Childhood Outlook

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.

Reminiscing with my family last night got me thinking about my childhood. From the outside, growing up in a single-parent home with not a lot of money probably didn’t seem like an ideal situation. As my mom would say, “we didn’t have a pot to piss in,” but somehow, the three of us made it work. We’re all really laid-back (I’m the most high-strung if that says anything), so even though we lived through some tough times, we just went with the flow and made the best of the situation.

The other night when I had dinner at my sister’s house, she gave me a bunch of food that she didn’t like or wasn’t planning to eat: oat bran, raisins, and honey. Growing up, we were taught to never waste food, so this mindset still sticks with us today. Pretty much every time I see my sister (or my mom), we always have a big bag full of stuff to give to that person– usually, it’s food, but sometimes it’s clothing or other random items that we can’t bear to just toss in the trash. Over the years, we’ve saved quite a bit of money sharing between us!

I find it so interesting how one’s childhood shapes their habits and outlook on life. I always thought that I was my own independent person– someone who went off to college and developed her own ideas and ways to look at life. But, the older I get, the more I realize how much my childhood and my family influence who I am today. I love realizing that I say the same things as my mom or do things just like one of my aunts or uncles.



After my dentist appointment (no cavities!), I was so ready for breakfast. Sitting in that dentist chair with an empty, grumbling stomach was not very fun. I needed food ASAP!

When I got home, I whipped up a quick bowl of Raspberry Pecan Mad Hectic Oatmeal. (LOVE this stuff!) I added a scoop of peanut butter to the mix.


I enjoyed my oatmeal with a wonderful iced tea latte. This time, I tried Golden Moon’s Sugar Caramel Oolong, which had a nice, sweet caramel flavor to it. So delish!

If you’re interested in trying this flavor (or the Coconut Pouchong) for yourself, you can buy it here.


Like last time, I brewed the tea the night before, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and then added ice and vanilla soy milk. (When I make tea for an iced tea latte, I double the amount of tea and use the same amount of water to make the brew stronger. The flavor holds up much better when mixed with ice and milk.)

So, what do you guys think of these Golden Moon teas? What else would you want to know about them? Which one is your favorite? Golden Moon is a fan of Carrots ‘N’ Cake and is willing to answer any questions. Just let me know!


Cookie Friday

Here’s some Cookie Friday inspiration! Check out this deliciousness! :mrgreen:

Bite Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who entered! Aren’t those bags a great idea? I’m pretty much obsessed with them.

Here’s your winner: 385

#385 Liz

These are awesome. I hardly even use the plastic produce bags- but these would be so convenient and sustainable! My favorite is the modern harvest pattern.

Congrats, Liz! Please email me at to claim your prize.

If you still want these bags in your life, you can get 20% off with the code: EARTH20. Happy shopping!

Question of the Day

How did your upbringing affect your outlook on life?

P.S. I’m hosting a granola giveaway on Trading Up Downtown this morning! 😉



  1. I love hearing about how childhood influences our lives (it’s the psychology degree in me!!), it’s so fascinating! I’d say my dad being nasty and depressed all through my childhood made me shy and wary of men (v annoying!). Money was always tight too, so I’ve learnt to spend wisely, and never waste food or clothes (stuff goes to the charity shop if needs be, NOT the bin!). But I think everything has just made me very close to my mum.
    I don’t think I’m old enough (at 20) to know the exact effect it’s all had…no doubt it’ll come out the older I get!
    It’s so fascinating though 😀

  2. My family was and always has been obsessed with food! On all family vacations (and still to this day) we would plan what and where to have each and every meal, and then everything else was just filler. I think thats a lot of what led to me overdoing it with food and letting my weight get so out of control. Now, I still am pretty food-centric, but I try to make my focus on healthy and nutritious food.

  3. My family was always very tight knit so I see that as something that I desire for my family one day. We always felt open enough to tell each other anything and while it wasn’t always received well, we supported each other and loved each other through it. I’m grateful that my parents stressed the importance of family and didn’t let us just leave the house on a whim or not eat dinner at the dinner table. All of those things make a huge difference in the outlook on family.

  4. I also grew up in a single parent environment and it completely molded who I am and a lot of my convictions! And I couldn’t be more proud of it. I laughed and completely agreed with your comment about always getting or giving a bag of food or whatnot when visiting family. My Grandmother has done this for years, and now my Mom does it. I can’t go home without coming back to TONS of stuff, but I love it now for the quirkiness of it. In my case it’s not always food, but knick knacks and crafts. Often there is a random 1lb bag of no-name Splenda for instance (umm, thanks?), or if I’m lucky Grandma’s chewy bars. I also love now seeing the similarities between my Mom, Grandma and myself, which I may not have fully appreciated before.

  5. I had an AMAZING upbringing. I talk about it alot on my blog, but I seriously have the most incredible, perfect-to-me family. It has made me have such a strong faith and a great outlook on family. I can’t wait to do the same for my own.

  6. My upbringing really focused on how and when to spend money. If you are putting in a major investment, such as a house or car, that is when you buy something nice. However, if it’s something little, go to the dollar store 🙂

    I never had to finish all the food on my plate, but I do that personally. I absolutely hate wasting food. I always try to incorporate some food that’s almost expired into a recipe 🙂

  7. I admit I grew up in a priviliged family, but my parents never spoiled my sister and I. We were never bought fancy clothes, cars, or other material things, and my parents made sure we knew that just because they had a lot didn’t mean we were entitled to it. The things my parents did spend money on was philanthropy, education, and traveling, which has shaped me into who I am today. Giving back is extremely important to me, I’m so grateful for having the educational opportunities I did through college (I’m putting myself through grad school), and seeing the world / interacting with other cultures and developing a world view is where I like to focus my spare change.

  8. Oh, I’m a lot like my parents actually. It’s funny because we always think we’ll be SO different and as the years go by we realize that yeah, we’re actually starting to sound like and act like them in many situations!

  9. wow, there are so many things there! I would say that my parents never wasted anything either, but at the same time we would always be forced to clean out our closets and everything about once a year. while sometimes i’m attached to things, a lot of times i’m not, so i don’t have a problem with giving it away at all. we didn’t have a ton of money though, so i also learned how to save well and everything too. one thing i really appreciate is the fact that my parents have been together for almost 40 years! it’s set a really great example of love, affection, and working through conflict for my sister and i in all of our relationships 🙂

  10. I have a great family and extended family that made my childhood so fun! There was always a sense that you do anything for family and if someone needed you, you would be there no matter what. I thought that was normal, but after going off to college and even getting married and getting a first hand look into others upbringings, that’s not always the case. Now I realize something that I took for granted because I thought it was “normal” is very special.

  11. We always had a home-cooked dinner as a family. We only had fast-food when traveling or on very rare occasions like after a baseball game. To this day, my husband and I usually eat dinner at the table and it is our time to catch up on how each other’s day went. It thinkit’s been an important part of our relationship and staying connected. I also never default to fast food. I can whip something up at home just as fast and really don’t even think about it.

    My parents also put an emphasis on being active and outside and we ran and exercised as a family. I think that’s why being active is still so important and so central in my life. My dad and I still run together any chance we get and he and my brother split my marathon, each running half, as support for me. It’s one of my best memories

  12. My upbringing definitely made me an independent person and made me fight hard for what I wanted.

    I, too, was raised in a single-parent home and I had to learn to take care of myself kind of early. I had to cook a lot of my own meals and do my own laundry because my mom had to work. Sometimes I’m really happy about this! I see young adults trying to live on their own for the first time and they fail because they don’t know how to take care of themselves after being babied by their parents for so long.

  13. I think my upbringing can most be seen in my morals and values and faith. My parents raised me Christian and it’s what makes me me. But it’s also something me and my family share. Had I not been brought up that way, I would be a totally different person.

  14. I don’t think it is possible not to be completely affected by your upbringing. Both of my parents came from more modest backgrounds than I have, my father is an immigrant success story, and I have been exposed to a marriage of cultures, languages, and values that surprisingly compliment each other quite well. Some of who each and every one of is is a product of our upbringing. And I couldn’t be more thankful :). What wonderfully appreciative thoughts for a Friday morning, thanks for planting the seed!

  15. My mom and step dad definitely emphasized how important it was to save money, live below your means, and also stay active with walking and other exercise. Those things stick with me, but sometimes I wish I could spend a little bit more money without freaking out!

  16. Ahh, childhood definitely affected my outlook today. Growing up in a conservative Louisiana town with democratic, Unitarian parents, I always felt really out of place among my peers. But now, I’m grateful for my parents for giving me an extremely open-minded, loving view on life and people. I try to be as open-minded and non-judgemental as possible, and I definitely owe a lot of this to my parents. From an early age, I learned that everyone, regardless of age, sex, race, or sexual preference, deserves equal rights (and equal love!). Sounds like some hippy crap, but it’s true! 🙂

    Happy Friday!

  17. I’m frugal because of my family. Being raised by a single mother gave me the mindset that independence is important and that woman can take care of herself without having to be reliant on a man for every thing. That said, I can’t change a tire. 😉

  18. My family does the same thing. My mom always goes through her cabinets when I am there to give me anything that she isn’t going to use or that I need so I don’t have to buy it. I don’t like wasting food either, food is too good to waste! I always send people home with leftovers 🙂

  19. Nice oats. Raisins and dried fruits taste great in cereals I personally think.
    I try to forget my upbringing…I think its best to stay in the “now”…i struggle with that…but better than remembering hardships of yesterday…or worry of tommorow!

  20. A lot of people ask me how I got interested in “nutrition/dietetics” – while I never thought about it much in College, my first answer (without thinking) is ALWAYS something along the lines of “Well, my Dad is a Dr and my Mom was something of a health-nut. So, we ate healthy, and never thought about it” 🙂 It really amazing how much “nuture” affects our everyday decisions.

  21. The further away from home I go, the more I realize how much it shaped me. Pretty similar to you, my mom raised 3 of us as a single mom without a ton of money. I was the oldest child and had lots of responsibility and babysitting duties. It definitely shaped my personality as it is today- in a good way! On a less positive note, in my dad, mom, and step-dad’s families (they all have 4 or 5 siblings) probably 80% are divorced and that has made me very skeptical of marriage. It’s terrible!

  22. I definitely think we are completely shaped by how we group up. I see this all the time with my fiance and I because a lot of our values/morals are the same, but some of the random ways in which we were raised are the things we “debate” about now haha.

  23. I’ve found myself becoming more like my parents as I get older – I suppose it’s an inevitability! My parents raised my brother and me eating super healthy food. We were well known amongst our friends as the ones who ate tofu and other “weird” food. I rebelled a little bit as a teenager: I would indulge in junk food at my friends’ houses. I didn’t eat very well in college either; although I ate my fill of “loaded” salads, there was also a plethora of pizza, nachos, and beer. Once I reached grad school and starting cooking for myself, (and John), I became more and more interested in adopting the food philosophy that my parents raised me on. I’m so glad my palate has matured!

  24. This might be completely dorky, but growing up in such a loving family (both extended and my parents- I caught my parents smooching a lot growing up) taught me how to love others and love my life, no matter what the situation.

    I love life.

  25. I think that the older I get the more I realize how much I am like my mom and dad and how they have influenced me. We laughed so much in my household and had so many inside jokes. I really hope I will have that with my own children some day. Great post, Tina!

  26. The older I get the more I realize how much my parents and childhood shaped my life. My parents divorced when I was about 12 years old. My mom managed to send my sister to college and bring my brother and myself up to be resourceful. I can make something out of nothing. I don’t know may people that can do the same.

  27. My Mom and Dad are such hard workers and they definitely expressed to me and my sister at a young age that if you work hard, and put your mind to something, the sky is the limit. I love that they also installed in us to always be on time! I think that’s such a great habit to have. Although, the only downfall is that I get super high anxiety if I’m even running a minute late! Haha.

  28. Um did we have the same mom?! My mom and grandmother used to say that exact same thing all the time. I also grew up in a single parent household and while it definitely had it’s down side, I think it’s made me stronger and more independent.

  29. It’s amazing how similar some of our experiences are!

    I lost my dad when I was 5 so I grew up in a single home with 2 brothers. Somehow life was always sunny in my eyes! I think losing my father in such a tragic way we all were provided a deep, natural form of resiliency. You have to develop that during tragedy…but now I’m one heck of an independent, strong and resilient girl!

  30. I grew up with not having too much money either so food definitely never went to waste! Even now I’m an uber planner when it comes to groceries so that when we’re out shopping we don’t just grab stuff we won’t use. This also goes towards material things. I don’t shop for things unless I absolutely have to!

    I’m finding that, more and more these days I’m turning into my mother! The maternal/provider/nuturer has come out in full force and I love nothing more than creating meals for my loved ones and seeing them happy and healthy.

  31. My family has always been very close and very open about just about everything. My Husband’s was kind of the opposite so I have definitely influenced him and as a result his family. We are all very tight knit now and I love it!

  32. My parents divorsed when I was very young and because of the difficulties my dad had (he was an alcoholic), I grew up very fast. Because of this, I’m so very close with my mom that I never went through the whole “I hate my mom” stage in my teens. I dont think that I’ve ever had an argument with her – until recently over wedding stuff! I love my mom and her sisters, they are my world 🙂

  33. I grew up in a very busy household, I’m one of 5 kids, both of my parents have always worked full time, and we were always on the go between sports and family things. I think their working background has made me more driven and having a big family makes me love being home and kept us all close. I love cookie Friday, but I don’t think I’ll get time to bake any today 🙁 guess I’ll have to pick one up!

  34. Good question! I definitely grew up on basic, whole foods. Not too much processed junk, which is where the boomerang has landed me now as an adult.

    I do have to add that my parents were definitely not adventurous diners. We had American, Italian, Mexican and a sprinkling of German foods. My husband has introduced me to Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, and Indian food. All of which I love so much!

  35. I grew up in a pretty average family and loved every minute of it (ok, maybe not every minute but most of them!). I always hope that when I have my own family it will be very similar.

  36. loved this little glimpse into your life. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman. And I love that your family doesn’t waste stuff; my family is pretty good about that, but I’m out of the loop now that I moved away! I still send books to my family that I think they’d like, but food doesn’t ship as well. 🙂

  37. My upbringing taught me to not quit. Keep working at it (whatever IT is). That helped me when I was trying to lose 100 pounds. It was a long process-almost 2 years. Of course I wanted the weight to come off faster, I had many plateaus, and was frustrated many many weigh-ins. But I kept at it and it worked.

  38. For the longest time it was just me, my sister and my mom. We did not have much, but we got by. I started cooking at a very young age because of this. I think it made me become more of a care taker. To this day, I do things like I am a ’50s wife. I try to make things perfect sometimes to a fault.

  39. I think I definitely appreciate money, since we didn’t have a ton of it growing up (we were smack dab in the middle), and I’m also not addicted to TV since we didn’t have cable growing up! I so appreciate that fact now, but when I was a kid, i really wanted all those channels all my friends had…

  40. As soon as I turned 14 I got a job. Anything I wanted, I had to buy it. That was the case even when I was little so I learned to save birthday and Christmas money from relatives. When I got a cellphone, it was my phone and my bill. Same with buying a car – I buy the car, the repairs, the gasoline, the inspection, the oil change, so on and so on. I was taught to work hard, save money, and be frugal. The deal my parents struck had was that they would meet us halfway on college. I went to a state college, and busted my ass applying for and receiving scholarships so that I whittled my college cost to nearly nil…. So after working so hard for four years, even more than that because we had been working hard and saving since HS, my parents surprised me with the fact that they would cover college. They did the same thing for my brother six years earlier – and the whole thing was kept a secret. I understand how doubly blessed I am – to end college with not only without debt, but also with the work ethic and saving habits I learned. By not spoiling my brother and I with cars, paying our bills, etc. they were able to reward us in such a better way…. Sometimes I get jealous – I have a problem with coveting – of my friends whose parents lease them really cute Mazdas and Subaru’s while I rock my 96 corolla, but I know Im a better person for it. Plus, like some other friends, I’m not 6,000 dollars in debt with clothes and gadgets, because I learned better spending habits… That was kind of long. But also, I talk like my mom all the time. I say all her expressions.

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