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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: Organic


Why You Should Care if Your Juice is Made with High Pressure Processing

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Wonder why our juice tastes best (Hint: No High Pressure Processing)? The GEM is committed to the freshest, honestly organic products anywhere. We believe in the highest standards in what we do. Down to the disco ball.Organic Juice Bar in Dallas

With that, we think it’s important to know when, where and how that juice is made. Inside The GEM, juice is made fresh daily, right in our kitchen. It is bottled there and then quickly put on the fridge shelf where you GEMs snatch them up and gulp away.

Don’t hesitate … or the expiration date will come and go before you know it! Wonder why does GEM juice only last three days, yet you can find dozens of “fresh,” cold-pressed juices that are good for 30 days? That seems strange, doesn’t it?

Three words: High Pressure Processing (HPP)It’s HPP? High pressure processing is a pasteurization process that preserves and sterilizes food by applying very, very high pressure, instead of heat. The high pressure kills certain microorganisms and enzymes in the food, thereby slowing the food’s deterioration.

There are advantages, of course: It reduces the level of possible pathogens in the juice—which were there from the beginning. Plus, HPP dramatically increases the shelf life and therefore easier to transport and sell. This is much better than the heat pasteurization process, which kills all living enzymes and lots of nutrients. Sounds like the perfect solution to having juice last longer, right?

We thought so. We thought this would allow for a longer shelf-life, for stocking our shelves and most importantly giving our customers the opportunity to keep juice longer. So, we looked into it, as we thought it was the “perfect solution” to always having our juices stocked and available in our fridge and ready for YOU.

Unfortunately, we found a few things we didn’t like about the process:

  • Recipe change. First off, our precious juice recipes that we hold so dear would have to be formulated differently in order qualify for this process. WTF. No way. Many of our super green juices would have to change to be more acidic. We didn’t’ like being told that. How could we face our GEMs if we had to change the recipes to their favorite organic juice or, worse still, as one consultant recommend, we add minute quantities of citric acid??
  • Taste change, We found that the taste, over the course of time, does change. And not for the better we decided. Well, the last thing we want is the taste of our Radiant Glow not to be, well, radiant.
  • Mind shift change. It’s deceiving. HPP juice really isn’t ‘freshly’ made. After the juice is made, it must be sent to the giant HPP plant, which then treats the juice, dates it and sends it back. What we discovered is that we didn’t like the taste, the color and, quite frankly, didn’t feel comfortable drinking month old juice. It has a shelf life that is up to 10 times longer than juice the way nature intended. That’s just deceiving. AND, who wants to drink 30-day-old juice?
  • Benefits change. The good bacteria is destroyed. Along with the bad bacteria (that’s a good thing), the process kills good probiotic bacteria too. The kind of good bacteria we always talk about at The GEM. The kind of bacteria that plays a role in good nutrition. Plus, enzymes only live for five to seven days, and HPP can’t change that. The important enzymes that are still alive  may be altered and thereby denatured.

 

Our raw, organic, health-mentoring pledge: OUR priority is to provide the best juices to alkalize of the blood and neutralize toxins in the body. Sometimes that comes at a price to us. But so does our health! It is our philosophy that truly raw juice can be our medicine, our energizer. BUT. It must be left unprocessed and in its purest form. We will guide our GEMs daily through an accessible pathway to optimal health.

Therefore, we will NOT use processing of any kind on our juices or produce. We WILL continue to raise the bar at every turn, maintain our organic pledge and continue to create more amazingly healthy and tasty juices, smoothies and green bites. Just. for. you. (heart).


Personal Care Products That Are GEM~my

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Tiny GEMs Need Protecting

Tiny GEMs Need Protecting

Last week you super fine GEMs really took notice of our post about personal care products and the chemicals that they contain. We received so many emails and texts wanting to learn more about specific brands and information. Many of you were extremely interested (worried) in making positive changes for you and your family. No need for anxiety!

Let’s get this chemical-free show on the road.

Please note, this is just a start. There are hundreds of others! The important thing is to read the label and know a company’s philosophy on harsh chemicals. The best way to make certain of this is to download EWG’s Skin Deep App. This thing IS AWESOME. There you can quickly scan a product and this bad ass app will give you its safety rating. You can rest easy with this!

During the research, I shockingly learned some of my favorite personal care products scored much higher on the EWG safety rating than I would prefer! Holy sh*t. That is why you MUST use the app in the stores or go to a highly, edited website to shop.

Most websites have a range of product ratings on their site. This site does a tremendous job of showcasing the safest and best ones. These. Folks. Rock.  “Rodale’s is for people like you, who want to do the right thing but don’t have the time or energy to wade through all the confusing and conflicting information out there to figure out what is really good or what isn’t. Since 1942, that’s what we do. We are your trusted source. Let us make it easy for you!” Well … sign me up!

Don’t worry, though. There are some more mainstream brands out there, you just gotta look! 

For kids:

Food Babe has a great article about safer sunscreens. See all of the best ones on EWG’s website.

Skin Care

  • JASON satin shower body wash - This one ranks a 1, though I was shocked to see mine rated a 5! Grrr.
  • Derma E rocks our world. Love their Super Intensive Body Balm
  • Coconut oil works for just about everything under the sun: moisturizes, removes make up, mouthwash … yes, mouthwash
  • Drunk Elephant.  Their skin treatments look amazing!
  • Tata Harper. Expensive, but their line is soooo good. They grow their own botanicals on her farm!

Other amazing, conscientiously clean companies that have great ratings for skin care include Odacite and Acure (Whole Foods).

Lipsticks & Makeup

  • Tarte mascaras, concealers, eyeliners – Love their Amazonian Clay products.
  • Zuzu Luxe Cosmetics – Lipsticks
  • Burt’s Bees for lip balm – Burt’s Bees is available just about everywhere—so you can grab their skin care products when you are in a bind.

Toss the ChapStick!

Haircare

  • John Masters Organics. This brand has a huge selection of products. All rank well on the EWG chart.
  • Giovanni for shampoos, hairspray and gels. While these don’t have the very best ratings, they are less toxic and you can find this at Target!

Toothpastes

  • Tom’s of Maine—fluoride free – Lots of kinds, I love the cinnamint one. Available in lots of drugstores and the Target.

Deodorant

These are not anti-perspirants, btw. You have to get used to the fact that you are supposed to sweat! No aluminum. Period.

There are conscious companies that are trying to make a difference with quality personal care products that are helpful and not harmful! Reward them by buying their goodness. If you are really committed to change and need informed and happy handholding, a Diamonds On Your Inside Counselor can walk you through a Healthful Home cleanup session.  Eliminate the body and home products that are toxic, and find clean, quality replacements.  You need a hand? We got that, dear GEM.


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.