Education and Newsletters, Patty Shipley, RN, Naturopath

Lifestyle Medicine Summit 2014 with Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd at the Metagenics Lifestyle Medicine Summit 2014. Image courtesy of Metagenics.
Naomi Judd at the Metagenics Lifestyle Medicine Summit 2014. Image courtesy of Metagenics.

Knowledge in Nashville!

Metagenics, Inc. hosted its third annual Lifestyle Medicine Summit, held on September 26-28 in Nashville, TN… and I’m so glad I was part of it!

The event drew more than 600 attendees and included workshops and lectures from a large group of respected leaders in the functional medicine field – many of whom have made significant contributions to transforming patient care–shifting the focus away from symptom control toward seeking and treating underlying causes of illness.

Through their individual efforts, and by educating and empowering other practitioners, these leaders seek to effect positive global change in healthcare costs, the food and pharmaceutical industries, and ultimately for our children and their futures as they inherit the systems we have created.  It was a truly inspiring weekend!

I Know Where I’m Going, Don’t You Want to Come Too?



And, yes, Naomi Judd was there! She shared her very personal story of using multiple functional medicine modalities as she navigated her recovery from Hepatitis C.  She attended sessions on both days of the summit – asking intelligent and insightful questions. She related how good nutrition, exercise, counseling/stress reduction, connecting to nature and family were a complete cure for a disease she was told was terminal. Now in her late 60’s she feels it is her mission to tell her story and educate others on the curative powers of lifestyle medicine.

What I Learned…

There is no way to relay all I learned in Nashville, but here’s a little sampling of my take away’s:

  • 10% of the carbohydrates in breast milk are not digestible or absorbable because they are meant as food for friendly microbes.
  • Probiotics taken prior to flu vaccines have been shown to enhance the antibody response without any changes in inflammation.
  • The states with the highest antibiotic use also have the highest incidence of obesity.
  • Children receiving antibiotics in their first year of life are more likely to be overweight when they reach kindergarten.
  • Mark Houston, a leading, world-renowned integrative cardiologist, reviewed current research on assessing cardiovascular risk. He reminded us that about 50% of those who have a myocardial infarction have NORMAL LDL and total cholesterol, so looking at particle sizes is much more predictive of cardiovascular risk.  We’ve been looking at particle sizes of cholesterol for risk assessment at Leaves of Life for years. In fact – we even offer a lab test for it!
  • Michael Nova, CMO of Pathway Genomics talked about how the new science of epigenetics is beginning to help reveal how the choices we make can change our genes as well as those of our children. In the next few years, this will be increasingly possible since approximately 1,000 human genetic trials are published EVERY MONTH. At Leaves of Life, we are currently utilizing multiple genetic tests to help us individualize patient care.
  • Mark Hyman, MD, chairman of the Institute For Functional Medicine and a bestselling author of several books, made the following excellent points:
      • You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet
      • Many Americans are spending more time watching cooking on TV than cooking themselves
      • On average, Americans consume 146 pounds of flour and 153 pounds of sugar yearly
      • Children consume an average of 34 tsp of sugar daily
      • Obesity risk increases by 60% in children who drink 1 pop daily
      • Many of the drugs that treat heart disease cause or worsen diabetes and many of the drugs that treat diabetes cause or worsen heart disease. Dr. Hyman coined a term for these types of drug/disease relationships: Pharmageddon
      • People have more control over what they eat than how much they eat, based on brain chemistry
      • The only bread Dr. Hyman approves of is one you can stand on without squishing it
  • Dr. David Katz, MD is director and co-founder of the Yale Prevention Research Center and principal inventor of the Overall Nutritional Quality Index. This index is used by a growing number of grocery stores to rate food by its overall protein/carb/fat ratio, types of fat, vitamin and mineral content, fiber, glycemic index and more.  If it’s not at your grocery store, ask!  Check it out  at

This weekend I’ll be at another conference, and I’ll be sure to pass along some of the highlights!


Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Healthy Desserts, Paleo, Recipes

Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread
Recipe courtesy of Against All Grain. Photo courtesy of Leaves of Life.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter or tahini
  • 1/2 cup grade B maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tbsp soft ghee, coconut or palm oil plus more to grease pan
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1-1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp grain-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Lightly grease an 8-1/4 by 4-1/2 inch loaf pan.
  3. Place a piece of parchment paper on bottom of pan.
  4. In a high-speed blender/food processor, combine eggs, sunflower butter, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, oil or ghee, lemon juice and vanilla.  Puree until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add arrowroot powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, lemon zest, ginger and salt.  Blend for 30 seconds until well combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  7. Bake 60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Remove loaf from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing.
  9. Allow to cool completely before eating.
Dairy-Free, Detox, Elimination Diet, Garden Gluttony, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Healthy Desserts, Recipes

Delicata Squash Rings

Recipe and photo courtesy of Leaves of Life. Crispy and salty on the outside, sweet and tender on the inside…these delicata squash rings taste like dessert—and no need to remove the beautiful skin


  • Delicata squash
  • 1-2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut delicata in half shortways and remove both stem ends.
  2. Remove seeds with a spoon and slice into 1/4 inch slices.
  3. Arrange on a cookie sheet and drizzle with liquid coconut oil, then toss to coat.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, turning halfway through cook time.


Try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to enhance the sweetness and help balance blood sugar.

Elimination Diet, Garden Gluttony, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, Recipes

Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup

butternut soup
Recipe and photo courtesy of Leaves of Life


  • 2 medium or 1 large butternut squash
  • 2-4 cups chicken broth (depending on desired thickness)
  • 1 14 ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp curry paste
  • 2 tbsp diced ginger root
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup cashew nut butter (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Lay cut side down on baking tray and place in oven at 350 for 40 minutes, until tender when pierced with a knife.
  2. Place coconut oil, onion, ginger and garlic in skillet and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent.
  3. Scoop butternut squash out of skin into food processor or high speed blender.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.
  5. Taste and salt as desired.
  6. Warm before serving.


I’m not super crazy about acorn squash, and my garden burped out a pile of them this year, so I added 2 of them each time I made this soup.  They hid well.  -Patty

Dairy-Free, Elimination Diet, Garden Gluttony, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, Recipes

Chicken Lentil Chorizo Stew

chicken lentil chorizo
Photo and recipe courtesy of Leaves of LIfe


  • 1 pound fresh chorizo, skin removed and chopped
  • 1/2 pound chicken, chopped
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1 hot banana pepper, chopped (you can go hotter or milder)
  • 1 mediumish zucchini, chopped
  • 1 mediumish yellow summer squash, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 package mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 small handful cilantro, chopped
  • Just enough oil of your choice to prevent veggies from sticking
  • 2 tsp dry Italian herbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook chicken and chorizo in chicken broth, then remove and allow to cool before chopping
  2. In a skillet, add oil and all veggies-I like to start with carrots and celery because they take longer to cook-this prevents overcooking of the other veggies
  3. Once veggies are cooked until slightly crunchy, add back to broth
  4. Add all other ingredients and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes
  5. Taste and tweak flavors and serve


You can add a glug of olive oil to a bowl of this soup to boost oleic acid levels.  This is a common deficiency on micronutrient testing in our office.  Oleic acid is crucial to healthy cell membranes.

Dairy-Free, Detox, Elimination Diet, Garden Gluttony, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, Recipes

Spaghetti Sauce over Spaghetti Squash

Recipe and photo courtesy of Leaves of Life


  • 1 pound ground meat (ground chicken, lamb, beef, turkey, venison all work well here)
  • 1 large spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large chocolate (or red, yellow or orange) pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 8 ounce package of mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • Large handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dry Italian herb blend
  • 2 tbsp oil of choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place halved spaghetti squash cut side down on baking sheet and put in oven at 350 for approximately 30 minutes (check for doneness by piercing skin with a knife–when knife easily punctures skin, it’s done)
  2. Place all vegetables in skillet with oil and stir over medium heat until slightly crunchy
  3. Add minced garlic, fresh basil and any other fresh herbs you may have on hand that will go well
  4. Continue stirring over medium heat until the herbs are slightly wilted
  5. Add spaghetti sauce and dry Italian herbs and reduce heat to simmer until spaghetti squash is done
  6. Once squash is cooked through, remove from oven and using a fork, scrape and fluff squash as you remove from skin
  7. Top with sauce and enjoy!


If not avoiding dairy, top with goat or parmesan cheese for a flavor boost.  It’s also nice to top with more fresh basil.  Adding olives is another nice touch to this recipe.


Dairy-Free, Garden Gluttony, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Recipes

More Veggies and Eggs

Recipe and photo courtesy of Leaves of Life


  • 2 pastured eggs, over medium
  • Spinach, stirfried and wilted
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • Corn on the cob, sliced off
  • Halved cherry tomatoes
  • Coconut, olive or grapeseed oil


  1. Start with the corn, stir frying until warm and maybe a little browned.
  2. Scooch the corn over and add the spinach, cover with a lid and stir a couple of times
  3. Scooch the spinach over and add the eggs
  4. Meantime, cut up tomatoes and avocado
  5. Wallah!  A rainbow of colors and nutrients and loads of fiber on your plate!
Genetics, Patty Shipley, RN, Naturopath

The Future of Medicine is Now!

Did you Know Your Body has a Built-In Mechanic?

You may have read my blog post about the food adventures I had on my recent trip to Portland, Maine. No matter what my friends might say, I was there for more than the food!

Over the past year or so, I’ve become more and more interested in genetic testing and how I can customize treatment plans based on the results of those tests. I believe it’s the future of medicine – and it’s an exciting way to augment the services we offer at Leaves of Life.

In September, I traveled to Portland to hear Dr. Amy Yasko’s presentation on optimizing methylation (and associated biochemical pathways) to address chronic illnesses of all kinds. She’s an expert in this area, so I was very excited to hear what she had to say. It’s difficult to summarize so much technical information in a blog post, but I’m going to try! At minimum, I want to communicate how valuable I think this topic is to all of my patients.

At a high level, methylation is a process by which gene expression is either silenced or activated.  Let me give you some examples…

Say you have inherited a gene for some type of cancer that tends to run in  your family.  As long as the cancer gene is properly methylated, it will not express itself.

Have a tumor suppressor gene that will suppress cancer if it starts to grow?  Proper methylation ensures that the tumor suppressor gene will express itself and successfully suppress cancer growth.

Ever heard the saying that disease is 10% genetic and 90% lifestyle and environment?  When we bathe our genes in the proper information (good diet, clean environment, positive attitude), they express in the way that is most advantageous to our overall health and wellbeing.

Genes may be the gun, but diet and lifestyle pull the trigger.

Putting the ME in Medicine

Dr. Amy is a PhD who has been utilizing genetic testing for many years to treat and cure autistic children.  As our knowledge of genetics evolves and expands, and as genetic testing has become affordable to the average person, we are now able to personalize medicine like never before.

Dr. Amy’s focus has always been primarily on methylation and associated biochemical pathways (BH4, methionine, sulfation, kreb’s cycle).  Among MANY other functions, these pathways help us:

  • Create energy
  • Detoxify harmful substances, including homocysteine and ammonia, both of which are normal by-products of metabolism, as well as heavy metals and other toxicants we encounter in our environment
  • Recycle B12, SAM-e, methionine and folate for re-use in the body
  • Make and break down neurotransmitters
  • Methylate and  repair DNA for proper gene expression
  • Make nitric oxide to promote proper vessel dilation
  • AND so much more…

When these pathways are optimized, the body is able to recover from all illnesses and imbalances more effectively, which is why Dr. Amy describes these biochemical pathways as the body’s own built-in mechanic.

Want to Learn More?

Dr. Amy is very generous with her information.  Click here to read some of her publications on genetic testing and its application, as well as to access her free online book on treating autism holistically.

It wasn’t all work! Read more about Patty’s trip to Portland – exploring local food and beer.

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