A year ago after I lobbed a blog post at you and ran for cover, having thrown caution to the wind and introduced you to the elephant in the room, I got a lot of feedback.  The vast majority of it came in the form of joyful whoops and hollers, love, gratitude, and understanding.

“This spoke to me.”

“You got this!”

“You are such an inspiration to me.”

“I love that you are so real – sharing all the ups and downs and not making yourself out to be perfect.  You’re on a journey, just like the rest of us.”

“I suffer in a similar way – I am so thankful that you shared your journey.”

“It’s so reassuring to know that SANE helps with even really tough situations like this.”

“I am so thankful to know that there are other people who struggle with the same things I do.  You give me hope.”

“Thank you for being so brave and putting this all out there.  It really helps.”


But there’s always one isn’t there.  In this instance there were a few.  A few dregs came from the thing that the Internet has aptly named The Troll.  I rather like referring to them as the SANE Slayers and the Brown Bashers.

“See!!  SANE doesn’t work!  SANE is dangerous!  SANE makes people suicidal!”

“You should stop telling people about SANE.  You’re bringing SANE a bad name.  People are going to look at you and say you eat SANE and you’re nuts.  You aren’t the poster child for SANE after all.  You’re not perfectly healthy so you make SANE look like a scam.”


I know what you’re thinking.  Yeah.  There was all kinds of stupidity and ignorance involved.

So consider this scenario and think about it for a moment.  You won’t need to think for long.

Esmeralda ate a spectacularly SANE, nutrient dense diet and was the epitome of glowing health, having transformed her life by choosing to eat in such an incredibly healthy way.  Then one day she ate a peanut and became so ill that she nearly died. 


Now The Trolls in this world would clap their hands in glee, shouting, “See!!  SANE doesn’t work!  SANE is dangerous!  SANE makes people so ill they could die!” or “You should stop telling people about SANE.  You’re bringing SANE a bad name.  People are going to look at you and say you eat SANE and you’re almost dead.  You aren’t the poster child for SANE after all.  You’re not perfectly healthy so you make SANE look like a scam.”


Hey, call me crazy but I blame the peanut.


{TROLL SPOILER ALERT!  Since the SANE Slayers and Brown Bashers are too busy clapping to actually think, I’ll give them the answer: Esmeralda is allergic to peanuts and her illness has absolutely nothing to do with anything SANE}


Because no normal person could seriously believe that eating SANE would either cause or cure a peanut allergy or Bi-Polar Disorder or a broken leg or an infection from a cut.  If the King of SANE (Hi! Jonathan!) knows that SANE does not cure the world of all that ails it (and has never claimed otherwise), and celebrates and promotes my SANE successes in spite of some of my body parts not working perfectly, are people really going to listen to the SANE Slayers and Brown Bashers when they spout forth ridiculous assertions of either SANE being dangerous or me bringing it a bad name because I have Bi-Polar?



Now we’ve got that old chestnut out of the way, buckle up – we’re going on a journey!



What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • David Williams - hahaha Carrie. Well said. Don’t worry about the trolls. I’m glad you popped your head up again.ReplyCancel

  • Dr Mike Keen - CHOCKS GONE……READY FOR TAKE OFF!!!ReplyCancel

  • Helen Overton - Hello from Australia – you are an inspiration and those people are jealous of your successes and would never learn from their own non–successes.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara in Tx - You rock Carrie! Any new cookbooks in the works? I LOVE your recipes! Thanks for hanging in there with us. I’d not be as strong as you and would stay under a rock…….ReplyCancel

  • Allison - I always get excited to see a post from you in my inbox. Will look forward to more when you are ready. Life would be boring without a few Trolls. They’ll get what they deserve in the end. :) PS: Maybe you should make a trip to Panama…? They could use some education about SANE. Rice! So. Much. Rice.ReplyCancel

  • jonny - Imperfect people who are in the daily struggle are the one’s who I’ve found most trustworthy. Those perfect bodied, perfect spouse, perfect life people are oftentimes the worst of the bunch.ReplyCancel

  • Mindy - I’m eating your Carrot Soup today, love your recipes and feel better than I have in years! You are benefiting so many people, please don’t listen to trolls.ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - Some people view everything with such a warped lens – and see exactly what they want to. You will never reach them, and you shouldn’t even give them the time of day. I think that the percentage of us who believe far outweigh those other creeps. :)
    Thanks to your giving nature, so many more people are enjoying health and wellness. You got it going on, Carrie Brown!! Hugs!!ReplyCancel

  • Wren Tidwell - Carrie, I believe that character flaws and physical imperfections, make us believable and someone that other people can relate to. Nobody’s perfect and if you try to convince the world you are, you will have lost your credibility. This has been one of my goals and struggles this year, to be more transparent. You cannot grow and learn unless you have a challenge to get over.

    Thank you for sharing. You inspire me.

    There will always be haters and trolls. One of the best pieces of advice I got for subbing a fitness class was to look beyond the skeptic and pay the most attention to those with a smile on their face. You have way more fans then skeptics.ReplyCancel

  • Maria Polczynski - SANE has totally changed my life! It has made me feel like a better version or the best version of myself! I never knew how much potential my body and mind had until I read “The calorie Myth” By Jonathan Bailor. I faced my fears and started going to the gym and to yoga. Had the best information and personal training from Wednesday Vail. I will never be or look like I did in my 20s but I actually feel better now than I did 20years ago! Thanks to Wednesday, Mr. Bailor and the wonderful recipes from Mrs. Carrie Brown. I couldn’t ask for a better team of experts!!!! Thanks to all!!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Vaccaro - Being Sane is the closest thing to healthy that I have been in a really long time. No offense to Jonathan, love him too, but if it weren’t for your part of the podcasts and your great recipes, I probably would have given up long ago. Thanks for being there with all of us less than perfects. ..ReplyCancel

  • Tina - I can’t believe that the elephant post was posted already a year (!) ago! What had happened to this year? When had it passed? As for the trolls – some of them are even disguised as well meaning people – these are the worst. And for them you can’t do it right. If you loose fat fast it’s proof to them how unhealthy and unsustainable it is, and if you loose it slowly it’s proof that it “doesn’t work”.ReplyCancel

  • Denise - “How people treat you is THEIR karma; how you react is YOURS.” Wise words from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer Sending you love from Canada!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - You go girl!!!ReplyCancel

In my experience, when life convenes to prevent you from doing things you absolutely love to do, it’s usually because you aren’t listening to the little whisperings from The Universe telling you there is something else more important that you need to be focused on.  If you continue to not listen or are simply being stubborn for too long, life has no choice but to cut you off.  A few months back I wrote about feeling stuck and where my thoughts were going while I was sitting in the middle of all that grey, but apparently life decided that either I still wasn’t listening hard enough or I was flat-out ignoring what it was trying to tell me.  So it cut me off.  Shortly after I pushed publish on that post life went all kinds of sideways, forcing me to really get to grips with what I needed to do to move forward.  Life literally took a bunch of things that I was doing off the table, leaving me with only one viable option.  I can take a hint.  Eventually.

While I pondered why life had brought me to this point – which frankly made not a jot of sense from where I was sitting – I kept thinking about something that our fearless SANE instigator, Mr. Bailor, told me when we first started hanging out right around the publishing of the inaugural and fabulous SANE tome, The Smarter Science of Slim.  I didn’t understand where he was coming from at the time – or for a really long time afterwards – but this year as I mused on where I needed to be headed and where I could add most value, his wisdom started to make sense to me.  Sometimes I can be really slow for a smart girl.

Jonathan told me that I shouldn’t put my energy in promoting the SANE brand, but that I should put my energy in promoting the Carrie Brown brand.  This made absolutely no sense to me.  Why was he encouraging me to promote me instead of him and his life-changing works?  Not only could I not figure out why he would do that, but I have never ever sought the center of attention.  I entirely dislike the spotlight and have spent my whole life trying to avoid standing in it.  Just ask my {day job} boss, who gets in deep trouble every time he tries to publicly recognize me for anything.  Or ask my mother who went up on stage over and over again during my graduation ceremony to collect all my trophies and awards and honors as the Top Student in the country for my graduating year.  I’ll give you a hint: I didn’t go to the ceremony.  I like to be cheering others from the sidelines  “GO, Jonathan!  GO, Jonathan!”  It’s where I am comfortable.  I couldn’t stay in the comfortable if I focused on the Carrie Brown brand.

The all-knowing Mr. Bailor, however, recognizes that the greatest value that I add apart from the gift I have in the kitchen to create SANE recipes, is making SANE real and doable for other people through my own journey and down-to-earth approach.  The real-life how-to and ability to relate to the struggles that people face at home in their real lives.  He always values the challenges that I face – especially the health ones – and how I overcome them and have SANE success despite them.  He is my biggest cheerleader.  He always encourages me to be open and share my whole story with the world – not just the perfect bits – but the yes-I-still-get-cravings-and here’s-how-I-deal-with-it and the I-had-a-hysterectomy-and-take-medications-that-are-famous-for-making-people-fat-and-SANE-still-works-here’s-how.  We did a 4 show series on exactly that, and produced a Creative Live event after my fat-loss transformation where we talked about all the reality I had faced on my journey.  JB knew from the get-go that SANE doesn’t need ‘perfect’ people to represent it, it needs real people showing that despite the challenges life lobs at us, this SANE thing is doable and sustainable to achieve fat loss and greater general health. It needs real, not plastic, and real is what you get from the Carrie Brown brand.  It’s personal, relatable, transparent, and real.  The world needed SANE, but it also needed Carrie Brown to be Carrie Brown, not an extension of our beloved Jonathan Bailor.

Jonathan knew there was an abundance of power in the Carrie Brown brand because it isn’t driven by revenue.  It’s driven by my wholehearted belief in SANE, the fact that I live SANE, and that SANE works.  Nobody paid me a bean to do any of it and I have no ulterior motive.  I do what I’ve done for the last 4 years because I am passionate about it, I have an altruistic nature, and I have skills that can really help people put it into practice.  No one continues to spend a bunch of their own money out-of-pocket to promote something they don’t believe in or live.  That would be all kinds of weird.  Not to mention dumb.  There is enormous power in enthusiastically recommending the life that you actually live as opposed to recommending it because you get paid to; or maybe worse, getting paid to recommend a life that you don’t actually live.  Nobody owns Carrie Brown.

However, for 3 years while Jonathan was doing an amazing job of promoting Carrie Brown (for which I will be forever grateful, on top of sooooooo many other things I am grateful to him for), I was standing on the sidelines singing, “La la la la la la la!”

At the start of the year when I was lamenting my stuckness to my therapist – bless his long-suffering soul – he was annoyingly clear about why I was stuck and took his usual no-holds-barred approach in telling me.  He said, “You’re stuck because everything you do going forward needs to be promoting the Carrie Brown brand, which is entirely uncomfortable for you.  So you’re stuck.  The only decision that you have to make is are you willing to step into the spotlight in order to keep doing this work to help other people lead healthier lives“.

My immediate response was, “Oh hell no.”  But since my therapist is always right (I hope he’s not reading this), and since I care deeply about helping all the lovely people who come to this space, I thought a lot about what he had said.  I ummed and ahhed endlessly about whether Carrie Brown alone was enoughI wrote my Unstuck blog post and you kindly answered that question for me: Thank you!  And yet I continued to sit there stuck.  Then The Universe clearly had enough, because as I was still sitting there vacillating on what to do, life cut me off.  And voila!  I was suddenly provided with plenty of enough that only Carrie Brown could share.

It turns out Mr. Bailor was right all along.  Duh!

So the last almost 3 months have been pretty darn exciting over at the Brown House.  Over the coming weeks I am going to share just how life cut me off and how that has led me down some amazing new paths of discovery and knowledge, making it easy for me to see very clearly how Carrie Brown can be enough and how I simply cannot NOT share all of this with you.

We have liftoff!!!!


PS. You’re all awesome.  Thank you for being here.  You let me know I can.



What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Audrene Welch - ‘Welcome back Carrie. This is so weird! I hadn’t seen anything from you in so long and tonight I thought I would take a peek to see if I wasn’t on your mailing list or if you really hadn’t written anything.
    I just finished re reading your last blog from June and noticed I had a new email. It was you. The universe works in strange ways. I’m so glad you’re back. You have done so much for my life. I’ve lost
    over 30 pounds and when I turn 80 in two months, I’ll owe my smaller self to you.ReplyCancel

  • Debra - It’s crazy how as soon as I start worrying that I haven’t heard anything from you in a long time, you pop up! You never fail to bring me to tears. I can’t wait to see where you are going to take us. Welcome back special lady?.ReplyCancel

  • Wren - I’m on the edge of my seat! Waiting for that next blog to see what you have in store for us. Thank you for sharing YOU! Your transparency is going to help so many others and you’ll be blessed for it.ReplyCancel

  • Betsy - So nice to hear from you, Carrie. Can’t wait to hear about your journey. You are inspiring.ReplyCancel

  • Donna - Congratulations Carrie- you are MORE than enough in your own unvarnished self. Thanks for being the Practical Side of SANE and helping us live it in spite of our limitations. Warts and all- you’re a keeper.ReplyCancel

  • Diana MacKenzie - Thanks Carrie for being so real…..I can hardly wait to see and read about what’s going on with you. Bless your little pea pickin’ heart. HugsReplyCancel

  • Linda Sorich - I have been a fan of yours since I read Jonathan’s book and discovered your podcasts together. Not only were they sooooo helpful but so are your cookbooks. So glad you feel up to sharing again. My journey over the past couple of years hasn’t brought results but I really feel the SANE lifestyle is the way to go and I was actually encouraged when you admitted that after two years you still hadn’t achieved the results you wanted and then explained what you did to achieve your beautiful transformation-I really needed that encouragement to keep goongReplyCancel

  • Beth - Why do I have this feeling we should all be fastening our seat belts? I can’t wait!ReplyCancel

  • Kathrine - Alright Carrie, you have me on the edge of my seat…I hope its what I think it is!ReplyCancel

  • Patricia Hamer - Not only are you enough Carrie …you are more than enough and deserve great success. God BlessReplyCancel

  • eda - Yaaaaaaay! welcome back, Carrie!
    and, you are plenty ;)ReplyCancel

  • Dieanna - Hi Carrie…..so glad to see you back. Have missed you, your stories, pictures, adventures and writing. So excited to see what’s next!! Buckle up…..i am on the edge of my seat with excitement.ReplyCancel

  • Tina - Right… now I cannot ever get the picture of Jonathan in a full cheerleader outfit off my head…ReplyCancel

Wake up calls or large, unexpected life events – hey, even large and expected life events – have the magical ability to force a human reboot, like doing a CTRL-ALT-DEL on one’s brain.  Then again, oftentimes there’s no dramatic incident but a gradually increasing and unsettling sense that you’ve lost your way, are struggling to find purpose, or get that nagging feeling there’s something missing from your life.  You decide to push the reboot button yourself.

Sometimes you immediately and clearly know what direction to take or the things that need to change to move you forward again.  Other times, not so much.  The process can take an achingly long time, and be more than a little annoying when you just want to get going once more.

Wildman shared this story with me a little while ago when I was lamenting (again!) on feeling stuck, having got to the place where there was simply too much on my plate.  I didn’t have a gut feeling nor could I figure out what my focus was meant to be or what I should let go of to get back in balance and move forward.  I felt unable to move forward with life or get back into my groove.  Getting unstuck can seem all sorts of impossible.

“I was pasted to a tiny foothold under an overhang at Rose Ledge in New England, well and truly stuck. I couldn’t find a new handhold above me on the lip of the overhang, and the ledge, about 1/2 inch deep and 12 inches wide, gave me no exit to either side. And as for going back, it was not going to happen. Sooner or later, we all experience that sudden realization that going up is easier than going back down. You have no eyeballs on your toes. Fingers began to lose their grip. Calf muscles burned. My tenuously placed foot began to vibrate faster and faster as fatigued muscles gave out.

“If you’re stuck, move anything,” yelled my partner, six stories below. “Doesn’t matter what. Shift your weight, lean right or left and see what new thing comes into play.” The granite in front of me was receiving a dose of muttered blue epithets. Move? I’m stuck. I can’t move. He repeated the instructions. I leaned left very gently. Suddenly, with the change of body angle, what had been a useless nubbin near my right hand became a new hold I could work with. I flung out a left hand and could now feel a finger crack in the overhang. I was on my way up again.

Like the newbie climber vibrating and cursing on Rose Ledge, if you are stuck, change something. Anything.”

So today, instead of staring blankly at the cursor blinking slowly on the white screen in front of me – and not typing a word – I took my clipboard and several sheets of paper, plus 6 cats and a delicious, low-carb, SANE Cardamom Latte out onto the lawn under the shade of the wisteria.  And what do you know?  I wrote a blog post.

collageEarly last year, after my adrenal fatigue caught up with me and my brain simultaneous went offline I knew I had to just stop.  Outside of my day job – hey you gotta keep making those mortgage payments – operations essentially ground to a halt while I worked on healing my body.  Eight months of my life flew by.  Eight months I never want to repeat, apart from getting my fat-loss mojo entirely down.  I *really* want to keep repeating that part.

Since my brain came back online last Fall I have been acutely aware that it could very well be disastrous if I leapt back into life as I’d known it for the previous several years.  Those years where I was regularly asked how in the world I did it all, or descriptions of me from others included the adjective “prolific”.  Those years when I was working a full-time day job, remodeling my kitchen myself, writing 3 cookbooks in 5 (!) months, blogging at least 3 times a week, developing recipes morning, noon, and night, plus photographing the world, driving all over God’s green earth, and churning out crazy podcasts every week.

Yeah, no.  Much as I loved those years, I couldn’t go back to that – at least not right away.  I started venturing out on road trips and rediscovering my passion for photography – not to mention the very act of driving that I find so utterly therapeutic.  Then I started developing recipes again and the blog posts started coming.  The holidays arrived and I took off on a major 9 day road trip to southern Oregon and northern California.  I felt like I was back in the saddle!  HURRAH!

Strangely though, after the holidays I fell into a slump of directionlessness.  I began questioning everything I was doing and wondering if they were the right things.  I couldn’t concentrate on anything, so torn was I about what path I should be taking.  I lost the enthusiasm to cook and blog because of the all the grey that seemed to be surrounding my thoughts.  On and on went the questions and uncertainty.  In February a little hiccup with my brain sent me reeling for a few weeks which only fueled my feelings of being lost, or trapped, or something.

Early in March I was struck by the notion that I needed to create delicious, sugar-free, low-carb, SANE beverages and I found myself entirely focused and energized on bringing truly healthy drinks to the world.  I had finally broken through and was back on the path!  Except, I wasn’t.  Once Drink Smarter! Beverages was published I figured I’d cracked the stuckness nut.  Nope.  As soon as the cookbook hit the virtual shelves the questions and uncertainty came hurtling back, buzzing around my brain.  I took a 9-day, 4500-mile road trip to Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, sure that it would blow the cobwebs out.  It blew the cobwebs out of my 4-Runner’s tailpipe and the arty side of my brain, but I came back with the same old questions that I left Seattle with 10 days earlier.  UGH.

So here I sit, still recharging and only partly rebooted – the joy of life, the excitement of experiencing new things and new places, the laughter, the love – they’re all alive and very much kicking.  But the direction still isn’t clear, and I can’t re-balance until I know what I need to be working on.  The questions go round and around.

Does my blog add value?  Are my recipes helping my lovely readers to achieve their wellness and fat-loss goals?  Is there even anyone out there reading after my taking such a long hiatus?  Do people enjoy reading the things that I share?  Is my photographing making people feel something when they see it?  Are folks still being inspired by my tales and experiences and words of wisdom?  Or, is it time to shut up shop in this space and focus on something that would provide more value to people?  I am just not the type of gal who can happily spend my time doing things that do not somehow give back to others.  If I am no longer doing that then I need to find another outlet.

Why was I doing all I was doing?  Was I married to all the things I was doing so I just kept on doing them out of habit, or were they really what I wanted or needed to do?  Was I filling some kind of void with all this doing?  Was I fearful of losing part of myself if I stopped doing some of the things that had defined me up until this point?  Or maybe – and I cannot even believe I am typing this – it is time after 8 years of being single to throw caution to the wind and have a relationship…with a human!!??  GASP.  I don’t even know who I am anymore.

So many questions, sigh.  Darn you, adrenal glands, for making me stare at my life squarely in the face and for forcing me to look at things differently.  Time for a new dawn.

2014-10-4 Oregon Road Trip-9901

Over the last week or two I’ve started to get clear about a few things that I hope may resonate with you if you are also in a place of stuckness or a wake up call right now:

  • Accept and embrace what needs to be different.  Often times after wake up calls there are things that you just cannot do anymore, or things that you **have** to do if you are going to survive.  When I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder I had to accept that I might need to take medication for the rest of my life.  Do I like it?  No.  Have I embraced it?  Yes, because when I don’t take it my brain tries to kill me.  I am learning to accept that I still need more sleep than I did before my adrenals went AWOL.  Annoying and frustrating as that is to an early bird, fantastically energetic chick, my body simply needs more sleep now and is not awake and chipper at 5 am any more.  It takes me way longer to get going in the morning, and fighting that doesn’t help, so I am learning to embrace 6:30 am as a start time and accept that I have 90 minutes less in each day to do stuff.  I am learning to accept that I have slowed down – right now I can no longer work at the same speed or intensity as before.  Hand on heart I am finding this soooooooooo hard to embrace, but I do know that beating myself up over it helps exactly nothing.I am working on accepting that I need to be more balanced – the world won’t end if I don’t write 3 blog posts a week and take a day off to go play instead.  I am working on accepting the fact that I don’t have to give things up entirely because I can’t do it at the same pace as I used to – I simply need to be OK with lowering my expectations of the volume of personal output.  I can do it all, it’ll just take longer.  If I can’t post 3 recipes a week then 2 is still better than none, right?  2 cookbooks a year instead of 3 in 5 months is reasonable.  Taking 1 day off a week to play is healthy, even though it gives me 1 less day a week to do.  Doing less is not an indication of having any less passion or losing interest.  It’s just recognizing that a balanced life is healthier than a life where you kill yourself trying.
  • Recharging is essential.  We should all take the necessary time to recharge whenever it is needed – physically, emotionally. mentally, and / or spiritually.  If we do not recharge we cannot expect to be of much use to anyone else, or ourselves for that matter.  It’s all part of life’s process.  Embrace it!  Yes I find this incredibly (!) difficult (!) in practice :-) I have this unstoppable drive to be doing, not being.  I am getting better at just sitting with the being piece.  I am learning to relish time spent quietly soaking in experiences rather than frenziedly doing something I deem constructive every moment of the day.  Turns out recharging is highly constructive, too.  Rest, relax, lie in the grass, go out for breakfast, go for a walk in the sunshine, sleep in, hang with people you love – all without any kind of agenda.  And play!  Playing is all sorts of good for us – when we are playing is the time our brains can work hardest on our problems, without us even realizing it.  Often the best ideas come when we’re not even consciously thinking about them.  It’s taking me a L O N G time to get the hang of this and let it works its magic.  Darn it.
  • Reboots are good.  They force us to take a long, hard look at our lives – something that we often ignore or procrastinate on because it usually requires change.  Most humans don’t like change.  When we are forced to stop doing, stand back, and examine our lives it causes us to question what we are doing and why.  A reboot requires us to consider what to stop, what to start, and what to continue.  We see life in a different way, with a fresh perspective, and with an eye to improvement.  Reboots can take time.  I am still working on the stop, start, continue.  In the meantime I am trying to give myself a break and not get frustrated while it all percolates out.
  • Re-balancing is critical to staying on the right path once we’ve found it, in order to not end up needing another reboot.  After my run-in with adrenal fatigue I am super clear on this one.  Too much – even of good and worthy things – can cause stress and feelings of being overwhelmed, or failed if we don’t keep up with our own {unrealistic} bar.


It’s taken some mini-interventions by Wildman – engineers approach problem-solving with such rational, non-dramatic common sense – to get me to realize that I have not failed because I am recharging and rebooting and re-balancing.  It’s funny how so often we don’t (won’t?!) accept what is right in front of us.

“But I’ve not posted any new recipes for months!  I am failing my readers!” I wail.

“You developed 101 new recipes between March and May, which is, on average, one new recipe every 3.5 days for an entire year.  And you did that in under 3 months.  The only difference is that you published them in a book.  Please explain to me how that is failed?”  He calmly counters.

“It took me more than twice as long to write this 4th cookbook as it did the 1st!  It took me two-and-a-half months!” I complain.

“Who else writes a cookbook of 101 new recipes in two-and-a-half months while also working full-time at a day job?  No one.”  He sighs.

“Yes you can.  It will just take longer.  Or you will choose to let something go.  And either way it’s OK.” He remarks.

“I don’t know if what I do adds value anymore.  Am I still helping and inspiring people?” I question repeatedly.

“Why are you asking this?” he inquires.  “You get emails and comments, posts and notes every day from people telling you how their life has changed for the better because of something you have done or said.”


Clearly I have some more work to do.  In the meantime I am going to keep plugging along, knowing that sooner or later the grey will lift and I’ll clearly see what I need to have on my metaphorical plate.  I’d love to hear your thoughts, too.

What do you need to let go of?  What do you need to stop, start, or continue?  Do you need to re-balance the things on your plate?  Are you doing the right things to get you to where you want to go?  Do you need to slow down on doing in favor of being?  Do you need to just take a day off and go play?  What needs to happen for you to increase your mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness?  Are you stuck?  What one thing are you going to change?  Chime in and share your story!

Whatever makes you feel good – do more of that.




What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Beth Gildersleeve - Carrie, please don’t go. I would rather get a heart felt blog when you were in the mood than none at all. I feel like you’re my Seattle friend that I’ve never met in person. You are wonderful,filling a huge need, and making us stop and think (thinking must be doing and being, right?). As a wise woman reminds us, “whatever makes you feel good – do more of that.” Keep looking for what makes your heart sing, and listen to Wildman. He should be renamed Wiseman.ReplyCancel

  • David Williams - I can’t even begin to tell you how much it brightens up my day when I see a blog post from you! And we love your recipes which make it easier to stay on the straight and narrow of our sane lifestyle. You rock.ReplyCancel

  • Guylaine - Hi Carrie,

    We love you because you are real! you go through life like we do with it’s up and down. Your blogs are always interesting and yes they help people and they also inspire others. You have great recipes.

    The question I ask myself is why are you so demanding on yourself?
    What’s the big deal about not writing 3 blogs a week? Who said you needed to write 3? We’ll take whatever you do when ever you do it period. It’s SO not a big deal. Your number one priority should be your health because without that not much you can do. Then you need to listen to Wildman and I agree to rename him Wiseman. It doesn’t have to be that complicated, but you can always count on us girls to complicate things. Focus on what you are grateful for and do more of what brings you joys. Don’t worry about us, we are happy that you are taking care of yourself. Of course if you throw a recipe at us once in a while we won’t complain…but stay real and stop pressuring yourself. GReplyCancel

  • Cowgirl Rae - Human Be-ing….. not human do-ing


    • Lisa - Yes! It’s about being not doing :)ReplyCancel

  • Francesca - You know it’s true … put on your own mask first and then help others. And you DO help you know. When I read your posts, you feel like a friend :)ReplyCancel

  • Theresa - I always enjoy reading your blog posts and hope you continue to write and take photographs. You have created enough recipes to last a lifetime and I’m appreciative! If you never create another, I would still check your website for your blog posts which are very real and inspiring :) Do what you feel you need to and we will all be here whenever you feel the urge/desire/need to reach out!ReplyCancel

  • Tina - Dear Carrie,
    the wonderful thing about your blog and your recipes and your fotos is that they don’t have an expiry date. The value you add is not just there for 2 days after you posted or published them – they are there forever! It will all be news to people finding your blog or buying your books in 2 months, 5 years or 20 years time. By what you have done, you not only HAVE made positive impact on so many people, but you have created a gift that will keep giving for as long as the internet exists. And while we are all thrilled whenever you have added something new to that treasure of wisdom, health and yumminess – nobody expects you to constantly increase this gift, especially not at a shedule that is stressful to you. At the same time in which you thought you were not giving anything or not enough, you were simultaniously enriching my life tremendeously. Think about the person who first had the idea to put wheels on a piece of luggage: it was just one act of creation, one effort of promoting the idea – yet it was the end of suffering for billions of travelers. Once you have made an effort of that scale (such as making healthy food highly palatable, beautiful and fun)- that will always remain – and you don’t have to feel obliged to constantly increase your effort. Just do these things if and when you really want to do them – we are your friends – not a hungry bunch of demanding, always hungry consumers, who have to be fed constantly with novelties.ReplyCancel

  • Deidre Edwards - I am at a similar crossroads, although for different reasons. My blog is in no way comparable to yours, but I have had to pare down as well. I am personally overwhelmed by the vast input I am subscribing to and getting on a daily basis. Honestly, what’s wrong with a periodic blog? The information over-load is robbing me of time that I want to spend writing my book.

    Don’t stop feeding us, please! But once in a while is ok by me! Maybe you feel a need to redirect or consolidate. Goals are good and keep us grounded but they also need to feed our inner selves, too.

    What is your goal in terms of helping others? Are you aiming for the right group in the right arena? How about helping children understand the way to feed themselves that will not only help them but their families also?

    Reflect and regenerate. It’s all good!

    Deidre from foodtalk4you.comReplyCancel

  • Cate - I agree with Tina, your recipes are always there when we need them, no matter how long ago you posted them. Plus, there is no way I, at least, could keep up with your productivity…it takes a long time to get around to trying all the recipes, if I ever do. So there’s always something new to find, even without a new post. Chill girl!ReplyCancel

  • Joanne - Thanks Carrie, I don’t need a response to this message. I am sending this simply to let you know that it helps to read your blog, it’s inspiring and I truly relate to what you are saying. I am learning from you. I bought the “Calorie Myth” and have to admit that finding your blog has really helped me understand things better. I currently have a health issue with my stomach that I am trying to address.

    Thanks again,

  • Granny P - Carrie, what you’re doing is living. Life is never a static, constant flow in any direction: there are always starts and stops, ups and downs, prolific spells and dry spells. If you’ve found someone to share your life with, so much the better; your ups may be mellowed by his downs, so a life shared is a life increased. At 69 physical changes have become the new normal, and I look back and can see the only constant is change. Embrace it since it will only stop with your last breath. And if you’ve only helped one person, and you know you have, then that’s enough to be proud of but never perhaps enough to be content.ReplyCancel

  • Meghan Horton - Many hugs. I’m not much of a hugger in person, but I’m an EXPERT long-distance hugger, as you are now experiencing.

    I don’t know how to introduce this except to say: this blogger had a remarkably similar situation, you both live in the Northwest, you two should hang out, and this will make you laugh SO much.

  • Pip - Carrie, The way you are willing to share your faults and your problems is even more valuable than your successes. I’m sure I’m not the only one who constantly falls off the SANE wagon. Please don’t stop – just slow down to take the time you need. Your recipes are great – I just had cauliflower soup and pepper and broccoli muffins for lunch. And we need you to translate American food for us Aussies!ReplyCancel

  • lanie - Hi Carrie, I love what you do. I also absolutley loved your podcasts with Jonathon!! Although he had podcasts with other scientists etc, the ones with the two of you just bantering are the ones that I learnt the most from. I have been SANE for almost two years know and I go back and listen to the oldies I was listening to at the start of my journey. Do more of those please! Thanks for all that you do xxReplyCancel

  • Francesca - Have just come back to this post by way of “we have liftoff!”. It is just exactly what I need to read and put into practice right now. I need a re-think and re-boot and this helps me by clarifying the mental attitude I must adopt and the questions I must answer to myself. Again, thank you as always Carrie.ReplyCancel

When I think ‘Whistler’, images of deep powdery glistening snow, gondolas filled with colorfully clad, be-goggled skiers, and snowboarders hurling themselves down mountain sides are what parade through my mind.  Or that was what paraded through my mind until a week ago when an invitation came to escape from the office to the Great White North for a long weekend.  Except Whistler, it turns out, isn’t the Great White North in the summer.  It’s the Great Green North – meadows and mountains covered in every hue of green from sage to British racing and back again.

There are still adrenaline-fueled humans wrapped in body armor careering down the mountains, but in summer they are straddling rugged beasty mountain bikes, full-face crash helmets tightly strapped to their heads.  Deep blue skies punctuated by cheerful puffs of white floating through the smog-free air.  Café tables spilling onto the paved walkways, their owners providing platefuls of summer fare and comforting favorites alongside glasses of rosé and pints of beer.  Couples stroll hand-in-hand soaking up the sunshine along with a large dose of relaxing Canadian ambiance.  Sunday Farmers Markets entice with gorgeous art and taste-bud-tantalizing artisan treats.  This was not the Whistler I knew, but it was the Whistler I fell in love with in just 3 restful and restorative days.

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Friday got started with a BLT omelet – chopped grilled bacon, fresh spinach, heirloom cherry tomatoes, and lashings of fresh mozzarella surrounded by fluffy, moist eggs cooked into lightly browned buttery omelet – the perfect precursor to a sunshiny drive from Seattle to Vancouver.  Yes, yes I will post the omelet recipe – it was so{ooooo} good.  A quick pit stop at a java hut in Monroe and it was off to Canada, passport in hand, eh.

By noon Stanley Park was within sight where a spot right by the sea wall overlooking downtown Vancouver was waiting.  Pineapple Pine Nut Salad made its appearance on the blanket on the grass in the dappled sunshine streaming through the gently swaying leaves of the shady trees above.  Then came a gentle drive circumnavigating Stanley Park – always a must when the chance presents itself.  My first jaunt around Stanley Park was on foot one gloriously warm and sunny day in September 1986.  I remember it like yesterday – the day I suddenly realized that I had escaped childhood and was a fully fledged adult alone and free some 5000 miles from my homeland, experiencing a new country and reveling in the enormity of my first solo adventure.  The world truly was my oyster.

This time the circumnavigation was on four wheels – I was eager to get to Whistler! – but the memories of that first walk were no less intense from the comfort of my trusty 4-Runner.  Stanley Park will always hold a very special place in my heart.

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If you haven’t driven the Sea-to-Sky Highway stretching from Vancouver through Whistler to Lillooet – DO IT!!  It is 254 miles of visually stunning vistas – towering peaks, the ocean below, peaceful glass-like lakes, and lush greenery at every turn.  This weekend I stopped driving at Whistler, but last Fall I carried on up over the pass to Lillooet for a stunning drive that lasted all day but I wish had lasted for a week.  Or two.

The curvaceous, undulating roadway between Vancouver and Whistler is one of my favorite roads to drive on a clear blue sunny day.  Hand on heart it’s a little scary when it’s dark or wet, or – heaven forbid – both.  On a brilliant day it’s a brilliant drive despite having to concentrate really hard at keeping your eyes on the road while the glistening ocean and ethereal islands parade by on your left and the giants of mountains call out to you from the right.  It’s difficult not to stop at every view point and turnoff – every one providing jaw-dropping views of mother nature at her finest.

Rolling into Whistler Village in the summer is delightful and the locals work hard at keeping it so.  Pristine walkways, beautiful landscaping, and natural stone buildings at every turn against a backdrop of majestic mountains, everything within a short stroll or an easy bike ride away.  Home for the weekend was The Westin – a fairy-tale castle of a building – right at the base of the Whistler Blackcomb mountains and a stone’s thrown from the Peak-to-Peak gondola rising up towards the summit.


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Checked in and bags unloaded it was time to relax on the balcony with a light snack before heading out for an evening stroll, a delicious dinner (steak! please!) and wind-me-down hot tub (no, no hot tubs pictures here) before sinking into one of the Westin’s famous Heavenly beds.  The weekend was getting off to a rather lovely start.



Saturday morning woke up with a rosy glow and a peaceful half hour on the balcony overlooking the mountains as the sun peeked her head between the peaks.  And yes, I can concur that the beds at the Westin truly are heavenly.  I’d show you a picture, except I don’t think the world is ready for an eyeful of my bed-head hair.

The pre-noon agenda was breakfast at The Grill and Vine followed by a morning of mountain biking on the Valley Trail.  I confess: I hadn’t been on a bike since the World Wide Web was invented, so there was a little trepidation about the whole ‘it’s like riding a bike’ thing.  Breakfast was The Bomb.

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Pure, fresh-squeezed juices served in shot glasses –  cucumber mixed with kale, romaine, lemon, basil, and coconut; beet mixed with carrot, spinach, apple, lemon, and ginger.  An intense shot of YUM to start the day.  The onto the breakfast buffet – so many low-carb, SANE choices!  If scrambled eggs can be gorgeous – these were; nothing like you’re average hotel buffet eggs.  Some were mixed with veggies.  I had both.  And the sausages!  OH!  The sausages.  Chicken and apple, and pork – real pork sausages just like we get back home in England made for one super happy breakfasting Brit.

Then it was off to the bike shop for bikes and helmets with Justine – a delightful tour guide who restrained herself from her usual habit of throwing herself down mountainsides to share the delights of the bike trails that meander through Whistler. A couple of times I had to get off and walk up the hilly bits.  On one such occasion I got all the gears wrong (how many gears are there on a mountain bike?!?!?!?!) and couldn’t push the pedals round for love nor money.  The second time I was laughing so hard I fell off the bike and couldn’t get going again.  Not withstanding the falling off part, I am inspired to start biking around the trails in Seattle.  So. Much. Fun.

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Still full from breakfast, the next stop was a change of clothes and a large glass of water before heading back out into the warm summer sunshine to explore Whistler Village.  Sauntering among the shops and table-lined walkways, popping into interesting stores – I bought a hat! – and making good use of the many benches dotted throughout the manicured landscaping.  Whistler is a truly delightful place to just hang.

Back at the Westin, an all-things- green hotel to match the fresh Whistler environment, and adorned in a swimsuit, it was 45 minutes in the eucalyptus-infused steam room for that puppet-with-her-strings-cut feeling.  The steam was so thick it was like being enveloped in a warm, wet cloud.  I have never experienced a steam room so intense – the dense swirling steam and nostril-tingling eucalyptus essential oil was deeply relaxing yet invigorating all at the same time.  I could have stayed there for at least another hour, but there was fresh fruit, brie, Pelligrino, and balcony cooing at me to join them.  I obliged.

Whisterl collage 2

A spot of primping came next, then dinner on the terrace for a sneak peek of the Westin’s Summer Dinner Series at The Grill and Vine.  If the rest of the day wasn’t enough to make me want to visit Whistler in the summer more often, the dinner alone was.  Is there anything better than fresh, local produce brilliantly prepared for an al fresco dinner on a warm Saturday night, with mountains for a backdrop and soulful live music for a soundtrack?

The albacore tuna (top left) was a revelation – soft tuna flesh that defies an adequate description, the fresh Okanagan nectarine and buratta salad (top right) was summer on a plate.  Cast Iron Seared Haida Gwaii Halibut (bottom left) was the most amazing flavored halibut I have ever eaten. And the pea purée – oh good lord it would have knocked my socks off had I been wearing any.  The Madeira Braised Veal Cheeks (bottom right) was the tenderest, juiciest meat you can imagine – like slicing through melted butter, along with carrot purée that was unbelievably intense and smooth.

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Stunning scenery, lively engaging company, and taste-bud-blowing food, not to mention the outstanding service from Lindsay who has been in attendance since the Westin first opened it’s doors in Whistler 15 years ago.  It was a remarkable evening.

Sunday brought with it breakfast in bed before a visit to the Farmers Market, a gentle ramble from Whistler Village. Fresh produce and artisan foods and crafts were everywhere.  A happy-go-lucky ambiance, strolling round the market stalls, friendly Canadians, sitting on the sidewalk with a latte, lapping up the fresh air and sunshine.  Whistler is such a treat!

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With hand-crafted grass-fed beef jerky (no! sugar!) and fresh, juicy cherries in hand it was time to head south, the glorious Sea-to-Sky Highway beckoning me back home to my kitties and clematis, so relaxed and refreshed I was sure I had been on vacation. That’s what a fantastic long summer weekend in Whistler will do for you.  Think Whistler is just for winter?  Think again!

I wish I’d had time for all the other summer activities on offer: mountain biking, golfing, hiking, zip-lining, ATV and RZR tours taking in all that nature has to offer, and the peak-to-peak gondola.  And then there’s driving the 99 to Lillooet – it was awesome in the Fall, it must be spectacular in the summer.  Swoon.

Whatever makes you feel good – do more of that.



**Accommodation, meals and tours were courtesy of The Westin Whistler, who I thank profusely for the invitation.  All views, sentiments, and ramblings are my own.**

What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Cowgirl Rae - Ahhhh, makes it almost like I was there.

    Great review!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Oh, Cowgirl! You make me laugh :-)ReplyCancel

Hi peeps!

I am working on a post all about sweeteners since there is so much confusion out there.  In the meantime I just could not wait to share this story from Wildman, who, if you remember, is my buddy who came to Whistler with me to start teaching me how to  video.

When I met Wildman he was a Splenda addict, and had apparently been so for many years.  Like so many others Wildman gave up sugar for sucralose thinking he was doing himself a huge health favor.  Ditch the sugar, cut the calories and lose the fat, as the story goes.  Here’s what happened when he got tired of my shameless, “Down with Splenda!” rants in his direction:


“Last winter, in a lovely new home in the rainforest of Western Washington, I was in despair. I felt I was losing my mind, bit by bit. Alzheimer’s? Dementia? I hadn’t slept through the night regularly for a very long time, years, in fact. My brain was a murky fog that never really lifted. Work had become a struggle of coffee vs. exhaustion. Vacations and weekends were spent falling asleep. And worst of all, I checked out with the people I love. Let’s face it, being in survival mode made me cranky and prone to take things personally. Ugh.

I was stuck. I needed to change something. Anything.

About that time Carrie got on my case. “Sort yourself out, man. You’ve got to get your sleep under control. And get rid of the Splenda.” She started sending me articles about Splenda, which is sucralose – sugar that has been chlorinated to change the molecule so that it is indigestible and non-caloric. To avoid sugar, I had been buying gallon-sized boxes of the stuff at Costco and using that in coffee for years. I researched all things sucralose on the internet and found two diametrically opposed camps: sucralose is safe and great for diabetics, and every unicorn pooping rainbows uses it vs. sucralose is spawn of the Devil and creates neurotoxins in your body. What was the science? What was just marketing? What was uninformed woo woo? Hmm.

Carrie suggested I try xylitol and erythritol, which are sugar-alcohol sweeteners with little caloric content and few, if any, side-effects.

The next couple of weeks after I went cold-turkey on the Splenda were awful. I felt ill. I had headaches daily, grogginess, and lack of energy. I wanted to sleep all the time. I was popping “Vitamin-I” every day to dull the pain. (Outdoor nuts have a lot of nicknames for Ibuprofen, like “Vitamin-I”, “Ibebroken” and “Climber’s Candy.”)

These appeared to be withdrawal symptoms that started about three days after I stopped eating sucralose. I kept with it, and in the second week something amazing happened. The fog lifted. The headaches stopped. I could think clearly again. And, after years of insomnia, I slept through the night, every night. I kept using the xylitol and erythritol in my coffee and tea, and experienced none of the bad symptoms of the previous weeks. People started making comments like, “You are like a completely different person. You’re up and happy all the time now.”

So, let me be really clear on what I do and don’t know. This was not a scientific experiment with control subjects and good methodology, and this is not a public attack on sucralose. It is simply my personal experience that stopping sucralose made a dramatic and positive shift in how I slept, felt, and behaved. I won’t be going back to it. My relationships improved, my job performance improved, and I feel worlds better. I feel alive again.”


So there you have it.  If you’re using Splenda – or sucralose by any other name (Sweet’n’Low, Equal…) – you might want to take a break for a month and see what happens.  Just don’t replace it with anything on this list.  In the meantime, while I get the sweetener post together, try xylitol, erythritol, or stevia.

Here’s to a safely sweetened Summer!



What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Wren Stewart Tidwell - This is such a great testament. Thanks for sharing! I love n=1 experiments. They are the best kind. Why does it matter how a food affects someone else, when what really matters is how it affects you? I’m going to share this for sure. I’m adamantly against artificial sweeteners and have been for over 15 years, ever since a young co-worker got a brain tumor because (at least I think so) she drank 5-6 diet cokes a day.ReplyCancel

  • Cindy E. - I was also addicted to splenda. I stopped last winter because I learned that maltodextrin, can cause leaky gut. It is used in a lot of products since it is a cheap filler. I now use white Stevie and find it is very sweet, even better than splenda or xylitolReplyCancel

  • Popcorn - I have similar story to tell about my husband and splenda.

    In his case he was drinking splends sweetened cranberry juice, he was consuming a 20 ounce bottle daily with his lunch. We thought it was a better alternative than the sugared version. We were also using splends sweetened icecream and I used some splenda for part of the sugar in baked goods.

    One day his heart started beating very rapidly and uncontrollably, his doctor diagnosed a-fib, prescribed medication and was talking about a pacemeker. My husband was intolerant of the heart medication so I started
    researching a-fib and found links between the heart and splenda.

    We stopped all splenda, he also increased his magnesium, and stopped excess calcium (to not interfere with magnesium).
    The a fib stopped.

    It’s been many many years and never another episode.

    We will never use splenda/sucralose in any form in our household or when shopping.

    Now a days one MUST read labels. How sad is that?ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - Wildman’s withdrawal symptoms coincided with mine, except I have also experienced stomach distress. I don’t care for stevia very much but I like it better in hot drinks that xylitol. I’m trying to avoid sucralose completely, but just realized that Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Powder uses it as a sweetener. UGH! Is there a whey protein powder available that perhaps uses xylitol? OR, is there a rule of thumb / tip you could provide to make powdered egg whites more palatable in smoothies to use instead of the Whey protein powder?
    Thanks so much for continuing to educate us on getting healthy!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Ellen – I would use egg white powder with extra sweetener of choice and some vanilla extract in place of the whey powder. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - Thanks Carrie! I was missing the vanilla extract! That will help.ReplyCancel