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: vegan


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.


Celebrating a GEM Milestone: Five Year Anniversary

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Hi GEMs, it’s Leslie here, excited to celebrate another GEM milestone: It’s our five year anniversary!GEM love five years

What started as a small passion and love for a healthy lifestyle, evolved into beautiful community and an incredible friendship between two soul sisters. Five years ago today, The GEM made its debut. With a menu of just a few items (all of which are still going strong), we introduced the concept and power of organic juice to Dallas. Little did Mary Kathryn and I know our new-found passion would ignite a community of GEM lovers to not only embrace us, but whole-heartedly dive into GEM-inspired, disco filled healthy habits.

We are different, and we work hard to be that way. We are authentic—this is how we live. Our commitment is to the finest organic ingredients—nothing is ever short changed.

If we won’t eat it, we won’t sell it, true on day one and still true on our five year anniversary.

AND, we want to share our knowledge with anyone who wants it—through classes, blogs, counseling, or just by sitting at the bar and listening. So while we have evolved into something bigger, we’ve never changed our mission: to share ways to incorporate healthy foods and habits into daily life. We FIRMLY believe in the power of a whole food, plant-based diet, but also that health also comes from positive thoughts laced with a little disco sparkle.

We’ve loved every minute of it, meeting so many incredible people who have transformed their health and their lives in so many ways. Moms have changed how they feed their children. Our GEM Guys come in every day for their Green Glow. Toxic love affairs with diet sodas have turned into an obsession with Forever Young Green Iced Tea. The Crown Jewel is the new addiction of choice around these parts. Our Lentil Soup has become a crowd favorite. And we’ve had the honor to guide many through health challenges that ended with a healthier, happier way of living.

We can’t think of a better way to be and we wanted to let you know it on our five year anniversary.

There is so much yet to come. We have so much more we want to share with you … new recipes, new happiness, new ways to bring vibrant health into your day. So, thank you for welcoming us each day with open arms and open minds. WE LOVE YOU, GEMS!

We are offering free Forever Young Iced Tea or Immunity Shot this week. Come get you some.

And we all shine on …


A MUST READ Before You Plan Your Thanksgiving Feast

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There is no giant, commercially obnoxious build up with pressures to give more, do more … and no depressing let down when it’s over. It really is a time to BE GRATEFUL. Grateful for your friends, your family, your health. Take some time everyday between now and Thursday to list three things you are thankful for. It will change your perception, add to your contentment, boost your mood, lighten your load. FIND THE JOY.
Family Thanksgiving
And while you still might be fretting over whether you have enough crystal for the table, or the fact that Uncle Buck is a drunk, your son’s girlfriend is sub-par, or that your mother-in-law secretly wants to destroy you, we can help you with the other stuff. The good stuff. Let’s talk about FOOD!

Every year we hear folks lament over how they are dreading the over-consumption of unhealthy foods that bring nostalgia and comfort, but they can’t bring themselves to change things!!

You CAN fill your table with classic favorites like sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and cornbread dressing–but do it without the creepy canned cream of everything soups and the bad Lipton seasoning packets filled with MSG/GMO/WTF. Come towards the light!

There are amazing gurus like Pamela Salzman (one of our favorite GEMs), who has a Thanksgiving menu to die for! Check out her sweet potato casserole and just about everything else she does. She also helps you plan and organize every step of the way ~ a great way to be a master of the Thanksgiving celebration.

But maybe this STILL doesn’t get you in the mood to bring a healthier dish because you simply don’t want to cook. We’ve got that covered too.

Thanksgiving2015Order your sides from us! Start off with our Celery Salad and bring a bowl of the badass 3 Bean Salad, Hummus always delights (don’t forget the Sami’s chips). I plan to puree and serve our Lentil Soup on Thanksgiving night. You cannot believe how yummy that soup is with a dollop of the jalapeno pesto. Even Martha Stewart would be impressed. Take a look at our catering menu and we can have it ready for you. Salads come dry so you can mix them right before you are ready to serve.

So you still dig into that pumpkin pie, that’s cool. We love it too. We will be waiting for you on Monday to get back on track. Cleanse with a friend and you both enjoy 15% off. Because everyone loves a holiday sale. Can’t get to us?

And, on Monday, November 30, UBER will deliver The GEM Cleanses within 10 minutes of ordering! Yes way!


An anti-cancer life: artificial coloring and artificial sweeteners

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If you are not incorporating any of our anti-cancer life tips yet, let us sway you by sharing the ugly on artificial coloring and artificial sweeteners.Real food

Some of the anti-cancer tips can be easily implemented. Others take a little more commitment to your well-being. You fall off the healthy happy wagon, you get back on. That’s okay. Key Lime Pie happens. Then there are deal breakers. Things you should NEVER do. Not in moderation. NOT EVER.

We are going to dive deep into the one about artificial ingredients. Knowledge is power and makes choices easier when you know WHY this stuff is not to be messed with.

Here’s my take on it: NO FAKE STUFF: NOT a little bit, NOT EVER. Artificial Colors, Artificial Sweeteners, Artificial Flavors and Preservatives. I can get really angry about this stuff that somehow has been OK’d by the FDA. These have known dangerous side effects, but are “generally regarded as safe.” I call bullsh*t on that.

Everything we hear these days is about if it feels good do it, — in “moderation” of course. THAT is sheer propaganda. Don’t get me wrong, “moderation” can still means the occasional Hopdoddy grassfed burger, Mema Mary’s caramel cake, Ben & Jerry’s hot fudge sundae … those things are still ok once in a while. HOWEVER, there are some things should never hit your lips. I mean it. Never.

Here are two of those things:

Artificial Colorings

I was shocked to see that even Kraft Marshmallows have food coloring in them. They sneak it into everything! These are chemicals made from petroleum derivatives and are linked to cancer, allergic reactions and ADHD in children.Artificial Colors

Most of Europe has banned food coloring in the same foods that have them here in the USA, or at least make manufacturers put WARNING labels on it.

The FDA? Not a chance. Those food industry lobbyists (the Fruit Loop loving folks from General Mills and the like) are just too tight with the government. Food coloring is a derivative of PETROLEUM, people. Yes, petroleum. Would you spread 40 weight oil on your cupcake?

It’s important to know that the M&M’s in Europe do not contain artificial food dyes. McDonald’s strawberry sundae either. So, why are you still sucking on those Skittles? And giving your kids blue Gatorade?? When Europe firmly refuses to be poisoned!

Robyn O’Brien, the Erin Brockovich of food, is a fierce warrior in the fight against toxins and the quality of our food. Follow her! You will be more than enlightened … hopefully it will set your hair on fire and you will start to make radical change happen within your own family and beyond!

Artificial Sugars

Let’s talk about Aspartame. (NutraSweet, Equal)

This zero calorie sweetener is touted to be the perfect way to have your cake and eat it too. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Nearly 100% of all outside research revealed problems with it. Some of them, BIG problems. Like what, you ask? What could possibly be so bad about a little artificial sweetener that’s in every thing imaginable?

Aspartame (NutraSweet) has been linked to brain tumors and 91 other really unpleasant side effects:

  • Fibromyalgia, joint pain, fatigue
  • memory loss
  • migraines
  • dizziness
  • depression
  • panic attacks
  • hair loss

And if those things don’t change your mind, I’ll appeal to your vanity: this neurotoxin makes you fatter. Your body is tricked into thinking it is getting sugar, so your insulin levels rise making your crave more sugar than before.

WHAT. THE. HELL? Doesn’t anyone know about this? This is serious stuff! Yes, as a matter of fact, Monsanto (the creator of aspartame) does. So does the FDA. Those 92 side effects? They have all been repeatedly submitted to the FDA, even before it was approved for use. Read more about it here.

It is in EVERY stick of gum you currently know. Diet drinks, Crystal Lite, “Lite” yogurts and “sugar free” junk should be tossed. NOW.

These chemicals can have surprising side effects: depression (yes, I swear), fatigue, headaches, and skin irritations to just name a few. Not so sweet now, right?

And Splenda isn’t any better. This sweet poison causes:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Seizures, dizziness and migraines
  • Blurred vision
  • Allergic reactions
  • Blood sugar increases and weight gain

AND contrary to its claims, it is not safe for baking. The Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health reveals an extensive list of safety concerns, including toxicity, DNA damage, as well as, “heightened carcinogenic potential when used in cooking.”

COME ON PEOPLE. What else do you need to hear to drop the fake stuff? PLEASE!

Use coconut sugar, organic cane sugar, real maple syrup, raw honey, dates. Or, try to wean yourself off sweet stuff altogether. Your brain, your body and your future self will thank you.

Hugs and the REAL sweet stuff to you and yours. KEEPING IT REAL FROM THE INSIDE …


The Anti-Cancer Life: Healing Powers of Water – Water Therapy

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Last week’s post about leading an anti-cancer life received an amazing outpouring of interest, excitement and gratitude. You truly want to know how to make changes to ensure your optimal health! Optimal health is what we all want to achieve, right?water therapy

The guide is concise and easy to understand, but many of our GEMs questioned deeper into each of the 12 points on the list. The next few posts will dive deep into each one, in no particular order, giving a broader understanding and direction to follow.

One of the easiest actions to incorporate is number 5: It’s called water therapy and it’s a GAME CHANGER. We GEMs do it every day. It is quite a simple concept: Drink 32 ounces of filtered, FLUORIDE FREE water on an empty stomach immediately upon waking. The results are remarkable–amazing therapeutic effects for a multitude of health conditions—ranging from pain to asthma to cancer.

This unpretentious morning regimen originates from ancient Ayurvedic medicine. Drinking water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach purifies the body’s internal system. A particularly important result of this treatment is that it cleanses the colon, making it easier for the body to absorb nutrients from food. This is achieved through the production of new blood. This fresh blood has an immense restorative effect in the body and can even cure existing ailments. There are secondary symptoms of dehydration which include: constipation, skin eruptions, colitis, kidney stones, “hunger” pains, headaches and lots more. Daily water therapy alleviates these issues.

What is the thinking behind this?

Your body has been in a state of fasting overnight. It’s been resting and repairing itself. An empty stomach allows for more energy to be allocated to the healing and reparation process that your body is going through while sleeping. You don’t want to compromise these effects with heavy meals before bed or by a big breakfast right when you wake up. In addition, you are dehydrated from the overnight ‘fast’. Follow your water with daily green juice or a smoothie 30-45 minutes later. You’re gonna love this!

What does this do for you on a daily basis?

Morning Water Therapy Regimen will:

  • Purify the colon and allow for better absorption of nutrients in your system. Clean it up, baby!
  • Aid with weight loss, drinking 32 oz. of water in the morning can boost metabolism by up to 24%.
  • Hydrate your cells at a superior rate. The hydration rush to the cells helps increase production of blood and muscle cells.
  • Purge your system of toxins and make your skin glow!
  • Flush and balance your lymphatic system leading to increased immunity.
  • Energize you for your day!

What kind of filtered water do we recommend?

Reverse osmosis is good, and solid carbon block filters are the best option for home use. Use glass or stainless bottles when available.

Creating a new morning ritual of drinking water is one that is healthy and super beneficial to your overall long-term health care. It is an easy way to detoxify your system without having to make major changes to your lifestyle. Try it. I think you will be amazed!


Let Go of Your Fear of the Calorie

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We hear it often, “Do you know the calorie count in this?” “How many calories?” “How many carbs?”organic kale salad

I can see their “fear of the calorie” anxiety start to rise.

Well, count no more.

Here’s a news flash: We’ve been fed a fat lie by the food industry and the weight loss community.

Summed up, the lie is this: All calories are created equal. To which I say No, NO, NO! I am boldly going out on a limb to say that is dead wrong. If their advice were accurate, we would all be thin and healthy by now.

According to this concept, obesity is simply a matter of eating too many calories—that the types of foods you eat aren’t nearly as important as the caloric value of foods. Eat less, move more and weight loss will occur. While simplistically it is true, this doesn’t consider the actual nutritional and metabolic effects food has on the body.

Think about small-sized fries, burger and soda (around 500 calories) vs. a bowl of GEM lentil soup, kale salad and a green juice (500 calories). Both are mostly “carbs”—currently taboo in the trendy “diet world.” But never mind that for now.

Riddle me thisDo they have the same effect on our bodies? Do you feel the same after eating these meals? Of course not! We all know that equal caloric amounts of junk food and veggies can’t be the same nutritionally. So why is this?

Here’s what happens to your body with the not-sohappy-meal of burger, fries and soda: The fiber-free sugars of the soda are rapidly absorbed. Your blood sugar spikes, starting a chain reaction of very unwanted hormonal responses that contribute to the storage of belly fat, increased inflammation, elevated triglycerides, higher blood pressure, lower testosterone in men and even infertility in women. Danggg. Refined sugar ain’t good, folks.

But there’s more! The highly refined and highly acidic fats from the burger and fries make you sluggish and tired, even depressed. It slows your digestion and ultimately your metabolism suffers. Let’s not even mention the chemicals they use that accumulate in your fat cells and liver and contribute to a wide array of illnesses. (cancer, anyone?)

Listen up. All your body wants is proper nutrition. What you gave it was crap. So your appetite increases because the brain never gets the “I’m satisfied” signal. It thinks you’re starving. With the sugar spike, your pleasure-based reward center is triggered, driving you to crave more and more sugar. And so your addiction begins. BAM.

These kinds of foods create chaos. Your body doesn’t register these things as food, so you eat more all day long. Plus, your taste buds get hijacked and you become addicted to sugar, so anything that is not crazy-sweet doesn’t taste good to you. It’s an ugly, vicious, fat-inducing cycle.

Now let’s look at the plate of clean and healthy GEM food. As with the first option mentioned above, these calories are made up mostly (although not entirely) of carbs.

These carbs are different, though they are all technically sugars or starches, which convert to sugar in the body. High-fiber, low-sugar carbohydrates such as kale and broccoli are slowly digested and don’t lead to blood sugar and insulin spikes, while table sugar and bread are quickly digested carbs that spike your blood sugar. Slow carbs like kale and broccoli and lentils heal rather than harm.

With The GEM food, there’s no blood sugar or insulin spike, no fatty liver, no hormonal chaos. Your stomach actually finds satisfying nutrients, sending signals to your brain that you are full. There is no triggering of the addiction reward center in the brain. Other benefits: optimized metabolism—yes, your body actually processes the clean GEM food more efficiently!! These foods lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and boost detoxification, quelling inflammation. Greens contain high levels of vitamin C and folate, which protect against cancer and heart disease. These foods can even change the expression of your genes to help balance your sex hormones, reducing breast and other cancers.

Good, clean, unprocessed food creates a healthy foundation that protects not pollutes. Food doesn’t just contain calories, it contains information. Every bite of food you eat broadcasts a set of coded instructions to your body—instructions that can create either health or disease. Choose the good. In the end, your entire system will transform itself into a lean mean fat busting machine, without ever counting a calorie.

All calories are NOT equal. Some are addictive, others healing, some fattening, some metabolism-boosting. Which ones will you choose?

Need a little help making the choices on your own? Contact The GEM today and a health counselor will be happy to help!