Moms In Charge

"ONE bite at a time!" ~Organic~Nourishing~Energizing~

Five Fun Ways to Exercise with Your Kids indoors or on a Rainy Day

Five fun ways to exercise with your kids indoors or on a rainy day

By: Angie Menendez, owner and instructor Baby Boot Camp Dana Point and San Clemente, California

RainPlaying with your kids bring… strong abs? Well, it certainly can! Don’t let a rainy day or being stuck in the house derail your workout. Make it a family friendly event with some simple moves and games.

Before you begin get you and your kids dressed in the right clothes. Let them know it is time to exercise. Expect that they will stay excited and engaged for about 10 minutes before they get distracted (even less time for younger kids) but commit to doing what you can and burn calories while teaching your kids some healthy habits. Turn on some Justin Beiber and let’s get to work!

Warm up: If you have stairs- do a few sets up and down. Have your kids sit at one end and count out how many steps you take, how long it takes you (an iPhone timer works great for this) and cheer you on. If you don’t have stairs, encourage your kids to chase you around for 5 minutes. While they chase you, do some high knee jogs and some booty kickers to get your legs warm.Plank Exercise

Fast feet and push-up: Stand facing your kids and put your feet out wide. Bend at the hips and knees and start to do fast feet (football feet). Get your kids to join you. Every 15 seconds drop down and do 5-10 push-ups. Hop back up and start your fast feet again. Go for 1 minute. Rest and repeat. Kids love to run fast, you can have them do fast feet with you and let them call out when you should go down for push-ups!

Red light/Green light with a twist: Kids love Red light/Green light! This one has a twist for mommy to get her heart rate up. Give yourself a little bit of a walkway and shout “Red light!” and do jump squats. Then yell “Green light!” and start to do walking lunges. Stop and yell “Red light!” and continue with the jump squats. Keep going until you reach the end of your walkway. Kids love to jump. Hold their hand and encourage them to walk wide while you lunge back to start.

Family yogaBear crawls and inchworms:  Use the same walkway as before and do bear crawls down and inchworms back. For a bear crawl come down to your hands and feet. You are in bear position- now you are going to walk across with your abs engaged. When you reach the end do inchworms back. With an inchworm you start in a high plank position on your hands and toes. Keeping your belly engaged, you walk your feet toward your hands to create a pyramid position (or down dog). From there walk your hands back out to the top of your plank. Continue in this pattern until you reach the end.

Simon Says with exercises: If your child is old enough to play Simon Says, then incorporate some fun exercises into it: Simon Says do jumping jacks. Simon says do squats. Simon says do push-ups. You get the deal.

Not only will your little one get to exert some energy and get exercise, you will feel worked out after this! Include a cool down with some gentle stretching and you have successfully gotten a workout in while playing with your kids!


Angie Menendez
Certified Personal and Group Fitness Instructor
Certified in Pre/Post natal Fitness
Owner of Baby Boot Camp Dana Point & Karna Fitness South OC

Angie Menendez is a mom, wife and small business owner. As an AFAA certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor with a certification in Pre/Post Natal Fitness, she is an owner and instructor for Baby Boot Camp® Dana Point and San Clemente and Karna Fitness South OC. She also trains clients privately and teaches classes at the Renaissance Club Sport in Aliso Viejo.

Angie started out working in Human Resources when she graduated from Arizona State University in 2000. She spent nearly 10 years recruiting, training and counseling college graduates for large companies and enjoyed the opportunity to teach and mentor people at a critical time in their careers. During that time she taught fitness classes part time and trained and competed in numerous triathlons in Southern California. When she had her baby in early 2010, she decided to find new ways to engage, teach and motivate others through her other passion: fitness.

Angie enjoys running, pilates and yoga in her spare time and will definitely help motivate you to achieve your best fitness self in one of her programs!

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Spring Renewal

Special Guest Post by Eric Carlisle L. Ac. of The Giving Chi

Growth concept

Each season of the year brings change in the weather as well as shifts and changes in our bodies. This is part 1 in a series of living in harmony with the seasons, which is an essential part of Chinese medicine. Our energy, lifestyles and eating habits should naturally reflect the energies of each season. Spring is the time of renewal, growth and outward expansion. With this new spring energy we move away from the storage, and hibernation of winter and start stretching out and being more active again, expressing our own self-renewal. The time spent in winter recharging our batteries is required to spring forth with renewed life and vitality in the spring.

This renewed energy often manifests as “Spring Cleaning” in our society, out with the old and in with the new. The same goes for our bodies. In Chinese medicine, Spring is the best time to do your cleansing, especially cleansing of the Liver and Gallbladder organ systems. The energy of our body that has been nourished stored and kept idle for these past winter months. Now that energy is beginning to course from deep within our roots and out to our branches, stems and leaves of our bodies.

If you’re like me, you feel this shift in your body by the food cravings you are experiencing. The cravings move from hearty, meaty stews, soups and slow-cooked meals to light, quickly cooked meals with tons and tons of fresh greens and possibly sour foods like sauerkraut, pickles, or other fermented foods.

A great springtime meal you can implement into your family’s diet is Green Soup or Bieler’s Broth. I want to thank my friend Emily Bartlett of The Holistic Squid for these wonderful recipes and her ever inspiring work with her kids and families.

For some of us it may not exactly feel these cravings or like you’re exploding or “springing to life” with this kind of energy but I can safely say we all notice the changes in nature and the same thing is happening in your own body.

Patients often ask me around this time of year if they or their children should cleanse to help their overall health and wellness. Many questions arise about all the different ways you can cleanse your body and my answer to them is this…

What are you trying to achieve with the cleansing for yourself or your children? They typically say, “So I/my kids can feel better.”

Then they may talk about some type of juice cleanse or raw food cleanse they’re looking to do.Salad with Fork

I am by no means opposed to cleansing the body. In Chinese medicine, it’s been known for centuries that the elements of cleansing (i.e. clearing heat, draining dampness, and eliminating toxins) has been used in moderation to help heal and restore balance in both adults as well as children. In small amounts or done seasonally, raw smoothies, green juices, and raw salads can have a beneficial effect in their proper medicinal role.

That last line is where I have begun to notice that most of my patients falter. In our society if a 1 is good then 100 must be even better. I have noticed in my practice that when people are changing their lives for the better by adding in green juices and more fruits and vegetables, in general, they do so in an excessive manner, meaning 365 days a year.

For some people a diet that is raw vegan, 80% raw and with daily green smoothie/juices may for a time seem to be the panacea for all your ills and chronic disease and for a portion of the population this can be true. However, for many people with a pre-existing digestive weakness this type of diet will ultimately lead to a depletion of one’s health.

Too many raw fruits and veggies will damage the digestion, creating symptoms of gas, bloating, poor absorption, depression, fatigue and more. When the digestion is weakened over time this adversely affects the nervous system, immune system, and adrenals.

Our little ones are especially susceptible to digestive disorders so we need to pay special attention to this fact. As I have mentioned before in previous talks, a child’s body is still developing and learning how to process physically, mentally and emotionally in this world, so we don’t need to burden them anymore than we need to

Ideally, a balance of cooked and raw vegetables consumed with a fat will be best to for your nutrition. (Source)

Which brings me to my next point with the juicing and smoothie movements.

Your body needs the fats in order to absorb the nutrients.

Make sure that when you’re making your green juices and smoothies add some form of saturated fats (coconut oil, coconut cream, full-fat yogurt, etc.). If you’re going to have a raw salad add avocado and full-fat dressing. (Source)

Ginger teaAnother great way to balance the cold raw nature of your salads is to drink hot ginger tea. Ginger naturally balances and warms the cold raw nature of the vegetables and keeps your digestive health strong.

Here is what I would recommend to those of you who either are new to the green smoothie, raw green juice movement or those of you who may be finding that it doesn’t seem to be yielding the results you thought it would.

First, listen to your body and the bodies of your children. If raw juicing and consuming green smoothies on a daily basis seems to have reached it’s maximum impact for you then modify to a few times a week or seasonally. The key is to listen to your body. No one is built exactly the same.

The Bieler’s Broth and Green Soup I mentioned above is a great way to cleanse the body for a one or two week period for those of use with a pre-existing weakness in our digestive system.

The season of spring can truly be a transformative time of the year if we listen to our body’s subtle hints and move with the expansive energy in a harmonious way.

Peace, good health and happy springtime!


About Eric Carlisle L. Ac.

Co-Founder of The Giving Chi 

Eric has been helping residents of Southern California for over 7 years now. His background in martial arts led him to study acupuncture and classical Chinese medicine after having a crisis of the heart while working and studying in the graphic design world. Turned off from the advertising world’s manipulative and harmful ways he decided to follow his heart and study medicine.

His approach to health and wellness is one of balance, teaching his patients how to maintain a clear and healthy approach in all aspects of their lives.

  • Licensed by the California State Board of Acupuncture and Nationally Certified by the NCCAOM as a Diplomat of Acupuncture.
  • Masters Degree in acupuncture and traditional Oriental medicine from Emperor’s College.
  • Certified in Esoteric Acupuncture by Dr. Mikio Sankey.
  • Certified Massage Technician in Seifuku Restorative Massage.
  • Certified Instructor in Dan Zan Ryu Jujitsu – Sandan (3rd degree black belt)

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Juicing Your Style!

Juicing is the new “in thing”!

What once was confined to the back of smelly health food stores and Jack Lalane infomercials has now caught on.

Stars are rocking their green juices down the streets of Hollywood, to juice bars popping up all across the nation.

Joe CrossThe wildly popular documentary film “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” has brought forefront fatsick&nearlydeadattention to the dramatic health and physical appearance benefits gained from juicing.

Juicing is a fabulous tool on a journey to vibrant health.
It can get confusing over when and how much one should juice.
Just like anything in life: too much of a good thing can have the opposite effect.

Guidance with a few key points can be helpful to navigate the maze of the juicing world.

First of all, juicing is a great way to get fast fresh micronutrients and vital enzymes in the body.

Lips sip SmoothieBy juicing only ORGANIC produce, your digestive system is virtually hanging out without needing to do too much work.

The nutrients are readily absorbed if it is consumed on an empty stomach.

Juicing with lots of greens is a great way to start off your day with getting your body more alkaline.
This is important because disease cannot live in an alkaline environment.

Replacing the morning cup of joe with a fresh organic green juice can boost your energy and kick start your body’s nutrient needs for the day in a big way.

??????????????Juicing for health on a daily basis is a great thing to add to a healthy regime. It should not replace other foods like healthy fats that help with digestion and absorption of nutrients and should be integrated into a whole foods based diet.

Although juicing has so many benefits, entire books are written about them, there are a few things to be aware of in proceeding.

For those who have an inactive thyroid, raw greens, like kale and spinach, may put added stress on the thyroid gland and should be drunk in moderation and under the care of a physician, as with any adverse health condition.

Rotating the greens and produce is the healthiest way to approach an ongoing juicing regime.

????????????????????Juicing with the seasons will also bring about the greatest health benefits as well.

During the colder seasons, adding in warming foods like a bit of peppers and even spicing it up withSpices - Cooking cayenne, pepper, and cinnamon are great ways to keep the body from getting to cold and to maintain inner homeostasis.

A great way to start training a palate for greener, more vegetable based juices is to begin with the 70/30 ratio of more fruits to greens.

As the juicing continues, begin to slowly inverse this relationship to where eventually there will be 70% veggies and 30% fruits.

Juice detoxes are becoming all the rage.Healthy juices

This can be a great way to rest the digestive system and cleanse and detox the vital cleansing organs, like the liver and kidneys.

A juice cleanse should be approached with the proper preparation at least a week in advance.

Going from a highly processed food diet, with a lot of toxins like alcohol, coffee and animal products before a cleanse often causes a lot of untoward symptoms of unpleasant detoxing.

Woman feeling down.Irritability, headache, foggy brain, and fatigue are some of the symptoms that can be exacerbated if juicing without proper body preparation.

The best rule of thumb before juice fasting is to cut out coffee and alcohol at least 3 days before juicing, taper down animal products and gluten the week leading up to the cleanse, then eliminate them at least a few days prior.

Salad with ForkIncrease more raw living foods and decrease the amount of cooked foods over the week before the cleanse, then try to go at least 2 meals of raw foods/day for 2 days prior.

I like to kick off the juice fast with the 2 days prior to all juice, replacing an entire meal with juicing.

By the time you begin your actual complete juice fast, you will have transitioned more easily and started to learn and form healthier habits.

It will also seem less dramatic and extreme to taper down the favorite food and drinks instead of cutting them all off cold turkey.

healthy lifestyleThe ultimate goal should be resting the digestive system so the body can work cleansing the organs that get junked up with our daily dietary and environmental toxins.

The bi-product if approached correctly will be a renewed appreciation for how healthy feels, being able to get the bodily desires under control and ultimately begin changing destructive dietary patterns.

The question many have with learning about the amazing health benefits of juicing is, “What kind of juicer should I buy?”

Starting with what you may already have is a perfect place.

Many already have a juicer that is collecting dust in the piles of unused kitchen wedding gifts or other “too much trouble” appliance abyss.

Dust and wash it off and use it.

The problem with going out and buying the most expensive juicer is, there are many factors to first consider.

Although the intentions are always awesome and the motivation is strong in the beginning, most wind up getting discouraged with the process of the cost of the produce and the time it takes to prepare and clean up the juicer.

Until you are certain juicing is going to be integrated into a solid way of life, a more economical juicer is the way to go.

The issue with the lower priced juicers is their inability to properly extract all the enzymes and micronutrients out of the plants.

Centrifugal juicers (the ones that spin the produce for extraction ) are quite ineffective for getting the most out of the precious greens.

The result is a lot of wet pulp and lots of whole un-juiced produce in the pulp bin.
This can be a bit disheartening to see how so little juice can come from so many fruits and veggies.

The juice from these types of juicers must also be consumed right away after juicing to maintain all the enzymes and nutrients.

However, for someone just beginning their juicing journey, it’s still a great place to start without feeling like there is a huge up front investment.

If the juicing becomes a habit and the results are continued to be felt and seen, upgrading to a masticating juicer is definitely in order.

The juicers like the Omega and Hurom are both reasonably priced and effective masticating juicers that extract the vital nutrients.

The pulp/juice ratio changes and much more juice is made  from less produce and the pulp is minimal and much dryer.
The Angel juicer is very expensive and is a Rolls Royce of cold-pressed juice extraction.

With these masticating juicers, the integrity of the nutrient content and enzymes are maintained for a day or two without the rapid degradation that occurs with the centrifugal juicers.

DottyDrinkGreenJuiceSo, there are a few things to consider before taking the plunge into the juice, but the results are well worth anyway you go about extracting the precious liquid!

If it all seems too much, find a reputable organic juice bar and begin buying the juices from there first until you get in the habit of drinking juices, then make the decisions based of what you feel you are ready for and can commit to!

I like to start my day with my favorite green juice. You can see my recipe posted

here about jump starting your day with juice!

MIC recommends Living Juice and Club Detox.
living juice logo



Both can accommodate daily juicing and full guided juice and detox cleanses.

Happy Juicing!

To your Vibrant Health,

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Jumpstart To a Juicy, Healthy Day

Green vegetable juice isolated on whiteI love my morning green juice!

I use my basic ingredients and then add whatever else I have on hand. Mixing it up with whatever is in season is the best for your body.

Have fun with it and start your morning off with putting your body at an advantage by giving it alkalizing raw materials.

Disease cannot survive in an alkaline environment. So, keep your body the “danger zone” for bugs and have a healthy yummy day!



My Recipe:

Kale : large bunch

Apples: 1 Granny Smith, 1 Fuji


Lemon ; 1

Ginger: 1/4 inch up to as much as desired


Cucumber ( awesome for the skin ): for added liquid

Pineapple : If you want extra sweetness

Cilantro : big handful

Rotate your greens: kale, spinach, swiss chard, water cress

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Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

By: Nancy Lin DeGregori, Ph.D

When you are expecting, everything you eat and drink directly impacts your child’s health. Because pregnancy affects your immune system, you and your unborn baby are more susceptible to the bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause foodborne illness Everyday foods and beverages, even environmental factors, take on new meaning, as some may present a danger to your developing baby. Even if you don’t feel sick, some “bugs” like Listeria and Toxoplasma can infect your baby and cause serious health problems. Your baby is also sensitive to toxins from the food that you eat, such as mercury in certain kinds of fish.

Natural whole foods, and as lightly processed foods as possible, such as whole grains, lean meats, such as fresh wild fish cage free chicken or eggs, seasonal fruits, fresh colorful vegetables and sea vegetables, legumes, and low-fat dairy should form the basis of your pregnancy diet. Be especially aware of items that you may want to avoid when you are expecting.

Raw or Undercooked Food of Animal Origin

Undercooked animal foods — such as rare meat, raw oysters, clams, sushi, unpasteurized eggs, raw cookie or cake dough, and homemade eggnog, may contain an array of bacteria, viruses, and parasites.  Undercooked beef meat may also contain E. coli. Undercooked poultry may contain bacteria such as Campylobacter or Salmonella. To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, test the doneness of meat, poultry, and fish with a food thermometer, cook eggs until they are no longer runny, and follow baking instructions, refraining from eating raw dough.

Use an instant-read food thermometer to check the internal temperature toward the end of the cooking time, but before the food is expected to be “done.”

The food thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the food and should not be touching bone, fat, or gristle. Check the temperature in several places to make sure the food is evenly heated.

Compare your thermometer reading to the USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures to determine if your food has reached a safe temperature.

-Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.

-Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

-Cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

-Make sure to clean your food thermometer with hot, soapy water before and after each use!

-Large-dial oven-safe or oven-probe thermometers may be used for the duration of cooking.

-Because there are so many types of food thermometers, it is important to follow the instructions for your food thermometer.

Hot Dogs, Luncheon Meats, and Unpasteurized Dairy Foods

These foods are prone to Listeria monocytogenes, bacteria that causes listeriosis, which may result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or other serious health problems.

Besides hot dogs and luncheon meats — which include deli ham or turkey, bologna, and salami — other processed meats and seafood that may contain listeria include refrigerated pates or meat spreads, and refrigerated smoked seafood (such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, or mackerel). These items may be labeled as “nova-style,” “lox,” “kippered,” “smoked,” or “jerky.”

Refrigerated smoked seafood is safe when it’s part of a cooked dish, like casseroles. Luncheon meats and frankfurters are fine to eat, only if reheated until steaming hot, says Michael Lu, MD, UCLA professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and public health and author of Get Ready to Get Pregnant: Your Complete Pre-Pregnancy Guide to Making a Smart and Healthy Baby.

Unpasteurized dairy foods are also prone to E. coli or Listeria.

The raw milk controversy highlights that dairy products made from unpasteurized milk, raw milk itself and cheeses, such as Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, blue-veined, queso blanco, queso fresco, and queso Panela may also contain listeria. Eat hard cheeses, such as cheddar or Swiss. Or, check the label and make sure that the cheese is made from pasteurized milk and do your research before consumption and know both sides of the argument!

Specific Types of Seafood and Fish

Typically, the larger the fish — such as swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel, the higher the concentration of mercury, compared to other smaller sea creatures. Mercury is a byproduct of coal-burning plants that interferes with the normal development of a growing child’s brain and nervous system. Fish at the top of the food chain tend to have higher amounts of mercury because their main diet is other fish.

The FDA recommends that pregnant and nursing women eat no more than 12 ounces of seafood a week that is low in mercury, including salmon (farmed and wild), shrimp, canned light tuna, pollock, sardines, tilapia, and catfish.  Because albacore (white) tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna, the FDA recommends that pregnant women limit albacore tuna to no more than 6 ounces a week, and include it in the 12-ounce limit.

Fish caught for sport in rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams may also contain industrial pollutants that play havoc with a developing nervous system. These fish may also contain parasites or bacteria. Recreational anglers should do additional research and check the safety of waterways with their local health departments.

Raw Vegetable Sprouts

There is much to be scared about eating the once healthy raw sprouts, especially in salad bars and on sandwiches from restaurants– including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts. The reason is that bacteria can get into sprout seeds and are nearly impossible to wash out, as confirmed on the FDA’s web site.  Add that to the low chance that restaurants actually thoroughly wash their vegetables before serving and you have yourself a tall case for food poisoning. Infact, it was May 2010 that raw alfalfa sprouts was linked to a 10 state salmonella outbreak. Try dishes with thoroughly washed and cooked sprouts for a safer meal.

Drinks to Limit or Avoid

Alcohol (beer, wine, or spirits) robs developing cells of oxygen and nutrients, preventing normal fetal development. The effects of alcohol exposure in the womb on intellectual abilities and physical growth are permanent.

According to the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) and the March of Dimes, there is absolutely no level of alcohol consumption that’s known to be safe at any time during pregnancy.

Unpasteurized juices, such as cider purchased from roadside stands, at farms, or in stores should not be consumed, either. These products are prone to germs, including E. coli. Check the label to be sure juice is pasteurized.

Lead is linked to low birth weight, preterm delivery, and developmental delays in children. If you have an older home with pipes made of lead, it can leach into your tap water, and home filtration systems may not prevent it from reaching you. Levels of chlorine and fluoride are also added to most of the treated water in almost all 50 states. Ask your local water treatment plant for the most recent water report and look into what is in your tap water or have it tested. Bottled water isn’t necessarily purer; it’s often repurposed municipal water. Invest in a water filtration system that suits you and your family best. If you can find access to fresh mountain spring water (, or fresh well water, those would be best. If you are like the majority of Americans, your water source comes from municipal water supply, so get a filter (any filter is better than your body being the filter!) Reverse osmosis filtration system (though this does de-structure the water and remove almost all contaminants but also most of the beneficial minerals but can be solved by adding in Himalayan salt), and carbon filters.

Caffeine from coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy beverages, and other sources may increase the risk of miscarriage, reduced birth weight, and stillbirth, but the research is conflicting. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that there is no harm in drinking a very small amount (less than two cups) of coffee or other caffeinated beverages per day during pregnancy. The March of Dimes recommends limiting caffeine consumption to 200 milligrams a day. That’s about the amount found in 12 ounces of coffee.

Bisphenol A (BPA)

BPA is an industrial chemical used to make many hard plastics and the liners of many canned foods. It’s an endocrine disruptor that could disturb normal fetal development, Lu says.

The FDA is studying BPA and has not recommended that pregnant women avoid BPA. But in January 2010, the FDA stated that “recent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants, and children.” Most of those tests have been done on animals, and the FDA says there are “substantial uncertainties” about BPA’s effects on human health. The plastics industry has maintained that low levels of BPA exposure are safe.

If you choose to avoid BPA while pregnant, a wide range of BPA-free plastics and glass containers are available.

Herbal Teas and Supplements

Herbal teas are caffeine-free, but their safety is unclear when you’re expecting. There are no reliable human studies on the safety of herbal preparations, including supplements such as Echinacea and St. John’s Wort, during pregnancy. The FDA does not routinely monitor the quality of dietary supplements. Tell your doctor or midwife about any supplement use during pregnancy, because there may be herbs and other supplements that can be used safely to support a healthy pregnancy.

Herbs that contain stimulants or caffeine-containing supplements, especially those that are intended to promote weight loss, guarana, kola nut, betel (Piper betle), Citrum aurantium, yohimbe, theobromine (cocoa extract), Garcinai cambogia should be avoided. Other botanicals to avoid while pregnant include golden seal, Cascara sagrada, black walnut, wormwood, tansy, pennyroyal, senna, saw palmetto, pao d’arco, MacKay says.

Women who are pregnant, or who could become pregnant, should not take 10,000 or more IU per day of vitamin A because of the risk of birth defects.

The bottom line: Talk to your obstetrician or midwife about any herbal supplements or vitamins before taking them during pregnancy.

Foods That May Cause Food Allergy

If you, your child’s father, or one of your other children has allergies, your baby is more likely to have food allergies.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that avoiding certain food allergens, such as peanuts and peanut products, during pregnancy and when nursing a child may reduce allergy in susceptible children.

But there is little, if any, benefit to avoiding allergens during pregnancy and breastfeeding for everyone else.

Before changing your diet, talk to your doctor about your family history of allergies and asthma, and speak with a registered dietitian who is knowledgeable about food allergies.

Excess Calories

The famous quote, “You’re eating for two now” doesn’t mean that you need twice the calories. Gaining too much weight threatens the health of pregnant women, and may increase the risk of childhood overweight in your future child.

In the second trimester, add 340 calories a day to your pre-pregnancy calorie needs, and 450 a day more in the third trimester. But if you are very overweight at conception, or if your physical activity level drops, you may need fewer calories during pregnancy. Still, pregnancy is not a time to try to lose weight.

There is room for treats like ice cream, chips, and cookies during pregnancy, but it’s important to choose foods that do double duty by providing the additional calories you need, as well as the extra nutrients that maximize your baby’s development. Excess weight gain can not only make you feel more tired and achy during your pregnancy, but studies have found that women who put on more than the recommended weight are at higher risk of being obese later in life—especially if they fail to take off the weight after childbirth.


Originally seen at

Nancy Lin DeGregori, Ph.D. is the founder and CEO of (operating through Truth N Health, LLC) and has spent the last twelve years studying nutrition and wellness for babies, children, adults, and seniors. She is the author of the book, An Etiological Theory of Chronic Disease: The Paradigm Shift of Modern Medicine, and is a personal fitness and nutrition consultant. Nancy develops individualized one-on-one life changing plans and empowers her clients to reach their goals through nutrition coaching and personal training.

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Does Your Garage Pass The Test?

ImageSpecial Guest Post By: Erica Duran, CPO and Productivity Expert

Have you ever had to move your household?  If you have you probably couldn’t believe all the stuff you had accumulated over the years.

If you know me at all you know I LOVE moving!  Most people dread moving but every spring my lease seems to be up and around February or March I start getting excited and looking around for new places – except for when I spent eight years on the beach – that place was hard to leave. 😉  If I don’t move one year, I actually pretend that I am moving and go through every cabinet and drawer to de-clutter and have it deep cleaned.  Anyway, the point is, when I go new home shopping I ask for place without a garage!  For me, a garage is a potential place for clutter to start breeding!

What is the state of your garage?  Is it serving its purpose?  When you drive up to it do you feel like the walls are closing in on you and your energy is instantly drained?

Take my Garage Test and see how your garage is serving you…

Keep count of how many questions you answer in a “Yes”.

1.  Is your $10,000++ car living outside because you are storing things that are not good enough to be in the house in your garage?  I am sure those exiled household items are not worth what you spent on your car.

2.  Are there a lot of plastic storage bins or other types of boxes?  I always tell my clients, “If it has to go in a bin, it isn’t used frequently enough, and you should REALLY consider passing it on to someone else.”  Plan a day to go through all your bins and really access if the items are worth the space and upkeep.

3.  Is there excessive holiday and seasonal decor?  Is something you display once a year worth all that hassle of storing, unpacking, setting it up, taking it down, cleaning it, packing it back up.  And, when you really think about it does anyone else really care how many holiday decorations you have out?  Is there a way you can use natural items instead like flowers, pumpkins, and pine cones to get in the holiday spirit instead of plastic or ceramic decorations?

African Americans,boxes,cardboard boxes,carrying,couples,females,heavy,homeowners,homes,iCLIPART,lifting,males,men,moving,packing,people,Photographs,stacks,teamwork,women

4.  Do you have items from an abandon hobby stored in the garage?  Our lifestyles change so gradually sometimes we don’t even know when we gave up a hobby we once enjoyed.  Did you golf? Camp? Have a fish tank? SCUBA? Ski?  It is OK to sell these items or give them away.  You are probably not going to get re-interested in the hobby and when/if you do there will be a whole new kind or technology out there so you have the latest and greatest gear.  Getting rid of these abandon interests renews your energy by not staring at you when you open your garage making you feel guilty.  Make room for new interests and experiences in your life.

5.  Do you have anything that belongs to someone else that you are storing in your garage?  Let’s say your child went off to college and you turned their room into a yoga studio.  But, they told you they would be back to get their “stuff” for their new apartment.  Problem is…that was four years ago and the stuff is still in your garage!  Call or email the person who you are harboring the stuff for and give them a deadline to come and get it.  If they don’t make the deadline, let them know that the stuff will be sold or given to a charity.

6.  Are there any large items that are seldom used?  A Ping-Pong table?  An air hockey game?  A table saw that was bought with good intentions of fulfilling a long honey-do list?

7.   Are there any baby clothes or baby furniture in your garage?  Thinking that you may have another baby someday, or can’t bring yourself to get rid of your little one’s clothing?  In reality, you know you will get new gifts when a new baby is on its way.  And, what if your next baby is the other gender?  Pass these items on to babies in need and create space for a new life.

8.  Are you holding onto items just because they belonged to a loved one that has passed away?  Sentimental feelings are strong, but the deceased wouldn’t want you to be crowded out of your own house!  Keep one or two things that you really enjoy having and remind you of the person and display them in respect – no need to keep their life treasures in a dusty garage.

9.  Clothes that no longer fit, have stains, have holes or rips, or have a bad feeling or emotion associated with them.  Clothes with stains and holes should not even be donated – those poor people have enough problems!  Bad memories associated with your high school sweater or prom dress?  Now is the time to let that stuff go both emotionally and physically.  Are you holding onto clothes that no longer fit?  When you do loose the weight most likely your body will be in a slightly different shape and the clothes won’t fit you as well even though the weight is gone.  Reward yourself with new clothes as an incentive to your weight loss goal.  Also, clothes that have been in storage just don’t seem right when you take them out.  They are usually musty and faded, etc.


10.  Do you store old cleaners, paint, car stuff, etc.  Most garages have an excess of old cleaning products  – and I know your are using the environmental and hormone friendly ones, right?  Old paint?  You can always take a paint chip to the hardware store and get a fresh batch mixed.  Old car care supplies for a car you no longer have or you no longer use because you found it more productivity-minded to have the dealer take care of your car needs.  Just be sure to discard the old paint, cleaners, and car supplies at an authorized eco-friendly location.

11.  Scraps and extra parts taking up space?  Saving pieces of wood in case you can use it “someday”?  Still have all those extra screws and parts from a piece of IKEA furniture you put together years ago?  These items are just taking up space and energy in most households and I am betting that if you needed one of those extra screws you wouldn’t be able to find it anyway.

12.  Gardening and lawn care items still lurking in your garage but you’ve opted to have a landscaper take care of your outside living space?  You figured out that it was a good idea to not spend your hard-earned Saturday taking care of the lawn, but your gardener brings all his own supplies as part of his service.  Pass these items on to a neighbor that could use these supplies.

So, how did you do?  Add up the number of questions you said “yes” to.  Here is the scale:

9-12 questions answered in a Yes = I am sorry but you have a major project on your hands.  This will not, and should not be tackled in one weekend of overly ambitious thoughts by taking everything out of the garage at once to go through, sort, decide what to keep and then trying to put everything back in an organized fashion.  Attempting the all-or-nothing approach will be too daunting and exhausting for one weekend.  For this escalated clutter situation, you need to break your garage into zones and then schedule yourself to work on each zone in four-hour increments so as to not get overwhelmed or burnt out on your garage transformation project.

5-8 questions answered in a Yes = Be careful!  If you’ve lived in the same home for a number of years this amount of clutter is understandable but not necessary.  It is time to nip it in the bud!  Go through your items in your garage and make sure everything is serving the life you are living now!  Be tough with yourself!  It may help to ask yourself “If I were moving next week, would this item be worth the time and money to pack, move and unpack?

1-4 questions answered in a Yes = You are doing great!  There are a few items in your garage that are rarely used but I bet they are pretty well organized.  You know what you have and where to find it.  You are good at regularly going through your stuff and weeding it out for a sale or charity.  But, I challenge you to just go through everything and double check for things you can release out of your life.

About Erica Duran:


Erica Duran is a Productivity Expert and Certified Professional Organizer CPO®. She has been a veteran entrepreneur for over 21 years consulting large companies and creating several of her own ventures.

She is working with Franklin-Covey Orange County to include a planning system in all her productivity packages including a set of 12 customized tabs outlining in detail her Streamline Your Success® program.

Erica Duran is the creator of BrainStorm™, where groups all over the world meet for networking and master minding.   She is also the Area Coordinator for The Heart Link Network of Newport Beach & is a member of NAPO, BCPO, and NAWBO National & Orange County, CA.

For more about Erica, visit her website at: 

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Getting Your Kids Interested in Gardening

Lisa Sachen from Savannah’s Organic Ranch
shares with us about Getting Your Kids Interested In Gardening

1. First, I recommend finding some age appropriate gardening books or stories at the library or book store, and reading them together. The stories will get them interested in the topic, and for new gardening moms (like me!) the how-to books written at a simple level are just right for us too!
2. Every kid likes to have their own special equipment! I suggest going to the dollar stores, or the dollar section of many discount stores and look for kid-sized gardening gloves, tools and mats, to give to them as their own “special” gardening equipment. Don’t forget a hat!! Once they are all “outfitted” up, I guarantee they will be even more excited to get dirty!!

3. Finally, because March is a great time for seed starting, I thought I would include this simple activity to do with your kids. Because starting plants from seeds can be tricky, but oh, so rewarding when those little seeds begin to sprout, this is an activity that will really set up your little gardeners for success, and is a good way to teach about recycling as well!



Here is a special project from the book called, Project Garden, A Month-by-Month Guide to Planting, Growing and Enjoying ALL Your Backyard Has to Offer, by Stacy Tornio

Have fun making Mini-Greenhouses with your kids!

Materials you will need:

Clear plastic berry containers-strawberry pints are the perfect size!
Potting soil
Seeds to start

1. Clean out your berry container and fill halfway with soil.
2. Plant seeds in the soil, pressing them into the soil no more than the depth of your fingernail. Check your seed packets’ instructions for how close together you should start them.
3. Place in a sunny area and keep the lid closed for the first few days to help the seeds germinate. Water when your soil is dry to the touch.
4. Once you’re ready to plant your seeds, gently scoop them out and transplant outside!

Savannah’s Organic Ranch is a Partner of Moms In Charge. We believe in Savannah’s dream in creating a place where kids can come and learn about the importance of organic food from seed to fork.

Savannah’s Organic Ranch will bring more awareness and tangible ways for the entire community to be educated and empowered in a hands on organic enviroment. We are excited to be a part of making Savannah’s dream come true as we join our dream and mission of “Changing the SHAPE of our Future”.

For more information on Savannah’s Organic Ranch, visit

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ToughWinterIt’s been a long hard winter!!!
 I had a beautiful epiphany while in my cycling class.
It seemed especially hard for me to get the energy to push through the “climbs” and other drills by the teacher.
Then suddenly, a song started playing.  I have heard it at least a hundred times.. I have always loved the catchy tune and enjoyed the fun lyrics…
But THIS TIME, the words penetrated into my soul and became alive within me.
Natasha Bedingfield’s song “UNWRITTEN” (listen HERE) began pulsing in my head and my heart began to come alive with the words that she so beautifully crafted:
“Feel the rain on your skin, no one else can feel it for you, only you can let it in.”
Wow…Think about that …the truth is that we are the ones that allow the feelings we have in…any feelings…Good, bad, indifferent. We are the ones who write the pages of our storybook.
So often we just let some giant random “pen” write the various dramatic stories of our lives instead of deciding WE are going to take control and write it how we want it to turn out.
We are living our lives…only WE can let the feelings in…only WE can be offended if someone irritates us.
We have the amazing ability to be able to choose how we deal with each situation that comes our way.
Although this sounds much easier in theory or in a song than when the rubber hits the road, it is still the TRUTH!!
Cacao&happinessAs we are moving into a new FRESH SEASON, I want to encourage all of us to begin to approach each day as an UNWRITTEN canvas and choose to write the script that brings us the life that we each desire and deserve to live.
It time to cleanse and be renewed and shed the excess baggage that we have been carrying and step into a beautiful new space of creative energy and life.
At the end of the class, the cycling teacher encouraged us all to write our obituary now…how do you want others to remember you?
What do you want read as the story of your life?
“TODAY IS, WHERE YOUR BOOK BEGINS….” Natasha Bedingfield

To your family’s vibrant health,

Dotty 😉

Dotty Cropped2By: Dotty Hagmier, RN, BSN, CHC

As the president and founder of Moms in Charge and also a mom of three beautiful children, Dotty’s passion is to guide families into a place that will provide them with the best possible choices to raise healthy and vibrant children.

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I’m doing EVERYTHING “right” so why are my kids sick?

  • sick_child2

The cold and flu season seems to be getting rougher as the years go by.

When I began my health journey with my kids,  someone was literally sick all the time.
I felt hopeless and weary from the sick cycle.

I changed all the foundational health areas: our diet, cleaning supplies, personal care and beauty products, and added essential supplements.
Our health drastically changed.

The frequency and duration of illness was greatly reduced and the chronic runny noses and tummy aches became a distant memory with only occasional issues.

winter-stormA few years went by with occasional illnesses. Then,  seemingly like a blinding storm, the winter bugs hit and left my head swirling as I have scrambled to pull out every arsenal and resource to remedy 3 kids who seemed to take turns expressing various characteristics of the wicked virus.

Admittedly, discouragement has been a very familiar emotion throughout these winter months and left me asking myself  “why?”.confused

“Why, after we had been so much more healthy, have we seemed to have gotten trapped in “plagueville”?” and “How can I, as a leader of moms to help them on their health journey, have this happening with my kids?”.

I have asked these questions not only to myself but the variety of specialists we have visited during this bizarre course of events.

From them, I have received insight that has helped me understand what is going on.
I have had to assimilate it all into a word picture to fully understand it.

Here is how my brain has processed this and been able to make sense of it all: 

First of all, when our kids’ immune systems are developing, they are susceptible to insults, like viruses and bacteria.

buildingwallsImagine a city  with a fortress of a wall being built around it to protect it from invaders.

As you are building the wall, you start out with some good material like pretty good solid bricks.citywallsattacked

But then, you start to get pummeled with shots fired at you, and the walls you have built get crushed.

Then as you go to rebuild it, your new “supply company” is now cutting corners and is sending you shoddy building materials.

shoddywallThey just are not strong enough and are not holding together as well as they should. Even though it looks like it is “sturdy”; well, it’s just not going to withstand a big attack.

The invaders come, but these are the same ones who have come before, so the watchmen and defenders know their strategies and thwart their attack.

So, things are still looking good.highwalls

Now you are getting better supplies from headquarters. The building blocks are stronger and the barrier wall is getting more fortified.

A NEW and STRONG invader has come into the land and is creating havoc at every turn.

You think you have got this. Your wall is not completely built, but has gotten stronger reinforcements.

But, this time, the enemy is sneaky.
They know where the weak building blocks are in the wall, and the watchmen don’t see it coming.

villageonfireThey launch an all out attack as the invader begins to make their way into your city.
With the war at hand, there is much destruction and the city is damaged.
However, because of the new building blocks and the strength of the defenders, the enemy is ultimately defeated and the city is strengthened by understanding the enemy.

This is our children’s immune systems.

They are brought into the world already subject to toxins from their parents, hospitals, products, environment, then we load them up with vaccines, antibiotics and other medications.

vaccines&antibioticsThese things weaken the walls of their city of defense against

When we feed them foods that are full of additives, preservatives, gluten, sugar and pasteurized dairy, we send in the weak building blocks to fortify the “walls ” of their immune system.

Once we begin to get informed and empowered about how all of these things can cause our kids harm, and begin making changes, we are sending in stronger “building supplies” to create a sturdy immune immune system.

cockysoldierMost if the time, if the children have been exposed to the common cold and flu and have gotten them before, the immune system or the “defenders” will recognize them because they’ve “been there and done that” before and know exactly how to deal with it, so health prevails.supervirus

However, when there is a new invader like a super strong, mutated virus or “super-bug”, the immune system doesn’t know how to properly fight it off. Because there have been fundamental structural problems with the “wall” of the original “building” of the immune system, the invaders are able to take hold of the the vulnerable body and make him sick.

The factors of:  previous insults and toxins, weak building blocks, the unfinished “wall” and the unrecognized enemy that has to be dealt with are why our kids are sick even though we ARE NOW doing everything right.

The encouraging news is, when our kids’ defenders are fighting and they get sick, they are actually building their immune systems to be stronger and able to recognize and deal with these bugs for future attacks.

The important things to consider to give strong building blocks from “Headquarters” are:

vegetable-stand1. Diet – are they consuming the proper nutrients?
This includes:

**Organic fruits and vegetables
**No or limited processed foods
**Lots of filtered spring water
**No gluten or pasteurized dairy
**No refined sugar and limited alternatives to sugar
**Grass fed beefsprouting&soaking

**Free-range chicken
**Pasture-raised eggs
**Soaked and sprouted nuts seeds and gluten-free grains

**Fermented drinks and food


2. Products on skin and in home:

shaklee_cleaning_products2ALL Non-toxic including:

**Laundry soap

**Dish washing soap

**All cleaners

**Air fresheners
**Body and hair products
3.  Supplements:

**Vitamin D- 15 min of 40% of body to sun exposure daily or supplement via a suspension
**Vitamin C
**Elderberry syrup
**Fermented Cod liver oil
**Juice plus

4. Fresh Air and Exercise:

**Getting kids in fresh air out of our stagnant polluted home air is very important to help their immune systems and decrease the toxic load.

**Activity stimulates the immune system and allows for increased blood flow to critical parts of the body to flush out toxins.

mom&daughterlaughing5. Decrease stress and increase laughter and fun

**Our kids are under a lot of stress these days and we need to begin to learn to enjoy the journey more with them and not take everything so serious.  Learn to laugh with your kids when things are crazy and messy and use these times as “teachable positive moments” instead of freaking out over every little thing that disrupts your day.

Kids need to be kids. It’s a lost art and we should all be students of how to be a kid again :)

By continuing to give our kids the best building supplies for their developing immune systems, we can be more confident that as they grow, they will be able to take on more of the invaders with ease.

kidsinsunHowever, we need to understand that perhaps there has been much damage to our kids through past choices before we understood the healthier alternatives.

The damage and weakened blocks we have given them must be continually fortified with the healthiest choices.

We must NOT lose heart or worse yet, beat ourselves up that perhaps, we are doing something wrong or that making healthy choices isn’t really worth it.

Once we have a better understanding of how our kids’ immune system is forming, we can be empowered with the confidence to continue to be IN CHARGE  and truly ” Change the SHAPE of our future”.strongbaby

So, grap your bricks and mortar and let’s start building STRONG HEALTHY BODIES TOGETHER!!

For mama’s health: As we are older and our immune systems are  fully developed, if we continue to get everything that comes along, we should be taking a very good long look into our own personal choices so we can fortify and protect ourselves. Our immune systems at this point should be strong enough to handle most of the bugs that perhaps our kids are still battling.

To your family’s vibrant health,

Dotty 😉

Dotty Cropped2By: Dotty Hagmier, RN, BSN, CHC

As the president and founder of Moms in Charge and also a mom of three beautiful children, Dotty’s passion is to guide families into a place that will provide them with the best possible choices to raise healthy and vibrant children.

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The “Staff of Life” or “A Lot of Fluff”? Making Sense of Gluten


It seems almost “anti-life” to not eat bread, whole wheat and bread products.

After all, it is the “staff of life” and even Jesus ate it to commemorate His body

betrayal-last-supperbeing broken for mankind and told us to do likewise in His remembrance.

womeninconversationSo, when one shuns this “life-giving” food, many peers and family members probably have many questions streaming in their minds.

Gluten has become the new buzz word in our society.

glutenfreetagsGluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and often in oats.

Gluten-free sections are popping up from mainstream grocery stores to football stadiums.

Yet, many are still unclear as to what this means, and unfortunately, the misconception is that this is a special section only for those with a severe allergy to gluten or have  an official diagnosis and order to eliminate it from their diet.

The reality is, the gluten we now consume in this country is virtually all tainted with proteins that are too large for most everyone to properly digest.

celiac villiCeliac disease which is a true gluten allergy causes severe damage to the villi in the small intestines. This allergic reaction flattens these finger-like projections, which are the nutrient absorbers and digesters  of food.

This sets off a series of health problems and even death if  a gluten allergy goes undiagnosed and gluten is continued to be consumed.

But this new “gluten trend” is not just for this severe allergy of Celiac Disease.

The question so many ask is why there are now the sudden increase in gluten intolerances when it seems we have only started hearing of it in recent years.  Others wonder if it’s just the new health band wagon to jump on.

The answer lies somewhere between the truth of what gluten was, what is has morphed into, and what the  implications are for our bodies.

Our digestive system was designed to break down proteins and use them for many needed life giving and WonderBreadsustaining functions.

This was an easier task before the introduction of the fluffy white breads, like wonder bread.

Our society’s desire to modify this “staff of life” to be the “fluff of life”,
caused the actual wheat grains to be modified to have many more and larger proteins than were on the ancient grains that were more dense.

wheat-beautifulThis new gluten strain has cross-pollenated and affected nearly every strain of gluten-containing foods.

We are now seeing the effects and the “dark” side of our “light” bread products.

The results have been insidious as these undigested protein molecules have caused leaking into our blood streams and attacking our immune systems as “foreign invaders”.
They have also caused an attack on the lining of our intestines, which creates little holes that allow more “foreign substances” of undigested food into our bloodstream called ” leaky gut syndrome”.

These have a wide range of how they show up as symptoms in the body.
There have been studies showing that everything from
Arthritis to depression can be attributed to the gluten “sensitivities”.

The list of many of these that have been documented are:

Gas, bloating, loose or oily stools, constipation
Abdominal pain, nausea, abdominal distention, or flatulence
Gastric and duodenal ulcers or esophageal reflux

Joint or muscle pain that does not appear to be caused by activity or exercise

Infertility, miscarriages,
Fatigue, mood changes, depression, or anxiety

Thyroid malfunctions,
Diabetes mellitus,
Rheumatoid arthritis, childhood asthma,


However, as the misconception continues. The vast majority who have auto immune disorders, skin disorders and many other ailments have no idea that what they are consuming are causing this havoc on their bodies.

Concerned people who have been hearing this gluten buzz word feel some of these symptoms and go to “get checked” by their doctor.


However, tests that can be done are often skewed for various reasons as false positives or false negatives, which gives the patients a “green light” to eat gluten to their stomachs’ content because a lab or doctor says they are “clear”.

Meanwhile, their health continues to decline while chasing symptoms that could easily be remedied by simply eliminating all forms if gluten.

The best way to really find out if someone is sensitive to gluten to completely eliminate it for 2-4 weeks from their diet and then reintroduce it and see what their reaction is.

glutenfreeplaydough2For those that do want to eliminate gluten may find it difficult due to the fact that it is disguised in many things from sauces to envelopes to play-doh.

fruits&vegetablesLabel reading becomes critical, including creating homemade sauces and eating less processed foods and more fruits and vegetables.

Here are some sneaky ways gluten can be hidden.
These acronyms spell gluten:

Fu—dried wheat gluten
HPP—hydrolyzed plant protein
HVP—hydrolyzed vegetable protein
MSG—monosodium glutamate
TPP—textured plant protein
TVP—textured vegetable protein

The healing process of our gut from the effects of gluten can seem monumental and the idea of eliminating this staple of our diets overwhelming.

However, it can be done much easier in our society who is now recognizing gluten as a problem.

Many products can be substituted for gluten containing foods and the enjoyment of the comfort foods can continue with a little more seeking and learning how to prepare the healthier version of the “guilty pleasures”.
Our bodies can become a healing “well oiled machine” again if we remove the foreign foods that are counter-productive to our bodies functions.

Giving it the life promoting foods it craves will help it heal itself and put us on the road to a healthier vibrant life.

CoconutFlourCheck out one of my favorite healing gluten flour substitutes in my article about Coconut Flour!!! Read it HERE!

As a former gluten junkie, I have learned to find immense enjoyment in other foods and my body thanks me daily as I know yours will, too!

To your vibrant health,

Dotty 😉

Dotty Cropped2By: Dotty Hagmier, RN, BSN, CHC

As the president and founder of Moms in Charge and also a mom of three beautiful children, Dotty’s passion is to guide families into a place that will provide them with the best possible choices to raise healthy and vibrant children.

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