The Official Blog of The GEM.

SHINE BRIGHTER. Our goal is to live better and be better. Don’t you want that too? This blog is our happy place for guidance, humor and tips about leading healthier, happier lives. We only have one life. Make it count!

Tag Archives: sugar


Confessions of a Wayward Juice Bar Owner. You Will Want to Hear This.

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 4 Comments on Confessions of a Wayward Juice Bar Owner. You Will Want to Hear This.

Well folks, I have some confessions to make. I’ve been living a double life for the last two weeks, and it ain’t pretty. Let’s just say I’ve been doing all the things (maybe not ALL, but still) that we preach inside The GEM to be bad for your health and happiness. OFF. THE. RAILS.  And you know what? I feel like crap, act like crap, AND I’m starting to really look like crap, too. What’s important here is a) not to judge, and b) to pay attention to the results of this real-life human experiment revealing what healthy living does (or in my current situation, what UN-healthy living does) to your body and mind.

This whirlwind of Slug-dom looks like this: Poorly planned meals, fat bastard cheese on everything, sexy-sugared goodies, gluten-glittered everything, liver-killing tequila too often, badass carcinogenic bacon, the absence of centering yoga, no muscle sculpting weights, and no calming meditation. “Cool,” you might say! “Sounds like the summer of champions!” WRONG. Stress has taken over inside and out, and the buzzards are circling.

Here’s what these choices have brought me:

  • Sloth-like afternoons. All I want to do at 4 p.m. is take a nap. THAT IS NOT NORMAL.
  • Dun-lap. Yep, my puffy belly has dun lapped over my belt. Subtle, but will be a problem if I don’t stop the insanity.
  • Slow-to-NO bathroom visits. You can figure out that one.
  • Old folk joint pain. I might be 50, but before this dark period, I felt like a million bucks. Now? A buck fifty at best. Inflammation at its finest.
  • Terrible sleep patterns.
  • Old lady eye bags and ugly skin. Poor eating AGES you. Almost immediately.
  • Piss-poor mood. I was definitely more pleasant before this tragic health trip. Food and exercise do miraculous things to your brain.
  • More self-sabotage. The worse I do, the worse I feel, then the more bad things I do. It’s a vicious cycle.

If you think these choices make you feel better, trust me, it is very short lived. The effects of this lifestyle manifest fairly quickly. I can vouch for that. Maybe you have a similar story? The struggle is real, people. And the struggle is HARD!

Listen up slugs, NO ONE is coming to save you. YOU are the 911 Rescue. Here are four ways to pull your slimy self up off the floor and start shining bright like the diamond you are. Let’s get our groove back starting with the following action items. I promise you will feel better almost immediately.

  • Drink a green juice each morning. Crowding out the bad stuff with the good makes all the difference. Plus all the veggies bring tons of energy and vibrance – boosts the liver to filter out the toxins!
  • Keep MVP soup on hand and drink a cup everyday this week. It’s 5 servings of veggies, filling, tasty and boosts your energy and metabolism and is chock-full of cleansing greens.
  • Meditate, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Focus on your breathing, focus on the present. It helps manage stress, and keeps your discipline in check.
  • Eat a dark, leafy green salad for at least one of your meals. Keep a GEM Chopped Veggie or Celery salad on-hand for a quick grab and go fiber-filled option. Have it before you go to that poolside bbq so you don’t gorge on the bad stuff.

Special note: Never say never. If you want a heavy, gluten and dairy-filled food carnival, pick a special one – make it worth your while. But please, DON’T MAKE IT YOUR DAILY M.O.  Make The GEM visit your next habit. Your body will sing. See you inside The GEM soon!

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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?

sugarblog2

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.

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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.

 

Cost is $50. Lunch will be served. Call us at 214.792-9928 or email info@insidethegem.com 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 …

START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT.

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.


Spring Forward with The GEM Continuing Education Workshops

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments on Spring Forward with The GEM Continuing Education Workshops

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!


An anti-cancer life: Sugar

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments on An anti-cancer life: Sugar

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!