Monthly Archives: September 2011

What kind of eater are you?

Anderson Cooper had always been my go to person with news in the world. He now has a new talk show on every weekday at 4pm on channel 11. His show on Tuesday was about looking at his own eating habits and examining his relationship with food. Anderson has never tried most green vegetables or coffee, hot beverages make him nausous, and he says he truly does not care about food. For him, he is only comfortable eating a handful of foods at a given time. Once he picks his favorite food for the time, he eats them everyday until he gets tired of them. For example, he is on his forth month of eating Boston Market turkey breast, with 2 sides of corn, corn bread, and cranberry sauce for lunch. He pretty much can count the different kinds of foods he eats at a time on one hand.

Sondra Kronberg is the nutritional therapist Anderson had on the show to discuss his own habits. For Anderson, his father died of a heart attack when he was 10 years old and he began his perfectionist eating habits at 11. The therapists mentioned to Anderson that he is a disorder eater and for Anderson there is an emotional component to it. He does not eat because it is what his body wants, but because for him, it is a way to control his uncontrollable environment. He is scared of having a heart attack of his own, so he chooses “safe” foods and then continues to eat them over and over again until he is tired of them.

Take a look at this link from the Anderson Cooper site to see if you fit into any of the eating catgories.

He had a few guests on his show who also ate the same way, only more severe. One woman had literally built her diet on eating potatoes in different forms, mostly as french fries. She was 55 years old, but looked much older. She was heavy, but especially carried a lot of extra weight in her stomach. It was clear to me, this way of eating has definitely taken a toll on her on her body.

Anderson about to try brussel sprouts for the first time.

I want to share this story with you because I want all of you to take the time to look at your own eating habits. If you never have tried a green vegetable before try spinach, kale, or bok choy. If you have only eaten white bread or white rice, try whole grain bread or brown rice. By expanding the real wholesome foods in your diet, you are providing your body with the best kinds of nutrients.

Anderson tried a few new foods on the show as well, although his face shows you he was not a fan of spinach or brussel sprouts.

Anderson said on the show, he hates that the body needs food. I am challenging all of you to embrace the fact that your body thrives on and more importantly NEEDS real, wholesome foods. Changing your diet is one the most life changing things you can do for better or worse. This year take the time to explore what you eat, what your body wants you to eat, and what your mind is telling you to eat.


Monks Opening!

Hello Everyone,

First, I would like to strongly encourage each and every one of you to take some time to go see the Monks during the week. You will definitely feel their peaceful presence and warmth just by being around them. I can guarantee that no matter what mood you are in when you see them, you will walk away feeling better.

They opened the ceremony with an opening prayer/chant.

We were than able to go and see the Sand Mandala which is even more beautiful than I could imagine. They started the mandala on Monday and made a lot of progress by the end of the evening. This mandala is being built all week and then will be taken a part and placed in the lake during the closing ceremony on Friday. You have to see it in person to really appreciate the work, but just try to imagine making the mandala out of sand. They have all different size tools that help put large amounts of sand or 3 grains of sand at a time. The manadala that is being built for GCU is the compassion mandala which is from the Buddha of compassion. It is meant to give love, campassion, and peace not only to all of GCU, but to the world.

Sand Mandala


Are there Monk Effects?

Compassion Mandala being formed by the monksWith Geshe Lharampa Lobsang Dhondup

This morning on 9/26/11, approximately 40 people gathered at the Peace Pole at GCU as Sacred Arts Tour (8 Tibetan monks) performed its opening ceremony.  Soon Compassion sand mandala began collecting colorful sand meticulously placed by the monks using thin long pipe-like metal instrument.  The overtone chanting, as one of our undergraduate students described as “sounds more like singing,” touched our whole being.  Everyone whom I could see in the audience showed peaceful facial expression as they sat quietly and absorb all they can from the monks presence and actions.  Some closed their eyes throughout the chanting and prayers.  It was an experience that transcended language, religion, spiritual practice, and cultural differences to all of us.

So are there any Monk Effects?  What happens in our body and soul when we meet monks who have been devoting their lives since their childhood to peace and compassion?  Spontaneous smiles, waving of hands, bowing, and wanting to approach the monks—are these all considered Monk Effects?  If so, how long does it last and how far do these effects travel with each individual?

At lunch time, monks ate their lunch in the cafeteria with the GCU community.  We were all curious and asked many serious as well as casual questions to the monks while eating.  For instance, when did you enter the monastery?  What can I do to calm my mind while trying to meditate?  At our table, Geshe Lharampa Lobsang Dhondup, one of the 2 leaders of the tour responded in Tibetan, and then it was interpreted into English by Tempa.

Six hours since the beginning of sand mandala formation, its central area’s details have been complete.  Looking at the posture monks are in during sand mandala formation—completely bent-over from the hip forward in seated position—seem to give a significant strain to their neck and back.  I had the privilege of giving back to the monks by the ancient healing art of massage, shiatsu, and gentle touch.  Many of them appear to benefit from more body work to them while they give us the monk effects that I described above throughout this very special week here at Georgian Court University Lakewood campus.  Hope to see more and more people experience monk effects!


Dr. Sachiko Komagata, P.T., Ph.D is an Associate Professor & Chair
Department of Holistic Health & Exercise Science. She teaches many diffferent courses with the holistic health program at the undergraduate and graduate level.

The Monks are coming to GCU!


I want to encourage everyone to take some time this week to go visit with GCU’s special guests this week. Tibetan monks will be at GCU all week from the Drepung Gomang Monastery. While on the Sacred Arts Tour, they hope to raise funds through donations to educate, feed, house, and care for almost 2,000 exiled Tibetan monks in Southern India.

The monks will construct a sand mandala which is a circular design, usually composed of dyed sand particles, that is a visual representation of the Buddhist path from its beginnings to complete enlightenment. Buddhists believe that the mandala is a deity’s divine environment. The construction of a mandala is a sacred ceremony for Buddhists, and these ceremonies have been made available for public viewing only in recent years. They will also be conducting workshops and cultural presentations, most of which will be open to the public.

Take a look at the schedule of events below and make some time to take part in this extremely special event. The Monks will also be selling Tibetan goods to raise funds for the monastery. If you attend of the events, I would love for your thoughts and experiences to be shared on the blog!


Welcome Message from Dr. Pelicci

Hi Everyone,

Please take a moment to watch this video Dr. Gabrielle Pelicci made to welcome all of you to the blog and the wellness programs offered on campus. You may have had class with Gabrielle or taken one of her yoga classes on campus last year. She is now living in San Francisco but still teaches on-line courses through the holistic health program.


Dr. Gabrielle Pelicci

Gabrielle Pelicci, PhD teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Holistic Health and Mind-Body Medicine at several universities including Saybrook University, California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ. From 2007 – 2009, she served as the Academic Director for a private school for young adult addicts in Los Angeles and taught at UCLA Health System Ethics Center. Gabrielle completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Masters degree in Education at Columbia University and a Doctoral Degree in the Humanities with a dissertation on Women Healers. She is a Certified Massage Therapist, Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor and Certified Healing Touch Practitioner. Since 1999, she’s maintained a private practice in Holistic Health in Los Angeles, Miami, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. Gabrielle has also traveled to 20 countries in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe to study different cultural approaches to healing.

FALL into Wellness!

Hello GCU!

My name is Tracey Saliski and I am a graduate assistant on campus working in the wellness center. I am currently studying holistic health studies in the master’s program here at GCU. My passion in life is educating others about health and wellness and I am lucky enough to have that job here on campus.

I hope to use this blog to create a health and wellness community. This will be a place for anyone to go and see what health and wellness events are happeneing on campus, read reactions to students on their own health journey, and educate themselves through special guest I hope to have on the blog.

I am always interested in hearing from the students and what they want on campus. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to let me know ideas, suggestions, or concerns you have so I can build a program that fits your needs.

I hope everyone’s semester is off to a great start and I look forward to seeing everyone at the events coming up on campus!