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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: Happiness


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!


Here’s to a Disco Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving

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Peace.  Happy.  Gratitude.

Peace. Happy. Gratitude.

We all want a Disco, Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving right? It can be an energizing, inspiring holiday if you let it be – one of thanks (duh), gratitude, friendships, yummy foods, family. An all nourishing kind of day – the body and soul.

It can also be a draining, heavy, toxic holiday. One with over-indulgence on food and booze that leave you feeling bloated and depressed. And it gets worse. You let energy vampires disguised as aunts, uncles, siblings, etc., swoop in topped with nonsensical family traditions.

 

 

To make this Thanksgiving a Healthy Thanksgiving (it is currently my favorite), you can do a few small things that may result in some big changes:

  1. Do it yourself.  Make sure you have at least two clean sides for Thanksgiving. It may mean you bring them yourself—which is even better! Alice Waters, Rozanne Gold, Mark Bittman, they all have amazing cookbooks that will rock your world. GEM Hummus with veggies, Hail Merry Royal Blend nuts (conveniently available at The GEM). Shoot, come pick up a few of our arugula & mushroom quinoa salads and tell everyone you made it yourself!! It’s a PERFECT fall salad. 100 Days Of Real Food has good, clean recipes and is an amazing resource to feed your family better. Dreena Burton of Plant-Powered Kitchen has a few recipes on her site.
  2. Center yourself. The holidays, even with all their glitter and excitement, can be emotionally draining. Family dynamics, loneliness, financial issues, and just the intense insanity of it all can be overwhelming. Take some time for yourself the night before by drawing yourself a nice warm bath with CALM Sports bath and lavender oil (Epsom salts can work too) or do what I do—excuse myself to my closet for some deep breathing with a few key stretches before the festivities start. Allow yourself to decompress. It’s ok. We need to take care of ourselves first! By nurturing yourself and taking time to get centered, you’ll be able to steer clear of bad choices and emotional eating.
  3. Prep yourself. Start your morning with 32 ounces of filtered water followed at least 30 minutes later with a vibrant green smoothie with a couple of tablespoons of raw Happy Hemp seeds. (1/2 frozen banana, 1-2 cups spinach, ½ cup blueberry, ½ cup frozen cherries, 2-3 T of raw hemp seeds, 1 cup water). I SWEAR it will make your day go better. Plus it fills your body with satisfying nutrients that will help you make better decisions for the rest of the day.
  4. Don’t be hard on yourself. Thanksgiving doesn’t always have to be a day of over indulgence. But, let’s also be realistic … stuffing happens. Pecan pie and whipped cream happen. If you do go deep off the wagon, you can always get back on that vibrant, healthy band wagon again.

Plan to get back on track as soon as the last turkey sandwich is served. Even better, schedule a 4-Day GEM Cleanse to exorcise the gluttony demons and be back brighter than ever!

Have a gratitude and laughter filled healthy Thanksgiving. We love you, GEMs! See you back for more GEM goodness soon. Hugs all around …


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.


New Year’s Resolutions. On Ground Hog Day

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It’s a new year. Again.  And now it’s Ground Hog Day. Again.  Just like the Bill Murray movie, it just keeps happening over and over. It’s been a whole month since the parties, the tinsel, the family, the indulgence. I say it’s now down to business.

We hear it every year. It’s time for your resolutions–a time for reflection of ourselves and our lives — present and future. Be better, smarter, happier, stronger, thinner, richer, kinder. It’s what we do after January 1. It’s another one of those, ‘everybody’s doing it’ things, and we follow.  Did you try it?

Now it’s February 2nd, is it too late? Did you fail already? “Oh well, maybe next year,” you say.

HEY.  Don’t be simple-minded.  The “New Year” is not the only time we should reflect and make positive changes. I say start today, Ground Hog Day.

Evaluating your life should not be an annual occurrence.  It should be a monthly reoccurrence. These things should be done on a regular basis, say, every three months re-evaluate. We should call them New You’s Resolutions and make it a habit, regardless of the time of year. Take a quick look at where you are and where you want to be. This is especially useful for diet regimens.

Nonetheless, as mired in tradition as it is, New Year’s (or Ground Hog’s in this case) resolutions, if you are so inclined to jump aboard, can enrich your life and the lives of others around you.

  • What will you change?
  • Will you try to improve?
  • Where will you focus your positive energy?

For the record, I’ve never, EVER shared my resolutions—especially not on such a public platform … for many reasons. Some are simply a level of privacy I like to keep. Others are because I don’t want to be held accountable in case I decide I don’t want to follow through. But this year, I decided the revealing my own hopes, thoughts and goals might cause others to think a bit about their own lives. To better reflect and even, take action.  Plus, it is February 2nd, which eases the Hallmark card pressure for me.

Copying from my paper is OK in this instance. So, in the spirit of it all, here goes. (And don’t judge, not out loud at least).

  1. Go to church each Sunday with my family. I’ll admit I have not been a church goer. But I realize my family and my children need it. Integrity, morals, respect for God and others, a sense of belonging. You get that at church.
  2. Blog twice a month. This is for you AND for me. I need to pin down my thoughts, capture them, act upon them. You can journal your thoughts. Ten minutes is all it takes. It is amazing how cathartic it can be.
  3. Be gluten-free. No exceptions. I know it makes my belly bloated.  I’m 43 and I don’t need to look like I’m four months pregnant all the time. It also negatively affects my mood (both the gluten and the bloated belly). Here are some great tips on going gluten free.
  4. Yoga three times week. I SWEAR this yoga thing works miracles. I find quiet and peace and I lose the achy joints. I FEEL AWESOME. There are different types of yoga. Find one that works for you.
  5. Make a date once a week. This will be really difficult to do, but I need that time, albeit short, to re-connect with my husband. And on the note of reconnection …
  6. Make love to my husband more often. (Here’s that privacy thing). Sex is an integral part of your relationship. It’s a connector, a relationship re-kindler, an actual mood booster. Just do “it.” (Don’t copy this one exactly)
  7. Read more books. At least one will be about self or family improvement. Reading makes you smarter, keeps your brain in shape, keeps you busy and out of trouble. I love humorous and happy books.Recommendations are welcome. Reading Boys Adrift right now.  NOT a funny book but incredibly insightful.  Need a fun one next.
  8. Work for nutritional balance for my children. It affects their mood, their energy, their well-being. Teaching kids early the importance of healthy food can circumvent a lifetime of food issues. I am in awe of the research that supports this.
  9. Walk with a friend once week. It’s either this or $200/hr therapist. Whether intended or not, a good hour talk with a friend can allay a week’s worth of anxiety. Sure you can meet for tea at The GEM, but I like to kill two birds with one stone.
  10. Share my love of disco. Ongoing fun and laughter is something we all need to look for and create every day. Sing, even when you don’t feel like it.

May my ideas spur your ideas! Please share one Ground Hog Resolution or all. I want to hear them.


Kick it to the curb: Eliminate The Toxins

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Toxins make us sick — our bodies AND our mind. They are not just in the air. They are all around us–even where you would never think.

Toxins are also in our:
- Food
- Cosmetics
- Relationships
- Habits

Toxins weigh us down, make us sick, cause depression, limit our horizons. Why do we allow toxic people, habits, chemicals, poor eating habits, and situations to make you sick, fat, angry, sad, self-conscious?

Back to the Just Say No Campaign. The question then is, how do you eliminate toxins out of your body?

These things are bad for your health–both mind and body:

  1. Toxic people: You know the ones. They see everything half empty. They say and do things to make you feel inadequate (that is your insecurity, too, which is something you need to work on). Some of these people are also known as Energy Vampires. You have to set boundaries and keep them on the periphery of your happiness. A brilliant guide to setting these is aptly named, Boundaries, by Cloud & Townsend. Check it out.
  2. Toxic Habits: Looking for the bad, instead of the good. Is your juice glass half empty? “Why does this always happen to me?” Two reasons: A) You are looking for it. B) Your aura invites it. **Look for the positive. Make it the focus.** What else No body movement. Yes, exercise. The kind that stretches and pushes your body. Brisk walks and stretching seem like nothing but will make a huge difference in the way you feel. Try it. I dare you. Simple yoga exercises and eventually group classes are life changers! Group Pilates can be SO MUCH FUN!
  3. Toxic Chemicals: Toxins are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the shampoo we use. There are ingredients in many of your household products that have been proven to cause cancer. And, let’s be realistic, we cannot avoid all of these. We can, however, do a better job of selective elimination. Eliminate: conventional air fresheners, lotions, shampoos. There are many all-natural, non-carcinogenic products available–and not just available at Whole Foods. There ARE natural cleaning products that work, even some you can make yourself using inexpensive things like vinegar and lemon.
  4. Toxic Foods: You knew this was coming. There are toxins in your foods. However, there are two ways I want you to think about this. You don’t have to do this all at once.First, crowding out. Start by simply ADDING more vegetables and fruits into your day. That way, there is less room for the bad. When you start your day with good food choices, the rest of your day will follow. Organic is best, but just considering the “Dirty Dozen” and purchase accordingly.Second, diet drinks, fried foods, sugary breakfasts. Believe it or not, the properties of these foods affect your brain, your mood and how you perceive your day. These foods also make you feel like shit. Oh, and all of those toxins sit in your fat cells and liver for long periods of time. They actually make your body hold on to fat and junk you really don’t want. Read: helps you lose unwanted adipose tissue. Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks you can feel good about!

In the words of my mafia friend, “If you have a problem, eliminate it.”  I think that is BRILLIANT advice–sans the concrete shoes, of course.


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.


Be a GEM, Cleanse.

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THE GEM 3 DAY JUICE CLEANSE.  The success of your cleanse is dependent on doing it right. It is important to stress that while you are doing a great thing for yourself by drinking juice in place of meals, however, WE AT THE GEM, cannot do it all for you.

THREE FACETS OF A SUCCESSFUL GEM CLEANSE: WATER, REST, ELIMINATE.

Hydrate. Drink at least 8 glasses of filtered water a day. Wake up with 32 ounces right off the bat. Additionally, take a probiotic every day to keep your intestines balanced and to help replace the good bacteria that your body needs.

Rest. We suggest going to bed as early as possible if your schedule permits. Most people find they get tired earlier than usual.

Eliminate. It’s almost counter productive to do a cleanse if you don’t help expedite the release toxins from your system. Ummmm. We are all friends here, so, colonics or enemas are a safe way to flush out years of built up toxic waste  along with toxic liver bile, gas, and even parasites. Most of us are full of it anyway (insert smile & wink here) and have unnatural substances that take a some extra effort to release, thanks to our modern, not-so-healthy diets. If a colonic scares the sh*t out of you, use an herbal laxative (Traditional Medicinals Smooth Move tea or capsules), to aid in this process.

Other great ways to eliminate toxins:  Dry brush each morning before you shower to shed dead skin cells. Massage can get the lymphatics moving. Meditate (toxins are also in our thoughts). Slow Down. Tone down your usual exercise and keep hard-core cardio to a minimum, but definitely do something each day to accelerate your lymphatic and circulatory systems.

DETOX SYMPTOMS IN MOTION:

Headaches, dizziness, fatigue, constipation, runny nose, skin blemishes and nausea. Maybe one, maybe none, maybe all. Your digestive system gets some much needed time off and your radiant body gets to work on other things: releasing toxins and adjusting to the clean nutrients it is being gifted. There is no need to worry- in fact, although unpleasant, symptoms are often a good sign. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms, drink an herbal tea that can help combat them naturally but DON’T take any over the counter chemicals.Oh, and no gum or mints while cleansing. They promote the release of digestive enzymes and makes you hungry.

Optimally, we suggest eliminating all solid foods, but there is sanctioned cheating by having a few slices of cucumber or apples. If you need something warm and savory at dinnertime, boil some veggies with herbs and a little sea salt and drain the broth into a bowl. This is a perfectly acceptable addition to The GEM Cleanse.

DETOXIFICATION of the body brings…

Clarity, Energy, Well-being

Radiant Skin, Bright Eyes

Significant Craving Loss for caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, and junk foods. 

Keeping it real from the inside…




The Year of YOU.

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“…and that’s when I get to wondering, what would happen if I told her she something good, ever day?” Abilene, the Southern nanny, wonders about the little girl she cares for in Kathryn Stockett‘s, The Help.

So everyday she tells the little girl, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” We may not have a nanny named Aibilene that tells us this everyday, but why can’t you be your own advocate? Your own self-esteem booster. Your own best friend.

Here’s the plan. I DARE YOU to try it this new year.

Find a mantra and believe it.  Tell yourself everyday that you are kind, that you are smart, that you are important.  Settle for nothing less.

You will need to do a few other exercises to enhance this. You owe it to you.

1. Get up 10 minutes earlier and WRITE down 3 things that you are grateful for. That you feel blessed about. FIND IT>

2. Before you go to bed at night, write down 3 things that were GOOD about the day. Big, small, whatever. Just find 3 positives.

3. Tell someone they are special to you. Ask a friend to lunch, make a visit to someone in need.

4. Take time for your self-to affirm your importance. One hour each week, just for you. Accept nothing less.

You may find yourself rolling into the next year with fresh perspectives and a stronger view of yourself within. It benefits everyone when they have a stronger, more confident you. What do you have to lose??

Here’s to a kinder, smarter, more important 2012.