Furthermore, chronic inflammation is a precursor of disease and aging. Stress-related chronic inflammation can lead to belly fat accumulation.
Benefits of Connecting with Your Inner Child
My favorite elementary school teacher savored a dark chocolate bar during lunchtime—yet she was stick-thin. I recall my mother remarking on her excellent genes. However, I theorize that my teacher’s slim figure was a result of her after-school passion—her Arabian horses.
Thanks to her generous invitation, my parents and I visited her home where my teacher taught me to find emotion in her horses’ soulful eyes. Her passion became mine and decades later, I recently adopted an Arabian mare, Shamira. Shamira means “protection” in Hebrew. She has truly changed my life. Before her adoption, I worked seven days a week in my clinic—that was not healthy.
As you can see, I overlooked the value of play. With a legitimate focus on diet and detoxification to ensure health and energy, people easily forget the importance of playfulness. If that focus on diet becomes hyper-vigilant, it deprives adults of pleasure and longevity.
Understanding the Value of Playfulness
When someone is enduring a health crisis, it is imperative for them to eliminate harmful eating habits and practice detoxification protocols. However, stress and fear are as toxic as sugar and fast foods. That is what I witnessed at Hippocrates Health Institute. The rigid raw food vegan diet we were taught elicited huge benefits in the short term, yet created protein, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies in the long term. Worse, the rigid diet instilled too much stress and fear.
After I left the Institute, I learned that some of those who had healed a serious illness relapsed years later. Science has validated the effect of stress on the body, mind, and blood sugar as well as the ability to lose weight. So, it is high time to take fun seriously and understand the value of playfulness.
Importance of Play for Adults
One of my clients, Alice, recently began watercolor painting to reduce her blood pressure—which is now normal. Another client, Jonathan, traded late nights at the office for band nights with three buddies from his law firm. His wife said he is happier, less critical, and is, once again, the joyful man she married. Jonathan is also 10 pounds lighter. His teenage passion for drumming has replaced the habit of eating chips and dip while watching nightly TV.
What is the Relationship Between Health & Happiness?
In my book, It Takes Guts to Be Happy, I shared some insights from Dr. Daniel Siegel. In his book, Brainstorm, Dr. Siegel writes that the brain changes in adolescence as people incorporate four major qualities. These qualities spell the word “essence.”
- ES: Emotional Spark—Emotional intensity is also a good description.
- SE: Social Engagement—Describes the meaningful human connections.
- N: Novelty—new experiences that fully engage your mind and body.
- CE: Creative Explorations—Expanded consciousness that creates a gateway to see the world in a new way.
Dr. Siegal sees all of the above as imperative for health and happiness throughout your life. He suggests that one of the reasons that adults have a hard time with teenagers is that they have lost their connection to these essence-rich qualities in themselves. What is a room of teenagers like, compared to a room of adults? One is generally raucous, loud, and wild. The other is usually sedate. Balance in life is necessary.
Discover the Passion & Playfulness of Your Inner Child
What would you do if you felt physically and mentally rejuvenated? Would you paint, write, dance, or cook? If so, I have a fun treat for you. Coming soon to Cleansing for Energy is a collection of my personal gut-healthy holiday recipes.
On the way back to the clinic after visiting Shamira today, my favorite country radio station reported that 85% of the public would prefer feasting on side dishes over stuffing themselves on a holiday entree. Do you agree? My gut-healthy recipe PDF features sumptuous gluten-free and sugar-free side dishes and one irresistible entree—a family favorite. Fast, easy, and delicious is my motto. I am sure you will love these recipes!
To your health,
Author & Digestive Health Consultant,
Santa Barbara, California