Starting Point

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning!

I’ve received tons and tons of questions about the changes I’ve noticed since starting CrossFit about a month ago. I honestly didn’t expect too many in this amount of time, but I’m definitely starting to see some! Here’s a quick summary:

  • I’m stronger. I did a rope climb. (I did another one last night just to show Mal since he didn’t go to Saturday’s class. It’s my new party trick. Give me a rope. I’ll climb it!) I also did 35 push-ups the other day. Prior to starting CrossFit, I could do only about 15-20 in a row.
  • My posture has improved. I sit at a desk all day, so, not surprisingly, my posture stinks and my shoulders sort of slump forward. The other day, when I was walking Murphy, I noticed how straight and upright my back felt from all of the back strengthening exercises I’ve been doing at CrossFit. Mal also noticed my better posture, so I’m happy it’s not just in my head!
  • It’s easier to eat well. Remember those delicious Maple Scones that I blogged about last week? Well, there are still four of them in my kitchen, which means I didn’t eat them all in 48 hours like I normally would. Cleaning up my diet has made sweets, especially in large quantities, much less appealing. Although, an occasional piece of dark chocolate is always appetizing to me! 
  • My hip doesn’t hurt. Since starting CrossFit, my hip hasn’t bothered me at all while running. Obviously, I’m not putting in marathon training miles, but I’m still averaging 10-15 miles per week.
  • My running is possibly faster. I did 10 sprints on the treadmill at speeds between 9.0 – 9.5. Five of those sprints were at 9.5. I’ve never run that fast on a treadmill ever. I’ve never actually tried, but still, maybe I’m getting faster?

I’ll actually have some more concrete changes for you in 8 weeks. My CrossFit started a Grain-Free Challenge yesterday, so we took some pre-challenge baseline measurements to use for comparison at the end of the challenge in mid-March. Here are mine:

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You probably noticed that the Max Burpee measurement is missing. I did it, but I can’t remember how many I did. I did the Burpees with Mal, so I just emailed him to see if he remembers my count. I want to say I did 21 Burpees in a minute? *Edited to add: Just heard back from Mal… he said he did 21 or 22 Burpees in a minute and thinks I did 18 or 19.

The Grain-Free Challenge involves three parts (measurement improvement, performance improvement, and nutrition log scoring), but I’m only participating in the measurement (weight and waist circumference) and performance parts. The challenge ends on March 10th, so I’ll be sure to update you guys with my post-challenge results. I’m actually really excited to see how much I improve!


Last night’s CrossFit workout was straight up strength training:


1. Sumo Stance Dead Lift 5-4-3-2-1

2. Weighted Chin-up 5-4-3-2-1 (Girls 5×5 w/appropriate band)

3. Glute Ham Raise 4 x 6

4. Grip Work Pinch Plate 3 sets 20 seconds

My max weight on the Sumo Stance Deadlifts was 145. I probably could have added some more weight, but I’m really trying to work on my form. I’m actually a little nervous doing all of these heavy lifts, so I want to make sure I get down the form perfectly before I start adding some serious poundage. The last thing I want to do is get hurt! Thankfully, our coaches are constantly watching us and correcting our form when we’re lifting these heavy loads.


As soon as I walked in the door after CrossFit, I grabbed some roasted pumpkin seeds to snack on. I needed food ASAP!

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For dinner, Mal and I cooked up a delicious Dry Rub Steak with Avocado Salsa inspired by a recipe from Everyday Paleo.

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The steak was pretty amazing, but the avocado salsa was the highlight of the meal for me. I actually went back for a second serving of it by itself.

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After dinner, I enjoyed some mint chocolate for dessert.

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Question of the Day

Have you ever seen fast changes from a new workout/fitness routine? If so, what was it? How did it change you?



  1. Sounds awesome–and congrats! I feel like lifting in general has made me leaner, more aware of what I eat, and definitely stronger. I attribute this to teaching BodyPUMP 3-4x/week–it makes the workouts fun and I can add weight when I feel ready to (not afraid of that–many are!)

    I also can run faster–this is something that is a fun benefit becuase of being strong, lean, and fit.

    I love a good meal after a hard workout too 🙂

  2. I was one of the people who asked you for these results, so thanks for writing them up!

    Your pushup improvement makes me want to try CrossFit even more– they are my serious weakness and nothing I’ve been trying has made them any easier.

    And anything that makes sweets less appealing is a magical thing in my book! I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that!

      1. @Tina: Interestingly, I’m going through the very same thing! I swear that when you up your weight training, your body naturally doesn’t crave sweets as much. This is *purely* anecdotal evidence, but I find that I’m much more interested in eating ‘cleaner’ – more whole foods, plants, and protein – when I’m seriously committed to weight training and increasing my threshold. Straight cardio, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have quite this same effect on me.

        1. @Lauren: I agree as well! Since I’ve been weight training more these past few months, I don’t crave sweets like I used to. I didn’t know if it was just me… but obviously not! This makes me want to keep on strength training because I have a serious sweet tooth as well!

  3. Wow, the changes you’re seeing are fantastic! I’ve yet to find a workout that makes me crave sugar any less, but I do find that once I cut back on it, I stop having such intense cravings after a couple of days. I’m coming down from eating too many sweets this past weekend and my cravings are fierce right now. Hoping to satisfy them with more fruits today!

  4. Awesome Job Tina!
    There is no CrossFit in my area, but if there was I think I would be jumping on that bandwagon!
    I have started doing BodyRock for about 4 months now….and wow, I have finally learned that the scale doesnt tell the whole story. I weigh about the same, but I am fitting into clothes that I wore when I was about 10 lbs less. Muscle rocks!

  5. GREAT results so far Tina! That’s terrific. I have been looking into starting some core and arm exercises to improve my posture. I sit at a desk ALL day long and I can definitely feel it taking it’s toll.

    I never have had super fast results before, but I remember when I used to walk 1-2hrs a day and lost weight just that helped with a lot of things like posture, sleeping at night, etc…

  6. I saw a lot of changes when I was first workign with a trainer and doing like 3 hours of strength training a week. Given your (and Bob Harper’s) testimonials, I’d love to give crossfit a shot though!

  7. Wow, congrats on all your progress Tina! Awesome to hear that you’re getting results. I’ve found lately that by incorporating more fun workouts into my regime, I’m having more fun (lol imagine that), feeling less stressed, and able to work harder in my more intense run sessions. Your dinner last night looks great!

  8. My arms tone up pretty quickly, so I feel like I see some (very slight) tone as a combination of yoga and my own strength training @ the gym for the last 10 days. Like you, I know that when I start seeing results in my body (as opposed to my endurance, etc) I think twice about feeding it junk food too – so sweets and greasy foods are had in a lot more moderation!

  9. I’m glad you posted your baseline measurements because I am just starting Crossfit again (I’m doing crossfit endurance – on my own) and I need a starting point. I found all of my 1 rep maxes for major Olympic lifts, bench, deadlift, standing press and back squat, but I’d like to have some of the other stuff too. I do not weigh myself and I’m not measuring myself, but a beginning performance range is good! Thanks!

  10. I saw changes ridiculously quickly when I started taking Core Fusion regularly — by two weeks other people were already noticing. And it happened again when I started my beloved Refine Method classes up again after the marathon. I lost so much strength and it all came back pretty fast and I feel normal and strong again!

  11. Awesome Tina! I just started Crossfit last week to give it a try and I am already hooked!

    Can you share your recipe for the maple scones when you get the opportunity?


  12. I have been lifting and running for 8+ years and now that I incorporated bodypump I am FINALLY seeing big changes! I have to admit though, all your crossfit talk makes me feel like i need to try it!

  13. I love CrossFit and since I started doing those kinds of workouts, my fitness has improved too. I was able to run throughout my whole pregnancy and after I had my baby I picked up running again and noticed I was faster. I love that it’s helping so many people reach their goals!

    And that steak looks seriously delish. Why does avocado make everything so much better!?

  14. I have wanted to try BodyPump or CrossFit and will SOON! It’s hard because the BodyPump classes offered at my gym are in the mid-morning when I am at work or early morning on the weekends and I want to relax… I think once I go a couple of times and if I enjoy it, it won’t be a problem getting myself there, it’s just the uncertainty of what to expect and worry of making a fool out of myself ;P

  15. I don’t think I’ve ever done a specific training program, although I’m about to start New Weightlifting Rules for Women, so hopefuly that will work! I really want to try crossfit, but it’s just too expensive since I’m a law student living off of loans!

  16. Massive improvements. Been doing CrossFit for just under 10 months and despite having a decent background, in that time I have added 100 pounds to my deadlift, 65 pounds to my back squat, 60 pounds to my clean, and 30 pounds to my shoulder press. I’ve also knocked almost 4 minutes off of my “Grace” time (30 Clean & Jerks; 135#) and nearly 14 minutes off the first WOD I ever did (5 rounds of 15 Med Ball Cleans, 15 Wall Balls; it was UGLY).

  17. OMG! That steak and avocado salsa looks amazing!! As far as seeing results, I notice weight dropping when I run a lot.. but due to the tool its taking on my body, i’m going to begin adding strength training more often. I’m going to try the New Rules of Lifting for Women book, which will be nice to have some guidance around strength training!

  18. I started running seriously a little over a year ago and the biggest change I noticed was mental energy. I just feel so much more clear headed, focused, calm, and patient after I run. On top of staying fit, running has helped me with mental control and is always an immediate, quick fix to a stressful day.

  19. Wait , Tina!!
    Are you seriously giving up grains until
    Mid March?!
    So no oatmeal, oatbran, brown rice
    etc till then?
    That sounds every hard- could you write
    more about how this challenge works and
    why you are doing it?
    Thanks so much! I am so curious as I thought
    the above items were considered very good for
    one’s health….
    Cheers Tina!

  20. this might seem totally silly but i noticed pretty soon after i started training for my first 10k that my butt got a little more round and firm.

    also, i just bought your book as my first nook book! so excited to read it!

  21. Since I started BodyPump a few months back, people have really started noticing my shoulders, and you can faintly make out my biceps, which has NEVER been the case. I don’t even go very often (1-2x a week), so it’s nice to see that it’s making changes!

  22. I’ve run two half marathons, one in 2009 and the second last year. I ran the same course in Newport, RI for both races. While training for my second race I used a different program that included 400m intervals every other week and tempo runs during the opposite weeks. Adding the speed work into my training (something I did not do the first time around) REALLY made a big difference…I PR’d my second race by more than 10 minutes! Speed work, short, intense workouts, as your doing will definitely make you a stronger, AND faster runner!

  23. I always thought doing ab excercises were a lost cause b/c my stomach was so flabby and my mid section will always be my WORST area! but after doing the 30 day shred last year and then meeting with a trainer a couple times a week (combo of cardio/strength/core exercises), I started to see muscle definition in my abs and my shirts and sweater all layed a lot better and my muffin top almost disappeared…i have sort of let myself go since then, put back on a few pounds, but am religiously doing my ab exercises and hoping to see results again!

  24. That steak look fantastic!
    When I started my new training program, I noticed very quickly that I was already feeling stronger, particularly my core. After a few months pretty much everything had improved as far as how many pushups, squats, etc I could do!

  25. Kettle Bells did it all for me, it completely, (and quickly), changed my body and mind Hardstyle is a totally different mind set for strength training. It provides cardio, strength and flexibility all in one functional training session and views strength as a continuing process. That appeals to me because other trainings I have been a part of were far too goal oriented, which is fine, but the ongoing, continuing process of strength, was key to me for a healthy lifestyle.

  26. I’m experiencing something very similar since starting P90X (I started Dec. 26). I find I’m craving sweets a LOT less, which is interesting, because I used to always NEED a sweet after lunch and after dinner. Now it’s not so necessary. I find myself listening to my body much more, and only really eating when I’m hungry (which is a big change – I can be a bit of a mindless eater). It’s such a welcome change, and I’m loving P90X!

  27. I felt almost immediately different when I started CrossFit. (I think you and I started about the same time – I just started my 5th week). I’ve noticed a couple of small changes in size, but I haven’t weighed myself in 2 weeks so not sure there. I’ve been taking progress photos every weekend and only teeny tiny differences there. After a couple more months I plan on doing a progress blog post with the starting/4week/8week/12week pics.

  28. Exciting!! I bet you will see some major growth and improvement. Seems like you’re edging into paleo even though you’re not officially doing it…I’m about 80% paleo now and loving the results! I’m noticing a lot more stomach definition and back definition thus far, but I’ve only been doing it for 1 month.

  29. Isn’t it so cool when you look at those scones and think, “Wow, I haven’t eaten them. I’m really eating less or less tempted”. I just think it’s cool. Last night at Target I thought for 1 second, “man I want that nutella”. I even picked it up but when I saw the 200 calories per serving I said “No Ashley!! That’s not worth on your plan and so not worth it”. It feels great to see both your mind and body changing.

    My legs shape up SO quickly when I am doing spin. It’s amazing how strong I become.

  30. I am doing a 30 hot vinyasa yoga challenge and I am on day 8 and I am already noticing a little differences. I feel stronger in class, more focused, more flexibility and like you, better posture! I can’t wait until the end so I can feel even better!!! 🙂

  31. Working out at home is my best option because my kids are little. Right now, I feel like I am getting good results from Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30. Have a great day, Tina!

  32. I always see a ton of results when I start to stick with a strict weight lifting plan—it makes me wonder why I keep slacking on it after a few weeks!

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