Nutrition for a cause

Kathryn Chambers, Registered Dietician, speaks about nutrition at a workshop on Saturday at Durham College.
Kathryn Chambers, Registered Dietician, speaks about nutrition at a workshop on Saturday at Durham College.

Seven years ago, a two-year-old girl died but in a small way that tragedy is helping others learn better eating habits today.

Bryce Cormier died in 2007 after receiving a heart transplant at SickKids hospital in Toronto. The little girl was born with heart defects and essentially lived in the hospital her whole life.

Bryce’s mother is Kathryn Chambers, a Registered Dietician who held a seminar at Durham College on Saturday and donated the proceeds to SickKids hospital in memory of her daughter.

“This sweet little girl started out her life struggling. She struggled to survive,” said Andrea Babbin, who helped organize the event. “She needed many surgeries including a heart transplant, which against all odds brought her past her second birthday. Sadly she passed away after that hard-fought battle.”

About 30 people attended the workshop, called Turned on to nutrition, the first Live and Learn workshop in what Chambers hopes to be a series of talks. Attendees paid $45 for entry, and ballots for door prizes could be purchased for an additional donation.

“I feel very passionate about sharing this information with you today,” Chambers said. “Food can be very personal. We all have a relationship with food. Sometimes that’s a good relationship, sometimes it’s a bad relationship.”


The day began with a question: do you know what is really in your food?


Chambers told a story about a cat that lives in the mountains. At the end of the story the participants learned this cat’s feces are the main ingredient in one of the most expensive cups of coffee in the world – which she says can run the coffee connoisseur up to $75 a cup.


The workshop lasted about four hours; with a half hour break in between sessions.


All morning participants learned about wheat, grains, celiac disease and gluten intolerance. The afternoon was all about sugar.


Vicki Mallam, a law firm receptionist, said she thought the workshop was a good experience and plans on attending any events that may be held in the future.


“I thought it would be beneficial, maybe I could learn some new tricks, pick up on some new information, which I did,” she said. “I knew sugar wasn’t good, I just never realized how bad. Also the information about wheat and whole grain and what not was extremely beneficial and I will use that information to make informed choices now.”


Chambers says she hopes to do more workshops in the future, perhaps benefiting a different charity each time.

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