In Conversation: Well + Good

Is calorie counting so last year? On Tuesday, March 3rd STORY at Macy’s hosted Melisse Gelula, co-founder of Well+Good, and a panel of nutrition experts to discuss the new era of eating. 

Left to right: Gelula, Knauer, Dr. Tate, Maffucci

In conversation was Ali Maffucci, Founder + CEO of Inspiralized, registered dietitian Molly Knauer, and Doctor of Behavioral Nutrition Chinara Tate. Together, the women debunked the myth that calorie is king and focused on a new mindful way of eating.

Here are some key points that I took away from the conversation:

  • Calories are not nutrients, so comparing 100 calories of almonds to a 100 calorie cookie isn’t the same. What we feed our bodies should be determined by nutritional value instead. “Nourishment is devoid of judgement,” Dr. Tate pointed out, “It’s meant to pleasure you and isn’t about the good vs bad.”
  • Eating is not a one size fits all mentality and we shouldn’t base our habits on the habits of others. Veganism isn’t for everyone, nor is keto, going carb free, etc etc. What works for one might not work for you. The takeaway is to experiment with different eating styles and find what fits.
  • New York City, and major cities in general, are a hotbed for hyper information. Our minds are being supersaturated by wellness market trends, making it difficult to keep up sometimes. Is coffee good for you? Is a glass of wine a day healthy? My answer to both of those questions is always yes, research be damned. So, while it’s important to stay informed, it’s crucial to learn the difference between trends and facts.
  • The food market has wised up with target marketing. As consumers, we need to wise up to what we’re being fed, literally and figuratively. At the end of the day, organic, non-GMO gummy bears are still gummy bears.
  • Shop the perimeter of your grocery store and avoid the center sections. The real foods, those with an expiration date, are located in the refrigerator or freezer sections while processed foods, those with additives meant to last longer, typical sit in the middle.
  • To become a smarter consumer look at who you’re following on social media and pay attention to a company’s ethos. Smaller brands have bigger voices through the everyday consumer posting genuine feedback while bigger brands tend to follow the values of the founder/CEO. A good example of this is Kind Brands CEO Daniel Lubetzky.
  • Take time to pause and become a mindful eater. Staring at a screen, such as your computer or smartphone, takes the focus away from what you’re consuming. When we switch our attention to our meal, and those around us, we are eating intuitively. We’re pausing, conversing, and focusing on what enters our body. Doing this allows our body, and stomach, to speak to us more clearly.
  • Apps recommended by the experts: Woop (Gelula) Headspace (Knauer), Sweat, Think Dirty (Maffucci), and Pinterest (Tate).


What do you think about this conversation? Is there a topic you’re more curious about? Add in your comments or questions below.


Daily Fitness: Wellness to Watch in 2018

(This article first appeared in the December 6, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)




Wellness retreats were once thought of as a trendy niche but have earned their right as a permanent travel category. Individuals and groups alike are looking to escape the day-to-day routine for an extended weekend, or week, of revitalization. Virtuoso is the travel industry’s leading luxury network with over 9000 travel advisors across 26 countries. As a former advisor myself back in 2016, I decided to go straight to the source for what’s ahead in wellness travel. Here are five wellness trends to watch for in the upcoming year.

1. Learning from the best. Humans are constantly seeking self-improvement and what better way to accomplish such a task than learning from the top in the fields? Wellness retreat hosts are offering opportunities to interact and find educational resources from CEOs, masters, gurus, and beyond.

2. Sugar detox. Entire itineraries are planned around ridding the body of what 2017 was perhaps most fearful of — sugar. Sugary foods will be replaced with those that are rich in nutrients to fight that cupcake craving. By eliminating sugar in its many forms the end goal promises increased energy, better digestion, and clear skin.

3. Healing retreats. Those seeking solace after a divorce, loss of a loved one, or other life-altering event can find stress management and emotional healing therapies.

4. Sleep recovery. Between the everyday stresses of life and society’s over-connectedness, sleeping seems to have taken a backseat. Next year, travelers can expect to see a leap of sleep enhancement retreats to jump start your entire life. Through diagnostic techniques and holistic treatments the end goal is to slow the mind to rest the body.

5. Silence. If you’re someone who looks to truly disconnect while away, welcome to the increasing trend where silence is golden, complete with WiFi blockers and noise-free zones. Entire luxury destinations are reconstructing to implement noise-reducing walls, and silent retreats are no longer for just the penitent faithful.