Tag: Comfort Card

16 Things You Never Knew About L’ifestyle Lounge

16 Things You Never Knew About L’ifestyle Lounge

16 Things You Never Knew About L’ifestyle Lounge


by the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team


If you are looking for yoga classes in New York or New Jersey, there are so many places to choose from. How do you know which one is right for you? It pays to investigate – it is your money and time, after all. To make things a little easier, my latest post is about all the things that make L’ifestyle Lounge the best choice for yoga, if you’re in Closter, NJ or thereabouts. And I’m also including some fun trivia you may not know!

1) We are a body-positive, gender/LGBTQ-inclusive, age-inclusive, body-inclusive space. Going to yoga can feel so intimidating for some. We get it. We want you to feel at ease the minute you step into our studio. We want you to love your body and we’ll never encourage you to change it. We don’t believe yoga is only for skinny, young women. We have classes for young boys and girls and their parents, for teens, for beginning yoga students, for experienced beginners, for advanced. Yoga has something to offer us all and that’s what makes it so powerful. We are also always open to suggestions so if you see a need for a certain type of class in our schedule, let us know about it!

2) We will be celebrating our second year this March. Can you believe time has gone by so fast? In March 2017, we opened our doors to the Closter, NJ yoga community and what a fun ride it has been so far! We are proud to be a studio that brings together nutrition counseling, yoga and mindfulness for a full wellness experience, and we’re just getting started.

3) You will not find mirrors in our studios. This is part of our commitment to being a place where everyone is welcome and feels comfortable.

4) We run a regular, free book club. Even if you are not taking classes with us, we encourage you to come to our club for warmth, new ideas and community. We have it every few months, and you can always see our next one on our scheduling page. This month, we are reading Beautiful Boy by Nic Scheff on January 23.

5) Our space is 1800 square feet. See some photos of it here.

6) You can drop in or join us for an entire semester. We are flexible with your schedule!

7) We recently introduced tai chi to our offerings. Find out more about tai chi in this blog post. Right now we’re in the last few weeks of our 8-week tai chi sessions with Phillip Cross, who studied with Master Randy Elia at Peter Kwok’s Kung Fu Academy. Check our site regularly to see when we’ll be offering a new round of classes.

8) As you can probably already tell, we’re not just yoga! We also offer mindfulness classes, nutrition appointments, tai chi as mentioned, and physical therapy. We fit a lot under one roof!

9) You can purchase clothing with our philosophy – “eat kale and cupcakes.” on Project Heal, which was created so folks could have access to eating disorder treatment without money being a barrier, and also at our studio.

10) Our founder, Laura Cipullo, has written a number of books on yoga, nutrition, diabetes, and kids. Find them all here.

11) We’re very active on social media! We do daily updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Comment, like, follow and share!

12) We are frequently called upon for our nutrition advice in the media and to speak at events. Here is just a partial list. If you are a journalist or want to request our services for speaking, contact us at laura@lauracipullo.com.

13) We offer online resources for free, like our Mindful Meal Log and Comfort Cards. Download them here!

14) We have a regular newsletter. Fill out the subscription form when you log in to lauracipullo.com. Subscribe to stay in the know.

15) Some of our yoga classes incorporate essential oils and painting, such as Paint and Poses and EmpowerHER.

16) We’re a great spot for birthday parties! If you’re looking for a special idea for your child’s next party give yoga a try. It’s fun and will help them better deal with stress! (Kids can get stressed too.) It might even encourage a lifelong habit of yoga.

I hope you learned at least one new thing (or maybe a few new things) about our studio, and I hope you’ll join us in 2019 for yoga, mindfulness, and fun!




The Hunger Tree and How It Can Help You!

The Hunger Tree and How It Can Help You!

The Hunger Tree and How It Can Help You!

 By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD

All hunger is not the same. As you read through the Women’s Health Body Clock Diet, you’ll notice yourself starting to be able to discern different types of hunger. Once you have figured out whether the hunger is behavioral, physical or emotional, it is time to deal with that hunger. That’s where the Hunger Tree comes in. The Hunger Tree can be found on page 97 of the Women’s Health Body Clock Diet, but I am reproducing it right here for your reference.


First, you’ll notice mindfulness at the top. Mindfulness, the act of being aware, is your first step to begin figuring out whether your eating falls under the emotional, behavioral or physical categories.

Emotional Hunger

If you determine your hunger is emotionally-based, you can

1) reach for a comfort card, which you will have already filled out with coping skills/activities you can rely on

2) Use the Cortisol Crushers (aka Diffusion Techniques) found on page 95 (Chapter 8) of the Women’s Health Body Clock Diet to decrease your stress. Decreasing stress and thus cortisol through activities like yoga and stress tolerance are active tools to bring your stress hormone down on demand.

I personally learned these from my amazing colleague Susan Schrott, DCSW, LCSW, CEDS, CYT, and Kripalu-trained yoga instructor. Diffusion Techniques are tools from a greater concept known as ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy).

The Five Cortisol Crushers (Diffusion Techniques) are:

1) Figure out and write down your main values, such as living an honest life or being of service.

2) Don’t put judgment on thoughts. Recognize thoughts as merely information. If a thought does not help with your values, change your focus to something that will.

3) Put bad thoughts, feelings or memories in imaginary luggage that you envision being taken away on a conveyor belt. Now, all you are left with are values.

4) Remember, life is like TiVo and can always be put on pause when things get too stressful. Take a deep breath and press play again only when you’re ready.

5) Thank yourself for your thoughts, even if they are negative ones. Again, forget judgment.

Behavioral Hunger

If you determine your hunger is behavioral, you can use the Boot Behavioral Eating method. Boot Behavioral Eating involves sitting while eating; eating without distractions; embracing boredom while eating; writing down thoughts, feelings and actions before the first bite; getting in tune with your physical feelings of hunger and using a comfort card, or just doing something else to break the behavioral eating pattern cycle.

Physical Hunger

If you determine the hunger is in fact physical, identify how hungry you are with the help of a hunger fullness scale. Choose a food to eat. Do a body scan (this is a detailed process involving breathing and connecting with your body’s energy; my favorite body scan is found in WHBCD’s chapter called How To Eat an Oreo). And finally, use the four senses (sight, sound, touch and smell) before you take the first bite, and the fifth sense, taste, when you finally enjoy that first bite. The goal is to connect — really connect — with the food you are eating and hopefully not take it for granted.

The Hunger Tree is a great tool to get a handle on various eating issues! The detailed instructions on using this diagram can be found in my book and only in my book the Women’s Health Body Clock Diet, since I created it for my clients and readers. I encourage you to get your very own personal copy and get a great start on healthy eating!

Self-Care Sunday: The Five Top Tools for Self-Care

Self-Care Sunday: The Five Top Tools for Self-Care

The Five Top Tools for Self-Care

468281581_3d42a4a62a_zImage via Flickr/mararie

Self-care is exactly what it sounds like – taking care of you! The ultimate goal of self-care may differ for each of you, but in this blog I am pointing to self-care that leads to emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Think brushing your teeth twice daily, getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night, ensuring you are fed throughout the day, and even such things as daily hygiene practices. More specifically, this trendy word is something CEDRDs always refer to in nutrition sessions because when you take care of you, this process ultimately lends itself to health and wellness. Being I am the feeding and eating expert, I ask you to set an intention to practice self-care specifically focusing on your nutritional well-being.

This may include being mentally present before, during and after a meal. Awareness of your meal allows you to recognize you are actually eating and to make the decision on how much or how little to eat. Self-care at meals can more specifically lead to being mindful of all five senses. Engage in tasting your food, touching your food, smelling it, listening to it (yes, food does make noise – think of sizzling fajitas) and truly looking at it (the beautiful colors in a salad or perhaps the presentation of your fast food item). It may be learning to listen to your body’s internal sensations that will guide you in your food decisions. Think if every time you eat dairy, you get a bellyache, listen to your body and give it a smaller portion or a lactose-free option. (Lactaid is also available at many drug stores to use as a supplement with your first bite of food to make digesting lactose easier.) Self-care can also mean using coping skills to deal with feelings rather than food or just exercise.

How does one practice self-care? Here are my five favorite tools that are sure to keep you active in the pursuit of self-care.

  • Mindful Meal Logs

Learn when, why, what and how you are eating. That’s right. Logging the time, place, level of hunger, thoughts, feelings, behaviors and food eaten before and after your meals will provide you with tons of information. You can then use this information to make decisions such as “Does this food work for me?” “Does it keep me full or am I hungry in one hour?” “Is there another food that may keep me sated longer?” Check out the free Mindful Meal Logs from my Women’s Health Body Clock Diet and read this post to learn how to use the logs. You can create your own or even use a regular spiral notebook to jot down your observations.

  • The Comfort Card

This tool is your answer to end emotional eating. In order to eat for physical reasons (aka a source of fuel), to replete your daily energy requirements, you need to know how to deal with stress. Most people eat when they feel stressed, sad, angry or even happy. When we speak to self-care, the act of consistently eating for emotional reasons can be self-destructive. Instead, create a comfort card (postcard size) with your five top coping skills or even distractions to engage in to either delay the emotional eating or completely avoid it. Here is a sample and free printout of your very own comfort card. Think breathing, knitting, self-talk or getting a manicure.

  • Mindfulness Monthly Subscription

With all the things you have to do, who has time to even remember to live in the moment and take care of yourself? I found the cutest concept that serves as a great tool to keep regular with self-care. Part of self-care is logging and or journaling. It is connecting with yourself to feed your mind, body and spirit with non-food items just as much as it can be fed with food for fuel. But of course someone already recognized help is needed. Well, Cratejoy offers a monthly subscription box. Call it mindfulness in the mail. Each month, they deliver items “promoting mindfulness, inner peace and balance … giving you the tools to live with more intention and in the present moment.” You get a variety of items including health care products, journals and even crystals. This is a very cool gift idea too.

  • Self-Love Worksheet

In order to practice self-care, you must think you are worthy of doing so. Create or download a worksheet to use daily or perhaps weekly to help increase the reasons to love yourself and ultimately nourish your mind, body and spirit. There are many worksheets available online for free and even books that can help to lend a hand. Here is a sample worksheet I found online.

  • The How To Series

Need a step by step guide on how to be mindful? Well, books are great tools especially when they are authored by the Zen Master, Thich Naht Hanh! If you follow me on twitter or Instagram, you’ll notice I recently tweeted a pic of his book “How to Relax.” Hanh is a Buddhist monk but you can connect with his teachings regardless of your beliefs. As part of the Mindful Essentials series, there are four small books, How to Sit, How to Love, the aforementioned How to Relax and How to Eat. How to Eat is all about how eating can become a form of meditation. It’s about being mindful in regards to all aspects of food — the growing, preparation, serving, tasting and even the cleaning up.

So there you have it! The five tools that will make self-care easier this year. Start with one tool and then keep adding! Remember, every little act of self-care can lead to greater health.



Moving Towards Mindful Eating of All Foods

Moving Towards Mindful Eating of All Foods

Moving Towards Mindful Eating of All Foods

 by Laura Cipullo, Whole Nutrition Services Team

Food is fuel. It’s there to keep us alive and nourish us. But often we don’t use it that way. Instead we turn to food to soothe ourselves when we’ve had a bad day, to occupy us when we’re bored, to make us feel good when we want to celebrate, or to punish ourselves when we’ve “cheated.” (“I’ve already had half those chips, might as well finish the whole can.”) Sometimes, we eat simply because we know how good it tastes and want to experience that wonderful pleasure over and over again. This can be hedonic hunger. Sometimes, it’s a behavioral thing. For instance, you are used to eating a dozen cookies every day at 4pm to fight tiredness, and now you’ve come to expect it and eat it automatically. This is mindless eating. But you can change your eating behaviors! You can become a mindful eater.

Steps to Mindful Eating

Step 1. Watch the Mindful Meal Log Video (see above) and Download the Mindful Meal Logs.

In the Women’s Health Body Clock Diet, I include a Mindful Meal Log. The Mindful Meal Log is an essential tool for mindful eating. It allows you to identify what hunger you are responding to (Emotional, Behavioral or Physical) and to then make a decision to eat. The logs help you understand without judgment what foods keep you full and what foods or even time of day may trigger you. This is one of my favorite tools as it unveils behaviors and the feelings surrounding them. Once you recognize your patterns, you can decide whether they are helpful or hindering. You become mindful of how you eat, why you eat and what you are eating.

It’s pretty simple.

Step 2.  Use the Mindful Meal Log.

  • Start by filling out the time of day.
  • Make a note of the type of hunger you’re feeling. Is it emotional, behavioral or physical? (Learn more on identifying hunger type here.)
  • Decide whether to use the Comfort Card. (More on that below.)
  • Once you master identifying the three types of hunger, you move onto identifying hunger and fullness cues.
  • Write down the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that occur before you eat, and what food you are about to eat.
  • Next, note how hungry or full you feel upon completing the meal as well as any thoughts, feelings or behaviors.

Step 3. Review and set new intentions around eating based on what you learned from your logs.

After you accumulate three to seven days of logs, consult your logs for trends concerning foods, behaviors and emotions that may help you make future decisions surrounding your food choices. In session, many of my clients share their meal logs with me, and we do this together. Be gentle on yourself. The logs serve as a vehicle to educate yourself and learn from. Do not bash yourself for overeating. Rather observe what foods and feelings surrounded that particular eating experience.

Science backs mindful eating: A study by National Institutes of Health found that mindfulness-based intervention can reduce bingeing episodes from four to one a week. The logs work best when used in conjunction with other tools such as the Body Clock’s Comfort Card (download here). The Comfort Card is a tool that offers fun alternatives to mindless eating.

Check out the videos, and download your free mindful meal log and comfort card on my site. Of course, you can get the book if you want to tie it all together. Start noticing your unique eating patterns, stop feeling bad and practice guilt-free mindful eating with me this 2016.

For daily support, follow me on Twitter @MomDishesItOut, Facebook at Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services and Instagram, also under momdishesitout.

To get a first look at videos, special savings, and words of wisdom, be sure to subscribe to my updates on my home page (bottom right corner, under Get Laura’s Weekly Email).

A New Way to Approach New Year’s Resolutions – Self Care

A New Way to Approach New Year’s Resolutions – Self Care

A New Way to Approach New Year’s Resolutions – Self Care


Image courtesy of FreeImages.com/Christopher Bruno

by Laura Cipullo, Whole Nutrition Services Team

What are your New Year’s resolutions? To fit into a favorite pair of jeans? To eat less sweets? To exercise daily? Every single December, we feel the pressure — to analyze where we are and decide how we are going to improve. And then, when we binge on dessert or feel too big to get to the gym, we mentally torture ourselves about it.

I’m here to say, “STOP.”

This kind of attitude (aka what I refer to as Fooditude) can be self-defeating and will not lead to a positive state of mind, body or spirit. 

Instead, consider this: Focus on small changes that will improve your whole self, meaning overall health. For example, I will grocery shop every Sunday and I will practice breathing for one minute before I eat breakfast every morning.

Secondly, use these small goals as a measure of success rather than a scale number. Rid the weight loss/scale number approach. Realize this: Weight loss can occur secondary to self-care and a change in the way you nurture your mind and body. Not all bodies need or will even be able to lose weight. All bodies fit and can be physically fit, so don’t obsess over a number. Remember, the number may actually go up if you turn fat to muscle. 

Thirdly, accept the fact that eating and exercise are not something to perfect.  It is better not to become overly rigid about your eating habits or food choices. If a meal or a day of meals don’t meet your intentions or goals, that’s okay. Habits are about consistency over a period of time. Let it go, and move onto the next meal.   

We are all human and we can’t be perfectly perfect every day. The new perfect is to be imperfectly perfect — meaning there is no such thing as “perfect.” My version of “perfect” is the art of balance  – having both perfections and imperfections.  There are no perfect foods either. Really, I promise you this. Yes, there are foods that are more nutrient dense but anything in excess or even elimination can be harmful.

Change the concept of health to that of self care, not weight loss. When focusing on self care you can think, “Did I sleep my eight hours? Did I breathe before my meals, did I move my body to increase my energy?” Also, if you only eat one vegetable one day, you use this as an experience to learn from. The lesson is: “Tomorrow I need to be more mindful of eating veggies.”

Self-care is the new “weight loss.” Imperfect is the new “perfect.” Strong is the new “skinny.” L’ifestyle is the new “diet.” If you want more tools for this approach, download the comfort card and mindful meal log, read the blogs on my site. If you are ready for more and want to take the next step, read the Body Clock Diet. I will hold your hand as you take your journey to wellness by self care.

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