Back to My Roots

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 evening. I have an announcement to make about the future of Carrots ‘N’ Cake: I’m going back to my roots.


This morning, traveling home to Boston, I had a little pity party for myself. Basically, I realized there are a lot of things that I don’t like about my blog. I used to love everything about CNC, but now it’s apparent that I’ve gotten away from some of what really matters to me.


I realize that the focus of my blog has shifted– a little too far for my liking and perhaps yours too. I guess that I finally got the reality check that I needed and now I’m ready to make some changes. So, dear readers, I’m returning to my blog roots.


As you know, I love lists, so that’s exactly what I did today. On the plane, I made a list with two columns: what I like about CNC and what I don’t like about CNC. Then, I figured out how I could improve my blog: what works well, what doesn’t work so well, what should stay, and what should go.

What you will see more of on CNC:

  • My daily meals
  • Everyday fun and adventures
  • Stories and photos of Murphy
  • Easy recipes
  • Healthy-ish recipes for baked goods
  • Workouts
  • Marathon training recaps
  • Cookie Friday!
  • Posts about our new house (say what!?!)
  • Improved photography
  • Random posts about celebrities and reality TV
  • A new header

I’ll spare you the details of what I don’t like about CNC. There’s no need to focus on the negative, right? 😉

So, here’s to the re-focused Carrots ‘N’ Cake!! I hope you like what you see! :mrgreen:



  1. I love your blog. I have been reading it for over a year, maybe two. You are a great person. I cannot wait to see some house posts. As for the rest of your blog, ultimately, it comes down to you and what you want to write.

  2. I’m happy to hear this. I’ll be honest and say I went from a daily reader to an occasional reader. I’m excited to see you get back to your roots!

  3. One of your gifts to us all, that you ALWAYS give no matter what, is the reminder that the only person who can change your life is YOU. When you don’t like something, YOU change it. It empowers us readers to do that as well, and to chase the life we really want to live.

    I also REALLY ADMIRE that you choose to be positive on your blog. Our egos crave the drama of negativity, and you don’t give, reminding us to stick to what’s really important. Thank you for always being YOU. I’m so grateful.

  4. Hi Tina,
    I’ve been a reader for a few months, and am an very new healthy living blogger. Just wanted to say “I love your blog, it’s one of my favorites and I consider you a “blog role model”. Thank you for your words, in whatever format CNC is in.

  5. #150 Lori

    I wish commenters wouldn’t have to take a nasty tone with other commenters.No need to call someone lazy.
    Giving feedback is each of us giving our own personal opinions
    We know we may be the only ones feeling a certain way,but it is really nice that Tina allows us all to throw in our 2 cents.I respect that so much!
    I do personally find having to click to read a post a huge turn off,it’s just a feeling about it.It feels impersonal and more like a gimmick.It doesn’t draw me in-it leaves me feeling meh about continuing on. I don’t know why I feel so strongly about this but I do.I appreciate that you don’t call us lazy,and I totally respect that you may not understand or
    relate to my thoughts….that’s what makes the world such an interesting place-we all view it in different ways and don’t expect anyone else to agree .
    Cheers and best wishes to all!
    And Tina….look forward to more of your great blog 😉

  6. Good for you! Didn’t your old/original blog header say something about balance? I think that is something that has always hit a chord with me about your blog – balancing the different parts of my/your/all of our lives!! I still read every day – but I must say that lately there has been more travel and gourmet (fattening!) foods that while I like to look at – couldn’t eat regularly! I look forward to more of the things I loved about the older blog – plus – with the new house — you will want to be home more!! So fun – first home!!!

  7. @Marla:

    Sorry, but I do think it’s lazy. It takes literally seconds to click thru to a post and if you truly adored Tina as much as you say, then you wouldn’t mind doing it.

    While I respect the fact that we all have our own opinions on what we’d like and not like to see, it’s not our blog. It’s Tina’s. I think that you can make anyone happy these days so seeing people’s dislikes is nothing new.

    When she had those posts where you had to click-thru, people threw a fit..good lord, that is ridiculous that Tina couldn’t have it that way if she wanted because people are TOO LAZY to click thru. WAH WAH WAH.

    Who knows what Tina’s reasons are but I commend her for LIVING life instead of reading it or wishing about it. It’s a shame that people can’t let her be happy with her trips or whatever else.

  8. I`ve been reading your blog for around a year and have always been a fan although I definitively have notice a big shift in your posts over the last few months. While I can appreciate that professional bloggers get lots of free trips and things I don`t like feeling as though I am being shilled at. I read healthy living bloggers to inspire me on ways to exercise and eat healthily on a regular basis, not to read about the benefits and features of products that they have received free from companies. To be honest I just always skip those posts. I`m really happy to read that you are going back to your roots and really looking forward to the new focus. 🙂

  9. I have to be honest and say that I stopped reading a long time ago and just happened to check back in today. It’s your blog, not mine, so I’m not one to complain about what you post. It seems lately like every post is about you getting paid to travel to some hotel, paid to eat at a restaurant, or paid to have cocktails. It’s nice that your blog gives you fun opportunities, but that’s not real life and not something I enjoy reading about. My absolute favorite blog, Young House Love, posted today about their new roof that they saved for a year to pay for themselves even though they were offered a free roof from two different companies. That made me respect them even more. Their blog is their job, like yours, but getting free stuff hasn’t taken over their roots.

  10. Tina. I’ve been reading your blog for a year and a half now and I’ll be honest, I took you off my Google Reader a few weeks ago because I found myself not actually reading your posts. I would skim them. Barely. I was starting to feel like I couldn’t relate to you any more. The trips, the hotels, everything. That’s not what I want to see when I read food + healthy living blogs. I’m really glad to see you will be returning back to your roots. I hope you actually do. I think it is great that your blog has allowed you the opportunity to become a professional blogger – I’m definitely envious of the lifestyle. But I’ll say it. More often than not, I’d find myself thinking that you are a sell-out. Probably sounds harsh but that’s what I was thinking. It’s easy to get carried away when free things are being thrown at you. I’ve almost been feeling like you should have a seperate blog for your traveling and hotel reviews since you love hotels so much. Drawing boundries is hard. But being true to yourself should be easy.

  11. I have to echo many people’s comments about not reading your blog as much lately, mostly due to the new format and layout. I can’t help but feel like I’m being forced to click more every time I read so that your blog is more profitable. Don’t get me wrong, you deserve to be successful and you obviously work really hard and are great at what you do! I guess I’m just “lazy,” as some commenters have described it. 🙂 On that note, I tend to skip over the trip reviews as well. I love reading about your original recipes, workout tips, daily adventures with Murphy and Mal, etc. Can’t wait to see what changes you make!

  12. I wasn’t going to comment because there are so many comments already. However, I thought I would add that I am excited for your return to your roots! I have been reading less — not because I disapprove of the new layout, free trips, Opensky, etc. — it’s just that those things aren’t what got me hooked to your blog initially, and I guess I thought your roots were more interesting!
    I actually really like product reviews because they help me decide whether or not to try a new product. I don’t mind reading that certain items are available in your Opensky store — but I’m a serious bargain hunter, so I won’t be buying anything unless it’s something I really want and it’s at the lowest price I can find.
    Finally, I don’t dislike the new format, but I can see how it could be reducing your readership. It means your title and first sentence have to be really, really enticing in order for the reader to click on the post and continue reading. And especially if I have limited time, I’ve found myself deciding not to click and continue reading(sorry!), whereas before I would always read the whole post. (To my benefit, it’s been cutting down on my procrastination habits!)

  13. Oh, also, I should add that I love when you experiment in the kitchen and come up with healthy sweet treats! I’m a big fan of reduced guilt baking!

  14. Tina, everyone else has said it perfectly! Ive been a reader for a while now but recently haven’t been reading much, Ill come to the site but when I see its about a trip, hotel review, review of a farm, etc., I tend to not read….But I am SUPER SUPER excited your going back to your roots…I truly cant wait!

  15. Best blog ever. 🙂 You were one of the first healthy living blogs I started reading over a year ago and I always seem to be on your blog when I am looking for inspiration. The only thing I miss lately are all the pages you used to have easily accessible. They are something that I would refer to a bit and end up doing lots of click throughs.

    But honestly, that’s not such a major thing and I think you need to remember to do what makes you happy. 🙂 Love your blog!

  16. I have been a reader for over a year, and each day I look forward to reading your posts. Not once have I disliked any of your posts or the changes that have occurred on your blog. I enjoy reading and seeing pictures of your adorable Murphy. I feel that in every post the readers get a glimpse of your personality. Whether it be your witty sense of humor, your eagerness to learn about Organic food, your love for food and creating new recipes, your love of all things fitness, and your sweetness towards others. I feel that people learn and grow everyday, and I have seen this through your blog. Everyone makes changes in their lives, and you have given us readers the privilege to experience your life and you have generously been open about it. I commend you on your openness, and allowing others into your life. It takes a lot of guts! Thank you for your continued honesty about your life and being honest about your many experiences. Not once have I ever thought you to be a sell out, I see your multiple trips as business as being a blogger. Just as an accountant goes on business trips for their clients. I felt I was living vicariously through your beautiful pictures and detailed descriptions of the food and experiences you have had. It takes courage and strength to leave one’s family to travel for their job. I had the privilege to meet you at the HLS, you are an amazing, inspiring, kind-hearted person. Not once did I feel that you were a celebrity blogger but a normal everyday person 🙂 I feel that person I read about in your blog, is the real person that I met at the HLS. You are a genuinely good person. No matter what the changes that you choose to make for your blog, I will always be a dedicated reader. If it takes me clicking a link to make the blog reader to blog writer connection, so be it. I hope you can understand my jibberish, and know that this reader loves your blog!

  17. I am a new reader of your blog. One of my friends told me about it, I think she knows you IRL. Anyway, I love it! I love that you blog about what you eat everyday. I am always looking for ways to eat healthy throughout the day (not just recipes but stuff you have that can be thrown together) so your posts are a huge inspiration! All in all I love your blog!

  18. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. The best you can do is write about the things you feel passionate about. And hope that those passions pay the bills 😉

  19. I’m really happy to hear this! Both because it sounds like you took a good look at what will make you happy, and because when Is started reading your blog two years ago it was definitely different! I still read it, but I definitely feel like I’m missing the flavor of Tina sometimes! Congrats on figuring out what will make you feel good!

  20. #158 Lori

    Sorry you seem to be so angry about this!

    I am glad at least a few others understand my feelings .

    I totally agree it’s Tina’s blog and not ours. Youa re expressing your opinions and so am I. I don’t expect her to
    change to accomodate me, but I do love the fact she listens to all kinds of opinions and ideas.Readers do not have to all think alike and Tina can choose to ignore any comments she wants to.

    I wish you well and hope you aren’t as ticked off as you sound.


  21. Tina, the only thing I dislike about your blog is the layout, mostly due to the small sections of each post and then having to click ‘read more’. In my opinion it’s just a lot easier to read 2 full blog posts at a time, especially if you fall behind on reading! otherwise I still love your blog and look forward to keep reading it 🙂

  22. As long as Murphy makes a daily appearance on this blog…!!!!

    A lot of respect for you for choosing to reevaluate and go with your heart on this decision. Love the blog, pictures, travel, stories, recipes, exercise, etc! You always have such a positive energy in your writing while remaining human. It’s very refreshing to sit down to read your posts at the end of the day!

  23. Little late to the party here, but I cannot say enough “yays” for this decision! Looking forward to seeing more of YOU on your blog…back to the roots will be great! 🙂

  24. @Marla:

    LOL..I am not ticked off. You gotta love “web tones” 😉 Or maybe my typing puntucations get out of hand. LOL

    Just stating how I feel is all. I’ve been around bloggers awhile and trust me, if there is anyone who has an authentic voice when telling stories about trips and such, it’s Tina. THAT is why I adore her so much. She’s not really pimping any companies…just sharing her daily journey while she’s at the event. I LOVE hearing about it all because it’s people like me who know nothing about the healthier lifestyle and want to learn. Maybe many of you read her because she is healthy blogger but some of us read her because we want to be. All the info she gives is true and real and much more personal than anyone else I know that writes about trips.

    I just want her decisions to because SHE wants them, and not because her readers want them. While I totally respect the fact that we should hear out our readers, I also know that it’s ultimately what makes us happy that will determine the success of peace of mine and of the blog.


  25. Tina, love the blog! Whatever changes you make will be awesome because you have the desire to make a great thing better. The other night I dreamed I had a pug! ?? I am not even a dog person, it had to have been Murphy inspired. 🙂

  26. I love your blog. Read it everyday BUT I must admit, I always skip the posts where you visit places where it seems like you were paid to review. I know it’s part of your job but when you write for days about visits to farms or such and write 3, 4, + posts about it, they don’t have the same casual feel. They “feel” like you’re writing for a newspaper or magazine. Otherwise, love your daily posts and look forward to reading them daily!

  27. Hey Lori

    Glad to know you are not irked!

    I think it’s pretty clear now we BOTH agree Tina has to make her own decisions.

    Some of us can’t stand” click to read more’s”,some of us could care less, and some of us are in betweens….

    Just want things to stay friendly and civil on the comment area in respect to Tina’s good natured persona!

    Have a good day! 🙂

  28. I think after you’ve been blogging for a while, it is very normal to feel this way. I’ve been struggling with “blog feelings” too…and have gone through the process of everything you are talking about. CNC is one of the first blogs I started reading (def the first healthy living blog) and I’ve always loved it. Follow your gut, your heart and your instincts, just be the true you that everyone loves and everything else will fall into place.

    Hugs Tina! 🙂

  29. Your blog is seriously amazing and I love your list of ideas. I am fairly new to the blog world and keep going back and forth on how to write for myself and how to write for others so that I can successfully establish a community with the blog world. Your blog is inspiration on how to create such a foundation! 🙂

  30. The only thing that was slightly annoying before was that every day there seemed to be multiple pictures of 1) oatmeal and 2) iced coffee.

  31. First off, I really enjoy your blog Tina. Love the trip recaps (like the oven one) but not the restaurant ones so much (because I don’t live in the US…)


    Yes, Tina should ultimately do what she wants but she must listen to her readers – she’s writing the blog for us! If reader numbers are down, then obviously some readers aren’t happy and should be listened too. If Tina was still writing her blog for herself or it didn’t form part of her income (lucky lady, btw!) then reader numbers might not matter – but they do…

  32. i like it when you post new recipes after you used it. then post about it eating it. you have a good combo of eating and working out. other blogs i have read…i think putting in 8hrs a day on working out is a bit much!!

  33. I think you have good readership because they can identify with your life but also because you have such a good work ethic and positive look on life. Personally, I had a hard time identifying with the traveling/food events – but that must have been so exciting and fun for you! I enjoyed reading about it. I wouldn’t exclude some of those neat opportunities just because you are trying to make an image. Everyone likes some familiarity/consistency with a little spice thrown in every so often. But, there are some things that make your blog stand out. I think you did a good job identifying them – the salient features!

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