Hello. Hello!

If my brain was fitted with a Bluetooth device that could send all my thoughts to my blog without me having to type them, there would have been a new post every single day for the last 5 months that I’ve been MIA, because while there may have been zero typing around here, there’s been a LOT of thinking going on.  If Mr. McHenry or Daisy would just buckle up and learn to type I could have dictated more blog posts than you could’ve read in a year, there’s been that much contemplation afoot.

Since the end of January there has also been countless hours of reading, a substantial amount of napping, 5000 10,500-odd miles of road-tripping, some 6 million daffodils, a profusion of experiments to hide the taste of ascorbic acid in Liposomal Vitamin C (yes! I’ve been back in the kitchen!), an amazingly badass mentor, a rain-forest, a few Big Breakfast Adventures, the installation of a sauna in my garage, more water than I think I’ve drunk in the the previous 10 years of my life, days surfing The Internet reading articles, blog posts, and papers on nutrition, a significant quantity of really good chocolate, a house-guest from Europe, migration to an iPhone (!!!), a somewhat scary load of Trader Joe’s Pork Belly, several conversations with England, movie nights with my BFF, an outrageous volume of sautéed leeks, daily Comedy Hours hosted by Mr. McHenry – often with Florence as special guest, an abundance of magnesium flake baths, a trip to the Landscape and Garden Show which *almost* resulted in the purchase of one of these for my yard and did result in the purchase of some Haitian oil drum art: because awesome.  There’ve been far, *far* too many extra hours at the day job, the odd spot of gardening, an abundance of lamb chops, pork chops, duck thighs, and bison burgers, a blissful quota of saunas, all the usual laundry, car maintenance (yep, broke my brakes in Colorado and wore out my tire treads in Utah), lawn-mowing, dish-washing, vacuuming, grocery-shopping, sheet-changing, toilet-cleaning, pruning, mopping and other assorted home-dwellers requirements, and, after 25 years of not drinking – a few bottles of vino (I did not slurp it all at once).  Did I mention far too many hours at the day job?

www.carriebrown.com

Holy smokes.  Makes me wonder how I even found time for thinking, let alone writing.  And now, here I am, finally back at the keyboard attempting to become a human Bluetooth while simultaneously rebooting my typing abilities less than 2 weeks 1 week before I head out on another road-trip when I still haven’t shared the adventures of the last one two three four six.  And boy, what grand adventures they were!  Sigh.

Now you might think that the reason I haven’t been writing is obvious.  That it was simply because I’ve been far too busy doing all of the above, plus, you know, gallivanting around the western United States shooting pretty things and generally scratching my explorer itch; but that wouldn’t be true because I could have chosen to write instead of doing much of what I did spend my time on.  And since one of the things I like most about myself (and also the thing that bites me in the a** most) is that I tell it how it is, I don’t feel good about letting you think I was just busy being busy with life.

If I boil it all down I would say there’s 3 things that have kept me from being here like I used to be.  WARNING: this could very well get rambly and maybe even a little ranty.  I am just letting my thoughts go where they will.  Feel free to tell me how you feel about it in the comments.  Here’s a very lovely daffodil to soften the blow.

www.carriebrown.com

First, and most important: the hugely underrated R ‘n’ R.  When you’re going through the fundamental healing processes that I have been since last September things can go much faster if you rest.  When you’re detoxing like it’s your job, napping is right up there at the top of the most important things to do.  I’m not a good napper.  I’m not a good sitter-on-the-couch-er.  I’m just not good at not doing.  So while my body is reveling in this newly-learned skill, my brain has been quietly going mad with the frustration of not being productive.  However, I am acutely aware that my insistence on scoffing at rest and relaxation aided and abetted my health downfall, so I’ve forced myself to just stop with all the activity.

The real dilemma here is how I do all the things that I want to do while also embracing rest and relaxation.  I have a day job that heralds on average a 53-hour work week (sans commute).  This blog, recipe development, and my cookbooks are another more-than-fulltime pursuit, and while I managed to do both for several years, it’s not healthily sustainable.  Sustainable – yes.  Healthily sustainable – clearly not.  Since I have never earned one bean from any of the things I did with The Bailornator, and the revenue from my cookbooks only partly covers the production costs of this blog, recipes, and cookbooks themselves,  quitting the day job to spend my time here is not an option (at this point, anyway).  So given that what pays my bills is my day job, I have had to take the R ‘n’ R part out of all this goodness.  Sad but true.

Secondly, and in all honesty, I  became rather burned out with it all.  The eye-rolling, never-ending arguments about which diet is The One, snake oil sales people bombarding every possible means of social media and communication with their silver bullet infomercials, snazzy videos, sneaky (and often not so sneaky) sales emails, and so many various detox / weight-loss / healthy gut / fat-loss summits that in reality tell you nothing new but always require a bunch of $$ at the end, and the unbelievable amount of misinformation bandied about by ‘experts’ and manufacturers, {many} doctors and ‘gurus’, {many} dieticians and anyone else who is just trying to make a buck off folks desperate to feel great and finally be able to lose a few pounds.

I swear I am going to smack my screen if I see one more recipe with ‘healthy’ in the title followed by a list of nutritional insanity that will make you fatter faster than a rabbit at the races.  And then just when you think you’ve got it all straight about what is right and what is wrong you come across something else or someone else (with credentials up the ying-yang and sometimes a body like Ted Naiman) saying the opposite.  Wait. What??  If you follow all the health shenanigans seriously, it’s exhausting.  How in the world anyone is supposed to successfully navigate all this stuff without losing their mind and / or their will to live is beyond me.

Not to mention the social requirements of it all became so tedious and overwhelming if you wanted to do it right. You mustn’t post on your blog unless you’ve written it in such a way as to maximize every search engine to get the highest ranking possible – which means you need to manipulate the title, the subtitle, the paragraphs, the links, the number of times you mention the title, tags, categories, images, blah, blah, di blah, blah, blah!  It is all so contrived.  Lordy it takes longer to do all that than it does to write the darn content.  Exhausting.  I didn’t even want to log into my dashboard anymore.

The ridiculousness of having to comment on other bloggers posts in order to get them to comment on yours.  Following someone on social media just to get another like for yourself in return.  Buying followers to bump up your figures.  And over the years I’ve watched all this going on and thought, “Where’s the honesty? Why isn’t great content enough for someone to get heard and applauded?” And I just didn’t want to be a part of it, because I have never cared about the numbers.  I am not trying to make a fortune, become famous, get a book deal, have the most followers on any social media platform, or win awards.  I would much rather have low numbers than fake numbers.  My ego doesn’t need to see large numbers in order to know I am of worth.  I am not in competition with anyone and I don’t care what anyone thinks of me.  You certainly don’t tell the world you have Bi-Polar II Disorder if you care what people think.  Nope.  I am just here sharing my life in the hopes that it will help or inspire someone else that in turn leads them to a better life.

I got to the point where I was just wanted to throw my hands up in the air and run away.  So I did.  To Death Valley, where I regained some sense of peace and sanity.  It was entirely my intention to return home from my time down south and throw myself back into blogosphere to add what value I could to others lives, but I quickly discovered after I kicked off my well-traveled Converses and plonked myself down at my desk to type that I had not come back any more excited to rejoin the fray of bickering and one-upping and deliberate misinformation and downright ugliness that is increasingly casting it’s cloud over the wellness landscape.

And thirdly – in large part because of #2 above – I once again find myself questioning the value I provide to you with what I create in this space.  While it is very true that I don’t do this for $$$, it has to have a worthy purpose beyond my own love of doing it for it to be a worthwhile endeavor.  I am just not wired to do stuff purely for my own enjoyment. OK, taking myself off to my Happy Place for breakfast once in a while – yes, but spending 3 days a week creating stuff and not share with others what they might find useful, uplifting, or inspiring – no.  So I became torn about my place in the world (again).

When this all started 4 years ago there was pretty much nowhere else you could get truly healthy recipes from (and certainly nothing that aligned with the SANE approach) and my whole reason for existing was to provide those for you.  Then, over the last 2 years while I’ve been working on fixing my pesky health issues a plethora of blogs showed up where you can get recipes to follow any diet out there, so you no longer need me for that; and yet every time I resolve to walk away from here and reinvent myself to find another cause where I can use my skills to cheerlead and help I find you {virtually} standing in my path letting me know that you miss me.  I for the life of me do not know or understand what it is that you miss, but I cannot help but accept that you do.  I think about all the emails and comments I receive letting me know that your life is better because I am in it – even if it is just in the form of words and images on a screen.  Or I’ll read something online and think, “This is bullshit.  I need to do what I can to help people figure out the truth from the peddler’s nonsense”. And goodness knows there’s an avalanche of people peddling nonsense out there.  I’ve experienced so much, I’ve learned so much, and I have so much worth sharing.

But I don’t want to add to the confusion.  And I don’t want to be lumped in with all the other snake oils salesmen.  And I don’t want to follow some contrived formula for getting the most likes or followers.  My voice is so quiet in amongst the cacophony of people trying to make a quick buck from the whole wellness circus.  My reach is so small given my budget for marketing and other assorted manipulations is zero.  Is it even worth trying to be heard?

So then another few weeks went by without feeling any clarity about what I needed to do and before I knew it another road trip rolled along.  So off I jollied to Colorado where I left my brake pads, rotors and the best part of the treads on my tires (and as a result $1209.11).  But what I came back with was a sense that I just needed to be me in this space.  Share when I can rather than on a if-you-don’t-post-3-times-a-week-you’re-a-failure schedule, write about anything that I felt had the potential to make others lives better, feel free change the format to make it easier to write more often, and stop feeling bound by having to continue what I’d done before.  I’m going with the flow.  And giving you another daffodil. Because daffodils make me happy.

www.carriebrown.com

You can take what you love, what is helpful, what inspires you, and move along when it’s not something that resonates.  You can follow or not follow, subscribe or unsubscribe, like or not like.  You can love the recipes and hate the road trips, or vice versa.  If you stop getting anything meaningful here I encourage you to seek wisdom elsewhere.    It is impossible for me to please everyone.  I simply cannot spend any more energy thinking about whether I am doing it right when I could be using that time to create something of value.  So I am just going to create and see what happens.

So what’s new?  What’s different?  And what’s coming?

This is still a work in progress, but I was determined to get this post out tonight COME WHAT MAY so here is what I have so far:

Thanks to my newly acquired jumping-of-the-ship to an iPhone I have recently fully embraced Instagram and Flickr.  You can take a peek and then hang out with any or all of the pages that appeal to you:

@carrieontrippin : day-to-day moments captured with my iPhone (6S+)

@biggirlcamera : road trips, landscapes, flowers, fences, barns, trees, and whatever else grabs my attention captured with my Big Girl Camera (Nikon D750)

@lifeinthesanelane : food, recipes, and sane living captured with both iPhone and Big Girl Camera

@mistermchenry : yes, I really did. Because if you can’t have fun, what’s the point?!  The world according to Mr. McHenry.

 

Flickr: CarrieBrownBlog : road trips, landscapes, flowers, fences, barns, trees, and whatever else grabs my attention captured with my Big Girl Camera (Nikon D750)

I’ve started writing over on Medium. There’s so much stuff I think about and want to write about that doesn’t feel like it quite fits here in this space.  There’s only a couple of pieces up there so far, but there’ll be a lot more coming.  You’ll find all the random musings there.  They night be rantier, more sensitive, and more controversial.  Who knows at this point.

https://medium.com/@CarrieBrownBlog

www.carriebrown.com

Recipes

There will be recipes, but the focus is going to be on very much simpler recipes and meal ideas that require minimal time to make.  Recipes that work in the real everyday working world where no one has time to spend an hour every night making almond flour pizza dough and baking grain-free, sugar-free cakes and cookies, but no one wants to down 3 whey protein shakes a day in the interests of maximum nutrition in the least time.

Newsletters

There is some fantastic information out there that I want you to have but don’t have time to write blog posts on, so I am going to be using a more newsletter-style format regularly to give you the links you need to get the info directly.  I’ll also be introducing you to amazing people who have great stuff to share.

 

That’s all I got right now.  I’ve missed you too.

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Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Francesca - Thank goodness you are back! I have unsubscribed from so many emails and blogs of late because – like you – I’ve got fed up with marketing and material that looks like information but is designed to hook me in. Plus there is SO MUCH mis-information and ‘expert’ views that are polar opposites. I have retained 2 blog sites, 1 is “Inside Out Style” by an Australian stylist and the other is yours. I have 3 of your recipe books, and that is plenty for me to use. It is all the other stuff and the honesty you show, you really have the ability to connect.
    It is an odd thing about this web-connected world we live in; I feel I almost know you and if I saw you somewhere I would recognise you, but you wouldn’t know me at all. It is weird really. Isn’t it odd to matter to people you’ve never met? Anyhow, glad you are back and I’m going to check out your other blog, but not instagram, flickr, snapchat or any of the other sites – it becomes overload. :)
    FrancescaReplyCancel

  • Suzanne - Love, love, love (as usual)! Some of this same stuff drives me absolutely batty too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and since I don’t do Instagram or Flickr, I will look for you on Medium (and FB, of course). Thanks for always keeping it real-you’re the best!ReplyCancel

  • David Williams - Carrie – we miss you because we’ve been following you and your journey. We miss you because you’re hilarious. We miss you because in the world of snake-oil salesman YOU are the genuine article. We miss you because you make our journey through life easier and better. We miss you because we really like you!ReplyCancel

    • Amanda - This! I love this blog because it’s a breath of fresh air. And despite what you said about there being so many blogs now for any kind of diet, I find it difficult to find both low carb /paleoish AND sugar free including no honey (aka sane) without spending hundreds of dollars on Bailor’s services themselves, which I don’t have the budget for.

      Plus hearing about your journey has been amazingly inspiring. Please don’t drive yourself crazy with the rewording and search engine maximization garbage. Word of mouth can and should do all that for you, especially if you don’t care about the money. (Though I do understand how it would be nice to make a living off this alone)

      Just wanted to add to the “yay you are back! Please don’t leave again…” Group.ReplyCancel

      • carrie - Amanda – it’s interesting you say that because all low carb recipes *should* be sugar-free!! (There are no recipes on JB’s site that you cannot find elsewhere on the internet for free.)ReplyCancel

  • gordon Mott - Hi Carrie. Well it must be at least 2 years since we last connected. Somehow I left the SANE world and have stayed fat since then losing a few pounds. I recently went on a fitness regime as I do an annual hike in my beloved Lake district, and I did so much better on the hills this year due to regular HIIT (High intensity interval training) on my x trainer and some hill training. However…..I still have a large amount of body fat around my middle (the dangerous fat), and it’s time I lost it and became a new man again at 56.
    So…I decided to return to the one thing that ever made most sense to me……SANE eating…..and I was somewhat shocked to see that JB has ramped up the marketing, following a 3 hour webinar, a massive sales heat that was endlessly repetitive, and extolling how much savings I will make, and wanting me to depart with a lot of money which I do not have. I can honestly say, I was really disappointed that JB as genuine and nice man that he is, has succumbed to that often seen American hype and
    endless salesmanship, which us Brits just hate.
    Next I ventured back to your website, and I wondered why you left the JB show as you have not been on it for some time, and also the absence of posts on this site. I have been much relieved to hear your latest post (thank you as always for being so real, you have so much to contribute). I’m sorry to hear that you have been battling health issues, but it sounds as if you are getting there.
    So here I am, back to SANE, seeing the vast array of e books by JB on SANE recipes, your wonderful web site full of free recipes, and trying to find a way for me and my wife that simplfies things and which is sustainable.
    I like to snack so at the weekend I made Baba Ganoush and a tuna dip, without the crackers and biscuits but with crudites. Very nice….but miss Nairns oatmeal crackers. The weight is reducing, but need to get your recipe books I think.
    BTW, thank you so much again for sending me a free gift of your ice cream book a few years ago (I won a competition!), but I still need to get the ice cream maker this Summer and make them.
    Thanks again Carrie, and if you need to reply to this privately by email due to the issues raised, please do.
    Lots of love…………..Gordon XReplyCancel

  • Debra sanders - Welcome back. I literally checked into this spot yesterday to see if maybe I had been missing your blog posts. I was worried about you. You have so much to offer us with your honesty. I too have been busily unsubscribing from the massive amounts of “health sites” bombarding my Facebook and email. It is so apparent they are in it for the money. I’m so sick of the scare tactics. I’m just so glad to hear that you are working on getting healthy. I want to share your journey.ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Wow! It’s weird and amazing how many points you made that mirror my feelings. I appreciate the opportunity to share your Journey when you feel inspired to do so. I look forward to the adventure.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Carrie, thanks for coming back. I look forward to your posts, and have appreciated the time you take to keep us up on your journey. Though it is different from mine, some of the issues are the same, and that means I get to see my own issues from a different point of view, always helpful.
    I was not aware of what it takes to be a top Blogger! Or even tat there was competition to be such. What a drag! I hope that you can go forward as a labor of love, that is, something you love to and that we love to read. Because we Do! And thank You!
    Just sayin’, I have made up your ice cream recipes about a zillion times. I don’t exactly live on them, but they sure add that satisfying something after dinner that all the green smoothies in the world can’t do!
    More thank yous!ReplyCancel

  • Barb - Thank you! I’ve missed you! So happy you are well! Carry on!ReplyCancel

  • Amy V. - I too am glad you are back. I love that you are “real”. You rant, you have health issues you are dealing with, you praise when due (and berate when needed also), you are not constantly spouting the “latest & greatest, must-have-or-you-will-die” health miracle and yes…you are not here every day. And I REALLY appreciate that. It gets to a point where one feels like a failure because you do not, or cannot, buy all the latest “this will make yourself well” especially when reading the mostly crap that comes at us constantly So you are a breath of fresh air when you tell it like it is. And sharing your struggles helps me realize that I am not alone. And sometimes when we struggle with health issues, weight issues, etc…well sometimes we just need that. So thank you for coming back. :)ReplyCancel

  • Lori - Glad to see that you’re back Carrie! I always look forward to everything you have to share.ReplyCancel

  • Sue - A smile came across my face when I got the alert that there was a new post on your site. We love you just because you’re you! You said it best: “I am just here sharing my life in the hopes that it will help or inspire someone else that in turn leads them to a better life.” It does help. You do inspire. You passion for nature, kitties, to say nothing of your delicious recipes, keeps us all interested, happy, and loving you. Only post when you feel inclined. We’ll be here. (P.S. Way back when, early on in your blog, when I discovered your passion for your kitties….I was hooked. We share the passion.) >^..^<

    SueReplyCancel

  • Ellen - Thank GOD you’re back! I’ve aimlessly branched out to a variety of podcasts in your absence which have left me confused – am I stagnating due to the absence of powdered greens in my diet?
    Your return is like a breath of fresh air! You inspire me to get back to basics and simplicity and to enjoy great music on my commutes instead of tuning in to the SANE show and enduring that insanely peppy, giggling woman and praying that THIS will be the episode where you return!
    Glad you’re back in whatever venue / format / media outlet you feel inspired to use. You know we will follow. You know you’re loved! <3ReplyCancel

  • Patricia - Hi Carrie,
    I was only thinking of you in the shower this morning, how odd where your mind takes you when relaxing under hot water! I was thinking where are you and I hope you are ok.
    Like you I am sick to death of all the differing info on what to eat and the constant sales pitch from all the “experts”.
    Who really has time to make all this beautiful food all the time. I look forward to seeing quick and easy meals for busy times. Mind you your chocolate/coffee biscuits are the best and worth the effort.
    I love following JB but the cost when converted into Aussie dollars is prohibitive. I hate all the pre-packaged goods and health bars.
    You really do inspire me Carrie, your honesty, your humour, your beautiful photography. If you are ever in Tasmania I would just love to cook you a (SANE) meal. Take care of yourself and so pleased you are back.ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - Carrie, it is so good to hear from you again. I am glad that you are making progress in so many ways. :)

    I want you to know that you are a big part of why I am continuing down the SANE path, despite my results not being as quick or dramatic as I would like them to be. It helps to hear from someone struggling with some of the same things I am. And your incredible sense of humor and positivity (is that even a word?) make all the difference. I hope some day you’ll be able to do more podcasts with Jonathan…the two of you are such fun together.

    I’m very excited about the new recipes you’re planning. In my ideal world, supper would take less than 30 minutes of hands-on prep and be done in an hour or less. Simple is great.ReplyCancel

  • Wendi - Carrie, I am glad you are back. I have missed you. I, too, am tired and overwhelmed with all the “healthy” diets out there. Thank you for your honesty and all that you do. I look forward to trying your new recipes. Take care of yourself.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - Great to see you back and I love the sound of “the middle way” re. recipes – not elaborate, but not stark either.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Girl, you KNOW I could have written half of this myself! I am *this close* to closing up shop and quitting nutrition altogether! I feel like a too-quiet voice in a sea of shysters, liars, and people out to make as much $$ as they can, as quickly as they can. I don’t want to be painted with the same brush. I grow increasingly disgusted and disillusioned by it all. Not to mention the conversation I had the other day with someone “in the know,” who confirmed what I already suspected to be true: the number of “gurus” in Paleo and keto land who have eating disorders and are completely misleading their fans is higher than any of us would imagine. They’d like to make us *believe* that their uber-trim physiques, thigh gaps, and jutting hipbones are the easy-peasy and natural result of doing nothing but following a very basic Paleo/LCHF/ketogenic diet, when in reality, they spend 20 hours a day obsessing over calories, and the other 4 hours in the gym, indulging their pathological exercise addiction.

    Not for me.
    Pass the ice cream for crissake.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - And that is exactly why you need to stay, Awesome Amy. Because the world needs us to be the voice of reason in this madness otherwise everyone will continue to be forever lost in a sea of snake oil and sales pitches design to relieve them of their money but not their sickness or their chunky bits. We need to start a movement! We need to show the world that it is very possible to be a normal person living a normal life and still attain vibrant health and a healthy weight.

      PS. If you’re going to eat ice cream for the love of god (or whoever) buy my damn ice cream book and stay LCHF doing it! :-)ReplyCancel

  • Wren Tidwell - As the others have said, I’ve missed you to. What a bright spot you bring to my facebook notifications or email inbox when there is an update from you. I actually like the randomness and irregularity of your posts. It seems more natural. Other bloggers that post every day or at least very regularly, well… sometimes you get the feeling that they are just filling space – doing their duty – when they really don’t have anything new to say. Either that, or they are always trying to sell you something. THAT’S when I delete their email or unsubscribe. I understand that people need to make a living but I can’t take a sales pitch every day. That’s gets overwhelming.

    So do whatever the heck you want Carrie and post whenever and about whatever you want. That’s why we love you. Be yourself. Be random. Give what you can give to us faithful readers and keep the rest to yourself and your RnR.

    And remember when it comes to any of your new recipes, you have this dear Texan friend who is more than willing to give them a test or two in my amateur kitchen before they are posted (wink wink).ReplyCancel

  • Tina - It’s so great to see you’re back, Carrie! I’ve also missed you and love reading what you have to talk about.
    Thank you for your honesty and openness. You make the rest of us a little more brave.
    Carry on!ReplyCancel

  • Raina - AHHH!!! I come back to your site and am treated with all of these wonderful blog posts from yourself! *immediately subscribes to everything* So so very wonderful to see you posting, I love your writing and everything that you do. I’m going to whip up some peanut butter mousse and swap a netflix binge for a Carrie Brown binge to catch up on all of the reading :DReplyCancel

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