I realize it’s been a while. A long while. I think I have a pretty good excuse though. While I’ve been MIA – stashed away in a quiet Seattle suburb on a hill overlooking some terribly pretty mountains and forests – I’ve written you a book. A whole book! I think you’ll like it, mainly because it is full of ice cream. More to the point, it is full of *SANE ice cream. Fat-burning, health-boosting, totally delicious ice cream.
I was so wrapped up in dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s of the 26,135 words that now sprawl across 122 pages, dodging 42 images as they go, that I almost forgot I had a blog. I didn’t intend to just leave you hanging out there in the breeze; when this book project got rolling I fully intended to keep posting away over here as well – 3 posts a week – as is my want, but somewhere along the way my body reminded me that I am not actually superwoman, despite my brain’s repeated attempts to persuade me otherwise. You can read about my brain’s recent tendency to do that here.
I think it was the lovely note I got from a friend telling me she couldn’t figure out what time/space continuum I had altered to have time to do all that I was doing. It made me ponder that maybe my summer activity levels weren’t quite what would be considered “normal”. So despite my best efforts to work my 60-hour-a-week day job, write a 122-page SANE Ice Cream cookbook, and keep merrily posting new recipes in this space…something had to give. Given that the day job pays the mortgage, feeds the “kids”, and purchases ice-cream-making supplies, and that I had made a commitment to you all to get the book finished in August, the blog ended up with the short straw. Sorry about that. The upside is that you now have a book bursting with enough SANE ice creams to have a different flavor every day of the month. Oh, and SANE Marshmallows. We can’t forget the marshmallows. It felt like a reasonable trade to me.
Turns out that writing a book is very different from writing random, generally unconnected blog posts, and now, even though I have churned out a colossal amount more blog posts than I have books – which wouldn’t be too hard as I’ve only written one book – I am having a spot of bother getting back into blog-post-writing mode.
Book writing is very intense. Of course, determining that I would complete the entire thing in 6 weeks did little to un-intensify the situation. Marmalade HQ has been all ice cream, all the time. Even meal times, random as they were, consisted mainly of ice cream; the fantastically good news being that I haven’t gained a pound, although let me be clear that I don’t recommend a SANE Ice Cream Diet as a lifestyle choice. I can hear Jonathan now…”Make sure you get your 10 servings of non-starchy veggies and enough lean protein in first!” Bless him. Talking of The Bailornator, he wrote the foreword for my book. LOVE HIM.
About now I’d like to mention how grateful I am for all your support through this whole book-writing episode. It feels like it was years in the making, but really, in the grand scheme of things it was all over in a heartbeat. And just for the record, for anyone wondering – because I’ve heard it compared often – publishing a book is absolutely nothing like giving birth. While it is true that I don’t have “giving birth” on my resume, I am as sure as I can be that the two are nothing alike, in the slightest. If they are then I am left wondering what all the fuss about childbirth is, because publishing a book was really a rather lovely experience, and one that I will definitely embark on again. While it was definitely very trying to corral a brain that has bright shiny object syndrome into writing for more than 4 minutes at a time, the upsides to book publishing over child bearing appear to be many and varied, ranging from no painkillers required to being able to remain fully clothed throughout (although pajamas were often part of my book-writing MO); from being able to stop pushing and take a nap whenever necessary to not needing an enema. I can’t speak for giving birth, but I thoroughly recommend publishing a book.
Thank you for all the cheering from the sidelines that has been going on while I stirred, and churned, and shot, and wrote my way through the long, hot summer that Seattle enjoyed this year. Thank you for the notes of encouragement. Thank you for your patience while I beavered away. Thank you for all your thoughts and feedback. Truly, it meant a lot that every time I raised my head there was a note or a post or some other lovely little thing to keep me going. Thank you.
Honestly, this is all rather surreal. The first time I did a search on Amazon.com for my name and my book popped up I cried. That I created something that people around the world want to buy is extremely humbling, although it also makes me want to giggle. With excitement, with incredulity, with gratitude.
So without further ado, I give you my first cookbook: Eat Smarter! Ice Creams (volume 1). Because you just know that it would be impossible for me not to invent at least another 30 ice cream recipes during the course of my life.
It is available as a physical book with a bright shiny cover and big, beautiful pictures, and also in digital format for those of you who like to cook from their kindles and laptops and other funky devices. Whichever format is for you, I hope it makes you smile. I hope the recipes make your mouths happy, and I hope that it makes living a SANE lifestyle easier and more fun, now that you have 30 fat-burning, health-boosting totally delicious desserts at your fingertips. If you click on the picture above it will take you straight to Amazon.com where you can purchase one. Or several. Because I know you know loads of people who would love to eat ice cream that helps and supports their health and body-fat goals.
Hearty CONGRATULATIONS go to our ice cream contest winners, who will each receive a signed copy:
Gordon Mott – England | Sue Rochester – England | Carl Williams – England | Yvette Liu – Canada | Andree Lucie – Canada | Carol Murphy Baker – Canada | Lori Pellintz – USA | Kyra Moulton – USA | Linda McDonald – USA | Alice Kurien – Australia | Shelley Stretton – Australia | Denise Thompson – Australia | Louise V. Knight – New Zealand | Bob Neal – France | Lorna Broad – Italy
(PS. Winners – if you have not yet sent me your shipping address please do!)
I am writing you a book. A recipe book. A SANE recipe book. A SANE Ice Cream recipe book. A BOOK FULL OF SANE ICE CREAM RECIPES!!!!!
If you are even the tiniest bit as excited as I am, you’re pretty darn excited. I am so excited I can barely stand it.
Since one of my core beliefs is that all ice cream recipe book launches should be especially fun, and because this is my first published book that has my name on the cover, and because you cheer me along so brilliantly from the sidelines, I am giving away 15 signed copies of my book the very instant it is published. FIFTEEN! 3 copies will be winging their way to the UK, 3 to Australia, 3 to Canada, 3 to America, and 3 to anywhere in the world that isn’t one of those 4 places. That will be 3 to every country I’ve lived in and 3 to the rest of the world. It’s not the rest of the world’s fault that I haven’t lived there, yet.
Would you like one of these 15 signed copies to land on your doormat? Here’s how:
1. Subscribe to my blog (you’re reading it right now). The subscribe button is just to the left of here. Type your email address in the box and press the button. Then, every 3 days or so, a new post will plop into your inbox and you’ll never miss another recipe or sterling missive of good SANE advice again.
2. “Like” my blog Facebook page. You need to do this because this is where I will post the daily SANE ice cream images. You can find it here. Or push the little orange Facebook button in the sidebar to the left of here; that’ll work too.
3. Head over to my blog Facebook page every day and guess what flavor of SANE ice cream I have posted that day by adding a comment to the picture.
4. Get *really* excited about a cook book full of recipes for SANE Ice Cream. Because very soon you’ll be able to:
…all the while supporting your health and body-fat goals AT THE SAME TIME. How awesome is THAT?!
And since all good contests must have rules, here’s mine. There’s only a few.
You must be subscribed to my blog. See #1, above. The winners will be announced right here.
One flavor guess per person per ice cream picture posted on my blog Facebook wall from Sunday August 3rd until publication of my book.
As soon as I post the next SANE Ice Cream picture on Facebook, guesses on the previous pictures are closed. I just can’t keep up with following multiple threads on Facebook accurately. Sorry about that.
If there are two or more flavors in one SANE Ice Cream, guessing any one of them will enter you in the draw.
There will be no answers until the book is out!
Oh, and to keep you going while you wait for this glorious, full-color book of SANE Ice Cream recipes, here’s one I posted earlier that you can make RIGHT NOW.
I am pretty sure you know I love lemon. Anything lemon. The more lemony the better, really. Lemon has the ability to transform something quite ordinary with just the swift swipe of a microplane. Like these Lemon Shortbread Cookies. One minute they’re regular little shortbread cookies, and the next they’re alive and zesty – bits of yellow peel baked right in – giving miniature bursts of luscious lemon to every crumbly bite.
You can make these cookies any size you like, but because they are so much more filling than regular *inSANE cookies, I made them small. You can always snaffle down two if one isn’t enough. Better to choose two small ones than feel you have to devour one huge one, right? I also used this same basic shortbread recipe as a tart crust for Lemon Mascarpone Tarts. Even though the base recipe I stole from the Vanilla Cranberry Shortbread that I gave you for Valentine’s Day, these taste like completely different cookies. They are very simple to make and you can throw them together in a New York minute. For our non-American friends, that’s very fast. The baking is the longest bit. Oh, no, hang on. The waiting bit is – by far – the longest bit. Yes, there’s waiting involved. Best idea is to make these right before you to go bed, then you can just sleep through the waiting part and they’ll be there in the morning all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, begging to be devoured.
Add a little zest to your cookie dough today, to get a little zest in your mouth tomorrow!
I’d like to introduce you to Rikke, who discovered Jonathan and my Smarter Science of Slim Podcasts and embarked on her *SANE journey a year ago. This is her story.
“Because most of what we achieve is done over long time and step by step or in this case – bite by bite – we tend to forget how far we have come. I realised I had reached a milepost (pun intended!) when Carrie asked me to write this.
Here’s the result I’ve achieved living a *SANE lifestyle within the span of one year:
lost 15 kilos (not that I’m counting but my GP is, and is also now reading Bailor and Taubes)
lost 4 clothing sizes (which is how I count)
asthma meds down to minimum, and no attacks during the last year
waking up pain-free and well rested every morning
no IBS symptoms for 7 months
glowing hair and skin
higher levels of self-respect and self-confidence
improved emotional resilience
It’s a little scary to write something as personal as this but I hope my story can inspire and help someone else the same way others have helped and inspired me. Carrie is one of these people, and since you are reading this on her blog I think you also know how amazing and brave she is, and how important it is to be honest with, and support each other.
I was an average child and teenager, size medium, not overweight nor skinny. I do play different sports but I don’t think any of my friends would exactly describe me as an athlete. They would say ‘bookworm’ and ‘geek’ and be right (also I play darts which is probably not very athletic). I grew up in the Danish countryside in a family with a kitchen garden and a chicken run. We cooked our own food (including the chickens) so my brother and I learned the basics of cooking along with a respect for nature and love for whole foods. This stayed with me after I moved away from home but I also happily embraced all the other options that big city life offers. Then in my mid-twenties I had to have a large operation that led to hormonal changes which first caused in a mild depression and then, during the following years, a steady weight gain which made me feel more and more unhappy about my body. I tried to lose weight and managed a couple of times by eating low-fat, counting calories and exercising more. It was hard to sustain and the weight crept back on – and even more so after I had passed 30. I felt even more unhappy about my body and grew more angry at myself for not having the willpower to do enough about it.
Fast forward to my birthday, early summer of 2012. After a couple of years with big life changes, both positive and negative, I was on holiday trying to recharge and shake a lung infection that just wouldn’t go away. It was actually so bad that I couldn’t even walk up three flights of stairs. Suffering from asthma I was afraid of irreparable damage to my lungs, and other issues bothered me as well – loss of strength, balance and flexibility (the little I had!), feeling exhausted all the time, and then there was the extra weight. I had a serious conversation with myself and decided to redefine ‘the good life’ in order to obtain long-term health and happiness. Big words, I know, but it *was* my birthday!
But how to do it? I knew it had to be something that would not leave me feeling deprived or punished because I don’t think that is a very positive way to live and I also knew I wouldn’t be able to keep it up for very long. I kept an open mind and started researching. I came across the SSoS podcasts. In one weekend I listened to the 10-12 episodes that were available at the time. The science just made sense to me and I *loved* the fact that there was so much good food you could just east as much of as you wanted. Natural whole foods. No calorie-counting. So I thought “I can do that”, downloaded the quick-start guide, and cleared my cupboards of everything that was *inSANE.
I haven’t looked back since! I rediscovered my joy of cooking, and made sure that cooking and food became a top priority in my life. I started to live to eat instead of just eating to live.
Eating good food is now a daily pleasure, and cooking is often a social thing that I do for and with friends and family (while *casually* throwing in bits of nutritional science). I love planning my meals and shopping for high quality whole foods. The key is really in keeping an open mind, not being afraid of throwing everything up in the air, changing your habits and requiring new ones, tweaking recipes, and experimenting with tastes and combinations. Try stuff out and find what works for you. For me it’s global fusion, and this approach has opened so many new doors and inspired new ways of cooking old recipes that I very rarely think of the stuff I don’t eat anymore. I even more rarely crave any of it. Spices and herbs make everything more interesting. If you’ve grown tired of one flavour, you just try another combination. Currently I’m crazy about lemongrass, which I try to incorporate into, well, almost anything. Try putting a stick of lemongrass in a bottle of water and leave it in the fridge overnight. Super refreshing in the morning. Sorry, I digress. But this is what I mean when I say I now live to eat. I think about this stuff all the time.
I think it is human nature to be drawn towards the ‘forbidden’, so I use a more positive approach and say to myself, “Yes, you can eat/drink this if you want, but will it help you towards your goal of long-term health?” This puts focus on what it really is I’m trying to do – living better – and along with the scientific knowledge I have spent a lot of time over the last year to obtain, every food/drink decision becomes much easier. I’m not perfect by any measure (and I really try to allow myself not to be) but I have found it happens very rarely these days that I crave anything inSANE.
I need to mention a few other changes which have helped me during this last year:
Getting the priorities straight – you simply can’t do everything, and you need to find a way to focus on the things that are most important to you. For me that has meant cutting away a lot of unnecessary stuff like watching tv and sitting purposeless in front of the pc. I’ve reorganised when I do things so that I don’t spend the best hours of the day doing stuff like laundry and cleaning. I go to bed early and get up early because 1 hour in the morning is as efficient as 2 or 3 in the evening. And I’ve learned that sometimes you have to say no to something you would like to do in order to get time to do something you would like to do even more.
Sleep – this is now one of my top priorities and I now keep my bedtime consistent because I know how much it pays off! I’ve taken up yoga because it relaxes me, sorts my mind and makes me ready for bed. I’ll usually switch off my pc and smartphone about an hour before bedtime to tell my brain it should start winding down. If I’m really wired, I do this even earlier in the evening. I’m also a great fan of bathtubs!
Physical activity and body awareness – as I said I’m far from what you would call a natural athlete (quite far actually!) but I sit in an office in front of a pc for 8-10 hours per day so I really need to move my body whenever I can. I walk to and from work (about 10 kilometres/6 miles per day). I lift heavy stuff. I ran for a while just because I enjoyed it but my knee didn’t, so I’m switching to a different kind of exercise now. Something which I’ll enjoy. Just for the fun of it. Not because I have to!
Reducing stress levels – I try not to work too much, not to worry too much, not to be too much of a perfectionist and to allow myself downtime every day.
Setting myself up for success – I listen to SSoS or other relevant podcasts on my walks. This puts me in the right frame of mind. I also try to make it as easy as possible for myself to make the right choices by always having SANE food in the house, something that can be prepared quicker than the time it will take to call for take away. I make food plans for a week at a time and get groceries delivered so I don’t have to go to the grocery store hungry and get tempted into inSANE choices.
Remembering that the people who mind don’t matter, and the people who matter don’t mind. In the beginning I didn’t really tell anyone about my project. I didn’t really need that, because I did it for me and I had enough support from the SSoS podcasts and felt empowered by the scientific knowledge. I reminded myself that the people that questioned my choices would not matter, and the people that did matter wouldn’t mind as long as they understood that I’m doing this in the healthy way (and after they’d seen how much I eat and listened to my scientific explanations they stopped worrying about the possibility of an eating disorder!). I find that at this point nobody really questions my choices because they can see that what I’m doing is clearly working and making me happier and slimmer. So instead they ask for advice.
I think this is probably what makes me most happy. Being able to help others down the path towards a healthier and better life. It is not really worth anything to feel great if people around you don’t.”
When I got back from two-and-a-half weeks of gallivanting around Texas and Georgia, I came home having eaten 100% *SANE the entire time. High off my *SANE road-trip success, I wanted to make sure I continued down the right path once I got home, so the first thing I did the morning after I landed back in Seattle was race down to the kitchen and whip up a SANE green smoothie. Trouble was, I didn’t have any of the ingredients for my previous green smoothie recipes, so I had to make a new one up. I didn’t mind because I haven’t made you a new smoothie flavor for the longest time, so I figured you were up for one too.
This is it.
It tastes like a Chocolate Raspberry Shake. Yes, yes it does. Plus, unlike the majority of my green smoothies – IT’S NOT GREEN – despite being packed to the gills with fabulous, fresh spinach. You might find this one a good way to get your children or spouse on-board with the whole smoothie thing since it looks nothing like anything vaguely healthy.
That same day I also concocted SANE Baked Creamed Spinach. This meant that in the course of two days I downed 42 oz – that’s almost 4 lbs – of fresh spinach. That’s a lot of spinach. I am sure my liver is wondering what the heck happened. In a good way.
If you haven’t given a SANE green smoothie a spin yet, I implore you to start. There are few other ways to get this much greenery inside you without even knowing it.