What seems like 3 months ago but was really only 3 weeks ago I promised you SANE chocolate candy.  When I made that promise I had Chocolate Orange Truffles 1.0 nestled in the ‘fridge – aside from the not insignificant number that had been stashed away in my belly – knowing that they were good, but not good enough to share with you.

Then, very unfortunately, came two weeks that started off with running out of meds (I will NEVER do that again) which spawned into two emergencies (only one ended at the ER), a friend breaking into my house (for good reason), an embarrassing number of tubs of Black Cherry Amaretto Haagen Dazs (sorry), and a lot of lying in bed curled up with Mr. McHenry and Daisy (they’re cats if you’re new here).  It is simply amazing the difference that 50mg – or lack thereof – of meds can make.  On the day of the first emergency, however, my godson Jackson was born – and his photo arriving by text shortly after his entrance into the world saved my life.  Miraculous timing, Amy and Jack (I heart you).

Those 2 weeks were not a fun time, although I confess my brain really enjoyed the Haagen Dazs part.  #1 on my next round of ice cream recipes is definitely SANE Black Cherry Amaretto.  It will be way better than Haagen Dazs, as you know if you’ve made any of my other SANE ice creams.  Hey, I’m just going off the reviews.

I re-surfaced on February 13th and realized that my promise of chocolates before Valentines Day was not going to be realized.  Forgive me?  How about if I give you the recipe for Chocolate Orange Truffles?

Notwithstanding that I am 2 weeks late getting these to you, I was all kinds of excited about how these Chocolate Orange Truffles turned out because chocolate can be all kinds of difficult.  If you mosey around the Internets checking out sugar-free chocolaty things you’ll notice that most of them don’t look great, because chocolate is finicky.  Once it’s melted all bets are off that you’ll end up with a finished chocolate that looks awesome or sets right.  And 100% cocoa chocolate (no sugar at all) is, quite frankly, a pain in the {name your body part} to work with.  It’s hard to get chocolate to show up all glossy and beautiful – even if you’re an ex-chocolatier who knows what she’s doing and spent 2 years of her life up to her elbows in chocolate every day.  Chocolate is just, well…special.

A lot of the sugar-free chocolates out there don’t taste great either.  Heck, a lot of the regular chocolates out there don’t taste great, but trying to sweeten 100% cocoa chocolate successfully is pretty much like trying to get pants on a fish.

My end-game was that they had to be super SANE, super easy, super fast, super scrumptious, and super pretty, which given the limitations that the finickiness of chocolate so generously provides us, was a very tall order.

Chocolate Orange Truffles  |  www.carriebrown.comHow did I do?

They Chocolate Orange Truffles are super SANE.  They take 5 minutes to make, the recipe is very simple, and they are not in the slightest bit messy.  They look awesome and they taste awesome.  They will keep for weeks in the ‘fridge or you can freeze them.  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Mr. Bailor would be so proud!  (Who am I kidding that they’ll be in your ‘fridge for weeks??)

Just so you’re prepared though, I’ll also tell you that the consistency is like a soft truffle yet they don’t melt in your mouth, so they are quite a different experience than other truffles you’ve had.

Chocolate Orange Truffles  |  www.carriebrown.com

I’ll be keeping a batch of these Chocolate Orange Truffles in my ‘fridge at all times so when ever I get that chocolate urge, I have a SANE chocolate fix on hand.  Whoop!


  • This is the gelatin that I use.  I suspect you might be using it quite a lot from here on out.  If you didn’t know, gelatin is all kinds of fabulous from a health perspective.
  • Use silicon molds like these.  You can use any size and shape you like.  Silicone molds give you a huge variety of fun shapes to make.  Clearly I am going to have to buy these.
  • The quality of your cocoa powder and 100% chocolate will totally affect the taste.  Buy the best you can.  I use Valrhona cocoa powder and Ghirardelli 100% chocolate.
  • Change it up by using mint extract instead of orange.  Or raspberry.  Raspberry would be awesome.
  • If you don’t have silicone molds you can also use candy cups and peel them from the chocolates as you serve them.  You can find some here.
  • Enjoy!


Chocolate Orange Truffles
Author: Carrie Brown | www.carriebrown.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: About 30
  • 8 fl oz. / 1 cup thick coconut milk (canned)
  • 3 TBSP powdered gelatin
  • 4 fl oz. / 1/2 cup water
  • 2 oz. / 55g cocoa powder
  • 2 oz. / 55g xylitol or erythritol
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. orange extract (or flavor)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 oz. / 85g 100% chocolate (not cocoa powder), chopped
  1. Shake the thick coconut milk well before opening the can.
  2. Pour the 8 fl oz. / 1 cup of thick coconut milk into a large jug or bowl with a pouring spout.
  3. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface of the coconut milk and stir. It will become very thick and lumpy. Don’t panic!
  4. In a small pan put the water, cocoa powder, and xylitol or erythritol, and whisk well until the cocoa powder is mixed in.
  5. Bring to the boil whisking continuously. Once boiling, turn off the heat.
  6. Pour (or scrape!) the coconut milk and gelatin mixture into the hot chocolate mixture and stir until it is completely smooth.
  7. Stir in the vanilla and orange extracts and the sea salt.
  8. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until it is completely melted.
  9. Pour the mixture back into the jug or pouring bowl.
  10. Carefully pour into your silicone molds.
  11. Carry carefully to the ‘fridge or freezer.
  12. They will set in 10 minutes in the freezer or an hour in the ‘fridge.
  13. Remove from the ‘fridge or freezer. Hold the molds upside down and push the truffles out. They are pretty hardy.
  14. Store in an airtight container in the ‘fridge. If any make it to the ‘fridge.



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  • Pip - Hi Carrie,
    These sound great. Is thick coconut milk the same as coconut cream?

  • sylvia - Hi Carrie
    Welcome back and I hope you are feeling much better! Thanks for yet another awesome sounding recipe.

    I have 3 questions for you:

    1. Can you substitute coconut cream for thick coconut milk?

    2. If not, how can you tell if it is thick coconut milk or not?

    3. In what type of store would you find 100% pure chocolate or is this something that can only be bought online?



    • carrie - Sylvia – coconut cream = thick coconut milk, thick coconut milk comes in a can and is solid at low temperatures, in the US 100% chocolate is found in every supermarket / grocery store alongside the baking chocolate. Hope that all helps!!ReplyCancel

      • sylvia - Hi Carrie
        Thank you so much for your reply. Now I’ll get cracking on the recipe!

  • Lily - Carrie,
    Thank you for another beautiful recipe. My heart breaks to think of a world without you in it. You don’t know me, but you’ve touched my life and made me a healthier person. Keep on hanging on.

  • Eda - Carrie, do you think I leave the orange thing out?
    I dont like “plants” in my chocolate (mint, orange, berries..)

    I dont know if we have coconut cream in Brazil and 100% chocolate is reeeeeeeeeaally hard to find. I may never get to make it, but it is still going to my little notebook.

    As always, thank you!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Eda – yes you can leave it out but the flavor might not be as rich. I would double the vanilla in that case. Can you order via Amazon? Not sure what online choices you have there. I want you to have these chocolates!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Wren - I made these yesterday and they turned out fabulous! I’m a candy maker now. Whoop! Whoop! I’m never buying chocolates again. This recipe is so quick and so easy. I could have them made quicker than it would take to drive to the candy store and back. Why waste the gas? LOL. Next time I’m going to try them with a raspberry extract, just cuz that’s my favorite, but I do love the orange taste in these too.ReplyCancel

  • Beth - Carrie –
    My “lower plumbing” does not like xylitol. I have some liquid chocolate stevia. Would that work as a substitution? If so, how much? Glad you are back among the living. You have positively touched so many lives. I hope you know how loved you are even by those who have never met you. Keep up the amazing work!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Beth – I would suggest Swerve if that it available where you are. It is erythritol and stevia blend and can be used 1:1 instead of xylitol. The liquid Stevia *should* work in this recipe as it’s only function is to sweeten, but I am afraid I have no clue on quantity. I have never used Stevia as I can’t stand the taste. Since it is a liquid I would make the whole recipe without the Stevia and then add it to taste at the end. Record how much you use for future reference. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Molly - I don’t eat gelatin. Can I use something else?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Molly – if you don’t eat gelatin because you’re vegan / vegetarian, use Agar Agar instead. Swap out 1:1 with gelatin. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Megan - So I made the mistake of using regular coconut milk instead of thick coconut milk. It was in a can but when I opened it up the consistency was more like regular milk, I just figured it would take longer to set so I used it anyway. UGG, my chocolates are soft and chewy as opposed to the consistency of Hersheys bar. Everything else in the recipe I followed to a T. Before I make this again I need to know if that was my problem or is that how the chocolates turn out?
    Thanks for your recipes! I check the site anytime I want to try something new 😀ReplyCancel

  • Debi - I’m wondering if we did something wrong. The consistency was fabulous – you nailed it there! I’m wondering about the intensity of the dark’ness. When I’m eating SANE I find I enjoy 85% cacao chocolate, but this was so much more intense than that. My husband made these and he’s a stickler for details and he said he weighed out the sweetener so I believe him…boy it didn’t taste like it.

    So do I just need to pull my boots up by the straps or are others enjoying these without feeling like they are closer to 98% cacao?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Debi – I responded via email. If you didn’t get that note please let me know!ReplyCancel

      • Debi - I didn’t see your note – I just did a search in my email and nothing came up that way either. Can you send another? The email I posted is valid. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • christine - What’s the nutritional info for this recipe. thanksReplyCancel

I just wanted to pop in for a few minutes and tell you how wildly excited I am that after 38 years of embarrassing, itchy, red, flaky horribleness, I have got rid of my eczema.  Or psoriasis.  The doctors and skin specialists could never agree on what it was, but they were all certain that it was one or the other.  Anyway, it’s gone.  BOOM.  Just like that.  If you – or someone you like an awful lot – has had a similar experience of just not begin able to get rid of it, it might be worth you giving this a shot.

Over the holidays I was storming around Southern Oregon and Northern California, circumnavigating volcanoes and generally having a rip-roaring good time.  On Christmas Eve, though, I drive through a snowstorm to Prineville to have lunch with the fabulous Popcorn – who some of you may know from the old Smarter Science of Slim forum.  Popcorn is awesome.

Anyway, over lunch talk turned to my face, which had large patches of angry red eczema – or psoriasis – dotted across it.  I lifted up my hair and showed Popcorn my scalp – a veritable mess of scaly, lumpy redness.  UGH.  Then I mentioned that about 2 weeks earlier, my hair had started to smell like that of a wet dog when it got wet.  Decidedly unpleasant.  No smell when it was dry, but pretty nasty when I washed it.  We pondered on whether the smell was caused by the two courses of antibiotics I had in the previous two months to treat a double ear infection and an abscess on the roof of my mouth.  Antibiotics kill the bad bugs but they also kill the good bugs and can leave you open to an overgrowth of Candida or other fungally ickiness.

“You need Nizoral,” Popcorn said.

If you know Popcorn you know that the woman doesn’t open her mouth unless she is absolutely sure of something.  She was sure about this.  So as soon as I got back to Seattle, I got a bottle of Nizoral.  Now, Nizoral is an anti-dandruff shampoo, and while I didn’t have dandruff I was ready to try anything.  Especially if Popcorn said so.

I raced home with the blue bottle full of thick, neon blue liquid and washed my hair with it.  I immediately noticed that my wet hair didn’t smell like a wet dog.  Hurrah!  But the real hurrah came the next morning when I realized that my scalp was completely clear.  And by completely clear I mean my scalp looked like the healthiest scalp to have ever graced the earth.  True story.

So then, I mused, “I wonder what would happen if I washed my face with it?”  So I lathered up a small blob and spread it all over my face.  I let it sit there for a few minutes while I took care of some of the other bits and pieces that you take care of in the shower, and then washed it off.  Next day I looked in the mirror and the patches of red, scaly skin were 80% gone.  Two days later you couldn’t even see where they had been.  The patches on my left leg?  Gone.  The patches on my right leg?  Not gone – because I used my right leg as a control to make sure that it wasn’t something else that was magically making my 38-year-old eczema – or psoriasis – disappear.

Now, I’m no Doctor,  so I can’t tell you why Nizoral made my 38-year-old skin condition go away, but go away it did.  Subsequent searches on the interwebs indicates that a bunch of people believe that psoriasis and eczema are actually fungi (which would make complete sense in my case), and a bunch of people believe that they are not fungi.  I really don’t care.  All I know is that using Nizoral made it disappear – the only thing that has had any effect in 38 years – and heaven knows I’ve tried every traditional treatment out there.

Will it work for you?  I have no idea, but I did want to share my story.  Because 38 years of eczema – or psoriasis – was miserable.  And just like that my misery is over.

GO, Nizoral!




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  • Sandy P. - Ooooh Carrie! I am going to try that and see if I can get rid of the big patch of psoriasis or whatever I have on my side. Thank you for sharing! I have ordered a bottle just now. :)ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Let us know if you have similar success, Sandy!ReplyCancel

      • Sandy P. - Carrie, I just received the bottle of Nizoral in the mail and promptly ran into the bathroom and washed the place on my side twice. I got to thinking that maybe I should have let it sit on my skin awhile. I will have a look at it tomorrow and let you know how it goes. *fingers crossed*ReplyCancel

        • Sandy P. - Well, I am very sad to report that all it did was dry up my psoriasis. I am pretty sure that is what I have as it is raised and sometimes “wet” and uneven. So, in analysis, you probably did not have psoriasis. :) Ah well, it’s a pretty decent shampoo, so I will keep it in the cabinet if I ever run out of my other shampoo.ReplyCancel

          • carrie - I wouldn’t give up yet, Sandy. Some of my patches are taking longer to go away and initially they just got very dry. My whatever-it-is is also raised, “wet” and uneven. It may turn out that it just doesn’t work for you, but it had to be worth a try!

          • Sandy P. - Carrie I just read your reply and got all excited again. LOL! Okay I will keep using it. I am putting it on twice a day now and just letting it sit for a bit then washing it off. Do you get a little bit of a burning sensation? I do and wondered if this was a good thing. :)

          • carrie - It stung a little on the patches that were red (where I had scratch all the scales off – bad Carrie!) and/ or ‘wet’. They are so much better that there isn’t much to scratch at now so hardly any red or ‘wet’ to sting. I’ve got everything crossed for you – I’d love you to get the same result!

  • Wendy - Nizoral seemed to work for my husband, he would get these red patches all over his chest (especially when it was hot). After the family PA suggested trying Nizoral he hasn’t had any more trouble with the red patches (he still uses it a couple time a week though).ReplyCancel

  • Denise - So do you have to keep using it forever?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Denise – I have no idea, since I only used it for the first time a few weeks back. I have used it to shampoo my hair once a week since instead of every time. I wash my face with it once a week also. I’ll probably leave it for a couple of weeks now and see if the issue comes back. But even if I have to use it once a week for the rest of my life – I’m good with that in return for an eczema / psoriasis free life.ReplyCancel

  • Popcorn..... aka Cowgirl Rae - Awwwww Carrie, you rock!

    and I’m so very, very glad your outside is as beautiful and glowing as your inside.

    I don’t know why it works either, but since my husband has been using it for his dandruff he has been dandruff free after fighting it for a lifetime.

    (hugs) kisses (muah!)ReplyCancel

  • Denise - I don’t mind the once-a-week use… I just didn’t want to give up my luxurious fancy schmancy shampoo that I love for every day. :o) Some of those medicated shampoos can be pretty harsh on both hair & skin. :o) Thanks for the advice, though, I will definitely be trying it out on the weird flaky patches I have on the sides of my nose for the past few years that won’t go away!ReplyCancel

  • Gina - THANK YOU Carrie. My daughter and I have always struggled with red flaky painful areas around our scalps in the winter time (7 months in Minnesota! ) What the heck…after reading your post went and got a bottle and AMAZING, areas are already almost cleared!!!
    Wouldn’t have know about this little blue miracle if you didn’t write it up!!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - This makes me so happy, Gina!ReplyCancel

    • Cowgirl Rae - WOW! isn’t that remarkable….

      makes you wonder why doctors bother to go to school. When such little things that can be so life changing are not shared.

      How can the experts be so clueless?ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Mishevski - Yippie! This gives me hope! :)ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - I read your post and remembered how a friend used nizoral for a weird skin problem. My face has been broken out since about Feb. I started using it on my face a couple of weeks ago. My face is nearly clear. I mix a little nizoral with my face wash or my designer shampoo. That way I get the benefits without foregoing my favorite products. Thanks for sharing. Another happy person.ReplyCancel

  • Richard - Hey its kinda funny i was burned by steam, on my left hand and its gone and my right hand still has it, i dont know why? My doctors have always said it was eczema nothing else but i came up with the idea and they just agreed and said “yeah thats what it is!” :-(ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Richard – I had a similar experience: skidded across the tennis court on one elbow (ow) and lost all the psoriasis / eczema on it in the process. It never came back to that elbow, so assume that damaged cells just aren’t able to produce new cells like undamaged ones.ReplyCancel

Many years ago I had a huge Aha! moment while I was reading a story in one of Stephen Covey’s books.  The lesson that I learned from it has stayed with me since that day, and I have used it countless times to remind myself to keep things in perspective, especially when things aren’t going the way I had hoped.

The other week when I was thinking about the whole keeping resolutions thing, this story came leaping into my mind, and I wanted to share it with you.  Since I couldn’t find the exact story, I’m paraphrasing.  Undoubtedly I will butcher it from the original, and apologies in advance to the dearly departed Dr. Covey, who I had the absolute honor of meeting a few years ago.  I fear I was a bit like a giggling school girl as I waited excitedly to be introduced, but he took it all in his stride as I tried to compose myself and have a meaningful conversation.  Maybe I’ll post the picture.  You won’t recognize me, but I can assure you that it was indeed me grasping the poor man’s hand like he was pulling me out of the ocean into a life raft.  Meeting a life-long hero is a magical thing.

The Aha! story went something like this:

On the countertop in the cheery kitchen there was a cookie jar with some cookies in it.  The five children of the family came racing in the door after school and headed straight for the jar.  The 4 oldest children got there first and each took a cookie.  The smallest, youngest child brought up the rear and put his hand into the jar to find one cookie left.  As the small boy reached for it he noticed that it had a small piece missing.  Distraught at getting an imperfect cookie he wailed, “My cookie is all broken!” before grabbing it and hurling it on the floor, smashing it into several pieces and rendering it inedible.


Now granted, I hope that as adults we wouldn’t react that way if we found the only {grain-free, sugar-free} cookie left had a few crumbs missing, but the first time I read this I realized that I have done essentially this same thing over and over again when things haven’t been perfect.  Not literally hurled stuff on the floor and smashed it, you understand, but I do have a tendency to take my perfectionist streak (what me??  never!!) to levels that – looking back – have actually hindered my progress or joy, rather than advanced them.  And very often it’s been over things that  aren’t really important – like cookies.

I was reminded of this story when I was building my new kitchen and attached one of the cabinet door handles slightly out of alignment.  When I say ‘slightly out of alignment’ I mean it was so slight you’d have to know it to notice it.  But for a while there, instead of being totally stoked and terribly proud that I had built and installed an entire kitchen, and successfully attached dozens of other door handles in exactly the right place, I lost the joy in my enormous accomplishment and was so disappointed I hadn’t built a perfect kitchen.  No matter the fact that I had never built or installed a kitchen before, never drilled through cabinet doors to attach handles, and had no idea what I was doing when I started.  Friends would come over to see the new kitchen and as they “oooh’d” and “ahhh’d” I would invariably point out my handle failing.  They would just stare at me and say, “What is wrong with you??”  After several weeks of obsessing over my one handle failure I realized how completely crazy that thinking was.  My kitchen is gorgeous, slightly out of alignment handle and all.

Here’s another story from the it-has-to-be-perfect files.  For years I was reluctant to invite anyone over to my house unless it resembled a Pottery Barn store.  If the whole house wasn’t perfect there was no-one coming through that door.  One day I had a dear friend coming down from Canada to stay for a week.  I got so stressed about him seeing my house that it became tangible.  Shortly before he was due to arrive we were video-chatting over Skype and he asked me what was up.  I shared with him that my house wasn’t perfect and I was really stressed about him seeing it.  Never a man of many words, he just looked at me and said, “I am coming to see you, not your house”.  These days I always remember that comment when I feel myself getting antsy about someone coming over and seeing a pillow out of place or a kitty nose smudge on the window.  Miss out on the joy of spending time with someone I care about because my house isn’t perfect?  Doh.

So when I was thinking about keeping resolutions it occurred to me that many of us, metaphorically speaking, hurl our cookies on the floor and smash them when we stumble.  We have this “I’ve broken my resolution so I may as well just give up now”, or “I wasn’t perfect today so I’ve ruined any chance I have of reaching my goal”, or any number of variations on “I’m just not good enough”, “I’m broken”, “I’m a failure”.  We lose the joy and pride of what we have accomplished so far.  We throw away all the work we have done up to that point, slink away to lick our wounds, and maybe even console ourselves with *inSANE comfort food while feeling like complete failures.

Crazy, huh?

So the next time you aren’t perfect, you have a difficult day, or you slip up on a resolution you made or goal you set – don’t smash your cookie.  Revel in the progress you have made – even if it wasn’t quite as far as you had planned.  Feel the joy of success – even if you weren’t perfect this time.  Know that you are not a failure because you were slightly out of alignment one day.  Know that you can just pick up and keep moving towards your goal right now.

Already slipped on some of your resolutions or goals for 2015?  Don’t smash your cookie!



What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • ardys - What a great reminder, Carrie. When I had a new kitchen installed over 4 years ago, it was not perfect either. But it is gorgeous, and the best kitchen I’ve ever owned. When I see the imperfections I am reminded of the American Indians who used to put a small imperfection in their weavings, to remind them of human imperfection. If we were perfect we would be ‘Deity’. Thank you. I have been mostly SANE for a year this month and I forget sometimes the long road it has been to get here. xReplyCancel

  • David Williams - That’s pretty sweet for all us perfectionists Carrie!

    I have been having a hard time losing weight despite eating Sanely and low carb etc I had just plateaued for seemingly months and was getting discouraged but persistence pays off and it seems my fat cells are again however reluctantly surrendering fat to be burned and the scales have started shifting again. In times like this it’s as well to remember how far you have come and being consistent/not getting discouraged/falling off the wagon/smashing your cookies because the universe isn’t fair this month.

    Thanks for the reminder.ReplyCancel

  • Wren - Thanks for sharing your “character flaw” of perfectionism. I’m sure it resonates with many. Allowing our flaws to be visible, and sharing them with others, is such a blessing, actually. It shows others that none of us are perfect and we all have things about us that aren’t perfect, even if trying to be perfect is one of those things.

    One of my resolutions is to be more transparent myself, instead of always having a facebook (my-life-is-so-perfect) happy face. If I’m able to help others and potentially change their lives by example and advice, then they have to be able to relate to me.ReplyCancel

In this crazy, unbalanced world we live in, most people – at least in the “civilized” world – want or expect instant gratification.  I can push a button on a website and instantaneously receive a text from them.  In New York you can push a button up on Amazon.com and have the stuff delivered to your doorstep within 60 minutes.  I can post a picture or a status update on Facebook from my phone and within minutes have interactions from friends all over the world simultaneously.  I can upload a check (cheque) to my bank on my cell phone while sat at my kitchen island in my pajamas at 5:53 am, coffee in hand, and within 30 seconds have used that money to buy something online that will show up at my house the next day.  It’s magical.  I am constantly marveling at the technology we have in this day and age.  The things we can do are just totally stinkin’ awesome.  It wasn’t so long ago that getting a message to someone on the other side of the country  – or heaven forbid an entirely different country – took weeks if not months to arrive.  Now I can sit in my favorite green leather chair in my lounge in Seattle typing a message into my phone and have that message pop up on my brother’s cell phone or laptop in England within seconds.  It’s wild.  We can even communicate – in real time – while we’re flying through the air, 30,000′ above the ground and get a response back from someone on the ground or on another plane almost faster than our ability to think.  Sometimes the incredibleness of what we are able to do has me feeling like my head will explode trying to grasp the complete wonder of it all.

We’ve got so used to things around us happening immediately, to the point where we expect everything to work that way, but there’s some things that just don’t.  Our bodies are such an example, which is both ironic and annoying because it’s probably the thing we’d most like to have instantaneous results with.  And yet, every January when the New Year rolls around, we scour the internet for The Thing that will finally work miracles on our bodies.  The missing link.  The wonder potion or miracle diet that will magically make the number on the scale go down and the fat rolls shrink.  Every time Dr. Oz spins up another bottle of snake oil people all over America think this time it’s The One – despite the fact that he has been called on the carpet over and over again for peddling rubbish that doesn’t work.  Because surely in this instant gratification world that we find ourselves in, we must be smart enough to have developed something that will bypass nature and biology to transport us to health and body-fat-free nirvana in – at most – a week, right?  Even when people do start eating the right way – the way that actually causes their bodies to automatically  balance hormones and burn fat – they’re still secretly searching for The Thing that will make it all go faster and easier.  We’ve become Now Junkies.

I get it – I really do.  I haven’t always enjoyed the health and fat-loss I do now.  I understand the frustration of feeling like you’re not getting results.  I understand the intense emotional pull and excitement of all the infomercials and get-thin-quick potions, books, and programs.  I’ve been there.  We’re just so desperate for something that actually works to magically erase the results of years of dodgy food choices, messed-up hormones, and broken metabolisms.  Despite all I now know I still sometimes find myself wondering if maybe that latest Thing does work and whether it would allow me to get there faster or with less effort.  Newsflash: They don’t. They won’t.

The truth is, when it comes to health and fat-loss, there’s good news and there’s bad news.  I’ll give you the bad news first: There is no silver bullet.  There is no magical pill, potion, liquid, diet, program, or anything else that will transform your body into a healthy, fat-burning machine – especially in 7 days, 10 days, 2 weeks, or even a month.  There are no shortcuts to health and fat-loss.  Dear people – there is no secret.  Or rather, the secret is…there isn’t one.

So what’s the good news?  There is no silver bullet.

Wait.  WHAT?!  How is that good news?  It’s actually not ‘good’ news, it’s awesome news.

Diets (where a diet is defined as a way of eating that is not sustainable, viable, or reasonable to follow long-term or does not provide basic nutrition requirements) don’t work.  Raspberry ketones don’t work.  Green coffee beans don’t work. Slimfast doesn’t work.  I could go on and on.  And on.  But you’ve all seen the endless commercials, books, websites, videos, DVDs, and what-not proclaiming that this time our search for The Thing is over.  And it just occurred to me that they are all right.  Your search for The Thing IS over.  Because there isn’t A Thing.  Stop the search!  Let’s call this whole thing off.  That’s the awesome news.  You get to stop doing all those things that don’t work.  You get to stop spending money needlessly.  You get to stop counting calories, exercising for hours on end, and starving yourself.  You get to stop eating weird things and things that taste awful.  You get to stop being frustrated, hungry, tired, and grumpy.  And if that ain’t fantastic news, I don’t know what is.

Here’s what will result in long-term health and fat-loss: living a SANE lifestyle – which simply means eating the *SANEst real food that you can and pairing that with a small amount of eccentric exercise every week.  Then add some stress-reduction and improve the quality and amount of sleep.  That’s it.

You won’t get overnight results, not because a *SANE lifestyle doesn’t work, but because our bodies don’t work that way.  It takes time for our bodies to heal from years of dietary abuse and hormonal imbalances.  Your body didn’t take 4 weeks to get in the state it is today, so why do we think it’s possible to reverse all that in a heartbeat?  But when you have healed your body, got your hormones sorted out, and fixed your metabolism, your body will start to work as it is supposed to, which includes burning off stored fat.  And how do you make all that happen?  You simply live a SANE life.  The results won’t be immediate, but they will come.

So starting right now – if you are serious about getting healthy and burning body fat – here’s what I’d love for you to do:

  1. Stop spending money on diets, pills, potions, liquids, programs, books, DVDs, or anything else that promises you dramatic weight-loss results, or weight-loss results in a short amount of time.  Stop spending money on diets, pills, potions, liquids, programs, books, DVDs, strange sports equipment, or anything else that promises you weight-loss results with no little or no effort from you.  You’re wasting your money, truly you are.  In your heart you know it.
  2. Stop spending money on junk, fast, processed, sugary, and starchy foods.
  3. Instead, spend that money buying real food – the SANEst you can, a gym membership or some simple, inexpensive home equipment, and a Vitamix.

All the time I hear or see people complain about the price of real food – which will actually help them reach their goals – while simultaneously handing over their hard-earned $$$ for diets, pills, potions, liquids, programs, books, DVDs, or other things that will not.  Not only does the money spent on 1 and 2 above not get them closer to their goal, it actively moves them farther from it.  Spending hard-earned money on real, SANE foods will move you closer to your health and fat-loss goals than anything else.  Anything.

I realize that this may not be what you wanted to hear, but I want you to know the truth far more than I want to be popular.  I *really, really* want you to reach your health and fat-loss goals, so I simply refuse to tell you lies in order to make money or win friends.  You need the truth if you are going to reach your goals and stay there permanently.

If you came here looking for the latest, greatest flashy program with innumerable fancy videos and other bright shiny ways to persuade you to part with your cash in return for something that sounds like weight-loss utopia, you’re in the wrong place.  If you’re looking for a hype-free, sales-pitch-free, gimmick-free lifestyle that will help you reach your wellness and fat-loss goals permanently – plus a whole bunch of delicious recipes to help get you there – you’re in exactly the right place.

There is no silver bullet.  The faster we truly internalize this, the sooner we can start focusing on doing what will get us to where we want to go.  And the sooner we will get there.





What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Danielle - I love this post so much Carrie, all I can say is WORD!! Here’s cheers to living a SANE lifestyle – it’s not about fixing the bark or the leaves of the tree, it’s about working on healing the roots to sustain long term health and wellness. Yipeee to that and hooray for people like you xxxReplyCancel

  • Susan - Well said!ReplyCancel

  • Pat - Having tried almost all of the above, I say Amen! You are absolutely correct. Keep it simple by eating real food and the right amount of exercise. Thanks Carrie!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn - Carrie, what a fantasticaly truthful, realistic and honest post. It is so easy to think “what if those magic beans DO work”.

    People are paid large salaries to seduce us, the magazines all have headlines which imply that if you follow a few simple steps you will look like their “body beautiful” model. Who, as well as being lucky in the genetic material she was given, also has the full time job of “being a gorgeous as she can be”.

    Thanks again for telling what I (should) already know!! xReplyCancel

  • Joan - Thank you, Carrie! I am new to SANE eating, but I am not new to having tried every other diet and gimmick out there! At 64 I have been on diets all my life. It has taken me all this time to realize that they do not work long term…. that is not what they are meant to do. SANE eating IS meant to be long term…. forever! Thank you for all your help to give us delicious recipes to stay SANE and for your entertaining. informative dialogue. You can be sure that I will be reading,,, and using your recipes.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Thank you, Joan! I hope that what I do continues to help and support you in your journey.ReplyCancel

  • STOP » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE Lane - […] There Is No Silver Bullet […]ReplyCancel

  • Wren - So well said and with your usual humor intact, “Your search for The Thing IS over. Because there isn’t A Thing. Stop the search! Let’s call this whole thing off. That’s the awesome news. You get to stop doing all those things that don’t work. ” I LOVE that! We really do need to quit working so hard at it (health/weight loss) and just get out of nature’s way. Let our bodies do it’s own healing, which is only possible if we give it the right materials to work with (whole foods, healthy fats, etc).ReplyCancel

I decided that a lovely, *SANE muffin – or twelve – was an excellent way to start the year.  So I made you Raspberry Almond Muffins, or, as my brother pointed out while we were Skyping a few weeks back, a Bakewell Tart in a cupcake.  If you don’t know what a Bakewell Tart is, now you can experience what one tastes like without the accompanying *inSANEity that a traditional one would give you.  I call that a win win.

I didn’t have plans to make you anything raspberry in the middle of winter until I toddled into Trader Joe’s and saw 12 oz boxes of fresh raspberries for $3.49.  Wait.  What??  Even in summer I get excited if I see 6 oz for $3.99.  But 12 oz for less than that IN DECEMBER??  Those sparkling, deep red berries were coming home in my basket.  Boom!  Scrumptious Raspberry Almond Muffins powered me around Southern Oregon and Northern California for the holidays.  Hurrah!


There were several iterations of these produced before they were up to par for sharing with you, mainly because there was this very upsetting fruit-falling issue.  No one likes a soggy bottom.  But you know me – never one to let a sinking raspberry halt the parade.

I had lovely reader Wren Tidwell test the final recipe for me and her verdict was, “They are beautiful and delicious!”  Thanks, Wren!

Here.  Have a Raspberry Almond Muffin.  And a very Happy {SANE} New Year!

Raspberry Almond Muffins
Author: Carrie Brown | www.carriebrown.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • 6 oz. / 170g almond flour (NOT almond meal)
  • 1 oz. / 30g chia seeds, ground
  • 1 oz. / 30g egg white powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 oz. / 85g xylitol
  • 1 tsp. guar gum
  • 6 oz. / 170g fresh raspberries
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  • 6 fl. oz. / 3/4 cup thin coconut milk (carton)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F
  2. Spray muffin tins or silicone cups with coconut oil
  3. In a large bowl mix the almond flour, ground chia seeds, egg white powder, sea salt, baking powder, xylitol, and guar gum together well.
  4. Cut raspberries in to quarters.
  5. Gently mix raspberries into the dry mixture.
  6. In a small bowl mix the egg, almond extract, and thin coconut milk together well.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir quickly and well. It will be very thick.
  8. Use a quarter cup (or similar) to scoop mixture out into muffins cups / tins.
  9. Bake in center of oven for 40 minutes.
  10. Remove from the cups / tins as soon as they are cool enough to handle and cool completely on a wire rack before packing in an airtight container.



What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Brenda - These look so yummy! Can’t wait to make them! Just wondering where you get your egg white powder? I can’t find anything cheaper then $10 for 3 oz… and that don’t make it into my budget!!ReplyCancel

  • Patricia - Hi Carrie Your recipes really make my cooking so much fun. Here in Tasmania(Australia) I cannot find egg white powder anywhere. We do have fresh egg whites in a carton though but I feel this may really alter the outcome. Any suggestions? Many ThanksReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hi Patricia! I can’t guarantee this will work, but if I were in your situation I would start with adding 2 egg whites and reducing the coconut milk by the same amount (measure the fluid volume of the whites first) and see how that works. Let me know how it goes!ReplyCancel

      • Patricia - Thanks Carrie. I will try this next weekend. I made your cheesy scones yesterday OMG how good are they? Having just read the SANE post on weight loss for post menopausal women I need to cut the treats down to only very occasionally as I have CFS and it makes it hard to do the required exercise .Still everyone needs a little treat every now and then!ReplyCancel

  • Staci Thompson - Carrie, I made these this morning and they were wonderful! I used blueberries (quartered) in some and raspberries in others and both were just excellent. Thank you so much for this recipe!ReplyCancel