Tag: diabetes friendly

A surprising, drug-free way to help manage diabetes

A surprising, drug-free way to help manage diabetes

A surprising, drug-free way to help manage diabetes



Image courtesy freeimages.com

by Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN, Whole Nutrition Services

Testing your blood sugar. Seeing the doctor. Getting exercise. Planning your meals. Taking oral medication. Using insulin. If you have diabetes, you’re probably already familiar with the steps needed to keep you healthy. But have you ever considered mindfulness?

As I discuss in Everyday Diabetes Meals: Cooking for One or Two, mindfulness has a unique effect in helping to manage diabetes. It will not replace the tools your doctor has already given you, but you can think of it as another valuable tool in your toolbox. There’s really nothing to lose by trying — mindfulness is free, and can be done just about anywhere.

Science shows you can help keep your blood sugar in a normal range using mindfulness. For instance, participants in a Mind-STRIDE study had a significant lowering of A1C levels from an 8.3 average to 7.3, and folks using Jon Kabat Zinn’s MBSR program had improved glycemia even without a change of weight. Those who took part in Zinn’s program underwent 2.5-hour sessions each week for 8 weeks, plus a one-day retreat that involved learning about mindfulness, meditation and hatha yoga. Brown University study participants who had high scores on the Mindfulness Awareness Scale had a 35% lower chance of having a glucose level under 100mg/dL. Mindfulness training lowered fasting blood sugar levels better than health classes, in a Penn University study. Mindfulness is even showing interesting potential as a diabetes prevention method — those who practice mindfulness are 20% less likely to get diabetes, according to Brown.

In addition to the physical issues associated with diabetes, it can take a toll on mental health. A quarter of those with diabetes become depressed, and this population also has a higher risk of anxiety. Mindfulness may help diabetes-related stress by decreasing counterregulatory hormones. “We definitely know that anxiety and depression can be significant barriers to effectively managing diabetes,” says Dr. Andy Keen, health psychologist at the University of Aberdeen and NHS Grampian, “and by alleviating these we can give people the opportunity to invest more time and energy into looking after themselves if they want to do that.”

So how do you do it? Mindfulness may be done while eating, cooking, walking, sitting. It is highly adaptable to many activities, making it super convenient. In Everyday Diabetes, I lay out my 4-step plan for incorporating mindfulness in your life.


Breathe deeply prior to and following meals. Take five deep breaths. Focus all of your attention on your breath. As you inhale slowly, make sure you are filling up your stomach, ribs and chest. Then exhale through the nose, letting the air go first from the chest, then ribs, then stomach. You should be stretching the exhale with the image of stretching taffy in your mind and constricting the back part of the throat. Continue for five times.

Test your Blood Sugar

Make note of your blood sugar and whatever food you are planning to eat, in addition to thoughts, feelings or behaviors you’re having. Place the focus back on your breathing.

Eat in a Mindful Way

This means eating with all the senses. Look at your food before you even take it to your mouth. What is the color? The smell? The sound? Finally, put it to your mouth and taste. Document the experience. How do you chew? What effect is eating this having on your heart rate? Do this for five bites and then continue with your meal quietly or with socializing. Ask yourself one-third and two-thirds through the meal if you have had enough. This may be a unique, new concept for you. So many of us eat without ever considering whether we are eating to satisfy a hunger. Be in tune with the sensation the meal is producing in your belly. Are you full? Are you psychologically satisfied? Write down all observations.

Test your Blood Sugar Again and Treat Naturally

Check your blood sugar two hours after. Write down not only the measurement but how energized you feel. This can help you plan for the future, as you figure out which foods help you manage blood sugar and feeling full. Blood sugar too high? Try a walk. Drink water. And do meditation.

I include much more about mindfulness and meditation in my book. I hope you will use this as a jumping-off point to better managing your diabetes and engaging more deeply in self-care. If you live near the Closter, NJ area, I also encourage you to take a yoga or mindful class with me or my staff.

Favorite Summer Meals to Eat Before Summer is Over

Favorite Summer Meals to Eat Before Summer is Over

Favorite Summer Meals to Eat Before Summer is Over

By Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Summer is not over yet! Give some of a my favorite summer recipes a try!

California Grilled Chicken

(Recipe hint: Serve over Zoodles!)

Grilled Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa

(Recipe Hint: Serve with Guac!)

Easy and Yum: Steak Burrito Bowl Recipe

Trendy bowls dinners: Quinoa Chicken Bowls with a Mango Salsa

Powerhouse delivered in a bowl: High Protein Onion, Apple, Quinoa, and Kale Salad

Should you go Paleo?

A Year in Review

A Year in Review

A Year in Review


  Picture courtesy Wynand van  Niekerk at freeimages.com                                                                                                                                       

by Laura Cipullo and the Whole Nutrition Services Team

Want the scoop on Lisa and Laura’s nutrition perspective? Below are some highlighted press pieces to get a flavor of our nutrition palate.  From nutrition recommendations and recipes to information about our new book and the January 2017 yoga retreat.

Laura and Lisa’s New Diabetes Book

On March 22nd, Robert Rose will release our new book, Everyday Diabetes Meals — Cooking for One or Two. (Pre-order here.) Living with diabetes is made easier with recipes for the single-serve lifestyle. Diabetes-friendly recipes are all for one or two, including options such as Blueberry Yogurt Scones and Beef Tacos. In this book, we’ve got you eating breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that will please your taste buds and help balance blood sugar, with carbohydrate contents ranging 45- 60 grams per meal. Get a preview here. Publishers Weekly featured our book as a Spring title to look out for. Lisa and I worked so hard on this book and really hope it is a life-changer! Share your experience on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #EverydayDiabetes.

Lisa Mikus, RD, in the Media

Our own RD, Lisa Mikus, was on tap as nutrition expert for Vitamin Shoppe’s What’s Good site, Women’s Health magazine, Eat This Not That, Self magazine and more. Pick up a copy of Women’s Running magazine in January 2017 issue to read about Lisa’s nutrition recommendations!

Very proud to be sharing my practice with such an awesome RD and author!! #Grateful

Read more about her go-to breakfast and holiday food swap on the Vitamin Shoppe’s What’s Good site. She also shared her pre-workout snack on AOL, gut-friendly snacks at Spark People and favorite kitchen gadget on Self.

Get a Taste for the L’ifestyle

Read my advice for balancing blood sugar, preventing weight-loss traps, rethinking rewards and punishments, avoiding yo-yo dieting, and getting your youngsters into yoga. And check out my appearances on Powerwomen TV, talking about my nutrition philosophies (scroll to the Essie episode in the second row), and the Jenna Wolfe Show, where I talked about stress.

This Mom is Dishing It Out in NJ again

What’s on the horizon for 2017? The opening of my L’ifestyle Lounge, which you can read all about right here on my blog. Look for it in February.


From January 25-29, I will be leading a retreat with wellness coordinator Ali Quinn in Bequia. I believe it will give you essential tools  — in terms of mindfulness and stress reduction — as you embark on the coming year. Not to mention how beautiful Bequia is as a vacation destination. You can learn more about the retreat here, on Yoga Digest (which profiled my retreat as one of their top choices for Best Yogi Destinations in 2017), in Shape (which called us a best retreat), and on The Observer, which highlighted it as “a yoga retreat that’s all about getting your body and mind right for the new year. ” Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Holly LoRusso, RD, is on maternity leave until March 2017. Congrats, Holly, on motherhood!

Happy and healthy New Year to you and your family.  Thank you for joining Lisa, Holly and me on the L’ifestyle journey.


Bone Broth: Should You Dig It?

Bone Broth: Should You Dig It?

Bone Broth: Should You Dig It?

Image via FreeImages.com/Jean Scheijen

by Laura Cipullo and the Whole Nutrition Services Team


As we head in to 2017, bone broth continues to lead the food trends. Wonder what it is? Is it really worth braving the farmer’s market in these cold temperatures for the expensive bones? Let’s navigate the what, the claims and the nutritional value as evidenced by research.

What is bone broth?

Bone broth is a collection of animal bones that are boiled in water and combined with different herbs and spices. It is thought to be very similar to regular soup stock – the kind your grandmother made with the chicken carcass. The biggest difference between regular soup stock and bone broth is that the bones are boiled in water for approximately 24-48 hours.  Grandma’s only boiled for about three hours.  You can drink the broth, add it as a soup base or cook with it when making foods such as mashed potatoes. The greater duration of boiling is thought to be beneficial because it allows the bones to release nutrients and minerals into the boiling water.  It is also thought that by soaking the bone, collagen, gelatin, and amino acids, which are nutrient-rich, become easier to digest.1  

What are the claims about bone broth?

Claim 1:

While there are very few if any evidence-based studies supporting bone broth’s benefits, people are consuming it regularly.  There are claims assuming collagen from the animal bones will make human’s bones stronger. In reality, your body breaks down the animal’s bones into amino acids, which are then used to build hormones and muscles, like any other source of amino acids2.  This is similar to how dietary fat is absorbed by your body and gets used to make hormones, line your nerves and does not necessarily get stored directly as fat.

Claim 2:

Time Magazine’s ‘You Asked’ writes that the book Nourishing Broth claims bone broth reduces inflammation, speeds healing, calms allergies and combats fatigue. It is a mouthful of claims that points back to the collagen found in bones and the connective tissues of the animal’s body and your body, too. When specifically focusing on collagen it is important to know that Vitamin C is needed to bind the two amino acids found in collagen (known as lysine and proline) to form pro-collagen in your body. This means if you are drinking bone broth, you need to have Vitamin C with it to get the collagen benefit (helping to make collagen in your body). But does this reduce inflammation or speed healing? Read The Collagen Connection3 for more food for thought.

Below are four of at least 14 types of collagen documented in Linus Pauling’s Unified Theory of Human Cardiovascular Disease3 by Jim English and Hyla Cass,

What is Collagen Anyway?

Type I: Makes up the fibers found in connective tissues of the skin, bone, teeth, tendons and ligaments.

Type II: Round fibers found in cartilage.

Type III: Forms connective tissues that give shape and strength to organs, such as the liver, heart, kidneys, etc.

Type IV: Forms sheets that lie between layers of cells in the blood vessels, muscles, and eye.

Continue reading “Bone Broth: Should You Dig It?”

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