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 finally caved in and went grocery shopping. Not having some key necessities in the house was starting to drive me a little nuts. People, I need my iced coffee (with soy milk)!!!

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Honestly, the items that I purchased this morning are all necessities in our house. Mal and I both get cranky when we run out of them. More me than him, but still…


For lunch, I whipped up a romaine salad with tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, flaxseed oil, and falafel on top. On the side, I had a Dr. Praeger’s Sweet Potato Pancake.

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After lunch, I enjoyed two of these babies:

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Best treat eva.


After lunch, I turned on Ellen and did my scheduled workout for the day. I started with some tube walking and then moved onto knee circles (backwards and forwards), ankle alphabet, and single leg squats. I finished the workout with some core work:


If you’re wondering about any of the mentioned exercises, you can find them on


Have you guys seen the USDA’s new MyPlate recommendations yet?


Last week, the USDA launched MyPlate, which shows how much of your plate should be devoted to vegetables, fruits, grains, and proteins. It replaces MyPyramid, which depicted the food groups as different-colored bands in a pyramid. Many people viewed it as difficult to understand and put into practice. MyPlate’s visual representation is supposed to make this easier.

Key messages from each MyPlate food group:

  • Grains group — Make at least half of your grains whole grains.
  • Vegetable group — Vary your veggies.
  • Fruit group — Focus on fruits.
  • Dairy group — Get your calcium-rich foods.
  • Protein foods group — Go lean with protein.
  • The dairy group used to be called the milk group, and protein foods group is the new name for the meat and beans group.

MyPlate’s three central messages:

  • Balancing calories — Enjoy your foods, but eat less. Avoid oversized portions.
  • Foods to increase — Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Eat more whole grains. Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.
  • Foods to reduce — Compare sodium in foods such as soup, bread and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower amounts of sodium. Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

What are your thoughts on the USDA’s MyPlate?

Lots of phone calls today! See ya!



  1. It has it’s pros/cons. How are you supposed to do breakfast? What about added fats? Can I drink whole milk? It’s a great new idea for a pictation. RDs are definitely still needed to straighten things out!

  2. Meh, I don’t think this will clear up any “confusion” about healthy eating to be honest. Most people know that a balanced diet should include whole grains, protein, dairy, and fruits and vegetables and if they’re not eating a balanced diet, it’s because they don’t want to… what I think people really need clarification on is portion sizes. I think restaurants have really distorted people’s idea of what a proper meal should look like in terms of size and the MyPlate image doesn’t provide any guidelines.

  3. It’s my understanding that the pyramid was too confusing so they wanted a graphic that was easier to understand. Personally, I think the plate is WAY oversimplified, vague, and does not promote balanced eating. It looks like you are supposed to have four equal portions of everything with a side of dairy. I have a hard time buying into anything the USDA is advocating because they are so entwined with the beef and dairy industries. It really serves their own needs to promote more consumption of meat and dairy. I think it’s great if people want to eat those things but they shouldn’t be led to believe they won’t get adequate nutrition without it. I agree with the comment about subsidizing produce. If the government really cared about what we put into our bodies, fruits and veggies would be subsidized and affordable. Instead we produce corn, wheat, and more corn. Ok, tangent over.

    On another note there are certain things I HAVE to have in the house: soy milk, yogurt, fresh fruit, cereal, PB2, and salad fixins. The rest is just a bonus.

  4. I think it really depends on the person. I can’t eat much grains at all and it has to be gf if I do. It’s not a bad guideline for people that have no clue though. I got my sticker today, thank you very much, it’s adorable!

  5. I seriously have to get my hands on some iced coffee tomorrow! I’m not a regular coffee drinker but Tina every time I see you posting about it my mouth waters haha.

  6. I think it is a good concept, but it was executed very poorly. It is much too vague and it is not very helpful to people with limited knowledge about nutrition in the first place.

  7. I think the myplate looks pretty decent. We have a rainbow for our food guide here in Canada though (more fun I think)….where do the butterscotch chips fit on the plate though ? 😉

  8. I think that people are looking at this as a tool they’re expected to utilize, and therefore they see it as a joke. I believe that it clears up some questions…half of a plate of fruits and veggies is easier to understand than the “second to the lowest pyramid row.”

    But more importantly, people should look beyond themselves and see how this will most likely help a large group of Americans. Yes, many people know portion sizes, healthy eating habits, etc. You’re all fine. You all get it. But many more do NOT. They may not have access to the neighborhood Whole Foods (they have a Walgreens). They may not have a family that looks at a pyramid or a plate…they have a family that is just trying to figure out how to get food on the table. Period. They’re trying to do the best they can.

    Here’s a visual for the masses. Maybe not the fitness-focused people, but many others. Also, a plate or a pyramid do not replace common sense. I mean, how many people out there are relying on the government to train them how to eat? Come on…many people get it. For those that don’t for whatever reason, this is a step in the right direction.

  9. Haha I love how u have Chobani, broccoli, bananas”¦and then a bag of butterscotch chips- my kinda girl! I like the USDA plate- I’ve always stuck to the ”˜1/2 plate fruit/veggies, ¼ protein and ¼ carbs as a general guideline which seems to be exactly in line with their view! Although my diet is also full of healthy fats (avocado, nuts, pb, chias) which are essential yet seem to be neglected.

  10. It’s definitely easier to undestand the the old method used. Sure, it could use some work, but anything could use some work. I think this promotes healthy habits for the GENERAL public that are easy to understand. It’s definitely a step in the right direction.

  11. Tina, do you know of any other brand, besides Nestle, that makes Butterscotch Chips? I’m looking for one without HighFructoseCornSyrup and/or Hydrogented Fats. I love butterscotch chips but can’t get myself to eat Nestle, also, I don’t exercise as much as you do. 🙂

  12. It’s a lot less confusing than the weird rainbow colored bands of the MyPyramid. It does provide a model which people can strive to emulate. But Protein as a sector seems so wrong! Protein is a macro-nutrient! Not a food group! It doesn’t delve into the issue of reducing meat and increasing legumes. BUT it is an improvement. Eat more fruits & veggies!

  13. I think dairy won big with MyPlate! Totally not necessary for a healthy balanced diet. I like that they used “protein” instead of meats, but I wonder if dairy ought to be renamed, too. Fwiw I’m not a strict vegetarian and definitely not a vegan, I just think a glass of milk with a meal (which is how they obviously thought it best to fit in) is unnecessary for optimum health!

    That being said, this is a great model that hopefully people will GET and be able to refer back to when meal planning.

  14. I’m going to the grocery store for a staple run today, too: bread, milk, cottage cheese, fresh fruit and veg… I think the MyPlate thing is pretty dumb, to be honest. How many meals do you actually eat where you sit there and divide up your plate into sections? Besides that, if you get enough of a food group in other meals throughout the day, there’s no reason that each and every meal has to contain something from all the food groups. And where are the healthy fats??

  15. I think the plate is much of the same. Oversimplified to help the “general public” instead of encouraging the general public to take more than 3 minutes of their day to think about what they eat.

    I also hate the “half whole grains” thing. Maybe I’m being too harsh but it should say ALL whole grains. Refined grains have no regular place in a healthy diet. If anything, they should be the exception, not the rule!

    But the USDA always teeters on that line between what is healthy and what the public wants to hear.

  16. handful of chocolate chips (butterscotch, or white chocolate too!) is often my choice sweet treat 🙂 glad to know I’m not alone! I think the myplate is cool. I never really followed the pyramid anyway and I don’t think I’d live and die on any government recommendation, but it’s only supposed to be a recommendation and the myplate seems easy to put into use if you’re really not sure of any nutritional guide line. AND there are a lot of people who have asked me if nuts were a carbohydrate. it’s shocking really… I just took nutritional knowledge for granted.

  17. I can see why a bunch of food bloggers/readers would think this is a joke, but if a large number of Americans started to model their dinner plate off of this (you know, actually adding fruits and vegetables to it, rather than just meat & grains) we would see a difference in our country’s overall health. Is it “dumbed down” nutrition? Yes. Does it have to be for the general population? Yes.

    I think it’s a positive step forward that meat, dairy and grains are being downsized on the plate.

  18. Thanks for posting your workout routine. I’m a new reader of your blog, and I would love to see more of your workouts. Thanks!

  19. I feel uninspired by the new ‘plate.’ I guess it has to be accessible and applicable to the masses but it doesn’t fit the bill for every meal. Not many people incorporate veggies into breakfast. Some people don’t eat dairy at all, or are intolerant of it. Some people’s bodies thrive on protein, where others can hit cruise control on a diet high in grains. Diet is such an individual thing that its hard to make a blanket prescription for healthy eating but I commend the USDA as I think its at least a moderate improvement over past iterations of food recommendations.

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