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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!

Tag Archives: breast cancer


What Pink Ribbons Don’t Say About Breast Cancer Prevention

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 5 Comments

In my former, pre-GEM~my world, pre-breast cancer, I spent 17 years in marketing and product development for a luxury linen company. It was a great paying job with lots of responsibility and lots of high-level stress. I was burning the candle at both ends, and was generally a hardcore, bitter, very impatient person. And, I knew it all.

On October 19, 2009, 18 days into “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” that world came to a halt. I was broad sided with a diagnosis of breast cancer that spread to my lymph nodes. Leslie kicked kancer's ass

Crap. I hated pink ribbons. Even more, I hated setbacks.

Later, I realized this setback would be my life changing experience. I was about to learn about peace and happy and a truly healthy lifestyle the hard way.

During my year-long treatment of chemo, surgeries, radiation, sheer exhaustion, I started to dig deep into illness and disease and what I could do to help in the healing process AND make certain it never came back. I learned about alkalinity and inflammation. I discovered very quickly that my previous lifestyle did nothing for my optimal health, so I set out to quell all inflammation in my system.

How?

  • I immediately went out and bought a juicer and Vitamix
  • Went totally on a hard-core, plant-based diet
  • Did a TON of reading and research

I became obsessed with everything related to food and healthy living and quickly discovered first hand the power of juice, clean food and positivity. I learned that inflammation is the root of all disease, so I set out to change my life. I also learned it wasn’t just about food!

What did that mean? In addition to food, your thoughts and your stress are major causes of inflammation.

I needed more. I earned a degree from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, an incredible nutrition school that takes a holistic approach to wellness and focuses on relationships, work, exercise and spirituality as essentials to building good health. I studied lots of brilliant minds on the subject.

The goal: to clean up every dark corner of my world. I dumped the toxic people (oh, yeah baby!), the toxic thoughts, the toxic attitude. I refused to let that stuff into my world. Added yoga, deep breathing, cleaned out my personal care and cleaning products. I changed my environment so to speak. That was a great place to start.

So what about the (toxic) food? So I began embracing a whole-foods, plant-based diet. I cooked, I juiced, I bought organic.

What I quickly realized was there was no place nearby where I felt secure about the quality and selection of the food and juice. Organic was rarely mentioned and almost never honestly served. I couldn’t eat every meal at home, right? So, what happened next? Mary Kathryn and I decided to do it ourselves! Wonder-twin powers activate!

From there, The GEM was born. We created The GEM to be a community where people come to get healthy and happy. And WOW! We were floored by the response. Our baby quickly became a place to find approachable, healthy habits that have a profound effect on your long-term health. Anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-energy vampires. Let food (and disco) be thy medicine, right?

We invite everyone to experience this place of healing and happiness called The GEM.  And hopefully you leave with a little something better than when you enter. Come on in! Don’t wait for a sucker punch from Life to change your thoughts and your habits!

The GEM is living proof that by removing toxins from your life, you will be healthier, stronger and happier. So while the pink ribbons aren’t visible, the disco ball is a constant reminder of the happy, healthy life we all can attain.

YOU ARE YOUR BEST ADVOCATE–whether it is cancer screening or anything else. Take control of your health and happiness each and every moment.  And, don’t be a boob. Perform monthly breast exams. Peace.


Protecting The Family Jewels – Breast, Colon & Prostate Cancer Prevention

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments

The Family Jewels (think cancer prevention.) Love them. Care for them. leslierobynmk

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month again. And no one is more aware than I am. As a one-time conqueror of that nasty disease, I made a conscious decision to learn and do everything within my power to keep it from ever rearing its ugly head in my life again. It is all about cancer prevention.

Daunting at first glance, but then as I delved into it, I realized it was the perfect recipe for a vibrant, happy and energetic life–all disguised as “anti-cancer.”

So, what did that entail, you might ask?

The more elusive, yet incredibly important actions, I took were to keep stress and toxic people at bay. Easier said than done. However, your mind is powerful and with the right ammo, you can do that too. Identify those things and people and work to eliminate their importance. (And look for my next blog installment regarding anxiety). Wayne Dyer is a master at guiding you through this.

For the more tangible things, I hit it head on. My diet and exercise changed almost overnight. (I was scared into eating straight!) For everyone else, it means progressive and consistent additions of clean foods and energizing, stress-busting exercise. Interestingly breast, prostate and colon cancers seem to have quite a few similar risk factors. So you can keep your treasures safe with some common actions.

10 things to incorporate into your life to keep your family jewels (breast, prostate, colon) safe:

  1. Green Tea. Studies of green tea drinkers showed a significant reduction in risk of breast cancer while black tea drinkers did not. The active ingredient in green tea that creates this effect is called catechins, a type of polyphenol.
  2. Alkaline Foods / A Whole Foods Plant Based Diet is key. Eat fewer things that have feet (ie, animal protein) and eat more plants. Read The China Study. Mind-blowing research about cancer and animal protein.
  3. Eliminate all preservatives and chemicals from your food. TODAY. No one reveals these dangers better than our friend Robyn O’Brien.
  4. Add breathing exercises to your daily routine. They relieve stess hormones that are released into your system, adding to inflammation. This sh*t works.
  5. Blueberries. All berries contain significant amounts of anti-oxidants that help to reduce cancer risk in general. Berries also contain a phytochemical called ellagic acid, which has been shown to slow the growth of some tumors.
  6. Vitamin D, which you get from exposure to sunshine (around 10 to 15 minutes a day) and green leafy foods, has anticancer properties. It suppresses the formation of new blood vessels that nourish the growth of tumors. The rates of breast, prostate and colon cancer are lower in climates that have the most sunshine. Bring on the Hawaiian Tropic!
  7. Turmeric. Curcumin, a plant chemical, a polyphenol, from the Turmeric root. By lowering inflammatory potential, curcumin has been shown to interrupt the normal progression of cancer cells and is found in most traditional anti-cancer herbal formulas. It is also great for arthritis/joint pain. You can pick up fermented Turmeric extract capsules at The GEM. We love drinking fresh pressed Turmeric shots daily!
  8. More green leafy vegetables in your day. Kale, Spinach, broccoli, arugula, swiss chard, you get the picture. These are excellent sources of fiber, folate, chlorophyll and a wide range of carotenoids, which seem to prevent cancer by acting as antioxidants.  These guys go around scavenging potentially dangerous “free radicals” from the body before they can do harm.
  9. Selenium. This overlooked mineral is a potent antioxidant or scavenger of carcinogenic free radicals. It is HUGE as an anti-prostate cancer warrior. A couple of Brazil nuts will do the trick.
  10. Drink less alcohol. Women who had two to three alcoholic drinks per day had a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer, according the Komen.org website. We no longer play competitive drinking games, people, so cut it back. Seriously.

Places to learn more:

Remember: Keep it green and clean!