Tag: sleep

Is There Any Proof Green Drink Improves Sleep Quality?

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

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

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

But there’s a catch…

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

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

Research on Green Veggies & Sleep Quality

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Meditate 

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

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

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

  • Feast at lunch, eat a light dinner

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

  • Get Adequate Exercise

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

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

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

Leafy Greens in Green Drink Block Blue Light

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chef V’s 5 Easy Healthy Gut Makeover Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

#2: Probiotics

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

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

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

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

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

#3: No Added Sugar Diet

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

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

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

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

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

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

#4: Take It Easy

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

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

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

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

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

#5: Sleep Like A Baby

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

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

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

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

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

Love,

V

Angelica’s 21 Day Detox Success

sleep and weight loss

Angelica describes her Chef V 21 Day Detox Success

Angelica says: “For so long, I’ve felt bloated, clouded and discouraged by the feeling that I’m not reaching my health goals because of constant cravings. Doing Chef V’s 21 Day Cleanse has helped me realize that I am what I consume and all the sugary things advertised as “healthy” or “clean” isn’t as they seem. I cut out processed foods, dairy, and gluten and noticed the physical difference. My before and after pictures may not be as dramatic as others but I definitely feel clear minded, energized, not bloated, and overall better. With my hectic work schedule in the healthcare industry switching from night shift and day shift, it was a challenge to follow the plan to the T but I followed the guidelines and did my best to continue only consuming quality products. This was my first cleanse ever and I encourage all cleansers from any level to try it because the green drink is definitely surprisingly tasty and results there when you commit.”  – Angelica P.

Sleeping your way to weight loss success

sleep and weight loss

Trying to lose weight? Obviously, diet plays a huge role, along with exercise. But did you know that how much you sleep and the quality of your sleep also plays a crucial part in weight management?

And according to recent research, one way to improve your sleep quality is by getting enough specific nutrients.  I’ll share with you what these sleep-inducing nutrients are in just a bit…

sleep facts

The Link Between Obesity & Insomnia

But first, let me briefly explain why I think the link between diet and sleep quality is fascinating. Mostly, it’s because few people think of the connection between weight management and sleep. For the millions of Americans who suffer from insomnia, the most pressing concern is the stress and anxiety caused by chronic lack of sleep.

While habit-forming sleeping pills are the most common solution, perhaps the easiest and most overlooked sleep remedy is eating a healthier diet. After all, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the obesity epidemic has been paralleled by a trend of reduced sleep duration and quality.

Calcium In Leafy Greens

When most people think of the bone-building mineral, calcium, they think of milk and other dairy products. But dairy can promote inflammation in the body. A much better source of calcium is green leafy veggies, like the two kinds of kale in my Green Drink recipe.

Research suggests that if you don’t get enough calcium, you may have a more difficult time falling asleep. But there’s far more sleep benefits in green leafy veggies, according to research. These plants also contain micronutrients which may also influence sleep, such as tryptophan, potassium, magnesium, fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin, choline, complex carbs, and beta carotene.

And when you drink cold-blended Green Drink, the fiber is preserved. Fiber has been shown to be associated with deeper and more restorative sleep.

Green veggies (and yellow ones) also contain the eye-health promoting antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin. Not only do these antioxidants help you see better in the dark, they also help you sleep better. That’s because lutein and zeaxanthin filter out blue light.

Blue light, which is emitted from your smart phone, TV and other devices interferes with production of the sleep hormone, melatonin.

In addition, green leafy veggies contain lycopene (another great source: tomato paste)  and beta carotene, which have also been associated with less difficulty falling asleep.

chef v and green drink

Selenium For Sleep

The trace mineral, selenium has also been linked to sleep quality. If you eat sustainable sources of seafood along with nuts, you’re getting enough selenium. Brazil nuts are one of the best sources. They are high in calories so make sure you limit the serving size to just one handful.

Besides its effect on sleep, this macronutrient is also linked to immune function and inflammation response.

Vitamin C

Less Vitamin C intake was associated with non-restorative sleep. Red and yellow peppers contain mega C. Brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli, strawberries and cauliflower are other healthy sources rich in C.

Vitamin B6

I don’t eat that much animal protein. But one reason I include wild salmon in my diet (along with the occasional tuna when I’m at a sushi restaurant) is because it contains a good amount of vitamin B6. Among the many benefits of this water-soluble vitamin (also called pyridoxine), one of them is melatonin production.

Magnesium

Magnesium is important for sleep because not getting enough of this mineral in your diet is linked to problems staying asleep. A great source of magnesium is grains. Not all grains are good for you, however, especially ones that don’t have a lot of nutrients and get digested too quickly. Barley, wild rice, amaranth, and triticale are a few examples of magnesium-rich grains that your body takes a long time to digest. (The longer it takes to digest, the less cravings you’ll have.

eat this not that

Don’t Eat This And That If You Want A Good Night’s Sleep

If you want to fall asleep fast, limit your intake of dairy and meat. Palmitic acid is a saturated fat. It’s found in butter, cheese, milk, and meat. One study shows that diets high in palmitic acid led to an increased difficulty in falling asleep. Another study reported rats fed a diet rich in palmitic acid, were unable to regulate their food intake.

The bottom line is that if you want to sleep better, it’s yet another reason you should get lots of green leafy veggies in your diet. I created the Organic Green Drink to make it very easy to get your daily dose of them. So Drink Up!

And if you need more guidance on what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat, when you sign up for a Green Drink Plan, or one of my Cleanse & Detox programs, you’ll receive all my healthy eating guidelines for long-term weight loss success!

To your health,
Veronica — Founder, Chef V

References:

Sleep Symptoms Associated with Intake of Specific Dietary Nutrients

Influence of Dietary Intake on Sleeping Patterns of Medical Students

Sleep and obesity

Chef V and kale

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.