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Is Stevia a Bad Choice?

by Nancy Weyrauch Mehlert, MS

Recently we were introduced to two studies[i] about Stevia and its possible negative effect on gut bacteria, glucose intolerance, and diet- induced obesity. In a practice where we always try to educate and inform our patients of the most optimal choices and encourage you to continually work toward a cleaner, healthier, more whole food diet, studies like this can be frustrating.  We all want to shout, “What in the heck IS ok to eat?” and “now what do I use?”.  After all, stevia has been used for centuries around the world and was introduced in the natural health world in the 1980’s as the best alternative to sugar. We have always affirmed this belief.

TWIHW philosophy remains unchanged over the years: we have to choose our battles and pick our shots.  Each individual has to evaluate his or her diet and, if willing, continue improving it. Will any of us ever achieve perfection? Does a perfect diet really exist? Is perfect food even available? We know the answer to all of these is “no”.  In the big picture, we doubt daily stevia use is the single or contributing factor to anyone’s diabetes, obesity, gut issues, or inflammatory process. Perhaps, however, stevia continues to stimulate your desire for sweet things, creating ongoing cravings, and that may be well worth considering.

In 2020, the Cleveland Clinic made their best and worst recommendations for sweeteners[ii] and opened the article with the most important piece of information to consider: sweeteners of every kind stimulate appetite, encourage a sweet tooth, and disturb gut microbiota. These result in disturbed glucose levels. We, too, think some sweeteners are better than others. Processed sugar, corn and fructose syrups, along with artificially made chemical sweeteners, are still far more concerning than stevia or monk fruit. Yet most people who have removed all sweet flavors from their diet for 7-30 days attest to the sudden drop in cravings for them and usually weight loss, increased energy, and focus.

With nutrition and health, looking at the whole picture can be helpful. If you are struggling with a pre-diabetic or diabetic situation, or constantly battling sugar or carbohydrate cravings, or would like to see some improved overall energy and mental focus, consider trying something like the Whole30 diet where every kind of sweet food is removed including all sweeteners and added sugar with the exception of fresh fruit for 30 days.

If you would like to consult with us about your use of stevia or any food in the context of your entire diet and health status, we are available to help you. We will continue to sell a minimally processed, organic stevia in our office.

[i] https://academic.oup.com/femsec/article/96/6/fiaa079/5827635, Downloaded on September 11, 2021, and


[ii] https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-best-and-worst-sweeteners-your-dietitians-picks/


By |2021-10-12T17:01:23-05:00October 13th, 2021|General|

What is Prolotherapy?

by Mila McManus, MD

Prolotherapy is a non-surgical treatment used to stimulate growth factors in the human body and thus promote the body’s natural healing process. It is also known as regenerative injection therapy or proliferation therapy. Growth factors are complex proteins that help repair body tissues.  Prolotherapy is also thought to encourage collagen repair which is a protein essential to connective tissue that holds our skeletal structure together.

Conditions that may benefit from prolotherapy treatment include:

  • Damaged tendons, muscles, or ligaments
  • Arthritis of the knees, hips, or fingers
  • Chronically painful musculoskeletal conditions
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Certain types of headaches
  • Lax or unstable joints

Prolotherapy involves injecting typically a sugar or salt solution into or around a joint or other parts of the body to stimulate the body to repair itself.  Usually a dextrose, glucose, or saline is used.  Injections are repeated at 3 to 4 weeks intervals for a total of 3 to 6 sessions. If suboptimal improvement is the result, treatment with PRP (platelet-rich plasma) or Wharton’s jelly may be recommended.  Wharton’s Jelly is derived from umbilical cord and contains stem cells, fibroblasts, and other types of cells and structural material.  Several studies have shown that a series of injections have resulted in improvements in pain, function, and stiffness, often resulting in the avoidance of more invasive and complex surgical procedures.

Prolotherapy is available at TWIHW. Ask one of our medical providers if prolotherapy is right for you, or call (281) 298-6742 and speak to a wellness consultant today.




By |2021-10-05T16:48:59-05:00October 7th, 2021|General|

Monk Fruit – The Superfood No-Calorie Sweetener

by Nancy Weyrauch Mehlert, MS

Monk Fruit, our favorite healthy sweetener, has some surprising benefits that qualify calling it a superfood!  It is an ancient Chinese fruit that has not been genetically modified.  Studies * show promising benefits including:

  • Fights Free Radicals as a high antioxidant food
  • Lowers Risk of Obesity and Diabetes
  • Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory and Coolant
  • Helps Treat and Prevent Cancer

Consider using Monk Fruit as your sweetener of choice!  No bitter aftertaste with excellent sweetening power. We recommend a pure liquid such as offered by Lakanto, NOW, or Smart138. If you prefer a powder or crystal, make sure it is mixed with erythritol rather than maltodextrin or dextrose.

*for references and more details, follow this link: https://draxe.com/nutrition/monk-fruit/

By |2021-09-29T15:37:53-05:00September 30th, 2021|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Palmini and Meat Sauce

(You won’t miss spaghetti or the carbs anymore)

by Nancy Weyrauch Mehlert, MS

Palmini and meat sauce is an awesome recipe that satisfies your cravings for spaghetti and meat sauce. 


4 T grass-fed butter or ghee

6 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms

1- 8 ounce package of Palmini Angel Hair

½ lb of 100% grass-fed beef, 85/15

1/3 cup sliced green olives

12-14 ounces jarred organic marinara

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano sheep cheese


  • In a large skillet, melt the butter on medium high heat.
  • Slice the mushrooms thinly into the pan and cook until soft.
  • Add the ground meat to the pan and cook until brown and reduce heat to medium.
  • Open the Palmini package and drain water off of the “noodles”.
  • Add them to the mushroom and ground beef mix.
  • Add green olives, marinara, and cheese.
  • Stir to mix ingredients and heat for 3-5 more minutes until cheese is melted, and the mixture is bubbly and hot. Then serve.

Ideas: Choose the meat, and additions as desired. Veal, lamb, pork, chicken, or bison would work nicely as meat options, as would shrimp. Spinach, black olives, capers, and zucchini slices would be nice vegetable options.  This could easily be placed in a buttered casserole dish with the cheese on top and reheated in the oven at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

Available at Walmart, Kroger, Whole Foods, Amazon, and directly from www.eatpalmini.com.

By |2021-09-21T16:30:17-05:00September 22nd, 2021|General, Recipes|

What is T-Detect COVID Testing?

What are T cells?

T cells are key players in the adaptive immune system. When the body is invaded by a foreign substance like a virus or bacteria, the immune system rallies one of its earliest lines of defense, helper T cells, to join the fight.

Helper T cells may call on their allies to kickstart antibody production to support the fight against the disease. Helper T cells also alert other types of T cells to the presence of foreign invaders to be targeted and destroyed.

After the body has fought off an infection or disease, a small number of T cells remain in the blood. They are called memory T cells and their job is to remember how to ward off these invaders if they ever return.

What is T-Detect COVID?

T-Detect COVID is the first T cell test for COVID-19 available in the U.S. (not available in U.S. Territories) to those over age 18. It measures T cells instead of antibodies to detect recent or past SARS-CoV-2 infection (the virus that causes COVID-19).

How does T-Detect COVID work?

T cells are the first responders of the adaptive immune system and activate the antibody response. While antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) naturally wane and are detectable in the shorter term, T cell responders can persist in the blood long after antibody responses wane.

T-Detect COVID can detect T cells in a blood and recognize the SARS-CoV-2 virus for up to 10 months after symptoms appear (90% sensitivity).

What does T-Detect COVID measure?

T-Detect COVID can detect an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, to assess recent or past infection. It is not intended for the diagnosis of active/current SARS-CoV-2 infection. 

The T-Detect® Assay – Blood test

The T-Detect COVID Assay is intended for use as an aid in identifying individuals with an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating recent or prior infection. The T-Detect COVID Assay uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) to assess the rearranged T-cell receptor beta (TCRβ) gene sequences to present in genomic DNA isolated from human peripheral blood. This test is not intended for diagnosis of active SARS-CoV-2 infection.

T-Detect is available by prescription only. T-Detect results should always be used in combination with clinical examination, patient medical history, and other findings.

Call our office (281-298-6742) for more information and/or to schedule blood draw.  The test costs $259

Reference: https://www.t-detect.com/

By |2021-09-08T14:13:21-05:00September 9th, 2021|General|

NEW Weight Loss Program: Semaglutide

Have other weight loss protocols failed? 

Did you find HCG to be too strict? 

Was KETO too difficult to follow? 

This protocol has been FDA approved for weight loss!  Semaglutide slows gastric emptying which helps stabilize blood sugar but also reduces cravings and hunger.  This is a once weekly injection. 

Call today for more information about how this exciting weight loss program can work for you.  

By |2021-08-10T17:26:12-05:00August 29th, 2021|General|

Experience Matters When It Comes to Your Health!

The medical providers at The Woodlands Institute for Health and Wellness offer a collective 61 years of medical training and experience in a wide variety of areas including:


Functional Medicine

Family Medicine

Internal Medicine

Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy

ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat)


Alternative and Complementary Cancer Therapies

Chronic Infections

Energy Therapies

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Nutrition and Weight Loss Programs


Meet our Team:



By |2021-08-25T17:11:48-05:00August 26th, 2021|General|

Perfect Pasta Replacement!

by Nancy Weyrauch Mehlert, MS

If you are on the lookout for a good angel hair, lasagna, or linguini pasta replacement, we’ve found just the thing.  Gluten-free options can be frustrating because they are very high carbohydrate. Bean and lentil options are not much better and can be mushy and fall apart. Here’s a new option in the market place that is delightfully surprising, very low carbohydrate, and very flexible with all kinds of Italian sauces, cheeses, and flavors.

Welcome to PALMINI !  It is made from hearts of palm. Give it a try.

Available at Walmart, Kroger, Whole Foods, Amazon, and directly from www.eatpalmini.com.

By |2021-08-17T17:18:15-05:00August 18th, 2021|General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

(2 Servings per potato)

1 Medium Sweet Potato 

1 Tablespoon Arrowroot 

1 Tablespoon butter or coconut oil, melted

Seasoning suggestions: Pepper, Lemon Pepper, Smoked Paprika, Rosemary, Onion or Garlic powder

Sea Salt


  • Wash the sweet potatoes.
  • Using a sharp knife slice them into even, similarly sized matchstick fries, not more than ¼ inch in thickness. Peel adds nutrition but you may also peel them if you prefer.
  • Place them in a bowl of very cold water for 30 minutes or more, overnight is ideal.
  • Drain and dry off the potatoes.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter or coconut oil and toss the fries in the oil to coat well.
  • In another bowl put 1 Tablespoon of arrowroot per whole potato. Don’t salt yet, however you can add to the arrowroot seasonings such as pepper, smoked paprika, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder etc.. Lightly Should be closer to a dusting than a breading so err on the light side.
  • Then spread evenly on the parchment paper into one even layer.
  • Bake until crispy 13-15 minutes on one side, then flip the fries, and put them back in the oven until brown and crisp, another 7-12 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, salt generously, and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.  
By |2021-07-29T06:59:31-05:00July 29th, 2021|General, Recipes|
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