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


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gluten-free . grain-free . sugar-free

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Keto Cookbooks



Keto and Low Carb Thickeners
Cheesy Salmon Pots
Recipe Index: Find the recipe you need here
Dark Chocolate Chili Mole
The KETO Ice Cream Scoop Cookbook
Liposomal Vitamin C (+ VIDEO!)
Baked Cheese and Bacon Pie
Celery and Cucumber Salad with Herbs
Meringue Cookies (+VIDEO!)
Keto Survival Kits: Planning to Thrive, not Survive

Copyright © Carrie Brown 2010-2020, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

Written in Blood (WTF is wrong with me? #1)

Lovely, patient readers: I am perhaps almost as frustrated as you are at the time it is taking me to get all these WTF is wrong with me?” posts written.  How best to deliver the flood of results and discoveries and accompanying abundance of awesomeness has been a constantly changing landscape in my mind for the last 6 weeks as this whole crazy thing has been unfolding.  My inability to decide how to break it down into the most meaningful and useful chunks is mostly what has kept me from writing anything, which is, frankly, ridiculous.

Today I woke up and decided to stop being ridiculous and just write.  My last thought on how to disseminate it all to you was by result, so I am going with that.  I have no doubt that if that approach doesn’t make sense you will raise your hand and wave.  I can always count on you to keep me on the {somewhat} straight and narrow.  The blood tests were the ones that came back first and got the ball rolling on where to start with unraveling the mysteries.

The various blood tests that I had done revealed all kinds of fascinating stuff: what was in my blood, what wasn’t in my blood, and what happened to my blood when a bunch of things were dropped into it.  I am only going to give the results that indicated where we needed to do some work.  If it’s not here, assume the result was normal or awesome.  Except in the case of food sensitivities where I simply got tired of typing as well as wanting to slash my wrists – you’ll see in a minute.

These are the {very short} cliff notes.  The full reports came with reams of notes, explanations, and complicated diagrams of Krebs Cycles and other things that would bore the pants off any of us who are not nerdy science geeks.  If you are a nerdy science geek then you may insert the right wording in your head where I have used language that the rest of us get.  Understanding enough of what was going on and making a plan to get well does not require one to be a scientist.  All you *really* need to know is what’s awry and how to fix it.  Simple is good.


What was missing (aka severe deficiencies) in:

  • Vitamin C
  • α-Lipoic Acid
  • CoQ10
  • All B vitamins
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin D
  • Glutathione
  • Homovanillic acid (HVA)
  • Phosphoserine
  • Arginine
  • Methionine
  • Alanine
  • Glutamine

What there was too much of:

  •  A bunch of acids with nauseatingly long, unpronounceable names which it makes no sense to detail
  • Cystathionine


  • Everything that there was too much of is directly related to the deficiency of B vitamins
  • Deficiency of HVA and phosphoserine is directly related to the deficiency of B vitamins
  • Deficiency of arginine, methionine, alanine, and glutamine is directly related to gastrointestinal dysfunction


What made my blood sad when they were added to it (Sensitivity testing):

  • Potassium nitrate (food preservative)
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Bunch of artificial colors
  • Few molds
  • Fluoride
  • Ammonium chloride
  • Tetracycline (anti-biotic)
  • Almost every food known to man – including, but not limited to…apple, Brussels sprouts, all citrus (NOOOOOO!), mussels, salmon (this cannot be happening), almonds (wait, what?), asparagus, beef (THIS IS A JOKE, RIGHT?), bok choy, melons, celery, chicken liver, coconut (WTH??) codfish, mulberry, mung beans, mustard greens, scallops, sole, string beans, tomato (ok, this is not ok), tuna (this is not funny any more), turkey (just stop it), venison, squash, arugula, yeast, beans, blackcurrants, blackberries, brazil nuts, mushrooms (now I’m *REALLY* mad), carrots, cashews, cauliflower (now you’re just being mean), chicken (is there life without chicken?), clams, grapes, kiwi, onions, papaya, peaches, pork (JUST SHOOT ME NOW), pumpkin, radishes, soy, trout, all peppers, a bunch of spices, a bunch of herbs, most dairy (I AM CRYING), bell peppers, blueberries, potatoes, all grains, all sugars, eggs (I AM GOING TO COMMIT A FELONY).


Other things that showed up:

  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Need for methylation
  • Toxic exposure to MTBE (common gasoline additive) and styrene



  • Hemoglobin A1c: 5.8 %  *** this is pre-diabetic ***
  • Cholesterol LDL: 208 mg/dL
  • Cholesterol: 290 mg/dL
  • Cholesterol/HDL Ratio: 5.47
  • Cholesterol HDL: 53 mg/dL
  • Triglyceride: 146 mg/dL


Treatment Plan #1 (September 1st)


  • Multivitamin
  • Mitochondrial support
  • Vitamin D
  • α-Lipoic Acid
  • Heavy duty specially formulated B vitamins


  • KETO (very low carb, adequate protein, very high fat) diet – separate post coming on this!
  • Elimination diet – foods I can eat:
    • Kippers (smoked herring), mackerel, sardines
    • Avocado
    • Cheese
    • Macadaemias, hazelnuts, pine nuts
    • 100% fat dairy – butter, heavy cream, sour cream, creme fraiche
    • Lamb
    • Pork
    • Duck
    • Bison

And you think following a SANE diet is hard???  SANE is the easiest diet on earth compared to this.  I CANNOT WAIT until I can eat a SANE diet again – it’s going to be like the holidays every damn day for my mouth.  Plus, now you know why there haven’t been any new recipes lately – not even I can conjure up anything with only that handful of things to work with.  If you’re staring at that list going, “So what else are you eating besides those things?  What veggies do you get to eat with that meat?”  NOTHING.  That list is it.

  • Rotation diet:
    • No food from list above to be eaten more often than every 4th day
  • Increase liquid intake
  • Water must be bottled
  • Keep food log and track any symptoms or lack thereof


My list of permitted foods was made a lot shorter because of my need to be on a ketogenic diet.  I will explain this in a separate post.

This list of permitted foods is unique to me based on my test results and needs.  I am in no way advocating that anyone else should follow this list.


  • Reduce stress as much as possible
  • Get as much sleep as you can
  • Do not exercise or over-exert


I still had no idea what had caused all this, and I couldn’t necessarily correlate symptoms with test results yet, but finally I had something I could hang my hat on.  There, written in blood, were some things that were not right.  If you know me at all you’ll know that I embraced these results wholeheartedly and with a considerable amount of glee.

Clutching my bag of supplements I toddled off to the grocery store to stock up on all (!) nine (!) things (!) that were to feed me for the next (!) three-to-six (!) months (!), and so began the start of what has become a fascinating science experiment with my body as the lab.  I’m nearly 8 weeks in now, and boy is this journey turning out to be the best thing I ever embarked on.




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  • MIntaWe’re all happy to see a light at the end of the tunnel.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy P.As I sit here with open mouth …. I am astounded at the foods that made your blood sad. Most of those are the foods I love. Cod? Blackberries? Eggs? Geez Louise! This is getting “curiouser and curiouser”. Mental note: Take my B-Complex vitamins everyday. Can’t wait to hear how you are doing now.ReplyCancel

  • DieannaI am in total and utter disbelief at the food list you are able to eat from. I wouldn’t be able to do it. So proud of you for embracing your journey with gusto and am looking forward to the rest of the “WTF Is Wrong With Me” series. You’re amazing and brave to share all of this with us. Thanks so much for being YOU!! ?ReplyCancel

  • KatHang in there Carrie. I went Keto a year ago and have never felt better at 66 years old. All my blood markers improved immensely. Lucky at least you can do dairy. I can not. I also added intermittent fasting which I find good for the brain and body. Love reading about your journey.ReplyCancel

  • DonnaKeep writing Carrie- I gave up on trying to follow my Alcat recommendations after 2 weeks and just threw my hands up and went back to BAD BAD eating. Tell me more about how you lived to tell the tale of coming out the back end of it.ReplyCancel

  • Wrenwow. that is a lot to take in, right? Do the food sensitivities mean you can NEVER eat them or is this just a healing period and perhaps in the future, you can start adding them back in?

    I learned about eating KETO about 6 months ago and have been enjoying it ever since. It’s been the key to keeping my weight stable and my brain loves it! At 51, I’m feeling more focused, more calm, more energetic, sleeping better, etc. I’ve also lost bodyfat and gained more muscle. Plus, it’s such a FUN and delicious way to eat! I find it very easy to stay in Ketosis and use my Ketonix to check my level regularly. And I love Jimmy Moore’s book, Ketogenic Cookbook. Everything in that book is great, thanks to Maria Emmerich. I highly recommend it.

    Thanks again for sharing your story Carrie. You are no doubt, helping many others. I’m on my way to the store now to stock up on some B vitamins. It’s one of a few things that are supposed to clear up some pre-menopause symptoms. (life is so fun sometimes).ReplyCancel

  • Debra UlrichSure sounds like leaky gut doesn’t it? Yet we know you don’t it much in the way of grains. The next thing that comes to mind is that you don’t have sufficient microbes in your gut to break foods down to a from you can assimilate. I am thinking of the xylitol. We know it can stop a cavity in it’s tracks, and I recently read where people were dissolving it and putting it in their ears to treat ear infections.

    I will anxiously be awaiting your progress reports!

    Best wishes in your speedy recovery!ReplyCancel

  • EllenWow, this is incredible. Those must have been some heavy duty blood tests. And I’m impressed that you’ve hung in there when faced with elimination of ALL your FAVES….and figured out how to make it work. Can’t wait to hear the next installment!ReplyCancel

  • Geraldine Denise KussDear Carrie,
    I have felt privileged to read about your various experiences in many fields. I have your book on Ice-Creams and I have Jonathan’s book on The Calorie Myth.I think both are excellent.
    Somehow I just can’t come to terms with what you are now writing as I live in Brazil and i almost can’t believe that such a diet would be possible anywhere in the world except The USA.
    People in India who are vegetarians wouldn’t subscribe to this prescription for good health and certainly here in Brazil I can’t imagine this being suggested as a cure. Still, I’m fascinated by it all and curious about the outcome. As you mention, you are the guinea pig. I wish you well, from Rio De Janeiro , BrazilReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Geraldine! Please remember that this current set of posts is unique to me given what test results have revealed. This prescription is for ME alone relative to the foods I am currently sensitive to. I am in no way suggesting that anyone else should follow my treatment plan. Once I have told the whole story you will understand the complete puzzle and see how it all fits together to heal me. Once healed I will be able to return to all the goodness of SANE! Trust me when I tell you that 8 weeks in I feel better than I have felt in more years that I can count :DReplyCancel

  • Take A Breath » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE Lane[…] Written in Blood (WTF is wrong with me? #1) […]ReplyCancel

  • WeaverGraceHi again! For a couple months, I’ve been treating my Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO) with a food-based Elemental Diet, to address my severe bipolar and migraines. In other words, I’m refusing to eat a synthetic mix of nutrients (Elemental Diet) and pharmaceutical antibiotics to treat the SIBO, and instead I’m eating similar meals that are super easy to digest (GAPS Diet, low FODMAPS) … and ketogenic … and least likely to aggravate my life-long food sensitivities.

    I’m down to black tea, coconut, chicken, carrots, squash, salt, water (I’ll count everything that I can!), and maybe some herbs (antibiotic) and fennel. I’m worried about becoming sensitized to coconut and chicken, and I want to rebuild my microbiome. My next trial food is ghee, then beef, then whey.

    It’s amazing how delicious healing food can be, and how toxic cravings can be. I’m enjoying every drop of my tea and pureed chicken with carrots (or squash). My SIBO must be devastated because I’m no longer craving carbs.

    I hope that you’ll share the names of your tests, including the food sensitivity test. I’d love to have more guidance than trial and error as I search for safe foods. A couple months ago, I asked my doctor for a food sensitivity test, and she had me tested for allergies.ReplyCancel

  • The Most Important Thing » The Real Carrie Brown[…] was severely deficient in all those pesky B vitamins, which are super important for all sorts of things.  Eating the food I was, how could I possibly […]ReplyCancel