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12 Teen Summer Snack Ideas for Original G·E·M·S!

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As parents of teenagers and young adults ourselves, we know firsthand how challenging it can be to convince your kids to keep on the straight-and-narrow when it comes to eating right. So we’re offering our tried and true Eat Clean food rules catered to teens who want to look good and feel even BETTER — the basis of our Original G·E·M·S Life program. Check out our top recommendations below for helping your teen eat clean.


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Preparation is the name of the game when getting our kids to eat clean. While it’s likely they will never straight up ask for cucumbers and hummus, your teens will snack on what’s in front of them, so having healthy options on deck is a must!

My go-to healthy options make staying true to Original G·E·M·S Life easy for our teens at home. They’re what I call my “Jedi Mind Trick Snack Plates”…fun-looking, health-filled plates with a little bit of everything on them. Before they’ve even realized it, my teens are gobbling up organic veggies and nutrient-filled bites like it was their idea.

Try some of my favorite at-home snack plate ideas for your teens this summer!

12 Healthy Summer Snacks for Teens

  • Be-A-GEM Platter: Made with our fave grab-and-go options, including The GEM’s hummus with jalapeno pesto, our Vegan Ranch and Sami’s Flax Chips served along with snap peas and Sunset’s Sugar Bombs grape tomatoes. This plate is a hit for obvious reasons.
  • Netflix & Healthy Platter: Here’s one for the movie buffs—organic popcorn made on the stove top with coconut oil and sea salt, peanuts, pistachios, and Healthy Chex Mix from Unrefined Bakery (this stuff is the BOMB!).
  • Taste the Rainbow Platter: Take watermelon cubes, Cuties oranges, kiwis, blueberries, frozen grapes, and some mini marshmallows for clouds (brands like Smash Mallow or Dandies are our go-to).
  • Piatto d’Italia: Take a quick trip over the pond and into Italy with an array of olives, nitrate-free sliced salami, toasted almonds, sliced red peppers, parmesan chunks, and steamed artichoke. Go even further and make mini pizzas with whole grain English muffins, marinara and mozzarella. Buon appetito!
  • Mexican Fiesta Plate: Made with fresh GEM Pico de Gallo, guacamole and our 3 Bean Salad and served with Siete Tortilla Chips. Make quick and easy quesadillas by adding leftover seasoned taco meat or organic rotisserie chicken for quick access and using whole wheat tortillas. Look for brands that just have simple ingredients (hit: Mission is NOT it!). 
  • Veggie Lovin’ Platter: Served with steamed broccoli, GEM Vegan Ranch, sliced cucumbers and carrots marinated in lime juice and salt (this is an important step!). 
  • Let’s Do Brunch Platter: Make toasted waffles cut into triangles and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, served alongside boiled eggs, Alyssa’s oatmeal cookies (sold at The GEM!), and Applegate Farms chicken sausage links. 
  • Open-Faced Avo Toast Plate: Serve avocado toast with lemon, cayenne, sea salt, PBJ, and toasted cheese—all cut into small squares.
  • At-Home Happy Jars: Organic Greek or plant-based yogurt (Siggi’s is my fave) parfaits made with Marge or Park Lane granola and berries, drizzled with honey. Save yourself some time by making a few of these at a time, storing them in small Mason jars. 
  • Asian Snack Plate: Get store bought California Rolls (Whole Foods and Central Market have the best!), AshaPops, sliced red bell peppers, GEM Collard Wraps, and steamed organic spicy edamame (with “Slap Your Mama” seasoning).
  • Baked Potato Bar: Keep potatoes on hand and with fun toppings. Use that leftover taco meat! Super simple, filling, AND healthy. 
  • Smoothie Station: Blend one frozen banana with a cup of dairy-free milk, raw cacao and organic peanut butter for a yummy treat. Or, pick up some of our ready-made Smoothie Kits at The GEM and store in the freezer until ready to serve. Your teens will LOVE you!

Help set your teen up for success by providing them with these healthy snack options. And don’t forget to lead by example! For more inspiration on keeping you and your family inspired to Eat Clean, check out our Original G·E·M·S Life inspiration page with tried-and-true, easy-to-follow food rules. 

By selecting one practice that resonates with you from one or all of all of the four Original G·E·M·S categories (Gratitude, Eat Clean, Move and Shine), and committing to doing it daily for a week, then a month (and eventually forever), you’ll be well on your way to Shining Brighter in all areas of your life!


How to Help Your Teen Eat Clean With Original G·E·M·S

Posted on by The GEM and currently has 2 Comments on How to Help Your Teen Eat Clean With Original G·E·M·S

As parents, instilling healthy food habits is one of the best things we can do for our children. It’s obvious for us, but it can be difficult to get our teenagers to actually buy into this idea. And as moms of a few teenagers ourselves, we know firsthand the struggle is REAL.


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Fortunately, our Original G·E·M·S Life program isn’t just for grown ups looking to Shine Brighter — its practices are also perfectly catered to families who want to raise kids with healthy habits. And what better way to start than by introducing our Eat Clean practice ideas to try at home this summer with your teens?!

Why Eating Clean Matters to YOUR Teen!

Nutrition affects the trifecta of most-important things to our teens: athletics, academics, and appearance. Chances are your teenager cares about one or all three of these—so as a parent, you can influence your teen to want to eat clean by emphasizing the positive results that eating healthy will have on their athletic and academic performance and their appearance. For instance,

  • More green leafy vegetables, less dairy & sugar = fewer breakouts
  • A GEM smoothie before a game = better sports performance
  • Loaded protein breakfast = increased focus on tests

Still not getting through? Here’s what happens with regular consumption of inflammatory foods, such as fast food, sodas, fried junk, sugar, etc:

  • Acne. Breakouts. Zits.
  • Low energy, sluggishness.
  • Weight gain and obesity.
  • Inability to focus (caused by artificial dyes and lack of good fats and proteins).
  • Mood swings, anxiety, anger (food can be a BIG factor in managing our mood).

You’ve identified the problem, now give them the healthy solution!

3 Tips on Getting Your Teen Eat Clean

  • PLAN FOR QUALITY GREENS at every meal. Salads, sautéed broccoli, steamed artichokes…you get the gist. Add spinach into their smoothies. And keep it up, even if they turn their noses up! Eventually they will come around. Even ‘one bite’ is a start!
  • CLEAN OUT THE PANTRY. Throw out foods with ARTIFICIAL FOOD COLORS and SWEETENERS immediately. These things are known to cause cancer, ADHD, allergies, and lots of other infuriating problems. Even replacing super bad junk with organic, non-GMO junk is a non-toxic step in the right direction. The simplest of foods like bread or tortillas have more chemicals than you can count, much less pronounce, so be sure to read the labels!
  • DUMP THE PROCESSED SUGAR. Sugar is the main culprit behind bad skin, bad moods, and bad performance. Let your teens know this—they will thank you!

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but by doing these three things on the reg, you can help them adopt a few good habits that will keep your teenagers thriving, healthy and happy—not just now, but straight into adulthood. It’s never too late to jump on the healthy disco train. But it all starts with YOU.

Want more tips on Eating Clean? Check out our Original G·E·M·S Life inspiration page with tried-and-true, easy-to-follow food rules to help keep your body at its best. By selecting a practice from one or all of the four Original G·E·M·S Life categories (Gratitude, Eat Clean, Move and Shine), and committing to doing it daily for a week, then a month (and eventually forever), you’ll be well on your way to Shining Brighter in all areas of your life!


10 Teen-Approved HEALTHY Summer Snacks

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments on 10 Teen-Approved HEALTHY Summer Snacks

Those hungry teenagers eating you out of house and home? Don’t order Dominos just yet! We’ve got a few yummy, homemade ideas to keep them happy on snacks that are filling, fun and most importantly, HEALTHY.


NEED SNACKS NOW? ORDER GREEN BITES, JUICES & SMOOTHIES FOR PICKUP & DELIVERY!


The biggest key to eating healthy is to BE PREPARED! When you hit the grocery store or visit The GEM, pick up these staples to keep on hand for when hunger strikes this summer.

10 Summer Snacks For Hungry & Healthy Teens

  • CHIP DIP STATION! Siete Tortilla chips surrounded with a fun array of dips! Siete also makes an amazing, plant-based queso blanco that is really tasty! Add guacamole, GEM Pico, Rick’s Salsa, and GEM Jalapeno Pesto. Don’t forget our Badass 3 Bean Salad with corn chip dippers, too! 
  • VEGGIE PLATE with carrots, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes. Add a ramekin of our GEM Hummus, Ranch AND Jalapeño Pesto for the best dipping trio. The secret is to douse the carrot medallions and cucumbers with lots of fresh lime juice and sea salt. Don’t skip over this one! It’s magic.
  • SMOOTHIES. Pick up a few frozen smoothie kits from The GEM (our Maui GEM with pineapple, banana, orange and coconut is a crowd pleaser), or make your own at home with this perfectly simple, lightning-fast recipe:
    • Add 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice, 1 frozen banana, 1.5 cup of fruit to the blender and ENJOY! Frozen, organic strawberries and blueberries work best.
  • ITALIAN PLATTER with chunks of parmesan cheese, nitrate free salami (my kids like Naturalissimo Milano style), Milton GF crackers, gherkin pickles, grape tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt, hummus topped with basil pesto. BAM!
  • FROZEN PEANUT BUTTER BANANA SLICES. Sandwich your favorite brand of organic peanut butter in between sliced bananas, then freeze. Dip in melted chocolate for an added treat. 
  • FROZEN GRAPES (Warning: highly addicting snack!). Simply freeze and eat!
  • AVOCADO TOAST sprinkled with cayenne, sea salt, and a little lemon, served on grain bread (Killer Dave’s makes the best!). Cut into quarters. PRO TIP: Let your avocados ripen on the counter, then put in the fridge—they will keep for much longer!
  • GRANOLA PARFAITS. What’s cool about these is you can make a few in small, 6-oz. mason jars and your teens can pop them out whenever they are ready! Here’s how we assemble them: 
    • Begin with a little granola on bottom, layer with plain Greek yogurt—or try an amazing dairy-free, plant-based option like from Kite Hill or Siggi’s. Milk & Patience is local and  has the most amazing vegan yogurts, too!
    • Layer berries. Raspberries, sliced strawberries, blueberries…don’t be shy!
    • Add more granola. One of our favorite granola brands Park Lane Pantry, a local company with amazing flavors—including a new chocolate flavor, too!
    • Top with a drizzle of maple syrup, honey or agave, a little extra fruit, and enjoy! 
  • EDAMAME. Just pour the frozen bag into boiling water for a couple minutes, drain, and add coarse sea salt. Try sprinkling with Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Salt.
  • BONUS SNACK IDEAS! Always have these items on hand for when you find yourself in a pinch:
    • Hard boiled eggs.
    • Nut butter with apples.
    • Organic popcorn made with coconut oil and sea salt.

Give yourself a variety of choices and healthy snacking doesn’t have to be boring. Whether it’s one or two of these each week, make it a habit of stashing a few of these items at the house. The key is to choose healthy snacks that will fill them up and help nourish your teens without adding too many calories. Try and you’ll see—our top ten teen-approved list of healthy summer snacks is sure to make you the hit of the summer snacking frenzy!

Happy Summer Snacking!


Back to School Part Three – Cleaner Junk Food and Quick Snack Food Ideas

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If we look at your pantry right now, would it be laden with the traditional snack items like Doritos, OREOS and General Mills Cereals that we all grew up with?

A toxic storm of chemicals and science lab ingredients. But let’s be realistic. You have to have some junk food in your house. We can’t be perfect all the time. And, quite frankly, do you really want to be??

You don’t, however, have to eat those processed, chemical-laden, GMO riddled snacks! There are so many new alternative brands and organic versions out there.

Fruit Loops, Lunchables, and Cheetos ARE NOT OPTIONS.

I don’t recommend packaged junk food all the time, but we live in the real world. It’s gonna happen. PLUS, if you want your teens to gather at your house, you gotta have some ready to grab snacks!

Give these organic and non-GMO snacks a try.

 

These snack brands do not contain MSG, an ingredient that keeps you going back for more and more. MSG is why many of the GMO snack brands like Doritos are so addictive!!

The key is to BE PREPARED. Make regular trips to the grocery store, with a list of things that will sustain your teens (and their friends) for the week. Or check out these AMAZING delivery apps:

INSTACART – Get deliveries within an hour from Whole Foods, Costco and Central Market.  Awesome!

THRIVE MARKET – Get organic pantry products at great prices!

Don’t wait for them to start rummaging through the kitchen. They will snack on what is in front of them. So have it out on the counter.

Other awesome snack ideas:

  1. Organic popcorn made on the stove top with coconut oil and sea salt. So easy. Tiny But Mighty brand non-GMO popcorn kernels are fantastic.
  2. Sliced cucumbers/carrot rounds marinated in lime juice and sea salt. Don’t underestimate this one!
  3. Tex-Mex rules! Keep grass-fed taco meat ready to go. Always have these in your fridge:
    • Fresh pico, salsa, guac or bean dip. Nachos with pinto beans and organic cheese knock Cheetos out of the park! Make sure your tortillas are without chemical ingredients (say goodbye to Mission brand).
  4. Amy’s Nacho Snacks, Pizza Rolls or Burritos
  5. The GEM hummus with jalapeno pesto. Grab one of our snack packs for on the go!
  6. Keep sunflower seed and pistachios in a bowl on the counter.
  7. Make watermelon slushes in the afternoon. They will love you! How? Tons of watermelon on the bottom of the blender, frozen strawberries, a cup of ice, a peeled lemon or lime. Shazam!!
  8. Mini pizzas made with whole grain English muffins, fresh marinara and organic mozzarella. Whole Foods has great pre-made ones.
  9. Sami’s Cinnamon Chips will disappear at carpool time. Everyone LOVES these high fiber, low sugar (but don’t tell them that) chips. Available at The GEM.
  10. Keep whole wheat pasta ready in the fridge with marinara.
  11. Steam frozen ORGANIC edamame and add sea salt. Costco sells this!!
  12. Popsicles? Try these Austin-based GoodPop® All-Natural Frozen Pops. I love the Watermelon Agave and Coconut Lime Bars!!

 

These are not all super-food healthy snacks – because we don’t always obey the rules. They are, however, CLEAN, free of harmful chemicals and dyes. This is really important to remember when feeding your families. Good luck and … Happy End of Summer!

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Back to School Part Two – Quick Pantry and Fridge Makeover

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 1 Comment on Back to School Part Two – Quick Pantry and Fridge Makeover

If you keep healthy food in your pantry and fridge, you will eat healthy food.

Without question this statement is true … for overall health, daily energy levels, our ability to focus. A well-stocked pantry and easy to grab snacks help us boost metabolism and reduce cravings later in the day. You’ve got stuff in your pantry that shouldn’t be there, but do you know what should be there? This post gives you a quick run-down of what a healthy pantry should contain.

You don’t have to go toss everything and start from scratch in one day. Switching to 100 percent clean foods can be challenging and even costly at first. Give it time, and take it easy on yourself. Try replacing one food item at a time. Sub in brown rice pasta for plain white pasta, or skip the Reese’s and do dark chocolate and organic peanut butter instead. As you add in the good, your taste buds will change, and you will naturally want clean, whole foods. The “fake” foods will seem less appealing.

Remember this important detail: Always read the label! If you don’t know what the ingredients are or how to spell them, toss it.

Start by personally saying goodbye to a few main evils. This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge every now and then … you decide what works for you.

TOSS

  • Vegetable oils like Corn, Canola, Wesson
  • Sugary, food-colored cereals. Even the organic/clean ones are for fun snacks NOT breakfast
  • Canned soups
  • Sugar-sweetened soda
  • ANYTHING with artificial sweeteners: “Lite, Diet, Lo-Cal”
  • ANYTHING with artificial food coloring – it’s made from petroleum and causes all kinds of issues
  • Frozen entrees that have more chemicals than you can begin to spell
  • Conventional chemical and GMO laden chips like Cheetos, Fritos (there are simple alternatives)

 

Your Revitalized Pantry

 

GRAINS/PANTRY

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa (also a protein source)
  • Soba noodles (also a protein source)
  • Organic wheat and/or gluten-free pasta (Tinkyada in my fave)
  • Beans! Black beans, cannellini, pinto, lentils, chickpeas
  • Sunflower seeds, pistachios, walnuts – great on your salads, oatmeal
  • Raw almond butter, organic peanut butter
  • Killer Dave’s Breads (multigrain or ‘white done right’)
  • Siete Almond Flour Tortillas
  • Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats
  • 365 Brand Organic Taco Shells

 

PROTEINS

  • Vital Farms pastured eggs
  • Grass fed ground beef
  • Organic chicken and chicken legs
  • Bell & Evans Organic Gluten Free Nuggets/Strips

When purchasing animal protein/eggs, organic, free-range and pastured are non-negotiable factors, and avoid pre-packaged meats.

 

VEGGIES

  • Boxed lettuces—they are fresh and ready to eat. Spinach/Romaine/Super Greens
  • Onions and garlic always!
  • Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower – all are great for quick sautéing or roasting
  • Organic sweet and regular potatoes
  • Artichokes are a really fun and simple appetizer
  • Carrots, cucumber, organic celery sticks – perfect for snacking
  • Frozen organic peas, corn, artichokes, shelled edamame to use for quick dinner preps

 

CONDIMENTS/FLAVORINGS

  • Extra-virgin olive oil for salad dressings
  • Bearitos Taco Seasoning packets
  • Hot sauce—Tabasco, Crystal and Cholula
  • Burger House Seasoning Salt – Amazing on homemade oven fries, grilled chicken or anything!
  • Maple syrup
  • Organic Tamari (instead of soy sauce)
  • Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
  • Bubbie’s pickles
  • Joe T’s or Royitos Salsa
  • Gorji’s Pomodoro Sauce

 

FRUITS

  • Lemons, limes
  • Avocado
  • Organic apples
  • Cutie oranges
  • Bananas – frozen for smoothies
  • Frozen berries for smoothies
  • Varied fruits (berries, melon, cherries)

 

BEVERAGES

  • Topo Chico Sparkling Waters
  • Healthy Sports Drinks like our Perform Hydration Drink
  • Keep Passion Tea and homemade lemonade in the fridge

 

SNACKS/OTHER JUNK FOOD

While we don’t suggest eating processed junk food all the time, we know it’s a fact of life … we love it. Stay tuned for our next post on CLEAN JUNK FOOD! We will share our favorite brands that are free from chemicals, food coloring, toxic MSG and GMO’s.

Need a little more hand holding? We can help! Our Diamonds on Your Inside Counseling Program brings us to your home AND on a shopping trip to Whole Foods/Costco to get you on the right track. Just ask!

Want easy and yummy recipes?

Cookbook Signing: Monday, August 21

Come meet our dear friend Pamela Salzman, author of the new Kitchen Matters Cookbook, at our Forest location August 21st, 10 a.m. – noon, for a book signing AND demo at 11 a.m.!