Just dropping in to say, “Hello, lovely Calorie Myth’ers!”

I hope your week is going brilliantly.  I come bearing tidings of great joy.  Following a bevy of requests, I’ve been doing a different kind of creating for you over the last couple of weeks: SWAG.  Better than that: SANE SWAG.  Because going SANE is just funner if you have some SWAG to brighten life up, to help keep you on track, to motivate you, to amuse you, and otherwise inspire you to keep moving forward towards the SANEst version of yourself.

There’s mugs, t-shirts, water bottles, journals, hoodies, magnets, even baseball caps and aprons.  You can go directly to my little store here (US) or you can get a preview of all the goodness by visiting this page.  Not in the US?  I have set up stores for you in the following countries:

US    |    CANADA    |    UK    |    GERMANY    |    SPAIN    |    FRANCE    |    AUSTRALIA    |    NEW ZEALAND    |    BRASIL

I have also put an easy link in the menu bar  above under “STORE” so you can easily find everything again.  I hope you love it all.  I hope it helps you on your journey.  I hope you get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Have something you want but don’t see it?  Want your favorite inspirational quote on something?  Have a great idea for something different?  Let me know and I’ll create it!


The fine print: It’s true. I make a 5% commission on sales, which while giving me just a small amount per purchase, all adds up to help keep the lights on and the wheels turning over here on this blog – and keeps it ad free.

Get yourself some fun stuff and in doing so support your favorite (?!) SANE chef!!  Every little helps, and I cannot tell you how hugely your support is appreciated.

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!

This post was updated and replaced with this one.


The second version is SO much better!


Happy Friday!

*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!
  • Fi - Love lOve love!!
    Just went thru to order tee, magnet, hoodie, mug…. But as I’m in uk, shipping came to nearly twice as much as the goods!!!! So I’m afraid, Carrie, I won’t be able to order! But, I do love them!!!ReplyCancel

  • Fi - Awesome!! Off there to order now!! So cool!!
    Can we get the ‘screw the scale’ design on magnet/tee too? And how about something with ‘resistance not reps’? XReplyCancel

I’ve often wondered about yoga.  For the most part, in my little world at least, it has fallen into the category of exercise, so while I was fascinated by it I wasn’t actually going to do it.  The hot yoga or Bikram craze was particularly unsettling.  Who in their right mind would want to hold their body in strange positions that make your muscles scream in a room heated to 105 degrees filled with a boatload of groaning people dripping with sweat for 90 minutes at a time?  NOT ME.

For the last 6 months the very thought of adding ONE. MORE. THING. to my life was enough to make me want to close the blinds, lock the doors, switch my phone off and hide behind the sofa with at least one cat, possibly two, with my hands over my ears singing “La la la la la la”.  Then I was thrown off the merry-go round in a most unladylike fashion and had to take stock.

I needed something to help me relax, stretch my muscles, increase flexibility, and most of all quieten my mind.  Once the frenetic pace of my life stopped back in late January I found things about yoga popping up in front of me constantly.  Everywhere I looked I saw yoga, and when things start to consistently appear in my life like that I generally sit up and pay attention.  Plus, you know, The Bailornator does yoga, and since I hang on his every word – or at least an awful lot of them – I thought I should at minimum take a peek to see if it might benefit me.  My therapist beamed when I mentioned to him that I was thinking about yoga.  That made 2 out of the 3 most influential people in my life giving yoga the thumbs up.  I took it all as a sign. Carrie BrownContrary to my long-bestowed label of ‘exercise’, one of yoga’s primary benefits is the alleviation of stress, and heaven knows I needed some of that.  Turns out that practicing yoga helps control your body and your mind.  Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines resulting in a peaceful body and mind, stress management, and relaxation. It helps increase flexibility, muscle strength and body tone. It improves respiration, energy, vitality, and sleep.  Yes!  Please!  I could get on-board with all of that.

At first, being the shy, retiring type, I gravitated towards DVDs that I could use at home, alone with only a handful of four-legged friends to snicker at my antics, but as with doing my eccentrics I realized that there is power in putting it out there and committing to joining a class.  A class also offers the right environment for yoga – everyone is doing the same thing, lights turned down, soft music playing, and there’s nothing to disrupt the flow.  I can only imagine how many seconds I’d be lying on the floor or holding some intricate pose before Mr. McHenry or Dougal felt obligated to wander over to see if I was OK, try and get under the mat, climb on my lap, or swing on my pony tail.  Shutting them out of the room would be an option except then I’d have 12 little furry feet poking under the door or frantically pawing at it like the house was on fire.  Since the gym where I do my eccentrics offers a restorative yoga class one evening a week at no cost to members, I was all in.  Restorative yoga focuses on holding poses and breathing rather than doing anything energetic. www.carriebrown.com

My first class was a revelation.  MY BRAIN WAS QUIET FOR 75 MINUTES ! ! ! ! ! ! !  I am certain I am remembering accurately when I say that is the first time that has ever happened, other than when I am on a road-trip – driving solo through the wilds of Montana or Wyoming, Utah, California or some other wondrous landscape; outside of that my brain is always working on something, and it was high time it stopped for a re-boot.

What I’ve found since doing a yoga class every week is that I am able to consciously turn my brain off with more and more ease whenever I feel the need.  Shutting my brain off regularly gives me more clarity, more peace, more creativity, and more brainpower when it’s on.  It’s like everything else that’s *SANE – quality, not quantity is what gets us the results we’re after.  Yoga has enabled me to effectively rest my brain, which has lead to more high-quality thinking and less low-quality thinking.

On the physical side I’ve found my flexibility increasing rapidly, as well as an improvement in muscle tone.  Given that I am doing eccentric exercises weekly I can’t tell whether yoga is contributing to my muscle strength or not, but even if it’s not, I’m mighty happy with all the other things it has brought to my life.

Now that I have been to several classes and the poses are not so new to me, on evenings when I feel like I could use a little rejuvenation and relaxation I’ll spend 10 minutes doing some yoga right here at home.

It always helps.


PS. As with anything new involving your body, it’s wise to check with your Dr. before starting yoga as it is not without risks to some people with certain health conditions.

*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!
  • Sarah - You’ve *almost* convinced me to give it another try. In the past I’ve found it boring (I love resistance training – call me crazy) . And haven’t found an inspiring instructor :(ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Sarah – I thought the same thing for the first half of my first class…BORING!!!…but by the end of it I felt so revived from the lack of mental stimulation and focusing on my body and breathing that I was converted!ReplyCancel

  • doug spence - I just use yoga for balancing my muscles and posture. I’ve never tried to use it for the mental aspect.

    I do love yoga, though.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Doug – it was the opposite for me. I did it for the mental aspect and am now discovering the physical benefits!ReplyCancel

  • Maree - Hello Carrie,

    I would not miss my Yoga class. I have 70 minutes or more of being in the “Now”. I am concentrating so hard on getting that pose just right, there is no time for “monkey mind” activity. I am a lot older than you and my flexibility is becoming a real challenge. Yoga helps and instead of feeling tired I always feel rejuvinated after I have finished the class. It doesn’t matter that sometimes I can’t get my body to do some the poses. Other women in the class are in the same boat. But, by the end of the year, I reckon I will be able to do most if not all poses. I repeat – I would not miss my Yoga class!!ReplyCancel

  • Matilda - I’ve done yoga at home, but it’s nothing like doing it in a class.
    I have actually tired Bikram yoga. I must admit I was uncertain how I would go in a hot room for 90mins but I was surprised. Yeah it’s hot (but it helps your muscles), and you sweat heaps, but the time goes by so fast, and I feel awesome afterwards in my body and in my mind.
    I must go back and do another class. Thanks for the reminder.ReplyCancel

  • Josita - I have a question, not a comment. One of my favorite treats before I went SANE was candied orange peel coated with dark chocolate, absolutely the best taste combination. I was wondering if orange peel can be ‘candied’ using xylitol or any other sweetener besides sugar, which is, of course a no-no? I really miss that taste and crunch.
    Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Josita – I would love to work on this – one of my favorites too!ReplyCancel

There ain’t nothing quite like hanging with a gal pal over glorious food and brilliant conversation on a cold and drizzly February Sunday morning.  Especially if that brilliant food is made by someone else and all you have to do is show up.  I’m really good at showing up.

I’m also behind, for those of you who noticed that I just said ‘February’ in a post dated ’27th March’.  I am leaning towards blaming my trip down to California for the backlog of Big Breakfast Adventures, although having been back for 5 weeks now that seems a bit of a stretch.  I maintain my stance that glorious food on a Sunday in February is awesome – whenever it is I finally get around to writing about it.

I arrived early.  So early Joule’s doors were a good 20 minutes from unlocking.  Wendi was late.  A good 30 minutes after Joule’s doors were flung open.  She had a great excuse – the 520 bridge was closed.  If you know Seattle then you’ll know that when they close the 520 bridge the trek to get across Lake Washington is not short.  But let me tell you – Wendi is worth waiting for.  She is the funniest lawyer I know.

Perched on my bar stool at the Chef’s Counter I supped on peppermint tea while watching the chefs busy themselves preparing brunch for the hungry hordes that descended moments after opening.  If you want a seat at Joule, come early.

The Big Breakfast Adventure  |  Joule  |  Carrie BrownSunday Brunch at Joule is decidedly different to your average brunch.  There’s a list of dishes on the menu – several of which are *SANE – but also included is helping yourself to the communal buffet, and as we soon discovered, Joule’s buffet is a revelation.  Fresh veggies everywhere!  Hurrah! The Big Breakfast Adventure  |  Joule  |  Carrie BrownHello, Kale Salad!
The Big Breakfast Adventure  |  Joule  |  Carrie BrownHello, Shrimp and Cauliflower Salad!
The Big Breakfast Adventure  |  Joule  |  Carrie BrownHello, Coconut Milk & Citrus Salad!
The Big Breakfast Adventure  |  Joule  |  Carrie BrownI decided on the Omelet with maitake mushroom, Chinese celery, and truffle oil to accompany my pile of vegetable *SANEity from the buffet.  One of the most interesting meals I’ve had in quite a while.
The Big Breakfast Adventure  |  Joule  |  Carrie BrownWendi opted for the Pancetta with bacon, breakfast sausage, and apple salad.  I had toyed with the idea of the bacon, too.  As it turned out I got to share some of Wendi’s since she added scrambled eggs to her plate and found she couldn’t tuck away all the bacon as well.  It’s good to have friends.

I am entirely enthused about our visit to Joule.  The food was fantastic, and I didn’t have to change a thing to reach my goal of a lovely *SANE plate of fodder.  The staff were a delight, the atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming.  Plus there was Wendi to inject witty and enlightening chatter to the mix.  What a great Sunday brunch!

As we were getting ready to depart Wendi asked me if I had ridden the Seattle Great Wheel down on the waterfront.  I hadn’t.

“Let’s go ride it!” she squealed.

Never mind the drizzle or the vestiges of snow left from earlier wintry offerings, it was a beautiful ride soaring high above the city and the Sound, it’s slow, gentle pace making a very relaxing and peaceful moment in time.  A brilliant reminder to sit back, breathe, and take a look at the big picture every once in a while.

Then there was a steaming mug of peppermint tea at Starbucks before heading to our homes for whatever else Sunday had in store.

Eating good food, connecting with good friends, and riding the big wheel even though you don’t have children.  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!
  • CowgirlRae - WOO HOO, I wish this had a like button.ReplyCancel

I am almost as famous for my dislike of exercise as I am for my once-legendary appetite, my adoration of leeks, and my penchant for photographing my feet.  I am not sure when I started to dislike exercise so much, and really it’s rather odd given that I took up ballet at the tender age of 2½ (no I do not have any pictures of me wobbling around in my pint-sized pink leotard) and then plié-d, jeté-d, and pirouetted every week thereafter for 17 years.  Perhaps I just never viewed dance as exercise.  In my late teens and early twenties I spent a not-insignificant amount of time at the gym weight training – sometimes daily – which I enjoyed immensely.  Or maybe it was the trainers.  Who knows.  The only thing that matters, when all is said and done, is getting me to exercise now.  And I am deliriously happy to tell you that I have crested the I-hate-exercise hump!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have zero shame about using that many exclamation points.  This is BIG, people.

My eccentric exercising and interval training went south a while back, not due as some may have supposed to dislike, but due to near-constant exhaustion and an obnoxiously busy schedule – only some of which was self-inflicted.  A case of not putting the most important things first leading to not being able to put the most important things first.  Not good.  Not good at all.  Especially when you are cheerleading the world on with their eccentrics but not getting it done yourself.  Bad.  Very bad.  Then this happened; getting back on track became critical, so I made a commitment to myself, and exercise was part of that commitment to my overall health.  It was also key to switching on my fat-burning hormones.  Love that.

Once I had made headway in the sleep, supplement and *SANE eating departments I found I had the energy  – and the desire – to begin doing the eccentric exercises and interval training in earnest.  If you are struggling to exercise you might want to start by looking at those things and seeing if there’s anything there that needs a tweak.  If you are constantly exhausted, even catching sight of an exercise bike or a dumbbell can feel like you’re standing at a Mt. Everest base camp staring up at the summit with days and days of strenuous physical activity ahead of you.  And if you suffer from depression, oh my.  The irony is that depression can be helped enormously by exercise.  It’s a funny old world. Carrie Brown

The first thing I did was get back on the bike for that 10 minutes of interval training.  I knew it would be hard but I also knew it would be over in 10 minutes, and I could do 10 minutes.  Now this next bit may all sound a bit woo-woo, but I decided a mantra would help those 10 minutes along, so every time I started to push the pedals around I said out loud, “I have a strong, lean, healthy, fat-burning body!  I have a strong, lean, healthy, fat-burning body!”, until the pushing was over.  And you know what?  It DID help those 10 minutes along.  It DID make it easier when I focused on saying those words instead of focusing on how hard those pedals were to push round.  And you know what else?  Saying that out loud, over and over again started to change how I viewed my body.  I started to see myself as already having the strong, lean, healthy, fat-burning body that I wanted rather than the weak, exhausted, fat-storing vessel I was walking around in.  This switch of focus dramatically increased my desire to do what I needed to do.  Whoop whoop!  With enthusiasm in place, everything becomes easier.

The second thing I did was recognize that I had not been getting enough resistance into my at-home eccentric workouts to make them effective.  Consequently, when I was ready to get the eccentrics back into my routine, I bit the bullet and joined a gym where I could use machines with endless resistance opportunities.  I am lucky to live in a community where there are two gyms a 3-minute drive from my house.  As well as use of all the machines, the gym I chose offers a wide range of other fitness classes, one of which is Restorative Yoga.  Bonus!  Joining the gym got me unlimited resistance for my eccentric workouts and a yoga class – at no extra cost – to boot.  Score!  The drop in my grocery bills easily covered the $12-a-week gym membership.

The other thing I noted was that for me, deciding which day and time would consistently work best with my schedule to go to the gym, setting a recurring appointment in my calendar, and making a commitment that no-matter-what I would go, worked much better than seeing the weights in the corner of my bedroom at home and thinking, “Oh, yes, I’ll do that later today”, which usually lead to, “Oh I am too tired now, I’ll do it first thing in the morning”, which lead to, “Oh I have so much to do today, I’ll do it tonight”, and on and on.  Needless to say, the eccentrics never got done.  Getting a gym membership is putting your commitment out there, and I found that really motivated me.

Now I go to the gym first thing on a Saturday morning.  I do the 4 exercises that Jonathan recommends in The Calorie Myth – shoulder press, chest press, row, and leg press.  It’s 20 minutes including the drive there and the drive back.  And then I’m done for the week.  Magical.  It’s amazing how fast you build strength when you do eccentrics on the machines – I raised my leg-press weight 40# in 3 visits, which is hugely exciting.  The leg exercises are the most important ones to work because your legs and glutes are your biggest muscles, so you get maximum overall benefit from working them.  I take my mantra, “I have a strong, lean, healthy, fat-burning body!  I have a strong, lean, healthy, fat-burning body!” to the gym with me, except I don’t say it out loud.  I may be all brave and bubbly – or obnoxious depending on how you feel about me – on our shows, but put me in a gym with a bunch of strangers and you won’t hear a peep out of me.  Talking of shows, when I walked into the gym last Saturday and saw the wall of people pounding away with their headphones in I wondered if any of them were listening to Jonathan and I as they ran or cycled, and then I giggled all the way up the stairs.

The first time I went to the gym I took my copy of The Calorie Myth and worked through each exercise slowly so I was sure I had the right machine and was doing it right, but I only had to do that once.  Most gyms will also offer you a free session with a personal trainer who could work through them with you so you have the confidence that you are doing them right.  I find my body lets me know the next day – loudly – whether I did it right or not. CArrie Brown

The effect of increasing resistance on my eccentrics has been dramatic.  The first time I went to the gym I couldn’t even believe how sore I was the next day for the next 3 days.  Within days I began to see my clothes get looser and my body shrinking.  I could feel the fat-burning switch had flipped.  My appetite was cut in half and I had tons more energy.  I was excited for my next trip to the gym.  Wait. WHAT?!?!?!??!  I know, right?!

The only other eccentric exercise I do on top of the four machines is leg lowers – where you lie on your back with your legs straight up in the air and slowly lower your legs to the ground to a count of 20, never letting them touch the floor.  Then bend your knees and stretch your legs straight up again.  I do this 6 times, at which point I reach eccentric failure and have to stop.  Why do I do these?  It makes me feel better mentally to think that I am strengthening my core.

Now I have got into my stride and set a routine I am finding getting my eccentrics and interval training in easy.  They are just things I do, like doing the laundry or washing the car.  Ok, no, I don’t wash the car every week, but you get my drift.

In other news, my BFF Alisen – galpal extraordinaire and Big Breakfast Adventure cohort – moved her eccentric exercises to the gym the week before I did and is experiencing similar results – moving up in resistance and down in body size.  Hurrah!

I hope – if you struggle with the whole exercise part – that this will help you unlock whatever it is that has been holding you back or making it hard.  While I don’t think for one minute that exercise was my cure-all for switching my fat-storing to fat-shifting, it definitely played an important part.

Not least of all it has made me feel good, and whatever makes us feel good – we should do more of that.


PS. If you are just getting started with exercising you would be wise to check-in with your Dr. before getting started.  Just to be on the safe side.

PPS. If you are looking for a bike for interval training, this is the one that Jonathan and I have.

PPPS. You can see the images in The Gallery here (lock) and here (post and chain).



*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!
  • Anne - Carrie – Thank you for publishing this series on your Transformation. It is wonderful to read your journey and super inspirational for so many of us who have struggled with any part of your experience. While I have not faced the health challenges you have so lovingly shared with us, I have faced THIS one. You inspire me!ReplyCancel

  • Julie - Thanks for this post! I need to find a way to get back to the gym post -baby. It’s too bad there probably isn’t a way to do them while carrying said baby. I have the same bike (pet Jonathan’s reco) and love it. Such a great deal! My only problem is getting the seat tight enough so it doesn’t pivot back. Have you had any issues with it?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - I have that same problem, Julie…except I don’t sit on it because I have to stand up to push the pedals round ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Keith - Carrie, congrats on pushing through to the other side! It’s definitely been great to read everything you’ve shared so far about your journey. I’ve only been SANE for a few weeks and after discovering your blog I’ve found the consistent support I’ve needed to succeed in the form if your recipes, shared experiences, and advice.

    I’m facing my first day at the gym tonight so this latest post is much needed. Keep on keepin on and know that many of us are constantly inspired to do the same because of you!ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - This is another great blog. BUT, the photos are incredible! I just checked your site and didn’t see them on there yet. Just saying they are extremely nice – and I’d like to see what else you have done lately.

  • Julie - Ha! Yes, I stand to push the pedals around too! But I sit during the warmup and between intervals. Do you stand the whole time??? Anyway I fixed my bike for now…. Bigger wrenches to apply more torque to those bolts!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Can you tell me what your time in the bike looks like? Do you do a certain amount of time intervals of hard core pedaling? thanksReplyCancel

    • carrie - Michelle – 30 seconds pedaling at highest resistance I can push while standing, and then 2 minutes rest. I do this 5 times and then I simply cannot do any more.ReplyCancel