If my brain was fitted with a Bluetooth device that could send all my thoughts to my blog without me having to type them, there would have been a new post every single day for the last 5 months that I’ve been MIA, because while there may have been zero typing around here, there’s been a LOT of thinking going on.  If Mr. McHenry or Daisy would just buckle up and learn to type I could have dictated more blog posts than you could’ve read in a year, there’s been that much contemplation afoot.

Since the end of January there has also been countless hours of reading, a substantial amount of napping, 5000 10,500-odd miles of road-tripping, some 6 million daffodils, a profusion of experiments to hide the taste of ascorbic acid in Liposomal Vitamin C (yes! I’ve been back in the kitchen!), an amazingly badass mentor, a rain-forest, a few Big Breakfast Adventures, the installation of a sauna in my garage, more water than I think I’ve drunk in the the previous 10 years of my life, days surfing The Internet reading articles, blog posts, and papers on nutrition, a significant quantity of really good chocolate, a house-guest from Europe, migration to an iPhone (!!!), a somewhat scary load of Trader Joe’s Pork Belly, several conversations with England, movie nights with my BFF, an outrageous volume of sautéed leeks, daily Comedy Hours hosted by Mr. McHenry – often with Florence as special guest, an abundance of magnesium flake baths, a trip to the Landscape and Garden Show which *almost* resulted in the purchase of one of these for my yard and did result in the purchase of some Haitian oil drum art: because awesome.  There’ve been far, *far* too many extra hours at the day job, the odd spot of gardening, an abundance of lamb chops, pork chops, duck thighs, and bison burgers, a blissful quota of saunas, all the usual laundry, car maintenance (yep, broke my breaks in Colorado and wore out my tire treads in Utah), lawn-mowing, dish-washing, vacuuming, grocery-shopping, sheet-changing, toilet-cleaning, pruning, mopping and other assorted home-dwellers requirements, and, after 25 years of not drinking – a few bottles of vino (I did not slurp it all at once).  Did I mention far too many hours at the day job?

Holy smokes.  Makes me wonder how I even found time for thinking, let alone writing.  And now, here I am, finally back at the keyboard attempting to become a human Bluetooth while simultaneously rebooting my typing abilities less than 2 weeks 1 week before I head out on another road-trip when I still haven’t shared the adventures of the last one two three four six.  And boy, what grand adventures they were!  Sigh.

Now you might think that the reason I haven’t been writing is obvious.  That it was simply because I’ve been far too busy doing all of the above, plus, you know, gallivanting around the western United States shooting pretty things and generally scratching my explorer itch; but that wouldn’t be true because I could have chosen to write instead of doing much of what I did spend my time on.  And since one of the things I like most about myself (and also the thing that bites me in the a** most) is that I tell it how it is, I don’t feel good about letting you think I was just busy being busy with life.

If I boil it all down I would say there’s 3 things that have kept me from being here like I used to be.  WARNING: this could very well get rambly and maybe even a little ranty.  I am just letting my thoughts go where they will.  Feel free to tell me how you feel about it in the comments.

First, and most important: the hugely underrated R ‘n’ R.  When you’re going through the fundamental healing processes that I have been since last September things can go much faster if you rest.  When you’re detoxing like it’s your job, napping is right up there at the top of the most important things to do.  I’m not a good napper.  I’m not a good sitter-on-the-couch-er.  I’m just not good at not doing.  So while my body is reveling in this newly-learned skill, my brain has been quietly going mad with the frustration of not being productive.  However, I am acutely aware that my insistence on scoffing at rest and relaxation aided and abetted my health downfall, so I’ve forced myself to just stop with all the activity.

The real dilemma here is how I do all the things that I want to do while also embracing rest and relaxation.  I have a day job that heralds on average a 53-hour work week (sans commute).  This blog, recipe development, and my cookbooks are another more-than-fulltime pursuit, and while I managed to do both for several years, it’s not healthily sustainable.  Sustainable – yes.  Healthily sustainable – clearly not.  Since I have never earned one {inSANE} bean from any of my work with Mr. Bailor, and the revenue from my cookbooks only partly covers the production costs of this blog, recipes, and cookbooks themselves,  quitting the day job to spend my time here is not an option (at this point, anyway).  So given that what pays my bills is my day job, I have had to take the R ‘n’ R part out of all this goodness.  Sad but true.

Secondly, and in all honesty, I  became rather burned out with it all.  The eye-rolling, never-ending arguments about which diet is The One, snake oil sales people bombarding every possible means of social media and communication with their silver bullet infomercials, snazzy videos, sneaky (and often not so sneaky) sales emails, and fat-loss summits that tell you nothing new but always ask for $$, and the unbelievable amount of misinformation bandied about by ‘experts’ and manufacturers, {many} doctors and ‘gurus’, {many} dieticians and anyone else who is just trying to make a buck off folks desperate to feel great and finally be able to lose a few pounds.

I swear I am going to smack my screen if I see one more recipe with ‘healthy’ in the title followed by a list of nutritional insanity that will make you fatter faster than a rabbit at the races.  And then just when you think you’ve got it all straight about what is right and what is wrong you come across something else or someone else (with credentials up the ying-yang and sometimes a body like Ted Naiman) saying the opposite.  Wait. What??  If you follow all the health shenanigans seriously, it’s exhausting.  How in the world anyone is supposed to successfully navigate all this stuff without losing their mind and / or their will to live is beyond me.

Not to mention the social requirements of it all became so tedious and overwhelming if you wanted to do it right. You mustn’t post on your blog unless you’ve written it in such a way as to maximize every search engine to get the highest ranking possible – which means you need to manipulate the title, the subtitle, the paragraphs, the links, the number of times you mention the title, tags, categories, images, blah, blah, di blah, blah, blah!  It is all so contrived.  Lordy it takes longer to do all that than it does to write the darn content.  Exhausting.  I didn’t even want to log into my dashboard anymore.

The ridiculousness of having to comment on other bloggers posts in order to get them to comment on yours.  Following someone on social media just to get another like for yourself in return.  Buying followers to bump up your figures.  And over the years I’ve watched all this going on and thought, “Where’s the honesty? Why isn’t great content enough for someone to get heard and applauded?” And I just didn’t want to be a part of it, because I have never cared about the numbers.  I am not trying to make a fortune, become famous, get a book deal, have the most followers on any social media platform, or win awards.  I would much rather have low numbers than fake numbers.  My ego doesn’t need to see large numbers in order to know I am of worth.  I am not in competition with anyone and I don’t care what anyone thinks of me.  You certainly don’t tell the world you have Bi-Polar II Disorder if you care what people think.  Nope.  I am just here sharing my life in the hopes that it will help or inspire someone else that in turn leads them to a better life.

I got to the point where I was just wanted to throw my hands up in the air and run away.  So I did.  To Death Valley, where I regained some sense of peace and sanity.  It was entirely my intention to return home from my time down south and throw myself back into blogosphere to add what value I could to others lives, but I quickly discovered after I kicked off my well-traveled Converses and plonked myself down at my desk to type that I had not come back any more excited to rejoin the fray of bickering and one-upping and deliberate misinformation and downright ugliness that is increasingly casting it’s cloud over the wellness landscape.

And thirdly – in large part because of #2 above – I once again find myself questioning the value I provide to you with what I create in this space.  While it is very true that I don’t do this for $$$, it has to have a worthy purpose beyond my own love of doing it for it to be a worthwhile endeavor.  I am just not wired to do stuff purely for my own enjoyment. OK, taking myself off to my Happy Place for breakfast once in a while – yes, but spending 3 days a week creating stuff and not share with others what they might find useful, uplifting, or inspiring – no.  So I became torn about my place in the world (again).

When this all started 4 years ago there was pretty much nowhere else you could get truly healthy recipes from (and certainly nothing SANE) and my whole reason for existing was to provide those for you.  Then, over the last 2 years while I’ve been working on fixing my pesky health issues a plethora of blogs showed up where you can get recipes to follow any diet out there, so you no longer need me for that; and yet every time I resolve to walk away from here and reinvent myself to find another cause where I can use my skills to cheerlead and help I find you {virtually} standing in my path letting me know that you miss me.  I for the life of me do not know or understand what it is that you miss, but I cannot help but accept that you do.  I think about all the emails and comments I receive letting me know that your life is better because I am in it – even if it is just in the form of words and images on a screen.  Or I’ll read something online and think, “This is bullshit.  I need to do what I can to help people figure out the truth from the peddler’s nonsense”. And goodness knows there’s an avalanche of people peddling nonsense out there.  I’ve experienced so much, I’ve learned so much, and I have so much worth sharing.

But I don’t want to add to the confusion.  And I don’t want to be lumped in with all the other snake oils salesmen.  And I don’t want to follow some contrived formula for getting the most likes or followers.  My voice is so quiet in amongst the cacophony of people trying to make a quick buck from the whole wellness circus.  My reach is so small given my budget for marketing and other assorted manipulations is zero.  Is it even worth trying to be heard?

So then another few weeks went by without feeling any clarity about what I needed to do and before I knew it another road trip rolled along.  So off I jollied to Colorado where I left my brake pads, rotors and the best part of the treads on my tires.  But what I came back with was a sense that I just needed to be me in this space.  Share when I can rather than on a if-you-don’t-post-3-times-a-week-you’re-a-failure schedule, write about anything that I felt had the potential to make others lives better, feel free change the format to make it easier to write more often, and stop feeling bound by having to continue what I’d done before.  I’m going with the flow.

You can take what you love, what is helpful, what inspires you, and move along when it’s not something that resonates.  You can follow or not follow, subscribe or unsubscribe, like or not like.  You can love the recipes and hate the road trips, or vice versa.  If you stop getting anything meaningful here I encourage you to seek wisdom elsewhere.    It is impossible for me to please everyone.  I simply cannot spend any more energy thinking about whether I am doing it right when I could be using that time to create something of value.  So I am just going to create and see what happens.

So what’s new?  What’s different?  And what’s coming?

This is still a work in progress, but I was determined to get this post out tonight COME WHAT MAY so here is what I have so far:

Thanks to my newly acquired jumping-of-the-ship to an iPhone I have recently fully embraced Instagram and Flickr.  You can take a peek and then hang out with any or all of the pages that appeal to you:

@carriebrowndoeslife : day-to-day moments captured with my iPhone (6S+)

@biggirlcamera : road trips, landscapes, flowers, fences, barns, trees, and whatever else grabs my attention captured with my Big Girl Camera (Nikon D750)

@lifeinthesanelane : food, recipes, and sane living captured with both iPhone and Big Girl Camera (posting will start this week!)

@mistermchenry : yes, I really did. Because if you can’t have fun, what’s the point?!  The world according to Mr. McHenry.

 

Flickr: CarrieBrownBlog : road trips, landscapes, flowers, fences, barns, trees, and whatever else grabs my attention captured with my Big Girl Camera (Nikon D750)

I’ve started writing over on Medium. There’s so much stuff I think about and want to write about that doesn’t feel like it quite fits here in this space.  There’s only a couple of pieces up there so far, but there’ll be a lot more coming.  You’ll find all the random musings there.  They night be rantier, more sensitive, and more controversial.  Who knows at this point.

https://medium.com/@CarrieBrownBlog

Recipes

There will be recipes, but the focus is going to be on very much simpler recipes and meal ideas that require minimal time to make.  Recipes that work in the real everyday working world where no one has time to spend an hour every night making almond flour pizza dough and baking grain-free, sugar-free cakes and cookies, but no one wants to down 3 whey protein shakes a day in the interests of maximum nutrition in the least time.

Newsletters

There is some fantastic information out there that I want you to have but don’t have time to write blog posts on, so I am going to be using a more newsletter-style format regularly to give you the links you need to get the info directly.  I’ll also be introducing you to amazing people who have great stuff to share.

 

That’s all I got right now.  I’ve missed you too.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!
  • Francesca - Thank goodness you are back! I have unsubscribed from so many emails and blogs of late because – like you – I’ve got fed up with marketing and material that looks like information but is designed to hook me in. Plus there is SO MUCH mis-information and ‘expert’ views that are polar opposites. I have retained 2 blog sites, 1 is “Inside Out Style” by an Australian stylist and the other is yours. I have 3 of your recipe books, and that is plenty for me to use. It is all the other stuff and the honesty you show, you really have the ability to connect.
    It is an odd thing about this web-connected world we live in; I feel I almost know you and if I saw you somewhere I would recognise you, but you wouldn’t know me at all. It is weird really. Isn’t it odd to matter to people you’ve never met? Anyhow, glad you are back and I’m going to check out your other blog, but not instagram, flickr, snapchat or any of the other sites – it becomes overload. :)
    FrancescaReplyCancel

  • Suzanne - Love, love, love (as usual)! Some of this same stuff drives me absolutely batty too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and since I don’t do Instagram or Flickr, I will look for you on Medium (and FB, of course). Thanks for always keeping it real-you’re the best!ReplyCancel

  • David Williams - Carrie – we miss you because we’ve been following you and your journey. We miss you because you’re hilarious. We miss you because in the world of snake-oil salesman YOU are the genuine article. We miss you because you make our journey through life easier and better. We miss you because we really like you!ReplyCancel

  • gordon Mott - Hi Carrie. Well it must be at least 2 years since we last connected. Somehow I left the SANE world and have stayed fat since then losing a few pounds. I recently went on a fitness regime as I do an annual hike in my beloved Lake district, and I did so much better on the hills this year due to regular HIIT (High intensity interval training) on my x trainer and some hill training. However…..I still have a large amount of body fat around my middle (the dangerous fat), and it’s time I lost it and became a new man again at 56.
    So…I decided to return to the one thing that ever made most sense to me……SANE eating…..and I was somewhat shocked to see that JB has ramped up the marketing, following a 3 hour webinar, a massive sales heat that was endlessly repetitive, and extolling how much savings I will make, and wanting me to depart with a lot of money which I do not have. I can honestly say, I was really disappointed that JB as genuine and nice man that he is, has succumbed to that often seen American hype and
    endless salesmanship, which us Brits just hate.
    Next I ventured back to your website, and I wondered why you left the JB show as you have not been on it for some time, and also the absence of posts on this site. I have been much relieved to hear your latest post (thank you as always for being so real, you have so much to contribute). I’m sorry to hear that you have been battling health issues, but it sounds as if you are getting there.
    So here I am, back to SANE, seeing the vast array of e books by JB on SANE recipes, your wonderful web site full of free recipes, and trying to find a way for me and my wife that simplfies things and which is sustainable.
    I like to snack so at the weekend I made Baba Ganoush and a tuna dip, without the crackers and biscuits but with crudites. Very nice….but miss Nairns oatmeal crackers. The weight is reducing, but need to get your recipe books I think.
    BTW, thank you so much again for sending me a free gift of your ice cream book a few years ago (I won a competition!), but I still need to get the ice cream maker this Summer and make them.
    Thanks again Carrie, and if you need to reply to this privately by email due to the issues raised, please do.
    Lots of love…………..Gordon XReplyCancel

  • Debra sanders - Welcome back. I literally checked into this spot yesterday to see if maybe I had been missing your blog posts. I was worried about you. You have so much to offer us with your honesty. I too have been busily unsubscribing from the massive amounts of “health sites” bombarding my Facebook and email. It is so apparent they are in it for the money. I’m so sick of the scare tactics. I’m just so glad to hear that you are working on getting healthy. I want to share your journey.ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Wow! It’s weird and amazing how many points you made that mirror my feelings. I appreciate the opportunity to share your Journey when you feel inspired to do so. I look forward to the adventure.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Carrie, thanks for coming back. I look forward to your posts, and have appreciated the time you take to keep us up on your journey. Though it is different from mine, some of the issues are the same, and that means I get to see my own issues from a different point of view, always helpful.
    I was not aware of what it takes to be a top Blogger! Or even tat there was competition to be such. What a drag! I hope that you can go forward as a labor of love, that is, something you love to and that we love to read. Because we Do! And thank You!
    Just sayin’, I have made up your ice cream recipes about a zillion times. I don’t exactly live on them, but they sure add that satisfying something after dinner that all the green smoothies in the world can’t do!
    More thank yous!ReplyCancel

  • Barb - Thank you! I’ve missed you! So happy you are well! Carry on!ReplyCancel

  • Amy V. - I too am glad you are back. I love that you are “real”. You rant, you have health issues you are dealing with, you praise when due (and berate when needed also), you are not constantly spouting the “latest & greatest, must-have-or-you-will-die” health miracle and yes…you are not here every day. And I REALLY appreciate that. It gets to a point where one feels like a failure because you do not, or cannot, buy all the latest “this will make yourself well” especially when reading the mostly crap that comes at us constantly So you are a breath of fresh air when you tell it like it is. And sharing your struggles helps me realize that I am not alone. And sometimes when we struggle with health issues, weight issues, etc…well sometimes we just need that. So thank you for coming back. :)ReplyCancel

  • Lori - Glad to see that you’re back Carrie! I always look forward to everything you have to share.ReplyCancel

  • Sue - A smile came across my face when I got the alert that there was a new post on your site. We love you just because you’re you! You said it best: “I am just here sharing my life in the hopes that it will help or inspire someone else that in turn leads them to a better life.” It does help. You do inspire. You passion for nature, kitties, to say nothing of your delicious recipes, keeps us all interested, happy, and loving you. Only post when you feel inclined. We’ll be here. (P.S. Way back when, early on in your blog, when I discovered your passion for your kitties….I was hooked. We share the passion.) >^..^<

    SueReplyCancel

  • Ellen - Thank GOD you’re back! I’ve aimlessly branched out to a variety of podcasts in your absence which have left me confused – am I stagnating due to the absence of powdered greens in my diet?
    Your return is like a breath of fresh air! You inspire me to get back to basics and simplicity and to enjoy great music on my commutes instead of tuning in to the SANE show and enduring that insanely peppy, giggling woman and praying that THIS will be the episode where you return!
    Glad you’re back in whatever venue / format / media outlet you feel inspired to use. You know we will follow. You know you’re loved! <3ReplyCancel

  • Patricia - Hi Carrie,
    I was only thinking of you in the shower this morning, how odd where your mind takes you when relaxing under hot water! I was thinking where are you and I hope you are ok.
    Like you I am sick to death of all the differing info on what to eat and the constant sales pitch from all the “experts”.
    Who really has time to make all this beautiful food all the time. I look forward to seeing quick and easy meals for busy times. Mind you your chocolate/coffee biscuits are the best and worth the effort.
    I love following JB but the cost when converted into Aussie dollars is prohibitive. I hate all the pre-packaged goods and health bars.
    You really do inspire me Carrie, your honesty, your humour, your beautiful photography. If you are ever in Tasmania I would just love to cook you a (SANE) meal. Take care of yourself and so pleased you are back.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - Carrie, it is so good to hear from you again. I am glad that you are making progress in so many ways. :)

    I want you to know that you are a big part of why I am continuing down the SANE path, despite my results not being as quick or dramatic as I would like them to be. It helps to hear from someone struggling with some of the same things I am. And your incredible sense of humor and positivity (is that even a word?) make all the difference. I hope some day you’ll be able to do more podcasts with Jonathan…the two of you are such fun together.

    I’m very excited about the new recipes you’re planning. In my ideal world, supper would take less than 30 minutes of hands-on prep and be done in an hour or less. Simple is great.ReplyCancel

  • Wendi - Carrie, I am glad you are back. I have missed you. I, too, am tired and overwhelmed with all the “healthy” diets out there. Thank you for your honesty and all that you do. I look forward to trying your new recipes. Take care of yourself.ReplyCancel

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.

my-diet-is-better-than-yours-web-main

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

  • Raina Singh - We miss you, Carrie! <3ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Raina! I have no idea what it is you miss, but it’s lovely to feel loved – thank you!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!

 

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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.

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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
    I COULD HAVE WRITTEN THIS, MYSELF!!

    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.)

Vitamix

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.

Steamer

Simple way to cook most veggies.

Kitchen Scale

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

Madoline

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

Julienne Peeler

Turn vegetables into "spaghetti" in a jiffy!

Microplanes

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.

Sieves

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!

    Sue
    >^..^<ReplyCancel

    • 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