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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

8 Things Sweet Sugar Does to You and Your Health

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments on 8 Things Sweet Sugar Does to You and Your Health

As yummy and sweet as it is, Sugar is NOT good for your health. With Halloween just a couple weeks away, beware. It tricks you into thinking it’s just simple treats.

Well, it ain’t. Excessive sugar in fact, promotes illness and “un” health. While many of you may know this, few of us are doing anything about it. But do you really know what it does TO you?


It plays a starring role in your ultimate health—and not for the good of it. If you really knew what it was doing to your body, you might just put it at the top of your “foods to avoid” list. Here are a few things it does to you and your health.

  1. Sweet sugar does NOT heart your heart. It can actually affect the pumping mechanism of your heart and increase the risk for heart failure.
  2. It makes your belly fat. Yeah.  It’s not the planks you missed in the Pilates class that did it.
  3. It grows cancer and may affect cancer survival. High sugar and starch intake negatively affects survival rates in both breast and colon cancer patients.
  4. Sugar jacks with the liver. Poor nutrition and sugar intake is a major cause of fatty liver. A sluggish liver contributes to LOTS of problems in your body.
  5. Sugar sucks your brain power. It causes deficiencies in memory and overall cognitive health. Duh.
  6. It makes you old. Yep, it ages you! Aging of the cells (oxidative stress) can be the cause of those tired wrinkles to something as dire as chronic disease.
  7. It hides in everything. It’s a sneaky little sucker. Some of your favorite foods contain lots of sugar include tomato sauce, fat free dressing, crackers and even bread. And those healthy energy bars?! Don’t even get me started!
  8. Sugar makes us want more sugar and adds to the stress response. It IS a drug—more addictive than cocaine. SO: SAY. NO.


Sugar is an addictive substance shown to actually change your biochemical pathways, ambush your self-control mechanisms and lure you into eating more and more.

It is a major roadblock to optimal health. It is the root of many ailments including obesity, acne, depression, infertility and cancer.

Want to know more about sugar, stress and how to detox it from your daily life? Our next continuing education group session, Sugared UP and Stressed Out, does just that! Learn what both stress and sugar do to your body and ways to detox from sugar—and don’t let it rule you!

Be there ~ our Forest location ~ or be square, Wednesday, October 26. We now have two classes available:

  • 11 a.m.
  • 12:30 p.m.


Lunch will be served. Call us at 214.792-9928 or email to register.

Your Biggest Enemy: Stress. By Way of Sugar

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 1 Comment on Your Biggest Enemy: Stress. By Way of Sugar

We know the visible suspects of stress: hectic schedules, poor relationships, lack of sleep. In addition, there are invisible factors that trigger the same stress response. It’s as ubiquitous as the air you breathe. It’s called sugar …

Photo cred: Vig Foto

Photo cred: Vig Foto

What you’re about to learn should change how you think about stress and, if you’re smart, how you interact with sugar—especially when stressed.

Surprisingly, one of the biggest causes behind stress could be your blood sugar. The more time spent outside of a healthy blood sugar range, the more your body feels stressed. Excess sugar causes the same physiological changes that external stresses do!

Blood sugar spikes seriously affect stress and inflammation levels in your body. I’ll spare you the physiology lesson, but spiked blood sugar causes stress in your body, which causes your adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Cortisol manages stress and it also manages blood sugar. When blood sugar levels change too fast, your cortisol is used to pull it back up again. Unstable blood sugar can make you feel the same as you feel when an event makes you angry, frustrated, frightened, i.e., STRESSED. So … sugar makes your stress response worse.

We already know stress is a really bad thing when it comes to your health and happiness. Chronic stress can be as fatal as smoking and a predictor of weight gain even more than genetics.

Even when you can’t control every cause of stress in your world, the simple act of keeping your blood sugar levels stable will make you more resilient, less irritable, better able to “deal.”

When I’m stressed AND sugared up, I become the most irritable lunatic. Everyone benefits from me steering clear of sugar! In addition, stable blood sugar levels help you stay lean and energized. This is because unstable blood sugar (and cortisol) causes you to make fat storage hormones like insulin and affects sleep patterns, which causes weight gain and fatigue.

Photo cred: Vig Foto

Photo cred: Vig Foto

If some of this sounds like you, let’s talk about management. What can you do to keep your blood sugar stable?

Throughout the day, many factors protect or damage your blood sugar. However, what happens in the morning affects your day than any other time. So …


Your morning routine can start the downward spiral that keeps you in a constant state of stress– raising stress hormones from the get go.

  1. Eat a high quality protein filled breakfast – Kick Captain Crunch out of your kitchen, because he, along with high sugar breakfast foods (bagels, overly sweetened yogurts, junk smoothies), sabotage your blood sugar, your mood, your waistline. You will function SO MUCH better when you stay under seven grams of sugar from all sources combined. Stick with high quality protein, pastured eggs, raw plant protein powders, paired with good fat sources like coconut oil or avocados.
  1. Don’t skip breakfast  Having no food lowers your metabolism in preparation for famine. This makes you less able to burn fat for fuel. The “Amazing Crown Jewel” smoothie gives you the fat and protein you need to power through your morning!
  1. Drink green juice – The phytonutrients from alkalizing greens and vegetables help maintain blood sugar while flooding your system with immunity boosting, inflammation quelling, energizing enzymes and nutrients. Look for juices that are a minimum of 70% vegetables, like the Flawless, or Disco. Even the classic Green Glow packs a punch!

CONSIDER A 3 DAY JUICE CLEANSE TO REBOOT YOU SYSTEM—GET RID OF THOSE CRAVINGS. Want to chew too? Reserve a Juice Then Dinner Cleanse and enjoy a little mastication!

  1. LAY OFF high amounts of caffeine  Why does caffeine give you energy? Because it causes you to raise your blood sugar in the same way that sugary food does. Then THE CRASH. Drink organic green tea instead
  1. Physical activity – Anything works: walking, running, yoga, you name it. It helps regulate your blood sugar too.
  1. Stay psychologically centered – Start a gratitude journal. Mentally rehearse your day, and set your intention to be healthy, happy and calm. Grab our GEM Journal for amazing prompts to maintain a health-filled day.


Your body and mind strive to reach states of balance and happiness. Even though you cannot control the world around you, you can help yourself become healthier and more resilient by making easy adjustments in your daily habits.

5 Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments on 5 Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yoga for Stress Relief

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments on Yoga for Stress Relief

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 on 5 Ways to Manage Back-to-School Stress

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?

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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?