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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: feed your family well

Feed Your Teens Well [Four-Part Series]

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Teens need exceptional nutrition because their bodies AND BRAINS are growing and maturing rapidly. With the exception of infancy, adolescence is THE most critical time for good eating. WOW! The irony, of course, is that the time they need it the most, is the time when they eat nutritious foods the least. They need help. The struggle of feeding healthy teens is a real one.Feed Your Teens Well

Over the next four blog posts, we will discuss ways to raise healthier teenagers–from why they need our help, to how we can play a role, along with an entire post devoted to healthy snack ideas your kids will eat.

Here’s the deal: Our teens ARE overfed and undernourished. (Take a look at the documentary!) Think about that profound statement! We need to help change this. These growth spurts do require more food; but not just more food, they require the good food.

There are lots of reasons this is a problem. Teens eat more meals away from home, and parental supervision is limited. The places they DO eat are usually fast-food restaurants, where “food” is riddled with unhealthy fat and void of nutrients. Basically CRAP.

Their tastes are changing. Boys try to build muscles by eating massive quantities of food. Girls want to be thin, and think limiting calories alone equates to weight loss. There is an increased affinity for fat (not the good kind). Boys crave heavy, protein-rich foods. Girls crave sweets. Hello, Cupcake.

The fact is that healthy nutrition — and especially the lack of it –affects so much of our teenagers lives: their academic success, athletic ability, overall attitude—and even their appearance. Our teens need to know this.

If we can educate them and help them adopt a few good habits, we keep them healthy and happy–not just now but straight into adulthood. This is our duty!


Effects of poor teen nutrition. You probably know what it looks like, but what does it do?

The effects of regular consumption of high inflammatory foods, such as fast food, sodas, potato chips, junk, foods with mascots, sweets etc, are NOT positive ones.  Here’s what happens without good nutrition:

  • Acne. Yep. Sugar and Dairy are the culprits. Enough said.
  • Low energy, sluggishness. Excess sugar and bad fats, along with lack of good protein and good fats.
  • Inability to focus/concentrate/ADHD. Largely affected by artificial dyes and lack of good fats and proteins. This is crisis is REAL people.
  • Allergies! Big and little ones. Check out The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O’Brien. Infuriating.
  • Mood swings/depression, anxiety, anger. Food can be a BIG factor in managing mood.
  • Weight gain and risk of obesity. Greater chance of diabetes and heart disease later in life.


Bottom line: You and your teen can find better commitment to healthier foods just by knowing what some of these things do to you.

So much of what we feed our kids is full of chemicals and over-processed, nutrient depleted “food-like” substances. You may not even know the culprits–as they are hidden in everything. Junk food abounds, then all of the side effects appear. Providing your family with nutritious, acceptable and SAFE food is HARD to do!

Fast foods and convenience foods are pumped full of chemicals.  It’s a real toxic sh*t storm out there. Even Chick-fil-A contains food colorings AND an “anti-foaming agent” in their fries that is also used in plastics. What????? Packaged snacks are made with hydrogenated oils, scary preservatives, creepy science experiments (GMOs), and things called rendered beef fat. Hidden sugars are everywhere. Prego spaghetti sauce=serving of Chips Ahoy. Sports drinks have tons of sugar, not to mention harmful food dyes that are banned in most 1st World Countries. We now consume 5 times the amount of food dyes than 50 years ago. Check out this frightening guide to food coloring dangers. If that doesn’t get you off your Sugar Smacks, nothing will.

Ramen noodle on that for a while. It’s upsetting to say the least. We need to get teens back to healthy foods. And, we will. Together. Until next time …

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!

Here’s to a Disco Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving

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Peace.  Happy.  Gratitude.

Peace. Happy. Gratitude.

We all want a Disco, Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving right? It can be an energizing, inspiring holiday if you let it be – one of thanks (duh), gratitude, friendships, yummy foods, family. An all nourishing kind of day – the body and soul.

It can also be a draining, heavy, toxic holiday. One with over-indulgence on food and booze that leave you feeling bloated and depressed. And it gets worse. You let energy vampires disguised as aunts, uncles, siblings, etc., swoop in topped with nonsensical family traditions.



To make this Thanksgiving a Healthy Thanksgiving (it is currently my favorite), you can do a few small things that may result in some big changes:

  1. Do it yourself.  Make sure you have at least two clean sides for Thanksgiving. It may mean you bring them yourself—which is even better! Alice Waters, Rozanne Gold, Mark Bittman, they all have amazing cookbooks that will rock your world. GEM Hummus with veggies, Hail Merry Royal Blend nuts (conveniently available at The GEM). Shoot, come pick up a few of our arugula & mushroom quinoa salads and tell everyone you made it yourself!! It’s a PERFECT fall salad. 100 Days Of Real Food has good, clean recipes and is an amazing resource to feed your family better. Dreena Burton of Plant-Powered Kitchen has a few recipes on her site.
  2. Center yourself. The holidays, even with all their glitter and excitement, can be emotionally draining. Family dynamics, loneliness, financial issues, and just the intense insanity of it all can be overwhelming. Take some time for yourself the night before by drawing yourself a nice warm bath with CALM Sports bath and lavender oil (Epsom salts can work too) or do what I do—excuse myself to my closet for some deep breathing with a few key stretches before the festivities start. Allow yourself to decompress. It’s ok. We need to take care of ourselves first! By nurturing yourself and taking time to get centered, you’ll be able to steer clear of bad choices and emotional eating.
  3. Prep yourself. Start your morning with 32 ounces of filtered water followed at least 30 minutes later with a vibrant green smoothie with a couple of tablespoons of raw Happy Hemp seeds. (1/2 frozen banana, 1-2 cups spinach, ½ cup blueberry, ½ cup frozen cherries, 2-3 T of raw hemp seeds, 1 cup water). I SWEAR it will make your day go better. Plus it fills your body with satisfying nutrients that will help you make better decisions for the rest of the day.
  4. Don’t be hard on yourself. Thanksgiving doesn’t always have to be a day of over indulgence. But, let’s also be realistic … stuffing happens. Pecan pie and whipped cream happen. If you do go deep off the wagon, you can always get back on that vibrant, healthy band wagon again.

Plan to get back on track as soon as the last turkey sandwich is served. Even better, schedule a 4-Day GEM Cleanse to exorcise the gluttony demons and be back brighter than ever!

Have a gratitude and laughter filled healthy Thanksgiving. We love you, GEMs! See you back for more GEM goodness soon. Hugs all around …