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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: stress


Yoga for Stress Relief

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments

Have to preach this … yoga is a critical component for stress relief. yoga and juice equal peace

Don’t turn off the screen just yet. Yoga doesn’t have to be:

  • Difficult to practice. Simple postures can be done anywhere, anywhere.
  • Intimidating. If you don’t already practice yoga, don’t be scared. You gotta start somewhere. Most folks can’t twist into a pretzel and stand on one finger.
  • Practiced on a mountaintop in white robes. It’s not weird. I ran from the idea of yoga just a few years back, and now can’t live without it! Plus, it is one of the oldest defined practice of self development.

 

Yoga may be more familiar than you think. Many popular techniques found to reduce stress derive from yoga:

  • Controlled breathing. This stuff works.
  • Meditation. Be grateful for your life and the big and small things in it.
  • Physical movement (exercise)
  • Mental imagery. See it, think it, be it.
  • Stretching. It’s crazy what a difference a few stretching poses can make.

 

Yoga can provide the combined benefits of these activities in one technique. It brings together the mind, body and spirit. Whether you use yoga for spiritual transformation or for stress management and physical well-being, the benefits are numerous and undeniable. Those with physical limitations can and actually SHOULD practice yoga, just make sure you have a good instructor.

There are several different styles of yoga, some moving through the poses more quickly and other styles relaxing deeply into each pose. Some have a more spiritual angle, while others are used purely as a form of exercise. Certain poses can be done just about anywhere and a yoga program can go for hours or minutes, depending on your schedule.

This is what yoga can do for you:

  • Reduce stress, anxiety and muscle tension
  • Increase strength and flexibility
  • Reduce cortisol levels–which make you hold on to fat, among a million other things.
  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Spiritual growth. It can happen, regardless of your religion.
  • Sense of well being. Well, sign me up!

 

Yoga’s benefits are HUGE—it gives a crazy high payoff for the small amount of effort you have to exert.

There are so many studios that offer beginning yoga, often with incredible guidance from the instructor. You really want to have that extra attention at the beginning to learn proper form and be more engaged. Places like Sunstone offer classes that are heated, slower, and more methodical. Start with Spark and work up to Fire Class. Water class (a true spiritual experience, in my opinion) is my personal favorite. Exhale & We Yogis have lots of different varieties of classes.  We Yogis even has classes for kids and teens. Dallas Yoga Center has classes for beginners and even some that focus on meditation. Try a few online videos and images (simple beginner poses), though the energy of a live class is so much more therapeutic.

Select a place that you feel comfortable with and try it out. Give it several tries with different types of yoga until you find what is right for you. Private yoga sessions including guided meditation are an incredibly rewarding option!

Bottom line: Make the connection between knowing your stress levels and changing your behaviors. Managing stress in a positive way will make a life-changing impact your body and your life.

Do you have a favorite yoga studio? Share it with us!!

Peace. Happy. Yoga.


5 Ways to Manage Back-to-School Stress

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments

School is almost back in session which meansThe GEM Juice Bar major organization needed, major scheduling, major traffic, AND obviously, major stress. Stress is an unpleasant fact of life. We all experience it, and for some of us, we allow it to take over our minds and eventually our bodies.

The key is to find ways to manage it—squash it—and don’t let it rule us. Stress does terrible things to your mood, your energy and your overall physiology. Common symptoms of stress we know all too well: insomnia, headaches, jaw pain, back and neck pain, heartburn and nausea, nervousness and anxiety, nail-biting, and trouble focusing. Even high blood pressure, stroke and obesity! But stress does some other crazy sh*t …

  • Stress changes the expression of your genes. Your genes load the gun, the environment pulls the trigger. Your stressed our body produces chemicals, activating genes that change everything — how much fat you store, your immune function, ageing and even the development of CANCER.
  • Stress affects memory function. High levels of stress hormones damage critical parts of the brain, especially the area responsible for memory. People experience adrenal burnout after chronic stress because the brain actually turns off the adrenals. So relax, silly.
  • Stress jacks with your immune system and increases inflammation. Stress is the ultimate immune-modulator. It slows wound healing and increases your susceptibility to infections.
  • Stress slows your ability to metabolize and detoxify. Genes responsible for enzymes that break down fats and detoxify prescription drugs are negatively impacted by stress. Stress also adds to your toxin burden by increasing your cravings for high fat, high sugar foods. We all know that one, right?  The stress hormones actually make you hang on to your fat cells.

 

The American Institute of Stress (AIS) has a list of 50 common signs and symptoms of stress.  Check it out! So in addition to making us cranky and fat, it can also make us chronically ill? Tell me how to fix this!

What we think and feel, and how long we think or feel it, determines our health. The science is strong, and yet so often since stress is considered something we can’t really quantify, it gets dismissed as not being “real.”

Here are a few ways to quell stress in your life:

  1. Meditate. Come on … Don’t quit reading. Meditation can mean different things to different people. Mindfulness, intention setting, gratitude lists all are part of a mediation practice. Simple deep breathing exercises and morning quiet time (even 15 minutes a day will make an enormous difference). Gabby Bernstein rocks. Wayne Dyer too. This does not take the place of your daily prayer. Try deep breathing exercises in the carpool line or at a traffic light. I swear it will change your life.
  2. Laugh. Call a friend, watch a movie, fake it if you have to!
  3. Magnesium. Deficiencies in this mineral have been linked to anxiety as well as a litany of sleep disorders. Go get you some CALM tea today. P.S. It will also keep you regular. There is also a Calm Bath Soak that is amazing as a bedtime ritual along with some lavender oil that will knock your socks off.
  4. Exercise. Do something everyday—preferably something that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. Walk with a friend, jump on the trampoline with your kids, or turn up Donna Summer and disco dance off of the chandeliers for all I care. Just do it!
  5. Plan your food. At the very least, have healthy food options in your fridge. You can’t manage stress on Cheetos and drive-thrus. Plus eating like that can add MORE depression and anxiety to your life. (Insider scoop, we will be blogging about this in September: simple, healthy fridge options). Start your day with a Green Glow or a superfood-packed Crown Jewel smoothie.  What stressor can possibly bring you down now??

 

We can help you with all this at The GEM, whether with your nutritional needs, a much-needed laugh or schedule a Diamonds Counseling Stress Session – Just ask!

Next up:  Stress and Yoga!!


What is Alkalinity and Why Do You Need It?

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments

Alkalinity. You need it. Your body craves it. In order to enjoy optimal, immune boosting health, free from disease, inflammation, diabetes, cancer (YIKES) — you should maintain a slightly alkaline pH level, specifically, 7.365 on the pH scale of 0-14, 7 being neutral.

Our bodies work really hard to maintain itself within this small window. The more acidic our diet and lifestyle, the more we work against our body’s efforts. In turn, we leave ourselves feeling tired and our immune systems vulnerable to disease.

hummusmvOH, and did I say disease and cancer thrive in an acidic environment? Reason enough for me to listen!

How did you get here in your acidic world? It’s your lifestyle.

What does that mean?

Our Standard American Diet, or SAD (appropriate initials!), is a major factor of acidity. It is a diet full of processed, highly acidic foods and drink, i.e. sodas, chips, sweets, fast food, DAIRY, alcohol, grains, heavy amounts of animal protein and SUGAR. When acidic foods are digested, an acidic residue is left behind. When too much acidic ash accumulates, it damages cells and tissues and robs the body of key minerals that help keep inflammation in check.

Constant stress and negative emotions are acidic culprits too. Emotions can have a greater impact on our blood and physical health than our food!

A lack of consistent exercise stagnates the body’s circulatory system. Oxygen through your cells is cleansing and alkalizing. Just do it.

These things increase acidity and inflammation in your body and causes major disruption to your system. So what do you do?

Four simple steps to alkalinity:

  1. More Water. Back this up with 32 oz of clean, filtered water each morning and you will be very pleasantly surprised by the way you feel. An easy way to make your water more alkaline is to add a little lemon or cucumber to filtered water. It’s weird because lemons, while acidic in your mouth (and on your teeth), are extremely alkaline when digested.
  1. More Greens, less sugar. A whole foods, plant based diet is the key to an alkaline system. Make 80% of your diet alkaline foods. Fresh vegetables, salads, leafy greens, omega oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains. Crowd out the bad with the good, then begin to cut and eliminate the bad. Think GREEN and whole foods with high nutritional value. And as always, NO artificial sweeteners—toxic, toxic, toxic. Check out this amazing chart.
  1. More Exercise. Essential because it pumps our blood and lymph around the body to remove wastes and helps deliver oxygen to cells for necessary functioning. Deep breathing can be hugely beneficial as it also controls stress and negative emotions.
  1. Supplements. Not the first solution, but part of the big puzzle – Utimate Omega 3s and probiotics.

Even if you just add three extra greens a day, morning water consumption and 15 minutes of daily exercise, you could feel a huge difference!

The big solution lies in creating a lifestyle where food, stress management and a mindful exercise practice all contribute to your optimal health. So dive in! What are you waiting for?