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


The Perfect 7 Mother’s Day GEM-Inspired Gifts!

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Give MOM peace, happy AND juice this Mother’s Day with GEM-inspired gifts!

Forgo flowers and bring her some GEM goodness with GEM-inspired gifts that keep on giving! Whether Mom’s a regular or you want to introduce her to GEM life, we have something fab her.

For the Glamour Mom:

Seabuckthorn bottle, Glamour Shot (Sea Buckthorn & Pomegranate Juice) and Moringa Superherb Tea, which among many other things, beautifies the skin and promotes wellness. ($49)


Glamour Gift

For the Tea Loving Mom:

Bring her a Growler of Canary Diamond Tea (Green tea, basil, pineapple, lemon) for brunch ($22) & Matcha Tea Canister and Japanese whisk to learn the art of rich, green tea. ($36)

Matcha Tea Set

For the Peace and Calm Craving Mom:

CALM Sports Bath, CALM Magnesium Tea and a canister of Jiaogulan Superherb Tea, with incredible anti-anxiety and calming properties. ($49)

ZEN & Calm Basket

For the On-the-Go Mom:

Healthy Snack Kit: Sunbiotic Almonds, Tosi Bars, Marge Granola Snack Bags and Acai Green Super Tea Booster to add to her water or iced green tea. ($34)

GEM On-the-go snacks

For the Suave Mom:

Gift Card for a smooth, carefree week of GEM Smoothies (a week’s worth of smoothies). ($50)

Do it at home with a GEM Smoothie Kit, which includes a jar of Coconut Manna, a bag of raw Cacao and Maca, Raw Happy Hemp Seeds, Amazing Meal protein packet, Chia seeds and a special GEM Smoothie recipe. We can help put it together!

For the Hip Mom:

Buy Mom shots at the bar!! Custom Shot 5 Pack. One for each busy day of the week: Glamour Shot, Bright Like a Diamond, Tumeric, Ginger and E3 Live. ($18)

Bar Shot GEM Bag

For the Health Mom:

A 5, 4 or 3 Day Cleanse package or 4-Session Health Counseling Gift Card

A sampling of the individual counseling session topics include: De-Stress, Hidden Toxins, Energize Me, Meal Planning and many more. Complete list and description can be found Individual Health Counseling Session Topics. Health Counseling Gift Card recipients will select the best sessions for their needs.

For the Independent Minded Mom:

Let her choose with The Gift Card in any amount! Leave mom with a Radiant GLOW and a smile.GEM Gift Card

Call or stop by and pick the perfect gift now!

 

 

 


Be vibrant—Form a Plant Based Diet, including JUICE!

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JuicerowGEM girls believe juicing is an incredible tool in an arsenal to “reboot” a sick body and mind. It is a significant component to an overall plant-based, whole foods diet—which is the key to vibrant health. It is powerful stuff!

This is something I learned firsthand. I discovered what juicing and alkalinity does to a compromised system when I went through a year-long battle with cancer and chemo. This experience was more than just inspiring and medically apparent for me, it completely changed my life!

But WHY is juicing and a plant based diet such an effective means of changing one’s health—whether the goal is vitality, weight loss or even disease reversal?

Two words: Micronutrients (OK, one, but it sounds more dramatic that way). Cells in the body require micronutrients (i.e. vitamins and minerals) to function optimally. When cells receive adequate micronutrients, you feel energized and full. These are nutrient-dense foods. On the other hand, many foods simply provide nutritionally worthless calories and are devoid of the essential nutrients our cells crave. These are calorie-dense, nutrition-poor foods that weaken your body, i.e. things that come in a box. a nugget, or a drive-thru.

A Plant-Based Diet includes vegetables, legumes/beans, seeds and nuts, just like we do inside The GEM.  This diet contains foods that are minimally processed too, with the majority of nutrition coming from plants. This diet is incredibly powerful in achieving optimal health. Plants provide:

Fiber

Diets high in fiber are associated with lower risks of heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes and obesity. It keeps everything moving.  LIterally. There is fiber in broccoli, beans, apples, among other vegetables and fruits. HOWEVER, none will be found in the nutritionally void world of white bread, chips, burgers and most other processed foods.

Phytonutrients

This group of nutrients give the gorgeous colors to our veggies and bring about many health benefits. Found only in plants, phytonutrients are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. SIGN ME UP. Think GREEN. Or blue, or red, or yellow. There are perhaps 10,000 of these health-promoting chemicals in the edible plant world. (You’ll never find phytonutrients in a Big Mac.)

Antioxidants

Many chemicals (these are good chemicals) found in plants help resist the damage that occurs to the human body from oxygen and the process of metabolism. Chlorophyll, the green energy found in plants, is liquid sunshine that detoxifies and energizes. It’s anti-aging at its best.  Surely the fountain of youth is made of chlorophyll! Oxidation leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, compromise brain cells. Our dear friends in the plant world contain TONS of natural antioxidants.

Omega-3 fatty acids

These essential fatty acids are used for the internal workings and repair of cells throughout the body. These are GOOD FATS. They enhance and nourish brain function and help our systems run smoothly.  Flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, algae are rich in this nutrient class. AND…ALL FATS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL!

ALKALINITY

Greens are highly alkalizing to our systems—which is what we want. Disease thrives in acidic environments. CANCER LOVES ACIDITY.  All processed food, dairy and animal products are acidic in our system. Greens are great for improving circulation, lifting the spirit, purifying the blood and strengthening the immune system.

So …. how does this get us back to The GEM and juicing

GEM_slide1It is recommended that we consume five or more servings of vegetables and fruits daily, though many authorities set the bar much higher, being optimal at 10 servings a day. We believe that 80% of what you consume should be plant-based!

In order to consistently ingest this large amount of plant-based material, you need to do some planning. REMEMBER: If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food!

Some ideas to get your greens: prepare large vibrantly colored salads (our KALE salad rocks), add greens in protein-rich soups such as our lentil soup, and blend smoothies with berries, hemp seeds and greens for a power breakfast or a snack. You’ll never taste the spinach! Keep hummus and veggies nearby to snack on in a pinch. Bottled green juice is an awesome option to start your day.

Juicing is just one more tool you can use to build a plant-based nutrition program rich in phytochemicals, and it can make it easier to reach your goal of 10 servings a day of vegetables.

By 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 protected against toxins and disease.

Juice:

  • is easy to digest and the nutrients are easily assimilated.
  • is an incredible energy booster, full of chlorophyll, aka liquid sunshine—the real Red Bull.
  • is full of live enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
  • makes it easy to get more veggies  
  • can curb appetite, and maintain blood sugar levels.
  • makes you happier. Goodness in … goodness out.

Whenever possible, focus on organic foods. Organic really does matter.

Juicing and a plant-based diet will bring you an authentic health and mood boost. I promise!

Any questions?


Juice Cleanse Yourself to Health & Lean, Clean Living

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It’s a New Year. Does there need to be a new YOU? One that has more energy, vibrance and control? Juice cleanse yourself back to health and lean, clean living!

You hear “juice cleanse” all the time. So what exactly does cleansing mean? Generally speaking, it means that you rid the body of the toxins, acidity, sugars and chemicals that cause you to retain weight, crave poor foods and zap your energy. This is done with alkalizing foods and juices that help turn up the body’s detox systems. Often times, this is accomplished with a juice only fast.

We’ve seen SO many of our GEMs kick off this new year with our juice cleanses, and they’ve had amazing results. Fasting, too, has many benefits – benefits that are proven over literally thousands of years of experience. Its roots are founded in meditation and achieving mental clarity and focus for so many who practice fasting.

However, juice cleanses are not for everyone.

Lifestyles are different. Personalities are different. Body types are different. They work out too much, they entertain too much, they just like to chew too much. They want something less intense.

That’s OK! You can be amazingly clean and cleansed with food as part of the regimen. It can spark a vibrant lifestyle that you can do everyday for the rest of your life. We GEM Girls live that every day and we want to make it easy for you to do the same.

We’ve created an active lifestyle program filled with organic juices, detoxifying whole foods and snacks that heal, sustain, cleanse, make you look good and your body feel FABULOUS! Pop these items in your (GEM) bag and go!

Soooo … What’s in your GEM bag?

These 3, 5 and 10 Day GEM BAG Juice and Food Cleanse regimens are based on a whole food, plant based diet and combine salads, juices and soups enhanced with rich proteins from seeds, grains and beans. All meals, juices and snacks provide extra calories and protein along with ingredients perfect for detoxifying and weight-loss.

Benefits are:

  • Radiant skin is regenerated with daily anti-inflammatory, alkaline ingredients
  • Daily juice floods your system with nutrients that detox, quell hunger, bring vibrance
  • Every meal is planned for! No thinking, no hunger.
  • Practice a Whole food, Plant Based Diet and be ready for your new lifestyle!
  • Organic, nutrient dense, satisfying foods that are full of flavor
  • 2 levels, for those who want MORE GEM GOODNESS, there is more to eat!

 

Juice ‘til Dinner Cleanse

Juice 'til Dinner

The GEM Juice ’til Dinner Cleanse

Want just a little bit more GEM Goodness? Too much going on to skip eating – The Juice ’til Dinner cleanse is easily incorporated into a hectic lifestyle – five organic juices for the day plus dinner. It can be a great way to kick off a healthy diet plan or as a weekly reset button to keep weight off, energy up, and the body and mind healthy.

It includes amazingly delicious and satisfying organic, cold pressed juices followed by one of our nutrient dense salads or soups and CALM tea. Allowed Anytime: sliced celery, carrots or cucumbers with lemon

GEM Workout Cleanse

The GEM Bag Organic Juice Cleanse

The GEM Bag Workout Cleanse

Like extreme workouts? Like to eat? Want a softer step into healthy? This GEM Bag Cleanse is perfect for anyone with an active lifestyle or who needs a little guidance to the doorway of clean eating and detox. With this cleanse, you can continue your activities as you like—except of course, for the processed foods, animal protein and alcohol. NOT alkaline. This is an excellent way to learn how to eat a whole food, plant base diet. Or just a great way to feel and look good!

This Cleanse offers more protein and more energy.  Included are two whole food GEM meals, along with four organic GEM juices, one Hail Merry snack, one power shot, and nightly CALM tea.

Price: $155/$250/$500; 3/5/10 Days

HOW YOU CAN DO IT: RESERVE YOUR NEW GEM BAG CLEANSE FOR NEXT WEEK. Your body will thank you!

HOW WE DO IT: Your meals and juice cleanse or juice cleanses are clearly labeled with the order we recommend to eat or drink. We offer email support before and after your cleanse and bright smiling faces all along the way.

THE GEM DIFFERENCE: Organic, cold-pressed juices AND whole-food vegetables, herbs and spices give your body juices, snacks and meals filled with protein and fiber helping to cleanse your body.

Allergy information:  We have no dairy, wheat or gluten in our meals. Special considerations can be made, just ask!


December Bloat Buster: The Cleanse

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December is a crazy month of parties, fun, stress, eating, drinking, the list goes on and on. You may think there’s no point in a cleanse before the holidays.

Peace. Happy.  Juice Cleanse.

Peace. Happy.
Juice Cleanse.

So wrong!

In fact, it’s almost a must that you cleanse right now. You may believe cleansing as a short, intense retreat into super-restricted eating that you do after lots of binge-ing. This doesn’t have to be the case. It can be a daily practice. There’s no wrong season for clean eating.

Daily Cleansing is a great way to get you through the holidays without taking on excess toxins and destructive eating habits.

A Daily Cleanse will:

  1. Rid your body of the toxins that stimulate cravings. It’s hard enough to turn down all the sweets, eggnog and mashed potatoes – you certainly don’t need your body begging you to gorge on this stuff.
  2. Create a healthy balance. You don’t need to feel completely restricted when you are cleansing. Your body can recover from a few cocktails or a piece of cake if it’s coming from a place of optimal health.
  3. Keep you feeling in control. There is something very empowering about having a regimen of clean eating. Mindfulness of it all can be an incredible weapon in your quest for vibrance.

Many people are scared to commit to cleansing right now because you think you have to miss out on everything that is fun and social. That is simply NOT true.

Yes, a full GEM juice cleanse is amazing and makes you feel like a million bucks, but that doesn’t always fit into our social schedules.

Try our Juice til Dinner, or even doing a day in the life of a GEM. The menu below is how we roll on a daily basis. You can live a cleansing lifestyle and still enjoy delicious, tasty food.

FIRST THING UPON WAKING: 32 oz. filtered water with lemon and take a Bio Kult probiotic and Nordic Natural Ultimate Omegas.

  • Green Glow by 8
  • Radiant Glow or a GEM smoothie by 10, plus more water
  • Lentil soup and kale salad for lunch
  • Flawless at 4, plus 16 oz of water
  • If you are staying in, consider Arugula and Mushroom salad and some hummus for dinner. Alongside a chopped veggie salad. The food is so vibrant and nutrient dense that you cannot over do it.

The Dinner Party: If you are going out, see the tips below:

  • Keep a Small 3 Bean Salad or small quinoa in your fridge. Eat it before you go out to your cocktail party. This will help keep you satisfied and eliminate the crazy craving for too much bad stuff.
  • Stay away from the puff pastries, the cheese tray, the pasta. Find the shrimp, the veggie and hummus platter, the sushi. Once you’ve had one type of appetizer, don’t revisit it. You know what it tastes like, now stop.
  • Really try to keep the alcohol to a minimum. Your sugar levels spike and your willpower plummets. You don’t have to completely restrict yourself to feel good in the morning! This is a great way to keep your cravings in check or bounce back after last night’s office party.
  • Remember the party is about the socializing and friendships. Save the whale feeding for another time.

Don’t put this off until the New Year. Take charge of your life now. Indulging isn’t about throwing all caution to the wind, it’s about finding balance. You can have both during the holiday months.

Make this holiday your happiest and healthiest and GEM~miest yet.


We Heart Hemp!

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happyhempHemp. Not to be confused with the to the stuff Cheech and Chong made so famous. This miracle seed (plant for that matter) is actually a distant cousin. So, get those thoughts out of your head.

For better or worse, the “high” you can get with hemp is only from your body singing from all the goodness.

Why is it so good?

It’s packed with protein for one thing. Hemp has more protein than meat, fish or tofu. Say wha?? Forks over Knives, for sure!

Additional benefits of hemp include:

  1. It keeps your weight in check because Hemp protein and fiber aid in satiety, which will prevent you from snacking and keep you fuller longer. It actually keeps you from the munchies. HA. A diet rich in hemp also promotes digestive regularity. Giddy-up cowboy!
  2. Keeps you smart. Hemp seeds are one of the few Omega-3 sources found in plants, so listen up, vegans. The Omega-3 fatty acids in hemp reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, and may even ward off Alzheimer’s disease. The protein and omega fats help with brain function.
  3. Hemp can regulate hormone fluctuations and promotes the alleviation of menstrual cramps and menopause symptoms. That sounds like happiness in a bag to me!
  4. Hemp keeps you looking good! It is a protein powerhouse that stimulates skin and hair growth, maintains bone health, regulates metabolism, and helps with brain function. Hemp helps keep your blood sugar level, which is an important way to defy age and prevent disease. Sign me up.

An interesting note: our government outlawed hemp farming in 1958, a shame when you consider how amazing a crop it is. The plant thrives without pesticides, purifies the soil around it, and kills weeds. The U.S. is the only country that bans industrial hemp farming.  Another brilliant food move by our government. Our hemp comes mostly from our neighbors to the north in Canada, who are already attuned to a healthier food supply.

Use hemp in your smoothies as a dairy substitute. Just three tablespoons give you a whopping 15 grams of protein. I keep Happy Hemp seeds in my car to snack on when I’m carpooling. Sprinkle them on your oatmeal, add them to your salads.

I’m telling you, this is some good stuff.


Organic Food & Juice – Are the Benefits Worth It?

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organic food and organic juice Are organic foods really worth the hype and the extra money? These are questions that are raised every day.

In the GEM life, it’s pretty black and white, and ORGANIC WINS EVERY TIME.

The benefits of organic food:

1. No harmful pesticides. Many of these pesticides cannot be washed off of the produce–as they penetrate the entire vegetable. They are also cumulative. These toxins get stored away in your fat cells and continue to build.  The idea of “it’s just a little bit” is as absurd as saying I’ll just have a little bit of arsenic on my apple. You cannot wash enough of the toxins off. Period.

2. No GMOs. That is genetically modified organisms. If you aren’t clear on what those are, don’t feel bad. Even the scientists who created them can’t predict what will happen to humans when they are consumed. Monsanto created the “Round Up Ready” soybean and corn. This means that the powerful pesticide will kill everything around it except the bean itself. Great, you think. Not really. These crops have been modified so that if an insect eats it, the insect’s insides are destroyed. But it’s OK for humans to eat it? I’m no rocket scientist, but … hell no. Did you know that all of Europe, Australia, Canada, Russia and many other countries DO NOT allow these ingredients in their food supply because of the health dangers? We must vote with our wallets.

3. Organic produce contains the same veggie DNA as our grandparents consumed. Sounds a lot more comforting. An heirloom tomato is heaven. Conventional ones aren’t even worth the sea salt and pepper you sprinkle on them.

4. The meats you consume are not over treated with powerful antibiotics and fattened with GMO, nutrient deficient corn. They are also humanely treated–not crammed into slaughter houses and mired knee deep in waste. Happy animals produce happy food. Eat grass-fed, free range, pasture raised. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT, MEAT-EATING PEOPLE.

5. And I have to continue to implore you to never eat artificial food colorings and artificial sweeteners. These cause ADHD and allergies in children, brain tumors and neurological disorders in adults, among other toxic side effects.

The government standards for “organic” include a national list of approved synthetic and prohibited non-synthetic substances for organic production which means that organically produced foods also must be produced without the use of:

  • antibiotics
  • artificial growth hormones
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • artificial dyes (made from coal tar and petrochemicals)
  • artificial sweeteners derived from chemicals
  • synthetically created chemical pesticide and fertilizers
  • genetically engineered proteins and ingredients
  • sewage sludge
  • irradiation

So … conventional, non-organic food may contain these ingredients? Did you know this? I am certain not many of us do, since sewage sludge and artificial growth hormones aren’t on the label. Sewage sludge alone is enough to shift my attention to organic!

Take a look at this experiment. It left me speechless. If this doesn’t confirm the data, nothing will. Way to go Elise!

Love yourself, love your family. Buy organic.

It just might be the best weapon in your arsenal against disease. Organic too expensive you say? Have you priced cancer lately? Pick the Dirty Dozen and go from there.

You owe it to yourself and your family. OH, and drink your organic, nutrient dense juice everyday. It is super power that helps combat and flush out the environmental toxins we can’t help but consume.

See you at The GEM, where honestly organic is how we roll.


New Year’s Resolutions. On Ground Hog Day

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It’s a new year. Again.  And now it’s Ground Hog Day. Again.  Just like the Bill Murray movie, it just keeps happening over and over. It’s been a whole month since the parties, the tinsel, the family, the indulgence. I say it’s now down to business.

We hear it every year. It’s time for your resolutions–a time for reflection of ourselves and our lives — present and future. Be better, smarter, happier, stronger, thinner, richer, kinder. It’s what we do after January 1. It’s another one of those, ‘everybody’s doing it’ things, and we follow.  Did you try it?

Now it’s February 2nd, is it too late? Did you fail already? “Oh well, maybe next year,” you say.

HEY.  Don’t be simple-minded.  The “New Year” is not the only time we should reflect and make positive changes. I say start today, Ground Hog Day.

Evaluating your life should not be an annual occurrence.  It should be a monthly reoccurrence. These things should be done on a regular basis, say, every three months re-evaluate. We should call them New You’s Resolutions and make it a habit, regardless of the time of year. Take a quick look at where you are and where you want to be. This is especially useful for diet regimens.

Nonetheless, as mired in tradition as it is, New Year’s (or Ground Hog’s in this case) resolutions, if you are so inclined to jump aboard, can enrich your life and the lives of others around you.

  • What will you change?
  • Will you try to improve?
  • Where will you focus your positive energy?

For the record, I’ve never, EVER shared my resolutions—especially not on such a public platform … for many reasons. Some are simply a level of privacy I like to keep. Others are because I don’t want to be held accountable in case I decide I don’t want to follow through. But this year, I decided the revealing my own hopes, thoughts and goals might cause others to think a bit about their own lives. To better reflect and even, take action.  Plus, it is February 2nd, which eases the Hallmark card pressure for me.

Copying from my paper is OK in this instance. So, in the spirit of it all, here goes. (And don’t judge, not out loud at least).

  1. Go to church each Sunday with my family. I’ll admit I have not been a church goer. But I realize my family and my children need it. Integrity, morals, respect for God and others, a sense of belonging. You get that at church.
  2. Blog twice a month. This is for you AND for me. I need to pin down my thoughts, capture them, act upon them. You can journal your thoughts. Ten minutes is all it takes. It is amazing how cathartic it can be.
  3. Be gluten-free. No exceptions. I know it makes my belly bloated.  I’m 43 and I don’t need to look like I’m four months pregnant all the time. It also negatively affects my mood (both the gluten and the bloated belly). Here are some great tips on going gluten free.
  4. Yoga three times week. I SWEAR this yoga thing works miracles. I find quiet and peace and I lose the achy joints. I FEEL AWESOME. There are different types of yoga. Find one that works for you.
  5. Make a date once a week. This will be really difficult to do, but I need that time, albeit short, to re-connect with my husband. And on the note of reconnection …
  6. Make love to my husband more often. (Here’s that privacy thing). Sex is an integral part of your relationship. It’s a connector, a relationship re-kindler, an actual mood booster. Just do “it.” (Don’t copy this one exactly)
  7. Read more books. At least one will be about self or family improvement. Reading makes you smarter, keeps your brain in shape, keeps you busy and out of trouble. I love humorous and happy books.Recommendations are welcome. Reading Boys Adrift right now.  NOT a funny book but incredibly insightful.  Need a fun one next.
  8. Work for nutritional balance for my children. It affects their mood, their energy, their well-being. Teaching kids early the importance of healthy food can circumvent a lifetime of food issues. I am in awe of the research that supports this.
  9. Walk with a friend once week. It’s either this or $200/hr therapist. Whether intended or not, a good hour talk with a friend can allay a week’s worth of anxiety. Sure you can meet for tea at The GEM, but I like to kill two birds with one stone.
  10. Share my love of disco. Ongoing fun and laughter is something we all need to look for and create every day. Sing, even when you don’t feel like it.

May my ideas spur your ideas! Please share one Ground Hog Resolution or all. I want to hear them.


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.


10 Reasons You Need Probiotics

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WHAT are probiotics and why do we keep hearing about them?

They are in every yogurt commercial I see. Probiotics are bacteria that exist in our digestive tract. There IS such a thing as good bacteria, and we need to figure out a way to keep more of it in our gut.

The word probiotic even translates to “for life.”

WHAT do they do? In the intestinal tract, these beneficial microbes help complete the digestive process. There’s evidence that without them, even the immune system can’t work properly.

WHERE can you find them? Most of these friendly bacteria occur naturally in yogurt “with active cultures” or acidophilus milk and kefir, and natural pickles and sauerkraut. (Bubbie’s is the best brand for both of these!) Unfortunately (or fortunately for those of us who have eschewed dairy), concentrations in these foods are probably not enough to do the trick. Cue the supplements!

WHY?

  1. Enhance immunity – If probiotics can do this, what can they do to prevent chronic colds and allergies?
  2. Better digestion. Better bowel movements. Better feeling.
  3. Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity symptoms are relieved by adding probiotics. Take probiotics to reverse the symptoms of irritable bowel syndromeCrohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other gut inflammations.
  4. If you eat GMOs, processed foods, low fiber diets and non-organic meat and dairy products, listen up. They all destroy probiotic bacteria and diminish colon function. It is necessary to add probiotic materials back into your system if you’ve had any of those foods. It’s the morning after pill for junk food. 
  5. Yeast infections like Candida flourish when the 85% (good)/15% (not good) balance of probiotic to bad bacteria is out of whack.
  6. A healthy gut flora balance helps prevent cancer by nourishing enzymes that inhibit tumor production throughout the body. Sold.
  7. Sometimes we have to take antibiotics. They are here for a reason. But they often wipe out “friendly” intestinal bacteria along with the bad bugs that cause infections. Symptoms include diarrhea, bloating or other unpleasant digestive symptoms. Always take a probiotic if taking antibiotics.
  8. Probiotic intestinal flora prevents radiation damage from X-rays and CT scans to the large and small intestines. Just as a FYI for your future.
  9. Stress affects and alters the bacterial flora in your intestinal tract. Of course, you may not have any stress in your life. But for the rest of us …
  10. There is an entire brilliant train of thought on healing the 4As of autism, ADHD, allergies and asthma through a diet restores probiotic levels and heals inflammatory conditions by Dr. Kenneth Bock. Another, The GAPS diet: gut and psychology syndrome, confirms the connection with gut health and mental health.

HOW to implement? Get a live probiotic supplement. Check the expiration date to make sure that the bacteria these products contain are alive and look for probiotics with “colony forming units” (CFUs) in the billions. After you buy, be sure to protect your supply from heat, moisture and air.

Add them to your everyday. We love the yummy vanilla Sunbiotics brand. We have them available inside The GEM in both chewable tablet and powder form. Come in and add it to your favorite smoothie! Or grab a bottle and go. At 18 billion CFUs per serving, these little tablets help restore a proper balance of flora in the digestive tract depleted by stress, antibiotics and gastrointestinal disturbances. It also has prebiotics, which helps your system create more probiotics! They do not require refrigeration, and they taste good … They are currently only available at wholesale, but you can some this week at The GEM.

Learn more here.


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.

Fruit Loops ARE NOT AN OPTION.

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!