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.







Eating in “Peace”

Photo Credit: catface3 via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: catface3 via Compfight cc

Eating in “Peace”
By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN


No matter our age, our education or our past experiences, we are always able to learn more…especially new and different things. Two Fridays ago, alongside my peers, Andrea Gitter, MA, LCAT, and Jill Castle, RD, I delivered a presentation on Intuitive Eating and Diabetes to the New York City Nutrition Education Network (NYCNEN). After the presentation, NYCNEN offered the attendees a mindful lunch meal experience. I was super excited to partake with other registered dietitians and to share lunch with some former colleagues. However, when I arrived at the mindful lunch space, I was told we would be, believe it or not, eating in silence.


Ugh! I was not at an Ashram! I was definitely disappointed by this pronouncement. Of course, I wanted to chat and be mindful at the same time. After all, I live in NYC because, by genetic make-up, I am a confirmed, card-carrying multitasker. This was precious time I could be using to write, work and/or run errands. But I quickly had to let this mind set go and embrace the “silent eating.” I listened to our mindful meal leader Rachel Knopf, RD who was wonderful and engaging.


I took out the meal I had brought with me for the occasion: Thai chicken salad over primitive kale salad with two rather small rolls from Hu Kitchen—one of my favorite lunch spots! Rachel handed each luncher a page from Discover Mindful Eating that posed “Five Simple Questions”…

  1. What am I seeing? (bright green, wet kale leaves; red, mush and chunks – Thai chicken salad; toasted brown and shiny lumps, perhaps millet in the little bread-like rolls)
  2. What am I hearing? (crunch of the kale, not much else)
  3. What am I smelling? (the bread has this hearth-like smell)
  4. What am I tasting? (sweet, yet tart while the mini rolls were earthy and hearth like)
  5. What am I touching or feeling? (the rough texture of the goji berries, the wet kale leaves, the cool temperature of the chicken salad)


I immediately thought to myself…I already know to use my five senses when eating! I just want to talk with these fascinating women. But then I reminded myself that I surely could learn from this “silent” experience…and I did. When we are truly quiet and have nothing to do but pay attention to our food and/or our body, the experience of eating becomes like no other. While I regularly lead mindful meal groups, this experience was truly different because there was absolutely no speaking—from start to finish. Although there were people around me, I sat totally immersed in my own thoughts. I observed how I would so easily and quickly move from concentrating on my five senses while eating to diverting to my to-do list and what I wanted to chat about with my colleagues. Back and forth. Back and forth. I chuckled at the idea that I was really not doing a very good job of being mindful. I thought this must be what it feels like for my clients when they can’t settle their thoughts or focus on their meals.  But just then I noticed this ever so slight small change seeming to indicate I was about full. I thought to myself: “Will this hold me for about three hours?” I wasn’t 100% percent sure…or 100% full. As I sat there, I noticed that I still had a physical need to eat more. So I took a few more bites. The experience reminded me of the very subtle feelings of fullness and the need to return to quiet at times during my own meals so that I can really check in with my internal cues. Note to self: I need to be more mindful than I have been of late.


Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc

So what else did this “quiet” experience teach me? Well, Rachel helped me to understand that in the world of meditation, mindfulness is simply the act of observing our present thoughts. She helped me to recognize that my thoughts about eating versus my thinking about my to-do list actually were the mindfulness. And switching back and forth between the two was 100% appropriate because I was both aware and observing. I also decided that it may be helpful to engage in this “silent eating” experience with the women who work with me. There is just something transcendent about eating in peace and quiet for an entire meal. I typically encourage people to start with the first few bites only. But if tolerable, it would be an extraordinary learning opportunity to eat a complete meal or snack in silence while just observing personal thoughts. I am so thankful to Rachel and this experience because, quite honestly, I never would have sat down for a meal with a bunch of friends or colleagues and even dared to suggest being 100% mindful instead of talking. And by the way, I also realized that I didn’t care for the Thai chicken salad or the little bumps of bread, but I absolutely love Hu’s kale salad!


So now, I challenge all of you to arrange a meal or snack where you eat in peace and quiet at least just once! We would love to hear what you learn!

5 Simple Tips For A Simply Healthier You This Fall Holiday Season

5 Simple Tips For A Simply Healthier You This Fall Holiday Season

Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD


Autumn typically means cooler, darker days, busier schedules with school and work, oh, and we can’t forget about all of those holiday parties. When things get busy, to-do lists get longer, calendars fill up and our self-care can slip further and further down our priority list. Thankfully, there are some simple changes to re-prioritize and maintain or even improve your well being.

Photo Credit: AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker via Compfight cc

1. Connect Food and Mood: After eating a meal, think does this make me feel comfortable, give me energy and improve my mood?

    • If the answer is no, you need a new comfort food. A great resource is to reach for my Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook, filled with 200 healthy and comforting recipes.
    • A good tip to remember is that comfort food is meant to make us feel well, not sick and lethargic. So choose a food that will make you feel content, and increase your energy levels. Be sure to be eating when you are hungry.


2. Think brown for fall: Switch to brown bread and brown grains to get less processed, more wholesome natural fiber in your diet. This is also great for those favorite holiday recipes. Consider swapping white bread for a whole-wheat variety in a stuffing recipe to add more Vitamin B and Vitamin E, plus natural fiber. Or swap all-purpose flour for whole-wheat flour in your homemade baked goods. Here are some tips to go brown this holiday season:

    • Buy grains in bulk to really save money.
    • Be weary of the sugar content: choose grains with no added sugar.
    • Hello comfort food: whole grains can make a great comfy side dish. Whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and quinoa all make wonderful sides.


3. Warm up! Fat is essential for body temperature regulation. Keep warm this fall and replace saturated fat and trans fat like margarine with heart helpful fats known as MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids). Here are some suggestions to help you stay warm and healthy.

    • Choose canola oil or olive oil.
    • Spread natural peanut butter rather than butter. (Hint: opt for a brand with minimal ingredients, only peanuts and/or salt is ideal).
    • Skip the cheese, avocado please! Swapping avocado for cheese increases your intake of heart-healthy MUFAs, B vitamins and even potassium.
Photo Credit: Chris Blakeley via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Chris Blakeley via Compfight cc

4. Say Goodbye to Calorie Counting: Log hunger and fullness cues in a food log, not calories! This is the best way to learn if you are eating the right amount for you.

    • Log food, feelings and behaviors to identify obstacles to self-care and healthy habits.
    • Identify if you are eating for physical, emotional or behavioral reasons. Ideally you want to aim to eat for physical reasons.
    • If you are always full or just not hungry but find yourself eating, seek alternative comfort or distractions – find a new hobby or fun workout class to distract you. Even better learn to sit with your feelings. They will pass.


5. Carpe Diem!! Last but not least, relish the happy moments this holiday season. We know that the holidays can be stressful and hectic, but they are also a great time to catch up with family and friends. So relax, find positive moments and take deep breaths. You deserve it!

10 Foods to Help You Fuel Your Day

Has your stomach ever rumbled in anticipation of the next meal, even though it may seem like you’ve just eaten a meal or snack? Despite the timing of your meals and snacks, a growling stomach is your body’s way of telling you to grab a bite! Wondering how to stave off hunger and keep those hunger pangs away? A major key to maintaining energy throughout the day and obtaining adequate nutrition to fuel your body and brain is to eat foods that digest slowly. Read on to learn more about the physiological process behind why your stomach growls, and a few key foods that will help keep you feeling fuller, longer!


Why Does Your Stomach Growl?

So, what’s the cause of the growling sensation? During the digestion process, the food you eat enters your stomach, and is later pushed through your intestinal tract. But before it enters the intestines, the stomach first churns and mashes the food. This process is aided by the walls of the stomach, which are muscular and constantly contract to help circulate the digestive juices. When your stomach is empty, these juices slosh around your stomach; the combination of the gases in your stomach and walls of your stomach contracting..generates the familiar growling sound we hear when we feel hungry.

10 Foods to Help You Feel Fuller, Longer

If you focus on eating less, you may find yourself feeling hungry. Rather than eating less, shift your focus on choosing foods that are naturally high in fiber, are a lean source of protein and low glycemic carbohydrates. Incorporate foods that keep blood sugar levels stable and give consistent energy throughout the day. This can help prevent fatigue, headaches, or midday crashes. Note that simple carbohydrates (like cookies, or white pasta) digest quickly and cause blood sugar levels to spike higher than a complex carbohydrate (like legumes or whole wheat pasta) and then drop quickly. Remember, thhough there are no “good” foods or “bad” foods, be mindful of what foods may be a better option to eat during meal times so that you don’t find yourself feeling hungry soon after. Yes..there are certain foods that promote satiety more than others! This way, you’ll still be able to enjoy the foods you like and stave off hunger!

2 Egg White and One Egg Yolk – Adding the one yolk will help to satiate you in the morning. The combination of fat and protein takes longer for the body to break down, therefore helping you feel fuller longer.

Oats – This soluble fiber will expand in your body and help you feel more full.

Lentils – This low glycemic carb is high in fiber and protein. This combination doesn’t raise your blood sugar.

Whole Wheat Pasta – Many people think you need a low-carb diet but the average adult needs at least 135g carbohydrates a day. This is a great way to stave off hunger as long as you pair it with a protein and a fat.

Kale Salad With its fibrous leaves and crunchy stems, kale takes longer to chew, which slows down your eating and gives your body time to gauge how full you are. To create a salad that will help keep you fuller longer, be sure to pair this fibrous green with a fat like sliced almonds for crunch.

Salmon – Fatty fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids and provides ample amounts of lean protein, which as a fat and protein combination takes longer to digest. The fat is very palatable on the tongue so its great for people who are looking for a food to pair with greens and whole grains.

Low-Fat Greek Yogurt – Creamy and tangy, Greek yogurt is a rich source of calcium, low in sugar and high in protein. It helps slow the digestion of other carbs during your meal. It does not negatively affect blood sugar or zap your energy like a regular yogurt might. Enjoy it on its own, mix with wheat berries and a dash of cinnamon, or simply top with fresh fruit.

Olive Oil- Not only does this healthy fat help us to feel full, but also research shows that those who follow the Mediterranean diet are associated with having a smaller waistline.

Hydrate with H20 – Increase your water intake by consuming a glass before, during or after your meal. Often, people can mistake hunger for thirst, which leads to people eating when they are actually not hungry. Drinking water throughout the day and during meals can fill up your stomach and help you feel satiated.

Chia Seeds – Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber (~10g in 2 tablespoons) and expand in the body to help you feel more sated. With a neutral flavor, these seeds can be added to almost any dish. They are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids (ALA). Sprinkle over steel cut oatmeal or low-fat Greek yogurts, or mix into nut butters or blend into smoothies.

For more foods that may help keep you fuller, longer, check out Laura Cipullo’s tips here.

Breakfast, the Most Important Meal of the Day


So over the past two weeks, I have been asked to comment the positive effects of eating peanut butter at breakfast and the positive effects of eating a large breakfast. I think most people know the saying of “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” However, I know most people skip breakfast or just eat a very skimpy one.

Here at EALM (Eating and Living Moderately), we are all about eating especially the fats known as monounsaturated fats (think olive oil and peanut butter) and definitely not skipping meals– so this new research was music to our ears! Read on to get a quick and easy take away from the research I discussed with Jenna Lee on Happening Now.

My personal take away from the study, High Caloric Intake at Breakfast vs. Dinner Differentially Influences Weight Loss of Overweight and Obese Women, is as follows:

What you eat in terms of carbs, fat, protein, plus calorie content of that meal and time of day may help weight loss and waist circumference in women needing to lose weight as determined by their physician and dietitian. This may also be a great preventative concept for preventing insulin resistance and diabetes. To note, overall both groups in this study had favorable results such as lowered blood sugar, decreased insulin resistance and decreased production of the hormone that stimulates appetite, but the group that ate the higher calorie breakfast/low calorie dinner (vs. the low calorie breakfast/high calorie dinner) had the better results of both groups.

Most important is breakfast needs to be higher calories. The study’s participants had 50% of their calories at breakfast equaling 700 calories. Secondly, breakfast must contain protein but most fascinating is that breakfast can contain carbs like bread. Lesson: If you have metabolic syndrome, diabetes or possibly just need to lose weight, having a bigger breakfast of carbs, protein and fat, like toast and peanut butter with Greek yogurt, may be the way to go. Great news for my clients since they eat like this already!! And don’t fear carbohydrates. The participants in the study had 45% of their breakfast as carbs. (Check out the power of peanuts, as Laura Cipullo explains it on FOX 5 )

Just so you know, the women’s breakfast was 700 cals, lunch 500 cals and dinner quite small at 200 kcals. I am not recommending a 200 calorie dinner; however, consider eating more earlier in the day and then assessing how you feel come dinner time. You may be less hungry than normal. In addition we already know that eating more in the am and throughout the day decreases the likelihood of binging.

Eating in this order proves to be more helpful than eating in the reverse order which most Americans seem to do. The larger breakfast helps to keep your insulin, blood sugar, TG, bad cholesterol and appetite hormone ghrelin lower throughout the day thereby making you less hungry, less likely to crave and less likely to deposit fat around the belly.

Numbers To Chew On:
Large meal (700 kcals) = 30% protein 25% fat 45% carb

Middle meal (500 kcals) = 50% protein 30% fat 20% carb

Small Meal (200 kcals) = 65% protein 25% fat 10% carb

Breakfast 6 am to 9 am

Lunch 12 to 3 pm

Night meal 6 to 9 pm

Overall total average: 1400 kcal 41% protein 30% fat 30% carb

*Note: Keep in mind such a low calorie diet was for women with metabolic syndrome, not necessarily you, the reader.

I would expect the carb:protein:fat ratios at each meal time also greatly affected the results of this study. And, we can’t forget that this study is suggesting that eating early in the day, consistent with our circadian paths helps to increase rate of thermogenesis (energy we use to metabolize food). Perhaps you may want to start your day with a more nutritionally dense breakfast = 30% protein, 25% fat, and 45% carbs.

If you’re trying to follow this pattern, let us know if you feel less hungry at night.

1. High Caloric Intake at Breakfast vs. Dinner Differentially Influences Weight Loss of Overweight and Obese Women
 BY Daniela Jakubowicz,1 Maayan Barnea,2 Julio Wainstein,1 Oren Froy2 was Published online via 20 March 2013

The Epidemic of Diabetes

Hydrate with water, not soda

Regardless of weight and age, America is heading towards a Diabetes epidemic. Americans must change their lifestyles by moving more, and eating less.

Diabetes does not discriminate based on overall weight. America needs to focus on decreasing belly fat, specifically, eating less processed food and moving more.


Based on the study reported in the Journal of Pediatrics, Diabetes is increasing in our teen population. There was a 14% increase in prediabetes and diabetes in a ten year period. In 1999 – 2000, there was a 9% incidence of prediabetes and diabetes in teenagers between ages 12- 19. In 2007- 2008, there was a 23 % incidence of prediabetes and diabetes. This is more than two fold. However, the study also revealed this was regardless of weight. Across the weight spectrum, all teens had an increase in the incidence of Diabetes. In my mind, this is a Diabetes Epidemic not an obesity epidemic.

Obesity did not increase in our youth during this ten year period from 1999 – to 2008. One study from the NHANES reports an actual decrease in teen obesity, despite an increase in prediabetes and diabetes. Also, half of the participants in the study had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which means everyone needs intervention.

So what is the intervention? It depends on who you ask but the many agree America must move more, eat less processed food, and practice stress relief. America is eating too much and not moving enough. We are a culture of convenience. People need to eat because they are hungry rather than bored. We need to eliminate highly processed food such as chips and soda. We need to feel full with fiber and drink for hydration. Simple solutions are to replace chips with fiber rich berries and soda with bubbly water like Perrier. Ideally, we need to decrease insulin resistance and belly bulge (aka abdominal obesity).

The study admits to flaws. One of the flaws is the tool BMI – Body Mass Index. This measurement tool uses overall weight and height, not accounting for muscle mass and frame. Football players are considered obese when using BMI. A better tool to assess for obesity, belly fat, insulin resistance and or risk for diabetes would be the waist to height ratio. This tool would not qualify the typical football player as obese.

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to share some of these thoughts with the HLN audience. Click here to see the clip.


May AL, Kuklina EV, Yoon PW. Prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors among US adolescents, 1999−2008. Pediatrics. 2012;peds.2011-1082.

Is This Healthy?

How do you answer your child’s question “Is this healthy?” or read my answer at

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

This is a big week for holiday parties and holiday planning. Read my 7 tips to get your through the next weeks leading up to the New Year!!

Staying Healthy During the Holidays
By: Laura Cipullo RD CDE

  1. Be the Tupperware Lady– bring Tupperware to family events to pack leftovers or “seconds” and  bring home to eat another time.
    • Rather than overeat on delicious food, plan to use hunger fullness cues. Pack the remainders up for a mini holiday dinner part II.
  2. Healthy Cook Book Exchange(rather than cookie exchange)
    • Holidays typically revolve around gifts and food, so why not give a gift about being healthy and moderate? Healthy cookbook ideas are the Mayo Clinic Williams – Sonoma Cookbook and Martha Stewart’s Healthy Quick Cook
  3. Favor family over food– make festivities about seeing family and not about eating food.
    • Serve a simple meal and focus on entertainment like music and or trivial pursuit.
  4. Stretch your dollar, save your waist – Use Intuitive Eating to portion your restaurant meal.
    • Be economical and bring leftovers home to eat at the next day’s snack or meal.
  5. Eat your favorite food– skip the appetizers and save room for dinner.
    • If dessert is your favorite, don’t fill up on apps and entrees. Make sure you are still hungry for your chocolate cake!!
  6. Secure a snack– before leaving make sure you are not starving, eat a snack to prevent overeating at the party.
    • Restriction cause binging, don’t restrict the day of a special event. You are likely to overeat or even binge later that night.
  7. Wine, beer and liquor on a full belly. If you drink on an empty stomach you are more likely to make poor decisions and overeat.
    • Take your sip of wine with your entrée. If you drink on an empty stomach you will not be mindful of your internal or external cues.
    • Most importantly, don’t drink and drive.

Tips to Avoid Mindless Eating

In 2009, I attended a seminar Turning Mindless Eating tm Into Mindless Weight Loss taught by Brian Wansink, PhD Food Psychologist at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. Here are the tips I learned:

Tips to Avoid Mindless Eating

  1. Repackage snacks into individual sized bags to prevent overconsumption. Larger containers make us more likely to over-indulge.
  2. Store foods in cupboards or the pantry rather than on the counter or other open area. You’ll be less likely to mindless munch on foods if you have to go out of your way to get them.
  3. Eat on smaller dinner plates. Using larger plates leads us to overfill our plate unintentionally and consequently eat more.
  4. Be cautious of food labels claiming “low-fat,” “low-sugar,” or “low-calorie.” These foods can cause people to overeat because they don’t feel as “guilty” about consuming them in comparison to the regular versions.
  5. If you are feeling sad, don’t use food to try to improve your mood.  Instead, try going for a walk, watching a movie, or talking to a friend.
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