One Step Closer

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.

Hooray!! :mrgreen:

I am CPR and AED-certified! I’m one step closer to becoming a certified personal trainer.

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This morning, I participated in a three-hour training session in Westwood, Massachusetts. We learned how to perform CPR, use an AED machine, and prevent choking in adults, children, and infants. The instructor was really great and the class flew by.

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Since the CPR and AED-certifications are just one step in the process, I thought it would be a good time to go over what you need to do to become a NASM-certified personal trainer. In a nutshell:

  • Step One: Buy the NASM study materials.
  • Step Two: Get your CPR and AED certifications.
  • Step Three: Study, study, study! (Optional: Register for a NASM live workshop. I found it really helpful, but its purpose is not exam-prep. The goal of the workshop is to teach participants how to train clients. Obviously, this is helpful for the exam, but it isn’t a review of the test materials in any way.)
  • Step Four: Take the online practice exam.
  • Step Five: Schedule your exam.
  • Step Six: Freak out
  • Step Seven: Take exam (and pass)!

I’ll be sure to keep you guys in the loop about how the rest of the steps go for me!


Once the CPR course ended, I hopped in my car and drove straight to NuVal. On the ride there, I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread.

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A little while later, I arrived at NuVal, participated in a conference call, and caught up on some work while munching on a banana (< — TWSS).

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The event that I am attending tonight is sort of near the NuVal office, so instead of driving home and back again, I decided to do some blogging and study for NASM at Panera.

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Umm”¦ Panera is a sweet place to work. Why didn’t I know this until now? (I live under a rock.) Panera has free internet, lots of space, and really yummy food. Obviously, I’m a fan.

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I won’t get home until later tonight, so I grabbed a snack at Panera to hold me over until dinner: Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto and a baguette. Ever since the Roasted Tomato Soup at The Smith, I’ve been on a serious soup kick. This one was delish””the pesto was especially fabulous.

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Blog -> study -> event -> home!



  1. WOW what a day! I totally love Panera, and since I am from St Louis (where it began as St Louis Bread Co) I have a special place in my heart for it 🙂

    I love being a trainer-I find it so rewarding! Yes the process (and studying!!) is long, but if you love it it is all worth it in the end 🙂

    Have fun tonight!

  2. I work within a mile of Panera too – their soup is a staple in my winter lunches! Something about soup is addictive, I have it once and get on a kick for a couple weeks at a time. I’m not complaining though 😉

  3. Woo, congrats on your certs!

    I used to be obsessed w Panera back in college, but there are barely any near me now that I live in D.C. 🙁 I’ve been on a huge soup kick lately too though.. I tend to go on food tangents for weeks at a time haha.

  4. Can I just say…I was at my local library yesterday and saw your book! I immediately checked it out and read it all in one day. Amazing recipes! I was so excited to see it, I felt like I knew you personally. Thanks so much for a great read.

    And love Panera’s black bean soup. Try it next time 🙂

  5. Panera is one of my favorite places to do work! If you go during off-times (not during lunch or dinner) it’s usually quiet, there is nice music, great food and cheaper coffee than Starbucks. The one in Coolidge Corner even has a fireplace and cozy chairs!

  6. Woo hoo! Way to rock your CPR/AED test! Even if you’re not trying to get NASM CPT certified, I think your CPR/AED cert is a great thing to have. I’ve had several jobs and volunteer positions that required or recommended it. Have fun at your blogger event this evening!

  7. Yay! Congrats on getting closer! 🙂 I love Panera, however the nearest one to where I live is about 45 minutes away. Maybe that’s a good thing?? 😉 The last time I visited Panera I was with some girlfriends going to see Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio (<check him out if you have time….awesome!). Anyway, each of us got a Pumpkin Spice latte for the road. Yum right? I wanted to savor every sip so I waited as long as I could to drink it before we made it to the arena. Get to the door and the dude makes us pour them out! I got a few sips, but man that was difficult to throw out. 🙁
    Have a great afternoon!

  8. I like to blog on my lunch break from work so I am always looking for a good place with free wi-fi where I can eat and write without a lot of noise. There is a Panera close to my work so now I know I can set up my computer in the corner and blog. Thanks!
    Btw, I am aslo headed to Las Vegas this weekend for the RNR half marathon. If I see you in Vegas, I promise to come and say hello! I’m sure I will not have a problem spotting you among the 44,000 people who are running this weekend… (wish there was sarcasm font for that last remark)!

  9. Omg I love panera! They have the only salad I will eat. The fuiji chicken salad. And congrats on getting cpr certified! I used to have to do that when I taught school. They keep changing the way its done!

  10. Panera is one of my go-to study/work places. Even when it’s busy, it’s incredible how much work I can get done there! Must be the endless cups of coffee ; )

  11. Major congrats! What a huge accomplishment. I am so excited for you to become a trainer, I think you will be so good at it with your knowledge and your personality. PS your TWSS was one of the funniest I’ve ever heard. I was LOLing at work.

  12. We just got a panera in Burlington where I’m at school and I’ve stared doing work there also. It’s the comfiest atmosphere and I also LOVE their food… like obsessed. Best place to get work done for sure!

  13. Congrats, Tina!

    My old company used to bring in Panera all the time and I got so sick of it, but I think it’s been long enough that their food is starting to look good again. Maybe I will try working from there this week – there’s one right up the street from me and it’s huge. 🙂

  14. CPR is always good to have on hand. Congrats on one step closer.

    And I keep hearing good things about Panera, but have never been there. *nods head*. I will need to go. There is one not to far from me. In fact, I always think that if I was to open a franchise, it would be a Panera.

  15. You should try a recipe in the Runners World Magazine (I think it was their Nov. issue?) – it was for tomato chickpea pesto soup and it had the same idea of the pesto dollop and it was fabulous! Healthy and super easy to make too!

  16. I totes recognize that Panera- it was right next to my apartment in Boston 🙂 The cooler, winter weather has got me loving soups lately… Chicken noodle and butternut squash seem to be my faves!

  17. Panera Bread is my addiction. I love getting their macaroni and cheese (SO AMAZING) with ceaser salad and a baguette!! There was a time last spring when I went AT LEAST twice a week!!

  18. Good luck on this journey. The test is not as bad as you think. I thought I did so much worse and I ended up doing really well on the exam. You know way more than you think. 😉

  19. Tina,

    You’re gonna pass no problem! I have done two different certs (CanFit Pro and Certified Personal Trainers Network — both Canadian) and although I think the NASM might be a little more in-depth, you already know your stuff. There are a lot of people who strangely enough end up being trainers without much experience! I’m sure you’ll have to study but if you’re anything like me, it will be a) fun because it relates to something you love and b) easier to understand because you’ve done most of it before!

    Good luck!

  20. I’ve been thinking about getting my certification too, I think I’ll wait until next year when Soph goes to kindergarten. Keep me posted…love hearing about it. Yes, Penera is awesome, been there back in Viriginia and loved it. Also love the soup they sell at Target. Yum.

  21. I don’t think I’ve ever commented but I had to today because Westwood is my hometown! It’s such a small town that it’s exciting to see it on your blog 🙂

  22. I love soup as well. I add a few tablespoons of freshly ground flax seed to my soup and it almost turns it into a stew. Makes the soup really hearty and filling and gives you lots of omega 3s. Plus I love the taste.

    When I’ve been bad diet-wise I get right back on the wagon by eating less refined carbs and more fresh fruits and veggies.

    Good luck with your test. I went back to school to get my BS in holistic nutrition in my late 40s and it was hard but a wonderful experience because I was so passionate about the subject. You seem very passionate as well which is why you will be great at it.

  23. I too love Panera’s Garden Vegetable soup with Pesto and theBlack Bean soup is delish!!!
    Panera’s one of my favorite, healthy, go to, “fast food” places!

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