recipe developer . podcast co-host . cookbook author . photographer . mental health warrior . online educator


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It Feels Strange

New Years Day dawned brilliantly bright and beautiful in the Pacific Northwest.  I’d been watching the weather for days, eagerly optimistic that the little sunshiny yellow icon would remain firmly in place on the 5 day forecast over at  I’d been feverishly writing recipe posts for days in the hopes that if the weather cooperated, I could run away for a much-needed day-trip around this gorgeous corner of America.  Mother Nature did not disappoint.La Connor, WA

I have to tell you, I feel the need to explain myself before I yap on about my magical New Years Day, because if you are new to this particular virtual P-Patch, you’re expecting a recipe and your expectation will not be met.  Some of you come here just for recipes, but lately I’ve seen a confusing increase in curiosity from hordes of you wondering about, well, me.  My journey, my life, my thoughts; even my cats and my singleness.  How I got here, what I do when I’m not hanging with Bailor, what drives me, what I struggle with (apart from Jonathan’s dubious fashion sense), how I made it over from The Dark Side – physically, emotionally and mentally – and how I view the world.  And why I take pictures of my feet and have an endless fascination with fences.  The thought that I am interesting to anyone other than my cats is still rather odd to me, and so it feels strange writing about it all.  Some of you may well think it’s strange reading it.  It’s OK if you choose not to.  If you’re shouting at your screen, “Where’s the recipe??”, there’s a new one speeding towards you any day now.  Pretty soon I’ll be posting a recipe for Vanilla Cranberry Shortbread, and boy let me tell you those babies are worth the wait.

If you’ve been coming here for less than 4 months or so, you’d be forgiven for thinking that what I do in life is podcast with Jonathan, laugh a lot, and create yummy *SANE recipes to make your journey to health and fat-loss easier & tastier.  And you would be right.  I do do those things.  A lot.  Especially the creating yummy recipes part.  I do other things too though, that you may not know about.  I shoot stuff.  With a camera.  And I go on wild adventurous road-trips all over the place in order to shoot stuff I haven’t seen before.  In fact, this little blogette started as an image gallery, and then it morphed into a food blog.  Slowly over time though, the travel and photography and stories about life crept back in.  Because they are all part of who I am.  I have tried over the years to compartmentalize myself – show different parts to different people – until about 6 years ago when I stopped caring what people thought.  Then it all just became too hard to remember which part of me I was to who, and the line between virtual me and in-real-life me got so blurry I decided to just be me.  All of me.  All the time.  Finally I brought it all together here as well.

After Jonathan and I threw caution to the wind and – just for grins and giggles – started recording the podcasts, things got a little crazy over at the Marmalade HQ Kitchen.  I’ll have you know that neither of us had any clue that we’d spend every week since July 1 being rated hot on iTunes, regularly up there next to Ms. Michaels in the rankings.  Suddenly there were mobs of people clamoring for more and more SANE recipes.  I did my best to get a wide range of dishes up there for you as quickly as possible, while the other parts of me took a back seat.  Looking back, I’ve been writing recipe posts almost exclusively since the summer.  No posts on travel, life, or other stuff.  I even chose to cancel my last two road-trips in order to develop new recipes and get them to you.  Willingly.  Happily.  It was just the right thing to do.La Connor, WA

But the truth is, I miss writing about all the other bits, and last week I thought I was going to fall to my knees and cry if I had to tap out “tbsp” or “non-fat Greek yogurt” or “bake” ONE. MORE. TIME.  I miss jotting down my adventures, mentally reliving my images, recalling my miscellaneous antics, discoveries, and random Ah-ha! moments.  There’s been fantastically pretty frosts, fabulous fences, plus all kinds of stunning sunsets and sparkly sunrises that escaped any kind of pixelation while I grappled with xanthan gum and wrestled almond flour into something recognisable as a dough.  What we need here people is some balance.  Out of whack can work for a while, in an emergency, but really, I do so much better when things are in balance.

I admit I’ve also been mulling over all the other stuff that you need for your journey to SANEity – stuff that doesn’t involve an ingredients list or oven temperature.  You need inspiration, motivation, tips and tricks, and information on all the things that are new to you in a SANE lifestyle.  Stuff that I have not had time to tell you because I’ve been knee-deep in cookbooks and produce and the mental gymnastics of cups vs. ounces.

What this all means dear readers – since I have not found a way to conjure up more time in the day – is I’ll have to post recipes less often.  Not much less often, but a bit.  Because you all know that this journey to health and fat-loss is not just about eating more and exercising less, smarter.  If it were, we’d all be brimming with health and have the body-fat % of our dreams.  I can give you SANE recipes until the cows come home, but for most of you that simply won’t be enough.  Everything in our lives is interconnected – physically, mentally and emotionally.  To try and ignore that will land us all in hot water, or at least find us notching up another diet fail; and you don’t deserve that.

I have thought about this long and hard – and it seems only fair to warn you – things are going to get a little more touchy-feely around here.  For those of you who just want the great grub, we’ll smile and wave as you swing by to grab it.  The navigation bar on the left is your best friend for finding what you need in terms of recipes.  Enjoy!  For the rest of you who want it all, I am excited and humbled to be a part of your journey to SANEity – warts and all.  We got this.

Phew.  Now I’ve got that off my chest, where was I?  Ah, yes.  New Years Day.  Time flies so fast.  Here we are in the 4th week of January, wondering how on earth that even happened.

This was my first shot of 2013.  As I sat there on the side of the road watching the sun slowly climb away from the horizon, I thought about how, even through the mist, there was a beautiful day dawning.  I thought about the glorious sunshine that would – sooner or later – pierce it’s way through the fog and change how the world looks.

La Connor, WA

Let this be the year that you let your sun shine through.  Truly love and accept yourself for who you are.  Burn through the fog of everyone else’s opinions about you – they are simply opinions, and have no value other than the value you give them.  Change your view of you and your whole world will change.

La Connor, WA

See?  This is what happens when I get out of the kitchen and step away from the computer.  Magical.



{Love the images and want to see more? Click on them to go to the gallery}



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  • cowgirl raeBravo!
    Looking forward to more of “life balance with Carrie”.ReplyCancel

  • Roslyn WoodleCarrie,
    So sorry to bother you with this. Have been following you and thoroughly enjoy your writing,recipes and delightful podcasts. You are so genuine and REAL! Began SSOS last spring. Just last evening I signed up for the SSOS premium, paid for it and have receipt in hand. Now simply unable to get access to the video or other so-called Premium Members benefits. Realize it’s not your website but is there a way to contact the SSOS folks via email instead of Facebook?
    Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer HLovely reflection and photos. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • ClaudiaReading this tonight was exactly the inspiration I needed! Work home, health… It can become so overwhelming. I sometimes feel that I, too, present different versions of myself just as you spoke of. Wonderful words and beautiful photographs. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • carrieThank you, Claudia! Makes my heart happy to know it resonated with you.ReplyCancel

  • Claire LucasThanks Carrie, I’m looking forward to more of the touchy-feely stuff. Love it!!ReplyCancel

  • Claire LucasOh, and I can’t wait for the Vanilla Cranberry Shortbread either!!ReplyCancel

  • lorrie walterYou are so amazing your post here made me all mushy. some of your photo’s above are hanging in my living room, while your recipes cook in my kitchen.

    thanks for sharing your heart and allowing the rest of us to gleen from your many travels and adventuresReplyCancel

  • LizHi Carrie
    I have been listening to the podcasts from pretty early on, which led me to explore your photos.
    I love your work- photos up lift my heart.
    Your chemistry and banter with Bailor makes me smile and keeps me on the straight and narrow (well mostly!)Even my husband is SANE eating now (although he doesn’t know this most of the time!)
    I am glad to hear you are keeping the work/life balance in check.
    As a cancer survivor I know how important this is- thanks for the gentle reminder that I too need to keep this upper most in my mind to remain well.
    Keep going girl, you (and Jonathon) inspire and support many people with your work, many more than you realise!ReplyCancel

    • carrieTHANK YOU so much for your kind words, Liz. It really helps to know we’re on the right track.ReplyCancel

  • EllenBless you Carrie. What beautiful photos – they make me smile! You are such an interesting woman – looking forward to your insight into this sane journey in an insane world!
    We’ve got this!ReplyCancel

  • PamHi Carrie~ I started listening only 1.5 weeks ago…my sister, Peggy, has been on me to listen for many, many months and I always put it off. Not sure why now…I can’t get enough! I do have a few questions though and was hoping you could shed some light…I feel guilty and am worried that if I don’t follow the SANE eating 100% that I will ultimately end up gaining wait with all of the nuts, oils, proteins…I have worked to lose 20 lbs, had just (the Friday b4 I started listening or knew about SANE)signed up for Weight Watchers and I am worried…like I can’t trust that eating this much and all the wonderful nuts, fruit, etc. how can this be…just worried! Please help me understand…just a bit! p.s. love your pod-casts, your’ve got it girl! Thanks…ReplyCancel

    • carriePam – WELCOME!!! We’re not about perfection, we’re about progress. The most important thing is eliminaitng sugars and starches. Eat protein, healthy fats, water, non-startchy veggies and low-sugar fruits in abundance – until you are full. Try it and see. It’s not a matter of opinion, it’s a matter of fact! This is science. And THANK YOU for the podcast love. We’re so happy to be a part of your journey to SANEity!!!ReplyCancel