to be more eco friendly. Try to reduce the time you’re in the shower by one minute. Set a timer on your phone to let you know when time’s up.

Another way to cut down on the amount of water you’re using while showering is by installing a low-flow showerhead.  If you own a home, the incentive to be more eco friendly will be worth it. That’s because low-flow showerheads will result in a lower water bill.

Also, if you’re still using plastic water bottles, get with the program and use stainless steel water bottles. If you’re using plastic because the water at your home doesn’t taste good, spend the money on a good water filter for your sink. Or you can buy one of those water filter pitchers.

The overwhelming majority of plastic water bottles end up in garbage landfills. In fact, it’s estimated that 80 percent of commercial water bottles end up in landfills. Every time you toss a water bottle in the trash, keep in mind that it’ll take up to 1,000 years for it to decompose. And in the meantime, the bottle will be leaking harmful chemicals into the environment.

You can easily do your part to reduce the amount of plastic that’s discarded into landfills. Just say no to plastic water bottles. We offer a glass option for our weekly Chef V plan delivery (not available for shipping at this time), just email customer service to make the switch.

When I travel by plane, I bring my own water bottle and fill it up at the airport. They always have water stations or if not a restaurant will fill it for you.

water bottle

Ditching The Dairy Is Eco Friendly

As I mentioned above, livestock (think: cows) require an enormous amount of land, feed and water. And the methane gas from their back ends is a major contributor to greenhouse gas. In fact, methane is 85 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. That’s right, cow farts and poop are bad. Real bad. (And it’s worse than we thought, according to this Forbes article.)

So in addition to cutting down on meat, it’s eco friendly to ditch dairy, too. But if you can’t stand the thought of not having your milk and cookies, there’s plenty of healthy plant-based “mylks” out there. For example, try my recipe for almond milk. I add almond milk to Golden Milk, which is one of the healthiest, most delicious drinks on the planet.

I realize some people can’t do without cheese. Having a picnic in a field with some red wine and slices of delicious Manchego (a variety of sheep cheese) is heavenly. I get that. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat huge wedges of cheese every day. I’m not saying you need to give up cheese completely. Just as with meat consumption, try to reduce the amount of conventional dairy you eat. The cows are still going to be farting away in the fields. But the less demand for cheese and dairy overall, the less the livestock will need to be fed.

Brandon and Veronica

Other Easy Ways to Be More Eco Friendly

Just cutting down on the amount of meat and dairy you eat as well as the amount of water you use are impactful ways you can more eco friendly. Doing so makes a huge difference.

And other ways you can easily reduce your carbon footprint include:

  • Keeping canvas bags in your trunk to use everytime you go to the supermarket or farmer’s markets. You can also bring them into restaurants when you’re getting take-out.
  • Speaking of restaurants, buy some Pyrex containers and use them for leftovers.
  • Use organic sunscreen. Conventional sunscreen is partly responsible for killing coral reefs.
  • Don’t use paper towels. Instead, use cloth hand towels to wipe your face and hands.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot water.
  • Replace old lightbulbs with more energy-efficient LED lights.

Pretty simple, right? You don’t have to feel pressured to make these changes all at once. Adopt one recommendation at a time if that works better for you. Even making one of these changes will make a significant difference. It might not seem like much but every bit helps.

Love,

Chef V

Chef V and kale

Protein Powder: What you Need to Know before you Cleanse

protein powder

When you think of a juice cleanse or detox diet, does protein come to mind? If not, it should. But not just any protein. In fact, many protein powders can be toxic to your health. Learn why you need protein if you’re cleansing and what kind is best for your body. Here’s what you need to know.

new protein shake

Doing a Cleanse? Why Protein Powder is important

All animals must eat protein every day to survive. Us wild human animals included. Now I’m not saying you need to eat a 72-ounce T-bone steak every day for health. I’d feel very sorry for your colon if you did that.

You don’t even need a small bite of filet mignon every day. In fact, there’s no proof that you need animal protein for optimal health. Any natural vegan protein will do, including nuts and seeds.

Here’s a fun nutrition fact to chew on: the human body can’t live more than 70 days without eating any protein. Give or take a day. I haven’t personally tested this theory. And I don’t recommend you try either.

But if you’re reading this because you’re researching the best juice cleanse, there’s a very good chance you’re going to kill yourself just a little bit. And thanks to me, I’m going to save you from that. I’ll explain how in just a sec….

You see, if you go ultra low carb like the keto diet, no problem. Some of that dietary fat you’re feasting on will be converted into glucose (sugar) for your brain to feed on. Even protein can be converted into glucose. If you eat that 72-ounce steak, there’s a good possibility some of the cow meat will turn into sugar and get stored as fat.

But your body can’t store excess protein. It also can’t make protein from carbs or fats or anything else. That’s why you need to eat protein everyday for optimal health.

Your lean muscle tissue, hair, skin, and nails all need adequate protein to look healthy.

So if you’re checking out some different cleanse or detox diet options out there, here’s the big problem with them….

Most cleanse programs contain zero protein. Instead, all juice detoxes are is a slick marketing trick for selling you fruit juice with loads of sugar. That’s the opposite of cleansing! (Compare my cleanse program to popular juice cleanses here.)

Think how brittle your hair and nails will look after going several days without protein.

Some people think that it’s not good to have protein during a cleanse. Why? They assume it’s bad for the digestive system. Well, in a way, that’s true. But only if it’s processed meat or unhealthy protein powder.

I’m here to steer you in a healthy direction and recommend a protein powder to take while doing a cleanse.

protein burger

Vegan Protein Powder For Cleansing

Multi-colored, attractive bottles of juice may be effective for marketing. But they’re not good for health. You see, many commercial juice cleanse programs include about a half dozen different kinds of juice, each a different color of the rainbow. But each containing 20 grams or more of sugar and zero protein.

As far as I’m concerned (as a certified nutritional therapist), you need just one color of juice: green. Green-leafy vegetables are the most nutrient-dense foods and play a critical part in the body’s detoxification process. But even my cold-blended Organic Green Drinks don’t have any protein.

That’s why several years ago, I brainstormed on a protein powder that would be healthy for everybody, including people doing a cleanse. The result is my Organic Vegan Protein Shake. With 17 grams of high-absorbance pea protein per packet, brittle nails don’t stand a chance.

You’ll have to trust me (or the 5-star reviews on Yelp) that the shake tastes great. How does it taste good without adding gobs of sugar? My recipe uses organic vanilla powder, stevia, and monk fruit extract. Stevia and monk fruit are natural, calorie-free sweeteners.

Pea protein has become more popular. When I decided to use pea protein a few years ago, I never thought it would be just as effective for the weightlifting community. But check it out. This study shows that it produces the same increase in muscle thickness as whey protein.

There are a couple reasons I don’t use whey in my Protein Shake for my cleanse programs. First, many whey protein powders are contaminated with heavy metals. (Says this Harvard research report.) And also, whey protein is not good for people with lactose intolerance. True, I could have used whey protein isolate, which contains close to zero lactose, but I just don’t trust how whey is manufactured. And I don’t think it’s good for cleansing overall.

What About Soy Protein Powder For Cleansing?

Some people are concerned about soy protein’s effect on women. This is because soy is a phytoestrogen, and if the body has too much estrogen absorbed, it could produce a hormonal cancer such as breast cancer.

Thus far, there are no studies linking soy protein powder to breast cancer. However, I do believe that processed soy is not good for health. Also, I think there is something to the too much estrogen theory. After all, it’s not just the food supply from soybeans that causes estrogen dominance, it’s all the plastics and everyday cleaners that can mimic the effects of estrogen.

50% off Chef V Cleanse

Muscle Heads

You don’t need to buy one of those huge tubs of protein powders that huge weightlifters buy for bulging biceps.

If you’re not doing a cleanse, I really don’t think you need any protein powder at all. But if you are going to do a cleanse, you absolutely do need some protein if you don’t want your muscles to waste away and your immune system to get weak.

Dietary protein plays a major role in virtually every thing that happens in your cells. And not only that, protein helps you feel full. If you go even a few days without it, just having juice will make your blood sugars go up and down. You’ll get tired and cranky.

Look, even if you don’t choose one of my cleanses, I do highly encourage you to consume a little high-quality vegan-protein every day (hemp and brown rice are also good choices).

A little protein every day goes a long way for health.

Best wishes and to your health,

Chef V

Chef V and kale

Chef V’s Yoga for Stress Relief in Tough Times

yoga for stress

Tough times now. More than ever I depend on my yoga practice to settle my mind, re-energize, and reduce unhealthy stress.

When it all gets to be just too much, I use these two poses to find a calm, relaxed center – and I try to carry that feeling through the entire day.

TREE POSE (VRKSASANA)

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.

Slowly bring your hands back to prayer in front of your chest and slowly release your right foot down. Refocus your attention to the right foot balance and bring your left leg up to the same place you did on your right.

Rebalance and bring your arms to heart center. Extend your arms overhead to a different hand mudra. Breathe 5-10 breaths and slowly release.

Benefits of tree pose: Improves balance and stability in the legs, works and strengthens the core, strengthens the tendons and ligaments in the feet, opens the pelvis and hip bones, also builds self-confidence and self esteem.

collard greens

FLOOR BOW POSE (DHANURASANA)

Another pose that helps me center is Floor Bow Pose. My ribs open and allows deeper cleansing breath.

Start by laying flat with your stomach on the ground. Bend your knees and reach around grabbing your right ankle with your right hand and left ankle with left hand. Start to kick your feet so your arms are being pulled. You can begin to rock back and forth, breathing deeply. Make sure your knees are as close together as possible, hold and breathe for 5-10 inhale and exhale breaths and slowly release.

Benefits of bow pose: Opens the heart, hips, chest, and abdominal muscles. Improves balance, digestion, fatigue, anxiety, and menstrual discomfort.

However you decide to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, do it with Cheer! Namaste!

Chef V, Coco and kale

Go Veg: Healthy Gut, Smooth Skin, Glossy Hair And Strong Nails

sleep and weight loss

The best veggies for a healthy gut, skin, hair and nails are the same ones in Chef V’s mega-popular Green Drink. And it’s no coincidence that these same veggies are also the best for helping you cleanse and detox. Chef V covers how each of the veggies benefits your beauty.

I created the recipe for Organic Green Drink several years ago back when I was a private chef. Over time, demand grew for my Green Drink and that’s really the catalyst for launching Chef V.

I did a ton of research for the Green Drink recipe. I wanted to select the best veggies that would not only taste amazing cold-blended, but that would also be the best for a 3 day cleanse or 21-day detox. And as it turns out, the seven veggies in Green Drink not only happen to be the best for cleansing and detoxing, they also happen to be the best veggies for skin, hair and nails.

Now I admit, it would be a pain in the behind to have to chop green kale, black kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, green chard, curly parsley and green leaf lettuce every day. And then have to juice it. Then clean up.

The main reason why I transitioned from being a private chef to launching Chef V: making healthier easier for people just like you. And it doesn’t get any easier than having a bottle of our certified organic Green Drink delivered to your home.

Not only can you lose weight, gain energy and sleep more soundly by having Green Drink every day, there’s a very good chance your skin, hair and nails will look better.

So let’s take a look at how the ingredients in Green Drink are the healthiest veggies for skin, hair and nails.

varieties of kale

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Kale

Sure, there’s some excessive kale craziness these days. But for good reason. Kale is rich in vitamin K. And it’s really hard for most people who eat the average American diet to get enough K. Vitamin K actually helps minimize dark circles in your eyes. That’s why it’s one of the best veggies for skin.

In fact, kale can even help tighten your skin. How? Well, one of the reasons why your skin isn’t as tight when you get older is that the aging process weakens your collagen. Collagen is the body’s main structural protein. In fact, over one-third of the thousands and thousands of proteins in the body are collagen proteins. Collagen provides strength to your tendons, ligaments, teeth, nails, hair, bones, gut lining, and much more….

The vitamin C in kale along with the antioxidant, lutein, promotes collagen regrowth and production. In addition, the vitamin A in kale helps prevent damage to the skin. It also repairs and damage to the epidermis.

There’s a good reason why kale has been added to several beauty products. Because it’s such an efficient detoxifying nutrient, kale can help clean your pores. It’s even beneficial for your hair pores. Moreover, kale contains fatty acids such as omega-3s. These fatty acids provide moisture to your hair and skin.

There’s even a nail polish with kale extract. Supposedly, it can help stimulate keratin production. Keratin is the other main protein that’s in your nails.

These facts about kale make it one of the best veggies for skin, hair and nails. So drink your Green Drink and schedule that kale facial!

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Dandelion

Another incredible detoxifying green veggie in our Green Drink is dandelion. Dandelion widens your pores. That’s how it helps your body get rid of toxins. And according to this article, dandelion shrinks wrinkles. It may also help whiten dark spots and reduce fine lines.

Like kale, dandelion also contains lots of beta carotene and vitamin C. It’s also rich in the B vitamins and vitamin E, which is a standard ingredient in many skin care products. Moreover, the minerals and trace minerals in dandelion may actually help regrow hair.

collard greens

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Collard Greens

The reason why collard greens is one of the best veggies for skin, hair and nails is the same reason as kale and dandelion: it’s loaded with beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A). One benefit of Vitamin A for your skin is the production of sebum. You can think of sebum as a waterproof lubricant for your skin. Without sebum, your skin would feel like it’s been scorched in a sauna for hours. And sebum is also in your hair. Without enough of it, your hair feels like straw.

Collard greens also contain iron. And one major factor for thinning hair is low iron intake.

chard

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Chard

Here’s why I think chard is one of the best veggies for skin, hair and nails….

Just one serving of it contains over 700 percent of your vitamin K suggested intake. It’s also got about 200 percent of your beta carotene needs and about half of your daily vitamin C needs. And chard is also very high in minerals such as magnesium. Getting enough magnesium in your diet is very important for healthy skin. It can help balance the amount of oils you have. Obviously, you need some oil but not too much. If your skin tends to run on the oily side, magnesium can reduce the amount of oils.

Chard is also high in biotin. Biotin is vitamin B7. There’s a good reason why many hair care products contain biotin. That’s because biotin stimulates hair follicles. Consume enough chard and your hair may benefit by appearing shinier and fuller in texture. And like all the other of the best veggies for your skin, chard is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants repair and help regenerate new skin cells.

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Parsley

Poor parsley. Most people just eat a tiny bit of it as a post-meal garnish to freshen the breath. But here’s why you should consume more of it. (And what easier way to get your daily dose of parsley than having one or two Green Drinks per day?)

Parsley is a wrinkle destroyer. As I say above, vitamin C-rich foods help encourage production of collagen in your body. And parsley is particularly rich in vitamin C. And the more collagen production your body undergoes, the more wrinkles and fine lines will fade.

Moreover, parsley is a natural antibiotic. Thus, it can help kill bacteria-causing acne. There are several other benefits of parsley for your skin as well. But this post is already long and we’ve got one more of the best veggies for skin, hair and nails to cover:

Chef V and kale

Lettuce

One of the main reasons why lettuce is good for your skin is it contains the following three minerals: silica, sulfur and phosphorous. You don’t need a large quantity of these minerals from the foods you eat. That’s why they are called trace minerals. But these three trace minerals are vital for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. Without doubt, you’re not going to get many benefits by eating iceberg lettuce, which is devoid of nutrition. But green leafy lettuce can also protect your skin against harmful UV rays.

So now do you see why I selected these six veggies (7 really; Green Drink includes two different types of kale)? Not only are they the best-tasting and most detoxifying, they’re also the best for your skin, hair and nails.

Chef V, Coco and kale

Green Drink Skin Benefits: Way Beyond Skin Deep

green drink skin benefits

The benefits of Green Drink for skin can have much more of an impact than a cosmetic procedure like a facial. After all, facials and other beauty care methods are only, well, skin deep. But green drinks can benefit your skin from the inside out. Chef V explains….

Take a look at my picture. If you’ve never seen a picture of me, that’s me. Oh, if only I looked as stunning as Coconut, my beloved pooch.

But in truth I do get compliments on my skin from time to time. Now, I might be comfortable in my skin, so to speak. However, I consider myself a modest person and not vain in the slightest bit. Therefore, I’m not one to usually talk about my appearance. I’m going to make an exception here. You see, sure, genetics might have to do with how youthful your skin looks.

kale

Benefits of Green Drink for Skin: Collagen

Let’s talk about protein. Not the protein you get from food, but the protein that makes up who you are. Your body has hundreds of thousands of different proteins. And the most abundant human protein is collagen. Roughly one-third of your body’s protein is collagen. Collagen is the foundation of your connective tissue.

Collagen is a matrix-like structure formed by amino acids. It’s the most common protein in the skin along with keratin. The reason why we look older as we age is that our collagen denatures, weakens and shrinks. It gets weaker and weaker every year. In fact, after age 30 or so, you lose at least one percent of your collagen’s strength every year. That means by age 60, you’re collagen will be 30% weaker than when you are 30 years old.

But here’s one of the key benefits of green drink for skin: the vitamins and minerals help prevent or even re-generate your own body’s collagen. How cool is that? Do you see why I consider having a Green Drink every day the healthiest thing you can do for your health and beauty?

The dark green veggies in Organic Green Drink encourage collagen production. The older you get, the more important this is. That’s because collagen production slows down as you age. However, veggies rich in vitamin C inhibit the breakdown of collagen.

Benefits of Green Drink for Skin: Better Digestion

Here’s another reason why it’s great to have green juice for glowing skin. Because of poor diet, many people have insufficient stomach acid. Adult acne and other skin problems is a direct indication that not only does the gut not have enough good bacteria, the stomach doesn’t have enough gastric juice to break down the nutrients. This results in inflammation. And acne and other skin disorders are a symptom of inflammation.

And if you don’t have enough stomach acid, you can’t efficiently digest protein. Moreover, just like probiotics, gastric juices help fight bad bacteria. Consequently, if you can’t fully digest your food, microbial overgrowth occurs, leading to inflammation and potential skin problems.

But one of the main benefits of green drink for skin is that the veggies help stimulate the release of stomach acid. Moreover, the veggies in our Organic Green Drink alkalize the body and reduce inflammation.

green drink and digestion

Benefits of Green Drink for Skin: Enzymes

Now, not all green drinks are great for your skin. That’s because most green drinks are pasteurized. However, our Green Drinks are raw. And what this means is that when you chug some Green Drink, you get a ton of naturally-occurring enzymes. Enzymes are critical in absorption of nutrients. One major factor why many people have chronic disease is that they don’t eat enough enzyme-rich foods like raw green veggies. Cooked food destroys enzymes. That’s why one of the healthiest and easiest things you can do to ensure you’re getting some enzyme-rich raw veggies in your diet is to have a daily serving of Certified Organic Green Drink.

Chef V and kale

Losing Weight & Keeping It Off With Green Drink

losing weight with green drink

Having a Green Drink every day increases your chances for weight loss success—and keeps the extra pounds off in the long run. I share some tips on losing weight and keeping it off for the long run. Check out these inspiring success stories, too! – Veronica

Recently, I’ve shared with you reasons why my Green Drink can make your skin glow and look radiant.

And let’s not forget your hair and nails, too. If you have brittle nails or dull, frizzy hair, Green Drink is a potent nail and hair strengthener and tamer.

But can Green Drink help you lose weight? And if it can, can it keep the weight off for good?

Sure, plenty of our customers have had weight loss success with Green Drink. I’ve shared some of our amazing customer success stories with you, too. You can also check out our 450+ 5-star reviews on Yelp.

But in all this time, I can’t believe I haven’t explained to you why Green Drink works for weight loss.

In case you’re not sure what my Green Drink is, it’s seven certified organic green leafy veggies: black kale, green kale, collard greens, green leaf lettuce, curly parsley, green chard, and dandelion greens. It’s sweetened with only a tiny bit of organic green apple and organic apple juice with filtered water to aid in absorption.

Read K.I.’s heartwarming story of weight loss success!

weight loss success

Green Drinks For Weight Loss: Make It A Daily Habit

Even though I’m at a body weight I’m comfortable with, I want to keep it that way. That’s one reason I start each day off by drinking 16 oz. of Green Drink about 30 minutes after waking up and having some water.

I’m so confident that if you adopt this routine and combine it with intermittent fasting, you’ll see the extra pounds start melting within days, not weeks.

But is there any proof that the veggies in Green Drink can help you lose weight?

There is. I’ll summarize some of the research for you in a little bit. By doing so, I’m not merely trying to prove my enjoyment of geeking out on nutrition studies (after all, I am a certified nutritional therapist).

As Easy As….

On the contrary, my intention is by offering proof, you’ll feel motivated to start making Green Drink a part of your life. Seriously, I want Green Drink to be an easy, automatic routine for you like brushing your teeth, flossing (you are flossing every day, aren’t you?) and washing your hands.

You don’t even have to do one of my 3, 5 or 7 Day Cleanses and certainly not my 21 Day Detox Challenge to experience weight loss with my Green Drink.

The cleanses and detox provide you with four (4) Green Drinks a day. But I’m telling you all it takes is one 16-oz serving per day.

Obviously, if you eat three fast food meals a day, the Green Drink won’t have much as much impact on your health nor will it help you lose much weight.

However, having a Green Drink in the morning sets the tone for rest of the day. If you eat a donut, bagel, muffin or most commercial bread, you’re setting yourself up for weight loss failure.

That’s because after the yeast in your gut eats all the sugar from the donut, they’ll quickly send a signal to your brain demanding more junk carbs.

So, if you have a cold-blended veggie cocktail like Green Drink, you’re not giving the bad bacteria in your gut a chance to party.

Veronica and Brandon at the beach

Proof Green Drink Works for Weight Loss

“You want the truth, you can’t handle the truth!”

Sorry, Brandon, my hubby and Chef V CEO was just reading over my shoulder and suggested I put that one in. He loves “A Few Good Men.”

So here’s the truth and the proof about Green Drinks for weight loss….

Let’s start off with this study on kale. Besides numerous beneficial effects on health, it lowers your blood sugar levels after a meal. What does that mean for weight loss?

When blood sugar levels are high, your cells can no longer allow sugar from the bloodstream to enter. And as a consequence, the excess sugar gets stored as fat by the liver.

Unless you plan on doing several rounds of sprints or go for a long-distance run, that extra fat’s going to go where you least want it.

For this reason, kale is considered a superfood for people with type 2 diabetes.

Green Drinks for Good Gut Bacteria

Remember I was saying that when you eat a donut or other junk carb in the morning (or anytime of day), it feeds yeast in your gut? More specifically, it causes yeast to proliferate (multiply in number). And what this means is that you’ll end up with too much bad bacteria in your gut.

But this study proves a vegetable juice-based diet improves gut health. In the study, the participants consumed only a vegetable/fruit juice blend for three days. On the fourth day, the researchers observed a significant decrease in weight and body mass index.

And this weight loss was maintained until day 17. The only reason it wasn’t sustained for longer is that from day 4 onwards, the participants resumed their normal diet.

In addition, by day 4, the researchers noticed less harmful strains of gut/stool bacteria and more beneficial bacteria. Having enough friendly critters in your gut, as creepy as it may sound, is necessary for sustained weight loss.

Here’s one more study I’ll leave you with for now. It says that diets containing green leafy vegetables improve liver fatty acid profiles. The study is the first one to prove how green leafy veggies improve the liver health in animal predisposed to developing hypertension.

Your liver has to be in optimal condition in order to properly detoxify and break down dietary fat. If you have a “sluggish” liver, you’ll have trouble losing weight.

One of the green veggies in the study is collard greens, which is in my Green Drink. The study concludes that green leafy veggies not only improves liver health but also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

Bonus points for Green Drinks! And all it takes as drinking one bottle a day. That’s one of the easiest, most affordable weight loss strategies you’ll ever find. 

Check out Dawn’s weight loss success!

Dawn's weight loss success

Chef V and kale

Sleeping your way to weight loss success

sleep and weight loss

Trying to lose weight? Obviously, diet plays a huge role, along with exercise. But did you know that how much you sleep and the quality of your sleep also plays a crucial part in weight management?

And according to recent research, one way to improve your sleep quality is by getting enough specific nutrients.  I’ll share with you what these sleep-inducing nutrients are in just a bit…

sleep facts

The Link Between Obesity & Insomnia

But first, let me briefly explain why I think the link between diet and sleep quality is fascinating. Mostly, it’s because few people think of the connection between weight management and sleep. For the millions of Americans who suffer from insomnia, the most pressing concern is the stress and anxiety caused by chronic lack of sleep.

While habit-forming sleeping pills are the most common solution, perhaps the easiest and most overlooked sleep remedy is eating a healthier diet. After all, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the obesity epidemic has been paralleled by a trend of reduced sleep duration and quality.

Calcium In Leafy Greens

When most people think of the bone-building mineral, calcium, they think of milk and other dairy products. But dairy can promote inflammation in the body. A much better source of calcium is green leafy veggies, like the two kinds of kale in my Green Drink recipe.

Research suggests that if you don’t get enough calcium, you may have a more difficult time falling asleep. But there’s far more sleep benefits in green leafy veggies, according to research. These plants also contain micronutrients which may also influence sleep, such as tryptophan, potassium, magnesium, fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin, choline, complex carbs, and beta carotene.

And when you drink cold-blended Green Drink, the fiber is preserved. Fiber has been shown to be associated with deeper and more restorative sleep.

Green veggies (and yellow ones) also contain the eye-health promoting antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin. Not only do these antioxidants help you see better in the dark, they also help you sleep better. That’s because lutein and zeaxanthin filter out blue light.

Blue light, which is emitted from your smart phone, TV and other devices interferes with production of the sleep hormone, melatonin.

In addition, green leafy veggies contain lycopene (another great source: tomato paste)  and beta carotene, which have also been associated with less difficulty falling asleep.

chef v and green drink

Selenium For Sleep

The trace mineral, selenium has also been linked to sleep quality. If you eat sustainable sources of seafood along with nuts, you’re getting enough selenium. Brazil nuts are one of the best sources. They are high in calories so make sure you limit the serving size to just one handful.

Besides its effect on sleep, this macronutrient is also linked to immune function and inflammation response.

Vitamin C

Less Vitamin C intake was associated with non-restorative sleep. Red and yellow peppers contain mega C. Brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli, strawberries and cauliflower are other healthy sources rich in C.

Vitamin B6

I don’t eat that much animal protein. But one reason I include wild salmon in my diet (along with the occasional tuna when I’m at a sushi restaurant) is because it contains a good amount of vitamin B6. Among the many benefits of this water-soluble vitamin (also called pyridoxine), one of them is melatonin production.

Magnesium

Magnesium is important for sleep because not getting enough of this mineral in your diet is linked to problems staying asleep. A great source of magnesium is grains. Not all grains are good for you, however, especially ones that don’t have a lot of nutrients and get digested too quickly. Barley, wild rice, amaranth, and triticale are a few examples of magnesium-rich grains that your body takes a long time to digest. (The longer it takes to digest, the less cravings you’ll have.

eat this not that

Don’t Eat This And That If You Want A Good Night’s Sleep

If you want to fall asleep fast, limit your intake of dairy and meat. Palmitic acid is a saturated fat. It’s found in butter, cheese, milk, and meat. One study shows that diets high in palmitic acid led to an increased difficulty in falling asleep. Another study reported rats fed a diet rich in palmitic acid, were unable to regulate their food intake.

The bottom line is that if you want to sleep better, it’s yet another reason you should get lots of green leafy veggies in your diet. I created the Organic Green Drink to make it very easy to get your daily dose of them. So Drink Up!

And if you need more guidance on what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat, when you sign up for a Green Drink Plan, or one of my Cleanse & Detox programs, you’ll receive all my healthy eating guidelines for long-term weight loss success!

To your health,
Veronica — Founder, Chef V

References:

Sleep Symptoms Associated with Intake of Specific Dietary Nutrients

Influence of Dietary Intake on Sleeping Patterns of Medical Students

Sleep and obesity

Chef V and kale

Do You Have To Be Gluten Free To Be Healthy?

sourdough bread

“Let’s talk about bread, baby, let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be…”

With apologies to Salt ‘N’ Pepa (I’m starting to show my age!), bread isn’t as sexy as a topic as, well, sex. But actually in a way it is, because the conventional logic in natural health circles is that if you want to be slimmer and feel sexier, you’ve got to abstain from bread. 

Personally, I don’t have bread every day or even close to every day. On the rare occasion I do eat bread, I’ll choose a gluten-free variety or organic sourdough cracked bread from Trader Joe’s. 

And what about you? How often do you eat bread and other foods that contain gluten? If you’re eating gluten everyday, is this a ticking time bomb? Are you setting yourself up for an autoimmune disease or other serious health condition later on in life if you continue on your gluttonous gluten-filled path? 

Here’s what I think about whether or not it’s necessary to go gluten-free…

ancient breads

Today’s Gluten: A Different Breed 

When wild wheat was first collected some 20,000 years ago, it was much different than the wheat that’s harvested today. Through selective hybridization, wheat has been modified thousands of times. 

Wheat, which contains gluten, the glue-like protein structures, is one of the most complicated species in terms of gene variation. You and I have about 25,000 genes that contribute to our individual traits. Wheat can contain as many as … get this … over 330,000 genes!!!

That’s right, wheat is more genetically complex than human DNA. But it wasn’t always like that. During the last 50-60 years or so, as the industrialization of food became the norm, wheat has become so bastardized that it would hardly be recognizable to the first agrarians who started cultivating it. 

And as wheat has changed, so has gluten. The gluten molecules over the years have become larger. And modern wheat products contain more gluten than their ancient counterparts—gluten has become bigger and badder!

What does this mean for your health? If you’re eating lots of processed wheat and other foods that contain gluten, your blood sugar levels are going to suffer. That’s because modern wheat elevates blood sugar levels higher than ancient wheat varieties. 

In fact, Dr. William Davis, author of the best-selling book from a decade ago, Wheat Belly, compared his blood sugar levels after consuming processed wheat bread compared to an ancient variety of wheat. With his baseline, fasting blood sugar at 84, Davis’ blood sugar spiked to 167 mg/dl after eating modern wheat bread. But after eating a variety of ancient wheat, his blood sugar rose to a far more moderate 110 mg/dl. 

So you see, like most things in life, not everything is black and white. The devil is often in the details as they say. 

The same is true with gluten. Gluten has a bad reputation, and for good reason; 99% of supermarket products contain highly-hybridized wheat gluten. 

And with bigger gluten molecules and more of them, it’s no wonder that many people have bad reactions after eating gluten. 

But not all gluten is bad…

Organic Sourdough Bread: Good Gluten?

Sourdough bread contains gluten. But there’s less gluten in sourdough than in wheat bread. Another benefit of sourdough is that it acts like a prebiotic fiber. Prebiotic fiber is what the good bacteria in your gut feed on in order to survive and thrive. 

When I do eat sourdough bread, I always opt for organic. That’s because organic foods in general have less glyphosate. That’s the potentially-cancer causing herbicide and pesticide in Roundup weed killer that was developed by Monsanto, and the focus of over 125,000 lawsuits and counting.

Organic sourdough bread is fermented and contains more antioxidants than other varieties of bread. Plus, it’s easier on your belly to digest than wheat bread. 

ancient grains

Gluten: The Older The Better

Besides sourdough bread, what other foods with gluten may actually be good for you? Try eating ancient varieties of wheat that have not been hybridized to the extent that modern wheat has, and that won’t spike your blood sugar as high.

Einkorn and emmer wheat are a couple examples. There’s also spelt, kamut, farro and teff. 

Considering how used to modern wheat your taste buds are, it may take some getting used to ancient heirloom wheat varieties. 

But if you don’t want to give up gluten and want to take charge of your blood sugar levels and your overall health, give ancient wheat a try. Unless you have a true allergy to gluten such as Celiac Disease, you’ll probably find ancient wheat is easy to digest and won’t cause wheat belly. 

Chef V and kale

Worried About Traveling Again? Here’s How To Protect Yourself…

traveling healthy

Are you about to take your first trip in a long time? Excited but still a little nervous? Then keep reading because I have some tips to make your travel experience a little more easy-going.

Or maybe you’re not nervous at all to travel because you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19….

If that’s the case, you shouldn’t let your guard down even if you’ve been vaccinated. 

That’s because there are well over 200 viruses that are known to be able to infect humans. Obviously, COVID-19 is the one that’s still on everybody’s mind, but it’s clearly not the only one that can make you sick if you’re flying. 

So let’s dive in and explore how to keep your immune system strong and balanced before you trip.

virus particle

Start Taking Care of Your Immune System Now

Suppose you’re meeting close friends for dinner before you trip. Your friends order a bottle of wine. Toasts are made to being fully vaccinated and returning to life, and to your upcoming trip.

One glass of wine quickly goes down. Then another. And another. And by the next day, you’re all congested and your energy is way low because you couldn’t sleep (the wine and the congestion interfered with your sleep cycle). 

At this point, your immune system has taken a huge punch to the gut. (No pun intended; 80% of your immune cells are in your gastrointestinal tract.) The congestion can then lead to a cold or sinus infection. 

If you’re sensitive to sugar and gluten like I am, all it takes is one celebratory meal to make yourself sick. 

Or suppose, you’re going to a birthday party shortly before your trip. Allow yourself one tiny square of birthday cake but no more. It’s not worth jeopardizing your immune system for what may very well be your first significant trip in over a year. 

In addition to limiting alcohol and added sugars, start supporting your immune system now by fueling your cells with nutrient-dense superfoods. If you don’t have time to prepare meals with green leafy veggies, you can drink them down and have it delivered to your home

Because of COVID, in addition to green, leafy veggies, I’ve been getting more edible mushrooms in my diet. Mushrooms are one of the best foods for immune support. Just like my Organic Green Drinks make it easy to get green leafies in your diet, mushroom powders make it easy to get ‘shrooms. 

Organic Hand Sanitizer

Are you still using hand sanitizer after every time you go out in public? I can’t say I blame you. However, I am concerned about the long-term health effects to the gut microbiome when using conventional hand sanitizer so often. 

This is especially true if you’re frequently disinfecting your hands with antibacterial soap. 

And when I travel, instead of antibacterial soap, I use organic hand sanitizer or an essential-oils based disinfectant like Thieves spray. 

Another thing you can do is carry some extra napkins on you when traveling. If you have to open a bathroom stall door, whip out the napkin and use it to grab the handle. I know it may sound wasteful, but, hey, as the saying goes, reduce, reuse, recycle. Don’t grab a huge wad of napkins next time you’re getting coffee to go. But if you already have napkins or tissues on hand, why not put them to good use for the rare times when you fly?

Take a good Probiotic

 Especially important before I travel, I make sure I eat probiotic-rich foods and take a high-quality probiotic supplement to colonize my gut with friendly bacteria. I recommend the brand probiotic I take it’s called Bio-k. They have dairy and non dairy fermented options. To me it’s the best source because it’s fresh not a pill. I have one bottle for three day’s servings, each day, on an empty stomach. Then I wait 15-30 minutes before having my Green Drink. 

probiotic

Nasal Spray

The bone-dry air of an airplane is the perfect breeding ground for viruses. Now, in fairness to many airlines like Southwest, they have done a great job installing high-tech air filters that, according to Southwest’s website, offers “a full exchange of cabin air with fresh, outdoor air and HEPA filtered air every 2-3 minutes.”

But even so, the dry air on an airplane can cause microscopic tears in your nostrils. This makes it more likely for any potentially-pathogenic virus to penetrate the mucosal barrier in your nose and infect you. The antidote to this is moisturizing your nose with a saline nasal spray or nasal lubricant gel or oil, as soon as you get on the plane. (Or better yet, apply it before you enter the airport.) 

Viruses Aren’t The Only Concern When Traveling

COVID-19 is the predominant health concern for those traveling. But don’t forget about traveler’s diarrhea, food poisoning and other digestive maladies that arise. 

As I mentioned in a previous post I wrote about traveling with kids, I always make sure to bring remedies that will soothe an upset tummy. Read it to find out why I like yeast probiotic and Oregon Grape Root the best as well as tea tree oil for other health mini-crises that may arise while traveling. 

child on plane

Stress Management

And perhaps the best advice I can give is to not give into fear. 

One excellent way to keep negative or fearful thoughts at bay is to maintain a daily health-manifestation practice. Repeat a simple mantra a few times a day that you’re healthy and your immune system is supporting you and well-balanced. 

You can recite the mantra mentally so the person on the plane next to you doesn’t think you’re kooky. 

And don’t forget to take long, deep breaths several times per day. If you’re currently not doing that now and your trip is coming up, start a breathing/meditation practice today, especially if you’re somebody who experiences a bit of anxiety before a big trip. 

Chef V and kale

Fuller Lips: Simple Tips and Tricks for Luscious Puckers (Lip Yoga?)

SIBO - snacking

Fuller lips … we can’t help but be mesmerized by the beauty of thick, erotic, sexy-looking lips. But no doubt you’ve seen the after-effects of plastic surgery for fuller lips look not so attractive. Chef V’s here to fill you in on how to fill your lips without undergoing the knife or getting expensive collagen injections.

I travel a lot for work, traveling from coast to coast. And one of my guilty pleasures is catching up on celebrity gossip on those long flights. Go ahead and judge me if you want. But I can’t always be reading research studies on nutrition and health. My mind would explode.

In my mission to help educate Chef V customers about health and beauty tips, I got one idea for an article. And, guilty as charged, I got the idea from a celebrity gossip magazine (which will remain nameless). The article featured the celebrities–both living and deceased–with the best lips.

Who was on the list, you’re dying to know? Christina Hendricks of Mad Men fame. And of course Marilyn Monroe and Angelina Jolie. Other celebrities with top puckers include Rihanna, Scarlett Johansson, and Jessica Alba, to name a few.

But these celebs’ lips are rarely natural. Typically, they’re surgically-enhanced. Sure, you can get collagen injection shots for several hundred bucks or more, every six months. And, you can also spend lots of money on skincare products. But the ingredients in most skin care products are toxic. (How can you tell if the brand you use contains safe ingredients? Check out the Environmental Working Group website.) Furthermore, you can buy lip volumizers and lip plumping devices.

However, if you don’t have more money than God like these celebs do and don’t want to get surgery (which always has a risk of complications), is there anything you can do to get fuller lips? Is there anything for fuller lips that isn’t just a gimmick?

fuller lips with collagen

Fuller Lips: Trick #1 – Lip Yoga

When I heard about the following facial exercises I’ll share with you, I was very skeptical. But let me just say it works. After doing these exercises for fuller lips, my lips were tingling for a long time. It actually feels like your lips are getting plumper after doing them. The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re hydrated. Even if you’re not sure if you are, go ahead right now and chug a glass of water.

Next, pretend you’re about to blow up a balloon. But don’t blow out. Keep about half your breath. In other words, blow your cheeks up halfway. Then, you’ll transfer the air inside your mouth from one cheek to another. Supposedly, the article I read that describes this exercise for fuller lips says this helps reduce fine lines around the mouth. Does research prove it works? Probably not. All I can say is I really felt the effects of these exercises for fuller lips. And for this first one, repeat it five times. That’s all it takes for your face to feel all tingly.

fuller lips

Fuller Lips: Trick #2 – Go Kiss Yourself

Another trick for fuller lips is by practicing blowing kisses to yourself. What better way to get fuller lips than by practicing some self love? It’s not necessary to kiss your hand and point your fingers, blowing the kiss away. All you need to do is pucker your lips and pretend kiss. Do this for a minute or more. Your lips will get hot and tingly again. Whether or not your lips will get bigger over time is uncertain. But what’s equally important is that your lips appear fuller.

Fuller Lips: Trick #3: Be Like Nemo

Another trick I learned that I want to share with you will make you look like a funny fish. Simply suck in the sides of your mouth and make a fish face. Now here’s where the lip yoga really comes in. The next step you can say is the equivalent of a downward dog/upward dog routine for your lips. While your lips are inverted puckered like a fish, lift your lips up. Hold this lip yoga posture for up to 10 seconds. Then do the reverse, bringing your lips down. Same thing, hold for up to 10 seconds. Try for 20 reps both up and down.

A couple other lip yoga tips and tricks that I got from the article (on Livestrong.com): open your mouth super wide. No, wider! Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat several times. And here’s another one: press your lips together super tight. Make a popping sound. Then, relax your lips. If you want fuller lips, repeat several times.

lip yoga

Fuller Lips: Trick #4: Take Collagen

Collagen is the structural protein in your lips that makes them sexy and pouty and plump. Imagine collagen like the skeleton of a skyscraper. Super strong, erect steel. In fact, the fibers in collagen are as strong as steel cables. The problem is that your collagen loses strength with the aging process and lifestyle factors. Taking an oral collagen supplement such as collagen peptide powder can help strengthen your own collagen. Thus, your lips will look luscious and fuller.

Diet, of course, is critical in keeping your skin looking healthy. Did you know that sugar connects itself to the collagen in your skin. And consequently, it causes your skin to stiffen. So try to cut down on added sugars. Also, besides collagen peptide powder, eat lots of veggies that help build your own collagen. The seven green veggies in Chef V Organic Green Drink are rich in vitamins and minerals that provide the essential building blocks for your collagen fibers to stay (or get) strong.

Here’s to your health and better, fuller lips!

Chef V and kale

Traveling With Kids? These 5 Essentials Will Keep Your Kiddos (And You) Safe

SIBO - snacking

Disclaimer: As the parent of a furry kid named Coconut, it might seem disingenuous for me to be writing about traveling with kids. However, a couple mommy friends of mine recently came back from overseas trips with their little ones (one family went to Ecuador, the other to Cancun). Unfortunately, in both families, the kiddos got sick. So it got me thinking, if I were a momma to a human kiddo, what would I do to protect them?

The answer: the same way I protect myself when I travel, regardless if I’m going away for a weekend or to the other side of the world. And the remedies and tricks I’m about to share with you are totally safe for kids.

If you’re traveling with kids, bring these essentials along….

probiotics

Probiotics

More and more people are aware of the importance of gut health. Your gut not only dictates the well-being of your digestion, it’s closely connected with your brain. In fact, the gut is often referred to as the second brain. If you have poor gut health, your won’t be as happy. That’s a fact!

Green leafy veggies, such as the 7 different kinds in my Organic Green Drink are great for feeding the good bacteria in the gut. However, the bad news is that there are so many different probiotic supplements, it’s hard to know which one to get.

So what does this fact have to do with traveling with kids? Here’s what….

saccharomyces

There is one particular kind of probiotic that’s an absolute must when you travel. You see, not any probiotic will do. Not even the one you use everyday that might be working great for you.

When you’re on a trip you need Saccharomyces Boulardii. Sounds like a mouthful, right? When you take a mouthful of this probiotic it’s the best thing to either prevent or treat diarrhea. As this article on a children’s hospital website says, “Saccharomyces boulardii is  effective in treating diarrhea in babies and children.”

A mainstream medical institution wouldn’t dare conclude that unless there was enough evidence to back it.

Any brand of S. Boulardii will do. It’s easy to take. You just take a couple capsules a day when you’re travelling. I like Jarrow formulas. Jarrow is a trusted brand.

S. Boulardii is the only probiotic that’s a yeast strain. All other probiotics are bacteria. This means that this special probiotic can help kill harmful fungi that your kids’ immune systems aren’t used to.

oregon grape root

Oregon Grape Root

Sometimes you need to call in the big dogs (no offense to you, Coconut). If you’re travelling to a developing country, S. Boulardii will protect you and your kids from travelers diarrhea. But if you develop something more serious like a stomach bug, Oregon grape root is the natural remedy you need. The medication, Cipro, is famous for treating stomach bugs. Oregon grape root is the natural equivalent.

Studies have shown that berberine, a compound in Oregon grape root, kills parasites like amoebae. It can also be used for treating giardia infections (which can be picked up by ingesting untreated water). OGP also kills harmful bacteria. And if you’re eating rich food that causes heartburn or indigestion, OGP can help with those conditions as well.

tea tree oil

Tea Tree Oil

Essential oils are Mother Nature’s first aid kit. There are lots of essential oils that have therapeutic benefits, but if I’m taking one specific oil with me that’s highly versatile, it’s gotta be tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is good to carry with you at all times when you’re traveling because God-forbid your kid gets a bad cut or wound, tea tree (also known as melaleuca) is great for wound healing.

The oil will help kill any harmful bacteria that may otherwise lead to an infection. There’s nothing wrong with taking regular antibiotics when you really need them. But you can also use tea tree oil for extra protection.

Plus, TTO is great for relieving itchiness from insect bites. Your kids will think you’re a hero for making them feel better!

sugar free lollipops

Sugar Free Lollipops

Besides being a somewhat healthy snack for kids while travelling, there’s a more specific benefit of carrying these with you.

Because kids have developing ear canals, they are more vulnerable for experiencing ear pain when flying. Especially when landing.

Licking on a lolly activates the muscles that open up the eustachian tubes in the middle ear. Another helpful thing for your kiddies when flying is earplugs. Filtered earplugs equalize the pressure against the eardrum when the plane lands (and during takeoff; usually, though, ear pain is more of a problem during the landing phase).

The company, EarPlanes, has plugs for both kids and adults.

And besides lollipops, you should stock up on healthy snacks before you go. Bring a carry-on suitcase full of them. You don’t know if where you are traveling will have healthy snacks for kids, especially if it’s a developing country.

I’m not including obvious essentials like a first aid kit, baby wipes, sippy cups and entertainment. I’m only including a few essentials here that aren’t common knowledge. But if you bring these with you, you’ll feel secure that should a bout of traveller’s belly or flying ear strikes you’ll be well prepared.

Happy, safe traveling!

P.S. My favorite TSA secret is that you can bring anything frozen through. So freeze your green drink overnight and bring it through TSA to your destination.

Chef V and kale

SIBO: The Number One Reason You Shouldn’t Snack All Day

SIBO - snacking

How many times a day do you do it? 

You’re not really hungry but you stroll into the kitchen and open the fridge or pantry…

It’s not like new food has magically materialized. 

Yet you find something to snack on. 

But even when you’re done eating the last crumb, you’re already thinking about the next snack. 

And all day long, it doesn’t stop. Popcorn on the couch at 11:00 at night while you’re binge-watching your favorite show. 

Nothing wrong with unwinding after a hard day’s work with some mindless show. 

But because I know about SIBO and how it can cause terrible bloating, constipation, gas, and skin problems, I avoid snacking almost entirely—especially after dinner. 

gastritis from SIBO

What is SIBO? 

SIBO stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. 

Because of the popularity of probiotics, lots of people know about the importance of having a healthy gut microbiome. 

Not sure what a gut microbiome is? 

It’s everything in your gut that’s not you, like bacteria and fungus. 

It’s important to have enough of these invisible friendly freeloaders in your gut. That’s because they help metabolize food and release byproducts that keep you healthy. 

In other words, if you take care of these microscopic critters, they will take care of you. 

Many people know it’s important to have enough friendly bacteria in the gut to keep the potentially disease-causing bacteria and yeast from overwhelming the immune system. 

But what few people are aware of is exactly where the good stuff should be. 

Yes, in the gut … but where exactly? 

The answer is your colon. 

And, no, the colon is not the same as the rectum, where poop comes out of; the colon is another term for the five-foot long large intestine.

Gut bacteria should predominantly be present in the large intestine. But when you snack a lot, it can cause an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine or SIBO. 

colon

What Causes SIBO?

There are other root causes besides snacking. But not giving your digestion enough of a break is one of the biggest culprits. 

Chronic stress, medication, serious illness, surgery, hormonal imbalance (excess estrogen) … these are some of the other contributing SIBO factors. 

But I want to focus on snacking here because almost everybody can relate to it and it’s really easy to correct. 

So here’s why snacking can cause SIBO…

The bacteria in your small intestine normally gets literally swept down into the large intestine several times a day by a process called the migrating motor complex or MMC. 

Not to geek out on this highly complex function of human physiology but the basics of the MMC are important to understand. 

If the majority of your bacteria sits in your small intestine, you will not be able to absorb nutrients very well. 

Malabsorption of nutrients can cause autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, mood disorders and lots of other health concerns. 

So you really need the bacteria to migrate from the small intestine to the large intestine. Otherwise, the friendly bacteria (probiotics) can’t digest their favorite food—prebiotic fiber—that eventually create short-chain fatty acids. 

Short-chain fatty acids improve gut-brain communication. And basically every factor of health such as immunity is determined by gut-brain communication. 

intermittent fasting

Why Snacking Causes SIBO

But it can take up to 4 hours in between meals for most of the bacteria to be swept into the colon. 

You probably already know that frequent snacking is bad for managing blood sugar levels and keeping insulin levels low. 

Now that you know about the MMC, add it to the list of why you really should never snack in between meals—unless you have a medical condition such as type 1 diabetes that necessitates eating frequent small meals. 

SIBO is another good reason to give intermittent fasting a try. I like the routine of finishing my dinner by 8 p.m. and then breaking my fast 16 hours later with Organic Green Drink. 

Doing a 16 hour fast will help your body not only sweep all the excess bacteria down into the large intestine, it will also help your body get back in balance. Digestion requires an enormous amount of energy and resources. When you deprive your body of food short-term, it can focus on other tasks like self-repair. 

 (Fasting for 12-14 hours will also yield positive results but build up your temporary daily fast to 16 hours eventually.)

How To Get Tested For SIBO and Fix It

You have to get diagnosed for it by a medical doctor. You can also find a functional health practitioner who can run some diagnostic tests and assess your gut health. 

Fixing SIBO requires dietary adjustments, probiotics and prebiotic fiber, for starters. You may have to eliminate all added sugars, gluten, processed soy, white flour, and wheat flour for the time being. Eat a plant-based diet consisting of real food (nothing packaged or processed) and stop snacking. And stop walking past the fridge and pantry so much! 

Chef V and kale

Making The Most Out Of Your Chef V Experience

chef V cleanse

Despite the thousands of satisfied CHEF V CLEANSE customers and incredible transformation stories, we’re never going to have a 100% success rate. 

I realize that. But knowing that there’s somebody out there—even if they are the 1 in a thousand that doesn’t have an awesome experience—well, it sort of weighs on me a little bit. 

So if you’re thinking about doing a CLEANSE or just starting out, here are some tips on how to maximize your experience and undergo the health transformation you want to achieve. 

checking out Chef V cleanse ingredients

Cleanse For Success Tip #1: Set Realistic Expectations

How long has your diet been, well, let’s just say far from perfect? 

If you’ve been consuming lots of processed food for many years, you can’t expect miracles from a 5 Day Cleanse. Sure, you can lose up to 20 pounds in 5 days. 

But then what? 

Are you going to keep the results going? And if you’ve eaten unhealthy for years, is 5 days going to reset your metabolism? 

Maybe not. 

That’s why in order to keep your success going, you can’t go back to eating the same foods and drinks that cause a toxic metabolism in the first place. 

You have to keep the success going my sticking to my Organic Green Drink plan. The plan is simple really. All you have to do is replace a regular breakfast with an 8-16 oz. serving of Green Drink

Then, eat a sensible lunch and dinner with a healthy snack in between if you have to. Make sure you also give your body 12-16 hours in between your last bite of dinner and your first sip of Green Drink in the morning.

This intermittent fasting will help balance your blood sugar levels and improve detoxification.  

Everybody has different reactions to cleansing. For some people, the weight melts right off because the liver and gallbladder are in pretty good shape. These organs can filter out the bad stuff. 

But for other people, the liver and gallbladder are so sluggish that it may take more than 5 days to do the trick. 

Carrot curry soup in Chef V cleanse

Cleanse For Success Tip #2: Extend The Cleanse

If you’re not satisfied with your cleansing results, you may also need a healthy lifestyle education. That’s where 21 Day Detox comes in. 

Many people are straight-up addicted to sugar and think that doing a 1, 3 or even 5 day cleanse will cure all their troubles. This goes back to unrealistic expectations from above. But if your brain has been hijacked by sugar or salt addiction, it’s going to take longer than a 5 Day Cleanse to reset your taste buds. 

Three weeks will do the trick!I know 21 days sounds like an eternity. But think how quickly the last 3 weeks have gone by. And really, doing a 21 Day Detox is not that challenging, not when you have me as your guide.

I’ll provide you with healthy eating guides and wellness resources along with dozens of recipes to choose from. Plus, throughout the 21 Day Detox, you’ll get to eat delicious meals and snacks. It’s not a starvation diet; it’s a lifestyle adjustment and Green Drink remains the foundation of the program. 

But losing up to 40 pounds in just 21 days is not for everybody. 

Veronica and Brandon with green drink at the beach

Cleanse For Success Tip #3: Don’t Quit & Maintain Your Desire To Transform

You have to want it. You have to put in the work. It’s not that difficult. You just need to have some temporary will power in order to put the sugar genie back in the bottle. 

And if you can do it for just three weeks out of your life, you can live the rest of your life buzzing with natural energy. Your vibration will be higher. Your skin will look more youthful. In short, you’re going to feel amazing. 

Cleanse For Success Tip #3: Adjust The Taste To Your Liking

Some people who don’t get results from my cleanse complain about the taste of Green Drink, of which you get four 16-oz servings each day. Again, that’s because their taste buds have been corrupted by added sugars.

There are seven leafy green veggies in Organic Green Drink and nothing else except for a tiny bit of apple. That’s why there’s only a couple grams of natural sugar in each serving.

If you want to reset your toxic metabolism that has been making your fat cells bigger, one of the most important things you can do is resetting your taste buds. 

After resetting your taste buds, eating a handful of berries will taste amazing. You’ll be hooked on “Mother Nature’s candy” instead of empty-calorie food with added sugars. 

But you have to be realistic and give Green Drink a chance to exert its metabolic-rebooting potential. You can’t expect Green Drink to taste like a Slurpee. 

You can add liquid stevia drops to Green Drink to add some natural sweetness to it without raising your blood sugar levels. 

Do you want to know the absolute best way to reset your taste buds and conquer a toxic metabolism? 

Your 100% Happiness Is My #1 Concern

I know it sounds cheesy… (Speaking of cheese, if you’re eating a lot of it and want to transform your metabolism, give it up as much as you can after your cleanse is over!)

But it’s true. I’m obsessive about customer satisfaction. 

Remember, we’re not perfect. Sometimes shipping errors occur. And sometimes the problems are out of our hands (maybe the UPS delivery person screwed up). But I promise you we will do everything in our power to make it right for you. 

I appreciate every bit of customer feedback we get. We must be doing something right when it’s 99% positive feedback. But I always strive for perfection. Maybe that’s a fault who knows. All I do know is that I want you set up for the biggest chance of success possible!

Love, 

Chef V

Veronica and Coco with Cleanse ingredients

Let’s get Outdoors!

Veronica and Coco hiking

Stress. It impacts everything we do these days. And it has never been more important to de-stress, to find ways to relax and enjoy the good things in life.

How do I keep my cool during these times? I treat myself – and you should treat yourself too. And the treat that makes me happiest this time of year is to get outside. Whether hiking in the Arizona desert or doing yoga on the beaches here in San Diego, getting outdoors is just about the best stress reliever we have in these turbulent times.

We recently moved from the east coast back to one of the most beautiful places on the planet: sunny, temperate San Diego, where I can go to the beach. Taking an early-morning beach walk, watching the dolphins surf the waves (while sipping Green Drink, natch) takes me from stressed to blissful. Brandon and I de-stress regularly with long walks.

Veronica at the beach

What the Experts Say

The New York Times recently interviewed Julia L. Marcus, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. She says: “I think going outside is important for health… We know that being outdoors is lower risk for infection than being indoors. On a sunny, beautiful weekend, I think going outside is indicated, but I also think there are things to do to reduce our risk.”

We all know by now to socially distance and wear a mask.  Just this week, the CDC has published guidelines for going to parks and recreation areas, greatly expanding the options for going mask free.

cdc new mask guidelines

Outdoors safer than indoors

It is now well established that COVID viruses are much more likely to spread indoors than outdoors.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s health officer says that “the risk that somebody who is sick spreads this virus from coughing or sneezing outside and you walk by them very quickly, even when it is within six feet, that risk is negligible…. We always say ‘never say never’ in medicine, but the risk would be infinitesimally small.”

She emphasizes an important part of our daily routines in these difficult times. She says “going for walks and spending time in parks is important for mental health.” I agree – stress is bad for your health. We need to stay sane and calm to stay well.

veronica and coco at the pool

We’ll get through this 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

Your Body Has An Internal Bliss Chemical, Anandamide.

anandamide

Your Body Has An Internal Bliss Chemical, Anandamide. Here’s How To Activate It…

How do you bliss out?

Yoga retreat (can’t wait to do one of those again!)? Essential oil bath? A day at a spa? Meditation?

All these external, get-your-Zen-on rituals are fantastic for stress-management.

But I bet you didn’t know that deep within your body’s miraculous inner-workings is a neurotransmitter that when activated, can help you feel more joyous. And the best part about it is you don’t need to spend hundreds of bucks on a yoga retreat to activate this chemical.

The catch is that anandamide, the bliss chemical I’m talking about, needs to be activated over and over again. It’s effects are very short-lived. But in a little bit, I’ve got some great tips for you on how to frequently stay stoked.

anandamide and THC

Anandamide: A Molecular Mirror of Marijuana

First, though, a little background on this bliss chemical.  If you’re wondering why you never learned about it in high school chemistry, there’s a couple good reasons. For starters, anandamide wasn’t discovered until 1992.

And second, researchers discovered it is because they were studying how THC—the chemical in marijuana that makes users feel high—interacts with certain receptors in the brain. That’s not something a high school chemistry curriculum covers.

In 1988, specific THC receptors in the brain were discovered. A few years later, anandamide was singled out as the molecule that most closely resembles the molecular structure of THC.

Anandamide is Sanskrit (the ancient language of India) for “extreme joy” or “bliss”. The molecule plays a role in memory, pain, depression, appetite and even fertility.

So … am I getting at that the best way to stimulate anandamide and feel ecstatic bliss is by getting high?

It’s quite the opposite actually. Research shows that too much anandamide stimulation induces forgetfulness. That’s why if you smoke pot, you may forget where you’ve put your keys. Although similar in molecular structure to THC, whatever joy one feels from anandamide is very short lived, unlike pot, which can make you feel high for hours. Anandamide breaks down very rapidly.

The trick to feeling steady joy throughout the day, then, is not by getting high off the wacky weed…

CBD and anandamide

Feel Normal By Activating The Endocannabinoid System

One way to activate anandamide is by using the second most common chemical compound in cannabis sativa: CBD. CBD doesn’t get you high like THC. CBD comes from industrial hemp and marijuana. It’s legal in all 50 states as long as it comes from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC.

CBD works by indirectly activating two types of receptors—CB1 and CB2—in the endocannabinoid system (the ECS). The ECS is definitely something that should be taught in high school chemistry. Consisting of receptors all over the body, the ECS is like your body’s internal health spa. Anandamide stimulates the ECS, and in doing so, promotes a state of homeostasis.

If there’s anything in life that you should wish for, it’s homeostasis. Homeostasis is a perfect state of balance. All body systems are functioning as they should. Mood, appetite, detoxification, digestion, immunity are normal. Everything is peachy keen when the body achieves homeostasis.

But CBD alone isn’t the answer to activating anandamide and feeling great. First of all, many CBD products, because they are not regulated and new to the market, are garbage. I highly recommend CBD but only if it’s full-spectrum CBD oil grown organically and sold by a company that prominently shows on its website 3rd-party- verified lab results for every batch it sells. This way, purity is guaranteed.

cbd oil

Best Foods For Bliss

There’s a good reason why eating certain meals or individual foods makes you feel happy. Eating ice cream or a donut elicits a feeling of guilty pleasure. But one reason why the pleasure is short-lived is because, as mentioned above, the effects of anandamide quickly wear off. After anandamide binds to its receptor, the molecule quickly dies.

Certain foods, however, can activate anandamide in just the right amount. And in doing so, the ECS is better able to promote homeostasis. (Remember: anandamide is a chemical in your body that activates receptors in the ECS.)

Jump for Joy with Organic Green Drink 

And wouldn’t you know it, in researching this topic, I’ve discovered yet another selling point for my Organic Green Drink. It turns out that certain cruciferous green veggies such as kale (one of the 7 veggies in my Green Drink recipe; actually there are 2 types of kales!) are rich in a compound contained in sulfur called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane interacts with the ECS and prevents the breakdown of anandamide.

There’s a lot of times I get up in the morning, feeling a bit on the groggy side even if I got plenty of sleep the night before. Then, after drinking some water and then having some Green Drink, I feel great … back to normal! After reading about this fascinating bliss chemical, I wonder if that blissed-out feeling I get after having my daily morning Green Drink is because of anandamide activation?

The key to promoting balance in your body is to keep fueling your cells with high-nutrient density foods that prevent anandamide breakdown. Using essential oils (especially citrus, eucalyptus and lavender) also stimulate the body’s internal cannabinoid receptors. So on that note, off I go to take a nice relaxing bath…

Chef V and kale

The 2 Most Powerful Inflammation Fighters Your Doctor Won’t Tell You

inflammation fighter

When you hear the word, “inflammation” what comes to mind? You probably think it’s something bad. Well, I’m here to tell you inflammation is great! Wait … what? That’s right, you see, you need a little inflammation in your body.

The inflammation process helps get rid of nasty germs. It also heals injuries. Any time you burn your skin or have some other physical trauma, inflammation comes to the rescue. Your white blood cells, which kick in to fight infections are part of the inflammation process. So, you see, inflammation ain’t so bad….

When you’re healthy, inflammation does a delicate dance. It stays in control, out of sight and mind.

But if you party like a rock star, don’t exercise and eat like crap, here’s what happens….

Certain substances that are in the cells of your immune system and are involved in the inflammation process go crazy. That, of course, isn’t the official scientific explanation. But essentially what happens is, as with the case in autoimmune disease, the inflammation response becomes excessive.  And that’s where my two powerful inflammation fighters come into play: a 21 day Detox, and the use of CBD oil – and CBD oil is getting easier to find across the USA.

matcha tea and leaves

Symptoms of Inflammation

So how do you know if you have inflammation? And what can you do about it? Well, let’s answer the first question.

Beyond the obvious signs of inflammation such as swollen joints or red skin from an injury, here are some signs you may have excessive inflammation:

  • Constantly tired
  • Getting sick often
  • Gaining weight easily and having trouble losing it
  • Digestive issues
  • Skin breakouts
  • Trouble concentrating (brain fog)
  • Headaches

Can you relate to any of these issues? Let’s say you get headaches and acne breakouts from time to time. Sure, you could pop an over-the-counter pain-reliever and use an acne remedy. Problem solved, right? Well, for now, maybe. But putting a “band-aid” on inflammation (no pun intended) does not solve the root cause of inflammation.

But I’m about to share with you 2 things that will greatly reduce it and put your body back in balance….

Chef V detox

21 Day Detox for Excess Inflammation

If you’ve legitimately eating healthy (by that I mean eating minimally-processed-at-most organic plant-based food 90% of the time), and you exercise, and don’t use harsh chemical cleaners at home yet you still have some signs of inflammation, I recommend seeing a functional medicine doctor.

But for most people, excess inflammation is caused by lifestyle factors. Needless to say, diet is a big one.

And sometimes, it’s not just enough to say to people, “eat a healthy diet.”

Sometimes, you just need somebody to hold your hand.

That’s where I come in.

With a background as a certified nutritional therapist, I created the recipe for my Organic Green Drink. Since then, I’ve created recipes for a plant-based Protein Shake and Detox Soups. These 3 items form the core of my Cleanse and Detox programs.

Now, I’m not just trying to sell you on stuff I sell. My intention is to reset your body, correct excessive inflammation and provide you with the lifestyle education you need to keep eating healthy long after you’re done with my cleanse and detox program.

So if you’re ready to dramatically lower your body’s inflammation response, I suggest trying my 21 Day Detox.

The 21 Day Detox combines my 3 Day Cleanse and Healthy Eating recommendations. There’s 3 different plans to choose from: Starter, Classic, Obsessive. The Starter Detox features one 3-Day Cleanse. The Classic has two different stretches of doing the 3 Day Cleanse and the Obsessive has three. For each day during the 3 Day Cleanse phase, here’s what you’ll get these powerful inflammation fighters:

  • Four 16-oz servings of Organic Green Drink
  • 2 packets of Chocolate Vegan Protein Shake
  • 1 container of Detox Soup (either Sweet Potato Curry or Ginger Carrot Zing)

For the rest of the time you’re doing the 21 day detox, you’ll get a 16oz Green Drink and Protein Shake each day. I recommend having those two for breakfast. Then, you have lunch and dinner. I provide you with a meal planner, as well as a Healthy Eating Guide, which includes a “Eat This, Not That” easy-to-follow chart, and a Healthy Portions chart.

We deliver the Green Drinks, Protein Shakes and Detox Soups right to your front door. And you’ll get my healthy eating advice emailed as soon as you order.

If you’re suffering from excessive inflammation, doing a 21 Day Detox could finally provide the relief you’re looking for.

And not only that, it will educate and inspire you to stick with healthy eating habits long after the 3 weeks are over.

chef v detox

CBD for Inflammation? Research Says Yes!

In addition to a 21 Day Detox, I’m also recommending looking into CBD if you have excess inflammation.

I have to admit that I have yet to jump on the CBD bandwagon. But according to the preliminary research I’ve read about it, I’m impressed. I previously wrote about it’s possible benefits for weight loss here. I do practice what I preach and I credit yoga and eating a nutrient-dense diet to keeping my inflammation levels in check.

Still, running a business can be stressful. And, of course, stress can lead to inflammation. That’s why I am CBD-curious.

And it seems like CBD works remarkably well for excess inflammation.

The reason why is it triggers unhealthy cells (like cancerous ones) to die. CBD also prevents harmful cells from replicating. And, another thing CBD does is keep in check the production of substances that trigger the inflammation process.

If you have irritable bowel syndrome or a related gastrointestinal disorder, you may want to give CBD oil a try. That’s because research shows the compounds in CBD calms tissue inflammation in the colon. It does this by weakening smooth-muscle tissue irritation.

I realize that recommending a 21 Day Detox and CBD oil isn’t the advice your doctor would give. But if everybody drank Green Drinks every day and ate a clean diet, and kept inflammation in check with CBD oil, many doctors would go out of business.

To your health,

Chef V

Chef V and kale

That’s NASty! Are Non-Caloric Artificial Sweeteners (NAS) Making Us Sick?

non-caloric artificial sweeteners

Here’s a one-question nutrition pop quiz … what’s better for your health: regular soda or diet?

Clearly the answer is not regular soda, right? After all, a regular can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar. And all that sugar can lead to type 2 diabetes and obesity. So even though diet soda has chemicals, it’s much better for your health to have 0 grams of sugar than all that sugar in regular soda … right?

Wrong!

According to recent research, artificial sweeteners may be just as bad for your health as regular sugar. In fact, this study suggests non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS) damage your gut bacteria.

What does that mean for your health?

Well, I previously wrote about how your gut is like your second brain and plays a major role in your overall health. The amount of beneficial (good) bacteria versus harmful bacteria in your gut determines how effective your digestion is, how strong your immune system is functioning, and even how healthy your skin looks.

gut bacteria

They’re Everywhere, They’re Everywhere!

As if anybody needed more convincing that artificial sweeteners are bad for you, this new research takes the cake.

If you have a diet soda once in a blue moon, I’m not suggesting that your gut bacteria will be damaged over night. But the problem is artificial sweeteners are in so many products.

Chewing gum (Any brand of sugar free). Bread (Thomas English Muffins 100% Whole Wheat) Yogurt (Yoplait Light). Iced Tea (I’m talking about you, Snapple). Popcorn (Orville Redenbacher). Hot Chocolate (Nestle). Ice cream (Breyer’s Low Carb Smart).

Getting the idea?

So if artificial sweeteners are so bad for your health, why does the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) allow it?

I’ll play devil’s advocate for a second and say that in moderation, these fake sugars probably don’t do much damage. Maybe you’ve heard about studies that feed rats or mice the equivalent of 100 cans of soda a day. Of course, the rodents are going to get sick with that much junk pumping through their tiny, sensitive systems.

But here’s the thing….

Because these artificial sweeteners are in so many foods, most people aren’t aware they are consuming so much of them.

That’s why I try to eat as much organic and all-natural foods as possible. Not that I eat bread, but if I did, I wouldn’t buy a conventional name-brand loaf; I’d be buying it from a farmer’s market, knowing that the bread has only a few ingredients with no added or fake sugars.

gut flora

Artificial Sweeteners Are Making Us Sick

It’s easy to be cynical and say that I, as someone who is selling Organic Green Drinks for a living, is just trying to demonize sugar (be they real or fake) in order to make a buck. And don’t get me wrong, I am in business to make a living. But the reason I wake up excited in the morning has nothing to do with income and everything to do with the daily success stories I read on Yelp or that come in my email inbox.

The seven certified organic green leafy veggies in my Green Drink contain prebiotic fiber that result in good gut health. And as I mentioned above, your gut is in control of all aspects of your health. But millions of people who consume foods and drink with hidden artificial sweeteners have, or are in danger of having one or more metabolic diseases. What are metabolic diseases? Here’s a list:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heart Disease
  • Dementia
  • High Blood Pressure

metabolic syndrome

image courtesy healthfreedoms.org

Stay Sweet, Naturally

As a certified nutritional therapist, my advice is to have real sources of sugar in moderation, mostly from fruit. If you need your healthy morning juice with a little sweetness, try my Tropical Smoothie. It’s contains the same 7 leafy greens in Green Drink that are great for gut health. It’s sweetened with a little pineapple juice. Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain, which is good for digestion. There’s only 3 grams of naturally-occurring sugar in an 8 oz. serving of my Tropical Smoothie. (Compare that to other leading juice brands, which contain 30 or more grams of sugar!)

There’s some controversy over stevia and whether or not it’s really all-natural. True stevia comes from a plant and is therefore natural. But some brands of stevia also contain maltodextrin (corn sweetener) and/or are made in a lab.

My take on the stevia debate? You have to pick and choose your battles. I think stevia sweetener isn’t nearly as bad as other synthetic sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame potassium (ace-K), and sucralose. That’s why I recommend avoiding as much as possible the following brand-name fake sugars: Splenda, Sweet’N Low, Nutrasweet, Equal, and Splenda.

The best natural zero-calorie sweetener in my opinion is monkfruit extract. It’s more pricey than stevia. But isn’t your health worth a couple extra bucks? Your gut will thank you in many ways.

monkfruit

Conclusion

For several years, there’s been lots of concern about the dangers of artificial sweeteners. Do they cause cancer? Can they lead to hyperactivity in kids? Do they trick the brain into eating more calories? While the FDA still maintains that fake sugars are safe in moderation, this new research tying the synthetic sweet stuff to poor gut health, in my opinion, is the nail in the coffin (no pun intended).

Stay sweet, naturally, my friends….

Love,

Chef V

Chef V and kale

You’ve Heard About “Matcha Tea” Hundreds Of Times … So What Is It?

making matcha tea

I believe in sharing with my followers every possible thing that can improve their health. This includes beverages other than my Organic Green Drink delivery plan. 

And hands down one of the healthiest drinks you should consume often besides Green Drink and water is matcha tea. 

Since I’m not a coffee drinker, I really enjoy drinking matcha green tea. Matcha does contain caffeine but roughly about a third of the amount as a regular cup of coffee. I have never felt jittery after drinking it. 

Are you somebody who has heard the term “matcha” but have no idea exactly what it is? Then this article is for you.

matcha tea and leaves

What Is Matcha Tea? 

Matcha tea is a shade-grown, whole-leaf tea powder. It’s made by taking tea leaves (from the camellia sinensis plant) and grinding the leaves into a fine powder. 

The highest-quality matcha tea, which is most often grown in Japan (the rarer white matcha tea powder is grown in Kenya), is made from leaves that have been shaded for up either two or three weeks before the first harvest of the season (which is usually in the winter). 

Then, the leaves are steamed, the veins and stems are removed and ultimately dried before being ground into a fine powder. So instead of drinking tea from a bag or loose leafs, matcha always comes in powder form. 

Nearly 5,000 years ago, China became the birthplace of tea. Buddhist monks introduced matcha to Japan approximately in the 1300s. Matcha tea mostly fizzled out in China but in Japan, the oldest type of tea in this tea-obsessed island nation, has remained popular. And over the last few years, matcha tea powder has become a huge health trend in the west. 

matcha tea in Japan

Is Matcha Tea Powder Better Than Regular Tea?

The fact that matcha is cultivated in the shade is very important. That’s because when the tea leaves mature in the shade, the levels of the green pigment, chlorophyll, increases. I recently covered the topic of liquid chlorophyll drops and how it’s a huge trend on TikTok. 

To sum up: consuming chlorophyll-rich foods and drinks can increase the amount of red blood cells in your body. This in turn, increases your oxygen capacity which gives you more endurance and energy. Also, the young TikTokers swear by chlorophyll for skin health. 

Does that mean drinking green matcha tea will make your skin look beautiful? Stay tuned for the benefits of matcha tea below…

Another difference between regular green tea and matcha is that the latter is much more concentrated. This means that by drinking green tea in powder form, you’re getting a larger dose of the beneficial phytonutrients. 

Any type of herbal tea offers health benefits. But it seems that matcha is the gold-standard. 

picking tea leaves

Benefits of Matcha Green Tea 

Matcha powder contains a wide variety of antioxidants and other nutrients. It’s also a great source of vitamin K, which is one of the best nutrients for your blood vessels and lungs. 

A study published in Nutrients supports drinking matcha tea powder for enhancing brain function. The phytonutrients in matcha “confer benefits upon cognitive functions of elderly people,” said the researchers, who led a 12-week trial involving 61 participants. Each of the matcha participants drank three grams of powder. 

There’s solid evidence that supports matcha for cardiovascular protection, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, inflammation, cholesterol  levels, anti-aging and pretty much every other health benefit. 

There’s a couple phytonutrients in matcha that a study in Food Research International says gives it the most benefits: l-theanine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). 

L-theanine is a mood-boosting amino acid. It also helps you feel more calm because it activates the neurotransmitter called GABA. 

As for EGCG, there’s solid evidence that it can kill tumors. 

Conclusion

Keep in mind that just like everything else in life, quality matters. In Japan, matcha tea is used ceremoniously. Ceremonial-grade matcha is the highest quality. The green color is vivid, resembling a patch of Irish moss. Lower-quality matcha powder, but healthy nonetheless, is used for baking.

Go green with Organic Green Drink and green matcha tea for health!

Chef V and kale

Eating For Your Blood Type: Does The Blood Type Diet Work?

blood typing

Eating right for your blood type. I’ve always been so intrigued. I recently found out I’m type A+ and my husband, Brandon is O+.

So from now on, should my food shopping ritual be different? Should I fill half the cart with A-friendly food while the other half will be O-centric?

(The polarity [+/-] of the blood type doesn’t really matter when it comes to dieting.)

According to the blood type diet, I should be eating lots of vegetarian-friendly food. As somebody who eats a 99% plant-based diet, I would have no problem eating for my particular blood type.

But what about Brandon? Should he go on a hunting trip and shoot some wild game? Type O’s should eat basically a Paleo diet: high in lean animal protein with a minimal amount of grains.

When Brandon and I go out to dinner, we usually share a couple of entrees. But if we’re both following the blood type diet does that mean we can no longer share food?

birds sharing food

While I always believe in really listening to what your body is telling you and following the 85/15 rule—consume at least 85% of your calories be from clean, organic, unprocessed or minimally-processed plant-based foods—I wanted to dive a little deeper into the blood type diet and see if I should be sticking to it 100% of the time.

Here’s what I found…

Each of the four main blood types comes with its own preset dispositions to lots of different physical characteristics. For example, the risk of developing a chronic disease, how much stomach acid your gut produces and the composition of your gut microbiome may be, at least in part, predicated on your blood type.

In fact, a study published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said the risk of cardiovascular disease is lower in individuals with blood type O and increased in individuals with blood type A, compared with those in other blood groups.

So should I be freaking out that I’m more at risk of dying from a heart attack because I’m type A? Meanwhile, Brandon gets to enjoy playing caveman and worrying less about croaking from a heart attack because he’s type O. And is having a higher risk of developing heart disease the reason why type A’s like myself should be predominantly vegan?

(“B” blood types can get away with eating dairy while A/B can eat a more varied diet.)

To answer the first question, no I definitely shouldn’t worry about cardiovascular disease just because I’m type A. Especially not if I’m following my 85/15 rule and managing stress through yoga and meditation.

To answer the second question, whether or not type A’s should follow a blood type diet, here’s what the researchers from the study above concluded…

The study participants were asked to follow a low-fat vegan diet and attend weekly educational classes to help them stick to the blood type A diet.

But the researchers discovered that the participants’ body weight, body fat, triglycerides or blood sugar was not affected by specifically following the blood type diet.

Instead, the participants’ health improved just because they were eating a healthier diet to begin with.

vegan vegetables

Where Did The Blood Type Diet Come From?

A naturopathic doctor named Paul D’Adamo popularized the diet in the west. His book, The Blood Type Diet “Eat Right For Your Type” was published in the mid-90s and remains popular to this day.

D’Adamo claims in his book that the diet is based on a plethora of scientific evidence. But the truth is, for the most part, research studies do not support the blood type diet.

Without doubt, there’s a lot of people who have followed the blood type diet and claim that it has significantly improved their health. But again, was it really the specific diet or was it simply the fact that the Standard American Diet of heavily-processed food was replaced by generally healthy foods for all blood types?

In fairness to D’Adamo, in order to properly study whether or not the blood type diet works, you would need hundreds if not thousands of participants in a very well-designed clinical trial. But that takes a lot of time and money to pull off. And with no backing from a major university or pharmaceutical company, that kind of gold-standard research is unlikely to happen.

Another strong talking point for D’Adamo is that in some cultures, blood typing runs blood deep in the culture. Take Japan for instance. Known as ketsuekigata, the Japanese blood type theory does not so much apply to diet; in this homogenous society, the traditional Japanese diet applies to all four types. Instead, the four blood types rule apply to personality traits.

Blood type matching in Japan plays a big role in marriages. Even some job ads in the country list preferred blood types to fill available positions.

image below Photo by National Cancer Institute

woman in lab

Does The Blood Type Diet Work? Conclusion

There is some research that supports following the blood type diet to minimize the risk of developing certain health outcomes to which your specific type is genetically more susceptible.

For example, type O is more likely to develop stomach ulcers. So if you’re a type O and you eat a ton of grains, it may (or may not) make you more at risk for developing gastric problems.

If your blood type is A like mine is, and you eat a ton of animal protein, you may find yourself getting sick more often or even developing a chronic disease.

Likewise, if you’re type O like my husband, Brandon, and you’re eating a ton of dairy, the same scenario could occur.

Does that mean if you are type AB, which has more flexibility, you can get away with eating whatever you want?

No. The takeaway is that everybody regardless of blood type should be eating adequate amounts of low-sugar fruit and lots of low-starch, nutrient-dense plants.

And if you need to get more antioxidants in your diet the easy way, check out my Organic Green Drink delivery plan.

But there’s no harm in trying the blood type diet. Do it for a month or so. And if you feel better, then try sticking to it.

Chef V and kale

Want to Live Longer & Avoid Cancer? Don’t Take Supplements (Do This Instead).

wall of supplements bottles

Do you spend a couple minutes every morning popping pills? I’m not talking about dangerous, addictive ones. I’m talking about supplements. Lots of people take health supplements in the hopes of living longer and avoiding chronic disease like cancer.

But according to an article on the Consumer Reports website, if you’re popping supplements like candy, you might not only be wasting your money … you may actually also be harming your health.

The Consumer Reports article requires a subscription (a great website). So for your benefit, I’ll give you the brief skinny on what Consumer Reports found out about why supplements just might be not what the doctor ordered for living a long, healthy life…..

The Verdict Is In: Whole Food Is Better Than Supplements

Nothing shocking about this headline, right? You don’t need to be a scientist or certified nutritional therapist (like me) to know that eating whole foods is better for living a long, healthy life than relying on supplements.

Nonetheless, that’s the conclusion of the Consumer Reports article. What is shocking, however, from the study, involving 27,000 people is this: 90 percent of people don’t eat the daily recommended 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Seriously? 90 percent? That’s absurdly high.

cdc results

Good thing I created an Organic Green Drink that makes it ridiculously easy to get your daily dose of veggies and then some.

So if 90% of the 27,000 people in the survey weren’t getting the recommended servings of fruits and veggies, could supplements be the answer for making up for the nutrient shortfall?

Nope. Not according to a source from the Center for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).

The source says dietary supplements shouldn’t be a substitute for healthy food. That’s because something you eat (or drink, like the 7 certified organic green veggies in Green Drink), might not just contain a certain vitamin. It’s also going to have a variety of other plant chemicals. These chemicals synergistically react with the other compounds. And scientists don’t yet fully understand how these compounds work. Isolated nutrients from capsules and pills simply don’t have the same effect.

kale varieties

Say No To (Most) Isolated Nutrients 

Here’s another reason to not rely on supplements to keep you healthy: isolated nutrients like vitamin C pills aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Companies can therefore get away with having heavy metals in protein powder.

Some supplements may contain far less of the isolated nutrient that what the package says.

If you can afford it, get a subscription to Consumer Reports or ConsumerLab.com. These two organizations are independent and test for purity and accuracy in supplements.

And if that’s not enough reason to ditch popping isolated nutrient supplements, let me give you a more compelling one.

Taking certain supplements may give you cancer. It’s true. It has been reported that if you take 1,000 mg per day of calcium in pill form, you might have a substantially increased risk of cancer. But when you eat foods rich in calcium your cancer risk doesn’t increase. Speaking of which, just one cup of kale supplies you with 100 mg of calcium. There’s 2 different types of kale in my Organic Green Drink.

water bottle

Are Supplements Necessary?

Sometimes they are. Especially if you’re trying to get pregnant or are already with child. Folic acid and vitamin D are critical for fetal development.

Vitamin D is also good if you’re stuck inside all day and can’t expose some of your skin to sunlight for at least 10 minutes.

And if you’re vegan, you might want to take a vitamin B12 supplement as well as algal oil, a vegan-friendly substitute for fish oil.

Speaking of fish oil, if you’re eating wild salmon a couple times a week along with plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts) you really don’t a fish oil supplement.

(Want to know how to cook salmon to perfection? Check out my recipes in my cookbook Making Cleansing Easier.)

Now, I’m not suggesting supplements don’t have their place. I believe certain supplements, especially ones that are time-tested such as traditional Chinese medicine formulas or Ayurvedic herbs can balance your system and make you healthier.

But eating whole, real food is always better than relying on popping pills for optimal health. Of course, you really didn’t need me to tell you that, did you? (Sometimes, though, the best health advice is hearing something you already know; the repeated message helps reinforce it until finally it sticks.

And I hope that if you’re not getting your daily dose of veggies, especially the healthiest kind–green, leafy ones–you’ll give my Organic Green Drink a try.

Chef V delivers Low Sugar Green Drinks nationwide. It’s the easiest way to get your daily dose of whole-food nutrients.

To your health,

Chef V

Chef V and kale

CBD and Anxiety: What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You

cbd oil

Don’t get me wrong, I love being an entrepreneur and helping coach aspiring lady business leaders….

But as I’ve mentioned before, owning a business isn’t all Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous.

In fact, despite all the yoga I do to manage stress, anxiety can still get the best of me; I’m only human.

So … I’ve been thinking about using CBD to chill out when work pressure starts bubbling up to the surface.

Recently, I wrote about the promising results of CBD on lowering inflammation.

I’ve also been reading lots of reports online about people using CBD to calm the nerves.

Being a certified nutrition therapist and research geek, I wanted to see if there were any studies that support claims that CBD for anxiety is legit.

Here’s what I found out….

cbd candy

How Do You Use CBD For Anxiety?

But before I go over some of the research, I wanted to share a few common questions people have about using CBD for anxiety.

“Will I get high if I use it? ”

The answer: maybe.

You see, CBD is just one of about 100 identified compounds in marijuana. But CBD is non-psychoactive. That means that unlike THC, the infamous compound in weed that gets you high, CBD doesn’t make you feel high. In fact, CBD counteracts the effects of THC.

Now the reason I answered ‘maybe’ to the question is that some tinctures (a therapeutic liquid made by dissolving a drug in alcohol) contain a mix of THC and CBD. As I said, CBD works in opposition to THC. But if you have a high ratio of THC in the tincture, it can make you feel loopy.

But you don’t need any THC in order to get the anxiety-relieving effects. Instead, just buy pure CBD oil.

Just make sure that you get CBD oil that comes from hemp, which contains almost no THC (no more than 0.3%; not nearly enough THC to get you stoned).

CBD oil is extracted from industrial hemp.

Although it’s a natural product, CBD has the same problem as pharmaceuticals when it comes to dosage: everybody is different. In other words, the standard serving size of 25 mg of CBD twice a day may affect people differently.

I’ll give you an example: while on vacation, I talked to someone who took the full recommended dosage of 5 drops to help him fall asleep. But the guy ended up getting insomnia.

So here’s the important lesson if you’re new to using CBD for anxiety: start small. If the recommended dose is 5 drops, start off by taking 2. If you don’t feel anything, increase to 3 drops the next day and so on.

There are several other ways to use CBD for anxiety: there’s vape pens; edibles and more. If and when I try CBD for the first time, I’m going to try a few drops of a pure CBD oil tincture. I think it’s much easier to experiment with a small dose with a tincture than, say, a gummy bear (which I may be tempted to eat several).

CBD and aanxiety

Does CBD For Anxiety Work?

Judging by the immense amount of people posting reviews and stories on the Internet, yes.

But I’ll only take that at face value.

Until I see some research showing some promise on it, I’ll remain skeptical.

That being said, however, keep a couple things in mind about the medicinal uses of CBD.

First, your doctor won’t prescribe it for you. At least not yet in most states. Doctors can only recommend it; they can’t write you a ‘scrip.

And second, unless your doctor is doing some reading on his/her own, he/she didn’t learn about CBD in med school. The endocannibidoid system (fatty chemicals that help cells communicate with each other), of which CBD helps activate, plays a huge effect on the body’s response to pain, inflammation, and, yes, anxiety. But the FDA doesn’t regulate dosage of CBD; instead, it’s treated like a dietary supplement.

I don’t need large research studies to convince me that something works. As long as there is at least some preliminary research offering proof, I’m down to give it a try.

And the research shows that CBD  does indeed have a calming effect on the central nervous system.

For instance, this retrospective study of 72 adults showed that anxiety scores decreased within the first month for 57 patients (79.2%). The anxiety remained lower during the study duration. The cherry on top is that the test subjects also slept better. Only 3 of the patients did not tolerate CBD well. All in all, CBD “may hold benefit for anxiety-related disorders,” conclude the researchers.

Preliminary studies (like this one) also show that CBD may be an excellent remedy for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

And this research from way back in 2014 (seems like ancient times, right?) says:

“Evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD….”

That’s a promising endorsement. I’m convinced CBD for anxiety can work. But….

cbd oil

Not All CBD is Equal

As is the case with all supplements not created equal–and Green Drinks, too–so it goes with CBD products.

I don’t feel comfortable recommending a particular brand of pure CBD oil because I’m not experienced with taking CBD for anxiety.

But I do know there are some things to consider before buying a product. If you don’t do your due diligence and research reputable brands, you may end up buying a product that contains very little CBD. So make sure the product you buy has 3rd-party, independent testing verification. If you live in a state in which pot is legal, you can visit a dispensary, where they will most likely carry a high-quality brand of pure CBD, instead of a snake oil.

Keep in mind some people believe a full-spectrum product is best. In other words, medical marijuana. Remember, CBD is just one of 100 compounds in cannabis. Similar to how getting antioxidants from whole foods is better for your health than merely relying on supplements, it might be better if you take something that has a rich portfolio of cannabis compounds, but one that is very low in THC.

CBD For Anxiety: Chef V’s Conclusion

I still think that to be on the safe side, pure CBD oil tincture is the way to go. Pure CBD is 100% legal in every state.

And if you’re taking any medication, please talk to your doctor to make sure there won’t be any drug interactions if you use CBD for anxiety.

Remember, this post is not intended as medical advice. While it’s doubtful your doctor would tell you to take CBD, I do think it’s better to be safe than sorry to at least ask your doctor if taking CBD is recommended, especially if your anxiety is serious.

If you’re going to try CBD, choose a product that’s GMO-free; pesticide-free; and extracted using CO2 technology.

To your health,

Chef V

Chef V and meditation

This One’s For The Dogs: Can Canines Consume Green Drinks & Veggies?

Chef V feeding Coconut Green Drink

No offense to you if you’re on my Green Drink Plan

But my favorite Green Drink customer of all time is Coconut. 

He’s my five pound, six-year old canine kid (a toy maltipoo). That’s right, Coconut sips on Green Drink. 

Just as Green Drinks support the health of bipeds like you and me, lapping up some cold-blended dark leafy greens can benefit your four-legged furry best friend.  

In this article, I’ll highlight: 

  • The foods you never want to feed your dog
  • What the research shows about feeding foods other than meat to canines
  • Tips on how to best prepare veggies to ensure easy digestion for your dog

Veronica and Coco

Are Vegetables Necessary For Dogs?

Not if you go according to mainstream advice. For instance, WebMD’s pet website, FETCH, says that if you purchase a brand of dog food that contains the seal of approval from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (or AAFCO), it means it offers a balanced diet.

But to me, that’s like saying if you purchase packaged human food from the supermarket that meets the criteria for the USDA Food Pyramid, it’s adequate for human consumption. And with the continuing rise in metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity, we all know how the federal government’s nutrition guidelines are working out for society….

The article on FETCH says that because all the nutrition dogs need is already in their food, you don’t have to worry about giving them vegetables to get a balanced meal.

But in my opinion, if I want Coconut to not just survive but thrive, Green Drink it is. Now considering he only weighs as much as a 2-liter bottle of soda, Coconut doesn’t need 16 ounces a day like I do. 

The fact is that dogs live such short lives. It’s one of my biggest beefs I have with the universe. Hopefully, with exercise and a little bit of Green Drink and other healthy food, Coconut will live to a ripe old age of 20 or so. 

veronica and coconut

Give Dogs These Veggies But Don’t Feed Them These…

Carrots, green beans and broccoli are some of the most popular veggies that dogs can safely eat. 

But by no means should you ever give your dogs the following:

  • Beans and other legumes
  • Potatoes

A research article published in the Journal of Animal Science says that in July 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about a possible relationship between a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs and the consumption of dog food formulated with potatoes and pulse ingredients. (Pulses are legumes like lentils.)

The popularity of feeding veggies to dogs has increased because of the same reason more people are eating organic human food. More and more dog owners have become conscious about the connection between the health of their pet and the quality of the food their pets eat. 

For instance, some of the questionable ingredients in dog food include wheat gluten, corn, grains like rice, meat by-products and preservatives. 

There are other ingredients that like beans and potatoes may seem harmless. But in reality, they can cause digestive upset or worse in dogs. These include:

  • Chocolate 
  • Citrus
  • Artificial sugars
  • Coconut oil (Sorry, Coconut, no coconut oil for you!) 
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Nuts
  • Milk, cheese and other dairy products
  • Onions 
  • Garlic (Your dog probably wouldn’t take onion or garlic from you anyway.) 

Best Way To Give Veggies To Your Dog

According to the Journal of Animal Science, pet dogs have dietetically evolved much differently than their wild wolf ancestors. Whereas wild wolves consume a very high-protein diet, domesticated canines like my fluffball Coconut can much better metabolize carbs. The research article suggests that dogs consume a diet that’s about 30% protein. 

That means that there’s plenty of room to add veggies in your dogs diet. In fact, the research article’s co-authors say, “The inclusion of whole food ingredients in natural pet foods as opposed to the fractionated ingredients [in commercial pet food] may result in higher nutrient concentrations, including phytonutrients.”

The article adds, “The processing of commercial pet food can negatively impact digestibility, nutrient bioavailability, and safety….” 

But you shouldn’t just hand feed your dog a huge piece of raw broccoli or carrots. Even if your dog would eat raw veggies, chances are the food would pass mostly undigested. And perhaps your poor poochy would have an accident in your home because it’s not used to eating raw veggies. 

So the best way to give your dog a little dose of whole, unprocessed veggies is the same way I like eating my veggies: lightly steamed or pureed. 

Veronica, Brandon, and Coconut

Research On Feeding Veggies To Doggies

I found one interesting study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Society. It  looked at the effects of vegetable consumption and vitamin supplementation on the risk of developing bladder cancer. 

Sorry, Coconut. The dogs involved in the study weren’t toy maltipoo but Scottish Terriers. The owners of 92 adult scottish terriers with bladder cancer completed a questionnaire regarding their dogs’ diet and intake of vitamin supplements in the year prior to being diagnosed with cancer.  

Dogs who ate veggies three times a week—especially green leafy veggies—had the lowest associated risk of developing bladder cancer. 

I’ll drink Green Drink to that. 

And so will Coconut. 

Chef V and Coconut

Easy Homemade Almond Milk

Making your own almond milk is SO easy! All you need is a blender (I prefer Vitamix), a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, raw almonds, and filtered water. I soak the nuts for 24 hours to remove the dust or any mold from shipping and handling, which also improves the nutritional value. Then drain the nuts and use fresh filtered water to blend. Cheese cloth is great because you get so much in one package, it’s so versatile, and you can use it on a million things (making nut cheese, poaching fish, nut milks, straining seeds from fruit, and lots more.) However, I bought a nut milk bag and it is so much faster and easier to use the nut milk bag.

I use almond milk in so many things. I cook with it any time a recipe calls for milk and no one can ever tell the difference. I also use it in my smoothies to make them creamy. You can add it to coffee or tea, cereal, or just have a refreshing glass with ice.

The milk will stay fresh about 3-5 days in the refrigerator. I keep them in mason jars, since each jar is about 2 cups and this recipe makes 4 cups. I use two jars so the milk stays fresher for use later in the week.

Once you try homemade almond milk it will be almost impossible to drink store-bought milk again, which is pumped with artificial crap to keep it fresh on the shelves. The sad part is that a typical consumer would have no idea about what is inside of store bought almond milk or that it’s actually bad for you. The toxic ingredients found in almond milk stress your immune system and weaken your health. The ingredients are also misleading and include words such as Vitamin A Palmitate, which can cause birth defects and bone fractures. Vitamin D2, which if taken in excess, can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, muscle weakness and bone pain. But the worst thing about store-purchased almond milk is it usually doesn’t even contain much almonds!

In light of this, I suggest making your own nutritious and delicious almond milk. And the great part is, it’s really easy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 cups water, for soaking
  • 4 cups cold filtered water, for blending
  • High power blender (I prefer Vitamix)
  • Nut Milk Bag or Cheesecloth

INSTRUCTIONS

Soak the almonds in 2 cups of water overnight. Drain the nuts and rinse. Blend 1 cup of almonds and 4 cups of cold water on high for 2 minutes. Pour the almond mixture into the cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Squeeze out excess milk. Pour into mason jars or a milk jug. Save the leftover almond meal for future recipes.

You can do this by heating the almond meal at 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. Make sure to mix the almond meal frequently while baking to dehydrate the water from making the milk. Use Chef V’s Almond Milk right away or store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

You can add some almond milk to your Green Drink to make it a little creamy. Yum!

© 2020 Chef V, LLC.