Tag: trend

Why Zinc Matters Now More Than Ever

Chef V Interview - Cleansing your Body

Do I ever have any fun? 

Do I ever stop practicing what I preach? 

Or am I constantly perched on this virtual altar spouting natural health gospel? 

If you’ve been following my recent articles, you might think that I never stray from the healthy path. 

But that couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, I follow the 80/20 rule: eat healthy and practice other wellness-forming habits 80% of the time and let yourself “cheat” a little the other 20% of the time. (Maybe it’s more like 85/15.)

Want to know my secret indulgences? Here’s a few of my occasional transgressions: French fries, wine, and chicken sandwiches.

I guess because of the pandemic, I haven’t let you, dear reader, see the human, relatable side of me, the side that’s just as prone to stress-eating temptation as you might be. 

(The key to conquering snack food cravings: indulge in kale chips instead of regular chips. Eat almond flour crackers instead of white flour crackers.) 

This blog has focused on different ways to stay healthy during these challenging times. That doesn’t mean, however, I don’t celebrate life by indulging in crap from time to time. 

But I do stick to a healthy routine, including daily yoga/meditation and Organic Green Drink. 

Sorry for the long-winded intro. I just needed to get the fact that I’m only human off my chest. 

Now back to my regularly-scheduled next health spiel…

Why Zinc Is Important

All dietary minerals are important. But in 2020-2021, zinc just might be the most important. It’s received a lot of attention in research studies. That’s because zinc can help prevent viruses from replicating in cells. In order to become infected by a virus, the virus needs to first penetrate your cells and then start making copies of itself. Zinc is like  anti-virus software that prevents your computer (the cells) from getting hacked. 

There’s also one other function of zinc that’s very appropriate for the times. The mineral, which is the fourth-most abundant metal on Earth, is essential for maintaining your sense of smell. 

I’m sure you’ve heard that one of the first tell-tale signs of COVID-19 infection is loss of smell. Could it be that zinc deficiency or suboptimal levels is to blame for infection? I found a research study from September of last year published in the International Journal of Infectious Disease that supports this theory. The researchers write in the conclusion of the study: 

“The data clearly show that a significant number of COVID-19 patients were zinc deficient. These zinc deficient patients developed more complications, and the deficiency was associated with a prolonged hospital stay and increased mortality.”

Does reading that conclusion make you want to open a new browser and order a zinc supplement this instant? I don’t blame you. After all, if you want a balanced immune system, one that won’t go haywire and attack your organs should you God-forbid become infected, then you need to make sure you’re getting enough zinc. 

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high versus low glycemic index

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Best Sources of Zinc

But getting enough zinc is just half the story. Absorbing it is another issue. Most Americans eat stuff with plenty of zinc, especially meat. A serving of ground beef contains about half of the recommended daily value (according to the FDA: men need 11 mg, women require 8 mg). Pork,  seafood and chicken are also rich in zinc. 

Animal protein, especially oysters, which contain the highest zinc content of any food (over 65 mg per 3.5 ounces!), are the best sources of zinc. So what’s a plant-based dieter to do? Fortunately, some of my favorite vegan treats like pumpkin seeds, cashews, and chickpeas are solid sources. 

But both carnivores and vegans face an inconvenient truth about zinc. Because of both natural factors and man-made environmental concerns, we’re not absorbing enough zinc as we should. 

Why We’re Zinc Deficient

What’s to blame for zinc malabsorption? Let’s start with an issue that affects vegetarians and vegans…

In nature, plants have developed ways to protect themselves from insects. Beans and lentils come from plants that have a coating that contains phytates. Phytates are anti-nutrients. That means that they interfere with mineral absorption. 

As the song goes, “Beans, beans they’re good for your heart,” but the more you eat of them, without soaking them, the less zinc your body will absorb. So if you’re buying beans or lentils in a can from the supermarket, soak them overnight in pure water to eliminate some of the phytates. 

Recently, I wrote about glyphosate, the most heavily-sprayed chemical on food crops in the country. Glyphosate prevents plants from uptaking zinc and other minerals from the soil. Unfortunately, just about everything we eat contains glyphosate residue. The best way to minimize your exposure is by eating organic.  

Conclusion

This weekend, I’ll probably kick back and enjoy a glass or two of wine. I might even get some carry out Thai (tastes amazing but lots of carbs) and partake in another as of yet to be determined indulgence. But I’m going to make sure I’m eating a ton of organic plants (and drinking them) to make sure my cells are supplied with enough zinc to keep my immune system balanced.

 I’ll also be taking an ionic zinc supplement (liquid drops that the body absorbs much better than pills or capsules).

Cleansing With Food Chef V Interview

Cleansing with Food
an interview with Chef V, Veronica Wheat

Chef V Interview - Cleansing your Body

Rico Caveglia: Hello, I am Rico Caveglia, and this is your Ageless Body Self-Care Guide, operations manual for your body and for your mind.

The title of today’s interview is about cleansing. This is such an important topic these days. I’m sure you probably know that we live in quite a toxic environment these days. We’re getting toxins from the air, the water, the food, beauty products, building material products. We’re getting bombarded with toxins all the time, so it’s so important to learn about what cleansing is and what it can do for you and how to do it.

We’re very fortunate today to have one of the top experts. Her name is Veronica Wheat, and she is known as Chef V. She is a private chef, a nutritional therapist, and owner of Chef V. It’s a green drink and cleansing program company that actually home delivers. She’s offering quite a great service. Chef V, Veronica Wheat, thanks so much for being here.

Veronica Wheat (Chef V): Thank you for having me, Rico.

Rico: Thanks for coming to share your knowledge and wisdom with us. I really appreciate that. Let’s get right into it. Always the first question is, how do you define what a cleanse is? What is the definition of cleansing the body?

Chef V: Basically, our bodies are designed to naturally cleanse and detoxify themselves. Every night when you go to sleep, your cells start going to work detoxing all the impurities, breaking down foods, getting the nutrients from the food, and really getting rid of the rest of everything. We come in contact with so many toxins.

Our bodies do naturally cleanse; however, in today’s world, like you’re saying, we are loaded with toxins. All the preservatives in the food, all the additives, the colors, the dyes. In beauty products alone, there’s 2,000 chemicals that some companies are banning, and they’re not regulated here in the United States. Air pollution has lots of toxins. While our bodies they do naturally detoxify, there’s a lot of things out there that our body – it’s bombarded. It’s too much. So we really do need to give it a break.

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If you’re really a very healthy person and you avoid perfumes, dyes, bad products, lotions, even toothpaste, shampoos – there’s so many chemicals in all these things we’re using. If you eat really clean and avoid toxins in all these areas, you’re a lot better off. But 95% of the population is unaware of all these things. They’re thinking that things are safe from them and putting them in their body or on their body or breathing them in or ingesting them, and it’s just too much. Your body starts breaking down. Autoimmune diseases, diabetes, all these different ailments that people are starting to see.

It’s important to add cleansing things into your diet. Lemon water detoxifies the liver first thing in the morning, if you’re doing that. You’ll notice in the morning when you wake up, your pee might be a little darker. You’ll have bowel movements. That’s really your body cleansing and detoxifying. Your body naturally does cleanse, but there’s also ways to add more cleansing and detoxifying systems into your body.

Rico: I want to add to exactly what you said. Unless you live on top of a mountain somewhere in purified air and have your own organic garden, no matter what we do, even if we eat organic, we’re still getting lots of toxins all the time. So it’s so important.

Talk to us a little bit about – it’s all about our immune system, especially these days with the virus going around and all that. I think an important thing for people to realize is that these toxins are cumulative. You might say “Just because I eat this apple and maybe it’s got preservatives on it, so what?” But the thing is all these things are cumulative, all the different ways we get it. How does that work? When we get too much overload, our immune system breaks down? Is that what happens?

Chef V: Yeah. Everyone’s really different in how they hold on to toxins, especially if you exercise a lot. That really helps detoxify the body. So if you’re exercising and eating well, you are naturally cleansing your body in certain ways.

But a lot of people are not exercising and they’re eating really horribly and they’re using all these lotions and perfumes, dyes, air fresheners. There’s so many chemicals. People think “Oh yeah, I’m going to spray Febreze around my house to make it smell good!” You’re inhaling chemical toxins into your body. There’s just so much out there. I think a lot of people think that things are regulated and things are safe for them just because they’re on a store shelf when that’s completely far from the truth.

We’re not infinite beings. Your body has limits, and when you’re putting so many toxins – cigarette smoke, lots of alcohol. It can only handle so much, and then you might get lung cancer or liver cancer or something like that. By helping to cleanse and take breaks from certain things – not saying you can never have a drink in your life. It’s just if you’re going to drink, make sure the next morning you’re having lemon water, cleansing, something healthy, a smoothie, a nice salad. If you want to eat pizza for dinner, then make sure you’re having something healthy for lunch that’s cleansing and detoxifying.

It’s all about balance. It’s really hard to avoid everything, and it’s not going to be fun if you’re not enjoying your life. But you do have to balance everything out for the wellbeing of your immune system. Otherwise your body will start shutting down.

Rico: Very well said. What are some of the main benefits you’ve seen from doing cleanses?

Chef V: I have developed different sorts of cleanses. I have a whole 3, 5, 7 day cleanse where you’re not having any solid foods. You’re just having green drinks, protein shakes, and soups. I can go more into that later. But also, what I really practice and preach is having a green drink every day first thing in the morning for breakfast. That way it’s the first thing you’re putting in your body. It’s the first thing processing through your liver, through your colon, and helping you cleanse and detox.

Sorry, what was the question again? I got off-track.

Rico: No, that’s a really good point of doing that first thing in the morning so you cleanse your liver so your liver is ready for whatever else it might have to deal with during the day.

Chef V: Oh, what have I seen from the cleansing.

Rico: Yeah, some of the benefits.

Chef V: I’ve had people that have done a 3-day cleanse rid themselves from autoimmune medication in just 3 days. Someone who was on autoimmune medication for 5-10 years. I had a guy that had gout on his leg – huge gout on his leg for 10 years. He did a 3-day cleanse; it completely melted away.

And it’s miraculous because it’s like, wow, if you’re just giving your body this little break – your body is amazing. It does miraculous things. The body can live on Top Ramen, cigarettes, and Coca-Cola. It can survive. It’s not going to be thriving, but that’s how miraculous the body is.

So when people just give it this little reset, this little break – and I’m not saying don’t eat. Don’t do lemon water and cayenne for 3 days. If you give your body nutrients and just take a break from all of the crap, the toxins, the alcohol, the gluten, the dairy, the processed meats, all of these things, your body really can function at its best. So that’s the things I’ve seen just from people doing a 3-day cleanse.

But I’ve had people that do the green drink every day – not just a full cleanse. They have food, they live their normal life, but just by having the green drink every day, I’ve seen people rid themselves of adult acne, rosacea, eczema. I’ve had one person lose 245 pounds, my biggest testimonial. He’s lost 245 pounds in 14 months, and his whole life has been changed.

I had another lady who did the green drink for a year. She had Type 2 diabetes, she had Graves’ disease, and she rid it completely just by implementing a green drink daily, which is just basically cleansing and detoxifying your body and giving your body this influx of nutrients. The most important is empty stomach. That way your body can absorb everything and your cells can get the most benefit from it.

I’ve seen a lot of amazing things. I could go on for hours, and I have tons of testimonials on my website and Facebook and Yelp.

before and after cleansing

Rico: It works. Talk a little bit about some of the plant-based foods or different plants and herbs and things that are cleansing to the body.

Chef V: In my drink, I use seven certified organic greens. I’ve chosen these specific greens because each one has a different function. These are not the only healthy foods that you can use. There’s tons more, and I can go a little bit into that.

But specifically for my drink, I use green and black kale because they are the highest phytonutrient greens on earth. The phytonutrients help fight free radicals in the body, which combats cancer. We also have green chard, which helps control your cholesterol. The collard greens help regulate your blood sugar. Dandelion greens specifically cleanse the liver. Parsley has folic acid and the green leaf lettuce is great for your hair, skin, nails, even your teeth. And then I have a little healthy dose of the apple, which also is healthy to have a little apple in your diet.

Rico: I’m actually a testimony for you as well because as you know, you’re a friend of mine, and you’ve actually contributed some of your green drinks to some of the workshops and things I’ve put on here in San Diego. I’ve had your green drinks quite often, and I have to say they’re the best tasting.

Whenever I try to make my own green drink and I put it in a blender and put all the stuff in, it always comes out like – oh man, I can hardly get it down. But you got the formula down. It actually tastes good and it’s smooth and easy to drink.

Chef V: Thank you. There’s also tons of other foods that are really healthy, cleansing, detoxifying. Anything green is going to be great in your diet. Ginger is great, garlic, onions. Berries are great. They have lots of antioxidants. There’s tons of other foods that are out there.

During COVID, I’ve done an immune boosting workshop that I’ve gone live with and talked about different foods and how to get more of them into your diet and why you should get them in your diet and easy ways to include them. There’s tons of foods that are detoxifying. You can even just google “cleansing foods, detoxifying foods,” and try and get more of those into your diet. Not saying that’s the only thing that you can eat or should eat, but you just eat more of them.

Rico: What would your recommend for someone who’s never done a cleanse at all and says “Maybe I should try something”? What would you recommend? How would they get started?

Chef V: Typically when people come into my store or call or reach out to me through the website or whatever and they want to do a cleanse, they say, “I want to do a 7-day cleanse because I want to get the most benefits.” I say, “Why don’t you start with a 3-day cleanse?” I put you on a 2-day pre-cleanse of elimination diet. No caffeine, alcohol, no red meat, no gluten, no dairy. Not saying you can never have that; again, just giving your body a little break from that. 

Most people lose 5 pounds on the pre-cleanse alone, and they just feel great. Their stomach is flatter, they have more energy, more vitality. Then I have them do a 3-day cleanse. I say anyone can do anything for 3 days. It’s pretty simple. By Day 2 you’re more than halfway through. I do give you everything that you need for the cleanse. You get four 16-ounce green drinks a day, two protein shakes a day, and then a yummy detox soup at night. By the time you get to that soup, it tastes like a steak because you’re so ready for it. [laughs]

I always tell people, it’s your cleanse. Listen to your body. If you need to add something into the day, like if you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I’m not going to make it,” most of the time it’s in your head. We’re so conditioned to have breakfast by this time and lunch by this time and dinner by this time because of society. So I tell people, be easy on yourself. If you need some raw nuts or some fresh vegetables or even just a clean piece of protein at the end of the day, make it your own.

But the purpose of cleansing basically is you don’t want to have as many solid foods because your body is usually always busy breaking down foods and digesting foods and assimilating where the proteins go, the carbohydrates, all these things, and then getting rid of the waste. That takes a lot of work and energy for your body. So at night, your body gets this break, and that’s when the most miraculous things happen in your body – at night, when you’re sleeping. If you’re young, you’re growing in your sleep. Your body is detoxing and doing all these things.

So basically when you’re doing my 3-day cleanse, you’re just extending that process. Everything that we serve is blended, not juiced. You’re getting all of the fiber, but it is blended so that your body doesn’t have to break it down and work so hard to digest it. And when your body is not working so hard to digest things, it can go and use all that energy to do other amazing, miraculous things, like rid that guy of gout that he had for 10 years, or help the immunity build itself back up.

That’s what the purpose of cleansing is, so I tell people if you can, try not to eat anything other than what we’ve provided you. But again, don’t make it miserable. Don’t feel like a failure and then give up because “I had to have a piece of chicken or some nuts” or something. Just keep going. You’re still doing way better than you would if you hadn’t done anything at all.

Rico: I’ve found too that sometimes when you think you’re hungry, you really maybe are thirsty. Just drink some water sometimes or go for a walk or something. Brush your teeth. Then you don’t feel like eating anything. It’s all little things that you can do. But yeah, again, I like what you said: you don’t have to be so strict and think that you lost it all. Anything you do is better than nothing.

Don’t you find, too, that if you want to do a little bit longer one, once you get through about 3 days, it gets a lot easier, doesn’t it? 

Chef V: Yeah. I have so many people that tell me, “Oh my gosh, by Day 3, I could go two more days!” I always tell people, “Cool. If you live around here, if on Day 3 you’re feeling like a million bucks, come back and we’ll give you two more days and you can keep going on the 5-day cleanse.” But a lot of it is mental. If you think “I have to do 5 days,” by Day 3 you’re like, “Oh God, I’m barely halfway done.” It’s mental, and that’s where a lot of people can choke up.

But if you’re listening to your body and really paying attention to what it’s telling you – because your body will tell you what it needs and what it wants. Your body tells you when you’re hungry. Your body tells you when you need to go to the bathroom. A lot of times people don’t listen to their body. And just like you said with the water – I’m a nutritional therapist, and I counsel a lot of my clients in their health journeys, and you’d be surprised. 90% of people do not drink enough water. Not even close.

I had a client that said, “Oh, I definitely drink enough water.” I have this scale that I would bring around if I’m counseling in person – most of the time it’s via Zoom or telephone – and it tells you what your body water percentage is. This woman who thought she was getting enough was way under the percentage. It was supposed to be around 50-60% and she was about 42%. She was really shocked. She said, “That’s so strange.”

Then we got to the bottom of it and she was counting the green drink and her collagen tea that she was drinking as water. I said, “No, as soon as you mix more than one ingredient with water, it’s no longer water. You need to just be drinking water.” It’s an example of why people are so confused. There’s not really this book that you’re handed as a child or even an adult that tells you, “This is how you need to eat. This is what you need to do. You can have this much water.”

There’s so much noise out there about nutrition and what to eat or not to eat, don’t eat gluten, you’ve got to be vegan, you can’t eat after 7:00. There’s just so much noise out there. It’s really not that hard, but the food industry has made it extremely hard and the diet world has made it extremely hard for people to be healthy and be successful in their food journeys.

pregnant lady drinking Green Drink

Rico: Absolutely. That’s what this project is all about. I’m getting experts and people who I know that really have concern for their patients and their customers, and it’s all information you can trust. That’s what this project that you have is all about: giving you the right information so you can get past all the misinformation and the overwhelm and you’ll know exactly the best ways to care for your physical body.

One more question. How often do you recommend people do a cleanse?

Chef V: Again, this is a question that I get all the time, especially when people have great success on the cleanse. For me, I don’t really do a 3-day cleanse that often. Probably the last time I did one was 2 or 3 years ago. You might think, “What? Chef V doesn’t do a 3-day cleanse?”

But that’s because I’m doing something for myself every day, and that’s the most important thing. The reason why I created the cleanse is because, yes, it works and people are successful. But really, the success and lifelong changes come with what you’re doing every day.

I make sure that I have a green drink or something very healthy first thing that I put in my body. If I’m traveling, I either try and find some place to make a smoothie, or if the hotel will make something, or if not, I go into the grocery store and get a piece of fruit or I eat a salad for breakfast. No one’s ever taught us to eat vegetables for breakfast. Have you ever seen a salad on a breakfast menu? No. You have cereal, pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast. Lots of carbohydrates. What that does is puts your body more at a halt. It’s not really helping your metabolism speed up and turn on.

But when you’re giving your body living nutrients, vegetables, salad – the other day I had a Thai salad leftover in my refrigerator. I’m in a hotel right now in New Jersey, and I didn’t have my green drink, even though my store is not far. I had to do some work in the morning and I was hungry, so I took the Thai salad out and started eating the cucumbers and the carrots and the lettuce out of there. That was my breakfast.

Then I can wait till lunch and I can be a little bit more lax and have a sandwich or a piece of pizza or something. It’s not like you have to eat that way for every single meal. Just try and get more of those nutrients in your body.

And the most important, like I said, is first thing. What are you putting in your body first? That’s the first thing after your body has worked so hard all night to cleanse and detoxify, and then you’re going to shove it down with bacon and sugary orange juice? That’s not really beneficial. It’s really going to make your body have to work harder in order to cleanse and detoxify itself. But if you’re putting something that is healthy and cleansing or detoxifying first thing, again, you’re prolonging that cleansing process that your body is naturally doing, and you’re helping aid that cleanse and detoxification process.

Rico: Such good information. Thank you. I just want to add, I think the point you were making earlier was if you do a clenase and then you go back to eating junk food and don’t change your lifestyle habits, then you’re going to get real toxic again real quick, and you’re going to need to do it again a lot sooner.

But even if you’re trying to have some green drinks every day and be as healthy as you possibly can, a lot of people recommend doing a cleanse with a change of the seasons, maybe four times a year is a good thing to do. But I agree with you; I try and do a daily detox. I exercise and sweat and drink lemon water, drink green things. If you incorporate that into your lifestyle, you don’t have to do a regular full-on cleanse quite so often.

Chef V: Yeah. To further answer your question – sorry, I got a little sidetracked and excited – when people ask me, “How often can I cleanse?”, I say everyone’s different. If I’ve learned anything in the 10 years I’ve been doing this, I know that everybody’s different. Everyone’s different in the way they cleanse, in the way they detox, in the toxins they’ve held on to, in the amount of toxins, the different toxins that they’ve ingested or taken throughout their life.

Some people are way more toxic than others, and they probably do need a nutritional reset more often, and they’re probably not taking care of their bodies in between these 3-day cleanses or whatever. So when people ask me, “Can I do a cleanse every week?”, that’s probably not a healthy option. Your body does need calories. It does need nutrients to survive. The cleanse is low calorie, but it’s very high nutrient.

So I tell people maybe every 3 months, twice a year. At least maybe once a year doing something to nutritional reset. Some people will just take January and do no alcohol for January. That’s a perfect example of a nice little cleanse or reset. There’s different ways. It’s not just one magic potion that works.

But mine has had great success, and I highly recommend people try it if they are feeling toxic. Or maybe they’ve been on medication, in the hospital or something like that. There’s so many things. Everyone has a different journey, and I’m happy to answer anyone’s questions if they do have questions about their specific needs. You can always email [email protected]. We’re happy to assist you and tailor something that works for you.

Rico: So well said. Really good information, Chef V. Thank you so much. On that same note, I want to remind you that this video training comes with a PDF. You have a transcription, so you can read it, and we definitely always recommend that you go to all of our experts’ websites. They have lots of information there. Often they have free gifts for you, they have special offers. I know Chef V does. And they’re there also to give you some coaching, to give you some training or give you some help. We really recommend that you stay in touch and keep on learning from our experts.

Being healthy and creating wellness is an ongoing process. It’s a lifetime process. Stay connected to all this great information. We’re all learning as we go as well, so as you stay connected with our experts, you’ll be updated with all the latest scientific information and things that can really help you achieve optimal health and wellness. That’s what this whole project is all about.

Chef V, that was so good. Thank you for that great information. I really appreciate it.

Chef V: You’re welcome. Thank you for having me. Again, if anyone needs anything, you can email, reach out. I also have our website, www.chefv.com. We do 50% off your first order on cleanses.

Also our green drink subscription, which is a monthly subscription to our juice, and it comes every week like the modern day milkman. It’s a 100% money back guarantee on our green drink delivery, so you can taste it, try it out. Or if you’re next to one of our stores – we have a store in West Caldwell, New Jersey as well as San Marcos, California. You can come in, taste the drinks, ask questions, and we’re happy to help always.

Rico: You can find all this information in the PDF. Once again, thank you, Chef V. And thank you for being here.

Chef V: Thank you.

My predictions 2021 – Health & Wellness

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My predictions 2021 – Health & Wellness

Chef V New Years

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Food trends usually quickly come and go. I remember about a decade ago, exotic superfruits like acai, goji berries and mangosteen were all the rage for a couple years. Then it seemed like overnight, coconut oil was king. Fast forward even more recently and fermented drinks like kombucha flooded farmers markets and supermarket chains. Even alcoholic kombucha surged in popularity.

But I think the biggest health trends of 2021 will be less fly-by-night and won’t be dictated by more youthful market drivers like kombucha (“booch”) and fast food vegan burgers. Instead, next year’s trends in nutrition and wellness will be more permanent and predicated on people’s motivation to stay healthy during the pandemic.

So scoot your boot, booch, and make room for things that are going to exert a more positive impact on immunity and overall wellness.

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high versus low glycemic index

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#1: Low-Glycemic Diets

Back in the summer, even though the pandemic was only a few months old, it seemed like things were a lot less critical compared to now.

That’s because in the summer, people spend more time outdoors and aren’t challenged by viral infections nearly as much as in the winter.

But during the summer, I cautioned that it’s critical to pay attention to blood sugar levels and eat a low-glycemic diet so that your immune system stays strong in the transition to fall, which is when people get hit the hardest by viruses.

Unfortunately, we’re seeing a dramatic manifestation of that with Covid infections spiking.

Research shows that the virus that causes Covid-19 makes copies of itself by feasting on sugar. That’s not surprising as many viruses use sugar to reproduce. Data also shows that people with type 2 diabetes who have high blood sugar levels (in other words, those who have diabetes and aren’t controlling their blood sugar) are more at risk of developing severe Covid symptoms and dying from it.

Despite the promise of a Covid vaccine, many natural health-minded people realize that a vaccine alone does not provide an injection of wellness. I predict that more people will commit to eliminating added sugars from their diet.

I don’t know if the prediction will come true. I hope it does, obviously. Maybe I should retitle this post, Chef V’s Top Hopes For 2021. Nah, let’s stick with the prediction. I’m optimistic more people are going to experience a wake-up call and start taking charge of their health!

#2: Symbiotics For Gut Health

You don’t have to be a psychic to predict that probiotics will remain a major nutrition and wellness trend. But not everybody is as well informed about natural health as you are. Think about the millions of people who still are unaware of the link between gut health and immunity, mood stability, sleep quality, and a long list of other wellness factors.

I wrote about the importance of having good gut health a few years ago. But my thinking and knowledge about gut health has evolved since then. I no longer think that the secret to obtaining gut health is as simple as popping a probiotic pill. Not that I really ever thought that; I know that you can’t eat junk food and think that taking a probiotic pill will miraculously wipe out the harmful effects of a nutrient-poor diet.

But what I didn’t realize back when I wrote the post is that there are certain foods that are the cream of the crop for feeding the good bacteria in your gut. These foods contain prebiotic fiber, and I revealed them here.

I predict that in 2021 and for the next several years, symbiotic supplements are going to become a household name. Symbiotic supplements contain both prebiotic fiber and probiotics.

The reason you can’t achieve good gut health if you eat lots of processed food, even if you take a probiotic supplement is that without prebiotic fiber, your good bacteria has nothing to feed on; your gut’s friendly microorganisms won’t be able to flourish.

As more people delve into the inner workings of gut health, knowing that achieving it is essential for a healthy immune system, I expect symbiotics to be a booming business.

By the way, green leafy veggies like the 7 different kinds in my Organic Green Drink (delivered to your home for your convenience) are excellent sources of prebiotic fiber!

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#3: Mushrooms

As a certified nutritional therapist, I’ve been aware of the therapeutic benefits of edible mushroom for years. Many people, however, equate mushrooms with a squishy, tasteless pizza topping or afterthought in a stir-fry dish. But mushrooms are already a big trend, and I expect fabulous fungi to get placed even higher on the superfood A-list.

The pandemic has more people seeking out foods that have anti-viral, immune-boosting capabilities. And mushrooms are all that and more. Some nutrition brands are making a killing peddling mushroom powder. I prefer to eat whole mushrooms but some people may prefer taking a mushroom powder supplement; eating fleshy, earthy-tasting mushrooms can be an acquired taste.

Obviously, eating mushrooms or taking mushroom powder is no guarantee for Covid prevention. But mushrooms truly are an immune-boosting superstar. If you’re not including them in your diet, start doing it now.

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#4: Vitamin D

One year after the pandemic started making headlines, most people are aware of the connection between vitamin D and the severity of Covid symptoms. People whose lives have been tragically cut short by Covid are more likely to be vitamin D deficient. The alarming thing is that 9 out of 10 people may at the very least have suboptimal levels of vitamin D.

I talked about the connection between Vitamin D and the immune system earlier this year. (Read about it here.) The big takeaway from the article, in regards to Covid is that having enough vitamin D is an easy and effective way to reduce your risk of developing a respiratory infection.

Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure if you need to take a supplement is to get a vitamin D blood test. You can either get it from your doctor or order one online.

Vitamin D research organizations recommend taking more D than what the federal government recommends, which is 400 – 800 IUs per day. Instead, aim for 4000 to 5000 IUs, especially in winter when it’s next to impossible to synthesize enough active vitamin D from the sun.

The importance of vitamin D has been well documented for years. But because of the pandemic, it’s going to be at the forefront of many people’s minds for months if not years to come.

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#5: Adapting to Stress

Right before Thanksgiving, I recommended doing these 5 things everyday to stay healthy during the holidays. One of them was supplementing with adaptogenic herbs. And I’m here to remind you to take adaptogens every single day.

In addition to balancing the immune system, and regulating blood sugar levels, adaptogens help the body get back in balance by neutralizing the harmful effects of stress. Adaptogenic herbs are the very best therapeutic plants Mother Nature has to offer.

They may not magically eliminate the stressors from your life, but they help your body and mind and even your spirit cope with stress. Adaptogens can improve stamina, libido, concentration, and sleep quality, all while helping you feel more relaxed and calm.

Conclusion

The toll that the pandemic is taking on people’s mental health is staggering. I realize that those who have lost jobs might not be able to afford to supplement with adaptogenic herbs, probiotics, vitamin D, not to mention vitamin C and zinc, all of which contribute to a healthy immune system.

But at the very least, eating a diet consisting of real food with no added sugars, and maintaining a daily meditation or deep breathing practice can help keep you healthy. Hopefully, these healthy habits will not only be trending in 2021, but will endure for the long haul.

© 2020 Chef V, LLC.