Top Ten Adult and Children’s Gifts for a Mindful Holiday

Top Ten Adult and Children’s Gifts for a Mindful Holiday

By Laura Cipullo, RD, RYT, Founder of the L’ifestyle Lounge, Closter NJ & author of Women’s Health Body Clock Diet

Featured in Northern Valley Living Magazine, December 2018

While the holidays are a time of giving thanks and spending quality time together, they seem more like a time for giving gifts and spending time high on holiday cookies and family stress. As a parent you can easily recommit to a holiday filled with mindfulness, kindness and compassion.

Choose from my favorite mindful gifts to spend this season with a sense of calm and self-care.

  1. Essential Oil Diffuser

Get “zenned” out with aromatherapy! Add essential oils to water and plug in. Choose from diffusers ranging in price from about $20.00 at Target to $100.00 online at  Make sure to clean the diffusers frequently with vinegar.

  1. Lavender and Peppermint Essential Oils

Get your special someone or even yourself the favored oils. When starting an essential oil collection, choose these two basic oils. Lavender is ideal for calming and falling asleep while peppermint helps with focus and relieving stress headaches. Spend the extra money and buy pure and or organic oils from companies such as Young Living and or DoTerra.

  1. Eye Sachet

Rest easy by using a scented eye sachet. Nothing feels better than closing your eyes at the end of your yoga class or even a long day and feeling the light weight of an eye pillow. Support local business and get an eye pillow at Crush’d Garage in Cresskill, NJ.

  1. Yoga Mat(“Paint your Own” is cute too!)

Yoga mats are the perfect mindful gift for kids and adults alike. For your little yogi, get a lighter and shorter yoga mat. Consider an earth friendly yoga mat made in the USA for the adult who needs some mindfulness. At the L’ifestyle Lounge, we love Jade yoga mats ( for preventing slips.

  1. Mindful Book

For children, get the latest meditation book from Bergen County author Frank J Sileo, PhD, Be Still Bee Still: An Invitation to Meditation. Per www.goodreads.comBentley is a lovable honeybee who does not participate in the frantic buzzing of other bees. Instead, he uses meditation to help calm himself and find inner peace. Soon the rest of the forest animals are joining along with Bentley as they sit, breathe, and “bee” still! Research has indicated that meditation can assist with improving concentration and focus, calming anxiety, and reducing impulsivity. A “Note to Parents and Caregivers” is included with information on how to teach children to practice meditation.”

  1. Compassionate Piggy Bank

Teach the children in your life to volunteer and be charitable. Living mindfully extends beyond using the five senses. It weaves themes of kindness and compassion for the self and others. Check out the Moon Jar Bank and the accompanying book at or the piggy bank that instills philanthropy at The idea is to teach children how to save, donate and invest money.

  1. Gratitude and or Mindfulness Cards

Search “Mindfulness Cards” on Amazon to choose amongst the many decks of cards that to remind kids, teens and adults to be grateful for the little things in life whether it’s the sound of birds chirping or the warmth of hot cocoa in your hands. Clients always love the cards, Power Thought Cardsby Louise Hay.

  1. Coloring Books

Regardless of your age, you can color. Just make sure it is mindful. Gift coloring books of mandalas or choose books such as The Coloring Book of Mindfulness: 50 Quotes and Designs to Help You Focus, Slow Down, De-Stress Paperback – Coloring Book, by Quadrille Publishing andHolly MacDonaldfor adults and BeHappy & Color!: Mindful activities & coloring pages for kids by Hannah Klaus Hunter andStephanie Peterson Jones.

  1. Journals

Instill mindfulness by encouraging awareness of feelings, thoughts and behaviors through journaling. Check out American Girls’ The Feelings Bookand The Feelings Book Journal or gift any notebook or plain journal to set the vibe for increasing awareness.

  1. Mindful Eating and Meal Book and Log

Walking, eating and even loving can all be acts of mindfulness. The question is how do you do all of these things mindfully? Give the ultimate gift of mindfulness and purchase three or more books in the “How to” series by zen master and author Thich Nhat Hanh. As a registered dietitian, I always recommend clients read the book How to Eat(Mindfulness Essentials) by Thich Nhat Hanh and then pair it with a journal to keep a mindful meal log. You can download a sample mindful meal log at

Make a statement of mindfulness with one or more of the gifts above. Gift these favorite items with a gift certificate to a massage, meditation or a yoga class. Be the change maker for a peaceful holiday season.

Sunchokes: The Veggie of 2020

Sunchokes: The Veggie of 2020

Sunchokes: The Veggie of 2020

Move Over Cauliflower!

Cauliflower is so 2019! There’s a new veggie gracing the menus of trendy restaurants all over the country. If you’ve been out to eat in NYC recently, you’ve probably seen sunchokes on the menu and thought “what are these and where do they come from?”

Sunchokes are commonly known as Jerusalem artichokes, although oddly they hold no connection to Jerusalem. In terms of the “sun” in its name, the flowers that grow off of the plant are yellow and resemble sunflowers. Helianthus tuberosus is its scientific name and this tuber is actually part of the daisy family. Tubers grows beneath the ground and include yams, potatoes, and taro. The first people to grow sunchokes were the Native Americans. Sunchokes seem to grow well in North America and were brought to Europe from America for cultivation.

For people with diabetes, sunchokes could prove to be a promising substitute to potatoes or other starchy carbohydrates as they have a similar taste and texture, but a lower Glycemic Index. A raw sunchoke has a Glycemic Index of 32, comparable to broccoli, artichoke, and Chinese cabbage, while a raw white potato has a Glycemic Index of 60. Sunchokes are comprised of mainly carbohydrates in the form of inulin, not starch. Inulin has been shown to decrease “the synthesis of triglycerides and fatty acids in the liver and lowers their circulating levels in rats” as well as decrease “fasting serum glucose in healthy humans.” An article published in Nutrition & Metabolism in 2012 showed that Jersulem artichokes demonstrated “anti-diabetic effects in diabetic rats” and “improved insulin sensitivity.”

Inulins are also prebiotics which support gut health. Our bodies are not capable of digesting inulin which ferments in the gut and can cause flatulence and bloating. People have varying levels of sensitivity to inulin, but higher inulin levels are found in raw versus cooked forms of the sunchoke. Not only are sunchokes a great option for people attempting to regulate blood sugar, they also provide a great source of iron and potassium.

Whether you call it a tuber, a Jerusalem artichoke, sunroot, or sunchoke, the plant has clear health benefits for people with diabetes, regardless of how confusing its namesake is.

3 Restaurants in NYC Where you Can Find Sunchokes on the Menu:

  1. Gramercy Tavern – Chicken Breast & Thigh with Sunchokes, Broccoli Rabe, and Tarragon Gnocchi
  2. Golda – Eggplant Menemen with Crispy Egg, Saffron Yogurt, Jerusalem Artichoke, Urfa Biber
  3. August – Jerusalem Artichoke Soup



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How Rolfing® Compliments a Yoga Practice​

How Rolfing® Compliments a Yoga Practice​

Rolfing™ Sessions Can Change the Way You Move

If you are a seasoned yoga practitioner or a beginner who would like to start enjoying the benefits of yoga, there are several ways that Rolfing can complement your practice. Rolfing treatment is a system of deep tissue body work that many people mistake for massage. While Rolfing does work on the tissues of the body, Rolfing massage (many people refer to Rolfing as a massage, but in practice it is a series of soft tissue manipulations to effect lasting change) is nothing like what one would think of as a traditional massage. People who go in for Rolfing treatments generally have a series of 10 sessions that are designed to release the fibrous tissues that effect the alignment of your body. Rolfing can enhance your yoga practice by offering the following benefits:

Ease of Movement – Yoga is all about attaining and maintaining certain postures for health and well-being. It can be a great way to relieve stress and improve flexibility overall. Rolfing treatment can help by making it easier for you to move your body, which will of course make practicing yoga that much easier as well. With a good Rolfing practitioner, you can regain flexibility that may have been lost due to age or lack of use.

  • Sense of Emotional Well-Being– Rolfing treatment has been said to give people an enhanced sense of emotional well-being. This can be a great compliment to yoga practice, which is also said to enhance your emotional well-being. Yoga and Rolfing massage (many people refer to Rolfing as a massage, but in practice it is a series of soft tissue manipulations to effect lasting change) together can help many people to attain an improved overall happiness as well as reduce the stress that comes with everyday life.
  • Relief from Chronic Pain– One of the most highly touted benefits of receiving structural integration bodywork is the relief that it can give you from chronic pain. There are many people who have found relief through Rolfing that they could not find with traditional massage or with medical treatment. When you are able to finally find relief from pain, your yoga practice will inevitably benefit.
  • Improved Posture– Since Rolfing, or structural integration, works on the tissues that influence the alignment of the body, you could find that treatments improve your posture naturally, when your body is properly aligned and your posture is improved, you may find that some of the more advanced yoga poses and practices are easier to attain and maintain. Not only does it compliment your yoga practice nicely, but improved posture can help you in your everyday life as well.


Reproduced with permission from author Bob Alonzi.

Certified Advanced Rolfer 


How To Face Diet Talk During the Holidays

How To Face Diet Talk During the Holidays

by Paige Mandel, Dietetic Intern

Holiday time always comes with an overwhelming wave of emotion, whether that be joy and excitement, anticipating seeing family and friends, or anxiety and insecurity. If you resonate more so with the latter, remember you are not alone; after all, this holiday is all about togetherness. 

While many holiday traditions are food-focused, especially the Thanksgiving feast, and many family members tend to overshare opinions, this should not take away from the festivities, and you have the tools to neutralize this space. From the meal preparation to dining around the table, you have the power to transform this space into a positive, safe environment, by shutting down diet and body talk. 

First, remember that the average person eats about 3 meals per day, making this Thanksgiving meal 0.09% of the meals you eat in a year. This meal will not define you, this meal will not make you “good” or “bad”, nor are the components of this meal “good” or “bad”. But, what makes the holiday season a “good” one, is sharing in love, laughter, and togetherness. Nobody will remember who ate what, the size of anyone’s body, what diet they were on, but they will remember the memories created together and the exchanging of stories. There are so many more exciting things to talk about than diets and body size. So when the inevitable diet talk or body comment arises, take a moment, take a breath, and remember why you’re gathered around the table.

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Tips on Buying a Juicer

Tips on Buying a Juicer

by Meryl Ignaschenko

The concept of juicing is hardly new and for a period of time it seemed like the trendiest thing around. You probably most recently heard the buzz about the Medical Medium’s influence with juicing celery.

If you’re new to the concept of juicing, let’s do a quick primer. Consuming fruit and vegetable juices is a great way to get higher volumes of fruit and vegetables into your daily diet. By extracting just the juice – with its polyphenols, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals—and eliminating the fiber (more on that later)—you are able to consume a much greater volume of the good things mentioned above – vitamins, antioxidants, and the like. For example, a super high grade cold-pressed juicer (one that a cold-pressed juice shop would use) gets up to about 6 to 7 lbs of produce into a 16 oz (2 cups) bottle of juice. Imagine sitting and trying to eat 6 lbs of spinach. That’s like over 30 carrots!

That being said, it’s important that juice is not the only way you get your fruit and veggie intake. Fiber is extremely important. Fiber has been shown to combat everything from cardiovascular disease to certain cancers and it supports a healthy microbiome. Some people, especially those with digestive problems such as IBS can struggle with digesting fiber, however, if you can, it may help with satiety.

While it’s easy to pop into a store and grab a juice, there are arguments for making them at home. You get to play with flavors and tailor what produce you use exactly to your needs.  You also know where the produce is coming from and its quality.

A recent study looked at juice made from a centrifugal juicer (the kind with blades that induce heat unto the produce) and cold-pressed juicers (no heat is applied to the produce) and looked at which extracted more nutrients. They found that there was no major difference of antioxidant content and other health-promoting capabilities between the two types of juice.

There are also masticating juicers, which are similar to centrifugal juicers, but they grind the produce (imagine a meat grinder) instead of splicing it with blades.

I have found that the best home juicers are the ones that are either cold-pressed or slow/masticating. These consistently result in the highest quality juice (for flavor and texture). With the exception of the Norwalk, they tend to be the most user friendly, quietest, and compact.

The Norwalk is the primo cold-pressed juicer (belongs in Goop’s gift guide for the one who has everything). If you’re really committed to having a cold-pressed juicer at home and money is no object, this is the OG of cold-pressed juicers. It is incredibly time intensive (requires a 2 step process for making juice). Your produce will never heat up and it extracts absolutely every last drop of juice. The fiber leftover is akin to felt.

If that seems like a lot, the next best product on the market is the Angel. Like the Norwalk the Angel is stainless steel – ideal for those who are committed to keeping things plastic-free. It also means it is quite heavy. The angel is less expensive and more compact than the Norwalk. It also makes your juice in a single process, which means less work for you.

This Omega juicer is a slow masticating juicer. It has a very large spout where the fruit and vegetables are fed into, which means less chopping and slicing in advance.

If you prefer a vertical juicer, this Hurom model is incredibly compact. It is also a slow juicer. The juicer itself only consists of 4 parts. It is very easy to assemble and take apart to clean. Another perk of this juicer is that it makes very little noise – which means it’s easy to use without bothering anyone in the kitchen. The juice has excellent texture and viscosity.

While most juicers make claims that they can be used for nut butter and nut milk use, I’d recommend a blender and focus on your juicer for making juice.

The best tip for buying a juicer is buying the one that speaks to you and that you will actually use. If you know you don’t have much storage space, opt for a smaller model. What’s most important is not to get too hung up on what is the best. Once you get started you will have fun playing around with different fruits and vegetables. Juices don’t really have recipes and are very hard to mess up. Some pro tips – squeeze lemon in at the end to boost your Vitamin C or opt for lime which is actually much sweeter than lemon.


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