Ryder's Birth Story

This is a long one because it’s the story of how our son got here. It’s detailed and some of the pictures at the end are “graphic” (no nudity or “gross” pictures I promise). I hope this helps someone somehow and that other moms can relate and share in reading this.

Well, it has only taken me three months to finally sit down and write our Ryder’s birth story. This for some reason has been really hard for me to do. I have spent countless nights going over what I would write, how I wanted it to come across, making sure I didn’t miss any of the details and, to be honest, it’s been kind of daunting. I wanted so badly to tell the full story and not skip anything. I will do my best and hope that, for some future mom out there, this helps you or you can relate in some way.

I want to start off with the fact that this pregnancy was not easy for me mentally. I had always had a perfect picture idea of what I thought it would be like. I thought I would be able to workout the entire time, have a quick birth, and get back at it no problem. Well, none of that was the case. I was really ready to be done being pregnant at around 6 months. Not because I didn’t like it but because one: I wanted to meet our son so bad; two: I was already extremely uncomfortable; and three: I was ready to not be pregnant. I was terrified of being one or two weeks overdue and had decided to do anything I could to get him here on time.

I remember throughout all of our birthing classes they would say baby will come when you’re ready; so at 37 weeks I had my nails done, the nursery done, his first outfit picked out, the diaper bag stocked, and was ready to go. In my head I thought that by being ready and telling him I was ready would magically make him show up as soon as I was in the green zone. Well another week passed and at 38 weeks he still wasn’t here. I had talked to my nurse midwives and decided to try acupuncture. The gentleman doing it had said normally one treatment does the trick, but new moms sometimes need two to three treatments. Knowing this, I went ahead and set up all three. I did my first session and didn’t feel a thing but I thought, “Hey, I’m a new mom so I’ll go back tomorrow and get another one.” I went back and after the second treatment I had what I thought were some contractions but then nothing. I had my 39 week appointment the next day so I figured I would do that then get my last treatment in. I had also decided at that appointment I would ask if they could sweep my membranes so that he would hopefully come soon. Sadly though, I was told I wasn’t even dilated one centimeter so they couldn’t sweep my membranes. My midwife tried to be upbeat and said this doesn’t mean anything you could still go into labor tonight. Well, needless to say, I was very upset and canceled my last acupuncture treatment. I know I hadn’t even hit my due date yet but for some reason I was so disheartened. I wanted to meet him so bad and I was so uncomfortable I remember just wanting to move on to the new phase of life. I let a couple of days go by with some random contractions here and there but nothing that caught my attention. I was walking every day for some peace and exercise and in hopes that it would help labor come along. I even bought a big yoga ball that I started sitting and bouncing on while I watched TV. I’m not sure why I was so anxious for him to get here so soon but I know I was. I think it’s because I was honestly worried that we had come so far that if I didn’t have him soon something could go wrong and we could lose him. This was a big test of my trust in God and the plans He has for our family. It’s funny how when you try and take control of something God should have control over, you just become more anxious about it.

At this point another day went by and my dad came over and said you’re gonna have him on the 7th (of July). I remember asking him why he thought that and he just said I don’t know I’ve got a feeling. Well I woke up on Saturday morning July 7th and nothing! I got up went in to teach class at the gym and was still pregnant (mind you my due date was July 12th so I still had 5 days to go). I walked into class that day and a friend told me she thought that something was going to happen that day. That I looked different. I remember thinking whatever I probably will be 2 weeks past due with this guy because I have been trying to hard to have him quickly. The day went on like normal and that night another friend invited me out to dinner. She offered to buy it for me and just help me get out of the house. I ate SO MUCH at dinner that night, which I thought was funny because I hadn’t had an appetite up til that point (Ryder had been sitting on my stomach making me incredibly nauseous). I went home, showered, got snuggled up and was ready for the normal night routine of sitting on the couch with the dogs and watching TV until I fell asleep. Marc (my husband) was working nights at the time and I never slept well when he was on shift, so I would fall asleep on the couch. It was about 10:30 pm and I could not fall asleep to save my life. Sleep was not coming easy to me, especially at the end of my pregnancy. I remember thinking I’ll just watch one more show. I sat down, hit “continue watching” on Netflix and at 11:00 pm felt my first contraction.

Feeling that first contraction was kind of a funny thing. I had been having braxton hicks contractions on and off for about a week but that one just seemed different. About 20 minutes later I had another one. I sat up and decided to try sitting on my yoga ball and bounce. I told myself, “You’re not in labor; it’s just two contractions. Just bounce and try to relax. Maybe it’s what you had for dinner.” Another 20 minutes went by and again, contraction. At this point I decided I would time them to see if they were really 20 minutes apart. Sometimes I can get over excited and decide something is happening when it’s not. I downloaded a contraction timer app and started it. This time almost on the dot at 20 minutes there was a contraction. They weren’t lasting very long or super painful but I did get a little excited. I kept the timer running and then 15 minutes later I had a contraction. This went on for about 3 hours where they were 20 then 15 minutes apart. At about 3:00 am in the morning, they became seven to ten minutes apart and they were getting more painful and lasting longer. At that point I thought, “Well, I think this might actually be it.” (I was still skeptical) From 3:00 am-3:50 am things seemed to progress faster than I thought. The contractions were becoming a lot more painful and I remember not being able to breath through them anymore. At first I could just find my breath and breath through them but then I felt like I needed to hold onto something. Marc normally got off at 4:00 am in the morning but would often get held over later, so at 3:50 AM I sent him a text saying “Are you going to get home on time"? He said “Yes, why whats up?” and I replied with “Nothing, I think I’m in labor” That prompted an immediate phone call. I told him I had been having contractions since 11:00 pm and they were getting very painful so I wanted him home right away. Needless to say he got home very quickly.

Once he got home, my contractions were about five minutes apart and were getting more and more painful. We went round and round about calling the midwife and our doula. We first called the midwife who said to wait to come in to the birth center until contractions were two minutes apart and to call our doula. I called Angelique our doula, explained what had been going on and she asked what I wanted her to do. It was a funny question to me because I wanted her to tell me what to do. She said she could come over if I needed or wait a little bit. I said she could wait a little bit but, come 5:00 am, I had Marc on the phone with her because my contractions were painful and I wanted someone who knew what they were doing.

Angelique came over around 5:30 am, brought Marc coffee (he had been awake for almost 24 hours at this point) and brought me relief. By then my contractions were getting closer and more painful. I was having terrible back labor so she suggested I get in the shower. The shower felt amazing because at this point the contractions were about three minutes apart and were very painful. I remember getting to a point where I started making noises or “moaning” just to get through the contractions. Over the next two hours, I spent time laboring on my yoga ball, holding onto the counter, having my doula wrap a heating pad on my back, having Marc squeeze my hips, the works. Around 7:00 am my doula called the midwife and they both felt it was time for me to come in and see what exactly was going on. I was strep B positive so it was important we got there in enough time for me to get the antibiotics. I remember dreading the 30 minute car ride where I would have to sit still through contractions.

For the car ride, I had Marc put on worship music and I did my best to breath and make noise through every contraction. The low noise made my body feel like it was “vibrating” and it seemed to help me manage with the pain. It was really helpful when I couldn’t walk or sway in the car. When we finally got to the birthing center, we walked in and I had a couple contractions before the midwife could check me. She had told me it sounded like we were close by the way I was laboring and I was so excited. I got all set up, she checked me, and I was only three centimeters. I was so upset. At the birth center they won’t let you stay until you are at least six centimeters. I gathered myself, decided that three centimeters was better than none and we got back in the car. Before we left, my doula had said that I needed to try and rest since we had a ways to go. At that point I had a complete mental shift. I had been up since the morning before, was contracting since 11:00 pm, and was so spent. I remember literally telling myself “you need to rest”. The crazy thing was is that I feel asleep in the car between contractions!

When we got home my doula told me to try taking a longer nap. I was so concerned that by taking a nap my labor would stop. She ensured me that it wouldn’t stop and one way or another I would be having our baby boy today. I put on a movie (I picked Ghostbusters in hopes of maybe laughing if I couldn’t sleep), got comfortable and feel asleep on and off for almost two hours. It was so cool and crazy because sometimes I would wake up through the contractions a little bit, but for the most part I slept well. I think telling myself I needed rest in order to bring our son into the world really changed what I “made” my body do.

After the nap my contractions had slowed back down to around seven minutes apart. My doula told me I needed to eat so I had fuel to give birth and that sounded terrible to me. I am not one to eat when I don’t feel good, even if I know I need it. I hadn’t eaten since 7:00 pm the night before though, so I decided to force some food down. I ended up having some lemon yogurt with granola and felt like a whole new person! About 10 minutes after eating I had a lot more energy but the contractions also started to pick up again. I got back in the shower and stayed in there for a very long time. Marc and Angelique would come check on me every 10 minutes or so. By now the contractions were back to being 5 minutes apart. I got out of the shower and decided to use the yoga ball. By this point the back labor was unreal and nothing seemed like it helped. I remember just holding on to Marc while he told me how good of a job I was doing. He was my rock and I needed him by me at all times. From that point on we did everything. We went for a walk, I baked Ryder a birthday cake between contractions (yes you read that right, I baked our son a birthday cake while in labor!), bounced on the ball more and just did everything we could to let labor progress. I think by that time it was about 4:00 pm and I was getting exhausted.

Contractions were now back down to three minutes apart and lasting for a long time. Angelique called the midwife and she said that we were getting close but the contractions were too long. She said that the closer we got to active labor there should be a shift where they go from being 2 minutes apart and 2-3 minutes long to being 2 minutes apart and a minute or less in length. At this point I decided to get in the shower again (I spent a lot of time on a yoga ball in the shower that day). This time when I got out the contractions were killing me. I was tired, in a lot of pain, and I felt like we weren’t getting anywhere. I told my doula that I didn’t want to do it anymore. She said she would call the midwife again and see if we could go in. The midwife suggested we try shimmying my belly because he might not be in the right position to let labor progress. So Angelique got out her roboso and shimmied my belly between contractions. We did it four times I believe and after that I was done. I got up and told her I just wanted to go to the hospital and get an epidural. That I had labored long enough and the pain was too much. My back felt like it was on fire with knives being stabbed into it over and over. Nothing relieved the pain and I just wanted a break. She kindly encouraged me and suggested I lay down in bed again. I was so mad because I felt like nobody was hearing me wave my white flag and give up. I just wanted to quit and get the relief. I hesitantly decided to go along with her and lay in bed. I kid you not, I literally laid my head down took a deep breath and my water broke! It broke all over our bed and is still to this day the craziest thing I have ever felt. There was instant pain relief when my water broke and excitement because I knew that meant we would be leaving to the birth center to get the antibiotics.

As she checked to make sure the fluid was clear, and I tried to clean up is when the “ real” contractions came on. There were almost twice as intense pain wise but for me my water breaking was another mental shift. I immediately got energy and decided I knew I could do it. We got in the car again and headed off. By the time we got to the birth center the contractions were super intense but I didn’t care because I knew the end would be soon. I got there and Angelique started the tub for me while I changed and got my IV antibiotics started. At the birth center they don’t epidurals but they do offer nitrous oxide, some narcotics and water papules for back labor. While the tub was filling I told them I need something, anything to help with the pain. I got in the tub, which was amazing all on it’s own for the pain, and they gave me the nitrous oxide. Let me tell you, I couldn’t be more grateful for it! It didn’t do a single thing for the pain but it gave me something else to focus on, plus the gas helped ease anxiety.

After getting in the tub the nurse midwife checked me again and said I was at 8 centimeters and still had some cervix left in the front. She told me that if I wanted to help get him here faster I needed to get on my knees or all fours so that gravity could move it out of the way. Well let me tell you that going from my back to all fours was terrible! It was so much more painful that way but probably because things were moving faster and intensified it by a lot. I stayed in that position for a while and then went back to being on my back because it was so intense. I had a contraction on my back and kinda felt my body convulse and I remember thinking oh great now I’m going to be sick. I finished the contraction and even told the midwife I thought I was going to be sick. Well it actually turned out that was my body trying to push. I went back on to all fours and it keep happening with every contraction. My doula even asked my if I was pushing. I told her I wasn’t trying to but it was happening. The midwife checked me again and said she could feel his head. She told me I could start pushing so I went for it! It was the most wild thing because the pain stops while you push and that’s all you can focus on. She asked me if I wanted to feel him and I said no. I remember only wanting to get him here as fast as I could. I think I only pushed for about 30 minutes and before I knew it she said the head is out! I had to change positions again to catch him. I pushed and there before our eyes was our son! It’s funny because there are small things I remember like his cord was around his neck so I took it off and then he was on my chest.

That is a moment I will never ever forget. Our son was here. He was breathing, crying, and laying on my chest. He was absolutely perfect! I have never felt instant love like that before in my life. Marc was by my side and we were both shedding tears of joy. We had created this little life that we were now responsible for. We were holding the greatest miracle of all. Marc got to cut the cord and have skin to skin with him right away. I got cleaned up, out of the tub and in bed to get to hold him for the first time separate from me. After 19 hours of labor, it was all said and done and our son was here!

I went into labor with a very loose plan. I was hoping to have him naturally but was 100% okay if he came with an epidural or c-section. In all honestly, I just wanted him here happy and healthy. After the birth I doubted if I could say I did it completely natural because I used the nitrous oxide, but I did what I felt I needed. Now though, since it didn’t help with the pain, I will proudly say I did it all natural. That doesn’t make me any better than someone who had an epidural or a c-section though. Birth is a journey and it happens differently for everyone. I am blessed to have had the experience I did but if yours didn’t go the way you planned or you couldn’t take the pain and got the epidural, you hold you head up high. You brought a human into this world and you should be proud of yourself!

I look back at it all now and I can say that Marc was my rock. I needed him right by my side, holding my hand, rubbing my back, talking to me, encouraging me, anything. He never left me, he was kind, sweet, patient, and I honestly could not have done it without him. The other person I could not have done it without was Angelique my doula. She was our calm in the midst of it all. She had a peace about her that just spread in the room when she came in. We both knew that as long as she was there, we were okay. She was strong for me when I couldn’t be and she never let me give up or quit on myself. I also want to say how much I appreciate the Dar A Luz birthing center staff. They were incredible and so encouraging! Finally, I want to say thanks to our photographer Lori Martinez. We will forever treasure her photos!

This story could be a lot longer and I could go on and on about after birth all the way up until now, but that’s for another day. I just hope all you women out there know how strong you are. If you’re a new mom, embrace the change and take it one day at a time. It gets easier, your body heals, and you now have an amazing little child.

Attitude. Mindset. Positive Self Talk.

This week I want to talk about and address your attitude towards fitness and workouts. This is something that as a coach I see athletes struggle with day-in and day-out. Your attitude can make all the difference when it comes to your success in your fitness journey. I want to go over attitude, mindset, and self talk.

First we will go over your attitude. Let’s first define what the word attitude truly means. According to dictionary.com, “Attitude is defined as "a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person's behavior." I love this definition because it says a subtle way of thinking about something that is typically reflected in your behavior. Tell me this if you've ever seen someone that had a bad attitude about working out or fitness, does it not show in how they behave and act? Most of the time it's incredibly unpleasant to be around that person. Have you ever sat down and truly evaluated your attitude towards every workout you do and your fitness journey? Something I notice at competitions is when there is an athlete that smiles through a workout no matter how "bad" it is or what the workout is, it gets people talking! It rubs off on everyone and brings the entire attitude of the place to a positive one. Likewise, the same happens when an athlete stomps around, is upset, or complains about a certain movement or workout. I want to challenge you to change your way of thinking on the subject of workouts and fitness to be a very positive one. Whether you 100% feel that way or not, it will sink in for you and become your subtle way of thinking. Then through that, your behavior will follow and you will see positive results all the way around!

Once you have your attitude set, you can then have a mindset. Merriam Webster defines mindset as "a mental attitude or inclination,  a state of mind." Therefore once you have your attitude towards fitness you can decide to make it a state of mind therefore a mindset. Most of us will start out with a fixed state of mind where we have one opinion about fitness, whether good or bad. What you want to develop is a growth state of mind. This is where you can take what you've learned about fitness and workout and continue to grow a positive and well educated state of mind (mindset) about them both. 

Last is learning about self talk and how to have positive self talk. A lot of us during a workout or before we even leave to go will start to tell ourselves, "I don't want to do that workout." "I don't feel like going today." "I know this is going to suck." The list can go on and on. Little do you know, this is negative self talk that will reflect during your workout that day and over your entire fitness career. It's the same when it comes to eating right and getting enough sleep. I highly challenge you the next time you don't want to do something, think you can't, think it will suck, etc... to either out loud or inside, speak positivity over the situation or thought. For example, if you are terrified of a workout with running because you hate it and don't think you can do it I want you to repeat over and over "I can do this, I like running, I am good at running." You can also practice positive self talk through positive visualization. Next time you have to hit a 1 rep max or have to do a workout like Murph take the time before hand to picture yourself completing the workout or lift and doing it just how you want to. Close your eyes and visualize it over and over again then have some internal or external positive self talk "I can and will do this" then give it a go! I guarantee you will get that lift, get a better, time or have a better attitude about the whole thing even if it's not perfect. 

Sometimes we have to step back and really evaluate how are thinking is towards things. It affects us, our family, friends, and everyone around us. Having a bad attitude, mindset, and negative self talk can be one of the hardest habits to break because most of the time we don't even realize we're doing it. Take the time this week to really evaluate yourself and put these things into place. Do this for one week solid and I bet you will begin to see a dramatic change in this area of your life as well as others! 

What do you do with Setbacks?

I want to know what you do with setbacks. When it comes to fitness and hitting your goals, there will always come a time when you have a setback. Whether it's with your diet, work, injury, vacation, lack of equipment, etc. I want to know what your "go to" reaction is. I see so many people who come in, hit a setback in their fitness journey, and just give up! They experience an event which throws a wrench into their normal routine and instead of developing a new routine, they just give up or stop. I want to give you three tips to help you stay on track when that setback hits you - because it's not a matter of if, but when.

  1.  Time spent working out vs. a time to workout.
    • So many people get into a habit of working out at a specific time each and every day.  This is a really good habit to have, but some people simply won't come if something interferes with their pre-determined workout time. I want to encourage you that instead of being set on a specific time of day, be set on a specific amount of time to workout each day. For example, decide in your mind that you're going to workout 30-40 minutes five times a week, instead of "I have to workout at 5 pm Monday-Friday". If you decide mentally that it doesn't matter when you workout, but instead how long you workout, you'll be less likely to flake out when unexpected circumstances pop up during your normal workout time.
  2.  Don't be afraid to modify.
    • I have a lot of people who come to me with a previous injury that's healing or which occasionally flares up. Just like any other sport, I also have athletes who get injured doing the sport of CrossFit. I hear so many people tell me, "I can't workout because of this injury" or "I'm hurt so I guess I can't workout." None of that is the case! There is a modification for EVERYTHING! It's never fun doing a modified workout, but what's less fun is getting overweight and losing progress you made before the injury happened. Hopefully you have a good coach who is able to work with you but, if not, don't be afraid to use the internet to research alternative exercises.
  3. No excuse is ever good enough.
    • There is rarely an excuse that is good enough. I constantly hear, "I don't have enough time" or "Everyone else was eating it" or "The doctor said I can't do it", etc. I want you to stop for a second and think about if what you're saying is really 100% true. Example: "I don't have enough time." Do you watch 20-30 minutes of TV a day? Could you wake up or stay up 20-30 minutes extra? If you'r able to answer yes to either one of those then you have time to get in a workout, even if it's just a short 10 minutes.  Remember, something is better than nothing! The next example is: "Everyone else was eating it." To be honest, this one just comes down to self-control. There will always be something that's not a part of your "diet" or as healthy as what you should eat. You just need to make up your mind that you are stronger than the temptations around you. The last one is: "The doctor said I can't do A,B,C, or D." Just because the doctor said you can't do A,B,C, and D doesn't mean you can't do H,I,J, or K. If you can't run you can probably walk, bike, row, etc. Again, there is always a modification. 

I know these may sound easier said than done, but just decide in your mind that you are not going to let a setback set you back! Think of your setbacks as speed bumps. You may have to slow down, but you don't need to stop. If you need advice or encouragement, please comment and I will do my best to help you! 


Food For You Friday: Protein Pancakes

These are yummy and easy!!! 

  • Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour, gluten free, regular, or whatever you like
  • 1/4 cup of favorite protein powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2tbs MCT oil or vegetable oil
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1tbs peanut butter if desired 
  • Makes 8-10 pancakes


  • Directions:
  • Mix all ingredients together in bowl with fork or whisk. Let sit for 2-5 minutes. Stir one more time before using. Heat griddle on medium-low heat. Pour batter onto skillet in desired size about 1/4 cup to meet serving size. Cook 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. (Your pancakes are ready to flip when the bottom is brown and the bubbles pop on the top side. Do not flip more than once for fluffy pancakes). You can serve with traditional butter and syrup or anything else you desire! 

What is the intent of a workout? (Click here and scroll to bottom to like, share or comment)

Today's blog is going to be geared towards a subject which, once you fully understand, will give you huge progress in your fitness. I want to talk about the intent of a workout. What does it mean, what is it, how do I find it, what's the point of it, and why is it important?

What does the "intent" of the workout mean? Many people don't realize that each CrossFit workout we do has a specific intent. The intent of the workout is the intended time that the creator purposed for that specific workout to take. For example, we know Fran (21-15-9 thrusters and pull-ups) is meant to be a sprint. In comparison, we know Murph (For Time: 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, 1 mile run) is long and endurance biased. Here is the next question people ask, "How do I find the intent of the workout?" This is something that I didn't learn or understand until I took my CrossFit Level 2 course. I am still working on it because it's something that takes time to master. The easiest way it was explained to me was look at a workout, take an educated guess at how long it would take a proficient athlete to do each movement, then add that time together. Here is an example: 3 round for time: 400m run, 15 pull-ups, 15 air squats. We would look at this and estimate that a proficient athlete should take about 2 minutes to run 400m, 15-20 seconds for the pull-ups, and 15-20 seconds for the air squats. To make math easy we can round those two up to 30 seconds. Therefore 2 minutes + 30 seconds + 30 seconds would be 3 minutes per round. All that being said, the workout should take around 9 minutes. We like to give some grace, so I would say 10-12 minutes or less is the true intent of the workout. 

Next, what is the point of finding the intent of the workout? It's quite a simple answer to be honest. The point of finding a workout's intent is to maximize our work effort for that specific workout. The reason we want to maximize work effort for that specific workout is so that you reach the full potential for the workout physically. If it's a sprint workout and it takes you 20 minutes to do then you will not be reaping the physical training benefits of that workout. Your goal should be to always get the absolute most out of your workouts to see results.

Lastly, we want to talk about why all of that information is important. The reason it's important is because we all want to see results quickly, we want to get better - not worse - with our workouts, and we want to keep growing. One of the biggest problems I see as a coach is athletes always wanting to do the workout "RX". That is a great goal to have, but if you do every workout RX and rarely ever hit the intent, then you most likely won't ever get there. Yes someone can say I did Fran RX but it took me 12 minutes. That being said they missed the intent. Fran is meant to be done in 2-5 minutes or less. The reason is because the creator of the workout wanted you to get an incredibly fast metabolic workout where you worked your cardio capacity and your fast twitch muscles. I guarantee you that if it takes you 12 plus minutes you will be tired but you won't be as metabolically fatigued as if you did a scaled version and hit the time intent. All of this being said, I want you to stop and evaluate how you look at your workouts daily and what your fitness goal is. If you truly want to grow and get better, I challenge you to start looking at the intent of workout, scale appropriately to meet that intent and see if your fitness level doesn't increase in the coming months.

If you have any questions please comment below!!!

Food For You Friday: Crock Pot Stew w Pasta (Click here to comment, like, or share)

This is an incredibly easy recipe. You can add as much or as little pasta as you like to control the carbs! Good meat and lots of veggies!

  • Ingredients:
  • 2.5lbs beef stew meat
  • 20oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 5 zucchini chopped 
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 16oz box or pasta shells
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Instructions:
  • In a large crock pot pour out half the can of tomatoes.
  • Season stew meat with garlic salt and add to crock pot.
  • Add in chopped zucchini, onion,  and garlic and sprinkle with salt about 1/2tsp then top with remaining tomatoes and stir together.
  • You can either cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8.
  • Once the cook time is up add in the beef stock stir with stew and taste to see if it need salt and or pepper before adding the pasta. Once satisfied with the taste add  the entire box of pasta. If you want less carbs you can do 1 cup of stock and half a box. You can also skip the pasta all together and put over rice, quinoa, anything you like! If you're doing the pasts continue to cook on high or low stirring  occasionally until pasta is cooked to your desired texture! 

Comment if you have any questions! 

What's Your Why? (Click here and scroll to bottom to comment, like or share)

I want to take a minute and ask you, "What's your 'why' when it comes to fitness?" According to a poll done by Statista in 2016, there were 57 million people in America who owned a gym membership. I can't even begin to imagine how many people own gym memberships now in 2018. Here is the funny thing though: even though 57+ million people own gym memberships, 80% of Americans DO NOT get the recommended amount of exercise to live a healthy life style. This was discovered through a governmental study reported by CBS. (Click here to read the study https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cdc-80-percent-of-american-adults-dont-get-recommended-exercise/).  If you ask my opinion, I'll tell you it's because most Americans don't have a strong enough "why".

First off, lets start with what a "why" is. A "why" is the purpose or motivation which drives you to be successful at something. If you ask any successful entrepreneur, they will have a "why" for their business. People ask me all the time, "What's your why for owning a CrossFit gym?" My "why" is helping people get to a place where they can change their lives! I want people to love themselves so they will in turn be better wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, co-workers, parents, etc. When people ask you why you do something, it should cause you to stop and have an internal gut check. For example, "Why do you love him/her? Why do you work there? Why do you support this person? Why do you discipline your children that way?" Those are all questions that should make us stop, think, and evaluate why we do what we do. Your internal answers to those questions are what drive you to be successful at them or not. People who have a strong why don't view a failure as absolute failure.  In regards to developing the light bulb, Thomas Edison once said that he didn't fail, he just found 10,000 ways to not make a light bulb!

All of that being said, I want to challenge you to think about why you workout. What's your why and is it truly strong enough for you to see the results you so badly want? Is your why for being in shape stronger that your why to sleep in for an extra hour and skip the workout that day? Is your why for being mentally healthy stronger than your why to sit on the coach and not go for that run? Is your why for not being pre-diabetic stronger than your why to put bad food into your body? I know those can seem like harsh questions, but the latter of all these seems to be stronger for a large percentage of us.  If fitness, health, and well being really are something you want to strive for, then find your why and make it so strong that it pulls you to continue!

I will end with this: My why for fitness started out because I struggled with anxiety and panic attacks. Exercise helped to calm that beast. My why then turned into wanting to share that with other people. That why became so powerful that I wanted to open a business. Five years later, I can't imagine doing anything else in life. Your why could lead you down a path you never imagined and will hopefully change your life for the better. Ask yourself today, "What is my why?"

Shrimp Linguine with Lemon Tomato Sauce (click here and scroll down to comment and ask questions)

  • Ingredients:
  • 12oz bag of cooked, de-veined, talk off shrimp
  • 2 lemons
  • 1-2 small or medium zucchini 
  • 1 1lb package linguine pasta
  • 2 pints of grape tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • (optional jarred Alfredo sauce and fresh chopped basil) 


  • Instructions:
  • Spiralize zucchini and set aside
  • Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil with salt and add half the package of linguine. Cook until aldente and drain.
  • While pasta is cooking halve all the grape tomatoes and set aside.
  • Thaw the entire package of shrimp in warm water, rinse thoroughly, and dry.
  • Mince garlic cloves
  • In a medium sauce pan on medium/high heat add 2tbs of oil. Add shrimp with salt and pepper to taste and cook until slightly browned. Add all the tomatoes, the juice of 2 lemons, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium/medium-low and cook until all tomatoes have softened and given up their juice. 
  • Once sauce is done add spiralized zucchini to pasta, add sauce with shrimp and stir to combine. The zucchini noodles will soften with the hot sauce and shrimp. If desired you can add fresh chopped basil to the top. If you're wanting something more rich and a little less "healthy" you can add 1/3 cup of the jarred alfredo sauce or enough for your taste. 

This recipe is great because you get tons of protein from the shrimp, carbs from the linguine and a good amount of veggies from the zucchini noodles! This one is sure to be a crowd pleaser ever for the kiddos! Comment if you have any questions. 

Fit or Frustrated Pregnancy (Click and scroll to bottom to leave comments or questions)

So today I want to talk about fitness during pregnancy and some of the frustrations that can come with it. Before I ever got pregnant I remember thinking "I am going to stay incredibly fit, eat healthy, and be like Miranda Alcaraz (@fearlessmiranda on IG). I watched her exercise, compete in The Open, and maintain an incredibly healthy, fit pregnancy. Well once I got pregnant let me tell you my dreams were not 100% reality for me.

During my first trimester I decided I would continue to workout as I had been because the Doctor said it was okay. I bought the Pregnant and Postpartum program from Briana Battles (@brianna.battles on IG). I thought I was all set to have an amazing fit pregnancy. Unfortunately at about 8 weeks a had a fair amount of bleeding and pain at which point my doctor told me that I had to stop working out until after the first trimester. Along with that I was sick and didn't want to eat anything! I lost almost 10lbs in my first trimester. I remember that after our 12 week ultrasound and all was well I had the all clear to start working out again. I was so excited and was in the gym the next day. It kicked my butt! Things hurt that I didn't know existed, I was incredibly winded and I was hardly working out. To me it was a huge disappointment and felt like a giant set back. All that being said things never really went up from there. I started working out 3 days a week because I felt that was all my body could take. I did that regimen with very low impact and intensity. Once The Open came around I decided I would stick to doing very scaled versions. Well after 18.2 I felt I had another set back. I did a very scaled version but woke up the next morning with severe leg cramps, pains, and feet very very swollen. After that I came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth it to push so hard even if that wasn't pushing for me. Now I stick to being as active as I can and doing simple workouts once or twice a week. It can sometimes be incredibly frustrating to watch some pregnant athletes still crushing it but I have to remember every pregnancy is different. 

I say all of that because sometimes in out fitness careers things won't be as we dreamed or expected. Whether it's pregnancy, injury, or just starting it can be very frustrating. I want to take the time to encourage you to not stop or give up just because you're in a temporary phase of life. Injuries will heal, if your pregnant you will have your baby, and if you're just starting you only have forward to go from here. It's okay to be frustrated or upset at times but do not let yourself live there. For me I just remind myself that I'm putting my child first and that's all that matters because once he's here and I'm healed I can take the time to get back to where I was and better! The same can be said for having an injury or starting your fitness journey. Look forward and look up because that's the only place you have to go. Don't let the frustration of where you are right now, block you from what the future has for you!!


Food For You Friday (Zucchini Lasagna)



  • 4-5 zucchini
  • 1 large container of fat free cottage cheese
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce (I love prego roasted garlic and herb)
  • 1lb lean ground been (90/10)
  • Parmesan or mozzarella shredded cheese if desired for top


  • Wash and cut zucchini in thin long slices so they look like lasagna noodles. 
  • Brown ground beef in pan with salt and pepper to taste and add jar of marinara sauce to beef.
  • In a medium oiled baking dish (the size under 9x13) place a thin layer of meat sauce, then add the thinly sliced zucchini in a flat layer across bottom then add a layer of the cottage cheese and lastly meat sauce again. Keep repeating this pattern until you end with zucchini and then meat sauce on top. If you like you can sprinkle to top with either parmesan or mozzarella.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until top is bubbly, cheese is melted, and slightly golden brown.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes, serve and enjoy!

If you have any questions about this recipe please comment below! This is a great option for low fat, low carbs, and lots of yumminess!   

Exercise is Medicine

For this blog I want to take some time to talk about the fact that exercise is medicine. There are so many of us out there that deal with depression, anxiety, who are pre-diabetic, etc. I want to let you all know that exercise can be a medicine for all of those things!

I currently work in an emergency room as an EMT-I. We see lots of people that come in with heart conditions, diabetes, severe depression and anxiety, the list goes on and on. I see time and time again doctors tell patients that if they would exercise and eat right, it would alleviate the illnesses they are dealing with or, at the very least, decrease the amount of medications they are taking. Sadly, I see their advice go in one ear and out the other. I will never understand why something free and non-harmful, something with no side effects, is typically our last resort.

When we exercise it releases endorphins, which are the "feel good" hormones. These endorphins interact with certain receptors in your brain which reduce your perception of pain. They also release a positive feeling that is similar to the effect of morphine! I don't know about you, but that blows my mind.  With so many people addicted to drugs because they are trying to self-medicate their pain (depression, anxiety, disease, etc), why would we not choose something that's actually good for us?

I completely understand the hesitation behind starting an exercise regimen, especially with CrossFit. I struggled with severe anxiety from the age of 12-21.  I remember having panic attacks so sever that I would hyperventilate and lose the use of my hands, feet, and speech because I was breathing too fast. So please believe me when I tell you that I know what it's like to be anxious about something. The biggest thing I hear as a gym owner is that "I am too scared to come; I have too much anxiety to ever step foot in the gym". To be honest with you, until I had to get my Level 1 CrossFit certification, I had never stepped into a real CrossFit gym because I had too much fear and anxiety behind it. I forced myself to do it and I discovered it to be one of the best weekends of my life!  I want you to know that I make it a point to make our gym a safe place for you. Do not get stuck in the cycle of "I need to exercise to feel better, like how I look, get rid of anxiety... but I am too afraid to even start". You will fall into that cycle and it is a hard one to break. I want to tell you that you are strong and, whether it's coming to our gym or just deciding to go on a walk every day, YOU CAN DO IT!!! 

I want to end by encouraging you to take those small steps. I am here for you if you have any questions. I am here to support you. We all know how hard getting into shape can be, how scary it can be to do something for the first time, but we have ALL been there. You are so strong, no matter what you or anyone else says! 


First ever blog and thoughts on 18.1 (Click here if you wish to leave a comment then scroll to the bottom)

Well hello world. First off I want to let you all know that I am not good at grammar when it comes to typing so please give me some grace. Second is that some of these will be health and workout related and some may just be me talking about life topics. I was very hesitant to ever even write something because I didn't want to do it out of seeking attention. I also debated doing a vlog because I had people tell me that no one wants to read anymore but I'm old school so blogging it is. My biggest hope with this blog is that it will help you in some way or form in life. Whether it provides you with a laugh, something relatable to talk about, or gives you advice for fitness and health, whatever the case I just hope it brings you some joy to read. 

In this first blog I wanted to kick it off by talking about The Open and 18.1! The Open is something that is so exciting because it only happens once a year. I love it because I know that I will be doing the same workout as the best in the world. I find it fun to look at my score compared to theirs and just see how amazing of an athlete they are. I think there is a lot of hype and fear around The Open because it is a worldwide competition but let me start off by saying the best thing you can do is decide to compete and view it as you against you! You are your biggest enemy. If you've decided to compete I want you to set your ego aside and focus on beating yourself. We all know that we let self doubt and fear creep in, or we aren't humble enough to be okay with not being the greatest.

Side note about "not being the greatest" is that this year I had to put my ego in check and humbly decide to not register for The Open. Being that I'm 20 weeks pregnant does not mean I can't workout but it does mean that I need to modify. There are so many theories out there about whats appropriate and what isn't for fitness during pregnancy. I will start off by saying that my baby's health is my number one priority. I had a miscarriage about 6 years ago for unknown causes but I will tell you after that I never looked at pregnancy the same again. It is one of the biggest gifts and miracles in life period. I can confidentially say that I will do anything and everything to keep this baby safe and healthy. I was unable to workout for the first 2 months of this pregnancy due to doctors orders so that changed things a lot. I now workout but they are very modified and I do not push myself to a limit I know I shouldn't be at. With all of that being said working out has been hard mentally because I want to push myself past my limits. When it came time for The Open to start that was a tough pill to swallow because I know I didn't even want to do scaled for the baby's health. I decided that I was going to put my ego aside and do my best for The Open. Thanks to training programs from Briana Battles the focus of my workouts consist of health for my baby, pelvic floor, and abdominal health (sorry for the side track on lady stuff guys). With all of that being said when I did my pregnant version of 18.1 it consisted of box push-ups, light hang DB clean and jerks, and rowing. Lots of modifications but it is the best of me right now in my stage of life so who's to say I'm not the greatest with what I've been given. I say all of that because I want you to know that no matter what stage of life you're in whether pregnant, postpartum, injured, older, "out of shape" whatever you can make The Open work for you! (If you're a pregnant athlete and have any questions please feel free to ask away in the comments and I will answer to the best of my ability or point you in the direction of someone who can give you the answer you need)

If you haven't registered I highly recommend you do so because why not? What's the worst that could possibly happen? Well I'll tell you the worst that could happen is you don't do as well as you want. Then from there you should get up, recognize your weaknesses, and move forward! I hope this blog isn't too far off the beaten path and I hope it gives you things to think about as an athlete man or woman. Please feel free to leave comments with questions or anything really. This is just a place for all of us to be as real as possible and help each other out.