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Category Archives: cancer


The Gratitude of 10 Years Cancer-Free

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 16 Comments on The Gratitude of 10 Years Cancer-Free

Today was graduation day for me. At my 16th boob check-up, I got the news: another beautifully clear, cancer-free scan — marking 10 years cancer free. Complete remission

My oncology surgeon — the truly brilliant, and amazingly badass Dr. Marilyn Leitch, announced, “This is your 10 YEAR anniversary. This is a big deal, and a long time coming! How are you going to celebrate?”

The truth is, I won’t. Not in a typical way with balloons and confetti anyway. 

What I will do is celebrate this anniversary with intense gratitude for what the disease brought into my life, just as I celebrate every day. I am thankful for the beauty that emerged in the darkness. The disease revealed an amazing community of GEMs. AND, above all else, it brought me humility for the beauty of Life. For better or worse, I learned I am not ultimately in control of what life brings my way.

These three things are gifts that take my breath away each day.

  • Gratitude. An appreciation for my health and a better perspective on life are at the forefront of the gifts I am forever grateful for. Survival brought me the ability to see my children grow into amazing teenagers. I’ve taken breathtaking trips with my husband. I’ve learned how to be a better friend, parent, human. I’m grateful for the gift of a new career path that allows us to help others by sharing a positive lifestyle — inside and out. Without my cancer journey, I would not have known the POWER of food on my physical and mental health. The disease propelled me into the GEM — the manifestation of my new view on all that nourishes me — and into this amazing community of GEM-my people. 
  • A GEM-my Community. Little did my soul-sister Mary Kathryn and I know, our new-found passion rooted in this journey would evolve into a community of GEM lovers. You whole-heartedly dove into this GEM-inspired life, turning it into a disco-filled movement I couldn’t even have dreamt of. 
  • Humility. The greatest gift I received from this journey is humility. Yes, I worked hard to get myself cancer-free, but so many others have done the same work with a far different outcome. What’s humbling and so very apparent, is that ultimately, I wasn’t in charge of what disease did or didn’t do. My remission was decided not just by medical treatments and lifestyle changes, it was also decided by something much more powerful than you or me. A Higher Power. While I did everything within my control to get healthy, ultimately, it was in the hands of something greater. 

Celebrate Others

So, in “celebration” of my 10 year cancer-versary, I humbly commit to honor my beautiful friends who are no longer with us by spreading authentic goodness and healing opportunities, inside and outside the GEM each day. Sadly, there are many.  For my sweet friend Kristin, for Charlotte, Chris, Chad, Brandice, Chuck, Bobby, Michael, Genia, Polly: We know your stories. We miss your life forces. Your smiles.

And to those who are still fighting. Jennifer, Jessica, Marjorie, Padgett, Andrea, Sally, and so many others…keep your eye on the prize of healing. You have amazing support teams around you — and all of us at The GEM are part of that band of warriors. 

The beauty of your life is humbling — look for it. I hope you’ll share this gratitude with someone else: a friend, a family member or a stranger. You never know how much your kindness could turn the dark into the dawn. 

“Even in darkness, blossoms will bloom.”  


Arm Yourself Against Cancer: The #HonestlyOrganic Way

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 1 Comment on Arm Yourself Against Cancer: The #HonestlyOrganic Way

This one’s for you, Cancer. My fight against cancer for the REAL family jewels (the breasts) led MK and me to create the ONLY organic juice bar in Dallas. My multi-prong, cancer-free plan of attack included eating only whole, CLEAN, organic foods — pesticides, toxins and processed artificial ingredients HAD TO GO.

At the GEM, we know firsthand: This nasty disease is no joke. One more cancer sufferer is one too many. So we’ve made it our mission to provide only the BEST organic juices, smoothies and green bites with no compromise to help protect YOUR family jewels (prostate, breast, and colon) — and give you diamonds on the inside, too! 


Order your #HonestlyOrganic green bites and juices, on our app!


From the first diagnosis of breast cancer, I made a conscious decision to learn and do everything within my power to keep me cancer free. One of the first things I changed? My diet. Being scared into EATING straight is a real thing, people! This meant whole, CLEAN (organic) foods — no more artificial or processed junk, and absolutely no more pesticide-ridden fruits and veggies. 

But eating organic is only the first step to living a cancer-free life. Keep the treasures safe with these essential lifestyle changes:

10 Ways to Keep Your Family Jewels Cancer Free

  • MOVE TO A WHOLE FOODS, PLANT-BASED DIET. Eat fewer things that have feet (ie, animal protein) and eat more green plants. Read The China Study. Mind-blowing research about cancer and animal protein. 
  • ELIMINATE PRESERVATIVES AND CHEMICALS from your food. We can’t say it enough! That includes artificial sweeteners, flavorings and colors, nitrates, MSG, and more. And while we’re at it, replace those vegetable based oils (like canola, corn and soy) with healthier and whole avocado, olive and coconut oil. Fats are good for you, but only when they come from healthy, clean sources. By the way, did you know, there are no vegetables in vegetable oil? True story.
  • FIGHT THE SUGAR DRAGON: Not only is this ingredient highly addictive, it’s also known to increase cancer-causing inflammation! You can find added sugar snuck into almost everything: Corn syrup, rice syrup, dextrose, sucrose, lactose…the list goes on. 
  • READ YOUR INGREDIENTS: You’d be surprised at what you’ll find in some foods — even an innocent bottle of salad dressing. Hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, nitrates, artificial colors and more. 
  • DRINK YOUR GREEN TEA. The active ingredient in green tea – antioxidant compounds called catechins – reduces cancer occurrences. Our Forever Young Green Tea and Matcha Latte hit it head on! 
  • RELAX. Daily breathing exercises, meditation, and more decrease stress hormones released into your system, preventing cancer-causing inflammation. This stuff WORKS. 
  • ORGANIC BERRIES. Delicious, delicious berries contain significant antioxidants that help reduce cancer risk AND contain ellagic acid, which has been shown to slow the growth of some tumors (insert twig and berries joke here!).  
  • #SHINEBRIGHT WITH VITAMIN D. From safe exposure to sunshine, D3 supplements and leafy greens, Vitamin D 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! 
  • TURMERIC & SELENIUM. Curcumin (active component) has been shown to interrupt the normal progression of cancer cells. Also great for arthritis/joint pain. Turmeric Lattes or straight shots of pressed turmeric — just do it. Selenium is a potent antioxidant or scavenger of carcinogenic free radicals. It is HUGE as an anti-prostate cancer warrior. Our GEM Remix has you covered.  
  • GET PHYSICAL. By adding energizing, stress-busting exercise to your daily routine, you can lower the levels of estrogen and insulin in your body — hormones which can increase cancer development and progression if left unchecked.  
  • STAY BOOZE-FREE. Women who had 4-5 drinks per WEEK had a 38% percent higher risk of breast cancer recurrence. THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS. Leave the competitive drinking games in college where they belong! NO EXCUSES! Try replacing your daily glass of wine with meditation, exercise, a dose of Natural Calm or a cozy Turmeric Latte. Alcohol is full of sugar and calories as empty as a Big Mac. 

Wearing pink, purchasing yogurt with a ribbon on it and regular screening just won’t cut it anymore. TAKE CONTROL. We are the sum of all of our tiny little decisions — good and bad.

Go on, be a GEM and give a big squeeze of love to your family and your family jewels. But above all else, remember to surround yourself with shiny, happy people and places that lift you up. See you inside The GEM! 



Why We Live #HonestlyOrganic

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments on Why We Live #HonestlyOrganic

Organic or non-organic: why does it matter? More than a lifestyle, honestly organic is a way of thinking and a commitment to your health. Here’s the serious side of non-organic: PESTICIDES + GMOs = CHRONIC DISEASE & INFLAMMATION. You heard right (and there is science to back this up). Truly organic food, grown without harmful pesticides and non-GMO, is a major weapon in your arsenal to maintain health and well being.


Order your #HonestlyOrganic breakfast or lunch, on our app!


Organic is NOT a trend, a fad, or a when-convenient habit. A nutrient dense, ORGANIC (read: clean), plant-based diet is THE way to eat and live. (P.S. This doesn’t include trendy organic super-processed junk food. We mean WHOLE FOOD). Staying organic when it’s not convenient is hard and why so many businesses aren’t able to do it 100 percent of the time. But YOU ARE worth it. 

When you choose organic, you unleash the superpowers of clean, whole foods that produce a positive environment on our insides and on our earth. These foods kick start your body’s natural defenses against illness, inflammation, disease and almost every health issue.

Want to DISCO your way into a whole new lifestyle? Here are 5 more reasons why choosing organic is oh-so-critical to your overall health: 

SHE’S A BRICK HOUSE. Organic boasts more nutrients per square inch. Non-organic agriculture results in larger crops with lower nutrients — it’s known as the dilution effect. Organic methods improve soil and that leads to healthier plants—and healthier humans.

STAYIN’ ALIVE. REDUCE YOUR TOXIC LOAD. Toxins are cumulative—stored in our fat and liver cells, compounding on each other every time we consume them. Certain conventional foods contain these types of pesticides . So why keep adding toxins to your body?

Le FREAK. THINK ANTI-CANCER. Organic means non-GMO. Genetically Modified Organism. It sounds like a creepy science experiment, because it IS a creepy science experiment. GMOs often have cancer-causing toxins like glyphosate sprayed on and injected into the DNA of the plant—and hence, into yours.

BOOGIE WONDERLAND. IT’S WHERE WE LIVE. Choosing organic is MUCH better for the environment. Less toxic runoff, more healthy water and soil. When we choose organic, we are also choosing to love Mother Earth.

ROCK YOUR BABY…AND PROTECT YOUR KIDS. Feeding our children organic, whole foods is VERY important. The American Academy of Pediatrics says “Children have unique susceptibilities to the potential toxicity of pesticides…and chronic health implications from exposure continue to emerge.” Our kids have enough to worry about as it is. Help them live their best HEALTHY lives by choosing organic.

In brief, all of us—adults AND children—should be eating organic as much as possible to promote health and longevity. There’s a quote on the wall at The Gem by Hippocrates that we live by every day: “Let Food Be Thy Medicine.” We’ve lived by it from the beginning…and our story doesn’t veer from this principle.


Get Lit. Let’s Do Shots!

Posted on by The GEM and currently has No Comments on Get Lit. Let’s Do Shots!

Back in the day, if you wanted a partner to do bar shots with, I was your girl! I’m older now, more responsible, and (slightly) smarter. But who doesn’t like a good shot  — especially one that gets you going — and keeps you going? Superfood healthy shots have become the new party trick.


CHEERS TO YOUR HEALTH! ORDER JUICE SHOTS FOR DELIVERY OR PICK UP, ON OUR APP


All of the fun; none of the hangover. Belly up to the bar and serve yourself some seriously potent GEM shots of immune boosting, energy inducing, detox supporting ingredients from nature’s saloon. Turmeric, ginger, elderberry, E3 live are just a few concoctions to help you get lit with health.

Organic Juice Shots

Below is a bartender’s guide to all that’s shot worthy inside the GEM. Standard pours include:

GINGER

For healthy digestion and immunity. This nutritional gem warms the body and boasts antinausea, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant compounds. Ginger helps support healthy metabolism and digestion. You can even add a shot to your tea!

TURMERIC

For Inflammation. Nature’s Advil. This orange root is a powerhouse of protection—even against heart disease. It is the “ANTI” food: Anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, anti-Alzheimer’s, anti-aging. Add turmeric to everything!

IMMUNITY SHOT: Ginger + Lemon + Turmeric + Adaptogenic Mushrooms

To cleanse, detoxify, and lessen inflammation. Feeling icky? This is our best-selling shot thought to lessen the symptoms of a cold. In addition to turmeric and ginger, Lemon is alkalizing and has a kick of vitamin C. The boost of mushroom tincture adds cancer-fighting compounds that can help reduce inflammation, pain and support metabolism.   

BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND/ E3 / Blue Magic

For detox, brain health, metabolism, energy. Bright Like a Diamond shot contains spirulina, ginger, cayenne. Blue-green algae (sold as E3 Live or Spirulina) boasts vitamins A, C, E, B12, and B6, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Some of this goodness comes from cyacyanobacteria — and that blue color signifies loads of antioxidants.

ALLERGY SHOT: Elderberry + Tart Cherry + Ginger + ACV

For allergy relief, joint pain. This combo works! It’s loaded with potent anti-inflammatory compounds. Elderberry has been used for centuries to quell allergies and fight off colds and flu. You can take Elderberry straight — it tastes amazing, and your kids will love it. ACV promotes healthy gut bacteria, balances blood sugar, reduces acid reflux, and helps lower cholesterol.

PERFORM: Beet Juice + Lemon

For recovery, stamina, liver detox, and athletic performance. Rich in natural chemicals called nitrates, beets are a miraculous addition to your daily routine. Your body changes nitrates into nitric oxide, which helps with blood flow and blood pressure.

Scared to shoot it straight? Add these shots to your Green Glow or even your Cameo. This time it’s ok to be overserved. Get a good mix of

shots, and round out your cocktail hour with a bang. Couple the Immunity Shot with the Perform. Or add one to your juice. Float a ginger shot into your hot tea. Just do it. Your only hangover will be shining bright. Cheers to your health!

Order now! Delivery or pick up!








Cancer DOES Define Me

Posted on by The GEM and currently has 31 Comments on Cancer DOES Define Me

Full disclosure. I’ve worked really hard over the last 9 years to put my cancer treatment and journey behind me. I am really a master, it seems, of compartmentalizing (almost all) experiences that were traumatic in my life. A great coping skill to eliminate emotional baggage. After fighting cancer, I liked to say, “I will not let cancer define me.” And I was adamant about it.

fighting-cancer-gratitude

But the truth of the matter is cancer has defined me. The experience truly made me who I am today. I can’t deny it. I am brighter, shinier, stronger. It is the reason The GEM is here. 

I came to this realization while recently attending a luncheon honoring a fabulous GEM friend and cancer survivor. This event raised millions for the fight against breast cancer — providing access to advanced diagnostic equipment, innovative clinical research, and most importantly, safe, quality, compassionate care for those fighting cancer. Awesome. The theme was about acknowledging all that cancer brings: anger, fear, hope, love, courage, commitment and acknowledging that together we are strong and together we can do it. I expected that. But as I pushed around the almonds on my banquet arugula salad, something rocked me like a hurricane.

I experienced something profound. And unexpected.

As I listened to the stories of others affected by cancer, I became overwhelmed by a sense of immeasurable gratitude. Gratitude for the experience fighting cancer brought me. For the incredible care I was afforded in Dallas. The love and care shown me by friends. This support system is the reason I survived. The reason I thrive.

CANCER CHANGED MY LIFE

Fighting cancer impacted my life in 3 three ways:

  1. Made me more grateful and mindful of the blessings in my life: My husband who is solid gold. My parents’ unwavering support. My cadre of Rockstar friends. My health. I FIND GRATITUDE in every moment. That kind of positive perspective changes the reality of things.
  2. Changed how I responded to conflict. I breathe deep and know I will GATHER MY PEACE. Because at the end of the day, is it really worth it to stress and blow over big and small stuff? Hell no.
  3. Transformed how I looked at FOOD, and the POWER of it on my physical and mental health. The GEM is the manifestation of my new view on all that nourishes me.

 

FIGHTING CANCER CONTINUES

To continue my cancer-free life, I now do these three things every day to launch a preemptive strike in the fight against the disease:

  1. Wake each morning to 32 oz. of water, deep breathing, and organic green tea. This routine includes listing three things I am grateful for. This changes my situational perspective. (Here’s one way you can use your morning routine to brighten your day.)
  2. Surround myself with shiny, happy people and places that lift me up. I find all of that
    inside The GEM community!
  3. Eat GREEN and CLEAN. Drink my celery juice first thing. By 11 a.m., I’ve already knocked back a kickass cup of MVP soup. (That means I’ve had seven servings of veggies before noon!). You can start by adding one extra green to every meal. It makes a big difference in my energy, mood, and waistline.

 

The truth is I’m grateful for what cancer has done in my life and the person I’ve become. Cancer does define me. And I’m proud of that. Thanks for allowing me to be honest. With you. With myself.








Inspired to Change? Share Your Transformation

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 3 Comments on Inspired to Change? Share Your Transformation

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you handle it. If Life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If the lemons are rotten, take out the seeds and plant them in order to grow new lemons.”
~ Louise Hay

There are life altering challenges that hit you. Good things and bad things. Most want to focus on the “what.” But it’s not really WHAT happens that is important. It’s HOW you respond to it that counts.

Leslie transformationMy story of transformation began eight long, juice-filled years ago. You possibly wouldn’t have liked me before October of 2009. Or at the very least, not recognized me. I was my own version of a lemon. Don’t get me wrong, I was loads of fun if you were with me at a party, but daily I was overly stressed, unnecessarily impatient and invariably cramming fairly toxic food and drink down my throat on an all too often basis.

Well, 19 days into “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” I got that rotten lemon thrown my way: I was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread to my lymph nodes. Whaaaaa? Me? This was the sucker punch that woke me up to transformation.

With three small kids, a kick-ass husband and a CADRE of warrior friends, I was still frozen with fear. What would I do? Control?

I needed someone to light the path and guide me into a healthier lifestyle – one that managed stress, incorporated green veggies and JUICE and excluded toxic people and thoughts. As I researched, I found folks I could follow – folks whose stories and background I could trust. Folks who could help me plant those seeds. The first book I read was about a super groovy girl named Kris Carr whose toxic life was also blindsided by a cancer diagnosis.

The book was Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor by Kris Carr. Holy Batman! I literally scoured every page for knowledge, inspiration, guidance and understanding not just how, but WHY I needed to change. This lit my fire to learn more — do more — be more. With her incredible, unicorn-filled thoughts and info, I finished my treatments and decided to dive deep, changing not just my eating (which was jacked up and toxic), but my thoughts (same), my work (same), and my life. Kris is an inspiration — my lighthouse that brought me to my Peace, my Happy and my Healthy.

With some of that knowledge and inspiration, we opened the very first organic juice bar in Dallas (The GEM) with my disco BFF Mary Kathryn, complete with disco ball and Donna Summer tunes—all as a result of this new-found knowledge and lifestyle and need for change.

Everyday, we share this knowledge with any GEM who wants to FEEL BETTER and BE BETTER. It has become our daily passion.

We hear your stories all the time of how The GEM has transformed you – helped light the path and guide you into a healthier lifestyle. Sure do hope so, because as much as this groovy community inspires YOU, YOU continue to inspire and transform us every single day. Let us hear more!

Have we inspired a transformation for you or your family?

We want to be encouraged by those of you whose lives have been changed, inspired by your stories of hope and transformation. Do you have a story of how The GEM has inspired you and your family in some way? LOVE to hear it. Please share the love with us and others of how you’ve made specific changes to your life.

And if you are at a place in your life where you feel stuck and unable to change course, it is through the act of moving forward with your best intentions, those grounded in profound love and respect for yourself, that you will make the changes needed to transform your life. If I can decide to be healthier, lighter (literally and figuratively), brighter … so can you.

“If you don’t like where you are, MOVE. You are not a tree.” Jim Rohn

 

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