Category Archives: Advocare

Gluten free AND Paleo?

So it’s no secret that I have a history of dabbling with different diet and nutrition strategies. Recently I read a book called “Wheat Belly” have you heard of it? 

It really opened my eyes to what it is I really have been eating. If you’ve read the book, maybe you agree that the author should have gone with “Bagel Butt” as the title as its more catchy and I totally have a bagel butt! 

Anyway, after much deliberation, my husband and I have decided to go ahead and transition to a wheat free (gluten free), paleo lifestyle. Yup, that means no ice cream, soda, cake, cookies, brownies, popcorn, or bread. That means “heart healthy whole grains” are out. 

I’ve already begun feeling better and have started to experiment with different recipes! 

I found a recipe for Rosemary balsamic chicken liver pâté but it takes 12-24 hours to marinate so I’ll be making that one tomorrow.

Stay tuned for the chicken liver recipe link and my opinion on chicken livers… I’m scared! 

I’ve read a lot that says paleo should be looked at like “if your great grandmother would eat that food and knows what it is, then it’s probably safe” and my great grandmother ate a lot of liver and onions, so I figured there has to be something to it! We shall see! Liver is supposedly super healthy for you, if it’s good maybe I’ll make it more often! 

Photos and recipe to come tomorrow so stay tuned! 

Anyway, we just started this adventure so stay tuned! I’m also going to start looking into a grain free/paleo style dog and cat food… I’d love to make my own for them if I can. I’m totally into experimenting right now! 

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Where have I been?

Honestly this is a questions I’ve been meaning to answer. Where have I been? Well, I’ve been everywhere and nowhere all at the same time! I’ve been studying for my holistic nutrition certification – correct that, I’ve started paying to take a test to become certified in holistic nutrition but I haven’t actually done much studying. I’ve been procrastinating big time. I’ve also been writing (or thinking about writing) an article for a veterinary technician magazine, and I’ve been busy building my business. All it all I’ve started a lot of projects at the same time and my blog has taken a bit of a back seat.

I haven’t forgotten about my goal with this blog and I plan to continue to share my ideas on fitness and health both from the perspective of human health and animal health. I actually just got a new chromebook which will allow me to write a bit more than I had been since I had only my phone or ipad or desktop computer to type on before. We bought chromebooks so that we could enjoy the ability to type and do business a bit more mobile than before.  So far we really like them…



Please leave a comment below on topics you may be interested in whether it be animal related or fitness related! Help me direct this blog towards what you are interested in reading!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to captivate you in the future!!

PS; check out the services tab !!



Turning point

In my experience people tend to write about their successes most – of course they do, who wants to hear about their failures? I’ve been doing a whole lot of personal development/soul searching lately, reading a lot, and listening to motivational podcasts to and from work on my hour drive. During this time I’ve heard a lot of stories of triumph – most of which started by some series of events that was a turning point. I’ve come to realize that successful people tend not to harp on their failures but appreciate them as a step towards their success. 

But what about those moments where you’re deep in the throws of the failure? What about when you’re in the middle of that turning point where you have to make a decision – to stay the same, or to go down the road of success. 

For people with an eating disorder it’s not as cut and dry – and this goes for other mental disorders as well, but for me the eating disorder is the biggest thing that holds me back in my personal life. I feel that I’m in the middle of a turning point – I could continue down the path I’m in and gain back all of which I lost, or I could start now making small choices to slowly lose that of which I’ve already gained back before it becomes so much that it’s overwhelming. 

No one talks about this moment because it’s not always happy. The lowest of the low points are hard, but the only way to get through them is to take a really honest look at what’s been going on. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve been eating well, hitting the gym the way I’d like to, and really doing everything I could to be healthy. A real look at what’s been going on would be quite the opposite. So why have I fallen back into some really bad habits? 

I’ve allowed my eating disorder to be an excuse – “I have trouble losing weight because I have issues with eating.” My stressful job situation was also an easy excuse – “I am always on the go so I have no time for a break, and by the time I do i’m starving so i binge” well, I changed jobs so that can no longer be an excuse. 

I really feel that my jobs stress was weighing me down and although I wasn’t staying accountable for my own actions, and I was allowing excuses to reign over my life, I had a valid reason. But now that I’ve transferred, despite being changed to a hospital that seems to always have cake – I’m in a less stressful work environment and I can finally get a handle on my nutrition. 

So, I’m embarking on a change – a new one for me – a lifestyle change that I plan to do slowly – no quick fix plans allowed – and if you catch me doing something like that please call me out. The plan is to start with small and easy changes. The reason for this is because nothing I’ve ever done before has lasted for very long. Sure, 5 years ago I lost over 100lbs, but I was unable to sustain it. 

I’m going to document this journey on multiple social media platforms – here, on Instagram (@suz_rice) and (@pugs_and_pushups) and I may also restart my YouTube channel. 

Stay tuned. And if you want to join me, help keep me accountable – I need to change – I need to feel better, look better, and stop teaching health without living it. I’m done allowing my eating disorder control me – it’s time to be in control! 

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I’ve decided not to compete

Over the summer I wrote about my road to recovery with my ankle fracture, but the reality is that I haven’t given it much time to recover. I probably took a week off after my injury, and then went back to training – pretty much back to normal. I spent about a month in the last 6 months with little to no pain in my ankle but over the last 6 weeks (coinciding with my powerlifting training) my ankle has gotten to the point of pain where now both my knee and hip are giving me issues during simple movements. I’ve also found it harder to warm up enough to get to a point of no pain and I feel that I’m compensating and using my right leg more to lift up for most squat lifts. 

The problem with all of this is that if I continue this way one of two things will happen – I will either get injured to the point that I can’t do anything, or I will inevitably cause enough damage that I won’t ever be able to reach my potential. 

So, with my teeth clenched, and my heart heavy, I have decided not to compete in what was to be my first powerlifting meet in January. 

This in no way means my dreams of competition are over – but just on hold for a bit.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m competitive and always trying to do more – but this time I need to be realistic and take note that there will be more powerlifting meet opportunities and more opportunities to master a craft such as powerlifting. I feel that if I give my ankle more time to actually heal (I’m going back to the doctor for a second opinion and will actually ask for an MRI this time) and do a bit more research to get a plan and coach that will help me reach a potential rather than trying to be a know it all and figuring it out on my own …. I will be more successful in the future.

Have you ever had to put a dream on hold due to injury? How did you cope with your decision to step away? 

Thanks for stopping by and all of your support! ❤️

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Diet & workout plan

In an effort to be completely transparent, I want to share with you my plan for the next 7 weeks. My powerlifting comp is approaching a bit faster than I thought and my weight has been pretty stagnant – mostly because I have yet to really do the plan I set up. (Funny how that works 😜).
Since I have been working some weird hours, my diet has been less than ideal – so this week I have set into place an easy to follow plan that allows me to pick and choose what I want for the most part as long as it fits the description. This diet will bring me in around 1500 calories, with a plan to get to 1350 at my max defecit (rest days) and 1800 cals on super heavy days. I’ve started with two days of 20 minutes of fasted cardio with the option to increase if after a week or two my weight stagnates. 
The plan is as follows:


With my workout schedule looking something like this:


I may have a Chobani flips instead of a protein shake (because they are yummy), or 1/2 portion protein and veggies in that place just because I literally can’t stand drinking protein shakes, but I will make an effort for this to be the plan at least for week 1 and then plan to increase or decrease depending on how I feel. As far as my workout schedule, I know it’s a bit much, but my body is used to this kind of volume, and when I decrease the volume I start to gain – so I will have to just do what feels good and take an extra day off here and there depending on how I feel. If I feel good I will go straight through. As long as Monday, Wednesday, Friday continue to be my 5×5 squat, chest, DL (deadlift), then the rest will depend completely on how I feel! 
Stay tuned as I update ya’ll on progress! Ps- I have 4 days left of my cleanse – so don’t worry I’ll post an update once it’s done! It’s taken a few extra days because I’ve worked some overnights which wind up making me eat weird and take supplements at weird times so it spread out the cleanse a bit 💪🏼❤️

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10 Day Cleanse starts Now!

I’ve posted about this before: the AdvoCare 24 day challenge; but I haven’t been really consistent with posting results or progress. I’ve had a new cleanse laying around and I’ve been trying to decide when to do it but this morning I woke up after being in an M&M, thanksgiving foods, and pie coma for three days and decided that it was time for that cleanse. 

I was doing really well with IIFYM even though I’m not a huge fan, I figured I’d try it – but after 6 days of not losing 1lb followed by thanksgiving madness and working an overnight (which always throws me off) I figured it was time for that cleanse. 

This morning I started by weighing in and taking photos and then had the probiotic, catalyst, and spark, followed by (a half hour or so later) a chocolate peanut butter meal replacement shake and unflavored fiber drink. 

Current Weight: 172lbs

Goal weight: 156lbs (must be under 158 for powerlifting meet)

Goal for 10 day cleanse: 165lbs. There’s at least 4lbs of water/inflammation from thanksgiving since i haven’t been drinking water and before thanksgiving I was 168lbs. So there’s no reason I can’t lose that + 3lbs. Then the goal will be to lose 10lbs or so befor January 23rd! 

Follow along as I post my #weightlossjourney and my #journeytoPowerLifting lol 

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Crossfit to Powerlifting 

What I’ve learned in the last 6 months of crossfit can be summarized in one sentence: as long as you’re always working hard, you will crush your goals! 

There’s no denying that my fitness goals are always evolving, I started 6 years ago with the couch to 5k program and over the last few years have run 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, Spartans, completed a woman’s only bootcamp, became a group fitness instructor, and began crossfit. To continue the evolution of my fitness journey I venture into the world of powerlifting. To say I know what I’m getting myself into would be a bit of a stretch, but I have a lifting plan (a basic 5×5 powerlifting plan) and a macro based diet plan to get me to my goal. 

I am scheduled to compete in the Northeast Iron Beast Winter Classic in Latham, NY on January 23rd and 24th. I’ve signed up for the complete meet which means I will be competing in squat, bench, and deadlift. I will have three attempts at each lift. I am not planning to go in and win anything, I am using this meet as a base point – a place to start, to see where I can get better, to learn from those around me, and to network.

After this competition I will shift gears in my training to include more running as my first Spartan is in April. I plan to run 3 trifectas in 2016 – that’s 9 races total – and do at least two powerlifting competitions. I will continue to go to crossfit as it allows me to be an all around athlete and work on other lifts. 

As the meet gets closer I will post more about my training and diet – for now I just ask for your advice!

If you had any advice for a first time powerlifter what would it be?! 

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Barbells For Boobs

Yesterday I participated in the Barbells for Boobs fundraiser at the crossfit box affiliate that I have been going to since May. I was super excited about this fundraiser as the barbells for boobs organization uses the money that they receive to help in the prevention of breast cancer. Breast cancer affects so many people and anything that we can do to help in the prevention is totally worth it.

My gym, Crossfit Westchester Pelham, and our brother gym, Crossfit Westchester White Plains, got together yesterday to complete Amazing “Grace” which is a crossfit benchmark workout that consists of 30 clean and jerks for time. Men are to use 135lbs and women 95lbs and we are instructed to scale according to abilities. Being fairly new to this, I had never completed this specific workout nor had I done it with 95lbs, but my fellow members believed I could do it so I went for it – knowing the worst that could happen is I fail reps and have to strip the weight. 

Well, I completed Grace, using the Rx (prescribed) weight of 95lbs in 5min and 20 seconds and it felt incredible! I also raised 176$ towards the prevention of breast cancer – the two gyms combined raised over 8600$!! 

Donations will continue to be accepted through the end of the year even though the fundraising event is over – breast cancer doesn’t stop just because we did our workout! If you’d like to donate please head over to my donation page by clicking here! 

Such a fun event, with great people and I really can’t wait for next year!! 

If you’d like to see a video overview that’s literally 6 minutes (4of which are of me lol) with no special effects… Head over to my YouTube channel by clicking here and don’t forget while you’re there to subscribe!! 

In honor of those who donated, I promised to do 1 burpee for ever $1 donated to my page.. Well, I received $176 in donations (50$ was cash that I still have to actually post on my page but I counted it since it was handed to me prior to yesterday). So today I completed my promised burpees after I taught BodyPump. 176 burpees in 14min 51seconds.. And boy am I tired!! 

I will be posting a YouTube video to thank those who donated and showcase my 176 burpees! 


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What I’ve learned since ankle injury

If you’ve been following my posts, (sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted) you know that a few months ago I severely sprained and avulsion fractured my left ankle. It’s been a tough road to recovery and I’m still not fully recovered, but I’m finally feeling a bit better. I’m finally able to complete the workouts I set out to do without having to do too much modification. 
Injury is never easy – for anyone – but in my opinion it’s even harder for someone who is as active as I am. Typically I workout 7 days a week – crossfit 5-6 days, and Les mills BodyPump 2-3x per week. Occasionally I will do both in one day, or I’ll add a traditional bodybuilder type workout – usually legs or shoulders – to my week. When I injured my ankle I had to scale my workouts back and at one point I was going to crossfit 1x per week and teaching BodyPump 1x per week. Once my boot came off I had to scale every workout but slowly but surely I started to feel better. 

Then I “ran” the Spartan – Killington Beast, against the advice of my doctor. I will write more about this in the near future, but I managed to complete the nearly 17mile race (13-14miles as per the map but 17-18miles as per the GPS) with a taped and wrapped up ankle that was clearly not stable. When I finished the race and headed back to crossfit the following day, I decided then and there that I would focus on my recovery and strengthening my ankle. I also decided that I would stop telling myself that I couldn’t do something – and realize that in 10.5hours I completed one of the hardest things I have ever completed – and no future workout would be even close to that day. 

Since the race I’ve paid much more attention to stretching and spending the time on mobility in my left ankle. I’ve been able to do many of the workouts using Rx weight – mostly because I have taken the time to pay attention to how my ankle feels, and how each movement feels. 

I’ve also changed my diet to a low carb, high fat – ketogenic diet. This has seemed to be the main contributor to my quick recoveries and energy. I have also spent a lot of time talking myself out of coming out of the gate too fast… Something I noticed was before my injury I would try to be the fastest and would wind up in last place – but once I slowed down – paced myself – I was able to not only complete the workouts but I was able to complete them with Rx weight and much faster than ever before – even when there is running involved (which continues to be an area for improvement because of my ankle). 

So, overall my injury has taught me:

  • Slow down, take the time to recover
  • Slow down, stop trying to be the fastest person – go at your own pace
  • You won’t die – you’ve done harder, so give it all you have 
  • If it feels good, go for it – even if your doctor doesn’t advise it (ok this one might not have been the best idea lol)


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Les Mills ONE LIVE: Chicago 

(This post was written on the plane on the way home from the event.. Sorry for the delay in posting)
There are so many things that I can say about this past weekend. So many words to describe how incredible this experience has been.
 Let me first take you back to a little less than 2 years ago: I was taking my regular Sunday Body Pump class, the one I had been taking for a few months and something inside of me decided that it was time – “today will be the day” – to step out of my comfort zone, walk right up the the instructor and ask “so, how do I do this… How do I do what you do?” 
It all started with such an innocent and simple question. It wasn’t too long after that I found myself driving to Washington D.C. all alone, to spend a weekend learning how to deliver this group fitness class that I fell in love with. 
A few years before this I had began my journey to a healthier life and spent a month taking an all women’s boot camp class. It was at 5:30 in the morning, in August, in a park that was 25 minutes from my house. This meant I had to get up at 4:30 every morning for 5 days each week, and spend an hour getting my butt kicked. It was then that I had my first thought of “boy, I’d love to do that; I’d love to teach a class where I got the opportunity to challenge people and make them work hard.”
Fast forward, if you will, to early 2015 – I had a year of teaching Body Pump under my belt, week after week my class was growing, that Sunday class that I had taken before I got my certification became my class, and I was ready to become even better. I thought that I was ready to be called an advanced instructor and headed to the first of two advanced instructor modules. 
At my first AIM I felt that I was able to explore the choreography a bit deeper, figure out how to really deliver each track by blocking each part out with a focus – focus on getting them moving, then focus on getting them to move better, and then focus on motivating til the end. I went home from this training and taught the following day one of the best classes (I feel) that I have taught to date. 
After AIM 1 I was hooked, I wanted more, I wanted to be the best, I wanted elite status. But after a few months I fell into a bit of a trap – I felt like I was a really great instructor and although I had signed up for AIM 2, I really didn’t think they could teach me anything more than I already knew. I knew what I needed to do, my job was to present an amazing release of body pump and make sure that my members felt amazing afterwards.
That brings me to this past weekend. I arrived in Chicago on Thursday, all alone, and pretty sure I was going to have a great time but I thought I’d go home Sunday having spent two of my three days hearing things I knew already, but I made myself a promise that I’d be open to trying new things, and taking it all in. 
Something that AdvoCare has taught me, is that it’s okay to be imperfect. It’s okay to smile and talk to people, after all, I’m strong – I can take on pretty much anyone!! So I made a conscious effort to smile at strangers, talk to people, ask questions, but most of all – listen. 
Day 1 was just what I had expected – we were exhausted in every else of the word, but just like my initial training, and AIM1 I could talk to my trainer and get feedback. Justin Sanchez happens to be on the poster on the wall in my group fitness room. I have seen his face at least a million times over the last few years and I was a bit nervous at how we would communicate but it was instant – I felt his energy, his confidence – and I felt immediately connected – in a “he could be my uncle” sort of way. He gave me feedback, I worked on it, he gave me more feedback and then I got real. I told him straight up – I want to do what you do. I want to be a national trainer, a presenter – I want to change the world. I asked him, are my dreams too big? I told him to be honest. 
Now, a quick step backwards – if you know me. You know I’m an advocate for dreaming as big as you possibly can, but you should also know that I sometimes need that reassurance – but I also really wanted to hear from someone that I look up to – whether or not that potential was there. 
He told me never to stop dreaming, and that I can do whatever I want to do. Justin freaking Sanchez (if you don’t know who he is, you’re missing out). 
After AIM2 I headed to the keynote speaker and then to the reebok store where I met some wonderful women from California, a man from Canada, and a woman from Hawaii! After standing in line for two hours I headed for drinks with some of my new friends. After conversations and drinks (I had water) I headed to my room to meet my roommate for the night – a woman who needed somewhere to sleep the night before the big event and I said why not?! We talked briefly about competing (she competes and that is something I’ve always wanted to do but because of my issues with food and history of BED I’ve never gotten very serious about it) and then we headed to bed.
Day 2 started bright and early! This day was all about having fun, opening up, and experiencing ONELIVE. It was incredible to see all of these amazing national and international trainers doing what they love, and I truly tried to take it all in. The day started with BodyPump where we got to experience the new release! I saved a spot for my friend and fellow instructor, and found myself next to one of my new friends from the previous day – he was running with a selfie stick so i followed him to an area where there were smart bars and steps not too far from the stage! 
My ankle started acting up as the day went on so I chose to skip GRIT cardio and RPM and made body flow my last class of the day. Then I went to my room and got ready for the after party where I spent the night dancing with some of my friends from NY! 
Day 3 was my second and final day of AIM2. Back to business. We started off light hearted but quickly we were asked to dig deep – look inside and actually begin to feel vulnerable. I had been warned about this part of aim and I was really trying to stay open to whatever came my way. We listened to a song, a song that I recognized, a piano piece that I had heard many times as a child,  piece that I knew represented sadness/despair/loss. I felt sad but I didn’t go “there,” I was determined to keep it together – but then we were asked to listen to it again but to think of some thing or event that made us sad in our lives, my mind went to my childhood, a few events, then traveled to the loss of my great aunt, then to the loss of Debo (my dog who we out to sleep last year who I had a connection to unlike any other) and finally to the loss of the many patients that have died especially recently and tears began to flow. I allowed myself to sit with those feelings and I was immediately humbled. 
After many exercises similar to this – some fun, some a bit deeper than I’d like (I.e. Uncomfortabel) I walked away feeling like I had learned something about myself. Like I’ve learned how important group fitness can be in a persons life – how this experience continues to change me, my teaching, and ultimately my participants. 
After a fourth and final presentation, we all said our goodbyes, took a group photo, and I headed to the airport! 
Arriving in NY I am excited to see how my teaching grows, how I put the learnings into place, and continue to stay in contact with my new friends! 
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