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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


An anti-cancer life: Sugar

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments

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

Photo credit: Robin Finney

Photo credit: Robin Finney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


An anti-cancer life: artificial coloring and artificial sweeteners

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 6 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

Here are two of those things:

Artificial Colorings

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

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

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

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

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

Artificial Sugars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Anti-Cancer Life: Healing Powers of Water – Water Therapy

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 7 Comments

Last week’s post about leading an anti-cancer life received an amazing outpouring of interest, excitement and gratitude. You truly want to know how to make changes to ensure your optimal health! Optimal health is what we all want to achieve, right?water therapy

The guide is concise and easy to understand, but many of our GEMs questioned deeper into each of the 12 points on the list. The next few posts will dive deep into each one, in no particular order, giving a broader understanding and direction to follow.

One of the easiest actions to incorporate is number 5: It’s called water therapy and it’s a GAME CHANGER. We GEMs do it every day. It is quite a simple concept: Drink 32 ounces of filtered, FLUORIDE FREE water on an empty stomach immediately upon waking. The results are remarkable–amazing therapeutic effects for a multitude of health conditions—ranging from pain to asthma to cancer.

This unpretentious morning regimen originates from ancient Ayurvedic medicine. Drinking water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach purifies the body’s internal system. A particularly important result of this treatment is that it cleanses the colon, making it easier for the body to absorb nutrients from food. This is achieved through the production of new blood. This fresh blood has an immense restorative effect in the body and can even cure existing ailments. There are secondary symptoms of dehydration which include: constipation, skin eruptions, colitis, kidney stones, “hunger” pains, headaches and lots more. Daily water therapy alleviates these issues.

What is the thinking behind this?

Your body has been in a state of fasting overnight. It’s been resting and repairing itself. An empty stomach allows for more energy to be allocated to the healing and reparation process that your body is going through while sleeping. You don’t want to compromise these effects with heavy meals before bed or by a big breakfast right when you wake up. In addition, you are dehydrated from the overnight ‘fast’. Follow your water with daily green juice or a smoothie 30-45 minutes later. You’re gonna love this!

What does this do for you on a daily basis?

Morning Water Therapy Regimen will:

  • Purify the colon and allow for better absorption of nutrients in your system. Clean it up, baby!
  • Aid with weight loss, drinking 32 oz. of water in the morning can boost metabolism by up to 24%.
  • Hydrate your cells at a superior rate. The hydration rush to the cells helps increase production of blood and muscle cells.
  • Purge your system of toxins and make your skin glow!
  • Flush and balance your lymphatic system leading to increased immunity.
  • Energize you for your day!

What kind of filtered water do we recommend?

Reverse osmosis is good, and solid carbon block filters are the best option for home use. Use glass or stainless bottles when available.

Creating a new morning ritual of drinking water is one that is healthy and super beneficial to your overall long-term health care. It is an easy way to detoxify your system without having to make major changes to your lifestyle. Try it. I think you will be amazed!


Let Go of Your Fear of the Calorie

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments

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

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

Well, count no more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Your fatigue’s dirty little secret

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments

Are you in a constant state of fatigue?cure fatique

Do you …

Feel rundown or overwhelmed?

Have difficulty falling asleep?

Wake up in the middle of the night?

Wake up exhausted, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour?

Feel exhausted late in the afternoon, but more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day?

Crave salty and sweet snacks?

Have brain fog? Chronic racing thoughts?

No, you probably aren’t falling apart. You just might be experiencing adrenal fatigue. What is that, you might ask?

Adrenal glands are endocrine glands that sit at the top of the kidneys. These guys mobilize your body’s response to every kind of stress. They regulate blood sugar, regulate energy production and storage, immune function, heart rate, muscle tone and other processes that enable you to cope with the stress.

Important roles, no doubt.

So it’s important to keep these guys working properly and don’t over work them. Adrenal fatigue occurs when the demands of stress cannot be adequately met.

Whether emotional, environmental or physical, prolonged stress is disastrous for the adrenals. Prolonged stress wreaks havoc on your blood sugar, causes thinning skin, muscle wasting, memory loss, high blood pressure, dizziness and night sweats. Eventually, the adrenals become fatigued.

You want to recognize fatigue so you can begin to manage it before it gets out of hand. Overworked adrenals eventually crash, leading to adrenal exhaustion, where the body is unable to maintain adequate adrenal hormone production. And then you can say hello to extreme fatigue (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), irritability, inability to concentrate, frustration, insomnia, addictions to sweet or salty foods, allergies, depression, anxiety, sensitivity to cold, diabetes and headaches…Cliff Notes version: it is not fun!

While we can’t always eliminate stress, we can nourish our bodies and souls in a way that strengthens the response and keep the negative effects on your body at bay.

10 tips to nourish your adrenals: 

1. Breathe! Commit to regular deep breathing exercises. Aim for 10 to 20 deep belly breaths every morning and every night. Six counts in, six counts out. Not only is it calming to the mind and body, it is cleansing and energizing.

2. Eat clean, whole foods. Let food be thy medicine, right? Rid your diet of the nasty five: caffeine (see ya later, coffee), alcohol, table salt, soda and sugar. And say hello to good sources of protein, complex starch, nuts and seeds, super berries and lots and lots of dark greens (they contain great amounts of B vitamins). Nourish yourself through food.

3. Daily organic juice. Flooding your body with super powered greens nourish every inch of your body. Instant energy, without a crash, daily juice helps maintain blood sugar levels and boosts immunity. The new Disco (Super GREEN) juice is the most detoxifying juice yet, power packed with chlorophyll and phytonutrients certain to boost you back to vibrance. For REAL!

4. Sleep. Try to get eight hours for rest and repair. Lack of sleep not only affects adrenals but also hormonal balance. Cortisol levels contribute that puffy ring of belly fat around your middle. Go to bed earlier, and stay screen free for at least 30 minutes prior to bed. Late night viewing of electronic screens are proven to negatively affect sleep patterns.

5. Daily quiet time. This is a good time use a Gratitude Journal identifying five things to be grateful for. Try it—you’ll be amazed how it soothes the mind. Bring awareness to your daily life with meditation. Studies show meditation can drastically reduce stress. Just do it!

6. Try a weekly detox soak. Take a relaxing bath at least weekly to promote detoxification of impurities that tax your system. A detox bath of one cup Epsom salts, one cup baking soda and eight drops of lavender oil just might change your life!

7. Take a daily probiotic. When your gut is healed, health will naturally improve. Bio-Kult is the VERY best probiotic out there. This is something I recommend always!

8. Recover with Bloom! This incredible elixir, called Recovery, is a combination of several organic herbs in a liquid format that helps support adrenals and help the body “recover” from stress—be it physical or mental. I take two droppersful in the morning and at night. I sleep better, and that afternoon fatigue starts to disappear. It’s AMAZING! Get your magic elixir inside The GEM today.

9. Learn to love restorative exercise like yoga. Simple daily yoga stretches, even for just 15 minutes makes an enormous difference.

10. Learn how to say NO … Boundaries. Build your own. This is a major cause of stress. Don’t over commit yourself. There’s only so much of you to go around!!

Learn more ways to nourish your body and soul with a Diamonds on Your Inside counseling session. That’s why we’re here.


What Pink Ribbons Don’t Say About Breast Cancer Prevention

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 5 Comments

In my former, pre-GEM~my world, pre-breast cancer, I spent 17 years in marketing and product development for a luxury linen company. It was a great paying job with lots of responsibility and lots of high-level stress. I was burning the candle at both ends, and was generally a hardcore, bitter, very impatient person. And, I knew it all.

On October 19, 2009, 18 days into “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” that world came to a halt. I was broad sided with a diagnosis of breast cancer that spread to my lymph nodes. Leslie kicked kancer's ass

Crap. I hated pink ribbons. Even more, I hated setbacks.

Later, I realized this setback would be my life changing experience. I was about to learn about peace and happy and a truly healthy lifestyle the hard way.

During my year-long treatment of chemo, surgeries, radiation, sheer exhaustion, I started to dig deep into illness and disease and what I could do to help in the healing process AND make certain it never came back. I learned about alkalinity and inflammation. I discovered very quickly that my previous lifestyle did nothing for my optimal health, so I set out to quell all inflammation in my system.

How?

  • I immediately went out and bought a juicer and Vitamix
  • Went totally on a hard-core, plant-based diet
  • Did a TON of reading and research

I became obsessed with everything related to food and healthy living and quickly discovered first hand the power of juice, clean food and positivity. I learned that inflammation is the root of all disease, so I set out to change my life. I also learned it wasn’t just about food!

What did that mean? In addition to food, your thoughts and your stress are major causes of inflammation.

I needed more. I earned a degree from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, an incredible nutrition school that takes a holistic approach to wellness and focuses on relationships, work, exercise and spirituality as essentials to building good health. I studied lots of brilliant minds on the subject.

The goal: to clean up every dark corner of my world. I dumped the toxic people (oh, yeah baby!), the toxic thoughts, the toxic attitude. I refused to let that stuff into my world. Added yoga, deep breathing, cleaned out my personal care and cleaning products. I changed my environment so to speak. That was a great place to start.

So what about the (toxic) food? So I began embracing a whole-foods, plant-based diet. I cooked, I juiced, I bought organic.

What I quickly realized was there was no place nearby where I felt secure about the quality and selection of the food and juice. Organic was rarely mentioned and almost never honestly served. I couldn’t eat every meal at home, right? So, what happened next? Mary Kathryn and I decided to do it ourselves! Wonder-twin powers activate!

From there, The GEM was born. We created The GEM to be a community where people come to get healthy and happy. And WOW! We were floored by the response. Our baby quickly became a place to find approachable, healthy habits that have a profound effect on your long-term health. Anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-energy vampires. Let food (and disco) be thy medicine, right?

We invite everyone to experience this place of healing and happiness called The GEM.  And hopefully you leave with a little something better than when you enter. Come on in! Don’t wait for a sucker punch from Life to change your thoughts and your habits!

The GEM is living proof that by removing toxins from your life, you will be healthier, stronger and happier. So while the pink ribbons aren’t visible, the disco ball is a constant reminder of the happy, healthy life we all can attain.

YOU ARE YOUR BEST ADVOCATE–whether it is cancer screening or anything else. Take control of your health and happiness each and every moment.  And, don’t be a boob. Perform monthly breast exams. Peace.


Yoga for Stress Relief

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments

Have to preach this … yoga is a critical component for stress relief. yoga and juice equal peace

Don’t turn off the screen just yet. Yoga doesn’t have to be:

  • Difficult to practice. Simple postures can be done anywhere, anywhere.
  • Intimidating. If you don’t already practice yoga, don’t be scared. You gotta start somewhere. Most folks can’t twist into a pretzel and stand on one finger.
  • Practiced on a mountaintop in white robes. It’s not weird. I ran from the idea of yoga just a few years back, and now can’t live without it! Plus, it is one of the oldest defined practice of self development.

 

Yoga may be more familiar than you think. Many popular techniques found to reduce stress derive from yoga:

  • Controlled breathing. This stuff works.
  • Meditation. Be grateful for your life and the big and small things in it.
  • Physical movement (exercise)
  • Mental imagery. See it, think it, be it.
  • Stretching. It’s crazy what a difference a few stretching poses can make.

 

Yoga can provide the combined benefits of these activities in one technique. It brings together the mind, body and spirit. Whether you use yoga for spiritual transformation or for stress management and physical well-being, the benefits are numerous and undeniable. Those with physical limitations can and actually SHOULD practice yoga, just make sure you have a good instructor.

There are several different styles of yoga, some moving through the poses more quickly and other styles relaxing deeply into each pose. Some have a more spiritual angle, while others are used purely as a form of exercise. Certain poses can be done just about anywhere and a yoga program can go for hours or minutes, depending on your schedule.

This is what yoga can do for you:

  • Reduce stress, anxiety and muscle tension
  • Increase strength and flexibility
  • Reduce cortisol levels–which make you hold on to fat, among a million other things.
  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Spiritual growth. It can happen, regardless of your religion.
  • Sense of well being. Well, sign me up!

 

Yoga’s benefits are HUGE—it gives a crazy high payoff for the small amount of effort you have to exert.

There are so many studios that offer beginning yoga, often with incredible guidance from the instructor. You really want to have that extra attention at the beginning to learn proper form and be more engaged. Places like Sunstone offer classes that are heated, slower, and more methodical. Start with Spark and work up to Fire Class. Water class (a true spiritual experience, in my opinion) is my personal favorite. Exhale & We Yogis have lots of different varieties of classes.  We Yogis even has classes for kids and teens. Dallas Yoga Center has classes for beginners and even some that focus on meditation. Try a few online videos and images (simple beginner poses), though the energy of a live class is so much more therapeutic.

Select a place that you feel comfortable with and try it out. Give it several tries with different types of yoga until you find what is right for you. Private yoga sessions including guided meditation are an incredibly rewarding option!

Bottom line: Make the connection between knowing your stress levels and changing your behaviors. Managing stress in a positive way will make a life-changing impact your body and your life.

Do you have a favorite yoga studio? Share it with us!!

Peace. Happy. Yoga.


5 Ways to Manage Back-to-School Stress

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments

School is almost back in session which meansThe GEM Juice Bar major organization needed, major scheduling, major traffic, AND obviously, major stress. Stress is an unpleasant fact of life. We all experience it, and for some of us, we allow it to take over our minds and eventually our bodies.

The key is to find ways to manage it—squash it—and don’t let it rule us. Stress does terrible things to your mood, your energy and your overall physiology. Common symptoms of stress we know all too well: insomnia, headaches, jaw pain, back and neck pain, heartburn and nausea, nervousness and anxiety, nail-biting, and trouble focusing. Even high blood pressure, stroke and obesity! But stress does some other crazy sh*t …

  • Stress changes the expression of your genes. Your genes load the gun, the environment pulls the trigger. Your stressed our body produces chemicals, activating genes that change everything — how much fat you store, your immune function, ageing and even the development of CANCER.
  • Stress affects memory function. High levels of stress hormones damage critical parts of the brain, especially the area responsible for memory. People experience adrenal burnout after chronic stress because the brain actually turns off the adrenals. So relax, silly.
  • Stress jacks with your immune system and increases inflammation. Stress is the ultimate immune-modulator. It slows wound healing and increases your susceptibility to infections.
  • Stress slows your ability to metabolize and detoxify. Genes responsible for enzymes that break down fats and detoxify prescription drugs are negatively impacted by stress. Stress also adds to your toxin burden by increasing your cravings for high fat, high sugar foods. We all know that one, right?  The stress hormones actually make you hang on to your fat cells.

 

The American Institute of Stress (AIS) has a list of 50 common signs and symptoms of stress.  Check it out! So in addition to making us cranky and fat, it can also make us chronically ill? Tell me how to fix this!

What we think and feel, and how long we think or feel it, determines our health. The science is strong, and yet so often since stress is considered something we can’t really quantify, it gets dismissed as not being “real.”

Here are a few ways to quell stress in your life:

  1. Meditate. Come on … Don’t quit reading. Meditation can mean different things to different people. Mindfulness, intention setting, gratitude lists all are part of a mediation practice. Simple deep breathing exercises and morning quiet time (even 15 minutes a day will make an enormous difference). Gabby Bernstein rocks. Wayne Dyer too. This does not take the place of your daily prayer. Try deep breathing exercises in the carpool line or at a traffic light. I swear it will change your life.
  2. Laugh. Call a friend, watch a movie, fake it if you have to!
  3. Magnesium. Deficiencies in this mineral have been linked to anxiety as well as a litany of sleep disorders. Go get you some CALM tea today. P.S. It will also keep you regular. There is also a Calm Bath Soak that is amazing as a bedtime ritual along with some lavender oil that will knock your socks off.
  4. Exercise. Do something everyday—preferably something that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. Walk with a friend, jump on the trampoline with your kids, or turn up Donna Summer and disco dance off of the chandeliers for all I care. Just do it!
  5. Plan your food. At the very least, have healthy food options in your fridge. You can’t manage stress on Cheetos and drive-thrus. Plus eating like that can add MORE depression and anxiety to your life. (Insider scoop, we will be blogging about this in September: simple, healthy fridge options). Start your day with a Green Glow or a superfood-packed Crown Jewel smoothie.  What stressor can possibly bring you down now??

 

We can help you with all this at The GEM, whether with your nutritional needs, a much-needed laugh or schedule a Diamonds Counseling Stress Session – Just ask!

Next up:  Stress and Yoga!!


Superfoods = Super Meals Part 2

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GEM-4_Heart-GEM_mech_8in_lowres-01One of our last posts addressed specific foods classified as SUPERFOODS, which are in a group of foods and supplements that pack an exceptionally healthy and healing punch to your nutrition.

Superfoods help us feel more energetic, provide protection against disease and promote a longer, happier and healthier life and slow the ageing process.

These antioxidant rich products are overachievers in a class that helps eliminate chemically active oxygen molecules thought to contribute to aging, immunity and chronic ailments such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

There are many nutrient dense foods and supplements that are SUPER. The supplements seem to be a little more obscure, but at The GEM, we use them everyday. We’ve listed both a daily application you can do at home as well as our favorite GEM application.

1. MACA:  This superfood made from a South American root, dates back at least 3,000 years ago.  Maca nourishes and enhances endocrine system, which controls such functions as:

  • Sexy: fertility and sexual function, libido
  • Get Moving: digestion and absorption
  • Happy: brain and nervous system physiology including mood moderation
  • Sparkle: helps increase energy AND calms the stress response (supports the adrenal glands)

Maca is considered to be adaptogenic, meaning it will work on the body according to needs, age and gender of the person taking it – allowing both males and females of all ages to benefit from taking it regularly. Magic Maca is more like it.

Daily Application: Add this caramel-ish powdered gem to your daily smoothies!

GEM Life: Crown Jewel, Tahitian Pearl smoothies

2. SPIRULINA:   One of the oldest life forms on Earth, this blue-green algae has reached powerhouse status. Consumers of spirulina usually notice an increase in energy and overall health. It balances pH to reduce inflammation, the root of much disease.

  • Healthy: increases antioxidant protection
  • Young: fights the aging process
  • Smart: protects the brain and detoxifies the liver and kidneys
  • Skinny: curbs appetite and promotes weight loss

Daily Application: Add it to your regimen slowly or you may experience the ill effects of detoxing. Add a ½ teaspoon to a smoothie!

GEM Life: Daily Bright Like a Diamond Shots pack a seriously energizing punch.

3. CINNAMON:   Scientists are finding that cinnamon has a unique ability to keep blood sugar steady and alleviate symptoms of diabetes and pre-diabetes. Cinnamon’s bright color indicates significant antioxidant levels. Even smelling cinnamon has been show to boost brain function!!

Daily Application: Sprinkle it on your oatmeal or on your sweet potato for a deceivingly sweet treat.

GEM Life: We use a good quantity of this unique spice in our Matcha Latte, Crown Jewel and Chocolate Diamond!

4. CHIA:   Ch-ch-ch-chia! Yep, this little seed is the same as those weird little ceramic animal planters as seen on TV! Chia seeds are loaded with the most essential fatty acids of any known plant. Plus, one serving of the stuff is loaded with magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium.

Chia seeds are a really good, plant-based source of Omega 3, as well as protein and fiber. You can buy them in either their true seed form or in a chia oil version; the seeds can be added to salads, smoothies, or anything else that sparkles your fancy.

Daily Application: Chia pudding, drop some in your kombucha, add to your oatmeal.

GEM Life:  Add to any smoothie for a creamier drink—it adds no flavor at all. Your kids and you will never know it’s there!!

5. GINGER:   Slightly spicy but oh-so-enjoyable, ginger has been used for years as a delicious flavoring and an all-natural remedy for everything from an upset stomach and nausea to unwanted inflammation. It is a great immune system booster.

Daily Application: Use fresh ginger for amazing Thai-inspired dishes.

GEM Life: Ginger is everywhere at The GEM. Boost your Forever Young Iced Green Tea, drink a Green Glow or grab a ginger shot and go.

6. CACAO:   Cacao powder contains flavonoids, which are known to help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain and heart. A wonderful mood booster too. Cacao provides a strong chocolate flavor without the guilt.

Daily Application: Dark chocolate squares can satisfy a sweet tooth and do wonders for your mood and your body.

GEM Life: Chocolate Diamond, Crown Jewel, Tahitian Pearl. Enough said.

7. TURMERIC:   In Ayurveda, turmeric is known as a powerful antioxidant that fights cancer-causing free radicals; it’s also an antiseptic and has natural anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Prevents prostate, breast and colon cancers
  • Wards off Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • Nature’s Advil—allays joint pain and inflammation

Daily Application: Add the fresh root to your cooking (Indian inspired)

GEM Life: Grab a fresh pressed turmeric shot (we also will press in bulk for you!), throw a boost into your green juice or tea. Give yourself a big treat and get an ImmuniTEA made with lemon, ginger, turmeric and local honey. Dang, that’s good!

8. Organic BLUEBERRIES:   In fact, they’re nutritional superstars, filled with fiber, vitamin C, immune boosters and cancer-fighting compounds. And, studies suggest blueberries may even improve memory. That’s something to remember. And DON’T FORGET to make them organic!

Daily Application: Keep blueberries on hand for a quick snack.

GEM Life: A Crown Jewel smoothie a day keeps all bad things at bay!

9. HEMP SEEDS:   These super seeds contain GLA—a super special type of highly anti-inflammatory omega-6 “super fat” that not only reduces inflammation but also supports a healthy metabolism, nourishes your hair, skin and nails and even helps regulate hormones. In addition, it is a great source of protein: 3 tablespoons = 11 grams of protein.

Daily Application: Sprinkle on your salads, toss in your smoothie, or even as a quick and simple snack.

GEM Life: Add hemp seeds into your smoothie for an extra secret weapon. We make our own hemp milk too!

10. Organic APPLE:   An Apple a Day … This overlooked superfood protects the body from nuclear fallout, kills a wide range of cancers, and keeps the arteries unclogged. The high levels of pectin help prevent disease, including enhancing cardiovascular health — to name but a few, experimentally confirmed ways in which the apple is one quiet, bad ass fruit.

Daily Application: The obvious sliced ORGANIC apple

GEM Life: Add some liquid sunshine to your day with a Green Glow JUICE, which contains the juice an entire apple.

Dive into health. You’re worth it!


The Perfect 7 Mother’s Day GEM-Inspired Gifts!

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Give MOM peace, happy AND juice this Mother’s Day with GEM-inspired gifts!

Forgo flowers and bring her some GEM goodness with GEM-inspired gifts that keep on giving! Whether Mom’s a regular or you want to introduce her to GEM life, we have something fab her.

For the Glamour Mom:

Seabuckthorn bottle, Glamour Shot (Sea Buckthorn & Pomegranate Juice) and Moringa Superherb Tea, which among many other things, beautifies the skin and promotes wellness. ($49)


Glamour Gift

For the Tea Loving Mom:

Bring her a Growler of Canary Diamond Tea (Green tea, basil, pineapple, lemon) for brunch ($22) & Matcha Tea Canister and Japanese whisk to learn the art of rich, green tea. ($36)

Matcha Tea Set

For the Peace and Calm Craving Mom:

CALM Sports Bath, CALM Magnesium Tea and a canister of Jiaogulan Superherb Tea, with incredible anti-anxiety and calming properties. ($49)

ZEN & Calm Basket

For the On-the-Go Mom:

Healthy Snack Kit: Sunbiotic Almonds, Tosi Bars, Marge Granola Snack Bags and Acai Green Super Tea Booster to add to her water or iced green tea. ($34)

GEM On-the-go snacks

For the Suave Mom:

Gift Card for a smooth, carefree week of GEM Smoothies (a week’s worth of smoothies). ($50)

Do it at home with a GEM Smoothie Kit, which includes a jar of Coconut Manna, a bag of raw Cacao and Maca, Raw Happy Hemp Seeds, Amazing Meal protein packet, Chia seeds and a special GEM Smoothie recipe. We can help put it together!

For the Hip Mom:

Buy Mom shots at the bar!! Custom Shot 5 Pack. One for each busy day of the week: Glamour Shot, Bright Like a Diamond, Tumeric, Ginger and E3 Live. ($18)

Bar Shot GEM Bag

For the Health Mom:

A 5, 4 or 3 Day Cleanse package or 4-Session Health Counseling Gift Card

A sampling of the individual counseling session topics include: De-Stress, Hidden Toxins, Energize Me, Meal Planning and many more. Complete list and description can be found Individual Health Counseling Session Topics. Health Counseling Gift Card recipients will select the best sessions for their needs.

For the Independent Minded Mom:

Let her choose with The Gift Card in any amount! Leave mom with a Radiant GLOW and a smile.GEM Gift Card

Call or stop by and pick the perfect gift now!