What I Ate Growing Up

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.

At Mal’s Super Awesome Birthday Weekend, a few of us started talking about Kool-Aid””probably because of some sort of reference to drinking the “CrossFit Kool-Aid,” which Mal and I have apparently guzzled. The two of us have actually become those annoying people who talk about one thing (CrossFit) all the time to our friends, but, honestly, we can’t help it. We even try to reign it in and talk about something else, but our conversation always ends up back at CrossFit. Let’s just say, I’m glad our friends still like us.

Anyway, back to Kool-Aid.

I used to drink Kool-Aid all the time as a kid. In our house, the choices for beverages were Kool-Aid, milk, water, and, occasionally, Sunny Delight, which, if I drank nowadays, would probably cause me to immediately vomit. I mean, the second ingredient in Sunny Delight is corn syrup! I can’t believe this stuff even exists. Eww!

Anyway, since I’m all over the place this morning, let me cut to the point of this post. It’s to tell you what I ate growing up.

As a child of a single parent, I ate a lot of “convenience foods,” like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Ramen Noodles, and TV dinners, but we didn’t know a lot about good nutrition back then””for instance, the dangers of transfat in Little Debbie Snacks. My mom often cooked vegetables for dinner and there was always fresh fruit in the house, but there were also tons of other “fun” foods, which, as kids, my sister and I preferred.

Some of my favorite foods growing up:

  • Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
  • Little Debbie Snacks
  • Bologna sandwiches
  • Pop Tarts
  • Jello Pudding Pops
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Fruit Roll-ups
  • Kudos Bars
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  • Honey Graham O’s
  • Kool-Aid
  • Bugles
  • SmartPop Popcorn



Last night’s WOD was a good one! Check it out:



7 Squat Clean/Thruster

100 Meter Sprint

Rx: (135, 95)
L2: (115, 75)
L1: (95, 55)
Beg: (75, 35)

For this workout, we had 12 minutes to do as many rounds of 7 Squat Clean to Thrusters + 100 meter sprint as possible. I used 60 pounds for the Squat Clean to Thruster and finished 6 rounds + 7 reps in 12 minutes. I did the 7th sprint, but it didn’t count because I ran out of time.

I’m not sure if I told you guys this or not, but Mal got his Level 1 CrossFit Certification and will be teaching at our box this summer. It’ll be his summer job and a part-time gig during the school year. Obviously, this job is perfect for him, and he is so psyched about it.

Before Mal can start teaching CrossFit classes, he needs to observe our coaches/classes for a certain number of hours, so last night he observed the class that I took. While I was doing the Squat Clean to Thrusters, Mal (and one of our coaches) watched my form. They gave me a few tips to improve them (i.e. keep my elbows up), but Mal said my Cleans looked really good. He even said they were some of the best he’s ever seen me do””and Mal’s not one to sugarcoat. He’d tell me if I was sucking ass at them! I’m just glad to finally make some progress with them. Cleans are hard for me!


After CrossFit, I came home to make lettuce wraps for dinner. I cooked the chicken ahead of time, so all I had to do was wash the lettuce (I think Boston or Bibb works best for wraps) and cut up some veggies.

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In the mix: chicken breast, cucumber, tomato, shredded carrot.

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Sliced almonds.

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And Annie’s balsamic vinaigrette for the dressing.

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I ate five or six lettuce wraps with everything in them. So delish!


Weekly Workouts

  • Sunday: 1 mile
  • Monday: CrossFit + 1 mile
  • Tuesday: CrossFit
  • Wednesday: CrossFit
  • Thursday: CrossFit
  • Friday: Run
  • Saturday: Run

Truffle Oil Giveaway

As you probably know, I love truffle oil since I talk about it all of the time on CNC. Well, here’s your chance to win a bottle on Trading Up Downtown!

Question of the Day

What was your diet like as a kid? What were your favorite foods?

P.S. Don’t feel like working out today? This post from CrossFit St. Cloud will give you the kick in the butt you need: Enough With the Bullshitting!



  1. That’s so awesome for Mal! I bet he’s going to love it when he starts.

    My parents used to cook pretty healthy meals for me & my brother, but of course I loved junk food too. Some of my favorites were soda, Swiss cake rolls, zebra cakes, Little Debbie snacks, those sour straw things, Hershey’s cookies ‘n cream bars, & my dad’s homemade pizza. The pizza wasn’t really unhealthy. It was just one of my favorite foods.

  2. Oh man! I loved Jello Pudding Pops!! My single mom and I ate out a lot as a kid. She would take me to restaurants right after school and we would eat off the lunch menu for dinner. Later in the evening we would snack…alot. Popcorn, cereal, cookies…this is where my very poor eating habits were created. It has taken many years, and many tries, to improve my eating habits.

  3. I like sunny d, I just mix it half and half with water. It’s interesting that you curse sunny d but enjoy butterscotch chips 🙂

  4. I used to love all that stuff except for Jello, Fruit Roll Up, and Kool-Aid. I was more into Tang 😉 haha Oh man I’m glad that I’ve gotten older and learned about good nutrition.

  5. OMG yes most of the foods on your list were my fav along with, hot pockets, frozen pizza’s, chicken nuggets, fish sticks with lots of ketsup….LOL

  6. I think it’s interesting that you ate that as a kid and now eat so healthfully. I’m in the opposite boat. My mom was a little ahead on the health-food front, so the only thing on your list I can ever remember being in our house was Kudos bars, and that was pretty much only when school let out in June as a one-time treat. The problem is that now that I’m an adult I want to try all these terrible-for-me foods that everyone’s always talking about. My pantry and fridge are definitely not as healthy looking as they should be…

  7. My parents made homemade dinners for us every night and didn’t really buy us a lot of packaged foods. I hated it at the time, but looking back I really appreciate it! Of course they sometimes bought us treats too – my favourites were Oreos, fruit roll ups, and Froot Loops!

  8. I grew up with YooHoos, Oatmeal cakes and my favorite: A moonpie microwaved for just 30 seconds! Oh the days when we didn’t know what was good for us. I havent’ had those foods in over ten years 🙁

  9. Lots of kool aid, processed hot dogs, mac and cheese, and salsa with chips were some of my kid staples. However, we did get homemade bread, soup, salads, and other dishes most nights of the week =)

  10. It’s funny that you have a post about this! I was just talking to my family about this last night! My mom was SUPER health conscious growing up. I mean, I never knew that Kraft products existed. So my first year of college, when I moved out, I used to eat SO much of the Kraft Cheese slices and Kraft Peanut Butter..oh man. I thought it was heaven. It makes me want to puke now, but for one blissful year I did enjoy “fake food”!

  11. My sister and I were just talking about this! As a kid, many (most?) mornings, I would eat a couple bowls of Lucky Charms and a Pop Tart. Ugh- I don’t even want to know how much sugar and artificial ingredients are in that. As an afternoon snack, my sister and I would either have Bagel Bites or Tostino Pizza Rolls.

    One snack I loved as a kid and still love are Goldfish. And if you twist my arm, you can still get me to guiltily enjoy Pizza Rolls or a Pop Tart 🙂

  12. Man I was so picky as a kid always wanted chicken nuggets and Spaghetti-Os with sliced franks which makes me gag now! I was also addicted to pop and my parents would have to hide it from me! I’m glad ive kicked both those habits!

  13. As a kid, i loved eating a piping hot bowl of ramen noodles with a poached egg every saturday morning while watching cartoons, so random but I still love doing that (just the ramen and egg, not cartoons)! Oh and frozen nuggets reheated in the toaster oven. I don’t know why I liked the taste of the frozen nuggets especially, though I loved McDonald’s nuggets too!

  14. my family always ate pretty healthy with dinners (aka no desserts unless it was a holiday)…but i always had something sweet for lunch! i always liked the oatmeal creme pies! and ho-hos..well…those were always a favorite!

  15. Congrats to Mal – that’s awesome!

    As a kid, I ate a ton of pancakes, grilled cheese, and all Italian food.. we didn’t really have much fresh fruit (besides bananas) around that I remember, or “convenience” foods.

  16. I’ve had the WORST cravings for Top Ramen lately. Instead of getting the regular kind, I found a couple MSG-free versions in the natural section at Fred Meyer. But there must be something about those neuro-toxins because the MSG-free one is just not the same.

    In middle school, I used to cook Top Ramen in the evenings and pack it up, cold, for lunch the next day. Sounds so gross but honestly, my mouth is watering now.

  17. Back when I was a kid, we used to love this snack we called “Nutty Frozen Bananas”. I must warn you- we made it up- but it was delicious. You can have this instead of an ice cream bar. Each serving is only 98 calories! I hope you like them!

    You’ll need:
    1 med, ripe banana
    1/2 ounce finely chopped walnuts

    Peel banana and cut in half, crosswise.
    Spread chopped nutes on a piece of wax paper. Roll the banana in the nuts, carefully pressing the nuts into the banana.
    Roll up the banana in the wax paper and freeze 1 hour. (If you have 2 ice cream sticks, insert 1 into the cut end of each banana before freezing.)
    Enjoy them right from the freezer.

  18. Niiice, congrats to Mal! That really sounds like a fun part-time. And it’s so intriguing how much nutrition has changed over less than a decade. I even wonder how it’ll be in a few years from now.

  19. That list looks surprisingly like my favorite foods when I was a kid, plus broccoli dipped in apple cider vinegar. I was obsessed!
    OK, so I just have to mention–those PB coffees from Marylou’s have HFCS in them. 😉

        1. They’re good, but not AMAZING like the specialty coffees. The coffee of the month (Chocolate Cupcake) was really delicious when I tried it the other day. I usually ask for milk and just a little bit of sugar.

          1. @Tina: But you know PB Wonderful has mocha in it right? I definitely love PB wonderful too but it is really more of a treat drink vs. the typical ice coffee : )

  20. As a kid, I LOVED Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies and Tastycakes – especially the cream filled chocolate cupcakes. Staples!

    Like you, we lived on things like Kool-Aid and mac-n-cheese. My Mom often comments how we always had a cooler full of soda and beer (for the adults) whenever we traveled anywhere. No one drank water when I was a kid.

    As a nutritionist today, I’m horrified that I consumed so many of these foods – on a daily basis. But, life is learning. So, we do the best we can at the time. It sure was fun to be a kid. 🙂

  21. We used to drink TANG as a kid. I don’t even want to know how bad that was but it was definitely my preferred “orange juice” growing up. We also ate a lot of Pop Tarts, Captain Crunch and Kraft Mac & Cheese. To this day Kraft Mac & Cheese is still a nostalgic favorite of mine that I just can’t quite give up. I think it’s okay though – all things in moderation. 🙂

  22. That crossfit article is intense! Needed to hear it though. I was very fortunate to have a health freak of a mother who started feeding us organic milk and meat before organic foods were even popular! I have no idea where she found it. I hated sandwiches when I was little, so I also took dinner leftovers to school for lunch. My mom said one of my teachers was jealous of all of the amazing lunches I had. She taught me well, and I try to eat as well now as we did when we were little!

  23. I didn’t get much opportunity to eat junk. My mom made our meals basically from scratch. The only time I got anywhere near junk food was when a neighbor would pay me for running errands; I’d use my wages to buy candy and such.

  24. Love the Oatmeal and cream things. Don’t know what they’re called but I can’t buy them because I will eat the whole box!
    We had Kool Aid also. I remember having snacks around but nothing stands out in my mind. At my grandmother’s house, she always had cream soda and grape soda from Acme. I still like to have one now and then, always reminds me of her house!

  25. My mom cooked pretty healthy dinners and we always had two veggies with dinner (to ensure there was one my pickier dad would eat. lol). I was always the kid in school (even preschool) that brought salads in a little tupperware! But, she also loved to get us whatever goodies she came across at the grocery store. We didn’t go too overboard, but there was always something “fun” in our lunches, like mini twix bars she spotted in the snack aisle, or some new little debbie treat. And we usually had dessert after dinner, like 2 cookies or a small scoop of ice cream. I was always surprised by what my friends considered one serving!

  26. My mom always cooked, but always bought stuff like Doritos, pop tarts, sugary cereals (frosted flakes), orange juice and added sugar to it, kool aid which she added lemon and sugar too it. Everything used to be sweet in my house. No wonder i was overweight /obese in High School!

  27. Oh man, what did I eat as a kid…..My parents worked opposite shifts so my Dad was responsible for dinner. This meant a lot of Happy Meals, Pizza, Mac and Cheese, and grilled cheese. He did try to get us to eat things like grilled chicken, and steak with a starch and veggie. My idea of a veggie at the time was iceberg lettuce! haha Thank goodness my habits have changed!!!

  28. You know, I remember having SOME of the fun snacks as kids but honestly not too many. Probably because my mom was a single parent(but a poor one) so we could never afford an over abundance of the junk stuff. Of course, Kool-Aid was dirt cheap so we did have that! I remember having plain Corn Flakes for breakfast many times but of course, it was loaded with spoonfuls of SUGAR. Eeek!!

    I have two kids and I do let them have treats but the main snack staples are fresh fruits and veggies, string cheese and yogurt. They love it!!

  29. As a kid, we ate everything on your list plus. Remember Tang, that was our version of orange juice. OMG, I’ve come a long way baby. 🙂

  30. HAHA. I was raised by a single mother as well, and while she would cook me dinner MOST nights, the easy go-to meals were kid cuisines, hamburger helper, bagged caeser salad with frozen buttery shrimp cooked up in the microwave, snacks were fruit roll ups, dunkaroos, lays potato chips. When I was 3, my doctor asked me what my favorite meal my mom made me was and my response was “tv dinners” aka kid cuisine. My mom almost died. LOL

  31. Two things to congratulate: YOU for coming a long way in learning about proper nutrition, even though your childhood eating habits may have taught you otherwise. High five! and Mal, for the new gig! Just one question though, don’t you need to be somehow certified to become an athletic coach? Is he qualified to give advice on proper form etc? You two both seem very educated and know a lot about sports and exercise, but I’m still curious about required qualifications…

      1. Thanks for answering! and Congratulations to Mal! You two clearly love crossfit (geeks..I mean…;)) Nothing better than an enthusiastic teacher who loves what they do! @Tina:

  32. Yup some of that stuff was definitely part of my childhood, though I don’t eat any of that anymore (I used to have Ramen just about every day after school for part of high school…now I can’t even imagine eating that!). Dinosaur chicken nuggets were on my list, too! Everything tastes better in dinosaur form.

  33. My mother would cook healthy meals that I refused to eat, I was the kid that would not eat. As long as I eat something she was happy. My favorite meal was Spaghetti’O or white bread with ketchup.

  34. I was the opposite- when I was little I loved all sorts of fresh veggies and ate apples for dessert- it’s all we had! Now that I have access to whatever foods I want I feel it’s harder to make healthy choices. I know I would do better completely removing sweets from my home, but I haven’t taken the plunge yet!

  35. My diet definitely had lots of carbs…so the Macaroni and Cheese, and Spaghetti O’s were definitely there almost everyday. My diet started to change thankfully when my mom insisted on dropping the fat content in our milk, white bread became wheat, and we always had some kind of veggie on our plate. Unfortunately that was not enough. I made a complete transition about 9- 10 years ago when I was way too big for my height and was tired of being tired and fat. Now I will randomly eat it because I just want to remember what it was like….and now it is just plain gross. I remember that I don’t like it anymore and stay away from it all over again. 🙂

  36. My parents weren’t into cooking. My dad worked late. And my sister and I always had a number of activities to get to. More often than not we ate meals that could be made quickly. Cereal was the usual breakfast. Egg on toast was a staple for dinner. We had spaghetti with cheese cubes melted in a lot. And we always had a lot of fruit in the house.

    To be honest, I can’t think of too many favorite foods growing up! Guess my diet wasn’t all that interesting ha.

  37. I just tried a black truffle oil salad dressing, totally amazing!
    I lived in England as a child so I grew up with pork pies, fish sticks, fish and chips, mushy peas, very sweet tea and tea cakes 🙂

  38. Ooooooh honey! Do I have a couple of people I want to send that post to! I am by no means perfect but do make time. I get sick of lame excuses. Some people over listen to their bodies…. Every ache, pinch whatever!

    Oh and home fries were a staple in my house growing up!

  39. I ate the crappiest foods as a kid. Not because home-cooked meals weren’t on the table every night, because they certainly were. Both of my parents are fantastic cooks. But I was THE PICKIEST eater. My diet consistly of mostly carbohydrates…Spaghetti-o’s, Ramen Noodles, buttered noodles, Peanut Butter Crunch, instant mashed potatoes, pancakes, Pop-Tarts, anything I could prepare for myself since my parents quit cooking “special meals” for me when I was old enough to give new foods a try but refused to do so. Ugh, kids!! 😉

  40. I cringe when I think back to the things I ate growing up – but like your story, my mom always had fresh fruit and veggies in the fridge and on the table but our pantry was packed with “fun” and easy foods like Goldfish, PopTarts, Twizzlers… and our weekend (or even morning) meals were over processed – like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Stouffer’s Macaroni and Cheese, delivery pizzas and instant oatmeal with fruit jam-like packets to swirl designs in bowls of hot cereal – I mean, what was that stuff made out of?!? YUCK!

    I am so thankful for the nutritional information that has saturated our world for the last decade or so as I now eat unprocessed, healthy food 97% of the time!

  41. I can’t believe what used to pass for food back in the day!!! To think what I ate growing up and now I won’t eat a berry unless it’s organic. LOL

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