How To Stay Happy, Healthy, and Safe This Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and other big holidays right around the corner, the invitations to eat, drink, and be merry should start hitting your inbox very soon.   If you ever wondered if it were possible to avoid the annual year-end roller coaster ride of weight gain and some common buffet line pitfalls, read these three tips below.  You’ll also learn how to stay alive and make it to next year’s holiday season.

1) Keep Good Company: The worst possible time to hang around lazy and negative people and to be less active than usual is the holiday season.  If you’re hanging around with people who would rather stay inside eating fast food while scrolling through their drama on Instagram and Facebook during lunchtime instead of hanging around people who eat well and enjoy going outside for a walk, you’re cheating your body out of all the productive energy and positive mood boosters that exercise and fresh air have to offer.

Try This:  Go out of your way to associate with friends and co-workers who make nutrition, fitness, and celebrating life a priority.  Remember, you are who you surround yourself with.

2) Pace Yourself: No, we’re not talking about exercise here.  We’re talking about food.  Chances are you’ll find yourself in front of multiple buffets this holiday season.  Don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach.  Try not to compete with the person next to you to see who can pile the most stuff onto their plate. Portion control is paramount during the holidays.

Try This:  Make an effort to start your buffet line excursion by simply making a small salad on your first run.  Eat slowly, have some of your water, then return for round two.  Try for one piece of chicken, beef, or fish, and then a large spoonful of veggies on the side.  Eat slowly.  Finish your glass of water.  Drink another glass of water slowly while enjoying the company and conversation around you.  Wait for 10 minutes.   If you are being honest with yourself, you’ll realize that you’re not hungry anymore and don’t even want or need to eat dessert.  *Now, if you are invited to multiple parties and you happen to enjoy dessert as much as I do, it’s okay to have dessert at one or two of them.   (Especially, if your wife makes a ridiculous homemade apple pie.)  If your regular daily nutrition is on point, a few desserts over the holidays won’t hurt. Moderation is key.  Just keep in mind, the extra calories add up fast!

3) Call Uber:  If you’re not getting enough sleep, if you like to text while driving, or you enjoy drinking during the holidays, DON’T DRIVE.  The amount of car accidents and deaths each year during the holiday season due to impaired driving is staggering.  The worst part is that most of them could have been avoided with common sense.

Try This:  If you’re driving home later than usual after attending a party and you feel your eyes getting very heavy, pull over as soon as you can find a safe place to take a little power nap.  If you know in advance that you’ll be getting home later than usual, call an Uber for your round trip transportation.  Most people don’t realize that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.  Speaking of drunk driving, STOP IT.  Don’t think you’re the exception and you can get yourself home after a few drinks just because you’ve been extremely lucky all these years.  Call an Uber.  And speaking of being lucky, if you haven’t crashed or killed anyone yet from texting while driving you’re playing with fire.  Either pull over and type your reply or just call an Uber so you can text your heart out.  Remember, an Uber might be more expensive, but you can’t put a price on your life, the lives of others, and your future.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!


Marcello Pedalino, CFT, is the author of the new inspirational book on personal growth and development, Celebrate Life. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, lifestyle expert, and fitness trainer. He delivers dynamic keynote presentations to corporations and organizations across the country who need help making Energy Management and Work-Life balance a priority.  *In addition to being an amazing pediatrician, his wife, Dr. Jill Garripoli Pedalino, makes the best homemade meatballs, sauce, and apple pie in Jersey.  🙂

The Celebrate Life Series presents: How to Keep Your Kids Healthy and Happy with Dr. Jill Garripoli

Dr. Jill Garripoli was my featured guest for the 21st episode of the Celebrate Life Series. You may recognize “Dr. Jill” from our Wellness Tour, her recently published article in Bergen County Magazine’s Health, Beauty and Fitness issue, New Jersey’s multiple lists of Favorite Family Kids’ and Top Docs, or her blog.

.In the interview, we focused on Health and Wellness. Dr. Jill shared some great insights on how parents and caregivers can make a better team and how to make your next visit to the pediatrician less stressful for your child.

.We also chatted about how Dr. Jill stays so upbeat and vibrant at the office. It turns out that she follows her own famous “5 Tips” and makes celebrating life a priority. Dr. Jill understands that the better you take care of yourself, the better you can take care of others.

Best wishes and continued success,

The MMP Entertainment and Event Production Team helps the world Celebrate Life! MMP is led by Executive Director, 3-Time National DJ Entertainer of the Year and ADJA Leadership Award recipient, Marcello Pedalino.

The Wellness Roundup with “Dr. Jill” Garripoli

In a recent interview to introduce The Wellness Roundup, her monthly blog for New Jersey parents, we got to know more about Dr. Jill Garripoli, the star of The Wellness Tour from Top Notch Pediatrics.


Dr. Jill Garripoli, Top Notch Pediatrics

Dr. Jill Garripoli, from Top Notch Pediatrics.

Q: Why do you love being a Pediatrician?

JG: The reason I love being a pediatrician so much is because, first and foremost, I get to smile and laugh every day. A patient’s funny remark, a giggle at one of my silly jokes, or a warm hug brings out the best in me and reminds me why I love my work so much. I also get a deep sense of gratification when I can help foster the connection between my patients and their parents. I enjoy being seen as a role model for my patients and I know I am in the right profession when a parent tells me, “Doctor Jill, you make a difference”.


Q: Who inspires you and why?

JG: I can recall two mentors from my training who have left a lasting impression on me after all these years and who have shown by example what it means to be a great pediatrician. Dr. Bipin Patel was my clinic mentor and I learned from him the art of how to approach a patient visit with confidence and gentleness. Dr. Aimee LaRiviere was a young doctor a few years ahead of me in training and I always knew that if I could practice like Aimee I would be successful. In addition to her intelligence, she is loved by her patients because of her bright personality and contagious optimism. Finally, and most importantly, I am inspired by my sister Jean. Even though every one of my siblings inspires me every day, Jean is a dentist and when I see her interact with her patients I become even more driven to treat my patients and families with the respect, compassion, and thoroughness with which she treats her patients.

Dr. Jill Garripoli, The Wellness Tour With Dr. Jill, MMP Entertainment, Celebrate Life®

Dr. Jill Garrilpoli, from Top Notch Pediatrics, on the Wellness Tour at the Learning Experience in Lyndhurst, NJ.

Q: What is something that parents should know about keeping their kids healthy?

JG: In my opinion, keeping kids healthy starts with keeping yourself healthy as a parent. Too often I see parents sacrificing their own physical and emotional well-being since there are just not enough hours in the day to take care of their children, spouse, work/home, and the million other demands on their time. I have learned that children watch everything their parents do and when children see their parents feeling, looking, and acting well they thrive, too. I firmly believe that approaching children with consistency, reliability, and predictability helps them feel balanced and at ease. It is then way less stressful to get them to follow directions and cooperate. After thousands and thousands of interactions with parents and their children I have seen what works and what doesn’t…when a parent is off-center and coming at a child from a stressed or emotional place the child feels the resistance and things do not go so well. It is so much easier said than done and we all have to remember we are human and do the best we can.


Dr. Jill Garripoli, from Top Notch Pediatrics.

Dr. Jill Garripoli, from Top Notch Pediatrics.

Q: Do you have any advice for parents that will make going to the doctor’s office a more convenient, productive, or enjoyable experience?

JG: The one thing that makes my job harder as a pediatrician is when parents use needles or throat swabs or any slightly uncomfortable office procedure as a threat to their children. When a parent says, “if you don’t behave the doctor will give you a shot”, it makes it difficult for me to be viewed by the child as a trusted adult. If I can gain the child’s confidence then the visit can go really well no matter what has to be done during the 15-30 minutes we are together. I also find that when the parent stays calm and positive during the visit the child most often responds to that energy and in turn acts calmly as well. Parents can help their children during a visit by reassuring them that they are being brave and doing a great job (even when they are crying!). That kind of encouragement goes a long way in a child’s eyes. It is also important for parents to remind their children that they are healthy and they need to listen to the doctor’s instructions and cooperate at home with the plan in order to help their bodies return to good health.


New Jersey Family Magazine, Top Kids' Docs issue

New Jersey Family Magazine, Top Kids’ Docs issue, featuring Dr. Jill Garripoli

Q: What led you to become a Doctor?


JG: As the 8th of 9 children in my family I was constantly surrounded by a great support system and encouraging home environment. No matter the ups and downs in life it was always reinforced to me that I could be or do or have anything if I put my mind to it. When I got the chance to observe the delivery of a newborn baby during my first college summer break I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician. My decision was met with nothing less than excitement, positivity, and a “why not?” response from my family. I knew it was going to take a lot more than just book smarts to get through medical school, internship, and residency so having that support gave me the confidence to go for it.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote?

JG: One of the things I love to do is read inspirational material, watch an inspirational movie, or hang around people who make me feel like anything is possible. I have read a lot of quotes and I thought this was going to be a tough question to answer. However, I remember something my father says to my sister and I all the time: “If you are not the lead dog the scenery never changes.” My dad taught me to strive to be the best at whatever it was I chose to do. He taught me to have the “slight edge” mentality of showing up and getting the job done no matter what it was. He instilled in me that it is far more rewarding in life to be a leader and so the quote from my dad is my favorite.


To schedule an appointment with Dr. Jill or a Wellness Tour stop for your organization, contact Nicole Loguidice for booking information @ (201) 820-4600.

The Wellness Tour continues with Dr. Jill Garripoli

Dr. Jill Garripoli, The Wellness Tour With Dr. Jill, MMP Entertainment, Celebrate Life®

The Celebrate Life® team is proud to be a sponsor of The Wellness Tour with Dr. Jill Garripoli.

Dr. Jill Garripoli, Marcello Pedalino, MMP Entertainment, The Wellness Tour, Celebrate Life® , Isabella PedalinoVoted one of New Jersey’s Top Kids’ Docs by parents, “Dr. Jill” visits day care providers, wellness centers, YMCAs, schools, and health-conscious organizations to pass on her famous 5 tips.

It’s a fun, interactive, and educational way for kids to learn about Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Safety, and Hygiene.

Bonus, it’s a family affair.  Dr. Jill has appointed my daughter, Isabella, as “Doctor in Training.” 🙂

To learn more about Dr. Garripoli, read her recent Q & A here.


The MMP Entertainment and Event Production Team helps the world Celebrate Life! MMP is led by Executive Director, 3-Time National DJ Entertainer of the Year and ADJA Leadership Award recipient, Marcello Pedalino.



$1000 Raised for Wounded Warriors by Marcello Pedalino & Friends at Lake Mohawk for Track Friday

Marcello Pedalino, Wounded Warrior Project, Lake Mohawk, Sparta, Track Friday, Terry Contaxis, Michael Contaxis, Ron Contaxis, Michael Walter, Dr. Jill Garripoli, George Panzitta, Eric Rubinson, Lisa Goldman Truesdale, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

1) Raise Awareness

2) Raise Money

3) Have Fun

4) Solidify Friendships

5) Get Some Fresh Air

6) Burn Calories

7) Eat Like A King

8) Stay out of Hospital

9) Hot shower

10) Re-remind Yourself How Good Life Really Is.



Thank you to all the participants, donors, sponsors and volunteers for making The Lake Mohawk Wounded Warrior Run and Ride a success and such an awesome experience.

The MMP Entertainment and Event Production Team helps the world Celebrate Life! MMP is led by Executive Director, 3-Time National DJ Entertainer of the Year and ADJA Leadership Award recipient, Marcello Pedalino.

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