Carrie Austin Avoids Prescription Antidepressants by Following Lighten Up + Quick Plant Based Basil Sauce (oil-free)

quick basil sauce (oil free)

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)

Closed captioning available
Update from Carrie:

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 basil sauce (oil free)

Quick Plant Based Basil Sauce (oil-free)

Makes about 2 cups
Author: Molly Patrick


  • 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.

quick basil sauce (oil free)

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with finding what works for you.


Get a weekly dose of inspiration to eat more plants and celebrate imperfection

Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Sophie on April 25, 2020 at 10:44 am

    5 stars
    I was contemplating Lighten Up when it came out. And every time it’s been mentioned to start up a new official round. But the price and the fact that I like my workouts to be hard has held me back.
    But I’m falling apart you guys. It’s been going on for years. I think I’ve been white knuckeling my way through more years than I’d like to admit. I’ve come to the realization that something has to happen. I need help. I actually reached out to an NLP coach this week and made an appointment for next week. That’s huge for me. HUGE!
    And now you post this video. Oh my gosh! That sounds EXACTLY like me! I even do OCR races, holy cow, that’s me!

    So now you have me seriously contemplating…. no, more than contemplating, wanting to get on the LU program yesterday already!! If this woman can get the change and benefits she’s describing, it’s exactly what I need, and have been needing for much longer than i care to admit to myself…. But I’m scared ya’ll. There’s so much baggage and stuff I don’t want to surface, but I know it has to or I won’t get to where I want….
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Much love from me!

    • Molly Patrick on April 27, 2020 at 11:10 am

      I completely understand.
      I was shit scared to unpack my bullsit and confront it many years ago.
      It’s not easy and it is work. All that stuck junk must surface so you can process it and invite it to move along.
      Holding onto stuff that we don’t want is bananas, yet all of us do it. Until we’re ready to say fuck it, and face it head on.
      When that happens, your life will be forever changed.
      You can’t change without changing, that’s what it comes down to.
      When you’re ready, we are here.

  2. Mandy on April 25, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Try using rye flour (or chic pea if gluten is an issue) to wash your hair

    On dry scalp dust w a few shakes of it from and old spice jar

    Scratch into scalp
    ShakE out hair

    Turn on shower
    Rinse well w water
    Ans then use apple cider rinse

    I did this w baking soda no poo method first but it’s very drying to hair

    Rye flour is good for hair

    Been doing for years
    Works great
    When I get hair cut I just have my head
    Massaged w smallest amount of. Conditioner
    To have that experience
    It may take a day for
    My hair to get back to its normal bc the conditioner does weight it down a bit but it does not look bad I just notice it

    My hair has way more body now (straight fine hair)

    And even a wave
    I use no products

    I don’t think this would work in curly hair it would probably be hard to rinse

    This all sounds crazy but it totally works for

    My hair dresser says my hair is very healthy!

    Try it !
    Cheap and easy to travel too

    • Molly Patrick on April 25, 2020 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks for the tip!
      We’ll see how it goes!
      P.S this is a tip regarding my Saturday email that went with this blog post.
      To sign up for my Saturday emails, bounce over here!

  3. Lynn on April 25, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    I’m so tempted to do the lighten up program but I’m 70 years old with absolutely ZERO flexibility. I also have issues with bursitis (no official diagnosis). I do foam roll regularly for my hip pain but wondering if I am even a candidate for the program?

    • Michelle on April 25, 2020 at 9:26 pm


      You are the perfect candidate for Lighten Up. You’ll learn lots of new rolling tricks, stretches, and moves to help your hips and ease out all your aches and pains. You will only do what you can do and only go as far as you can. As you do the program you’ll learn so much about yourself — your challenges and your gifts.

      I’m Michelle the Movement Guide for Lighten Up and I’ll be there for you every step of the way.

      I say jump in! You won’t regret it!


  4. Christine on April 26, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    What do you need to do the program food and exercise wise?

    • Molly Patrick on April 27, 2020 at 11:06 am

      Hi Christine,
      We give you the whole list when you sign up, but basically you will need a few kitchen tools, like a blender, cutting board, some knives, pots and pans, etc..
      Nothing fancy, though a pressure cooker, a juicer, and food processor are handy, but not totally necessary.
      For the movement you will need a yoga mat or a blanket to put on the floor, various balls, like a golf ball, softball-sized ball, and tennis balls. You will also need a kneehigh sock.
      This all makes sense once you sign up and watch the videos 🙂
      As far as ingredients, you will need some kitchen staples and fresh produce.
      If you have more questions, feel free to email us and we’ll help you out!
      [email protected]

  5. Deanna Greenhalgh on April 28, 2020 at 7:44 am

    I know it won’t be quite the same flavour, but is there an amount of dried basil you can use in this recipe if you don’t have fresh basil on hand?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on April 28, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      Hi Deanna, dried basil will not work in this recipe 🙁 . If you are looking for a pesto-style sauce that doesn’t call for fresh basil, we have one on this post (it doesn’t use basil at all, actually) to take a look at in case it could work for you. If you are a Meal Plans (or Recipes) subscriber, we do have an Avocado Sauce that uses dried basil from the Aug 10 2018 #BackToBasics meal plan that you could look at in your classroom for an alternative green sauce inspiration. ~Karen

  6. Kim on April 28, 2020 at 7:46 am

    Thank you, Carrie, for sharing your powerful story. You are an inspiration to keep going!
    Best always,

  7. Julia W on April 29, 2020 at 6:45 am

    Great interview, and I love the update. I wish the best to your SIL.

  8. Debbie on July 30, 2022 at 6:16 am

    Can you freeze the extra sauce?

    • Team Dirty - Brittany on July 31, 2022 at 9:33 am

      Yes! It should freeze beautifully for four-six months.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

You may also enjoy...

New? Download your free Beginner's Guide and start the most delicious and rewarding journey of your life, fueled by plants.

Our mouthgasmic plant based meal plans are designed around batch cooking. Get your free Batching Handbook and dive in.

Stop junk food cravings and glow from the inside out with our easy-to-follow program. Give me the juicy details.

Love the food that loves you back

Get instant access to thousands of plant based recipes and meal plans, no credit card or perfection required.