Wide Awake for the CrossFit Open

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!

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the Twitter chat with Wayfair yesterday. I appreciate so many of you coming out for it. I hope you had fun!

So, do you want to hear what woke me up this morning?

Mal riffling through our bed looking for his wallet.

I bet you’re wondering why his wallet was in our bed this morning. Oh, because he was a tad excited late last night when he remembered registration opened yesterday for the 2013 CrossFit Open. Mal jumped out of bed, grabbed his wallet, and then proceeded to register from his cell phone. He must have fallen asleep just a few minutes later because his wallet was lost in our bed this morning. You guys think I’m obsessed with CrossFit? My husband is obsessed with CrossFit.

Crossfit Open 2013
[image source]

Ok, I registered for the Open first thing this morning.


Yay! Let the Games begin!

Even if you’re new to CrossFit, you can compete. The Open is open to everyone and it’s a ton of fun! Everyone gets so excited for it and most likely your box will be doing the workouts, so you might as well join in. It’s also cool because you’re doing the exact same workouts and competing against some of the best athletes in the world. I also like to see where I stack up against other CF athletes!

*Edited to add: In order to post a score for the Open, you need to do the workout as Rx-ed, but the first workout of the 2012 CrossFit Open (7 minutes of Burpees) was do-able for even beginners and you can still do the workouts scaled at your box along with everyone else. Even though I couldn’t do all of the workouts as prescribed last year, I still loved being part of the competition!


Yesterday morning’s breakfast was a tasting plate of sorts. I baked some Date Nut Sweet Potato Muffins the night before, so I wanted to have one for breakfast. I toasted it, spread some butter on it, and then paired it with a hardboiled egg and some blueberries.

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I love muffins for breakfast. Actually, I pretty much love anything sweet and carby for breakfast. (Pancakes? Hello!) But, when I eat a meal like this, which usually doesn’t have a lot of substance (read: fat and protein), I inevitably end up hungry a couple of hours later. So when I was creating these muffins, I made sure they had all sorts of healthy fats and protein to fill me up and satisfy me for hours and hours.


Date Nut Sweet Potato Muffins


  • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend well.
  3. Coat muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray (or use paper liners) and divide batter among six cups.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes or until muffins are cooked all the way through.
  5. Allow to cool before serving.

Makes 6 muffins

Three Questions Thursday

Here’s this week’s edition of Three Questions Thursday! Keep those questions coming!

When you mentioned that you were taking VSL#3. I looked into it and it sounds like something that would really help me with my IBS. But when I looked at the price, I was pretty blown away. Does your insurance cover it, or do you buy it through Amazon every time? Do you think it’s worth it? Does it really help?

VSL#3 is expensive! Sadly, my health insurance doesn’t cover anything, but I found Amazon to have the cheapest prices.

I *think* VSL#3 helps. I have UC, which is an autoimmune disease, so it’s hard to know what is really helping and what isn’t. It’s the only thing (besides drugs) that my doctor said might help, so I’m taking it and hoping for the best.

A few weeks ago, I actually started to increase my dosage of probiotics to see if having more of those good bacteria would help my colon. I also recently started taking Natren Healthy Trinity, which is a little cheaper than VSL#3 and sold at Whole Foods. I read a lot of UC forums to see what helps others and a bunch of people mentioned having success with this probiotic. I also read that it’s good to mix up bacteria strains every now and then, so I usually take 1-2 capsules of the Healthy Trinity and 2-3 capsules of the VSL#3 each day.


I see that you eat a lot of spaghetti squash. Your meals look so good! My question is how do you make it?

I do love spaghetti squash! Check out this post: How to cook spaghetti squash!

I know you were plagued with running injuries in the past. I have completed several half marathons, would like to complete a full someday! I was just wondering, have you noticed a difference in your body running-wise since you have started Crossfit? A lot of my “injuries”, I quote it because they are always overuse type stuff not like torn ACL or MCL etc (had that in high school running track!) and a lot of it is caused by my hips not being in line and muscle imbalances in my legs. Long story short I wan to get stronger to run stronger and longer, do you think Crossfit is a good option?

YES! Holy goodness, YES! CrossFit will make you strong all over. When I ran a lot, I had one injury after the next due to overuse. The programming in CrossFit is so amazing because it works all different parts of your body””constantly varied, high- intensity, functional movement. CrossFit is never the same thing twice, so I don’t have those overuse issues anymore. Plus, I’m a zillion times stronger and more fit nowadays. Back when I was running a ton, I could run for miles and miles, but I couldn’t do much else. Now I can do all sorts of crazy stuff””rope climbs, pull-ups, Olympic lifts, double-unders, headstands””which makes me a better athlete overall, so my race times have actually gotten quite a bit faster without much (any?) training.

Question of the Day

Would you rather: eat a sweet breakfast (pancakes, muffins) or a savory breakfast (eggs, bacon)?



  1. Oh those muffins look delicious, I can’t wait to try out the recipe!

    Mornings are usually a sweet oatmeal or oat pancake. I tend to save the savory for later in the day. And I actually do breakfast for dinner, eggs quite a bit!

  2. Unless I’m craving savory I’ll almost always choose a sweet anything- especially breakfast. A must-have for me with my breakfast is fruit, usually raspberries and strawberries. These muffins look delicious though. I agree with your answer to question #3- CrossFit has helped me become stronger all over including running. And because almost everything is included in WODs (even cardio) it helps you build up stamina too.

  3. Here’s what I don’t get…. what does the $20 registration fee get you? Obviously I won’t make it to regionals… but I can still do the workouts… they don’t even give you a tshirt or anything! What gives!

  4. Sweet! I have to have fresh fruit every morning so I tend to pair it with Greek yogurt and homemade granola, a muffin or a pancake, but I often make egg white and veggie omelets for lunch. Love all your meal combos, getting great ideas from you…thanks!!

  5. That’s so great you’re going to participate in the competition!

    I definitely wake up craving a sweet breakfast, but almost always go for eggs. Sweet breakfasts usually don’t keep me full unless I add a ton of PB or almond butter :).

  6. Love that sweet potato muffin recipe! They sound awesome. I need to get signed up for the opens. My goal this year is to be able to RX all the workouts. Last year I almost made it until chest to bar pull ups in the last one! Fingers crossed for this year!

  7. Sign me up for anything with peanut butter for breakfast. I think I tend to go sweet/carby more than savory (seeing as I don’t really eat eggs and am a vegetarian). I am really interested in CrossFit but am weary about it because I don’t think I can do it (I understand it’s all in my head). Do you have any other cross training, strength workouts that you enjoy that help you be a better runner?

  8. I’m a sweet breakfast kind of girl although on Sunday I had The Best Lentil Salad Ever for breakfast along with some toast dipped in olive oil and zaatar spices. It rocked!

  9. Sweet. 100%. I am not a bacon, sausage or meat in the AM kind of person. I am all about hard boiled eggs and yogurt. If I’m going to splurge, it will be a muffin or carmel roll. My birthday is coming up, and my husband and I are going to a brunch buffet that is known for really good cheesy potatoes, carmel rolls and an array of other goodies. Let’s just say I’m pretty excited, and debating on wearing a cute outfit or perhaps something like stretch, like yoga pants. I’m anticipating on a 5lb weight gain in one day. =)

  10. Sweet breakfast always! I love using peanut flour for a hit of protein or making a quick protein “custard” for drizzling over pancakes with yoghurt and little almond milk to thin it out! Muffins look nice and mighty! 🙂

  11. Another option for helping out with recurring injuries is yoga. It’s great for strengthening and properly aligning your body. My running has definitely improved since I began incorporating yoga practices a few times a week.

  12. How do you CUT a spaghetti squash? I always have such a hard time, especially getting through the end with the stem.

      1. @Tina: I’ve had luck with microwaving for a few minutes (like 2-3) before cutting. Makes the skin softer and easier to cut. If you’re super fancy you can use one of those electric knives for turkey.

    1. @Jessica: I bake it whole and then cut it in half after it’s cooked. Take something like a metal skewer or a fork and poke some holes in it before you bake it. I bake it on 375 for about an hour or until it’s soft. You’ll also need to turn it at least once so it doesn’t burn. Be very careful when you cut it open as it will be very hot. I still think it’s easier (safer?) than trying to cut a whole one raw.

  13. Hi Tina! I think these muffins look amazing. Do you think it would be ok to sub almond/coconut/some sort of other flour for the wheat flour? I can’t eat wheat, but I’d love to try making these!

      1. @Tina: I think you’d have to tweak the recipe quite a bit to use coconut flour. I’d use almond flour & perhaps consider increasing baking powder by 1/4tspn.

  14. Im seriously thinking about entering the open this year. I most definitely wont be able to do them all RX…but i can give it a go I guess 😀

    I just did my first proper WOD RX on Wednesday; super chuffed with myself

  15. I used to be a sweet/carby breakfast person, but ever since going Paleo I CRAVE savory breakfasts. I love throwing some sausage & chard into a pan with a little grated sweet potato or rutabaga & top it all off with an egg! YUM!!

    Everytime I read about your Crossfit adventures, it makes me want to try it that much more! One day I’ll be brave 🙂

  16. I think I need both sweet and savory in my breakfasts. Actually now that I think about it I need sweet. As long as there’s still protein in it somehow!

  17. I’m always a sweet carby breakfast lover, but having to eat GF, that has become tough! I’ve been forced to switch to omelet eating. I enjoy them, but its never the same as a lovely fluffy pancake!!

  18. After almost cutting myself several times trying to slice open my spaghetti squash I’ve starte just stabbing it a couple times and then baking it whole in the oven for an hour at 350. When it comes out I let it cool a bit and then slice it, de-seed it, and scoop out the squash. So much easier!

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