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

Hi, friends!

I may have been missing from here for a little while, but I have glad tidings of great joy.  I have been heads-down, very busily engaged in Cookbook #4.  Woohoo!  As publishing day bears down on us (***it’s now published!***) I couldn’t wait any longer to give you a little preview.  It’s not what you’re expecting.  However, I suspect it may very well be the most (!) important (!) healthy cookbook I’ve created for you yet.  Because no one really thinks about drinks when they’re working on their health and wellness journey, and let’s face it – most drinks around these days are all kinds of health insanity.  I realized that there was a huge gap in my wellness plan that meant I either had to forgo all the drinks I love – notably soda and frou-frou lattes – and only drink water, green tea and black coffee (b-o-r-i-n-g), or I had to compromise on my heath goals, or I had to create all sorts of healthy beverage goodness.  Given that I dislike water, green tea, and black coffee with a passion and that I am not a compromiser, that left me with option #3.  Creating this book has made my health journey staggeringly more scrumptious, enjoyable, and so much easier to stick to.  Lovely readers I present to you:

Drink Smarter! Beverages – 101 delicious, health-boosting, sugar-free lattes, teas, hot chocolates, frozen drinks, yogurt drinks, sodas, mocktails, and infused waters.

Beverage Book Cover Amazon

Love your Starbucks frou-frou lattes and Frappucinos but hate the sugar, chemicals, artificial this-and-that, not to mention the cost? Your new SANE Cookbook’s got you covered.  How about a Raspberry Truffle Latte or a Gingerbread Frappé?

Can’t go without your favorite soda but know that the amount of sugar or artificial sweeteners are doing nothing for your waistline, let alone your health? They’re all here.  Mmmmm, Cream Soda.

Hate the taste of water? This book will convert you into a water fanatic.  Black Cherry Vanilla YUM.

Like a festive drink on holidays and special occasions but loathe how they undo your otherwise healthy lifestyle? These will mean you can join in the fun without any of the consequences.  Mojito, anyone?

Adore hot chocolate on a cold night but add body fat just thinking about one? Not with these you won’t.  Creamy Peppermint Hot Chocolate?  Yes, please!

Bring your liquids up to the same healthy low carb standard as your meals – Drink Smarter!  Increasing your fluid intake has never been more delicious, more health-boosting, or easier and quicker for you to whip up right in your very own kitchen.  You’ll be using this book every day!

(And no, the recipes do not rely on xylitol if you were wondering about that).

Drink Smarter! Beverages - Carrie Brown

Drink Smarter! Beverages - Carrie Brown

Drink Smarter! Beverages - Carrie Brown Drink Smarter! Beverages - Carrie Brown

 

Drink Smarter! Beverages - Carrie Brown

Drink Smarter! Beverages - Carrie Brown

Drink Smarter! Beverages - Carrie Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drink Smarter! Beverages - Carrie Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surprisingly, this cookbook is the book of mosts:  Most recipes, most trials, most do-overs, most time, most frustration, most learning, most work, most fun, and most props – lordy if you only knew how much new glassware and porcelain went into the making of this cookbook!  I could have gone on creating recipes forever.  But just for you there is one major least:  Least cost to purchase.  Under $20!

When can you buy it?  I am just waiting for the Foreword from a wonderful brilliant Doctor who really knows his nutrition and exercise (!!!!), and then it’ll be up on Amazon in softcopy and Kindle so you can start your low carb healthy beverage journey straight away.  ***It’s HERE***

Want a signed copy for free?  Comment anywhere on my little blogette between now and publish day and you’ll be entered into a drawing.  10 lovely readers will get a copy.  Comment away!  ***DRAWING NOW CLOSED!***

Get ready to drink up!!

 

 

Save

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What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • David Williams - Sign me up for this one!!!!

    SO EXCITED.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - David – you’re a WINNER! Please send me your mailing address!ReplyCancel

      • David Williams - Thanks so much Carrie. We use your cookbooks every week. Made lots of your icecreams and soups and those heavenly chocolate cookies all the time.

        We also purchased all 3 of your cookbooks for our sons last year for Christmas. So excited for your new book.ReplyCancel

        • David Williams - and additionally – this might sound crazy but I got the spine cut off the books and had them spiral bound so they sit flatter on the kitchen counter and are easier to use!ReplyCancel

          • carrie - HA HA! Mine are all spiral bound too ;-)

  • Sue - They look scrummy Carrie sign me up too please can’t wait!!! xxxReplyCancel

  • Jen - These look beautiful and delicious. ALL your recipes are fantastic!! Thanks so much for the time, effort and testing that goes into them!ReplyCancel

  • Jane - Sign me up please, I can’t wait for flavored water!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - Congratulations on the imminent release of your latest book! I am drooling in anticipation of these healthy refreshing summer drinks (if we get a summer this year, that is … UK reader here!)ReplyCancel

  • Angie Swaim - Can’t wait!! Thank you for keeping us SANE!! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Eda - I want everything! All pics look amazing and delicious… Congrats Carrie, you’re a brilliant lady!ReplyCancel

  • Katie - Omg this new book speaks to my heart!! Would love a copy! I love your cookbooks!!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Katie – you’re a WINNER! Please send me your mailing address!ReplyCancel

  • Wren - oh my! this one’s gonna be GREAT! I’m looking forward to the Raspberry Truffle Latte. Anything raspberry is awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Carol Baker - I can’t wait to add this one to my collection.ReplyCancel

  • Beth Gildersleeve - I am so excited! I hope that while you’ve been diligently experimenting and perfecting for us, that you’ve also taken care of yourself. Here’s to many more wonderful books from Carrie!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Boyer - Awesome. Can’t wait to add it to my collection of Carrie Brown books.ReplyCancel

  • Pip - Hi Carrie, This is a wonderful idea! I’m happy with my cup of tea but I know my kids would love interesting drinks. (My son loves his green smoothies.)ReplyCancel

  • Karen G - Wow, I am so excited to try your new recipes…drinks, yeah because it would be nice to have something besides water and green tea.ReplyCancel

  • Donna - I just got your Soups cookbook and can’t wait to try the recipes! I tried the carrot and celery soup from your blog and loved it.ReplyCancel

  • Letty Sandoval - Wow! I would love to win it! Thanks so much for the chance and for writing this book! Love all your recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Deborah - Can’t wait!!! :) Would love to win a copy!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Deborah – you’re a WINNER! Please send me your mailing address!ReplyCancel

  • Helen - Does this mean I’ll be able to add something(s) new into the Earl Grey, sparkling water with lime, sparkling water with lemon rotation?? Whoohoo!ReplyCancel

  • Shelley - fantastic Carrie,
    Nice to be able to provide an alternative to the sugar laden drinks that I know increase the anxiety and depression in my 13 yo dsughter.ReplyCancel

  • Erynn - Very excited to purchase this and add to our collection!! :DReplyCancel

  • Susan Schuster - Oh my! They look sooooo Devine. Can’t wait to share all these drinks with friends, no longer will my glass be the boring soda water but amazing ness in a glass.ReplyCancel

  • Laurette - I’m really looking forward to reading this book and trying out the recipes.ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - So excited to hear about your new cookbook as I love my lattes! Missed seeing your blog lately & hoped you were doing well.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Bonnie – you’re a WINNER! Please send me your mailing address!ReplyCancel

      • Bonnie Schamber - Thanks so much Carrie!! So excited to try these new recipes. My address is 1914 Baywater Alley, Airdrie, AB. T4B 0T6ReplyCancel

  • LeeAnn - Raspberry Truffle Latte! I am so ready! Looking forward to trying your amazing discoveries.ReplyCancel

  • lynn - cant wait!ReplyCancel

  • Linda Sorich - LOVE your recipes. I have learned soooo much! I have two of your books already and am looking forward to your new ones. Sign me up!!ReplyCancel

  • Nina - So excited, I can’t wait. Hopefully, I can make them into real cocktails too!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy - This is a book I have been longing for, can’t wait to purchase it! Thank you Carrie! !ReplyCancel

  • Wildman - I just got to try a couple of Carrie’s drinks, and holy moly they are good. If you liked her ice creams, you will love this book. Black Cherry Amaretto lassi. Oh. My. God.ReplyCancel

  • Leisa - Would love to try these! Enter my name! Your transformation has been an inspiration!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Leisa – you’re a WINNER! Please send me your mailing address!ReplyCancel

      • Leisa Lorenz - What email address do I send it to? If I put it here does it post publicly?ReplyCancel

  • Cindy - i am so excited to try your new book and your new recipes I hope I winReplyCancel

  • Heather - I need another cookbook stand on my worktop … my other is full of your other 3 books. BEST. COOKBOOKS. EVER!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Heather – you’re a WINNER! Please send me your mailing address!ReplyCancel

  • Helen - I can’t wait! The pictures look amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Mendi - I’m so looking forward to the new cookbook to add to my SANE collection!!!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Mendi – you’re a WINNER! Please send me your mailing address!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - I can’t wait to get it! I’m sure the recipes will be every bit as delicious as those we are already enjoying from your other three books!ReplyCancel

  • Debra Huewe - Yes, I’d love to have that book. I’m so unwilling to give up my morning latte, please and thank youReplyCancel

  • Cate - Now this I do need! Also dislike plain water, tea,and coffee, but the best I’ve done is a few unsuccessful infusions.ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Cate – you’re a WINNER! Please send me your mailing address!ReplyCancel

  • Shelley Stretton - Looking forward to this as my youngest daughter gets strong mood swings and obsessed with sugary foods, in particular event soft drinks.
    Well done Carrie.ReplyCancel

  • Brenda - as I sit here in Seaside for our 6th anniversary, I would love a drink. And am super excited for your new cookbooks!ReplyCancel

  • Denise - I wondered what you were up to . . . looking forward to adding this recipe book to my collection!ReplyCancel

  • joe wojtuniak - Love it..congratsReplyCancel

  • Shelley - I love you ice cream book. I sure this one will also be great.ReplyCancel

  • Kara Schwind - cannot wait!ReplyCancel

  • Chris - Looking forward to this new book. Especially given summer is here and I’m getting bored of drinking just water all the time.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - This is just what I need!! Thanks carrie for all your work on this!!! Please sign me up!!! I can’t wait to do some of these recipes! XxReplyCancel

  • Wendy - iI can’t wait, would love to have a copy!ReplyCancel

  • Kristy W - Can’t wait to try these recipes!! I already bought 3 of your other books, would love to get this one too!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn - YAY, I’m so excited. I need some new ideas to mix it up!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - Yummers! Pick me!ReplyCancel

  • Diana Mackenzie - I have all three of your past Cookbooks, even bought myself an ice cream maker so I could try the ice cream, which is delicious. I would love to have #4 Drink Smarter! BeveragesReplyCancel

  • Dr Mike Keen - You have managed to make me a Brussels sprouts convert….what next……green smoothies??……my tastebuds are tingling with anticipation….Cook Carrie Cook!!ReplyCancel

  • Mendi - HOORAY!!! Do I post the address here?ReplyCancel

  • Nina - Hi Carrie, I’m drinking the pumpkin pie frappe as I type! Can you tell me where you get your roasted chicory and dandelion root granules?ReplyCancel

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!

NOTES:

  • 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
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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.

 

 

What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Pip - Hi Carrie,
    These sound great. Is thick coconut milk the same as coconut cream?
    PipReplyCancel

  • 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?

    Thanks!

    SylviaReplyCancel

    • 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!
        CheersReplyCancel

  • 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.
    LilyReplyCancel

  • 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!

www.carriebrown.com

 

 

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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.

www.carriebrown.com

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