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. I have been doing KOSAMA ( which possibly close to cross fit for 6 months and have lost 20+ lbs and 20+ inches. Moreover, the physically abilities and stamina is staggering! Weird how when you workout hard it makes it less appealing to eat like crap so then more results show. Vicious yet awesome cycle. Now only if we could stay like that forever!

  2. Hi Tina,

    I’m not sure if someone has asked this already or not – but when you started CrossFit – did you go through a beginning session and the 6 session “Elements Workshop” first? And did you find these introductory workouts helpful?

    You have completely given me the CrossFit bug!


    1. @SKR: Hi SKR! Many boxes offer an “on-ramp” course, which sounds exactly what the “elements workshop” is at crossfit nyc. If you are new to Crossfit, I HIGHLY recommend doing this workshop before beginning Crossfit. Actually, many boxes actually require new members to complete the “on-ramp” course before beginning regular classes. Crossfit incorporates many high-intensity, olympic lifting moves. Therefore, proper form and safety are of the utmost importance. You should really think about attending one of these elements classes before beginning so you can safely learn the moves used in Crossfit classes in a smaller, more personal environment. Hope this helps, if you have any other questions let me know!

  3. Congrats on the great results. Like you, I have a sweet tooth and since I started working out more (I plan to run my first 5K in June), I noticed that I’m eating fewer sugary foods.

  4. so excited to see you mention everyday paleo on your blog! sarah fragoso is awesome, you should check out her cookbook, i make a lot of her recipes.

    just curious as to why you aren’t participating in the grain challenge? it’s only 30 days! i would love to see you write about your experiences with it.

    1. @Laura: To be honest, I don’t see the point for doing a 30-day diet. Once it’s over, I’d go back to my normal way of eating, so, instead, I’m picking and choosing parts of The Paleo Diet that work with my current way of eating to see what sticks for the long-term.

      1. @Lindsey: ooo i havent tried them yet, but they’ll be next on my list! my go-to meal from that cookbook is the paleo lasagna, i dont even miss the pasta noodles!

  5. When I first started to work out, I used Jillian Michaels Shred DVD. After a month, I could see my arms toned up and my abs got stronger! Now I workout to Jackie Warner and heading into 3 weeks and I can see my arms toning up. I feel stronger, healthier and I don’t mind how I look in tank tops. The only issue for me is when I do full body circuit training, I really tone my upper half way quicker then the lower and my boobs shrink! Before I lost weight I was a 38D and when I lost weight I went to a 32B, then I stopped with the circuit training and focused more on cardio and my boobs grew to a 34C. Now I am back to circuit training and I’m afraid of boob shrinkage again. I know I shared to much information, but you asked what changes happened, this is it, toned top with no boobs! lol Oh, is this normal with upper body workouts?

    Love your blog!

    1. I think it’s pretty common for women to lose boob-age when they lose weight, in general. I don’t think it’s just from the upper body workouts. If anything, you probably looked more tight and toned back then, right? 🙂

  6. Tina — I think you already clarified this, but just wondering — you’re NOT doing Paleo, right?

    I think it has some merits, but I truly believe cutting out entire foodgroups is just nuts. I love the idea of incorporating more protein (esp for all the strength fuel you need!) and veggies, but it’s not especially friendly to vegetarians and I think whole grains are a fantastic and important part of a good, balanced diet. So I don’t think I could ever get on the paleo bandwagon. What are your thoughts on it? Obviously it’s huge in the CrossFit community and I can see how someone could warm up more to the idea, but it seems like your thoughts on it are similar to mine, so I was wondering how you feel after drinking the CF Kool-aid, haha.

    1. @Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie: I’m the same as you – I love my morning oats too much! I could do a strict paleo diet, but I know I would feel like a party pooper, so I don’t. However, I have found the balance that works well for me, and that’s all that matters. Everyone is different and he or she has to figure out what works for their own lifestyle. Here’s to oatmeal! 🙂

  7. When I first started Crossfit 2 year ago ii was scared Sh$tless. Then I started lifting…heavy! Running fast and burpeeing with the best of them. When I went hardcore paleo for a few months I slimmed down about 7 lbs, gut felt amazing and it was like not even a diet. I’m in TX so BBQ everywhere:).Coconut oil became my friend and it also made my healthy HDL pretty high. CF/Paleo is a lifestyle i love and believe in. Good on ya tina! by far the WORST workout with 800’s. Blah!


      1. By far..the Hero workouts. MURPH with a weighed vest was a experiement in pain. The worst in my opinion…Burpee Mile. 4 loops around a track doing nothing but Burpees then a Broad Jump into another Burpee. Hands/knees and stomach were wrecked!!!!

        Have fun:)


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