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.”