Empty Nest Mother of Three In Best Shape of Her Life: Part 2

I recently featured a client named Sue who has kicked butt and is showing those who are past their 40’s that the best years are still to come.  Sue works out obsessively hard and intense, but she eats just as well too.  I have asked her to share with you a sample meal plan.  I know you will get a lot out of it.

But if you haven’t read her story yet, click here to check out her transformation.

Here is her food journal in her own words:

Monday (yes, I measure everything) (2 starch day) (regular workout)

6:00 1/3 C oatmeal, 2 T walnuts, 2T flax meal, cinnamon, 1Scoop vanilla protein powder (PP)

Bike to work (6 miles) 9:30 3 egg whites, 1C chopped celery and green peppers

12:30 4 oz chicken, 1 whole chopped cucumber, ½ avocado, green tea

3:30 ½ cup cold coffee, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1C melon

Bike home then to Bootcamp, run Elver hill 1 extra time after (counts as a weight training day) 7:00 6 oz fish, 2 C tossed salad, 1T olive oil and balsamic vinegar, 3 oz sweet potato

Tuesday (1 starch, 2 fruit day) ( light workout day)

6:00 1T olive oil, handful of prechopped fresh veges, add 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg, 2T cheese Bike to work 9:30 ¼ C Plain yogurt, 1S vanilla PP, 2T flax meal, ¼ C bran buds, 1C blueberries

12:30 ½ C black beans, green pepper, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes chopped, lots of fresh cilantro, 4 oz ground turkey, 1/3 avocado(previously prepared and frozen into 4 oz aliquots to grab and go)

3:30 ½ cup cold coffee, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, ½ banana ( I like the caffeine before a workout)

Bike home, go to gym, 20 min Burst training, Got Core class 30 min 6:30 4 oz chicken, 1C green beans or salad, olive oil

Wednesday (3 starch – big workout day)

6:00 1/3 C oatmeal, 2 T walnuts, 2T flax meal, cinnamon, 1Scoop vanilla protein powder (PP) Bike to work 9:30 3 egg whites, 1C chopped celery and green peppers

12:30 3 oz chicken, lots of chopped veges, drizzle of herb infused olive oil, 12 almonds

3:00 Bike home, snack of 1 piece sprouted wheat bread, 1T almond butter, ½ banana, coffee

Bike 25-30 miles at average speed of 16mph (or spin class in winter) 8:30 4 oz chicken, steamed veges, salad, ½ C brown rice, 4 oz red wine (ok more like 10 oz)

Thursday (1 starch, 2 fruit day)(regular workout)

6:00 1/3 C oatmeal, 1 S –pp, 1T coconut oil, 1/8 c flaxseed

Bike to work 9:30 1C broccoli, 2 egg whites, ½ grapefruit 12:30 3 oz turkey, 1C green beans , extra seasonal veges, ½ avocado

4:00 coffee, 1 S pp 1C melon

Bike to gym, Lift heavy weights, 1 HIIT, Got Core class 30 min 6:30 6 oz fish, tossed salad,1 T olive oil,balsamic vinegar, 6 almonds and a (big)drink (of white alcohol)

Friday (1 starch, 2 fruit) ( no workout day)

6:00 1T olive oil, handful of prechopped fresh veges, add 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg, 2T cheese Bike to work

9:30 ¼ C Plain yogurt, 1S vanilla PP, 2T flax meal, 1C blueberries, ¼ C bran buds

12:00 1C cottage cheese, 2 egg whites chopped, lots of fresh veges, 1/3 avocado 3:30 cooled green tea with 1S vanilla PP, plum

Bike home6:30 Might be eating out – lean protein and a salad, or I eat at home similar and if we go out order a side salad, or just eat at home, same 4-5 oz lean protein and a salad

Saturday (usually very hard workout)

7:00 1/3 C oatmeal, 2 T walnuts, 2T flax meal, cinnamon, 1Scoop vanilla PP ( or might make special recipe of protein pancakes with egg whites, 2T whole wheat pancake mix)

9:00 Dustin workout, HIIT

10:30 post workout shake – 1Scoop PP, water, rasberries

12:00 4 oz grilled salmon, 3 oz sweet potato, 1 C spinach, other veges, herb infused olive oil

4:00 6 almonds, 1.5 oz brie cheese, snap peas

7:00 One night a week, usually sat or whatever nite there is something going on, is my splurge nite, I do not keep track.

Sunday (3 starch day, big workout day)

7:00 1/3 C oatmeal, 2 T walnuts, 2T flax meal, cinnamon, 1Scoop vanilla protein powder (PP), ½ banana

9:30 Long workout of some sort, 2 hour xc ski, or 40ish mile bike, or interval work, kettlebell workout, food fuel along the way in form of some type of energy bar

12:30 ½ C brown rice, chopped chicken, lots of veges, 12 salted almonds

3:30 1/3 C cottage cheese, cucumber

6:30 Dinner with the family, some sort of lean protein, maybe beef, 1/3 sweet potato, red wine, salad, olive oil and vinegar dressing. 8:00-9:00 Chop veges for upcoming week, cook freezer food for upcoming week, make grocery list

A few comments – I average about 1400-1800 calories a day, and I average about 600cals/hour of workout time (I aim for 7-10 hours a week) and I preplan my basic meals, workouts and splurges for the week to avoid surprises, I take supplements like Calcium, vitamin C, Fish oil, CLA, glucosamine and a multi vitamin to keep well balanced.

Question:  Do you have any questions about what Sue eats?  Please comment below!


  1. Great job, Sue! It looks like you really have your eating under control and you workout intensely! I am working very hard to be as controlled and motivated as you. Quick question, are you cooking for just yourself? You have quite a variety? How does that work with grocery shopping?

    Dustin-As I was reading I noticed Sue is eating mostly egg whites. Do you recommend that, or eating 3 whole eggs?

    • Margaret,

      I generally recommend eating a couple whole egg that are free range and some additional egg whites if you want more protein. There are many healthy fats in the yolks.


  2. Sue – is your chocolate protein powder actually the meal replacement product (Pro Grade)? I don’t see chocolate flavor, just vanilla, in their protein powder choices.

    • Cheryl,

      Sue doesn’t use prograde as far as I am aware. That is just the all natural protein that I take and recommend. You are right they only have vanilla at this time, but I am hoping they will come out with a chocolate soon!


  3. Sue! Congrats on such an awesome transformation and thank you for sharing your meal plan….I am always looking for new ideas 🙂 Some questions for you: 1. How do you eat your egg whites at work (eg. do you take hard boiled eggs or do you have a way to cook there?). 2. Do you buy ground flax meal or grind it fresh (I’ve been told grinding fresh is better, but have yet to investigate this…). 3. Do you just dissolve your PP in water or typically mix in your oatmeal/yogurt, etc? 4. Would you be willing to share your protein pancake recipe? THANK YOU and keep kicking butt!!

    • BG,

      I will respond to your flax question. Ground fresh is best because it is highly oxidative and some of the benefits are lost, but it is also not practical all the time to grind it right away.


  4. Out of curiosity, how tall is Sue? And if she wouldn’t mind sharing, what is her weight? If she burns 600 cal during her workouts (assuming 1 hour), and eats 1400-1800 cal per day, that is only 800-1000 net calories per day. Isn’t that a little low? It is awesome if it works for her, but I don’t know if this is something I could do…

  5. Wow, Sue! Way to go on your workouts and eating. Your success is well earned! Are your kids out of the house? I admire your dedication!!
    Were you this regimented with your workouts when you had young kids?

  6. Will have to try portioning and freezing avacado- I think I throw away more than I eat sometimes! Thanks!

  7. A few answers! (I will get the protein pancake recipe out later, it is awesome.)

    1. For cholesterol reasons (which I do not have problems with and intend to keep it that way) I limit by yolks to 4 a week ,and hard cheese to 4 oz a week.

    2. We boil eggs by the boat load! I take them to work and peel them there. I actually often take all my cucumbers etc whole and keep a knife and bowl there and chop away before lunch. It actually gets a lot of comments on – wow you eat healthy as they stand there for 3 minutes waiting for a lean cuisine or soemthing to heat up.

    3. Chocolate protein powder is from woodmans, it really tastes great in cold coffee and is a great tasting pre workout shake with a piece of fruit for carbs.

    4. Oatmeal- I am so simple, I just microwave water (or milk) add the dry oatmeal and let it sit while I get coffee. a few minutes later it is ready, THEN I add the protein powder (or else it cooks and gets nasty). I use a big huge coffee mug. One stop eating.

    5. My kids are gone. I have always been aware of either setting an example (chips are not everyday food) cooking meals ahead of time (for soccer games and after school activites, either my husband or I would “throw something in the bag” – oven bag that is – and when we got home hot chicken and carrots etc were ready. It got to the point of the kids saying – oh gosh, whats in the bag tonite. Unfortunatley, although the main food was good, the portions were too big, I ate too much kid food (you know what that is) or finished their lunch, all those things – or starved myself with crappy low cal food. I wish I knew then what I know now!

    6. I am 5’8. – solid and built to last, the german way I guess. I’m too sensitive about my weight to say in public. One time Dustin said it in the gym ,I about choked, but am getting better with it. The calories could be low, but since I am a lifetime dieter, I am still struggling with eating too much. This seems to be working , and if I get hungry I will eat more, I just really try to limit myself to only one cheat meal a week, and a few minor cheats (wine etc) and really have tried to put a stop to mindless unplanned eating.

    7.One quick thing – sorry this is so long – the workouts – well I made that 3 day rule. SO I always kept it, and my husband was very supportive – we made sure each other got in our workouts.

  8. Great job Sue! You are doing a super job on the eating and exercising. Thanks for all the information – I love getting new ideas from how other people eat healthy. I’m 47 and know what you mean about wishing you could have known what you do now when you were younger. I’ve learned so much from Dustin’s programs & blogs. Keep up the great work – your transformation in amazing.

  9. Wow!!! You are truly awesome Sue! Thanks for being an inspiration. Now if I could just find the time and energy to do something. I just purchased Dustin’s Buddy Boot Camp DVD’s but between my 20 month, 7 & 8 year old’s and my mother with Alzheimer’s I’m having trouble making my 40’s the decade of fitness for me. Maybe I’ll have to wait until my 50’s.

  10. @LCD – that is alot on your plate. There is no doubt that the 40’s are tough and busy. I can totally empathize with you. Try making good food choices and try to not use food to cope. Eat right to avoid temptation. I’m not sure where your mother lives, my mom has alzheimers too, and it is a struggle, maybe she would enjoy watching you workout to the dvd’s while your 7 an 8 yr olds keep track of the 20 month old – just tell them all you need 30 minutes every day or every other day. And what an audience – not any one of them will remember what you are doing! If you are on this site, you will find a way to make something happen for yourself!


  1. […] post I did about Sue’s transformation.  She followed that up with a part 2 on what she eats, click here to check that out. I have trained Sue for about 2 years in my small group training (which I don’t offer anymore […]

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