Do, Or Do Not

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots β€˜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.

Do, or do not. There is no try.

Wise, old Yoda was right on, wasn’t he?


So, guys, let’s have a little heart-to-heart chat.

I’m not off to a good start with my Lose the Dough challenge. I’m doing okay with the fitness and balance elements, but I’m really slacking in the diet department. Last night, for instance, after I blogged, I ended up eating 3 more bowls of cereal. Cereal and I just can’t seem to find a healthy balance. Once I start, I can’t stop! πŸ˜• Plus, there have been other instances where small snacks have not been documented on the blog– and obviously, those calories still count!

Basically, what I am saying is that if I really want to Lose the Dough, I need to DO IT. No half-ass trying, ya know? I’m actually considering counting calories again. 😯 Maybe it’s just what I need to get “serious” about my challenge? I know that calorie counting works for me because it’s how I originally lost weight, but I just don’t like dealing with/thinking about all of those numbers. I dunno. I thought my calorie counting days were behind me, but maybe doing it for a few days isn’t a bad idea?

Anyway, onto lunch!


Tasty and satisfying lunch today! πŸ˜€


I started with a homemade salad with romaine, grape tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, sliced turkey, crumbled Gorgonzola, pistachios, and oven-baked zucchini. Lots of delicious flavors in this salad!


I also had a banana and a Vega Whole Food Vibrancy Bar.

IMG_3582.JPG IMG_3584.JPG

Yoga Day USA

Love this! πŸ˜€

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In the spirit of karma yoga, or service to others, all Yoga Day USA classes and workshops are free ”” or nearly free. The brainchild of the Yoga Alliance, this powerful annual event is held in yoga studios, parks, beaches and private homes throughout the US.

Grocery Shopping 101

Curious to see how I save money when grocery shopping? Check out my newest post on Trading Up Downtown: Grocery Shopping 101.



  1. Tina, if calorie counting worked for you to lose the weight AND you were able to stop, then I would say why not. HOWEVER, ever since I started calorie counting, I had/am having a hard time stopping. Do what you know is best for you. Calorie counting is definitely time consuming and just overall exhausting on my mind, body and spirit. I talk about it on my “about me” section if you are interested. But like I said, if you were able to do it and then stop, then by all means do what works for you!

    On the cereal issue…I agree with some of the other comments. Get it out of your house! One time, I bought a bunch of Cheerio Snack Mixes because they were on sale for $1 a bag. Unfortunately since I had them in my house, I ate them. and ate them. and ate them until a few bags were gone. FINALLY, I had to put them away and I completely forgot about them. Out of sight, out of mind. If they are not there, i cannot eat them and honestly, I was fine before without them. It is what it is, just a snacky junk food that I don’t NEED. I would say get rid of foods (at least for a while) that you don’t NEED.

    Hope that helps. Good luck Tina!

  2. Cereal is horribly evil. I eat entire boxes as one serving… you really can’t stop haha (Yet I can eat just one potato chip…)
    Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll have it figured out soon. I used to count calories and now the thought of crunching numbers after lunch gags me. I’ll never go back to that!

  3. Tina, i agree with the comment that this has nothing to do with being hungry. it’s not about putting more fat in your diet or upping your fiber intake. it’s a simple response to stress or something else that’s bothering you. maybe the pressure of everything you’re going through with the book and the new job or maybe just the implementation of the new plan and the knowledge that so many readers are following you in your journal.
    whatever it is, you’re so strong for posting about it! i simply do not buy cereal anymore. period. i will consume the contents of the box, then move on to other things. it’s not restriction or deprivation to avoid foods that trigger you (i mean that in a non-disordered context); it’s *healthy*. Why tempt yourself every day? If you want cereal, you can go out and buy an individual box. environmentally wasteful, yes, but so is downing several giant boxes of cereal, then going to the store and buying more foods to binge on (that’s me, not you or your readers).

  4. Tina, like everyone else, I appreciate your honesty about the issue. I gained 15-20 pounds in a semester abroad emotionally eating- and I’m pretty sure 90% of it was cereal! I don’t think counting calories makes a difference for you- it’s either knowing what you need to eat or not you do SO well already! Plus at least you aren’t in europe- there’s a chocolate/special K cereal with hazelnuts that was known to last mere hours in my apt.

  5. Tina, you know you’re in great shape and look amazing. So many people including myself consider you a fitness and healthy living role model and that’s why we read your blog.

  6. I’ve done the same thing with cereal before- it’s addicting.

    You already have a great body so you definitely don’t need to stress the small stuff lady! I’m sure you’ll choose which option is right for you whether it entails calorie counting or not.

  7. Tina, I know you’re going to do great!

    Maintaining a food blog means that we see what you eat everyday, and at the risk of being a backseat eater, I must mention that I’m always surprised at how small some of your portions are, particularly at dinnertime. As you’re revamping your eating, it might be a good idea to look at how much you’re eating at each meal. If I ate that little, I’d snack all of the time, too.

  8. Yoda rocks.

    I have to say, I have a lot of respect for you for coming out and admitting you’re having a hard time. I think you’ve received a lot of good advice, but ultimately you need to do what works for you.

    You can do it!

  9. Haha, I had a professor that looks exactly like Yoda… too funny.

    The oven-baked zucchini looks great! & Don’t worry, you’ll find a balance πŸ™‚

  10. GUM and TEA have been my lifesavers recently. If I’m feeling snacky because I’m bored, stressed, need a sweet fix WHATEVER I just pop in a piece of gum or have a cup of hot tea with honey. If I’m STILL hungry after I allow myself a little treat/snack.

    Calorie counting is what helped me lose weight and I’ve done it on and off for two years (currently off). Last time I took time “off” from counting calories I gained 6 pounds. So I really hope this doesn’t happen this time. I just really want to learn to eat intuitively!

  11. Where do you get those barssss? I was on my first Whole Foods trip today and tried to find them but no luck πŸ™

    I used calorie counting and obsessive sparkpeople tracking to lose my first 20 pounds, and then I headed home for Christmas break and allll of that work was gone with my mom’s homecooking…I found that I was just naturally going for the better options and had learned so much about food from counting calories,even if for only a month and a half. It’s a good way to get your mind focused again, if only for a few days.

  12. Where do you get those barssss? I was on my first Whole Foods trip today and tried to find them but no luck

    I used calorie counting and obsessive sparkpeople tracking to lose my first 20 pounds, and then I headed home for Christmas break and allll of that work was gone with my mom’s homecooking”¦I found that I was just naturally going for the better options and had learned so much about food from counting calories,even if for only a month and a half. It’s a good way to get your mind focused again, if only for a few days.

  13. thank you so so so much for being so honest!

    this exact thing happened to me the other night and i felt so horrible after it happened. cereal is definitely my “food” as well, and i can never stop! seeing that other people deal with this same problem as well makes me feel better. its only human to indulge every now and then and to eat what we crave.

  14. Tina,
    Thanks for sharing your struggle with everyone! I think when people are stressed, even when things are going great, but your (life) plate is totally full, it can lead you back to those old unhealthy habits. I used to down 3 bowls of cereal like there’s no tomorrow and would still be hungry! Cocoa pebbles is not going to satisfy your tummy or give you peace of mind. Try to make sure you are keeping your stress levels in check and eating balanced meals every 3 hours will keep your blood sugar on an even keel. Best of luck and we all send out support of well wishes!!

  15. Tina,
    Thank you so much for sharing your struggle. I have had similar issues in the past especially now that i’m living with my husband. Now that i’m trying to get back on track, i’ve started enjoying hot tea in the evening. Some nights it takes 3-4 cups to feel full and content but at least it’s only 50 or so calories for the skim milk I use.

  16. It’s sadly SO comforting that you have some struggles too since you seem to have it all so much together!

    I always struggle at this time with my diet too. But I think you have to give yourself a BIG break. Moving flats (again), and having a book coming up, AND working more than one job.. I think it’s the body’s natural way of coping.

    sorry… I’m SURE it will get better!

  17. I think you’re doing great as well! I really respect how you can be so honest on your blog, which is why you are one of my favorite bloggers. I don’t think you should do anything that feels restrictive. I think I remember reading a comment directed at another blogger that resonated with me after reading your post – when you are hard on yourself, it makes the rest of us feel like we should be harder on ourselves as well. But you are doing so well! baby steps – the challenge is a whole 5 months : )

  18. I agree with the others who say that it sounds like you would be unhappy with counting calories. I honestly don’t think you should do it if you have any doubt about it. I have personally counted calories(and suffered an eating disorder because of it) before and it’s not fun as I’m sure you know. You just have to take baby steps and you WILL lose the weight and get into the shape that you want to be in πŸ™‚

  19. Hm. I don’t know – I look at all these tips and I feel a bit put off. I always thought I look after myself really well, but I have never counted calories or ate cereal from a teacup to limit the portion.

    When I find I am getting a little ‘soft’ around the hips (and I gain weight easily) I simply up the stakes in my exercise routine. For years I was swimming & running with a bit of yoga but then I switched to kickboxing 2-3 times a week and walking to work (30min each way) and yoga once a week. And the extra bits just went within weeks and stayed off.

    In my view, it is all about balance – not simply moderation. Moderation seems to me all about measuring portions, counting apple slices and calories in a cucumber. Balance on the other hand, suggests to me letting go of all that, and enjoying your exercise regime and not putting limits on anything (calories, food, sugar, whatever) but simply being sensible – which you are! I got this advice from my yoga teacher who is the most amazing looking 50-year old and has never been on a diet in her life. I think we could all learn a lot from the ‘letting go’ idea and just be sensible and easy on ourselves. The opposite of that, chasing a perfect measurement, is such an achievable goal because when you get to that measurement – then what? You don’t relax but keep beating yourself up about maintaining it.

    So my advice – don’t worry! Half the battle is in the mind, isn’t it?

  20. I’m late–catching up on posts, sorry!

    Yoda was so wise, and I really needed to be reminded to “Do, or do not,” today. For me, it applies to my issues with recovery, and while some days are harder than others, I am committed to being healthy for the rest of my life, so it’s not an option to “slack off” on recovery when it gets hard.

    I’m sorry you’re not feeling as confident with your “Lose the Dough” challenge as you’d like to, but I think it’s still just the beginning, and you are still trying to find a routine and mindset that works for you (and you look great anyways!). With my personality, calorie counting become more of an obsession and unhealthy focus in my life, but I know that for other people, it has been their saving grace. I know you know what will work best for you, good luck! πŸ™‚

  21. Wow, I’m WAY behind on this comment string (incredible group of ladies you got here!) but had to chime in with a quick comment too. I’ve done the counting calories thing and the food diary thing before and it DOES work in the short-term to help you figure out portions and stuff but, at least for me, the longer I ate that way, the more fixated on food I became. Now, I try to view food as fuel and choose things (yummy things of course) that will fuel me for my next workout or to get me through the next meeting at work or whatever. Now, I do NOT eat rabbit food, that’s for sure, I stick to lots of proteins and fiber-rich foods but I also splurge on yummies too. A glass of wine here, a piece of chocolate there, and the occassional pizza or other yumbolicious treat. I don’t feel badly about it because it’s a balance thing vs. a deprivation thing. For me, counting calories=deprivation and it made me miserable! Maybe if you stop thinking about the numbers and just focus on the food and what it does for your body, that will help you?

  22. I joined weight watchers for this very reason. It helps me think about what I eat and do I really want to post this snack in my journal. It just kept me from getting a donut from the box a co-worker brought in. I love your blog and read it every morning! It’s nice to see that everyone slips once in a while and it’s not just me!

  23. I just stopped tracking calories this week after doing so for two years. It was making me absolutely insane! I don’t want to make my eating decisions based on numbers. I want to eat the food that feels right in the amount that will satisfy without making me feel stuffed. Right now, the numbers aren’t helping me do that at all!

  24. I count calories, but I only estimate after years of stressing about 10 calories here and 20 calories there. Now I round up to the nearest 50 after each meal or snack and write everything down because it helps me feel in control.

    More importantly, when I really want to lose a few pounds (a.k.a. now), I do low-carb evenings. For the most part I think low-carb is insane–I’m a huge fan of the legumes and whole grains, and I bake things whenever possible–but I cannot resist sugars and empty calories in the evening unless I come home from work mentally prepared. Plus it forces me to try new recipes, and it’s easy to accommodate the live-in boyfriend–When I have a taco salad, he has a burrito with the addition of a sole tortilla.


  25. wow i am so glad to know i am not alone when it comes to eating cereal. i really loved reading everyone suggestions about only eating out of a mug, or not buying it at all. i usually stick to just not buying it but everyone once in a while a box finds its way into my shopping cart.

    here’s my story: i pour a bowl of cereal and devour it leaving a bowl milk, now i don’t like to drink straight milk so i justify to myself filling the bowl with enough cereal to compliment the leftover milk. this cycle repeats itself until the milk is gone. i guess the good things is that my cereal progressively turns into smaller portions but still…next thing i know it i’m at 3 bowls. egh

    what is it about cereal that we all love so much? lol
    thanks for being so honest tina!

  26. I suppose all weight loss comes down to restricting calories whether you actually count them yourself or rely on someone else to do it or tailor your eating habits so that you are bound to comsume less calories.
    You must do what you feel is best for yourself.

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