THE OPPOSITE OF ADDICTION

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Reprinted from: http://upliftconnect.com/opposite-addiction-connection published by Jonathan Davis on Friday July 17th, 2015

The following article supports the Time to Play Foundation’s concept behind the development of the Enjoy Life Community(r) program.  The research proves that connection, community and cooperation – what we at the Time to Play Foundation have been working so hard to achieve with the Enjoy Life Community(r) model – will help people to create and empower entire communities to create a better life.

By following the principles of the Enjoy Life Community® program, the Time to Play Foundation can empower communities to focus on the strengths, positive and possibilities in their communities to develop solutions and bridge communication barriers in communities, decrease social isolation that may affect an individual’s decision to utilize a negative self-destructive behavior, and create opportunities that will benefit the whole community through a unique application of positive psychology.  See a brief overview at: http://www.timetoplay.com/community and call 631-331-2675 to learn more.

Do Stronger Human Connections Immunize Us Against Emotional Distress?

Right now an exciting new perspective on addiction is emerging. Johann Harri, author of Chasing The Scream, recently captured widespread public interest with his Ted talk Everything You Know About Addiction Is Wrong, where he concluded with this powerful statement:

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. – Johann Harri

These sentiments are augmented by a growing number of experts, including addiction specialist Dr Gabor Maté, who cites ’emotional loss and trauma’ as the core of addiction. Compare this ’emotional loss’ to Johan Harri’s idea about lack of connection and it is clear they’re talking about a similar emotional condition.

Limbic Resonance

If connection is the opposite of addiction, then an examination of the neuroscience of human connection is in order. Published in 2000, A General Theory Of Love is a collaboration between three professors of psychiatry at the University of California in San Francisco. A General Theory Of Love reveals that humans require social connection for optimal brain development, and that babies cared for in a loving environment are psychological and neurologically ‘immunised’ by love. When things get difficult in adult life, the neural wiring developed from a love-filled childhood leads to increased emotional resilience in adult life. Conversely, those who grow up in an environment where loving care is unstable or absent are less likely to be resilient in the face of emotional distress.

How does this relate to addiction? Gabor Maté observes an extremely high rate of childhood trauma in the addicts he works with and trauma is the extreme opposite of growing up in a consistently safe and loving environment. He asserts that it is extremely common for people with addictions to have a reduced capacity for dealing with emotional distress, hence an increased risk of drug-dependence.

Humans require social connection“Humans require social connection”

How Our Ability To Connect Is Impaired By Trauma

Trauma is well-known to cause interruption to healthy neural wiring, in both the developing and mature brain. A deeper issue here is that people who have suffered trauma, particularly children, can be left with an underlying sense that the world is no longer safe, or that people can no longer be trusted. This erosion (or complete destruction) of a sense of trust, that our family, community and society will keep us safe, results in isolation – leading to the very lack of connection Johann Harri suggests is the opposite of addiction. People who use drugs compulsively do so to avoid the pain of past trauma and to replace the absence of connection in their life.

Social Solutions To Addiction

The solution to the problem of addiction on a societal level is both simple and fairly easy to implement. If a person is born into a life that is lacking in love and support on a family level, or if due to some other trauma they have become isolated and suffer from addiction, there must be a cultural response to make sure that person knows that they are valued by their society (even if they don’t feel valued by their family). Portugal has demonstrated this with a 50% drop in addiction thanks to programs that are specifically designed to re-create connection between the addict and their community.

Human connection is crucial in in the immediate task of clearing trauma“Human connection is crucial in in the immediate task of clearing trauma”

Personal Solutions To Addiction

“Ask not why the addiction, but why the pain.”
– Gabor Maté

Recreating bonds is essential in the long term, but human connection is crucial in in the immediate task of clearing trauma. When a person decides to finally face and feel the pain that they may have been avoiding for years or decades, the first steps cannot be done alone.

“You have to be with that pain, but you have to have support.”
– Gabor Maté

This support is essentially the reintroduction of the care and support which is so important in creating the neural structure of emotional-resilience in early life. By doing so, we begin to replace what was missing, and thanks to the revelations of neuroplasticity we now know that you can in fact teach an old dog new tricks; neural rewiring is possible in adult life. Though it is essential for addicts to feel supported in order to finally face and feel the pain they have been trying to avoid, this is ultimately an inner journey that must be taken by the individual.

“Whatever you do, don’t try and escape from your pain, but be with it. Because the attempt to escape from pain creates more pain.”
The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying

The Roots Of Healing

When we are young, our parents care for us until we are able to do it for ourselves, after all they won’t be there to do it for us forever. Perhaps, on an emotional level this is also true: our parents love us so that we may learn to do it for ourselves. The programs in Portugal have demonstrated that addicts do remarkably well when they feel valued by their community. Whether they realise it or not, the Portuguese are creating positive limbic modelling by valuing the addicts so they can learn to value themselves. When people are there to provide loving support for an addict wishing to face the emotional pain they carry, they are loving them and caring for them until they can learn do love themselves. With this in mind, perhaps the neural-wiring of emotional resilience developed through the loving reflection of another, once fully developed, could simply be called self-love.

 

Johann Hari: Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong

How Can You Reduce Your 1 in 3 Cancer Risk Part 3, What Do Antioxidants Do by Melissa Stockman

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community
How can you reduce your 1 in 3 cancer risk? 
Part 3:  What do antioxidants do?
By Melissa Stockman RN, BC-ANP, PNP                                                                                                            Medical Director of TimeToPlay ,                                                                                                                       Board Certified Nurse Practitioner & RN                                                                                            Email: rejuvn8melissa@aol.com
According to the NCI (National Cancer Institute), “At high concentrations, ….free radicals can be hazardous to your body, including the DNA…The damage to cells caused by free radicals…play a role in cancer & other health conditions”.   Diets rich in antioxidants defend against oxidation of LDL (lipids) & plaque formations that clog arteries & cause CAD.   As per Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center “In small clinical trials, reishi (Reishi is derived from specific mushrooms)…enhanced immune responses in cancer patients.  In another study, …reishi…appeared to suppress development of colorectal adenomas.  Remission of hepatocellular carcinoma was reported in a few cases in a single study.  Another case study suggests benefits of gastrointestinal cancer patients….further research is needed.”  “Reishi …stop the growth & prevent the spread of cancer cells in laboratory & animal studies”, says K. Simon Young, manager of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s “About Herbs” website.  “The mushrooms can also play a role in cancer prevention, says Daniel Silva, Senior Investigator of Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital’s Cancer Research Laboratory in Indianapolis.  I personally take herbal supplementations derived from mushrooms.      
 Antioxidants interact with & neutralize the free radicals to stop that chain reaction of free radicals damaging more nearby atoms or molecules.  Antioxidants donate an electron (-) to end the stealing of electrons which then ends the chain reaction.  Thus, each antioxidant can prevent many many many many free radicals from forming.  The body makes some antioxidants but not enough to keep up with the demand of free radical chain reactions.   Remember, free radical damage accumulates with age.  I believe that since antioxidants stop & slow down free radical formations & their chain reactions, they promote health, slow down oxidation aka aging, promote weight loss, reduce your risk of cancers & other diseases.  Patients of mine who have raised their antioxidant levels seemed to lose their excess weight quicker too.  When we starve ourselves of calories, our bodies compensates by burning the calories slower to conserve energy.  I believe the same thing happens when we don’t get enough nutrients.   
Learn more about preventing free radical damage by reading future parts of this article, joining our “Reduce your 1 in 3 Cancer Risk” 
*Join Melissa for her monthly “Be Healthy Program” at the Time to Play Office located at 1075 Rte 112 Port Jefferson Station starting on Tuesday, February  21st and every 3rd Tuesday of each month. Call 631-331-2675 for details or email Melissa at  rejuvn8melissa@aol.com  Hope to see you there!
 

Tips to Increase Daily Activity

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Yes, we all know that a healthy body is a moving body.  But in today’s high tech and fast moving world sometimes it hard to find the time to get things shakin’. The time is there, its how we use it. According to an article posted on https://www.lihealthcollab.org ” experts at the CDC recommend adults get in at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. These statistics may seem overwhelming to achieve on a busy schedule, but what if we told you that it was possible to sneak in time throughout your day? What if we also told you increasing your activity from couch potato to walking 10 minutes a day, could help you sleep better and be more productive at work? ”

Well what can we do? Avoid the drive -thru, get out and walk, park far from the door and speed walk your way in, get your friends together for a walk, go that one block further while walking the dog. Stairs are a great boost to get you moving going up and down gets the heart pumping!  How about while watching your favorite show you do some crunches or leg lifts. We have more time to do these thing than we think. So okay people, lets get moving!!  For the full article “11 Easy Tips to Help Increase Your Daily Activity go to http://www.lihealthcollab.org/article.aspx?id=ad98746e-8a02-42a1-883c-d983f5b6658b&title=11+Easy+Tips+to+Help+Increase+Your+Daily+Activity

Food of the Gods

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Yes we’ve all read stories of the benefits of dark chocolate , but when its scientific  name Theobroma Cacao, actually translates to “food of the gods”  I think it deserves a second  taste,  er..I mean look. We’ve all read that chocolate affects your brain by causing the release of serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins, all those happy inducing chemicals, and like coffee (mmmm….mocha), chocolate is also a potent source of polyphenol antioxidants. Here, aside from being delicious,are some of the  benefits of eating chocolate .

According to an article at The Huffington Post chocolate can improve cardiovascular health, which in turn can help your skin look better because of the increased blood flow. One study suggested that chocolate can make you less susceptible to sunburn by blocking UV. And with all that blood circulating to the skin it keeps it hydrated! More hydration less wrinkles!

And the most surprising benefit chocolate can help with is the creation of new mitochondria! Chocolate contains the flavanol epicatechin, necessary for mitogenesis. In two separate studies, senile mice ( how does one actually test a mouse for senility) were given epicatechin , and certain bio-markers shifted towards  those of a much younger mouse.There was also improved muscle performance and less fatigue while exercising.  So go ahead be a god and eat some chocolate!  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-asprey/chocolate-health-benefits

Live a longer happier life in a Blue Zone

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There are certain areas of the world where there are more citizens living healthy and happy well into there 90’s and 100’s  then anywhere else, not all are in remote places, there is one right in California! We can all take a lesson from these places and create our own “Blue Zones” within our communities. Eating healthy, walking daily, and keeping our friends and family as a BIG part of our lives all contribute to living a better life! How wonderful it would be to add  our area to the list! For more info go to bluezones.com http://www.bluezones.com

Hemp Seeds????

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Learning, Learning every day. Did you ever hear of Hemp Seeds? I have started using them in my breakfast smoothies.

Excerpt from an article by Dr. Axe: “Research in the 1980s observed that hormone-like substances called prostaglandins play a key role in helping the body function smoothly. It was discovered that prostaglandins help smooth muscles contract, control inflammation and body temperature, and are vital to other body functions. Hemp seed-rich GLA is known to be anecessary building block for some prostaglandins, and researchers have surmised that GLA supplementation is necessary for proper hormone health, which is probably why many women suffering from PMS have been helped by it.” Whole article: http://draxe.com/7-hemp-seed-benefits-nutrition-profile

After all, if you are not “healthy”, you can’t “play”. www.timetoplay.com = resources for a better life. It’s time to enjoy YOUR life!  It’s Time to Play!

Eat Avocado Seeds? Surprising nutritional value!

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Part of the Time to Play Philosophy: If you are not healthy, you cannot play.

I did some research on Avocado seeds. Here’s a great article about why we should EAT (yes, I said that) them:

“Avocados are well known health promoters that are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that do wonders for our skin, blood, tissue and organs. But the seed is actually where most of the fruit’s nutritional potential resides. The seed holds 70 percent of the avocado’s antioxidants, including the well-respected polyphenols associated with green tea.

But … that’s not it! Avocado seeds have more soluble fiber than even top tier fiber providers. It has antioxidants that help regulate intestinal function and have even been shown to prevent tumor growth. Additionally, the oil within ups the amount of collagen in our skin, keeping it young and wrinkle-free, as well as shining up the hair so that we remain good-looking, too.”

Rest of article: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/…/why-you-should-eat-that-av…/

www.timetoplay.com = it’s time to enjoy YOUR life.  The Time to Play Philosophy is you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  The Time to Play Foundation is an advocacy organization intended to inspire people to have a better life.

Coconut Oil — Pretty Amazing Stuff!

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coconut oilResearching, researching and reading… So Jim is down over 28 pounds since 3/29. I’m most impressed. We’ve been following Dr. Hyman’s diet protocols, just got the Eat Fat Get Thin book which really discusses the affects of processed foods, flour, sugar on insulin and diabetes. I’ve also been following Dr. Axe, and he posted this article today which I wanted to share. Based on what I’ve been reading these past weeks,coconut oil is helpful to decrease blood sugars and is beneficial to heart health and to help lower high blood pressure.

Certainly worth a read! http://draxe.com/coconut-oil-uses/

www.timetoplay.com = resources for a better life. It’s time to enjoy YOUR life!

 

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

Medjool dates as a sugar substitute

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mejool datesOver the past few weeks my husband and I have been following a no added sugar diet.  He had been to the doctor about a month ago and found that his blood tests showed his A1C was a 7 and that he had also now developed high blood pressure.  The high blood pressure pushed me over.  I think it did for him, too.  His grandpa passed from a massive stroke.  This is not something either of us want to experience.  Over my almost 30 years in healthcare, I have learned that, many times, so many health issues are avoidable and that pills are just band-aids and not solutions to rectify a root cause of the health issue.

SO… I in my last article I wrote how we had found a book by Dr. Mark Hyman, the 10 Day Diet Detox.  I’m not going to lie.  It’s been quite a lot of work for me to shop and to be creative with recipes and make modifications to accommodate a whole food diet.  And I’m at the food store frequently because we really do go through a lot of vegetables and meat.

BUT, the results have been amazing!  Jim is down almost 23 pound in 26 days.  I am down 7 (I started at 123 pounds).  And, he hasn’t even started exercising yet.

Over these past few weeks, we have pretty much learned that the carbohydrates in our diet make us fat and that (my opinion) the food pyramid is killing our people.  I’ve been working hard to keep our blood sugar from spiking due to consuming high sugar (glycemic) foods, and have been very careful to avoid processed foods – even salad dressings, although we did have some honey mustard dressing from Whole Foods (365 brand) yesterday which did have 5 grams of sugar in a 2 tablespoon serving (but there is honey in there).  I also have used their prepared olive oil balsamic and red wine vinegar dressings for convenience, as there are no preservatives or ingredients I would not eat in there.  The red wine dressing also has no sugar and is pretty tasty!

So, for the past 26 days, we have been dairy free, gluten free, carb free (except for tons and tons of veggies), sugar free, except for sugar in the foods themselves, like a tomato or the strawberries or blueberries in our morning power smoothies.  We have eliminated all bread and pasta and have been very selective with starchy vegetables like potatoes.  We have had 1 sweet potato over the past 26 days, and I have substituted things like cauliflower mashed potatoes and zucchini spirals “pasta” sauteed with garlic and olive oil into our dinners.  Yesterday I made zucchini pancakes using grated zucchini, coconut flour an egg, salt and pepper fried in olive oil.  Really delicious!

Additionally, I am a New York State Diabetes Prevention Counselor.  For the past 3 years I have been telling people to follow a low fat low calorie diet.  While the NYS recommended preventive diet was not intended for people to substitute “low fat” foods like low fat cookies, but to choose lean meats and veggies as the primary food choices, the NYS recommendations have not advocated for eating fats.  The results of my participants, if they stuck with it over the 16 week program, did show weight loss, but not a fast drop.

Jim’s results have been incredible in comparison. As I’ve been speaking to a “low fat low calorie” over the past 3 years, I had a hard time initially accepting the recommendations in the books by Dr. Hyman that you consume good fats – lots and lots of them.  The calories!!!!

BUT — for the past 26 days we have eaten more fat than we have eaten in our lives – nuts… lots and lots of nuts – almond butter, coconut oil, walnuts, pecans, pistachios…. and avocados, and olive oil… and Jim lost weight and I lost weight.  Again, his weight loss has astounded me.

I’m not going to lie, the shift in our food choices is still a huge commitment – a choice – and had been an adjustment from eating bagels and such.  The first week was pretty tough. There is no doubt about it.  No matter what, you need to commit with any program you choose – and the program has to be sustainable, a forever change for the rest of your life.  I think it is important to consider the consequences if you don’t make the shift. With Jim’s circumstance, the risk of Type 2 diabetes was so great.  At 53 years old, he finally did commit, and I am so proud of him.

There have been no sacrifices here. We are not hungry. We eat 6-8 ounces of protein with our meals, tons of veggies, soup, nuts and more. No fake shakes or supplements – real food. We have snacks.  We eat foods I would never have considered to serve on a “diet”.  There is no DIE-t here.  We are not eating LOW CALORIE.  We don’t measure food.  We don’t track what we eat.  We have just eliminated the foods we shouldn’t eat and have changed the way we eat.  Think about it.  Humans were hunter gatherers initially before someone invented bread and chocolate chip cookies.  The whole thing makes sense if you really think about it.

Dr. Hyman’s book is also intended to detox your body from the toxins in our foods, like MSG which is hidden in everything.  I feel healthier than I have my whole life.  I had been gluten free for years but still experienced joint pain, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, and more. I now feel amazing. No pain, no inflammation.  I even “detoxed” from coffee – as per Dr. Hyman’s recommendations.  I never thought I would be able to do this, as I was the hugest coffee fiend.  But  my energy levels have incredibly increased with no “highs” and “lows”.  I no longer need the afternoon cup to keep me going.

However, after 26 days, as a recovering dessert fiend, I really needed a cookie.  That is just a mental need, not an actual food requirement. Nevertheless, I have been researching the glycemic index in sugars and honey for what I could make to avoid blood sugar spikes while enjoying a periodic special treat.  Yesterday, after researching recipes including paleo recipes, I did make a cookie that reminded us of macaroons that included coconut oil, coconut flour, unsweetened coconut, cacao nibs, and honey. Definitely not “diet”, but acceptable in the food choices we have been following.  But, through the research I have been doing, honey, while totally good for you, does seem to potentially increase blood sugars in diabetics and is recommended to be used in moderation.

OK — so I’ve learned that except for things like romaine lettuce or green non-starchy veggies, everything needs to be used in moderation.

But, I did find the sugar substitute I have been looking for — and none of those yucky chemicals which I refuse to use.

Interestingly enough I found article after article that Medjool dates not only don’t spike blood sugars and that they are good for lowering bad cholesterol, good for your heart, and have a ton of antioxidants.  Here’s an easy to read article I would recommend http://wholefoodsexplorer.com/2014/03/05/reasons-love-dates-the-fruit

There are recommendations that Medjool dates can be used 1:1 as a sugar substitute in recipes.  I have to go to my sister’s for dinner tomorrow night and will definitely be bringing a desert recipe with me.  I’m really excited to try it!

By the way — I did purchase the Medjool dates from Trader Joe’s.  From a few articles I have read, they seem to be softer than those found in other places and that they are easier to use, as it is recommended to soak the dates in hot water before pureeing to mix into recipes when substituting for the sugar.

Please note that this article is not a substitute for medical intervention, but is a report on some of the findings we have experience with our diet change and research I have been doing.  Please do ask your doctor before you try anything… and, please find a different doctor if all your current doctor does is just give you prescriptions.

After all, it’s time to enjoy life.  If you are not healthy, you cannot enjoy life.  Trust me, I’ve worked in skilled nursing homes since 2001.

Every moment of every day should be like play.  Make your life the best it can be.

Love,

Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  The concept behind time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE. Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

Make the Most of Your Mornings

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I found an article that is just a beginning spark to make our days start better.  The article’s primary message?  Find out what works best for you.

I spent many mornings rushing and getting the kids out.  Hectic mornings over and over again.  But I didn’t realize, during the time I was in the situation, that there was a better way.

So, here’s the article.  Again, it’s just a start.  Best advice?  Take a moment to determine if you like how your mornings go (or any other part of the day for that matter) or not.  If not, make a change.  It might just be a small change.  But, the end goal?  To love life.  Every moment. Every day.

After all, it is time to play!

Love, Doreen

http://www.chopra.com/ccl/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-mornings?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=CCL+160412&utm_campaign=Newsletter2016412