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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: healthy eating tips

Leading an Anti-Cancer Life

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 21 Comments

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.


  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!

12 Healthy Breakfast Options on the Go

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 5 Comments

We’ve always heard, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Without question this is true, especially for our kids. For brain development, their daily energy levels, their ability to focus.

An apple a day...It can be a challenge with all of the over processed options you see in the grocery store.


Getting your kids to eat a good breakfast in the morning is simple–if you just do a little planning. You need a few of these quick and healthy breakfast options in your arsenal.

Make a shopping list that includes all of the items below and plan out your week. If you are not a morning person, put out plates, glasses and put ingredients together ready to go from the fridge. If they take vitamins (which they should), place them in little ramekins at their place setting. Still plan to get up 10 minutes early. It makes all the difference.

Breakfast only takes 15 minutes, and it can be a great way to take a moment to set your intention for the day, spend a moment with your kids and treat yourself like the royalty you are.

Feed them royally (as our friends at Hail Merry might say) with some of the following options:

  1. Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats. Just add hot water and wait two minutes. Add maple syrup and cinnamon, even berries for a sweet treat. You can also cook steel-cut oatmeal in your crock pot the night before so it will be ready in the am.
  2. Vital Farms pastured eggs. It is very important to get protein in them, keeping blood sugar levels even. Eggs are SOOO fast and easy to make. Try one over medium cooked in coconut oil. Serve them boiled with salt and pepper. Scramble them with spinach if your kids are open to the next level. And why pastured?
    • 2/3 more Vitamin A
    • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
    • 3 times more Vitamin E
    • 7 times more beta carotene (according to my friends at Vital Farms)
  3. Applegate Farms Chicken Maple Sausage, scrambled egg and whole wheat English muffin–or try a Van’s GF waffle with it, like a wrap! No nitrates, organically grown.
  4. Fresh smoothies made with frozen berries, bananas, almond milk, pomegranate juice, raw protein like Amazing Meals. Stock up on your ingredients. Keep cacao and agave on hand too. Try the Blueberry Brain Boost Smoothie. Sneak in hemp seeds for extra protein.
  5. Vigilant Eats Oat Cereal if you are in a super rush. Just add cold or hot water and go. Spoon is already in the cup! Eleven grams of protein to start your day. Come get yours at The GEM!
  6. Cherrybrook Farms (gluten-free) pancakes with blueberries. This gluten-free brand is amazing!!!! They really are fantastic when cooked with coconut oil. They need almost no syrup! Combine with #2 or #3 to balance with protein.
  7. Healthy granola, like Hail Merry’s Cherry Almond Hemp with vanilla almond milk or organic Greek yogurt. Add fresh sliced pineapple on the side.
  8. Ezekial Bread toasted with almond butter and their favorite jam (not the kind with food coloring and lots of chemicals. Read your labels!)
  9. Make a peanut or almond butter and jelly whole grain waffle. Heavy on the organic peanut butter.
  10. Breakfast burrito–whole wheat tortillas–the fresh ones from Central Market or Whole Foods, not the ones with a gazillion ingredients–mixed with scrambled eggs and pico de gallo. You can drain a can of black beans the night before and add those in the mix too.
  11. Quinoa Cereal.  It’s reminiscent of Cream of Wheat, but SOO much better.  Here’s a recipe.  Play with it–your kids just might love it!
  12. Bonus: invest in a citrus juicer. You can make fresh squeezed orange or pink grapefruit juice in a matter of seconds. It is AMAZING and a tremendous source of Vitamin C. Everyone thinks it’s cool to operate.

And remember this important detail for breakfast: if it comes from a box, read the label. If you don’t know what the ingredients are or how to spell them, toss it.

Do you have a whole food, protein rich breakfast favorite you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about it!

Makeover: Pantry Edition. Simple Tips and Ideas to Reboot Your Kitchen.

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 1 Comment

We all know the kitchen pantry can have an evil, tempting voice that beckons you to do bad, bad things. That box of double stuffed oreos and cheezits refuse to live a life of solitude. They DEMAND your company. Temptation can be difficult to resist, especially if other options are not readily available. Just say no? That simple slogan is not realistic. Here’s a better way. It’s a Healthy Pantry Makeover. REBOOT your pantry and kick start your way to vibrance, energy and love.

There are lots of strategies for a healthy pantry makeover, all of which will be part of a series to teach smarter ways to shop and cook and eat. Here are some starting points.

1. Read the labels. if it sounds like a bonus question on a chemistry exam, toss it.
2. Reward yourself but not with food. A movie or walk with a friend, a lazy soak in the tub.
3. Leave triggers on the shelf at the grocery store. If you know you can’t resist something, don’t buy it.
4. Don’t try to do it all at once. That can be overwhelming and expensive. Start with a few items and work them in.
5. The fewer the ingredients, the better the food, ie, ‘whole food.’

1. White rice and pasta.
2. Salty, fried snack foods like potato chips and corn chips. Especially those with chemicals and color.
3. Vegetable oil. It’s acidic and tasteless.
4. Sugary cereals, boxes with BRIGHT COLORS, OR PRIZES INSIDE
5. Canned soups, make your own and freeze the extra.
6. High Fructose corn syrup drinks.
7. Yogurt with artificial sweeteners and colors.
8. Any thing labeled sugar free, fat free or ‘lite.’ If they can’t spell it right, it’s wrong.
9. Take a look at the ingredients in your condiments. Try making your own salad dressing.
10. Frozen entrees. Lean Cuisines are loaded in preservatives and sodium.

1. Whole grains like long grain brown rice and quinoa. Whole grain cereals. Go Lean Crunch is pretty tasty! Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal is a winner.
2. Nuts.  Raw almonds and pumpkin seeds rock my world. Dried and/or dehydrated fruit. Sliced frozen bananas or grapes are awesome in the summer.
3. Healthy oils like canola, olive, coconut. Spices like Jalapeno Lemon Pepper or Tommy’s Coffee Rub are amazing additions to spice up your foods.
4. There is no finer snack than popcorn made with coconut oil and sea salt.
5. Canned beans: cannelini, black, pinto, lentils. (Dried are best. See easy crock pot bean recipe). Beans and rice topped with salsa and avocado is a perfect protein meal.
6. Sparkling water and limes–the perfect cooler.
7. Nonfat plain Greek yogurt
8. Domestic (or local), seasonal fruits and veggies. Keep all the ingredients for a quick smoothie in the pantry and freezer. Amazing Meals is a great vegan protein addition!
9. Hummus, tamari sauce, salsa, guacamole.
10. Homemade chili or soup.  Keep in the freezer for quick access.

Detox your body, detox your mind and now a DETOX program for your KITCHEN. Good stuff!