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: Organic


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!


Be vibrant—Form a Plant Based Diet, including JUICE!

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JuicerowGEM girls believe juicing is an incredible tool in an arsenal to “reboot” a sick body and mind. It is a significant component to an overall plant-based, whole foods diet—which is the key to vibrant health. It is powerful stuff!

This is something I learned firsthand. I discovered what juicing and alkalinity does to a compromised system when I went through a year-long battle with cancer and chemo. This experience was more than just inspiring and medically apparent for me, it completely changed my life!

But WHY is juicing and a plant based diet such an effective means of changing one’s health—whether the goal is vitality, weight loss or even disease reversal?

Two words: Micronutrients (OK, one, but it sounds more dramatic that way). Cells in the body require micronutrients (i.e. vitamins and minerals) to function optimally. When cells receive adequate micronutrients, you feel energized and full. These are nutrient-dense foods. On the other hand, many foods simply provide nutritionally worthless calories and are devoid of the essential nutrients our cells crave. These are calorie-dense, nutrition-poor foods that weaken your body, i.e. things that come in a box. a nugget, or a drive-thru.

A Plant-Based Diet includes vegetables, legumes/beans, seeds and nuts, just like we do inside The GEM.  This diet contains foods that are minimally processed too, with the majority of nutrition coming from plants. This diet is incredibly powerful in achieving optimal health. Plants provide:

Fiber

Diets high in fiber are associated with lower risks of heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes and obesity. It keeps everything moving.  LIterally. There is fiber in broccoli, beans, apples, among other vegetables and fruits. HOWEVER, none will be found in the nutritionally void world of white bread, chips, burgers and most other processed foods.

Phytonutrients

This group of nutrients give the gorgeous colors to our veggies and bring about many health benefits. Found only in plants, phytonutrients are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. SIGN ME UP. Think GREEN. Or blue, or red, or yellow. There are perhaps 10,000 of these health-promoting chemicals in the edible plant world. (You’ll never find phytonutrients in a Big Mac.)

Antioxidants

Many chemicals (these are good chemicals) found in plants help resist the damage that occurs to the human body from oxygen and the process of metabolism. Chlorophyll, the green energy found in plants, is liquid sunshine that detoxifies and energizes. It’s anti-aging at its best.  Surely the fountain of youth is made of chlorophyll! Oxidation leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, compromise brain cells. Our dear friends in the plant world contain TONS of natural antioxidants.

Omega-3 fatty acids

These essential fatty acids are used for the internal workings and repair of cells throughout the body. These are GOOD FATS. They enhance and nourish brain function and help our systems run smoothly.  Flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, algae are rich in this nutrient class. AND…ALL FATS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL!

ALKALINITY

Greens are highly alkalizing to our systems—which is what we want. Disease thrives in acidic environments. CANCER LOVES ACIDITY.  All processed food, dairy and animal products are acidic in our system. Greens are great for improving circulation, lifting the spirit, purifying the blood and strengthening the immune system.

So …. how does this get us back to The GEM and juicing

GEM_slide1It is recommended that we consume five or more servings of vegetables and fruits daily, though many authorities set the bar much higher, being optimal at 10 servings a day. We believe that 80% of what you consume should be plant-based!

In order to consistently ingest this large amount of plant-based material, you need to do some planning. REMEMBER: If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food!

Some ideas to get your greens: prepare large vibrantly colored salads (our KALE salad rocks), add greens in protein-rich soups such as our lentil soup, and blend smoothies with berries, hemp seeds and greens for a power breakfast or a snack. You’ll never taste the spinach! Keep hummus and veggies nearby to snack on in a pinch. Bottled green juice is an awesome option to start your day.

Juicing is just one more tool you can use to build a plant-based nutrition program rich in phytochemicals, and it can make it easier to reach your goal of 10 servings a day of vegetables.

By juicing daily, you provide your body with a high dose of naturally-derived nutrients that boosts your health, support your body’s natural cleansing processes and helps keep you protected against toxins and disease.

Juice:

  • is easy to digest and the nutrients are easily assimilated.
  • is an incredible energy booster, full of chlorophyll, aka liquid sunshine—the real Red Bull.
  • is full of live enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
  • makes it easy to get more veggies  
  • can curb appetite, and maintain blood sugar levels.
  • makes you happier. Goodness in … goodness out.

Whenever possible, focus on organic foods. Organic really does matter.

Juicing and a plant-based diet will bring you an authentic health and mood boost. I promise!

Any questions?


Juice Cleanse Yourself to Health & Lean, Clean Living

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It’s a New Year. Does there need to be a new YOU? One that has more energy, vibrance and control? Juice cleanse yourself back to health and lean, clean living!

You hear “juice cleanse” all the time. So what exactly does cleansing mean? Generally speaking, it means that you rid the body of the toxins, acidity, sugars and chemicals that cause you to retain weight, crave poor foods and zap your energy. This is done with alkalizing foods and juices that help turn up the body’s detox systems. Often times, this is accomplished with a juice only fast.

We’ve seen SO many of our GEMs kick off this new year with our juice cleanses, and they’ve had amazing results. Fasting, too, has many benefits – benefits that are proven over literally thousands of years of experience. Its roots are founded in meditation and achieving mental clarity and focus for so many who practice fasting.

However, juice cleanses are not for everyone.

Lifestyles are different. Personalities are different. Body types are different. They work out too much, they entertain too much, they just like to chew too much. They want something less intense.

That’s OK! You can be amazingly clean and cleansed with food as part of the regimen. It can spark a vibrant lifestyle that you can do everyday for the rest of your life. We GEM Girls live that every day and we want to make it easy for you to do the same.

We’ve created an active lifestyle program filled with organic juices, detoxifying whole foods and snacks that heal, sustain, cleanse, make you look good and your body feel FABULOUS! Pop these items in your (GEM) bag and go!

Soooo … What’s in your GEM bag?

These 3, 5 and 10 Day GEM BAG Juice and Food Cleanse regimens are based on a whole food, plant based diet and combine salads, juices and soups enhanced with rich proteins from seeds, grains and beans. All meals, juices and snacks provide extra calories and protein along with ingredients perfect for detoxifying and weight-loss.

Benefits are:

  • Radiant skin is regenerated with daily anti-inflammatory, alkaline ingredients
  • Daily juice floods your system with nutrients that detox, quell hunger, bring vibrance
  • Every meal is planned for! No thinking, no hunger.
  • Practice a Whole food, Plant Based Diet and be ready for your new lifestyle!
  • Organic, nutrient dense, satisfying foods that are full of flavor
  • 2 levels, for those who want MORE GEM GOODNESS, there is more to eat!

 

Juice ‘til Dinner Cleanse

Juice 'til Dinner

The GEM Juice ’til Dinner Cleanse

Want just a little bit more GEM Goodness? Too much going on to skip eating – The Juice ’til Dinner cleanse is easily incorporated into a hectic lifestyle – five organic juices for the day plus dinner. It can be a great way to kick off a healthy diet plan or as a weekly reset button to keep weight off, energy up, and the body and mind healthy.

It includes amazingly delicious and satisfying organic, cold pressed juices followed by one of our nutrient dense salads or soups and CALM tea. Allowed Anytime: sliced celery, carrots or cucumbers with lemon

GEM Workout Cleanse

The GEM Bag Organic Juice Cleanse

The GEM Bag Workout Cleanse

Like extreme workouts? Like to eat? Want a softer step into healthy? This GEM Bag Cleanse is perfect for anyone with an active lifestyle or who needs a little guidance to the doorway of clean eating and detox. With this cleanse, you can continue your activities as you like—except of course, for the processed foods, animal protein and alcohol. NOT alkaline. This is an excellent way to learn how to eat a whole food, plant base diet. Or just a great way to feel and look good!

This Cleanse offers more protein and more energy.  Included are two whole food GEM meals, along with four organic GEM juices, one Hail Merry snack, one power shot, and nightly CALM tea.

Price: $155/$250/$500; 3/5/10 Days

HOW YOU CAN DO IT: RESERVE YOUR NEW GEM BAG CLEANSE FOR NEXT WEEK. Your body will thank you!

HOW WE DO IT: Your meals and juice cleanse or juice cleanses are clearly labeled with the order we recommend to eat or drink. We offer email support before and after your cleanse and bright smiling faces all along the way.

THE GEM DIFFERENCE: Organic, cold-pressed juices AND whole-food vegetables, herbs and spices give your body juices, snacks and meals filled with protein and fiber helping to cleanse your body.

Allergy information:  We have no dairy, wheat or gluten in our meals. Special considerations can be made, just ask!


Organic Food & Juice – Are the Benefits Worth It?

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

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

The benefits of organic food:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love yourself, love your family. Buy organic.

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

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

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