Tag Archives: health

Be A GEM. Visit Earth Day Dallas.

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A healthy, happy life. A grounded perspective. The protection of our planet, and our children.

Paramount to our existence. Parts of this we know, parts of this are elusive. How do we get to where we need to be?

Enter Earth Day Dallas, an outdoor festival in Fair Park designed to influence the way we think and live around our health and environment.  It’s fun, it’s free, and it shows us how green lifestyle choices can lower costs of living, improve our health and preserve the planet. Films, fun runs, food, yoga, gardening. Quite frankly, this expo houses so many topics and forums it will make your head spin til you turn green.

This is super cool. And super important. Important to you, to your family, to your planet. And I am THRILLED to be a part of it! I will participate in a discussion called  Farm to School Panel: Reinventing School Food Programs. I LOVE this topic and will serve on the panel.

We owe it to our children, our little GEMs, to guide them into a lifestyle that is healthy, shiny and bright.

I know you will be front and center next weekend to hear this fascinating discussion. In the meantime, here are three things you need to know and practice with your kids.

  • Feed their minds, body and spirits. It is a whole body existence. Health is a full circle.
  • Set the stage – Eat right and with your family. Family dinner time is the key to a successful, functioning family.
  • Offer non-food rewards – Cookie rewards are for the birds, and support an unhealthy relationships with food and success/failure.
Details. Be there or be square (Or Princess Cut if you are in the GEM world).
What:  Farm to School: Reinventing School Food Programs
When:  Saturday, April 21, (though the event  itself is April 21-22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
               5 – 5:45 p.m.
 
Where:  Hall of State, Fair Park
 
Who and everything else:  Click here. 

Peace & Happy & Juice

Crown me Kale.

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Learn to love it. It will love you back.

Kale is the leafy green everyone really cool is talking about.  This emerald beauty has found it’s way into the nutrition spotlight and is even referred to as “the new beef.”

WHY should I jump on this VEGGIE HUGGER bandwagon?” Kale here to stay. No longer the garnish on the Denny’s breakfast plate so get used to it.

Nine SUPER FINE reasons to eat more KALE:

1.Immunity Booster. “Super Kale” super charges your immune system with high levels of vitamin C, A and manganese.

2. Bones. Strong ones. Kale is loaded with calcium, it actually has more calcium per serving than milk. The calcium in kale is also absorbed more easily by the body than from dairy products making it the better choice for strong bones. And your skin will glow.

3. Anti-Inflammatory. Kale is strongly anti-inflammatory as it has an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, over 45 different flavonoids. Trust me, this means good stuff.

4. Vitamin K. Contains tons of it. (1300%of your RDA in just 1 cup). K helps reduce the body’s inflammatory response and supports the nervous system. Prevents calcium buildup in our tissue. How much of my RDA?

5. Alkalinity. Kale helps the body maintain an alkaline ph. When your system is alkaline, diseased cells cannot survive. Uhh, thats all you had to say for me!

6. Kicks cancer’s ass. Anti-cancer properties of kale are off the chain. Glucosinates help prevent many different cancers.  So do alkalinity and anti-inflammatory characteristics above.

7. Smooth Operator. Fiber: it keeps our digestive system running smoothly so we can absorb the maximum number of nutrients. Fiber also acts like little scrub brushes cleaning out toxins from out body.

8. Iron. Where’s the beef?? Per calorie kale has more iron than beef making it an iron-rich super star. Kale burger anyone?

9. Detox. High sulphur content is essential for the body’s detoxification process.

Dino Kale Rocks The House.

So how do you get this super food into your diet? Here are a few easy ways:

  • Soups: De-stem and cut a few kale leaves before adding them to soups in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  • Sneak some in your salad – Massage (yes, massage) the kale with a little sea salt. Add the kale into your regular salad for a nutrient dense kick. OR, come get a life-changing, fabulously yummy kale salad at The GEM.
  • Kale Chips: Yes you heard me, chips! Fall head over heels for them with a little olive oil and salt, bake at 350.
  • Smoothies – disguise a kale leaf at a time into your smoothie. You can’t even taste it!
  • DRINK IT! A Green Glow Juice from The GEM is the perfect starter kit to add more kale in your day.

Color Me Badd

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Families that eat together, stay together.

Tis the season to hop up the kids on candy, iced cookies, and brightly colored punch. Quick trips to the McD’s drive thru. Beware.  I am learning more and more about the negative effects of processed food on our children.  Like serious ones. Ones that we are currently treating with medications. ADHD, depression, anxiety, aggression, even poor hand writing (yes, hand writing. I will ‘write’ about that one soon.)

New research has found that delayed food sensitivities caused attention deficit disorder and removing these food sensitivities could reverse attention deficit disorder in 75 percent of children.HOLY COW. Aggression, violence and bullying are on the rise in schools. A study in England found that supplementing prisoners with multi-vitamin and fish oil could reduce violent crime in prisons by 37 percent.

But I can’t deprive my kids of the fun stuff…..WAAAAAA. Stop whining.  Did you really just say that?

Small changes can have a big impact on your family’s and your children’s health and happiness. Starting with what you bring home.

  • Eat at home and Eat together.  You complain of not having enough time to cook, but you spend hours watching The Food Network. Create a special place to sit down together, and set the table with care. You’ve all heard the research that family meals are basically the cure for every problem in America.Well, just try it and see.  At the very least, you have a chance to find out what your children are up to.  Taking back our family dinners will help us learn how to find and prepare real food quickly and simply, teach our children how to connect, and build security, safety, and social skills, meal after meal, day after day.
  • Eat a real breakfast. This is a critical life skill we must reclaim and teach our children. Kids (and adults) who eat breakfast are thinner and smarter. Think REAL, whole protein-rich food to power up the brain for the day. Scrambled eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies. BUT NOT CEREAL, which has more sugar than a twinkie–and has essentially no nutritional value.
  • CLEAN your kitchen. Throw out foods with ARTIFICIAL FOOD COLORS, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, and sugars or fat as the first or second ingredient on the label. Fill your kitchen with real, fresh, whole, local foods whenever possible. Shop at nearby farmer’s markets.Have fresh fruit and veggies always available for your kids to snack on.
  • Take your vitamins.  A multi-vitamin and  Omega-3 Fish Oils are a MUST. Our kids have different needs at different times and supplements can fill some of these gaps. Deficits in magnesium can cause insomnia and constipation.  DHA deficits cause diminished brain function and inflammation.
  • JUST STAY AWAY FROM ARTIFICIAL FOOD COLORINGS. 

PEACE.

Make It Count

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Make It Count

Inspire someone. Influence. Motivate. Can you do it?

The Komen 3 Day/60 mile Walk this past weekend brought out many inspiring people. Many were walking because they really wanted to show support for a loved one who was battling this disease. Some walked to honor those who had lost their lives to kancer. Some were ‘Survivors.’ They all felt inspired to make a statement of 60 miles and raised over $7million to prove it. Some of these people had NO business walking 60 miles. Too heavy, too old, too weak. And yet they did it.

One woman in particular stood with me in the Survivor’s Circle in the opening and closing ceremony. Rinni obviously represented some aspect of inspiration to be on stage. She carried the flag of COURAGE. This forty-something woman looked like she was finishing up a chemo regimen. That’s a scary battle that takes courage–one that every woman on that stage had experienced. As we rehearsed the day before the Walk, I learned this was far more that just a round of chemo. This marked the end of her THIRD recurrence. While training for this walk, Rinni’s kancer returned with a vengeance to her brain and liver. Her doctors insisted she drop out. Her teammates, her fabulous friends, however, refused to let her fade into the woodwork. They insisted she take this small yet powerful journey with them. They pimped out a wheel chair in hot pink sparkles and wings and PUSHED HER FOR SIXTY MILES. She had the COURAGE to stay in the game and face this kancer with her head up to be the true inspiration for all of us. She has children. She could have easily stayed home and focused on herself and her family for the rest of her limited days. I must say most of us would shrink into the darkness of fear of stage four kancer. She wasn’t about to. She chose to be out in front, to show others how to live in the face of something so scary. AMAZING. Her flag, no doubt, was the definition of INSPIRATION.

See pathetic photo of me below. Mile 58 of the 3 Day Komen Walk. Not a pretty sight. And definitely not inspiring. Who would take notice if I dropped out? I could easily hitch a ride home and call it a crazy weekend. It wasn’t a race, there were no prizes, I had nothing to gain, really. Nor did the thousands of women out there with me. Thank God I had teammates who motivated me to keep going, that I had a flag to carry,that Rinni was now a part of my psyche, that it mattered.

Sometimes you want to quit. Sometimes you think no one will care anyway. It’s too hard. It’s too much to handle. Well, I call bullshit. Get up, get moving and make a difference. Believe it or not, you will inspire someone else to do the same. You may never even know it. It may seem others have it easier. More than likely, they don’t. They are pushing through their challenges, never giving up. So do something, do anything, that matters.

graphite or diamond??

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graphite or diamond??

Diamonds and graphite.  Chemically, they are made from the same element: carbon.  The difference is their ‘structure.’  Diamonds are hard, very hard.  Very difficult to break, crush or compromise.  Graphite is soft.  Think lead of a pencil. You use it to write another person’s thoughts down on paper. Diamonds are transparent.  Graphite is opaque. You know a diamond when you see one. They sparkle.  Diamonds have the highest melting point of anything.  It doesn’t take much to melt graphite.

Oh, and no one is ever proud of their graphite jewelry.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

The fork in the road for these carbon-based solids comes with pressure.  Extreme pressure.  The diamond is formed from this heat and pressure.  Graphite just stays stable, and does not transform.

What are you?

I have come to believe the challenges we face in life are the very things we are supposed to learn from and gain strength and knowledge from. That gives us the strength to help others conquer these same challenges.  Impervious to the pressure, diamonds continue to shine–sparkling from the inside out.  Be transparent–its healthier for everyone.  People like to know what you are made of.

Accept difficulties in your  life as a conductor that makes you HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER (Thank you, Kanye) People know diamonds when they see one.  What do people see when they look at you?  Do you feel sparkly?

Meditate.  

Be Grateful.

Exude happiness. Fake it til you make it if you have to.

Listen, I’ve had my own graphite days. It took a serious seismic shift to turn me around.  I conquered those challenges and found more positive in me.  And.  I have flaws.  Because, quite frankly, no one likes a perfect 10.


Second Hand Smoke For the Mind

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Second Hand Smoke For the Mind

This is the post on sweaty back hair you have been waiting for. This is a problem for so many–both the perpetrators and innocent bystanders. Why, why, why do men feel it necessary to exercise without a shirt? Fat men, skinny men, tall ones, short ones, hairy ones, slick ones, cute ones, scary ones. Trust me on this one fellas, it’s all the same. Plus, women RARELY show up to an exercise class with just a jog bra anymore. Almost never. 1995 is over. Jog Bras as fashion are years out of style. And shirtless attire has NEVER been in season.

Since my site is about being healthy and happy, you might think, “What does this have to do with diamonds on your inside?” I never said we shouldn’t work towards sparkle on your outsides too. I think it is rudely unhealthy for others to invoke this sight upon others. Think second-hand smoke for the mind.

It pains me, yes pains me, to stand next to a shirtless man during my hot yoga. Invariably, they are not in peak condition. We are all in this hot room, sweating our cojones off. You know those shirts that every athletic company uses that are made from SWEAT WICKING MATERIAL? They use it for a reason. And believe me, it works! If you have chosen not to wear one of these aforementioned athletic shirts, guess what? You are dripping your gross, hairy sweat all over the floor–a place where I may be next class. And God forbid I brush up next to you walking past. And the visual image branded in my pysche. I can’t tell you how many I have to endure in my 9 mile walks around White Rock. These guys who elect to go shirtless perhaps may also be the questionably creepy guy trying to pick you up at the bar–gold chain, Ed Hardy pants and all. Just sayin’ there may be a correlation.

You may be thinking, yes, but what about the really good-looking guys. The tanned ones with 5% body fat. I love those guys. Clothed. I am telling you, it is still no bueno. Plus, sometimes it is better to leave something to the imagination. (Don’t even start with bike shorts. Holy Lord!). In fact, to prove my point, I saw Troy Aikman this past weekend running shirtless down Armstrong. Lovely you might think. But you know what? Even as sinewy and handsome as he is, I could have done without this vision of sweaty cheesiness. And he, of all people, should have access to a trunk full of athletic gear.

More disturbing is the amount of websites out there promoting a ‘shirtless lifestyle that is so popular in other countries.’ Forget about Al Queda. This could be the downfall of Rome!

So, what do we do with this info? Please, tell your loved ones that shirtless activity kills. Kills brain cells, kills good thoughts, kills an appetite. We can make a difference people–even one wife beater t-shirt at a time.

Diamonds on your inside / Shirts on your outside,

Leslie