Tag: Veronica Kress

Dark Leafy Greens & Gut Health: What’s The Connection?

The fact that dark, leafy greens are healthy isn’t exactly headline, groundbreaking news. We all know they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. But what you may not realize is how the 7 leafy greens in Organic Green Drink may improve your gut microbiome, that tiny universe that’s home to your trillions of bacteria.

If you want to be happy and healthy, you have to make sure your gut microbiome is in top-top shape. So let’s learn exactly what consuming Green Drink does for your gut galaxy of bacteria.

This is Your Gut Bacteria On Green Drink

Eating or drinking dark, leafy greens doesn’t directly make you healthier. There’s a middleman involved. Trillions of them in fact. And when you feed the trillions of bacteria enough dark, leafy greens, they feast on a compound that makes us healthier.

To enjoy a balanced immune system, flawless skin, a positive mood and abundant energy, you need about 85% of the bacteria in your gut microbiome to be friendly strains. At that percentage, the 15% potentially harmful bacteria don’t stand a chance to overwhelm the good guys.

When you consume dark leafy greens, your friendly bacteria feast on an X-factor compound that helps them reproduce. It’s only by continuously feeding your good bacteria that the dark, evil forces in your gut—harmful bacteria—can never emerge victorious. Remember, gut health is everything. I’ve probably said that a million times over the years but I can’t emphasize this point enough.

You can pop all the vitamins and other supplements you want. But if you’re not feeding your friendly bacteria dark, leafy greens, they won’t be able to “make copies of themselves” or have microorganism babies, or however else you want to put it. The bottom line is that the friendly bacteria you do have can only go to work for you if you feed it the best stuff.

SQ For Gut Health

If you’ve been reading my articles over the years, I’ve probably scared you away from consuming sugar. But every single food with carbohydrates, fruits and veggies included, contains sugar. And some sugars are actually great for gut health. Dark, leafy greens contain a carbohydrate (sugar) called sulfoquinovose or SQ for short.

SQ is the only sugar molecule that contains sulfur and this is a very important fact. This is because sulfur is the 7th most abundant mineral in the body and many people don’t get enough of it. Now, it might not seem that 7th place is very important. After all, who remembers who came in 7th place in an Olympic race. But let me tell you why sulfur is important…

Your body needs sulfur to build and fix your genetic material (DNA). Every day and all day, your body is constantly trying to repair your DNA and protect your cells from damage that can lead to premature aging and chronic diseases. So you can think of sulfur as superfood for your DNA.

Without sulfur, you wouldn’t be able to metabolize your food or have healthy skin and joints. And when you consume leafy greens, you’re getting sulfur in the form of biotin (vitamin H; bet you didn’t know there was a vitamin H!). Biotin is made by your friendly gut bacteria! So eat lots of leafy greens to get your daily dose of sulfur.

Good Bacteria Love Protein, Too 

Who doesn’t love to sink their teeth into a tasty morsel of protein, whether it’s a carnivore tearing into a T-bone or the plant-based dieter enjoying tempeh tacos. Well, it turns out that our friendly bacteria love protein, too. They need amino acids just as much as we do. And it’s that X-factor compound, SQ, the sulfur-based sugar that produces amino acids for our good bacteria.

Some of the best sources of SQ include the 7 certified organic leafy greens in Organic Green Drink, which you can have delivered right to your front door. No wasting time on shopping, prep work and cleaning. Just drink it straight out of the bottle right into your gut, like superfuel for your friendly bacteria.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GREEN DRINK

Why Eating Seasonally Is Important For Our Health (And the Earth’s)

You’re starting to watch what you eat. You’ve reduced added sugars, alcohol and gluten. Now it’s time to step your healthy eating up a notch by eating seasonally. Here’s why it matters and why you—and planet Earth—will benefit. 

It’s healthy to be a nutrition skeptic. For instance, does eating organic food really matter? I remember a handful of years ago there was a media assault against organic food and how it really was no more nutritious than non-organic food. Yet those reports barely ever mentioned the greatest selling point of organic food: it contains way less chemicals.

But what about eating seasonally? Thanks to global trade, we can enjoy any single food at any time of year. Does it really matter if you’re eating foods grown locally to your region and in season? What’s wrong with eating bananas or pineapples in winter even if you live in Alaska?

Eating foods out of season and eating foods that aren’t locally grown isn’t a high crime and misdemeanor. But I’d like to share with you some food for thought on why eating seasonally is good for your physical health. And, of course, in season/local is so much better for the environment.

The Health Benefits Of Eating Seasonally

Now that it’s summer you’re probably craving lots of raw foods like salad. This time of year, I love topping my homemade salads with a handful of berries. Strawberry slices are my favorite. Now, I rarely eat cheese. But on the rare occasion that I do, I’ll add a little crumbled feta and the juxtaposition of this creamy cheese with strawberry slices is just heaven.

But there’s more to the benefits of eating strawberries in the summer than the taste. Not only are berries more flavorful now than in winter, they are also higher in antioxidants. The more naturally sweet and fresher the taste, the more disease-fighting plant chemicals are contained in the fruit.

This is super important if you worship the sun. You’ll need that extra dose of flavonoids and carotenoids to help prevent a sunburn—and detox from the previous night’s party perhaps.

Have you ever purchased strawberries in winter from a supermarket and felt like you were getting ripped off? Not necessarily because the price was so high (although now with inflation, that could certainly be the case)… Rather it’s because it had virtually no taste.

The longer produce has been plucked from the ground or the vine, the more it loses its taste and its nutritional quality.

Eat Fruit That’s In Season To Avoid Chemicals

While eating strawberries in winter is better for your health than eating a Big Mac, you’d be better off eating citrus fruit in winter, when oranges and the like are at their ripest and most nutrient dense. In addition to berries, another type of fruit I’ll be eating more of this time of year are stone fruits (fruits with pits) like apricots, peaches and plums.

I’m blessed to live in San Diego (with the exception of the ridiculous cost of living) because there’s access to delicious produce year-round because of the long growing season. But even in San Diego, I’ve learned to stay away from certain fruits and veggies at the local farmer’s markets. You can ask the farmers what’s in season if you’re not sure.

Another great way to make sure you’re getting access to the freshest and therefore most nutrient-dense produce is to join a CSA (community supported agriculture). Just like my Organic Green Drink delivery, a CSA will drop off a box of the freshest, in-season produce right to your home.

Think about all the time—and greenhouse-emitting gas—it takes for produce to reach your home. Blueberries from Chile? Tomatoes from Mexico? How does that produce stay seemingly fresh for so long?

The dirty little secret is that many types of produce are sprayed with chemicals like sulfur dioxide and benzoic acid. (Ethical Foods has a great post about the chemicals that are sprayed on produce to keep them fresh. Seriously, just scan the article and you’ll get inspired to buy locally and in season.)

Eating Seasonally Benefits The Soil

Besides all the fossil fuel it takes to get imported produce to market, there’s another benefit to eating in-season and local produce: it’s better for the soil. Monoculture farming, which as it sounds, means that only one major crop is grown like corn, soy or wheat. This practice is terrible for the soil because the soil never gets a chance to regenerate and regrow essential minerals. Not to mention the fact that monoculture farming uses herbicides and pesticides.

But seasonal farming gives the soil a break so that minerals can grow back richer than ever and benefit our health. And the cherry on top is that eating produce that’s grown locally and in-season requires less water.

Chef V’s 3 Simple Tips For Great Gut Health

We often hear the phrase gut health. But what exactly does that mean and how can it be achieved? Veronica Kress, aka “V” of Chef V fame, shares how she’s been able to keep her tummy flat and keep her mind sharp despite the stress of running a demanding business. 

Gut health is everything. And by that I mean how you feel mentally, physically and spiritually is directly connected to a tiny universe in your gastrointestinal (GI) system. So if you wanna look and feel your best, you gotta have great gut health.

Whether your skin is flawless or blemished…

Whether you can have a cheat meal and not put on weight or just look at food and feel bloated…

Whether you can concentrate on work for hours at a time without any effort or feel brain fog just minutes into a task…

Whether you feel calm and steady or every day is a roller coaster ride of emotions…

All these wellness factors are determined by the state of your gut.

But what is gut health anyway?

Gut Health, Explained

Have you heard the term “gut microbiome?”

On a simple level, it’s a collection of the trillions of bacteria—both good and bad—that are living rent-free mostly in your large intestine (colon), and to a lesser extent in your small intestine. These bacteria help digest our food.

And while it’s kind of disgusting to think about it, when the bacteria help us digest our food, they poop just like us. You see, when friendly bacteria eat specific types of foods, they produce a healthy type of fatty acid called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

Feeling awesome day in and day out depends on producing enough SCFAs. Most people think that it’s probiotics that are vital for overall health. And by now, who hasn’t heard of probiotic supplements? Probiotics are specific strains of beneficial bacteria that have been clinically proven to offer health benefits to the host (the person taking the probiotic). This assumes the probiotic is of high-quality and can survive the acidic environment of the stomach.

But the surprising thing is that it’s not just the probiotics that provide us with good gut health. It’s their metabolic byproduct (poop), the short chain fatty acids I was just talking about.

Having good health means that you should have at least 85% friendly bacteria. When your gut microbiome is at that level, the friendly bacteria prevent the potentially unfriendly bacteria from crashing the party in your gut and leading to poor digestion, bad skin, brain fog, infections, and potentially chronic illnesses.

You might think that popping a probiotic pill is all you need to do to achieve great gut health. But that’s only one small piece of the puzzle. Here are 3 things I do to support my gut and overall health.

Organic Green Drink: A Natural Prebiotic

Every morning, the first thing I do after I wake up (and use the potty) is drink water and then have a Chef V Organic Green Drink about 20 minutes later. I’m not using this space as a shameless promotional spot. This routine that Brandon (my hubby) and I have been doing for over the past decade has served us well. Doing this not only continues the detoxification that occurs while we sleep, but it also does our gut good.

The reason why is because the 7 certified organic leafy greens in Green Drink contain prebiotic fiber. You can think of prebiotic fiber as your friendly bacteria’s favorite food. Unlike simple sugars that get digested very rapidly, prebiotic fiber resists digestion and gets gobbled up by friendly bacteria. This helps stimulate the growth of more friendly bacteria.

Many people don’t get enough prebiotic fiber in their diet. Again, you can’t just rely on taking a probiotic supplement, especially if your diet isn’t all that great. By drinking 8 to 16 ounces of Green Drink in the morning—as my breakfast—I know I’m fueling my trillions of friendly bacteria with their favorite food that will help them grow just like breast milk does for a baby.

Fermented Foods: Natural Probiotics

Personally, I don’t even take a probiotic supplement, at least I don’t everyday. I might take one from time to time if I’m traveling and eating foods that I’m not used to. Or maybe I’ll take some in the rare instances I indulge in my vice: french fries. Not that I think probiotic supplements are overrated, I just think people rely on them too much without doing the other things necessary to achieve great gut health.

Instead of relying on probiotic supplements as a magic gut health bullet, I stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in my gut with natural sources of probiotics. I’m talking about fermented foods like no-sugar-added plant-based yogurt (cashew, coconut), sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), kimchi (sauerkraut with a spicy kick), and fermented soy like miso.

There is one fermented food that I think is overrated: kombucha. Some brands of kombucha have way too much sugar and they may not contain enough probiotics to contribute to gut health. But there are some brands of kombucha that are low-sugar. Just don’t rely on kombucha alone for adding more good bacteria to your gut microbiome.

Avoid Unfriendly Bacteria Triggers

My third easy tip for having better gut health is avoiding certain foods and drinks that stimulate the growth of unfriendly bacteria. Here’s my “Don’t Eat This” list:

  • Gluten (avoid most products made with wheat)
  • Dairy (avoid conventional dairy unless it’s made with A2 protein and/or fermented organic, grass-fed dairy)
  • Beer (most of which contains gluten)
  • Sugar (for the most part, the only sugar I get in my diet comes from fruit; on occasion, I’ll add coconut sugar to my tea or healthy dessert)

So there you have it … 3 easy ways to support your gut. And when you support your gut microbiome, your “feel-good” hormones and neurotransmitters will be better activated. That means a healthier, happier you.

To your health,

V

Chef V’s 3 Men’s Health Tips: Gift-Wrapped For Father’s Day

What better present than giving the gift of health. If you know a daddy or a childless dude that could use a health makeover, give them the gift of an Organic Green Drink subscription. And for a sweet cherry on top, share these 3 men’s health tips, courtesy of “V” herself…

Hey guys, I’m sorry. It’s been a while since I focused my attention on you. With Father’s Day around the corner, it’s the perfect time to dispense some health tips to make sure you’re living your best life. So let’s jump right in…

Alcohol In Moderation

Is it gender bias to think that men drink more alcohol than women? I think not. Let’s be honest, guys toss ‘em back way more than the ladies. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for enjoying an occasional glass of wine. But I think there are far too many guys out there who are drinking way too much.

Do I really need to explain what the risks are of consuming alcohol excessively? Maybe you won’t end up needing a liver transplant, but drinking alcohol can elevate cholesterol in the blood. High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attacks.

Really, I’m not trying to be a buzzkill but it seems to me that because of the increased levels of stress—because of the pandemic, tribal politics, economic hardships, etc.—people in their 40s and 50s are tossing them back like they’re back in frat boy mode.

I would also pay attention to what kind of alcohol you’re drinking, fellas. Many guys I know love beer. I live in San Diego, which has become a microbrew Mecca. The greater San Diego area is home to over 150 craft beer joints (microbreweries).

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying one or two IPAs every now and then. But having a few pints several nights a week can lead not only to high blood cholesterol and triglycerides, it can also cause fatty liver disease.

Even if fatty liver disease doesn’t manifest, all that gluten and empty calories in beer can bloat the belly and cause systemic inflammation in the body. I’ve run into guys I haven’t seen in a few years who used to be thin now appear bloated, with puffy chipmunk faces. I’m telling you it’s the beer! Personally, I think if you’re going to drink, you’re better off having one or two high-quality shots of an expensive spirit like vodka, whiskey or mezcal; something that won’t go right to your waistline.

Get Checkups

Another thing guys tend to do is put off medical appointments. Again, I don’t want to perpetuate gender stereotypes but this neglect of medical care is something I have seen more often in men.

If you’re a guy of middle age, say 45 or older, get an annual checkup that includes basic metabolic blood work for cholesterol, vitamin D, thyroid hormones and sex hormones. This is especially recommended if you’re feeling sluggish. I also recommend getting a full-body scan at the dermatologist. Skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer.

Another type of cancer that affects men and is even more common than skin cancer is prostate cancer. Which is why men 50 years of age and older should get a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test to screen for early detection of prostate cancer. It’s not a perfect test but it’s the best thing most doctors have access to.

Also at the mid-century mark is when guys should think about having a colonoscopy. It’s not fun to think about getting digitally probed but as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Exercise The Right Way

It goes without saying that both men and women need to exercise. Although women do the very thing that I’m about to call men out on, I’m seeing this pattern more often in men. Here’s what I’m noticing… Increasingly, more men seem to be doing very high intensity exercise whether it’s CrossFit, Jujitsu or Ironman training.

Hey, it’s certainly better to train like a warrior than be a couch potato. But some men (yes, and women, too) lead very hectic lives, juggling very demanding jobs. For anybody, male or female, that has a very stressful lifestyle, the object of exercising should be to lower levels of stress hormones, not burn the adrenal glands out.

If you’re a guy with a type A personality and lifestyle to match, maybe you’re better off doing a more mellow form of exercise like yoga or hiking? It’s just food for thought.

And on the flip side, there are far too many great guys out there who don’t devote enough time to staying fit. Not to get all preachy on you, daddy, but if you want to witness not your child’s wedding and your grandkids graduate from high school, you need to start getting regular, moderate-intensity exercise every day.

Eat real food at least 90% of the time and keep a positive, grateful attitude.

Happy Father’s Day!

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

What’s Chef V Been Up To In 2022?

Like most people, Veronica Wheat Kress has embraced 2022.

The entrepreneur behind ChefV.com has been thrilled with life returning to a semblance of normalcy. For her, that has meant a return to in-person yoga classes, golf, running transformational health retreats for women and traveling.

The first quarter of the year witnessed Veronica making up for lost time. In February, she co-hosted a retreat in Santa Ynez, which is the gorgeous wine and ranch country not too far from coastal Santa Barbara. Veronica cooked every meal for her small group of lady guests, partook in deep-breathing kundalini yoga classes at 6 a.m., went horseback riding, and of course, indulged in a healthy, moderate amount of wine tasting. “We all had an amazing time connecting and sharing supportive stories. It was an awesome, empowering retreat,” Veronica recollects.

Based on the success of the Santa Ynez retreat, Veronica has been busily preparing for another women’s retreat this summer (June 24-27) in the exclusive Hamptons near NYC.

Hamptons retreat

After a trip to Cabo San Lucas in March, Veronica and husband, Brandon, went to Hawaii in April. Because Brandon’s father grew up in Hawaii, luckily, the pair have connections there and have been going for the last 12 years as a couple. This time around was Veronica’s first experience in Maui, where she, as an avid golfer, was stoked to have played at Kapalua’s Plantation Course, one of the most majestic—and challenging—golf courses in the world. Veronica had an amazing time playing there despite the extremely challenging changes in elevation and blustery conditions.

Also on that trip, Veronica and Brandon did something called E-foiling. Picture a surfboard with a submerged boomerang operated by electric power and there you have E-foiling. It’s catching on in the surfing world but Veronica and Brandon tried it out for the first time in the placid water of Oahu’s Turtle Bay, where she says she also enjoyed her one daily indulgence: a Mai Tai.

On the business side of things in 2022, things are on the up and up. Veronica has expanded her operations on the East Coast. Her West Caldwell, NJ storefront increased in size, allowing her to take on more orders in the NYC metro area and beyond. She’s even contemplating expanding her San Diego-based warehouse.

And before the year is up, Veronica says she plans on starting her second cookbook, which she promises will be less restrictive than her recipes in Making Cleansing Easier.

Unfortunately, because of the economic climate and inflation, 2022 was the first time in 12 years of running ChefV.com that Veronica and Brandon saw no choice but to raise prices, albeit modestly.

The good news, says Veronica, is that the new prices will not affect legacy or current Green Drink subscribers. And Chef V’s Green Drink plan will remain highly affordable at approximately $7 per day for new customers.

“At farmer’s markets in the San Diego and NYC area, it’s pretty common for juices to cost $10 or even $12 a bottle and they’re not even certified organic like Chef V Green Drink,” says Veronica.

So what’s in store for Veronica in the second half of 2022? Stay tuned…

How Does “V” Reboot Her Mind & Body? Cleansing Lessons From ChefV.com’s Founder

Through her email newsletters and blog posts, Chef V has helped thousands of customers by providing useful tips and tricks on how to prepare for a cleanse and what to do during before and after the cleanse to maximize success and long-term healthy habits. Now it’s time to turn the tables and find out how “V” (Veronica) cleanses…

You might assume that someone who literally wrote the book on Making Cleansing Easier frequently does a cleanse. But Veronica Kress, the “V” in Chef V, admits to only doing a full-blown cleanse about once a year.

Why only once a year?

Well, when you practice what you preach and do a mini cleanse every day, you don’t need to purify yourself that often. Having an Organic Green Drink every morning on an empty stomach is a daily religious rite of passage for V. “Each one of us naturally cleanses every night while we’re sleeping,” V explains, adding, “And when I have a Green Drink for breakfast after drinking some pure water, I’m prolonging the process.

But on the rare occasions, she feels she’s in a rut and experiencing cravings for junk, it’s time for V to get her cleanse on!

How Does V Know When To Do A Cleanse? 

“I know when I need to do a full cleanse if I’m at a party and have a couple Doritos and then suddenly I’m craving the whole bag and other junk food.”

V reveals an intimate detail that the last time she did a cleanse was summer 2021. The reason why she chose to do it? In the hopes of getting pregnant. “I’ve had several customers tell me that after they did a ChefV cleanse, they became pregnant so I thought I might as well try too,” V laughs.

But there was another reason that V did her last full cleanse that didn’t have anything to do with procreation. “People may think I’m this perfect saint of nutrition but I’m not. Before that last cleanse, I had family in town and we did a lot of wine tasting,” V explains.

What is V’s Motivation For Doing A Cleanse?

Most people do a cleanse with the singular goal of losing weight. V says that even though weight loss isn’t her primary goal, she will lose 3-5 pounds after doing a 3 day cleanse. But the primary reason V does a cleanse—besides purging the urge to eat junk—is to sharpen her mental clarity.

“If you’re frequently craving unhealthy foods, brain fog usually accompanies the cravings,” V says.

In addition, V is motivated to do a cleanse because she realizes the plethora of benefits that accompany it, including improved sleep quality and clearer skin.

V emphasizes the amazing power that a brief cleanse has in resetting the taste buds. If you’re frequently craving starchy carbs and chemicals even a short cleanse has the potential to restore the appreciation for the natural sweetness of fruit. “When you stop eating foods with synthetic chemicals and added sugars, berries will taste amazing and then you won’t crave the bad stuff,” she says.

V’s Favorite Cleanse

In choosing between ChefV.com’s cleanse options, V says she’s partial to the 3 day cleanse because it’s the most doable.

But a 3 day cleanse isn’t really just a 3 day cleanse, V explains. That’s because the pre-cleanse phase is crucial. V says that the number of days she does a pre-cleanse depends on how her diet has been. If she’s done more wine tasting than usual or indulged in her favorite other vice—french fries—V will pre-cleanse for at least 3 days.

V’s pre-cleanse instructions are crystal clear with the 1-day, 3-day and 5-day options. Basically, V provides a list of foods to eat and to avoid before the cleanse, which is more calorie-restricted, begins.

How V Preps For A Cleanse

There’s no point in doing a cleanse if you’re not going to pre-cleanse in order to properly prepare your body, V says. “Why spend all this time and money if you’re not going to do it right?” she asks.

And while some of the “Don’t Eat This” foods on the pre-cleanse list may seem obvious, V avoids certain seemingly healthy foods leading up to the start of the official cleanse. For example, bananas are a no-no because of the high amount of sugar. Grapefruit contains an enzyme that actually slows phase 1 detoxification in the liver.

V also avoids strawberries, even organic ones, because they may contain a high amount of pesticides. Same deal goes for grapes and then there’s tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers, all of which are in the nightshade family. V avoids nightshades leading up to the cleanse because they may promote inflammation, especially if there’s already excessive inflammation in the body.

But the most important foods V avoids in the days leading up to her cleanse—and the immediate days after the cleanse is over—are anything with gluten; dairy products, red meat, caffeine and alcohol.

V says she decided to make caffeine a no-no on the pre-cleanse list because it takes a lot of energy for the body to detoxify from caffeine. But the good news is that she has helped thousands of people overcome their caffeine addiction. “They feel amazing afterwards,” she says.

below, click image to download pdf of includes and excludes

Why V Created The Pre-Cleanse Phase

So how did V come up with the idea of a pre-cleanse phase in the first place? Was it the certified nutritional therapy course she took? Nope. She was inspired to create it when a few customers walked into her former commercial kitchen in San Diego and said, “We’re going to Burger King for our last meal before the cleanse!”

V emphasizes that lots of people still don’t realize the importance of the pre-cleanse phase. If you go from filling up your car’s gas tank with sugar and then all of a sudden fill it up with the proper fuel, your car will still run like crap.

So later that night after the Burger King fiasco, V researched everything she could find about gut healing and cleansing, including what foods to eat and not to eat. The pre-cleanse instructional materials that are provided to every ChefV.com cleanse customer was soon after completed!

In addition to properly preparing your body for the cleanse, the pre-cleanse phase, V says, helps her customers typically lose 5 pounds. “The pre-cleanse phase can be just as successful as the cleanse phase.”

What V Does If She Has Cravings During A Cleanse

V doesn’t like to use the word “cheating” when it comes to experiencing cravings during a cleanse. It’s too much of a negative connotation. V likes positive reinforcements instead. Which is why V employs the concept of “intuitive eating” when her brain tells her that she’s hungry during the cleanse phase.

Instead of giving in to cravings for unhealthy snacks, V says that she’ll have a tiny bit of healthy fats like a teaspoon of coconut oil and a slice of avocado added to her Detox soup.

“The tiny amount of avocado felt so indulgent. I admit that I did feel like I was cheating a little bit, but I was making a wise decision by listening to my body.”

V also says that during the cleanse phase, one way to satisfy a craving without ruining the benefits is to puree or blend an extra veggie juice. Eating lots of cooked food, even healthy foods like low-starch veggies takes a lot of energy for the body to digest. For this reason, V says to eat a liquid lunch or dinner—if your body is really telling you that it’s hungry. Having a handful of nuts, berries, and a few carrot sticks and hummus won’t sabotage your success either.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself during the cleanse phase,” V says.

Veronica and Brandon in Hawaii

Chef V’s Carrot Ginger Salad

Green is good! Starting with fresh locally sourced organic greens, add carrot, celery, radish, red onion, cucumber, and grilled chicken (optional). Top your salad with my Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing.

carrot ginger salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • 1 celery chopped
  • 1 sliced cucumber
  • 1 radish thinly sliced
  • Red onion slices 
  • 4 oz grilled chicken (optional) 

Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing

  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Blend in blender, add 1 tbsp water at a time to get the thickness you like.

Directions

Layer the ingredients and top with carrot dressing.

Taking A Risk: How Veronica Kress Overcame Fear & Doubt To Expand Chef V

Would you take this leap of faith?

In a multi-billion juice market that’s completely over-saturated and dominated by corporate Goliaths like Odwalla, Naked Juice and Bolthouse Farms, you decide to enter the market with only a slingshot to tackle the giants being a recipe for a green veggie drink that a few dozen clients in the San Diego area are addicted to.

In an interview with CanvasRebel.com, a leading forum for small business entrepreneurs, the face of ChefV.com, Veronica Wheat Kress, talks about the giant leaps of faith she took to start and expand her business.

First, the challenge was to launch a business that was already insanely competitive. Before founding ChefV.com, Veronica was a private chef for clients in the San Diego area. Her ultra low-sugar recipe for Organic Green Drink with seven leafy greens quickly gained in popularity beyond her chef client list.

So why not launch a healthy Green Drink business? Veronica gives credit to the audacious idea to her supportive husband, Brandon, who would eventually help her run  ChefV.com as the CFO.

It’s not easy starting any business. But especially not one with a ton of competition. Juice bars were becoming as ubiquitous as coffee shops; independent and large-chain juice storefronts were seemingly sprouting on every corner.

So rather than squeeze into a crowded marketplace, Veronica, like any entrepreneur worth their salt, saw a unique opportunity.

Bring healthy juice to the people. By offering the convenience of raw, low-sugar, high nutrient-density green veggie juice home delivery, Veronica found a niche. With juice home delivery, customers no longer have to spend time shopping for produce. And no time wasted chopping up veggies and cleaning the blender.

Despite the innovative idea, Veronica realized that if you build it, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will come. In order to scale up a business that has both an online component and a brick-and-mortar storefront, Veronica and Brandon took the risk of spending a significant chunk of their savings on SEO and securing a high-end production facility that doubled as a juice bar to build a local, grass-roots following.

opening a chef v delivery

Veronica expanded her business from Green Drink only to include single- and multi-day cleanses as well as a 21 day detox program with vegan protein shakes and soups.

Once success was achieved in San Diego, the next risk was to replicate the achievement in other nearby high-urban-density areas such as Orange County and Los Angeles. Done and done. From there, in order to expand the client base and better serve customers located on the East Coast, Veronica and Brandon packed their bags for New York City.

Using nothing but instinct and sheer guts and determination, Veronica and Brandon found a commercial kitchen and secured an organic produce vendor before noon on the very first morning in NYC. They also found a tiny apartment and an even smaller kitchen, all 200 square-feet of it.

The move to the Big Apple greatly expanded ChefV.com’s customer base. But as a result of the growth, Veronica quickly outgrew her kitchen. So another risk was taken when she relocated her NYC commercial kitchen to a 800 square foot facility. But after 5 years, the walls started to close in once again; it was time once again to expand.

Having no clue where to relocate, and once again using instinct rather than being bogged down by statistical analysis, Veronica decided to move outside of NYC to a town in New Jersey she had never even heard of before, West Caldwell. “We couldn’t have picked a better location had we tried,” says Veronica of the move. The affluent area is within striking distance to NYC but because of having more room for a new facility, Veronica was able to launch a wildly successful storefront that features almost two dozen bowls, smoothies and juices, helping her garner a large following in the NYC metro area.

From launching a Green Drink delivery business and securing 100 customers within one month, to expanding and securing dependable delivery drivers and new production facilities, Veronica has been guided by her passion for natural health and her desire to serve the greater good by supplying home delivery of nutrient-and-probiotic-rich Green Drinks, cleanses, vegan recipes and more.

When you follow your heart—and your gut—it makes taking risks easier.

“It’s not all fun and games but at the end of the day when I read glowing customer emails talking about their health transformations, it reminds me of my higher purpose,” says Veronica.

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.