Tag: seasonal

Better Your Balance (and More) with Tai Chi

Better Your Balance (and More) with Tai Chi

Better Your Balance (and More) with Tai Chi

 

by the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team

Perhaps you’ve heard of tai chi, but don’t really know what it’s all about, or perhaps you do know what it’s all about, but don’t really understand the many ways it can benefit you. Maybe you even remember it from the Patrick Swayze film Road House.

 

Tai chi is a martial art, an elegant marriage of moving and mindfulness. You are slowly moving without stopping from one posture to another. Deep breathing is also a part of it. As with any mindful activity, it takes concentration. You can’t just put your mind on autopilot and blast some tunes like you might be able to on the treadmill!

Tai chi involves no special equipment, is not competitive, and is a great low-impact workout. As WebMD points out, it does not place a high burden on muscles or joints. This makes it a nice, gentle exercise for seniors, allowing them to keep moving into their golden years, while enjoying the social aspect of a group activity. “It’s particularly good for older people because balance is an important component of fitness, and balance is something we lose as we get older,” Dr. I-Min Lee of Harvard notes. Tai chi is also perfect for those who have arthritis, are pregnant, need to sit during workouts, or are in a wheelchair.

In addition to helping balance and potentially preventing falls, tai chi can also help circulation, cholesterol, the heart, strength, flexibility, energy and even the way the body aligns. The results may not even take that long to see – one tai chi teacher said he saw improvement in tai chi students in only 12 weeks. As this is also a mind exercise, it can help stress – everything from your adrenaline to blood pressure.

A recent medical study said that it could also help those who have fibromyalgia. This was the first big study that looked at fibromyalgia and tai chi. Two hundred and twenty-six folks with fibromyalgia were monitored for a year. After 24 weeks, impressive results were already in – those who had been taking tai chi classes were doing better than those in the aerobic exercise group. And those who did tai chi for a bigger stretch of time made more headway in controlling their fibromyalgia than those who took tai chi less often.

What’s so special about tai chi when it comes to fibromyalgia? Any exercise may help blood flow, but the relaxation aspect might make it a more natural fit for this population versus aerobics, which might aggravate physical and/or psychological issues.

Who should not do tai chi? Even though it is gentle, you should always check in with your doctor before beginning any exercise regime. Those with diabetes or circulation issues might want to reconsider, and tai chi can also be contraindicated if you’re taking certain medicines that induce dizziness.

You have lots of options when it comes to tai chi, but I think we have one of the best classes here at L’ifestyle Lounge — our all-ages Tai Chi w/Philip Cross. It is an especially light class that is ideal for beginners. Philip focuses on stretching and improving energy. The class features the 12 classical tendon exchange exercises that help strengthen the tendons and bones. There is also the Tai Chi Long Form which brings the mind into the mix. The goals of the class are to have a healthier immune system. lower stress, better your posture and slow aging. Philip has studied at Peter Kwok’s Kung Fu Academy, he is trained in Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan and Yi Gun Gin, and has taught at Blauvelt Library, Nanuet Community Education and Orangeburg Library. If you can’t join Philip over the summer, he’ll also be part of our Fall class schedule, starting September 12, with an 8-week class on Wednesday nights. It’s the perfect way to get over those Hump Day blues, and who doesn’t need better immunity during cough and cold season? I hope you’ll embrace tai chi and all its benefits for a healthier mind, body and soul.

 

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?

Throwback Thursday: Entertain the Concept of Health this Holiday Season

Throwback Thursday: Entertain the Concept of Health this Holiday Season

Throwback Thursday: Entertain the Concept of Health this Holiday Season

 

                                   Picture courtesy Kimberly V. at freeimages.com                                        by Laura Cipullo and the Whole Nutrition Services Team

The holidays are almost here! I thought now would be the perfect time to revisit an older blog post about how to celebrate without thinking about your weight and instead just enjoying the present — all the happiness, family and great food that comes with the holiday season. Read on for my tips on how to celebrate health and holidays during the month of December and beyond.

Tis the season of food, food and food. So how do we manage our health while entertaining and celebrating?  Instead of fearing weight gain or trying for weight loss during the holidays, let yourself maintain your current weight. Slow and steady wins the race. However, this is not a race, rather an almost two-month period of eating and drinking.  This year, vow to make the holiday season healthy with family and friends as the focus, and these tips to plan a mindful season balanced between food and fitness.

5 Tips to Celebrate Health and Holidays

  1. Focus on Family and Friends – Growing up in an Italian family, I remember the holidays were about food and family. Instead of making food for 25 people, we made enough for 50 people. Instead of sitting around the fire, we sat around the table. If this was your family, start a new tradition this year. Celebrate your health and the holiday season by focusing on family and friends, not food. Have family and friends come over to socialize rather than eat. You can serve food, but don’t center the evening on/around the food and the act of eating all of it.
  2. Plan Fitness – With limited time, shopping exhaustion and colder weather, our fitness routines get displaced. Since moving increases your energy, your mood and your metabolism, this is the last thing you want to give up over the holiday season. Instead, make dates with friends to go to yoga together rather than getting drinks. Schedule spin class or any classes that you have to pay for if you miss. This is a great incentive to make sure you attend class.
  3. Make a Date – Use your daily planner or PDA to schedule all activities, whether it is food shopping, meal prep, exercise or therapy. If it gets scheduled, just like any important meeting, you will set the precedent to ensure this activity gets done.
  4. Slow down and Savor – Being a foodie, I know how hard it is not to celebrate with food. However, you can change your mindset and that of your guests too by hosting smaller, more intimate holiday parties. Create small, intense, flavorful meals. Start the meal off with a prayer, a toast or even a moment of silence to allow you and your guests to refocus, create inner calm, and engage in mindful eating.
  5. Use Your Five Senses – Rather than race through your holiday meal and overeat, be sure to use all five senses while eating. Smell your food and think about memories the aroma may conjure up. Touch your food is your bread hot and crusty or naturally rough with seeds and nuts? Think about the texture and how it makes you feel. Really look at the plate. Is the food presented beautifully? Are there multiple colors on your plate there should be. Listen to the food. Yes, listen to see if the turkey’s skin is crispy or the biscotti crunchy. And finally taste your meal!! Many people eat an entire meal and can never tell you what it really tasted like. They were too busy talking, or shoveling the food in so they could either leave the dinner table or get seconds. This holiday season, be healthy mentally and physically by truly tasting your food and appreciating each bite. A small amount of food tasted will fulfill you more than a few plates of food you never tasted would.
Eating With the Harvest to Help Diabetes

Eating With the Harvest to Help Diabetes

Eating With the Harvest to Help Diabetes

By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD

vegetables

With school in session and pumpkins popping up everywhere, you know fall is here. With the change of seasons comes a new harvest ready for new recipes to inspire optimal health. Eating with the seasons when you are living with diabetes is even more beneficial than I bet you can imagine.

Eating seasonally will benefit you as well as the earth. Without extra effort, you are automatically consuming a new variety of produce four times a year providing a plethora of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Eating what the earth provides ensures the food is whole and nutrient dense. There are no packages or processing, which guarantees greater bang for your buck. Yup, you get more nutrition when you eat local foods. Even better is the fact that you are supporting local agriculture, small farms, and helping to encourage sustainable living.

Read the rest of the article at: http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-information-articles/general/2594-eating-with-the-harvest-to-help-diabetes

 

Throwback Tuesday: Grilled, Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Throwback Tuesday: Grilled, Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Throwback Tuesday: Grilled, Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

portobello-ck-226538-x

Image via Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro at Cooking Light

by Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD and Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Memorial Day is coming this Monday and if you’re a foodie you know what that means, BBQ! And there’s no reason you can’t enjoy Memorial Day as a vegetarian or vegan. A nice substitute for meat is the mushroom. When prepared right, it has tons of flavor and a somewhat “meaty” taste. The health benefits of mushrooms are many — from anti-cancer to antiviral. There are also many different types of mushrooms to experiment with until you find one that suits your taste. One that I like a lot is the portabello. Portabello’s large shape means it also can be made to look like a burger as well.

This recipe gets its flavor from a mix of part-skim mozzarella, plum tomato, rosemary, pepper, lemon and soy. Enjoy!

Check out other types of mushrooms and more of mushroom’s health benefits right here.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup chopped plum tomato
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh or 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 (5-inch) portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

 

Preparation

  1. Prepare grill.
  2. Combine the tomato, cheese, 1/2 teaspoon oil, rosemary, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl.
  3. Remove brown gills from the undersides of mushroom caps using a spoon, and discard gills. Remove stems; discard. Combine 1/2 teaspoon oil, juice, and soy sauce in a small bowl; brush over both sides of mushroom caps. Place the mushroom caps, stem sides down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill for 5 minutes on each side or until soft.
  4. Spoon 1/4 cup tomato mixture into each mushroom cap. Cover and grill 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley.
  5. Notes: Since the garlic isn’t really cooked, the mushrooms have a strong garlic flavor. Grill the mushrooms stem sides down first, so that when they’re turned they’ll be in the right position to be filled. If you want to plan ahead, remove the gills and stems from the mushrooms and combine the filling, then cover and chill until ready to grill.
 The recipe and photograph in this post were provided by Cooking Light. To see the originals please click here.
Theme: Overlay by Kaira