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Scale and feet

Sometimes the scale does lie…

Sometimes the scale does lie…

Question: Where on your body are you trying to lose fat?

This week, one of my clients asked me if it’s normal to NOT see the scale change despite eating healthy, working out and liking the way she is looking and feeling.  She didn’t have a lot of weight to lose when she signed up for SOS (Suz on Your Shoulder) and really was hoping to tone up so she could feel confident and fit. Now that she’s lost 7 pounds… the scale isn’t changing as much but she is noticing changes in her body.  Her bra is loose, her jeans are wiggly, and shirts don’t pull across her back when she is working at the computer. The old her would’ve been upset without seeing the scale change.  Here is what is happening: she IS making progress because she is losing body fat!

Here is the truth: weight loss is different from fat loss. As a Certified Nutritionist that specializes in weight loss, my 1:1 clients weigh themselves weekly and we use those numbers to guide my personalized recommendations when working together in my programs. Weight loss is so much more than just how much you weigh on the scale. In fact, I always tell my clients our number one goal is not just weight loss… it’s to create a body you feel confident and comfortable in and to have food peace no matter what number is visible on the scale!

The number on the scale does not tell you if you’re toned. This is the value of working 1;1,  when I explained to my client that although the number on the scale isn’t changing, her body is which 100% means she is making progress. That’s because when you eat the proper amount of food and strength train (even at home) you can lose fat while maintaining or even building muscle! As this happens, the scale may fluctuate with no significant changes BUT your body is going to look fit and strong!

Are you trying to lose fat so your arms and legs look toned and feel better?  Now’s the time to put in the WORK to lose that extra weight while we’re hibernating at home so you can come out of quarantine 2020 feeling like the most confident version of YOU! My 1:1 Program called Babysit My Plate shows you exactly how to lose fat by eating the right foods and making healthy food choices.

What is one thing (besides the scale) that you use to track and measure your progress or hold yourself accountable?

Click here for my Favorite Fiber Finds

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Frozen Pops

Frozen Pops

The really cool thing about frozen pops is that they are not only delicious but easy to make.  Feel free to customize these, we had strawberries and blueberries in the house (plus it kept with the red, white, and blue theme for July 4th).  You know I am a big fan of use what you have and what you love.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4):

  • ¼ cup protein powder *(mine was 10g protein)
  • 1 unflavored fiber pouch*
  • 6 oz Fage 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sliced berries


  1. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a blender (what you would use to make a smoothie). Pulse this until combined and creamy.
  2. I left the fruit out and stirred it in after blending the base
  3. Divide the yogurt mix between 4 reusable popsicle molds.
  4. Place the molds upright in the freezer for 3-4 hours or governing.
  5. Gently place the mold under hot water for 5 seconds to remove the popsicle.

**Use what you have. I use IDLIfe Vanilla (not vanilla bean) Protein Powder (grass-fed, soy-free, gluten-free) and AdvoCare Unflavored Fiber. I am not sure how other brands will affect the recipe.

Nutrition information:

62 calories, 8g carb, 3.5g fiber, 4.5g net carb, 9g protein, 1g fat


PMS Symptoms Relieved

PMS Symptoms Relieved

We’ve all been there: Your clothes refuse to fit right, you’re exhausted, and you have major cramps. It’s the PMS predicament.

Did you know that fiber can be one of the best things to counter your PMS symptoms?

Fiber regulates your system, which helps to ease the belly bloat and puffiness.

Not only that, but fiber also aids in keeping your cravings for sugary, unhealthy food at bay by stabilizing your blood sugar levels.

But the best is yet to come! Fiber can actually help with those awful cramps too!

High fiber, non-starchy vegetables contain vitamins like beta carotene,  zinc, and vitamin E which work together to ease abdominal cramps!

One of the causes of the PMS symptoms is what you eat. The biggest offenders are processed and refined foods (think Doritos or Chips Ahoy). Salty foods cause fluid retention and alcohol/caffeine may affect your energy and mood.

What should you be eating to ease these symptoms?


#TransparentFiber-Rich Foods.  Fruits & vegetables, whole-grains, and legumes

Green Leafy Vegetables have a diuretic effect and a great source of Calcium, Vitamin K, and Magnesium.  They can help minimize period effects.

*These fiber-rich foods help maintain proper hormone balance and bind with estrogen and usher the extra out of the body.


#Transparent-2Plant-Based foods.  Vegetables & fruits, nuts and seeds, and herbs

Flaxseed helps promote healthy estrogen metabolism.


#Transparent-3Calcium-Rich Foods.  Sardines, salmon, broccoli, kale, &  Kiefer are well known PMS fighting foods

Wild-caught fatty fish (salmon) helps to reduce pain and inflammation that make PMS symptoms worse.  Fatty fish is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient.


#Transparent-4Avocado.  Another benefit of avocado is that it aids in balancing hormones.  This healthy fat is also filled with magnesium (promotes a feeling of calmness), potassium and B-6.


A diet high in vital nutrients like those listed above is a key way to minimize PMS symptoms.

What do you do to care for yourself?


Article Referenced


Originally posted 2020-03-01 14:21:20.


Best Tips to Avoid Vacation Weight Gain (works for staycations too!)

Best Tips to Avoid Vacation Weight Gain (works for staycations too!)

I had a client that just got home from a 2 week trip to the beach with her whole family.  The first thing that she said when she returned was, “I am so proud of myself, I enjoyed my trip, I indulged at times, and I maintained my weight.”

I love vacation pictures of friends, family, and clients, and love when they are able to go away make memories, enjoy the moments, and come home with souvenirs (but not on their waist or hips)

Here are a few of my tricks to help you get the most out of your trip.  When you are on vacation, you wan to feel fit and energized.  The reason for the trip is to experience something different and you add more value when you are able to walk, hike, and haul (beach stuff) to see more & take more pictures.

PS: These tips work for staycation mode as well.


#TransparentOn day 1

Start your trip by setting up good habits with the “save for later method”.  You want to pace yourself on your trip, especially if it is longer than a few days.  Start out on the first day sticking close to #one80eating (protein, fat, and fiber at every meal).  Add ONE thoughtful indulgence like the wine, pasta, or dessert, each day that follows.  They are not going anywhere.  I save my the thing I am looking forward to for the last day.  Say, in Paris, I would have the butter and croissant the last day.

#Transparent-2Similarly, start each day with protein, fat, and fiber.  That will allow your food to work longer for you, balance blood sugar, and set you up with energy for the day ahead.  When you are vacationing, temptations increase as the day goes on.  You may want cocktails at lunch, ice cream after dinner, or the special local cuisine.  So, plan to pass on muffins, danishes, donuts, and pancakes for an egg white veggie omelet with a side of tomatoes and GG crackers.


Fitness is part of the healthy living equation and should be something you enjoy doing it.  I say the best exercise is the one you will do and stick to.  So, especially on vacation, tap into the local fitness center, an extra walk around the grounds or beach, rent a bike, or look to take in a local class before drinks and dinner.


Dehydration mimics hunger and no one wants night cramps from too little water.  Pack a water bottle and shoot for your daily 3 liters of water each day.  You can help minimize weight gain because the water will help you to feel full.

#Transparent-5It’s not weight that is stuck to you

The faster you get back on track with the scale and journaling, the faster that weight will come right back off.  You may come back with an extra 6-8 pounds, but you can lose that just as quickly as you gained it by doing these simple things.  For a week, drink your water, up the vegetables, eat at home, eat fewer restaurant meals, and have fewer cocktails.  Get back to your normal sleeping and eating and routines and your body will drop the bloat from the increased fat, salty, food, desserts, and cocktails.


Any travel plans soon for you?

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.

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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.

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!


Smoothies…Why I love them

Smoothies…Why I love them

Are you like me?  Love a smoothie but they don’t keep you full?  Keep reading because there is a simple solution and you need to know about it.

In the book Body Love, the author Kelly Levaque talks about the importance of FAT & fiber in a smoothie to elongate your blood sugar curve… that means you won’t be hungry for a really long time when you drink smoothies like this.  It also means you will not have a blood sugar spike and crash.

I am a fan of her smoothies and frequently share her recipes.

Kelly Levaque told a story about how many of her Hollywood clients didn’t have time to make a balanced breakfast every day.  In order to balance their blood sugar and prime their metabolism for the rest of the day, she introduced them to smoothies that take less than 60 seconds to prep.  They need to be tasty, delicious, and satisfying.  Making sure that the smoothies did not taste “chalky” is of utmost importance.

The smoothie is your secret weapon.  It is designed to create a blood-sugar-balancing, meal replacement shake in any flavor, with enough protein, fat, and fiber to keep you full for up to six hours.  By beginning the day with one of the many smoothie recipes, you set yourself up for balanced blood sugar, a feeling of satiety, and body chemistry that prompts weight loss through the burning of stored fat.  You prime your chemistry with breakfast and set yourself up for success.  Imagine a day of no cravings, no mood or energy swings. You will feel clearheaded, energetic, and light on your feet.  You won’t be counting the hours until lunch or dinner or falling victim to sugary temptations.


Here’s the formula:

Protein(20 grams minimum)

Fiber (10 grams or 1 to 2 tablespoons)

Fat (1 to 2 tablespoons)




Before you get out the blender, take note, it is the mindset.  It is not about starving yourself or about a liquid diet.  This is not a diet, nor the beginning of a cleanse.  This is rooted in the science of blood sugar balance and is formulated to deliver the macro nutrients (protein, fat, & fiber) that your body needs to be healthy, function properly, and feel satiated.  It’s a tool to get you going in the morning, plan ahead before a party, recalibrate if you’re out of balance, and fill in for a meal if you’re not very hungry.  It isn’t a blanket substitute for regular food and meals.

There are a lot of smoothies out there.  Many of the smoothies found in juice shops and grocery smoothie bars and on the internet are loaded with too much sugar – specifically, fructose from excessive amounts of fruit, agave, dates, and fruit juice.  Can you guess what happens when you take in all those simple carbohydrates? Your blood sugar skyrockets.  It’s like a tall stack of pancakes in a glass.  Many smoothie recipes include fruit, but be sure to measure it (¼ cup to ½ cup) so that you won’t buy a ticket for the roller coaster of blood sugar.  Smoothies can be made fruit free depending on your goals.

If you have enough protein, fat, and fiber at each meal, you can elongate your blood sugar curve, which means you will have the energy to maintain a four to six-hour window between meals.  This window will allow your body to properly digest food, surge with human growth hormone and testosterone to burn fat, calm insulin levels (which slow fat burning) and make you feel more relaxed.

Depending on your previous eating habits (let’s say you ate a lot of starchy carbohydrates, sugar or fruit) it might take a little more to hold you over until the sense of fullness lasts.  If you get hungry after 3 hours, it’s a sign that you need to add an extra tablespoon of fiber the next day. If you still get hungry at 3 ½ hours, add an extra tablespoon of fat the next day.  If the added fiber and fat still don’t hold you until lunch, then up your protein from 20 grams to 30 grams.  The more you are tuned into your body and how you are feeling, the more precisely you can create a smoothie that gives you that magic for a six-hour window of satisfaction.

Think of this as a formula for creating a custom drink.  Find something you like in each category and combine it in the right proportion for something that is good for you.


For Protein- look for a clean protein, grass-fed if possible

For Fiber- use fiber powder, chia seeds, flaxseeds, basil seeds, acacia fiber, or even avocado (which is a fat and a fiber)

For Fat- use coconut oil, nut butter, avocado, walnuts, or try MCT oil

Liquids- I love unflavored cashew milk, almond milk, water, walnut milk, or hemp milk.  I do not recommend dairy (cow milk).  If you go with coconut water or cold-pressed juice, don’t add fruit!


If you want to add Superfoods or additives here are some suggestions:

  • Adaptogens: ashwagandha or rhodiola, to combat stress and high cortisol.
  • Resistant Starch: potato starch, a prebiotic
  • Super Powders: greens, ginger, turmeric
  • Nutritional Toppings: chia seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, bee pollen, or sea salt.  Use them for the flavor or for your particular health goals.


Here are my top 3 favorite smoothie recipes. I eat a smoothie most mornings of the week.

If you have a favorite smoothie combo, what is it?


Chocolate Peanut Butter

This smoothie is for you if you love a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

  • 1 serving chocolate protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (I usually use almond butter)
  • 1-2 tablespoons chia seed (or unflavored fiber pouch)
  • 12 oz. unsweetened almond milk (I usually use cashew milk)
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 9 ice cubes

Toss all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until you get to the consistency you prefer.



This is like drinking a “guilt-free cinnamon cookie” for breakfast

  • 1 serving vanilla protein powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons walnut butter (I usually use almond butter)
  • 1-2 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 12 oz. unsweetened almond milk (I usually use cashew milk)
  • 9 ice cubes
  • Ground nutmeg and cinnamon, for garnish

Toss everything but the cinnamon and nutmeg into a blender and blend until you get your preferred consistency.  Top with cinnamon and nutmeg to taste



Save the calories and money at an expensive coffee shop.  This is a great start to the day AND one of my favorite afternoon bridge snacks.  (If I make it for a snack, I make half a recipe).

  • 1 serving chocolate protein powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons MCT oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons flax, chia, or zen basil seeds (I will sub for unflavored fiber pouch as well)
  • 2 Tablespoons instant coffee (I use Nescafe Dolca)
  • 12 oz. unsweetened almond milk (I usually use cashew milk)
  • 9 ice cubes

Toss all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until you get to the consistency you prefer.


Originally posted 2020-02-17 20:33:39.

New Kind of wrap

A New Kind of Wrap

A New Kind of Wrap

This is such an easy (and quick) Bridge Snack.  The trick is having the goods in the house.


  • 1 Crepini Egg Thin
  • 1 Tablespoon Greek Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 1 Sliced Turkey breast
  • ¼ cup leftover veggies (I used last nights broccoli)


Smear the Egg thin with the cream cheese, layer the turkey and veggies, and roll!  They are protein, fat, and fiber, low calorie, and sure to keep you full!


For Journaling – 0g carb, 2g fiber

Originally posted 2020-02-17 17:10:58.