January 2019: The Girlfriend’s Guide to an Integrative Lifestyle

Free January Event: The Girlfriend’s Guide to an Integrative Lifestyle

Girlfriend, are you ready for a change?

What IS an integrative lifestyle anyway?  Why is it so vital to weight loss and optimal health?

Join us for a casual, FREE Q & A interview with Dr. Couri & our team of providers!  Couri Center’s Registered Dietitian, Leslie Rusch-Bayer, and our Couri Center providers for an open discussion on how food sensitivities, hormones & our personalized lifestyle programs have helped women lose weight, reduce medications, & restore health!  We’ll give you all the tools you need to achieve your wellness goals! From in-depth labs to personalized nutrition & fitness, we’ll guide you to feeling great again!

Invite your girlfriends.  RSVP today!

 

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa is one of my favorite soups and anyone who’s tried it, has requested the recipe.  Besides being gluten free, it’s a vitamin-packed comfort food that is perfect for the cold winter months. Bonus:  it re-heats well, so make a double batch, you’ll be glad you did!

 

Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 1 1/2 lbs Chicken organic, boneless skinless breast
  • 1 1/2 lbs Butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup Flat-leaf parsley, fresh
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp Oregano, dried
  • 1 14 ounce can Tomatoes, petite
  • 1 Yellow onion, medium
  • 3 1/2 cups Chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted & quartered
  • 2/3 cup Quinoa
  • Black pepper, freshly ground to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil

Instructions

  • Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
  • Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  • Add chicken breasts, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15-30 minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
  • Return the saucepan to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil.
  • Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the salt, minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
  • To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  • Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
  • Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork.
  • Stir the chicken, olives and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in parsley and serve.

FREE Talk: Do Not Suffer in Silence By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

Free Program at the Pekin Public Library Presented by the Couri Center

Do Not Suffer In Silence.  What Your Symptoms May Be Saying.

Have you ever tried a new diet? Did you feel it worked for everyone but you? Many people struggle to find resolution for a myriad of symptoms, including weight gain, headaches, GI problems, joint pain, and eczema, to name a few.

Join us for an evening exploring the topic of food sensitivities with Leslie Rusch-Bayer, Registered Dietitian at the Couri Center for Gynecology and Integrative Women’s Health. Leslie will discuss how our diets can influence inflammation, weight gain, and/or chronic disease.

 

What’s All the BEEF About?  By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

What's all the beef about, beef article 2019 photo shutterstock_1199701960As a Registered Dietitian, I often have patients asking about different varieties of food. New foods hit the grocery store shelves every day, each one claiming to be “healthier” than the last. But are these foods so powerful that they will change health?  Ultimately, patients need to be given the proper information so they can make the best choice for their health. Let’s get started.

 

The process of producing beef has changed a lot since the 1970s. Thanks to technology and research, how cattle are raised, and when they are slaughtered have contributed to better, more efficient, beef products. Sometimes, these advances may also provide a better product that leads to improving your health.

 

But which beef product is best for your health? Marketing, advocacy groups, and even research create confusion when consumers are trying to pick the best product for themselves. Let me see if I can try and help you answer this question.

 

Let’s first discuss what is not affected by what a cow eats. If you are like me, you hate it when you are served a tough piece of steak. A juicy, tender piece of meat is usually preferred. Tenderness is not affected by what a cow consumes. The age of the cow at slaughter is what affects tenderness. Typically, the younger the cow, the more tender the meat.

 

Now, let’s move on and discuss the benefits of grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef has been shown to have higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid and antioxidants (CLA). Additionally, in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, McAfee et al. report that a diet that includes grass-fed animals may improve the intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Why are these important?  CLA has been shown to improve body composition, cholesterol, and possibly prevent cancer. Antioxidants slow the “aging”  process and omega-3 PUFA are known to decrease inflammation and the risk of heart disease. A more common and bountiful source of omega-3 PUFA is fresh-caught, cold-water salmon. If you do not eat fish, nor do you want to begin eating fish, grass-fed beef would provide you with additional omega-3 PUFA.

 

The disadvantages of grass-fed beef include cost, taste, and possibly a decrease in sustainability. Grass-fed beef does tend to be more expensive than grain-fed beef. This can be approached in two different directions. Because of the cost, you may choose to purchase the less expensive grain-fed beef, or you may choose to purchase grass-fed beef, but consume smaller portions or less frequently. Because grass-fed beef consumes grass, it has larger amounts of vitamin E, which tends to have a different taste than grain-fed beef. You must try grass-fed beef to decide if you like it. If you do not like the taste of the product, there is no resolution other than purchasing a different product.

 

The effects grass-fed beef has on sustainability is a very touchy and political question. There really is no right or wrong answer. Each person will have to decide what they believe. Some say grain-fed beef consume less water and feed throughout a shortened lifespan and produce more edible beef per cow, while others believe cattle should eat what mother nature intended them to eat: grass.  No one can answer that question but you.

 

Now to grain-fed beef. Cattle farmers and researchers report that grain-fed beef has higher amounts of good, heart-healthy fat called monounsaturated fat (MUFA). MUFA has shown to raise good cholesterol, improve the taste of beef, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Many research articles report that increasing CLA through grass-fed animals had no effect on cholesterol and other laboratory markers. This article concludes that spending the money on grass-fed products may not be providing any improvement in overall health. Grain-fed beef tends to be less expensive, and typically, people prefer the taste of grain-fed over grass-fed beef.

 

Before you decide on which type of beef your should consume, I encourage everyone to visit the World Research Cancer Fund website and read about the proper recommendations for how much red meat, no matter grass-fed or grain-fed, should be consumed. No matter the quality or type of red meat, the World Research Cancer Fund recommends no more than three servings per week. Processed meats should only be consumed on a rare occasion, if any.

 

Let’s ask some important questions to help guide you toward the right decision of which beef product is best for you:

  1. Do you currently have any diseases, risk of disease or laboratory markers that are outside normal limits?
  2. Do you dislike cold-water, fatty fish?
  3. Are you overweight?
  4. Do you already limit your intake of beef?
  5. Does your budget allow you to spend extra money on more expensive beef?
  6. Do you like the taste of grass-fed beef?

If you answered “yes” to at least three of these questions, you might find that choosing grass-fed beef may be a beneficial option for you. If you answered no to the majority of these questions, grain-fed or conventional beef may be the best choice for you.

Remember, there is no one choice that is right for everyone. Your choice of beef will not make any kind of substantial impact, good or bad, on your health, if consumed within the recommendations of the World Research Cancer Fund, however, the choice of beef you choose to consume may add to the benefit of the other healthy foods you consume that overall may lead to health improvement.

Before you can truly decide which type of beef to purchase, it may be of benefit to be updated on your current health. The Couri Center has created a one-of-a-kind lab panel that provides an overall, total-body look at one’s health. This lab panel is part of our TLC Integrative Consult. If you would like more information regarding our TLC program or would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your personalized nutritional options, please click here.

 

Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Infrared Sauna Sale 2 for $50

 

Shed calories, worries & stress!

Infrared Sauna Sale: 2 for $50

Benefits of Infrared Sauna Therapy:

  • Detoxification
  • Pain Relief
  • Relaxation
  • Weight Loss
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Improves Circulation
  • Skin Purification

Sale ends October 31, 2019.

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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

 

 

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