Posts

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Rational vs. Irrational

rational vs irrational

Today’s reflection stems from my thoughts regarding this past week’s emotional roller coaster.

With people getting attacked for their views, I believe it really emphasizes the idea behind the science of social and emotional intelligence education.

Personally, I have to admit that this past week was hard for me.  Even with all the training I have had in life coaching and emotional intelligence coaching, I unfortunately allowed the whole negative energy to get “in” and affect me in a negative manner.  I can’t remember being so exhausted.

That being said, each experience does broaden our own personal awareness in order for us to use the experience to make future changes to enhance our quality of life.

Based on my conversations with many people, very few seem to have awareness about social and emotional intelligence. I find it worthwhile for this article to focus on what it is and what it can do for individuals and corporate organizations going forward.

Social and Emotional Intelligence is a learned behavior which I believe is the root of individual behavior and our quality of life.

Social and Emotional Intelligence has been defined as:  The ability to be aware of our own emotions and those of others, in the moment, and to use that information to manage ourselves and manage our relationships.

I believe that having an individual strong Social and Emotional Intelligence is so important.

I also believe there is an appropriate level of behavior that people need to exhibit when reacting to any situation, whether personal or in a workplace.  I believe that reactions need to be one of rational expression where we need to consider the whole situation and that we need to consider the ramifications of our own personal behavior.  I believe our behavior and reactions positively or negatively impact our lives and our relationships.

For example, think about explosive behavior in a workplace.  If you have a boss that does not consider all sides to a situation, but just reacts in an explosive manner, how does that make you feel?

This can be applied to any circumstance or relationship including that between yourself and your spouse, your parent, your child, your coworker, a checkout clerk, or that of a person driving a car next to you.

Our reactions are truly important to consider, which brings me back to why I wrote this article which discusses the potential different perceptions of people regarding rational vs. irrational behavior.  I believe we need to become aware of, and have a need for, broad social and emotional intelligence coaching.

In today’s society, I personally do not think we have the filters we used to have for our behaviors.  I also believe we have, as a society, have come to accept less controlled reactions from others.  It has become commonplace for bullying, riots, road rage and mass shootings, and we seem to have become desensitized and have come to expect these occurrences.  Personally, as we are not a barbaric society, I believe that this is step in the wrong direction.

While I do believe self expression is important, I also believe it is necessary to consider the “whole” and that it is the responsibility for each of us to control our reactions to not impede the rights, health, or to negatively impact the lives of others.  Ever hear the idiom “it is a two-way street”?  It may be necessary to consider that compromise is a necessary consideration in our interactions with others.  The problem with this is that we have to recognize how our behaviors and reactions relate to compromise and finding solutions to situations in a manner that is best for all.

I believe a strong social and emotional intelligence is necessary to have a quality of life for not only an individual, but the whole.

The following is an excerpt from the book, Emotional Intelligence written by Daniel Goleman in 1995:   “The emotional lessons we learn as children at home and at school shape the emotional circuits, making us more adept – or inept – at the basics of emotional intelligence.  This means that childhood and adolescence are critical windows of opportunity for setting down the essential emotional habits that govern our lives”.  He noted that hazards await those who, in growing to maturity, fail to master the emotional realm.  He further noted that deficiencies in emotional intelligence heighten a spectrum of risks from depression or a life of violence to eating disorders and drug abuse, and how teaching children the emotional and social skills they need can keep their lives on track.  Mr. Goleman reported that a survey of parents and teachers showed a worldwide trend for the present generation of children to be more troubled emotionally than the last:  more lonely and depressed, more angry and unruly, more nervous and prone to worry, more impulsive and aggressive.

Again, acknowledging that social and emotional intelligence is learned behavior, I advocate for the need for us to learn these necessary skills. Emotional Intelligence is an important component of the Foundation’s PREinvent YOUR Life® program.

During my Social and Emotional Intelligence coaching education, I learned there were 26 competencies that affect our reactions and behaviors that include: Emotional self-awareness, accurate self-awareness, personal power, behavioral self-control, integrity, innovation and creativity, initiative and bias for action, achievement drive, realistic optimism, resilience, stress management, personal agility, intentionality, empathy, situational awareness, service orientation, communication, interpersonal effectiveness, powerful influencing skills, conflict management, inspirational leadership, catalyzing change, building bonds, teamwork and collaboration, coaching and mentoring others and building trust.

I believe that you can build on your emotional intelligence strengths and that, if you have vulnerability in any particular area, it will negatively impact your quality of life and the quality of life of those with whom you interact.

Please feel free to contact me at 631-331-2675 if you have questions regarding social and emotional intelligence.  I would be most willing to discuss your personal situation.

With the knowledge that we are only able to control ourselves, our behavior, our feelings and our actions, I believe it is necessary to start with ourselves to insure a better future.  I believe it is time for us to each be personally responsible for our ability to achieve quality of life.

Just imagine the possibilities.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC:

Doreen holds a Bachelor of Science in Management, a Masters in Business and Policy Studies, is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a Certified Social and Emotional Intelligence Coach, Certified Professional Coach, Certified Life Coach, and the author of the book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.

Doreen is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit organization with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.  The Foundation’s website, www.TimetoPlayFoundation.org, has resources, events and articles for a person to learn what they need to know for a better life.

The Foundation offers an unconventional approach in a non-threatening manner to provide solutions for the life situations that people may encounter.  Working in healthcare since 1987, and with her background in quality improvement, she has followed statistics showing our society’s current evolution to be more “sick and sad”.   She developed the Time to Play Philosophy:  you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work / life balance for quality of life and believes everyone has the ability to enjoy life.

Photo credit:  https://sophistics.wordpress.com

 

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“First” vs. “Best”

Best

Best

There has been a lot of talk about “Firsts” lately.  What does “First” really mean?

So, I got to thinking…

As far as achievement, I believe “First” is a milestone.  For example, “first” steps, “first” car, “first” words.

Merriam – Webster dictionary defined the adjective of “First” as: coming before all others in time, order, or importance (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/first)

“Firsts” can, also, perhaps, encourage others and provide examples to others on how they can move forward and achieve, too.  I believe motivating others and encouraging others is truly important.  I believe it’s our personal responsibility to strive and grow and to help others do the same.

“Firsts” are definitely important, but are they the MOST important?  “Firsts” can provide people a vision to build upon and then to achieve beyond what was “first”.

Throughout the development of the concepts behind the Time to Play Foundation, I have come to realize and believe that everyone has something to offer that can help someone else.  I say all the time that we are all not going to be “Oprah” – Oprah is Oprah and we are ourselves — but imagine if we each contributed a tiny bit… if we each used a little of our gifts, expertise and personal power to move things forward, to make our communities better, to reach out and help another.  Imagine the impact this could make.  If all of the “regular” people really worked together…

I believe moving forward and making things happen is incredibly important, and do not believe that we, as a whole, have an ability to stay stagnant.  People have incredible imaginations.  At this point in my life I do not believe that anything anyone can come up with is impossible.  I think that if you dream it, you can do it.  Look at the 3-D printer – who can even believe such a thing is possible?  Look at how far technology and modern conveniences have come in just the recent past.  Our grandparents would not even believe it.

This brings me back towards achievement, motivation and “Firsts”.

Personally, I believe “Bests” are even more important.

Think about it.  If you put an ad in the local newspaper to watch your children or your dog, would you hire the “First” person that answers the ad or the “Best” to be able to take care of your prized possession?

Would you put your money in the “First” bank you drive to or the “Best” and most responsible?

Would you have an operation with the “First” doctor you visited or the “Best” to perform the surgery?

These are a few things just to get you thinking.  We have to be careful and responsible with our personal choices.  We have to research and we have to trust that we make the right decisions for all things that affect our lives and the lives of our children.

“First” or “Best” can make a dramatic difference.  “Firsts” give us a starting point that provides us with the fuel to create “Bests”.

Today, look at what you are and what you have achieved… then look at what is your passion.

We have all accomplished “firsts”.  Let’s continue to strive and grow.  We can have the “BEST” life ever.

Just imagine the possibilities.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified social and emotional intelligence coach, 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.

Image credit a2ua.com/best.html

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“I’m Not Good At That”

I Can Do It

I Can Do It“I’m Not Good At That”

How many times have you said this, or have heard someone else say this statement?

It’s really easy to say, and it’s very easy to disqualify something that you may want to do or try because “you’re not good at” it or are scared to try it.

Let’s step back and really look at skills and becoming “good” at something.

Did you ever realize how most things – or I should say everything – in life is a learned behavior – even the simplest tasks?   If you have kids, do you remember teaching them how to do something as “simple” as using a fork to eat or how to use the potty?  Remember learning how to drive?  Remember learning the alphabet?

It’s pretty easy to say you can’t do something because you’re not good at it.   For many things in life, not being “good at” something may be fine.  Maybe it’s not that important to you to implement into your life.  However, sometimes not being “good at” something can hold you back from a position at work or from participating in an activity you could or would enjoy.

There’s nothing more important than taking the first step to learn “how to”.  So, let’s get started and set a plan to become “good at” it.

  • First, with the wonder of Google, get the Google on and learn what you need to do to accomplish whatever the “not good at” is.
  • Then, make a sheet with a list of what you need to do to become “good at” it. Do you need lessons?  Do you need to read things? Do you need a class?
  • Make sure to put the list on PAPER so you can see what you need to do, as well as put a due DATE to accomplish each part of the list so you stay on track and actually do it.

It’s easy to say you’re finally going to do something.  Most times we’ll just never “get to” it, but getting started and using a system like the above will help with the commitment to actually get started.

It also may help with scheduling the learning, tasks, lessons, etc. into your calendar to keep you going and accomplishing your goals.  Accountability is the key here.

And, when you get discouraged or decide there’s no time, remember the commitment behind accomplishing this “thing”. For example, remember the Olympic athletes.  While they make things look “easy”, think of the hours and the sacrifice and the commitment they made to achieve their accomplishments.  Nothing worth having is achieved in one day. Things take time, commitment, and mostly practice, practice, practice.

From personal experience, I know I can achieve anything I set my mind to accomplish.  It’s our own personal decision to make the choice (always the word choice for everything in our day and our lives) to move forward to learn a skill. And, the results are always rewarding.

Everything we do is a learned behavior and a choice… even something we think should be simple, like how to have a nice day.

Like Walt Disney said, “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It”.

Just imagine the possibilities.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

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 http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

Photo Credit:  https://uptitude.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/i-can-do-it/

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Honesty and Integrity

Honesty is the best policy

Honesty is the best policyWith this “race for the white house” upon us, I cannot help but think about these two words.

Honesty and Integrity.

I will not be getting political here.  I believe it is up to each of us to have our own beliefs and opinions and our own freedom to choose.

However, as I watch a race where I believe a particular candidate will do or say anything to be elected, I cannot help but think of the power behind these words: honesty and integrity.  I cannot help but wonder when our elected officials stopped being the government by the people for the people as designed by our founding fathers.  Did you ever stop to think how, in just 240 short years since our American revolution, we could screw so much up?  I also cannot help but wonder when becoming President of the United States become such a prize that it no longer represents all people in this great Country.

In the life of my personal family, I taught my children the value of honesty and integrity.  I believe our current political races teach our youth that it is OK to lie to personal advantage.  The whole situation makes me quite sad for the future of our Country.

As for myself, I will NEVER tell someone I am going to do something and not complete the task.  I taught my children not to lie to anyone and that, if you do, in the end, the truth will come out.  I learned these lessons by personal observation when I was young.  I saw the affects of my own relative hurting others by not being truthful (you can read more in my book www.ifIknewthenbook.com to learn more).

I believe it is so important to live in truth.  I believe that truth gives you freedom.

Think about that for a moment….

When someone does not personally tell you the truth, whether it is a spouse, a coworker, a sibling, or your child – how does that make you feel?

Personally, if someone does not act truthful or complete what they say I do feel betrayed and am more cautious in dealing with that person the next time.  However, please note: I learned some years ago to let these feelings go, to forgive the person and move forward.  I learned that the only person hurt while staying in a negative and hurtful situation is myself.  One thing that is most important to consider here is how the memory of the betrayal affects our current and future opinions and actions about that person or a specific situation.  As I personally have stated many times, my goal is to have a nice day, every day, so I can enjoy life.  It’s important to assess and recognize our feelings.  If our feelings are of hate or retaliation, we need to take a moment to stop, reassess, and determine the best way to move forward to insure a positive life experience.

So…. back to our topic.  In reference to honesty and integrity, take a moment to evaluate this:

  • What do you stand for?
  • What do you expect for the future and what will you accept in your life?
  • How do you treat others?

These are questions you can use to start to live in your own truth and integrity.

Starting with ourselves to make ourselves better will insure a better future.  We are only able to control ourselves, our behavior, our feelings and our actions.

Just imagine the possibilities.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

Photo credit:  https://www.askideas.com/honesty-is-the-best-policy

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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.

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I Believe We Can All Find Something to Be Grateful For

I am grateful for; gratitude; grateful

I am grateful for; gratitude; gratefulThis article was sparked by a recent experience, and I felt I should share.

My husband and I just got back from a 5-day cruise.  The cruise activities director spent the whole cruise saying “How Are You Feeling?” and expecting a response of “GREAT!”

The last night he explained why.

He read some statistics which I will share in a moment.  It was about the statistical breakdown if the world had 100 people and how many would fall into different categories.  He noted that, after he read the statistics, he no longer answered that he was feeling “good”, a general response many of us give many times if we are asked that question in a general greeting.

He said he now answers “Great” or “Amazing” if someone asks how he is doing, because he realized that he had so much to be thankful for in his own life.

Here are the statistics broken down as of 2006.  The original statistics were provided by Donella Meadows from the Peace Corps in 1990 and can be viewed here.   Source for the below:  http://www.100people.org/statistics_100stats.php

If the World were 100 PEOPLE:
  • 50 would be female | 50 would be male
  • 26 would be children:  There would be 74 adults, 8 of whom would be 65 and older
  • There would be: 60 Asians, 15 Africans, 14 people from the Americas, 11 Europeans
  • 33 Christians, 22 Muslims, 14 Hindus, 7 Buddhists, 12 people who practice other religions, 12 people who would not be aligned with a religion
  • 12 would speak Chinese, 5 would speak Spanish, 5 would speak English, 3 would speak Arabic, 3 would speak Hindi, 3 would speak Bengali, 3 would speak Portuguese, 2 would speak Russian, 2 would speak Japanese, 62 would speak other languages, 83 would be able to read and write; 17 would not
  • 7 would have a college degree
  • 22 would own or share a computer
  • 77 people would have a place to shelter them from the wind and the rain, but 23 would not
  • 1 would be dying of starvation
  • 15 would be undernourished
  • 21 would be overweight
  • 87 would have access to safe drinking water | 13 people would have no clean, safe water to drink

Personally, I am most grateful for my life.  I have a home and food to eat.  I probably own 10 computers (not sure if that is a blessing?), I have a car. I have love and a wonderful family.  I have freedom.

I agree and believe that responding to a “How are you doing” in a “GREAT!” manner is healthy, and I adopted saying “Excellent” a few years ago if I am asked.  When I respond “Excellent”, I feel much more positive.

There is a lot of research that shows counting our own personal blessings, of being in a state of gratitude, looking for the bright side, and focusing on something positive, is healthy for us.

I know that it is hard to do many times, and I know it is not something I had learned to do when I was younger.  During my childhood I had learned envy, jealousy and to focus on lack – not to focus on what I had and to be grateful for my life, but to focus on what I didn’t have.  I wrote about this in my book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now“, which brought the awareness to spur the proactive approach of our foundation.  Through my life learning and awareness, and through a lot of reading, education and research, it has become my life purpose to provide the education, tips and tools for you and others to learn how to PREinvent YOUR Life®.  What does that mean?  To bring awareness, life and coping skills to others sooner than later so people have the opportunity to have their best life longer.

I believe the current system in our society is reinvention and recovery, which causes us to unlearn our way of thinking and to RE-learn how to enjoy life.  But, how about if we started out with the right skills at the onset so we can enjoy life the whole time?  There’s a lot more to this concept which I’ve shared and will continue to share and present.

In our current society, many of us are taught to focus on the negative.  Don’t believe me?  Just watch the news.  We seem to revel in disaster or sadness.  There are so many things that we can focus on, instead.  There are so many people and organizations doing amazing things — so many people out there that, if we band together, can make every community the most amazing place to live for all people.

In reference to gratitude, I have been reading Dr. Martin Seligman’s book Flourish.  He discussed the affects of positive emotions and health benefits of those who found something to be grateful for and how the focus on something positive that happened to them, “people who habitually acknowledge and express gratitude” see benefits in their health, sleep, relationships and perform better in their life.  Dr. Seligman had people reflect on one thing that happened the day before that was a “blessing” or something they were grateful for.  This shift in finding one thing that we are grateful for can shift our whole perspective so we can enjoy life.

Here’s some information on another study on gratitude.  There are tons of studies out there, so just Google “gratitude and happiness” if you want to learn more.  In this study, two groups of people were asked to keep journals.  One group kept track of five things they were grateful for that had occurred in the past week, and the other group kept track of daily hassles from the previous week that displeased them.  They reported that, 10 weeks later, the people in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole, were a full 25 percent happier, and reported fewer health complaints.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ocean-robbins/having-gratitude-_b_1073105.html

I believe this to be true.  Personally, if I focus on how tough my week is, how horrible something is, how _________________ (fill in the blank), I feel tired, achy, or miserable.

Take a moment and reflect on yourself:  How do you feel when you focus on how you hate your job, or how you are angry at someone, or how you have a lack in your life?

Imagine the shift that could be possible if you focused on the positive things — the shift in your attitude, the shift in your personality.

I’m not saying everything in life is perfect.  Not everything is 1000% perfect in my life all the time, either.

BUT, I personally know that if I dwell on the negative, I feel worse.

After years of working on the Time to Play project, I have realized that the “KEY” is to recognize what I’m feeling and to dig a little — to recognize what my focus is and to figure out why I feel a specific way, especially if I am not feeling good.  Once I know the “why” (the root cause), I know I can move away from the situation and shift my focus and my thinking.

In the end, I know that it is always up to me to have the best day I can — no matter what the circumstances.

I know that I can only control me to have an enjoyable day, which is my goal everyday.  I cannot control anyone else’s behavior.  I do thank Rebecca L. Norrington, our Time to Play Foundation’s happiness expert, for sparking this awareness in me many years ago.  This awareness is definitely necessary to appropriately reach to life situations in a better manner to create a better life.

Start easy — just focus on something, one thing, to be grateful for – whether you do it at night before you go to sleep or when you wake up to start your day — or, maybe, do both!

You will notice a tremendous difference in how you feel.  I guarantee it.

After all, it is time to enjoy life.  It is Time to Play.

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

 

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Benefits of a Diet Change

Benefits of Diet Change

Benefits of Diet ChangeThe Time to Play Philosophy is that you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance.

As far as health, as a person who has worked in healthcare over these last almost 30 years observing the increase of “sick and sad” in our society, I think the “healthy” part is most important.  If you are not feeling 100%, it’s hard to enjoy life.  If something is not 100%, I believe it is so important to be your own best advocate to find a solution that works for you.

Over my lifetime, I’ve become a detective of sorts.  For so many years I have lived with crampiness and bloating which impacted many areas of my life.  Again and again I learn about food reactions and our body’s “rejection” of what we are eating and “reacting” in ways that do not benefit us.  But, this is not top of mind for many healthcare practitioners – again, it is important to be your own best advocate to get to a root cause of what ails you.

My husband and I recently modified our diet significantly by implementing “the blood sugar solution” through Dr. Mark Hyman’s 10-Day Diet Detox.  OK…  so, “Detox” is historically a bad word.  I agree.  So many “detox” programs out there are super strict or are yucky shakes or expensive programs.  This lifestyle change is not that.  It’s more of a paleo lifestyle, but modified a little more to exclude foods that can convert to sugar and spike insulin.

So, through research and trial and error, I have eliminated foods that we eat that may spike insulin after consuming.  The primary reason we started was to help my husband decrease his risk for conversion to type 2 diabetes.  When we started our lifestyle modification, his A1c was a 7.  The results since our lifestyle change have been astounding.  Within one month his A1c went down to a 6.5 and his triglycerides went down 170 points.  Now, approximately 47 days later, he’s down almost 40 pounds.  Today he put on a size XL shirt for the first time in years.  It’s been pretty impressive and a great experience overall!

Change is hard.  Throughout my career, I have observed people with lung disease continue to smoke, people with diabetes continue to eat fried foods and sweets, people with potentially reversible health issues triggered by gluten allergies continue to eat the gluten, and more…

I am not judging.

I am not preaching.

I totally get it.

It’s not easy to make a life change.  My husband had been struggling with his weight over the last 33 years I’ve known him, and we tried so many things that did not work.  It gets discouraging.

I know in the scheme of things, we need to weigh the “benefits of” continuing to do what we do or adopting something that can make a shift to a place where we can better enjoy life.  We need to keep trying even when we feel we can’t try anymore.  It’s up to us to become detectives in our lives – to find the right path so we can become more happy, more healthy, have more money and have a work life balance. It’s up to us to learn what we need to know and weigh if the “benefits of” something outweigh what we are doing in our lives.

Personally, at 50 years old, I’m game to try anything that can make my life as good as it can be for as long as it can be.

As I wrote in my book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now”, I wish I knew what I know now so many years ago.  I truly believe my quality of life would have been improved by implementing our current diet.  I spent many, many days feeling poorly.

The benefits of my lifestyle eating program change definitely outweigh the way I lived for almost 50 years.  Becoming a detective to determine the food that was making me feel poorly instead of just popping pills to counter my stomach issues is definitely a benefit that I cannot dispute.  As an extra bonus, the way I look and the way I feel has also dramatically improved.

Easy?

Nope.

A lot of work to plan, food shop and prepare our own meals?

Yup.

But, I’ll take the “benefits of” the extra work to prepare our meals over feeling poorly any day.

Sometimes it’s necessary for us to stop and reevaluate what we are doing to make a shift that can give us significant benefits so we can enjoy our life:  whether it is a relationship issue, a job issue, a health issue or a quality of life issue.

It’s always our choice.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

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 http://www.timetoplay.com/ for more information.

Photo Credit: www.prosperhomecare.com/healthy-food-plan/

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Medjool dates as a sugar substitute

mejool dates

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.

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CREATING A GOAL DIRECTED CULTURE

Goal

GoalOne of the most important motivational techniques a leader can use for success is goal setting that involves all team members. Without specific written goals with plans of action to attain them the success of your organization is left to chance.

The future of your organization is far too important to be left to chance. It begins with you.

Unless you as the leader are goal directed and create a goal setting climate in all levels of your organization, most of your other leadership efforts will be in vain.  You can’t effectively set goals for another person, but you can create a climate that encourages and develops goal seeking attitudes. You can also help team members relate their goals to overall organizational goals.  There are four components of directing the goal setting of others.

  1. Team members must choose their own goals. To accomplish any goal, people must have a genuine commitment to  it. When personal goals can be realized to accomplish organizational goals, a higher motivational climate will exist.
  2. Make it a challenge. Encourage team members to set goals and stretch themselves to do more than they have accomplished in the past. To be motivating, some risk will be involved.  Low goals don’t inspire people to use their full potential to be all they can be.  Goals that are set high cause people to stretch, reach, grow, and use more of their full potential.  As a result, they achieve more.
  3. Establish a personal development philosophy. When you expect your team members to grow and develop more of their potential, you can also expect and accept shortcomings. After all, if your team members already had all the qualities you possess, they would probably already be in your position or in one comparable to it.  Be willing to make allowances for occasional shortcomings, and avoid being too demanding.  You will grow personally as you help your team members grow, and in effect, you will multiply yourself by building their leadership capacities.  If, on the other hand, you have no tolerance for their shortcomings, you will in some form communicate this rejection to them, and they will gradually cease to set goals.  The results will be the opposite of what you want to accomplish.
  4. Give feedback on performance. Just as you’re better able to motivate yourself when you have periodic feedback on your performance, team members also need to know how they’re doing. Give them frequent, specific feedback.  This will encourage them to set new and higher goals.

Goal setting is a prelude to action and is dynamic.  When you and your team members set and achieve goals on a regular basis, you increase your chances of success.  At the same time, team members grow, develop and begin to use more of their talents and abilities.

Image credit:  http://halaschool.com

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What is Stopping YOU?

Back to Basics

Back to BasicsSo, it’s the beginning of the 2nd quarter of 2016.

Take a moment to stop and reflect on what you’ve been up to over these past three months (time does fly!), and make a plan, that’s right – a plan, for the second quarter.

We use planning for our businesses, or for our retirement, so why not for us, too?

I decided the easiest way to really delve into this topic was to research some New Year’s resolutions that people had made for 2016.  I found a video from Good Morning America that had the top 5 resolutions from a survey of 5,000 people, which included:  1) Enjoy Life to the Fullest; 2) Live a Healthier Lifestyle; 3) Lose Weight; 4) Spend More Time With Family and Friends; and 5) Save More, Spend Less.  http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/top-years-resolutions-2016-36026752

That pretty much sums up the Time to Play Philosophy!  Be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance so you can Enjoy Life.  Interesting, right?

But, what’s stopping you from making these things happen?  We all may have said it sometime, that we will do ___________ (fill in the blank) someday.  But when is someday today.

It is statistically shown that over 80% of people will give up on the resolutions that they said they would pursue on New Year’s Eve.  Enjoying life to the fullest is not one that anyone should give up on.

So, what’s stopping you from achieving what you want out of life?  Most people will say time.  Don’t get overwhelmed.  This time create sustainable goals – little steps, little bites – something we can do now, today, to make things happen.

This is the backbone to our upcoming seminar, “Winning at Life – It’s Time to Get Back to Basics”.  After so many years as an idea, I cannot even convey how excited I am to see this conference unfolding.  The goal is to give every attendee something that they can use in their lives to move forward so they can enjoy life.

By the end of the morning at our seminar, I hope people will start to realize what holds them back from moving forward.  A little bit of an oxymoron, but I believe valid.  Most times, I believe, we don’t even realize there is something holding us back.  But, instead of dwelling on the past where we were fearful we couldn’t succeed, our goal is to create a positive to shift.

What holds us back?  Maybe it’s just the simple fact that we don’t think we have time to take on something else in our lives.  I’ve got to tell you – if you really want it, the time somehow magically appears.  It’s pretty amazing.

With that, my biggest hope for an outcome of the conference is that people will take away something a little different and be prepared to move forward – to find opportunities that are available in this very moment to shift them from what stops them from achieving or pursuing or completing something that had been started, or embarking on a dream, or taking that trip, or going to school, or being more healthy, etc., and to go for it.

It’s time to get back to basics to figure out what is keeping us from being happy, healthy, having money, or a work life balance.

It’s time to stop letting that underlying cause, something that we might not even be aware of, stop us from actually moving forward.

Is it hard to move forward and change?  Maybe.  But, maybe it’s time to take that first step.  Ask yourself, where will you be if you don’t do it?  No should have’s here.  No regrets.

After all, it is time to enjoy life.  It is Time to Play.

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

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How to stick to a healthy diet….

10 day detox diet mark hyman

10 day detox diet mark hyman

So, we have all been there…. the diet roller coaster where we work so hard and then give up because it becomes too overwhelming to continue.

Now-a-days there are tons of resources out there for us to learn what we need to know so we can enjoy life.  And, aside from the resources, there is a ton of support.  Those of you who may be familiar with the time to play philosophy know I have been advocating for #PeopleHelpingPeople and Collaboration = Success.  I believe that, together, we can go further faster.

I am a NYS Department of Health Diabetes Prevention Counselor.  Over the past 3 years I have “taught” 3 groups.  We started out with 20 in the beginning and we dwindle to 2.  Every time.  The program is excellent, but it is 16 weeks and it is commitment.

After 50 years of life, I know in life that there are no shortcuts.  However, there has to be a motivation and a priority from within that set us up to succeed.  There must be some type of commitment and a reminder of why something is important enough to capture our attention to pursue.  Looking at situations in our own life, it is our choice to decide if we are pleased with how anything in life is going, or, if not, how we can make a change.  Life is short.  It’s important to realize that and it’s important for us enjoy life and that it is ultimately up to us to do so — no one can make that happen for us but ourselves — not our spouse, not our friends, not our kids, not our boss (you get the idea).

With that, here’s an article posted by Dr. Hyman, a health expert, yesterday, regarding how to stick to a healthy eating plan… this time. Sustainability is the key.  http://ecowatch.com/2016/03/28/how-to-stick-to-healthy-diet 

Jim and I are going to be starting his 10-day detox diet today.  You are welcome to join us in our journey to break the cycle.  Give us a call at 631-331-2675 or email doreen@timetoplay.com.  It’s time to enjoy YOUR life & be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance.  It’s Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

Photo from: http://www.10daydetox.com/successfuldetox/

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.