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. Was just reading the most recent Improper Bostonian. Have you seen the “The Primal (Sweet) Palate with PaleOMG”? It’s tonight in case you were interested!

  2. Can I have a sweet breakfast? (french toast!!!) with some bacon on the side? That wound be perfect. 🙂

    Those sweet potato muffins look out of this world delicious. Can’t wait to hear all about the CrossFit Games. Sounds super cool!

  3. Sweet every time! Quite often I eat my first savoury thing at dinner time, although I do try not to! Thanks for the running stuff, I’m enrolled in my local CrossFit’s Foundation course on Saturday and nervous but excited!

  4. I like to mix it up! We have eggs most often, but this AM I made the paleo banana pancakes served with bacon & almond butter – sweet & savory 🙂

  5. I like sweet breakfasts, but I think savory meals are my favorite. But, I just love breakfast foods in general, so I’m happy to eat all kinds of things!

  6. I used to be a big sweet breakfast person, always making my oats! However now I’m currently into savory, with eggs, sweet potatoes, sometimes steamed greens and ketchup! And I’m interested in these probiotics… I’ve had IBS for ages and haven’t found one that I really like.

  7. Ooh, the sweet vs. savory breakfast question is always a hard one–I feel like I ask myself that question whenever I go out for breakfast. 🙂 I think my choice really depends on my mood and what I’m hungry for. Good luck preparing for the CrossFit Open!

  8. Hi Tina, random comment! … I’ve been following your blog for years and love it. I just wanted to say that my hubby and I are taking a long weekend in Boston tomorrow and I’ve utilized a lot of your recommendations for bars and restaurants that I hope to incorporate into the plans. So thanks for the great resources and recommendations! Keep being awesome =)

  9. I love this muffin idea but it is REALLY high in calories, about 450 per muffin. I tried cutting out 1/2 the oil and 1/2 the almond butter and subbed a 1/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce (or even a little more) and it brought the calories down to 266. I think the texture of the muffins would remain the same and taste good! The other thing I did was take 1/2 of the brown sugar and 1/2 of the walnuts, mix them together and top each muffin with it once the batter was in each tin. I think you can taste the walnut and brown sugar more that way and you feel like you are getting more bang for your calorie buck if you know what I mean!

  10. I would choose savory over sweet any day. I know, I’m probably in the minority here. Eggs are just the best first thing!

  11. I have been really excited for the Open and love the idea of competing against athletes worldwide, but I’m nervous because I can’t Rx every workout. Can you scale workouts and still compete in the Open WOD’s?

    I like to alternate my breakfasts: sweet one day, savory the next 🙂

  12. A new breakfast! Yum! Definitely pinning these – they look great for a snack or part of breakfast. I usually go for sweet in the morning…a bowl of oatmeal, pancakes, etc. Every once in awhile the egg sandwich bug will bite me, and I’ll have those for awhile though.

  13. I was wondering about the open too; I love competing against others, its one reason I love crossfit, but cannot do all the movements, do you still think its ok to register for the open?

    1. @Holly: @Hannah: Sorry forgot to mention that! In order to post a score, you’ll 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. 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!

  14. I would eat sweet over savory any day! I chow down on vegan pancakes on mornings when I don’t have to be out the door by 6am. On the other days it’s normally a shake in a bowl or toast and fruit. I could eat fruit for every meal, i would just have to eat a lot of it!

  15. These sound amazing and I have all the ingredients on hand, may have to make them this weekend! I hope this breakfast steps up to the challenge and keeps you full as long as your favorite breakfast scramble! I know I always need healthy fats (Nut butter!!) in my breakfast for staying power.

  16. About 75% of the time I want something savory, typically eggs & toast. Every now and again when I’m tired of eggs I will crave oatmeal, or a donut! But I’ve found that since my body is so use to not having very much sugar in the morning, I speed my butt off & crash after eating a donut, haha. (But I still love them every once in awhile!)

  17. Although I love having a bit of something sweet, I just don’t stay full from those kind of breakfasts! So I always go with eggs and potatoes if I’m eating out, and if I’m at home, it’s either your French toast scramble (a great “sweet” but filling option), oatmeal, Ezekiel bread and almond butter, or scrambled eggs. Aaaand now I want to go out to brunch and get a big platter of eggs, salsa, and hashbrowns…

  18. Taste wise, a sweet breakfast is awesome. In reality, I always eat a savory breakfast because I eat pretty strictly paleo. (Bacon, eggs, sauteed veggies right now!) I am new to CrossFit (just under 5 months) but I LOVE it so much, and I have a heavy gymnastics background, so I am really excited to see what I can do at the open!!! 🙂

  19. I second the theory about probiotics helping UC and other gastrointestinal issues. In my family we have UC, Crohn’s and Celiac, and they definitely help, especially after the damage that was done to my intestines. I mean, it could just be that they help in general, but that’s good too!

  20. I flip-flop when it comes to sweet and savory for breakfast. I love poached eggs with capers on whole wheat toast, but I consider that more of a weekend or special occasion breakfast. For the most part I like to eat sweet oatmeal or more recently, your f.t. breakfast scramble. I am working on a savory oatmeal and poached egg recipe though…the missing link?

  21. I have a new trick for cooking spaghetti squash. I poke it a few times with the tip of a knife and then put the whole thing in the microwave for about 4-5 minutes. That softens it just a bit and makes it so much easier to cut in half. Then I scrape out the seeds and finish it in the oven. I don’t like to cook it all the way in the microwave although I know lots of people do that…I just think the texture is better and more consistent when I do most of the cooking in the oven.

  22. Thanks for the recipe….looks interesting. I might try it with butternut squash!

    Im actually going to be trying cross fit for the first time next week…and your blog is a huge reason for my motivation. Sounds super fun, I cant wait!

  23. Sweet breakfast, any day! Muffins are also a favorite of mine. There was this little vegan coffee shop right next to where I went to college that I went to every chance I got. I always alternated between the espresso chip muffin and the dark chocolate raspberry. Um, yum.

  24. PANCAKES, for the win!

    That’s interesting to hear you say about CrossFit.. I think yoga has helped me reduce injuries too, but that definitely makes sense about being strong all over. I’ve been plagued with running injuries for years, and it’s ridiculously annoying when you’re trying to train for a race!

  25. It will be great to follow your experiences in the Crossfit Games — how exciting! I’m not sure whether my go to breakfast of choice — wheetabix topped with sunflower seed butter and raw honey — qualifies as a sweet or savory breakfast (probably sweet). I like any kind of breakfast/brunch but when I want something that will stick with me a bit more I turn to the savory choices.

  26. Sweet breakfast all the way! I totally owe you a big one because I’m still obsessed with the sweet breakfast scramble! Haha I’ve tried to switch it up a few times recently and nothing quite hits the spot like that scramble.

  27. I prefer a sweet breakfast, but it never really satisfies me. Unless I have a killer pancake/muffin/scone craving, I usually choose a savory breakfast, cuz I know it will hold me longer 🙂

  28. I love sweet AND savory for breakfast. My typical breakfast is a vegetable omelette (2 eggs, sometimes 3) with 2-3 pieces of bacon and ALWAYS a piece of fruit. If I’ve had a really tough WOD, I’ll eat a banana and nut butter with breakfast but lately I’ve been loving berries or clementines! Good luck in the OPEN. I can’t wait!

  29. I am on a strictly gluten free diet. That being said would a gluten free blend for the wheat flour work or change the consistancy? How about coconut flour?

  30. As much as I love pancakes & French toast, it just doesn’t keep me full. So I prefer more savory, whether it’s toast & eggs or oatmeal. But if I go to iHOP, you better believe I’m getting me some French toast lol!

  31. I’m an equal opportunity breakfast eater. On Monday, though, I made a paleo pancake (2 eggs, 1 banana), but I added a pinch of baking powder to it. It fluffed it up sooooooo much! I couldn’t believe how huge it got! Very filling and tasty. I did need some salt after that, and wished I had some bacon to go with, but it was good, anyway.

    I think I just like moderation in my breakfasts. Not too sweet, not too savory. If I have an omelet, my coffee will probably be the sweet part of breakfast.

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