Fit For Life Challenge + Highlights From The Weekend

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.

Hello, hello! Happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Here are some highlights from mine!

weekend 2

From top:

  • A special someone turned 7 months old on Friday. He’s turning into a little boy right before our eyes!
  • On Saturday night, we had some friends over to watch the Pats game. We served Grandma’s wings, veggies + dip, chips + salsa, habanero BBQ almonds, bacon-wrapped crackers (OMG, so good), and pepperoni pizza.
  • Quinn’s newest obsession is car keys. He thinks they are sooooo cool!
  • I did a tempo run on the treadmill on Saturday morning with some new kicks on my feet. No knee pain, and I felt pretty great overall.
  • Mal, Quinn, and I enjoyed a wonderful sushi lunch with Elizabeth, Nick, and their daughter Grace on Saturday afternoon. As always, it was so nice to see them, and I loved watching Quinn and Grace interact. Too cute.
  • Our friends brought us donuts from Donut King and, my goodness, they were incredible. I highly recommend the chocolate-coconut flavor.
  • After my tempo run, I listened to a nutrition lecture at KFIT to kick-off the 6-week Fit For Life Challenge.

So, I’m really excited about the Fit For Life Challenge! I feel like I need a little kick in the pants to get me back on track with healthy eating, especially after the holidays (holy cookies). It’s not like I’m eating horribly, but I know I’m not giving it my best effort, ya know? Plus, I’ve eaten like 1,000 peanut M&Ms over the past week or so, so the Challenge is exactly the motivation I need. And, for me, the Fit For Life Challenge, is not about eating 100% clean. There are actually 3 different levels to the Challenge, and I chose the most flexible one, so I’ll be eating an 80/20 diet, which is totally realistic and the way I usually try to eat. And, honestly, I’d never be able to eat 100% clean. Not that I’d ever want to! Life’s too short not to eat delicious food!

As far as what to eat and not eat, the Fit For Life Challenge focuses on whole foods and nixes the usual sugar, fried, highly-refined, packaged, artificial foods, but no food group is off-limits and you are allowed up to 4 “cheats” per week (i.e. cheese, flavored Greek yogurt, dark chocolate). You can even drink alcohol once a week! Well, ok, one serving of alcohol, not like a whole bottle in one sitting. Haha! We’ll also keep track of what we eat in MyFitnessPal, but instead of counting calories, we’ll be focusing on macros (carbs, protein, fat). I’m aiming for 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat.

So, that’s the Challenge in a nutshell. I know I didn’t go into great detail about it, but it’s pretty straight-forward and a lot of it is based on our individual goals. My goals for the Challenge:

  • Eat at least one fruit or veggie with every meal.
  • Properly fuel and refuel for workouts (i.e. protein versus ALLTHECARBS).
  • Don’t lose strength! Do at least two KFIT/CrossFit/basement workouts per week.
  • Maintain weight. <— I usually gain when I train for a marathon.

And I just wanted to share some words of wisdom/motivation from the nutrition lecture at KFIT. You may have heard some of it before, but it’s worth hearing again!

  • Healthy eating does not need to be perfect.
  • If you want to make long-term, sustainable changes, you need to eat food that you enjoy. Find what works for you!
  • If you want to change your body, you need to build muscle. Hours and hours of cardio won’t do it.

So that’s that. I’ll be sharing some details (meals, workouts, etc.) in coming posts as well as a recap at the end of the 6 weeks.

Question of the Day

What do you think of these kinds of challenges? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Are you doing one right now? 



  1. No challenge for me now but I think they can be a great kickstart for people that need structure given to them to make healthful changes. For others I think they can be counterproductive, especially if there are a lot of “rules” but it’s something you won’t know unless you try.

  2. I love a challenge because it helps me refocus and concentrate on my goals and intentions. One of my says is also to eat at least one fruit or veggie with every meal. It’s easy to do and helps ensure you are getting all of your nutrients through the day.

  3. I don’t mind those sorts of challenges, I look at them as a guide. At this point in my healthiness journey I am really trying to focus on day to day and the healthiest choices I can make in the moment. MyFitnessPal has really kept me accountable and honest.

  4. Our office is currently doing a “Biggest Loser” type of challenge – but with serious focus on educating our staff on nutrition. I think these types of challenges can be a good kickstart for someone who is looking to get back on track with healthy living.

  5. I’ve been running in the glycerin 11s for a while now. It’s about time to replace them so I’ll prob either get another pair of 11s or the 12s. They have worked for me better than any other shoe. I have such a wide foot…I get the D witdth so colors are limited but..
    Anyway, I hope you have a great experience with them too.

  6. I LOVE challenges… I usually make them up myself though. I was thinking of doing a 100 Days of Real Food challenge or the Marathon Sports Winter Warrior to kick off the year, but just went back to work full-time after baby and decided between that and the new daycare routine, it might be biting off more than I could chew.

  7. I think these challenges are excellent motivators! When I feel like I’ve fallen into a slump I wouldn’t hesitate at all to try one of these out!

  8. Oooo I love a good challenge. I find that I respond really well to challenges. I’m in the midst of my second Whole30 and it’s excellent. Love it.

    I also made a personal challenge to foam roll everyday for January. It can be 3 seconds or 15 minutes, doesn’t matter, just have to do it.

  9. I gain weight training for marathons and half marathons too! It aggravates the crap out of me. Good luck. Looks like an informative challenge.

  10. I love challenges. I do well with rules and structure, so it’s a good way for me to hit the reset button on my diet. We’re actually kicking off an 8 week challenge at our box tonight, and I’m really excited about it! This one is supposed to be more macro focused too, instead of a strict paleo challenge, so I’m interested to see how they have it set up. I love the goals you have for your challenge!

  11. I can’t believe how quickly time flies! My little guy was born exactly 8 weeks ago today but it feels like yesterday. I feel like it was not that long ago you were announcing Quinn’s birth and now he is already 7 months old!

  12. I try to make my diet about 80/20 most of the time as well. I have no interest in eating 100% clean, I want to enjoy food and not feel pressured to not have “bad” stuff. I like those things! I usually gain while marathon training too, I just can’t stop eating!

  13. I love a good challenge to help me get back on track after a vacation or holiday. I was just like you after Christmas… Chocolate was calling my name all day long!! I am doing a 90 day challenge right now with a group online as well as participating in a couple of diet bets!! It is just what I needed to bring focus back to my healthier habits!

    Yeah for no knee pain!! And I completely agree for choosing foods that you enjoy. For me that is the key to not feeling deprived!

  14. I have a tip for the m&m’s – I was really addicted to m&m’s (I would buy enormous bags and eat them in a few days – it got bad) and there was nothing I could find to stop me! I would say I wouldn’t buy them and then I would because they were on sale or something ridiculous. Then I bought a bag and taped a piece of paper to it and logged the miles I ran and told myself I could have it after 50 miles (and then it was game over – I could eat them as fast as I wanted). It took me 2 months to get my m&m’s and yes, I devoured them, but then the next bag took another 2 months and now I don’t eat them anymore. I don’t like the taste as much as I did and I will eat a small handful, but never the whole giant bag … for breakfast … I think it was a good strategy and I don’t feel like such a drug addict around them.

  15. I’m challenging myself to eliminate sugar (I’m still eating fruit) 6 days a week. I am also currently using MFP to focus on meeting my macros (same as yours 40-30-30). I’d love any tips that you have on planning ahead or how you make sure you meet them.

  16. I find some challenges to be fun but others stressful. I tend to eat 80/20 anyway. Well…. maybe 70/30, which is why I’m cleaning up my act after the holidays.

  17. I’ve never tried one of those challenges, as I feel like they’re almost too restricting. I tend to eat pretty healthily on my own, so I try to maintain that. If I find myself eating too much junk, I stop buying it and stock the house with healthy snacks and foods instead! Since I pack all my own lunches and make lunch and dinner, I don’t find myself deviating too frequently!

  18. I’ve never done a challenge before but this one seems really intriguing. And I like your attitude about eating. Doing anything 100% is actually very hard and can sometimes lead to dissatisfaction, so it’s inspiring that you picked the flexible plan. Also I just have to say that Quinn is so cute I can’t believe he is seven months already!

  19. I could use a little challenge to get me back on track. I have had a hard time since the holiday’s. All the treats and snacks are still so tempting. I started the week saying I was going to start tracking my diet on myfitnesspal to hold myself accountable and see how I am doing. I’ll try to follow you and see how you do as well!

  20. I haven’t done that many challenges just bc I want to make sure I can actually complete them before I sign up. I have done a few, but most of the time I try and live a pretty healthy life all around. They are always good now and then for an extra kick in the butt and accountability though!

  21. I love Challenges. When I don’t have a specific goal to reach for, I completely fall off track. Right now we are trying to not eat out 300 days this year. We travel a lot too, so this is pushing us to plan ahead and bring snacks on places, etc.

    We have a donut place called Donut King by us (not related to yours). Their peanut butter donut is the greatest donut on his planet. No joke.

  22. For years, I had a similar approach. I would eat clean MOST of the time, but occasionally fell into phases of less-than-stellar habits. Six months ago, I committed to a vegan diet and this has consistently kept me on track. I’m eating very few packaged/processed items these days, especially since I skip all refined sugar. (It’s often processed with bone char.) I still look forward to occasional indulgences like Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups or treats from one of NYC’s amazing vegan bakeries!

  23. Those are great, simple points! And amen to lifting weights/building muscle and not just endless cardio. I wish more women would REALLY understand that, and do it if they’re wanting to change their bodies. 🙂

  24. I usually don’t do challenges but this one sounds great! Healthy eating doesn’t have to be perfect and sometimes having a treat or a reasonable daily indulgence keeps you on track for overall healthy eating. I especially like your emphasis on having at least one fruit or vegetable per meal, that’s a great tip!

  25. I just started a personal challenge for myself! It seems very similar to what you’re doing. I’ve done paleo challenges in the past and love how I feel but they can be so mentally stressful… Plus I love me some oatmeal and Greek yogurt and I hardly call those cheats! You can do it!

    Ps- I found out today I got into the Boston marathon!! im down for training runs and beers (ok, one beer) anytime! ☺️

  26. That eating plan sounds very realistic. My downfall is wine. At a party or dinner I CAN drink almost a whole bottle. On the plus side, I can do without sugary treats, white bread or loads of dairy.

    Oh well….womp, womp.

  27. I think challenges can be fun as long as no cleansing/crazy detox stuff is involved! Eating whole foods is the way to go! 🙂 Excited to hear your thoughts!

  28. Hi Tina. I just wanted to know why the sudden change from crossfit to kfiit? Is it similar? More for the daycare benefit? Thanks!

  29. Your challenge sounds very good. Is there a website link?
    I miserably failed at a whole30, I found it too stressful and too expensive, also I ended up cooking 3 different diets for a supper. I ended bingeing on food thatI I know disagree with me.
    Your challenge sounds feasible.
    Is there others macro ratio?
    I can be 40% carb, but I find extremely difficult to have 30% proteins…
    I am looking forward to your results.

    Thank you for being an inspiration…
    P.S. Your little boy looks so much like his Dad, I love Murphy Pug face <3

  30. Your challenge sounds awesome, especially since it has 3 different levels. Is there a website?

    My husband and I are doing Paleo, but we are not super strict. We eat dairy and sometimes gluten (bread usually). We have been doing Paleo for about 4 months now and it is hard sometimes because I dont feel like I get enough food during the day but I definitely see a change in my body and overall the way I feel. We also go to the gym 3x a week, light cardio and weight lifting 2 days and then a weight lifting class the other. We really enjoy it!

  31. Tina where is that sushi from? That tuna looks amazing & I’m always on the hunt for my next favorite sushi joint in Boston. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Hi Tina! Love your blog! This has nothing to do with a challenge, but at my son’s first year appt we learned his lead levels were increased. This was a huge cause for concern because we live in a new home, and there was no cause for concern. We learne keys can still contain lead and our son used to LOVE them. My son is 2.5 now but we had to increase his calcium and iron and get his blood drawn every 6 months-all is great now. I would hate for another mom to have to go through why we went through. Quinn is adorable! Thank you for the daily entertainment!

  33. Hi Tina. Can you tell me where to get more info on your Fit for Life challenge? Thanks so much! Absolutely love your blog!

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