The Girlfriend’s Guide to DETOX!

Do you feel winter has taken a toll on your mood, energy, and waistline? Do symptoms like joint pain, fatigue, bloating and weight gain plague your daily thoughts? Food choices and intake play a more significant role in how people feel than credit is given.

The food and nutrition industries are challenging to navigate, even for someone with extensive education. It seems research and recommendations are constantly changing. Foods and food products are marketed to everyone, no matter the age, social status or education level, even when we are unaware.  Deciphering proper food choices can be frustrating, and fad diets often don’t work.   Consequently, our bodies are taking on the burden of these wrong choices.

Detoxification is how the body eliminates “toxins,” or substances that should not be left in the body. The organs that make up the gastrointestinal tract (GI) oversee the elimination of these substances. However, please understand, times of stress, sickness, intolerance and indulgence, food choices, medications, and other substances we are around and ingest, increase the burden on the GI system. When the liver, gallbladder and other digestive organs struggle to keep up with this burden, toxins are stored in fat cells, the nervous system and brain (hence all of the symptoms).

Detoxification is a trending topic. Many people associate it with fasting, colonics, cleansing or an intestinal purge. On the contrary, a scientific and research-based detoxification system revolves around giving the human GI tract a break. While the Standard American Diet (SAD) often consists of foods that are highly processed, cause inflammatory reactions due to sensitivities and intolerances, are grown with pesticides and herbicides, contain chemically-derived food products or are empty of nutrients, a detox, is easy to follow and allows the body to fall back into balance.

Why should I detox?

If you struggle with any of the following, you will benefit from a detox:

  • Extreme sugar cravings
  • Gastrointestinal disruptions: IBS, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, bloating
  • Chronic sinus issues or thickness in the throat
  • Overall non-healthy feeling
  • Acne and patches of dermatitis
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Joint pain
  • Extended time of high stress
  • Struggle losing weight
  • Trouble sleeping or sleep disturbances

How will this affect my daily routine?

Detoxifying is easier than most people expect. With the help of a few supplements (included in your detox kit) that are used to support regularity, create a healthy gut ecology and promote detoxification from the proper organs, the majority of changes are made to the diet. With the exception of some foods, an ultra-clean, whole food diet is followed for six days. Hydration, gentle exercise and rest are encouraged throughout the week. When the body is given the proper nutrients, rest and movement, symptoms improve quickly. I often discuss with patients the power, good or bad food, has on our body. As it is the only thing we can control which goes into our body, simple changes to our food choices can have a massive impact on our symptoms and how we feel!  No matter if you struggle with constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas or you are completely regular, negative digestive side effects are NOT expected when using this detox.

The Couri Center, along with many of its employees, are hosting the Girlfriends Guide to Detoxing May 16-May 23. We will use Facebook to help guide you through the detoxification process. Daily detoxification information, recipes, and testimonials from your favorite Couri Center employees will be shared. We will be detoxifying with YOU!

Investing in your health

If you are ready to wipe away winter, feel good again and implement the healthy lifestyle you have been struggling to start, this is the time!

The Couri Center will host a detoxification event beginning May 16. The detox kit includes the use of plant-based shakes, and an ultra-clean, whole food-based diet. A detailed instructional guide that provides clear supplementation and dietary recommendations, as well as the science behind detoxification, is included in each detoxification kit.

How do I get started?

  1. Purchase the detox kit.  This detox process is easy and outside of food choices, it will not interrupt your daily activities. Bonus! Detox kits are discounted ten dollars during the month of May.  If you would like to join us on this detoxification journey, kits are available for purchase at the Couri Center anytime during office hours (8-4:30) for $120.
  2. Like & Follow us on Facebook.  We are completing this together, as a community. To help you prep for the detox, Facebook posts will begin on May 13 . Make sure you have “liked” and ‘followed’ the Couri Center on Facebook!

Since everything is more fun with friends, be sure to invite your girlfriends to join you!  Start the summer of 2019 feeling and looking your best.

Got Questions?

Individual questions regarding detoxification can be directed to Leslie when calling the office at 692-6838.

 

Leslie Rusch-Bayer

Intermittent Fasting Explained By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

 

Intermittent fasting (IM) is becoming more and more trendy, publicized and researched. This diet “pattern” boasts results like weight loss, longevity, clearer thinking and increased insulin sensitivity. I am going to spend my next two newsletter articles further explaining what intermittent fasting is, how it works and who might benefit from trying this type of lifestyle.

 

Fasting is nothing new. Fasting is documented and practiced by many different religious groups. Hippocrates even wrote, “To eat when you are sick, is to feed your illness”, and “instead of using medicine, better fast today.” If you dive deeper into the history of intermittent fasting, it is thought that during the times of hunters and gatherers, plentiful meals were not offered three to six times daily. In order to survive, food was used sparingly and when available. I can imagine there were many days when food was not found or available. Can we credit the weight gain and increased disease rate among humans over the last one hundred years to when we eat instead of what we eat? Interesting.

 

There are three varieties of intermittent fasting:

The 16/8 Method involves eating during an eight-hour window within a twenty four hour cycle. For instance, breakfast is skipped and eating takes place between the hours of 11am and 7 pm.

 

The Eat-Stop-Eat method involves fasting for twenty-four hours straight, one to two times weekly.

 

The 5:2 Method includes almost fasting for two non-consecutive days each week. During “fasting” days only 500-600 calories are consumed.

 

Keep in mind when not fasting, there are no restrictions to what can be consumed. Recommendations are to “eat sensibly.” All publications note that non-fasting days cannot be used to freely overeat. If non-fasting days are used to eat large quantities of high calorie, low nutrient foods, weight loss and metabolic benefits are lost. Some common sense has to be used when choosing what to eat, as well as the quality of food consumed. Indulging on a limited basis is just fine.

 

The science behind intermittent fasting is strongly related to stress and how the body adapts to stress. A journal article from the Canadian Medical Association Journal states recent intermittent fasting research is showing promising results in the “improvement of biomarkers of disease, reduction of oxidative stress and preservation of learning and memory functions.” Some studies are saying intermittent fasting may help decrease the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, prevent cancer, and even possibly prolong life.

 

One theory as to why these improvements are found revolves around stress. When the body is fasting, it is under mild stress and over time the body adapts and becomes accustomed to this stress. Because the body has become “stronger” due to this long term stress, it has a better ability to fight off the much more significant stress associated with disease. The article explains that the stress of intermittent fasting can be thought of as exercise. It is stressful to exercise, but when the body is given proper rest and recovery, it has the ability to adapt, heal and continue to progress. As with exercise, intermittent fasting should be slowly integrated into a lifestyle.

 

Weight loss and the maintenance of a low BMI are also associated with a decreased risk of cancer. Many different women struggle with weight loss. Because consumption is restricted, calorie intake would naturally be reduced. In a normal, healthy adult, this theory may be true: if calorie consumption in reduced, weight loss will occur. (If you are struggling with weight loss, please schedule a nutritional consultation to discuss your symptoms.)

 

Intermittent fasting, calorie restriction or “undernutrition without malnutrition”, has been one of the only ways research has found mice with cancer to prolong survival. As noted in the Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases 2010 journal article, if mice are given the option to eat unlimited amounts of food on non-fasting days, or overcompensate, benefits regarding survival and tumor growth were lost. Decreased energy intake is needed to achieve the full benefits of intermittent fasting.

 

Fasting challenges the brain. As the brain continues to be stressed, over time it builds up “strength” and is able to adapt to the stressors of disease. Mark Mattson, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine believes that IM helps neural connections and reduces the build of amyloid plaques, which are proteins found in abundance in people with Alzheimer’s. When thinking of the natural progression of humans, we know that there were times of hunger. Food was not constantly available. It was necessary for the brain to function at its best, even during times of fast.

Intermittent fasting has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity because it allows glycogen stores to be depleted. Once all the glycogen has been used that is stored in the liver, the body starts producing ketone bodies, which are then used by neurons in the brain. Low insulin levels are also associated with longer life spans. It should also be recognized that exercise has the same positive effects on the brain and insulin levels as intermittent fasting.

 

Intermittent fasting is very complex and not recommended for everyone. Next month we will discuss who is a candidate for intermittent fasting as well as how intermittent fasting can be used incorrectly.

 

If you have questions regarding intermittent fasting or would like to learn how to integrate intermittent fasting into your current lifestyle, please call and schedule a nutritional consultation.

Leslie Rusch-Bayer

Seared Shitake Mushrooms and Spinach Salad By Chef Golda Ewalt

Ingredients:

For the dressing

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

 

For the salad

2 cups (6 ounces) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (discard the stems or use for stock)

2-teaspoon olive oil

Salt to taste

1 6- or 7-ounce package baby spinach, rinsed and dried (arugula works great too)

2 celery stalks, sliced very thin

2 tablespoons broken walnut pieces, lightly toasted

¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the vinegar and lemon juice with the garlic, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard. Whisk in the olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Combine the spinach, nuts, celery and cheese in a salad bowl.
  3. Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil and when very hot, add the mushrooms. Shake the pan once, then let the mushrooms cook without moving them around until they begin to sweat and soften (watch closely). After about a minute or two, when they have begun to sear and release moisture, you can move them around in the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
  4. Add the mushrooms to the spinach mixture and toss with the dressing. Serve at once.

 

Makes 4 salads

Rotational Diets are Crucial.  Here’s Why. By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

For over eight years the Couri Center has offered food sensitivity testing. Many patients struggle with a variety of symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain after eating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches/migraines, skin irritations, acid reflux and even chronic sinus issues. Food sensitivity testing helps to identify single or multiple foods that contribute to these symptoms. The results are helping patients better manage, reduce and even eliminate these symptoms. At the Couri Center, food sensitivity testing includes a consultation with a registered dietitian. This consultation is customized and allows time to better explain your results and provide you with education on how to alter and plan your diet.

 

During most food sensitivity consults, after reviewing the results, I wait for the patient to interrupt me and say “BUT I EAT THAT EVERYDAY!” I know. It happens nearly every time. The second most common statement; “but how can something that is supposed to be healthy be bad for me?” Eating too much of a single food has been shown to increase risk of food sensitivity. Patients who have already had food sensitivity testing may remember me saying “if you learn anything, your health will benefit most from eating with the calendar and following a rotational diet.”

 

Modern conveniences, like cross country and international shipping, provide grocery stores with fruits and vegetables year-round, that are traditionally seasonal foods. Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are classic summer foods, however they are not grown in the freezing winter temperatures of the Midwest. When foods are shipped cross country or imported from other countries, they are picked early, and show lower nutrient profiles and less phytonutrients than produce picked when ripe. Another downfall of having produce consistently available year-round; single food items are consumed repeatedly and the nutrient profiles of less “advertised or popular” foods, traditionally grown during that season, are eliminated.

 

Daily, I discuss the downfalls of publicized diets, weight loss plans and advertised health claims. Every so often a different trend or plan gives numerical values to food. Classifications like Top 10 lists, calories and the glycemic index give food numbers that represent a single dimension of health value. When values are interpreted without proper professional guidance and patient history, foods are often restricted or increased dependent on their numerical value. Protein shakes made with blueberries and kale, Greek yogurt or scrambled eggs are generally classified as ‘healthy’ foods and often consumed daily. These foods are also found to commonly cause problematic symptoms in patients.

 

Being a creature of habit may be beneficial in many areas of life, however, it should not be part of a diet. Following a rotational or seasonal diet encourages consumption of a full spectrum of nutrients and vitamins. Remember that winter foods, such as vitamin C rich citrus foods, keep our immune system strong during cold and flu season. Spring and summer produce is full of antioxidants and beta-carotene which protects against sun and contain sweetness which helps maintain energy during long, hot summer days. Nature tends to keep us healthy, if we choose to listen.

 

Here are a few ideas to help increase the rotation in your diet:

  1. Grocery shop weekly. Each week when planning your meals, try to purchase different foods than the week prior.
  2. Research which foods are in season. In-season produce tends to be less expensive than out-of-season foods. Summer produce that is currently in season include greens, beets, broccoli, berries, garlic, peppers, peas, potatoes and watermelon. Shopping our local farmer’s markets is an easy way to purchase seasonal food as well as support local farmers.
  3. Look for color within the produce. Strawberries that are white are providing limited nutrients and flavor.
  4. Think before you buy. Do not avoid OR over-buy produce due to preconceived ideas of their health benefits. Remember too much of any good thing is usually a bad thing.

 

If you are struggling with understanding how to eat for your individual body, I encourage you to look no further. The Couri Center does not recommend any one diet, nor do we make generalized recommendations without proper data.  We take the time to learn about and listen to our patients, put together a group of labs that provide detailed information and challenge ourselves by stepping outside the box for solutions to our patients’ concerns.

Please contact the Couri Center for more information on food sensitivity testing, nutritional analysis and our one-of-a-kind lifestyle and wellness program TLC: Total Lifestyle by Couri.

 

Leslie Rusch-Bayer

 

Integrative Consultation at the Couri Center


Integrative Consultation at the Couri Center:  n
ow 10% OFF thru June 30, 2018.

Let’s face it.  The more you know about your health, the better equipped you are to achieve your wellness goals.  Dr. Michele Couri’s personalized, integrative wellness consultation includes:

Enjoy a private 60 min. consultation, food sensitivity testing, review of labs & supplements, & an integrative nutrition, lifestyle & exercise plan!  Learn more: email or call 692-6838.  Ends 6-30-18.

Learn more & Schedule today:  info@couricenter.com or 692-6838.

 

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