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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!

Category Archives: Detox


An anti-cancer life: Sugar

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments

Next in our Anti-Cancer Lifestyle Guide is SUGAR. The sweet stuff that is everywhere. In everything.Sugar Addiction

Here’s the deal: Sugar is a problem. A big problem. And as it turns out, many of us are actually addicted to sugar … it is a REAL addiction.

This just in: there is scientific proof that sugar (not fat!) is the root cause of obesity. Sugar feeds inflammation, disease AND CANCER. Yeesh. Not so sweet now, huh? Oh, and that belly fat? The joint pain? That can also come from high sugar intake.

Sugar contributes to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, infertility, impotence and depression. It makes me cranky as all get out. And listen up kids, the inflammation caused by sugar consumption causes acne. Yes. Nasty breakouts are probably caused by excess sugar consumption. Sugar may give you a quick rush of energy and happiness, but after a few minutes, the crash zaps you of your vibrance.

They say the average American adult consumes the equivalent of 22 teaspoons of sugar each day. Kids consume even more—like 34 teaspoons a day. Is that you?

Are you addicted to sugar? Do you answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Do you binge on sugar when you are alone?
  • Do you have a secret sugar stash?
  • Feel the need to end every meal with something sweet?
  • Reward yourself with sweet treats?
  • You can’t cut back, even when you try?

Bingeing on sugar causes an excessive spike in insulin, leading to wide swings in glucose and setting you up for fat storage and more cravings. Your body can’t burn this huge caloric load for energy, so the fat storage hormones get turned on, get super excited and stockpile these sugar calories as fat. Holy (literal) cow.

I implore you to get on a sugar busting detox. When you cut out sugar, you’d be shocked at how easy it is to pop out of bed in the morning, feel better, think more clearly and look better!  Here’s how:

  1. FLUSH IT OUT. Eliminate the toxins that make you crave more junk. The quickest way to kick sugar cravings to the curb and reduce your toxic overload is with a 3 or 5 day organic juice cleanse containing little or no fruit sugars. This will quickly reboot your system and eliminate some of your cravings. Look for juices that are ORGANIC, NON-HPP. Just like we do inside The GEM. No exceptions.
  2. GO COLD TURKEY. Yeah, there’s really no big secret answer. The problem with a sugar addiction is that if you feed it just a little bit, you crave even more! I mean, can you really just have a bite of Ben & Jerry’s?
  3. READ THE LABELS. There is sugar hidden in everything from pasta sauce to salad dressings. Just read that Prego tomato sauce has the same amount of sugars as serving of Oreos. Dangg. Stay clear of products that list ANY type of sugar in the first three ingredients.
  4. Eat slow to digest foods like nuts, beans, green leafy vegetables. Nutrient dense foods satisfy your body and lessen cravings.
  5. EAT FAT. Healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, olive oils. When your body is depleted of healthy fat, it craves sugar and starch!
  6. BREAK FAST. Eat a balanced breakfast, rich in protein and healthy fats. Add pastured eggs scrambled in coconut oil, avocado on Ezekial toast, carefully selected smoothies with good fats and superfoods.
  7. SLEEP BETTER. It’s harder to say no when you are tired!
  8. GET A LITTLE HELP. Add supplements like probiotics and fish oil. They help quell inflammation and boost digestion.
  9. HAPPY SNACKS. Keep good snacks close by, high in protein and good fats. Sugar cravings can indicate a lack of protein in your diet. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almond butter with green apple slices, hummus, etc. Dark chocolate is a great way to get a sweet treat without a sugar overload.
  10. NEVER NEVER NEVER substitute with artificial sweeteners. These toxins will fool your body into thinking its getting sugar, making your insulin rise and creating MORE sugar cravings.

And if all else fails just get OUT of the kitchen to reduce temptation! Brush your teeth (it works). Take a shower. Anything. Just don’t jump off the sugar cliff!

We’re not on the Good Ship Lollipop anymore. You’ve got to dig deeper and refine your palate to eliminate excess sugar from your world. Kick off your journey with a juice cleanse to quickly crack down on cravings. Your body will thank you!

We’ve now covered three of the top 10 Anti-Cancer Rules in our Anti-Cancer Lifestyle Series.

What have you done to add anti-cancer practices into your daily routine? It’s a nice little perk that any of these tips will bring you more vibrance, clarity and energy into your day. Let me know what you think! I hope you’ve tried!


An anti-cancer life: artificial coloring and artificial sweeteners

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 6 Comments

If you are not incorporating any of our anti-cancer life tips yet, let us sway you by sharing the ugly on artificial coloring and artificial sweeteners.Real food

Some of the anti-cancer tips can be easily implemented. Others take a little more commitment to your well-being. You fall off the healthy happy wagon, you get back on. That’s okay. Key Lime Pie happens. Then there are deal breakers. Things you should NEVER do. Not in moderation. NOT EVER.

We are going to dive deep into the one about artificial ingredients. Knowledge is power and makes choices easier when you know WHY this stuff is not to be messed with.

Here’s my take on it: NO FAKE STUFF: NOT a little bit, NOT EVER. Artificial Colors, Artificial Sweeteners, Artificial Flavors and Preservatives. I can get really angry about this stuff that somehow has been OK’d by the FDA. These have known dangerous side effects, but are “generally regarded as safe.” I call bullsh*t on that.

Everything we hear these days is about if it feels good do it, — in “moderation” of course. THAT is sheer propaganda. Don’t get me wrong, “moderation” can still means the occasional Hopdoddy grassfed burger, Mema Mary’s caramel cake, Ben & Jerry’s hot fudge sundae … those things are still ok once in a while. HOWEVER, there are some things should never hit your lips. I mean it. Never.

Here are two of those things:

Artificial Colorings

I was shocked to see that even Kraft Marshmallows have food coloring in them. They sneak it into everything! These are chemicals made from petroleum derivatives and are linked to cancer, allergic reactions and ADHD in children.Artificial Colors

Most of Europe has banned food coloring in the same foods that have them here in the USA, or at least make manufacturers put WARNING labels on it.

The FDA? Not a chance. Those food industry lobbyists (the Fruit Loop loving folks from General Mills and the like) are just too tight with the government. Food coloring is a derivative of PETROLEUM, people. Yes, petroleum. Would you spread 40 weight oil on your cupcake?

It’s important to know that the M&M’s in Europe do not contain artificial food dyes. McDonald’s strawberry sundae either. So, why are you still sucking on those Skittles? And giving your kids blue Gatorade?? When Europe firmly refuses to be poisoned!

Robyn O’Brien, the Erin Brockovich of food, is a fierce warrior in the fight against toxins and the quality of our food. Follow her! You will be more than enlightened … hopefully it will set your hair on fire and you will start to make radical change happen within your own family and beyond!

Artificial Sugars

Let’s talk about Aspartame. (NutraSweet, Equal)

This zero calorie sweetener is touted to be the perfect way to have your cake and eat it too. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Nearly 100% of all outside research revealed problems with it. Some of them, BIG problems. Like what, you ask? What could possibly be so bad about a little artificial sweetener that’s in every thing imaginable?

Aspartame (NutraSweet) has been linked to brain tumors and 91 other really unpleasant side effects:

  • Fibromyalgia, joint pain, fatigue
  • memory loss
  • migraines
  • dizziness
  • depression
  • panic attacks
  • hair loss

And if those things don’t change your mind, I’ll appeal to your vanity: this neurotoxin makes you fatter. Your body is tricked into thinking it is getting sugar, so your insulin levels rise making your crave more sugar than before.

WHAT. THE. HELL? Doesn’t anyone know about this? This is serious stuff! Yes, as a matter of fact, Monsanto (the creator of aspartame) does. So does the FDA. Those 92 side effects? They have all been repeatedly submitted to the FDA, even before it was approved for use. Read more about it here.

It is in EVERY stick of gum you currently know. Diet drinks, Crystal Lite, “Lite” yogurts and “sugar free” junk should be tossed. NOW.

These chemicals can have surprising side effects: depression (yes, I swear), fatigue, headaches, and skin irritations to just name a few. Not so sweet now, right?

And Splenda isn’t any better. This sweet poison causes:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Seizures, dizziness and migraines
  • Blurred vision
  • Allergic reactions
  • Blood sugar increases and weight gain

AND contrary to its claims, it is not safe for baking. The Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health reveals an extensive list of safety concerns, including toxicity, DNA damage, as well as, “heightened carcinogenic potential when used in cooking.”

COME ON PEOPLE. What else do you need to hear to drop the fake stuff? PLEASE!

Use coconut sugar, organic cane sugar, real maple syrup, raw honey, dates. Or, try to wean yourself off sweet stuff altogether. Your brain, your body and your future self will thank you.

Hugs and the REAL sweet stuff to you and yours. KEEPING IT REAL FROM THE INSIDE …


Leading an Anti-Cancer Life

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 20 Comments

Since The GEM’s inception, I have put off posting a blog directly related to cancer, including leading Fighting Cancer; Now Leading an Anti-Cancer Lifean anti-cancer life. I did this for several (no good) reasons. Primarily, I thought, incorrectly I am sure, most non-cancer folks don’t want to hear about something that either a) doesn’t affect them, or b) bums them out.

Last week, 7, SEVEN, yes 7, people I know were either newly diagnosed, toughing out terrible treatment side effects or received news of a nasty recurrence.

Well, I’ve had it. I don’t know if it was just all the dark stars aligned around me, but I decided to hit this one head on with all of you ~ hence, this post about leading an anti-cancer life. It will be the most important thing you read today.

As you may know, five years ago I was broadsided with a diagnosis of breast cancer that spread to my lymph nodes. During my year-long treatment, 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.

We talk about alkalinity and inflammation every chance we getBecause those are things that ensure optimal health. Cancer and disease does not thrive in an alkaline environment (your body). Inflammation is the root of illness and disease. We must work constantly to quell the fire of inflammation in our bodies.

Last week’s bad news compelled me to share priceless anti-cancer tips I’ve learned. EVERYONE needs to incorporate these things into daily life, because, frankly, we ALL have cancer cells in our bodies. How you trigger those cells into proliferation is what makes the difference.

My previous lifestyle did nothing for my optimal health. That’s OK. Because I set out to make a change. You can too. These are your new food rules to live by. Treat your body like a GEM.

ANTI CANCER FOOD RULES. 

  1. 80:20 rule: Your plate should be 80 percent vegetables, nuts and seeds. It’s a WHOLE FOOD, PLANT BASED DIET–an alkaline dream! Live it, love it. If you choose to consume animal products, use them sparingly. They should NOT be the main part of your meal. Meats MUST be organic, free-range, grass-fed. This is a tough tip to swallow, but it really should be eliminated, using beans, nuts, quinoa and seeds as pro-alkalinity protein sources. I just read that women who eat meat 2x or more a day quadruple their risk of a breast cancer recurrence. Snap. That does it for me!
  2. RAINBOW GREENS: Many veggies can actually limit the growth of certain cancer cells. Shoot for 8-10 servings of veggies each day. Vary the vegetables you eat or mix them together — broccoli is an effective anticancer food, and is even more effective when combined with tomatoes, onions and garlic. AND, nothing is more powerful than the phytonutrients found in veggies and super berries. DAILY RAW, ORGANIC GREEN JUICE is a critical way to flood your body with cancer fighting warriors.
  3. ORGANIC IS KING: Choose organic foods when possible. For those of you who don’t live in areas where organic is readily available, it’s better to eat broccoli that’s been exposed to pesticides than to not eat broccoli at all. If 100% organic is not possible, familiarize yourself with the “dirty dozen” vegetables and eat accordingly. When something says organic that also means it is non-GMO. I am pretty certain that Monsanto’s Round Up Ready corn and soy beans spawns cancer cells like crazy. I mean, seeds injected with pesticides? NOT FOR ME.
  4. SPICE IT UP: Add turmeric to your diet. It is the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent. They call it Nature’s Advil for a reason! We press turmeric into a liquid form and you can purchase turmeric in concentrated supplement form, but any turmeric can be of benefit! Generously add herbs like thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, cilantro, mint, etc. They don’t just add flavor, they help reduce the growth of cancer cells.
  5. Drink UP! Water Therapy is Magic: 32 ounces of filtered (fluoride-free) water to start your morning, plus another 4-6 glasses per day. It flushes toxins, viruses and bacteria and provide the cells with much-needed hydration. Your body will thank you.
  6. GET AN OIL CHANGE: Get rid of those nasty, acid-forming vegetable oils: corn, soybean, sunflower, regular canola. NOW. But don’t be afraid of fats, they really nourish your nervous system, brain and joints. Use olive, coconut, walnut oils in cooking and (make your own) salad dressings. The others are rancid and riddled with inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.
  7. Drop refined grains: Go for heirloom grains, organic or brown. Eat your grains whole and mixed and favor organic whole grains when possible. Avoid refined, white flour, (ie, bagels, muffins, bread). It is crap.
  8. CUT OUT THE SWEET STUFF: Sugar feeds inflammation, disease AND CANCER. Cut the sodas and skip dessert, or replace it with fruit (especially stone fruits and berries) after most meals. Stay clear of products that list ANY type of sugar in the first three ingredients. For a treat, grab a few squares of dark chocolate containing more than 70% cacao. The GEM loves the Great Bean Chocolate brand of raw organic chocolates. The Bliss Bar, vanilla and cacao flavor, rocks my world!
  9. Learn to love GREEN tea: Instead of coffee or black tea, drink three cups of green tea per day. Regular consumption of green tea has been linked to a significant reduction in the risk for developing cancer. Flying Bird Botanicals’ jasmine green tea is amazing! (Grab some inside The GEM!)
  10. DAIRY IS FOR BABY COWS. We are the only species that consumes another animal’s breast milk–Milk that is laden with hormones that baby cows need to grow. Dairy is extremely acidic. The China Study, a book that reveals an undeniable connection between dairy/animal protein and cancer, changed my entire love affair with dairy. If that doesn’t do it, I’ll appeal to your vanity: bloating and bad skin are definite clues you do dairy.
  11. NO FAKE STUFF: NOT a little bit, NOT ever. Artificial Colors, Artificial Sweeteners, Artificial Flavors and Preservatives. I can get really angry about this stuff that somehow has been OK’d by the FDA. These have known dangerous side effects, but are “generally regarded as safe.” I call bullsh*t on that.
  12. BANISH THE BAD: Manage your environment. This is not food, but it’s critical. Avoid exposure to common household chemical contaminants. Use a green dry cleaner or air your clothes for two hours before storing or wearing it; use organic cleaning products or wear gloves; NEVER heat liquids or food in plastic; dump cosmetics with parabens and phthalates; toss Teflon pans and get enameled ones; filter your tap water; don’t keep your cell phone close to you when it is turned on and use earphones. This is scary stuff, people. There is even legal info about it on your phones in that general section that no one ever reads.
  13. Don’t run scared. Don’t let these tips make you so obsessed that you allow stress to be a negative factor on your body. If you fall off, get back on the wagon. What matters is your daily routine, not the occasional treat.

 

These body nourishing habits are designed to keep cancer at bay and keep you at your optimal health. Incorporate these into your daily routine. Immunity, energy and vibrant health are certain to follow.

P.S. Books to read: Radical Remission and Crazy Sexy Cancer.

P.P.S. Healthy mind and spirit habits are critical components, too. We will cover those in a later post. Stay tuned!


Let Go of Your Fear of the Calorie

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments

We hear it often, “Do you know the calorie count in this?” “How many calories?” “How many carbs?”organic kale salad

I can see their “fear of the calorie” anxiety start to rise.

Well, count no more.

Here’s a news flash: We’ve been fed a fat lie by the food industry and the weight loss community.

Summed up, the lie is this: All calories are created equal. To which I say No, NO, NO! I am boldly going out on a limb to say that is dead wrong. If their advice were accurate, we would all be thin and healthy by now.

According to this concept, obesity is simply a matter of eating too many calories—that the types of foods you eat aren’t nearly as important as the caloric value of foods. Eat less, move more and weight loss will occur. While simplistically it is true, this doesn’t consider the actual nutritional and metabolic effects food has on the body.

Think about small-sized fries, burger and soda (around 500 calories) vs. a bowl of GEM lentil soup, kale salad and a green juice (500 calories). Both are mostly “carbs”—currently taboo in the trendy “diet world.” But never mind that for now.

Riddle me thisDo they have the same effect on our bodies? Do you feel the same after eating these meals? Of course not! We all know that equal caloric amounts of junk food and veggies can’t be the same nutritionally. So why is this?

Here’s what happens to your body with the not-so-happy-meal of burger, fries and soda: The fiber-free sugars of the soda are rapidly absorbed. Your blood sugar spikes, starting a chain reaction of very unwanted hormonal responses that contribute to the storage of belly fat, increased inflammation, elevated triglycerides, higher blood pressure, lower testosterone in men and even infertility in women. Danggg. Refined sugar ain’t good, folks.

But there’s more! The highly refined and highly acidic fats from the burger and fries make you sluggish and tired, even depressed. It slows your digestion and ultimately your metabolism suffers. Let’s not even mention the chemicals they use that accumulate in your fat cells and liver and contribute to a wide array of illnesses. (cancer, anyone?)

Listen up. All your body wants is proper nutrition. What you gave it was crap. So your appetite increases because the brain never gets the “I’m satisfied” signal. It thinks you’re starving. With the sugar spike, your pleasure-based reward center is triggered, driving you to crave more and more sugar. And so your addiction begins. BAM.

These kinds of foods create chaos. Your body doesn’t register these things as food, so you eat more all day long. Plus, your taste buds get hijacked and you become addicted to sugar, so anything that is not crazy-sweet doesn’t taste good to you. It’s an ugly, vicious, fat-inducing cycle.

Now let’s look at the plate of clean and healthy GEM food. As with the first option mentioned above, these calories are made up mostly (although not entirely) of carbs.

These carbs are different, though they are all technically sugars or starches, which convert to sugar in the body. High-fiber, low-sugar carbohydrates such as kale and broccoli are slowly digested and don’t lead to blood sugar and insulin spikes, while table sugar and bread are quickly digested carbs that spike your blood sugar. Slow carbs like kale and broccoli and lentils heal rather than harm.

With The GEM food, there’s no blood sugar or insulin spike, no fatty liver, no hormonal chaos. Your stomach actually finds satisfying nutrients, sending signals to your brain that you are full. There is no triggering of the addiction reward center in the brain. Other benefits: optimized metabolism—yes, your body actually processes the clean GEM food more efficiently!! These foods lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and boost detoxification, quelling inflammation. Greens contain high levels of vitamin C and folate, which protect against cancer and heart disease. These foods can even change the expression of your genes to help balance your sex hormones, reducing breast and other cancers.

Good, clean, unprocessed food creates a healthy foundation that protects not pollutes. Food doesn’t just contain calories, it contains information. Every bite of food you eat broadcasts a set of coded instructions to your body—instructions that can create either health or disease. Choose the good. In the end, your entire system will transform itself into a lean mean fat busting machine, without ever counting a calorie.

All calories are NOT equal. Some are addictive, others healing, some fattening, some metabolism-boosting. Which ones will you choose?

Need a little help making the choices on your own? Contact The GEM today and a health counselor will be happy to help!


Your fatigue’s dirty little secret

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments

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

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 5 Comments

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.


What is Alkalinity and Why Do You Need It?

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments

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?


Be vibrant—Form a Plant Based Diet, including JUICE!

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JuicerowGEM girls believe juicing is an incredible tool in an arsenal to “reboot” a sick body and mind. It is a significant component to an overall plant-based, whole foods diet—which is the key to vibrant health. It is powerful stuff!

This is something I learned firsthand. I discovered what juicing and alkalinity does to a compromised system when I went through a year-long battle with cancer and chemo. This experience was more than just inspiring and medically apparent for me, it completely changed my life!

But WHY is juicing and a plant based diet such an effective means of changing one’s health—whether the goal is vitality, weight loss or even disease reversal?

Two words: Micronutrients (OK, one, but it sounds more dramatic that way). Cells in the body require micronutrients (i.e. vitamins and minerals) to function optimally. When cells receive adequate micronutrients, you feel energized and full. These are nutrient-dense foods. On the other hand, many foods simply provide nutritionally worthless calories and are devoid of the essential nutrients our cells crave. These are calorie-dense, nutrition-poor foods that weaken your body, i.e. things that come in a box. a nugget, or a drive-thru.

A Plant-Based Diet includes vegetables, legumes/beans, seeds and nuts, just like we do inside The GEM.  This diet contains foods that are minimally processed too, with the majority of nutrition coming from plants. This diet is incredibly powerful in achieving optimal health. Plants provide:

Fiber

Diets high in fiber are associated with lower risks of heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes and obesity. It keeps everything moving.  LIterally. There is fiber in broccoli, beans, apples, among other vegetables and fruits. HOWEVER, none will be found in the nutritionally void world of white bread, chips, burgers and most other processed foods.

Phytonutrients

This group of nutrients give the gorgeous colors to our veggies and bring about many health benefits. Found only in plants, phytonutrients are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. SIGN ME UP. Think GREEN. Or blue, or red, or yellow. There are perhaps 10,000 of these health-promoting chemicals in the edible plant world. (You’ll never find phytonutrients in a Big Mac.)

Antioxidants

Many chemicals (these are good chemicals) found in plants help resist the damage that occurs to the human body from oxygen and the process of metabolism. Chlorophyll, the green energy found in plants, is liquid sunshine that detoxifies and energizes. It’s anti-aging at its best.  Surely the fountain of youth is made of chlorophyll! Oxidation leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, compromise brain cells. Our dear friends in the plant world contain TONS of natural antioxidants.

Omega-3 fatty acids

These essential fatty acids are used for the internal workings and repair of cells throughout the body. These are GOOD FATS. They enhance and nourish brain function and help our systems run smoothly.  Flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, algae are rich in this nutrient class. AND…ALL FATS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL!

ALKALINITY

Greens are highly alkalizing to our systems—which is what we want. Disease thrives in acidic environments. CANCER LOVES ACIDITY.  All processed food, dairy and animal products are acidic in our system. Greens are great for improving circulation, lifting the spirit, purifying the blood and strengthening the immune system.

So …. how does this get us back to The GEM and juicing

GEM_slide1It is recommended that we consume five or more servings of vegetables and fruits daily, though many authorities set the bar much higher, being optimal at 10 servings a day. We believe that 80% of what you consume should be plant-based!

In order to consistently ingest this large amount of plant-based material, you need to do some planning. REMEMBER: If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food!

Some ideas to get your greens: prepare large vibrantly colored salads (our KALE salad rocks), add greens in protein-rich soups such as our lentil soup, and blend smoothies with berries, hemp seeds and greens for a power breakfast or a snack. You’ll never taste the spinach! Keep hummus and veggies nearby to snack on in a pinch. Bottled green juice is an awesome option to start your day.

Juicing is just one more tool you can use to build a plant-based nutrition program rich in phytochemicals, and it can make it easier to reach your goal of 10 servings a day of vegetables.

By juicing daily, you provide your body with a high dose of naturally-derived nutrients that boosts your health, support your body’s natural cleansing processes and helps keep you protected against toxins and disease.

Juice:

  • is easy to digest and the nutrients are easily assimilated.
  • is an incredible energy booster, full of chlorophyll, aka liquid sunshine—the real Red Bull.
  • is full of live enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
  • makes it easy to get more veggies  
  • can curb appetite, and maintain blood sugar levels.
  • makes you happier. Goodness in … goodness out.

Whenever possible, focus on organic foods. Organic really does matter.

Juicing and a plant-based diet will bring you an authentic health and mood boost. I promise!

Any questions?


Juice Cleanse Yourself to Health & Lean, Clean Living

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It’s a New Year. Does there need to be a new YOU? One that has more energy, vibrance and control? Juice cleanse yourself back to health and lean, clean living!

You hear “juice cleanse” all the time. So what exactly does cleansing mean? Generally speaking, it means that you rid the body of the toxins, acidity, sugars and chemicals that cause you to retain weight, crave poor foods and zap your energy. This is done with alkalizing foods and juices that help turn up the body’s detox systems. Often times, this is accomplished with a juice only fast.

We’ve seen SO many of our GEMs kick off this new year with our juice cleanses, and they’ve had amazing results. Fasting, too, has many benefits – benefits that are proven over literally thousands of years of experience. Its roots are founded in meditation and achieving mental clarity and focus for so many who practice fasting.

However, juice cleanses are not for everyone.

Lifestyles are different. Personalities are different. Body types are different. They work out too much, they entertain too much, they just like to chew too much. They want something less intense.

That’s OK! You can be amazingly clean and cleansed with food as part of the regimen. It can spark a vibrant lifestyle that you can do everyday for the rest of your life. We GEM Girls live that every day and we want to make it easy for you to do the same.

We’ve created an active lifestyle program filled with organic juices, detoxifying whole foods and snacks that heal, sustain, cleanse, make you look good and your body feel FABULOUS! Pop these items in your (GEM) bag and go!

Soooo … What’s in your GEM bag?

These 3, 5 and 10 Day GEM BAG Juice and Food Cleanse regimens are based on a whole food, plant based diet and combine salads, juices and soups enhanced with rich proteins from seeds, grains and beans. All meals, juices and snacks provide extra calories and protein along with ingredients perfect for detoxifying and weight-loss.

Benefits are:

  • Radiant skin is regenerated with daily anti-inflammatory, alkaline ingredients
  • Daily juice floods your system with nutrients that detox, quell hunger, bring vibrance
  • Every meal is planned for! No thinking, no hunger.
  • Practice a Whole food, Plant Based Diet and be ready for your new lifestyle!
  • Organic, nutrient dense, satisfying foods that are full of flavor
  • 2 levels, for those who want MORE GEM GOODNESS, there is more to eat!

 

Juice ‘til Dinner Cleanse

Juice 'til Dinner

The GEM Juice ’til Dinner Cleanse

Want just a little bit more GEM Goodness? Too much going on to skip eating – The Juice ’til Dinner cleanse is easily incorporated into a hectic lifestyle – five organic juices for the day plus dinner. It can be a great way to kick off a healthy diet plan or as a weekly reset button to keep weight off, energy up, and the body and mind healthy.

It includes amazingly delicious and satisfying organic, cold pressed juices followed by one of our nutrient dense salads or soups and CALM tea. Allowed Anytime: sliced celery, carrots or cucumbers with lemon

GEM Workout Cleanse

The GEM Bag Organic Juice Cleanse

The GEM Bag Workout Cleanse

Like extreme workouts? Like to eat? Want a softer step into healthy? This GEM Bag Cleanse is perfect for anyone with an active lifestyle or who needs a little guidance to the doorway of clean eating and detox. With this cleanse, you can continue your activities as you like—except of course, for the processed foods, animal protein and alcohol. NOT alkaline. This is an excellent way to learn how to eat a whole food, plant base diet. Or just a great way to feel and look good!

This Cleanse offers more protein and more energy.  Included are two whole food GEM meals, along with four organic GEM juices, one Hail Merry snack, one power shot, and nightly CALM tea.

Price: $155/$250/$500; 3/5/10 Days

HOW YOU CAN DO IT: RESERVE YOUR NEW GEM BAG CLEANSE FOR NEXT WEEK. Your body will thank you!

HOW WE DO IT: Your meals and juice cleanse or juice cleanses are clearly labeled with the order we recommend to eat or drink. We offer email support before and after your cleanse and bright smiling faces all along the way.

THE GEM DIFFERENCE: Organic, cold-pressed juices AND whole-food vegetables, herbs and spices give your body juices, snacks and meals filled with protein and fiber helping to cleanse your body.

Allergy information:  We have no dairy, wheat or gluten in our meals. Special considerations can be made, just ask!


December Bloat Buster: The Cleanse

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

Peace. Happy.  Juice Cleanse.

Peace. Happy.
Juice Cleanse.

So wrong!

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

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

A Daily Cleanse will:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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