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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: Food Secrets


Protecting The Family Jewels – Breast, Colon & Prostate Cancer Prevention

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The Family Jewels (think cancer prevention.) Love them. Care for them. leslierobynmk

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month again. And no one is more aware than I am. As a one-time conqueror of that nasty disease, I made a conscious decision to learn and do everything within my power to keep it from ever rearing its ugly head in my life again. It is all about cancer prevention.

Daunting at first glance, but then as I delved into it, I realized it was the perfect recipe for a vibrant, happy and energetic life–all disguised as “anti-cancer.”

So, what did that entail, you might ask?

The more elusive, yet incredibly important actions, I took were to keep stress and toxic people at bay. Easier said than done. However, your mind is powerful and with the right ammo, you can do that too. Identify those things and people and work to eliminate their importance. (And look for my next blog installment regarding anxiety). Wayne Dyer is a master at guiding you through this.

For the more tangible things, I hit it head on. My diet and exercise changed almost overnight. (I was scared into eating straight!) For everyone else, it means progressive and consistent additions of clean foods and energizing, stress-busting exercise. Interestingly breast, prostate and colon cancers seem to have quite a few similar risk factors. So you can keep your treasures safe with some common actions.

10 things to incorporate into your life to keep your family jewels (breast, prostate, colon) safe:

  1. Green Tea. Studies of green tea drinkers showed a significant reduction in risk of breast cancer while black tea drinkers did not. The active ingredient in green tea that creates this effect is called catechins, a type of polyphenol.
  2. Alkaline Foods / A Whole Foods Plant Based Diet is key. Eat fewer things that have feet (ie, animal protein) and eat more plants. Read The China Study. Mind-blowing research about cancer and animal protein.
  3. Eliminate all preservatives and chemicals from your food. TODAY. No one reveals these dangers better than our friend Robyn O’Brien.
  4. Add breathing exercises to your daily routine. They relieve stess hormones that are released into your system, adding to inflammation. This sh*t works.
  5. Blueberries. All berries contain significant amounts of anti-oxidants that help to reduce cancer risk in general. Berries also contain a phytochemical called ellagic acid, which has been shown to slow the growth of some tumors.
  6. Vitamin D, which you get from exposure to sunshine (around 10 to 15 minutes a day) and green leafy foods, has anticancer properties. It suppresses the formation of new blood vessels that nourish the growth of tumors. The rates of breast, prostate and colon cancer are lower in climates that have the most sunshine. Bring on the Hawaiian Tropic!
  7. Turmeric. Curcumin, a plant chemical, a polyphenol, from the Turmeric root. By lowering inflammatory potential, curcumin has been shown to interrupt the normal progression of cancer cells and is found in most traditional anti-cancer herbal formulas. It is also great for arthritis/joint pain. You can pick up fermented Turmeric extract capsules at The GEM. We love drinking fresh pressed Turmeric shots daily!
  8. More green leafy vegetables in your day. Kale, Spinach, broccoli, arugula, swiss chard, you get the picture. These are excellent sources of fiber, folate, chlorophyll and a wide range of carotenoids, which seem to prevent cancer by acting as antioxidants.  These guys go around scavenging potentially dangerous “free radicals” from the body before they can do harm.
  9. Selenium. This overlooked mineral is a potent antioxidant or scavenger of carcinogenic free radicals. It is HUGE as an anti-prostate cancer warrior. A couple of Brazil nuts will do the trick.
  10. Drink less alcohol. Women who had two to three alcoholic drinks per day had a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer, according the Komen.org website. We no longer play competitive drinking games, people, so cut it back. Seriously.

Places to learn more:

Remember: Keep it green and clean!


The Good, the Fat & the Fish Oils (Omega-3s)

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There are healthy fats. Good ones. Ones that are crucial to health and vitality. Ones that enrich our bodies and make our systems run smoothly. One of the MOST importantfishoilfinalblog is essential Omega-3 fatty acid. Vegetarian sources like walnuts, kale and spinach provide some version (ALA) of essential fatty acids though the richest and best sources come from oily fish like WILD salmon and WILD halibut (DHA). These foods should most definitely be incorporated into your weekly routine.

But can you get enough healthy fats that way?

Not really. You need more. High-quality fish oil supplements provide concentrated, clean nutrition that supports healthy brain function, eye health, cardiovascular health and joint health, just to name a few.

Without question, everyone should take high quality Omega-3 fish oil supplements.

Why? Fish oils contain essential fatty acids, which are nutritional cornerstones of human health. We must have these healthy fats in our system (they are essential), but our bodies do not make them. We must therefore consume them through diet or supplementation.

What are Omegas good for? Emotional, physical, oxidative stress causes inflammation in our bodies. Omega-3s quell the inflammation and promotes a healthy, happy and highly functioning system. So, you say, like what?

  1. Omega-3s for the Heart - Increased intake of Omega–3s in fish oil—enhances overall heart function. Even the American Heart Association states that great benefits come from eating WILD fish at least twice a week, and taking fish oils. Its website, interestingly enough, is full of info on how to transform your lifestyle if you are starting from the bottom. Of course, they also have a section on how to make fast food friendlier … “don’t order the double meat and bacon” to which The GEM says, “stay the hell out of the drive-thru line.”
  2. Omega-3s for the Brain & Mood - This is super-important and I’ve seen first hand its benefits. Evidence indicates fish oil benefits mental health and healthy brain function in all stages of life. Our brains are composed of nearly 60% fat*, so supplementing with these vital fats provide necessary building blocks for healthy cells and tissue. Supports memory and learning ability and promotes positive mood and well-being. SOLD! It’s a “no-brainer.” (*Don’t forget the water when thinking of good brain function too!)
  3. Omega-3s for Kids! Brain function, mood, attention - Children have the most to gain from these essential fats for visual, brain and immune system development, and for normal emotional and cognitive function. Omega 3s also support focus and attention. Dr. Kenneth Bock is a big proponent of fish oil supplementation in “Healing the New Child Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies.” Essential fatty acids have been shown to positively impact children in LOTS of ways. Along with a healthy diet that includes WILD fish and fresh green leafy vegetables, supplementing with a premium fish oil product is a great way to ensure your family is nourishing brain and body.
  4. Omega-3s for the Back and Joints - These “fat guys”can actually help to alleviate pain associated with physical stress to the back and joints. The nourishing fat promotes back and joint health and flexibility.
  5. Omega–3s for Hair, Skin & Nails – Our skin is the largest organ in the human body and is often the first visual indicator of an essential fatty acid deficiency. Omega-3s nourish & protect against age–related damage, hydrates skin by retaining natural moisture, and supports a clear and healthy complexion. Another way to GET YOUR GLOW ON.

This sounds awesome, right?

Despite the great health benefits of Omegas, most of us suffer from Omega–3 deficiency. With a diet rich in green leafy vegetables and wild oily fish like salmon, along with high quality supplements you can begin to nourish, heal and protect your system.

Make these supplements a priority.

How much should I take?

Dr. Andrew Weil recommends eating oily fleshed, wild caught, cold water fish 2-3 times per week. He recommends taking a fish oil supplement that provides 700 to 1,000 mg of EPA and 200 to 500 mg of DHA daily in the smallest number of pills.

Which ones should I take?

It is critical to get the highest quality, freshest fish oils—purity is key: free from toxins, heavy metals, PCBs. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

The only brand The GEM girls take is Nordic Naturals, who has a 3rd party analyze that the products stick to strict standards. The Ultimate Omegas are the finest on the market and we offer these inside The GEM. Nordic Naturals brand is AWESOME both as a company and for their products. These folks know their stuff!


Organic Food & Juice – Are the Benefits Worth It?

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organic food and organic juice Are organic foods really worth the hype and the extra money? These are questions that are raised every day.

In the GEM life, it’s pretty black and white, and ORGANIC WINS EVERY TIME.

The benefits of organic food:

1. No harmful pesticides. Many of these pesticides cannot be washed off of the produce–as they penetrate the entire vegetable. They are also cumulative. These toxins get stored away in your fat cells and continue to build.  The idea of “it’s just a little bit” is as absurd as saying I’ll just have a little bit of arsenic on my apple. You cannot wash enough of the toxins off. Period.

2. No GMOs. That is genetically modified organisms. If you aren’t clear on what those are, don’t feel bad. Even the scientists who created them can’t predict what will happen to humans when they are consumed. Monsanto created the “Round Up Ready” soybean and corn. This means that the powerful pesticide will kill everything around it except the bean itself. Great, you think. Not really. These crops have been modified so that if an insect eats it, the insect’s insides are destroyed. But it’s OK for humans to eat it? I’m no rocket scientist, but … hell no. Did you know that all of Europe, Australia, Canada, Russia and many other countries DO NOT allow these ingredients in their food supply because of the health dangers? We must vote with our wallets.

3. Organic produce contains the same veggie DNA as our grandparents consumed. Sounds a lot more comforting. An heirloom tomato is heaven. Conventional ones aren’t even worth the sea salt and pepper you sprinkle on them.

4. The meats you consume are not over treated with powerful antibiotics and fattened with GMO, nutrient deficient corn. They are also humanely treated–not crammed into slaughter houses and mired knee deep in waste. Happy animals produce happy food. Eat grass-fed, free range, pasture raised. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT, MEAT-EATING PEOPLE.

5. And I have to continue to implore you to never eat artificial food colorings and artificial sweeteners. These cause ADHD and allergies in children, brain tumors and neurological disorders in adults, among other toxic side effects.

The government standards for “organic” include a national list of approved synthetic and prohibited non-synthetic substances for organic production which means that organically produced foods also must be produced without the use of:

  • antibiotics
  • artificial growth hormones
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • artificial dyes (made from coal tar and petrochemicals)
  • artificial sweeteners derived from chemicals
  • synthetically created chemical pesticide and fertilizers
  • genetically engineered proteins and ingredients
  • sewage sludge
  • irradiation

So … conventional, non-organic food may contain these ingredients? Did you know this? I am certain not many of us do, since sewage sludge and artificial growth hormones aren’t on the label. Sewage sludge alone is enough to shift my attention to organic!

Take a look at this experiment. It left me speechless. If this doesn’t confirm the data, nothing will. Way to go Elise!

Love yourself, love your family. Buy organic.

It just might be the best weapon in your arsenal against disease. Organic too expensive you say? Have you priced cancer lately? Pick the Dirty Dozen and go from there.

You owe it to yourself and your family. OH, and drink your organic, nutrient dense juice everyday. It is super power that helps combat and flush out the environmental toxins we can’t help but consume.

See you at The GEM, where honestly organic is how we roll.


10 Reasons You Need Probiotics

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WHAT are probiotics and why do we keep hearing about them?

They are in every yogurt commercial I see. Probiotics are bacteria that exist in our digestive tract. There IS such a thing as good bacteria, and we need to figure out a way to keep more of it in our gut.

The word probiotic even translates to “for life.”

WHAT do they do? In the intestinal tract, these beneficial microbes help complete the digestive process. There’s evidence that without them, even the immune system can’t work properly.

WHERE can you find them? Most of these friendly bacteria occur naturally in yogurt “with active cultures” or acidophilus milk and kefir, and natural pickles and sauerkraut. (Bubbie’s is the best brand for both of these!) Unfortunately (or fortunately for those of us who have eschewed dairy), concentrations in these foods are probably not enough to do the trick. Cue the supplements!

WHY?

  1. Enhance immunity – If probiotics can do this, what can they do to prevent chronic colds and allergies?
  2. Better digestion. Better bowel movements. Better feeling.
  3. Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity symptoms are relieved by adding probiotics. Take probiotics to reverse the symptoms of irritable bowel syndromeCrohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other gut inflammations.
  4. If you eat GMOs, processed foods, low fiber diets and non-organic meat and dairy products, listen up. They all destroy probiotic bacteria and diminish colon function. It is necessary to add probiotic materials back into your system if you’ve had any of those foods. It’s the morning after pill for junk food. 
  5. Yeast infections like Candida flourish when the 85% (good)/15% (not good) balance of probiotic to bad bacteria is out of whack.
  6. A healthy gut flora balance helps prevent cancer by nourishing enzymes that inhibit tumor production throughout the body. Sold.
  7. Sometimes we have to take antibiotics. They are here for a reason. But they often wipe out “friendly” intestinal bacteria along with the bad bugs that cause infections. Symptoms include diarrhea, bloating or other unpleasant digestive symptoms. Always take a probiotic if taking antibiotics.
  8. Probiotic intestinal flora prevents radiation damage from X-rays and CT scans to the large and small intestines. Just as a FYI for your future.
  9. Stress affects and alters the bacterial flora in your intestinal tract. Of course, you may not have any stress in your life. But for the rest of us …
  10. There is an entire brilliant train of thought on healing the 4As of autism, ADHD, allergies and asthma through a diet restores probiotic levels and heals inflammatory conditions by Dr. Kenneth Bock. Another, The GAPS diet: gut and psychology syndrome, confirms the connection with gut health and mental health.

HOW to implement? Get a live probiotic supplement. Check the expiration date to make sure that the bacteria these products contain are alive and look for probiotics with “colony forming units” (CFUs) in the billions. After you buy, be sure to protect your supply from heat, moisture and air.

Add them to your everyday. We love the yummy vanilla Sunbiotics brand. We have them available inside The GEM in both chewable tablet and powder form. Come in and add it to your favorite smoothie! Or grab a bottle and go. At 18 billion CFUs per serving, these little tablets help restore a proper balance of flora in the digestive tract depleted by stress, antibiotics and gastrointestinal disturbances. It also has prebiotics, which helps your system create more probiotics! They do not require refrigeration, and they taste good … They are currently only available at wholesale, but you can some this week at The GEM.

Learn more here.


Best Healthy Seasonings and Condiments

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Getting bored with your veggies? Do your entrees leave you wanting more?

Spice. It. Up.

So many seasonings are loaded with chemicals: MSG, anti-caking agents. Secretly added gluten with wheat flour. There are probably 20 ingredients you cannot begin to pronounce. That spells disaster for our systems–just say no to the chemicals.

Here are some of the best healthy seasonings and condiments that can change the course of your dinners forever!

  1. Tommy’s Coffee Rub. This is not just for beef! Use it on thickly sliced tomatoes on toast–like a BLT sans the swine. Mash it with an avocado and lemon juice for a new twist on guacamole. P.S. It doesn’t taste like coffee. P.P.S. Tommy is a cute, local Texan. All of his products are yummy, especially the Salsa Roja.
  2. Jalapeno Lime Pepper from Alamo City Pepper Products. Sprinkle on artichokes, add it on wild salmon or halibut with a touch of olive oil, broil for 12 minutes. (See this recipe.) The best fish you will ever eat. They also have a great fajita seasoning.
  3. Casa Fiesta Taco Seasoning. To beans, grass-fed ground beef, Mexican rice. Taco Tuesdays will be awesome again.
  4. Simply Organic Spicy Chili Seasoning. Follow the directions, adding an extra can of rinsed beans. Or better yet, delete the grass-fed beef for a vegan alternative. Your kids may never notice. Add it on top of an organic baked potato. Sooo good.
  5. Simply Organic Ranch Powder Packet. Certainly not perfect, but a great way to wean yourself and your family off of other favs/go-tos. If you wonder why HVR is so bad, take a moment to read the bottle in your fridge. Yikes.
  6. Krazy Ketchup. A truly healthy alternative and it is really tasty. Plus, the owner is a super cool college sorority bud. It can be ordered by the case.
  7. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. Add two tablespoons to your soups for a tangy kick. This is the perfect base for homemade salad dressing. Oh … and lots of great benefits:
    • Rich in enzymes & potassium
    • Support a healthy immune system
    • Helps control weight
    • Promotes digestion & ph Balance
    • Helps remove body sludge toxins
  8. Organic Dijon Mustard. Adds zing to your salad dressings, zip to your turkey roll-ups. Look for brands that only have a couple of ingredients. We like the 365 Whole Foods Brand.
  9. And while we are at it, really good, fresh pickles are really hard to find.  Take a look at the ingredients in the ones you have in your fridge.  Probably have food coloring and polysorbate 80, and some other science experiments.  Try Bubbies. Their pickles and sauerkraut is beyond yummy.
  10. Simple Stuff. Really good Sea Salt and a Black Pepper grinder. Changes the way you look at salt and pepper.
  11. Wright’s of Texas Fresh Green Salsa Mild OR Habanero. AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME. On chips, on veggies, as a marinade, on fish tacos, on a spoon. Just the right amount of everything. Super fresh, all-natural.
Bodies (and taste buds) will sing. 


Eat Now, Pay Later.

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Growing up in the South (quick shout out to Sylvester, GA), I ate from Daddy Pait’s garden, I helped my mom can fruits and vegetables, we sealed and froze soups, jarred pickles and everyone spent significant time cooking food. Even though the green beans were cooked for so long they were no longer green, and the squash had the consistency of mashed potatoes, the quality of the food was still whole. Tomatoes were really tomatoes and not some genetically modified monster. Cucumbers were picked just a day or so before we ate them.

Fast forward a quarter century (or more) and our fast-paced lifestyle forces many of us to seek out food that requires little time to prepare. Manufacturers have cashed in on this, marketing every kind of foodstuff you can imagine that is easy and fast–microwave dinners, boxed snacks, and grab and go meals to be slurped, eaten from a stick, popped in a toaster.

Sounds like a dream come true. Not so fast. This convenience comes with a price. Think about it.  Real food isn’t made to sit in a box or bag for long periods of time….so..chemicals, lots of them, are added to keep the food from going bad. Making them, well, bad. And they are filled with empty calories–void of any real nutritional value.

A simple food, yet this list is SO complex. It should be 3 ingredients. Can you guess? Flour tortillas!

Look for these ingredients in the food labels and avoid them at all costs.  Don’t panic, you can still find packaged options without a health risk, but you must read the labels and avoid the following:

  1. Artificial Colorings I was shocked to see that even Kraft Marshmallow Crème has food coloring in it. These are chemicals made from petroleum derivatives and have been linked to cancer, are known to cause allergic reactions, and are linked to ADD in children. AND, most of Europe has banned these in the same foods that have them here in the USA.
  2. Artificial Sweeteners Aspartame (NutraSweet) has been linked to brain tumors and about 90 other really unpleasant side effects. Your body is tricked into thinking it is getting sugar, so your insulin levels rise making your crave more sugar than before. It is is EVERY stick of gum you currently know. Diet drinks, ‘Lite’ Yogurts, ‘sugar-free’ junk should be tossed.  NOW.
  3. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) It extends the shelf life of processed foods and is cheaper than sugar. The main issue now is that HFCS is that we ingest far too much of it, contributing to our obesity epidemic.
  4. Partially Hydrogenated Oil (Trans Fat) is an altered vegetable oil. It promotes heart disease. It’s not just in Crisco anymore.  Goldfish and  peanut butter and Mission tortillas just for starters.
  5. Sodium Nitrates enhance meat products like hot dogs, bacon, sausages, and lunchmeats. Nitrites break down into cancer-causing compounds.  “Lunchables” should be re-named Box O’ Migraines.

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

For everyone trying to lose weight: Empty calories leave us hungry for real food. When we eat real, whole, organic and fresh foods, our bodies become satisfied and thank us accordingly.

Your best bet is to limit or better yet avoid things in packages, wrappers, and cans, and eat most of your food in its simple, natural state. It will make you feel SO much better, look SO much better, and LIVE SO MUCH BETTER. I GUARANTEE IT.


GLORY DAYS.

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Freshman 101 Wellness Tips

Remember your freshman year? All of the new things, new responsibilities, new boundaries, new ways to incorporate freedom into your life?

Remember the summer after your freshman year? Coming home to raised eyebrows at how much MORE of you there was? I came home with 20 more pounds. Forget the Freshman 15…I’ve always tried to be an over-achiever.I was a nice sized 12/14 in pleated shorts. It was a good look.

Recently, we hosted a graduation party at The GEM for 32 graduating seniors and we shared a few ‘tips’ with them. I hope they will incorporate a few of these into their daily life. I tried appealing to their vanity rather than their long-term health. I mean, we were all invincible back then. Good skin, better energy, strength & stamina, and clear thinking seem to be a better draw. Share these with your college bound GEM.

Quite frankly, we all need to follow these rules. They make for a happier, healthier you. One more shout out for DIAMONDS ON YOUR INSIDE.

TOP 3 THINGS TO DO

EXERCISE EVERYDAY—even if it is a walk or a bike ride. It makes you happy, too!

DRINK. LOTS. OF WATER. Water keeps your body and mind hydrated. Sometimes you mistake thirst for hunger. Drink 32 oz of water every morning— first thing. Pretty skin, pretty eyes, better energy.

GO GREEN. Eat something green everyday. PERIOD. More green = better mood, better skin, better chance of not taking home the freshman 15!

TOP 3 THINGS NOT TO DO

DRINK TOO MUCH. Bad for your skin, bad for bloating, and really bad for making good decisions.

LATE NIGHT EATING. Pizza delivery after 8pm is evil. An occasional splurge is fine, but keep it to once a month. There is nothing really hip about a slug eating crap. Cut out junk food. Keep healthy options around like popcorn, apples with almond butter, nuts, hummus & veggies.

SMOKE. ANYTHING. Smoke makes your skin dull, your breath stink and your body lethargic.

INCORPORATE HEALTHY CHOICES:

FRESH GREEN JUICE—perfect nutrients, energy, glowing skin, bright eyes

KOMBUCHA—soda alternative, cleansing, great hangover elixir

SMOOTHIES—as a meal replacement, and make sure there are only fresh, clean ingredients. No Jamba Juice imposters!

I can still see myself in my freshman year spring break photos.  My face was so puffy it barely fit into the 8×10 frame. If I’d only known The GEM!!


Weed of Wonder: Cilantro, the Great De-toxifier.

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Don’t take this SUPER LEAF for granted. This herb is not just a random garnish found next to the salsa on the condiment bar at Taco Cabana.

It’s a powerful natural detoxifier.

There are many well-documented benefits of organic cilantro. One super cool fact is that Cilantro might just be one of nature’s best chelation agents.

The chemical compounds in cilantro actually bind to heavy metals, loosening them from the tissues, blood and organs. Cilantro’s chemical compounds then help move these harmful substances out of the body. Mercury excess is a common problem that may be the result of metallic teeth fillings or over-consumption of predatory fish such as tuna and swordfish.

But wait, there’s MORE!  Cilantro also …

  • Eases symptoms of arthritis due to its powerful anti-inflammatory capacities
  • Maintains healthy cholesterol levels
  • Brings relief for stomach gas, prevention of flatulence (your friends and family will thank you) and an overall digestive aid
  • Wards off urinary tract infections
  • Helps reduce feelings of nausea
  • Eases hormonal mood swings
  • Helps promote healthy liver function
  • Loads of anti-oxidants that eat up those nasty free radicals in our body…things that make us old and creaky.

STATS for this humble backyard herb: 

15% of folates (recommended daily allowance per 100g)
11% of vitamin B-6
45% of vitamin C
225% of vitamin A
258% of vitamin K, one of the richest herbal sources
22% of iron
18% of manganese

This weed has flown under the radar for too long. Cilantro deserves a bowl full of respect!

So how can you get more of this super green? Add it to soups, sprinkle it on salads, douse it on dips. Too much to think about?

Have someone do it for you! Get a double dose of cilantro love when you hang out at The GEM. You can find cilantro in the soon-to-be famous GEM Quinoa Salad and Jalapeno Pesto. Hustle down and get you some cilantro!


Crown me Kale.

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Learn to love it. It will love you back.

Kale is the leafy green everyone really cool is talking about.  This emerald beauty has found it’s way into the nutrition spotlight and is even referred to as “the new beef.”

WHY should I jump on this VEGGIE HUGGER bandwagon?” Kale here to stay. No longer the garnish on the Denny’s breakfast plate so get used to it.

Nine SUPER FINE reasons to eat more KALE:

1.Immunity Booster. “Super Kale” super charges your immune system with high levels of vitamin C, A and manganese.

2. Bones. Strong ones. Kale is loaded with calcium, it actually has more calcium per serving than milk. The calcium in kale is also absorbed more easily by the body than from dairy products making it the better choice for strong bones. And your skin will glow.

3. Anti-Inflammatory. Kale is strongly anti-inflammatory as it has an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, over 45 different flavonoids. Trust me, this means good stuff.

4. Vitamin K. Contains tons of it. (1300%of your RDA in just 1 cup). K helps reduce the body’s inflammatory response and supports the nervous system. Prevents calcium buildup in our tissue. How much of my RDA?

5. Alkalinity. Kale helps the body maintain an alkaline ph. When your system is alkaline, diseased cells cannot survive. Uhh, thats all you had to say for me!

6. Kicks cancer’s ass. Anti-cancer properties of kale are off the chain. Glucosinates help prevent many different cancers.  So do alkalinity and anti-inflammatory characteristics above.

7. Smooth Operator. Fiber: it keeps our digestive system running smoothly so we can absorb the maximum number of nutrients. Fiber also acts like little scrub brushes cleaning out toxins from out body.

8. Iron. Where’s the beef?? Per calorie kale has more iron than beef making it an iron-rich super star. Kale burger anyone?

9. Detox. High sulphur content is essential for the body’s detoxification process.

Dino Kale Rocks The House.

So how do you get this super food into your diet? Here are a few easy ways:

  • Soups: De-stem and cut a few kale leaves before adding them to soups in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  • Sneak some in your salad – Massage (yes, massage) the kale with a little sea salt. Add the kale into your regular salad for a nutrient dense kick. OR, come get a life-changing, fabulously yummy kale salad at The GEM.
  • Kale Chips: Yes you heard me, chips! Fall head over heels for them with a little olive oil and salt, bake at 350.
  • Smoothies – disguise a kale leaf at a time into your smoothie. You can’t even taste it!
  • DRINK IT! A Green Glow Juice from The GEM is the perfect starter kit to add more kale in your day.


To Juice or Not to Juice

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What an amazing week! The GEM is opened and it is, I must say, FABULOUS. It’s interesting how clean, vibrant things attract bright-eyed, vibrant  people. It is SO much fun being there serving raw juice and smoothies to these SHINY, HAPPY PEOPLE.

So the question arises, “Should I juice, or should I smoothie? What is the difference?

GET JUICED UP! Juices provide nutrients at top speed.  The lack of fiber means our body can assimilate the nutrients in a matter of minutes. Your body has time to heal itself rather that having to work at digestion.  My afternoon green juice during chemo was the shot in the arm I needed to keep going after 3pm.

By doing this 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 well-protected against toxins and disease. A fresh juice stands in a league of its own.  It is simply the best energy drink on the market! Take that, Red Bull.


BE A SMOOTH OPERATOR
….Smoothies are a vibrant man’s comfort food. There is nothing better than a rich, yummy smoothie. They can be fruit based, raw chocolate or coconut. It doesn’t matter. They all can offer great benefits for skin, digestion, weight control.

Smoothies contain a good deal of fiber, something that is an important nutrient in itself (see Emerald City Smoothie at The GEM). Fiber is an essential and all-too-often lacking ingredient in our diet; it keeps our gut moving and helps it to stay healthy with the right levels of good bacteria. Smoothies, when done right, can be an excellent meal replacement too–with veggies, fruit and protein mixed happily together in a party cup. BUT, don’t be fooled by that creepy, fake crap served at fast food joints or even at the self-acclaimed healthy smoothie chains. So much of that is processed and sugar laden. You might as well eat some Ben & Jerry’s. Or…the famed BACON SMOOTHIE from Jack in the Box. A bit of a bellwether for the state of America’s health. Smoothies gone wrong. Watch out for it.  Juice over Smoothie?  We need both.

SEE YOU AT THE GEM!