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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: Health


Cynics Apply Here.

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 8 Comments

Don’t you love it when a simple little thing that happens can be described as “Awesome?”  Even the most sour cynic can attest to a few things that make them honor the little joys in life.  Those that can’t…we no longer have room for you in our world.

Go out and buy “The Book of Awesome.”  Yes.  It really is  awesome.  I implore all of you to get it.  OR even better, compile your own book of awesome.  It reminds us to find a little happy in everything.  Awesome things like:

Having a whole row on the plane.  You can get up a pee anytime you want.  You can rest your arms.  You may even be able to pull off a row nap.  You can imagine you are insanely rich and paid for the extra seats just because.  AWESOME.

Laughing so hard you make no sound at all.  I LOVE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS.

Building and amazing couch-cushion fort.  Squeezing through a door as it’s shutting without touching it.  AWESOME!

When you spill something on your shirt and it doesn’t leave a stain. Finding money in your old coat pocket–or even better, that tube of lipstick you haven’t seen in a year.  The first scoop out of a jar of peanut butter. Licking the cake batter off the beaters of a mixer.  Hitting a bunch of green lights in a row.  AWESOME.

Finding a mix tape given to you by an old boyfriend or girlfriend.  When a cashier opens up a new checkout lane at the grocery store and you become first in line.  Free samples of your favorite food at the store. Seeing someone laugh in their sleep.  AWESOME!

That first early fall morning you walk out the door and need a sweater. Making the perfect margarita the first time around. AWESOME!

Remembering how lucky we are to be here right now. And how focusing on little happy things can make us happier and more enjoyable to be around. UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME.  Come on. Lemme know what your AWESOME was the morning~


DANGER, Will Robinson! Someone is poisoning you!

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments

If I tackled you just before you unknowingly drank poison, wouldn’t you hail me as your hero?  Well, consider this your face plant. You probably have been consuming this toxin on a daily basis. Worse, you may even be serving this modern day hemlock to your sweet innocent children.  Does Crystal Light ring a bell?  Sugar free popsicles? Diet Pepsi addiction got you stuck in the drive thru?

Sir! Put. Your Weapon. Down.

Nutra Sweet.  Equal. Aspartame.  Sweet Poison. This chemical, yes chemical, is toxic.  Not a little toxic.  A lot toxic.  There are account after account of reports to the FDA heralding the dangers and side effects of aspartame.  But to no avail.  This chemical breaks down in the body as methanol and formaldehyde. Those guys don’t sound very friendly.  A few of the 92 different reported symptoms listed include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, nausea, extreme depression, irritability, insomnia, anxiety attacks, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.  Chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame: Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes. Gulf War Syndrome.

What is scary is that unlike many things we put into our body, aspartame’s by products go straight to the brain. It actually crosses the “brain / blood barrier” as it is called.  Several of the experts who now speak out against aspartame took part in the research and development of this chemical. One of the world’s foremost authorities informed the development company, Searle,  in 1971 that aspartic acid (a by-product) caused holes in the brains of mice.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

So? You say.  I am not scared of that.  Ok, how about this? Artificial sweeteners can make your body fat.  Yes, fat.  By tricking the body into thinking sugar is coming, insulin is produced awaiting its arrival.  This unnecessary spike in blood sugar is no bueno for your system.  That excess sugar is then stored as fat.  But who cares that you are fat if you’ve got cancer.

Your body begs for diamonds on its insides.  Not corrosive poison.

Start today.  Be a Hero! Throw that sh*t out.  Real sugar is best.  Begin with detoxifying your body of all residual chemical toxins from aspartame’s chemical make up and their toxic by-products, and see if any adverse health symptoms remain.  At the very least, your brain will be clearer and your body more brilliant.

You can thank me later.

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graphite or diamond??

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments

Diamonds and graphite.  Chemically, they are made from the same element: carbon.  The difference is their ‘structure.’  Diamonds are hard, very hard.  Very difficult to break, crush or compromise.  Graphite is soft.  Think lead of a pencil. You use it to write another person’s thoughts down on paper. Diamonds are transparent.  Graphite is opaque. You know a diamond when you see one. They sparkle.  Diamonds have the highest melting point of anything.  It doesn’t take much to melt graphite.

Oh, and no one is ever proud of their graphite jewelry.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

The fork in the road for these carbon-based solids comes with pressure.  Extreme pressure.  The diamond is formed from this heat and pressure.  Graphite just stays stable, and does not transform.

What are you?

I have come to believe the challenges we face in life are the very things we are supposed to learn from and gain strength and knowledge from. That gives us the strength to help others conquer these same challenges.  Impervious to the pressure, diamonds continue to shine–sparkling from the inside out.  Be transparent–its healthier for everyone.  People like to know what you are made of.

Accept difficulties in your  life as a conductor that makes you HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER (Thank you, Kanye) People know diamonds when they see one.  What do people see when they look at you?  Do you feel sparkly?

Meditate.  

Be Grateful.

Exude happiness. Fake it til you make it if you have to.

Listen, I’ve had my own graphite days. It took a serious seismic shift to turn me around.  I conquered those challenges and found more positive in me.  And.  I have flaws.  Because, quite frankly, no one likes a perfect 10.



Second Hand Smoke For the Mind

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments

This is the post on sweaty back hair you have been waiting for. This is a problem for so many–both the perpetrators and innocent bystanders. Why, why, why do men feel it necessary to exercise without a shirt? Fat men, skinny men, tall ones, short ones, hairy ones, slick ones, cute ones, scary ones. Trust me on this one fellas, it’s all the same. Plus, women RARELY show up to an exercise class with just a jog bra anymore. Almost never. 1995 is over. Jog Bras as fashion are years out of style. And shirtless attire has NEVER been in season.

Since my site is about being healthy and happy, you might think, “What does this have to do with diamonds on your inside?” I never said we shouldn’t work towards sparkle on your outsides too. I think it is rudely unhealthy for others to invoke this sight upon others. Think second-hand smoke for the mind.

It pains me, yes pains me, to stand next to a shirtless man during my hot yoga. Invariably, they are not in peak condition. We are all in this hot room, sweating our cojones off. You know those shirts that every athletic company uses that are made from SWEAT WICKING MATERIAL? They use it for a reason. And believe me, it works! If you have chosen not to wear one of these aforementioned athletic shirts, guess what? You are dripping your gross, hairy sweat all over the floor–a place where I may be next class. And God forbid I brush up next to you walking past. And the visual image branded in my pysche. I can’t tell you how many I have to endure in my 9 mile walks around White Rock. These guys who elect to go shirtless perhaps may also be the questionably creepy guy trying to pick you up at the bar–gold chain, Ed Hardy pants and all. Just sayin’ there may be a correlation.

You may be thinking, yes, but what about the really good-looking guys. The tanned ones with 5% body fat. I love those guys. Clothed. I am telling you, it is still no bueno. Plus, sometimes it is better to leave something to the imagination. (Don’t even start with bike shorts. Holy Lord!). In fact, to prove my point, I saw Troy Aikman this past weekend running shirtless down Armstrong. Lovely you might think. But you know what? Even as sinewy and handsome as he is, I could have done without this vision of sweaty cheesiness. And he, of all people, should have access to a trunk full of athletic gear.

More disturbing is the amount of websites out there promoting a ‘shirtless lifestyle that is so popular in other countries.’ Forget about Al Queda. This could be the downfall of Rome!

So, what do we do with this info? Please, tell your loved ones that shirtless activity kills. Kills brain cells, kills good thoughts, kills an appetite. We can make a difference people–even one wife beater t-shirt at a time.

Diamonds on your inside / Shirts on your outside,

Leslie


Hail to the Chief

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments

Most importantly, the mother of all healthy snacks: anything from HAIL MERRY.  My bestest friend Susan O’Brien makes these yummy snacks–almost too good to be healthy.  Macaroons, chocolate tarts, granola, kick ass nuts.  So good they will make your tongue slap your teeth out.  www.hailmerry.com


The Land of Conveniences.

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments

Now taking requests.  I may not use them and secretly scoff behind your back,  but I will graciously consider them.  Like today.  A new found BFF asked me to write about what to feed her kids for after school snacks.  She genuinely wanted some good options.  Not freaky, sprouted tofu options but enticing foods that kids would gladly eat.  Given this is the first week of school for many of us, I felt it fitting.  My post on sweaty back hair must wait til next time. (Certain to be a crowd favorite).

We live in the most convenient city on the planet.  We have everything at our finger tips.  And, for the right price, we can have it.  All wrapped up nicely in plastic wrap.  No extra work, no forethought, no preparation.  This power, my friends, can be deadly when used carelessly.  I’m talking about snacks.  Snacks for you, snacks for your kids.  It is SO EASY to go to the store and pick up the Frito Lay snak-pak of chips.  Cheetos, Doritos, Sun Chips.  Oreos, Nutter Butters, Lorna Doone. Food Coloring, Hydrogenated Oils, High Fructose Corn Syrup. Perfectly packaged for your kids.  An allergy and ADHD cocktail. Trust me, you aren’t doing anyone any favors–unless you are the Frito Lay rep.

The key to having your kids eat healthier snacks is to stay ahead of the game.  Make it convenient for better choices. That means plan.  Just a little.  Give them something to eat before they ask for it.  Have a plate of cheese, hummus, veggies and nuts sitting out on the table.  Or something yummy waiting in the fridge.  Here are a few of my (and my kids’ favorites).  Let me know yours.

Fresh Popped Popcorn in coconut oil. Back to my earlier ‘expose’ on the microwave kind, this popcorn is AWESOME.  You have to get a Whirly Pop  or one of those Cusinart machines. So worth it and fun to make.

ProBugs yogurt drinks are a favorite around here.  9 grams of protein plus probiotics.  They come in several different flavors.

HAIL MERRY! Chocolate Macaroons are amazing.  And made by my very BFF.  Addicting to say the least!

Frozen Grapes.  Just what it sounds like.  Grapes in the freezer.  They are addicting.  On that note, there is a Zoku popsicle maker  that you just pour in any kind of juice and it freezes it in less than 10 minutes.  Super cool.  http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/zoku-duo-quick-pop-maker/?pkey=cctlsptice

Edamame.  Easy to make (buy it frozen, boil for 1 min, add sea salt) and you can keep in the fridge for a quickie.

Tias Ranch flavored tortilla chips.  It is still junk food, but it is under the non-toxic junk food. These taste very much like their evil twin Doritos, but without the unrecognizable ingredients. REALLY yummy.  For that matter good ole Lays chips and Fritos are atleast free of additives and creepy stuff.  Add fresh salsa or guacamole.

Nitrate free beef and turkey jerky. Whole Foods has their own brand.

Frozen Lemonade.  Grab a blender and add some natural lemonade and ice.  Kids LOVE it!

Clif Bars.  They are almost everywhere–and are free from junk additives.

Quesadillas with organic cheese and beans.  Good stuff.

And the good old standby: Peanut butter and honey.  Except choose organic (regular peanuts are RIDDLED with toxic pesticides).  Almond butter is even better. On whole wheat bread, rice cakes,  sliced apples or Elvis style on a banana.

Have a great year!!
Now for the shameless, self-promoting plug.  I am walking 60 miles for Komen Walk for the Cure in November.  I would be humbled and grateful if you would consider a donation on my behalf.  Komen’s research on the drug Herceptin is THE reason I was able to kick that dreadful kancer to the curb.  And BTW, walking 60 miles AIN’T easy.  I thought it would be–but my feet are thinking otherwise.  Cheer me on.  With your mouth and your wallet!  Peace.

http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2011/DallasFortWorthEvent2011?px=6183831&pg=personal&fr_id=1622


All in moderation. THAT’S A COP OUT.

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 7 Comments

Everything we hear these days is about if it feels good do it, — in ‘moderation’ of course.  THAT  is sheer propaganda.  It’s like the serpent in the Garden of Eden telling the first couple it’s ok to take just one bite.  Don’t get me wrong, ‘moderation’ still means the occasional Burger House, Mema Mary’s caramel cake, DQ blizzard …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 a few of those things:

Watch it wiggle, see it glimmer.

Anything with COLOR not occurring in nature.

Artificial food coloring.  No matter what the dye number, this stuff is toxic.  Not just a little bit toxic either.  The EU has already banned many of these dyes from entering their food source.  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 good ole government that touts itself as our protector.  Food coloring is a derivative of PETROLEUM.  Yes, petroleum.  Would you pour 40 weight oil into your oatmeal?

Microwave Popcorn.  Remember that freaky guy who sniffed microwave popcorn everyday and then he got sick?  Have you ever heard of anyone getting sick sniffing lemons? Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), say what?? in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize—and migrate into your popcorn. They stay in your body for years, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in lab animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but until then, use a Whirly Pop and coconut oil.  Healthy and FUN for the whole family!

The entirety of anything larger than your head in one sitting. This is more portion-control than foodstuff-related, but it’s important. If it’s bigger than your cabeza, whether it be bowl of popcorn, ham hock, or butter sculpture, it’s more than one serving. Failure to follow this rule will result in a wide variety of issues, not including the obvious FAT ASS.

Anything that resembles plastic.  Seriously: you can make a perfectly good macaroni and cheese without Velveeta (and the yellow dye they use in it). Likewise, you can probably live without creepy fruit roll-ups in neon colors, strangely flexible things, or oddly shiny foodstuffs that resemble the packaging that they came in more than what they claim to be. If it looks, smells, and acts like plastic, it probably is made from something like plastic. Life is too short for that.

A rule of thumb:  if you can’t pronounce it, get all your ingredients for it at a regular grocery store, it glows in the dark,  or if you need a turkey platter to put it on…don’t eat it.  I promise you will live longer.


You don’t have to be sick to get better!

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 4 Comments

You don’t have to be sick to get better.

Sage advice coming from my recent dude ranch, yes dude ranch, orientation. (Which, believe it or not, was an incredible experience. I want to plan a trip next summer with a bunch of families.  It would be SO SO much fun. I swear.) Allow yourself to be immersed in your environment and come away with better perspectives, drop a little excess baggage, renew your joie de vivre.  Trust me, a week in the Colorado mountains can do that.  I did ride a horse for the first time.  Never thought I would, but I loved it. They’ve called me to be the next Horse Whisperer.  I was that good. Ok, back to the story.

To have diamonds on your inside, it isn’t just about eating right. It is about balance in all aspects.

As I started thinking more about it, I realized there are so many things we can make better with the right frame of mind–it’s all how you frame it really. You have to consciously tell yourself to look for the positive.  Perhaps that sounds like one of those self-help books written by some over enthusiastic cheerleader that will show you how to walk over coals.   Nope.  Just me.  I had my head pulled from my lower half by an angry s.o.b. named kancer.  I no longer allow the toxic relationships and thoughts into my mind.  It’s the new JUST SAY NO campaign.

Transform it:

Attitude.  Tell yourself to be happy.  It helps.

Perspective.  Frame it differently. Seriously.

Health.  Change one thing a month to be and eat healthier. Wait til I write about meat glue.  Yikes!

Relationships.  Boundaries–use them.  Don’t allow the bad ones to suck you in!

Stay cool, my friends.


Think happy, be happy.

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments

These last weeks have been an emotional, sad, yet remarkably thought provoking experience.  My sister-in-law, Brandice passed away last week.  Tragic.  A lovely life cut too too short.  I had the privilege to be with her and my brother (really cousin) for her final days. How can something so sad be so inspiring?  You must search for positives even in the dark days.

Support.  We have amazing friends and family that will do anything for us in a time of crisis.  Many will be there for you morning, noon and night.  Even ONE friend like this is an amazing blessing. Think about it.

Love.  There is someone, probably many, who loves you unconditionally.  Be grateful for them.  Tell them.

Every moment is a gift.  Celebrate it.  Before you go to bed at night, think of 3 good things you are thankful for.  FIND the happy in it.  Revel in the moments you have, not what you don’t.

Strength.  Everyone can dig deep to find it.  Exercise strength by taking control of your perspective in life.  It makes for a healthy one too.

Think you aren’t happy?  Part of your problem is just that.  Focus on thinking about happiness.  It just might work!  Take a look at the video below.  Happy thoughts, happy bodies.