Tag: Green Drink

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

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

Benefits of green drink

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

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

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

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

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

Cleanses versus adding green drink to your diet

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

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

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

Swapping for other drinks

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

Chef V green drink delivery

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

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

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

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

You know who said that? 

Nobody, ever. 

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

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

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

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

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

couple hands yoga

Couples Massage

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

What I mean by couples massage is this steamy scene…

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

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

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

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

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

candle

Grateful Affirmations

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

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

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

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

Something along those lines. 

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

partner yoga

Partner Yoga

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

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

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

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

Another great partner yoga pose is spinal twists. 

Late Night Walk Or Hike

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

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

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

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

Green Drink Cocktails

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

3 Ways To Feel Unstoppable In the Morning—Without Coffee

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

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

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

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

#1: Cold Showers

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

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

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

veronica and coco green drink

#2: Replace Breakfast With Green Drink 

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

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

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

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

#3: Exercise

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

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

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

Best Foods For Great S-E-X

Best Foods For Great S-E-X

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

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

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

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

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

Root Causes Of Low Libido

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ancient Secrets To Enjoying Sex

Ancient Secrets To Enjoying Sex

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Achieve Yin-Yang Balance For Great Sex

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

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

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

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

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

Best Foods For Healthy Libido

Best foods for great S-E-X

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

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

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

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

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

Best Supplements For Sexual Arousal

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

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

Here’s to your healthy sex life,

Chef V

Chef V

12 Reasons Why Juice Cleanse Delivery is Amazing

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

#1 Appetite control

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

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

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

#2 Detox

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

#3 Digestion 

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

#4 Energy

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

#5 Heart health

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

#6 Hydration

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

#7 Immune-boosting

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

#8 Organic 

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

#9 Savings

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

#10 Support local businesses 

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

#11 Taste

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

#12 Weight loss

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

Get juice cleanse delivery with Chef V

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

Yoga + Green Drink to Stress Less, Feel Better

yoga and green drink

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers to your very best health –  Veronica

yoga - downward dog

DOWNWARD DOG

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

tree pose - virksasana

TREE POSE (VIRKSASANA)

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

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

prayer pose

PRAYER TWIST

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

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

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

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

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

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

supine spinal twist

SUPINE SPINAL TWIST

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

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

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

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

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

Chef V and kale

Beat the Bloat—Which Habits and Foods Cause Bloating?

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

What causes bloating? 

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

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

Overeating

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

Eating too fast

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

Carbonated beverages

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

Smoking

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

Food intolerances

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

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

Fatty foods

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

Foods high in fiber for the fiber un-initiated 

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

Certain sugars and carbs 

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

Examples of foods that cause bloating  

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

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

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

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

Fight bloating with Chef V

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

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

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

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

Shuteye for Weight Loss: The Link Between Sleep and Metabolism

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

The choices of the sleep deprived

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

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

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

Stressing out your gut bacteria 

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

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

Timing, sleep, and metabolism 

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

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

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

Get your best rest with Chef V

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

The Best Foods to Break Intermittent Fasting

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

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

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

Why finding the best foods to break intermittent fasting matters

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

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

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

Our favorite examples of fast-breaking foods and beverages

Apple cider vinegar

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

Avocado

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

Broccoli

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

Fermented foods

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

Nuts

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

Smoothies 

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

Soups 

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

Spinach

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

Break your fast with Chef V

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

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

Headaches and Other Negative Side Effects of Celery Juice

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

What are the benefits of celery juice?

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

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

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

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

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

Problems with celery juice

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

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

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

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

The verdict

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

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

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

Blood sugar control

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

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

Digestion

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

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

Heart health

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

Immune booster

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

Weight loss

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

Get into drinking juice with Chef V

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

Chef V’s Favorite Supplements For Improving Gut Health

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

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

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

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

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

So here are my top 3 gut health supporting supplements.

collagen

Collagen Protein

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

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

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

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

leafy greens

L-Glutamine

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

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

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

Marshmallow Root

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

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

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

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

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

Love, 

Chef V

Fasting with Green Powder Versus Green Drinks

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

What are green powders? 

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

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

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

Green powders versus green drink

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

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

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

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

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

Meet your weight-loss goals with Chef V

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

 

Green Goddess Hummus

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

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

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

skinny shamrock smoothie

TOTAL: 15 min

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 4 Person

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

5 Reasons Dark Leafy Greens Are Awesome For Gut Health

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

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

gut health

#1: Contains Sulfoquinovose

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

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

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

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

leafy greens

#2: Produces Short-Chain Fatty Acids

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

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

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

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

sore stomach

#3: Decreases Methane

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

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

#4: Lowers Inflammation

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

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

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

#5: Contains Cellulose 

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

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

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

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

kale

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

Kale Nutrition: A Vitamin, Mineral & Antioxidant Powerhouse

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

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

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

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

kale varieties

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Veronica and Coconut and kale

Why Is Kale So Good For You?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vitamin K

What Can Kale Do For You?

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

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

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

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

Don’t take my word for it though….

Kale Yeah! Green Drink Success Stories

Pashelle's green drink

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

Heartwarming Success Story: K.I. Lynn

From bestselling author K. I. Lynn on Facebook:

LONG post ahead. I hope you’ll read.

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

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

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

I gained weight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

50lbs gone

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

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

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

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

Just going to keep swimming.

Easy Hummus

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

hummus

skinny shamrock smoothie

TOTAL TIME: 15 min
SERVES: 2-4

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

The Health Benefits Of Drinking Breakfast

drinking breakfast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

lemon water

V’s Liquid Breakfast Routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

berry parfait

Benefits of Drinking Your Breakfast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love,

V

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then I have an invitation for you

But first I have to warn you about something…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s what you get when you join:

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

Be A VIP For Less Than The Cost Of A Burrito 

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

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

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

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

ACCOUNTABILITY.

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

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

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

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

So what will all this cost? 

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

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

That comes out to $183 a month

That’s only $6.10 per day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Your Brain Health Worth $2K? 

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

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

And doing so affects your health in every possible way. 

For example, your brain health. 

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

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

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

30 Day Challenge X 12 = Amazing Health Transformation

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

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

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

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

On a VIP plan, the motivation will never fade! 

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

Upgrade to a VIP plan now.

To your health and success!

Love, Chef V

Chef V and kale

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

your microbiome

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

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

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

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

your microbiome - bacteria

1. Your Gut controls your health – understand it.

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

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

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

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

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

weight and your microbiome

image courtesy Custom Probiotics Inc

The Gut Health Overall Health Connection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

skin health and your microbiome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

probiotic

3. You can reset your Gut Health with a Detox

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's to your (gut) health….

Love,

Chef V

21 day detox from Chef V

Chef V’s 5 Easy Healthy Gut Makeover Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

#2: Probiotics

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

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

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

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

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

#3: No Added Sugar Diet

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

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

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

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

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

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

#4: Take It Easy

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

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

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

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

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

#5: Sleep Like A Baby

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

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

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

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

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

Love,

V

The Most Important $7 You’ll Spend In 2023

green drink skin benefits

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

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

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

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

kale

The Best Daily Investment In Your Health For 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GET ON THE Chef V Organic Green Drink Plan

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

green drink and digestion

Top Reasons You Need To Go Green in 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support Your Total Wellness in 2023 Right Now

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

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

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

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

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

START (OR RENEW) YOUR PLAN NOW.

Chef V and kale

Is There Any Proof Green Drink Improves Sleep Quality?

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

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

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

But there’s a catch…

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

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

Research on Green Veggies & Sleep Quality

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Meditate 

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

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

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

  • Feast at lunch, eat a light dinner

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

  • Get Adequate Exercise

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

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

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

Leafy Greens in Green Drink Block Blue Light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t make idle resolutions

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

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

Make concrete goals

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

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

Track goals

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

Work together

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

Have fun! 

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

Get Chef V green drink

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

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

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

what do I eat today liquids

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

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

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

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

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

salad

Raw Vs Cooked Veggies For Gut Health

Before we get into the research, chew on this…

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

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

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

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

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

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

veronica and kale

Eating Raw in Rawgust: Benefits

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Do I Eat Today – Menu with Chicken Pot Pie

what do I eat today chicken pot pie

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

lemons

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

warm cinnamon quinoa

For Breakfast – Warm Cinnamon Quinoa 

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

Get the recipe here. 

For Lunch – Mediterranean Butternut Squash + Carrot Stew with Quinoa

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

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

Get the recipe here.

Dinner – Chef V’s Chicken Pot Pie

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

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

Veronica and GD

Chef V’s Cooking with V – Vegan Moussaka

Welcome to Chef V’s Cooking School!

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

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

In this special episode, we have a virtual guest. Michael lost over 200lbs with Chef V and implemented a healthy lifestyle. His story is so inspiring. We make a vegan version of moussaka using a dairy-free Béchamel sauce and mushrooms instead of meat.

Cooking with Chef V

Michael says:

“I’ve reached my goal weight in June, losing a total of 245 plus pounds over the last 22 months. Chef V has helped in this as my morning drink since I started my Green Drink Plan from you. Thank you.”

Vegan Moussaka
Step by Step

moussaka ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil, divided use
  • 1/4 cup sliced white onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 pound minced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup Chef V’s Raw Almond Milk
  • 3/4 cup vegan mozzarella shreds
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large (or 2 small) zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise like lasagna noodles

DIRECTIONS

dicing onion

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly coat a 6×6 inch baking dish with coconut spray.

PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS

ONION
Cut off both ends of the onion, remove the skin, give it diagonal cuts all the way across the cut end.  Slice across cut end for perfectly diced onion.

chop mushrooms

MUSHROOMS
Chop the mushrooms – I love the nice meaty texture they give to the dish.

sliced zucchini

ZUCCHINI
Cut off the ends so the end is flat. Slice lengthwise making pieces like a lasagna noodle.

saute onions

SAUTE THE ONION, MUSHROOMS & GARLIC

In a saucepan, saute onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for about one minute, until translucent. Add the garlic, then the mushrooms. Continue cooking for about 3 minutes more.

bechamel sauce in pan

MAKE THE BECHAMEL SAUCE

Add one tablespoon olive oil to a saucepan, add the flour into the oil, and stir. Slowly add the almond milk while stirring. Add 1/2 cup vegan cheese.

Once the cheese is melted add the spices – 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon rosemary.

The sauce will get creamy and thicken. Reduce the heat and simmer it. Add the broth and continue stirring.

assemble dish

ASSEMBLE THE DISH

In a 6 by 6-inch baking dish, assemble the moussaka. 

  • Cover the bottom with a layer of zucchini slices.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 the mozzarella shreds.
  • Top with mushroom mixture.
  • Sprinkle remaining mozzarella shreds.
  • Cover with a layer of zucchini slices.
  • Top with sauce.

moussake oven

BAKE THE DISH

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the sauce is golden brown.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

tasting

TASTE!

What Do I Eat Today – Menu with Chef V’s Moussaka

what do I eat today moussaka

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu starts with warm lemon water, then Green Drink. For breakfast, Easy Cereal with Chef V’s Almond Milk.  For lunch, my Creamy Sweet Potato Soup, and for dinner,  Vegan Moussaka, demonstrated in this month’s Chef V Cooking School video.

lemons

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

warm cinnamon quinoa

For Breakfast – Easy Cereal with Chef V’s  raw Almond Milk

Chef V’s Tip: My Raw Almond Milk is easy to make and so versatile; I use it throughout my book. Or, an ice-cold glass of it is refreshing on a hot summer day.

Get the recipe here. 

This “What do I Eat today” lunch is Sweet Potato Leek Soup. Sweet potatoes are the uber tuber – packed with fiber and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and blood sugar regulating nutrients. The best ways to prepare them for maximum health benefits are boiling, steaming and stir frying.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner – Vegan Moussaka

For dinner, you are having my Vegan Moussaka, made with healthier ingredients that will taste great and make you feel good. My vegan version of moussaka uses a dairy-free Béchamel sauce and mushrooms instead of meat.

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

Chia seed pudding

Dessert – Chia Seed Pudding

For dessert or snack we offer a recipe for Chia Seed Pudding. Chia seed pudding is great for breakfast, dessert, or anytime, and kids love this recipe.

Chia seeds are tiny superfood heroes. They come in either white or dark brown/black and have a huge nutritional profile. here.

Veronica pouring green drink

Turmeric & Ginger: Twin Gut-Healing, Inflammation-Fighting Powerhouses

“V” loves adding turmeric and ginger to her protein smoothies, which she always has about 30 minutes after breaking her fast with Organic Green Drink. Ginger and turmeric are powerful  anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammation fighters. But did you know that they’re also great for your gut microbiome? Here’s how…

If there’s one easy thing you can do to support your health starting now, it’s the simple act of sprinkling ginger and turmeric into your Green Drink or plant-based protein smoothie. But the catch is that unlike candy-tasting cinnamon, both ginger and turmeric have a very strong earthy and pungent taste.

One way to get both of these incredibly healthy spices is to follow my recipe for Golden Milk, a frothy, delicious blend of almond milk (or any plant-based milk), cinnamon (another healthy spice) and coconut sugar. Yum. You’re going to absolutely love it. And thanks to the cinnamon and coconut sugar, you won’t notice the sharp taste of ginger and turmeric.

Over time, you’ll probably learn to love the taste of ginger and turmeric without needing to sweeten it. And if you want to love your gut and have your gut love you back, there are several reasons why you should consume ginger and turmeric daily. In fact, they are 2 of the 6 spices that I frequently use not only to spice up my healthy meals but also to prevent belly bloating.

Ginger for Gut Health

Everybody knows that ginger helps with nausea. So it’s great to take some ginger chews with you before you go on an airplane, roller coaster, whale watching tour, or anything else that can make your stomach queasy. And if you’re a sushi lover like I am, you know how ginger pleasantly cleanses the palate between each roll.

But here’s why I use ginger practically every day to support my gut health. You see, not only does it prevent nausea, this study shows that it pretty much helps resolve every gastric discomfort like bloating, reflux, indigestion and constipation. It’s also been shown to help prevent gastric ulcers (although only in animal studies so far).

A little bit of ginger can also help prevent vomiting during pregnancy. Another way that ginger helps with gut health is by actually changing the composition of the gut microbiome, according to this study.

In other words, this spice has the power to introduce more friendly bacteria in the gut and reduce the number of potentially-harmful bacteria. So in a way, it’s like a food-based probiotic.

And wait, there’s more to ginger for gut health. If you’re someone who gets a bad case of gas every now and then, a study in Food Science & Nutrition says ginger can help as well as resolve belly cramping.

Want to boost your digestion? Then definitely start taking ginger on a regular basis. Research shows that it helps activate your body’s own digestive enzymes, making it easier for you to digest protein and fat.

I’ll leave you with one more possible ginger benefit for gut health. Many people who have taken lots of over-the-counter pain pills have really bad gut health. These OTC pills just destroy the gut microbiome. The good news is that spices like ginger have been shown to repair the damage to the gut lining. That’s sweet … even if ginger isn’t.

Turmeric For Digestion

Now let’s look at the power of turmeric to improve your gut. Turmeric’s gut-healing potential is mostly because of the compound curcumin.

OK, so like ginger, curcumin has been shown in research to act like a natural probiotic, helping the good guys in your gut flourish while killing off the bad dudes. In fact, in one study, turmeric/curcumin was shown to destroy 36 species of harmful bacteria in the gut.

Not only that, turmeric was shown to help with leaky gut by supporting the intestinal barrier. That barrier is everything because without a strong barrier, undigested food particles, viruses, toxins and bacteria will leak into your blood.

That’s bad news because then your own immune system will recognize those things and say, “Hey, that’s not supposed to be here,” and then it will tell chemicals in your body to activate so that it can mount a defense against them. This is what causes inflammation. And if you don’t repair your gut barrier, the inflammation will be chronic.

So turmeric is like an anti-inflammatory ingredient for your gut. Many people take curcumin supplements for the joints. But relatively few people realize just how powerful turmeric/curcumin can be for preventing inflammation in the gut and repairing the gut barrier.

Turmeric And Ginger Supplments

If you can’t stomach the taste of fresh turmeric or ginger, I encourage you to get them in supplement form. They are definitely among the two most healing natural ingredients I use every day.

But if you create some of my smoothie recipes that feature turmeric and ginger, there’s a great chance you’ll love the taste of these two amazing gut-healing spices.

Chef V’s Cooking with V – Organic Turkey Risotto

Welcome to Chef V's Cooking School!

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

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

Cooking with Chef V

This super simple recipe has only 7 ingredients and is so easy to make. It has so much flavor, is so filling and balanced, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! “You don't even know do', it's the BEST Risotto!”

While most risottos have a lot of cream and butter, we're not going to use those. Using arborio rice, this risotto has a nice creamy texture that we'll make using vegan broth.

Organic Turkey Risotto- Dairy-Free & Gluten-free
Step by Step

turkey risotto ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 4 cups broth (may need more depending on absorbency)
  • Ground turkey 1 lb
  • Organic butternut squash cubed 2 cups
  • Green Kale 3 cups chopped
  • 3 tsp. dry sage, separated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

KALE
First chop the kale, rolling it into a little ball to finely chop. Set aside.

dicing onion

TURKEY
Season the turkey with 1 tsp sage, a pinch of salt and pepper. Add a little water to the pan before adding the meat. Add the meat to the pan.

Brown the turkey meat and slightly undercook. Let it rest and set aside.

add water to pan

salt and pepper meat

salt and pepper meat

BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Using a dutch oven or heavy pan, turn the heat on medium high. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the butternut squash (previously cut into 3/4 inch cubes) for 3 minutes. Add a tiny bit of salt and pepper. Add one tsp of sage.

Next, add the chopped kale to the pot, then the browned turkey.

sliced zucchini

RISOTTO

To the pan with the butternut squash, start adding the arborio rice. Add 2 cups of rice, sautéing the rice.

Stir well, then add 1 cup of broth to start and keep stirring. Slowly add more broth as it is absorbed – keep stirring. Add salt, pepper, and remaining sage to the risotto. Stir until nice and creamy and the rice is cooked al dente. If the mixture is a little thick, add another 1/2 cup of broth.

add kale

add 1/2 cup broth

tasting 2

Time to Taste!

time to taste

Serve it up.

time to taste

Sou chef Coco joins us!

Coco

What Do I Eat Today – Menu with Chef V’s Turkey Risotto

what do I eat today turkey risotto

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu starts with warm lemon water, then Green Drink. For breakfast, a Gnger Apple Berry Smoothie you are going to love.  For lunch, my Spicy Vegetable Soup, and for dinner,  Turkey Risotto, demonstrated in a Chef V Cooking School video.

lemons

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

ginger apple berry smoothie

For Breakfast – Ginger Apple Berry Smoothie

A morning ginger apple berry smoothie not only tastes great but is loaded with antioxidants to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation.

Get the recipe here

My “What do I Eat today” lunch is Spicy Veggie Soup. This is a spicy vegetable soup with jalapeno, quinoa, zucchini, black beans, and lots of spices. Vegan and gluten free. Add or reduce spices if you like your soup milder or super hot.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner – Turkey Risotto

A super simple recipe, it has only 7 ingredients and is so easy to make. It has so much flavor, is so filling and balanced, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! “You don’t even know do’, it’s the BEST Risotto!”

While most risottos have a lot of cream and butter, we’re not going to use those. Using arborio rice, this risotto has a nice creamy texture that we’ll make using vegan broth.

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

Veronica and cleanse ingredients

What Do I Eat Today – “On The Go” Menu

This month’s “What do I eat Today” menu is all about eating healthy during crazy busy times. I'm working extra hours to manage our orders and when I get out of the office to shop and run errands, lines are long and traffic is heavy.  So this menu is all about eating well on the go.

Start your day with lemon juice & water, then followup with Green Drink. Breakfast is a yummy Acai Bowl, and lunch is a my savory Carrot Ginger Salad, made ahead in a mason jar so you can take it with you.  Afternoon snack is another “on the go” item, my Goji Berry Trail Mix.

Dinner is a new recipe from me, my version of a Bim Bop Bowl. Dessert is a yummy vegan eggnog – I recommend drinking it with your feet up, relaxing after your busy day.

Veronica drinking green drink on a busy street

First Thing in the Morning

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

For Breakfast – Acai Bowl

This recipe is made in a Vitamix and can be served in a bowl or in an “on the go” cup.

The acai berry is a grape-like fruit native to the rain forests of the amazon. It has a tropical, sweet taste and a very short shelf life, so we don't often find them fresh in the store. Acai berries contain antioxidants, fiber, and heart-healthy fats.

get the recipe

Lunch – Carrot Ginger Salad

Green is good! Starting with fresh locally sourced organic greens, add carrot, celery, radish, red onion, cucumber, and grilled chicken (optional). Top your salad with my Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing.

Make this as a mason jar salad and take it “on the go”.

Get the recipe

Afternoon Snack – Chef V's Goji Berry Trail Mix

Trail mix is a healthy alternative to sugary commercial candy, loaded with artificial ingredients. My recipe includes super healthy goji berries, nuts and seeds.

Try different ingredients to create some fun mixes. I generally use one or two raw nuts, one seed, and one dried fruit. Some ideas for nuts: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, pecans, or macadamia nuts. For dried fruit, always choose unsweetened and unsulfured fruits. My favorites include pineapple, apple, mango, and blueberries. And, of course, goji berries.

Get the recipe

Dinner – Bim Bop Bowl

10 minute meal! It’s the holiday season and I’ve been cooking all day getting ready for tomorrow. I need a fast but healthy meal. This one is a crowd favorite!

Get the recipe

Dessert –  Vegan Eggnog

Spread holiday cheer with my vegan take on a traditional favorite, eggnog. This thick, wonderfully flavored beverage can be made in many ways than one. Why not try my adult version with coconut nectar and almond milk. Not too thick, this chilled iconic drink will warm the hearts of your family and friends. Homemade, delicious and beautifully presented, how can it not?!

Get the recipe

veronica and brandon

Nightshades: A No/No for Cleansing

deadly nightshades

Nightshades: Why These Everyday Veggies Are Toxic For Your Body

The nightshade veggies—tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant—are a no-no on my cleanse and detox list. Why are these on my blacklist if you want to reboot your digestive system? Read on to find out… 

I know next to nothing about football. But if there’s one thing about the sport I know, it’s something that my hubby, Brandon, jealously thinks I know far too much about: Tom Brady. 

Actually, I could care less about all those Super Bowl rings he’s won. (Those rings are so gaudy anyway.) But there are three things that really intrigue me about him. 

Obviously, number one on the list is his handsome looks. Second is his marriage to Giselle (she’s so fab, she doesn’t even need her last name mentioned). And like everyday else, I’m also amazed at the fact that the dude is in his mid-40s, getting chased by 350-pound monsters half his age and slingin’ that pigskin like, well, somebody half his age. 

TB is still playing at an amazingly high level (or so Brandon tells me). One reason for his amazing longevity is his diet. Tom Terrific eats a very low inflammatory diet. And one group of food Tom avoids is nightshades. 

tobacco

What Are Nightshades? 

If you smoke cigarettes, you’re not avoiding nightshades. Tobacco is a member of the nightshade family. Do I really need to say that smoking tobacco isn’t good for your health? The nightshades that get all the attention are tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants. 

Nightshades—these plants grow in the shade and they tend to bloom at night—contain seeds and relatively thick skin. 

So what’s so bad about nightshades that TB avoids them like a blitzing linebacker (Brandon: aren’t you impressed with that analogy?) And what’s the big deal about seeds and skin? Why not just be thick-skinned about eating nightshades? 

It’s because nightshades contain substances that interfere with nutrient absorption in the body. Among these substances are lectins. Lectins are proteins that bind to carbohydrates. Every single plant contains lectins. But nightshades along with raw legumes contain the highest amount of lectins. 

arthritis

Why Are Lectins Bad?

Like most things in life, lectins aren’t all black and white. There’s the good, bad and ugly when it comes to lectins. These proteins serve an important function in nature. They protect plants from being consumed by fungi or voracious insects. So what does that have to do with why Tom Brady avoids nightshades? 

Lectins are a natural bio-weapon for protecting plants from getting digested. The theory goes that those same characteristics prevent nutrients from getting absorbed in the gut. 

Some people blame nightshades for arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and general joint problems and inflammation. 

But Tom Brady doesn’t have arthritis. If he did, he would have retired years ago. Well, Tom (we’re on a first name basis now) doesn’t want to take any chances. 

And if you’re looking to CLEANSE your digestive system, I don’t want you to take any chances either. 

If you do have a digestive system that seems backed up, sluggish or stressed out, experiment with a nightshade-free diet for a week or two. See if it makes a difference. 

Some health authorities don’t think eating nightshades is that big of a deal. In fact, Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests that the catalyst for the lectin-free diet is for people to write best-selling books and that the human body has digestive enzymes that can break down lectins with no problem. 

But in this instance, I’m going to trust the 7-time Super Bowl winner. (I had to Google that.) 

sore stomach

How To Make Nightshades Healthier

If you’re doing a Chef V Cleanse or 21 Day Detox, I still want you to try to go nightshade-free. But can you imagine if all of Italy suddenly decided to go nightshade-free? No tomato sauce? The country would go crazy. However, the traditional way of making pasta sauce involves removing the skin and seeds from the tomatoes. 

Another way to lower the lectin count in nightshades is to simply use a pressure cooker. The heat seems to lower the anti-nutrient proteins. 

But that being said, I’d like to offer some final advice on nightshades. Do you struggle with leaky gut symptoms like joint problems, acne, eczema, brain fog and bloating? If so, I think it’s a good idea to eliminate all potential foods that can trigger symptoms. 

So say nighty-night to nightshades. If a nightshade-free-diet can help Tom, it may help you stay in the ballgame of life, too.

Green Drink, Vitamin D Lamps, and Other Ways to Live Without the Sun

The sun gets a bad rap these days. As more and more people become aware of the dangers of skin cancer and other threats from sun exposure, we tend to view the sun more as a threat than anything else. And while it’s true that sunscreen is essential, the absence of sunlight can be just as serious a health risk as too much sunlight. Here, we’ll discuss just why sunlight is so essential, and how you can survive winter on a diminished supply. 

Importance of sunlight

Sunlight, while potentially harmful if you get too much of it, is what allows for all life on earth. That warmth and light is responsible for everything. For humans, it has particularly pertinent health benefits. These include some of the following.

Eye health: Too much sun exposure can damage your eyes, yes. But if you aren’t getting enough sunlight either, it can lead to complications with vision. This is especially important for children. 

Mood control: Sunlight is connected to serotonin levels, one of the chemicals that helps regulate mood. Not enough sun, and you can start to feel depressed and miserable. There’s a reason Seasonal Affective Disorder is a thing. 

Sleep control: Our bodies are amazingly complicated biological machines. We’re meant to be in tune with nature, and sunlight acts as a trigger or “reminder” to our bodies to keep in sync with the world. This means if we don’t get enough sunlight (especially in the morning), we can start to have issues with managing our sleep. Worse, a disrupted sleep schedule can affect our weight management

Vitamin D levels: You’ve probably heard before that sunlight is related to vitamin D. But what does this mean? Vitamin D is a hormone our body produces that allows us to absorb other essential minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus. (You can also get vitamin D in your food. More on that later.)

Sunlight on the skin helps promote our body’s natural production of vitamin D. You probably remember calcium is key to healthy bones. If you aren’t getting enough vitamin D production through sunlight, it can lead to brittle and damaged bones. There’s even an indication that other organs in your body need vitamin D to help stave off infection and inflammation. 

How to get vitamin D without the sun

Naturally, you want to get as much sunlight as possible, though with the proper protection from sunscreen and shades. But what do you do during the months when clouds cover the sun, or wind and snow keep you inside? 

One way is to get some artificial help. Vitamin D lamps are a great way to mimic natural sunlight, “tricking” your body into producing more vitamin D. As far as mood control goes, try to stick to a set sleep schedule, even if the light isn’t around. Spend time socializing with family and friends, and eat and exercise well. 

As we mentioned earlier, it’s also possible to get vitamin D from certain foods. As far as animal products go, fish tend to be the highest in this vitamin. Because of its importance, you’ll also often see beverages artificially fortified with vitamin D, such as milk and orange juice. But what about those who skew more organic or vegan?

The best veggies for vitamin D tend to be the darkest and leafiest green. Think of things like collard greens, kale, and spinach. And one of the best ways to get these into your diet is through Chef V’s green drink. Whether a 3 day juice cleanse, or our signature 21 day juice cleanse, our green drink has everything you need to stay healthy all year round. 

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

Top Five Ways to Use Green Drink – Perfect Morning Detox

Top 5 Ways to Use Green Drink

Now that your Green Drink has arrived, what do you do with it? Here are the top five ways to use Green Drink.

Should you chug the whole thing in one sitting like you’re at a frat party? Or do you daintily sip it like Mary Poppins drinking a cuppa tea? Whether you chug or sip is totally up to you. More important is learning how to incorporate Green Drink into your everyday routine.

top 5 ways to use Green Drink #1

Top 5 ways to use Green Drink #1: Perfect Morning Detox

When you wake up in the morning, it’s the perfect opportunity to gently detox your liver. So here’s how to do it. After you wake up in the morning, drink at least 8 ounces of water. Optional: add a lemon wedge or some lemon juice. (Lemon juice helps assist the detox process.)

But don’t have your Green Drink just yet. Wait for about half an hour. Give your liver some time to do its purification thing. This is the one time of the day when your liver won’t have to process anything you’ve eaten.

OK, now it’s time to have some Green Drink. Drink at least 16-24 oz. in the morning. The 7 certified organic green veggies will quickly fuel your cells with the nutrients they need for energy and metabolism.

If you’re going to eat solid food in the morning, try to wait half an hour after consuming Green Drink. Again, this is the time of day when you want to give your liver the best chance to flush out trapped toxins.

Many people make the mistake of eating in the morning, before drinking water and Green Drink. When you eat food, your liver doesn’t get a chance to rest and detox. In fact, not eating breakfast is another way you can use Green Drink, which leads us to the next way to use it….

Top 5 ways to use Green Drink #2

Top 5 ways #2: Wait Until You’re Hungry

I actually wait until I FEEL hungry before having my first serving of daily Green Drink. It’s amazing … after two 8-ounce servings, my hunger instantly vanishes. And then, I’ll actually wait a little longer before I eat my first solid meal of the day.

If you want to accelerate your weight loss, do this before every meal. Wait until you’re hungry, then have some Green Drink. If you want to make your Green Drink last longer, you can do 8 oz. in the morning and then 4 oz. before both lunch and dinner.

top 5 ways to use Green Drink #3

Top 5 ways #3: Drink it All Day 

A Green Drink customer owns a yoga studio right down the street from where our East Coast Chef V Cafe is located. (If you’re ever in West Caldwell, NJ, stop by and say hi!). From time to time, random people will come into our cafe and say, “We saw this woman in great shape with your drink. She told us she gets a big jug of Green Drink in the morning and sips on it all day until dinner.”

Now, you don’t have to just eat one meal a day. But if you want to lose some weight quick, say, for a wedding, having Green Drink for breakfast and lunch (or breakfast and dinner) is an awesome way to shed the pounds, fast.

Intermittent Fasting

Top 5 ways #4: Intermittent Fasting

You’ve probably heard of intermittent fasting because it’s become very popular. My husband, Brandon, and I have actually been doing intermittent fasting long before it became a health trend. We feel great doing it. It’s not a diet, it’s more of a lifestyle!

In case you’re not familiar with it, here’s the skinny: When you go several hours between dinner and your first meal the following day without eating, your body burns its reserves of fat for energy, instead of sugar. Brandon and I usually fast for 16 hours.

Not only will fasting 16 hours help you get leaner, it offers other health benefits such as improved focus and concentration. Studies suggest it might even lengthen your life. But you don’t have to fast for 16 hours at first.

For the first week, try 12 hours. Push it to 14 hours the following week and then 16 if you’re feeling great. Sixteen hours has shown the most benefit. But even if you just fast for 12-14 hours, you’ll likely experience positive results. 

The most important thing is when you break your fast, break it with 16-24 oz of Green Drink. My body is so used to fasting that I’m never hungry in the morning. Come to think of it, that’s another way I use Green Drink….

For my complete Green Drink Intermittent Fasting Guide click here

smoothie

Top 5 ways #5: Make It Into A Smoothie

To make a smoothie: Add ½ cup ice and ½ cup unsweetened almond milk.

For Green Drink smoothie recipe ideas, I’ve included this handy download for you.

Juice Diets and Other Simple Tips for Better Mood Control

With the winter cold comes the winter blues. To a degree, changing moods are simply a matter of being human. They’re part of the cost that comes with being a thinking creature with emotions. On the other hand, mood is also heavily influenced by body chemistry. If chemical imbalances are off, you can be put into a funk. 

But if you manage to get something that boosts your levels of anandamide or other chemicals, you can beat those blues. We’ll cover some of the best and simplest methods for mood regulation out there. 

Accept your mood

This seems like a weird first tip. If you’re feeling bad, shouldn’t you do something about it? Well, sure. But, sometimes, feeling bad is natural. If you’re having personal struggles, no 7 day juice cleanse or yoga pose will make that go away. Sometimes, repressing emotions is just as bad for you as experiencing them. If you have difficulty managing emotions in this way, looking for therapy may be an excellent first step. 

Get more sleep

Everyone sleeps, hopefully. And yet this simple bodily function could be one of the best ways to help manage mood. Missing out on sleep has been linked to increases in feelings of anger, anxiety, depression, and moodiness. Getting to bed on time is a good first step for boosting mood. 

Move your body

Having trouble sleeping? Being active during the day can help you get more shut-eye. But that’s not all that exercise can do for you. Even taking fifteen minutes out of your day to exercise can do amazing things for your mood. Humans weren’t meant to sit around all day!

We’re particularly fans of using yoga to reduce stress. Even the most basic cow/cat poses can start to put you in a calmer frame of mind, and let you stabilize your mood. Plus, exercise is a great way to lose weight, which in itself can boost mood and confidence. 

Get out!

Sometimes, it’s going to be cold, or maybe even rainy. But even in the worst weather, we recommend trying to get some time outside. Mental health and cognition both seem to be connected to being outside. To a degree, this is likely a case of the benefits of fresh air and sunlight. But it also seems that nature itself has a role to play in better mood regulation. 

Socialize

Loneliness is one of the least discussed causes of mood and health disorders. But it can have a severe effect on your health, particularly as you age. Try to cherish and nurture the connections you have. And don’t be afraid to get out there and make new connections either! 

Juice cleanses

At times, the best way to boost your mood is simply to get more of the good stuff in your diet. A Chef V juice cleanse can help give you everything your body needs to function well, such as antioxidants, magnesium, and a whole host of vitamins. 

Our green drink can help you manage your blood sugar levels and get them back to a stable level. Even just a 7 day juice cleanse can go a long way toward stabilizing your mood. Remember that you have the power to affect your mood, and Chef V is always right behind you with healthy juice cleanse options to back you up. 

Chef V’s List of Top Foods that Cause Migraines and Headaches

Migraines and headaches suck. There’s no dancing around the topic. And what really sucks about them is how hard they can be to get rid of permanently. There are many sources of headaches and migraines. But one of the most overlooked causes of these conditions is diet. It could be that your chronic head pain is because of foods that cause migraines. 

What causes headaches and migraines?

To understand why diet could cause headaches and migraines, it’s essential to understand why these bad things happen to good people like us. The terms are used interchangeably, though they’re actually entirely different. 

We won’t get into all the nitty gritty, but headaches tend to have a physical cause behind them. This could be because of an injury. But it could also be because you have tense muscles or pressure in your sinuses. Migraines, on the other hand, are caused by an issue with the nerves or chemicals in your brain.

So this means there are many ways your diet could end up giving you a migraine. Chemicals in the food you eat could mess with your brain chemistry. Foods that dehydrate you could cause the muscles in your head to lose moisture and tighten. Indeed, hydration is a crucial step to staving off head pain. With that in mind, here are a few of the top foods and drinks that will start your head throbbing. 

Kinds of foods that cause migraines and headaches

Alcohol headaches 

Overconsumption of alcohol is one of the top causes of headaches for many people. The hangover headache is real. The science beyond this is simple. Alcohol causes dehydration. This then leads to muscle-related headaches. So take it easy on the alcoholic drinks, and mix them with plenty of water. 

Caffeine headaches

Caffeine is a drug. And like any drug, it can come with a lot of withdrawal symptoms if you get hooked on it, then stop. Our recommendation is to swap your morning drink for something a bit healthier, like our green drink. 

Celery juice headaches

Celery juice is a bit specific to be on this list, no? Well, since celery juice is often touted as a cure-all, we thought it was worth a closer examination. So can celery juice cause headaches? Most of the negative side effects of celery juice that people report tend to be related to bloating and gas

However, celery juice side effects can often include headaches when consumed in large amounts. What’s probably also going on here is the fact that celery juice is relatively low in nutrition. Celery juice headaches are caused by relying too heavily on it, rather than more nutritious drinks. 

Salty food headaches

Food too high in sodium? Then you better believe you’ll experience a spike in blood pressure. And what comes with higher blood pressure? Migraines. Stay away from the salty stuff, especially if it comes with preservatives. 

Sugary food headaches

There are many potential foods we could list here, so we’re going to lump all the sweets and treats into one category. Can sugar cause headaches? You bet. Eating too many sugary foods can cause a rapid swing in blood sugar level and then, before you know it, you have a sugar headache. We recommend a low sugar cleanse to detox your blood sugar back to normal. 

Get relief with a low sugar cleanse

When it comes to hydrating and getting everything you need, there’s nothing better than a low sugar cleanse. And when it comes to low sugar cleanses, Chef V is a real winner. Our green drink is filled with everything you need to stay hydrated and healthy, and it even makes a great meal accompaniment on its own. 

Chef V’s Guide to Why Meal Timing Matters

Sometimes it’s not what you eat, but when you eat. Our bodies are more than simple biological machines. We’re creatures of nature, and like everything in nature, timing is everything. Animals sleep and eat on a schedule and with the seasons. However, modern conveniences have broken the human need for timing. 

We can eat whatever we want, when we want. But this convenience comes with some consequences when it comes to maintaining weight. And we’re not just talking about how easy food access can make it challenging to maintain a diet. 

Meals and timing

To understand how humans go with the natural flow, it’s essential to understand the concept of circadian rhythms. These are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a twenty-four-hour cycle, and affect most living things, from plants to humans. Circadian rhythms are influenced by the changing light, as day goes to night, and determines things like sleep schedule and even metabolism. 

This means your body is absolutely affected by the time of day. It has meaningful consequences for your eating habits as well. For example, your body tends to increase its metabolism for eight hours or so while asleep. It’s a good idea to restrict all meals to roughly a twelve-hour block during the day. Leave all the time outside that block for your body to handle digestion. 

When you have meals within that time period also matters. While it’s different for every person, in general, it seems that eating meals earlier in the day, and putting more focus on those earlier meals, is better for overall health and weight control. So get a healthy breakfast and lunch! Too often people skimp on these crucial meals, and then gorge themselves at dinner. 

Obviously, there are some extra considerations to take into account when it comes to planning mealtimes. For example, your doctor may recommend you adjust eating times if you have particular conditions, such as diabetes. 

Intermittent fasting

If you think nutritionists would be interested in how mealtimes affect weight gain and loss, you’d be absolutely correct. Many nutritionists have expanded the idea of more strictly dividing our eating and resting-from-eating times. This is why the idea of intermittent fasting has emerged. This is the concept that planning meal times is just as important as planning what to eat. 

One of the most interesting (to us) forms of time-restricted eating is “time restricted feeding.” This refers to a program by which you start restricting yourself to that twelve-hour eating window mentioned earlier but then gradually close that window. In essence, the idea behind intermittent fasting is that you’re increasing the amount of time in a day your body spends on digestion and metabolism. 

So while you might start out by restricting all your eating to a twelve-hour window, with time-restricted feeding, you can start organizing meal timing to shrink that window down to ten or even eight hours. This means the time to metabolize your meals is only going up. Even if you keep your caloric intake roughly the same as usual, by restricting that caloric intake to a specific time period, you can start to see weight-loss results. 

Benefits of intermittent fasting 

What’s really intriguing about intermittent fasting is the benefits it offers beyond simply weight loss. Intermittent fasting has been linked to better control of critical bodily functions, such as blood sugar, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and inflammation management. It turns out that humans, biologically, probably aren’t used to being able to grab midnight snacks from a fridge! Embracing intermittent fasting can help you fight back against a host of health issues beyond letting you take better control of your weight. 

Green juice and intermittent fasting

When looking up time-restricted eating, you’re sure to hear a lot of discussion about intermittent fasting drinks. It’s no surprise, given that juice cleanses and intermittent fasting are somewhat related. Both harness your body’s own metabolism to enter a “fasting mode” where fat gets burned at an accelerated rate. Both use the health benefits of fasting periods to tackle issues, such as blood sugar management. 

But there’s no reason to keep the two separate. Intermittent fasting and green drinks can be one of the best nutrition crossover events out there! Firstly, a green drink is a great way to go about breaking your fast. Too many people look at intermittent fasting as a “free ticket” to eat whatever during the non-fasting period. While the idea is to focus on timing, it should be noted that what you eat could have significant effects. If you break your fast with a fatty or sugary meal, you could be in for some headaches.

What your body really needs after the fasting period is a ton of nutrients. This is where the concept of intermittent fasting drinks comes in. With green juice for intermittent fasting, you can get all the vitamins and minerals you need to get back in action and ready for the day.

Get the best in green drink with Chef V

When it comes to green juice for intermittent fasting, you can’t get much better than Chef V’s signature green drink. Always blended for maximum nutritional impact, our green drink will give you everything you need to recharge when undertaking intermittent fasting, or one of our juice cleanses

We have plenty of other great products for time-restricted eating as well. Need detox smoothie recipes for intermittent fasting? How about some detox soups? Both are available in our cleanses. No matter how you want to tackle your weight loss goals, Chef V is here to back you up.

The Healthiest Oil to Cook With for Weight Loss

When it comes to our food choices, there’s enough complexity to deal with given the basic ingredients. Trying to sort out the healthiest fruits and vegetables to best promote weight loss can be difficult. There’s a reason so many people come to Chef V for the best juice cleanse for weight loss, after all!

But there’s often an element of cooking that gets forgotten amidst all the other ingredients—cooking oil. What you cook your food in can affect your health like any other ingredient. But exactly how much of a health consideration are cooking oils? And which are the healthiest?

Why cooking oil choice matters

Before we can get down into the nitty-gritty of canola versus vegetable oil, it’s important to establish precisely why cooking oil choice matters. After all, it’s just what we use to cook our actual food, right?

Well, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, and that applies to the chemistry of cooking as well. You might have heard of something called a “smoke point” in oil. This is where oil starts to burn and smoke rather than just simmer. This “burning” also can release potentially harmful materials, such as free radicals or acrolein. These substances can damage your cells and organs. So the smoke point is something to consider as far as health goes.

But, on the flip side, many oils contain valuable vitamins and minerals. The right oil can add in useful, healthful substances to a meal that wasn’t there to begin with. Oils often contain a mixture of different fats, which can be good or bad depending on the particular type

As a last note, it’s also essential to consider the origin of your cooking oils, beyond simply the type. Just like with any food, cooking oils can be filled with additives. It pays to read the labels, and find organic options if possible. 

Cooking oils, measured up

Avocado oil

Avocados are a delicious, nutritious addition to a variety of great recipes. But did you know you can use avocado oil for cooking? It’s noted for its high smoke point, making it an excellent choice for high-heat cooking, such as deep frying. Avocado oil comes with all the benefits of avocado as well, including helping you address blood pressure and cholesterol issues, and generally benefit heart health. 

Avocado oil has been linked to helping reduce inflammation in your joints. More relevant for this specific article, avocado oil has also been linked to helping boost your metabolism and aid weight loss, due to it containing substances, such as oleic acid, which promotes fat burning. 

Avocado oil tastes can sometimes have a distinct taste of avocados, unless you make sure to use the lighter versions. A good rule of thumb when avocado oil cooking is to treat it roughly like olive oil. Overall, it’s a great addition to your kitchen! 

Canola oil

Canola oil comes from the canola plant, naturally enough. It’s a type of oil that’s gotten quite a lot of buzz due to its high monounsaturated fat content. Using shorter words, it has mostly good fat content. 

It’s also full of phytosterols, which are amazing in helping manage cholesterol levels. Canola oil has been associated with the burning of belly fat, good news for anyone interested in losing some weight. When it comes down to canola versus vegetable oil and health, canola oil is a clear winner. 

Canola oil is also great in how versatile it is as a cooking oil. From stir-frying to grilling, it’s always a good idea to have some canola oil on hand. 

Coconut oil

We absolutely love coconut and coconut water at Chef V. So that should mean we’re into coconut oil cooking as well, right? Well, cooking with coconut oil is a bit of a complicated topic. 

Coconut oil does have a high smoke point, so that’s a plus. It also has plenty of the same health benefits of coconuts themselves, possibly working as an anti-inflammatory. However, coconut oil is also wildly high in saturated fats. At room temperature, most coconut oils will take a solid form—that’s how high their fat content is. Higher levels of saturated fats are associated with a higher risk of heart issues. 

So coconut oil gets, at most, only a mild recommendation. That coconut flavor is going to make a great addition to particular meals, especially in baking. Just don’t overdo it. The high fat content might not make it the best option for weight loss. 

Olive oil

For many out there, olive oil has already replaced vegetable oil as a kitchen staple. So there’s certainly a lot to unpack when it comes to olive oil cooking. There are many health reasons to enjoy olive oil. One of the most widely known is that olive oil is high in vitamin E, an important antioxidant. 

In fact, if you love antioxidants, olive oil has plenty of them. And like a lot of other oils on this list, olive oil has monounsaturated fats that help you fight the “bad” cholesterols. This not only lowers your risk of heart disease, but can also help you avoid obesity. The real power of olive oil is more holistic, however. It has all this good stuff in it, so it makes you feel better. Subsequently, you’re more likely to engage in healthy activities, such as exercise. 

One of the most fun parts of olive oil is how well it pairs with healthy dishes, such as those found in Mediterranean cooking. Just make sure you’re picking up organic variants! 

Vegetable oil 

Many people turn to vegetable oil out of health concerns. Once they go vegan, they figure they need more vegan and vegetarian products. And vegetable oil has often been heralded as another low-cholesterol cooking oil opinion. But now we get into the tricky territory of terminology. 

The thing is, what is vegetable oil? Olive is a vegetable, right? And so is canola. So what is in those bottles of “vegetable oil” on the shelf? Well, you’re going to have to check the label. Too often, vegetable oil is a term used for more artificial versions of the product, which aren’t necessarily the healthiest. Always check the label and the nutritional information. 

Enjoy your meals with Chef V’s green drink

No matter the oil you use, or what you’re cooking up, Chef V always has your back when it comes to promoting health. There’s a reason we provide one of the best juice cleanses for weight loss. However, our green drink works great on its own as a companion to any meal. So, here’s to all your future healthy cooking! 

Detox Juice and Gut Health

Gut health could be one of the most complicated facets of nutrition. Prime gut health requires carefully balancing the wonderfully complex world of bacteria in your gut. Thankfully, you have plenty of tools to help you out in this endeavor. One of the best options in your gut nutrition health kit must be juices for detox. We’ll discuss the relationship between juicing and your gut, after we give a basic overview of how gut health works. 

Gut flora

The term “gut flora” refers to all the bacteria in your digestive system. We tend to reflexively think of bacteria and microbes as a bad thing. After all, the wrong microscopic guest in our body usually means we’re about to come down with something.

However, there are plenty of tiny passengers on our bodies at any given moment that have absolutely no ill effect on our health. In fact, there are plenty of microbes that are overall beneficial for us. One of these categories would be the “gut flora”—the microbes that live inside our digestive system. 

Our gut flora play a key role in helping us digest certain materials, particularly fiber. However, maintaining an average balance of gut flora seems to have even wider health implications. Everything from reducing obesity to lowering the risk of colon cancer has been associated with proper management of gut flora. 

How diet affects gut flora

Since those little guys in your gut are doing so much for your digestive health, it makes sense to give a little back to them. Keeping your gut flora happy keeps all your gut happy. The main way to boost the production of healthy gut flora is through diet. One part of this is getting enough fiber, since this is a crucial part of those microbe’s diet. 

It’s also important to get plenty of prebiotics in your diet. Prebiotics are particular nutrients and substances that your gut microbes need to thrive. If you get plenty of foods with prebiotics in your diet, your gut flora will do just fine.

What foods include prebiotics? There’s a long list but some of the most notable include leafy greens, garlic, onions, leeks, bananas, oats and barley, and apples. Many spices are also great for your gut. If you’re wondering if ginger is good for your gut, the answer is yes! We see a lot of people also asking, “does turmeric make you fart,” but turmeric is actually a great way to deal with gassiness and bloat. 

Juicing and your gut

Many people have taken to using juice cleanses to try and cut back on their caloric intake without sacrificing nutrition and thus burn away fat. Organic juice cleanses are also a great way to do a “reset” on your system, avoiding potentially harmful preservatives or additives in your diet. 

While juice cleanses are great for losing weight, it’s also important to note how great they can be for the health of your gut. The best juice cleanses will be filled with things like leafy greens and apples, providing a ton of prebiotics.

The Chef V cleanse

However, where many juice cleanses tend to fail is in providing enough fiber to all for healthy gut processes throughout the entire cleanse. Thankfully, Chef V’s juice cleanses are a bit different. We provide plenty of fiber through our delicious detox soups and detox smoothies, and our green drink is filled with every sort of mineral and vitamin you need to make your weight-loss goals while keeping your gut flora happy and healthy at the same time. 

Intermittent Fasting + Green Drink

Trying to lose weight and get those abs to poke out? Try intermittent fasting AND breaking your fast with my Chef V Green Drink. Even better: do an early-morning yoga routine, before your first meal of the day. It doesn’t have to be very long. Even 10 minutes will do wonders. That combo works great for me … and you should see what my husband looks like. (Wink)

I’m having a little bit of a dilemma. Maybe you can help by telling me what you think.

You see, Brandon, my husband (and CEO of my nationwide Green Drink and Cleanse delivery operation) is looking like one of those Greek God statues you see in a museum.

Whereas in the past when “six-pack” was synonymous for Brandon with beer, these days, six-pack refers to his absolutely chiseled abs. Actually, 8-pack is more like it.

Brandon is absolutely shredded, chiseled and lean. He hasn’t put an ounce of flab on even though we’ve been under a lot of stress lately opening up our new Chef V store in New Jersey (NYC metro area).

So where’s the problem, you might be wondering? After all, isn’t every lady’s dream to have a gorgeous, sexy partner?

The problem is … he’s starting to look leaner than me. That ain’t right! So should I tell him to stop doing what he’s doing?

Actually, here’s what I’ll do. I’m going to put aside my petty insecurities and rechannel that negativity into something positive. And that’s sharing with you these 3 super easy things that Brandon has been doing these past six months that have resulted in his mad sexy physique.

It seems so easy. And in fact, it is. I’ve actually been doing the three things he’s been doing, too. It’s just that my weight has stabilized and I’m not really looking to break a plateau or anything.

Without further ado here are the three things you can easily do to melt body fat….

intermittent fasting table 16:8 method

What Do Beyonce & Brandon Have In Common?

Besides a killer smile that seems to stop time, what Queen Bey and my hubby have in common is success with intermittent fasting.

Human beings have been intermittent fasting since prehistoric times. But as a diet, this is the one method that seems like it has the potential to kill the diet industry. In other words, it’s not a gimmick, like this:

Brandon, Bey, and thousands of other people, are experiencing very impressive intermittent fasting results.

And the reason why is simple. You’re not doing a crazy starvation diet like the Master Cleanse (fasting on lemon water for several days) or the hCG diet (500 calories a day plus an injection of a pregnancy hormone) or the baby food diet (no explanation needed).

Intermittent fasting restricts when you eat, not what you eat. There are a few different ways to do intermittent fasting (I.F.). Brandon prefers the 16/8 method. That’s when you eat only during an eight-hour window and fast for the other 16 hours.

Fasting for 16 hours is a form of mild stress. That might not sound good to you. After all, most people have too much stress to begin with. But the mild stress from intermittent fasting can actually help you live longer.

And there’s no doubt I.F. will make you leaner.

Making Cleansing Easier Cookbook

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Researchers are now just starting to discover why intermittent fasting can help make you live longer. (If you want to geek out on how it works, read this article published by Harvard University.)

But I.F. might take some getting used to. This is especially true if you’re prone to feeling “hangry,” you know, that combo of feeling hungry and angry at the same time.

A lot of times, though, you think you’re starving when you’re actually not. What’s more likely is that you’re used to eating a lot of starchy and sugary foods and your brain/belly axis of evil is saying, “Mmmm, give me more … now!”

If you can lower the amount of sugars and starches in your diet, those hangry feelings will likely fade away like your waistline.

And here’s why….

Unless you’re running an ultramarathon, a good chunk of your meal will be stored as sugar (glycogen) in your liver. However, after not eating anything for 16 hours, your sugar storage tank, so to speak, will be depleted.

So what does your hot bod do for energy if it doesn’t have any sugar to burn? It starts using fat for energy. Specifically, your fat cells release ketones (fatty acids). These ketones are converted in the liver as usable energy for your brain. Ketones also get released into your bloodstream to supply the rest of your body with energy.

My book, Making Cleansing Easier, is full of recipes for foods with low, healthy levels of sugars and starches. Use it to reset your appetite.

Kickstart Your Fat Loss With Chef V’s Intermittent Fasting Cleanse! Need someone to hold your hand getting started with Intermittent Fasting? Want to maximize your body fat burning potential? Let me help! Introducing Chef V’s Intermittent Fasting Cleanse, where on each day (you choose: 4, 7 or 14 days), you get 16 oz. of Green Drink, one packet of Chocolate Protein Shake and one Detox Soup (alternates between Carrot Ginger and Sweet Potato Curry). And that’s just for your “break-fast.” For lunch and dinner, you’ll be using my Healthy Eating Guidelines, which includes the following 3 easy to follow things: Eat This, Not That Chart (takes the guesswork out of what to eat) Healthy Portions Chart (takes the guesswork out of how much to eat) Download of my recipe book Making Cleansing Easier, with delicious healthy recipes for smoothies, snacks, soups, appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts. Recommendations for non-caloric drinks to keep your energy up during your fasting window (including my recipe for Electrolyte Cocktail). Intermittent Fasting isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle! And with Chef V’s IFC, you’ll quickly learn how to combine time-restricted feeding with healthy eating habits you can use for the rest of your life.

Survival Mode But Not Starvation Mode

Sorry, I seem to have gotten carried away and slightly geeked out. All you really need to know can be summed up in one sentence: By not eating for 16 hours your body goes in survival mode and burns fat for energy.

Try fasting for 12-14 hours for a week or two before working your way up to 16 hours. That’s what Brandon did. (I tried calling Bey to find out how she got started but she hasn’t returned my call … yet. haha)

Just to be clear, I.F. is not a starvation diet. True starvation is going for many days without food. But since we’re still wired like our prehistoric ancestors, our bodies go into survival mode. And to survive, our bodies shift from burning carbs for fuel to fat.

Is it making sense now why I.F. is so easy? And you don’t have to be crazy strict about sticking to 16 hours of fasting. If you go one day cutting it down to a 14 or 15 hour window, you’ll still see results.

Jill Ramirez testimonial

Breaking the Fast Without Breakfast

And if you follow this second tip for easy weight loss success, you’ll experience even more impressive results.

You might be tempted to break your 16-hour fast by pigging out with a large breakfast. But there’s two reasons why you shouldn’t do it. First of all, your stomach’s holding capacity will shrink after not eating for 16 hours. Thus, you simply won’t feel like or be physically able to eat a large stack of pancakes.

Secondly, you don’t want your first meal of the day to put you in a food coma. Instead, drink a couple glasses of water first thing when you wake up. And when it’s time to break your fast, have a Green Drink. The seven certified organic greens will help wake up your belly and gently cleanse your system.

There are other methods of doing I.F. such as the 5:2 method. This is when you take a couple days a week and eat only 500 calories.

Regardless of what I.F. method you choose, always break your fast with a Green Drink. Another benefit is you’ll be providing good bacteria in your gut with food (prebiotic fiber) that they need to multiply and keep your immune system strong.

The healthier you are, the better your fat burning potential.

Yoga Before Breaking the Fast

And if you really want to accelerate your weight loss, do some moderate exercise before your first meal of the day. I prefer doing yoga shortly after I wake up. Depending on when I finished the previous night’s meal, I might take a 16 oz bottle of Green Drink with me to stay hydrated during class.
Keep in mind that having a Green Drink will break your fast even though it’s not a meal. The simple reason why is that it has calories and will provide glucose (blood sugar) for your liver to burn.

However, let’s say I’m done dinner at 8 p.m. If I’m taking a 10 a.m. yoga class, I might sip on a bit of Green Drink throughout the class. I’m not super strict about always doing a 16-hour fast window; that’s more Brandon’s thing.

But the key takeaway here is that you should give exercising before breaking your fast a try. You’ll already be in fat-burning mode. And light exercise like these 3 detoxifying yoga poses may help accelerate your weight loss. Just make sure not to do any strenuous exercise when you’re first getting used to I.F.

So there you have it. Three simple strategies for long-term weight loss success: try eating only during a 8 hour window (work your way up to a 16-hour fast); break the fast with Green Drink and do some yoga in the morning before breaking the fast.

Kickstart Your Fat Loss With Chef V’s Intermittent Fasting Cleanse!

Need someone to hold your hand getting started with Intermittent Fasting? Want to maximize your body fat burning potential?

Let me help! Introducing Chef V’s Intermittent Fasting Cleanse, where on each day (you choose: 4, 7 or 14 days), you get 16 oz. of Green Drink, one packet of Chocolate Protein Shake and one Detox Soup (alternates between Carrot Ginger and Sweet Potato Curry). And that’s just for your “break-fast.”

For lunch and dinner, you’ll be using my Healthy Eating Guidelines, which includes the following 3 easy to follow things:

  • Eat This, Not That Chart (takes the guesswork out of what to eat)
  • Healthy Portions Chart (takes the guesswork out of how much to eat)
  • Download of my recipe book Making Cleansing Easier, with delicious healthy recipes for smoothies, snacks, soups, appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts.
  • Recommendations for non-caloric drinks to keep your energy up during your fasting window (including my recipe for Electrolyte Cocktail).

Intermittent Fasting isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle! And with Chef V’s IFC, you’ll quickly learn how to combine time-restricted feeding with healthy eating habits you can use for the rest of your life.

Pressed versus Blended Juice Cleanse Diet: Which Helps With Weight Management Better?

There are plenty of reasons to start a detox juice cleanse for migraines and headaches. Migraines are one of the most common neurological conditions, with over 1 billion patients globally. They come in many forms and have a variety of triggers. Whether you have rampant infrequent cluster headaches or tension headaches, chances are your diet might be a primary reason for your headaches. 

We know how exhausting it is to look for ways to alleviate headaches. Especially If you’ve tried everything from supplements, essential oils, and DIYs. At Chef V, we’re here to help you reach all your fitness goals with detox juice cleanses. This blog dives into potential reasons for your migraines and pain management with the right detox juice. The solution to your headaches comes from diving deeper into your diet and eating habits. As no one approach fits all for migraine prevention, this blog guides you in the right direction. Throughout this blog, you can find some of our favorite tips, like Celery juice headache cures, fiber-rich detox juice, and diets rich in magnesium. 

What Causes Headaches and Migraines?

A study found that 57.3% of migraine sufferers lack the consumption of a nutritious diet. Although, a variety of triggers come into play at the onset of a migraine attack. According to research, 3 out of 4 people diagnosed with migraines are women. Studies also suggest women are prone to more prolonged and painful headaches than men. Identifying your triggers can help you alter your habits and prepare you for pain management. 

Migraines often feel like throbbing on one side of the head, back of the head, or temples. Often accompanied by nausea, e sound, light and smell sensitivity, brain fog, and blurred vision. Depending on the person’s family history, age, and genetic deposition, other factors that come into play are:

  • Hormonal Imbalance.
  • Weather conditions.
  • Poor Sleep Cycles.
  • Stress.
  • Lack of exercise. 
  • Strong Scents.
  • Chronic Dehydration.
  • Lack of Oxygen in Blood.

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

Chef V’s Carrot Ginger Salad

Green is good! Starting with fresh locally sourced organic greens, add carrot, celery, radish, red onion, cucumber, and grilled chicken (optional). Top your salad with my Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing. Add 4-6 oz of grilled chicken or salmon (optional for protein).

carrot ginger salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • 1 celery chopped
  • 1 sliced cucumber
  • 1 radish thinly sliced
  • Red onion slices 
  • 4 oz grilled chicken (optional) 

Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing

  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Blend in blender, add 1 tbsp water at a time to get the thickness you like.

Directions

Layer the ingredients and top with carrot dressing.

If making a mason jar version, layer from bottom to top:
ginger dressing (1 tbsp)
Red Onion
Carrot
Celery
Radish
Cucumber
Lettuce or mixed greens
Add chicken or salmon on top (optional)

Green Drink to Coffee—Best Morning Drinks

Your day is often only as good as your morning. Start your day off kicking butt, and you’ll likely stay in that groove for the rest of the day. Of course, your morning also is only as good as your morning routine. And one of the most essential parts of the morning for many people is the “morning drink.” You know what this is—it's the beverage you always reach for after stumbling your way out of bed. It’s the drink that’s going to help wake you up and give you the energy to get going. 

But what drinks are best for giving you energy? What drinks are the healthiest? Are there any potential health dangers lurking in your choice of morning potage? We’ll review some of the most popular choices of morning drinks and provide all the basics. 

Water

This list is intended to be alphabetical, but we’re going to break that pattern for an emergency broadcast reminder about water. In short, it’s incredibly important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Water is perhaps your best weapon in the battle to remain constantly hydrated. And it's never a bad idea to start your day by drinking plenty of water. By remaining well hydrated, you’ll keep your energy levels up, stave off illnesses and even better manage your weight

Flavored water

Water too plain for you? Then it’s good to note that flavored waters are increasingly popular as morning drinks. You might not think that just adding fruit or spice to water can do much to change their nutrition profile. However, you can get a nice little morning boost, depending on what you add. 

For example, lemon juice is excellent for helping manage your weight and blood sugar levels. Other popular flavor additions for water include mint, cucumber, and spices, such as ginger (more on some of those later.) These all help you stay hydrated, while adding some crucial nutrients to your diet. There’s not too much more to add here—we’re never going to recommend you stop drinking plenty of water! 

Apple cider vinegar

You can’t get more classic than water. So let’s hop next to something a little off the beaten path. Apple cider vinegar has become an increasingly popular beverage due to being high in plenty of healthful substances, such as proteins, enzymes, and good bacteria. 

Most people get apple cider vinegar in their diet by incorporating it into their cooking and dishes. There are some, however, who have even started drinking the stuff straight in the morning to aid them in weight-loss goals, reduction of cholesterol, or getting control of their blood sugar levels. 

So is this a good morning drink? Sure, but only in moderation. Really, apple cider vinegar is more of an accompaniment to your morning routine, rather than what you should base that entire routine around. While it’s excellent for fighting things like inflammation, it’s still vinegar. If you go chugging a bottle a day, you’ll likely end up with intestinal distress. Keep it moderate or, better yet, incorporate it into recipes

Coconut water

Delicious, nutritious, and hydrating in the extreme. What’s not to love about coconut water? It has fiber for your gut, potassium to fight inflammation, calcium for your bones, and electrolytes to help it work as nature’s very own Gatorade

Of course, most coconut water will have some calories and sugar in it, so it’s not a one-to-one replacement for water. But a glass of coconut water can make an excellent morning drink. On an empty stomach, its immune-boosting properties can get working right away, leaving you ready for the worst the day can throw at you. 

Coffee 

Ahh, coffee. For many Americans, there’s absolutely no way  they could get the day started without their morning brew. But just because it’s traditional for many, is coffee really the best choice out there? Is coffee good for detox and otherwise boosting your health? 

Well, there are some coffee benefits. Plenty of people do get a significant energy boost from caffeine, after all. Coffee beans contain antioxidants, and caffeine has been linked to boosting morning workouts.

But there are plenty of other things to watch out for when it comes to coffee. As you’ve probably noticed, keeping hydrated is one of the most essential parts of a morning routine. Coffee tends to dehydrate rather than rehydrate, which is especially bad considering you’re often dehydrated when you wake up in the morning. 

Coffee energy isn’t sustainable either, and you’re likely to end up with crashes throughout the day. And as for the question “is coffee good for detox,” could it really make the cut when coffee beans are some of the most pesticide-sprayed crops on the planet? 

Energy drinks

Take all the energy-regulation issues with coffee, and add on a ton of extra sugar, and that’s pretty much where you end up with most energy drinks. We don’t want to tar the entire industry with the same brush, but we also don’t want to spend too much time on the topic. You might get really hopped up in the morning, but you’ll be crashing by noon.

Fruit juice

There’s a wide world of fruit and vegetable juices out there, but we’re definitely getting closer to some of the better options for morning drinks here. Something fresh and full of vitamin C is going to help give you the immunity boost to get you started. If you need help deciding what the healthiest juice to detox and energize with, we’ve touched on the topic before

Tea

Sometimes on those colder days, you really just want something to warm up with. Tea is an excellent way to start those chilly mornings. As with fruit juice, how good tea works as a morning drink really depends on what is going into it. Anything with ginger or lemon is going to be a real winner, plus green and black teas. If you’re interested in juice to detox, you should check out our information on detox teas as well. 

Green drink

Whether you want a new morning drink, or are looking for a 3 day cleanse weight loss program (or more) Chef V has you covered. Our green drink has all the vitamins and minerals and energy boosters you need to have an amazing day, start to finish. If you’re dependent on caffeine and want to break away from the iced coffees in the morning, then we have the perfect option for you!

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

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

Veronica, Brandon, Coco on beach

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, but there’s also 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.

meditate

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!

kale

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.

dandelion

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.

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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.

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Green Drink and Other Vegan Cold Busters

The cold seasons are also cold seasons, the time when the flu, colds, and other bugs spread around. And the things you eat and drink determine the recovery to your old, healthy self.

Are you just as bored by the sight of hot drinks or a healthy vegetable soup when down with a cold? We don’t blame you when you’re already struggling to cheer yourself up with a weak body. 

And with many enticing supplements on the market promising easy recovery, it can become difficult to motivate oneself to have healthy food. While these over-the-counter drugs may get you quick relief from a cold, your immune system works overtime during winter. This calls for boosters like green drinks to keep you energized and protected against infections. In this blog, we’ll cover some vegan foods and drinks that are great cold busters. 

Magical immune boosters

When it comes to prepping your immune system against a common cold or flu, go for immune boosters packed with nutrients. They’re not just good to soothe the effects of colds but also improve your strength to fight against chronic diseases.

Are you wondering if a diet free from animal products can improve your strength? Undoubtedly, healthy vegan options can be your last resort when that annoyingly persistent cold is testing your patience. Scroll down to explore a platter of vegan recipe ideas. We bet they’ll make their way to that sick day’s care package you just can’t do without.

Go for citrus fruits

People who turn to vitamin C at the first signs of trouble get an early head start in fighting off the flu. Vitamin C helps the body by increasing the production of white blood cells, which further fights the infection thriving in your body. Include citrus fruits, such as grapefruits, lemons, and oranges in your diet. Try Chef V recommended Lemon Ginger detox to break the monotony of a conventional sick-care routine and fuel your immune strength.

Don’t miss broccoli

Do you know one cup of broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange? This antioxidant star is packed with all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals you need to revive your body. If you’re looking for a sweet spot between enjoying cravings and maintaining your health, our warm and comforting creamy broccoli soup is a must-try for your sick taste buds. It serves as a light meal without taxing the body.

Turmeric can do wonders

Golden Milk is a magical version of milk that keeps diseases at bay, thanks to many antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties of turmeric that safeguard us from infections. And the best part is it’s really easy to make at home. Check out Chef V’s cleanse-friendly golden milk recipe.

Refuel with coconut water

As we enter the winter season, one of the most common tips we hear is to drink hot drinks to keep warm. When you’re feeling under the weather, you might prefer a cold beverage. Some cold drinks can do wonders too. 

When you’re low on energy with sniffles and body aches, you need to restore your electrolytes. And coconut water can bring that hydration. It also has a little amount of fruit-derived natural sugar, which your body can absorb as a quick and simple source of energy.

Try Chef V’s magical green drink

It’s better to prepare our bodies at the start of winter when the holiday season is right here. Enjoy holiday treats, but say goodbye to artificial flavorings. Don’t miss the seasonal goodness of organic drinks. Add Chef V’s Green Drink Plan to your diet regime today. Its immunity-boosting ingredients should help you navigate sickness like a pro. 

Our famous green drink, juice for detox, and soups are made with seven certified organic leafy greens and delivered to your door fresh weekly. Build your plan today and get started with your green juice detox.

5 Tips For Surviving The 2022 Holiday Season

Veronica, Brandon, Coco on beach

The holiday season is a paradox: it’s the best of times and it’s the worst of times. It’s the best of times because everything is so festive and beautiful. 

But the holiday season creates anxiety for many people, whether it’s getting together with family that you don’t see eye to eye with or running around all over town buying last minute gifts. 

In the cold weather months, you’re more likely to get sick than you are in the summer. Yes, some of that has to do simply with weather; viruses thrive in colder weather and are able to circulate and replicate in stagnant, indoor air. But stress is just as much of a contributing factor, if not more so. 

So what can you do to manage your stress this time of year? Follow these 5 tips for surviving the holiday season…

yoga for stress

Take Mini Meditation Breaks

Not much of a meditator? Does keeping the mind free of thought seem like an impossible task? The good news is that you don’t need to be a Zen master to quiet your mind. And you also don’t need to meditate for hours upon end to become one with the universe. All it takes is a few minutes of consciously focusing on inhaling and exhaling. Stress managed! It’s really as simple as that. 

And if while you are sitting still (a chair is fine; you don’t have to go into deep Lotus pose), thoughts creep in, that’s fine. Just bring your mind back to your breathing. Five long seconds inhaling, and the same on the exhale. Try to inflate your chest and belly like a balloon on the inhale. Deflate on the exhale. 

Still thinking about all the bills you have to pay while you’re breathing? It’s fine. Do try and not let those worries consume your thoughts. But just remember the name of the game is not to rid your mind completely of thoughts. Rather, the goal is to focus on your breathing. Because breathing is healing. 

Take Mini Exercise Breaks 

Some people make the excuse that they don’t have the time to go to a gym or take a class because they’re so busy. But nobody should be so busy that they can’t take the time to take a mini-exercise break. 

Something fun I recently started doing is dancing for 3-5 minutes in my home while listening to a song on Pandora or Spotify. I also have a standing desk/desk riser and while I’m pecking away on my laptop, I sashay my hips from side to side. Yes, shaking your groove thing is possible while working. 

As the saying goes, sitting is the new smoking. Standing all day while working is impossible. And like sitting all day, standing for several hours is also bad for circulation. But alternating between sitting and standing several times a day is ideal for good blood flow and keeping the spirits high. 

You can also set a timer and do a three-minute yoga routine every 90-120 minutes. The bottom line is that you don’t need to exercise for a long time in order to manage holiday stress. You can do a few mini movement sessions per day and reap the same benefits.

grain

Eliminate Processed Carbs

This might be the holiday survival tip you dread. If you struggle with eating too many carbs, the good news is that you don’t have to completely quit carbs. I’ll explain in a sec. 

But first, let’s take bread as an example. For people who follow a low-carb lifestyle (Keto Diet), bread is a no-no. Eating bread raises blood sugar levels and puts more demand on the pancreas to release insulin. 

The more bread and other processed carbs you eat, the more insulin your body needs to keep blood sugar levels steady. If you keep eating bread, bagels, muffins, cereal and other baked goods made with white flour (wheat flour isn’t much better for blood sugar levels), your cells will become resistant to insulin. This places you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

But not all bread is created equally bad. About 99% of supermarket breads are empty carbs. But artisanal sourdough bread contains beneficial bacteria for your gut. You can also buy 100% whole rye bread which contains a lot of fiber. When you see that a bread contains at least a few grams of fiber, it means that the blood sugar spike won’t be as high as bread with little or no fiber. 

If you’re at brunch and you’re considering getting a stack of pancakes, think of the pancakes as a giant bowl of sugar. Foods prepared with white flour break down very quickly, metabolizing into sugar. 

The problem with this is that sugar suppresses the immune system. Eating a tiny piece of cake at a holiday party is no problem. But if you have trouble controlling your portion sizes, it’s better to just say no than to indulge. Studies have shown that consuming sugar puts your body’s infection-fighting white blood cells to sleep for several hours!

So instead of eating refined carbs, eat whole grains like wild rice, farro, emmer wheat and quinoa (technically, quinoa is a seed but let’s not split hairs). 

beach yoga

Take A Social Media Detox

If you’re feeling anxious this time of the year simply because it’s the holidays or for whatever other reason, consider putting your phone down. 

Make a phone call, text if you have to, but in order to feel more peaceful, I recommend chilling out on social media for a while. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that recent studies reveal that social media damages teenagers’ mental health. Even if you’re not a teenager anymore, chances are that keeping up with the Joneses or Kardashians on social is negatively impacting your life. Unless you’re using social strictly for work, consider a 3 Day Cleanse. (And if your body needs to physically detox, check out Chef V’s Cleanses.)

In the Dalai Lama’s Art of Happiness book, one of his tips for being happy is not to compare yourself to anybody else. When you’re on social media, it’s hard not to compare yourself to others. 

No News Is Good News 

Tip #5 for surviving the holiday season is much like my advice to do a social media detox. Unfortunately, news and politics have made us divided and no more is that evident than on social media. In addition to detaching from social media to avoid the news, do the same from cable news, newspapers, talk radio and magazines. 

And last but not least, under no circumstances should you discuss news and politics with family who don’t share your point of view. It’s not worth the energy. The more you get triggered, the more stress hormones circulating through your bloodstream. When stress hormones flood the blood, digestion slows down. And when digestion becomes impaired, you’re more likely to pack on the pounds. In light of that metabolic fact, is it really worth arguing about who should be president? 

Hopefully these tips will come in handy and make you a happier, healthier person for the holidays…

Love,

Chef V

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.