Beauty, Balance & Medicine: How one Doctor Changed my Life

My weight loss journey has been anything but easy.  I thought I had the recipe: reduced calorie healthy meals + workouts = weight loss.  However, I didn’t realize that I was missing a crucial part of the equation, Dr. Alice (@alicenguyen.nd)- more specifically, targeted oral supplements and micro-nutrient intravenous therapy.

Part of the 360 Program that Stark Fitness (@starkirvine) offers is a mandatory visit with their in house, medical guru, Dr. Alice.  I didn’t realize how life changing this one visit would impact how I looked at food, fitness and overall health.  The key lies within doing an complete analysis of your health history, but more specifically, taking a closer look at what is going on with your body.  I did 3 blood tests: one for food allergies, the Vibrant America comprehensive lab panel review my overall well being, and the Micro-nutrient panel.  The results were astounding.

From my food allergy test, it revealed that I am highly allergic to whey, casein and dairy.  Although I didn’t show outward signs of intolerance such as hives or GI issues, I did notice never feeling quite “right” and took an inventory of how much of these items I was consuming on a regular basis.  What I learned what that by consuming these items, my body was constantly in an inflamed state, which made it 100x more difficult to lose weight.  Once I cut these items out of my diet, I immediately noticed my stomach was flatter and the results from all of the meal planning and gym sessions were finally beginning to show.

What was more disturbing were my results from the overall levels of my Vibrant America lab panel.  I had zero testosterone, which means it is almost impossible to build lean muscle mass and I was deficient in almost every other category.  But have no fear, Dr. Alice is here!  I was put on a regimen of vitamins to take on a daily basis to get my body back into balance, but what was more interesting was the IV Treatments that were available.  On a weekly basis, I was given and IV with a special “Vitamin Cocktail” to give my body everything it was deficient in.  I even mentioned to the doc that I was having excessive hair loss, one of the issues most postpartum moms deal with and Dr. Alice added Biotin, a vitamin that promotes nail & hair growth, right into my bag.


Thanks to Dr. Alice, my body is back in sync and on the right path to getting to hitting my weight loss goals.


Essentials to pack for a Spa Day

Beauty never stops for Team Manna! Anywhere we go we always keep in mind the best ways to achieve a look for any occasion. Now when you think about a spa day, you would most likely dismiss all the beauty rules and simply enjoy yourself.

After our recent visit at the Glen Ivy Hot Springs we mastered the spa day beauty look while staying fully relaxed and rejuvenated.


Here are some key essentials we used throughout the day!


Since the facility is mainly outdoors, we wanted to ensure our skin is highly protected. We used this adorable travel size sunscreen from Neutrogena to get us through the day without getting a sunburn!

Glo Illuminator

As we wouldn’t encourage a full face of makeup for this occasion, we found that the Manna Kadar Cosmetics Glo Illuminator ($29, shop here) gave us that extra boost of beauty and confidence. Apply the Glo Illuminator on your face and body to give that luminous glow that will shine inside and out!

Jo Malone Travel Sized Cologne

The perfect mini spray to keep you feeling fresh! We love the Wood Sage & Sea Salt Scent for a fresh and beach like experience.


What are your favorite items to use while on a spa getaway?

More than Fitness at Stark! Manna Kadar talks about her ART Treatment with Dr. Justin

In all my 37 years, I had never been to the chiropractor.  I thought this was only for people who had back issues or neck problems.  Well, let me tell you how wrong I was about this.  At the recommendation from my team at Stark Fitness, I reluctantly went to visit with Dr. Justin.  I didn’t think there was much to do since I did not have any previous injuries and overall, I was a healthy person.

Little did I know what I had been missing out on all of these years.  I’m about to let you in on a little secret called ART. ART is a unique muscle therapy technique that can relieve any chronic or acute injury by working specifically on the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and capsules that are involved. By feeling what is tight and weak, they can pinpoint the areas that need to be addressed to eliminate any pain quickly and efficiently. 

Dr. Justin worked on decompression in my lumbar spine, which most women need post-pregnancy after carrying a baby for so long and also works on ART Treatments for my glutes and cores, which sped up the “tightening and toning” process during weight loss.  This essentially aids on the postpartum fat loss process. 

One of the best parts is that Dr. Justin is housed within the Spark Fitness building for treatments before or after your workout and takes 10 minutes or less.

I can’t speak highly enough about Dr. Justin and how it has helped me in my weight loss journey.  This will certainly be incorporated as a part of my new health & wellness routine.

At Home Valentine’s Day Ideas

Making time for romance when you have children can be close to impossible! Especially with a toddler and new born on your hands. What do you do when you can’t leave the house for this romantic holiday? We came up with a list of perfect ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home with your partner in crime.

Get cooking

Spend some time in the kitchen together and get your hands dirty with homemade pizza. Pizza may not be the ideal romantic meal, but you can pair it with a fresh salad and a bottle of wine, or two. To kick up the Valentine’s Day feel, make your pizza dough in the shape of a heart!

Set the mood

Dim the lights and surround yourselves with candles. Everything is more romantic by candlelight. You can even add soft music in the background.


At home spa night

Take it easy and distress from a crazy workweek and busy nights with the kids by treating yourselves to an at home spa night. Start the evening with a face mask, we recommend the Rose Face Mask by Fresh ($25, shop hereshop here). In efforts to keep the Valentine’s Day theme in motion, we selected this mask as it is infused with real rose petals! Before you call it a night take turns giving each other massages!


Wine & Paint night

Get crafty and open up a bottle of wine while you show your artistic side. This fun experience will also leave you with beautiful pieces of art to hang up. Even if it does not look like a work of art worthy to be framed you can save it as a memory and fun experience you shared with your loved one.

Watch a movie

Snuggle up and watch a movie. When was the last time you were able to sit down, relax and enjoy a movie from start to finish with no interruptions?

Rear view of couple watching television in living room hug

How to face the day with a GLOW! #GloGetterTips

With Manna Kadar Cosmetics recent feature in New Beauty Magazine, focusing on the Glow Illuminator, Founder & CEO Manna Kadar shares her Top 5 #GloGetterTips to face the day with a glow that shines inside and out.

Tip 1- Start your day refreshed

Kick start your day with 10 minutes of “me time”. Before the craziness of the day starts! Enjoy some quiet time while sipping on a hot cup of lemon water. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C help promote glowing skin- decreasing wrinkles, blemishes and promotes skin elasticity! Make this a part of your daily morning routine for real results!

Tip 2- Get Organized

Make yourself a plan of action for the day by creating your goals and to do list. We like to order the tasks by priority to ensure the important stuff get done! Once the day gets going you can cross off your completed tasks for that ultimately satisfying feeling of accomplishment.

Tip 3- Stay upbeat and positive

Create an upbeat playlist for your commute to set the mood. Play fun, positive and energetic music- our playlist includes Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, and of course.. Happy by Pharrell Williams!

Tip 4- Add Glo on-the-go

Keep you glow all day long with the Glo Illuminator by Manna Kadar Cosmetics. Give your skin a pearlescent glow while providing hydration. You can apply it to any targeted areas or mix a few drops into your moisturizer or foundation for an overall radiance ($29, shop here).

Tip 5- Time to Wind down  

Slow down your mind before getting to bed. Spend some time away from your phone and other distracting forms of technology. We recommend reading a book, or chatting with your kids and loved one. Not only will you feel relaxed, this will also help promote a good nights rest!

Manna Kadar’s go to Gym friendly Hairstyles

When you’re off to the gym the last thing on your mind may be your hair style. Yes, you have your fitness goals to focus on, but why not look good while achieving them? Wouldn’t you feel more motivated to work out with a boost of confidence while looking good? Get rid of flyaways and pieces that keep falling in your face with these fitness friendly hairstyles!

The Low Trendy Bun- Simply tie your hair in a pony and flip your hair through to create this trendy bun! Add gel to roots/crown to avoid flyaways. Love this hairstyle for #ArmDay!



The Classic High Ponytail- Brush your hair back into an elastic with our fingertips to create that textured look. You can also add a texturizing spray like the Un.Done Texture Spray from Amika ($24; Shop here)



The Dutch Sister Braid- Keeping your hair in its natural state, sans-hot tools? This workout friendly braid is perfect for all hair styles and keeps your style intact throughout your workout. Start by making two Dutch style braids on each side of your head, then connect them and tie with an elastic.



The Classic Bun- The perfect hairstyle to get sweaty! Keep hair off your face and neck with this ballerina bun.



Share your fitness friendly hair looks by tagging us and using #MKFitnessHair!

How to look FAB at the gym with MKC

Going to the gym does not have to mean a trip home before going out! How can we find a way to go into the gym and leave looking FAB? Team Manna has discovered some secret tips and tricks to help you #LookGoodFeelGood before, during and after your workout.

Start Fresh & Clean: In order to prevent breakouts, clean your face before working out or adding your fitness friendly makeup. If you workout with makeup, keep it to a minimal as it can clog pores during your normal perspiration process. Cleanse face with a blemish clearing towelette, like Yes to Tomatoes ($8;


Show up in Style: Remember saying, “If I buy these new cute workout clothes it will motivate me to workout more”? Well now is your chance to show off those fun prints, bright colors, and cute fitness sayings!


Triple elastic your ponytail: If you decide to wear a ponytail instead of a bun or braid, try this simple trick to keep the hair off your neck. Use three elastics stacked up against each other, which will create a larger space between your ponytail and your head, keeping the lengths of your hair off your neck and out of sweat’s way.


Gym Face Makeup: As makeup isn’t recommended for your workout, we found some key products that will help you look good without leaving you with a runny mess! No more raccoon eyes from your post-workout Mascara! Use Manna Kadar’s Eye Candy Priming Shadow Stick in Sugar to conceal any spots or dark circles ($24; Shop here). Followed by your favorite light coverage tinted moisturizer, we love working out with CliniqueFIT Broad Spectrum ($29.50; Shop here). Complete your look with the Flutter Mascara, your new favorite Workout Friendly Mascara ($29; Shop here).


Hydrate your lips: Apply your favorite LipLocked Priming Gloss Stain before your workout. We love the hydrating formula that will keep your lips nourish throughout your workout. Contains Berry Extract, Vitamin A and Vitamin E! ($24; Shop here) Try neutral and light colors like Shae, Rosette, and Lucky.


Eliminate Post Workout Shine: If you have plans after the gym or you’re just making a Whole Foods run, eliminate your post-workout shine in one step. Simply touch up with Manna Kadar Cosmetics High Definition Pressed Perfecting Powder ($29, Shop here).


Leave in Style: Most gyms have facilities to clean up, touch up and change so you could go about your day. Bring a change of clothes that will dress up your look dependent on where you are headed to next. Dark jeans, a white blouse and flats should do the trick!

Collage of female clothing set. Jeans, top, shoes and accessories.