Tag: electrolytes

Homemade Gatorade

If I’m running low on Green Drink or am just in the mood for something else, I’ll make my own healthy, homemade Gatorade electrolyte drink.

I make a healthy alternative to Gatorade and other sugar-filled, artificial sports drinks. Check out my recipe.

And here’s my article about electrolytes and the importance of keeping your levels optimal.

homemade gatorade

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup  fresh squeezed orange or mandarin
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar

Directions

Blend in a blender. Serve cold. Keep for up to 2 days in the fridge.

Coconut Sugar: Is It Healthier Sweet Stuff?

Coconut Sugar

Coconut Sugar?  What do you get when you cross my 7-year-old, four-legged furry kid with sweetener? 

You get my very own sweet sugar baby – my dog Coconut!

Sorry for being corny—again. 

But in all seriousness, one of the most common questions I get asked as a certified nutritional therapist and creator of The Chef V Organic Cleanse is this: Is coconut sugar healthier than regular sugar?

Let’s dive in and find out what the research says…

Coconut Sugar: Is It Healthier Sweet Stuff?

What Is It?

Actually, before we follow the science on coconut sugar, let’s cover some basic facts on the natural alternative sweetener. 

It does not come from the meaty white flesh of the nuts. It’s also not produced from the husky shell. And it’s not made from the liquid within the nut (coconut water). 

So what is it made from? It’s made by dehydrating the sap contained in the flower bud of the stem of coconut palm trees. You could say that the sap is the circulating life force or the blood of the tree. And just like the blood circulating through your veins contains minerals and trace minerals that are vital for energy, coconut sap is rich in minerals. But we’ll get to that in a bit…

Coconut blossom sugar, is all-natural. Although it comes from the coconut palm tree, do not confuse it with palm sugar. Regular palm sugar is sourced from a different type of tree than coconut sugar. 

True coconut sugar resembles granulated raw brown sugar. And if you’re an animal lover or vegan, there’s one big plus about using it instead of regular table sugar. 

According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), table sugar is sometimes whitened with bone char. What’s bone char, you ask? It’s charred cattle bones. Think about that next time you sweeten your coffee at your favorite diner. And according to PETA, brown sugar can also be processed with bone char. Brown sugar, which is not healthier than table sugar (it’s just as refined) is colored with molasses, so don’t get fooled by regular brown sugar. 

But coconut sweetener is a healthier brown sugar that is not refined and therefore does not get processed with bone char.

coconut plant

Benefits

I found an interesting study published in Food Science & Nutrition, co-authored by researchers from Malaysia, a country thought to be the first to commercialize it for the U.S. market. 

The researchers concluded “Coconut sap could be served as a potential healthier sugar source compared with sugar palm and sugarcane as it carries more minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.”

Another reason the researchers think it is a healthier alternative to refined sugar is that it has a lower glycemic index. The GI ranks the rise in blood glucose after the consumption of carbohydrates on a scale from 0–100.  A food with low GI raises blood glucose less than that of the food with high GI. 

Coconut sugar’s GI ranks about 35, which is only 10 points higher than fructose from whole fruits. In comparison, refined sugar has a GI that’s almost twice as high as coconut sugar. 

For this reason, the researchers suggest that coconut palm nectar (another way to say coconut sugar) can be part of the solution in curtailing the diabetes and obesity epidemic. 

Vitamins & Minerals

The researchers detected vitamin C, B1, B3, B4, B2, and B10 in samples. Of those, vitamin C, B3, B4, B2, and B10 in coconut nectar were significantly higher than in table sugar. In addition, coconut sugar contained higher levels of three important electrolytes: potassium, sodium and magnesium. Many Americans are deficient in magnesium, a mineral that’s important for helping to relax muscles. 

By the way, you can also get the benefits of these minerals from coconut water, which is why I use both coconut sugar and coconut water in several of my recipes. 

And in comparison to regular sugar, coconut nectar is relatively high in other minerals such as zinc, calcium and iron. 

Coconut Water

For Gut Health?

Another reason to swap regular table sugar for coconut is that it contains a type of fiber called inulin. This special fiber acts like fertilizer for a type of friendly bacteria in your gut called bifidobacteria, which is a common live culture added to yogurt. 

Inulin is considered a post-biotic fiber. Postbiotics are the healthy short-chain fatty acids released by probiotics. Probiotics are essential for a healthy gut and immune system, but it’s actually the postbiotics that make the magic happen!

Is It Healthier: Chef V’s Verdict

Now don’t get me wrong … even though I think it is healthier than regular table sugar, I don’t rely on it to get my daily dose of essential minerals and trace minerals. The dark leafy greens in Organic Green Drink provide me with an excellent low-sugar source of minerals without spiking my blood sugar. 

If you have type 2 diabetes, don’t get fooled into thinking that it is a miracle sweetener. It may have a lower glycemic index than regular sugar but that doesn’t mean it gives you a free pass to go crazy with it. 

So don’t use it as a multivitamin, antioxidant supplement or probiotic. Instead, just like all other sweeteners, use it sparingly. But when I do use the sweet stuff, I reach for COCONUT and a little coconut sugar. 

Veronica and Coconut

Chef V’s Fire Cider

My Chef V Fire Cider is sold in our store but if you prefer, you can make it at home with this recipe. My recipe uses healthy organic ingredients, blended fresh.
This Fire Cider is a natural anti-viral & antifungal. It is great for boosting immunity or getting rid of a sore throat or cold. It has a nice kick to it, hence the name “Fire” Cider. I use my Fire Cider all year long but especially in the winter when I need to boost my immunity and fight colds.

fire cider

Ingredients

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 1/4 jalapeno, sliced, including seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. horseradish
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh turmeric, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut nectar (optional)

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large container with a lid.
  2. Store in the fridge for 2 days to marinate for up to one month.
  3. To use the fire cider, strain through a cheesecloth or tiny strainer.
  4. Consume 1-2 oz and watch the magic happen.

(Can marinate up to one month.)

Electrolytes: Keep Your Levels Optimal

electrolytes

Veronica Wheat, the ‘V’ in Chef V is still obsessed with pickleball. After getting drenched with sweat several times after playing, V realizes the importance of electrolytes. V explains how she not only replenishes electrolytes but also how she fuels her body with them before doing anything that’ll make her lose these precious minerals. 

Electrolytes are not something we usually think about. But when you’re playing pickleball like it’s an Olympic sport in 90-degree weather like I did lately, electrolytes matter.

If you don’t have enough electrolytes—or an imbalance of them—it can lead to serious problems: dizziness, fainting, nausea, muscle cramps, headaches, vomiting, tremors and even death.

Some people only know about electrolytes because of high-sugar, artificially-colored and artificially-flavored sports drinks. Obviously, that’s not healthy to drink, ever. But electrolytes aren’t just for serious athletes engaged in sweat-fueled competition.

What Are Electrolytes?

Many people can name some of the most important electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. But do you know what electrolytes are and what they do?

Don’t feel bad if you don’t. I needed a refresher on what they do at a deeper level. So I geeked out a bit and read this research on it so you don’t have to. OK, so here’s what they do in simple English.

Electrolytes are essential for basic life functioning. You wouldn’t be able to contract a muscle, or think clearly, or have your heart beat effectively without electrolytes. These minerals are like mini electricians hard at work in your body. You see, we all have trillions of cells in our body. And each cell requires the perfect amount of electricity. Electrolytes send electrical signals that generate and conduct electricity that flows through our nerves and into our muscles. Without enough electrolytes, your heart, brain, muscles and nerves wouldn’t be able to properly function.

In addition, electrolytes regulate fluid balance in our cells. This helps keep us hydrated.

chef v drinks green drink

Which Minerals Are Electrolytes And Where Do They Come From?

All electrolytes are important. But the 3 main ones are sodium, potassium and chloride.

Phosphate, calcium, bicarbonate and magnesium are also important electrolytes. Other minerals like iron, copper and selenium are also considered electrolytes.

Besides taking a sea salt bath, pretty much the only way to get electrolytes is through food and drinks. Yet another reason why diet matters.

Any time you eat or drink something, the electrolytes dissolve in your blood and water. After the minerals dissolve, electrical impulses called ions are created. These ions are to your nerves and muscles what spark plugs are to a car. In other words, they serve as a catalyst. So in essence, electrolytes are the internal body’s spark of life.

electrolytes

Best Food Sources Of Electrolytes

One of the best selling points of a plant-based diet is that it’s rich in electrolytes. Fruits and veggies are hands down the best sources. Green leafy veggies, like the 7 certified-organic ones in the Chef V Green Drink delivery plan are especially high in calcium and potassium.

When you sweat, you mainly lose sodium and potassium. Even though there’s a tiny bit of sodium in Green Drink, I know I need extra if I’m sweating my butt off on the pickleball court or hot yoga.

So what I do BEFORE exercising is I add a teaspoon of Himalayan Sea Salt to my Green Drink. That way, I know that I won’t deplete my sodium and potassium levels. And to make sure they are fully replenished, I’ll have another serving of Green Drink.

Or, if I’m running low on Green Drink or am just in the mood for something else, I’ll make my own healthy, homemade Electrolyte drink.

chef v's homemade gatorade

Chef V’s Electrolyte Orange Drink Recipe

Here’s how I make a healthy alternative to Gatorade and other sugar-filled, artificial sports drinks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup  fresh squeezed orange or mandarin
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar

Method:
Blend in a blender. Serve cold. Keep for up to 2 days in the fridge.

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.