In July of 2018, we held our first and only Clean Food Dirty Girl retreat. It was on the Big Island of Hawaii, and it was a week long. For the retreat, we teamed up with our good friend Michelle Andrie of Ageless Move More. I had been doing Michelle’s body practice for about a year, and I was hooked. We thought the combination of Dirty Food and Michelle’s energy-focused body work would make a powerful duo. And we weren’t wrong. It was an incredibly powerful week.
After the retreat, Michelle and I were super inspired to team up and offer our areas of expertise in one program that anyone could join and follow along with. No need to fly to Hawaii or spend thousands on a retreat. So that’s exactly what we did. Over the next 9 months, we worked together to create a 29-day program to help people step out of fear and into love. We called it Lighten Up because after you finish the program it literally feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders.
We’ve had over a thousand people go through the program, and it has been life-altering for those who have followed along. Recently, Michelle and I sat down and chatted with Carrie Austin about her experience going through Lighten up.
Carrie has gone through the program twice (you get lifetime access when you sign up). The first time, she focused on the food and did pretty well. Carrie was the Crossfit type and found the movement portion of the program difficult because it was a much slower pace than she was used to.
The second time around, she was going through some family challenges and battling depression. She decided that before she went to her doctor to request antidepressants, she would go all in and commit 100% to Lighten Up. And that’s what she did. She says by day 15, she knew she and her family were going to be okay and that she wasn’t going to need medication. By day 29, she was able to find joy, love, patience, and the power to let go of control.
Michelle and I loved chatting with Carrie about her experience because it outlines beautifully exactly why we created this program. Enjoy the talk!
(Carrie was not paid to do this talk)
Lighten Up has been a game changer for me. Since speaking with you, the world has literally lost its shit and we are all currently in quarantine. All over social media I see recipes for crazy “omni comfort food” and putting on the “Covid 15”. I am so grateful to have this program and the community to lean on. Things are definitely tough, but I have great food, an awesome community and tools from Molly and Michelle to deal with the stress of it all.
My daughter has kept up with therapy via zoom and telephone chats and she has just been approved for hormone therapy when things settle down a bit. I have kept up with my daily juicing and getting as many BAS (Big Ass Salad) and smoothies as I can.
Since we last spoke, my sister-in-law, who lives with us, had a major heart episode and I just picked her up from the hospital today. She has also been watching me and asked me to help her switch her diet around for the better. That is HUGE! The fact that I have reached a lifelong smoker and heavy meat eater without even saying a word speaks volumes to what I have learned and this lifestyle.
I feel so lucky to have found CDFG and Lighten Up. I use what I learned daily and if I have a bad day, as we all do, I just get up the next day, get my juice on and handle my shit like the bad ass plant eater that I am.
Thank you so much for all you do. I am so thankful.
Some current photos of Carrie.
Learn more about Lighten Up here.
Have you been able to avoid antidepressants through lifestyle changes? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Quick Plant Based Basil Sauce (oil-free)
Quick Plant Based Basil Sauce (oil-free)
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 (15 oz/425 g) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (can sub any other white bean)
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, left whole (40 g)
- ½ cup water (120 ml)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
Place all of the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth and super creamy.
Use on pasta, in bowls, or as a salad dressing.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with finding what works for you.