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. MyPlate is way better than the pyramid, but may be too simple in my opinion. I don’t think they can create anything that symbolizes how most Americans should eat, though, because there are so many factors!

  2. I think it is a better idea than the pyramid, but I agree with the poster above me who said it is too simple and that there are so factors in deciding what a person should eat. Is this a good starting point? Maybe…

  3. Dairy shouldn’t have it’s own category regardless of whether it’s not really “on” the plate. Dairy should be grouped in with protein.

    Also, now if the US government would just subsidize foods based on the plate then you’ll be all set. I’d like to see the plate side-by-side with a pie chart of government subsidies for produce, meat, and dairy.

  4. I do think it is much easier to understand but I am unsure if it is actually going to help many people…. I unfortunately do not think a large part of the population cares what they put into their body and/or what composes a healthy meal. I think that this might bea good starting point, but more drastic steps far beyond simple re-creating the food pyramid (or food plate now?) are needed to really make and impact and make people change their ways!

  5. I think the plate is a good visual, but I also think that a person’s nutritional needs are going to vary depending on so many factors! It’s hard to say what is right for everyone. It’s a good start for someone who is new to healthy eating, though!

  6. I like the plate much better! I think it’s easier to understand and helpful. I agree that maybe people don’t WANT to follow it and will continue to eat as they were…..but those are probably the people who aren’t aware or concerned about the food plate anyway. For those people (and I think there are many) who need a guideline for healthy eating, I think this is a nice visual and it’s easy to remember.

  7. I do agree with many of the above posters about the plate being a better visual tool than the pyramid, but it still needs work. The dairy lobbyists really pushed for that additional little circle, didn’t they!?

    Haha…but really, I don’t have issue with the idea of dairy, but I do find it a little frustrating to see it presented that way.

  8. I am not a fan of the My Plate. I mean it is good, but what about the healthy fats? Where are those? And I was talking with some of my friends and they said when they here the word protein they think beef (not fish, chicken, beans etc). I feel its a step in the right direction, I still think it needs some improvements tho!

  9. Like other readers have commented, I think that it is a good start, but may be over-simplified. For example, there is no mention of healthy fats, which are essential to a healthy diet.

  10. I did see that – I’m glad that they’re making it easier for people to be more aware (although I think there should be a separate “Friday Plate” that includes a cookie 😉 )

  11. My fridge always needs to be stocked with hummus, veggies, and eggs or else I feel uncomfortable too! I guess it’s just a habit of mine, plus I love having my go-to snacks and meals when I’m busy.

  12. I haven’t read in-depth about the new requirements yet, but I really like that they are much easier to understand, at least from a visual perspective!

  13. Though I think it’s better than MyPyramid, I have a few issues with it…

    #1, They do not include healthy fats!
    #2, “Protein” is vague — does the general public understand what that means? Also, dairy and grains can be good sources of protein (depending) so it’s very misleading.
    #3, I think the design is terrible. It could be a lot more eye-catching. The ADA actually has an excellent one and I can’t seem to find it online!
    #4, It still does not help with portion control!

    I think it’s a step in the right direction, but without solid nutrition education, it’s not going to be effective.

  14. Butterscotch chips! Yum- gotta love those necessities. I usually try to keep a bag stocked as well but I never even thought of doing a PB & Butterscotch Chip snacker… so excited to try this (with sunflower butter… gotta go with what I have in my cupboard!) 🙂

  15. I really like to new dietary recommendations plate. The food pyramid was not very helpful considering it used number of servings of each food group, and considering that many people have a hard time determining how much food is really in a serving. This MyPlate is very helpful, because it gives you a visual of what your plate should look like. It’s all about balance and portion control, which I believe is the fundamental part of any diet. 🙂

  16. I love the Nature’s Promise brand. So cheap, but just as good!

    There was a heated debate on Mama Pea’s blog the other day, but basically I think this is a good step forward for the government to say people should eat more veggies and less meat. But then the government can still do so much more to provide more information on the benefits of fresh produce and healthy eating in general.

  17. I think that MyPlate is a much better visual representation than MyPyramid…BUT I think that they should have put even MORE emphasis on eating veggies. In my opinion, veggies should be 1/2 of the plate. Vegetables are so neglected in the Standard American Diet…also that little dairy circle off to the side is weird…what does the mean? A glass of milk? A wheel of cheese?

  18. The circle for dairy bothers me because it infers – and encourages viewers – that the only form of dairy is a glass of milk. Yikes! I’m also not sure about the size of the protein portion because a tablespoon or two of peanut butter provides a lot of protein but won’t take up quite 1/4 of a plate. Just worried it may confuse people new to healthy eating. I do think this is a good starting point, though.

  19. Ooh, butterscotch chips my favorite!! The lighting for your pictures was perfect! I’m glad they’re encouraging people to eat a balanced diet but they should better explain the importance of fats in a diet, because many people associate dietary fat with body fat too much. Check out my blog at Beautiful Busy Bee. I don’t have many followers yet, but I’m hoping to change that! Thanks.

  20. I want to like the myplate thing, but it just seems to simplistic and not that helpful. Really, I feel like most people will view it as four equal servings of each of those things. It doesn’t really do much for portion control, either. I think it’s hard to put proper nutrition into a picture, though.

  21. That sweet potato pancake is calling my name! I think the new plate idea is moving in the right direction… it’s much easier to read, especially for children! I saw an interview where they were interviewing elementary school students about this and I think it really hit home with them. I do still think some other crucial pieces of information are left out, but it’s a step in the right direction.

  22. I really don’t pay much attention to “their” recommendations…I eat lots of fresh veggies and fruits, I eat carbs, I eat fats, I eat plant-based protein, etc etc.

    I eat what I believe is balanced, and healthy, for MY body and my needs and am not really swayed that much by the ever-changing recommendations that “they” come out with any more.

  23. I do think My Plate is better than the pyramid, especially the fruits and veggies part. However, I’d like to see the government hire Michael Pollan and let him start telling us what we should be eating! Until the gov gets on board with pushing only organic and/or properly raised animals for dairy, eggs, meat and fish, and until they start pushing all whole foods, I just think people will be led astray.

  24. I’m going to agree with the majority when I say that I like MyPlate much better than my pyramid. It is easier to understand and eliminates the need for that annoying “servings” business. I’d much rather look at MyPlate and make my actual meal look like that!
    Have a great day, Tina! 😀

  25. Those are pretty much my essentials too! But I like almond milk over soy. 🙂

    I do like the concept of the plate too. It is very simple for those trying to learn the portions of certain items. It can always be improved upon though. Everyone’s dietary needs are so different.

  26. Wow that’s so awesome. I really like this plate. That makes things much less overwhelming and confusing. I generally just guess on what I’m eating and hope for the best!

  27. I actually did a blog post on this the day it came out. I definitely think it is an improvement over the pyramid, but they left so much out. This is lovely to demonstrate portion control… but on what size plate?? It should be a 9″ plate, and no where on this plate does it depict any size. And exercise (while I understand isn’t a “nutrition” concern) was completely removed! At least the last pyramid encouraged physical activity.

  28. I think the plate is SO much clearer. I know the pyramid is somewhat complicated, but this is so simple! I’m glad they are trying to make people more aware of healthy choices…it seems no one knows how to eat healthy even when he/she thinks they do!

  29. There is no need for a “dairy” category! That seems like it was thrown in there to please the Dairy Industry. And it actually encourages you to drink the low fat vs. the fattier ones, but there is no category for fats. And it really does nothing to describe what size portion you should be having, only the size in proportion to each other, i.e. half your plate etc. I think it’s kind of ridiculous, although better than the pyramid?

  30. I think the MyPlate is great for people new to nutrition but I hate how dairy has it’s own category. It should be lumped in with protein, and besides, I don’t know anyone who drinks milk with their dinner.

  31. I’m a big fan of MyPlate. In fact, I keep meaning to post about it but I have lots of thoughts on it and not that much time these days to get into such a subject (hopefully it will be tomorrow’s post!!)

    Why am I a fan? Because sadly, a lot of the general public just doesn’t get what it means to be healthy. And the food pyramid was just too uninviting. MyPlate is much more approachable and ensures that people get down the basics. I’m always surprised with how many people don’t know the basics. So thumbs up for me!

  32. I just found your site and love it!!

    While I don’t think there is really can be a one-size-fits-all model for everyone, I do think the MyPlate will help a lot of people. It is easier to put into context because you can see the actual plate and divide up portion sizes. The pyramid was all based on servings… which can be difficult if you are clueless as to what a portion size really is!

    Your bagel looked marvelous 🙂

  33. I don’t know if I feel this change was necessary… if people don’t eat healthily, I think it’s because they don’t want to eat healthily, not because they don’t understand the recommendations. It’ll be interesting to see if this new layout leads to improvements in peoples’ diets.

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