Tag: laura cipullo

Going Camping with Project HEAL!

Going Camping with Project HEAL!

Camping with Project HEAL!

picture via theprojectheal’s twitter

by the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Recovering from an eating disorder can take a village — family, friends, healthcare professionals, and nonprofits, all working together to save a life. One of the nonprofits doing such lifesaving work is Project HEAL, founded in 2008 by two teens — Liana Rosenman and Kristina Saffran – who have recovered from eating disorders. To date, Project HEAL has helped over 100 folks get eating disorder treatment through grants/scholarships. Resources are provided by Project HEAL’s HEALers Circle, which encompass centers such as Renfrew, CIELO House and Walden. Project HEAL’s work is vital because for so many, getting help from eating disorders is prohibitively expensive – $20,000 a month or higher.

The Project HEAL site features testimonials from folks whose lives have been changed by the generous contributions they’ve received. “The grant from Project HEAL provided me with the opportunity to receive treatment for my decade-long eating disorder,” writes Stephanie, “something I couldn’t have afforded on my own. Receiving treatment undoubtedly saved my life, gifting me with hope in a future filled with self-love and a healthy body image I never imagined was possible to achieve.” The nonprofit also offers group support and one-on-one mentorship via the Communities of HEALing program. What is so special about this program is that the mentors have had eating disorders themselves, and therefore, know firsthand what their mentees and support group members are going through. For those who just want to learn more about eating disorder recovery in general, there is a lot of information on their blog, about things like eating disorder myths, self-care, and the beauty industry.

We have personally become involved with Project HEAL by partnering with their website. You can get an Eat Kale and Cupcakes hoodie, shirt, or tank, with the knowledge that you are doing something really amazing to help people in need. The money from the merchandise goes to raise money for scholarships for eating disorder treatment, and free shipping is part of the deal! We are proud to say Project HEAL raised approximately $3800 through our items, all of which go to help the cause.

There are so many other ways to support this fantastic cause too, whether you choose to give your money or time. Volunteer, be an ambassador, social support mentor or intern, start your own chapter, donate (as little as $50 can make a difference), or attend an event. Keep an eye out for Project HEAL events across the country like Body Project Facilitator Training in Massachusetts, the Great Gatsby Gala in Denver (both March 2nd), and Camp HEAL, at the Angeles National Forest in California, September 27-29.  It will be the premier year for this camp, described as “an enrichment retreat that celebrates eating disorder recovery, body positivity, mindfulness and self-care.” It is not meant to provide treatment, but fun and inspiration to folks who need it. Workshops and activities will adhere to a “Healthy at Every Size” outlook, and will include yoga, mindfulness, writing, art,, archery, cooking, hiking, swimming, a talent show and more. Liana and Kristina will both be appearing as special guests, and some financial aid is available.

We hope you will check out this awesome organization and get involved in some way. Folks who need eating disorder help should never be denied just because they can’t afford it, and we are so happy that Project HEAL is doing their part to connect folks with that treatment and their future.







GYROKINESIS Applications for Yoga

GYROKINESIS Applications for Yoga

GYROKINESIS® Applications For Yoga Practice

The GYROKINESIS® method was created by Juliu Horvath. It is a movement method that addresses the entire body, opening energy pathways, stimulating the nervous system, increasing range of motion and creating functional strength through rhythmic, flowing movement sequences. Spiraling and undulating movements increase the functional capacity of the spine and create a spherical and three-dimensional awareness, resulting in total equilibrium. Exercises, synchronized with corresponding breathing patterns, enhance aerobic and cardiovascular stimulation and promote neuromyofacial rejuvenation.

GYROKINESIS classes can be adapted to fit anyone’s ability. People from all walks of life including accomplished athletes, fitness enthusiasts, senior citizens, and people recovering from an injury or dealing with a disability take GYROKINESIS classes. By the end of a GYROKINESIS session, one’s entire system is awakened and brought into greater balance. Focus on the breath stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system resulting in a sense of calm, well-being and mental clarity.

In this workshop, we will introduce basic GYROKINESIS principles and concepts while moving through seated spinal motions sequences. We will then move to the floor for a more rigorous exploration of GYROKINESIS exercises and methodology, and we will apply what we learn to improving and refining our execution of classic Yoga poses.

You can expect to experience new-found stability and satisfaction from Yoga poses like Chair Pose, Downward Facing Dog, Upward Facing Dog, Upward Plank Pose, Sphinx, and Locust.

Bring a yoga mat and come prepared to move!

Michelle Spinner

Michelle is the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Master Trainer and a Senior Pilates instructor at the Kinected Center in New York City –home of the Kane School Pilates teacher training program, where she mentors teacher trainees. She is the creator and official teacher of GYROTONIC® Applications for Equestrians and GYROKINESIS® Applications for Vocal Production, and creator of the CorEquestrian™ and Vocalates™ methods. Michelle is a guest GYROKINESIS® presenter at Rancho La Puerta wellness resort and spa in Tecate, Mexico.

Michelle was a long-time student of “first generation” Pilates Master Teacher Kathleen Stanford Grant. She was certified at the Kane School, and she is one of the “pioneer” instructors certified through the Pilates Method Alliance. Experience with the Alexander technique, yoga, and Chinese internal martial arts also informs her teaching.

Injuries and chronic pain ultimately led her to the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®. The successful rehabilitation of those injuries has given Michelle deep insights and tools to help others with their challenges – plus a passion to bring joy and freedom of movement to her students. She continues to study with the system’s creator Juliu Horvath.

Michelle’s ongoing study of human anatomy and biomechanics coupled with her background as a performer give her teaching an intellectual rigor combined with creativity, intuition, and a sense of play.

Looking at the Keto Diet

Looking at the Keto Diet

Looking at the Keto Diet

By Elizabeth Adler MS, RD, CDN

               It’s a new year and, naturally, there’s a “new” diet that leads many of us to question our food choices and lifestyle. More recently, I have observed a strong attraction to the ketogenic diet. The advertisement stands outside of GNC have changed from Paleo-supplements to Ketogenic versions, the grocery store is quickly stocking more fat-friendly, carbohydrate-free products marketed to sell overnight, and the promises of weight loss and super-charged energy that come with a ketogenic diet seem to be going viral. 

The ketogenic, or keto, diet was designed in the early 1920s and, for almost a century, has been recommended for children with epilepsy to help control seizures[i]. The diet is also sometimes considered in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease[ii]. Through strict restriction of carbohydrate foods, the ketogenic diet is designed to encourage ketosis in the body, a state during which ketone bodies are generated from stored body fat to fuel the body in place of glucose (derived from carbohydrates). It is a high-fat, very low-carbohydrate style that recommends unlimited amounts of meat, eggs, fish, cheese, nuts, butter, oils, and vegetables and restricts carbohydrates, like bread, grains, potatoes, fruit, and milk. This may be why MCT oil and butter replaced the milk in your coworker’s morning coffee.

Today, the ketogenic diet is often recommended for quick weight loss, and challenges the once popular low-fat diet trend. Like many weight loss diets, the ketogenic diet has been shown to result in temporary weight loss, likely due to an overall decreased caloric intake. In a December 2018 report on many systemic reviews and trials assessing the ketogenic diet for weight loss, the keto diet was found result in weight loss, peaking at 5 months of strict low-carbohydrate intake. However, participants in some studies slowly regained the weight and many studies did not follow participants for long-term weight loss and maintenance. The diet has also been shown to have varying dropout rates indicating that it is difficult to follow in the long-term. A study following 120 participants on a low-carbohydrate or low-fat diet found that 24% of the low-carbohydrate participants dropped out[iii] with other study dropout rates ranging from 18% to 84%[iv].

Additionally, like other restrictive weight loss diets, the ketogenic diet comes with side effects. Some individuals following the keto diet may experience a condition known as the ”keto flu”, during which one may experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, difficult exercising, and constipation[v]. The ketogenic diet has been associated with halitosis, muscle cramps, weakness, and rash[vi]. Long term research on the ketogenic diet is very limited, and so, the long-term health effects of the diet are not well known.

One virtue of the ketogenic diet trend is its celebration of fat. I, alongside the rest of my colleagues at LCWNS, love fat! Fat provides vitamins, minerals, energy, and flavor. Some of my favorite sources of fat are cheese, avocado, and nuts, and the majority of my days include at least 2 of those 3 (ideally, all 3 and multiple times a day.) Fat is wonderful, and becomes even more so when combined with other food groups including carbohydrates and/or protein. Carbohydrates, even the once idealized and trendy ones like quinoa and Ezekiel bread, have been a recent diet industry target. However, we should remember that carbohydrates are nutritious, energizing, and worthy of a place on your plate alongside the fat(s) of your choice. Perhaps you love peanut butter, and a peanut butter on a banana tastes spectacular. Butter is creamy, salty, and so satisfying on a piece of fresh-baked sourdough bread. The avocado is a simple and beautiful food, and is just as delicious on a tortilla chip or with poached eggs on avocado toast.

Because the keto diet idealizes one food (fat) and demonizes another (carbohydrates), following this regimen may also lead to unhealthy emotions and behaviors around food and the body – including restriction, over exercise, emotional and binge eating, and feelings of deprivation, shame, guilt, and regret. This and the potentially harmful long-term effects of the diet may encourage you to question whether the ketogenic diet is right for you. When we value all foods equally, we can more effectively work towards a neutral relationship with food and find physical, emotional, and mental nourishment and satisfaction. We need not forgo nor forget the satisfaction and nutritional value carbohydrates, proteins, and fats bring to our tables, plates, and mouths. Lastly, we do not need to follow the ketogenic diet in order to achieve health and happiness.

[i] Freeman, J. M., Kossoff, E. H., & Hartman, A. L. (2007). The ketogenic diet: one decade later. Pediatrics119(3), 535-543.

[ii] Pflanz, N. C., Daszkowski, A. W., James, K. A., & Mihic, S. J. (2018). Ketone body modulation of ligand-gated ion channels. Neuropharmacology.

[iii] Yancy, W. S., Olsen, M. K., Guyton, J. R., Bakst, R. P., & Westman, E. C. (2004). A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia: a randomized, controlled trial. Annals of internal medicine140(10), 769-777.

[iv] Ting, R., Dugré, N., Allan, G. M., & Lindblad, A. J. (2018). Ketogenic diet for weight loss. Canadian Family Physician64(12), 906-906.

[v] Masood, W. M., & Uppaluri, K. R. (2018). Ketogenic Diet. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

[vi] Ting, R., Dugré, N., Allan, G. M., & Lindblad, A. J. (2018). Ketogenic diet for weight loss. Canadian Family Physician64(12), 906-906.

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!




Yoga for Digestion

Yoga for Digestion

Yoga for Digestion

   Photo by Matteo Canessa of FreeImages.com

by the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team


Minimal indigestion is not typically a serious problem, but it is an annoying one, involving bloating, feeling too full at the beginning of a meal or after, nausea and stomach pain. If you have it, take heart you’re not alone. Millions are suffering right along with you. And even though it’s not often serious, it is the kind of thing that can really interfere with your life and keep you from feeling your best. It can interrupt sleep, cause you to cancel appointments, make you feel like not working out, and just generally put a damper on things. Surprisingly, yoga is a valid treatment or compliment to your treatment plan.

You probably won’t find a “yoga for indigestion” class, but you can help yourself by knowing which poses are most effective for this problem. The Cat-Cow pose is known to help. Women’s Health provides the perfect description: “On all fours with your wrists under your shoulders, knees under your hips, begin to breathe in as you lift your breastbone to the front of the room. Have a sense of stretching the skin from the pubis to the throat, and then exhale as you round your spine up towards the ceiling – feel as if you are stretching the skin from the tailbone to the crown of the head. Do this a few times, gently stretching your tummy out.”

Apanasana (knees to chest) is another pose that can provide relief. “Begin by lying on your back with your legs extended out in front of you. On an inhale, draw both knees into your chest, either holding onto each knee or wrapping your arms around your shins. Pull your knees closely into your chest. Hold this pose for three to five breaths,” writes our own Shannon Herbert.

Yoga Journal recommends the Downward-Facing Dog, the Triangle Pose, Revolved Triangle Pose, Extended Puppy Pose (particularly if your digestion issues are meal-related), the Bridge Pose, the Half-Gas Release Pose, The Supine Twist, and the Corpse Pose. I include instructions and a picture guide for Downward-Facing Dog and Corpse in The Women’s Health Body Clock Diet.

Healthline reported that there has been encouraging research about yoga’s effectiveness for GERD and peptic ulcers. And the International Journal of Yoga reports, “Practicing yoga in conjunction with medications can be helpful in controlling and/or alleviation of symptoms related to digestive diseases.” Reclining Boundary Angle, Warrior I, and Triangle are some suggested poses to try for acid reflux relief.

Pregnant women may have indigestion, and prenatal yoga, which we have offered at the L’ifestyle Lounge, is a treatment for that temporary issue. Yes, you can do yoga while pregnant!

Remember: you don’t necessarily need to do specialized poses to feel the results. Stress by its very nature can exacerbate indigestion, so if you lower your stress, that in itself could help.

It’s always recommended to see your doctor when dealing with any recurring health issue, or if indigestion appears along with other issues, but for occasional bouts of indigestion, you might want to give yoga a go. You may find it helps more than just your digestion!

If you’re determined to get a handle on your stress and/or digestive issues in the new year, and if you’re in or near Closter, NJ, check out our offerings for 2019. We’re offering Buddha Flow, a beginner yoga option, Yin, which is targeted towards those who lead super stressful and busy lives, and our “Ashtanga-inspired” Breathe and Bend, to name a few. Don’t forget our classes for kids, like Yoga for Junior Athletes. Kids are under stress too and may experience indigestion. They always can just generally benefit from yoga.

Resolve to make 2019 a healthier year for the whole family, whether it’s addressing indigestion or other symptoms of anxiety. And if our yoga has made a difference in you or your family’s stress or digestion, let us know on social media or Yelp!

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