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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!

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?

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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.

 

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!


Healthy Tips for Feeding a Teenage Athlete – Part One

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image1Our kids are crazy about their sports. They put lots of focus on practice and training to prepare for the big games; but do they place equal focus on the nutrition that will support their play? Optimal performance for a teenage athlete requires preparation—not just with practice output, but also dietary input.

This three part blog series will give you information and helpful tips on how to fuel your teenage athlete in ways that are healthy and promote optimal performance. If you haven’t already, take a look at our series on feeding healthy teens here – part one, part two, part three, part four. This information was very well received, but it resulted in more in-depth questions, specifically about your teenage athlete.

Sports nutrition for teenagers is a bit of a specialized area. Teenage athletes playing high level sports burn calories very quickly. If they don’t eat enough of the right types of nutrients, their performance can decrease and may even result in possible growth problems. Healthy eating allows a teen athlete to achieve peak performance without compromising overall health.

So how do you properly nourish the body pre and post game? Here some tips on how to guide your teenage athlete towards optimal sports performance:

  1. Eat a diet that is about 70% complex carbohydrates – including fruit, vegetables, brown rice, whole grain, organic pastas, quinoa, carrots – to achieve maximum carbohydrate storage. Lean proteins such as organic chicken, pastured eggs and small amounts of grass fed beef are critical. Stay away from the bad carbs: white pasta, white breads, junk cereals, and off the shelf fruit juice.
  2. Eat fat. It sounds crazy, but good quality, healthy fats are a source of fuel for your body and are strongly advised – smart choices are avocados, natural organic peanut / raw almond butter on an apple.
  3. Eat a good breakfast! Every day, but especially on game days. Oatmeal, a fruit smoothie with vegan protein, scrambled eggs.
  4. Eat a meal no less than three hours before exercising.
  5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!*** Drink 24 ounces of water two to three hours before the sporting event, during the event on breaks, and especially afterwards to replenish the body. Beware of sports drinks – they can be loaded with sugar, creepy preservatives and artificial food colorings (more about that in part 3).
  6. Pre-game, eat a meal containing complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat pasta, or brown rice with vegetables. Don’t weigh your teen down with heavy proteins or unhealthy fats. If they can’t eat a full meal because they have a nervous feeling in their stomach, a small snack such as a banana or oatmeal is still important.
  7. Avoid SUGAR before exercise – it can speed up dehydration. Your body will thank you later! I know it’s tempting because of the instant energy it provides, but the subsequent crash can be depleting.
  8. Stay away from fast food. It can make your teenage athlete sluggish and it seriously affects performance.  Better “fast food” choices are places like Chipotle and Panera, who have healthier options PLUS they have eliminated unhealthy additives and preservatives across the board. Save the occasional Burger House for a post-game celebration.
  9. Multivitamins are essential! Teenage athletes just don’t get what they need from their food—even if they are perfect eaters. A daily multivitamin is key, along with high quality Fish Oil and a Probiotic. Look for organic ones, made from real food sources. New Chapter, Rainbow Light, Metagenics and Garden of Life are great brands.

 

And, be careful. There are always new ‘miracle’ foods and supplements surfacing. Many are expensive and even dangerous, which makes it confusing. Don’t be swayed. Keep keep it clean and simple.

***Post Note: Water

Water is one of the MOST important components to health and wellness there is. Dehydration is a very real risk if your teen doesn’t continually drink water throughout physical activity. Even dehydration of less than 2% can have measurable negative effects on performance. As a general rule, teenagers should drink 6-8 ounces of water 6 times a day for general health and 24 ounces of water two to three hours before a sporting event, as well as during and after playing.

Join us for parts 2 and 3 of this series for the whattup on teen athlete nutrition on-the-go and sports drinks. Until then … drink your juice.


Conjuction Junction, How’s Your Liver Function?

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Read this before you do anything else for your overall well-being. The GEM Liver Health

Do you give much thought to your liver? You should, because it may be the reason you aren’t feeling your best. The liver is the body’s most important organ–with more than 500 known functions. It’s involved with digestion, blood sugar control, and protein and fat metabolism. It functions as a living filter to cleanse the system of toxins, metabolize proteins, control hormonal balance and produce immune boosting factors. These functions are essential to your overall health.

Do you love your liver, or abuse it? Abuse in the form of:

  • Poor food choices: think preservatives, junk, excess sugar, overeating, fried food.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Toxins are fat soluble so they remain in your fat cells. Chemotherapy too.
  • Environmental: We are exposed daily to high levels of toxins (chemicals, pesticides, water contaminants, heavy metals) through our food, water, air, body and home products.
  • Excess caffeine and alcohol. This one is self explanatory.

When your liver becomes overloaded, congestion occurs. If the liver can’t properly filter the blood, you end up with recycled toxins flowing through your body. This can damage your heart and immune and endocrine system, wreak havoc on your optimal health, even lead to rapid aging.

This sluggishness causes problems you might not think are related,  I couldn’t believe it! Do you have:

  • High sensitivity to chemical smells
  • Trouble digesting fatty foods
  • Increased intolerance to alcohol. This was a big sign for me that something was wrong.
  • Bloating around the upper abdomen
  • Chronic indigestion. Have you been downing those antacids???
  • Wake up at 2 – 3 a.m. for no reason
  • Moodiness/depression/anger. For real, it can be connected to your liver.
  • Fatigue
  • Blotchy skin
  • Gallbladder issues, or removal
  • Constipation, IBS
  • BRAIN FOG
  • Trouble losing weight—your liver plays a critical role in metabolism
  • More ominous symptoms include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, sleep apnea and fatty yellowish lumps around eyes. (CALL YOUR DOCTOR FOR THESE!)

If you have more than three of these symptoms, it is possible you have a sluggish liver — blocked or clogged up with unhealthy fat (in extreme cases it’s called fatty liver). These are signs you need to take action! Once I figured out I had a problem, (which came from a year-long stint with some chemo), I immediately set out to restore my liver health. My changes have really made a positive effect on my health. I sleep better, think better and am a more pleasant person to be around—just to name a few!

How can you remedy this and feel better?

You need to give some love to your liver. Here’s how.

REDUCE exposure to air and food borne toxins:

  • Creepy room fresheners and synthetic perfumes are SOOOOO BAD.
  • Think of it as embalming fluid for food.
  • No one needs electric blue GATORADE!
  • Go organic. Eat at The GEM!
  • Heavy metals in large fish – say goodbye tuna, swordfish
  • Unfiltered water. Get a filter!
  • Chlorinated and brominated products found in almost all commercially produced breads and bread products. I mean … WTF.
  • Switch to non-toxic and plant-based, cleaning and personal care products. This is a BIG deal. If you can’t eat it, don’t use it on your skin.

CHANGE your habits and, “Let food be thy medicine.”

  • Eliminate processed foods, poor quality fats, simple carbohydrates and sugar.
  • Limit or eliminate alcohol. Duh.
  • Drink 32 ounces of filtered water each morning.
  • Eat detoxifying, liver loving foods to help repair the damage to your liver. Dark leafy greens, pastured eggs, beets, garlic, onions, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
  • Check out our new FANTASTIC DANDELION SALAD chocked full of liver detoxifying love. I’ve been eating this everyday. DAILY, ORGANIC GREEN JUICE contains living enzymes, vitamin C and anti-cancer phyto-nutrients. carrot, celery, beet, dandelion, apples, any green leafy veggie!!

REPAIR & RESTORE

We DON’T SUBSCRIBE TO overloading the body with supplements—they can actually be harmful to the liver! Stay away from those cryptic boxes of powders and pills heralding a “liver cleanse.”  That kind of cleanse is best left to a functional medicine practitioner.

BUT, there are a few supportive herbs and nutrients you can use DAILY to rebuild health.

  • Boosts of chorella and spirulina remove heavy metals and toxins. (Grab a BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND AND NEW PERFORMANCE SHOT!)
  • Essential fatty acids–plentiful amounts are required for healthy liver function. High quality fish oil. Wild fish. Avocado, raw nuts and seeds. Strict low-fat diets are not beneficial for general health, weight control or liver function.
  • MILK THISTLE and DANDELION tonics for liver cleansing, TURMERIC for inflammation can make a difference. Anima Mundi Bitters is a kick ass addition to your daily supplement routine. I saw immediate improvement in my sleep pattern. It helps remove stagnation, increase absorption. It stimulates bile production, enhances digestion and revitalizes liver function by eliminating accumulated toxins. GRAB SOME NOW.

It’s time to clean up the liver. These changes will improve digestion, sleep, better skin, weight loss and promote optimal function of your entire body!

Invest wisely into your health to feel your best and proactively prevent future chronic illness. After adding the extra beets, dandelions, Anima Mundi, milk thistle I’ve been sleeping like a baby….and slowly clearing the brain fog–one thought at a time!


Your Biggest Enemy: Stress. By Way of Sugar

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We know the visible suspects of stress: hectic schedules, poor relationships, lack of sleep. In addition, there are invisible factors that trigger the same stress response. It’s as ubiquitous as the air you breathe. It’s called sugar …

Photo cred: Vig Foto

Photo cred: Vig Foto

What you’re about to learn should change how you think about stress and, if you’re smart, how you interact with sugar—especially when stressed.

Surprisingly, one of the biggest causes behind stress could be your blood sugar. The more time spent outside of a healthy blood sugar range, the more your body feels stressed. Excess sugar causes the same physiological changes that external stresses do!

Blood sugar spikes seriously affect stress and inflammation levels in your body. I’ll spare you the physiology lesson, but spiked blood sugar causes stress in your body, which causes your adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Cortisol manages stress and it also manages blood sugar. When blood sugar levels change too fast, your cortisol is used to pull it back up again. Unstable blood sugar can make you feel the same as you feel when an event makes you angry, frustrated, frightened, i.e., STRESSED. So … sugar makes your stress response worse.

We already know stress is a really bad thing when it comes to your health and happiness. Chronic stress can be as fatal as smoking and a predictor of weight gain even more than genetics.

Even when you can’t control every cause of stress in your world, the simple act of keeping your blood sugar levels stable will make you more resilient, less irritable, better able to “deal.”

When I’m stressed AND sugared up, I become the most irritable lunatic. Everyone benefits from me steering clear of sugar! In addition, stable blood sugar levels help you stay lean and energized. This is because unstable blood sugar (and cortisol) causes you to make fat storage hormones like insulin and affects sleep patterns, which causes weight gain and fatigue.

Photo cred: Vig Foto

Photo cred: Vig Foto

If some of this sounds like you, let’s talk about management. What can you do to keep your blood sugar stable?

Throughout the day, many factors protect or damage your blood sugar. However, what happens in the morning affects your day than any other time. So …

START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT.

Your morning routine can start the downward spiral that keeps you in a constant state of stress– raising stress hormones from the get go.

  1. Eat a high quality protein filled breakfast – Kick Captain Crunch out of your kitchen, because he, along with high sugar breakfast foods (bagels, overly sweetened yogurts, junk smoothies), sabotage your blood sugar, your mood, your waistline. You will function SO MUCH better when you stay under seven grams of sugar from all sources combined. Stick with high quality protein, pastured eggs, raw plant protein powders, paired with good fat sources like coconut oil or avocados.
  1. Don’t skip breakfast  Having no food lowers your metabolism in preparation for famine. This makes you less able to burn fat for fuel. The “Amazing Crown Jewel” smoothie gives you the fat and protein you need to power through your morning!
  1. Drink green juice – The phytonutrients from alkalizing greens and vegetables help maintain blood sugar while flooding your system with immunity boosting, inflammation quelling, energizing enzymes and nutrients. Look for juices that are a minimum of 70% vegetables, like the Flawless, or Disco. Even the classic Green Glow packs a punch!

CONSIDER A 3 DAY JUICE CLEANSE TO REBOOT YOU SYSTEM—GET RID OF THOSE CRAVINGS. Want to chew too? Reserve a Juice Then Dinner Cleanse and enjoy a little mastication!

  1. LAY OFF high amounts of caffeine  Why does caffeine give you energy? Because it causes you to raise your blood sugar in the same way that sugary food does. Then THE CRASH. Drink organic green tea instead
  1. Physical activity – Anything works: walking, running, yoga, you name it. It helps regulate your blood sugar too.
  1. Stay psychologically centered – Start a gratitude journal. Mentally rehearse your day, and set your intention to be healthy, happy and calm. Grab our GEM Journal for amazing prompts to maintain a health-filled day.

 

Your body and mind strive to reach states of balance and happiness. Even though you cannot control the world around you, you can help yourself become healthier and more resilient by making easy adjustments in your daily habits.


5 GEM~my Ideas to Love the Earth a Little More this Earth Day

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April is EARTH MONTH and Friday’s Earth Day is about loving our planet. We believe an organic, EarthDay2016healthy lifestyle go hand in hand with loving our MOTHER EARTH. After all, the Earth provides all the goodness that goes into your favorite juice, smoothies and green bites you love at The GEM!

We work so hard to be conscientious about recycling and “being green.” It’s our duty as humans! That is part of our GEM Creed and digs deep into who we are. This has been my objective for many years—it’s something we are very passionate about.

Did you know these GEM green facts?

The GEM:

  1. COMPOSTS all food waste since opening our doors more than four years ago … and in 2015 alone, diverted more than 30 tons from the landfills into the Texas Worm Ranch in Garland.
  2. REUSES glass bottles. Glass is one of the hardest things to recycle!
  3. RECYCLES paper and plastics. AND WE NEVER EVER USE STYROFOAM (it never breaks down in our landfills).
  4. USES carbon water filtration systems for food and juice preparation and production. Removing harmful toxins out of our most precious resource.
  5. ENCOURAGE regular GEM customers to return brown bags, glass shot bottles and juice/smoothie holders for reuse. Every little bit matters!

The seemingly small contributions can make a difference. Over time, these things add up. I mean, over one year our compost totaled 30 TONS out of a landfill. Holy cow!!! So, what can you do?

5 SIMPLE GEMMY IDEAS TO LOVE THE EARTH A LITTLE MORE

These green habits are things your entire family can do. Not only are they easy to implement and good for the earth … they save you money.

  1. Give up bulky plastic water bottles. In most cases this water is no better than what comes from the faucet. This change has a double benefit. The truth is, it is dangerous to your environment AND to our bodies. The water leaches chemicals from the plastics—these chemicals are endocrine disruptors and carcinogens. NO THANKS. It drives me crazy to see half used and un-recycled water bottles piling up in our homes, stadiums and workplaces. Instead, REDUCE your carbon footprint and install a water filtration system that will filter Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC’s), heavy metals and pharmaceuticals. You can fill your own glass or metal bottles and take them wherever you go. I love my Swell bottle! Our favorite home filtration system is Everpure.
  1. Forget about Ziploc baggies! Just don’t buy them! Instead REUSE ones you get from stores or other products OR buy clever containers and lunch boxes that can be used again. Think of all of the landfills and oceans filled with your plastic bag waste. NOT gem~my.
  1. Bring your own shopping bags or NO bag at all. Keep bags in your car for the trips to the grocery store and other shopping. At Whole Foods, you get a  .10 cent rebate for each bag you bring. Next time you are checking out at your favorite store with just a couple of items, just say, “I don’t need a bag, thanks!”
  1. Use less water at home. Challenge the whole family to turn off the water when brushing their teeth. This is easy, and the water saved adds up quickly! Try taking shorter showers and baths.  Consider installing low-flow aerators faucets and shower heads. These can make a big difference in your water usage and therefore, your water bill!

JOIN THE GEM IN LOVING THE EARTH ALL YEAR LONG. Do you have a earth-friendly habit you’d like to share? We are all in this together! Let’s make a difference. Happy Earth Month! Happy Earth Day!