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September 2020


The Slice of White Bread Rule

The Slice of White Bread Rule

I see food broken down into slices of bread.  It’s my point of reference to gauge the carbohydrate density of the food.  1 slice of bread is my carbohydrate equivalency of food.  Here is what I mean and some examples.


It isn’t so much about counting calories.  The focus should be on net carbs.  By keeping net carbs low you have the carbs you need for energy, without gaining weight.  If you keep your net carbs low enough, your body will be in a position to burn fat for fuel.  It is important to track your net carbs, and it helps to have a visual of what a typical serving of carbohydrates looks like.  This is why I talk about the slice of white bread.


The trend is for people to understand calories and tracking them.  Carbohydrates seem to be more elusive and having a visual like a piece of bread helps people a better grasp.  A serving of carbohydrates is 15 grams.  We can picture 1 slice of white bread looks like, well it is 15 grams of carb, which is 1 serving.

Picture 2 slices of white bread.  It is 2 servings of carbohydrate.  2 slices of white bread is 15g X 2= 30 grams carbohydrate.  Picture 3 slices of white bread.  That’s 45 grams of carbohydrate (3 servings).

I bet you can’t remember the last time you ate 3 slices of white bread in one sitting.  That’s the point. 3 servings of white bread as an afternoon snack is an odd choice.  Imagine this, a grande soy latte is a typical afternoon pick-me-up.  It is socially normal, accepted, and seems reasonable to order one up.  There are many people who enjoy this 5 days a week, Monday through Friday.  Here is the tricky part.  A grande soy latte is 41 grams of carbs.  Picture that stack of 3 slices of bread, for an afternoon snack, it makes you think twice.


The slices of bread is a visual way to conceptualize whether a food has a lot of carbs (thus taking up a lot of room in your glycogen stores) or only a little.  The fewer carbs that you ingest, the lower your net carbs, giving your body a chance to burn fat for fuel.  In the absence of net carbs, your body begins to burn fat for fuel.

Understanding this is, well….It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Remember a lot of foods contain carbs, and just because a food has carbs does not mean that it is bad for you and that you shouldn’t eat it.  It isn’t off-limits. You just need to compute how many slices of bread the food equates to and determine if it fits into your “Carb budget”.  Just because it has a high number of carbs doesn’t mean it’s bad or off-limits.

1 slice of white bread (15g carbs)

2 slices of white bread (30g carbs)

3 slices of white bread (45g carbs)


The carb content of food can be offset by fiber (total carb-fiber=net carb).  So, if a food has the carb equivalent to 3-4 slices of white bread, you can still have it with CarpenterOne80 so long as you have enough net carbs left not to exceed your daily carb allotment.  I typically stay below 35g net carbs for weight loss.  I stay below 75g for maintenance.  To really stretch the number of carbs you can eat, aim for foods with the most fiber.  The greater the portion of carbohydrates in a food that are actually fiber, the lower the net carb.  The lower the net carb, the greater your chances of burning fat for fuel.

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Twix Bars…not just for kids

Twix Bars…not just for kids

Do you see all these “healthy sweets” and wonder what to do with them?  I mean, we are suppose to eat whole foods, but most of us have a love for sweets and chocolates, but still want our clothes to fit day after day.  Here is one of my favorite modifications.

You will get your protein, fat, & fiber….and LOW NET CARB!



  1. Slice the GG crackers into 4 strips
  2. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (30 seconds, stir, repeat about 3 X’s)
  3. Layer parchment on a pan, cover the gg crackers in peanut butter and then sandwich them together (4 gg strips per twix Bar)
  4. Freeze 10 minutes
  5. Cover each twix bar in a thin layer of chocolate and top with sea salt
  6. Freeze 10 minutes

Originally posted 2020-06-02 09:58:48.

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Top 3 cheap and easy Valentine’s Day Tips…keep your mind out of the gutter

Top 3 cheap and easy Valentine’s Day Tips…keep your mind out of the gutter

Do you remember when you were little? At the end of January your teacher would pass out the white doilies and construction paper , thus began the treasured task of making Valentines for everyone in your class!  I remember the coming holiday with so much anticipation and excitement because of the coming written words from fellow friends and classmates.

I can remember my fancy WHITE paper lunch bag that Mrs. Barkel, my 4th grade teacher, passed out to our class of 30 kids, for us to decorate and hang with scotch tape on the door to her coat closet.  We had to be sure to write our names REALLY BIG so that other children would be able to find our bag. I also remember having to go up in groups to drop the cards into each bag, hoping that I wouldn’t snag another child’s bag with my shirt sleeve, ripping it from the wall.

I dropped in my Valentines because I wanted so badly to get Valentines.. I wanted those words of affirmation so badly, I would read and re-read them. I saved them, put them under my bed, and would read them again on days when I needed a pick me up.  The only candy I recall is the red heart box from the Hallmark store that Lady Diana (Mom) would buy for each of us. I remember pushing my finger up from the bottom of the candy to see what kind of chocolate it was, I was looking for the caramel. The finger through the bottom of the chocolate method saved me from the awful surprise of biting into the fruity raspberry fluff chocolate.

What I really treasured and remember is that I got cards for Valentine’s Day; more specifically, handwritten cards with words on them.  Something that I have done in the past, and will do this year, are simple but so meaningful.


Every day leading up to Valentine’s day, write a SHORT note or kind word on a 3X5 card (you can fancy this up and make a heart or buy paper, but the sentiment is what is really important) and tape it on your child’s bedroom door (or bathroom mirror).  My kids left these up until the messages fell down. After a day or so, they started looking for them. I did this for DKC as well! He still has some of his up from the last time.


Lookup funnykidjokes.com and scratch out a short joke on an index card (or a napkin)  and pop it in their lunchbox. This makes for fun at the lunchroom table. Beware: once you start this, they will be hooked.  You might take a minute and write out a week’s worth of one liners so that you are never in a pinch.


Those who know me, know I love sending and receiving handwritten cards.  They can be simple, short, and so incredibly important to the person you send a card to, especially now that we can communicate so much faster with our phones.   Who do you have in your life that you appreciate, love, miss, feel grateful for/to? Perhaps you have a teacher, mentor, former colleague, old roommate, high school friend, or a family member who comes to mine.  That’s just the person you should send a note to.

Let the spirit of Valentine’s Day inspire you to get your pen out and write all the beautiful thoughts you are thinking…

Do you have any Valentine’s Day memories to share?

Originally posted 2020-02-09 02:53:12.

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Cauliflower Casserole- A healthy Option

Cauliflower Casserole- A healthy Option

Want something creamy, decadent, & delicious that is also light and healthy?  Look no further #kidapproved. This recipe can be made with broccoli instead of cauliflower if you prefer.


INGREDIENTS (serves 8):

  • I large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoon whole wheat flour (1 used pulverized GG crackers)
  • 1 ¾ cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup fat-free grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup skim milk (I used unflavored almond milk)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon Red Pepper flakes (optional)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Boil water, add cauliflower and cook until softened (about 5 minutes)
  2. In a bowl, whisk eggs, milk, & salt.  Continue to whisk and add the flour 1 ½ cups of mozzarella and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.  (You will have ¼ cup of each cheese to use later to top the dish).
  3. Drain the cauliflower and add to the wet ingredients.  Pour into an 8×8 baking dish and top with the remaining cheeses and red pepper flakes.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese turns golden.



105 calories, 14g protein, 11 carb, 3 fiber, 8 net carb, 1g fat

(Because I zero out vegetables and only count them for fiber…I journal this as 6g carb, 3g fiber)


Originally posted 2020-02-04 17:35:20.

Fruit Tray

Is this you? Inflammation: I don’t know what it is, I just know I have it.

Is this you? Inflammation: I don’t know what it is, I just know I have it.

Listen, I am anti-diet culture but I am not anti-sustainable weight loss.

It really isn’t so much about the constant overeating that is the cause of weight gain.  Most people don’t do that.  The cause is the sneaky inflammation that causes carb and sugar craving and really is a drain on your metabolism.  The sugar from those carbs causes the slow down or inability to lose weight and belly fat.  Plus, that leads to poor energy and you just feel, well…bad.

You can do what others do which is exercise really hard and spend a lot of time not seeing results while jumping from hungry fad diet to hungry fad diet. However, if you don’t address the root problem, you will keep wasting your time.

So, what is inflammation and how do you decrease it?

This is the stuff I cover in my SOS (Suz on your Shoulder) Program (fyi, you can sign up for free for 7 days!), but let’s first discuss…

#TransparentPFF: Protein, Fat, and Fiber at every meal make maintaining or losing weight no big deal. This is where you start to rev your metabolism AND prevent inflammation. It keeps your blood sugar nice and even and allows your body to exist in a fat-burning mode.  Truthfully, this ensures you are supporting your body.


  • Protein –  this protects your lean muscle. You want to keep all the muscle you can because that is your storage tank for carbs.
  • Fat –  this will help you feel fuller longer and slows those blood sugar spikes (which is KEY when it comes to keeping your body in fat-burning mode!)  It’s so good for your brain, satiety, and hormones!
  •  Fiber – This is the indigestible part of a carb. High fiber carbohydrate foods help  your body stay in fat burning mode.  You will find fiber in whole grains, legumes,  fruits, and vegetables. This is your #1 inflammation fighter, plus it will cause your stomach to stretch, keep you full for hours, and help balance your blood sugar.


#Transparent-2Remove Inflammatory Foods: Packaged and processed foods, even the ones that say “Healthy” or “Natural”, are often filled with ingredients, such as vegetable oil, that help cause inflammation.

Look at your packages in your pantry. Look for words like vegetable oils, safflower, sunflower, canola, corn, soybean.  You will be shocked at how many of these products you probably have.

Oh, if you are intolerant to a food, your body will respond with inflammation as well.  If you know a food bothers you (common is dairy and gluten) it’s time to skip these foods.


#Transparent-3Exercise: Exercise is part of the healthy living equation. The best form of exercise for you to do is the one you will do. After that, weight-bearing exercises. This can be yoga, Pilates, HIIT, Barre, swimming, running, walking, hiking, rowing, biking, to name a few…  Weight lifting is a low impact but high metabolic impact workout. It will increase your metabolism without causing inflammation.


#Transparent-4Take care of your Gut: If anything can leak out of your gut, it causes inflammation. That means you need to feed those gut “bugs” food they LOVE (Fiber) so that the lining is nice and thick. This gut lining is your defense against the toxins getting into your bloodstream and causing havoc. If you have years of eating inflammatory foods/meds/ chronic stress, your gut lining will actually wear thin.

So, when toxins hit your blood, your body protects you with an inflammatory response.  You can go down the supplement route like probiotics, omega-3, digestive enzymes, glutamine, & collagen to help, however, the best place to begin to heal that gut is with PFF (Protein, Fat, & Fiber), plenty of sleep, & lowering stress.


#Transparent-5Sleep: When you get enough sleep, your body heals. Want inflammation to go down (start with the food) but give your body time to heal from the day. We heal with adequate sleep. If you are getting up early for bootcamp and skipping sleep, you are in for an inflammation spike. Try it, sleep in – skip the class and watch your weight drop.


If you read through this and anything jumped out at you and you thought…..THIS is what is holding me back from results…

Then you need to start with my SOS (Suz on your Shoulder) Program.

It’s a bite size nutrition education course broken down into 3-4 minute audio texts that deliver right to your text messages each day. It will teach you what you need to be eating!  It’s a $49 month value but you get to start for FREE for 7 days. After that, it’s only $15 a month.

$15 a month can change your life. SOS (Suz on your Shoulder) exists to clear up food confusion so that you can win at losing weight, stop suffering, and love your life.


I’ll talk to you soon!

Copy of XO,

PS –  Grab my list of Favorite Fiber Finds, Here

Originally posted 2020-05-30 07:39:15.

SuzDKC_Blue Dress_Rose

Why Smokin’ Hot Dates are Mandatory

Why Smokin’ Hot Dates are Mandatory

Before I met Dave, I was a babysitter and two families regularly had me babysit so they could get dressed up, fancy, and go to dinner to reconnect.  {I know now that it was to talk uninterrupted}. I saw this as a marriage plan for success. I dated DKC in college and didn’t want that to end, ever.

Raising great adults is what we are commissioned to do, and that means we need to WORK HARD to stay connected to one another, on the same page, and on fire for our life.  Lately, we are in the season of life where we HIGH 5 one another on our way in and out of the door.  Lately, weekends and weeknights we have to divide and conquer the kid activities that are at the same time in different parts of the city.  Being home together at night may only be for a few hours and while we are together, it isn’t often quality time. We are still engaged with kids, wrapping up work or “chores that need to be done for home/family”.   The crazy irony is that I am an early riser who loves sunrises and sees bedtime as a treat. I have had a 9:00 bedtime since 4th grade. DKC loves his mornings to sleep and would prefer to see midnight.  We have opposite natural tendencies and each phase of our marriage has required us MAKE IT A PRIORITY to step out of our rhythm of life, and protect time for just us.

Our children like us better when we take this time.  It not only pours into our relationship but our family.

This has almost always been difficult to do.

In the early parenting years, it meant scheduling a sitter (and paying the expensive sitter).    We chose for me to stay at home and retire from teaching, which meant one income. It was hard to pay for a sitter and dinner, so we were creative.  There were times we could trade babysitting date nights with friends. There were other times that we went for a long walk and an ice cream cone. Like I said, sitters were expensive, so nights like these, we had cheap activities to save money for paying the sitter.  There were lean years when date night was at home and on purpose after the children were put to bed, We lit candles, sat in the dining room, and pretended that we on a far off adventure. All that mattered was the date like intention. We were intentionally showing up to the other.

A surprise to dating….

I wanted to go on smokin’ hot dates, I wanted a break, I wanted to feel pretty, get dressed up, and have someone who loves me…give me their complete attention. The surprise that I didn’t see as a reason for dating, until the kids got older, is that we want our growing children to see that there is something to look forward to as an adult. The best time of their lives is not High School or early 20’s alone, it is the moment they are in.

Our children will do as we do.  We want our kids to see our love affair.  We want them to SEE how a man treats a woman and how a woman treats a man.  I want my girls to have an expectation of how their future spouse will treat them. I also want my boys to see how you treat a lady. I know that my girls have a high standard for their future spouse because of how DKC treats and interacts with me (and them). I want to believe that my boys will wait for and look hard for the woman that looks at them the way I look at DKC, after all these years.  I believe it is the time for one another (Smokin’ Hot Dates) that has been one of the most important ways we have protected our relationship.

Dates can be what you and your love enjoy.  Sometimes it’s a compromise. Sometimes it is a stay at home date because your budget allows more time than money.  That’s ok, we have had those seasons more than once.

Our current favorite smokin’ hot date night is getting a little more dressed up than normal and taking in a great restaurant.  Anytime we can avoid dishes, clean up and food prep we find that to be the most restorative FOR US. That atmosphere lets us talk, connect, dream, talk about what’s going well and not so well, & design future plans.  Yes, we talk about the kids and work. I hear that we should not talk about work… for another topic…

If you are just getting started… here are a few FREE Date Night Ideas {or day}

  • Go for a hike
  • Stroll a bookstore
  • Go to a poetry reading
  • Visit a state park
  • Go to the zoo
  • Play a board game
  • Have a picnic in the backyard
  • Pull out the blankets and watch movies together at home
  • Go on a tour of homes for sale
  • Check out live music

Copy of XO,

Originally posted 2020-02-02 02:42:54.

arugula salad

Arugula Salad

Arugula Salad

Quite possibly my favorite salad of, well…EVER!  I love how easy, crisp, and fresh this always tastes.  Ok, I love how simple it is…

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 4 cups Arugula
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (I love a big block of cheese and take a potato peeler to it to make long shaves on top of the salad)

Simply put the greens in a bowl, drizzle with the EVOO and squeeze the lemon on top.  Toss and and crack some sea salt and pepper, then top with parm. It is heaven and goes with everything.


  • Shaved Brussels sprouts
  • Sliced Roma tomato
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Left over bacon crumbles
  • Pepitas (fancy word for pumpkin seeds)

Originally posted 2020-05-25 18:42:03.

White Chicken Chili new

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

We love chicken tortilla soup, and this is a “Chili twist” on that dish. It is extra light and healthy and I don’t have to change anything for anyone in my house.  This is kid approved. I skipped the beans (because I don’t like them) and that let’s me use my carbs somewhere else. Feel free to add the beans if you love them.


  • 3 medium bell peppers, diced (I used 2 red, 1 green)
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Green enchilada sauce (½ a huge can…about 400g)
  • 8 oz. (2 little cans) mild diced green chiles
  • 1-1 ½ pounds shredded or chopped chicken (cooked)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup greek yogurt cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • *1 cup frozen corn (optional- I skipped it because I just don’t like corn much)


  1. Spray a large pot with cooking spray, heat to medium/high and add peppers, onions, zucchini & salt.  Cook 5-7 minutes or until soft
  2. Add garlic, and saute 2 minutes.
  3. Add green chiles, enchilada sauce, chicken, and chicken stock.  Simmer on low for 15 minutes
  4. Stir in greed yogurt cream cheese (and corn if using) and simmer 5 minutes until cream cheese is combined
  5. I topped individual bowls with lime, cheese, sour cream, avocado, fresh cilantro, (and for the kid’s tortilla strips)!

Originally posted 2020-01-29 16:44:52.