NCI Well Connect: February 29, 2016
Double Sale Day | Free Preview Day
Dear Steve, 

DID YOU KNOW that according to a recent survey from The Hartman Group, "We have evolved from a weight­ management culture of purely crash dieting to a culture more open to permanent dietary alterations along a set of lifelong healthy guardrails. Medical diagnoses and poor bloodwork results are a growing trigger for urgent action among consumers, but rarely does a medical scare alone cause behavioral change unless consumers also have a strong social accountability mechanism for dietary alteration."

Glad the masses are coming around to our way of thinking.

We want to wish our own Elizabeth Prebish-Zinsmeister all the luck in the world as she and her husband will be welcoming their first child, Ainslie, in the next week or two. We cannot wait to meet her!

This will be the last free preview of our long-form eNewsletter for a while. Enjoy.

Have a happy, healthy day. Steve and Bonnie
NCI Well Connect Highlights
Steve Minsky
From Editor Steve Minsky
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Read stories like these twice weekly from our award-winning eNewsletter, access two titles per month from our Action Plan Library, and book free wellness coaching sessions, with an NCI Well Connect Membership at 40% Off.
Well Connect Feature
Brain Food Nourished by Conventional Medicine
Bonnie: The following are the most recent studies medical doctors are talking about in relation to the brain and diet.
  • One of the most exciting studies comes from BMC Medicine late last year. The PATH study followed people who are 60-65 years of age and measured their hippocampal volume. It turns out that those who ate more of a Western junk food diet had a smaller hippocampus at the end of 5 years than those who ate more traditional whole foods.
  • High glycemic index foods were correlated with an increased risk for depression, according to a study from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
  • A second study from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the administration of cocoa seemed to improve cognitive function in older Americans.
  • A whole-foods diet is associated with better mental health, better cognitive function, less depression, less anxiety, less bipolar disorder, and on and on. In 2015, one study was a modified Mediterranean diet for the treatment of major depressive disorder. This was a Mediterranean diet without restricting red meat, much like our PaleoMediterranean Diet Action Plan.
  • One study in The Journal of Nutrition looked at the effect of probiotic intervention for the treatment of depression. Symptoms of depression and metabolic problems, as well as C-reactive protein, all improved with probiotic administration.
Lose a Little. Gain A Lot.
Bonnie and Steve: Losing as little as 5% of your body weight is enough to reap significant health benefits, according to a study from last week'sCell Metabolism.

The study of obese men and women compared, for the first time, the health outcomes of 5%, 10%, and 15% body weight reduction. While additional body weight reduction further improved metabolic health, 5% was sufficient to reduce multiple risk factors for type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. 

Most treatment guidelines, including those recently proposed by several major medical and scientific societies, recommend moderate body weight reduction of 5% to 10% to achieve improvements in metabolic function and health. However, it is much easier to achieve a 5% than 10%.

Among the individuals who lost 5% of their body weight, beta cell function improved significantly, as did insulin sensitivity in fat tissue, liver, and skeletal muscle.

We Still Have a Lot of Work to Do
Comfort food dominated Instantly's shelf score ranking of new products, which has access to 350,000 primary grocery shoppers across the United States. The top 10 products ranked by purchase intent:
  1. PopChips cheddar & sour cream potato: 74%
  2. Annie's variety 12 snack packs: 65%
  3. Sara Lee caramel cakes: 64%
  4. Marzetti garlic parmesan veggie drizzle: 60%
  5. Hostess Merry Minty holiday cakes: 58%
  6. Chobani Flip, peppermint perfection: 58%
  7. Kroger mini quiche, applewood smoked bacon: 57%
  8. Skinnygirl vanilla bean sundae protein shake: 56%
  9. Armour sandwich creations, shredded chicken in taco sauce: 44%
  10. Sap on tap maple water: 37%

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for our supposedly changing eating desires!

Food Focus
Garlic's Many Talents
Bonnie: There was a special insert in the February issue of The Journal of Nutrition dedicated solely to garlic research. Here are two very interesting studies: 

Garlic supplements have the potential to lower blood pressure in hypertensive individuals, to regulate slightly elevated cholesterol concentrations, and to stimulate the immune system. Garlic supplements are highly tolerated and may be considered as a complementary treatment option for hypertension, slightly elevated cholesterol, and stimulation of immunity. 

Garlic contains numerous compounds that have the potential to influence immunity. Immune cells, especially innate immune cells, are responsible for the inflammation necessary to kill pathogens. Two innate lymphocytes, and natural killer cells, appear to be susceptible to diet modification. Aged Garlic Extract supplementation may enhance immune cell function and may be partly responsible for the reduced severity of colds and flud. The results also suggest that the immune system functions well with AGE supplementation, perhaps with less accompanying inflammation.

As wonderful as garlic is as a food source, I have had many clients react to garlic supplements. Please be aware of the potential for this and it would be a good idea to speak with a licensed heath professional first.
Steve's Studies
Steve Minsky
Overconsumption of Healthy Food
A new study published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, looked specifically at overconsumption of "healthy" foods which consumers often perceive as less filling.

The researchers successfully found evidence that when people eat what they consider to be healthy food, they eat more than the recommended serving size because they associate "healthy" with less filling.

The researchers demonstrate that portraying a food as healthy as opposed to unhealthy using a front-of-package nutritional scale impacts consumer judgment and behavior. When a food is portrayed as healthy, as opposed to unhealthy, consumers report lower hunger levels after consumption, order greater portion sizes of the food, and consume greater amounts of the food. Surprisingly, even consumers who say they disagree with the idea that healthy foods are less filling than unhealthy foods are subject to the same biases.

The researchers introduced a novel tactic for reversing consumers' habit of overeating foods portrayed as healthy: highlighting the nourishing aspects of healthy food mitigates the belief that it is less filling.
Gluten-Free Desserts Are Healthier?
Bonnie: Only for those who are true celiacs or gluten intolerants. Simply, because it prevents them from a horrible reaction.

For the rest of us, there is little difference between gluten and gluten-free desserts. In fact, some gluten substitutes may actually increase calorie content and contribute to weight gain.

Gluten-free or not, how about skipping or severely curtailing dessert and replace it with a nice piece of fruit or a square of dark chocolate?
Brand Buzz
Inexpensive Healthy Food
Bonnie: You can create numerous balanced meals by mixing and matching these!
  • Carrots - 13 cents per serving
  • Plain low-fat yogurt - 52 cents per serving
  • Frozen peas - 23 cent per serving
  • Canned salmon - 70 cents per serving
  • Whole frozen turkey breast - 33 cents per serving
  • Black beans - 43 cents per serving
  • Brown rice - 25 cents per serving
  • Canned tomatoes - 25 cents per serving
  • Russet potatoes - 50 cents per serving
Green Lifestyle
Newest Fuel From an Unlikely Source
Steve: Researchers in Norway have succeeded in getting bacteria to power a fuel cell. The "fuel" used is wastewater, and the products of the process are purified water droplets and electricity.

This is an environmentally-friendly process for the purification of water derived from industrial processes. It also generates small amounts of electricity, in practice enough to drive a small fan, a sensor or a light-emitting diode.

In the future, the researchers hope to scale up this energy generation to enable the same energy to be used to power the water purification process, which commonly consists of many stages, often involving mechanical and energy-demanding decontamination steps at its outset.
Recipe du Jour
Delicious, Satisfying Meal for Meatless Day

CRISP TOFU STEAK (serves four)

-3 Tbs. finely chopped green onions
-1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh ginger
-1 Tbs. finely minced parsley
-1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
-3 Tbs. grape seed oil
-dash of sea salt and white pepper
Mix all together in a food processor.  Do not refrigerate for several hours to blend flavors.

-1 large egg, well beaten
-1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (can be gluten free)
-14 oz. organic firm tofu (cut into four thick slices)
-1/3 cup grapeseed oil
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet (moderate to moderate high heat).  Dip tofu slices into the egg, then the breadcrumbs, coating both sides well.  Sauté the tofu until browned and crisped on both sides (about 8 minutes).  Serve immediately with dressing.


-8 oz. silken tofu (preferably enriched)
-1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
-1/4 cup grapeseed oil
-1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice (especially Meyer lemon)
-2 large or 3 medium garlic cloves
-1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
-dash of sea salt and white pepper
Purée all in a blender. Mod not refrigerate for several hours to blend flavors.

Veggies. (Total four cups)
-sweet potato, cut into medium chunks
-yellow/orange squash, cut into medium chunks
-sweet onions, cut into medium chunks
-rutabaga/parsnip/turnip/kohlrabi, cut into small chunks
-sea salt to taste
-1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Put cut up vegetables into a sealed bag with salt and oil.  Toss to coat vegetables evenly.  Roast uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven until all vegetables are tender.  Serve immediately with creamy tofu dressing.
Why Is This Graphic So Important?
Bonnie and Steve: If one or more of these boxes are yellow or red, then you have genetic deficiencies that may impair your ability to break down and move toxins from your body. You can prevent impairment with diet, lifestyle, and nutrient modification.

Microbes of New York
Far Infrared Sauna Therapy
It is always the right time to experience Far Infrared Sauna Therapy.


Aside from the fact that you are taking one hour out of your busy lives to relax, Far Infrared Therapy offers numerous therapeutic benefits, most importantly enhanced detoxification. Many clients use it to relieve painful joints, rev up metabolism, and remove buildup of heavy metals.


Sweat samples reveal traces of a number of toxins, including mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and some hormone-disrupting chemicals. Far Infrared draws from deep within the dermal tissue.


A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that increased frequency of sauna bathing reduced the risk of sudden cardiac death, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality.

Contact us to schedule a session.

Wild Card
Best Toys for Infant/Parent Communication
Bonnie: A JAMA Pediatrics study evaluated pairs of an English-speaking parent (either mother or father) and an infant age 10-16 months. During the study play times, the children and parents interacted for 15 minutes using three different "toy sets." Sessions involved electronic toys, a "traditional" toy set, and books. 

Electronic toys included a laptop, a talking farm, and a cell phone for infants. The traditional toys included a farm-themed wooden puzzle, shape sorter, and 10 multicolored rubber blocks. The book set included five books.

For three of the outcomes (child vocalizations, conversational turns, and parent responses) the differences favored books, followed by traditional toy sets, and then electronic toy sets. Hence, the type of toy influenced the language quantity and quality experienced during the play session. The results offer evidence that providers should consider recommending traditional toys or books, rather than electronic toys, as a source of parent-infant interaction.

This raises a real concern that using electronic toys as a substitute for parental interaction during play allows the parent to "disengage," with both social and cognitive potential detrimental effects. If the electronic toy encourages parent-child interaction during play, the results may not be detrimental, but may be as beneficial as the parent-child interaction that occurs with traditional toys or books.
"The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings."
-Okakura Kakuzo
Twinlab Quercetin + C
Not Available Until at Least August
While this should not come as a surprise given the issues Twinlab has had keeping items in stock over the last 18 months, we have been notified by Twinlab that Quercetin + C in both sizes will not be available until August at the earliest. In addition, Twinlab Allergy C has been discontinued and will no longer be available.

To prevent these frequent occurrences, we are looking into the possibility of making our own Quercetin + C product, much like what we did with Alka Support. This process however, will take at least two to three months.

In the interim, we have individualized alternatives:

Pure Encapsulations Ester-C & Flavanoids
-Contains quercetin and rutin, both wonderful antinflammatory flavanoids that also enhance the action of vitamin C. A bit less quercetin than what was in the Twinlab.
-One capsule for one capsule exchange
-If taking for allergies, you can add extra, separate Quercetin during the height of the season.
-If taking for severe inflammation, then you can add one or two more Quercetin capsules.
-Ester-C is well tolerated for mild to moderate corn intolerants.

Pure Encapsulations Quercetin AND Ecological Formulas Vitamin C-1000 (tapioca source)
One to two capsules Quercetin AND only one vitamin C is necessary.

Metagenics Sinuplex
-Mirrors the old Twinlab Allergy Fighters the most.
-Cannot take if pineapple sensitive.
Well Connect Coaching Sessions
23andMe, Pure Genomics Methylation Cycle Evaluation

One of the perks of being a NCI Well Connect Member is that you have two free 15 minute wellness coaching sessions.


The perk comes in handy when want us to analyze your genetic methylation cycle taken from 23andMe raw data.


To schedule your free appointment with Steve, email or phone 847-498-3422. An appointment with Bonnie is $45.

ActionPlanAction Plan of the Month:
Allergy and Intolerance
One of the perks of being a NCI Well Connect Member is that you can request two titles monthly from our our Action Plan Library (41 plans: total value $300). 

This comes in handy when you are gearing up for spring allergy season. If you eat foods that cross-react with spring outdoor allergens, late March is when you should start to transition away from them.

Our Conquering Allergy & Intolerance Action Plan is the most complete guide for an allergic and/or intolerant individual.

Action Plans are free by email request for NCI Well Connect Members or can be ordered separately. To activate your NCI Well Connect Membership today and get your free copy, click here.
eNewsBriefseNews Briefs
WCMembershipNCI Well Connect Membership
Last Day at 40% OFF!! 
NCI Logo
NCI Well Connect Membership is open to clients and non-clients of our practice!

One Year Membership Includes:
  1. Weekly eNewsletters (84 issues). We publish our long-form issue on Monday and a Mid-Week Brief on Wednesday. Our eNewsletter has been awarded Constant Contact All Star status seven years in a row to date.
  2. Self-Help Action Plans. Access to two titles per month from our self-help Action Plan Library. There are currently 41 Action Plan titles to date on all aspects of wellness, including the new Irritable Bowel Syndrome Action Plan. You can view the list here.
  3. Natural Foods Shopping List. Updated quarterly, our Natural Foods Shopping List includes only the most meticulously vetted, highest quality food and beverage products that we recommend to our clients. These include gluten-free, corn-free, and kosher pareve items.
  4. Free 15 Minute Wellness Coaching Sessions (visits with Bonnie are separate) on topics such as 23andMe genetic results, Immune System, Detox, Shedding Weight, Food Cravings and Food Addiction, and any other topic of your choosing.

The approximate cost for all of this? One dollar a week! Quite a bargain for this volume of expert wellness advice.

Click here and activate your membership today!

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Our Wellness Menu
We have a multitude of options for simple fine-tuning or the toughest cases.
  • Balanced Eating 101 (focus on eating style only)
  • Full Wellness Evaluation (with bloodwork)
  • NCI Well Connect Membership
  • Genetic Methylation Evaluation - NEW
  • Food/Med/Supplement Interaction Evaluation
  • Food Intolerance Screening and Menu Plan Implementation (separate fees)
  • Dietary Supplement Update
  • Wellness and Lifestyle Coaching Sessions
  • Far Infrared Sauna Treatment
  • Grocery Shopping Tours and Pantry Advice
  • Workplace Wellness Evaluations
  • Chiropractic and Acupuncture

Consulting prices range from $45 to $225. Contact us at 847-498-3422 or email for details.

NFSLNatural Food Shopping List
Are you completely overwhelmed with finding trustworthy foods that fit your individualized eating style? Don't fret.Natural Foods Shopping List does the work for you.

Natural Foods Shopping List consists of food items that meet our strict criteria for safety, clean ingredients, and of course, palatability.

Natural Foods Shopping List is revised frequently and is available online to NCI Well Connect Members. The latest update is from October 1, 2015. We just added an index for easier usability!
Snowbirds & Out-of-Towners
Whether you leave Chicago for the winter or live out of state, don't be a stranger. Stay connected!
  • If you need Bonnie's guidance, she is only a phone call away.
  • Read our eNewsletters to reinforce your wellness plan.
  • If you need to order supplements, we ship anywhere in the United States. We use green and recycled shipping materials. We ship probiotics that require refrigeration.
Serving your individual wellness needs. We appreciate your patronage and support.

Have a happy, healthy day,
Bonnie, Steve, and all of us at Nutritional Concepts
(847) 498 3422 - main 

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