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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!

Your fatigue’s dirty little secret

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Are you in a constant state of fatigue?cure fatique

Do you …

Feel rundown or overwhelmed?

Have difficulty falling asleep?

Wake up in the middle of the night?

Wake up exhausted, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour?

Feel exhausted late in the afternoon, but more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day?

Crave salty and sweet snacks?

Have brain fog? Chronic racing thoughts?

No, you probably aren’t falling apart. You just might be experiencing adrenal fatigue. What is that, you might ask?

Adrenal glands are endocrine glands that sit at the top of the kidneys. These guys mobilize your body’s response to every kind of stress. They regulate blood sugar, regulate energy production and storage, immune function, heart rate, muscle tone and other processes that enable you to cope with the stress.

Important roles, no doubt.

So it’s important to keep these guys working properly and don’t over work them. Adrenal fatigue occurs when the demands of stress cannot be adequately met.

Whether emotional, environmental or physical, prolonged stress is disastrous for the adrenals. Prolonged stress wreaks havoc on your blood sugar, causes thinning skin, muscle wasting, memory loss, high blood pressure, dizziness and night sweats. Eventually, the adrenals become fatigued.

You want to recognize fatigue so you can begin to manage it before it gets out of hand. Overworked adrenals eventually crash, leading to adrenal exhaustion, where the body is unable to maintain adequate adrenal hormone production. And then you can say hello to extreme fatigue (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), irritability, inability to concentrate, frustration, insomnia, addictions to sweet or salty foods, allergies, depression, anxiety, sensitivity to cold, diabetes and headaches…Cliff Notes version: it is not fun!

While we can’t always eliminate stress, we can nourish our bodies and souls in a way that strengthens the response and keep the negative effects on your body at bay.

10 tips to nourish your adrenals: 

1. Breathe! Commit to regular deep breathing exercises. Aim for 10 to 20 deep belly breaths every morning and every night. Six counts in, six counts out. Not only is it calming to the mind and body, it is cleansing and energizing.

2. Eat clean, whole foods. Let food be thy medicine, right? Rid your diet of the nasty five: caffeine (see ya later, coffee), alcohol, table salt, soda and sugar. And say hello to good sources of protein, complex starch, nuts and seeds, super berries and lots and lots of dark greens (they contain great amounts of B vitamins). Nourish yourself through food.

3. Daily organic juice. Flooding your body with super powered greens nourish every inch of your body. Instant energy, without a crash, daily juice helps maintain blood sugar levels and boosts immunity. The new Disco (Super GREEN) juice is the most detoxifying juice yet, power packed with chlorophyll and phytonutrients certain to boost you back to vibrance. For REAL!

4. Sleep. Try to get eight hours for rest and repair. Lack of sleep not only affects adrenals but also hormonal balance. Cortisol levels contribute that puffy ring of belly fat around your middle. Go to bed earlier, and stay screen free for at least 30 minutes prior to bed. Late night viewing of electronic screens are proven to negatively affect sleep patterns.

5. Daily quiet time. This is a good time use a Gratitude Journal identifying five things to be grateful for. Try it—you’ll be amazed how it soothes the mind. Bring awareness to your daily life with meditation. Studies show meditation can drastically reduce stress. Just do it!

6. Try a weekly detox soak. Take a relaxing bath at least weekly to promote detoxification of impurities that tax your system. A detox bath of one cup Epsom salts, one cup baking soda and eight drops of lavender oil just might change your life!

7. Take a daily probiotic. When your gut is healed, health will naturally improve. Bio-Kult is the VERY best probiotic out there. This is something I recommend always!

8. Recover with Bloom! This incredible elixir, called Recovery, is a combination of several organic herbs in a liquid format that helps support adrenals and help the body “recover” from stress—be it physical or mental. I take two droppersful in the morning and at night. I sleep better, and that afternoon fatigue starts to disappear. It’s AMAZING! Get your magic elixir inside The GEM today.

9. Learn to love restorative exercise like yoga. Simple daily yoga stretches, even for just 15 minutes makes an enormous difference.

10. Learn how to say NO … Boundaries. Build your own. This is a major cause of stress. Don’t over commit yourself. There’s only so much of you to go around!!

Learn more ways to nourish your body and soul with a Diamonds on Your Inside counseling session. That’s why we’re here.


What Pink Ribbons Don’t Say About Breast Cancer Prevention

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In my former, pre-GEM~my world, pre-breast cancer, I spent 17 years in marketing and product development for a luxury linen company. It was a great paying job with lots of responsibility and lots of high-level stress. I was burning the candle at both ends, and was generally a hardcore, bitter, very impatient person. And, I knew it all.

On October 19, 2009, 18 days into “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” that world came to a halt. I was broad sided with a diagnosis of breast cancer that spread to my lymph nodes. Leslie kicked kancer's ass

Crap. I hated pink ribbons. Even more, I hated setbacks.

Later, I realized this setback would be my life changing experience. I was about to learn about peace and happy and a truly healthy lifestyle the hard way.

During my year-long treatment of chemo, surgeries, radiation, sheer exhaustion, I started to dig deep into illness and disease and what I could do to help in the healing process AND make certain it never came back. I learned about alkalinity and inflammation. I discovered very quickly that my previous lifestyle did nothing for my optimal health, so I set out to quell all inflammation in my system.

How?

  • I immediately went out and bought a juicer and Vitamix
  • Went totally on a hard-core, plant-based diet
  • Did a TON of reading and research

I became obsessed with everything related to food and healthy living and quickly discovered first hand the power of juice, clean food and positivity. I learned that inflammation is the root of all disease, so I set out to change my life. I also learned it wasn’t just about food!

What did that mean? In addition to food, your thoughts and your stress are major causes of inflammation.

I needed more. I earned a degree from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, an incredible nutrition school that takes a holistic approach to wellness and focuses on relationships, work, exercise and spirituality as essentials to building good health. I studied lots of brilliant minds on the subject.

The goal: to clean up every dark corner of my world. I dumped the toxic people (oh, yeah baby!), the toxic thoughts, the toxic attitude. I refused to let that stuff into my world. Added yoga, deep breathing, cleaned out my personal care and cleaning products. I changed my environment so to speak. That was a great place to start.

So what about the (toxic) food? So I began embracing a whole-foods, plant-based diet. I cooked, I juiced, I bought organic.

What I quickly realized was there was no place nearby where I felt secure about the quality and selection of the food and juice. Organic was rarely mentioned and almost never honestly served. I couldn’t eat every meal at home, right? So, what happened next? Mary Kathryn and I decided to do it ourselves! Wonder-twin powers activate!

From there, The GEM was born. We created The GEM to be a community where people come to get healthy and happy. And WOW! We were floored by the response. Our baby quickly became a place to find approachable, healthy habits that have a profound effect on your long-term health. Anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-energy vampires. Let food (and disco) be thy medicine, right?

We invite everyone to experience this place of healing and happiness called The GEM.  And hopefully you leave with a little something better than when you enter. Come on in! Don’t wait for a sucker punch from Life to change your thoughts and your habits!

The GEM is living proof that by removing toxins from your life, you will be healthier, stronger and happier. So while the pink ribbons aren’t visible, the disco ball is a constant reminder of the happy, healthy life we all can attain.

YOU ARE YOUR BEST ADVOCATE–whether it is cancer screening or anything else. Take control of your health and happiness each and every moment.  And, don’t be a boob. Perform monthly breast exams. Peace.


Why You Should Care if Your Juice is Made with High Pressure Processing

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Wonder why our juice tastes best (Hint: No High Pressure Processing)? The GEM is committed to the freshest, honestly organic products anywhere. We believe in the highest standards in what we do. Down to the disco ball.Organic Juice Bar in Dallas

With that, we think it’s important to know when, where and how that juice is made. Inside The GEM, juice is made fresh daily, right in our kitchen. It is bottled there and then quickly put on the fridge shelf where you GEMs snatch them up and gulp away.

Don’t hesitate … or the expiration date will come and go before you know it! Wonder why does GEM juice only last three days, yet you can find dozens of “fresh,” cold-pressed juices that are good for 30 days? That seems strange, doesn’t it?

Three words: High Pressure Processing (HPP)It’s HPP? High pressure processing is a pasteurization process that preserves and sterilizes food by applying very, very high pressure, instead of heat. The high pressure kills certain microorganisms and enzymes in the food, thereby slowing the food’s deterioration.

There are advantages, of course: It reduces the level of possible pathogens in the juice—which were there from the beginning. Plus, HPP dramatically increases the shelf life and therefore easier to transport and sell. This is much better than the heat pasteurization process, which kills all living enzymes and lots of nutrients. Sounds like the perfect solution to having juice last longer, right?

We thought so. We thought this would allow for a longer shelf-life, for stocking our shelves and most importantly giving our customers the opportunity to keep juice longer. So, we looked into it, as we thought it was the “perfect solution” to always having our juices stocked and available in our fridge and ready for YOU.

Unfortunately, we found a few things we didn’t like about the process:

  • Recipe change. First off, our precious juice recipes that we hold so dear would have to be formulated differently in order qualify for this process. WTF. No way. Many of our super green juices would have to change to be more acidic. We didn’t’ like being told that. How could we face our GEMs if we had to change the recipes to their favorite organic juice or, worse still, as one consultant recommend, we add minute quantities of citric acid??
  • Taste change, We found that the taste, over the course of time, does change. And not for the better we decided. Well, the last thing we want is the taste of our Radiant Glow not to be, well, radiant.
  • Mind shift change. It’s deceiving. HPP juice really isn’t ‘freshly’ made. After the juice is made, it must be sent to the giant HPP plant, which then treats the juice, dates it and sends it back. What we discovered is that we didn’t like the taste, the color and, quite frankly, didn’t feel comfortable drinking month old juice. It has a shelf life that is up to 10 times longer than juice the way nature intended. That’s just deceiving. AND, who wants to drink 30-day-old juice?
  • Benefits change. The good bacteria is destroyed. Along with the bad bacteria (that’s a good thing), the process kills good probiotic bacteria too. The kind of good bacteria we always talk about at The GEM. The kind of bacteria that plays a role in good nutrition. Plus, enzymes only live for five to seven days, and HPP can’t change that. The important enzymes that are still alive  may be altered and thereby denatured.

 

Our raw, organic, health-mentoring pledge: OUR priority is to provide the best juices to alkalize of the blood and neutralize toxins in the body. Sometimes that comes at a price to us. But so does our health! It is our philosophy that truly raw juice can be our medicine, our energizer. BUT. It must be left unprocessed and in its purest form. We will guide our GEMs daily through an accessible pathway to optimal health.

Therefore, we will NOT use processing of any kind on our juices or produce. We WILL continue to raise the bar at every turn, maintain our organic pledge and continue to create more amazingly healthy and tasty juices, smoothies and green bites. Just. for. you. (heart).


Yoga for Stress Relief

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Have to preach this … yoga is a critical component for stress relief. yoga and juice equal peace

Don’t turn off the screen just yet. Yoga doesn’t have to be:

  • Difficult to practice. Simple postures can be done anywhere, anywhere.
  • Intimidating. If you don’t already practice yoga, don’t be scared. You gotta start somewhere. Most folks can’t twist into a pretzel and stand on one finger.
  • Practiced on a mountaintop in white robes. It’s not weird. I ran from the idea of yoga just a few years back, and now can’t live without it! Plus, it is one of the oldest defined practice of self development.

 

Yoga may be more familiar than you think. Many popular techniques found to reduce stress derive from yoga:

  • Controlled breathing. This stuff works.
  • Meditation. Be grateful for your life and the big and small things in it.
  • Physical movement (exercise)
  • Mental imagery. See it, think it, be it.
  • Stretching. It’s crazy what a difference a few stretching poses can make.

 

Yoga can provide the combined benefits of these activities in one technique. It brings together the mind, body and spirit. Whether you use yoga for spiritual transformation or for stress management and physical well-being, the benefits are numerous and undeniable. Those with physical limitations can and actually SHOULD practice yoga, just make sure you have a good instructor.

There are several different styles of yoga, some moving through the poses more quickly and other styles relaxing deeply into each pose. Some have a more spiritual angle, while others are used purely as a form of exercise. Certain poses can be done just about anywhere and a yoga program can go for hours or minutes, depending on your schedule.

This is what yoga can do for you:

  • Reduce stress, anxiety and muscle tension
  • Increase strength and flexibility
  • Reduce cortisol levels–which make you hold on to fat, among a million other things.
  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Spiritual growth. It can happen, regardless of your religion.
  • Sense of well being. Well, sign me up!

 

Yoga’s benefits are HUGE—it gives a crazy high payoff for the small amount of effort you have to exert.

There are so many studios that offer beginning yoga, often with incredible guidance from the instructor. You really want to have that extra attention at the beginning to learn proper form and be more engaged. Places like Sunstone offer classes that are heated, slower, and more methodical. Start with Spark and work up to Fire Class. Water class (a true spiritual experience, in my opinion) is my personal favorite. Exhale & We Yogis have lots of different varieties of classes.  We Yogis even has classes for kids and teens. Dallas Yoga Center has classes for beginners and even some that focus on meditation. Try a few online videos and images (simple beginner poses), though the energy of a live class is so much more therapeutic.

Select a place that you feel comfortable with and try it out. Give it several tries with different types of yoga until you find what is right for you. Private yoga sessions including guided meditation are an incredibly rewarding option!

Bottom line: Make the connection between knowing your stress levels and changing your behaviors. Managing stress in a positive way will make a life-changing impact your body and your life.

Do you have a favorite yoga studio? Share it with us!!

Peace. Happy. Yoga.


5 Ways to Manage Back-to-School Stress

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments

School is almost back in session which meansThe GEM Juice Bar major organization needed, major scheduling, major traffic, AND obviously, major stress. Stress is an unpleasant fact of life. We all experience it, and for some of us, we allow it to take over our minds and eventually our bodies.

The key is to find ways to manage it—squash it—and don’t let it rule us. Stress does terrible things to your mood, your energy and your overall physiology. Common symptoms of stress we know all too well: insomnia, headaches, jaw pain, back and neck pain, heartburn and nausea, nervousness and anxiety, nail-biting, and trouble focusing. Even high blood pressure, stroke and obesity! But stress does some other crazy sh*t …

  • Stress changes the expression of your genes. Your genes load the gun, the environment pulls the trigger. Your stressed our body produces chemicals, activating genes that change everything — how much fat you store, your immune function, ageing and even the development of CANCER.
  • Stress affects memory function. High levels of stress hormones damage critical parts of the brain, especially the area responsible for memory. People experience adrenal burnout after chronic stress because the brain actually turns off the adrenals. So relax, silly.
  • Stress jacks with your immune system and increases inflammation. Stress is the ultimate immune-modulator. It slows wound healing and increases your susceptibility to infections.
  • Stress slows your ability to metabolize and detoxify. Genes responsible for enzymes that break down fats and detoxify prescription drugs are negatively impacted by stress. Stress also adds to your toxin burden by increasing your cravings for high fat, high sugar foods. We all know that one, right?  The stress hormones actually make you hang on to your fat cells.

 

The American Institute of Stress (AIS) has a list of 50 common signs and symptoms of stress.  Check it out! So in addition to making us cranky and fat, it can also make us chronically ill? Tell me how to fix this!

What we think and feel, and how long we think or feel it, determines our health. The science is strong, and yet so often since stress is considered something we can’t really quantify, it gets dismissed as not being “real.”

Here are a few ways to quell stress in your life:

  1. Meditate. Come on … Don’t quit reading. Meditation can mean different things to different people. Mindfulness, intention setting, gratitude lists all are part of a mediation practice. Simple deep breathing exercises and morning quiet time (even 15 minutes a day will make an enormous difference). Gabby Bernstein rocks. Wayne Dyer too. This does not take the place of your daily prayer. Try deep breathing exercises in the carpool line or at a traffic light. I swear it will change your life.
  2. Laugh. Call a friend, watch a movie, fake it if you have to!
  3. Magnesium. Deficiencies in this mineral have been linked to anxiety as well as a litany of sleep disorders. Go get you some CALM tea today. P.S. It will also keep you regular. There is also a Calm Bath Soak that is amazing as a bedtime ritual along with some lavender oil that will knock your socks off.
  4. Exercise. Do something everyday—preferably something that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. Walk with a friend, jump on the trampoline with your kids, or turn up Donna Summer and disco dance off of the chandeliers for all I care. Just do it!
  5. Plan your food. At the very least, have healthy food options in your fridge. You can’t manage stress on Cheetos and drive-thrus. Plus eating like that can add MORE depression and anxiety to your life. (Insider scoop, we will be blogging about this in September: simple, healthy fridge options). Start your day with a Green Glow or a superfood-packed Crown Jewel smoothie.  What stressor can possibly bring you down now??

 

We can help you with all this at The GEM, whether with your nutritional needs, a much-needed laugh or schedule a Diamonds Counseling Stress Session – Just ask!

Next up:  Stress and Yoga!!


Personal Care Products That Are GEM~my

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Tiny GEMs Need Protecting

Tiny GEMs Need Protecting

Last week you super fine GEMs really took notice of our post about personal care products and the chemicals that they contain. We received so many emails and texts wanting to learn more about specific brands and information. Many of you were extremely interested (worried) in making positive changes for you and your family. No need for anxiety!

Let’s get this chemical-free show on the road.

Please note, this is just a start. There are hundreds of others! The important thing is to read the label and know a company’s philosophy on harsh chemicals. The best way to make certain of this is to download EWG’s Skin Deep App. This thing IS AWESOME. There you can quickly scan a product and this bad ass app will give you its safety rating. You can rest easy with this!

During the research, I shockingly learned some of my favorite personal care products scored much higher on the EWG safety rating than I would prefer! Holy sh*t. That is why you MUST use the app in the stores or go to a highly, edited website to shop.

Most websites have a range of product ratings on their site. This site does a tremendous job of showcasing the safest and best ones. These. Folks. Rock.  “Rodale’s is for people like you, who want to do the right thing but don’t have the time or energy to wade through all the confusing and conflicting information out there to figure out what is really good or what isn’t. Since 1942, that’s what we do. We are your trusted source. Let us make it easy for you!” Well … sign me up!

Don’t worry, though. There are some more mainstream brands out there, you just gotta look! 

For kids:

Food Babe has a great article about safer sunscreens. See all of the best ones on EWG’s website.

Skin Care

  • JASON satin shower body wash - This one ranks a 1, though I was shocked to see mine rated a 5! Grrr.
  • Derma E rocks our world. Love their Super Intensive Body Balm
  • Coconut oil works for just about everything under the sun: moisturizes, removes make up, mouthwash … yes, mouthwash
  • Drunk Elephant.  Their skin treatments look amazing!
  • Tata Harper. Expensive, but their line is soooo good. They grow their own botanicals on her farm!

Other amazing, conscientiously clean companies that have great ratings for skin care include Odacite and Acure (Whole Foods).

Lipsticks & Makeup

  • Tarte mascaras, concealers, eyeliners – Love their Amazonian Clay products.
  • Zuzu Luxe Cosmetics – Lipsticks
  • Burt’s Bees for lip balm – Burt’s Bees is available just about everywhere—so you can grab their skin care products when you are in a bind.

Toss the ChapStick!

Haircare

  • John Masters Organics. This brand has a huge selection of products. All rank well on the EWG chart.
  • Giovanni for shampoos, hairspray and gels. While these don’t have the very best ratings, they are less toxic and you can find this at Target!

Toothpastes

  • Tom’s of Maine—fluoride free – Lots of kinds, I love the cinnamint one. Available in lots of drugstores and the Target.

Deodorant

These are not anti-perspirants, btw. You have to get used to the fact that you are supposed to sweat! No aluminum. Period.

There are conscious companies that are trying to make a difference with quality personal care products that are helpful and not harmful! Reward them by buying their goodness. If you are really committed to change and need informed and happy handholding, a Diamonds On Your Inside Counselor can walk you through a Healthful Home cleanup session.  Eliminate the body and home products that are toxic, and find clean, quality replacements.  You need a hand? We got that, dear GEM.


Not All Skin Care Products Are GEM~my

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Whether fancy and expensive or common and cheap, skin care products are riddled with harmful thegemjuicebarimage2014chemicals and ingredients. In fact, some of the most toxic elements in a woman’s daily life are her personal care products, which contain ingredients linked to:

  • Cancer
  • Birth Defects
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Allergies
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Infertility
  • Hormone disruption

A veritable toxic shit storm of harm! Nothing is exempt. They  are in lotions, sunscreens, deodorant (yikes!), makeup, lipsticks, soaps, shampoos and nail polish.

Think that it doesn’t matter because it is just on your skin? A whopping 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. Kids absorb EVEN more than that.

WTF. You think, “That can’t be. Our consumer products are safe. The FDA takes care of all of that.  They protect us from harmful ingredients in the products we put IN and ON our bodies.” UMMMM. Not.

YOU have to take control and protect yourself. You must make educated choices about the products you use. Your skin and longevity will thank you.

What to do first …

Educate yourself! Download the Environmental Working Group’s tools and resources and lessen your exposure to toxins. You don’t have to throw everything out and start from scratch, unless you are as crazy about it as we are. Start with your soaps, body lotions and shampoos. Work from there. Once you start understanding the dangers of these ingredients, the shift becomes MUCH easier!

Stay away from:

  1. Parabens. This widely used preservative is in everything: makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos, lubricants,and facial cleansers. Parabens mimic estrogen in ways associated with increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have actually been found in biopsy samples from breast tumors. Look for “Paraben-free” products.
  2. Artificial colors. Yes, the same stuff that makes your Skittles bright like rainbows. Made from petroleum, synthetic colors are skin irritants and linked to ADHD in children. (Insert my uncontrollable anger here.) The Europeans consider artificial colors a human carcinogen and actually banned them. What?? We use stuff (smarter) countries don’t allow because it’s dangerous? Don’t forget this is what is in your packaged food and candies. MAKES ME FURIOUS.
  3. Fragrance. One of my least favorite things. Due to a law created to protect a company’s “secret formula,” the contents of fragrance don’t have to be disclosed. It may contain chemicals that cause allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and possibly effects on the reproductive system. It’s found in really anything with a scent! Just stay clean and let your inner scent shine through. You are MUCH more appealing than “spring meadow rain” anyway!
  4. Triclosan.  It’s supposed to be an antibacterial agent, but it’s also a known endocrine disruptor — especially thyroid and reproductive hormones — and a skin irritant. Tricolson can be found in toothpastes, antibacterial soaps and deodorants. Tom’s toothpastes are a great alternative to that nasty conventional stuff.
  5. Sodium lauryl sulfate/Sodium laureth sulfate. This surfactant can be found in almost all personal care and cleaning products—anything that foams. SLS’s are known to be skin, lung and eye irritants. It combines with other chemicals to form a kind of carcinogen, leading to issues like kidney and respiratory damage. They can be found in shampoo, body wash, cleansers, mascara and acne treatment.
  6. Phthalates. I can’t even pronounce it, but they are a group of chemicals used in things like nail polish, perfumes, deodorants, lotions and hair spray. Yikes! See ya, Aqua Net. Known to be endocrine disruptors, they have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Unfortunately, it is not often disclosed since it is added into that “secret formula” called fragrance. Yeah … the Secret deodorant should hit the trash. Sorry.
  7. Formaldehyde. Helps prevent bacteria growth. This chemical was deemed as a human carcinogen and has been linked to nasal and nasopharyngeal cancers. It is known to cause allergic skin reactions and may be harmful to the immune system. It can be found in nail polish, body washes, conditioners, shampoos, cleansers, eye shadows and nail polish treatments. It is also used to embalm cadavers. Just sayin’!
  8. Toluene. Derived from petroleum, this nasty devil can affect your respiratory system, cause nausea and irritate your skin. Expecting mothers should avoid exposure to toluene vapors as it may cause developmental damage in the fetus. Toluene has also been linked to immune system toxicity. It can be found in nail polish, nail treatments and hair color/bleaching products.
  9. Sunscreen chemicals. This is bad sh*t. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors and are easily absorbed into the body. They can cause cellular damage and cancer in the body. Common names are benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate. Find all-natural sunscreens (you will pay high dollar, but you and your kids are worth it!)

The average person slathers on around 125 chemical ingredients found in personal care products every day. YEESH.

Which products will you eliminate first? Download this groovy shopping guide for quick reference for things to avoid.

Once you’ve tossed the Jergens for jojoba, test some of The GEM girls’ favorite lines:

  • Odacite (skin care)
  • Tarte (makeup)
  • Hourglass (makeup)
  • Derma E (skin care)
  • Tom’s (toothpaste)

Easier still, shop at places that have edited the products for you – conscious companies who are trying to make a difference with quality skin care that is helpful, not harmful!

If you have a favorite, fabulous and SAFE product, please share it with us! We are always looking for the good stuff!


What is Alkalinity and Why Do You Need It?

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Alkalinity. You need it. Your body craves it. In order to enjoy optimal, immune boosting health, free from disease, inflammation, diabetes, cancer (YIKES) — you should maintain a slightly alkaline pH level, specifically, 7.365 on the pH scale of 0-14, 7 being neutral.

Our bodies work really hard to maintain itself within this small window. The more acidic our diet and lifestyle, the more we work against our body’s efforts. In turn, we leave ourselves feeling tired and our immune systems vulnerable to disease.

hummusmvOH, and did I say disease and cancer thrive in an acidic environment? Reason enough for me to listen!

How did you get here in your acidic world? It’s your lifestyle.

What does that mean?

Our Standard American Diet, or SAD (appropriate initials!), is a major factor of acidity. It is a diet full of processed, highly acidic foods and drink, i.e. sodas, chips, sweets, fast food, DAIRY, alcohol, grains, heavy amounts of animal protein and SUGAR. When acidic foods are digested, an acidic residue is left behind. When too much acidic ash accumulates, it damages cells and tissues and robs the body of key minerals that help keep inflammation in check.

Constant stress and negative emotions are acidic culprits too. Emotions can have a greater impact on our blood and physical health than our food!

A lack of consistent exercise stagnates the body’s circulatory system. Oxygen through your cells is cleansing and alkalizing. Just do it.

These things increase acidity and inflammation in your body and causes major disruption to your system. So what do you do?

Four simple steps to alkalinity:

  1. More Water. Back this up with 32 oz of clean, filtered water each morning and you will be very pleasantly surprised by the way you feel. An easy way to make your water more alkaline is to add a little lemon or cucumber to filtered water. It’s weird because lemons, while acidic in your mouth (and on your teeth), are extremely alkaline when digested.
  1. More Greens, less sugar. A whole foods, plant based diet is the key to an alkaline system. Make 80% of your diet alkaline foods. Fresh vegetables, salads, leafy greens, omega oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains. Crowd out the bad with the good, then begin to cut and eliminate the bad. Think GREEN and whole foods with high nutritional value. And as always, NO artificial sweeteners—toxic, toxic, toxic. Check out this amazing chart.
  1. More Exercise. Essential because it pumps our blood and lymph around the body to remove wastes and helps deliver oxygen to cells for necessary functioning. Deep breathing can be hugely beneficial as it also controls stress and negative emotions.
  1. Supplements. Not the first solution, but part of the big puzzle – Utimate Omega 3s and probiotics.

Even if you just add three extra greens a day, morning water consumption and 15 minutes of daily exercise, you could feel a huge difference!

The big solution lies in creating a lifestyle where food, stress management and a mindful exercise practice all contribute to your optimal health. So dive in! What are you waiting for?


Superfoods = Super Meals Part 2

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments

GEM-4_Heart-GEM_mech_8in_lowres-01One of our last posts addressed specific foods classified as SUPERFOODS, which are in a group of foods and supplements that pack an exceptionally healthy and healing punch to your nutrition.

Superfoods help us feel more energetic, provide protection against disease and promote a longer, happier and healthier life and slow the ageing process.

These antioxidant rich products are overachievers in a class that helps eliminate chemically active oxygen molecules thought to contribute to aging, immunity and chronic ailments such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

There are many nutrient dense foods and supplements that are SUPER. The supplements seem to be a little more obscure, but at The GEM, we use them everyday. We’ve listed both a daily application you can do at home as well as our favorite GEM application.

1. MACA:  This superfood made from a South American root, dates back at least 3,000 years ago.  Maca nourishes and enhances endocrine system, which controls such functions as:

  • Sexy: fertility and sexual function, libido
  • Get Moving: digestion and absorption
  • Happy: brain and nervous system physiology including mood moderation
  • Sparkle: helps increase energy AND calms the stress response (supports the adrenal glands)

Maca is considered to be adaptogenic, meaning it will work on the body according to needs, age and gender of the person taking it – allowing both males and females of all ages to benefit from taking it regularly. Magic Maca is more like it.

Daily Application: Add this caramel-ish powdered gem to your daily smoothies!

GEM Life: Crown Jewel, Tahitian Pearl smoothies

2. SPIRULINA:   One of the oldest life forms on Earth, this blue-green algae has reached powerhouse status. Consumers of spirulina usually notice an increase in energy and overall health. It balances pH to reduce inflammation, the root of much disease.

  • Healthy: increases antioxidant protection
  • Young: fights the aging process
  • Smart: protects the brain and detoxifies the liver and kidneys
  • Skinny: curbs appetite and promotes weight loss

Daily Application: Add it to your regimen slowly or you may experience the ill effects of detoxing. Add a ½ teaspoon to a smoothie!

GEM Life: Daily Bright Like a Diamond Shots pack a seriously energizing punch.

3. CINNAMON:   Scientists are finding that cinnamon has a unique ability to keep blood sugar steady and alleviate symptoms of diabetes and pre-diabetes. Cinnamon’s bright color indicates significant antioxidant levels. Even smelling cinnamon has been show to boost brain function!!

Daily Application: Sprinkle it on your oatmeal or on your sweet potato for a deceivingly sweet treat.

GEM Life: We use a good quantity of this unique spice in our Matcha Latte, Crown Jewel and Chocolate Diamond!

4. CHIA:   Ch-ch-ch-chia! Yep, this little seed is the same as those weird little ceramic animal planters as seen on TV! Chia seeds are loaded with the most essential fatty acids of any known plant. Plus, one serving of the stuff is loaded with magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium.

Chia seeds are a really good, plant-based source of Omega 3, as well as protein and fiber. You can buy them in either their true seed form or in a chia oil version; the seeds can be added to salads, smoothies, or anything else that sparkles your fancy.

Daily Application: Chia pudding, drop some in your kombucha, add to your oatmeal.

GEM Life:  Add to any smoothie for a creamier drink—it adds no flavor at all. Your kids and you will never know it’s there!!

5. GINGER:   Slightly spicy but oh-so-enjoyable, ginger has been used for years as a delicious flavoring and an all-natural remedy for everything from an upset stomach and nausea to unwanted inflammation. It is a great immune system booster.

Daily Application: Use fresh ginger for amazing Thai-inspired dishes.

GEM Life: Ginger is everywhere at The GEM. Boost your Forever Young Iced Green Tea, drink a Green Glow or grab a ginger shot and go.

6. CACAO:   Cacao powder contains flavonoids, which are known to help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain and heart. A wonderful mood booster too. Cacao provides a strong chocolate flavor without the guilt.

Daily Application: Dark chocolate squares can satisfy a sweet tooth and do wonders for your mood and your body.

GEM Life: Chocolate Diamond, Crown Jewel, Tahitian Pearl. Enough said.

7. TURMERIC:   In Ayurveda, turmeric is known as a powerful antioxidant that fights cancer-causing free radicals; it’s also an antiseptic and has natural anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Prevents prostate, breast and colon cancers
  • Wards off Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Nature’s Advil—allays joint pain and inflammation

Daily Application: Add the fresh root to your cooking (Indian inspired)

GEM Life: Grab a fresh pressed turmeric shot (we also will press in bulk for you!), throw a boost into your green juice or tea. Give yourself a big treat and get an ImmuniTEA made with lemon, ginger, turmeric and local honey. Dang, that’s good!

8. Organic BLUEBERRIES:   In fact, they’re nutritional superstars, filled with fiber, vitamin C, immune boosters and cancer-fighting compounds. And, studies suggest blueberries may even improve memory. That’s something to remember. And DON’T FORGET to make them organic!

Daily Application: Keep blueberries on hand for a quick snack.

GEM Life: A Crown Jewel smoothie a day keeps all bad things at bay!

9. HEMP SEEDS:   These super seeds contain GLA—a super special type of highly anti-inflammatory omega-6 “super fat” that not only reduces inflammation but also supports a healthy metabolism, nourishes your hair, skin and nails and even helps regulate hormones. In addition, it is a great source of protein: 3 tablespoons = 11 grams of protein.

Daily Application: Sprinkle on your salads, toss in your smoothie, or even as a quick and simple snack.

GEM Life: Add hemp seeds into your smoothie for an extra secret weapon. We make our own hemp milk too!

10. Organic APPLE:   An Apple a Day … This overlooked superfood protects the body from nuclear fallout, kills a wide range of cancers, and keeps the arteries unclogged. The high levels of pectin help prevent disease, including enhancing cardiovascular health — to name but a few, experimentally confirmed ways in which the apple is one quiet, bad ass fruit.

Daily Application: The obvious sliced ORGANIC apple

GEM Life: Add some liquid sunshine to your day with a Green Glow JUICE, which contains the juice an entire apple.

Dive into health. You’re worth it!


The Perfect 7 Mother’s Day GEM-Inspired Gifts!

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments

Give MOM peace, happy AND juice this Mother’s Day with GEM-inspired gifts!

Forgo flowers and bring her some GEM goodness with GEM-inspired gifts that keep on giving! Whether Mom’s a regular or you want to introduce her to GEM life, we have something fab her.

For the Glamour Mom:

Seabuckthorn bottle, Glamour Shot (Sea Buckthorn & Pomegranate Juice) and Moringa Superherb Tea, which among many other things, beautifies the skin and promotes wellness. ($49)


Glamour Gift

For the Tea Loving Mom:

Bring her a Growler of Canary Diamond Tea (Green tea, basil, pineapple, lemon) for brunch ($22) & Matcha Tea Canister and Japanese whisk to learn the art of rich, green tea. ($36)

Matcha Tea Set

For the Peace and Calm Craving Mom:

CALM Sports Bath, CALM Magnesium Tea and a canister of Jiaogulan Superherb Tea, with incredible anti-anxiety and calming properties. ($49)

ZEN & Calm Basket

For the On-the-Go Mom:

Healthy Snack Kit: Sunbiotic Almonds, Tosi Bars, Marge Granola Snack Bags and Acai Green Super Tea Booster to add to her water or iced green tea. ($34)

GEM On-the-go snacks

For the Suave Mom:

Gift Card for a smooth, carefree week of GEM Smoothies (a week’s worth of smoothies). ($50)

Do it at home with a GEM Smoothie Kit, which includes a jar of Coconut Manna, a bag of raw Cacao and Maca, Raw Happy Hemp Seeds, Amazing Meal protein packet, Chia seeds and a special GEM Smoothie recipe. We can help put it together!

For the Hip Mom:

Buy Mom shots at the bar!! Custom Shot 5 Pack. One for each busy day of the week: Glamour Shot, Bright Like a Diamond, Tumeric, Ginger and E3 Live. ($18)

Bar Shot GEM Bag

For the Health Mom:

A 5, 4 or 3 Day Cleanse package or 4-Session Health Counseling Gift Card

A sampling of the individual counseling session topics include: De-Stress, Hidden Toxins, Energize Me, Meal Planning and many more. Complete list and description can be found Individual Health Counseling Session Topics. Health Counseling Gift Card recipients will select the best sessions for their needs.

For the Independent Minded Mom:

Let her choose with The Gift Card in any amount! Leave mom with a Radiant GLOW and a smile.GEM Gift Card

Call or stop by and pick the perfect gift now!