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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!

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Healthy Tips for Feeding a Teenage Athlete – Part Two

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Many struggle with knowing the healthiest ways to feed teenagers. Feeding a teenage athlete is even trickier. featureblog2

As discussed in last week’s post, optimal physical performance for your teen athlete requires preparation—not just daily practice, but as it relates to daily dietary input. You can’t expect to put cheap and crappy fuel into your car and expect it to run optimally. The same goes for your body.  What are appropriate pre and post game hydration and energy food options?

Last week’s post covered what your teenage athlete should eat – as a general diet, before training, and before sporting events. But what happens when your athlete is on the go? What choices can you make when you don’t have a great deal of time or the choices are limited and they need quick energy?

Sugary sports drinks and energy bars can actually do more harm than good. Beware of chemical laden, sugar filled energy bars that tout performance improvement.

Healthy and quick pre-game nutrition ideas on the go should be clean and simple:

  • Keep bananas, oranges and green apples on hand. (great with almond or organic peanut butter)
  • Pumpkin seeds, raw trail mix, GEM Remix*
  • Lentil Soup or Quinoa–packed with energy boosting nutrients 
  • Green juice – don’t underestimate the power of green juice! Packed with energizing nutrients that are delivered immediately into the bloodstream. Green Glow is a great pre- and post-game choice.
  • Healthy smoothies (made at home or from a reputable smoothie place without added sugar)
  • Go Lean Crunch or healthy cereals that contain good protein
  • Beet shots – increases endurance, reduces oxygen consumption, increases blood nitrate levels and reduces resting blood pressure. It might be a stretch for some of our teens, but major athletes swear by them!

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Bars are an easy and convenient way to keep your teenage athlete fueled, but choose carefully. Our favorites:

  • Tosi Bars*
  • Square Bars (peanut butter chocolate is the best!!)*
  • Epic Protein Powders (show them how to make their own smoothies!)*
  • GoMacro*
  • Perfect Bars – they require refrigeration but are amazing
  • Kind Bars Strong & Kind
  • Vega One Sport – this company has an entire line of products aimed at sports performance
  • Lara Pro-Bars
  • While not perfect, Clif bars are an energy option that is available even in the most remote of convenience stores.

*Available inside The GEM

Remember: clean and simple food choices are the way to go with your teenage athlete.  And don’t forget – water, water and more water!

Next week, we wrap up our series by tackling hydration and sports drinks. Until then, drink your juice!


Healthy Tips for Feeding a Teenage Athlete – Part One

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image1Our kids are crazy about their sports. They put lots of focus on practice and training to prepare for the big games; but do they place equal focus on the nutrition that will support their play? Optimal performance for a teenage athlete requires preparation—not just with practice output, but also dietary input.

This three part blog series will give you information and helpful tips on how to fuel your teenage athlete in ways that are healthy and promote optimal performance. If you haven’t already, take a look at our series on feeding healthy teens here – part one, part two, part three, part four. This information was very well received, but it resulted in more in-depth questions, specifically about your teenage athlete.

Sports nutrition for teenagers is a bit of a specialized area. Teenage athletes playing high level sports burn calories very quickly. If they don’t eat enough of the right types of nutrients, their performance can decrease and may even result in possible growth problems. Healthy eating allows a teen athlete to achieve peak performance without compromising overall health.

So how do you properly nourish the body pre and post game? Here some tips on how to guide your teenage athlete towards optimal sports performance:

  1. Eat a diet that is about 70% complex carbohydrates – including fruit, vegetables, brown rice, whole grain, organic pastas, quinoa, carrots – to achieve maximum carbohydrate storage. Lean proteins such as organic chicken, pastured eggs and small amounts of grass fed beef are critical. Stay away from the bad carbs: white pasta, white breads, junk cereals, and off the shelf fruit juice.
  2. Eat fat. It sounds crazy, but good quality, healthy fats are a source of fuel for your body and are strongly advised – smart choices are avocados, natural organic peanut / raw almond butter on an apple.
  3. Eat a good breakfast! Every day, but especially on game days. Oatmeal, a fruit smoothie with vegan protein, scrambled eggs.
  4. Eat a meal no less than three hours before exercising.
  5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!*** Drink 24 ounces of water two to three hours before the sporting event, during the event on breaks, and especially afterwards to replenish the body. Beware of sports drinks – they can be loaded with sugar, creepy preservatives and artificial food colorings (more about that in part 3).
  6. Pre-game, eat a meal containing complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat pasta, or brown rice with vegetables. Don’t weigh your teen down with heavy proteins or unhealthy fats. If they can’t eat a full meal because they have a nervous feeling in their stomach, a small snack such as a banana or oatmeal is still important.
  7. Avoid SUGAR before exercise – it can speed up dehydration. Your body will thank you later! I know it’s tempting because of the instant energy it provides, but the subsequent crash can be depleting.
  8. Stay away from fast food. It can make your teenage athlete sluggish and it seriously affects performance.  Better “fast food” choices are places like Chipotle and Panera, who have healthier options PLUS they have eliminated unhealthy additives and preservatives across the board. Save the occasional Burger House for a post-game celebration.
  9. Multivitamins are essential! Teenage athletes just don’t get what they need from their food—even if they are perfect eaters. A daily multivitamin is key, along with high quality Fish Oil and a Probiotic. Look for organic ones, made from real food sources. New Chapter, Rainbow Light, Metagenics and Garden of Life are great brands.

 

And, be careful. There are always new ‘miracle’ foods and supplements surfacing. Many are expensive and even dangerous, which makes it confusing. Don’t be swayed. Keep keep it clean and simple.

***Post Note: Water

Water is one of the MOST important components to health and wellness there is. Dehydration is a very real risk if your teen doesn’t continually drink water throughout physical activity. Even dehydration of less than 2% can have measurable negative effects on performance. As a general rule, teenagers should drink 6-8 ounces of water 6 times a day for general health and 24 ounces of water two to three hours before a sporting event, as well as during and after playing.

Join us for parts 2 and 3 of this series for the whattup on teen athlete nutrition on-the-go and sports drinks. Until then … drink your juice.


Conjuction Junction, How’s Your Liver Function?

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Read this before you do anything else for your overall well-being. The GEM Liver Health

Do you give much thought to your liver? You should, because it may be the reason you aren’t feeling your best. The liver is the body’s most important organ–with more than 500 known functions. It’s involved with digestion, blood sugar control, and protein and fat metabolism. It functions as a living filter to cleanse the system of toxins, metabolize proteins, control hormonal balance and produce immune boosting factors. These functions are essential to your overall health.

Do you love your liver, or abuse it? Abuse in the form of:

  • Poor food choices: think preservatives, junk, excess sugar, overeating, fried food.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Toxins are fat soluble so they remain in your fat cells. Chemotherapy too.
  • Environmental: We are exposed daily to high levels of toxins (chemicals, pesticides, water contaminants, heavy metals) through our food, water, air, body and home products.
  • Excess caffeine and alcohol. This one is self explanatory.

When your liver becomes overloaded, congestion occurs. If the liver can’t properly filter the blood, you end up with recycled toxins flowing through your body. This can damage your heart and immune and endocrine system, wreak havoc on your optimal health, even lead to rapid aging.

This sluggishness causes problems you might not think are related,  I couldn’t believe it! Do you have:

  • High sensitivity to chemical smells
  • Trouble digesting fatty foods
  • Increased intolerance to alcohol. This was a big sign for me that something was wrong.
  • Bloating around the upper abdomen
  • Chronic indigestion. Have you been downing those antacids???
  • Wake up at 2 – 3 a.m. for no reason
  • Moodiness/depression/anger. For real, it can be connected to your liver.
  • Fatigue
  • Blotchy skin
  • Gallbladder issues, or removal
  • Constipation, IBS
  • BRAIN FOG
  • Trouble losing weight—your liver plays a critical role in metabolism
  • More ominous symptoms include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, sleep apnea and fatty yellowish lumps around eyes. (CALL YOUR DOCTOR FOR THESE!)

If you have more than three of these symptoms, it is possible you have a sluggish liver — blocked or clogged up with unhealthy fat (in extreme cases it’s called fatty liver). These are signs you need to take action! Once I figured out I had a problem, (which came from a year-long stint with some chemo), I immediately set out to restore my liver health. My changes have really made a positive effect on my health. I sleep better, think better and am a more pleasant person to be around—just to name a few!

How can you remedy this and feel better?

You need to give some love to your liver. Here’s how.

REDUCE exposure to air and food borne toxins:

  • Creepy room fresheners and synthetic perfumes are SOOOOO BAD.
  • Think of it as embalming fluid for food.
  • No one needs electric blue GATORADE!
  • Go organic. Eat at The GEM!
  • Heavy metals in large fish – say goodbye tuna, swordfish
  • Unfiltered water. Get a filter!
  • Chlorinated and brominated products found in almost all commercially produced breads and bread products. I mean … WTF.
  • Switch to non-toxic and plant-based, cleaning and personal care products. This is a BIG deal. If you can’t eat it, don’t use it on your skin.

CHANGE your habits and, “Let food be thy medicine.”

  • Eliminate processed foods, poor quality fats, simple carbohydrates and sugar.
  • Limit or eliminate alcohol. Duh.
  • Drink 32 ounces of filtered water each morning.
  • Eat detoxifying, liver loving foods to help repair the damage to your liver. Dark leafy greens, pastured eggs, beets, garlic, onions, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
  • Check out our new FANTASTIC DANDELION SALAD chocked full of liver detoxifying love. I’ve been eating this everyday. DAILY, ORGANIC GREEN JUICE contains living enzymes, vitamin C and anti-cancer phyto-nutrients. carrot, celery, beet, dandelion, apples, any green leafy veggie!!

REPAIR & RESTORE

We DON’T SUBSCRIBE TO overloading the body with supplements—they can actually be harmful to the liver! Stay away from those cryptic boxes of powders and pills heralding a “liver cleanse.”  That kind of cleanse is best left to a functional medicine practitioner.

BUT, there are a few supportive herbs and nutrients you can use DAILY to rebuild health.

  • Boosts of chorella and spirulina remove heavy metals and toxins. (Grab a BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND AND NEW PERFORMANCE SHOT!)
  • Essential fatty acids–plentiful amounts are required for healthy liver function. High quality fish oil. Wild fish. Avocado, raw nuts and seeds. Strict low-fat diets are not beneficial for general health, weight control or liver function.
  • MILK THISTLE and DANDELION tonics for liver cleansing, TURMERIC for inflammation can make a difference. Anima Mundi Bitters is a kick ass addition to your daily supplement routine. I saw immediate improvement in my sleep pattern. It helps remove stagnation, increase absorption. It stimulates bile production, enhances digestion and revitalizes liver function by eliminating accumulated toxins. GRAB SOME NOW.

It’s time to clean up the liver. These changes will improve digestion, sleep, better skin, weight loss and promote optimal function of your entire body!

Invest wisely into your health to feel your best and proactively prevent future chronic illness. After adding the extra beets, dandelions, Anima Mundi, milk thistle I’ve been sleeping like a baby….and slowly clearing the brain fog–one thought at a time!


Spring Forward with The GEM Continuing Education Workshops

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Spring is the time for renewal, revitalization and detoxification … and The GEM Continuing Education Workshops. It’s time to think about a system re-boot of our bodies and achieving better balance in our lives and our health. Spring is the perfect time to re-group and re-prioritize, and even re-invent the life you are living, don’t you think??The GEM Continuing Education Workshops

We’ve got a few ideas to get you get started.

Over the last three months, we’ve been sharing information about achieving a vibrant lifestyle with SO many of you through our Day in the Life of a GEM Series. It’s been incredibly rewarding and fun. But, apparently it wasn’t enough! You want more.

So … we are introducing The GEM Continuing Education Workshops.

Whether you’ve completed our Day in the Life Series, or just want to start here, we have four new workshops that are sure to shine a light bright into your healthy future. Each Wednesday night in April, during The GEM Continuing Education Workshops, we dive a little deeper into topics such as:

April 6: Dump the Junk! We absorb up to 60 percent of what we put on our skin. Educate yourself so you can do your part to eliminate the toxins from your skin care and cleaning products. How toxic are they? Learn how to “clean up your act” and find better options for some of your favorite products.

April 13: Stressed out and Sugared UP. Stress is an unpleasant fact of life. We all experience it, and for some, we allow it to take over our minds and eventually our bodies. Surprisingly, sugar is one of the biggest causes of stress! Learn why sugar is a dangerous drug that is the root of so many ailments including obesity, acne, depression and cancer. It is a major roadblock to optimal health. Learn what both stress and sugar do to your body and ways to manage it. Squash it for good and don’t let it rule you!

April 20: Eat for Immunity. Let Food Be Thy Medicine. Hippocrates was right! Learn what nutrient-dense foods are best, how certain supplements can help, and what other environmental factors can contribute to a super-powered immune system.

April 27: GEM Cooking Class. Learn how to prepare SIMPLE, GO-TO whole food, plant-based meal options and some valuable tips to make dinnertime shine. Who knew being a fabulous healthy chef could be so easy and so good? Includes shopping list and recipes.

Day in the Life of a GEM Continuing Ed Workshops 

Wednesday nights @ 7:30 p.m. (one hour). Light meal included. 

$60 per session 

$200 for entire workshop 

For those who’d like to start from the beginning, the original Day in the Life Series also starts Wednesday, April 6 at 6 p.m., four Wednesdays in a row, $200 for the series, light meal included.

Email us, call us or reserve your spot online and spring forward with us into vibrant health!


Breakfast Ideas for Healthy Teens [Part Four in Four-Part Series]

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You asked for it and here it is: breakfast ideas for healthy teens.

Remember what I said in the second blog? “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Healthy Teens

Without question this is true. For brain development, daily energy levels, ability to focus. Sugary meals give their brains nothing to function with, and the sugar spike and drop makes them sluggish and cranky. Not a good way to start the day.

If you are prepared, breakfast only takes 15 minutes in the morning. It can be a great way to spend a moment with your child and treat your family like the royalty you are.

  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 or Cunningham pastured eggs. It is very important to get GOOD quality 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 ever.
  4. Fresh smoothies made with frozen berries, bananas, almond milk, pomegranate juice, raw protein like Amazing Meals. Stock up on your ingredients. Keep cacao on hand too. Try the Blueberry Brain Boost Smoothie. Sneak in hemp seeds for extra protein.
  5. Make a SMOOTHIE BOWL! This is basically a smoothie with lots of other good stuff in it that you eat with a spoon not a straw. Check out this video and recipe from my friend Pamela Salzman.
  6. 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!
  7. Healthy granola, like Hail Merry’s Cherry Almond Hemp with Malk’s vanilla almond milk. Add it on top of an extra thick smoothie for a Parfait!!
  8. Ezekiel Bread toasted with avocado, sea salt, lime and cayenne pepper.
  9. Organic peanut or almond butter and raw honey on a whole grain Van’s waffle.  Heavy on the organic nut butter.
  10. Breakfast burrito–whole wheat tortillas–the fresh ones from Central Market or Whole Foods, NOT the Mission ones with a gazillion creepy 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. For the weekend: KING ARTHUR gluten free pancake mix with blueberries. This gluten-free brand is amazing!!!! The pancakes are really fantastic when cooked with coconut oil. They need almost no syrup! They make GREAT waffles too. Combine with #2 or #3 to balance with protein.
  12. Clean junk for the weekend: Cinnamon Rolls by Immaculate Baking Company: just like the Dough Boy, but without the chemicals!! They also have crescent rolls—make them with Applegate Farms chicken maple sausage links for a clean “pig in a blanket.” Winner!

And remember this important detail for breakfast: if it comes from a box, read the label. If it has a mascot, it is NOT an acceptable breakfast. Read your labels! If you don’t know what the ingredients are or how to spell them, toss it.

And as for YOU, dear parent, plan your mornings accordingly: get up early, revel in your morning routine and simply enjoy a few moments with your kids.


Snack Ideas for Healthy Teens [Part Three in Four-Part Series]

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Snack ideas for healthy teens got you stumped?

The key is to BE PREPARED. Remember from last post? If you have good food in your fridge, Healthy Teensyou will eat good food. This is true for all of us. So make regular trips to the grocery store, with a list of things that will sustain your teens (and their friends) for the week.

Be Ready!! Don’t wait for them to start rummaging through the kitchen. They will snack on what is in front of them. So have it out on the counter.

  1. Organic popcorn made in a Whirley Pop with coconut oil and sea salt. You and your kids will flip for this stuff. Don’t have a Whirley Pop? Just in a lidded pot. So easy. DEE-LISH. Tiny but Mighty brand popcorn kernels are pretty cool to eat.
  2. Sliced cucumbers/carrot rounds marinated in lime juice and sea salt. Don’t underestimate this one!
  3. Tex Mex rules! Keep grass-fed taco meat ready to go. Always have these in your fridge:
    • Fresh pico, salsa and bean dip. Nachos with pinto beans and cheese knock Cheetos out of the park!
    • GUACAMOLE is awesome AND Organic chips are a must. Make sure your tortillas are fresh and without chemical ingredients. (Say goodbye to Mission brand)
    • Bean Roll-Ups Spread bean dip on a whole wheat flour tortilla, top with shredded organic white cheddar and roll up. Brush with oil or grass fed butter and bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. Serve with salsa.
  4. GEM hummus with jalapeno pesto. Grab one of our snack packs for their lunch too!
  5. Sunflower seeds. Pumpkin seeds. Pistachios are fun to eat. Keep in a bowl on the counter.
  6. Sliced apples with organic peanut/almond butter. Even sunflower butter is great (for nut allergies)
  7. Slice bananas and freeze them. AWESOME. Grapes, too. Cutie oranges are fun to eat.
  8. Make smoothies! Keep frozen berries (1c), 1 frozen banana, (1) almond milk (1c), pomegranate juice (1/2c) and plant based protein powder. (We use Epic inside The GEM.) They will love you!
  9. Applegate Farms Turkey or chicken with a little mustard wrapped around a sesame breadstick.
  10. Mini pizzas made with whole grain English muffins, fresh marinara (no sugar, all natural), organic mozzarella.
  11. Sami’s Cinnamon Chips will disappear at carpool time. Everyone LOVES these high fiber, low sugar (but don’t tell them that) chips. Available at The GEM.
  12. Whole wheat pasta already made. Or, Tinkyada brand gluten free pasta. Find a pomodoro sauce that is clean and healthy with nothing but tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, spices. NOTHING ELSE.
  13. Make your own pita chips–sprinkle whole grain pita chips with parmesan cheese and broil until golden brown. Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies–in a pinch–are okay. Annie’s makes all kinds of convenience foods that can help make a transition into cleaner snacks.
  14. Steam frozen ORGANIC edamame and add sea salt.
  15. Roasted chickpeas. So fun!
  16. Brown rice sushi pieces—cucumber rolls, California rolls.
  17. Make your own cookies and brownies as a special treat. Just use organic flours, whole butters and real chocolates. A little goodness goes a long way. Stay away from Betty and Duncan. They are toxic sh*t storms.
  18. This ain’t working for you? Still need some frozen snacks? Try these. Amy’s Nacho Snacks, Pizza Rolls or Burritos. Available at most grocery stores.
  19. Popsicles? Frozen fruit ones are great–make sure to read the ingredients. Try these GoodPops out of Austin.

 

These are not all super-food healthy snacks–because we aren’t dummies. They are, however, CLEAN, free of harmful chemicals and dyes. This is really important to remember when feeding your families.

What are YOUR go-to healthy snack options? We’d love to hear!

Next up … bad@$$ breakfast ideas!


6 Snacks for School for Your Lil GEMs

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Hopefully everyone is settled nicely into our new back to school routines. If your kids are anything like our own GEMs, that means It. Is. On.

Snacks for school day, after school sports, group projects, dentist appointments and social gatherings are making for some ravenous kids (and moms). They need proper fuel. The key is to be prepared. If not, the entire day can implode inside the corner 7-Eleven.

It’s critical to make sure your small, convenient, healthy snacks are taken to school for your kiddos and readily between healthy meals. Keep these in your car or purse to that you are always ready!

Check these out mamas and daddies:

The Gem RE-MIX – Yes! Deez NUTS are awesome. It’s our very own raw nut mix! Brain healthy fats and protein abound with walnuts, cashews, pecans, Brazil Nuts, mulberries and dried tart cherries. Super filling and packs a punch!

Sami’s Cinnamon Chips – These millet and flax crackers covered with cinnamon and sugar have been touted as “crack in a bag.” Just know you’ve been warned. Get two bags if you want to try, because once you pass it back in carpool, your chances are none. Deceivingly low in sugar, these chips are also great with almond butter or along side your coffee.

Tosi Bar and Bites – Just the right amount of crunch and sweet. Packed with protein, Omega 3’s and fiber, these bites are made of nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds and organic maple syrup. Cashew, Almond and the brand NEW Blueberry and Cappuccino Crunch flavors are super delicious and healthy.

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Pipcorn – Our version of popcorn. The mini kernels are from heirloom seeds–just like nature intended! It’s Non-GMO and has an addicting crunch. Comes convenient pre-popped bag and is sure to please even the pickiest little eater. Find your favorite flavor: Sea Salt, Truffle (my fave), Kettle, or Rosemary.

Alyssa’s Vegan Bites – When you need something sweet but you don’t want to overload on sugar, Mark Cuban’s new company has you covered. These little cookies have very low sugar (2 grams of sugar in 2 cookies) and are delicious. The tastiest oatmeal raisin cookie you will ever eat.

Hail Merry Sriracha Sunflower Seeds – Exclusive to us and beyond delicious, these gluten-free spicy seeds are perfect for the on-the-go kid.

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So don’t let back to life crazy take you down an unhealthy road. Plan ahead, stock up and send your little GEMs off with ready fuel for the school day and beyond.


7 tips to step off the summer vacation party train

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Step off the summer vacation party train. Summer vacation is over. Hate to break the news, but the party’s over.Step off summer party train

It’s back to school, back to schedules, time to get serious. Everyone with any sense of fun and happy spent at least some of their vacation doing things that are off their daily health routine.

Margaritas, BBQ, homemade ice cream, something with a nacho plate, no sleep, sleeping too late, no exercise. We all are guilty. We live it up, have a tremendously fun/relaxing/fast/crazy vacation away from our daily lives—and will power goes out the window.

Then, SNAP. Back to reality.

All the fun and party begins to fade and you are left with puffy, bloated, brain-foggy, up a few pounds REAL LIFE YOU. You want to feel lighter and brighter again. You want to get back on the feel good wagon.

Here are a few simple tips on how to come back from the fog.

  1. BRING SEXY VEGGIES BACK. Just one EXTRA to your plate. The chlorophyll, the phytonutrients, they will add immediate energy and spark. The fiber will help boost your metabolism and enhance your digestion. Have you tried our new Celery Salad? It’s amaze balls and you get to check one of these tips off your list!
  2. Drink your water. I can’t say it enough. Get back to your 32 ounces of filtered water every morning. You are dehydrated. Hydration brings better metabolism, it cleanses your organs, gives you energy, suppresses your appetite. DRINK UP. (water this time). And take a refillable water bottle wherever you go.
  3. Start downing green smoothies. You need to give your digestive system a break. Have one for breakfast and chock it full of all kinds of greens. You can add ½ a banana if you are still on top of Sugar Craving Mountain. If you are scared to start, begin with adding spinach to your regular smoothies. Think Emerald City or Cameo. Or brighten your White Diamond with added spinach. Your body will soar.
  4. STRETCH it out and BREATHE deep. Both of these things keep your body renewed and keeps things moving efficiently. Yoga or your own stretching sequence will make a huge difference in your day.
  5. LOVE YOUR GOOD BACTERIA. Get back on your probiotics. You’re system has been compromised: bad food, good alcohol, not good living all upset the balance of good vs. bad bacteria in your gut. Digestion, immunity, brain function suffers. Bio-Kult is the best. Stock up inside The GEM.
  6. Catch up on your SLEEP. You’ve been staying up late and its starting to catch up with you. Sleep renews your energy, your mind and of course your body. Lack of sleep makes you crave sugar and ages you. Add CALM tea at night to relax.
  7. LUCKY NUMBER 7: KICKSTART your way back with a detox cleanse from The GEM. Flush out the toxins and get rid of your cravings: Juice Only, Juice Then Dinner or a Workout Cleanse—which shows you what a super healthy day can look like for the rest of your life (until summer returns anyway!).

 

Try these steps and let us know how you feel!

Clarity, Energy and Vibrance are in your very near future!


An anti-cancer life: Sugar

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Next in our Anti-Cancer Lifestyle Guide is SUGAR. The sweet stuff that is everywhere. In everything.

Photo credit: Robin Finney

Photo credit: Robin Finney

Here’s the deal: Sugar is a problem. A big problem. And as it turns out, many of us are actually addicted to sugar … it is a REAL addiction.

This just in: there is scientific proof that sugar (not fat!) is the root cause of obesity. Sugar feeds inflammation, disease AND CANCER. Yeesh. Not so sweet now, huh? Oh, and that belly fat? The joint pain? That can also come from high sugar intake.

Sugar contributes to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, infertility, impotence and depression. It makes me cranky as all get out. And listen up kids, the inflammation caused by sugar consumption causes acne. Yes. Nasty breakouts are probably caused by excess sugar consumption. Sugar may give you a quick rush of energy and happiness, but after a few minutes, the crash zaps you of your vibrance.

They say the average American adult consumes the equivalent of 22 teaspoons of sugar each day. Kids consume even more—like 34 teaspoons a day. Is that you?

Are you addicted to sugar? Do you answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Do you binge on sugar when you are alone?
  • Do you have a secret sugar stash?
  • Feel the need to end every meal with something sweet?
  • Reward yourself with sweet treats?
  • You can’t cut back, even when you try?

Bingeing on sugar causes an excessive spike in insulin, leading to wide swings in glucose and setting you up for fat storage and more cravings. Your body can’t burn this huge caloric load for energy, so the fat storage hormones get turned on, get super excited and stockpile these sugar calories as fat. Holy (literal) cow.

I implore you to get on a sugar busting detox. When you cut out sugar, you’d be shocked at how easy it is to pop out of bed in the morning, feel better, think more clearly and look better!  Here’s how:

  1. FLUSH IT OUT. Eliminate the toxins that make you crave more junk. The quickest way to kick sugar cravings to the curb and reduce your toxic overload is with a 3 or 5 day organic juice cleanse containing little or no fruit sugars. This will quickly reboot your system and eliminate some of your cravings. Look for juices that are ORGANIC, NON-HPP. Just like we do inside The GEM. No exceptions.
  2. GO COLD TURKEY. Yeah, there’s really no big secret answer. The problem with a sugar addiction is that if you feed it just a little bit, you crave even more! I mean, can you really just have a bite of Ben & Jerry’s?
  3. READ THE LABELS. There is sugar hidden in everything from pasta sauce to salad dressings. Just read that Prego tomato sauce has the same amount of sugars as serving of Oreos. Dangg. Stay clear of products that list ANY type of sugar in the first three ingredients.
  4. Eat slow to digest foods like nuts, beans, green leafy vegetables. Nutrient dense foods satisfy your body and lessen cravings.
  5. EAT FAT. Healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, olive oils. When your body is depleted of healthy fat, it craves sugar and starch!
  6. BREAK FAST. Eat a balanced breakfast, rich in protein and healthy fats. Add pastured eggs scrambled in coconut oil, avocado on Ezekial toast, carefully selected smoothies with good fats and superfoods.
  7. SLEEP BETTER. It’s harder to say no when you are tired!
  8. GET A LITTLE HELP. Add supplements like probiotics and fish oil. They help quell inflammation and boost digestion.
  9. HAPPY SNACKS. Keep good snacks close by, high in protein and good fats. Sugar cravings can indicate a lack of protein in your diet. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almond butter with green apple slices, hummus, etc. Dark chocolate is a great way to get a sweet treat without a sugar overload.
  10. NEVER NEVER NEVER substitute with artificial sweeteners. These toxins will fool your body into thinking its getting sugar, making your insulin rise and creating MORE sugar cravings.

And if all else fails just get OUT of the kitchen to reduce temptation! Brush your teeth (it works). Take a shower. Anything. Just don’t jump off the sugar cliff!

We’re not on the Good Ship Lollipop anymore. You’ve got to dig deeper and refine your palate to eliminate excess sugar from your world. Kick off your journey with a juice cleanse to quickly crack down on cravings. Your body will thank you!

We’ve now covered three of the top 10 Anti-Cancer Rules in our Anti-Cancer Lifestyle Series.

What have you done to add anti-cancer practices into your daily routine? It’s a nice little perk that any of these tips will bring you more vibrance, clarity and energy into your day. Let me know what you think! I hope you’ve tried!


An anti-cancer life: artificial coloring and artificial sweeteners

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 6 Comments on An anti-cancer life: artificial coloring and artificial sweeteners

If you are not incorporating any of our anti-cancer life tips yet, let us sway you by sharing the ugly on artificial coloring and artificial sweeteners.Real food

Some of the anti-cancer tips can be easily implemented. Others take a little more commitment to your well-being. You fall off the healthy happy wagon, you get back on. That’s okay. Key Lime Pie happens. Then there are deal breakers. Things you should NEVER do. Not in moderation. NOT EVER.

We are going to dive deep into the one about artificial ingredients. Knowledge is power and makes choices easier when you know WHY this stuff is not to be messed with.

Here’s my take on it: 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.

Everything we hear these days is about if it feels good do it, — in “moderation” of course. THAT is sheer propaganda. Don’t get me wrong, “moderation” can still means the occasional Hopdoddy grassfed burger, Mema Mary’s caramel cake, Ben & Jerry’s hot fudge sundae … those things are still ok once in a while. HOWEVER, there are some things should never hit your lips. I mean it. Never.

Here are two of those things:

Artificial Colorings

I was shocked to see that even Kraft Marshmallows have food coloring in them. They sneak it into everything! These are chemicals made from petroleum derivatives and are linked to cancer, allergic reactions and ADHD in children.Artificial Colors

Most of Europe has banned food coloring in the same foods that have them here in the USA, or at least make manufacturers put WARNING labels on it.

The FDA? Not a chance. Those food industry lobbyists (the Fruit Loop loving folks from General Mills and the like) are just too tight with the government. Food coloring is a derivative of PETROLEUM, people. Yes, petroleum. Would you spread 40 weight oil on your cupcake?

It’s important to know that the M&M’s in Europe do not contain artificial food dyes. McDonald’s strawberry sundae either. So, why are you still sucking on those Skittles? And giving your kids blue Gatorade?? When Europe firmly refuses to be poisoned!

Robyn O’Brien, the Erin Brockovich of food, is a fierce warrior in the fight against toxins and the quality of our food. Follow her! You will be more than enlightened … hopefully it will set your hair on fire and you will start to make radical change happen within your own family and beyond!

Artificial Sugars

Let’s talk about Aspartame. (NutraSweet, Equal)

This zero calorie sweetener is touted to be the perfect way to have your cake and eat it too. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Nearly 100% of all outside research revealed problems with it. Some of them, BIG problems. Like what, you ask? What could possibly be so bad about a little artificial sweetener that’s in every thing imaginable?

Aspartame (NutraSweet) has been linked to brain tumors and 91 other really unpleasant side effects:

  • Fibromyalgia, joint pain, fatigue
  • memory loss
  • migraines
  • dizziness
  • depression
  • panic attacks
  • hair loss

And if those things don’t change your mind, I’ll appeal to your vanity: this neurotoxin makes you fatter. Your body is tricked into thinking it is getting sugar, so your insulin levels rise making your crave more sugar than before.

WHAT. THE. HELL? Doesn’t anyone know about this? This is serious stuff! Yes, as a matter of fact, Monsanto (the creator of aspartame) does. So does the FDA. Those 92 side effects? They have all been repeatedly submitted to the FDA, even before it was approved for use. Read more about it here.

It is in EVERY stick of gum you currently know. Diet drinks, Crystal Lite, “Lite” yogurts and “sugar free” junk should be tossed. NOW.

These chemicals can have surprising side effects: depression (yes, I swear), fatigue, headaches, and skin irritations to just name a few. Not so sweet now, right?

And Splenda isn’t any better. This sweet poison causes:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Seizures, dizziness and migraines
  • Blurred vision
  • Allergic reactions
  • Blood sugar increases and weight gain

AND contrary to its claims, it is not safe for baking. The Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health reveals an extensive list of safety concerns, including toxicity, DNA damage, as well as, “heightened carcinogenic potential when used in cooking.”

COME ON PEOPLE. What else do you need to hear to drop the fake stuff? PLEASE!

Use coconut sugar, organic cane sugar, real maple syrup, raw honey, dates. Or, try to wean yourself off sweet stuff altogether. Your brain, your body and your future self will thank you.

Hugs and the REAL sweet stuff to you and yours. KEEPING IT REAL FROM THE INSIDE …