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!

Author Archives: diamondsonyourinside

Simple, GEMMY Ways to Practice Earth Day, Every Day

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Earth Day is a worldwide event celebrated every April 22nd. Its sole purpose is to demonstrate support for the protection of our magnificent, incredibly complex planet. For almost 40 years, Earth Day continues to raise the awareness and consciousness of every individual, household, business and organization about our vibrant planet.

Inside The GEM, our commitment to our environment has been a part of our creed. Since. Day. Earth DayOne.

In fact, after five years of serving up a plethora of organic juice, smoothies and green bites, we have composted more than 81 TONS of organic matter—diverting it out of the landfills and back into enriching our Earth. We donate this organic treasure to the Texas Worm Ranch in Garland, Texas, whose worms build healthier soil, which in turn is a vital resource for growing all of the organic veggies that our customers rely on at The GEM.

Just like we’ve watched our customers fall in love with Superfoods and healthy food, we’ve seen them adopt a newfound love of healthy habits such as reusing and recycling.

This same kind of energy can happen at your home or business as well.

Mission critical is that everyone knows the 3 R’s: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE! Every act implementing the 3 R’s for our mother earth is worthy.

GEMMY things our customers are doing this Earth Day and every day:

  1. REUSE paper products such as brown paper bags, six pack containers and drink holders. It’s infectious: when other customers see someone bring in a stack of bags or containers, they are quick to get on that reuse and reduce soul train!! Also, shots are a great way to get a quick dose of those much loved Superfoods, and they are super popular at The GEM. Most of our customers hand back our those glass shot bottles with pride because they know they are making a positive impact on their environment by reusing.
  2. REDUCE the need to accept a brown bag for GEM goodies. Hand carry, bring your own bag, drop it in your purse. Now that is GEMMY!!
  3. RECYCLE glass, plastic and paper. At the front door of The GEM, there are recycling receptacles. We see many GEMs using it daily for recycling on the go!

We wish you continued vitality and healthy habits this Earth Day, Earth Week, Earth Month and every day. Keep up the good work Earth warriors!


Spring Cleaning: Six Things for a Cleaner, Healthier You!

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Are you ready to drop the winter coat (literally and figuratively) and feel lighter and free? Time to spring clean it up, people! And really, spring cleaning is a detox in disguise.

A detox is simply making lifestyle changes that clear the body and mind of toxins, by eliminating certain harmful things and optimizing the power of more positive additions. Our mission inside The GEM is to guide you into a healthier and cleaner future.the gem spring cleaning

Getting there doesn’t have to incorporate radical, sweeping changes all at once.

Toxins are definitely a buzzword these days, so what is considered a toxin? Toxins are anything that can be poisonous or cause negative health effects. Heavy metals, chemicals, pollutants, artificial food ingredients, pesticides all cause the body harm. And don’t think it is just limited to the tangible. Toxic thoughts and people TREMENDOUSLY contribute to your health and wellness.

Let’s cut to the chase. Time for spring cleaning.

If you mindfully incorporate these simple things, you start the process of detoxification. Get on it. Get your brain and your body humming!

  1. Add detoxifying foods DAILY. Think spring greens, like the Dandelion and Kale salad—super supportive of your liver—the major organ responsible for filtering toxins from your body. The MVP soup is something you should drink everyday. Seriously. It adds five servings of sparkle inducing veggies into your day. And, do not underestimate the power of Daily Green Juice. On an empty stomach, it is a straight shot of goodness into your bloodstream. Come to The GEM. We can help with your green dilemma! We put GREEN in the spotlight
  2. Daily breath. Breathing is the strongest detoxifier we have. Use it to your advantage. Take Five Breathing exercise each morning and anytime you need to calm, focus or energize yourself. Breath in for 5 secs, hold it for 5 secs, exhale for 5 secs. Repeat AT LEAST five times. Great for de-stress, energy, composure.
  3. Exfoliate your skin, and sweat it out. Try a Sauna, or Hot Yoga, to sweat. Incorporate Dry Brushing. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and dry brushing boosts circulation, gets rid of dead skin cells, stimulates the lymph nodes, actually improves the appearance of cellulite, and helps the body remove waste. This is a very potent detoxifier.
  4. Eat organic. It is SO important. Our food supply is riddled with pesticides that are not only ON our food, but actually scientifically engineered inside the DNA. Not willing to go all in? Familiarize yourself with the “Dirty Dozen”. And always buy organic meats and pastured eggs!! Life inside The GEM is HONESTLY ORGANIC, so feel secure about your choices here.
  5. NO CREEPY ARTIFICIAL FOODS. That means NO sweeteners, colors, preservatives. They contain dangerous chemicals that remain in your liver and fat cells—and obstructs the natural cleansing processes within your body. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it either.
    Last, but not least, and this can be a difficult, yet critical one:
  6. Stop the negative talk and the behavior that follows. Do not put energy into negative chatter. Have you seen our GEM Journal?? It helps you set your intention for your day, and reminds of habits that will help change your direction. You attract what you put out into the Universe. Remind yourself daily: You are love. You are light.

 

For spring cleaning, you can always dig deeper, choosing temporary changes that can really kick start the process. Start a three day juice cleanse. Follow our “DAY IN THE LIFE OF A GEM” regimen.

Strive for more permanent changes. Remove toxic thoughts. Eliminate artificial sweeteners. I mean it. It can really change the way you feel, look and live!

Living a vibrant life takes commitment, time, focus. Start the journey with these 6 things to exorcise the demons of a toxic world. Walk into the bright light of health. See you inside The GEM soon!


Celebrating a GEM Milestone: Five Year Anniversary

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Hi GEMs, it’s Leslie here, excited to celebrate another GEM milestone: It’s our five year anniversary!GEM love five years

What started as a small passion and love for a healthy lifestyle, evolved into beautiful community and an incredible friendship between two soul sisters. Five years ago today, The GEM made its debut. With a menu of just a few items (all of which are still going strong), we introduced the concept and power of organic juice to Dallas. Little did Mary Kathryn and I know our new-found passion would ignite a community of GEM lovers to not only embrace us, but whole-heartedly dive into GEM-inspired, disco filled healthy habits.

We are different, and we work hard to be that way. We are authentic—this is how we live. Our commitment is to the finest organic ingredients—nothing is ever short changed.

If we won’t eat it, we won’t sell it, true on day one and still true on our five year anniversary.

AND, we want to share our knowledge with anyone who wants it—through classes, blogs, counseling, or just by sitting at the bar and listening. So while we have evolved into something bigger, we’ve never changed our mission: to share ways to incorporate healthy foods and habits into daily life. We FIRMLY believe in the power of a whole food, plant-based diet, but also that health also comes from positive thoughts laced with a little disco sparkle.

We’ve loved every minute of it, meeting so many incredible people who have transformed their health and their lives in so many ways. Moms have changed how they feed their children. Our GEM Guys come in every day for their Green Glow. Toxic love affairs with diet sodas have turned into an obsession with Forever Young Green Iced Tea. The Crown Jewel is the new addiction of choice around these parts. Our Lentil Soup has become a crowd favorite. And we’ve had the honor to guide many through health challenges that ended with a healthier, happier way of living.

We can’t think of a better way to be and we wanted to let you know it on our five year anniversary.

There is so much yet to come. We have so much more we want to share with you … new recipes, new happiness, new ways to bring vibrant health into your day. So, thank you for welcoming us each day with open arms and open minds. WE LOVE YOU, GEMS!

We are offering free Forever Young Iced Tea or Immunity Shot this week. Come get you some.

And we all shine on …


New Year’s Resolutions Abridged Version: Choose Health

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New Year’s Resolutions (sometimes) suck. I don’t know about you, but each year I spend valuable time carefully considering lots of lofty goals and aspirations for the promise of a shiny New Year.

I vow to be healthier, lose some weight around my middle, quit the sugar, be kinder in this world, save money, read a book a month, the list goes on. By February, I am back to eating marshmallows before bed instead of reading that second book, and by March, I don’t even remember where I left the resolutions list!The GEM organic juice

Here’s the problem. There were too many things to get done and no realistic plan to get there.

So this year, I propose something a little different. To be clear: reflecting on your life and setting goals of self-improvement is critical to an evolved and enriched life. For SURE!

BUT, those things should be ongoing, added in at any time. Let’s have an abridged version of New Year’s Resolutions … because resolutions don’t all have to be implemented at once at the start of a new year. SO MUCH PRESSURE!

Let’s be grateful first. Always be grateful. Grateful for the abundance in your life. Grateful that you do have your health (it can always be better). Then get started on making it better. Focus on one thing, not several New Year’s resolutions.

For this post, I choose health. What if you just picked one thing to add that could actually make that beautiful body of yours healthier and stronger? Should you go to the gym everyday? Eat more veggies? Go on a diet? (NO) Start your day with a healthy option? I’ve got it …

DRINK ORGANIC GREEN JUICE DAILY. Sounds simple, maybe even overreaching in terms of results. BUT, don’t discount this one addition. Daily juicing provides your body with a high dose of naturally-derived nutrients that boosts your health, promotes immunity and keeps you well-protected against toxins and disease. You will automatically experience more energy, less sugar cravings and see digestion improvements. The added bonus? Bright shiny eyes and clearer, more vibrant skin. Here at The GEM, we call that GLOW. It is powerful stuff!

WHY JUICE?

  • Best way to get daily recommended fruits & vegetables up to 4 per juice!
  • Aids in the removal of toxins stored in your fat cells, liver and kidneys. See ya toxic weight!
  • WEIGHT LOSS, with reduced cravings
  • Promotes an alkaline system (diseases thrive in an acidic system)
  • Clears the mind and balances mood
 (read: makes you happy!)
  • Promotes immunity
  • Improves complexion and makes your eyes bright (GIVES YOU THAT GLOW)
  • Increased ENERGY! It’s the real energy drink!

 

Starting your day with a healthy juice will hydrate you, get you in a better frame of mind to make better choices throughout your day AND you won’t let yourself down with a tattered list of resolutions you never got around to by March!

By adding this one small thing into your daily routine, you can better your health and hopefully start a “change reaction.” More good brings more good!!

You can’t change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction. So JUST DO IT. Your first daily juice of the New Year awaits inside The GEM! And if you are really feeling ambitious about the jump into the New Year, reserve a 3 Day Juice Then Dinner Cleanse to help kick start a healthier 2017.


This Fall Food will Give Your Insides a Warm, GEM~my Hug

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Our desire for warmer, more grounding, fall food starts to increase now that cooler weather is upon us. fall foodYour body craves the comfort of roasted veggies, rich stews and robust soups.

Inside The GEM, folks start to line up for our famous Lentil Soup, Sauteed Arugula and Mushroom Salad and Turmeric Lattes. SHAZAM! Those things are good and they give your insides a warm hug.

While you are ALWAYS welcome at our door for your daily dose of fall food goodness, we think you should branch out and try some new things at home. This Black Bean Chili was inspired by Pamela Salzman’s Turkey Chili recipe (also amazing). Look for her new cookbook coming next year!

In the meantime, try this on a lazy Sunday afternoon or at your next tailgate party. You won’t even miss the meat!

 

BLACK BEAN CHILI – A Fall Food Fav

 

INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped red onion

2 cups chopped celery

2 cups chopped carrots

1 poblano pepper chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced (optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup organic masa harina

2 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

2 teaspoons sea salt (or more to taste)

freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 cups veggie stock, divided — OR WATER, just adjust salt content!!

3 cups frozen organic sweet corn

3 15-ounce ounce cans cooked black beans (drained and rinsed)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil to a large pot. Add the onion, pepper, celery, carrots, peppers and garlic to the pot and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the masa harina, spices, salt and pepper to the pot and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
  3. Add 5 cups stock, 1 1/2 cup corn and the beans to the pot. Take the remaining 1½ cups of corn and puree with the remaining ½ cup stock/water in a Vitamix.
  4. Add the pureed corn to the pot. Mix well and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered for 30 minutes.
  5. Top with condiments like chopped onion, cilantro, avocado and Bearitos corn chips.

 

Enjoy! And, remember, you are welcome at our door for your daily dose of happy and healthy.


GEM Gratitude. Want to Make a Difference? Join us November 19th

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We are driven to make a healthy difference at The GEM. One of our missions is to provide clean and healthy nourishment in a happy environment. We are driven to make people happier and healthier by offering healthy options AND hopefully enlightening you along the way to understand what and how healthy food makes a difference to your physical and mental well-being. We are GRATEFUL that we get to experience this every day!!

Making a differenceThat is why we love Feeding Children Everywhere. These folks, who just came to Dallas this year, empower and mobilize people to assemble healthy meals for hungry children and families all around the world. We LOVE that! And, we also LOVE that they are committed to provide the healthiest meal possible, made with real, nutritious and sustainable ingredients. That is an awesome commitment!

Their lentil casserole (yes! Lentils!) is easy to make and can serve as a full meal or as an addition to other foods. It is all-natural with no artificial flavorings and no creepy synthetic or GMO ingredients. And you know how important that is–and lentils for that matter!

They believe one person can make a difference but only with action—action that brings people together. SO, we invite YOU to come with us to help make a difference and assemble these food kits for distribution all over the world.

On Saturday, November 19th, Feeding Children Everywhere hosts the local, DFW Community Hunger Project. Held at St. Philips School, the organization plans to mobilize more than 350 volunteers to assemble thousands of kits in just one day.

These will be distributed right here in the Dallas area, making a difference to families that need nutritious food made with love.

Our GEM team will be there from 9 – 10 a.m. and would LOVE for you to show your GRATITUDE for your own abundance by bringing your smiling self, your friends or your family. For just a short one hour contribution of your time, you can make a healthy difference in the lives of others.

Sign now up by clicking HERE!


8 Things Sweet Sugar Does to You and Your Health

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As yummy and sweet as it is, Sugar is NOT good for your health. With Halloween just a couple weeks away, beware. It tricks you into thinking it’s just simple treats.

Well, it ain’t. Excessive sugar in fact, promotes illness and “un” health. While many of you may know this, few of us are doing anything about it. But do you really know what it does TO you?

sugarblog2

It plays a starring role in your ultimate health—and not for the good of it. If you really knew what it was doing to your body, you might just put it at the top of your “foods to avoid” list. Here are a few things it does to you and your health.

  1. Sweet sugar does NOT heart your heart. It can actually affect the pumping mechanism of your heart and increase the risk for heart failure.
  2. It makes your belly fat. Yeah.  It’s not the planks you missed in the Pilates class that did it.
  3. It grows cancer and may affect cancer survival. High sugar and starch intake negatively affects survival rates in both breast and colon cancer patients.
  4. Sugar jacks with the liver. Poor nutrition and sugar intake is a major cause of fatty liver. A sluggish liver contributes to LOTS of problems in your body.
  5. Sugar sucks your brain power. It causes deficiencies in memory and overall cognitive health. Duh.
  6. It makes you old. Yep, it ages you! Aging of the cells (oxidative stress) can be the cause of those tired wrinkles to something as dire as chronic disease.
  7. It hides in everything. It’s a sneaky little sucker. Some of your favorite foods contain lots of sugar include tomato sauce, fat free dressing, crackers and even bread. And those healthy energy bars?! Don’t even get me started!
  8. Sugar makes us want more sugar and adds to the stress response. It IS a drug—more addictive than cocaine. SO: SAY. NO.

sugar

Sugar is an addictive substance shown to actually change your biochemical pathways, ambush your self-control mechanisms and lure you into eating more and more.

It is a major roadblock to optimal health. It is the root of many ailments including obesity, acne, depression, infertility and cancer.

Want to know more about sugar, stress and how to detox it from your daily life? Our next continuing education group session, Sugared UP and Stressed Out, does just that! Learn what both stress and sugar do to your body and ways to detox from sugar—and don’t let it rule you!

Be there ~ our Forest location ~ or be square, Wednesday, October 26. We now have two classes available:

  • 11 a.m.
  • 12:30 p.m.

 

Cost is $50. Lunch will be served. Call us at 214.792-9928 or email info@insidethegem.com to register.


Turmeric: Meet Your New Anti-inflammatory Power House

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Meet turmeric – your new super spice, new anti-inflammatory power house BFF!

This Southeast Asian spice is so much more than just an Indian curry ingredient. It has powerful health benefits you should know. You may not be using it daily—in your food and diet, BUT YOU SHOULD.

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Indian Ayurvedic medicine as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent to treat infection, inflammation, wound healing and poor digestion. It’s kind of a magic food—cures lots of ails. We love raw turmeric inside The GEM for its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric contains polyphenols that act as powerful anti-oxidants. This super spice does LOTS for your health.

Let’s just start with the biggest one for me: It has badass cancer fighting properties, and has been shown to inhibit growth of various cancer cells including: breast and prostate cancers and melanoma among others.

So, why add it into your daily life?

Here are a few more really good reasons. It:

  • Manages pain. It’s a super potent Anti-Inflammatory, it’s called “Nature’s Advil” for a reason. Perfect treatment for arthritis, joint pain, even headaches. SO many people swear by it as a remedy for inflammation!
  • Protects the brain, prevents the progression of Alzheimers.
  • Helps lower blood sugar and reverse insulin resistance. This is a weapon in the fight with diabetes and weight loss.
  • Boosts immunity. With its anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, along with the inflammation component, this power house is top of the list for staying well.
  • Reduces oxidative stress, which, among other things, contributes to high cholesterol.
  • Heals stomach ulcers.
  • Speeds wound healing.

Because curcumin (one of three potent polyphenols found in this spice) is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, black pepper and healthy fat should be added to increase its bioavailabilty. That being said, if you are using raw turmeric (not dried powder) like we have at The GEM, you don’t have to add anything to enhance bioavailability. Its natural oil boosts absorption. Pretty cool! The powdered version loses much of its bioavailabilty in the processing.

turmericatthegemjuicebar

Now you know what it does, here are a few ideas of HOW you can use it:

  1. Shoot it. Shots of turmeric are one of the quickest ways to consume to get your daily dose of anti-inflammatory goodness. Shoot it straight up or throw back a GEM Immunity Shot — with lemon and ginger for an added punch to the system.
  2. Boost it. Add to your Green Juice. Add turmeric juice for a bold move into a healthy day.
  3. Sip it. Make a tea including ginger and raw honey. Our Amazing Hot Immunity Tea or Immunity Iced Green Tea might change your life.
  4. Make a Latte. Yep! I dare you to try this yumminess called a Turmeric Latte. Fresh turmeric, frothed house-made cashew milk and garam masala (an Indian combo with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom).
  5. Pop it. New Chapter’s Herbal Detoxification capsules are a great addition into your supplement routine. This one includes green tea extract, ginger and peppermint. All amazing immune boosters in their own right.

It is important to note that like most therapeutic herbs, turmeric is not appropriate for everyone. It is a natural blood thinner, so avoid taking it if you are on prescribed blood thinners. It also might upset your stomach if you are taking medication for ulcers or heartburn (though turmeric aids in the healing of these things!). Consult your physician before use if you have any of these conditions.

Want to learn more ways to boost your immunity? Join us Wednesday, September 28, 11:30 a.m., at the Forest location for our continuing education workshop called Eat for Immunity. Learn what nutrient dense foods are best, how certain supplements can help and what other environmental factors can contribute to a super-powered immune system.

Click here to register or call us at (214) 750-2929. Email works too! Send us a note at info@insidethegem.com.


Final Tips for Feeding (and Hydrating) a Teenage Athlete

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The third part of our series on teenage athlete nutrition focuses exclusively on hydrating your teenage athlete. Proper hydration in your teen is incredibly important. Even the slightest bit of dehydration can result in vast declines in performance.Teenage athletes

Understand hydration. It is key because too many of us blindly reach for traditional sports drinks for hydration, electrolyte replacement and energy. This can be a big mistake if you don’t know the scoop.

Conventional Sports Drinks …

  • Contain 2/3 as much sugar as sodas. Sugar after exercise negatively affects insulin sensitivity—it may bring an initial boost of energy, but then causes a crash as the pancreas tries to balance out the toxic blood sugar spike.
  • Are made with artificial colors, flavors and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Gatorade and its brethren are NOT healthy beverages. These ingredients promote ADHD, and contain synthetic ingredients that offer the body NO nutritional benefit.
  • Are loaded with sodium – the bad kind – not to be confused with unprocessed sea salt, which contains 84 different minerals and trace minerals that your body needs for optimal function. A far better option is to simply add a small amount of natural, unprocessed sea salt to your water.

 

So, what are your hydration and electrolyte replacement options?

  1. Water is always good, but won’t replace integral electrolytes and minerals.
  2. Coconut Water is rich in B vitamins, trace minerals AND electrolytes, as well as potassium and magnesium.
  3. Bananas are high in potassium, fiber and antioxidants.
  4. Raisins are a great replacement for those “energy jelly beans” and GOO.
  5. Clean Sports Drinks.

 

Wait, what is that, you say? A CLEAN sports drink???The GEM's Sports Drink

Yes indeed! Say good bye to Gatorade. Enter Perform—our super-clean performance and recovery drink! It has a Tart Cherry-Pineapple flavor. It is powered with electrolytes, trace minerals, hydrating coconut water and lightly sweetened with local raw honey for flavor and stamina. Tart Cherry is important because this polyphenol-rich juice reduces oxidative stress, which if neglected promotes excess fatigue, tissue damage and slow recovery, The bromelain in pineapple works to reduce inflammation.

Hydrating your teenage athlete is a minefield, people. Lucky for you we’ve got you covered.

If you want to learn more about this and more GEM~my goodness, join us for our Day in the Life of a GEM counseling series. It is on in September.

Sparkle on!


Healthy Tips for Feeding a Teenage Athlete – Part Two

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Many struggle with knowing the healthiest ways to feed teenagers. Feeding a teenage athlete is even trickier. featureblog2

As discussed in last week’s post, optimal physical performance for your teen athlete requires preparation—not just daily practice, but as it relates to daily dietary input. You can’t expect to put cheap and crappy fuel into your car and expect it to run optimally. The same goes for your body.  What are appropriate pre and post game hydration and energy food options?

Last week’s post covered what your teenage athlete should eat – as a general diet, before training, and before sporting events. But what happens when your athlete is on the go? What choices can you make when you don’t have a great deal of time or the choices are limited and they need quick energy?

Sugary sports drinks and energy bars can actually do more harm than good. Beware of chemical laden, sugar filled energy bars that tout performance improvement.

Healthy and quick pre-game nutrition ideas on the go should be clean and simple:

  • Keep bananas, oranges and green apples on hand. (great with almond or organic peanut butter)
  • Pumpkin seeds, raw trail mix, GEM Remix*
  • Lentil Soup or Quinoa–packed with energy boosting nutrients 
  • Green juice – don’t underestimate the power of green juice! Packed with energizing nutrients that are delivered immediately into the bloodstream. Green Glow is a great pre- and post-game choice.
  • Healthy smoothies (made at home or from a reputable smoothie place without added sugar)
  • Go Lean Crunch or healthy cereals that contain good protein
  • Beet shots – increases endurance, reduces oxygen consumption, increases blood nitrate levels and reduces resting blood pressure. It might be a stretch for some of our teens, but major athletes swear by them!

blog1kids

Bars are an easy and convenient way to keep your teenage athlete fueled, but choose carefully. Our favorites:

  • Tosi Bars*
  • Square Bars (peanut butter chocolate is the best!!)*
  • Epic Protein Powders (show them how to make their own smoothies!)*
  • GoMacro*
  • Perfect Bars – they require refrigeration but are amazing
  • Kind Bars Strong & Kind
  • Vega One Sport – this company has an entire line of products aimed at sports performance
  • Lara Pro-Bars
  • While not perfect, Clif bars are an energy option that is available even in the most remote of convenience stores.

*Available inside The GEM

Remember: clean and simple food choices are the way to go with your teenage athlete.  And don’t forget – water, water and more water!

Next week, we wrap up our series by tackling hydration and sports drinks. Until then, drink your juice!