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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: The Gem


What Pink Ribbons Don’t Say About Breast Cancer Prevention

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 5 Comments

In my former, pre-GEM~my world, pre-breast cancer, I spent 17 years in marketing and product development for a luxury linen company. It was a great paying job with lots of responsibility and lots of high-level stress. I was burning the candle at both ends, and was generally a hardcore, bitter, very impatient person. And, I knew it all.

On October 19, 2009, 18 days into “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” that world came to a halt. I was broad sided with a diagnosis of breast cancer that spread to my lymph nodes. Leslie kicked kancer's ass

Crap. I hated pink ribbons. Even more, I hated setbacks.

Later, I realized this setback would be my life changing experience. I was about to learn about peace and happy and a truly healthy lifestyle the hard way.

During my year-long treatment of chemo, surgeries, radiation, sheer exhaustion, I started to dig deep into illness and disease and what I could do to help in the healing process AND make certain it never came back. I learned about alkalinity and inflammation. I discovered very quickly that my previous lifestyle did nothing for my optimal health, so I set out to quell all inflammation in my system.

How?

  • I immediately went out and bought a juicer and Vitamix
  • Went totally on a hard-core, plant-based diet
  • Did a TON of reading and research

I became obsessed with everything related to food and healthy living and quickly discovered first hand the power of juice, clean food and positivity. I learned that inflammation is the root of all disease, so I set out to change my life. I also learned it wasn’t just about food!

What did that mean? In addition to food, your thoughts and your stress are major causes of inflammation.

I needed more. I earned a degree from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, an incredible nutrition school that takes a holistic approach to wellness and focuses on relationships, work, exercise and spirituality as essentials to building good health. I studied lots of brilliant minds on the subject.

The goal: to clean up every dark corner of my world. I dumped the toxic people (oh, yeah baby!), the toxic thoughts, the toxic attitude. I refused to let that stuff into my world. Added yoga, deep breathing, cleaned out my personal care and cleaning products. I changed my environment so to speak. That was a great place to start.

So what about the (toxic) food? So I began embracing a whole-foods, plant-based diet. I cooked, I juiced, I bought organic.

What I quickly realized was there was no place nearby where I felt secure about the quality and selection of the food and juice. Organic was rarely mentioned and almost never honestly served. I couldn’t eat every meal at home, right? So, what happened next? Mary Kathryn and I decided to do it ourselves! Wonder-twin powers activate!

From there, The GEM was born. We created The GEM to be a community where people come to get healthy and happy. And WOW! We were floored by the response. Our baby quickly became a place to find approachable, healthy habits that have a profound effect on your long-term health. Anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-energy vampires. Let food (and disco) be thy medicine, right?

We invite everyone to experience this place of healing and happiness called The GEM.  And hopefully you leave with a little something better than when you enter. Come on in! Don’t wait for a sucker punch from Life to change your thoughts and your habits!

The GEM is living proof that by removing toxins from your life, you will be healthier, stronger and happier. So while the pink ribbons aren’t visible, the disco ball is a constant reminder of the happy, healthy life we all can attain.

YOU ARE YOUR BEST ADVOCATE–whether it is cancer screening or anything else. Take control of your health and happiness each and every moment.  And, don’t be a boob. Perform monthly breast exams. Peace.


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 …


Protecting The Family Jewels – Breast, Colon & Prostate Cancer Prevention

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The Family Jewels (think cancer prevention.) Love them. Care for them. leslierobynmk

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month again. And no one is more aware than I am. As a one-time conqueror of that nasty disease, I made a conscious decision to learn and do everything within my power to keep it from ever rearing its ugly head in my life again. It is all about cancer prevention.

Daunting at first glance, but then as I delved into it, I realized it was the perfect recipe for a vibrant, happy and energetic life–all disguised as “anti-cancer.”

So, what did that entail, you might ask?

The more elusive, yet incredibly important actions, I took were to keep stress and toxic people at bay. Easier said than done. However, your mind is powerful and with the right ammo, you can do that too. Identify those things and people and work to eliminate their importance. (And look for my next blog installment regarding anxiety). Wayne Dyer is a master at guiding you through this.

For the more tangible things, I hit it head on. My diet and exercise changed almost overnight. (I was scared into eating straight!) For everyone else, it means progressive and consistent additions of clean foods and energizing, stress-busting exercise. Interestingly breast, prostate and colon cancers seem to have quite a few similar risk factors. So you can keep your treasures safe with some common actions.

10 things to incorporate into your life to keep your family jewels (breast, prostate, colon) safe:

  1. Green Tea. Studies of green tea drinkers showed a significant reduction in risk of breast cancer while black tea drinkers did not. The active ingredient in green tea that creates this effect is called catechins, a type of polyphenol.
  2. Alkaline Foods / A Whole Foods Plant Based Diet is key. Eat fewer things that have feet (ie, animal protein) and eat more plants. Read The China Study. Mind-blowing research about cancer and animal protein.
  3. Eliminate all preservatives and chemicals from your food. TODAY. No one reveals these dangers better than our friend Robyn O’Brien.
  4. Add breathing exercises to your daily routine. They relieve stess hormones that are released into your system, adding to inflammation. This sh*t works.
  5. Blueberries. All berries contain significant amounts of anti-oxidants that help to reduce cancer risk in general. Berries also contain a phytochemical called ellagic acid, which has been shown to slow the growth of some tumors.
  6. Vitamin D, which you get from exposure to sunshine (around 10 to 15 minutes a day) and green leafy foods, has anticancer properties. It suppresses the formation of new blood vessels that nourish the growth of tumors. The rates of breast, prostate and colon cancer are lower in climates that have the most sunshine. Bring on the Hawaiian Tropic!
  7. Turmeric. Curcumin, a plant chemical, a polyphenol, from the Turmeric root. By lowering inflammatory potential, curcumin has been shown to interrupt the normal progression of cancer cells and is found in most traditional anti-cancer herbal formulas. It is also great for arthritis/joint pain. You can pick up fermented Turmeric extract capsules at The GEM. We love drinking fresh pressed Turmeric shots daily!
  8. More green leafy vegetables in your day. Kale, Spinach, broccoli, arugula, swiss chard, you get the picture. These are excellent sources of fiber, folate, chlorophyll and a wide range of carotenoids, which seem to prevent cancer by acting as antioxidants.  These guys go around scavenging potentially dangerous “free radicals” from the body before they can do harm.
  9. Selenium. This overlooked mineral is a potent antioxidant or scavenger of carcinogenic free radicals. It is HUGE as an anti-prostate cancer warrior. A couple of Brazil nuts will do the trick.
  10. Drink less alcohol. Women who had two to three alcoholic drinks per day had a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer, according the Komen.org website. We no longer play competitive drinking games, people, so cut it back. Seriously.

Places to learn more:

Remember: Keep it green and clean!


The Good, the Fat & the Fish Oils (Omega-3s)

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There are healthy fats. Good ones. Ones that are crucial to health and vitality. Ones that enrich our bodies and make our systems run smoothly. One of the MOST importantfishoilfinalblog is essential Omega-3 fatty acid. Vegetarian sources like walnuts, kale and spinach provide some version (ALA) of essential fatty acids though the richest and best sources come from oily fish like WILD salmon and WILD halibut (DHA). These foods should most definitely be incorporated into your weekly routine.

But can you get enough healthy fats that way?

Not really. You need more. High-quality fish oil supplements provide concentrated, clean nutrition that supports healthy brain function, eye health, cardiovascular health and joint health, just to name a few.

Without question, everyone should take high quality Omega-3 fish oil supplements.

Why? Fish oils contain essential fatty acids, which are nutritional cornerstones of human health. We must have these healthy fats in our system (they are essential), but our bodies do not make them. We must therefore consume them through diet or supplementation.

What are Omegas good for? Emotional, physical, oxidative stress causes inflammation in our bodies. Omega-3s quell the inflammation and promotes a healthy, happy and highly functioning system. So, you say, like what?

  1. Omega-3s for the Heart - Increased intake of Omega–3s in fish oil—enhances overall heart function. Even the American Heart Association states that great benefits come from eating WILD fish at least twice a week, and taking fish oils. Its website, interestingly enough, is full of info on how to transform your lifestyle if you are starting from the bottom. Of course, they also have a section on how to make fast food friendlier … “don’t order the double meat and bacon” to which The GEM says, “stay the hell out of the drive-thru line.”
  2. Omega-3s for the Brain & Mood - This is super-important and I’ve seen first hand its benefits. Evidence indicates fish oil benefits mental health and healthy brain function in all stages of life. Our brains are composed of nearly 60% fat*, so supplementing with these vital fats provide necessary building blocks for healthy cells and tissue. Supports memory and learning ability and promotes positive mood and well-being. SOLD! It’s a “no-brainer.” (*Don’t forget the water when thinking of good brain function too!)
  3. Omega-3s for Kids! Brain function, mood, attention - Children have the most to gain from these essential fats for visual, brain and immune system development, and for normal emotional and cognitive function. Omega 3s also support focus and attention. Dr. Kenneth Bock is a big proponent of fish oil supplementation in “Healing the New Child Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies.” Essential fatty acids have been shown to positively impact children in LOTS of ways. Along with a healthy diet that includes WILD fish and fresh green leafy vegetables, supplementing with a premium fish oil product is a great way to ensure your family is nourishing brain and body.
  4. Omega-3s for the Back and Joints - These “fat guys”can actually help to alleviate pain associated with physical stress to the back and joints. The nourishing fat promotes back and joint health and flexibility.
  5. Omega–3s for Hair, Skin & Nails – Our skin is the largest organ in the human body and is often the first visual indicator of an essential fatty acid deficiency. Omega-3s nourish & protect against age–related damage, hydrates skin by retaining natural moisture, and supports a clear and healthy complexion. Another way to GET YOUR GLOW ON.

This sounds awesome, right?

Despite the great health benefits of Omegas, most of us suffer from Omega–3 deficiency. With a diet rich in green leafy vegetables and wild oily fish like salmon, along with high quality supplements you can begin to nourish, heal and protect your system.

Make these supplements a priority.

How much should I take?

Dr. Andrew Weil recommends eating oily fleshed, wild caught, cold water fish 2-3 times per week. He recommends taking a fish oil supplement that provides 700 to 1,000 mg of EPA and 200 to 500 mg of DHA daily in the smallest number of pills.

Which ones should I take?

It is critical to get the highest quality, freshest fish oils—purity is key: free from toxins, heavy metals, PCBs. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

The only brand The GEM girls take is Nordic Naturals, who has a 3rd party analyze that the products stick to strict standards. The Ultimate Omegas are the finest on the market and we offer these inside The GEM. Nordic Naturals brand is AWESOME both as a company and for their products. These folks know their stuff!


Organic Food & Juice – Are the Benefits Worth It?

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organic food and organic juice Are organic foods really worth the hype and the extra money? These are questions that are raised every day.

In the GEM life, it’s pretty black and white, and ORGANIC WINS EVERY TIME.

The benefits of organic food:

1. No harmful pesticides. Many of these pesticides cannot be washed off of the produce–as they penetrate the entire vegetable. They are also cumulative. These toxins get stored away in your fat cells and continue to build.  The idea of “it’s just a little bit” is as absurd as saying I’ll just have a little bit of arsenic on my apple. You cannot wash enough of the toxins off. Period.

2. No GMOs. That is genetically modified organisms. If you aren’t clear on what those are, don’t feel bad. Even the scientists who created them can’t predict what will happen to humans when they are consumed. Monsanto created the “Round Up Ready” soybean and corn. This means that the powerful pesticide will kill everything around it except the bean itself. Great, you think. Not really. These crops have been modified so that if an insect eats it, the insect’s insides are destroyed. But it’s OK for humans to eat it? I’m no rocket scientist, but … hell no. Did you know that all of Europe, Australia, Canada, Russia and many other countries DO NOT allow these ingredients in their food supply because of the health dangers? We must vote with our wallets.

3. Organic produce contains the same veggie DNA as our grandparents consumed. Sounds a lot more comforting. An heirloom tomato is heaven. Conventional ones aren’t even worth the sea salt and pepper you sprinkle on them.

4. The meats you consume are not over treated with powerful antibiotics and fattened with GMO, nutrient deficient corn. They are also humanely treated–not crammed into slaughter houses and mired knee deep in waste. Happy animals produce happy food. Eat grass-fed, free range, pasture raised. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT, MEAT-EATING PEOPLE.

5. And I have to continue to implore you to never eat artificial food colorings and artificial sweeteners. These cause ADHD and allergies in children, brain tumors and neurological disorders in adults, among other toxic side effects.

The government standards for “organic” include a national list of approved synthetic and prohibited non-synthetic substances for organic production which means that organically produced foods also must be produced without the use of:

  • antibiotics
  • artificial growth hormones
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • artificial dyes (made from coal tar and petrochemicals)
  • artificial sweeteners derived from chemicals
  • synthetically created chemical pesticide and fertilizers
  • genetically engineered proteins and ingredients
  • sewage sludge
  • irradiation

So … conventional, non-organic food may contain these ingredients? Did you know this? I am certain not many of us do, since sewage sludge and artificial growth hormones aren’t on the label. Sewage sludge alone is enough to shift my attention to organic!

Take a look at this experiment. It left me speechless. If this doesn’t confirm the data, nothing will. Way to go Elise!

Love yourself, love your family. Buy organic.

It just might be the best weapon in your arsenal against disease. Organic too expensive you say? Have you priced cancer lately? Pick the Dirty Dozen and go from there.

You owe it to yourself and your family. OH, and drink your organic, nutrient dense juice everyday. It is super power that helps combat and flush out the environmental toxins we can’t help but consume.

See you at The GEM, where honestly organic is how we roll.


New Year’s Resolutions. On Ground Hog Day

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It’s a new year. Again.  And now it’s Ground Hog Day. Again.  Just like the Bill Murray movie, it just keeps happening over and over. It’s been a whole month since the parties, the tinsel, the family, the indulgence. I say it’s now down to business.

We hear it every year. It’s time for your resolutions–a time for reflection of ourselves and our lives — present and future. Be better, smarter, happier, stronger, thinner, richer, kinder. It’s what we do after January 1. It’s another one of those, ‘everybody’s doing it’ things, and we follow.  Did you try it?

Now it’s February 2nd, is it too late? Did you fail already? “Oh well, maybe next year,” you say.

HEY.  Don’t be simple-minded.  The “New Year” is not the only time we should reflect and make positive changes. I say start today, Ground Hog Day.

Evaluating your life should not be an annual occurrence.  It should be a monthly reoccurrence. These things should be done on a regular basis, say, every three months re-evaluate. We should call them New You’s Resolutions and make it a habit, regardless of the time of year. Take a quick look at where you are and where you want to be. This is especially useful for diet regimens.

Nonetheless, as mired in tradition as it is, New Year’s (or Ground Hog’s in this case) resolutions, if you are so inclined to jump aboard, can enrich your life and the lives of others around you.

  • What will you change?
  • Will you try to improve?
  • Where will you focus your positive energy?

For the record, I’ve never, EVER shared my resolutions—especially not on such a public platform … for many reasons. Some are simply a level of privacy I like to keep. Others are because I don’t want to be held accountable in case I decide I don’t want to follow through. But this year, I decided the revealing my own hopes, thoughts and goals might cause others to think a bit about their own lives. To better reflect and even, take action.  Plus, it is February 2nd, which eases the Hallmark card pressure for me.

Copying from my paper is OK in this instance. So, in the spirit of it all, here goes. (And don’t judge, not out loud at least).

  1. Go to church each Sunday with my family. I’ll admit I have not been a church goer. But I realize my family and my children need it. Integrity, morals, respect for God and others, a sense of belonging. You get that at church.
  2. Blog twice a month. This is for you AND for me. I need to pin down my thoughts, capture them, act upon them. You can journal your thoughts. Ten minutes is all it takes. It is amazing how cathartic it can be.
  3. Be gluten-free. No exceptions. I know it makes my belly bloated.  I’m 43 and I don’t need to look like I’m four months pregnant all the time. It also negatively affects my mood (both the gluten and the bloated belly). Here are some great tips on going gluten free.
  4. Yoga three times week. I SWEAR this yoga thing works miracles. I find quiet and peace and I lose the achy joints. I FEEL AWESOME. There are different types of yoga. Find one that works for you.
  5. Make a date once a week. This will be really difficult to do, but I need that time, albeit short, to re-connect with my husband. And on the note of reconnection …
  6. Make love to my husband more often. (Here’s that privacy thing). Sex is an integral part of your relationship. It’s a connector, a relationship re-kindler, an actual mood booster. Just do “it.” (Don’t copy this one exactly)
  7. Read more books. At least one will be about self or family improvement. Reading makes you smarter, keeps your brain in shape, keeps you busy and out of trouble. I love humorous and happy books.Recommendations are welcome. Reading Boys Adrift right now.  NOT a funny book but incredibly insightful.  Need a fun one next.
  8. Work for nutritional balance for my children. It affects their mood, their energy, their well-being. Teaching kids early the importance of healthy food can circumvent a lifetime of food issues. I am in awe of the research that supports this.
  9. Walk with a friend once week. It’s either this or $200/hr therapist. Whether intended or not, a good hour talk with a friend can allay a week’s worth of anxiety. Sure you can meet for tea at The GEM, but I like to kill two birds with one stone.
  10. Share my love of disco. Ongoing fun and laughter is something we all need to look for and create every day. Sing, even when you don’t feel like it.

May my ideas spur your ideas! Please share one Ground Hog Resolution or all. I want to hear them.


10 Ways To Increase Your Energy

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments

Waking up each day with vibrance and energy–like every day is your own disco party–would be awesome, wouldn’t it? No late afternoon dips, no struggling to wake up in the mornings. So many of us struggle to find enough energy.  The good news is there are ways to increase your energy, naturally and easily.

Many factors contribute to our sense of energy and vitality ~ those that zap us and those that invigorate. The foods we eat, the people we meet, how we move our feet. These things can either increase our energy or decrease it.

The culprits for depleting us are stress-related. Think four types:

  1. Chemical – Food or Drug
  2. Emotional
  3. Mental
  4. Physical

The main foods and substances that decrease our energy are:

  • Caffeine, coffee, diet sodas, alcohol, too much meat or not enough, processed/chemical laden foods, tobacco, milk/dairy, sugar and artificial sweeteners and trans fats/fried junk!! It is important to note that certain prescription drugs also zing our energy including anti-depressants.

Foods that increase our energy:

  • Foods that are alive have life force. Food that goes bad is good food. Unprocessed, whole foods: grains, vegetables and beans. These foods have all the components of their original, natural state: fiber, vitamins and minerals. Processing removes these elements. A great rule of thumb I like is: If microorganisms cannot thrive on it, what makes you think you can? Does it come in a box and has a “shelf life?” Then it should be pushed aside.

Everything that we take in is food for our body, mind and spirit. 

Here are 10 ways to increase your energy:

1)  Ease up on the java and “energy” drinks.

  • The ups and downs of caffeine include dehydration and blood sugar ups and downs, making mood swings more frequent. Stimulants like caffeine and sugar may seem to give an initial energy boost, but they actually cause a dip in our energy and blood sugar levels. Green tea is an excellent substitute.
  • Drink more juice. Juicing daily, you provide your body with a high dose of naturally-derived nutrients that boosts your health, support your body’s natural cleansing processes and helps keep you well-protected against toxins and disease. A fresh juice stands in a league of its own. It is simply the best energy drink on the market! Take that, Red Bull.

2)  Water water everywhere! Lots of it.

  • Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. Before you go to sugar or caffeine, have a glass of water with lemon and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
  • Many times you think you are hungry when really it’s your body asking for water!
  • Drink 32 oz of water as soon as you wake up. Have nothing else until that is consumed.

3)  Eat your greens.

  • Think: Green is spring, the time of renewal and refreshing, vital energy.
  • Greens are full of vitamins and nutrients especially CALCIUM and great for improving circulation, lifting the spirit, purifying the blood and strengthening the immune system.
  • You can always DRINK YOUR GREENS TOO.

4)  DON’T BE SWEET ON SWEETS.

  • Sugar is just plain bad. It promotes disease. Sugar causes mood swings, depression and fatigue. And the more you eat, the more you want!
  • Avoid sugar and chemical-filled artificial sweeteners. NEVER, EVER NUTRASWEET.
  • Use gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar and stevia (they have lower glycemic loads).

5)  Animal Protein. Evaluate the amount of animal food you eat. Fried foods are still a definite NO.

  • Eating too much meat, dairy, chicken and eggs can lead to low energy. So can eating too little! Grass-fed, pastured and wild are always good determinants when choosing your meat and fish.
  • It is always a good idea to cut back on dairy. (Acidic, mucous forming, bloating, yuck). Spinach, kale, collards, broccoli are all excellent sources of calcium.
  • Beans are always a great choice for protein. We do NOT need as much as conventional wisdom states.
  • Fried foods zap your energy. Stay away from them.

6) Chill out. Go to bed!

  • When you are tired or stressed, your body craves energy. Instead of answering the call of the late night snack, get to bed earlier and see what happens. Turn off the lights and TV. Without proper sleep, your body cannot properly detox, heal and repair itself.
  • Magnesium is a great supplement to aid in relaxation. I love “Calm” magnesium tea. It really works.
  • Believe it or not, daily breathing techniques can help. Six deep breaths morning and night can really take the edge off and help with emotional and physical stress.

7)  SHAKE THAT.

  • Physical activity is key. Start with simple, walk with 15 minutes a day or take a yoga class and increase from there. It really does energize you! Even when you don’t feel good, moving will make you feel better. It is a proven fact!

8)  Love yourself.

  • Find activities that restore your energy, such as a walk, a bath, visit the DMA, a movie or whatever you enjoy. Schedule a weekly date with yourself to do these things! This is incredibly vital to your internal energy source.

9)  Get in touch with your spirituality.

  • We are spiritual beings in a physical world. All facets of your life need attention for your whole body to feel good.
  • Find ways to get in touch with your spiritual side, be it meditating, dancing, drawing, going to church or temple or being outside in nature.

10) NO ENERGY VAMPIRES. Get rid of relationships that drain you.

  • People can suck the life force out of you. It doesn’t mean that they are bad, but it is good to notice who drains you and why.
  • See if you can change those relationships by communicating and setting boundaries or, end them.

If all else fails, call a friend, meet at The GEM, and drink your juice! We will atleast have the disco music.


What is Matcha?

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments

Matcha is the super power of all green teas. It has so many incredible benefits–so much so that it should find its way into your daily routine. Your health can’t afford not to consume this incredible emerald liquid.

So, what is matcha? Matcha tea is a finely ground green tea powder. Matcha’s super high-quality tea leaves remain covered from sunlight for 20 days before picking to accentuate the color and enrich the amino acid content. These rich green leaves are then stone-ground into a fine powder, in a way that keeps oxidation to an absolute minimum.

What makes matcha so special? First, you consume the whole tea leaf, not just water brewed tea leaves. It is the equivalent of 10 cups of brewed green tea! Second, because it isn’t oxidized at all, all of the antioxidants and rich chlorophyll in the leaf remain.

Matcha gives you the following benefits:

  1. Antiaging free radical fighter. The ability of matcha to absorb free radicals (the ORAC value) is one of the highest in the super-food realm, at about 1,348 units per serving. This is one bad ass antioxidant to keep you forever young.
  2. CANCER HATER. This is the one I love:  Matcha is especially high in an antioxidant called EGCG. Matcha has up to 137 times the amount of EGCG as other infused green teas. This particular antioxidant has shown promising results in helping fight against HIV, cancer and many other disorders and diseases.
  3. Metabolism booster. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that matcha helped with metabolism rate, which holds promise for faster fat loss.
  4. Keep calm and carry on with a spring in your step. Matcha plays both sides of the fence when it comes to energy. One study found that matcha had a relaxing effect without causing drowsiness. This calming effect is strangely coupled with an energy lift from caffeine and other elements from the tea leaf. Coffee can cause the jitters and a caffeine high with a crash afterwards. Matcha, while still containing caffeine, tends to cause a more even, long-term energy rise. Plus, with all of those healthy antioxidants, it is a great way to fight against disease and cancer.

KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY. As with all teas, quality is super important. And cheaper is definitely not better. You want to purchase your tea from an importer who moves through their stock so that you get the freshest product. It is interesting to note that all tea comes from the same plant. The quality just depends on the region and processing method.

How to make it? Use a teaspoon of the magic green powder in a bowl with a third of a cup of hot water heated to just less than a boil. Then mix it with a bamboo whisk (or a latte whip) and you are ready to go.

Get creative. Use matcha in smoothies and salad dressings. Just up at The GEM, a chopped veggie salad with a spicy matcha vinaigrette. Super umami (that’s yummy in Japanese)!

For more information, read Dr. Weil’s article on buying green tea.