June Recipe: Mighty Melon Green Tea Smoothie

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  • Prep
10 minutes; Ready in
10 minutes

Cantaloupe, pear, and pineapple team up with green tea and mint for a light and lovely smoothie. Yogurt adds protein to make it a delicious meal replacement.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brewed green tea (such as Gold Peak(R)), chilled
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup cantaloupe chunks
  • 1 pear, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 fresh mint leaves, or more to taste

Directions:

Combine tea, pineapple, cantaloupe, pear, yogurt, and mint leaves in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Feeding Our Future Generations By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

Screenshot 2016-05-26 10.52.32Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Orlando, Florida as a scholar for the Today’s Dietitian Spring Symposium. The keynote speaker this year was David Katz, MD. Dr. Katz discussed what we do and do not know about dietary fat. Ironically, the key statements that resonated in my mind had nothing to do with fats and everything to do with sustainability.

Throughout his presentation, Dr. Katz reviewed a plethora of different diets, and the physicians that recommended such diets. Vegetarian, paleo, Mediterranean, vegan….nothing new here. And then this statement was made… “We as Americans are eating too much protein.” If you are a patient of mine, you have heard me say this statement over and over. The Recommended Daily Allowance of protein for adults is 56 grams. A journal article titled “Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment” published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that most Americans are consuming almost twice this allowance daily. The next words out of Dr. Katz’s mouth were the ones that hit me hard. “If we continue to consume such great quantities of meat, we will destroy our land.” What a strong and powerful statement. Read on to see how long ago this predication was really made.

When compared with a lactoovovegetarian diet, meaning a plant-based diet that also includes dairy and eggs, meat-based diets do require more nonrenewable energy, land and water resources. However, the lactoovovegetarian diet also requires significant resources. Neither diet is sustainable in the long term based on the required resources.

Dr. Katz proved once again that there is no one perfect diet for everyone, however he did open my eyes to another reason why consuming such large quantities of meat is bad. The same article states that the US population had doubled in the last 60 years and is projected to double again in the next 70 years. How are we going to feed all of these people?

In addition to attending my conference while in Orlando, I also had the opportunity to visit Epcot one evening. While there I visited a “ride” that was called Living on the Land. When I hopped on the boat, I really did not know what to expect. Low and behold Disney has an entire research center in the middle of Epcot. They have researchers growing huge quantities of vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices using different techniques like hydroponics and growing vertically in order to take up “less land”. Disney is researching new techniques and technology in hopes of growing healthy, whole foods in large quantities and that require less energy and resources. The best part is that Disney actually uses the food they grow to feed their customers.

Knowing what you know now, I challenge you to evaluate what impact your diet is having on the earth and future generations. I do not what my child, or his children, growing up on “Franken-foods” or processed science experiments that are completely void of nutrients and minerals that come from whole foods.

So in an effort to lead the way, we are introducing you to Ester the Eggplant. I am growing Ester for our July 21 Wellness Series event. Hope Placher, PA-C will be leading a panel on Food Sensitivities and we will be having a food demonstration using Ester. Be sure to check our Ester updates on our Facebook account as we share with you Ester’s growth progress over the next few months!

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Franklin D. Roosevelt said it best when he said, “A nation who destroys its soil, destroys itself.”

Protect our earth. Grow healthy, sustainable foods. Avoid the processed death spiral.

Leslie Rusch-Bayer

 

 

 

Recharging Your Personal Batteries By Sue Lang, APN, CNM

CHAIRWhen one is constantly on the go, whether working, taking care of someone or simply in a day-to-day scheme of life, we can charge our batteries by doing different activities. My husband and I recently went to Tennessee to recharge our batteries. Sometimes you just need to have some “me” time or “us” time in my case. The smoky mountains did that for me. When I see what God/Nature has provided for me, I am ready to go back to this very busy life that I live-refreshed!

Every night we plug in our phones, tablets, computers, etc. We, too, need to recharge our power by taking that needed time out. This should be all-inclusive of mind, body, and spirit. We don’t do well when we are running on a low battery.

We have to take a good look at ourselves and be honest. Know what your limits are. If you think that you cannot take on one more thing; then just say no.

Take time for you to recharge through exercise. Walk, jog, bike or stretch. Enjoy the day and nature that God has given us. Pick the exercise that is best for you and that you will enjoy.

At this office, you hear a lot about diet and healthy eating-avoid processed food. Eating healthy can also help one recharge and feel their best. Understand what foods you like but then try something different each week that you have never tried.

Make time for yourself. Alone time, or de-stress time is important. This is your time to relax, reflect and recharge. This includes meditating, exercising, (my family loves to run and bike), or gardening, which is definitely a time for me to relax and enjoy the nature.

Take the time to develop a spiritual relationship. Pray. Meditate on your purpose in life and who you are. Talk to God and then listen to Him. A higher power keeps us directed and on the path to peace and achieving your goals.

Remember to forgive. Keeping a burden with us is a weighty proposition. It does not help in recharging or in healing for our mind, body or spirit. Keep in mind that some people don’t realize that they have hurt you and still others will not care, but forgiving is powerful for healing you, recharging you.

Give back to others. As a volunteer, you gain so much. The realization that we are truly blessed is often realized when we see people or others that are in need or lonely. Even when we feel that things cannot get worse for us, we find that others have needs that are also significant. Nursing homes, churches, food banks, volunteer fire departments, quilters, and hospitals need volunteers. The list is endless.

You may not have the money or resources to go away for a weekend or think that you cannot recharge your batteries because you are too busy. Remember, it takes just a few minutes in meditation and/or prayer to heal your soul and reset your mind, body and spirit.

Sue Lang, APN, CNM

 

10 Signs Your Aging Parent Can’t Live Alone-Guest Submission

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It’s a sad reality that, as we age, we become less independent than we once were — but for most blessed with longevity, it’s inevitable. With millions of baby boomers throughout the U.S. caring for elderly parents, throngs of adult caregivers struggle with determining if their parent is fit to remain living alone. It’s a difficult, multi-faceted decision not to be made lightly as there is much at stake — both the physical and emotional well-being of the parent in question and for the extended family at large.

To help ease the process of determining if an elderly parent should no longer live on their own, here are 10 tell-tale signs that can give you better peace of mind with making this all-important decision as offered by aging and elder care authority and legislation advocate, Carolyn A. Brent, MBA — award-winning author of the acclaimed title, “Why Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially & Legally for a Parents’ Death” — a book that helps caregivers discern, discuss and deal with crucial end-of-life issues within their families (www.CareGiverStory.com):

1. Mom or Dad has always been a great housekeeper, but the house just doesn’t look like it used to: You may remember a parent who was constantly on you about tidying your room or putting things away after you were done with them. The house was always spotless and everything was organized, clean and in its place. There was much pride in this fact. However, upon visiting with Mom or Dad today the home is decidedly cluttered and not nearly as clean as normal. Of course, this can mean a lot of things. Your parent may actually have an active social life and is more concerned with staying busy than tidying up. But, it could be a more ominous sign that your parent is having a difficult time keeping up with all the chores. She may feel overwhelmed or his physical health is slowing him down. Ask your parent if help is needed with the clutter, but do it in a nonchalant way that could prompt a conversation indicating assistance is needed here. Keep a keen eye to discern if the clutter and filth is getting worse with each visit – it’s often a key sign.

2. The bills and other mail are piling up: While we all get busy — even those who are retired — basic tasks that were often dealt with quickly and easily when younger, but that are now falling by the wayside, is a sign that your older parent could be getting overwhelmed and not able to manage their daily affairs. This may also indicate some signs of forgetfulness and memory issues. Often, especially if a parent is alone without a spouse, they may not have someone to remind them to go through the mail and check to see if it’s time to pay certain bills.

3. The checking account balance is wrong and bills are going unpaid: If the mail, with bills included, is piling up, there is a good chance that the bills are not getting paid. You may also discover amongst mail issues that your parent’s checking account ledger balance is wrong or in arrears. These are also signs that your parent is having memory issues or difficulty with simple math cognition. It can also indicate a general apathy — a mindset that can be equally problematic for someone with the glut of responsibility required to effectively live alone.

4. Your parent is losing a lot of weight: A parent who may have lost their partner or who is generally depressed often loses interest in eating due to a reduced appetite. They may feel that it is not worth the hassle of shopping for and preparing meals if they are now living all alone. Accordingly, pay close attention to your parent’s weight. Also, check their refrigerator and pantry to see if there is an appropriate supply of food and that what is there is fresh and edible. If the cupboard is bare and your parent’s frame is shrinking, living alone might become problematic. At the very least, you may want to think about bringing groceries by or looking into a service that offers prepared meal delivery. Otherwise, you may have to think about putting them somewhere that helps them eat regular, healthy meals.

5. They have forgotten the basics of hygiene: If you notice that your parent is wearing the same clothing day in and day out or that their hair or skin appears dirty on a fairly regular basis, they may have lost the motivation, ability and/or forethought to look after them self. Living alone, they may feel like they don’t have to dress up or clean up for anyone. Worse yet, they may have forgotten — or simply no longer cares – that such personal hygiene and cleanliness is an important part of daily living and maintaining one’s good health.

6. They appear in inappropriate clothing: While you may not share your mother or father’s sense of style, there is cause for concern if your parent dons summer clothing in the dead of winter or leaves the house in a nightgown and slippers for a trip to the store. This often happens when the elderly are suffering from confusion and lose the ability to have discretion in social situations. In this situation, wardrobe can be the least of the concerns as the problem manifests in other dangerous ways.

7. There are signs of forgetfulness in the home: Confusion can also show up in the kitchen and can prove to be appropriate supply of food and that what is there is fresh and edible. If the cupboard is bare and your parent’s frame is shrinking, living alone might become problematic. At the very least, you may want to think about bringing groceries by or looking into a service that offers prepared meal delivery. Otherwise, you may have to think about putting them somewhere that helps them eat regular, healthy meals.

5. They have forgotten the basics of hygiene: If you notice that your parent is wearing the same clothing day in and day out or that their hair or skin appears dirty on a fairly regular basis, they may have lost the motivation, ability and/or forethought to look after them self. Living alone, they may feel like they don’t have to dress up or clean up for anyone. Worse yet, they may have forgotten — or simply no longer cares – that such personal hygiene and cleanliness is an important part of daily living and maintaining one’s good health.

6. They appear in inappropriate clothing: While you may not share your mother or father’s sense of style, there is cause for concern if your parent dons summer clothing in the dead of winter or leaves the house in a nightgown and slippers for a trip to the store. This often happens when the elderly are suffering from confusion and lose the ability to have discretion in social situations. In this situation, wardrobe can be the least of the concerns as the problem manifests in other dangerous ways.

7. There are signs of forgetfulness in the home: Confusion can also show up in the kitchen and can prove to be deadly if not dealt with quickly. All too often there are stories of older people who accidentally burned their houses down because they left a pot on the stove for hours and fell asleep or have flooded the home when they forgot to turn off the tap. Or, perhaps more subtly, the milk is in the pantry and the bread is in the refrigerator. These are all tell-tale signs that it may not be wise for your parent to be left home alone for extended periods of time.

8. Your parent regularly misses appointments and other important items: Forgetfulness, absentmindedness and memory issues may also show up when it comes to keeping certain appointments, recognizing key dates, or, even more importantly, maintaining medication dosages on schedule. This is a clear sign they need to live with someone who can help them stick to their schedules and stay on task.

9. They are just acting plain weird: This is always the sign that families dread the most. No one wants to turn into the “crazy cat lady” or the “man who mutters to himself.” But, unfortunately, between aging, mental degradation and the side effects from medication, you may note that your parent has lost their personalities and behavior has taken an odd turn for the worse. If you see signs of paranoia, fear, strange phone calls and conversations and nervousness, this should not be overlooked as it’s a blatant sign that living assistance is in order.

10. They exhibit signs of depression:  There are a number of classic signs that can be connected with someone suffering depression. A loss of interest in caring for one’s self as well as a lack of participation in socialization and in once-loved hobbies can mean that your parent needs treatment or should reside in an environment where they can be around other people. Sometimes, depression comes from a sense of loneliness or the realization that they can no longer do things for themselves. Putting them somewhere that offers assistance, socialization and activities can help cure the loneliness and put them back on track to a more fulfilling, active and engaged life.

This article is published with the permission of the Lakeland Times of Minocqua, WI and Stephanie Fisher at stephanie@medianewsbrief.com.

Hello Better Sex-Goodbye Menopause! By Dr. Michele Couri, FACOG, ABIHM

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One of the most exciting developments for me as a physician is when I learn of a new procedure or treatment that will greatly benefit my patients. Every once in a while, a truly “life-changing” treatment becomes available that has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life of patients worldwide. Now is one of these times indeed.

Last month, I had the privilege to travel to Tennessee to become trained in a novel procedure called MonaLisa Touch™. MonaLisa Touch™ is an FDA-approved laser designed to reverse the bothersome symptoms of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) otherwise known as vaginal atrophy. GSM is defined as a collection of symptoms and signs associated with a decrease in estrogen and other sex steroids involving changes to the labia majora/minora, clitoris, vagina, urethra and bladder. The syndrome may include but is not limited to genital symptoms of vaginal and vulvar dryness, burning, and irritation; sexual symptoms of pain with intercourse, lack of lubrication, and impaired function; and urinary symptoms of urgency, painful urination, and recurrent urinary tract infections.  Quite simply stated, I see hundreds of patients a year who no longer have pleasurable intercourse due to vaginal dryness and lack of lubrication from menopause. And, when young women are suffering with these symptoms because breast cancer or other female malignancies have robbed them of their ability to safely use hormone therapy, my heart breaks for them because I feel that I have very little to offer. But now, that is no longer the case.

Issues of vaginal health are commonly seen in postmenopausal women, breast cancer survivors and women who have had a hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries.  The MonaLisa Touch™ treatment is particularly well suited for patients who cannot, or elect not to, receive estrogen therapy.  In the U.S., there are nearly 46 million women between the ages of 50 and 80 and more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors.

The MonaLisa Touch™ laser system developed by Cynosure is revolutionary. I feel very blessed to be the first doctor in the Peoria area to offer this treatment to patients. Developed by leading gynecologists and scientists in Italy, it was FDA approved to be used in the United States in 2014. It delivers fractional CO2 laser energy to the vaginal wall to stimulate the regeneration of collagen fibers and elastin to increase vaginal moisture, lubrication and elasticity.   It also improves blood flow. Bottom line – intercourse no longer has to hurt and annoying bladder symptoms such as urinary urgency and burning can resolve.

What is even more appealing about this procedure is that it is painless, can be done in the office and requires no anesthesia. It literally takes less than 5 minutes to have done and is typically performed in 3 sessions about 6 weeks apart with follow up annual treatments usually needed to retain these positive results.

A multicenter trial assessed the use of CO2 fractional laser therapy in women with vaginal health issues due to menopause.  All of the patients were treated with MonaLisa Touch™. “100 percent of the patients experienced overwhelmingly positive and immediate results,” said Dr. Mickey Karram, Director of Fellowship Program on Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, OH. “The women showed highly statistically significant improvement in symptoms – including dryness, pain, itching, painful urination and painful intercourse – after the first treatment.  They experienced no side effects or adverse reactions and showed an escalation of progress with each subsequent treatment.”

“Since its European launch in 2008, the MonaLisa Touch™ treatment has been used on thousands of patients worldwide and studied under a variety of protocols with excellent results,” said Michael Davin, Cynosure’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  “We believe that the MonaLisa Touch™ is a game-changing procedure for women suffering from vaginal atrophy.”

If you are interested in learning more about MonaLisa Touch™, I highly encourage you to attend any one of the free educational lectures that we are hosting at the Couri Center to launch this “life changing” therapy. Class space is limited so sign up today. Check our website at www.couricenter.com/events for the complete class schedule and we encourage you to bring your spouse.

To Your Health,

Dr. Couri