Year In Review {2013 Goals}

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.

Heyyyyy! How’s your Monday going so far?

I still can’t believe the new year is a little more than a day away. 2013 flew by, didn’t it? It was an awesome year for me, and I can only imagine what the future holds. Here’s to 2014 being the best year yet!

Ok, time to revisit my goals from 2013 and see how I did on each of them.

Goals for 2013:

Keep my colon healthy

I can’t say this one was a total success because I was sick for 9 months out of the year, but I’m healthy now and enjoying it very much, so I am ringing in the new year on a high note. I also learned a lot about myself and my disease in 2013. I never blogged about some of this because I was trying to figure it all out for myself, but I spent a good portion of the year trying a holistic approach to managing my symptoms.

From May until late September, I worked with a holistic doctor, who ran food sensitivity and gut permeability tests on me. He set me up with all sorts of supplements and recommended a number of diet modifications. Oh, I tried so many diets last year to get my symptoms under control with no luck. I tried the Paleo diet in the beginning of 2013. In May, I moved onto the Repairvite diet and, after getting my food sensitivities test back, I went on an insanely restrictive (and miserable) diet for the entire summer until I got pregnant and my immune system regulated itself. I also tried acupuncture, daily meditation and relaxation techniques, taking time off from high-intensity exercise, and other crazy stuff like drinking bone broth to heal myself this past year. And you know what? NONE of it worked for me. I saw symptoms every single day and even had a terrible flare at the end of the summer.

I’m glad that my G.I. doctor allowed me to try so many different things before resorting to immunosuppressors, but, at the end of the day, I learned that I’m a much happier and calmer person when I’m not constantly stressing out about UC symptoms. I felt like I was making myself crazy trying to heal myself with no success. I thought (and talked) about the disease non-stop, and it basically took over my life because I was so obsessed with getting better. I couldn’t control the symptoms no matter what I tried, and they did horrible things to me mentally and, of course, physically.

I don’t want to live that way again, and I know there are (drug) options out there that work for a lot of people, so I am finally ready to stop fighting my doctor (and poor Mal) and take them. I just want to be healthy, which I know is especially important when I am caring for another (little) person. Of course, let’s hope I stay healthy post-pregnancy, but if my symptoms come back, I am (finally) okay with taking hard core drugs to manage them.


Ok, that got a little heavy… onto more lighthearted content!

Get organized

Mal and I definitely got more organized this year, but I still think we can do better, especially with a little one coming along. I hear babies need a lot of stuff and we have a small house, so I can only imagine the clutter everywhere. Oh, boy, we need to go to IKEA like now.

real simple organization challenge

Throw my sister an amazing baby shower.

My sister loved her baby shower! It was a big success!


Go on one date night each month

Fail. Mal and I went on plenty of dates this year, but it wasn’t a monthly happening for us. We still spent plenty of quality time together, and that’s all that really matters, right?

IMG_7755 (750x563)

Try surfing

I took a lesson in Oahu and loved it! It was easier than I thought it’d be!


Try (indoor) rock climbing

Mal and I went rock climbing together back in February, and it was a lot of fun!


Rx Fran

Yesssss! Best day ever!


Listen to NPR daily

Sort of. I listened to NPR a lot this past year, but not every day. Even still, I listened more than previous years!


Learn to Make Sushi

Mal and I had a blast making sushi together at a class this past summer. I was surprised to discover I’m actually kind of good at it! Man, I could really go for some sushi right now.


So there’s a quick recap of my goals for 2013. Overall, I’m happy with what I accomplished, and I’m already looking forward to tackling my goals for 2014 (post coming soon)!



  1. Thanks for sharing! I know you are going to have a wonderful 2014. I have to say – that pug of yours is just too cute! Puppies are such a part of the family – he will be thrilled with your new addition!

  2. Looks like you did a great job on your 2013 goals! As for the baby thing, yes, they do need certain things, but I wouldn’t say they NEED lots of stuff. They really just NEED you, some comfy onesies, and blankets in the beginning. A lot of it is fun and convenient, but not always necessary…just keep that in mind. 😉 I feel like marketers are really good at getting us mom’s emotional side. That all being said, we have a small house too, so organization has been key for us! Some of my favorite things for a small house: closet organizers, bins to keep diaper stuff/toys/etc. in for each room, Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair (one that you can just put on a kitchen chair).

  3. Such a bummer on trying so many things for your UC without much luck. I’m happy you’re ready to listen to your doctor (and Mal, haha! <– it's hard to admit when husbands are right sometimes 😉 ), with a little one coming into your life next year!

  4. I am newly pregnant with baby 3 and have UC as well. With my first child my symptoms started to become active after 6 yrs of nothing! My second I stayed the same as pre pregnancy and now I’m hoping that u stay healthy this time. Pregnancy and post preg does crazy things to your IBD 🙁
    I like reading about your UC experiences bc it shows other and myself that this is actually a disease that is ok to talk about etc.
    thank you 🙂

  5. Wow, you rocked your goals! So sorry to hear about all of the failed healing remedies. I also have tried to so much to restore my healthy. Reading so many testimonies of illnesses reversed through diets, etc I hoped I would be one of them too. Unfortunately, as you learned (as have I), it doesn’t always work that way. Hoping 2014 is a great year for you!

  6. Sounds like you did pretty good with your goals for 2013. I like how you have some goals that are a bit bigger (such as get organized, date night every month) and smaller goals like learn to make sushi. It makes it feel much more manageable when your not facing a big list of major life changes and goals! Have a great New Years!

  7. I’m sorry you didn’t have much luck trying holistic approaches to tame your UC. I had the same problem – I tried everything I could, but my symptoms just got worse and worse. I had a lot of luck at first with medications, but eventually those stopped working for me and I had to have surgery – something I said I would NEVER do. You have to do what’s best for your body and that was the only thing that would help me to get better – it wasn’t easy but now I am UC free and a mama to a happy and healthy 4-month old baby boy! I felt GREAT during pregnancy and I hope you continue to feel great during yours. Wishing you, Mal, Murphy, and Baby H a very happy and healthy 2014!

  8. I know you are going to get two million baby advice comments from people, but there is one piece of baby equipment that was a LIFE SAVER with baby #2, that wasn’t invented yet when I had my first. Fisher-Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper. Best thing ever! My baby actually slept in it for the first few months, plus it is highly portable so you will have a comfortable place that your baby knows, wherever you go. I purchase one for every baby shower I go to… so you can look into it, or invite me to your baby shower! hehe, TOTALLY kidding 🙂

  9. That sucks about being sick for most of the year, but at least you have found something that works for you. Are you still on the immunosuppressants while pregnant? We are currently trying to conceive and I’m on a low dose of Imuran for my UC. I am symptom free right now, and would love to go off the drugs but am afraid to. My GI says that the drugs are safe while pregnant. Just wondering if you are still taking them”¦…

    1. I’m not on immunosuppresors. (I never have been. Just mesalamine in various forms and steroids at times.) My immune system is regulated now because I’m pregnant, so I’m not having any UC symptoms (*knock on wood*).

  10. Totally sympathize with letting your illness take over your life. I too tried pretty much everything to manage my hashi’s holistically. I still found a lot of tools and supps to help me naturally (gluten free is nonnegotiable for me unfortunately) but I had to accept I would need to take thyroid pills for the rest of my life no matter how healthy I ate, exercised, etc. I think stressing about your disease absolutely can negatively affect your body and be very counterproductive. Kinda funny that doing “relaxing” things like yoga can hinder you if you obsess over it or missing a class b/c you think it’s going to make you ill! Its not a fun way to live. Congrats on making some progress and accepting that some things are beyond your control. Thank goodness for modern meds!

    I too eat paleo but I have relaxed a bit. For instance, I find that almond flour is very hard to digest so instead of making paleo treats, I just use a gluten free flour like cup4cup and indulge only occasionally. I also figured out that going too low-carb was detrimental to my thyroid (figured out that the you actually need insulin to convert t4 -the innactive thyroid hormone – into t3 the active thyroid hormone?!). This summer I loosened up and I had my healthiest Summer yet!

    Cheers to an even better 2014!

  11. I don’t think you and Mal failed on the date night goal! You guys seem to have a ton of fun together and you go out to dinner at least once a week it seems! I’d say you definitely succeeded in that! You guys seem to have a wonderful relationship! I’m so excited to watch the future with baby haupert coming! 🙂

  12. I was sick for about 6 months from 2012 to 2013 with UC sypmptoms. I had to suck it up and take prednisone. Which, even though I know the side effects that it caused and the other issues it contributed to, when faced with you need this colon to stop bleeding out, (sorry for the TMI, but that’s what it is) I took the drugs and will again if this comes back. Because not treating it leads to colon cancer.
    Good luck on the new year, I hope you stay healthy!

  13. Babies do take up tons of space so your plan to organize more in 2014 is a great one! I’m glad to see that you had a lot of fun and interesting (hello sushi!) goals for 2013. I can’t wait to see what you tackle in the year to come!

  14. Wow that’s a lot of goals to have accomplished! I love NPR. I listen NPR podcasts while I workout. Yes, I think I’m the only person who doesn’t listen to music at the gym… I’m either listening to NPR or Dan Savage!

  15. I think that you did fabulously!!! For what it’s worth, my Dad has Colotis and it took him 2 years to get himself back to health though a combination of a restricted diet and medicine. It was a rocky road and it took a lot of patience but he’s finally back to himself and off medicine since August. So it could be worth it, if that’s what puts you on the track to health!

  16. Your GI issues sound amazingly familiar to my story. Like identical. Short recap, I did the holistic approach for about a year, even the repairVite you mentioned, acupuncture, no dairy, no gluten, the works! My boyfriend was tired of me obsessing too and made me promise to see what he calls “a real doctor” Longer story short I saw a specialist got an EGD (put to sleep and scope down my tummy for biopsy), a barium X-ray test, allergy testing etc… The only thing I learned was that I’m anemic. Originally when I started testing my white cells were elvated but by the end they were back to normal. I have given enough blood this year to supply another human it feels like. Anyway, I got drugs that helped and took those for about 6 months. Eliminating gluten helped me a lot. My holistic doctor did a saliva test that said I was sensitive, but the “real” doc said I’m not celiac. There is no medical in between technically. I say all that to say this and I hope you got through my long rant to read this one word….. Juicing! Changed my tummy and my life! I quit taking my medicine and haven’t taken it since. I quit taking all the crazy supplements and just drink juice ever day. Some say it’s too much time or too expensive but I say I can’t afford not to! Plus I actually am in the black from all the money I save on Meds and supplements! Interested to hear your thoughts on Juicing, and if you have tried it??

  17. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with UC. I just found your blog not too long ago andhave been addicted! It’s so nice to see and read about others around the same age coping with this disease. I spent the last year battling my uc and was on prednisone three times and have finally succumbed to the dreaded immunosuppresors… hoping that they will keep me in check and I can live my life instead of constant worry! I’ve only been on them a couple months so I am gradually weaning the prednisone and anxious to be done! Best of luck with the pregnancy… I have two little girls and felt great with both pregnancies!

  18. I’m sorry none of the holistic methods you’ve tried helped your colon. I hope you don’t have any flares during your pregnancy (and after of course 🙂 ). Hope 2014 is a great one for you and Mal (and Baby H!)!

  19. You’ve managed to accomplish some great things and have fun too!

    It’s good to hear that you’re managing your health better and we hope you continue down this path. Being sick, isn’t fun.

    We’re looking forward to reading more of your blog posts in 2014.

    My Virtual Mission

  20. Also pregnant with UC here. I tried a lot of things also but after a scary bad flare I am on 6mp and lialda for the foreseeable future. We wanted to have another child and I wasn’t healthy enough to be pregnant without the 6mp. Luckily my UC is the best it’s been now that I’m pregnant since I stopped nursing my first child. Hope it lasts for both of us! We totally gave in to the baby clutter but try to limit it to certain areas and we tidy up every evening. Can’t wait to hear about your 2014 adventures

  21. Hiya Tina,
    Great post; I just wanted to acknowledge that I know it’s hard to say “Yeah, I might need to take some medicine” to help solve a health problem. I have been there many times. (I think it has something to do with being Wonder Women, knowing perseverance will usually solve all the problems!)
    Anyway, in the words of my wise mom, sometimes you just need to remember “Hey, they make a pill for that!” and take it. 🙂

  22. Gosh, I can really identify with what you said about concentrating all your energy on your disease and getting better. I am dealing with a health issue right now and it is ALL. I. THINK. ABOUT. It’s so frustrating, because stress only makes it worse–so I stress about being stressed!

    Can’t wait to hear about your wonderful, blessed 2014!

  23. Sorry to hear the things you’ve tried haven’t been helping your gut. I have been dealing with IBS issues without much relief until I started a low FODMAP diet which has made all the difference. I’m glad you linked to bone broth post because I had been meaning to make some! I made a couple batches over the weekend. It’s worth a try to see if it helps with my gut and joints (like ITBS). Reading the comments on that post, can’t believe you got crap for drinking bone broth. It’s like others didn’t realize it’s in the base of a ton of soups!!! There’s also research to support drinking it. Well see if it helps at all!

  24. I was recently diagnosed with UC and a friend referred me to your blog. I’m curious about your experience with VSL #3. I see you posted about it in May, but I don’t see anything about it since then. I’m guessing you are including it with all of the other dietary changes you made that didn’t work?

    1. Honestly, nothing really worked for me to get my flares in control. I’m still taking VSL#3 on a regular basis and just hoping it’ll keep me healthy through my pregnancy and beyond. I think once you’re in remission, it’s a great thing to do to keep your gut bacteria healthy and happy, but I don’t think it’ll get you into remission. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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