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July 3, 2005

Approaching Life With Enthusiasm

"If you have zest and enthusiasm you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind."
Norman Vincent Peale

"The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the transmission of ideas of enthusiasm."
~ Thomas J. Watson

Enthusiasm first appeared in English in 1603 with the meaning "possession by a god." The source of the word is the Greek enthousiasmos, which ultimately comes from the adjective entheos, "having the god within". Enthusiasm clearly has every day connotations of being "inspired" or "excited". Enthusiasm is a good feeling! I would be willing to bet that most people if required to do a particular task, would (if they knew that they could) choose to it with enthusiasm.

Read this paragraph and then try the following. Close your eyes, go inside and just pay attention. Think of a task that has neutral connotations. Something you probably should do, but you can't honestly say you are fired up by it. If you are anything like me, that shouldn't be too hard! Now, draw your attention to the quality of enthusiasm, and notice how you would feel having introduced the quality of enthusiasm to this task.

Doesn't that feel better! People like enthusiasm. They like feeling enthusiastic, and they like people to feel enthusiastic around them.

"Enthusiasm glows, radiates, permeates and immediately captures everyone's interest." ~ Paul J. Meyer

Enthusiasm affects and infects communication in all directions. If you are explaining something to someone and they start to get enthusiastic about your ideas, then wow don't you start to feel good! Hey, you probably even decide that you really like that person. Here is a person who understands the important things, just like you!

"Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come from miles to watch you burn."
John Wesley

Conversely, your enthusiasm is infectious. People want to be around people who make them feel good. We recognize, at a deep level, that we perform better and appreciate life more fully when we feel enthusiastic (just look back at the origins of the word).

Have an enthusiastic day.

Thom King
Steviva Brands, Inc.

The Key To Happiness
by: Brian Tracy

Your ability to achieve your own happiness is the key measure of your success, of how well you are doing as a person.

You learn the key to happiness that has been the same through all of history. You learn how to dispel the two myths that may be holding you back and how to achieve more happiness in everything you do.

Dedicate Yourself To Your Best Talents
The key to happiness is this: dedicate yourself to the development of your natural talents and abilities by doing what you love to do, and doing it better and better in the service of a cause that is greater than yourself.

This is a big statement and a big commitment. Being happy requires that you define your life in your own terms and then throw your whole heart into living your life to the fullest. In a way, happiness requires that you be perfectly selfish in order to develop yourself to a point where you can be unselfish for the rest of your life.

Please Yourself First
In Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac, Cyrano is asked why he is so intensely individualistic and unconcerned with the opinions and judgments of others. He replies with these wonderful words: “I am what I am because early in life I decided that I would please at least myself in all things.”

Your happiness likewise depends upon your ability to please at least yourself in all things. You can be happy only when you are living your life in the very best way possible. No one can define happiness for you. Only you know what makes you happy. Happiness is an inside job.

Your Happiness Is Up To You
The biggest myth about happiness is when people say that it is not legitimate or correct for you to put your happiness ahead of everyone else’s. Throughout my life, I’ve met people who have said that it is more important to make other people happy than it is to make yourself happy. This is nonsense.

The fact is that you can’t give away to anyone else what you don’t have for yourself. Just as you can’t give money to the poor if you don’t have any, you can’t make someone else happy if you yourself are miserable.

The very best way to assure the happiness of others is to be happy yourself and then to share your happiness with them. Suffering and self-sacrifice merely depress and discourage other people. If you want to make others happy, start by living the kind of life and doing the kind of things that make you happy.

Action Exercises
Here are three steps you can take immediately to put these ideas into action.

First, define for yourself the activities that you really love and enjoy, at home and work, and then organize your life so you do more of them.

Second, believe in yourself and trust your own feelings. Then, please at least yourself in all things.

Third, determine what it is that you do that brings the most happiness to others and then organize your life so that you can do more of it.

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25 Ways to Get Back in the Groove

“Your body isn't going to change overnight. Adjusting your expectations will save you a lot of frustration.”

Remember that great fitness routine you were so into just before you started eating all that barbeque this summer and going to all those backyard parties? Well, if the passage of a few festive weeks has weakened your routine, you're not alone. Here are some tips for getting started (again), no matter what kind of fitness activity you participate in:

1. Hire a personal trainer for one hour and discuss short-term and long-term goals. It'll give you a good place to start, it'll give you a plan, and it'll motivate you to get moving again.

2. Sign up for an exercise class that you've never tried before. First, you might surprise yourself and find something you like, and second, exercising with other people is usually more fun than trying to get back into a routine by yourself.

3. Spice up your workout. During your first week back at your fitness facility, don't do the same workout twice. If you exercise three days a week, ride the bike on day one, do weight training on day two, and go for a swim on day three.

4. Avoid burn out (and injury.) Don't try to make up all your missed workouts all at once - work up to a regular regime.

5. Get the most out of your fitness investment. 30%-35% of people who join fitness facilities don't actually go - calculate what that costs and remind yourself of the value of your investment in fitness.

6. Give yourself a realistic pep talk. If you've been off the exercise wagon for the holidays, your body isn't going to change overnight. Adjusting your expectations will save you a lot of frustration.

7. Ignore the scale. Is dropping those extra holiday pounds your exercise incentive? Do yourself a favor and stay off the scale for three weeks to give yourself time to actually lose a pound or two.

8. Enjoy an outdoor workout. At least once a week, go outside to exercise (walking, running, cycling, blading, anything...). The varied terrain will challenge your body in ways that a treadmill (or other indoor machines) can't; the fresh air will feel good in your lungs; and if you live in a cold climate, your body will probably burn extra calories just trying to keep warm.

9. Keep an exercise journal so you can reflect on what you've accomplished and write down your new exercise resolutions (goals).

10. Make one appointment with a registered dietitian so you can get your eating habits back in check.

11. Exercise with a friend - a partner will keep you company and keep you motivated.

12. Start a "family workout" tradition. Make exercising with your mate or family a once-a-week affair. It's a good way to get everyone into exercise, it'll mix up your workouts, and if you've got kids, you may find yourself experimenting with exercise options you never thought of (the playground comes to mind).

13. Target your best time. Find the time of day when exercising feels best for you - it's a key component in making any exercise routine work. If you're not an early morning riser, then don't force yourself into becoming an early morning exerciser.

14. Schedule time to exercise in your date book like you would any other important appointment and give it the priority it deserves.

15. Break it up. If you don't have time in the day for an hour of exercise then break it up into two half-hour sessions. For example, do a half hour of aerobic exercise at lunch and schedule a half-hour after work to do weight training.

16. Focus on what's working now. It's true, there are lots of changes that happen to your body when you work out, but many of them won't happen right away. Look for the changes that you will notice immediately: more energy, a better ability to handle stress, more willpower, and the ability to get a better night's sleep.

17. Get aerobic fitness up to speed. Even if your exercise hiatus was a relatively short one (2 or 3 weeks), you've lost a lot of your cardiovascular fitness ability. But fear not, it'll come back.

18. Stay in your target heart rate zone while you're exercising so you know you're getting an effective workout (try using a heart rate monitor!).

19. Getting back to weight training? Whatever you used to do, cut the amount of weight by a third and the number of reps in half and then build up to your pre-holiday routine over the next three weeks.

20. Take care of your lower back - Without exercise, your lower back strength decreases, so risk of injury should be a concern. Think about good form and posture no matter what activity you're doing, and get some instruction on how to properly stretch after exercise.

21. Try swimming if you have the opportunity - it's a great gentle way to get an excellent cardiovascular workout.

22. Focus on short term goals when you're beginning again - like just getting to your exercise facility, for instance - they'll bolster your spirits big time.

23. If you don't like it, then don't do it! Too many of us suffer through exercise. There is too much to choose from to continue something you dislike, so try anything and everything until you find an activity you enjoy.

24. Eat well. You may be anxious to lose those extra holiday pounds pronto, but good food will give your body the nutrients and energy it needs.

25. Get a physical. Call your doctor and schedule a check-up. (Think - how long has it been since your last one?) Embarking on a New Year's exercise program is a great plan, but making sure your body can handle it is always a good idea.

Don't forget to pound the water. What I suggest is adding the juice of half a lemon or 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cranberry juice to 32 ounces of water with a sprinkle of Steviva Brand Stevia Powder . Aside from being less than 2 carbs, you will get the health benefits that the stevia provides along with the vitamin C and electrolytes that lemon have. You can substitute limes for lemons if you get bored. Click here to order stevia powder.

Going Guilt-Free

"There is no pleasure in having nothing to do. The fun is in having lots to do and not doing it."

-- Mary Little

When you're tempted with a promise of pleasure, does guilt promptly spoil it for you?

For many of us, the work ethic still rules supreme. It keeps our life out of balance and our health at risk. There will always be lots of work to do. We can't wait for it to go away to enjoy ourselves.

Today, we invite you to become aware of your attitude towards rest, relaxation, pleasure and fun. When you give yourself a break, do you carry guilt through it? Deep down, do you believe that you don't deserve to have a good time, that you haven't earned a holiday? If you do discover these thoughts, send them packing.

"Guilt is the source of sorrows, the avenging fiend that follows us behind with whips and stings."

-- Nicholas Rowe

All Natural Sugar Free Blueberry Almond Muffins
Makes approximately 12 servings

Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup whole grain flour
1 tablespoon butter melted
1/2 tablespoon molasses
1/4 cup Steviva Brand Stevia Blend

1 tablespoon butter melted
2 cups whole grain
1/2 cup Steviva Brand Stevia Blend
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup light ricotta cheese
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries

1. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper bake cups. Set aside.
2. For topping: In a small bowl, stir together almonds, the 1/4 cup flour, the Steviva Brand Stevia Blend, molasses and melted butter. Set aside.
3. For muffins: In a large bowl, combine the the whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup Steviva Brand Stevia Blend, baking powder, soda, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Set aside.
4. In a food processor or blender, combine ricotta cheese, half and half, buttermilk, egg, canola oil, vanilla, and almond extract. Cover; process or blend until smooth. Add ricotta mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Stir in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling almost full. Sprinkle topping over muffin batter in cups.
5. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

Nutritional facts per serving
Calories: 165
Total fat: 7g
Saturated fat: 2g
Carbohydrate: 29g
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 6g

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