I Took A Road Trip

Last Sunday I took a road trip.  A really long road trip over the hills and far away.  And back.  It made me exceedingly happy.

Here’s what it looked like.

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Whatever makes you feel good – do more of that.

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Liz - Wonderful you were able to do that and it made you happy :) I love road trips. Your pics are so beautiful! What wonderful talent you have there with your photography. I heard about the town Twisp on one of the morning shows last week! Not really sure what they were saying but I recognize the name.
I think I may plan a road trip for over this upcoming month!
Yes! Do more of what makes us happy :)

Helen - Thanks for the memories and beautiful pix. I have family in East Wenatchee, and when we last visited them, we did the Loop through that same area. Love it out there and was so sad when the fire happened.

Debra - I really enjoyed your photos Carrie! Thanks for sharing!!

Sylvia - Awesome photos Carrie. No need for words. Twisp looks like it has been left back in time…very pretty and quaint. Would love to visit one day.
So glad it made you happy. It made us happy too!

Marcia - Beautiful photos, Carrie! I am on the other side of the country in Virginia. Instead of Old West towns, we have Civil War and Colonial/Revolutionary War historical sites. They are also good for road trips.

Could I sneak in a food question? Is balsamic reduction SANE? I like to use it with salmon over salad.

Thanks for all the information plus enjoyment you have given us.

Danielle Baucom - Oh. Wow. Beautiful! I LOVE your pics!

carrie - Hi Marcia – if you are making your own and do not add any inSANE sweetener then it’s fine. If you buy it from the store then you just have to be careful and read the label – lots of them have added sugars in. I’m with you – love the stuff!

Dieanna - I felt like I was right there with ya on the road trip. The photos are amazing!! You are so talented. Thanks so much for sharing. So happy you had such an amazing time and that you are so happy :)

The Elephant In The Room

There is an elephant in the room.  It’s been here for a while – oh, you know, about 8 months – napping quietly in the corner.  The other day, though, it started trumpeting loudly so I figured it was high time I quit circling and introduced you.

As I contemplated this post – and boy! there’s been endless contemplation going on – my first thought was to just swing by for a few minutes to let you know that I am still alive and that soon I’d even be kicking.  You deserve better than that.  You deserve to know what in the world has kept me away from here for the best part of 4 months – and 3 months without a single peep save a post full of numbers, bold, and underlining.  I most certainly did not intend to be gone so long.  I’ve missed you enormously.  There hasn’t been a day gone by where I haven’t thought about you, wanted desperately to just get back to my usual blogging schedule, and chastised myself for having failed you – yet again – by not writing.  Or cooking.  Or eating.  Or shooting stuff.

So what’s been up with all the MIA around here?  Because you know that I would never just abandon you without so much as a farewell or a toodle-pip.  It’s just that I’ve been busy.  I spent the summer curled up in a ball on the couch with a cacophony of cats watching House, MD.  From start to finish – all 3 billionty episodes – Season 1 to Season 8.  Entire weekends passed in a haze of medical jargon, sexual innuendo, and fancying the pants off of Jesse Spencer.  (Jesse, if you’re reading this I’m available.)  And oh! how I related to Gregory House: his misery, his loneliness, his genius, and his ever-present mental anguish.  I watched more television this summer than I have in the last 30 years.  Yep, it’s been rather strange around here.  I don’t even like television.  I don’t even have television.  And yet, television filled my summer.

It wasn’t just all TV and no play though.  There were errands strewn amongst the fictitious medical drama marathons – just enough to keep the house standing, the car running, the bills paid, and the kitties healthy.  Talking of kitties – they thought this was the BEST. SUMMER. EVER.  They were most disappointed when the last episode of Season 8 saw House and Wilson riding off into the sunset.

So what in the world would inveigle the girl that writes entire cookbooks in 5 weeks, builds kitchens, and regularly road trips around the country – all while also working a full-time day-job – slump on the couch, stare aimlessly at a screen for days on end, spend every other possible minute sleeping, and then have the gall to say, “I’ve been busy.” ???

Well, here’s where you get to meet The Elephant.  While you may perceive that I have just spent the last 3 months being staggeringly lazy, what I was very busy doing while all this couch-surfing and napping was going on was keeping myself alive.  House was an engaging distraction and sleep rendered me unconscious – excellent tricks as it turned out.  I am still here.

Let’s back up.

It’s been a little over 8 months since my adrenal glands shut up shop.  8 months!  I don’t even know where the time goes.  At the same time as my adrenal glands went on strike, something in my brain broke, and for the last 8 months I have battled an unrelenting and enormous depression. For the past 6 I’ve been near-constantly suicidal.  It’s been hard.  Ok, ok.  It’s been f***ing awful.

Life is certainly different from 8 months ago – my adrenals and my brain going down simultaneously caused me to commit to being hardcore *SANE.  It was imperative that I did whatever I could to heal my body, and as you know if you followed my earlier series of posts, I transformed my body into a lean, mean, healthy machine, reaping the rewards of that over and over ever since.  If you watched my video, you’ll hear me gushing excitedly about being a new woman and how fantastic I feel, physically.  But there was one thing that steadfastly refused to partake in the transformation: my brain.

When my brain failed to respond to the SANE lifestyle that had healed the rest of my body I looked for other answers.  I tried all the supplements, drank all the brain-curing oils, and focused on eating all the things The Internet swears will halt depression in its tracks.  Nada.  They switched up my meds – changed the dosage up and down, added new ones, added even more new ones, stopped some and started others, and then stopped them all.  Nope, nope, and nope.  Still my brain relentlessly filled my head – hour after hour, day after day – with thoughts of death: sweet, peaceful relief.

Positive thinking was a complete impossibility – those neuron pathways were simply gone.  No matter the upbeat, loving self-talk I repeated over and over and over in my mind, it was no match for the streams of dire hopelessness and darkness that cursed through my grey matter.  I buried myself in psychology and self-help books and videos, continually read and re-read your emails and comments and Facebook posts telling me I am valuable and how much I have helped you, talked my therapist into a coma, and my psychiatrist into therapy.  I changed jobs, stayed away from negative, mean, or angry people, stopped reading the news, and endeavored to banish every last thing that was causing me stress.  Nothing gave me relief.  Not one damn thing.  I thought I was losing my mind.  Many times I almost lost the battle.  And my life.

I have been on constant high alert, and had a bevy of friends at the ready all hours of the day and night – both here, across the US, and in England to cover more time zones.  I’ve slept with my cell phone, run to friends houses when I couldn’t trust myself to be alone, and stayed at work until it was time to go to bed.  Weekdays were manageable – long days surrounded by colleagues with plenty of engaging work that denied my noggin any opportunity to derail me.  If I was going to die it was going to be alone.  The weekends were a different story – until I discovered that an inordinate amount of sleep and back-to-back episodes of House, interspersed with just enough errands to keep the wheels on the bus would get me through to the next Monday when I could escape to the office at the crack of dawn.

I had to forcibly drag myself to do anything.  I’d lost all joy.  I’d lost all desire.  Nothing gave me even the slightest hint of pleasure.  Being awake was torturesome.  Nothing had a purpose, everything was pointless, and life had no meaning.  I felt like I was walking in a long, dark tunnel that I already knew had no opening at the other end.  I was just waiting to die – and I hoped every day that day would be my last.

It was desperately excruciating looking into the future and imagining having to live another 20 or 30 or 40 years with this unremitting torment.  Even one more day seemed impossible to endure.  What if this was how the rest of my life was going to be?  What if I never felt joy again?  What if I never felt passionate again?  What if I never wrote another blog or created another recipe or went on another road trip?  What if this was it??  I simply could not survive.

And yet here I am.

The Elephant?  He doesn’t seem nearly so big now, but there’s a lot more for me to say.  I hope you’ll stay around for the sequel.  It’s so much better when you’re here too.

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Suzanne - Thank you so much for sharing, Carrie.

I have been feeling this exact way for so long now, even though I started therapy and meds a few months ago. Thinking about continuing on like this for, as you say, the next 40 years or so, is just more than I can handle. Reading or hearing about people who have died, I think about how I am wasting my life and wishing it away while that person would probably appreciate another chance. Most days I look at my life as I would a book or some other tangible thing – I’m not using it, so wouldn’t it be nice if I could give it to someone else to use instead?

On a drive to hang with family today, I could not call to mind anything at all that currently brings me joy. Once I got there I interacted with my family while feeling numb, squirmy, sweaty, nervous, and like a total loser in general. I don’t know how or when I will come out of this, but reading your story at least lets me know that I am not alone. I do not wish this on anyone though, and am so very sorry for your pain.

Dr Mike Keen - That’s called moving forwards….I’m tipping my titfa at you mate….use the feeling if you can/want, know that the potential to feel was/is there….use it in better health!

Tonya - Love you Carrie! You are enough and you serve a huge purpose!

Simone - I honour your honesty and acknowledge your pain. Take very good care of you, there are many of us out here in internet-land who would miss you a lot if you took yourself away. I’ve been there too and the only thing that stopped me from doing the job permanently was a promise I made to my dear Mother, 30 years ago. I’m very glad I’m still here and that you are too. Sending you kind, healing blessings all the way from Australia xxx

No-Egg Kati - Oh Carrie, I have missed you so dearly. Seeing a post from you gave me an instant smile, as much as it made me weep for your pain, and I would give you all that I could in return for the bits of your soul you have shared with us. I know your pain – every day since I was a child, and that’s been a while – I turn 40 in 2 months. Words never do it justice, especially to someone who has never been in it. Please know that words are also insufficient to explain how much you mean to all of us, the strangers across the globe who love you, cheer for you, and revel in your successes. You inspire us to be better. You inspire us to embrace change. You inspire us to cook with leeks! So please, when you feel alone and empty, come here and read the words we leave for you to try to express our love and appreciation for who you are and all you do. You have hugs waiting for you in every corner of the planet, so whenever you need help, let us help hold you up. We are here, and we love you!

Fi - Oh Carrie, keep going, one day at a time. It will get better-start House from episode 1 again,that’s what I did when I finished it!! (Big crush on Hugh Laurie here!!).
You have so much going for you, depression is such a cruel illness, it robs you of so much (although thankfully I’ve not experienced it as severely as you, thank goodness… And touch wood…!).
But please keep talking to us about it, and treating yourself kindly, and allow healing to happen.

Lots of love from across the pond xxx

Francesca - Keep blogging about this if it helps you – it helps others that’s for sure, it may even save someone’s life.
Depression is treatable, life can get better – and you know this intellectually from your past experiences. I’m sad that you are in such a dark, bleak place and truly wish for healing for you. Come back to us soon, you have friends you’ve never met.
I hope you receive strength from the loving responses coming to you from all over the world. This one is also from Australia. x

SYLVIA - Carrie, you are so inspirational in everything you do, from creating awesome recipes to being a great co-host to Jonathan on his podcast to writing great blogs and wonderful recipe books. It takes great courage to recognise that you have depression and to be able to write about it so honestly.
Like No-egg Kati mentioned above, seeing your blog brought a smile to my face too, just knowing you are still here.
Hang in there girl. You have so much love and support from all your readers and listeners.
We love you dearly.
Sending you great, big HUGS! (Also from ‘downunder’)
xx

Leanda Kayess - Carrie, Have any of your team of professional health carers tested you for a condition called pyroluria? It is prevalent in many mental conditions including depression. It means your body doesn’t process vit b6 and zinc properly, and because of this, a chronic deficiency in these 2 essential nutrients results. It can be triggered and worsened by stress. It is treated with large doses of b6 and zinc (under supervision to get dosage right). I have tested positive and have recently started treatment. My mood has improved and I’m less sensitive to things that would trigger me normally. My naturopath had me tested after cleaning up my diet and other measures where not restoring my zest for life. I don’t think my dosage is right yet, but need to work up to it slowly. I suggest it to you as it’s helping me. Big hugs.

Philippa Hutton - Dear Carrie, you are such an inspiration and help to so many people. I hope you find the help you need.

teilzeitDAU - lost for words. :(
thinking about you and hoping you will get through this (i know you can!!). you mean so much to us, Carrie, please don’t ever give up. <3

Dieanna - Carrie……you’re and an amazing, strong, dedicated and courageous woman that is dealing with a terrible disease. My heart and soul go out to you as you battle this depression. I am so proud of you for being honest with yourself and all of us and continuing to move forward. You are so very talented with your cookbooks, blogs, photos and podcasts with Bailor. I enjoy all of them immensely. I am SO happy to see you back, have missed you and reading about your life and travels and kitties!! If you ever need someone to talk/listen don’t hesitate to email or call. Love and hugs to you!! I am here for you as so many others are!! Keep moving forward Carrie

Amy G. - Sending you healing thoughts, Carrie, and hoping that your neurochemistry sorts out so that what’s true is what your brain is telling you as well. I’m glad you found a foothold to stay with us in the tv show– sometimes escaping painful reality by immersing ourselves in something else is just the thing to do, and I am glad you found something that works. Keep taking care of yourself! You are cherished out here in the world… please don’t give up on us, because we won’t give up on you.

Sherry - Carrie, we are kindred souls. I’ve been on meds for horrible depression since my early 20s. Without them I have the energy and personality of a rock. Hell, I don’t even have the energy to kill myself ;). On meds, no one knows unless I tell them, and then they are shocked. “You are so smiley” “you are so excited about everything” Hold on. You will find the right combination and you will feel good again. I promise.
Honey, I love you and I admire you, and because of that I’m going to take a risk. I wouldn’t be much of a Christian if I didn’t. Many people believe death would be a relief, but if you are not friends with Jesus, what awaits on the other side is the exact opposite of relief. He loves you; always has and always will. He makes this life AND the next so much better :) Ask him to be your friend and be a part of your life. He doesn’t make all the hard times go away, but he does soften the edges and wraps us with a blanket of hope. <3

Anne - Carrie dearest friend to so many-
You have put into your beautiful and frank words so much of what I know people struggle with, yet I have no experience with myself. After the suicides of several local young adults and, of course, Robin Williams generated conversations about depression, I still did not understand the feeling of hopelessness and despair. I thank you for your ability to give voice to that, for your courage in doing so publicly, and for your perseverance in saving yourself. I wish I could DO something for you, as you have done so much for me. I selfishly beg of you to keep trying to fight for finding the you that finds joy in your travels, photography, your furry family, and in your gifted writing.

Patsy Duncan - Some things are too big for you to try and “handle” or fix on your own. What is your spiritual health like? Do you believe in God? Have you turned this whole situation over to Him and surrendered your will and life to the care of God? Just sayin, maybe it’s time to surrender this problem to God and ask for His help. Not judging, just saying what ALWAYS works for me. Btw- I have depression too.

Susan - It’s difficult to find the words. I have been where you are and the only thing I can say, yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You are truly a blessing and I hope everything is bright and beautiful for you now and forever.

Jan - Carrie……everyone has a purpose in life including you! You have allot of friends all over the world that Love You. Look at these comments we all wish for your depression to lift and for you to start living again! Keep fighting, we are all behind you to start enjoying life again.

jyl - I also suffer with major depression. No mania but as far as I understand the depression I experience is as difficult to treat as it is in many with mania. It’s a relief to know that I’m not alone. It’s a relief to know you’re alive. Thank you for letting us know. Thank you for sharing this struggle. Thank you for being honest.

Julie - Carrie,
So sorry to hear about your depression. I went through the same thing a couple of years ago, although I didn’t get to the point of suicidal before finding out what the problem was. I had been on Levothyroxine, which is the T4 for my thyroid, but I needed T3 and after adding that, I was fine after 2 days. I would urge you, if you you haven’t had a complete panel done of your thyroid, to get to a naturopathic or functional medical doctor ASAP.

Sarah - You bring so much joy to so many people the world over, Carrie. We are all rooting for you (okay, I know that in England that has a different meaning…but you’ve lived in America long enough to know what I mean!).

I look forward to reading your next post, whenever that is. When you write about your depression, it not only helps people who struggle with it. It also helps those of us who love people who struggle with it. I’ve found it very difficult to know what to do for my friends with depression, and I am so happy to see that you have enlisted the help of your friends as you go through this. I’ll be it means as much to them as it does to you, that you would reach out.

Liz - Who knows why we are given the obstacles that come our way? And no, I am NOT calling them “opportunities” even though, I have no doubt, there is plenty to learn from them. My challenge is different, but i am sorry that depression is your burden to bear. I am grateful that you chose to make it through One.More. Day. I hope that unexpectedly and graciously the dark clouds will part, and joy will once again reside in you. Your kitties are waiting to share that day with you. And so are we. Thank you for what you have shared with us thus far.

Allison Sherman - I admire you so much for putting your soul on display and opening up to the entire world with your honest feelings. That takes some serious GUTS, girl! That same bravery exists in your fight against your depression. It will get better! You will prevail! We all want to walk with you in this journey! Stick around, we’ve all got a lot of learning to do.

PS: Once you are done with House you might try Breaking Bad. It’s entirely engrossing and makes you glad you don’t have HIS life! Balance it out with the lighthearded but cussing-filled comedy of VEEP and it makes for one great weekend on the couch. I speak from experience! Just think, you can’t go yet, you have a lifetime of TV to catch up on! So many great shows and you get to skip the commercials!!! That’s reason enough to stick around!

PSS: We looooove you. Never forget that. We would miss you. Definitely never forget that.

Elizabeth - Just found you and Jonathan yesterday and subscribed. So sorry were down and out and things are getting better for you. Please use this as a sign that this is time for change, whether mentally or a new avenue to take. I’ve been to dark places. Yuck! Have you watched the podcast/youtube vid with Jonathan and George Bryant? If not, please do.

Deidre - Hugs across the miles, Carrie! Your frank openness is saving lives right now! Thank you on behalf of those too numb to do it for themselves! Keep holding on to your rapid-response team and keep reading our responses to you; all filled with love for you! You have a purpose not only for others, but for yourself. You count. Love is a circle; feel it wrap around you! We felt it through your brave words today. What’s it all about? Love.

Belinda - Thinking of you with love. The brain is a strange thing and I wish we knew how to regulate these moods better. Your writing is an encouragement. You are a brilliant being, Carrie. I hope that reaching out and sharing helps you.

Emily - How brave of you to share your pain with us. I hope this bravery is your first step back to health. We are all here for you.

Jill - Depression. Sucks. Thank you for sharing your elephant. If we all got together we’d have a whole herd and they could play together! Please be patient. I think the fact you wrote this blog shows there is a slight light at the end of the tunnel. And if not now, there will be. Just hang on.

Denise - {{{{{{{{{{Carrie}}}}}}}}}}

Kendra - I have struggled with this very thing most of my life, I found that being honest about it was better than hiding it. Two years ago I was constantly thinking of a way out of what I thought was a complete failure of an existence. No drug, drink or remedy made a difference . My faith in God and intensive therapy helped me to stay alive the rest takes time and perseverance. I am thankful for you and your delicious creations in food!! I have lost 45 pounds since February this year due to finding The Calorie Myth and you and Mr. Bailor!! You and your complete story Carrie has and can better another’s life!!! God bless you!!! Prayers and peace my friend

Becky - I… am….very… happy you are still here! I hope that you will continue to be here for many, many years to come. My Elephant is pretty small and quiet now but it has it’s days where it wants to rear it’s ugly head…. I can sympathize. Hugs to you, Carrie.

Linda - Carrie, you are both brave and generous to share your story of depression. I have had a bout of it myself some year ago. I adore your voice and sense of humor with Jonathan on the podcasts and videos. Please know that you have LOTS of folkspraying for you and cheering you on!! Don’t give up or give in!

Lisa - Blessings Carrie! I too have had depression in my life. Never to the point of not wanting to be here anymore…….but when I think back on those times of darkness I can’t imagine them being any worse! Please, please, please find yourself a naturopath (I’ve been seeing one for years now – never thought my adrenals would ever heal, but they have). Obviously, we all know that depression at its core is brain chemistry……..a naturopath can help you find natural tinctures/herbal remedies that will help. Also you may want to have your zinc levels checked. Mine were “in the ditch” which with supplementation has also helped. We all LOVE you……I know that just saying that doesn’t really register in the brain at times like this (I can hear my brain saying yeah, yeah, yeah) but when the darkness lifts you’ll know.

Maree - Dear God, What a trial you have been through. Always know that you are loved and loved dearly. Your suffering will end and you will look back at this time in your life and remember how strong and resilient you were and are. You have courage in spades. Carrie, I salute your brave self.

Maree.

Ann - Thinking of you. Sorry it’s been bad. Hope it keeps getting better… A little each day as you bask in the beauty of your awesome surroundings, and the love and caring of your friends and followers.

Robyn - Sending much love Carrie!

Jenny - Thinking about you and sending you love and comfort.

Misha - One of the best things you could do, is talk about it. Depression wants to keep it’s prey captive and secluded so no one and no thing can touch you or bring any light or any truth to you. You have done an incredibly brave thing by posting this! And you are fighting the beast! You are certainly in my prayers, as I know how incredible isolating depression can feel… And how overwhelming the sadness can be. Keep fighting! Much love to you!

Kim - Carrie – Please know that you are adored by many who have never met you but feel like we are your close friends. We would all be devastated if anything were ever to happen to you. I’m thinking positive thoughts for ….your thoughts.

Jenna - I love you

The Big Breakfast Adventure | Rusty Pelican Cafe

Hello??

It’s very quiet in here.

Is there anyone out there?

Oh, HI!

How’ve you been?  I’ve missed you.  And I’ve thought about you a lot.

There’s so much we have to catch up on – and gosh – I don’t even know where to start.  I think I’ll start with the Sunday-before-last, since the Sunday-before-last was a perfectly splendid day.  Because ROAD TRIP.  It’s true.  After eight months of abstinence I went on a road trip – something I was beginning to think might never happen again, but that’s another story for another time.

It began in Mill Creek when I stepped out for a Big Breakfast Adventure with my friend, Suzanne, and ended some 13 hours and 475 miles later after I decided a jaunt over the Cascades would be quite the lovely drive after a *SANE and hearty breakfast.  The sun was shining and I’d always had a hankering to go to Twisp.  So I did.

It was just after 8 o’clock as I was reading the menu at the Rusty Pelican Café that I realized how addicted to starch we Americans are.  I don’t recall ever seeing a starch-fest quite that extensive.  Typical diner fare paraded across the pages – dish upon dish of starch stared back at me as my eyes flicked over the black type.  I scoured the plastic-covered sheets for something SANE – surely there must be some scrambles and omelets somewhere.  Anywhere?  They were lurking near the back but even those came with a veritable mountain of starch on the side: potatoes, toast, pancakes, biscuits.  Some of the omelets even had potatoes inside them as well.  Starch, starch, starch.  Sigh.

Given that neither Suzanne nor I wanted to be in a coma by 9 am, we got ready with our requests to swap in some SANEity.  Unlike every other eatery I’ve taken the Big Breakfast Adventure to this year, the Rusty Pelican’s best compromise was a small bowl of fruit – hardly a fair trade for a stomach full of starch – but my appeal for some greenery was ignored and it became obvious that they were not geared up for the anti-grain brigade.  In their defense the décor is delightful, and lucky for me Suzanne has the ability to make any breakfast interesting with her lively tales of family life and plans for a move to Alaska. I secretly hope I’ll get an invitation to visit.

Carrie Brown  |  Rusty Pelican Cafe

Suzanne ordered up an omelet while I plumped for the California Scrambler: Artichoke, mushrooms, tomatoes and onion scrambled with eggs and topped with avocado and cheddar cheese – sour cream and salsa served on the side.  Now I’m looking at that picture though – if you can see past the horrible, contrasty, badly exposed shot it is – I swear I see spinach poking out.  Worked for me, even if it didn’t match the description.

Once the plate showed up I wasn’t sure where they had planned to pile all those potatoes and swathes of toast or pancakes.  We certainly couldn’t complain about the portion sizes – that was one huge plate of egg and vegetably goodness, with a hefty amount of avocado plopped on top for good measure.  In the end it was plenty enough to power me half way across the State and back.  The other noteworthy thing about the Rusty Pelican is their use of heavy cream for your coffee – so thick it almost needed spooning out of the jug.  Awesome!

We could have sat there all morning nattering away and supping on coffee with lashings of cream dolloped in, but the lines were long and the wait staff were getting restless, so we shuffled off with full bellies and brains suitably caffeinated.  The bathrooms, by the way, are quite lovely.

Suzanne headed home to her merry brood while I pointed the car east and meandered through the back roads to Highway 2.  I didn’t know exactly where Twisp was, but I did know it was over the mountains and far away.  Just how far away I didn’t appreciate until I was past the point of no return and realized a) I had to drive all the way back again and b) I didn’t have time to stop and shoot anything, except for a few images of the aftermath of the Carlton Fire.  Oh, and a fence.  Because I just dig fences.

www.carriebrown.com

www.carriebrown.com

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www.carriebrown.com

Notwithstanding that it was one heck of a road trip for one day, I made my destination, had a cup of coffee and a Cinnamon Twisp (gasp!!) – oh c’mon, I couldn’t drive all the way to Twisp and not partake of the legendary local pastry now could I? – turned around and drove back again.  It was a long drive for a cup of coffee, but boy was it the most fantastic Sunday joyride, made all the more blissful by the sunshine streaming down from the sapphire sky.  A visually stunning 10 hours taking in glorious vistas that would have taken my breath away had I not needed to stay conscious in order to get home before midnight.

It made me feel alive.  It made me want to embrace life to the fullest.  It made my heart full.  And whatever can do all that is a really good thing.

Whatever makes you feel good – do more of that.

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Minta Hale - So happy you’re back!

Dr Mike Keen - GO GIRL!!!

Audrene Welch - Seeing your name in my inbox made be happy. I have really missed you.

Debra - I love those drives when there’s no traffic and lots to look at. Thanks for sharing!

Dawn Randall - THIS made my heart sing. I felt like I was there. I wanted to see (and partake of) Twisp. I even LOVE the name Twisp. The writing and photos are as beautiful as ever! Wish I could have been on that road trip, too!

Kara - Beautiful post!

Dieanna Mercurio - Hi Carrie……so happy to see you, your blog and your pics. I just love reading about your adventures. You look fabulous. Keep up the great work and keep those delicious Sane recipes coming!

Marian - Carrie, I enjoyed your road trip and it makes me want to take one myself! I have a small… OK HUGE phobia about driving on strange roads, but you have given me hope. I’m thinking that a short ride to an unknown place might be just the thing I need to break the chains this crazy fear has on me. Thank you for all you do! If there’s a SANE plate of non-starchy veggies and lean protein at the end of that little trip, I’ll be well rewarded! Bless you! PS I recently visited TWO chain restaurants who were more than happy to hold the starches and double the SANE veggies, so don’t lose hope, folks!

The Transformation: Results

Hello Chums!

If you’ve been following my series – The Transformation – this is probably the post that you’ve been itching for me to write: What doing all those things did for me in 3 months.  I wanted to get my blood work done before I wrote this so you would get an idea of the inside changes as well as the outside ones.  The changes have been dramatic, and hand on heart, I still can’t believe the transformation that has occurred, or how fast and simple it was.

So here we go.  The first number is where I was on Feb 1st.  The second number is where I was on May 1st.  Yes, I know it is now July 13th and it has taken me an embarrassingly long time to post this – sorry about that – but my tardiness doesn’t change the awesomeness of the results :-)  I frankly cannot believe it is over 2 months later that I am getting to this; there’s a back story to my sloth which I’ll get to shortly.  The upside is I now have a visual I can share with you as well.

First up, the numbers:

Weight:   164 lbs —-> 140 lbs  (Although we all know that it is not a good indicator of health, I know you all want to see the numbers.  Many of you are changing to a *SANE lifestyle primarily to lose body fat and reduce your size.)

Pants size:  6/8 —-> 2

Body fat %:  35% —-> 30%

Muscle %:  29% —-> 32%

BMI:  27.3 (overweight) —-> 23.3 (normal)

Total Cholesterol:  197 —-> 168

HDL:  63 —-> 44

LDL:  121 —-> 106

Triglycerides:  66 —-> 91

Glucose:  96 —->79

Sleep:  2 -4 hours interrupted —-> 7/8 uninterrupted

Strength:  80 lbs leg press —-> 185 lbs leg press

 

And now for the visual.  The Bailornator and I recently recorded an update for our CreativeLive course that we did last November.  You can see the update segment here:  Carrie’s Transformation.  When you get to this page, scroll down and in the videos you will see two free previews where you can watch JB and I talking about my transformation.  Enjoy!

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*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Mikki - Carrie, fantastic body composition results and that your sleep has improved and clearly you are feeling so much better! Interesting blood results, thanks for sharing. I’m trying to make sense of your HDL/trigs – are you still losing weight? That would explain your trigs being higher, though still not high :). That said, your overall transformation is wonderful.

carrie - Hi Mikki – I do not know if I am still losing weight because I don’t weigh :-) I only did for this experiment because I knew a lot of people would ask as that’s still how so many people measure results. I don’t really understand the HDL / trig thing either, I just know that JB said my lipid panel was awesome so I’ll take it!

Mary - Great job, Carrie! Thanks for sharing :) You give me hope that I can lose my 10 “perimenopause” pounds!

I had the same question on your trigs/HDS. But just go with it. As your body adjusts to its new normal, I think those two measures will follow suit. My understanding is that your triglycerides can increase temporarily when your body is mobilizing stored fat during weight loss :)

Regards,

Mary

Gigi - Wow! I can’t believe you lost 24 pounds in 3 months??? That is incredible, I wouldn’t think possible. Sounds dangerous to lose that much weight so fast, especially for someone who wasn’t that big to begin with. Good on you! Your blood work numbers must make you proud.

carrie - Gigi – that equates to 2 lbs a week which is considered the safe and healthy rate to lose weight at. It is also what Jonathan tells us to expect.

carrie - Mary – my trigs are still well within the normal range so I am not worried. It is definitely an interesting result though, given what I’ve been doing!

Andreanne - Dear Carrie, I have been following your website for a couple of months now and I have loved every recipes I made. I’m a relatively slim woman yet struggling to lose the last 10 pounds that separates me from the weight of my youth. I watched the free videos on Creative live with a lot of interests. You and Jonathan are so inspiring!!! Your good looking (wow!), the displayed recipes and Jonathan’s comprehensive explanations gave me the motivation to stick with the Calorie Myth Program. I have only one question before starting: How long could it take to start losing weight? Jonathan mentioned in the video that it takes some time but once it has started, you see results fast.

Thanks for your great work Carrie and for sharing your experience with us. I’ll be follower for years :)

Nancy - Look at this – no need to fast for cholesterol test!

http://blog.aarp.org/2014/07/14/questioning-why-we-fast-for-a-cholesterol-test/

Valana - You are inspiring!

Tina - Dear Carrie,

I am so happy for you – what amazing results – especially after you had so many obstacles in your way. Still listening to the podcasts about your transformation scared me a little since I am coming from an entirely different place. I was chubby as a kid, always put on weight easily and was slim (as in average slim, not even skinny, which in my case meant a size 6)only at a time (at age 15-25) when I was jogging 4 miles in the morning, then took my bicycle to school (or later university), only ate salad and vegetable soup,played basket ball twice per week and made push ups and some other strength exercises every second day. As soon as I dropped only one of these habits, I put on weight again. So I have no idea about where my actual set point might be. During 2 terrible years with 2 tragic deaths and a complete family breakdown I didn’t have the energy to keep any of it up – and without any binge eating, just by eating what my friends ate, I balooned to a size 22. My objective, other than becoming healthy again, is to buy my clothes in normal shops again and not having to hope to find something in the largest size available there – if I ever get to a size 12 again, I will be the happiest person. It somehow made me very sad to hear how you felt fat and unacceptable and hated yourself with a size 8. I just wanted to let you know that even at that time (I saw your ice cream video on youtube), you were very pretty and an amazing woman – and you certainly didn’t look overweight to me.

carrie - Thank you, Tina.

carrie - Here to serve, Valana!

carrie - Andreanne – everyone is different, but once I went hardcore SANE it all happened very fast for me. Many thanks for your kind words!

Joanne - Dear Carrie,

Thank you so much for sharing your story and transformation results. You look fabulous. I have been following you and JB’s progress since beginning of 2013 and absolutely love what you’re doing. I heard about you through listening to cutthefatpodcast and managed to myself drop from 188 – 154 lbs using the principles learned from both programmes. I had to take a break from it because of health issue but have settled out at a reasonable 170 lbs and more importantly a happy dress size, back to my 18 yr old size! Now I am comfortable enough to begin again so will be implementing sane lifestyle over the next months.

I am so grateful to you all for promoting most of this for free at the beginning and for your amazing recipes.

When I watched your video I was moved to tears. I managed to put myself in hospital after messing up my brain chemistry so much that I went manic. I did this through overwhelming myself with life changes such as moving but ultimately it may have always been in the background as I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar.
Thank you for sharing. I hope you really enjoy the ride with JB and I wish you every sucess in the future.

carrie - Joanne – thank you so much for taking time to share some of yourself here. And THANK YOU for your kind words – it means the world to me! Congrats on your success and here’s to SANEity in your future!!

The Elephant In The Room » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE lane - […] The Transformation: Results […]

The Transformation: Meal Plan

Since the results from my transformation started to become physically apparent I’ve had bucket-loads of requests for more detail on the exact meal plan that got me to where I am.  If you haven’t read the series of posts I wrote detailing my journey earlier this year, please note that this meal plan was developed to heal my adrenal glands.  One of the side benefits of doing this was that I turned on my fat-burning hormones and healed my metabolism at the same time.  Result!

I split my plan into two sections – week days and weekends.  I’m hardcore on week days.  I find it saves a lot of time and effort, and is way easier to stick to if I don’t have to think much during the week when I am full-on at the day job.  Being prepared also prevents a lot of the food hi-jacking that can occur when you’re stressed, busy, or faced with cupcakes and other *inSANE treats in the employee kitchens and cafes.

plate

Here’s what my week days look like in the food department:

Monday – Friday

Breakfast – Hard Core Green Smoothie, plus all my vitamins and supplements.

Lunch – Large salad of 100% non-starchy veggies + roast chicken, smoked salmon, or hard-boiled eggs.  Choose your lean protein of choice.  I pack my own lunch every day.  It takes 5 minutes to throw together the night before and then I just grab it from the ‘fridge as I head out the door in the morning.  I used Heinz Salad Cream for my dressing – it’s from England and I have loved it since the first time I remember eating it as a child.  The fabulous Dr. Mike sends me Salad Cream care packages to keep me going.  Stud.

Dinner – Soup from Eat Smarter! Soups – favorites include Bacon and Brussels Sprout Chowder, Salmon and Leek Chowder, Clam Chowder; with sautéed veggies or salad if still hungry.  I make a big batch at the weekend and eat it all week so when I get home I just re-heat and slurp it down.

Snacks (if hungry) – handful of hazelnuts or macadamia nuts.  Most days I find I do not need a snack.

 

At weekends I tend to go with the flow and cook since I have more time.  Weekends are also where I get a lot more variety in to keep my mouth super-happy.

Saturday / Sunday

Breakfast – Egg dish (typically 4 eggs) at home or a *SANE Big Breakfast Adventure.  I love to eat eggs for breakfast on the weekends, I think because it reminds me of Sunday breakfast when I was growing up – we always had a cooked breakfast and it was my favorite meal of the week.

Coffee – Usually black, but sometimes I’ll treat myself to a cappuccino.

Lunch – Soup from Eat Smarter! Soups or a large salad of 100% non-starchy veggies + roast chicken, smoked salmon, or hard-boiled eggs.

Dinner – *SANE dinner from one of my recipes, lean protein with sides from Eat Smarter! Smoothies and Sides, or, when I am in recipe development mode I’ll eat whatever new *SANE dish I have created.

Dessert – *SANE Ice cream from Eat Smarter! Ice Creams.

 

Your mileage my vary depending on various factors such as where you are starting from, what your goals are, what your work schedule looks like, etc., but at the very least this should be a good launching-off point for your own plan.  In terms of quantity – I ate until I was full at every meal and found that this kept me satiated until the next one.  In terms of beverages – water, green tea, peppermint tea, and coffee on weekends.

 

Note: While the food I chose to eat was a critical part of my transformation, check out all the other things that I did to heal my hormones and metabolism.

Happy Eating!

 

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Susan - I’m just curious but why do you opt for lean protein? I noticed that some of your smoothies call for non-fat yogurt. Are you avoiding fat for a reason?

carrie - Hi Susan – we love healthy fats! The reason we use non-fat Greek yogurt (or other dairy) and lean proteins is to increase the protein content, not to reduce the fat content. We definitely don’t avoid healthy fats. Hope that helps!

Yossi - Doesn’t Heinz salad cream have rather a lot of sugar and canola oil in it.

Emily from Quorn - Meal plans are such a great way to keep on track diet-wise. Great tips! Hope you can make it out to our event in August. We’d love to meet you and see what you think of our products

carrie - Yossi – Salad Cream has rapeseed oil and some sugar in, so it’s not the healthiest dressing around, but it apparently didn’t stop me from burning fat – probably because of the tiny amount I used in comparison to the enormous pile of veggies. It made eating all those veggies far easier for me, so that’s a great thing. I am not advocating it’s use to others, I am simply sharing what I ate.

carrie - Emily – thank you so much for the invitation. I unfortunately have another commitment on that date, but appreciate the invitation.

Veronica - Hi Carrie, I love your story and the video with Jonathan on how you healed your body – you’re looking even more absolutely fabulous! I’m ready to go hard core – I have quite a few food sensitivities which are challenging but I guess that means I do have plenty of healing to do! Question please – in the video, Jonathan mentioned you healing your body over the 3 months…but I’m wondering – do you think your healing actually began when you started eating SANEly way back when, albeit not hard core, but was not yet visible and then it showed externally with your weight falling off when you reached critical mass point coincidentally just as you went hard core but healing can actually take quite a length of time? Sorry it’s such a long sentence, I hope you get what I mean! Thanks for your inspiration/encouragement. Cheers, Veronica x

carrie - Veronica – I am sure that you are right! Thank you for all your kind words.