Recharging Mamas to Help Them Feel their Best

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Teri Watt with son Easton and daughter Ashton. Teri Watt

Teri Watt of Niverville is changing the way young moms look at health, food, and their overall wellbeing, slowly creating an army of people who believe that nutrition is the key to feeling great.

Watt is a registered holistic nutritionist and the founder of Mama Recharged, an online forum used to teach and support other mamas like herself in the area of holistic health. While nutrition is her primary focus, she also believes that other components play a part in completing the cycle of wellbeing: adequate sleep, stress reduction, and good time management amidst life’s hectic pace. A holistic approach to healing requires one to understand that while the body is a system of parts, those systems are all connected. Dysfunction in one part can affect the whole.  

“It encompasses the body as a whole,” says Watt. “If you have certain symptoms, I’m not just going to advise you to take more calcium or more iron. Holistic nutritionists look at your symptoms based on a variety of factors. We look at the combinations of symptoms going on in your body like a puzzle and dive into it to look for the root causes.”

Watt says her career path developed organically. As a child, she’d been prone to tonsillitis, resulting in many years of exposure to antibiotics. Some health concerns emerged later, but her doctors never attempted to make a connection to the negative effects of prolonged antibiotics use.

By the time she reached her late teens, Watt was experiencing extreme fatigue, followed by aching muscles, headaches, severe acne, and abdominal bloating. She describes feeling like she was eighty years old. On top of that, she had uncontrollable sugar cravings. The doctors ran tests, which all came back normal.

By this time, Watt had given birth to her first child and was becoming desperate.

“I had my daughter and I was so fed up with not getting answers, so I decided to start researching it myself and making dietary changes,” Watt says. “After having my daughter, I needed the energy. I wanted more for my life.”

Online, she encountered other people’s stories, including people with similar symptoms who had found healing through dietary changes. One by one, she cut out dairy, gluten, and then eggs until her symptoms began to disappear. 

After her second child, Watt decided to pursue a career in nutrition, fully believing that this knowledge could help not only herself but a large number of people with similar food-related issues. Holistic nutrition provided for her the understanding of how the body functions and the importance that food plays in our overall wellbeing.

That’s how Mama Recharged was born. Watt created the website and used it to share her experiences and knowledge. She began an online seven-day cleanse program and developed a consultation package whereby clients have access to a one-on-one assessment; nutritional, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations based on their symptoms; a customized meal plan, including recipes; and ongoing follow-up services. 

“I tell people, ‘If you come to me and you have a variety of different symptoms, look at food sensitivities first,’” says Watt. “There could be other things going on, too, but that’s so common when you have so many different symptoms. If it’s a gluten or dairy intolerance, you’ll likely not only get rid of the symptom that you came to me for, you’ll get rid of a whole host of other symptoms, too.”

While food intolerance tests are available, they can be expensive. Watt recommends beginning with a simple food elimination process, removing foods from your diet for a period of time to see if the symptoms clear up, and then reintroducing those foods individually to determine whether they are, in fact, problematic for you. 

She says that the most common problem foods contain gluten, dairy, and sugar, as well as processed foods.

“Processed, packaged food is probably the number one problem,” Watt adds. “They are inflammatory, full of sugar, and packed with refined carbohydrates, food dyes, and artificial flavours. It’s almost like a Franken-food. Our bodies don’t really know what it is anymore because it’s been altered so much.”

Watt trains clients to pay attention to their bodies and recognize what symptoms look like so they can also recognize when they go away.

While there is conflicting evidence to support the benefits or detriments of both gluten and dairy, she says there’s really only one way to determine whether you have developed an intolerance to either of them.

“I think it’s true to say that the pesticides and glyphosate on the wheat are a part of the problem, and maybe that’s the majority of the problem for some people,” she says. “But it could be the gluten protein that people have developed a problem with. It’s said to be irritating to the gut lining. I’ve seen the changes for myself and I know that they are not in my head. There’s so many people that have adopted this lifestyle and have seen positive changes.”

While raw dairy products may have health benefits, the modern-day pasteurization process kills off the digestive enzymes which are needed to properly digest them, which can lead to digestive issues and inflammation of the gut.

“The dairy industry has led us to believe that we get our calcium from milk, and if we don’t get our milk then we’re not getting calcium,” Watt says. “If you eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, you don’t need to worry about where you’re getting your calcium from.”

In the fall of 2017, Watt decided to introduce another program to her existing format: the Mama Recharged Method. Registrants to this program sign on for a four-week period, first receiving education as to how their food choices might be causing fatigue, skin irritations, brain-fog, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nasal congestion, or just general malaise. For the twenty-one days following, the group joins in a complete elimination of gluten and dairy products, with a slow reintroduction of these foods at the end. Along with full nutritional support from Watt, registrants receive weekly menu plans, recipes, shopping lists, and the larger support and comradery of peers.

Twenty-five women signed on initially, many experiencing the slow return of their earlier energy and well-being. Watt provides long-term support to those who choose to continue after the four-week period.

“My focus is to show moms that clean eating can be easy and tasty,” Watt says. “I don’t want it to be difficult or scary and I don’t want them to feel like they’re deprived. I know that moms are so busy. Delicious meals can be fashioned so that they’re not spending a whole lot of time in the kitchen.”

While weight loss is a typical by-product of clean eating, Watt doesn’t want it to be the only goal. Overall wellbeing has far-reaching benefits that affect every area of a person’s life.

Watt hopes to encourage others to take a serious look at their nutrition when seeking professional help for common ailments. She also offers a free meal plan to anyone who visits her website (below).

For more information

 www.members.mamarecharged.com/...
 www.mamarecharged.com

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