I Love Bagels

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.

I love FREE bagels even more!!! :mrgreen:

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This morning, Mal and I went to Bruegger’s to cash in our coupons for free bagels with cream cheese. Murphy desperately wanted to come with us, so he ran right out the front door to the car. We couldn’t say no to his adorable pug face, so we let him come along for the ride.

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I can see why Murphy loves car rides so much!

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When we arrived at Bruegger’s, Mal and I left Murphy in the car while we went inside to get our bagels.

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Murphy was not pleased that he wasn’t allowed to come along, so barked a few choice words to us from inside the car. Man, he has a fowl mouth sometimes.

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Mal and I took our bagels to go and ate them at home. I picked an Asiago Cheese bagel with plain cream cheese. I’ve been craving a bagel for a couple of days now, so it totally hit the spot.

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I made it a point to enjoy this bagel to its fullest because I’m actually considering a gluten-free diet. (I can’t believe I just typed that.) A lot of you guys mentioned that going gluten-free helped your GI issues, so now I’m seriously thinking about it.

I REALLY love bagels, cookies, beer, and other foods with gluten, so I’m honestly not sure that I’m strong enough to make such a drastic diet change. I really don’t want to miss out on all of my favorite foods. I know there are lots of gluten-free options out there, but they’re just not the same. Maybe I could do a partially gluten-free diet? Would that even be worth it? I’m still on the fence about it, but I might need to make the change if my GI issues don’t get better. I’d rather feel well than eat cookies any day. (I can’t believe I just typed that.)


Last night’s dinner was another bland one, but a good one. I had a bowl of Ramen noodles and then a handful of Pretzel M&M’s. I know sugar isn’t the best thing for GI issues, but I really needed some chocolate in my life.

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Will Twirl for Food

The pug lovers will especially get a kick out of this video from Mugs & Pugs!

Question of the Day

Has a health issue ever influenced your diet? How did the change impact your life? Any advice for me?

P.S. Tank tops are just $2 at Old Navy this weekend!!!



  1. I, too, am a lover of bread, bagels, and pasta, but I eliminated gluten from my diet in March. I began seeing a dietitian to lose weight, but when I told her about my long history of headaches and stomachaches, she wanted to tackle that first. When we eliminated gluten, it did the trick. I was miserable for about 2-3 days, but then I felt amazing. I don’t really do GF bread, but I do have GF pancake mix and I use a combination of rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch for baking. It’s not so bad – I even went on a two week trip to Colorado and Utah and didn’t have trouble finding tasty things to eat.

  2. I’ve cut lots of foods out of my diet because of health, but the biggie is corn, which includes corn derivatives. Up until this week, I had no idea just how many corn derivatives there are (other than corn syrup and cornstarch, which I’d already been avoiding). It’s overwhelming, honestly.

    Giving up blatantly-corn products, which I began doing nearly two years ago, has been challenging, but doable. Around the same time, I began taking vinegary foods out of my diet, not realizing until this wee,k actually, that many vinegars are corn-derivatives (what a lightbulb moment it was when I read that!). Until I began reading labels, I had no idea how much stuff had corn syrup, cornstarch, or vinegar in it. And now that I’m finding out the other names corn derivatives go by, it’s just . . . wow.

    Just last night I read this: “”Eliminating hidden corn from a diet is the biggest challenge. For some inexplicable reason, if a food item (allergen or not) is used as part of the preparation or packaging process, it is exempt from the requirement to be listed as an ingredient, thereby “hiding” it from the consumer (think of cornmeal baked into bagel crusts but not listed in the ingredients).”

    Very few product labels indicate in the “allergy” section if corn or corn by-products are included, or if the product is processed in a plant or on the same line as corn or corn by-products.

    The wax coating on produce is often corn-based; I didn’t know that. (I do wash produce beforehand, but still…).

    Although I don’t eat beef or chicken or pork or fish often, I do eat eggs often. And even though we buy organic eggs, odds are good the chickens’ feed has corn in it.

    Those times when I thought I’d eaten foods that were okay for my body, yet I had GI problems afterwards? Betcha the foods I’d eaten had corn derivatives in them in some way.

    Bigger, more in-depth changes are happening to my diet, and I’m willing to make them because I’m tired of being sidelined by GI problems!!

    You’d mentioned elsewhere in the comments that you suspect corn might be a problem. If so, you might consider googling “corn-free diet” and reading a couple of the links that pop up, to get an idea of what foods to avoid that aren’t blatantly “corn”.

    I’d thought about cutting gluten out of my diet, but noticed that things that do contain gluten but not corn or corn derivatives are not a problem for me — this became obvious when I ate whole-grain pasta with a very basic tomato sauce that I’d made myself — so the gluten has stayed, for now.

    Best wishes to you as you walk along this path of figuring out what is best, and best avoided, for your body =).

  3. Health reasons are mostly responsible for my switch to a vegan diet almost two years ago. Meat made me constipated often and I actually figured out I am lactose intolerant so instead of eating meat and dairy products and popping a pill, I just chose to give them up totally. I hope whatever you do helps you feel better 🙂

  4. We’ve eliminated *most* gluten from our diet but haven’t gone hardcore. I didn’t do it because of an allergy, but mostly because I keep reading about how bad it is for you! We’re trying the paleo diet, which is grain free. All of the diets are overwhelming to me so we’re trying to make the best choices for us and go with what makes our bodies feel good and fueled. Good luck! I bet gluten may make even more of a difference than you realize.

  5. My sister-in-law has Celaic, and cannot tolerate any gluten. I would say, based on her experience, that if you’re going to go gluten-free, you might want to do it gradually, and eventually eliminate it entirely, rather than going partly GF. There are a lot of great GF cookbooks out there, and the GF products are getting better all the time. (Look into Bob’s Red Mill products, they’re terrific!)
    Good luck with everything!

  6. I have type 1 diabetes, and I was diagnosed when I was 15. I can still eat anything I want, but I have to be mindful of everything that goes in my mouth. Before I could house a big bag of Doritos, but then after I was diagnosed I had to think…ok, X carbohydrates times Y servings of chips means I have to take a boat load of insulin, and it’s not worth it. So…my diet has improved 🙂 It’s a pain sometimes, but it’s the hand I was dealt and it could be a hellofalot worse!

    1. @JessieBee: My thought…give the GF diet a try for 2 weeks and see what happens! Long enough to see a difference (I think) but short enough so you don’t go totally nuts! I’m no pro, but there doesn’t seem to be any harm in trying, right?

  7. I have serious GI issues and a gluten free diet did nothing for me. I do much better on a diet very high in soluble fiber and very low in insoluble fiber. I almost never eat raw veggies or fruit — I cook it all because that converts most of the insoluble fiber to soluble fiber. Going gluten free is really trendy right now, but it is only beneficial if you have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, both of which your doctor can test for.

    1. @Julia: I COMPLETELY agree with the last part of your comment. I don’t think there is really any need to give up gluten UNLESS you have a sensitivity or allergy, and UC is a different beast.

  8. I read your blog daily but I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t commented before now (sorry!).
    I was sick with increasingly severe GI issues for probably about 3-4 years, and it was really to the point where it was affecting my social life and happiness…nothing like having to leave a party early because of stomach cramps!! I’d been ‘diagnosed’ with IBS by a previous doctor, and had gone along with her advice but it didn’t really help, nor did the diagnosis really fit.
    It got to the point where I was so miserable I went to see a GI. By that point, I suspected that my discomfort was food related, and the more I listed to him what I could eat and feel fine and what I’d eat and feel sick, the more it seemed like wheat/gluten was the issue.
    I eliminated gluten beginning April 13, 2010, and I’ve been feeling awesome ever since. It was an immediate change, and though I’d been so nervous about eliminating gluten feeling so great really was the push I needed to keep going. My issue has eventually been termed ‘non-celiac gluten sensitivity’ so I can have some gluten infrequently, but I feel so much better without that I usually don’t push it.
    In terms of missing things, yeah, I do. I grew up in NY, so no gluten free bagel is ever going to match a NY bagel. (oh, and GF pizza can’t hold a candle to NY pizza!!) But I’d associated things like cake and cookies with not feeling well for so long that I just don’t miss them. The frosting’s the best part, anyway 😉 And really, when you take flour out of a brownie, that just means more chocolate, and that just means more YUM.
    Sorry for the long-winded answer, but I can understand how intimidating eliminating such a major part of your diet is. But, I’m on the other side to tell you that feeling so good again is well worth it. Feel free to email me if this comment wasn’t long enough and you need more info or ideas 🙂

  9. I’m sure you’ve heard this already, but did they test you for Celiac’s disease? No sense cutting out gluten if you don’t have it! I have horrible GI issues that have gone on for years now and the docs have no real answers. What helped me was not chewing gum (I think the combination of the sorbitol in gum + gulping in extra air was the issue), not eating processed food (I used to eat Lean Cuisine every day for lunch), and taking probiotic supplements + flax seed oil. All the doctors ever prescribed me were laxatives and more laxatives. Ick. And they could never tell me why it was happening. They all wanted to treat the symptom, rather than the problem, which infuriated me to no end! I also think lowering my stress level helps A TON! Whatever happens, I hope you don’t have to have a colonoscopy. That was the single worst experience of my life. I shudder just thinking about it.

    1. @Melissa: That is not totally true. You can have gluten intolerance without having Celiac. But I do think a 2-week trial without gluten should let Tina know if she has issues with it or not.

  10. about a year ago,i discovered i was lactose intolerant.which means no ice cream,yogurt,certain cheeses,milk….you get the picture.i wasnt much of an ice cream person before i learned this news so,it didnt really effect me.the biggest change,or setback,for me is no yogurt.i LOVE yogurt!but enough to have pretty bad stomach pains?!no.

    whatever decision you make about your diet,im sure it’ll be the right one.just listen to what your body.when it’s happy,youre happy. 🙂

  11. I went to Old Navy this morning to pick up a pair of shorts and I stumbled across the tank sale. I got 10 of them for $10 because I had a coupon!

  12. Hi Tina! I was diagnosed with Celiac disease last December, and have been on a gluten free diet ever since. I am also having problems with the yeast Candida, something that’s talked about very little but from what I understand a common problem. Since December I have cut out: gluten, dairy, eggs, sugar (yes, even limiting fructose), yeast, vinegars, caffeine and alcohol. Even though it’s been an adjustment I am eating better than I ever have in my life and I feel INCREDIBLE! No more fatigue, migraines, GI issues like bloating/constipation/diarrhea, and I’m more alert and less foggy brained. It’s amazing how quickly my body has adjusted, and I love foods that I never would have eaten before. I actually feel I have more variety in my diet NOW, I have reset my taste buds and crave veggies! (And I’ve actually become a decent cook, if I do say so myself).

    If you are going to cut out gluten or other foods I would recommend seeing a Registered Dietitian. My RD has helped me every step of the way over the last 6 months, and I wouldn’t be able to manage without her knowledge and support.

    Good luck, and remember that even though it feels devastating now, you will get through it and feel MUCH better in the end. Heck, if you can run a marathon, this is easy! 🙂 ps-love your blog!

  13. We are about 80% gluten free in our house. Celiac disease runs in my husband’s family and now he thinks he might have it. He cut out most gluten in Feb and has been feeling great. I have posted many GF recipes on my blog….we’ve found pasta and flour that taste great, so if you need any pointers feel free to ask!

  14. I started eating a gluten free diet (save for a few gluten-y treats every once in a great while) in 2009 and I’ve never felt better. I feel lighter, more efficient…just better.

    I don’t really eat gluten-free packed products– a few rice crackers here and there, and maybe some gluten free granola. For the most part I eat a Paleo-type diet– lots of veggies, lots of protein, some fruit and some nuts.

    Most times I don’t feel like I’m missing out on the gluten…sometimes I want a piece of my mom’s pie, or a special homemade dish, but for the most part, I don’t miss it.

  15. Tina – the Other Side Cafe in Boston has gluten free beer, and it’s actually really good! Try it!

  16. I have a bunch of friends who have gone gluten free to help their GI problems, and it’s really seemed to work. Like you said, there are tons of gluten-free products on the market nowadays, so it’s not the death sentence (in terms of baked goods, beer, and carbs) that is once was. AND, many gluten-free people I know take a meal off a couple of times a year for special occasions and just deal with the aftermath–even my friend with severe celiac does this for our annual keg kill!

  17. Has a health issue ever influenced your diet? = Yes, based on a lifetime of living in the bathroom, feeling horrible, feeling awful on soooo many levels, and things coming to a fever pitch that I just couldnt ignore, I went GF and dairy free, and seriously reduced my soy intake. Also a strict vegan.

    I lived this way, VERY STRICT, no cheating for 5 yrs. I do have small amts of gluten and dairy now, but I believe being off them and healing my gut was the best thing I ever did.

    Pretty much I couldnt continue on the road I was on if I wanted to live any kind of a normal life…from not having headaches, and mood issues to G.I. and massive gut issues…I just had.to.change. my diet.

    It was so scary and hard and I resisted it but in the end, best thing I ever did for my longterm health and quality of life!

    I have posted about it, linked in my popular posts section under food allergies and going GF. Dont want to link drop on you.

  18. In 2004 I was diagnosed with severe food allergies to soy, nuts, and peas. It is really hard to make sure I don’t end up with those things in my diet, especially when eating out, and especially now that I am not in the US. It was really hard at first, when I had to eliminate all these foods from my diet. I remember being at the store w/ my mom and reading all the labels and finding that there was soy in canned tuna fish!

    Right now I am wondering if there are any healing headache free diets, since I’ve had chronic headaches since 2006.

    I wish you good luck and I hope you are feeling better really soon!

  19. I know that a lot of people do have gluten intolerance, but I also fear it’s a bit of a buzz word, and “health food” companies are selling a lot by gluten-free foods because it’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

    I ate gluten-free for a year because I thought that was the root of my IBS. I never saw a specialized GI doctor as you have, but I did decide to get a second opinion. My doctor suggested that I add fiber into my diet and eliminate ACIDIC foods (also a lot of good stuff–caffeine, chocolate, peppers, onions, garlic, alcohol, tomatoes, citrus).

    This was the key to solving my IBS. I’m not saying that this could help you, I just mean to say that there are a lot of possibilities out there. Has your doctor suggested trying an elimination diet?

  20. I don’t really believe in partial gluten-free diets. I know some people do it because they say they can feel good and “get away” with eating gluten once and a while, but I just don’t see how that’s possible.

    I had to make the switch to eating gluten-free 15 months ago. I tried to deny that I needed it but the less gluten I ate the more the gluten I did eat affected me, and now I can’t have even a small amount without a serious reaction. It’s always scary at first, but it DOES get easy. Really easy. Once the glutenous foods our out of your life, you hardly think of them as food. My tip would be to NOT rely on gluten-free replacement foods like pasta, bagels, bread, etc. They’re not going to live up to the old ones and they’re often completely void of nutrients; instead I’d suggest turning to the foods that are naturally gluten-free. Of course, there are still ways to make pancakes and cupcakes and all that good stuff without gluten and you can definitely still enjoy them. I just wouldn’t base a diet around gluten-free substitutes.

    I really hope you don’t need to eat gluten-free, because I’ll admit that it’s hard eating outside of the house, and not great for a social life. BUT if you do need to, then you’re in just about the most helpful community to do so.

  21. A gluten-free diet is difficult but not unbearable. For cookies try a mixture of almond meal, coconut flour, and arrowroot starch.

  22. I would honestly wait to find out more about what’s going on with you before you decide to go gluten-free. It seems like everyone is going gluten-free now because it’s the latest “trend”, but really, there are few health benefits to eliminating gluten unless you have a sensitivity or intolerance to it.

  23. I’ve definitely had some GI issues in the past and have altered my diet accordingly. None of my issues were really serious but one thing was that when I focused on it TOO much, it was almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Again, these were minor issues so I’m sure there’s a lot more that goes into what would work for you. I can only imagine how frustrating this thing is for an active person like yourself and wish you well as you navigate solutions!

  24. Do a 2-week trial. Don’t commit to anything yet. That is what I did when my problems first started, and I found out that gluten was NOT my problem. High fiber, on the other hand, is. The rule of thumb for myself is sadly, if it is healthy I probably can’t eat it.

  25. You can do it! Really, you can. In the beginning it is really hard but it gets easier. I went gluten free four years ago and my life has improved greatly since then. Make no mistake, when I realized I needed to be gluten free I was devastated that I could not drink beer, eat my daily wheat toast, chow down on crackers, burger buns, pasta, etc but in the end it has been so worth it. The thing is there will be foods that you are going to miss and may never stop missing but you find ways to substitute or you just do without. For me that is and still is beer. I was one of the biggest beer lovers I know but when push came to shove I was so tired of feeling really, really crappy that I just quit eating it and never looked back. Now even thinking about eating something with gluten in it makes me cringe.

  26. When I went gluten-free (thank goodness, it only had to last a month) you’re flour-less peanut butter cookie recipe kept me strong. =)

  27. That bagel looks good for your GI tract right about now…SO sorry to hear you might have to give up gluten…brutal! I have so far been blessed not to have to give up any food that I love for dietary reasons…hope it stays that way!

  28. I would consult your doctor before going gluten-free. My sister went gluten-free for GI issues, but they all came back after a few months and she was miserable (she REALLY loves freshly baked sourdough bread). My cousin has a severe form of your disease, but his doctor advised against it, because gluten was not the issue, though right now he has to cut out all whole grain and complex carbs (the healthy stuff), as he recovers from surgery. Good luck though! 🙂

  29. Don’t go gluten free until you get a diagnosis. Doing so now would compromise your diagnosis. There is no reason to go gluten free unless you get a proper diagnosis of celiac disease. Half measures won’t do anything. And gluten may not even be your culprit, if it is a food thing then there’re a lot of foods or combinations of foods that can cause gut issues eg lactose, amines, salicylates, Fructans, and other FODMAPS etc. My advice is to find and consult a dietitian very experienced in food intolerance, GI issues. Doctors really don’t know about this stuff, you need a good dietitian. Good luck Tina. And whatever turns up you can make it work.

  30. Just wanted to leave a quick comment — I have mild Crohn’s disease and after discussing a gluten-free diet with some gf friends, I took the plunge last August, and I haven’t regretted it for a single day. I was a total carb fiend and thought it would be torture — and there are days when it’s hard. But because it’s helped me so much, the reward far outweighs the cost. So, if it helps you, I’m hoping you’ll feel the same way. Just stay away from pizza restaurants, for your own sanity.:)

  31. I am with you ,Tina. It was so hard to give up my beloved foods, but I really found that when I gave up the gluten, I felt better. I brought it back into my world and felt bloated again, so I recently removed it and volia – no bloating. Give it whirl and see how it makes you feel. If it doesn’t work for you, at least you tried.

  32. Wow, I thought Alouysius was the only Pug who spins around like that when I’m getting his dinner but it must be a Pug thing – love that video!

    In terms of making changes to your eating routine, I like what someone else said earlier about framing it as a choice you’re making so that you’ll feel better, instead of focusing on the deprivation factor. I’m diabetic and I still fight with the “I can’t have that” mentality, so I can really feel for you. I do know, however, that when I eat the way my Diabetes Educator says I should that I feel a lot better physically (even if I’m grouchy mentally).

  33. If you think it would help, I’d try going gluten free (all the way) for awhile. Don’t worry, I’m not gluten free and I’ve had some to die for gluten free baked goods! You have your gluten free cake and eat it too!

  34. I recently had to go to a gluten-free and dairy-free diet due to digestive issues. I was heartbroken at first…I mean no bread or cheese….kill me now! But, it hasn’t been that bad. I’ve found wonderful substitutes…Udi’s gluten-free bread is great. It’s not dense like most gluten-free bread and it tastes just like the real thing. As for the cheese…I’m still working on that 😉

  35. Hi Tina –

    Maybe commit to a a week of GF, and then try some gluten after that to see how you react. That might give you more peace of mind?

  36. I went gluten and soy free just last week! I’m doing it on a trial basis to see if my GI issues improve. It would help to know that one of these things might be causing my ailments but I will be seriously sad if I can’t eat my usual cereal, crackers, and soy everything. One thing I’m not sure about is how long I should try this diet before adding the foods back in to see if they are the culprit. Does anybody have any advice?

  37. I haven’t commented lately because I’ve been behind on life, but I’m really sorry to hear about your GI issues and hope they improve soon!

    I’ve actually had to cut dairy out of my diet 95% of the time. It’s kind of a long story on what happened and how I figured out it was dairy causing it, but I feel SO much better now that I rarely have dairy. (which kind of sucks because I love milk!)

    I’d be a little cautious to start a gluetn free diet before hearing more from your doctor. As a fellow beer & carb-lover, I know how horrible that idea is! Maybe you could try making a concious effort to eat lower-gluten for a week and see if it makes a difference?

    Anyway, I hope you start feeling better soon and have a good weekend!

  38. Maybe you could try gluten free for a few days or a week just to see if it helps?

    A year or so ago, I had to dramatically change the way I eat due to migraines. I had to cut a LOT of stuff out of my diet for six months or so and then gradually reintroduce things to my diet. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Even now, it is still hard because there are certain things I realized cause my headaches and I can’t eat them . . . ever! I had to give up any and all aged cheeses. I am stuck with American, Ricotta, Cottage, and Goat. I miss Parmesan and I miss pizza! I can’t have it because of the Mozzarella of course. There are several other things of course. Honestly though, I am sooo glad that I did it. It made me aware of the ingredients that were going in my food. A big part of the problem was all the preservatives and MSG in the food I was eating. Now I eat more natural and unprocessed foods. And I feel great. So except for the occasional pizza craving, I am very glad that I made the transition.

  39. I had to go GF last year due to an intolerance that seemed to be causing IBS. I’ve definitely had some slip-ups with gluten, but I think it’s so much better when you go hardcore GF. There are definitely ways to bake fun things, even GF – you’ll still get your cookies, etc! 🙂 However, I do not like beer, so I’m not sure about that one & how you’d feel missing out :\

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