Practitioners We Trust

Fitness Matters – a Very Valuable Neighbor!

Leaves of Life began a collaboration with the Fitness Matters crew in late 2012 – forming an exciting cooperative wellness collective. We’ve shared numerous referrals both directions with great results.

Because we are not fitness experts, unless there is a specific need, we often advise clients to do a fitness assessment and allow this to guide the services best suited for them to build a personalized fitness program with FM.

I personally have taken Pilates trios (on reformer/Cadillac) 3 times weekly since January 2013.  My Pilates instructor, Kerry Nicholson Gonzalez, has several Pilates certifications, and her Bachelor of Science in Ballet with an additional focus in Kinesiology.

Since starting Pilates, I’ve noticed increased core and overall strength, improved muscle tone, posture, balance and flexibility.  The classes are fun and the focus on technique and breathing help with stress management, and the many different exercises target all muscle groups.

Kerry modifies exercises to fit each client and is great at observing for proper posture, and making sure the correct muscle groups are engaged.  Last month, before I left for vacation, I noticed she had shifted her focus to my legs and abs in preparation for swimwear…love her!  And the other ladies in my trio make the time fly as we share laughs and stories during our workouts.

Sheila and Andrew are the Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) pros. When massage doesn’t help – or helps, but doesn’t last – there may be muscles that are dormant/inactive that create a need for other muscles to compensate, often causing chronic or recurrent pain and discomfort.  By identifying inactive muscles and activating them, compensating muscles are able to relax.

I have personally worked with Sheila, and found MAT to be invaluable for keeping me balanced and pain-free as I work to strengthen and stabilize and reprogram muscle memory with Pilates.

Many Leaves of Life female patients have found relief from chronic pelvic pain, incontinence, abdominal discomfort and more through Dr. Katie Coleman’s services.  Dr. Coleman is one of only 4 CAPP certified women’s health physical therapists in the state of Ohio, and she carries additional certification in dry needling, as well as strength and conditioning.

Both Dr. Coleman and Fitness Matters owner Dr. Travis Timmons are doctors of physical therapy, so a physician’s referral is not required  and FM does insurance billing in-house for all their PT clients.

Fitness Matters also houses a nice collection of highly educated personal trainers, a second Pilates instructor and a friendly front desk assistant.  Whatever your fitness goals, we highly recommend them!

Check out this full post from the Fitness Matters blog to get a better idea of who they are and what they do:

When It Comes to Fitness, We Make It Enjoyable and Effective!

by fitnessmatters2us
Caring, Safety, Team Approach, Education, and Fun!

Your fitness matters to you – and it matters to us too. Our goal is to keep you fully in the game of life!

We are a private and comfortable fitness studio offering Personal Fitness Training, Physical Therapy & Orthopedic Rehabilitation, and Sports Preparation and Injury Recovery. We have been in business since 2000.

We are known for our caring attitude and a focus on the safety of exercises as you get and stay fit.

We accept most insurance coverages for Physical Therapy.

Live Life Well. When it comes to fitness and health, simple things –even very simple things—can make a
big difference in:

      • pain relief
      • mobility
      • strength
      • stamina
      • balance
      • weight control
      • progress

With us, you don’t have to commit to a rigid or complicated program. You don’t have to depend on willpower.

Instead, you will be guided by caring and experienced professionals, and you will enjoy a supportive, comfortable studio environment.

With us it’s not about sweating on exercise equipment or developing bulky muscles. Instead, it’s about using our deep knowledge to provide the best individualized program for you.

So, whether you visit us for fitness training, weight loss, post-partum recovery, sports safety and preparation, pain-free living,  orthopedic rehabilitation, or physical therapy, we want you to know and experience every time you see us that:

Your Fitness Matters To Us, too.

Posted by Patty Shipley

How to Have a Healthy Vacation

No Practicing! A Vacation of Good Food and Self Care

Our daily reminder to recharge

Self care is a theme in so many of the recovery protocols we recommend to clients. “Make time for yourself and activities you enjoy…”  “Create “you” time…” “Carve out even a few minutes every day for relaxation…” How many of you have heard Francie or I say these words during a consult?

This sign was visible from the condo’s front porch. It was meant for people who were using the golf course, but it was a great, constant reminder to keep self care as part of our daily intention.

Part of self care on vacation is taking a real break from the typical “real life” routine… For us, it was stepping away from our daily practice of seeing clients, developing protocols, office work, etc. We chose to rent a place with a kitchen where we could focus on making good, healthful meals. We also took the time to scope out places around Hilton Head that supported our goal of healthy vacation eating.

Recharging our “self batteries” has been great and now it’s time to head home. We are coming back to Columbus refreshed and ready to face new challenges.

I hope everyone was able to take something away from our vacation posts… remember to apply to your own summer plans! And do what you can to create mini vacations for yourselves even at home!

Read more How to Have a Healthy Vacation posts!

Posted by Patty Shipley

How to Have a Healthy Vacation, Recipes

We Are Roasting… Literally!

It’s the end of our trip, so we pulled together a salad and made some road food at the same time. We roasted 2 cans of chick peas with some grapeseed oil and sea salt, while simultaneously roasting the last of our veggies – a zucchini, yellow squash, cherry tomatoes and an onion tossed first in grapeseed oil, sea salt and Italian herbs.

Roasting chickpeas and leftover veggies…

Next we topped our salad with warm roasted veggies, some pine nut hummus, a scoop of still warm, slightly crispy chickpeas, our last avocado and some olive oil and vinegar dressing. Our best salad yet!  And we used up most of our leftovers.

Leftovers salad… great way to avoid waste









Read more How to Have a Healthy Vacation posts!

How to Have a Healthy Vacation

Gluten Free Pizza!

Gluten free pizza with chickpea flour crust!

Sometimes only a pizza will do. Clients going gluten free tell us that they miss having the occasional pizza night… and we are no exception!

We brought along a pre-packaged pizza crust mix of chickpea flour, tapioca flour, and a few other ingredients. Similar idea to the chickpea pancake mix – come prepared and stay gluten free!

Read more How to Have a Healthy Vacation posts!

How to Have a Healthy Vacation

Smoothies and Snacks at Pure Natural Market

Walk with us through our DIY health retreat-style vacation in Hilton Head, a place we chose because it’s accessible by car so we could bring our own cookware and pillows…two very important items if you want to take good care of yourself while away from home. So far, we’ve been taking advantage of the bike friendly island to leave the car parked and ride rental bikes to restaurants and shops. Here we go…

91iPhone says it’s 91 degrees right now.  To beat the heat, we’ve been walking by the water and subsisting on mostly homemade veg/fruit/greens smoothies in the afternoons. This time, for a  a quick stop at Pure Natural Market on William Hilton Parkway.

Afternoon smoothies at Pure Natural Market

Organic, vegan smoothies made fresh… Today we got smoothies plus veggies and hummus…we loved the coconut milk, mango, lime juice, avocado and kale smoothie.

Very refreshing and only a 15 minute bike ride from our vacation rental!

Read more How to Have a Healthy Vacation posts!

How to Have a Healthy Vacation


delisheeeYo – Hilton Head Island, SC

We had to hit up delisheeeYo – a great little restaurant on HHI. Delicious, vegan, organic eats and an on site garden… does it get much better?

Great menu… tough decision. We were famished when we first arrived and chose the Super Salad Sampler.

photo (4)
Take a look at the delisheeeYo menu!

Talk about delicious! Tofu “egg” salad, a truly heavenly hummus and some unique and tasty nut salad on organic greens with sprouts and a light dressing.  It was Delisheee, yo!

Super Sampler Salad

Read more How to Have a Healthy Vacation posts!

Adrenals, Education and Newsletters

So What Exactly Are Your Adrenals?

Adrenal glands
Adrenal glands (image courtesy of Mayo Clinic)

Ever heard of adrenaline? This is just one of the many hormones produced by the adrenal glands. These prune-sized glands sit on top of the kidneys, and are composed of the outer cortex and the inner medulla. Let’s get acquainted with a few of the hormones secreted by these tiny but important glands:

  • Cortisol
  • DHEA
  • Adrenaline


Cortisol, a corticosteroid produced by the adrenal cortex, is meant to follow a circadian rhythm, and is regulated by the sleep/wake cycle. A normal, healthy cortisol rhythm is characterized by a spike in the morning, then a gradual decline throughout the day until midnight, when circulating levels are at their lowest.

Mental, emotional or immune stressors trigger the adrenals to respond with increased cortisol levels and these elevations in cortisol are maintained as long as the stressor is present. Over time, as stress continually increases cortisol levels, the adrenals begin to hypofunction and cortisol levels drop, resulting in fatigue. Most often what is seen is an altered cortisol rhythm, such as low morning cortisol, making it difficult to get up, an earlier drop that can cause an afternoon dip in energy, and a high nighttime level, making it difficult to fall or stay asleep.

An abnormal cortisol rhythm can have far-reaching effects on health. Because cortisol facilitates thyroid hormone at the receptor sites, elevated or depressed levels can result in a functionally hypothyroid state even if the thyroid serum levels are normal since thyroid hormones are not able to plug into receptor sites efficiently to send their messages.

Over time, elevated cortisol damages glucocorticoid receptors in the hippocampus that are responsible for providing a negative feedback to the hypothalamus. Damage to these receptors means that the hypothalamus never gets the message that there is too much cortisol in circulation, which triggers further secretion of cortisol. The hippocampus is also centrally involved in memory processes, so chronic stress often affects short- and long-term memory.

Cortisol is also produced to block the body’s histamine response to allergens. Asthma and allergy sufferers always have some degree of adrenal compromise.


DHEA acts as a major steroid hormone, is linked to balancing the body’s stress response and acts as a precursor to testosterone, estrone and estradiol. DHEA is also a key factor in guarding against the degenerative conditions associated with aging and may be a key factor in preventing age-related dementia and neuronal damage.

Depressed levels of DHEA are often a result of an abnormal physiological response to stress, causing a shift of hormone production to cortisol at the expense of DHEA. Low DHEA typically results in low testosterone, particularly in women. Some of the symptoms associated with low levels of these androgens are low libido, poor immune response (low levels are linked to an increased cancer risk), lowered stamina and decreased ability to build muscle or bone.

An elevated DHEA can also signify an altered stress response, or can be a sign of insulin resistance, especially if accompanied by elevated testosterone levels. When cells become resistant to insulin’s message to store sugar, the pancreas is forced to up-regulate the production of insulin. High insulin levels can cause changes in the ovaries that result in elevated androgen levels and possibly the formation of ovarian cysts (PCOS).


Adrenaline (AKA epinephrine) is meant to be released sparingly during times of intense stress, but it’s also released when blood sugar levels fall below normal. This typically happens when a refined carbohydrate is consumed. The lack of fiber in refined carbohydrates allows the sugars to release very quickly into the bloodstream, causing a spike in blood sugar. The pancreas then hyper-secretes insulin to drive the sugar into the cells, bringing the blood sugar back down. With consumption of refined carbs, often excessive insulin is released, causing the blood sugar to fall below normal. Then the adrenals are forced to release adrenaline, which triggers the release of stored sugar (glycogen) from the liver and muscles. This constant balancing act the pancreas and adrenals must perform when the diet is high in refined carbohydrates weakens them over time. Once blood sugar becomes chronically unstable, sugar levels may drop at night during sleep, making it necessary for the adrenals to produce adrenaline to bring blood sugar back up. This can cause intense dreams and/or “mind chatter” that prevent a normal return to sleep and in some cases, the urge to urinate (remember their location?). Chronic stress also wears out the adrenals through the continual production of adrenaline.

Stay tuned for more Leaves of Life posts in the adrenals education series.

Posted as part of the Leaves of Life Education series. 

Copyright Patty Shipley. All rights reserved.

Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, How to Have a Healthy Vacation, Paleo, Recipes

Healthy Huevos Rancheros

Healthy Huevos Rancheros
Healthy Huevos Rancheros

A great start to the day from Francie… healthy huevos rancheros.


  • Vegetarian refried beans
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Over medium eggs
  • Salsa
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado

FYI, this vacation breakfast is not elimination friendly because of the eggs, but definitely can be gluten free as long as you take a look at the ingredients of the refried beans and salsa!

Read more How to Have a Healthy Vacation posts!

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