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. nice job, tina!!! it sounds like you’ve been working hard to get where you are, so i’m sure it must feel incredible. i used to never think i could run over 3 miles, and now i’m up to 6.5! i plan on running a half this summer, which i would’ve never even considered a year ago!

  2. Um, I absolutely love my Griddler. It was a wedding present from a friend who raved about it and she was right. It’s now become our go-to gift for every single wedding we go to. We actually tell people to register for it just because we want to get it for them to let them share in the amazingness that is the Griddler. I’ve never thought to make quesadillas in it though. Thanks for the idea.

  3. I completed a half ironman a couple years ago! when I first started with Team In Training, I could barely swim and hadn’t ridden a bike in years. I did a couple Olympic-distance triathlons and worked my way up to a half ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run). It was a painful and long day, but I was so proud of my accomplishment!

  4. If you told me 4 years ago that today I’d be playing college rugby and thinking about playing after college….I would never believe you.

  5. You have sunflower butter a lot. Is there any different nutritional benefits over almond butter? I love almond butter, I’d bet almost as much as you :), but I kind of want to try some other types of nut butter too!

  6. 5 pullups! I don’t think I could do it again right now, but last year when I focused on this as a goal, it happened. Really inspiring.

    Also, I was already dealing with taco cravings and that quesadilla just intensified them. YUM.

  7. Let us know when you can do a pull up. I’ll have to sign up for Crossfit then! I’ve never been able to do one and it makes me so mad!

    I never thought I’d run(and love) a half marathon. I did and am hoping to do a full soon!

  8. If you told me four or five years ago that I’d run a half marathon, I would have laughed in your face and sent you on your merry way off to the loony bin. But I ran one in Oct 2010, and I’m running another one this March! The impossible is possible, huh?

  9. Three unassisted chin-ups? You’re awesome!! I want to be able to do 2 pull ups by the end of the year (I gave myself a whole year to accomplish this goal). I also want to be able to bench my own body weight (one rep) by the end of the year.
    I have no upper body strength, but plenty of leg strength, so I’m trying to balance it out.
    🙂 Again, great job, Tina!

  10. Congrats on moving up to Level 2! Growing up, I never thought I was good at sports or anything physical. I was picked last for everything but then I took karate in college, loved it, and was actually good at it. People would drop out of the class the first week because they couldn’t handle the conditioning. There were times, I felt like passing out, but I continued and loved it. Now, I do BodyRock and same thing. I used to do push-ups on my knees but have gotten so much stronger since last March when I started. 😉

  11. I remember learning about people doing marathons when I was in high school and thought it would NEVER be possible for me, even though I was running nearly every day. Even after doing a half marathon, I still said I could never do a full. Then, in October 2010 I did my first full!

  12. What an awesome effort on the L2. I just started getting to know CrossFit late last year and love it. But I must say I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one on the planet working on pullups 🙂 The resistance bands work super well.

    As for the question… hardest thing I ever did physically was moving from being a couch potato all my life to at 36 deciding that being a gym instructor seemed like a great idea (!!!!) and to make matters worse to open my own gym within 6 months. One major learning curve and one 6 month road of pain in the body 🙂 But I did do it and found a love of coaching along the way.

  13. Definitely running a marathon…I couldn’t run half a mile when I started running, & used to tell my friend she was crazy when she complete a 6 miler. 2 years after that, I ran a full in under 4 hours & it blew my mind how much I was capable of, if I just gave myself a chance.

  14. Oh and yes, running a marathon was something I never thought I could do…now I’ve done 2! More to come hopefully and definitely more CrossFit goals in the future as well! 🙂

  15. Congrats on Level 2 :)… such an awesome feeling.

    This morning I, 1 rep max’d
    overhead squat – 70lbs
    push jerk – 80 lbs
    assisted pull up with a blue band (bw (165) – 30lbs) 130lbs.

    I want to do 3 unassisted pull ups by the begining of summer. I can taste it :)!

  16. Hi Tina – You may have already addressed this question about Crossfit so hopefully I’m not being redundant – but who decides what level you’re on? Meaning, did you go today and say you wanted L2? Or do the trainers figure out what you should work on? Also, do you count your own reps and record all your own info? Thanks!

    1. The individual decides what level they’re on. For that workout, I knew I could do Level 2 Thrusters, but I wasn’t sure about the Kettlebell Swings. I tried a few practice swings with the 35-pound Kettlebell, and it seemed like I could do it for the entire workout. I did it, but if I couldn’t, I would have had to drop down to a light weight/lower level. Everyone counts their own reps and records their info.

  17. Wow, your blog is not only entertaining but it’s also educational! I’ve learned tons about fitness from reading your posts and now have tons of plans for getting my body back after our baby is born in August. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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