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

Girlfriend's Guide to integrative health event 2019

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!

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

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

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.

SUMMER 2019 Sale $50 OFF TLC™ Integrative Wellness Programs

Take advantage of our summer sale: $50 OFF all TLC™ Integrative Wellness Programs!  Sale ends August 30, 2019.

What is Total Lifestyle By Couri, TLC™

Science-based, TLC™ incorporates in-depth labs, nutrition, and exercise. TLC™ is based on traditional and integrative medicine principles.

Tailored just for you, TLC™ incorporates food sensitivity, hormone, metabolic and expanded lab profiles. Whether you need a boost to lose weight & improve eating habits or a comprehensive wellness program, we can help guide you.

In 2012, Dr. Couri, MD graduated from a 2-year Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona under the direction of the all-inspiring Dr. Andrew Weil. Inspired to share the integrative principles gleaned from her Integrative Fellowship, with her patients, Total Lifestyle By Couri was born.  The TLC™ program combines the power of Integrative Medicine with the foundation of traditional Western Medicine for an unsurpassed experience that you will benefit from for years to come.

Is TLC™ a one-size-fits-all program?

No.  TLC™ is completely personalized!  Choose from a 60-minute integrative consultation, TLC™ Core, a 12-week program or TLC™ Plus, a robust 15-week program.  Each is customized just for you.  Schedule your complimentary consultation for details and to review pricing options.

How do I get pricing and learn more?

TLC Complimentary Consultation

Personalized Integrative Lifestyle Programs

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 programs include:

  • detoxification
  • food sensitivity testing
  • hormone balancing
  • metabolic labs
  • nutrition
  • exercise

Curious how TLC can change YOU?  

Schedule your complimentary consultation below or call 692-6838.

Explore the Connection. Food Sensitivity Testing at the Couri Center

Food Sensitivity Testing

Research indicates that upwards of 70% of the US population has food intolerances.  These sensitivities can cause chronic inflammation and may be displayed in a variety of symptoms.  Food sensitivities can also contribute to weight gain and difficulty losing weight, despite positive dietary changes and exercise.

Food sensitivity reactions can cause inflammation, bloating, and slow digestion.

Common Signs of Food Sensitivity:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Indigestion
  • Acid Reflux/GERD
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Joint Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Weight Gain or Inability to Lose Weight
  • Obesity
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Depression/Mood swings
  • Skin Disorders (Dermatitis or Eczema)
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Chronic Congestion

Schedule your consultation today: 309-692-6838

Explore the connection between what you eat & how you feel.  

By identifying which foods you are sensitive to you can alter your diet to avoid the foods that are causing symptoms. Testing is easy.  We perform an extensive range of tests from a single blood sample taken right here in the Couri Center lab.  This test can determine the degree, class, and extent of your food sensitivity.

Food Sensitivity Testing Includes:

Our panels are comprehensive and include either 96 or 184 of the most common offenders.  With each food panel test, you receive a private consultation and an educational session with our registered dietitian, trained in integrative health.  We don’t just hand you the results, we provide detailed feedback and answer all the questions you will have to guide you moving forward!

 30-Minute Consult with our Registered Dietitian includes:

  • Explanation of results
  • Personalized nutrition recommendations
  • Dietary alternatives/replacement education
  • Supplement recommendations
  • Guide to processed foods

Discover optimal health & reverse signs of inflammation and dysfunction in your body.

Schedule your consultation today: 309-692-6838