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Are you Vegan-curious? Your Questions Answered

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What exactly is veganism? Could it be for you? With so much talk — and noise — around the term, you may be a little unsure. So we’re here to shine a light on this vibrant way of eating.

What is Veganism?

Veganism is essentially a type of vegetarianism. While the terms are often used interchangeably, vegetarianism is a diet that doesn’t include animals, like meat or fish. Veganism, on the other hand, excludes all animal-derived products including meat, fish, dairy, eggs and even honey! A vegan diet is 100 percent plant-based and consists of grains, beans, nuts, tofu, fruits and vegetables.

Should You Go Vegan?

We can’t answer that question for you. But if you decide to go vegan, you should be clear on your “why.” That will keep you motivated when that dairy-based cheese is calling your name. There are a number of reasons to go vegan, but some of the big ones include

1. Animal ethics
2. Environmental concerns
3. Health benefits

At The GEM, the health benefits are the primary reason we stick with vegan products, but environmental concerns and animal ethics also motivate our choices as well. If you’re thinking about going vegan, you may be wondering how best to do so.

Is a Vegan Diet Healthy?

When implemented properly, a vegan diet CAN be very healthy. However, one must be conscious to strictly follow the rules of a diet with non-processed, protein rich food sources. Junk food is out. Thoughtful, well-prepared foods are in.

Covering Your Essential (Vitamin) Bases

Plant-based foods are rich in anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, and metabolism-boosting components. And while a strict vegan diet provides an abundance of essential vitamins and minerals, you may want to consider adding some supplements. For instance, incorporating vitamin B12 supplements helps bridge the nutritional gap typically filled by animal products. At The GEM, you also always have the option to enhance your plant-based smoothies boosts like spirulina or E3 Live for that extra nutritional punch!

How Do You Get Your Protein When Vegan?

It’s important to know where to get proper nutrition from plants. Otherwise, you will be hungry, even unhealthy! Protein and fat are critical. If you don’t get enough of both in your diet, you’ll crave sugars that will put your diet in a tailspin. Nourish your body with intention and focus.

Plant foods can be surprisingly rich in protein. The best sources include lentils, chickpeas and tofu. Whole grains such as oats, whole wheat pasta and quinoa can also be great sources of protein. Nuts and seeds will provide the high-fat content your body needs, helping with brain functioning and keeping your belly full!

It’s important to remember that there is a learning curve when deciding to go vegan. (And that’s perfectly normal!) Be smart about it.

What is the GEM POV?

Almost all of the GEM’s options are vegan — the exception being our exclusive organic bone broth crafted by our friends at Stocks & Bondy. After co-owner Leslie’s cancer diagnosis, she followed a vegan diet and remained mostly vegan for several years afterwards. Finding a source of authentic organic vegan food was nearly impossible. Hence the GEM was born! While not strictly vegan today, the GEM remains a safe haven for those searching for the cleanest, organic, nutrient-dense soups, salads and smoothies.

Together our founders Leslie & MK embrace the 80/20 lifestyle, filling 80% of their diet with the good stuff—vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. The remaining 20%? That’s the clean, organic, responsibly-sourced animal product foods (and a few naughty snacks on occasion)! It’s all about balance at The GEM, where every aspect of healthy eating is celebrated.

If you decide to go vegan, you may see incredible results from a vegan diet. And you may want to stick with it for a lifetime — or for shorter periods of time. Our bodies change, thus our needs do too.

Vegan doesn’t have to be a scary word! A proper vegan diet can bring vibrant transformation into your life. Whether you choose to dive fully into veganism or not, there are undeniable benefits to adding abundant plant-based foods to your diet.

Order your favorite vegan snacks online for pick-up now!


Don’t Panic, It’s Organic (Inside The GEM at Least)

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We love our Earth, and our Earth loves Organic. Our pledge to Organic, GMO-free and sustainable products has been a shiny GOLD standard in the industry for over 12 years running. We take great care to seek out and serve the cleanest, healthiest products for our GEM Community. This is our ethos. All our products are honestly organic or grown hydroponically 100% pesticide-free. This principle is a big deal. It requires focus, commitment, and passion. You’ve heard us say this. A lot.

But since it’s Earth Day, is organic important for the earth? You bet your kale chip it is. Organic produce and ingredients are grown on soil that has no prohibited substances, synthetic fertilizers or pesticides applied for a minimum of three years. Organic farmers take a holistic approach—from the soil, to the water, to the bugs and the bees. Certified organic growers, along with those who farm hydroponically are playing an important role in preserving our environment. These measures are part of an earth-loving recipe to improve soil fertility, reduce pollution, conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. This is a behind-the-scenes benefit for consumers but you’ll find that organic food not only tastes fresher and better but is also bursting with more nutrients compared to its conventional counterparts.

So shine on mighty GEMS! The GEM is more than your local organic superfood store; we are a community of people who are united in our love for pure products that safeguard the health of both people and our planet. So Every time you choose organic, you vote for clean air and water, nutritious food, and resilient soil. You vote for a healthier, brighter future.

Eat clean with us and order online for pick up! 


Tasty Mocktails to Spice up Your Valentine’s Day

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Who says Galentine’s Day has to come just once a year? Turn any day into Galentine’s Day, and celebrate with fab, fun mocktails! (Not to mention they make a great addition to any Valentine’s Day celebration too.) Whether you’re planning a girls’ night in, a romantic evening, or getting in some seriously needed you-time, these GEM-my mocktails are your ticket to good-for-you indulgence!

What’s the Buzz About Mocktails?

Mocktails, virgin drinks, zero proof refreshments—whatever you’re calling them, thesedrinks are all the rage! Imagine all the fun and flavor of your favorite cocktail, minus the empty calories and icky morning feeling that comes with alcohol – No Thankyou! That’s a mocktail for you. Whether you’re under 21, expecting or simply focusing on your health, mocktails are the perfect inclusive, guilt-free choice!

And when it comes to making your perfect mocktail, there are no rules! (Our pro tip: load your concoction with ingredients your body will thank you for.) We’ve got some sparkling GEM-inspired recipes to kickstart your adventure that not only look great but pack a nutritional punch, keep you hydrated and leave you hangover-free. Plus, they’re downright delicious!

Recipe 1: Espresso Martini, GEM-style!

Whether you’re feeling fancy in the morning or need a caffeine buzz before a night out, our Espresso Martini mocktail is a go-to choice. It combines the robust flavors of our cold brew concentrate with the creaminess of our house-made cashew milk—a non-dairy option that doesn’t skimp on taste. This smooth concoction isn’t just an energy booster; it’s also nutritious. Not to mention the switch to cashew milk comes with additional vitamins and minerals, and less inflammatory properties enhancing the health benefits of your drink!


  • 2 parts of our cold brew
  • 1 part creamy cashew milk
  • A teaspoon of maple syrup
  • A dash of ground vanilla bean
  • Ice


Shake up these ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker, then strain into your favorite glass. The result? A frothy, energizing mocktail that will keep you coming back for another!


Recipe 2: Solid Gold Fizz

SPICE IT UP with this refreshing, low-sugar sip that promises no regrets the morning after! This mocktail blends the antioxidants and fiber of celery juice with a Kung Fu-kick of our Immunity shot (packed with ginger, turmeric, lemon, and adaptogenic drops). It’s a choice your body (and your girlfriends!) will thank you for any day.


  • Half cup of GEM Cold Pressed Celery juice
  • Half a shot of our GEM Immunity shot (turmeric, ginger, lemon)
  • A drizzle of raw honey
  • Sparkling water
  • Jalapeño slices



Pour celery juice, Immunity shot, raw honey into glass and mix. Add sparkling water to taste and garnish the top with jalapeno slices! Packs a serious party punch!!

Mocktails are way more than just a trend; they’re a smart choice for anyone looking to prioritize their health while still having a good time. Grab your girls and swing by the GEM this week to pick up the best all organic ingredients for your next Mocktail. This Galentine’s Day, let’s build each other up and make healthy decisions fun! Cheers to good health, friendships, and LOTS of laughter!

Reset and Refresh: 6 Ways to Kick-start Your New Year

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It’s almost over: the glitter, sparklers, gluttony, booze and stress of the holidays. And who isn’t feeling a little puffy and slow? Bloated and irritable?

After weeks of holiday indulgence, it’s time to get back on a balanced eating regimen. Want to hit the reset button? Recommit to Eating Clean on Jan. 1 with our Original G·E·M·S program.

Start. Commit. Grow. Original G·E·M·S Life!

What is the Original G·E·M·S Life Program? Pretty simple. Incorporate a daily practice from each of the four GEMmy categories.

  • GRATITUDE: Habits of reflection to find your joy.
  • EAT CLEAN: Food rules that keep your body at its best.
  • MOVE: Activities to keep your body strong and your mood bright.
  • SHINE: Restorative ideas to care for your body and soul.

Pick whatever practices you want in each category — the goal is to commit! And recommit whenever you fall short. Learn more about the program and get inspiration here.

Given our last few weeks of debauchery, EATING CLEAN category of Original G·E·M·S seems to be the best place to start! You’ve got to nurture your body; it’s the only place you’ve got to live. And while your liver is the disco queen of detoxification, she becomes sluggish when abused.\When you overeat, consume excess sugar and alcohol, and don’t get enough sleep, it slows the body’s ability to detox naturally — which leaves toxins stagnant in your liver and fat cells. Gross.
commit to Original G·E·M·S Program. Here’s a few Eat Clean practices to get you started!

6 Original GEMs Eat Clean Practices to Try in the New Year

  • DRINK 32 ounces of water first thing in the AM, which kick starts your metabolism and flushes toxins immediately. Hot. Cold. Lemon. Ice. It doesn’t matter. Just do it.
  • SHOOT The GEM Immunity Shot. Alkalizing, cleansing, healing. Just do it. Powerful herbs and roots like ginger, turmeric, green tea are huge health boosters and detoxifiers. Add a shot to your MVP soup. MAGIC!
  • KEEP a fridge full of healthy foods to grab when you’re getting hungry. Have you tried our Lentil Soup on top of our Quinoa? Our Vegan Tuna Salad with Ola crackers?? Fuel your body with the fiber and healthy fats it craves, supporting optimal functioning and natural processes.
  • DRINK green juice daily. This goodness instantly detoxes your system and energizes your body and soul. You don’t have to be on a juice cleanse to get your daily dose of health-boosting nutrients. Straight celery, leafy greens, beets and cucumbers are some of the ways to keep your digestive system happy and bloat-free every day. Find some of these heroes in our Radiant Glow. Add in a shot of turmeric for an inflammation overhaul.
  • DUMP dairy, gluten and sugar for a week. This will accelerate your detoxification, make you lighter, brighter and ready to take on the new year. It will help you make better choices and show you where your demons lie. Everything at the GEM is gluten and dairy free.
  • A GEM juice CLEANSE is a great way to kick start the year. Give your digestive system a rest and allow it a chance to heal from irritation and inflammation that may be affecting your system. This can also help cut cravings and energize your body and mind!

At the end of the day, the Original G·E·M·S program is about a lifestyle change, not a week or so of regimented consumption. Find small daily changes that work for you.

And remember, we’re right here with you — recommitting to our health for 2024. Join us on New Year’s Day, when we’ll be OPEN at 9 a.m.!

Yep. We are OPEN ON NEW YEAR’S DAY for the first time in 12 years. So now you’ve got no excuse to start on day one. Come see us for a Silver Bullet Smoothie and a little disco, and start your New Year by hitting a bullseye on your health goals.

Eat clean with us and order online for pick up!

The 411 On Feeding Teen Athletes 

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Our student athletes are pros at juggling so many things — homework, practice, extracurriculars, friends — trying to eat right can often get lost in the mix! 

No wonder parents ask us about the best ways to feed their athletes all the time. Sports nutrition for teenagers can be tough due to their on-the-go schedules, love of fast foods and more. But not eating enough or not eating the right types of foods can definitely hurt their athletic performance — in addition to their mood, health, growth and overall quality of life. 

Get your teen athlete on the right track. Order now from The GEM.

Some common enemies of athletic performance? Skipping breakfast, sugary drinks, snacking on nutrient-poor foods, and junk food in general. Look below for some tips on how to guide your teenage athlete to properly nourish the body pre- and post-game.

Teen Nutrition Tips for Achieving Optimal Sports Performance

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Even dehydration of 2 percent can have measurable negative effects on performance. It is recommended to drink at least 24 ounces of water two hours before exercise, and of course, drink water during and after. Water is best since sports drinks can be loaded with sugar, creepy preservatives and artificial food colorings. Our Perform Sports Drink is the PERFECT ALTERNATIVE to Gatorade and the like.

Eat 2 hours before training. Eat complex carbohydrates (i.e. whole wheat pasta, brown rice with vegetables, beans). Say NO to heavy proteins and unhealthy fats like fried food. The key is to consume a little bit of protein and some carbohydrates to stay energized during the game. Nervous stomach before a big competition? It’s still important to eat at least a small snack such as a banana or oatmeal.

Consume healthy fats. Sounds crazy but good quality fats take longer to digest and serve as an optimal source of fuel for your body. Healthy fats are strongly advised — such as natural peanut butter on apples or avocado in a smoothie.

Take your vitamins. A daily multivitamin is key. Look for organic ones, made from real food sources. Rainbow Light for Teens and Thorne are great brands you can pick up at the GEM.

Steer clear from fast food! Sure, it’s tempting to hit the drive through after school. But the food is a SERIOUS performance thief. Skip the Whataburger and head to healthy “fast food” choices like The GEM, Chipotle, or Panera, who have healthier, cleaner options.

Cook at home. A sure-fire way to make sure only healthy foods make it onto your teen’s plates. Don’t know how? Follow Alex Snodgrass over at The Defined Dish. She’s a genius for delicious, easy recipes. And she’s a Dallas GEM Girl!

Does all of that sound like a lot? Have no fear! We put together a handy list of healthy snack ideas. 

Healthy Pre-Game Teen Nutrition Ideas

  • Fruit. Oranges, frozen grapes, green apples or frozen banana medallions with nut butter.  
  • Green juice. Don’t underestimate the power of green juice! Packed with energizing nutrients that are delivered immediately into the bloodstream. Our Green Glow is a great pre- and post-game choice.
  • Beans and rice. Think Chipotle style. Get even better benefits from The GEM’s Quinoa mixed with our Lentil Soup, our Three Bean Salad with Siete tortilla chips or Hummus with locally made Ohla crackers and veggies. These dishes deliver incredible complex carbs alongside powerful plant-based protein.
  • Beet shots. increases endurance, reduces oxygen consumption, increases blood nitrate levels and reduces resting blood pressure.
  • Healthy smoothies. Make these at home or order them from The GEM. Our Sparkleberry with mixed berries and banana is a total winner. Add protein and spinach to amp it up to gold medal status. Keep our bottled smoothies on hand.
  • Oatmeal or healthy granolas. Our Early Bird or Marge Granola are low in sugar and deliver a one-two punch of good fats and protein. You can mix in plant-based yogurts like Siggis for a tasty protein and carbs.
  • More ideas! Try this list! The homemade taquitos are awesome with Siete tortillas!
  • Nutrition bars. These are an easy and convenient way to keep your teenage athlete fueled, but choose carefully—many have all kinds of toxic ingredients. Our clean favorites:
    • ProBar 
    • Shanti Balance Bars
    • Jubilee Granola 
    • PB & J Tosi Bars
    • Yes Bars


Helping your sports aficionado eat healthy may seem hard but it will be well worthwhile on and off the field. That’s not to mention the added benefit to instilling healthy habits that will last a lifetime. 

Springtime Transformations Are in The Air!

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Spring is just around the corner! And with it comes the rain storms, green leaves peeking out from branches, flower buds getting ready to open — it’s all natural renewal and transformation! And you can change too — by renewing YOUR commitment to YOU! If you really want to change, we believe small, daily habits — like those promoted in our Original GEMs Life Program — will create the long-term habits you crave. 

You know the bright and colorful flowers don’t happen overnight — neither does REAL transformation. REAL change comes from gradual, consistent adjustments to our lifestyles — and even the occasional failure. 

That’s why we’re inviting YOU, dear GEM, to commit to our program this spring to bring more happiness and health to your life — your Original G·E·M·S Life. 


Start. Commit. Grow. 

It’s simple! Pick four habits to do every day — one in each Original G·E·M·S Life  category — Gratitude, Eat Clean, Move, and Shine. And start doing them. Even if you fall short, you’re still creating long-term benefits for your mind and body. 

Because the Original G·E·M·S Life program isn’t about perfection. You’re committing to doing just four (small) things to feed your body and soul every day. When (not if!) you falter, you simply begin again. Once you feel like you’re doing your practices consistently, maybe add more! 

Original G·E·M·S Practices for a Shinier New Year!

Each day, follow with ONE Original G·E·M·S Life practice in each category — Gratitude, Eat Clean, Move, and Shine — and get ready to Shine Brighter this spring! Here are a few ideas to get into the groove.

  • GRATITUDE: Tell one person you appreciate them every day. 
  • EAT CLEAN: Add a Green Glow (or other green juice) to one meal.
  • MOVE: Squeeze in a 10-minute stretch between Zoom calls.
  • SHINE: Turn off all the light sources in your bedroom for a solid night’s sleep. 

If you miss a day, don’t stress. Just get back on the disco train and start again. This program doesn’t have an end point — the goal is growth, positivity, and your intention to Shine Brighter.

Need some Original G∙E∙M∙S Inspiration?

We put together this handy collection of GEM-approved practices to help you stick to your Original G·E·M·S Life daily.

About Our Original G∙E∙M∙S Life Program

Shine Brighter all the time with an Original G∙E∙M∙S Life, a daily playbook based on The GEM’s founding principles. Jump on our disco train and commit daily to just one practice in each of the categories, Gratitude, Eat Clean, Move, and Shine. Add in more practices and grow with the program when you’re ready and create your own Original G∙E∙M∙S Life! Get started today

7 Holiday Habits To Keep You Healthy & Happy 🎄

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Healthy Holiday with Juice

It’s the HOLIDAYS, Y’ALL, and a good routine will help you stay sane, stress-free and as sweet as a sugarplum.

And bonus! Committing to the right daily routine won’t just power you through this special season, it’ll help you maintain healthier habits beyond. Your mind and body will thank you for the decreased anxiety, increased energy and overall extra TLC.  

Ready to start your new routine? Order online for pick-up from our organic menu!

Check out our SEVEN super actions that are easy to adopt every day. It just takes setting a little intention  — and paying attention to yourself.  

7 Holiday Habits for a Happier You!

  1. Morning Hydration Ritual. Start your day with 32 oz of lemon water. It’s hydrating, alkalizing, and a GAME CHANGER for your health. It flushes toxins, boosts energy, and provides a hefty dose of morning hydration to help you function at a higher level. Even slight dehydration can cause your body to function at a lower level.  
  2. Gratitude Journal. Start out by simply writing down 3 things you are grateful for. Do it again the next day. Easy. Quick. And eye opening. Practicing gratitude like this is associated with decreased stress and increased happiness.  
  3. Morning Movement! We know it’s hard but if you do just 30 minutes in the morning, it’ll get your blood flowing, energize your lymphatic system and your metabolism. We recommend starting with a consistent 30 minute daily workout. You can do more than 30 minutes if you want, but do at least 30 minutes every day. 
  4. Stretch It Out! It does wonders for your body. It’ll transform how you feel! Do it in addition to your workouts or on its own. Pro tip: Try to hold your stretches for thirty seconds and do each three times. This will help fully release your muscles. You can add in a foam roller too if you’ve got some spots that just stay tight. 
  5. Eat Clean! It’s especially hard with so many treats at parties, at home and in the office. But focus on consuming mostly whole plant-based foods. AND don’t go to the party starving! Here’s an easy tip: 80 percent of your plate should be veggies, nuts and seeds. Consume at least 4 cups of veggies a day. We lean on our Cameo Smoothie for 2 cups of vegetables and easy peasy. Need a bigger veggie boost? Try our Emerald City Smoothie or MVP Soup for 3 cups! Bonus: When your tummy is fully of nutritious greens, you’ll crave less of the sugary treats laying around. 
  6. Supplements, supplements, supplements. Supplements are packed full with necessary nutrients your body needs in order to function at its fullest potential. Don’t skip: fish oil (for brain, eye, and joint health), probiotic (digestion, gut health, immunity), a multi-vitamin, and vitamin D (bone strength, anti-cancer). Our fave brand? Thorne. We’re honored to carry them in our stores
  7. Focus on Sleep.  Especially this time of year, make sleep a priority. Consistency and discipline are key elements when it comes to sleep. Go to bed around the same time every night. No screens for at least an hour before you hit the sack. And don’t consume food at least 2 hours before your bedtime. If you want to power up your pre-bedtime routine, try Calm Magnesium Tea (you can find this in one of our locations) or a warm soak in the bath. Also: skip alcohol, especially during the week.  

An upgraded routine during the holiday season can keep you healthy and full of joy — but start small and stay realistic. Stick to these changes and they can turn into long-term rituals to help you get the most out of life.

Get Our FRESH Merch & Apparel for Spring!

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Look good, feel GEMmy in our all-new apparel! We’ve been working hard to design some fresh styles to commemorate our 10-year anniversary, and we are SO thrilled to finally unveil our all-new GEM t-shirts, socks, hoodies and more, just for YOU!



Look fresh and Shine BRIGHTER this spring in our new men’s and women’s apparel, designed with the rainbow vibes we’re famous for (with a little added retro sparkle!). Original GEMs know our apparel is always made with 100% cotton and printed on only the most comfy threads. 

Refresh your wardrobe with some shiny new styles this season by ordering online or in-store at both of our locations. RUN, don’t walk to get your new merch! Supplies are limited and sure to go quickly!


Cancer DOES Define Me

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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.


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.


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.



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.