Guiltless Goodies Week

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.

Did Monday fly by or what?!? Holy moly! 😯 Today was one of the fastest Mondays that I’ve had in awhile. Let’s hope the rest of the week flies by this quickly! πŸ˜‰

Ok, let’s get right to it and recap today’s eats. I have a hot date with my husband, pug, and couch in a few minutes. There’s some serious cuddle + TV time on the agenda for this evening. For some reason, we’re all exhausted tonight.


After lunch, I snacked on a Mmmaple Pecan Chewy Granola Bar from Nature’s Path, which was very tasty. It had lots of sweet maple flavor and it was soooo soft and chewy. The texture sort of reminded me of a cookie. I also drank a mug of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride with my granola bar.


After work, I headed straight to Starbucks to write. While there, I ordered a non-fatΒ Dark Cherry Mocha, which is a brand new drink at Starbucks. The Dark Cherry Mocha actually debuts tomorrow, but I got a special sneak preview today! πŸ˜‰

The Dark Cherry Mocha was quite delicious– very chocolaty with a hint of cherry flavor. It could have easily passed as a dessert, especially with the whipped cream on top.

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Instead of whipped cream, I asked for extra foam on my mocha.


Before dinner, Mal and I took Murphy for his long walk of the day. We chatted and walked around our neighborhood for a good 45 minutes before heading home. The weather was absolutely gorgeous this afternoon! I am so ready for spring to be here!

When we arrived home, I snacked on a mini Larabar that Amie sent me the other day. I love these little Larabars! Thanks, Amie! πŸ˜€


I was really snacky this afternoon, wasn’t I? I didn’t realize how much I ate until I started writing about it. I guess I was just really hungry? Or stressed? Bored?


A little while later, I started making dinner. I’ve had some pesto from Bear Pond Farm in the freezer for weeks now, so I finally incorporated it into a meal this evening.


Inspired by a Women’s Health magazine’s recipe for Savory Seafood Penne, I created a similar pesto-penne dish for dinner tonight.


In the mix:

  • Bear Pond Farm pesto
  • Whole wheat penne
  • Shrimp
  • Tomatoes
  • Black olives
  • Arugula

It was a great meal– lots of bold flavors, satisfying, and tasty.


Guiltless Goodies Week

Guys, I have something to confess: I ate the entire dozen of Sweet and Salty Oatmeal Raisin Cookies that I baked on Saturday afternoon in about 24 hours. 😳 It wasn’t my finest moment, but stuff like that happens every now and then, right? So, after another cookie “overindulgence,” I’ve decided to treat my dessert habit a little differently this week. I suppose we can call it an “experiment.”

As you know, I almost always crave something sweet after meals– usually a cookie or a piece of chocolate will do the trick– but maybe a more nutritious treat would satisfy my cravings, too? So, this week, I’m going to create semi-healthy, single-serving goodies to see if they will satisfy my sugar cravings (instead of baking a dozen cookies!).

I realize that not all of my recipe experiments will turn out perfectly (mostly because I am just winging it in the kitchen), but hopefully, they will give those of you with a sweet tooth some ideas for more nutritious desserts, and if one of them sounds good to you, definitely give it a try!

Here’s tonight’s Guiltless Goodie:

Granola Pumpkin Cake



  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/8 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1/8 cup granola
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1/4 tps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg


  • Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl; mix well
  • Cook in microwave for 90 seconds
  • Allow to cool before serving

This Guiltless Goodie turned out pretty well. It was soft and cake-like with a subtle pumpkin spice flavor to it. It wasn’t my best kitchen experiment, but it definitely satisfied my dessert craving and filled me up. The combo of pumpkin + egg whites is sitting in my stomach like a rock!

Time to chill with M & M! Good night!



  1. That dinner does look so good and so simple! I can’t wait to hear about your answer to the sweet tooth this week – I suffer the same disease and had to throw my last 2 (of 9 . . . ) brownies in the freezer an hour ago. Ahh!

  2. I love having meals on a bed of greens to sneak more veggies into the day. I’ve certainly overindulged in the past, but in the long run, no biggie. I try to keep those times few and far between, and like you, make healthier choices πŸ™‚

  3. thanks for being so honest about the cookies. sometimes i feel like im the only one that does things like that.. i know from having 3 sisters that these things happen to everyone, but it def helps to hear it sometimes. good job getting some writing done! cant wait for your book!

  4. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us! It’s actually quite refreshing to know that even super-healthy food bloggers slip up from time to time. I indulged WAY too much over the weekend (blame it on the a-a-a-alcohol baby), but at least I’m not alone :/ Lately I’ve been doing a pretty good job of just having ONE treat a day instead of one after both lunch and dinner. I usually have it after lunch and then hot tea after dinner. I have oatmeal for dessert often, it’s so yummy!

  5. @#31 Kel – I’ve also been wondering the same thing about those sandwich thins, but haven’t been able to get anyone to answer yet. I’ve noticed a few bloggers mention them lately, but the ones I found have sucralose, which I was kind of surprised about and thought maybe they just hadn’t noticed. I’m assuming there must be a variety that *doesn’t* have it..

  6. Wow, we have a lot in common this week, Tina! I had a huge run-in with some awesome oatmeal raisin cookies my daughter and I baked. Plus, I’ve been addicted to the “Pumpkin Bake” I’ve been making, and it is very similar to your Pumpkin Cake, just a larger oven-baked version (here: Can’t wait to try your microwave single serving version soon, as I don’t always needs enough to feed a large family!! πŸ˜› Besides, after my cookie incident, I’m afraid I’ll eat it all up myself.

    The new Dark Cherry Mocha sounds amazing. Thanks for the head-up on that!

  7. I always snack more if I’m bored, so maybe it’s that? Good you for being honest though. I love your dessert idea! Do you know how many real egg whites are in 1/8th cup? Probably less than one…I want to try making this but I only have whole eggs, no cartons or anything :s
    I hope the week goes well for you and your new dessert habits πŸ™‚

  8. Dark cherry mocha, huh? I’m intrigued! That sounds delish.

    I crave sweet things after I eat, too. I try to limit it to just after dinner, but yeah, most of us have those times where we overdo it. Nerves, stress, happiness, sadness; it’s easy to mindlessly munch or overindulge. All about the balance though! πŸ™‚


  9. So excited for single serving snacks! That’s exactly what I need πŸ™‚ Definitely going to be bookmarking all of these for when I get home next month!

  10. Tina, have you ever tried frozen dates? They’re my personal guiltless goodie – so sweet and chewy (esp when frozen) I just love ’em and just buy a big tub at Sam’s, freeze the whole thing and pry one or two out when I need something sweet!

  11. I hear ya on the dessert indulgences. Lately, I’ve been on an ice cream kick. I tell myself that I’m only going to have one serving, and it almost always turns into two. I’m definitely going to adopt some of your lighter dessert ideas, to avoid the ever-intensifying battle with the zipper on my pants each morning! That pumpkin cake looks really delicious. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas!

  12. One delicious guiltless dessert I have come to love and crave is baked pineapple. Take a few slices or rings, sprinkle just a little brown sugar on top and pop in the oven for about 9 minutes each side at 450*. So so so good, if you love pineapple like me! I don’t know how I ever lived without it!

  13. I am the same way and ALWAYS want sweets after a meal. I really need to start using fruits to satisfy that craving. Yesterday I used a bag of M & Ms (the chocolatey kind…LOL) instead. 😳

  14. Love the honesty as its one of the main reasons I love your blog. Like you, I love somethign sweet after a meal but have you tried eating some dried plums (aka prunes)? They are SUPER sweet, chewy and one serving (5 plump little guys) is only 100 calories. Not to mention that they are good for you too. I started doing this after dinner and it really satisfies my sweet craving. Just an idea.

  15. Love the Guiltless Goodies idea. I’ve been whipping up random individual desserts ever since I saw your 3 minute cookie. I don’t trust myself around an entire batch of baked goods, so the single servings work out great. Of course, sometimes the experiments are giant FAILS, but more often than not, they turn out delicious (and nutritious! – I use all good-for-you ingredients).

  16. I have the SAME problem with baking…..I LOVE to bake, but I eat so much of the batter, I almost don’t want the cookies when they come out of the oven! But of course, I eat one of two for a taste test πŸ™‚ I can never bring them to work bc they’re “healthified”, and my co-workers aren’t into that! So they stay at home, waiting for me to eat them! I have been freezing the cookies and just eating one at a time and that seems to be working out….

  17. I ate EIGHT heath-bar cookies on Saturday night and felt TERRIBLE the next day because of it. Didn’t help that I also just had a fantastic night with like 5 beers πŸ™‚ It does happen to all of us. I can’t buy that kind of stuff, but at parties, my cravings come full force.

  18. Tina, I’m totally the same way when it comes to dessert! I feel like I almost always crave it after dinner, and it’s really easy for me to overindulge in it. I’m looking forward to seeing all your healthy sweet alternatives!

  19. You have totally got me into eating half a Sandwich Thin with natural peanut butter and chocolate chips for dessert. For some reason, I find this combination soooo filling — very delicious too!

    While not the ‘healthiest’ recommendation, have you ever tried replacing a more conventional dessert with lollipops? They take awhile to eat, so you’re not too likely to go back for 3 or 4. I love Toostie Roll pops, and find them pretty satisfying–especially the cherry ones.

    Another one of my favorite, healthier dessert is a sliced banana, slightly frozen, topped with a little whipped cream and mini chocolate chips.

  20. Thank you, Tina, for being real and sharing your cookie splurge! Yesterday I was beating myself up for too many potato chips and (gasp!) a can of Coca-Cola (diet coke just didn’t sound as good as the “real” thing). I took a cue from your past posts and made my dinner extra green – with lots of veggies and tea. You are such an inspiration because you maintain a really healthy lifestyle, but you’re also not a robot! Great post – keep ’em coming.

  21. Don’t beat yourself up! It happens to the best of us once in a while. Just chalk it up to your excellent baking skills. Who could resist?

  22. Ooh, I made a great healthy pudding the other day. 1 TBSP Chia seeds soaked in 4 TBSP Almond milk in the fridge for 10 minutes. Then add 1 TBSP cocoa powder and agave to taste (just a drizzle worked fine for me). My favorite topping is walnuts and marshmallows for a rocky road pudding, but fresh fruit is also great.

  23. Wow the Dark Cherry Mocha sounds amazing – can’t wait to try it! I’m glad you’re sharing recipes for healthy sweet treats – I have a SERIOUS sweet tooth too and need healthy ideas!

  24. Er, am I missing something? I don’t think a granola bar, coffee thing, and teeny fruit bar is over-snackage. But I hear ya about overindulging on self-made baked goods. What is it about our own “creations” that makes us feel so free to keep picking at them?

  25. Your guiltless goodie looks fab, I always make something similar after my meals, I too need something sweet but try to make it a healthy one x x

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