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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!

Author Archives: diamondsonyourinside

December Bloat Buster: The Cleanse

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December is a crazy month of parties, fun, stress, eating, drinking, the list goes on and on. You may think there’s no point in a cleanse before the holidays.

Peace. Happy.  Juice Cleanse.

Peace. Happy.
Juice Cleanse.

So wrong!

In fact, it’s almost a must that you cleanse right now. You may believe cleansing as a short, intense retreat into super-restricted eating that you do after lots of binge-ing. This doesn’t have to be the case. It can be a daily practice. There’s no wrong season for clean eating.

Daily Cleansing is a great way to get you through the holidays without taking on excess toxins and destructive eating habits.

A Daily Cleanse will:

  1. Rid your body of the toxins that stimulate cravings. It’s hard enough to turn down all the sweets, eggnog and mashed potatoes – you certainly don’t need your body begging you to gorge on this stuff.
  2. Create a healthy balance. You don’t need to feel completely restricted when you are cleansing. Your body can recover from a few cocktails or a piece of cake if it’s coming from a place of optimal health.
  3. Keep you feeling in control. There is something very empowering about having a regimen of clean eating. Mindfulness of it all can be an incredible weapon in your quest for vibrance.

Many people are scared to commit to cleansing right now because you think you have to miss out on everything that is fun and social. That is simply NOT true.

Yes, a full GEM juice cleanse is amazing and makes you feel like a million bucks, but that doesn’t always fit into our social schedules.

Try our Juice til Dinner, or even doing a day in the life of a GEM. The menu below is how we roll on a daily basis. You can live a cleansing lifestyle and still enjoy delicious, tasty food.

FIRST THING UPON WAKING: 32 oz. filtered water with lemon and take a Bio Kult probiotic and Nordic Natural Ultimate Omegas.

  • Green Glow by 8
  • Radiant Glow or a GEM smoothie by 10, plus more water
  • Lentil soup and kale salad for lunch
  • Flawless at 4, plus 16 oz of water
  • If you are staying in, consider Arugula and Mushroom salad and some hummus for dinner. Alongside a chopped veggie salad. The food is so vibrant and nutrient dense that you cannot over do it.

The Dinner Party: If you are going out, see the tips below:

  • Keep a Small 3 Bean Salad or small quinoa in your fridge. Eat it before you go out to your cocktail party. This will help keep you satisfied and eliminate the crazy craving for too much bad stuff.
  • Stay away from the puff pastries, the cheese tray, the pasta. Find the shrimp, the veggie and hummus platter, the sushi. Once you’ve had one type of appetizer, don’t revisit it. You know what it tastes like, now stop.
  • Really try to keep the alcohol to a minimum. Your sugar levels spike and your willpower plummets. You don’t have to completely restrict yourself to feel good in the morning! This is a great way to keep your cravings in check or bounce back after last night’s office party.
  • Remember the party is about the socializing and friendships. Save the whale feeding for another time.

Don’t put this off until the New Year. Take charge of your life now. Indulging isn’t about throwing all caution to the wind, it’s about finding balance. You can have both during the holiday months.

Make this holiday your happiest and healthiest and GEM~miest yet.


Here’s to a Disco Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving

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Peace.  Happy.  Gratitude.

Peace. Happy. Gratitude.

We all want a Disco, Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving right? It can be an energizing, inspiring holiday if you let it be – one of thanks (duh), gratitude, friendships, yummy foods, family. An all nourishing kind of day – the body and soul.

It can also be a draining, heavy, toxic holiday. One with over-indulgence on food and booze that leave you feeling bloated and depressed. And it gets worse. You let energy vampires disguised as aunts, uncles, siblings, etc., swoop in topped with nonsensical family traditions.

 

 

To make this Thanksgiving a Healthy Thanksgiving (it is currently my favorite), you can do a few small things that may result in some big changes:

  1. Do it yourself.  Make sure you have at least two clean sides for Thanksgiving. It may mean you bring them yourself—which is even better! Alice Waters, Rozanne Gold, Mark Bittman, they all have amazing cookbooks that will rock your world. GEM Hummus with veggies, Hail Merry Royal Blend nuts (conveniently available at The GEM). Shoot, come pick up a few of our arugula & mushroom quinoa salads and tell everyone you made it yourself!! It’s a PERFECT fall salad. 100 Days Of Real Food has good, clean recipes and is an amazing resource to feed your family better. Dreena Burton of Plant-Powered Kitchen has a few recipes on her site.
  2. Center yourself. The holidays, even with all their glitter and excitement, can be emotionally draining. Family dynamics, loneliness, financial issues, and just the intense insanity of it all can be overwhelming. Take some time for yourself the night before by drawing yourself a nice warm bath with CALM Sports bath and lavender oil (Epsom salts can work too) or do what I do—excuse myself to my closet for some deep breathing with a few key stretches before the festivities start. Allow yourself to decompress. It’s ok. We need to take care of ourselves first! By nurturing yourself and taking time to get centered, you’ll be able to steer clear of bad choices and emotional eating.
  3. Prep yourself. Start your morning with 32 ounces of filtered water followed at least 30 minutes later with a vibrant green smoothie with a couple of tablespoons of raw Happy Hemp seeds. (1/2 frozen banana, 1-2 cups spinach, ½ cup blueberry, ½ cup frozen cherries, 2-3 T of raw hemp seeds, 1 cup water). I SWEAR it will make your day go better. Plus it fills your body with satisfying nutrients that will help you make better decisions for the rest of the day.
  4. Don’t be hard on yourself. Thanksgiving doesn’t always have to be a day of over indulgence. But, let’s also be realistic … stuffing happens. Pecan pie and whipped cream happen. If you do go deep off the wagon, you can always get back on that vibrant, healthy band wagon again.

Plan to get back on track as soon as the last turkey sandwich is served. Even better, schedule a 4-Day GEM Cleanse to exorcise the gluttony demons and be back brighter than ever!

Have a gratitude and laughter filled healthy Thanksgiving. We love you, GEMs! See you back for more GEM goodness soon. Hugs all around …


We Heart Hemp!

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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

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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)

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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!


Organic Food & Juice – Are the Benefits Worth It?

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organic food and organic juice Are organic foods really worth the hype and the extra money? These are questions that are raised every day.

In the GEM life, it’s pretty black and white, and ORGANIC WINS EVERY TIME.

The benefits of organic food:

1. No harmful pesticides. Many of these pesticides cannot be washed off of the produce–as they penetrate the entire vegetable. They are also cumulative. These toxins get stored away in your fat cells and continue to build.  The idea of “it’s just a little bit” is as absurd as saying I’ll just have a little bit of arsenic on my apple. You cannot wash enough of the toxins off. Period.

2. No GMOs. That is genetically modified organisms. If you aren’t clear on what those are, don’t feel bad. Even the scientists who created them can’t predict what will happen to humans when they are consumed. Monsanto created the “Round Up Ready” soybean and corn. This means that the powerful pesticide will kill everything around it except the bean itself. Great, you think. Not really. These crops have been modified so that if an insect eats it, the insect’s insides are destroyed. But it’s OK for humans to eat it? I’m no rocket scientist, but … hell no. Did you know that all of Europe, Australia, Canada, Russia and many other countries DO NOT allow these ingredients in their food supply because of the health dangers? We must vote with our wallets.

3. Organic produce contains the same veggie DNA as our grandparents consumed. Sounds a lot more comforting. An heirloom tomato is heaven. Conventional ones aren’t even worth the sea salt and pepper you sprinkle on them.

4. The meats you consume are not over treated with powerful antibiotics and fattened with GMO, nutrient deficient corn. They are also humanely treated–not crammed into slaughter houses and mired knee deep in waste. Happy animals produce happy food. Eat grass-fed, free range, pasture raised. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT, MEAT-EATING PEOPLE.

5. And I have to continue to implore you to never eat artificial food colorings and artificial sweeteners. These cause ADHD and allergies in children, brain tumors and neurological disorders in adults, among other toxic side effects.

The government standards for “organic” include a national list of approved synthetic and prohibited non-synthetic substances for organic production which means that organically produced foods also must be produced without the use of:

  • antibiotics
  • artificial growth hormones
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • artificial dyes (made from coal tar and petrochemicals)
  • artificial sweeteners derived from chemicals
  • synthetically created chemical pesticide and fertilizers
  • genetically engineered proteins and ingredients
  • sewage sludge
  • irradiation

So … conventional, non-organic food may contain these ingredients? Did you know this? I am certain not many of us do, since sewage sludge and artificial growth hormones aren’t on the label. Sewage sludge alone is enough to shift my attention to organic!

Take a look at this experiment. It left me speechless. If this doesn’t confirm the data, nothing will. Way to go Elise!

Love yourself, love your family. Buy organic.

It just might be the best weapon in your arsenal against disease. Organic too expensive you say? Have you priced cancer lately? Pick the Dirty Dozen and go from there.

You owe it to yourself and your family. OH, and drink your organic, nutrient dense juice everyday. It is super power that helps combat and flush out the environmental toxins we can’t help but consume.

See you at The GEM, where honestly organic is how we roll.


Magnesium: Anti-Anxiety Mineral

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keep-calm-image

It’s nature’s xanax and ambien and exlax all in one. 

 

What is it? Magnesium is a mineral that’s crucial to the body’s function. Magnesium helps control healthy blood pressure, supports strong bones, and keeps the heart rhythm steady.

Why else do we need it? Magnesium is a calming mineral that nourishes the nervous system. It helps prevent anxiety, fear, nervousness, restlessness and irritability. It may even have a positive effect on depression. It is a great way to stay regular, treat menstrual cramps, allay menopausal symptoms. SOLD.

Have anxiety? Got constipation? Muscle cramps? Trouble falling asleep? Magnesium can help.

How do we lose it? Most people are deficient in magnesium. Mental and emotional stresses deplete magnesium, and we live in a state of chronic, on-going stress. This environmental reality increases our daily need for magnesium. Magnesium deficiency can be caused by a number of stresses on the body, including emotional stress, some drugs (diuretics, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, insulin, cortisone), heavy exercise, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders and too much calcium in the diet.

How do I get it? Supplements for one. Like what?  My favorite way is with something called Natural Calm. It is a powder substance that you drink like a tea. IT. IS. AWESOME. I drink it when I am feeling anxious. Often, it replaces the 5 o’clock cocktail I used to drink. I give it to my kids to help them relax before bedtime. It’s a great nighttime ritual. CALM rocks my house.

A luxurious and easy way to increase your intake of magnesium and relax at the same time is to add about a cup of Epsom salts or Calm Sports Bath to a warm bath—you’ll absorb the magnesium through your skin. It also helps with sore and cramping muscles. Add lavender essential oil and have a ridiculously calming soak before bed. You’ll sleep like a baby.

Where do I get it? Grab some at The GEM of course! Also available at Whole Foods, my other happy place.

What else should I know about it? Not dangerous, but important to note: Too much magnesium or Calm and you will find yourself with loose stools. Remember that slightly inappropriate lady on those Milk of Magnesia commercials?

So start low and work your way up.

CALM is NOT a substitute for a poor diet. So don’t just rely on supplements. Focus, too, on foods high in magnesium.  Foods such as:

• Dark-green, leafy vegetables
➢ spinach, kale and chard, contain plenty of calming magnesium as well as good amounts of the B vitamins.
• Whole, unrefined grains like oats, buckwheat, millet and quinoa also contain both magnesium and B vitamins.
• Lentils, grass fed beef and homemade bone broths, halibut, and salmon, nuts, pumpkin & sesame seeds, bananas, avocados, figs.
• Dark chocolate / cacao are rich in magnesium.
• Chamomile, dandelion, peppermint or sage herbal tea. Mix it with your CALM magnesium for a double kick.

Added bonus: Many high-magnesium foods are also a good source of calcium, especially spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, and sea vegetables. Another way to a happy green lifestyle!

Stay CALM, baby.

Special note: Magnesium citrate is generally not a harmful substance, but care should be taken to consult with a health professional if any adverse health problems arise.

This post was not sponsored by the folks at CALM!

 

 


8 Simple Detox Steps You Can Do NOW!

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From a distance, achieving a cleaner, healthier lifestyle seems daunting.  There are foods you’ve never eaten, supplements you’ve never heard of, and exercises you’ve never dreamed possible. Sure, when you start climbing that mountain of health, the pinnacle is nowhere in sight.  But Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect a new lifestyle to simply appear when you blink your eyes. Gradual changes to your daily life will put your body and mind on a path to healthier and happier living.

rainbow-background

Be Vibrant!

So many of our GEMs ask how they can get clean—to feel better, look better, think better.  They have no idea where to begin.  I had the fortune (or misfortune if you are a half-empty kind of guy) of being scared into a clean lifestyle.  One day I was sipping/guzzling Hendricks and sodas living an incredibly toxic life (food, drink, people), then BAM!, the next day I am down in the depths of a super strict, super alkaline, orthorexic-to-a-fault, rid-my-life-of-toxic everything way of life. But you don’t need that kind of fear.  You need a few simple tips to get you on your way.  It’s about being mindful of your body and your environment. Once you can see the benefits of these small changes, your body and your mind will DEMAND more.  THEN, we can talk  about diving deep!

  1. Drink 32 ounces of clean, purified water upon waking.  This means before you drink your coffee, before you go for your run, and certainly before you eat that huge breakfast.  Add a little lemon if you like for added alkalinity. Your body has been detoxing itself for the last 8 hours.  Flush out these toxins.  The water is not only cleansing, it is hydrating and energizing.  TRUST ME ON THIS.
  2. Deep breathing exercises every day.  Measured breathing,(pranayama) filling your belly first and inhale through your nose for 6 seconds, then exhale for 6 seconds. Repeat 8 times. Calms the mind, reduces anxiety and tension, increases metabolism, energizes, strengthens the immune system.
  3. No artificial sweeteners, no artificial colors. Never. Period. Studies show sweeteners can raise insulin levels, cause brain tumors, foggy brain, migraines, fibromyalgia, cancer. Artificial colors are made from petroleum and cause ADHD, and certain cancers among other things.  Seriously, this sh*t is toxic.
  4. Add an extra green to your day.  Add steamed broccoli to your salad, spinach to your smoothie (you can’t taste it, by the way).  Green juice is a great way to to get lots extra veggies. If you want a good recipe, email me! I’d love to share.  Slice up some cucumbers and sprinkle with lime and sea salt. Just one EXTRA a day.
  5. Daily probiotics.  This should come in a pill format—NOT Activa yogurt.  Probiotics are the healthy bacteria our digestive tract needs to keep our bodies healthy.  Our immune system primarily resides in our digestive tract.  The healthy bacteria has been sabotaged with processed foods, antibiotics, and other chemical stresses we put on our bodies.  Sunbiotics, a brand we love and use, brings the good bacteria back so it can fight off illness, enhance digestion, remedies constipation and believe it or not, improves mood and thinking.
  6. Omega Fish Oil.  Nordic Naturals are the cleanest, freshest fish oils on the market–and the only brand the GEM recommends.  These vital nutrients help quell inflammation, boost brain health. 2-3 grams/day.
  7. Brisk walk 3-4x week for atleast 30 minutes.  Good for circulation, mood, metabolism. Duh. Just do it.
  8. Sleep. Get some. Atleast 8 hours.  Adequate sleep will keep your cortisol levels in check (things that make you hold on to fat), keeps your mood elevated.

Practice these 8 things every day and watch a transformation begin. Daily GEM dosing and an introductory meal plan is next on the list, but that is for another day….

Peace and Happy and Juice.

 


New Year’s Resolutions. On Ground Hog Day

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It’s a new year. Again.  And now it’s Ground Hog Day. Again.  Just like the Bill Murray movie, it just keeps happening over and over. It’s been a whole month since the parties, the tinsel, the family, the indulgence. I say it’s now down to business.

We hear it every year. It’s time for your resolutions–a time for reflection of ourselves and our lives — present and future. Be better, smarter, happier, stronger, thinner, richer, kinder. It’s what we do after January 1. It’s another one of those, ‘everybody’s doing it’ things, and we follow.  Did you try it?

Now it’s February 2nd, is it too late? Did you fail already? “Oh well, maybe next year,” you say.

HEY.  Don’t be simple-minded.  The “New Year” is not the only time we should reflect and make positive changes. I say start today, Ground Hog Day.

Evaluating your life should not be an annual occurrence.  It should be a monthly reoccurrence. These things should be done on a regular basis, say, every three months re-evaluate. We should call them New You’s Resolutions and make it a habit, regardless of the time of year. Take a quick look at where you are and where you want to be. This is especially useful for diet regimens.

Nonetheless, as mired in tradition as it is, New Year’s (or Ground Hog’s in this case) resolutions, if you are so inclined to jump aboard, can enrich your life and the lives of others around you.

  • What will you change?
  • Will you try to improve?
  • Where will you focus your positive energy?

For the record, I’ve never, EVER shared my resolutions—especially not on such a public platform … for many reasons. Some are simply a level of privacy I like to keep. Others are because I don’t want to be held accountable in case I decide I don’t want to follow through. But this year, I decided the revealing my own hopes, thoughts and goals might cause others to think a bit about their own lives. To better reflect and even, take action.  Plus, it is February 2nd, which eases the Hallmark card pressure for me.

Copying from my paper is OK in this instance. So, in the spirit of it all, here goes. (And don’t judge, not out loud at least).

  1. Go to church each Sunday with my family. I’ll admit I have not been a church goer. But I realize my family and my children need it. Integrity, morals, respect for God and others, a sense of belonging. You get that at church.
  2. Blog twice a month. This is for you AND for me. I need to pin down my thoughts, capture them, act upon them. You can journal your thoughts. Ten minutes is all it takes. It is amazing how cathartic it can be.
  3. Be gluten-free. No exceptions. I know it makes my belly bloated.  I’m 43 and I don’t need to look like I’m four months pregnant all the time. It also negatively affects my mood (both the gluten and the bloated belly). Here are some great tips on going gluten free.
  4. Yoga three times week. I SWEAR this yoga thing works miracles. I find quiet and peace and I lose the achy joints. I FEEL AWESOME. There are different types of yoga. Find one that works for you.
  5. Make a date once a week. This will be really difficult to do, but I need that time, albeit short, to re-connect with my husband. And on the note of reconnection …
  6. Make love to my husband more often. (Here’s that privacy thing). Sex is an integral part of your relationship. It’s a connector, a relationship re-kindler, an actual mood booster. Just do “it.” (Don’t copy this one exactly)
  7. Read more books. At least one will be about self or family improvement. Reading makes you smarter, keeps your brain in shape, keeps you busy and out of trouble. I love humorous and happy books.Recommendations are welcome. Reading Boys Adrift right now.  NOT a funny book but incredibly insightful.  Need a fun one next.
  8. Work for nutritional balance for my children. It affects their mood, their energy, their well-being. Teaching kids early the importance of healthy food can circumvent a lifetime of food issues. I am in awe of the research that supports this.
  9. Walk with a friend once week. It’s either this or $200/hr therapist. Whether intended or not, a good hour talk with a friend can allay a week’s worth of anxiety. Sure you can meet for tea at The GEM, but I like to kill two birds with one stone.
  10. Share my love of disco. Ongoing fun and laughter is something we all need to look for and create every day. Sing, even when you don’t feel like it.

May my ideas spur your ideas! Please share one Ground Hog Resolution or all. I want to hear them.


10 Ways To Increase Your Energy

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments

Waking up each day with vibrance and energy–like every day is your own disco party–would be awesome, wouldn’t it? No late afternoon dips, no struggling to wake up in the mornings. So many of us struggle to find enough energy.  The good news is there are ways to increase your energy, naturally and easily.

Many factors contribute to our sense of energy and vitality ~ those that zap us and those that invigorate. The foods we eat, the people we meet, how we move our feet. These things can either increase our energy or decrease it.

The culprits for depleting us are stress-related. Think four types:

  1. Chemical – Food or Drug
  2. Emotional
  3. Mental
  4. Physical

The main foods and substances that decrease our energy are:

  • Caffeine, coffee, diet sodas, alcohol, too much meat or not enough, processed/chemical laden foods, tobacco, milk/dairy, sugar and artificial sweeteners and trans fats/fried junk!! It is important to note that certain prescription drugs also zing our energy including anti-depressants.

Foods that increase our energy:

  • Foods that are alive have life force. Food that goes bad is good food. Unprocessed, whole foods: grains, vegetables and beans. These foods have all the components of their original, natural state: fiber, vitamins and minerals. Processing removes these elements. A great rule of thumb I like is: If microorganisms cannot thrive on it, what makes you think you can? Does it come in a box and has a “shelf life?” Then it should be pushed aside.

Everything that we take in is food for our body, mind and spirit. 

Here are 10 ways to increase your energy:

1)  Ease up on the java and “energy” drinks.

  • The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar ups and downs, making mood swings more frequent. Stimulants like caffeine and sugar may seem to give an initial energy boost, but they actually cause a dip in our energy and blood sugar levels. Green tea is an excellent substitute.
  • Drink more juice. Juicing daily, you provide your body with a high dose of naturally-derived nutrients that boosts your health, support your body’s natural cleansing processes and helps keep you well-protected against toxins and disease. A fresh juice stands in a league of its own. It is simply the best energy drink on the market! Take that, Red Bull.

2)  Water water everywhere! Lots of it.

  • Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. Before you go to sugar or caffeine, have a glass of water with lemon and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
  • Many times you think you are hungry when really it’s your body asking for water!
  • Drink 32 oz of water as soon as you wake up. Have nothing else until that is consumed.

3)  Eat your greens.

  • Think: Green is spring, the time of renewal and refreshing, vital energy.
  • Greens are full of vitamins and nutrients especially CALCIUM and great for improving circulation, lifting the spirit, purifying the blood and strengthening the immune system.
  • You can always DRINK YOUR GREENS TOO.

4)  DON’T BE SWEET ON SWEETS.

  • Sugar is just plain bad. It promotes disease. Sugar causes mood swings, depression and fatigue. And the more you eat, the more you want!
  • Avoid sugar and chemical-filled artificial sweeteners. NEVER, EVER NUTRASWEET.
  • Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar and stevia (they have lower glycemic loads).

5)  Animal Protein. Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. Fried foods are still a definite NO.

  • Eating too much meat, dairy, chicken and eggs can lead to low energy. So can eating too little! Grass-fed, pastured and wild are always good determinants when choosing your meat and fish.
  • It is always a good idea to cut back on dairy. (Acidic, mucous forming, bloating, yuck). Spinach, kale, collards, broccoli are all excellent sources of calcium.
  • Beans are always a great choice for protein. We do NOT need as much as conventional wisdom states.
  • Fried foods zap your energy. Stay away from them.

6) Chill out. Go to bed!

  • When you are tired or stressed, your body craves energy. Instead of answering the call of the late night snack, get to bed earlier and see what happens. Turn off the lights and TV. Without proper sleep, your body cannot properly detox, heal and repair itself.
  • Magnesium is a great supplement to aid in relaxation. I love “Calm” magnesium tea. It really works.
  • Believe it or not, daily breathing techniques can help. Six deep breaths morning and night can really take the edge off and help with emotional and physical stress.

7)  SHAKE THAT.

  • Physical activity is key. Start with simple, walk with 15 minutes a day or take a yoga class and increase from there. It really does energize you! Even when you don’t feel good, moving will make you feel better. It is a proven fact!

8)  Love yourself.

  • Find activities that restore your energy, such as a walk, a bath, visit the DMA, a movie or whatever you enjoy. Schedule a weekly date with yourself to do these things! This is incredibly vital to your internal energy source.

9)  Get in touch with your spirituality.

  • We are spiritual beings in a physical world. All facets of your life need attention for your whole body to feel good.
  • Find ways to get in touch with your spiritual side, be it meditating, dancing, drawing, going to church or temple or being outside in nature.

10) NO ENERGY VAMPIRES. Get rid of relationships that drain you.

  • People can suck the life force out of you. It doesn’t mean that they are bad, but it is good to notice who drains you and why.
  • See if you can change those relationships by communicating and setting boundaries or, end them.

If all else fails, call a friend, meet at The GEM, and drink your juice! We will atleast have the disco music.