Tag: nutrition

Glyphosate: Should You Panic If It’s Not Organic?

glyphosates

Weeds drive every gardener, landscaper, groundskeeper and farmer crazy. Besides looking bad, weeds rob ornamental plants of nutrients like nitrogen and potassium (plants need potassium, too!), making them susceptible to diseases and becoming infested with insects. For farmers, weeds are a threat to their livelihood, harming both livestock and crops.

But in pursuit of eradicating weeds from the Earth, are we unwillingly poisoning ourselves? Glyphosate is the main active ingredient in the world’s most popular herbicide: Roundup Weed Killer.

Over 125,000 people have sued the Monsanto Corporation, inventor of both glyphosate and Roundup, alleging that the weed killer causes a particular type of cancer known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. (Monsanto is the inventor of another deadly herbicide used during the Vietnam War that killed hundreds of thousands: Agent Orange.)

Sales of Roundup Weed Killer skyrocketed in the mid-1990s, after Monsanto, through genetic engineering, created Roundup-ready crops. Roundup-ready crops such as soy, corn and cotton, are resistant to glyphosate.

Monsanto, the evil corporation that also engineered seeds that don’t reproduce after the first growth. That means most farmers have to buy seeds from Monsanto every year and apply more Roundup Weed Killer to their crops.

Round Up

Glyphosate Contamination In Food

What does this mean for you even if you’re a klutzy green thumb like me and can barely manage to keep a succulent alive? Well, you do eat, don’t you? And unless you’re eating organic 100% of the time, you definitely have glyphosate in your system. Almost every food is contaminated with glyphosate, which was listed in 2015 as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency on Cancer Research, (IACR) which functions under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Only three out of the more than 125,000 Roundup lawsuits have gone to trial. All three trials were wins for plaintiffs, including the case of Dwayne “Lee” Johnson. Johnson was a former groundskeeper in the San Francisco Bay Area who used Roundup on the school grounds where he worked.

One day, Johnson claims he spilled the weed killer on his body. This incident, and the fact that he used it for many years, caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells. Johnson was the first plaintiff to take Monsanto to court. His initial award of $289 million (twice reduced to the current sum of $20 million) opened the floodgates for people to sue Monsanto.

But the crazy thing is, despite the IACR’s designation of glyphosate as probably carcinogenic and the over 125,000 Roundup cancer lawsuits, herbicides with glyphosate are still for sale in the U.S. That’s right, a chemical that one of the leading cancer research groups in the world concluded most likely causes cancer in humans, is still on the marketplace. And you’re being exposed to it everyday even if you’re not a farmer or landscaper.

glyphosates in foods

Foods With Glyphosate

It would be easier to list foods that don’t contain the toxic weed killer. That’s because it’s pretty much pervasive in the entire food supply. If you need yet another reason to avoid heavily-processed and packaged food, add glyphosate to the list. Foods high in calories, salt and sugar, and low in nutrients are made with the two most heavily-sprayed crops: corn and soy.

Speaking of soy, with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I think more focus needs to be placed on glyphosate contributing to disease in women. There’s no conclusive evidence to link glyphosate with breast cancer, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it at least contributes to it.

Soybean oil is a cheap vegetable oil (like canola) that food manufacturers use, adding hydrogen to it to preserve the shelf life of the packaged food. Consuming lots of foods with soy can cause estrogen dominance, which is linked to breast and ovarian cancer.

So it might not be the glyphosate itself that causes female cancers. It could be that too much soy is the problem.

But it stands to reason that glyphosate, which is sprayed on every non-organic soy crop, just may be contributing to breast cancer.

Besides soy and corn (and corn’s derivatives like high fructose corn syrup and maltodextrin), glyphosate is in oats, rice, almonds, sunflower seeds, granola bars and cereals.

shopping bag of veggies

How To Avoid Glyphosate

You can’t completely avoid glyphosate. But you can minimize your exposure to it by not eating chips, crackers, cereal, and other processed foods.

A few years ago, there was a big news item about organic produce not being more nutritious than non-organic fruits and vegetables. While it’s true that an organic orange might have the same vitamin C content as its non-organic counterpart, comparing organic to non-organic is like comparing apples to oranges. One of the biggest reasons to buy organic is that when you do so, you’re consuming a fruit or veggie that hasn’t been sprayed with a pesticide or herbicide (glyphosate is considered both!). Ingesting foods that have been sprayed with toxic chemicals every single day for years on end … well, I’m no scientist, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s not good for your health.

Sure, it may cost more to purchase organic produce, organic grains, and organically-grown nuts and seeds (and organic nut milks). But isn’t your health worth a few extra bucks?

As a small business owner, getting organically-certified is an expense well worth it. I want to give my Organic Green Drink customers the comfort of knowing that when they consume the 7 leafy greens every morning, the health benefits from the produce aren’t diminished by toxic pesticides.

30-Day Green Drink Challenge: Improve your Health

30 day green drink challenge

There’s never been a more important time to stay healthy. Whether we are stuck at home or able to start getting out and about, we need to do everything we can to eat healthy and get all the nutrients we need.

There’s a simple way to feel energetic, focused, healthy – and even slim down: replace breakfast with my Green Drink or Tropical Smoothie for 30 Days. I invite you to take the 30 Day Green Drink Challenge. (It’s actually not that challenging but if you complete the challenge you’ll be amazed at your health.)

added sugars

How it used to be: your alarm clock springs you into fight or flight mode at the ungodly hour of 6:00 a.m. so you can get to work or school in time. You shower, get dressed and devour a donut, bagel, muffin, or toast, and wash it down with orange juice.

And then, a couple hours later, you start yawning because the sugar rush from your high-carb breakfast has worn off. Thank God for coffee, right? Otherwise, there’s no way you’d be able to make it through a whole day of work. That’s why God also invented cup numbers two and three of coffee…

How it is now: you get up when you want and have breakfast at home. Starbucks is a memory and you are making your own breakfast every day.

If you can relate, the truth is I can’t cure Conronavirus and get you out of your house. But what I can do is show you how to easily boost your energy in the morning and lose weight by doing just one thing:

Skipping breakfast.

Instead of eating breakfast, drink it.

If you skip breakfast and for 30 days replace it with my Green Drink or Tropical Smoothie  you are going to experience an amazing transformation in your physique and overall sense of wellness.

Are you up for the 30 Day Green Drink Challenge? Order your Green Drink Plan and we’ll get started together.

When you start a Green Drink Challenge, you sign up for a Plan and choose your bottle size. A green drink Plan gives you 112 oz a week in 16 oz bottles or 128 oz in 64 oz bottles. That extra 16 oz comes in handy when you want a bonus burst of health! Whichever you choose, you are in for a superb experience!

Chef V green drink

Why Breakfast is Overrated

Wait a sec … isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day?

The answer is, yes, breakfast is super important. But only when you break your fast with with tons of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and prebiotic fiber, which is great for your gut bacteria.

My Green Drink contains seven certified organic green, leafy veggies. All seven of these veggies contain these nutrients.

Compare that to the donuts, etc. that are all part of the SAD (Standard American Diet).
There are few acronyms more appropriate than SAD! (Can I get an “amen” on that?)

For years, maybe you’ve been eating breakfast that’s loaded with empty calories and lots of sugar. Very few people break their fast with, say, steamed spinach and cauliflower. Some people may have fruit in the morning, which is certainly healthier than cereal and other high-starch carbs. And sure, eating a handful of blueberries or an organic apple is healthy.

But the reason I created my Green Drink several years ago is to provide people with a quick, on-the-go, mega-dose source of nutrients.

And I guarantee you that if you ditch your bagel, toast, cereal, and other typical breakfast foods for Green Drink, and do so for 30 days, you will have:

  • less cravings (for empty carb snacky foods)
  • more energy
  • more focus and concentration
  • looser-fitting clothes.

Below, check out K.I.’s success with Green Drink.

nutrition facts label

The Challenge of the 30 Day Green Drink Challenge

If going 30 days without eating food for breakfast sounds challenging, I have some advice for you that should put your fears to rest….

It’s true that if your diet contains lots of white and wheat flour, your gut bacteria (especially candida albicans yeast) will tell your brain to feed you more of it.

It might be challenging for a couple days to ignore your junk-food craving gut bacteria. But if you can wrap it around your head that it’s not true hunger your experiencing, only a message from your bad bacteria, you will feel more empowered to ignore the message.

And drinking a 16-oz. serving of Green Drink will feed your good bacteria with the prebiotic fiber needed to overpower and quiet the bad bacteria.

The good news is that if you want to eat solid food as well in the morning, you can do it with my healthy breakfast eating guide.

The healthy breakfast guide contains recipes for my Easy Healthy Cereal, Avocado Toast, and Smoked Salmon. It also has several low-sugar smoothie recipes if you want to switch things up. Check out my most popular smoothie, the Ginger Apple Berry Smoothie.

What Can The 30 Day Green Drink Challenge Do For You?

The 30 Day Green Drink Challenge is a new concept. My intention in creating the challenge was to introduce people to healthier habits without having to do a 3, 5 or 7 day cleanse or the 21 Day Detox.

You can certainly do the 30 Day Green Drink Challenge as well as a cleanse or detox. (If you’re doing the 21 Day Detox, having Green Drink for 9 more days will be easy peasy; you’ll crave it!)

But just replacing your normal breakfast for Green Drink for 30 days is one of the easiest things you can do to transform your health.

(And if you combine the 30 Day Challenge with Intermittent Fasting you might lose so much weight you’ll need to buy new clothes!)

But don’t take the benefits of Green Drink only from me. Here are a few satisfied Chef V customer’s opinions about Green Drink on our Yelp profile.

“I’ve been buying Chef V Green Drink and I love it.  My husband has started drinking it, too. Like me, he enjoys drinking it and also it is helping him with his stomach issues.  Initially,  I did the “21-day challenge obsessive” and I lost weight.  Then,  bought a weekly subscription.”— Lal C

“What can I say – I love Chef V’s green drink! They use the best of best ingredients (trust me, I have been in their kitchen) and their delivery service is superb. The cost of their products is very affordable. I used to make my own green drink, but once I did the math, it was clear to me that I was spending more by making my own then by purchasing from this company. I have had a monthly green drink subscription and I have completed a few of the their 3 and 5 day cleanses – the results of speak for themselves.” — Allison I.

“I absolutely love my Green Drink, it tastes amazing and the health benefits are real. I take a medication that causes high cholesterol, and six months of drinking one every day has normalized my cholesterol! I appreciate the single serving too, so easy to drink!” — Heather D.

Reset Your Metabolism & Banish Sugar Addiction

I hope you’ll accept my invitation to do the 30 Day Green Drink Challenge.

If you have a sensible lunch and dinner, there’s no easier way to give your digestive system a reboot and end your cravings for sugary snacks once and for all.

Good luck on the 30 Day Green Drink Challenge!

(You won’t really need it; it’s that easy.)

To your health….

Love,

Chef V

Easy Weight Loss: Eat 2 Big Salads a Day

leaky gut

Looking forward to getting your vaccination and going out again?  Did you indulge and eat lots of high calorie food during the dark days of social distancing? No worries! But now that isolation is almost over, are you still eating and drinking like the sweatpants and scrunchie days of COVID? If so, it’s time to get serious about slimming down. Seeing friends and going out for fun is just around the corner and you want to fit into those skinny jeans! I have the easiest solution for dropping a size within one week….

added sugars

Get Slim & Sexy With Intermittent Fasting & 2 Salads A Day

A ridiculously easy and satisfying way to lose body fat just in time for prime bikini season is by fasting for 16 hours from the time you finish dinner until you break the fast the next day.

Fasting 16 hours a day offers numerous health benefits, including burning visceral abdominal fat (the unflattering kind that’s associated with health problems such as type 2 diabetes).

Another simple way to boost your fat loss potential even more is by eating 2 salads (one for lunch, the other for dinner). Really. That’s all it takes.

But you can’t just eat iceberg lettuce. The salad has to be nutritiously-dense. That means you need to include 3 things in your salad:

  1. Dark leafy greens: arugula, spinach, mixed greens, etc.
  2. Healthy fats: nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil
  3. Lean protein.

leaky gut

Here’s what I like to put in my everyday salad:

  • Dark leafy greens (mixed greens)
  • Carrots (I like chopped baby carrots for the crunch)
  • Peas (easily digestible vegan source of protein)
  • Sunflower seeds (raw is best)
  • “Krumbs” (vegan-friendly croutons made from cashews and nutritional yeast)
  • Cucumbers
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar (choose one with grape must as the first ingredient, not the cheaper wine vinegar)
  • Strawberries, blueberries or pomegranates

After you fast for 16 hours and have something light for breakfast, you might think that eating a watermelon salad won’t satisfy your hunger for the first meal of the day. Well, think again. Watermelon actually fills you up fast. The combination of water and fiber in the fruit slightly expands your belly. Plus, the almond cheese and macadamia nuts are filling and contain both healthy dietary fat and protein.

My mason jar salad recipes are great for a busy day – just pack a mason jar with ingredients and GO.

nutrition facts label

Best Summer Salads To Keep You Full and Lean

In summertime, I love adding fruit to my salad. But notice I didn’t say that I love fruit salads. Of course, eating a serving or two of fruit is super healthy. Fruit salads, however, are 100% carbohydrates. The problem with fruit salad is many times, the serving size is enormous, and there is no dietary fat or protein to balance out the carbs.

So when you make a salad, the base of it (the main ingredient) should always be leafy greens.

My favorite fruits to top on a salad are blueberries, strawberries or pomegranates.

If you’ve never added pomegranates to a salad, you’re going to love it.

Besides the perfect balance of sweet and tart, these tiny little pellets of goodness offer numerous health benefits.

Want a recipe for the perfect summer salad with pomegranates?

Check out my Superfood Power Salad here.

Easy Green Salad Recipe

For now, I’ll leave you with one more awesome summer salad recipe that’ll fill your belly and contribute to a slimmer waistline.

This Easy Green Salad  contains healthy fat from avocado, and high-fiber kidney beans. If you have high blood sugar, kidney beans are the perfect food for managing glucose levels. Not only that, they provide a creamy mouthfeel that counteracts the crunchy greens.

For any of my salad recipes if you feel like you need more protein, you can simply top off the salad with canned wild salmon, tuna fish, chopped egg whites or a lean, organic meat like turkey breast.

See if you can go a week or fasting for 16 hours and eating a salad for lunch and dinner. Take a before/after selfie in a swimsuit. If you don’t eat any snacks and just have the 2 salads per day and nothing else (with the exception of Chef V’s Organic Green Drink, Protein Shake, Detox Soup and Detox Tea when you break your fast), there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to look leaner in that bikini.

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.

Throw Out These Cancer Causing Products

pthalates in childrens toys

above, toys seized by US Customs for excessive levels of phthalates

No shocker here: diet plays a big part in avoiding symptoms that indicate that it’s time to detox

(I talked about these symptoms in my post about leaky gut.)

But there’s more to cleansing and detoxing the body than Organic Green Drinks, Detox Soups, and ultra clean vegan Protein Shakes

To give your liver a reset and help it more efficiently remove toxins and excess stored body fat, you need to make sure that the everyday household products you use don’t stress out your liver. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from a new customer that reaches out to tell me they previously did a cleanse but their symptoms came back shortly after. 

In response, I ask them what brand of cosmetics they use, and hair care products, lotions, laundry detergent, household cleaners, toothpaste and perfume. I also ask them if they use plug-in air fresheners and spray deodorizers. 

For the many people I hear from who are new to the concept of natural health, most of the brands these people use are not all-natural. And these common everyday household cleaners, beauty- and personal care products are making people sick. 

sanitary pads and tampons

The Dangerous Chemical In Tampons, Panty Liners & Pads

Phlatates (the “ph” is silent) are synthetic chemicals. These class of chemicals contain volatile compounds that make feminine-hygiene products and dozens of plastic products flexible and resilient against wear and tear. But phthalates have been linked to breast cancer and metabolic diseases. 

In case polyester ever comes back in style (fingers crossed it doesn’t), don’t jump back on the bandwagon. That’s because polyester is one type of phthalate. Another common phthalate is polypropylene. 

Of course, you would never eat a panty liner but the problem with phthalates is that by simply handling them or breathing them in can disrupt your hormone balance. 

The average woman applies sanitary pads during her menstrual cycle 1800 days over her lifetime. If you’re not using an organic brand of sanitary pad, that’s a lot of exposure to these dangerous chemicals. The genitals, unfortunately, are an area of the body that absorbs phthalates to a higher degree. 

To minimize your exposure to phthalates, avoid plastic products with the #3 recycling icon. 

dangerous recycling symbol

The Cancer-Causing Mineral In Cosmetics

In May of last year, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) dropped a bombshell. The consumer and pharmaceutical giant announced it would no longer sell talc baby powder in North America. 

J&J said it was because of declining sales. But that’s only telling half the story. Sales were declining because of health concerns over talcum (also called talc). Talc is a mineral. Talc is completely safe. But because of its next door natural neighbor in the Earth, when it gets crushed into a powder, it becomes contaminated with a cancer-causing ingredient: asbestos. 

Talc and asbestos are located right next to each other in rock quarries. But asbestos particles can cross over into talc mining operations. And there’s no safe limit for asbestos. Once it is inhaled or enters the body, it can become highly carcinogenic. 

And that’s why there have been over 25,000 lawsuits, the overwhelming majority of them filed by minority women who developed ovarian cancer after years of applying talc to their bodies. 

But asbestos isn’t limited to baby powder. A recent study revealed that 15% of cosmetics that were tested contained asbestos, exposure to which kills some 90,000 people worldwide every year. 

talc powder

Beauty Is Skin Deep

I could go on and on about the dangers of everyday household and beauty products. And even if they don’t cause chronic diseases in one person, they can still cause the liver to get clogged. Hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of hormone imbalance can also be caused by synthetic chemicals. 

If there’s one and one thing only that you learn from me it’s this…

If you’re unsure of whether or not a product is safe to use, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. It’s amazing. You simply enter the name of the brand or product and if it’s in the database, it will give you a score from 1-10; the lower the overall score, the safer the product it is. 

I’ve come to love the brands, Beauty Counter and Arbonne for safe, personal care and beauty products. There are many others. While they may cost more than their conventional counterparts, they may save you thousands in medical bills in the future. 

Conclusion

When it comes to cleansing your body, there’s more to it than eating clean. A holistic approach is necessary to unclog a sluggish liver. 

Safe & Healthy Easter Eggs

Happy Easter! What’s more traditional than decorating Easter Eggs? But what is in all of those nasty dyes that we’ve been using on our food all of these years? Healthy Easter egg dye is easy to make. You can save money buying artificial dyes and get creative this year with household items you already have.

I’ll be using turmeric, green tea, blueberries, beets, and a couple of other fun ingredients to make some colorful dyes. Last year I tested out some fun textures and patterns to put on the eggs. Herbs and flowers wrapped in cheesecloth make great patterns or you can use old ripped nylons. You can also use string or rubber bands to wrap a fun pattern around the egg.

FlashTats are temporary tattoos that are fun to decorate without the mess of dyes. I made a fun video showing you how easy it is to make the dyes!

Safe & Healthy Easter Eggs

Natural Ingredients for Homemade Dyes

  • ½ cup red beet
  • ¼ cup fresh turmeric, peeled
  • 3 green tea bags
  • Skins from 2 yellow onions
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 5 tbsp. white vinegar
  • Optional for design
  • Cheesecloth or nylons
  • Rosemary or other herbs
  • Small flowers

natural easter egg dyes

Fill 3 pots of water with 2 cups each and 1 pot with 4 cups. Heat the water and bring each pot to a boil. When the 4 cups boil, pour 2 cups into a glass container and add 3 green tea bags. Let steep for 20 minutes while other dyes cook.

Return the remaining pot to a boil. Add beet to one pot, turmeric to another, blueberries to one, and onion skins to last. Stir and reduce heat for each pot to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a glass container. Add 1 tbsp. of vinegar to each dye, including green tea.

Wait for the dyes to come to room temperature (about an hour). Drop the hard boiled eggs (room temperature) into the dyes (also room temp.). You can use cheesecloth or nylons to wrap the eggs and drop them in for cool patterns. I added some rosemary and flowers for different designs. Leave the eggs in the dye for 2 hours.

Remove and enjoy your beautiful Easter Eggs!

Flashtat Egg Decorations

Flashtat eggs are less messy than dyes and they look freakin’ awesome! The trick to this is that the eggs need to be room temperature and completely dry. They can’t have any dew or water on them. Apply the tattoo just like you would to your skin and set by dabbing with a damp towel. Slowly remove the tattoo and voila! These come out so cool!

Green Eggs & Pancakes

Thinking of something fun to do with the kids this year for St. Patrick’s Day? I’m sure your kids love having fun green foods that aren’t normally green like green eggs or pancakes. 

However, food coloring is so dangerous to your kids health. The primary colors blue, yellow, and red are used to make up all of food coloring. Blue and yellow make green, red and yellow make orange, and red and blue make purple. So before you reach for the green food coloring this St. Patty’s Day, know what you are about to feed your little leprechaun before doing so.

Blue No. 1 food coloring has been associated with cancer risk and in lab animals, cancerous tumors have grown after being exposed to Blue No. 1 (Natural-holistic-health.com). Blue No. 1 and 3 have also been linked to problems with male sterility.  Yellow No. 6 has been linked to problems in the adrenals and kidneys. When exposed to Yellow No. 5, people experience headaches, dizziness, anxiety, asthma and behavioral problems.

green pancakes

Green Eggs and Pancakes

In light of St. Patty’s Day, one of my clients told me about how she adds my Chef V Green Drink to her kids eggs  to make them Green. She also added the Green Drink to pancake mix instead of all water and the pancakes came out Green and yummy!

Just add 1 tbsp. of green drink per egg until you get the color consistency you want. The result will be fun green eggs and pancakes made from natural ingredients. Check out this video to follow along as I try making green eggs for the first time. Enjoy and have a happy St. Patty’s Day!

mixing green eggs

Alternatives to Food Coloring

My great natural alternatives to food coloring:

  • Red coloring extracted from beet juice or paprika
  • Purple coloring extracted from juice of the red cabbage
  • Lighter purple coloring extracted from blueberries
  • Green coloring extracted from spinach or Chef V Green Drink
  • Yellow coloring extracted from saffron or tumeric
Read More of This Article About Food Coloring Dangers Here: http://www.natural-holistic-health.com/dangers-artificial-food-coloring/

Shamrock Smoothie Bowl

shamrock smoothie bowl

Smoothie bowls are growing in popularity. They are easy to make, super nutritious and they look so pretty! I love green smoothie bowls because you can make them all sorts of different flavors on the top or blended in.

Smoothie Bowls!

This March, I’ve dedicated a special smoothie bowl to St. Patrick’s Day with my Shamrock Smoothie Bowl. I decided to decorate it with nutritious super foods like chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut and crushed nuts. You can also add fresh fruit like berries, kiwi, apple, mango, pineapple, goji berries, or whatever your heart desires.

Chef V’s Shamrock Smoothie Bowl

Here is my Smoothie bowl and even a video above for you to watch the recipe! Pin on Pinterest and share with your friends on Facebook!

Ingredients

2 cups spinach

½ cup mango

1 cup ice

1 cup almond or coconut milk

1 tbsp. spirulina

1 tbsp. hemp seeds

1 tsp. chia seeds

1 tbsp. crushed raw almonds

2 tsp. unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions

Blend spinach, mango, ice, almond milk, and spirulina in a Vitamix or food processor for 1-2 minutes on high. Pour green mix into a bowl. Decorate the top with hemp seeds, chia seeds, raw almonds and coconut. Serve right away and enjoy!

Veronica and Coconut and kale

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.

Chef V’s Mason Jar Salads

leaky gut

Mason jars are our favorite accessory. We use them every chance we get – filling the empty jars with fresh cut flowers, refreshing drinks or a variety of veggies for delicious salads on the go.

Below we share with you our foolproof guide for creating the best and most nutritious mason jar salads that you – and your kiddos – will love, as well as three of our go-to mason jar summer salad recipes.

added sugars

How to Build the Perfect Mason Jar Salad

  1. The Dressing. Add about 2 tbsp or less
  2. The Veggies. Select ones that won’t absorb the dressing (i.e. onions, carrots, beans, snap peas, etc.)
  3. The Fruit (or more veggies). Another layer of your favorite fruit or veggie
  4. The Grains. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cooked and cooled quinoa or rice
  5. The Greens. Add about a cup of your favorite leafy greens
  6. The Protein. Top it off with your choice of protein – nuts, cheese or meat

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Chef V’s Garden Salad

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup garbanzo beans or kidney beans
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chopped apple (i.e. Fuji, honey crisp or gala)
  • 2 thinly sliced radish
  • 1 cup lettuce (spinach, mixed greens, kale, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup grilled chicken (optional)

Directions: Layer all ingredients from bottom to top. Start with the dressing on the bottom. If using chicken or other meat, add it to the jar the morning you want to eat it.

nutrition facts label

Chef V’s Mexican Salad

  • 1 tbsp Chef V’s Spicy Cilantro Dressing (see below)
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped mango
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup cooked and cooled brown rice
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh arugula or spinach
  • 2 tsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup grilled chicken (optional)

Directions: Layer all ingredients from bottom to top. Start with the dressing on the bottom. If using chicken or other meat, add it to the jar the morning you want to eat it.

Spicy Cilantro Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 small jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup filtered water

Directions: blend ingredients together in a Vitamix or blender for 1-2 minutes until well blended.

Chef V’s Thai-Noodle Salad

  • 1 tbsp Chef V’s Spicy Cilantro Dressing (see above)
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 tbsp shredded carrot
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cucumber
  • 1/2 cup cooked and cooled brown rice noodles
  • 1/2 cup green cabbage
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup grilled chicken (optional)

Directions: Layer all ingredients from bottom to top. Start with the dressing on the bottom. If using chicken or other meat, add it to the jar the morning you want to eat it.

Added Sugars: What You Should Not Be Eating

leaky gut

The Maximum Amount Of Sugar You Should Be Eating Every Day

Stop reading this right now and go to your pantry. I want you to grab any product that has a Nutrition Facts label. After you’ve done that, come back to this article. I’ll be waiting…

Got it? OK. Now, take a look at “added sugars” in the Nutrition Facts. Last year, the FDA required that all food manufacturing companies with sales of over $10 million list “added sugars” in the Nutrition Facts label. Smaller companies had to start complying with the new rule at the beginning of this year.

To make healthier choices for yourself (and your family) I want you to really start paying attention to added sugars on the nutrition facts label. One of the reasons why the FDA wanted “added sugars” added to Nutrition Facts is because there are dozens of nicknames for sugar. Unless an ingredient says “cane sugar” it can be very easy for consumers to overlook added sugars. Dextrose, maltodextrin, molasses, dextrin, agave, evaporated cane juice … These are just a few of the 56 secret sugars food manufacturers use to artificially sweeten food.

As a certified nutritional therapist, I’m glad that added sugars is finally on nutrition labels; it’s long overdue considering the pervasiveness of obesity and diabetes. But there’s a misleading problem with added sugars. Next to the amount of grams of added sugars is listed the percentage of daily value of added sugars.

added sugars

Percentage of Added Sugars In The Diet Should Be…

And while that may seem like a good thing to know, I consider this very misleading. That’s because if you’re trying to manage weight, blood sugar and inflammation, the percentage of added sugars you should have is ZERO!!!

If you’re eating real food then you’re consuming no added sugars. I understand that we’re only human. So if you want to sweeten your coffee or tea with a packet of low-glycemic coconut sugar, which is an added sugar, I can live with that. But when it comes to buying peanut butter, salad dressing, condiments, bread and the dozens of other foods and drinks that you purchase from the supermarket, make sure that the added sugars are as close to zero as possible. Because if you don’t watch out for added sugars, your sugar intake is going to add up real fast.

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The Dangers of Added Sugars

I’m sure I’ve written about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) before so excuse me if I’m repeating myself. But it’s totally worth hammering in your brain how dangerous artificial sweeteners like HFCS are. In a nutshell, what HFCS and synthetic sugars like aspartame and sucralose do is block your brain’s ability to get the message from your stomach that you’ve had enough to eat.

Also, eating lots of fructose causes the proliferation of compounds in the body known as advanced glycation end products. These products have a very appropriate acronym: AGE. AGE-products accelerate the ageing process in the body.

It used to be that only alcoholics developed fatty liver disease. But now, because of the pervasiveness of fructose in the food supply, the rates of fatty liver disease in non-alcoholics is soaring.

It’s important to mention that I’m not talking about fructose from whole fruit. I’m talking about the cheap, synthetic artificial sweetener.

To me, it’s a little insane that the American Heart Association recommends a daily limit of 6 teaspoons a day of added sugars for women and 9 teaspoons for men. Considering that high sugar intake leads to heart disease, you would think that the AHA would simply advise keeping added sugar intake to as close to zero as possible.

nutrition facts label

IMAGE ABOVE COURTESY US FDA

How Much Sugar Should I Have?

Hopefully, the next time the FDA revises the Nutrition Facts label, it will make it easy for consumers to know the maximum amount of sugar—keyword: natural sugars—they should eat in one day. Let’s do away with percentages because ain’t nobody got time to do the math when we’re in a rush.

So, FDA commissioner, in case you’re reading this, let’s prominently place the number of maximum grams of sugar per day that should be consumed.

And that amount is…

Well, in the past, the World Health Organization used to say that no more than 10% of your daily calories should come from sugar. Then the WHO realized that that recommendation was ridiculous, so they lowered it down to 5%.

The average American consumes roughly 80 grams of sugar a day. Keep in mind that’s average. There are certainly many Americans eating twice that amount. I realize that everybody is different biochemically and some people exercise more than others. But if you had to put a number on it, what is the max amount of sugar you should have?

For most healthy people, I would recommend 40 grams of sugar from whole food sources such as fruits and vegetables.

Daily Sugar Intake For People With Diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, you should probably limit your intake of total sugars to 20 grams per day.

Also crazy if you ask me is that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with diabetes should aim to get about half of their calories from carbs. That means if you eat 2,000 calories a day, 1,000 can come from carbs? What does the CDC think carbs convert into … magical unicorn fairy dust? Carbs convert into sugar. How can consuming half of your calories from carbs be considered smart blood sugar management? (It’s a rhetorical question; it’s not smart.)

In order to manage your diabetes, or even send it into remission, I recommend really upping your intake of natural, healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, salmon, organic dairy, olives, olive oil, etc…

If you have type 2 diabetes, ignore the recommendation to eat a low-fat diet. Eating fat helps stabilize blood sugars and keeps you full, and prevents cravings for empty-calorie, blood-sugar spiking foods. “Non-fat” and “low-fat” foods are not your friends, they are your mortal metabolic enemies!

The Leading Source Of Added Sugars

Beverages are the biggest offenders, accounting for nearly half of all added sugars. Obviously, soda is a big culprit. But what many people still don’t realize is how much sugar is contained in so-called “healthy juices.”

The big brand-name label juice companies that have been gobbled up by giant food conglomerates add a huge amount of sugar to their juices. And some of these juices at first glance appear healthy. They look green, loaded with green leafy vegetables. But if you take a look at the amount of sugar in the bottle, you’ll be floored.

I’m not one to name names, so I won’t throw the competition under the bus—even though they kind of deserve it because they are misleading people into thinking they are buying a healthy product when in fact it’s harming it.

Most store-bought juices contain 25, 30, 35 or even up to 50 grams of sugar per 16 oz. container!

Low-Sugar Nutrient-Dense Green Drink

If you’re looking for the healthiest juice possible, look no further than cold-blended Organic Green Drink with 7 leafy greens and only 6 grams of naturally-occurring sugar per 16 oz bottle.

© 2020 Chef V, LLC.