Recharging Mom Energy
28 Aug, 2011
“In the 21st century the energy crisis is getting personal. It’s not only about the environment. Just ask any mom! The most precious and scarcest resource of all is ‘mom energy.’ We’re committed to helping women turn this energy crisis around—one mom at a time.”
So begins Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged, a new book by renowned author and nutritionist Ashley Koff, RD, and celebrity fitness trainer Kathy Kaehler. The book zeros in on the many symptoms and facets of what all moms need: energy. It assists each mom as well in understanding what her body is telling her, and in modifying her diet and tailoring her exercise based on her particular needs and lifestyle.
“Moms of all ages and stages, from the day that they decide to become a mom—not even the day they become a mom, but the day they decide to become a mom—are giving out their energy to another or to several others,” Ashley Koff told Organic Connections. “One of the things that can set us up for the greatest energy imbalance is turning it on and not getting that proper energy back in.
“In talking to my patients, I started to realize that people didn’t have a great understanding of how the body actually works. In order to make the right choices, it’s important for us to not just be told what to do with our nutrition. To really learn how to make choices, we have to have the information to make those choices.
“I wanted to teach people in a very 101 way about how their bodies worked, really go back to the basics. With the idea of nutrition, I wanted to help people to understand that the body is actually a series of very simple energy equations.”
From her practice, Ashley has seen how moms generally cope with energy problems. “We all know people, moms especially, that can ‘get it all done,’” Ashley explained. “She’s exercising; she’s got a meal on the table; she’s got a job or her interests; she’s handling things for her partner and for her kids. When I see them in my office, however, they generally have one or the other type of severe energy problems. In all of these instances, what’s happening is that they are trying to use their energy to put out the fires or they are ‘band-aiding’ as opposed to really looking at the origin or the source of what is optimal health, what is true energy. So I teach people from the get-go to not look at caffeined or sugared energy as the desirable energy but to really look at quality energy, sustained energy. We’re always going to have highs and lows, but the more we can make it in the middle ground, the better it will be for our bodies and for our beings.”
The book is organized into four main parts: Before You Get Started, Reorganize, Rehabilitate and Recharge. It first takes the reader through understanding her own particular physiology, which will fall into one of four categories. Once she has placed herself within a category, there is advice specifically tailored for each individual mom, as well as much general information about food and its interaction with the body. There is plentiful data on what to—and what not to—shop for, and which kinds of foods to focus on for her particular body type.
Given a typical day, it’s not surprising that moms everywhere are frantically grasping for energy solutions. “We wake up in the morning and we’re exhausted,” Ashley continued. “When our body is exhausted, then we turn to white sugars or caffeine and we start our day off this way. We may even try to counteract that by exercising or utilizing other methods in that space. What ends up happening is the day gets set up for this high-and-low experience. Especially in the middle of the afternoon we’re crashing; so people are hitting sugar or they’re hitting caffeine, then they’re coming home. And at seven or eight, after we’ve eaten dinner, after the kids have gone to bed or they’re settling down, we turn around and we’re exhausted. But instead of going to bed, what we end up doing at that point is saying, `Now it’s “me” time’—to relax in front of the TV, or work on a blog, or do that extra job from home, or catch up with friends on Facebook, or whatever. We start doing things that engage our energy and typically also eating at that time because we’re tired; so in order to have energy we eat. Suddenly we can’t go to sleep. We’ve had caffeine throughout the day; we’ve had food late in the evening. So now we’re taking a medication to help us go to sleep and we’re throwing the cycle off. In that 24 hours, we’re laying the groundwork for disease, 3, 5, 10, 15 years later.”
Unfortunately, the solutions that moms find on the general market—especially packaged food products that promise “increased energy”—really don’t work, which makes for a vicious circle. “The issue is that there are many ways you can create quote-unquote `energy,’” Ashley said. “You can look at energy just as calories, and we know that all calories are not created equal. You can look at energy in terms of shooting somebody’s energy up high with a whole lot of stimulants—sugar or caffeine, or all of these herbs that are now on the market. But what happens when that energy drops? So the issue is in an energy claim: the people selling these products are not understanding how the body works and they’re not giving you a claim that actually resonates with what is going to give your body its best energy. That’s the difference between a marketing campaign and actually working with your own individual body and figuring out what’s right for you.”
In reading Mom Energy, moms can look forward to a solution that is not a quick fix but something that will remain with them. “One of the things that was really important to us about this book was to not feel like we were giving somebody a six-week or an eight-week plan that they go on and come off,” Ashley pointed out.
Not surprisingly, the types of food recommended are completely natural. “A feature readers can look forward to is that every single food as it exists in nature is considered an allowable food,” said Ashley. “I want you to choose the best quality foods so that you’re making things easiest on your body.” Recommended items from this category comprise a very long list, with foods tailored to various types of energy solutions.
In addition to foods, Ashley discusses the need for including the proper supplements and goes through them in detail. She addresses selecting the right multivitamin and mineral supplements, the necessity for a magnesium supplement (such as Natural Calm, which Ashley recommends as a sleep aid), and specifics like B complex, vitamin D, supplements for bone health, and many more.
“Another part they can really look forward to is that the promise of getting energy from your food is based on a clear understanding of how the body actually works,” Ashley concluded. “You will see results from an energy standpoint when you learn how to nutrient balance, and to pay attention to the frequency of your consumption as well as quantity and quality. That really is going to deliver you better energy. I see this every day in my practice; I’ve seen it with my clients from my TV shows. People are astounded that they get the results and yet they don’t have to follow some prescription that is a mass prescription for everyone. This is really the fun of understanding your own body’s physiology.”
Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged will be available September 1 at bookstores everywhere. Click here to find it through the Organic Connections Bookstore.