By Nora Jaara
The founder of Clem & Thyme Nutrition and Wellness wants it all. Leslie Edmunds, a self-described dreamer, is expanding her practice, with plans to grow even more in the future.
Clem & Thyme offers nutrition therapy, dietary consulting, cooking classes and more at its East Enon Road offices just outside of village limits.
Two years after setting up there, the company is now adding 2,600 square feet to its existing space with the help of Green Generation Building Co., a contractor based in Yellow Springs.
With the added space, Edmunds said she can better tackle her goal of helping clients improve their health
“I truly believe that food is medicine,” she said.
Edmunds will be able to host larger groups, since the current kitchen space can only fit about 15 people. The addition will also have more offices and a multi-purpose room that will hold about 30 people.
With the new office space, Edmunds also plans to bring a therapist onto the team. She is considering adding a nurse practitioner and a phlebotomist, among other health professionals.
In the future, Edmunds wants a new barn to utilize for yoga classes, as well as larger cooking classes and corporate wellness events. Clem & Thyme currently offers corporate wellness services, but more space would give them the ability to host more people.
“We’re growing here, and I plan to be here forever,” Edmunds said. “This is like my dream job and eventually, I want this whole property to be a wellness place.”
Edmunds opened her first practice, Healthy Hearts Nutrition, in 2012 at 14 E. Main St. in Springfield. But due to the name, people thought she specialized in caring for cardiac patients.
When she moved her practice to 4359 East Enon Road in 2017, she decided to rebrand as Clem & Thyme.
“Pretty much everything was the same as Healthy Hearts Nutrition, except for we’ve grown tremendously since we’ve been here,” Edmunds said.
Edmunds hired her first employee in 2017, and she now has seven dietitians besides herself working at the practice. She estimates that they see about 220 clients a month and said their net profit approximately doubled last year.
Edmunds holds a degree in medical dietetics from The Ohio State University and received her master’s in public health from Wright State University. She also has certifications in adult weight management, Lifestyle Eating and Performance, or LEAP therapy, and diabetes education. LEAP therapy is a protocol that is used for food sensitivities.
The bulk of Edmunds’ work consists of one-on-one nutrition counseling. The length of a session depends on the individual needs of the client but varies from 30 to 90 minutes. Most clients have their appointments covered by insurance, Edmunds said.
Clients can receive help grocery shopping, meal planning and setting health goals. The practice also offers cooking classes and individual cooking sessions for clients who need it.
According to Edmunds, people make certain assumptions about dietitians, including that they are very restrictive. But she believes there is more to life than restrictive eating and that health and joy are not mutually exclusive.
“We want you to be healthy, but we also want you to enjoy food and life,” Edmunds said.
Clem & Thyme also does food sensitivity testing and other specialty testing as well. Additionally, the dietitians are equipped to help clients with autoimmune conditions, digestive problems and other health concerns.
“Our mission is to get you on the least restrictive diet that manages your health conditions,” Edmunds said. “I don’t want people on restrictive diets if they don’t have to be.”
When Edmunds works with clients, she would rather they set achievable behavioral goals, such as eating a portion of vegetables with dinner or decreasing their Starbucks runs. She also aims to help people eat more whole foods and rely less on processed foods.
And while some clients do come in looking for weight management, Edmunds’ goal is to steer them away from a diet mentality and help them improve how they feel. Many female clients, for example, have extensive dieting histories.
“A lot of times females have chronically dieted their entire lives,” Edmunds said.
The practice has also expanded their eating disorder services under Natalia Calzada, who has the necessary training.
“We weren’t handling eating disorders before, and she has taken that on a hundred percent,” Edmunds said. “The Dayton area is very lacking on eating disorder nutrition help. A lot of people have to go to Cincinnati or Columbus for assistance with eating disorders.”
For more information, visit clemandthyme.com or call 937-206-1131.
*Jaara is a freelance writer for the News based in Fairborn. She can be reached at email@example.com.