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: Dallas juice bar


The Good, the Fat & the Fish Oils (Omega-3s)

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There are healthy fats. Good ones. Ones that are crucial to health and vitality. Ones that enrich our bodies and make our systems run smoothly. One of the MOST importantfishoilfinalblog is essential Omega-3 fatty acid. Vegetarian sources like walnuts, kale and spinach provide some version (ALA) of essential fatty acids though the richest and best sources come from oily fish like WILD salmon and WILD halibut (DHA). These foods should most definitely be incorporated into your weekly routine.

But can you get enough healthy fats that way?

Not really. You need more. High-quality fish oil supplements provide concentrated, clean nutrition that supports healthy brain function, eye health, cardiovascular health and joint health, just to name a few.

Without question, everyone should take high quality Omega-3 fish oil supplements.

Why? Fish oils contain essential fatty acids, which are nutritional cornerstones of human health. We must have these healthy fats in our system (they are essential), but our bodies do not make them. We must therefore consume them through diet or supplementation.

What are Omegas good for? Emotional, physical, oxidative stress causes inflammation in our bodies. Omega-3s quell the inflammation and promotes a healthy, happy and highly functioning system. So, you say, like what?

  1. Omega-3s for the Heart - Increased intake of Omega–3s in fish oil—enhances overall heart function. Even the American Heart Association states that great benefits come from eating WILD fish at least twice a week, and taking fish oils. Its website, interestingly enough, is full of info on how to transform your lifestyle if you are starting from the bottom. Of course, they also have a section on how to make fast food friendlier … “don’t order the double meat and bacon” to which The GEM says, “stay the hell out of the drive-thru line.”
  2. Omega-3s for the Brain & Mood - This is super-important and I’ve seen first hand its benefits. Evidence indicates fish oil benefits mental health and healthy brain function in all stages of life. Our brains are composed of nearly 60% fat*, so supplementing with these vital fats provide necessary building blocks for healthy cells and tissue. Supports memory and learning ability and promotes positive mood and well-being. SOLD! It’s a “no-brainer.” (*Don’t forget the water when thinking of good brain function too!)
  3. Omega-3s for Kids! Brain function, mood, attention - Children have the most to gain from these essential fats for visual, brain and immune system development, and for normal emotional and cognitive function. Omega 3s also support focus and attention. Dr. Kenneth Bock is a big proponent of fish oil supplementation in “Healing the New Child Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies.” Essential fatty acids have been shown to positively impact children in LOTS of ways. Along with a healthy diet that includes WILD fish and fresh green leafy vegetables, supplementing with a premium fish oil product is a great way to ensure your family is nourishing brain and body.
  4. Omega-3s for the Back and Joints - These “fat guys”can actually help to alleviate pain associated with physical stress to the back and joints. The nourishing fat promotes back and joint health and flexibility.
  5. Omega–3s for Hair, Skin & Nails – Our skin is the largest organ in the human body and is often the first visual indicator of an essential fatty acid deficiency. Omega-3s nourish & protect against age–related damage, hydrates skin by retaining natural moisture, and supports a clear and healthy complexion. Another way to GET YOUR GLOW ON.

This sounds awesome, right?

Despite the great health benefits of Omegas, most of us suffer from Omega–3 deficiency. With a diet rich in green leafy vegetables and wild oily fish like salmon, along with high quality supplements you can begin to nourish, heal and protect your system.

Make these supplements a priority.

How much should I take?

Dr. Andrew Weil recommends eating oily fleshed, wild caught, cold water fish 2-3 times per week. He recommends taking a fish oil supplement that provides 700 to 1,000 mg of EPA and 200 to 500 mg of DHA daily in the smallest number of pills.

Which ones should I take?

It is critical to get the highest quality, freshest fish oils—purity is key: free from toxins, heavy metals, PCBs. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

The only brand The GEM girls take is Nordic Naturals, who has a 3rd party analyze that the products stick to strict standards. The Ultimate Omegas are the finest on the market and we offer these inside The GEM. Nordic Naturals brand is AWESOME both as a company and for their products. These folks know their stuff!


10 Ways To Increase Your Energy

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Waking up each day with vibrance and energy–like every day is your own disco party–would be awesome, wouldn’t it? No late afternoon dips, no struggling to wake up in the mornings. So many of us struggle to find enough energy.  The good news is there are ways to increase your energy, naturally and easily.

Many factors contribute to our sense of energy and vitality ~ those that zap us and those that invigorate. The foods we eat, the people we meet, how we move our feet. These things can either increase our energy or decrease it.

The culprits for depleting us are stress-related. Think four types:

  1. Chemical – Food or Drug
  2. Emotional
  3. Mental
  4. Physical

The main foods and substances that decrease our energy are:

  • Caffeine, coffee, diet sodas, alcohol, too much meat or not enough, processed/chemical laden foods, tobacco, milk/dairy, sugar and artificial sweeteners and trans fats/fried junk!! It is important to note that certain prescription drugs also zing our energy including anti-depressants.

Foods that increase our energy:

  • Foods that are alive have life force. Food that goes bad is good food. Unprocessed, whole foods: grains, vegetables and beans. These foods have all the components of their original, natural state: fiber, vitamins and minerals. Processing removes these elements. A great rule of thumb I like is: If microorganisms cannot thrive on it, what makes you think you can? Does it come in a box and has a “shelf life?” Then it should be pushed aside.

Everything that we take in is food for our body, mind and spirit. 

Here are 10 ways to increase your energy:

1)  Ease up on the java and “energy” drinks.

  • The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar ups and downs, making mood swings more frequent. Stimulants like caffeine and sugar may seem to give an initial energy boost, but they actually cause a dip in our energy and blood sugar levels. Green tea is an excellent substitute.
  • Drink more juice. 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 well-protected against toxins and disease. A fresh juice stands in a league of its own. It is simply the best energy drink on the market! Take that, Red Bull.

2)  Water water everywhere! Lots of it.

  • Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. Before you go to sugar or caffeine, have a glass of water with lemon and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
  • Many times you think you are hungry when really it’s your body asking for water!
  • Drink 32 oz of water as soon as you wake up. Have nothing else until that is consumed.

3)  Eat your greens.

  • Think: Green is spring, the time of renewal and refreshing, vital energy.
  • Greens are full of vitamins and nutrients especially CALCIUM and great for improving circulation, lifting the spirit, purifying the blood and strengthening the immune system.
  • You can always DRINK YOUR GREENS TOO.

4)  DON’T BE SWEET ON SWEETS.

  • Sugar is just plain bad. It promotes disease. Sugar causes mood swings, depression and fatigue. And the more you eat, the more you want!
  • Avoid sugar and chemical-filled artificial sweeteners. NEVER, EVER NUTRASWEET.
  • Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar and stevia (they have lower glycemic loads).

5)  Animal Protein. Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. Fried foods are still a definite NO.

  • Eating too much meat, dairy, chicken and eggs can lead to low energy. So can eating too little! Grass-fed, pastured and wild are always good determinants when choosing your meat and fish.
  • It is always a good idea to cut back on dairy. (Acidic, mucous forming, bloating, yuck). Spinach, kale, collards, broccoli are all excellent sources of calcium.
  • Beans are always a great choice for protein. We do NOT need as much as conventional wisdom states.
  • Fried foods zap your energy. Stay away from them.

6) Chill out. Go to bed!

  • When you are tired or stressed, your body craves energy. Instead of answering the call of the late night snack, get to bed earlier and see what happens. Turn off the lights and TV. Without proper sleep, your body cannot properly detox, heal and repair itself.
  • Magnesium is a great supplement to aid in relaxation. I love “Calm” magnesium tea. It really works.
  • Believe it or not, daily breathing techniques can help. Six deep breaths morning and night can really take the edge off and help with emotional and physical stress.

7)  SHAKE THAT.

  • Physical activity is key. Start with simple, walk with 15 minutes a day or take a yoga class and increase from there. It really does energize you! Even when you don’t feel good, moving will make you feel better. It is a proven fact!

8)  Love yourself.

  • Find activities that restore your energy, such as a walk, a bath, visit the DMA, a movie or whatever you enjoy. Schedule a weekly date with yourself to do these things! This is incredibly vital to your internal energy source.

9)  Get in touch with your spirituality.

  • We are spiritual beings in a physical world. All facets of your life need attention for your whole body to feel good.
  • Find ways to get in touch with your spiritual side, be it meditating, dancing, drawing, going to church or temple or being outside in nature.

10) NO ENERGY VAMPIRES. Get rid of relationships that drain you.

  • People can suck the life force out of you. It doesn’t mean that they are bad, but it is good to notice who drains you and why.
  • See if you can change those relationships by communicating and setting boundaries or, end them.

If all else fails, call a friend, meet at The GEM, and drink your juice! We will atleast have the disco music.


What is Matcha?

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Matcha is the super power of all green teas. It has so many incredible benefits–so much so that it should find its way into your daily routine. Your health can’t afford not to consume this incredible emerald liquid.

So, what is matcha? Matcha tea is a finely ground green tea powder. Matcha’s super high-quality tea leaves remain covered from sunlight for 20 days before picking to accentuate the color and enrich the amino acid content. These rich green leaves are then stone-ground into a fine powder, in a way that keeps oxidation to an absolute minimum.

What makes matcha so special? First, you consume the whole tea leaf, not just water brewed tea leaves. It is the equivalent of 10 cups of brewed green tea! Second, because it isn’t oxidized at all, all of the antioxidants and rich chlorophyll in the leaf remain.

Matcha gives you the following benefits:

  1. Antiaging free radical fighter. The ability of matcha to absorb free radicals (the ORAC value) is one of the highest in the super-food realm, at about 1,348 units per serving. This is one bad ass antioxidant to keep you forever young.
  2. CANCER HATER. This is the one I love:  Matcha is especially high in an antioxidant called EGCG. Matcha has up to 137 times the amount of EGCG as other infused green teas. This particular antioxidant has shown promising results in helping fight against HIV, cancer and many other disorders and diseases.
  3. Metabolism booster. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that matcha helped with metabolism rate, which holds promise for faster fat loss.
  4. Keep calm and carry on with a spring in your step. Matcha plays both sides of the fence when it comes to energy. One study found that matcha had a relaxing effect without causing drowsiness. This calming effect is strangely coupled with an energy lift from caffeine and other elements from the tea leaf. Coffee can cause the jitters and a caffeine high with a crash afterwards. Matcha, while still containing caffeine, tends to cause a more even, long-term energy rise. Plus, with all of those healthy antioxidants, it is a great way to fight against disease and cancer.

KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY. As with all teas, quality is super important. And cheaper is definitely not better. You want to purchase your tea from an importer who moves through their stock so that you get the freshest product. It is interesting to note that all tea comes from the same plant. The quality just depends on the region and processing method.

How to make it? Use a teaspoon of the magic green powder in a bowl with a third of a cup of hot water heated to just less than a boil. Then mix it with a bamboo whisk (or a latte whip) and you are ready to go.

Get creative. Use matcha in smoothies and salad dressings. Just up at The GEM, a chopped veggie salad with a spicy matcha vinaigrette. Super umami (that’s yummy in Japanese)!

For more information, read Dr. Weil’s article on buying green tea.


To Juice or Not Juice – Revisited

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This is an oldie, but a goodie! This is a repost of our February 12th blog.

What an amazing week! The GEM is open and it is, I must say, FABULOUS. It’s interesting how clean, vibrant things attract bright-eyed, vibrant  people. It is SO much fun being there serving raw juice and smoothies to these SHINY, HAPPY PEOPLE.

So the question arises, “Should I juice, or should I smoothie? What is the difference?

GET JUICED UP! Juices provide nutrients at top speed.  The lack of fiber means our body can assimilate the nutrients in a matter of minutes. Your body has time to heal itself rather that having to work at digestion.  My afternoon green juice during chemo was the shot in the arm I needed to keep going after 3pm.

By doing this 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 well-protected against toxins and disease. A fresh juice stands in a league of its own.  It is simply the best energy drink on the market! Take that, Red Bull.

BE A SMOOTH OPERATOR … Smoothies are a vibrant man’s comfort food. There is nothing better than a rich, yummy smoothie. They can be fruit based, raw chocolate or coconut. It doesn’t matter. They all can offer great benefits for skin, digestion, weight control.

Smoothies contain a good deal of fiber, something that is an important nutrient in itself (see Emerald City Smoothie at The GEM). Fiber is an essential and all-too-often lacking ingredient in our diet; it keeps our gut moving and helps it to stay healthy with the right levels of good bacteria. Smoothies, when done right, can be an excellent meal replacement too–with veggies, fruit and protein mixed happily together in a party cup.

BUT, don’t be fooled by that creepy, fake crap served at fast food joints or even at the self-acclaimed healthy smoothie chains. So much of that is processed and sugar laden. You might as well eat some Ben & Jerry’s. Or … the famed BACON SMOOTHIE from Jack in the Box. A bit of a bellwether for the state of America’s health. Smoothies gone wrong. Watch out for it.  Juice over Smoothie?  We need both.