Back to School! Alum Spotlight with Rama Pfeiffer
….and cue Fall! This week ushered in the start of September, cooler temps, some much needed rain and back to school for many here in the Portland Metro area and beyond. Back to school means many things – getting back into routines, an increase in organized activities, taking classes, and preparing for shorter days to come. Back to school also brings to mind things like family meal planning and school lunches, a topic that can be a challenge for busy families. We thought we’d check in with one of our Wholistic Nutrition Program alums, Rama Pfeiffer, also a busy mom, to see what she’s been up to and ask her for her “back to school” advice and more!
Q: What you have been up to since completing the program?
I had a baby girl about halfway through the program and made a move to wine country shortly after graduation. I wanted to take some time to get settled into post-grad life with her and also find my focus for what I wanted to do specifically within my field. I launched a blog site called Freshly Grown in 2012 prior to enrolling and have continued putting out real-food content and education for my audience, while spending time with my baby girl and finding my footing as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. I have taken several clients since graduation, which has been fantastic, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue taking 1-on-1 clients as a part of my business. I told myself I would give myself a year to decide and the year is almost exactly up!
Q: So, what did you decide?
The timing of this interview is fitting, I JUST decided to go for it and am currently finishing up building out my practitioner website, Freshly Grown Wellness. I am really excited to include this as a part of what I do. I think after students graduate there is so much we can do to support people and their health and I am really looking forward to that. I just spent time this past week with a client and to be able to provide that client with a sacred space to share deep parts of the soul is such an honor. I look forward to more of that.
Q: What are your plans for developing your business and practice?
This year has been an amazing time of learning. After my baby girl was born I developed postpartum thyroiditis (low thyroid), which sent me into a tailspin of learning and researching everything about the thyroid, endocrine system, autoimmunity and gut connection. A friend introduced me to the world of essential oils about this time as well and I had no idea how supportive and adaptogenic to the body they could be. I have learned so much because of my own struggles that I am focusing on gut healing as an integral part of my practice. Eighty percent of our immunity lies in our gut; what we eat absolutely matters. Many folks suffer from leaky gut, which leads to many other illnesses and ailments and I would like to work with clients on gut healing protocols and nourishing foods, supplements and essential oils to support gut health, adrenal function and stress management. The gut micro-biome is fascinating work and the field is just now growing it seems. One day I’d love to do a dissertation on the gut biome of some sort.
Q: What are you excited about for the future of your practice?
I am most excited about empowering individuals and families on how to eat real food, specifically foods that nourish the Spleen (TCM) and support gut health. It’s exciting to see how people are really starting to own their health, find the time to make and eat whole foods even within their busy lives and take back the dinner table! There is something irreplaceable about sitting around a dinner table with good food, good company, and good conversation.
Q: Your love for your family is inspiring and infectious, how has Wholistic Nutrition and your growing business influenced your family’s daily life?
I also have a 6-year-old son and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t know half the things I know today. I learned so much about natural birthing, how to set a solid real-food foundation for baby, how to nourish myself post pregnancy, etc. I ran into low milk supply with my second due to my low thyroid levels and was able to come up with a beautiful, nutritionally sound homemade goat milk formula that I was able to supplement with her and share with others. Everything I do every day is geared towards feeding them the most nutrient-dense food that actually fuels their cells vs. making them sick, you know?
Q: What back-to-school advice do you have for happy, healthy kids?
Make cooking fun! Get them involved in the food making process. Kids love to garden and be a part of eating the harvest. Take time to get down into the dirt with them and show them where our food comes from. Stay active and play always, especially outside! My advice for going back-to-school would be to start boosting their immune system now before they are bombarded with all of the back-to-school pathogens. Get those dark, leafy greens into their diets, have them on a quality probiotic daily, along with fish oil, Vit D., chinese herbs that tonify the Lungs and Spleen systems. We also incorporate the use Thieves essential oil diluted and rubbed on the bottom’s of the feet nightly to support the immune cells. Here is a nutrient-dense snack idea for kiddos: Cherry Chocolate RawBars. It is also a great to pack in their lunch as well!
Q: Thanks for the delicious recipe! Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I am so glad I attended The Wellspring School. I miss it. I miss the ladies, the teaching, going to class. I would be a student forever. If you think this field is right for you, go for it! Don’t wait. You have one life, so live your passion!
We love hearing from all of our alum, so make sure to keep us posted on what’s happening with you!
We will be starting our next Wholistic Nutrition Program group in February 2016. Updated application materials including a student catalogue and schedule of classes will be available mid-September. If you have any questions prior to that, please feel free to contact us directly. One of our soon-to-graduate Wholistic Nutrition Program groups will be hosting student clinics on September 26th & 27th and October 25th. Wholistic Nutrition Student Clinics are donation based, fully supervised and a great way to get some individual nutritional recommendations as well as check out the school, the program and the students!