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!
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.
Tis the season of food, food and food. So how do we manage our health while entertaining and celebrating? Instead of fearing weight gain or trying for weight loss during the holidays, let yourself maintain your current weight. Think slow and steady wins the race. However this is not a race rather an almost 2 month period of eating and drinking. This year, vow to make the holiday season healthy with family and friends as the focus and these tips to plan a mindful season balanced between food and fitness.
5 Tips Celebrate Health and Holidays
Focus on Family and Friends – Growing up in an Italian family I remember the holidays were about food and family. Instead of making food for 25 people, we made enough for 50 people. Instead of sitting around the fire, we sat around the table. If this was your family, start a new tradition this year. Celebrate you health and the holiday season by focusing on family and friends not food. Have family and friends come over to socialize rather than eat. You can serve food, but don’t center the evening on/around the food and the act of eating all of it.
Plan Fitness – With limited time, shopping exhaustion and colder weather, our fitness routines get displaced. Since moving increases your energy, your mood and your metabolism, this is the last thing you want to give up over the holiday season. Instead, make dates with friends to go yoga together rather than getting drinks. Schedule spin class or any classes that you have to pay for if you miss. This is a great incentive to make sure you attend class.
Make a date. Use you daily planner or PDA to schedule all activities, whether it is food shopping, meal prep, exercise or therapy. If it gets scheduled just like any important meeting, you will set the precedent to ensure this activity gets done.
Slow down and Savor – Being a foodie, I know how hard it is not to celebrate with food. However, you can change your mindset of that of your guests too by hosting smaller more intimate holiday parties. Create small intense flavorful meals. Start the meal off with a prayer, a toast or even a moment of silence to allow you and your guests to refocus, create inner calm, and engage in mindful eating.
Use Your Five Senses: Rather than race through your holiday meal and overeat, be sure to use all 5 senses while eating. Smell your food and think about memories the aroma may conjure up. Touch your food; Is your bread hot and crusty or naturally rough with seeds and nuts? Think about the texture and how it makes you feel. Really look at the plate. Is the food presented beautifully? Are there multiple colors on your plate, there should be. Listen to the food, yes listen to see if the turkey’s skin is crispy or the biscotti crunchy. And finally taste your meal!! Many people eat an entire meal and Can never tell you what it really tasted like. They were too busy talking, or shoveling the food in so they could either leave the dinner table or get seconds. This holiday season, be healthy mentally and physically by truly tasting your food and appreciating each bite. A small amount of food tasted will fulfill you more than a few plates of food you never tasted would.
In honor of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s National Nutrition Month, we wanted to share our views on eating right. Read what eating right means to the women who make up the team of dietetic interns at Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services:
Courtney Darsa Dietetic Intern at University of Delaware
When someone asks me how I define eating healthy, many different things come to mind. Consuming a balanced diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low fat dairy products, is only part of my definition. The most important part of healthy eating is to have a positive relationship with food. When a person enjoys the food they are eating, it can become a big surprise as to how much more satisfying eating can truly be. Developing a positive relationship with food is not as easy as it sounds. When you slow down to eat a meal, it becomes easier to savor and enjoy the flavors of the particular food you are eating. This gives your body the time to recognize whether or not it is still hungry. Another definition for this is Mindful Eating.
Mindful eating is defined as eating with awareness. It is a great way to measure healthy eating because there is no right or wrong answer. It is about realizing that each individual’s eating experiences are unique and cannot be compared to any other person’s experience. Mindful eating is about listening to your body’s cravings and satisfying them. It is about recognizing that there are no “good or bad foods”, eating food in moderation is important. Yes, there are foods that contain more vitamins and minerals than others (these foods should be eaten more often) but it does not mean that foods that do not contain as many nutrients should be restricted. Healthy eating is all about balance and listening to your body’s wants and needs. By developing a healthy relationship with food, you will be come surprised as to how much more enjoyable your eating experiences can be!
Laura Iu Dietetic Intern at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Instagram: @dowhatiulove
As an alumna of NYU and now a dietetic intern, I’ve realized that studying in the nutrition field by no means makes me perfect in the way I eat; but the way I eat is perfect for me. I’m at my happiest and healthiest when I’m able to cook my own meals, which I prefer to do instead of dining out. I love knowing exactly what ingredients are going into my food which helps me eat healthier, and being in the kitchen is my go-to de-stressor. With every new experience, my definition of “healthy” is evolves. To simplify what “healthy” means to me, I’ll begin by telling you what “healthy” is not. Healthy is not about eating only low-fat foods, low-calories, or feeling guilty after enjoying something tasty. In fact, healthy means not feeling hungry, guilty, or deprived. Being healthy does not mean one must follow a specific diet (i.e. vegetarian, vegan, paleo, etc.) and it also doesn’t mean it must be expensive or the food always organic.
Eating right and being healthy is a balancing act! It requires us to embrace all foods in an amount that makes us feel good, fitting in physical activities for enjoyment, setting aside time for yourself to de-stress, or simply sleep! It’s about nourishing our bodies with wholesome foods—so that we’re not just satisfied, but also energized to live to the fullest today and to another tomorrow—for the people we love, the things we love to do, and most importantly, for ourselves.
Valery Kallen MS Candidate at New York University
Eating “right” means nourishing both my body and my mind. When I think of food, I don’t just think of calories or nutrients – I think of the whole mind/body connection. So when I try to eat healthy, it’s not just to maintain a certain weight, it’s also because I know that I will feel stronger, more focused, and more at peace with my food choices. And that doesn’t mean depriving myself either; it means eating mostly whatever I want, in moderation. So if I feel like having a scoop of ice cream while watching a Saturday night movie, that’s eating “right” to me. Eating healthy means not feeling guilty about the foods you eat. There are no good foods versus bad foods – it’s not a superhero comic book! When you eat a wholesome, balanced diet the majority of the time, you’ll find that you no longer feel shame over eating the occasional cookie, or two. And there’s something very “right” about that.
Lindsay Marr BS Nutrition and Dietetics, New York University
In my opinion, eating right doesn’t have to mean deprivation or limitations. In fact, I believe it means the opposite. Eating right is striving to eat all foods in moderation. As both a nutrition graduate and a person with dietary restrictions, eating right is very important to me. Throughout my time as a nutrition student, I worked to maintain a healthy diet filled with wholesome ingredients and balanced meals. To this day, I continue to do so. My version of eating right means reading labels on the foods I buy to ensure the ingredients are safe for me and checking the quality of the products I eat to be sure I am eating the most nutritional items. I eat a diet rich in fresh foods and make sure to enjoy all foods. Eating right is more than aiming for a certain number on a scale or looking a certain way: it is important to maintaining our health. I eat right to fuel my body with the necessary nutrients it needs to thrive. I eat healthfully to feel good now and to continue to feel good later in life. Most importantly, I eat right to enjoy life.
Alyssa Mitola Dietetic Intern at New York University
Eating right is all about balance, a balance of flavors, tastes, culture, and nutrients. I believe it is essential to nourish your body with adequate nutrients. It is also important to enjoy your food and feel satisfied. When feasible, I love to eat fresh wholesome foods. We are lucky that nature is abundant with so many delicious choices. There is nothing like a fresh tomato in season or a ripe apple picked straight off the tree. But it is important to remember that no food should be off limits when “eating right.” I believe we should eat with intent and take time to enjoy the smells and flavors of the food we eat. Living in NYC, one of my favorite things to do is taste cuisines from all over the world. It amazes me how similar ingredients can be made into so many different dishes. I love discovering new foods and flavors each day. Food and eating not only fulfill essential biological needs, but also social, psychological, and cultural needs. For me, eating right is about understanding all aspects of food and cultivating a healthy relationship with food. Eating right means purposefully choosing foods to fuel one’s mind, body, and soul! Happy National Nutrition Month!
To learn more about the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s National Nutrition Month, please click here to be redirected to their NNM Page.
Lunching Revelations While With Your Nutritionist A client of Laura’s opted to go to lunch with Laura one day. Here are her notes on the experience:
A belated happy “Take your Nutritionist to Work Day”! Okay, so it’s not a real holiday…yet (give politicians or Hallmark a hot minute), but I celebrated it a few weeks ago.
See, I have this love-hate relationship with my office cafeteria. My midtown office “caf” is just like most office cafeterias. It’s run by one of the big companies that do these sorts of things, and they offer a lot of selections—hot foods, ethnic food days, taco stations, salad bars, soups and sandwiches. I’ve been eating at the caf off and on through five jobs and for a total of 17 years now. And the experience still stresses me out! So I decided to seek professional help and get nationally recognized nutrition expert and general fun person Laura Cipullo to help me out.
I’ve been working with Laura for a couple of years now. I’ve participated in her meal group (“Supper Club” we called it, even though it wasn’t at all like a Supper Club…starting with the “no alcohol” part) and seen her individually as a private client. While growing up, my parents always expected me to clean my plate. Now, I’m trying to get accustomed to “Mindful Eating.” But I’m getting better at it…and I have fewer food rules. I learned a great deal during our lunch together—both about how to navigate a caf lunch (as well as lunch generally) and my eating habits.
“Walk around,” Laura says, whispering like we are in a movie theater… without the popcorn smell or the movie! I tell her she doesn’t have to whisper; we can talk like grown-ups. She explains that at lunch, we want to get the most nutritional bang for our caloric buck. “Keep it basic,” she says. She tells me to skip the hot food—that it’s better to spend those calories on food when there’s a nice environment and I can really enjoy it. I like my desk, but she’s right. Even when I grab a minute and sit down to eat at a table (ideally with someone), it’s not the swankiest setting. “I want to savor my cornmeal crusted calamari at a fancy restaurant,” Laura says with a smile…and I agree. She’s right about these things!
Still in the cafeteria, I bump into some good friends and introduce Laura. By now, she is using a normal inside voice. She reminds me that there is no “perfect”— and that this is a choice, not a rule. Good thing, because I’m starting to feel a little stressed. She asks me about breakfast and dinner plans. We talk about what I have brought with me for a snack…or what I could pick up.
I end up with one of my regular go-to meals—a salad from the taco station made out of lettuce, black beans (a little soupy), mango, corn and jicama, mixed with a chipotle dressing. I get some guacamole added on the top plus about eight corn chips. She gets a salad from the salad bar with chicken and cheese as her protein. She notes the salmon and the steamed green beans that are the chef’s special along with wasabi mashed potatoes. Laura says that would be a good option if I passed on the mashed spuds. She also okays my go-to veggie burger (no fries). I do know that the buffalo chicken wings (available every Friday)—even if I put them on top of a nice bunch of arugula—are a “Sometimes” food, so I don’t bother to ask about them.
Laura and I then head over to the salad dressing station to talk about the hidden dangers lurking thereon. Later, she texts me that the little plastic dressing cup which looks so cute and innocent actually holds four tablespoons— TABLEspoons! The salad dressing station is like a little island of deceit! Laura recommended to stick with the oil & vinegar and limit the reduced fat dressings – they’re often higher in sodium and added sugars. Laura’s all about the olive oils!
We check out (I’m a privacy lawyer, so I’m using my anonymous credit card that’s not tied to anything that knows I’m me), and I can tell that Laura’s scanning the next aisle to start on a discussion about snacks. I’m glad; I need all the help I can get.
I long ago realized that my biggest issue was letting myself get way too hungry—generally for dinner. But by then, I’m not able to think rationally about portions…or listen to how hungry I am…or even to figure out what foods go together. While knowing the problem is always the first step to solving it, there are still times when I look up from my computer and realize that I have skipped having a snack. And then I’m beyond hungry and don’t have any snack with me!
Laura suggests that I eat half of my salad, take the other half back to my office, and then check in with her in an hour and a half to two hours. We chat about travel plans and what’s going on generally. (Uh, did she tell you that she authored a Rodale cookbook? Ahem!)
We spend 35 to 40 minutes eating—far longer than I usually put into lunchtime chewing if I’m on my own and eating at my desk. I confess that I’m satiated for now with the half-salad, but I wonder (out loud, she flits over my shoulder even when she’s not really here, for goodness sakes) how much of that is because I ate it so slowly…relatively slowly!
And back to the snack dilemma: Laura picked out a Kashi bar (yum) and a yogurt for snack options. I went with the Kashi bar and expanded my horizons (yogurt is my usual snack).
So to summarize:
Those little plastic salad dressing containers are not to be trusted unless you have measuring spoons.
Eating at my desk makes me eat faster and more.
I overthink lunch…and pretty much everything else too! “More healthy and less fancy,” Laura said.
Salad dressings are not to be trusted! Stick to the vinegar and oil.
As in so many things, keeping it simple is best!
And there’s still no “perfect”!
For more tips and tricks on navigating food choices in the office environment, take a peek at Laura’s blog on her sister blog Mom Dishes It Out by clicking here.
We covered a number of topics this past year, from hangover remedies, hydration, gluten, and positive body image. 2013 was a great year and we can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for EALM and our readers. To take a trip down memory lane, we compiled a Table Of Contents of our 2013 blog posts. We hope you enjoy this blast from the past and we wish you all a healthy and happy 2014!
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”…
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)
What am I hearing? (crunch of the kale, not much else)
What am I smelling? (the bread has this hearth-like smell)
What am I tasting? (sweet, yet tart while the mini rolls were earthy and hearth like)
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.
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
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.
1. ConnectFood 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.
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!
By Erin Potasnick, Nutrition Student at Yeshiva University and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
Most people have heard of the term “fasting” before. And while we don’t encourage fasting for any reason other than religious holidays, like Tisha B’Av or Ramadan, we’ve come up with 7 Simple Pre- and Post-Fasting Tips to help you get through the process:
1. Schedule accordingly! – If you’re fasting for a religious holiday, many health care professionals encourage you to adjust your medications to the appropriate fasting times.
2. Stay hydrated ahead of time! – Hydration is critical when fasting, especially when some religious fasts call for no liquids. Therefore, be sure to consume roughly 8-10 glasses (~64 ounces) of water in the days approaching your fast. It is vital for pregnant women to drink plenty of fluids during the designated times of their fast, making sure to have water at their side at all times.
3. Eat a balanced meal pre-fast – Be sure to include complex carbohydrates, protein, and fats. This should allow you to begin your fast feeling neither hungry, nor full, but content.
4. Rest and take time for yourself! – What better time to take a mid-afternoon nap than during a fast? Not only will this keep your mind off the impending hunger, but it will also allow you to wake feeling refreshed and re-energized. On Yom Kippur, those in observance fast to ask God for forgiveness, making the fasting period a great time to reflect and gain insight.
5. Hydrate after fasting – When you break the fast, chose hydrating foods, like fruits, vegetables, and soups. It is important to rehydrate and take care of your digestive system post-fast. We encourage drinking herbal teas, like peppermint tea, with traditional post-fast meals, to help ease your digestion. We also suggest you to take a break, go for a walk, and think mindfully when eating to avoid eating in a binge-like manner and any stomach discomfort.
6. Stay true to your fast – stick with a buddy! Traditionally families fast together when observing Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av. Sometimes having a partner or group of supporters can really help you stay motivated and stick to your plan!
7. Be safe! – If you are sick or pregnant, you may want to meet with your healthcare provider to make sure that fasting is appropriate for you at the time.
How do you prepare and stay on track while fasting? Have any tips or tricks? Stay safe and enjoy!
 Pathy R, Mills K, Gazeley S, Ridgley A, Kiran T. Health is a spiritual thing: perspectives of health care professionals and female Somali and Bangladeshi women on the health impacts of fasting during Ramadan. Ethnicity & Health [serial online]. February 2011;16(1):43-56. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 8, 2013.
Interested in joining a meal support group? Click here to view a scheduling of Laura Cipullo’s continuous groups and time-limited groups now available. For more information, please visit www.LauraCipulloLLC.com.