The EALM Blog Shelf

While Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team work on some new and exciting projects, you may notice less posts on the Eating and Living Moderately Blog. We have created a “blog shelf” below to keep you entertained and educated. Get caught up on the latest nutrition education by clicking on each year below. We will send you nutrition updates, but we will not be inundating your mailboxes on a weekly basis. If you want weekly “love” and inspiration, subscribe to our Mom Dishes It Out blog for weekly posts and recipes. Mom Dishes It Out provides expert advice from mom Registered Dietitians and mom Speech Pathologists on the “how to” of health promotion!

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The EALM Blog Shelf

Please feel free to peruse our posts organized by year below. Or take a look at the categories listed at the bottom of the page to find a post in the desired.







The Pros and Cons of Being a Vegetarian Fitness Enthusiast

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc


  1. Eating a plant-based diet provides a plethora of antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A to fight free radicals caused by exercise (where free radicals are produced at a greater rate).
  2. You are forced to focus on your dark leafy greens like spinach and collard greens and high Vitamin C foods like peppers and oranges to absorb the non – heme iron found in plant foods.
  3. Pre training foods like bagels, yogurt and peanut butter are already a part of your daily intake.
  4. You’re at an even greater advantage to prevent heart disease by exercising and eating the healthy fats such as almonds, avocados and lean proteins like beans and fish.
  5. Your physical activity and plant based lifestyle are dually protective against diabetes. Vegan diets have been shown to lower one’s average 3 month blood glucose.


  1. You must make extra effort to get your  8 essential amino acids needed for muscle and hormone synthesis by eating a variety of protein sources like beans, peanut butter, tofu and quinoa.
  2. You may need to take an omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement if you are not consuming deep sea fish. There are vegetarian marine algae forms of DHA available.
  3. Caution – place extra emphasis on eating complex carbohydrates such as whole-wheat pasta, barely, and millet.  Avoid grabbing easy and available processed stand – bys like chips, packaged cookies, and boxed macaroni and cheese.
  4. Don’t fall prey to quick soy proteins sources like veggie burgers, “unchicken” fingers and fake meat. These products are highly processed, high in sodium and artificial fillers. In addition, limit soy intake to whole soy foods like tofu, tempeh, miso and edamame.  Choose one soy food /day.
  5. Bring on the Vit. B12. Vit. B12 is generally not found in plant sources. Milk, Fortified breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast are vegetarian friendly form of this water-soluble vitamin needed for red blood cell synthesis.

EALM Product Review: Garden Lites Muffins

EALM Product Review:

Garden Lites Carrot Berry Muffins

These muffins are so tasty, even my picky eater approves of them!

Photo Courtesy of Garden Lites
Photo Courtesy of Garden Lites

With the most delicious taste accented by blueberries, everyone will love these adorable little muffins. The first ingredient is carrots so that is an obvious thumbs up. The second is egg whites so another thumbs up. And the third, a gluten free flour blend that contains brown rice, and flaxseed meal. Screen shot 2014-12-15 at 2.00.46 PMThis is a great snack option for kids. Especially those who need to consume more veggies. Plus, they’re allergy-friendly and make a great snack for parents!

5 Tips for Welcoming Herbivores to the Holiday Feast

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc

From vegetarians to vegans and pescatarians to gluten allergies, throwing a holiday feast can be quite challenging. If you are planning to host a dinner party this holiday season, rest assured, entertaining guests with multiple food sensitivities does not mean you need to toss out traditional or favorite Holiday foods. With a few modifications, many foods can be easily modified.  What should you do when welcoming herbivores to your holiday feast? We’re dishing out 5 tips you need to do and know before you start cooking this holiday season.

1. Confirm Your Guests’ Dietary Restrictions – First things first, before you start purchasing any ingredients find our what type of food preferences your guests have and if they have any allergies. Keep in mind that not everyone has the same food preferences. Some people will eat dairy but not eggs and vice versa. Knowing your guests’ food styles won’t just help you plan out what dishes you can serve, but it will ensure there is something at the table for everyone.

2. Always Serve A Main Vegetarian Dish – If you pass on confirming your guests’ dietary preferences, steer on the safe side by preparing a main vegetarian dish. This way, anyone who passes up the turkey or other main meat dish will still have something just as delicious and satiating as the latter. For large crowds, a dish like vegetarian lasagna can be appetizing for both non-meat and meat eaters alike.

3.  Make Your Side Dishes Veggie-Friendly – Make sure there are side dishes that everyone can enjoy. While you don’t have to dish out a whole chicken, turkey fish or tofurkey to meet all of your guests’ dietary preferences, side dishes are where you can make something suitable for everyone’s palates and preferences. To do this, keep an open mind by serving dishes other than a simple salad. Some side dishes can include sliced fresh fruits, cheeses, crackers, bruschetta, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, potato salad, roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, lentils, latkes, corn on the cob, cornbread, stuffed mushrooms, quinoa salad, garlicky kale or spinach.

4. Encourage Your Guests to Bring a Dish – After you letting your guests know in advance that you will be preparing vegetarian/vegan dishes, offer to let them bring a couple of dishes that they enjoy too. If you feel like you’re scrambling to find enough vegetarian/vegan dishes, allow your guests to bring dishes to share with everyone.

5. Prepare Two Dessert Options – When dishing out dessert, consider eggs and dairy products. If possible, it’s best to prepare one non-dairy dessert option. If you plan to make the dessert yourself, there are a ton of substitutions on the market that add flavor and moisture to your baked goods. For egg substitutes, you can try applesauce, chia seeds in gel form, or EnerG Egg Replacer, which can be found at a health foods store or Whole Foods Market. To substitute cow’s milk, you can use soy, almond or hemp milk and vegetable margarine in many baked goods. For those who are new to creating sweet concoctions without dairy and eggs, know that it is possible to serve a scrumptious vegan dessert!


Have you ever hosted a vegetarian or vegan dinner? What tips would you give to new hosts?

How Your Dinner Plate Can Affect Your Diet

Did you know that your dinner plates can actually affect the amount of food you and your children consume? As a mom and dietitian, I understand the need for parents to feed their kids well while fostering a positive relationship with food. This relationship is more complicated than the nutritional value of what you serve, however; in fact, it actually begins with your servingware.

If you haven’t thought about it before, then consider it now. Beyond ingredients alone, parents need to think about the ways in which the environment impacts children’s associations with food. Eating off of dishes that we find aesthetically pleasing or comforting can set us up for a sense of satisfaction before even taking a bite off our plate – and the same goes for our children.

When it comes to finding the perfect plates that suit your parenting philosophies and personal styles, consider yourselves covered. These five picks won’t just help to foster healthy attitudes in the kitchen; they’ll also eliminate unnecessary stress by prompting your ever-picky eaters to finish what’s in front of them.


1. The No Fuss Mom: Corelle White Dish

I’ve eaten off of these plates for years! Dishwasher safe and practically unbreakable, there is nothing better than these crisp, white dishes – except, that is, the price!

Photo Courtesy of Corelle


For a mere $50 dollars, you can purchase a set of eight of these family-friendly plates.

Eating off of white dishes creates a colorful contrast with your meal which, based on studies by Dr. Brain Wainsink, lends to eating smaller portions and over time, an easy way to lose weight without consciously dieting.


2. The Eco-chic Mom: Bambooware Santa Barbara Dinnerware

For the environmentally sound mother with a love of anything green, these eco-chic plates from Bambooware are made of bamboo and are decidedly awesome.

Photo Courtesy of Bambooware

Not only are they melamine-free, but these low-impact plates are both reusable and dishwasher safe, making them perfect for every occasion, from family meals to birthday parties and more.


3. The New Mom: Green Eats BPA-Free Kids Dishes

Babies and tots are known for touching, tantrums and throwing, so we’re not exactly serving our little bundles of joy baby food or even finger food off of our finest china. Yet with all the talk and rising concerns about BPA, many parents are hesitant to use plastic servingware, bottles and plates – even if many states, including New York and California, have put BPA-free laws in place.

Photo Courtesy of Green Eats

These BPA-free plates from Green Eats gives new moms everywhere one thing less to worry about, and are ideal for serving wholesome, sustainable foods to our little ones.


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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Lycopene!

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Lycopene!
By Alyssa Mitola, RD and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Photo Credit: jacki-dee via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: jacki-dee via Compfight cc

What is Lycopene? Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Although chemically related to vitamin A, lycopene does not function in our bodies like the vitamin. Rather lycopene serves as the most powerful antioxidant of the >600 carotenoids, riding our body of harmful free radicals and oxidizing species. Lycopene is a red pigment found in fruits and vegetables. You may already know that tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, but lycopene is also found in guava, papaya, watermelon, grapefruit, and apricots.

Photo Credit: EJP Photo via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: EJP Photo via Compfight cc

Lycopene is constantly being researched for its potential health benefits, most notably in relation to cancer and cardiovascular disease. The strongest research comes from lycopene’s role in preventing prostate cancer. Many studies have found that people with higher intakes of lycopene have reduced rates of prostate cancer (Giovannuci et. al 1995; Zu et. al 2011). In addition, a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Medicine showed people consuming higher amounts of lycopene had less incidences of cardiovascular disease. Researchers are also currently investigating lycopene’s role in sunburn, gingivitis, osteoporosis, asthma, and mental disorders.


The health benefits of lycopene are numerous and we should try to include sources of lycopene daily. However, this does not mean lycopene should be taken as a supplement. Rather lycopene should come from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Lycopene is actually more bioavailable (available to our bodies) when it is heated. Therefore foods like tomato puree, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and tomato juice are even richer sources of lycopene. When purchasing tomato-based products, be sure to look out for no sodium or low sodium products. Eating lycopene with a healthy, fat like olive oil, will also increase your body’s ability to absorb the lycopene. With tomatoes in season get your fill of lycopene. Serve your tomatoes with some olive oil or make some homemade salsa, a tomato salad, or a fresh pot of tomato sauce!




1) Giovannucci E, Ascherio A, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Intake of carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995;87(23):1767-1776.

2) Fielding JM, Rowley KG, Cooper P, et al.: Increases in plasma lycopene concentration after consumption of tomatoes cooked with olive oil. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 14 (2): 131-6, 20.

3) Holzapfel NP, Holzapfel BM, Champ S, Feldthusen J, Clements J, Hutmacher W. The Potential Role of Lycopene for the Prevention and Therapy of Prostate Cancer: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Evidence. Int J Mol Sci. 2013;14(7): 14620-14646.

4) Zu K, Rosner BA, Clinton SK, Loda M, Stampfer MJ, Giovannuci E. Dietary Lycopene, Angiogenesis, and Prostate Cancer: A Prospective Study in the Prostate-Specific Antigen Era. JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2014) 106 (2).

5) Jacques P, Lyass A, Massaro JM, D’Agastino B.  Relationship of lycopene intake and consumption of tomato products to incident CVD. British Journal of Nutrition (2013), 110, 545-551.

6) Story E, Kopec RE, Schwartz SJ, Harris GK. An Update on the Health Effects of Tomato Lycopene. National Institute of Health Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2010; 1: 1-24.


Don’t “Defriend” Fat

Don’t “Defriend” Fat
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team


In the 70’s, we banned fat. In the 90’s we banned carbs – and neither really worked to improve our lifestyles and relationships with food. As new research comes out regarding the best ways to eat for a healthy body, heart health, brain health – you name it – our food industry adjusts accordingly to provide these foods for us to eat. But what if we simply had a neutral relationship with food and a positive relationship with eating? It seems we would be more likely to eat exactly what our bodies need and avoid the foods our bodies can do without.

Photo Credit: misterbisson via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: misterbisson via Compfight cc

Recently, an article was published in TIME Magazine with the title “EAT BUTTER.” There’s something that will catch the reader’s eye, but what is behind the cover? For over 40 years, Americans have been on a low-fat craze because it was believed to be the best way to preserve our hearts from heart disease. Turns out, the research was misleading and the way we interpreted the research was not any better for our bodies. According to Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, ideally we thought “that if people reduced saturated fat, they would replace it with healthy fruits and vegetables.” What really happened was people replaced those calories with processed foods and snacks like low-fat cookies, cakes, crackers and more.

We started regaling fats as “good” fats and “bad” fats, and we did the same with cholesterol. Giving these positive and negative titles to foods can lead to overeating and or food avoidance. It is important to understand that fats, like all foods, are neutral. They are essential in our diet for brain health, blood sugar regulation and for keeping us feeling full. Carbs (sugar, fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy) are also essential in our diet for energy, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Avoiding one or the other can lead to undernourishment and side effects like fatigue and mood swings.

Photo Credit: Pauline Mak via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Pauline Mak via Compfight cc

In 1996, Dr. Walter Willet published research concluding that removing fat from our diets and replacing that void with carbohydrates does not reduce our risk for heart disease. It just so happens that around the time this study was published, the Mediterranean diet started gaining popularity. All fats are important. All carbs are important. All proteins are important. There is actually research supporting Mediterranean diets with 40% fat. But the fat source is mainly monounsaturated fats. Remember, when you eat fats like dairy, oils, nuts, and so on, you are typically getting a bit of saturated and unsaturated fat. So while the jury is still out, stick with moderation and try to eat more wholesome nutrition the majority of the time.

Ultimately, the TIME article is not saying Americans should drop everything and start eating butter or loading up on saturated fat. The message seems to be implying that we should no longer be afraid of fat, and we can start incorporating all types of fat in moderation. It’s time we changed our thinking from exile to acceptance. Allowing ourselves to have access to all foods will decrease the desire to resist any particular nutrient or food group. We will all be healthier for it.

Fueling for a Moonwalk

Screen shot 2014-07-16 at 1.28.16 PM

This coming Saturday night (7/26), thousands of people will walk together for Walk the Walk America’s 2nd Annual NYC Moonwalk. Participants will walk  the streets of NYC in a fight against breast cancer. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak to some of these participants last month. On June 26th, I spoke with Moonwalk participants about the importance of nutrition when completing a marathon. Please read on to see some of the items we discussed:


What to Eat Before a Marathon

2-3 Days Before:

•Mostly carbohydrates, moderate protein, and low fat
•Carbs provide the muscles with adequate glucose (sugar) for glycogen storage

3–4 Hours Prior:

•Eat simple, easy-to-digest carbohydrates (moderate protein & low fat)
•White bread, pasta, etc.
•Avoid high-fiber foods to limit intestinal residue

•Prevent the need for bowel movements
•Prevent bloating and gas

Photo Credit: flowercarole via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: flowercarole via Compfight cc


Pre-Competition Meal Ideas

•Cheerios with low-fat milk, fruit-flavored Greek yogurt, and banana
•Omelet with cheese and baked hash brown potatoes
•White English muffin with avocado, hummus, and applesauce
•Bagel with natural peanut butter and jam
•Turkey on white bread with a low-fat yogurt
•White pasta with pesto and shrimp
Photo Credit: shecodes via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: shecodes via Compfight cc


Before, During, and After

2 cups 2 hours before, and 2 cups during

•Recommended to drink 16 oz. of fluid at least 2 hours before event
•Remember to drink 2 cups for each hour of event
•If > 1 hr. replete electrolytes especially sodium and potassium
•Drink 16 oz./2 cups of electrolyte beverage for every pound of body weight lost during the event
Photo Credit: chuddlesworth via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: chuddlesworth via Compfight cc


Eating on the “Run/Walk”

•Eat 30–60 grams of carbs for every hour
•15 grams of carbs every 15 minutes
Eat 90 grams of carbs for events lasting > 3 hrs
ž•Get carbs from your sports beverage (typically 6–8 percent carbs)or gel packs



What to Eat After

•Eat between 30 minutes and 1 hr. after
•Reload glycogen muscle storage
•Replenish your body with carbohydrates
•Eat protein (about 3 oz.) to help to repair your muscles
•Antioxidants repair free radical damage
•Muscle recovery lasts 30 minutes to 4 hours post-exercise


For more information on the 2014 NYC Moonwalk or Walk the Walk America, please click here to be redirected to their website.

Fed Up? Well I am Fed Up With Blame!

Fed Up? Well I am Fed Up With Blame!
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
Do scare tactics work?

I know the new documentary Fed Up declares that scare tactics have worked for decreasing tobacco sales. Personally, I worry that scare tactics will actually contribute to more fat shaming, diet shaming and finger pointing.

I was really surprised that Katie Couric narrated this film directing negative attention toward Michelle Obama, food companies and one evil — sugar. My surprise is specific to Katie’s history of an eating disorder.

As a certified eating disorder specialist, I know and hope Katie knows that deprivation and shaming lead only to more binging, overeating and weight gain. This black and white delineation simply contributes to the eating disorder mentality.

In addition, I personally don’t think scaring people into not eating sugar is any better than scaring them into not eating fat back in the 80s. That particular scare tactic definitely didn’t work. We all got “fatter”.

If we isolate just one macronutrient, people will continue to eat it secretly. Meanwhile, food companies easily reformulate their products to meet the new standard. Scaring and blaming merely nurture the “poor health epidemic” we have today.

That’s right! Here’s another very important point. First, let’s rename the “obesity epidemic”. Let’s call it the “processed food epidemic” or the “ill health epidemic.” Obesity is usually just the most visible symptom of a much larger problem.

As Fed Up points out, there are “skinny” fat people who are just as unhealthy. So why do we call this problem an obesity epidemic? It’s about health not size.


Read more at Your Tango:

The Favoring of Flavoring

The Favoring of Flavoring
Lauren Cohen and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team


“And… how does it taste?”


This is my least favorite question. I’m not sure… maybe nutty? No? This is very stressful for me. Perhaps, smoky? Is that a way to describe food? Can you give me a list of words to work with? I’m really not good at this. It’s a banana. It tastes like banana.


I found solace in a recent conference at New York University, The Science of Human Flavor Perception, confirming that describing and tasting food was much more then a question and answer. It is a complex chemical conversation between your brain and the foods you are eating. While the popular thought is that taste is generated from the contact between food and your taste buds, it really is not the case. Let’s try to make this a little more digestible.


Think of your taste buds as “food receptors” that receive the food and send a signal to the brain. The brain then responds and generates taste. More interesting, perhaps, is that taste cells are all over the body meaning we sense taste everywhere! While the flavor is in the food, and not your brain, the taste in your mouth is generated by these brain signals.

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc

Though, in all fairness, we can’t begin to talk about taste until we understand smell. Without the ability to smell, food would lose almost its entire flavor, with the exception of its basic elements—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. You can test this by taking out a flavor-full snack, like a jellybean. Chew on a jellybean for a moment to recognize the taste and then close your nose. Did you notice that the flavor went away? This is because you lost the ability to breath and smell through your nose or retronasal olfaction. Without this key component, taste is almost entirely eradicated.


So why do we like things and dislike others? A study coming out of the University of Trieste suggests that there is a genetic component to taste perception and preference. While the study is still in its preliminary phases, the research suggests that individuals could have genetic coding that enables them to prefer a food. This would mean that someone who has an inclination towards salt might have more of a link to the food than we earlier realized. While it would seem that the taste is what is drawing an individual to the food, this study suggests that the genetic coding actually keeps you coming back for more. Research such as this could potentially help us understand individuals link to hypertension and other diseases connected to over consuming nutrition.

Photo Credit: comingstobrazil via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: comingstobrazil via Compfight cc

Aside from a genetic link, there is a recent study, coming out of Monell Chemical Scenes Center in Philadelphia, PA, connecting taste to stress. Furthermore, scientists believe there may be a specific connection between stress and sweet. The study suggests that taste cells around the body, specifically the ones in the gut, are deeply affected by stress. They may influence the metabolism of sugars and increase our affinity towards them.  Perhaps this explains my inclination towards Oreos when someone asks me to describe a flavor.


So what does this mean for us? It means that nutrition is far more individual then we could have ever imagined! We already know that everyone’s bodies require different daily calories, different distributions of nutrients, and different types of physical care for overall health but now we are learning that people intrinsically favor different flavors. This could have the potential to help prevent diseases connected with over consuming nutrition such at diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.


The creation of taste is so much more than just a connection between food and our mouths. It is a connection between taste buds, taste cells, genetic coding and more. Next time you eat, you can chew on this.



So, how did this post taste to you? Do you favor flavors?