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January 2014 Vol 3 Issue 1

Staff Writers

Becky Campos

Clarissa Burt

Bret Wilson

Peggy Marshall

Our Departments •Health •Wellness •Business •Leisure •Lifestyle •Financial •Coaching •Nutrition •Fashion

Sydney McCutcheon

Elizabeth Zulema

Nassim Sana

Ian Percy

Eboni Lacey

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Wellness Building a Fortress Definition of fortress: strengthen with defensive works so as to protect against attack. To reinforce, toughen and secure. If I hadn’t spent the last thirteen years building a fortress of health I would have easily caved under the pressure of a persistent allergic reaction that threatened to tumult me in the spring of 2013. Thankfully my simple health philosophy that health is the process by which we care for our human design undergirded the work of reclaiming my health. My critical health thinking skills once again sustained me with patience and perseverance as I utilized my resources around me to nurture my body back to health. Allergic reactions are commonly diagnosed through trial and error. In my case medications were prescribed after infection set in as a part of the solution, which created additional concerns I had to reverse. The pressure was intense to accept additional prescriptions to deal with these new medical induced symptoms. It was evident that I had received the necessary medical assistance needed to deal with infection but other meds recommended were interfering with my body’s self-healing capabilities. Although I was in deep distress I weighed my options and opted out of strong pharmaceutical therapy and reversed my condition with natural substances that assisted my body with much relief. I placed my faith in the Creator’s wisdom and in the self-healing capabilities of my majestic human design. Building a Fortress Takes Time and Work Building a fortress of health that you can live in for the rest of your life takes time and work. You build this fortress by mastering The Twelve Laws of Simple Health and becoming a critical health thinker. Apart from this work we are left open to unnecessary and invasive measures that may trigger complications or weaken your defenses. Because I was in the best shape of my life I faced this health crisis in a position of strength and not in a position of weakness.

Be Ready You don’t have to be powerless against health challenges however great or small.

Mastering Simple Health .

Becoming a Critical Thinker

You can be ready to overcome them by assisting your body with the laws of Nutrition, Water, Exercise, Sleep, Rest, Cleansing, Fasting, Reducing Stress, Fresh Air, Sunlight, Emotional Fortitude and Spiritual Fortitude. The more you concentrate on mastering each one the more fortified your immune system will be if and when you face any interference to your health.


Building a Fortress of Health What does it take to build a fortress of health? Where do you start? If you were faced with a health crisis how do you go about reclaiming your health? Are you prepared to assist your human design in building a fortress of health in a position of strength, knowledge, resources and critical health thinking skills or are you just winging it? It’s worth repeating that if I had not spent the last thirteen years building a fortress of health it may have taken me a longer time to recover from the allergic reaction I suffered and I would have certainly panicked and made erroneous decisions that would have complicated the journey. My body was in top condition and I knew exactly what I needed and what I didn’t to overcome the health challenge I faced in 2013. I was able to continue in my everyday agenda, care for my family, and attend church and numerous family events that required my attention without interruption. Building a fortress of health results in meeting any health challenges with confidence and strength. Why not get started on building your fortress of health by visiting

Experience How Simple Health Really Is!


Health Blood Pressure and Your Health Blood pressure is a measurement of the work your heart has to do to pump blood through your blood vessels. It is an indication of the health of your heart, blood vessels and kidneys. It is always changing based on the demands and condition of these and other systems. Blood pressure is a silent symptom; there is not a sensation or feeling associated with it. It is not necessarily predicted by calm or agitated states. It is a measurable indication of your health and risk factors for disease.

Stress can raise blood pressure. Mental and emotional stress “tricks� your heart into thinking physical demands require an increased pressure. Stress management techniques such as meditation can lower blood pressure by calming the mind.

Diet affects blood pressure and your general health. Too much salt, sugar and additives in food raise blood pressure. Increased unprocessed fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and adequate clean water maintain healthy pressure levels. Research has developed a flexible and balanced eating Normal blood pressure reading for a healthy adult is 120/80 or plan referred to as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop less. The top number, systolic pressure is the initial push of Hypertension) that can prevent hypertension or help the blood from the heart. Systolic is an indication of the control blood pressure in those being treated. strength of the heart muscle and the relative elasticity or Maintaining a healthy weight helps maintain a healthy rigidity of the vessels. The bottom number is the diastolic, an blood pressure. Limit or avoid alcohol consumption. indication of the heart pressure at rest. Limit caffeine, energy drinks, high sugar fruit juices and The American Heart Association categorizes blood pressure as carbonated beverages. Increase water consumption. normal (< 120/80), pre hypertension (120-139/ 80-89), Stage 1 Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Daily Hypertension (140-159/90-99) and 2 Hypertension physical activity of at least 30 minutes helps lower blood (>160/>100) and Hypertensive Crisis (>180/ >110). A single pressure and improves overall health. high reading does not mean you have hypertension. Blood pressure is a measure of your state of health and Consistent high readings over time in varied situations can risk of disease. Abnormal readings over time are an lead to a diagnosis of high blood pressure. Home units are indication of stress or disease of the body. An indication available that are relatively accurate, easy to use and to review your health habits, consult with your doctor inexpensive. Monitoring your blood pressure can help you and make necessary changes. In most cases, early better manage your health. It can also provide your doctor identification of a problem and making appropriate with more information to make better recommendations. lifestyle changes, can avoid the need to take medication. Blood pressure will fluctuate and change based on the These changes can also help people with diagnosed physical demands, posture, sleep, stress levels and health hypertension better control blood pressure and lower conditions of the individual. Measurements tend to rise in risk with less medication. The lifestyle choices you make adults above 60 years of age. Blood pressure increases with will have a positive effect on all aspects of your health. exercise because of a greater blood supply need. Alternatively Yours in Health, blood pressure lowers at rest. Dr. Bret Wilson

Lifestyle Keep Calm and Keep Yourself: It’s not Training: It’s Teaching My mom would always tell me – “You have to teach people how to treat you.” I never really understood what that meant. I always thought that a person who really cared about you, would already know how to treat you. This was until I met a man that I really wanted. I soon realized how important it is to teach someone how to treat you, especially if you want to build a future with that person. It’s not that men don’t understand respect and care, or are heartless or insensitive. The fact is that both men and women have their own personal definitions and expectations of how they want to be treated. Yet, nobody knows what these expectations are until they are expressed. So when women claim that men have to be “trained” as if they are monkeys, it’s really not that serious. You must teach a man how you want to be treated just like you would do your friends, coworkers and family. Express to men how you like to held at night or how you feel that a relationship should be a partnership. Show them yourself and your expectations. Don’t let a man talk to you any way he wants or expect you to do things that make you feel uncomfortable.

Pay attention to how he interacts with you, especially when he’s emotional or angry. If he gets out of line, make sure he knows that you won’t put up with that. And if he’s not paying attention to how you want to be treated or Understand that what you do in the beginning sets doesn’t care about how you want to be treated, the precedence for the entire relationship. If you say then that means he believes that his way of nothing when he screams at you for the first time, treating you is acceptable. Simply put, he’s expect that he will do it again. If you allow him to forcing you to march to the beat of his drum. lazily watch football for hours while you cook his dinner and then clean up the kitchen, expect that You will soon see yourself put aside your own this will simply be the trend for every Sunday. Put standards and focus on how you can keep him your foot down and tell him what it is you want out happy and how you can treat him right. That’s of a man. Don’t nag but show action. The earlier the ridiculous! Remember the golden rule: It’s not action, the better the outcome. about him, it’s about you!

Lifestyle Unfortunately these changes and fixings What shall we do with the New Year? I heard on the radio Sunday either on the way to church or the way home, that within the first week of the New Year people have already given up on their Resolutions. I personally don’t make resolutions on New Year’s Day. I make them when I get angry and say something I shouldn’t have, or when I don’t do something I know I should do. I ask for God’s help to choose His way the next time. I make resolutions when I see something in myself that needs to be fixed – but my resolution isn’t for me to fix it but to say to God “Fix this in me, change this in me.” I can’t make New Year resolutions and keep them, or even do them – that’s like living on the Ten Commandments, following those with perfection. I can’t do it. Because the book of James says that if I even break one commandment, then I break them all. I need Jesus. I need His help to accomplish the things I want to accomplish and the things I need to do.

take time. Time is short. But what is a journey if not a season of days? A traveling? Don’t be discouraged if you mess up your resolution, or have forgotten them already. Keep going, keep trying. Keep trusting even though it gets hard. The point is not to give up. This is going to be a great year – keep your hope alive! Believe that things are going to be different, that change is coming, one that you need. Enjoy your New Year. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” --Proverbs 3:5-6 HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2014 ---Sydney Paige McCutcheon

Lifestyle So far, I have observed three types of couples in this city. First: the “I knew you before it all” couple. This couple is one who agreed to move to Los Angeles from some middle-of-nowhere city with a dream to discover bigger opportunities. High school sweethearts supporting each other’s wildest fantasies, it’s all so romantic. Secondly: the “you make me look good” couple, born in none other than the city of Los Angeles! This pair is always very fascinating to observe. Both very well dressed, very beautiful, very rich, and very temporary.

Google Images

A relationship of superficial interests based on one idea, your success means my success. The third type of couple is very rare. People watch for long enough and you may catch a glimpse of this rare beauty. The “I love you for you” couple. This endangered pair gives single women just a dollop of hope, enough to keep them from diving happily into superficial love, if I may.

If you are a single female living in a city like Hollywood, you have been cursed. We are cursed with a generation of young men and women who are more self-absorbed than ever before. With “selfies” and status updates in high demand, how could So here’s to looking for Love in a BIG City! anybody’s focus be diverted away from their own mirror? A relationship with another human being barely qualifies as a priority on the list of must-haves Elizabeth in the city of angels. Dating in a big city is meant to be easier. All a woman needs to know is the local watering hole for her type of man. She can find her hipster in Silverlake, her musician in Studio City, her industrybaby in West Hollywood, and the list goes on. Discovering mutual attraction in a big city is not the difficult part, the challenge is in forming that initial attraction into mutual intellectual respect. A challenge, though, not an impossibility. What woman doesn’t love a good challenge?

Coaching I believe that.. Each of us as women has the wisdom and power within us to make our life be what we want it to be. I see the coaching relationship as an alliance, a partnership, a process of inquiry that empowers clients to reconnect with their own inner wisdom, to find their own answers, to rediscover those powerful moments of choice out of which lasting change grows. I believe we are all whole beings with whole lives and that every choice we make affects every other aspect of our lives. Our work affects our relationships. Our relationships touch our spirituality. Our spiritual well-being affects our capacity for joy which affects our work and all aspects of our lives.

My passion is to help women become more empowered in all areas of their lives. As women we are always ready to be caretakers for others and we forget to take care of our own needs. I am here to help you take the necessary steps so you can create the life you want.

I coach the whole person. Each meeting is tailored to your specific needs and to meet your specific goals so that you can create the possibilities you have always wanted; and I meet my clients where they are at mentally and emotionally. I believe you deserve the life you want. Next month, I will share information that will help you become more empowered.


Business Leadership My "Two Whys" Theory "Why?" is the most important question in life. Little tiny children show us that this is so. Right after learning to say mummy and daddy, every child in every culture starts asking "why?" It's as natural as breathing and eating. Who do you suppose taught the child to ask "why?" Parents didn't, that's for sure. There is the constant "why?" "why? "why?", culminating with the ultimate parental insight "Because that's just the way it is!" What mom has leaned over the crib and cooed to the child "Can you say why? That's it-why". Frankly, I think it's God's sense of humour. God told them, "As soon as you can after you're born start asking 'why?"- drives 'em crazy."

Why X 2 =

The second role for "why?" is to determine what your organization is trying to accomplish. Again, most stop two whys short of finding real vision, a richly imagined future. This is why many mission statements are so boring. Try this out too. Take your current mission/vision statement and ask "why?" two more times and you'll end up at what I call the "Grand Why" of your corporate existence. For example, "Our mission is to be the number one preferred supplier in our chosen marketplace." No kidding. Come on, we can do much better than that. Two more why's and we've got it. Elevate and revere the question "why?" Encourage everyone at every level to ask it. "Why" is the door to quality, to creative problem solving and to setting the organization's sights on what it is really meant to accomplish.

There are two major roles for the question "why?" in your organization. The first is to get to the truth. One reason some things don't change is because we don't start with the truth and we end up trying to change symptoms. It's only the truth that will set you free. Here's my theory: most of us stop two "whys?" short of the truth. Try it out. At your next meeting ask the group a question like "What's the one thing that's holding us back from reaching our potential?" The group will give you it's best shot with an analysis like, "We don't have a clear direction," or "We just don't communicate." Even the most honest group is likely to be two whys short of the real issue-the truth. Now ask your first "why?" in response to their comment and let them answer. Ask your second "why?" in response to that and let them answer again. Unless the "Copyright The Ian Percy Corporation." group was very superficial in the first place you should Ian Percy is one of North America's most now have identified the core issue that must be talked inspirational speakers. through. Ian Percy is an international speaker and consultant and can be reached at

Coaching “Sometimes it’s the smallest decision that can change your life forever.”-Keri Russell

Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success I was at an annual sales meeting last week for my company and had the pleasure of hearing Andy Andrews the author of “The Travelers Gift”. He shared with our group the Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success. His seven decisions are actually principles to incorporate into daily living and include: take responsibility; seek wisdom; take action; make decisions; choose to be happy; forgive; and persist without exception. A quick synopsis of each principle follows. Take Responsibility Many authors have discussed the role responsibility plays in our success. Jack Campbell in “The Success Principles” advises us to take 100% responsibility for what we do. Sometimes it is difficult to see what is within our control when our lives are out of control. However, putting this principle to work requires that we only accept a part of what is happening in order to be able to change it. It is through owning what is ours that we are able to change it. Seek Wisdom Andy told our group that we often seek sources of knowledge and education in order to build wisdom. A risk here in gaining knowledge is that we typically seek out the same people and sources for information. The challenge is that most of us associate with people like uspeople who think like us. It is extremely difficult to gain a different perspective when we look for others to validate what we already know instead of trying to ensure that we have the very best information available to us to make decisions. Chip and Dan Heath authors of “Decisive” call this confirmation bias and encourage us to reach beyond what we already think we know into not only what might be true but what is possible.

Take Action It’s easy to dream but much more difficult to take actions on those dreams. What is holding you back? Marshall Goldsmith in “MOJO” shares that the best indicator of what someone will be doing tomorrow is what that person is doing today. Inertia keeps us in repeatable patterns. When these are patterns of success then we absolutely need to continue the repetition. However when we continue to repeat patterns that do not take us successfully into our future, these same patterns become our prisoners.

Coaching Make Decisions-Have A Decided Heart


Before we can take actions, we need to make decisions. The biggest challenge to decision making is that once the decision is made we have eliminated other options so we hold back. Overcoming what we perceive as a loss will help us move more quickly into a decided heart. Additionally knowing what you are truly passionate about and then following that passion will support your decision making process. Where in your life have you let go of what you are passionate about in order to follow what is comfortable? Is this the year to follow your passions?

Andy shared with us that forgiveness is a decision not an emotion. He advised that people don’t have to ask for it or deserve it rather, it is just a gift that is ours to give. Without extending forgiveness into the transgressions of others, we are left with bitterness about the situation. Others can pick up on this bitterness-even when it is unspoken-and tend to shy away interacting with people who live in this state. A big take-away here is to distinguish between forgiveness and trust. A good friend of mine used to say “release and remember”. You let go of the pastrelease-so that you can move into your future. However, you make a clear decision about where you will place your trust-remember-going forward.

Choose to be Happy The concept that happiness is a choice can often be unnerving. Shawn Achor in “The Happiness Advantage” shares that happiness is not about the belief that we should be happy in all aspects of our lives rather it is about understanding that we have the choice to be happy. Frequently our happiness is a result of what we are thinking. Recognizing that we can not only take responsibility for our thoughts but that we can actually change them is a huge step to becoming more happy. Bryon Katie in “Loving What Is” offers us an exercise to help with this process. First ask yourself if what you are thinking is really true. A second “is it true” question highlights the fact that many times we cannot be certain if what we are thinking is absolutely true. A third question asks us to examine how we are feeling about the thought. Ending with the question “how would you feel if you didn’t think this thought” challenges us to decide whether we want to continue our way of thinking or shift our thinking.

Persist without Exception Everyday we run into walls that seem to stop us in our tracks. We are out of time, money or control. Just experiencing one of these factors can cause us to pause and for many of us-give up. Andy shared that this is when we have to continue to look for another way. Successful people continue to explore opportunities when others cannot find a way. Ideas come in many forms but cannot come in when we are blocked. Ways to get unblocked include seeking out your most trusted friends for their ideas, putting the issue aside for a few days to gain perspective, or my personal favorite programming your subconscious to work for you while you sleep. See Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles” for more information on this topic. Andy Andrews gave us an amazing gift in distilling his ideas down to seven principles that ensure success with our endeavors. Hopefully at least one of them will call to you as you make this your best year ever! To Your Success! Dr. Peggy

Fashion Tamara Kraus Student Entrepreneur Series: Stef DM and Your Music Company Are Revolutionizing The Music Industry Musical Beginnings Stefan Di Maria has had a passion for music since childhood. In second grade, while the rest of his classmates were focused on their studies, Stefan was belting out a rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” in hopes of making it big one day. Italian born, Arizona raised and Los Angeles living, 25year-old Stefan Di Maria, or better known as “Stef DM” for his musical career, is fulfilling his artistic dreams with a royalty campaign through Your Music Company,

STEFAN DiMARIA an online venture where fans have the power to decide what songs end up on his album by purchasing shares of his company. Stefan splits his time between Italy, Arizona and Los Angeles, but while his residency changes often, one thing has not. “Ever since I could remember, I always wanted to perform,” Di Maria says. “I knew that I wanted to do music from the get [go].” In his younger years, he experimented with instruments and found a natural talent on the guitar.

Chasing His Dreams Instead of pursuing the collegiate path after high school, he moved from Arizona to pursue his career dreams at Musicians Institute in Hollywood. He graduated in 2008 with a 2-year guitar and composition degree, but it was just his presence in Los Angeles that really furthered his career. “It’s more of coming out here and being at that school I was able to really network and meet the people, a lot of the movers and shakers,” he says. “I was able to make a lot of things happen.”

The Musicians Institute gave him the opportunity to “Once I got into high school, I was starting to experiment have a recurring role as a drummer for the NYADA band on “Glee” since season 1. Another chance for with song writing and trying to find my sound and my musical identity,” Di Maria says. “Of course, if somebody exposure came in 2010 when he competed in Italy’s hybrid of “American Idol” and “Big Brother,” called plays an instrument, especially a melodic instrument, “Amici.” usually vocals come with that, so I just naturally started singing because of guitar playing.”

For more fashion and beauty news, follow Clarissa Burt on Twitter @ClarissaBurt and like her on Facebook at Clarissa Burt Official.

Fashion Stef DM + Your Music Company

“Once you give this power to the fans to invest and be part of the music industry, I think it’s a way for people Although these television appearances gave him great who maybe aren’t musical or artistic or in the business to experience, it was his partnership with Your Music be part of the business,” Di Maria says. “And that also Company that has really shaped his career. motivates them to support and tell friends about it and kind of build a community.” “We’ve slowly been working toward development, trying to figure out a vision for my project which is As if funding his music campaign isn’t enough, Di nice because I don’t have to compromise,” Di Maria Maria’s goal after doing a U.S. tour would be a “world said. “I have artistic freedom, which is very rare.” dominating tour,” or at least an international one. In the meantime, he will be the main act at the Chicago Heart He signed a contract with them last summer and is Association Ball in April 2014. now in the process of funding his own campaign, which goes toward producing a digital album and a As a school kid, Di Maria might have had seemingly farmusic video. fetched dreams of sharing his talent with the world. But now he is changing the definition of sharing music, one share of his company at a time.

How You Can Benefit

And if you don’t think you can wait that long to hear Stef DM’s pop-’70s-soul infused demos, you can become a FanVestor by visiting Your Music Company’s website, or you can go to his YouTube page.

Now fans, or “FanVestors,” can go online and choose the songs they like, which ones will be singles, and even the song order on the album. They are, in By Clarissa Burt with Tamara Kraus essence, small scale producers. In order to receive royalties once the album sells, FanVestors must purchase at least one unit, or a minimum of $10, of his company. 25 percent of the album sales will be divided among Di Maria’s FanVestors, depending upon the amount of shares they purchased and how well the album sells. “That’s the big difference between something like Kickstarter or Indigo,” says Di Maria. “It’s actually the first company in America to do this. Instead of just rewarding donators with a signed T-shirt or a coffee mug, they actually can make money on the project.” According to Di Maria, there is only about three and a half months of funding left to reach his calculated goal of $181,080. He is currently at $33,630. Your Music Company is unlike any music sharing website because everyone benefits from the campaign.

January 2014 The Focus  

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