December 2016

Olive Branch Wellness Center
Wellness Newsletter

Immune System Tune-Up

Why is this time of winter cold and flu season? It's not the cold weather's fault. The real reason people catch a cold or flu this time of year is because they've worn down their immune system with weeks of overindulging in sugar and alcohol (another form of sugar!). The assault on our defenses starts with Halloween candy in October and ends with the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day in February.
Did you know that sugar impairs your white blood cell function, preventing them from doing their job of scavenging harmful bacteria? Or that after eating sugar, your immune system effectiveness can be cut by 50% for up to five hours!
When winter sets in we also see much less daylight in the upper northern hemisphere. We're tempted to just curl up under a blanket and stay indoors.  Less sunshine can deplete our stores of vitamin D, which can devastate our immune system.
That's why now is the time to give yourself an Immune System Tune-Up to strengthen your resistance to viral infections like the cold and flu.










Ray Ilg, ND

Raynette Ilg, N.D., is the owner of Olive Branch Wellness Center in South Elgin, IL. A Naturopath who earned a Bachelors of Science in Biological Medicine and then a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from National University of Health Sciences, she employs Nutritional Guidance, Herbal Medicine, Hydrotherapy, and Homeopathy in her clinic. Dr. Ray can be contacted via her website,
Olive Branch Wellness Center

First, cut sugar out of your diet completely (yes, this includes honey, maple syrup and evaporated cane juice) and substitute healthy sweeteners like xylitol or stevia.  
Next, if you've never had your vitamin D levels checked, this is a great time to come in for this simple blood test. Vitamin D deficiency not only weakens the immune system, it's the hidden cause of a long list of health problems. Many patients report that raising their vitamin D to recommended levels was the single most important step they took in improving their health. If your tests show your vitamin D is low, we'll get you on the right dose of a high quality D3 supplement, rule out other health factors that may affect how your body is using vitamin D, then we'll test again in a few months to see if you're on track.

Finally, take a good quality whole food vitamin and krill oil supplement daily. Krill oil is packed with bioavailable Omega 3, antioxidants, vitamins A, E and D, which work together to both soothe and support the immune system while decreasing inflammation. And don't forget your probiotic supplement to reinforce the natural immune defenses in your gut.  
Of course, conventional wisdom still stands: wash your hands, get moderate exercise, plenty of sleep and good old vitamin C.
If you're concerned about your immune defenses, or seem to get every cold and flu floating around, make an appointment at Olive Branch Wellness Center so that we can personalize your immune boosting tune-up. Great health starts with strengthening your own body's natural protection!

Olive Branch Wellness Center 630-370-7290

The Monthly "Vita - Mini"


Folic Acid

Vitamin B9, better known as folic acid or folate, is important in brain function and in balancing emotional and mental health. It also plays a role in regulating red blood cells and healthy homocysteine levels.
B9 is critical for making new cells, which is one reason why a lack of folic acid during pregnancy can cause neural tube birth defects. This deficiency is also suspect in newborn heart defects and cases of cleft palate. This, plus evidence that folic acid can reduce the chance of preeclampsia or premature birth, is why pregnant women are now urged to take a folic acid supplement daily, starting one month before getting pregnant.

Folic acid deficiency in adults is actually quite common. Symptoms of deficiency can include loss of appetite, shortness of breath, diarrhea, gingivitis, tongue inflammation, irritability and forgetfulness.
If you take birth control, diabetes or cholesterol lowering medications, you may need a supplement, as these can reduce folic acid levels in the blood. People with alcoholism, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, kidney or liver disease can also develop a folic acid deficiency.
Good food sources of B9 include green leafy vegetables (think "foliage = folic acid"), asparagus, broccoli, okra, beans, avocado, citrus fruits, seeds and nuts.

Jeana's Cucina






Sweet Holiday Treat!

Reindeer Bombs (15 Bombs)


    2.5 cups almond flour

    1/2 cup coconut sugar

    1 tsp cinnamon

    1/4 tsp nutmeg

    1/2 tsp ginger

    1 tsp baking soda

    1/2 tsp Salt

    1 egg

    1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

    1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract + extra for cream cheese

    cream cheese not softened

    3 TBSP coconut sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon, mixed together, to roll cookies in



    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, coconut oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients until combined. Mix some vanilla extract into cream cheese, depending on how much cream cheese you use( ratio to taste).

    Scoop out a couple tablespoons of the dough, roll into a ball, then flatten enough to put a small amount of cream cheese in  the middle.

    Roll the dough around the cream cheese, and then roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10-11 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before eating!


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