You may – like a lot of America – have been enthralled watching the stunning metamorphosis of two of the contestants on My Diet is Better Than Yours, which crowned it’s winner this week.  I didn’t watch the series because I’ve been living in a TV-free zone since I was 20-something, but I do hang out on Twitter for a few minutes each evening so it was kinda hard to miss the building excitement as the weeks of competition went by.  It’s been fascinating (to me, anyway) to watch the spin and marketing swirl around the various diets that the expert trainers brought to the show.  When the final weigh-in came and the winner was announced along with the staggering weight and fat-loss numbers it is hard for anyone who has ever tried to lose weight and failed, or those of us who have ever stalled and not been able to move the fat-loss needle again, to not run out and buy into yet another new diet plan.  Because both the Superfood Swap Diet and The Wild Diet (#1 and #2 place respectively) clearly worked well for losing weight.  Really well.


However, before you go shell out another round of dosh on another program in the hopes that this time this is it, that this is the one,  I thought I’d toss a little perspective at you.  This is not IN ANY WAY meant to take away from the contestants incredible achievements.  The changes they wrought in their bodies is amazing.  And inspiring!  But…can the rest of us expect to see the same results in the same time-frame?  No.  Because the contestants didn’t just start a new diet and exercise plan like the rest of us do.  They had help.  Serious help.  And again, this isn’t to minimize these fine folks success in any way – it’s rather to ground your expectations if you think you would automatically have the same success.  {Spoiler alert: you almost certainly won’t}

  • All of America was watching their every mouthful and every move.  I think most people would find that kind of accountability extremely motivating.  Who wants to slack off on national TV, or ‘fail’ so publicly?
  • It was time-boxed to 14 weeks.  Having just spent the last 5 months eating only a dozen different foods, I can say with certainty that you can do pretty much anything for 14 weeks – as long as you know it’s only for 14 weeks.
  • They had 1:1 intensive coaching and enormous round-the-clock support from their expert trainers.  They were told exactly what, when, where, why, and how, and had systems set up to keep them on track.  And I suspect they had daily check-ins.  Most of us will perform better if we know we have to report progress at the end of every day.
  • There was a $50,000 prize at stake.  Most of us would pull out every last stop if we knew there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and I bet most of us could stick to pretty much any regime for 14 weeks with that incentive.
  • Their diet was a HUGE departure from their previous way of eating, so we would expect a HUGE result.  Most people find that the first 3 months of a healthy diet are when they lose the most weight, and then it starts to get more difficult.
  • They were significantly overweight when they started.  Anyone with less weight and fat to lose would likely not have such dramatic results, because it gets harder to lose the closer you get to your ideal weight.
  • It wasn’t just their diet that they changed.  There were other things too – sleep, water, exercise, supplements….and all these things worked synergistically together to get their results.

Would they have had the same success in the same time frame if they had just been given the plan and left to their own devices?  {Spoiler alert: they almost certainly wouldn’t}

Other factors that will affect your results vs. the contestants.

  • Your level of health isn’t the same.
  • Your genes aren’t the same.
  • Your age isn’t the same.
  • Your history isn’t the same.
  • Your starting weight isn’t the same.
  • Your fitness level isn’t the same.
  • Your living environment isn’t the same.
  • Your stress levels aren’t the same.
  • Your underlying health conditions aren’t the same.
  • Your prescription medications aren’t the same.
  • Your hormonal balance isn’t the same.
  • ….(I think you get my point)

Another thing I thought about was whether one diet was actually any better than the other.  On the Superfood Swap Diet, Jasmin, who focused on portion control and cardio, lost 53 pounds and 13% body fat and 26% body weight.  On The Wild Diet, Kurt, used a low-carb high-fat diet along with intermittent fasting and little exercise, shedding 87 pounds and 22% body fat and 24.7% body weight.

On the face of it the Superfood Swap Diet performed better than The Wild Diet in terms of % body weight lost, but if you look more closely at the results they show that The Wild Diet selectively burned body fat while protecting lean muscle. Jasmin unfortunately lost muscle with only 13% fat loss, while Kurt burned through 22% fat…and with only half the exercise.  When you look at it that way then The Wild Diet is the clear winner, since what we want is not just weight-loss but fat-loss.  The point is, the fact that the contestant on the Superfood Swap lost the most weight doesn’t mean it was the best diet.

Is Abel James awesome?  Yes.  Is The Wild Diet awesome?  Yes.  Does it work?  Yes.  Has Abel done a HUGE service to the world in sharing his *just eat real food* strategies on national TV?  YES.  But it’s nothing new.  That is not a criticism!  It’s an observation.  When I looked at what The Wild Diet is, and discovered that it is pretty much SANE with a different name and presented in a slightly different way.  Point being – if you are following a SANE lifestyle, The Wild Diet won’t teach you anything you don’t already know, or give you anything new or different that will suddenly make you lose fat faster, or un-stall you if you’re stuck.  All of my recipes here and in my cookbooks work brilliantly with both SANE and The Wild Diet.  If you eat my food you’ll be eating SANE and WILD.  And yes, there will be a whole bunch of new recipes coming at you just as soon as I get the full range of foods back into my life.  In the meantime, don’t be distracted by ‘new’ diets.  Chances are they are just another version of what we already have packed up in a hot new wrapping.

There.  I’ve just saved us all a bunch of $$$ and time.




What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!
  • David Williams - Yep. Jonathan actually had Abel on his podcast many moons ago and I’ve subscribed to Abel’s podcast ever since. Sane/Wild are very similar as you say.

    How about your Keto diet though – you haven’t posted anything much on that yet? I’m pretty much on a Keto diet as I find there is a little too much protein in Sane and I just stall with weight loss.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Coming soon, David! Interested in how much protein you were eating when eating out-of-the-box SANE vs. KETO. Do tell!ReplyCancel

    • Donna - Yes, more on Keto, please!ReplyCancel

  • Marcia - I’ve only watched one other reality show but I watched this one to see how Abel James (wild diet) represented himself and what was the show like. Abel is how I found SANE and the podcast. He did a set of videos with Jonathan. While there were some parts like deciding who won baised on the scale that I didn’t like, I liked the overall message and that the contestants weren’t eliminated they could follow their plan until the end. Love the message of real nutritious food is what we need getting out there.
    Can’t wait for new recipes from you.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Marcia – you are so right! The overall message is all goodness – just eat real food!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I didn’t watch the show but have read The Wild Diet. It’s very similar to other good programs that encourage people to avoid processed foods among other things.
    Appropriate food intake is so individual, as you pointed out. I’m still working on mine.
    Btw Congrats on improving your health and for sharing the information.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Susan – yes – just eat real food! I’ve learned so much in the last 8 months I can’t not share.ReplyCancel

  • Francesca - Where are you? Are you OK? you have been very quiet of late.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Francesca! You are so sweet! I am fine. Blog post coming imminently – even this weekend if the rain keeps up :-)ReplyCancel

      • Francesca - great news, happy to hear that :)ReplyCancel

Mornin’!  You know how you start writing a blog post and then one of your favorite people on earth wants to Skype so you do and 3 hours of exciting chatter later… Afternoon!

I thought I’d stop in and give you a progress update as I have heard from so many of you asking how I am doing, given that my spate of posts back in November stopped flowing.  You are lovely, lovely people and I appreciate so much when you check in.

We are making progress, but it’s a journey that’s for sure.  De-toxing your body from a lifetime of being (unknowingly) gluten-intolerant takes time.  Getting rid of gut infections (and their toxins) takes time.  Healing your gut from an onslaught of damage takes time.  Getting your liver, adrenal glands, and thyroid back on top form after a multitude of stressors, well, takes time.

I am trying to do {a lot} less and rest {a lot} more in order to speed the process, but lolling around, reading, napping, and cruising social media all weekend every weekend has never been a forte of mine.  I am a doer.  This resting lark is driving me batty.  I cannot wait to get back in the kitchen and start conjuring up some delicious new recipes for you.  I also have a lot of posts in the works to share what I’ve learned in the dietary department while I’ve been navigating my own health.  It’s been the most fascinating and most frustrating time.

But for now, I thought I’d share the changes I have seen since I started my treatment plan on September 1st last year.  It’s pretty darn cool if you ask me.

Progress since starting treatment plan: (see symptoms before I started)

  • Dramatic increase in energy.  It’s still not yet back to my normal, but holy cow I am in a totally different place to where I was last July.
  • Significant improvement in psoriasis and eczema – least amount since I was 11. ELEVEN!!  Only patches left now are on my elbows and 3 tiny spots on my face.
  • No foot odor – hey, just telling it like it is, because this was a huge embarrassment to me previously.  Even when I wore sandals I used to get stinky feet.  Now, nada.
  • No ear infections.
  • No joint pain – and I mean none, anywhere.  Not my thumbs, my fingers, or my right knee.
  • 15 lb weight loss, without even trying.
  • Dry skin?  Nope. My skin is now like the proverbial baby’s, without the use of any external creams, lotions, or potions.  And I am talking all over, not just my face.
  • Pore size on face reduced – I know, right? That was a nice surprise.  No, I have no clue why this is, but I’ll take it.
  • No red patches on face.
  • No blurry vision.
  • No “chicken skin” – those tiny little bumps on the back of your upper arms. Yep. No more!
  • No depression, mood swings, or stinky thinking.
  • Circadian rhythm moved 2 hours closer to normal.
  • No dry eyes.  Saving a bunch on eye-drops!
  • No more emergency sprints to the bathroom.
  • Noticeably thicker hair – my hairdresser was all, “Er, what are you using on your hair now?”
  • My brain is online and functional first thing in the morning.  My boss loves this part.
  • The return of the little white half-moons at the base of some of my nails.  (Yes, those not being there is a thing.)
  • Lessening of my fingernail & toenail ridges.  Yes, nail ridges are also a thing.)
  • I no longer bruise when the wind blows or someone looks at me.
  • No dry lips – I can leave the house without a lip balm now.
  • Skin-tags – GONE.  Just disappeared.  I have no idea where they went.  I just know they are no longer there.
  • Body odor – likely TMI but I did an experiment where I slept in the same t-shirt every night for a week (it’s OK, I sleep alone).  NO. UNDER-ARM. ODOR.  I am not kidding you.  I no longer need to wear deodorant.
  • I have been entirely unmedicated for 3 months and my brain hasn’t tried to kill me.  Not once.
  • I have added back tomatoes, cauliflower, coconut, almonds, bell peppers, grapes, and possibly chicken.  I say possibly because I had a slight reaction to something, but that it was the chicken I need to confirm.
  • I returned to yoga.  The night and day after the first session my muscles were so sore I could hardly move.  After restorative yoga!  So no, I have not started doing eccentrics again yet :-)

So much progress!  Who’da thought you could get all this simply by eating real, whole, fresh foods, eliminating things that your body is sensitive to, supplementing micro-nutrient deficiencies, and killing bugs.  Oh, and stopping all medications.

I just wanted to point out that all this progress didn’t suddenly happen last week.  I realized that it might seem that way given that I have not posted an update in a long while.  Put another way, it hasn’t taken me 4.5 months to start seeing the results above.  Some of them – like the joint pain – went away in a matter of days.  Others – like the weight loss – kicked in after 3 months.  But when I look back at the changes over the last 4.5 months it’s mighty significant.

I also thought it was time I posted a recent picture.  Here’s Moose George, Mrs. Moose, and I enjoying a fantastic evening in Phoenix over the holidays in December.  For those of you who used to frequent the awesome and original Smarter Science of Slim Forum, that’s THAT Moose George!  Thanks for an amazing meal and brilliant conversation, Moose George and Mrs. Moose!



I am so very grateful for all you wonderful people I have met through my blog, social media, cookbooks, and podcasts, and I just love meeting up with readers when I am road tripping.  The connections this blog has afforded me are so precious to me.  THANK YOU!



What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!
  • Francesca - Wow, fantastic results and so many seemingly little things fixed. Half moons and ridges? I have horrid, splitting and thickening nails with no half moons. Never occurred it could be nutrition related. Glad you are having such success after such a tough time.ReplyCancel

  • Debra - Very interesting list of successes. Has my mind really thinking. My adult daughters have so many of your symptoms.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy P. - Carrie, I am so very happy for you. We talked before about the eczema/psoriasis thing before. I still have mine on one side of my back and one elbow is rough. I wonder how much gluten is in foods we don’t know about. It is a journey and it’s great how you are sharing as it may help someone else. Thanks for your blog and caring.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy P. - Awesome pic! Carrie you look so fit and trim! Well done! Nice to see some of your followers, too. Happy times!ReplyCancel

  • MooseGeorge - In all fairness to Mrs Moose… If you remember MooseGeorge on the Smarter Science of Slim forums, you likely remember Mrs Moose as mbuna13. :)ReplyCancel

Stop.  It’s 2016.  TWENTY-SIXTEEN!!

When I was a small girl it seemed quite impossible that we would ever get to a year that started with 20, let alone nearly a fifth of the way through an entire new century.  When you’re small even a week can seem like forever, but I’ve found it’s true what they say – the older you get the faster the years fly by.  Last year flew by, for me anyway, and I am rather grateful for that since 2015 involved a miserable amount of fatigue and headaches and migraines and nausea and frustrations and mental and emotional blahs and general pain-in-the-ass-ness.

2015 wasn’t a bad year.  There were fantastic things that happened – I published a new cookbook!  I *finally* finished remodeling the kitchen!  My godson, Jackson, was born!  I had an outstanding human being for a boss!  I road-tripped to Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, and Wyoming!  I learned how to Go-Pro (well, I started…thanks, Wildman!)!  I learned soooo much more about nutrition! – but it would have been a whole lot lovelier of a year without the aforementioned pain-in-the-ass-ness, caused in equal parts by a bunch of E.Coli and some errant genes.  2016 is destined to be an altogether less pain-in-the-ass year because the E.Coli got slayed and the genes, it turns out, can be persuaded to express themselves in a much less pain-in-the-ass way.

2016 is going to be a simply smashing year.  Just ask Jack.


As the start of 2016 approached I started to think about what I wanted 2016 to be like, and then my thoughts turned to resolutions.  The resolutions part lasted about 8 minutes, because over the last few months as I have been working out WTF is wrong with me? I had already determined that what would make the biggest positive impact on my life right now was not what I was going to start doing, but what I was going to stop doing.  Over the course of the latter half of 2015 the things that have caused me the biggest angst were all driven psychologically, so I simply decided that instead of coming up with a bunch of physical actions for 2016, I was going to stop stuff getting to me, that ultimately leads to stress and procrastination and apathy – none of which are things conducive to moving forward.

As I was getting ready to write this on New Years Day I started noticing a new thing where people pick one focus word to guide them through the coming year instead of coming up with resolutions.  In that spirit, since I had already decided resolutions were not what I needed this year, my word is S T O P.  Here’s the things that will impact my life most positively if I stop doing them:

STOP clicking on attention-grabbing bait-and-click headlines to do with weight-loss and nutrition:

It doesn’t matter whether they come in email, social media messages, or ads – they invariably disappoint by the article not having much (or anything) to do with the headline, telling me nothing new, trying to sell me something, and / or only letting me see the content if I subscribe (usually for a fee) to their stuff.  Since July when I became very ill I have been consuming vast quantities of The Internet to educate myself in order to heal.  I have read an inordinate amount of *stuff* related to health and wellness.  I have met an entire army of people in the health and wellness arena that I never knew existed.  An amazing amount of that *stuff* was complete rubbish.  A lot of those people simply want to get rich and famous – rehashing what we already know into pretty new packaging.  If I had all the time back that I have spent the last 6 months clicking on links with attention-grabbing weight-loss (et al) headlines and reading *stuff* that turned out to be old news, no news, or simply rubbish, I’d have been able to a whole bunch of worthwhile things that were {WAY} more useful to me – like napping.  Yes, napping would have done a lot more for me.

It’s not only the waste of time, but also the frustration of feeling duped, learning nothing, finding myself at a “BUY NOW” dead-end, or hearing the same old stuff as I’ve heard before.  You know those web pages that scroll on until the end of time, with videos you can’t stop, flashing things proclaiming that this is The Thing that is stopping you from losing weight (or whatever), and telling you that the price is only available for a limited time, or is sold out and you need to give them your email so they can let you know when it’s back in stock?  Step away from the computer!!! If a product / system / book / whatever needs this much salesmanship there’s something not right.  (And if you do click on the headline and reach one of these pages…please, please, please DON’T HIT THE BUY BUTTON!!! You don’t need to spend that money to reach your goals – they won’t give you anything that you don’t already have access to.  Even for the programs that work – you don’t need to spend $$$ on them.  You will get *much* closer to your goals spending that money on better quality food and any supplements that you need.  Truly.)

Deep down we all know this to be true: THERE IS NO SILVER BULLET FOR WEIGHT-LOSS.  There isn’t.  Despite the marketing hype, the slick websites, the oh-so-convincing written arguments and clever memes, the scientific “proof”, and the lean hard bodies that push all this stuff out there – there is no silver bullet for weight-loss.  I know this for sure and yet those “4 Foods to Lose Weight Effortlessly Without Hunger” headlines get me every time.  So I am going to STOP.  I encourage you to do that same.  Stop clicking on them.  You won’t learn anything new.  There is no miracle fix on the other side of that link.  You might just get even more confused about nutrition and weight-loss.  The amount of mis-information (and downright lies) behind much of the nutrition out there is staggering.  It’s confusing at best, and harmful at worst.  I lost count the number of times I have thrown my hands up in the last 6 months and thought, “To hell with it! I’m just going to eat what I want and let the cards fall where they may.”  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Let’s all STOP!  None of those links will help us.  Seriously, they won’t.

STOP joining online health and nutrition “summits” or “webcasts” or “masterclasses”:

See above.  In my experience over the last 6 months, 100% of these have told me almost nothing and are simply sales vehicles for expensive (or sometimes wildly expensive) programs, systems, or subscriptions – none of which will provide a magical solution to weight-loss.  Because these isn’t a magical solution to weight-loss.  Seriously, there isn’t.  So I am going to STOP, and not waste the time, get emotionally discombobulated, or allow myself to be persuaded that throwing money at that “BUY NOW” button will get people to their goals.  Long term, it won’t.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  Let’s all STOP!  None of those online “courses” will help us.  Seriously, they won’t.

STOP reading about every diet / lifestyle that shows up:

See above.  After a concentrated 6 months of reading everything I came across that might possibly be helpful in unraveling my health issues it has become obvious to me that with a few exceptions they are all pretty much the same – just wrapped in different packaging, given a new name, presented with it’s own (sometimes unique) nuance, and promoted by a different “expert”.  It has also become obvious to me that in reading any of this stuff I have learned almost nothing new.  I am now {really} clear about what constitutes a truly healthy diet and I don’t need to be continually reading about the latest thing (because it’s just regurgitated from the thing before).  So I am going to STOP.

Here’s what I going to do with that time instead:

Write blog posts to share what I have learned in untangling the truths about food, nutrition, and weight-loss so that you can stop doing all of the above too, and spend that time enjoying life and your loved ones.  Won’t that be lovely?  I am not just going to leave you hanging with no solution, having told you to stop searching for one.

I am also going to get back in the kitchen as the number of foods that I can eat again is growing by the week.  This week I added tomatoes, sweet peppers, and coconut milk back in – I feel like I won the lottery!  Yes, there will be recipes in 2016.  HURRAH!!

In the meantime, now would be a good time to read or re-read There Is No Silver Bullet and Science Schmience, just as a reminder that there is a world full of dodgy stuff out there – don’t spend your hard-earned time or money chasing things that won’t help you reach your weight-loss and wellness goals.  Spend that money on fantastic quality whole foods and any supplements that you need – or, if required a visit to a great ND.

What can YOU stop in 2016 that will have a positive impact on your life?



What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!
  • Wren - What can I STOP doing in 2016 that will have a positive impact on my life? I am vowing to STOP wasting so much time scrolling the pages of Facebook to see the latest, funny video or picture. It is usually very entertaining but so much a time sucker.
    I vow to STOP wasting the wonderful organic vegetables I get each week at the farmer’s market that I forget to cook, so they go rotten and I have to throw them away. I’m always so sad when I do. I am going to cook more veggies! Well, that’s a start. I’m sure I can come up with some more ideas. Thanks for getting me started with a list. I needed a list.ReplyCancel

  • Amy Jensen - Love Love Love!!!!! We love you so much! You are the BEST Godmum to Jack, and we truly truly lucked out! You’re family and always will be :) even though you talk funny ;)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - LOL “Even though you talk funny”. I’m the lucky one – I’ll be living in your basement when I’m 80 instead of some dodgy retirement home ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Red - You nailed it. You spoke my thoughts. You spoke my feelings.

    I just deleted close to 800 emails in one fell swoop out of my email account that all were related to a host of folks with the “ONLY SOLUTION” out there.

    It was freeing – just selecting them all and hitting the DEL button. I was frightened that I might miss out on the one thing, the ONE THING that could help me. But they were gone. ALL of them.

    Now I face each day with a deep breath, and a gratefulness thought, and finally a desire to be open minded, and willing to face that hard thing, because sometimes – the hard things we shy from – are those we should pursue.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - =O

    At least I now know I’m not the only one. ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - What a great post and thank you for the reassurances that you will not disappear on us! :) if it weren’t for your blog, I would be much more hesitant about the SANE eating habits as Jonathan seems to have a lot of tr masterclass/sale-sy stuff on his site and your site gives me access to things to try that doesn’t require an expensive membership. I am very grateful for your recipes and the blog in general about what has happened to you and how you are working to overcome it. :)

    Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy P. - Yes!!! You are so right. I am going to go through my emails now and unsubscribe a LOT of them. Hugs!ReplyCancel

Woohoo!  Merry December!

If you are in gift-buying mode this month, here’s some ideas to help make 2016 saner, happier, and healthier for someone that you care about.  If you know people who are ready to make some healthy changes, you can get them started on the right path.

You could also pass this list along to someone who cares about you, hint hint.  If you’ve been eyeing up some of the more expensive kitchen gadgets to make a *SANE lifestyle easier and faster, this might be your big chance to have a new toy show up on your doorstep.


Here’s some of the things that have come to live at the Brown House during my WTF is Wrong With Me? journey.

I’ll be writing posts about why they were invited and why they get to stay over the coming months.  If you want to be ahead of the curve and just get the benefits before you know the why, here’s the links :-)

  • Now Essential oils – excellent value single oils and some fabulous blends such as Cheer Up Buttercup!, Peaceful Sleep, Mental Focus, and Naturally Loveable.  I use in foot baths and diffusers.
  • Essential oil diffuser – heal your body just by breathing!  Plus, gets me to sleep every single night without fail.
  • Foot bath – get one that heats and / or massages and / or has jets…OR…just get a deep bucket.  Get the one that suits your foot fantasies and your budget.  It’s not the receptacle that’s important, it’s what you put in it.
  • Epsom Salts – buy in bulk and save a fortune.  I *highly* recommend a nightly Epsom salt foot bath.  *HIGHLY*.
  • Woll Nowo Titanium Pans – slowly replacing my pans starting with the saute / frying pans since those are the ones I use most.  These are non-toxic, non-stick, fantastic to cook with super-awesomeness.
  • Plant Fusion Protein Powder – if you have food sensitivities or otherwise can’t (or don’t want to) do whey, this is it for protein powders.
  • Gelatin – I now use gelatin daily. You can expect lots of recipes using gelatin to be posted soon.
  • Artizan Coffee Co – 100% certified organic coffee and zero fillers.  Pods for your Nespresso coffee machine (and no more expensive). Less than !% of the worlds coffee meets their standards.


Plus (hee hee) the most perfect gifts for a happier, healthier lifestyle – cookbooks!  It doesn’t matter if you or friends aren’t *SANE, these cookbooks are filled with delicious, easy recipes that everyone will love.  If you want to introduce friends to how delicious healthy can be, this a great way to do it!  Friends who are following KETO, LowCarb, LCHF, WheatBelly, Paleo or other healthy real food lifestyles?  These cookbooks will work just as well for them too.

Clicking on the links below the book covers will take you straight to the item on Amazon.  It doesn’t get any easier that that.

Eat Smarter Ice Creams

Eat Smarter! Ice Creams: 30 fat-burning, health-boosting, delicious frozen treats

Eat Smarter! Smoothies and Sides | Carrie Brown

Eat Smarter! Smoothies and Sides: 55 absolutely scrumptious, fat-burning, health-boosting ways to get your veggies

Eat Smarter Book Cover

Eat Smarter! Soups: 40 fat-burning, health-boosting, bowls of deliciousness

Beverage Book Cover Amazon

Drink Smarter! Beverages: 101 delicious, health-boosting, sugar-free lattes, teas, hot chocolates, frozen drinks, yogurt drinks, sodas, mocktails, and infused waters


Here’s the kitchen equipment staples that will make *SANE cooking faster, and easier.

Clicking on the images below will take you straight to the item on Amazon.  It doesn’t get any easier that that.

(If you want more details on the what and why of using these items, check out this post.)


Perfect smoothies, soups, ice creams, and other SANE staples.

KitchenAid Blender

For those times when you don't need perfectly smooth.

Cuisinart Food Processor

Make light work of processing doughs, vegetables, and more.

Cuisinart Hand Mixer

Super useful for whipping egg whites, cream, and a host of other things.

Electric kettle

Heat water to the perfect temperature super fast. Pre-sets for green tea, boiling, and other temps.


Simple way to cook most veggies.

Kitchen Scale

Get perfect, consistent results every time - especially with baked goods.


Make light and fast work of perfectly sliced and diced veggies.

Julienne Peeler

Turn vegetables into "spaghetti" in a jiffy!


Fabulous for zesting and grating all sorts of things. You'll never look back!

Measuring sppons

Take the guesswork out and get perfect results every time.

Very fine mesh sieve

A must for texture perfection in ice creams, sauces, jams and loads more.


General purpose sieves for all sorts of things.

Huge mixing bowl

Make large batches in one go.

Pouring bowls

Bowls that pour make things super easy and mean less washing up!

Metal cutters

Make food fun! Metal is much better than plastic.

Pyrex Storage Containers

Glass storage is so much better than plastic.



Gifts are awesome.  Gifts that make life better for your giftees are even awesomer.  Plus, I get the gift of knowing that I may have contributed to the health and well-being of other human beings, which is for me the awesomest thing of all.

Happy Holidays, lovely peeps!






What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!
  • Sue - Carrie: Many thanks for taking the time to create this wonderful list and provide us with the links for the products. I look forward to more recipes and more blog posts. I have all your cookbooks and am curious to see how your recipes and ingredients evolve as your dietary restrictions change. (Noted the PlantFusion protein powder and will be trying it instead of my Optimum Nutrition whey protein powder). I hope you take some time to enjoy the holiday season!


    • carrie - Hi Sue! You are right that my recipes and ingredients will be evolving as a result of my journey. I have learned so much! Looking forward to a super healthy, super tasty 2016 :DReplyCancel


I’m back on the couch in front of the fire, steaming mug of coffee at hand.  I use the word ‘mug’ loosely because although it looks like a mug, I’ve seen thimbles with a larger capacity.  Thus, I am grateful that this beach-side studio comes equipped with a percolator and decent ground coffee.  I flicked on the telly when I woke up – mostly because it was there – and flipped channels just in time to see some TV evangelist selling little packets of ‘miracle spring water’ so that he could bless people all over the world right from his armchair in wherever-he-was.  Luckily I was only subjected to the last 1 ½ minutes of that whole performance because otherwise I might have felt obligated to call the number on the screen since apparently my life would irrevocably suck if I didn’t get some of that water in me (on me?) stat.  Next thing I know my studio is filled with the pulsating sound of hip-hop music – brightly colored lycra-clad bodies gyrating across one half of the screen while the other half could barely contain the ebullient 52-year-old breathlessly exclaiming how her body had been entirely transformed after purchasing a very pricey DVD containing 30 minutes of dance music.  I sat here soaking it all in, mesmerized by how compelling the argument to just call that number on the screen was.  What is wrong with me??  All these miracle cures I am just tossing away today.

The biggest frustration I have faced since I started on this whole SANE journey some 4 years ago is that despite eating a fantastically healthy diet, I never saw the amazing results that so many other folks do.  Sure I felt {somewhat} better.  Sure I lost {some} weight.  Sure {some of} my symptoms lessened.  But I still had headaches, migraines, psoriasis, depression, and joint pain, and I even added things like Bi-polar, adrenal fatigue, and ear infections.  It made no sense.  But, it also made no sense that trying yet another diet would work any better.  In terms of nutritional density SANE is as good as it gets.  I watched and celebrated as others had remarkable SANE success, while I was left to just keep plodding along hoping that at some point something would shift.  I was clear that SANE wasn’t the problem – we’re all different and I assumed that it was my age, my metabolic history, my sex, my medications, my genes, or any combination of those and / or other Carrie-only variables.  Either that or there was something else going on.  Initially I resigned myself to having got my health to the best it could be, but when things started going sideways last December I got more frustrated than I could tolerate.  By July I was left with little choice other than to drag myself out of resignation and figure out WTF was wrong with me?

In the process of unraveling the mysteries of my body over the last few months I learned The Most Important Thing.  Which is this:  All the time I had unaddressed underlying conditions it didn’t matter that I was eating the healthiest food on earth, I was not going to get the amazing results such a diet would typically bring.  On the surface this might not make sense – surely if you are only eating fabulous foods that are flooding your body with essential nutrients you can’t help but sort out your hormones, heal your body, and fix your metabolism, right?  Wrong.  It’s impossible for someone to be eating so well and also be getting sicker and fatter, right?  Wrong.

So how can this be?  Here’s a few ways how:

  • I was severely deficient in all those pesky B vitamins, which are super important for all sorts of things.  Eating the food I was, how could I possibly be that deficient in all of them?  Turns out it was possible in at least three ways.  1. I can’t methylate – which means (among a lot of other things) that I cannot convert B’s to anything usable.  It doesn’t matter how many B vitamins I ingest I cannot get any benefit from them.  2. I have a defective CBS genewhich means I take in a lot of nutrition and it just keeps leaking out.  3. I had Leaky Gut – which means that food was leaking out through the walls of my gut without being properly digested.  It didn’t matter how much great food was going in – if it wasn’t being digested properly then I simply wasn’t getting all the nutrition I needed from it.
  • I had a ridiculous number of food sensitivities.  It doesn’t matter how SANE or healthy a food is, if your body cannot tolerate it (for whatever reason) you’re going to get sicker by eating it, not healthier.  It’s like having a peanut allergy that stops short of killing you.  When you don’t know that you have sensitivities to the foods that a SANE diet focuses on you can be right up the creek without a paddle while thinking that you are doing everything right.
  • I had a massive E.Coli infection which completely changed the bacterial balance in my gut, altering the way food was digested, processed, and utilized.

I could go on, but you’re smart peeps – you’ve got the point.

Have you ever thought, “I have tried every diet out there and nothing works!”, or, “I have been eating fantastically for 6 months and nothing is happening.”?  Does, “Initially I lost 20lbs eating this way and now I’ve stalled and nothing I do starts the weight-loss again.” sound familiar?  How about, “This way of eating makes total sense but after 3 months I put on weight not lost it”?  Or, “I generally feel good eating this way but my long-term symptoms are not getting any better.”  I know a lot of you think these things because you let me know.  And that’s why writing these posts and sharing my story has become so important to me – it may unlock your struggles too.

What if there is some non-food-related hiccup that is stopping all the goodness of the food from doing it’s job?  What if there is some non-food-related hiccup that means your body does not do what it is supposed to?  What if some of that goodness you are ingesting is something that your body cannot tolerate?

Then you, like me, might have something else going on.  You might want to consider identifying any underlying problems before you throw up your hands in frustration and start eating cake like it’s an essential food group because you reason that either this whole just-eat-real-food thing is BS or you are just too broken to ever get healthy and slim.  Maybe you are not doing anything wrong at all.

This is why I now say The Most Important Thing is to understand that if we have underlying conditions it doesn’t matter how fantastic a diet we eat – we will not get the results we should.  If this was not the most important thing to understand then I would still be where I was back in July instead of where I am now.

I used to think that the most important thing was for me to create truly healthy recipes so that all you lovely people had delicious food to eat that was also wildly nutritious and all kinds of good for you.  I’ve changed my mind.  The most scrumptious, healthiest recipes in the world are all for naught if your body has a glitch that stops the whole process working quite right.

You have to fix the glitch first.

This changes everything.



What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!
  • Danielle Browning - Carrie….you are a great inspiration. Thank you for opening your heart and life. This completely resonated with me and I so appreciate you! Shine on girl!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Deb Sanders - Thank you so much for sharing all this with us.ReplyCancel

  • Jan - The problem is finding a good doctor out of the main stream. You are very lucky to have found one that got to the root of your problem. I live in the Florida Keys and there are none hear.
    Keep on writing we all enjoy hearing how well you are doing!ReplyCancel

  • Robin - I also have seen many ND’s who don’t understand what yours does. A great website for addressing food allergies if you don’t have access to medical help is the Weston Price site. Helped me get betterReplyCancel

  • Sue - Thank you, Carrie. And thank you – all of you who write. Maybe, together, we can sort this out. I often feel like I could have written what you write, Carrie. I really don’t know where to turn.ReplyCancel

  • Dieanna - Thanks again for a great blog post Carrie!! I agree Jan that the problem is finding “The right doctor” So happy that you were able to find that Doc for you Carrie. Keep up the great work of listening to and healing your body! I will keep looking forward to your blog posts. They just make my day!!ReplyCancel

  • Wren - It’s so awesome that you have access to the RIGHT doctors who have helped you figure this out. ditto ditto. It can’t be repeated enough. I’m also glad that you made it clear that eating SANE didn’t do this to you. If anything I’m sure it prevented problems from being worse. I’d love to know more about your treatment plan and what your diet has been like, as well as all of the supplements you’ve been taking.

    I totally understand about the sleep and the lights. I’ve had to do the same thing with lights in our bedroom. Darker curtains, covering up tiny lights with duck tape, turning my phone on airplane mode to eliminate EMF’s, no TV or electronics an hour before I go to sleep etc. it’s made a big difference and I’m able to finally sleep without medication like I’ve taken for the past 5 years.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - Came back after a long hiatus to check on whether you had a main dish cookbook out since I love the other three I have bought from you and I was so happy to read your blog and see the success you are having. It has motivated me to move in that direction as well using professionals instead of going on it myself as I have been doing the last year or so since starting SANE. I discovered among other things I could not digest Quest bars and they made me so sick. It took some time, but I think I too am ready to get off this roller coaster and figure out WTF is truly wrong. I look forward to coming back frequently and reading your blog and also congratulations on being medication free – I know what a big jump that is for you and you have many cheerleaders out here. Keep moving forward!!ReplyCancel

  • Belinda - Carrie,
    Your journey has been helpful to finding my own way.
    It can be overwhelming and frustrating, but we are cheering you on as we find our own ways.

    Love and hugs,

  • Nancy - Carrie,
    I just happened upon your blog for the first time while looking for SANE information, and noticed your health problems. Just wondering if you’ve ever considered looking into Joanna Budwig’s diet? It has healed people with terminal cancers as well as helped with other problems, such as diabetes, arthritis, and other chronic conditions. It can be modified to simply maintain healing and also as a preventative.

    There is also a yahoo group (FlaxSeedOil2) where Budwig’s protocol is discussed and testimonies are given. Hope this is helpful.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Nancy! Thanks for stopping by – glad you found us :-) Thankfully my health issues have been uncovered and we are well on the path to recovery! I took a quick look at the Budwig diet but quickly saw that it does not reflect a SANE approach and also includes several things – particularly gluten – that are a huge no-go for me. I very much appreciate your thoughtfulness in sharing something that hes helped others though. I have my theories on why it would effective with the chronic conditions that it talks about, but that is a whole other (very long!) discussion!

      Was there something specific you were looking for in regards to SANE that I can help you with?ReplyCancel

      • Nancy - Hi Carrie,
        Thanks for responding. I had listened to Jonathan Bailor talk nonstop for 3 hours, of which over an hour was just promoting the sale of his books, DVDs, etc. and telling us how many thousands of dollars it was worth and how “cheap” we could buy it (more than $1000!!!!). He never really talked about a specific diet plan or quantities, or anything else in detail that would be helpful in changing my eating habits, so I was very disappointed. His plan did, however, sound similar to Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live diet, and I wanted to compare it. That’s why I was googling the SANE diet. I’m almost 70 and have an income that is way below poverty level, so cannot afford to buy anything and had hoped to get some information while listening to Johnathan’s supposedly live webinar. I say supposedly, because I feel that now I cannot ever trust him, since he had told the registrants that he would be giving us a free gift if we stayed until the end (which I hoped would be more information about the kinds of foods and amounts of each to eat). I guess the free gift was a reduced rate for all the stuff he was selling. I am now unsubscribing from all the “diet and nutrition experts” like Yuri, Josh Axe, etc. that I’ve been getting in my email because I see that they just want to sell their stuff. The only one I trust now is Ty Bollinger, whose interviews with over 130 doctors bring out all kinds of dietary truths that not only help cure cancer, but also help people eat a healthier, preventative diet.

        Anyway, using only Budwig’s scientifically researched flax seed oil emulsified with cottage cheese would still be a great help for your health and easily goes along with the SANE diet, as part of your oil and protein intake. All you need to do is take one tablespoon/day of flax seed oil and emulsify it with 2 T/day of cottage cheese (and add a little stevia for taste and fruit/nuts if you want). It’s a great preventative for all kinds of health issues.ReplyCancel

        • carrie - Nancy – it was lovely to chat on the phone with you. I hope you found our conversation helpful and please let me know how you get on!ReplyCancel

  • DavidFW1960 - Earth to Carrie!! You’ve disappeared again. I hope all is ok.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi David! You’re so sweet – ALL GOOD! – but it’s been a ride the several weeks. Posts imminent.ReplyCancel

      • DavidFW1960 - Well that is great to hear!! So pleased you are well.ReplyCancel