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

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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



The Anatomy of my calling Photo Credits | Elena K Photography


Article by Susan Mathison


o not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger people. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks.” – Bl. Solanus Casey

Truly, none of us have easy lives. We live full, rich lives, but there are inevitable deep valleys that render it so difficult to see the sun, so much so that we wonder if the darkness will ever pass. I'm honored to share with you all some of my story, with the hope that you will know you are not alone, and that you are loved by God and by so many others. The light always returns. During the deepest valleys of my life, my usual technicolor world view was restricted to black and gray. I have survived embezzlement, betrayal, infertility, miscarriage, two hip replacements, depression and divorce. Yet, I have also experienced the peak joys of family, education, friends, a deeply meaningful professional calling, international mission work, adoption, parenthood, board service, volunteerism, dancing, travel, teamwork, exchange students from all over the world, and new love. The Quakers say, "Let your life speak." What have I been saying? I had vague dreams of being a doctor growing up. My family was well-versed in medical life. I was the oldest of seven kids. Maybe I'll be a pediatrician? I worked as an athletic trainer in high school, and parlayed that into the best work-study job ever as a student trainer in college, travelling coast to coast, and making enough to cover half of my Stanford University tuition. No one was more surprised than me that I ended up a surgeon. I lacked the swagger that many surgical specialties, like general surgery and ortho, were known for. But somehow I found my place, and I look back with the hindsight and insight of a career three dozen years in the making. It's a career that is still unfolding for many more years. Something told me I needed to work with my head, my heart and my hands. Through my work, my mission is to help others lead happier, healthier, more beautiful lives. I get to work with the spectrum of life, from sweet tiny babies, to vibrant kids, devoted parents, beautiful faces, and softly wrinkled grandparents. I deal with the gravity of cancer and the finesse of aesthetics. I work with the senses of vision and hearing and taste and smell and balance. It just struck me recently, that maybe my family tree influenced me more than I knew. My dad, Mark, is a surgeon. My mom, Marge, is a nurse and an artist. They are both retired, but their professions remain a big part of who they are. My paternal grandmother, Daisy, was a teacher. The word doctor comes from the Latin root "docere" which means teacher. She was also very stylish, and my last visit with her was to surgically repair her earlobes as I knelt by her rocker. She got to wear her favorite pearl earrings. My paternal grandfather, Alfred, was a house painter and a highway patrolman. Certainly, I love to paint, with beautiful faces as my canvas, and the needle and scalpel as my brush. I don't know how the patrol influenced me....maybe that I like to drive and listen to podcasts and audiobooks in my "university on wheels." JANUARY|FEBRUARY|MARCH 2021


Danielle Rancourt Registered Dietitian

Support Article

New Year New Opportuni t y 5 Things To Do in 2021 Article by Danielle Rancourt

Photo Credits | It’s Her Brand Magazine

2020 was many things…Scary, lonely, depressing, stressful, uncomfortable, and most certainly unexpected. You could say it was an emotional and economic disaster. Fear of the unknown, lack of human connection, lockdowns and loss of work or a loved one caused many individuals to stray away from their pre-Covid routines and habits. If you were an emotional wreck in 2020, know that you are not alone. If you stopped exercising in 2020 because your gym was closed or you simply lost motivation, know you are not alone. If you drank more wine in 2020 than any other year, know you are not alone. If you ate for reasons other than hunger in 2020, know that you are not alone. If you filed for unemployment in 2020, know you are not alone. If your clothes didn’t fit as well in December as they did the previous January, know that you are not alone. If you want to get back on track with your health, fitness and nutrition in 2021, know that you are not alone because I am here to help. For those who don’t know me, my name is Danielle Rancourt, and I’m a dietitian nutrition coach and trainer in Grand Forks, North Dakota. I help individuals ditch the diet mindset and achieve their health, performance and/or body composition goals, while still enjoying foods they love. My goal as a dietitian coach is to help people improve their relationship with food, plus feel and look their best without feeling restricted or miserable…because everyone should be able to enjoy a cupcake, their favorite chips or a glass of wine without feeling guilty or derailing their progress! Though this sustainable anti-diet approach takes TIME, it’s well worth the wait. Sure, you can follow a strict diet or set of rules for 21, 30 or 60 days and lose 20 pounds. However, I can almost guarantee you that you won’t really enjoy those 21/30/60 days, and you will more than likely regain the weight within 3-12 months. The body is an incredibly adaptable organism that, ironically, hates change. It will do whatever it takes to stay where it’s at, which is why REAL, SUSTAINABLE RESULTS TAKE TIME, PATIENCE AND CONSISTENCY. This said, if you’re looking for a quick fix, short cut or magic pill, I wish you the best on your rollercoaster ride. Just know that diets last an average of 3 weeks before jumping on the next diet bandwagon. However, if you want to find balance, achieve your goals and maintain the results for good, you’re in the right place. I am dedicated to those who are in it for the long run; when someone walks into my office seeking nutrition guidance, my hope is that I am their last stop. Now, I don’t expect this article to change your life or help you lose 20 pounds, but I do hope that something I’ve said above or one of the tips listed below resonates with you as we enter this New Year filled with opportunity! Please note: the tips below may sound ridiculously simple. The thing is, most people tend to overthink or overcomplicate nutrition or weight loss. Do the little things every day and you will start to see results! JANUARY|FEBRUARY|MARCH 2021


Starting a New Chapter Bumps of life pushed Donna Weigel to become a new woman.

Photo Credits | Agency MABU

Article by Erin Wood

Devils Lake


ometimes, life hits you like a brick wall. In 2011, Donna Weigel was living in in Minot, ND, when, after 17 years of marriage, her husband asked for a divorce. “As you can imagine I was devastated. We were having problems connecting but I never thought that he would ever suggest that option,” she said. The divorce became final in June 2011. After everything was divided and decided it was determined that their two sons (12 & 16) would live with Donna and she would retain the home to keep everything as “normal” as possible. However, that was just the beginning. Two weeks after the divorce papers were signed the house was completely destroyed by a flood. “Here I was divorced with two boys and no place to live. Fortunately, my parents, cousins, uncles and friends were able to help us evacuate things out of the house.” For the next six months, Donna and the boys lived in a 34-foot camper. “With the help of my parents I was able to purchase a modular home and try to get lives back on even footing. Being a Registered Nurse I was able to keep working and supporting my boys.” When major life events like divorces and floods hit an individual, it is not uncommon to suffer a bout of depression. A divorce, flood, and displacement emotionally impacted Weigel. “I was incredible lucky to have friends who realized what I was going through and encouraged me to go to counseling.” The counselor helped me realize that I was a strong independent woman who, with a little help, could get through these tough times. “I joined a group called Divorce Care. This 13-week program showed me that what I was going through was normal and gave me some coping skills.” Her faith played a pivotal role during that time.



The Gift of Life Joycelyn Hagen is a Multi-Gallon Giver. Submitted Photo

Article by Erin Wood

Devils Lake


onating blood is considered the gift of life. For Devils Lake resident Joycelyn Hagen, it’s been decades of dedicated donating.

“You can really make a difference. Your family, friends or neighbor may need your blood someday,” she said. Hagen became a blood donor in 1990 and reached her goal of 10 gallons January 9, 2020. Several years ago, she had the opportunity to donate blood for a friend’s upcoming surgery. January is marked as National Blood Donor Month. Inspired by the American Red Cross, National Blood Donor Month has been observed since January 1970. January is an optimum month to recognize blood donations because during the winter months blood donations typically decline mainly due to inclement weather and seasonal illness. 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. She donates blood three times a year. On January 8th, Hagen attended an area blood drive for a scheduled donation that marked her 83rd time giving. “Anyone can start today to be among the caring people who make it possible to maintain an adequate blood supply,” she said. Personally, being a regular blood donor keeps Hagen motivated to be a healthier individual. Individuals wishing to give blood must go through a screening process prior to donating. Hagen said a quick health check is completed at each donation, including blood pressure, pulse, iron levels, and overall health questionnaire. Individuals who donate blood experience the mental health benefit of knowing they have helped another person. For Hagen, the real satisfaction is receiving a text message from the blood donation center that states “your blood donation was used today.” “I encourage you to become a ‘Hero’ today and save someone’s life. Do it for yourself, it feels good knowing you helped someone you don’t even know.” (See Cover 1 Page 24 for a support article about the impacts of blood donation.) IHBM JANUARY|FEBRUARY|MARCH 2021


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