Flourless Minted Chocolate Cake

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10 TBSP butter

2 tsp peppermint oil

12 oz dark chocolate

6 eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with butter. In a double boiler, melt chocolate then add in butter until smooth. Remove from heat then mix in peppermint oil In a stand mixer, beat the eggs and syrup on high for 7-10 minutes, until light and fluffy Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the melted chocolate/mint/ butter mixture until all the chocolate is incorporated. Pour into greased cake pan and place the cake pan into a roasting pan or other pan with sides at least 1-1/2 to 2 inches high. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top begins to look “dull” but isn’t cracking. Remove from oven and cool.  Sprinkle top with powdered sugar.


New at the Couri Center:

We are now accepting CareCredit.

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CareCredit gives you flexibility and convenience when managing your family’s out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.

CareCredit makes it easy for people to get the care they want and need, right when they need it, without having to delay treatment or appointments.

For almost 30 years, CareCredit has been providing a valuable financing option for treatments and procedures that typically are not covered by insurance, or for times when insurance doesn’t cover the full amount. CareCredit is also used by cardholders to pay for deductibles and co-payments.

To learn more, visit www.carecredit.com or call the Couri Center 692-6838

How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body By Sarah Koppelkam

Screenshot 2015-11-24 10.37.14How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: Don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.

If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

“You look so healthy!” is a great one.

Or how about, “You’re looking so strong.”

“I can see how happy you are — you’re glowing.”

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say, “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.

Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.

Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.

Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It’s easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don’t. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.

Screenshot 2015-11-24 10.48.50~ Sarah Koppelkam

Guest feature article reprinted with permission.  All Rights Reserved.

The Skinny on the Slimcado By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

Screenshot 2015-11-19 15.53.53About a month ago, my family and I were grocery shopping in the produce section. We had decided my husband was going to make his world-famous guacamole, because let’s face it, with a new baby in the house, we often need quick and semi-nutritious food options. As I was searching for avocadoes, I came upon this large green “goose egg” shaped piece of produce. Slimcado was typed on the produce sticker. I asked my husband to Google Slimcado and he said it was a crossbreed of avocado, normally called the Florida avocado, which boasts 50% less calories and 35% less fat. My less-than-adventurous husband was not too excited to try this new find, but I grabbed one anyway.

The Slimcado that I chose was approximately 2-3 times the size of our normal, otherwise known as Haas or California, avocado. Slimcado’s are non-GMA and have a smooth bright green skin and a golden fleshy inside. I paid $1.99 for the Slimcado. The Haas avocadoes were priced 3 for $5. Based on price, the Slimcado was a clear winner. But what about flavor and texture?

When making guacamole, texture is a real problem with the Slimcado. Because it has a lower fat content, the Slimcado was rather watery and soft. Many websites boast that the Slimcado has a “buttery” texture. Not helpful when making guacamole. The water found in the Slimcado was also found to be a nuisance the next day. As I was opening the container of the day-old guacamole, I found something that could have once been guacamole sitting in a large amount of water. The high water content of the Slimcado had leeched out overnight. I was able to mix the water back into the contents, but the end product was very runny. I also found the Slimcado to have less flavor than a Haas avocado, which is again, was probably due to the increased water content.

Because of its “buttery” texture, many outlets recommend using a Slimcado in a shake. This would work well, however, only a tablespoon or two would be used at a time. I think this would prove to be quite wasteful as you could never use the entire avocado before it ripened past the point of being edible. If you were cooking for a small party or lunch, Slimcado’s may be a nice added benefit to a turkey or vegetarian sandwich.

Is the health statement that Slimcado’s have 35% less fat a good thing? Avocadoes are high in monounsaturated fat (MUFA). MUFA’s are liquid at room temperature and “help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke” when eaten in moderation. (American Heart Association). Diets high in healthy fats, like the Mediterranean, are considered heart healthy. Recent research has also shown that “fat” is not what makes us fat.

So how does the Slimcado stack up? Subpar at best. I will be sticking with my Haas avocadoes.

Leslie Rusch-Bayer

A Journey in Mind, Body and Spirit By Sue Lang, CNM, APN, LCCE

sue3I recently went to a conference on mind, body and spirit. Although the conference was not as good as I had hoped, the trip there was the true essence of this.

My husband and I traveled with our RV to California on a weeklong trip on our way to the conference. We drove through the miles of flat farming and ranching land, mountains, salt lake flats and the vast formations of the land. This vastness is an amazing and wonderful part of nature that God has given us. This time was truly a blessing to see and remember the beauty that exists in the journey.

Everyday life is often so busy that we do not take the time to appreciate what is around us. Although I have traveled this way before with our children when they were young, I am always eager to journey back and see how nature has provided us with an array of thought provoking sights to see. I was in awe of this magnificent scenery and it made me think of all of the people who passed through this land before me. The wonder of it all is truly what mind, body and spirit embrace.

How did the buttes rise so far above mere flat land? How many thousands of years did it take for Salt Lake Flats to be where there are today? While I understand the science behind it, I also recognize that all of this plays a vital role in how I perceive nature, life and my place within it.

The Native American Indians have many spiritual beliefs about mother earth. Every culture looks at nature and sees a connection to us. Dr. Victoria Maizes wrote in her book, Be Fruitful “We know that everything you experience in your mind affects your body, and vice versa…Mind-body describes the power of the mind to influence the body, and the body to influence the mind.”

As the holiday season approaches, take the time to really be thankful for your time and embrace life’s journeys. “Use the mind-body connection to deepen your awareness of every living and breathing thing. Take that deep breath and look around you. How does this time and place connect with everything that you do?

We don’t need to have a conference to tell us what we should do, look around, take your time and connect all of the dots. Let your mind and body do the work so that your spirit can enjoy and embrace with this holiday season and your life long journey.

Sue Lang




British Study Says Don’t Suffer Silently in Menopause By Dr. Michele Couri, MD, FACOG, ABIHM

Screenshot 2015-11-24 09.19.44According to a British study that was released last month, women experiencing bothersome menopausal symptoms should not suffer in silence but rather voice their concerns to their healthcare provider as information on a range of treatment options are available. As we may all be aware, menopause is a gradual process that occurs at the average age of 51.5 years in women. Menopause is defined as the cessation of menses. The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) estimates that 80% of women going through perimenopause/menopause suffer from common symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, mood changes, insomnia, decreased libido, lack of mental clarity, and vaginal dryness. These symptoms on average last approximately 4 years but approximately 10% of women will have symptoms for up to 12 years.

Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of women still have been needlessly suffering the effects of menopause without the assistance of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because of a very poorly conducted study called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) that was released in 2002. The Women’s Health Initiative incorrectly implied that all estrogen increases the development of breast cancer after three years. This inaccurate assumption prompted women to discontinue all forms of hormone therapy and suffer the ravages of menopause and possibly increase their risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, dementia and many other diseases In other words, since all forms of hormone therapy were improperly black labeled as harmful as a result of the WHI findings in 2002, an estimated 50,000 women died prematurely from 2002-2009 “because they did not use estrogen” after hysterectomies. Could bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) have saved some lives? I also wonder how many uncounted women suffered from heart attacks, dementia, and other ailments associated with lack of estrogen.

What these reports fail to ever mention is that there are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT types of hormone therapies – the natural benign bio-identical kind (BHRT) and the synthetic pharmaceutical type (HRT) causing symptoms. So, yes, the WHI is right in that synthetic hormones are harmful for you. They just forgot to mention the potential benefits of the natural bio-identical ones that are backed by scientific studies showing their safety and effectiveness.

A well-researched report in The New York Times, “Avoiding Estrogen Therapy Proved Deadly for Nearly 50,000 Women,” echoes Dr. Gino Tutera’s longtime concerns. Dr. Tutera is a board certified OB/GYN and champion of the usage of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) in the form of subcutaneous pellets. The article notes that according to a report in the American Journal of Public Health by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine, “the widespread rejection of all hormone replacement therapies among menopausal women has been misguided” since the WHI warnings against HRT were issued in 2002.

BHRT’s potential benefits are now documented in Dr. Tutera’s 10-year study titled “Marked reduction of breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer in users of bio-identical estradiol and testosterone subcutaneous pellets.” The results have been published in two prestigious medical publications – SEMAL, an international anti-aging medical journal [Sept. 2014], and Maturitas, a U.S. peer-reviewed scientific journal in 2009. This research shows that his pellet method of estradiol and testosterone therapy offers protection against the development of several forms of cancer.

Dr. Tutera’s retrospective study was done to prove that the usage of bio-identical estradiol, testosterone and micronized progesterone did not increase the incidence of breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer. The study affirmed that the re-creation of the normal physiologic hormonal environment through the usage of subcutaneous estradiol and testosterone pellets imparts a protective effect against the development of breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer. Furthermore, the usage of subcutaneous estradiol and testosterone pellets should be encouraged because of the positive effects seen on bone density [8.3% growth per year], the lack of adverse impact on serum lipids, and the lack of adverse effect on cardiovascular health and superior control of the symptoms associated with the menopause.

Aligned with Dr. Tutera’s passion for BHRT, the British study’s NICE guidelines recommend that healthcare providers:

  • Offer women HRT for hot flashes and night sweats after discussing risks and benefits.
  • Consider HRT to ease low mood that occurs as a result of menopause and consider cognitive behavioral therapy to alleviate low mood or anxiety.
  • Explain that estrogen-only HRT has little or no increase in the risk of breast cancer, while HRT with estrogen and synthetic progestin (not bioidentical progesterone) can be associated with an increase in the risk of breast cancer, but any increased risk reduces after stopping HRT. Specifically, in women using synthetic progestins, it says there will be 17 more cases of breast cancer per 1000 menopausal women in current HRT users over 7.5 years (compared with no HRT).
  • Understand that HRT does not increase cardiovascular disease risk when started in women aged less than 60 years and it does not affect the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Also ensure that women with cardiovascular risk factors are not automatically excluded from taking HRT.

I had the distinct pleasure of being trained in BHRT pellet therapy by its pioneer, Dr. Gino Tutera. Gino Tutera, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., is a board-certified OB/GYN who has practiced medicine “combining good science and common sense” for 40 years. Recognized internationally as a respected authority in the field of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, Dr. Tutera pioneered SottoPelle® in 2002. His subcutaneous method has liberated thousands of people from their debilitating symptoms and restored them back to health. For the past two decades, he has conducted seminars on his safe and scientifically proven approach while training hundreds of physicians throughout the world. He has authored three books on the subject: You Don’t Have to Live with It!, Life Regained: The Real Solution to Managing Menopause and Andropause, You Don’t Have to Live with It! The Science of SottoPelle®.Screenshot 2015-11-24 09.40.10

Sadly, the world lost this amazing man last month as Dr. Tutera died unexpectedly after a brief illness. His contribution to women’s health will never be forgotten. Dr. Tutera was an innovative leader in the vital role of subcutaneous bio-identical hormones in human health, anti-aging and disease prevention, and those of us who had the privilege of being one of his students are all the more blessed by the gift of knowledge he has instilled in us. May you rest in peace Dr. Tutera.

To Your Health,

Dr. Couri