Good Things Come in Threes

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.

Apparently, good things come in threes because the last 24 hours have been pretty awesome for me:

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Obviously, I am smiling ear-to-ear right now. I’m so glad that all of that studying paid off! I’ll talk more about the NASM exam in a minute””I have lots of recapping to do!


CrossFit was a lot of fun last night. We only had a small group, but it was still a lively workout with 7 sets of Turkish Get-Ups (3 reps on each arm) and a 7-minute AMRAP with 7 Hand Release Push-ups + 9 Kettle Bell Swings.

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I still think it’s crazy how physically challenging even a short AMRAP can be. Last night, in just seven minutes, I got a full-body workout that kicked my butt. At the end of it, I was totally exhausted, and I woke up pretty sore this morning. Somehow, those seven minutes felt like a whole hell of a lot more! I used a 17-pound kettle bell for the swings, and I did 9 cycles of the AMRAP in 7 minutes.

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For those of you who have eaten pizza from American Flatbread, you know it’s not any old ordinary pizza. It’s frickin’ amazing.

Whole Foods sells frozen American Flatbread pizzas, but they’re pretty expensive. I found a coupon a few weeks ago for a $1 off one, so I’ve been patiently waiting for them to go on sale at Whole Foods. Well, last week, they finally did, and I bought one!

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And it was well worth the wait. It was almost as good as the real deal, but definitely one of the best frozen pizzas I have ever eaten. The cheese, the dough, the toppings”¦ all so delicious.

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On the side: salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

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This morning, I woke up bright and early to eat breakfast and prepare to take the NASM exam. On the menu: toasted whole wheat Sandwich Thin with sunflower butter, baked grapefruit, and iced coffee with soy milk.

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While I ate, I did some last-minute cramming. I hadn’t taken an exam of any kind since my final year of grad school in 2005, so, of course, I was freaking out a lot a little.

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Eventually, I got it together and drove to Bridgewater State College to take the exam.

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Two hour later, I’m a certified personal trainer! Woohoo!

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Before I forget, here are some of the topics that appeared on my test and are important to know if you plan to take the exam:

  • Planes of motion
  • Bioenergetic continuum
  • Cardiorespiratory system (blood, heart, etc.)
  • Sliding Filament Theory
  • Length-Tension Relationships
  • Overhead Squat Assessment (overactive, underactive muscles, appropriate stretches, and exercises)
  • Actions of the muscles (concentric, eccentric, isometric)
  • Autogenic Inhibition
  • BMI (how to calculate, what’s considered “severe”)
  • Muscles of the core
  • Blood pressure (normal, hypertension, etc.)
  • How many calories in a gram of fat, protein, carb
  • Various types of resistance training (vertical loading, horizontal loading, etc.)
  • Training volume adaptations
  • Examples of exercises for core, balance, and reactive training
  • Resistance acute variables
  • Temp (4/2/1, X/X/X, etc.)
  • Amino acids (essential, Glucogenis, etc.)
  • Protein requirements
  • Program Design Continuum
  • Client relations and administration (communication, goal setting, etc.)

I’m planning to write a post about why I chose NASM over other certifications, but if you have any additional questions about the process, test, etc., let me know, and I’ll answer them in a future post.


As soon as I got home from taking the exam, I started to make lunch. I went grocery shopping yesterday, so our fridge is packed full of food, which meant that I couldn’t make up my mind about what to eat, so I had small portions of a few different things.

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Roasted Brussels sprouts.

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A Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala Burger and carrot sticks with veggie hummus.

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Good lunch!

Question of the Day

Have you noticed that good things (or bad things) in your life often come in threes?

P.S. A reader just sent me a clip from The Dr. Oz Show!



  1. I look forward to hearing more about becoming certified and why you choose NASM. It’s something I’ve thought about for the past couple of years but the initial cost has always discouraged me. Congrats on passing the exam Tina!! What a nice early Christmas present!

  2. a) YAY! on being a personal trainer! Way to go passing the test!
    b) That pizza looks REALLY good! I’ll have to do more Whole Foods shopping.
    c) I was impressed that you went on the Dr. Oz show — but I am SUPER FREAKIN’ JEALOUS that you were on with Cookie Monster!! 🙂 He is a fixture from my childhood! That is so cool! 🙂
    d) Do you notice that I always comment in outline form? 🙂 I have to organize my thoughts somehow…

  3. Congratulations on passing the NASM test!
    That is great that you are going to be a bridesmaid for your friend…so much exciting stuff, wheew!

    I am also eager to hear why you chose NASM. I am dying to get certified as a PT, and I am a bit lost as to where to start. Any info you have would be great. I feel you started studying not too long ago, so that is great that you passed so soon!
    Let me know if/where you chose to be a PT!

  4. Congrats on passing your exam! I took a course for 3 months last spring with ACE but I haven’t gotten the nerve to go take the exam. I freak out when it comes to testing. My new years resolution is to review the books and go take the exam. Do you have any tips for studying? ACE offers a study guide that I use but it can be so boring. Any tips on studying and test taking would be helpful. Look forward to your post.

  5. CONGRATULATIONS!!! You must be so happy. I just got my Praxis (teacher certification) test results back today, and I passed too!!

    I want to hear EVERYTHING about it!! And the whole process. Please write LOTS!! 🙂

  6. Congrats Tina! I’m putting some thought into taking the NASM or CSCS upon graduation since my major is exercise science. And flatbread- BEST pizza. We always go to the flatbread in burlington for dinner, and I have a flatbread right near my house in northern mass too. Love it and didn’t know they sold it in stores, very cool.

  7. Yay! Go Tina! I am PUMPED for your upcoming “why I chose NASM” post bc I have been looking into personal training myself, and get all sorts of dift opinions on who to go thru, so ready for your take:) Congrats and best wishes as you start your journey!

  8. Congrats on passing the test! I’m kinda curious what your thoughts are on BMI, I thought it was interesting they included that. From what I’ve read on it the BMI is outdated (was created in the early-mid 1800’s), and not very accurate. Like a really athletic person with a lot of muscle would have a high BMI, but could have little body fat and actually be really healthy. Wouldn’t body fat percentage be a better assessment?

  9. Congratulations on passing your NASM test! I can’t wait to hear more about why you choose NASM. I have the NASM textbook, but have gone back and forth with studying it. It’s on hold right now, but I hope to eventually take the test too. Thanks for the tips as to what’s on the test. Did you find it difficult?

    1. It depends on the day. Somedays, I’m more hungry than others, so I’ll eat more then, but, in general, I haven’t increased my calories.

    1. Thanks! One of the producers told me that the real Cookie Monster (the guy handling him) was allergic to nuts, so he couldn’t try my cookies! I think I would have won if he tried mine! Haha!

  10. Congratulations!!!!
    And even though your cookie SHOULD have won, I’m very jealous that you got to work with Cookie Monster, lol!

  11. CONGRATS, I am so jealous of you right now! I am 99% sure that I am going to try to get a NASM certification for personal training, so I can’t wait for your future posts about it. How long did it take you to study for the exam.

  12. I don’t know about the ‘3’ thing but I’d never heard of Dr Oz until you mentioned him (I’m a Brit living in Amsterdam) but his show came on during my workout yesterday. I was hoping it was yours but it wasn’t so pleased you posted a link here. You seemed calm and collected to me!
    Congratulations on the NASM pass – I did mine a few years back and looking at that list of topics you covered I feel I could use some revision!

    1. Aww, thanks! One of the producers told me that the real Cookie Monster (the guy handling him) was allergic to nuts, so he couldn’t try my cookies! I think I would have won if he tried mine! 🙂

  13. Congrats on your wonderful news!! Very proud of you. Also wondering, loved the Oz show. Did you get to take home all the fantastic gifts they gave away or don’t guests get that stuff. Wish I had known he was giving all that stuff away, I would have tried for tickets. Bet it was a lot of fun to meet him and be on the show.

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