Tag: Mindfulness

Eat to Love Book Signing with Author and RD, Jenna Hollenstein at the L’ifestyle Lounge on March 27!

Eat to Love Book Signing with Author and RD, Jenna Hollenstein at the L’ifestyle Lounge on March 27!

L’ifestyle Lounge Book Club

Please join us on March 27 at 7:30 PM at the L’ifestyle Lounge for a Book Signing with Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD


Omega 3 FA’s, Sleep and Mindfulness for the Heart

Omega 3 FA’s, Sleep and Mindfulness for the Heart

Take Care of your Heart this Valentine’s Day

By Lisa Mikus, RD, CNSC, CDN


The first two weeks of February are inundated with ads selling diamonds, chocolate, and luxury vacations. Yet, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about the material items.  Instead look to self-care, specifically at your efforts around heart health in honor of Valentines and American Heart Month as determined by the American Heart Association. Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. Taking care of your heart through food, mindfulness and sleep is the best gift to give yourself.

Here are a few ways to practice heart health focused self-care this February.

Assess Your Heart Health

If you haven’t visited your PCP within the last year, consider making an appointment to gain information regarding your cardiovascular wellness. Discuss your family history and lifestyle with your PCP.  Specific lab values to discuss include blood pressure, Total cholesterol to HDL ratio, LDL, and triglycerides.2.

Consult a RD

If you are curious about how to improve your cardiovascular health, consult with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN). RDNs use medical nutrition therapy to help improve the health and wellness of their clients. RDs provide education and support implementation of behavior change. A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist will help you make small, realistic lifestyle changes with the goal of sustainable and lasting improvement.

Your dietitian may suggest incorporating “heart healthy” foods into your intake. Keep in mind we like to identify these foods as anti inflammatory which include dark leafy greens (spinach and kale), whole grains (millet, buckwheat, whole wheat pasta), and fats high in omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies cannot produce these fatty acids so we must obtain them from foods. Two essential fatty acids are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Another omega-3 is called Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which can be converted into DHA and EPA. Eating foods high in omega-3s is an important component of cardiovascular health. If your labs indicate high triglyceride levels, fish oil supplementation has been shown to decrease circulating triglycerides in the blood. Foods high in omega-3s include fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

Scroll down for two heart healthy recipes fromEveryday Diabetes Meals – Cooking for One or Two by Laura Cipullo, RD and Lisa Mikus, RD.

Manage Your Stress & Sleep

We know that stress can affect one’s overall health. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been studied in association with improved health outcomes, including cardiovascular health. MBSR is a program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. MBSR teaches participants to practice mindfulness meditation, described as a non-judgmental awareness that lowers reactivity to stress. Mindfulness has been associated with improved outcomes related to many diseases including diabetes and heart disease. According to a randomized control study published in 2013, an outpatient MBSR program successfully reduced participants’ symptoms including anxiety, depression, blood pressure, and perceived stress in those with Coronary Heart Disease.

Sleep hygiene is an important piece of one’s overall wellness that often gets overlooked. Yet, sleep has been thoroughly researched in association with health outcomes as the amount of sleep you get every night impacts your stress level and hormonal balance. According to the American Heart Association, sleep disorders and short duration of sleep has been associated with a number of cardiovascular related issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Furthermore, insomnia has been associated with increased risk of stroke. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends at least 7 hours of sleep every night.



Heart-Healthy Recipes from Everyday Diabetes Meals – Cooking for One or Two 

by Laura Cipullo, RD & Lisa Mikus, RD

Herb-Roasted Salmon

Makes 2 Servings

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F


Lemon Dill Marinade

3 tbsp chopped fresh dill

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pinch salt

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp Dijon mustard


1 tsp olive oil

2 pieces (each 4 oz/125 g) skin-on salmon fillet


  1. Lemon Dill Marinade: Whisk together dill, pepper, salt, lemon juice, oil and mustard.
  2. Place salmon in a sealable plastic bag and pour marinade over top. Seal bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or for up to 12 hours.
  3. In ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Increase heat to high and transfer salmon to the skillet flesh-side down (reserving marinade). Sear for 1 minute.
  4. Pour reserved marinade over salmon., flip salmon over and transfer skillet to preheated oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork.


Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Makes 8 balls (4 balls per serving)


1 tbsp chia seeds

¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter

1 tbsp water

2 pitted dates, diced

¼ cup large-flake (old-fashioned) rolled oats

2 tbsp slivered almonds

1 tbsp ground cinnamon


  1. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, microwave chia seeds, peanut butter, and water on High for about 30 seconds or until melted. Add dates, oats, almonds, and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  2. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 8 balls and arrange in prepared shallow container. Freeze overnight.















Rosenzweig, S., Reibel, D. K., Greeson, J. M., Edman, J. S., McMearty, K. D., et al. (2007). “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is Associated with Improved Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Pilot Study.” Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 13: 36–38.

Klatt, M., Norre, C., Reader, B., Yodice, L., & White, S. (2017). Mindfulness in motion: a mindfulness-based intervention to reduce stress and enhance quality of sleep in Scandinavian employees. Mindfulness, 8(2), pp. 481-488.




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.







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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