Shepherd’s Pie, At-Home Body Pump & CrossFit Dues

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.

Hello, hello! I can’t believe it’s already Thursday. This week is flying by for me! I hope it’s flying by for you too!


I started my day with Greek yogurt mixed with Paleo “granola” and blueberries. I didn’t think anything other than a crapload of nut butter would fill me up and hold me over until lunch, but Greek yogurt seems to be doing the trick.


After breakfast, I took Murphy outside for a walk in the snow.

snow day

He was not psyched about it.


Nope, not at all.


Once I got him outside, he immediately found a space without snow behind the bushes near our house. I guess he didn’t want to get his paws cold and wet.


What a baby.


I thought maybe he’d do his business back there, but he soon realized it wasn’t an ideal spot to squat, so, begrudgingly, he hopped out into the snow and was totally fine after that.


But, of course, Murphy’s inner drama queen came out when we returned home. He spazzed out on the front porch to get all of the snow off of himself. What a freak.


After I took Murphy for a walk, I did some work and then headed out to a massage appointment. I bought a Groupon awhile back and finally decided to cash it in. On my drive, I stopped by Marylou’s for a decaf Snickerdoodle iced coffee. It didn’t really taste like Snickerdoodle, but it was really good. It sort of tasted like burnt caramel mixed with coffee (obviously). I will definitely get this flavor again!

marylou's iced coffee

My massage was wonderful””mostly relaxing with a little deep tissue work on my back, which hurt to good. My lower back tends to get tight because of my scoliosis, so it felt amazing to have it loosened up.



After my massage, I came home and ate lunch, which was scrambled eggs with pesto and feta and, on the side, guacamole with baby carrots and rice crackers.



A few hours later, I ate a sliced banana with peanut butter before heading to CrossFit for a workout.


Three Questions Thursday

I’ve been really slacking with the Three Questions Thursday lately. Sorry about that! Maybe I should make it a bi-monthly feature? I dunno. Anyway, here’s this week’s edition!

How do you make your Shepard’s Pie?

It’s super easy! Just roast or boil 4-5 medium/large potatoes (any variety or sweet potato, with or without skin), mash them, add 1-3 tablespoons of butter (totally depends how many potatoes you have and how buttery you like them), and season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cook ground beef or ground turkey as instructed. In a large baking dish, layer ground beef/turkey on the bottom, peas (or corn) in the middle, and potatoes on top. Cover the top of the potatoes with shredded cheese (as much or as little as you’d like). Bake for 15-20 minutes and then crank up the heat to broil for 5-ish minutes until the top is lightly browned. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and then eat!

I loved body pump classes and used to go to them 3, if not 4 times a week. I went mostly for toning and losing inches. But after an accident, I haven’t been back for two years. I would like to start back to body pump in my own home. My question is??? Can you suggest any DVDs for body pump?

I sure can! Check out this post: No Body Pump? No Problem! But, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any of these at-home workouts just in case your body still needs more time to heal.

I had a particular question for you in regards to joining a Crossfit gym. I’m aware that every place and area tends to differ, but I was just curious as to how many times a week you usually attend class and what the rates are for you? I’ve heard classes can be pretty pricey and as a grad student with loans, I’m hesitant to join. I absolutely love fitness and would really like the opportunity to try this out, but I’m not sure if it’s practical for me to do so. Any feedback/information you can provide me is greatly appreciated!

I have an unlimited CrossFit membership and usually go 3-4 times a week. Mal and I pay $300 for a couple’s membership ($150/each), which is pretty cheap from what I hear. We signed up when our box first opened, so we locked into a lower rate.

Personally, I think CrossFit is worth every penny, and Mal and I always said we’d pay even more because we love it so much and it’s more than just a workout. We’ve made some amazing friends through CrossFit and we eat “cleaner” nowadays””thanks to some dabbling in the Paleo diet. Plus, (I always tell people this) I worked out at various gyms since I was 16 years old, and I’ve never been as fit as I am today. CrossFit really pushes me out of my comfort zone and the healthy competition in class makes me a better athlete, which I never got a regular old gym. I still can’t believe some of the things I can do because of CrossFit! I really hope you decide to try it out!

I just realized I responded to a similar question a few months ago, so check out this post for my reply. It also has ideas for doing CrossFit at home!



  1. I couldn’t stop laughing at the pic where it looks like you’re dragging him out on the leash (I know you weren’t) because I think all dog owners have to “coax” their nuggets outside in Mother Nature’s handiwork. (So jealous of your snow!)

  2. I am definitely signing up for cross fit after my half marathon in April! I am hoping it will whip me into shape and help me find strength training I actually will enjoy before beach season! 🙂

  3. The snow looks so pretty. We need another storm to cover up the gross, dirty snow that’s left on the ground. Our pups are the complete opposite…can’t wait to run around in the snow!

  4. To the student asking about pricing, she should contact her local boxes and see if they offer a student discount. That’s how I got my lovely rate of $100/month. (My box usually charges $130/mo unlimited). A discount is a discount to me as a fellow grad student.

    And, my membership is well worth the price. I also still pay my $20/month for my regular gym because my box doesn’t have showering facilities – sad but true….the monthly payments still workout to be cheaper than any other box in my area.

    I’m the fittest I’ve ever been, and work out LESS. LOVE. IT. in fact I DREAD going back to my regular gym on holidays when crossfit isn’t open or on special snow days (the owners live in the country where they usually get worse weather than the location of our box so sometimes driving is tricky for them. but that’s rare).

  5. Ha – I’m with Murphy. Snow is no fun 🙂

    My mom made shepherd’s pie a few times when we were growing up and it was always wonderful. I’ve never made it myself though. Might be a fun addition to the meal rotation though.

  6. Les mills has a new at home DVD for BodyPump! It’s called LesMillsPump! They have teamed up with BeachBody to package an awesome video, weights and even healthy eating tips. For about $200 you can do BodyPump in your living room, minus the awesome group fitness effect of course.

    1. @Kim Izzi: I was just comming to comment about the Beach Body program. They just released Combat, too, which is the at-home version of BODYCOMBAT. I’m a BP instructor and from previewing the BB program, the instructors are the same ones I see when I train for a new release. It’s like having Master Trainers in your house!

  7. I just started Crossfit 10 weeks ago, and after 5 years of doing the regular gym thing, weights, classes, spin, etc, I’m in better shape (already!) than ever.

    When people ask me about the price, I usually tell them that it’s high, but to think about it this way: if you were to hire a personal trainer for a month, and have sessions with them 3-5 times per week, you would EASILY be paying 3-4x what you do at a box. And honestly, I think it’s more effective because it is a group instead of just 1 on 1.

  8. I had greek yogurt this morning with a granola bar chopped into pieces on top. Yay protein! I understand about Murphy; Bentley (my maltese) takes 10 minutes to use the restroom because 9.5 of those are spent standing by the door. Dogs…strange animals!

  9. I love shepards pie! I made it for dinner this week but I use Mushrooms to add some bulk and my husband is allergic to corn and hates peas so I found a good alternative.

    Also creamed corn is a great layer as well – that’s how my mum made it when I was a kid….


  10. I love the picture of Murphy not wanting to go for his walk! Whenever it’s snowing or raining I have to push Bentley out the door. As a graduate student on a tight budget I wish CrossFit was less expensive because I would love to try it out! My current gym membership after student discount is only $300 for a year and a half!

  11. thats 150 month for one person right> I pay 120 a month..and if you do a year contract its only 80, but I havent decided yet If i want to do that since I just started! I love it tho…Also I want to make shepherds pie next week. I saw a lot of people posting recipes!

  12. Awww poor Murph! Haha. My brother’s dog, a golden retriever, LOVES the snow! She plays in it! She’ll toss her ball and then go pounce on it, and then she usually ends up losing it so we have to show her where it went.

  13. wow $300 for 2 people is the special?? I need to thank my coach because mine is $95 for unlimited! It’s certainly a no frills crossfit box but it works and I love the people!

  14. I think someone already mentioned in the comments that through Beachbody, or through independent Beachbody coaches, you can get LesMills Pump which is the at home program of LesMills Body Pump. They also just released Combat, which is the at home program of BodyCombat. I personally signed up as a coach to get the discounted price and am looking to get Pump for at home sometime in the next year. I very much want to try Crossfit at some point, I have doubts about some of the methods behind the format. I like they they encourage people to train to become stronger, especially women. Like with any class format, the class/format is only as good as the instructor/coach and I would like to hear more about what you would suggest when looking for a box to try and what coaches you find are more effective than others. For me, I would like to work with a coach that has more education/training and experience outside of Crossfit and where I am in TX, it’s hard to find. For me, it’s finding a coach who has a balanced approach to Crossfit, working out, and health.

  15. haha so fun! If there was a zombie apocalypse, my special skill would be that I could escape on horseback. I rode for 15+ years so if cars become obsolete and it’s easier to get around on foot, etc. I could get away with horses.

  16. I can’t believe how easy that Shepherd’s Pie recipe is! I might have to give it a go this weekend. I’ve debated forking over the Crossfit moo-lah each month, but I haven’t heard one bad thing about it – ever! Do you think they have an introductory course for people who want to try it out once? Does your box have that?

    1. Most boxes do. Ours offers a free week for beginners. You do different WODs for that week but do them along side the regular classes. Lets you get a feel for Crossfit and how AWESOME it is!!

  17. I was just thinking last night how badly I could use a massage. I think it has been almost a year since my last one and my body is definitely screaming at me for it.

  18. I totally agree about Crossfit. I cringe everytime I see what my husband and I pay every month but it is SO much a part of our lives. We are both in great shape, have a ton of great friends, and are both on day 11 of Whole30 with our box – learning life long nutrition information. So many accomplishments all because of Crossfit. It’s worth it! What price can really be put on health!!! It is shocking every month but worth the investment!

  19. I also get a student rate at my box so it comes out to $135/mo unlimited. Its a steal compared to personal training rates. I am a personal trainer at a commercial gym and it costs about 65$/hr to train with me! Granted it is 1 on 1 training versus group training but my box fees comes out to about 10$/hr! I actually feel kinda bad now paying so little for it!

  20. I know cross fit and paleo go hand in hand a lot of the time. I just started the paleo lifestyle with my boyfriend. We agreed to give it two months and see how we feel. We haven’t done cross fit though, we’re more into running (I love kick boxing too.) Everything I’ve read though says Paleo is the key to physical and mental health!

  21. Murphy in the snow is hilarious! My puggle does EXACTLY the same – and she’ll constantly lift her paws when she’s walking in the snow, as if she can’t handle having the cold wet on her paws, it’s so funny.

  22. Speaking of Groupon, I have seen a lot of Crossfit discounts in my area. I saw a Groupon for 10 classes for only $35. If anyone lives in NJ/NY check that out!

  23. I already saw that a lot of people commented about a student rate, hopefully this person’s local box offers one! I’m lucky enough that my box offers a “Hero” rate for military and other service members (fire fighters, police, etc.). I pay about $10 more for this box than I did at another one, but it’s totally been worth it. The coaches have all been so welcoming and really focus on every individual. I can’t stop raving about it!

  24. First of all, Murphy is HILARIOUS! My pug Roxie does the same exact thing! She hates the snow with a passion!

    I read that you have scoliosis … I have it also… my upper spine is fused to a Harrington Rod and my lower is now at a 45 degree curve … just wondering what you find works best for pain management? I am always in serious pain especially after a hard workout. My doc says that I need to do more low impact exercises, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Had to give up running and that has been hard enough. Just curious what you find works best for your back?

    1. @Angela: Running doesn’t bother my back, but I don’t do much of it nowadays anyway. I use a foam roller a few times a week and get massages for pain management.

  25. I’m with you – I would drop a lot of stuff to pay for my box dues. CrossFit has been a life saver for me and I couldn’t be happier. I pay $165/month for unlimited. I also pay an additional $20 for Olympic Lifting classes once a week! Some boxes offer student rates, military discounts, service members discounts, etc. Would be cool if my box did a teacher one, but I still can’t imagine going else where!

  26. I agree with the CrossFit thing! I’ve been a runner for a while and have belonged to gym after gym, but the truth is that I didn’t really know what I was doing and mostly stuck to cardio because of that. CrossFit doesn’t only challenge you physically, it is a great environment for encouragement and it helps you hold yourself accountable in terms of your diet- after all of that incredibly hard work you put into the WODs, you really don’t want to ruin it by eating poorly. I pay $100 a month for unlimited classes and go 3-4 times a week.

  27. I always find it hilarious when dogs really show their personalities and have weird quirks just like humans. Whenever my dog comes in from the rain or snow, she then proceeds to rub her face into the floor until it is totally dry. Picture a dog face down into the carpet, but still up on all four legs. She’s a total goof!

  28. Although it’s expensive, your enthusiasm for CrossFit really makes me want to try it out! My biggest fear is that I won’t be able to keep up and be the “loser” who can’t finish the WOD. I know that everyone says you can scale the workout to each person, but I’m still nervous that I won’t be good enough!

    1. I felt the exact same way. Don’t compete with others only compete with yourself. They have to modify a lot of the moves for me and I said this is discouraging and fought back tears but the coach was awesome. She told me that everyone has to start somewhere and then shared her weight loss story with me which made me feel so much better. She gave me a hug and that is all I needed. I finished up and felt proud of myself. You can totally do it and people will congratulate you when you are done.

  29. In response to your last CrossFit question, my box is approximately the same price as yours but they offer GREAT discounts to students, police officers and military personell. She should research boxes close to her and see if they would be willing to offer her a student discount!

  30. I ended up joining my gym because of the crossfit cost. Glad I did for now. My body is so sore from the different classes I have tried. Maybe down the road when I am not longer challenged or seeing results I will give crossfit a try! You do look amazing!!!!

  31. Yep, like people said about, BeachBody teamed up with Les Mills & you can buy LesMillsPUMP <—which is like BP but at home. You get a bar & DVDs & everything, which is pretty sweet. I teach a bunch of LM classes & they're by far my favorite!

    I like your Bic band too!

  32. Just stopping in to say I love your blog and it is very motivating in many ways. I have been crossfitting for a few months and today I was finally able to complete a work-out as RX. It’s amazing how energized you feel after a workout. I also made your French toast bfast scramble with pnutbutter- delicious!!

  33. Murphy is too funny! Sophie (my puppy) actually loves the snow. She has white fur so she blends right in and all she wanted to do yesterday was play outside. Fun for her, not so much for me 😉
    I have to agree with you on CrossFit too. It is expensive but I totally agree it’s worth every penny!

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