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The Skinny on Smaller Portions
10 tips on getting rid of the unwanted gift of holiday weight gain I am here to tell you that most of weight loss gimmicks will only result in you losing weight in your wallet

January 10, 2010

The Game is Over When You Choose to Win
10 tips that will end the game in your favor

It has been said “when the student is ready the teacher will appear”. I have found this to be true through out most of my life. Knowing this, I accept that when the teacher does appear it can take many forms. More often than not the teacher does not ride in with a team of white stallions but, rather is revealed in a faint whisper, almost indiscernible in a breeze or in the motion of the branches of tall trees as a bird lights upon a limb. And so it was for me this day that the teacher did appear, not on stallions or stirring in the brush but, in form of graffiti. I am not a big fan of graffiti. I find it to be a form of pollution created by degenerates. There are some forms of graffiti art but, generally graffiti is not a good thing and it is something we battle often in my neighborhood.

During the long dark winters in Portland rare is the day when the sun shines and the clouds clear baring a nice day. I ride a bike. I ride it daily, rain or shine. I have a special bike for rainy days. But, I also have a bike for nice days and riding this bike is like sliding into the seat of a well tuned Porsche. With the right play list loaded into my iPod a long fast ride can bring me crystal clear moment of clarity while the road pulls itself beneath my wheels. The heart begins to pound the, endorphins kick in, blood begins to flow and the mind begins to open like a blossoming lotus. That is when the graffiti caught my gaze

This graffiti was not colorful or ornate but, it’s message was clear; “The Game is Over When You Choose to Win”. For the remainder of my 50 mile trek the teacher was teaching and the student was taking copious mental notes. This is the time of year when I bone up on my goals and put my game face on to tackle the next 365 days ahead and this message was very poignant.

Click For Full Size Image

Here are ten observations I came up with that can and will end the game in your favor:

1.) Decide what you want. One of life’s big quandaries in not knowing what you want. Knowing exactly what you want is paramount to getting what you want. Now is the time to break out your journal and make a list of the things you really really want. Then prioritize your list with “A” being the most important to “C” being the least important. While writing your list of things you want keep in mind that “anything is possible”. When you are done, set this list aside for a little while.

2.) Define what winning means to you. Winning means different things to different people. And this is what makes the world so amazing beautiful and diverse. What one person may hold as valuable to them may not carry as much value to another. For instance, I really want to win a bike race this summer. While this appeals to me, it may not appeal to the person who really really wants to master speaking French. The definition of winning does not mean there are losers. Winning the lottery does not mean that somebody lost the lottery. When you win and win big it does not indicate that somebody else has lost and that a person is hurt. It’s quite the opposite. When you win all those around you win as well; as long as you are a good winner. Ruminate over this philosophy and embrace what winning means to you.

3.) Go big or go home. Do not limit your thoughts of winning. You deserve to win, we all deserve to win so don’t limit your thoughts. Go big! A few years ago I started working on a project in which we would start growing stevia in Afghanistan to off-set the growing of opium poppies which are the main funding for the Taliban. This is a big project with lofty goals of helping a decimated country develop a sustainable economy. I always have a tendency to “bite off more than I can chew”. But, my philosophy is if you have bitten off more than you can chew… cut, it up into small pieces. My first step was to contact Karl Eikenberry. He was appointed by Barrack Obama to be the ambassador to Afghanistan and is in charge of bringing in enterprise and developing economic stability. Repeated phone calls and emails finally got me in contact with his assistant who has help us move the project forward which resulted in the development of SteviaGlobal.org, a non-profit organization which supports framers in developing countries in the growing and cultivation of stevia. This is a big goal but, worth it in so many ways. You can win projects on this level as well if this is how you define winning.

4.) Visualize it. Some of my best ideas have come to me in early morning right before I rise. The phones are not ringing my computer is turned off and there is a opportunity for the clarity that morning brings. Stay in bed for a few minutes. Close your eyes. Take a few deep satisfying breaths and guide your thoughts to what it is you want to manifest in your life. See yourself going through the steps necessary to get there. Visualize yourself enjoying the luscious fruits of your efforts. Have your journal on your night stand and get ready to write it all down.

5.) Think it and ink it! Write it down. A goal not written down is simply a good intention. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153) was quoted to say “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. We all want find that hidden treasure chest filled with life’s opulent riches but, without a treasure map finding it will be allusive. If you desire something amazing and you really really want this fantastic something to manifest in your life, you will need to write it down along with the steps that will take you there.

6.) Plan your work and work your plan. Remember that list of wants and wins you created and then set aside? It is now time to have a look at it along with what you have “inked” throughout your visualization process. Winning what you want will be your destination, now is the time to map out your wonderful and enriching journey. In 1492, Christopher Columbus was accredited as the discoverer of "the New World", part of this is this new world is the civilization where we live today. They only way he was able to find his way was with precise navigation. While Columbus had a sextant, a compass and the stars to guide him we will use a well written action plan with the entire “cut up bites” that comprise our journey to our destination of ”we win”. As part of your action plan make a list of 100 reasons why your goal might come to you easily, fast, and harmoniously. With 100 reasons why you will win, losing simply will not be possible. The current will run in your direction.

7.) Burn the ships. The year was 1519. The Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes had his tall ships anchored off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in southern Mexico. Thousands of miles of open ocean separated him from provisions as well as reinforcements. In this time, this part of Mexico was ruled by the Aztecs whose well trained warriors numbered in the tens of thousands. Cortes on the other hand had only 608 men, 16 horses and a few cannons. Despite the odds being vastly against him, Cortes was fully committed in conquering this land and claiming it for Spain. His men came to shore, set up camp and in the middle of the night Cortes ordered the ships to be burned. There was no retreat and no escape. Moving forward was the only option. While Cortes’ judgment and tactics have been subjects of controversy, one thing is absolute, he was a man with total commitment. Under his leadership, 608 men, 16 horses and a few cannons conquered the powerful Aztec empire. The take home for us is commitment. If you truly desire to win you must be committed to win no matter what it takes and you are willing to do whatever it takes to win. With this absolute commitment there is no way out except to win. Burn the bridge behind you and let the bridges your burn light your way.

8.) Hold yourself accountable. There is only one person who is directly responsible for your winning and success; that is you. Continually reference your notes, your visualizations, your plan and hold yourself personally accountable for following through on exactly what you have planned. Plans do sometimes change and that is fine as long as you adjust your plan accordingly and continue your forward progress of accomplishing the steps it takes to win. Track your progress and check off what you have accomplished on your action plan. Other opportunities are bound arise when you have created such positive momentum but, open doors do not mean an exit. Stay the course, put your feet to the fire and keep your eye on the prize, soon it will be yours.

9.) Allow yourself to be supported. You are only as successful as the people you surround yourself with. Most winners in the world have a crew, a support group if you will. These are the people that are going to keep you focused, give you advice, pick you up if you fall and kick you in the butt when you need it. Support crews can be cultivated from a variety of places. Family makes some of the best support crews, they know you best and as long as they are not hyper critical they are not afraid to tell you the truth. If this in not an option for you then turn to your friends. Tell then where you are heading and ask for their help in keeping you on your path. If you don’t have a lot of friends then find a networking group. Meetup.com has several groups in a variety of categories and if you just keep showing up you are bound to develop a crew that will be committed to seeing you win. If you are not able to develop your crew do not worry. This will not prevent you from winning. In fact, some big winners in the world have never had a crew. Eagles soar alone sometimes. I know this has been the case for me.

10.) Celebrate your win. Being a good winner doesn’t mean you are a poor loser, especially if losing is not an option. Good winners live by a pass it forward code of honor. When you win give yourself the personal acknowledgement you deserve for your hard work and commitment but, do not throw it in others faces. Winners are leaders and leaders help others to win and make the world a better place. A rising tide raises all boats. There is a certain responsibility you take on when you find your path. That is to help others find and stay on their paths. Be the teacher when the student is ready. Spread good will.

A person’s life and their actions are their legacy. We all have a legacy. We all have different attributes and value. Life is a celebration of our differences and our ability to embrace our diversity. Your life is molded by one single thing; that is the decisions you make. It is really that simple. Your decision making process and how you choose to react to the outcome of your decisions frames your life experience and weaves itself into the very fabric of your reality. The fabric of our reality stitched together comprises the attire of the entire world. It is each one of our birth rights to reach the pinnacle of our ability and blossom as the amazing creatures we all are. You deserve to win. We will win. We have won.

Have an excellent day.

Thom King
[email protected]
Steviva Brands, Inc.


The Desire To Win Is Everything
Max Steingart

Winning isn't everything, but wanting to is. Success is connected with continuous action. It's largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.

You're not finished when you're defeated, you're only finished when you quit. The most important quality essential to success is perseverance.

It overcomes almost everything, even nature. You can have a fresh start any time you choose, for your "failure" is not in the falling down, but in the staying down.

It's not over until it's over. If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again. If you've got the courage to stick it out, you can win.


Healthy New Years Resolutions - Develop A Sustainable Fitness Plan
Rusty Squire

Something about the Holiday Season creates an irrepressible guilt that seems to predictably surface the day after New Year's. Maybe we ate too much, exercised too little, are feeling a little overweight and out of shape. So, we buy a gym membership on January 2nd, enlist the services of a personal trainer, buy a heart rate monitor and away we go off toward our new found destiny with health, fitness, and improved self-image. It has been this way for decades in my observations, as a regular health club member who has always dreaded the "January Rush", mostly because I have to wait for machines to open up.

If your fitness commitment is new found than don't make a fad out of it. Here are a few good general rules to live by that will make your exercise more enjoyable, successful, and increase the chances that you'll stick with it:

1.) Warm-up and Warm-Down - The reality is that we should all spend 10 or 15 minutes stretching before every work out or competition because it loosens us up and reduces the risk of injury.

2.) Hydrate - drinking water is important and, for exercise of longer duration, drinks containing electrolytes can help overcome premature cramping and fatigue that are symptoms of being dehydrated.

3.) Start Slow and Build a Base - Every solid house needs a foundation and so does your exercise program. If you are just beginning an exercise program it is very important to build a base through proper zone training. This is where a heart rate monitor becomes an invaluable tool and combined with the advice of fitness professional it can go a long ways toward starting you off on the right foot.

4.) Get Advice - All serious athletes and fitness buffs should use a personal trainer, or coach, to talk about goals, develop a realistic schedule and plan, and to act as a motivator. Decide why you are exercising - for general fitness, to get better at golf, at skiing, or some other sport. A trainer can help you develop a sport specific routine that will enhance your enjoyment of whatever it is that you want to enjoy. It is also critical to know proper technique for all sports and this is especially true for weight lifting - we don't want to see you injured when you've just gotten out of the starting blocks.

5.) Monitor Your Rest & Recovery - It is important to keep track of your resting heart rate on a daily basis. It is a good gauge of fitness and provides a benchmark that lets you know how well you have recovered. If you normal resting pulse is 60 and following three hard days of training you awake to find it at 70 that is a good indication that you need a day off to rest. Taking periodic days off provides your body with the opportunity to recover rejuvenate and re-build.

6.) Plan Your Training in Modules - It is important to plan your training in modules. When I was a competitive cyclist we called the first 1,000 to 2,000 miles each year our base building period. We had rules we followed such as trying to maintain a cadence between 90 and 100 pedal revolutions per minute and we never used the big chain ring until our base period was completed. Develop similar rules for your base building that are consistent with reaching the final goal - better fitness, faster 10k time, or whatever your goals may be. There is a progression for any sport that if adhered to will help insure you reach your goals.

7.) Write Down Your Goals and Your Schedule - There is an old saying - "That which gets measured is that which can be improved". Plan your training weekly and it doesn't hurt to have a dietary plan, either. Many heart rate monitors will allow you to measure calories burned and if you measure calories consumed and know what your resting calorie burn rate is you can calculate total caloric burn versus intake. No matter how many dietary fads develop the real truth is that if caloric burn is greater than uptake you will lose weight and it's the only dietary truth that has withstood the test of time.

This information and other information is intended for general reference purposes only and is not intended to address specific medical conditions. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Prior to participating in any exercise program or activity, you should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition.


Empathy in Action
embracing gratitude

Sometimes we forget to take the time to recognize the richness that defines our lives. This may be because many of the messages we encounter as we go about our affairs prompt us to think about what we don’t have rather than all the abundance we do enjoy. Consequently, our gratitude exists in perpetual conflict with our desire for more, whether we crave time, convenience, wealth, or enlightenment. Yet understanding and truly appreciating our blessings can be as simple as walking a mile in another’s shoes for a short period of time. Because many of us lead comparatively insular lives, we may not comprehend the full scope of our prosperity that is relative to our sisters and brothers in humanity.

If you find taking an inventory of your life’s blessings difficult, consider the ease with which you nourish your body and mind, feed your family, move from place to place, and attend to tasks at hand. For a great number of people, activities you may take for granted, such as attaining an education, buying healthy food, commuting to work, or keeping a clean house, represent great challenges. To experience firsthand the complex tests others face as a matter of course in their daily lives, try living without the amenities you most often take for granted. This can be a great experiment to undertake with your entire family or a classroom. Understanding working poverty can be as easy as endeavoring to buy nutritious foods with a budget of $100 for the week. If you own a car, relying on public transportation for even just a day can help you see the true value of the comfort and conveniences others do without. As you explore a life without things you may normally take for granted,! ask yourself for how long you could endure.

The compassionate gratitude that floods your heart when you come to fully realize your abundance may awaken pangs of guilt in your heart. Be aware, however, that the purpose of such an experiment is to open your heart further in gratitude and compassion. This awareness can help you attain a deeper level of gratitude that will allow you to savor and, above all, appreciate your life with renewed grace.


No Added Sugar Low Glycemic - Lemon Pecan Cheesecake Recipe
Serves: 12
Carbs Per Serving: 3.2 g
Prep Time:<35 minutes

Skill Level: Medium

1 cup pecans
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
3 large eggs
3/4 cup Fructevia, Steviva Brand Stevia Blend or (3/4 cup of apple sauce with less the an 1/8 of a teaspoon Steviva Brand Stevia Powder)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
muffin tin with 12 large cups, preferably non-stick

Grease the muffin tins by spraying with a non-stick spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the nuts and the whole wheat flour in a food processor or blender and chop to a fine texture. Place in a small bowl and set aside.

Place all remaining ingredients in the large bowl of your mixer. Beat until well combined and smooth.

Add 1/2 cup of the cream cheese mixture to the nut mixture and stir together until well mixed. Divide this mixture among the muffin tins and press into the bottom of each cup with the back of your spoon.

Pour the cream cheese mixture over the nut mixture in each muffin tin, dividing the mixture evenly among the muffin cups. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, just until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool at least 30 minutes before removing from the tins.

Invert onto a sheet of waxed paper to finish cooling. Place on a platter or plate and refrigerate until ready to serve. When serving, garnish with fresh berries, whipped cream or a mint leaf if desired.

Nutritional Facts
Total Calories: 1032 (total)
Calories Per Serving: 86
Total Fat Per Serving: 3.0 g
Saturated Fat: 8.7g
Cholesterol: 3.5 mg
Sodium: 3 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 38.4 g

Carbohydrates Per Serving: 3.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2g
Sugars: 2.8g
Protein Per Serving: 4 g


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