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The Part-Time Jungle Podcast Episode 11: Winning at Health & Nutrition with Suzanne Carpenter

e011 – The Part-Time Jungle Podcast: Winning at Health & Nutrition with Suzanne Carpenter

Suzanne Carpenter is a mom of 4 children, a Certified Nutritional Consultant, and the CEO and Founder of CarpenterOne80, a virtual nutrition education company, whose mission is to provide affordable and simple programs that can clear up food confusion so that people can win at losing weight.

In this episode:

  • How our own personal growth and powerful stories can inspire action and positive change for others.
  • Making our self-care, including health and nutrition, a priority sets an impactful example for our kids.
  • Family meal ideas that are healthy, quick, easy, delicious and with a winning combination of protein, fat, and fiber.

Connect with Suzanne:

From Suzanne:

  • On her website, get 7 Days FREE (test drive) SOS (Suz On Your Shoulder)
    • Daily soundbites (3-4 minutes long) teaching you what you need in the right sequence so you gain control over food
    • $15 a month if you decide it is a fit
    • Use promo code JUNGLE to get 4 different types of grocery lists to make getting the right foods in your home in a doable, simple, and straightforward way
  • Book Suggestion: The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile

On this episode of The Part-Time Jungle Podcast, I had a fantastic conversation with Suzanne about the key pivots in her motherhood/work journey, self-care when it comes to winning at health and nutrition, and practical tips and strategies for feeding our families.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to connect with Suzanne! She is incredibly warm and fun to chat with! She is the REAL DEAL! Right off the hop she talked about how she still turns the odd load of white laundry pink! And…. I love that being classroom teachers has been something that has been a part of both of our journeys! Suzanne’s words of wisdom: “Today is a really good day to start.”


Suzanne has had many moments of transition and change along her journey of swinging motherhood and work. She was a first grade teacher but found as a mom, although she loved teaching, that she wanted to be home more with her family. She left teaching and stayed home with her kids while her husband worked full-time at a job that involved a great deal of travel.


In 2009, there was a bit of recession with an impact in the auto industry which was the sector that her husband worked in. Looking for a more secure work opportunity given the economic circumstances, Suzanne’s family moved from Michigan to Mississippi. The move resulted in her husband  having a position where he could be home at night but also came with a 40% pay cut. This change in finances was not something that they talked about but it was an underlying source of stress and worry for both Suzanne and her husband.


Suzanne went to the gym one day where one of her girlfriends mentioned an opportunity with a direct sales company selling nutritional products and coaching clients. Suzanne decided that this was something that she could do to earn some additional income while being at home with her kids. She enjoyed it, she felt like she was good at it, and it was an opportunity for Suzanne to develop her entrepreneurial skills and spirit. What she found, though, was that people were looking for magic diet pills which…just don’t exist. Suzanne started doing pro bono work in nutrition for her customers by coming up with meal ideas for them in her own kitchen.


It was during this time that a “secret” that Suzanne had been struggling with for many years, since she was a teenager, came to the forefront.

She was asked the question, “You say you would die for your kids but would you change for them?” This question hit her between the eyes. She had to acknowledge that she, in fact, had an eating disorder. She engaged in negative self-talk, avoided eating, and then, she would binge. This would be followed by intense exercise and the use of laxatives. Her eating disorder left her shaky, tired, and cranky all of the time.


Suzanne worried that If she didn’t get herself help that her daughters could struggle with the same thing and have the same unhealthy relationship with food. She set out to help herself and she sought out the help of professionals. Suzanne learned some important principles for eating well and taking care of herself that she realized could have saved her a lot of heartache. These strategies were helping her to win at health and nutrition. She knew that these insights and this information would be good for her own girls and as well as other women.

THIS ultimately led Suzanne from taking her hobby of helping people in the kitchen to it becoming the business that she has today!


Suzanne’s eating disorder was a secret that she felt that she had to hide for such a long time. Her sense of shame was so big. She realized that she had decided for everybody else how they would respond if she told them what she had been struggling with. She thought that she would lose relationships. Suzanne believed that people would think that she had failed. She worried that they would say that she wasn’t authentic and didn’t deserve respect. But…she had written the story incorrectly. People were supportive and encouraging.


There is never a perfect time to start making your self-care a priority. With nutrition, you want to establish a healthy pattern of eating. As Suzanne reminds us, our kids are watching us closely. It is important to show our kids self-care and to model it for them so that they will make this a priority for themselves.


Changing our patterns of eating can be hard. We need to remember that we have had to use compromise and discipline in many areas of our lives (e.g. having a toddler, all the responsibilities as a mom). Suzanne wants to remind us that we can do hard things when it comes to winning at health and nutrition. You can have success by just getting started one step at a time. You have already succeeded at so many things!


There is a difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Emotional hunger comes on really fast. It is the hunger that is there when there is something coming up that you are worried about, when you get some bad news, when you are looking for comfort, or when you are stressed or tired. We use food as a way to feel better. Physical hunger, on the other hand, comes on more slowly.


Think about the foods that you tend to crave. These could be foods that you ate as a child and that pull you back into a comfortable state of mind. Food can serve as a blanket that numbs pain or problems. However, when the numbing goes away, the problem is still there. This can lead to feelings of shame and guilt and frustration at being at the starting line again. When you are turning to food, your body is trying to get you away from the pain. It’s a path to nowhere and doesn’t get us to where we want to go.


Suzanne has standard meals that she knows that work well for her and her family. Her formula is to include protein, fat, and fiber (which helps you feel full) at every meal as a way to balance blood sugar, turn off hunger hormones, and keep things even keel. Suzanne likes simple recipes that are fast but great for the whole family!

Suzanne’s recipes helped me to meal plan for the week! (And for more great recipe ideas, including high fiber waffles, head to Suzanne’s website.

***For each of the meal ideas Suzanne shared she used chicken as the protein example but you could substitute this with a protein of your choice.

    • Brown cubed chicken in a pan + sugar free BBQ sauce (½ a cup) + some water while you are cooking it + top with cheese
    • Serve with a green salad or broth based soup + a vegetable your kids will eat
    • Serve with a bun as a sloppy joe for your kids and have yours with cauliflower rice
    • Chicken + a jar of salsa in the crockpot on low
    • Serve with a green salad
    • Kids eat theirs wrapped in a high fiber tortilla
    • High fiber tortilla + pizza sauce + oregano + chicken + cheese
    • Ground chicken + egg + wholewheat (more fiber), + spices/seasoning  (could add a piece of cheese string in the middle)
    • Serve with zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice for mom and noodles for the kids

…And a breakfast idea!

    • Plain yogurt + sugar free vanilla syrup + berries (or other fruit) + Bran Buds cereal + zen basil seeds which are high in fiber (chia seeds are similar)


There is never going to be a perfect day or time to start thinking about and taking action for our health and nutrition. TODAY is a really good day to start. Suzanne reminds us that consistent effort over time compounds. You eat an elephant one bite at a time. Suzanne asks us to think about the number of times in our lives that we have wanted to or waited to get to the front of the line. We need to remember that in order to get to the front of the line we have to get in line. When you fall out of line, just get back in line. Fail forward and just keep showing up.


Suzanne had so many stories and great advice to share about health and nutrition but also about being a parent and understanding our kiddos. She shared that she wished that she had had an owner’s manual for her oldest son when he was born. He marched to a different drum compared to her other kids. Suzanne was introduced to the enneagram about 3 years ago. She read “The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery” by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. Suzanne found it to be a helpful tool to better understand each of her kids and to navigate relationships with them. It provided her with insight and understanding. For example, Suzanne learned that she is a 3 and that her oldest son is an 8. She feels that had she understood his personality better she would have parented him so differently.

Thanks so much to Suzanne for this fantastic conversation and thank YOU for tuning in!




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