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Category Archives: Healthy Eating Tips


22 Healthy Snacks Teens Will Devour

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Don’t get in the way of a hungry teen looking for sustenance. Their growing bodies and brains need healthy snacks when they need them. So if you wait for them to start rummaging through the kitchen, you may have already lost the battle for healthy food.



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Teens will snack on what is in front of them, whatever it is. So keep a few options out or in the fridge and they’ll be sure to eat them up.

22 TEEN-APPROVED SNACK IDEAS

Healthy Snacks for Teens

  1. Organic stove-top popcorn with coconut oil and sea salt. Dee-lish.
  2. Sliced cucumbers and carrots marinated in lime juice and salt. Sooo good!
  3. Organic chips with fresh pico, salsa, guacamole and bean dip.
  4. Nachos with pinto beans and organic Mexican cheese
  5. Sunflower seeds. Pistachios are fun to eat. Toast your own pumpkin seeds.
  6. Turkey Muffins. Sounds weird, but they are yummy and easy to make.
  7. GEM Hummus Snack Pack, or make your own. Have you tried our “Ranch” dip?
  8. Sliced apples with organic almond or peanut butter.
  9. Always have Cutie oranges, grapes, or bananas for an easy grab.
  10. Make a smoothie! Blend 1 frozen banana with 1 cup almond milk, raw cacao and organic peanut butter for a yummy treat. Better yet, make a Sparkle Berry smoothie. They will love you!
  11. Speaking of The GEM, the Badass 3 Bean Salad is a big hit with the kids.
  12. Avocado toast with lemon, cayenne, and sea salt.
  13. Mini pizzas made with whole grain English muffins, fresh marinara, mozzarella.
  14. Lentil soup or turkey chili with all the fixings.
  15. Simple Mills crackers are yummy (and gluten free)!
  16. Kids love Sami’s Cinnamon Chips. These high-fiber, low-sugar snacks will disappear. Available at The GEM.
  17. Pre-make whole wheat or banza chickpea pasta and keep a clean and healthy Pomodoro sauce or pesto on hand for a quick pasta break.
  18. Keep grass-fed taco meat and whole wheat tortillas in the fridge for quick quesadillas. When buying tortillas or taco seasoning, look for brands that have simple ingredients. Mission or Taco Bell does not.
  19. Steam frozen organic edamame and add sea salt.
  20. Make-ahead yogurt parfaits in a small Mason jar! Mix Greek or Kite Hill yogurt with Marge (available at The GEM) or Kind granola and berries, and drizzle honey on top.
  21. Healthy protein bars. Look for ones like Clif, Perfect, and Vega with simple ingredients and no harmful chemicals.
  22. Special treat: Homemade cookies and brownies! Just use organic flours, whole butters, and real chocolates — or mixes that do the same like King Arthur or Immaculate Baking Company. A little goodness goes a long way. These treats should be treated as just that — treats.

Find one or two your teen likes and try out new ones every week. Keep a few on your shopping list, and they’ll never run out of options.


5 Ways to Tame a Teen Junk-Food Junkie

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Is your teenager slowly transforming into a junk food junkie? It’s a real threat to their health — and your sanity. At the very stage they need it most, they opt for junk instead of nutritious foods! The struggle is real.


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Nutrition affects the 4 As: athletics, academics, attitude, and appearance. Majorly important to teenagers — and they need to know it. Inflammatory junk foods such as fast food, sodas, potato chips, sweets, etc., cause seriously negative effects.

Junk Food Consequences

  • Acne.Teen Diet Nutrition Junk Food
  • Low energy, sluggishness.
  • Inability to focus/concentrate/ADHD (largely affected by artificial dyes and lack of good fats and proteins.)
  • Allergies! (Check out The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O’Brien. Infuriating!)
  • Mood swings, anxiety, anger, hormones. (Food can be a big factor in managing mood.)
  • Weight gain or risk of obesity.

A change is needed! It’s a lot to take in. But if we can help them adopt a few good habits, we keep them thriving, healthy and happy — straight into adulthood.

I don’t suggest coming in full swing with kale chips and sprouted quinoa burgers. Start slowly. Remember it’s never too late to end junk food habits; but it does start with you.

5 Tips for Feeding Teens

  1. MODEL GOOD NUTRITION. Practice what you preach. Show your teens how to make healthier choices — like by having grab-and-go options always available — so they learn the connection between good food and good health. It may be hard, but modeling behavior is part of our job as parents.
  2. MAKE IT RELEVANT. For this to sink in, the nutritional message has to mean something to them. Be specific. Tell them how food affects their growth, their looks, their feelings, their academic and sports performance, or whatever seems to be the most important to the teen during that particular week. Tell your child that eating lots more green leafy vegetables and less dairy or sugar will eliminate breakouts, or skipping the french fries and milkshake might make for a better basketball game.
  3. EAT MORE QUALITY PROTEIN — at every meal.The growing teenage brain and body need protein. Protein gives the body the building blocks it needs to repair and renew, and it also serves as a source of energy and keeps them from craving sweets. Try wild fish, organic chicken, grass-fed beef. Nut butters are also good sources of protein — just make sure they are all natural and not loaded with sugars.
  4. CLEAN OUT THE PANTRY. Start out small with foods containing with artificial colors (banned in Europe) and sweeteners immediately. Artificial sweeteners are known to cause 93 unsavory side effects including brain tumors. Food colorings are known to cause tumors, ADHD, allergies, and lots of other problems. Even replacing superbad junk with organic, non-GMO junk is a non-toxic step in the right direction. But be thorough. Even the most unsuspecting of foods, like bread or tortillas, can have more chemicals in them than you can count — much less pronounce — so read the labels.
  5. EAT BREAKFAST — the most important meal of the day. This is so true for kids when it comes to brain development, daily energy levels, and ability to focus. Think protein-rich eggs, low-sugar smoothies, oatmeal, breakfast tacos. Fruit Loops are not an option. Sugary cereals and drinks have no place at breakfast — they give brains nothing to function with — and the accompanying sugar spike and drop makes kids cranky. Special note: Breakfast may be your only chance of the day to influence their choices. It also can be a great way to spend a moment with your kids — that you otherwise might not have!

Ultimately, good nutrition comes down to a lifestyle, not a week or so of regimented consumption (returning straight to their favorite junk foods). Armed with an understanding of this, teens can start making informed choices that will support them for the rest of their lives. Thoughts? Questions? Leave a comment!


5 Ways to Stay Shiny This Flu Season

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Happy cold and flu season! It’s that time of year during which we’re surrounded by a turbulent sea of germ-y sickness, just waiting to swallow you up.


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Want to stay above the virus-infested waters? Get your life raft in order. That means boosting your immune system and flooding your body with health and wellness. Then, you’ll be better equipped to combat illnesses and quickly dispense with any bug that you do catch. And we’ve got some super powered tips to get you there.

5 Ways To Stay Strong, Shiny, Bright and Well

Cold and flu season tips at the GEM Juice Bar Dallas

1. EAT GOOD STUFF. But don’t just focus on one nutrient. Sure, vitamin C helps keep your immune system strong, so include foods like orange, blueberries, peppers, and broccoli. But those should be just one part of a whole-food, plant-based diet featuring lots of in-season vegetables. Our made-from-scratch MVP Soup, with four to five servings of 13 different veggies, packs rich nutrients into a warm cup of ridiculous yumminess. Keep extra servings on hand for on-the-go nourishment.

2. DRINK YOUR JUICE. If you struggle to get the recommended eight servings of veggies each day, try juicing! Consume juices that consist of three parts vegetables to one part fruit. Our Ruby Slipper, a blend of carrot, beet, lemon, ginger, and cucumber packs a stress-busting combination that fortifies your immune system. A Green Glow has been known to cure all that ails you! Add turmeric and E3 boosts for a little immune-supporting punch.

3. FEED YOUR GUT. Good bacteria — key to healthy gut flora — diminish inflammation, supporting our immune system and preventing illness. Antibiotics, stress, and poor diet compromise this balance. So, during this season, make sure you’re consuming probiotic-packed foods, like sauerkraut or organic miso. Daily shots of raw ACV also help. But it’s imperative to add a probiotic supplement like Bio Kult — a great one that doesn’t require refrigeration.

4. DO SOME SHOTS. That includes Fresh Turmeric and Ginger. Make sure you get your dose of these two —the most anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting spices you can consume. Try daily Immunity Shots at The GEM. Or you can buy the Immunity Mix (turmeric, ginger, lemon) in 8-ounce bottles and make your own super-powered ImmuniTEA with raw honey at home. It’s SO good, too. And don’t forget Elderberry Syrup. This is an age-old remedy that not only works to keep you healthy, but it also tastes good! Buy it by the bottle, or in our Allergy Mix, which includes tart cherry and Bragg’s ACV to quell inflammation.

5. TAKE YOUR SUPPLEMENTS. While we do believe your diet must be clean and pristine to stay strong, immune boosting supplements and tinctures can provide the final gloss on ensuring your health for the season. If you do find yourself feeling a little under the weather, immediately down our Cold’s Cocktail, a tonic that helps push that cold on through. Our latest miracle, Counter Attack clears congested sinuses and pushes your cold on through with a badass blend of Vitamin C, Zinc, elderberry, probiotics, echinacea, amino acids. You gotta get some of this stuff!

To Recap: Your Cold and Flu Season Arsenal

Cold and flu season prevention The GEM Juice Bar Dallas

1. Good, clean food. MVP Soup and Bone Broth

2. Juice. Green Juice. Any of it

3. Probiotics

4. Shots like our Immunity and Allergy (Turmeric, Elderberry in bulk)

5. Supplements like Cold’s Cocktail and Counter Attack boosters

Stay healthy, my friends! And see you inside The GEM.


Get Lit. Let’s Do Shots!

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Back in the day, if you wanted a partner to do bar shots with, I was your girl! I’m older now, more responsible, and (slightly) smarter. But who doesn’t like a good shot  — especially one that gets you going — and keeps you going? Superfood healthy shots have become the new party trick.


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All of the fun; none of the hangover. Belly up to the bar and serve yourself some seriously potent GEM shots of immune boosting, energy inducing, detox supporting ingredients from nature’s saloon. Turmeric, ginger, elderberry, E3 live are just a few concoctions to help you get lit with health.

Organic Juice Shots

Below is a bartender’s guide to all that’s shot worthy inside the GEM. Standard pours include:

GINGER

For healthy digestion and immunity. This nutritional gem warms the body and boasts antinausea, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant compounds. Ginger helps support healthy metabolism and digestion. You can even add a shot to your tea!

TURMERIC

For Inflammation. Nature’s Advil. This orange root is a powerhouse of protection—even against heart disease. It is the “ANTI” food: Anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, anti-Alzheimer’s, anti-aging. Add turmeric to everything!

IMMUNITY SHOT: Ginger + Lemon + Turmeric + Adaptogenic Mushrooms

To cleanse, detoxify, and lessen inflammation. Feeling icky? This is our best-selling shot thought to lessen the symptoms of a cold. In addition to turmeric and ginger, Lemon is alkalizing and has a kick of vitamin C. The boost of mushroom tincture adds cancer-fighting compounds that can help reduce inflammation, pain and support metabolism.   

BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND/ E3 / Blue Magic

For detox, brain health, metabolism, energy. Bright Like a Diamond shot contains spirulina, ginger, cayenne. Blue-green algae (sold as E3 Live or Spirulina) boasts vitamins A, C, E, B12, and B6, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Some of this goodness comes from cyacyanobacteria — and that blue color signifies loads of antioxidants.

ALLERGY SHOT: Elderberry + Tart Cherry + Ginger + ACV

For allergy relief, joint pain. This combo works! It’s loaded with potent anti-inflammatory compounds. Elderberry has been used for centuries to quell allergies and fight off colds and flu. You can take Elderberry straight — it tastes amazing, and your kids will love it. ACV promotes healthy gut bacteria, balances blood sugar, reduces acid reflux, and helps lower cholesterol.

PERFORM: Beet Juice + Lemon

For recovery, stamina, liver detox, and athletic performance. Rich in natural chemicals called nitrates, beets are a miraculous addition to your daily routine. Your body changes nitrates into nitric oxide, which helps with blood flow and blood pressure.

Scared to shoot it straight? Add these shots to your Green Glow or even your Cameo. This time it’s ok to be overserved. Get a good mix of

shots, and round out your cocktail hour with a bang. Couple the Immunity Shot with the Perform. Or add one to your juice. Float a ginger shot into your hot tea. Just do it. Your only hangover will be shining bright. Cheers to your health!

Order now! Delivery or pick up!


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

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

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

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

Fruit Loops, Lunchables, and Cheetos ARE NOT OPTIONS.

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

Give these organic and non-GMO snacks a try.

 

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

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

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

THRIVE MARKET – Get organic pantry products at great prices!

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

Other awesome snack ideas:

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

 

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

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Final Tips for Feeding (and Hydrating) a Teenage Athlete

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

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

Conventional Sports Drinks …

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

 

So, what are your hydration and electrolyte replacement options?

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

 

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

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

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

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

Sparkle on!


Healthy Tips for Feeding a Teenage Athlete – Part Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

blog1kids

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

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

*Available inside The GEM

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

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


Healthy Tips for Feeding a Teenage Athlete – Part One

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

***Post Note: Water

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

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


Conjuction Junction, How’s Your Liver Function?

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Read this before you do anything else for your overall well-being. The GEM Liver Health

Do you give much thought to your liver? You should, because it may be the reason you aren’t feeling your best. The liver is the body’s most important organ–with more than 500 known functions. It’s involved with digestion, blood sugar control, and protein and fat metabolism. It functions as a living filter to cleanse the system of toxins, metabolize proteins, control hormonal balance and produce immune boosting factors. These functions are essential to your overall health.

Do you love your liver, or abuse it? Abuse in the form of:

  • Poor food choices: think preservatives, junk, excess sugar, overeating, fried food.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Toxins are fat soluble so they remain in your fat cells. Chemotherapy too.
  • Environmental: We are exposed daily to high levels of toxins (chemicals, pesticides, water contaminants, heavy metals) through our food, water, air, body and home products.
  • Excess caffeine and alcohol. This one is self explanatory.

When your liver becomes overloaded, congestion occurs. If the liver can’t properly filter the blood, you end up with recycled toxins flowing through your body. This can damage your heart and immune and endocrine system, wreak havoc on your optimal health, even lead to rapid aging.

This sluggishness causes problems you might not think are related,  I couldn’t believe it! Do you have:

  • High sensitivity to chemical smells
  • Trouble digesting fatty foods
  • Increased intolerance to alcohol. This was a big sign for me that something was wrong.
  • Bloating around the upper abdomen
  • Chronic indigestion. Have you been downing those antacids???
  • Wake up at 2 – 3 a.m. for no reason
  • Moodiness/depression/anger. For real, it can be connected to your liver.
  • Fatigue
  • Blotchy skin
  • Gallbladder issues, or removal
  • Constipation, IBS
  • BRAIN FOG
  • Trouble losing weight—your liver plays a critical role in metabolism
  • More ominous symptoms include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, sleep apnea and fatty yellowish lumps around eyes. (CALL YOUR DOCTOR FOR THESE!)

If you have more than three of these symptoms, it is possible you have a sluggish liver — blocked or clogged up with unhealthy fat (in extreme cases it’s called fatty liver). These are signs you need to take action! Once I figured out I had a problem, (which came from a year-long stint with some chemo), I immediately set out to restore my liver health. My changes have really made a positive effect on my health. I sleep better, think better and am a more pleasant person to be around—just to name a few!

How can you remedy this and feel better?

You need to give some love to your liver. Here’s how.

REDUCE exposure to air and food borne toxins:

  • Creepy room fresheners and synthetic perfumes are SOOOOO BAD.
  • Think of it as embalming fluid for food.
  • No one needs electric blue GATORADE!
  • Go organic. Eat at The GEM!
  • Heavy metals in large fish – say goodbye tuna, swordfish
  • Unfiltered water. Get a filter!
  • Chlorinated and brominated products found in almost all commercially produced breads and bread products. I mean … WTF.
  • Switch to non-toxic and plant-based, cleaning and personal care products. This is a BIG deal. If you can’t eat it, don’t use it on your skin.

CHANGE your habits and, “Let food be thy medicine.”

  • Eliminate processed foods, poor quality fats, simple carbohydrates and sugar.
  • Limit or eliminate alcohol. Duh.
  • Drink 32 ounces of filtered water each morning.
  • Eat detoxifying, liver loving foods to help repair the damage to your liver. Dark leafy greens, pastured eggs, beets, garlic, onions, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
  • Check out our new FANTASTIC DANDELION SALAD chocked full of liver detoxifying love. I’ve been eating this everyday. DAILY, ORGANIC GREEN JUICE contains living enzymes, vitamin C and anti-cancer phyto-nutrients. carrot, celery, beet, dandelion, apples, any green leafy veggie!!

REPAIR & RESTORE

We DON’T SUBSCRIBE TO overloading the body with supplements—they can actually be harmful to the liver! Stay away from those cryptic boxes of powders and pills heralding a “liver cleanse.”  That kind of cleanse is best left to a functional medicine practitioner.

BUT, there are a few supportive herbs and nutrients you can use DAILY to rebuild health.

  • Boosts of chorella and spirulina remove heavy metals and toxins. (Grab a BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND AND NEW PERFORMANCE SHOT!)
  • Essential fatty acids–plentiful amounts are required for healthy liver function. High quality fish oil. Wild fish. Avocado, raw nuts and seeds. Strict low-fat diets are not beneficial for general health, weight control or liver function.
  • MILK THISTLE and DANDELION tonics for liver cleansing, TURMERIC for inflammation can make a difference. Anima Mundi Bitters is a kick ass addition to your daily supplement routine. I saw immediate improvement in my sleep pattern. It helps remove stagnation, increase absorption. It stimulates bile production, enhances digestion and revitalizes liver function by eliminating accumulated toxins. GRAB SOME NOW.

It’s time to clean up the liver. These changes will improve digestion, sleep, better skin, weight loss and promote optimal function of your entire body!

Invest wisely into your health to feel your best and proactively prevent future chronic illness. After adding the extra beets, dandelions, Anima Mundi, milk thistle I’ve been sleeping like a baby….and slowly clearing the brain fog–one thought at a time!


Breakfast Ideas for Healthy Teens [Part Four in Four-Part Series]

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You asked for it and here it is: breakfast ideas for healthy teens.

Remember what I said in the second blog? “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Healthy Teens

Without question this is true. For brain development, daily energy levels, ability to focus. Sugary meals give their brains nothing to function with, and the sugar spike and drop makes them sluggish and cranky. Not a good way to start the day.

If you are prepared, breakfast only takes 15 minutes in the morning. It can be a great way to spend a moment with your child and treat your family like the royalty you are.

  1. Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats. Just add hot water and wait two minutes. Add maple syrup and cinnamon, even berries for a sweet treat. You can also cook steel-cut oatmeal in your crock pot the night before so it will be ready in the am.
  2. Vital Farms or Cunningham pastured eggs. It is very important to get GOOD quality protein in them, keeping blood sugar levels even. Eggs are SOOO fast and easy to make. Try one over medium cooked in coconut oil. Serve them boiled with salt and pepper. Scramble them with spinach if your kids are open to the next level. And why pastured?
    • 2/3 more Vitamin A
    • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
    • 3 times more Vitamin E
    • 7 times more beta carotene (according to my friends at Vital Farms)
  3. Applegate Farms Chicken Maple Sausage, scrambled egg and whole wheat English muffin–or try a Van’s GF waffle with it, like a wrap! No nitrates ever.
  4. Fresh smoothies made with frozen berries, bananas, almond milk, pomegranate juice, raw protein like Amazing Meals. Stock up on your ingredients. Keep cacao on hand too. Try the Blueberry Brain Boost Smoothie. Sneak in hemp seeds for extra protein.
  5. Make a SMOOTHIE BOWL! This is basically a smoothie with lots of other good stuff in it that you eat with a spoon not a straw. Check out this video and recipe from my friend Pamela Salzman.
  6. Vigilant Eats Oat Cereal if you are in a super rush. Just add cold or hot water and go. Spoon is already in the cup! Eleven grams of protein to start your day. Come get yours at The GEM!
  7. Healthy granola, like Hail Merry’s Cherry Almond Hemp with Malk’s vanilla almond milk. Add it on top of an extra thick smoothie for a Parfait!!
  8. Ezekiel Bread toasted with avocado, sea salt, lime and cayenne pepper.
  9. Organic peanut or almond butter and raw honey on a whole grain Van’s waffle.  Heavy on the organic nut butter.
  10. Breakfast burrito–whole wheat tortillas–the fresh ones from Central Market or Whole Foods, NOT the Mission ones with a gazillion creepy ingredients–mixed with scrambled eggs and pico de gallo. You can drain a can of black beans the night before and add those in the mix too.
  11. For the weekend: KING ARTHUR gluten free pancake mix with blueberries. This gluten-free brand is amazing!!!! The pancakes are really fantastic when cooked with coconut oil. They need almost no syrup! They make GREAT waffles too. Combine with #2 or #3 to balance with protein.
  12. Clean junk for the weekend: Cinnamon Rolls by Immaculate Baking Company: just like the Dough Boy, but without the chemicals!! They also have crescent rolls—make them with Applegate Farms chicken maple sausage links for a clean “pig in a blanket.” Winner!

And remember this important detail for breakfast: if it comes from a box, read the label. If it has a mascot, it is NOT an acceptable breakfast. Read your labels! If you don’t know what the ingredients are or how to spell them, toss it.

And as for YOU, dear parent, plan your mornings accordingly: get up early, revel in your morning routine and simply enjoy a few moments with your kids.