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The Official Blog of The GEM.

Diamonds on your inside. That’s what we want. Don’t you? This blog is a place to visit for guidance, humor and wit about healthy, happy lives. We only have one life. Make it count!

Archives: October 2013


We Heart Hemp!

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 1 Comment

happyhempHemp. Not to be confused with the to the stuff Cheech and Chong made so famous. This miracle seed (plant for that matter) is actually a distant cousin. So, get those thoughts out of your head.

For better or worse, the “high” you can get with hemp is only from your body singing from all the goodness.

Why is it so good?

It’s packed with protein for one thing. Hemp has more protein than meat, fish or tofu. Say wha?? Forks over Knives, for sure!

Additional benefits of hemp include:

  1. It keeps your weight in check because Hemp protein and fiber aid in satiety, which will prevent you from snacking and keep you fuller longer. It actually keeps you from the munchies. HA. A diet rich in hemp also promotes digestive regularity. Giddy-up cowboy!
  2. Keeps you smart. Hemp seeds are one of the few Omega-3 sources found in plants, so listen up, vegans. The Omega-3 fatty acids in hemp reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, and may even ward off Alzheimer’s disease. The protein and omega fats help with brain function.
  3. Hemp can regulate hormone fluctuations and promotes the alleviation of menstrual cramps and menopause symptoms. That sounds like happiness in a bag to me!
  4. Hemp keeps you looking good! It is a protein powerhouse that stimulates skin and hair growth, maintains bone health, regulates metabolism, and helps with brain function. Hemp helps keep your blood sugar level, which is an important way to defy age and prevent disease. Sign me up.

An interesting note: our government outlawed hemp farming in 1958, a shame when you consider how amazing a crop it is. The plant thrives without pesticides, purifies the soil around it, and kills weeds. The U.S. is the only country that bans industrial hemp farming.  Another brilliant food move by our government. Our hemp comes mostly from our neighbors to the north in Canada, who are already attuned to a healthier food supply.

Use hemp in your smoothies as a dairy substitute. Just three tablespoons give you a whopping 15 grams of protein. I keep Happy Hemp seeds in my car to snack on when I’m carpooling. Sprinkle them on your oatmeal, add them to your salads.

I’m telling you, this is some good stuff.


Protecting The Family Jewels – Breast, Colon & Prostate Cancer Prevention

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments

The Family Jewels (think cancer prevention.) Love them. Care for them. leslierobynmk

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month again. And no one is more aware than I am. As a one-time conqueror of that nasty disease, I made a conscious decision to learn and do everything within my power to keep it from ever rearing its ugly head in my life again. It is all about cancer prevention.

Daunting at first glance, but then as I delved into it, I realized it was the perfect recipe for a vibrant, happy and energetic life–all disguised as “anti-cancer.”

So, what did that entail, you might ask?

The more elusive, yet incredibly important actions, I took were to keep stress and toxic people at bay. Easier said than done. However, your mind is powerful and with the right ammo, you can do that too. Identify those things and people and work to eliminate their importance. (And look for my next blog installment regarding anxiety). Wayne Dyer is a master at guiding you through this.

For the more tangible things, I hit it head on. My diet and exercise changed almost overnight. (I was scared into eating straight!) For everyone else, it means progressive and consistent additions of clean foods and energizing, stress-busting exercise. Interestingly breast, prostate and colon cancers seem to have quite a few similar risk factors. So you can keep your treasures safe with some common actions.

10 things to incorporate into your life to keep your family jewels (breast, prostate, colon) safe:

  1. Green Tea. Studies of green tea drinkers showed a significant reduction in risk of breast cancer while black tea drinkers did not. The active ingredient in green tea that creates this effect is called catechins, a type of polyphenol.
  2. Alkaline Foods / A Whole Foods Plant Based Diet is key. Eat fewer things that have feet (ie, animal protein) and eat more plants. Read The China Study. Mind-blowing research about cancer and animal protein.
  3. Eliminate all preservatives and chemicals from your food. TODAY. No one reveals these dangers better than our friend Robyn O’Brien.
  4. Add breathing exercises to your daily routine. They relieve stess hormones that are released into your system, adding to inflammation. This sh*t works.
  5. Blueberries. All berries contain significant amounts of anti-oxidants that help to reduce cancer risk in general. Berries also contain a phytochemical called ellagic acid, which has been shown to slow the growth of some tumors.
  6. Vitamin D, which you get from exposure to sunshine (around 10 to 15 minutes a day) and green leafy foods, has anticancer properties. It suppresses the formation of new blood vessels that nourish the growth of tumors. The rates of breast, prostate and colon cancer are lower in climates that have the most sunshine. Bring on the Hawaiian Tropic!
  7. Turmeric. Curcumin, a plant chemical, a polyphenol, from the Turmeric root. By lowering inflammatory potential, curcumin has been shown to interrupt the normal progression of cancer cells and is found in most traditional anti-cancer herbal formulas. It is also great for arthritis/joint pain. You can pick up fermented Turmeric extract capsules at The GEM. We love drinking fresh pressed Turmeric shots daily!
  8. More green leafy vegetables in your day. Kale, Spinach, broccoli, arugula, swiss chard, you get the picture. These are excellent sources of fiber, folate, chlorophyll and a wide range of carotenoids, which seem to prevent cancer by acting as antioxidants.  These guys go around scavenging potentially dangerous “free radicals” from the body before they can do harm.
  9. Selenium. This overlooked mineral is a potent antioxidant or scavenger of carcinogenic free radicals. It is HUGE as an anti-prostate cancer warrior. A couple of Brazil nuts will do the trick.
  10. Drink less alcohol. Women who had two to three alcoholic drinks per day had a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer, according the Komen.org website. We no longer play competitive drinking games, people, so cut it back. Seriously.

Places to learn more:

Remember: Keep it green and clean!


The Good, the Fat & the Fish Oils (Omega-3s)

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments

There are healthy fats. Good ones. Ones that are crucial to health and vitality. Ones that enrich our bodies and make our systems run smoothly. One of the MOST importantfishoilfinalblog is essential Omega-3 fatty acid. Vegetarian sources like walnuts, kale and spinach provide some version (ALA) of essential fatty acids though the richest and best sources come from oily fish like WILD salmon and WILD halibut (DHA). These foods should most definitely be incorporated into your weekly routine.

But can you get enough healthy fats that way?

Not really. You need more. High-quality fish oil supplements provide concentrated, clean nutrition that supports healthy brain function, eye health, cardiovascular health and joint health, just to name a few.

Without question, everyone should take high quality Omega-3 fish oil supplements.

Why? Fish oils contain essential fatty acids, which are nutritional cornerstones of human health. We must have these healthy fats in our system (they are essential), but our bodies do not make them. We must therefore consume them through diet or supplementation.

What are Omegas good for? Emotional, physical, oxidative stress causes inflammation in our bodies. Omega-3s quell the inflammation and promotes a healthy, happy and highly functioning system. So, you say, like what?

  1. Omega-3s for the Heart - Increased intake of Omega–3s in fish oil—enhances overall heart function. Even the American Heart Association states that great benefits come from eating WILD fish at least twice a week, and taking fish oils. Its website, interestingly enough, is full of info on how to transform your lifestyle if you are starting from the bottom. Of course, they also have a section on how to make fast food friendlier … “don’t order the double meat and bacon” to which The GEM says, “stay the hell out of the drive-thru line.”
  2. Omega-3s for the Brain & Mood - This is super-important and I’ve seen first hand its benefits. Evidence indicates fish oil benefits mental health and healthy brain function in all stages of life. Our brains are composed of nearly 60% fat*, so supplementing with these vital fats provide necessary building blocks for healthy cells and tissue. Supports memory and learning ability and promotes positive mood and well-being. SOLD! It’s a “no-brainer.” (*Don’t forget the water when thinking of good brain function too!)
  3. Omega-3s for Kids! Brain function, mood, attention - Children have the most to gain from these essential fats for visual, brain and immune system development, and for normal emotional and cognitive function. Omega 3s also support focus and attention. Dr. Kenneth Bock is a big proponent of fish oil supplementation in “Healing the New Child Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies.” Essential fatty acids have been shown to positively impact children in LOTS of ways. Along with a healthy diet that includes WILD fish and fresh green leafy vegetables, supplementing with a premium fish oil product is a great way to ensure your family is nourishing brain and body.
  4. Omega-3s for the Back and Joints - These “fat guys”can actually help to alleviate pain associated with physical stress to the back and joints. The nourishing fat promotes back and joint health and flexibility.
  5. Omega–3s for Hair, Skin & Nails – Our skin is the largest organ in the human body and is often the first visual indicator of an essential fatty acid deficiency. Omega-3s nourish & protect against age–related damage, hydrates skin by retaining natural moisture, and supports a clear and healthy complexion. Another way to GET YOUR GLOW ON.

This sounds awesome, right?

Despite the great health benefits of Omegas, most of us suffer from Omega–3 deficiency. With a diet rich in green leafy vegetables and wild oily fish like salmon, along with high quality supplements you can begin to nourish, heal and protect your system.

Make these supplements a priority.

How much should I take?

Dr. Andrew Weil recommends eating oily fleshed, wild caught, cold water fish 2-3 times per week. He recommends taking a fish oil supplement that provides 700 to 1,000 mg of EPA and 200 to 500 mg of DHA daily in the smallest number of pills.

Which ones should I take?

It is critical to get the highest quality, freshest fish oils—purity is key: free from toxins, heavy metals, PCBs. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

The only brand The GEM girls take is Nordic Naturals, who has a 3rd party analyze that the products stick to strict standards. The Ultimate Omegas are the finest on the market and we offer these inside The GEM. Nordic Naturals brand is AWESOME both as a company and for their products. These folks know their stuff!