How to Maintain Balance During Uncertainty By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

Very few people within my professional environment are aware that I am a very anxious person. At work, I often speak confidently, try to maintain a positive and light-hearted attitude, work hard, and spend most of my days trying to provide health-improving dietary support to my patients. 

Let me tell you; the last couple of days have taken a toll on my mind. Added to all the stress of our current viral environment, I am currently at home caring for two sick children, school will be canceled for at least two weeks, the information and news on social media are coming from every angle and local businesses are being forced to temporarily close. My brain automatically puts itself in overactive mode, and all I can do is worry about how these changes are affecting everyone. (Welcome to my Type A, overactive kind.) I was so anxious last night that I found myself browsing the CDC website for information, and I am happy I did.  Click here for key tips to stress management that helped decrease my fear in certain areas. Please consult the CDC website for other great tools and resources.

So what can individuals do in times of uncertainty? One of the best uses of time over the next two weeks should include some form of stress management. Stress management looks different for everybody. 

Exercise:

I am an athlete at heart, and my husband knows to gently urge me to go exercise when he feels my anxiety rising. Exercise will help relieve tension, and a gentle release of positive endorphins will leave you feeling more in control of your emotions. Check out YouTube, where you can search for different free workouts you can complete at home. I often recommend Chair HIIT workouts for a fast “burn” at home!

Yoga, meditation, and or Tai Chi: Intense cardiovascular activity is not inviting to everyone. Slow, non-weight bearing movements, along with meditations, may help slow your thoughts and relieve stress. They tend to be easy on the body and joints. You do not need long periods of time, to start, try ten to fifteen minutes daily.  The Breathing Tree: Facebook is leading classes online for the next few weeks.

Devotionals:

Daily devotions or repeating positive phrases: A daily devotional, scripture reading, positive short stories or phrases may help start your day on a more positive note. 

Moderate News Intake:

Take a social media break. Researching, reading articles, political views, and others’ thoughts can negatively impact your fear, anxiety, and thoughts. Instead, check-in once daily. Only read credible articles. Don’t engage in unhealthy conversations. Stop automatically “scrolling” as part of your normal day. 

Diet & Nutrition:

Maintain a healthy diet. A healthy diet rich in nutrients will not only help your immune system, but it will also nourish your mind. Finances may become tight for some in the upcoming weeks. Think of cooking an extra helping for a neighbor or friend who is struggling. If possible, shop locally or tip your take-out employee a little more than normal. Make a game out of using up different pantry foods and trying new recipes. 

Outreach:

Seek help when needed. A quick text or phone call to a friend may help calm anxious feelings. In this time of social distancing, focus on maintaining positive relationships with friends, families, neighbors, elderly, churches, and other community organizations through text, phone calls, FaceTime, Skype, and Facebook Messenger. Don’t feel bad calling a known counselor or medical professional when needed.

Times may be challenging, and it is difficult not to get wrapped up in the chaos mentally. Step away and realize there is so much good in our community and the world. Help others. Wave at a neighbor. Post positively. Be the reason someone smiles today. 

Your anxious RD,

Leslie

Expanded Coverage for Diagnostic Mammograms By Hope Placher, PA-C

You went for your annual screening mammogram. A few days later, you get a call from the breast center, and you’re told that the radiologist recommends that you come back for some additional testing. Is it cancer or just a reason for caution? It’s a call that can put fear in your heart, and potentially a dent in your savings account. Unfortunately, for many women, the cost of follow up breast imaging can be a huge deterrent to receiving the proper and timely diagnosis.

This additional breast imaging that follows a screening mammogram is called a diagnostic mammogram or a diagnostic ultrasound. Traditionally, in Illinois, patients with private insurance could pay more than $500 to $600, out-of-pocket, for diagnostic imaging. Thankfully, a new state law that went into effect on January 1st, 2020, will require many insurers to fully cover the cost of diagnostic mammograms. Patients who are members of self-funded insurance plans will be excluded. I am hopeful that this will eliminate the burden of cost for many women who desperately need the vital information diagnostic breast imaging offers. If you have any questions if this new law has amended your current health insurance policy, I encourage you to contact them directly.

 

Hope Placher, PA-C

Infrared Sauna Therapy: Unpacking the Benefits

At the Couri Center, we can address your gynecological issues and also have a focus on integrative medicine. Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. Disease prevention incorporates eating a balanced diet, exercise, and also stress reduction. An excellent way to de-stress is to try our infrared sauna. The radiant heat from an infrared sauna surrounds you and penetrates deeply into your joints, muscles, and tissues, increasing oxygen flow and circulation. This infrared energy can help your body relax and detox. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?!

Unlike a traditional sauna, infrared saunas don’t heat the air around you. Instead, they use infrared lamps (that use electromagnetic radiation) to warm your body directly. This makes for a more tolerable environment. Our infrared sauna offers several sessions to choose from detox, cardio, pain relief, weight loss, relaxation, and skin health.

Many benefits come from a session in the infrared sauna. A recent study published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Medicine found that a sauna session was as equivalent to moderate physical activity by increasing heart rate and blood pressure with increased body temperature. These physiological effects help the body to detox by sweating. This detoxification can help with anti-aging. This will also increase circulation that helps with cell health (improve blood vessel functions), muscle recovery, wound healing, and also can reduce pain. The infrared sauna is a tool to help achieve relaxation. People underestimate what long term stress can cause, increased blood pressure, weight gain, lowered immune system, and depression.

Come enjoy a session in our infrared sauna as we all wait anxiously for the summer sunshine and warmth!

 

Be Well,

Renee Alwan Percell, PA-C

 

MPN Peoria: Rare Disease Day Recognition Letter 2020

 

Maya Angelou once said, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”  

 

What have I learned this past year since launching MPN Peoria on Rare Disease Day back in February, 2019?  I have learned that the amount of inherent generosity among those around us is limitless and flows freely from individuals with caring hearts and an innate desire to help.  I have also learned that together we can do anything, accomplish the unimaginable, and make the difference for those living with Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs), a group of blood cancers that afflict thousands but whose cure is non-existent at this point.  

I have also learned that if one has a vision and a passion to invoke change, the sky’s the limit.  In our inaugural year of existence, MPN Peoria raised over $75,000. Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think that we could raise that kind of money in our first year.  One thing I also learned is that our community is a giving community. I was touched by the enormous outpouring of support, both emotionally and financially. For that, I will be forever grateful.

But we are just beginning.  We have a long road ahead of us and a lot of work that needs to be done.  You see, without a cure, MPNs, like many other cancers, are burdening lives not only with disease-related symptoms and treatment side effects but also financial hardships from the cost of lab testing, procedures and medications.  This is unacceptable to me, and I am asking for your help. I am fighting for those less fortunate than myself.

In honor of Rare Disease Day, February 29, 2020, let us take this opportunity to support MPN Peoria.  Registration is now open for the 2nd Annual MPN Peoria Hike to be held on June 13, 2020. Please join us on the trails to raise money for such a great cause.  If you are unable to participate in the Hike, please consider making a donation. You can donate online at www.mpnpeoria.org or you can mail a donation to our address listed below.  Also, if you are interested in being a Corporate Sponsor of the Hike, please reach out to us at mpnpeoria@gmail.com.  

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I will never forget the blessings you have given all of us MPN patients and know that you are Making the Difference.

 

Sincerely,  

Michele A. Couri, MD
MPN Peoria, Founder/Director

P O Box 9576

Peoria, IL  61612-9576

 

Beet Soup (Smooth and Velvety)

Beet soup isn’t just delicious, it’s also jam packed with nutrients. Beet soup is a mix of beets, parsnip, ginger, onion and garlic. This blended version is creamy, savory, and rich in flavor. Perfect to serve on it’s own, next to a salad or hearty main.
PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 30 mins
TOTAL TIME: 40 mins
SERVINGS: 4 servings
CALORIES: 145kcal 
AUTHOR: Lisa Bryan

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large beets peeled and diced (or 4 beets, if smaller)
  • 1 medium parsnip peeled and diced (approx 1 cup)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or more for desired texture

Garnish

  • coconut cream or yogurt
  • parsley
  • black sesame seeds
  • cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • Heat the avocado oil in a large stock pot on medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Add the diced beets, diced parsnips and vegetable broth. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the beets are fork tender.
  • Use a ladle to transfer the soup to a high-powered blender. Blend for one minute or until creamy.
  • To serve, pour the soup into a bowl and garnish with coconut cream or yogurt, parsley, black sesame seeds and cracked black pepper.

Nutrition

Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 994mg | Potassium: 394mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 521IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

How Your Weight May Affect Your Risk of Breast Cancer By Dana Humes-Goff

We now have substantial evidence that overweight/obesity is strongly associated with breast cancer, and with poorer prognosis and increased mortality, especially in postmenopausal women. In fact, women over 50 who are obese have a 20% to 40% increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to normal-weight women.

A quick calculation based on U.S. Census Bureau data indicates that there are about 45 million women in the United States between the ages of 45 and 75 years, and it is estimated that 40% of them are obese. These findings are a strong motivator for two-thirds of American women to consider changing their lifestyles to reduce their risks.

It’s never too late to embrace a healthy lifestyle change. A recently published, large prospective study evaluated 180,000 women, 50 years of age and older, over the course of 18 years and found that even a modest weight loss was found to reduce breast cancer risk. An over-accumulation of fat cells raises breast cancer risk by increasing the body’s estrogen levels. Women who are overweight also tend to have higher levels of insulin, and higher insulin levels have also been linked to breast cancer.

A healthy diet and a consistent exercise routine can help reduce breast cancer risk by 20-80%. That’s huge! And, losing even a small amount of weight can make a difference in your risk—not to mention your overall health. Without a doubt, even losing a small amount can be a big challenge. That’s why the Couri Center has an integrated health care program to address this critical issue. Our providers and our registered dietitian offer a team approach to a healthy diet, nutrition, food sensitivities, and exercise; thus, combining conventional medicine with functional medicine to provide care specific to your individual needs.

To get started, call 309-692-6838 or email and let us assist you in reducing your risk.

Three Things I’ve Learned By Leslie Ann Gilstrap, LE

 

  1. After the age of 30, we lose 1% of our collagen each year
  2. 80% of fine lines are caused by the sun
  3. I’m 100% ready to do something about it

If this sounds like you, let’s talk the ThreeforMe and what it can do for you. Our most popular treatment targets fine lines, sun spots, and facial vessels/redness. As we age, unfortunately, all these things seem to become more noticeable on the skin. If tighter, brighter, smoother skin is your goal, see me.

All consults are complimentary 30-minute sessions where I will evaluate your skin, discuss your concerns, expectations, and whether or not you are a candidate. If the Three for Me is not the right treatment for you, I’m confident we have something to make you feel your best.

Here’s what my patients love about the ThreeforMe:

  • Minimal downtime.  Most patients are back to their regular routine 24-48 hours later
  • Improved appearance in texture and fine lines, with the replenishment of collagen and elastin
  • Diminishment in brown spots and discoloration
  • Reduction in facial vessels

Take a look at what a few of my patients have said about ThreeforMe:

“I chose the ThreeforMe treatment because I wanted to reduce or eliminate some of the dark spots on my face that have occurred with the normal aging process. After only 2 of the three treatments, the results have far exceeded my expectations! My skin is refreshed and brighter. I am loving my results and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get rid of dark age spots and/or sun damage. ”   -Donna, Patient 2019

“After the ThreeforMe treatment, my wrinkles have diminished considerably, and my brown spots are gone! My face glows and feels amazing. I am told that I look ten years younger–which is what any woman in her 50’s longs to hear! I highly recommend it.”     -Becky, Patient 2019

“I had the ThreeForMe laser treatment and am impressed with my results! The tiny facial vessels I had around my nasal area are gone! The brown spots from years of sun damage and aging have diminished, so I don’t have to wear much makeup to even out my skin tone-which is a huge perk. Overall, my skin feels plumper and brighter. I am pleased with my results and recommend it to my friends!”  -Cheryl, Patient 2019

To learn if ThreeforMe laser treatment is right for you, schedule your free consultation today.

A Team Approach to Weight Loss By Leslie Rusch-Bayer

Weight loss and obesity continue to be problems for women. Even though women have many concerns regarding health, we tend to rationalize negative symptoms as ‘normal’ due to lack of time, cost, concern, and knowledge. It is becoming more common to blame age or family history for new problems, instead of looking to see how lifestyle modifications may improve or correct health, symptoms, and labs. Diets, medications, and even surgery have been considered when trying to solve the obesity epidemic; however, these options are only helping temporarily. Even if weight is lost, most people struggle with regaining weight.

In 2013 the American Heart Association (AHA) created guidelines for weight management for overweight and obesity in adults. Standards of practice were created to help document which type of programs produced the best results. The GOLD standard is an on-site, long-term, comprehensive lifestyle program run by trained and certified professionals. These programs should be longer in duration, six to twelve months, and include laboratory testing, diet, physical activity, and behavior modification. The typical outcome for this type of program is a 5-10% weight loss.

Programs directed by primary care offices, gyms, and weight loss facilities–unlike those directed in conjunction with a registered dietitian–have shown in research to be ineffective, especially long term. Because these programs fail to provide proper education, personalized dietary recommendations, and lifestyle guidance, they leave their patients at a high risk of regaining weight. Over a four-year period, patients who completed a comprehensive lifestyle program maintained a 3.6% greater weight loss than patients who only made dietary changes. Web-based and accountability-style programs should only be used in conjunction with a comprehensive program if needed or necessary