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Bone Broth

Repair the Gut and Heal.

As we pull away from the holiday season into the new year, it is a good time to rest the digestive system. There is no greater healer for the gut than authentic, properly prepared bone broth.  Consider something as simple as a one or two day fast from food and use bone broth and water as your only nutrition. One recipe should make enough broth for about 3-4 days.

Stock and Bone Broth

Ingredients:

Large stockpot or Crockpot

Filtered water to fill

Ground pepper or Peppercorns

1 Tablespoon of natural, unrefined salt

Bones and joints, giblets, skin and meat, from:

  • Whole organic chicken with skin
  • Turkey carcass with a little meat on it, neck, wings and bones.

1 Tablespoon of salt

Onion, celery, carrot, garlic for more broth flavor, if desired

Instructions:

  1. 1. Place meat and bones, or whole chicken, in the pot and add filtered water to cover bones and meat. Add the salt, peppercorns and if desired, onion, garlic, carrots and celery for added flavor.
  2. 2. Heat on high until boiling and then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3-4 hours. This yields what is called “meat stock” which is very soothing and rich in amino acids.  If cooking a whole raw chicken, this is the time to remove the majority of the meat from the bones if you plan on proceeding to make bone broth.
  3. 3. For the ultimate in healing nutrition, prepare bone broth by removing the meat from the pot, return bones, joints, and fat to the pot, add 1-2 Tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice and top the pot once more with filtered water. Cook on low for another 12-24 hours. Bone broth will be gelatinous when cooled and very rich in minerals and other nutrients.  The vinegar/lemon juice pulls the minerals from the bones.
  4. 4. Using a slotted spoon, remove bones and large debris, then strain in a fine wire strainer or cheesecloth (recommended). Store in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or freeze.  Fat will rise to the top and solidify.  Save some for cooking and leave some in the stock for good nutrition and flavor.

Notes & Suggestions: Both meat stock and bone broth are very healing and very healthy.  Both can be used plain, or add vegetables and meat for a variety of delicious soups.  Microwaving will destroy the nutritional value of your stock or bone broth!  Re-heat on the stovetop or in the Crockpot.

If you enjoy creamy soup, steam or simmer a head of cauliflower, 3-5  sliced carrots, and 3-4 diced leeks, until soft.  Then cool and puree in a blender and add to the bone broth. Mushrooms are another great option.  Saute in butter with onion and then blend in with the soup using a food processor for cream of mushroom soup.

By |2019-12-24T10:22:05-06:00December 20th, 2019|Articles, Recipes|

Regarding The Game Changers Documentary

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

Recently, there has been an uptick of interest in the 2018 documentary film called The Game Changers, available on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and Netflix. The documentary is about the benefits of a plant-based diet for athletes.  It is a flashy, male-oriented film with all the bells and whistles Hollywood has to offer, thanks to the producers, an A-list of professional athletes including James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic, and Chris Paul.  The documentary talks about multiple success stories of athletes who consumed a vegan diet for athletic prowess while referencing scientific studies. The film also raises other arguments for plant-based diets such as humane animal treatment and environmental concerns. The documentary is very well done and very persuasive!

We encourage you to not fall prey to the shiny persuasiveness of this documentary and jump headfirst into a vegan diet. One way to keep a balanced perspective is to listen carefully to a response to the film by Joe Rogan and Chris Kresser here.

We are not suggesting that a vegan diet is not a good choice for some people, some of the time. However, it is very important to make clear that a vegan diet can be grossly lacking in some critical and required nutrients the human body must have to function.  Also, done incorrectly, and without proper education, a vegan diet can be extremely high in carbohydrates and genetically modified foods, leading to chronically destabilized blood sugar, inflammation, weight gain, and disease. It is the most difficult diet to follow because it requires monitoring and education to avoid serious medical issues.  So if you decide to give veganism a try, be sure to get a solid education about it, and consult with a functional health practitioner to monitor your health. Supplementation and routine testing will be essential.  Remember, too, we are each biologically and physiologically unique. You should seek to find a nutritional plan that optimizes your own health status.

By |2019-12-24T10:13:44-06:00December 20th, 2019|Articles, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

“I feel better than I have in years!”

Thanks to Dr. McManus, I feel better than I have in years! My sleep and mood is greatly improved; I no longer suffer with seasonal allergy symptoms; my libido is greatly improved; and, I have more energy to do the things I love. I would highly recommend Dr. McManus and her Staff at The Woodlands Institute for Health & Wellness to anyone looking for a more natural, holistic approach to better health!

Leslie E.

By |2019-12-18T22:00:16-06:00December 18th, 2019|General, Testimonials|

Could it be Lyme?

By Mila McManus MD

Are you dealing with health issues and seeing specialist after specialist with no answers? Or unable to tolerate medications that have been prescribed to address your health issues? Are you an enigma to your doctors? Do you suffer with physical as well as mental health issues?

Several years ago I began researching Lyme disease, as well as the other microbes that travel with the Lyme bacteria, called co-infections. Lyme disease is known to be transmitted by a tick bite, but there’s also some controversy surrounding whether it can be transmitted by mites, fleas, mosquitos, etc. Also controversial, it’s been alleged that Lyme-causing bacteria (Borrelia) can be transmitted sexually and from mother to child in the womb.

It’s so frustrating how controversial the existence of chronic Lyme disease is between the conventional medical establishment and functional medicine specialists. In conventional medicine, it’s rarely even thought of as something to test for that may be the underlying cause of symptoms and diseases such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, mental health disorders, and neuropathies. In addition, testing for Lyme is so unreliable that most people have negative test results and are assured that they don’t have Lyme, and are subjected to taking numerous prescription medications to band-aid their myriad symptoms.

Reasons why testing is unreliable include:
1. Typical labs such as Quest and LabCorp test for only one strain of Borrelia (the bacteria that causes Lyme), namely Borrelia burgdorferi. The problem is that there are 300 strains of Borrelia worldwide!
2. Lyme can evade and suppress the immune system. The conventional tests for Lyme are looking for immune system reactions to the bacteria, so if Lyme has evaded and suppressed the immune system, it may not have mounted a response and, therefore, would show up negative on the test.
3. FYI, co-infection tests have the same issues. There are often numerous strains of microbes and the labs are only testing for one or a few.

Why the controversy?
1. As stated above, conventional testing is often negative, so the diseases are ignored as the test results are taken at face value.
2. Insurance companies are surely playing a role! Insurance companies want to avoid paying out anything they don’t have to, and if people are getting the diagnosis of Lyme, conventional doctors will want to prescribe IV antibiotics for possibly months at a time. That would be very costly for insurance companies. Why do you think insurance companies won’t pay for anything we functional specialists do? Sigh.
3. In depth training on this subject is not taught in medical school, at least not when I was there. There’s no consensus on how to treat it because the only guidelines revolve around acute Lyme diagnosis. Acute Lyme is diagnosed when a person with a known tick bite gets the typical bullseye rash and goes to the doctor, and then gets prescribed antibiotics for a few weeks. Well, what about the patients who don’t recall a tick bite and never got the rash? This happens more than people realize. The size of the tick that transmits Lyme, by the way, is the size of a pin head and could easily be missed. So, these people with no known tick bite and no rash aren’t rushing to the doctor for antibiotics. Perhaps the immune system has been able to handle it for years and years, and then, e.g., 20 years later, due to diet and toxins and stressors, etc, it gets the upper hand and begins to manifest as symptoms and disease. Is that NOT plausible? Does it seem to you more plausible to just be told you have a disease without any reason and are just medicated for it? If you are told you have a neuropathy, don’t you want to know why? Sure, it could be a vitamin or other nutrient deficiency, or related to an injury, or a consequence of diabetes. But you shouldn’t assume otherwise that it just may be genetic. I’m a detective and I will always continue to dig deeper until I find answers for my patients.

As I mentioned above, there’s NO consensus on how to treat suspected chronic Lyme (aka “post-Lyme syndrome”, according to the conventional medical establishment). Some doctors use multiple antibiotics for months at a time. Others try using only herbals, homeopathic remedies, supplements, and nutrition to treat the symptoms (and suspected microbes involved). Others are very aggressive with all the above, as well as with other modalities such as IV vitamin C, ozone, hyperbaric oxygen, energy medicine, colloidal silvers, and peptide therapy.

From all the research I’ve done over the years, I’ve determined that, while there is no consensus on how to treat, there IS a consensus on what must be addressed in order to recover:
1. Critter control—destroy bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses that have overrun the body.
2. Break up the biofilm. Biofilm is a protective layer of substances under which the microbial community hides and communicates with one another. Some biofilm disruptors include proteolytic enzymes (proteases), stevia, DMSO, curcumin, oregano oil, garlic, N-acetyl cysteine, and apple cider vinegar.
3. Address toxic burden, including heavy metals, mycotoxins, and environmental pollutants.
4. Address unresolved or ongoing emotional trauma, such as being abused as a child, or being stuck in a bad marriage. 5. Mitigate exposure to dangerous EMFs and dirty electricity in your environment, known as electropollution. For example, turn wi-fi off in your house at bedtime.  Put your phone in airplane mode when not using it. I read an article that mentioned that molds increase mycotoxin production 600-fold when exposed to EMF.  If you are sensitive to EMFs, it may be because you have mold in your system.

Of course there are other aspects that are foundational to achieving and maintaining good health, such as addressing gut health, nutrition, and hormone imbalance.  When you do this, as well as address the above 5 things, that could certainly go a long way with improving whatever ails a person, whether there’s a firm diagnosis or not!  Stop suffering and get well HERE!

By |2020-01-25T02:26:59-06:00December 18th, 2019|Articles, General|

“It’s like a switch turned on…”

It's like a switch turned on…

“Different things helped different symptoms but by far the most helpful for my extreme fatigue was the addition of iodine and selenium. It’s like it turned a switch on to help my thyroid. The NAC helped tremendously with getting rid of my excess phlegm. It is almost gone! The addition of the liposomal glutathione was a great addition for detoxing. Sleep is SOOOO much better. I feel like I am finally moving forward!!! It has taken awhile and continues to be a journey. I am blessed to have a team that is willing to be open and try different things!”

Thanks and God Bless,

L.P.

By |2019-12-18T22:09:29-06:00November 25th, 2019|General, Testimonials|

One Easy Step – Eliminate Aluminum Foil

By Nancy Mehlert, MS

We often talk about taking baby steps in a longer journey to good health.  One easy and important step is to reduce or eliminate the use of aluminum foil in cooking. Aluminum foil is used by many to wrap breads for heating, cook foods in the oven or on the grill and to cover dishes while baking.  Researchers found that any food in contact with aluminum foil while cooking leaches surprising large amounts of aluminum directly into the food.  Acid foods such as tomato and lemons result in even greater leaching.

Aluminum serves no biological function in the body and is neurotoxic to human health.  Many health experts link aluminum use to Alzheimer’s, brain inflammation, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and impairment of iron metabolism. Early symptoms of aluminum exposure include depression, headaches, abnormal heartbeat, dry skin, gastrointestinal complaints, and frequent infections.  Aluminum toxicity includes more severe symptoms of paralytic muscular conditions, memory loss, and confusion. 

Routine usage over time results in aluminum accumulating in the brain, lungs, kidney, liver, and thyroid. As it accumulates, it causes oxidative stress, tissue damage, and inflammation. Chronically, this can lead to disease. 

Reduce exposure by eliminating aluminum foil and aluminum cans from your kitchen. Cook in glass, stainless steel or ceramic cookware and storage containers.

Look for aluminum in body products such as deodorant and antacids and switch to aluminum free options.

Filter your water to ensure removal of aluminum and fluoride.

Natural detoxifiers for aluminum include cilantro, cruciferous vegetables, onion, and garlic.

High dose Vitamins C, N-acetyl-cysteine, and turmeric are also excellent at detoxifying and alleviating the adverse effects of aluminum.

Sources:

https://www.naturalhealth365.com/aluminum-foil-brain-health-2882.html

By |2019-12-04T12:38:22-06:00November 21st, 2019|Articles, General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Don’t Be SAD

What to do with the Winter Blues

As winter approaches and darkness falls earlier, about 2 of every 10 people begin to crave more carbohydrates, want more sleep, have less energy, struggle with concentration, and generally prefer to withdraw socially more than usual.   If you have felt this way before during the winter months and notice that when Spring arrives, you always feel more normal, you may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.  This type of depression is marked by its temporary appearance during winter months.

There are effective, safe, and relatively simple ways to combat your SADness.  Most of these approaches can help everyone stay happier and healthier through the darker winter months.

  • Vitamin D levels are mission critical. Get checked to ensure optimal levels ranging from 60-80 ng/ml.  Vitamin D deficiency is very common but we need optimal levels for a strong immune function and optimism.  Getting out into the sunshine during the brightest, warmest part of winter days is one way to absorb light that allows your body to make Vitamin D.  Supplementation with Vitamin D3 is another alternative.  One more way is to use a Light Box for therapy. Be sure to purchase or find a light therapy that filters the UV exposure but offers 15-30 minutes a day for best results.
  • Keep exercising!  Yes, when it seems the hardest thing to do, try to keep doing it.  Regular exercise is well proven to boost endorphins, lift depression and this is important with SAD. Just 30 minutes of walking a day can make a big difference.
  • Diet matters. Important here is keeping sugar and alcohol to a minimum while consuming plenty of fresh vegetables and quality omega 3’s like those found in wild salmon, sardines and grass fed meats.
  • Optimize sleep.  Keep the same sleep schedule as much as possible every day, going to bed and getting up at the same time.  Strive to achieve 7-8 hours of sleep at a minimum.
  • Consult with a medical practitioner. There are a number of safe and effective supplements that can improve Vitamin D levels, reduce depression, and  improve sleep. Your functional medicine physician will be aware of how to balance neurochemicals and improve overall health in ways that can reduce or eliminate SAD. Melatonin, dopamine and serotonin levels can all be addressed to improve mental health. 
  • Never take depression lightly. If you or someone you know feels like harming him/herself, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

References:

Top Tips to Cope With Seasonal Affective Disorder by Dr. Mercola, February 14, 2019, Mercola

7 Seasonal Affective Disorder Natural Treatments That Work by Kissairis Munos, February 20, 2018, Dr. Axe Food & Medicine

By |2019-12-04T12:26:06-06:00November 21st, 2019|Articles, General|

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves 4

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 acorn squash

1 pound ground beef, pork, turkey, bison or chicken*

1 cup chopped onion, celery & bell pepper **

½ cup chopped spinach or kale**

1 tablespoon grass fed butter

⅓ cup pine nuts

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons dried orange rind (spice aisle)***

1 cup plus 4 tablespoons, organic BBQ sauce

Sea salt and pepper to taste

*choose antibiotic free, grass fed or pasture raised

**organic would be ideal and frozen works very well

***McCormick makes a Valencia Orange Rind available in most grocers, or the pictured one is organic and can be found on line.

Instructions:

  1. Wash the acorn squash and cut it in half.  Using a spoon, hollow out the center by removing the seeds and scrape clean.
  2. Put a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 350°.  Rub the flat surface of the acorn squash with a little melted or soft butter and place face down on the parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes until tender. Test by piercing with a fork. The fork should go in easily.
  4. While the acorn squash is baking, get out a large skillet for the stove top.  On medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan.
  5. Place the frozen onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic powder in the pan and sauté, until soft and tender.
  6. Add the meat, orange rind and pine nuts, turning and stirring until meat is done.
  7. Add the BBQ sauce, sea salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat.
  8. Remove the squash from the oven, turn them over with the cavity of the squash facing up.  Place 1 Tablespoon of BBQ Sauce in each cavity and fill the cavity with the meat mixture. Divide meat evenly into each of the four squash.  Return to the oven for about 10-15 minutes, then serve.  
By |2019-11-21T11:11:40-06:00November 21st, 2019|General, Recipes|

“When you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything!”

When you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything!

After having babies I packed on the pounds. Working full time with a very demanding career and having 2 small children I felt like my entire life was out of control. Photos from a recent trip to Florida for my cousins wedding were a real wake-up call for me.  The person in those pictures was not me, nor was that the body I wanted to be in for the rest of my life.  I weighed over 200 pounds with a horrible rash on my face, dry unhealthy looking skin and uncomfortable back pain. I did not look healthy nor did I feel healthy.  The last thing I wanted was for my children to grow up with a mother who resembles the fat lady who sits on the couch all day eating nutty bars and potato chips. Since we are talking about food, I will admit that I knew which foods to avoid (fast food, sodas, processed foods, etc.), but there was still that underlying feeling that I didn’t really KNOW how to eat healthy. My lifestyle was not very flattering to say the least. The world can be a cruel place, and unfortunately I often intercepted derogatory vibes from people – a sense of not being valued or truly respected, almost to the point of people being annoyed when I was in their presence – that is my past.

I needed a physical. My biggest hurdle was finding a Doctor who would meet my needs. I’ve always been a firm believer that the human body is an amazing machine that has the ability to heal itself. I needed a doctor who shared my philosophy of healthful living, not the type of who pushes prescriptions and tells their patients to come back if those drugs don’t work. I went online in search of a Doctor in the Spring/Woodlands area who was somewhere in between the pill pushing physician and the holistic witch doctor. I found TWIHW! It took me a couple of weeks to convince myself this was the right thing to do, which didn’t take much convincing.

I was very excited that I would finally get some blood work done and have my situation diagnosed and be on the road to improving my overall health. Looking back I can say that the end result well exceeded any expectations I had. When I initially made my appointment with Kim Beale she asked if I would be interested in doing the HCG protocol for weight loss. I immediately said no with the mindset that I didn’t want a “quick fix.” I needed a lifestyle change! After much thought and research about HCG, I thought, “hey why not? I’m probably putting worse things in my body the way that I’m eating.” I decided to go for it with the idea that it would at least give me a good kick start.

I remember my first appointment like it was yesterday. Everyone was friendly and helpful and I felt somewhat overwhelmed with all the changes I had to make. How would I remember all this information? I took a deep breath and told myself it would be ok. I was provided all kinds of resources and an open invitation from the staff to call anytime I had questions or needed help.

Dr. McManus recommended good quality supplements and I continue to take those. The HCG protocol was a piece of cake. I don’t see a need to do the protocol again as my change in lifestyle has enabled me to maintain a healthy weight. I feel great! After completing HCG, I did the yeast cleanse for 28 days, that to was easy. I was amazed at how my skin cleared up, my energy levels are up and I continued to drop weight.  My favorite part of the yeast cleanse was the consultation with Nancy Mehlert. She was AWESOME! I learned so much from Nancy and I think this was actually the missing link in my life, proper nutrition and eating. Thank you Nancy!

One thing that stands out, during my meeting with Dr. McManus, I was asked if I was addicted to food. At the time I said no, but now I wonder. I really have learned what foods are my friend and what foods I need to avoid. I’ve connected the dots I now realize the connection (for me) of how certain foods played a role in my life and may have been consumed to satisfy feelings.

Finally, a real boost for anyone’s self-esteem, all the compliments I get from people. I hear things like, “You look phenomenal! You look like you did in High School, you look like a whole different person, I didn’t even recognize you. You look healthy! Wow, what have you done? How much weight have you lost? I didn’t realize how big you were.”  I find that most people are intrigued by this transformation, including myself – did I really look that bad? I am amazed at how differently people treat you when you look and feel good. I’ve noticed a spark in them, their eyes light up and they take time to interact. People want to know what I eat. Most of the delicious healthy foods that Nancy introduced me to, my friends and family have never heard of. I’ve even had people tell me that I’ve been an inspiration for them.  The best way to describe my transformation – it feels like I finally got out of a BAD relationship and I’m free!

Dr. McManus, I share this with you because I want you to know that what you and your staff are doing is awesome.  Being associated with TWIHW has changed my life! I give myself credit for sticking to the program, but I also credit TWIHW for fostering an environment that breeds success! I have more confidence, more energy, I rarely get situational anxiety anymore (which has plagued me ever since I can remember) and I have a positive outlook on life. Your words still echo in my head from my consultation back in May when I express the fact of how sad it was that I use to be a collegiate athlete and how my (now past) lifestyle was pretty much sedentary. 6 months ago I never thought I was capable of being so active feeling young again. I was stuck in the mindset that this is the way my life was meant to be after childbirth, you gain weight and you drive the kids around, never to feel young and active again. Dr. McManus, you told me that I needed to “do something, even if it’s just 15 minutes”. I live by that message every day, and I hear those words you spoke to me especially when the voice in my head says you don’t have time to exercise. To this day, your words still motivate me to “do something, even if it’s just 15 minutes!”

Being healthy is priceless. The cost for my wellness program was well worth every penny! Looking back I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change a thing. When you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything!


By |2019-12-18T22:02:40-06:00October 25th, 2019|General, Testimonials|
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