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October 2020


How Not To Do It All

How Not To Do It All

The question I get asked a lot is “How do you do it all?”  I quickly try to regain my composure, because inside I am laughing and outside I am shaking my head. I then begin the story of how I absolutely do not.

I think of myself like a duck, Quack Quack. I am calm on the surface and paddling like mad under the water.

I think there is a belief from looking in the window of someone else’s life that the life/balance juggle is easier for some.  I don’t think any of it is easy.

The short answer for me is that I don’t.  I can’t do it all. I am just finally in a place where I am ok with tearing apart this illusion to show you behind the curtain.

I want to mentor and guide other women to create a life they love without compromising their lifestyle.  Most of the time, I am able to make an impact by clearing up food confusion so people, like you, feel educated about the foods to eat to get the weight off and keep it off.

The truth is, most of the weight loss has to do with emotional and psychological weight loss.  It is mental, so this piece of TRYING TO DO IT ALL is important to me to consider.

One of the biggest ways I can illustrate this is to discuss my big and little rocks.  The rocks are my priorities and the order of my values.


The big rocks:



One of the reasons I am most passionate about sharing CarpenterOne80 with the world is the freedom I found when I understood how exercise fits into the weight-loss equation.

I formerly believed that exercise was the way to control my weight.  I would sacrifice more than I care to admit to get the time in with cardio. I would punish myself, exercise hours a day, I felt exhausted, hungry, and miserable.

Now, I exercise because I like the particular exercise. I might work out 4 times a week, for 30 minutes a day.  It is about feeling strong, flexible, healthy, and maintaining lean muscle.

I work out to clear my head and benefit from the endorphins.  The time freedom from not spending so much time exercising has made this an important part of my weekly schedule but allows me to have more time with the people I love most.



This is first because this changed my daily everything.  When I learned to slow down and rank order my priorities, I found exceptional clarity.

DKC and I decided as a couple, our mission was to raise great adults, and we were 2 of those adults.  That has given us a TRUE NORTH our entire marriage.  Since we knew #raisinggreatadults was what we were about, having a spiritual life first, exceptional marriage second, then kids, then work, we have been able to keep the main thing the main thing.  We know what comes first.

This sounds easy.  Rest assured, it was not. It took time to decide on and commit to. It takes incredible effort and discipline to stay on track with.  Part of not doing it all, is realizing with the right priorities for our family, we simply cannot do it all.



I was raised in the church, I couldn’t hear anything. I showed up, I kept going, I was doing what I knew was right, but I was empty while I was there.  I still went, I took my family, we positioned ourselves to receive.

It was that for years.  The kids crawling in pews, passing out snacks, hoping to make it through service.

Eventually, it shifted.  I’ll skip all the middle part from nothing to everything.  The point is, the shift happened and God became #1 for DKC and for me,



I have to think about what I think about, above all things.  Learning to control my thoughts & everyday work strengthen my mental game is a big rock. It is a discipline, however, when I show up to this each day, I handle the little things that come my way so much better.


One of my adjustments:

There is so much comparison in the world and years ago I fell victim to the early days of @PotteryBarn Halloween costumes, @Pinterest first birthday parties, etc. Eventually, I realized that the pictures I was seeing were not my reality.  I had to be very practical and take this out of my screen time.  When I took the pressure off my shoulders of trying to keep up with this, I returned to a sense of peace and knowing that I was doing right for my family.  I needed to keep my eye on my own life (like we have to keep our eyes on our own paper at school).

As we enter the holiday season, I hope you find comfort and joy because you are also able to focus on the important things in your life.

If it is time for you to make yourself one of the priorities, if you think about losing weight all the time but haven’t been able to, if you’ve tried a variety of programs only to gain the weight back, if you feel sad or discouraged because this extra weight is holding you back, if you feel like losing weight will help you love yourself & your body… then consider joining my next small group.

I hope you create a lifestyle you love when you look and feel your very best and have weight loss without hunger. You’ll feel educated and understand how to balance your plate and how true weight loss and weight maintenance happens.  I so badly want to help you have food peace so that it permeates in all areas of your life!


Here’s to a Healthy Happy Holiday Season!

Copy of XO,

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin “BRAN” Bread

Pumpkin “BRAN” Bread


  • 1 ½ cup brown flaxseed meal (don’t be scared… you can buy Bob’s Mill brand or use pulverized GG crackers
  • 6 Tbsp Swerve Sweetener (or granulated erythritol)
  • ½ cup unflavoured protein powder (I used vanilla because it is what I had)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin pie puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 20 drops Stevia extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (I used unsweetened cashew milk because it’s what I had)
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and spray a bread pan with avocado oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal, granulated Swerve, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla & Stevia.  Add to flaxseed mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Stir in almond milk, then melted coconut oil, until well combined.
  5. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups and bake 40-50 minutes or until set and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.


Pumpkin Bread w Icing





  • 2 Tbsp Greek Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 2 tsp swerve confectioners sugar


Combine and spread on slice of bread. I would spread the icing on each individual slice rather than top the entire loaf with the icing, because it will turn the bread soggy.



Calories 133, carb 12.5g, fiber 4.7g, net carb 1.8 g, 6.5g protein, 9.3g fat

*nutrition facts do not include icing



Pesto Broc w Turkey Zuc meatballs small

Zucchini Parmesan Meatballs

Zucchini Parmesan Meatballs

These are quick to make and great to freeze.  Cook once, eat often!

I have been known to serve these as a meal or appetizer



1 lb. lean ground turkey (or any lean meat)

1 medium zucchini (about ¾ cup), grated

2 Tbsp Parmesan (grated)

½ tsp paprika

1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning

Salt and Pepper to taste



  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Combine all the ingredients and mix until incorporated
  3. I use my hands to create 16 meatballs
  4. Lay the meatballs on the baking sheet and spray with avocado oil or EVOO
  5. Bake 15 minutes, then flip the meatballs and bake another 10 minutes
  6. Serve with zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, or Broccoli Pesto Risotto

If you make them, tag me so I can share! @carpenterone80

Originally posted 2020-02-28 14:40:35.

Pesto Broc small

Pesto “Broccoli & Cauliflower” Risotto, NO-CARB

Pesto “Broccoli & Cauliflower” Risotto, NO-CARB

This is a dish that I am loving so much!  It is creamy, delicious and so satisfying.  You won’t miss the rice.

INGREDIENTS (serves 5)

2 ½ cups frozen bag riced broccoli

2 ½ cups frozen riced cauliflower

*2 pouches unflavored fiber (can be omitted, if you have it, use it.  I wanted to up the fiber. This makes it creamy)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 ½ Tbsp chicken broth

½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 cup fresh basil

1 clove of garlic, minced

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

Avocado Oil Cooking Spray



  1. Prep the pesto.  Using a blender or food processor, combine the basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, lemon juice and unflavored fiber (if using), and puree.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the olive oil and the chicken broth. Continue to puree until smooth.
  2. Spray a skillet with nonstick spray, cook the cauliflower and broccoli until tender.
  3. Once tender, remove the vegetables from the heat and stir in the pesto sauce and mix until it is well coated.
  4. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.


*I use Avocado oil cooking spray over EVO or regular oil because it can handle higher temperatures before turning smoky or rancid.  Try it!

* You can omit the unflavored fiber, I use it to increase the fiber for the dish and it adds to it’s “creaminess”


If you make them, tag me so I can share! @carpenterone80

Originally posted 2020-02-28 14:36:05.


Favorite Fall Slow Cooker Dinners

Favorite Fall Slow Cooker Dinners

Fall is slow cooker season in my opinion. It’s because it’s delicious, warm, easy, fast and it makes your house smell incredible!

Here are a few of my favorite slow cooker meals that are #One80eating and kid approved!

I now know why the slow cooker or the crock pot is considered a staple in every kitchen since it’s invention. It’s never too late to invest in a good cooker and it will save you time and money every week… not to mention it can save you tremendous amount of calories instead of having to grab takeout when you don’t have something healthy on hand ready to go.

Seriously, the slow cooker is the overextended mom or  lazy girls best friend!

If you’re like me, fall gets busy, and I find I have less time to prepare dinner. This is the time we’re at football games, outdoor shopping, soaking in the south, and don’t want to be in the kitchen all day.   I’ll be real, kids sports mean I have even less time to prepare lunch and dinner each day.


Crockpot-Salsa-Chicken-Recipe-6-of-13-683×1024Salsa chicken recipe

My number one recipe is this healthy chicken dish that has all the deliciousness of Mexican chicken, it’s me with chicken breasts, no fat, and just any jar of salsa.  Here are our favorite serving ideas:


  1. Salsa chicken quesadillas
  2. Salsa chicken bowl with riced cauliflower, Mexican cheese, guac, pico, squeeze of lime, and cilantro
  3. Wraps using Romaine or your favorite wrap with a side of steamed broccoli or roasted vegetable
  4. Salsa chicken scramble with eggs, cauliflower… again you can wrap this in a high-fiber tortilla or make GG sandwiches


IMG_7327Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Bacon

This is restaurant quality and a sure crowd favorite if you like smokey, tangy chops that will melt in your mouth and fork tender.

I love to serve this with my kale salad. Sometimes I will make my faux-tatoes as a side instead of roasted veggies.  This dinner just screams fall!!!

It might be hard to wait for dinner to finish cooking in the crock pot, I suggest cutting up vegetables and making my Ranch Yogurt dip!  This is a great way to begin to offset your appetite!

Books 2

5 Best Books for People Who Hate to Read

5 Best Books for People Who Hate to Read

I completely geek out about what I am going to be reading when spring and summer start getting close. Even though my kids are the ones with summer vacation, I start to daydream about lazy afternoons at the pool, beach music and holding a good book.

Raising 4 children and having a husband is anecdotal evidence enough that not everyone likes to read.  Not everyone living under my roof loves to read. That said, there is enough evidence about reading and it’s the importance that I believe we readers should continue to share and hand off favorites in the event that our little book review might just be the one review that converts another person.

Maybe it was the English teacher that forced reading on you; however, I venture to bet there are still a few good books that you might enjoy.

Here’s a quick list of books that are sure to leave a smile on your face and possibly a desire to read more.

Have you read any good books lately?

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt

This was one of the very first books that I can remember reading just for fun!  This might be one of my favorite books of all time. It is going on the list this summer.





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Energy Bus, Jon Gordon

I love a good story, one that is easy to read, where you are cheering for the underdog.  This is a fast read, great message, and one of the first books that I remember Drew talking about.





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Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

In the story, Morrie cautions that at the end of our lives, we will miss our relationships with people the most.  We all need a reminder to slow down and appreciate each other because that is what is really worthy of our time and energy.




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The Precious Present, Spencer Johnson

It is such a good book.  Everyone must read this one.

Thank goodness it is a REALLY FAST BOOK to read because it has a play on words and I wanted to know how it would end.  If you want the feeling that you read a book , got a great message, and have the next book that you want to gift to graduates & “hard to buy for” people, then look no further.




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The Traveler’s Gift, Andy Andrews

If you like the movie and the story to It’s a Wonderful Life, you will LOVE this book. It’s the first of 3 books in the series.  After you read this one, you will be GLAD that there is more. I read this book once a year.

Originally posted 2020-02-23 21:06:11.

Travel Snacks Small

Travel Snacks

Travel Snacks

It is not surprising that when I travel (or go anywhere for that matter) that I pack my staple foods, just like I would pack my staple tennis shoes, hairbrush, pj’s, makeup, etc.  When I travel, I take things with me that I know and love that is a part of how I do my life.  Food is no exception. I will certainly dine out, enjoy local favorites, but that is only a small part of the experience.

Imagine that you have sensitive skin and leave your makeup at home. It will be expensive to replace, time-consuming to find and purchase, and may not be what you are looking for… which could leave you with extra makeup that you don’t really want after you get home from the trip. That is the same for food and weight. If you don’t plan, you may not be presented with what best suits you. If you have to go looking in extra places (stores, restaurants, vending machines), you may not find what you are looking for, spend extra time and money (and frustration) looking for it, and possibly not find it. So, what you bring home could be unwanted extra pounds from unwanted foods. You know, when you are in vacay mode, the temptation to cut loose and go binge can be hard to resist.

I think of packing travel snack foods just like I would pack travel clothes and shoes that fit me!

This habit can help you to stave off little triggers of temptation that can set off a blood sugar spike and crash.

Here is my list of favorite travel snacks that save me time, money, and CALORIES!

  • GG Crackers
  • Salmon or Tuna Packets
  • Applegate Turkey Pepperoni
  • Laughing Cow Cheese
  • PB2
  • Almond Butter
  • All-Bran Buds
  • Nut Packs
  • Mini Fat Packs (like Wildflower Friends Almond Butter Packs)
  • Protein Powder
  • Unflavored Fiber

Other Perishable Snacks

  • Celery Slices (to dip in Almond Butter)
  • Fage Greek 0% yogurt


Pack your favorite protein powder and grab an iced coffee (no junk added) and mix that up!

If you are headed on a road trip, don’t forget a bowl and spoon. I am known to whip up yogurt, protein, & fiber powder, and PB2 while stopping for gas. This makes a huge portion, is filling, takes time to eat, and keeps me on track without cravings during long trips.

What are you packing for the summer road trip?

Copy of XO,

PS…Here is a link to my favorite high fiber foods!  This is my go-to list of high fiber foods.  I’ll take the guess work out of what to buy, and save you time and money!

Originally posted 2020-06-20 08:00:26.