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May 13, 2012
Winning The Battle Against Stress
three powerful tools in stress management

Stress is becoming a major problem in the U. S. and will likely get worse before (or if) it gets better. That's the bad news. The really bad news, however, is that we don't take stress seriously as a threat to our health.

The first step in reducing your stress level is to calm your "monkey mind." No, I'm not insulting you. The monkey mind mentality refers to the volatile and transient nature of our thought processes. We bounce from one thought to another, pausing just long enough to gain traction for our next jump.

If that is not a clear enough explanation for you try this simple exercise: focus all of your attention on just one thing for 60 seconds. It can be anything that you want, but do not allow your attention to stray from that one thing during the 60 seconds. For instance, you might visualize the ocean for one minute. Now see how long it takes for another thought to intrude into your "ocean view". Probably about two seconds if you are like most people.

The easiest way to bring the monkey mind under control is to develop a sense of mindfulness. Mindfulness simply means that we are not running on "auto-pilot"; we are living in the present moment and actually aware of the thoughts that are running through our conscious mind. Very often our thoughts revolve around past or future events. Do not dwell on past mistakes or future problems. Simply living in the present moment will help to break the cycle of stress.

Deep Breathing
stress management concerns"Yogic breathing provides a unique and powerful tool for adjusting imbalances in the autonomic nervous system and thereby influencing a broad range of mental and physical disorders." As written by Richard P. Brown, MD and Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, in an article on stress management, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

This is a very simple, but powerful technique for relaxing the body.

1. Begin by assuming a comfortable seated or lying position.

2. Close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breathing. On the inhalation feel the cool air as it passes by the tip of the nostrils. On the exhalation feel how the air has been warmed and humidified by the body as it passes through the nasal passages and out of the body.

3. Inhale through the nose on a slow count of four, timing the inhalation so that when you get to four you have completely filled the lungs from bottom to top. (Hint: If you are filling your lungs correctly you will first feel the belly distend, then the chest will expand and finally during the last phase of the inhalation the collar bone will rise slightly.)

4. Exhale through the nose on a slow count of four (one thousand one, one thousand two, etc). Time the exhalation so that you have emptied the lungs as completely as possible when you reach four. (Hint: For a complete exhalation you should feel the belly draw in to aid the exhalation during the final one to two seconds of your exhale.)

5. Repeat for 10 breath cycles.

6. Once you have practiced this technique and begin to feel comfortable start to extend the exhale, while maintaining the inhale at a count of four seconds. For example, inhaling for four seconds and exhaling for six or eight seconds.

While yogic philosophy has been promoting the stress-reducing benefits of breathing exercises for millennia modern science is only now beginning to study and validate these important techniques. A study that was published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research in 2004 demonstrated that following a deep breathing regimen significantly reduced resting heart rate and improved autonomic function (the autonomic system is responsible for controlling blood pressure and one of the primary things that we want to avoid is an increase in blood pressure when faced with a stressor).

There is nothing mystical or magical about meditation, it is simply a concentrated focusing of the mind, which has a calming effect upon the nervous system. The mind, like the muscles, benefits from training.

A study published in a 2005 issue of Neuroreport that investigated the physical structure of the brain found that those that meditated on a regular basis had an increased cortical thickness (cerebral cortex) in comparison to a control group that did not meditate. The authors go on to conclude, "regular meditation practice may slow age-related thinning of the frontal cortex."

Another study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that a group of healthcare professionals that participated in a daily meditation program experienced a 60% reduction in stress over the course of the 8-week intervention. And a follow-up of the study participants nearly three months later found an even greater reduction in stress, suggesting that meditation may have a cumulative effect and become more effective the longer that you practice it.

Just to throw more fuel on the fire, another study published in Neuroreport found that people that practiced meditation developed an increased threshold to pain. Now I don't know if I'd want to let my dentist forego the Novocain while he's drilling like a West Virginia miner into one of my teeth, but it is nice to know that meditation has a broad scientific basis.

Although stories abound of yogis that would meditate for days on end, an effective meditation practice can be as short as 5-10 minutes.

Meditation Guidelines

1. It is preferable to do your meditation practice either first thing in the morning or (second choice) following a workout.

2. Choose a location that is comfortable and free from distractions.

3. Begin your meditation session by focusing your attention on your breath.

4. Wear loose comfortable clothing.

5. Change position if you begin to experience discomfort.

How to Meditate

1. Begin by assuming a comfortable seated or lying position.

2. Close your eyes and shift your awareness to your breathing.

3. Focus your complete attention on one thing (this is called your "target"). This "target" can be a visual representation such as a scenic landscape or a relevant religious symbol. Or you can try "mantra" meditation, a technique in which you mentally (or out loud) repeat a word or sound. For instance, in yogic meditation the word/sound "Om" (which represents "the Absolute") may be repeated over and over.

4. As thoughts arise (and they certainly will), acknowledge them and gently draw the focus back to your "target". With practice the intruding thoughts will diminish.

5. Breathe deeply and fully during your entire meditation session.

Have an excellent week.

Thom King

Steviva Brands, Inc

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Successful People Make Decisions
Max Steingart

It's your life. You decide what you're going to do with it. If you don't run your own life, someone else will. You're in control of your life to the degree that you make decisions.

To control the outcome of anything, you control the action at the point of decision making. If you let others make decisions for you, you give up control. When you control the decisions, you control the actions.

Take charge of your life, so there is no longer a need to ask permission of others. When you ask permission, you're giving someone "veto" power over your life.

Only you are responsible for your life. Take control and start making those decisions.

Copyright 2012 www.yourdailymotivation.com


What is Gluten?
three associated conditions to be cautious of

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and other grain products, with the exception of a few “gluten free grains” . Many people may be familiar with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disorder, which is associated with positive antibodies in the blood, intestinal villous atrophy as shown on a biopsy, and symptoms such as abdominal pain, skin rash, headache and more that are resolved when on a gluten free diet. The statistics are staggering, in that the average person may have to suffer for 6-10 years to a get an accurate diagnosis. Further 1 in 133 Americans have are Celiac. [1]  May is Celiac Awareness Month!

There are two other conditions that do not have the triad of diagnosis criteria as above, wheat allergy and gluten sensitivity. In a clinical setting one can not differentiate the 3 of these. A wheat allergy is similar to other types of allergies, which is a would be confirmed with testing via IgE antibodies. Gluten sensitivity would be negative for IgE antibodies, and atrophy, but have anti-gliaden antibodies IgA and IgG. A fourth possible term is still in the works for creating an accurate definition, which is gluten intolerance. This is thought to be similar to lactose, in that people could lack an enzyme and have trouble in the break down, as opposed to an immune response.

Joint pain, neurological problems, anemia, depression are a few other possible related problems associated with gluten. [2]  Going “gluten free” can be beneficial to one's health, even if not diagnosed with these 3 gluten conditions listed above. Many stores do carry various gluten free grain products, so one could still enjoy bread, crackers, cookies, etc, although in moderation of course to avoid a carbohydrate crash. One way to try to keep to a healthy diet, is living by a motto of “lean and green”. Think of lean protein sources: chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, lean beef, along with green or other colored vegetables. Imagine you were a hunter and gatherer, living many years ago from the land, not a box. Save the “box or bag” only for buying things like quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, or millet which are all gluten free grains. Eating this way has numerous benefits on your mind, body and spirit!

In Good Health & Beauty,
Dr. Alisha Moadab, N.D.
Soleil Medical Spa
Dr. Alisha N.D.

[1] http://www.celiaccentral.org/celiac-disease/facts-and-figures/
[2] http://www.freefromgluten.com/blogs/health-and-welness/2790672-diseases-and-disorders-associated-with-gluten-sensitivity

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.


Speak Kindly to Yourself

“What is this self inside us, this silent observer, Severe and speechless critic, who can terrorize us, And urge us on to futile activity, And in the end, judge us still more severely, For the errors into which his own reproaches drove us?”
-- T. S. Eliot

How do you talk to yourself?
Would you talk that way to anyone else?
Our thoughts create our reality.
How do you typically think about yourself?
Do you berate yourself for being stupid, sloppy, forgetful or insensitive?
Do you watch yourself with interest, respect and compassion?

Stay alert to your self-talk and let go of judgments that don’t serve you.

"Self-acceptance is my refusal to be in an adversarial relationship to myself."
-- Nathaniel Branden


Low Glycemic No Added Sugar Low Carb Chewy Coconut Bars
Serves: Makes 16 bars
Serving Size: 1 bar
Carbs Per Serving: 8.5 g
Prep Time: <55 minutes

Skill Level: Easy

2 eggs
1 cup
Fructevia, Steviva Blend or 1/8th teaspoon Steviva Brands Pure Stevia Powder
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup soy or whole grain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

Beat eggs,Fructevia, Steviva Blend or Steviva Brands Pure Stevia Powder and maple flavoring in medium bowl; mix in butter/coconut oil and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; stir into egg mixture.

Mix in coconut, walnuts, and raisins.

Spread batter evenly in greased 8-inch square baking pan.

Bake in preheated 350ºF oven until browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Cool in pan on wire rack; cut into squares.

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