Choked 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.

Wow, I am totally blown away by the comments and emails that I’ve received from you guys. Thank you so much for your support and well wishes. I actually got a little choked up reading them today. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. It really does make things less scary. Again, thank you.


I tried to keep lunch bland and easy on the intestines by eating chicken and rice soup with some Popchips and plenty of water. This meal mostly kept my insides happy.

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Just a little while ago, I snacked on a Raw Revolution Bar, which was very tasty. Hopefully, it doesn’t upset my stomach!

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Even though I’m dealing with some health issues right now, I plan to keep CNC as ”˜normal’ as possible. I’ll probably talk about my health here and there, but I don’t want it to be the main focus of my blog. You’ll also probably see some changes in the foods that I eat, but, hopefully, things will be back to normal soon. (I’m taking four different drugs! I better start to feel well soon!)

Three Questions Thursday

Here’s the next installment of  Three Questions Thursday! Keep those questions coming!

You said you gained ten pounds training for your marathon in January, and I wondered how that happened. I’ve lost weight running, and your comment made me wonder if I’m doing something wrong. Was it muscle you gained? Any clarification you can provide would be most grateful. 

Basically, I consumed more calories than I burned, so I put on weight. Here are a few posts about my marathon weight gain:

Could you maybe make a post about fitting in fitness/workouts for people who have a job where they are not their own boss? I find it very difficult to sometimes relate to your posts because you work from home, and can do things whenever you want. I feel as though if I had a more flexible schedule, it would be a breeze to run every day. But when I have to be in an office at a certain time, for an amount of time that I don’t get to choose for myself”¦ it becomes difficult to take your advice on exercising.

My two biggest tips for fitting exercise into your day:

  • Become a morning exerciser. For me, getting my workout done in the morning sets a healthy tone, so I make healthier decisions all day long. Plus, there are fewer obstacles to prevent me from working out. I mean, there isn’t much going on at 5:00 AM, so it’s easier to stick with my exercise routine.
  • Schedule your workouts into your week. Every Sunday night (when I worked full-time and now), I plan my workouts for the upcoming week. Whether it’s a group exercise class, easy run, or day off, they all get put into my calendar, which helps me find time for exercise (even if it’s just 20 minutes) and keeps me accountable. Once my workouts are scheduled for the week, I plan everything else (errands, social events, etc.) around them. Planning out my workouts also helps get me into the right state of mind. For instance, if I know I only have 45 minutes for a workout, I mentally prepare myself to boogie, so I can get changed into workout clothes, break a sweat, and get back to my life.

Before I worked from home, I used to write about this topic all of time on CNC, so here are a few more helpful posts:

How did you go from working full-time to blogging? Do you have any tips for those of us who work full-time, but have a blog too?

In October 2009, I quit my fancy-schmancy, full-time job at Harvard to blog for a living, but resigning from my job didn’t happen overnight. It took months and months of planning and calculated decisions, which I explain in this post. Basically, I made a list of what was important to me and then came up with game plan to achieve my goal. It wasn’t easy (there was plenty of stress and crying involved), but, eventually, it worked out. As for tips, check out this post: Blogging Tips for the 9-to-5.



  1. Thank you for the links in question #3…will read those next!

    And I am glad you got so many supportive emails and comments and that you’re feelin’ the love 🙂 You are going through something really hard and it’s wonderful that people are being supportive and kind!

    I love how you’re not afraid to tackle tough questions from weight gain to lifestyle/workout choices and questions. Thanks for always keeping it real, Tina 🙂

  2. Feel better Tina! Sending happy thoughts your way for a healthy you to return soon. Murphy looks like he was about to dive into your lunch!

  3. I work about 50 hours per week at a full time demanding engineering job and I don’t work out in the morning. I do however schedule my workouts for Sun, Sat, Tues and Thurs of every week and sometimes on my off-Fridays. I work out in the afternoon since it releases all the cooped up energy I have from sitting all day.

  4. Is this something that you have to “live with” or is this something that will go away over time? I don’t know much about it and I’m just curious. I really hope you start to feel better! I loved that first picture with Murphy peeking over the table. SO cute!

  5. I meant to add earlier, that if you can’t get any relief with medications, I suggest looking into a registered dietician who can advise on the low FOD-MAP diet. It was developed in Australia and is becoming more widespread in Australasia and Europe, I’m not sure about America yet. I recently attended a talk on it given by the National Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, as some patients are receiving huge benefit from it, with apparently 80%+ reduction in symptoms. Look particularly at the research from Sue Shepherd and coming out of the universities in Melbourne, who are doing a lot of the pioneering work.

  6. My husband has lost over 30 pounds since January and I’ve proud of him! I’ve always said that you don’t lose weight with cycling, but you will lose weight with running. We were talking about this just last night, that after long runs you don’t feel like eating as much but after a bike ride you are famished! So, I’m also surprised you gained from marathon training!

    We have a weekly set schedule for work-outs, and have Fridays & Sundays off. This allows to to plan our work-outs together, and have a set schedule to hang out with friends. I cook every night and I try to invite people over instead of going out! It’s hard to find balance between being healthy and still maintaining friendships. When you hang out with friends you tend to go drinking or meet up at a restaurant. All centered around eating!

    I work in schools, and am so happy summer is here so that I can be very flexible with my work out schedule. It’s awesome. During the school year, I just create my schedule and stick with it. I tend to work out in the evenings so that my husband and I can do it that together.

    I’m sorry about your colitis. Have you ever read The Whole LIfe Nutrition Kitchen? They have a smoothie fast that you do for awhile, and then slowly add foods back into your diet to see which ones are upsetting your digestion. This might be helpful.

  7. Hey Tina, Sorry to hear that. One of my good friends was diagnosed with colitis about 7 months ago and she’s actually almost back to normal (eating wise – minus advil) and has regained all the weight she lost from her body not absorbing the nutrients she was putting into it. Anyway, it’s interesting to read about and why they think people might get it (seems like Jewish background does tend to be one factor) but otherwise, they don’t really know why. ANyway, just sending good thoughts your way! Hang in there.

  8. It’s always initally rough for me to drag my booty out of bed early to workout, but once I’m up and OUT of the bed, everything is usually fine.. I just have to remind myself that I’ll never regret a workout, and bam!

    How was that Raw bar, btw?

  9. So glad you’re feeling a little better after this morning 🙂

    That lunch looks delicious and definitely something I would happily eat – health issues or not!

    I’m curious about that Raw Revolution bar – I’ve seen them around and always wanted to try them. Glad to know you liked it, maybe I’ll pick it up next time one catches my eye!

  10. Girl I really do hope you feel better soon and I’ll take your blog any way it comes. Getting sick is a normal part of life and I think it shows that you’re a real person, so sharing about how you go on about life while being sick is just fine in my book.

  11. I’m very sorry to hear about your GI issues. Honestly I hope that isn’t what you have but as someone who “suddenly” got Colitis out of nowhere about 8 years ago and living with it everyday, I can assure you that you can still live a pretty active life with some proper management. The severity of the condition varies from person to person but for the most part they have some amazing drugs out there that can help you live a pretty normal life. I’ve ran many marathons and have been very active except for a few episodes in these past couple years. I decided a few years ago that I was not going to let this thing dictate how I was going to live my life. I can honestly say that this condition has caused me to value every moment of every day of my life. I especially value those days when I am painful and “normal” because this thing can be debilitating at times. There is no cure but proper management goes a long way.

  12. I have to say, this is the first post of yours that I have read, but thank you so much! It is packed full of info! I hope your health issues improve!

  13. Hi Tina,

    I’m a long time reader, and I just wanted to wish you well! You are a tough chick (just look at your marathon skills if you’re having any doubt), and I know you will do whatever it takes to manage this. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” -Winston Churchill

  14. I can relate to the health issue, although not at all similar, it was a devastating blow to me. Over 7 years ago, out of nowhere, my retina decided to detach! I am very nearsighted, but had no idea this was a risk. I was told it was “floaters” and to not worry”¦stay in a dark room so it would not annoy me?!!? After 2 weeks and realizing I was beginning to lose a portion of my sight I went back in and demanded to be seen again. Sure enough I was sent into emergency surgery with a giant retinal tear. I was on disability for 3 months and had no idea if my sight would be retained or not. I went through a major depression and this was after a lot of great things happened in my life (married 3 months before, new house). It was so difficult to deal with since I had NO CONTROL (control freak here) and no matter how well I took care of myself, this was going to happen to me. I am now seeing 20/30 in that eye (after 2 surgeries) and I have lost the 30+pounds I put on. Yes, it is great for everyone to say stay positive, but it is also ok to be frustrated and angry that your life will change as a result of this. Of course when I look back I think why didn’t I push them harder instead of waiting 2 weeks and letting this get worse, deep down I knew this was serious but I did not push it. If I can give you any advice with dealing with a medical issue, go with your instinct. If something is not feeling right whether it is with your Dr or the diagnosis, don’t be afraid to push it. Take Care of yourself and I hope you get everything figured out soon.

  15. Thanks for the q and a….keep up the blandness…I hope you are able to return to regular food soon (I find that’s the hardest part of being sick…missing out on my fibre-ific favs!

  16. Just in case you needed something funny to laugh at today…..

    Where I used to work (you know where….) I brought one of those Raw Revolution Bars into work. I thought it was totally gross. I gave it to a coworker who said, “This smells like butt!” We gave it to a third coworker who ate it. We laughed at her for weeks!

  17. Tina! I love your blog and reading all about your healthy lifestyle and how we can all be healthy! I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through a rough time right now with your health. I am thinking about you and sending positive vibes your way!

    P.S. Next time you’re in NYC, I hope we get the chance to meet; I study at NYU and would love to introduce you to one of my favorite NYC restaurants! 🙂

  18. Great advice. I’m starting a full-time job in September and I know I’m going to have to adapt my workouts to fit with my new schedule. Not looking forward to the prospect of 6 a.m. workouts but I’m sure once it becomes a regular habit, it won’t be that hard.

    Sorry to hear about your health issues. I experienced similar problems for about a month last summer… my doctor never figured out what was causing it, but it eventually just went away on its own. I hope you get better soon! GI issues are not pleasant 🙁

  19. I loove the three questions and your answers!!

    I’ve also had some stomach issues the past couple of weeks…in my case it was an ulcer, but I basically was feeling the same way that you are! Hope you get better very soon!

  20. I love the three questions thursday!! As a new blogger, and trying to get into a healthier lifestyle, this post had lots of great tips! Thank you, and I hope that you will get well soon! xoxo =]

  21. Tina – I’m glad the support for your tummy issues has been overwhelming! For over six months I have been dealing with some serious (and severe) tummy issues myself. I’m glad that you were able to get a diagnosis so quickly, because I have not been so lucky, and have had to resort to an elimination diet. While everyone has been super supportive, and my boyfriend has been totally understanding, there is just something that you can’t explain or totally understand until you’ve experienced it! I hope you feel better soon! Education is the best medicine!!

  22. Thanks for all the links to your posts about marathon weight gain. I’m starting training for my second marathon on Monday and I’m nervous about gaining weight again. I gained 25 pounds last year when I was training for my first marathon- whoops!

  23. As someone who is newly diagnosed with gi problems- I hear your frustation and pain. It will get better, but it takes awhile. I live in the boston area and have found some great doctors to take care of me and help me get through my challenges- if you’re interested- email me!

  24. Hi Tina,
    I wanted to leave you a comment on the colitis issue – I would have sent you an email but couldn’t find your address…

    Anyway, my husband has ulcertive colitis (was diagnosed 1 week after I left my full-time job and health care – we went through 2,000 in a run of 1 1/2 weeks and 3 very scary trips to the ER – the last on resulting in him being admitted for 2 weeks) and I wanted to share with you the diet plan he was given as I thought it may help you until you can get some further advice from your own medical professionals. When he was diagnosed nobody told us what he could or couldn’t eat until he was discharged from the hospital – turns out the stuff he was eating prior to being admitted likely was half the reason he ended up in the hospital. To help you avoid that here is what he was told (and has since gone 3 1/2 years without a flair up by sticking to this diet):

    – you can have whole or wholegrain breads, white rice, pasta and most cereals but NO multigrain or cracked wheat bread, nor any muffins/breads/crackers containing nuts, seeds or dried fruits. Also avoid course bran cereals, no brown or wild rice or seasoned stuffings.

    -No regular jam or marmalade (anything with seeds in it) – but jelly is ok. No doughnuts, rich pastries or cheesecake.

    -no hot mustard, pickles, bottled sauces, pepper, salsa, or other highly seasoned food.

    -it’s okay to have tea (esp. peppermint), coffee and carbonated beverages in moderation

    -its okay to have mild herbs and spices (italian spices, cinnamon, etc.)

    -no aged or strong cheeses

    -no processed meats, fried eggs, battered chicken/fish, smoked meats, canned meats, fried poultry

    -NO nuts, seeds, dried peas or beans or lentils

    -NO raw apples, berrie, grapes, grapefruits, nectarines, melons, oranges, rhubard, tangerines. No dried fruit. NO RAW VEGGIES. No barley, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumber, onion, lettuce, lima beans, peppers, radish, sprouts, sauerkraut, tomato, turnip.

    – any of the following veggies are ok as long as they are well (ie. over) cooked: asparagus, green or yellow beans, beets, beet greens, carrots, peas, mushrooms, eggplant, parsnips, potatoes (without the peel), squash, pumpkin spinach, swiss chard, water chestnuts, tomato paste, plain tomato sauce.

    – as far as fruits go baked apples (peeled) are okay, applesauce, bananas, and canned apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums and mandarin oranges are okay.

    We honestly stick to this and like I say he hasn’t had a flair up in a few years. He misses the fresh fruit and veggies the most, but at the same time he doesn’t miss the symptoms they cause….

    Even if you use this only as a guideline for a week or two while your intestines heal a bit it will do you a world of good.

    Be warned – it’s hard to find canned soup that doesn’t have celery and onion powder in it.

    My last piece of advice – eat lots of garlic. It has helped my husband loads.

    If you have any questions, or need some ideas of easy (but safe) meals that you can eat please feel free to email me, I’d be more than happy to help you out!

    Take Care!!

  25. Tina, I just read your post from earlier. I am so sorry that you are having to deal with colitis. Like Suzi above, my husband was diagnosed with ulcertive colitis. We tried to control it with his diet (almost identical to what she posted!) which helped for several years. Unfortunately, in 2009 he ended up with a c-dif infection and from then on the diet wasn’t enough. We hit a low low and after trying many different medical treatments, we finally opted for Remicade infusions. They have absolutely changed our lives for the better.

    I guess what I’m trying to get across is that while they don’t have a definitive cure for colitis, there are many different options out there from diet, to medicines that will help you get your life back. I hope you start improving very very soon! Hang in there!

    1. @Suzi:@Wendy G: Like Suzi, and Wendy, my husband too has been diagnosed with colitis/Crohn’s disease (his MDs always seem to be going back and forth on the diagnosis). He was diagnosed in his early 20’s, we’re 28 now. Suzi’s diet suggestions are spot on…avoiding whole grains, things with small seeds or kernels (like popcorn, raspberries, etc), spicy/hot foods, alcohol, caffeine, overly fatty/greasy foods. When he’s having a flare up, he tries to adhere closely to the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast), and uses supplements like Ensure for adequate nutrition and calories. He was diagnosed about 8? years ago, and was able to control it with meds for 4 years or so, then had some flares and switched meds and was pretty good for 2-3 years. We’ve had a rough past year or so, though, and after 2 colonscopies since December, his MD is recommending Remicade. Wendy- what has your experience been? We just filled out the paperwork for Remistart, since infusions, even with our insurance, are still crazy expensive (like, $800/infusion).
      There are so many people who are affected by this condition…honestly, it’s not something people really talk about, since symptoms aren’t exactly pleasant. My husband didn’t tell me about his condition until we were dating for about 6 months, because he was uncomfortable discussing it, so I’m glad you’re sharing about this issue. Two of the girls I work with ran the Crohn’s and Colitis half-marathon last December in Vegas (through Team in Training)…if you’re feeling up to it, could be a great event, and a cause near and dear to many people.

  26. I love the 3 questions Thursday. I can relate to the person who is trying to fit in exercise with a full time job. A full time job (especially with a commute) is quite demanding, of course. For me, it’s been helpful to simply plan on getting basically nothing done on weekdays (besides working out, eating a decent meal with little prep, and a tad bit of blogging – most of my posts are written on weekends). By the time I arrive home from work at 5:30pm, change clothes, workout (where I am ridiculously sweaty), shower, take 5 minutes to heat up a meal, eat, and blog for 15 minutes, it’s 9:30. I spend a bit of time with my husband and that’s it. Time to sleep to get up again at 5:30am. Simply releasing myself from the expectation that I should be accomplishing all these things (like writing fabulous long blog posts, paying bills, doing lots of cleaning, cooking elaborate meals, etc) on weeknights really helped. One more thing is that I have friends in various work, work-from-home, or stay-at-home mom situations, and everyone struggles to fit in exercise. I had an a-ha moment went talking to a friend who is stay-at-home mom to one 6 month old. I thought surely she could fit workouts into her day better than I could. I only have a couple of precious hours when I get home from work to myself. She said, “My ONLY time to get anything done is when my baby is napping. How can I use that precious time to work out?” It was eye opening to me because I realized that in order to workout it must be a priority – and you have to be willing to sacrifice some things to do it.

  27. Please please please research the effect of a paleo diet on colitis. Something as simple as a diet change can have you feeling better in a week or two and save you tons of money. And it is a healthy diet that totally supports a fitness oriented lifestyle. Please consider it!

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