NJ mom and entrepreneur Deb Peterson has always been passionate about the benefits of holistic health. In 2008, that passion led her to launch The Wellness Gala, a nationwide wellness events company. While nobody was going to in-person events during the pandemic, Peterson knew she had to pivot and that’s when she partnered with Lisa Marie Falbo, CEO of Long Shot Productions in Fairfield, to launch a television program dedicated to introducing viewers to the benefits of holistic and integrative healing practices. Each episode of Balance Your Life with the Wellness Gala features practitioners who are experts in the fields of health, beauty, and wellness.

Peterson (center) and Falbo (right) sit down with HGTV star John Colaneri at Distinctively Outdoors in Parsippany.

The show’s premiere is well-timed considering the extreme stress we’re living through during the pandemic. “We are facing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety in our everyday lives, and it’s important to learn how to achieve optimal physical, emotional, and mental health through these challenging times. Balance Your Life with the Wellness Gala brings much-needed positivity, comfort, and solutions to the airwaves,” says Falbo, who is also the show’s segment host.

Peterson is excited about the opportunity to educate and reach more people about holistic health. “Our mission has always been to create awareness around holistic health benefits and bring those options to the mainstream population,” says Peterson, founder and CEO of the Wellness Gala and the show’s creator. The show premieres on Saturday, January 30 at 10 am on News 12+ in Long Island, Westchester/Hudson Valley, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York City. We asked Peterson and Falbo to talk about what it was like to launch the show this past year and what kinds of things we can expect to see.

New Jersey Family: What inspired the idea for the show?

Deb Peterson: Having to reinvent the company since we couldn’t do events because of COVID. We wanted to keep sharing our message. We merely switched platforms from events to the TV show so that we could continue to showcase all the areas we would normally highlight at our events.

NJF: What types of holistic health topics will the show cover?

DP: Massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, nutrition, essential oils, healthy foods and cooking, coaching, exercise, and anything else that contributes to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

NJF: What is the Wellness Gala, and how does the show tie into its mission?

DP: Our company aspires to introduce, bring awareness and educate the public about the benefits of holistic and integrative healing practices that can be used to bring wellness into your everyday life. Our goal is to inform people everywhere that these modalities are legitimate options that can help any type of physical, emotional, mental or spiritual issues or concerns. We aim to accomplish this mission through Wellness Gala events, and television, providing an easy to use Holistic and Wellness practitioner and vendor directory, Wellness subscriber and membership opportunities, event planning, and even business and marketing consultation.

NJF: Lisa Marie, what attracted you to the show?

Lisa Marie Falbo: From the time I was seven, my “primary doctor” was a chiropractor (Dr. Rick Santangelo out of East Hanover, who has since sadly retired). Holistic modalities are not a foreign concept to me, but I understand that there’s still a lot of questions surrounding how healers, acupuncture, and the like compliments mainstream medicine. When Debbie and News 12+ came to me with the idea of the show, I jumped at the opportunity to produce and segment host because the concept is something I’m so passionate about.

Renzo Gracie and Lisa Marie Falbo at I Am Fitness in Middletown

NJF: What we can expect from the first show?

LMF: The first episode kicks off with an interview with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Renzo Gracie at I Am Fitness in Middletown. We spoke to him about his illustrious career and how it’s never too late to start on your fitness journey. We’ll also learn about the healing techniques of Dr. Robert Kandarjian and Debbie talks about how he changed the health of her family. We also make easy and healthy sweet treats with holistic health coach Barb Minemier and talk with Dr. Michael Magwood of Pure Balance Center about pediatric chiropractic care benefits.

NJF: Can you share some highlights about upcoming guests and segments you are most excited about?

DP: I’m excited about everyone because we have so many cool things in so many different areas.

LMF: The Renzo Gracie segment is exciting because of who he means to so many people in the boxing/MMA/martial arts worlds. In another episode, we talk with HGTV star John Colaneri at Distinctively Outdoors in Parsippany about the health and wellness benefits of building a backyard oasis for you and your family to enjoy. But as Debbie said, every guest brings something exciting to the table.

NJF: What do you think is the biggest misconception about holistic health?

DP: That these practices are sometimes perceived as “Woo Woo.” The US is one of the last countries to embrace holistic modalities. These are viable options that can work with traditional medicine and have for years.

NJF: You’ve worked with a lot of holistic health practitioners. Based on that experience, what would you say is one simple thing we can each day to better our physical and emotional health?

DP: Meditate

LMF: Consistency. Your backache won’t go away after one chiropractic adjustment, nor will you lose 10 pounds after one visit with a dietician. The practitioners give you the tools for success, but you have to put in the work.

NJF: If viewers take away one thing from season one of Balance Our Life, what do you hope it will be?

DP: That they can be educated and become aware of options that might help them have a healthier lifestyle and/or deal with issues that may have.

NJF: Where and when can we see the show?

LMF: Saturdays at 10 am on News 12+, Optimum 61 & Fios 530

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