Testimonial- Impact of West Nile Virus, Boosting Mitochondrial Support and Functional Medicine

Meet Michael :

Michael, a retired veteran and tool and die- maker enjoyed his wood -work and summer hours working outdoors.  Last October, he started feeling exhausted, followed by body aches and fever. His wife then saw a rash on his body and since she had heard and read about West Nile Virus, she suspected the same.  Over a next three days, doctors confirmed the diagnosis. West Nile virus is commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. It can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).

Within a span of three days Michael’s life had changed. From being a normal active individual he was on the bed all day unable to move.

An episode of pulmonary embolism followed two weeks after his fight against West Nile Virus and during his nine week stay in the hospital he combated MRSA, C.diff and pneumonia.  Michael’s case was severe.  Most individuals who are infected do not experience such symptoms and when they do, it can be crippling, taking away all the joys of mobility leaving behind headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea and a frail body.

After being discharged from the hospital, Michael had spent almost four months in rehab. He had also undergone hyperbaric oxygen treatment therapy and it helped regain mobility. He could now walk using a walker but was still dependent. His ability to drive by himself, lift even 5 lbs of weight was still a dream.  His health –care practitioners were not sure how much function he would regain. Michael had hit the plateau that and that’s when his wife Kathy called to set-up an appointment with me at Nutrition and Wellness Consulting LLC.

At Nutrition and Wellness Consulting, I use a functional medicine approach to manage chronic conditions. Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. Instead of asking, “What drug matches up with this disease”, functional medicine asks – “why do you have this problem in the first place? Why has function been lost, what nutrients are you deficient in and what can we do to restore function?” In other words, functional medicine looks to find the root cause or mechanism involved with any loss of function, which ultimately reveals why a set of symptoms is there in the first place, or why the patient has a particular disease label.

We looked at Michael’s nutritional, biochemical and inflammatory markers, identified his food sensitivities and got a stool test done that provides an insight into his gut microbiome.  Within a fortnight his blood pressure medications for cut to half and then eventually stopped. Initially Michael could not lift 5 pounds and at his follow up visit i.e.  10 weeks later, he mentioned curling 8 pounds– 3 sets of 15! Whoa, this is motivating, isn’t it? Not only that, he then mentioned about driving Nebraska for a family reunion and being physically more active, climbing stairs up and down!

Here is Michael’s story before he came to see me – http://www.clickondetroit.com/lifestyle/health/livonia-man-battles-back-from-west-nile-virus/26676746

Michael continues to maintain his exercise and supplement regimen and follows an anti-inflammatory diet protocol as per his test results.  I wish him the best in his recovery and I am happy to be a part of this journey.


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Carrot Beet Probiotic Beverage aka Gajar Beet ki Kanji

Gajar Beet Kanji/ Carrot Beet Probiotic Beverage

A couple of months ago, I was consulting a client from Delhi and we were discussing probiotics and fermented foods. During our conversation Rahul mentioned about this drink called Beet ki Kanji that his mother makes. I experimented making at home and it was an instant hit with my husband and friends. This is the very same reason that I am sharing this recipe with you. May you enjoy the kanji and the health benefits of the good bugs, and the power of phytonutrients from beets, carrots, mustard seeds and green chili.

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In North India deep purple colored carrot is fermented along with crushed mustard seed, hot chili powder and salt for a few days to get a popular drink called Kanji, which is considered to have high nutritional value and cooling and soothing properties.  According to the Indian Journal of Microbiology, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) aka probiotics play an important role in the fermentation of vegetables to improve nutritive value, palatability, acceptability, microbial quality and its shelf life.

What got me interested in this drink is the probiotics ( 18 different strains of lactic acid bacteria were isolated in the study mentioned earlier) and their immune enhancing value that it brings to our tables. One other reason is that I love beets…they are YUMMM!

There are various studies that discuss  the role of how probiotics may:
• Enhance your immune system (70 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system, which means that if your gut is overrun with bad bacteria, there’s a good chance your immune system will not be functioning at its best)
•  Prevent infections after surgery
• Treat acute and chronic diarrhea
• Relieve inflammatory bowel disease
• Treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• Protect against cancer development and progression
• Prevent eczema in children
• Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections
• Help reduce systemic allergic responses. For more information on probiotics and health, check this blog

To make your own Carrot Beet Probiotic Beverage, here is the recipe:


Water – 8 cups
Carrots (orange or purple) – 2 medium, peeled and julienned
Beetroot – 1, peeled and julienned
Green Chilies – to taste, slit.( I added  1 small)
Powdered Mustard Seeds – 1 1/2Tbsp
Salt – 11/2  Tsp or to taste
Red Chili Powder (optional)– 1 Tsp

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1. In a clean pitcher or bottle with a lid, preferably glass or ceramic, add all of the ingredients and mix well. Do not use plastic bottles or pitchers.

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2. Cover and keep the pitcher in the sun for 3-4 days, stirring at least once daily with a clean spoon.

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3. Once fermented, taste the kanji. When it’s ready it gives a tangy and fermented taste. I taste it daily just to understand the change in flavor, its food chemistry in action! Store the kanji in the refrigerator.

4. Serve chilled. Mix before serving. Carrots, Beets and Green Chilies can be eaten.

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Healthy Summertime Fruit Popsicles

These popsicles are just like summertime on a stick .  Made with real fruits, you can have them guilt free .

Summer time popsicles


4 cups watermelon puree ( about ¼ to ½  of a watermelon)

1/3 cup fresh blueberries

1/3 cup fresh strawberries

2 kiwis, peeled and sliced

1 mango, diced big

1 peach, diced small

A handful of fresh / frozen cherries, pitted and chopped

Cut watermelon into big chunks and then puree it in a blender. Set aside.

Take 1 dozen popsicle molds (amount needed will vary depending on size of molds). Fill each one with the chopped fresh fruit. Pour in the watermelon puree until each mold to the top. Slide a popsicle stick into each one. Place into freezer and freeze for about 6 to 8 hours.

Photo Credit : http://www.juniorwomens.org/fun-food-recipes/


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Nutrition and Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Educational Seminar

Do you know of a friend or family member who has Inflammatory Bowel Disease such as Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis? You might want to pass on this information to them.

This Saturday Dr Jason Schairer, MD and I will be presenting at the educational seminar organized by Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America – Michigan Chapter.  Come, join us and learn more about how you manage this condition of your loved one.

For this event you can register here




For this event you can register here. Call 517 290 6041 to set up and individual nutrition consultation.








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Tausha’s Migriane Success Story to be aired on Dr OZ Show

Happy to say that one of my patients Tausha , a long time migraine sufferer has gotten her life back and is migraine-free. She was invited for an interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz on his Dr. Oz Show which will be aired on April 10th.

One of Ohio’s local newspaper, Toledo Blade  covered her story . You can find a link to Tausha’s story here - http://www.toledoblade.com/Our-Town-News/2014/04/04/Sylvania-Township-woman-to-appear-on-Dr-Oz-Show.html

Sylvania Township woman to appear on ‘Dr. Oz Show’


Sylvania Township resident Tausha Moore doesn’t believe in keeping a bucket list. Instead she keeps a list of all the extraordinary things she’s accomplished in life.

Soon, she will be able to cross off the list obtaining an appearance on daytime television.

The 40-year-old public relations manager at Martopia Public Relations Group in Ann Arbor shot a segment with one of the most recognized doctors, Dr. Mehmet Oz. The segment is scheduled to run on the Dr. Oz Show at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 10 on WNWO-TV in Toledo or at 4 p.m. that day on WXYZ-TV in Detroit.

In an effort to try to get an appearance for one of her clients, Ms. Moore spoke to the show’s producers. Three weeks ago, a producer mentioned in talking to her the show was searching for someone on the Oligoantigenic Diet, an extreme diet that eliminates foods believed to cause inflammation or allergic reactions in the body.

“I told the producer, ‘that’s me.’ She said we are not looking for an expert. I said ‘no, no, that’s me. I am on the diet,’” Ms. Moore said. She is on the diet to minimize migraines.

The next thing she knew she was being whisked off to New York City that night to film a segment the next day.

“I was happy to do it,” she said. “If it works for me, I want to tell other people.”

The experience was a bit of a change for her, usually counseling clients on TV appearances, she was now the one being prepped for her camera shot.

A publicist for the show said Ms. Moore talked to Dr. Oz about the “controversial new treatment helping people heal from conditions they’ve suffered their whole lives,” as “Tausha suffered from migraines for over 27 years.”

Ms. Moore helped the show introduce the diet to viewers, which eliminates foods that may cause allergic reactions in a person’s body, including fruit, wheat, fish, chicken, eggs, peanuts, and chocolate, the publicist said. She went on the diet, after trying other diets, even a vegan diet, which she found actually doubled her migraines to 12 per month.

Ms. Moore follows a diet administered by dietician Aarti Batavia in Novi, Mich. It eliminates certain foods and brought others back in by phases. She even carries a wallet-size card to remind her of food “migraine triggers.”

“A natural way to overcome migraines,” Ms. Moore said about following the “O” diet, as Dr. Oz calls it. Ever since the program taping, she said her migraines dropped from 6 per month to zero.
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Our-Town-News/2014/04/04/Sylvania-Township-woman-to-appear-on-Dr-Oz-Show.html#rkz2UW80iZ2ZAJG3.99

Do you know of a friend or family member suffering from food allergies/ sensitivities, migraines, IBS, autoimmune or poor gut health? I can help them get back their lives. Call 517 290 6041 to schedule your appointment.


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A dozen ain’t enough !

Facebook Status: “What do I do with a dozen of over-ripe bananas?” To solve this gordian task, my friends did come to rescue With over a dozen of creative  suggestions. This made me think…a dozen ain’t enough!
To keep it simple, I used some in my smoothie and used the rest to bake some Banny Cranny Cookies.

Here’s the recipe:
Banny cranny Cookies/ Banana Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
1 cup date sugar or 3/4 cup plain sugar
2 medium mashed banana
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed (alsi)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp water


1.Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.In a big bowl, mash bananas and add all the ingredients together. Mix gently.
3.Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet.
4.Bake for 14-20 minutes at 350F, until set and lightly browned.
5.Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the pan before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make choco-chip cookies , add 1 cup choco chips instead of cranberries.

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How about a Meatless Monday? Use tofu as a source protein in stir fry

Tofu, also known as bean curd or soy cheese, is thought to have originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. It is made by curdling soy milk and pressing the curds into a block. Today, tofu is used worldwide in recipes and is especially popular as a meat substitute to create tasty vegetarian dishes. Because tofu is bland, it works well with many flavors.

Tofu comes in varying textures and firmness. The most common ones found in grocery stores today are soft, firm, extra firm, sprouted and silken. Soft tofu is good in sauces and in recipes calling for blended tofu. Firm and extra-firm tofu can be cut into cubes or slices and added to stir-fried vegetables, baked or grilled. Sprouted tofu is made from sprouted soy beans, and is cooked the same way as firm or extra-firm tofu. It’s higher in nutrients, such as calcium, iron and protein, and easier to digest, but it has more calories per gram than regular tofu. Silken tofu has a custard-like texture, working well in smoothies, creams and spreads.

A good source of protein and iron, tofu can also be an excellent source of calcium, if calcium sulfate is used in processing. It’s very low in sodium and saturated fat and cholesterol-free. Half a cup of firm tofu prepared with calcium sulfate has 88 calories, 5 grams of fat (1 gram saturated), 15 grams of sodium and provides almost 25% of the daily value for calcium and 11% for iron.

Tofu is a perishable product and should be kept refrigerated unless it’s in a sealed package. Once the package is opened, leftover tofu should be covered with fresh water for storage and the water should be changed daily. Silken tofu does not need to be covered with water, but should be kept refrigerated.

Check out this Vegan Thai Curry with Tofu!

This article was originally published on Jan 13th, 2013 for the Heart Smart Column of The Detroit Free Press.

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The Hidden Cause of Most Chronic Diseases

This is a post that was originally published in Healthy and Fit Magazine in their Dec 2012 issue. Karen Giles-Smith RD , a writer and colleague called me to pick-up my thoughts. It was an interesting discussion on how certain  foods such as saturated fats, so called healthy foods could cause increase in free radicals leading to  inflammation and how certain foods can help to turn off inflammatory markers.  We also discussed if dietary advice needs to be individualized or do I promote a specific kind of a diet to all my clients, such as a Paleo diet or a Mediterranean diet.  What I like to do in my practice is pick up the best of all “so-called diets”, check for scientific validity, look at my clients likes and cultural needs, identify food sensitivities , nutrient deficiencies, disease progression and then make a final verdict.

Hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I enjoyed sharing my thoughts.

Internal inflammation wreaks havoc: Here’s what you can do about it.

At this very moment, your body is working hard to protect itself from invaders such as harmful bacteria, viruses and toxins. When your immune system detects invaders or the infection or injury they cause, it defends and heals itself by sending plasma and white blood cells to the area, resulting in inflammation: swelling, redness, heat and sometimes pain.

Under normal circumstances, inflammation is helpful to health. But sometimes, the immune system goes awry and inflammation lasts too long, leading to wear and tear on body cells. Research indicates that long-term, or chronic, inflammation plays a significant role in many diseases including type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Genetics may increase the likelihood of chronic inflammation. In addition, inflammation may be triggered by certain factors such as stress, food additives, food allergies and sensitivities, and overuse of antibiotics, explains Aarti Batavia, MS, RD, certified LEAP (Lifestyle Eating and Performance) practitioner and functional medicine practitioner in private practice in Novi and Ann Arbor. “When these factors trigger the immune system, the gut may be compromised causing the release of inflammatory chemicals/markers which can then cause chronic inflammation in other parts of the body.” Batavia’s practice focuses on identifying food triggers and “healing the gut” using a multidisciplinary approach.

Can you help prevent or control chronic inflammation? According to many experts, you can—by maintaining a healthy weight, not using tobacco, managing stress, getting enough sleep, exercising and eating a well-balanced diet including foods with anti-inflammatory properties.

Maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular physical activity are two of the most effective ways to control inflammation. Research suggests that too much body fat, particularly fat in the abdominal area, can produce high levels of the proteins that trigger inflammation. “Staying fit preserves joint health and promotes health in general,” says Fred J. Van Alstine, MD, MBA, family physician in Owosso and president-elect of the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians.

Another powerful inflammation-fighter is eating well. Research suggests that bioactive components in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may regulate or moderate inflammatory and immunological processes. “The American diet is calorie-rich and nutrient-poor,” says Van Alstine. “It’s back to basics: A healthy diet including fruits and vegetables in order to get adequate nutrients and antioxidants. I tell my patients ‘brown is better’: Limit white flour, white fat, white sugar and salt. You can consume them, but in moderation. Portion control is key to keep calories in check.”

Many experts recommend a Mediterranean-style eating plan to help control inflammation, which is a plant-based diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, healthy fats including olive oil and nuts, herbs and spices, at least two seafood meals per week, and small amounts eggs, yogurt and cheese. Experts also recommend eating less red meat, processed meat, fried foods, sweets and refined grains.

Healthy fats are a key component of a Mediterranean-style diet. Substantial research indicates that omega-3 fats, particularly those found in coldwater fish, produce chemicals that inhibit inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid. They are essential, which means the body can’t produce them, so we need to get them from the food we eat. In addition to fatty fish, omega-3 fats are also found in leafy greens, whole grains, walnuts, seaweed, beans and legumes, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and canola oil.

The overall effect of omega-6 fatty acids on inflammation is controversial. Most experts believe that Americans shouldn’t eat more of the foods high in omega-6 fatty acids and some experts recommend eating less. Omega-6 fatty acids are another type of essential, polyunsaturated fatty acid and are found in cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, soybean and corn oils.

Batavia believes that nutrition recommendations must be individualized and therefore doesn’t recommend one particular eating plan. “People have different likes and dislikes and sensitivities,” she explains. “For example, turmeric [a spice] is anti-inflammatory but some people can’t tolerate it.” For most people, however, Batavia recommends checking blood levels of vitamin D, B-12 and zinc, balancing intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fats through food and supplements, adding probiotic-containing foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchee and sauerkraut, avoiding sugary foods and fats (other than nuts and olive oil) and eating fewer processed foods.

“Take charge of your health,” says Van Alstine. Ultimately, people keep themselves healthy, not healthcare providers, he says. “What you do to yourself and for yourself is more important than what I can do as a doctor.”

So what do you think, would you follow a Mediterranean diet or rather individualize your nutrition plan as per your needs? Let me help you with your nutrition plan. Feel free to call @ 517 290 6041.

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New Year’s Resolution : Gluten-Free Diet and Weight

The gluten-free market is booming which is good news for those with celiac disease.  A growing number of gluten-free products ranging from breads, cereals, pasta, crackers, cakes, cookies, snack bars, soups, sauces, ready-to-eat entrees, mixes and other items are available in grocery and health food stores, wholesale outlets and even online. But people often gain too much weight because they only focus on the gluten-free status of items and do not pay attention to nutrition and meal planning. Just like gluten-containing products, not all “gluten-free” items are necessarily healthy options. Here are some of suggestions and resources for starting out the New Year on the right gluten-free track!

Plan Ahead: Planning your menu a week (or even a few days) ahead will help you select the right things to eat, and help control unnecessary or “binge type” eating.

Keep Nutrition on the Front Burner: The USDA ChooseMyPlate is a practical tool to help you make healthy food choices.

Watch Your Portions: Make sure that you read the back of all packaging labels so you know what “one portion” size is. Don’t be fooled! One portion could indeed be a ½ of a bagel. Being aware of portion control is a good step to manage your calorie intake.  Here’s a great portion control tool from WebMD. Although not all the items are gluten-free, it visually compares food items to commonly recognized items such as a deck of cards, light bulb, baseball or computer mouse.

Eat Breakfast: Skipping breakfast leads to overeating later in the day – often at dinner and in the evening when you are usually less active which is double trouble!

Fill up on Fruits & Veggies: Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Many are low in calories so you can fill up at meals and snacks with these healthy foods.

Go for Whole Grains: There are a variety of nutritious gluten-free whole grains such as amaranth, buckwheat, millet, Montina™ (Indian ricegrass), millet, oats (pure, uncontaminated), quinoa, sorghum, rice (black, brown, red) and teff.  These healthy grains contain many nutrients, especially fiber- which is often lacking in the gluten-free diet because many gluten-free products are made from refined starches and flours.

Snack Sensibly: Snacking can be part of a healthy gluten-free diet but you need to choose wisely. Need some nutritious options? Here you go-

• Canned fruit (in juice or water) or applesauce
• Popcorn
• Fresh fruit
• Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
(plain or GF flavoured)
• Dried fruits (e.g. mini raisin box, apricots, cranberries, mangoes)
• Fruit or vegetable juices
• Pudding, made with low-fat milk

Successful and healthy gluten-free eating takes a little time and planning. But with informed choices, current resources and the motivation to make a new start in the New Year, everyone on a gluten-free diet is able to get back, and stay, on the healthy gluten-free eating track!

The above post is adapted from http://www.befreeforme.com/blog/?p=4241

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Evidence-based Methodology Workshop on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will sponsor an Evidence-based Methodology Workshop on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). The workshop will be held December 3–5, 2012, and   will consist of an opening session taking place on December 3, 2012, at the Bethesda Marriott Hotel, with additional sessions taking place December 4–5, 2012, at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland.  NIH Office of Disease Prevention Evidence-based Workshop on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

PCOS is a common hormone disorder that affects approximately 5 million reproductive-aged women in the United States. Women with PCOS have difficulty becoming pregnant (i.e., are infertile) due to hormone imbalances that cause or result from altered development of ovarian follicles.

For most of the 20th century, PCOS was a poorly understood condition. In 1990, the NIH held a conference on PCOS to create both a working definition of the disorder and diagnostic criteria. The outcome of this conference, the NIH Criteria, served as a standard for researchers and clinicians for more than a decade. In 2003, a consensus workshop in Rotterdam developed new diagnostic criteria, the Rotterdam Criteria. The 2012 NIH Evidence-based Methodology Workshop on PCOS will seek to clarify these newly developed criteria as well as other topics relating to PCOS, including causes, predictors, consequences, prevention, and treatment.

During the 2½-day workshop, invited experts will discuss the body of evidence and attendees will have opportunities to provide comments during open discussion periods. After weighing the evidence, an unbiased, independent panel will prepare a report that summarizes the workshop and identifies future research priorities.

There is no fee to attend the workshop. Your input is valuable. Please join us!

For more information and to register, please visit the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome homepage.

Can’t attend?

Register here to view the workshop webcast online.

This conference is sponsored by the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Office of Disease Prevention.

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