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


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Get A Little Perspective

Hi, Gang!  Let’s all get a little perspective today.

I’m back.  In Seattle.  At least for a couple of weeks.

If you follow my ridiculousness on Facebook, you’ll be all too aware that I just got back from a road trip to California; and while I was on the road I bombarded you with a flood of status updates that included – but were not limited to – my run-ins with the boys in blue, multiple images of my feet, eating adventures, random thoughts, my favorite shots of the day, and the oh-so-popular Housesitters Reports.  I am sure that your news feed is thrilled that it has been able to breathe again since I returned.  I should mention that Florence got the most fan mail despite the fact that she reportedly spent most of the time I was gone staring at the dishwasher or wondering what was happening.  Maybe she needs her own Facebook page.  Mr. McHenry already has his own Instagram page/

You may not know this about me; thinking about it, you almost certainly don’t know this about me, and would never guess it from the podcasts or Facebook or my little blogette right here.  I’m an introvert.  Truth.  My road trips are critical to my very survival – they literally stop me from going crazy.  Driving solo for {very} long distances turns my world the right way up; and even though I am working on shooting assignments, my road trips are when I do all my major thinking, and I find my brain exploding with insights and ideas and realizations that it doesn’t usually get a chance to explore.

I’m guessing that an awful lot of people see LowCarb / LCHF / KETO / SANE and a host of other lifestyles as restrictive.  They see what they can’t have and feel like it must be a miserable life of denial, struggle, and suffering.  They think that in order for variety to be the spice of life – and for food not to get boring – they need to be able to eat every foodstuff there is available.  They wonder what on earth they are going to eat if they can’t eat flour and sugar.  There’s nothing left, right?  At least there’s nothing left that’s tasty or worth eating.  I’ve been mulling over this concept for a year now, and considering how to help people gain a new perspective on the whole your-life-is-not-over-because-you-don’t-eat-wheat-or-sugar thing.

One day, after shooting mainly landscapes in the wilds of central California for 3 days, I decided on a whim that I was going to limit myself to only shooting with my macro lens.  I declared it Macro Day – getting {really} up close and personal with my surroundings.

For a while I was stumped, wondering, ‘What am I going to shoot?”  Then almost immediately it struck me.  I was going to have to look at the world in an entirely new way.  I was no longer looking for compelling compositions that stretched across miles of land.  I had to look for things that I normally pass right on by without a second glance, and work out how to make them into a compelling image.  I would have to look at ordinary objects in a whole new way.  I would need to look for details that I never knew existed before.  And it was awesome.

Get a little perspective!Carrie Brown | Rusty chain

Carrie Brown | Door

Carrie Brown | Sand and driftwood

The exercise gave me whole new perspectives on life, the universe, and everything; and how often does do we let that happen??  Get a little perspective!

Turns out I didn’t have to drive for hundreds of miles every day to get compelling images.  On Macro Day I didn’t get more than 3 miles from the condo; and yet I shot 3 times as many images as I had in the previous 3 days combined – those 3 days having involved driving over 1100 miles.

Then came the flowers.  Before I knew it I was lying upside down in the street – completely oblivious to the world rushing by me, and completely engrossed in my work.  And it was awesome.

Carrie Brown | FlowersCarrie Brown | Flowers



















Carrie Brown | FlowersCarrie Brown | Flowers



















Carrie Brown | FlowersCarrie Brown | Flowers



















Carrie Brown | FlowersCarrie Brown | Flowers



















Carrie Brown | FlowersCarrie Brown | Flowers



















I learned that limitations make you more creative, not less creative.  And that is a really, really, really great thing.  I saw things in a way that I had never looked at them before.  I saw detail and beauty that I had previously missed.

I thought about how this is exactly like converting to a specific dietary lifestyle.  How developing uber-healthy recipes has made me far more creative, simply because I have less to work with; and yet I’ve had countless people tell me that my recipes taste better than the food they ate when they were eating “regular” food.  Eating in a particular way forces me to get creative in the kitchen.  And what initially seemed like a huge struggle, has turned out to be a mesmerizing journey in creativity.  It makes me constantly think, “How can I make something totally tasty with only these ingredients at my disposal?”  And when recipes – especially baked goods – don’t turn out the way I had hoped, the limitations compel me to figure out how to make them work, instead of giving up or turning to unhealthy alternatives.

When we limit ourselves we see and find more possibilities, not less.

I’ve eaten more almonds in the last 6 months than in the rest of my life put together.  Who knew those rather boring-looking nuts could get whipped into so many fabulous concoctions?

And when you’re faced with upping the amount of veggies you consume drastically, you discover veggies you never knew existed.  You find ways of preparing veggies that you never imagined before.  You find ways to get veggies into every thing you eat, even though you may not even have liked veggies very much before.

And it is awesome.Carrie Brown | Flower

Carrie Brown | Flower

Carrie Brown | Flower

Carrie Brown | Flower

Carrie Brown | Flower

Carrie Brown | Flower

Carrie Brown | Flower

Carrie Brown | Flower

Carrie Brown | Get A Little Perspective

If a doctor had told me 18 months ago that I had to switch to a gluten-free diet because of an allergy or other health issue, I would have thought my life was over.  I could not have imagined life without bread, or pasta or cupcakes.  And then remove sugar too??  NO WAY.  I would have been in complete despair.  Then I met Jonathan and read The Calorie Myth and started focusing on eating  the healthiest and most nutritionally dense foods, and I found myself several months later eating a completely grain-free, sugar-free diet without even realizing it.  I hadn’t focused on what I couldn’t eat, I focused on discovering the unknown joys of all the things I could eat.  My life was changed as a result of the things I ate; and I hadn’t felt deprived, not once.  Get a little perspective.

Similarly with my macro exercise.  I focused (ha ha!) on what I could shoot up close, not on what I couldn’t shoot.  My life was changed as a result of the things I saw; and I didn’t feel deprived, not once.  In fact, my day exploded with creativity and thinking; and most of my favorite images of the trip I shot on the day I imposed limitations and saw things from a different perspective.  And it was awesome.

Get a little perspective: Change your perspective and you change your whole world.


{Love the images and want to hang them on your wall? Click on each image to go to the gallery!}







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  • Ladyp1234Your photos are stunning Carrie. And I shall be mulling over your thoughts today, as I move towards having less flour and sugar in our family diet….ReplyCancel

    • carrieThanks, everyone, for all the photo love!! Molly R – awesome job on the 40 – now let’s get back to it :-) Allisol – you crack me up :-) Wendy – miss you! GO, LadyP!!ReplyCancel

  • Molly RCarrie,
    First off, I want to thank you for sharing your beautiful photography! It is inspiring and uplifting to see so many gorgeous pictures during the work week, when all I can think about is how to get myself (and my students) to spring break successfully! Lol
    Secondly, are far more importantly from a health aspect, I loved your thoughts on approaching SANE eating. I have read Jonathan’s book. I have been listening to the podcast, but I have been hesitating on making the dietary changes that I need to make, because I don’t want to give up my sugar!! I lost 40 pounds from March to August last year and then stopped because I had not learned in that time how to get creative with my cooking. Thus I have regained about 20 or so of those pounds back!! I plan on spending my Spring break getting myself off sugar and I hope eventually off of wheat so that I can at least test out the difference for myself! Thanks for your insight!ReplyCancel

    • carrieMolly R – hopefully you can use my recipes on this blog to help you with the creative cooking bit and keep on track. Is there something inSANE that you really miss that you would particularly like me to make a SANE version of?ReplyCancel

  • RomyWonderful pictures! Thank you for sharing.
    Greetings from Switzerland

  • allisolWow those pictures are amazing. I was just thinking of you last night. I thought “With all that driving, shouldn’t she be sharing some epiphany with us at some point?” haha! We rely on you for epiphanies! But this is soooo true. The “restrictions” as they are, have forced me to be so much more adventurous with food and try things I have never had (leeks??? Who knew!?) and cook things I’ve never cooked. It’s freeing that the options are really limitless.

    Oh, and we extroverts knew right away you were an introvert. No extrovert would be caught dead driving for 10 days by him/her self. We get bored driving to the grocery store alone.

    XO XOReplyCancel

  • MeghanHi Carrie,
    These photos ARE GOREGEOUS…. I wanted to “repin” them… when I clicked on pinterest button at the bottom, only the orange flower at the bottom came up…. do you have a board with all of them on there?

  • WendyAnd you coming to this point is awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Margaret HBeautiful! The flowers are gorgeous but I do love that post with the barbed wire. Thanks for sharing these and your words of wisdom. They will definitely come to mind when I think I’m being deprived!ReplyCancel

  • EllenBeautiful! Jonathan has a worthy competitor in the analogy contest!ReplyCancel

    • carrieHA, Ellen! I don’t think I will ever reach analogy god status like Bailor, but happy that I made my point!ReplyCancel

  • JulieLove love love this whole post! I enjoyed your writing, the story about your trip, and the photos are phenomenal. Inspiring on multiple levels.ReplyCancel

  • SylviaCarrie, your photos are absolutely amazing! Isn’t nature wonderful?!! Thanks for all your inspiring posts. The motivation you give is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much on so many levels.

  • NatalieI really connected with this post–so amazing! I too am introverted and love love LOVE road trips, and I think I was living vicariously through you by reading this–traveling with multiple kids isn’t exactly relaxing so I don’t do much of it anymore!
    I also admire how you linked two seemingly different pursuits because you had to change your perspective due to limited resources (macro lens v. “restricted” ingredients)–brilliant! Your photography is lovely! Keep up the good work on your podcast with Jonathan, I love your humor and relatability.ReplyCancel

    • carrieThanks so much for your kind words, Natalie; and for all the podcast and photography love!!ReplyCancel