The Livewell Clinic - December 2018



13375 University Avenue, Suite 100, Clive, IA 50325||515.279.9900

The holiday season is in full swing, and that means we’re all gearing up for classicMidwestern celebrations. You know the kind. Mayonnaise-based salads and side dishes line the kitchen counter, as a thick turkey or ham caked in glaze bakes at 375 degrees. Dozens of different cheeses, little appetizer crackers, and endless dips also based onmayonnaise or cream cheese are scattered along the snacks table, while delectable, hyper-sweetened whipped cream salads, pies, bars, and treats fill mismatched Tupperware containers. I’mno stranger to these celebrations and the temptations they stir up. This was—and still is—a common scene at my own old-school Lutheran family events. My momwas famous for her shortbread cookies, keeping sheet pans of them in the basement freezer every holiday season. When I lived in the basement, I ate more thanmy fair share of cookies outside of the gatherings. I was the guy who used to drink packs of MountainDew and maintained an almost pro -carb diet. What I didn’t realize growing up was that I was harboring a craving for an addictive substance: sugar. In an oft-cited study on the effects of sugar intake, scientists studied mice to better understand how the brain reacts when sugar is introduced to the body. When different groups of the mice were compared, the brains of the mice that were given sugar lit up the same way as the brains of those that had been given cocaine. When sugar was taken away and the mice were locked down, they would gnaw off their own legs to get at the sugar. A Sweet HOLIDAY


cookies. Instead, I actually enjoy the healthy snacks and foods I’ve committed to having inmy diet.

It is possible to avoid sugar at these family gatherings, and it’s okay to bring your own food to a holiday celebration. My wife and I are known for bringing a cooler with some healthier food for our children to enjoy, and we often bring a side dish or dessert to share with the group. It’s an option that isn’t filled with sugar or mayonnaise—and it still tastes great. There are easy and healthy ways to enjoy a sweet treat, not give in to temptation, and create a lifestyle without a high-sugar intake. For example, enjoy an after-dinner dessert by whipping up coconut fat and dolloping it onto blackberries. Make your own frosting, or use gluten-free flours in your baking. Choose simpler ingredients, and be mindful of your portions. By committing to a lifestyle change, you can create healthier food traditions with your family and still enjoy a sweet treat around the holidays. Besides, the holidays don’t have anything to do with the food you eat, the cookies you bring, or the hearty potlucks that fill homes across theMidwest. It’s all about the family and friends you choose to celebrate with.

While we’re not mice, and I’d like to think we wouldn’t chew off a limb for a donut, sugar has a more powerful grip on us than we realize.

But in the years that I’ve cut down onmy sugar intake and chosen healthier sweet options, I’ve found that my body doesn’t craveMountainDew or

That’s what makes the season sweet.

317-776-9942 515.279.9 00 –Dr. Z a c Watki ns


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MEET SUSAN MULHOLLAND! OUR NEW, DEVOTED DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS When SusanMulholland began her career, she wasn’t anticipating the direction it would take. She worked clinically in the mental health field for about seven years before jumping to audiology, but she soon found her talents were better suited for the administrative side. So, she made another leap. After working for 15 years as an administrator in the Veterans Affairs hospital system, Susan joined our team as our director of operations this October. She felt drawn toThe Livewell Clinic because of what she describes as a “focus on helping the whole person,” rather than the symptom or illness. She brings a passion for helping others to her new role, and just a fewmonths into her new position, she’s already making an impact. But Susan believes it’s also her new coworkers who have been inspiring her. “I really enjoy working with the staff, who care deeply about what they do, and they’re really committed to creating a positive environment. It’s really an honor to work with people who bring that approach to patients every day,” Susan says. Because of her medical background, Susan said she has gleaned an understanding for the time, care, and support that goes into helping someone feel better. She believes it’s been a key part in helping her make the best decisions for patients as an administrator. “It gives me a real-life perspective on what that kind of work is like, how fast paced it can be, and howmentally and emotionally challenging it can be as well,” Susan says. “You really get to know your patients.” When she isn’t keeping our clinic running, Susan is cheering on her three sons in their various sporting events. She also enjoys running her own online vintage shop, exploring her small acreage with her dog, and exercising.

Achoo! That’s the last noise you want to hear this winter. Cold weather brings a slew of sicknesses, so be vigilant to treat these common illnesses, or better yet, avoid them altogether. T H E COMMO N CO L D Although there is no cure, a cold is easier to treat than other illnesses. If you or a loved one has a runny nose, low-grade fever, headache, cough, nasal congestion, or sore throat, the common cold has most likely taken hold. With the help of rest and perhaps some cold medicine, like cough drops and decongestants, the cold will come and go in about a week. B R O N C H I O L I T I S Bronchiolitis appears most commonly in children less than a year old and is caused by other viruses. Of the many symptoms—nasal congestion, low-grade fevers, and coughing—wheezing is the one you should be most concerned about. If your child is having difficulty breathing and is dehydrated, they may have caught a more serious strain of the virus. Most children will recover with at-home rest, but some may need to be hospitalized for more severe symptoms. I N F L U E N Z A The flu is known for causing high fever, muscle aches and pains, nausea, and other symptoms similar to a cold. Often, the fever will last for around five days, but it can be shortened with the aid of antiviral medications. However, these medications are recommended only for children who face serious complications or hospitalization from the flu. S T R E P T H R O A T A sore throat, headache, stomach ache, vomiting, and high fever are signs of strep. This infection is treated with antibiotics and should be addressed soon after the first symptoms appear to prevent further complications. Children with strep throat should stay away from school and other activities until they’ve been on antibiotics for 24 hours. Everyone knows that getting sick is no fun and is best avoided at all costs. However, it happens to everyone eventually. Catching a virus or infection in its early stages can help you shake the sickness much faster.

We’re excited to see what Susan’s passion and dedication to patient care will bring to our clinic, and we feel lucky to have her. Welcome to the team, Susan!




We all know the holidays are ripe with sweet treats, but we should be pretty safe the rest of the year, right? Unfortunately, even if you adhere to what you believe is a strict diet, your meals could be laced with sugar. Here are some ways you may be overloading on sugar all year long.

be wiped out when you add a sugar-loaded dressing. And it’s not just salad dressings. Condiments like ketchup, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, Sriracha, and others are also full of sugar, often as a way to compensate for the taste lost in fat-free options. Instead, create homemade salad dressings with lemons and healthy oils, and make your own condiments with plain dairy- free yogurt, natural spices, and vinegar.


Your favorite way to wake up just might be packed with unnecessary sugars and sweeteners. Think about what you add to your coffee each morning. Sweetener? Creamer? Half-and-half ? Spoonfuls of sugar?This robotic action eachmorning may be setting you up for sugar overload before you even start your day. Plus, caffeine can cause your blood sugar to swing irregularly, so you will crave more sugar. Try raw honey, stevia, or unsweetened almond milk to tame the coffee flavor, or switch to decaffeinated teas and coffees.


Reaching for an apple instead of a candy bar is always a better alternative, but apples aren’t perfect. Being mindful of the fruits you're ingesting on a daily basis can cut down on your daily sugar intake. For example, bananas can contain nearly a third of your daily recommended sugar intake, and if you opt for a bowl of grapes instead, you’re ingesting nearly half of what’s suggested for a whole day. To get your sweet fix, try a bowl of strawberries or raspberries. Most berries are low in sugar and pack powerful nutrients, too. Got a case of sugar overload? See howThe Livewell Clinic can help you combat sugar cravings and sweetened foods by calling 515.279.9900 or visiting . A NEW PROCESS FOR OUR CLINIC Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, The Livewell Clinic will only be seeing patients who are either in an active restorative care plan or have purchased an annual care plan. These plans provide patients with a variety of treatment options, such as health coaching and IVNutritionTherapy, discounts on nutritional medicines and labs, and access to all of our clinic’s sponsored events. Though we are changing this piece of our process, our mission will not change. We will continue our dedication to helping our patients lead the healthiest lives they can. These changes will give our experts the best resources and guidance to support long termhealth and lifestyle plans for their patients. Directions If you have completed your restorative care plan and are not in an annual care plan, please see one of our teammembers for details about those plans. Information regarding annual care plans is also available on our website. Please call our clinic at 515.279.9900 or visit for more information. Stay tuned for more information fromDr. Zac inDecember on our Facebook page.


If you’re looking to salads as a healthy go-to, nix the prepackaged salad dressing to achieve this feat. The nutrient-dense benefits of your salad will

Livewell Events Intro to Living Well 12/4, 12/15, 12/20 Patient Potluck 12/06

Patients will bring healthier versions of favorite appetizers and desserts with the recipes. We will compile the recipes into a patient cookbook.

Livewell Chat 12/11 – Let's Talk About Sugar

Give the Gift of Health For the month of December, you will receive a $20 account credit for every $100 gift card you purchase.

3 515.279.9900

24/7 Emergency Services 515.279.9900


Avoiding Sugar This Holiday Season INSIDE 13375 University Avenue, Suite 100 Clive, IA 50325 What Do My Symptoms Mean? Meet Our Newest Team Member

‘Healthy’ Foods Loaded With Sugar Livewell Events Give the Gift of Health Changes For Our Clinic

Holiday Decoration Tours


There’s nothing quite like the magical lights of the holiday season, and some destinations in the U.S. have perfected the craft of holiday decoration. If you’re looking to get away this December and still engage in seasonal festivities, add one of these places to your must-visit list. New York City’s Rockefeller Center New York City is an iconic location for Christmastime. The scene is like a Hallmark card: Ice- skating lovers whiz past miles of twinkling lights underneath an exceptionally tall and amply decorated tree. The tree is specially selected by Rockefeller Center’s landscaping crews, who scout out trees years in advance. It remains lit fromNovember to early January, so you have plenty of time to check it out. Ranch Christmas in Jackson, Wyoming Jackson, Wyoming, takes its frontier culture to the next level during the Christmas season. All year, the city proudly displays four elk antler arches, but around the holidays, they are lit up with white string lights and flanked by snow. The Christmas decorations and lights surrounding the archway make for a

Western-themed holiday pulled right out of a JohnWayne classic. For holiday admirers looking for a unique spin, Jackson has you covered.

Yearly Yuletide in Santa Claus, Indiana This one’s for the Christmas lover. If you can’t make it out to Santa Claus, Indiana, this holiday season, you can still celebrate Christmas in this tiny Midwestern town in January, June, or even October. Embracing its unique name, the town boasts a museum, holiday shopping center, and a Christmas theme park. In a moving tribute, the town’s residents also write responses to children’s letters to Kris Kringle himself. It’s impossible to avoid holiday cheer in this town. DisneyWorld’s Christmas Magic What better place to celebrate the most magical time of the year than in the most magical place on Earth? Walt Disney World’s halls are decked to the max with a parade, gingerbread homes, strings of lights, and festive parties. Plus, costs to visit Disney World can be cheaper during the Christmas season, so keep an eye out for a vacation steal.


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