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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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Not All Skin Care Products Are GEM~my

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 4 Comments

Whether fancy and expensive or common and cheap, skin care products are riddled with harmful thegemjuicebarimage2014chemicals and ingredients. In fact, some of the most toxic elements in a woman’s daily life are her personal care products, which contain ingredients linked to:

  • Cancer
  • Birth Defects
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Allergies
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Infertility
  • Hormone disruption

A veritable toxic shit storm of harm! Nothing is exempt. They  are in lotions, sunscreens, deodorant (yikes!), makeup, lipsticks, soaps, shampoos and nail polish.

Think that it doesn’t matter because it is just on your skin? A whopping 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. Kids absorb EVEN more than that.

WTF. You think, “That can’t be. Our consumer products are safe. The FDA takes care of all of that.  They protect us from harmful ingredients in the products we put IN and ON our bodies.” UMMMM. Not.

YOU have to take control and protect yourself. You must make educated choices about the products you use. Your skin and longevity will thank you.

What to do first …

Educate yourself! Download the Environmental Working Group’s tools and resources and lessen your exposure to toxins. You don’t have to throw everything out and start from scratch, unless you are as crazy about it as we are. Start with your soaps, body lotions and shampoos. Work from there. Once you start understanding the dangers of these ingredients, the shift becomes MUCH easier!

Stay away from:

  1. Parabens. This widely used preservative is in everything: makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos, lubricants,and facial cleansers. Parabens mimic estrogen in ways associated with increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have actually been found in biopsy samples from breast tumors. Look for “Paraben-free” products.
  2. Artificial colors. Yes, the same stuff that makes your Skittles bright like rainbows. Made from petroleum, synthetic colors are skin irritants and linked to ADHD in children. (Insert my uncontrollable anger here.) The Europeans consider artificial colors a human carcinogen and actually banned them. What?? We use stuff (smarter) countries don’t allow because it’s dangerous? Don’t forget this is what is in your packaged food and candies. MAKES ME FURIOUS.
  3. Fragrance. One of my least favorite things. Due to a law created to protect a company’s “secret formula,” the contents of fragrance don’t have to be disclosed. It may contain chemicals that cause allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and possibly effects on the reproductive system. It’s found in really anything with a scent! Just stay clean and let your inner scent shine through. You are MUCH more appealing than “spring meadow rain” anyway!
  4. Triclosan.  It’s supposed to be an antibacterial agent, but it’s also a known endocrine disruptor — especially thyroid and reproductive hormones — and a skin irritant. Tricolson can be found in toothpastes, antibacterial soaps and deodorants. Tom’s toothpastes are a great alternative to that nasty conventional stuff.
  5. Sodium lauryl sulfate/Sodium laureth sulfate. This surfactant can be found in almost all personal care and cleaning products—anything that foams. SLS’s are known to be skin, lung and eye irritants. It combines with other chemicals to form a kind of carcinogen, leading to issues like kidney and respiratory damage. They can be found in shampoo, body wash, cleansers, mascara and acne treatment.
  6. Phthalates. I can’t even pronounce it, but they are a group of chemicals used in things like nail polish, perfumes, deodorants, lotions and hair spray. Yikes! See ya, Aqua Net. Known to be endocrine disruptors, they have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Unfortunately, it is not often disclosed since it is added into that “secret formula” called fragrance. Yeah … the Secret deodorant should hit the trash. Sorry.
  7. Formaldehyde. Helps prevent bacteria growth. This chemical was deemed as a human carcinogen and has been linked to nasal and nasopharyngeal cancers. It is known to cause allergic skin reactions and may be harmful to the immune system. It can be found in nail polish, body washes, conditioners, shampoos, cleansers, eye shadows and nail polish treatments. It is also used to embalm cadavers. Just sayin’!
  8. Toluene. Derived from petroleum, this nasty devil can affect your respiratory system, cause nausea and irritate your skin. Expecting mothers should avoid exposure to toluene vapors as it may cause developmental damage in the fetus. Toluene has also been linked to immune system toxicity. It can be found in nail polish, nail treatments and hair color/bleaching products.
  9. Sunscreen chemicals. This is bad sh*t. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors and are easily absorbed into the body. They can cause cellular damage and cancer in the body. Common names are benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate. Find all-natural sunscreens (you will pay high dollar, but you and your kids are worth it!)

The average person slathers on around 125 chemical ingredients found in personal care products every day. YEESH.

Which products will you eliminate first? Download this groovy shopping guide for quick reference for things to avoid.

Once you’ve tossed the Jergens for jojoba, test some of The GEM girls’ favorite lines:

  • Odacite (skin care)
  • Tarte (makeup)
  • Hourglass (makeup)
  • Derma E (skin care)
  • Tom’s (toothpaste)

Easier still, shop at places that have edited the products for you – conscious companies who are trying to make a difference with quality skin care that is helpful, not harmful!

If you have a favorite, fabulous and SAFE product, please share it with us! We are always looking for the good stuff!


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?


The Perfect 7 Mother’s Day GEM-Inspired Gifts!

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Give MOM peace, happy AND juice this Mother’s Day with GEM-inspired gifts!

Forgo flowers and bring her some GEM goodness with GEM-inspired gifts that keep on giving! Whether Mom’s a regular or you want to introduce her to GEM life, we have something fab her.

For the Glamour Mom:

Seabuckthorn bottle, Glamour Shot (Sea Buckthorn & Pomegranate Juice) and Moringa Superherb Tea, which among many other things, beautifies the skin and promotes wellness. ($49)


Glamour Gift

For the Tea Loving Mom:

Bring her a Growler of Canary Diamond Tea (Green tea, basil, pineapple, lemon) for brunch ($22) & Matcha Tea Canister and Japanese whisk to learn the art of rich, green tea. ($36)

Matcha Tea Set

For the Peace and Calm Craving Mom:

CALM Sports Bath, CALM Magnesium Tea and a canister of Jiaogulan Superherb Tea, with incredible anti-anxiety and calming properties. ($49)

ZEN & Calm Basket

For the On-the-Go Mom:

Healthy Snack Kit: Sunbiotic Almonds, Tosi Bars, Marge Granola Snack Bags and Acai Green Super Tea Booster to add to her water or iced green tea. ($34)

GEM On-the-go snacks

For the Suave Mom:

Gift Card for a smooth, carefree week of GEM Smoothies (a week’s worth of smoothies). ($50)

Do it at home with a GEM Smoothie Kit, which includes a jar of Coconut Manna, a bag of raw Cacao and Maca, Raw Happy Hemp Seeds, Amazing Meal protein packet, Chia seeds and a special GEM Smoothie recipe. We can help put it together!

For the Hip Mom:

Buy Mom shots at the bar!! Custom Shot 5 Pack. One for each busy day of the week: Glamour Shot, Bright Like a Diamond, Tumeric, Ginger and E3 Live. ($18)

Bar Shot GEM Bag

For the Health Mom:

A 5, 4 or 3 Day Cleanse package or 4-Session Health Counseling Gift Card

A sampling of the individual counseling session topics include: De-Stress, Hidden Toxins, Energize Me, Meal Planning and many more. Complete list and description can be found Individual Health Counseling Session Topics. Health Counseling Gift Card recipients will select the best sessions for their needs.

For the Independent Minded Mom:

Let her choose with The Gift Card in any amount! Leave mom with a Radiant GLOW and a smile.GEM Gift Card

Call or stop by and pick the perfect gift now!

 

 

 


Juice Cleanse Yourself to Health & Lean, Clean Living

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It’s a New Year. Does there need to be a new YOU? One that has more energy, vibrance and control? Juice cleanse yourself back to health and lean, clean living!

You hear “juice cleanse” all the time. So what exactly does cleansing mean? Generally speaking, it means that you rid the body of the toxins, acidity, sugars and chemicals that cause you to retain weight, crave poor foods and zap your energy. This is done with alkalizing foods and juices that help turn up the body’s detox systems. Often times, this is accomplished with a juice only fast.

We’ve seen SO many of our GEMs kick off this new year with our juice cleanses, and they’ve had amazing results. Fasting, too, has many benefits – benefits that are proven over literally thousands of years of experience. Its roots are founded in meditation and achieving mental clarity and focus for so many who practice fasting.

However, juice cleanses are not for everyone.

Lifestyles are different. Personalities are different. Body types are different. They work out too much, they entertain too much, they just like to chew too much. They want something less intense.

That’s OK! You can be amazingly clean and cleansed with food as part of the regimen. It can spark a vibrant lifestyle that you can do everyday for the rest of your life. We GEM Girls live that every day and we want to make it easy for you to do the same.

We’ve created an active lifestyle program filled with organic juices, detoxifying whole foods and snacks that heal, sustain, cleanse, make you look good and your body feel FABULOUS! Pop these items in your (GEM) bag and go!

Soooo … What’s in your GEM bag?

These 3, 5 and 10 Day GEM BAG Juice and Food Cleanse regimens are based on a whole food, plant based diet and combine salads, juices and soups enhanced with rich proteins from seeds, grains and beans. All meals, juices and snacks provide extra calories and protein along with ingredients perfect for detoxifying and weight-loss.

Benefits are:

  • Radiant skin is regenerated with daily anti-inflammatory, alkaline ingredients
  • Daily juice floods your system with nutrients that detox, quell hunger, bring vibrance
  • Every meal is planned for! No thinking, no hunger.
  • Practice a Whole food, Plant Based Diet and be ready for your new lifestyle!
  • Organic, nutrient dense, satisfying foods that are full of flavor
  • 2 levels, for those who want MORE GEM GOODNESS, there is more to eat!

 

Juice ‘til Dinner Cleanse

Juice 'til Dinner

The GEM Juice ’til Dinner Cleanse

Want just a little bit more GEM Goodness? Too much going on to skip eating – The Juice ’til Dinner cleanse is easily incorporated into a hectic lifestyle – five organic juices for the day plus dinner. It can be a great way to kick off a healthy diet plan or as a weekly reset button to keep weight off, energy up, and the body and mind healthy.

It includes amazingly delicious and satisfying organic, cold pressed juices followed by one of our nutrient dense salads or soups and CALM tea. Allowed Anytime: sliced celery, carrots or cucumbers with lemon

GEM Workout Cleanse

The GEM Bag Organic Juice Cleanse

The GEM Bag Workout Cleanse

Like extreme workouts? Like to eat? Want a softer step into healthy? This GEM Bag Cleanse is perfect for anyone with an active lifestyle or who needs a little guidance to the doorway of clean eating and detox. With this cleanse, you can continue your activities as you like—except of course, for the processed foods, animal protein and alcohol. NOT alkaline. This is an excellent way to learn how to eat a whole food, plant base diet. Or just a great way to feel and look good!

This Cleanse offers more protein and more energy.  Included are two whole food GEM meals, along with four organic GEM juices, one Hail Merry snack, one power shot, and nightly CALM tea.

Price: $155/$250/$500; 3/5/10 Days

HOW YOU CAN DO IT: RESERVE YOUR NEW GEM BAG CLEANSE FOR NEXT WEEK. Your body will thank you!

HOW WE DO IT: Your meals and juice cleanse or juice cleanses are clearly labeled with the order we recommend to eat or drink. We offer email support before and after your cleanse and bright smiling faces all along the way.

THE GEM DIFFERENCE: Organic, cold-pressed juices AND whole-food vegetables, herbs and spices give your body juices, snacks and meals filled with protein and fiber helping to cleanse your body.

Allergy information:  We have no dairy, wheat or gluten in our meals. Special considerations can be made, just ask!


Here’s to a Disco Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving

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Peace.  Happy.  Gratitude.

Peace. Happy. Gratitude.

We all want a Disco, Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving right? It can be an energizing, inspiring holiday if you let it be – one of thanks (duh), gratitude, friendships, yummy foods, family. An all nourishing kind of day – the body and soul.

It can also be a draining, heavy, toxic holiday. One with over-indulgence on food and booze that leave you feeling bloated and depressed. And it gets worse. You let energy vampires disguised as aunts, uncles, siblings, etc., swoop in topped with nonsensical family traditions.

 

 

To make this Thanksgiving a Healthy Thanksgiving (it is currently my favorite), you can do a few small things that may result in some big changes:

  1. Do it yourself.  Make sure you have at least two clean sides for Thanksgiving. It may mean you bring them yourself—which is even better! Alice Waters, Rozanne Gold, Mark Bittman, they all have amazing cookbooks that will rock your world. GEM Hummus with veggies, Hail Merry Royal Blend nuts (conveniently available at The GEM). Shoot, come pick up a few of our arugula & mushroom quinoa salads and tell everyone you made it yourself!! It’s a PERFECT fall salad. 100 Days Of Real Food has good, clean recipes and is an amazing resource to feed your family better. Dreena Burton of Plant-Powered Kitchen has a few recipes on her site.
  2. Center yourself. The holidays, even with all their glitter and excitement, can be emotionally draining. Family dynamics, loneliness, financial issues, and just the intense insanity of it all can be overwhelming. Take some time for yourself the night before by drawing yourself a nice warm bath with CALM Sports bath and lavender oil (Epsom salts can work too) or do what I do—excuse myself to my closet for some deep breathing with a few key stretches before the festivities start. Allow yourself to decompress. It’s ok. We need to take care of ourselves first! By nurturing yourself and taking time to get centered, you’ll be able to steer clear of bad choices and emotional eating.
  3. Prep yourself. Start your morning with 32 ounces of filtered water followed at least 30 minutes later with a vibrant green smoothie with a couple of tablespoons of raw Happy Hemp seeds. (1/2 frozen banana, 1-2 cups spinach, ½ cup blueberry, ½ cup frozen cherries, 2-3 T of raw hemp seeds, 1 cup water). I SWEAR it will make your day go better. Plus it fills your body with satisfying nutrients that will help you make better decisions for the rest of the day.
  4. Don’t be hard on yourself. Thanksgiving doesn’t always have to be a day of over indulgence. But, let’s also be realistic … stuffing happens. Pecan pie and whipped cream happen. If you do go deep off the wagon, you can always get back on that vibrant, healthy band wagon again.

Plan to get back on track as soon as the last turkey sandwich is served. Even better, schedule a 4-Day GEM Cleanse to exorcise the gluttony demons and be back brighter than ever!

Have a gratitude and laughter filled healthy Thanksgiving. We love you, GEMs! See you back for more GEM goodness soon. Hugs all around …