Tag: dark leafy greens

Dark Leafy Greens & Gut Health: What’s The Connection?

The fact that dark, leafy greens are healthy isn’t exactly headline, groundbreaking news. We all know they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. But what you may not realize is how the 7 leafy greens in Organic Green Drink may improve your gut microbiome, that tiny universe that’s home to your trillions of bacteria.

If you want to be happy and healthy, you have to make sure your gut microbiome is in top-top shape. So let’s learn exactly what consuming Green Drink does for your gut galaxy of bacteria.

This is Your Gut Bacteria On Green Drink

Eating or drinking dark, leafy greens doesn’t directly make you healthier. There’s a middleman involved. Trillions of them in fact. And when you feed the trillions of bacteria enough dark, leafy greens, they feast on a compound that makes us healthier.

To enjoy a balanced immune system, flawless skin, a positive mood and abundant energy, you need about 85% of the bacteria in your gut microbiome to be friendly strains. At that percentage, the 15% potentially harmful bacteria don’t stand a chance to overwhelm the good guys.

When you consume dark leafy greens, your friendly bacteria feast on an X-factor compound that helps them reproduce. It’s only by continuously feeding your good bacteria that the dark, evil forces in your gut—harmful bacteria—can never emerge victorious. Remember, gut health is everything. I’ve probably said that a million times over the years but I can’t emphasize this point enough.

You can pop all the vitamins and other supplements you want. But if you’re not feeding your friendly bacteria dark, leafy greens, they won’t be able to “make copies of themselves” or have microorganism babies, or however else you want to put it. The bottom line is that the friendly bacteria you do have can only go to work for you if you feed it the best stuff.

SQ For Gut Health

If you’ve been reading my articles over the years, I’ve probably scared you away from consuming sugar. But every single food with carbohydrates, fruits and veggies included, contains sugar. And some sugars are actually great for gut health. Dark, leafy greens contain a carbohydrate (sugar) called sulfoquinovose or SQ for short.

SQ is the only sugar molecule that contains sulfur and this is a very important fact. This is because sulfur is the 7th most abundant mineral in the body and many people don’t get enough of it. Now, it might not seem that 7th place is very important. After all, who remembers who came in 7th place in an Olympic race. But let me tell you why sulfur is important…

Your body needs sulfur to build and fix your genetic material (DNA). Every day and all day, your body is constantly trying to repair your DNA and protect your cells from damage that can lead to premature aging and chronic diseases. So you can think of sulfur as superfood for your DNA.

Without sulfur, you wouldn’t be able to metabolize your food or have healthy skin and joints. And when you consume leafy greens, you’re getting sulfur in the form of biotin (vitamin H; bet you didn’t know there was a vitamin H!). Biotin is made by your friendly gut bacteria! So eat lots of leafy greens to get your daily dose of sulfur.

Good Bacteria Love Protein, Too 

Who doesn’t love to sink their teeth into a tasty morsel of protein, whether it’s a carnivore tearing into a T-bone or the plant-based dieter enjoying tempeh tacos. Well, it turns out that our friendly bacteria love protein, too. They need amino acids just as much as we do. And it’s that X-factor compound, SQ, the sulfur-based sugar that produces amino acids for our good bacteria.

Some of the best sources of SQ include the 7 certified organic leafy greens in Organic Green Drink, which you can have delivered right to your front door. No wasting time on shopping, prep work and cleaning. Just drink it straight out of the bottle right into your gut, like superfuel for your friendly bacteria.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GREEN DRINK

Chef V’s 3 Simple Tips For Great Gut Health

We often hear the phrase gut health. But what exactly does that mean and how can it be achieved? Veronica Kress, aka “V” of Chef V fame, shares how she’s been able to keep her tummy flat and keep her mind sharp despite the stress of running a demanding business. 

Gut health is everything. And by that I mean how you feel mentally, physically and spiritually is directly connected to a tiny universe in your gastrointestinal (GI) system. So if you wanna look and feel your best, you gotta have great gut health.

Whether your skin is flawless or blemished…

Whether you can have a cheat meal and not put on weight or just look at food and feel bloated…

Whether you can concentrate on work for hours at a time without any effort or feel brain fog just minutes into a task…

Whether you feel calm and steady or every day is a roller coaster ride of emotions…

All these wellness factors are determined by the state of your gut.

But what is gut health anyway?

Gut Health, Explained

Have you heard the term “gut microbiome?”

On a simple level, it’s a collection of the trillions of bacteria—both good and bad—that are living rent-free mostly in your large intestine (colon), and to a lesser extent in your small intestine. These bacteria help digest our food.

And while it’s kind of disgusting to think about it, when the bacteria help us digest our food, they poop just like us. You see, when friendly bacteria eat specific types of foods, they produce a healthy type of fatty acid called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

Feeling awesome day in and day out depends on producing enough SCFAs. Most people think that it’s probiotics that are vital for overall health. And by now, who hasn’t heard of probiotic supplements? Probiotics are specific strains of beneficial bacteria that have been clinically proven to offer health benefits to the host (the person taking the probiotic). This assumes the probiotic is of high-quality and can survive the acidic environment of the stomach.

But the surprising thing is that it’s not just the probiotics that provide us with good gut health. It’s their metabolic byproduct (poop), the short chain fatty acids I was just talking about.

Having good health means that you should have at least 85% friendly bacteria. When your gut microbiome is at that level, the friendly bacteria prevent the potentially unfriendly bacteria from crashing the party in your gut and leading to poor digestion, bad skin, brain fog, infections, and potentially chronic illnesses.

You might think that popping a probiotic pill is all you need to do to achieve great gut health. But that’s only one small piece of the puzzle. Here are 3 things I do to support my gut and overall health.

Organic Green Drink: A Natural Prebiotic

Every morning, the first thing I do after I wake up (and use the potty) is drink water and then have a Chef V Organic Green Drink about 20 minutes later. I’m not using this space as a shameless promotional spot. This routine that Brandon (my hubby) and I have been doing for over the past decade has served us well. Doing this not only continues the detoxification that occurs while we sleep, but it also does our gut good.

The reason why is because the 7 certified organic leafy greens in Green Drink contain prebiotic fiber. You can think of prebiotic fiber as your friendly bacteria’s favorite food. Unlike simple sugars that get digested very rapidly, prebiotic fiber resists digestion and gets gobbled up by friendly bacteria. This helps stimulate the growth of more friendly bacteria.

Many people don’t get enough prebiotic fiber in their diet. Again, you can’t just rely on taking a probiotic supplement, especially if your diet isn’t all that great. By drinking 8 to 16 ounces of Green Drink in the morning—as my breakfast—I know I’m fueling my trillions of friendly bacteria with their favorite food that will help them grow just like breast milk does for a baby.

Fermented Foods: Natural Probiotics

Personally, I don’t even take a probiotic supplement, at least I don’t everyday. I might take one from time to time if I’m traveling and eating foods that I’m not used to. Or maybe I’ll take some in the rare instances I indulge in my vice: french fries. Not that I think probiotic supplements are overrated, I just think people rely on them too much without doing the other things necessary to achieve great gut health.

Instead of relying on probiotic supplements as a magic gut health bullet, I stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in my gut with natural sources of probiotics. I’m talking about fermented foods like no-sugar-added plant-based yogurt (cashew, coconut), sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), kimchi (sauerkraut with a spicy kick), and fermented soy like miso.

There is one fermented food that I think is overrated: kombucha. Some brands of kombucha have way too much sugar and they may not contain enough probiotics to contribute to gut health. But there are some brands of kombucha that are low-sugar. Just don’t rely on kombucha alone for adding more good bacteria to your gut microbiome.

Avoid Unfriendly Bacteria Triggers

My third easy tip for having better gut health is avoiding certain foods and drinks that stimulate the growth of unfriendly bacteria. Here’s my “Don’t Eat This” list:

  • Gluten (avoid most products made with wheat)
  • Dairy (avoid conventional dairy unless it’s made with A2 protein and/or fermented organic, grass-fed dairy)
  • Beer (most of which contains gluten)
  • Sugar (for the most part, the only sugar I get in my diet comes from fruit; on occasion, I’ll add coconut sugar to my tea or healthy dessert)

So there you have it … 3 easy ways to support your gut. And when you support your gut microbiome, your “feel-good” hormones and neurotransmitters will be better activated. That means a healthier, happier you.

To your health,

V

Best Foods For Great S-E-X

Best Foods For Great S-E-X

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

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

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

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

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

Root Causes Of Low Libido

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ancient Secrets To Enjoying Sex

Ancient Secrets To Enjoying Sex

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Achieve Yin-Yang Balance For Great Sex

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

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

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

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

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

Best Foods For Healthy Libido

Best foods for great S-E-X

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

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

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

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

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

Best Supplements For Sexual Arousal

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

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

Here’s to your healthy sex life,

Chef V

Chef V

What Are The Benefits Of A Blended Juice Cleanse?

Veronica's blended juice cleanse

Everyone knows a blended juice cleanse can benefit weight loss. But that’s just the beginning. For example, did you know a blended green juice can benefit your digestion, energy levels, and brain function? 

After our recent vacation, I did a 5 day Chef V cleanse (natch!). I’m feeling revitalized, and lost a couple of pounds.  Read on to learn about the many benefits of my cleanse.

Veronica's blended juice cleanse

Weight Loss

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the main benefits of a cleanse is weight loss.

Doing a blended juice cleanse or detox for a couple of days helps clean out the digestive system. This helps kick-start your body to get into weight loss mode. You’re burning more calories than you’re ingesting.

A recent study showed that weight loss was not only possible on a juice to cleanse, but that the weight loss is maintained weeks after. The participants lost about 3lbs on average after a 3-day juice cleanse. These same participants two weeks later had maintained a 2lb weight loss.
Another main reason people lose weight after a juice cleanse is because of a lack of appetite – especially on blended juices.

The body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs from the blended juices – this is because all of the produce and its fibers are still in the juice when it is blended vs just juiced. To the shock of many, they find themselves being perfectly satisfied during their cleanse. Maybe not the first time around as it can feel a bit odd, but if you begin doing regular cleanses you will find it easier and easier.

While juice cleanses and detoxes can help you lose weight, the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to incorporate blended green juice into your diet combined with healthy eating and being active.

weight loss with mixed juice cleanse

Gut Bacterial Changes

Another benefit of a blended green juice cleanse is mitigating gut pain and digestion problems.

A blended vegetable juice cleanse is meant to help clean up our digestive system and improve digestive health. The study mentioned earlier concluded that cleanses increased the amounts of some health-promoting bacteria and lowered the number of bacteria that cause illness.

There are around 40 trillion bacteria in your body, most of which are in your intestines. This bacteria is called the microbiome. The more healthy bacteria the better. Different bacteria help break down different foods and aid our body in being able to absorb the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that we need.

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of nutrients for a healthy microbiota. This is because they are high in fiber, which can’t be digested by your body. However, fiber can be digested by certain bacteria in your gut, which stimulates their growth.

digestive system

Give Your Digestive System a Rest 

Our digestive systems work extremely hard all day long digesting our meals. An organic juice cleanse offers our gut a bit of a break.

Not having to exert energy to break down food offers your body all that extra strength for properly digesting and absorbing nutrients. Chef V green drinks are jam-packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients will benefit your metabolism and ensure you look and feel slim.

reduce bloating

Reduce Bloating

Many of us struggle with bloating on a regular basis, especially women. This can be caused by eating too many inflammatory foods. This includes dairy, gluten, and alcohol. When doing a 3- or 5-day liquid cleanse you are detoxing your gut from these bloating triggers. 

While you do lose between 1-3 pounds on a 3-day cleanse, you will feel like you’ve lost 10! This is because you’ve debloated and are now enjoying a tighter tummy.

Mental Health & Sleep Improvements

You will experience a bunch of different slight changes when you’re detoxing on an organic juice cleanse. 

Mental clarity is something that you will benefit from on our cleanse. This is mostly due to there being more room in your brain! No more meal planning, shopping, or dedicating hours of your day to cooking. Your next meal is already planned to eliminate mealtime stress.

Many people who do the Chef V cleanse have also reported better sleep. Toxins, high blood sugar, and too much caffeine can disrupt natural sleep patterns and prevent you from getting a solid night’s rest. A one-day blended juice cleanse is just enough time to allow your body to remove these disruptors and focus on resting.

Even doing a one-day cleanse can put you to bed faster and you will wake up feeling detoxed, fresh, and energized. You will no longer experience a ‘crash’ from eating too many carbohydrates and can also help stabilize your sugar levels.

Is a Chef V Organic Cleanse Right for Me

Whether you want a 1-, 3-, 5-, or even 21-day cleanse, Chef V has you covered.

If you’re just starting a major weight loss journey or just want to debloat for an event, we have a cleanse plan for you. Including our signature green drink, blended vegetable soups, and protein shakes. We help people accomplish all different types of goals. 

Sign up for Chef V’s plan and get started today! Or email any questions you may have to [email protected]

Chef V

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.