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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: Food Secrets


Back to School Part Three – Cleaner Junk Food and Quick Snack Food Ideas

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If we look at your pantry right now, would it be laden with the traditional snack items like Doritos, OREOS and General Mills Cereals that we all grew up with?

A toxic storm of chemicals and science lab ingredients. But let’s be realistic. You have to have some junk food in your house. We can’t be perfect all the time. And, quite frankly, do you really want to be??

You don’t, however, have to eat those processed, chemical-laden, GMO riddled snacks! There are so many new alternative brands and organic versions out there.

Fruit Loops, Lunchables, and Cheetos ARE NOT OPTIONS.

I don’t recommend packaged junk food all the time, but we live in the real world. It’s gonna happen. PLUS, if you want your teens to gather at your house, you gotta have some ready to grab snacks!

Give these organic and non-GMO snacks a try.

 

These snack brands do not contain MSG, an ingredient that keeps you going back for more and more. MSG is why many of the GMO snack brands like Doritos are so addictive!!

The key is to BE PREPARED. Make regular trips to the grocery store, with a list of things that will sustain your teens (and their friends) for the week. Or check out these AMAZING delivery apps:

INSTACART – Get deliveries within an hour from Whole Foods, Costco and Central Market.  Awesome!

THRIVE MARKET – Get organic pantry products at great prices!

Don’t wait for them to start rummaging through the kitchen. They will snack on what is in front of them. So have it out on the counter.

Other awesome snack ideas:

  1. Organic popcorn made on the stove top with coconut oil and sea salt. So easy. Tiny But Mighty brand non-GMO popcorn kernels are fantastic.
  2. Sliced cucumbers/carrot rounds marinated in lime juice and sea salt. Don’t underestimate this one!
  3. Tex-Mex rules! Keep grass-fed taco meat ready to go. Always have these in your fridge:
    • Fresh pico, salsa, guac or bean dip. Nachos with pinto beans and organic cheese knock Cheetos out of the park! Make sure your tortillas are without chemical ingredients (say goodbye to Mission brand).
  4. Amy’s Nacho Snacks, Pizza Rolls or Burritos
  5. The GEM hummus with jalapeno pesto. Grab one of our snack packs for on the go!
  6. Keep sunflower seed and pistachios in a bowl on the counter.
  7. Make watermelon slushes in the afternoon. They will love you! How? Tons of watermelon on the bottom of the blender, frozen strawberries, a cup of ice, a peeled lemon or lime. Shazam!!
  8. Mini pizzas made with whole grain English muffins, fresh marinara and organic mozzarella. Whole Foods has great pre-made ones.
  9. Sami’s Cinnamon Chips will disappear at carpool time. Everyone LOVES these high fiber, low sugar (but don’t tell them that) chips. Available at The GEM.
  10. Keep whole wheat pasta ready in the fridge with marinara.
  11. Steam frozen ORGANIC edamame and add sea salt. Costco sells this!!
  12. Popsicles? Try these Austin-based GoodPop® All-Natural Frozen Pops. I love the Watermelon Agave and Coconut Lime Bars!!

 

These are not all super-food healthy snacks – because we don’t always obey the rules. They are, however, CLEAN, free of harmful chemicals and dyes. This is really important to remember when feeding your families. Good luck and … Happy End of Summer!

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Back to School Part Two – Quick Pantry and Fridge Makeover

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If you keep healthy food in your pantry and fridge, you will eat healthy food.

Without question this statement is true … for overall health, daily energy levels, our ability to focus. A well-stocked pantry and easy to grab snacks help us boost metabolism and reduce cravings later in the day. You’ve got stuff in your pantry that shouldn’t be there, but do you know what should be there? This post gives you a quick run-down of what a healthy pantry should contain.

You don’t have to go toss everything and start from scratch in one day. Switching to 100 percent clean foods can be challenging and even costly at first. Give it time, and take it easy on yourself. Try replacing one food item at a time. Sub in brown rice pasta for plain white pasta, or skip the Reese’s and do dark chocolate and organic peanut butter instead. As you add in the good, your taste buds will change, and you will naturally want clean, whole foods. The “fake” foods will seem less appealing.

Remember this important detail: Always read the label! If you don’t know what the ingredients are or how to spell them, toss it.

Start by personally saying goodbye to a few main evils. This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge every now and then … you decide what works for you.

TOSS

  • Vegetable oils like Corn, Canola, Wesson
  • Sugary, food-colored cereals. Even the organic/clean ones are for fun snacks NOT breakfast
  • Canned soups
  • Sugar-sweetened soda
  • ANYTHING with artificial sweeteners: “Lite, Diet, Lo-Cal”
  • ANYTHING with artificial food coloring – it’s made from petroleum and causes all kinds of issues
  • Frozen entrees that have more chemicals than you can begin to spell
  • Conventional chemical and GMO laden chips like Cheetos, Fritos (there are simple alternatives)

 

Your Revitalized Pantry

 

GRAINS/PANTRY

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa (also a protein source)
  • Soba noodles (also a protein source)
  • Organic wheat and/or gluten-free pasta (Tinkyada in my fave)
  • Beans! Black beans, cannellini, pinto, lentils, chickpeas
  • Sunflower seeds, pistachios, walnuts – great on your salads, oatmeal
  • Raw almond butter, organic peanut butter
  • Killer Dave’s Breads (multigrain or ‘white done right’)
  • Siete Almond Flour Tortillas
  • Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats
  • 365 Brand Organic Taco Shells

 

PROTEINS

  • Vital Farms pastured eggs
  • Grass fed ground beef
  • Organic chicken and chicken legs
  • Bell & Evans Organic Gluten Free Nuggets/Strips

When purchasing animal protein/eggs, organic, free-range and pastured are non-negotiable factors, and avoid pre-packaged meats.

 

VEGGIES

  • Boxed lettuces—they are fresh and ready to eat. Spinach/Romaine/Super Greens
  • Onions and garlic always!
  • Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower – all are great for quick sautéing or roasting
  • Organic sweet and regular potatoes
  • Artichokes are a really fun and simple appetizer
  • Carrots, cucumber, organic celery sticks – perfect for snacking
  • Frozen organic peas, corn, artichokes, shelled edamame to use for quick dinner preps

 

CONDIMENTS/FLAVORINGS

  • Extra-virgin olive oil for salad dressings
  • Bearitos Taco Seasoning packets
  • Hot sauce—Tabasco, Crystal and Cholula
  • Burger House Seasoning Salt – Amazing on homemade oven fries, grilled chicken or anything!
  • Maple syrup
  • Organic Tamari (instead of soy sauce)
  • Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
  • Bubbie’s pickles
  • Joe T’s or Royitos Salsa
  • Gorji’s Pomodoro Sauce

 

FRUITS

  • Lemons, limes
  • Avocado
  • Organic apples
  • Cutie oranges
  • Bananas – frozen for smoothies
  • Frozen berries for smoothies
  • Varied fruits (berries, melon, cherries)

 

BEVERAGES

  • Topo Chico Sparkling Waters
  • Healthy Sports Drinks like our Perform Hydration Drink
  • Keep Passion Tea and homemade lemonade in the fridge

 

SNACKS/OTHER JUNK FOOD

While we don’t suggest eating processed junk food all the time, we know it’s a fact of life … we love it. Stay tuned for our next post on CLEAN JUNK FOOD! We will share our favorite brands that are free from chemicals, food coloring, toxic MSG and GMO’s.

Need a little more hand holding? We can help! Our Diamonds on Your Inside Counseling Program brings us to your home AND on a shopping trip to Whole Foods/Costco to get you on the right track. Just ask!

Want easy and yummy recipes?

Cookbook Signing: Monday, August 21

Come meet our dear friend Pamela Salzman, author of the new Kitchen Matters Cookbook, at our Forest location August 21st, 10 a.m. – noon, for a book signing AND demo at 11 a.m.!


Back to School – Tried and True Breakfast Ideas for Everyone!

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Summer break is soon coming to an end, and I’m already anxious about how to keep my kids nourished (thinking of breakfast ideas) and my sanity intact as schedules start to ramp up. Staying ahead of crazy hunger is the name of the game, whether it be for breakfast, snacks or dinner.

In this three part series, we will share quick and easy ways to feed your kids and yourself.

First up, breakfast ideas!

Without question breakfast is the most important meal of the day … for brain development, daily energy levels, and our ability to focus. So make it a priority! Discover our top tried and true breakfast ideas below.

Keys to a successful morning:

  • Be prepared.
  • Shop for the week.
  • Buy in bulk – Organic lovers, meet Costco!
  • Get a jump start – Set the table and put ingredients together in the fridge the night before. Place vitamins in little ramekins at their place setting. Plan to get up at least 10 minutes earlier. It makes all the difference.
  • Think protein, fiber and good fat.

Our Super 7 Breakfast Ideas

  1. Self Serve Oatmeal Bar. So cute! Just add hot water rolled oats and wait two minutes. Arrange toppings in small bowls:
    • Maple syrup, organic brown sugar, cinnamon
    • Blueberries and Bananas
    • Hemp or Chia Seeds
    • Coconut Butter, Organic Peanut butter or Almond butter
    • Coconut flakes & Cacao nibs
    • Toasted Pecans
    • Tip: Cook steel-cut oatmeal overnight in your crock pot the night before so it will be ready in the a.m. This will keep for a week in the fridge!
  2. Breakfast burrito/wrap – Fresh, whole wheat tortillas – not “MISSION” – or try my favorite, Siete Almond Flour tortillas!!, mixed with pastured eggs and pico de gallo. Drain a can of black beans the night before and add those in the mix too. Protein and healthy fats are crucial for brain function and keeping blood sugar levels even. Try your eggs scrambled in coconut oil.
  3. Fresh smoothies made with frozen berries, bananas, raw almonds/water, Epic Vegan Protein. Stock up on your ingredients from our GEM at Home Collection. Keep cacao and dates on hand too. Try this Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothie. My family so loves this with additional chocolate protein added.
  4. Healthy Smoothie Bowl. Here’s a secret: Bowls are just smoothies with less liquid! Top yours with berries, hemp seeds, Marge’s granola. Another secret: Our FOYO Parfait is a smoothie bowl … in a travel ready cup! Need instruction? Check out this video on how to make the prefect bowl. YOU WILL BE A MORNING ROCK STAR!
  5. King Arthur GF Pancake Mix with blueberries. This gluten-free brand is amazing!!!! They really are fantastic when cooked with coconut oil. They need almost no syrup! Combine with scrambled eggs to balance with protein or wrap up a Applegate Farms Chicken Sausage Link.
  6. PB&J: Ezekial Bread toasted with almond butter and your favorite jam (not the kind with food coloring and lots of chemicals. Read your labels! I adore Avocado Toast!!
  7. Get ahead of the game and make a Breakfast Casserole!! This Hashbrown and Spinach Egg Casserole is amazing. Even better, pour the mixture into muffin tins for quick on the go breakfast bites or protein snacks! Another recipe here.

 

And hey, remember: The time in the morning is precious and can be a great way to take a moment to set your intention for the day, spend a moment with your kids and practice your own self-care.

Want more great cooking instruction?

Check out our dear friend Pamela Salzman’s new Kitchen Matters Cookbook. In Kitchen Matters, she shares the recipes that have won the praise of Nicole Richie, Rashida Jones, Audrina Patridge and other mega-fans. Both practical and elegant, Kitchen Matters offers a road map for new and busy home cooks to begin including more wholesome foods every day, for meals as nourishing as they are unforgettable.

Want more?

Book Signing Monday, August 21

Join us at our Forest location August 21st, 10 a.m. – noon, for a book signing AND demo at 11 a.m.!!


Spring Cleaning: Six Things for a Cleaner, Healthier You!

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Are you ready to drop the winter coat (literally and figuratively) and feel lighter and free? Time to spring clean it up, people! And really, spring cleaning is a detox in disguise.

A detox is simply making lifestyle changes that clear the body and mind of toxins, by eliminating certain harmful things and optimizing the power of more positive additions. Our mission inside The GEM is to guide you into a healthier and cleaner future.the gem spring cleaning

Getting there doesn’t have to incorporate radical, sweeping changes all at once.

Toxins are definitely a buzzword these days, so what is considered a toxin? Toxins are anything that can be poisonous or cause negative health effects. Heavy metals, chemicals, pollutants, artificial food ingredients, pesticides all cause the body harm. And don’t think it is just limited to the tangible. Toxic thoughts and people TREMENDOUSLY contribute to your health and wellness.

Let’s cut to the chase. Time for spring cleaning.

If you mindfully incorporate these simple things, you start the process of detoxification. Get on it. Get your brain and your body humming!

  1. Add detoxifying foods DAILY. Think spring greens, like the Dandelion and Kale salad—super supportive of your liver—the major organ responsible for filtering toxins from your body. The MVP soup is something you should drink everyday. Seriously. It adds five servings of sparkle inducing veggies into your day. And, do not underestimate the power of Daily Green Juice. On an empty stomach, it is a straight shot of goodness into your bloodstream. Come to The GEM. We can help with your green dilemma! We put GREEN in the spotlight
  2. Daily breath. Breathing is the strongest detoxifier we have. Use it to your advantage. Take Five Breathing exercise each morning and anytime you need to calm, focus or energize yourself. Breath in for 5 secs, hold it for 5 secs, exhale for 5 secs. Repeat AT LEAST five times. Great for de-stress, energy, composure.
  3. Exfoliate your skin, and sweat it out. Try a Sauna, or Hot Yoga, to sweat. Incorporate Dry Brushing. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and dry brushing boosts circulation, gets rid of dead skin cells, stimulates the lymph nodes, actually improves the appearance of cellulite, and helps the body remove waste. This is a very potent detoxifier.
  4. Eat organic. It is SO important. Our food supply is riddled with pesticides that are not only ON our food, but actually scientifically engineered inside the DNA. Not willing to go all in? Familiarize yourself with the “Dirty Dozen”. And always buy organic meats and pastured eggs!! Life inside The GEM is HONESTLY ORGANIC, so feel secure about your choices here.
  5. NO CREEPY ARTIFICIAL FOODS. That means NO sweeteners, colors, preservatives. They contain dangerous chemicals that remain in your liver and fat cells—and obstructs the natural cleansing processes within your body. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it either.
    Last, but not least, and this can be a difficult, yet critical one:
  6. Stop the negative talk and the behavior that follows. Do not put energy into negative chatter. Have you seen our GEM Journal?? It helps you set your intention for your day, and reminds of habits that will help change your direction. You attract what you put out into the Universe. Remind yourself daily: You are love. You are light.

 

For spring cleaning, you can always dig deeper, choosing temporary changes that can really kick start the process. Start a three day juice cleanse. Follow our “DAY IN THE LIFE OF A GEM” regimen.

Strive for more permanent changes. Remove toxic thoughts. Eliminate artificial sweeteners. I mean it. It can really change the way you feel, look and live!

Living a vibrant life takes commitment, time, focus. Start the journey with these 6 things to exorcise the demons of a toxic world. Walk into the bright light of health. See you inside The GEM soon!


This Fall Food will Give Your Insides a Warm, GEM~my Hug

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Our desire for warmer, more grounding, fall food starts to increase now that cooler weather is upon us. fall foodYour body craves the comfort of roasted veggies, rich stews and robust soups.

Inside The GEM, folks start to line up for our famous Lentil Soup, Sauteed Arugula and Mushroom Salad and Turmeric Lattes. SHAZAM! Those things are good and they give your insides a warm hug.

While you are ALWAYS welcome at our door for your daily dose of fall food goodness, we think you should branch out and try some new things at home. This Black Bean Chili was inspired by Pamela Salzman’s Turkey Chili recipe (also amazing). Look for her new cookbook coming next year!

In the meantime, try this on a lazy Sunday afternoon or at your next tailgate party. You won’t even miss the meat!

 

BLACK BEAN CHILI – A Fall Food Fav

 

INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped red onion

2 cups chopped celery

2 cups chopped carrots

1 poblano pepper chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced (optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup organic masa harina

2 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

2 teaspoons sea salt (or more to taste)

freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 cups veggie stock, divided — OR WATER, just adjust salt content!!

3 cups frozen organic sweet corn

3 15-ounce ounce cans cooked black beans (drained and rinsed)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil to a large pot. Add the onion, pepper, celery, carrots, peppers and garlic to the pot and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the masa harina, spices, salt and pepper to the pot and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
  3. Add 5 cups stock, 1 1/2 cup corn and the beans to the pot. Take the remaining 1½ cups of corn and puree with the remaining ½ cup stock/water in a Vitamix.
  4. Add the pureed corn to the pot. Mix well and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered for 30 minutes.
  5. Top with condiments like chopped onion, cilantro, avocado and Bearitos corn chips.

 

Enjoy! And, remember, you are welcome at our door for your daily dose of happy and healthy.


8 Things Sweet Sugar Does to You and Your Health

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As yummy and sweet as it is, Sugar is NOT good for your health. With Halloween just a couple weeks away, beware. It tricks you into thinking it’s just simple treats.

Well, it ain’t. Excessive sugar in fact, promotes illness and “un” health. While many of you may know this, few of us are doing anything about it. But do you really know what it does TO you?

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It plays a starring role in your ultimate health—and not for the good of it. If you really knew what it was doing to your body, you might just put it at the top of your “foods to avoid” list. Here are a few things it does to you and your health.

  1. Sweet sugar does NOT heart your heart. It can actually affect the pumping mechanism of your heart and increase the risk for heart failure.
  2. It makes your belly fat. Yeah.  It’s not the planks you missed in the Pilates class that did it.
  3. It grows cancer and may affect cancer survival. High sugar and starch intake negatively affects survival rates in both breast and colon cancer patients.
  4. Sugar jacks with the liver. Poor nutrition and sugar intake is a major cause of fatty liver. A sluggish liver contributes to LOTS of problems in your body.
  5. Sugar sucks your brain power. It causes deficiencies in memory and overall cognitive health. Duh.
  6. It makes you old. Yep, it ages you! Aging of the cells (oxidative stress) can be the cause of those tired wrinkles to something as dire as chronic disease.
  7. It hides in everything. It’s a sneaky little sucker. Some of your favorite foods contain lots of sugar include tomato sauce, fat free dressing, crackers and even bread. And those healthy energy bars?! Don’t even get me started!
  8. Sugar makes us want more sugar and adds to the stress response. It IS a drug—more addictive than cocaine. SO: SAY. NO.

sugar

Sugar is an addictive substance shown to actually change your biochemical pathways, ambush your self-control mechanisms and lure you into eating more and more.

It is a major roadblock to optimal health. It is the root of many ailments including obesity, acne, depression, infertility and cancer.

Want to know more about sugar, stress and how to detox it from your daily life? Our next continuing education group session, Sugared UP and Stressed Out, does just that! Learn what both stress and sugar do to your body and ways to detox from sugar—and don’t let it rule you!

Be there ~ our Forest location ~ or be square, Wednesday, October 26. We now have two classes available:

  • 11 a.m.
  • 12:30 p.m.

 

Cost is $50. Lunch will be served. Call us at 214.792-9928 or email info@insidethegem.com to register.


Turmeric: Meet Your New Anti-inflammatory Power House

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Meet turmeric – your new super spice, new anti-inflammatory power house BFF!

This Southeast Asian spice is so much more than just an Indian curry ingredient. It has powerful health benefits you should know. You may not be using it daily—in your food and diet, BUT YOU SHOULD.

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Indian Ayurvedic medicine as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent to treat infection, inflammation, wound healing and poor digestion. It’s kind of a magic food—cures lots of ails. We love raw turmeric inside The GEM for its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric contains polyphenols that act as powerful anti-oxidants. This super spice does LOTS for your health.

Let’s just start with the biggest one for me: It has badass cancer fighting properties, and has been shown to inhibit growth of various cancer cells including: breast and prostate cancers and melanoma among others.

So, why add it into your daily life?

Here are a few more really good reasons. It:

  • Manages pain. It’s a super potent Anti-Inflammatory, it’s called “Nature’s Advil” for a reason. Perfect treatment for arthritis, joint pain, even headaches. SO many people swear by it as a remedy for inflammation!
  • Protects the brain, prevents the progression of Alzheimers.
  • Helps lower blood sugar and reverse insulin resistance. This is a weapon in the fight with diabetes and weight loss.
  • Boosts immunity. With its anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, along with the inflammation component, this power house is top of the list for staying well.
  • Reduces oxidative stress, which, among other things, contributes to high cholesterol.
  • Heals stomach ulcers.
  • Speeds wound healing.

Because curcumin (one of three potent polyphenols found in this spice) is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, black pepper and healthy fat should be added to increase its bioavailabilty. That being said, if you are using raw turmeric (not dried powder) like we have at The GEM, you don’t have to add anything to enhance bioavailability. Its natural oil boosts absorption. Pretty cool! The powdered version loses much of its bioavailabilty in the processing.

turmericatthegemjuicebar

Now you know what it does, here are a few ideas of HOW you can use it:

  1. Shoot it. Shots of turmeric are one of the quickest ways to consume to get your daily dose of anti-inflammatory goodness. Shoot it straight up or throw back a GEM Immunity Shot — with lemon and ginger for an added punch to the system.
  2. Boost it. Add to your Green Juice. Add turmeric juice for a bold move into a healthy day.
  3. Sip it. Make a tea including ginger and raw honey. Our Amazing Hot Immunity Tea or Immunity Iced Green Tea might change your life.
  4. Make a Latte. Yep! I dare you to try this yumminess called a Turmeric Latte. Fresh turmeric, frothed house-made cashew milk and garam masala (an Indian combo with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom).
  5. Pop it. New Chapter’s Herbal Detoxification capsules are a great addition into your supplement routine. This one includes green tea extract, ginger and peppermint. All amazing immune boosters in their own right.

It is important to note that like most therapeutic herbs, turmeric is not appropriate for everyone. It is a natural blood thinner, so avoid taking it if you are on prescribed blood thinners. It also might upset your stomach if you are taking medication for ulcers or heartburn (though turmeric aids in the healing of these things!). Consult your physician before use if you have any of these conditions.

Want to learn more ways to boost your immunity? Join us Wednesday, September 28, 11:30 a.m., at the Forest location for our continuing education workshop called Eat for Immunity. Learn what nutrient dense foods are best, how certain supplements can help and what other environmental factors can contribute to a super-powered immune system.

Click here to register or call us at (214) 750-2929. Email works too! Send us a note at info@insidethegem.com.


Final Tips for Feeding (and Hydrating) a Teenage Athlete

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The third part of our series on teenage athlete nutrition focuses exclusively on hydrating your teenage athlete. Proper hydration in your teen is incredibly important. Even the slightest bit of dehydration can result in vast declines in performance.Teenage athletes

Understand hydration. It is key because too many of us blindly reach for traditional sports drinks for hydration, electrolyte replacement and energy. This can be a big mistake if you don’t know the scoop.

Conventional Sports Drinks …

  • Contain 2/3 as much sugar as sodas. Sugar after exercise negatively affects insulin sensitivity—it may bring an initial boost of energy, but then causes a crash as the pancreas tries to balance out the toxic blood sugar spike.
  • Are made with artificial colors, flavors and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Gatorade and its brethren are NOT healthy beverages. These ingredients promote ADHD, and contain synthetic ingredients that offer the body NO nutritional benefit.
  • Are loaded with sodium – the bad kind – not to be confused with unprocessed sea salt, which contains 84 different minerals and trace minerals that your body needs for optimal function. A far better option is to simply add a small amount of natural, unprocessed sea salt to your water.

 

So, what are your hydration and electrolyte replacement options?

  1. Water is always good, but won’t replace integral electrolytes and minerals.
  2. Coconut Water is rich in B vitamins, trace minerals AND electrolytes, as well as potassium and magnesium.
  3. Bananas are high in potassium, fiber and antioxidants.
  4. Raisins are a great replacement for those “energy jelly beans” and GOO.
  5. Clean Sports Drinks.

 

Wait, what is that, you say? A CLEAN sports drink???The GEM's Sports Drink

Yes indeed! Say good bye to Gatorade. Enter Perform—our super-clean performance and recovery drink! It has a Tart Cherry-Pineapple flavor. It is powered with electrolytes, trace minerals, hydrating coconut water and lightly sweetened with local raw honey for flavor and stamina. Tart Cherry is important because this polyphenol-rich juice reduces oxidative stress, which if neglected promotes excess fatigue, tissue damage and slow recovery, The bromelain in pineapple works to reduce inflammation.

Hydrating your teenage athlete is a minefield, people. Lucky for you we’ve got you covered.

If you want to learn more about this and more GEM~my goodness, join us for our Day in the Life of a GEM counseling series. It is on in September.

Sparkle on!


Healthy Tips for Feeding a Teenage Athlete – Part Two

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Many struggle with knowing the healthiest ways to feed teenagers. Feeding a teenage athlete is even trickier. featureblog2

As discussed in last week’s post, optimal physical performance for your teen athlete requires preparation—not just daily practice, but as it relates to daily dietary input. You can’t expect to put cheap and crappy fuel into your car and expect it to run optimally. The same goes for your body.  What are appropriate pre and post game hydration and energy food options?

Last week’s post covered what your teenage athlete should eat – as a general diet, before training, and before sporting events. But what happens when your athlete is on the go? What choices can you make when you don’t have a great deal of time or the choices are limited and they need quick energy?

Sugary sports drinks and energy bars can actually do more harm than good. Beware of chemical laden, sugar filled energy bars that tout performance improvement.

Healthy and quick pre-game nutrition ideas on the go should be clean and simple:

  • Keep bananas, oranges and green apples on hand. (great with almond or organic peanut butter)
  • Pumpkin seeds, raw trail mix, GEM Remix*
  • Lentil Soup or Quinoa–packed with energy boosting nutrients 
  • Green juice – don’t underestimate the power of green juice! Packed with energizing nutrients that are delivered immediately into the bloodstream. Green Glow is a great pre- and post-game choice.
  • Healthy smoothies (made at home or from a reputable smoothie place without added sugar)
  • Go Lean Crunch or healthy cereals that contain good protein
  • Beet shots – increases endurance, reduces oxygen consumption, increases blood nitrate levels and reduces resting blood pressure. It might be a stretch for some of our teens, but major athletes swear by them!

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Bars are an easy and convenient way to keep your teenage athlete fueled, but choose carefully. Our favorites:

  • Tosi Bars*
  • Square Bars (peanut butter chocolate is the best!!)*
  • Epic Protein Powders (show them how to make their own smoothies!)*
  • GoMacro*
  • Perfect Bars – they require refrigeration but are amazing
  • Kind Bars Strong & Kind
  • Vega One Sport – this company has an entire line of products aimed at sports performance
  • Lara Pro-Bars
  • While not perfect, Clif bars are an energy option that is available even in the most remote of convenience stores.

*Available inside The GEM

Remember: clean and simple food choices are the way to go with your teenage athlete.  And don’t forget – water, water and more water!

Next week, we wrap up our series by tackling hydration and sports drinks. Until then, drink your juice!


Healthy Tips for Feeding a Teenage Athlete – Part One

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments on Healthy Tips for Feeding a Teenage Athlete – Part One

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

***Post Note: Water

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

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