8 Reasons Women Should Lift Heavier Weights

lift heavy


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Important Note: Always ask your doctor before beginning a workout routine. Always seek out a personal trainer to help with proper form so you don’t injure yourself. 🙂 

I LOVE lifting weights. It’s probably my favorite form of exercise, I’m so not a “I love running and all things cardio!” type of girl. But whenever I try to talk to a girl friend of mine into lifting weights with me, the response is always the same, “eh… I don’t know… lifting weights isn’t really my thing, I want to look like a girl not like a man.” haha! Okay, let me set one thing straight (and if you look on any other weight lifting page it will tell you the same thing), lifting heavy weights will not make you bulky! The women you see who look like men, with the grossly large muscles, in general are taking testosterone supplements and possibly steroids in order to look that way. Don’t take those things and you wont look that way!

In fact you will look slim, sleek and toned. Instead of being skinny fat – you know where you look ok in clothes because you’re thin, but naked you have no tone – you will be toned and look amazing in the nude.

Okay so you want reasons to lift heavy weights instead of tiny dinky ones?

1. It builds muscle faster.

I’m sure you’re sitting there thinking “Well duh, weight lifting = building muscles, who knew?!” But I just wanted to reiterate that while lifting light weights can increase your endurance, it’s nothing more than weighted cardio. To build real muscle you need to lift heavy weights. You want to lift the heaviest weight you can lift for 8-12 reps, if you can’t lift 8 reps it’s too heavy if you lift more than 12 reps it’s too light.

2. According to The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, when you build muscle you burn fat continuously! 2 sessions of heavy lifting a week will burn 3% body fat in 10 weeks without cutting calories. You’ll also burn 100 more calories than if you did only cardio, even though your heart rate monitor and calorie counter may tell you that the cardio you just did for an hour burned more than weight lifting, throughout at 24 hour period weight lifting will continue to burn calories and end up burning 100 more than the “cardio only” counterparts. (Put cardio and weight lifting together for a fantastic continuous burn!)

3. In a study from the University of Alabama in Birmingham they showed that dieters who lifted heavy weights lost the same amount of weight as dieters who did just cardio, but all the weight lost by the weight lifters was primarily fat while the cardio ladies lost muscle along with some fat. That equaled smaller clothing sizes for the weight lifters compared to the cardio goers.

4. Lifting weights prevents osteoperosis and can even help build stronger bones. Check out this article which talks about weight training for osteoperosis

5. According to Harvard University Women who lift heavy weights lose more belly fat than those who don’t lift weights. Weight lifting targets intra-abdominal fat and helps you loose the visceral fat, something that crunches alone cannot do.

6. Lifting heavy weights makes you feel amazing. Whenever I’m in the gym lifting heavy weights, I feel like a beast, like I can take on the world! A feeling of empowerment, knowing that you aren’t some weakling walking alongside the road and that people may misjudge you and you could prove them wrong. I’m particularly fond of the leg press, women tend to have stronger leg muscles than men do and it was always fun to be able to do more than a guy can.

7. Strengthening your muscles can help with your cardio. If you are still a cardio lover, adding some weight lifting can improve your knees and joints so that your runs are faster and less painful.

8. You’ll reduce your risk of heart diseases and diabetes, “Muscle helps remove glucose and triglycerides from the bloodstream, which reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as hardening of the arteries,” says Timothy Church, MD, PhD, a preventive medicine expert at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Want some weights to start out with? Check out this 105lb adjustable barbell set or these adjustable free weights (they go up to 105lbs as well!)  Please note; these are adjustable and range from lighter weights to heavier weights. I in no way recommend using 105lb weights when you are just starting out, but you can work your way up to it.

Cardio is still a great workout, I myself am not able to do any high impact workouts, so I stick with weights as it doesn’t jar my knees or joints (provided I’m doing techniques correctly!) anyone who does both cardio and weight lifting will gain the most benefits. But it IS possible to have benefits with only one or the other 🙂

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this article!


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**Article edited on 1/20/14 to include references and important notes.

***ALWAYS check with a doctor before beginning a workout routine! ALWAYS make sure you know how to do proper form. If you are unsure of proper form please seek out a personal trainer to show you how to do the moves so that you do not injure yourself. ***

Delicious Berry Streusel Muffins!

This amazingly delicious Berry Streusel Muffin recipe comes from my friend Ashley who has her own mommy blog over here; http://www.agturley.blogspot.com/ ashley

Berry Streusel Muffins

What you’ll need:

1 1/2 c flour,
1/4 c sugar,
1/4c brown sugar,
2 tsp baking powder,
1 tsp cinn.,
1 egg,
1/2 c plus 2 TBSP milk,
2 TBSP melted butter,
2 c frozen/fresh berries (I used mixed, but also like just raspberries as it makes it tart!)
Combine all the dry ingredients, and stir. Combine the wet ingredients and mix into the dry until moistened. Fold in berries. Place muffin liners in muffin pans and add batter until 2/3 full!


In a bowl mix

1 TBSP melted butter,
1/4 c brown sugar,
2 TBSP flour,
1 tsp Cinn, and 1/4 c pecans (I don’t like the nuts but that is just a preference)

Add to the top of the muffins bake at 350 for 18mins let cool for about 5 mins


1 TBSP lemon juice,
1 c powder sugar (no milk-makes it healthier right? lol), pour on top of the muffins. ENJOY!


Thanks Ashley, for that awesomely delicious berry streusel muffin recipe! It’ll make a great birthday breakfast!


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Ask me how I lost 4 dress sizes while still being able to eat delicious foods like this berry streusel muffin! 😀


A Mom Post: Stop Telling Your Daughters That Guys Only Want One Thing



I have a beautiful four year old daughter, whom I love very much. With each passing year, I think about how we are getting closer to the teenage years, the years where kids pretend not to listen to you but secretly they hear every word you say. They blow you off so that you think you’re not having an impact, but you still do. I was there not too long ago, so I still remember how it goes. 😉

As a pre-teen and teenager, I became more interested in boys. I thought they were cute, I wanted to go see movies with them or hold their hand, share a milkshake and get some flowers, I wanted to feel cared for by someone other than family. But I was told repeatedly, from my parents, my uncles, my cousins, church leaders, youth pastors, (the list goes on) something along the lines of, “I was a teenage boy once, I know what they want. They only want one thing….You know… Raging hormones and all.”

Now this was said with good intentions, fathers protecting their daughters, uncles looking out for their nieces, friends looking out for friends, but it was really rather harmful. What it ended up teaching me was that all a guy will ever look at me as, is a sex object. My personality did not matter, my intelligence didn’t matter, who I was had no affect on my life at all, because guys only wanted one thing. It also taught me that guys had no personality, that they were liars, they were fake, they weren’t interested in me, they only wanted one thing and they would do or say whatever they had to in order to get that one thing.

Many have posed the question “What is wrong with our teenagers nowadays?! Why are they dressing like such sluts and whores? We need to take away their magazines and turn the tv off!” The real truth is, it’s not the magazines, or TV’s fault, it’s what we’ve all been conditioned to believe. That guys only want one thing. Then the second lesson we are taught after that, is that men are visual.

Lesson 1: Guys want one thing
Lesson 2: They are visual

What does this do to a young impressionable girl? It tells her,  I need to look as good as I can, naked. If I don’t look good naked, I will eventually be cheated on, I will be left for someone better than myself because I wont be up to standards. This isn’t a new message, this message has been passed on for generations, which is why TV shows have become more sexual, women have become more scantily clad and men think it’s okay to sleep with numerous women. Because it’s what they are taught from a young age.

It ends up something like this:
“I really like this new boy Jake, he’s sooo cute!”
“Right!? I know! You should wear that short skirt you have, with those boots and maybe the lowcut top. Not super lowcut, you’re not a slut, he just need something to look at and it’ll make you look super cute.”

They dress to gain attention because they are conditioned to believe they are selling their body. Even intelligent, beautiful young ladies fall into this.  “If I show a little cleavage maybe he will notice me, I know that girl is pretty cute he’s talking to, but maybe my boobs are a little better.” 

For myself this landed me in a paralyzed fear of trusting any males, it accomplished what I’m sure my family was pleased with; The only guy I ever kissed was my husband. But it was only because I felt like no one wanted to know me as a person, that they were all liars and all they wanted was sex. I felt like I was standing there with my fingers in a cross shape, hissing at them to “Get back Satan!” When a guy was interested in me, I immediately thought “Why? because you want to have sex with me? Guess what? It’s not happening, so don’t waste your time with me.” I pushed everyone away and was once told “You are lucky to be married at all, in college all of the guys were afraid of you. You were so closed off to the possibility that anyone might actually like you, that no one would even make an attempt to ask you out.” It was a saddening but true statement. Which is what made me really stop and think about why I was this way.

We need to be teaching our daughters that men are respectable human beings who want to know who they are. Who want to care for them, love them, treat them well and who are interested in more than just their body. It’s not a lie either, it’s true! If you ask my husband why he loves me, he would say “Because you’re fun, you’re kind, you’re patient, you’re forgiving, you’re weird, you’re kinda crazy, we can laugh together.” It’s so much more than sex and I plan to teach my daughter that she is more than a body to be used and that she is capable of having a respectable relationship, with a teenage boy or a young man.


The 5 Best Hot Chocolate Recipes

Ahh fall is getting closer, the leaves are beginning to change color, the fresh air smells crisp and the temperatures are beginning to cool. At least here in the North, I hear the south still has 100 degree temperatures. This change of weather made me want deliciously warm drinks and it also had me begin to look for the cutest fall boots available. So without further ado here are the 5 Best Hot Chocolate Recipes


#1 Paula Deen’s Dreamy Creamy Hot Chocolate 


Photo by Stephan Rosger

Is it any wonder that the woman known for her love of butter, has one of the tastiest hot chocolate recipes available?

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 1/2 cups hot water
Mini Marshmallows (optional)


In a large saucepan, combine sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, vanilla and salt; mix well. Over medium heat, slowly stir in water; heat through, stirring occasionally. DO NOT BOIL. Top with marshmallows, if desired.

Tip: Chocolate can be stored in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Mix well and reheat before serving.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/dreamy-creamy-hot-chocolate-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

432840796_1dcc0cf408_z copy
Photo by Christiano Betta
#2 Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa
I don’t know if you have had the Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa from Starbucks, but oh my gosh, it’s SO good. You taste some sweetness, a touch of saltiness, rich chocolate, ah it’s to die for! Unfortunately since we moved to the middle of nowhere, the closest Starbucks is over 45 minutes away. So I found this amazing copycat recipe from savorysweetlife.com
  • 3 tablespoons Caramel syrup, heated to luke warm (recipe here)
  • Hot Chocolate (4 tablespoons of ganache plus 6 oz. of milk, heated)
  • Canned Whipped Cream
  • Pinch of Medium Coarse Sea Salt
  1. Pour 2 Tablespoons of caramel syrup into a mug so the inside of the mug is coated well. Add hot chocolate and stir everything. Top off with with cream, drizzle with remaining caramel, and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy!


Photo by Steven DePollo
#3 Hot Chocolate with Coconut and Rum
You know, some days are just more rough than others. That’s when this deliciously tropical hot chocolate comes into play, with a little bit of fresh coconut milk and a dash of rum it will have you slipping away into a relaxing paradise in no time.
1 cup whole milk
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup heavy cream
5 ounces white chocolate or milk chocolate, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon rum (I suggest Rumchata because it’s delicious)
Warm milk, coconut milk, and cream in a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add chocolate, and whisk until melted and combined. Continue to warm mixture until thick, about 5 minutes. Whisk in rum.
#4 Sugar and Spice Hot Cocoa
Image by Masatoshi
3 cups milk,
5 ounces chopped dark chocolate,
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon,
a pinch or two of cayenne (optional) and
Whipped cream for garnish
In a pot combine the milk and chocolate. Melt the chocolate over low/medium heat, stirring constantly. Once melted and the mixture is warmed through stir in the cinnamon and cayenne (if using). Serve hot 🙂
#5 Mint Hot Chocolate
Photo by Maxwell GS
This is a recipe that I love because it’s super simple and is a crowd pleaser!
6 Andes chocolate mints
16 ounces chocolate milk
mini marshmallows, optional

In a small saucepan, melt the mints over low heat. Slowly whisk in chocolate milk until well blended; heat but do not boil. Pour into mugs; top with mini marshmallows if desired.

Now that I have you craving some deliciously warm and creamy hot chocolate, pick your favorite recipe and go make some!

5 Easy Meals to Make for New Moms!

My sister gave birth to an adorable little boy 6 days ago and being that new moms are always exhausted, I decided to make her some toss-in-the-oven dinners so that she would have one less thing to worry about.

So here are 5 Easy Meals to Make for New Moms!


The first thing I did was cook 2-3lbs of boneless chicken breast in a crock pot with a cup of water. I let that sit all day on low while I did my other work and came back to it in the evening. The chicken was used in 4 of the 5 meals.

Meal 1

Chicken and Rice

2 pieces of cooked chicken breast shredded 1 cup of brown rice
1 can of cream of chicken soup + 1 can of water
Add soup and water and mix well, pour 1 cup of rice on the bottom of the pan and mix in shredded chicken.
Cook at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Meal 2

Easy Chicken Pan Pie

2 pieces of cooked chicken breast shredded or cubed
2 cups of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup
2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables
1 can of flaky biscuits

Place chicken broth and cream of chicken soup in the bottom of the container, add frozen vegetables and shredded/cubed chicken, place biscuits on top. Cook for time alloted on biscuit can.

Meal 3

2 pieces of cooked chicken breast shredded2 Potatoes cubed
1-2 cups frozen vegetables
1-2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Mentally divide the container into 3 parts, in one part place the chicken, in another place the cubed potatoes, add cheddar cheese on top of the potatoes, in the last third add the frozen vegetables, pour in chicken broth over the vegetables and chicken.

Cook at 350 for 40 minutes or until you poke potatoes and they are soft.

Meal 4

3-4 shredded chicken breasts2 cups of BBQ sauce

Mix together, warm up for 15 minutes at 350. Bring buns to serve on!

Meal 5

Best Baked Macaroni and Cheese

2-3 cups elbow macaroni cooked according to packaged directions
8oz of Velveeta Cheese
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Add the velveeta cheese to the cooked and drained macaroni until it’s melted and incorporated. Pour into the pan, add and mix in sour cream. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on, then sprinkle breadcrumbs on.

To reheat cook at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

There you have it! 5 easy meals to make new moms 🙂


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The dangers of Sucralose

Here are a few fun facts for you, you can decide for yourself if you want to drink/eat sucralose or not, I’m not forcing you to do things one way or another. I am just offering up different options in case you are like myself and happen to be allergic to it, or would like to avoid it.

A study by Y.F. Sasaki published in the 2002 ”Journal of Mutation Research” concluded that high doses of sucralose led to DNA damage in the gastrointestinal organs of mice. The dose given was 2,000 mg per kg of body weight.

In 2006 the Department of Internal Medicine, Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, GA, USA.concluded that sucralose was a migraine inducer.
There have only been six human trials to date, the longest study that was done was only 3 months long, hardly long enough to figure out long-term effects that this could have on your system. No studies have been done on pregnant women or children.
Other studies have shown that one packet of sucralose per day for the average person can raise your pH levels and in large consumptions can even have adverse effects on the liver and kidneys.
Another study showed that it could affect insulin levels in those who have diabetes, even though it contains 0 calories. Researchers found that consuming the sucralose was associated with higher blood sugar peaks and 20 percent higher insulin levels compared with consuming the water, though they noted more studies are needed to determine the actual health effects of a 20 percent increase in insulin.
Splenda can cause allergic reactions, which include; migraines, abdominal pain and cramping, constricted airway, dizziness, diarrhea, foot swelling, nausea, vomiting, seizures, tinnitis (ringing of the ears), skin rash.
 I happen to fall into the allergic reaction with constricted airways. If you want to drink the mixes that come with the sodastream then by all means, do so! I am not stopping you and they are there for your enjoyment. I was only offering up different options that are healthier and wouldn’t cause me to have an allergic reaction. Some of the syrup mixtures that I listed did contain about 100 calories per serving, however compared to the 250 calories in a regular soda drink, it’s still cutting calories for the average soda drinker.

If you don’t like a recipe, then pass on it!  It’s a pretty simple concept. 🙂