It’s Been a Little While

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted! I have had a really busy few weeks, but I’ve really missed blogging, so I’m just going to pick it right back up, and we can pretend like I’ve been here the whole time. Okay? Okay. Great.

I’ve been training for a half marathon using Hal Higdon’s Novice Half Marathon training. To be completely honest, I’ve been a bit down on Crossfit lately. I’m not quitting by any means, but it just hasn’t been fun for me for the last few months, so I decided that I’m going to make half marathon training my main training, and cut down Crossfit to just a few times a week until I’m ready to jump back in. I mostly run outside, but if it’s snowing, raining, or just way too windy, I go down to my apartment gym and slog it out on the treadmill. It’s not ideal, but at least I get my run in.

I’ve also been doing some yoga, which has been so much fun. I haven’t done yoga in a long time, and I forgot how good it feels, both physically and mentally.

This morning, I was supposed to run 3 miles. Unfortunately, I hit snooze one too many times and I ended up only having time for 1.5 miles. I took Brooks with me. When we got home, I had two slices of challah bread with a cup of chicken salad. Not exactly a traditional breakfast, but really delicious and exactly what I needed after my run. Did I take a bite before I took the picture? Maybe. (yes)


Here’s what I packed for lunch.



Yes, I’m eating both of these containers (just spread a few hours apart–second lunch is the bomb). I know these seem like huge portions, but on days that I am running and doing Crossfit, I need to fuel a lot more than on rest days or days that I’m just doing one or the other. I had a really busy weekend, which included traveling to Scranton to be with my cousin for her Match Day in medical school, so I took it easy on myself meal prepping this week. My lunches are roasted chicken breast or balsamic chicken (both pre-prepared from Trader Joe’s) with brown rice (cooked in a bag) and some green beans (from the frozen section). I probably won’t have to shop again until Sunday because I have another pretty busy weekend ahead of me and most of my meals will probably be out. Bring on the food babies!

Tonight is Crossfit. 2×10 back squats at around 100 lbs. And then a Partner WOD of as many rounds as possible of 10 burpee box jump overs and 10 dumbbell snatches (while your partner rests). I’ll probably have to stick to burpee box step overs because I was battling a bit of tendinitis in one of my feet and, while I’m feeling much better, I’m trying to steer clear of any plyometrics so that my running schedule doesn’t get too messed up.

After Crossfit, I’ll probably have some casein pudding and hang out on the couch with Brooks until bedtime. I’m watching a bunch of TV shows right now. My two big ones, though, are The Office (for the first time–was I living under a rock?!) and Parenthood. I’m giving myself a free pass on Parenthood because it came out when I was a freshman in college, and I really don’t think I would have liked it as much back then.

We’re supposed to be getting some snow tomorrow, so we’ll see how that pans out, but I might be getting a day off! As much as I love snow days, I am really super ready to be done with the winter weather. Spring, are you there? It’s me, Rachel. I’m ready for you to be here.

I hope everyone has a good Tuesday!!



Fitness Friday #4

Haaaaaaappy Friday, everyone! I hope you all have some fun planned for this weekend!

I skipped a whole lot of workouts this week because the weather was so gorgeous and I just wanted to be outside with Brooks when I wasn’t at work because I knew that it wouldn’t last. And, of course, it’s supposed to rain for the next 4 days. Spending all that time outside was totally worth it, and I got a lot of walking in.

I’m going to yoga tonight after work, which I am super excited for, and then spending the rest of the night preparing for an interview I have on Monday! Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I am not officially doing the Crossfit Open this year, but I did 18.1 this morning just for fun. It went pretty well. I liked all of the movements involved in this workout, so it was a fun one for me. Toes to bar are definitely not my strong suit, but I just did them one by one and I got through it. The one-armed dumbbell clean and jerks at 35 lbs were rough, especially for my left arm, which felt like it had never done Crossfit before.

My workout of the week, though, is one that I did last night. I wanted to get a quick workout in, but I didn’t want to do anything too intense because I knew I had a difficult workout coming up in the morning. So I found this on Popsugar.workoutff4

You can find the original workout posted here.

The only modification I made was to do each circuit twice. Again, I had a much bigger workout coming up in the morning, so I didn’t want to get too crazy.

My favorite part of this workout was that it required no weights at all and can really be done anywhere. I was pleasantly surprised by how good of a sweat I got going, and I’m really glad that I took a little bit of time to do this while watching television.

Have a happy rest of your Friday and a lovely weekend!!

How I deal with my sweet tooth when I’m dieting

Hello everyone, and I hope you’re having a nice Tuesday. I had a rough start this morning! First, I caught a plastic measuring spoon in my garbage disposal and had to fix that without breaking the garbage disposal or losing a few fingers. And then I stepped on a tiny shard of glass that I must’ve missed during my cleanup when I broke a wine glass yesterday. What a mess!

On top of everything, my sweet tooth has been raging since yesterday. I’m craving sweets like nobody’s business. Seriously–I’d kill for a banana right about now haha. But the slow carb diet continues! I’ve been feeling really happy about my progress, and I want to keep it going. But some weeks are harder than others!

I used to try to mentally kick the cravings away. “You don’t want sugar.” “Stop wanting sugar.” “You don’t need more carbs.” “You’re fine.” “What’s wrong with you?!” Sound familiar to anyone? Have you ever noticed that the more you tell yourself you don’t need or want something, the more you desperately want it? Seriously, I have had days where my sugar craving is literally all I think about.

That method didn’t work for me. Instead, I use a simple trick:

I acknowledge my craving.

I am a big proponent of listening to my body. In my opinion, that doesn’t always mean giving in to what it wants. I know others feel differently, but if I gave in to every sugar craving I had, it would be all I eat. I mean, seriously, I’ve been off sugar 6 days a week for almost 7 weeks now, and I still want it sometimes!

So how do I acknowledge my cravings? When I feel a craving hit, I simply think to myself: “Oh, I’m craving sugar.” I don’t add any connotation to that thought. I just make a mental “note” that the craving is there, and then go back to whatever I was doing before I noticed it.

By acknowledging my craving, I listen to and honor my body’s desires without veering off course. Here’s why this works. Imagine your friend is complaining about a breakup with a guy who was never good enough for her anyway. Do you think telling her she doesn’t need him and she’s fine without him or yelling at her to get over it would make her feel better? In my experience, that’s just not how it works. What does help is being her shoulder to cry on. Of course you don’t tell her that it’s okay to go back to him, but you can listen to her and acknowledge her feelings, even if you don’t agree with them.

This week, as weird as this sentence may sound, I am my body’s shoulder to cry on. For whatever reason (inadequate sleep, time of month, stress, etc.), my body is craving sugar. Instead of trying to change how it’s feeling, I acknowledge the craving and I move along with whatever I’m doing. And when the craving hits again, I acknowledge it and move along. And I do that until the craving goes away or until my cheat day, when I can have a planned indulgence (but, to be honest, as long as I acknowledge my cravings, this feeling doesn’t usually last more than a day or two, at worst).

At first, it was pretty difficult to just acknowledge my craving instead of berating myself or just giving in to the craving. But now that I’m used to it, it’s really simple and very effective. Next time you’re having a craving when you’re trying to stay healthy, try it out!

How do you deal with cravings?

Happy Birthday, Brooks!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Pat and I are taking a break from the slow carb diet tonight, and going out to a nice Valentine’s Day dinner. We’ve both had a lot on our plates lately and I am so excited to just spend a night out with him, without having to worry about any interruptions.

I’ll have a blog post about our date, but today, I’m updating the blog with a fun post about my pup, Brooks. Since it’s his “Gotcha” day, I’m going to tell the story of how I got him and what our lives have been like since.

When I was a little kid, I begged and begged for a dog. I mean, day in and day out. My parents finally caved when I was around twelve years old, and we adopted a Labrador Retriever puppy (who, by the way, my parents ended up loving like a third child–told you so, guys…). I was dog obsessed as a kid, and I definitely still am. My law school roommates actually used to poke fun at me because, when we would run a 5K, I would spend at least a half hour after the 5K was over, walking around petting all the dogs that were at the event. And, when my roommates would hint that they were ready to go home, like a little kid, I would ask for just a few more minutes.

On Valentine’s Day 2015, I was getting over the abrupt end to a very short relationship. At the time, I was a total, weepy mess. Flash forward to 2018, when thinking back on the situation, I had a tough time even remembering this guy’s name. Hindsight is 20/20–I was devastated at the time!

Scrolling through Facebook, I saw a post from the Richmond SPCA that adult dogs were on sale that day! I think they were half off. Shelter dogs don’t really cost a lot of money to begin with, but I think I took this as a sign that it was finally time to adopt a dog.

When we got to the shelter, one of my roommates,  Mel, and I started looking around. I had a dog in mind that I had seen online, but when we got around to actually meeting him, he seemed a little aggressive towards men (he barked and lunged at Mel’s friend who luckily happened to have come with us). I was looking for a dog that was middle-aged. My requirements were 5 and up.

Mel eventually pulled me over to a dog named Tater that was only two years old (spoiler alert: Tater became Brooks). He was the only dog that was laying peacefully on the floor of his cage, not barking or whining or asking for attention. I was intrigued, but I was also kind of worried. Two years old was pretty young–that’s practically still a puppy, if you ask me. But he was so adorable and was acting so calm that I gave in and said I’d like to see him.

The woman who was working at the shelter took us into a meeting room and told us a little bit about Tater. She only had a little bit to tell because they’d only had him for a few days. He had been picked up off the street less than a week before we came, and he spent his first few days at the vet because he had worms and he needed to be neutered. Valentine’s Day was his first day on the floor.

She left the room for a few minutes, came back to tell us that Tater was out of his cage and that she would go find him, and then left the room again. He was a small dog, with giant brown eyes and floppy ears, with what appeared to be a great temperament, so Mel was worried that someone else had scooped him up. I wasn’t even sure I wanted a dog that young, but we waited.

When she came back with Tater, she closed the door and let him off his leash. Mel and I were sitting on a bench across the room from him, and the woman who worked at the shelter was on another bench. There were a bunch of toys strewn on the ground. There was room on the bench on Mel’s side, and he quickly jumped up onto the bench. He climbed over Mel, sat in my lap, and I was sold. I knew there was no way I was leaving that shelter without him.

The first few months with Brooks were incredibly hard. He had more issues than I had anticipated. For starters, whatever had happened to him in the past had shook him up so much that he would “piddle” at any loud noises, if anyone hovered too high over him, or if someone approached him too quickly. I learned that this was called submissive urination. Brooks did not want to be in his crate. The first time that he was put in his crate, Sydney’s (my other roommate’s) husband had to kind of shove him in and lock the door. I tried to crate train him after that, but he just was not having it. He barked and whined and tried to escape, injuring himself (mildly) in the process. Out of the crate, he was a total maniac. He destroyed my blinds, ate anything that was on the floor, and once ripped up a pillow.

Honestly, I was like a new mom at this stage. I was nervous, tired, and I just didn’t know what I was doing wrong. He was so sweet, but he kept destroying my things and peeing on my floor. I wanted an adult dog for a reason! I did not sign up for the puppy stage. I guess that’s the thing you have to be prepared for when you adopt an adult dog. Sometimes, they’re model citizens. Other times, they’re a lot to handle. And you can’t really tell which one your adopted dog is until you get them. For the record, though, regardless of which kind you get, it is so, so worth it. Adopting a dog was both the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the most worthwhile.

Much internet research, a lot of patience from my roommates, and a lot of training later, Brooks was starting to act more like a regular dog, albeit with a bit of anxiety.

He still had quite a bit of separation anxiety and fear of strangers, but he was adjusting to his new, cushy life.

Today, Brooks charms pretty much everyone he meets. He still has some separation anxiety and some odd behaviors (like eating paper towels and barking at my nephew if he gets too rowdy). But mostly, he is just a sweet, playful, happy pup who loves nothing more than snuggling up next to his humans and chewing on a bone.

Rescuing a dog is a commitment. I won’t lie here and say that it was ever easy or that my life hasn’t changed. At the same time, though, Brooks has been my constant through 4 moves (some across state lines), some not so great relationships, and every sick, sad, or bad day. He’s taught me patience and resilience. 3 years later, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Fitness Friday #3

This week seriously flew by! I had quite a lot to do at work. I don’t think I took a single lunch break this week, and I am very pro mental breaks. I also had a few dinners planned with my friends and a call scheduled with one of my professors from law school, so I was very go, go, go this week. I am definitely looking forward to some rest this weekend!

Tomorrow is my best friend’s birthday, so I’m spending most of my day with her in Brooklyn. Sunday, I’ll drive back to New Jersey, meal prep a bit, clean the apartment, and hopefully just watch some TV with Pat and Brooks.

I only had the chance to work out twice this week because of all my obligations, but I worked hard and made them count. And, of course, I took daily walks with Brooks even in below freezing weather.

Here’s my favorite of the week, brought to me by Iron Strong Athletics!

8 rounds:

500m row

1 min rest


-You can run, row, bike, assault bike, or even speed walk this.

-If 500 meters seems intimidating, try it with 250 meters or even 100 meters to start.

-For an extra challenge, row/run/bike/speed walk 1000 meters, THEN do the 8 rounds, and then row/run/bike/speed walk 1000 meters again. I’ll have to try this variation someday.

It looks simple (and it is), but it was very challenging, and honestly there was some strategy involved. You don’t want to go so slow that you’re not getting your sweat on, but you also can’t all-out sprint the entire time. So it’s a mental challenge too!

I averaged about 2:10 for every 500m, some faster, some slower. The entire workout took me about 23-24 minutes.

I followed the workout up with 7×5 deadlifts at 135 lbs. A light weight because I was totally gassed from rowing. I do not recommend doing this 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Super Bowl Sunday Treats

If you’re looking for some VERY last minute Super Bowl Sunday treats (I know I was this morning), look no further! Here are some quick, easy, healthy snacks you can prep RIGHT NOW for the Super Bowl!

Dips (I’m cutting up some celery, carrots, and cucumber slices to dip)(also maybe having a portion of sweet potato chips b/c Super Bowl is only once a year and #lifestylechange, right?)
*3-Ingredient Buffalo Chicken Dip
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Guacamole (I know this is so basic, but it’s the perfect snack)
Black Bean Dip

*Spicy Sriracha Chicken Wings (no honey for me!)
Crispy Spicy Chicken Wings

Crispy Loaded Potato Skins
“Fried” Pickles

* = I’m making this tonight

Fitness Friday #2

Happy Friday!!!!!! Did anyone else feel like this week was incredibly long? I woke up Wednesday morning wishing it was Friday. The coming of this weekend is bittersweet for me because Pat is leaving for a work trip to L.A. and I won’t see him for a week! I know, I know. A week is not a long time! But I haven’t really gone more than a few days without seeing him in 8 months. So I’m going to miss him. Either way, though, I’m super excited to relax, have some family and friend time, and of course have my cheat day tomorrow!

All week, I had planned to share a circuit workout that I did on Thursday. But then I did a workout today that I found even more fun and super challenging, so I decided I’ll share that one instead.

This is a workout I completed at Iron Strong Athletics. All credit for this workout goes to the coaches at Iron!

The Workout

20 Minute AMRAP (with a partner, alternating rounds)*

4 handstand pushups (scale: pike push-ups on the ground or 6 regular push-ups)

10 dumbbell snatches (50/35) (scale: lighter dumbbell; I used a 25 lb)

20 doubles unders (scale: 40 single-unders/10 double-under attempts)

*For anyone that doesn’t speak Crossfit (haha), that means you do a full round of this workout, and then your partner does a full round, and you don’t stop until the clock hits 20 minutes. Your final score is the amount of rounds you completed, plus any reps of the last round that you didn’t finish. (So, for example, let’s say you’ve both done 6 rounds, and you’re on your 7th round, but you only finish the handstand push-ups before time runs out, then your score is 12 + 8).

My partner and I got through 14 rounds + 31 reps. She only had 3 double-unders to go to finish her last round! I was wiped out, so I am glad she got the last sprint. She is seriously a badass, and I kind of froze when she asked me if I wanted to partner with her because I wasn’t sure I could keep up, but I’m glad I agreed to.

Sometimes, partner workouts freak me out because I feel like I’m going to slow down my partner. But partner workouts are also a great exercise in patience (with yourself and the person you may or may not have chosen to work with). Sometimes, they can be a great exercise in appropriate scaling. In a workout like this, you want to be going fast, but with great form. So you don’t want to use a dumbbell that’s super heavy and throw out your back, and you don’t want to choose a handstand push-up progression that’s going to take you forever. We both struggled with double unders, and that slowed us down a bit, but otherwise, I think we both scaled appropriately, which made for a fun, but challenging workout.

That’s all for today. Have a great weekend! Stay warm!