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Empowering Moms to Make Healthier Choices

Saturday's 'A Day for Me,' hosted by Moms in Charge of Aliso Viejo, will provide women with not just a day away but with the tools to boost health and wellness for themselves and their families.

When Dotty Hagmier began having children, her life changed of course—but not always for the better.

It seemed that somebody was always sick in their house. Her first child would catch a cold and spread it around. Her second child came down with respiratory problems, and her third child was constantly on antibiotics. “We were on a sick cycle,” Hagmier said.

Not only that by she noticed that her immune system was dangerously low and she was tired all the time. Finally, “I decided this had to stop."

Today, Hagmier is the founder and president of Moms in Charge, a non-profit organization in Aliso Viejo focused on empowering and educating moms on the facts about food, chemicals and environment, and implementing changes in the way moms think and are able to provide healthier choices for their children.

“Our main focus is empowering moms to raise healthy and vibrant kids,” said Hagmier, who launched the operation last September in an organic garden. “A lot of times we are so focused on our children, and that’s great, but a lot of time we don’t make time for our own health. I’m from the south. Our motto is ‘If mama ain’t healthy, nobody is healthy.’”

This Saturday, Moms in Charge will host its first-ever event, A Day for M.E. (mom empowerment), from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Costa Mesa Hilton, Pacific Room, with an evening event from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Registration is available online by visiting www.adayformeconference.com, or on the day of the event, beginning at 8 a.m.

“I wanted to reach out to as many moms as possible so for an entire day they could let themselves have one single day to learn about things that could make them healthier, to boost health and wellness for themselves and their families, and just have fun and win a lot of prizes,” Hagmier said.

To that end, attendees will have a chance to win a Spa Day at the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, an iPad and much more. 

A Day for M.E. features an impressive lineup of professional speakers including Dr. Christy Westen of Simply Vibrant, a leader in treating the body holistically for total wellness; Renata Wood of OC Body Talk, focusing on women’s health and confidence; and musician Mark Romero.

The keynote speaker will be Joe Cross, creator of the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

“After several years of eating the worst possible foods and bringing myself to near death, I decided it was time to stop and do something about my health,” said the film maker and producer. “Children learn life patterns from home, and Moms in Charge is equipping women to take control of their health and their homes.”

In addition, local raw and vegan/organic chefs Jenny Ross of 118 Degrees and Julia Corbett of Diviana Alchemy will be conducting food demos to help moms implement those principles into their daily lives.

Moms in Charge has about 50 monthly members, but the real impact of the organization will be felt through its new website, which will be launched this week, and through its events and teleconference calls so it can reach moms throughout and beyond Southern California.

Currently, Moms in Charge has nearly 1,300 Facebook followers.

“Our plan is to branch out all over the country so we can bring more awareness about what we are putting in our body, on our skin and in our environment on how we can control the toxins,” said Hagmier, who works as an RN and nutritionist.

“For our family it’s been a 180 degree transformation. My son is well and our kids (now age 3, 5 and 7) are never. Before I was trying to survive and figure out how to get my next nap and keep up with their energy. Now I’m running Moms in Charge and living a healthy, vibrant life. It has been amazing.”

But Dotty admits that because of our culture and our standard American diet, it’s oftentimes difficult to change our family's diet. She just wants moms to be better informed to make healthier choices.

“Just the little things can change our entire health,” she said. “We teach making one small step at a time, because our journey to health is just that, a journey.”

For more information on Moms in Charge, visit: www.momsincharge.org. To register for Saturday’s event go to www.adayformeconference.com.

lisa sachen August 22, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Hey Charles...I would just like to say that as a very busy mother of three that struggles to raise my children with a super healthy diet rich in organic, whole and super foods in a media controlled world where candy and processed foods are the norm, it has been a challenge to feel supported in this endeavor. Moms In Charge has provided information and guidance in my journey in a fun, interactive, hands-on, and supportive environment, and has been such an incredible addition to my life. I have learned things that I may never have had the time or thought to find out about, met knowledgeable experts in different fields of health, had super fun experiences, and most of all, made amazing friends! The $95 I spent to attend this all day event will yield so much more in return! I would much rather be surrounded by vibrant, like-minded people sharing their knowledge, their food and products (technology can't yet bring that to you through the computer screen!) and their genuine desire to improve our quality of life, than sit in front of a computer reading a bunch of websites! This is not an event for "peddling" products...I know the love, hard work, and efforts by many that go into making these events so special. By the way, while men are welcome to the main speaker event in the evening, you may have missed that this was a day for M.E., which stands for MOM empowerment, as Moms are usually the ones who run the household. This day is just for the ladies!
Nicole Rafferty August 22, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Hey Charles...don't be such a hoser! I've been following Moms In Charge for over a year and finally became a member to invest in my health and this community is very supportive, informative and empowering. I'm super excited for the MiC conference as I continue the real food learning curve and to build relationships with moms like me and stay connected to this amazing community of knowledge! The road to good health can be very isolating and it doesn't have to be because there are others out there trying to figure it all out too. Rebooting ones life towards health and fitness is hard and encouragement and inspiration can go a long way to making changes such as: no longer eating fast food, moving away from processed/prepacked/denatured/factory farmed foods or getting in the kitchen and learning/re-learning how to cook with superfood ingredients, what foods to eat if your gluten intolerant/sensitive, switching to non-dairy, understanding the immune system and how nutrition in food works can be very overwhelming....why would anyone want to do that alone???? Besides, why work hard to research through tons of google info when so many other moms have sifted through and collectively narrowed down such amazing info. This group is so much fun to be around and are amazing people doing amazing things...this conference is affordable for what you will get out of it especially when you stop spending money on all the products that are ruining our collective and individual health.
Lori Walker August 22, 2012 at 09:32 PM
I am in the process of changing my life forever by making healthier choices. On this journey I am discovering that my blood pressure and weight is scaling down as my energy level and well being soars upward. The main reason this has happened is because I have received amazing support from friends and I am now eating more organic, fresh fruits and vegetables. This is what the "Moms in Charge" conference will be all about. At the conference I will learn more about healthy choices and have the opportunity to network with others who are on this journey as well. This is not about spending money on things you have little use for. It about women who want to take charge of themselves as they care for their families. Dotty is a Nurse, a Nutitionist and an educator. As noted, she started a "Non-Profit" organization. No one is getting rich from this seminar!! I think Aliso Viejo is very lucky to have people like Dotty Hagmier (and Lisa Sachen, Founder of Savannah's Organic Ranch; also a Non Profit). These women desire to educate others about making healthy choices for themselves and their children!! Their selfless dedication should not be criticized!
Charles August 22, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Here are some really easy and simple diet and fitness tips: Write down every calorie you consume in a journal Make wise eating decisions Overcome your eating addictions Change your relationship with food Don't diet; instead change your lifestyle Always measure your food quantities Eat in moderation Use portion control Use will power to your advantage Realize it isn't hunger that is making you hungry Choose healthier alternatives Don't eat for emotional reasons Chew your food 10 times before swallowing Choose carrot sticks instead of french fries Choose 4 oz of melon instead of a scoop of ice cream Eat lettuce instead of bread If you must eat bread, then choose 22 grain bread Choose air popped popcorn instead of cookies Choose grilled or broiled fish instead of a hamburger Choose grilled or broiled chicken instead of pizza Don't eat if you are not hungry Always eat breakfast even if you are not hungry Never eat in the car, in front of the TV, in front of the computer, while reading, if you have something on your mind, or if you are in a rush At restaurants, always take half the meal home Avoid sugary drinks Drink water instead of alcohol Eat six smaller meals instead of three big meals Ensure all meals last at least 30 minutes - eat slowly Always order coffee black - avoid hidden coffee drink calories Avoid hidden calories such as in deluxe salads and dressings No grazing
Kathleen K August 23, 2012 at 04:02 AM
All good suggestions, Charles. The only things you are missing is the supportive group environment that Moms In Charge provides. Get it?

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