Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

The title of this morning’s post probably doesn’t mean much to you, but it means a lot to me. At CrossFit last night, I did my first all Level 2 (L2) workout!! Woohoo!

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Completing a Level 2 workout is huge deal for me because when I first started CrossFit, I could barely do a Level 1 workout. But, over time, I’ve gotten stronger and built up my endurance, so I’ve regularly moved into Level 1 workouts with a few Level 2 exercises thrown into the mix, but last night’s WOD was my first official Level 2 workout.

No idea what I am talking with this Level 1 and Level 2 stuff? Let me explain. These levels are simply exercise modifications and/or substitutions, which often use less weight than the prescribed (as written) WOD. At CrossFit 781, a number of the guys do the prescribed workouts, but a lot of the members do variations of Level 2 and Level 1 workouts. Even people who are in great shape, like Mal, for instance, do Level 2 WODs. You can still get an amazing workout and having these options makes CrossFit physically assessable to just about everyone. CrossFit South Brooklyn does a great job of further explaining the CrossFit Levels.

Last night’s WOD was an 8-minute AMRAP ladder of Thrusters and Kettlebell Swings, so we started with one Thruster and one Kettlebell Swing and then two Thrusters and two Kettlebell Swings and kept moving our way up the ladder until time ran out. Then, to finish the workout, we did 60 Hollow-rocks, which are basically ab torture.

WOD: “Cash Out”

8 Min AMRAP ladder of:

Thrusters (95, 65)

Kettlebell Swings (70, 53)


60 Hollow-rocks

The Level 2 weight for women was 45 pounds for the Thrusters and 35 pounds for the Kettlebell Swings. I did 9 rounds + 10 Thrusters in 8 minutes (total: 55 Thrusters + 45 Kettlebell Swings). It felt awesome to complete my first all Level 2 workout, and I may or may not have done the Running Man in celebration. (I also may or may not know why that move is suddenly my “happy dance.”)

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There are a ton of reasons why I love CrossFit, but the most important is (as cheesy as it may sound) it makes the impossible seem possible.

I remember on my very first day of CrossFit, when Mal and I were doing the intro session, one of our coaches brought out a 20-inch box and asked me to jump on top of it. I’m pretty sure I looked at her like she was nuts. I even told her I didn’t think I could do it. I was totally prepared to bruise my shins trying, but I gave it my best effort and jumped on top of the box with a good 4-5 inches to spare. Ever since then, I’ve had the confidence to work toward skills that I originally thought were impossible, like rope climbs and chin-ups. (FYI: I can now do three unassisted chin-ups in a row! I am, however, still working on those pull-ups!) I’m constantly surprising myself with what I’m able to do at CrossFit. This, of course, motivates me to challenge myself and work toward being the best I can be.


After CrossFit, Mal and I came home and threw together quite a feast for dinner. We used our Griddler (best kitchen tool ever) to make grilled chicken quesadillas with all the fixings.

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In the mix: whole wheat wraps, shredded cheese, sour cream, black beans, salsa, grilled chicken, homemade guacamole (3 avocados + + 1 tsp of minced garlic + 1/2 tsp cumin, salt, and pepper), chopped tomatoes and bell peppers.

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I added a little bit of each of the ingredients to my quesadilla, so it ended up being massive! I didn’t think I could eat the whole thing, but I did. No problem.

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I woke up craving eggs this morning, so I scrambled some up and added chopped leftover Brussels sprouts and truffle salt. Yum!

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On the side, I had a piece of whole wheat toast with sunflower butter spread on top.

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And iced coffee with soy milk. Obv.

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Question of the Day

Physically, what’s something you never thought you could achieve, but you did?



  1. I want a griddler!!

    Actually I have a small list going of all the kitchen gadgets I want when I get a regular-sized kitchen and more counter/cabinet space. 🙂

    Congrats on the level 2! Goes to show what consistent effort and work will do!

  2. Way to go!

    I was just thinking during my run this morning that I still can’t believe I ran a marathon AND finished in 4 hours. I never would have thought that I wanted to run a marathon.

    I love my griddler too and always forget it hidden in my cabinet when I am making quesadillas and panini’s.

  3. Love the griddler! Where do you find one of those? I always said I wanted to run a half marathon and now I have run 8+ and now here I am training for a full marathon for 2013. I never thought I would be loving running so much….especially after my foot injury and then surgery in 2007, look at me now.

    Congrats on the Level 2 – that is awesome! It is proof that hard work does pay off (in levels in this case). 🙂

  4. Running a half marathon my 3rd year in college in 1:51, when in high school I couldn’t even do a mile under 14:00!

  5. Great job on your level 2 workout! Doesn’t it give you such a sense of accomplishment? I started taking BodyPump in October and I can’t believe the change that I have seen in my body! I lifted free weights in the gym for years on and off and never had definition and now I do with BodyPump. I love it!

  6. Congratulations, Tina! That’s awesome!

    There are a few, but I think my very favorite was all the way back in high school when I ran a sub 7 minute mile (BARELY sub, but still! 🙂 ) for the first time.

  7. I never thought I would be able to run long distances. At the beginning of last year I couldn’t even really run a mile, but now that I’m training for a half marathon I’ve worked my way up to 11!

  8. Congrats on moving up to the next level!

    I never thought I’d be able to hold a forearm balance/handstand in yoga, but after one teacher described it so clearly and taught me what to “feel for” in my body, I took the plunge, went for it, and now it’s my favorite pose!

  9. Wow Congrats on your progress! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine being able to run for even more than 20 minutes…clearly i was wrong seeing as I ran a 10-miler straight 🙂

  10. I’m working on my unassisted pull-ups. I have a goal to do 3 by Feb. 24th. We’ll see.

    As for accomplishments! Running a sub 19 5k! I did it this fall in my five-fingers, and I was very happy. Now…my new goal is a 3:12 marathon. We’ll see. I’ve never run one before.

  11. Way to go on the workout! When I first started running, I could barely go more than a mile. Less than two years later, I completed my first half marathon. Now, I still run regularly, and I enjoy it! I think that’s the biggest accomplishment, and something I wasn’t sure I’d achieve when I started: going from it feeling like punishment every time, to feeling joyful and happy to do it.

    Also: I LOVE truffle salt. YUM!!!

  12. That’s SO great-congrats!!

    I just talked about this on my blog, but teaching BodyPUMP was something I was not so sure I could do or even be good at….and now I am doing my first advanced training this weekend! It makes me feel confident when I achieve and DO hard things 🙂

  13. Easy… childbirth without drugs! Which then made me feel so warrior-like that I took up running 5 and 10Ks at the age of 35!

  14. Great job Tina!!! What an accomplishment.

    I’ll never forget the day I power cleaned 225 pounds. It was sick. Now I just need to build my strength back up to that 🙂

    I’m going to have to use our griddler to make quesadillas. Great idea.

  15. I am not a natural runner so I never thought I would be able to run a half marathon. But I worked hard, trained, and accomplished my goal. It took me 2 hours 14 minutes, which obviously wasn’t too fast, but I was proud of my time and myself!

  16. Congrats on your awesome progress Tina! Isn’t it great when we start to see results from all of our hard work? My first marathon was something I felt was going to be impossible at first, but by the time race day rolled around I was totally ready to go, and when I completed it, I was probably the happiest I’ve ever been!

  17. Congrats on doing Level 2! I remember the first time I was able to unload 50 hay bales (each weight about 70 lbs) without having to take a break and that felt amazing. I was able to get all unloaded from the trailer and moved to the hay shed without stopping from tiredness and I wasn’t sore the next day. It was at that moment I realized going to the gym and lifting weights really did help my everyday strength for doing barn chores.

  18. My proudest moment was the first time I ran for 15 minutes straight – I was out of shape and I’d always been that kid who faked injury to get out of running at school. I run every day now and I’ve since run 10Ks, but I’ll never forget the elation of that first 15 minute run – i remember thinking, ‘hey, I can do this! I’m a runner!’

  19. There’s a CrossFit opening up literally STEPS from my apartment and I really want to give it a try. Something I never though I could do? Run a marathon. The chubby 10-year old inside me would never have believed it.

  20. Great job! Sounds like an amazing accomplishment!

    I never thought I would be able to run a 1/2 marathon – but I’ve done that now 3 times…my husband has now even run one!

  21. Finishing a marathon in under 4 hours! Especially since I was injured during training and my longest training run was 13 miles!

  22. Mmm, that dinner sounds fantastic! I love making those when need to clean out the fridge–it’s fun to stick random ingredients in there and douse them with salsa and sour cream.

    I never thought I could run a half marathon and a year ago, I conquered it! It’s amazing what you body can do when you put your mind to it.

  23. That’s so great about surprising yourself! I’ve surprised myself at crossfit with toe to bars, chin ups, a s**t ton of burpees in a row, and some heavy lifting! It’s so motivating seeing changes week to week.

  24. I never thought I could ever run more than a couple miles at a time…I remember the first time I ran 3 miles without stopping I jumped for joy! I eventalyl worked my way up to doing regular 5-7 mile long runs weekly and then registered for a 10 mile race. My longest all out run with no walking breaks was almost 9 miles and I was pumped! I ended up taking some walking breaks during the race due to the hills and humidity (hello Baltimore in june!) but I still NEVER thought I would do that. Saying “heading out for a run” and returning 6 miles later like it was nothing? Yep, pretty proud of that!

  25. Tina~
    Another very nice piece!

    Cross Fit and other combination work-out programs are definitely catching on and the science is certainly there to support the results. Over the last year, I began working with a personal trainer who has successfully trimmed down my waistline and leaned me up dramatically even though I actually thought I was in pretty good shape before. Go figure!

    I applaud you for focusing on this type of high-intensity workout because, quite simply, it works! I am still surprised when I see people at the gym barely breaking a sweat, chatting the entire time, and thinking they are actually accomplishing something. You’re not!!!

    To really transform your appearance, the keys are a workout that actually works and…the big one…a meal plan that is focused on clean foods, high protein, and slow release carbs. Together, the results can be dramatic.

    Thanks again for spending your time on this blog. I look forward to some great stuff ahead!


  26. I never thought I would be able to run a half-marathon… actually, I never thought I would be able to run for any substantial length of time after a disastrous first attempt at running two years ago. But over time, I built up my distance and in September ran my first half. It’s amazing how much you can improve and surprise yourself if you keep at something. Congrats on getting to Level 2!

  27. I think getting back on skis for the first time after many, many years off. I’d say that or snowboarding! I definitely didn’t think I could ever successfully do that one!

  28. I haven’t read your blog in a long time, and when I came back the other day I was so excited to see you were doing CrossFit!!! I started last summer and I absolutely love my gym and the friends I’ve made 🙂
    Our CF gym does L1, L2, and L3, with L3 being for absolute beginners. I pretty much stick to L2, except for when we do things like Wall Climbs! They’re awful!
    Glad you’re enjoying it though!

  29. I know exactly what you mean! Last year I trained for and completed a half-ironman and everyone thought I was crazy. But every week, going farther and farther than I ever had before, was so rewarding!! So this year I’m training for the full distance (gulp)!

  30. Congrats, physical accomplishments are the best! I ran 10 miles non-stop for the first time a month ago and am still proud of myself for that. I once thought 3 miles was a milestone….and now, I can run 10.

    Have a nice day, lady!

  31. Congrats 🙂 I used to be totally worried about BodyPump and too afraid to take classes but when I started reading blogs and realized it was nothing to be afraid of, I finally got the courage, and love it!

  32. I never thought I would ever cycle. Then, I got a bike, signed up for a the Death Ride and completed it.

    The Death Ride is 5 mountain passes, 15,000 ft of climbing anf 130 miles.

    I also never thought I would run more than 2 miles and then I did a half marathon!

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