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Why should women lift weights?

deonna.molina | November, 14, 2017

Let’s face it, we all want to be fit, but to get fit, you need to lift weights. It’s time to learn about the benefits of strength training and get on a training plan. The myth that weightlifting makes you bulky or turns you into a she-hulk has been busted time and time again. Weightlifting can give you confidence, higher self-esteem and a healthy, banging body.

How do I know? Six years ago, I was a pudgy mom and wife. I’d always been active, but for me, that meant playing with my daughter or participating in a fun game of softball with the family. I even made going to the gym a consistent habit and lead group fitness classes. So I couldn’t understand why I didn’t have the lean, athletic, feminine body I longed for.

Three years ago, I decided to start competing in bikini fitness. This opened my eyes to a whole new world. I have a more desirable physique in my 30s then I did in my 20s, and I feel better about myself in every conceivable way.

I am so blessed to coach and inspire many people who appreciate and engage in regular strength training. But I have to be honest, there are still a lot of myths and misunderstandings surrounding women and weight training.

But before we go into busting those myths, let’s talk about the benefits that weight lifting can provide.


Muscles and metabolism: First, and most important, is the effect that weight lifting has on weight loss. The more muscle you have, the more calories you can burn while at rest. Having muscles speeds up your metabolism, and ultimately, results in more effective fat loss.

Healthy Bones: Did you know that lifting weights can increase your bone density? Many studies have proven this fact. Most of the time, when we are young, we don’t think about our bone density. But, as we get older, we need to pay more attention to it. If you start lifting now, you will be so thankful that you took care of your bone density and helped prevent health risks in the future.

Being independent: When you are strong, everything is a little bit easier. Carrying groceries or moving furniture isn’t such a daunting task anymore. I remember when I realized how important my strength was. I had to basically rearrange my whole house, and with my time frame, I couldn’t get help. I remember feeling so accomplished and proud that I performed the task alone and in such a timely manner.

Confidence: There is just something about strong women. Strong women exude a confidence that is intoxicating. I believe confidence comes from the knowledge that you can complete some pretty impressive feats at the gym. Once you start to realize your outer strength, you will then tap into your inner strength and that begins to radiate around you. Confidence is such an attractive quality, and the confidence you get from the gym will start to leak into every aspect of life.  If you can kill it in the gym, you can kill it in life.


Why won’t I get bulky?

Our Hormones: Most women simply do not possess the levels of testosterone necessary to even support a bulky physique. And, any woman who has a massively muscular physique is most likely supplementing with hormones. Yes, we all have different genetics, and some of us are prone to having more muscle density than others, but you still have to train for bulk and supplement for bulk in order to get bulky. Ask any bodybuilder, and they will all say that gaining muscle isn’t easy at all. You cannot turn into a she-hulk because you did squats, but you will have an amazing backside.

Different Training: Along with genetics, the way you train will determine how your body will develop.  Increased bulk is not as easy as most people think, and bodybuilders work incredibly hard to make sure their program supports the maximum muscle growth they want to achieve. The key is not only to utilize as many compound combinations of full body movements as possible but to have good diet. A bulking diet will look a lot different than solid nutritional protocol for women on a fat loss program. The bottom line is, the way you eat and train will determine how your body develops. A full-body training program and a diet that is rich in proteins, veggies, and healthy fats is the most effective path toward fat loss and strength for most women.

So now what?

Maybe I’ve convinced you to toss your three-pound weights, stop doing only cardio, and give this whole strength training thing a shot. Where would you begin? I have a program that is a great place for beginners to start realizing their strength potential and seeing the body transformation they desire. Come see me, and let’s get after it!!!


How common is magnesium deficiency, and could you have it?

deonna.molina | October, 11, 2017

You may not be as familiar with magnesium as you are with better-known minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc, but magnesium is incredibly important for many of the body’s functions. It plays a key role in your immune system, nerves, and muscles, and helps keep your heart and bones strong. In all, magnesium is involved in more than 300 of the body’s biochemical reactions. But important as magnesium may be for keeping you healthy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary surveys show that about half of all Americans are taking in less of it then they should. Here is what you need to know about magnesium deficiency, including symptoms, causes, and risk factors. Plus, how to add more magnesium-rich foods to your diet.

How common is magnesium deficiency?

It’s important to note that while many people aren’t getting enough magnesium through diet alone, it’s rare to have a true deficiency. You have your kidneys to thank for this; they limit how much of the mineral is expelled through your urine. So, if you’re otherwise healthy, chances are you don’t have a magnesium deficiency. That said, chronic alcoholism, certain medications, and a habitually low intake of the mineral can lead to a true magnesium deficiency.

What’s much more common is magnesium inadequacy. A magnesium inadequacy occurs when someone is taking in less than their recommended daily allowance of the mineral, but levels are above the threshold for a deficiency. Some groups are more at-risk than others for developing magnesium inadequacy.

Who’s at risk for low magnesium?

Chronic medical conditions are often the culprit. Some doctors say that people at highest risk for low magnesium are those with diarrhea and other forms of malabsorption. People with type 2 diabetes are also more likely to be low on magnesium because insulin resistance can increase urination frequency, and thus urinary excretion of the mineral. Older adults also tend to have lower magnesium levels than younger people. This is in part because they are more likely to have developed chronic disease or be taking medications that could mess with magnesium levels, but also because magnesium absorption from the gut decreases as we age.

An actual magnesium deficiency is common in people who chronically abuse alcohol. The increased likelihood of having a poor diet, gastrointestinal problems related to pancreatitis, renal dysfunction, vitamin D deficiency, and other factors all play a role.

Magnesium deficiency symptoms

First of all, remember: magnesium deficiency is very rare. If you are simply low on magnesium, you probably won’t experience any of the following symptoms.

The earliest signs of magnesium deficiency include nausea, general fatigue, and a loss of appetite. In more advanced cases, someone with magnesium deficiency could experience heart problems (including irregular heart rhythm), muscle cramping and spasms, weakness, trouble sleeping, seizures, and tremors. A magnesium deficiency could also cause poor memory or even anxiety.

Another possible byproduct of magnesium deficiency is an electrolyte deficiency. Doctors believe that magnesium maintains a balance of other electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium. In turn, these electrolytes support nerve conduction, muscle contraction and maintain normal heart rhythm. A blood test in your primary care doctor’s office can help assess whether or not you have an electrolyte deficiency.

Do you need a magnesium supplement?

Probably not. Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, states that being low on magnesium is a concern, since it’s so essential for your heart, muscles, immune system, and more, but you shouldn’t reach for a supplement without first consulting your doctor.  She says, “Unless you have a gastrointestinal disorder, like Crohn’s or celiac disease, or you take certain medications, like diuretics, chances are you don’t need to supplement your intake.”

What to know about excessive Magnesium

While it’s unlikely that you’d overdo magnesium through diet alone, there is such a thing as too much of the mineral when you’re taking supplements. Excessive magnesium intake can result in diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramping, and possibly even arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). Magnesium can also interact with some medications, such as antibiotics, certain blood pressure medications, diabetes medications, and diuretics.  Dr. Levine says, “It is always best to consult with your primary care physician if you are experiencing symptoms of low magnesium. They can do a thorough review of your medications, as well as your medical history. Since magnesium deficiency is uncommon, it’s possible your symptoms are being caused by something else.”

Magnesium and diet

A safer option than heading straight to the supplement aisle? Fill your plate with plenty of magnesium-rich foods. The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine and National Academies recommends that women ages 19 to 30 aim for 310 mg of magnesium a day (that number goes up if you’re pregnant or lactating), and slightly more for women ages 31 to 50. Dark, leafy greens, seeds, and nuts are some of the best sources of magnesium. Opt for almonds, sesame seeds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseed. Other magnesium-rich foods include tofu, bananas, and black beans.

Lunch and Snack Tips and Tricks

deonna.molina | September, 28, 2017

  1. Freeze Peanut Butter Sandwiches (Uncrustables)

Make and Freeze Peanut Butter Sandwiches ahead of time in a Freezer Bag. Take one out of the freezer each morning and it’s thawed and ready at lunchtime. This will save you so much time each morning by having sandwiches ready to grab and go.

  1. Use Saran Wrap to keep your Apples Slices Fresh

Wrap a Sliced Apple back up with the core using Saran Wrap. By keeping the apple core in tact you reduce the amount of air touching the surface of the apple to reduce browning. When your kids un-wrap the apple it will already be sliced and ready to eat!

  1. Use Empty Bottles for Sauces

These Empty Mio Bottles make a FANTASTIC Way to store and send sauces and condiments. If your kids love things like Ranch Dressing, Italian Dressing or Ketchup then this Is a mess free option.

  1. Use Drinks as Ice Packs

Freeze Capri Suns and other Juice Drinks to use as Ice Packs in Lunchboxes, this frees up space in your kids lunchboxes and also makes them lighter to carry. The drinks will thaw by lunchtime while still remaining cold and helping to keep food fresh.

  1. Make a Snack Station

Create a Snack Station in your Fridge and Pantry, let your older kids make their own lunches by pulling one or 2 of each items and placing them in their lunchbox.

  1. Write Secret Messages in Banana

Here’s a fun Lunchbox Treat you can use a toothpick to write a fun message in a Banana, as it starts to brown the message will be revealed.

  1. Use Toothpicks/Skewers for Meat & Cheese

An easy way to make Meat & Cheese easy for kids to eat is by placing it on a Skewer, You might check with your kids school to see if this is allowed before trying this one, some schools may have rules regarding things like skewers being included in lunches. You can also use Plastic Coffee Sticks for a less sharp option.

  1. Make your own Ice Packs

You can make your own Ice Packs by using Sponges filled with water and frozen then placed in a Ziploc Bags.

  1. Print out Lunch Notes at the beginning of the Month

Save yourself some time and Print & Cut Lunch Notes at the beginning of the month. There are so many different Free Printables Available, Make a bag of pre-cut notes and jokes and then you can quickly grab one each morning and add to your kids Lunchboxes. If you want to add a personal note you can turn the printable over and write something specific to each kid.

  1. Pack Your Own Single Servings
    Let kids help divide big bags into smaller servings to save money on lunchbox snacks. Use a Measuring Cup and Ziploc Bags to make the process quick and seamless.
  2. Roll Up Anything

My kids love making their own Roll ups, Roll Up Cheese & Turkey, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Cheese, Chicken & Salsa and more! You can do this ahead of time or send the ingredients and let kids build their own.

  1. Try Breakfast for Lunch

Use Whole Wheat Pancakes, Fruit & Boiled Eggs to create a fun Breakfast Themed Lunch that’s packed with protein and nutrients.

  1. Find Alternate Sources of Protein

Use things like Hard Boiled Eggs, Nuts & Cheese to create a Balanced meal. Hard Boiled Eggs can be boiled and peeled at the beginning of the week then placed in individual bags to make them easy to grab and go.

  1. Pack Chicken Nuggets in a Thermos

Keep Chicken Nuggets warm by cooking them in the oven then placing them in a Thermos Food Container with a paper towel at the bottom to absorb the extra moisture.

  1. Make Cheese Stick Sushi

Wrap a Cheese stick with Meat and a Tortilla then slice it for a fun twist on a traditional sandwich.

  1. Combine Peanut Butter & Snacks in one container

Save yourself a container and place veggies and pretzel sticks in a jar with the Peanut Butter or Hummus already at the bottom.

  1. Send Hot Dogs in a Thermos

Cut a Hot Dog in Half and place in Hot Water inside a Thermos, You can send a Hot Dog Bun cut in half in a bag and then kids can make their own Hot Dogs at lunch time.

  1. Freeze Ice inside Your Water Bottle

Some Water Bottles are hard to get ice inside, you can fill a Water Bottle ¼ of the way full and then lay on it’s side and freeze. Then you can fill with water and the water stays cold as the ice melts.
19. Make Your Own Fruit Cups

Skip the sugary syrup and cut up your own Fruits ahead of time. Use Cookie Cutters to make fun shapes and find containers with lids to use to store these fruit cups in the fridge for the week.

  1. Make your own Single Serve Macaroni Cups

You can divide a box of Macaroni & Cheese in Half and send in a Microwave Safe Container for kids to make their own lunches. My son begs for these but they are so expensive and this cuts the cost per serving in half! Just measure a box and divide it in half. It’s about 1/2 Cup of Macaroni and 2 1/2 Tablespoons of the Cheese Powder and add 1 Tbsp. of Powdered Milk. You’ll want to put the Macaroni in one bag and the Powder in another bag. Then fill a Microwave Safe Container with about 1 1/2 Cups of Water. They can microwave the pasta for about 4 minutes, then stir in the cheese & milk!

  1. Use Cookie Cutters to Celebrate

You can use Cookie Cutters to shape your sandwiches, fruit & cheese into fun Holiday Shapes and fun Characters. This is a great way to make lunches fun and encourage kids to eat them.


  1. Make your own Lunchables

Bento Boxes and Divided Storage Containers are great for making your own Lunchables! You can even leave the space for crackers empty to keep them fresh and keep these stored in the fridge, then add a bag of Crackers in the morning before you pack it in your child’s lunchbox.

  1. Make your Own Fruit Leather

You can make Fruit Leather from Pureed Fruit without all the added chemicals, this is a fantastic way to help keep lunches healthy and my kids eat these up.

  1. Create a Dip Tray

Things like Hummus and Peanut Butter are great additions to all kinds of Veggies and Pretzels, You can create a dip tray for a fun and easy to eat lunch.

  1. 25. Make a List of Lunches Ahead of Time

Start the year off by making a list of 12-15 different lunch ideas, and then rotate through the list when you start feeling stuck during the year.

I like to add my lunch ideas to my menu plan. It helps me stay focused and I can make sure I grab anything I need at the store so I’m not panicking last minute.

  1. Use Rolls or Hot Dog Buns to Create Sliders

You can make Mini Sandwiches that fit perfectly in Lunchboxes and are great for kids by using dinner rolls or hot dog buns cut in half.

  1. Pack Ahead

Use Bento Boxes to pack lunches before the week begins, this makes it easy to grab and go each morning in 5 minutes or less!

  1. Lunch Box Smoothies

Make Smoothies with Fruits & Vegetables and freeze them, they will have a great slushy feel by the time they thaw slightly at Lunchtime. This is a great way to sneak in Nutrients into your kids lunches.

  1. Use Muffin Liners as Separators

Add some color to your kids lunches using Silicone Muffin Liners, these are inexpensive and easy to wash + they help keep foods separate and create additional dividers in your kids Bento Boxes.

  1. Make Your Own Trail Mix

Combine your kids favorite snacks and healthy treats into a Trail Mix. Mix Nuts, Dried Fruits, Yogurt Bites and more for a fun and easy to pack lunch.

  1. Use Bagel Thins to Build Pizzas

You can Bake and Freeze Mini Pizzas, then Wrap in Foil and place in your kids lunches. These are a great item to help you get out of your rut, and there’s so many options that you can include for toppings.

  1. Wrap Sandwiches with a Lunch Mat

Skip the Plastic Bag and use Wax Paper Instead to create a Nice Lunch Space for your Kids to use at School, this will help keep food off the table and give them a larger germ free area to spread out their lunch.

  1. Use a Cookie Cutter to make Mini Tacos

You can use Large Flour Tortillas cut with a Small Round Cookie Cutter to create Mini Tortillas, then use the Silicone Cupcake Liners to create a Build Your Own Taco Bar



Tired of packing lunches every morning?

Here are some ideas to help make lunches and snack easy for your kiddo’s

Idea 1: Sandwiches

Lay down a piece of wax paper

Sandwich rolls

Your choice of meat and cheese

Place mayo and mustard beside the sandwich before rolling up and storing in the fridge.

Idea 2: Veggie Packs

Chop carrots, celery, bell peppers and place in a snack bag in the fridge along   with some string cheese.

Idea 3: Mini lunchable

Take sandwich meat and cut into squares along with some cheese.

Place these in a bag with some crackers of your choice.

Idea 4: Proportioned fruit

Cut up fruit and place into snack bags in the fridge. These are the perfect serving size and easy for kids to grab.

Cantaloupe, strawberries, apples and oranges are perfect for this.

Juice boxes and yogurt are also good snacks to have handy in the fridge.


In the mornings or before bed you can have the kids pull from the fridge already made sandwiches, snacks and drinks for the perfect lunch. Also, if you are always on the go these are easy to grab as snacks in between locations.


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