Tag: Essex Fells

Essex Fells Magazine Interview with Chef V

Veronica Wheat was interviewed by Essex Fells Magazine in February 2021

Born and raised in Southern California, Veronica Wheat is a self-made chef and a certified nutritional therapist from the Health Sciences Academy. Veronica started her business to make people healthy in 2010 by making foods for customers in San Diego. She had a special green drink she used to make for her husband Brandon and herself, made of seven blended dark green vegetables with very little fruit. This is back when green drinks were not a popular thing and there were no fully organic options available.

Veronica used to offer the green drink before a healthy meal, but Veronica’s customers who loved the green drink began wanting the green drink for their friends and families. Eventually, the success of the green drink ended up changing her business model.

Chef V expanded into LA County and Orange County and the green drink blew up like wildfire.

Chef V and a customer

What makes Chef V very different than other green drink juicers out there is that their products are certified organic, highly nutritious, and life changing.

In time, Chef V expanded to San Francisco and the Bay area. In 2014 Veronica and husband moved to NY and expanded into the tristate area. In 2019 Veronica and her husband Brandon decided to move out of NYC because they were growing out of their small facility. They found an old bakery in North Caldwell and ended up moving their facility from Queens to West Caldwell, NJ. So, this is how Chef V came into NJ and became our neighbor!

All the Caldwells went crazy with excitement over this super healthy organic product right around the corner from home.

Every single juice that is sold in a grocery store is pasteurized. Many juice companies use high pressure pasteurization (HPP) that destroys the nutrients in the juice. Oxidation and heat are the two enemies of nutrients. Chef V’s juices are based on a blending process that keeps the fibers intact and delivers rich nutrients to the stomach and the colon.

Chef V and her cookbook

Veronica uses a proprietary process called “cold blending”, which maintains 40 degrees while blending throughout the process with triple reverse osmosis water – the nutrients are preserved at every stage. Because of the cold and the fibers, Chef V juices can retain nutrients for up to seven days without any additional processing or chemicals. (Typically juices begin losing nutrients after 30 minutes.)

Chef V sources its raw materials from a network of organic farms and suppliers. Your order is blended in their store in West Caldwell and delivered to your doorstep in Essex Fells.

Veronica invites everyone to come to the store and see how the juices are made with utmost personal attention to hygiene and quality. Chef V drinks are low in sugar while being high in nutrients.

Veronica highlights the fact that even when your sugars come from fruits, excess sugar still turns into fat. Chef V juices are at 3 grams of sugar per serving as opposed to 30-40 grams for a regular juice. Most diabetic people cannot have regular fruit juice because it goes above the daily allowance of 20 grams.

Chef V at the cash register

Veronica has seen fantastic things happen to her clients because of cleansing with her juices, including a correction of autoimmune disease, diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, weight issues and more – all without cravings or medication. This is her passion and it is what keeps her going.

Chef V also offers vegan protein shakes. Vegan protein shakes and soups for delivery. In store they offer an array of organic smoothies, Acai bowls, and other blended juices.

Veronica's biggest success story, Michael

Veronica’s biggest success story is her client Michael, who lost 235 pounds on her juice program as well as healthy life changes. Michael became one of the greatest advocates of Chef V and his use of the juices became the catalyst to his transition into a healthy lifestyle.

Veronica says: “Healthy living is not an all or nothing choice. People can make small incremental changes towards a healthy lifestyle. As one introduces more healthy and good choices into their lives, they CAN become healthier one step at a time.”

“You can boost your immune system by 1.) Eating something healthy first thing in the morning, 2.) Drinking lots of water, 3.) Getting enough sleep each night to boost your metabolism, and 4. Breathing, relaxing, and meditating.

Organic Eggs Aren’t Necessarily Eggceptional

organic eggs

Organic Eggs Aren’t Necessarily Eggceptional For Health

If it’s organic, you’re not supposed to panic, right? 

Well, depending on what brand you purchase, organic eggs might not be all that they’re cracked up to be. 

Before I explain why, let me just weigh in on whether or not eggs are healthy in the first place. Out of all the common foods you can buy in a supermarket, eggs are definitely one of the most controversial. Eggs are supposed to be the perfect food, offering protein, essential fatty acids and vitamins and minerals. 

On the other hand, eggs are super high in cholesterol. Just one egg contains about 70% of the suggested daily limit of dietary cholesterol. But dietary cholesterol doesn’t affect your blood cholesterol levels that much, maybe like 10%. However, some people have a genetic predisposition to developing heart disease, which is caused by a narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels, which is caused by cholesterol buildup in the arteries. 

Even a 10% influence on blood cholesterol can have a huge impact if you’re predisposed to cardiovascular disease. And the only way to know for sure if that’s you is to get a genetic test. The safe thing to do until you get a genetic test is to limit your consumption of eggs. (You can order a DNA cholesterol test online). 

Personally, I’m not a big fan of eggs. If I’m at brunch, maybe I’ll share an omelette. But it’s rare for me to make eggs at home. For one thing, I barely ever eat breakfast. Instead, I just have a Green Drink and then later in the morning I might have a plant-based protein smoothie (with brown rice protein or pea protein powder). 

But for those of you who love eggs and think organic eggs are super healthy, I have some bad news to share with you in a little bit…

chickens in yard

Why Organic Eggs Are Healthier

For sure, it’s important to buy organic for certain types of foods. For instance, I always buy organic produce–and use organic produce for Chef V Green Drinks. Non-organic produce contains the same amount of nutrients as organic but also is heavily sprayed with pesticides like glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Roundup weed killer. 

But for foods like eggs with a hard external barrier (the shell), does buying organic really matter? 

The answer is yes, for two main reasons. For starters, unlike produce, organic eggs are more nutritious than their conventionally grown counterparts. A study from Penn State University found that organic chicken eggs contain three times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, 40% more vitamin A and twice the amount of vitamin E. 

The other reason to eat organic eggs instead of non-organic is that they are free from antibiotics. 

And here’s one more factor in favor of organic over conventional eggs: they contain less arsenic, which is a natural Earth element but highly toxic. Think about these facts the next time you eat eggs at a greasy-spoon diner.

I don’t want you to freak out about eating the occasional egg or two. But reading this should give you food for thought about eating conventional eggs.

organic eggs rated

Not All Organic Eggs Are Created Equal

Now here’s the thing I was shocked to read. According to this Egg Scorecard by Cornucopia, some of the most well-known brands of organic eggs are rated barely better than a conventional egg. 

So if you’re buying organic eggs from the following brands, you might be fooled into thinking that the chickens have been raised in very humane environments:

  • Costco (Kirkland brand)
  • 365 Organic (Whole Foods)
  • Walmart
  • Horizon 
  • Simply Nature (Aldi)
  • Harris Teeter Naturals (Kroger)
  • Sun Valley (Smart & Final)
  • Fairway Market
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Sprout’s
  • Wegman’s
  • Publix
  • Chino Valley Ranchers

These brands were rated by Cornucopia as one egg on a five egg scale. That means the chickens didn’t have meaningful access to the outdoors and the opening often leads to a concrete porch, not a bucolic pasture where the chickens roam free all day. 

Plus, the gateway to the porch is intentionally small so that the chickens aren’t encouraged to go outside in the first place. Essentially, these brands are not much better than industrial, non-organic eggs. I can’t say I’m that totally surprised to have read this info. But I was disappointed that one of my favorite supermarkets, Trader Joe’s, doesn’t have better quality eggs. 

shopping for eggs

Splurge For High Quality Organic Eggs

My take on eggs is to treat them like ice cream: to be enjoyed as an occasional treat. And when you enjoy a rare treat, splurge for it. Buy the best quality possible. It might seem ridiculous to buy a carton of eggs for $8. But if I ever buy eggs, I’d purchase them from a farmer’s market, even if a dozen costs $5 more than a supermarket brand. I’d want to know that the eggs I’m eating come from chickens that live in a mansion of a coop, with easy access to the outdoors where they can forage for worms, grubs and whatever else it is that chickens peck and consume. 

Yes, eggs are a great source of protein. But the truth is you don’t really need as much protein as you think. Besides, there are plenty of plant-based protein-rich sources. But if you’re craving eggs, you may as well treat your body to the highest quality possible. Just like with any other kind of food, shop local for eggs—support your local farmers.

How I’m Going to Celebrate a Pandemic Valentine’s Day

Best Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s Day During A Pandemic—With Or Without A Partner 

Staying home for Valentine’s Day this year? Whether you’re celebrating with a partner or flying solo, I’ve got some ideas for making the most out of Feb. 14, 2021…

The Single Most Important Thing Is … You!

I recognize that for single people that wish they had a soul mate this time of year, Valentine’s Day can bring up insecurities and feelings of loneliness. If you can resonate, I feel extraordinary compassion for you.

But as much as the holiday is associated with romance, I passionately believe that Valentine’s Day should be just as much—if not more—about showing yourself some deep love.

Almost every one of us has this nagging, incessant chattering monkey mind, telling us we’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not talented enough, not sexy enough.

Well, I say “ENOUGH!” You are perfect the way you are! Practicing self-love is a discipline that’s not emphasized nearly enough in our culture. We’re always trying to please someone else. But instead, on this Valentine’s Day (and hopefully every day moving forward), you’re going to please nobody but yourself.

So with this in mind here are a few ways I want you to treat yourself on Valentine’s Day…

Chef V and Valentines

Get a massage or book a spa day

As I write this, the governor of California eased restrictions on personal care businesses like salons and barber shops. The first thing I did when I heard the news, I booked a massage. Trust me, if you get a massage on Valentine’s Day, you won’t feel bad about being single. Assuming that in your local area, you can safely get a massage, as soon as you’re done reading this, I want you to schedule an appointment.

If money is tight these days, perhaps you know somebody who is a massage therapist who would be willing to do a trade? Can you babysit or paint or do landscape gardening? Or maybe you have a $50 gift card from Whole Foods or Target that you forgot about and haven’t used? Get creative. If you think outside the box, lack of savings is no deterrent from getting a luxurious massage.

In addition to a massage, or as an alternative, you can book a mani/pedi or facial. Whatever you choose, your body, mind and spirit deserves a spa day today.

Chef V and Coco

Dance, Dance, Dance!

Dancing is one of the best ways to unlock stuck, negative energy from the body. Invite a single friend to come over (safely distanced, of course) or virtually to have a Zumbathon. If Valentine’s Day got you down because you’re single, I guarantee you that you’ll feel amazing after Zumba. Treat yourself after the danceathon to a glass of your favorite adult beverage. If you don’t drink alcohol, check out my mocktail recipes.

Meditate on Self Love

If you’re still bummed about not having a love life to share with a partner, it’s so important to set your intention on self love. I think that a big reason many relationships fall apart is because people just don’t learn to love themselves. How can you have a meaningful relationship with someone else if you haven’t learned to love yourself?

This is where meditation comes into play. There are so many free meditation apps. And I’m not just talking about ambient, relaxing sounds that helps you fall asleep. I’m specifically referring to meditations that are centered around a self-love curriculum.

As with anything else these days, all you have to do is ​Google it​. There are plenty of free self-love meditation videos you can watch on YouTube. (Here’s one I like that’s only 5 minutes.​)

By repeating self-love mantras, you will build up your confidence and your ability to express love for the most important person in your life: yourself.

Chef V meditating

Celebrating Valentine’s Day With A Partner

If you’re fortunate enough to have a partner to celebrate with, here are some tips to strengthen your bonds…

Partner Massage

With you and your partner seated in a comfortable position, either on chairs or lotus-style on the floor, face each with faces only about a half foot from each other. Simultaneously, each partner rubs the other’s neck and shoulders. Accentuate the love vibration by lighting candles, playing sacred music and using essential oils.

If you’ve been in a relationship for a very long time, I bet you it’s been quite a while since you and your partner have gazed into each other’s eyes. Use this opportunity to do just that. Empty your mind. Don’t worry what your partner is thinking and by all means don’t think about the bills you have to pay or the work you didn’t get a chance to finish. Be here now! Be present and have an attitude of extreme gratitude that you have someone to spend the rest of your life with.

Veronica and Brandon

Cook a Healthy Meal Together

In many relationships, one partner does most if not all of the cooking. On Valentine’s Day, why not have a cooking party? Even if you or your partner can’t even cook toast without burning it, there’s no reason why the both of you can’t be involved. Play some awesome tunes, take sips of wine, chop veggies together and take a dancing break together every now and then.

Do a Yoga Class Together

Is your neighborhood gym still closed? Yoga studios in your area still on lockdown? Do a virtual yoga class with your partner. Again, thanks to the Internet, you can find not only a regular yoga class but an actual partner yoga class, where the poses intertwine the love birds.

However you decide to celebrate Valentine’s Day, whether with a partner or solo, just remember that you deserve health and happiness! Today, it’s all about self love.

About Veronica Wheat

What do you do when your recipe for veggie juice becomes in such high demand from friends, family and your private chef clients? If you’re Veronica Wheat Kress, you throw caution to the wind, dive into the deep end of the entrepreneurial pool and create a mega-successful nationwide Green Drink delivery company.

Veronica, aka Chef V, is a Certified Nutritional Therapist and a self-taught chef. Before becoming a private chef, Veronica worked every imaginable position in the restaurant industry (including dishwasher) since the age of 12.

Considering that about 90% of Americans don’t eat enough veggies every day*, we’re all better off that Veronica was allowed to work at that shockingly young age and her bosses didn’t get in trouble for violating labor laws!

Veronica realized from the time she was 15 years old, while working at a vegetarian restaurant in Southern California, that delicious food and health could be blissfully wed.

Fast forward to 2011, when Veronica started a meal delivery service, which featured her trademark recipe for Green Drink. Veronica would instruct her clients to consume the Green Drink about 15 minutes before eating their meal. Doing this, she explains, accomplishes two things: it makes it super easy to get your daily dose antioxidant-rich, health-boosting green leafy veggies, and also gives your belly adequate time to absorb the micronutrients before eating a meal.

Before she knew it, Veronica was delivering Green Drinks to over 100 clients in the San Diego area alone. Demand for Veronica’s Green Drink started pouring in from nearby areas like Orange County and LA. Soon after, ChefV.com was born.

An avid yoga practitioner and teacher, Veronica wakes up each morning excited to build upon ChefV.com’s success, not so she can sell more Green Drinks and Cleanses, but rather, what motivates her to success is reading the comments in her inbox from customers who have experienced dramatic health improvements, be it weight loss, being able to stop taking diabetes medication, lowering cholesterol by 50 points, sleeping like a baby, having clearer skin and living each day with natural, steady, high-buzzing energy.

Chef V and her cookbook

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.