Tag: Self Care

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

What Celebrities Say About Body Positivity

What Celebrities Say About Body Positivity

What Celebrities Say About Body Positivity

by Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team;

Photo by Marcel de Groot

 

Celebrities struggle with body confidence just like you do. They’re human, after all, plus they have the added pressure of being under the constant glare of cameras, which probably doesn’t help. In recent years, though, many have been turning away from the need to present as perfect, and instead are being real with fans about loving yourself in a world that typically only praises “thin” bodies. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most important things celebrities have ever said in the name of body positivity.  We’re so lucky to have folks like these leading the change for a more inclusive and loving world!

“Regardless of what society tells you these days… You don’t have to have a thigh gap to be beautiful. It is possible to love your body the way it is.”  — Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato has been going through a rough time lately, but she’s been through rough times before and come out with flying colors. One of her biggest battles has been against bulimia. The singer has been honest on social media about the fact that she hasn’t always felt 100% confident. She posted this quote on Instagram in 2015, alongside a picture of herself without a thigh gap. It proves that even celebrities have “regular” bodies. It may seem like just another picture on Instagram, but consider this: If all you ever see are pictures of thin models whose thighs never touch, that can have a damaging effect on how you view your own body. Thanks to Demi, women have someone they can look up to who they can see being comfortable – in a body that doesn’t fit the traditional, limiting standards of “beauty.” And that might make it a bit easier for them to love their own.

“This is who I am. I am proud at any size. And I love you and want you to be proud in any form you may take as well.” – Lady Gaga

Well, of course, the singer of Born this Way is going to be a champion of loving yourself no matter what! The current star of A Star is Born posted this quote online in 2012 after she had been attacked for her weight. She told fans that she had had bulimia and anorexia since she was 15 and that weight issues have been a concern for her since she was a child. A year ago, she had been body-shamed, this time following her appearance on the Super Bowl, an experience that should have been only joyful. “No matter who you are or what you do,” she said on Instagram, “I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions.” Yes, Lady Gaga!

 

“I’m not a size. I’m not a number.” – Kesha

Today, Kesha feels positive about her body but it was a rough road to get here. “I almost died,” she told Yahoo, of dealing with bulimia and body dysmorphia. “I came very close, closer than I ever knew. By the time I entered rehab, they were surprised I hadn’t had a stroke, because I wasn’t consuming enough of anything.” She got treatment in time and returned to the music industry in a big way, with a beautiful song called “Praying.” She believes nasty Internet commenters contributed to her eating disorder and today tries to spend less time online as a result. The lesson to learn here. Find a safe space away from people who make you feel bad and recognize when you need to get treatment.

 

“My limbs work so I’m not going to complain about how my body is shaped.” – Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore – acting icon and all-around beautiful soul – has the right message here. It’s all about perspective and gratitude. We spend so much time criticizing our bodies that we forget to praise them and appreciate all they can do for us. How far can your body run? How high can it jump? How does it feel when you hug someone? When you do a pose in yoga? Your body accomplishes so many wonderful, awe-inspiring acts in a day and in a life that it feels downright ungrateful to look at it in a mirror and be upset because it doesn’t look like society tells you it “should”. Thank you, Drew, for this much-needed perspective.

Photo by Peabody Awards [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

“I wanted to instill in my kids self-acceptance and a sense of self-love. I wanted them to know they’re unique and that that’s what makes them beautiful. I wanted them to be confident, and I knew I had to model that.’ – Dascha Polanco

Dascha Polanco portrays Dayanara Diaz, an inmate who has a good heart but tends to get into a lot of trouble on Orange is the New Black. In real life, she’s a heroine for the body-positive movement. She has posed in skimpy bathing suits, showing that every body is a beach body – it’s just about your attitude. As a child, she says, she felt isolated, envious and sad due to her bigger body, but now she takes joy in it, and she talks to herself in a positive manner so she can feel more confident, and also does meditation for her depression.  No longer ashamed of her thighs, in a recent magazine photo, she hugs them and she’s smiling.

 

“I want to especially thank @EW for not airbrushing me. For real very cool. Thank you. Proud size 6 yo!” – Amy Schumer

When comedian Amy Schumer landed the cover of Entertainment Weekly in 2015, she was not airbrushed, as so many magazines have traditionally done to celebrity cover models, in an attempt to show the public a false version of who they really are. Amy has never bought into that, and she let the public know that this was her real body, even going so far as to state her size. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, because Schumer’s just that kind of person – honest about her life in a funny way. She has also spoken about how hard it is to find clothes she feels attractive in, she has revealed her weight and says it has no bearing on her dating life whatsoever, and she spoke out on her anger at being labeled plus-size when she looks like the average woman.

“This is my body. Health and the functionality of my body are more important than what it looks like.” – Tracee Ellis Ross

The daughter of Diana Ross and star of ABC’s Black-ish has emerged a strong body-positive idol as well. She told Health.com that it took her awhile to get comfortable with her body, until her 30s, but she’s finally here. She realized her body was built a certain way and that is was ridiculous to fight that. She has stopped trying to look like someone else and has become more confident in herself, her age and her body. She appreciates how body-positive other women in her gym class are. “You see women in their 40s wearing jog bras and their stomachs out proudly, walking in a stance that says, “I love my body,” and that’s exciting to me.”

 

 

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.

 

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