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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: yoga

Leading an Anti-Cancer Life

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 21 Comments

Since The GEM’s inception, I have put off posting a blog directly related to cancer, including leading Fighting Cancer; Now Leading an Anti-Cancer Lifean anti-cancer life. I did this for several (no good) reasons. Primarily, I thought, incorrectly I am sure, most non-cancer folks don’t want to hear about something that either a) doesn’t affect them, or b) bums them out.

Last week, 7, SEVEN, yes 7, people I know were either newly diagnosed, toughing out terrible treatment side effects or received news of a nasty recurrence.

Well, I’ve had it. I don’t know if it was just all the dark stars aligned around me, but I decided to hit this one head on with all of you ~ hence, this post about leading an anti-cancer life. It will be the most important thing you read today.

As you may know, five years ago I was broadsided with a diagnosis of breast cancer that spread to my lymph nodes. During my year-long treatment, 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.

We talk about alkalinity and inflammation every chance we getBecause those are things that ensure optimal health. Cancer and disease does not thrive in an alkaline environment (your body). Inflammation is the root of illness and disease. We must work constantly to quell the fire of inflammation in our bodies.

Last week’s bad news compelled me to share priceless anti-cancer tips I’ve learned. EVERYONE needs to incorporate these things into daily life, because, frankly, we ALL have cancer cells in our bodies. How you trigger those cells into proliferation is what makes the difference.

My previous lifestyle did nothing for my optimal health. That’s OK. Because I set out to make a change. You can too. These are your new food rules to live by. Treat your body like a GEM.


  1. 80:20 rule: Your plate should be 80 percent vegetables, nuts and seeds. It’s a WHOLE FOOD, PLANT BASED DIET–an alkaline dream! Live it, love it. If you choose to consume animal products, use them sparingly. They should NOT be the main part of your meal. Meats MUST be organic, free-range, grass-fed. This is a tough tip to swallow, but it really should be eliminated, using beans, nuts, quinoa and seeds as pro-alkalinity protein sources. I just read that women who eat meat 2x or more a day quadruple their risk of a breast cancer recurrence. Snap. That does it for me!
  2. RAINBOW GREENS: Many veggies can actually limit the growth of certain cancer cells. Shoot for 8-10 servings of veggies each day. Vary the vegetables you eat or mix them together — broccoli is an effective anticancer food, and is even more effective when combined with tomatoes, onions and garlic. AND, nothing is more powerful than the phytonutrients found in veggies and super berries. DAILY RAW, ORGANIC GREEN JUICE is a critical way to flood your body with cancer fighting warriors.
  3. ORGANIC IS KING: Choose organic foods when possible. For those of you who don’t live in areas where organic is readily available, it’s better to eat broccoli that’s been exposed to pesticides than to not eat broccoli at all. If 100% organic is not possible, familiarize yourself with the “dirty dozen” vegetables and eat accordingly. When something says organic that also means it is non-GMO. I am pretty certain that Monsanto’s Round Up Ready corn and soy beans spawns cancer cells like crazy. I mean, seeds injected with pesticides? NOT FOR ME.
  4. SPICE IT UP: Add turmeric to your diet. It is the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent. They call it Nature’s Advil for a reason! We press turmeric into a liquid form and you can purchase turmeric in concentrated supplement form, but any turmeric can be of benefit! Generously add herbs like thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, cilantro, mint, etc. They don’t just add flavor, they help reduce the growth of cancer cells.
  5. Drink UP! Water Therapy is Magic: 32 ounces of filtered (fluoride-free) water to start your morning, plus another 4-6 glasses per day. It flushes toxins, viruses and bacteria and provide the cells with much-needed hydration. Your body will thank you.
  6. GET AN OIL CHANGE: Get rid of those nasty, acid-forming vegetable oils: corn, soybean, sunflower, regular canola. NOW. But don’t be afraid of fats, they really nourish your nervous system, brain and joints. Use olive, coconut, walnut oils in cooking and (make your own) salad dressings. The others are rancid and riddled with inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.
  7. Drop refined grains: Go for heirloom grains, organic or brown. Eat your grains whole and mixed and favor organic whole grains when possible. Avoid refined, white flour, (ie, bagels, muffins, bread). It is crap.
  8. CUT OUT THE SWEET STUFF: Sugar feeds inflammation, disease AND CANCER. Cut the sodas and skip dessert, or replace it with fruit (especially stone fruits and berries) after most meals. Stay clear of products that list ANY type of sugar in the first three ingredients. For a treat, grab a few squares of dark chocolate containing more than 70% cacao. The GEM loves the Great Bean Chocolate brand of raw organic chocolates. The Bliss Bar, vanilla and cacao flavor, rocks my world!
  9. Learn to love GREEN tea: Instead of coffee or black tea, drink three cups of green tea per day. Regular consumption of green tea has been linked to a significant reduction in the risk for developing cancer. Flying Bird Botanicals’ jasmine green tea is amazing! (Grab some inside The GEM!)
  10. DAIRY IS FOR BABY COWS. We are the only species that consumes another animal’s breast milk–Milk that is laden with hormones that baby cows need to grow. Dairy is extremely acidic. The China Study, a book that reveals an undeniable connection between dairy/animal protein and cancer, changed my entire love affair with dairy. If that doesn’t do it, I’ll appeal to your vanity: bloating and bad skin are definite clues you do dairy.
  11. 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.
  12. BANISH THE BAD: Manage your environment. This is not food, but it’s critical. Avoid exposure to common household chemical contaminants. Use a green dry cleaner or air your clothes for two hours before storing or wearing it; use organic cleaning products or wear gloves; NEVER heat liquids or food in plastic; dump cosmetics with parabens and phthalates; toss Teflon pans and get enameled ones; filter your tap water; don’t keep your cell phone close to you when it is turned on and use earphones. This is scary stuff, people. There is even legal info about it on your phones in that general section that no one ever reads.
  13. Don’t run scared. Don’t let these tips make you so obsessed that you allow stress to be a negative factor on your body. If you fall off, get back on the wagon. What matters is your daily routine, not the occasional treat.


These body nourishing habits are designed to keep cancer at bay and keep you at your optimal health. Incorporate these into your daily routine. Immunity, energy and vibrant health are certain to follow.

P.S. Books to read: Radical Remission and Crazy Sexy Cancer.

P.P.S. Healthy mind and spirit habits are critical components, too. We will cover those in a later post. Stay tuned!

Yoga for Stress Relief

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 2 Comments

Have to preach this … yoga is a critical component for stress relief. yoga and juice equal peace

Don’t turn off the screen just yet. Yoga doesn’t have to be:

  • Difficult to practice. Simple postures can be done anywhere, anywhere.
  • Intimidating. If you don’t already practice yoga, don’t be scared. You gotta start somewhere. Most folks can’t twist into a pretzel and stand on one finger.
  • Practiced on a mountaintop in white robes. It’s not weird. I ran from the idea of yoga just a few years back, and now can’t live without it! Plus, it is one of the oldest defined practice of self development.


Yoga may be more familiar than you think. Many popular techniques found to reduce stress derive from yoga:

  • Controlled breathing. This stuff works.
  • Meditation. Be grateful for your life and the big and small things in it.
  • Physical movement (exercise)
  • Mental imagery. See it, think it, be it.
  • Stretching. It’s crazy what a difference a few stretching poses can make.


Yoga can provide the combined benefits of these activities in one technique. It brings together the mind, body and spirit. Whether you use yoga for spiritual transformation or for stress management and physical well-being, the benefits are numerous and undeniable. Those with physical limitations can and actually SHOULD practice yoga, just make sure you have a good instructor.

There are several different styles of yoga, some moving through the poses more quickly and other styles relaxing deeply into each pose. Some have a more spiritual angle, while others are used purely as a form of exercise. Certain poses can be done just about anywhere and a yoga program can go for hours or minutes, depending on your schedule.

This is what yoga can do for you:

  • Reduce stress, anxiety and muscle tension
  • Increase strength and flexibility
  • Reduce cortisol levels–which make you hold on to fat, among a million other things.
  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Spiritual growth. It can happen, regardless of your religion.
  • Sense of well being. Well, sign me up!


Yoga’s benefits are HUGE—it gives a crazy high payoff for the small amount of effort you have to exert.

There are so many studios that offer beginning yoga, often with incredible guidance from the instructor. You really want to have that extra attention at the beginning to learn proper form and be more engaged. Places like Sunstone offer classes that are heated, slower, and more methodical. Start with Spark and work up to Fire Class. Water class (a true spiritual experience, in my opinion) is my personal favorite. Exhale & We Yogis have lots of different varieties of classes.  We Yogis even has classes for kids and teens. Dallas Yoga Center has classes for beginners and even some that focus on meditation. Try a few online videos and images (simple beginner poses), though the energy of a live class is so much more therapeutic.

Select a place that you feel comfortable with and try it out. Give it several tries with different types of yoga until you find what is right for you. Private yoga sessions including guided meditation are an incredibly rewarding option!

Bottom line: Make the connection between knowing your stress levels and changing your behaviors. Managing stress in a positive way will make a life-changing impact your body and your life.

Do you have a favorite yoga studio? Share it with us!!

Peace. Happy. Yoga.

New Year’s Resolutions. On Ground Hog Day

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments

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.