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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!

More Awesome!

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments

Remember my earlier post about The Book of Awesome?  I can’t get it out of my thoughts.  So I thought I should share a few more AWESOMES:

Fluff.  With chocolate nut butter.  On a spoon. Too awesome for words.

Hot pink, green and aqua Christmas decorations.  Glitter. Awesome!

Walking onto the Survivor’s Circle stage at the Komen 3Day Walk closing ceremony.  Awesome.

Impromptu girl gatherings in my kitchen for juice and laughs.  The idea of starting a happy place called The Gem, super awesome. (More about that in the coming weeks).Overhearing 4 women talk about my tacky holiday decorations–and then rising above the front porch chair to wave at them–then seeing the looks on their faces…..Awesome!

Dental Floss.  Fluffy socks. Jeans that button easily. 7 minute frosting. Sonic Ice. Awesome!

The disco ball in my dining room.  Awesome.  The new quartz chandelier that replaced it after a year and a half, awesome.

Having happy, healthy friends & family…AWESOME.

What’s awesome for you today?  Live it, love it.

 


Inspire someone. Influence. Motivate. Can you do it?

The Komen 3 Day/60 mile Walk this past weekend brought out many inspiring people. Many were walking because they really wanted to show support for a loved one who was battling this disease. Some walked to honor those who had lost their lives to kancer. Some were ‘Survivors.’ They all felt inspired to make a statement of 60 miles and raised over $7million to prove it. Some of these people had NO business walking 60 miles. Too heavy, too old, too weak. And yet they did it.

One woman in particular stood with me in the Survivor’s Circle in the opening and closing ceremony. Rinni obviously represented some aspect of inspiration to be on stage. She carried the flag of COURAGE. This forty-something woman looked like she was finishing up a chemo regimen. That’s a scary battle that takes courage–one that every woman on that stage had experienced. As we rehearsed the day before the Walk, I learned this was far more that just a round of chemo. This marked the end of her THIRD recurrence. While training for this walk, Rinni’s kancer returned with a vengeance to her brain and liver. Her doctors insisted she drop out. Her teammates, her fabulous friends, however, refused to let her fade into the woodwork. They insisted she take this small yet powerful journey with them. They pimped out a wheel chair in hot pink sparkles and wings and PUSHED HER FOR SIXTY MILES. She had the COURAGE to stay in the game and face this kancer with her head up to be the true inspiration for all of us. She has children. She could have easily stayed home and focused on herself and her family for the rest of her limited days. I must say most of us would shrink into the darkness of fear of stage four kancer. She wasn’t about to. She chose to be out in front, to show others how to live in the face of something so scary. AMAZING. Her flag, no doubt, was the definition of INSPIRATION.

See pathetic photo of me below. Mile 58 of the 3 Day Komen Walk. Not a pretty sight. And definitely not inspiring. Who would take notice if I dropped out? I could easily hitch a ride home and call it a crazy weekend. It wasn’t a race, there were no prizes, I had nothing to gain, really. Nor did the thousands of women out there with me. Thank God I had teammates who motivated me to keep going, that I had a flag to carry,that Rinni was now a part of my psyche, that it mattered.

Sometimes you want to quit. Sometimes you think no one will care anyway. It’s too hard. It’s too much to handle. Well, I call bullshit. Get up, get moving and make a difference. Believe it or not, you will inspire someone else to do the same. You may never even know it. It may seem others have it easier. More than likely, they don’t. They are pushing through their challenges, never giving up. So do something, do anything, that matters.

Sunny D(isgusting)

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Sunny Delight–Sunshine in a Bottle they say. It has been marketed to us kids since the seventies. Today it is all over kid programming–offering a refreshing, healthy beverage. Seemingly happy kids bouncing around in the sunshine, playing, laughing, unwittingly consuming crap. They serve it in schools, they serve it in Lunchables (that’s another post).  It all seems benign.

Take a moment. What do you think are the ingredients in that seemingly harmless orange bottle? My first guess was water, orange juice and obviously sugar. Well, that is partly correct. Real orange juice comprises less than 2% of this concoction. Get out your dictionary and call your doctor. You are poisoning your children. I have bolded the dangerous ingredients.

Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and 2% or Less of Each of the Following: Concentrated Juices (Orange, Tangerine, Apple, Lime, Grapefruit). Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Beta-Carotene, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Natural Flavors, Food Starch-Modified, Canola Oil, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Benzoate To Protect Flavor, Yellow #5, Yellow #6

In addition to the HFCS which is linked to obesity and insulin issues, there is CANOLA OIL in your juice.  Say what? WHY is there equal parts of juice as there is inflammatory building, artery blocking CANOLA OIL? If that oil wasn’t enough, they’ve added artificial coloring–which is made from petroleum.  Do I need to explain why petroleum is harmful to consume? I won’t even go into the sodium hexametaphosphate, mainly because I can’t even spell it much less know what it does.  Oh, and why does juice needstarch?

Our lives are busy.  We know that.  But don’t err on the side of processed convenience if the label screams UNHEALTHY.  Don’t allow your children to control the choices at home.  When you explain WHY, they usually get the message.  They don’t want to consume poison either.  If you educate your children on these hidden dangers, they will eventually make better choices for themselves–even when you aren’t around.


GMO. OMG! WTH?

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GMO.  A genetically modified organism.  Sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie.  Not something you are eating everyday. GMOs are foods that have been genetically altered using another organism’s genes to obtain certain desired traits.  Peanut genes in a strawberry? Why do you care?

Allergies. Many children in the US and Europe have developed life-threatening allergies to peanuts and other foods.  Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies skyrocketed by 50 percent. GM soy contains a protein that was never before part of the human food supply, and might be allergenic. In fact, sections of that protein are identical to those found in shrimp and dust mite allergens. Tasty.

Development. Children are three to four times more susceptible to allergies. Also, they convert more of the food into body-building material. Altered nutrients or added toxins can result in developmental problems.  Isn’t it suspicious the developmental delays that are so prevalent these days??

Unknown Disease. Monsanto, the corporation responsible for producing roughly 90% of genetically modified seeds around the globe, will try to bring their new, GMO sweet corn to a grocery store aisle or farmer’s market near you. These are seeds that are resistant to pests–it causes organ failure in mammals. While we are a bit stronger than a rat…I deem that frightening. 

This is the first time an engineered vegetable could be served straight to your dinner table. Usually they are hidden in the ingredients of packaged foods (high fructose corn syrup, all soy items).

Since GMOs tolerate Roundup (that kills any living thing around it), these new GMOs could pass the same health and infertility problems that are linked between Roundup to crop disease and livestock infertility, on to humans who consume this GMO corn.

What do you do?

Eat organic. Limit packaged crap. Eat whole. Grow your own heirloom seeds. Know where your food comes from. Know that Monsanto is the devil.

Happy Halloween.


Energy Vampires?

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 5 Comments

Pull out your wooden stakes and garlic, it’s time to protect yourself from the Energy Vampires. And not just because it is Halloween.  These are people who bring you down, who can magically suck the life force from your soul while you sip your latte.  They are never satisfied, never positive and NEVER stop complaining.  They leave you tired, weary and not happy. Do you know someone like this? Even worse, are you someone like this?

Energy Vampires…

  • Are unrelentingly negative. Their negative energy appears continuous. THESE PEOPLE SUCK ME DRY.
  • It’s all about me.  These are the folks that think of no one but themselves.  Reading this, they would have no idea this was about them.  Cue Carly Simon’s “Your So Vain.”
  • Make mountains out of molehills. These Drama Queens can turn a broken nail into a Shakespearean tragedy. REALLY?  It’s can’t be that bad, can it?
  • Complain constantly about their partners, jobs, children, bad luck, the weather, EVERYTHING.  Nothing is EVER good enough. SHUT UP. PLEASE!
  • Debbie Downers. They render a room dark in minutes. Half empty folks.
  • Not me! Blame everyone else for their problems. It is NEVER their fault.

The one that makes me the most crazy is that ‘Woe is Me’ Vampire.  They are always  the victim and the world is always against them.  They can recount every horrible event since they were four.  The next one I come face to face with, I plan on sucker punching them and telling them, “GET OVER YOUR SHIT AND MOVE ON.  YOU HAVE ONE LIFE.  LIVE IT.

Tell them.  Kill them with kindness. Laugh. Create boundaries. But for the most crazy of the Energy Vampires, you may have to disconnect from them altogether if possible.  Life is too important to be around villans such as this.  Surround yourself with happy, shiny people like yourself.  Maybe the blinding light will melt those life force suckers.

As you think of the Energy Vampires in your life, what will your silver bullet be?


Cynics Apply Here.

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 8 Comments

Don’t you love it when a simple little thing that happens can be described as “Awesome?”  Even the most sour cynic can attest to a few things that make them honor the little joys in life.  Those that can’t…we no longer have room for you in our world.

Go out and buy “The Book of Awesome.”  Yes.  It really is  awesome.  I implore all of you to get it.  OR even better, compile your own book of awesome.  It reminds us to find a little happy in everything.  Awesome things like:

Having a whole row on the plane.  You can get up a pee anytime you want.  You can rest your arms.  You may even be able to pull off a row nap.  You can imagine you are insanely rich and paid for the extra seats just because.  AWESOME.

Laughing so hard you make no sound at all.  I LOVE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS.

Building and amazing couch-cushion fort.  Squeezing through a door as it’s shutting without touching it.  AWESOME!

When you spill something on your shirt and it doesn’t leave a stain. Finding money in your old coat pocket–or even better, that tube of lipstick you haven’t seen in a year.  The first scoop out of a jar of peanut butter. Licking the cake batter off the beaters of a mixer.  Hitting a bunch of green lights in a row.  AWESOME.

Finding a mix tape given to you by an old boyfriend or girlfriend.  When a cashier opens up a new checkout lane at the grocery store and you become first in line.  Free samples of your favorite food at the store. Seeing someone laugh in their sleep.  AWESOME!

That first early fall morning you walk out the door and need a sweater. Making the perfect margarita the first time around. AWESOME!

Remembering how lucky we are to be here right now. And how focusing on little happy things can make us happier and more enjoyable to be around. UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME.  Come on. Lemme know what your AWESOME was the morning~


DANGER, Will Robinson! Someone is poisoning you!

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If I tackled you just before you unknowingly drank poison, wouldn’t you hail me as your hero?  Well, consider this your face plant. You probably have been consuming this toxin on a daily basis. Worse, you may even be serving this modern day hemlock to your sweet innocent children.  Does Crystal Light ring a bell?  Sugar free popsicles? Diet Pepsi addiction got you stuck in the drive thru?

Sir! Put. Your Weapon. Down.

Nutra Sweet.  Equal. Aspartame.  Sweet Poison. This chemical, yes chemical, is toxic.  Not a little toxic.  A lot toxic.  There are account after account of reports to the FDA heralding the dangers and side effects of aspartame.  But to no avail.  This chemical breaks down in the body as methanol and formaldehyde. Those guys don’t sound very friendly.  A few of the 92 different reported symptoms listed include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, nausea, extreme depression, irritability, insomnia, anxiety attacks, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.  Chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame: Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes. Gulf War Syndrome.

What is scary is that unlike many things we put into our body, aspartame’s by products go straight to the brain. It actually crosses the “brain / blood barrier” as it is called.  Several of the experts who now speak out against aspartame took part in the research and development of this chemical. One of the world’s foremost authorities informed the development company, Searle,  in 1971 that aspartic acid (a by-product) caused holes in the brains of mice.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

So? You say.  I am not scared of that.  Ok, how about this? Artificial sweeteners can make your body fat.  Yes, fat.  By tricking the body into thinking sugar is coming, insulin is produced awaiting its arrival.  This unnecessary spike in blood sugar is no bueno for your system.  That excess sugar is then stored as fat.  But who cares that you are fat if you’ve got cancer.

Your body begs for diamonds on its insides.  Not corrosive poison.

Start today.  Be a Hero! Throw that sh*t out.  Real sugar is best.  Begin with detoxifying your body of all residual chemical toxins from aspartame’s chemical make up and their toxic by-products, and see if any adverse health symptoms remain.  At the very least, your brain will be clearer and your body more brilliant.

You can thank me later.

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graphite or diamond??

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments

Diamonds and graphite.  Chemically, they are made from the same element: carbon.  The difference is their ‘structure.’  Diamonds are hard, very hard.  Very difficult to break, crush or compromise.  Graphite is soft.  Think lead of a pencil. You use it to write another person’s thoughts down on paper. Diamonds are transparent.  Graphite is opaque. You know a diamond when you see one. They sparkle.  Diamonds have the highest melting point of anything.  It doesn’t take much to melt graphite.

Oh, and no one is ever proud of their graphite jewelry.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

The fork in the road for these carbon-based solids comes with pressure.  Extreme pressure.  The diamond is formed from this heat and pressure.  Graphite just stays stable, and does not transform.

What are you?

I have come to believe the challenges we face in life are the very things we are supposed to learn from and gain strength and knowledge from. That gives us the strength to help others conquer these same challenges.  Impervious to the pressure, diamonds continue to shine–sparkling from the inside out.  Be transparent–its healthier for everyone.  People like to know what you are made of.

Accept difficulties in your  life as a conductor that makes you HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER (Thank you, Kanye) People know diamonds when they see one.  What do people see when they look at you?  Do you feel sparkly?

Meditate.  

Be Grateful.

Exude happiness. Fake it til you make it if you have to.

Listen, I’ve had my own graphite days. It took a serious seismic shift to turn me around.  I conquered those challenges and found more positive in me.  And.  I have flaws.  Because, quite frankly, no one likes a perfect 10.



Second Hand Smoke For the Mind

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments

This is the post on sweaty back hair you have been waiting for. This is a problem for so many–both the perpetrators and innocent bystanders. Why, why, why do men feel it necessary to exercise without a shirt? Fat men, skinny men, tall ones, short ones, hairy ones, slick ones, cute ones, scary ones. Trust me on this one fellas, it’s all the same. Plus, women RARELY show up to an exercise class with just a jog bra anymore. Almost never. 1995 is over. Jog Bras as fashion are years out of style. And shirtless attire has NEVER been in season.

Since my site is about being healthy and happy, you might think, “What does this have to do with diamonds on your inside?” I never said we shouldn’t work towards sparkle on your outsides too. I think it is rudely unhealthy for others to invoke this sight upon others. Think second-hand smoke for the mind.

It pains me, yes pains me, to stand next to a shirtless man during my hot yoga. Invariably, they are not in peak condition. We are all in this hot room, sweating our cojones off. You know those shirts that every athletic company uses that are made from SWEAT WICKING MATERIAL? They use it for a reason. And believe me, it works! If you have chosen not to wear one of these aforementioned athletic shirts, guess what? You are dripping your gross, hairy sweat all over the floor–a place where I may be next class. And God forbid I brush up next to you walking past. And the visual image branded in my pysche. I can’t tell you how many I have to endure in my 9 mile walks around White Rock. These guys who elect to go shirtless perhaps may also be the questionably creepy guy trying to pick you up at the bar–gold chain, Ed Hardy pants and all. Just sayin’ there may be a correlation.

You may be thinking, yes, but what about the really good-looking guys. The tanned ones with 5% body fat. I love those guys. Clothed. I am telling you, it is still no bueno. Plus, sometimes it is better to leave something to the imagination. (Don’t even start with bike shorts. Holy Lord!). In fact, to prove my point, I saw Troy Aikman this past weekend running shirtless down Armstrong. Lovely you might think. But you know what? Even as sinewy and handsome as he is, I could have done without this vision of sweaty cheesiness. And he, of all people, should have access to a trunk full of athletic gear.

More disturbing is the amount of websites out there promoting a ‘shirtless lifestyle that is so popular in other countries.’ Forget about Al Queda. This could be the downfall of Rome!

So, what do we do with this info? Please, tell your loved ones that shirtless activity kills. Kills brain cells, kills good thoughts, kills an appetite. We can make a difference people–even one wife beater t-shirt at a time.

Diamonds on your inside / Shirts on your outside,

Leslie


Hail to the Chief

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Most importantly, the mother of all healthy snacks: anything from HAIL MERRY.  My bestest friend Susan O’Brien makes these yummy snacks–almost too good to be healthy.  Macaroons, chocolate tarts, granola, kick ass nuts.  So good they will make your tongue slap your teeth out.  www.hailmerry.com