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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


Turmeric: Meet Your New Anti-inflammatory Power House

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Meet turmeric – your new super spice, new anti-inflammatory power house BFF!

This Southeast Asian spice is so much more than just an Indian curry ingredient. It has powerful health benefits you should know. You may not be using it daily—in your food and diet, BUT YOU SHOULD.

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Indian Ayurvedic medicine as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent to treat infection, inflammation, wound healing and poor digestion. It’s kind of a magic food—cures lots of ails. We love raw turmeric inside The GEM for its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric contains polyphenols that act as powerful anti-oxidants. This super spice does LOTS for your health.

Let’s just start with the biggest one for me: It has badass cancer fighting properties, and has been shown to inhibit growth of various cancer cells including: breast and prostate cancers and melanoma among others.

So, why add it into your daily life?

Here are a few more really good reasons. It:

  • Manages pain. It’s a super potent Anti-Inflammatory, it’s called “Nature’s Advil” for a reason. Perfect treatment for arthritis, joint pain, even headaches. SO many people swear by it as a remedy for inflammation!
  • Protects the brain, prevents the progression of Alzheimers.
  • Helps lower blood sugar and reverse insulin resistance. This is a weapon in the fight with diabetes and weight loss.
  • Boosts immunity. With its anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, along with the inflammation component, this power house is top of the list for staying well.
  • Reduces oxidative stress, which, among other things, contributes to high cholesterol.
  • Heals stomach ulcers.
  • Speeds wound healing.

Because curcumin (one of three potent polyphenols found in this spice) is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, black pepper and healthy fat should be added to increase its bioavailabilty. That being said, if you are using raw turmeric (not dried powder) like we have at The GEM, you don’t have to add anything to enhance bioavailability. Its natural oil boosts absorption. Pretty cool! The powdered version loses much of its bioavailabilty in the processing.

turmericatthegemjuicebar

Now you know what it does, here are a few ideas of HOW you can use it:

  1. Shoot it. Shots of turmeric are one of the quickest ways to consume to get your daily dose of anti-inflammatory goodness. Shoot it straight up or throw back a GEM Immunity Shot — with lemon and ginger for an added punch to the system.
  2. Boost it. Add to your Green Juice. Add turmeric juice for a bold move into a healthy day.
  3. Sip it. Make a tea including ginger and raw honey. Our Amazing Hot Immunity Tea or Immunity Iced Green Tea might change your life.
  4. Make a Latte. Yep! I dare you to try this yumminess called a Turmeric Latte. Fresh turmeric, frothed house-made cashew milk and garam masala (an Indian combo with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom).
  5. Pop it. New Chapter’s Herbal Detoxification capsules are a great addition into your supplement routine. This one includes green tea extract, ginger and peppermint. All amazing immune boosters in their own right.

It is important to note that like most therapeutic herbs, turmeric is not appropriate for everyone. It is a natural blood thinner, so avoid taking it if you are on prescribed blood thinners. It also might upset your stomach if you are taking medication for ulcers or heartburn (though turmeric aids in the healing of these things!). Consult your physician before use if you have any of these conditions.

Want to learn more ways to boost your immunity? Join us Wednesday, September 28, 11:30 a.m., at the Forest location for our continuing education workshop called Eat for Immunity. Learn what nutrient dense foods are best, how certain supplements can help and what other environmental factors can contribute to a super-powered immune system.

Click here to register or call us at (214) 750-2929. Email works too! Send us a note at info@insidethegem.com.


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.


Spring Forward with The GEM Continuing Education Workshops

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Spring is the time for renewal, revitalization and detoxification … and The GEM Continuing Education Workshops. It’s time to think about a system re-boot of our bodies and achieving better balance in our lives and our health. Spring is the perfect time to re-group and re-prioritize, and even re-invent the life you are living, don’t you think??The GEM Continuing Education Workshops

We’ve got a few ideas to get you get started.

Over the last three months, we’ve been sharing information about achieving a vibrant lifestyle with SO many of you through our Day in the Life of a GEM Series. It’s been incredibly rewarding and fun. But, apparently it wasn’t enough! You want more.

So … we are introducing The GEM Continuing Education Workshops.

Whether you’ve completed our Day in the Life Series, or just want to start here, we have four new workshops that are sure to shine a light bright into your healthy future. Each Wednesday night in April, during The GEM Continuing Education Workshops, we dive a little deeper into topics such as:

April 6: Dump the Junk! We absorb up to 60 percent of what we put on our skin. Educate yourself so you can do your part to eliminate the toxins from your skin care and cleaning products. How toxic are they? Learn how to “clean up your act” and find better options for some of your favorite products.

April 13: Stressed out and Sugared UP. Stress is an unpleasant fact of life. We all experience it, and for some, we allow it to take over our minds and eventually our bodies. Surprisingly, sugar is one of the biggest causes of stress! Learn why sugar is a dangerous drug that is the root of so many ailments including obesity, acne, depression and cancer. It is a major roadblock to optimal health. Learn what both stress and sugar do to your body and ways to manage it. Squash it for good and don’t let it rule you!

April 20: Eat for Immunity. Let Food Be Thy Medicine. Hippocrates was right! Learn what nutrient-dense foods are best, how certain supplements can help, and what other environmental factors can contribute to a super-powered immune system.

April 27: GEM Cooking Class. Learn how to prepare SIMPLE, GO-TO whole food, plant-based meal options and some valuable tips to make dinnertime shine. Who knew being a fabulous healthy chef could be so easy and so good? Includes shopping list and recipes.

Day in the Life of a GEM Continuing Ed Workshops 

Wednesday nights @ 7:30 p.m. (one hour). Light meal included. 

$60 per session 

$200 for entire workshop 

For those who’d like to start from the beginning, the original Day in the Life Series also starts Wednesday, April 6 at 6 p.m., four Wednesdays in a row, $200 for the series, light meal included.

Email us, call us or reserve your spot online and spring forward with us into vibrant health!


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.


Snack Ideas for Healthy Teens [Part Three in Four-Part Series]

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Snack ideas for healthy teens got you stumped?

The key is to BE PREPARED. Remember from last post? If you have good food in your fridge, Healthy Teensyou will eat good food. This is true for all of us. So make regular trips to the grocery store, with a list of things that will sustain your teens (and their friends) for the week.

Be Ready!! 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.

  1. Organic popcorn made in a Whirley Pop with coconut oil and sea salt. You and your kids will flip for this stuff. Don’t have a Whirley Pop? Just in a lidded pot. So easy. DEE-LISH. Tiny but Mighty brand popcorn kernels are pretty cool to eat.
  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 and bean dip. Nachos with pinto beans and cheese knock Cheetos out of the park!
    • GUACAMOLE is awesome AND Organic chips are a must. Make sure your tortillas are fresh and without chemical ingredients. (Say goodbye to Mission brand)
    • Bean Roll-Ups Spread bean dip on a whole wheat flour tortilla, top with shredded organic white cheddar and roll up. Brush with oil or grass fed butter and bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. Serve with salsa.
  4. GEM hummus with jalapeno pesto. Grab one of our snack packs for their lunch too!
  5. Sunflower seeds. Pumpkin seeds. Pistachios are fun to eat. Keep in a bowl on the counter.
  6. Sliced apples with organic peanut/almond butter. Even sunflower butter is great (for nut allergies)
  7. Slice bananas and freeze them. AWESOME. Grapes, too. Cutie oranges are fun to eat.
  8. Make smoothies! Keep frozen berries (1c), 1 frozen banana, (1) almond milk (1c), pomegranate juice (1/2c) and plant based protein powder. (We use Epic inside The GEM.) They will love you!
  9. Applegate Farms Turkey or chicken with a little mustard wrapped around a sesame breadstick.
  10. Mini pizzas made with whole grain English muffins, fresh marinara (no sugar, all natural), organic mozzarella.
  11. 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.
  12. Whole wheat pasta already made. Or, Tinkyada brand gluten free pasta. Find a pomodoro sauce that is clean and healthy with nothing but tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, spices. NOTHING ELSE.
  13. Make your own pita chips–sprinkle whole grain pita chips with parmesan cheese and broil until golden brown. Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies–in a pinch–are okay. Annie’s makes all kinds of convenience foods that can help make a transition into cleaner snacks.
  14. Steam frozen ORGANIC edamame and add sea salt.
  15. Roasted chickpeas. So fun!
  16. Brown rice sushi pieces—cucumber rolls, California rolls.
  17. Make your own cookies and brownies as a special treat. Just use organic flours, whole butters and real chocolates. A little goodness goes a long way. Stay away from Betty and Duncan. They are toxic sh*t storms.
  18. This ain’t working for you? Still need some frozen snacks? Try these. Amy’s Nacho Snacks, Pizza Rolls or Burritos. Available at most grocery stores.
  19. Popsicles? Frozen fruit ones are great–make sure to read the ingredients. Try these GoodPops out of Austin.

 

These are not all super-food healthy snacks–because we aren’t dummies. They are, however, CLEAN, free of harmful chemicals and dyes. This is really important to remember when feeding your families.

What are YOUR go-to healthy snack options? We’d love to hear!

Next up … bad@$$ breakfast ideas!


Six Tips for Feeding Healthy Teens [Part Two in Four-Part Series]

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We need to get teens back to healthy foods.Healthy teens

So how do you start? It is daunting. And I don’t suggest coming in full swing with a super-sized bag of kale chips and quinoa burgers. That is an invitation for a full on revolt. Start slowly. It’s not EVER too late to start. Just two weeks to form a habit.

SIX TIPS FOR FEEDING HEALTHY TEENS

1. MAKE IT RELEVANT. This is my favorite, and the most impactful way to convince your child of anything. In order for healthy options to sink in, teens must believe the message has specific reference to them. Long term health challenges will NOT resonate with them. Let them know nutrition affects their growth, their emotions, their academic and sports performance, their appearance, or whatever seems to be the most important to the teen during that particular week.

How?

Appeal to their vanity. Tell your daughter that eating lots more green leafy vegetables and less dairy/sugar will make her skin glow and eliminate breakouts, you have her ear. Talk to them about the correlation between nutritious food and acne. Want to grow? Talk about foods that promote growth and foods that don’t: promote calcium-rich foods and let them know soft drinks contain calcium depleting phosphoric acid, which can interfere with bone growth.

Appeal to their competitive nature. If you tell your son that he will play much better basketball if he doesn’t choose to drink the milkshake and chicken fingers before a game, he will listen.

Appeal to their academic drive: Tell your teen that eating grilled wild salmon and broccoli before exams and they will think more clearly. You at least have a chance!

BUT YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT RELEVANT.

2. Model good nutrition. You must model healthy eating habits. You cannot preach to them! We all know how well that usually ends. Show your teens how to make healthier choices so they learn the connection between good food and good health.

Want them to eat healthier? Buy and cook healthier!! Have easy to grab options ALWAYS available. This IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A PARENT. If you have good food in your fridge, you will eat good food. If you have a bowl of washed strawberries and grapes, they will eat them. Have a plate of veggies, hummus, and sliced apples out when they come home from school. Guacamole and fresh pico? They will eat it! Homemade organic popcorn is always a crowd pleaser.

How?

    • Let your teens help shop for healthy foods that they like and let them prepare their own meals/snacks.
    • Keep junk food out of the house or to a minimum. AND find “cleaner” junk foods. Those made without harmful chemicals, sweeteners and dyes.
    • Make extra when cooking dinner so they can use leftovers! (extra brown rice, chicken, pasta, brisket). I keep grass fed taco meat in the fridge to quickly make quesadillas after school.
    • Sneak spinach into smoothies.
    • The key is to be ready. 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!

 

3. Eat more QUALITY protein at every meal. The growing teenage brain needs protein. Protein gives the body the building blocks it needs to repair and renew, and it also serves as a source of energy. But Quality Matters. Try wild fish, organic free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, pastured eggs. I keep a pot of beans ready at any given moment. Nut butters are also good sources of protein—just make sure they are all natural and not loaded with sugars.

4. Get more vitamins. Even if they were perfect eaters, they cannot get all of the nutrients they need from their food sources (soil depletion, environment, stress, etc.). Our teens need at least 20 to 30 percent more of their daily requirements of nearly all the vitamins. These three are imperative:

  • Multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement is imperative. Cells are powered by nutrients. Vitamin D alone powers 200 reactions in the body and without it teens will be prone to depression/anxiety. Without enough B vitamins, and B12 (found in proteins) teens will feel lethargic, low in energy. Zinc has been nicknamed the “new anti-depressant”– it boosts mood and appetite and helps kids think. Look for organic, plant based vitamins from reputable companies like New Chapter and Nordic Naturals.
  • Probiotics. Our immune system primarily resides in our digestive tract.  The healthy bacteria that we need has been sabotaged with processed foods, antibiotics, and other chemical stresses we put on our bodies. Probiotics bring the good bacteria back so it can fight off illness, enhance digestion, remedies constipation and believe it or not, improves mood and thinking.
  • Fish Oil. Good omega fats nourish the brains, the nervous system. Combats mood disorders, fights inflammation, great for their joints too. Quality matters!

 

CONSIDER SUPPLEMENTS FOR YOUR TEENAGERS.

5. Pantry clean out. Throw out foods with ARTIFICIAL FOOD COLORS and SWEETENERS. PERIOD. Artificial sweeteners are KNOWN to cause 93 unsavory side effects from brain tumors. Memory loss, to hair loss. Food colorings (banned in Europe) are known to cause tumors, ADHD, allergies among lots of other infuriating problems. These are definite NOs in our house.

READ THE LABELS. Take a look at the ingredient labels on your food package. Even the simplest of foods will have more chemicals in them than you can count, much less pronounce.

Fill your kitchen with real, fresh foods whenever possible. Even replacing super bad junk with organic, non-GMO junk is a non-toxic step in the right direction. Shop at Whole Foods, Central Market, even Tom Thumb offers cleaner options. Also, if you haven’t already, check out Thrive Market.

AND THE LAST THING …
6. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Without question this is true, especially for kids. For brain development, their daily energy levels, their ability to focus. Protein rich eggs, oatmeal, breakfast tacos, plant-based protein smoothies. These are great!! Fruit Loops ARE NOT AN OPTION. Sugary cereals and drinks have no place at breakfast—their brains have nothing to function with, and the sugar spike and drop makes them sluggish and cranky.

Getting your kids to eat a good breakfast is simple–if you just do a little planning.

Make it for them! It may be your only chance of the day to influence their choices. If you are not a morning person, prepare the night before–put out plates, glasses and put ingredients together ready to go from the fridge. Place their vitamins in ramekins at their place setting. Plan to get up 15 minutes early to scramble those eggs. It makes all the difference. Added bonus: Breakfast can be a great way to spend a moment with your kids—that you otherwise might not have!!

At the end of the day, it is about a lifestyle change, not a week or so of regimented consumption. A healthy routine paves the way to a vibrant future of health and happiness! If you’d like to dig deeper, we can help you get there!

So you and your teenager can experience daily GEM goodness after school, we’ve extended our hours to stay open until 6 p.m. Monday – Friday. YEP. WE ARE OPEN UNTIL 6.

Next up … What DO you feed those kids? Stay tuned for great snack ideas.


A MUST READ Before You Plan Your Thanksgiving Feast

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There is no giant, commercially obnoxious build up with pressures to give more, do more … and no depressing let down when it’s over. It really is a time to BE GRATEFUL. Grateful for your friends, your family, your health. Take some time everyday between now and Thursday to list three things you are thankful for. It will change your perception, add to your contentment, boost your mood, lighten your load. FIND THE JOY.
Family Thanksgiving
And while you still might be fretting over whether you have enough crystal for the table, or the fact that Uncle Buck is a drunk, your son’s girlfriend is sub-par, or that your mother-in-law secretly wants to destroy you, we can help you with the other stuff. The good stuff. Let’s talk about FOOD!

Every year we hear folks lament over how they are dreading the over-consumption of unhealthy foods that bring nostalgia and comfort, but they can’t bring themselves to change things!!

You CAN fill your table with classic favorites like sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and cornbread dressing–but do it without the creepy canned cream of everything soups and the bad Lipton seasoning packets filled with MSG/GMO/WTF. Come towards the light!

There are amazing gurus like Pamela Salzman (one of our favorite GEMs), who has a Thanksgiving menu to die for! Check out her sweet potato casserole and just about everything else she does. She also helps you plan and organize every step of the way ~ a great way to be a master of the Thanksgiving celebration.

But maybe this STILL doesn’t get you in the mood to bring a healthier dish because you simply don’t want to cook. We’ve got that covered too.

Thanksgiving2015Order your sides from us! Start off with our Celery Salad and bring a bowl of the badass 3 Bean Salad, Hummus always delights (don’t forget the Sami’s chips). I plan to puree and serve our Lentil Soup on Thanksgiving night. You cannot believe how yummy that soup is with a dollop of the jalapeno pesto. Even Martha Stewart would be impressed. Take a look at our catering menu and we can have it ready for you. Salads come dry so you can mix them right before you are ready to serve.

So you still dig into that pumpkin pie, that’s cool. We love it too. We will be waiting for you on Monday to get back on track. Cleanse with a friend and you both enjoy 15% off. Because everyone loves a holiday sale. Can’t get to us?

And, on Monday, November 30, UBER will deliver The GEM Cleanses within 10 minutes of ordering! Yes way!


An anti-cancer life: Sugar

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments on An anti-cancer life: Sugar

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

Photo credit: Robin Finney

Photo credit: Robin Finney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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