In the past few years, there’s been a lot of buzz around “clean eating,” but what does the phrase really mean? According to Katie Sherer, DC, MS, to eat “clean” is to consume foods in their most natural state.
Although it might sound simple, “even an apple can be considered processed,” said the December 2011 Logan DC graduate.
In fact, 90 percent of foods on store shelves are processed or contain chemicals, contributing to autoimmune disease, heart disease and obesity. As hard as it may be to find “clean” foods, clean eating is extremely important, said Dr. Sherer.
“Clean eating alone—excluding calorie counting or reducing fat or carbohydrate intake—can help you lose weight,” she said.
Dr. Sherer’s dietary practice initially started with friends and family in May 2014. Today, she not only practices with her husband, Jacob Sherer, DC, MS (April 2012/ August 2015) in Alton, Ill., but offers a lean lifestyle program, fostering education and community surrounding dietary education, weight loss and clean eating.
Each month she hosts six to 10 clean eating parties in which a group of patients come together for an hour to prepare seven crockpot-ready meals that can be frozen and ready to eat whenever the patients need them.
Before each clean eating party, Dr. Sherer gives participants a grocery list of items to bring, while she provides the necessary prep items including spices, storage containers, cutting boards, etc. The parties and recipes never involve cooking, with the exception of browning meat or preparing rice beforehand.
“You need to do food prep; otherwise,
you will be tempted to grab something on the go, which is not always a healthy option,” said Dr. Sherer. She posts tips like this on social media, using platforms to gather people who are interested in her clean eating parties.
Dr. Sherer also works individually with patients who have diabetes, eating disorders or other conditions—as well as patients who simply need to lose or gain weight—and receives many referrals through local surgeons.
“If a surgeon’s patient has a BMI that is too high, they refer them to me so they can lose weight before the surgery,” explained Dr. Sherer.
Her patients’ results speak for themselves. One weight-loss patient lost 114 pounds in 14 months while one diabetes patient cut her insulin prescription in half within two weeks of Dr. Sherer’s program. Soon after, that patient had lost a total of 80 pounds and no longer needed medication.
“Part of the reason I’ve had success with my patients is because I designed a program that’s affordable,” she said, as insurance policies often won’t cover dietary and/or weight loss programs, deterring candidates from enrolling in them. “But the nutrition aspect is just as important as chiropractic—you’re not going to get the best chiropractic results if nutrition isn’t involved as well.”
She said it was through the Loomis Program that she realized how physiology really affects each individual person. “Dr. Robert Davidson, PhD, program director for the Master of Science in Nutrition and Human Performance was also a great mentor to me and my husband,” she said. “He helped shape my program.”
Dr. Sherer’s husband, Dr. Jacob Sherer, now teaches two courses in Logan’s Master of Nutrition and Human Performance program and practices in both Edwardsville, Ill., and Jerseyville, Ill., while Dr. Katie Sherer spends time outside of the practice volunteering in the Alton community, hosting grocery store tours and speaking in seminars, where she teaches people how to read labels and choose healthier options.
“Nutrition is my passion, and teaching the importance of proper nutrition is why I love my job,” she said. “Being able to make such a huge impact on a patient’s life through small dietary changes is why I love what I do.”