My Non-Plan for the Next 4 Years

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.

Good morning! Happy Hump Day!

The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was check who won the election. It was close last night when I went to bed. I’m glad to see we have four more years with President Obama!

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Yesterday morning’s breakfast was a Sweet Breakfast Scramble, but instead of squash/pumpkin, I used chopped apple. To make it, I cut up half of an apple, microwaved it to soften it, and then cooked it into my Sweet Breakfast Scramble. It was a tasty change from my usual breakfast. I also added a big scoop of Teddie peanut butter to the mix.

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I drank my VSL#3 with breakfast and then poured myself a glass of Dandy Blend with organic half & half. Mmm”¦ so good! I really savored it, and it took me the entire morning to drink it.

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After breakfast, I threw on my sneakers to walk to the polling center to cast my vote. I didn’t have a workout on my schedule, so I figured a walk was a good way to add some physical activity to my day.

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When I arrived, there was a short wait to vote, but the line moved quickly, so I was in and out in about 10 minutes.

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On my walk home, I started thinking about what my life would be like the next time I voted in the Presidential election. Four years from now is 2016, so I’ll be 36 years old. I hope by then, Mal and I have started a family (or at least seriously started talking about it). I’d like to still be living in our same house (a Whole Foods is going in down the street, so we are never moving) and blogging at CNC and writing for Health. Other than that, I just want to be happy and healthy.

I thought I was kind of lame for not having more concrete plans for the next 4 years (I have plenty of short-term goals and things I’d like to achieve, but nothing big and long-term), so I asked Mal about his plans. He pretty much said the exact same thing as me with regard to family, living, and work situations, so I’m glad we’re on the same page, but he didn’t have any specific goals or plans for the future. I actually thought this was kind of weird because we’re both such planners and goal-orientated people, but I’m okay with having a non-plan for once in my life. The only goal we came up with for the next 4 years is live our lives and enjoy every moment.

Question of the Day

Do you have a 4-year (or 5-year) plan? If so, what is it? Do you think it’s okay to not have a long-term plan?



  1. I have to admit, I’ve been a little nervous to try your sweet scramble, but since you eat everyday And love it, I’ve decided to give it a go 🙂 I like how you thought of what your life might be like in terms of the next time you’ll vote for a president. I hope to have qualified for (and hopefully run in) the Boston Marathon, have started a small business, be taking more vacays with the hubs, and be super involved with whatever my kiddos are loving when it’s time to vote again 🙂

  2. I was actually bummed to see we have 4 more years with him, but luckily it’s in God I trust, and not the president. 😉

    As for the 4 years, we want to have started a family, and I hope to be more settled-like own a house & stuff. But I really enjoy not having a specific plan. Like you we want to live healthily, happily, and build lots of fun memories! I’d love to go on a cruise within the 4 years though!

  3. We are currently reevaluating our 5 year plan. I hope we’re in a new house with some little ones running around.

    And PLEASE forgive my next statement for being far too personal, but I wish my doctor had been honest with me about it. Don’t wait until you’re 36 to START thinking about expanding your family. I got married at 37 and we started trying immediately. Two and a half years later, with 2 perfectly normal, healthy people, we’re having to consider other options. A biological clock may not be PC, but it is a reality.

    1. @Victoria: I second this. My story is similar. I turned 36 a week after the wedding. We were both healthy, not expecting any surprises but there were problems. We had two years of fertility treatments and doctor visits. Luckily, I did become pregnant but I have a number of friends who weren’t so lucky. At the very least you could have a few tests run now to see if there are any problems lurking – for you AND your husband.

      To Victoria – best of luck!!

      1. @Shelley: I’m not in this boat yet, but I’m seeing it happen to way too many people who are waiting for the perfect time to have kids. There is nothing wrong with waiting, but just make sure you educate yourselves on the risks of trying to have kids in your late 30s so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises later.

    2. @Victoria: Yes! I don’t ever want to scare people but I found out I was infertile at 26 years old. It took us 2 years to have a baby, and now at 30 we will probably never have another. Maybe, having a baby is not a must for you and that is fine, but I hate for anyone to be blindsided the way I was. Maybe just ask your obgyn at your next appointment. Blood work should suffice until you actually want to start trying. I sometimes think Hollywood etc make it look too easy to have babies over 35.

  4. I used to have a five year plan going into college: graduate in four years, move to new york city, work in finance as an investment banker, etc. But now that I’m in my final year I’ve actually found my so called “plan” has completely changed. I’ll be moving to Phoenix next year…who would have thought I’d have ended up there?? Five year plans are great to give you an idea of what you want and where you want to go, but it’s important to be open to change and to unexpected events. Because you never know, sometimes great things come out of events you never expected would happen!

  5. A lack of plan (or at least a plan for a lot of change) for a planner-type indicates one thing to me: you’ve reached a place you’re already happy with!

    Tina, that’s awesome. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and it’s great that you’re able to enjoy the present and not get lost in goals for the future.

  6. During the next 4-5 years I hope to lose my excess weight, finish taking prerequisite courses to go back to school (graduated college in’04) and hopefully get accepted to medical school! 🙂

  7. I am so happy to see that you are using a probiotic. I just posted a long post of the importance of probiotics, especially with people who have gastro issues (I have IBS). I hope you read it and find it useful, as I see you are using a liquid version. 😀

  8. So happy to see MA results and happy that I live in MD and to see our election results! It’s so comforting to read that so many don’t have a 4/5 year plan. There’s probably a move in my near future to a home of my own and I continue to plan to be happy but just simple plans for a simple life. 🙂

  9. Ha! We both had apple on the brain! I added thin sliced apple & pumpkin pie spice to your 2 ingredient pancake recipe yesterday, and it was amazing! You’ve gotta try it!

  10. 4 more years! Forward! Liz! Medical marijuana! HOORAY! My cats and I couldn’t be happier and prouder of this country!

    I, too, always reevaluate on Election Day – because I love Election Day (am a political geek!). I am about 4 years older than you so 4 years ago I was 31, had just broken up with a boyfriend and adopted my 2 fluffy cats (yup – left the man, hit up the shelter – couldn’t be more stereotypical) and was really, basically, a mess. I was in a job that I hated, though made a lot of money at – a big mean corporation, and was terribly bored and struggling with the ethics of the organization, I was struggling with whether I wanted kids, to get married, knowing that fertility is something that, sadly, we do have a time limit on. I was a gigantic question mark – the only thing I knew was I made the right choice leaving my boyfriend and adopting my cats. All of my friends were not only married but working on baby #2, and I was terribly lonely and confused.

    I actually made very different choices than I thought I would – over the last 4 years I realized that I don’t want kids, and I’m perfectly, perfectly happy with that choice – I think my struggle was more about accepting that my desires were not what the rest of my friends and family desired. I am fairly sure I don’t want to get married, and I opted to really focus on my career. I quit my job, took some time off, started my business, and worked like an animal at it. I went through financial struggles with it, social struggles with accepting my own choices, and wound up – 4 years later – happier and more content than I ever thought I would be.

    Now am excited to start dating and ‘getting out there’ a bit, having my business a bit settled and not feeling the need to work 100 hours/week (maybe only 80!). I feel confident and happy and healthy, and, knowing what I want and what I don’t want is a great comfort, though not easy. When I first adopted my cats I worried that I’d fall madly in love with someone adverse to cats – and now I know that won’t happen – love me, love them. I’m just confident and happy.

    All that said – I have NO idea where I’ll be in 4 years. Maybe I”ll be living with someone, maybe I’ll still be single, maybe I’ll have grown my business, maybe my business will just be me still, maybe I’ll grow a brand – who knows.

    Regardless – this is a total personal rant, but you share so much on your blog that I believe you’d like to know about your readers as well.

    Also – not every choice is for everyone. I struggled a lot with realizing that – and now I do.

    In conclusion – hooray for women’s rights, marriage equality, healthcare, and pot! 🙂

      1. @Tina: Thx! When going through my early 30’s struggle I felt like everyone I talked to had the same situation: dated……babies… and I was like – wah! I don’t want that! I want to break up with my boyfriend! Big time panic. SO now I like to share that – not everything is for everyone. Nothing wrong with making personal choices. We as women don’t live in binders and all need to rush home at 5 to feed the kids. 🙂

  11. Nice post! Your readers also hope that in 4 years you guys will have a family! You and Mal will have cute little babies…
    Yay for Obama! I think you’re one of the only bloggers in my reader who would share that and be happy for it. Thanks!

      1. Yeah! I was a basket case last night running arounds screaming “four more years! four more years!”
        I was also so happy to hear that lots of people voted- the youth vote was up 1 percentile from 2008!

        1. @Zoe: From over the seas and far away, I can tell you it wasn’t just Americans jumping up and down and shouting 🙂

          Very happy for the people of Maine and Maryland too.

  12. I walked to vote, too! I love the non-plan to enjoy the present moment.
    My parents have been having health issues and its been a great reminder
    to enjoy everyday. Great post!

  13. I so appreciate you backing Obama on your blog, without worrying about the comments you might receive from it. I am also incredibly happy that Barack will be “the man” for the next 4 years. And what a great idea to think about what you’ll be doing when the next election rolls around! I think my biggest goal is starting a family within the next 4 (okay, 2) years, getting our house remodeled the way we want it, and really REALLY trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. But I’m not sure I’ll ever figure out that last one. 🙂 The bottom line is I’m happy right now so if nothing changes, that’s okay too.

  14. I had hoped by now (37, eek!) that I’d be married and would have started a family. So far, no. Right now my hope for 2016 (I’ll be 41!!!) is to have finished my Ph.D (should be done in 2015) and have a really great job by then so I can pay off my loans. I’d really love to have a relationship by then, but mostly I’d like to be chronic pain free and happy.

  15. Okay, so as not to sound super creepy… we live in the same town and upon reading your remark about WF going in, I googled it. I was just in that store the other day and was thinking to myself, “it would be awesome if a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s took over this spot”. Though I don’t live terribly far from Derby St. either, I’m so excited!!!

  16. Even though I so am not excited for another four years of Obama I have to say I am very appreciative of your honesty. On the other blogs I follow they all go on about voting but then leave me wondering who they voted for! Nice job taking that risk.

  17. Love the cute pug button! I’m also a big planner and I find that I’m similar in planning a lot in the short term and not so much for the long term. The way I think about it is that all the short-term planning eventually adds up to create or manifest into a “long-term” plan, I just plan it in much shorter increments ;).

  18. So happy/relieved I’m not the only 30 something year old that doesn’t have huge goals the next 4 years and is in happy place!!

  19. Love the pug button. Didn’t vote for Obama, but happy he’s who America ended up choosing (and whew – I still get free birth control in the new year ;).
    I try not to plan too far ahead, though I am a big planner. In the next four years, I will have graduated from grad school and hopefully close to being licensed at that point (LMFT). With that in mind, I’m hoping I’ll be able to find a job in my field that pays decently. At that point I will also be about 3.5 years closer to paying off school loans 😉 I hope to be pregnant, or at least be close to trying. I hope to be in a bigger apartment by then, and also to possibly rescue another dog (leaning twds German Shepherd or Standard Poodle). I’m pretty happy with the way things are going, just want to add another dog, a job and human being in the mix!

      1. @cait: I’m well aware. Been paying for it and will be paying for it in some form, but am over the fact that a generic can’t be made of the kind I take atm. As I said, not politically affiliated in any way. But I can take the positives even when there are negatives, and for me this is greatly needed.

      2. @cait: Haha. I am perfectly happy with helping to pay for other women’s birth control to reduce the number of unwanted and teen pregnancies (there’s been studies that prove this). And, FYI, if you are currently paying for healthcare you are already paying for ER visits for people who can’t pay. ERs don’t turn people away bc they can’t pay, the hospital just takes on the cost and passes it along to its other customers, you. And MANY people go to ERs for stuff they should have seen a GP for months or weeks before, but the condition has far worsened and what a course of cheap antibiotics might have prevented now has to be treated with surgery, etc. (1) We have a responsibility to the most vulnerable in our society and (2) In the long term universal healthcare is gonna save us money. It might not be your generation lady, but how about we take the long view and look beyond the end of our nose.

  20. Four years from yesterday I will hopefully be holding a party to CELEBRATE the end of the reign of Obama! Haha! Seriously – I can’t stand him and am baffled that he was re-elected. However – everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I respect that. And by the way, I LOVE your ‘Pugs for Obama’ button! I always thought I was the only one who had pet with political views (my cat is a total Libertarian, but tends to vote Republican!). 🙂

  21. I think it’s totally okay to not have a long term plan. It makes life a little bit exciting when you don’t know where it’s going to take you! That being said – I see my boyfriend and I hopefully getting married and living abroad for some time. We’re lucky enough to have jobs that will let us travel, so I really want to take advantage of that. 😀

  22. Hey Tina,

    I’ve never tried Dandy Blend but I want to! Have you tried Teecino yet? Same concept, very close to coffee and had additional flavors. You can order a sample pack online or buy the ground “coffee” at Whole Foods!

    1. I almost bought some at Whole Foods, but it’s made with barley, and I wasn’t sure how it would jive with my digestive system. Maybe now that I’m feeling better, I’ll give it a try. Does it taste like coffee?

  23. Wow, you don’t usually post about politics but I LOVE this post. I think you make a very good point about how an Election Year is a good time to evaluate not only how we want our country to be lead but the direction we want to see our lives go in. In four years I will be 29 and I will be married, if all goes as planned (I’m getting married next year), and we might be thinking about starting a family in the next year or two. I really hope we own a home by then.

    Thank you for your vote for President Obama, a strong advocate for women! I truly hope that he does good things for our nation in the next four years. 🙂

        1. It is true. Now – who knows what the difference in each position actually is, but it’s true nonetheless. There are many articles that discuss this, but here is one (I have no idea if this is a conversative, liberal, or balanced publication, but you can find many more. As you know, I am not an Obama fan at all, but I try to look at all sources when deciding what is fact and what is fiction.) I believe this is a real fact: @Tina:

          1. This isn’t a political blog, so I don’t want to get too much into it, but if you read the article, the women aren’t receiving 18% less for the same job – they are making 18% less on the average of ALL jobs. For the same job/level of job, women are earning the same or more as men. He has actually increased the amount of women who are in the top ranks. The only criticism you can give him is that there are 7 women in the top ranks, while there are 14 men. But, that’s not Obama’s fault – that’s how it is in every level of Gov’t, unfortunately.

            Considering the guy’s VERY first bill signed was the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, I don’t see how anyone could argue he’s not for women receiving equal pay for the same job.

    1. good things? seriously, amy? what’s he done this last 4 years? Nothing good, that’s for darn sure. Oh, how ridiculously foolish people are to keep drinking the Obama kool-aid!!! What is it about Obama that people think is so great!? I really am asking this seriously. Please amy. Help me understand. List 5 good things he’s done so far.

      1. @P: Awesome things Obama did in his first term as president:

        ended the war in Iraq
        Passed Wall Street reform
        Began drawdown of troops in Afghanistan
        Eliminated Osama Bin Laden
        Helped US Auto Industry
        Repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
        Reversed W’s torture policies
        Is supporting Marriage Equality!
        Healthcare reform
        Upholding women’s rights

        just to name a few 🙂

        1. Thanks for speaking for amy, hayley.

          Here’s some other things Obama did….

          Increased the Deficit HUGELY when he said he would cut it in half. more than any other president.

          Lied to and decieved the amercian public about Benghazi and the death of 4 americans. He failed to give them adequate protection and could have saved their lives but he needed to go to Las Vegas instead.

          The navy SEALS got Bin Laden, thank you very much. They were able to get Bin Laden by using George W Bush’s policies. the very policies Obama was against. The water boarding policy enabled government to get info to kill Bin Laden.

          The stimulus!?? one of his biggest failures!!! Billions of dollars put into the stimulus package you refer to resulted in NO POSITIVE results and no jobs! More people on food stamps than ever before.

          Where are all the “shovel ready” jobs that Obama referred to? I remember Obama quoted as saying, “ooops! the shovel ready jobs werent really ready!”

          Healthcare reform? This will cost billions! and most companies have stated that they will not be able to hire new employees because of the financial burden obamacare will place on them

          women’s rights??? Your right to kill your unborn baby will always be there, darlin. dont you worry. whoever the president is you can still kill your child. and get your birth control. How sad that this is how we define “women’s rights”. you get to have your abortion. yea for women’s rights!!

          I rest my case.

          1. George W. Bush did the auto bailouts. I don’t understand why Obama suddenly started taking credit for that one. Oh well…Tina from CNC, I hope you’re not annoyed with me for getting political! I LOVE your site, but can’t resist responding to some of these political posts!!! Perhaps you should add a ‘politics’ tab to your toolbar at the top??@P:

  24. Can you please explain why you’re happy about 4 more years of NOTHING? what has obama even done right for this country so far?

    I guess as long as he always has Bush to blame he never has to take responsibility for this current economic mess. The liberal biased media never ask him pertinent things like why he increased the deficit HUGELY instead of cut it in half like he PROMISED he would in his 1st term. And are you saying you want Obamacare? with all YOUR many health issues you have going on, Tina?? OH how sorry you are going to be that this man has another 4 years left. We will be a socialized regime with socialized medicine. I will never undersand why people like YOU rejected an amazing business man and person of impeccable character like Romney who could have fixed our economy but instead chose an inexperienced, lying, arrogant, decietful imposter who ran one of the most class-less, nastiest, downright slanderous campaigns in mdern history to get reelected.

    1. Agreed! America is changing and I no longer recognize what was a once GREAT country. People want stuff for free and they proved it by re-electing Obama. Romney was a way out of this mess and the majority clearing don’t want a way out!

    2. P, I couldn’t agree with you more! I was shocked that Obama was reelected. The biggest thing I don’t understand (other than the dismal economy) is the women who say they don’t want the government telling them what they can/can’t do with their bodies when it comes to abortion/birth control, yet they don’t seem to mind the federal government taking over the entire American healthcare system, which means government will definitely have a say in what EVERYBODY does with their entire bodies, not just their reproductive systems! HOWEVER – and this is why I’m really posting here – I have to give major kudos to Tina for approving/posting our anti-Obama comments. I could imagine it would be tempting to simply ignore them and not approve them for posting. That means she is truly open minded and chose to respect our opposing views and opinions by posting them for all to see. That is something I hardly saw at all during this election, and Tina, I respect you a whole lot more for that! 🙂 I have many liberal friends with whom I am able to have open, honest, respectful debates about our political views, and I would imagine Tina is one of those people who could easily participate in that sort of discussion. (by the way, I am a Tina that lives in the great battleground state of Ohio, not the fabulous Tina from CNC!). @P:

      1. There are over 56 million people that agree with us Tina from Ohio!! Let’s remember that. WE did not vote for Obama. We see thru his lies and broken promises.

        The whole “war on women” waged by the republicans by the liberal media was just ridiculous! Women would still have been able to have their abortions and take their birth control under Romney. How ignorant people are. and How sad that what defines a woman is her ability to take the life of her unborn child. I will never understand the liberal mentality. Never.

        I would also like answers on what happened in Benghazi and why we have 4 dead americans but Obama will not answer these questions! and the liberal media protects him!

        I wish President Obama the best. I WANT him to succeed. But with his policies it is going to be very hard for this country not to fall into another massive recession. May God have mercy on the United States of America.

  25. I love this! I always tell people who ask that for the first time in my life, I’m comfortable not having a long-term plan. It doesn’t mean I don’t have ambition or drive, it just means I’m waiting to see what comes my way in life 🙂

  26. yeah! I just tried your breakfast scramble…I used 1 egg, 1 banana, 1/2 cup pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and added a little bit of organic pb. WONDERFUL! I have been eating vegan since december 15th of last year and started to notice my body really sore, really tired and not at muscular…so I have added only eggs (grass fed locally grown) to my diet. MUCH BETTER…so thank you for this awesome idea…it is yummy and warm!

  27. I notice that you will not tell me WHY you voted for Obama. FIVE reasons. thats all I ask. Tell me what you liked about his 1st term. what has he done that made you vote for him again. Not trying to start a fight. I just really want to know to help me understand this. Thanks!

  28. I completely agree with P and Tina. Very disappointed and will no longer be reading your blog because your political stance (which you have not even backed up) is pure ignorance.

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