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: Supplements


Bring The GEM Goodness Home – Part Five: Matcha

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It’s no secret that superfoods are super for you – today’s focus is on Matcha. Superfoods pack an exceptionally healthy and healing punch to your nutrition.

Wrapping up our series on superfoods and why we love them so much is Matcha.

Matcha is a Japanese ceremonial tea made from super high-quality tea leaves that are shade-grown and harvested without stems and veins. These chlorophyll rich green leaves are then stone-ground into a fine powder.

What makes matcha so special? You consume the whole tea leaf, not just water infused with tea Matcha at The GEMleaves, which means you consume all of the antioxidants and rich chlorophyll in the leaf. Matcha contains about half the caffeine of coffee, yet tends to cause a more even, long-term energy rise. It’s a cool fact because Matcha contains an amino acid that allows your body to process the caffeine differently—without the jitters and the crash. It’s a CALM ENERGY! MATCHA makes us:      

  • YOUNG & PRETTY: Anti-aging free radical fighter. Absorbs free radicals (the ORAC value) is one of the highest in the super-food realm, at about 1348 units per serving. This is one bad ass antioxidant.
  • HEALTHY: CANCER HATER. Especially high in an antioxidant called (EGCG). It has up to 137 times the amount of EGCG as other infused green teas. EGCG has shown promising results in helping fight against cancer and HIV.
  • THINNER: Metabolism Booster. Can increase metabolism rate, which holds promise for faster fat loss.
  • ENERGETIC yet ZEN: Keep calm and carry on with a spring in your step. It has a unique calming effect strangely coupled with an energy lift from caffeine and other elements from the tea leaf.

 

As with all teas, quality is super important. And cheaper is definitely not better. You want to purchase your Matcha tea from a reputable source. And yes, it should be Japanese and organic. We are proud of our Japanese Matcha—it’s been quite the search!!

AT HOME Application: Use matcha in smoothies, lattes and salad dressings. How to make tea? Use a teaspoon of the magic green powder with a third of a cup of hot water (not boiling!). Then mix it with a bamboo whisk (or a latte whip) and you are ready to go.

INSIDE THE GEM App: OUR chopped veggie salad is dressed with an amazing spicy matcha vinaigrette. Super umami (that’s yummy in Japanese)! Our Matcha Latte made with housemade cashew milk is SERIOUSLY THE BEST THING GOING for your morning ritual.

Now you know why we love superfoods and the benefits they provide and how easy it is to add them to your daily routine! Bring the benefits home with our GEM at HOME collection or swing by and let us whip something up for you.

Believe us, you’ll be a believer once you see and feel the difference they make!


Bring The GEM Goodness Home – Part Four: Spirulina

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Spirulina — the health benefits of spirulina are undeniable. Spirulina is hailed as a superfood that promotes body and brain health.

We continue our blog series with the goal of sharing the many benefits and virtues of superfoods. The GEM at HOME collection of superfood supplements makes it easy to incorporate nature’s most nutrient dense foods into your daily routine.spirulina

Now, more about spirulina … One of the oldest life forms on Earth, this blue-green algae has reached powerhouse status. This nutrient-rich substance boasts its fair share of health promoting properties. It is rich in chlorophyll, and powered by the sun.

Consumers of spirulina notice an increase in energy and overall health. It balances pH to reduce inflammation, the root cause of illness and disease. It may be one of the best sources of protein and you aren’t eating it.

More about this beauty:

  • CLEAN & HEALTHY: removes toxins from the blood, curbs effects from radiation, and boosts the immune system
  • YOUNG: fights the aging process, high antioxidant properties
  • SMART: protects the brain and detoxifies the liver and kidneys
  • SKINNY: curbs appetite and promotes weight loss

 

At HOME Application: Add it to your regimen slowly or you may experience detoxing ill effects. Add a ½ teaspoon to a smoothie or even your juice.

GEM Life App: Daily Bright Like a Diamond Shots pack a seriously energizing punch.

Inside The GEM at Forest or on Luther, we would LOVE to wax lyrical some more with you about this superfood. Bring some home today!

BTW, There will be no blog next week due to the holiday week.

But fear not, our blog series will continue the week of July 10th.

Until then, Peace. Happy. Freedom. GEMs!


Bring The GEM Goodness Home This Summer – Part 3: Hemp

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We launched the current blog series with the goal of extolling the virtues and benefits of gem hempsuperfoods, like hemp, and how you can easily incorporate them into your daily routine whether you are picking something up at The GEM or cooking something up at home.

Our GEM at HOME collection of superfood supplements is a great way to reap the benefits of nature’s most nutrient dense foods in your own home.

Last week, we enlightened you on the benefits of Chia.

THIS WEEK, WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT HEMP. WE HEART IT!

Not to be confused with the stuff Cheech and Chong made so famous, this miracle seed is actually a distant cousin. So, get those thoughts out of your head. For better or worse, the “high” you can get with hemp is only from your body singing from all the goodness.

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

Hemp makes you …

THIN AND FULL: This superfood keeps your weight in check because its protein and fiber aid in satiety, and keeps you from the munchies. HA! A diet rich in hemp also promotes digestive regularity. Giddy up cowboy!

SMARTER and LIVE LONGER: It’s one of the few Omega-3 sources found in plants. The Omega-3 fatty acids enhance brain function, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, and may even ward off Alzheimer’s disease.

EVEN KEEL: It regulates hormone fluctuations and promotes alleviation of menstrual cramps and menopause symptoms. That sounds like happiness in a bag to me!

PRETTIER!: It stimulates skin and hair growth, maintains bone health, regulates metabolism and helps with brain function. Hemp also helps keep your blood sugar level, which is an important way to defy age and prevent disease.

AT HOME Application: Use hemp milk in your smoothies as a dairy substitute. Just 3 tablespoons give you a whopping 15 grams of protein. Sprinkle the seeds on your oatmeal or add them to your salads.

GEM Life Application: We make our hemp milk from scratch every day and use it as a dairy alternative in our Super Sapphire, Sparkle Berry and PCD smoothies. Add hemp seeds as a protein, fiber and healthy fat boost in our STEEL CUT OATMEAL, FOYO PARFAIT or any smoothie! DELISH.

Bring home some hemp today! Next week, we sing the praises of Spirulina!


Bring The GEM Goodness Home This Summer!

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Inside The GEM, we constantly talk about specific nutrient dense foods classified as SUPERFOODS which is inspiration behind GEM at Home.

Superfoods may exist as actual foods such as dandelion, quinoa or kale, or in more of a supplemental form like hemp seed, maca or matcha. This group supplements pack an exceptionally healthy and healing punch to your nutrition.

Our GEM at HOME collection offers you a way to bring The GEM Goodness into your own kitchen. Maybe you aren’t sure why you need these amazing additions to your daily routine. Have no fear, dear GEMs! The next few posts promise to enlighten and encourage: letting you know what these things are, how to use them at home OR inside The GEM, and why you will look and feel better using them.

Superfoods help us feel more energetic, provide protection against disease such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and promote a longer, happier and healthier life and slow the ageing process.

We’ve narrowed seemingly hundreds of superfood supplements down to just a few so you can think straight about it! We use them inside The GEM everyday. YOU CAN TOO! The series will include benefits along with a daily application you can do at home or just swing by and let us do it for you! Dive in to health. You’re worth it!

Let’s get started with Maca.

This superfood made from a South American root, dates back at least 3,000 years ago. Maca nourishes and enhances the endocrine system, which controls functions that are:

  • SEXY: fertility and sexual function, libido
  • COOL: balances hormones, improves PMS and menopause symptoms
  • HAPPY: brain and nervous system including mood moderation
  • SHINY & CHILL: helps increase energy, stamina AND calms the stress response (supports the adrenal glands)

Maca is considered to be adaptogenic, meaning works in the body according to the needs of the person taking it – allowing folks of all ages to benefit from taking it regularly. Magic Maca is more like it!

AT HOME Application: Add this nutty, caramel-ish powdered gem to your daily smoothies, lattes or sprinkle it on your oatmeal!

GEM Life Application: Crown Jewel, Tahitian Pearl smoothies. It is amazing added into our French Pressed coffee with frothed cashew milk.


Six Tips for Feeding Healthy Teens [Part Two in Four-Part Series]

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We need to get teens back to healthy foods.Healthy teens

So how do you start? It is daunting. And I don’t suggest coming in full swing with a super-sized bag of kale chips and quinoa burgers. That is an invitation for a full on revolt. Start slowly. It’s not EVER too late to start. Just two weeks to form a habit.

SIX TIPS FOR FEEDING HEALTHY TEENS

1. MAKE IT RELEVANT. This is my favorite, and the most impactful way to convince your child of anything. In order for healthy options to sink in, teens must believe the message has specific reference to them. Long term health challenges will NOT resonate with them. Let them know nutrition affects their growth, their emotions, their academic and sports performance, their appearance, or whatever seems to be the most important to the teen during that particular week.

How?

Appeal to their vanity. Tell your daughter that eating lots more green leafy vegetables and less dairy/sugar will make her skin glow and eliminate breakouts, you have her ear. Talk to them about the correlation between nutritious food and acne. Want to grow? Talk about foods that promote growth and foods that don’t: promote calcium-rich foods and let them know soft drinks contain calcium depleting phosphoric acid, which can interfere with bone growth.

Appeal to their competitive nature. If you tell your son that he will play much better basketball if he doesn’t choose to drink the milkshake and chicken fingers before a game, he will listen.

Appeal to their academic drive: Tell your teen that eating grilled wild salmon and broccoli before exams and they will think more clearly. You at least have a chance!

BUT YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT RELEVANT.

2. Model good nutrition. You must model healthy eating habits. You cannot preach to them! We all know how well that usually ends. Show your teens how to make healthier choices so they learn the connection between good food and good health.

Want them to eat healthier? Buy and cook healthier!! Have easy to grab options ALWAYS available. This IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A PARENT. If you have good food in your fridge, you will eat good food. If you have a bowl of washed strawberries and grapes, they will eat them. Have a plate of veggies, hummus, and sliced apples out when they come home from school. Guacamole and fresh pico? They will eat it! Homemade organic popcorn is always a crowd pleaser.

How?

    • Let your teens help shop for healthy foods that they like and let them prepare their own meals/snacks.
    • Keep junk food out of the house or to a minimum. AND find “cleaner” junk foods. Those made without harmful chemicals, sweeteners and dyes.
    • Make extra when cooking dinner so they can use leftovers! (extra brown rice, chicken, pasta, brisket). I keep grass fed taco meat in the fridge to quickly make quesadillas after school.
    • Sneak spinach into smoothies.
    • The key is to 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!

 

3. Eat more QUALITY protein at every meal. The growing teenage brain needs protein. Protein gives the body the building blocks it needs to repair and renew, and it also serves as a source of energy. But Quality Matters. Try wild fish, organic free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, pastured eggs. I keep a pot of beans ready at any given moment. Nut butters are also good sources of protein—just make sure they are all natural and not loaded with sugars.

4. Get more vitamins. Even if they were perfect eaters, they cannot get all of the nutrients they need from their food sources (soil depletion, environment, stress, etc.). Our teens need at least 20 to 30 percent more of their daily requirements of nearly all the vitamins. These three are imperative:

  • Multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement is imperative. Cells are powered by nutrients. Vitamin D alone powers 200 reactions in the body and without it teens will be prone to depression/anxiety. Without enough B vitamins, and B12 (found in proteins) teens will feel lethargic, low in energy. Zinc has been nicknamed the “new anti-depressant”– it boosts mood and appetite and helps kids think. Look for organic, plant based vitamins from reputable companies like New Chapter and Nordic Naturals.
  • Probiotics. Our immune system primarily resides in our digestive tract.  The healthy bacteria that we need has been sabotaged with processed foods, antibiotics, and other chemical stresses we put on our bodies. Probiotics bring the good bacteria back so it can fight off illness, enhance digestion, remedies constipation and believe it or not, improves mood and thinking.
  • Fish Oil. Good omega fats nourish the brains, the nervous system. Combats mood disorders, fights inflammation, great for their joints too. Quality matters!

 

CONSIDER SUPPLEMENTS FOR YOUR TEENAGERS.

5. Pantry clean out. Throw out foods with ARTIFICIAL FOOD COLORS and SWEETENERS. PERIOD. Artificial sweeteners are KNOWN to cause 93 unsavory side effects from brain tumors. Memory loss, to hair loss. Food colorings (banned in Europe) are known to cause tumors, ADHD, allergies among lots of other infuriating problems. These are definite NOs in our house.

READ THE LABELS. Take a look at the ingredient labels on your food package. Even the simplest of foods will have more chemicals in them than you can count, much less pronounce.

Fill your kitchen with real, fresh foods whenever possible. Even replacing super bad junk with organic, non-GMO junk is a non-toxic step in the right direction. Shop at Whole Foods, Central Market, even Tom Thumb offers cleaner options. Also, if you haven’t already, check out Thrive Market.

AND THE LAST THING …
6. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Without question this is true, especially for kids. For brain development, their daily energy levels, their ability to focus. Protein rich eggs, oatmeal, breakfast tacos, plant-based protein smoothies. These are great!! Fruit Loops ARE NOT AN OPTION. Sugary cereals and drinks have no place at breakfast—their brains have nothing to function with, and the sugar spike and drop makes them sluggish and cranky.

Getting your kids to eat a good breakfast is simple–if you just do a little planning.

Make it for them! It may be your only chance of the day to influence their choices. If you are not a morning person, prepare the night before–put out plates, glasses and put ingredients together ready to go from the fridge. Place their vitamins in ramekins at their place setting. Plan to get up 15 minutes early to scramble those eggs. It makes all the difference. Added bonus: Breakfast can be a great way to spend a moment with your kids—that you otherwise might not have!!

At the end of the day, it is about a lifestyle change, not a week or so of regimented consumption. A healthy routine paves the way to a vibrant future of health and happiness! If you’d like to dig deeper, we can help you get there!

So you and your teenager can experience daily GEM goodness after school, we’ve extended our hours to stay open until 6 p.m. Monday – Friday. YEP. WE ARE OPEN UNTIL 6.

Next up … What DO you feed those kids? Stay tuned for great snack ideas.