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Plant or Dairy Yogurt?

From eNewsletter 7/3/2023

DID YOU KNOW that a major medical journal has now recognized the importance of probiotics as an adjunct therapy for depression and anxiety?

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study from JAMA Psychiatry purports that daily probiotic intake in just 8 weeks resulted in greater improvements in depressive and anxiety symptoms compared with placebo in those with major depressive disorder.

Two important notes. The probiotic was multi-strain but low dosage (8 billion units). We have said for years that you don't need super-potent probiotics for efficacy. Additionally, the probiotics were an adjunct treatment, meaning they were used along with medication.

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Holiday Office Hours

Monday, July 3rd - Closed

Tuesday, July 4th - Closed

Wednesday, July 5th - Open 9AM-5PM

Steve Minsky MS, HWC

As a Health and Wellness Counselor, Steve analyzes and offer solutions to optimize human functioning not only with food, but every aspect of your lifestyle, whether for prevention or healing. More info on Steve's services.

Text Us If It Is Convenient at (847) 497-0902

Text is quickest way to get communicate with us. Type (847) 497-0902. Questions for Bonnie do not apply.

Pet Wellness

Our dietary supplement line for dogs and cats, ThorneVet, has an impeccable reputation among veterinarians. Carolyn Martinelli "Coach Care" can answer your questions about ThorneVet pet supplements at Please leave detailed contact information as well as the name, age, sex, breed, and/or health issue(s) and med(s) of your pet so Carolyn can respond accordingly. To order from our wellness shop, please visit here (for prices, enter the Guest Area password: discount2018).

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Giving the gift of wellness has never been easier. Order your gift cards here.

Upcoming Wellness Screenings

Food Intolerance Blood Draw

Options to set up a Biotrition food intolerance test blood draw. By appointment only:

  1. One Saturday per month at Biotrition in Glenview - next date July 15th

  2. Tu, Wed, TH 9AM-3PM at NICL Labs in Northbrook

Text, email, or call us to set up your appointment.

Thermography Screening Friday, July 14th

For those interested in an upper torso or whole body thermography scan, please book your session by emailing: (tell Eniko you would like to schedule your thermography scan at Schuster Chiropractic on Friday, January 20th. She will get back to you with times available, type of scan; openings are limited and first come first serve). To find out more about thermography, please read the following.

Infection Section


Year-round infection is the new normal. We are exposed to many endemic viruses including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), influenza (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), norovirus (stomach flu), adenovirus (common cold), monkeypox, and four other coronaviruses (common cold), among others. Support your immune system with our Free Prevent and Fight Viruses 2.0 Protocol here.

Have a happy, healthy day! Steve and Bonnie Minsky

In Today's Issue

  • Paid Member Content

  • WC Feature: Estrogen Detoxification Part 1

  • Recipe Du Jour: Voila Vinegar

  • Mythbuster: Why Lifelong Smokers Skirt Lung Cancer

  • Brand Buzz: Quince Vinegar

  • Intelligently Active: Exercise Boosts Dopamine

  • Mental Minute: Acts of Kindness

  • Wild Card: Plant or Dairy Yogurt?

  • eInspire: Richard Byrd

  • Action Plan of the Month: Nutrition and Lifestyle for Cancer Prevention

  • Free Member Content

  • Did You Know?

  • How's Your Human Functioning?

  • July 20% OFF Sale Items

  • Well Connect Member Benefits

*To get past the Guest Area paywall use password: discount2018

Well Connect Feature*

Estrogen Detoxification - Part 1

Steve: As breast cancer may affect as many as 1 in 8 women, it’s important to understand the role that estrogen detoxification plays.

Cancer occurs when cells begin to grow uncontrollably. Cells normally follow a controlled process by which they are created and destroyed. The immune system manages this process and helps identify any abnormal changes that may occur within the cell. Breast cancer appears when the immune system is not able to regulate abnormalities in the breast cells.

There are many different types of breast cancers. A breast cancer’s type is based upon which cells in the breast excessively proliferate and become cancerous. Some breast cancers have hormone receptors, such as estrogen receptor positive (ER+) and progesterone receptor positive (PR+) breast cancers, and some express a protein called HER2 (i.e., HER2+ cancers). There are also breast cancers that do not have hormone receptors or HER2 proteins (e.g., triple negative breast cancers). Some factors that increase risk for breast cancer include family history, older age, and environmental factors.

The way the body detoxifies estrogens affects the risk of breast cancer. After the body manufactures estrogens, such as estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3), they must be processed and metabolized through the liver. There are also estrogens obtained from outside of the body, called xenoestrogens, that must also be detoxified.

The process of detoxification and what can be done to optimize it will appear in next week's issue.

How's Your Human Functioning?

Steve: Human functioning is an assessment and framework for gauging one's true wellbeing. You will be hearing this term much more in the coming years.

Human functioning is about rethinking health beyond just disease and disability, considering multiple factors in the equation. Human functioning captures how health affects daily life and consequently wellbeing.

Beyond the existing “biological health” dimension, there is the “lived health” dimension to include things like socialization, workplace conditions, environmental toxicity exposure, among others. Adding these components provide a deeper understanding of the whole picture of a person’s life.

Would you be surprised that the World Health Organization (WHO) has even adopted the term human functioning for future wellbeing assessment?

Putting Human Functioning Into Practice

When I went back to school to get my masters degree, I wanted the ability to assess my clients wellness not just with food, but every aspect of lifestyle that encompasses wellbeing.

Wouldn't you know it that the WHO just mentioned the need for a new generation of health professionals that are dedicated to human functioning? And it just so happens that assessing human functioning is part of what I trained to do. The future is already here at Nutritional Concepts.


Place My Order Here* *Use password discount2018 at Guest Area to access pricing

Recipe du Jour*

Voila Vinegar

Bonnie: Adding just the right amount of vinegar to foods enhances flavor and tenderizes hard-to-digest meats and poultry. Vinegar should never be used as a drink, however. The apple cider vinegar craze is alarming. It causes erosion of the esophagus and leaches calcium out of bones. When vinegar is used in salad dressings and marinades, it should also be accompanied by some fat (such as olive oil with vinegar).

Due to food intolerance testing of thousands of our clients, many of them cannot handle any vinegar made from grapes (this includes wine/balsamic/sherry/black currant vinegars). If they suffer from a yeast imbalance, fermented vinegar is not recommended either. Nutritional Concepts has searched for great substitutes that accomplish what vinegar should accomplish. Following are some tasty choices:


Any recipe can use the same amount of these citrus juices as the amount of ingest. They are especially tasty if used in fish or poultry marinades, and in salad dressings. Following are two of my favorites:


-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

-2 T. fresh lemon or lime juice

-1 clove garlic, mashed

Mix all ingredients. Allow flavors to blend, unrefrigerated, for at least 2 hours for a dressing. Remove the mashed garlic with a mesh sieve. The garlic may be left in for 8-12 hours for a marinade.


-2 fresh Salmon filets (6-8 oz. each)

-1 T. olive oil

-1/4 cup tangerine juice

-1/2 cup red onion, thinly cut

-1/2 cup organic fresh celery, chopped

-Himalayan salt and white pepper to taste

In a Pyrex dish, pour all ingredients over the salmon filets (flesh side up). Place on the stove and raise the burner temperature to medium high until the liquid just begins to boil. Turn off the stove, but leave the salmon, covered with foil, on the same burner until the salmon is cooked to your desired temperature. To Cook through, I suggest about 15 minutes. SERVES: 2


For the same tasting substitute as wine vinegar, I recommend the non-fermented EDEN Brown Rice Vinegar brand. It can be used in exactly the same proportions as wine/balsamic vinegar. For a lighter vinegar that I use in many Asian dishes, the MARUKAN organic rice vinegar brand is mild tasting, not fermented, and great tasting. Following are two of my favorite rice vinegar recipes:


-1/4 cup grapeseed or cold pressed canola oil

-1 tsp. Sesame oil

-2 T. organic Marukan Rice Vinegar

-1 tsp. San-J Tamari (gluten-free lower in sodium soy sauce)

-2 T. Scallions/shallots, chopped

Mix all ingredients, and leave unrefrigerated for at least 2 hours to blend flavors. Before serving, drain shallot/onion in a mesh sieve or serve, if desired on an Asian Salad. YIELD: 3-4 servings


-8 oz. cooked cold chicken, cubed or shredded

-1 cup Napa Cabbage, shredded

-1 1/2 cups organic red/white/carrot mixture (Trader Joe’s)

-1/2 cup red pepper, sliced thin

-1/4 cup scallions, chopped

-1/2 cup canned mandarin oranges, drained

-1/2 cup chow mein noodles (any good quality commercial brand)

Mix all ingredients. Too with the Asian Salad Dressing listed above. SERVES: 2


I recommend using this only if it is already in food products if you have a yeast overgrowth or if you cannot tolerate lemon or rice vinegar. As previously mentioned, never drink this as a “cure-all)! Make sure you use only an organic raw unfiltered and “live with the mother” brand of apple cider vinegar. Following is one tip for using it wisely and another refreshing recipe.


When almost finished cooking 8 cups of chicken or beef soup/broth, to get the benefit of the collagen and calcium for your bones, add 1 T. of apple cider vinegar. If the broth/soup gels when refrigerated, you will be assured of having the bone broth benefit.


-4 bone-in, skin-on free range chicken thighs

-4 bone-in, skin-on free range chicken drumsticks

-dash of Himalayan or Kosher salt and white pepper for the chicken


-2 T. Spectrum grapeseed or canola oil

-1 T. Worcestershire

-2 T. apple cider vinegar

-1/2 cup Smucker’s Simply Fruit Peach Fruit Spread

-2 T. San-J gluten-free Hoison or Teriyaki Sauce

-1 T. garlic powder

-2 T. dried minced shallots or dried minced onions

Puree all in a blender. Place in a zip loc bag. Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper on chicken pieces. Place in a large ziploc bag. Pour the marinade into the bag. Make sure to coat all the chicken pieces well. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours. Drain the marinade. Place chicken pieces in a 9x13 Pyrex dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Bake at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Baste with the marinade halfway during the baking. Broil for about 2 minutes until the chicken skin is crisped and just beginning to blacken. SERVES: 4


I haven’t personally tried this yet, but Silver Swan Coconut Vinegar is worth trying for people who cannot tolerate citrus or rice/apple cider vinegar. It contains organic coconut vinegar, organic aloe Vera extract, and organic astragalus.


Quince is in the apple/pear food family. Podor Quince Vinegar is a brand that contains no GMO’s and is aged in oak barrels. I haven’t tried this one either, but I understand from people who have tried it that it has a good flavor.


I wouldn’t recommend trying this by itself in any recipe, but it is found in many food products and when mixed with other ingredients, and doesn’t taste objectionable.


Why Some Lifelong Smokers Skirt Lung Cancer

Steve: Smoking cigarettes is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. Without a doubt, the safest way to protect yourself against lung cancer is to avoid smoking cigarettes, and yet, it's also true that not all lifelong smokers are doomed to develop cancer.

In fact, the vast majority don't. Scientists have long wondered why, and a new study in Nature Genetics adds weight to the idea that genetics has a role to play.

Among people who smoke but never develop lung cancer, researchers found an inherent advantage. The cells that line their lungs appear to be less likely to mutate over time. The findings suggest that DNA repair genes are more active among some individuals, which can protect against cancers arising, even when cigarettes are regularly smoked.

This does not indemnify lifelong smokers from the dozens of other deleterious effects, but we do get questions from time to time about why some people can practice horrible lifestyle behaviors and skirt disease. This is one example.

Brand Buzz*

Intelligently Active*

Exercise Boosts Dopamine

Steve: Many of you know that the ideal way to boost dopamine, a brain chemical associated with pleasure, motivation and reward-seeking, is to exercise.

Exercise provides myriad benefits, but the dopamine boost it provides, especially in those with genetic polymorphisms, prevents other addictive behaviors like taking drugs, abusing alcohol, and limiting sugar cravings. Addictive behaviors are known to be associated in those with low dopamine stores, either from poor lifestyle choices or negatively expressed genetic polymorphisms.

You don't really need to know your genetic variation to incorporate exercise, but if you are interested, our Pure Genomics genetic screening screens for several dopamine genes.

Mental Minute*

Acts of Kindness

Steve: People suffering from symptoms of depression or anxiety may help heal themselves by doing good deeds for others, new research form The Journal of Positive Psychology shows.

Performing acts of kindness led to improvements not seen in two other therapeutic techniques used to treat depression or anxiety. Most importantly, the acts of kindness technique was the only intervention tested that helped people feel more connected to others. Social connection is one of the ingredients of life most strongly associated with wellbeing.

It also helped people take their minds off their own depression and anxiety symptoms. Moreover, one intuition many people have about people with depression is that they have enough to deal with so asking them to help others is too much of a burden. These results run counter to that. Doing nice things for people and focusing on the needs of others help people with depression and anxiety feel better about themselves.

Wild Card*

Plant or Dairy Yogurt?

According to a study from Frontiers in Nutrition, compared to dairy yogurts, plant-based yogurts contain significantly less total sugar, less sodium, and more fiber. However, plant-based yogurts contain significantly less protein, calcium, and potassium than dairy yogurts.

In the study, yogurts ranked from highest to lowest nutrient density were as follows: almond, oat, low and nonfat dairy, full-fat dairy, cashew, and coconut.

While almond yogurts scored significantly higher than all other yogurts, indicating the highest nutrient density, nutrient density is only one factor when considering what yogurt to consume.

For example, plant-based yogurts are inferior as a protein source. Most consume yogurt at breakfast, so you cannot count on plant-based yogurt as your protein source. It should be your carbohydrate source.

You also have to take into account allergy, intolerance, blood type, medical condition (i.e. acid reflux), among others.

In addition, you have to consider all forms of yogurts. There are dozens of plant-based yogurts. And here are yogurts just from cow's milk:

Skyr - Icelandic style is more like a strained cheese

Australian - unstrained and creamy

Greek - thick because whey is strained out

French - unstrained and creamy

American-Style - creamy

Indian - thin and slightly sweet

German - also called Quark Cheese is a creamy, fresh, soured cheese

There are sheep and goat yogurts as well.

It's always a good idea to check with your health professional with expertise to help you decide if and which yogurt is good for you.


"Few during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that are never used."

-Richard Byrd

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