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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons...

During our recent trip to Vancouver, BC, Canada, we enjoyed dining at some amazing restaurants. One place, in particular, made me reflect on what excellence means.

In all that you do...
  1. Look for the Good, in situations & in other people. Your most noble contribution is to help bring out the best they have to offer. Let them shine!
  2. Commit to Excellence - refine your skills and be diligent in the details, when it is your turn to perform!
  3. Think You Can! Believing in possibility is a choice, so choose to be positive!
I have to admit, that Unagi (raw eel) has never been one of my favourite things to eat, but our sushi chef surprised us with his creation for dessert: Unagi, wrapped in Fatty Tuna skin, then lightly seared and topped with Salmon Roe. They looked like baby cribs! In the hands of a master sushi chef, even Unagi can be delicious!

Like taking sour lemons & making lemonade, what will you do to be excellent today & make a difference for others?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jumping in with Both Feet

Ten years ago, on Tuesday, June 27, 2000, I arrived in Salt Lake City after a 21-hour drive, to attend my first USANA Health Sciences International Convention, five days after enrolling as an Associate. My road buddy, Mario Buscio went to stay with his friends from Quebec, while our sponsor, Deanna Waters, invited me to stay with her group in her two-bedroom suite. My fabulous mentors included Patti Tweed, a Registered Dietician & Andrea Cantin, a Dentist. I knew I did not have to be a health professional to be successful in USANA, but I was definitely in good company! It was interesting to hear that neither of them had learned very much at all about nutritional supplementation in school, yet both had compelling stories of how USANA’s products had made a difference for them & their families. For both Patti & Andrea, USANA was filling a void, because nowhere else, could they find such credible nutritional information, based on latest research.

After making everyone my homemade pasta, I got a call from Lynn, back in Winnipeg. It was our first time speaking since I had arrived. I told her how I was in “USANA Immersion!” We had plugged-in to a fantastic community of like-minded, health-conscious people, who all had positive experiences using the products, the USANA LifeMasters & Dr Denis Waitley audios were informative & inspiring & hanging around with our mentors, Dave & Deanna Waters had many benefits & we were having fun.

Lynn had some exciting news. She said she had felt more energy for the past few days & the only thing she had been doing differently was taking the USANA Essentials, which we began on Friday night. She said she had just returned from cycling to my parents’ place in St Vital & to her parents place in Garden City. Both are suburbs of Winnipeg, at opposite ends of the city. The round trip would have been about 32 kilometres or 20 miles. She was amazed that she did it & she felt great! "You did what?!" I said. This was no small feat for most people & it was especially huge for Lynn, since she usually fell asleep whenever we drove to a friends’ place, during a movie or while reading a book! I was accustomed to her constant fatigue & here she was, being a manic cyclist!

For myself, I don’t know if it was the adrenaline, the coffee or the USANA Essentials, but I was also feeling pretty good, after pulling an all-nighter on the drive to Salt Lake City. Whatever it was, I was now on a mission to learn more about USANA & the new products we were taking. The next day, Deanna was to be speaking at a Women's Conference, to start the USANA Convention, so it was time to power-down for the night. This was going to be an awesome time & I was pumped! We had definitely made a fantastic life decision to jump into USANA with both feet!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Road Trip to my First USANA Convention

Ten years ago, on Monday, June 26, 2000, I picked up my new friend, Mario Buscio, in my 1995 Honda Civic si Coupe & we began our road trip from Winnipeg to Salt Lake City. I got to know Mario pretty good during this time & he shared his story of how he got started with USANA Health Sciences, Inc.

Mario had been dealing with Fibromyalgia for quite some time & when his wife, Sonia Blanchette, & Deanna Waters suggested he try the USANA products, he nearly threw Deanna out of his house! He was bitter, because he thought he had tried everything & he was sure nothing would help his chronic pain. He finally agreed to take the products, just so that he could prove that they would not work! Despite his negativity, he ate his words, as he soon felt better & after about 3 weeks, with the approval of his doctor, he stopped taking his pain medication. Two years later, all Mario had with him on the trip, besides USANA supplements, was a bottle of Tylenol, just in case. During our trip, he never opened the Tylenol & said it was like a crutch he didn't want to use. It was great to hear Mario's perspective as my wife, Lynn, had been on medications for Lupus for several years.

We made the trip in about 21 hours, with the help of the wraps Lynn had made for us, plenty of water, carrot sticks, fruit & USANA Nutrition Bars. I had also packed a supply of USANA Essentials, while Lynn kept some for herself, for the week I would be away. Mario had a nice little stash of USANA supplements, in addition to the Essentials - he said that CoQuinone & Proflavanol were his best friends! We also had an assortment of USANA LifeMasters audios, most of which were interviews with successful USANA Associates & health information from doctors on USANA's Medical Advisory Board & USANA scientists. We also had some good personal development audios from my favourite, Dr Denis Waitley. My Honda Civic was our Rolling University!

After about 12 hours, Mario said he could take over driving for a bit. I agreed & I tried my best to fall asleep quickly, because we had a full day ahead of us. After what seemed like only an hour, I'm not sure what happened, but Mario said he was just too tired to continue. I wasn't ready for that! He pulled into a gas station & I downed a huge coffee, got another for the road & got a big bag of nacho chips to power me through to Salt Lake City! I know - wrong nutritional choice, but I had to stay alert & get us there in one piece! Every year since then, we have flown to the Convention & if I were to drive again, we would either book a hotel mid-way, or ensure we had 3-4 drivers, to do it safely. With Mario conked out, I focussed on the road ahead, both literally & figuratively. This trip, if we made it, could be the first big step forward in our life. I have to say, that Butte, Montana is a beauty, with stunning views of the valley from the mountain-top homes!

Please note that these statements & products are not intended to cure, treat, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease. Here is a sobering word on testimonials from USANA Science Information Services at

In general, testimonials are considered unreliable as scientific evidence and are not a worthy substitute for scientific validity. There are currently hundreds of randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled studies that indicate a strong correlation between diets rich in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables and a decreased incidence of chronic degenerative disease. This significance continues to be investigated through carefully validated scientific research. USANA continually reviews recent scientific literature and incorporates its findings, along with in-house laboratory research and clinical studies, into product development and design. This comprehensive approach to product development provides our Associates and Preferred Customers with comprehensive, balanced, safe, and effective nutritional formulas.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Take a Chance - Break Out of the Box

Welcome to Part Two of my one-on-one coaching session with Deanna Waters, ten years ago on Friday, June 23, 2000.

While reviewing what we would be getting in our USANA enrolment package, I realized we had a pass to the Annual Convention in Salt Lake City. “The Convention is next week?” I asked.

“Yes it is,” Deanna said, “Dave & I fly out on Tuesday.”

For a brief instant, my mind raced to the next week. Two months earlier, I had been among the first to purchase tickets for a long-awaited reunion concert by The Guess Who, international superstars from the 1970’s, as part of their Running Back Thru Canada Tour. The concert was the following Friday night, June 30, 2000 in Winnipeg.

“I’m coming to Salt Lake City - I’ll drive!” I said, without any hesitation. I would be missing a major concert event with two of my closest buddies, but I was breaking out of my self-imposed box & enlarging my territory. From everything we had seen about USANA Health Sciences, Inc. to that point, I knew I had to go to the Convention!

Salt Lake City was about 1500 miles or 2400 kilometres from Winnipeg. Flying would be reasonable for most people, but I loved a good road trip. Growing up on the Canadian Prairies, we measured distance by time. “It’s just a day’s drive!”

Deanna lined me up with a road buddy, Mario Buscio, & we made plans to hit the road on Monday!

She sent me home with a care package of the USANA Essentials, boxes of USANA Nutrition Bars & several audios called LifeMasters, which I would come to know & love. That evening, Lynn & I took our Essentials & over the coming days, we began to realize how important they were.

Our Journey Continues

At 9:00am on Friday, June 23rd, 2000, I settled into the riverfront home of Deanna Waters for a one-on-one coaching session. We had just started our own home-based business as Associates with USANA Health Sciences, Inc. & I seized my opportunity to learn from someone who had built a successful international business from home.

After writing down some of my goals & dreams, Deanna spent time with me, helping crystallize my “Why” – the compelling reasons for making these goals & dreams a reality. Every time I would give a reason, Deanna would ask, “Okay, now why is that important?” She was relentless – in a nice way! I thought I knew my “why,” but I was just scratching the surface!

The phone rang – it was Deanna’s mentor from Toronto, welcoming me to the team. My mentor’s mentor? Wow - I jumped at the chance to pick her brain!

A knock at the door – in came some of Deanna’s local team, welcoming me to the group. I got to know several people that day, that over the next several years, would always be there for me.

I quickly saw this was more than a home business – we were plugging into an extended family of positive-minded professionals, from all walks of life, who were stepping out of their comfort zones & making personal development & helping others, a central part of their lives.

That was the first day I heard the phrase, “In business FOR yourself – not BY yourself,” which has proven true, so many times, to this day.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Our Journey Begins

Do you remember what you were doing 10 years ago?

At 11:00pm on June 21, 2000, we signed our application to be Associates with USANA Health Sciences Inc. We were impressed with the quality of the company, the products & the people we met, so we felt we had little to lose. After all, we had certainly done sillier things before, with regard to our health & in terms of our personal finances. We walked back home from our sponsors’ house, taking the scenic route along the river. It was a clear, star-filled evening sky & we were excited about this new chapter in our lives.

At 9:00am on June 22, 2000, I phoned my sponsor, Deanna Waters to say, "We are so excited, but we don't know where to start!" I asked her if I could shadow her, to see what she does on a typical day, in order to build a successful international business from home. She took us under her wing, helped us set goals & develop a business plan. First & perhaps most important, she helped us identify our dreams & the core reasons why it was important to us, that we accomplish them.

In order to accomplish the things you dream of in life, it is so important to have a good mentor. In Deanna, we found someone who seemed to believe in us, more than we believed in ourselves. Like peeling the layers of an onion, she helped us discover, for ourselves, that we could, indeed, get off of the life-work treadmill & start living!

Thus, our journey began…

Do you remember your dreams? Often they are pushed aside & give way to the day-to-day routines. In the next post, I will share with you, highlights from my day shadowing Deanna, 10 years ago.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Pondering probiotics? Here's what you should know

(ARA) -You've probably heard the buzz about the "good" bacteria that can promote healthy digestion and immune function. But if you're having a hard time wrapping your mind around the idea that there's a kind of bacteria we want in our lives, it may be time for a primer on probiotics.

Just what are probiotics? How do they work? And are they really as beneficial as they seem?

What they are

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization defines probiotics as "live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host." Such prestigious scientific journals as the European Journal of Nutrition, Pediatric Research and the Journal of Food Science have published research on probiotics. And at least one famous actress promotes the benefits of probiotics in a series of television commercials for a brand of yogurt that incorporates probiotics into one of its products.

How they work

Probiotics are often called "friendly bacteria." They live in our digestive tract and promote healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients, research has shown. They also there are beneficial  in supporting a strong immune system.

Digestive health is the core of overall health. If our digestive system is not functioning properly, we may have problems breaking down nutrients that we consume into forms that our body can use for energy. A healthy, efficient digestive system helps us maximize the benefits of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that defend us against nutritional deficiencies. And, with up to 80 percent of the immune cells in our bodies concentrated in the digestive tract, digestive health is strongly linked to immune health.

Probiotics can be beneficial for anyone who wants to maintain good digestive health and support immune function.

How we get them

Friendly bacteria should naturally occur in our bodies. Sometimes, however, poor eating habits, antibiotics or unfriendly microorganisms like disease-causing bacteria or yeast can upset the balance of good bacteria in our bodies. When this happens, you may experience diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating. Taking probiotics can help replace friendly bacteria.

Several yogurt brands have introduced products that incorporate probiotics into their formula. But if you're not a yogurt fan, have lactose intolerance, travel regularly, or just want to get as pure and effective a form of probiotics as possible, you may want to consider a probiotic supplement instead, like USANA Health Sciences' Probiotic food supplement. You can add the vanilla-flavored powder to food or drink and receive a 50/50 mix of two of the most beneficial strains of probiotic bacteria. Plus, it is designed to make it more likely for the friendly bacteria to survive the acid in your stomach and repopulate your digestive tract.

Important facts about them

Not all yogurt contains probiotics. And bacteria - good or bad - may not survive the acidic conditions in your stomach in sufficient numbers to effectively colonize your digestive tract. There are also many species of probiotic bacteria and they vary in their ability to colonize your system and provide digestive and immunity benefits.

Because they are a naturally occurring bacteria, probiotics are generally accepted as being safe. But, you should check with your doctor if you're combining probiotics with conventional treatment for any condition, just as you would with any dietary supplement.

To learn more about probiotics, digestive health and immune support, visit or email Probiotics [at] TrueHealthSolutions [dot] com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

USANA Health Sciences: Let's Not Oversimplify the 'Too Much Sodium' Issue

Note: The following is a guest blog from Dr. John Cuomo, USANA's Executive Director of Research and Development.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released their comments on sodium in foods this week. Their conclusion: sodium levels in foods are “too high to be safe.” Further, they are advising the FDA to establish mandatory national standards for sodium in foods.

While I agree in principle with the report that we are consuming too much sodium, I don’t believe that the solution to the problem is to require food manufactures to reduce the amount of sodium in foods. I question if there is a direct relationship between sodium and health consequences or if sodium is just a good indicator of the total amount of “junk food” or highly processed nutrient poor foods in the diet.

The real conclusion should be to cut out the foods that deliver these high amounts of sodium. Unhealthy processed, highly refined, canned/boxed foods and fast foods are likely the real issue. We need to make a real effort to eat more unprocessed food, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, poultry and fish, and fewer refined and processed foods.

Just like the low-fat craze that failed to produce slimmer, healthier people, low-sodium junk foods will likely be no healthier than the high sodium junk foods they replace. Let’s not oversimplify the issue. Yes, we are getting too much sodium in our diet. And yes, this is bad. But consuming low-sodium potato chips, crackers, cookies, fast foods or canned soups won’t improve our health. That will only occur when we change our lifestyle and start eating real, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods.

Reposted from USANA Health Sciences: Let's Not Oversimplify the 'Too Much Sodium' Issue

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Life-Changing Retreat & 2nd Honeymoon Thanks to USANA!

On Feb 18-21, 2010, my wife Lynn & I experienced amazing food & fun on a gorgeous, sprawling property in Phoenix AZ, at

As Winners of the "USANA Games" Competition & team captains of the TrueHealthWarriors, we were fortunate to spend the time with like-minded, positive & health-conscious friends.

It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, because of the highlight - a full-day transformational leadership & team-building summit with best-selling author, Robert G. Allen.

Bob did not keep anything to himself; he laid it all on the table for us & shared his best knowledge on finding what we need to make our dreams a reality.