Just Say No

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.

Does anyone else remember this episode of Punky Brewster? Punky starts hanging out with the ”˜cool crowd’ and they offer her drugs, but she turns them down because she has Punky Power! :mrgreen:


Ok, I’m done with the Punky Brewster references. I promise.


Tonight’s dinner was a delicious mix of protein-packed foods. I had an open-faced tuna melt sandwich (with celery mixed in) on a piece of whole wheat bread.

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On the side, I had some buffalo tofu and roasted brussels sprouts.

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Dinner also included a bowl of baked beans. I forgot how delicious they are!

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I ate dinner pretty early in the evening, so a few hours later, I was hungry again. I made myself a mug of tea and piece of bread with peanut butter spread on top. I also had a salted chocolate-covered caramel. Mmm!

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Regarding the comments on my previous post: While I appreciate the ”˜tough love’ given by a number of people, I want everyone to know that if it was easy for me to say no to sweets, I would do it. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple for me.

I’m trying my best and what you see on my blog is actually quite a bit better than how I typically deal with desserts. Usually, I eat them until they are gone! I should probably just throw away all of the Christmas candy in the house, but I’d rather learn how to deal with my cravings when I have them around. My goal is to enjoy small treats everyday, but with control and in moderation.

This evening, my blog buddy, Caitlin, offered me some advice for taming my sweet tooth, which I am going to try tomorrow. My problem is once I start eating sweets, I just can’t stop. I’m not sure going ”˜cold turkey’ is the answer for me (I don’t want to do it and it would make me a miserable person), so I’m trying to find a balance that works best for me. I think Caitlin’s advice might just work.

With that said, see you tomorrow for a little experiment!



  1. Love the new layout! Just noticed it now.

    Everyone reacts to foods differently. I’m like you: once my body gets a taste of the sweet stuff, I want more. Brushing my teeth after dinner helps, as does eating fruit for dessert. Takes care of those post-dinner Christmas cookie cravings when one (or three) isn’t enough.

  2. It’s super hard getting rid of your sugar craving. It took me two and a half years to no longer want sugar! I’m sure you can do it faster than that, and once your body craves it less, it gets wayyy easier!

  3. I’m a little late to the game (and I haven’t read comments from your previous post, so I apologize if this has been mentioned!), but here are my two “tricks” to tame a sweet tooth:

    1. save your sweet treat until after dinner, and establish earlier in the day what it’s going to be. For example, when I know I have a piece of cake waiting for me to eat later, it’s easier to “just say no” to other sweets during the day.

    2. CEREAL!! For me, cereal is sweet *and* filling enough to tame my sweet tooth. I’m eating a bowl of Kashi Honey Sunshine as we speak! 🙂

  4. I’m totally with you, I can’t go cold turkey and not eat sweets. I’m able to say ‘no’ to sweets sometimes, but in a different way.

    Aside from special occasions/social gatherings, I save dessert/sweets for the end of the day, not only as something to look forward to at the end of the day, but also because I’ve already eaten for the day and would be more likely to eat less dessert than I would if I had eaten it earlier in the day. Make sense? I feel like if I ate dessert/sweets earlier in the day that I would not be able to control myself and over indulge.

    I have dessert every day (in moderation) not only because I like to, but because I know that if I said ‘no’ just because I feel like I should, that I would be more likely to have more the next time I have dessert.

    This is just works for me, everyone is different 🙂 Sorry for rambling!

  5. I completely understand – I’m the same with not being able to stop, and the probnlem is I always start, too! Some people’s tastes tend towards savoury, others to sweet, and I think you’re 100% right in deciding to learn to manage this, not just take away sweets so that you don’t have to deal with it. Congratulations on trying so hard 🙂

  6. Have you tried Chocolove’s dark chocolate bar with almonds and sea salt? THE BEST. And it’s so rich that a little square usually is enough.

  7. I wanted to be Punky Brewster really badly.

    What helps me is to not keep sweets in the house. That way, if I want something after dinner, I’m much more likely to grab a piece of fruit.

  8. The “just say no” may work for some people but not everyone. it doesnt work for me 😀 You have to figure out what works for you which I think you’re doing. I TOTALLY hear you on eating sweets till they’re gone. I usually finish off a Nutella jar in 2 sittings (ugh i know). This week i’ve dipped in it 4 times and I stil have some to go… So proud 😉 its all about baby steps.

  9. I freaking LOVED Punky Brewster!!! I wanted to dress like her 🙂

    As for sugar, the best advice I ever got was “none is easier than some”… but sometimes “none” isn’t an option! I think you’re doing an amazing job 🙂

  10. We’re here for your support; not to criticize your intense efforts at living a healthier life. Kudos to you for taking working so hard to achieve balance!

    And honestly, whose diet hasn’t suffered a little around the holiday season? Or when kicking major butt while training for a marathon?!

    Can’t wait to hear about your “experiment”. 🙂

  11. I, for one, think the Punky Brewster references are an improvement to the blog. As a child of the 80s, I think you need to include a Punky reference every day.

  12. Are they Fran’s Salted Caramels? I love the grey sea salt ones… next time you are in Seattle you have to stop by the Fran’s shop near Pike Place!

  13. I’m just like you, one bite and the whole platter of cookies is gone! But then if I go “cold turkey” and have the opprotunity to have sweet, its a mess…I’m working on trying to eat a little and “save” the rest.

    with love and cupcakes,

  14. I have a major sweet tooth as well, and I can easily devour a whole batch of whatever I have made! I used to always “need” a dessert after lunch and dinner, but now I have learned to just have a treat after dinner.

    I also try and bake only one treat a week(usually on the weekends), and limit myself to only eating ONE piece of whatever I have made on ONE day, no seconds! And then I usually give the rest away! 🙂

  15. Does her experiment involve not having sweets until later in the day because every time you crave them during the day you always have that to look forward to? I do that sometimes.

    And drugs on Punky Brewster? I don’t remember that at all. Was “drugs” codeword for “sugar”? lol

  16. Just wanted to repeat what i said last nite: LOVING the new blog and comment field…way easier to read!

    As for commenters giving you tough love, I have found people dish out all kinds of stuff that they’d never say to you IRL. Or to your face. Just keep doing your thing and being gracious enough to post your eats, foods, snacks, thoughts, and challenges. I wish everyone had the opportunity to post all of that for the world to see…and then see what kind of tough love they get and how they like it….

    Hang in there, Tina!

  17. Take the power away from the sugary treats. You are fighting so hard to be able to continue to eat the sugary treats, but you are getting into the vicious cycle of eating sugar, blood sugar rises, blood sugar crashes then you crave more sugar.

    As others have said, if you plan your day ahead knowing you can have a salted caramel at some point (or cookie, cupcake, etc.) it does not have to hold power over you.

    I am a firm believer in eating in balance, but a treat should be a treat, not a daily occurrence. Just my two cents.

    1. i agree, but i would have worded this differently. i think it’s important to recognize the serious addictive power sugar has. it’s been shown to be addictive than heroin in rats. this isn’t just an emotional or intellectual issue, there are physiologic forces at work! i’m right with you on reducing the sugar intake, but i sort of agree with the comments yesterday that eliminating sugar entirely for a few days might let you get back to an even keel. it doesn’t mean no sugar forever, but it might help take some of the drama out of it, and let you start fresh and in control.

  18. Your laid back/balanced approach towards food is why I read CNC every single day. Thank you for refusing to go cold turkey & be on a “diet”!

  19. I see clients everyday who have trouble once they start eating sweets. Cold turkey usually just makes them crave sweets even more. I try to teach portion control and ‘hunger vs. appetite’. Generally when people can distinguish between the two they have more and more success!

  20. YUM! I love salted caramel chocolates. The ones from William Sonoma are my faves! Regarding your craving… I have heard that our body only craves what it needs… perhaps you are missing some sort of nutrient? Are you still taking multi-vitamins? I have noticed that when I eat well and eat nutritiously… my appetite and cravings are significantly lower than when I eat crap like chips and donuts. Your diet seems well balanced, so your cravings could also mean that you are just not eating ENOUGH.

  21. I can completely relate. I’m addicted to sugar and I can’t just say no. If I have one, I want them all. One bite of cake doesn’t work for me, I want the whole piece which then leads to wanting more by the end of the day. Honestly the only thing that works for me is simply not baking but on rare occasions and I don’t buy and bring sweets in the house.

    I feel your pain as you go through this journey and wish you the best of luck. I know you’ll find what works for you to balance out your cravings. Hopefully I’ll pick up some tips 🙂

  22. Tina, you are awesome and you inspire me to eat healthier. I get so much from your blog…if I’ve had a trying day I especially look forward to looking in to see what you, Mal and Murph are up to because you lift my spirit so. I have 2 pugs as well and so enjoy the cutie Murphy. I too deal with powerful sugar cravings and it gets more difficult for me at certain times each month. Cutting down on my sugar intake is so hard but I really do want to do it too. My thoughts are with you!

  23. TOTALLY remember that Punky Brewster episode! It’s so sad that I actually used to attempt to replicate her outfits… 😯
    And in regards to the sweets, I think you’re doing a great job. There’s no way I could stop cold turkey either, so just take it one day at a time my dear!

  24. I didn’t want to go back and read any ‘tough love’ comments from readers because easier said than done. But I appreciate your attempts and tricks. I feel the same way about sweets, but its so much more in your face on Christmas. I appreciate your thoughts of changing for life…especially on the holidays it makes me picture being a mom down the road and not being able to handle treats being in the house. More power to you!!

  25. I think your doing a great job. I think tough love works for a lot of people (and maybe in certain situations) But Im not that type of person either. If I never had sweets in my house, and then they appeared at work or a party, I would eat EVERYTHING in sight.

    You are focusing on cravings, why you eat sweets, and trying alternatives! Keep it up!

  26. My God, I LOVE Punky Brewster. I actually bought the entire series on DVD when they came out. When I was 5 years old, I had TWO pairs of Punky Brewster sneakers (I think they were just bought at Payless Shoes or something) and I had a rule that I HAD to be wearing the sneakers when I watched the show. No joke.

    Man…I think I’m going to pop on the DVDs right now…lol.

    Sorry. 😛

    I can’t go cold turkey on the sweets either. I’ve eaten so much Christmas chocolate that I think I’m turning into a giant chocolate truffle…

  27. Good luck with the sugar cut back. I read some of those “tough love” comments and I honestly couldn’t bring myself to agree with them. Some people can cut out sugar cold turkey, but most can’t! It’s all about moderation, and I KNOW that you will “beat the sugar beast!” I have complete confidence in you! 🙂

  28. Hi Tina,

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, but I don’t comment too often. I just wanted to empathize with you, as I have a *horrible* sweet tooth myself. It is definitely my diet’s largest foe! So, yeah, I am also one of those people that has to have dessert every day. For me, it’s not so bad during the day, but at the end of the day I get really bad cravings to end the day with something sweet. I also have a hard time with portion control for sweets, where the 1 chocolate easily becomes 4. In fact this post kinda makes me want to join you in that chocolate caramel… or 4 …….where was I? So, yeah, this all used to make me a rather frustrated individual, but then I reminded myself that my diet is fairly healthy on the whole and that I’ve reformed other bad habits. I used to eat a ton of snacks at night and now I don’t. I used to eat a lot of fast food and now I don’t. I used to never exercise and now I do. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink excessively. So, this one bad habit I can’t shake? Eh, oh well. And when I finally made peace with it, it did get a bit better. I can have a yogurt or fruit as dessert and be satisfied. (Probably because I know I’ll be having a cupcake a few days later, but that’s besides the point.) I mean, next to some people my sugar intake still looks terrible, but from where I started at I’m better, so I still call success in my partially waved white flag.

    I’m not sure there was any actual advice in this post. Oh well, best of luck to you in battling the sugar monster. 🙂


  29. Just caught up on some of the tough love comments and discussion that unfolded. I can certainly appreciate where you and everyone else comes from. Here is my take on sugar/cravings/indulgences:
    1. Sugar does set off a specific chemical reaction in the body therefore it can intensify a craving or desire for more.

    2. We decide how we want to feel in our body and in our life. If what you have been eating doesn’t make you feel good- then act from that place. Rather than cutting back sugar b/c you are out of control as you said…simply decide that you want to feel better! Whatever that might look like.

    3. Remember that food is meant to feel good in this body of ours. Learning what our limit is in terms of when we feel too full, too sweetened, too salty or everything in between is a fantastic key to balance/moderation.

    Delicious dinner by the way! 🙂

  30. For me I have found I just can’t keep sweets in the house…once I have started, I won’t stop until they are gone! I find that if I save my sweets for when I am outside the house and then just get a single serving (1 scoop of icecream, or 1 good salted caramel from the chocolate shop) I do better. I am not depriving myself, but it takes a little more effort and so I have to step back and question my craving before just giving in.

  31. I, too, have a sugar problem … and I also balk at the idea of just saying no all day, every day.

    However, when I think back to my Atkins days, sugar may be like potatoes and pasta: While I think I can’t live without them, I don’t miss them if I just don’t start eating them.

    Can’t wait to see what your experiment involves, because I’m game to try anything.

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