Olive Branch Wellness Center

Wellness tips, health news, nutrition insights, encouragement and more...

October 2017 Issue

Raynette Ilg, ND

Raynette Ilg, ND, Founder
Olive Branch Wellness Center

This Month's Vita-Mini:  Vitamin C

Here’s a vitamin everyone knows about. You probably have some around your home to take when you feel a cold or flu coming on. As humans, we are one of the few animals that can’t make our own vitamin C. Because the body neither makes nor stores vitamin C, we need to get it daily through our diet or supplements.

Lack of vitamin C, known as “scurvy,” causes a brown skin rash, fatigue, weakness, sore or bleeding gums, open sores, tooth loss, depression, and can eventually be fatal. Even low-level deficiency can cause fatigue and impair immune function. Laboratory studies have shown that high doses of vitamin C may slow the growth and spread of prostate, pancreatic, liver, colon, and other types of cancer cells.

You can meet your bare minimum requirements with a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, red pepper, strawberries, broccoli, and kiwi fruit. Supplements can vary in type and quality so talk with us about what you should look for.

Men Have Hormone Imbalances Too!

When you hear the words “hormonal disorder,” you almost always think of a woman. But men have hormones too, those internal chemical signals that keep everything running smoothly. Sometimes men’s hormones can get out of whack and cause problems that present unpleasant symptoms.

Did you know that males have their own version of menopause? Men’s hormones change with age just like women’s. Testosterone declines in men as they age. This can cause sexual problems, fatigue, weakness and depression.

Men often fall victim to an imbalance in their stress hormones as well. Stress management relies on a proper regulation of the hormones cortisol and epinephrine. Cortisol is the “fight or flight” hormone that puts your body in emergency mode. If your job or life is too stressful, you may be producing too much cortisol, which can hurt your metabolism, causing weight gain.

Also, the most common reason for weight gain in men is a hormone imbalance. Hormones are what trigger or suppress appetite. If you start getting that middle age paunch, it could be due to an imbalance of the hormones insulin and leptin. Leptin is what tells your body it’s full and to stop eating. But if you have too much insulin in your system from either poor eating habits or insulin resistance (triggered mainly by too many carbohydrates and lack of exercise), your leptin receptors won’t work properly. As a result, you never feel full. You’ll keep eating and raising your insulin higher, which shuts down your leptin receptors, creating a vicious circle of weight gain.

The good news is that most hormonal imbalances in men can be improved through diet, correct supplementation, exercise and lifestyle changes. Come in to the Center and we’ll evaluate your history, run some tests if needed, and get your hormones back in superman shape!


Jeana's Cucina

Butternut Squash Shepherd's Pie


  • 2 cups cooked butternut squash
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • 1-4 Tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup beef broth


  1. Melt ghee over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion and celery and sauté for a couple minutes. Then, add ground beef and brown it while breaking it up.
  2. Add carrots and broccoli and cook about five minutes. Next, add the thyme, oregano, sea salt, Worcestershire sauce, and peas. Cook for a couple more minutes.
  3. Pour in the broth and coconut flour, and mix well. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and let cook for about five minutes.
  4. While simmering, mash the cooked squash with 2 Tbsp butter and 1-4 Tbsp coconut milk. Add a pinch of sea salt.
  5. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with butter and add meat/veggie mixture. Spread mashed squash evenly over the top. Dot some butter on top of the squash.
  6. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.