Tag: positivity

What Do I Eat Today – Menu with Chicken Pot Pie

what do I eat today chicken pot pie

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

lemons

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

warm cinnamon quinoa

For Breakfast – Warm Cinnamon Quinoa 

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

Get the recipe here. 

For Lunch – Mediterranean Butternut Squash + Carrot Stew with Quinoa

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

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

Get the recipe here.

Dinner – Chef V's Chicken Pot Pie

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

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

Veronica and GD

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

what do I eat today moussaka

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

lemons

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

warm cinnamon quinoa

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

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

Get the recipe here. 

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

Get the recipe here.

Dinner – Vegan Moussaka

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

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

Chia seed pudding

Dessert – Chia Seed Pudding

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

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

Veronica pouring green drink

Where is the Healthiest City in America?

Where is the Healthiest City in America?

At Chef V, we see ourselves as ambassadors of good health. Many Americans are pessimistic about healthy eating habits. Yet, there are plenty of states that are making their health and wellbeing a priority. This fun piece will look at some of the top-ranked healthiest cities in America. No matter where you live if you are in the range of our green juice delivery, achieving your health goals is a breeze!

centrifugal juicer

What Makes a Healthy City?

When it comes to determining what makes a city “healthy”, we’ll admit that it’s all up to personal opinion. However, there are plenty of popular ways that people measure health and wellness that we can base our opinions on.

Just because a city is considered “healthy” doesn’t mean that living there automatically improves your health. Rather, being a healthy city is all about providing a health-positive culture, as well as access to the resources for health. You can get juice cleanses in San Diego and juice cleanses in New York – and all the cities between can get detox juice as well. What matters is the priorities of the people in those cities and their options. Following are some ways to measure health factors in any city:

Physical Health: A city that wants to promote physical health is going to be a walkable one. Sure, you can walk anywhere, but it’s much more fun in a city with parks, trails and shopping areas. Easy access to gyms and places to be active are also important.

Nutritional Health: If a city doesn’t have a culture of healthy eating, it will be harder to shop for things like a 3 day juice cleanse. Cities filled with food deserts are going to have a hard time providing the nutritional needs of all their people.

Environmental Health: Having a green city is easier on the eyes. Real environmental health means not putting people near potential health hazards, such as chemical waste or smog.

Emotional Health: Some cities have a reputation as high-stress places. This could be because of long commutes, lack of public service, or even high crime levels. Any city that can avoid these issues is going to be a healthier place to live.

Intellectual Health: Exercising your body isn’t just about staying healthy. It’s also about having something to do and keeping yourself occupied. Cities with plenty of museums, libraries, and galleries can help keep your brain engaged.

Chef V blending

Our Picks

With that out of the way, which cities in America does Chef V think hits these high points? In no particular order, here’s a list of some of our favorites, and some we think may need a bit more cred for their health.

San Diego
We couldn’t make this list without giving a shout-out to San Diego. Selling our juice cleanse in San Diego is how Chef V got started, after all! There’s more to San Diego’s healthy reputation than just green juice delivery. Possibly because of the weather, San Diegans love getting out and being active. Detox juice and exercise outside are a winning combination anywhere.

Los Angeles
Perhaps it’s born out of a less than healthy obsession over body image, but Angelinos are dedicated to working out and eating right. Their desire to keep trendy has also meant the residents of Los Angeles have ditched cigarettes more than nearly any other city in America.

Seattle
Seattleite’s are all about being healthy in as many ways as possible. Not only are they as active as the rainy weather allows, but they also have tons of yoga instructors and tons of places to get fresh produce.

The whole North West is generally a healthy place – a special shout-out to Portland as well for having many of the same good health habits as Seattle.

San Francisco
We don’t want to give the west coast too much love, but there’s indeed something about being out west that brings out the active nature of people. People in San Francisco are very good at keeping their weight down, keeping active, and avoiding bad habits such as smoking.

This is a good place to also put a shout-out to the entire Bay area, including places like San Jose. Exercise, good food, and healthy mental wellness practices are all popular around the Bay area.

New York
New York has perhaps an unfair reputation for being a high-stress environment. Life might move quickly in the big apple, but the city also has a long tradition of close-knit neighborhoods and communities. This helps provide much-needed emotional health. New Yorkers understand grit, and nothing seems able to break their healthy stride

Washington
The Capital of America is another city that doesn’t get much recognition for being healthy. Yet, like New York, it has a reputation for close-knit communities. People here are also dedicated to staying active, while also getting enough sleep.

Denver
Colorado is synonymous to many with an active lifestyle, and Denver itself is no exception. Plenty of fun outdoor activities and loads of produce-laden farmers’ markets make for a naturally healthy combination. The reputation for healthy living has only attracted more health-conscious people up to the Mile High City

Atlanta
With the south noted for its intense heat, it’s impressive how much Atlanta understands chilling out. The city is noted as a growing hub for the wellness movement, with people embracing healthy eating, lifestyles, and meditation.F

Get a Blended Juice Cleanse Across America

No matter if you’re looking for a juice cleanse in San Diego or a Juice Cleanse in New York, Chef V has your back. Our green juice delivery covers wide swathes of both the East and West coast. So anyone who lives in the cities we mentioned can get our green drink delivered right to them.

Don’t see your state listed? Don’t give up hope! Please email us at [email protected] and let us know you want our raw juice and plant-based delivery service in your area. Together we’ll expand the area of our green juice delivery.

Our Top 10 Underrated Vegetarian Dishes From Around the World

At Chef V, we’re always looking for the best way to maximize your nutrients and putting only the best things into your body. With that in mind, we’re making a list of some of the best vegetarian dishes from around the world that you may not have heard of.

centrifugal juicer

Why Vegetables Matter

Since we’re all about providing great green drinks and juice cleanse diets, it’s no surprise that Chef V is also enthusiastic about vegetarian dishes. However, there’s more to these meals than just tasting great. Getting your leafy greens are important for a few reasons.

Firstly, it’s all about what they got. Vegetables are packed full of all your body’s favorite nutrients from vitamin A and C to fiber and potassium. This means that veggies are great for helping you boost your immune system and stay energized.

However, vegetables also are very low in things like carbs, fat, and sugar. This is the reason that juice diets as so popular. You get all the good stuff with none of the bad and can make real gains on losing weight.

Chef V blending

Our Underrated Vegetarian Dishes List

Some people might think that searching out new recipes that are strictly vegetarian is limiting your options. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a wealth of vegetarian dishes out there that you may have never. While you might be familiar with some, or even most of these, hopefully, there’s at least one new vegetarian dish for you to try out!

#1 Saag Paneer
Many people new to vegetarian dishes might worry that they can’t match the “comfort food” factor of hearty meat-based meals. However, Indian cuisine is busy proving this misconception wrong every single day. There are more great Indian vegetarian meals than we can cover in one article.

If we had to pick one to start, you can find tons of great Saag Paneer recipes online. This is a perfect way to get into vegetarian dishes – you get a lot of greens, and still get the “filling” sensation from the cheese. And if you want to go full vegan there are plenty of recipes that use tofu.

#2 Laab Jay
If there’s one cuisine that can challenge Indian for mastery of plant-based dishes, it probably has to be Thai food. We barely even know where to start with all the great recipes out there. If you are familiar with Laab (sometimes spelled “larb”), you probably know its meat variants best. However, you can make delicious vegan laab as well.

#3 Koshari
Bored of your regular vegan and vegetarian pasta dishes? Then it’s time to give Koshari a try – also known as Koshary or Kushari depending on who you ask. Koshari is the perfect merger of Italian and Arabic cuisine. It features a base of pasta, lentils, rice, and chickpeas, with crispy onions and a truly delicious tomato sauce and garlic vinegar. There are also tons of regional variants of the food, so it’s a perfect one for experimentation.

#4 Urab
When it comes to salads, it’s very hard to beat the wonderful taste of Urab (also known as Urap). This salad comes to us from Indonesian cuisine and is made up of a variety of steamed vegetables. No matter the particular recipe, what really brings Urab together is the shredded coconut. Chef V even has a Balinese version that we’ve spotlit before!

#5 Vinaigrette
Nope, we’re not talking about salad dressing. Vinaigrette is a beet salad that is a staple of Russian and Ukrainian cuisine. There are plenty of variations, but most are pretty easy to whip up. Beets are a super underrated vegetable, and this is a great way to get them into your diet.

#6 Fasolakia                                                                You know what’s another underrated veggie when it comes to vegetarian dishes? Those green beans. Too often they’re considered a bland sidekick in bland dishes. However, in Greece, they do green beans a little differently. Fasolakia is an easy but incredibly delicious dish, where green beans are elevated by the inclusion of olive oil and tomato.

#7 Ratatouille
Thanks to the film of the same name, Ratatouille is starting to get a little bit more exposure in North America. There are many versions of this French comfort food, but most of them include indulgently garlicky eggplant and zucchini.

#8 Pelau
Rice is a staple of plenty of vegetarian dishes. Since it shows up so much, it’s easy for it to start to get boring. In Trinidad, however, rice is never even close to boring. Pelau is a rice pilaf made with coconut. While often mixed with meat products, it’s a great base for plenty of delicious vegetarian recipes.

#9 Rösti
Just like rice, potatoes are often the basis of many vegetarian dishes. However, they often get snubbed by many vegetarians for being a little dull, or a little too carb-heavy. However, the Swiss National dish Rösti is one potato dish you can’t miss. The best part? It works great with sweet potatoes just as well! This takes the concept behind hash browns to a whole new level.

#10 Black Bean Stews
Yet another often underrated vegetable is the humble black bean. In Latin American cuisine, however, these little packages of protein and fiber tend to take on starring roles. There are plenty of Colombian recipes that make great use of black beans, such as the classic black bean stew.

Boost Your Weight Loss Goals With a Juice Cleanse Diet

Sometimes you need to kickstart your weight loss plans and new vegetarian diets. Or maybe you need to strike back against the weight gain of the holiday season. Or maybe you just really love the taste of green drinks. No matter what you love about a juice cleanse diet, it’s the easiest way to get all the good stuff and none of the bad stuff. Our green drink also makes a great companion to any of the vegetarian dishes above. And with our green drink plan, it’s easier than ever to add healthy juice to your diet.

Your Intro To Digestive Health

Your digestive system is one of the most important and underappreciated parts of your body. Everyone wants to talk about heart health, brain health, or lung health. But the key to good health is good nutrition – and your digestive system is what determines that. If you haven’t given digestive health a thought, this piece serves as an introduction to the topic.

centrifugal juicer

Common Digestive Issues

When people think of their digestive system, they might assume that this means their intestines. However, your digestive system counts as every part of your body is involved in the intake and digestion of food, from one end to the other. A digestive system is a machine with many different working parts. If any of them has an issue – well, you’re going to know it. Some common digestive problems you might experience (and their probable causes) include the following:

Trouble Swallowing: Prolonged trouble swallowing food can mean that there is some sort of damage to your esophagus. This is something you should check with a doctor about.

Stomach Pain: Pain in your abdomen can come from a variety of sources. Not all these have to do with the stomach or the digestive system at all. It’s a good idea to have a doctor pin down exactly which organ is causing you trouble.

Heartburn: Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart, but is caused by stomach acid making its way back up your esophagus. Heartburn can be dealt with by avoiding the foods that trigger it, eating smaller meals, and taking heartburn medication.

Constipation: There are plenty of reasons for constipation. Sometimes it’s due to other illnesses, or issues with medication. The most common reasons are lack of water and lack of fiber in the diet.

Diarrhea: While diarrhea can be caused by bacteria or medical conditions, it can also have dietary causes. These can range from food allergies, or eating things with too many artificial sweeteners.

Chef V blending

Easy Steps For Better Digestive Health

There are plenty of ways that you can improve digestive health – exercise and lack of stress are both linked to good digestive health. However, the most important part of your digestive health has to be your diet. Put bad things into your body, get bad results.

Sometimes digestive issues can be because of a specific allergy. For example, if you have lactose intolerance, you’ll want to avoid dairy products unless you want an upset stomach.

Yet, there are also some wide dietary requirements that you should keep in mind. Firstly, you want to always try to get enough fiber. This is vital for making sure that your digestive system is working properly.

Getting foods with anti-oxidants is also important. These can reduce inflammation in your gut and lead to a healthier digestive system.

The upshot? Try to get more vegetables and fruits in your diet. These are the best way to maximize your fiber and antioxidants. This is also a reason why a detox juice cleanse is so good for your digestive health.

Show Your Digestive System Some Love With Our Detox Juice Cleanse

Every Chef V cleanse is designed around the promotion of good digestive health. From our 3 days to 21-day juice cleanse, our green drinks are designed to help eliminate toxins and flush the bad stuff out. Meanwhile, our detox soups and detox smoothies will give you the protein and fiber you need to keep regular during even a full 21-day juice cleanse. This means you can take on even your biggest juice cleanse goals with total confidence.

How Long Does (And Should) Organic Green Drink Last?

Time is of the essence. A perfect looking piece of green kale—one of the 7 leafy greens in Organic Green Drink—has just been plucked from the ground. As soon as produce leaves the mineral-rich cozy confines of healthy soil, it starts losing nutritional value. 

In this article, Chef V explains the optimal shelf life of juices made from dark, leafy greens—and the most nutritious method to make green drinks. Think your store-bought juice is healthy? You may be in for a surprise!

centrifugal juicer

above, commercial centrifugal juicer

Centrifugal Juicers

Centrifugal juicers extract juice at super fast speeds. Where’s the harm in that? After all, if you have thousands of customers, you need fast production. The problem with warp-speed juicing is that the high velocity of the juicer creates a tremendous amount of heat in the juicing blades. 

When it comes to cooking oils and produce, there’s no greater nutritional killer than heat. The heat generated in the metal blades of conventional centrifugal juicers destroys some of the enzymes in the oranges (and green leafy veggies, in the case of mega corporation green juices). 

Another problem with juicing produce is that the high heat causes oxidation. Oxidation is the chemical reaction that turns a partially-eaten apple that’s left out into a brown, unappetizing, rancid-looking piece of rubbish.  

Chef V blending

Cold-Blended Green Drinks

When I decided to take the plunge as an entrepreneur over a decade ago, I was committed to providing the most nutritious green drink available. And what I discovered was there was indeed a healthier way to turn a bunch of the healthiest dark, leafy green veggies into a juice—without losing any of the nutritional value. 

You don’t have to have a degree in chemistry to figure out that cold-blending is a technique that involves no heat. Therefore, all the enzymes, nutrients and phytochemicals in the leafy greens are preserved. Cold-blended juice is basically as close as you can possibly get to having a salad with the same leafy greens. 

Yes, speed is sacrificed with the cold-blended process. But my motto with Chef V isn’t “Over 1 billion Green Drinks served.” I may not be able to whip up a juice at 10,000 revolutions per minute like a conventional chain juice bar. But taking only a few seconds to achieve salad-level nutritional quality will most likely never be a reality, at least not in my lifetime. 

Thankfully, however, juicing technology has come a long way. Here at Chef V headquarters, we have some of the biggest and most powerful industrial juicers available. The powerful technology of modern blenders allows us to make your Green Drink fresh—without any nutrient-zapping heat!

Raw Vs Pasteurized Juice

The other raging debate in the world of juicing involves unpasteurized (raw) versus pasteurized juice. Now don’t get me wrong. I think Louis Pasteur was a genius for the invention of his eponymously-named method to rid food of harmful bacteria. But pasteurization was introduced in 1863—long before modern refrigeration greatly eliminated the threat of becoming ill because of food-borne microbes. 

Juice sold in supermarkets has to be pasteurized by law. But pasteurization kills the beneficial bacteria in the dark, leafy greens. When you purchase veggies from a supermarket, they are not pasteurized. So why would you want to consume pasteurized kale, chard, collard greens, lettuce, parsley, and dandelion greens? 

The pasteurization process also denatures some of the natural enzymes. But hey, if you like your bottle of juice to be able to sit in your fridge for several weeks, go ahead and purchase pasteurized juice.

Some juice brands proudly claim that they use flash-pasteurization. This is an ultra-fast method of killing microbes. But the truth is that all types of pasteurization involve nutrient-killing heat. Yes, there is also something called cold pasteurization, but I don’t know any juice companies that use this method. But according to this research article, even cold pasteurization leads to the inactivation of enzymes in the food and extends the shelf life.  

How Long Should Green Drink Last? 

How natural does it seem to you that a bottle of juice can stay preserved for weeks? Do you think that’s how Mother Nature intended us to eat? Sure, refrigeration is a modern convenience, a miracle really. But no nutrient-dense green juice should be viable for weeks. 

Cold-blended ORGANIC GREEN DRINK stays fresh for up to 7 days. You can think of CHEF V GREEN DRINKS as direct to consumer. When you buy brand-name juice, you’re most likely consuming a high-sugar, nutritionally-dead food. (Well, if not totally dead, then nutritionally in a coma.)

Pure and Clean Ingredients

With CHEF V ORGANIC GREEN DRINK, there are no preservatives, fillers or GMO ingredients. It was my mission when I launched my company—and will always be—to provide the seven leafy greens as close to their nutritional value that Mother Nature provides. 

What’s in your juice? 

To your health, 

Chef V

Enhance Your Detox With These Enjoyable Treatments

older woman hiking

In addition to our Green Drinks there are other great ways to enhance your detox. Some of them can be done – with precautions – at a day spa, at private appointments, or at home. Here are a few of Chef V’s favorites….

Embarking on a 21 day detox will be one of the most transforming journeys of your life.

If it’s a struggle for you to stick to a healthy eating plan, our cleanses and 21 Day Detox will motivate you to eat healthy long after your cleanse is over.

If you’re reading this because you tried every gimmick under the sun that only had short-term success at best, like the Master Cleanse Detox diet, I understand your cynicism.

But please read on….

I, along with the Chef V team, will be with you every step of the way to support you.

My mission is to make it as easy as possible for you to breeze through. Whether it’s the 3-day intro cleanse or the 21 Day Detox Obsessive.

Our Green Drinks, Protein Shakes, Detox Soups, meal plans, and recipe book will nourish and guide you.

But there are other things you can do to support and enhance your cleanse.

Let’s take a look at some tips for a better cleanse. (They’re certainly more enjoyable than a strict master cleanse detox.)

To be sure, if you don’t follow any of these tips, you will still see great results from following our Cleanse and Detox programs.

stomachache

Enhance Your Detox: Colon Hydrotherapy

I’ll admit something. For those unfamiliar with colon hydrotherapy, the idea might sound not so, well, appetizing.

Here’s basically how colon hydrotherapy (also known as colon irrigation) works:

Save You lie on your side in the fetal position. A colon hydrotherapist ever so gently inserts a tube into your colon. Don’t worry, it’s not painful. Next, you sit up with your feet flat on the table. Then, gallons of water gush into your colon. The water navigates up towards your intestines.

After a short while, you will feel pressure. Before it becomes unbearable, the hydrotherapist will pull out the tube. Then, the detox flush occurs.

You can actually watch your toxic waste pass through the tube. This process repeats a few times during the average hydrotherapy session, which lasts about an hour.

I wholeheartedly believe in doing occasional colon hydrotherapy. Especially if you struggle with constipation, bloating, low energy or skin problems.

Your colon is a muscle and it needs to work out every day. So if you’re only going #2 every few days, the muscles of the colon wall weaken.

And as you can imagine, when you don’t poop regularly, toxins accumulate.

Keep in mind that staying hydrated is vital when doing a hydrotherapy session. Your therapist will likely discuss with you how much to drink (at least a half gallon) before the session. In addition, you’ll also need to fast for at least a few hours before.

Moreover, you’ll need to watch what you eat before your session. In the days leading up to and after your hydrotherapy session, you gotta eat clean. It’s the same with a Chef V cleanse or detox.

Although you may think that’s obvious, consider this unbelievable fact: I know people who actually ate a bacon cheeseburger the same day as their hydrotherapy session!

detox

Enhance Your Detox: Sweat Your Butt Off in a Sauna

Ah, shvitzing in a sauna … sounds more relaxing than having a tube stuck up your bum, huh? Though personally, I’d rather have a colonic instead of doing a master cleanser detox diet.

Indeed, soaking in a sauna is not only relaxing, it can also help you detox.

Byproducts of metabolism seep out your sweat pores in a sauna. This dietary waste includes lactic acid and uric acid. Your body also stores fat in the toxins. When you profusely sweat, toxins deep down under the skin move up closer to the skin surface. Keep sweating and some of these toxins escape to the nearest exit, which is out of your skin.

Sitting in a sauna also improves your blood circulation. And when your blood flows better, toxins can move the elimination organs more effectively. In fact, if your blood flow is stagnant, it’s not that different from a sluggish colon imitating a backed-up septic system.

Enhance Your Detox: Open your Pores With Steam

Spending about 20 minutes or so in a steam room is another satisfying spa routine for detoxing.

Who says cleansing has to be a pain in the butt (no pun intended)?

Steam rooms for detoxing works for the same reason that saunas help purify your body. The main difference between sauna and steam is humidity. Saunas produce dry heat while steam rooms feel like a tropical, well, steam bath.

Here is how a steam room can help you detox. The hot steam can increase your metabolism even if it’s temporary. And once you start sweating, this means that toxins are coming out your pores.

In addition, there’s another benefit of steam rooms. They open your mucous membranes. This is a great thing if you battle with congestion frequently.

Another benefit of steam rooms is you’ll lose weight. However, it will be all water weight.

As a side not about weight loss, remember this: when you step on a scale, your weight is not telling you the whole story. What you want to feel is lighter and thinner and more energetic.

However, if you’ve got a wedding or event for which you want to squeeze into a tight-fitting dress, losing a few pounds is a bonus. Just remember to rehydrate!

Enhance Your Detox: treat yourself to a facial

Spending about 20 minutes or so in a steam room is another satisfying spa routine for detoxing.

Who says cleansing has to be a pain in the butt (no pun intended)?

Steam rooms for detoxing works for the same reason that saunas help purify your body. The main difference between sauna and steam is humidity. Saunas produce dry heat while steam rooms feel like a tropical, well, steam bath.

Here is how a steam room can help you detox. The hot steam can increase your metabolism even if it’s temporary. And once you start sweating, this means that toxins are coming out your pores.

In addition, there’s another benefit of steam rooms. They open your mucous membranes. This is a great thing if you battle with congestion frequently.

Another benefit of steam rooms is you’ll lose weight. However, it will be all water weight.

As a side not about weight loss, remember this: when you step on a scale, your weight is not telling you the whole story. What you want to feel is lighter and thinner and more energetic.

However, if you’ve got a wedding or event for which you want to squeeze into a tight-fitting dress, losing a few pounds is a bonus. Just remember to rehydrate!

Enhance Your Detox: treat yourself to a massage

How can I almost forget enhancing your cleanse by getting a massage! It’s yet another oh so satisfying way to detox. I recommend it at least once a month if you can budget for it. Getting a massage releases metabolic waste from your tissues and improves your blood circulation.

Got any other tips for a better detox? Do you think these detox tips are better than the master cleanse detox? Got any detox cleanse recipes you’d like to share? Contact us below or post a comment on our Facebook page.

To your health!

Chef V

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Digestive Bitters: Don’t Be Sad If You’re Bloated, Get Bitter

older woman hiking

If your belly feels like you’re in the first trimester of pregnancy after a meal, don’t get down, just get bitter, digestive bitters that is. Chef V highlights a handful of her favorite bitters. 

I’ve been bitter these days. No, it’s not because of the new scary variant (“scariant”?) or anything like that. I’ve hopped on the bitter bandwagon because lots of my lady customers are of a certain age that let’s just say brings changes. 

And when the changes come, one of the first symptoms to manifest is compromised digestion. When your hormones are out of whack, it gets more difficult for the body to detox. It also becomes more difficult to lose weight and keep it off. 

That’s why I recommend digestive bitters for any age really, but especially for mature ladies. 

image above is of Gentian, an edible bitter herb

bitter face

What Are Bitters? 

Out of the roughly 10,000 taste buds tickling your tongue, you’re probably only getting a steady dose of sweet and salty. Unfortunately, that’s the American Standard Diet for you. 

Maybe if you eat a little yogurt, your sour taste buds will spring into action. But out of the five tastes our tongues can detect—savory is fourth—if it’s a slimmer belly and weight loss you want, seek out the fifth taste: bitter. 

There’s a good reason why the back of your tongue is reserved for bitter taste. If your bitter buds were in the front of your tongue, you’d have a perpetual bitter beer face. (Remember that funny commercial?) In fact, the four other tastes are peppered throughout the tongue. But it’s only bitters that are relegated to the back of the tongue, which, fun fact, is technically considered a digestive organ. 

We have an innate recoil response towards bitter food. Would you stuff your face with a head of the radicchio or an endive? No. But that doesn’t mean we should avoid bitters. Digestive bitters are bitter-tasting herbs that people have been using for thousands of years for bloated bellies and other digestive upsets.

red beet hummus

Chef V’s Favorite Bitters

Kale and dandelion are a couple of my favorite bitters. That’s just one of many reasons they are staple ingredients in CHEF V ORGANIC GREEN DRINK. 

Now, my next favorite bitters aren’t necessarily meant for weight loss, but they do have a part in a balanced diet: dark chocolate/raw cacao and red wine. Isn’t it nice to know that if a little square of dark chocolate and a glass of red wine is your only indulgence, it’s actually a very healthy one? 

If you want to experiment with digestive bitters, the best ones for bile production and metabolism that I recommend are:

● Citrus peel

● Ginger root

● Milk thistle (You can buy this as a supplement; take it if you drink alcohol because it’s great for liver detox!)

● Gentian root

● Chicory root

● Wormwood

Oh, and how can I forget the most widely-used plant-based bitter on the planet: coffee? Personally, I don’t drink coffee, but I’m certainly not going to judge you if you do. I don’t think coffee is good to drink when you’re trying to cleanse. But if you have a cup or two every day, it may even do your body some good. But I recommend cold-brew coffee instead of hot as it’s 60% less acidic and is much easier on your esophagus and digestive system.
In fact, women who drink coffee have lower rates of cardiovascular disease than women who don’t drink it. 

Conclusion

If you’re having trouble with weight management and no matter what you’ve tried, nothing seems to work, try adding more digestive bitters to your diet. There are several others, from broccoli to grapefruit, arugula and lots more. 

So don’t worry and don’t get mad if your digestion is off. Just get bitter.

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

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

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

You know who said that? 

Nobody, ever. 

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

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

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

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

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

couple hands yoga

Couples Massage

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

What I mean by couples massage is this steamy scene…

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

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

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

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

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

candle

Grateful Affirmations

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

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

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

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

Something along those lines. 

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

partner yoga

Partner Yoga

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

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

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

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

Another great partner yoga pose is spinal twists. 

Late Night Walk Or Hike

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

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

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

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

Green Drink Cocktails

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

Cleansing In A Winter Wonderland

Veronica, Brandon, Coco on beach

It’s easy to do a cleanse in August, or RAWGUST, as Chef V calls it. When it’s warm, eating lots of light, raw foods like salad seems so satisfying and appropriate for the season. But in mid-winter, what are you supposed to do if you’re looking to give your digestive system and liver a fresh start? Chef V dishes out the tips for winter cleansing…

It will probably come to you as no surprise that most of my customers begin a CHEF V CLEANSE or 21 DAY DETOX in the summer. When it’s so hot you don’t even feel like eating and certainly not cranking up the oven to 425 degrees, it’s simple to go raw. 

But how can you give your digestive system a reboot and stay warm in the winter? This is the time of year when we crave starchy carbs like mashed potatoes, pasta and bread. 

For carnivores, the dilemma gets even more complicated. Freezing cold weather leads to cravings for red meat. But if your elimination is sluggish, eating a steak is like throwing more toilet paper into a backed-up toilet. 

The good news is that you can gently detox your digestive system with these smart winter cleansing hacks…

detox tea

Winter Detox Tip #1: Warm Yourself Up From The Inside Out

When you’re following a cleanse program like this one, it’s a good idea not to exercise too hard. That’s because you’re going to be consuming less calories than you ordinarily would. So it’s best to take it easy whether you’re just doing a 1 day cleanse or a 3-day or 5-day one. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t crank up your internal thermostat without hardcore exercise. 

One of the easiest ways to quickly go from frozen to toasty warm without moving your body all that much is through kundalini breath of fire exercises. Just do a search for kundalini breath of fire for beginners on YouTube and you’ll come across several free videos. 

These breathing exercises involve short and powerful inhalations and exhalations and as a bonus, your abs get a workout. Practicing the breath of fire pattern for a few minutes will heat your body up and you might even feel tingly all over. 

You can also do a light yoga posture flow going from cat/cow to downward dog or full sun salutations for 5-10 minutes. 

Another simple tip for staying warm while doing a cleanse/detox in the winter is sipping hot beverages throughout the day. Duh, right? But not just any plain hot tea or water will do. To generate internal warmth, add a dash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, cayenne pepper and ginger to herbal tea or water. 

And what to do about sipping on Organic GREEN DRINK? After all, on a CHEF V CLEANSE, you drink four of these refrigerated drinks on each day that you’re cleansing. If you’re lucky enough to have central heating in your home, maybe it’s not a problem to drink cold GREEN DRINK. 

But even if your cozy comfy home is set to 72 degrees, just knowing that it’s frigid outside might not put you in the mood for a GREEN DRINK straight from the refrigerator. 

So here’s what I do. In the morning after I wake up, one of the first things I do is pour myself a glass of green drink. I pour it in a mason jar and seal it with a lid to reduce oxidation. I let the jar of GREEN DRINK sit at room temperature for about an hour so it’s not so cold. 

Important side note: Make sure you put the bottle of GREEN DRINK you’re not using back in the fridge right away. Each GREEN DRINK is made fresh and because it’s raw to preserve all the phytonutrients, it has a shelf life of 7 days unlike dead, pasteurized commercial juice that never goes bad.

red beet hummus

Winter Detox Tip #2: We’ve Got The Beet

Beet juice is not a staple in a CHEF V CLEANSE. (You get 4 Green Drinks, 2 vegan protein shakes and 1 Detox Soup with your juice cleanse.) But I feature beets in many of my recipes including red beet hummus. For my customers who want a longer program to reset their metabolism, my 21 Day Detox features some of these recipes with beets. 

So why are beets one of the best winter cleansing foods? The answer is that because of the winter holidays, many people overindulge in added sugars. The excess sugar gets stored as body fat by the liver. If the liver is already overworked, this is bad news. Beets are a cleansing superhero because they protect the liver (this study shows). 

Sure, you can eat beets any time of year. You can add them to summer salads. But in winter, you can add them to a veggie soup.

Tip #3: Sip On Bone Broth

Now, with my guided cleanses, I recommend going meat-free for the duration of the 1, 3 or 5 day cleanse and the 21 Day Detox. But if you’re following all my other instructions to the “V” I think it’s perfectly ok to add some chicken bone broth that you can sip on during the day to stay warm. 

If you want to learn how to make your own chicken bone broth, check out my video recipe here

Tip #4: Drink Your Greens & Cook Your Greens

In order to support my digestive system, I make ORGANIC GREEN DRINK a part of my daily routine 365 days a year. Even when I travel, I take GREEN DRINKS with me. But in the winter, I also make sure to eat a ton of cooked leafy greens. I sautee the leafy greens in a cast iron skillet with avocado oil. To feel full, I’ll add a scoop or two of healthy grains like quinoa or wild rice. 

Again, the CHEF V CLEANSE includes 4 Green Drinks, 2 vegan Protein Shakes and 1 Detox Soup per day. But you don’t have to do an official Chef V cleanse to give your digestive system some cleaner fuel. 

(But if you do want the quickest transformation then follow a CHEF V CLEANSE…) 

Eat a few servings of cooked leafy or cruciferous greens every single day in the winter. The healthy fats in the avocado oil and the clean-burning carbs from the quinoa, brown rice or quinoa will keep your tummy satisfied and give your digestive system a break from all those Christmas cookies and eggnog. 

To your health, 

Chef V

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5 Easy Ways To Stay Positive & Healthy

Veronica, Brandon, Coco on beach

During the Long Dark Winter…

If you feel like eating tons of comfort food and hibernating this time of year, I don’t blame you. But it’s so important to stay active and healthy this time of year and I’ve got some easy, fun tips to do it! 

It’s 5:30 p.m. It’s pitch black outside and freezing. All you feel like doing is plopping down on the couch and vegging out for a few hours. If that’s what you’re feeling, should you give in? After all, aren’t you supposed to listen to your body? And if your body is telling you that you should grab the cashmere comforter, a few of your favorite snacks, a glass of wine and the remote … well … what’s wrong with that?

There’s certainly nothing wrong with chillaxing—from time to time. But if that’s how you’re gonna roll from late fall until early- or mid-spring when the weather finally warms up and the days are longer, that’s not going to be good for your mental or physical health. 

So next time you’re feeling the winter blues, follow these tips:

meditate

Stay Positive & Healthy This Winter Tip #1: Meditate In Bed

This may not come as a shock but it’s important to state: In general, people who meditate on a regular basis are happier, calmer, and better able to attract what they want in life. There’s lots of research to support this—at least the part about people who meditate being more positive and calmer. 

The problem with meditation is that for people who have never tried it, it seems intimidating. But learning anything new is challenging. Beyond that, though, another problem with meditation is that many people assume that you have to sit completely still in the lotus position like a Buddhist monk, with your legs twisted into a pretzel. But that’s not the case at all…

I recommend starting each day meditating before you get out of bed, lying flat on your back. So how do you meditate? It’s simple. Listen to a meditation app. Try a guided meditation, which will tell you exactly when to breathe in and breathe out. Or, if you’d rather just listen to soothing meditative music, with Tibetan singing bowls or other ethereal sonic blissed out sounds, there’s no shortage of YouTube videos or smartphone apps for that. 

Start each morning with a 10-minute meditation before you get out of bed. It will really set the stage for an awesome rest of your day. 

yoga pose

Tip #2: 5 Minute Yoga Routine

After you’re done with your meditation routine (and your potty routine), despite how tired you are and despite how cold it may be, force yourself to do a 5-minute yoga routine. 

If you live in an apartment without central heating, before you start your meditation practice in bed, turn on your space heater in the living room where you do yoga. Get the room nice and toasty. If you’re not sure which 5-minute yoga routine to do or how to do yoga at all, there’s a ton of intro yoga videos, many of them free. 

I recommend doing a flow that keeps your body moving, from cat/cow to downward/upward dog or sun salutations. After just 5 minutes of a continuous flow yoga practice, you’ll feel like a new person, totally energized, in good spirits and ready to take on the day’s challenges. Try my easy yoga pose routine to stress less, feel better.

healthy snacks

Tip #3: Seasonal Snacking

Let’s fast forward to the evening hours when there’s no kids around, all your work and errands are done and it’s tempting to get your Netflix on and snack away. This is the most challenging part of the day. Because even if you were successful at incorporating meditation and a mini yoga session or two (or other activity), succumbing to late-night snacking can sabotage all your healthy habits from earlier in the day. 

And just like meditation is associated with a more positive attitude, snacking is more associated with depression

So what can you do when it’s 9:00 at night and it’s time to watch a few episodes of your favorite show? Personally, I try to stop eating and drinking anything with calories by 8:00—unless I’m going out to dinner. Studies on the health impacts of late-night eating are conflicting. 

If you have type I diabetes, it may be essential to have a late-night snack to prevent dangerous blood-sugar drops. If you want to manage blood sugar levels and don’t have type I diabetes, however, eating late at night has been shown to contribute to metabolic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes. 

But other studies suggest that having a small meal before bed does not appear to be harmful—especially if you exercise on a regular basis. 

I realize that not everybody can resist the temptation to eat something. So if you are going to eat while watching TV on the couch late at night, eat a healthy, delicious mini-meal. 

My favorite healthy mini-meals are seasonal roasted veggies with some healthy fats and spices. 

    • Sweet potato with a tbsp of grass-fed butter and a dash of cinnamon
    • Brussel sprouts with avocado oil and sea salt and pepper
    • Carrots with hummus and ‘Everything But the Bagel’ spice (Trader Joe’s) or Zhatar
    • High-fiber toast (100% rye) with canned pumpkin and a dash of local raw honey
    • Almond flour crackers with cucumbers and lemon and pepper seasoning

I’m not going to demonize late-night snacking. The temptation this time of year is much too great. But do try your best to avoid all snacks with white flour and wheat flour (even 100% wheat). These common flours get metabolized too quickly. That means they turn into sugar and get stored by the liver as extra body fat. 

But the healthy mini-meal snacks above metabolize slowly and may even help to keep blood sugar levels within a normal, healthy range. 

read

Tip #4: Read

When’s the last time you read a good book? Many people go all day and all night staring at screens, hardly, if ever looking at printed pages, with the exception maybe of a restaurant menu. 

Reading actual books keeps your mind sharp. And when you get in bed, opening a book gets your mind and body ready for restful sleep. Sorry, reading on a tablet isn’t the same. In fact, studies show that the blue light emanating from tablets at night lowers sleep quality. 

“The use of commercially-available tablets may have consequences in terms of alertness, circadian physiology, and sleep,” the researchers concluded. Reading books has several health benefits, including keeping your mind sharp, reducing depressive symptoms, lowering blood pressure and heart rate. 

So crack open a book and get reading. If you fall asleep after reading just one page, so be it. Let reading be your best sleeping pill.

Tip #5: Eat Before You Party

When I’m invited to a party, I never know what kind of food will be served. Will it be pigs in a blanket, deli finger sandwiches and chips and dip? Most of the time, you get what you pay for, and if the food is free, it’s going to be low quality. So what I do is I have a little Organic Green Drink and then a little later, about an hour or two before the holiday party starts, I’ll eat a full healthy meal. That way, I won’t fill my belly with empty carbs and veggies that have likely been sprayed with pesticides. 

I’ll still indulge a little bit because I’m only human and when in Rome, ya know…

Hopefully, following these tips will keep you more positive and healthier this winter. 

Cheers,  Chef V

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

Veronica, Brandon, Coco on beach

The best veggies for a healthy gut, skin, hair, and nails are the same ones in Chef V’s mega-popular Green Drink. And it’s no coincidence that these same veggies are also the best for helping you cleanse and detox. Chef V covers how each of the veggies benefits your beauty.

I created the recipe for Organic Green Drink several years ago back when I was a private chef. Over time, demand grew for my Green Drink and that’s really the catalyst for launching Chef V.

I did a ton of research for the Green Drink recipe. I wanted to select the best veggies that would not only taste amazing cold-blended, but that would also be the best for a 3 day cleanse or 21-day detox. And as it turns out, the seven veggies in Green Drink not only happen to be the best for cleansing and detoxing, they also happen to be the best veggies for skin, hair, and nails.

Now I admit, it would be a pain in the behind to have to chop green kale, black kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, green chard, curly parsley, and green leaf lettuce every day. And then have to juice it. Then clean up.

The main reason why I transitioned from being a private chef to launching Chef V: making healthier easier for people just like you. And it doesn’t get any easier than having a bottle of our certified organic Green Drink delivered to your home.

Not only can you lose weight, gain energy and sleep more soundly by having Green Drink every day, but there’s also a very good chance your skin, hair, and nails will look better.

So let’s take a look at how the ingredients in Green Drink are the healthiest veggies for skin, hair, and nails.

meditate

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Kale

Sure, there’s some excessive kale craziness these days. But for good reason. Kale is rich in vitamin K. And it’s really hard for most people who eat the average American diet to get enough K. Vitamin K actually helps minimize dark circles in your eyes. That’s why it’s one of the best veggies for skin.

In fact, kale can even help tighten your skin. How? Well, one of the reasons why your skin isn’t as tight when you get older is that the aging process weakens your collagen. Collagen is the body’s main structural protein. In fact, over one-third of the thousands and thousands of proteins in the body are collagen proteins. Collagen provides strength to your tendons, ligaments, teeth, nails, hair, bones, gut lining, and much more….

The vitamin C in kale along with the antioxidant, lutein, promotes collagen regrowth and production. In addition, the vitamin A in kale helps prevent damage to the skin. It also repairs and damage to the epidermis.

There’s a good reason why kale has been added to several beauty products. Because it’s such an efficient detoxifying nutrient, kale can help clean your pores. It’s even beneficial for your hair pores. Moreover, kale contains fatty acids such as omega-3s. These fatty acids provide moisture to your hair and skin.

There’s even a nail polish with kale extract. Supposedly, it can help stimulate keratin production. Keratin is the other main protein that’s in your nails.

These facts about kale make it one of the best veggies for skin, hair and nails. So drink your Green Drink and schedule that kale facial!

kale

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Dandelion

Another incredible detoxifying green veggie in our Green Drink is dandelion. Dandelion widens your pores. That’s how it helps your body get rid of toxins. And according to this article, dandelion shrinks wrinkles. It may also help whiten dark spots and reduce fine lines.

Like kale, dandelion also contains lots of beta carotene and vitamin C. It’s also rich in the B vitamins and vitamin E, which is a standard ingredient in many skin care products. Moreover, the minerals and trace minerals in dandelion may actually help regrow hair.

dandelion

Lettuce

One of the main reasons why lettuce is good for your skin is it contains the following three minerals: silica, sulfur and phosphorous. You don’t need a large quantity of these minerals from the foods you eat. That’s why they are called trace minerals. But these three trace minerals are vital for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. Without doubt, you’re not going to get many benefits by eating iceberg lettuce, which is devoid of nutrition. But green leafy lettuce can also protect your skin against harmful UV rays.

So now do you see why I selected these six veggies (7 really; Green Drink includes two different types of kale)? Not only are they the best-tasting and most detoxifying, they’re also the best for your skin, hair and nails.

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Lettuce

One of the main reasons why lettuce is good for your skin is it contains the following three minerals: silica, sulfur and phosphorous. You don’t need a large quantity of these minerals from the foods you eat. That’s why they are called trace minerals. But these three trace minerals are vital for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. Without doubt, you’re not going to get many benefits by eating iceberg lettuce, which is devoid of nutrition. But green leafy lettuce can also protect your skin against harmful UV rays. So now do you see why I selected these six veggies (7 really; Green Drink includes two different types of kale)? Not only are they the best-tasting and most detoxifying, they’re also the best for your skin, hair and nails.

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© 2021 Chef V, LLC.