“The Box”, soon to be home…

The gym at CrossFit is known as the “Box”. The Box is where the magic happens. This is where you are able to push your limits, test your boundaries & more importantly, better yourself. Once you step into the Box you are able to leave your problems at the door and focus on YOU.

I went to my first WOD (workout of the day) this morning. I was too nervous to walk in there. I knew no one there, except the coach. I told myself before entering into the Box today, I would challenge myself. I would challenge myself to befriend as many people as I could & be that social butterfly, I would welcome the unknown and not fear it, I would push my physical limits & most importantly, I would be me.

Guess what? I walked in, struck up a conversation with a girl I didn’t know, befriended another girl as we died doing some muscle power cleans, and I pushed myself physically beyond anything I imagined I could do. I have bruises on my collar bones to prove it (and so it begins…!).

I left feeling PROUD of myself for pushing my social and physical limits.

The Rugged CrossFit Box will soon become my second home. I can’t wait.

Keep challenging yourself. Set goals for yourself. You’ll be surprised what you are capable of.

xo. P

Valentine’s Day: To Sulk or To Sweat?

I’ll admit, I was dreading Valentine’s day this year. For the record, this was the FOURTH consecutive Valentine’s day that I spent without the mushy, Eskimo kisses, red roses, love you forever love of a boyfriend. Almost all of my friends have that “someone” whether they are engaged or newly met someone. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond happy for all of them! It’s truly special when you find someone that you can share your life with on a day in & day out basis. I once had that. Knowing that they all had “someone” may have made this Valentine’s Day even harder, because where was I? “Someone-less”…

I had two choices, to sulk or to sweat. I allowed myself one (maybe two) days to feel sorry for myself, openly hate Valentine’s day & sulk.Then, I chose to sweat.

What do I mean by “sweat”? I mean, I was able to workout in Boston this weekend at two new studios FOR FREE. What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than sweating out that “sulking” attitude!

Friday night was a kickboxing class offered through Sweetgreen. They have a Sweetgreen Passport. Wait, this delicious salad place offers free fitness classes? I’m in. My coworker Whitney and I trekked from work & to my apartment to get ready for the class. We hopped in the car and made our way over to Commonwealth Sports Club on Comm Ave in Boston. That is where the kickboxing class was being held. We walked into a room full of women, ready to kick the sh*t out of a bag. It was perfect timing on our end, too – because we both had very frustrating weeks at work (thanks to the snow days). We did cardio, punches, kicks, burpees, mountain climbers… we did it all! It got our heart rate up and our arms hurting! I have some battle scars on my knuckles from punching the bags too hard… oops?

Saturday afternoon Whitney and I signed up for a spinning class at Flywheel. Your first class at Flywheel is free, and guess what? It was my first class! The 11am class being offered this weekend was meant for couples & the 3pm class being offered was for singles. So, guess which class we signed up for? The 3pm. The first song he played was “Single Ladies” by Beyonce, thanks man, thanks. It is a stadium cycle type of spinning class that is hyper focused on RPMs. You are in a dark room, with minimal lighting focused on nothing but yourself. The warm-up was a workout, and then workout was… hell. I was dripping sweat, my heart rate was up & I was loving every second of it. The instructor was easy on the eyes, too which helped. By the end of the class all of my “sulking” mood was gone. It was the most perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day afternoon in Boston.

Thanks, Whitney for your love and support in sweating out this weekend with me all weekend! I wouldn’t have wanted to try out these free classes with anyone else! Our goal this spring is to try one free class a month. Let me tell you, it’s possible to almost do one free class every week if you tried.

In between all of these sweat sessions, I spent my Valentine’s Day better than I could have imagined…

I got a fabulous hair cut at a new salon – I’m so excited to have found a new stylist! A little Valentine’s Day gift to myself 🙂

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#treatyourself

I got lunch with one of my best friends Derick at Cafeteria who was my “valentine” for the day! After we enjoyed a delicious lunch, we went and picked out some handsome glasses for him at Warby Parker & walked all around Newbury Street together on a snowy Saturday afternoon!

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Cafeteria Boston for Brunch!

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Snowy Boston 🙂

My friend Meghan then came over for dinner and we cooked up a gluten free, paleo friendly dinner! See below for our dinner with wine! Not the best picture, but we made an amazing stir fry!

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Romantic Dinner for Two 😉

All in all, I’m mad at my self for sulking about Valentine’s Day, but I am beyond proud of myself for turning my attitude around and honestly, turning it into one of the best Valentine’s Days to date. The only thing that was missing were my three best best BEST friends. If they were here, it would have made the day exponentially better.

Oh, and thank you so much to the stranger that gave this to me yesterday. That is what Valentine’s Day is all about… spreading the love.

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When in doubt, choose to sweat it out.

xo. P

Grain-Free Pancakes

It’s been a snowy few days (or should I say few weeks!!!) here in Boston! As much as I love my Shakeology for breakfast, when the snow is falling and you don’t have anywhere to be, nothing beats a homemade breakfast.

This morning I woke up, looked outside & saw that the snow was still falling! Scrolling through Instagram with my cup of coffee, I saw my cousin posted a picture of some delicious pancakes my uncle made her. YUM. I love pancakes, always have & always will. When I lived with my parents, Sundays were pancake day! I would always wake up to the delicious smell of pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes for me 🙂 That tradition even carried into college for my roommates and I, this girl just loves her pancakes!

Since my diet has changed I have yet to indulge in some really good pancakes. Ya know, the kind with crazy syrup, fruit, butter & oh ya… all that flour & all those carbs. As much as my mouth is watering, my stomach is flipping in circles just thinking about it. My body would probably freak out if I put those in my stomach right now!

So today I decided to try grain-free pancakes! I was on Pinterest a few days ago and came across this delicious recipe and today was the day that I was going to try them out. Thankfully, I had all of the ingredients in my cabinets.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

2 whole eggs

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon honey, or stevia to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix until smooth batter forms. Use a 1/4 cup to scoop the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheet, forming about 4 pancakes per baking sheet.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes until pancakes are fluffy and golden! Enjoy with syrup, fruit or anything you would like!

I chose to half this recipe and it ended up making just 3 pancakes. I also added more pumpkin puree and less almond butter than the recipe calls for because almond butter is so high in calories & fat (even though I love it so much!).

Pumpkin Puree & Almond Butter Panckaes

Pumpkin Puree & Almond Butter Pancakes Made By Yours Truly

I would say this is a Pinterest win! My stomach and mouth are happy. These pancakes are perfect for me & are essentially paleo – no grains, little carbs & minimal ingredients!

Do you have any grain-free, paleo friendly pancakes recipes you would like to share?

xo. P

Rugged Roots: Session 2

Rugged Roots Session 2: Dead Lifts

Dead lifts. I don’t like dead lifts. I’m not good at dead lifts. My back has hurt since I did the dead lifts because I just couldn’t get it right… **ok, done with the negative thoughts!!**

I have only ever done a version of a dead lift with weights, never a bar. I was excited to walk into this session because I know how good dead lifts are for your entire body.

There are so many things to worry about when setting up & following through with a dead lift…. bar close to shins, butt in the air, weight on heels, arms straight, chest broad, shoulders back, back flat, head neutral…phew, I think I got them all.

Dead Lift

Dead Lift

I practiced, I succeeded, I failed, I got so frustrated. John was so patient with me and helped me figure out what was going wrong and why. Thank goodness for him!

Up next was a RFT (rounds for time) consisting of 15 American kettle bell swings, 100 meter row & 10 box jumps. I had to do 3 rounds. I ended up only being 4 minutes, but I was SO out of breath. It was amazing! Short bursts are just what I need.

I then spent the weekend snowboarding… I was sore but a good sore 🙂 It didn’t get in the way of absolutely dominating Mt. Snow!

Life has started to get a lot better since taking on Cross Fit & Paleo. I’m excited to see what it continues to bring!

xo. P