The Official Blog of The GEM.

SHINE BRIGHTER. Our goal is to live better and be better.

Tag Archives: health counseling


Back to School Part Two – Quick Pantry and Fridge Makeover

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 1 Comment on Back to School Part Two – Quick Pantry and Fridge Makeover

If you keep healthy food in your pantry and fridge, you will eat healthy food.

Without question this statement is true … for overall health, daily energy levels, our ability to focus. A well-stocked pantry and easy to grab snacks help us boost metabolism and reduce cravings later in the day. You’ve got stuff in your pantry that shouldn’t be there, but do you know what should be there? This post gives you a quick run-down of what a healthy pantry should contain.

You don’t have to go toss everything and start from scratch in one day. Switching to 100 percent clean foods can be challenging and even costly at first. Give it time, and take it easy on yourself. Try replacing one food item at a time. Sub in brown rice pasta for plain white pasta, or skip the Reese’s and do dark chocolate and organic peanut butter instead. As you add in the good, your taste buds will change, and you will naturally want clean, whole foods. The “fake” foods will seem less appealing.

Remember this important detail: Always read the label! If you don’t know what the ingredients are or how to spell them, toss it.

Start by personally saying goodbye to a few main evils. This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge every now and then … you decide what works for you.

TOSS

  • Vegetable oils like Corn, Canola, Wesson
  • Sugary, food-colored cereals. Even the organic/clean ones are for fun snacks NOT breakfast
  • Canned soups
  • Sugar-sweetened soda
  • ANYTHING with artificial sweeteners: “Lite, Diet, Lo-Cal”
  • ANYTHING with artificial food coloring – it’s made from petroleum and causes all kinds of issues
  • Frozen entrees that have more chemicals than you can begin to spell
  • Conventional chemical and GMO laden chips like Cheetos, Fritos (there are simple alternatives)

 

Your Revitalized Pantry

 

GRAINS/PANTRY

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa (also a protein source)
  • Soba noodles (also a protein source)
  • Organic wheat and/or gluten-free pasta (Tinkyada in my fave)
  • Beans! Black beans, cannellini, pinto, lentils, chickpeas
  • Sunflower seeds, pistachios, walnuts – great on your salads, oatmeal
  • Raw almond butter, organic peanut butter
  • Killer Dave’s Breads (multigrain or ‘white done right’)
  • Siete Almond Flour Tortillas
  • Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats
  • 365 Brand Organic Taco Shells

 

PROTEINS

  • Vital Farms pastured eggs
  • Grass fed ground beef
  • Organic chicken and chicken legs
  • Bell & Evans Organic Gluten Free Nuggets/Strips

When purchasing animal protein/eggs, organic, free-range and pastured are non-negotiable factors, and avoid pre-packaged meats.

 

VEGGIES

  • Boxed lettuces—they are fresh and ready to eat. Spinach/Romaine/Super Greens
  • Onions and garlic always!
  • Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower – all are great for quick sautéing or roasting
  • Organic sweet and regular potatoes
  • Artichokes are a really fun and simple appetizer
  • Carrots, cucumber, organic celery sticks – perfect for snacking
  • Frozen organic peas, corn, artichokes, shelled edamame to use for quick dinner preps

 

CONDIMENTS/FLAVORINGS

  • Extra-virgin olive oil for salad dressings
  • Bearitos Taco Seasoning packets
  • Hot sauce—Tabasco, Crystal and Cholula
  • Burger House Seasoning Salt – Amazing on homemade oven fries, grilled chicken or anything!
  • Maple syrup
  • Organic Tamari (instead of soy sauce)
  • Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
  • Bubbie’s pickles
  • Joe T’s or Royitos Salsa
  • Gorji’s Pomodoro Sauce

 

FRUITS

  • Lemons, limes
  • Avocado
  • Organic apples
  • Cutie oranges
  • Bananas – frozen for smoothies
  • Frozen berries for smoothies
  • Varied fruits (berries, melon, cherries)

 

BEVERAGES

  • Topo Chico Sparkling Waters
  • Healthy Sports Drinks like our Perform Hydration Drink
  • Keep Passion Tea and homemade lemonade in the fridge

 

SNACKS/OTHER JUNK FOOD

While we don’t suggest eating processed junk food all the time, we know it’s a fact of life … we love it. Stay tuned for our next post on CLEAN JUNK FOOD! We will share our favorite brands that are free from chemicals, food coloring, toxic MSG and GMO’s.

Need a little more hand holding? We can help! Our Diamonds on Your Inside Counseling Program brings us to your home AND on a shopping trip to Whole Foods/Costco to get you on the right track. Just ask!

Want easy and yummy recipes?

Cookbook Signing: Monday, August 21

Come meet our dear friend Pamela Salzman, author of the new Kitchen Matters Cookbook, at our Forest location August 21st, 10 a.m. – noon, for a book signing AND demo at 11 a.m.!


Spring Forward with The GEM Continuing Education Workshops

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments on Spring Forward with The GEM Continuing Education Workshops

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!


Let Go of Your Fear of the Calorie

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments on Let Go of Your Fear of the Calorie

We hear it often, “Do you know the calorie count in this?” “How many calories?” “How many carbs?”organic kale salad

I can see their “fear of the calorie” anxiety start to rise.

Well, count no more.

Here’s a news flash: We’ve been fed a fat lie by the food industry and the weight loss community.

Summed up, the lie is this: All calories are created equal. To which I say No, NO, NO! I am boldly going out on a limb to say that is dead wrong. If their advice were accurate, we would all be thin and healthy by now.

According to this concept, obesity is simply a matter of eating too many calories—that the types of foods you eat aren’t nearly as important as the caloric value of foods. Eat less, move more and weight loss will occur. While simplistically it is true, this doesn’t consider the actual nutritional and metabolic effects food has on the body.

Think about small-sized fries, burger and soda (around 500 calories) vs. a bowl of GEM lentil soup, kale salad and a green juice (500 calories). Both are mostly “carbs”—currently taboo in the trendy “diet world.” But never mind that for now.

Riddle me thisDo they have the same effect on our bodies? Do you feel the same after eating these meals? Of course not! We all know that equal caloric amounts of junk food and veggies can’t be the same nutritionally. So why is this?

Here’s what happens to your body with the not-sohappy-meal of burger, fries and soda: The fiber-free sugars of the soda are rapidly absorbed. Your blood sugar spikes, starting a chain reaction of very unwanted hormonal responses that contribute to the storage of belly fat, increased inflammation, elevated triglycerides, higher blood pressure, lower testosterone in men and even infertility in women. Danggg. Refined sugar ain’t good, folks.

But there’s more! The highly refined and highly acidic fats from the burger and fries make you sluggish and tired, even depressed. It slows your digestion and ultimately your metabolism suffers. Let’s not even mention the chemicals they use that accumulate in your fat cells and liver and contribute to a wide array of illnesses. (cancer, anyone?)

Listen up. All your body wants is proper nutrition. What you gave it was crap. So your appetite increases because the brain never gets the “I’m satisfied” signal. It thinks you’re starving. With the sugar spike, your pleasure-based reward center is triggered, driving you to crave more and more sugar. And so your addiction begins. BAM.

These kinds of foods create chaos. Your body doesn’t register these things as food, so you eat more all day long. Plus, your taste buds get hijacked and you become addicted to sugar, so anything that is not crazy-sweet doesn’t taste good to you. It’s an ugly, vicious, fat-inducing cycle.

Now let’s look at the plate of clean and healthy GEM food. As with the first option mentioned above, these calories are made up mostly (although not entirely) of carbs.

These carbs are different, though they are all technically sugars or starches, which convert to sugar in the body. High-fiber, low-sugar carbohydrates such as kale and broccoli are slowly digested and don’t lead to blood sugar and insulin spikes, while table sugar and bread are quickly digested carbs that spike your blood sugar. Slow carbs like kale and broccoli and lentils heal rather than harm.

With The GEM food, there’s no blood sugar or insulin spike, no fatty liver, no hormonal chaos. Your stomach actually finds satisfying nutrients, sending signals to your brain that you are full. There is no triggering of the addiction reward center in the brain. Other benefits: optimized metabolism—yes, your body actually processes the clean GEM food more efficiently!! These foods lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and boost detoxification, quelling inflammation. Greens contain high levels of vitamin C and folate, which protect against cancer and heart disease. These foods can even change the expression of your genes to help balance your sex hormones, reducing breast and other cancers.

Good, clean, unprocessed food creates a healthy foundation that protects not pollutes. Food doesn’t just contain calories, it contains information. Every bite of food you eat broadcasts a set of coded instructions to your body—instructions that can create either health or disease. Choose the good. In the end, your entire system will transform itself into a lean mean fat busting machine, without ever counting a calorie.

All calories are NOT equal. Some are addictive, others healing, some fattening, some metabolism-boosting. Which ones will you choose?

Need a little help making the choices on your own? Contact The GEM today and a health counselor will be happy to help!


Your fatigue’s dirty little secret

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments on Your fatigue’s dirty little secret

Are you in a constant state of fatigue?cure fatique

Do you …

Feel rundown or overwhelmed?

Have difficulty falling asleep?

Wake up in the middle of the night?

Wake up exhausted, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour?

Feel exhausted late in the afternoon, but more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day?

Crave salty and sweet snacks?

Have brain fog? Chronic racing thoughts?

No, you probably aren’t falling apart. You just might be experiencing adrenal fatigue. What is that, you might ask?

Adrenal glands are endocrine glands that sit at the top of the kidneys. These guys mobilize your body’s response to every kind of stress. They regulate blood sugar, regulate energy production and storage, immune function, heart rate, muscle tone and other processes that enable you to cope with the stress.

Important roles, no doubt.

So it’s important to keep these guys working properly and don’t over work them. Adrenal fatigue occurs when the demands of stress cannot be adequately met.

Whether emotional, environmental or physical, prolonged stress is disastrous for the adrenals. Prolonged stress wreaks havoc on your blood sugar, causes thinning skin, muscle wasting, memory loss, high blood pressure, dizziness and night sweats. Eventually, the adrenals become fatigued.

You want to recognize fatigue so you can begin to manage it before it gets out of hand. Overworked adrenals eventually crash, leading to adrenal exhaustion, where the body is unable to maintain adequate adrenal hormone production. And then you can say hello to extreme fatigue (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), irritability, inability to concentrate, frustration, insomnia, addictions to sweet or salty foods, allergies, depression, anxiety, sensitivity to cold, diabetes and headaches…Cliff Notes version: it is not fun!

While we can’t always eliminate stress, we can nourish our bodies and souls in a way that strengthens the response and keep the negative effects on your body at bay.

10 tips to nourish your adrenals: 

1. Breathe! Commit to regular deep breathing exercises. Aim for 10 to 20 deep belly breaths every morning and every night. Six counts in, six counts out. Not only is it calming to the mind and body, it is cleansing and energizing.

2. Eat clean, whole foods. Let food be thy medicine, right? Rid your diet of the nasty five: caffeine (see ya later, coffee), alcohol, table salt, soda and sugar. And say hello to good sources of protein, complex starch, nuts and seeds, super berries and lots and lots of dark greens (they contain great amounts of B vitamins). Nourish yourself through food.

3. Daily organic juice. Flooding your body with super powered greens nourish every inch of your body. Instant energy, without a crash, daily juice helps maintain blood sugar levels and boosts immunity. The new Disco (Super GREEN) juice is the most detoxifying juice yet, power packed with chlorophyll and phytonutrients certain to boost you back to vibrance. For REAL!

4. Sleep. Try to get eight hours for rest and repair. Lack of sleep not only affects adrenals but also hormonal balance. Cortisol levels contribute that puffy ring of belly fat around your middle. Go to bed earlier, and stay screen free for at least 30 minutes prior to bed. Late night viewing of electronic screens are proven to negatively affect sleep patterns.

5. Daily quiet time. This is a good time use a Gratitude Journal identifying five things to be grateful for. Try it—you’ll be amazed how it soothes the mind. Bring awareness to your daily life with meditation. Studies show meditation can drastically reduce stress. Just do it!

6. Try a weekly detox soak. Take a relaxing bath at least weekly to promote detoxification of impurities that tax your system. A detox bath of one cup Epsom salts, one cup baking soda and eight drops of lavender oil just might change your life!

7. Take a daily probiotic. When your gut is healed, health will naturally improve. Bio-Kult is the VERY best probiotic out there. This is something I recommend always!

8. Recover with Bloom! This incredible elixir, called Recovery, is a combination of several organic herbs in a liquid format that helps support adrenals and help the body “recover” from stress—be it physical or mental. I take two droppersful in the morning and at night. I sleep better, and that afternoon fatigue starts to disappear. It’s AMAZING! Get your magic elixir inside The GEM today.

9. Learn to love restorative exercise like yoga. Simple daily yoga stretches, even for just 15 minutes makes an enormous difference.

10. Learn how to say NO … Boundaries. Build your own. This is a major cause of stress. Don’t over commit yourself. There’s only so much of you to go around!!

Learn more ways to nourish your body and soul with a Diamonds on Your Inside counseling session. That’s why we’re here.