The Day That Changed My Life

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.

The first Friday of October, one year ago, was a regular ol’ day. I woke up, went to my job at Harvard– at the time, I worked as the Executive Assistant to the Dean– and anxiously awaited the start of the weekend.


Being Friday and all, I celebrated Cookie Friday with a new friend, a Harvard undergrad and CNC reader. We enjoyed cookies from Hi Rise Bakery.


I don’t remember the rest of the afternoon, but I assume that I was antsy to get home since Mal and I were going to Newport, Rhode Island for a mini vacation. Every year, his parents invite us to their timeshare to enjoy the weekend together. It’s easily my favorite weekend of the year.

On my commute home from Harvard that day, I missed a call on my cell phone. I sort of recognized the number and thought it might be my contact at NuVal. At the time, I was waiting to hear from them about a social media position. (Full story here.) A minute later, I received a voicemail. For some reason, I had a feeling it was an important phone call, so I got off the T to listen to the message.

Standing outside the Park Street station, I nervously listened to the voicemail. It the Senior Manager of Communications at NuVal offering me a job!!! :mrgreen: Of course, I called him back immediately. We talked through the details of the position– all of which sounded great– but I still asked for the weekend to make my decision.

I did a happy dance outside the Park Street T station and smiled non-stop for the rest of the ride home. I must have looked like such a weird-o smiling to myself.

I could not wait to tell Mal my good news. Of course, he was psyched for me, but we had a lot to talk about before I quit my fancy-schmancy job at Harvard. Behind the scenes, I had been making some calculated decisions, but it was still a big life change. (Full story here.) My head was spinning on the ride down to Newport.


Once we got settled in Newport, Mal treated me to Thai food and pumpkin beers to celebrate. I was beyond excited about my potential new life! 😀


When I returned to work on Monday morning, I resigned from my job. It was a scary decision, but I have never once regretted it.


NuVal’s job offer gave me the financial confidence to leave my position at Harvard to pursue blogging and freelance writing full-time. As much as I liked working for the Dean of Harvard, it just wasn’t the job for me. Now, I wake up every single day loving what I do. A year ago today, everything changed for the better.


I dropped Mal off at work this morning, so I could just swing by to pick him up on our way to Newport. On the ride home, I stopped by Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, which I enjoyed while taking Murphy for an extra long morning walk.


When I returned from our walk, I enjoyed a yummy bowl of overnight oats made with vanilla soy milk, chia seeds, raisins, and two scoop of Barney Butter.



For lunch, I threw together a quickie arugula salad with mushrooms, tomatoes, and crumbled feta. I later topped my salad with balsamic vinegar.


On the side, I had some strawberries.


A Sunny Hemp bar and an apple for the road.



Question of the Day

What were you doing one year ago?

Packing up and hitting the road. See ya in Newport! :mrgreen:



  1. It’s awesome that you have been blogging about your daily life, because I have zero memory of a year ago today.
    I was working…I know that much!

    I love when people pursue their dreams, even if it means giving up a cushy lifestyle. It’s so inspirational!

  2. It was exactly one year ago today that I came home from a year in Korea. I was SO excited to get off that airplane, walk through customs and see my mom and dad waiting for me! It was absolutely the greatest feeling ever.

  3. A year ago I was taking steps to buy my first house! It was a huge ordeal, but we settled a year ago the end of this month. It’s been a stressful and exciting year of home-ownership!

  4. lucky girl…i’m hoping i’ll be getting a job like that soon too and be able to leave a job that i hate (even though i love the company and the people). it’s just not the thing for me, and i can’t wait to see what the future holds!

  5. Your story is so inspirational to me, I feel like I’m in the same position you were in a year ago. And even though blogging full time might not be the career path for me, it’s nice to know there are people out there that have taken a leap of faith towards what they truly feel will bring them happiness. Congrats to you 🙂

  6. Wow good for you!! I hope to one day be in your shoes.

    One year ago I was gearing up for my office’s largest conference of the year! Now I just got back from our conference and am relaxing just a bit before things start getting hectic again. 🙂

  7. What a wonderful, encouraging story =) It’s awesome that you’re a place in your life when you’re happy and have a career that brings you so much joy and passion.

    Who knows where i’ll be in a year, but I hope to have a similar story, where I’m doing what I love and not what I should be =)

  8. I really have no idea what I was doing one year ago today. I’m so happy to have started my blog and be able to look back at the day to day adventures I have training and being with my family!

    So happy you are “living the dream”.

  9. I was prepping for my fitness competition one year ago, and my life was (sadly) consumed by that since I was only a few weeks away from the show. I did go on a Florida trip with friends this weekend a year ago though, so it wasn’t all bad.

  10. One year ago I was reading how you were going to work for NuVal 🙂 And to be honest, I was worried that your blog would change into a preachy NuVal blog but I am really glad that you have stuck to your roots and especially lately gotten back to the things that make you and the readers happy. You’re doing awesome Tina and you’re a constant inspiration for me, from fitness, to moderation in eating, and making sure to MAKE your life happy if you’re unhappy with it! Have a great weekend!

  11. I love hearing your story Tina! And how exciting that it was only a year ago that this happened!

    What was I doing a year ago today? I had no idea, and then I checked my email from a year ago — and today last year I took a friend of mine and her two kids (ages 2 and 4) to an apple orchard! We went on a hayride and picked apples. It was so much fun!

  12. such an awesome story! i’m hoping something similar may happen for me soon. fingers crossed!

    i don’t remember what i was doing a year ago! probably sitting in this very chair, surfing the internet, and hoping halloween would be fun this year!

  13. Such an inspirational story! Reading about your life over this past year and a half has been so motivating to me. You’ve shown me how much more there truly is to life and I’m working on making my own life more fulfilling. So happy for you! Wish I had gotten the nerve to speak w/ you at the HLS.

    Enjoy your weekend away!

  14. I really think you are an inspiration, that if we keep thinking positively and keep our goals in sight, that we can achieve anything….and BE HAPPY 🙂

    Thank you for inspiring me everyday, I hope to one day be able to write a similar post.

  15. A year ago today I was trying to balance a full time and stressful job with the fast-pace of my first year as a grad student. Today I am working part time a substitute teacher and keeping up with my grad school work while maintaining my health and sanity 🙂

    Kudos to you!!

  16. What a great anniversary for you to celebrate…1 year of doing exactly what you want to be doing! Good for you!

    Have fun in Newport. It’s so pretty there. I flew out there when I was 20 years old to see Bob Dylan perform at the Newport Folk Festival for the first time since the 60s. I met up with random internet friends whom I had never met, yet felt completely comfortable sharing a car and hotel room with.

    The concert was great. Bob wore a wig and fake beard. It was very strange indeed!

  17. Tina, you are such an inspiration to me. I am in a very similar situation, but on the other side of it at a job that’s great but just not for me making calculated decisions behind the scenes.

    I love that you share this story because I get so excited to read it each and every time.

    One year ago today I was on a cruise ship on a fall tour cruising up the NE part of the continent on my way to Maine. The conversations I had and the people I met on that cruise ship forever altered the course of my life. Thanks for that question, we are now reflecting on that in my office.

  18. What a nice story to read this afternoon. I’m so happy for you!

    Have fun this weekend in Newport.

    PS I just saw the little widget with your book cover on the left hand column – I LOVE the design. It’s so cute!!

  19. Hi Tina! I hope you enjoy Newport – its beautiful! You and Mal should try to return for the Amica marathon and half marathon in 2 weeks! I don’t think it closes and the half would be a great way to get a “long” run in!

  20. Last year in October I bought a house and I was in a job and town I absolutelly hated. My house is now on the market, I’m living in Charlotte, NC going to Culinary school, blogging about it, and living the dream. I never thought in a million years I would be here but I’ve never been happier! Glad I took a leap of faith!

  21. I think it’s safe to say you are such an inspiration to us all! Aka, you’re pretty awesome. Keep it up and thank you for sharing your journey with us! Have fun this weekend. 🙂

  22. About this time a year ago, I was kissing my husband goodbye. He was leaving for Singapore for a month for work. Sad, but not entirley. After the month was up, I bought a flight to Japan (which is in route to Sinapore) and met him for a week long vacation!

  23. I honestly don’t remember what I was doing, probably the same thing that I will be doing today… taking care of the house, my parents, my husband.

    Love, love, love the dogs in the masks. That made me LOL.

  24. Tina, I have been reading your blog for about 6 months now, and I absolutely love it. As an endurance athlete, I appreciate the posts you’ve been writing about fueling for your marathon training.
    On another note, I went to HiRise today for my first time, and it was delicious! Funny that you went there a year ago today.

  25. Tina – I love your blog. You are so inspiring, in an everyday woman type of way. A year ago today, I was working at my old job, getting ready for a work trip to Italy! Over the weekend instead of celebrating my brother’s birthday with him and some friends by attending a local festival/ parade, I went with my then-boyfriend to his best friend’s birthday party. It was a fun weekend, but now looking back i can see what was wrong in my life then. flash forward to a month ago – the day my life changed. I got a new job offer and the boyfriend broke up with me in one day, actually within two hours of each other. Now I am at my new job, which is great and since the break-up I have been doing so many things I missed when I was in that relationship. Tomorrow I am running my first half marathon ever! And am so excited!

  26. This time last year I was still a part-time MBA student and was working full time. I was also on my way to Las Vegas. Differences? I graduated with my MBA and I just returned from Las Vegas. 🙂

    Now I just need an awesome job like you!

  27. Tina,

    I remember reading this exciting news a year ago. It’s funny, I am in the same place I was last year, asking myself why I am still in this job. I need to get it together and make a move. Thanks for sharing with us all of the steps that lead up to your change. It’s important to know that change doesn’t happen overnight or through luck–you’ve got to work at it and be confident in yourself. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

  28. What an inspiring story! It’s hard to believe how much can change in a year. One year ago, I was thinking about how to channel all my nutrition and food expertise into something that reached a large audience. In April, was born and now I too am slowly beginning to live my dream. It is so satisfying and I feel so lucky!

  29. One year ago I was doing some last minute planning for my wedding. I also managed to slam my head in a car door and get a concussion. Don’t really recommend doing that 1 week before your wedding:)

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