TLC Integrative Lifestyle Programs

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.

Event: The Girlfriend’s Guide to an Integrative Lifestyle

RSVP for our Free Event:

Empower Yourself with Knowledge that Just May Change Your Life!

5:30 PM: Stop Counting & Romaine Calm:  Erasing Everything You Know About Healthy Eating                          

By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, Registered Dietitian, LDN, CPT

6:00 PM: Quality & Personalized Supplements: Keys to Success 

By Kevin Finnegan, MS, Senior Medical Consultant, Xymogen Nutraceuticals

6:30 PM:  What’s Hiding in Your DNA?  Knowing Your Risk May Save Your Life.  

By Dr. Michele Couri MD, FACOG, ABIHM.  Introducing PREVENT, our NEW integrative, cancer prevention programs.

7:00 PM Q & A / Conclusion

Space is limited.  Reserve your seat today!

Determined to Regain Her Health By Leslie Rusch-Bayer

Women are complex creatures, as many of our husbands already know. We are often headstrong, goal-oriented and stubborn. We are also mothers, professionals, calendar-organizers, and chauffeurs. Life throws many things at each of us, but for many women, physical signs and symptoms are pushed aside due to lack of time and importance. At the Couri Center, we pride ourselves listening to our patients. We believe that each patient is different from the next, and each should be treated as such.

Dr. Couri has created a group of outstanding professionals who truly understand women and women’s healthcare. Her ‘toolbox’ is full of options that have proven time and time again to be life-changing. TLC™: Total Lifestyle by Couri is a resource for women who feel unbalanced, unhealthy and are looking to improve their overall health and well-being. TLC™ aims to piece together all of the issues that are often forgotten in women’s healthcare: hormones, food sensitivities, extensive labs, dietary changes, exercise, and proper supplementation. This customized program has helped countless women regain their health, outlook, energy, and body.   Below is Susan’s 2018 journey through the TLC™ program: 

Explain what your life was like before the TLC™ program. 

Life before the TLC™ program wasn’t much of a life.  One day when my husband and I were talking, he remarked that he felt as though no one could ever understand how bad I honestly felt.  He thought I was literally dying until I met with Leslie and started the TLC program.

 I was nauseous every moment of every day.  I suffered from migraines, IBS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, inflammation and swelling, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.  I underwent many rounds of testing to check for intestinal issues, trouble swallowing and persistent coughing.  I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2009.  My exhaustion was over the top.  Housework was nearly impossible.  I would do ten minutes of work then rest about an hour before I could do 10 more minutes of work.  If I had to make a trip into Peoria from my hometown of Henry, it ended up a miserable day because I would do as many errands as possible to save on gas and drive time.  I carried extra clothes and knew where every bathroom was just in case I had stomach problems. My anxiety level was extreme.  Because I no longer had any strength, I could barely get groceries in the house.  I had to purchase lighter pots and pans and an electric can opener because I had no strength.  Sleep was non-existent.  When I did rest, it was poor, so I never felt rested.  I barely had any motivation or drive to do anything.  I no longer wanted to live a long life. Life was not enjoyable.

 I almost didn’t do the TLC™ program knowing I would have to make the trip to Peoria twice a week.  It took time to see improvement once I started, but as time went on I felt better, I was able to sleep and each week continued to improve!

 What methods did you try to fix your symptoms before TLC™?

 I have been to two sleep centers, met with several doctors and specialists, tried medications, worked on my diet and incorporated exercise.  I’ve done Weight Watchers, Curves, Nutri System, Seattle Sutton, and contemplated Jenny Craig.  I have met with dietitians, endocrinologists, gynecologists, gastroenterologists as well as having many tests and procedures. Nothing helped.  I gave up.

 What was appealing about the TLC™ program?

 I loved the idea that I was going to a comfortable environment full of friendly faces that felt less like a massive medical complex.  The purpose of finding something that would help me feel better and hopefully look better was extremely exciting. I felt as though the Couri Center really cares about all of their patients and genuinely wants to help everyone live a happier life.

 How did you feel after reviewing your pre- TLC™ labs? Did you learn anything new?

 I was absolutely SHOCKED! I learned that my so-called healthy, carb-conscious diet was causing inflammation, giving me GI problems, migraines, exacerbating my fibromyalgia, and affecting my sleep.  I couldn’t believe it when after a few weeks Leslie suggested that decreasing my chronic inflammation could positively impact my diabetes. I never imagined the potential of stopping my diabetes medications. I also loved being able to see different deficiencies in my labs. My supplement recommendations were tailored just to me, and I was given a full explanation of why each supplement was recommended.  I was left wondering why all those doctors and specialists hadn’t figured any of this out. 

 I did have moments of doubt.  It was at that moment when Leslie said: “you are not crazy and you are not fat” that I was able to switch my attitude to “let’s get this started!” I learned that everything I knew about nutrition was only basic recommendations for “most” people, and I did NOT fit into that mold.  I knew THAT day my life was going to change for the better.  I just had no idea how much better it was really going to get.

Did you struggle with the dietary changes recommended for you?  Do you feel satisfied with what you are eating?

 My struggle with dietary changes only came when shopping.  It did take me a little longer because I was reading each and every label to understand the ingredients.  I also found that I spent more time in the produce section than I ever had.  When it came to actually eating within my dietary changes, I had no struggles, especially when I started feeling better. I could not wait for the constant nausea to go away.  It took about 2 months before I noticed a difference in how I felt, but I immediately saw how I was not starving all the time.  I would eat a meal and be satiated until my next meal. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to stick to my food plan. 

 Tell us about the changes and challenges you experienced throughout the program.

 First, and foremost, I had been going to the gym only when my gym buddy was going.  I could not bring myself to go on my own.  I was ashamed of my body and was sure people would be judging me on my looks, how slow I walked and lack of athletic clothing. I felt horrible each time I got on the treadmill, and my workout buddy would walk faster than me. Even at a low speed, I could not talk while walking on the treadmill.  I felt trapped in the clothes I was wearing.  I always felt the need to hide in large clothing.  I did not want others to see what I saw in the mirror. 

 Finding motivation to get up and move was difficult in the beginning.  I was wearing my Fitbit that came complimentary with TLC™ and felt tethered to it.  The stress of wanting so badly to feel better finally, look better and improve my strength was hard at the start.

 What did your end of TLC™ labs reveal?

 My labs revealed that everything was improving!  It also saw two of my A1C (blood sugar) results were the lowest they have been in years!  My primary care doctor told me to stop taking my diabetes medications.  This left me feeling euphoric!

 How do you measure your success?  How have YOU changed since beginning the program?

 My outlook has changed immensely! I know I am successful because I have no problem sticking to MY way of eating.  I still enjoy lots of different foods, and I work out (by myself) 4-5 days a week.  I have been signing up and walking 5k’s and I workout with a local exercise group.  Not only is my success ‘measured’ in the 34 inches I’ve lost off my body, but by the changes in clothing sizes and the new found confidence I have. I no longer hide behind my clothes.  I am out there for the world to see.

 Was the program hard?

 The hardest part of the program was getting myself to sign up and show up to the consultation with Leslie. 

 Would you recommend this program to a girlfriend?

 I have been recommending this program to everyone that compliments me or asks me what I have done to lose so much weight!  I cannot say enough wonderful things about the Couri Center and the TLC™ program. I’m so very thankful I took that first step into a new life!

 How are TLC™ and the Couri Center different than other programs or offices?

It’s such a welcoming atmosphere. I love all the smiling faces greeting me.  As I continued my visits with Leslie, I found other employees checking up on me and giving me encouragement and compliments.  I never felt belittled, like a failure, or like they were too busy for me.  Not only does everyone care about helping me through the program, but they genuinely wanted to know how I was doing and feeling.  I love that Dr. Couri is top-notch at following my progress.  I always feel like I matter.

If you would like more information about TLC: Total Lifestyle by Couri programs, please schedule a complimentary consultation.

Leslie Rusch-Bayer

Curious How TLC can change you? Summer 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
  • hormone balancing
  • metabolic labs
  • nutrition
  • exercise

Curious how TLC can change YOU?   Schedule your free consultation today or call 692-6838.

Learn more on TLC

Intermittent Fasting – Part 2 By Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

In our last newsletter I introduced intermittent fasting. Fasting is no new concept, it has been practiced intentionally (religious orientation) and non-intentionally (times of hunger/sickness) for many generations. Recently more research has been completed and positive correlations have been found between many health benefits and intermittent fasting.

A few of the possible health benefits of regular intermittent fasting include: longevity, weight loss, increased muscle mass, increased insulin sensitivity, cognitive improvements as well as a decreased risk of disease.

Intermittent fasting is NOT for all. Everyone should proceed with caution when debating whether or not to begin intermittent fasting. Not all people, medications, diseases and lifestyles are created equal. The people who should not participate in intermittent fasting include:

Pregnant:Women who are pregnant require extra energy and nutrients than a non-pregnant woman. Extreme alterations to diet should notbe made during pregnancy without the recommendation of a physician andthe guidance of a registered dietitian.

History of an eating disorder:People who struggle to maintain a healthy relationship with food should avoid intermittent fasting. If you have struggled or continue to struggle with food anxiety or eating disorders seek help from a medical provider or registered dietitian to help find the best, scientifically-proven recommendations that best fit your personality, history and lifestyle.

Type 1 or 2 Diabetes:Diabetes is a disease that affects blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels fall too low or climb too high, serious side effects may occur. Usually, these individuals would not benefit from intermittent fasting. The risk of life-threatening side effects do not outweigh any kind of benefit.

Gut Issues:If you struggle with gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, constipation, IBS, Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, intermittent fasting likely will not improve your symptoms. Remember fasting decreases the length of time you are eating, it does not identify foods that may be causing inflammatory reactions.

Women tend to be less successful than men.I do not have to tell you that men and women are notthe same. One distinct difference is men have around ten times the hormone testosterone than women. Research agrees that men do tend to have a higher success rate at losing weight with intermittent fasting than women; possibly due to a higher basal metabolic rate.

Women also have multiple hormones, in higher quantity than men, that regulate our monthly cycles and hunger. These hormones are sensitive to energy (calorie) intake. For some women, a decrease in calories may affect their monthly cycle. In a study using lab rats, after 12 weeks of intermittent fasting, the female lab rats had lost 19% of their total body weight, lowered their glucose and noted a decrease in size of their ovaries. Levels of kisspeptin, estradiol, ghrelin and leptin had all been disrupted. It only took 10-15 days of intermittent fasting to throw the female reproductive cycle out of sync.

Because the female reproductive cycle is very sensitive, it is important for women who are interested in intermittent fasting to begin very slow. There are possibilities of extreme hunger, moodiness, trouble sleeping and hormone/cycle issues if fasting is begun too aggressively. Please, take it slow.

On a daily basis I meet with women who are beyond frustrated because they cannot lose weight. They have tried everything: counting calories, counting macros, vegan diets, low carb, keto…

If you are one of those women. Please take a deep breath and listen.

Fasting is no joke. If taken to the extreme, there is the possibility of negative side effects. No one individual is like another. We all have different medical history, medications and lifestyles. If you are thinking of beginning intermittent fasting to achieve personal goals, please work with a registered dietitian who understands you and the science behind intermittent fasting.

Leslie Rusch-Bayer, RD, LDN, CPT

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

Save 10% off Integrative Consult

The Integrative Consultation at the Couri Center  

Save 10% now thru June 30, 2018.

How good do you feel?  Is your weight where you want to be?  After you eat, do you often feel bloated or tired?  Imagine how you would you look and feel if you had a complete, personalized lifestyle & exercise plan.  A plan developed especially for you and your body.  A plan based on science and backed with proven results.  At the Couri Center, our integrative, private consultation includes:

  • food sensitivity testing
  • hormone balancing recommendations
  • metabolic labs & supplement review
  • integrative nutrition & lifestyle program with our registered dietitian
  • personalized exercise program with our certified personal trainer

Isn’t it time you invested in how you feel?

Schedule your consultation today: or 692-6838.

Save 10% now thru June 30, 2018.

Learn more








May & June Sales 2018

Seared Shitake Mushrooms and Spinach Salad By Chef Golda Ewalt


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



  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

The Integrative Consult: My Experience By Renee Alwan Percell PA-C, MMS

When I started working at the Couri Center I was still struggling to lose those final pounds I had gained from my last pregnancy. I also struggled with painful body aches and joint pain. I was considering going to a Rheumatologist to see if some kind of rheumatism or autoimmune issue was causing my pain.

During my training at the Couri Center, I learned the powerful role integrative health and food sensitivity testing play in our overall well-being. The Couri Center bundles many aspects of integrative health into a program called the TLC™ Integrative Consult. This program sparked my interest, especially since I was not feeling my best. I talked with Leslie, our Registered Dietitian, about my concerns. The first step of the Integrative Consultation involves uncovering the science behind what is going on within the body. This process includes and extensive panel of specialty blood tests, including hormone, inflammation, vitamin and food sensitivity testing, to name a few. To be honest, I wasn’t convinced the labs would provide much information because overall, I considered myself a healthy eater and person.

At my first appointment, we reviewed all my lab results. My food sensitivity testing was a complete shock! Food was my problem! I had suspected that dairy “did not agreed with me,” but other than that, I thought I was fine. It turns out that I have sensitivities to dairy, gluten, yeast and even almonds! Leslie spent one-on-one time with me to help me better understand my labs, what they meant and how I could improve them. She reviewed supplement recommendations that would help improve my labs as well as how to modify my current diet. With all of the personalized information, I felt ready to tackle my sensitivities.

Next, we discussed how a liver detox would help lay the foundation of my new lifestyle. After Leslie reviewed the simple instructions (I get to eat normal food the entire week!), I set a date to start. The first two days were tough, but doable. Once I was finished the seven days, I couldn’t believe how great I felt! I actually woke up in the morning without any aches or pain and I have more energy. I also noticed all my rings were loose on my fingers.

Based on our Registered Dietitian’s guidance, I slowly reintroduced the foods I removed. I quickly became aware of the foods I could have on occasion and the foods I needed to mostly avoid. As life would have it, I often get off track with my diet. Life as a working mother of three is busy and sometimes I just like to indulge in some cheese and bread! I find that I can follow my diet for several months and then inevitably a holiday or social party will throw off my plans. I don’t get down on myself when I fall off track. Instead, I use the guidance I received from my Integrative Consultation and use the Detox Program recommended by the Couri Center every 4 months (seasonally). I have even encouraged my husband to do the elimination diet with me. He agrees that he feels his best afterward. Now we do it together and like all things, it is much easier to be successful when you have a partner to help keep you on track. I easily lost my last few pounds of baby weight, and I have even had friends complete the program with amazing results!

If you are interested in learning more about your health and our TLC™ Integrative Consult, call 692-6838 and make an appointment with Leslie for a free consultation! With summer around the corner, get a jump start on your best YOU!

Be well,

Renee Alwan Percell PA-C