It's Her Brand Magazine - North Dakota Edition - Issue 14 - Jan|Feb|Mar 2021 - Cover 1 of 2

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IT’S HER BRAND MAGAZINE North Dakota Edition


Surviving & Thriving

GIRL CAN COOK 4 withLET’S Danielle Rancourt and MIX Hugo’s Family Marketplace

a non-alcoholic


in Challenging Times with Dr. Susan Mathison Catalyst Medical Center

& Pomegranate Sour Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops

ON THE COVER Danielle Rancourt 6

INSIDE OUR double cover New Year New You

Registered Dietitian

Issue cover Fourteen1

Never Settle

Practices Peak Performance


LET’S MIX non-alcoholic

Grapefruit & Pomegranate SOUR .

Product Review No. 1 a drink for all! INGREDIENTS 2 ounces freshly squeezed Pink Grapefruit Juice 1 ounce freshly squeezed Lemon Juice 1 ounce Honey Pomegranate Syrup For the Honey Pomegranate Syrup 1/2 cup Hot Water 1/2 cup Honey 1/2 cup Pomegranate Juice

DIRECTIONS 1) Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. 2) Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. 3) Garnish with a Grapefruit slice and sprig of Rosemary, if desired.




Chocolate Peanut Butter MARTINI Cover 2 . Page 4




Sparkling Champagne COSMO



ON THE COVER Danielle Rancourt Grand Forks

NEVER SETTLE Registered Dietitian Practices Peak Performance


Photo Credits | It’s Her Brand Magazine

Article by Leanna Ihry


s I open my laptop and start to write this article, my phone setting next to me dings. I look at the notification. It says, “Reminder: Veggies Daily at Dinner.”

“Thank you, Dani the R.D.,” I think to myself – while also feeling a bit of guilt about missing my veggies at dinner last night while inhaling three pieces of pizza instead. However, Registered Dietitian Danielle Rancourt says, “Don’t sweat it, but never miss twice”. By this she means, to avoid a snowball effect of poor food choices, limit back-to-back “fun meals” which some people refer to as cheat meals. “The thing I always remind my clients is that life is always going to come up; holidays, birthdays, happy hour, lunch meetings. I help my clients plan and prepare for these food-filled events rather than avoiding them or attending them with anxiety or guilt. I really try to help people improve their relationship with food by freeing them from the diet mindset and showing them that all foods CAN fit! The ultimate goal is BALANCE: choosing healthier, nutrient-rich foods 80-90% of the time and enjoying favorite, less nutritious foods on occasion,” Danielle smiled. This is just one of many tips for long-term success Danielle will happily tell her clients. I, personally, started working with her a couple of months ago at Altru Sport Advantage. After meeting this outgoing and enthusiastic performance dietitian, it doesn’t take long to realize she is focused and passionate. “I just love helping people! Nutrition is the easiest thing to say and the hardest thing to do,” Danielle explained. For Danielle, this realization evolved over time and through personal experience and trial. Growing up in Northern Ontario, Danielle desired to be a hockey player her entire life. Dedicated and determined to play for a Division 1 college, she trained hard and self-sacrificed. “My dad pushed me. I often had to do push-ups and shoot pucks before leaving the house to go see friends. I honestly hated it. It took years for me to understand that doing the extra little things every day truly add up and lead to success,” she explained. After her senior year of high school, Danielle had several Division III offers, and a big decision to make. “Am I going to keep chasing my dream of just settle? I didn’t know what to do, but my personal trainer at the time said that I should never settle for less when I know I deserve more.” Danielle and her dad went back to the drawing board, which led them down the path to POE Hockey Academy in British Columbia, Canada. If Danielle could make the team there, it seemed probable a Division I offer would follow. Entering “year 13” of high school, Danielle made the team at POE. “I was a straight A student my entire life and could have gone to many Canadian or Division III colleges, but I wasn’t going to let go of my dream of playing Division I hockey,” Danielle explained. Her persistence and hard work paid off. Just two months after making the team at POE, Danielle received her first Division I offer. She ended up accepting a full scholarship at the University of Vermont in Burlington. “When I got to college it was such a wake-up call because you go to a big school and suddenly you are a really small fish in a big pond. I trained and dreamed of this for as long as I could remember. There was no way my story ended riding the bench for four years,” she said. Danielle wanted to be a starter, even if it was just one game. Everyone was going to train over the summer following freshman year, but she knew she needed to do more. She needed an edge to set her apart from the other athletes. “I totally gained the “freshman 15” without realizing it. Looking back, I drank a LOT of delicious Vermont chocolate milk,” she laughed. JANUARY|FEBRUARY|MARCH 2021


The summer after her freshman year of college, Danielle went home to Ontario and the transformation began. “I realized if I was going to perform like a Division I athlete, I needed to eat like an athlete. I got two trainers and ate all the good stuff over the summer … oatmeal, salmon, almonds, eggs, veggies, and an occasional treat. I lost 3 to 4% body fat and came back to Vermont faster, stronger and more confident. Then, my Junior year, I finally made the starting line,” Danielle exclaimed! Obtaining her own personal success and achievements by “eating like an athlete”, Danielle knew she wanted to help other people feel the same way. “’I have to do this as a job! I need to help people and become a sports dietitian,’ I thought! I was on a pre-med track but knew doing something I love was more important than a bigger paycheck.” After graduating from University of Vermont with a degree in nutrition & dietetics, Danielle went on to earn a nutrition and physical performance master’s degree. Flying through an accelerated master’s program in just one year, she began to look for jobs. “A girl in my program told me I should work for EXOS. I checked it out and was immediately drawn to the company. There were three places with openings: Texas, California and North Dakota. When I saw North Dakota I was like, ‘that’s the one’. I had played hockey against Monique and Jocelyn Lamoureux in Grand Forks back in 2011 and knew it was a hockey town where I would fit in. Plus, the Canadian border was only an hour away, so that clinched it for me,” Danielle smiled. Fast forward five years, and Danielle is once again living her dream. “Seeing people succeed the right way is so rewarding. For example, today I had a client who came in for her follow-up, and she told me with so much enthusiasm that our program works! Even though she’s only lost 2 pounds in the last 3 weeks, she feels stronger, her clothes feel a little less tight, and she doesn’t feel deprived or miserable! This is music to my ears because I really try to help people achieve their goals in sustainable ways…slow and steady. Those results are lasting.” The daily “ding” notification to eat your veggies [or whatever your goals are] and weekly or bi-weekly touch base phone calls with clients are also key. “A perfect meal plan on paper doesn’t work if there isn’t accountability and consistency. The best meal plan will fail without support,” Danielle said. Providing that support is what she does best. It is clear Danielle genuinely cares about her clients and their success is of most value to her. “If someone truly needed my help to improve their health and had zero dollars, I would find a way help them, because helping people is who I am. I have always been the person willing to give a helping hand. However, I must say that people that invest in themselves financially almost always get much greater results. It’s just how life works; people who pay simply pay more attention.” Danielle explains that the Altru Sport Advantage nutrition program is different because it is long-term focused. There is no “one and done” session because results don’t happen after one hour, one week or even one month. This is why fad diets don’t work; it’s a temporary fix, not a long-term solution, she explains. “It is so rewarding to see people so proud because they put in the consistent effort over a long period of time. When people are confident again it reflects on so many areas of their lives, and that is why I love what I do,” Danielle said. With “never settle” as her mantra, Danielle expects the same of her clients, walking right alongside them as they become the best version of themselves. “My ultimate goal is to help people achieve their goals while still being able to enjoy the foods they love guilt free,” Danielle concluded. (See Cover 2 Page 10 for a support article from Danielle featuring 5 things to do in 2021.) IHBM 8 | ITSHERBRANDMAGAZINE.COM




Dr. Susan Mathison Catalyst Medical Center

Support Article

Surviving & Thriving In Challenging Times Managing Stress so Stress Doesn’t Manage You Article by Dr. Susan Mathison

Photo Credits | Spotlight Media


he past year has been the ultimate definition of Challenging Times. We've been inundated from all sides.....

A deadly virus, quarantining, home schooling, cooking whether you want to or not, isolation, political divisiveness, extreme weather, firestorms and more. Here's more not-so-fun facts: Rates of depression and anxiety have tripled in the past ten years. That's 300%. Rates of suicide have increased 24% over a similar time frame. We are not sure why... but thoughts include a high-pressure society that is overly achievement oriented, poor diets, lack of outdoor time and too much technology. Women in particular, have super-human expectations placed upon them by self and society. Downward spiral, vicious circle, a whirlwind, an ever-accelerating unpleasant merry-go-round.... call it whatever. "Life in the fast lane, gonna make me lose my mind," the song says. Let's learn how to push PAUSE and reclaim some peace, energy and purpose. But first I'm going to tell you a story of a mid-life, mid-career woman who got a late start on marriage and kids, but was thrilled to have a baby boy bless her family. While motherhood was wonderful, she needed help to be a boss, a professional, a wife and a mother. That help was her village and included her own mother, a part-time nanny and a cleaning lady. Sometimes her husband was helpful, but he also had a busy career with two jobs. Over the years, she felt burned out, that her work-life robbed her of precious mom time, but she was also responsible for so many at her office. Her husband was critical of her, as he was used to a more traditional role of wife and mother, even though she was the main bread-winner. She felt undermined and miserable, and his criticism intensified her mom guilt. Despite marriage counseling, the critiques continued and she couldn't take it anymore. She filed for divorce, not yet knowing that things would get so much worse. The divorce process was very expensive, financially and emotionally. Even though she was the primary caretaker, a custody battle raged. The thought of not being with her son every day threw her into a deep, dark depression that frightened her to the core. She had never experienced anything like it. Her vision was black, white and gray. She could not see color. She couldn't sleep, but she was so tired. Tears were always ready to spill and frequently, embarrassingly did. Her heart hurt so much that she was sure it was being dipped in boiling oil. Working was so difficult, but she couldn't completely let down her team. She knew people were talking about her, but she couldn't pull it together. This was a mental health CRISIS. And this woman was me. I will share how I got through this, surviving and ultimately, thriving. But I also want to talk about avoiding the crisis. Maybe we're just in the doldrums.... not feeling great, somewhat down and overwhelmed, lacking energy and joy. I think it's pretty easy to tolerate the doldrums. We can put on a nice Insta-Smile and fake it. JANUARY|FEBRUARY|MARCH 2021



Support Article







eight loss is a goal on many minds, especially at the beginning of each New Year or when a big event like a wedding or graduation is on the horizon. Health scares and diagnoses like diabetes also may spur people to seek ways to lose a few pounds, or great amounts. It may seem like an impossible endeavor, but one needs to remember that weight loss is part of an overall lifestyle change and mindset. It is not a quick/easy fix. The pounds didn’t show up overnight and they won’t disappear quickly. No major weight loss initiative or drastic change in diet should be made without guidance from your health care provider or health professional. They can provide guidance in what changes need to be made and tactics to best tackle those changes. One thing for certain is there is no one size fits all plan or solution for everyone. For those busy women, juggling work, home, and outside activities, it’s important to find a program that introduces changes that can be implemented into your daily life. Before implementing a program, review your schedule to see what you can do to accommodate time for working out, meal planning and prep, and other things. Time must be set aside to tackle these goals in order to be successful. Don’t sabotage your plan with too many things to do all at once. It will overwhelm you. Instead, look at making small changes to start. Set realistic goals and put a timeline on them. Some people prefer shorter-term timelines to make things feel more attainable instead of insurmountable. As much as you are able, find ways to add these new changes without creating huge disruption in your life. Look for time a workout can fit in to you schedule. Are you spending hours a night on social media or in front of the TV? Then, fit in a workout. Start with 10 minutes a day until you feel confident with adding more. Don’t bite off more than you can chew with too grandiose of plans. Ease into it one step at a time. Small changes can be adding an exercise program a few days a week early in the morning or after work or simply making healthier eating options. Take it one step at a time and add more to your plan as you adjust. When looking at creating healthier meals, consider menus your whole family can embrace. Some weight loss plans where you preorder foods for a personal meal choice may sound optimal, but can create additional work and stress as you have one meal and cook for everyone else. Instead, create meal plans as a family so everyone is eating and getting healthier together. Other things to look at before taking that weight loss journey: • Look for free applications for your phone: many applications are out there to help track eating, exercise, water intake and more. Free and paid applications are available and most have customer ratings before you select and download. • Check with your health insurance provider. Many companies, like Sanford Health, provide a variety of health and wellness programs for its customers. • Subscription applications like Noom can be as basic or comprehensive as you want them to be and give you different services depending on the subscription costs. Remember to always reach out to your primary health care provider before starting a new diet or exercise program. Work with your healthcare team on finding options and plans that will work for you. They can help you decide if a certain diet plan may work over another, work with you if any medicine needs to be started, or if medical procedures are in your best interest. (See Cover 2 Page 16 for a corresponding article featuring Donna Weigel.) IHBM




Support Article







any people experience depression and/or anxiety at some point in their life. Major life stressors such as the shutdown of normal operations during the pandemic can cause symptoms to intensify. How to treat symptoms is different for each individual and can vary from diet, exercise, counseling, and prescription medication. Accordioning to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, treatment should be tailored to a specific diagnosis as with any illness. Reaching out to a healthcare provider is a starting step to dealing with the issues facing an individual. A treatment plan for a diagnosis of depression and an anxiety disorder should be designed to help a person manage and reduce the symptoms of both disorders, often at the same time. Some people may have a disorder that causes most of the distress, and it is reasonable to address it first. For example, if a person who is highly depressed is unable to begin treatment for an anxiety disorder, which requires high motivation and energy, it may be necessary to treat the depression first. Often, however it is difficult to tell which set of symptoms is predominant, so treatment of both may start at the same time. Often depression and an anxiety disorder can be treated similarly. In many cases, therapy can be tailored to an individual so that it works to reduce the symptoms of both disorders. Several forms of psychotherapy are effective. Of these, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) works to replace negative and unproductive thought patterns with more realistic and useful ones. These treatments focus on taking specific steps to overcome anxiety and depression. Treatment often involves facing one’s fears as part of the pathway to recovery. Interpersonal therapy and problem-solving therapy are also effective. Medications can also be useful. Symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders often occur together, and research shows that both respond to treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) medications. Other medications may be used if an SSRI or SNRI does not provide adequate improvement. For people with severe symptoms or functional limitations, psychotherapy and medication treatment may be combined. More than one in 10 Americans take antidepressants, the number one type of medication used by people ages 18 to 44.edominant, so treatment of both may start at the same time. Taking Other Steps • Consider joining a support group. • Try relaxation techniques, meditation, and breathing exercises. • Talk with family members and friends and explain how they can be helpful. • Your therapist may recommend self-help materials. • Regular exercise can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Source: Anxiety and Depression Association of America (See Cover 2 Page 16 for a corresponding article featuring Donna Weigel.) IHBM JANUARY|FEBRUARY|MARCH 2021



Support Article

SAFE BLOOD SAVES LIVES and improves health






ccording to the World Health Organization, blood transfusion is needed for numerous reasons, including:

• Women with complications of pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancies and hemorrhage before, during or after childbirth; • Children with severe anemia often resulting from malaria or malnutrition; • People with severe trauma following man-made and natural disasters; and • Many complex medical and surgical procedures and cancer patients. • It is also needed for regular transfusions for people with conditions such sickle cell disease and is used to make products such as clotting factors for people with hemophilia. There is a constant need for regular blood supply because blood can be stored for only a limited time before use. Regular blood donations by a sufficient number of healthy people are needed to ensure that safe blood will be available whenever and wherever it is needed. Furthermore, the WHO states that blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components — red cells, platelets and plasma — which can be used individually for patients with specific conditions. Individuals who donate blood experience the mental health benefit of knowing they have helped another person. There is a reason why the World Health Organization describes blood donation as most precious gift anyone can give to another person. When donating whole blood, donors typically give one pint per donation session, which can save up to three lives, and individuals are typically eligible to donate every fifty-six days (eight weeks). Donors may also be able to donate platelets only, which can typically be done every seven days, up to twenty-four times a year. However, blood donation does not only benefit the individuals who receive the blood. Donors also experience a number of benefits! Studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggest regular blood donors have lower rates of cancer than nondonors. Committed and regular blood donations can boost liver health. Therefore, regularly donating blood keeps the liver healthy by reducing an individual's chance of developing liver cirrhosis and cancer of multiple organs. • Blood donors can burn up to 650 calories per donations, according to a 2010 article. It can also help hypertension. • The donation varies in time for each type of blood but for the most part it ranges from 1-3 hours, depending on your blood type. • Donations of every blood type is needed with O negative the universal donor • There is no upper age limit to donate • Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and be healthy at time of donation • Whole blood donation takes 45-60 minutes per person According to American Association of Blood Banks, 8 million people donated blood in the US in 2017 and out of that 8 million, 12.2 million units of blood was donated. • More than 4.5 million people need a blood transfusion at least once a year in the US • Less than 10% of the eligible population donates blood every year • About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood. • Someone needs blood every two seconds For information on donating blood, contact your health provider or one of the local blood services that service your region. (See Cover 2 Page 22 for a corresponding article featuring dedicated blood donor, Joycelyn Hagen.) IHBM



IT’S HER BRAND MAGAZINE North Dakota Edition



New Year New


5 Things To Do In 2021


Asian Chicken SALAD

Hugo’s Family Marketplace

with Danielle Rancourt

ON THE COVER Dr. Susan Mathison 6 with Catalyst Medical Center

The Anatomy of My Calling

INSIDE OUR double cover New Year New You Issuecover Fourteen2