ginger roasted pumpkin + quinoa salad w/ mint, chilli + lime


ginger roasted pumpkin + quinoa salad w/ mint, chilli + lime recipe

Compliments of MyDarlingLemonThyme.com

Ingredients (serves 2-4 or more as a side)

1 kg piece of pumpkin
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 green or red chilies, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
a handful of finely chopped coriander (cilantro) roots and stems, optional
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water

The juice of two limes (or large lemon)

A good handful each of fresh mint and coriander (cilantro) leaves
toasted pumpkin (pepita) seeds

 

Preparation

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Peel pumpkin, remove the seeds and cut into even chunks approximately 2-3cm wide. Combine pumpkin with ginger, chili, garlic, olive oil, maple and coriander roots and season well with salt and pepper. Combine well before turning out onto a large oven tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once or twice or until the pumpkin is lovely a golden and soft right through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, place quinoa into a fine-mesh sieve and rinse well. Bring the water to the boil in a small saucepan before adding the quinoa, covering with a lid and reducing the heat down to a gentle simmer. Cook for 10-12 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from the heat, leave the lid on and set aside to steam for a further 5 minutes before fluffing up with a fork.

When both the pumpkin and quinoa are cooked, combine the two in a large bowl, making sure you scrape any lovely bits of ginger and oil from the bottom of the roasting tray into the bowl too. Squeeze over the lime, stir through the herbs, season with more salt and pepper if desired and scatter over the pumpkin seeds to serve. You can eat this warm or cool the pumpkin and quinoa first before stirring through the herbs and serve at room temperature.

Enjoy!

Osteoporosis: How to Prevent a Silent Killer By Deborah Collins, PA-C

Every year more than 200 million people will suffer from Osteoporosis, and 3 million new US cases will be diagnosed. In fact, half of all adults 50 years and older, are at risk of breaking a bone and should be screened before they require medication. The reason Osteoporosis is often overlooked is because there are usually no symptoms. “You cannot feel your bones becoming weaker.” It is for this reason that it is often called “a silent disease” until a fracture occurs.  What is especially alarming is that 80% of the people who suffer a fracture over the age of 50, will not be advised to be tested or treated for Osteoporosis.  If you knew that your risk of a fracture was equal to the combined risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer, would that change your mind about the importance of early screening?

At the Couri Center, our providers recognize the importance of your bone health. It is just as important to us as your breast and cervical cancer screenings.  We want to help PREVENT you from this disease before a fracture occurs. In fact, we have customized Couri girl MedPax supplements for this very purpose!  Couri girl Osteopenia is for women diagnosed or at high risk of developing osteopenia and Couri girl Osteoporosis, is for women diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Unfortunately, 24% of hip fracture patients, over the age of 50, will die in the first year following a hip fracture. Osteoporosis is not only costly, but it can be deadly. However, with early intervention, it is not only preventable but treatable.  If you have any one of the following risk factors, please have a conversation with your provider and consider a simple test for screening.

  • All women age 60 and over, independent of risk factors
  • Menopausal females under the age of 60 who have risk factors such as:
  • Low body weight< 130 pounds
  • Prior fracture- non-traumatic or low trauma as in falling from standing height or spine compression fractures. Basically, a break over the age of 50
  • High-Risk medication use – steroids, chemotherapy agents, Tamoxifen, Depo-Provera >5 years, anti-seizure medication
  • Chronic disease associated with bone loss (Hyperparathyroidism, Malabsorption, Malnutrition (Bulimia/anorexia), Premature Menopause, Hyperthyroidism, Chronic Liver Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes
  • Regular alcohol use, more than 3 drinks a day
  • Cigarette smokers

Here are a few tips to prevent Osteoporosis

  • Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, which can help slow or stop the loss of bone mass and help prevent fractures.
  • Talk to our registered dietitian to make sure you are getting enough calcium and Vitamin D in your diet.
  • Get a screening bone density test, which is the best way to diagnose low bone mass before it becomes Osteoporosis.
  • Let us help you determine a treatment plan. If your screening test indicates that you may have Osteoporosis, or have other significant risk factors for breaking a bone, call the Couri Center to schedule today:  309 692-6838.

 

 

Are You The One In Ten? By Dana Humes Goff, APRN, CNM, DNP

Did you know that it is estimated that 10% of women may be affected with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), but are undiagnosed? PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among women who have infrequent, absent, or prolonged menstrual periods; excess facial or body hair; and excessive weight gain.

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Early diagnosis and treatment, along with weight loss, may reduce the risk of long term complications related to PCOS, such a type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and infertility.

In addition to those mentioned above, other complications to PCOS include miscarriage or premature birth; liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation; metabolic syndrome; sleep apnea; abnormal uterine bleeding; endometrial cancer; and obesity.

To diagnose PCOS, your health care provider will analyze your blood to measure hormone levels, glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides, and insulin levels. A pelvic sonogram will also allow for evaluation of the uterine lining and ovaries.

Once diagnosed, treatment for PCOS includes lifestyle changes with a healthy diet and exercise since even a modest reduction of body weight can improve the condition. A dietary consultation with a registered dietitian can help your nutritional status and provide helpful strategies, as well as, suggest food sensitivity testing, which can help you achieve lifestyle goals.

Other treatment options include low dose birth control pills or cycling on a natural progesterone to achieve a hormone balance and regulate menses. If glucose or insulin levels indicate cell resistance to insulin, an oral medication such as metformin can help to avoid type 2 diabetes and help with weight loss.

Other medications such as spironolactone and Vaniqa can help with the effects of excessive androgen on facial hair growth. Laser hair removal and other procedures to remove unwanted facial and body hair are also options.

You can help to decrease the effects of PCOS by maintaining a healthy weight, limiting simple carbohydrates, which can increase your insulin levels, and being active.

So, if you or a loved one feel you may have symptoms of PCOS, please contact your health care provider or come and see us at the Couri Center so we can identify and develop an individualized plan of care for to live your best life.

 

Dana Goff

 

 

Sauna Detoxification

 

Sauna Detoxification

Sweating is good for you and is one of the body’s safest and most natural ways to heal and maintain good health.  Infrared saunas generate a sweat 7 x more detoxifying than a traditional sauna. Researchers have long told us how the body sweats out toxic substances, including heavy metals. As long as you maintain proper hydration, the more you safely sweat, the more toxins you’ll expel from your body.

Click below to schedule or learn more:

What is infrared sauna therapy?

Infrared light (experienced as heat) is the invisible part of the sun’s spectrum with the ability to penetrate human tissue to produce a host of health benefits.  Because infrared sauna therapy heats the body directly rather than simply warming the air, it raises the core body temperature and produces a deep, detoxifying sweat at the cellular level, where most toxins reside. Far infrared also aids in blood pressure reduction & weight loss, burning up to 600 calories in one 40 minute session.

What are the other health benefits of a full-spectrum infrared sauna?

Relaxation

Relaxation is more important to health than most people realize. The American Institute of Stress estimates that 75 to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems. Long-term stress is the cause of countless physiological effects on the body, including increased blood pressure, weight gain, and weakening of the immune system.  Infrared saunas have been designed to encourage the purest form of relaxation and stress reduction.

Weight Loss

Maintaining a healthy weight is important to your overall quality of life. In a 2009 study, infrared saunas were shown to help lower weight and waist circumference in just a three month period. The common theme among subjects in the study was that far infrared sauna use was similar to moderate exercise but “much more relaxing”.  Therefore, infrared saunas can be an effective lifestyle adjuvant for those who cannot participate in traditional exercise programs due to medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, cardiovascular or respiratory problems.

Heart Health/Lower Blood Pressure

In the U.S. alone, one in three adults suffers from heart disease, stroke or some other form of cardiovascular disease in their lifetime. High blood pressure increases your risk of getting heart disease, kidney disease or serious stroke.

Only infrared saunas have been clinically determined to provide one of the best, natural ways to lower blood pressure. In a 2005 clinical study by the University of Missouri Kansas City, Sunlighten’s Solocarbon heaters were shown to lower blood pressure through a program of 30-minute infrared sauna session 3 times per week. The study concluded that Sunlighten infrared sauna therapy dilated blood vessels and reduced the volume of their inner lining, thus increasing circulation to promote healthy blood pressure.

Pain Relief

You too can toss the pain pills and step into a healing infrared sanctuary to relieve tension and relax muscles. Infrared sauna’s heat works by penetrating joints, muscles, and tissues, increasing circulation and speeding oxygen flow. By reducing soreness on nerve endings, our infrared heat reduces muscle spasms and helps the body heal itself naturally.

Anti-Aging/Skin Rejuvenation

Rejuvenate your skin while also receiving all of the other health benefits associated with Sunlighten’s leading infrared sauna therapy. A study published in The Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy showed significant improvements in skin appearance after just 12 weeks of sauna skin therapy using near-infrared technology.     Participants experienced a reduction in wrinkles and crow’s feet, as well as improved overall skin tone, including softness, smoothness, elasticity, clarity, and firmness.

Cell Health/Immunity

Infrared therapy stimulates the circulatory system, causing the heart to beat more vigorously and blood vessels to dilate, which help cleanse the circulatory system and more fully oxygenate the body’s cells.

Better blood circulation means more toxins flow from the cellular level to the skin’s surface to improve cell health, aid in muscle recovery and strengthen the immune system.

Sunlighten’s research-backed near infrared heating technology can strengthen the immune system. In fact, a NASA study showed this same near infrared therapy, delivered by LEDs deep into body tissue, can quadruple cell health and tissue growth.

Wound Healing

Skin plays a vital role in the protection of our bodies from the external environment. When broken, it is important to repair it quickly to prevent infection or further problems. Studies conducted by NASA concluded that NIR LED light significantly promotes faster cell regeneration, wound healing and human tissue growth. Human cell growth increased by 155%-171% in some cases and wound size decreased by 36%.

Learn more about our relaxing infrared sauna’s built-in media center, including Pandora Radio, Netflix and multiple tracking features to calculate calories burned during your sessions!

 

The ABCs of CBD By Renee Alwan Percell, MMS, PA-C

About CBD- What is it?

Cannabidiol (CBD) was discovered in 1940. It is a chemical component of the Cannabis sativa (cannabis plant) and constitutes up to 40% of the extracts of the plant. Unlike THC (found in marijuana) it does not have psychoactive properties, which mean it cannot give you a high. Studies have confirmed CBD does not interfere with psychomotor and psychological functions in humans since it is not the part of the plant that creates psychoactive symptoms. In the last decade, there has been a notable increase in the scientific literature on CBD that shows its benefits in anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.  CBD is used for diverse conditions including relieving pain, reducing anxiety and depression, alleviating cancer-related symptoms; Parkinson’s related symptoms, seizures, and multiple sclerosis.

But how does it work?

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) regulates bodily functions. It helps the body maintain homeostasis or balance. If there is an imbalance in the body, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) will release neurotransmitters to address the problem. There are numerous receptors in the ECS that help the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells function smoothly. CBD1, for example, is a receptor in the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, and gastrointestinal tract that plays a role in memory, pain, emotion, and hunger. Endocannabinoids are naturally released when insult occurs and bind like lock and key to these receptors to reduce pain. TCH and cannabidiol act like the naturally occurring endocannabinoids and bind to these receptors to produce the same effect- alleviating symptoms. Similar to how our immune system works in our body to react to harm of the body, the ECS also works to keep our body neither deficient nor overloaded.

Can I have some?

When the ECS is functioning normally, a person will enjoy a healthy mental state, without pain, and have proper digestive function. The ECS can become unbalanced, however. In conditions like obesity or diabetes, the ECS will go into overdrive, flooding our system with endocannabinoids to try to combat the problems these diseases cause such as fatigue, trouble sleeping, anxiety. In doing that, inflammation may occur as our systems receptors become overloaded. CBD will work against this overload, relieving symptoms, and restoring balance. For example, if you experience anxiety, CBD bind to receptors and tells your body to calm down.

It is also hypothesized that the body can become endocannabinoid deficient which manifests most commonly as chronic pain through migraines, IBS, fibromyalgia. Data has shown that supplementing with CBD can bring the ECS back to normal functioning levels, relieving pain symptoms.

You should talk with your health care provider if you are interested in trying CBD for guidance on dosing and to discuss your specific concerns. It is also essential to get your CBD from a reputable source. Quality can vary greatly, so going to a trusted supplier is best.  We recommend ECS Therapeutics CBD Oil, available here at the Couri Center Retail Center. If you have questions, schedule a visit with your provider at the Couri Center!

Be Well, Renee Alwan Percell, MMS, PA-C

Why You Should be Using NIA24 Treatment Catalyst Facial Oil By Leslie A. Gilstrap, Licensed Esthetician

NIA24 treatment catalyst facial oil girlKeeping your body and skin well hydrated is so important.  One of my favorite NIA24 products is our Treatment Catalyst Facial Oil.   Summer or winter, it works well year round. When you hear the term “facial oil”, you may be tempted to think OH NO- I don’t want to put oil on my face—but listen to all the great benefits this facial oil can offer you.

NIA24 Treatment Catalyst helps reduce sun damage, hyperpigmentation and allows your current products to absorb and retain benefits further then using them alone. Nourishing and fortifying, NIA24 Treatment Catalyst enhances and accelerates the results of other skincare products.

Our skin is made up of water and sebum (oil from the skin). So, facial oil can work with your skin instead of against it, keeping it balanced, soft and comfortable.  In most cases its all about balance.  Too much sebum can result in clogged pores and possible breakouts. Too little sebum can result in dry, tight and flaky skin.  In this case, its best to use a facial oil to keep your skin properly balanced.

Over exfoliation from products like granular cleansers, acidic cleansers and peels can strip the skin of its natural moisture barrier.  Your skin may try to compensate for this stripping (loss of moisture) by over producing sebum, which as mentioned, can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. If you think your skin may be imbalanced, try adding a facial oil like NIA24 Treatment Catalystto your routine and help restore your skin’s normal ph balance. Using the right high-quality facial oil will actually help cut through the excess oil that may accumulate.

I have found with loyal use of the Treatment Catalyst Facial Oil that my skin has continued to stay glowing, balanced and clear.  Your skin can be too, just give it a try or as always, I’m here for a complimentary consultation if you have any questions.

Run don’t walk to get your NIA24 Treatment Catalyst Facial Oil. Supplies won’t last long!

To healthy skin,

Leslie Ann Gilstrap, Licensed Esthetician

 

 

 

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What would YOU like to hear about in our weekly Couri Girl Insider? Your providers offer educational articles about a constellation of women’s health topics. From gynecologic concerns and breast health; cancer prevention; integrative wellness and food sensitivities to aesthetics and skincare, our goal is to keep our patients in tune with the best of modern women’s health care.

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How to Apply Current Health Trends to Your Lifestyle By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

Just like fanny packs, brass fixtures, jelly sandals, and fitness trackers, the health and wellness industry tends to be just as trendy as fashion, architecture, and home decor. This year has proven no different with trending topics like macronutrient counting, avocadoes, the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting each becoming the main topics found in many forms of media, research journal publications, and marketing. None of these topics are wrong, however, are they right for you? The downfall of trending topics is as individuals, we never know how, when, and if the trend will actually provide the proper or intended improvements to our health, lifestyle or diet.
Trends may be popular, yet they are not always the right choice. People often forget the power food has on the human body. Just like medication, if a diet is not working, or the side effects make you feel worse when following, it is not the right diet for you.

Here are some tips when trying out new trends:

• Listen to your body. A healthy body does not feel bad. Do not ignore or try and justify symptoms. Symptoms are signs that something is wrong. A simple change in dietary intake can resolve many symptomatic problems.
• Implement small changes. Completely changing your intake or frequency of intake tends to decrease the chance you maintain compliance with the diet. Start with small, sensible changes.
• Who is recommending the change? Are they a trained medical professional with a nutritional background? Is someone trying to sell you something? Do they know about your medical history or current medications? Do you actually need to change? Ask questions. Do not assume.
• What are you changing? Are you giving up eating real food for “health products”? No amount of powder, bars or pills will replace the true power of a healthy diet.
• Investigate. Research. Look for reputable sources who have research to back up the health claims you are implementing.
• Realize you are an individual. No one diet should be recommended for everyone. We are not all the same. Every diet does not benefit everyone.
• Keep common sense attached. There is no one food, macronutrient, or supplement that is going to fix everything. Ask yourself if this dietary change is going to hurt you or help you in the long run. There are health benefits to most whole foods. Do not overuse or overeat anything. Too much of a good thing rarely is a good thing.
I regularly work with patients who are trying new products or diets. Some experience great success with weight loss, improved labs or the ability to eliminate medications, while others find themselves frustrated, fatigued, and fat (their words, not mine).

Finding the right dietary approach takes a few steps:

• An open mind. Most of the time, my recommendations for patients do not match their own thoughts. With an open mind, together, we can create the right plan for you.
• An integrative approach. Instead of focusing on a single-dimensional problem like losing weight or lowering blood sugar, let us help you look at your body as a whole. A full lab panel will not only help you understand your body; it will provide us with what we need to help you improve your health and outlook. Losing weight is not worth losing your health.
• Time and proper expectations. Losing 10 pounds each week is not realistic. Weight loss is generally estimated at one half to two pounds weekly, depending on the size, frame, and health of a patient.

With this integrative approach, I can help direct patients toward dietary choices and changes that will not only improve health, symptoms, and outlook but will also eliminate much of the confusion that comes with trying to understand dietary and lifestyle trends. If you are confused or are struggling with understanding your health, please call and schedule a free consultation to see how the Couri Center can help.

 

Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

What’s Your Daily Routine? By Leslie A. Gilstrap, Licensed Esthetician

What’s Your Daily Routine?

What’s that, you don’t have a skincare routine?  Well, let me help you with that.  Our skin works 24/7 to protect our face and body from weather, UVA/UVB rays, injuries, disease, and aging. So taking a small amount of time twice a day to tend to your skin is very beneficial.  If you have any question of where to begin or in what steps products should be applied, the following should help you.  As always if you’d like to sample products or discuss your skin concerns, please schedule a complimentary skincare consult.

CLEANSE

Properly cleaning your skin is an essential step in taking care of your skin.  This step will remove impurities from makeup and daily environment. Try NIA24 Gentle Cleansing Cream.

TONE

Applying a low-grade solution to absorb excess oil or to speed up the ph balance level of the skin. Which, in turn, will cause products to absorb faster.  However, your skin will balance out on its own.

SERUMS

Serums help target specific concerns, (dull complexion, breakouts, pigmentation issues) and nourish the skin, promoting healing and fighting the signs of aging.  Here are some staples to try: NIA24 Rapid D Tone Correcting Serum, NIA24 Rapid Exfoliating Serum, NIA24 Intensive Moisture Double Serum, NIA24 Intensive Retinol Repair, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic or SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF.

EYE CREAM

The orbital skin is more thin and delicate than the rest of the skin on the face.  It’s essential to use a cream that is specific for the eye area. Most will target puffiness, fine lines, and dark circles.  Try NIA24 Eye Repair Complex.

MOISTURIZER

It is essential to choose a moisturizer that isn’t too heavy for your skin type.  You want one that will offer optimal moisture for dryness. Here are two favorites: NIA24 Skin Strengthening Complex and NIA24 Intensive Recovery Complex.

SPF

The best care for the skin both on your face and body is preventive care.  As I’ve told you before the sun is the #1 ager of the skin. ALWAYS wear sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply.  Try NIA24 Sun Damage Mineral Sunscreen.

 

Happy product picking! Just start with two or three products that fit your lifestyle.  It is that simple!

 

To healthy skin,

Leslie A. Gilstrap, LE

Creamy Kale and Broccoli Salad

Creamy Kale and Broccoli Salad

By Dr. Michele Couri

Serves: 4

Dressing:

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons Nonfat or 2% Greek yogurt

1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

 

Salad:

1 organic Gala or Pink Lady apple — washed, cored and thinly sliced (May place in 8 oz of water with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice so they won’t turn brown while assembling the rest of the salad) — may substitute an Asian pear if desired.

2 scallions — chopped

1 bunch of organic lacinato kale — washed, stems removed and kale torn into bite-size pieces

2 cups of organic broccoli — washed and cut into small florets

1 cup organic blueberries — washed and allowed to dry

¼ cup chopped walnuts

 

  1. Make the dressing:  In a large bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, honey mustard and salt and pepper.  Then, whisk in the olive oil, Greek yogurt, and maple syrup.
  2. Assemble the salad: Place all the salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss with the dressing to mix well. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.