Tag: meditation

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!

A Look Back at 2018

A Look Back at 2018

Grateful for 2018

A Look Back at Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services and the L’ifestyle Lounge in the Media!

by the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team

Can you believe 2018 is almost at an end? We’re getting closer to that time when we reflect on our favorite moments of the year and think about what we want to accomplish in the future. Given that, Laura thought it would be an ideal time to compile all the articles we’ve been quoted in this year – to give you the latest health news from our perspective – and to talk about what we hope for in 2019.

This past month the L’ifestyle Lounge was featured in the Bergen Record. Laura was quoted in “Minivan musings: Practicing mindfulness can help children.” (The L’ifestyle Lounge is located in North Jersey – Closter, in case you didn’t know.) Writer Jackie Goldschneider opened the article by saying she honestly did not know a lot about mindfulness. Therefore, Laura took it as her job to educate her! She spoke of the “four prongs” of mindfulness, which include “being aware in the moment; being present in the moment; being nonjudgmental; and narrating to yourself as you go along.” She explained that it can help children manage their stress and impulsivity – and can be valuable when they’re in school. She also gave easy hints to incorporate mindfulness into your child’s life every day.

The Bergen Mama highlighted the L’ifestyle Lounge in their article “Learn to Love Both Kale and Cupcakes at the L’ifestyle Lounge in Closter NJ.” They took notice that we embrace a wellness plan that does not glorify diets but looks at overall health.

In early October, Marie Claire interviewed Laura about those “appetite-suppressing” lollipops Kim Kardashian advertised on her Instagram. The article was called “How Are Appetite Suppressing Lollipops Still a Thing?” Laura is not a fan of suppressing the appetite or of Kim Kardashian advertising such products, but she wanted to help Marie Claire investigate the nutritional science behind these pops. The research on these pops lead one to believe they may help with emotional eating, but Laura would need to see more research before saying that for sure. One thing we know is that they are expensive. “I’d be interested to know how many regular people end up actually buying these lollipops more than once,” wrote Allie Conti. “My guess is that, more than any reality star’s endorsement, Flat Tummy Co’s success may rely on girls selling each other these candies to get commission once they decide they’ve wasted their own money.” And just a reminder – regular old-fashioned lollipops can always be found at your local dollar store, and if you are a nervous person who finds you need help with emotional eating, consider reading “Intuituive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resche.

About six months ago, Laura contributed to an article titled “Foods You Should Never Buy Generic” for Readers’ Digest, all about generic foods that aren’t worth your hard-earned dollars. Laura thinks it’s worth it to buy the brand name when it comes to soup because she wants her soup to be made with whole food ingredients — don’t you? The article also points out that you may get additives in generic yogurt.

Travel + Leisure quoted Laura about  “The Best Time to Drink Your Morning Coffee.”  She said you should aim to have it “when the body is producing less cortisol, about three to four hours after waking.” You don’t want to crash harshly later in the day and this can help with that. Give it a shot.

If you have diabetes in your family, or if your doctor has told you you’re at possible risk for prediabetes, you may feel defeated. But you don’t need to be! Prediabetes doesn’t need to be your fate. Laura worked with US News, and one of her favorite writers, K. Aleisha Fetters, to bring you simple ways to limit your chances of developing prediabetes — in the article called “Got Prediabetes? 6 Nutrition Tips You Need to Follow.” One of the key things to remember is that you do not have to cut carbohydrates out of your life. That is a myth! Moderating and sometimes lowering your daily carb count and choosing whole carbs are strategies that can serve you well. An easy tip is to just eat – breakfast, that is. Do it one hour after you wake up to help balance your body clock (read more in Women’s Health Body Clock Diet).

Laura, Elizabeth Adler and Lisa Mikus were all quoted in a Prevention article titled “The 30 Healthiest Foods You Can Eat at Every Major Fast Food Chain.” For those who believe nutritious eating doesn’t mix with an “on-the-go” lifestyle, we beg to differ! Lisa recommends Popeye’s 3-piece Blackened Chicken Tenders and Zucchini Romesco from Noodles & Co, and Laura likes Broccoli Beef from Panda Express, among other options. Elizabeth likes the Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad from Arby’s.  Elizabeth and Laura were both quoted in Prevention’s 30 Anti-Aging Foods for Beautiful Skin. Fantastic skin starts from the inside. Feed your body and it will affect your glow! Elizabeth says just a small amount of cinnamon in your coffee could do the trick.



Laura was also proud to participate as a speaker at a number of events in 2018:

  • NEDA con 2018 Philadelpia on Saturday, May 12, 2018, where she presented Self-Care Tools for Sustaining Recovery. This was NEDA’s First Regional Conference held at Drexel University and audience size was 100.
  • Giuliana Rancic’s “The Pink Agenda” TPA Talks (a division of Breast Cancer Research Foundation) on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture. The theme of the talk was You are More Than You Eat – Don’t Blame Yourself for Breast Cancer. Laura spoke about learning to eat all foods using the 21 Pillars to Positive Nutrition.” Laura spoke along with physicians, researchers, breast cancer survivors and previvors on empowering a positive lifestyle.
  • The Thriving Child, Happy Child Summit on June 9 and 10, 2018, where Laura spoke on the Eat Kale and Cupcakes philosophy that has defined her nutritional practice.


At L’ifestyle Lounge, we started our Fall 2018 yoga series in September, which includes our Paint and Poses series for grades K-4 and EmpowHer for ages 11-14, plus Tai Chi, which is returning in late November. We are so happy to have begun our L’ifestyle Book Club, which is a free event we are proud to offer the community. Our next one takes place on November 14, 7pm. We’ll be reading The Weight of Being by Kara Richardson Whitely. January’s book is Beautful Boy By David Sheff. We choose books that focus on wellness to inspire and help create meaning in your life. Consider this my personal invitation to join us for book club. Sign-up either yourself or your child up for our yoga classes. Our schedule is always available at this link.

L’ifestyle Lounge is excited about all we’ve accomplished in 2018, and look forward to bringing you more yoga classes, community events, and health advice in 2019! Stay tuned in with us and tuned-in to your “self.”

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.

5 Weeks to Mindfulness: Lunch Series for Beginner to Intermediate Yogis

5 Weeks to Mindfulness: Lunch Series for Beginner to Intermediate Yogis

5 Weeks to Mindfulness 

Lunch Series for Beginner to Intermediate Yogis


Bring a mat, take a seat to learn the definition of mindfulness and how to apply it to every aspect of your daily living from walking to eating to practicing yoga.

Over five Tuesdays, you will transform your lifestyle with Closter’s L’ifestyle Lounge Lunch Series led by registered dietitian and registered yoga teacher, Elyssa Toomey. Starting Oct 10th from 12:00 to 12:50 pm, you will learn what mindfulness is, how to eat mindfully, breathe mindfully (mindfulness meditation) and live a more mindful, healthy life. The practice of yoga – binding breath with movement will be introduced sessions three through five.

Dates: Oct 17 through Nov 21; No class Oct 31.

Cost: $195.00. Please bring your own yoga mat. Expect to move sessions 3 through 5.

Session 1

Mindfulness 101

Basics, mindful breathing and eating

Session 2

How To Do

How to eat and walk mindfully

Intro to basic asanas/yoga poses

Session 3

Stress Reduction 101

Mindfulness and stress reduction

Yoga practice 20 min

Session 4

Mindful Eating Challenge

(The art of eating chocolate cake and chips, mindfully)

Yoga practice 30 min

Session 5


Mindfulness meditation and yoga 45 minutes


Email: lifestylelounge@lauracipullo.com for more information or sign up here.

Yoga for Children with Developmental Delays

Yoga for Children with Developmental Delays


At the L’ifestyle Lounge, Closter, NJ

A weekly yoga class created for children with developmental delays

to just be a kid practicing yoga, while mom/dad/caregiver

meditate in the studio down the hall.

For children and teens with developmental delays who want a safe, inclusive place, to just be themselves. In this class, students learn mindfulness, yoga poses, and develop a sense of self-worth. Many of our instructors are dual Certified in Elementary and Special Education. Danielle Christen, MAT, RYT and Megan DePiero, RYT are both trained in Applied Behavior Analysis. Also, for the past 14 years, Sue Ferreri, RYT served as a coach for the Special Olympics. We will work with you to determine which class level best meets your child’s needs. Email megan@lauracipullo.com or call Laura at 917-572-7137 to get more information. Yoga series offered for 4, 8 and 14 weeks.


All yoga, mindfulness and nutrition sessions are located at the L’ifestyle Lounge set back behind it’s parking lot at 308 Harrington Ave.

Bergen County’s First Self Care Studio with Registered Dietitians and Register Yoga Instructors.

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