Tag: Green Drink

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.

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.

The 5 Best Natural Supplements To Prevent Traveler’s Diarrhea

After a very long two years, people are once again traveling all over the world. But when you visit an area of the world with microbes your body isn’t used to, there’s a good chance you can get an unwanted souvenir: traveler’s diarrhea. Sharing her wisdom gained by visiting Southeast Asia, Veronica “V” reveals her favorite natural remedies for prevention. 

It’s a near certainty that if you travel anywhere in the world, especially somewhere with a developing economy, your digestive system will be attacked by a pathogenic bacteria, virus or parasite. In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic, up to 70% of people who travel abroad will become stricken with traveler’s diarrhea.

The good news is that the overwhelming majority of people who experience loose watery stools will have a mild case that will go away on its own after a few days.

So there’s no reason to panic about traveler’s diarrhea. Go on your trip and fully experience the food and culture! Don’t let fear of the runs stand in your way. Life’s too short to eat all your meals in the hotel restaurant. Live a little and eat some street food you’ve never tried before.

Still, experiencing traveler’s diarrhea is no fun. Most of the time, the culprit is bacteria. In fact, according to the journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases, bacteria is responsible for roughly 90% of all traveler’s diarrhea cases, with e. Coli being the pathogen most likely to cause it.

Viruses are to blame for about 10% of all cases. Nasty parasites might receive all the gory attention because they can wreak havoc on the digestive system and they can be really hard to get rid of. But thankfully, parasitic causes of traveler’s diarrhea make up a tiny fraction of all cases. The bad news is that with traveler’s diarrhea that lasts for over 2 weeks, the cause is almost always a parasite.

But fear not because I have 5 supplements that may help prevent being glued to the porcelain throne during your trip (or when you come home).

Probiotics

Having a lot of friendly bacteria in your gut and lots of different varieties (strains) of probiotics are crucial for defending against pathogens. But not any probiotic will do. There’s one in particular that’s been the focus of many research studies on diarrhea prevention or treatment. And it’s the only probiotic that’s a yeast rather than a bacteria. It’s called Saccharomyces Boulardii, or S. Boulardii for short.

It comes in capsule form and you don’t need to refrigerate it so it’s really convenient for traveling. It takes a few days to fully build up in your gut so I start taking it about 4 days before I leave for an overseas vacation. I’ll continue taking it as long as I’m away and then I’ll stop taking it 3-5 days after I get back just to make sure all’s good back there.

You can take other probiotics at the same time you’re taking S. Boulardii. But for diarrhea prevention, only S. Boulardii is backed by extensive research.

Oil of Oregano

So the next supplement that may help prevent ruining your bucket-list trip is oil of oregano. It’s a very potent natural antibiotic. And remember, the most likely cause of traveler’s diarrhea is a bacteria (which is caused by consuming contaminated food and/or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces).

You can tell that oil of oregano is potent just by the taste. It’s so strong so don’t say I didn’t warn you. Some people put oil of oregano drops directly on their food just in case the food is contaminated. But talk about ruining a meal! I prefer to use it away from meals so I can actually taste the food.

It’s probably not a good idea to take oil of oregano for a very long time. So if you’re traveling for a few weeks or longer, use it sparingly, like maybe every other day or every few days.

Oregon Grape Root

Another herbal tincture, Oregon Grape Root contains the active ingredient berberine, which has been shown in research to help prevent diarrhea, and not just against bacterial pathogens that cause it but also viral, parasitic and fungal. So it’s like a broad-spectrum antimicrobial. And it doesn’t taste as harsh as oil of oregano.

Activated Charcoal

This is what they give to people (usually kids) in the ER at hospitals who accidentally swallow something poisonous. Activated charcoal, which is a black odorless powder,  binds to toxins and removes them out of the digestive tract. Personally, I wouldn’t use it for prevention but it’s one natural supplement I would consider for treating traveler’s diarrhea.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

GSE is a liquid that some people squirt directly on their food to neutralize any potential pathogens. It doesn’t taste as harsh as oil-of-oregano, but it’s pretty close. Again, I wouldn’t want to alter the flavor profile of a meal I’m enjoying just to prevent a mild case of the runs. So GSE is something I’d use away from food or for treatment.

At the end of the day, a mild case of traveler’s diarrhea is no big deal. It’ll usually go away on its own within 1-3 days. But if you’re on a very long bus or plane ride, I wouldn’t blame you if you took an over-the-counter remedy to stop things up. I should also point out that if you do have bloody loose stools, call your doctor right away to get checked out.

But no matter what … keep on traveling!

Chef V Life Facebook Group Success Stories – October 2022

chefvlife success stories

Above, Chef V clients’ before/after photos

chefvlife success stories

Why I’m Out Of My Gourd About Pumpkins

Chef V hand and pumpkin

Pumpkins: can we all agree that the whole pumpkin spice and PSL (latte) thing has gotten out of hand? It’s gotten to the point that PSLs are released with a whole month left of summer to go. In fact, Dunkin Donuts beat Starbucks to the pumpkin punch this year, releasing its own PSL on August 19.

When it’s still 100 degrees outside and I’m trying to cool off in the pool the last thing I want to think about is a steaming hot PSL. And as a certified nutritional therapist, I suggest you just say no to PSLs.

According to Starbucks.com, a grande (16 oz) contains 50 grams of sugar! Fifty! 5-0! There are four grams of sugar in a teaspoon, which means a grande PSL has 12.5 teaspoons of sugar. The American Heart Association suggests women should have no more than 6 teaspoons a day. You don’t have to be a brilliant mathematician to figure out that PSLs are no superfood.

(Want a healthier drink to get your day started? My Organic Green Drink contains only 6 grams of sugar per 16 oz and 7 leafy green veggies.)

pumpkin spice latte

Remove the Sugar, Pumpkins Are Healthy

But pumpkins are a superfood in their natural state. One study on these “gourdgeous” (sorry for the pun; pumpkins are gourds) fruits that are often mistaken for vegetables, says that pumpkins contain “Substantial medicinal properties due to the presence of unique natural edible substances.”

Pumpkins possess a plethora of the following phytonutrients:

  • Alkaloids
  • Flavonoids
  • Palmitic acid
  • Oleic acid
  • Linoleic acid
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Manganese

Nutrition researchers love pumpkins not because of how well it tastes in a caffeinated drink, but rather for its “medicinal properties including anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and others [that] have been well documented.”

Edible pumpkins contain a high amount of the antioxidants called carotenoids. Carotenoids are the colorful pigment that give carrots their orange hue, and their name (“carot”enoids). All types of pumpkins have the following three anti-aging all-star carotenoids: zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A.

All three are great for the eyes. So when you eat pumpkin seeds or organic canned pumpkin, you’re protecting your peepers from age-related macular degeneration. These antioxidants are actually found in human eyeballs! So pumpkins are sort of like a multivitamin for your eyes.

Pumpkin seeds ripen in August through September. So this is the time of year you should be eating whole pumpkin (take it easy on pumpkin pie) along with its fall cousin, squashes.

pumpkin seed nutritional facts

Pumpkin Nutrition Facts

Pumpkins are nutrient dense. They’re low in calories but mega rich in vitamins and minerals. There’s several benefits of eating pumpkin. It doesn’t matter whether you’re eating this cucumber-related fruit (yes, it’s technically a fruit, not veggie) raw, boiled, canned or the seeds.

First, pumpkins contain lots of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants kill free-radicals. We all need a certain amount of free radicals in our body. It gives something for our immune system to do, namely killing free radicals. But when free radicals outnumber white blood cells and other immune-system sentinels, that’s when disease takes root.

Beta-carotene is what gives carrots their orange color. And it’s this pigment in beta-carotene that helps fight cancer, prevents premature aging as well as heart disease. Some of the beta-carotene you eat converts into vitamin A, which is a nutrient vital for vision and one that many people simply don’t get enough of. (Do you eat enough beef livers? Probably not.)

Pumpkin is also relatively high in minerals such as potassium, copper, manganese and vitamins C and B2. Pumpkin even contains essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Usually, I don’t recommend eating anything from a can. There are a few exceptions: wild salmon and sardines. (I won’t let hubby Brandon near the house with sardines. They smell disgusting. But they are very healthy.) If you’re going to buy canned pumpkin, though, make sure it’s organic, in a BPA-free can.

Canned pumpkin is like a vitamin A pill. There’s a whopping almost 800% of your recommended vitamin A intake. The one downside is there’s 8 grams of sugar per serving. But the sugar is balanced by 7 grams of fiber (almost 30% daily value). Also, there’s 50% daily value of vitamin K (good for your bones and blood) and 20% daily value of iron.

Pumpkins: Pumpkin Seed Oil

I’m still waiting for pumpkin seed oil to become the next avocado oil. Just as avocado oil has become a viable healthy cooking oil alternative to olive oil (and most definitely, canola oil), pumpkin seed oil has the potential to become a staple in every healthy kitchen cabinet. That’s because like avocado and olive oils, pumpkin seed oil is technically a fruit oil.

Studies like this one show that pumpkin seed oil can help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Pumpkin oil is also beneficial for the skin, and it helps the body’s detoxification processes.

pumpkin seeds

Pumpkins:  Best Foods To Eat

So we’ve ruled out PSLs and, sorry to be a buzzkill—pumpkin pie. If you’re able to exert some willpower, limit yourself to three big bites of pumpkin pie and eat each bite very, very slowly. But if eating one bit is the equivalent of turning one cigarette into a pack-a-day habit, then do your best to just say no.

What, then, is the best pumpkin food to eat? Although as I’m writing this in mid-October, it’s still bikini weather in much of the West, any week now, the nights will be chilly. I look forward to breaking out the quilts and making hearty, warm, nutrient-dense pumpkin soup. I love adding some green onions and gluten-free croutons.

pumpkin spice latte

Make Your Own PSL

If you’re addicted to PSLs, seriously, you should stop. Did I not mention 50 grams of sugar. And to think that there are people who drink two of them a day. But a much healthier way to get your PSL fix is to make it at home yourself. Using a blender, buy some pumpkin spice and other spices. Pumpkin spice is itself healthy: pumpkin, clove, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. I’m not a coffee drinker, but if I were, I’d also experiment with cardamom and turmeric, both of which are potent anti-inflammatory ingredients.

In a blender, place the coffee, spices and my recipe for creamy almond milk. Now simply replace the 50 grams of sugar with stevia, monk fruit extract, or yacon syrup, all three of which are natural and contain less than one gram of sugar per serving.

A Pumpkin Spice Latte that tastes amazing, is basically sugar-free and helps cut down on inflammation? Now that’s worth getting excited about—anytime of year.

Chef V

How To Read The Nutrition Facts Label & Why It Matters For Your Health

We all lead super busy lives. So when we go food shopping, who has time to scrutinize every single ingredient listed on every single nutrition facts label printed on every single item that we’re considering throwing in the shopping cart? Well, if you want to eat as clean as possible so that you can be as healthy as possible, learning how to read the nutrition facts label is critical. Thankfully, as a certified nutritional therapist, I’m here to break it down for you.

Food manufacturers are trying to pull a fast one on you. If you purchase any item that’s in a jar, can or box—with the exception of fresh produce—there’s a decent chance it contains the following:

  • Added sugars
  • High levels of net carbohydrates
  • High levels of sodium
  • Very low levels of beneficial minerals
  • Rancid vegetable oil or seed oil
  • Artificial preservatives

Now, I realize that we don’t live in a perfect world. And so if you’re buying one processed snacky thing like gluten-free pretzels and enjoying it in moderation, I’m not here to judge.

But, have you ever heard the expression, “Death by a thousand paper cuts”? The idea is that one little nick won’t hurt you. But 1000 painful paper cuts could lead to a nasty, fatal infection. This same principle applies to the world of nutrition. When you go food shopping, your goal should be to limit the number of nutritional paper cuts that you put in your shopping cart.

Added Sugars

The first place my eyes immediately go to when I’m purchasing an unfamiliar product is the nutrition facts label. Thankfully, a handful of years ago, our federal government (the FDA) finally did something about the over-consumption of added sugars in the Standard American Diet (SAD).

Let’s ignore the fact that the government itself is largely to blame for that because … well, remember those food pyramids? So what do you think will happen if you eat 6-11 servings per day of bread and other grains? But that’s for another topic…I digress.

Anyhoo, in 2016, the FDA issued rules that updated the nutrition facts label. The biggest update was added sugars. This was such a profound update because it’s shocking how many unsuspecting foods contain added sugars. We expect soda to contain added sugar but not salad dressing, bread, peanut butter and I could go on and on…

According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, adult women should have no more than 24 grams of sugar per day and 36 grams for most men. That translates to 6 and 9 teaspoons of sugar, respectively. That’s still too much in my book. But again, that’s for another topic…

Now if you’re someone who doesn’t make a lot of meals from scratch and instead rely on packaged foods, the amount of added sugars in your diet can add up real fast. So that’s why I highly encourage you to read the nutrition facts and check out the number of grams of added sugars. If the label says 1 gram of added sugars, well, I can live with that.

But for metabolic health and weight loss, the goal should be close to zero grams of added sugars. Eventually, you’ll become familiar with the healthiest packaged foods at the markets where you shop. So you won’t need to spend as much time scanning the nutrition facts.

Watch out for added sugars in so-called “healthy” juice drinks. You might be surprised, and not pleasantly.

Veronica with high sugar bottles

Net Carbs

“Net Carbs” is NOT something you’ll see listed on the nutrition facts label. To put it simply, net carbs is the number of grams of total carbohydrates minus the number of grams of fiber (as well as sugar alcohol; but try to avoid sugar alcohol if you have gut issues).

Here’s an example:

Total Carbohydrates: 15 grams

Dietary Fiber: 5 grams

Net carbs = 10 grams

Both total carbohydrates and dietary fiber are listed on the nutrition facts label. If even doing some simple math sounds like a chore, then no worries, you don’t have to whip out your calculator. The important thing is to notice how many grams of total carbohydrates a particular food has. If it’s a very high amount, say, like 40 grams or higher, there should be a significant amount of fiber to offset the total carbs.

If there’s very little fiber, then the high amount of carbohydrates can quickly spike your blood sugar levels. Healthy grains like quinoa may have a high amount of carbohydrates but they also have a decent amount of fiber as well as protein.

nutrition label carbs

Fat

When it comes to dietary fat, I’m actually not particularly concerned with the amount of fat unless it’s insanely high, like 50 grams.

What matters more is the type of fat. The Mediterranean Diet continues to have a reputation of being perhaps the single healthiest type of diet on the planet not only because it calls for lots of fresh veggies. Another key component is heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that come from foods like olives, olive oil, avocado (and avo oil) and cold-water oily fish.

I’m also not too concerned about saturated fat although there are some people who need to be careful about their intake of it because their genetics puts them at greater risk for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

The biggest issue with fat is where it comes from. The unhealthiest sources of fat come from vegetable oil and seed oils. Now I know that may sound counterintuitive because vegetables and seeds sound healthy. But the problem with these oils is that they are heavily refined and they spoil very easily. And how consuming these oils in large amounts may affect your health is that they may cause high inflammation in various parts of your body.

Heavily-processed, packaged foods are typically made with these poor oils that food manufacturers love to use because they are cheap. So if you see corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil or cottonseed oil, try to avoid it. When cooking at home, use avocado oil, walnut oil, ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil. (Just be careful of the high amount of saturated fat in coconut oil if you have a family history of heart disease.)

healthy oils

Everything Else

Sodium

As for sodium, unless you’re on a sodium-restricted diet or have edema, I wouldn’t pay too much attention. If you buy bone broth or soup stock, it will likely have a lot of sodium. The problem with most high-sodium, packaged foods is that they lack vitamins and minerals. And when you consume too much sodium and not enough beneficial nutrients, it can throw off your electrolyte balance.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol used to be demonized by the mainstream medical establishment. Eating a diet high in cholesterol—mainly anything that’s made from an animal—was thought to be a sure ticket to developing heart disease.

But just in the last handful of years, many (but not all) health experts have changed their stance and no longer regard cholesterol as a nutrient of concern. Why after so many decades did the so-called experts change their mind? Well, the latest research studies cast big doubts about the link between cholesterol consumption and cardiovascular disease. So unless your doctor has advised you to curb your cholesterol consumption, don’t pay too much attention. Just make sure you’re eating clean, organic/wild humanely-raised animal products.

Vitamin D/Iron/Calcium/Potassium

These 4 nutrients are required on nutrition facts labels. Vitamin D is hard to get from food alone so you may want to consider getting it in supplement form, especially in the winter. Many people who eat a high-processed food diet are lacking in iron, calcium and potassium.

So the moral of the story is, if you’re eating lots of fresh produce or drinking low-sugar leafy greens, you don’t have to worry about diligently scrutinizing food labels. At the end of the day, you should be eating real food 90% of the time. The ingredients should be easy to pronounce (salad, fish, Green Drink, brown rice), mostly consisting of plants.

Veronica cooking

Chef V cooking at her Joshua Tree retreat in 2021

2 Easy Hacks for Lowering Blood Sugar Levels

walking for diabetes

Living with diabetes isn’t a life sentence. In fact, it is possible to reverse diabetes. Sure, it’s going to take a lifestyle adjustment, including getting regular exercise and diet modification. But with these 2 easy hacks, you’ll be on your way to managing your diabetes.

Hack #1: take a walk

A simple way to have your blood sugar return to normal after a meal is by taking a walk. It doesn’t have to be a super vigorous hike, but getting enough exercise is important for managing diabetes and this is especially true if you’re sedentary for most of the day.

Even more important than the advice to exercise is learning when to exercise. And if you only have time (or the motivation) to move your body once per day, research strongly suggests you should do it after dinner.

Most people eat their heaviest meal at night. And the biggest spike in blood sugar occurs after eating a large meal, especially if it contains lots of carbohydrates that have the potential of converting into sugar. (Think: pasta, bread, rice and other starchy carbohydrates.) Walking after a heavy meal is a proven way to improve blood sugar levels.

Consider this study from New Zealand. Two groups of people, most of whom had type II diabetes for 10 years, were compared. One group walked for 30 minutes a day for two weeks. The other group went for a 10-minute walk after each main meal. The results: blood sugar levels were significantly lower when participants walked after meals compared with the group who only went for one walk a day.

Meanwhile a different study compares exercising before a meal and after. The group with the lower blood sugar levels exercised after their meal, not before. This supports the first study that it’s vital to move around after eating a meal.

Hacks 1.1 and 1.2: When weather is bad, Use an App and watch lots of TV (while moving)

Hack 1.1 within this hack is to either set a timer or use an app to alert you to move and remind you to be more active. It’s important to emphasize that you just need to go for a walk. Not a power walk. And not a steep hike, or a jog. Or, God forbid, wind sprints. Just a casual stroll after each meal is all it takes to lower blood sugar. The problem with this solution of post-meal walks is that many of us are so busy that we often forget to go for a walk. The gravitational pull of the couch is so strong when you’re tired at the end of a long day. All you want to do is binge watch your favorite Netflix show.

Hack 1.2 is to beat the weather with a treadmill, or just walking in place.  Weather can prevent some people from walking after a meal. If it’s -30 degrees outside, the last thing you’re going to want to do is go outside. The easy hack: walk in place while you watch TV.  If you can make it a habit to just walk in place (or if you have a treadmill at home) while you watch TV, before you know it, you’ll have walked 30 minutes or even an hour. And you don’t need to be drenched in sweat to reap the benefits of a post-meal walk.

To reiterate, just move. Walk at a comfortable but not laborious clip. That’s all it takes to normalize your blood sugar level after a meal.

(Suggested reading: “Blunting post-meal glucose surges in people with diabetes”) 

medical cannabis

Hack #2: Eat Healthy Cereal – Easy Way to Lower Blood Sugar

Breakfast cereal is one of the most popular meals in the morning for people who need to quickly wolf something down before school or work. But most breakfast cereals are loaded with heavily processed grains (which are carbohydrates.) In fact, using as an example, Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, just one cup (and who eats just one cup?) contains almost 50 grams of carbs. That means if you pour yourself a big bowl of cereal in the morning, and add some banana slices you’ll start your day with over 100 grams of carbs. And that’s not even counting the sugar from milk.

It’s no wonder that many people by 10:30 or 11 in the morning need their third cup of coffee just to stay awake and be productive until it’s time for lunch. That’s because high carb breakfasts such as cereal and bagels, toast, muffins, danishes, donuts, etc. contain too many quick-burning carbs. These carbs quickly spike blood sugar levels. And what quickly goes up must come crashing back to Earth. It’s these blood-sugar fluctuations that produce mood swings, not to mention chronic metabolic disorders such as type II diabetes.

So what’s a cereal lover to do? You can’t paint stripes on a donkey and call it a tiger. Telling someone to stop eating cereal who has been eating it for decades may not be the best coaching advice. Instead, try Chef V’s Recipe for Healthy Cereal.

We’ll be offering more easy blood sugar lowering hacks and recipes in the future. But for now, enjoy a bowl of this yummy low-carb cereal. The recipe comes from the cookbook, Making Cleansing Easier by Chef V, aka Veronica Wheat Kress, the first entrepreneur to offer nationwide overnight delivery of 100% certified organic, cold-blended Green Drinks.

Healthy Cereal Recipe With Chef V’s Raw Almond Milk

Healthy Cereal

  • ½ cup Chef V’s Raw Almond Milk – recipe below – or use coconut milk
  • ¼ cup crushed raw almonds
  • ¼ cup crushed raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

To make the cereal, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and serve.
 
Chef V's Raw Almond Milk
  • 3 cups raw almonds
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • High power blender (I prefer Vitamix)
  • Nut Milk Bag or Cheesecloth

Instructions

To make the almond milk, process 3 cups of raw almonds and 3 cups filtered water in a Vitamix until liquefied. Strain through a cheesecloth into a mason jar and seal. Will keep for up to 3-5 days refrigerated.

Coconut Sugar: Is It Healthier Sweet Stuff?

Coconut Sugar

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

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

Sorry for being corny—again. 

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

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

Coconut Sugar: Is It Healthier Sweet Stuff?

What Is It?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

coconut plant

Benefits

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

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

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

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

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

Vitamins & Minerals

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

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

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

Coconut Water

For Gut Health?

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

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

Is It Healthier: Chef V’s Verdict

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

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

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

Veronica and Coconut

Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend

This pumpkin pie spice blend recipe is easy to make on your own, especially if you have a lot of spices in your cupboard. The recipe below is much better but you can always buy this one pre-made too.

  • 2 1/2 tbsp ground organic cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground organic ginger
  • 2 tsp ground organic nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground organic cloves

DIRECTIONS
Mix spices together and use for your pumpkin pie recipes this year.

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.

Wait Until You’re Hungry – Losing Weight & Keeping It Off With Green Drink

losing weight with green drink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

weight loss success

Green Drinks For Weight Loss: Make It A Daily Habit

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

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

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

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

As Easy As….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Veronica and Brandon at the beach

Proof Green Drink Works for Weight Loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Green Drinks for Good Gut Bacteria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out Dawn’s weight loss success!

Dawn's weight loss success

Chef V and kale

Despite Its Buzz, Are Doctors On Board With Intermittent Fasting?

clock on plate

We're all down with the Intermittent Fasting trend here at Chef V. My husband, Brandon, looks totally chiseled because of it. Several of our Customer Relations Specialists have lost lots of weight following it. And their cravings for sugary snacks have diminished like their waistlines because of following a time-restricted diet plan. And me? Well, I've been doing Intermittent Fasting before it was even recognized as a health trend. I credit it greatly for the reason why I wake up buzzing with energy.

But even though us Chef V peeps have had success with it, I wanted to see what the mainstream medical community thinks about Intermittent Fasting. After all, anybody can have short-term success when they modify how–and when–they eat. But that weight can quickly come back on and then some. And more than that, certain diets can have unintended consequences. Remember when low-fat diets were all the rage? People started eating tons of carbs instead, which has greatly contributed to the obesity and diabetes epidemic.

So, are doctors on board with Intermittent Fasting?

Health Experts See Great Promise In Intermittent Fasting

I don't need a doctor to tell me that Intermittent Fasting works for weight loss. I've seen it with my own eyes. I've even read an incredible story in People about a physician who lost 125 pounds because of time-restricted feeding.

But beyond incredible weight loss success stories, I was really interested in finding out about the effects of time-restricted feeding on heart health. After all, many people who struggle with their weight also have other chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes.

I was happy to discover that Monique Tello, a medical doctor, who is a contributing editor with Harvard Health Publishing, is all in favor of Intermittent Fasting. She says, “[Intermittent] fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach … for people at risk for diabetes.”

Dr. Tello was also impressed by a University of Alabama study, which concluded that after five weeks, the Intermittent Fasting group had dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity. The test group also had significantly lower blood pressure. Not only that, the group also had significantly decreased appetite.

Intermittent Fasting: It's Good For Your Heart (And May Prevent Cancer)

Fasting for short periods of time isn't just good for your belly. It's also good for your heart. According to a web article on the highly-regarded academic medical center, Cleveland Clinic, temporary fasting can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, control diabetes and reduce weight.

These four health markers constitute the greatest risk for developing heart disease.

Cleveland Clinic even acknowledges that some studies also show that “fasting may help prevent cancer or increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment.”

The good news about Intermittent Fasting keeps rolling in. Consider this article in the New York Times, which says that more studies are showing that eating late at night and snacking during the day is a major culprit of weight gain and metabolic dysfunction. The recipe to break this cycle: time-restricted feeding.

The NYT article references a study of prediabetic men. The men who ate only during a six-hour window had lower insulin, reduced levels of oxidative stress, less nighttime hunger and significantly lower blood pressure.

Doctors Warnings About Intermittent Fasting

Just like everything else in life, there are pros and cons about doing intermittent fasting. From a health perspective, some doctors and researchers are warning people about temporary fasting. The reason? Not eating for, say, 16 hours (which is how long I recommend not having calories), can deplete your cells of electrolytes. Electrolytes are like spark plugs for your cell; they ignite cellular energy.

That's why I recommend having a non-caloric electrolyte drink before you go to bed and when you wake up. A simple way to get electrolytes without breaking the fast is adding a teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt to a glass of water. Or buy some cream of tartar. (Cream of tartar tastes nothing like tartar sauce. In fact, it's often used in baking.)

Another thing you should keep in mind about intermittent fasting is that you shouldn't pig out when you break the fast.

“You don’t want to shock the system,” Dr. Haitham Ahmed tells the Cleveland Clinic. Ahmed recommends breaking the fast by snacking on a few dates or other dried fruit. Then take a break, he says, and then eat fruit and other light foods at first.

I both agree and disagree with Dr. Ahmed. I agree that you shouldn't eat a huge meal when you break your fast. But eating dates and then more fruit after that? I strongly disagree. Just eating a few dates contains 25 grams of sugar. And eating more fruit? That's going to add more sugar to your system. Sure, natural fruit sugar is better than added sugars in junk like soda, but isn't the name of the game when it comes to weight loss and other positive health outcomes curbing sugar intake?

That's why I recommend breaking your fast each morning with 16 oz of Organic Green Drink, which contains 7 leafy green vegetables, and a wee bit of organic apple and apple juice to sweeten things up. Containing only 3 grams of sugar per 8 oz., Green Drink is a great way to start your day and get your daily dose of disease-fighting antioxidants.

After having Green Drink, you can eat a sensible breakfast (example: an egg or two with low-carb/high-fiber bread and a slice of turkey bacon and a serving of fruit).

I'm sure most doctors would get on board with my recommendation to combine Green Drink with Intermittent Fasting.

Chef V

Consumer Reports on Green Juice: Chef V Excels

Consumer Reports on Green Drink

What's the healthiest green drink? According to an article on Consumer Reports, some of the most popular brands fail to meet their strict criteria for what constitutes a healthy green juice. And according to what Consumer Reports says, my recipe has all the  features they regard as healthy, and none of the unhealthy. My Green Drink passes with flying (green) colors! 

Recently, the hugely influential consumer advocacy research entity, Consumer Reports, investigated the health claims of leading brands of green juices. Although Chef V wasn’t specifically mentioned, I want to show you how my recipe stacks up against the most popular green juices. Does my Green Drink meet the stringent criteria of what Consumer Reports considers a healthy green juice? Actually, scratch that. We don’t merely want to meet the criteria. We want to blow it out of the water…. And we do.

The report paints a picture of the green drink health craze. What was once a niche product not even a decade ago is now a mainstream product. But as Consumer Reports cautions, not all green juices are good for you.

The Consumer Reports says you should check for sugar, a high veggie to fruit ratio, fiber, and level of sodium when purchasing a bottle of green juice. And we meet or excel in all of them! Just check out the calorie and sugar comparison chart below!

Green Drink Comparison

Healthiest Green Drink: watch out for sugar

We’re not into naming names and pointing fingers when it comes to our competition. But Consumer Reports does. So we’ll let them do the dirty work. And the first brand that Consumer Reports mentions is Naked Juice. Naked Juice is owned by PepsiCo. You don’t need to have a Ph.D. in nutrition to know that consuming lots of sugar is bad for you. However, Naked Juice Green Machine contains a whopping 53 grams of sugar. That’s even more sugar than in a bottle of PepsiCo’s regular Pepsi soda, which contains about 40 grams of sugar in a can.

When a product is named “Green Machine,” the consumer probably assumes there’s lots of healthy, high-fiber green veggies. However, one may regard the name Green Machine as false advertising. That’s because there’s far more fruit than low-sugar green veggies in Green Machine. And it’s the fruit that gives Green Machine its high sugar content. Eating a small portion of whole fruit won’t skyrocket your blood sugar levels, which ultimately results in a sugar crash. But drinking lots of fruit sugar will.

Moreover, the case for false advertising is strengthened when considering what it says on Naked Juice’s Green Machine label: “no added sugars.” This gives the consumer the impression that it’s a healthy product. But if you were to swallow a quarter cup of table sugar, which is the same amount as in a bottle of Green Machine, you’re also not consuming any “added sugars.” Does that mean it’s healthy? Of course not. In fact, Consumer Reports cautions about the label on Green Machine, “don’t be misled.”

Green Drink comparison nutritional labels

Healthiest Green Juice: high veggie to low fruit ratio

How does Chef V Green Drink fare in Consumer Reports’ criteria for being low in sugar? One 8 oz. serving of Green Drink contains only 3 grams of sugar. Go ahead if you want: drink a whole 16 oz. bottle. That’s only 6 grams of sugar.

The reason Chef V’s Green Drink is so low in sugar is because it contains a lot of vegetables and a minimal amount of fruit. As Consumer Reports explains, “Green drinks that are heavy on apple or other fruit juices have significantly higher levels of sugars than those that are mostly vegetable juice. Although the sugars in fruit juice are naturally present (not added) and fruit juice provides some nutrients, the sugars are processed by your body in the same way the added sugars in soda are.”

Green Machine is not the only Naked Juice offering to be slammed by Consumer Reports. In Naked Juice Pressed Citrus Lemongrass, three of the four top ingredients are fruit juices. Although there’s almost half the sugar in this juice in comparison with Green Machine, it still contains a whopping 33 grams of sugars per 12-ounce serving.

In light of this, Consumer Reports warns, “Beware of drinks that look green but are essentially fruit-juice blends.”

That’s no problem with Chef V Green Drink. It contains seven certified organic green leafy veggies. And it only has a tiny bit of just one fruit (apple).

Healthiest Green Juice: contains fiber

Fiber is a nutrient that helps you feel full. It also helps push waste out your colon. And fiber also helps slow down the rush of sugar into your bloodstream. But most green juices don’t contain any fiber (bad news if you’re drinking a green juice with 50 grams of sugar). Consumer Reports explains why:

“When you press vegetables to extract their juice, you usually leave the fiber behind.”

We had this fact in mind when we came up with the processing method for our Green Drinks. Instead of pressing the veggies, we cold-blend them. The cold-blending method preserves the fiber contained in the skin of the veggies.

“Unfortunately, most bottled green juices contain less than a gram of fiber,” says the report. But each 16 oz. serving of Chef V Green Drink contains two grams of fiber. That’s a pretty healthy way to start each morning by drinking 7 certified organic green leafy veggies that help you detoxify and contain fiber.

And if you eat one salad for lunch with greens and cook a dinner with them, you’ll get more than enough fiber in your diet.

Healthiest Green Juice: low in sodium

Most green juices aren’t very high in sodium. That’s because fruits and veggies are naturally low in sodium. Most of them. But some brands of green juices contain as their primary ingredient veggies that contain the most sodium in the plant kingdom. Celery comes to mind. Consumer Reports says Starbucks-owned Evolution Fresh’s Essential Greens contains 300 mg of sodium per serving. In comparison, Chef V Green Drink contains less than a tenth of that amount: 24 mg.

Sodium from natural sources aren’t that much of a health concern. However, considering most Americans consume far too much of it from heavily-processed foods, it’s probably prudent to eliminate extra sources of sodium.

Healthiest Green Juice: final verdict

The Consumer Reports article on green juice contains a couple other factors to consider: serving size and label claims. As for the former, we already mentioned that even if you have a 16 oz serving of Chef V Green Drink, you’re only consuming 6 grams of sugar. And as for the latter, we’ll let our customers’ success stories speak for themselves.

Of course we wish Consumer Reports would have mentioned Chef V in their article. It’s definitely our goal that Chef V Green Drink becomes a household name. In the meantime, we take pride knowing that our Green Drink would far exceed the criteria put forth in the Consumer Reports article.  

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

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.

Add Length to Your Life with These Foods and Drinks

You know that eating certain foods are great for your health, like these 7 leafy green veggies you can conveniently drink and have delivered right to your home. But what you might not realize is the length of time that eating certain foods can prolong your life, in minutes. And on the flip side, if we knew that having a cheat meal would rob our lifespan by “X”  minutes, maybe we’d have an easier time thinking twice about eating fast food. 

But thanks to researchers at the University of Michigan, we can do just that. The researchers evaluated almost 6,000 different types of foods and ranked them by their potential to create disease in humans. The neat thing about their research, which was published in the journal, Nature, is that each food had a corresponding length of time that the food either added to or subtracted from a lifespan. 

For instance, if you’ve ever been to a baseball game and were bored out of your mind (guilty as charged) and tried to make the most of it by eating a hotdog, well that frankfurter just cost you 36 minutes of your life, according to the researchers. 

Instead of eating a hotdog, if you have sunflower seeds or peanuts, it will add nearly a half hour to your lifespan.

Foods That Make You—And The Earth—Live Longer

The cool thing about the research is that not only was the disease burden to humans measured, so was the environmental impact. One take away from the study was that substituting processed meat like chicken wings and deli slices for a mix of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and certain seafood like wild salmon can extend your life by almost 50 minutes. Moreover, doing this would reduce your dietary carbon footprint by one-third.

As I alluded to, the problem with nutrition advice is there’s not enough real world, consequential associations with food choices. In other words, can you imagine if every food you purchased from a supermarket had a plus or minus along with a number that corresponded to how many minutes of life you would gain or lose? That would really put things in perspective. 

Katerina Stylianou, one of the researchers in the study said, “Generally, dietary recommendations lack specific and actionable direction to motivate people to change their behavior, and rarely do dietary recommendations address environmental impacts.” So true!

Another thing I liked about the work by these researchers from UM is that they split the foods according to the three colors of a traffic light. Go for green foods, yield to yellow and stop and think twice before eating foods in the red category. 

Green foods are not only healthy, they have the lowest carbon footprint. They are: 

  • Field-grown vegetables, like the organic leafy greens Chef V uses for Organic Green Drinks
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes (beans, soy beans, lentils, peanuts)
  • Sustainably-raised, wild-caught seafood

Red light foods should be avoided as much as possible because they don’t contribute to a longer lifespan and also carry a heavier ecological burden. Foods in this category are processed beef and pork products. 

fresh veg

Think In Minutes, Not Calories

If you want to geek out and read the study, check it out here. I wrote this article because I really dig the concept of thinking about food choices in the context of lengthening your lifespan. 

For some people, hearing that a certain food has this many calories or that many grams of carbs or this many grams of sugar or this much fat rings hollow; it doesn’t sink in. I know it’s wishful thinking, but maybe this study will spark a movement for a lifespan ranking to be added to food labels. 

Look, I realize that it’s not shocking to say that organically-grown, fresh fruits and veggies along with other plant-based foods add the most amount of time to our lifespan. And the cherry on top is that they are the most environmentally-friendly. But maybe for those who struggle with food choices, placing more emphasis on whether eating a certain food will add to or shorten lifespan will have more of an effect than merely saying, ‘eat this because it’s healthy and don’t eat that because it’s bad.’ 

Add Minutes To Your Lifespan With Organic Green Drink

The same goes for my Green Drink. When you swap a typical American breakfast for Green Drink, just think that you’re adding at least half an hour to your lifespan with every bottle!

Chef V Tropical Smoothie

Chef V’s tip: Mangos contain tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid, which help maintain the alkaline balance of our bodies. Use my Tropical Green Drink as the base for this recipe for a cool, refreshing smoothie.

For a variation on this recipe, add fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, and vanilla pea protein powder.

pumpkin puree

TOTAL: 10 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen mango pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple pieces
  • 2 large kale leaves
  • 2 cups Chef V Tropical Smoothie Green Drink
  • 1/2 cup ice

Directions

Process all ingredients in a Vitamix for 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth. Will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated.

Bon Appétit!

CRP: The One Blood Test You Should Beg Your Doctor To Take

CRP: The One Blood Test You Should Beg Your Doctor To Take

CRP is the one blood test you should beg your Doctor to take. Virtually every disease is caused by inflammation. Inflammation manifests in many different ways, from auto-immune disorders to cancer and diabetes, and even weight gain. But how do you know if your body has inflammation? After all, sometimes, inflammation has no symptoms–until a heart attack or stroke strikes.

Thankfully, there’s a simple blood test you can get from your doctor. It’s called the “C-Reactive Protein” (CRP) blood test. Next time you go for your checkup, ask your doctor to test your CRP levels. If you are diagnosed with high levels of CRP, then you can make some lifestyle changes before serious symptoms or disease occurs….

What is C-Reactive Protein?

So what do my Organic Green Drinks and Cleanses have to do with a protein called CRP that’s created by the liver when the body’s inflammatory response kicks in?

They have everything to do with C-Reactive Protein, that’s what. You see, one of the best ways to stay healthy and avoid disease is to have as little CRP as possible. CRP isn’t inherently bad. You actually need some of it to fight infections. But when levels of this protein are high, it’s an indication that there’s too much inflammation in the body. This is why its important to know what can raise your CRP levels, and how to reduce CRP levels.

CRP and inflammation

As I mention above, all disease is triggered by inflammation. Even diseases that are passed down by your ancestors are at greater risk for being expressed if you have more inflammation in your body. In other words, if you eat healthy, just because you may inherit a disease potential does not mean the genes for that disease will express. However, if you eat a diet that’s full of refined carbs like bread and baked goods and lots of added sugar, you’re at more risk for those genetic switches being turned on.

That’s where my Green Drinks, Detox Soups and Vegan Protein Shakes come into play. The antioxidants and other nutrients are a great way how to reduce RP levels, which means your body will have less inflammation.

Whether your goal is to stay healthy and prevent disease or to lose weight (or both), the 7-certified organic green leafy veggies in my Organic Green Drinks can play a big part in preventing inflammation.

But how do you know how much CRP you have?

CRP Blood test

Take a C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Blood Test 

Recently, I wrote about a new health trend you’ll be hearing much more about in the near future: DNA testing for weight loss.

Basically, I said that until the science catches up, getting your DNA tested to find out the best form of exercise and supplements to take is probably a waste of money.

But there is one test I’m all in favor of you getting: the C-Reactive Protein Blood Test, or CRP Blood Test. It’s easy to do and your health insurance plan (if you have one) likely covers it in a normal panel blood test (along with A1C blood sugar and cholesterol markers).

Your body has dozens of inflammatory markers. CRP is the easiest one to test and it seems to provide good insight into your inflammation levels. (Don’t get a test done while your sick, especially if you’re fighting an infection because your body’s CRP levels will be inflated and won’t give an accurate reading of the levels when you’re healthy.)

Why is CRP so important? Because it’s a good predictor of heart attacks and strokes. It can also reveal if you’re at risk for developing diabetes and arthritis. In fact, according to WebMD, a Harvard Women’s Health Study revealed that in healthy postmenopausal women, those with the highest CRP levels were more than four times as likely to have died from heart disease or suffer a non-fatal attack or stroke, compared with those with the lowest levels.

See why CRP is so important?

CRP test and inflammation

How to Reduce CRP Levels

Look, I realize that CRP might not be a super sexy health topic. It’s not as celeb-gossip worthy as Intermittent Fasting or Keto. But as a certified nutritional therapist, I feel it’s my duty (and honor) to share with you simple yet important wellness advice. It’s easy to fall prey to food, drinks and other lifestyle choices that can cause serious inflammation in your body.

But it’s just as easy to avoid it.

Start off each morning by lowering your CRP levels with 16 ounces of my Organic Green Drink.

CRP and green drink

If you have time before you go to work, do a little yoga routine at home or go take a class (or do yoga any other time of day). Think I’m biased because I love yoga myself? Well, I do love yoga. But I bet you didn’t know that yoga is clinically proven to reduce CRP levels. Don’t believe me? Check out this research. And as you might expect, mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises, and moving meditation exercises such as Tai Chi, can also reduce CRP levels. (So, too, can sex! Again, don’t take my word for it; look at the research.)

A few more simple ways to keep your inflammation level down is by taking a quality fish oil supplement and probiotic and getting 7 or more hours of restful sleep every night. And remember to keep your added sugar intake to a minimum and exercise almost every day.

Eating the right foods makes a difference in your CRP levels. Try healthy wild salmon, real olive oil, cruciferous veggies, and nuts and seeds.

If you’re feeling great and doing most of these things already, then no worries. But if you are concerned about the level of inflammation in your body, it’s really easy to get a CRP blood test (unless you’re like me and deathly afraid of needles; sorry can’t help you with that phobia!

To your health (and low levels of CRP),

Veronica “Chef V” Kress

Chef V

Chef V Q & A – She Answers your Questions About Cleansing – Headaches, Hunger, Exercise

Below, “V” answers your questions about how to maximize your CLEANSE success and why it’s so important to do a brief pre-cleanse. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say they are about to feast on fast food because they’re starting a cleanse the next day.

But if you don’t want a pounding headache or feel like you’re having a mild flu, make sure to check out my responses to our awesome Chef V customers below…

Question:

I’m on day 3 of my 5 day detox…. Any tips on getting rid of a headache?  Everything else is going well.

V answers: 

I’ll admit that sometimes headaches are unavoidable. This is especially true if you did not do the precleanse for at least 2 days before Day 1. When you purchase a Chef V CLEANSE, you get clear instructions on exactly what to eat and what to avoid – check out my article – (EAT THIS/NOT THAT!). So make sure you stick to my recommendations to the “T” or “V” as I like to say (haha). Also, during the cleanse phase, take it easy on the exercise since you won’t be eating solid food. Walks are good. Zumba: not so good.

Question:

I’m on Day 1 of Day 5. I’m not very hungry, but I feel light-headed and my brain is ‘fuzzy.’ Are these normal detox symptoms? When will I feel better?

V answers: 

It depends on how your diet was before the cleanse. Obviously, most people do a cleanse because their diet before the cleanse is not super clean. Has your diet been nowhere close to clean?

And by that I mean plenty of low-starch veggies, moderate servings of fruit, whole grains, lean protein, a little bit of healthy fats/oils/seeds/nuts and no added sugars? The more processed foods, alcohol and caffeine you’ve been consuming, the longer the pre-cleanse should be.

Even if you follow my precleanse recommendations to a V for 2 days, there’s no guarantee you won’t feel detox symptoms—especially if you’ve been overindulging lately.

healthy foods

Question:

I ordered my 5 day detox and will start next week! HOW important is pre-cleansing? I live in a household where I am not allowed to cook. It’s complicated. Any ideas for what I could eat for a pre-cleanse dinner that does not involve cooking?”

V answers: 

The precleanse is extremely important to your success! It helps prep your system. If you drink alcohol and eat fast food and then start a cleanse the next day, your body will need to eliminate and detoxify that stuff first. So you won’t get as much benefit out of the cleanse. By eliminating alcohol, caffeine, red meat, gluten and dairy, you’ll kickstart the cleansing process.

As an added bonus, you’ll probably lose a couple pounds during the precleanse phase. And you’ll likely have less detox symptoms during the CLEANSE phase.

Now as far as what to eat during the precleanse, you can get some precooked chicken or salmon (prefer organic and wild) and eat that with a large salad of mixed greens and chopped veggies. You can also eat that with brown rice or quinoa and broccoli for another easy meal. A good low-sugar dipping sauce is honey mustard.

Finally, in addition to learning what to eat and avoid during the pre-cleanse, this may be a good time to start learning how to prep some easy healthy meals for yourself. For some healthy recipes that Brandon and I love, check out my cooking videos. Wishing you much success!

Question:

I’m on day 11 of my 21 DAY DETOX. I have lost 20 lbs. Did I read somewhere that it is okay to drink coffee in moderation on Healthy Routine days?

V answers: 

First of all, Wow! Congratulations on your amazing results. So inspiring!!!

Now look … I realize how challenging it can be giving up caffeine, at least temporarily. And caffeine isn’t really toxic on its own. The problem is that during a CLEANSE or longer 21 DAY DETOX, the goal is to reboot the body’s digestive organs. Caffeine over-reliance is a sign that the body needs to detox. So I don’t recommend any caffeine on the 21 day challenge. You can have decaf if you need to but it’s best to supplement organic herbal tea. If you absolutely MUST have green tea you can have a little bit.

Question:

Can I take a probiotic supplement on the cleanse and if so when’s the best time? Thanks!

V answers: 

You can take a probiotic supplement before or after your cleanse. But I don't recommend using any probiotic or supplement during the cleanse. I ask you to stick to just what we give you.

probiotic

Question:

Just wondering why eggs aren't allowed on the pre or post cleanse. What is bad about them?’’

V answers: 

Eggs are a major food allergen. Most people don’t know they’re allergic to them. So for this reason we are cutting it out of the cleanse to help heal the gut.

Question: 

Day 3 on the 21 DAY DETOX. I actually have struggled more than I ever thought. First days days were rough. I felt ok in the morning but by late evening I had headaches and nausea due to hunger. I've done lots of cleanses but never purely liquid. The support is needed. The good news is I’m down 5.5 lbs and looking less bloated. My husband commented on this morning.

V answers: 

Typically hunger is in the mind not in the stomach. True starvation is in the stomach whereas our brain often tells us we’re hungry because of boredom, emotions or habit. This cleanse will teach you to listen to your body, not your mind (which is filled with tons of marketing bs around food). I have confidence this cleanse will really help you! If you absolutely need something, have a piece of fruit, or a handful of raw nuts. Or if you can hold out until dinner and add some avocado or coconut oil to your soup at night, it won’t derail your efforts.

Question: 

I’m new to cleansing and trying to be more proactive about making healthier choices. My metabolism took a nosedive once I had my baby so now I need to work harder at eating better. My question is after you cleanse, do you eat less carbs? Follow a lean diet? I guess I'm trying to ask what kind of meal plan (diet) do you follow to continue losing weight?

V answers: 

When it comes to carbs, choose smart carbs like fruits and veggies and whole grains.  Avoid high starchy carbs like white bread, wheat pasta (gluten-free & corn-free pasta like brown rice, quinoa or lentil pasta is ok) and potatoes (sweet potatoes are ok). Also avoid processed foods. Stick to Whole Foods, a little protein, veggies and some rice or quinoa. I hope that helps!

To your cleansing success,

Love, V

veronica

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.

Summer 2022: What’s Chef V Up To?

Is V living the glamorous life of an entrepreneur, jet-setting to Paris for lunch, then off to the Greek Islands for a 2-week idyllic escape? Well, not exactly. But for someone who works her tail off, V knows how to have some fun on the road—even while she’s working. Let’s check out what V’s been up to this summer…

JUNE: Cape Cod & Newport, RI

When V was living in West Caldwell, NJ—CHEF V’s East Coast hub—for a few years, she regretted not exploring more of the beautiful parts of the East Coast. Thankfully, she can now cross off some of those sights off of her bucket list.

After leaving the CHEF V store in NJ, V, along with husband Brandon, and Coconut, explored the charming port town of Newport, Rhode Island, a seemingly entirely different planet than the desiccated, searing heat of Palm Desert, CA, where V grew up.

Picture V and Brandon as the Kennedys of the blended juice world, enjoying boat rides from one marina to the next, from one charming port town to another, sipping not on champagne but on Green Drinks.

That’s not to say V and Brandon didn’t indulge a little in the local fare. In Newport, they ate healthy, fresh seafood, which is to say, they just said no to greasy lobster rolls.

From Newport, V went to Cape Cod for the first time, calling the quaint town of Harwich, MA home for a night, melting the stress away at a little resort called Wequassett and playing 18 holes at Cape Cod National Golf Club, a really difficult course with tall grass above your knees. “I lost lots of balls,” V jokes.

While on the Cape, V and Brandon took a 90-minute boat ride and enjoyed perfect 75-degree, low-humidity weather and enjoyed some of the best meals of their lives. That’s saying something considering V herself is a seasoned chef.

“One of the best mouth explosions I’ve ever had was this amazing oyster dinner, each one topped with caviar, fresh tuna and lychee puree. It was phenomenal,” says V.

Another indulgence V shamelessly enjoyed was a pasta dish, which is something she rarely has. But a lobster carbonara was a delicious splurge she couldn’t resist.

Did V fall off the wagon and stop practicing what she preaches? Hardly.

Says V, “On vacation I’m adamant about sticking to a routine. Each morning, I still have lemon water, Green Drink, and practice 30 minutes of yoga. And when I follow the routine on a trip, I feel that the rest of the day I can be more relaxed about what I choose to eat and drink.”

Hamptons retreat

July: Colorado River & Paso Robles Wine Country 

Parker, AZ

Enjoying the outdoors when it’s 115 degrees? No problem! Not when you’re hanging out with friends on a pontoon boat on the Colorado River. Just jump in the 80-degree water to cool off. Rinse and repeat.

V grew up going to Parker, AZ, which has a much more family-friendly vibe than the nearby, debauched Lake Havasu. V whisked Brandon away to Parker in early July for his first trip there.

Unlike most people who party on the river, with an IV of beer hooked up into their veins, V made healthy smoothies, veggie plates with hummus and fruit plates for herself, Brandon and friends. She also cooked healthy meals for everyone on the boat.

Hamptons retreat

Hamptons retreat

Paso Robles, CA

Then, on July 30th, V and Brandon’s sixth wedding anniversary, the couple spent time in California wine country—Paso Robles to be exact.

“I love Paso. It’s more laid-back and not as snooty and pretentious as other towns in  more well-known wine areas of California like Napa,” says V, who has a decent knowledge of wine from spending a couple years in the industry years ago.

V doesn’t drink wine very often, but when she does, she knows exactly what she’s looking for. While in Paso, V played golf at Hunter Ranch where, unlike her mulligan-filled outing in Cape Cod, she played rather well.

V and Brandon hit a winery of note, Tobin James, where they enjoyed ambience and the wine. Then they went a French restaurant, Le Petite Canailles, that served a deboned Dover sole seasoned on a wood plank, topped with edible flowers. For a side: V describes it as “bougie tater tots with caviar.” It was phenomenal!

A splurge? V’s bank statement says yes but at least it was a healthy one. And hey, when you’re working your tush off, you deserve to treat yourself.

Hamptons retreat

Hamptons retreat

V and B also hit J. Lohr vineyards, Daou, and to celebrate their anniversary, the couple visited JUSTIN vineyards and enjoyed a four-course tasting menu with paired wines, featuring a trout tartarte with edible flowers, and a pasta agnolotti with truffle.

Again, another well-earned splurge!

“I like to have fun, too. So many people think that I’m a flawless saint when it comes to nutrition. I still take care of myself with Green Drink and my routine but I do enjoy myself,” V says.

Rawgust: Oregon 

V’s hubby, Brandon is originally from Lake Oswego, Oregon just 8 miles from Portland. Since Covid, the couple has driven (with Coconut of course) up there every year and has come to enjoy the ride. So recently, the trip hit the road from San Diego for the long haul.

V’s “Nana” lives in Southern Oregon near the Rogue River so they stopped there first. Then, the couple went up to Lake Oswego for an annual boat party on the lake with 8 floating docks, live music and a floating dance floor.

It might not be St. Barts but to V, this is a slice of heaven—and she’s earned it.

3 Reasons Why Summer’s The Best Time To Do A Cleanse

summer cleanse

Thinking about doing a cleanse? There’s no better time than now. Here are 3 reasons why summer is the best time to do a cleanse.

Last week, I admitted that I indulged to the max while on my European vacation, and how when I got back home, I decided I needed to be a Chef V customer.

I’m happy to report that I just wrapped up a 7 Day Cleanse.

So far so good.

I don’t feel like I’m missing out at all.

In fact, I feel so good, I might do a 21 Day Detox.

And right now, in the heart of the summer, there’s no better time to do a cleanse or a longer detox.

Let me share with you my top 3 reasons why it’s easy to do a cleanse in summer.

Hack #1: take a walk

A simple way to have your blood sugar return to normal after a meal is by taking a walk. It doesn’t have to be a super vigorous hike, but getting enough exercise is important for managing diabetes and this is especially true if you’re sedentary for most of the day.

Even more important than the advice to exercise is learning when to exercise. And if you only have time (or the motivation) to move your body once per day, research strongly suggests you should do it after dinner.

Most people eat their heaviest meal at night. And the biggest spike in blood sugar occurs after eating a large meal, especially if it contains lots of carbohydrates that have the potential of converting into sugar. (Think: pasta, bread, rice and other starchy carbohydrates.) Walking after a heavy meal is a proven way to improve blood sugar levels.

Consider this study from New Zealand. Two groups of people, most of whom had type II diabetes for 10 years, were compared. One group walked for 30 minutes a day for two weeks. The other group went for a 10-minute walk after each main meal. The results: blood sugar levels were significantly lower when participants walked after meals compared with the group who only went for one walk a day.

Meanwhile a different study compares exercising before a meal and after. The group with the lower blood sugar levels exercised after their meal, not before. This supports the first study that it’s vital to move around after eating a meal.

chef v summer cleanse

Summer is Best Time To Do a Cleanse — Reason #1: You’re not as hungry

Ever watch a nature documentary that shows bears and other animals seemingly eating non-stop during the summer?

The reason bears and other creatures of the forest binge eat in summer is, of course, because they have to fatten up for the winter hibernation.

Sometimes in winter, I feel like hibernating.

But I also feel like eating a lot more in winter than I do in summer. The hot, sticky weather in summer kills the appetite, at least for hearty foods that we usually crave in the winter like stews, meat and starchy carbs such as pasta and bread.

Most people tend to crave fruit in the summer. And unlike meat and starchy carbs, fruit is a safe food to eat while doing a cleanse.

How I start off each morning while I’m doing a cleanse is drink two glasses of water. I like to add some electrolytes to the water to provide the energetic spark plug my cells need (pink sea salt does the trick).

About a half-hour later, I’ll have 16 oz of Organic Green Drink. Shortly after that, I’ll have a handful or so of berries.

This holds me over until it’s time for my vegan protein shake.

Even though I’ve done plenty of cleanses in winter with no problem, I have to admit that summer is my favorite season for detoxing. Simply for the fact that I’m usually not as hungry as I am in the winter.

But be careful to not exercise too much when you’re doing a cleanse in summer. You’re already limiting your calorie intake to begin with. Plus, with the heat, you’re at risk for heat stroke.

So just stick to walks early in the morning and/or evening.

Summer is Best Time To Do a Cleanse — Reason #2: Swimsuit Psychology

It might sound too good to be true. But we’ve had plenty of customer success stories with weight loss of 10 pounds or more within just 7 days.

Reading these success stories that make their way to my email inbox every day is a huge reason why I wake up excited to get to work.

I love hearing from women that a Chef V cleanse helped them look and feel sexier, especially in time for the summer swimsuit season.

Here’s what “Wenderful” says about her experience:

I lost 10lbs!… This was the perfect start to leaning out for summer….Thank you Chef V….What a great experience!!

Now, I know what you might be thinking….

Sure, it’s great she was able to lose 10 pounds. But what’s going to happen once the cleanse is over?

Well, if “Wenderful” follows my cleanse daily schedule and post-cleanse tips, she’ll have no trouble keeping off the excess weight.

In winter, my hubby Brandon likes to joke that my legs need to be shaved with a lawn mower. Because of body consciousness, summer time gives us extra motivation to get leaner and look our best.

Summer is the best time to do a Cleanse
Reason #3: Salads

If you’re doing a cleanse or longer detox, one of the hardest things is going to a restaurant with friends.

However, in summer, it’s easy to join your friends at dinner. Just order a salad. Make sure to order the dressing on the side.

Most restaurants have at least one veggie they can steam or lightly grill for you, such as broccoli or asparagus.

A large spinach salad (no croutons!) with a side of veggies will fill you up. And because of the hot weather, you’re not going to feel like sinking your teeth into a burger like your friends.

If you’re having a hard time losing those last stubborn 10 pounds, there is no better time to do a Chef V cleanse than right now.

Do it now because in the blink of an eye, you’re going to feel like hibernating. And when that happens, you won’t have the luxury of sleeping the winter off like a bear. You’ll be craving high-calorie foods to make it through those long dark nights.

Tips for Vegan Food Swaps

Whether for climate change, health reasons, or limiting animal cruelty, the vegan population worldwide continues to rise. In fact, more than 620,000 vegans across 220 countries and territories signed up for the 2022 Veganuary Campaign. In the United States, people are turning vegans six times faster in 2022 as compared to previous years.

But going vegan isn’t easy, especially when you don’t know what things to consume and avoid. The vegan market has many plant-based and vegan food options, but finding the right alternatives to your favorite food items can be a little daunting. 

So without overwhelming you with this challenging transition into the vegan lifestyle, here are a few amazing hacks and tips to find the perfect vegan options for your meats, milk, and other go-to grocery items. We’ve tried to keep the nutritional needs of a vegan diet in mind while preparing this list to add high-energy and healthy food alternatives for you. 

1. The perfect meat alternative 

If you’re new to veganism, giving up your usual meaty diets will be challenging, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You can find the same fibrous texture and nutritional values of chicken, beef, or sausages in their vegan alternatives, including tofu, jackfruit, and soy-based protein.

Lentils make the perfect protein-rich substitute for minced meat. You can use the same spices and a variety of boiled lentils to make vegan patties for your burgers and sandwiches. Moreover, lentils are one of the most affordable meat alternatives for vegans. 

2. Say yes to the right dairy products

Thinking about how you can give up your milky cappuccino while going vegan? Well, you don’t have to. You can ditch your regular cow milk with creamier, thicker, and sweeter vegan options like soy, hazelnut, and almond milk. 

You can use coconut milk as it’s thicker and sweeter, whereas rice milk makes a perfect vegan option to add to your smoothies, shakes, overnight oatmeals, and cereal bowls. Cheese is a food item most vegans miss in their diet, but you can swap your cheese with the nutty hemp seed or vegan kimchi queso alternatives. 

Also, don’t forget to add peanut or almond butter to your cart while grocery shopping, as they make the perfect vegan option. 

3. An ideal vegan option for spreads

Love mayonnaise? Try hummus. The creamy texture of blended chickpeas with herbs and garlic of hummus makes a healthier and tastier vegan option for your regular mayonnaise. You can swap maple syrup with honey to drizzle on your waffles and pancakes as a vegan option. Avocados, apple sauce, and pumpkin puree are among some vegan spreads that complement toast the best. 

4. Vegan options for ice cream

Don’t worry about giving up ice creams while going vegan because you’ve many healthy and vegan substitutes for your regular ice creams. To relish a creamy dessert, try frozen bananas, strawberries, or blueberries blended with your favorite nuts. Add any fruit of your choice and freeze it to prepare vegan sorbets and sundaes. 

5. The perfect vegan option for weight loss

If you’re a vegan and want to lose those extra pounds, you can try my 100% organic green juice. It’s healthy, vegan, and made from seven superfoods, including green kale, black kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, and green chard. All these green ingredients are packed with essential nutrients, minerals, and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to help you lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Moreover, this green juice for detox helps you stay energized by making you feel fuller every time you consume it, eliminating the urge to eat non-vegan or unhealthy food items. You can begin your weight loss journey with a 3 day juice cleanse plan and move further with the specially designed 21-day detox challenge

Chef V strives to help you achieve your health goals, which also includes debunking myths about what you and can’t eat as a vegan and helping you discover tasty vegan alternatives.

Want to learn more about the available detox and cleanses? Visit the Chef V website.

Why Chef V Finds Fruit Fantastic

If you’ve noticed Chef V’s glowing skin, you might be curious as to the reason. Well, some part of the credit goes to the bowl of fresh fruit she eats every day. In fact, the dietary guidelines set out by the United States Department of Health and Human Services suggest consuming fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy diet. 

Fruit is an excellent source of minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, which helps you stay healthy and hydrated. Moreover, fruit is a good substitute for unhealthy, sugary, processed snacks, including artificially flavored candies and gummies. 

If you still wonder why adding fruit to your diet is important, read below to learn about some benefits and facts of consuming fruit. We’ve also come up with a list of Chef V’s recommendations for great fruit that we know you’ll love to check out. Take a look!

Why is fruit great?

Eating fruit generally benefits your overall health and prevents common diseases like diabetes and related complications by providing necessary nutrition. They offer an expansive range of antioxidants, such as flavonoids, health-boosting fibers and vitamins. Surprisingly, one banana alone can provide 25% of your average daily fiber intake. 

They help your digestive system, boost metabolism, and keep your body hydrated. Watermelons and strawberries have more than 92% water content, so if you often skip chugging down plain water, you can eat fruit high in water to meet your water requirements.

Most people argue that fruit contains sugar, so are they bad or any better than other sugar alternatives? Yes, fruit contains sugar, but it’s natural sugar, which is a mix of glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Despite the sugar levels, whole fruits still make an ideal choice compared to candies, canned fruit, dried fruit, and soft drinks available on the market. Because whole fruits contain sugar, they give you a fuller feeling, eliminating the need to consume unhealthy snacks and beverages. 

Fruit is also great for individuals on a weight-loss journey. They contain fewer calories, meaning you can swap your regular high-calorie snacks with the fruit of your choice. Fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, and strawberries contain a high amount of fiber, which helps suppress the appetite to prevent overeating. 

Moreover, if you don’t like eating whole fruits, have them as a smoothie, juice, dessert, or salad. You can find hundreds of smoothie recipes for intermittent fasting or go on a cranberry juice detox. Find the best ways to consume fruits and say hello to a healthy lifestyle.

Some of our favorite fruits 

All fruit is fantastic but they vary in nutritional values and health benefits. Here are some of Chef V’s favorite fruits to include in your diet.

1. Lemons 

Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, carbohydrates, and calcium. They contain antidiabetic and antibacterial properties, which help you deal with indigestion and inflammation.

2. Strawberries 

This juicy, red fruit contains a lot of water, minerals, and vitamins. You can have strawberries in a smoothie, with your cereals, or put some on top of your pancakes for added flavor and a punch of sweetness. 

3. Oranges 

Oranges are the richest source of vitamin C, which fulfill 117% of a person’s daily requirement of vitamin C. They boost your immune system and contain a good amount of iron and fibers to keep you going throughout the day. 

4. Avocados 

Want a low-sugar fruit option? Avocados are a superfood with less sugar content but high potassium and protein. They contain oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat, which helps maintain lower cholesterol levels. 

5. Apples 

Eating apples daily can reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers, which is why you say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples contain a high amount of minerals, vitamin C, and antioxidant properties, which are great for people losing weight or monitoring their fat intake. 

The bottom line 

Chef V finds fruit fantastic because of its innumerable health benefits and properties. Adding fruit to your diet motivates you to step forward to a healthy lifestyle. You can begin by consuming fruit in smaller portions or in a form that best suits your taste. You can swap between different fruits for all the necessary nutrition for your diet. 

Check out our Chef V cleanses, specially curated organic green juice and protein shakes, which aim to help you achieve your body and weight goals. Visit our website or contact us today to learn more. 

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.

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

What Do I Eat Today – The Importance of Liquids

what do I eat today liquids

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu focuses on the importance of liquids, especially at breakfast.

Liquids are alkalizing to the gut, help cleanse the colon, and have so many other benefits.

Start your day with lemon juice and water, followed by Green Drink. Enjoy my Herbal Tea recipe with ginger and cinnamon, and take a probiotic- I like Bio-K+.

Chose from two smoothies – my Tropitaya Smoothie, this month with fresh Ginger and Turmeric, or my Tropical Green Smoothie with Ginger.

For lunch we have Creamy Carrot Soup, and Raw Cucumber & Avocado Gazpacho is a cooling afternoon snack. For dinner, Creamy Broccoli Soup finishes the day.

lemon water

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.

berry parfait

For Breakfast – Tropitaya or Tropical Green Smoothie

This “What do I Eat Today” menu includes a Tropitaya or Tropical Green Smoothie. The Tropitaya Smoothie is one of the most popular smoothies (and one of my favorites) at our stores in New Jersey and San Diego. In this month's menu, I add fresh turmeric and ginger.

Get the recipe

An alternative to my Tropitaya Smoothie in this menu, my Tropical Green Smoothie adds fruit and vegetables to Chef V's Tropical Green Drink. Optionally you can add 1 tbsp pea protein, 1 tsp fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp fresh turmeric to the smoothie.

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creamy carrot soup

Lunch – Creamy Carrot Soup

Creamy and delicious without dairy, this Carrot Soup recipe uses cashews to add richness and flavor. Fast and easy to make, the recipe is perfect for two, tasty and healthy. Add fresh turmeric and ginger for additional benefits.

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Afternoon Snack – Chef V's Raw Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho

Cool and creamy, my Gazpacho is a great light snack. You can easily double or triple my recipe and have delicious leftovers. The beauty of my veggie-rich recipe is that its high water and fiber content slows how fast you eat and fills you up quicker.

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Dinner – Creamy Broccoli Soup

My Creamy Broccoli Soup is for dinner. Made with coconut milk and coconut oil, the fiber in this soup supports gut health and has anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties. For additional gut health assistance, try my recipe variation adding fresh turmeric and ginger.

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The Benefits of Eating More Locally

Eating locally doesn’t mean getting take-out from a nearby Italian restaurant. The most simple definition of eating local is stopping by your local farmer’s market and shopping for fresh produce. In the United States, the average meal travels more than 1,500 miles to get to your plate. Imagine the freshness and taste of the products by the time it lands in your kitchen; they may be gone by then. 

Moreover, the country’s population of locavores or people who choose to eat more locally is rapidly increasing. A consumer survey revealed 96% of people believe that a product must be grown, produced, and handled within 100 miles of its market to retain its freshness, quality, and taste.  

Below, we touch on different points, including the benefits of eating locally to drive you toward a healthy lifestyle. 

What are the benefits of eating locally?

The concept of eating local is primarily based on distance; the basic idea is to cut down the miles your food needs to travel before it gets to your table. The food you get in your local market, such as fruits and vegetables, tends to have a higher nutritional value, mainly because they’re prepared fresh without processing or getting through an artificial harvesting process to outpace the ripeness. 

Here is a list of benefits of eating locally: 

  • Eating locally benefits the environment. When you shop in a local market, the food doesn’t have to travel from one corner to another corner, reducing greenhouse emissions and consequently improving the carbon footprints. 
  • When you eat locally, you say hello to good health and well-being. Fruits and vegetables, including green beans, broccoli, tomatoes, kale, red peppers, and apricots are prone to nutrient loss when they travel long distances, so it’s always good to shop for these items locally. 
  • You’re supporting local farmers and shopkeepers. Take advantage of local green juice delivery to taste fresh, organic, pure juice, which will be far better than what you get at a supermarket. The idea is to support your local communities to help them strive and thrive while they continue to produce quality products.
  • It also eliminates the need for intermediaries from the supply chain, which benefits local farmers and business owners. When you purchase directly from farmers at the local farmer’s market, all the profit will go to them. 
  • When you buy from local producers, you’re contributing to the local economy. 

Tips for eating more locally

If you’re all set to turn into a locavore, here are a few tips that’ll help you find easy ways to eat locally.

Shop at your local farmer’s market 

Think of the last time you had freshly squeezed juice. With the availability of processed juice and other products, we’ve forgotten what new things taste like. This is precisely why you must go to your nearby farmer’s market. These markets often stock a wide assortment of colorful and vibrant seasonal fruits, freshly baked bread, and free-range meats. Shopping locally not only means getting fresh food at good prices, but it also allows you to meet people within your community. 

Have your own garden 

Trust us, it’s the best thing you can do for yourself. There’s nothing more local than growing your own herbs, fruits, and vegetables. You can choose the kind of plants you want to grow and nurture without artificial fertilizers. Plus, gardening is a healthy habit, which takes you closer to the earth.  

Become part of community-supported agriculture (CSA)

If visiting a farmer’s market looks like a lot, sign up for a CSA program that brings fresh produce to your doorstep weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, depending on the subscription plan. You can choose the food you want, such as dairy, poultry, and fresh produce while opting for the subscription plan. It works the same way as Chef V, which provides organic green drink delivery to your home. 

Grow with the season 

With the availability of cold storage units, you get access to all fruits and vegetables throughout the year, which isn’t a healthy choice for people turning toward a balanced lifestyle. The best idea is to try seasonal produce to enjoy the freshness and unbeatable quality. 

Look for farm-to-table restaurants 

Give up eating at a fast food restaurant that only serves processed or reheated food. Instead, try eating at a local farm-to-table restaurant. At some of these, you can witness how your meals are prepared, using fresh and locally procured ingredients. In fact, the menus are designed to let customers know how the meals are prepared and with what products. 

The bottom line 

Eating locally isn’t just a lifestyle. The philosophy ties you back to your local community through food. With simple steps like shopping at your local market or small businesses, you’re helping farmers, local producers, and their families continue producing the freshest and tastiest food. It also helps contribute to the economy and a healthy environment. 

So, the next time you search for a juice cleanse near me, give it a try at your local juicery, or you can visit Chef V, a platform serving organically produced green juices, plant-based food items, and protein shakes. Our specially curated detox plans help our clients meet their body goals. 

Vegan vs. Vegetarian

Choosing a healthy lifestyle is always the best choice. But it’s important to be mindful of the diet you opt for because it needs to be compatible with your lifestyle, sync with your weight goals, and meet nutritional requirements. 

Some of you may think of going meat-free or giving up dairy products, which often motivates people to turn vegan or vegetarian. Please note that these lifestyles are different from each other; both may include giving up meat, but vegetarians consume dairy and other animal products in their diets whereas vegans don’t. 

Curious to know which one’s best for you? Should you turn vegan or still enjoy your cheese and take the vegetarian route? At Chef V, you’ll get all your answers as we briefly discuss vegan vs. vegetarian with their benefits and downsides. 

Vegan vs. vegetarian – What’s the difference? 

Let’s take a look at the difference between vegan and vegetarian.

Veganism

Veganism is a lifestyle that encourages you to give up all animal products, ranging from clothes to food items, in an attempt to save the climate and limit the exploitation of animals. It’s a lifestyle that motivates individuals to consume plant-based and dairy-free products, including whole fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, beans, and vegetables.

More than for social reasons, people are opting for veganism or a vegan diet because of its varied health and wellness benefits. According to a 2022 report, Americans are turning vegan six times faster in 2022 than they did in 2014.  

As more and more people move toward veganism, the market is experiencing a change. Due to the increasing demand for vegan products, the global market for plant-based products is likely to grow by 12.95%. 

There are many vegan food options and alternatives that won’t let you miss your usual meat-based diet. There are vegan smoothies and burgers; you can also go for an organic juice cleanse diet and bake with plant-based ingredients, such as coconut milk and vegan meat.

Vegetarian 

A vegetarian diet excludes consuming meats, which include all animal flesh, seafood, or insects. Vegetarians may choose to only give up eating animal products but still wear materials made from their skins, such as leather jackets, wallets, or shoes. 

Vegetarian diets are mainly divided into three categories:

  • Lacto vegetarians: don’t consume meats, seafood, and eggs but do eat dairy products, including cheese, butter, and cow’s milk;
  • Ovo vegetarians: consume eggs but avoid dairy products and animal flesh; 
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians: consume eggs and dairy products in a diet but avoid meat or meat products. 

Most of the 22% of the world’s population of vegetarians have opted for this lifestyle because of health-related factors. Conversely, only 1% of people actually turned to vegetarianism out of choice. 

To make the most of your vegetarian diet, add various nutritious foods, including vegetables, fruits, dairy, legumes and nuts. A well-planned diet helps keep you healthy and protected against common health-related problems. You can fulfill your daily intake of fiber from fruits, protein from lentils, and energy from nuts and seeds. 

The pros and cons of vegan and vegetarian diets

Benefits of a vegetarian and vegan diet

  • Research on dietary patterns and the heart shows the health benefits of a vegan and vegetarian diet. Individuals following these diets have low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and a healthy heart. 
  • When you consume a healthy diet containing whole fruits, nuts, and vegetables, you get all essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that protect you against common diseases and boost your immune system. 
  • Older research suggests a vegan diet can lower asthma symptoms. Apart from that, a vegetarian and vegan diet also boosts bone density and prevents type 2 diabetes in some individuals. 
  • Cutting down on meat or other animal products will help curb cruelty against animals and benefit the environment with low carbon emissions. 

Downsides of a vegan or vegetarian diet 

  • Most people following a vegan or vegetarian diet need to take vitamin B12 supplements to fulfill their daily vitamin B12 needs. The most significant source of B12 is seafood, including fish, sardines, and clams, but since vegetarians and vegans don’t consume animal flesh, they take medications or other substitutes to meet health requirements. 
  • The limited option for complete proteins is also a significant downside of a vegetarian diet. Complete proteins contain nine amino acids, which are rare in plant-based diets. You may need to add a variety of different proteins, such as legumes, lentils, and nuts to meet daily protein needs. 
  • Believe it or not, a vegan diet can also result in weight gain because you tend to eat more to meet your daily nutritional requirements, which is why you should always include a juice cleanse diet or intermittent fasting in your lifestyle while turning vegetarian or vegan. 
  • Going vegan is challenging; be aware of whether the food item is vegan or not before putting it on your grocery list. It requires a complete behavioral and consumer change, especially when new to the diet and philosophy. 

What works best for you? 

This mainly depends on your lifestyle, weight goals, and health requirements. The journey will be tough if you eat meat and want to give it up to become vegan or vegetarian. Plan things accordingly to deal with cravings, find substitutes for favorite dishes and how you can accommodate the change in lifestyle. 

Both vegan vs. vegetarian are lifestyle choices, and both do wonders for your health by encouraging you to eat healthily and focus on your overall well-being. You can always move back to your standard diet if things don’t go according to plan or expectation. You just need to take that one step toward a healthy lifestyle.

Learn more about this on Chef V, a platform that helps you achieve your body goals. We offer multiple juice cleanses, ranging from one day to 21-day detox challenges to take you a step closer to a healthy lifestyle. 

Plant Based Protein Vs Plant-Based Meat

If you need a detox and digestion makeover, “V” encourages a pretty strict plant-based diet. That’s because meat is hard to digest and if your digestion is sluggish you should give it a rest.

But that doesn’t mean you should be eating vegan fast food burgers every day. There’s a big difference between plant-based meat and plant-based proteins. In fact, eating mock meat may be worse for your health than regular meat. Instead, find out what the healthiest plant-based proteins are…

Plant-Based Meats Vs Regular Meat

Which type of protein does your body absorb more of: plant-based meats like the Impossible Burger or regular meat such as beef or chicken?

The surprising answer is regular meat.

A recent study, published June 22, 2022 in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry compared protein absorption from plant-based (fake) chicken with regular chicken. And what they found was that plant-based protein was absorbed less during a test-tube simulation of digestion than protein from chicken.

The plant-based chicken was made from soy and wheat gluten. Those are two big strikes against your health right there. That’s because soy and gluten are two of the biggest food allergy triggers.

Consuming lots of soy can not only bloat your tummy if you’re sensitive to it. It can also cause estrogen dominance in pre-menopausal women.

That means that there’s an imbalance of sex hormones caused by too much soy, which is a phytoestrogen (an estrogen found in plants). A little bit of fermented soy in miso soup is healthy. But I highly recommend avoiding processed soy if you’re looking to improve your digestion and detoxify your body.

And as for wheat gluten, well, we all know how that can trigger major inflammation in the body.

Getting back to the fake meat vs. regular meat study…

Another problem associated with the lower absorption rate of plant-based meat is that it contains antinutrients like phytates. Phytates interfere with mineral uptake by the cells. The problem with phytates is that they bind to nutrients like iron, zinc and calcium. And not only does it block the absorption of these minerals, antinutrients like phytates also interfere with the digestion of other starches and proteins that you eat.

OK, but what about other plant-based meats? Might they be healthier than the fake chicken used in the study.

Unfortunately, not really. A study in the journal, Nutrients suggested that the nutritional benefit of plant-based MEAT is minimal. In fact, according to SciTechDaily, which summarized the study, “Diets that substituted animal products with the plant-based alternative were below the daily recommendations for vitamin B12, calcium, potassium, zinc and magnesium, and higher in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat.”

Plant-Based Meat Doesn’t Mean Healthy

The moral of the story here is, just like gluten-free doesn’t mean healthy (gluten-free chips, gluten-free crackers, gluten-free pizza), plant-based meat doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, a strong case could be made that grass-fed, grass-finished beef grown on a regenerative farm is way healthier than an Impossible Burger.

But what to do if you want to take a break from meat for a little while in order to reboot your digestive system?

The answer is to focus on plant-based proteins that are 100% natural. Out of the 20 amino acids that form all the proteins in your body, nine of them are considered essential. The problem with plant-based proteins is that they don’t always contain all 9 essential amino acids. But some of them do. Here are the ones I like the best:

  • Nutritional yeast
  • Quinoa
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Tempeh (a fermented, healthy soy)
  • Spirulina

In addition, you can combine veggie proteins to get all 9 nine essential amino acids.

The most famous combo is beans and rice. But just make sure you eat beans that are soaked overnight in water to remove the antinutrients I talked about earlier.

Other plant-based protein combos include:

  • Tahini or hummus with whole wheat
  • Broccoli with whole grain pasta
  • Oatmeal with almond butter

Eat “Real” Plant-Based Food 99% Of The Time

This article isn’t meant to be a crusade against meat. Well, maybe against factory-farmed meat. A small amount of high-quality, organic meat can be part of a healthy diet.

But if you want a do-over for your digestive system, skip breakfast, do intermittent fasting, break your fast with Organic Green Drink and get your protein from real (not lab-produced) plant-based foods.

To your health,

V

The Dangers Lurking In Natural Meat (Nitrite Free)

kale

Let me get something out the way here: I’m not a militant vegan. I do eat a 95%-plus plant-based diet. But I would never ever tell anybody to give up meat altogether. I believe that’s a highly personal decision; it’s one that’s just as sacred as religious beliefs and convictions. 

But I recently learned something deeply troubling that’s making me think twice about eating even natural meat. 

First, take a look at this image of the package of Oscar Mayer’s “Natural” slow roasted turkey breast:

"natural" meat

Sounds like good stuff advertised by the good folks at Oscar Mayer, right? 

Let’s see, “no added hormones.” We like that! 

“Give me added hormones in my food,” said nobody ever. 

No gluten. No artificial ingredients. No artificial flavors or colors or preservatives. 

Just how turkey slices should be, right? 

If we could just know that the turkeys lived the high life, with abundant, easy access to the outdoors, we can feel good about eating the occasional slice of turkey, am I right? Obviously, if you’re vegan, you strongly agree. And I get that. But I’m talking to those who do eat meat and think that eating “natural” or even “organic” meat is far superior than factory-farmed meat.

But after you finish reading this, I think you’re going to be eating even less meat. 

I’ll explain why in just a little bit. 

Veronica and Coconut and kale

The Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Meat

Processed meat contains nitrites. Nitrites are added to prevent food-borne pathogenic diseases like botulism. That sounds like a good thing. Botulism is food poisoning, which strikes roughly 1 in 6 Americans every year, hospitalizing over 125,000 people and killing 3,000. So from that perspective nitrites sound like a good thing to add to food. 

Nitrites are also added to processed meats as a preservative; it keeps the meat from going bad much sooner than it naturally would and also preserves the color. 

But there’s some really bad things about nitrites. And maybe you’re already familiar with the fact that nitrites in processed meats are carcinogenic. Sorry to burst your bacon-loving bubble, but yeah, that means bacon and sausage can cause cancer. So does lunch meats (deli slices), hot dogs, and even those fancy cured salamis that you see in the wine and cheese section of Whole Foods. 

Vitamin K

Does Natural Meat Have Nitrites?

Take a look again at the image above of the Oscar Mayer “natural” turkey breast label. There’s one more major selling point listed that has to do with nitrites. Can you spot it? 

In case you don’t have a magnifying glass or don’t know how to zoom in on a pic, I’ll spell it out for you: “No nitrites or nitrates added.” 

(Nitrates can chemically change into nitrites but don’t worry about that technicality for now.)

Under where it says no nitrites, it says, “Except those naturally occurring in celery juice and sea salt.” 

Because the nitrites come from celery juice it must be harmless, right? 

Well, when you drink freshly made celery juice, the nitrites in celery juice are harmless because they haven’t oxidized (turned rancid). 

However, when you cook meat, especially on the grill, the heat causes the nitrites to oxidize. 

Cutting to the chase, what this means is that food manufacturers are getting away with a big lie. In effect, naturally-occurring nitrites from celery juice and sea salt are the same as those that are naturally-occuring in meat. 

Eating turkey breast is probably less risky than eating bacon or grilled hot dogs. That’s because turkey breast takes longer to oxidize. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that the claim “no nitrites added” is keeping you safe from cancer-causing chemicals in meat. 

nitrites and lung health

Want Healthy Lungs? Avoid Nitrites!

In lab studies, the poor experimental rodents that were forcibly fed nitrites developed respiratory issues such as emphysema and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). 

In essence, eating cured/processed meats may be just as bad for your lungs as smoking! In fact, nitrites are formed from the combustion of tobacco smoke. 

Could it be that the rising prevalence of asthma in kids is attributed to processed meat? I think it’s part of the reason for sure.

Don’t Believe the Nitrite-Free Hype

Unfortunately in this country, food manufacturers have an easy time getting away with false or misleading advertising. Leading consumer advocacy groups are trying their best to stop this deceptive practice of labeling “natural” meats as nitrite-free. It’s like the nutrition facts label of a box of cereal saying “no sugar added” with an asterisk that says “except for those naturally-occurring from cane sugar.”

I admit, for years I was fooled by this. Luckily for me, I hardly eat meat so I don’t need to worry about it. But hopefully after reading this, you are a better informed consumer.

Yoga – Q&A with Veronica Wheat

Chef V yoga pose

Chef V, Veronica Wheat, answers questions about her yoga practice and gives recommendations for your practice. She suggests supplmenting Intermittent Fasting with yoga, and breaking your fast with her Green Drink.

5 Insights to Loving Yoga

1. How did you first get into yoga and what does it mean to you now?

I first joined a gym when I was 15 years old and saw others taking  classes. A year later, and after much speculation, I decided to join the class. I thought it was alright but I didn’t really get into it until two years later. I played a lot of sports when I was in high school so when I graduated, I was trying to get back into working out and decided to give yoga one more try. My body felt so good – I was surprised by how tight my muscles had been after years of competitive sports. I started going once or twice a week and soon I was hooked! I’ve been practicing religiously for almost 10 years now and completed my yoga teacher training in 2012 at Yoga Tropics at their Encinitas, CA and Pacific Beach, CA locations.

I try to practice almost every day. I don’t necessarily go to class every day but I try to do some form of yoga daily, even at home or at the gym in a space by myself. I ALWAYS practice first thing in the AM, 60-minute classes two or three times a week and then three times on my own. You will rarely see me working out afternoon or evening, I like to workout in the mornings on an empty stomach to burn stored fat and calories, plus morning workouts energizes me for the rest of the day.

I love how yoga makes me feel in mind, body and spirit. If you’ve never tried a class before, I highly recommend you do – it’s all about finding the class and instructor that’s right for you.

2. What do you look for in a yoga instructor and how have you found the ones you’ve liked best?

I really like calm teachers who have nothing to prove. Ones that help guide you along your journey. Everyone’s body is different and even if you practice all the time, every day and every practice is different. I love when a teacher comes over and adjusts me or puts me into a more challenging pose.

3. What is the best way to fuel your body before and after a session?

I prefer to go to yoga in the morning, on an empty stomach. Although, I drink lots and lots of water to make sure that I am hydrated before class begins. Sometimes I might have a little Green Drink an hour or two before class but typically just water.

After yoga is the most important time to nourish your body. I always have lots of water and a Green Drink after class. Sometimes I’ll have a kombucha or a protein smoothie that I make at home after finishing the Green Drink. It’s super important to stay hydrated before and after yoga. Drinking fluids helps flush out the toxins from your body and release them. And yoga plus an intermittent fast, plus my Green Drink maximizes fat burning, making you leaner than ever before.

4. What are some of your favorite yoga essentials? (clothing brands, mats, accessories, etc.)

I live in Lululemon pants and sports bras. I have found them to be the comfiest and most reliable. My lightweight Manduka® mat is my favorite mat, this brand makes great mats that seem to last forever.

5. What tips would you give to new or aspiring yogis?

Take it slow. Don’t be so serious, it’s just yoga. Try different classes and different instructors, not all yoga or yogis are the same. There are a variety of yoga classes for all different levels including hot, flow, fusion, sculpt and many more. Also, remember to always breathe – it’s the most important part of your yoga practice. I’ve been practicing a long time and the worst thing I see is people trying to get fancy in a pose but forgetting to breathe. Your breath is the practice, so if you lose your breath, you lose the point of the practice. Once you master your breath for one hour then you are a true yogi who can conquer any pose!

To get inspired take a look at our Pinterest Board with poses and other workouts we love.

Weight-Loss Basics for Newbies

If you’ve made it here, great job! You’re making the right decision for your overall health and well-being. Undoubtedly, weight-loss journeys are challenging, especially when you don’t know how and where to begin the whole process. 

As a newbie who aspires to shed those extra inches, you need to consider many things, including your weight goal, diet plan, calorie count, work-life and health balance and more, to have a less challenging weight-loss process. Moreover, losing weight triggers your biological mechanisms, resulting in constant mood swings, frequent cravings, and most importantly a strong urge to give up. 

As much as the whole process sounds daunting, it can easily be carried away with a bit of hard work, determination, and adding the right things to your diet. To help you make the right choices in your diet, here are some weight-loss basics to keep in mind to achieve your weight goals. 

Let’s take a look at some weight-loss basics 

1. Setting weight goals 

Don’t get over ambitious with weight goals. If you’re aiming to lose two pounds a week, you can do this but be mindful of the nutritional deficiencies and health problems that may come with it. Set achievable goals, get used to the new lifestyle, and then perhaps decide how to follow the process rather than forcing a regime on yourself for instant results. 

2. Dieting isn’t the right solution 

Especially when you’re a beginner, I wouldn’t suggest cutting down everything you eat in a day. Moreover, sticking to a diet is way more challenging when you’re new to a weight-loss journey. Replacing your burger with a salad bowl is a tough call; instead, try intermittent fasting and portion control. That way, you can eat your usual diet at a specific time to avoid overeating. 

3. Introduce daily movement 

If you’re a couch potato and want to lose weight, you must include exercise or some activity in your regime. Find ways to keep your body active; it could be cycling, brisk walking, hiking, yoga, or gardening. Do what you enjoy the most.

Easy activities for weight loss

The following are a few weight-loss activities to include in your day-to-day life to achieve weight-loss goals:

  • Walking is an excellent fat-burning exercise that’s effective, low-impact, and easy. If it’s feasible, ditch taking a cab or drive to your work or school and start walking.
  • Make your way to a healthy lifestyle by increasing your water intake. Drinking water improves your metabolism and detoxifies your body. Opt for a juice detox diet if you want something tasty yet healthy. 
  • Low-intensity workouts or cardio make an excellent way to introduce movement and activity to the body. Start with fifteen minutes of treadmill, at least three sets of squats, jumping jacks, burpees, and running.
  • Activities like swimming, cycling, and hiking are perfect for engaging your body and muscles.  

Foods for weight loss

This is a common question that pops up in every newbie’s mind who aspires to lose the extra weight. Proteins, such as chicken, eggs, lentils, seeds, nuts, and fish offer more energy to help you get through your day without consuming anything unhealthy like a burger or soda. The right kind of liquids, such as juice and water, also works best to keep you fuller throughout the day. 

Don’t underestimate the benefits of a juice cleanse as they detoxify the body to boost metabolism and keep you away from toxins known to cause weight gain. Keep an eye on calorie count, as eating the right amount of food is important.

Juice cleanse for weight loss

Make your weight loss journeys easy and yummy with my juice detox diet. I prepare these green juices with 100% organic ingredients, including black kale, green kale, collard greens, and green leaf lettuce, which have high nutritional, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant values. 

When you follow my juice detox diet, you don’t have to take any green powder pills. It’s just pure and fresh handmade juice delivered to your doorstep every day. You’ll have no energy crashes or cravings with these green juices. 

If you’re wondering why I vouch for the juice cleanse for weight loss, read what my clients say. You can also sign up for my holistic 21-day detox plan that helps you lose weight and maintain well-being.  

You Are What You Drink: Importance of Filtered Water

Water is just water, right? Well, sometimes it actually isn’t. We live in a world where food and drink move on a global scale, rather than the local. That means we live in a shopping environment where everything is designed to be full of preservatives and additives, whether we like it or not. Fresh is often an unattainable dream for many of us. 

Heck, you can’t even be sure your water isn’t free of the weird stuff. And since water is the primary ingredient in juice for detox and green drink, this can be a bit worrying for those wanting to undergo a blended juice cleanse. Hence, the big interest in filtered water. As proud makers of green drink, here’s our perspective.

Importance of hydration

We could pen pages and pages about why it’s essential to get enough water daily. It’s one of the most critical parts of your diet, and yet one that’s often taken for granted. But without water, your organs and joints wouldn’t work properly, and you’d be far more prone to infections.

If you’re interested in a blended juice cleanse, you’re probably interested in the health of your digestive system, and probably in losing weight. Well, proper hydration is also vital for keeping your digestive system working regularly, and can help curb your appetite and maintain your energy for exercise. No matter how you’re getting it, getting enough water is key.

What’s filtered water?

You might get your water from a tap or a bottle. Filtration is always going to be important, however. Why is this? Well, water might look clear and “empty” but it can actually have way more dissolved in it than you realize. Unfiltered water can be host to a wide variety of mineral or chemical contaminants. Some minerals in your water are good for you. But do you really want something like lead from pipes in your water? Bottled water isn’t much better due to the danger of microplastics.

Filtered water is an attempt to strike a balance between keeping the good in water, while removing the bad. Filtration can take many forms. You’re probably familiar with the carbon filters found in many kitchens across the country. Ion exchanges and reverse osmosis are more advanced methods of filtration. In some places, water is even distilled for filtration — turned into steam and then back into water, hopefully leaving all the bad stuff behind. 

Health benefits of filtered water

So what are some of the actual benefits of drinking properly filtered water? We'll highlight some of the major ones here. 

Fewer toxins

Lead poisoning from water constantly comes up in the news. Microplastics in bottled water can have a less immediately dramatic effect, but can still damage your health over long periods of time. If you’re someone who demands the freshest organic juice for detox, there’s no reason to ruin this by getting water with all sorts of additives. 

Fewer bacteria

Bacteria can pop up in pretty much any water source. By making sure you’re getting filtered water, you’re preventing any unwanted guests from coming along for the ride when you drink. This can be especially important depending on your area, what the water supply is like, and what the water quality is like as well. 

Taste

Ever had water that just sort of tasted funny? Filtered water helps you avoid that. This isn’t so much of a health benefit on its own. However, if your water tastes good, then you’ll want to drink more of it. The same goes for any green drink or juice for detox made out of your filtered water. Little things like this can really make or break a fruit juice. 

Chef V’s promise

At Chef V, we use only the best clean, filtered water for our delicious green drinks. This is only the start of what makes our green drink special, of course. All of our ingredients are entirely organic, and we always blend instead of juice. We’re simply that dedicated to making sure every part of the process is benefiting you in some way when it comes to making our green juice recipe. Make sure to give our green drink recipe a try, and you’ll see why our detox juice recipe has become so famous! 

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.

Beyond Green Drink for Detox: Refreshing Vegan Drink Ideas

It’s a wild thought. We barely want to write it down. But maybe, just maybe, you’d like to try some other delicious vegan beverages after all our wonderful juices for detox. Strange to think you’d ever need something beyond Chef V’s iconic green drink, but it could be that our juices for detox have put you in a real mood for other tasty, healthy, vegan beverages. 

If you’re new to vegan eating (and drinking), you might not know where to start. Moving past basic fruit juice can be a little daunting for some. How do you know what tastes good? How do you avoid things like the dreaded celery juice side effects? 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to explore to find what vegan drinks you (and your family) enjoy. If you’re uncertain which vegetables and fruits to reach for first, we’ll provide some of our favorite ideas for tasty vegan beverages. Hopefully, you’ll find a fun idea here you hadn’t considered before! 

#1 Beet smoothies

We have some pretty great detox smoothie recipes to offer. However, there are a ton of underrated fruits and veggies that can make amazing juices or smoothies. If you’ll let us travel off the beaten path, we have to give beets a shoutout. They’re far too unfairly maligned. But beets can be delicious and are most definitely healthy for you. 

Beets pair up excellently with tasty berries to create fantastic vegan smoothies. If you want to try one out, we have an antioxidant smoothie that we’re sure you’ll love. 

#2 Vegan hot chocolate

It’s not just all juices and smoothies. Sometimes it’s a good idea to expand your notion of what vegan drinks can be beyond just juices for detox and green drinks. Hot chocolate is generally viewed as a sugary and unhealthy treat. But, as we’ve shown, it can be made into healthy vegan versions as well. If you want something with more kick, then you can always look online for the flavorful Mexican varieties

#3 Vegan eggnog 

We’d be remiss to bring up vegan hot chocolate and not include a mention of our amazing vegan eggnog recipe. With a fantastic blend of spices and almond milk, it’s just as amazing as the traditional version. If you’re feeling up for some fun (and not on a blended juice cleanse) you can even add some brandy to it. Sounds wild? Then wait until you read the next entry. 

#4 Vegan margaritas

A margarita on this list? Really? It’s not as strange as it sounds. You can find many great recipes for fully vegan margaritas online, generally with coconut or pineapple juice. This means you can enjoy an alcoholic beverage free of pretty much any allergen. Not something we’d recommend that you chug, but you can make your next summer party a little fancier by whipping some of these out. 

#5 Cane sugar lemonade

When life gives you lemons… well, we already made that joke. But lemons and juices for detox just seem to be a great pairing. Of course, most store-bought lemonade is filled with artificial sugars. If you can get your hand on fresh juices, and some natural cane sugar, it shouldn’t be too difficult to make a healthier version. You can even get really creative with some of your fruit choices! 

#6 Chocolate milk

Hey, if we’re putting hot chocolate on this list, we should be allowed to put regular old chocolate milk on here. Chocolate milk being vegan seems too strange to you? It’s more achievable than you might think. There are plenty of great healthy vegan versions of the drink online. 

#7 Golden milk 

Do you know what’s better than chocolate milk? Golden milk. When it comes to benefits for your digestive system and reducing inflammation, this drink really is golden. The secret comes down to the ingredient that gives it that distinctive hue — turmeric. Our version even features some fresh ginger for a truly fantastic detox juice recipe, and an excellent golden alternative to our green drinks. 

#8 Ginger smoothies

Fresh ginger needs a lot more love in the world of healthy juicing. Its health benefits are incredible, and it’s terrific for boosting your immune system and helping calm down digestive issues. It’s not as hard to work into smoothies as you might think. Just check out our apple ginger apple berry smoothie for an example. 

#9 Celery juices

So, we’ve discussed some of the side effects of drinking celery juice in our experiment on the subject. We’re still not convinced celery juice can be a replacement for healthy green smoothies and juices for detox. Celery juice side effects can be pretty pronounced for some people, especially on an empty stomach. 

However, while it might not be a juice cleanse star, fresh celery juice is still a tasty treat for many people who enjoy something light and refreshing. To make it tasty, get creative with the ingredients. Adding in some lime is never a bad move

#10 Our Chef V green drink

Is it cheating ending our list like this? Maybe. But too often we only get to talk about our green drink (loaded with vitamins and minerals, of course) in the context of our blended juice cleanses. And in the role of a juice cleanse staple, it certainly does its job. From weight loss to managing blood sugar and high blood pressure, our green drink is always ready to go to bat for your health.

But that’s forgetting the fact that it’s also a delicious and healthy vegan drink option. It goes wonderfully with any meal, or any time of the day, not just for when you’re on your blended juice cleanse. Juices for detox don’t need to be just for detox. And with our Chef V Plan, you don’t even need to do any prep work yourself. Just build your plan, and get it delivered to your door. It’s that easy! 

Low Impact Outdoor Exercises to Pair With Your Green Drink

When you’re tackling something as ambitious as a 21 day juice cleanse for weight loss, it pays to be cautious with how active you are. However, you’re also probably eager to enjoy the great outdoors while the weather allows it. There’s no reason you can’t get out and active while on a juice cleanse diet to lose weight. You’ll just have to look for low-impact options — and we’ll give you some suggestions to get you started.

Exercising on a juice cleanse

A common question we get about juice cleanse diets is whether or not it’s okay to exercise while doing one. Thankfully, this is a question we’ve already answered. If you want the answer spoiled, it’s yes — sort of. 

While you’re on a juice cleanse for weight loss, your caloric intake will be much lower. That’s sort of the point, after all. If you’re mainly drinking juice, you’re simply not going to have the calories to undertake rigorous weightlifting or sprinting. 

However, it’s always vital to keep limber and moving. Hence the need for “low-impact” exercises that keep you active without risking your health while on your 21 day juice cleanse. But what sort of exercises are best when on the green drink? And which ones can you enjoy during the summer? 

Not everyone wants to be stuck inside walking on the treadmill when there’s sunshine and fresh air to enjoy. Outdoor exercises don’t have to mean running, of course. Here are some of our favorite suggestions.

#1 Walking

Why run when you can walk? Getting out for a brisk walk around the neighborhood is a great idea when you’re on a juice cleanse. If you’re taking a quick 3 day juice cleanse over the weekend, it’s a great excuse to relax and browse those local stores you’ve wanted to visit.

#2 Swimming

Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise, suitable even for people with joint pain. Its low-impact nature also translates well for people on low-calorie juice cleanse diets. But what makes swimming really great is how much more fun it is outside, at an outdoor pool, or even on the beach. 

#3 Kayaking

Rather be cruising over the water than in it? If you live near the water, we recommend kayaking as a wonderfully fun, low-impact exercise for those on a juice cleanse for weight loss. It’s much easier than it looks, and you can do it all while sitting down. Plus, if you’re lucky, you might spot some amazing aquatic wildlife.

#4 Golfing

There’s a perception among many that golf is only for the professionals or the wealthy. However, there may be more accessible clubs in your area than you realize. Even if you don’t want to go out for a full round of golf, driving ranges and minigolf offer a way to enjoy a low-impact activity. Golf is a great way to maintain balance, flexibility, and strength without straining yourself.

#5 Yoga

We couldn’t talk about exercise in a juice cleanse diet blog and not mention yoga. We’re already huge fans of mixing together yoga and green drink. Yoga is a wonderful way to get some low-impact stretching and exercise into your day, without putting too much strain on your body. Even in the midst of a 21 day juice cleanse, yoga is going to be an excellent option for anyone looking to be active. 

Of course, many of us do our yoga indoors, but that’s not a requirement. Anywhere you can take your yoga mat is a great place to enjoy yoga — and a great place to enjoy your green drink as well! Make sure to check out some of our other great blogs on the subject, too! 

These 6 Spice Ingredients Prevent Belly Bloating & Improve Digestion

spices for health at the holidays

If variety is the spice of life, I say a variety of spice ingredients is the key to a long, healthy life. Herbs and spices improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and may even prevent cancer, along with other benefits. I’ll share with you my favorite 6 herbs and spices for optimal digestive health.

Feeling a little bloaty and gassy? Having a hard time buttoning your jeans? The 6 ingredients – herbs and spices – I’m about to share with you can dramatically improve your digestion. These spices are so good for you I recommend using them every day.

Dandelion

Did a rich dessert back your system up? Then sip on some dandelion tea. The reason why is dandelion root is really good for relieving constipation. Not only that, it reduces the amount of time food sits in your belly. In fact, one study suggests it’s better than a drug at speeding up digestion.

And if you’re a little down in the dumps because you put on a couple pounds, here’s how else ingredients like dandelion help….

When we overindulge, it’s really easy for water and metabolic waste to accumulate in our digestive system. But dandelion comes to the rescue by acting as a diuretic, removing excess water from your gut.

dandelion

Turmeric

Is it me or is turmeric becoming more popular than ketchup? Turmeric has been blowing up the Internet because of its inflammation-fighting and blood-sugar lowering actions. But did you know it’s also great for digestion? Here’s why I love adding ingredients like turmeric spice to my smoothie, tea and meals….

Sometimes when we’re invited to a dinner party and eat something we don’t normally have, toots happen. It’s a part of life. Nonetheless, flatulence is embarrassing. But turmeric is a potent fart-fighter! The very uncomfortable post-meal combo of gas and bloating can be greatly reduced just by adding a teaspoon or two of turmeric.

Turmeric may prevent embarrassing gas and uncomfy bloating because it helps digest fats. It also helps your belly keep its supply of stomach acid. Many digestive problems are caused by not having enough digestive juices to break down food.

I realize it might not be practical for you to carry a bottle of turmeric spice in your purse to a dinner party. But you can easily drink some tea or a smoothie before you head out for the night. You can also take a turmeric supplement before the dinner party.

Keep in mind turmeric is fat-soluble. That means you need to consume a little fat in order for your body to absorb turmeric. That’s not a problem if you’re adding it to a meal. But if you’re having a smoothie, make sure you add a tablespoon of olive oil or other healthy fat.

My next favorite spice for digestion also helps your body absorb turmeric….

turmeric

Black Pepper

Without black pepper, your body doesn’t absorb turmeric very well. But adding just a pinch or two of this ingredient, fresh ground black pepper, can increase your body’s absorption of turmeric by 2,000%!

Not only that, there’s something in black pepper called piperine, which is great for digestion. It helps you break down all the tryptophan and other amino acids in holiday turkey. It also helps you get rid of excess water and it stimulates your belly’s release of hydrochloric acid, the main digestive juice in your gut.

But to get your belly feeling better with black pepper, don’t cook with it. Just sprinkle some fresh ground pepper corns in your tea or on your food.

black pepper

Ginger

ingredients: Ginger is Mother Nature’s weapon against indigestion, stomach pain and nausea. When I go for sushi, I always ask for extra ginger. Not only does it cleanse the palette in between bites of a rainbow roll, it’s also great for digestion. It helps move food through the digestive tract so all that rice and fish in the sushi doesn’t just sit in your gut for hours, leaving you bloated and gassy.

Here’s an easy digestion hack you can try with ginger that’s been used for thousands of years in India’s ancient traditional system of medicine (Ayurveda): try eating some fresh ginger slices about a half hour before your meal. This will activate your digestive fire. Or better yet, have a cup of ginger tea.

(If you take a blood-thinning drug, don’t use too much ginger as it can negatively interact with the medication.)

ginger root

Cardamom

I do love me a cup of low-sugar chai tea. Each sip delightfully awakens my taste buds. But more than that the ingredients in chai tea like cardamom are great for digestion. Cardamom is like ginger’s cousin. Like ginger, it can help prevent gas and bloating. There’s also some research that shows it can help if you have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Not only that it can help if you have belly cramps, diarrhea or constipation.

If your bottle of cardamom spice is gathering dust in your pantry, move it to front and center of your spice rack. And if your local coffee shop can do a low-sugar chai spice tea, go for it. Besides cardamom and cloves, traditional chai spices also include ginger  black pepper, and cinnamon.

Speaking of which, here’s the final of my favorite spices for digestion….

cardamon

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is an ingredient miracle. Not only can it make bland oatmeal taste great, it’s also good for digestion. It can help with indigestion, gas, heartburn, nausea and stomach cramps. Now, obviously, sprinkling cinnamon on stuffing, turkey or mashed potatoes is … let’s just say, weird.

But what you can easily do, if you know you’re going to be indulging, before you head out for the big holiday meal, is make a cup of tea and sprinkle some cinnamon in it. Or, you can make yourself a cup of Golden Milk.

Golden Milk (click here for my recipe) is a dairy-free drink that I make with almond milk and features several of the spices above. My recipe for Golden Milk includes turmeric, ginger and cinnamon, and of course, a pinch of fresh ground black pepper.

If you’re going to indulge a little, no worries, you’ll get back on track. Just make sure to start using these spices every day to help you digest those heavy meals.

Love,

Veronica (Chef V)

P.S. Having a daily 16 oz. serving of my Green Drink will also do wonders for your digestion. That’s how I start my day, even on the holidays.

Brandon, veronica and Coco

Foods and Detox Juices to Keep You Energized

Feeling sluggish throughout the day? Finding your focus slipping at work? Can’t be bothered to get to your workout when the day is done? Well, that can of energy drink isn’t the best option to beat the dreaded slump. Sometimes the natural choice is the best one. With certain foods, you can stay energized throughout the day because of how they’re absorbed by your body. This blog will cover all the essentials about food, drink and energy. 

Understand the glycemic index

Before we can get into the listing of food and green drink recommendations, it’s essential you understand the glycemic index. It’s an important index for anyone attempting a twenty-one-day cleanse, or any other adjustment to the number of carbs in their diet.

Let’s get back to basics. Your body is like an engine that needs fuel. We measure the power of this fuel in calories. Every calorie represents a little bit of energy provided to you. So you might think the answer is just to get as many calories as possible, right? Well, there’s a bit more complication here. Foods don’t just contain calories, after all. They also contain nutrients. We can divide nutrients into macronutrients and micronutrients. 

Micronutrients are the things that your body needs in small amounts. You probably know about vitamins and minerals. If the macronutrients are the fuel your body needs, micronutrients are like the oil; they keep everything running that little bit better. 

Macronutrients are what your body needs in bulk, and what you tend to be measuring. Indeed, we often worry about getting too many of these macronutrients. Worries about this is probably why you’re looking into things like twenty-one-day cleanses!

Macronutrients include proteins, fat, and carbohydrates. Even people who don’t know anything about nutrition have a general idea about carbs. You may be surprised to learn not all carbs are equal. Nutritionists often divide carbs into simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbs release their energy (calories, remember) faster into the body. This isn’t a benefit, however. Simple carbs release energy in short bursts, followed by the dreaded sugar crash.

Complex carbs take longer to digest. This means they give more sustainable energy over a longer period of time. 

The glycemic index (GI) is used to measure how complex the carbs in food are. If a food has a high GI, it means it’s more likely to cause wild blood sugar fluctuations. Low GI foods are better at giving sustainable energy levels throughout the day.

Foods for energy

Now that we understand the basics of how food gives you energy, we can start to better identify foods that will be fantastic energy boosters. These foods are those with a low GI, as well as a nice blend of macronutrients and micronutrients. For best results, eat a balanced diet to help mix those complex carbs with an excellent selection of different nutrients. 

Avocado

Very often, green is good when it comes to your food choices. People often think of leafy greens such as those found in green drinks. However, avocados are also an excellent food for boosting energy. Not only is it loaded with vitamins, but it also contains healthy fats. These help lower the GI and make them a great power food. 

Beans

Too often we might overlook the humble bean. However, most kinds of beans bring a great one-two punch when it comes to providing long-lasting energy. They give a lot of the important macronutrient protein and the gut digests them at a slow and steady pace, giving you a regular injection of energy throughout the day. 

Brown rice 

Brown rice is going on this list to make a particular point about how small food choices can have significant impacts. While white rice and brown rice may be similar in some respects, brown rice has a much lower glycemic index and is filled with fiber. This makes it great for your digestive system, as well as being great for energy and lowering blood pressure. 

Nuts

There are too many great nuts, seeds, drupes, and legumes to cover in just one blog. Let’s take the walnut as our poster child of this culinary food group. Walnuts are a great example of why it’s essential to understand the difference between calories and carbs. 

Walnuts are considered, for their size, a high-calorie food. But because of their low GI, they provide energy in a sustainable way, without much risk of sugar spikes or weight gain. They’re also great for heart health! 

Spinach

When it comes to the best in fruits and veggies, it’s hard to beat those leafy greens. There’s a reason we put things like kale and collard greens in our green drink after all! Spinach marks a good case study of the power of these leafy greens. The secret power of many of these leafy greens is that they contain a ton of iron, a vital micronutrient. Iron is essential in helping your blood carry oxygen around your body. This helps give you energy even during the most hectic of days. 

Water

Alright, so water isn’t a food. But this list wouldn’t be complete without emphasizing the incredible power of hydration when it comes to maintaining your energy levels. Water can be considered the “final ingredient” that brings the rest of a healthy diet together. Water helps carry all of those vital nutrients around your body. It also helps regulate their intake into your bloodstream, giving you better control of your blood sugar levels. Drinking plenty of water is excellent for managing appetite, as it fills you up, leaving less room for those unhealthy options. 

Keep energized with Chef V

Have you been snacking too much on foods with a high GI? Are you in a constant spiral of blood sugar crashes? Then it might be time to get your blood sugar back in order with our delicious green drinks. 

This detox juice won’t just help you with your weight loss. Our low-sugar green drink can also help you get your blood sugars under control. Whether you’re going for a twenty-one-day cleanse, or just want some tasty green drink, Chef V has you covered.

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

Why Eating “Clean Foods” Has Never Been More Important

Why Eating “Clean Foods” Has Never Been More Important

 There’s a clean food and drink movement brewing. More and more people are becoming conscious of how their food is made. There’s never been a better time to pay attention to every single thing that you chew and sip. That’s because consuming foods with toxic ingredients suppresses the immune system. 

But before you go assuming that certain foods are safe, do your research. Food labels, unfortunately, don’t always tell the whole story…

Drink Clean Green Drink! 

That’s what I’m all about when it comes to the 7 leafy greens in Chef V Organic Green Drink. I know exactly where these high nutrient-density, health-supporting veggies come from: local organic farms. 

So next time you’re in a supermarket, think about what you’re putting in your shopping cart. Are you 100% sure that there are no contaminants like heavy metals in the plastic-wrapped produce or veggie juice? 

Unfortunately, lots of people are still deceived by store-bought veggie juices. Most of them trick consumers into thinking they are healthy when in reality they are barely healthier than soda!

Here’s why most brand name juices aren’t healthy:

  • They are high-heat pasteurized. High heat pasteurization kills the compounds in the veggies that don’t appear on nutrition labels, most notably prebiotic fiber, which is like food for the bacteria in your gut. CHEF V GREEN DRINK is raw, meaning all the friendly bacteria remain intact, which is good for your gut, which in turn is good for your immune system!
  • They aren’t organic. Even if a veggie juice is low in sugar (most aren’t), if it contains non-organic produce, it will contain pesticides. With Covid-19, you want to minimize as much environmental pollutants as possible.
  • They are preserved. Ever wonder why a bottle of juice can stay good in your fridge for a long time. Yes, the refrigeration has something to do with it. But it’s also because of preservatives. CHEF V Organic Green Drink is always fresh, made-to-order and contains zero preservatives.

If you have any questions about how Green Drink is made, contact me at [email protected]. I promise full transparency.

I’m happy that more people these days are willing to pay more for healthier food and drinks. That’s why you’ll always find me shopping at local farmer’s markets. And with Chef V Organic Green Drink, I’m passing the health (and savings) directly on to you.

Clean Foods: No Glyphosate!

Consider hummus, one of the most popular dips and spreads that most people would consider healthy. Made from chickpeas, hummus should be a nutritious plant-protein-filled snack. But according to a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), several brands of hummus contain unhealthy levels of glyphosate. If you’re not familiar with glyphosate, it’s the world’s best-selling pesticide and herbicide. It was invented by the notorious Monsanto Corporation. Glyphosate has been linked to certain rare cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

The report revealed that nine out of 27 varieties of non-organic hummus far exceeded the EWG’s recommended threshold of 160 parts-per-billion. And sadly, these days, government agencies that are supposed to regulate industries for our safety are run by former executives of toxic industries. I’m not going to veer on a political rant; that’s not my thing. But when it comes to clean food, I have to speak up from time to time. So allow me to vent real quick on this issue: How insane is it that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now headed by someone who was a coal industry lobbyist?

Is it any coincidence that EPA says glyphosate is safe, and instead of 160 parts-per-billion, the agency’s safe threshold is 30 times greater than EWG’s: 5,000 ppb. 

And if you think a brand like Whole Foods sells safer hummus, think again. It actually tested highest among all the brands EWG analyzed. Even Whole Foods’ organic hummus contained 2,000 ppm. (In general, organic hummus contains far less glyphosate than non-organic.) 

Is the lesson here to never eat hummus or chickpeas again. No. But you might want to think again about how much of it you eat per day. 

The same is true about oatmeal and anything else with oats including granola bars. Popular breakfast cereals like Cheerios also contain the controversial weed killer. (You shouldn’t eat cereal for breakfast anyway. Instead, sip 16 oz of Green Drink. Then have a plant-based protein shake.)

Drink Clean Wine and Clean Veggies

Thanks in large part to actress Cameron Diaz, clean wine is a growing consumer trend. Her wine label, Avaline,  uses organic grapes produced in biodynamic soil. No synthetic chemicals or fertilizers are used. (In the winemaking industry, glyphosate isn’t spread directly on grapes or the vines but is applied on vineyard weeds.) 

Diaz’s goal in making clean wine is to provide full transparency to the wine making process. 

Look for These Green Flags in Your Green Drink

Picking the right green juice to cleanse with can be exhausting. This blog helps you look for some “green flags” to look out for. From weird preservatives to added sugars, what do you need to steer clear of? Beyond organic leafy greens, what do you need to include? In this blog, we’ll discuss green flags you need to be on the lookout for to find the best juices for detox. 

Organic

When is a juice not a juice? When it’s labeled a “beverage,” “cocktail,” or “drink.” Companies use these euphemisms to cover up the fact that what they sell isn’t pure juice. 

If you’re going for a juice cleanse, it’s always best to make it an organic juice cleanse. There are a few reasons for this. Organic juice cleanses have been less processed. This means it’s more likely that you’re getting the maximum amount of nutrients from all those vegetables and fruits. 

Processed foods found in non-organic green drinks can often have adverse effects on your health. These could include preservatives or added sugars for flavor. Plus, there are all the side benefits you get as well. Organic simply tastes fresher, hands down. It’s also more likely that organic green drinks were created in a sustainable manner, a bonus for the environmentally conscious. 

Leafy Greens

What would a green drink be without the greens? When examining the contents of a green drink, Look for the maximum nutritional value. If it’s just celery and cucumber it might taste fresh, but you won’t be getting the most nutritionally dense vegetables. Worse, “lighter” green drinks like this can often be a bit tough on the digestive system. 

What you’re looking for in the leafy greens are ingredients high in vitamins and minerals. The deeper and darker the green, the better. You want things like kale, collard greens, and chard. 

Low sugar

Often, our customers find us when looking for juices for detox to get their sugar levels under control. By slashing your sugar intake, you can get better control of your weight, your energy levels, and even your mood. Blood sugar can be a temperamental thing, however. Only through maintaining a low sugar intake can you get it to stabilize.

So why would you want to ruin your green drink by adding a lot of extra sugar? You could argue that it’s for the taste. It’s still possible to have a great-tasting green drink without loading up on the sugar. Take our own detox juice recipe. We add in just enough apple juice for an all-natural sweeter taste. 

Unpasteurized

When buying juice in the store, you probably want to go pasteurized. This means it’s more likely to have kept fresh while it was waiting for you on the grocery store shelf. 

However, if you’re getting juice for detox delivered right to your door, then it’s another story. Since the green drink is freshly made, and you’re going to drink it right away, you don’t need to worry as much about pasteurization. In fact, unpasteurized is often the better option. Pasteurization kills off harmful bacteria that can grow while waiting on the shelf. But it can also kill off good bacteria in your digestive system. The pasteurization process also mutes the delicious flavors of the fruits and veggies. 

Cold blended

You want to get the most out of those vegetable juices, don’t you? That’s why it’s vital you go for blended juice cleanse recipes over pressed juice cleanse recipes. Pressed juices might result in a “cleaner” end result, but you’re missing out on all the great stuff, like the pulp and seeds, which contains a lot of the nutritional value.

At Chef V, we’re very proud of the cold blended process that goes into creating every glass of our delicious green drink. We make sure you’re getting the absolute best experience when drinking green juice. That’s our guarantee — all green flags on your green drink, all the way. 

What Do I Eat Today – A Fresh Vegan Menu

what do I eat today retreat

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu is a bit different. It is focused on cooling, fresh, seasonal foods. And the entire menu is vegan.

Start your day with lemon water, then green drink. My Berry Parfait is a light 'begin' the day' breakfast. Try my chilled raw cucumber avocado gazpacho for a creamy, refreshing lunch. For dinner, grilled artichokes are so good! Serve them with my Green Soup recipe topped with lemon basil pesto made with fresh herbs.

lemon water

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

berry parfait

For Breakfast – Berry Parfait

My raw berry parfait is made with nuts. Here's a tip: many raw food recipes call for soaking nuts. Why? Soaking nuts (from 2 hours to overnight) improves  the flavor and  nutritional value of the nuts by releasing dust, residue and tannin into the water, leaving the nuts with a softer, buttery texture and increasing their digestibility. Never use the soak water – always discard it.

Get the recipe

For Lunch – Chef V's Raw Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho

Cool and creamy, soups are a great way to start a meal, but are also awesome as a main course. You can easily double or triple my recipe and have delicious leftovers. The beauty of my veggie-rich recipe is that its high water and fiber content slows how fast you eat and fills you up quicker.

Get the recipe

grilled artichoke

Dinner – Grilled Artichoke with Two Sauces 

Grilled artichokes, precooked and finished at the picnic. They’ll love these on the barbecue. Serve with my two vegan sauces:  Raw Horseradish Mayonnaise, and  Vegan Herb Aioli.

Get the recipe

Also for Dinner – Green Soup with Lemon Basil Pesto

Green veggies are central to this recipe, full of vitamins. Cannellini beans add fiber and richness. A lovely soup for celebrating the end of winter, the bounty of summer crops, or anytime you crave something super fresh and seasonal.

Get the recipe

Why Eating Seasonally Is Important For Our Health (And the Earth’s)

You’re starting to watch what you eat. You’ve reduced added sugars, alcohol and gluten. Now it’s time to step your healthy eating up a notch by eating seasonally. Here’s why it matters and why you—and planet Earth—will benefit. 

It’s healthy to be a nutrition skeptic. For instance, does eating organic food really matter? I remember a handful of years ago there was a media assault against organic food and how it really was no more nutritious than non-organic food. Yet those reports barely ever mentioned the greatest selling point of organic food: it contains way less chemicals.

But what about eating seasonally? Thanks to global trade, we can enjoy any single food at any time of year. Does it really matter if you’re eating foods grown locally to your region and in season? What’s wrong with eating bananas or pineapples in winter even if you live in Alaska?

Eating foods out of season and eating foods that aren’t locally grown isn’t a high crime and misdemeanor. But I’d like to share with you some food for thought on why eating seasonally is good for your physical health. And, of course, in season/local is so much better for the environment.

The Health Benefits Of Eating Seasonally

Now that it’s summer you’re probably craving lots of raw foods like salad. This time of year, I love topping my homemade salads with a handful of berries. Strawberry slices are my favorite. Now, I rarely eat cheese. But on the rare occasion that I do, I’ll add a little crumbled feta and the juxtaposition of this creamy cheese with strawberry slices is just heaven.

But there’s more to the benefits of eating strawberries in the summer than the taste. Not only are berries more flavorful now than in winter, they are also higher in antioxidants. The more naturally sweet and fresher the taste, the more disease-fighting plant chemicals are contained in the fruit.

This is super important if you worship the sun. You’ll need that extra dose of flavonoids and carotenoids to help prevent a sunburn—and detox from the previous night’s party perhaps.

Have you ever purchased strawberries in winter from a supermarket and felt like you were getting ripped off? Not necessarily because the price was so high (although now with inflation, that could certainly be the case)… Rather it’s because it had virtually no taste.

The longer produce has been plucked from the ground or the vine, the more it loses its taste and its nutritional quality.

Eat Fruit That’s In Season To Avoid Chemicals

While eating strawberries in winter is better for your health than eating a Big Mac, you’d be better off eating citrus fruit in winter, when oranges and the like are at their ripest and most nutrient dense. In addition to berries, another type of fruit I’ll be eating more of this time of year are stone fruits (fruits with pits) like apricots, peaches and plums.

I’m blessed to live in San Diego (with the exception of the ridiculous cost of living) because there’s access to delicious produce year-round because of the long growing season. But even in San Diego, I’ve learned to stay away from certain fruits and veggies at the local farmer’s markets. You can ask the farmers what’s in season if you’re not sure.

Another great way to make sure you’re getting access to the freshest and therefore most nutrient-dense produce is to join a CSA (community supported agriculture). Just like my Organic Green Drink delivery, a CSA will drop off a box of the freshest, in-season produce right to your home.

Think about all the time—and greenhouse-emitting gas—it takes for produce to reach your home. Blueberries from Chile? Tomatoes from Mexico? How does that produce stay seemingly fresh for so long?

The dirty little secret is that many types of produce are sprayed with chemicals like sulfur dioxide and benzoic acid. (Ethical Foods has a great post about the chemicals that are sprayed on produce to keep them fresh. Seriously, just scan the article and you’ll get inspired to buy locally and in season.)

Eating Seasonally Benefits The Soil

Besides all the fossil fuel it takes to get imported produce to market, there’s another benefit to eating in-season and local produce: it’s better for the soil. Monoculture farming, which as it sounds, means that only one major crop is grown like corn, soy or wheat. This practice is terrible for the soil because the soil never gets a chance to regenerate and regrow essential minerals. Not to mention the fact that monoculture farming uses herbicides and pesticides.

But seasonal farming gives the soil a break so that minerals can grow back richer than ever and benefit our health. And the cherry on top is that eating produce that’s grown locally and in-season requires less water.

How to Prevent Heat Exhaustion With Food and Drink

With summer approaching, the likelihood of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and dehydration increases. Forgetting the suitable precautions can result in severe complications if not looked out for. This blog helps you stay on top of your summer with all the tips you need to prevent heat exhaustion. Make sure summer is time for fun and games, not for dehydration!

Difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Before discussing ways to prevent heat exhaustion, it’s vital you understand the difference between this condition and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is linked not just to the temperature, but to your hydration levels. Heat stroke, meanwhile, is connected to your body’s ability to control its heat.

Heat exhaustion is caused when your body loses too much water and salt. Heat exhaustion is caused by exposure to high temperatures, especially when doing physical activity or not getting enough to drink. In these conditions, your body will sweat out its water and salt content, leaving you deprived. The effects of heat exhaustion are caused by withdrawal from these essential substances. 

Heat stroke is generally considered a much more severe condition. It’s caused by similar conditions to heat exhaustion. However, heat stroke is a more extreme example, where your body temperature rises to over 104F (40C). Under these circumstances, the body can no longer properly regulate its heat. This poses a serious medical risk and can require hospitalization. 

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Just because heat exhaustion is less severe than heat stroke doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about it. Heat exhaustion can be dangerous if left unchecked. Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include any or all of the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness upon standing
  • Muscle cramping
  • Nausea
  • Weak, fast pulse

Tips for preventing heat exhaustion

Want to know the best way to beat heat exhaustion? Avoid the heat! If you stay inside, or in the shade, you’ll be safe. Of course, sometimes this isn’t an option. Water will be your best friend here. Get plenty of hydration, whether through plain water or green drinks. Hydration is one of the major benefits of juicing, after all. 

If you do start to feel the effects of heat exhaustion, that means it’s time to take a break from what you’re doing. Grab some green drink, find some shade, and let yourself cool down. 

Prevent heat exhaustion with these foods

Hydrating with a green drink during a heat wave makes sense. But did you know there are foods that have heat-beating properties as well? Eating these foods is a great way to prevent heat exhaustion symptoms. Of course, make sure you’re getting plenty of water and green juice at the same time!

Banana

One of the main symptoms of heat exhaustion is cramping. If you eat foods high in potassium, you can alleviate this cramping. Potassium also helps regulate fluid inside our cells, helping out the sodium in our body. So, any foods high in potassium are going to be great to eat during a hot day.

Few foods are as famous for their potassium content as bananas. Not only are they great for you, but bananas can easily be turned into a variety of frozen treats for those hotter months. 

Chocolate milk

Really? Chocolate milk? This beverage has been a secret favorite among many athletes. But what made it jump from school lunch boxes to the sports field? 

The secret is that it includes electrolytes, substances your body needs to provide energy in your cells and muscles. Electrolytes as a category include substances such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, and, yes, potassium. Chocolate milk manages to have all of this.

While you shouldn’t be drinking chocolate milk constantly during the day, a little bit after some heavy exercise can help balance your electrolyte levels. 

Coconut water

Not a big chocolate milk fan? Then you might want to check out coconut water as a summer beverage. Like chocolate milk, coconut water is packed with electrolytes. It also has a bunch of natural sugars and easily digestible carbohydrates that help refresh you. It goes great on its own, or as part of a smoothie

Kiwi 

Not a big fan of bananas? There’s another potassium champ waiting out there you may not have thought of. Kiwi fruits are a delightful green fruit, are full of water, and, yes, are excellent sources of potassium. They’re also amazingly tasty and go well with tons of summer dishes. 

Pears

If you’re looking for another fruit that’s full of water then you can’t go wrong with pears. What’s especially great about pears is that not only do they have a lot of water in them, but they contain a good amount of fiber. This means they’re great for your digestive system as well as being a way to prevent heat exhaustion. 

Watermelon 

It has “water” right in its name, so what’s not to love? There’s more than just being over 90% water going for watermelons, however. Not only are they high in electrolytes, but they also contain antioxidants which are good for keeping down inflammation and cramping. Best of all, watermelon is flexible. Eat it as is, mix it into your salsa, or toss it on the grill! 

Refresh with Chef V’s organic juice cleanse

Looking for a way to stay hydrated and lose weight this summer without sweating yourself to heat exhaustion? Why not look into one of our great organic juice cleanses? The benefits of juicing let you shed pounds without relying on heavy and potentially dangerous hot-weather exercise. So grab your green drink, enjoy some light workouts, and most of all, stay hydrated!

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

Green Soup with Lemon Basil Pesto

Green veggies are central to this recipe, full of vitamins. Cannellini beans add fiber and richness. A lovely soup for celebrating the end of winter, the bounty of summer crops, or anytime you crave something super fresh and seasonal.

green soup

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup leeks, thinly slicec
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 7 thyme sprigs, divide use
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves

BASIL PESTO

  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons cold-pressed olive oil

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery, leeks, garlic, and sea salt. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the stock, water, and 3 thyme sprigs.

Cover and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the peas, green beans, and cannellini beans. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Stir in the spinach.

Make the basil pesto sauce. Process all of the pesto ingredients in a Vitamix until smooth.

Ladle the soup into 4 bowls. Top each with the pesto and thyme sprigs and serve.

Chef V Cleanse: Ambika is feeling Healthy!

Chef V Cleanse - Ambika Leigh is feeling healthy

Thank you Ambika for this generous review – and congratulations on your healthy success!

Ambika says:

Do you ever want to just hit a pause button and stop questioning everything you put in your mouth and feeling crappy all the time because you've fallen in to unhealthy patterns and aren't sure how to turn them around with just your will power alone?? Well then I have just the thing for you!! ????

Check out the @ChefVlife Cleanse!!

No, this isn't some weird paid ad (I'm not cool enough for that, though I will get a $25 credit for anyone who purchases with this link, so thanks in advance). I'm just excited to finally share about it, since a few days ago I finished their 5-day cleanse for the 10th time (!!) and yet again I'm feeling FANTASTIC!!

The first one I did in early 2017 rocked my world so I committed to doing it 3x a year (January, May, September), and I haven't missed one yet. And I wouldn't at this point since I crave it so gotdamn much… I crave having the well thought-out, well-balanced and easy-to-follow support structure to help me hit that pause button amidst a busy and distracted life and reset my body chemistry back to its optimal state.

Chef V Cleanse ingredients

And they make it so easy (no juicing or cooking or other mess necessary) that as long as you have a little jingle to put towards yourself and jump-starting healthier habits, this is truly a no-brainer.

When you include the pre and post cleanse diet (ya gotta ease in and out, very important), it's about 10-12 days (or more if you can keep it going) of no alcohol, sugar, dairy, fried foods, caffeine, wheat, soy, etc (basically like the Whole 30 diet).

So it's an excellent time to get rid of cravings and reboot your metabolism and yes of course evaporate some extra fat molecules you may or may not feel burden your beautiful body. All while not missing a day of work (I even worked on set for 2 days during this last one). It's such a well-designed program and you drink so much liquid all day that you never have a chance to feel hungry!! I can barely finish the soup at night because I'm so full. Which is INSANE!!!

Each of the 10 times I've done it now, without fail, I have felt incredibly light and clear and ENERGETIC. Not like I could go run a marathon or deadlift a horse (I mean why) but like buzzing with focus and productivity. Kinda like mainlining caffeine, but way less dysfunctional.

Point is – if you've been thinking about giving your body a break/boost, I highly recommend this particular cleanse to help you do that. I'm officially a self-proclaimed veteran now so feel free to reach out to me with any questions!! And don't forget to use my referral link please. Mama gotta support her ready-made cleansing addiction ????: https://chefv.com/?raf=ref9152459

Diet and Juicing for Allergies

Seasonal changes often adversely affect people with allergies. Allergy season can be difficult, but there are ways to ease the impacts of hay fever this season. From natural remedies to Chef V’s juices, get ahead of allergy season with this blog. 

What causes allergies?

When we’re talking about allergies, it’s essential to understand our terms. An allergy simply refers to a condition where your body’s immune system goes into overdrive in reaction to a substance. 

However, when we talk about “allergies” we often refer to hay fever. This is the colloquial name for the medical condition known as “allergic rhinitis.” If you’ve had hay fever, you’ll recognize it instantly. The sneezing, the running nose, and the itchy and watery eyes are not a fun time. 

This condition crops up every spring or summer for many people. But why? Well, there are a few things that trigger hay fever. Generally, it’s caused by an allergic reaction to something floating in the air. This could be dust, mold, or the skin particles of animals like cats and dogs. But the major culprit behind hay fever is pollen from trees and flowers. As plants bloom in spring, many of us get a slight whiff of pollen and immediately develop intense hay fever. 

How to deal with hay fever

Many of us scramble to get expensive medication as soon as hay fever kicks in. But are there other ways to mitigate it? One way to cut back on the effects of hay fever while in the home is to be more rigorous in your cleaning. 

Use hypoallergenic bedding that’s washed regularly, and have a well-ventilated living space. If you have pets, clean them and their bedding frequently. However, did you know you can also help fight hay fever through what you eat and drink? Here’s where juices for allergies come into play.

Hay fever-busting foods

So what kinds of foods and drinks can help beat hay fever? You might be surprised to learn that green drinks and raw juice cleanses are great options. But why is this?

Green drinks keep you hydrated. Dehydration tends to make allergic reactions far worse. This is why you often have really bad stuffiness on spring mornings before you get your first drinks. Stay hydrated with green drinks.

Green drinks usually include foods known as alkalines. These include apples and leafy greens, such as parsley and watercress. It’s still being studied, but there seems to be evidence these alkaline foods help reduce the severity of allergies. They’re often high in immune boosters.

But it’s not just the juice! There are a plenty of foods that have allergy-busting properties. These include some of the following.

Garlic: Is there anything garlic can’t do? Garlic is excellent for fighting against all that extra mucus you’re collecting in your sinuses during an allergic reaction. 

Ginger: While garlic helps fight off the mucus, ginger swoops in to help deal with the swelling and irritation caused by allergies.

Onions: Onions contain quercetin, a compound linked to the allergy-busting abilities of apples. Quercetin is believed to mute the severity of allergic reactions from your cells. 

Turmeric: When it comes to spices, little is more terrific than turmeric. Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, helping you beat the worst that hay fever throws at you. 

Beat allergy season with Chef V green drink and detox soups

Apart from being delicious, do you know what all the ingredients mentioned above have in common? You can find them in the Chef V raw juice cleanse! Between our green drinks and flavorful detox soups, you get the full power of some of the most effective allergen busters. So don’t dread the arrival of spring and summer. Hit that warm weather in the best health possible. 

Lemon Juice & Water Daily Detox

Lemon Juice & Water Daily Detox: The Absolute Easiest, Cheapest Way

When life hands you lemons, detox that bitterness away with … no, not lemonade — that’s got way too much sugar — lemon juice and water. It’s so simple, but it’s the easiest way to support your body’s natural detoxification process. Learn about the research-backed health benefits of lemon juice and the other best and easiest thing you can do to become a highly-efficient fat-burning machine….

I get the meaning of the maxim, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

Lemons are associated with being sour, bitter, and pessimistic in the common expression.

Kind of like bitter beer face – But I love lemons, bitterness and all.

And every morning, first thing after I wake up, I squeeze a little bit of lemon juice in a cup of warm or hot water. It doesn’t just make the water taste better. I do it because it’s the easiest way to kick-start cleansing and detoxing.

Don’t just take my work for it. Research proves that lemon juice assists in the body’s detoxification process….

lemons

Health Benefits of Lemon Juice

This study in Nutrition Research suggests that lemon juice can help you lose both weight and body fat.

Most studies involving natural, plant-based ingredients use animals as test subjects. But in this study, the participants were 84 women. The ladies were  given a drink containing lemon juice and organic syrups (maple and palm) for 7 days.

I’m not a fan of ultra low-protein, no-food diets lasting longer than one or two days. (Which is why in my Cleanse programs, you get high-protein vegan-friendly shakes.)

Nonetheless, the lemon-sipping ladies in the study also experienced lower blood sugar levels. Another benefit of drinking lemon juice, according to the study, is lower levels of leptin.

Leptin is a hunger hormone. In people who are overweight or have obesity, leptin levels are very high. As a consequence, the brain doesn’t receive the signal to stop eating.

The cherry on top from the study was that the women’s immune systems were stronger and they had lower levels of inflammation.

CRP Blood test

Feeling Backed Up? Drink Lemon Juice!

There are lots of studies proving that lemon juice helps the body shed fat. But all I can say is that if you start drinking water with some lemon juice every morning, you’ll notice some cool things happen.

If you drink a cup of water with lemon juice and wait about 20-30 minutes and then have my Organic Green Drink (7 of the planet’s best leafy green veggies for detoxing), you’re going to experience:

  • Healthier looking skin
  • Better digestion and elimination (less constipation)
  • More energy
  • Less hunger
  • Sharper concentration and focus

But make sure you don’t eat right away after having the lemon juice and water. In fact, for optimal fat-burning and detoxing, drink 16 oz. of Green Drink after the lemon water, and don’t eat your first meal of the day until 11 a.m. or later. This is one of the easiest tips for successful cleansing.

lemon juice & water

Got High Blood Sugar? Drink Lemon Juice

Green leafy veggies, like the 7 different kinds in my Green Drink, are the absolute best thing for supporting the body’s detoxification process.

But in my opinion, the next best thing is drinking water with lemon juice every day. It’s so easy to do.

And for the almost 90 million people with prediabetes and additional 30 million people with type 2 diabetes, drinking lemon juice is an easy way to manage blood sugar levels.

In fact, the American Diabetes Association includes lemons on its list of beneficial foods for diabetes.  The vitamin C in lemons can help improve your fasting blood sugar levels as well as the amount of fats circulating in your blood (triglycerides).

Studies on vitamin C also link the antioxidant to lower insulin resistance. When your body is more resistant to insulin, your body needs to produce more of it to lower your blood sugar levels. That’s not good. Over time, your body may not be able to produce insulin and type 2 diabetes develops.

lemon juice and diabetes

Lemon Juice & Green Drinks: The Easiest Way To Detox The Body

Don’t waste your money on expensive detox supplements.

As a certified nutritional therapist, I have done the research on pretty much every detox product on the market.

I have yet to encounter a more powerful and cost-effective one-two punch than lemon juice and green-leafy veggies for detoxifying the body.

And the easiest way to get your daily dose of green, leafy veggies is by letting Chef V deliver fresh, organic Green Drinks right to your door. The veggies in my green drinks are sourced from local farmer’s markets.

Go ahead and drink lemon juice water and Green Drink every day for a week. I guarantee that you’ll feel so much better adopting this easy routine in your life.

To your health,

Chef V

Chef V

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.