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Sweeter By Nature

April 17, 2011
His Name is Robert Maahs
the accidental zen master

His name is Robert Maahs and he is going to be 92 years old on Monday. While this may not mean much to you, I am sure it means a lot to him and the world to me. Robert Maahs is my grandfather and one of the best men I know. I refer to him and the accidental Zen Master… more on this later.

Growing up I didn't have a lot of positive adult role models save one, my grandfather. The values I learned from him have served me well as I have navigated through my life's journey. He taught me to be honest, compassionate and most importantly on time. You could set a clock to his punctuality. While punctuality is just one of his many fine qualities this one in particular resonates with me the most. Being on time is a sign of respect. Not just respect for others but, respect for yourself in sense that it is a reflection of your person integrity and the regard you have to keeping your word.

Years ago I studied and practiced Zen Buddhism for seven years. When I say practiced, I mean in seven years I was never able to be perfect with it however, that is the beauty of the practice. This exists within every faith or philosophy; an understanding that life is about the journey more that the destination. This was the second of many parables I gleaned from being in the presence of my grandfather; presence.

It happened a few years back. My grandfather does most of the cooking. My grandmother has pretty bad arthritis and it is a struggle for her to gracefully handle the utensils required by the cooking process. My grandfather will feed you until you cannot fit another bite in your body. Mostly the meals consist of something that was caught from a nearby lake accompanied by fresh vegetables or salad. Eating well is no doubt one their secrets to longevity. I was observing my grandfather making a salad and I was moved by his intention. His mind did not waiver nor wander off to what he was going to be doing next. He was firmly in the present moment and he was chopping the carrots. He had embodied the process and he was the process. This was a moment of splendid beauty. My grandfather was chopping the carrots.

To the best of my knowledge my grandfather has never read book on Zen or the art of living in the present moment but, he has mastered it even if accidentally and I love him for this.

The singular most profound message from this experience is take your time, pay attention to details and celebrate that this very moment you have right here and right now is a gift, that is why it is called a present.

Live well and have an excellent week.

Thom King
Steviva Brands, Inc.

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Success Is Based On The Choices You Make
Max Steingart

Your success isn't a matter of luck, it's simply a matter of the choices you make.

Success isn't something you can wait for, it's something you'll achieve with effort over time. But, things won't turn up in this world until you turn them up.

You can choose to be lazy or ambitious. Stop and think about your choice again.
You always do your own choosing.

The great opportunity in your life is where you are right now. Every situation, properly perceived, is an opportunity for you.

First, say to yourself what you would be, and then do what you have to do to make things happen.

Being successful is a choice you make.

Copyright 2011 www.yourdailymotivation.com


Keeping Energy Level High
avoiding energy zappers

Each and every one of us could use a little more energy. Here are 4 valuable tips to keep your energy levels tip top.

Cut the Sugar:
Sugar has a tendency to be a craving and a curse all at once. It tastes good going down and keeps you from feeling ‘up’. When you crave something sweet, its important to have something else ready and available to eat instead. Try to choose snacks that have a small amount of carbohydrates to give you a measurable amount of energy for your day like whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese, fresh fruit or a small box of raisins and low-fat cheese or plain, nonfat yogurt blended with fruit.

Watch The Coffee:
Caffeine is another substance that will give us the wake up call that we need, but leave us hanging later on. Try to choose the decaffeinated version of your favorite beverage like coffee, tea or cola and avoid using caffeine to help you stay awake; this will only throw off your natural sleep cycle and promote your low energy levels.

Keep Hydrated:
With our busy lifestyles, it is easy to forget to drink water throughout the day. We need water to flush out toxins, keep our energy levels elevated and to keep our tissues hydrated. It contains no calories, so you can drink as much of it as you want to, and if you need some variety, add a lemon or lime slice to it. You can also make homemade lemonade with lemon, water and
Fructevia, Steviva Blend or a dash Steviva Brands Pure Stevia Powder

Keep Moving:
Whether or not you exercise consistently, the amount of exercise that you get (or don’t get) could be contributing to your lack of energy. While exercise energizes us physically, mentally and emotionally, we feel more sluggish without it. On the other hand, when we do exercise, it enhances our mood by releasing endorphins, a ‘feel good’ chemical that increases energy levels. Hopefully it will encourage us to exercise more…. but not too much. Over training will deplete your energy reserves, break down muscle and make you feel weaker instead of stronger. Exercising too much could suppress your immune system, which could increase your chances of a bacterial or viral invasion, making you more vulnerable to illness. So make sure that you stay in control of your workout sessions and the frequency of them.

This information and other information on this site 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.


Embracing Change Through Awareness
learning through our choices and actions

Life is a journey comprised of many steps on our personal path that takes us down a winding road of constant evolution. And each day, we are provided with a myriad of opportunities that can allow us to transform into our next best selves. One moment we are presented with an opportunity to react differently when yet another someone in our life rubs us the wrong way; on another day we may find ourselves wanting to walk away from a particular circumstance but are not sure if we can. Eventually, we may find ourselves stuck in a rut that we can never seem to get out of. We may even make the same choices over and over again because we don’t know how to choose otherwise. Rather than moving us forward, our personal paths may take us in a seemingly never-ending circle where our actions and choices lead us nowhere but to where we’ve already been. It is during these moments that awareness can be the first step to change.

Awareness is when we are able to realize what we are doing. We observe ourselves, noticing our reactions, actions, and choices as if we were a detached viewer. Awareness is the first step to change because we can’t make a change unless we are aware that one needs to be made in the first place. We can then begin understanding why we are doing what we are doing. Afterward, it becomes difficult not to change because we are no longer asleep to the truth behind our behaviors. We also begin to realize that, just as much as we are the root source behind the causes for our behaviors, we are also the originator for any changes that we want to happen.

There is a freedom that comes with awareness. Rather than thinking that we are stuck in a repetitive cycle where there is no escape, we begin to see that we very much play a hand in creating our lives. Whether we are aware of them or not, our behaviors and choices are always ours to make. Our past and our present no longer have to dictate our future when we choose to be aware. We are then free to move beyond our old limits, make new choices, and take new actions. With awareness, our paths can’t help but wind us forward in our lives while paving the way for new experiences and new ways of being. It is through awareness that we can continue to consciously evolve.


Low Glycemic Reduced Sugar Diabetic Safe Barbecue Sauce Recipe
Serves: 72
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Carbs Per Serving: 2g
Prep Time:<25 minutes

Skill Level: Easy

The sun out today and I am going to fire up the barbecue. The only problem is barbecue sauce is generally loaded with sugar. In fact, most barbecue sauce contains 3 times as much sugar as soda and 4 times as much as ice cream. Here's a great barbecue sauce that tastes awesome, is easy to make and is lower in sugar. Used in moderation this barbecue sauce is safe for diabetics and anybody who is trying to cut the sugar out. Enjoy!

1 can condensed tomato soup
1 can tomato sauce
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup Fructevia, Steviva Blend or 1/8 tsp Steviva Brands Pure Stevia Powder
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons orange or lemon zest
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes. Brush on chicken or meat during last 15 minutes of grilling.

Makes about 4 cups - it will keep for a few weeks but freeze extra sauce if it will be longer.

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