Q&A: Carrots ‘N’ Cake’s Tina Haupert

The health blogger tells us how to live a healthy life—without going crazy.

Tina Haupert

Haupert hard at work. Photo provided

A health blog that encourages you to eat cake sounds pretty much like heaven. That’s just what Tina Haupert—the blogger behind Carrots ‘N’ Cake, author of a book of the same name, and a certified personal trainer—is all about. Haupert has made a name for herself by chronicling her every workout and meal to promote the idea of a balanced, decidedly doable outlook on healthy living. Here, Haupert tells us about her start, her philosophy, and, yes, eating those cupcakes.

How did Carrots ‘N’ Cake come about?
I started Carrots ‘N’ Cake as a way to keep myself motivated for my upcoming wedding. I wanted to tone up and look great on my wedding day, so I started to document my daily meals and workouts on my blog. Never in a million years did I expect a little hobby blog to become such a huge part of my life. Now it’s my full-time job!

What is your goal for the blog? 
Carrots ‘N’ Cake is a fun take on leading a healthy lifestyle—eating your carrots and savoring your cupcakes, too. I try to show through my blog posts that healthy living is all about balance and fun.

Not many health bloggers are so up-front about loving cupcakes. Do you think it’s important to include the “bad” foods too? 
Absolutely! In fact, it’s more than okay as long as the “bad” foods are enjoyed in moderation. The “bad” foods can definitely be part of a well-balanced diet. I aim to fill my diet with nutritious, healthy foods 80 percent of the time and fun, not-so-healthy foods 20 percent of the time.

So how do you curb a sweet tooth without depriving yourself completely?
It’s all about moderation and portion size for me. If I want a cupcake, for example, I’ll have it, but I’ll eat the frosting top and give the bottom to my husband. (Thankfully, it’s his favorite part!) I’m also a big fan of combining something sweet with a little bit of protein and fat to balance my cravings and keep my hunger at bay. I love trail mix with bits of chocolate or M&Ms, or mashed sweet potato or banana with a scoop of almond butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

What does a typical day look like for you, diet- and exercise-wise?
A typical day for me almost always starts with peanut butter and banana, freshly pressed green juice, and a glass of iced coffee. I love this breakfast, and it never gets old for me. Lunch is usually leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. Some of my favorite dinners are Paleo Pad Thai, gingery beef and broccoli, garlic mustard drumsticks, vegetarian cottage pie, and sweet potato and spinach hash. My favorite workout is CrossFit, and I take classes two to three times a week. I also run and practice yoga about once a week each.

What’s your best advice for someone trying to get healthy without going crazy? 
My best advice: Don’t try to do too much at once, and make changes that you know you can sustain long-term. If you try to make too many changes at once, they won’t stick. Instead, make one small change per day and figure out what works best for you. Maybe you swap the cream in your coffee for almond milk one day. You might not like it, so you try coconut milk the next day and love it. Switching up little things like this, day after day, gets you closer and closer to a healthy life that works for you.