Nutritional Data and Serving Sizes for SANE Recipes

Phew.

The last 6 months have been entirely too busy over at the Brown House, and, although I’m not entirely sure it’s wise to admit this out loud, some things just had to fall by the wayside.  Knocking it out of the ball park at my day job, writing cookbooks like a crazy woman, re-modeling my kitchen, and recording a CreativeLive Workshop with the adorable Mr. Bailor left little time for things like replying to your emails, folding laundry, responding to your blog comments, keeping things flowing on social media, vacuuming, writing blog posts, website maintenance, and grocery shopping.  And there was absolutely no paperwork getting done.

I’ve felt like I was on one of those snazzy toboggans, hurtling down a steep and slippery slope with no way to stop or slow down and whizzing straight past all manner of good and worthy things without even a moment to glance at them.  If I am brutally honest – which I do like to be – things on the home front all got in a bit of a pickle.  I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to unbury myself and restore some order to the proceedings.  So getting my taxes done the other week felt somewhat similar to the elation I imagine a gold-medal-winning Olympian experiences, since it took me waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than it would have done if I’d churned through a teeny bit of paperwork every month.  Nevertheless, the taxes are done!  Hurrah!

No matter the excitement I am feeling about clawing my way out from my muddle, no matter the joy of feeling my brain get a bit less cluttered every day, I did want to mention that you were some of the good and worthy things that I missed while I was on my crazy, head-first trip down the toboggan run.  I am sorry for being absent.  I am sorry that I’ve missed emails and comments altogether, or am only just responding to some of them now.  I hope you’ll forgive me, because I do love hearing from you even when I can’t respond.  Your mails and comments and little notes of cheer are the best pick-me-ups in the world. As I have trawled through months of email figuring out what needed a response, what needed to be filed, and what could be trashed, I was touched over and over again by your kind and nurturing words, your success stories, your love of what I do, and your expressions of glee at this whole SANE thing.  Going through much of my email backlog was like getting an enormous hug from the Universe.  You’re the BEST!

I also discovered another recurring theme from some of you around recipe data, and since we have a whole crew of new folks join us recently {WELCOME!!!} I thought I’d just cobble together a blog post and get us all on the same page.  I’ve received multiple requests for this information so I figured it was about time I explained myself to one and all.

 

Recipe Measurements

If you’ve been around my recipes for a while you’ll know that I am a huge proponent of weights instead of volume measures for dry ingredients.  I don’t do this to make life difficult or complicated or more cumbersome for you.  I do this so that you will get consistently great results from your cooking and baking exploits.

Using volume measures for liquids works great – a cup is a cup is a cup.  But when it comes to dry ingredients, a cup is not a cup because the volume changes depending on what the ingredient is and how much it is packed into the cup.  You know how in packages of dry foods there’s always a lot of air in the top?  That’s because dry ingredients settle.  They fill the container with the product but over time, and with movement, the contents take up less space.  So a well-packed cup of almond flour weighs a different amount than a lightly-packed cup of almond flour and that’s when you start having problems – especially when it comes to baked goods where the ratios of ingredients really matters.

Using volume measures for dry ingredients mean you never get consistent results, and I don’t want that for you.  I want these recipes to work for you every single time you make them.  So when it comes to dry ingredients I will always and forever use a kitchen scale to weigh them, and I will never give you cup equivalents of the weights.  I have only your best interests (and taste buds) at heart.

I urge you to avail yourself of a kitchen scale and would highly recommend this one because it is digital, weighs in both ounces and grams and is the one I have used for the past 13 years.  I love how you can pull the display out so that you can use a humongous bowl on the scale and still see the weight.  Plus, being able to weigh directly into your bowl or container, zero the weight out and then weigh the next ingredient straight into the bowl saves on washing up, and that can never be a bad thing.

You have probably noticed, too, that when I started posting recipes I used pounds and ounces for the measurements, because this is America.  Who knew that in very short order we’d have a whole host of friends from all over the planet joining us to get SANE recipes?  Our non-American friends using the metric system of grams and kilograms were understandably confused about why all the recipes were in old-fashioned weights.

When I started my first cookbook, Eat Smarter! Ice Creams, I realized I needed to write all the recipes in both ounces and grams to keep everyone humming along.  Once I had done that I started writing all my new blog recipes in both weights too.  One day – hopefully in the not-too-distant future – I will have a chance to go back and update all the earlier recipes with metric measurements, so no one will have to convert anymore.  YAY!

In the meantime, here’s a handy-dandy site you can use to do any conversions that you need:  http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cooking-conversions.aspx

 

Nutritional Information and Serving Sizes for Recipes

There’s a reason I am not very prescriptive about serving sizes, and don’t list the amounts of protein, veggies or other nutrients for each recipe or per serving – actually there are several reasons – and I will never be persuaded to add this data.

  • If I added nutritional information for each recipe the data would only be valid if you made the recipe EXACTLY as I wrote it, using EXACTLY the brands of ingredients that I use, and EXACTLY the quantities that I do, and most of the time that is not what happens.  If I use Trader Joe’s non-fat Greek yogurt and you don’t because you don’t have a TJ’s close by, then right there my data for a recipe containing non-fat Greek yogurt would be inaccurate for what you actually end up consuming.  The chicken breasts I buy might weigh more that yours – immediately my data is useless to you.  I might buy 95% lean ground beef for my lasagna and you might have taken advantage of a sale on the 75% lean ground beef = inaccurate, not to mention misleading, data.  There are just way too many variables for me to give you truly meaningful nutritional information on each recipe.  You may *feel* better having some data to hang your hat on, but what’s the point of data that is not an accurate reflection of your version of my recipe or what you actually end up eating?
  • Adding all that data encourages you to focus on things that we don’t need to focus on – like counting calories or micronutrients.  Our focus should be to simply eat SANE foods.  If you’re eating a variety of SANE foods you don’t need to worry because by default you will be eating only the most nutrient dense foods out there.
  • We all have different appetites.  The amount that is filling for me is not the same as the amount that is filling for you.  We should eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full.  There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to serving sizes.  There’s no point in telling you how much protein or how many veggies are in the serving size that I eat, because that probably won’t be the same size as the serving size that you eat.  Again, my data could be misleading and wildly inaccurate compared to how much you actually eat.  JB and I are not in the business of misleading you.
  • Slim is simple, not complicated.  Adding all this extra data just complicates things that don’t need to be complicated.  Keep it simple.
  • If you read pages 204 – 206 in The Calorie Myth, Jonathan explains how the serving sizes are general guidelines and we should not get mired in details but stay focused on the big picture.  The 10+ servings of non-starchy veggies is intended to keep us focused on non-starchy veggies being the biggest part of what we eat.  I do the best I can to eat an abundance of non-starchy veg and protein but I don’t make myself uncomfortably full, because then meal times would become a battle and food my enemy, and we certainly don’t want that!  Focus on food quality and you won’t go wrong.  We get overweight because of the consumption of the wrong quality of food.
  • Take the principles of SANEity and customize them to fit your lifestyle, where you are now, and your goals.  All that will be different for you than for anyone else, which is why I don’t get so prescriptive on my blog and recipes.
  • Check out Jonathan’s FAQ and I quote:

Can I eat less than noted in the book and still unclog?  Yes. Every time you eat, enjoy the food until you are too full for starches and sweets and then stop. As long as you are eating (in order of volume) non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, berries or citrus, and flax seeds or nuts you will unclog.”

“What do I do if I’m not hungry enough to eat more than two or three times per day?  Only eat when you are hungry. And whenever you eat, stay as SANE as possible.”

  • The 30g protein at each meal is so that you can MAXIMIZE muscle protein synthesis, but nothing bad will happen if you can’t manage 30g at a time.  I tend to eat protein at breakfast and dinner and just do veggies for lunch because I just don’t get that hungry.  I do want to maximize the protein that I do eat, so I do two larger servings of protein twice a day and eat one of my soups for lunch.  Soups mean you can get way more veggies in you than trying to chomp your way through an enormous pile of whole vegetables.  This is what works for me.  I don’t want to face every meal with the trepidation of feeling uncomfortably full afterwards trying to eat an amount of food that my appetite just doesn’t allow for, and I don’t want to face each meal worrying about am I getting enough of this nutrient or that nutrient.  It’s exhausting and, more to the point, it’s unnecessary.  It won’t get you to your goal any faster.
  • Getting stressed over minutiae, micronutrients, and serving sizes will not help us get to where we want to go.

If you still like the comfort of some data though, here are two resources that will help:

  • Nutrition Data – use the food search tool right at the top of the home page to get the nutrition stats on every food:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/  This can help if you are wondering if a food is SANE or inSANE, especially when it comes to vegetables.
  • Recipe Nutrition Analyzer – you need to sign up (it’s free!), but then you can punch in all the ingredients for a recipe and the tool will spit out the equivalent of a nutrition label for that recipe:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/mynd/myrecipes/

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But really what we’d like to tell you most is to focus on non-starchy veggies, good quality protein, fiber, water, whole-food fats, nuts, seeds, and low-fructose fruits.  Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.  That’s it.  Your body will take care of the minutiae.

Relax and enjoy!

 

 

*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!

Rose - We have missed you but 3D life must come first! Thanks again for the reminders of priority eating. My struggle is little appetite + figuring out my hypothyroidism = weight gain with little appetite. Today I’ve had organic coffee/organic heavy cream/MCT Oil, organic beef jerky and about 5 paleo macaroons (bought from Julian Bakery, highly recommend them) and wasn’t even hungry for the macaroons (just wanted to eat something in the evening). So eating too much or not enough is truly a challenge for many readers out there.

Carrie, here’s a thought for your next recipe book… Many paleo/natural eating guides (i.e. “Deep Nutrition” by Dr. Cate Shanahan) recommend organ meats, which are not even *remotely* on the U.S. dietary palette. I recently bought from my local farmer (grass fed beef) tongue and heart. I’ve found tutorials on how to clean and prep these organs for meals and universe willing at some point I can work up the courage… I guess my question is, do you have some ideas on how Americans/Westerners with little to no organ meat prep/cook experience can incorporate these nutritional (and very much affordable) proteins without grossing us out in the process? :-D

Carrie, you always bring a smile to my face. Thank you again!

Rose

laurab. - Thank you so much Carrie! I love your common sense, CALM approach! I have too much stress and tension, as it is, to start obsessing over every tiny detail re: exact nutritional analysis. :)

The Transformation: Green Tea

Hello, from sunny California!!!

California  |  Carrie Brown
I am on a little road trip down in the Bay area.  Well, to be a little more precise, I am really up in the Napa area – a bit inland, just North of San Francisco, where they grow an awful lot of grapes.  No, I am not here to visit wineries and get sloshed for free.  I am here to shoot things (typically things that do not breathe – think fences and flowers), get inspired, and get revived.  It’s been a long and super-busy 6 months, and while I am certain that a week in Cali-forn-i-a won’t fix all of that, it will certainly help.  On a whim, I flew down from Seattle instead of driving, and while I missed the long drive down, the air miles made for a compelling (read free) alternative.  With any luck I’ll have some lovely images to share with you when I get back.  While you’re waiting you could always peruse some previous trip images.  I do love shooting in California.

California  |  Carrie Brown
Anyway, enough of California.  Let’s talk about green tea!!!  If you’ve been listening to the Smarter Science of Slim / The Calorie Myth Podcasts for any length of time, I bet you never imagined you’d *EVER* see a post from me with “Green Tea” anywhere in the title and I suspect you might be wondering what on earth has happened to me.  I know, right?  The unimaginable has happened, lovely people!  It took 18 months, but I have finally succumbed to The Bailornator’s pleas to drink his favorite beverage, and I figured that HAD to be worth a blog post all of its own.  In fact, I am so excited to be able to write this post I can barely stand it!  I know there’s a lot of you out there who, like me, struggle with getting your green tea on.

The reputed health benefits of green tea abound.  Everything from helping regulate glucose levels in the blood, reducing LDL cholesterol, being anti-viral and anti-bacterial, protecting brain cells, and reducing blood pressure, to reducing the signs of aging.  Not to mention it’s reported ability to reduce tooth decay, kill cancer cells, help depression, and protect against clot formation.  Green tea should pretty much come wrapped in a cape, not a bag.

But the reason that green tea got it’s very own principle in JB’s brilliant book, The Calorie Myth, is because of its unique fat-burning effect.  Drinking water alone allows our bodies to burn fat far more effectively, but add polyphenol-packed green tea and you can supercharge that.  Since I am not the scientist in this outfit, please feel free to take any insatiable quest for hard-core green tea knowledge to the web to get all the scientific studies and research you could ever want.  I am just here to share some ideas on how to get your daily green tea fix, especially if you find it as distasteful as I do.  Or maybe now I should say used to do.

Jonathan recommends drinking 10 bags of green tea per day to maximize all the benefits that green tea has to offer.  Woah.  That’s a lot of green tea.  Except this is Jonathan Bailor we’re talking about, so of course there’s a way to do it smarter while still getting the same effect.  The easiest way to do this is to brew all 10 bags (decaf if you prefer) in a small amount of hot water in one go, let it brew for a few minutes, then remove the bags and drink it.  You can even add ice to make a cold drink if you prefer it that way over hot.  See!  10 bags is easy peasy!  IF you like drinking green tea.  Ah.  Yes.  The big IF.

I hate the taste of green tea.  I’ve tried to like it, so many times.  I’ve forced it down anyway, so many times.  No matter how hard I tried, I just hate the taste of green tea.  And no matter how good something is for you – and boy is green tea good! – if you can’t stomach the taste, it’s really hard to get it down.

I know I am not alone in my distaste, so a couple of things you can do instead are to add other flavors to your green tea such as lemon juice (this also provides Vitamin C which makes the healthy compounds in green tea easier to absorb – winning!), or adding some sweetness in the form of xylitol or stevia.  The other trick that avoids you having to drink it altogether is especially for you smoothie drinkers out there.  Simply add the contents (the leaves themselves) of 3 or 4 bags of green tea into your Green Smoothie when you blend it.  You won’t be able to taste the green tea but you’ll get all the benefits of drinking 10 bags worth.  Hurrah!

But here’s my Big! Green! Tea! Discovery! that I made recently.  Here’s the thing that made me love green tea.  Yes!  Love as in I-look-forward-to-my-green-tea-every-day-now.  Peppermint.  I love peppermint herbal tea, and a little while ago while I was musing on my green tea problem yet again, I found myself wondering what would happen if I brewed my peppermint tea with my green tea.  Voila!  A miracle occurred at the Brown house!  I found that by brewing 4 bags of green tea with 1 or 2 bags of peppermint tea and a dash of xylitol in one large mug, I have a drink that I truly enjoy.  My struggle with green tea is over.  I make a couple of mugs of that a day and I’m all done.  You might find a different ratio works better for you, or you might find an herbal tea other than peppermint that you love works better for your taste buds.  Do whatever floats your boat, but if you struggle with drinking regular green tea, I urge you to give this a go.  It transformed my green tea consumption overnight.

Green tea for President!

PS. You will retain more of the healthful properties of green tea if you use 175 degree water to make it rather than boiling water.  Also, if you use too hot water you will “burn” the leaves and it will taste bitter.  So you can either boil your water and then let it cool before you pour it on your leaves, or, if you have the same kettle as I do you can push the magic button that says “green tea” and get water at the perfect temperature.  Once my water is the right temperature I steep the bags for only 2 minutes – I actually use a timer so I don’t leave them too long – because over-steeping can also result in bitterness.

Drink and enjoy!

On a side note I found that drinking all this peppermint green tea halted my desire for soda.  My last bastion of pop consumption – Hansen’s Diet Black Cherry – has now left the building.  Ding!  That was easy.

Now I’ll get back to California.  Toodle pip!

 

*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!

Pam - I love Genmaicha, which is green tea with toasted brown rice. I brew that, then combine it with my almond/coconut milk blend for a creamy, toasty hot drink. Love!

Michelle Ricci-Koch - I wish I could meet up with you and go on a personal adventure! I am down in the Central Valley in Cslifornia. Enjoy your visit, you picked a great spot

Barbara - Wow! This is tasty and now I can drink green tea too! Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!! I love your recipes, they have transformed my life! 8-)

April - What about adding cream? Or half-and-half?

Barbara in Tx - Another option that I have been able to switch off with the peppermint green tea is Bigelow’s Constant Comment Green Tea. It has an orange rind, sweet spice description on it and it’s very doable to use 4 bags per cup. Yum!

Thanks again and again Carrie for giving me the courage to try new things!

Barbara in Tx - BTW…..in case anyone is interested, Amazon has the Bigelow Constant Comment Green tea on their Subscribe and Save AND right now (3/4/14) they have an extra 15% coupon that you can clip!

Keith - I had been drinking Mighty Leaf’s Tropical Green Tea which has pineapple and spices in it, most delicious version of green tea I’ve had (again for someone who has long hated the taste of green tea).

But now that I’m trying to get my ten bags in even that has been rough on the palette to say the least. I even tried it in your “Hardcore Green Smoothie” recipe but it ruined my delicious breakfast!

This peppermint recipe mixture sounds like just the trick I need. Amazing tips, thanks again!

A Veritable Transformation » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE lane - […] The Transformation: Green Tea […]

Pam - Keith, thanks for mentioning that Mighty Leaf Tropical Green Tea … bought a box … love it!

Green tea tips | Healthy Intentions (2014) - […]  Carrie Brown in her usual genius has posted about how she overcame her loathing for green tea by brewing it with peppermint.  I have found a chocolate mint flavoured herbal tea which I just […]

Julie Rider - Carrie…I have been using a teas of matcha tea In my smoothie and I understand this is a concentrated version of Japanese green tea. Do you have any feedback how that equates to the 4 green tea bags you use?

carrie - My understanding is that 1 tsp of pure matcha powder equals the antioxidants of 10 bags of leaf green tea.

Big Breakfast Adventure | Cafe Presse

Sunday was a most spectacular day in my little corner of the world when Mr. McHenry wandered up the bed and perched on my chest, purring and squeaking “hello”, as is his want once he feels me stir in the mornings.

Through the window I could see a sparklingly clear, deep – almost cobalt – sky, the rooftops on the sunny side glistening in the sunshine, the heavy frost clinging stubbornly to the rooftops on the other.  From my supine position under a big, fat duvet and a fluffy white cat, it looked like summer.  While most of America has been in the grip of an arctic blast, we West coast dwellers have enjoyed an unseasonably dry, bright, and sunny winter, and I am not disappointed about that in the slightest.  It’s true I am sad for the Eastern seaboard and the big flat bit in the middle, but I admit I am enjoying seeing the wintry sun shining up here in February.

Due to a little scheduling snafu involving family in Spokane – and I suspect a little thing called The Super Bowl – one of my breakfast buddies asked to be rearranged to another date for our Big Breakfast Adventure.  I was a trifle disappointed since we had planned on eating my favorite breakfast of all time – Octopus Hash at Lola – but given that I’d still be able to get my octopus on next month, I quickly came up with a new escapade:  a trip to my Happy Place – Café Presse on Capitol Hill – where I have eaten so many times I have lost count.  It’s great food done right, and I suppose you could say I cheated a little, since I knew in advance exactly what I was going to order and exactly how *SANE it would be, so this was hardly an “adventure” in the true sense of the word; more of a homecoming.  I hope you don’t mind.

This whole town was in a complete dither this weekend.  The Seattle Seahawks made the championship and for the last two weeks it’s been fever-pitch around here.  I almost cried when I saw the pictures of the thousands of fans lining the streets to send them off to New York for the Super Bowl last weekend.  Seattle has been a city completely in love with their team, pulling together in a way it’s been awesome to experience.  I love the exuberance and all-in-ness that is the Seahawks 12th Man.  There was a 7000-person 12th Man “flag” created on the Microsoft playing field, the Space Needle was lit up in Seahawks colors, there was a sea of green-and-blue nails, cupcakes, and beer cans, and skittles at every turn.  It almost made me wish I understood football and had a TV.  Almost.  I cheered them on in my heart and that’s what matters.

I pulled on some clean and comfy jeans, found some soft, thick socks, and picked out a green sweater.  It wasn’t the right shade of green, but paired with blue denim it was as 12th Man as I could muster for the big game day.  Go HAWKS!!!

As I strolled through Café Presse’s door I spied my favorite spot at the counter in the window, as if it was waiting just for me.  I plonked myself down with a contented grin and exchanged “Isn’t it a beautiful day!” pleasantries with the lady two stools down, before she went back to her non-GMO shopping booklet and a large dish of baked eggs.  A woman after my own heart.

Soon enough, along came a pot of peppermint tea, and as luck would have it, I was unsuccessful in trying to inhale the piping hot liquid into my right lung, but it was a close call.  I sat with my face to the sun and thought about all the good things in life.

Cafe Presse  |  Carrie Brown

Shortly thereafter came *SANEity on two plates – no substitutions or alterations required!  At Café Presse, if you choose wisely, there’s SANEity right there on the menu, staring at you and cooing softly.  My only request was that they not bring the baguette with the baked eggs.  Sometimes if the devil is right there in front of you it can be hard to ignore.

Cafe Presse  |  Carrie Brown

Have you ever seen such a splendid looking plate of lettuce?  A fresh butter lettuce – oh how I love butter lettuce! – drizzled with hazelnut vinaigrette and a smattering of fresh hazelnuts.  For breakfast?  Yeah, baby!  It was magnificent in its simplicity and outstanding in the taste department.  I didn’t miss the piece of French bread in the slightest.  My taste buds were far more interested in the softness of the lettuce, tang of vinegar, and the crunch of the nuts.

Cafe Presse  |  Carrie Brown

Then there were the Baked Eggs – two generous pieces of ham, two eggs and a thin layer of Gruyère cheese.  I chowed down, filled up and washed it all down with two pots of peppermint tea and some water.  Satisfaction guaranteed.

Kevin, the impossibly polite, purple-haired young man serving me, offered the dessert menu, and even knowing from my pre-SANE days how fine their French desserts are, I was – dare I say it – too full for dessert.  JB – you are with me wherever I go!

After a glorious *SANE breakfast I headed over to Alki Beach to delight in the beauty of Seattle on a sunny day.  I sat for a while and pondered all the things that I am so very grateful for.  I soaked in the warmth of the sun through the glass of the sunroof and silently thanked the world at large for everything that I have – a sure way to continue the good feelings generated by my scrumptious breakfast feast.

Feeling good is important.  Really important.  It will help you in all areas of your life, including your journey to *SANEity.

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!

Lynne - Right on! Do more of what makes you feel good. The best bit of advice I’ve heard so far this year, maybe ever. Carrie, thank you for EVERYTHING you share here. I am in love with your smoothie recipes (cashew pear is heavenly), your podcasts are fun and inspiring. I’ve been going SANE gradually for 6 months. Weight is the same (135) but TWO sizes smaller in pants. Unbelievable.

Suzanne - It was crazy around here during Super Bowl time, wasn’t it?! I loved every minute of it, the whole town was so hyped up. We even went to the parade and it was amazing! I guess that’s not really what your post is about, but still, it reminded me of that awesome time-I think some people are still living it! Anyway, love seeing where you go for breakfasts, gives me some ideas of places to try-and if your “dates” ever have to cancel again, look me up, I’d be happy to go with you! ;) Thanks for all your great recipes and posts!

Embrace!

As I suspect most good – and by ‘good’ I mean mostly conscientious and consistent – bloggers do, I usually feel somewhat obligated to write some kind of New Year post.  As luck would have it, this year – or maybe I mean last year? – in the wee, wee hours of New Years Eve my head exploded into a scream-inducing headache of migrainous proportions which required a trip to the local ER and several shots of sleep-inducing liquids which turned out to be quite lovely in comparison.  The rest of New Years Eve went down in a stream of semi-consciousness that was only briefly interrupted by a bevy of fireworks and hip-hip-hooraying at midnight from my neighbors.  When I awoke from my drug-laden slumber at some point on New Years Day, and stumbled down the stairs, all thoughts of welcoming 2014 in via my blog had been eradicated in a haze of painkillers.

But really, you know, that’s not a bad thing, because this whole SANE lifestyle isn’t something that was designed to go on a list of resolutions that come out once a year and are forgotten about by February.  No sirree!  *SANEity is to be embraced as an all-singing, all dancing way of life, because who doesn’t want to just live better – all year round?

So aside from the fact that it is now almost the end of January and New Years Resolutions would be a little ridiculous at this point,  I decided instead to focus on just one word this year: EMBRACE.

Here’s a few things that would be great to embrace on your journey to *SANEity.  Some will be easy to embrace, others not so much; we’re creatures of habit and change can be hard – even when the results are good.  All change towards a SANEr life is all good.

  • EMBRACE the real truth about all those calorie myths we’ve been slaves to for the past few decades.  If you haven’t picked up a copy of Jonathan’s book, The Calorie Myth, yet, I strongly encourage you to do so.  In it he lays out why so much of what we’ve been told about dieting and exercise has led us down all the wrong paths to all the places we didn’t want to go.  This is your “why”.

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  • EMBRACE eating smarter.  Grab the Eat Smarter! Smoothies and Sides, Eat Smarter! Soups, and Eat Smarter! Ice Creams SANE cookbooks crammed with scrumptious recipes.  These are your “how”.  Between them they cover a basic SANE day: smoothie for breakfast, soup for lunch, grilled protein and sides for dinner, ice cream for dessert – all the basics are covered to get you off on the right track.  Why do I *really* want you to buy my cookbooks?  The same reason as I wrote them: because they will help you reach your goals faster, easier, cheaper, and more deliciously.  Smarter food can be super-delicious and you won’t feel in the lest deprived.
  • EMBRACE more sleep.  Great sleep is critical to great health.  Hit the snooze instead of getting up to go run!  If you’re not getting 7 hours a night you’re robbing yourself of health.  Put sleep at the top of your to-do list every day!

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  • EMBRACE eating healthy fats.  Healthy fats such as coconut, nuts, avocado, cocoa, eggs, fish, meat should be eaten in abundance to keep your brain and body functioning at it’s best.  Fat does not make us fat, and in fact, healthy fats make us healthier and leaner.  Embrace the good fats and eat your fill.
  • EMBRACE veggies.  Eating an abundance of non-starchy veggies really is one of the best things you can do for your health.  One of the few things that everyone in the health profession and every lifestyle can agree on.

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  • EMBRACE exercising less.  You don’t need to spend hours getting in shape every week.  Exercising smarter allows you to get your body in shape with a fraction of the time.  Think of all the other fun things you can do with that time!
  • EMBRACE eating more.  You don’t need to eat less food to maintain a healthy weight.  Eat more of the right foods and you’ll be slim without ever being hungry.

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  • EMBRACE drinking water.  If you don’t care for the taste of plain water (guilty!), drink herbal teas like peppermint, or add a splash of lemon or lime juice.  Whatever you need to do to drink more water, just do it!
  • EMBRACE green tea.  If you don’t care for the taste of green tea (guilty!), add 4 teabags of leaves to your morning smoothie and get the same benefit.

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  • EMBRACE getting rid of your bathroom scale.  You body scale does not serve you well as a measure of progress, and may encourage you to fall off the wagon when the number doesn’t go down, even when the results are clearly showing in other ways.  Down with body scales!  If you need to measure something measure your waist, your chest and your neck every week or two.
  • EMBRACE non-scale victories.  Tightening the belt buckle, wearing smaller clothes, feeling energetic, glowing skin, reduction in aches and pains, no bloated feeling – just a handful of the signs that your body is getting healthier.  Look for the signs that your body is healing without caring about what it weighs!

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  • EMBRACE success.  Be ready – mentally and emotionally – to enjoy the new you!
  • EMBRACE community.  Subscribe to this blog (in the left hand menu bar) to keep SANE content coming right to your door when you need support, or inspiration, tips and tricks, or a scrumptious new recipe to help you keep going in the right direction.  Connect on Facebook to get some SANEity in your newsfeed, and join the SANE and ECCENTRIC Facebook Community to get ideas, share stories, and celebrate success with other people sharing similar health goals to you.  Staying connected *REALLY* helps.  Make use of these fabulous free resources!

 

What will you EMBRACE this year that will make the most positive difference to your life?

 

 

*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!

Roxanne - Thank you, Carrie, for your inspiring words. I was feeling a little discouraged this morning, but your post reminded me to look at the positive health changes I have experienced: no more IBS, free of fibromyalgia pain, and a flat stomach. My family doesn’t agree with the changes I’ve made, but having support from the internet community helps me to stay the course.

Allison - I love this! The first bullet point was my “ah ha” over the weekend. I’m now OFF sugar and carbs COMPLETELY (day 4) and at first I was like “wah wah wah, why me? Why do I have to deprive myself of good food?” and then I realized that it’s not that I now have to deprive myself of what everyone else gets, it’s that the role of food in my life up til this point has been wrong. Food isn’t supposed to create fireworks in your brain each and every bite. It’s supposed to sustain you, give you energy, give you life. But not give you a high every day, all day. So my new mantra is “It’s not that I now am deprived of food that makes me feel happy, it’s that food was never supposed to. We were wrong this whole time”. Not to say that we can’t have good food without sugar, but we all know it doesn’t always create the same reaction, especially at first. But your recipes are helping bridge the gap! Cheesy biscuits for president!

Memy - Hi Carrie,
Every morning I wake up and the first thing I do is stick in my ipod to listen to Paleo podcasts. This acts as a bit of “backbone starch” to get me over the “but I’ve always had oatmeal” hump. This morning’s podcast was a guy complaining about how his family doesn’t “get” his paleo lifestyle. I haven’t heard that much wingeing since I was a vegan! Then, with my home-made bullet proof coffee in hand, I sat down to check email’s and your lovely Embrace! was right on top of the stack. It was positive and funny (except for the ER trip, poor you!) and empowering. It was a wonderful reminder of all the aspects that make Paleo living a bright light in the vast dark world of nutrition. THIS is what I needed to put my day right again.
Thank you. Hugs, Memy

Ellen - Once again, you hit the nail on the head! Thanks for the reminders. I read them tonight, just before going into “weekend mode”. I will make sure to hit the grocery store on the way home from work so that my weekend will be sane and healthy. I will do this for me!
Keep that positive energy coming, girlfriend!

Top 10 SANE Recipes 2013

Yes, yes, I know.  I expect for most of you 2013 is a rapidly fading memory already, but before it disappears entirely from view I wanted to share last years Top 10 most popular SANE recipes and Top 5 most popular non-recipe posts.  I think it will be a good place to start for all you lovely new readers who have joined in the last few weeks since Jonathan’s book burst onto the New York Times Bestsellers List.

For me, 2013 was an interesting year: I changed day jobs twice and bosses thrice – not an approach I recommend although it certainly added some color, not to mention drama, to the proceedings; I travelled to California, Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia;  JB and I reached over 2 million listeners on our Smarter Science of Slim Show; Mr. McHenry joined the Brown house; JB and I shot a two-day creativeLive Smarter Science of Slim workshop, and I published my first 3 SANE cookbooks.  Phew.  I was also diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder, but decided early on that I wasn’t going to let any silly old chemical imbalance take me down.

All things considered, it was a most fantastic year and a wildly exciting year and a most exhausting year all at the same time.  Some of the very best bits of 2013 were brought about by you, and I thank you – hand on heart – for all your support and cheering and love and laughter that you add to my life.  There were a few times when you totally pulled me through, and at the risk of sounding a little sappy, I heart you.  2013 would not have been half the year it was without you in it.  Thank you.

It seems you lovely readers were all about breakfasts and snacks in 2013 – SANEity on the go was what you needed – if the Top 10 most popular recipe posts were anything to go by.

2012-10-21 Green Smoothie - Strawberry and Avocado-4981

Green Smoothie – Strawberry Milkshake

2012-11-3 Hot Seed Cereal-5088

Hot and Nutty Cereal

2012-11-4 Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies-5100

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies

2013-5-25 Pork Chops-7470

How To Cook A Pork Chop

2013-6-16 Peanut Butter Ice Cream-7852

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

2013-7-20 Green Smoothie - Chocolate Raspberry-8185

Green Smoothie – Chocolate Raspberry

2012-10-28 Cheesy Scones (Biscuits)-5034

Cheesy Scones (Biscuits)

2013-2-10 Cranberry Almond Protein Bars-6003

Cranberry Almond Protein Bars

2013-5-27 Lemon Shortbread Cookies-7567

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

2012-12-9 Chocolate Yogurt Supreme-5563

Chocolate Yogurt Supreme

 

And then there were the most popular non-recipe posts of the year, which don’t have pretty pictures but do offer up oodles of tips and tricks on living a SANE life.

 

Top 10 SANE Recipes of 2012 – proof if any were needed that “Top 10″ posts are well-read and useful!

Smarter Science of Slim / The Calorie Myth ——>> Start Here! – a great page to get you started if you’re new to what SANE means and how to do it.

What are those strange ingredients and where do I get them? – ah those strange ingredients.  Soon you’ll be wondering how you ever cooked great food without them!

It Can Be One Hell Of A Struggle – a lot of you found this post resonated with your own or a loved one’s journey.  Living SANE doesn’t exempt us from trials along the way!

8 Tricks That Make Being SANE At Home Easy – half the battle is won if your home is on your side.

 

What was your favorite SANE recipe of 2013?  What tip helped you the most to stay SANE?

 

 

 

*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!

Ingrid - Hi Carrie, I stumbled upon your and Bailor’s Calorie Myth podcasts about two months ago, and from there I have been submersing myself in all of it — your recipes, the websites, older podcasts, blogs, and now the Calorie Myth book. I want to thank you for your energy, which is truly contagious. Also, you openness and authenticity, and human-ness. Truly admirable characteristics that you bring to this whole movement of uncovering the simple(ish!) truths about eating and exercising and life. Not to mention, your creativity. Such beautiful creations with wholesome, healthy food! I would love to ramble on and ask a ton of questions, but mostly I wanted to thank! Your energy is truly contagious. I am grateful. Best, Ingrid

carrie - Ingrid, thank you! You made my day – it is great to hear that my work resonates with people and even helps them. It’s why I do what I do :-)

Erin - I can’t believe your leek and cauliflower soup is not in this top 10 list. So simple, yet so divine. I have shared that recipe maybe 10 times now. Never any leftovers. Thanks for creating so many yummy SANE foods. :)