Pam Kesselring, RHN
Pam Kesselring, RHN

Hello! I’m Pam Kesselring and I’m a Holistic Nutritionist and busy mom.  I work with parents of children experiencing attention, behavioural, sleep, skin and stomach problems, who are looking for ways to help their children overcome these issues without the use of pharmaceutical drugs.

I’m on a mission to help parents make feeding their families with healthful real food, easy and stress-free.  I have experienced first-hand the transformation that can take place in a child’s life when we tune in to their body’s clues to what they need, and respond with nourishing meals and snacks that support their growth and wellness.

This is my story.

When my children were very young, I was concerned about feeding them well, and I wanted them to enjoy a wide variety of foods.  I made almost all of their baby food from scratch using fresh foods. I followed my doctor’s advice on what and when to feed them their first foods, and I followed the Canada’s Food Guide as best I could as they grew older.  We ate at fast food places very infrequently, and I limited candy and treats to special events or occasions.

I was pretty confident that I was doing a good job feeding my children well.  Until I discovered that I wasn’t.

Here’s how I made that discovery…

My youngest son always seemed to have a ton of energy, was a constant babbler and talker, and was quick to flash a big smile and hardy laugh.  He also regularly had bright red cheeks and ears, dark circles under his eyes, a stuffy nose, persistent diaper rash, and often a bloated and gassy tummy.

Pouty Faced BoyWhen he was 5 years old and in Kindergarten, his ton of energy was now an inability to sit still.  His constant talking was a lack of listening skills and inability to be quiet when the teacher told him to.  My joyful youngster was now sad, moody and hated school.  School became a struggle for him and a nightmare for me.  I had frequent meetings with the teacher and principal to discuss his ‘needs’.  I got daily reminders of how poorly he behaved in class, communicated through the dreaded “Communication Book”.  (If you’ve had one of these for your child, you may understand how that book did nothing but make me feel like a constant failure as a parent, and elevated my stress levels nearly every day.)

My husband and I were aware of the possibility of an ADHD diagnosis for our son.  We were certain that the route of diagnosis and medication was going to be a last resort for us when figuring out what our youngest son needed to be happy and successful in school.  We were determined to naturally help him through these struggles, no matter what the cost.  We had testing of his eyesight, speech and hearing done, and, on a hunch, had an in-office neurological exam done.  It was in that examination that we learned of a possible brain injury which would explain some of the physical and behavioural issues he was having.  The cause of the injury could not be determined, but the treatment could – supplemental nutrients to help heal the brain.

That was my Aha! moment. Food was the solution I had been looking for.  I researched how food affects the brain, and what nutrients are needed for proper brain development in children.  We identified food sensitivities that were negatively affecting his mind, as well as causing the red cheeks and ears, dark eyes, stuffy nose, bloated gassy tummy, bum rashes, and eczema. I was astonished to discover how much of what I thought was good food that I was feeding my son, was actually harming him. 

Within a week of changing his diet to eliminate the food sensitivities and artificial ingredients, his teachers noticed a marked improvement in his behaviour, energy levels, and attitude towards school.  His cheeks and ears were no longer bright red, and his bloating and gas disappeared.  His skin issues began to clear up.  It was amazing!

Pasta dishI started to dive deeper into the ways in which food affects the brain and body, and how to heal the damage to my son’s gut that caused the food sensitivities and impacted his brain.  I challenged myself to change what our family ate to better support our overall health and wellbeing, in a way that would be embraced by my children and husband, not just me, “the nutrition junkie”.

I became so interested in the effects of food on mental health that I decided to enroll at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, and pursue a career as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, so that I could help other families improve their lives with real food too.  I’m bringing my passion for understanding how the body works, and discovering the power of food to balance body systems, to my work with clients every day.

When I’m not guiding clients to use real food for better physical and mental health, I can usually be found sewing, colouring my ‘grown-up’ colouring books, or helping my son learn to code. (Okay, so maybe its more like he is teaching me to code. How do kids learn this stuff so quickly?)

Want to know more?  Here are five fun facts you probably don’t know about me:

  • In addition to being a Mom of two amazing kids, I also have two awesome step-sons, and an adorable grandson.
  • I am a sewist who loves all kinds of sewing and embroidery. I make clothing, purses, quilts and household items.  I often say it’s my therapy – which is a great excuse to make time for it in my schedule, even if it means sometimes ignoring a few household chores.
  • I am a huge fan of Bono and the music of U2. It speaks to me at my core.  Put me in my sewing room with all my U2 tunes on shuffle, and I can lose myself in a creative whirlwind for days.
  • In addition to my Registered Holistic Nutritionist designation and being a member of the Canadian Association of Natural Nutrition Practitioners (CANNP), I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Finance. The business of stocks and bonds is pretty far from the holistic health practice I love now, but its all part of what made me who I am today.
  • I don’t live a life that is stereotypically “holistic” and full of yoga, tofu and sprouts. My passions lie in making simple healthful versions of the comfort foods I grew up on, and in finding exercise and spiritual practices that resonate with my soul.

Want to work with me?  

  1. Join the Improving Behaviour Naturally email list and get the free “Eat This Not That” Shopping Guide.
  2. Jump over to Marigold Whole Life Centre online booking page and book a Nutrition Consultation with me.  30 minutes can reveal the power you have to take control of your child’s wellness issues.
  3. Join the Improving Behaviour Naturally Facebook Group.  A private group for parents who are interested in using diet and lifestyle to support their whole family, and especially children with ADD/ADHD.