Moms In Charge

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

Healthy Vacation Strategies

You have made the big choice to make a stand with what to feed yourself and your kids.

Just in time for summer vacations where the routine is anything but routine.

We are mid way through summer and at this point the healthy path may seem more difficult to navigate than being in the car with wild kids.

You are heading to family visits and new places where either anxiety has gripped you or you are so overwhelmed you just decided to forget the “healthy choices” until after all the “fun”.

Either way, there is hope without too much stress or extra effort and it may save you from the consequences of the cumulation of junk food summer junkies.

For me, my ideas of what is ok has drastically transitioned over the last few years.

I emphasize transition here.

Nobody wants to feel suddenly deprived or controlled, especially on vacation.

What makes sense to me at this place in my journey may seem extreme and far-fetched to you or others.

However, what I believe we all desire are healthy kids and keeping them in that space can seem tricky when out of our normal routine.

So, here are some things I recommend to give us all a better success rate for healthy vibrant kids this summer.

Plan ahead.
This encompasses a few important details.
If you are heading out on local day trips it can be as easy as:

A. Getting input from your crew on their favorites and letting them help plan what snacks and main foods they would like.
B. Getting a few recipes to make your own snacks is ideal, but there are healthy options at many local whole foods and Mothers Market.
C. Wash and prepare your fruits and veggies the night before
Raw dips, wraps, sprouted raw trail mixes are great options to add.
D. Pack the lunches the night before with finishing touches in am.

I suggest using Planet Box, which keeps everything in Seperate compartments similar to a bento box but without all the little boxes (i always put a frozen pack in between the stainless steel and canvas holder to keep colder.)

Another great option is Pack-It, which is awesome to have on hot all day outings because it keeps the food cold and safer. You can use bento type boxes to put in the Pack-Its.

The main thing to remember is if you get into a routine of always having fresh supplies on hand and always have a cooler of supplies (even if you just throw it all into an Igloo and go), you will be way ahead of many potential problems while on your outings.

For the longer TRIPS:

Plan ahead.

This calls for similar action as the day trips.
If you are road tripping, a cooler with individual snacks / lunches are essential.
A. Get the older kids involved in choosing and preparing for the meals and snacks.
B. Every meal doesn’t need to be taken.
C. Research your course and google healthy restaurants in the area near where you will be stopping.
D. Make it a fun “healthy scavenger hunt” to find organic, raw or ONE foods on your journey.
E. Use your new finds and use as an opportunity to connect with other “conscious” people who are doing their part to make the world a healthier place.


Plan ahead 😉

A. Let your family know about your new healthy choices and ask what you can do to help facilitate this.
1. Buy groceries
2. Share new recipes
3. Take turns preparing meals or contribute healthy versions of food everyone will eat. (you may be surprised how surprised they are that it’s “normal” and yummy)

**Including others on your journey gives them a glimpse into  it and may whet their appetite to take steps closer to your path**

Going to a new place is fun and challenging if you want to keep on a healthy path.
Here are a few suggestions:

Plan Ahead 😉

A. Call and see if where you are staying has the food options you desire.
*If they don’t ask them if it’s possible to have them during your stay (doesn’t hurt to ask)
B. Google healthy restaurants in the area that you can visit.
C. Try to stay at places with at least a fridge.
D. Check the area for a whole foods or health foods store.
E. When you arrive, stock up on the healthiest foods for snacking on during the day (healthy fruits veggies, food)

**if you stay on course most of the day and make the healthiest choices available wherever you go, you will find you and your kids will still have a fun and fabulous time, without compromising anyone’s health.

I know it may seem like too much effort and it would be less hassle to throw caution to the wind, but the truth is, it does matter.

What we feed our kids this summer and how we build their immune systems will make a huge difference in their amount and severity of illness when they go back to school.

So, PLAN AHEAD and have the healthiest and best rest of your summer! 😉



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 Top 6 Inflammatory Foods to Avoid

The Top 6 Inflammatory Foods to Avoid

By Nina Manolson, MA, LMT, CHHC
Holistic Health Coach & Smokin’ Hot Mom Mentor!

It’s been 5 years since I’ve been chugging green smoothies!

I’m a huge green smoothie fan!

Every day, I blend my greens up with a lemon and a banana, to make my delicious green smoothie.

I do it because:
It’s delicious.
It gives me energy.
It keeps my skin clear.
It keeps my weight where I want it.

But the real reason I love my green smoothie so much is because it helps my body move into an alkaline pH state.

Our body, just like a fish tank, has a pH balance. It can either be alkaline or acidic.

We want an alkaline pH in our body because research has proven that having an acidic pH causes inflammation.

Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases:
Heart Disease
Auto-immune diseases
and more
So, how do you avoid inflammation?

Start by eliminating these 5 inflammatory foods:


Sugar raises your blood-sugar levels and then crashes them down. That sugar roller-coaster contributes to inflammation.

Meat :

Most meat (in the US) is fed on feed that’s loaded with Omega 6 fatty acids but low in Omega 3’s. That imbalance of Omega 3 Fatty Acids is a recipe for inflammation.


That ‘healthy’ glass of red wine is walking you right into the land of inflammation.

Refined Grains:

Your white flour bagel, donut, pizza crust and muffin are all refined grains. This simple carbohydrate converts to a simple sugar. Now we’re back to the sugar-roller coaster problem, which creates an inflammatory environment.


Common cooking oils like corn, safflower, cottonseed, soy and canola oil are high in Omega 6 oils and very low in Omega 3 fatty acids – again triggering an inflammatory response.


Many people without even realizing it, are sensitive to dairy. Often people don’t feel “allergic” to dairy, they just don’t feel good, because their bodies are reacting with silent inflammation as a way to cope with the allergen of dairy.

If reading this list leaves you thinking “then what the heck am I supposed to eat?!…”

I invite you to join me for the Anti-cancer detox:

Anti-Cancer Detox Link

There’s a whole world out there of delicious food that will help you feel great and fight disease!

Let me walk you through a delicious and easy week of anti-inflammatory foods.

You’ll also be detoxing with the wonderful Dusty Showers and Mara Gorden who run the 2nd Basemen which is a foundation that helps families in need who are walking through the challenging journey of breast cancer.

50% of the proceeds for the detox is going to the 2nd Basemen Inc. to help families in need!( link to 2nd basemen Inc)

We’re starting on July 23rd and registration ends on July 20th. Check out the details here.

Nina Manolson

About the author:

“I help busy moms prioritize themselves so they look & feel their very best. I also teach them to feed their kids healthy, quick & tasty food.”

Mom & Health Coach

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Just a “Little”

A blog was recently posted about how healthy foods could actually be dangerous for our kids.

While reading it, I became ever more keenly aware of how important the mission of Moms in Charge is.

I also was simultaneously faced with my own real life situation of food choices with my own child.

As I dropped her off at camp, I overheard her friend excitedly tell her they were going to Golden Spoon.

Yes, I’ll admit; I cringed.

Debating on what to do, I explained I would bring her a treat after school but I didn’t want her to eat from there.

I left conflicted about how controlling that sounded and if I had made the best choice to say that.

Pause… On with the blog:

The idea that we are going to damage our children by eliminating food options that main stream media and society tells us to feed them is something to explore.

Without pointing fingers or criticizing people with this opinion, I want to dissect this so the truth is filleted open for us to closely examine and then make an informed choice.

The conflict I felt and I believe many of us feel is because we have come to understand these truths about what has become mainstream food.

What we know as “food” has evolved over the last several decades and what were once whole foods have been replaced with a version of food that looks similar to nutritious food, but has been modified to accommodate our needs.

This is what we are dealing with:

1. Government farming subsidies
The government gives farmers money to farm.
This was great when it started and helped our country through a rough time.
The result has been a surplus of “cash crops”.
Corn is king in America. Check out this link to the documentary, King Corn.
Because there is no way to eat as much corn that is produced, they have come up with ingenious ways to utilize the surplus.

High Fructose Corn Syrup was born to capitalize on the excess and the health implications of consuming this, especially at the alarming levels as our general population of kids are is vast.

GMO’s and Pesticides
Since our society has morphed from small crop lands to  huge acres of mono crops, there has become the “need” to make genetically modified seeds to withstand the huge doses of pesticides dumped on the plants to kill the bugs that would otherwise be unstoppable.

The results are cumulative with detrimental health concerns widely documented


This flavor enhancer is disguised in everything from soups to salad dressings.  Click on the this link to see what foods may contain MSG.

It has been linked to cancer, migraines, and many other health problems including being a precursor to obesity.

Factory Farming – most of us want to turn a deaf ear and blind eye to what’s happening to  animals before they are so nicely packaged and make it to our fast food restaurants, grocery shelves and barbecues.

The reality is, the food coming from factory farms are full of hormones, medications from animals that have lived an inhumane life, fed unnatural foods and then marketed to us as what we need for protein.

The unhonorable mentions are food dyes, artificial and “natural” flavoring, aspartame and other chemical cocktails that are laced in the foods commonly marketed to kids and in almost every processed food.

The issue is that these foods and additives are so prevalent, have become not only the “norm” but expected way to feed our kids and feeding these foods to them continually will cause a toxic overload to their tiny bodies that were never meant to handle even close to as much as they are exposed to.

The big deal is:
** Decreased immune system
**More mucous production
**less efficient elimination systems
**Acidic environment that sets them up for every kind of illness including cancer

With all of these glaring realities, what is a mom to do?

First of all, do the BEST you can to make the healthiest choices when it’s within your power

2. Plan ahead
Have a shopping day or 2 set aside during the week to buy the freshest organic foods to prepare as many of your own snacks as possible.
Check out our affiliate link that will help you plan your weekly meals.

3. Prepare for the party
If you know your kids have a party coming up at school, find out what the faire will be
* prepare a healthier version of that food and if possible, let your child assist you with it.

4. Engage and Empower your kids
Explain to your Childs’ age level in a respectful and engaging way how our food choices affect us.

** Utilize their “hot buttons” to interest them in caring
Ex: if they are into sports, explain which food choices make them run faster;  if they are into princesses, which foods will make their hair stronger, etc

** Begin introducing older kids to greater concepts of why we make these food choices.

– At your descretion begin explaining the above concepts, use the Internet to show short videos of non-graphic or harmful videos, but rather informative and eye-opening understanding of how the food processing is so far from the way it was intended fir our bodies , that it sets us up to be less than our best.

It is up to us to safeguard our kids while they are unable to make their own healthy choices.
It is up to us to empower them with the information and understanding of WHY it matters so that when they do have to choose it can ultimately be a healthier one.

I would like to add one short little “grace” for all of you.

Most of us are trying to do “all the right things”, but the reality is, life is not perfect, neither are we or our kids.

There are simply going to be circumstances where the best choice available isn’t something you would dream of giving them.

Thankfully, our bodies ARE designed to handle small amounts of toxins and junk, but may come with a price of not feeling our best.

Unfortunately “special occasions” become way too common and the “littles” can add up to “a lot”.

Use the times your kids are not with you and when they choose the “unhealthy version” to be an opportunity for learning and discussion rather than shaming or judging.

The end of the story with my daughter was her feeling the pressure that she had no other choice.
She chose the golden spoon.

While I would have loved to hear she gladly ate the other treats in her lunch and was a strong leader, I decided to find the good in what happened.

She was very proud that she told me the truth, and I am sure even more glad that I was understanding and used the opportunity to have a positive discussion about it.

I believe the more we empower our kids not only with information and understanding about the food choices but also treat them with respect and allow them to begin making a few choices along the way, the better overall decisions they will make.

Do the best with what you know and have within your power and know life is a gift so celebrate the “little” things, no matter how it’s sliced 😉


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.

Leave a comment »

Is Something “Bugging” You?

Being in the “anti-bacterial” culture for many years as a registered nurse, purell was one of my closest companions, safely tucked in my pocketbook at all times.  It was mounted on the wall outside and by the sink of each room in the ICU. Pumping this liquid “kill all” gave myself and most of the staff members a sense of security against the many microbes that lurked around us.

Having children added another level of needing to keep everything sanitized.

Hand sanitizer was always strategically placed in every diaper bag, purse, changing station and bathroom.

It is still a safe bet that you can ask any mom at most any park for a sanitizer and she would have some to share.

In my quest to break our family out of the sick cycle, I discovered the startling realization that what I had been doing was essentially taking out all of the bugs; good and bad.

What we had been left with was a weakened immune system that caused us to catch a cold if you sneezed across town.

I’ve recently read an article that  gave fantastic insight into why our culture’s obsession with sanitizing has set us all up to be even more susceptible to attacks from stronger “bugs”.

Our inner flora of healthy bacteria is diminishing as we continue on our quest for cleanliness and the germ-a-phobia movement grows.

As the article gave insight into how we need a healthy dose of dirt, it also speaks to even greater health benefits of growing our OWN organic food.

Having our own organic garden gives us the control over countless factors that allows us to eat the food straight from the garden with minimal need for sanitation.

For those of us who need assistance getting our garden started, there are fabulous services like Harvest to Home that can help set up raised bed gardens no matter if we have a yard or not.

Thankfully, we do have great organic cleaning options for when we are not farming our own produce via Eat Cleaner (

as well as making our own cleaners through essentials oils.

Another key point to consider is the importance of cultivating our inner eco system.  Probiotics in the form of fermented food is crucial for our under nourished good bacteria.
To start:
**Buy a good fermented coconut water and add to your daily regime

**Buy fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi and add a tablespoon to one meal.
Increase to half a cup with one to two meals.

**As you progress, buy your own culture starter and make your own Coconut kefir, fermented coconut water
And veggies

Although I believe keeping our food supply safe and ourselves free from harmful pathogens  is very important, being aware of our need for healthy bacteria is also crucial.

Combining safe food handling and hand washing with more personal organic gardening, incorporating more cultured foods in our diet without using harsh antibacterials will give our inner eco system a better chance to flourish with vibrant health.

Hopefully we will become more excited and look forward to the things that “bug us”. 😉



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 guide families into a place that will provide them with the best possible choices to raise healthy and vibrant children.

Leave a comment »