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: Health


Back to School Part Two – Quick Pantry and Fridge Makeover

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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.!


Simple, GEMMY Ways to Practice Earth Day, Every Day

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Earth Day is a worldwide event celebrated every April 22nd. Its sole purpose is to demonstrate support for the protection of our magnificent, incredibly complex planet. For almost 40 years, Earth Day continues to raise the awareness and consciousness of every individual, household, business and organization about our vibrant planet.

Inside The GEM, our commitment to our environment has been a part of our creed. Since. Day. Earth DayOne.

In fact, after five years of serving up a plethora of organic juice, smoothies and green bites, we have composted more than 81 TONS of organic matter—diverting it out of the landfills and back into enriching our Earth. We donate this organic treasure to the Texas Worm Ranch in Garland, Texas, whose worms build healthier soil, which in turn is a vital resource for growing all of the organic veggies that our customers rely on at The GEM.

Just like we’ve watched our customers fall in love with Superfoods and healthy food, we’ve seen them adopt a newfound love of healthy habits such as reusing and recycling.

This same kind of energy can happen at your home or business as well.

Mission critical is that everyone knows the 3 R’s: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE! Every act implementing the 3 R’s for our mother earth is worthy.

GEMMY things our customers are doing this Earth Day and every day:

  1. REUSE paper products such as brown paper bags, six pack containers and drink holders. It’s infectious: when other customers see someone bring in a stack of bags or containers, they are quick to get on that reuse and reduce soul train!! Also, shots are a great way to get a quick dose of those much loved Superfoods, and they are super popular at The GEM. Most of our customers hand back our those glass shot bottles with pride because they know they are making a positive impact on their environment by reusing.
  2. REDUCE the need to accept a brown bag for GEM goodies. Hand carry, bring your own bag, drop it in your purse. Now that is GEMMY!!
  3. RECYCLE glass, plastic and paper. At the front door of The GEM, there are recycling receptacles. We see many GEMs using it daily for recycling on the go!

We wish you continued vitality and healthy habits this Earth Day, Earth Week, Earth Month and every day. Keep up the good work Earth warriors!


Spring Cleaning: Six Things for a Cleaner, Healthier You!

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Are you ready to drop the winter coat (literally and figuratively) and feel lighter and free? Time to spring clean it up, people! And really, spring cleaning is a detox in disguise.

A detox is simply making lifestyle changes that clear the body and mind of toxins, by eliminating certain harmful things and optimizing the power of more positive additions. Our mission inside The GEM is to guide you into a healthier and cleaner future.the gem spring cleaning

Getting there doesn’t have to incorporate radical, sweeping changes all at once.

Toxins are definitely a buzzword these days, so what is considered a toxin? Toxins are anything that can be poisonous or cause negative health effects. Heavy metals, chemicals, pollutants, artificial food ingredients, pesticides all cause the body harm. And don’t think it is just limited to the tangible. Toxic thoughts and people TREMENDOUSLY contribute to your health and wellness.

Let’s cut to the chase. Time for spring cleaning.

If you mindfully incorporate these simple things, you start the process of detoxification. Get on it. Get your brain and your body humming!

  1. Add detoxifying foods DAILY. Think spring greens, like the Dandelion and Kale salad—super supportive of your liver—the major organ responsible for filtering toxins from your body. The MVP soup is something you should drink everyday. Seriously. It adds five servings of sparkle inducing veggies into your day. And, do not underestimate the power of Daily Green Juice. On an empty stomach, it is a straight shot of goodness into your bloodstream. Come to The GEM. We can help with your green dilemma! We put GREEN in the spotlight
  2. Daily breath. Breathing is the strongest detoxifier we have. Use it to your advantage. Take Five Breathing exercise each morning and anytime you need to calm, focus or energize yourself. Breath in for 5 secs, hold it for 5 secs, exhale for 5 secs. Repeat AT LEAST five times. Great for de-stress, energy, composure.
  3. Exfoliate your skin, and sweat it out. Try a Sauna, or Hot Yoga, to sweat. Incorporate Dry Brushing. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and dry brushing boosts circulation, gets rid of dead skin cells, stimulates the lymph nodes, actually improves the appearance of cellulite, and helps the body remove waste. This is a very potent detoxifier.
  4. Eat organic. It is SO important. Our food supply is riddled with pesticides that are not only ON our food, but actually scientifically engineered inside the DNA. Not willing to go all in? Familiarize yourself with the “Dirty Dozen”. And always buy organic meats and pastured eggs!! Life inside The GEM is HONESTLY ORGANIC, so feel secure about your choices here.
  5. NO CREEPY ARTIFICIAL FOODS. That means NO sweeteners, colors, preservatives. They contain dangerous chemicals that remain in your liver and fat cells—and obstructs the natural cleansing processes within your body. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it either.
    Last, but not least, and this can be a difficult, yet critical one:
  6. Stop the negative talk and the behavior that follows. Do not put energy into negative chatter. Have you seen our GEM Journal?? It helps you set your intention for your day, and reminds of habits that will help change your direction. You attract what you put out into the Universe. Remind yourself daily: You are love. You are light.

 

For spring cleaning, you can always dig deeper, choosing temporary changes that can really kick start the process. Start a three day juice cleanse. Follow our “DAY IN THE LIFE OF A GEM” regimen.

Strive for more permanent changes. Remove toxic thoughts. Eliminate artificial sweeteners. I mean it. It can really change the way you feel, look and live!

Living a vibrant life takes commitment, time, focus. Start the journey with these 6 things to exorcise the demons of a toxic world. Walk into the bright light of health. See you inside The GEM soon!


Celebrating a GEM Milestone: Five Year Anniversary

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Hi GEMs, it’s Leslie here, excited to celebrate another GEM milestone: It’s our five year anniversary!GEM love five years

What started as a small passion and love for a healthy lifestyle, evolved into beautiful community and an incredible friendship between two soul sisters. Five years ago today, The GEM made its debut. With a menu of just a few items (all of which are still going strong), we introduced the concept and power of organic juice to Dallas. Little did Mary Kathryn and I know our new-found passion would ignite a community of GEM lovers to not only embrace us, but whole-heartedly dive into GEM-inspired, disco filled healthy habits.

We are different, and we work hard to be that way. We are authentic—this is how we live. Our commitment is to the finest organic ingredients—nothing is ever short changed.

If we won’t eat it, we won’t sell it, true on day one and still true on our five year anniversary.

AND, we want to share our knowledge with anyone who wants it—through classes, blogs, counseling, or just by sitting at the bar and listening. So while we have evolved into something bigger, we’ve never changed our mission: to share ways to incorporate healthy foods and habits into daily life. We FIRMLY believe in the power of a whole food, plant-based diet, but also that health also comes from positive thoughts laced with a little disco sparkle.

We’ve loved every minute of it, meeting so many incredible people who have transformed their health and their lives in so many ways. Moms have changed how they feed their children. Our GEM Guys come in every day for their Green Glow. Toxic love affairs with diet sodas have turned into an obsession with Forever Young Green Iced Tea. The Crown Jewel is the new addiction of choice around these parts. Our Lentil Soup has become a crowd favorite. And we’ve had the honor to guide many through health challenges that ended with a healthier, happier way of living.

We can’t think of a better way to be and we wanted to let you know it on our five year anniversary.

There is so much yet to come. We have so much more we want to share with you … new recipes, new happiness, new ways to bring vibrant health into your day. So, thank you for welcoming us each day with open arms and open minds. WE LOVE YOU, GEMS!

We are offering free Forever Young Iced Tea or Immunity Shot this week. Come get you some.

And we all shine on …


New Year’s Resolutions Abridged Version: Choose Health

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New Year’s Resolutions (sometimes) suck. I don’t know about you, but each year I spend valuable time carefully considering lots of lofty goals and aspirations for the promise of a shiny New Year.

I vow to be healthier, lose some weight around my middle, quit the sugar, be kinder in this world, save money, read a book a month, the list goes on. By February, I am back to eating marshmallows before bed instead of reading that second book, and by March, I don’t even remember where I left the resolutions list!The GEM organic juice

Here’s the problem. There were too many things to get done and no realistic plan to get there.

So this year, I propose something a little different. To be clear: reflecting on your life and setting goals of self-improvement is critical to an evolved and enriched life. For SURE!

BUT, those things should be ongoing, added in at any time. Let’s have an abridged version of New Year’s Resolutions … because resolutions don’t all have to be implemented at once at the start of a new year. SO MUCH PRESSURE!

Let’s be grateful first. Always be grateful. Grateful for the abundance in your life. Grateful that you do have your health (it can always be better). Then get started on making it better. Focus on one thing, not several New Year’s resolutions.

For this post, I choose health. What if you just picked one thing to add that could actually make that beautiful body of yours healthier and stronger? Should you go to the gym everyday? Eat more veggies? Go on a diet? (NO) Start your day with a healthy option? I’ve got it …

DRINK ORGANIC GREEN JUICE DAILY. Sounds simple, maybe even overreaching in terms of results. BUT, don’t discount this one addition. Daily juicing provides your body with a high dose of naturally-derived nutrients that boosts your health, promotes immunity and keeps you well-protected against toxins and disease. You will automatically experience more energy, less sugar cravings and see digestion improvements. The added bonus? Bright shiny eyes and clearer, more vibrant skin. Here at The GEM, we call that GLOW. It is powerful stuff!

WHY JUICE?

  • Best way to get daily recommended fruits & vegetables up to 4 per juice!
  • Aids in the removal of toxins stored in your fat cells, liver and kidneys. See ya toxic weight!
  • WEIGHT LOSS, with reduced cravings
  • Promotes an alkaline system (diseases thrive in an acidic system)
  • Clears the mind and balances mood
 (read: makes you happy!)
  • Promotes immunity
  • Improves complexion and makes your eyes bright (GIVES YOU THAT GLOW)
  • Increased ENERGY! It’s the real energy drink!

 

Starting your day with a healthy juice will hydrate you, get you in a better frame of mind to make better choices throughout your day AND you won’t let yourself down with a tattered list of resolutions you never got around to by March!

By adding this one small thing into your daily routine, you can better your health and hopefully start a “change reaction.” More good brings more good!!

You can’t change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction. So JUST DO IT. Your first daily juice of the New Year awaits inside The GEM! And if you are really feeling ambitious about the jump into the New Year, reserve a 3 Day Juice Then Dinner Cleanse to help kick start a healthier 2017.


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.


5 Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

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This season brings with it happy holidays and festive parties. It also brings stress, less exercise, and more time indoors which equals a greater risk of getting sick with colds and flu. Want to stay strong, boost your immune system, and increase your chances of staying shiny, bright and well this winter? Read on (hint: it’s not just about more vitamin C):

81aHY-s2LkL._SY679_TIP #1: FEED YOUR GUT good bacteria. Our gastrointestinal system is the center of immunity. Maintaining a healthy gut flora is key to strengthening our immune system and helping to prevent illness.

Probiotics, or “good” bacteria, diminish inflammation in the gut and thus help fight illness. So, during this season especially, make sure you’re consuming probiotic-packed foods, like sauerkraut or organic miso. Daily shots of raw apple cider vinegar will also help. Add a probiotic supplement – it’s imperative. We love BIO KULT because it doesn’t need refrigeration, which makes it easier to carry.

TIP #2: BOOST YOUR DIET. Sure, Vitamin C will help keep your immune system strong, so include foods like oranges, blueberries, peppers and broccoli. But don’t just focus on one nutrient.

  • Eat a whole food, plant-based diet with lots of in-season vegetables like winter greens, yams, carrots, and squash. Our LENTIL SOUP, made from scratch, packs rich vegetable nutrients into a warm cup of ridiculous yumminess.
  • If you struggle to consume the recommended 8 servings of veggies each day, try juicing them! Drink juices that consist of 3/4 vegetables and 1/4 fruit. Our RUBY SLIPPER, a blend of carrot, beet, lemon, ginger and cucumber is a stress-busting combination that will fortify your immune system. A GREEN GLOW has been known to cure all that ails you! Add ginger and lemon boosts too.Bar Shot GEM Bag
  • Use lots of herbs and spices. Turmeric and ginger are possibly 2 of the most anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting spices you can consume. Daily IMMUNITY SHOTS at The GEM part of your ticket to staying well. Buy the IMMUNITY MIX (turmeric, ginger, lemon) in 8 ounce bottles and make your own super powered ImmuniTEA with raw honey. It’s SO good!
  • Vitamin D deficiencies also contribute to our susceptibility to illness. Sunlight AND a D3 supplement will help do the trick.
  • Immune boosting SUPERFOODS such as our ADAPTOGEN drops with medicinal mushroom tincture is the final gloss on ensuring your health for the season. If you do find yourself feeling a little under the weather, start immediately with our COLDS COCKTAIL, a tonic that helps push that cold on through.

TIP #3: MANAGE STRESS. Stress triggers the production of cortisol, a hormone that weakens the immune system, making you more susceptible to infection. People who are under more stress are twice as likely to develop colds when exposed to them than those who are chill. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing – these are KEY to managing stress. Don’t skip over this. It’s important.

TIP #4: DON’T SKIP THE EXERCISE. Moderate EXERCISE is cleansing, moderates stress levels, and bolsters immunity. 30 minutes a day. End of story.

TIP #5: GET GOOD SLEEP. Sleep offers your body time to repair and restore your system. 7-8 hours is the minimum. The nights are longer in the winter for a reason: your body needs more sleep to stay well and strong.

Stay healthy, my friends! And see you inside THE GEM.


The Anti-Cancer Life: Healing Powers of Water – Water Therapy

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Last week’s post about leading an anti-cancer life received an amazing outpouring of interest, excitement and gratitude. You truly want to know how to make changes to ensure your optimal health! Optimal health is what we all want to achieve, right?water therapy

The guide is concise and easy to understand, but many of our GEMs questioned deeper into each of the 12 points on the list. The next few posts will dive deep into each one, in no particular order, giving a broader understanding and direction to follow.

One of the easiest actions to incorporate is number 5: It’s called water therapy and it’s a GAME CHANGER. We GEMs do it every day. It is quite a simple concept: Drink 32 ounces of filtered, FLUORIDE FREE water on an empty stomach immediately upon waking. The results are remarkable–amazing therapeutic effects for a multitude of health conditions—ranging from pain to asthma to cancer.

This unpretentious morning regimen originates from ancient Ayurvedic medicine. Drinking water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach purifies the body’s internal system. A particularly important result of this treatment is that it cleanses the colon, making it easier for the body to absorb nutrients from food. This is achieved through the production of new blood. This fresh blood has an immense restorative effect in the body and can even cure existing ailments. There are secondary symptoms of dehydration which include: constipation, skin eruptions, colitis, kidney stones, “hunger” pains, headaches and lots more. Daily water therapy alleviates these issues.

What is the thinking behind this?

Your body has been in a state of fasting overnight. It’s been resting and repairing itself. An empty stomach allows for more energy to be allocated to the healing and reparation process that your body is going through while sleeping. You don’t want to compromise these effects with heavy meals before bed or by a big breakfast right when you wake up. In addition, you are dehydrated from the overnight ‘fast’. Follow your water with daily green juice or a smoothie 30-45 minutes later. You’re gonna love this!

What does this do for you on a daily basis?

Morning Water Therapy Regimen will:

  • Purify the colon and allow for better absorption of nutrients in your system. Clean it up, baby!
  • Aid with weight loss, drinking 32 oz. of water in the morning can boost metabolism by up to 24%.
  • Hydrate your cells at a superior rate. The hydration rush to the cells helps increase production of blood and muscle cells.
  • Purge your system of toxins and make your skin glow!
  • Flush and balance your lymphatic system leading to increased immunity.
  • Energize you for your day!

What kind of filtered water do we recommend?

Reverse osmosis is good, and solid carbon block filters are the best option for home use. Use glass or stainless bottles when available.

Creating a new morning ritual of drinking water is one that is healthy and super beneficial to your overall long-term health care. It is an easy way to detoxify your system without having to make major changes to your lifestyle. Try it. I think you will be amazed!


Leading an Anti-Cancer Life

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Since The GEM’s inception, I have put off posting a blog directly related to cancer, including leading Fighting Cancer; Now Leading an Anti-Cancer Lifean anti-cancer life. I did this for several (no good) reasons. Primarily, I thought, incorrectly I am sure, most non-cancer folks don’t want to hear about something that either a) doesn’t affect them, or b) bums them out.

Last week, 7, SEVEN, yes 7, people I know were either newly diagnosed, toughing out terrible treatment side effects or received news of a nasty recurrence.

Well, I’ve had it. I don’t know if it was just all the dark stars aligned around me, but I decided to hit this one head on with all of you ~ hence, this post about leading an anti-cancer life. It will be the most important thing you read today.

As you may know, five years ago I was broadsided with a diagnosis of breast cancer that spread to my lymph nodes. During my year-long treatment, 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.

We talk about alkalinity and inflammation every chance we getBecause those are things that ensure optimal health. Cancer and disease does not thrive in an alkaline environment (your body). Inflammation is the root of illness and disease. We must work constantly to quell the fire of inflammation in our bodies.

Last week’s bad news compelled me to share priceless anti-cancer tips I’ve learned. EVERYONE needs to incorporate these things into daily life, because, frankly, we ALL have cancer cells in our bodies. How you trigger those cells into proliferation is what makes the difference.

My previous lifestyle did nothing for my optimal health. That’s OK. Because I set out to make a change. You can too. These are your new food rules to live by. Treat your body like a GEM.

ANTI CANCER FOOD RULES. 

  1. 80:20 rule: Your plate should be 80 percent vegetables, nuts and seeds. It’s a WHOLE FOOD, PLANT BASED DIET–an alkaline dream! Live it, love it. If you choose to consume animal products, use them sparingly. They should NOT be the main part of your meal. Meats MUST be organic, free-range, grass-fed. This is a tough tip to swallow, but it really should be eliminated, using beans, nuts, quinoa and seeds as pro-alkalinity protein sources. I just read that women who eat meat 2x or more a day quadruple their risk of a breast cancer recurrence. Snap. That does it for me!
  2. RAINBOW GREENS: Many veggies can actually limit the growth of certain cancer cells. Shoot for 8-10 servings of veggies each day. Vary the vegetables you eat or mix them together — broccoli is an effective anticancer food, and is even more effective when combined with tomatoes, onions and garlic. AND, nothing is more powerful than the phytonutrients found in veggies and super berries. DAILY RAW, ORGANIC GREEN JUICE is a critical way to flood your body with cancer fighting warriors.
  3. ORGANIC IS KING: Choose organic foods when possible. For those of you who don’t live in areas where organic is readily available, it’s better to eat broccoli that’s been exposed to pesticides than to not eat broccoli at all. If 100% organic is not possible, familiarize yourself with the “dirty dozen” vegetables and eat accordingly. When something says organic that also means it is non-GMO. I am pretty certain that Monsanto’s Round Up Ready corn and soy beans spawns cancer cells like crazy. I mean, seeds injected with pesticides? NOT FOR ME.
  4. SPICE IT UP: Add turmeric to your diet. It is the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent. They call it Nature’s Advil for a reason! We press turmeric into a liquid form and you can purchase turmeric in concentrated supplement form, but any turmeric can be of benefit! Generously add herbs like thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, cilantro, mint, etc. They don’t just add flavor, they help reduce the growth of cancer cells.
  5. Drink UP! Water Therapy is Magic: 32 ounces of filtered (fluoride-free) water to start your morning, plus another 4-6 glasses per day. It flushes toxins, viruses and bacteria and provide the cells with much-needed hydration. Your body will thank you.
  6. GET AN OIL CHANGE: Get rid of those nasty, acid-forming vegetable oils: corn, soybean, sunflower, regular canola. NOW. But don’t be afraid of fats, they really nourish your nervous system, brain and joints. Use olive, coconut, walnut oils in cooking and (make your own) salad dressings. The others are rancid and riddled with inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.
  7. Drop refined grains: Go for heirloom grains, organic or brown. Eat your grains whole and mixed and favor organic whole grains when possible. Avoid refined, white flour, (ie, bagels, muffins, bread). It is crap.
  8. CUT OUT THE SWEET STUFF: Sugar feeds inflammation, disease AND CANCER. Cut the sodas and skip dessert, or replace it with fruit (especially stone fruits and berries) after most meals. Stay clear of products that list ANY type of sugar in the first three ingredients. For a treat, grab a few squares of dark chocolate containing more than 70% cacao. The GEM loves the Great Bean Chocolate brand of raw organic chocolates. The Bliss Bar, vanilla and cacao flavor, rocks my world!
  9. Learn to love GREEN tea: Instead of coffee or black tea, drink three cups of green tea per day. Regular consumption of green tea has been linked to a significant reduction in the risk for developing cancer. Flying Bird Botanicals’ jasmine green tea is amazing! (Grab some inside The GEM!)
  10. DAIRY IS FOR BABY COWS. We are the only species that consumes another animal’s breast milk–Milk that is laden with hormones that baby cows need to grow. Dairy is extremely acidic. The China Study, a book that reveals an undeniable connection between dairy/animal protein and cancer, changed my entire love affair with dairy. If that doesn’t do it, I’ll appeal to your vanity: bloating and bad skin are definite clues you do dairy.
  11. NO FAKE STUFF: NOT a little bit, NOT ever. Artificial Colors, Artificial Sweeteners, Artificial Flavors and Preservatives. I can get really angry about this stuff that somehow has been OK’d by the FDA. These have known dangerous side effects, but are “generally regarded as safe.” I call bullsh*t on that.
  12. BANISH THE BAD: Manage your environment. This is not food, but it’s critical. Avoid exposure to common household chemical contaminants. Use a green dry cleaner or air your clothes for two hours before storing or wearing it; use organic cleaning products or wear gloves; NEVER heat liquids or food in plastic; dump cosmetics with parabens and phthalates; toss Teflon pans and get enameled ones; filter your tap water; don’t keep your cell phone close to you when it is turned on and use earphones. This is scary stuff, people. There is even legal info about it on your phones in that general section that no one ever reads.
  13. Don’t run scared. Don’t let these tips make you so obsessed that you allow stress to be a negative factor on your body. If you fall off, get back on the wagon. What matters is your daily routine, not the occasional treat.

 

These body nourishing habits are designed to keep cancer at bay and keep you at your optimal health. Incorporate these into your daily routine. Immunity, energy and vibrant health are certain to follow.

P.S. Books to read: Radical Remission and Crazy Sexy Cancer.

P.P.S. Healthy mind and spirit habits are critical components, too. We will cover those in a later post. Stay tuned!


What Pink Ribbons Don’t Say About Breast Cancer Prevention

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 5 Comments on What Pink Ribbons Don’t Say About Breast Cancer Prevention

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.