Tag: protein

Is It Time For A Social Media Detox?

Veronica reading a book

Detoxes aren’t just for resetting your digestive system after having too many In-N-Out burgers and margaritas. If you’re feeling a little insane in the membrane (like me with a pineapple on my head in the photo below), taking a social media break can be just what the mental health doctor ordered. Plus, Veronica Wheat, aka Chef V, has some tips to make social media, well, social and positive again…

salmon, nuts, beef, protein sources

We’ve all experienced it.

Checking our social media feed, we come across one post that for whatever reason stirs up feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and even loneliness. Which is crazy because it’s called social media. 

Maybe a friend from high school posted pics from an epic family vacation, staying at a 5-star resort. And meanwhile, you’ve been working your butt off and haven’t taken a vacation in years, let alone a glamorous one like your peers. Or maybe you come across a post where a bunch of your friends are out on the town seemingly having a blast but you didn’t get invited. 

Whatever the reason, there’s no denying the fact that social media fuels anxiety and depression. A lot of research has been done over the past few years that concludes that social media can stir up some toxic sh!t in us. And just like we need to do a dietary DETOX from time to time, it’s a good idea for us to take a break from social media every once in a while. And rather than being on social media to keep up with the Kardashians, we can actually use it for good. I’ll share some ideas about how to do just that so keep reading…

Why We Use Social Media 

If much of the news about social media is focusing on its bad effects on our mental health, then why do we continue scrolling? Why do we insist upon making ourselves feel potentially worse when we compare ourselves to other people? The simple answer is that we are social creatures and so social media, perhaps falsely, has led us to believe that connecting with our peer network has positive effects. But the paradox is that for many people, social media is an oxymoron, fueling even more disconnectedness. 

Another reason 7 out of 10 adults and 8 out of 10 teens use social media is that social media is addictive. To our brains, social media is no different than a gambler chasing a jackpot. Or a sad person drowning their sorrows in a pint of ice cream. Or a dope fiend hitting the crack pipe. 

When we scroll through our feeds, it feeds us a hit of dopamine. That’s the feel-good chemical that lights up the synapses in our brain’s reward center. The problem is that some people need more and more and more dopamine to stimulate this reward center. 

Like a casino pumping fresh oxygen into the room and fueling gamblers with free coffee so they never get tired, social media platforms are designed to keep us coming back. 

But why is that? 

If we feel jealous or insecure about seeing certain posts, why do we keep coming back for more punishment? Where is the reward in that? Well, we just never know when the next hilarious cat video will tickle our fancy. The point is that one session of social media scrolling is never the same as the next. Sure, there may always be foodie and vacation pics. 

But the experience is always different. And that’s what keeps us coming back for more.

Do You Like Likes? 

Despite the potential harm to mental health, some people use social media because they want to feel validated. They need people to acknowledge their accomplishments (or vacation and foodie pics). 

Although some platforms have removed likes (Instagram replaced likes with a heart emoji), that action does nothing to prevent comparing yourself to other people. And that includes comparing the number of, if not likes, then heart emojis your post received versus somebody else's. 

It’s all silly, really, the folly and whims of human nature. And the people who design social media platforms are Dr. Evil’s when it comes to exploiting human psychology. 

At the end of the day, we can’t help checking our feed to see if our post got any other likes (or hearts). This is part of the vicious cycle of chasing another hit of dopamine. And the first step to taking a social media detox is to realize you have a problem in the first place. 

Got Social Media FOMO?

Another reason it’s hard for some of us to stop checking our feed—even though we know that it may fuel anxiety or other negative emotions—is because of FOMO. We have a fear of missing out on seeing a photo from high school that half your graduating class has commented on. What if you miss out on that one? It stirs up feelings of being excluded from certain activities when we were kids or being picked last. 

Should You Detox From Social Media?

Look, if you know in your heart of hearts that scrolling is robbing you blind of joy then maybe it’s a good idea to take a break. Just like a Chef V CLEANSE has 1, 3 or 5 days options, you can start by dipping a pinkie toe in the deep end. Go one day without being on social media. See how that feels. 

If you really want to feel lighter mentally, then I recommend going longer. Don’t let FOMO trip you up. You’ll be fine not looking at all your friends’ baby pics. You’ll come out of the experience with greater awareness of what’s really important to you. And, you’ll discover what truly makes you feel connected to spirit. 

almond milk

Make Social Media Social Again

If you decide to stay on social media, set some boundaries. Don’t check your feed an hour before bed or first thing in the morning. Instead, establish a spiritual practice and stick to it. Do 10 minutes of yoga or meditation morning and night instead of scrolling. 

You can make social media social by inviting friends to join you for a yoga session in the park. Instead of following friends from high school that bring up feelings of inadequacy, follow thought leaders in the spiritual movement like Deepak Chopra. Organize a mini-meditation session with your “true friends” on social. Encourage everybody to comment about how they feel after meditating.

The bottom line is that if you’re going to check your feed for posts, it might as well feed your spirit. Follow others who you find to be inspiring, enlightening, and a positive for your mental health. 

Conclusion

The truth is that rates of stress, anxiety and depression are up for reasons other than social media. But numerous studies suggest social media is fanning the flames of mental disharmony. Instead of chasing dopamine rewards by constantly checking your feed, spend more time in nature. Do more yoga. Meditate more. This is what will fuel your spirit. 

Are You Eating The Perfect Amount Of Protein?

arms holding weights

Certified Nutritional Therapist, Veronica Wheat, founder of ChefV.com, has  surprising news about the protein intake for the average American. Find out if your protein consumption is supporting your health…

I couldn’t believe it when I came across a study that said that most Americans aren’t eating enough protein. 

Seriously? We’re the land of burgers. Steak. Wings. Chicken fingers. Bacon. Pork chops. Protein powders. And enough dairy products till the cows come home…

So how can most Americans be deficient in protein? Aren’t most Americans getting too much? Never mind that most Americans’ protein intake consists of factory-farmed meat and dairy. I’m not talking about protein quality here … just straight up grams of protein. 

Well, a study from the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging examined the food intake of nearly 12,000 participants. Based on the data, a third of the people were eating 30 grams of protein LESS than they should be. 

30 grams of protein is roughly half the amount of protein that an average woman should consume every day. That’s a huge amount of protein that the study participants were missing. 

salmon, nuts, beef, protein sources

How Much Protein Should You Eat Every Day?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams per day for women. This is not a one-size-fits-all recommendation. For example, if you lift weights or are pregnant (like yours truly; I need a minimum of 60 grams per day according to UCSF), you’ll need more. 

It seems really easy to eat 50-60 grams of protein per day. And again, I bet you, like me, think that most Americans are getting way more protein than that. I came across articles that suggest this. Like this one that says “Most Americans eat twice the protein they need.” 

But here’s the shocking truth. According to the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the average person consumes far less protein than they need. In fact, some estimates suggest that up to 80% of the population may be protein deficient.

What about you? Are you getting enough protein in your diet? Before we try and figure that out, let’s review why getting enough of this macronutrient is so essential for your health. 

Top Benefits of Protein In The Diet

Sinking your teeth into a morsel of protein not only tastes good and curbs hunger. 

(Sorry, I have to interject here that I’m a natural plant-based protein advocate. I recommend limiting animal protein to relatively clean, healthy sources like wild salmon.)

And here’s other reasons why you need to eat enough protein every day. 

  • Contains amino acids that support healthy skin
  • Boosts metabolism 
  • Prevents muscle loss and bone fractures
  • Repairs and builds lean muscle
  • Maintains strong nails and lustrous hair
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Supports the immune system

And last but not least, for women, eating enough protein has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. In fact, a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association says that PLANT-BASED protein lowers risk of premature death, heart disease and dementia. 

But here’s the thing about protein. You have to eat enough of it every day. That’s because our bodies don’t store excess protein to be used for repairing and supporting the body when needed. 

Nope, excess protein, unfortunately, just like carbs, gets stored as body fat. 

Why Are People Not Getting Enough Protein? 

With so many protein sources to choose from, what are the reasons many people are protein deficient? 

For starters, blame it on fast food culture. Most people in the U.S. do not lead a European lifestyle. We rush from one project and appointment to the next. We’re always on the go. We don’t take the time to make well-balanced, nourishing meals. 

Instead, many of us wolf down a sandwich for lunch. Then late at night, to make up for the lack of calories consumed during the day, many people snack on processed foods. But those chips, crackers and pretzels barely have any protein. Plus they’re loaded with cheap, rancid vegetable oils and excess sodium. 

—-> Don’t have time to eat healthy? Then drink healthy every morning. It’s easy and delivered fresh to your front door. Learn more about Chef V Delivery Plan.

Another reason that some people don’t eat enough protein is they simply don’t realize they need more of it. Older people, especially, need more protein to prevent muscle wasting. 

The bottom line is that for many people, it’s feast or famine with protein. One day you’re eating a whole steak for dinner. And then the next, it’s back to toast and coffee for breakfast, a turkey sandwich for lunch and then spaghetti for dinner. That’s not enough protein. 

almond milk

How Can You Tell If You’re Protein Deficient

Here’s how you can tell if you need to up your protein intake:

  • You’re frequently tired and have low energy
  • You have cravings for snacky foods, especially anything with added sugars
  • You feel weak
  • You get sick often
  • You’re moody and irritable

You can easily keep track of your protein intake with apps, many of which are free or low cost. Remember, aim for a minimum of 50 grams a day. I think a little more is actually ideal, so shoot for 60 if you’re a female and 70 for men. The standard formula is 0.8 grams for every 2.2 pounds you weigh. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should eat 55 grams of protein a day. 

To determine how much of a food you need to eat, try this chart from cancerdietician.com.

Best Protein Sources

Here are my favorite protein sources:

  • Chef V’s Ultra Vegan Protein Shake (which comes with Chef V’s CLEANSE  programs). 
  • Lentils (make sure they are pre-soaked to avoid bloating)
  • Beans (same issue as lentils)
  • Non-processed soy (tempeh, edamame)
  • Nuts
  • Nut milks
  • Eggs (pasture-raised only)
  • Salmon and other sustainable wild-caught fish.

wild salmon in river

How Can You Get Enough Protein?

In our land of abundance, getting enough protein should not be hard. I recommend eating protein three times a day. Every morning, I begin my day with a 16 ounce serving of Organic Green Drink. About half an hour later, I’ll make a smoothie with vegan protein powder like brown rice or pea. I always include protein with lunch and dinner. And if you need some healthy meal creation ideas, check out my recipes here as well as my e-book, Making Cleansing Easier, which is included with all my CLEANSE and DETOX programs.  

Protein is a dish, best served hot or cold every day.

Protein Powder: What you Need to Know before you Cleanse

two Chef V protein powders held by a girl

When you think of a juice cleanse or detox diet, does protein come to mind? If not, it should. But not just any protein. In fact, many protein powders can be toxic to your health. Learn why you need protein if you’re cleansing and what kind is best for your body. Here’s what you need to know.

new protein shake

Doing a Cleanse? Why Protein Powder is important

All animals must eat protein every day to survive. Us wild human animals included. Now I’m not saying you need to eat a 72-ounce T-bone steak every day for health. I’d feel very sorry for your colon if you did that.

You don’t even need a small bite of filet mignon every day. In fact, there’s no proof that you need animal protein for optimal health. Any natural vegan protein will do, including nuts and seeds.

Here’s a fun nutrition fact to chew on: the human body can’t live more than 70 days without eating any protein. Give or take a day. I haven’t personally tested this theory. And I don’t recommend you try either.

But if you’re reading this because you’re researching the best juice cleanse, there’s a very good chance you’re going to kill yourself just a little bit. And thanks to me, I’m going to save you from that. I’ll explain how in just a sec….

You see, if you go ultra low carb like the keto diet, no problem. Some of that dietary fat you’re feasting on will be converted into glucose (sugar) for your brain to feed on. Even protein can be converted into glucose. If you eat that 72-ounce steak, there’s a good possibility some of the cow meat will turn into sugar and get stored as fat.

But your body can’t store excess protein. It also can’t make protein from carbs or fats or anything else. That’s why you need to eat protein everyday for optimal health.

Your lean muscle tissue, hair, skin, and nails all need adequate protein to look healthy.

So if you’re checking out some different cleanse or detox diet options out there, here’s the big problem with them….

Most cleanse programs contain zero protein. Instead, all juice detoxes are is a slick marketing trick for selling you fruit juice with loads of sugar. That’s the opposite of cleansing! (Compare my cleanse program to popular juice cleanses here.)

Think how brittle your hair and nails will look after going several days without protein.

Some people think that it’s not good to have protein during a cleanse. Why? They assume it’s bad for the digestive system. Well, in a way, that’s true. But only if it’s processed meat or unhealthy protein powder.

I’m here to steer you in a healthy direction and recommend a protein powder to take while doing a cleanse.

protein burger

Vegan Protein Powder For Cleansing

Multi-colored, attractive bottles of juice may be effective for marketing. But they’re not good for health. You see, many commercial juice cleanse programs include about a half dozen different kinds of juice, each a different color of the rainbow. But each containing 20 grams or more of sugar and zero protein.

As far as I’m concerned (as a certified nutritional therapist), you need just one color of juice: green. Green-leafy vegetables are the most nutrient-dense foods and play a critical part in the body’s detoxification process. But even my cold-blended Organic Green Drinks don’t have any protein.

That’s why several years ago, I brainstormed on a protein powder that would be healthy for everybody, including people doing a cleanse. The result is my Organic Vegan Protein Shake. With 17 grams of high-absorbance pea protein per packet, brittle nails don’t stand a chance.

You’ll have to trust me (or the 5-star reviews on Yelp) that the shake tastes great. How does it taste good without adding gobs of sugar? My recipe uses organic vanilla powder, stevia, and monk fruit extract. Stevia and monk fruit are natural, calorie-free sweeteners.

Pea protein has become more popular. When I decided to use pea protein a few years ago, I never thought it would be just as effective for the weightlifting community. But check it out. This study shows that it produces the same increase in muscle thickness as whey protein.

There are a couple reasons I don’t use whey in my Protein Shake for my cleanse programs. First, many whey protein powders are contaminated with heavy metals. (Says this Harvard research report.) And also, whey protein is not good for people with lactose intolerance. True, I could have used whey protein isolate, which contains close to zero lactose, but I just don’t trust how whey is manufactured. And I don’t think it’s good for cleansing overall.

What About Soy Protein Powder For Cleansing?

Some people are concerned about soy protein’s effect on women. This is because soy is a phytoestrogen, and if the body has too much estrogen absorbed, it could produce a hormonal cancer such as breast cancer.

Thus far, there are no studies linking soy protein powder to breast cancer. However, I do believe that processed soy is not good for health. Also, I think there is something to the too much estrogen theory. After all, it’s not just the food supply from soybeans that causes estrogen dominance, it’s all the plastics and everyday cleaners that can mimic the effects of estrogen.

50% off Chef V Cleanse

Muscle Heads

You don’t need to buy one of those huge tubs of protein powders that huge weightlifters buy for bulging biceps.

If you’re not doing a cleanse, I really don’t think you need any protein powder at all. But if you are going to do a cleanse, you absolutely do need some protein if you don’t want your muscles to waste away and your immune system to get weak.

Dietary protein plays a major role in virtually every thing that happens in your cells. And not only that, protein helps you feel full. If you go even a few days without it, just having juice will make your blood sugars go up and down. You’ll get tired and cranky.

Look, even if you don’t choose one of my cleanses, I do highly encourage you to consume a little high-quality vegan-protein every day (hemp and brown rice are also good choices).

A little protein every day goes a long way for health.

Best wishes and to your health,

Chef V

Chef V and kale

Plant Based Protein Vs Plant-Based Meat

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

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

Plant-Based Meats Vs Regular Meat

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

The surprising answer is regular meat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plant-Based Meat Doesn’t Mean Healthy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other plant-based protein combos include:

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

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

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

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

To your health,

V

The Power of Pea Protein: Why You Will Cleanse So Hap-pea-ly

peas for protein

Pea protein is one of the most popular vegan proteins with no signs of slowing down, and for good reason. It’s super easy to digest, contains all 9 essential amino acids and doesn’t cause nasty belly bloating. That’s why Chef V is excited to introduce Vanilla Ultra Shake with pea protein for cleanse customers. 

peas in pod

Puny plant-powered peas? Hardly! Here’s Why Pea Protein Rocks…

It wasn’t that long ago that if you would have told someone at the gym that you use pea protein, they would have likely responded, oooo, gross! 

After all, peas were something that only babies eat. And maybe grown-ups who ate the occasional split pea soup. But pea protein powder? That was something relatively unheard of a generation ago, much less 5-10 years ago. Peas have proven to shatter the myth of the puny vegan. 

No longer is it far left field for bodybuilders to heal the microscopic muscle-fiber tears after a lifting session with pea protein. In fact, some of the most accomplished bodybuilders are vegan and support their lean muscle tissue with plant-powered protein powders, especially pea.  

The total value of the worldwide pea protein market was worth about $380 million in 2017. By 2027, guess what the market is forecast to be worth…?

Over $1 billion. 

That’s a lot of “pass the peas, please!” 

Pea protein powder is not a fly-by-night fad. Thanks to the growing consciousness of the health benefits of eating a natural plant-based diet, plant-powered protein powders are becoming the norm, not the exception. (I say “natural plant-based” because you can be a vegan and still be unhealthy, eating lots of processed junk.)

But if you’re thinking about doing a juice cleanse, do you really need pea protein? 

Spoiler alert: YES!

And here’s why…

The #1 Mistake With Doing a Juice Cleanse: Not Enough Protein

After doing a juice cleanse for a couple days, you might feel elated. Especially if prior to doing the cleanse you were not eating a clean diet, consisting mostly of organic produce and unrefined grains. 

But with most juice cleanses, by day 3, if not before, many people start feeling like complete $h!*. 

That’s because most cleanses on the market do not contain enough protein. In fact, most of them contain only the trace amounts of protein that are naturally occurring in fruit and vegetables. 

Speaking of fruit, that’s another problem with doing a cleanse. If you’re just drinking juice that’s primarily fruit-based, the lack of fiber and protein may cause dramatic blood-sugar fluctuations. 

You’ll become moody, irritable and you’ll eventually be so hungry, you’ll be dreaming and salivating about eating a bacon cheeseburger. Oh, and the not-so-sweet cherry on top of most cleanses is that the lack of fiber and protein will make you miserably constipated. 

So keep in mind that even if you’re doing a juice cleanse, you need to consume an adequate amount of protein, much more than one or two grams you would get per day from fruits and vegetables. 

doing a cleanse

Why Is Pea Protein Necessary When Doing A Cleanse? 

When most people think of protein powder, workout recovery and meal replacement are probably the two top things that come to mind. 

But if you want to reboot your metabolism to unclog your congested liver, then “cleansing” should be front and center of your mind when it comes to protein powder. 

And hands-down, pea protein powder is the best for a cleanse. That’s because pea protein powder is:

  • Hypoallergenic (it won’t trigger food allergies; with rare exceptions)
  • Highly-absorbable 
  • Easy to digest (won’t cause gas or bloating)
  • A complete protein (contains all 9 essential amino acids; no food combining necessary)
  • Non-inflammatory
  • High in iron 
  • Good for the cardiovascular system
  • Supports healthy skin, hair and nails

I want to briefly talk about this last benefit. I’ve been in this business for a very long time, first as a certified nutritional therapist and personal chef and now as the curator of the nation’s best home delivery Green Drink plan and Cleanse/Detox program. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen first-hand the brittle nails, pale skin and dull hair caused by an unhealthy cleanse program. 

When you go 7, 14 or 21 days or longer doing a juice fast and don’t get enough protein, you are literally starving your lean muscle tissue. Isn’t the whole point of doing a cleanse to feel better and sexier—no matter what your body type is? 

Well, I can personally guarantee you that if you don’t get enough protein while you’re cleansing, you will not look and feel your best. 

Just Say No To Animal Protein While Cleansing?

If protein is so important while doing a cleanse, why not eat a tiny bit of grass-fed beef or supplement with egg white protein powder? 

The reason why is because if you need to cleanse because of a sluggish metabolism, animal protein is extremely difficult to process. 

That’s because your liver produces bile, the greenish, detergent-like liquid that metabolizes dietary fat. 

If your liver is underperforming, you need to temporarily minimize your intake of dietary fat; I recommend completely avoiding animal fat while you’re cleansing and in the immediate days after your cleanse is done. 

New To Chef V’s Cleanse: Vanilla Ultra Shake With Pea Protein

The number one concern most people have about doing a cleanse is, “Will I starve?” The good news is that with a Chef V Cleanse, not only will you not starve, your belly will be hap-pea-ly nourished thanks to 4 Green Juices per day, 2 Vanilla Ultra Protein Shakes with pea protein per day, and 1 delicious DETOX SOUP for dinner. 

You can choose between a 5 Day, 3 Day or 1 Day Cleanse. 

Learn more here

Here’s to feeling “hap-pea” on your cleanse!

Love,  Chef V

Chef V, Coco and kale

Green Protein Smoothie (with Kale)

Adding Kale to a green protein smoothie makes it so good for you. Kale is a wonder in the world of superfoods. It is packed with carotenoids and flavonoids, the key antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals.  – Veronica

green smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 medium leaf green chard
  • 2 large leaves green kale
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple pieces
  • 1 cup Chef V’s raw almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1 scoop plain or vanilla vegan protein powder (use hemp, pea or brown rice protein, do not use soy protein)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend 1-2 minutes until smooth. Will keep for up to 3 days refrigerated.

    Bon Appétit!

Chef V’s Protein Balls

When I need a quick energy boost and want something chewy and yummy, I grab one of my homemade protein balls. Keep these in the fridge and you’ll have an easy way to satisfy a craving for a sweet.

protein balls

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cup gf oat flour (or any gf flour)
  • 3 tbsp date syrup or coconut nectar
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp Chef V vanilla protein powder  (or other vegan protein)
  • 1/4 cup vegan choc chips

Directions

Mix all ingredients together and form small balls. Will keep for a a couple days covered in fridge or a couple weeks in the freezer.

Easiest Way To Be Eco Friendly: Power Yourself by Plants!

vegtable protein sources

Even if you drive a gas-guzzling car, crank up the A/C in the summer and heat in the winter, you can still do your part to tread more lightly on the Earth. Learn how easy it is to be more eco friendly….

Power Yourself with Plants: Plant Powered Proteins

The easiest thing you can do to tread more lightly on the Earth is eat less meat.

Did you know that over 30% of the Earth’s landmass is being used livestock (meat- and dairy-producing animals.) Nothing wrong with enjoying a piece of meat every now and then if it’s grass-fed, organic and humanely-raised.

However, for me, that’s a rare treat. Especially knowing that almost 10 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere is because of feeding and caring for livestock.

Ten percent might not sound high, but here’s the problem: Livestock accounts for a shockingly-high amount of harmful greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are chiefly responsible for global warming. Feeding and taking care of domesticated animals that eventually turn up on our dinner plate generates about 65 percent of nitrous oxide (N20). What’s the difference between N20 and CO2?

cattle in stockyard

Nitrous oxide has the potential to warm up the planet 300 more times than CO2.

Also, all those animals grazing and pooping uses a lot of water and takes up land that could otherwise be used for public open spaces.

My intention isn’t to freak you out about global warming nor is it to convert you to vegetarianism.

Rather, my intention is to let you know how easy it is to be more eco friendly simply by eating less meat. Do you eat meat three times a day? Cut down to twice a day. If you eat meat three times a week, see how you do eating it just once or twice a week.

protein burger

And now that there are so many delicious plant-based meat alternatives it’s really easy to have less of a carbon footprint. In fact, if you’re already vegetarian or vegan, let your friends and family know about the delicious brands of plant protein burgers. Bring a package of Beyond Meat’s “Beyond Burger” to the next barbecue you go to.

While it’s true that Beyond Burger is a little on the pricey side, it’s a fraction of the cost of what you’ll have to pay should you God-forbid develop a chronic illness.

That’s not to say that vegetarians don’t develop chronic disease, but there’s no denying the fact that eating lots of meat puts you at more risk for developing certain cancers like colorectal. (This is especially true if you’re eating lots of red, processed meat like bacon, as well as deli meats with nitrites and nitrates.)

In addition to yummy pea protein burgers, you can also boost your plant-protein intake with hemp protein, which is one of the plant-powered proteins for my Organic Protein Shake recipe, which you get when you do one of my Cleanses.

Chef V protein shake

Reduce Water and Plastic Usage

Reducing the amount of water you use is another way to be more eco friendly. Try to reduce the time you’re in the shower by one minute. Set a timer on your phone to let you know when time’s up.

Another way to cut down on the amount of water you’re using while showering is by installing a low-flow showerhead.  If you own a home, the incentive to be more eco friendly will be worth it. That’s because low-flow showerheads will result in a lower water bill.

Also, if you’re still using plastic water bottles, get with the program and use stainless steel water bottles. If you’re using plastic because the water at your home doesn’t taste good, spend the money on a good water filter for your sink. Or you can buy one of those water filter pitchers.

The overwhelming majority of plastic water bottles end up in garbage landfills. In fact, it’s estimated that 80 percent of commercial water bottles end up in landfills. Every time you toss a water bottle in the trash, keep in mind that it’ll take up to 1,000 years for it to decompose. And in the meantime, the bottle will be leaking harmful chemicals into the environment.

You can easily do your part to reduce the amount of plastic that’s discarded into landfills. Just say no to plastic water bottles. We offer a glass option for our weekly Chef V plan delivery (not available for shipping at this time), just email customer service to make the switch.

When I travel by plane, I bring my own water bottle and fill it up at the airport. They always have water stations or if not a restaurant will fill it for you.

water bottle

Ditching The Dairy Is Eco Friendly

As I mentioned above, livestock (think: cows) require an enormous amount of land, feed and water. And the methane gas from their back ends is a major contributor to greenhouse gas. In fact, methane is 85 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. That’s right, cow farts and poop are bad. Real bad. (And it’s worse than we thought, according to this Forbes article.)

So in addition to cutting down on meat, it’s eco friendly to ditch dairy, too. But if you can’t stand the thought of not having your milk and cookies, there’s plenty of healthy plant-based “mylks” out there. For example, try my recipe for almond milk. I add almond milk to Golden Milk, which is one of the healthiest, most delicious drinks on the planet.

I realize some people can’t do without cheese. Having a picnic in a field with some red wine and slices of delicious Manchego (a variety of sheep cheese) is heavenly. I get that. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat huge wedges of cheese every day. I’m not saying you need to give up cheese completely. Just as with meat consumption, try to reduce the amount of conventional dairy you eat. The cows are still going to be farting away in the fields. But the less demand for cheese and dairy overall, the less the livestock will need to be fed.

Brandon and Veronica

Other Easy Ways to Be More Eco Friendly

Just cutting down on the amount of meat and dairy you eat as well as the amount of water you use are impactful ways you can more eco friendly. Doing so makes a huge difference.

And other ways you can easily reduce your carbon footprint include:

  • Keeping canvas bags in your trunk to use everytime you go to the supermarket or farmer’s markets. You can also bring them into restaurants when you’re getting take-out.
  • Speaking of restaurants, buy some Pyrex containers and use them for leftovers.
  • Use organic sunscreen. Conventional sunscreen is partly responsible for killing coral reefs.
  • Don’t use paper towels. Instead, use cloth hand towels to wipe your face and hands.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot water.
  • Replace old lightbulbs with more energy-efficient LED lights.

Pretty simple, right? You don’t have to feel pressured to make these changes all at once. Adopt one recommendation at a time if that works better for you. Even making one of these changes will make a significant difference. It might not seem like much but every bit helps.

Love,

Chef V

Chef V and kale

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.